Squiz Today / 01 May 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 1 May
“There's currently no reliable scientific evidence to indicate autism in dogs (or its link to vaccines).”
Said the British Veterinary Association after pups became a new focus for the anti-vax movement. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but, how could you even tell your dog had autism?” one Twitter user asked on behalf of all of us...
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Congrats Australia, we’re probably $7 billion better off than we thought were. Hooray! The windfall is largely thanks to companies paying more tax than expected because their profits have increased. And it gets better. Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics reckons next week’s Budget could reveal the nation’s coffers to be in even better shape.
THAT’S GREAT! *MENTALLY SPENDS EVERY CENT*
Sorry, but Treasurer Scott Morrison isn’t keen on letting us put new tyres on the car and take off on holiday just yet (or are those just our spending priorities?). He says the upcoming Budget will be “responsible”. Meanwhile, Labor leader Bill Shorten was keen to refocus the Budget discussion on the Coalition’s plan to lower company tax rates. “Do you want better hospitals and schools or richer banks?” Shorten asked.
SO WE’RE NOT GOING ON HOLIDAY?
Nope. The big picture is:
• The Coalition wants to return the budget to surplus in the financial year 2020-21 while also lowering tax rates, including company and personal income taxes.
• Labor is talking about increasing funding for education and health, and targeting relief for low-income earners while winding back tax relief measures for our top earners.
This is shaping up as the main battlefront for the next election.
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JOURNALISTS KILLED IN LATEST AFGHAN VIOLENCE
Two explosions rocked the Afghanistan capital of Kabul yesterday killing at least 25 people. Four of the casualties were police, and nine were journalists after a bomber dressed as a cameraman detonated a second bomb at the site of the earlier explosion. Among the dead was celebrated AFP photographer Shah Marai. Some of his work is here. The BBC also lost a reporter yesterday – Ahmad Shah was shot and killed while working in the Afghan province of Khost. Reports say the recent unrest has to do with elections scheduled later this year.
ISRAEL ACCUSES IRAN OF NUCLEAR LIES
Three things to note:
• Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu says its intelligence agencies have uncovered evidence showing the deal with the US, France and four other powerful nations did not stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear program. Iran says that’s rubbish.
• Reports say French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke at length at the weekend about preserving the deal.
• All this does not augur well for keeping the US in the 2015 deal where sanctions against Iran were scaled back for its commitment to downsizing its nuclear program. US President Donald Trump has until 12 May to decide.
BONJOUR PRESIDENT MACRON
Or should we (lamely) say “g’day mate”? Macron arrives in Australia today for his ever first visit to Oz. He's here until Thursday, and PM Malcolm Turnbull says the old favourites – trade and regional security - are on the list for discussion. Specifically, we'd like a free trade agreement with the European Union, and France's support will be important to getting it over the line. And French defence companies are our partner in building our new submarines. Let’s hope we can stand the glamour.
And for those wondering what happened to the tree Macron gave Trump – it’s in quarantine. Let’s hope he doesn’t try to slip an oak past our quarantine people. Although it would make a great episode of Border Security…
AMP CHAIRWOMAN IS OUT
As expected, Catherine Brenner resigned yesterday as the banking Royal Commission claimed another scalp. Her departure has to do with revelations the board interfered with an ‘independent’ report in an attempt to distance former CEO Craig Meller from the ‘fee-for-no-service’ scandal. Its senior legal counsel Brian Salter was also shown the door over the report (he found out he lost his job when he saw the press release). However, the company said it does not believe anyone acted inappropriately. AMP shares finished up a smidge yesterday, but the last couple weeks have not been pretty. Its incoming chair and legal team will have their hands full with a fourth law firm looking at a class action against the wealth managers.
THERE’S A NEW PIG IN CHINATOWN
Peppa Pig – cute/annoying earworm of parents across the world or subversive force that “could potentially hamper positive societal morale”? China has decided she's more the latter and has started removing the porcine disruptor from its social media channels. Seems the problem is her recent appeal to adults and the government's desire to maintain a "healthy online culture". In fact, a new government-sanctioned piggy called “Little Dodo” has been launched to replace her. Poor Peppa...
SQUIZ THE DAY
Ruling due on Cardinal George Pell's committal hearing over historic child abuse charges - Melbourne
ANZ Bank's Half Year Results Announcement
Anniversary of the polio vaccine being made available to the public (1956)
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