TPG WITHDRAWS FAIRFAX BID
It’s bad news for Fairfax Media, as private equity firm TPG notified the board on Sunday that it was withdrawing its $2.76 billion offer for the company. Rival bidder Hellman and Friedman has not withdrawn from the process, but the company failed to lodge an offer by the board-mandated deadline of Friday afternoon. In the absence of an offer, Fairfax intends to continue with its original plan of spinning off and separately listing real estate classifieds and services business Domain.
Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood told staff: “Now this distraction is over it is back to business as usual,” in a statement issues on Sunday. “As you know the bids from the two private equity players were unsolicited.”
PENALTY RATES CUT KICKS IN
The first increment of the Fair Work Commission’s controversial cuts to Sunday and public holiday rates for hospitality and retail workers across the country kicked in over the weekend, drawing contrasting responses from business and worker representatives. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the union backlash on the first Sunday shift with the lower rate of pay, while The Age spoke to hospitality workers about their feelings. It wasn’t all bad news, though, with The Australian speaking to a small business owner who is considering hiring a new employee thanks to the cuts, while maintaining Sunday rates are still too high.
Meanwhile, the Herald Sun reports that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash will today announce an agreement with the National Retail Association to place up to 10,000 15 to 24-years-olds who have been on welfare payments for six months or more in retail internships with businesses such as Battery World, Coffee Club and BrightEyes, with the aim of helping them find work.
SOUND THE HORN
Former teacher Jeff Horn has stunned the boxing world by defeating Manny Pacquiao to claim the WBO welterweight title in Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. The underdog won on a unanimous points decision after 12 rounds, but the victory was not without controversy, particularly outside of Australia.
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Canberra: Senate hearing on corporate tax avoidance in Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry.
Sydney: Former New South Wales Labor General Secretary Jamie Clements to be sentenced over misuse of enrolment information.
Stop this wrecking and start building — Malcolm Turnbull (Herald Sun $): “They are sick of politics, and sick of personalities. Frankly, so am I. This is a time for builders, not wreckers. For leaders who get things done and don’t just talk. For negotiators and deal-makers who trade in results, not in platitudes.”
The gap in the G20 agenda (and why world leaders should listen to Rihanna) — Julia Gillard (The Guardian): “Rihanna’s tweets created quite a storm and community activist organisation Global Citizen will be on the case with a big concert in Hamburg in a few days time, on the eve of the G20 summit. Along with many others including Shakira, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg, I will be on stage – not singing I assure you – but urging donors and developing countries alike to fund education, particularly through the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment early next year which asks donors for $3.1bn for 2018 to 2020.”
The party room Greens have a bigger agenda: I’m just road kill — Lee Rhiannon (The Age): “If we are to be a member-controlled party we need to revisit the so-called conscience vote. The constitution of the Australian Greens grants all Greens MPs in the national Parliament – with the express exception of those from NSW – the right to vote against Greens policy in the national Parliament by invoking the right to a conscience vote.”
Rank-and-file Liberals, unite and reclaim what is yours to lead — Carolyn Reid (The Australian $): “Since becoming a member of the NSW Liberal Party, I have been shocked by the influence and control I have seen exerted within our party by lobbyists and their aligned bloc. This self-serving, dictatorial faction has become an all-powerful, self-appointed ruling class. We are no longer a broad church; we are on the way to becoming a cult.”
TODAY IN TRUMP
President Donald Trump has continued his recent streak of deranged, media-focused tweets. On Sunday morning US time, Trump tweeted a video in which he physically assaults a person next to a wrestling ring, with the CNN logo crudely edited onto the head of the victim. The clip is an edited version of one of Trump’s appearances at the annual wrestling competition WrestleMania. The video was sent from Trump’s personal account with the caption “#FraudNewsCNN #FNN” and was retweeted by the official @POTUS account.
It has now received almost 200,000 retweets.
A car bomb has been detonated in Damascus, one of three that Syrian government forces said targeted crowded areas of the capital. Twenty people were killed by the blast though no side has yet claimed responsibility. The Syrian government controls Damascus, but fighting continues around its outskirts. — Reuters
Archaeologists have revealed a tower of human skulls beneath the Mexican capital. The gruesome monument was created by the Aztecs before the arrival of Hernan Cortes and contains the heads of men, women, and children. — BBC
WHAT WE’RE READING
Saudi Arabia’s attempt to silence Al Jazeera is outrageous (The Economist): “You can see why the Saudis would like Al Jazeera to go dark. Unlike other Middle Eastern broadcasters, which in place of news tend to emit a wearisome stream of unexamined government announcements and fawning footage of princes and presidents embracing each other, Al Jazeera, which was set up in 1996, tries to tell viewers what is actually going on.”
The National Enquirer’s fervor for Trump (The New Yorker): “On Stevens’s desk, in the A.M.I. building, investigators discovered an envelope containing powdered anthrax and addressed to the “photo editor” of the Sun. Stevens died on October 5th, becoming the first anthrax fatality in the United States since 1976. In short order, the Centers for Disease Control closed the Enquirer building, and most of the employees never set foot inside it again.”
The nihilism of Julian Assange (New York Review of Books): “No matter what one thinks of Julian Assange personally, or of WikiLeaks’s reckless publication practices, like it or not, they have become the litmus test of our commitment to free speech. If the government successfully prosecutes WikiLeaks for publishing classified information, why not, then, ‘the failed New York Times,’ as the president likes to call it, or any news organization or journalist? It’s a slippery slope leading to a sheer cliff.”
Solving the heroin overdose mystery: how small doses can kill (Aeon): “Subsequently, independent evaluations of heroin overdoses in New York City, Washington, DC, Detroit, and various cities in Germany and Hungary all confirmed the phenomenon – addicts often die after self-administering an amount of heroin that should not kill them.”