Squiz Today / 27 November 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 27 November
“Seven minutes of terror”
NASA’s InSight lander is due to touch down on Mars at 7am this morning (AEDT) on a mission to find out more about the planet’s interior. It’ll take seven minutes for the probe to enter the atmosphere and slow down sufficiently for a gentle landing. And given the eight-minute communications delay between Mars and us, it will happen (or not) without Earthlings monitoring its progress. With the mission costing more than $1 billion, that’s a lot of crossed fingers…
THE PASSING OF A MATRIARCH, ACTIVIST AND TRAILBLAZER
Dr Bonita Mabo - wife, mother and indigenous rights campaigner - has died at 75yo. While many know her as the widow of land rights activist Eddie Koiki Mabo, she was a leading advocate for the rights of Indigenous people and Australian South Sea Islanders.
WHO WAS SHE AND WHAT DID SHE DO?
• Bonita’s family were ‘blackbirders’ – people taken from the islands around Vanuatu to work in the cane fields in North Queensland.
• She once told a documentary maker that she’d stayed quiet about her heritage, even with her children, because she felt that “Eddie had all the culture and the knowledge”.
• Bonita married Eddie in 1959, and the couple had 10 children. Concerned about education opportunities for Indigenous kids, she set up Australia’s first Aboriginal community school in Townsville with no government funding.
• She was at Eddie’s side during his decade-long fight for recognition of his people’s ownership of Mer (Murray) Island in the Torres Strait. He died just five months before the historic High Court ruling in 1992 that said ‘terra nullius’ (that Australia belonged to no one) should not have been applied.
• Bonita was awarded an Order of Australia in 2013 for her work for the rights in Indigenous people. The couple’s lives were made into an ABC telefilm Mabo (Deborah Mailman won most outstanding actress award at the 2013 Logies for her portrayal of Bonita). And just last week she was recognised by James Cook University with an honorary doctorate.
WHAT DID PEOPLE SAY?
"A person of great note; a great Australian and great contribution to the cause of justice to all.” – WA Senator Pat Dodson
“Vale Bonita Mabo, an activist for social justice and human rights in her own right. One of the great First Nations Women of our time.” – Linda Burney MP
“Eddie and Bonita’s fight and victory remade our world and secured rights unimaginable for 200 years.” Marcia Langton, academic
SQUIZ THE REST
REALITY BITES MORRISON
Team Morrison made a tactical withdrawal on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday to avoid a formal vote on the establishment of a National Integrity Commission that would probe allegations of corruption in the federal government. Sounds tricky? The calculated move (which some say is more Dad’s Army than Special Forces) is about the Coalition’s newfound minority position with the arrival of independent Kerryn Phelps (replacing former PM Malcolm Turnbull). But back on the commission - there’s some way yet to go for the idea to become a thing.
MCLACHLAN GOES FOR BIG DAMAGES
Actor Craig McLachlan is seeking special damages in the order of $6.5 million in his defamation case against the ABC, Fairfax Media and one of the women who accused him of harassment, Christie Whelan Browne. Three women made claims of misconduct, bullying and assault against the actor in January from their time working with him on a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show. And late last week, the court heard three more women had come forward to report less-than-happy experiences working with McLachlan during the Doctor Blake Mysteries. The case is in its pre-trial hearing stage.
QUICK WORLD NEWS WRAP
RUSSIA CAPTURES UKRAINE NAVY BOATS – It’s a big escalation in tensions between the two countries. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, and reports say the boats were intercepted after Ukraine was accused of illegally entering Russian waters. The standoff has been met with widespread anger in Kiev, prompting the Ukraine parliament to consider declaring martial law to prevent violence in the capital from exploding.
MIGRANTS TRY THE BORDER - A group of 500 migrants yesterday tried to enter America at San Ysidro (south of San Diego). US border forces used tear gas, and a number of people were apprehended.
HEDGES PARDONED – British academic and accused spy Matthew Hedges has been freed after the United Arab Emirates issued a pardon. The British embassy there said he was out and will head home to the UK ASAP. The UAE hasn't let it go saying he was "100% a secret service operative".
NAB’ING A SPOT BEFORE THE COMMISSION
It was National Australia Bank boss Andrew Thorburn and chair Ken Henry’s turn before the Banking Royal Commission yesterday. In focus for Thorburn was why it'd taken the bank years to work out how to repay thousands of customers the illegally obtained fees it'd charged for no services, and why executives were reluctant to take responsibility for it. Meanwhile, Henry said directors' duty to advance the interests of shareholders conflicted with good results for the broader community. Henry returns for part two of his grilling this morning.
BOWSER BRUISING EASES
It was just a month ago that petrol prices were at a decade high. But off the back of sharp oil price falls, prices have come down for motorists in Brissie, Sydney and Melbourne. Analysts say Darwin, Canberra and Hobart drivers won’t see much of a price fall (soz). The price drop has been a result of oil-producing countries increasing supply. Maybe you can treat yourself with a Summer Roll at the checkout next time.
AWARD WINNING QUAFFS
Legit wine-types have judged a $7 bottle of Coles private label vino as the best Aussie plonk under $20. The Winestate Wine of the Year Awards looked at 2,500 wines over a year of blind tastings (imagine having that job…), and it was the 2017 Story Bay SSB(that’s Semillon Sauvignon Blanc to the uninitiated…) from the Margaret River that took top marks. The big drinks retailers owned by Coles (aka Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, First Choice) and Woolies (aka Dan Murphy's, BWS) carry an extensive range of wines they have made to sell exclusively in their stores with some examples of awards success (Dan’s $8.99 Cleanskin Riesling won an international award earlier this year).
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.00am (AEDT) - NASA's Mars InSight Lander scheduled to arrive on Mars
Court hearing on the Fairfax/Nine Entertainment merger to approve the scheme (if some challenges are overcome...)
Anniversary of the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes (2014)
Simon Townsend (of Simon Townsend's Wonder World!) has a birthday (1945)
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