Squiz Today / 13 June 2019

Squiz Today – Thursday, 13 June


"But we will send him another one. It is not a drama."

French President Emmanuel Macron says a new ‘friendship tree’ is in the mail to US President Donald Trump. Fingers crossed it fares better than the first - and better than the leaders’ testy relationship…


Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) John Setka is not backing down… Labor leader Anthony Albanese is moving to have the controversial union leader expelled from the party over reports that Setka disparaged the work of family violence prevention campaigner Rosie Batty. But yesterday Setka denied making the comment and said "there's a lot of dirty politics at work here."

One direction it’s not going is away, that’s one thing that Setka made clear yesterday. And he had support from Troy Gray of Victoria's Electrical Trades Union who said Albanese needs to back down. Christy Cain, the national president of the Maritime Union who was in the meeting when Setka reportedly said the things that sparked this off, said Albanese should resign - or at least “take a good look at himself.” Unions boss Sally McManus has returned home early from a conference in Switzerland to deal with the brewing bucket of nastiness and will meet with Setka today. In recent days, many of Labor’s frontbenchers have been as hard to find as former Environment Minister Melissa Price in the election campaign, but Albanese's supporters say he is not changing his mind about Setka’s expulsion from the party.

There’s always a lot of interest when the political arm of the labour movement is at odds with its biggest supporters - the unions themselves. It’s doubly interesting because Albanese is aligned to the left of politics - as is Setka's union. So there's that. And putting Setka aside, the way Albanese is handling it as a newly installed leader is intensely interesting to those trying to work out whether he will make a go of it or not. Albanese comes to the Labor leadership from a markedly different path to former union leader Bill Shorten and sees it as a virtue. So expect the government to set this is a test of leadership for the new Labor leader and brace for a newspaper opinion piece or 500 over the coming days…



Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets again yesterday to protest plans to allow the extradition of residents to mainland China, Taiwan and Macau. And violence broke out as protestors tried to storm the legislature. Reports say 5,000 police were deployed to keep the crowd in check and used tear gas and rubber bullets injuring 72 protestors near government buildings. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam called it “organised riots” as debate on the plan was delayed. There is widespread concern in Hong Kong that the proposed extradition deal would jeopardise Hong Kong’s independence from China’s legal system. Yesterday’s protests come after Sunday’s rally that organisers say was attended by a million people. Some pics are here.


Brothers said to be of "low-level interest" to counter-terrorism authorities are in hospital after being shot by police late yesterday. The two men ran from authorities to a campsite in Barnawartha North, Victoria (south of Wodonga) where they allegedly rammed a police car and came at officers with a knife and tomahawk. Reports say the men converted to Islam and were radicalised while in prison and have links to outlaw motorcycle gangs. Last night, one man was in a stable condition in Albury Hospital, while the other remained in a serious condition and was taken to a Melbourne hospital.


Caretaker UK PM Theresa May has announced a plan to combat climate change by reducing Britain’s carbon emissions to almost zero by 2050. The commitment is more ambitious that the previous target of an 80% reduction and makes the UK the first major country to propose zero emissions in that timeframe. The government estimates it will cost £1 trillion (A$1.83 trillion) by 2050. Green groups praised the move while detractors pointed to the cost. The UK, which has some nuclear power, recently marked its first ‘coal-free weeks’ since the industrial revolution. Not giving up on coal anytime soon is Japan, which has plans to open new coal-fired power plants. This week it announced a commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions to zeroin the second half of this century. For context, our government's policy is to reduce carbon emissions by at least 26% on 2005 levels by 2030.


Sometimes when you don’t have the skill you want, it’s easier to buy it than develop it yourself. We’re like that when it comes to ironing our large tablecloth - a task that’s beyond us. And so it is (sort of…) when it comes to Wesfarmers which yesterday announced a deal to buy online retailer Catch Group. While Wesfarmers owns some of Australia’s biggest retailers (think Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks), it needs some digital smarts. Boss Rob Scott yesterday said it makes sense to buy them for their expertise, as well as for the business itself. Catch Group has a million customers and cost Wesfarmers $230 million to acquire.


Jerry Maguire has been working overtime for these sporting stars… Forbeshas listed the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes, and it’s bursting at the seams with blokes. There’s just one woman - Serena Williams who comes in at 63rd with US$29.2 million in earnings in the last year. Ten sports are covered with soccer, tennis, American football, basketball and boxing contributing heavily to the list. In first place is Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi who took home US$127 million over the last 12 months. Tennis star Roger Federer is in fifth place with US$93.4 million. No Aussies made the cut.

And while we have you... World #4 Dominic Thiem says he would like to make amends for saying Serena Williams has a “bad personality” for kicking him out of his press conference room at last fortnight’s French Open by partnering her for a spot of mixed doubles at Wimbledon or the US Open. What a gesture the rising star (Thiem has 13 titles to his name) is offering the icon (Williams has 72 trophies)…


Dreaming of an island retreat where you can live like a royal? That dream could be your reality - if you have a spare $9.7 million. Malta’s Villa Guardamangia, the place where the Queen and Prince Philip lived as newlyweds for two happy years, is on the market. But a warning: it's a bit of a renovator's delight with reports saying the owners, conservationists and the government have been in a years-long dispute about its upkeep. Even the Queen was blunt when she saw it a few years ago saying “it looks rather sad now.” At least it has stables and servants quarters - essentials in anyone’s books…


2.00am Friday - Women’s World Cup Soccer - Australia v Brazil

A decision by the Queensland Government on the last remaining environmental approval for the proposed Adani mine in the Galilee Basin is expected today

ABS Data Release - Labour Force, May

UN International Albinism Awareness Day

Red Symons’ 70th birthday

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