Squiz Today / 03 October 2017

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 3 October


"My friends and I have often spoken of a plan: rather than reach the stage where we’re old and alone, we’d prefer to live together; to buy a big house, bring in a housekeeper to look after us all, and enjoy our twilight years in good company."

Great plan, Joanna Lumley! And imagine the parties if her alter ego Patsy Stone is allowed out to play… best retirement commune ever, darling.


The famous Las Vegas strip was in chaos last night after a gunman fired shots at people attending a country music festival across the street from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The toll is at 58 people confirmed dead, and +500 more are injured. Las Vegas police confirmed they found the shooter dead – a Nevada resident named Stephen Paddock. They believe the 64yo was a ‘lone wolf’ attacker and nothing is yet known about his motivation. The high death toll makes it the largest mass shooting in modern American history, and authorities have warned that more are expected to die from injuries. 

• Police say Paddock had 10 guns in his room (the type has not been confirmed). Experts say the footage suggests he had fully automatic weapons or had altered weapons to make them semi-automatic. Police were able to quickly identify his room because the fire alarm had gone off with the smoke generated by the rapid firing.

• Paddock didn’t have much of a police record - just one traffic violation. His father was once on the FBI’s ‘10 most wanted list’ as an escaped bank robber.

• There had been a search for a woman described as Paddock's girlfriend but authorities say she is currently out of the US. She is former Gold Coast resident Marilou Danley – an Australian citizen formerly of the Philippines. Her current whereabouts has not been confirmed. 

• Paddock was described as a gambler by his neighbours in the upmarket retirement village in Mesquite (about 130km from Las Vegas) where he lived in. Reports say he’d previously worked as an accountant and in real estate investments.

• Islamic State has claimed responsibility, but authorities are dubious.

Paddock’s brother Eric said; "It's like an asteroid just fell on top of our family." He’s showed the FBI three years of text messages from his brother, including one that mentioned winning $250,000 at a casino. However, he said he did not have any information suggesting his brother gambling debts or financial issues. US President Donald Trump praised authorities for the speed at which they responded and said; “It was an act of pure evil. We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss.” He will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.


President Trump yesterday Twitter-shamed his top diplomat: “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man...” and “...Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!” Tillerson had earlier confirmed the US was still pressing North Korea for discussions in an attempt to calm the crisis caused by the Hermit Kingdom’s escalating nuclear and missile tests, and threats against US territory. Reports say the White House thought Tillerson had overstated the attempts to connect with the Hermit Kingdom, but Trump's efforts to walk it back have raised questions about what doing “what has to be done” means. Australia isn’t leaving it to chance – reports say PM Malcolm Turnbull will today announce spending on nine Navy frigates that will have the capacity to shoot down incoming missiles.

Starting out as an engine production facility in 1979, Toyota’s Altona plant in Melbourne’s west will close today, leaving about 2,700 workers without a job. Many others who work for businesses that supplied components and services to the plant will also be affected. With the previous Mitsubishi and Ford plant closures providing anecdotal evidence, there is some degree of optimism about workers’ futures. Many found other work with their skills in demand in other industries. However, there are many who remain unemployed. Australia’s remaining car manufacturer Holden will close their Elizabeth plant in South Oz on 20 October.

Like a big ship starting to turn, Sydney property prices fell in September by 0.1% - the first fall for a couple of years. Melbourne’s prices were up 0.9% with experts saying affordability is the key driver of the increase (remember Sydney homes are about 40% more expensive than Melbourne’s in comparison). Perth prices were up 0.1% leading to a claim that their market has bottomed out. Hobart was up 1.7%; Canberra up 0.6%; Brissie up 0.3%; Adelaide was flat; and Darwin went backwards 0.7%. The Reserve Bank meets today to consider interest rates. You’d get better odds on Darren Hayes joining the Tony Abbott fan club than on a rate rise this month.

After serving nine years in a Nevada prison for kidnapping and armed robbery, former American football star/actor/celebrity OJ Simpson walked free on Sunday. Simpson is expected to eventually move to Florida where two of his children live. He was found not guilty of the 1994 murders of his wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman (the anniversary of that verdict is today), but was found liable for their deaths in a civil suit and ordered to pay more than $30 million in damages to the families of the victims.

As the excellent Aido and Gibbo pull themselves out of their grand final hazes to make their final contributions, we thank them for their service.

AFL GRAND FINAL WITH AIDO – Richmond broke their 37-year premiership drought with a thumping win against Adelaide. In front of more than 100,000 fans at the MCG, Richmond simply outclassed Adelaide from the beginning. It was a fairytale end for the Tigers. But for Adelaide fans, it was a long trip home across the border - perhaps they looked for inspiration in The Killers' immortal tune (who nailed the AFL's pre-game entertainment) by looking on the "bright side." There's always next year. (Score: Richmond 108: Adelaide 60)

NRL GRAND FINAL WITH GIBBO – What happens when the team that finishes first plays the team that just scraped into 8th place? Sunday night is what happens! The Melbourne Storm were just far too clinical. As one commentator said they are “consistently consistent”. Not that the North Queensland Cowboys stopped trying – far from it. My tip is Cooper Cronk will not play on – but Billy Slater will and Cameron Smith is and could play for years. Time to revert to those great summer sports - the cricket, tennis and golf. (Score: Melbourne 34: North Queensland 6)

That Samantha Jones – she always was a troublemaker. And so life emulates art with actress Kim Cattrall copping the blame for plans to film S*x and the City 3 being scrapped by Warner Bros. Reports say Cattrall had made her participation contingent on the movie studio’s support for other projects she was involved in, and they said nope. Carrie – sorry, Sarah Jessica Parker – confirmed it was over saying; “I'm disappointed. We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story.” We never watched the show for its relate-ability, but we’re still a little sad we won’t get the chance to catch up with the ladies. Or at least see what they’re wearing these days…


ABS Data Releases - Tally of Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey Participation; Building Approvals, August

Anniversary of 1990's unification of Germany ending 45 years of post-WWII division 

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