Squiz Today / 26 April 2018
Squiz Today – Thursday, 26 April
"Time goes so quickly. Why spend too much of it being ‘patient’…"
Confession time: Helen McCabe is one of our favourite people. The Squiz only exists because she gave us the confidence to chuck in our corporate job to give it a go. As one of the country’s most respected media mavens, she’s (impatiently) working towards the launch of Future Women - a new forum for forward thinking women. We’ve signed up and you should too. McCabe is this week’s subject of the Three Minute Squiz.
CALLS FOR TRUMP AND MACRON TO GET A ROOM
There was touching, fine dining, sartorial elegance and some pinky wiggling. But French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to America also generated some serious discussions with US President Donald Trump. On the agenda was the nuclear pact with Iran and the recent happenings in Syria.
JUST THE KEY POINTS PLEASE…
We hear you. Iran was the hot topic.
• This has to do with the 2015 agreement that six powerful nations (including the US and France) struck with Iran where crippling sanctions were lifted in exchange for Iran placing limits on its nuclear program.
• Trump hates the deal and has threatened to abandon it in the coming weeks.
• But France and the other nations want the US to stay the course, and reports say discussions between the presidential pair on a new deal went well.
• That’s good news because Iran has promised to resume its nuclear activities if the US bails on the agreement and reapplies the old sanctions.
• Iran was already in the bad books with Trump given its support for the ruling Syrian regime - the same regime that the US, France and the UK launched airstrikes against a few days ago in retaliation for the chemical strike on Douma.
HANG ON... YOU SAID THERE WAS ‘TOUCHING’?
So much touching. And kissing, and hand-holding. Dandruff was involved at one stage. One practitioner of ‘nonverbal studies’ (is that what body language experts are calling themselves these days?) said the presidents put on a display of “playful dominance”. Which reminds us of the dog park… Let’s hope PM Malcolm Turnbull is ready to get physical when Macron touches down in Oz next Tuesday.
SQUIZ THE REST
LEVY INCREASE BE GONE
Treasurer Scott Morrison will today dump the Medicare Levy increase the government was to implement from mid-2019 to help pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The 0.5% increase, which would have taken the Medicare Levy to 2.5%, was to net about $8 billion over four years. Its dumping will save average taxpayers about $375 a year. Reports say the Budget is in good enough nick for the government to remove the increase.
KOREA TOP OF MIND FOR TRUMP
Macron must have put Trump in a good mood yesterday with the US President’s goodwill extending to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. “Honourable” was how Trump described the nuclear enthusiast. But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump has his eyes wide open on North Korea's recent change of heart. Also in the news yesterday - America’s incoming Ambassador to Oz, Admiral Harry Harris, will be sent to South Korea instead.
TORONTO VAN ATTACKER'S MOTIVATION UNCOVERED
Alek Minassian (25yo) has been charged by Toronto police with 10 counts of murder and 15 counts of attempted murder. Authorities believe he mounted the busy sidewalk with the intention of hitting pedestrians on Monday afternoon. Reports say Minassian was motivated by an online group known as ‘incel’, which translates to the ‘involuntary celibate’. He posted a message to Facebook before the attack referring to it.
DANISH SUBMARINE MURDERER SENTENCED
Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall on his submarine. She went missing after boarding the sub to interview Madsen in August last year. Parts of her dismembered body were found on Danish shores almost two weeks later. Madsen said she died from hitting her head, but the court found Wall’s murder was premeditated. The case has gripped Denmark and the world.
WEAK INFLATION COULD KEEP INTEREST RATES ON HOLD
Which might sound like good news, but it’s also a factor in why your pay packet isn’t going up at the moment. Swings and roundabouts? The official numbers out on Tuesday puts our inflation rate at 1.9% for the last year, which is below the Reserve Bank’s target of 2-3%. Inflation rose 0.4% in the January-March quarter driven by increases in school fees and electricity bills. Which means it wasn’t the best few months for folks who had their kids in private school and a home to keep cool over the summer. It was the 10th consecutive result that’s come in below the RBA target.
ANZACS REMEMBERED ACROSS THE WORLD
Thousands of Aussies attended services around the country yesterday. And in the French town of Villers-Bretonneux, PM Malcolm Turnbull, Prince Charles and French PM Edouard Philippe headlined a remembrance service and opening of the Sir John Monash Centre, a new museum to tell the story of Australia’s contribution to WWI's Western Front. Philippe stole the show with his terrific speech; "For many of them, this earth was the final confidante of a thought or a word intended for a loved one from the other side of the world. Loved ones who would only learn the sad news several months later." Worth a look.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Treasurer Scott Morrison to deliver a pre-Budget address to the Australian Business Economists - Sydney
ABS Data Releases - International Trade Price Indexes, March; Taxation Revenue, 2016-17; Government Finance Statistics, 2016-17
Anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident at the Chernobyl plant in the former Soviet Union (1986)
US First Lady Melania Trump's birthday (1970)
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