Squiz Today / 26 June 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 26 June
Is the name on the back of the Socceroos shirt given to Pope Francis by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove. His endorsement could give us the divine inspiration we need to take the must-win game against Peru tomorrow morning from 12.00am (AEST). C’mon Aussie!
SPY GAMES TARGETED BY NEW LAWS
After a series of warnings from our spy agencies and national security officials, federal parliament is expected to pass new laws this week to crack down on ‘foreign agents' seeking to influence our politics and society. The government says the problem is real and ASIO boss Duncan Lewis recently said there are more foreign spies in Australia now than during the Cold War.
GIVE ME THE DETAILS
The proposed laws were gone over by a committee which yesterday announced 52 recommendations. In short:
• Foreign political donations will be banned.
• A register to publicly list ‘agents of foreign influence’ will be created. Exemptions have been made for charities and religious organisations.
• Former pollies will need to be on the register if they lobby on behalf of foreign powers at any time after they leave politics. Staffers need to be on the register for 15 years after they go.
WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?
The aim is to keep our elections free of tampering and our national institutions free from foreign influence. On that score, all roads lead to Beijing. The pollies won’t say it, but these issues are at the nub of our currently fractious relationship with China. Another thing to note: the Coalition and Labor Party have worked together on the laws -something you'd hope would be the case on matters of national security.
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DREAMWORLD: A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN
Another bad day for the operators of the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast yesterday as the inquest into the 2016 death of four park visitors heard how the ride maintenance budget was subject to cutbacks in the months leading up to the tragedy. The inquest also heard how Dreamworld’s then chief safety officer felt overstretched, under-resourced and was preoccupied with “putting out fires” on a daily basis. The inquest continues this week.
SWEET COMMITMENT ON DRINKS
The Australian Beverages Council (bet they have a great drinks fridge…) says its members have committed to reducing sugar usage by 20% by 2025. One thing to be clear on – a serve of soft drink will not contain 20% less sugar. The reduction will be measured across a producer's portfolio. So expect to see more low-sugar, sugar-free and water drinks in your supermarket aisles. The Australian Medical Association said it would prefer to see a sugar tax. Health Minister Greg Hunt said he was pleased to see the industry working on improvements to curb the obesity crisis gripping Oz.
ERDOGAN’S POWER GRAB IN TURKEY
Declared the official winner of the country’s election, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to double down on his 15-year-long dominance of the government. Changes will include abolishing the position of prime minister and giving the president discretion to tinker with the judiciary and executive government positions and decisions. Did someone say dictatorship? Erodgan has his supporters, but Western nations are concerned by his strongman style and penchant for locking up journalists. One group of election observers said opposition parties didn’t get the opportunity to campaign like Erdogan’s did.
CBA TAKES A KNIFE TO THE TROUBLE
Like cutting off a bunion, the Commonwealth Bank yesterday announced it would demerge its troublesome wealth management/financial advice arm as well as its superannuation and mortgage broking businesses. The new company, called CFS Group (which could stand for ‘Castoffs For Sale'), includes Aussie Home Loans and Colonial First State, and accounts for $500 million of the bank’s annual profits. CEO Matt Comyn said the goal was to make the bank more simple.
SUNDAY ORIGIN BETTER ON A WEDNESDAY
The prospect of NSW’s second State of Origin series win in 13 years wasn’t enough to beat the number of couch potatoes watching the first game of the series. Sunday night’s TV ratings showed Nine’s broadcast was watched by 2.12 million metro viewers, down from the 2.32 million who watched the Wednesday, June 6 game. But the bottom line is more than 2 million watched, which is a lot. Let’s see how the soccer goes tonight…
HISTORY CRINGE HITS LAURA INGALLS WILDER
The beloved author has had her name removed from a longstanding literary award over racist themes in her books. Reports say she is the latest to be targeted in a “purge from the cultural landscape symbols that honour historical figures who owned slaves, espoused racist views or engaged in racist practices.” Her books have many references to her family’s encounters with Native Americans as they settled on America’s Western frontier in the late 1800s. Critics say the racist attitudes of the time are plain to see in her work. “The only good Indian is a dead Indian,” is one line from Little House on the Prairie. But Ingalls Wilder biographer Caroline Fraser said her works should be read critically; “But no white American should be able to avoid the history it has to tell.”
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Wednesday 12.00am (AEST) - World Cup Soccer - Australia v Peru
ABS Data Release - Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2016-17
70th anniversary of the start of the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift
Anniversary of the birthday of American Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl Buck (1892)
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