Squiz Today / 11 December 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 11 December
“We think it's better to be bold than bossy."
Said Network 10 about its decision to rename its recently relaunched digital channel. '10 Boss' becomes '10 Bold' after a legal challenge from the artists formerly known as Fairfax Media over the name’s similarity to the Financial Review’s BOSS magazine. Wonder if ‘being bold’ is TV industry code for ‘staying out of legal trouble’?
I CAN’T BREATHE: KHASHOGGI’S LAST WORDS
Saudi Arabia has refused to extradite two men implicated in the death of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi to Turkey as details emerged on what went down when he entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. Meanwhile, questions are being asked about a friendship between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the man some believe ordered the killing, and US President Donald Trump’s adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner.
I HATE TO ASK…
You want to know about the transcript, right? The details are pretty grim, including that Khashoggi’s last recorded words were “I can’t breathe”. It seems Khashoggi knew from the moment he entered the consulate that things weren’t right after recognising a man whom reports say is close to bin Salman. The man tells Khashoggi he’s “coming back” (as in, to Saudi Arabia) to which Khashoggi replies he can’t because “people are waiting outside” (a reference to his Turkish fiancé Hatice Cengiz). And then he was set upon.
IS ANYONE GOING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?
Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people with Khashoggi’s murder. But the key question remains - was the Crown Prince was involved? The Saudis say no way, and America says there is no evidence linking him to the killing. Despite that, reports that Kushner - a senior White House official and someone close to Trump - ‘coached’ bin Salman to “weather the storm” after the killing has pundits asking whether the US has done enough for journalist and adviser who had previously sought safety in America.
SQUIZ THE REST
(ANOTHER) BREXIT SETBACK FOR MAY
The upshot is:
• UK PM Theresa May has called off a parliamentary vote scheduled for tomorrow morning on the Brexit deal she struck with the European Union. She said more work had to be done to make the deal tolerable, particularly to MPs on her side who were lining up to reject it.
• A key issue is a measure called the Northern Ireland backstop, which is not a softball fielding position. Rebel MPs say it has the potential to be an unacceptable customs barrier between Northern Ireland and the UK that comes into play if a permanent agreement is not reached, and it can’t be dismantled without the cooperation of the EU.
• Meanwhile, some ‘Remain’ campaigners would take heart from a European Court of Justice decision last night that the whole thing could be called off by the UK, no questions asked.
With 29 March the planned Brexit date, May can forget any chance of winding down as Christmas approaches.
QUICK LEGAL NEWS UPDATE
HAYNE TO PLEAD NOT GUILTY – Rugby league star Jarryd Hayne made his first court appearance in Sydney yesterday on charges of assault. His barrister said Hayne would be pleading not guilty. The charges relate to an alleged encounter between the footballer and a Hunter Valley woman last September. The matter has been adjourned until February.
ASSAULT BROADCAST - A Sydney man has been charged with assault after his alleged attack on his partner was live-streamed as he played video game Fortnite. Fellow gamers reported it to police. It’s thought to be the first such case in NSW.
AGENT’S MOVE BACKFIRES - So that went well… Homegrown literary agent Selwa Anthony was yesterday ordered to pay more than $500,000 to her best-selling former client, Aussie author Kate Morton. Anthony took Morton to court claiming she was diddled out of royalties when the author dumped her in 2015. But the court instead found it was the agent who owed the author for giving bad advice. Oops…
KEEPING AN EYE ON BIG TECH
The competition regulator has thrown big international tech companies (think Google and Facebook) a curveball with its proposal to limit their market power. The simple stuff first: the ACCC wants an ombudsman on the beat to investigate complaints from consumers and media companies. And then it gets trickier. The regulator also wants a new body to monitor how the search and social media platforms refer people to online news and content publishers, and what prices they charge. The recommendations from the groundbreaking review follow complaints from media companies who say the tech companies have substantially damaged the business of journalism (think fake news and the vacuuming up of valuable ad dollars). The ACCC will now take feedback and deliver its final report mid next year.
AUSSIE MARKET HITS A LOW
The ASX200 – the most valuable 200 companies listed on the Australian stock exchange – ended the day’s trading down 2.3% - that’s $41 billion wiped out - taking the market to a 23 month low. Finance news out of America has been rough in recent days, and reports say local investors are worried about the disappointing Aussie economic growth numbers from last week. Pretty much every sector did it tough yesterday, particularly the banks.
TOUGH DAY FOR AUSSIE SPORT
Michael Cheika, coach of the Wallabies, will find out whether he'll keep his job by Christmas. He met with the Rugby Australia board yesterday and put his case to see out the year left on his contract. Cheika has overseen a lacklustre season with the national team finishing 6th in the world rankings. Meanwhile, our test cricket side couldn’t stop India from taking a rare win on Aussie soil. Forget the boxing kangaroo, maybe our men’s sides could take a bit of inspiration from Ripped Roger?
JUMPING FOR A RECORD AND A CAUSE
“You don't try and talk her out of anything,” said Mike FitzHenry of his 102yo mum-in-law/world’s oldest skydiver Irene O’Shea. The great-grandmother from Adelaide made the record-setting jump to raise money for motor neurone disease, which claimed her daughter's life a decade ago. Irene said she'd think about doing it again next year and then again after she’s 105yo… “if I live long enough”. You're only as old as the tandem-dive instructor hanging onto you…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Releases - Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, September; Births, 2017
National Australia Bank Business Confidence Survey, November
National Tango Day - Argentina
10th anniversary of the arrest of Bernard Madoff in the US. He was accused of running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.