Squiz Today / 21 August 2019
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 21 August
“No Time To Die”
Is a good way to approach today. Oh, and it’s the title of the new Bond movie that's out in April next year. That sound you can hear is Bond fans being shaken and stirred…
CHINA CAUGHT IN MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN
Chinese state-supported social media campaigns distributing misinformation about the protests in Hong Kong have been shut down by Facebook and Twitter. The mega-platforms yesterday said they’d blocked accounts that were seeking to undermine pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. It’s the first time China has been accused by the tech companies of covert efforts to influence those demonstrations.
THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT WAS DOING THAT?
Twitter said “we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation.” It removed more than 900 accounts originating in mainland China and suspended 200,000 other accounts designed to amplify the misinformation. Facebook looked into it after being tipped off by Twitter, and “our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government,” it said. It took down seven pages, three groups and five accounts. Both tech companies vowed to continue to exercise vigilance, but critics say they only acted after it was reported that Chinese state media had bought advertisements on Facebook and Twitter that portrayed the protests negatively.
WHERE ARE THINGS UP WITH THE PROTESTS?
The territory's chief executive Carrie Lam yesterday said she hoped last weekend's mostly peaceful demonstrations were a turning of the page on the violence that was a feature of past weekends’ protests. And she said she hoped it was a platform to start talks. “We will immediately start the work to establish a platform for dialogue. This dialogue, I hope, will be based on a mutual understanding and respect and find a way out for today’s Hong Kong,” she said.
SQUIZ THE REST
KATHERINE KEATING DRAGGED INTO EPSTEIN SCANDAL
The mystery brunette filmed waving goodbye to Prince Andrew as she left the Manhattan mansion of deceased billionaire and accused child abuser Jeffrey Epstein in 2010 is believed to be Katherine Keating, daughter of former PM Paul Keating. While there is no suggestion she was involved in Epstein’s alleged activities, she has been linked to Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite accused of organising girls for Epstein. And reports say Keating’s boyfriend at the time, Andre Balazs (who owns upmarket hotels including the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles) appeared in Epstein’s “little black book” of notable contacts. These days, Keating’s a senior executive with Maverick, a talent management company that represents stars like U2, Madonna and, for the youngsters, Lil Nas X. She has not commented.
PLEA TO KEEP KILLER BEHIND BARS
Tess Knight, the mother at the centre of the high profile Samantha Knight case, yesterday pleaded for daughter's killer to be kept behind bars. Experts also gave evidence to a hearing in Sydney that convicted paedophile Michael Guider poses a high risk of reoffending as his 17-year prison term ends. Guider pled guilty in 2002 to drugging and killing 9yo Samantha Knight, who went missing from Bondi in 1986 (an admission he later retracted). Her body has never been found. He was also convicted of drugging and abusing 13 other children. Guider’s jail term expired in June, but his release was delayed after NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman stepped in. A decision on extending Guider's detention is due in a couple of weeks.
JOHNSON REBUFFED ON BREXIT RENEGOTIATION
Since becoming the UK’s prime minister last month, Boris Johnson has played to a local audience, but with the G7 leaders summit at the end of the week, he’s taking his Brexit show on the road. But before sitting down with those leaders, he’s written to the European Union about reopening negotiations to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. In the letter, Johnson said plans to deal with the Irish border are “undemocratic” and may undermine peace efforts. It only took the EU a few hours to reject Johnson’s request. Meanwhile, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced his resignation over troubles inside the nation’s ruling coalition. No word on who will fill their seat at the G7 meeting…
SOME UPDATES TO RECENT STORIES
ARDERN KICKS JONES INTO TOUCH - Last week, Sydney radio host Alan Jones called on PM Scott Morrison to “shove a sock down the throat” of NZ PM Jacinda Ardern over comments she’d made about Australia’s approach to climate change. Yesterday, Ardern said “revenge is best served through a Bledisloe Cup”. Ouch... Jones’ employer has threatened to terminate his contract if he goes there again while advertisers continue to walk. Jones told Nine yesterday he doesn’t have a woman problem.
CANADIAN TEENS RECORDED FINAL WORDS - A video message recorded by the two Canadian teenagers suspected of the murders of Australian Lucas Fowler, his Australian girlfriend Chynna Deese and Canadian Leonard Dyck may reveal why they decided to embark on a murder spree.
SMITH TO STAY IN THE SHEDS - Which is to say in-form batsman Steve Smith hasn’t been cleared to play in the third Ashes test starting tomorrow after suffering a concussion on the weekend. Tough for the bloke who’s scored 142, 144 and 92 in his three innings on tour so far. If you google the word 'devastated', these pictures of Smith’s reaction will probably come up…
SEVEN WEST MEDIA STRUGGLES
Seven West Media, the owner of commercial TV network Seven and the West Australian newspaper, yesterday announced a loss of $444.4 million over the last financial year. The announcement comes days after the resignation of CEO Tim Worner. Going against it was a devaluing of its TV licenses and newspaper assets over tepid ad revenue. The bright spot was Seven’s claim that it commands a 40.3% share of commercial free-to-air viewing. Despite that, Seven West’s new CEO James Warburton said Seven’s programming needs a shake-up. He’s talking to you, MKR fans… At the other end of the earnings success scale, miner BHP yesterday reported a more than doubling of its 2018-19 profit to A$12.2 billion. The Big Australian indeed…
SMILEY FACE WINK FACE...
A new American study has found that people who frequently use emojis in their text communications with potential romantic partners have, well, let’s put it this way, they have more success in their endeavours. Jazz hands smiley face…
SQUIZ THE DAY
9.30am (AEST) - Cardinal George Pell’s appeal decision - live-streamed here
ABS Data Release - Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 2017-18
60th anniversary of Hawaii becoming the 50th state of America
Congrats to Rachel Smith from the ACT, she won last week’s prize for her consistent Squizing. And if you want to be a cool as Rachel, read the email every day this week to go into the draw for a $100 Dan Murphy's gift card.
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