Squiz Today / 03 December 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 3 December
“#CyberMonday2019 The day of the year 85% of the US population pretends to actually be working.”
Tweeted one observer of what have been massive Thanksgiving sales in the US - and they’re still on… Experts say about US$30 billion will be spent, and about a third of that will occur in secret in workplaces today.
HOUSE PRICES ON THE UP
Good news for homeowners - prices are well and truly on the rise. Sydney recorded its highest monthly increase in more than 30 years in November. And with most other capital cities also marking a significant increase, economists are cautiously predicting the Great Australian Dream might be back in the black.
HAS CHRISTMAS COME EARLY?
Like most things in life, it depends on what side of the fence you sit on… The 2.7% jump in Sydney dwelling values for November plus Melbourne's jump of 2.2% led a nationwide capital city increase of 1.7% on average. And around the grounds: Brissie was up by 0.8%, Adelaide 0.5%, Perth 0.4%, Hobart 2.3%, and Canberra up by 1.6%. The only capital to go back was Darwin, with a negative 1.2%. Across the board, it was the biggest monthly rise since 2003.
SO, WE SHOULD HIT THE SHOPS?
That’s certainly the hope of the Reserve Bank. It will be observing what effect the house value surge has on our collective tendency to spend as it ponders what to do next to get our economy moving. Economists say the flow-on impact in terms of consumer confidence (should there be one...) most likely won't be felt until the middle of next year. But according to experts, record low-interest rates and low supply in terms of housing stock (not to mention the FOMO house-hunters are feeling...) has re-whet our appetite for property. The bad news? If you’re in Sydney and looking to get into the market: based on the current trajectory, the harbour city’s home prices are on track to hit a new record high by March.
SQUIZ THE REST
AT LEAST 180 DEAD IN IRAN’S MASS PROTESTS
Weeks of widespread anti-government protests have resulted in at least 180 deaths in Iran, with the final death toll likely to be hundreds more. The protests started after the government announced a surprise petrol hike of nearly 50%, and within 72 hours protestors were calling for an end to the Islamic Republic’s government and its leaders. Government forces cracked down violently, reportedly shooting hundreds of unarmed demonstrators, resulting in the largest-scale unrest in the 40-year history of the Islamic Republic. If you haven’t heard much about the deadly protests, that’s not surprising. A nationwide internet blackout means it’s only now that details have begun to be confirmed.
TELCO EXEC’S LIFE ON BAIL IN CANADA
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer and daughter of Huawei's founder who was arrested in Canada a year ago, has published an open letter detailing her life on bail. And it doesn’t sound too bad… She says she’s had time to read books and complete an oil painting while she continues to fight orders for her extradition to the US on charges of violating sanctions against Iran. She also says in the year gone by, she’s “witnessed moments of fear, pain, disappointment, helplessness, torment, and struggle.” Her case is due to be heard in January. Meanwhile, former South Oz Senator Nick Xenophon has taken up the Chinese telco’s cause. The company was banned from participating in the rollout of our 5G mobile network last year. As their new external lawyer, Xenophon says; "There will be no more free kicks against this company."
SORRY TO BRING THIS UP…
… but Queensland Federal MP George Christensen is back in the news. Under a cloud last year for his frequent trips to the Philippines between 2014 and 2018, he was investigated by the Federal Police which found there was "no evidence of wrongdoing" and "no evidence of criminal behaviour". And it didn't do his electoral prospects any harm - he was re-elected in May with an 11.2% swing towards him. So why is he on the front page of Nine's newspapers today? The bar manager of the Angeles City nightspot Ponytails (which is - ahem - an ‘adult entertainment service’) said he was a visitor. Christensen has previously said the speculation over his travels was a "vile smear".
SEARCH CONTINUES IN THE OUTBACK
Police in the Northern Territory will continue to scour a remote stretch of desert south of Alice Springs after one of a trio who had been missing for almost two weeks was found alive next to a waterhole on Sunday. Alice Springs local Tamra McBeath-Riley (52yo) was located when a pastoralist noticed tyre tracks on his property, leading investigators to narrow their search. McBeath-Riley had been waiting near their car with her dog while her partner Claire Hockridge and friend Phu Tran set off in search of help. The pair are still missing, and it’s believed they have split up with one track of footprints found from the air yesterday. Authorities are hopeful the new information supplied by McBeath-Riley will help in the search and rescue effort.
FIRES FLARE AS SPRING DRY RECORDS TUMBLE
The Princes Highway was closed yesterday north of Batemans Bay on NSW's South Coast and an emergency fire warning was issued for residents in the area. Its warning level has since been downgraded to 'watch and act'. So far, one home has been lost with fires exacerbated by strong winds and dry conditions. For Sydneysiders, that tickle in your throat is not going away any time soon with smoky conditions persisting. Meanwhile, it’s snowing in many parts of Victoria. Speaking of weather, the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday said this past spring was officially the driest of 120 years of records. Western Australia recorded a trio of records with its lowest spring rainfall, highest average temperature and highest mean daytime temperature of all time. Temperatures in the West expected to be more than 35C every day this week. Yikes...
2019 WORD OF THE YEAR
‘Cancel culture’ has beaten out ‘eco-anxiety’, ‘flight-shaming’ and ‘thicc’ to be named the Macquarie Dictionary word of the year for 2019. It’s defined as “the attitudes within a community which call for the withdrawal of support from a public figure”, or a kind of ‘cultural boycott’. And because the world moves this fast, former US Prez Barack Obama has already cancelled cancel culture. The People’s Choice voting is still open, so if you feel like ‘health washing’, ‘whataboutism’ or ‘silk punk’ captured the zeitgeist this year, get voting. Not that any of it will register with the England-based Apostrophe Society - a self-appointed guardian of punctuation that closed its doors yesterday admitting defeat in the face of what it described as widespread “ignorance and laziness”.
SQUIZ THE DAY
8.00am (AEDT) - BBC TV airs an interview with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a woman who claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein. It's expected she will reveal details of the time she spent with Prince Andrew
Ozzy Osborne 71st birthday (1948)
LOL c u l8r, it’s the 27th anniversary of the very first text message
Anniversary of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George HW Bush declaring the Cold War over (1989)
Anniversary of the Eureka Stockade (1854), considered by some to be the birth of Australian democracy - it led to the introduction of the Electoral Act in 1856
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