Squiz Today / 11 January 2019
Squiz Today – Friday, 11 January
"Wombats, when you trundle past me, I pledge I will not chase you with my selfie stick…”
On Maria Island (off the east coast of Tassie), wombats are so plentiful they’re considered a tripping hazard. But they also need protection so tourists are being invited to take a ‘Wombat Pledge’ to leave the cranky cuties in peace. PS who knew we had a wombat island?
US SHUTDOWN SET TO CONTINUE AS TRUMP VISITS THE BORDER
Talks to end the partial shutdown of the US Government failed spectacularly yesterday with US President Donald Trump walking out of a meeting with senior Democrats. There wasn’t much in the way of common ground, but both sides seemed to agree with how the meeting ended. Trump asked them if they were going to fund the building of a US$5.7 billion wall along the US-Mexico border, they said no, so he said “bye bye”.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
Trump is in Texas to visit a border patrol station in McAllen and for a briefing at the Rio Grande. After being holed up in the White House since the shutdown began, Trump said the trip was pointless. “It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” he is reported to have said. “But these people behind you (gesturing to his communications team including Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway) say it’s worth it.” Leaving the White House, Trump said he could be getting ready to declare a national emergency to get the funding. "Probably I will do it, I would almost say definitely," he said.
AND WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If Trump does declare a national emergency, he will almost certainly face a legal challenge. So let’s see. Meanwhile, stuff is about the get real with the shutdown nearing the three-week mark, and on Saturday it will become the longest in US history. Today, some 800,000 public servants will miss out on their paychecks - the first pay cycle to be missed since the saga began. To fill in some time while we wait and see, here’s a gallery of the world’s great walls for your perusal…
SQUIZ THE REST
CONSULATE MENACE ARREST
A man from Shepparton, Victoria, was arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly sending 38 parcels to consulates and embassies in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney with materials believed to be concrete and asbestos sourced from his home. Police have recovered 29 of the parcels. Forty-nine-year-old Savas Avan was described by his neighbour, a bloke named Gordo (true story), as “a loner”. "I knew something was weird with this guy because he's never out, never watered his lawns, nothing like that, that's why I kept away," Gordo told the ABC. Good call, Gordo. Good call.
WHITSUNDAY SHARK ATTACK DOWNGRADED
What was thought to be another shark attack in the Whitsundays yesterday is more likely to have been a toadfish, according to Hamilton Island staff, medicos and fishing experts. A woman in her 60s was bitten on the leg and a child was bitten on her foot when they were in shallow water at Catseye Beach. Neither injury is life-threatening, and witnesses believe the shark/fish was about 50cm in length. There were concerns that the incident added to the three shark attacks in Cid Harbour in recent months, one causing the death of a Victorian man.
SUPER RECOMMENDATIONS LAND COLD WITH LABOR
Would you be interested in something that could see you retire with $500,000 more? Of course… That’s one of the things the Productivity Commission’s look into the efficiency and competitiveness of our compulsory superannuation system says can be achieved via reforms. To get there, the Commission's report says an official top 10 list of the best funds would help workers pick a good'un. And it recommends poor performing funds have their licences cancelled. The Coalition says it’ll think on it, while Labor says there’s a lot it doesn’t like about the recommendations. With more than $2 trillion in Aussie super assets, it’s a big ship to turn.
NOT A BERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS
What were you eating over Christmas, Australia? The nation’s biggest fruit and veg grower Costa Group says its profit won’t hit expectations because of "subdued demand" for tomatoes, berries and avocados in December. Investors liked that news as much as a mouldy punnet of strawbs and took 38.8%, or more than $900 million, off Costa's market value in trading yesterday. Talk about a smashed avo…
And while we have you… Another business that’s done it tough is pretty-soaps-and-creams retailer Crabtree and Evelyn. It’s shutting up 12 shops here in a move that follows shutdowns in other countries like Singapore and Canada. Reports say it will become an online-only business.
MARRIAGE SPLIT COULD SEE RECORD SETTLEMENT
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie are divorcing after 25 years together. That’s sad. But onto the money… It was during this time that Bezos built the e-commerce juggernaut and amassed a personal fortune estimated to be $137 billion along the way. In the state of Washington, where the pair lived, if there is no nuptial agreement, they may need to evenly split the wealth accumulated during the time they were married. Or they’ll come to another arrangement. No one knows at this point. The couple said they’ve had a great life together and would remain “parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects”. Meanwhile, Bezos will now be one of the hottest paparazzi tickets in town, and already there’s speculation about a new relationship.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
We wish we’d stumbled across this before the end of the week… Strategies for dealing with your email inbox. (And, ahem, what a great opportunity/reminder to help The Squiz hit your inbox each morning…)
You’re back from holidays, so what do you do next? Plan your next holiday... Here’s the definitive guide for 2019 - the New York Times’ 52 Places To Go in 2019.
Confession time: musicals… can’t stand 'em. But this is fun. James Corden, Lin Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt did 22 musicals in 12 minutes. The revelation is how good Blunt’s voice is.
SQUIZ THE DAY
2.00pm (AEDT) - Sydney International Tennis Semi-Final - Aussie Ash Barty v Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands
8.30pm (AEDT) - Sydney International Tennis Semi-Final - Aussie Alex De Minaur v Gilles Simon from France
ABS Data Release - Retail Trade, November
Start of the intergovernmental International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly (on until Sunday) - Abu Dhabi
Anniversary of the US Surgeon General Dr Luther Terry publishing the landmark report saying smoking caused lung cancer (1964)
1.20pm (AEDT) - Cricket One Day Match - Australia v India - Sydney
Horse Racing - Magic Millions Raceday - Gold Coast
Anniversary of the Haiti earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people (2010)
Jeff Bezos' birthday (1964)
The first anniversary of a false emergency alert warning of an impending missile strike on Hawaii
Anniversary of the death of Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon/Princess Margaret's ex (2017)
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