Squiz Today / 24 April 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 24 April
“The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant?”
Tweeted one social media wag about the news that the royal baby was on its way. And low and behold, a baby boy has arrived. Kate paid tribute to Diana as she departed the hospital (yes, they're home already...). And a name is TBC. Nice.
ANZAC DAY FOCUS TURNS TO THE WESTERN FRONT
You know the feeling. You decide to buy a new car and from there on in all you can see on the road is the model you've chosen. And so it has been with military commander Sir John Monash of late - his name is popping up everywhere. So this Anzac Day eve, and for the centenary of the WWI battle for Villers-Bretonneux, we thought we’d focus on this notable Australian and incredible piece of our war history.
OK. LET’S GO…
Tomorrow morning Oz time, PM Malcolm Turnbull will open the Sir John Monash Centre. It’s a new $100 million Australian government-funded museum on the grounds of the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in northern France that will tell the story of Australia’s contribution on the battlefields and trenches of Europe’s Western Front. It’s namesake Sir John Monash was:
• A civil engineer and soldier. He was in Gallipoli in 1915 and was given command of Australia’s troops in France in 1918. He was widely regarded as an innovative leader who was instrumental to the Allied forces’ victory over Germany in November 1918.
• A leading figure in the Jewish community who led the Victorian government’s development of electricity assets after the war (hence the Coalition coal campaigners' appropriation of his name for their ‘Monash Forum’).
• He’s also been in the news of late after Turnbull, on the advice of current military leaders, declined to posthumously promote him to the rank of Field Marshal, the highest rank in the Australian Army.
AND WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF VILLERS-BRETONNEUX?
The battle that took place there on 24-25 April 1918 is regarded by war history buffs as “the other Anzac Day”. In short:
• German troops took control of the town on 24 April, which shocked the Allied command, prompting British commanders to order its immediate recapture.
• The job was given to 3,900 Australian troops who were sent on what many believed was a hopeless mission.
• Starting at 10pm on 24 April, our soldiers surrounded the heavily fortified village and by dawn, broke through the German line. They retook the town and kick-started the Allies’ path to ultimate victory by the end of that year.
• That’s why the town was chosen in the years after the war to be the main site of Australia’s Western Front memorial. And why that site’s being enhanced 100 years on. As for the town itself, it maintains a strong affection for all things Aussie to this day.
• In total, 290,000 Australians fought on the Western Front during WWI and 46,000 died, including 1,200 who died in the battle for Villers-Bretonneux.
Lest we forget.
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PEDESTRIANS STRUCK BY VAN IN TORONTO
The incident occurred shortly before our sending time so look out for more details today. Reports say around eight-to-10 pedestrians have been hit. The driver has been found and was arrested.
MEDICH FOUND GUILTY
Since the 2009 murder of Michael McGurk in front of his nine-year-old son, his family has been waiting for a verdict on the role played by former business partner Ron Medich in his killing. Two trials later, the millionaire property developer was yesterday found guilty of commissioning the murder and will likely spend the rest of his life in jail. McGurk and Medich were once business partners, but the relationship soured when the pair became involved in a legal dispute. After agreeing to turn police informant, Medich’s business associate Fortunato ‘Lucky’ Gattellari received a reduced sentence in 2013 of seven-and-a-half years jail for his role in the murder.
SOME GOODIES FOR THE NT
Remember the recent round of horizontal fiscal equalisation? Who doesn’t! To recap, the Northern Territory’s share of GST funding was reduced. So to make up some of that shortfall, Treasurer Scott Morrison yesterday confirmed the Feds would chip in an additional $260 million, and another $550 million for indigenous housing projects over the next five years. Just don’t call him Santa Claus… Both governments say it has nothing to do with the NT’s decision to lift its moratorium on fracking.
ROYAL COMMISSION UPDATE
Three things to note from yesterday’s hearings:
• AMP has not notified customers it has identified as receiving poor financial advice from its network. And ANZ agreed a 2015 survey found its financial advice was not in its clients’ interest one in every 20 times. “Very regrettable,” the bank’s witness said.
• Former PM Tony Abbott called for the corporate regulators to be sacked for not being more vigilant.
• And One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said any proposed corporate tax relief the banks would receive should be redirected to the victims of misconduct.
NEW CEO FOR MYER
British shopkeeper John King will need to get cracking toot sweet on an action plan to turn the retailer around. The former boss of House of Fraser has been given two jobs by chairman Garry Hounsell – to “unlock the company's significant potential and deliver shareholder value." He’ll need a whole lotta luck with the Aussie retail icon recently posting its biggest loss in its +100 year history. Still, the market liked the announcement with Myer’s share price up 8.5% yesterday.
BARBARA BUSH FUNERAL WELL ATTENDED
Except for President Donald Trump who did not attend out of respect for the Bush family. What? The disruption that a presidential attendance would cause meant Trump followed the precedent of previous presidents (say that three times after a wine) by not attending. However, Melania Trump did attend - and the subsequent happy snap was widely remarked upon for how nicely she fitted in. She then had to hightail it back from Houston to prepare for the Trump Administration's first state dinner tonight with French President Emmanuel Macron in town. This short piece on how Mrs Trump’s handling it all is a good read.
PRESENTED BY THE GROWTH FACULTY
In just a few weeks' time, Sydney and Melbourne audiences will get to spend an evening with Hillary Clinton. With the discussion moderated by former PM Julia Gillard, Clinton has promised a candid account of her life in American politics and of the extraordinary 2016 presidential race. Tickets are available using this link.
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12.30pm (AEST) - Richard Marles, Federal Labor's Defence spokesman, to address the National Press Club on 'An Australian Defence Industry: Moving from Policy Tourism to National Interest' - Canberra
ABS Data Release - Consumer Price Index, March; Regional Population Growth, 2016-17
World Immunisation Week (on until 30 April)
We'll be back Thursday morning, talk to you then.
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