Squiz Today / 28 June 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 28 June
A Spanish bungee-jumping instructor communicating to a Dutch teenager in English. What could possibly go wrong? Tragically the girl thought the instructor said “Now jump” - so she did. She didn’t have a rope attached and died from the fall. The matter is before the Spanish courts.
CENSUS HOLDS UP A MIRROR
Remember 9 August last year when you tried and tried to log onto the Census website but couldn’t get through? Your persistence paid off and the results of the 2016 Census are in. And demographers/economists/statisticians/planners nationwide are in an unbridled state of ecstasy. It’s a big rush of data that happens only every five years so let them have their moment. But we’ll keep it tight. In short: we’re getting older, more urbanised and less religious. Sound like you? Certainly sounds like us…
GIVE ME THE HIGHLIGHTS
There's a long list of key numbers and you can check them out here in this excellent summary from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. But these caught our eye:
• Nearly half of all Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas. Which means we’re not as linguistically challenged as you might think - 8.1% of us speak another language.
• Canberrans earn a third more ($998/week) than national median weekly earnings ($662). Tasmanians had the lowest - $573 per week. It's still not enough reason to live in Canberra… (just jokes, we love the ‘Berra).
• There were 46,800 same-sex couples counted across Australia - up 39% since 2011. That’s a big increase in domestic bliss. Kids? 25% of female same-sex couples have them compared to just 4.5% of male couples.
• The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 20-24yo who had completed Year 12 increased from 37% in 2011 to 47% in 2016. That’s encouraging, right?
• Christianity is the main religion in Australia (52%). The next largest is Islam (2.6%), then Buddhism (2.4%). And 36% of people who reported being affiliated with Islam were born in Australia.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Census data is integral for governments and businesses making investment and policy decisions. There’s another tranche of data to come in October on employment and education (cue the whooping of statisticians). The process of getting our information might not have been pretty but 95% of us got around to sending it in making it a dataset that's reliable. Well done us for being such a nation of swots.
SQUIZ THE REST
NEW MALWARE ATTACK EXPLOITS SAME SECURITY GAP
There’s a new malware attack going around Europe (particularly Ukraine) and the US affecting some large companies and government services with hackers demanding money in exchange for the files they’ve stolen. It’s been named NotPetya (because it looked a bit like a former virus called Petya) and experts say it’s exploiting the same Windows loophole as the recent Wannacry attack. Hard to believe big companies don’t have their IT security patched and updated given the prominence of recent attacks.
GOOGLE FINED $3.5 BILLION FOR ANTICOMPETITIVE BEHAVIOUR
European Union regulators have fined Google €2.4 billion (AUD$3.5 billion) for denying online shoppers choice. The EU says Google’s practice of putting its own shopping platforms before competitors in search results is unfair. The fine represents 2.5% of Google’s revenue last year – but the EU could have fined them up to 10%. Google says it disagrees with the EU’s findings and is considering an appeal.
ABBOTT DOUBLES DOWN ON HIS VISION FOR AUSTRALIA
We reckon politics is mostly a weird amalgam of timing, luck (or rather, bad luck) and circumstance. Like, how could Tony Abbott have planned to make a major speech outlining his vision to “Make Australia Work Again” (see what he did there?) the very day after a disloyal factional foe (aka Christopher Pyne) lit a fire under divisions that go back to his dumping as PM? He couldn't! Abbott yesterday set out to refocus the people (aka his colleagues) on what he would do if he were running the country again. What it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in catchy slogans. Is anyone listening? Time will tell, and weirder things have happened (think Kevin Rudd's second go at being PM). One thing’s for sure: Abbott's not going to skulk quietly away into retirement.
US PUTS SYRIA ON NOTICE
The US says the Bashar al-Assad-led Syrian government is preparing for another chemical attack against their own people. They say they have observed people associated with Syrian chemical warfare visiting production facilities. The last attack in April killed 87 civilians and prompted US President Donald Trump to order a cruise missile strike in response. The White House has put Assad on notice saying “his military will pay a heavy price" if an attack is carried out. The Syrian government called the April attack a fabrication.
CHRISTINE HOLGATE MOVES FROM VITAMINS TO AUS POST
Christine Holgate has had a very good run as boss of Blackmores for the last nine years - they've massively increased their sales and successfully expanded into Asia. But she's off for a new challenge with Australia Post. The headlines are dominated by her pay (ie it’s significantly less than her predecessor, Ahmed Fahour). Fahour came under intense pressure over his eye-watering $5.6 million pay cheque last year. Holgate’s pay deal of $1.375 million (with that amount again in potential bonuses) is quite a bit less. We reckon she’ll be a shoo-in for those bonuses if she brings the vitamin industry business model (convincing consumers to fork out huge sums for products that are mostly flushed down the toilet) to Australia Post.
MIRANDA KERR HANDS BACK HER JEWELLERY
This is one of the weirder stories we’ve come across. Gunnedah-girl-made-good Miranda Kerr has had to hand in $10.6 million worth of jewellery bought for her by Malaysian businessman Jho Low (no relation to JLo). The US Justice Department alleges the gifts were purchased with misappropriated funds from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. Apparently Kerr dated Low for a year in 2014 following her split from Orlando Bloom. We can’t find any pics of them together but here’s one of Low with socialite Paris Hilton. Poor Miranda, losing all that bling. But fear not - while she does pretty well on her own, her new husband (tech billionaire Evan Spiegel) certainly has the means to replace them for her.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Professor Peter Høj, Chair of the Group of Eight Unis, addresses the National Press Club, Canberra
ABS Data Releases - Characteristics of Australian Exporters 2015-16; Engineering Construction Activity, March
CAPS LOCK DAY (what a great excuse to yell at your friends/family colleagues via messaging and email)
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