Squiz Today / 02 August 2019
Squiz Today – Friday, 2 August
“I’m old and I’m fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about.”
Said Kelly McGillis, co-star of the original Top Gun, on why she’s not in the soon-to-be-released sequel. Not that she’s sad about it… “I’d much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff.” #refreshing
MOVES TO BAN CONTROVERSIAL CONSERVATIVE
The latest chapter in the free speech/hate speech debate has political types locking horns over whether far-right figure Raheem Kassam should be allowed entry into Australia. Labor has called for Kassam’s visa to be cancelled for what its Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally says is a “history of vilifying people on the grounds of their race, religion, sexuality and gender.” Yesterday, Immigration Minister David Coleman wouldn’t comment on Kassam’s case, but said; “For people who may hold controversial views, any impact of those views must always be balanced against Australia's well-established principles of freedom of speech”.
WHO IS THIS GUY?
Kassam (33yo) is a Brit who's the son of Indian-Tanzanian immigrants. A self-described former Muslim, his conservative credentials are deep. He's a former senior adviser to chief Brexiteer/milkshake magnet Nigel Farage. He’s also a former editor-in-chief of Breitbart’s London bureau. Note: US President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is also an alum of what the New York Times calls a “platform for hard-edge nationalist ideas”. Kassam is currently the editor-in-chief of right-wing news/opinion site Human Events. Oh, and it was his birthday yesterday…
WHERE IS THIS GOING?
Well, Kassam is scheduled to come to Sydney to speak at Australia’s first Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is on from 9-11 August and features former PM Tony Abbott and Farage. But Labor says Kassam’s past comments, including that the Koran is "fundamentally evil" and that Scottish National Party Leader Nicola Sturgeon's legs should be taped shut "so she can't reproduce", demonstrate that he is a “career bigot”. The party’s opposition to his entry to Oz yesterday raised the ire of Trump’s son, Donald Jr, but Keneally was having none of it pointing to other controversial figures who have been blocked from entering Australia in the last year. So to the million-dollar question: will the Morrison Government intervene to block his appearance at this conference? Watch this space…
SQUIZ THE REST
ANOTHER SIGHTING OF CANADIAN TEEN FUGITIVES
The two young Canadian fugitives suspected of murdering Australian Lucas Fowler, his American girlfriend Chynna Deese and Canadian Leonard Dyck may have been seen near Kapuskasing, Ontario. The unconfirmed reports of sightings of Kam McLeod (19yo) and Bryer Schmegelsky (18yo) put the pair 2,300 kilometres from where they were last spotted, but a search of the area didn't lead to anything. With the Gillam search scaling down, police yesterday said they may already be dead given the brutal conditions in the areas they have been spotted. A police spokeswoman yesterday said; "we will not stop until there is a resolution." A memorial service for Lucas Fowler will take place in Sydney today.
NSW ABORTION LAW REFORMS ENTER PARLIAMENT
An historic bill to decriminalise abortion was introduced into the NSW Parliament yesterday as hundreds of protestors rallied outside. The bill, which has 15 co-sponsors from across politics, allows for the termination of pregnancies up to 22 weeks, and later with approval from a doctor. Conservative MPs are none too pleased with the plan and have sought to frustrate the process. Currently, women in NSW can have a 'lawful abortion' if their physical or mental health is in danger from a pregnancy. Procuring an 'unlawful abortion' has been a criminal offence in the state since 1900.
‘CROWN PRINCE OF TERROR’ SAID TO BE DEAD
Hamza bin Laden - son of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden - is believed to have died in an airstrike, according to unnamed US intelligence officials. The American Government had offered a US$1 million reward for information leading to bin-Laden-the-younger's capture after he released messages calling for attacks to be launched on the US and other Western countries. According to documents seized in a raid on his father’s house, Osama bin Laden (aka the mastermind of the September 11 attacks in the US who was killed in 2011) was grooming Hamza to take over the terrorist network.
HOME PRICES STABLE, BUT NOT BOUNCING
After almost two years of consistent declines, Australian property prices stabilised in July, according to analysts CoreLogic. Across the country’s capitals, home prices rose by 0.1% last month, easing the annual decline to 7.3%. Prices were up for July in Sydney (0.3%), Melbourne (0.4%), Brisbane (0.2%), Darwin (0.4%), and Hobart keeps on truckin’ with a 0.3% rise. Down for the month were Perth (0.5%), Adelaide and Canberra (both down 0.3%). Analysts reckon the market enjoyed a post-election high, as well as being bolstered by back-to-back interest rate cuts in June and July. Broader economic issues like low wages growth mean a quick bounce is unlikely, economists said.
ROCKING THE TEST CRICKET BOAT
Cricket fans did a double-take while watching England and Australia go head-to-head in the first Ashes Test last night. For the first time in the sacred 142-year cricket competition's history, every player had their name and number printed on the backs of their shirts. Gasp… And the Ashes series opener saw not only a critic-answering century by former Aussie captain Steve Smith but also the debut of a brutal new song by England's Barmy Army taking aim at the Aussie players caught up in last year's ball-tampering scandal. Rumours that cheeky English cricket fans have bought up the country's supply of sandpaper are unconfirmed…
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Turning senior citizens into folklore-inspired 'natural wonders' and then photographing them as art? We’ll need to think about that for a bit…
This one has been a rollercoaster… When we first heard the iconic Four Weddings and a Funeral was being turned into a 10-episode series by American actress/comedian Mindy Kaling, we were taken aback. Then we read it was more a 'reimagining' than a remake, so we were relieved and keen to see it when it eventually makes its way to Oz. But this brutal review has put paid to that…
Do you like lime? How about almonds? Boom… This slice is our Saturday arvo baking project.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Aussie swimmer Shana Jack to meet with the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority
US to complete its withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty
ABS Data Release - Retail Trade, June; Producer Price Indexes, June
Birthday for Gina G - Australian, but competed for Britain in 1996’s Eurovision with Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit (1970)
Constitution Day - Cook Islands
Barack Obama’s birthday (1961)
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