Squiz Today / 05 September 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 5 September
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child.”
Kensington Palace announced last night that Kate and William are off to the races with number three. Poor Kate is suffering acute morning sickness again. And poor little George, this was meant to be his week...
BIG WEEK FOR THE HIGH COURT
The High Court will today begin its hearing into whether the government’s postal vote on same-sex marriage is in fact valid. The challenge was mounted by supporters of same-sex marriage who believe:
1.Finance Minister Mathias Cormann does not have the authority to appropriate $122 million in funds for the exercise; and,
2.The Australian Bureau of Statistics has unconstitutionally been directed to carry out the ‘survey’ that seeks an opinion rather than the gathering of ‘statistical information’.
The parties against the postal vote believe it's a waste of money and likely to lead to a hurtful campaign. The government says it believes it’s on safe legal ground, and that the campaign can be held in a respectful way. Constitutional law experts say the government shouldn’t take a decision in their favour for granted.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The hearing before the full bench of the High Court is expected to run today and tomorrow. With the mail out of the voting papers due to start next week, the government will be hoping for a decision in their favour toot sweet. But if the court rules against the government, it will cause a whole lotta pain for PM Malcolm Turnbull. Not only will it leave him with the dilemma of what to do next if there is to be a vote, but it will also give his political rivals a mighty big stick to whack him with. Again. Until then, expect government ministers to repeat this phrase; “I will not be drawn on hypotheticals.”
AND WHERE ARE THEY UP TO WITH THE CITIZENSHIP CLUSTER-DISASTER?
Ah yes, it’s all happening at the High Court. Nationals deputy leader Senator Fiona Nash and Nick Xenophon yesterday became the sixth and seventh parliamentarians to be referred to the High Court over their citizenship status. One case they won’t need to consider is that of Labor leader Bill Shorten. After weeks of goading from the Coalition, Shorten yesterday tabled the documents showing he had appropriately renounced his British citizenship. He said; “I offer this proof to the Parliament today to put an end to baseless allegations, not reward them” when what he really wanted to say was; “na-na-na-naah-naah.” There are still more MPs under a cloud, so don’t dream it’s over quite yet…
SQUIZ THE REST
COMMONWEALTH BANK AND PAULINI IN COURT… BUT NOT TOGETHER
Because that would be weird. But while we’re on a legal roll…
The long road ahead for the Commonwealth Bank as it defends charges of facilitating money-laundering was mapped out in court yesterday. It will file a defence in December, the financial regulator AUSTRAC will respond by March and then it’s back to court for another process hearing in April. “Ca-ching!” said the lawyers… And doubling down on an already difficult day, Commonwealth announced changes to its board with three members to go between November and mid-next year. The well-regarded former Westpac exec Rob Whitfield will join the board’s lofty ranks.
And to change up the pace, singer Paulini Curuenavuli yesterday pleaded guilty to bribing a NSW Roads and Maritime official $850 for an unrestricted drivers licence. But she’s no quitter. The court heard she’s trying for a licence despite having been caught three times for driving on her L-plates without being accompanied by a qualified driver. As a side note, she had fabulous court hair…
UGLY OPTIONS ON NORTH KOREA
South Korea yesterday said that it believes North Korea is planning more missile launches. And it added it would beef-up its controversial missile defence system (which is strongly opposed by China and Russia) and undertake more live-fire drills along its border with North Korea. All fairly predictable responses given North Korea’s largest ever nuclear bomb test on Sunday. US President Donald Trump was backed by his Defense Secretary James Mattis who said the US had “many military options” and that North Korea should expect “a massive military response” should they target US territory. Experts hastened to add that the military options are pretty darn ugly. In the meantime, the UN has held another emergency Security Council meeting – the US will go away and draft a tough new resolution for consideration next week.
BRACING FOR HURRICANE IRMA
With the effects of Hurricane Harvey barely realised, the US is getting ready for Hurricane Irma. Irma looks to be heading Florida's way by the end of the week but it has to get past the Caribbean and Puerto Rico first. Residents are bracing for extreme winds, heavy rains and sea surges. On the weekend, the Governor of Texas Greg Abbott said the bill from Hurricane Harvey would be around US$180 billion and that the damage was worse than what was inflicted on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
RED CROSS CALL FOR BLOOD
No, they’re not cranky. They urgently need O-negative blood with supplies dwindling due to donor appointment cancellations from this year's savage cold and flu season. O-negative is the Karl Stefanovic of bloods (ie accessible and everywhere) and is administered in emergency situations (much like Karl covering a natural disaster). The Red Cross urgently needs 3,000 donations. If you think you can help out, go here to find out how.
TRAGEDY AT BURNING MAN FESTIVAL
The iconic and mega-unusual Burning Man Festival has been on in Nevada since late last week with its assortment of the weird and wonderful people and events – and Paris Hilton. Sadly, tragedy struck on Sunday night when one man crashed through security and ran into the flames of the giant burning effigy. The festival's crew of firefighters were able to pull him out of the fire, but he died from his injuries. He was identified as Aaron Mitchell, a 41yo American man who was one of the 70,000 festivalgoers. Authorities are investigating whether drugs were a factor in the incident.
STORM IN A LOGIES-SIZED TEACUP
An inordinate amount of fuss was made yesterday about the prospect of Australian television’s self-styled ‘night of nights’, the Logie Awards, relocating from their spiritual home of Melbourne (after the Victorian government pulled their $1 million funding to host the event…) to either the Gold Coast or regional NSW. While Dubbo whipped itself into a frenzy at the prospect of having Patti Newton in town, Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate summed up the feelings of most of the country saying: “It’s a tacky industry coming to a tacky city” and the fit could not be better. Meanwhile, Karl Stefanovic dominated headlines when he said he would boycott a Logies that wasn’t in Melbourne. Surely the mere suggestion that Karl would miss a party should have tipped pundits off that he was being cheeky…
SQUIZ THE DAY
9.30am (AEST) - Ben McCormack (A Current Affair reporter accused of child pornography offences) due in Sydney Magistrates Court
2.30pm (AEST) - Reserve Bank announces decision on interest rates
8.00pm (AEST) - Socceroos v Thailand (a must win for World Cup qualification) - Melbourne
20th anniversary of Mother Teresa's death
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