Squiz Today / 05 June 2019

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 5 June


“We recently launched inside two prisons… Let’s hope these will never be visited by our fellow Squizers”

Said parkrun Australia founder and CEO Tim Oberg in response to our question about where the most unlikely parkrun is held. With half a million runners registered across Oz, we’re stoked Tim had time to shift gears to a Cliff Young shuffle to complete this week’s Three Minute Squiz.


Four men are dead and a woman is in hospital with injuries after a man went on a shooting rampage in Darwin late yesterday. A 45yo man is in custody after he called the police to negotiate his surrender. It's the worst mass murder in the Northern Territory's recent history.

• The men were killed in four locations across an hour from 5.45pm Darwin time.

• The first victim was killed at the Palms Hotel in Finniss St in the CBD where one witness said the gunman was looking for a man named ‘Alex’. Others said it appeared to be a random attack.

• The gunman is then alleged to have killed three men in three other locations around Darwin. One man was killed in the carpark of the Buff Club (a pub) in Stuart Park. A man was killed in Gardens Hill Cres, and another man was killed in Jolly St in Woolner, close to the CBD. A man was then arrested on Daly St and he is being held in Royal Darwin Hospital.

• Reports say the man accused of the killings was released on parole from prison in January and has links to outlaw motorcycle gangs. He had been working for a roofing company but had been sacked recently for not turning up at work.

• Police last night said detectives were still trying to nail down the alleged shooter’s motivation and wouldn’t speculate.

PM Scott Morrison - "I want to extend my deep condolences and sympathy to all the people in the Territory, particularly in Darwin. This is a very tight community and I know they will be rocked by these events."

Michael Gunner, NT Chief Minister - “Five crime scenes, four people deceased, one injured. This is not the Darwin we know.”

Peter Boden, witness - “You see these things happening over in the US. I never thought I'd see it happen here."



It was widely anticipated, and yesterday the Reserve Bank cut the official interest rate from 1.5% to a new record low of 1.25%. The last time the rate was changed was August 2016. There are some challenges in our economy that the Reserve Bank think need dealing with ASAP. We're talking falling home prices in the country's biggest capital cities, low wages growth, and low inflation. That fall in activity in our economy was backed up yesterday by new retail figures that showed sales fell by 0.1% in April. Economists believe there is a cut or two more to come this year, possibly as early as next month. The Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank say they will pass on the full cut. Westpac and ANZ are going their own way. And we won’t have to wait long for the next big piece of data - official economic growth numbers are out today.


Over the next two days, Victoria's highest court will hear Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for child abuse offences. Pell was found guilty last December of abusing two boys at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral in the mid-90s and the 77yo is currently serving a six-year sentence. The basis of Pell’s appeal is that he could not have been found guilty ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ given it was a verdict relying on the evidence of one victim against the 20 witnesses who vouched for Pell. He is expected to be present for the two-day hearing, and a decision could be delivered within weeks. Pell has said he will not seek to reduce his sentence if the appeal is unsuccessful.


If you were involved with the Canberra’s Australian National University in the last couple of decades, your records have been hacked. And when we say records, we mean details like names, addresses, date of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, tax file numbers and bank account details, as well as passport details and student academic records. It’s believed the data breach occurred late last year but was only discovered a couple of weeks ago. Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt said it was a major worry and the university was working to improve digital safety.

And while we have you… It was a big day for outing hackers with Westpac confirming its real-time payments platform PayID had been targeted exposing the private details of almost 100,000 customers. The bank said no bank account numbers were compromised.


When was the last time you bought a tin of fruit? That’s part of the problem for the company formerly known as the Shepparton Preserving Company. The cannery in north-east Victoria that produces fruit, tomatoes and condiments under the SPC, Goulburn Valley, Ardmona and IXL brands has been a headache for its owner. When Coca-Cola Amatil bought it in 2005, the beverage company was trying to diversify away from drinks. Despite putting $1 billion into its investment, CCA yesterday called time and sold it to a local private equity firm for $40 million. The new mob say workers’ jobs are safe. Anyone got a working tin opener?


Are you ready to get your biff on? Ready to scream at the telly in the mistaken belief the ref can hear you? Are you psyched to join the millions who will tune in tonight – or traipse out to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium – for game one of the State of Origin? Plenty are (if you don't count anyone who resides in Victoria, SA, WA, Tassie or the Territory, that is). So to impress your footy-loving friends, try out these talking points: The NSW Blues are the defending title holders in a comp that's been dominated in recent years by the Queensland Maroons; Man mountain Payne Haas makes his Origin debut for NSW tonight and is tipped to be a game changer; And there has been a lot of discussion in the lead up about some Indigenous players refusing to sing the national anthem and a new tape scandal. All that and more from 8.10pm (AEST) tonight.


True coffee advocates will be aware that coffee has been on trial in California for not carrying a cancer warning. Last year a court ruled that a gallon-o'-Starbucks cappuccino should carry a warning because the bean-roasting process produces trace amounts of acrylamide, a known carcinogen. But the retailers argued there’s no scientific evidence linking coffee consumption with an increased risk of cancer, and the regulator agreed, signing off on the exemption yesterday. “Everybody feels a little healthier now," said one purveyor of the brown gold. But excuse us if we cap our consumption well-below 25 cups a day


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

World Environment Day

Start of Eid al-Fitr, the three-day Muslim festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan

Anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (1968)

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