Squiz Today / 30 August 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 30 August
“Dogs of the sea”
Far from being doe-eyed cuties, Tassie salmon farmers say seals are bullies and pests that are threatening their livelihoods. And they’re worried about being injured because the seals are as bold as a competitor in the world bog snorkelling championships. Seal-proof salmon pens are being installed, but in the meantime, farmers are losing substantial income to the pesky loose-seals.
NORTH KOREA’S MOST PROVOCATIVE MISSILE TEST YET
North Korea yesterday launched what’s been called the most serious missile test yet. This time an intermediate-range ballistic missile (the type they say could reach the US territory of Guam) was fired over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The missile flew more than 2,700km and landed in the Pacific Ocean about 1,100km off the Japanese coast. While Japan did not attempt to shoot down the missile, its upgraded response system alerted citizens in the flight path to take cover. This is the first North Korean missile to be launched over Japan since 2009. Kim Jong Un has fired 18 missiles this year, compared with 16 missiles his father, Kim Jong Il, fired during 17 years in power.
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?
US President Donald Trump said via a statement that; “all options are on the table.” Reports say Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe was ‘visibly agitated’, and you’d have to forgive him for that. Abe said the test was; “an outrageous act that poses an unprecedented, grave and serious threat, and significantly undermines the peace and security of the region.” South Korea launched drills dropping eight bombs on a shooting range south of the North Korean border to demonstrate an “overwhelming show of force”. The UN Security Council will hold (another) emergency meeting which will probably result in (another) new resolution which North Korea will ignore (again). PM Malcolm Turnbull called on China to step up and for all countries to fully implement existing UN sanctions that aim to reduce by a third the Hermit Kingdom’s $3 billion annual export revenue (from the sale of mining commodities and seafood).
SO, IS THIS “FIRE AND FURY” TIME?
My, my… don’t you have a good memory! Trump’s words were kicked around quite a bit yesterday. One expert said North Korea is making the point that international pressure won’t thwart their ambition to be a full-fledged nuclear power. Another said it’s a little encouraging that North Korea fired this test east over Japan and not south towards Guam. The question will be what the US does (putting aside Trump's previous colourful language): do they double down on pursuing a diplomatic solution, or do they muscle up and deploy military assets to South Korea? And how China responds will be key in managing this difficult and fragile situation. So it’s not quite time to stock up on the canned food and bottled water yet, but maybe start familiarising yourself with that part of the supermarket.
SQUIZ THE REST
OZ READY TO HELP PHILIPPINES IN THEIR FIGHT AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday said that Aussie troops have been offered to help train and advise the Philippines military in their fight against Islamic State. Using our military’s role in Iraq as an example, Bishop said she has personally made the offer to President Rodrigo Duterte. The Philippines government has been battling IS fighters after they took control of the southern city of Marawi earlier this year. The concern for Australia is the longer it goes on the more encouraging it is for Islamic extremists - which ain’t great for us or our region.
ATO SAYS $17 BILLION MISSING FROM WORKERS’ SUPER
If you’ve worked for a small-to-medium sized business in the construction, retail, food or accommodation sectors in the last few years you might want to check if you were paid enough superannuation. A report out from the Australian Tax Office yesterday said those businesses were the worst offenders by either unknowingly or deliberately shortchanging workers $17 billion in super since 2009. The ATO deals with about 20,000 complaints like this a year. Quite frankly, if your personal admin is that up to scratch, we take our hat off to you.
HOUSE PRICE PRESSURE EASING, BUT SET TO CONTINUE
The Committee for Economic Development of Australia reckons our housing affordability problem will continue for another 40 years unless there is a major change (like a recession or financial crisis). Bad news for first home buyers, even if it means they can officially kiss goodbye any hope of home ownership and instead order smashed avocado ‘til the cows come home. And new figures out from the banking regulator yesterday gave Treasurer Scott Morrison the news he was looking for: there are now fewer interest-only loans on banks’ books, meaning investor activity in the housing market, which was putting upward pressure on prices, is slowing.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AD LAWS HAVE TO WAIT
The Turnbull Government says advertising restrictions to bring the same-sex marriage postal vote in line with normal election rules will have to wait for a couple of weeks. The delay is down to the validity of the ‘survey’ being heard in the High Court on 5 and 6 September. The Law Council said existing laws preventing hate speech and misleading conduct would do the job until then. In other related news, two elite Catholic schools have challenged their church leaders on their support of a ‘no’ vote. Father Chris Middleton of Melbourne’s Xavier College said his experience of young people is; "They are driven by a strong emotional commitment to equality, and this is surely something to respect and admire.” And the Coalition for Marriage (‘no’ case campaigners) released their first ad last night.
90 DEATHS LINKED TO GERMAN NURSE
German authorities say they’ve unearthed evidence that a nurse is likely to have killed around 90 people with overdoses of heart medication. Niels Hoegel is currently serving a life sentence in prison after he was convicted of murdering two patients a couple of years ago. But further investigations show the extent of his crimes is probably much, much bigger. During his trial, Hoegel said he intentionally brought about the cardiac arrests of patients in his care because he enjoyed the thrill resuscitating them.
MIXED FIRST ROUND OF US OPEN FOR AUSSIES
Improving on our dismal first round at Wimbledon, there’s some good news from the Aussie contenders currently slogging it out in Flushing Meadows. Sydneysider Jordan Thompson beat 13th seed (and delightfully named) Jack Sock in a thrilling five-setter - the win of his young career. Our other blokes didn’t fare so well – Thanasi Kokkinakis (who had underwear problems), John Patrick Smith and Bernard Tomic were knocked out yesterday. Nick Kyrgios takes on fellow Aussie John Millman at 7.00am this morning. And for the women - Aussies Arina Rodionova, Ajla Tomljanovic and Ash Barty are through to the second round. And Daria Gavrilova kicks off her first round match at 6.00am this morning.
CHAN AND ZUCKERBERG WELCOME SECOND CHILD
Priscilla Chan and husband Mark Zuckerberg (he of Facebook fame) yesterday welcomed their second child, a girl named August. In a lovely announcement posted to (yep, you guessed it) Facebook, Zuckerberg encouraged August to be a kid and let them worry about the future. And like all parents, he said they hoped she is a good sleeper - good luck!
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - George Williams, Constitutional Law Expert, addressed the National Press Club on 'Dual citizens and the postal survey: what might the High Court say?'
7.30pm (AEST) - Aussie Diamonds v South Africa in the Netball Quad Series (televised on Gem)
9.30pm - The Kates from the Katering Show debut Get Krack!n on ABC TV
PM Malcolm Turnbull to meet power company CEOs - Sydney
ABS Data Releases - Building Approvals, July; Construction Work Done, June
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