“The jury is out.”
Was one diplomatic consumer’s reaction to the latest development in condiments – Chicken Salt Chip Mayo. These feelings of love and horror, it’s very confusing…
INQUIRY ENDS, BUT STILL NO SIGN OF WILLIAM TYRRELL
The NSW coronial inquest into the disappearance of 3yo William Tyrrell held its final hearing yesterday. William disappeared from the mid-north coast village of Kendall on 12 September 2014. Despite the inquiry lasting a coronavirus-interrupted 19 months, hearing from scores of witnesses, and sifting through reams of documentary evidence, there is still no trace of the boy.
BACK IT UP A BIT…
On a visit from Sydney to his foster grandmother’s home, William was dressed in a Spiderman suit and roared like a tiger as he played in the backyard with his 5yo sister. His foster mother left them briefly to go inside to make a cuppa, and she recalled when she realised it was “too quiet” and was unable to find him. A search effort was mounted and after no sign of William was found, authorities concluded he had been kidnapped. What followed was what NSW Police say is one of its biggest ever investigations. Former NSW police detective Gary Jubelin noted that there had been “more than 1,000 alleged sightings in NSW” and “hundreds of persons of interest” investigated along with hundreds of property searches and statements taken in the 2 years after William’s disappearance. Now a podcaster, Jubelin ended up losing his job as the state’s top investigator and was convicted of making illegal phone recordings during his enquiries.
SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THINGS?
Police this week said they “haven’t closed a door” on any persons of interest. That includes elderly neighbour Paul Savage, convicted child abuser Frank Abbott – and those closest to William. But the commitment of police has been criticised with 5 investigators still on the case, down from 26 when things were in full flight. The coroner yesterday thanked both of William’s families – biological and foster – who spoke about their devastation at losing the boy. And his 10yo sister said “when I’m officially an adult I’ll be in the police force, a detective specifically, and I will find my brother and won’t give up until he’s found.” Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame will report her findings on 18 June next year. “Many people – myself included – remain committed to finding the truth,” she said yesterday.
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LABOR DOES THE BUDGET AS CORMANN BOUNCES
Labor leader Anthony Albanese last night laid out his side’s plan to improve the economy by overhauling the electricity grid and significantly increasing subsidies for child care. “This is an opportunity to reset and renew,” he said of the issues rich times. The address likely interrupted farewell drinks for Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. He marked one of his last days in Parliament House with PM Scott Morrison confirming he would recommend him for the position of Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Requiring a move to Paris, it’s handy that the 50yo Belgian native speaks French and German, but he has to get past at least 5 other candidates to secure the job. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham will take on Cormann’s jobs while hanging onto his current gig. A frontbench reshuffle will happen later in the year – let the games begin…
DEBATING THE DEBATES
Not keen on a virtual debate instead of a town hall-style gathering in Miami next week, US President Donald Trump says he’s “not gonna waste my time” on the debate commission’s suggested corona-friendly format. “Sit behind a computer, ridiculous. They cut you off…” he reasoned following the announcement that his COVID-19 infection meant the debate would have to take place remotely if it was to go ahead next week. Where things seem to be landing is a rescheduling to 22 October in a format TBC. Meanwhile, the dust is settling on yesterday’s plexiglass’d debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Kamala Harris which covered issues ranging from the coronavirus to the economy to their personal inspirations. Pundits’ verdict on who won seems to be aligned with their political tastes. One thing that was agreed – a fly was the star of the show.
PACKER FLAGS SMALLER ROLE WITH CROWN
On his third and final day before the NSW inquiry into Crown’s casino licence, billionaire and Crown Resorts investor James Packer said he will not be joining the company’s board again. Confirming a string of corporate governance concerns and that he is being treated for bipolar disorder, Packer said claims of money laundering and illegal operations in China were devastating. “I think this has been a terribly painful and shocking experience for the board as it has been for me,” he said. He agreed with the inquiry’s Commissioner that Crown Resort’s board should be more independent of big investors like himself. Packer owns 36% of the listed company. The probe continues to look into whether the company should be allowed to hold a casino license for its mega-development in Sydney’s Barangaroo. It will report its findings by 1 February 2021.
DITCHING OZ FOR OVER THE DITCH
Australian Diamonds Captain Caitlin Bassett yesterday announced she’s ending her contract at the Greater Western Sydney Giants to play netball in New Zealand’s domestic league in 2021. It’s about court time – in that she wasn’t getting any in Australia’s Super Netball season. One theory as to why she’s been warming the bench is the introduction of the two-goal Super Shot (a shot taken from the outer edge of the shooting circle), meaning her renowned accuracy under the post wasn’t as valuable. Yesterday, Basset squarely rejected that claim and took aim at Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald telling The Australian (paywall) that she “wasn’t even allowed to be in the two-point area”. Ouch. As for her selection in the Diamonds squad, that stands. Newly-appointed national coach Stacey Marokovich said it’s disappointing Basset wouldn’t be playing in the Aussie comp, but she’s still a valued Diamond.
BIG RECORDS RAIN IN SPAIN
Two African runners broke two massive records during an aptly-named event – World Record Day – held in Valencia, Spain yesterday. World champion/Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei broke the men’s 10,000-metre record (which we think is 10km…) by 6 seconds, finishing in 26 minutes, 11 seconds. It’s just the 10th time an athlete has consecutively held the 5,000-metres (which we think is 5km…) and 10,000-metre records, with Cheptegei claiming the shorter distance record earlier this year. Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey broke the women’s 5,000-metre record (yep, pretty sure it’s 5km…) by nearly 5 seconds, finishing in 14 minutes, 6 seconds. Both efforts weren’t without controversy – they were both wearing Nike ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, which have been billed as the “fastest shoes ever”.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
We’re no strangers to dumping the corporate wardrobe and embracing a range of slippers that cover all seasons. But given the work/life changes COVID-19 sprung on the world, we’ve been wondering what fashion trends will come out of it. US Vogue has this piece of insight from asking 100 people across the industry for their hot take. The key takeouts: invest in t-shirts and put your stilettos away.
Who doesn’t enjoy a soap opera based on secret love, even if it’s through the lens of hamsters and their people? And like all good soapies, it seems some suspended belief is required (with hamsters not allowed in Australia, for example…)…
We’re keen to work this beetroot salad into Saturday night’s menu somehow. It’s super good with a lamb or pork chop, for example. Or even a takeaway BBQ chook if it’s been that kinda day. And roasting beetroot is super easy, but it always makes us feel très gourmet.
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8.00pm (AEDT) – Nobel Peace Prize to be announced
ABS Data Release – Lending Indicators, August
Independence Day in Uganda
• the founding of Hobart (1804)
• the premiere Phantom of the Opera in London (1986)
• activist Malala Yousafzai being shot three times by a Taliban gunman as she tried to board her school bus in Pakistan (2012)
• John Lennon’s birthday (1940)
World Mental Health Day
Fiji and Taiwan’s National Day
Birthdays for author Nora Roberts (1950) and rocker David Lee Roth (1954)
• the first dinner jacket (tuxedo) being worn to an autumn ball at Tuxedo Park, NY (1886)
• the formation of the Women’s Social and Political Union by Emmeline Pankhurst to fight for women’s rights in Britain (1903)
• the release of the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations single (1966)
• the deaths of Abel Tasman (1659), Orson Welles (1985), Yul Brynner (1985), Christopher Reeve (2004), Dame Joan Sutherland (2010)
12.00am – French Open Tennis – Women’s Singles Final
2.00pm (AEDT) – Bledisloe Cup Rugby – New Zealand vs Australia – Sky Stadium (NZ)
Start of National Carers Week (until 17 October)
Birthdays for comedian Dawn French (1957), actress Joan Cusack (1962) and rapper Cardi B (1992)
• the inauguration of the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university (1852)
• the premiere of Saturday Night Live (1975)
• the death of singer Édith Piaf (1963)
12.00am – French Open Tennis – Men’s Singles Final
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