Squiz Today / 04 September 2018

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 4 September


"This new effigy will be a new image for a new era.”

Said GG Sir Peter Cosgrove of our updated coins featuring the Queen who has yet again tackled the trickiest of pics – the side profile. With the mega advances in self-portraiture, she would have been forgiven if she chose to pull an upward looking duck face...


More than just an opportunity for regional leaders to wear silly shirts, the Pacific Islands Forum is where Australia is the biggest player and some important issues are discussed. But new PM Scott Morrison won’t travel to Nauru for the main event. Instead, we’re being represented by new Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

Former PM (and newly Manhattan-ensconced) Malcolm Turnbull was scheduled to attend the meeting. But that is so 11 days ago… Payne is in the hot seat, and she'll have to do some Ginger Rogers-style quick stepping to reassure the other 17 member nations that we’re serious about addressing the main agenda item - climate change. With the new Morrison Government needing to lock in its energy and emissions policy, low-lying Pacific nations that are staring down rising sea-levels will want to be reassured that we are on track to deliver our promised emissions reductions. Also in focus – Australia’s offshore detention arrangement with Nauru, and New Zealand’s offer to resettle refugees.

One of the themes of the year has been the rise of China, particularly forging new diplomatic and economic ties. And with the US retreating into itself, securing Australia’s leading role in the region (while also protecting our strategic interests) is very important for those at the top of our government. Which is why Morrison’s decision not to attend has come under scrutiny. Maybe he’s staying home to get ready for next weekend’s curry night?


Locals Wa Lone (32yo) and Kyaw Soe Oo (28yo) were sentenced to seven years jail yesterday following their arrest in December last year. The government said they were breaking the law by possessing sensitive documents about the situation in Rakhine State and the persecution of Rohingya Muslims that they intended to publish. It is the latest concerning news from the country that was last week accused of genocide in a report to the United Nations. Oz, the US, Canada and the European Union have called for the journalists’ release.

Herewith three examples of some quality tough talkin':

CHINA BLOCKS ABC WEBSITES – While a Chinese official said it has the right to block foreign content, our national broadcaster is unsure why its sites hit the “great firewall” a couple of weeks ago. Speculation is rife that it could be payback for Australia's blocking of Huawei from the 5G mobile rollout.

MORRISON OPEN TO UNION DE-REGISTRATION – We’re talking about the controversial CFMMEU (the construction workers’ union) and its leader John Setka who posted an ugly father’s day tweet involving his kids that PM Morrison yesterday said was "the straw that breaks the camel's back". Setka has deleted the tweet.

ACCOUNTING FOR CARTEL-LIKE BEHAVIOUR – Labor alleges that's what has gone down between the bosses of Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC after it was recently revealed they have met for private dinners. The firms say nothing commercially sensitive was discussed.

Brazil's 200yo National Museum containing more than 20 million artefacts has been lost in a massive blaze. Brazilian President Michel Temer called it a sad day for the country. The building was once home to the Portuguese royal family, and experts say it held the most important collection of rare exhibits relating to the history of the Americas in the world.

Fake honey – who knew that was a thing? An investigation by the ABC and Fairfax showed an alarming level of ‘food fraud’ when it comes to bee juice. Almost half of the samples that were bought from supermarket shelves and tested were found to be ‘adulterated’, ie the products contained ingredients that weren’t honey. The tests conducted aren’t available in Australia. In fact, the products passed the Australian tests. But the peak industry bodies endorsed the approach taken by investigators.

Aussies aren’t drinking as much as they used to. That’s the finding from the Bureau of Stats that yesterday released data showing our drinking is at a 50 year low. Looking at the rates of consumption of pure alcohol for everyone 15yo and older in 2016/17, it equated to 9.4 litres each. That’s about 38 bottles of wine over the year. Our consumption of beer is falling, but it is still the most popular drink followed by wine, spirits, pre-mixed drinks and cider in that order.

Suffering a dip in the polls, Russian President Vladimir Putin has become a reality TV star.  And we're not making a brilliant observation about the intersect of politics and entertainment... His hour-long show Moscow. Kremlin. Putin. launched on Sunday and depicts him at work and in nature (of course). The channel producing the program is controlled by the Kremlin and will provide Russians with a “balanced view” of their leader, a spokesman said. Ahem.


2.30pm (AEST) - Reserve Bank interest rate decision announced

ABS Data Release - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, June; Government Finance Statistics, June

US Senate confirmation hearings commence for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Samantha Armytage and Beyoncé share a birthday

Anniversary of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's death (2006)

20th anniversary of the founding of Google

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