Daily News Roundup

March 20, 2019

WEDNESDAY, March 20

Turkey’s ambassador to Australia has been summoned to the Prime Minister’s office after Turkey’s President criticised the Anzacs for their role in the Gallipoli campaign and threatened Australians and New Zealanders who visited his country.

President Tayyip Erdogan claimed the mosque attacks in New Zealand were part of a wider attack on Turkey and evidence of global anti-Muslim sentiment.

In addition to criticising the Anzacs he threatened to return anyone who came to his country with anti-Islam sentiment back in coffins.

Ambassador Korhan Karakoç arrived at Parliament House at 10:00am to meet with the Prime Minister.

Before speaking with the ambassador, Mr Morrison told the ABC he was “very offended” with Mr Erdogan’s remarks.

“I don’t find these comments very helpful,” he said.

“I don’t find them very accurate or truthful as well, because the actions of the Australian and New Zealand governments have been consistent with our values of welcoming and supporting people from all around the world.”

Australian Brenton Tarrant is facing murder charges in New Zealand after a lone gunman opened fire at two mosques during prayers on Friday.

The massacre killed 50 people and left dozens of people injured.

Mr Erdogan, who has been touring the country ahead of local elections later this month, again showed excerpts of a video taken by the attacker during the mosque shootings and denounced what he called rising hatred and prejudice against Islam.

He criticised New Zealand and Australia for sending troops to Turkey in the World War I Gallipoli campaign, claiming their motive was anti-Islam-oriented.

“Your grandparents came here … and they returned in caskets,” he said.

“Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers.”

Mr Erdogan said Turkey was wrong to have abolished the death penalty 15 years ago, and added that New Zealand should make legal arrangements so the Christchurch gunman could face capital punishment.

“Australia has denounced, New Zealand has denounced, absolutely and completely, the act of extremist right-wing terrorism, white supremacist terrorism that we saw in New Zealand,” Mr Morrison said.

“We could not have been more forward leaning in offering our great condolence and support to the Muslim community both in New Zealand and in Australia.

“I find the responsibility, in these situations, of all leaders is to take the temperature down on these issues, and I don’t intend to seek to escalate that in the response I’m giving today.

“So I’m going to be speaking directly to the Turkish ambassador about this.”

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has urged grieving Christchurch students to come together and reject extremism, as police formerly identified and released the bodies of 21 victims.

The first two burials after the mosque massacres took place today.

Islamic law requires people to be buried as soon as possible after death, preferably within 24 hours.

Fifty people were killed in the shootings, including two students from the nearby Cashmere High School in Christchurch.

Speaking to students, Ms Ardern — who has vowed never to utter the gunman’s name — acknowledged the nation’s grief and “sense of helplessness”.

“I know as New Zealanders we want to immediately do something to support those affected. That’s why you see hundreds and hundreds of messages and flowers outside of mosques,” she told the assembly.

“It’s why you see your school being offered cakes and morning tea and funds to support the students who have been affected, because that is what we do.

“That is who we are. When we see need, we try and meet it.”

She urged students to come together to ensure there was “no environment for violence to flourish”.

“So this is my request: I alone cannot get rid of those things [extremism] by myself. I need help from every single one of us,” she said.

“And so, if we want to feel like we’re doing something to make a difference, you show the outpourings of love.

“Gather together, send that strong message, look after one another, but also let New Zealand be a place where there’s no tolerance for racism ever.”

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Both Coles and Aldi have bowed to pressure and will match Woolworths and charge an extra 10 cents per litre for their home brand milk.

However, both retailers said industry reforms were needed to address the problems facing dairy producers.

The supermarkets say the measures are temporary, to aid struggling dairy farmers.

Dairy suppliers are celebrating the victory in the war against $1-a-litre milk, with the major retailers increasing the price of their private label milk.

They have railed against cheap milk, which they argue has devalued their product since it was first introduced in 2011.

The supermarkets have now commitment to return an extra 10 cents per litre direct to dairy farmers,mirroring a commitment from Woolworths last month.

Chair of dairy cooperative Norco, Greg McNamara, one of two processors with contracts with Coles, said some of Coles’ 10 cent increase may already be factored into a previous lift.

“We started that process with Coles around two months ago, around trying to put a price increase through, so every customer took a price increase around 6.5 cents,” he said.

“Coles at that point chose not to raise the price and wear that themselves, which is quite kind of them really in one respect, and now they’ve come out and said we’re going to change it and we’re actually going to raise the price.”

Farmers said while milk is still cheaper today compared to in 2010, they hoped the change had “broken the back” of dollar milk which they claim has contributed to crippling the industry.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud recently called on Australian shoppers to boycott Aldi and Coles for as long as the supermarkets continued to offer cheap milk.

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