Squiz Today / 19 February 2018
Squiz Today – Monday, 19 February
“This is all over a thong, not a foot, a thong being stepped on.”
A Carnival passenger said one of the many fights on the “cruise from hell” started with a minor footwear accident. After ploughing millions of dollars into promoting Oz in recent weeks, Tourism Australia must be delighted this story shot to prominence across US news sites on the weekend…
BUCKLE UP FOR WEEK 3 OF THE JOYCE SAGA
Since we last spoke, things have got weird(er):
• Friday – Deputy PM and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce blasted PM Malcolm Turnbull over comments about breakdown of the Joyce marriage and his re-partnering with his former media adviser Vikki Campion. Moreover, Turnbull’s suggestion that he “consider his position” constituted the Liberals meddling in the Nationals’ business, Joyce said.
• Saturday - Turnbull and Joyce met in Sydney. Following the tête-à-tête, reports said Team Turnbull was dismayed that Joyce “still doesn’t get it”.
• Sunday – No. no, no. Turnbull said Saturday’s meeting was a (extreme adjective alert) “frank and warm, friendly, good constructive meeting”. And in a quirk of timing, Nine’s 60 Minutes aired evidence of the abundant health of the Turnbull marriage.
• And this morning – The Australian’s latest Newspoll shows 65% of those surveyed want Joyce to resign. It also shows a dip in support for the Turnbull Government and for Turnbull as preferred PM in the wake of the saga.
SO IS JOYCE KEEPING HIS JOB OR NOT?
The only people who have a say in that are the 21 Nats in the federal parliament. Parliament isn't sitting this week, and they have gone home to take a breath and "take temperature readings" of their electorates. Which means they'll be assessing how bad it really is outside the Canberra pressure-cooker. One name that keeps being mentioned as a potential replacement is Veterans Affairs Minister Michael McCormack from NSW’s Riverina.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
• Joyce is now on leave for a week.
• Turnbull will want to settle things down quickly before leaving for the US on Wednesday for a meeting with US President Donald Trump.
• And Labor is making the most of the government’s woes with a taster of campaign ads to come.
SQUIZ THE REST
FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING FALLOUT
In many respects, it's been a sadly routine response following the latest mass shooting in the US with calls for stricter gun control falling on deaf ears. That didn't stop survivors of last week’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which claimed 17 lives (profiles here), from making their voices heard. And there were incredible stories of heroism. President Trump criticised the FBI for not acting on a tip-off received in January about shooter Nikolas Cruz. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign,” he tweeted.
RUSSIANS CHARGED WITH ELECTION MEDDLING
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election took an interesting turn on the weekend with 13 Russians and three entities charged for alleged election meddling. President Trump again said he's not involved in any wrongdoing. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the charges were “blather”. It’s also bad news for Facebook and Instagram with the indictment declaring them the social media platforms of choice for Russia to spread misinformation.
NEW FLU JABS COULD OFFER BETTER PROTECTION
After last year’s flu claimed more than 1,000 lives in one of the worst seasons we’ve had for a while, our health authorities have upped this year’s effort with two “enhanced” vaccines. But Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy wasn’t getting ahead of himself; “No flu vaccine is complete protection… but we are confident this will give better protection for the elderly." The over 65s can get it for free. In the meantime, our strain from last winter is being blamed for a nasty outbreak in the UK.
AN UNWELCOME VISIT FROM KELVIN
Tropical Cyclone Kelvin brought havoc to the Western Australian coast between Broome and Port Hedland on the weekend. Making landfall yesterday morning, Kelvin (which sounds like a fun old uncle, not a nasty weather event) brought 150km/h winds and heavy rain. Local station owner David Stoate said some buildings had been damaged but: "I guess you've got to be grateful it's a category two and not a category five." He’s a glass-half-full kinda guy…
QUICK CHARITY NEWS WRAP
ROSIE BATTY STANDS DOWN, CLOSES FOUNDATION – The former Australian of the Year said she needs to step away, mourn her son and take care of herself. Batty set up the Luke Batty Foundation to raise money and awareness for family violence prevention after her beloved son Luke was killed by his father four years ago. "I now need to prioritise my self-care," she said. No one would begrudge her that.
BRITISH STARS CREATE FUND - On the eve of their industry awards night, 190 of the most famous female British stars have shown their support for the campaign against harassment and inequality by setting up the UK Justice and Equality Fund. Emma Watson has donated £1 million to the cause.
HUSBAND OF MURDERED UK MP JO COX RESIGNS – Brendan Cox stepped down from the two charities he set up in his wife’s memory after allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ were levelled against him.
Being beaten to a Winter Olympics gold medal by the best in the world is one thing. But being beaten by someone who had to borrow skis to compete is something else again. That’s what happened at the weekend in PyeongChang when Czech Ester Ledecka – a snowboarding champ – took out the women’s Super G (a slalom event) by a heart-stopping 0.01 of a second. Watch this – it’ll be the best two minutes you spend today. The look on her face… priceless.
SQUIZ THE DAY
8.00am (AEDT) - EE British Academy Film Awards (aka the BAFTAs) - London
ABS Data Release - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, December
Domain's Company Results - finance types will be interested given the recent departure of CEO Antony Catalano
Presidents Day - US
Anniversary of the WWII Japanese warplane attack on Darwin, killing 243 people (1942)
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