Squiz Today / 05 July 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 5 July
“I’d make sure when I finished a race that I wouldn’t use the ladder. I always tried to jump out the side of the pool to make it look as if I wasn’t even tired. Which I was.”
One of the best to ever don a pair of budgie smugglers, Ian Thorpe muses on the psychology of competitive swimming. Forget the race; the mind games are exhausting!
NORTH KOREA TESTS YUUUGE MISSILE
North Korea picked America’s Independence Day to test what it says is an intercontinental ballistic missile (aka ICBM) that has the potential to reach US territory. If true, it’s an alarming first and one that’s in defiance of the international community. The test missile flew more than 900km and landed off the coast of Japan. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has now launched more missiles in a year than his father, Kim Jong Il, did in 17 years.
WHAT’S DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
Many experts are alarmed at the rate of progress being made via these tests. However, many think they have some way to go before they could successfully launch a nuclear missile at the US. For example, it's doubtful North Korea has the know-how to miniaturise a nuclear warhead to fit onto a missile at this point.
THE REACTION BEEN?
World leaders are worried. Many think China and Russia should do more to bring North Korea to heel. And overnight, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping (who happened to be together in Russia) have asked North Korea to “freeze” their testing and nuclear programs – and they’ve asked the US/South Korea to stop their local military exercises. US President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday; “Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!” It was just last week that Trump hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House where they said their patience with North Korea was exhausted. One thing the test has done is to rocket discussions about North Korea to the top of the G20 Leaders Summit agenda on Friday, but here are no easy options to consider.
SQUIZ THE REST
YOUR MEDICARE NUMBER IS FOR SALE
The Guardian yesterday reported that Medicare numbers are for sale on the darknet (the mysterious computer network used for illegal activities) for $30. Yikes. The government was keen to point out that medical records have not been breached and someone getting their hands on a Medicare number is not the end of the world on its own. Problem is a Medicare card is a good form of identification and it’s believed organised crime groups use the details to facilitate identity fraud. So how were the details leaked? The minister Alan Tudge said it was an old-fashioned crime rather than a cyber breach at Medicare. The Australian Federal Police are investigating.
COALITION FORCES MAKE PROGRESS IN SYRIA
A joint US and Syrian Democratic Forces campaign to retake the city of Raqqa – in train since November - is finally bearing fruit with the liberating forces arriving at the city walls. The battle for Raqqa is symbolic because Islamic State named it their capital when they seized it in 2014. It is believed 2,500 IS fighters are in the city – but so too are some 100,000 civilians.
GOOD DAY FOR INVESTORS
The stock market yesterday had its best day of the year. Giddy-up! But why? There was some recovery in the bank’s fortunes after almost two months of being belted over the government’s new bank levy. And pleasing retail sales data helped investors temporarily forget that Amazon is coming. Household goods (like electronics, furniture etc) and clothing/footwear did well, but department store sales continue to struggle. Not even Katy Perry can save ‘em. While we’re talking all things financial, the Reserve Bank yesterday kept interest rates at 1.5%.
WOMEN LAUNCH CLASS ACTION AGAINST J&J
More than 700 women who have been badly affected by Johnson & Johnson’s vaginal mesh implants yesterday launched a class action seeking compensation. The implant is used after complications from giving birth and it’s alleged the mesh is causing painful symptoms. The applicants’ lawyer also says it wasn’t trialled properly and was aggressively marketed to surgeons. If the action is successful, it could unleash a tidal wave of millions of dollars in compensations payments to women around the world.
TOMIC SHOCKER AT WIMBLEDON
Sounds like Bernard Tomic was at his petulant best after his loss overnight at Wimbledon saying he was “bored” on the court. “It’s not there. I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth-round US Open or I lose first round. To me, everything is the same. You know, I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again,’’ he said. What an inspiration! Aussie Arina Rodionova (ranked 166th in the world) won her match against 16th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – the score was 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 9-7. Big match! She’s the only Australian to make it through to the second round. Thanasi Kokkinakis or Jordan Thompson also bowed out of the men's singles and Daria Gavrilova failed to progress in the women’s.
BIEBER THE BELIEVER
Reports yesterday that popstar Justin Bieber snuck into Sydney seem a bit silly to us – he was walking shirtless down Bondi Beach! Not a lot of sneaking going on there… He had brekkie at Bill’s (a very solid Sydney thing to do, hope he had the ricotta hotcakes) and posed for selfies. He’s in town to attend a Hillsong conference, something he’s done previously. From pop bad boy to committed Hillsonger, Bieber is a baptised follower. No word on how long he’s in town. If you’re in Sydney keep an eye out and your smartphone camera ready.
SQUIZ THE DAY
10.00AM (AEST) - Unveiling of Easton Pearson's gift of its fashion archive to the Museum of Brisbane
12.30PM (AEST) - Chris Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation, addresses the National Press Club
ABS Data Releases - Agriculture Data on Water Use, Land Management and Commodity Values
Australian Industry Group's Services Index
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.