Squiz Today / 12 September 2019
Squiz Today – Thursday, 12 September
"KFC is all about living your best life and we were flattered that so many of our fans are showing that Aussie larrikin spirit by asking us to be a part of their big day."
Said Nikki Lawson, boss of KFC Australia. Dirty bird weddings - we're not sure if this is the best or worst thing we've ever heard...
AUSSIES DETAINED IN IRAN
Two British-Australian women and an Australian man are being held in detention in Iran, it was confirmed by officials yesterday. One of the women - an academic who worked at a Melbourne uni - has been detained for almost a year and is serving a 10-year jail sentence. Reports say the other woman and the man were arrested 10 weeks ago. She is a blogger and had been posting photos and videos of their travels on social media. The cases are not believed to be linked, and the reasons for their arrests are unclear. The trio join Iranian-Australian dual citizen and Melbourne University academic Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi - she was arrested in December last year and released on bail but is unable to leave Iran.
WHAT IS KNOWN?
Reports say the women are being held in Evin Prison in Tehran, a notorious hell hole. It’s where British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been held on spying charges since 2016 despite the UK’s efforts to have her released. The Aussie academic is said to be in solitary confinement, and while reports have not outlined what she has been sentenced for, London’s Times said 10-year terms are routinely given in Iran for spying charges. The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was offering consular assistance.
WHAT’S OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH IRAN LIKE?
Good question, particularly in light of our government’s decision last month to send 200 Australian troops to join the US military deployment to protect oil supplies from Iranian forces in the Strait of Hormuz. At that time, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said we have "a very good working relationship with the Iranians". But it's worth keeping in mind that the two detained women are dual British citizens, and the UK-Iran relationship is going from bad to worse. The latest decline in trust came when a tanker, which was seized off Gibraltar (a British territory) in July and released in mid-August on the promise it would not transport oil to Syria, turned up in Syria this week.
PRESSURE ON LIBERAL MP’s CHINA CONNECTIONS
It's been a real 'welcome to first grade' for newbie Coalition MP Gladys Liu - the first Australian-Chinese woman elected to the House of Representatives. So let's break it down:
• Earlier this week, the ABC reported Liu had connections to “the highest echelons of China's covert political influence operations". The crux of the concern was her membership of branches of the China Overseas Exchange Association between 2003 and 2015, a Chinese government body that aimed to influence foreign governments.
• The Coalition was under pressure from Labor yesterday to provide assurances Liu is a "fit and proper" person to be an MP - specifically, that she has no conflict of interest given her ASIO-worrying Chinese connections. Foreign Minister Payne described the question as “offensive”. Liu yesterday said "I am a proud Australian”.
JOHNSON CEMENTS HIS LOSING STREAK
In the latest knock to UK PM Boris Johnson, a Scottish court has deemed his five-week suspension of parliament unlawful. A group of opposition pollies challenged the move after a court ruling last week found the move to be a-ok. The Supreme Court in London will look into it next week. MPs are not required back until 14 October, when there will be a Queen's Speech outlining Mr Johnson's legislative plans, but Labour and others want the parliament to be recalled immediately. Johnson also faces the accusation that he misled the Queen with his advice that proroguing the parliament was fine - not a good look for the newly installed prime minister.
SAVING, NOT SPENDING THE TAX CUT
You’d think putting a financial windfall away for a rainy day would be a good thing, but the government really, really wants tax cut beneficiaries to hit the shops. Or restaurants. Or cracking on with some home improvements - whatever floats your spending boat. But data from the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index yesterday showed half of those receiving a tax cut would spend less than half of it. Couple that with a 1.7% drop in consumer confidence in September, and economists and the government must be wondering what it’s going to take to stimulate the economy. Addressing last week’s weak economic figures, PM Scott Morrison said he expected the tax cuts to do good things for growth. So, as our dad used to say a lot… we’ll see.
PASS THE POPCORN...
In the latest entertainment industry move to ensure the world turns into one big couch potato, Apple yesterday outlined some launch details of its new streaming service, Apple TV Plus. Going live globally on 1 November, it will cost $7.99 a month (let’s be honest, it’s $8). Pundits pointed out that makes it one of the cheapest on offer with Disney Plus to cost A$8.99 a month when it launches, while Netflix’s basic plan is A$9.99, Amazon’s Prime Video membership starts at A$8.99 a month, and Stan is (an honest) $10 a month. Apple has commissioned original content from stars like Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Oprah Winfrey as well as from directors Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams.
GO THE BOOMERS…
They did it… The Aussie basketballing blokes won their World Cup quarter-final overnight taking them into the semis for the first time ever. They defeated the Czech Republic 82-70 registering their sixth win from six games. Patty Mills (whose day job is with the San Antonio Spurs) again lead the Aussie scorecard with 24 points. Next stop - they take on Spain tomorrow. Also to note, France defeated Team USA knocking them out of the tournament. The good news for us is that we've already beaten France once this week…
And in a tangent to sports-related news... Taylor Swift will perform two songs from her new album at this year’s Melbourne Cup in her only performance during a quick trip down under. “I’ve heard so much about the race,” she said. And coming down the straight is a pack of Swifties racing for a ticket...
AND ONE GUY WHO CAN’T SAY HE “CANNOT RECALL”...
Yusuke Taniguchi, a 34-year-old part-time cashier working at a mall in Koto City, Japan, couldn't be bothered using an intricate electronic card skimmer to execute an elaborate online scam. Instead, he memorised the name, credit card number, expiration date, and security code of 1,300 customers. There’s some dispute about whether he has a photographic memory, but whatever his game, it’s landed him in trouble with the law after he allegedly used the numbers to buy goods online that he later sold at a pawn shop. Naughty…
SQUIZ THE DAY
8.00pm (AEST) - Ashes Test Cricket - Australia v England - The Oval
ABS Data Release - Corrective Services, June Quarter 2019
Fifth anniversary of the disappearance of 3yo William Tyrrell from Kendall, NSW (2014)
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