Squiz Today / 11 August 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 11 August
“Weird and awkward”
That’s how former radio DJ David Mueller described his picture with music mega-star Taylor Swift. But he denies he “grabbed her behind” and is suing Swift for $3 million for losing his job after he says he was wrongfully accused. Swift is countersuing Mueller for $1 (no, that’s not a typo…) for assault. Swifties are lining up around the block to get a glimpse of their idol in the courtroom. Baby, she could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at her…
CASSIE SAINSBURY TO FACE DRUG SMUGGLING TRIAL
Accused drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury didn't get the result she wanted in a Colombian court yesterday. Instead of the 23yo’s plea bargain with prosecutors (that would have seen her out of prison in as little as three years) being rubber-stamped by the judge, she now faces a trial that, if found guilty, could see her behind bars for 30 years. Her mother Lisa Evans and fiancé Scott Bainbridge were in court to support the former South Australian resident, and media reports say she showed little emotion as proceedings unfolded.
WHY DIDN’T THE JUDGE APPROVE THE DEAL?
The answer to that lies in what happened when Sainsbury was in court in late July when her legal team and Colombian officials presented the deal to the judge. In that fateful moment, Sainsbury veered off script and told the judge the reason she tried to smuggle 5.8kg of cocaine concealed as headphones in her luggage was that she was coerced by members of an as-yet unidentified drug cartel following threats against her family. That's a problem because the deal was made on the basis that she plead guilty, pure and simple. With no evidence of any threats from a drug cartel and Sainsbury’s unwillingness to admit responsibility, the judge was left with little choice but to reject the plea deal.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Reports say it could take months, if not years, for the matter to come to trial. The prosecution has about four months to present its case that Sainsbury intended to smuggle the drugs for money. Then both sides will need to gather evidence and find witnesses. Legal experts say they expect she will still plead guilty but will look to demonstrate she acted under duress. If she is successful, it's possible she could receive a sentence shorter than the six-years she had agreed to in her plea deal. For now, she remains in the El Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogota.
SQUIZ THE REST
ALLEGED BORDER FORCE CORRUPTION EXPOSED IN DRUG RING INVESTIGATIONS
It’s been a big week for smashing drug syndicates and, in their digging, authorities say they also found a cell of corrupt Border Force officers. It was revealed yesterday that two officers had been arrested this week. They allegedly compromised Sydney’s international airport and shipping port from as early as 2003 by facilitating the importation of illegal drugs and tobacco. The arrests were part of authorities’ investigations into the Jomaa family who are alleged to have been involved in organised crime in NSW for some time.
PAULINI ACCUSED OF BRIBING NSW OFFICIAL
The Daily Telegraph this morning reports that singer Paulini (former Australian Idol competitor, current star of the musical The Bodyguard) has been caught up in an anti-corruption sweep in NSW. She’s alleged to have bribed a Roads and Maritime official for a full drivers license despite not having qualified through the usual tests. Because parallel parking under pressure is hard. The official is alleged to have bikie gang links, but there’s no suggestion Paulini is involved in any of that. The maximum penalty for her alleged crime is seven years jail.
NORTH KOREA PREPARING TO FIRE MISSILES TOWARDS GUAM IN DAYS
We didn’t want to send you off to a weekend worrying about this one. Having said that, we don’t have much good news to share… Soz. Any upside here? We did learn a new word (which you smart people probably already know) – bellicose - meaning a willingness to fight. We know it simply as ‘agro’, which probably says something about us… Anyway, US diplomats have been working overtime to soothe jangled nerves across the world. And US President Donald Trump has come under intense scrutiny at home for his "fire and fury" statement with critics worried it was unnecessarily inflammatory. For their part, reports say the North Korean military is working on a plan that could see it fire four missiles near Guam (which is US territory) in a few days' time. Feeling better now? No, didn't think so.
AUSSIE RESEARCH ON MISCARRIAGE A GAMECHANGER
Researchers from the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney have released landmark research that shows miscarriage and birth defects can be significantly prevented with vitamin B3 supplements. Sounds simple but yesterday's announcement was heralded as an important discovery that could help parents around the world have healthy children. It has to do with women’s NAD levels – a molecule vital to the development of a fetus’s organs. NAD is formed from the consumption of eggs, cheese, salmon, turkey and nuts/seeds – and vitamin B3 supplements. A US study showed a third of women have low levels of NAD and scientists say a B3 supplement would help pregnant women get the 18 milligrams a day they need. Awesome work, Team Victor Chang.
BOTSWANAN ATHLETE RUNS SOLO RACE TO THE FINALS
Botswana runner Isaac Makwala was one of the 30 athletes at the World Championships in London who came down with gastro from staying at one of the official team hotels and was barred from running in his favourite event – the 400m - because of contamination fears. But yesterday, Makwala was allowed to run a solo 200m to clock a time that saw him on his way through to the finals. The crowd went wild and we can’t wait to see how he goes this morning. The other event to keep an eye on – Jamaican megastar Usain Bolt competes in his last international race ever – the men’s 4x100m relay final (assuming they make it) is on at about 6.50am AEST on Sunday.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Dead smartphone batteries – this happens to us more than we’d like to admit. This link has some good tips, including the one that closing apps that are open in the background actually does nothing to help save some battery life. We won’t be doing that again…
And while we’re being grown-ups, this article on making friends in adulthood is interesting. What piqued our interest is the concept that we each need five close friends, 15 good friends and 150 in the outer-circle. Making lists now…
And the famous September Issue of US Vogue in their 125th anniversary year is out now. If we have some spare coin we might even hunt down a hard copy to browse. But their cover interview and pics with Jennifer Lawrence are up online – the story about her disrespect for crystals is pretty funny.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Lending Finance, June
Company Announcements - National Australia Bank's third quarter update and News Corp's full year earnings
Ekka (aka the Royal Brisbane Show) kicks off (on until 20 August)
Start of Elvis Week commemorating the 40th anniversary of The King's death on 16 August 1977 - Graceland, Memphis
11.00pm (AEST) Australia v Chinese Taipei in men's basketball's FIBA Asia Cup - Lebanon
Start of National Science Week (on until 20 August)
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