Squiz Today / 23 May 2018
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 23 May
“Not a fan of karaoke. Did it once when I was in North Korea in 2011. Never since.”
We have so many questions… But former lawyer and author Bri Lee is a woman on the move. Her debut literary effort Eggshell Skull is a memoir about sexism in the Australian legal and justice system – and it’s out today. Please welcome Bri to this week’s Three Minute Squiz.
ADELAIDE ARCHBISHOP GUILTY OF CONCEALING ABUSE
History was made yesterday when the Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson was found guilty of covering up child abuse. The landmark ruling makes him the most senior Catholic in the world to be found guilty of charges relating to child abuse. Specifically, the 67yo was found guilty of covering up abuse by priest Jim Fletcher in the 70s. Fletcher was convicted in 2004 and died in jail in 2006.
OK, I’M LISTENING…
In a nutshell, the NSW magistrate believed the witnesses’ evidence that they told Wilson (when he was serving as an assistant parish priest in East Maitland 40 years ago) about abuse they suffered at the hands of Fletcher. Wilson’s evidence that he did not remember the conversations was not accepted. Prosecutors have requested a custodial sentence for Wilson, which abuse victims welcomed. His sentencing hearing is on June 19 - the harshest penalty he faces is two years in prison. Meanwhile, there are renewed calls for him to resign as Archbishop.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CARDINAL GEORGE PELL’S TRIAL?
Probably nothing. As legal eagles pointed out yesterday, the cases are different, and the court in Victoria handling Pell’s trials will make its own decisions. However, SA lawyer Craig Caldicott said yesterday’s ruling could trigger hundreds of prosecutions given the precedent it sets. He also said it again raises the matter of the church’s seal of confession in an age of mandatory reporting of child abuse. Don’t be surprised if there is more legal wrangling after Wilson’s lawyers, and perhaps the Catholic Church, review the decision.
SQUIZ THE REST
ACCUSATIONS OF BRIBERY AND INFLUENCE PEDDLING
WA MP Andrew Hastie last night used parliamentary privilege to name Chinese-Australian property developer Chau Chak Wing as being involved in an investigation by the FBI for co-conspiring to bribe a senior United Nations official. Chau has been a donor to both the major parties and Aussie universities and is said to have close links to the Chinese Communist Party. Hastie said it was important to talk openly about China’s alleged influence peddling in western democracies. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the weekend. Afterwards, Chinese officials said there’s some work to do to “return to the right track", and we have a feeling this is the sort of thing they'd probably prefer to see less of…
CRANKY TO THE MAX
Pauline Hanson's decision to withdraw One Nation's support for the Turnbull Government's corporate tax cut plan set wheels in motion:
• She justified her party's backflip. But said she likes Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, so that’s nice.
• Labor launched an attack on the Government accusing it of being too close to One Nation. That boiled over into a nasty exchange between Labor frontbencher Penny Wong and Cormann. But both later declared their mutual respect via Twitter.
• And Team Turnbull says it will keep fighting for the cuts despite some commentators saying there would be secret relief that the expensive and contentious item is off the agenda for now.
TRUMP TALKS TO MOON
That's South Korean President Moon Jae-in we're talking about… He visited the White House for talks with US President Donald Trump ahead of the planned 12 June talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. We say ‘planned’ because Trump says the talks may not go ahead on that date because preparations may not be made in time. But a cloud has been hanging over the meeting since Korea took issue with the meeting’s agenda last week. That’s led some US officials to suspect Moon, who helped to broker the meeting, has oversold Kim’s willingness to walk away from his nuclear program.
ZUCKERBERG MUSCLES INTO BRUSSELS
Actually, it was the latest in the Facebook apology tour, so his newly formed ‘sorry’ muscle got the biggest workout. European lawmakers have similar concerns as their US counterparts. That means it was all about fake news, interference in elections and developers misusing people’s information. But with privacy a big issue for EU lawmakers, and their new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on Friday, the Facebook CEO faced more informed questions than those put to him in the US congressional hearings. Zuckerberg remains resistant to fronting up to the UK Parliament.
DAVID JONES/COUNTRY ROAD BOSS GONESKIS
John Dixon, who came to Oz last year after being Marks & Spencer’s clothing boss, has resigned as head of David Jones and the Country Road Group, which includes Country Road (derr...), Mimco, Trenery, Witchery and Politix. Woolworths Holdings (the South African mob who own all these businesses) said they didn’t need him anyway given there’s also separate CEOs of DJs and Country Road Group. Both the upmarket department store and Country Road have churned through CEOs in recent years.
BATTLE OVER THORN BIRDS SPOILS
A most unseemly row over the estate of the late, great, best-selling Aussie author Colleen McCullogh began in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday. In the red corner, McCullough’s former literary agent, Selwa Anthony. And in the blue corner, the author’s widower, Ric Robinson. At issue: who inherits McCullough’s estate. Anthony has alleged Robinson “unduly influenced” McCullough in her dotage to update her will “under suspicious circumstances” – diverting the spoils from a university in Oklahoma (no, we don’t know why either) to himself. Sounds all very Harper Lee to us. The hearing is expected to go for seven days. The Thorn Birds author and avowed Romanologist (yes, that’s a thing, we looked it up) died in her Norfolk Island home in 2015 at 77yo.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Danielle Wood, Lynne Pezzullo & Dr Janine Dixon address the National Press Club on 'Women in Economics – 2018 Federal Post Budget Forum' - Canberra
ABS Data Release - Construction Work Done (Preliminary) March
World Turtle Day
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