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Tuesday, 15 June 2021
“I remember handing Jack Nicholson the bear and telling him he needed to sign it for breast cancer. His response was ‘Breasts, Angela; great cause.’”
Said Angela Bishop of the things she’s done in the line of duty as a charity-minded entertainment reporter, for which she was awarded a Medal of the Order in the Queen’s Birthday Honours yesterday. A full list of our good and great is here.
#HOMETOBILO COULD BE POSSIBLE
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is expected to make a ‘positive’ decision as soon as today about the future of the Murugappan family, who have been held in detention on Christmas Island since August 2019. The case returned to the spotlight after the couple’s youngest daughter Tharnicaa (4yo) was airlifted to Perth for medical treatment for pneumonia and a blood infection with her mother Priya last week. The eldest daughter Kopika (6yo) and father Nades have remained behind in detention, but reports say the family could be reunited in Perth, and a longer-term arrangement made for them to live freely in Oz.
BACK IT UP A BIT…
• Nades and Priya are Tamils from Sri Lanka. They arrived in Australia by boat separately in 2012 and 2013. They say they fled because of the ongoing persecution after separatist forces lost a 26-year civil war in 2009. Nades says he was forced to join the Tamil Tigers in 2001.
• The pair were considered to be ‘unlawful maritime arrivals’ but were granted temporary bridging visas while their refugee claims were assessed. They settled in the central Queensland town of Biloela, married and had their 2 daughters. But their refugee claim was rejected, and their visas ran out in early 2018. That saw them put into detention in Melbourne.
• Legal wrangling ensued, and after the High Court dismissed an application to review the case in May 2019, they were set to be deported – until more drama struck… The plane that was taking them away from Australia was ordered to land in Darwin as a new legal angle opened up on Tharnicaa’s right to stay. Since then, they’ve been in detention on Christmas Island (at the cost of $6.7 million…) as the case winds through the system.
SO WHAT MIGHT BE DONE FOR THEM?
There are options, reports say. Minister Hawke’s independent review could see him use his ministerial intervention powers to grant the family a visa to stay in Australia. There has been growing disgruntlement within the Coalition about the family’s ongoing detention with several MPs speaking out in recent days. Former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce yesterday said that the girls were born here and that they would be treated differently if their names were “Jane and Sally”. But Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said “I have some real compassion for this family but the primary responsibility of a federal government is to keep its borders secure and its people secure.” If they’re able to get back to Biloela, locals will be pleased – as will those on Christmas Island…
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G7 LOOKS TO WIN FRIENDS - AND INFLUENCE
They came, they saw, they could not get one good picture of UK PM Boris Johnson… But most importantly, they talked – and the focus was about being a better friend to the developing world than China. Sending a billion coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries in a bid to “vaccinate the world” by the end of 2022 is one step. Another is support for projects “from railways in Africa to wind farms in Asia” to fight climate change under a program to rival China’s Belt and Road initiative. The group also called out China’s human rights record for criticism – all of which had China responding that it would “defend our national sovereignty, security, and development interests”. PM Scott Morrison said he received support for our bumpy dealings with China that have required the government to be “very clear about what our values are and what our principles are and how our countries are run, free of interference.” Next up for Morrison: a free trade deal with the UK…
END OF AN ERA AS NETANYAHU IS BUNDLED OUT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year grip on power has come to an end after the country’s parliament voted in favour of a new coalition government. Naftali Bennett now leads a mish-mash government of left, right and centre parties under a deal that will see him as PM for the first 2 years, followed by centrist Yair Lapid. Sunday’s vote – which passed by a narrow 60-59 margin – ends a 2-year political stalemate after 4 inconclusive elections. While promising to unite the country, the new coalition involves such political diversity that pundits say it’s hard to predict what policy agenda it might pursue. One thing they do know: Bennett is a hardliner when it comes to being against those in charge of Gaza while being a bit more economically and socially liberal than other right-wingers. Netanyahu remains head of the Likud party and will lead the opposition promising that he’ll be back. #SquizShortcut
BOYD CORDNER CALLS IT QUITS
The Aussie/NSW rugby league captain and Sydney Roosters champion has quit the sport because of concussion concerns. Cordner has not played since he sustained a head knock during the 2020 State of Origin series in November, and it was hoped that he would be back on the paddock this month. Yesterday, the 29yo said he was “very close to 100%, but there was a feeling of going out there and asking what the next head knock would look like for me. I couldn’t get that out of my head.” Cordner played 181 games, won 3 premierships with the Roosters, led NSW to Origin series victories in 2018 and 2019 and became the Kangaroos captain in 2018. Roosters coach Trent Robinson said it was a sad day, but “he can finish proud of what he has done in our game.” #SquizShortcut
FRENCH OPEN ENDS ON A FASCINATING NOTE
So many stories… To the women first. The final was taken out on Saturday night by the unseeded Barbora Krejcikova – she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 3 sets. Krejcikova had a cracker at Roland Garros – she went on to become the first since 2000 to go home with the singles and doubles trophies. “I just know that from now on, I can really enjoy it because I have pretty much achieved everything I always wanted,” the 25yo said. And if you’re finding it hard to keep up with all the new names in women’s tennis, that’s because there’s a lot of them – Krejcikova is the 12th woman to win a major tournament since the start of the 2016 season. As for the blokes, Novak Djokovic saw off Stefanos Tsitsipas in 5 sets, which takes him half the way to a Grand Slam (aka winning all 4 majors in a row). If that’s not enough incentive, it was his 19th major win, just one behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who are tied on 20. Bring on Wimbledon – it starts on Monday, 28 June…
APROPOS OF NOTHING
If that has you wondering about value for money, how about buying a new workmate? Hoover the wonder-Kelpie has gone under the hammer for a record $35,200. His best traits? He’s a whiz with cattle and sheep – and has a “cool personality”.
Also scoring points for personality and that “little extra something” is Wasabi. We’re not sure if he’s a mop with a face or a Pekingese – but he’s been awarded ‘best in show’ at the Westminster Dog Show. Wasabi plans to celebrate the big win with a filet mignon. Très mignon indeed…
SQUIZ THE DAY
Federal Parliament resumes – Canberra
Budget Day in Queensland
ABS Data Release – Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, March
Global Wind Day (meteorological, not flatulence…)
Birthdays for Xi Jinping (1953) and Neil Patrick Harris (1973)
• the signing of the Magna Carta (1215)
• France surrendering to Nazi Germany, which occupied Paris (1940)
• the premiere of Disney’s The Lion King (1994)
• Rebel Wilson winning her defamation case against Bauer Media (2017)
• Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes being charged with fraud (2018)
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