Squiz Today / 10 January 2019
Squiz Today – Thursday, 10 January
"Pho Keene Great”
Not only is the name of this soon-to-open restaurant specialising in the delicious Vietnamese noodle soup (pronounced ‘fuh’) a nod to its location in Keene, New Hampshire, it’s a cheeky play on words that has drawn the ire of its landlord (the city council) for the offence it might cause. If rejected maybe they could take inspiration from this joint in Brissie?
CONSULATES TARGETED WITH SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES
Several consulates in Melbourne and embassies in Canberra have been targeted with envelopes containing potentially dangerous material in what's believed to be a coordinated attack. Some experts think it could be the work of one person. A Kiwi official told the ABC the envelope they received contained small plastic bags of what appeared to be concrete and asbestos.
WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN SENT THE STUFF?
The suspicious packages were found at about 20 missions, according to reports. There’s not been official confirmation, but emergency services workers attended the American, Greek, French, Italian, Indian, New Zealand, Pakistani, Spanish, South Korean and Swiss consulates in Melbourne. It’s also believed the Argentinian consulate in Sydney was sent three bags containing asbestos and fibreglass on Monday. As of this morning, no-one had claimed responsibility, and no motive for the attack had been reported.
WHAT ELSE IS KNOWN?
Not a lot at the moment. The Federal Police are investigating. Victorian Police yesterday said they didn't believe the general community would be impacted and that it was targeted at the missions. Happily, one consulate in Melbourne said it had been told the material was thought to be non-hazardous.
ALQUNUN DEEMED A REFUGEE
And reports say the United Nations refugee agency has referred Rafah Alqunun’s case to Australia. That’s led to some expectation management at the Aussie end. “The Department of Home Affairs will consider this referral in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals,” said a spokesman. And Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said while no one wants to see a young woman in distress, Alqunun wouldn’t receive special treatment. However, The Australian is reporting that Immigration Minister David Coleman will likely grant her asylum to settle here. Watch this space…
REGISTER TO PROTECT CHILDREN FACES OPPOSITION
Subject to the agreement of the states and territories, Minister Dutton yesterday said the government would set up a national database of people who have exploited children.* The register could include the offender’s name, photo, description of their offence and postcode, although the details are to be worked through. Senator Derryn Hinch said; "I can die happy, this is the only reason I got into politics." However, child protection experts and practitioners were divided. Campaigner Hetty Johnson said it was a political stunt that would never be realised. And legal eagles said it could lead to vigilante attacks.
*Sorry for the vague language. It’s required to avoid your spam filter.
TRUMP ADDRESS ‘A NOTHINGBURGER’
The term makes us nervous (because the idea that there's a disappointing burger lurking out there is a travesty), but that's how some commentators saw US President Donald Trump's address to Americans yesterday. The key points are:
* Trump’s 10-minute speech about the partial government shutdown and his efforts to get Congress to fund his US-Mexico border wall didn’t contain the new news that many were expecting.
* He didn’t have much to say about taking the necessary steps towards reopening the government and/or issuing emergency orders to get the bucks to start the build. What Trump and senior Democrats did say seemed to only further entrench their positions.
* That means many federal government workers will miss out on being paid on Friday unless one side, or both, make some compromises to get the show back on the road.
Speaking of shows, Trump’s alleged-former-fling-turned-adversary Stormy Daniels provided an alternative entertainment option for viewers not interested in the presidential address…
WORLD BANK’S OVERCAST OUTLOOK
You know when a report is named 'Darkening Skys' the news ain’t gonna be good… The World Bank’s gloomy forecast for global economic growth can be put down to trade tensions (think US and China, although they’re working on it…) and developing countries struggling with debt. That means it believes the world is on track for 2.9% growth for 2019, down from an expected 3% result for last year. That’s still stronger than Australia’s last result of 2.8% (which is under the government’s goal of +3%). Choppy waters ahead (although not as perilously sharky as a Sydney beach yesterday)...
FEELING HOT HOT HOT
Speaking of uncomfortable weather, the Bureau of Meteorology says Australia had its third hottest year on record in 2018. The year was also dry with the eastern states getting substantially less rain than the average leading to a severe drought. "This drought sits alongside historic droughts, like the Federation Drought, the World War II drought and the drought period in the 1960s," said Dr Karl Braganza, BOM’s chief climate monitor. What’s in store for the first quarter of 2019? More hot and dry…
APROPOS OF NOTHING: SHOW BUSINESS EDITION
Who knew Aussie star Margot Robbie was a Barbie Girl?
Over the years, John Travolta has shocked and delighted (we’re in the ‘delighted’ camp…) with his wigs and hairpieces. But times change - behold Travolta as his authentic follicly-challenged self.
And they say politics is show business for the less aesthetically appealing, right? That's how PM Scott Morrison qualifies for a mention (we know we're stretching, just go with it…). He’s claiming to not have a foot in the door of #shoegate. His department said a graphic designer doing a “preliminary exploration of design concepts” for the PM’s Christmas card was responsible for the fancy footwork, and the image was not intended to be uploaded to the website. Mystery solved.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Productivity Commission to release its report into the efficiency and competitiveness of superannuation
National Australia Bank Business Confidence Survey
Margaret Thatcher Day (Falkland Islands)
Anniversary of the establishment of the League of Nations as the Treaty of Versailles took effect, officially ending World War I (1920)
Anniversary of the death of David Bowie (2016)
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