Squiz Today / 09 January 2019
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 9 January
THREE MINUTE SQUIZ
“’I think I really like this guy but I am not sure how he feels about me.’ (My colleague) looked at me and said “he’s picking you up in a goddamn plane. He is keen”. Within about six months I had moved out west."
And since then, former city-slicker Annabelle Hickson has taken to country life like a baby to a hoverboard. Her podcast with Gillian Bell, Dispatch to a Friend, was selected by Apple (alongside our podcast, ahem...) as one of the best of 2018. A regular Country Style mag columnist and photographer/flower lover/pecan farmer extraordinaire, we’re stoked to have Annabelle as our first Three Minute Squiz of 2019.
CHINESE CHILLS, TECH PROFITS SINK
South Korean mega-consumer electronics company Samsung yesterday warned its profit for the October-to-December quarter would be down by 30% - quite a plunge for the world’s largest smartphone producer. It still expects to report a profit of almost $13.5 billion for the quarter, but that's down from almost $19 billion in the corresponding quarter in 2017. The culprit is (mainly) China. It's the world's largest smartphone market, and it's in an economic slowdown. Samsung's news mirrors the shocker Apple had last week.
WHAT HAPPENED TO APPLE LAST WEEK?
Great Dorothy Dixer, huh? Apple warned investors last week that it had lower than expected iPhone sales over Christmas, particularly in China. CEO Tim Cook said China's slowing demand (and things like new product releases) meant the company's quarterly sales would be about 10% down to US$84 billion. The market responded by wiping about 8% (US$55 billion) off Apple's valuation. The fruit has had a rough few months. In August, it became the first US company to hit a valuation of US$1 trillion. Today, it’s worth about $700 billion.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Looking at the market more broadly, there is concern Apple's and Samsung's experiences says something significant about the state of the Chinese economy, but let's leave that for another day. The other question is: can the market leaders innovate and grow? With the weight of investor and market expectations upon them, will these companies be the ones that cut new ground? Fittingly perhaps, it's all happening against the backdrop of the annual Las Vegas CES show displaying the latest and greatest in consumer tech gadgets which kicked off yesterday. Check out this walking car, TV screens that can be rolled into a tube, and the carbolicious bread-making robot. The future’s going to be so cool...
SQUIZ THE REST
OZ TO CONSIDER ASYLUM APPLICATION
Reports this morning say Australian officials have told their Thai counterparts that an application for asylum from 18yo Saudi women Rahaf Alqunun would be considered if the UN agency believes she is a refugee. ABC journo Sophie McNeill, who was in the room with her as Thai officials tried to deport her, said Alqunun is terrified of being forced to return home where she believes her family will kill her for renouncing Islam. While initially planning on travelling to Australia, Alqunun has also appealed to Canada, the US, and the UK for asylum.
Meanwhile, the latest shot in the game of Neil Prakash citizenship tennis has the Fiji Government "categorically rejecting" the Aussie Government's view that the Islamic State fighter is a Fijian national. That puts the ball back in our government's court after last week's news that Prakash had been stripped of his Australian citizenship. Labor said the government’s handling of the episode was poor.
LABOR CHALLENGED ON APPROACH TO WELFARE
If your election year bingo card has ‘mutual obligation’, you’re onto a winner... Championed by the Howard Government back in the day, it's the requirements put on jobseekers in exchange for receiving welfare payments. Labor came under fire yesterday for flagging changes to the Jobactive system that it says would better connect the unemployed to work. A tweet from former PM Tony Abbott (who was the minister responsible for setting up the original version of Jobactive almost two decades ago) summed up the Coalition’s view: “Labor is now the welfare class party not the working class one,” he said. Also on the agenda, PM Scott Morrison will need to answer questions about the brewing #shoegate scandal...
ANOTHER AIRPORT DRONE SIGHTING
In breaking news this morning, departures from London’s Heathrow Airport were suspended for an hour after a suspected drone sighting. The police have been called in and the airport apologised to inconvenienced passengers. They will be hoping to avoid the chaos caused at Gatwick before Christmas when 1,000 flights were cancelled affecting 140,000 passengers when two drones were thought to be in the vicinity.
KIM CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH A SUMMIT
What better way to celebrate your birthday than to be locked in talks with your neighbour… That’s how North Korean leader Kim Jong Un spent his 35th (so young…) yesterday. It was the fourth summit Kim has had with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the last year as the pair continue to repair their relationship. China's support will be crucial to forging an agreement, including the US, that lays the foundation for lasting peace and the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
HEARINGS START ON HIGH PROFILE ABUSE CASES
An Aussie cricketer playing in the UK faced court yesterday over the alleged attack of a woman in 2017. Perth-born all-rounder Alex Hepburn set up a challenge with friends via a WhatsApp group called ‘Stat Chat' to bed and rate as many women as they could, the court heard. On the night in question, Hepburn is accused of tricking the woman his flatmate had brought home into acts she had not consented to after his flatmate had left his room to be sick. Hepburn says she consented. The hearing continues.
Meanwhile, fallen star Kevin Spacey appeared in a Massachusetts court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault. It’s alleged he assaulted an 18yo man after plying him with alcohol in 2016. Spacey broke his silence on Christmas Day in a video delivered in his Frank Underwood/House of Cards style cryptically denying the accusations levelled at him.
FEDERER STILL MISSES INFLUENTIAL AUSSIE COACH
Swiss tennis great Roger Federer teared up while talking about his former coach, Aussie Peter Carter. Carter died in a car accident in 2002 aged 37yo. With Federer turning 37yo last year, CNN asked him in an interview that aired yesterday what Carter would think of his 20 Grand Slam wins. "Oh, man, I still miss him so much. I hope he would be proud,” he said choking up. Reports say Federer has paid for Carter’s Adelaide-based parents to come to every Aussie Open to watch him play since 2003. Aww...
SQUIZ THE DAY
1.00pm (AEDT) - US President Donald Trump to address Americans via a live broadcast
ABS Data Releases - Job Vacancies, November; Building Approvals, November
A birthday for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (1982)
Anniversary of the unveiling of the iPhone (2007)
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