Squiz Today / 25 July 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 25 July
“Clearly, we can’t put Michael in one lane and a white shark on the far lane. We’re gonna have to do a simulation.”
Clearly. Because actually putting an Olympic swimming great like Michael Phelps in a pool with a yuuuge great white shark would be beyond silly, right? That didn't stop many US TV viewers of the Discovery Channel’s Phelps v Shark program from feeling ripped off. @PhreshBreth said; “Waited an hour for Michael Phelps to race a CGI shark. Discovery is receiving a strongly worded letter fur sure.” Spoiler alert: Phelps lost, but is alive.
IMF GOES FOR GROWTH
Good news yesterday via the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Update – they believe the global economy is still set to grow by 3.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018 despite the US and UK economies not performing as well as previously expected. The IMF had thought US President Donald Trump’s agenda (including tax cuts/Mexican border walls etc) would be a bump for the global economy, but it hasn't happened. And the UK has struggled (think political uncertainty and terror attacks), so they’ve been downgraded too.
SO WHAT IS GOING WELL?
France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are performing better than expected and there’s a feeling they might be on a bit of a roll. Canada and Japan also did well. And China is on track to deliver 6.7% growth this year and 6.4% next year, which is reassuring. But for some context: the forecast is still below the pre-2008 global financial crisis average. Sorry to be a Debbie downer.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
We rely heavily on exports, so a good global economy = good for Oz. World conditions are also top of mind for our Reserve Bank as they look at interest rates. They’re also looking at how we’re performing domestically, and ‘patchy’ is the word from Commsec’s latest State of the States report. Top tier is NSW, Victoria and the ACT; mid tier is Tassie, Queensland, South Oz and the NT. Bottom tier is Western Oz. Victoria came in second with strong population growth, and WA continues to reel from the downturn in the mining sector. Experts say while growth is muted and our ‘multi-speed’ economy delivers inconsistent results it’s unlikely we’ll see interest rate increases soon. Here's to that.
SQUIZ THE REST
UN REFUGEE AGENCY ACCUSES OZ OF BREAKING A PROMISE
In a surprise statement yesterday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Australia hadn't honoured an agreement to consider resettling Manus Island and Nauru detainees with close family ties in Australia here. But with no prospect of this happening; “to avoid prolonging their ordeal, UNHCR has no other choice but to endorse the relocation of all refugees to the United States.” It’s unknown who the UNHCR believes it made an agreement with and is contrary to the government's stated position. The office of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said: “The position of the Coalition government has been clear and consistent: those transferred to (regional processing centres) will never settle in Australia.”
PROPOSAL FOR SUPER FUND CHANGES
Fresh from maternity leave, Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer yesterday announced a proposal to make the super funds act more like public companies. The proposal aims to increase the accountability and transparency of the funds via compulsory annual meetings, clearer financial reports, harsh penalties for fund directors who breach their duties and increased regulatory clout. The Financial Services Council and some of the super funds said they generally like it. As O’Dwyer said: “given the compulsory nature of superannuation, Australians rightly expect the industry to be held to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.” Damn straight.
QUICK INTERNATIONAL NEWS WRAP
KABUL BLAST KILLS 35 – A suicide car bomb attack in Afghanistan's capital yesterday killed up to 35 people and injured more than 40. The bomber struck a bus of government employees (claimed by the Taliban to be intelligence staff) during peak hour. Reports say the US is considering an increase in the number of its troops to better assist local authorities.
TURKEY PUTS JOURNOS ON TRIAL – Seventeen journalists and managers from newspaper Cumhuriyet went on trial in Turkey yesterday on charges of aiding a terrorist organisation. Turkey has been in a state of emergency since a failed coup a year ago and press freedom has taken a battering under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Defence lawyer Adil Demirci said; "This is obviously a political case. They are targeting Cumhuriyetbecause it is an opposition paper.” A result is expected this week.
TOO LATE FOR CHARLIE GARD - The parents of 11-month-old baby Charlie Gard have ended their legal fight to take him from the UK to the US for experimental therapy for a degenerative brain and muscle condition. The fight has been ongoing since March when the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London applied to the court to end his life support. His parents say new tests show it is now too late for the therapy and that continuing their fight would cause Charlie pain. Without life support baby Charlie is not expected to live until his first birthday on 4 August.
CHECK THE LIST TO SEE IF YOUR CAR’S AIRBAGS ARE SAFE
If you haven't already, now's the time to get on it. More than 2 million cars are thought to be caught up in the Takata airbag recalls following a number of injuries and deaths (including one last week) due to shrapnel being released with the deployment of the airbags. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says 'don’t panic', but please check if your car is ok. Here’s the list of vehicles affected. And here’s some advice on the next steps you should take if your car is on the list. You’re welcome.
DIANA TAKES MASTERCHEF TITLE, BUT BEN THE REAL WINNER
Despite the Australian Ninja Warrior onslaught and now in its 762nd year (or something like that), the MasterChef finale unfurled last night with the lovely Diana taking out this year’s title by only one point. It all came down to the construction of a trio of ice-cream desserts fashioned to look like fruit. Of course. Diana now joins an ever-growing list of MasterChef winners who, despite their talent in the kitchen, will probably be forgotten in two months' time. TBH Ben seemed to be the winner on the night - that sound you hear is the noise of a hundred commercial deals thundering at him over the horizon. Ten have a day to breathe and then Wednesday = a new series of The Bachelor…
BABY SEAL RESCUE CUSHIONS BLOW OF SNOOTY’S UNTIMELY DEMISE
After seeing the sad news that the world’s oldest manatee, 69yo Snooty, died in a horrible accident just one day after his birthday, we looked for some good news. This tickled our fancy. Farmer Dee Knapp was checking out the lambs on his property near Invercargill NZ when he came across a baby seal – 10km from the nearest beach. "Well blow me away, it's a baby seal in the middle of my paddock..." Bless. "I made the executive decision to wrap him in a blanket, bring him inside, give him a feed then take him to Blue Cliffs Beach and release him," he said. Good work, Cuzzy Bro.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Prof Allan Fels AO, Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, to address the National Press Club - Canberra
President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner to be privately questioned by the US House Intelligence Committee over claims of contact with Russia
Louise Brown's 39th birthday - the world's first IVF baby
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