Squiz Today / 14 December 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 14 December
“I know mathematics well but I also want to learn to draw.”
Said a Russian robot named Boris that wowed crowds of aspiring science students earlier this week. And then Boris danced. How did it get to be so lifelike? Turns out it was a guy in a suit.
PM PRUNES POLICY THORNS
‘Tis the season to clean off a few barnacles that are dragging on the government. That’s how PM Scott Morrison is approaching the lead up to Christmas with a couple of big announcements yesterday. First, the Coalition Government will establish an anti-corruption watchdog to oversee Commonwealth employees and agencies. Second, a new Religious Discrimination Act is in the works, as well as a human rights commissioner focused on the issue.
OH C’MON, IT’S FRIDAY…
We’ll make this easy.
• Both are issues that Labor, the Greens and some independents have been hounding Morrison about in recent weeks. And they’re issues that have taken some time for the government to settle its approach.
• The Commonwealth Integrity Commission will investigate criminal corruption. It includes a division that will cover public servants, pollies and their staff, and possibly the judiciary. And there’s also a group that will oversee the ‘law enforcement’ agencies like the Tax Office.
• And on religious freedoms, the government says it has considered the review undertaken by former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock that was commissioned by former PM Malcolm Turnbull as a way of holding off the right-wing of his party during the same-sex marriage debate. Morrison yesterday outlined changes he says would reflect Australian values of non-discrimination by someone's identity or religion while allowing churches to follow their ethos.
SO HAS MORRISON FOLDED?
He was at pains yesterday to point out that the processes to get this point have been going on for yonks. But perception is reality, and there are plenty of headlines today saying he’s ‘bowed to pressure’. That doesn’t mean Morrison’s critics are thrilled with the proposals. Labor is particularly critical of the model the government is suggesting for the Integrity Commission, so there’s a fight looming. But you can’t win ‘em all. Knowing Morrison’s luck, there’s a Santakini under his Christmas tree…
SQUIZ THE REST
PELL NO LONGER A VATICAN INSIDER
Pope Francis has removed Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, from his advisory group. Pell was the Archbishop of Sydney, and he moved to Rome more than five years ago when he was put in charge of reforming the church's finances. He has been on leave from his job and remains in Australia to face trial on historical child abuse charges. The Vatican confirmed yesterday that the Pope removed three "elderly cardinals" from the group established to reform the Vatican's bureaucracy in October.
MAY SAYS SHE’LL GO BEFORE NEXT ELECTION
UK PM Theresa May won the vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 votes to 117. It means a third of her party don’t support her as PM making it messier than Cork. One concession though – May said she would not lead the party to the next election, which is scheduled for May 2022. Next steps: she’s back to see the European Union and says she’s heard the message from her colleagues who want to see changes to the Brexit deal. No word on whether she gave a little Maybot dance on her victory…
QUICK WILD WEATHER WRAP
‘Zombie cyclone’ Owen is expected to cause havoc in Far North Queensland today as it builds to category 4 intensity while crossing the Gulf of Carpentaria. Winds of 200km/hour have been predicted. Heavy rain across the state is also slated for today. Meanwhile, some areas have received record-breaking rain in Victoria. Seventeen drivers had to be rescued when the Hume Highway was hit with flash flooding between Albury and Wangaratta. And in Perth where the second cricket test starts today, they’re expecting a scorcher of 38C. Take care out there.
VALE MONIQUE PILLARD
You may not know the name, but if you have even the vaguest recall of the 90s, you’ll know the careers she spawned. Monique Pillard, long-time booking agent to the ‘supermodel’ likes of Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, died in Manhattan yesterday. She was 81yo. Born and raised in France, Pillard eventually moved to New York where she worked with Ford Models and Elite Management and went on to manage the careers of some the most successful models the world has seen. All of which is a wonderful excuse to reacquaint yourself with George Michael’s very excellent Freedom 90 film clip.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
The ABC’s ‘How Life Has Changed For People Your Age’ is fun. It looks at the stats from 1981 and compares them to Census data from 2016. Life would be very different indeed. Although Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes was in the top 10 back then, so it wasn’t all bad…
2018 IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR
THE YEAR BY GOOGLE SEARCH – Not everyone was Googling ‘idiot’… Aussie’s search trends aren’t available, but the global trends are there. The soccer World Cup was huge. As was Chinese TV drama Story of Yanxi Palace, Sylvester Stallone’s death hoax, and Meghan Markle.
AUSSIE WORD OF THE YEAR – PM Morrison’s often repeated term ‘Canberra bubble’has been judged by the Australian National Dictionary Centre as word of the year. Maybe they don’t have a phrase category?
JAPAN’S CHARACTER OF THE YEAR – It means ‘disaster’. And it’s pronounced in English like ‘sigh’. Appropriate.
SQUIZ THE DAY
10.20am (AWST)/1.20pm (AEDT) – Test Cricket Match – Australia v India – Perth
Kim Beazley’s 70th birthday
Day of Reconciliation in South Africa
Anniversary of Gone with the Wind premiering in Atlanta (1939)
Ten days until Christmas…
Start of Labor’s National Conference (on until 18 December) - Adelaide
20th anniversary of US President Bill Clinton ordering airstrikes against Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of UN weapons inspectors
Birthday anniversaries for Ludwig van Beethoven (1770), Jane Austen (1775) and Sir Noel Coward (1899)
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