Squiz Today / 27 February 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 27 February
"It highlights the steps they'll go to to avoid our detection, but we'll get them."
Presumably with no pun intended, Superintendent Garry Low from Australian Border Force highlights that highlighters were used to conceal 300kg of ephedrine in a shipment from China. It’s also got to be a career highlight for Low. We’re here all week.
MEET YOUR NEW DEPUTY PM… WHAT’S HIS NAME AGAIN?
The Nationals have elected “low profile” Riverina MP Michael McCormack as their new leader. It wasn't the one horse race many in the party had hoped it would be with Mackay-based MP George Christensen also putting his name forward for consideration. But McCormack prevailed, and the two hugged for the cameras afterwards. McCormack was then sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport – former leader Barnaby Joyce’s old portfolio.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO SAY?
Oh, we could go on for hours. But don’t worry, we’re not that cruel. Three quick things:
• McCormack has a job ahead of him to rebuild relationships with coalition partner, the Liberal Party. But it’s off to a good start with PM Malcolm Turnbull saying all the right things about McCormack.
• He’ll also need to pedal quickly to build his profile in the wake of Joyce’s high-octane presence.
• And yesterday also showed that staffers can quickly become collateral if they lose their focus.
SO THAT’S THE JOYCE SAGA OVER, YES?
We’ll see. Which is what your parents said about buying you the big Derwent pencil set when you were a kid. (Or was that just us?) So, probably not. Turnbull’s previously undisclosed inquiry about whether Joyce broke the ministerial code of conduct with his relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion is off. But an audit of Joyce’s travel records is underway. So this saga could have some way to go yet.
SQUIZ THE REST
MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE ROCKS PNG
Deaths are expected after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks rocked Papua New Guinea’s Hela and Southern Highlands provinces yesterday morning. The epicentre was almost 100km from Mendi, the capital of Southern Highlands province and home to 50,000 people. The government has sent troops and rescue workers to the area to restore services with reports saying tens of thousands of people and their properties are affected. Oil and gas production in the area has been suspended.
110 GIRLS KIDNAPPED BY BOKO HARAM
Terror outfit Boko Haram has been accused of kidnapping of 110 girls from their school in Nigeria last week. The government has deployed troops and planes to help with the search as President Muhammadu Buhari apologised to parents. There is growing community anger over the mass-abduction because soldiers were withdrawn from a nearby security checkpoint last month. Boko Haram jihadists kidnapped 276 girls from nearby Chibok nearly four years ago sparking the #bringbackourgirls campaign. While some were returned to their families as recently as last year, many are still missing.
MEDIA COMPANIES BAND TOGETHER TO FIGHT REBEL
Six of our biggest media outlets – ABC, Fairfax, Macquarie Media, News Corp, Nine and Seven – have found one subject on which they are in furious agreement. They say actress Rebel Wilson shouldn’t receive a record $4.5 million defamation damages payment from Women’s Day publisher Bauer Media. The big media outfits say the original judge’s decision to exceed the ‘cap’ on such payments is a threat to free speech and their bottom lines. Funny how common ground can be found when people really try…
WEINSTEIN COMPANY GOES BUST
The Harvey Weinstein scandal has taken down the company he once headed with the film production shop saying it will file for bankruptcy. The company was unable to find a buyer for the business despite coming close to doing a deal. One factor thought to be responsible for scaring off potential buyers was the lawsuits – current and future. Some said the studio would not be as missed as many think. The last big box office hit the company produced was 2013’s The Butler.
IS THE DUNDEE MOVIE GOING TO FLY?
Network Seven chairman Kerry Stokes wants Qantas to go into the movie-making business. He’s keen for the next Crocodile Dundee instalment to make the transition from Tourism Australia promo to silver screen reality. “I spoke to Paul Hogan about that ... he would like to produce it now but not act in it. I think Qantas should invest in a movie like this. I think the worldwide tourism value… would be sensational.” With the airline doing no wrong with the market lately maybe CEO Alan Joyce would consider adding 'film producer' to his list of accolades?
SQUIZ THE DAY
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Anniversary of Elizabeth Taylor's birthday (1932)
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