Squiz Today / 14 November 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 14 November
Please welcome the newest Sydney Ferry. "This one is for the kids," said Transport Minister Andrew Constance. Cue social media meltdown...
MANIC MONDAY IN C-TOWN
Chaotic is the best word to describe the goings-on in Canberra yesterday as some of the citizenship cluster-disaster chickens came home to roost. In no particular order:
• Fraser Anning, One Nation’s Senate replacement for the ousted Malcolm Roberts, was sworn in and within the hour he was no longer a member of the party. Whether he was kicked out or defected is a matter of contention. Anning had already set a record – he made it to the Senate with just 19 first preference votes. That’s not a typo.
• Tassie’s Jacqui Lambie started the clock on her own citizenship crisis saying she wanted advice on whether she's a dual British citizen by today. She thinks she’s in the clear but said she will resign if there is an issue.
• The Coalition and Labor have agreed a process where all MPs will be required to declare and provide evidence by 5.00pm Friday, 1 December that they do not hold dual citizenship with any country.
DOES ANY OF THAT CHANGE ANYTHING?
Yes and no. The government was already reliant on the support of the independents and minor parties in the Senate. But any changes in the personalities can affect its ability to pursue its agenda. Is the government going to fall over tomorrow? No, despite how poorly voters think the government is handling it, as seen in yesterday’s Newspoll. Maybe the process agreed by the big parties will settle it down. But the fact is there seem to be many MPs with citizenship issues, and until it's all flushed out (which will be into next year) it's hard to say what the ultimate impact will be.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?
Well, Liberal Senator Scott Ryan stepped out of his ministerial job to become Senate President. It’s unusual for a minister to give up their frontbench job, particularly one as young as Ryan, but he’s a Senate process wonk and he'll be pretty pleased with his new gig. And former tennis great/maybe Brit John Alexander will fight a by-election on 16 December if he can get his citizenship in order by Thursday next week. Reports say Labor will put up a strong candidate with economist/former Rudd adviser/Turnbull frenemy Andrew Charlton’s name being thrown around. And in a sign of a tough campaign to come, The Australian this morning reports that Alexander isn't a resident of his electorate. Game on.
SQUIZ THE REST
TURNBULL’S UNEXPECTED THREESOME WITH TRUMP AND ABE
Get your mind out of the gutter please… PM Malcolm Turnbull spent yesterday with regional movers and shakers including US President Donald Trump and Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe at the East Asian Summit. Turnbull’s one-on-one meeting with Trump was upgraded to include Abe as a show of force against North Korea. Turnbull still got some alone time with Trump – it was going to be dinner, but they settled for a meeting last night. They probably needed to download on Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s impromptu karaoke performance. And maybe our PM gave Trump some group handshake tips…
SUU KYI AVOIDS REGIONAL CONDEMNATION
Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi dodged a formal reprimand from regional leaders yesterday. The East Asian Summit docs reference the need for humanitarian relief for the “affected communities” in Rakhine but there are no specifics. The UN has described Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims as ethnic cleansing with more than 600,000 fleeing over the border to Bangladesh. The stories of what they have been subjected to are horrific. One person who wasn't silent was Irish rocker/philanthropist Bob Geldof. He's returned his Freedom of the City of Dublin honour because it’s also held by Suu Kyi. Calling her a “handmaiden to genocide” Geldof said; “Her association with our city shames us all and we should have no truck with it, even by default.”
DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE HITS IRAQ AND IRAN
The northern Iran/Iraq border has been hit by a devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake killing at least 400 people and injuring more than 7,000. Reports say it’s the worst earthquake of the year and that tremors were felt as far away as Baghdad. Most of those who died came from the town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran’s Kermanshah province. One aid agency said 70,000 people need emergency shelter.
AMAZON IS NEARLY HERE…
And here's a helpful timeline - it will either be before or after Christmas. You're welcome. The mega-retailer held a session with Australian retailers yesterday and confirmed it would sell via its warehouse (which is where a lot of the good stuff resides) as well as hosting its online marketplace for third-party retailers. Some analysts reckon they will kick off before Chrissy – others think it could all just be a bluff to scare our local retailers. Either way, as long as we can get our hands on this fabled Japanese foot treatment before summer is over, we’ll be happy.
AVO PRICES NOT COMING DOWN
That’s according to Chief Avocado John Tyas. "The reason I say we won't see a price drop is that there's confusion about what's going on. Although Australia's supply forecast is up, New Zealand's is down 50%," he said. That means we might be short come February when the Aussie supply is over and we switch to Kiwi avos. So Tyas says we should get used to prices of $3.50 this season. That’s a fair whack of a house deposit right there. And we all know what Dr Jean says...
LEGENDARY GOSSIP LIZ SMITH DIES, AGED 94
She was known as the ‘Dame of Dish’. For the 40 odd years that Liz Smith wrote her gossip column for the New York Daily News, and more famously for the New York Post, she was unrivalled in the distinguished art of rumour mongering. Liz Smith died yesterday at the ripe old age of 94 and attracted plaudits from many of the celebs and A-listers whose lives she made a living dissecting. Born in Texas in 1923, Smith famously arrived in Manhattan with $50 in her pocket and carved out a career by taking gossip's high road. When her columns were being syndicated in newspapers all over America in the mid-90s, she was one of the highest paid journalists in print media, reputedly commanding a salary north of US$1 million. Proof positive that being a professional busy-body has its rewards. Vale Liz.
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