Squiz Today / 17 May 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 17 May
TRUMP GAVE CLASSIFIED INTELLIGENCE TO RUSSIA
The Washington Post yesterday broke the story that US President Donald Trump put an intelligence source at risk (thought to be Israel) by discussing classified information with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and their US ambassador during a meeting in the Oval Office last week. The intelligence relates to an Islamic State terrorist threat involving laptops on planes. Trump tweeted he was forthcoming with the information for “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”
IS TRUMP IN TROUBLE?
Legally he is ok. This from the Washington Post; “For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.” Trump has turned his attention to the leakers, with reports saying he is extremely frustrated these stories are making it into the hands of the media. Late night TV host Stephen Colbert joked the leak has been found – Trump himself.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
“Nothing to see here” was the gist of National Security Adviser HR McMaster’s comments; "It is wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the American people. That’s what he did." But two immediate matters come to mind:
1) Has Trump put an intelligence partner in harm’s way by sharing sensitive details with an adversary?
2) If Trump is this loose, how do his advisers and intelligence agencies, let alone intelligence partners and other nations deal with him going forward?
Trump is taking his first overseas trip as president from Friday for nine days – he’s going to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, then Belgium for the NATO Summit and Italy for G7 Summit. Great timing!
SQUIZ THE REST
POLICE CAN PROCEED TO CHARGE CARDINAL GEORGE PELL
Reports this morning say the Victorian Department of Prosecutions have given Victorian Police the green light to lay child sex charges against Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell. Police confirmed they are considering the advice. This relates to allegations Pell sexually abused ten boys between 1978 and 2001 when he was a priest in Ballarat and Archbishop of Melbourne. Pell has consistently denied the accusations.
SPEAKING OF LAPTOPS ON PLANES…
PM Malcolm Turnbull, responding to questions about the Trump thing, yesterday said the Australian government is considering a ban on laptops and tablets being allowed in the cabins of some international flights. It follows the ban imposed by the US and UK in March on flights from a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa. “We’re working very closely with our partners,” the PM said as Aussie long-haul travellers everywhere flinched. We guess being bored is better than the potential alternative.
SPEAKING OF UNCOMFORTABLE FLIGHTS...
Poor parents. Squashed on a Jetstar flight with a squawking bub on their lap and they have to pay for the experience. The budget airline will charge $30 per one-way domestic journey for under two-year-olds and will raise the international fee from $40 to $50. Jetstar says the fee allows people travelling with babies take up to four oversized items (eg stroller, pram, cot) along with them. You know the stories you hear of parents with loud babies offering the travellers around them drinks as a nice gesture? Ever happened to you? No, us neither.
IS NORTH KOREA BEHIND THE WANNACRY CYBER ATTACK?
Cyber security experts say they have found a link between the weekend’s ransomware attack and a bunch of cyber criminals thought to be working on behalf of North Korea. Known as the Lazarus Group, they are believed to have been behind the Sony Pictures hack in 2014 (which held up the release of The Interview - the Seth Rogan/James Franco movie that made fun of North Korea). Australia seems to have mostly avoided any major issues because it was Saturday morning local time when the attack was launched, and because of a Microsoft patch issued a few weeks ago in response to a virus doing the rounds which received a bit of publicity here (including via yours truly).
MELBOURNE FOOTY STAR JESSE HOGAN UNDERGOES CANCER SURGERY
Thankfully Jesse Hogan is expected to make a full recovery in a matter of weeks and not require chemotherapy or radiation following a diagnosis of testicular cancer. It's been a rough time for Hogan - his father died just a few weeks ago from cancer. The Melbourne Football Club star noticed a lump last week and doctors say he was lucky to catch it early. Hogan made his AFL debut in 2015 winning the league’s Rising Star award, and was Melbourne’s leading goal scorer in 2015 and 2016. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.
NEWSFLASH! FEMALE BREADWINNERS STILL DO THE HOUSEWORK
He’s at home looking after the kids while she’s at work bringing home the bacon. In this scenario, he's doing the vast majority of the housework, right? Just doesn’t happen. A report released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Family Studies said stay-at-home dads “don’t tend to pick up the full domestic workload to the same extent stay-at-home mothers traditionally have”. Who’d a thunk? In the rare cases dad does stay home (just 4% of two-parent families), it’s usually driven by unemployment or underemployment, not lifestyle choices. The report doesn’t cover gay households so we looked around for insights about how they split home duties. Most articles we looked at suggested they are more egalitarian about it.
"Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some may have felt offended.”
That was the iconic fashion house’s response to the disquiet about their $1,930 boomerang, on sale now. It’s part of their sport range that also includes tennis balls for $570, beach racquet and balls for $4,860 and a standup paddleboard, price on request. Some said it was a terrible example of the appropriation of Indigenous culture. We’re stretching our minds to think of who the target market is. International fashionistas with a penchant for hunting weapons? Hunters with a taste for high fashion? So many questions.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm - Chris Bowen, Labor's Treasury spokesman, addresses the National Press Club
ABS Data Releases - Lending Finance (March); Wage Price Index (March)
Cannes Film Festival kicks off (17-28 May), France
US soldier Chelsea Manning due for release from military detention. Manning was convicted by court-marshall of espionage charges. Her sentence was significantly shortened by President Obama.
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