Squiz Today / 05 March 2018
Squiz Today – Monday, 5 March
"A bit of a grey area.”
Is how former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce described the paternity of former staffer Vikki Campion’s baby. [Places hands over ears] La la la can’t hear you la la la la…
TRUMP’S TURN AS A MAN OF STEEL
In the biggest upset to global trade relations for years, US President Donald Trump has announced big new tariffs on the importation of steel (25%) and aluminium (10%). Trump says the tariffs will provide the protection local producers need to rebuild their businesses. But others say it’s problematic – for example, the Wall Street Journal editorialised that it’s Trump’s biggest political blunder yet.
WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?
• China – and Trump’s desire to swing the trade deficit with China in America’s favour (even though Chinese steel only accounts for 2% of US imports). China says it’s game on. Canada (the largest exporter of steel and aluminium to the US) and the European Union are also irate.
• It’s also a problem for America’s relationships with its strategic allies. “The President is going to quickly find out that you can’t start a trade war with your allies and expect them to work with you on other issues,” one expert said.
• But Trump is determined to maintain faith with the blue-collar workers who delivered him to office. That’s despite the tariffs’ likely effect of increasing the price of everything from canned drinks to cars (because domestic supply can't replace demand).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR AUSSIE STEEL AND ALUMINIUM EXPORTS?
Look at you go for a Monday… This has been on the cards for a while, and both PM Malcolm Turnbull and Trade Minister Steve Ciobo pressed the case to exempt Australian producers from any new tariffs when they were in Washington last week. But in bad news for the government this morning, Trump’s trade adviser David Navarro says no country will be exempt. Expect our mob to keep on it this week given the potential threat to the government’s ‘jobs and growth’ agenda in one of our key industries.
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TURNBULL’S SUPPORT SUFFERS FROM JOYCE JOLT
One poll measure the Coalition have depended on since Malcolm Turnbull rolled former PM Tony Abbott in 2015 was his ‘preferred PM’ status over Labor leader Bill Shorten. This morning the latest Newspoll shows that's now a tight race with Turnbull on 37 and Shorten on 35. At the start of February it was more like 45 Turnbull, 31 Shorten. Yikes. The Australian says it's a result of the Joyce saga. Still, the two-party preferred result is in line with last time and remains at 47:53 to Labor.
TASMANIA STICKS WITH THE LIBS
Tasmania’s Liberals, led by Premier Will Hodgman, took out the weekend's state election winning at least 13 of 25 lower house seats. It’s just the second time the Tassie Libs has won a second term of majority government. Labor has nine seats - leader Rebecca White was strident on Saturday night but yesterday apologised for failing to congratulate Hodgman on the win. The Greens won one seat. Former senator Jacqui Lambie’s team also failed to fire. And sadly, former Liberal Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin died on Saturday succumbing to the brain cancer she was diagnosed with last year.
On the topic of new governments... It looks like Germany is getting closer. Angela Merkel has been in negotiations with the Socialist Democrats since the September election. Yesterday it was announced its membership has agreed to go into a coalition with the Chancellor’s Christian Democrats.
PELL'S COMMITTAL HEARING STARTS TODAY
One of the many historical child abuse charges against Cardinal George Pell has been dropped following the death of one of his accusers. Pell’s committal hearing starts in Melbourne today, and more than 50 witnesses are expected to be called. Pell is on leave from his Vatican job and is the highest-ranking church official to face abuse charges.
ELIMINATING CERVICAL CANCER IN OUR GRASP
Experts say Australia is on track to be the first country to eliminate cervical cancer within the next 40 years. Yay us! The prediction is due to the decline of human papillomavirus infections. HPV causes 99.9% of cervical cancers and the (Aussie-invented) Gardasil vaccination program that kicked off a decade ago has resulted in the HPV rate dropping from 22.7% to 1.1% among women aged 18-24yo. Incredible.
WELCOME OUR LATEST WORLD CHAMP
South Australian Matthew Glaetzer is our latest world cycling champion after winning gold in the men’s sprint final. Glaetzere beat favourite Jack Carlin from the UK who said he was done in after the race; “Throwing up during the Australian national anthem probably wouldn’t have gone down very well ahead of the Commonwealth Games.” No, Jack, it wouldn’t.
Speaking of champion athletes… Sir Roger Bannister, the Brit who was the first to break the four-minute mile, has died at 88yo. While his 1954 record was broken a few weeks later by Aussie runner John Landy, Bannister went on to win gold at the Commonwealth Games before retiring to become a neurologist.
OSCARS FEVER HEATS UP
After weeks of warm-ups, the ultimate film awards ceremony is upon us. Reports say we can expect more female presenters – not surprising given the Time’s Up and #metoo campaigns. E! News host Ryan Seacrest is set to have a difficult night. And reports say Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty will be given a chance to redeem themselves after last year’s best film announcement debacle (not their fault). Good luck to the Aussies. But before the celebration of what was excellent, critics have had their say on what sucked. The annual Razzies are out, and it's bad news for The Emoji Movie. A "talking poop opus" was one description… Ouch.
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SQUIZ THE DAY
12.00pm (AEDT) - The 90th Annual Academy Awards (broadcast on Nine)
WA Labour Day
ABS Data Releases - Business Indicators, December; Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, December; Building Approvals, January
Anniversary of Patsy Cline's death in a plane crash (1963)
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