Squiz Today / 20 April 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 20 April
"Simply programming the robot to pop a pin into a hole took a year."
Said robot programmer Quang-Cuong Pham of efforts to get a pair of robotic arms to assemble an Ikea dining chair. Maybe the robots are trying it on like when your partner/kids/flatmate says you’re better at those tedious chores than they are?
LIVE SHEEP EXPORTS HANG IN THE BALANCE
The future of live sheep exports is under a cloud with signs that the political winds are changing.
• Agriculture Minister David Littleproud yesterday announced a review to determine if his department is up to the job of monitoring the industry.
• Along those lines, Labor leader Bill Shorten yesterday called for an independent inspector general of animal welfare. And for a suspension of shipments of live sheep during the northern summer.
• A number of MPs openly support a ban on live sheep exports. And former Coalition minister Sussan Ley has proposed legislation to end it.
BACK IT UP A BIT…
A couple of weekends ago, Nine’s 60 Minutes aired shocking images of more than 2,000 sheep dying of thirst during shipment to the Middle East last year. In response, the government announced a review. It prompted international condemnation from animal welfare groups and even compelled Israel’s first lady Sara Netanyahu to contact PM Malcolm Turnbull’s wife Lucy to register her concern.
WHERE IS THIS GOING?
Three quick points:
• There seems to be reluctance from the front row of both the major parties to ban the live export of sheep outright.
• Instead, the discussion seems to be heading towards restricting trade in the hot northern summer months.
• But Nationals leader and acting PM Michael McCormack yesterday said the sector is important to our economy. And that it was a better outcome for animal welfare if it was Australia doing the exporting because we have standards in place.
So this one has a way to go yet.
SQUIZ THE REST
BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION UNCOVERS MORE SHOCKERS
Yesterday’s clanger? The Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning arm charged dead clients fees for services they (clearly) weren’t receiving. Given the startling revelations this week, plenty of Turnbull government movers-and-shakers now say they’re pleased the inquiry is taking place, despite their previous resistance. And they say if Commissioner Kenneth Hayne wants more time (and no doubt money) to extend hearings, the government will likely give it to him. Reports this morning say the government will announce new sanctions for errant executives today.
CHOGM CHUGS ALONG
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is more than Meghan Markle turning up with an Oroton handbag and Camilla and Marc blazer, as great as that was. UK PM Theresa May says attendees will “take on some of the 21st Century's biggest questions". Those include ocean conservation (including a proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds), cyber security, and trade between the 53 member countries. Overnight, the Queen gave a shout-out for son Prince Charles as her pick to lead the Commonwealth when she steps down "one day".
TRUMP’S EXIT PLAN FOR NORTH KOREAN TALKS
US President Donald Trump yesterday said he would walk out of talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if the meeting doesn’t meet expectations. Maybe he’s been talking to Tesla boss Elon Musk? For context, Trump was giving a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is wary of the new engagement with North Korea. But Trump and Abe agreed that pressure needs to be maintained on the Hermit Kingdom to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
JOBS GROWTH RUN ENDS
Three things to note from the official jobs announcement yesterday:
• Unemployment is steady at 5.5%. The number of new jobs added in March was just 4,900 – economists were expecting at least 20,000 new jobs.
• And revised numbers show the golden run of jobs growth ended last month. The labour market lost 6,300 jobs in Feb, which is a bit different to the 17,500 gain originally reported, even by our maths…
• The outlook – economists think it’s possible for 15,000 jobs a month to be added over the coming year.
A HUUGE LOSS FOR SPORTS FANS
Australian sport will never sound the same again. Veteran broadcaster, Darrell Eastlake, died yesterday at 75yo. His enthusiasm for the sports he so distinctively called was matched only by the volume at which he called them. He died in a Central Coast nursing home after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease and emphysema.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Creating and defining brands is interesting to us, particularly given this Squiz adventure. This piece from the fashion world with Sarah Rutson, who is the chief brand officer for the Collected Group (which has clothing labels Joie, Equipment, and Current/Elliot), caught our eye.
Prince died two years ago tomorrow. More about his death was revealed overnight, and his estate remains a mess because he didn’t leave a will. But to celebrate his talent – and to highlight that he was one of the world’s greatest ever guitar players - watch this and weep.
If you’d told us a few years ago that we’d be excited about a new ‘greens and grains’ recipe we’ve have said something quite rude. But this new Jill Dupleix recipe will get a go with some baked salmon this weekend.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Energy Ministers Meeting to discuss the proposed new National Energy Guarantee
CHOGM Leaders' Retreat - Top of the agenda is who will replace the Queen
Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion (2010)
Captain James Cook arrives in what is now New South Wales (1770)
The Queen's actual birthday - she will be 92yo
Anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birthday (1816)
Horse Racing - Stakes Day - Royal Randwick
National Tea Day - UK
Anniversary of the death of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the USA (1994)
Actor Jack Nicholson's 81st Birthday
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