Squiz Today / 06 October 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 6 October


“Retweet and make this hashtag about love, not hate.”

Posted Bobby Berk, a host of Netflix show Queer Eye, of a push to turn #ProudBoys into a gay pride campaign. The alt-right group was in the spotlight during last week's US presidential debate. And even the Royal Canadian Navy chipped in


US President Donald Trump says he will leave hospital at 9.30am (AEDT) to continue his recovery from COVID-19 at the White House. His release has mystified doctors given his stage with the virus, but Trump and his doctors flagged a Monday release as a sign that he’s doing well. Those efforts include yesterday’s criticised car ride around the hospital to thank supporters. With an election looming, Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis has thrown an already unusual campaign into chaos. No first-term president has suffered such a serious health setback so close to an election.

There hasn’t been a formal update since Sunday. But the official line is he's doing well despite some doctors saying the treatments he's been administered suggest his condition is worrying. A lot has been said since Friday about the confusing and contradictory official statements about his health that have seen the already thin strands of trust between the White House and the media tested repeatedly. For example, when Team Trump said he was being taken to the Walter Reed military hospital as a precaution, it turned out his oxygen levels had been dangerously low. And just as his doctor said he was improving, his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told journalists he was not well at all (reports say Trump was “furious” about that…). But White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah said putting a positive spin on things was ok because “you want to convey confidence, and you want to raise the spirits of the person you’re treating.” She might have to do more of the spinning with Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany becoming the latest of Trump's team to test positive.

Well, the election’s still on... But it makes for a different last month of campaigning. Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will water down the personal attacks, including in this week’s vice presidential debate, reports say. But the conversation is focused on the spot the Democrats wanted - Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. They say they believe voters will be able to wish Trump a speedy recovery while also lining up to vote him out on 3 November. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign team - many of whom have been infected along with Trump - are embracing working from home… Citing last-minute bumps in Trump's 2016 campaign (eg the Access Hollywood video), his supporters say you can’t count him out.



You’ve been counting the sleeps since the coronavirus robbed you of a Federal Budget in May - and now the day is here. The pandemic has also robbed us of a lot of the surprise factor because there’s a fair bit we already know. First and foremost, there’s going to be one helluva deficit. It’s of the monster $210 billion variety that probably won’t be celebrated with a merchable coffee cup from Liberal HQ… And we know the Morrison Government’s focus is on jobs. How? Because Frydenberg has been repeating the phrase “this Budget is all about jobs” ad nauseam… With 10% of Aussie workers either losing their jobs or having their hours reduced thanks to the coronavirus restrictions, that's not surprising. Where the argument with Labor and others will be is how much and how fast the government is spending to support economic recovery. Top tip: look out for income tax cuts being fast-tracked. And put ‘jobs’ on your Budget Bingo sheet…


Italian media outlets have reported that Cardinal George Pell's former colleague/enemy in the Vatican, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, has been accused of arranging for €700,000 ($1.14 million) to be wired to recipients in Australia. The suggestion is it was payment for witnesses to give damaging evidence against Cardinal Pell. Becciu, whose job at the Vatican was to distribute and invest donations made to the church, resigned last month over embezzlement claims - allegations he denies. And lawyers for the Australian man who accused Pell of sexually assaulting him in the ‘90s say he is not connected to the allegations. Pell’s former barrister Robert Richter said the money trail should be followed.


Kathy Jackson, the boss of the Health Services Union from 2008-15, has become the third official after former union mover-and-shaker Michael Williamson and former Labor MP Craig Thomson to be criminally convicted of defrauding the organisation. Yesterday, she pleaded guilty to two fraud charges after a jury found her guilty of two other similar charges at trial in December last year. That December finding was under wraps with the second trial pending. In total, the four charges account for $102,892 of union funds that Jackson claimed for travel and personal expenses on her work credit card - money she has previously argued she was entitled to. Tens of other charges have been ditched by prosecutors, or she has been tried and found not guilty. In a civil case in 2015, Jackson was ordered to repay the union $1.4 million after a string of overseas trips and fancy meals were uncovered. She is also involved in a legal fight over the $30 million will of Sydney lawyer David Rofe.


It’s about the same distance from Queensland as Kiwiland is from Australia’s southeastern states - but culturally it’s a bit further away. And it’s going to stay that way for a while yet with the results of an independence referendum rolling in - and it was a firm vote en faveur de la France… A big turnout of 85% of eligible voters delivered a vote of 53.26% in favour of remaining a French overseas territory. French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the result. It’s the second vote in 2 years with the issue of independence between the islands' indigenous Kanak people (about 40% of the population) and descendants of European settlers (about 30%) remaining a sticking point. Another vote can be held in 2022. Until then it’s all eyes on the crowening


“Can you love this woman any more?!” tweeted ABC News Breakfast’s Michael Rowland yesterday with a clip of Aussie tennis star Ash Barty cheering on her footy team, drink in hand. For some, maybe the answer is yes... Barty will become one of 11 women to have held the world's top-ranking at the end of a season twice - and the first Australian to end consecutive years at #1 since Lleyton ‘C’mon’ Hewitt did it in 2001-02. Barty retains the title despite having been off the international circuit since late February, and it follows French Open top-seed Simona Halep's defeat in the fourth round on Sunday. Halep, who won 17 games on the trot, said she would deal with her feelings with chocolate


Bet you didn't know you had a keen interest in giant hay sculptures - until now


After 2.00pm (AEDT) - Crown Resorts investor James Packer to dial it in to appear before the NSW independent inquiry into whether the casino operator meets the conditions to hold a licence

2.30pm (AEDT) - Reserve Bank announces the board’s decision on interest rates following its regular meeting

7.30pm (AEDT) - Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to deliver the Federal Budget - Canberra

Federal Parliament resumes for 3 days

Queensland Parliament to be dissolved as the state's election campaign begins

Start of Term 4 for students in Queensland

ABS Data Release - International Trade in Goods and Services, August

Anniversary of:
• the opening of the Moulin Rogue in Paris (1889)
• inventor Thomas Edison shows his first motion picture (1889)
• the High Court of Australia sitting for the first time (1903)
• the release of the first film with a soundtrack, The Jazz Singer. It signalled an end to the era of silent films (1927)
• the launch of Instagram (2010)

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