Squiz Today / 09 March 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 9 March
"So I just used my Alexa to set a two-minute timer while trying to do a plank... and I asked how much time I had left and she LAUGHED.”
Tweeted @katchow about her encounter with what sounds like every personal trainer we’ve ever encountered. Amazon’s voice assistant has been accused of giggling at inappropriate moments. And it’s freaking people out…
WATER WOES JUST STARTING
Remember the story a few months ago that the Murray Darling Basin Agreement was in crisis following a Four Corners investigation into New South Wales irrigators taking billions of litres of water from the river system that they’re not entitled to? Yesterday, the NSW Government’s water agency said it’s going to prosecute. For starters, five people from two farming families from Brewarrina and Mungindi in northern NSW will be prosecuted for taking water when conditions did not permit it and for meter tampering.
BACK IT UP A BIT…
Sure thing. It’s important because the Murray Darling Basin sustains a third of Australia’s agriculture. And it’s a tricky agreement to administer because it crosses state borders and is meant to give all water users (from upstream in Queensland to downstream in South Australia), and the environment, a good deal. Allegations that some aren’t playing fair have fuelled some angry discussions since the Four Corners story aired in July last year. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has even launched a state Royal Commission into the management of the Murray Darling Basin.
SO, HAVE YOU HAD MUCH RAIN LATELY?
Funny you ask. When there’s enough water going around life is a bit better for everyone. Earlier this week, the Bureau of Meteorology's drought statement said there were serious rainfall shortages in Queensland and eastern NSW. Since then, Queensland has been drenched. But that won’t help parts of NSW and Victoria where last winter’s dry conditions were compounded by a dry summer. And there’s not a lot of rain predicted to be on its way. It's tough going for many of our farmers at the moment, which is why lawful water usage is a hot-button topic.
SQUIZ THE REST
Here are three talking points to round off a trade-heavy week:
• Turns out US President Donald Trump will offer Canada and Mexico temporary exemptions from the new steel and aluminium tariffs after all. And it's possible Australia will be exempt too. Trump will make an announcement this morning, so at this point your guess is as good as ours.
• In good news on the export front, yesterday’s official stats show a big trade surplus in January.
• And Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has put Australia’s signature to a US-less Trans-Pacific Partnership mega trade deal.
COMPENSATION FOR NSW & VICTORIAN ABUSE VICTIMS
A breakthrough in negotiations to establish a redress scheme will see 9,000 child abuse survivors from NSW and 5,000 from Victoria gain access to compensation of up to $150,000 from July. The scheme was a key recommendation of the recently wrapped up Royal Commission into institutional responses to child abuse. Social Security Minister Dan Tehan said he was hopeful other states would join the scheme.
TEAM TRUMP SAYS STORMY FIGHT ALREADY DONE AND WON
We had a sinking suspicion when we told you yesterday about Stormy Daniels, the ‘adult’ actress who allegedly had an affair with Trump, that it wouldn’t be the last time. Since last we spoke, it’s descended into a tit-for-tat exchange between her lawyers (who say Team Trump has gone OTT in trying to silence her) and Trump’s people (who say arbitration has already happened on the confidential agreement stuck with Daniels, and Trump won). Reports this morning say Trump isn’t happy with the way his press secretary handled the media on it yesterday. Pundits believe the matter is a significant risk to Trump.
QUICK SPORT-ISH NEWS WRAP
HAYNE DENIES BATTERY ALLEGATIONS – NRL footy star (and former American football hopeful) Jarryd Hayne has lodged his defence to the Californian civil case against him. He says the encounter in question was consensual. Mediation is set to occur in April.
NEW SOCCEROOS COACH NAMED - Graham Arnold will take the reins from Dutchman Bert van Marwijk when the World Cup in Russia is done and dusted in July. Arnold is currently the Sydney FC manager, and his appointment follows Ange Postecoglou’s departure late last year.
TRIATHLETE ATTACKED WITH A CHAINSAW - South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala was out training on Wednesday when he was attacked by three men who tried to cut his legs off. You read that correctly. Gwala is in hospital, but thankfully his injuries are not life-threatening. The motive for the attack is unknown.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
We’ve never been a Barbie-girl, but the new ‘role models’ range, including one based on our very own Bindi Irwin, is cool.
Legendary actor Al Pacino is hosting a retrospective of his work in New York. He’s given a great interview to Vulture looking back on a life in film. Worth a read for any Pacino/film buffs.
Leg make-up. Are you serious?
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.30am (AEDT) - President Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs announcement - Washington DC
7.00pm (AEDT) - Start of the Second Cricket Test, Australia v South Africa - Port Elizabeth, SA
10.00pm (AEDT) - Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Games on until 18 March) - PyeongChang, South Korea
ABS Data Releases - Preschool Education, 2017
Start of the NRL Season (actually, that was last night...)
Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's birthday (1934). He was the first man in space.
MAR10 Day (as in Mario the Nintendo character)
Colombian Congressional Election
Lisa Loeb's birthday (1966)
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