Squiz Today / 05 October 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 5 October
“I know there is only one woman in this cabinet, but Ms Katayama has the presence of two or three women.”
TIME’S ALMOST UP ON KAVANAUGH’S CONFIRMATION
The year's highest-profile case of political ‘he said, she said’ is about to come to a head in America with a final vote on US President Donald Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh expected on Saturday.
ASSUME I’VE BEEN UNDER A ROCK…
After a relatively smooth confirmation process, it all fell to pieces for Trump’s nominee a couple of weeks ago.
• Christine Blasey Ford, a Californian academic, came forward to allege that Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her when they were in high school in the 80s.
• With a question mark over his suitability to ascend to the highest court of the land, both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh testified before a Senate Committee last week creating dramatic scenes.
• The FBI was then asked to conduct a quick investigation into Blasey Ford’s claims. The report has been completed and made available to senators as they mull over Kavanaugh’s appointment. Despite criticism that key people were not interviewed, some ‘make-or-break’ senators have indicated they are ok with the process.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
There’s a lot of politicking going on, so it’s hard to say at this stage. Kavanaugh supporters say Blasey Ford’s accusations have not been proven and should not prevent his confirmation. Others say there is a question mark over him that warrants further investigation or his disqualification. What is guaranteed is it will go down as one of the most remarkable chapters in a turbulent year in American politics. So if you’re interested in politics, the #metoo movement, or just good ol’ fashioned drama, this is one worth following. Tip: get up to speed with this podcast episode from the New York Times – it’s remarkable.
SQUIZ THE REST
DEAR PUTIN, STOP IT
Russia has been accused of mounting a series of cyber attacks across the world. Plots include hacking key nuclear agencies, the chemical weapons watchdog, and attempting to access the official files on the downing of MH17 over Ukraine. The US has gone as far as charging seven Russian agents. While Australia is not significantly impacted, PM Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne yesterday joined those condemning Russia’s “unacceptable” behaviour. Russia has dismissed the allegations as “Western spy mania”.
EMERGENCY, BUT NOTHING TO SEE HERE…
Traffic chaos at the start of Sydney’s morning commute was the least of authorities’ problems yesterday when a United Airlines flight with 239 passengers made a mayday call for an emergency landing. Initial reports said dry ice had leaked on the plane, but the story later changed with authorities saying the plane’s fuel level had dipped below the ‘safe’ level. Meanwhile, United said it was a mechanical issue. Passengers onboard were none the wiser. Whatever it was, all’s well that ends well.
NSW GETS SOME RAIN…
Broken Hill and parts of western NSW received more rain in the last couple of days than they've had all year. The drop has moved across the Hunter Valley to the coast overnight bringing some relief to parched communities along the way. It's not enough to break the drought, but as we say when offered free prawn crackers with our Chinese takeaway, something is better than nothing.
RING MY BELL
After dipping its toe into the Queensland fast food market late last year, Collins Foods yesterday announced it will open 50 Taco Bell restaurants in three states over the next three years. Queensland is the only state named as being guaranteed of getting more burrito-ey goodness. Collins Foods, which is Australia’s largest KFC franchisee and also ran the Sizzler chain, will be hoping that the third time is a charm for Taco Bell with the brand trying and failing to take off here twice before.
RECOGNISING THE HIGHS AND LOWS
Highs – the Financial Review’s 2018 Power List is out (paywall), and on overt power we have PM Scott Morrison followed by Labor leader Bill Shorten. Banking Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne is also up there. Topping the covert power player list is Treasury Secretary Phil Gaetjens. Saxon Mullins, the young woman who has pushed for changes to the consent laws after her alleged attacker was acquitted, tops the cultural power list. Comedian Hannah Gadsby, anti-waste campaigner Craig Ruecassel and para-athletes Kurt Fearnley and Dylan Alcott also made the list.
Lows – consumer advocate Choice has unveiled its Shonky award winners to highlight the worst consumer offerings for the year. Some old favourites are there – a risky por-ta cot, sugary breakfast cereal, and a magnetic underlay that doesn’t fix your aching joints. Our favourite was the expensive toaster that only warms bread. It only had one job…
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
What it’s like to be a royal photographer – a fun read.
One for the fashionistas – Paris Fashion Week showcasing the designer brands’ spring/summer 2019 collections has come and gone. The Chanel show has to be seen to be believed. But the talk of the town was the change in tack by Celine from ‘cool-girl flair’ to ‘young, skinny and white’ under a new designer – and the negative reaction that ensued.
Yes, it’s October, and yes, the year is going quickly. So why does a break over Christmas feel so far away? Here’s some travel inspiration to whet your appetite.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Retail Trade, August
Announcement of the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
Anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple (2011)
9.40am (AEST) – Rugby Championship – Wallabies v Argentina - Argentina
Anniversary of Carole Lombard’s birthday (1908 - and just in case you watched Have You Been Paying Attention this week…)
2.00am - Daylight saving kicks off in NSW, Victoria, South Oz, Tassie and the ACT. Clocks come forward an hour
11.00am (AEDT) - Car racing - Bathurst 1000 - Mount Panorama
1.00pm (AEDT) - Constellation Cup Netball - Aussie Diamonds v New Zealand Silver Ferns
Elections in Brazil, Cameroon, and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Anniversary of the opening of the musical Cats on Broadway starting its record run of record 7,485 performances (1982)
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