Squiz Today / 03 May 2019
Squiz Today – Friday, 3 May
“Of course these things are quite chaotic.”
Said the Bureau of Meteorology’s Dr Andrew Watkin of the exciting news that drought-stricken areas of south-east Australia have received some rain - and if two unpredictable weather systems do the right thing, there could be more in store over the coming days. Get your rain dance on…
CYCLONE FANI TO WREAK HAVOC
Speaking of chaotic weather… Tropical Cyclone Fani is bearing down on the east coast of India. With winds of between 250-300km/hour, it’s thought to be the biggest cyclone that will make landfall in India for five years. Reports say 100 million people could be affected, and mass evacuations have started.
GIVE ME SOME DETAILS…
Fani is expected to make landfall this morning in Odisha state, and 800,000 people are being evacuated. The city of Puri (home to the 858-year-old Jagannath temple) is expected to be hardest hit before the cyclone moves north to Bangladesh. Classified as an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ by India’s weather agency, Fani has the government on high alert. Army, Navy and Air Force personnel have been put on standby for rescue operations across Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
Like all cyclones or hurricanes, Fani is as much about the damaging winds as it is the big dump of rain and tidal surges that come with it. And the cyclone that it’s being compared to is Tropical Cyclone Nargis from 2008. Nargis went on to strike Myanmar, and more than 100,000 died. PM Narendra Modi tweeted “Prayers for the safety and well-being of our citizens” and said the central government stood ready to assist as required.
SQUIZ THE REST
ASSANGE’S EXTRADITION PROCESS KICK OFF
A picture was painted in a London court overnight of what this process is going to involve - get ready for lots of procedural hearings with information being tabled by both sides over many months before the hearing actually happens. Assange was yesterday sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail back in 2012 to hang out in the Ecuador embassy, so he's not going anywhere while this unfolds. Assange said; "I do not wish to surrender myself for doing journalism that has won many, many awards and protected many, many people." And for their part, counsel for the US government said the charge against Assange - conspiracy to commit computer intrusion - relates to the largest breach of classified information in history. Remember: the WikiLeaks release in question made thousands of Afghanistan and Iraq war activity reports and 250,000 US diplomatic cables public.
ABBOTT AND STEGGALL GO HEAD-TO-HEAD
The electoral battle for Warringah on Sydney’s Northern Beaches was in focus yesterday. Former PM Tony Abbott and Independent challenger Zali Steggall lined up for a Sky News/Manly Daily debate where their differences, and the things they have in common, were laid bare. Column A - climate change and how to deal with it. Column B - their mutual opposition to Labor’s proposed changes to the tax treatment of retirees’ investment income. It was a big day for Abbott with offensive posters found in prominent spots around the electorate - some were so nasty the police were called in to investigate.
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK AND AMP FACE ROYAL COMMISSION CONSEQUENCES
The Banking Royal Commission might have wrapped in February, but the fallout is far from over. AMP Chairman David Murray faced up to shareholders yesterday admitting the company had failed them after finding itself at the centre of some of the worst conduct uncovered by the inquiry (think: charging clients fees for no service…). And he didn’t sugarcoat what lies ahead with potential legislative changes to advisers’ commission structures, as well as superannuation and financial planning reforms. "For a little while, things actually get harder," he said. The technical term for that manoeuvre is ‘expectations management’... And the National Australia Bank, which has already lost CEO Andrew Thorburn (and will lose Chairman Ken Henry once a new CEO is in place) has cut its dividend to shareholders to cover the expected bill for making good with customers it dudded in the past.
THAI KING MARRIES HIS BODYGUARD
Your HR department will say it’s a minefield, but the workplace has long been a place where couples do their courting. And so it was for Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn. An official statement confirms he has married the deputy head of his personal security detail, giving her the royal title of Queen. Before protecting the King, Suthida Tidjai was a flight attendant for Thai Airways. Although the relationship has been speculated upon for some time (particularly after she scored the relationship perk of being made a general in the army), this is the first time it has been officially declared legit. Queen Suthida is the King’s fourth wife.
TOP OF THE POPS
The US Billboard Music Awards red carpet is here - you're welcome. Once you're done with that… Taylor Swift opened the show performing her new song titled ME! with Panic! At the Disco frontman, Brendon Urie - it seems they've bonded over exclamation marks... Drake beat out the likes of Cardi B and Ariana Grande to take out the top artist award. As far as his acceptance speech is concerned, if you're a GOT fan you'll, a) know what GOT stands for, and b) appreciate Drake’s Arya Stark shout out. The full list of winners is here. Oh, and Madonna performed and there are now four of her.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Ready for something feel good? ABC TV’s The Recording Studio - it's delightful. And we're usually a bit squeamish about non-professional singers in professional settings… Need convincing? Here’s the pitch.
Avid Squizers might recall the story of Anna Sorokin, a Russian woman pretending to be a German heiress who swindled New York’s social elite. This week she was found guilty of the criminal charges she racked up along the way. Which reminded us of this extraordinary piece written by one of her victims. It’s a read that stuck with us over the last year.
Cauliflower - it’s the best*. Here’s a recipe we've made a couple of times and have a hankering to pair with steak this weekend. But it's good on its own too.
*If potatoes were never invented…
SQUIZ THE DAY
6.30pm (AEST) - Sky News People's Forum featuring PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten
ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, March
Poland’s National Day
Australian Celtic Festival (on until 5 May) - Glen Innes, NSW
Anniversary of Bing Crosby’s birthday (1903)
International Firefighters' Day
Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You...)
Anniversary of Audrey Hepburn's birthday (1929)
Anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s election as the UK’s first female PM (1979)
Start of Ramadan
Singer Adele’s birthday (born 1988)
200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birthday
Celebration of Cinco de Mayo
Liberation Day in the Netherlands to remember 1945’s end to the Nazi Occupation
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