Squiz Today / 08 January 2018
Squiz Today – Monday, 8 January
No, we’re not referring to people feeling cranky about their new year’s resolution to rein in the spending on clothes/shoes/dining out/anything nice. Rather, it’s what led to the arrest of 11 Saudi princes for staging a palace sit-in after being told they need to pay their own electricity and water bills. Sucks to be on a budget.
NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA TO TALK… ABOUT SPORT
For the first time in two years, North and South Korea will sit down together for talks tomorrow. The subject? North Korea's participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang. The breakthrough followed Friday’s announcement that imminent South Korean/US military exercises would be delayed until after the Games’ end on 25 February. North Korean officials yesterday said athletes from the Hermit Kingdom are likely to don their national winter trackies at the Games.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un raised the possibility of his country’s participation in the Games in his new year address, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed officials meet to work it out. Last week a hotline between the countries was re-established to make the meeting arrangements. If you ask US President Donald Trump, the good work is all his doing despite last week’s blow up about the size of his button.
SO ALL IS FORGIVEN?
Would you be declaring peace with that person you fell out with, haven’t spoken to for two years while they used the time to built an arsenal of nuclear weapons? So no, it’s not all good, particularly given Kim also used his new year’s address to talk about the need to accelerate North Korea’s nuclear program. But tomorrow’s talks are a start. Have some sympathy for any athlete who comes up against these two in competition. You’d have to think about letting them win in the name of world peace, wouldn’t you?
SQUIZ THE REST
CRAIG MCLACHLAN ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT
Three actresses have come forward in a joint ABC/Fairfax investigation to allege Aussie TV/one-time pop singer Craig McLachlan abused, harassed and bullied them during the stage production of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014. Erika Heynatz, Christie Whelan Browne and Angela Scundi say their complaints to production company GFO were not accompanied by requests for payment. Instead, they were met with threats of legal action if they went public with their concerns. McLachlan says he has no recollection of the events the women describe.
AUSTRALIAN WOMAN IN CAMBODIAN DRUGS ARREST
Ve Thi Tran, a 37yo Australian woman of Vietnamese heritage, has been arrested in Cambodia for allegedly attempting to smuggle 1.8kg of heroin. She was arrested at Phnom Penh’s international airport where she was checking-in to return to Australia via Hong Kong. It's reported that the arrest was a result of a tip-off from the Australian Federal Police.
TRUMP A “VERY STABLE GENIUS”
Someone’s done some self-reflection over the holiday season… Yesterday’s Twitter declaration by Trump that’s he’s a pretty smart fella comes after a lot of chatter about his mental health and intellectual capabilities following Friday’s release of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Particularly, it was the contribution by former chief strategist Steve Bannon painting Trump, as Politico says, as a “shallow, narcissistic, dim, post-literate, impulsive, temperamental and doddering buffoon who blusters and lurches from crisis to crisis” that really got his goat. We can't imagine why... With Bannon’s supporters backing away, he’s tried to mend fences with his former boss. This is all great publicity for Wolff's book, which is for sale in Oz on Tuesday. And you can read an excerpt here.
NEW SEARCH FOR MH370
The Malaysian government has agreed to a new attempt to find the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. US company Ocean Infinity will search for debris in the south Indian Ocean on a ‘no find, no fee’ basis using unmanned robot boats and submarines. When the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released its final report late last year on the 2013 incident that saw 239 people lost it said it had a better idea of where the plane might be. Malaysia said it didn’t want to get the families’ hopes up.
MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
The Australian sharemarket had a strong start to the year closing at a 10-year high on Friday. That mirrors results in the US (where the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq each clocked all-time highs) and Japan's sharemarket also hit a 25-year high. Why so buoyant (which is a question you probably won’t hear around the office this week…)? Lots of optimism regarding employment in the US. Also feeling pretty good is US company Boardriders (which owns surfwear brands Roxy and Quicksilver). It will buy troubled Aussie brand Billabong for $380 million subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
FIRE AND ICE
One for those returning to work today and require a conversation starter once getting past "How was your Christmas?" The weather! Sydney recorded its hottest day in almost 80 years with the mercury climbing to 47.3C degrees at Penrith yesterday, and Melbourne and Adelaide sweltered in the 40s on Saturday. Sherwood in south-east South Australia was ravaged by fires yesterday destroying several homes. And a 15yo girl was yesterday arrested for starting a nasty fire in Carrum Downs (Melbourne) on Saturday. Spare a thought for the American east coast which continues to freeze in record low temps. Even the lizards are freezing, and manatees are huddling for warmth…
HAVE SOME CATCHING UP TO DO?
If you’re anything like us, you well and truly switched off over the last couple of weeks and the main priority was working out when you could have your next chocolate paddle pop. So we’ve put together a pain-free guide to some of the big stories of the last couple of weeks to get you up to speed. You’re welcome.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Principal Agricultural Commodities (Preliminary) 2016-17
Anniversary of Elvis Presley's birthday (1935)
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