Squiz Today / 04 September 2019

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 4 September


"It's a wonderful rags to riches story but, for such a small dog, he has a huge amount on his shoulders.”

Said puppy rescuer Eileen Jones of the little guy who’s moved into 10 Downing St with UK PM Boris Johnson and partner Carrie Symonds. Dilyn, a 15-week-old Jack Russell-cross, also answers to another name - Soft Media Opportunity.


World leaders are attempting to make headway on some big issues - to varying degrees of success… And by big issues, we’re talking about the war in Afghanistan, Iran’s broken nuclear deal, the unrest in Hong Kong, and Brexit. So, you know, just a couple of things…

Let's go for Afghanistan first. Progress is being made towards ending America's almost 18 years of war in Afghanistan. An in principle agreement for the gradual withdrawal of nearly 14,000 US troops has been reached with the Taliban, and it awaits approval by US President Donald Trump. The quid pro quo is the Taliban would ensure that the country would never again be used as a base for militant groups seeking to attack the US and its allies. The talks have not included the US-backed Afghan government, which says it needs proof the Taliban are committed to peace with violence spiking across the country.

• So, on Iran - French President Emmanuel Macron is attempting to salvage a deal with Iran curtailing its nuclear capabilities by offering the country US$15 billion in compensation for the oil sales it's lost to US sanctions. That accord went off-piste last year when President Trump withdrew the US from the deal leading to Iran lashing out by intercepting tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and enriching uranium beyond agreed limits.

• In Hong Kong, the territory’s chief executive Carrie Lam was secretly recorded at a private gathering saying she would step down if she could. She yesterday added that said she has never offered her resignation to the Chinese Government.

• And last but certainly not least, Brexit. UK PM Boris Johnson’s working majority is gone following the defection of a Conservative MP to the Liberal Democrats. And the parliament has this morning made the first move to block a 'no-deal' Brexit that could force Johnson to delay the UK's departure from the European Union until the end of January. Which means Johnson's at the 'hell' end of his 'come hell or high water' Brexit plan…



Florida was last night on edge as Hurricane Dorian stalled over the Bahamas unleashing 38 hours of devastation with high winds, storm surges and heavy rain on Grand Bahama Island. Neighbourhoods have been flooded and thousands of homes torn apart. Reports say five people have died, but further fatalities are expected. It’s been the worst-case scenario for the islands with the slow-moving storm subjecting the area to hours of punishment. Now a Category 2 storm, Dorian is moving slowly north-west towards the US, and while it’s not expected to cross the coast, experts believe it will come dangerously close. Mandatory evacuations of millions of people from communities from Florida up the coast to the Carolinas are happening now.


Twenty people are confirmed dead and 14 people remain unaccounted for in Monday morning’s dive boat fire off the southern Californian coast. Authorities have not said what started the fire onboard the Conception, but the intense heat prevented them from searching for survivors before the craft sank, the Coast Guard said. Reports say the 33 passengers and one crew member slept tightly-packed in a series of bunk beds below deck in a single room. “You couldn’t have asked for a worse situation,” said Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown. The picture of what remains of the boat is a sad sight indeed.


After serving 17 years in prison, a NSW court has ruled that convicted murderer Michael Guider (68yo) will be released on a five-year supervision order. In 2002, Guider pled guilty to drugging and killing 9yo Samantha Knight, who went missing from Bondi in 1986 - an admission he later retracted. Her body has never been found. He was also convicted of drugging and abusing 13 other children. While NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman pushed to keep Guider in custody for at least another year over fears he could re-offend, the court found against any further incarceration. Guider is due to be released tomorrow. Samantha’s mother Tess Knight said “I am not disappointed, I am angry.”


If you were around when Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy was top of the pops, you might also remember that was the last time Australia recorded a current account surplus. Since then, 44 years have passed, and it's been all deficits. Long story short, some of our exports are booming (think iron ore, natural gas and coal), assisted by a low Aussie dollar, which helped deliver a $5.9 billion surplus in the April-to-June period - the biggest on record. But it’s not all good news, retail sales fell 0.1% in July, pointing to nervous consumers. And while we’re in the pointing business, PM Scott Morrison pointed Nervous Nevilles to the chillax zone ahead of today’s economic growth figures - widely expected to be the worst annual result in two decades. He says it will get better because; "The June quarter does not include the second of the cash rate reductions from the RBA; nor does it include the tax cuts that came through."


While Aussie tennis champ Ash Barty might have bowed out of the US Open in the fourth round, she’s headed towards regaining the world #1 title. A consistent and roundly successful season has her up there in overall points. And as anyone who’s listened to our Squiz Shortcuts on the champ will tell you, Barty this year became Australia’s first women’s world #1 in 43 years - the last was her mentor, Evonne Goolagong Cawley. And a qualifying note on her US Open campaign: Barty and Victoria Azarenka are into the doubles quarter-final, which kicks off at 6.20am.

And while we have you… The fourth Ashes Test starts tonight. C' mon Aussie… Someone to know: English bowler Jofra Archer. The Sydney Morning Herald/Age has a good explainer on the bloke experts say “will change the entire outlook of fast bowling in the modern era." Apparently he has a whippy action, which we thought was a skill developed in mix-master-free kitchens…


Apparently living on a diet of hot chips and chips (aka crisps) can make you blind. Dream = squashed.


12.30pm (AEST) - Arthur Moses SC, President of the Law Council, and Dr Matt Collins QC, President of the Victorian Bar, to address the National Press Club on ‘How eroding freedoms impacts people and press'

8.00pm (AEST) - Ashes Test Cricket - Start of the fourth match - Old Trafford

Federal Court to rule on the deportation of a Tamil family being held in detention on Christmas Island

ABS Data Release - Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, June

Indigenous Literacy Day

Samantha Armytage and Beyoncé share a birthday

Anniversary of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s death (2006)

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