Squiz Today / 05 July 2019
Squiz Today – Friday, 5 July
“I feel like I should eat a couple more.”
Said Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut, the winner of Nathan's Famous annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest held in New York. It’s his 12th title with Chestnut downing 71 dogs. That’s 20,590 calories…
ALEK SIGLEY “SAFE AND WELL”
There was a collective sigh of relief yesterday when PM Scott Morrison announced to the House of Representatives that 29yo Aussie student and North Korean tour business owner Alek Sigley had been released from detention after disappearing nine days before. He surfaced in Beijing and last night travelled to Tokyo to be reunited with his wife. “I’m OK, I’m good, I’m very good,” Sigley said when reporters caught up with him in Beijing.
HOW DID THAT PLAY OUT?
There’s not a lot of detail on that at the moment. What we do know is that Kent Rolf Magnus Harstedt, a special envoy of the Swedish government, travelled to North Korea and met with senior members of their government on Wednesday where he raised the issue of Sigley’s disappearance on Australia’s behalf. Reports this morning say that Harstedt established that Sigley’s detention was for “not serious” reasons. Note: Sweden was involved because we do not have a diplomatic presence in North Korea, but Sweden does, and we have an agreement with them to help us out there if required. “This outcome demonstrates the value of discrete, behind the scenes work of officials to resolve complex and sensitive consular cases in close partnership with other governments,” said Morrison.
AND ANY IDEAS WHY HE WAS DETAINED?
Nope. One theory is with the G20 leaders' summit that was on in Japan last week and US President Donald Trump's brief visit over the border on Sunday (although that was all last minute remember…), North Korea cracked down on any potential loose cannons. That's because they would not want to be embarrassed while the eyes of the world were on the region and, then on it directly. But only a few people would know the real story. Let's hope we get to hear it one day…
SQUIZ THE REST
MORRISON SECURES TAX CUT WIN
After no small amount of argy-bargy, the Coalition Government's promise of $158 billion worth of personal tax cuts will become law. The proposal was debated from Karratha to Kirribilli during the election campaign and over the last few weeks, and now $15 billion of it will start to flow. Some 4.5 million workers are set to receive the full $1080 tax rebate for their efforts last financial year. In total, 10 million people who earned less than $126,000 will benefit from the first round of relief. You can work out if you're in the money here. Labor, which was uncomfortably straddling a barbed wire fence on the issue, ended up supporting the package. And when it comes to Morrison’s future legislative agenda, welcome to the era of Jacqui Lambie, powerbroker…
A SHAKY INDEPENDENCE DAY
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake has hit southern California shaking buildings in Los Angeles and felt as far away as Las Vegas. It’s the biggest quake to hit the state since 1994’s Northridge 6.6 trembler killed dozens of people and caused billions of dollars of damage to buildings and infrastructure. This one hasn't had the same effect as it hit about 250km from LA. The area spans the San Andreas faultline and is quake-prone. “We should always be preparing for the big one. This does not make it less likely,” said Lucy Jones, a Californian earthquake expert.
Because it’s cool to be current.
MORE DETAILS ON TERROR ARRESTS - Yesterday was the start of court proceedings on Sydney man Isaak el Matari’s terror charges, and it was revealed he’d proclaimed himself the ‘General Commander of Islamic State in Australia’ and was intent on creating a stronghold in the Blue Mountains of NSW. The matter returns to court next month.
HONG KONG ARRESTS - The recriminations from Monday’s storming and trashing of Hong Kong’s legislature by protestors have started. Reports say at least 12 people (the youngest being 14yo) have been arrested and they face serious penalties if prosecuted and found guilty. They were demonstrating against a plan that would allow the extradition of Hong Kong residents to mainland China.
SETKA TO FIGHT LOSING LABOR MEMBERSHIP - Victoria’s construction union boss John Setka has taken his expulsion from the ALP to court. The party's national executive has a phone hook-up on 15 July to decide his future membership, but leader Anthony Albanese is adamant he will be booted.
WE’VE LOST OUR SPENDING MOJO...
One thing you could do with your tax rebate is spend it with retailers - in fact you’d be doing your national duty... The latest official retail spending figures out yesterday were the Bernard Tomic of data - disappointing. Spending was up 0.1% in May after falling 0.1% April. Going OK were cafes, takeaway food and restaurants, and not so well was supermarket food retailing, department stores and clothing/footwear. It's not a good sign for our economy's overall health. A good excuse to hit the mall, yes?
REACHING CELEBRITY STATUS
Bear with us on this one... The definition that you have to have 30,000 social media followers to be considered a celebrity has been settled this week by the UK Advertising Standards Authority. The benchmark was set in a case of a so-called mummy blogger who posted about an over-the-counter drug after a complaint was made that she had breached the rules banning celebrities or health professionals from endorsing medical products. So when you crunch the numbers, that means (we think) in Australia you need 11,364 followers. Which means The Squiz’s Insta, which is great by the way, is just 9,000 short…
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Always wanted to buy Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ former home on Martha’s Vineyard? Now you can - for US$65 million. Which with the current Aussie dollar is about A$1 trillion…
Always wanted to take off to a coastal utopia to live your best life? This Vanity Fair profile of American “midtier family lifestyle micro-influencer” Courtney Adamo’s set up in Byron Bay, NSW has to be read to be appreciated…
And we were initially drawn to US comedian Tig Notaro’s Under A Rock series for how she worked with advertiser, Amazon. But it's just plain entertaining. The clips are short, and the premise is that she has very famous people (who she does not know or recognise) try to explain to her who they are, and Notaro has to guess their names. The one with Modern Family’s Julie Bowen is a solid Friday funny.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Livestock and Meat, May
Venezuela’s National Day
Anniversary of the launch of the modern bikini (1946)
10.30pm - Men’s ODI World Cup Cricket - Australia v South Africa
Start of the Tour de France
50 Cent’s (1975) and George W Bush’s (1946) birthdays
1.00am (AEST) - Women’s World Cup Soccer match for third place - England v Sweden
Start of NAIDOC Week - This year’s theme is ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’
Solomon Islands National Day
1.00am (AEST) - Women’s World Cup Soccer Final - United States v Netherlands
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