Squiz Today / 11 April 2019
Squiz Today – Thursday, 11 April
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THERE’S AN ELECTION COMING, DON’T YOU KNOW?
No, we’re not talking about Australia’s – even if PM Scott Morrison is expected to make the drive to Yarralumla today to meet the GG and call an election for 18 May. Instead, we’re talking about India’s exercise in mega-democracy, which kicks off today. And speaking of big international polls, stand by for an update on Israel’s election from earlier this week.
TELL ME ABOUT INDIA THEN…
Check us out boiling the world’s biggest election down to three points:
• PM Narendra Modi is looking for his second term for his Bharatiya Janata Party. The centre-right Hindu nationalist party won a majority of the lower house last election. The opposition is the Congress Party led by Rahul Gandhi, the 48yo Harvard/Cambridge-educated heir to the Nehru/Gandhi political dynasty. But with just 44 of the 543 seats, he starts a long way behind.
• The issues: unemployment (currently at its highest since the early 70s), poverty (which is improving, but is still a massive challenge) and pressure in the agriculture sector (they are also suffering drought). And there’s India’s tricky relationship with Pakistan.
• Voting kicks off with 900 million eligible voters given the opportunity to have their say between now and 19 May. It’s a staged approach with different states voting at different times. The votes will be counted on 23 May with the result expected to be declared on the same day.
It’s a big one…
AND WHO WON IN ISRAEL?
Not sure. Both PM Benjamin Netanyahu's centre-right Likud party and the centrist Blue and White alliance, led by Benny Gantz, have claimed the race is theirs. But analysts say Netanyahu is likely to have the numbers via a coalition with like-minded parties. It would be his fourth consecutive (and record fifth overall) term of government. And then he could be indicted in three corruption cases in the coming months. To be continued...
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RUSZCZYK DAMOND’S FIANCE GIVES EMOTIONAL TESTIMONY
Don Damond was yesterday the first to give evidence in the trial of Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor over the killing of his fiancée, Australian life coach Justine Ruszczyk Damond, in July 2017. Don was in Las Vegas at the time, and he yesterday outlined the series of calls and text messages leading up to her death. Justine called 911 twice on the night fearing an assault was taking place behind their home. She then called Don but hung up when officers arrived, and 1 minute, 19 seconds later she was cradling a gunshot wound to her abdomen. Noor’s team argue he drew his gun to protect his partner and himself from what felt like “a classic ambush scenario”. Noor is charged with murder and manslaughter. The trial is expected to last three-to-four weeks.
Keeping you updated (and correct) on some recent stories…
HIGH PROFILE PARENTS FACE JAIL TIME IN US COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL - Actress Felicity Huffman has already pled guilty to paying US$15,000 to have her daughter’s college admission exam corrected before submission. She faces a months-long stay in prison. And then there’s Lori Loughlin and designer husband Mossimo Giannulli (remember Mossimo?). They are accused of paying US$500,000 to have their daughters admitted to university as rowing team recruits. They face new charges including conspiracy and money laundering, and potentially longer stays in prison than Huffman.
CROWN DEAL STILL A POSSIBILITY - That’s what market analysts are saying this morning. And if not with Wynn Resorts, with another operator. Investors only half reversed Tuesday’s share price bump of more than 19% with Crown Resorts falling more than 9% in trading yesterday.
ADANI JOBS - #fail on our part, soz. Yesterday we said there could be 14,500 jobs created by the development of Adani's proposed Carmichael mine in Queensland. There are lots of numbers out there on this - but the consensus seems to be there would be 1,500 jobs created from the first phase of the mine's development, and then there are more direct and indirect jobs created from the mine's ongoing operation. That's if it goes ahead, of course…
GET YOUR TISSUE STASH SORTED AND YOUR FLUIDS UP…
Or you can get a flu shot? Either way, it’s a good idea to get prepared because health experts say the coming flu season is going to be a whopper. There have already been 27,000 people struck down by the flu this year, significantly up on last year. That’s because the flu season in the northern hemisphere went late, and travellers have brought it to Oz. Immunisation expert Professor Robert Booy said 4,000 people are expected to die from flu this year in Australia. The season to be snotty/achy/sweaty/shivery usually goes from June to September, peaking in August.
LOOKING INTO A BLACK HOLE FOR THE FIRST TIME
The idea of capturing an image of a black hole is whackadoo to us. How do you get close enough to take a picture but far enough away that you can resist its pull? Well, scientists last night unveiled an incredible achievement. They've put together the first ever images of a supermassive black hole (aka a quasar) that's at least a million times bigger than the sun. Until now, all we've ever seen is an artist's impression of one. It’s courtesy of the Event Horizon Telescope, which is actually a series of telescopes set up in Hawaii, Arizona, Spain, Mexico, Chile, and Antarctica. Science, eh...
It’s hard to think of another role that would be as scrutinised and pulled apart as The Crown’s casting of Diana. Except maybe Queen Elizabeth… And Princes Philip and Charles. But we digress. Emma Corrin is bravely stepping up to play the world’s most recognisable woman in the fourth season of the Netflix hit, yesterday saying she was “beyond excited and honoured” and would “strive to do her justice.” It sounds like the pick for Camilla will be a delightful handful with actress Emerald Fennell saying she was “very grateful that my teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding bowl haircut.” We like her already.
And speaking about the royals and showbiz, Harry and Oprah are working together on an Apple TV docu-series on mental health. That’s some serious trans-Atlantic star power…
SQUIZ THE DAY
A decision in Geoffrey Rush's defamation case against the Daily Telegraph is expected to be handed down
Anticipated Israeli moon landing to be the first privately funded one if successful
ABS Data Release - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, February; Prisoners in Australia, 2018
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