Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Acknowledging the Senator who should get the credit for the banking Royal Commission and other editorial comment from Australia and abroad

Royal Commission response, not who deserves the credit, is the important issue - The Canberra Times

The man who should get the credit - Senator John "Wacka" Williams

This week has seen much sound and fury over who should have instigated the Royal Commission into banking and when, and whether or not Malcolm Turnbull owes Bill Shorten - or the rest of the country - an apology for not acting earlier.
These sound bites are irrelevant red herrings that direct attention away from the main issue. That is to ensure the excellent work of the commission is not wasted. ...
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put matters right. It would be a national tragedy if it was wasted in a vain dispute over who should get the credit.
That battle was won a long time ago by Inverell-based Nationals, Senator John "Wacka" Williams, in any case.
Senator Williams, who threatened to cross the floor on this issue last year, first called for a Royal Commission into white collar crime in the finance sector almost a decade ago following the $88 million Storm Financial collapse in January 2009. That left more than 3000 investors destitute.
Mr Williams continued to be a lone voice in the wilderness during the Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull prime ministerships. Labor finally came on board with Bill Shorten calling for a banking royal commission in 2016.
Given neither of the major parties set speed records for taking on the big end of town while they were in government, it would make sense for them to just get on with the job of eliminating this culture of greed both root and branch.

Justice for Ricky - Geelong Advertiser, Victoria

THERE are a handful of events that mark a city for a generation.
They can be indelible and history-making because of their sheer magnificence like the last Saturday in September in 2007.
Or, like that Friday in May 1995 — the killing of Ricky Balcombe — their sheer horror.
The brutality of the attack imprinted it on our collective memory.
That someone could stab to death a teenager in broad daylight in a popular mall and not be caught and brought to justice also made the crime exceptional.
Fortunately, that is no longer the case.
That a killer is today behind bars for that atrocious act is a wonderful result for our community.
... Hague’s conviction will be a cold comfort for the Balcombes given that nothing can ever bring their boy back. But it will be a comfort nonetheless.
There is no more worthy task than that of bringing order to chaos and replacing anarchy with justice.
After 23 years that has finally happened.

Our elections remain open to attack. Mr. Trump is giving Mr. Putin little reason not to interfere again - Washington Post, USA

AS THIS year’s midterm elections approach, the country is still unprepared for another Russian attack on the vote, and President Trump continues to send mixed signals — at best — about what he would do if the Kremlin launched an even more aggressive interference campaign than the one that roiled the 2016 presidential race.
In last month’s omnibus spending bill, Congress set aside more than $300 million for states to invest in hardening their election infrastructure. They have a lot to do. New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks election technology and procedures nationwide, reports that most states are using electronic voting machines that are at least a decade old, many running antiquated software that may not be regularly updated for new security threats. Though most states recognize that they must replace obsolete machines, not much has changed since 2016.

 A new way to deal with our trash - Calgary Sun, Canada

North America has been sending much of its waste to China over the years. Now China is shutting its doors, placing exceedingly tight restrictions on what they’ll accept.
We need to consider ways to better deal with our waste at home, including banning shipping recyclables outside our borders and using trash as fuel for power generation.
Canadian provinces could become leaders in clean energy incineration. Sweden, for example, converts half of all household waste into energy.
The endeavour has proven so successful and profitable for the Swedes they now import millions of tonnes of waste from other European countries.
Instead of dumping our trash in places like China, we could keep it here and benefit from it.

Cho family on the ropes - The Korea Times

Rather belatedly, Chairman Cho Yang-ho of Hanjin Group made an official apology to the people Sunday for his family’s “gapjil,” or arrogant and authoritarian attitude or actions against employees and others, that has triggered public outrage. ... Cho should take the shameful scandal of his family as an opportunity to change the family-controlled management system so that professional executives can take over operations of the group. This change, if implemented, could allow the conglomerate to meet mounting calls for transparency and accountability. Korean Air is a national flag carrier. It should do its best to live up to the honor of using the name of “Korea.” It should not become an object of international ridicule and criticism anymore. The Cho family scandal is a good chance for the airline to be reborn. 

Kganyago can benefit SA - Business Day, South Africa 

Anyone who happened to be watching TV on Saturday night might have come upon a broadcast from Washington in which the chairman of the IMF’s international monetary and finance committee, Lesetja Kganyago, reported back on the committee’s deliberations, alongside IMF CEO Christine Lagarde. The sometimes arcane politics of the Bretton Woods institutions — the IMF and World Bank — don’t tend to be of much interest in SA. But having our own man speaking for a committee that is the IMF’s top policy adviser does inspire pride and it potentially has real impact. ... The risks to the global financial system posed by the rise of cryptocurrencies was also a key discussion, with policy makers looking at what they can do to mitigate and manage those risks.
But the meeting took up various other hot global topics as well, moving to review the role that advanced countries play in bribery and corruption globally and to step up monitoring corruption in the countries to which the IMF lends.
The acknowledgement that corruption is not just an emerging market scourge but an advanced country one is significant: as Lagarde said, “the flip side of every bribe taken is a bribe given”, and much of the money flows go through the financial sectors of major capitals.
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