Squiz Today / 25 May 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 25 May
POLICE SHOULD HAVE GONE IN EARLIER – LINDT CAFÉ SIEGE REPORT
NSW Coroner Michael Barnes has laid the blame for the two deaths resulting from the Lindt Café siege squarely at the feet of terrorist Man Haron Monis. The siege occurred over 15 and 16 December 2014 with Monis taking 18 hostages. Monis executed café manager Tori Johnson, barrister Katrina Dawson was killed by fragments from a deflected Police bullet, and Monis was shot and killed by Police. The Coroner yesterday delivered his report following 20 months of inquiry, 23 weeks of testimony and review of hundreds of pieces of evidence.
WHAT DID THE CORONER FIND?
The report is 600 pages long and there are 45 recommendations, but some key findings:
1. The Coroner praised the courage of the officers who ultimately stormed the café and commanders who “must live with the outcome of their decisions, the likes of which their critics will never need to make.” The Lindt Café siege was the first terrorism-related siege to occur in Australia, and NSW Police weren’t match fit.
2. Monis should not have been out on bail following charges of accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and 40+ charges of sexual assault. This was a result of poor communication between the Department of Public Prosecutions and Police.
3. Operational mistakes occurred throughout the siege. In hindsight, Police should have gone in earlier. Specifically, they should have gone in after the first shot was fired 10 minutes before Johnson was executed. Also, several phone calls made by hostages to a number meant to connect them to a police negotiator went unanswered. And the psychiatrist on whose advice they heavily relied “was not up to the task.”
WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN?
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller agreed that with the benefit of hindsight Police should not have waited for a hostage death or injury before going in. He said many recommendations have already been addressed. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government would make an interim response ASAP and a more fulsome response soon after that. And the responses of hostages and their families were varied - one expressed relief the process was over, others reiterated their dismay with Police tactics. There is still a lot of healing to go.
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UK TERROR THREAT LEVEL INCREASED TO CRITICAL AS MANCHESTER ARRESTS ARE MADE
What that means is further terror attacks could be imminent, UK PM Theresa May said yesterday as she announced the threat level is now at its highest point. Hundreds of military personnel have been deployed to key sights for the public’s protection. The terror threat upgrade comes in the wake of the Manchester suicide bombing on Monday night which killed 22 and injured 64 people. Seven men have now been arrested over the attack - five in the UK and two in Libya. This includes bomber Salman Abedi’s father and two brothers - his father and one brother were arrested in Libya, reports say the brother was preparing to carry out an attack there.
PHILLIPPINES PREZ IMPOSES MARTIAL LAW IN NATION’S SOUTH
Also upping the military-ante is Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte – he’s imposed martial law in the southern Mindanao region following an uprising of Muslim extremists aligned to Islamic State. The group have occupied key buildings in Marawi City, about 840km from Manila and home to 200,000 people. A known toughie, Duterte had to come home early from a visit with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to deal with the issue - he was in Russia to ask for a supply of weapons to help in the fight against extremism.
QUICK BUSINESS NEWS WRAP
It’s tough going out there. Here are three stories of woe:
Moody’s yesterday downgraded their credit rating for China for the first time in 30 years. Two reasons – Moody’s thinks their economy will slow in coming years, and they have problems coming to terms with their yuuuge debt. This is big news for Australia because we need China to keep buying our iron ore, food and services. China disagreed with Moody's assessment, and Reuters said no Chinese state media had published the bad news about the downgrade. Now that’s a level message discipline we bet many governments envy.
Influential investment house Magellan Finance Group yesterday said it’s 99% sure Uber will fail in the next decade. "I see Uber as one of the stupidest businesses in history," said chief executive Hamish Douglass. Uber is valued between US$60-70 billion, but Douglass is critical about their way it raises investor funds. He was so strident we wonder if he’s had a bad customer experience? Douglass’ constructive criticism came as Uber admitted it had underpaid New York drivers millions of dollars.
Another fashion retailer has tanked – Topshop’s Australian arm has gone into administration. No word yet on whether they will keep stores open or continue with their presence in Myer stores (they're a 20% owner of the Aussie venture).
Q&A CRITIC GOES FERAL
Newsflash - some people don't like the ABC. Like, really hate their guts. Yesterday, an article on conservative journal Quadrant’s website posted by online editor Roger Franklin said (and we paraphrase) that it would have been more just for the Manchester bombing to take place in the ABC studio where Q&A is filmed and “none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.’’ ABC boss Michelle Guthrie demanded an apology, which she eventually got. Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said this was a new low in public debate. Let’s hope that’s not taken by someone as a challenge. Stay classy, Squiz'ers.
SWIMMING CHAMP UNDERGOES HEART SURGERY
Kyle Chalmers, the champ who won Olympic gold for Oz in Rio for the 100m freestyle, will miss the world championships in July to have heart surgery. Even though he was pictured at the weekend playing footy, we reckon that’s a watertight excuse (lols). Chalmers said he'd had surgery in the past for his Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) but it didn’t work. We wish him well.
CHOCOLATE – GOOD FOR YOU
Speaking of heart health, this sounds like the best medical study ever. Fifty-five-thousand lucky people got to test the effect of chocolate on heart health in a study that lasted 16 years. Sign us up! What it found was people who had a moderate chocolate habit were less likely to have atrial fibrillation. Just to pause here – we have an issue with their definition of ‘moderate’. They say that’s one 30g serving (about six pieces) of chocky a week for women and between two and six servings a week for men. Sexist! But all in all, it's health advice we're happy to take.
“I needed to take a dump, I could not hold it anymore.”
Cycling’s Giro d’Italia race leader Tom Dumoulin was well ahead of his rivals when nature called. His lead was significantly cut and he looked pretty embarrassed. But haven’t we all been there? Well, not leading a significant bike race and having your pit stop televised and critiqued. But you know what we mean...
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