Squiz Today / 01 March 2019
Squiz Today – Friday, 1 March
That's what WW (the company formerly known as Weight Watchers) said is dominating the diet market at the moment. And it's the carb-free eating regimen that prompted the market to shred 34% from WW’s share price this week - the sort of belt-tightening the company probably didn't want to see…
NO DEAL FOR TRUMP AND KIM
It was a short and not so sweet meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi yesterday. After a big build up amid hopes that a way forward would be found on dismantling Kim’s nuclear arsenal, the summit was cut short - with no lunch, and no agreement being signed.
A better question is probably what didn't happen... Talks broke down after Trump refused to agree to Kim’s request for sanctions relief. Kim had offered to dismantle a big nuclear research and production facility called the Yongbyon complex in exchange for all sanctions being lifted, and Trump said no. Reports say the North Koreans were surprised by the extent of the American side's knowledge of its nuclear network.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
There are no plans for a third summit, but Trump said he thought there would be a "good outcome" in the future. Which is about as vague as your parents telling you “we’ll see” when you asked for the latest Strawberry Shortcake doll… What's guaranteed is criticism of Trump. Some called it a diplomatic failure despite some presidential expectations management earlier in the day when Trump said he was in “no rush” to make a deal. The important thing is that North Korea is at the table talking (and fronting up to the world’s media…), Team Trump said, and not testing missiles over the Pacific like it was doing not that long ago.
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TRUMP BROKE THE LAW WHILE PRESIDENT, COHEN SAYS
President Trump covered up payments to women after affairs, manipulated financial records and was cock-a-hoop when he heard hacked emails from opponent Hillary Clinton would be published by Wikileaks. That’s the gist of the testimony to a congressional committee yesterday of Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. And he confirmed there are more revelations to come, but the details can’t be shared because of an ongoing investigation. For context, Cohen had little to lose by going all out against his former client. He is facing a three-year prison sentence, in part for having lied previously to Congress about his work for Trump. This story is so hot in America it pretty much overshadowed the Hanoi Summit…
And while we have you… Reports this morning say Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted on corruption charges, pending a final hearing. He’s been under investigation for two years for bribery, fraud and breach of trust (including receiving gifts from Aussie billionaire James Packer). It’s a dramatic move with an election in Israel next month where Netanyahu is seeking a fourth term.
INDIAN PILOT TO BE RELEASED
That will happen today and follows images being aired showing the Indian pilot downed by Pakistani forces on Wednesday blindfolded and with blood on his face. Footage shows the man identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan being attacked by locals in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir before Pakistani troops stepped in to shield him. Pakistan’s military said he is being treated "as per norms of military ethics". It incensed Indians with the government calling it a “vulgar display”. India’s PM Narendra Modi has still not made a public statement about the escalation of tensions over the control of Kashmir - something his critics say is a dereliction of duty.
RUGBY LEAGUE GETS TOUGH ON ERRANT PLAYERS
The battle to “rebuild the reputation of rugby league” started yesterday with the game’s overseeing body removing St George player Jack de Belin from the field. To recap:
• There has been quite a lead up to yesterday’s decision after de Belin was charged and plead not guilty to a serious assault on a woman in early December.
• That sparked intense debate about his playing status while he goes through the legal process.
• And yesterday, Peter Beattie, the former Queensland-premier-turned-ARL-commissioner, announced the ‘groundbreaking’ new league-wide policy that prevents players accused of 'serious criminal offences' (ie charges that attract a maximum custodial sentence of 11 years or more) from playing until their matter is finalised before the courts.
“This is about sending a clear message that the game does not tolerate violence,” Beattie said. St George said it needed to digest the rule change. And de Belin maintained his innocence.
YOUR COMPLAINTS ABOUT A HOT SUMMER WERE VALID…
Yes, 2018-19 was the hottest summer on record. And it’s not easing up in Autumn, says the Bureau of Meteorology. Also, the drought is here for a while longer. Don’t shoot the messenger…
VALE JOHN KENNERLEY
He was TV legend Kerri-Anne Kennerley's husband, and he'd had a hard time in recent years after a fall left him a quadriplegic in 2016. Kerri-Anne and John met in the 1970s, and he helped her leave her abusive first husband. They married in 1984 and John became a regular on the Sydney social circuit. Ten’s Angela Bishop tearfully recalled her late-husband and John formed a friendship as they were “always the plus ones together at functions.” Kerri-Anne yesterday said he was the “love of my life”.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Hilde Lysiak is a 12yo journalist from a small town in Arizona, and she is carving it up. And it's not cutesy stuff either - we're talking crime and corruption. Recently she's been taking on a local policeman - work that's brought her to national prominence in the US. As one lawyer said, “One can only imagine what sort of stories she will be turning out once she has a driver’s license.”
We saw (and liked, despite the patchy reviews...) The Front Runner starring Hugh Jackman the other week. It’s about the fall of Democrat Gary Hart during his bid for the presidency in the late 80s. Intrigued by the chapter in history we didn't know much about, a mate referred us to this podcast. It turns out the Hart episode was something of a ground zero for the way the media cover politicians' private lives over there - something we haven't seen much of here until last year's Banababy scandal. It's one for those thinking about the current state of politics and media.
Other than blanching some asparagus and crisping up some flatbread, this is a low-cook gourmet option for a light lunch/entree that we’re trying this weekend.
SQUIZ THE DAY
4.15pm (AEDT) - The identity of Lawyer X to be revealed after Victorian Police lost the battle to keep her name suppressed
ABS Data Release - Discover Your Commonwealth Electoral Division 2019 (fun!)
St David's Day - Wales
World Compliment Day
7.00pm (AEDT) - Sydney Mardi Gras Parade
7.00pm (AEDT) - Cup of Nations Women's Soccer - Australia v Korea - Brisbane
Elon Musk's SpaceX plans to launch its Dragon crew vessel on an unmanned maiden voyage from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station
Start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race - Alaska
50th anniversary of Concorde's maiden flight
Clean Up Australia Day
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