Squiz Today / 27 July 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 27 July
“Fortunately, I could match Frank drink for drink and still know what I was doing.
Barbara Sinatra, wife of legendary singer and Rat Pack member Frank Sinatra, died in California yesterday at 90yo. She was Frank’s fourth wife, marrying him in 1976 and they remained together until his death in 1998. Aside from her good form at the bar, Barbara attributed their longevity as a couple to their friendship – she had seen him through many romantic problems before they got together. Barbara was a dedicated charity fundraiser focused on support for abused and neglected children.
'COCAINE CASSIE' STRIKES A DEAL
Accused drug mule Cassie Sainsbury has reached a plea bargain deal with Colombian authorities that might see her serve just three-and-a-half years in prison. To recap, the 22yo from South Australia was caught in April trying to leave Colombia with 5.8kg of cocaine in her luggage. Prosecutors have confirmed to the media that they have made a deal for a seven-year prison term (which would be reduced by half for good behaviour). One issue - she will probably have to spill the beans on the drug smuggling ring she was involved with, something her team are concerned about because it could compromise her safety in prison and beyond.
HANG ON. WASN’T SHE SAYING SHE WAS INNOCENT?
Yup. There've been more versions of this story since Sainsbury was arrested in April than we have excuses for not going to the gym. The latest is that she attempted to smuggle the drugs because of threats from a mystery drug cartel to kill her and her family. But before that, remember the story that she was travelling with her uncle’s cleaning business? And that she thought the parcels were headphones for her bridal party? Today’s court hearing might shed some light on what really happened.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Full details will be presented to a judge this morning (Oz time), including the proposed deal. If the judge approves the deal, a new court date will be set for formal sentencing. However, if it goes to trial and is found guilty, she faces 20 years or more in prison. We'll know more today. There’s only one certainty ATM, and that’s more time in El Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogata is on the cards. And there's possibly some good news for TV current affairs junkies – reports say there’s another interview with Sainsbury’s family and fiancé Scott Broadbridge in the pipeline.
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BLAMING MUM SHOWS CANAVAN IS NOT ITALIAN
A small token of support for maybe-Italian citizen Senator Matt Canavan was offered by Greens leader Richard Di Natale yesterday: “If you’re a genuine Italian, if you’re a real Italian you never blame your mum for anything. I know that. That would be his only defence in this case I reckon,” he said. But that was where the sympathy ends. Di Natale, still bruised from losing two team members in the last two weeks, believes Canavan should resign from the Parliament. Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce put a new spin on it yesterday saying Canavan never signed any citizenship application forms; “...one would presume that if something happens without your knowledge, and without your consent, then it’s probably an invalid process.” That’s now up to the High Court to decide. Joyce will take over Canavan’s ministerial responsibilities in the hope his former chief-of-staff will be able to retake his job soon.
CHILD SEX ABUSE CASES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
PELL’S FIRST APPEARANCE IN COURT – Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, was swamped by crowds as he made his way to the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday for a procedural hearing on historical child sexual abuse charges. He was not required to enter a plea, but his lawyer said to remove any doubt; “Cardinal Pell will plead not guilty to all charges, and will maintain the presumed innocence that he has.” The prosecution also used the hearing to stress the need for “fair and accurate reporting” by media. A committal mention date has been set for 6 October.
PHILIPPOUSSIS’ FATHER ARRESTED ON MOLESTATION CHARGES - Nikolaos Philippoussis, father of former Aussie tennis star Mark Philippoussis, was arrested in San Diego yesterday over allegations he molested two minors. Police say the alleged victims were tennis coaching pupils of Philippoussis Snr. Local TV station CBS8 reported the charges relate to suspicion of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a person under age 14yo and having sex with a child age 10yo or younger. Police are said to be looking for more alleged victims.
INFLATION LOWER THAN EXPECTED
Our standard measure of price increases shows we're still at the low end – figures released yesterday show the Consumer Price Index was up just 0.2% in the last three months and up 1.9% over the last 12 months. The Reserve Bank has a target of 2-3%, and economist expectations were for 2.2% for the last 12 months. Our low inflation rate has been driven by low wages growth, a drop in oil prices (leading to lower petrol prices) and a surprise drop in the price of fruit. These factors offset higher health costs (including the last round of private health insurance premium increases) and higher prices for ciggies. Our low rate of inflation is one big factor keeping interest rates from rising anytime soon.
MCCAIN MAKES AN HEROIC RETURN TO US SENATE AS TRUMP TWEETS TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN
We defy you to read this account of John McCain’s return to the Senate, just days after surgery and a brain tumour diagnosis, and not be moved. It’s like an episode of the West Wing where creator/scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin is at his best – only for reals. “I don’t think any of us feels very proud of our incapacity. Merely preventing your political opponents from doing what they want isn’t the most inspiring work. There’s greater satisfaction in respecting our differences but not letting them prevent agreements.” The context? The Senate is still looking at the contentious health care legislation. Meanwhile… US President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he will move to ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity. Citing high medical costs and disruption, the decision overturns former President Barack Obama's decision to allow them to serve openly. We imagine Cate McGregor is going to be in high demand on the media circuit today…
RISE OF A NEW SWIMMING LEGEND
US swimmer Katie Ledecky has become the first woman to win 12 gold medals at World Championship level. She's already won three golds at the World Champs currently on in Budapest, and she has another event to go. Legend.
BLUE TICK OF DATING
The launch of the new season of The Bachelor last night made us think about just how hard it is these days to find ‘the one’. Or even someone you can stand to have dinner with… We suppose that’s even harder for people with a profile. This new dating app for people with verified Twitter accounts (you know, the ones with the blue tick) might make it easier. Loveflutter describes itself as a safe place for notable people to connect. “For those of you in the public eye, privacy and authenticity in dating are a key concern. It’s why we have tapped into a ready-made community of like-minded singles.” Katy Perry is the most followed Twitter user with 101 million followers – she’s single right now, isn’t she? You never know your luck, fellas…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Releases - International Trade Price Indexes, June; Personal Income of Migrants
Victory Day - North Korea (commemorates the signing of the Korean War armistice in 1953)
Revolution Day - Cuba
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