Squiz Today / 01 October 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 1 October
“He occasionally has the style of Frank Spencer in a china shop…”
Said UK MP Penny Mordaunt, a frenemy of PM Boris Johnson's, over new claims he was inappropriately touchy-feely with not one but two women during a lunch 20 years ago. Johnson denies the accusation. We're also in denial because a lot of Squizers are too young to know who Frank Spencer is. Ooh, Betty…
HAPPY COMMUNIST BIRTHDAY TO CHINA
Three score and ten years ago, the People’s Republic of China was founded. Or for the non-biblical, it’s happy 70th birthday to communist China. Nationwide celebrations will go off today to highlight its transformation from an impoverished state after Japan’s invasion during WWII and then a civil war to become the world's second-largest economy with significant military and diplomatic clout.
WHAT’S GOING DOWN?
President Xi Jinping has been described as 'a disciple' of communist China’s founding father Mao Zedong and has made China’s ongoing commitment to the party his top priority. So the celebrations are going to be big… To mark its self-proclaimed achievements, China is planning displays of “mass pageantry” through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to show off the nation’s might with 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 military planes, and 580 tanks to a crowd of 100,000 invited guests. A bunch of restrictions on its citizens (and pigeons) are in place to ensure it goes off as planned. And the government has given out 620,000 television sets so people can watch it. But there are some who are not into it. They say it’s a day to remember those who suffered at the hands of successive regimes.
HOW DOES HONG KONG FEEL ABOUT IT?
With a parade to be rained on, there’s every expectation that demonstrations in Hong Kong today will be big and loud. Reports say anti-Beijing protests always take place in Hong Kong on China's National Day - but with the world watching, it could be on another level, despite a police ban. The violent nature of recent clashes between authorities and anti-China/pro-democracy protestors does not bode well for events today.
A rundown on the Hong Kong-China relationship in less than 10 minutes? We’ve got the stuff that you need… Check out our Squiz Shortcut.
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JOURNALIST CHARGES MUST GO THROUGH TOP LAW OFFICIAL
Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter seems to have found a way to deal with the unrelenting waves of criticism from the fourth estate over his government’s handling of media reports on top-secret leaks. In short, Commonwealth prosecutors have been instructed not to charge journalists in particular circumstances without his formal approval. It's believed the June raids by the Federal Police of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst's Canberra home and the Sydney office of the ABC were related to the reporting of sensitive intelligence reports. Law Council president Arthur Moses said it wasn’t much of a fix because; "It creates an apprehension on the part of journalists that they will need to curry favour with the Government or, in particular, the Attorney-General in order to avoid prosecution.”
SAUDI PRINCE DENIES KHASHOGGI MURDER ROLE
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman went on America’s 60 Minutes to deny any personal involvement in last year’s murder of Washington Post writer and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi. "But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government." Bin Salman said an investigation is ongoing. The first anniversary of Khashoggi's murder is tomorrow, and his fiancée Hatice Cengiz is still waiting for answers.
A SWING FROM RIGHT TO LEFT
That’s what the weekend’s Austrian election appears to have delivered. Support for the conservative People’s Party, led by 33yo former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, has held up. But his coalition partner, the far-right Freedom Party, was punished in the wake of a scandal that forced the snap election. Meanwhile, the Greens tripled their vote with some claiming a “Greta Thunberg effect”. Pundits say a tri-party coalition with the People’s Party, the Greens and the pro-business Neos Party is the likely outcome - and it would deliver a big change in direction for the nation’s politics.
CONCERNS REMAIN OVER HOME LOANS
A new survey by fancy-pants bank UBS revealed a growing number of Australians are submitting false information to banks to obtain a mortgage. In the wake of the Royal Commission into the financial sector, lenders introduced stronger checks to avoid the granting of loans to people who would struggle to pay them back. Commentators say the UBS survey indicates these new practices have failed to work. Out of the 903 people surveyed, about 37% said information submitted in their application was “not completely factual”. Dodgy borrowers - and honest ones - could benefit from another official interest rate cut from 1% to 0.75% with the Reserve Bank board meeting today.
THE CUSTOMER’S ALWAYS RIGHT
Do you have that mate who takes to social media to @ the brand that’s done them wrong? Chances are Singapore Airlines, RACQ Insurance, Bendigo Bank, Paypal and Afterpay haven’t been the subject of their trolling with the brands taking out the top five spots on KPMG's 'best of customer service' list. Based on the responses of 2,500 discerning Aussies who were asked to rate 114 Australian and international brands, Singapore Airlines was the overall favourite with the top score of 7.9 out of 10. Rounding out the top 10 was ING, NRMA Insurance, Dan Murphy’s, RACV Insurance and Subway.
WHAT A REVHEAD...
Twenty-five supercars seized from Equatorial Guinea's Vice President Teodorin Nguema Obiang sold at auction for nearly $35 million yesterday. The vehicles - including Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royces - were seized by Swiss prosecutors as part of an agreement to drop an investigation into his alleged money laundering and misappropriation of public funds. Teodorin is the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has ruled Equatorial Guinea for 40 years. Human rights groups say the regime is one of the most corrupt in the world. But something good is expected to come from Teodorin’s misdeeds with funds from the auction going towards social programs in the West African country.
SQUIZ THE DAY
2.30pm (AEST) - Reserve Bank to account its decision on interest rates
7.20pm (AEST) - Governor Philip Lowe to speak at the RBA Board Dinner with the business community - Melbourne
ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, August
National days for China, Cyprus, Tuvalu, Nigeria, Palau and Guinea
Pink Ribbon Breakfast Month for the benefit of breast cancer research
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