Squiz Today / 02 June 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 2 June
Police Officer: Recite the entire English alphabet in a slow non-rhythmic manner, meaning you’re not going to sing it, OK? Do you understand the instructions?
Tiger Woods: I do.
Police Officer: OK. What were the instructions?
Tiger Woods: Not to sing the national anthem backwards.
Oh, Tiger. Florida Police released footage of officers testing Woods’ sobriety on the night he was arrested for DUI. The indignity of it all…
POLICE CRITICISED FOR WAIT TO BOARD MH128
Victorian police yesterday had to explain why it took so long to board the Malaysia Airlines flight that had been forced to return to Melbourne airport after a passenger tried to enter the cockpit with a device he claimed was an explosive. Reports say the passenger in question is Manodh Marks, a 25yo catering student from Sri Lanka who had been released from psychiatric care earlier that day. The timeline from Wednesday night/Thursday morning is:
11.11pm - Flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur takes off. After take-off, Marks tries to get into the cockpit. He is unsuccessful and passengers restrain him.
11.47pm - The flight lands at Melbourne airport.
12.23am - VicPol Critical Response team arrives.
1.21am - VicPol boards plane to remove the man and the device.
Passengers had a terrifying 90 minutes on the tarmac with Marks and the device on board. The device turned out to be a Bluetooth speaker with a charger.
WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?
Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said they’d initially thought they were dealing with a terrorist incident and rushing the plane would have made it worse. They also say they had to consider if Marks had a partner on the plane with an explosive. Ashton said; ”I'm not seeing any time gaps or delays that were problematic." Premier Daniel Andrews backed the Commissioner. Security experts were divided. Some said the wait was appropriate as police gathered information. Others say we might be guilty of believing our own propaganda about how well prepared we are to respond to these incidents.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We can feel an inquiry coming on! Transport Minister Darren Chester said security arrangements are under constant review, but no changes were planned. The Victorian Liberal Party opposition want an inquiry and given the interest, they might just get one. Aside from assessing the security situation, there's also the health aspect to consider - is it ok for psychiatric patients to get on long-haul flights on the day of release from care?
SQUIZ THE REST
US OUT OF PARIS AGREEMENT
President Donald Trump is pulling the US out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Reports say they join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries out of the deal. Under the agreement, nations are cutting their greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming to under 2 degrees C. The US is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases (after China) and world leaders and environmentalists urged Trump to stick with it. For our part, PM Malcolm Turnbull reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to the agreement.
GUNFIRE AND EXPLOSIONS AT MANILA HOTEL
Gunfire and explosions have been reported at Resorts World Manila in the Philippines. It's thought two gunmen were on the second level firing down at guests. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law in the southern Mindanao region following an uprising of Muslim extremists aligned to IS.
IRELAND TIPPED TO PICK GAY PM
We say PM, but their term is Taoiseach. Enda Kenny is stepping down as leader of his Fine Gale party, and a new leader (who also becomes Ireland's leader) will be picked today. Money is on Leo Varadkar – if he wins he will be the youngest (at 38yo), first of Indian descent (his dad’s from Mumbai, mum is Irish), and first openly gay man (he lives with his partner) to hold to top job. Oh, and he’s also a doctor. Reports say the fact he is gay is not much commented on in local media. Ireland became the first country to adopt gay marriage via a referendum in 2015.
WERE YOU OUT SPENDING IN APRIL?
Seems some of you were... Retail sales were up 1% in April – the biggest bounce in two-and-a-half years. Supermarket and café/takeaway spending was up more than 1%, department store sales were up 2.5% and clothing retailers up 1.5%. But shoe sales were down – what’s with that? Some analysts fear it’s a ‘dead cat bounce’ due to one-off factors like higher prices for produce following Cyclone Debbie and school holidays.
HAVING A FEW DRINKS THIS WEEKEND?
It’s not the young’uns’ drinking we need to worry about – it’s the 50yo+ age groups. That’s the upshot from this year’s survey of our national drugs usage from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Generally, we’re drinking at less risky levels than we were in 2013. Young Aussies are smoking less, drinking less, and using fewer illegal substances. However, more people in their 50s and 60s were drinking 11+ drinks in one session. And it’s 50-59yo women who are doing the most habitual risky drinking – it's the first time the 18-24yo age group has been overtaken on that measure. Reminds us to put a note in the diary for Dry July…
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Can a $300 pair of Bluetooth-enabled yoga pants bring you closer to enlightenment? That’s the title of this US Vogue article. We were sceptical until we read that these pants are an Aussie invention, so naturally we now think it doesn’t sound ridiculous at all.
Hard to believe the US presidential election was just six months ago; it feels like forever. Loser Hillary Clinton (and we don’t mean that in the Trump pejorative sense) was interviewed for this New York Magazine piece. It made some headlines earlier this week about her misjudgement of the impact the leaked emails had on her campaign – she thought it was all silly, innocuous, boring, inconsequential.
White wine – not so great for you. Well, that’s according to this article. But there's no way The Squiz would have got off the ground without white wine so it can’t be all bad, can it?
SQUIZ THE DAY
Housing Industry Association New Home Sales Report, April
Party ballot for a new Taoiseach, Ireland
Melbourne International Jazz Festival (runs until 11 June)
Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation (1953)
4.45am - Soccer UEFA Champions League Final Juventus v Real Madrid - Cardiff, UK
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