Squiz Today / 01 April 2019
Squiz Today – Monday, 1 April
“She came to the hospital complaining of lower abdominal pain."
Said gynaecologist Dr Sheila Poddar at a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh of a patient who didn’t know she was about to give birth to twins. That happens sometimes, but not usually after a mother’s given birth just a month before… Cut to the ending: everyone's safe and healthy. Phew...
BUDGET WEEK - GET READY FOR THIS...
If you needed evidence we’re a heartbeat away from an election campaign, a glance at this morning’s front pages provides it. From the Coalition’s focus on funding for tax cuts and road projects in tomorrow night's Budget to Labor's plan to unveil its climate change policy today, we’re fast getting to the pointy end...
IS THERE GOING TO BE A LOT OF CASH SPLASHED TOMORROW?
That could be on the cards. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday announced the Coalition would provide a one-off ‘Energy Assistance Payment’ worth $75 for singles and $125 for couples to four million Aussies on aged, disability, veterans’ and parenting pensions. (Note: missing out are those on unemployment benefits.) Costing $285 million, Frydenberg said it was one of a number of cost-of-living measures that will be unveiled in the Budget. Labor is likely to support this and other similar measures to "neutralise and move on," the Financial Review (paywall) says today.
CAN WE AFFORD TO SPEND UP?
Let’s wait and see the numbers. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann yesterday said the Coalition was taking a “cautious” approach, particularly given economic growth is slowing. And then there are other factors like the drought and alarm bells for our mining exports to contend with. Keep in mind our Budget is set to be in surplus from next financial year onwards, and the hot question is whether we did better than expected this financial year. That’s information that will guide the scale and scope of the parties' election commitments. And Frydenberg’s social media video budget…
SQUIZ THE REST
“BRIGHT AND ENERGETIC” STUDENTS DROWN ON FRASER ISLAND
A group of 15 Japanese students were due to return home yesterday after a week in Australia. Instead, tragedy struck the group with two of the teenagers drowning in Fraser Island’s iconic Lake McKenzie. They went missing on Friday afternoon and were found on Saturday morning. Questions are being asked about how the 16yos became separated from the group. Queensland Police said they didn't know if the boys could swim, but the water was calm on Friday. The principal of the boys’ school said; "To the families and everyone involved, I'm extremely sorry for your worries and troubles. I profoundly apologise.”
MAY EYES FOURTH VOTE ON BREXIT
Status: Still a mess… To recap where last week ended, the third vote on the deal brokered by PM Theresa May with the European Union went as smoothly as Friday’s greeting between PMs Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern... Which is why the plan for a fourth vote on May’s deal is being canvassed. After the hat trick of parliamentary defeats, May said "an alternative way forward" had to be found with Brexit Day now on 12 April. Expect another critical week of crisis talks and manoeuvring. Tick tock…
TRUMP PULLS AID, THREATENS TO CLOSE SOUTHERN BORDER
More than half-a-billion-US-aid-dollars have been pulled from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. US President Donald Trump says the nations aren’t doing enough to stem the flow of migrants to America’s southern border with Mexico. Trump has also threatened to close the border this week unless Mexico steps ups its efforts. The number of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border in February was the highest for 12 years. And, of course, the move follows Trump’s emergency declaration to get the funding he wants to build his border wall.
EDDIE MCGUIRE LOSES COMMENTARY TOSS
Out of all of the things you'd expect a sporting commentator to critique, the game-opening coin toss isn't on the list. But that’s what AFL team chairman/commentator Eddie McGuire did on Friday night before the Sydney Swans took on the Adelaide Crows. “Every week we have someone dropping it on their foot. Come on, toss it up properly for goodness sake,” McGuire said from the Fox Sports commentary box as author/Swans #1 ticket holder/plane crash survivor Cynthia Banham stood between the team captains to do the honours. McGuire apologised and avoided his commentary duties for the rest of the weekend, but Swans chairman Andrew Pridham and others called on the AFL to sanction McGuire. "Cynthia has endured significant hardship in her life and her strength shines through. She loves the Sydney Swans. We love her,” said Pridham.
Double woo-hoo! Not only has Aussie tennis star Ash Barty landed in the #9 spot in the world rankings, but she's also won the prestigious Miami Open beating fifth seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets. It was the biggest win of her career. "That's amazing, isn't it?" Barty asked. Yes, Ash, it most certainly is.
And while we have you… More than 53,000 people turned out to watch the Adelaide Crows defeat Carlton in the final of the Women's AFL. It's Adelaide's second premiership in the three-year-old competition. For comparison purposes, attendance at the GF was 7,000 last year, and yesterday's crowd was a record for a women's football game in Australia.
VALE GEOFF HARVEY
If you’re under 35yo, you’d have little appreciation of how big midday TV was back in the day. And at the centre of Nine’s offering was musical director Geoff Harvey. Known as the ‘Maestro of Midday’, Harvey was more than the band leader - he was a sparring partner for hosts like Mike Walsh, Ray Martin and Kerri-Anne Kennerley. "He was just a barrel of laughs, and he treated life as fun and if there's a face of television, it probably isn't Bert (Newton) or Graham (Kennedy), it's Geoff Harvey," Martin said. Harvey had been touring with John Wood, Max Gillies and Benita Collings with a show called Seniors Moments. Reports say he died from complications with pneumonia.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Crime Victimisation, 2017-18
National Australia Bank Business Confidence Survey release
Start of Healthy Hips Week
Gmail’s birthday (2004)
This week, a fab pack of books from Allen and Unwin is up for grabs. Read the email every day this week and you'll go into the draw.
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.