Squiz Today / 15 May 2019

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 15 May


"The news! The deadlines! The adrenalin!”

It’s safe to say Stephanie Peatling is a bit excited about Saturday’s federal election... And in her role as deputy federal editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and Age, why wouldn't she be? And look, we like politics, but it's her nine scrapbooks of Princess Diana clippings (count 'em…) that we're particularly drawn to. Please welcome Steph to this week's Three Minute Squiz.


It’s all fun and games until your dollar hits a near-three-year low and your online shopping bill goes up… And it's not just us that's feeling a bit shaky - markets across the world have dipped and $US1.4 trillion of value was wiped off Wall Street on Monday.

The trade war between America and China has been going on since US President Donald Trump raised tariffs on Chinese imports at the start of last year. What he was hoping to achieve was three things: better access to China’s expanding market; stop the forced sharing of intellectual property with China; and a rewrite of the trade deals Trump says have unfairly benefited Beijing. But 18 months later and a whole lotta tit-for-tat tariff increases, they're no closer to a deal. Just last week, Trump imposed tariff hikes on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and China yesterday retaliated with a hike on US$60 billion worth of American imports. Even a prominent dating app is caught up in the fray…

It’s an issue for us because America is our strongest strategic ally while China is our biggest trade partner. But you’ve heard that somewhere before... And yes, like other markets, ours has also been impacted by the uncertainty, including the drop in our dollar to 69.5 US cents. But what our exporters are worried about is not the war, but the peace agreement that is likely to come. That’s because they fear it will end with more US exports (like beef, lamb, wine etc) going to China, and that could crowd them out. As if the drought wasn’t making things tough enough for our farmers…



If you see a leader of one of the two major political parties whizzing past you in the next couple of days, don’t be surprised. They’re trying to get everywhere, and with a bunch of marginal seats to lock down or convert, it’s likely to be a close one. While there’s no new significant policies or funding announcements to point to since the Coalition’s first home buyer deposit guarantee from Sunday, PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten are doubling down on their key messages. For the Coalition, that's strong economic management; for Labor, it's fairness in the tax system, higher wages and more health funding. Yesterday’s major issue: will gay people go to hell? The short answer is neither leader believes that’s true. But Morrison accused Shorten of taking a cheap shot when he said the PM needed to answer the question in the wake of the Israel Folau/Rugby Australia saga. Onwards and upwards...


The threat of jail time seems to have driven former wellness blogger Belle Gibson to front up to yesterday’s Federal Court hearing where she failed to heed previous summons - so that was something. But when a judge quizzed her on whether she had the cash to pay $410,000 worth of fines incurred for conning followers that she had cured herself of brain cancer, the response was an emphatic no. She told the court – and the attendant media swarm – she had no means to cover the fines she had earned for failing to donate proceeds from her best-selling Whole Pantry app and cookbook as promised. The case was adjourned until 6 June.


Keeping you updated on some recent stories...

BAUTISTA BELIEVED TO BE FOUND - The ABC is reporting that a body has been found and it’s believed to be missing woman Lorjie Bautista. She went missing on Tuesday last week after heading out for a bushwalk on Bluff Knoll in Western Australia’s Stirling Ranges.

HUFFMAN PLEADS GUILTY - Award-winning actress Felicity Huffman yesterday tearfully told a court she paid a university admissions consultant $15,000 to have her daughter’s answers on the entrance exam corrected to help her gain access to her preferred college. She’ll be sentenced on 13 September and faces a prison term.

MORE DEMANDS MADE OF CHINESE WORKERS - Remember Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s suggested 996 plan for Chinese workers? It’s the one that would see them work 12 hours a day (from 9am to 9pm), six days a week. Well, there’s an update. Attending the mass wedding of some of his employees (and we’re moving past that like there’s nothing to see…), Ma rolled out a new KPI for the newlyweds - the 669. And that's where, for the sake of decorum, we bow out of this one…


That’s the advice of the Facebook-owned messaging service after a hacking loophole was found and patched. Only a small number of users were targeted by “an advanced cyber actor,” the company says. The hack meant targets were able to be called using the app’s phone function, which then allowed the hackers to install surveillance software. Reports say a prominent human rights lawyer who does not want to be named was a target of the hack. Experts reminded us again to keep our apps, phone operating systems and software programs updated.


The things we do for you... After wading through performances from the Czech Republic, Belarus and Georgia, we finally got to Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke bang on 6am (AEST). And she killed it on her big bendy pole. In a contest that seems to have brought the 80s back, she really stood out and got a huge cheer. Fingers crossed she makes it through to the grand final on Sunday...


We’re talking about makeup star James Charles. Haven’t heard of him? That means you’re aged +35yo, experts say… The 19yo was the first male spokesman for CoverGirl, and he’s a celebrity A-lister in the US. But a fight with his mentor Tati Westbrook has seen Charles shed 2.5 million of his 16 million YouTube subscribers. For context on the scale of this: there have been about 40 million views of Westbrook's 45-minute video dumping Charles as a friend. Compare that to the 17.4 million people who watched the Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones in the US, and you can get a sense of it… Why are the pair no longer on speaking terms? Read on.


ABS Data Release - Wage Price Index, March

Westpac Consumer Confidence Index for May

Dulux Group Half Year Earnings Announcement

International Day of Families

Birthdays for Rhonda Burchmore (1960), Lisa Curry (1962) and Andy Murray (1987)

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