Squiz Today / 15 April 2019
Squiz Today – Monday, 15 April
"We can confirm that Assange's cat is safe.”
CHINA UPS ITS COMPLAINT ABOUT AUSSIE BAN ON HUAWEI
China has gone all passive-aggressive over Australia’s ban on Huawei, making a complaint to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). According to reports, China does not mention the mega-telco company by name, but the claim does refer to Australia's "discriminatory market access prohibition on 5G equipment".
WHAT’S THAT ABOUT?
Australia, America and Kiwiland have all banned the use of Huawei equipment for their telco infrastructure following security agency concerns the Chinese government could the use it to spy on them. Note: Huawei is the biggest provider of infrastructure equipment in the world. Huawei, which has close ties to the Chinese government but describes itself as an ‘employee-owned company’, has denied being a security risk. In March, Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US government and accused it of running a smear campaign.
SO, WHERE DO WE STAND?
Under WTO rules, member countries (which includes us) are not allowed to reject imports from one particular country. However, ‘national security’ grounds have been used to get around the rules in the past. Just last week the WTO clarified the use of the national security exemption to “a situation of armed conflict, or of latent armed conflict, or of heightened tension or crisis, or of general instability engulfing or surrounding a state.” And given we’re not at war with China, that could be a problem. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham yesterday said the government "stands by its decision in relation to 5G, which was not targeted at any one country or telecommunications company".
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MELBOURNE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING KILLS ONE
Three security guards and one patron were shot after a gunman fired indiscriminately into a group of people outside busy Melbourne nightclub Love Machine in the early hours of Sunday morning. One guard, Aaron Khalid Osmani, died and another sustained life-threatening injuries. Victorian Police said it was too early to tell if it was a targeted or random shooting, and no arrests have been made.
AUSSIE CRICKETER EXPECTED TO BE JAILED
Australian-cricketer-in-the-UK Alex Hepburn was found guilty of assaulting a sleeping woman as part of a conquest competition with his mates. A court heard how the 23yo got into bed with a woman who had come home with one of his teammates. Messages from a WhatsApp group chat between Hepburn and friends revealing the details of a contest to bed as many women as possible were not tendered as evidence, but have been released in the wake of the guilty verdict. Police said they hoped the case provided reassurance to other victims of assault to step forward. It’s expected Hepburn will face a jail sentence.
ELECTION ‘19 - THE CAMPAIGN SLIPPERY DIP
The more things change, the more they stay the same… This morning's Newspoll maintains the two-party preferred numbers at 48:52 to Labor. The main change is a hit to One Nation’s support dropping from 6 to 4 in primary votes. As for the gaffes, missteps, quirks and questionable decisions our candidates have made over the weekend:
• Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is in a tight race to hold his seat of Dickson on the northern outskirts of Brisbane. After causing upset by accusing his Labor opponent Ali France of using her disability as an excuse for not living in the electorate, he backed down on Saturday.
• Former PM Tony Abbott's had a challenging start in his battle for Warringah. First, there was this clanger in an email to supporters. Then a (now-deleted) tweet on his door-knocking activities with News Corp/conservative columnist Piers Akerman that caused a stir.
• Queensland Senator Matt Canavan sought to emulate a signature Abbott move by chomping on a raw onion.
• Clive Palmer launched his United Australia Party’s campaign on Nova FM’s Fitzy and Wippa show with a rap battle. As you do.
• And Bill Shorten demonstrated an interesting sunscreen application technique…
For more of that, sign up to Squiz The Election here.
BIG BIRD TAKES FLIGHT
It’s the stratolaunch - the plane backed by Bill Gates’ Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen - and it’s huge. Allen didn’t get to see his dream take flight - he died last October. But yesterday the plane with a wingspan the length of an American football field took to the air and stayed up there for more than two hours. With Allen gone, there’s no clarity on the plane’s future. But it was initially conceived as a more affordable way of getting satellites into space (ie rockets tethered to its belly would drop while in flight and shoot off into space). The US Pentagon is said to be interested.
TIGER ROARS AT THE MASTERS
It's the greatest comeback story of recent times - Tiger Woods has won the US Masters. Starting the final round just behind the leaders, he finished one shot clear at 14 under. It’s his fifth green jacket and its been nearly 11 years since the 43yo won a major competition - the longest time between trophies in golfing history. The win also sees him finally overcome a series of injuries and personal turmoil to rise again to the top of the sport. Jason Day was the best of the Aussies finishing on 11 under.
WINX’S NEXT CHALLENGE - FINDING A GOOD BLOKE
And she faces all the challenges any accomplished, well-bred lady who wants to have a family face – finding someone worthy of her. But before she gets around to settling down in the country, she’ll bask in the glory of her incredible achievement. Her 33rd consecutive win recorded in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the send off the supermare deserved. And thank goodness for Royal Randwick staff because the blaring of Tina Turner’s Simply The Best could have been totes awkward if she didn’t pull off the win... It’s occasions like this when legendary commentator Bruce McAvaney comes into his own. “What’s emotional right now for all of us is not that we’re not going to see her again - it’s because we have,” he said after the race. So true, Bruce. So true.
APROPOS OF NOTHING - SHOW BIZ EDITION
If there are certain people missing from the office today, this is the reason.
Bow down to Taylor Swift, the queen of anticipation.
And a note to the singletons - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are officially single.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Contempt hearing against 36 journalists and news outlets over the reporting of the Cardinal Pell case to commence
Anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing (2013)
Anniversary of the death of Pol Pot, leader of Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime (1998)
Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (1912)
Birthdays for two Emmas - Watson (1990) and Thompson (1959)
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