Squiz Today / 19 November 2018
Squiz Today – Monday, 19 November
“I shouldn’t have done it.”
Said Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack after eating a red chilli. If you look closely, you can almost see his head explode…
OUR CRANKY REGIONAL FAMILY
As PM Scott Morrison likened the leaders’ summit of APEC (our region’s premier economic forum) to a “family BBQ”, a spat erupted just as nasty as that time when Uncle John took on Uncle Ray over an unreturned lawnmower at Nan’s birthday barbie. The meeting came to a bumpy close yesterday after a weekend of simmering tensions between America and China.
WHAT WENT DOWN?
• China’s President Xi Jinping said there would be no winners from a trade war – a veiled jab at America.
• US Vice President Mike Pence said nations had better options for economic growth than turning to China and its loans that “drown our partners in a sea of debt” – a not-even-slightly veiled jab at China.
• Pence put his money where his mouth was and announced the US would partner with Australia and PNG to redevelop the Lombrum naval base on Manus Island. Pence said the aim is to “protect the sovereignty and maritime routes of Pacific Island nations". Ahem, China. Again…
• An ‘ABC’ grouping (Anyone But China) – the US, Australia, Japan and Kiwiland – will provide funding to help PNG keep the lights on. The money will bring power to 70% of the population - just 13% have access to a reliable power supply currently.
• And late yesterday details emerged of an incident involving four Chinese officials who, according to reports, stormed the PNG Foreign Minister’s office. Reports say they wanted to influence the meeting’s communiqué (pronounced commune-eek if you like getting sideways looks). The officials were removed by security.
WHAT DOES THAT ALL MEAN?
That there are serious divisions about some big issues for our region. And that our biggest ally (America) and biggest trade partner (China) are a long way from sorting out their differences. Which isn’t great news for our economy with some nasty consequences predicted should an all-out trade war eventuate. But from the weekend’s announcements where Australia sided with the US a couple of times, it seems our government’s concerns about China’s expanding influence remain.
SQUIZ THE REST
NEW POLL, MORRISON STILL BEHIND
Back to politics closer to home, the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll has the Coalition trailing Labor 48:52 on a two-party preferred basis. That’s an improvement on a month ago when Team Morrison was behind PM-in-waiting Bill Shorten 45:55 (which was the last week’s Newspoll result. PM Scott Morrison leads Shorten in the personal head-to-head 47:35. The poll also looked at migration from Muslims countries – 46% said the intake should be reduced by a lot or a little, while 35% said it should remain the same and 14% supported an increase.
CLAIMS TERROR INTEL WAS NOT SHARED
Victorian Government claims that federal authorities did not pass on that Bourke Street attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali had his passport cancelled over terror concerns have been disputed. There has also been some blowback over news that Shire Ali’s bail relating to a string of driving offences had been extended just weeks before the attack. As Victorians hit the final stretch of campaigning with their election this Saturday, law and order issues will continue to loom large week.
ARGENTINE SUB FOUND
The Argentinian navy submarine that went missing on 15 November 2017 with 44 people onboard last year has been located a year and a day later by Ocean Infinity, a private company engaged by the government (the same mob that Malaysia contracted to look for missing flight MH370). Officials have confirmed the sub imploded and was found with a collapsed hull. Argentina says it does not have the tech to raise the sub, while families are lobbying for their loved ones to be brought home.
ONE THOUSAND MISSING AS CALIFORNIA FIRE DEATH TOLL RISES
The Camp Fire - the worst fire in Californian history – has claimed 76 lives and destroyed more than 12,000 homes and other buildings. And almost 1,300 people are unaccounted for, although authorities say there will be a large number of people who haven't been able to check in with their people. US President Donald Trump visited the town of Pleasure… err sorry… Paradise yesterday and he did not back down on his call for better forest management, and said his views on climate change had not changed.
QUICK SPORTS NEWS WRAP
HORROR CRASH AT MACAU GRAND PRIX - There was concern overnight for 17yo German Formula 3 driver Sophia Floersch after the car she was driving became airborne and slammed into a wall at high-speed at the Macau Grand Prix. Horrified onlookers watched as Floersch flew past them in scenes reminiscent of a movie, captured on camera from multiple angles. She later tweeted that she's ok and will have surgery today.
TWO LOSSES AND A WIN – We did no good in the T20 World women's cricket against India yesterday. Star player Alyssa Healy was left concussed after a collision with a teammate. We remain in the finals race… An even-further-reduced-overs men’s T20 also saw Oz go down to South Africa. And the Wallabies had a win of Italy.
A SMELLY OLD GAME IS DARTS – This either challenges or confirms the theory that he who smelt it, dealt it.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry restarts hearings (on for the next fortnight) - Sydney
Fairfax Media's Annual General Meeting (could be interesting...) - Sydney
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