Squiz Today / 26 June 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 26 June 2017
“He’ll either be a goofball his entire life or at some point he’ll stop, maybe when he becomes a father.”
Sound like every man you know? In a clear demonstration of Darwin’s theory of evolution, Dallas Zoo’s Keith Zdrojewski gives a frank character assessment of Zola the gorilla. Check out Zola as he indulges his "passion for splashin’". And here’s a Monday challenge for you - if you can muster Zola’s enthusiasm for anything this week, you’ll be winning at life.
PACKER’S PEOPLE GO ON TRIAL IN CHINA
Four Australians are among the 19 Crown Resorts employees and associates who will go before a Shanghai court today where reports say they will plead guilty. The group were detained in October last year and includes Australian Jason O'Connor, Crown’s vice president of VIP operations, as well as a Malaysian and Chinese nationals. They are accused of targeting high-rolling Chinese gamblers to encourage them to part with their cash at Crown’s casinos - a big no-no as it's illegal to promote gambling in mainland China. Reports say the hearing will last just one day and a verdict reached soon after. Crown Resorts is 48% owned by high-profile businessman James Packer.
REMIND ME. HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Google ‘President Xi Jinping’ and you’ll see one of the suggested search terms is ‘anti-corruption campaign'. The government takes corruption very seriously (either that or they’ve spent a tonne on AdWords…). They're concerned about unscrupulous operators facilitating illegal money flows and bribing government officials with glamorous experiences. China launched ‘Operation Chain Break’ in 2015 and very quickly snared South Korean casino operators and staff. Crown has faced significant criticism for not reading the jasmine tea leaves on China’s increasing scrutiny in this area. In fact, they boasted about their growth in hosting VIP visitors from China earlier last year.
SO, HOW IS CROWN HANDLING IT?
They’ve pulled out the big guns by hiring top Chinese lawyer Liu Haitao of King & Wood Mallesons. Liu is a legal superstar in these matters. Reports this morning say the group will plead guilty - a strategy that has helped bring the case to court quickly (by China's standards) and could help reduce further time in detention. And how’s Packer, we hear you ask? He’s had a tough year with a break-up with fiancé/singer Mariah Carey, and a shake-up of his business holdings. But he’ll be fresh off a break after setting the paps alight last week bobbing around Bora Bora on his mega-boat with various celebs. We hope he treats his staff to a cruise at the conclusion of their ordeal.
SQUIZ THE REST
SAME SEX MARRIAGE COULD HAPPEN "SOONER THAN EVERYONE THINKS"
Senior Turnbull government minister Christopher Pyne made the comment at a Liberal Party function on Friday night. A recording was given to News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt who has published them this morning. Exactly what is being done behind the scenes to change our marriage laws is not known. Be we do know that Pyne is a fixer. He fixes things.
BALI BOMBING MASTERMIND CHARGED 15 YEARS ON
The accused mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, has been charged with the attack. The bombing of Paddy’s Bar resulted in the largest number of Australian deaths due to an act of terror. Riduan “Hambali” Isomuddi has been detained at Guantanamo Bay without charge since 2006 and reports say he will be tried in a US military court. Others involved were put to death by Indonesian authorities.
AIR ASIA FLIGHT TERRIFIES PASSENGERS
The Air Asia flight left Perth at 7am yesterday morning on its way to Malaysia when trouble struck. It was about 90 minutes into the journey when one passenger said the plane started shaking like a washing machine. They got back to Perth by 10am safe and sound. The reason? Air Asia said it was a "technical reason". We're not mechanically minded, but that seems a little vague to us. Note to Air Asia pilots: if you want your passengers to remain calm, maybe don’t ask them to start praying for a safe landing. Sheesh.
ALEX MALLEY: PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL
Pressure from disaffected members of his accountancy body brought the high-flying head of CPA Australia unstuck with Alex Malley finally given his marching orders late on Friday night. The organisation – which represents some 160,000 accountants in Australia – announced Malley would be stepping down (with a $4.9 million payout mind you). Malley’s one-man crusade to promote the organisation mostly by promoting himself, finally came to a crashing halt following months of pressure, applied mostly by the Australian Financial Review.
QUICK INTERNATIONAL NEWS WRAP
Cyber hackers launched a sustained attack in an attempt to break into UK parliamentarians’ email accounts over the weekend. Reports say the attack lasted 12 hours commencing on Friday targeting weak passwords of MPs and staff. Cyber specialists say ‘state actors’ (ie countries, not regional theatrical types) are likely to be behind the attack. One Tory MP said; “Sorry no parliamentary email access today - we're under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mum's basement or something."
While we’re talking about state actors, the weekend’s news out of Washington was yuuuge. This incredible report from the Washington Post says there's evidence linking Russian President Vladimir Putin to attempts to interfere in the US Presidential election to benefit Donald Trump – and that then President Barack Obama knew about it. Trump took to Twitter yesterday to criticise Obama for not doing more to stop Russia’s meddling. It just gets curiouser and curiouser!
An overturned fuel tanker in Ahmedpur East, Pakistan yesterday burst into flames killing at least 150 people. A crowd had assembled to collect the leaking oil when it caught on fire. One report said people were smoking at the scene and that police had been unable to keep them away.
SOCCEROOS OUT OF CONFEDERATION CUP
Commentators say it was their best performance of the competition, if not the last 12 months, but it wasn’t enough to topple Chile this morning. Chile are ranked fourth in the world at the round ball game, and we almost took out a famous win but had to settle for a 1-1 draw. It was captain Tim Cahill’s 100th game for our national side, he’ll no doubt be a bit pleased the milestone was marked with a game that pushed the opposition. We are now out of the competition that's being hosted by Russia, which will be bittersweet for sleep-deprived soccer fans.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Women's Cricket World Cup commences - England (on until 23 July)
Bacon Week - "You either like bacon or you're wrong" ~ Anon
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