Daily News Roundup

July 18, 2019

Image: ABC News


Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been sentenced to life behind bars in a US prison after being found guilty of running a murderous criminal enterprise that smuggled tonnes of drugs into the United States

US District Judge Brian Cogan imposed the sentence of life plus 30 years, which was mandatory under the law, at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn.

Guzman, 62, was also ordered to forfeit $US12.6 billion ($18 billion), prosecutors said. But how this will be achieved is in doubt.

The drug baron, who had been protected in Mexico by an army of gangsters and an elaborate corruption operation, was brought to the US to stand trial after he twice escaped from Mexican prisons.

“El Chapo” (the nickname means “Shorty) developed a reputation as a Robin Hood-like figure that made him a folk hero to many in his home state of Sinaloa, where he was born in a poor mountain village.

He is being held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan.

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies” where inmates are held in isolation for 23 hours a day.

Judge Cogan last month rejected his request for more time to exercise on the jail’s roof, after prosecutors said that would risk an escape.

Guzman claimed that his confinement amounted to “mental torture” and alleged that the jurors on his case allowed media accounts of the trial to influence their thinking — an argument his lawyers have also made.

“The United States is no better than any other corrupt country,” Guzman said.

He added that prosecutors wanted to send him to “a prison where I will never be heard from again.”


MasterChef judge George Calombaris’s hospitality empire has back paid $7.8 million in wages and superannuation after admitting to underpaying more than 500 current and former employees.

The celebrity chef’s MAdE Establishment group of companies will also make a $200,000 “contrition payment” under a court-enforceable undertaking made with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Melbourne-based hospitality group self-disclosed the underpayment at its Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic restaurants.

Fair Work inspectors also found some employees at the Jimmy Grants chain — which shares some shareholders and directors with MAdE — had missed out on entitlements.

The investigators found “significant underpayments” at the restaurants were because annualised salary arrangements were not correctly applied for some staff, and they missed out on overtime and penalty rates.

They also found the MAdE restaurants and some Jimmy Grants stores did not pay some staff at the correct award level, which hit casual staff in particular.

Mr Calombaris is a founding and current shareholder of MAdE Establishment and served as a director from 2008 to 2018.

As part of the undertaking, the MasterChef judge will have to “complete speaking arrangements to educate the restaurant industry on the importance of workplace compliance”.

In a statement, MAdE said the incorrect payments were identified during a review in early 2017.

It said the employees had been “incorrectly classified and underpaid due to incorrect processes and failures within its payroll and human resources functions”.

In 2017, the group apologised to 162 employees for underpaying them and gave them back pay totalling $2.6 million.


Mad As Hell presenter Shaun Micallef has joined a chorus of confused viewers after a “technical error” saw the ABC broadcast the wrong episode of the popular news satire show.

ABC News reported today that fans were quick to pick up on the gaffe, taking to social media to vent their frustrations

Fans tuned in on Wednesday night expecting to catch the latest episode, only to discover it was a rerun of last week’s show.

“My wife is ringing the ABC switchboard. I rang ITV. Hopefully we’ll at least get the right one up on iView,” Micallef tweeted.

“It’s a good episode, too. Nice and topical. Maybe they’ll play it next week.”

“If the ABC finds the right #madashell tape on tape, Adelaide might actually get to see something before the east coast for once,” one of the program’s writers David Green tweeted.

Towards the end of the 30-minute episode, an apology crawl was broadcast on the bottom of the screen, confirming that “due to a technical error last week’s episode was played”.

A follow-up statement released by ABC TV apologised for “any disappointment caused by the technical issue”, and confirmed episode four of the series would be broadcast on Thursday at 9:00pm.

The correct episode is now available on iview.

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