Squiz Today / 16 October 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 16 October
“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.”
A TEACHING MOMENT
With both the major parties agreeing that no student at a private or religious school should be expelled because of their sexuality, attention has now turned to the treatment of teachers. Bill Shorten and Labor are turning up the heat, and with the Wentworth byelection on Saturday, the immediate electoral stakes are high.
BRING ME UP TO SPEED
• Back when our federal pollies were struggling with the same-sex marriage issue (soooo 2017…), former PM Malcolm Turnbull sought to chillax conservatives with a look into protections of religious freedoms, and Philip Ruddock, the former Howard Government minister, was given the task.
• Our discrimination laws, including updates made by Labor in 2013, make it possible for schools to turn away gay students and teachers.
• And with the Ruddock report sitting in the Prime Minister’s inbox since May, its contents leaked like an old banana in a schoolbag. Cue the questions…
• After some political quickstepping, the Coalition and Labor agreed that it shouldn't be ok for gay students to be expelled, but questions about gay teachers seemed to drop off the radar.
• That is until yesterday when Labor pressed Morrison to clarify the government's position on teachers. But Morrison put the question into a holding pattern saying that it would be considered with the rest of the Ruddock report.
WHY IS THIS SO HOT RIGHT NOW?
One word – Wentworth. And we’re not talking about the prison teledrama… The Liberals’ candidate Dave Sharma is doing it tough against independent candidate Kerryn Phelps in Turnbull's old bluer than blue-ribbon Liberal seat. And given the electorate has the largest gay population in the country, this stuff is hotter than your favourite drag queen on Wentworth's Oxford Street.
SQUIZ THE REST
AND IN MORE NEWS FROM CANBERRA…
LABOR CLAMPS DOWN ON TRADE DEALS - Following union angst to do more to protect Aussie jobs, reports this morning say Labor has changed its mind on free trade deals. The key issue is allowing foreign workers into Oz under these deals - something Labor says it will no longer support. The Coalition says that would make doing trade deals impossible which would stymie Australia's growth.
ISRAEL EMBASSY MOVE POSSIBLE – The government will release a foreign affairs statement today that reports say includes a possible shift of our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. That mirrors President Trump's controversial move earlier this year.
MILKSHAKING WITH ANGER - Holy smokeys did Agriculture Minister David Littleproud unload on the supermarkets yesterday. He’s cranky with the way they’ve levied milk to raise funds for drought-stricken farmers. Woolies and Coles “were pretending to be good people” by applying it to their own brand milk, and not all the milk brands they sell. And Aldi has told everyone to “go and jam it” by refusing to participate, he said. No doubt Littleproud will be eyeing some of Coles’ potential profits with the soon to be demerged business announcing its best first quarter sales result for a couple of years. Little Shop, anyone?
KEEPING UP WITH KHASHOGGI
With pressure continuing to mount over the disappearance of US-based Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman got on the blower overnight. The upshot is Trump received another flat denial of any Saudi involvement, and “it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers,” Trump said. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will head there to meet the king. Meanwhile, Turkish and Saudi officials have been seen entering the consulate in Istanbul – the last known place that Khashoggi visited.
ASSAD FIGHTS DIRTY
With the civil war in Syria grinding to an end after seven years of fighting and 350,000 deaths, a BBC investigation found President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people on at least 106 occasions since 2014. Assad denies his forces have used chemical weapons since Syria gave them up in 2013 when it signed up to an international agreement and destroyed its stockpile. The attacks are thought to have resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths.
THE FIGHT FOR RETAIL SURVIVAL
Furniture/whitegoods/electrical goods retailer Gerry Harvey yesterday said that US mega-disrupter Amazon has been in Oz for a while and “has had honestly zero effect on Harvey Norman.” He says it’ll get tougher, but for now, he says the threat has been overblown. That’s probably what US chain store Sears thought when the competition came to town. The once dominant retailer that had been around for 132 years and “changed how Americans shopped and lived” yesterday filed for bankruptcy.
AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A CAT PAJAMA-JAM PARTY
"Sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping to attend this 'cat pajama-jam' party, but such an event falls well outside our area of expertise.” That’s what a spokesman for the US Embassy in Canberra was moved to say after an invitation, complete with a picture of a cat in a Cookie Monster outfit, was accidentally issued from within its walls. The “training error” has been rectified with “strong new management controls”. Party-poopers…
SQUIZ THE DAY
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