Squiz Today / 15 June 2017

Squiz Today – Thursday, 15 June


“Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation”

It was a real thing. Created by a Chinese political donor Sally Zou, we’re sad to say the foundation changed its name to ‘Glorious Foundation’ not long after being registered. For her part, our foreign minister said she didn’t know a thing about it. However, we note J-Bish didn’t deny any claim to gloriousness.


Terrible scenes of fire engulfing the 24-storey Grenfell Tower housing block gripped the world for hours yesterday. Police have confirmed 12 deaths but warn the toll will rise. The fire broke out shortly before 1am on Wednesday morning, a time when most apartments would have been occupied. Authorities expect between 400-600 people were inside the 120 flats. The ambulance service said 68 people were taken to hospitals around London, and another ten took themselves. Firefighters say they rescued 65 people. It's unknown exactly how many were able to get themselves out and away from danger - there are a lot of people unaccounted for.

Speculation has commenced, but the cause of the blaze is unknown. Reports say the fire started on the fourth floor on one side of the block and flames engulfed the building from the second to the top floor. London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said; "This is an unprecedented incident. In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale." Witnesses gave accounts of residents’ screams, children being held out of windows and people using bed sheets as makeshift ladders in an attempt to exit the building.

The residents’ action group raised concerns about fire safety some time ago. They were concerned about access for emergency services given there was only one entry and exit in the block. "All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time," the group posted online yesterday. There are reports that the fire alarms didn’t work and concerns the cladding used on the block in a recent refurbishment may have contributed to the building's flammability. Also under scrutiny is the safety advice given to residents prior to the fire to stay in their apartments. No doubt there will be a lot more to say following investigations in coming days and months.


Republican members of the US Congress were getting some training in before a match later this week against the Democrats when gunman James T. Hodgkinson III fired shots at those on the field, wounding five people. Hodgkinson was shot and killed at the scene by police. The most senior pollie to have been hit was House of Representatives majority whip Steve Scalise – US President Donald Trump called him a friend and patriot. Authorities are investigating but it seems the attack could have been politically motivated. Reports say the shooter worked on Senator Bernie Sanders’ Democratic primary campaign as a volunteer. Another witness says he spoke to the shooter before the attack – he'd asked if it was a Republican or Democrat practice session.

But they say it’s going to be BAU (that’s ‘business as usual’ for the management-speak challenged). So does going into administration mean they’re broke? They are financially challenged for sure, but they can keep the place running - for now. Korda Mentha havebeen appointed as administrators and they must now work out a way to sell or fund another way to fund the business. ATEOTD (at the end of the day…) the process gives Ten the ability to do some financial housekeeping and get out from under expensive content deals with CBS and 20th Century Fox. Behind the scenes, it looks like billionaires Bruce Gordon (WIN TV) and Lachlan Murdoch (News Corp) are positioning for future ownership, but time will tell.

The federal government have agreed to pay 1905 Manus Island detainees compensation for degrading and cruel treatment. It is believed to be Australia’s largest ever human rights-related settlement. Led by Slater and Gordon, $70 million will be distributed to detainees based on length of detention and severity of individual claims. The claims centred around things like dirty and overcrowded facilities, and violent behaviour from security staff and other detainees. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton blamed Labor for reopening the facility in 2012 and said the government denies liability, but the cost of a legal battle outweighed the rationale to fight. The detention centre will be closed later this year. 

Anyone who’s worked in a big corporate in the last five years probably would have seen it or even ‘participated’ in a structural reorganisation. They’re a catch-all for business to correct stuff ups and/or put in place new priorities. Yesterday was Telstra’s turn - they've announced 1,400 staff will lose their jobs in what they say is an effort to simplify their business. The union says that’s about 5% of the workforce and workers were blind-sighted. Telco analysts say growth in the sector is slow and to remain profitable they will need to do more with less. Do you think it means they won’t be as diligent chasing up bills? Asking for a friend…

You have the phone, you have the tablet and you might even have the computer, and soon they’ll be capturing your every word at home. Next, you might be able to have your car guided by an Apple operating system. Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has talked a bit about what insiders say is the worst kept secret in Silicon Valley. Cook says it’s an area ripe for disruption, and they’re definitely looking into it. It’s not known if they will build an actual car or focus on the technology. Heaps of car and tech players are now in this space so it has to happen soon you would think. Whatever they develop, we hope Siri gets better at speaking Australian. 


ABS Data Releases - Labour Force, May; Film, Television and Digital Games 2015-16

End of European Union Roaming Charges

Global Wind Day - weather, not digestion related

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