Squiz Today / 27 March 2019

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 27 March


“When I quit investment banking, the two things I knew was I wanted to help people and I wanted flexibility around how I did that.”

And help she did… Cathryn Gross was the person we turned to when we were first starting out. Not only did she get us going, but Cathryn is also a financial adviser who specialises in helping women whose lives are in a state of change. Please welcome Cathryn to the Three Minute Squiz.


Senior One Nation representatives have been caught on tape discussing a plan to weaken Australia’s gun laws in exchange for up to $20 million in support from the American gun lobby. Pauline Hanson's chief of staff James Ashby and the party's Queensland leader Steve Dickson say they've been set up.

• Al Jazeera, the state-funded broadcaster from Qatar, had been working on the sting for three years. The first of its two-part documentary - How to Sell a Massacre - aired on ABC TV last night (note: part two is on tonight, and it’s available on iView).

• What its investigative unit did was have actor-turned-journalist Rodger Muller impersonate the boss of a fake pro-gun group called ‘Gun Rights Australia’. Muller then played on One Nation’s political ambition and the National Rifle Association’s (aka the NRA) irritation with our strict gun laws to expose some ugly wheeling and dealing.

• In September last year, Ashby and Dickson travelled to Washington DC for a series of meetings with the NRA (which Al Jazeera taped covertly). During the trip, including on a night out on the booze, the men talk about the sort of support they’d like, including funding to the tune of $20 million. (Note: there is no evidence they ultimately received any assistance.)

• Al Jazeera says One Nation asked Muller to set up the meetings and paid for their own tickets to the US.

• Ashby yesterday said he wanted to know more about the big gun lobby’s “techniques”, but he wasn’t after their money. “I’ll be the first to admit, we’d arrived in America, we’d got on the sauce, we’d had a few drinks. And that’s where those discussions took place. Not with any potential donors,” he said yesterday. Pundits also noted Hanson voted to ban foreign political donors weeks after their trip.

One Nation has referred the matter to the Federal Police. They claim the Al Jazeera investigation constitutes an act of foreign interference months out from a federal election. And while One Nation was widely condemned, renewed pressure was put on Scott Morrison and the Coalition to commit to putting One Nation last on its how-to-vote cards in the upcoming election. Watch this space for Hanson to comment on the scandal today - she was said to be unwell yesterday.



Daring to poke the bear that is the Australian judicial system has landed 36 of the country’s leading news organisations and journalists with a court date, charged with breaching a suppression order surrounding the conviction in December of Cardinal George Pell. Presenters including Today’s Deb Knight and 2GB’s Ray Hadley plus the editors of The Age and Herald Sun are facing imprisonment or fines following their alleged flouting of a court directive forbidding them from reporting Pell had been found guilty. None of the reports named Pell – but all alluded to his identity. Critics of the development point to the fact the Cardinal’s conviction was widely reported on international news websites – all of which was accessible in Oz.


Just when you think it couldn’t get weirder, it does. Since we last spoke, PM Theresa May has lost control of the parliamentary process on Brexit. That means MPs will be able to vote on some options in the coming day or so - and that could include things like a ‘soft' exit from the European Union, maintaining a customs union with the EU, and even another referendum. The only thing that seems certain is ‘hard' Brexiters won't like what's about to happen because they don't have the numbers to push their case. Until tomorrow…


Three teenage girls in the central African country of Burundi have been imprisoned after they defaced a portrait of their president in their school textbooks. The move has prompted Twitter to explode with creative defacements of President Pierre Nkurunziza. If you're checking out your socials and see the hashtag #freeourgirls, that's what it's about.


And it totals $2.2 billion. That’s the insurance bill for December’s hailstorm in Sydney, Victoria's Bunyip bushfires, and the massive rain dump in Townsville and central Queensland in February. Add to the bill whatever cyclones Trevor (Queensland and the NT) and Veronica (Western Australia) cost, and it’s been a devastating few months for many people and businesses.


Look out Netflix - Apple is coming for you. That was one of the key messages at yesterday’s big reveal as CEO Tim Cook made his pitch for the company’s future. A new subscription TV streaming service – packed with original content - a new streaming gaming offering, a newspaper-and-magazine package, plus a play for the hip pocket with the creation of an Apple credit card were all features of the tech company’s announcement. There were stars aplenty too with Steven Spielberg and Oprah wheeled out to do the spruiking. The markets, however, were unmoved: Apple shares closed down at the end of yesterday’s trade.


We were feeling pretty smug about this one - the first ever all-female spacewalk was in the diary for Friday with astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain scheduled to head out of the International Space Station together. But that’s now off because there aren’t two spacesuit tops to fit both women. NASA said they do their best to anticipate their sizes based on their training. But “individuals’ sizing needs may change when they are on orbit, in response to the changes living in microgravity can bring about in a body,” NASA said. And that’s an excuse we’re pulling out next time we’re staring into the abyss that is the wardrobe…


12.30pm (AEDT) - Danielle Wood, Nicki Hutley and Angela Jackson address the National Press Club on 'Women in Economics: 2019-20 Federal Budget Perspectives' - Canberra

ABS Data Releases - Regional Population Growth, 2017-18

World Theatre Day

International Whisk(e)y Day

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