Squiz Today / 18 December 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 18 December
“I pull you close, run my strong hands down your back, softly kiss your neck and whisper ‘Gday mate’.”
Nineteen words messaged by Victorian Nationals MP Andrew Broad that the country has heard and can never unhear.
GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS GIVEN A BROAD BERTH
And just like that, the best set of numbers our country has seen for a decade were cast aside. Nationals’ frontbencher/self-described ’traditional family values’ man Andrew Broad resigned from his frontbench job yesterday after gossip mag New Idea published claims he’d met a much younger woman in a Hong Kong hotel for whom he’d confessed “completely dishonourable” intentions.
WHAT’S THAT ABOUT?
In point form:
• ‘Amy’ - an expat with the online persona of ‘Sweet Sophia Rose’ - says Broad found her on a ‘seeking arrangements’ website, and she agreed to have dinner with him in Hong Kong in September.
• In the weeks leading up to their ‘date’, the MP ‘bombarded’ her with text messages and were “so forward and cocky”. He’d also boasted about his job and compared himself to James Bond, ‘Amy’ said. Their date didn’t go well and she left after Broad complained about the restaurant’s prices.
• Her reason for coming forward? “I don’t think someone like that should be in a position of power and making decisions for the country while being so deceiving himself,” ‘Amy’ told New Idea.
• Broad told the magazine the matter had been referred to Federal Police because “the person making the allegation may have engaged in criminal activity". The AFP yesterday said the matter had been referred nearly six weeks ago and no evidence of a crime under Australian law had been found.
• But it seems there are more answers required from Broad. Reports this morning say he used taxpayer-funded flights for the domestic legs of the trip to Hong Kong. And News Corp tabloids say (paywall) other women have come forward in the past to allege relationships with the married father.
Yep. For a nation that’s not much into the private lives of their politicians, the Nationals have over-delivered this year. But to the good economic news the Coalition Government would have liked us to focus on:
• The budget deficit for 2018-19 was slashed from $14.5 billion to $5.2 billion. That’s because more people are in work = they’re paying taxes/not claiming welfare benefits. A surge in mining activity has also helped.
• The government now expects to deliver a $4.1 billion surplus in 2019-20.
• And some other things but we can’t hear you because… Andrew Broad.
SQUIZ THE REST
MORE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST RUSH
Before Aussie actor Yael Stone shot to stardom in Netflix’s series Orange is the New Black, she was in a theatre production of Diary of a Madman at Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre with Geoffrey Rush. Stone told ABC’s 7.30's Leigh Sales in an interview aired last night of the excitement of the prospect of working with one of the world’s most acclaimed actors. But Stone says Rush made her feel uncomfortable when “extensive” text messages between the pair turned into inappropriate behaviour. She didn’t complain to Rush or the play’s director because she worried about the effect it could have on her career. Rush has denied the accusations. The actor brought defamation proceedings earlier this year after The Daily Telegraph reported he had behaved inappropriately with a female co-star in a 2015 Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear.
DAWSON TO BE RELEASED ON BAIL
Alleged killer Chris Dawson is expected to be released on bail this morning after a Sydney magistrate agreed to release him on strict conditions, including daily reporting to police. His family needs to post the $1.5 million payment for the release of the former footy star/PE teacher to secure his return home to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast ahead of his trial next year. Magistrate Robert Williams said the case against Dawson “was not a weak one”. Dawson is accused of killing his wife Lynette in 1982. Her body has never been found. The case was, of course, the subject of the all-conquering podcast, The Teacher’s Pet.
QUICK WORLD NEWS WRAP
MAY NAMES THE DATE – The UK Parliament will vote on Brexit on 14 January. The proposal before it is unlikely to change much with EU leaders refusing to amend the approved deal. That means May has quite a job ahead of her to get enough MPs to support it.
STRASBOURG UPDATE – A fifth victim of last week’s shooting at a Christmas market in the French city has died. The suspected perpetrator of the attack, Cherif Chekatt, was shot dead by police after he was tracked down late last week.
HAPPY 40TH CHINA – Today marks the anniversary of “Reform and Opening” in China after Deng Xiaoping kick-started a process to transform the country with widespread poverty into the economic juggernaut it is today. President Xi Jinping is making a speech today to mark the occasion. Life begins at 40…
AIRLINES WARNED OVER REFUNDS
OK. Either the good people at the ACCC have not paced themselves this year, or they're playing what's meant to be a quiet time for the media coverage. Either way, yesterday's announcement was a timely warning to the airlines that they need to be fairer to travellers on refunds, particularly for flight delays/cancellations. Jetstar was the worst offender, it said, and a $1.95 million fine is with the court for approval.
CHEIKA GETS TO HANG HIS STOCKING AT RUGBY AUSTRALIA
CHEIKA GETS TO HANG HIS STOCKING AT RUGBY AUSTRALIA
In the end, the axe swung but missed Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. After a lacklustre season with our national rugby team dropping to 6th on the international ladder, calls were made for his dismissal. He put his case to the board of rugby’s governing body, and it decided to keep him on, but with a new structure that puts a ‘director of rugby’ above him on the org chart. ‘Tis the season…
THE KING OF STING
For some light reading today, check out Coyote Peterson – the YouTube star who has made a career of being stung by various creatures. It’s going well for him too - his videos have had more than 2.3 billion views. He's landed a big TV deal, but there's a catch – he doesn't want to do the stinging thing anymore. Which you would have to imagine is going to be problematic. Sometimes you’ve just got to stick to your schtick…
SQUIZ THE DAY
Chinese President Xi Jinping to a major speech to mark the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up
Brad Pitt's birthday (1963)
Anniversary of the premiere of Peter Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite" in St. Petersburg, Russia (1892)
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