Squiz Today / 21 November 2018

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 21 November


"As I keep telling the kids, in a world where you can be anything, choose kind."

Sage words from Sal Lewis, the better half of the all-conquering Liquid Ideas duo, and whose other - more rambunctious half - is the indomitable Stu Gregor. When they're not running their successful PR agency, Stu is the brains behind Four Pillars (you'll recall we worked with them on some Squizalicious gin cocktail recipes). Please welcome our first husband-and-wife duo to the Three Minute Squiz.


Bali Nine member Renae Lawrence will be released from Bali’s Bangli jail early this morning after serving 13 years and seven months for attempting to smuggle drugs out of Indonesia in 2005. The former hospitality worker from Newcastle was 27yo when she went to Bali, and returns as a nervous, and changed, 41yo woman.

Lawrence and eight other Aussies were caught trying to smuggle heroin out of Bali in April 2005. Lawrence was found with 2.7kg strapped to her body.

• Two of the group, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in April 2015. Both were considered to be at the centre of the plot.

• Lawrence received a 20-year sentence which was recently commuted. Those she leaves behind are serving life sentences. Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, who was also serving a life sentence, died in hospital from cancer in June this year. The youngest of the group, Matthew Norman, wished Lawrence well and says he hopes to get out one day.

• Several of the crew met while working for a Sydney stadium catering company. Others knew each other from Brisbane. The two groups met in BalI, the smuggling plot was activated, and their fates were sealed.

• It was the Australian Federal Police’s tip-off to Indonesian authorities that led to their arrests. That, in turn, led to discussions here about the consequences of that decision, particularly given Chan and Sukumaran’s death sentences. Questions focused on why police didn’t wait to arrest the group on arrival home.

Officially free at midnight local time, it’s expected Lawrence will be released at 9am local time this morning. She will then be taken to the airport and deported to Australia. Seven News are this morning reporting she will be on an overnight flight arriving in Oz tomorrow morning. On her return, Lawrence faces an outstanding arrest warrant related to a car chase that happened just a month before she was arrested in Bali. NSW Police said they won’t be at the airport to arrest her, but they will follow up with her soon. The governor at the jail where she has been serving time told The Australian she’s a reformed character. “My message to Renae is take care of yourself, stay on your path of righteousness, stay away from a life of crime,” he said yesterday.


The three men (including two brothers) were allegedly involved in an Islamic State-inspired terror plot. Reports say they wanted to kill as many people as they possibly could in a crowded space and had been trying to source a semi-automatic rifle. Two of the men are in their 20s, one in his 30s. All had their passports cancelled this year over suspicions they wanted to take up arms for IS overseas. Meanwhile, Sisto Malaspina’s state funeral was held yesterday. He was remembered as one of life’s great people. Malaspina died after Hassan Khalif Shire Ali stabbed him in the Bourke St terror attack earlier this month.

A suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan last night targeted a wedding hall killing at least 43 people and injuring more than 80 making. It is one of the deadliest terror attacks of the year to date. A group of religious scholars had gathered at the hall to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Jim Acosta, the CNN correspondent who copped a tongue-lashing from US President Donald Trump and had his White House pass revoked has had it restored. The media outlet was engaged in legal action over the brouhaha. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Acosta’s conduct in asking multiple questions and hogging the microphone was not on. Seasoned journos said it was an attempt at intimidation. Acosta tweeted“Let’s get back to work.”

And while we have you… First Daughter Ivanka Trump last year used a personal email account to conduct official government business according to reports. She says she didn’t know that practice was wrong and none of the emails included classified information. “How. Is. That. Possible.” asked a CNN analyst. During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Trump frequently led the crowd chanting “lock her up” over Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton’s use of a private server to send official emails in 2009.

What is it about people storming things in Papua New Guinea? On the weekend it was Chinese officials storming the Foreign Minister’s office. Yesterday, it was police and security forces storming the parliament over an unpaid A$140 bonus for their work on the APEC summit. Reports say hundreds of people went to the parliament to protest and some were involved in smashing windows and furniture.

BABY GIRL DIED IN NSW – The nine-month-old baby girl who was found dead at the water’s edge of Surfers Paradise on Monday morning is believed to have been killed over the state border in NSW. Arrangements to extradite the girl’s 47yo father are being made and he is expected to be charged with murder.

THE WHEELS OF THE BUS… - Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn continued his tale of woe yesterday before the Banking Royal Commission. Comyn backed out the bus and aimed it at former boss Ian Narev who, he said, told him to “temper your sense of justice” over his suggestions to stop selling poor quality insurance policies. Chairman Catherine Livingstone also said the board was too complacent in 2016 when she first joined. Ouch.

WAITING FOR TIME - Banished cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft won’t get an early reprieve from their ball tampering suspensions. Bancroft's suspension runs out at the end of this year while Smith and Warner will not be eligible to return until the end of March next year. Maybe some drunk curling could be a diversion?

Need a heart-starter to get going today? How about an 84-floor plummet in an elevator? Us neither… The description of a “faster and bumpier ride” than six Chicago diners expected kinda describes the year, don’t you think?


Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence to be released from prison in Bali, Indonesia

12.30pm (AEDT) - Michael Keenan, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, to address the National Press Club on 'Our Vision for Australia’s Digital Future' - Canberra

President of India Ram Nath Kovind arrives in Sydney for a three-day visit to Australia

Coles shares will commence trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on a deferred settlement basis (the demerger from Wesfarmers will be completed on 28 November)

First anniversary of the ouster of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

UN World Television Day

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