Squiz Today / 20 March 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 20 March
UNITED STATES V THE WORLD
Three notable things have gone down since we last spoke:
1. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bankers meeting over the weekend saw the US force the group to drop a key commitment against trade protectionism.
2. When President Donald Trump met German Chancellor Angela Merkel – it was no meet-cute. She's the internationalist; he's putting America first. It was a handshake-free zone.
3. Ireland’s Taoiseach (aka PM) Enda Kenny stood beside Trump at a St Partick’s Day function and encouraged him to reflect on legitimising illegal immigrants in the US - some, of course, are Irish. Big balls. Yuuuuge!
BREAK IT DOWN PLEASE…
It’s not always pretty but the Trump administration is getting its ducks in a row to do what it said it would. What went down at the G20 meeting was significant, but not all that surprising given Trump's views on trade deals he doesn't think are good for the US. They've used their might to have their preferred position - that the G20 will seek to “reduce excessive global imbalances” rather than "resist all forms of protectionism" - adopted in the meeting’s communiqué (pron commune-eek, don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise). On the leaders’ meetings – more compelling pictures. Ireland’s Kenny got a lot of media love for his words. Those Irish! And the meeting with Merkel, it was clear Trump didn’t have a lot of regard for Germany’s outlook (think refugees, pro-EU and trade). Can you feel the love tonight? No, Elton, we can't.
Trump’s agenda is going to continue to rub against some world leaders, and that’s going to make for more uncomfortable meetings. It's clear the Trump administration will keep on keeping on with implementing their agenda – there’s no sign of any significant changes of heart on key campaign positions. Keep an eye out for news on Travel Ban 3.0 this week after version 2.0 was knocked back by the courts last week.
SQUIZ THE REST
CHILD CARE, PENALTY RATES, MARRIAGE EQUALITY SET TO DOMINATE RETURN TO CANBERRA
The latest Newspoll is out just as Federal Parliament resumes today for the last sitting fortnight before the May budget is handed down. Labor still leads in the two party preferred standing, now 48:52 to Labor, down from 45:55. That's some solid improvement for PM Malcolm Turnbull's side. Turnbull also improved his lead over Labor leader Bill Shorten for preferred PM to 43:29. So, what’s on the agenda this fortnight?
1. Labor will focus on penalty rates and introduce a bill to reverse a Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut Sunday rates. The Turnbull government will fight back with research it says shows the unions have negotiated poor pay deals for workers with some large food and services employers. Game on.
2. The Coalition wants to push a bill through that deals with child care affordability while cutting some family payments. A handful of senators are cranky they have linked the two issues in the one bill because they like one (dollars for child care) and not the other (cutting payments).
3. And watch out for an attempt to get a vote up on same-sex marriage - new polling is out today on its appeal in some marginal seats. Even if someone does try, the numbers mean it's unlikely an actual vote will happen.
Make it a double-shot skinny latte, people – some long days ahead.
TIM SIMONA’S EX SPEAKS OUT
We’re just at the start of the footy season, but this NRL scandal just won’t go away. Former West Tiger’s player Tim Simona has been embroiled in a gambling-addiction/drug-taking/charity-funds-stealing saga for some days. Last week he put his version on camera, expressing regret. One disturbing part of the story is the pressure girlfriend Jaya Taki says Simona placed on her to have an abortion. Yesterday Taki gave her version of events, saying she was speaking out in the hope the NRL takes domestic abuse more seriously.
IS WINX THE BEST EVER?
Winx, the superstar mare that just won’t be beaten, won her 16th race in a row on Saturday, (Black Caviar managed 13 consecutive wins) taking her prize money to more than $10 million. She flogged the opposition this weekend leaving racing experts to ask if she could be the best horse we’ve ever seen. With mega-winnings under her belt, we hope she gets all the apples and carrots she wants. We once knew a horse that liked beer, but that’s probably not good while she’s in training.
CHUCK BERRY, FATHER OF ROCK AND ROLL, DIES AGE 90
John Lennon said: “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'.” The rock n’ rollers’ rock n’ roller (try saying that three times quickly) died on Saturday aged 90. Berry’s groundbreaking sound changed music forever. He was a star in his own right, and was covered by Elvis, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Marty McFly from a catalogue of hits including Johnny B Goode and Roll Over Beethoven. Berry had an unlikely professional start – he was trained as a hairdresser and worked as a beautician before finding fame with his new breed of music that got the kids very excited. “It’s gotta be rock roll music, if you wanna dance with me.”
SQUIZ THE DAY
UN International Day of Happiness - get on it!
Federal Parliament resumes in Canberra
Final day of the third test match between Australia and India - looks like India's poised for the win
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