Squiz Today / 07 August 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 7 August
“Oh my God, Adelaide! You know how many years I've been wanting to come to Adelaide? Never. I've never wanted to come to Adelaide.”
Said comedian Jerry Seinfeld on Saturday night – while on stage in Adelaide. After a long pause, he followed it up with a polite; “…and yet I'm thrilled to be here.” Sure he was. Wonder who gave him the drill on our City of Churches? Seinfeld is performing in a number of our capital cities this week.
THREE US MARINES MISSING IN CORAL SEA, FEARED DEAD
The search for the three US Marines missing after their aircraft crashed into the Coral Sea 30km off Shoalwater Bay (near Rockhampton in Central Queensland) has been called off, and efforts will now be focused on the recovery of their bodies. The Osprey aircraft was on a training drill when it crashed at 4pm on Saturday. Twenty-six crew members were onboard at the time of the accident; one was transported to Rocky hospital for treatment of leg injuries. No Australians were involved.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
The Marines said they were conducting "regularly scheduled operations" when the plane "entered the water". However, reports say the Osprey slammed into the deck of the USS Green Bay as it attempted to land, and then crashed into the water. The Osprey is designed to take off like a helicopter and rotate its propellers to fly like a plane. But it doesn’t have a clean rap sheet – it’s been involved in 10 previous incidents, including in 2000 when 19 Marines were killed. And the US Osprey fleet in Japan was grounded last December after five crew members were injured during refuelling. Obviously, the Marines said there will be a full investigation.
WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN?
The missing crew’s next of kin have been notified, and US President Donald Trump was briefed by his chief-of-staff John Kelly, who is a former Marines Corps General himself. Defence Minister Marise Payne offered our assistance to her US counterpart. Sadly, given they do not expect to find the men alive, the US will work with the Australian Defence Force to recover the men’s bodies which they say could take many months.
SQUIZ THE REST
FINAL TERROR SUSPECT CHARGED & RELEASED
The last man in police custody from last weekend’s terror plot raids in Sydney was charged with possessing a prohibited weapon and released on bail. Khaled Merhi’s charge is unrelated to the alleged plots involving a failed attempt to smuggle an explosive concealed within a meat mincer onto an Etihad flight and preparations for a toxic gas attack. His brother Abdul Merhi was released last week without charge. Brothers Khaled Mahmoud Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat (who are brothers-in-law to Khaled Merhi) were charged on Friday with two counts each of acting in preparation for or planning a terrorist act, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SHOWDOWN HEATS UP IN CANBERRA
And… they’re back. After a six-week hiatus, our federal Parliamentarians return to Canberra this week. As a warm up, Liberal pollies will get back into the swing of things with a special meeting this afternoon to discuss (again) the way forward on same-sex marriage. WA Senator Dean Smith and four MPs are backing in a conscience vote. If you have time, it's worth watching Smith explain it all. The other options on the table are a plebiscite (which is Liberal policy and has failed to get Parliamentary support once already) and a postal vote (which is said to have some legal issues). The key question will be if Smith and others go ahead with introducing a bill into Parliament if their approach is knocked back by Liberals today. Expect developments on this to be eagerly watched this afternoon.
And while we have you, a new Newspoll is out in The Australian today. There’s no shift in the two-party preferred result – it remains 53-47 in Labor’s favour. And PM Malcolm Turnbull (Coalition) has hit a popularity high for the year stretching his lead over Bill Shorten (Labor) to 46-31.
COMMONWEALTH BANK FALLS FOUL OF THE REGULATOR
Gee, didn’t the Commonwealth Bank issue take off quicker than a Kardashian after a selfie opportunity! For those who missed it, AUSTRAC (the anti-money laundering regulator) accused the bank of “serious and systemic” breaches after they failed to report (in fact, on 53,700 occasions…) cash deposits of more than $10,000 made through intelligent deposit machines. Banks are required to report cash deposits of that size because they could be used in supporting illegal activities including drugs and terrorism. CBA has admitted the mistake and said that the error in reporting the transactions happened after a software upgrade accidentally deleted the function – which is totally plausible because, you know, IT upgrades suck. The media breathlessly reported that if the Commonwealth were fined the maximum penalty for each breach ($18 million), they would be pinged up to a trillion dollars - which is a lot more money than even they have in the bank. Yesterday, boss man Ian Narev basically said he gets that the banks aren’t like Kylie Minogue (ie popular with everyone), but he respects the referee's call. The Commonwealth Bank will face the analysts and media on Wednesday when they report their half year profit – should be easy-breezy.
CHINA AND RUSSIA VOTE TO SANCTION NORTH KOREA
US President Donald Trump summed it up in a tweet yesterday; “The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!” The new sanctions ban US$1 billion of North Korean exports and are in response to their continuing missile tests. China got extra involved and asked North Korea to abide by the resolution – and urged the US and South Korean to cool their jets (maybe literally…) about the situation.
PUTIN AND TRUMP HOLIDAY – NOT TOGETHER, ‘COS THAT WOULD BE WEIRD…
Two world leaders, two different approaches to holidays. Russian President Vladimir is loving himself sick and looks like he’s shooting a new aquatic inspired calendar. However, Trump though doesn’t seem relaxed at all. Yesterday's reports that he was off for 17 days’ holiday at his New Jersey golf course drew a presidential tweet to clarify that it's a working trip – he’ll be taking meetings and calls and had to get out of the White House because of renovations. That’s fine with us if it means no bare-chested shots while teeing-off.
USAIN BOLT BEATEN
It wasn’t the result the world wanted. US athlete Justin Gatlin took out Saturday night’s 100m sprint beating Jamaican icon Usain Bolt in his last individual outing. Bolt came in a respectable third and said he just wasn’t in his usual unbeatable form. Gatlin is a controversial winner – he has twice been banned for doping and received boos from the crowd during the heats. Bolt’s dabbing days are nearly done – he has one race left with next weekend’s relay.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Meat and Livestock, June
Economic Data - Australian Industry Group's Construction Index; ANZ Job Ads
Bank Holiday (NSW)
Picnic Day (NT)
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