Squiz Today / 08 August 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 8 August
“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”
One senior (and male, in case you couldn’t guess…) Google software engineer’s views on their diversity policies went viral prompting many women to talk about their disheartening experiences. Already under investigation for gender pay-equity issues, it's intriguing to see signs the tech company is stuck in a former century.
LIBS TO RENEW PUSH FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PLEBISCITE
A meeting of federal Liberal Party MPs and senators late yesterday has determined to try again to legislate for a plebiscite (a compulsory people’s vote) this week as the next step to resolve the question about legalising same-sex marriage in Australia. If that’s not successful, they will pursue a postal vote - which doesn’t require legislation, is not compulsory and doesn’t have the support of some same-sex marriage advocates - if the plebiscite proposal is again defeated in the Senate as expected. WA Senator Dean Smith’s proposal to go straight to a conscience vote by MPs ASAP received seven votes – a long way from being successful.
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?
Depending on who you ask – disappointed or placated. Senator Mathias Cormann (a fellow West Australian and friend of Smith’s) spoke on the Turnbull government’s behalf saying they were committed to keeping the faith with the Australian people by sticking to their promise to let Australian's vote on it – the position they took to the last election. The decision was also welcomed by the Australian Christian Lobby. However, Labor, the Greens and same-sex marriage advocates derided it as weak and a dereliction of the government’s duty to lead and legislate.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Here’s the drill on what we know right now:
- There will be a vote on legislation for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage this week.
- If that doesn’t pass the parliament (and it’s likely it won’t pass), preparations for a postal vote could commence as early as next week for it to be rolled out in October.
- If Australia votes ‘yes’ (to a plebiscite or postal vote), the Parliament would then have a conscience vote on changing the law.
- But if a ‘no’ vote is returned, the Coalition would not take legislation to the Parliament.
And there’s a wild card that hinges on whether Smith and the MPs who supported a conscience vote decide to plough on ahead regardless of the Lib’s decision yesterday. That would be an extremely explosive thing for them to do - not only would it be career limiting, but it would also put PM Malcolm Turnbull under pressure from his critics inside and outside the party. But at a minimum, Smith has taken the issue is out of stall-mode. We’ll all know a bit more as today unfolds.
SQUIZ THE REST
NORTH KOREA ANGRY WITH UN SANCTIONS
Now here’s a surprise… the Hermit Kingdom has vowed it will strike a “thousands-fold” revenge against the US as a result of proposed UN sanctions. No, sadly we’re not in a dramatic action movie – this is real. A statement carried by North Korean state media said; “There is no bigger mistake than the US believing that its land is safe across the ocean.” South Korea and the US talked yesterday (see, US President Donald Trump is working after all…) and agreed to continue with joint military exercises later this month. Stay tuned for the next terrifying episode…
GOVERNMENT TO CRACK DOWN ON PAY-PER-VIEW CHILD ABUSE
The Turnbull government yesterday committed to further moves to crack down on child sex offenders, this time focusing on child abuse performed via pay-per-view online. Apparently – and depressingly - this form of horrendousness is increasingly prevalent with Aussies paying for live-streamed vision of children being abused in developing countries. Long-time child abuse prevention campaigner Senator Derryn Hinch and Skye Kakoschke-Moore from the Nick Xenophon Team have been pushing for stronger laws to protect children in Australia and overseas, and these changes will build on recent moves to take passports away from convicted child sex offenders.
DEATH IN MANUS ISLAND DETENTION CENTRE
An Iranian asylum seeker detained on Manus Island became the fifth man to die at the Australian immigration offshore detention centre since 2014 (a further two deaths have been recorded in Nauru). Hamed Shamshiripour was 31yo and reports say he had a history of mental illness. Amnesty International said they did not know if his death was a result of violence or self-harm and Australian officials said Papua New Guinea authorities were investigating. The centre is due to close at the end of October.
FLESH EATING SEA BUGS RAVAGE TEENAGER
The poor kid – it would have been unnerving to come out of the water and see bleeding calves and feet. Sam Kanizay emerged from a dip at Brighton beach with the wounds caused by what has been identified as an amphipod (like a mini crustacean). Sam’s dad went back and caught a sample with some steak, which they devoured. Gross. AFL club St Kilda advised their team yesterday morning to stay away from the beach, popular with players for post-game recovery in the cold water. Saints player Koby Stevens said; "You really need your feet for this game, so we were advised not go down there." Smart move.
SPRINTING GREAT BETTY CUTHBERT DEAD AT 79
Betty Cuthbert was one of the greatest athletes Australia ever produced - only Ian Thorpe has won more Olympic gold. She cemented her place in history by winning the 100m and 200m sprints at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics as an 18yo and became Oz’s first triple gold medalist with a relay win. Cuthbert was injured during the 1960 Olympics and announced her retirement, but she came back in 1964 winning gold in the 400m at the Tokyo Games. Our 'Golden Girl' remains the only athlete to have won gold in all three Olympic sprint events. She battled multiple sclerosis since the 1970’s and received many honours for her advocacy on behalf of fellow sufferers. The WA government has offered her family a state funeral. This footage of her in action at the ’56 Games is brilliant – what a woman.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Address by Dr Lobsang Sangay (Tibet’s first democratically elected political leader) to the National Press Club on 'Tibet and Australia: how can democracies survive a rising China' - Canberra
8.00pm - Premier of ABC TV's The House with Annabel Crabb
National Australia Bank Business Confidence Survey, July
Dying To Know Day (promoting conversations about end of life and bereavement)
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