Squiz Today / 22 May 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 22 May
APPLY FOR ASYLUM OR LEAVE
A deadline of 1 October has been set for 7,500 'illegal maritime arrivals' currently living in Australia to make their application for asylum. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made the announcement yesterday saying time was running out for those who had not applied for refugee status. If they do not make an application by the deadline, Dutton says they will be cut off welfare, deported and banned from returning to Australia. Critics of the government’s hard line say this group are not malingerers but have problems turning in the paperwork.
BACK IT UP A BIT…
After defeating the Howard government in 2007, the new Rudd government made changes to the border control regime. More than 50,000 people came to Australia by boat between 2008 and 2013, and reports say 80% did not have identity documents. You might remember Tony Abbott campaigned heavily to ‘stop the boats’ in the 2010 and 2013 elections campaigns – it was a big issue. Fast forward to now, and while most of the 50,000 have applied to stay in Australia (and have been accepted, rejected or are currently being considered), there are 7,500 people who have not yet applied.
SO WHAT’S THE RUSH?
Well, some of the identified 7,500 people have been in Australia for more than five years. Dutton says the cost of dealing with the 50,000 illegal arrivals tallies $13.7 billion, and it’s still costing the taxpayer a lot of money. “We are prepared to support people who are legitimate refugees, but we aren’t going to support people who are just accessing welfare, accessing taxpayer benefits, and then refusing to provide any information in relation to their protection claim,” Dutton said. Labor has not ruled out supporting the push, but refugee advocates said they would consider legal challenges if required. Expect this to be a talking point as the House of Reps returns to work today.
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BATTLE FOR ‘COCAINE CASSIE’ FOUGHT OUT ON SUNDAY NIGHT TV
Channel 7’s Sunday Night and Nine’s 60 Minutes helped us get a little closer to learning what alleged cocaine smuggler Cassie Sainsbury did. Her lawyer told 60 Minutes an international drug smuggling syndicate tricked her and threatened her life if she didn’t carry the drugs. Nine revealed Sainsbury worked as a prostitute in Sydney’s west late last year. A fellow sex worker said Sainsbury was a scammer who duped her colleagues out of cash with a bogus story about her mother’s death. Nine also said Colombian authorities were interested in her fiancé Scott Bainbridge. This was picked up on in Sunday Night’s story - they asked him about a former girlfriend said to be a drug dealer. Bainbridge claimed Sainsbury's innocence saying they are both anti-drugs. He didn’t have much of an answer for Sainsbury’s weird flight itinerary, nor could he vouch for the cleaning company he said she was representing for the work trip that took her to Colombia. Despite Sainsbury being heard telling Bainbridge that she didn’t think their relationship would last, he vowed to fight for her to the end. True love, eh.
ANDREW ‘TWIGGY’ FORREST TO GIVE AWAY WEALTH
Fairfax Media this morning reports Twiggy Forrest will make an announcement today to give away more of his personal wealth in the largest philanthropic donation seen in Australia. The announcement will be made in Canberra with PM Malcolm Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten in attendance and is said to cover social and scientific causes. Unfortunately, we don't anticipate it will be modelled on The Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can't Read Good.
NORTH KOREA TESTS ANOTHER MISSILE
South Korean military confirmed reports that North Korea tested a mid-range ballistic missile yesterday. Last week's UN Security Council meeting demanded the North Koreans stop their testing program; they will meet again on Tuesday. Experts say the North Koreans are making progress in their aim to develop the nuclear capacity to strike US territory.
GUNS DEAL KICKS OFF TRUMP’S TOUR
The money! The weaponry! A US$110 billion arms deal agreed between Saudi Arabia and the US surely got President Donald Trump’s heart racing as he kicked off his inaugural overseas trip. Trump and team said ‘jobs jobs jobs’ for the US and further security for the Middle East region are the outcomes of the deal. He's also delivered a major speech as he seeks to reset his relationship with the Muslim world following the stream of anti-Islam sentiment from his campaigning days. He called Islam "one of the world's greatest faiths" and appealed to the region to drive out extremism. Next stop – Israel.
IRAN RE-ELECTS ROUHANI
Moderate Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani has been re-elected with 57% support in the weekend’s election. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Twitter; “With high turnout & casting over 40mn votes, a new record was set in presidential election & showed increasing progress of Iranian nation.” Our minds are a little blown that the Ayatollah communicates by Twitter, but we digress. Rouhani was challenged by Islamic hardliners but won on a platform of an outward looking Iran and economic progress.
WEDDING OF THE YEAR DONE AND DUSTED
Let’s get straight to the important stuff. Pippa Middleton wore a Giles Deacon wedding gown for her nuptials with James Matthews and she looked grand. The pics of the rest of the guests made us think of Four Weddings and a Funeral – so many hats and assorted frou-frou. To the amassed international media’s disappointment, Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle didn’t attend the service - smart move not to upstage the bride on her big day. Markle attended the reception and was allowed to skip the hour and a half queue to get through the security that the other guests were subject to. Some other random items - Roger Federer was there; apparently he commanded the ping pong table. There was caviar donated by a Russian and a whole wheel of Parmesan. Prince George chucked a little tantie. And the groom’s brother is a star of reality show Made in Chelsea. So much to absorb from a single event.
“Detained for seven years without charge by while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget.”
Sweden announced on Friday that it would not pursue sexual assault charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He’s not ready to put it in the past quite yet - maybe because he remains holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. British Police will arrest him if he leaves the embassy on a warrant for failure to attend court. And then there is the unanswered question about whether the US would seek to extradite him over the sensitive and confidential documents he’s published via WikiLeaks. At least he would be closer to ‘friend’ Pamela Anderson…
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