Squiz Today / 06 June 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 6 June
“Given the controversies I've endured over the years it's very nice to see a happy, smiling 28th Prime Minister of Australia.”
Former PM Tony Abbott was in Ballarat yesterday for the unveiling of his bronze replicafor the city’s Prime Ministers Avenue. It’s taken a little while for the bust to be completed, but there’s been a backlog of work given what HR specialists would call a ‘low retention rate’ in the top job. The artist previously said Abbott was “quite attractive”. We’re leaving that right there.
SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS TO STAMP OUT TERROR
Authorities named two of the terrorists involved in the London attack on the weekend, and a third unnamed man is thought to have had an Irish identity card. It was also revealed yesterday two more Australians (taking the total to four) were caught up in the attack – Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said there were “grave concerns” for them. One is 21yo Brisbane woman Sara Zelenak who was in the area at the time but has not been able to be contacted since the attack. UK PM Theresa May’s assessment that there was “far too much tolerance for extremism in our country” was the key issue taken up by our political leaders yesterday.
ARE WE TOLERANT TOWARDS ISLAMIC EXTREMISM?
This is a key debating point of the post-9/11 era. Do our leaders do enough to call out the perpetrators for what they are – ie Islamic extremists? Some, like Tony Abbott, believe we have to “stop pussy-footing around” and be more plainly spoken about who and what is responsible. Others choose to talk about the evils of extremism, sans the Islamic part. Does it really matter? Many experts say it does, particularly when it comes to building understanding (which can mean educating people about ‘extremist Islam’ v Islam) and gaining support for programs that can reduce radicalisation. Others say it inflames Islamophobia.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT FURTHER ATTACKS?
That’s the million-dollar question. For one thing, May called out the social media platforms for the distribution of extremist materials. Turnbull picked up on this yesterday, saying; “…there is too much tolerance of extremist material on social media and that, ultimately, requires cooperation from the big social media platforms, in particular, Facebook and Twitter.” Also, The Australian reports this morning the government is looking at bringing intelligence agencies under one national security ministry, much like the UK’s Home Office model, to improve coordination. Expect these political footballs to be kicked around a while longer…
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MELBOURNE SIEGE HAS POSSIBLE TERROR LINKS
A siege in Melbourne’s beachside suburb of Brighton ended last night in a shoot-out with police killing the gunman (who was on parole and armed with a machine gun) and injuries to three police officers. Police are investigating a call made to Channel Seven, possibly by a female hostage and gunman, saying there was a connection to Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Another man was found dead at the location. Reports say the gunman was known to counter-terrorism authorities.
ARAB NATIONS CUT TIES WITH QATAR
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain yesterday announced they were cutting air, sea and land links with Qatar and have given Qatari citizens two weeks to leave their countries. Why? It's complicated, but the short story is they accuse Qatar of supporting Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Qatar denies the allegations. The country is home to the Al Jazeera TV channel and is set to host the 2022 soccer World Cup. Qatar airlines will have some issues given a lot of the airspace around them is closed. The US and others have encouraged all concerned to discuss and resolve their issues.
OZ-US AGREE DEFEATING ISLAMIC STATE IS KEY TO SECURITY
Australia and the US yesterday reaffirmed their joint commitment to “defeat those who wish us harm”. Australian ministers Julie Bishop and Marise Payne hosted their US counterparts Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Sydney yesterday. Put simply, that means defeating Islamic State in Syria and the Middle East and preventing its spread to Asia. Tillerson also wheeled out some tough talk on China saying they can't expect to use their economic clout to get out of their regional security responsibilities (think North Korea and militarising islands in the South China Sea). One thing we were disappointed about – not one koala in sight for a visiting dignitary photo-op.
SCHEDULE FOR CUTS TO SUNDAY PENALTY RATES PLEASES NO ONE
The Fair Work Commission managed to annoy the unions and bosses with its decision that reductions to the current Sunday rates for retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy staff will be phased in over the next three years. Why? The unions aren’t happy with the decision full-stop but pointed to the low-wages growth environment as a double-whammy for workers. Bosses want to start paying lower wages now. You can’t please everyone (or anyone in this case…).
RED ROOSTER COULD BE A RED HOT MARKET WINNER
Confession time. We have a thing for Red Rooster chips. And Oporto chips. Actually, we just have a thing for chips, but that probably won’t come into the market’s thinking when it considers this public listing. A report circulated yesterday on Craveable Brands, parent of the above-named fast food brands + Chicken Treat (for full disclosure we haven’t tried their chips), said the group could be worth up to $534 million. Reports say they are looking to list on the Australian Stock Exchange later this year. Our advice – if you’re a chip fan like us speak to your financial adviser on a full stomach.
WONDER WOMAN = WONDERFUL WEEKEND
The latest Warner Bros ‘DC Extended Universe’ superhero film – Wonder Woman – smashed expectations to take US$100 million+ in North America last weekend to break the record for the biggest opening for a female director. And more than 50% of the audience for the film on opening weekend was female. It’s had pretty good reviews too.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Prince Harry arrives in Sydney, no public engagements until Wednesday
2.30PM (AEST) - Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Decision
ABS Data Releases - Balance of Payments, March; Building Approvals, April
5.30PM (AEST) - Richard Wilkinson, 2017 Australian Society for Medical Research Medallist, address and award presentation - National Press Club, Canberra
Queensland Day - celebrating 158 years since official separation from NSW.
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