Squiz Today / 25 July 2019

Squiz Today – Thursday, 25 July


“I'm the strongest girl in the world, remember that.”

Said newly-elected federal pollie Peta Murphy quoting fictional character Pippi Longstocking in her first speech to Parliament yesterday. The Labor MP found out two weeks ago that her breast cancer had returned just a week after being sworn in. "Life can be fragile and we had better make the most of it," she said. Hear, hear.


It was initially feared that two missing Canadian teenagers had met the same fate as murdered Aussie Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, but the Royal Canadian Mounted Police yesterday namedKam McLeod (19yo) and Bryer Schmegelsky (18yo) as suspects in the couple’s murders, and of a third killing committed on Friday.

A helpful map and timeline are in this article, but in short:

• Fowler and Deese were on a two-week-long road trip in Canada when they were found shot dead on the side of a remote highway. Police believe they died on Sunday, 14 or Monday, 15 July. It took police three days to identify them.

• Fast-forward to last Friday, and police located a burnt-out vehicle belonging to the teen suspects about 500km from where Fowler and Deese were killed. Police also came across the body of an unidentified man 2km from the vehicle.

• McLeod and Schmegelsky have been missing since then. The teenagers are besties from the small city of Port Alberni in British Columbia.

Only that the pair have been spotted in a couple of towns in the last couple of days quite a distance from British Columbia. Police have warned locals not to approach them because they are considered dangerous. “We believe that they are continuing to travel,” a police spokesperson said.



Former special counsel Robert Mueller has made appearances before two US congressional hearings overnight to talk about his report on Russia's interference in America's 2016 presidential election. While US President Donald Trump’s opponents were hoping to score points by having Mueller outline a case against him, particularly when it comes to attempts he may have made to obstruct the investigation, that hasn’t happened. Mueller was adamant before today that he had nothing to add beyond what was said in the 448-page report, and that’s how it’s played out. While the report ruled out Team Trump’s collusion with the Russians, it left a question mark over Trump’s attempts to obstruct. Despite saying he wasn’t much interested in today’s hearings, Trump has fired off more than 20 tweets about them…


A record US$5 billion fine for privacy breaches has been handed to Facebook by America’s Federal Trade Commission. Sparked by the investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media platform settled with the regulator. To recap: Facebook came under pressure when it did nothing about British data analytics firm harvesting the personal data of 87 million Facebook users without their permission and using the information to target voters, including in the 2016 US presidential election. The penalty is one of the largest ever imposed by the US government on any company. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg saidthey’ve got the message and are making changes.


You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a story about Porpoise Spit Council... But it’s about Ipswich, Queensland and its former mayor Paul Pisasale. While he might have won the council election in 2016 with more than 80% of the vote, it was his interlude as a ‘private investigator’ that’s shot him to national attention - and has landed him with a conviction for extortion. The trouble started when the married mayor took up the cause of escort Yutian Li, a lady he was seeing and took trips to with. (Diedre Chambers - what a coincidence!). Their phone calls were recorded by the state’s anti-corruption body - not great for Li, Pisasale, and his lawyer who have been implicated in a shakedown of her ex-boyfriend for cash. Pisasale’s defenders say his intentions were good and he believed she was a woman in need. A jury yesterday disagreed. You can’t stop progress…


Top tip: if you’re asked what your favourite Arnotts biscuit is, the correct answer is Scotch Finger. This assessment of the Family Assortment almost agrees. If the question is specific to the chocolate varieties, it’s Monte. And Tim Tams - overrated. That’s a good starting point for US private equity mob KKR which yesterday bought the Aussie icon from another American outfit, Campbells (as in the soup people). The deal is thought to be worth more than $3 billion, and analysts are interested in what's next. KKR is known for buying businesses, building them up and selling for a tasty profit. Wonder if a certain former PM had anything to do with it?


Someone unlikely to have purchased many packets of biscuits in her time is cooking icon Margaret Fulton. The celebrated food writer died yesterday at 94yo. Credited with taking the country out of its post-war meat-and-three-veg rut, the author of more than 20 recipe books introduced Aussie cooks to international classics via the Margaret Fulton Cookbook. Released in 1968, it was a kitchen bible and is still considered the most successful Australian cookbook ever. A trailblazer in several ways, she was a working single mum in the 1950s after her marriage failed - a big deal back then. Her talent led her down a path that saw her become Australia's chief' discoverer' of food from exotic locations like Spain, India and China, and making those flavours accessible to dinner tables around the country. Her family said she was a "loving, inspirational and treasured mother, grandmother and great-grandmother".


1.00pm (AEST) - Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe to deliver a speech on ‘Inflation Targeting and Economic Welfare’ – Sydney

Puerto Rico Constitution Day

Anniversary of WikiLeaks publishing classified documents about the war in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in US military history

And Merry Christmas in July

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