Squiz Today / 12 December 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 12 December
“I do regret having said it, only because it allowed people to focus on that rather than the substantive reasons. The substantive reasons I stated were related to economic leadership and governance.”
That’s PM Malcolm Turnbull speaking to the Daily Telegraph in one of the many interviews he gave yesterday. He’s talking about using former PM Tony Abbott’s 30 Newspoll losses in a row as a reason to roll him. Turnbull is up to 24. Tick tock.
PRESSURE INCREASES ON DASTYARI
The pressure on besieged NSW Labor senator Sam Dastyari has gone up a few notches following reports he asked deputy leader Tanya Plibersek to refrain from meeting a pro-democracy advocate in Hong Kong a couple of years ago. For his part, Dastyari says it never happened. PM Malcolm Turnbull outlined the case against him and some from his own side renewed calls for the prominent senator to ‘consider his future’ which is a nice way of saying they think he should resign.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
If it were just one incident, it would get a bit of attention and we’d all move on. But Dastyari’s critics allege a record of doing China’s bidding that includes:
1. Having personal travel and legal bills paid by Huang Xiangmo, a businessman with ties to China’s Communist Party.
2. Giving a press conference to Chinese-Australian media advocating for China’s position on the South China Sea, contradicting Aussie foreign policy.
3. Going to Huang’s home and advising they ditch the mobile phones before speaking in case foreign intelligence agencies were monitoring the conversation.
4. Directing more than 100 'pro-China' questions to Department of Defence officials at Senate hearings.
It means his position in the Labor Party and in parliament is in doubt. And he'll be hard-pressed to get out of this one with a cute Halal snack-pack stunt. Former PM Tony Abbott is predicting he will wait until after the Bennelong by-election on Saturday before announcing he will go. As they say in the classics, watch this space.
SQUIZ THE REST
NYC TERROR ATTACK UNSUCCESSFUL
There’s been an attempted terror attack in Manhattan overnight at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown. A man detonated a crude pipe bomb. He was injured and is now in custody. Three bystanders were also injured. The suspect is 27yo Akayed Ullah - reports say he is from Bangladesh and was inspired by Islamic State. The incident occurred at 7.30am local time causing commuter chaos. But it could have been a whole lot worse.
MELBOURNE UPS ITS SECURITY
The CBD of Melbourne has received an early Chrissy gift with the installation of 65 sets of loudspeakers to help authorities communicate with citizens in the event of a terror or other serious incident. The system will be tested over the next couple of weeks so people can get familiar with how it sounds. It follows a counter-terror review after an incident in Brighton earlier this year and the recent arrest of a man accused of plotting a New Year’s Eve terror incident.
OPTUS TO COMPENSATE CUSTOMERS FOR SLOWER THAN PROMISED NBN
Just as Telstra did a few weeks ago, Optus has agreed to compensate 8,700 customers after misleading them about the speed of their National Broadband Network plans. Many customers were promised maximum speeds of 100 megabits per second for downloads and 40Mbps for uploads, but the regulator found that was never going to be possible for many customers. The fix will include refunds, discounts, changing plans, and customers being able to exit from contracts penalty-free.
ACCUSATIONS HURT RETAIL FOOD GROUP
The Retail Food Group yesterday lived through the definition of a bad day at the office. A quarter of its share price was wiped following reports of ‘brutal’ dealings with franchisees. RFG has the Donut King, Brumby's, Gloria Jean's, Crust Gourmet Pizzas and Michel's Patisserie brands as part of its portfolio. Fairfax Media yesterday reported franchisees were being run into the ground by high fees and other costs. The company denied the accusations.
AUSSIES IN THE MIX FOR A GOLDEN GLOBE
Margot Robbie has been nominated for best actress in a comedy or musical for her starring role in the biopic on the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan ice skating scandal I, Tonya. And Hugh Jackman will contest the best actor category for The Greatest Showman. Big Little Lies (which is coming back for season 2) is up for the limited series made for television award with Nicole Kidman and Reece Witherspoon nominated for best actress for their performances. Alexander Skarsgard, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley have been nominated for their supporting roles. Top of the Lake: China Girl is also in the running for best limited series. Geoffrey Rush has been nominated for best performance by an actor in a limited series made for television for his role in Genius. The two movies that were repeatedly nominated: The Shape of Water and The Post. The full list is here.
And while we have you – Jessica Mauboy will represent Oz at next year’s Eurovision. We're not much into it but wherever there's an Aussie competing, we'll be cheering.
AUSTRALIA VOTES ON BIRD OF THE YEAR
Don’t worry, this isn’t some sexist flashback – we’re talking about the feathered variety. The Guardian yesterday announced the winner of its bird of the year poll with the Australian magpie taking the honours after collecting 19,926 shiny votes. The maggie held off the ibis despite a #teambinchicken campaign by social media types. The kooka was cheated coming in third. The only magpie we’ve ever really liked is this one.
SQUIZ THE DAY
High Court to hear argument about considering the Nationals' Dr David Gillespie eligibility to be in Parliament
ABS Data Releases - Lending Finance, October; Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, September
Annual General Meeting - Tatts Group
Anniversary of Frank Sinatra's birthday (1915)
If you read The Squiz every day this week you'll be in the running for a $100 JB Hi-Fi gift card. We'd get the box set of Downton Abbey to check that this episode really isn't in there...
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