Squiz Today / 06 July 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 6 July
This delight is a cacao-based snortable powder that contains energy drink stimulants. Sticking this concoction up your snoz gives you a buzz for 30 minutes, and creator Nick Anderson says it’s “almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you’re euphoric but also motivated to get things done.” We get a bit weary from time to time but draw the line at a double espresso…
WORLD REELS FROM NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST
"He (Kim Jong Un) said American bastards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary," the Korean Central News Agency reported. Indeed. In response, the US and South Korea yesterday held a ballistic missile drill in the Sea of Japan. And while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, China and Russia (whose Presidents were together in Russia as this unfolded) called on North Korea to freeze their missile and nuclear programs and said the US and South Korea should end their military posturing.
UMM… IS ANYONE SORTING THIS OUT?
A special UN Security Council meeting is happening as we speak. And it’s kinda great timing that the G20 Leaders Summit is on in Germany this weekend. All the main players will be there (apart from North Korea, of course). And while it’s already a packed agenda (climate change, trade, security/terror/Islamic State), dealing with North Korea will be a dominant issue. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will no doubt cover it when they have some alone time in their first meeting since Trump’s election. And don’t they have a lot to discuss! Think Syria/Ukraine/election tampering. They’re trying to keep their chat on the down low saying there will be no press conference after they’ve met. Good luck with that, guys!
IS NORTH KOREA REALLY ABLE TO STRIKE THE US?
The North Koreans are certainly talking themselves up – they say they’re now "a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful intercontinental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world." But many experts still have question marks over three things:
1. It's doubtful they have the accuracy to strike a long distance target;
2. It's doubtful North Korea can miniaturise a nuclear warhead;
3. And how far can their missiles really travel – even if some experts believe they could send a missile to Alaska (and Darwin… just sayin').
But it's clear they are making progress. In fact, some experts think North Korea could develop a nuclear weapon that could strike the US mainland in the next five-to-ten years. Gulp.
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ABBOTT ‘NOT TRYING TO BE DIFFICULT’
Tony Abbott has been a busy former PM of late, and this week is no different. There was a hitch though when a recording of Monday’s speech to a Liberal Party local branch meeting was leaked. In truth, his comments about the budget and the government's current low regard with voters aren’t new. It’s the fact that he’s out and about beating the drum of discontent that’s ticking people off (or delighting them if you’re not of the Coalition persuasion). Senator Nick Xenophon called Abbott a “pain in the arse”, and PM Malcolm Turnbull refused to say his name, calling him “the gentleman”. For his part, Abbott said; “the last thing I want to do is be difficult.” With a straight face. You can’t make it up.
WORK-RELATED EXPENSES ON TAX OFFICE’S RADAR
Don’t say you weren’t warned. Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan’s address yesterday to the National Press Club included a message to individuals and small businesses to keep the work-related expenses claims legitimate in your tax return this year. He said that $22 billion was claimed in 2014-15 (#respect) and that while each overclaim might be small, it all adds up. For example, 6.3 million people claimed laundry expenses and given $150 of laundry costs per taxpayer don’t need to be substantiated (noted for our next conversation with our accountant) that's a lot of drycleaning/foregone tax revenue.
VOLVO TO PHASE OUT COMBUSTION ENGINES
When you think of a car that’s a bit boring and daggy - it’s Volvo, right? Well, they’ve just made an announcement that puts them at the cutting edge of innovation. They’re getting out of combustion engines by 2019 (which is like, tomorrow) and all cars manufactured from then will be electric or hybrid (electric+petrol/diesel). Volvo is now Chinese-owned and is the first major car manufacturer to make plans to abandon combustion engines. It’s the future, people.
Headlines this morning that NRL and AFL fans would find troubling:
- A yuuuge police investigation is underway into allegations of match-fixing, illegal betting, money laundering and illegal 'third-party payments' worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is on top of an investigation into salary cap breaches at Manly.
- The AFL's diversity manager Ali Fahour has stepped down from his job after a 'coward punch' incident at a match on the weekend. He also received a lifetime ban from his local league last night.
- Hawthorn player Tyrone Vickery (husband of Australia's only Wimbledon round two player, Arina Rodionova) was arrested last night in an extortion investigation. It's alleged he got a former teammate, Jake King, to collect on some money owing him. Vickery was released without charge.
TOUR DE FRACAS – ELBOWS AND BIKES DON’T MIX
The fifth stage of the Tour de France was held overnight, it was a 160km ride ending with Brit Chris Froome leading the race. Aussie hope Richie Porte isn’t far behind in fifth (+39secs). The race for the Yellow Jersey has got interesting since Stage 4 when race favourite Peter Sagan gave Mark Cavendish an elbow during the sprint for home. Cavendish crashed into a barrier and is now out of the Tour, and Sagan was disqualified. Sagan has form - known as the ‘Tourminator’; he was voted last Tour’s “most combative” rider. While we have you, we reckon this SBS clip about race tactics is hilarious (note: nudity is involved).
ED SHEERAN QUITS TWITTER
Anyone on Twitter knows things can go from zero to very shouty in less time than it takes to type #disgrace. It’s weird how people can have a vile online life and behave in ways they never would in real life (unless you’re Donald Trump). Anyway, it all got a bit much for popstar Ed Sheeran and he's taken himself off the social media platform. “One comment ruins your day. The headf*ck for me has been trying to work out why people dislike me so much.” Incredible that someone with such obvious talent would even try to work it out. Chin up Ed, your eight million album sales this year says someone likes you…
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ABS Data Releases - Trade for May; Recorded Crime (Victims), 2016; Livestock and Meat, May
PM Malcolm Turnbull leaves for G20 Summit on Hamburg, Germany
US President Donald Trump visits Poland ahead of G20
National Fried Chicken Day (US)
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