Squiz Today / 27 March 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 27 March
CYCLONE DEBBIE ALREADY A DOWNER
Tropical Cyclone Debbie (which sounds like something that could do some damage at the disco after an alcopop, but not wipe out whole towns) is getting ready to hit land. Debbie’s set to cross the coast at about 7am Tuesday morning between Ayr (south of Townsville) and Bowen (north of Mackay) with category 4 force bringing heavy rain and winds of 250km/hour. Many residents on the coast have already been evacuated, and airports are closed. She’ll run out of puff after hitting land, but probably not until she’s damaged valuable tourism, fishing, mining infrastructure, and fruit/banana and vegetable farming assets. #whatab*tch
IS THIS A BIG DEAL?
The last big cyclone to hit the region was Cyclone Yasi in February 2011 which left a +$800 million repair bill. The impact was felt by most of us via higher banana prices after 75% of Australia’s crop was knocked out – remember ‘nanas at $15/kg? Debbie looks set to impact the Whitsundays and Hamilton Island, one of our premier international tourism destinations. Even Taylor Swift and her squad love it there. Fingers crossed for them. The islands, not Taylor Swift.
AND ‘DEBBIE’ – REALLY?
Naming cyclones is a formal process looked after by our Bureau of Meteorology. They name cyclones that start in our region from a pre-selected list, alternating gender. On that score, the next cyclone that starts in Oz waters will be Ernie or Errol. If a cyclone forms in another country’s region, the cyclone maintains the name already given to it (eg nasty Yasi from Fiji). The things you learn.
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OZ-BASED CHINESE ACADEMIC STOPPED FROM RETURNING TO SYDNEY
Dr Chongyi Feng, an associate professor in Chinese studies at the University of Technology Sydney, has been stopped from boarding flights from China to Sydney, including on Saturday night. Dr Feng has been at UTS for many years and was recently vocal about the Chinese government’s influence over Australia’s Chinese-language media. He is a permanent Australian resident travelling on a Chinese passport, no doubt causing the Oz government to worry about what levers they can pull to have him return to Sydney.
RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ARRESTED
Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most significant opposition leader, was arrested in Moscow with hundreds of others during anti-government protests last night. Protestors took to the streets in the biggest protest in years after claims Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has assets (think mansions, yachts) in excess of anything he could afford on his official salary.
WHAT’S THAT NOISE? PARLIAMENT’S BACK…
It’s the last parliamentary sitting week before the Budget on 9 May, so there’ll be even more noise than usual this week. Three quick things:
1) A Fairfax-Ipsos poll out last night shows Labor well ahead of the Coalition 55-45 on a two-party preferred basis.
2) Turnbull said over the weekend that he is absolutely, 100%, truly-rooly committed to company tax cuts because jobs. Cue Labor's refrain: the Coalition wants to look after business but not workers or families.
3) Also, expect electricity to be back on the agenda this week – the government has ordered the competition regulator (ACCC) to investigate retail prices. Also Hazelwood coal-fired power generator starts to wind down this week despite last minute calls from former PM Tony Abbott and others to keep it open.
HONG KONG ‘ELECTS’ FIRST FEMALE GOVERNMENT LEADER
We say ‘elects’ because it’s not a popular election as we know it. Carrie Lam was selected to be the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong by a committee of 1,200 pro-China electors. Lam promised to stand up for Hong Kong's values of free press, free speech and inclusiveness, and will work to heal the divide. Pro-democracy protestors called the process a sham.
GRANT DENYER CRASHES IN A MIXED WEEKEND FOR REV-HEADS
Permanently peppy game show host and Gold Logie nominee Grant Denyer survived a serious high-speed rally car crash yesterday. Despite early concerns, Denyer walked away from the crash with a broken tailbone while his co-driver suffered a broken leg. And the first Formula 1 race of the season in Melbourne ended with a whimper for Australia’s favourite driver, the ever-smiling Daniel Ricciardo. His horror weekend included a crash, a dead last start and retirement from the race on lap 29 when the car’s electrics finally gave up the ghost. The rest was pretty boring. Sebastian Vettel gave Ferrari their first win since 2015, relegating hot favourite and Championship bad boy Brit Lewis Hamilton to an unexpected second place.
CHERYL AND LIAM WELCOME A SON
What do you mean 'who's Cheryl'? Cheryl Cole, of course, formerly of Girls Aloud fame. And who’s Liam? That’s Liam Payne from One Direction. Why should you care? We really can’t answer that. But if you need some mindless celebrity news to help with Monday-itis, all the deets are here.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Hazelwood Power Station commences shutdown
International Whisk(e)y Day - cheers!
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