Four Corners

Four Corners

Mongrel Bunch of Bastards
ABC  |  April 9, 2018
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The Australia Taxation Office is a formidable enforcer with extraordinary powers. It can raid your home or business without a warrant, it can compel you to answer questions and treat you as guilty until proven innocent. While there's strong public support for a crackdown on major multinational corporations to force them to pay their fair share, there is growing concern that the ATO is targeting people a long way from the big end of town. In a major joint Four Corners-Fairfax investigation, reporter Adele Ferguson puts the actions of the ATO under the microscope, examining how it uses its extensive powers.

The Australia Taxation Office is a formidable enforcer with extraordinary powers. It can raid your home or business without a warrant, it can compel you to answer questions and treat you as guilty until proven innocent. While there's strong public support for a crackdown on major multinational corporations to force them to pay their fair share, there is growing concern that the ATO is targeting people a long way from the big end of town. In a major joint Four Corners-Fairfax investigation, reporter Adele Ferguson puts the actions of the ATO under the microscope, examining how it uses its extensive powers.

The sophisticated corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown.
"What you get now is a very packaged royalty...It is a very professional operation in spin management, media management, media operations." Author
For almost two weeks Australia has felt the full force of a royal charm offensive. The visit by the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has been a triumph for the Royal couple and the House of Windsor brand.
"I think the marriage...has injected a real shot of adrenaline into people's interest in the Royal Family." Tabloid royal correspondent
It's a world away from the scandalous 1990s when the Royal family was embroiled in a rolling series of crises, indiscretions and PR disasters leaving them out of fashion and out of step with the times. Some were even talking about the end of the monarchy itself.
"All bets were off with the Royals in the nineties. Spectacular own goals, things that 50 years earlier would have had discreet veils drawn over them: Camillagate, Squidgygate, Tampaxgate, all those terrible, terrible, gruesome little scandals." Author
On Monday Four Corners charts how the Royals have rebuilt their reputation and changed the way they manage "The Firm".
"From those ashes, a lot of lessons have been learned. There's obviously had to be more deliberate management about how people behave, what they're saying, what they're wearing." Global advertising consultant
"It was the Royal family accepting that things needed to change if they were to survive. Survival is the name of the game for the Royal family." Author
The program reveals a highly controlled operation with spin doctors and media management at the forefront.
"You don't see it but... what we see and read about the Royal family is pretty much controlled by them." Former Private Secretary to the Royal household
The Royals are increasingly bypassing traditional media and finding new ways to get their message out by joining the ranks of social media "influencers". Those combined efforts have resulted in one of the most spectacular rebranding exercises in modern times.
"In many ways, they've brought innovation. They're brand innovators to the Royal family." Global advertising consultant
This new image has helped divert attention away from questions over the funding and financial interests of the Royal household.
"We don't know where the money is invested. We don't know where it's spent. We don't know what the income is. We only know what they tell us." Former UK MP
As the palace prepares for the next generation to take the throne, Four Corners examines the very corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown.

Four Corners: Windsor Inc.

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
45:11
The sophisticated corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown. "What you get now is a very packaged royalty...It is a very professional operation in spin management, media management, media operations." Author For almost two weeks Australia has felt the full force of a royal charm offensive. The visit by the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has been a triumph for the Royal couple and the House of Windsor brand. "I think the marriage...has injected a real shot of adrenaline into people's interest in the Royal Family." Tabloid royal correspondent It's a world away from the scandalous 1990s when the Royal family was embroiled in a rolling series of crises, indiscretions and PR disasters leaving them out of fashion and out of step with the times. Some were even talking about the end of the monarchy itself. "All bets were off with the Royals in the nineties. Spectacular own goals, things that 50 years earlier would have had discreet veils drawn over them: Camillagate, Squidgygate, Tampaxgate, all those terrible, terrible, gruesome little scandals." Author On Monday Four Corners charts how the Royals have rebuilt their reputation and changed the way they manage "The Firm". "From those ashes, a lot of lessons have been learned. There's obviously had to be more deliberate management about how people behave, what they're saying, what they're wearing." Global advertising consultant "It was the Royal family accepting that things needed to change if they were to survive. Survival is the name of the game for the Royal family." Author The program reveals a highly controlled operation with spin doctors and media management at the forefront. "You don't see it but... what we see and read about the Royal family is pretty much controlled by them." Former Private Secretary to the Royal household The Royals are increasingly bypassing traditional media and finding new ways to get their message out by joining the ranks of social media "influencers". Those combined efforts have resulted in one of the most spectacular rebranding exercises in modern times. "In many ways, they've brought innovation. They're brand innovators to the Royal family." Global advertising consultant This new image has helped divert attention away from questions over the funding and financial interests of the Royal household. "We don't know where the money is invested. We don't know where it's spent. We don't know what the income is. We only know what they tell us." Former UK MP As the palace prepares for the next generation to take the throne, Four Corners examines the very corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown.
How a cashed up gun industry has Australia's firearms laws in its sights.
"This is the gun industry lobby redux. They're back. And they're ready to spend." Gun law researcher
They're the new force in Australian politics - a lobby group funded and directed by major firearms sellers and manufacturers and they're taking aim at Australia's politicians.
"We're looking to enter a new era of engagement...We want governments to be held accountable for the decisions they make." Gun industry spokesperson
Their campaign represents a newly emboldened firearms industry set on changing Australia's gun laws.
"You've got an industry which is prepared to leap in. And they've got a lot of money." Gun law researcher
On Monday Four Corners investigates how the gun movement in Australia is reawakening and examines the new tactics they're employing to make their presence felt on the political scene.
"The campaign they were running had nothing to do with guns. The idea I think was to inspire people to move their vote to protest vote with minor parties." Campaign manager
The industry openly declares it wants to influence how governments are formed and the policies they enact.
"We were aiming for a government which couldn't be formed by majority." Gun industry spokesperson
Four Corners investigates the industry's political allegiances and how these connections are being used to chip away at gun laws around the country.
"There's been a lot of whittling away around the edges, trying to water down the effect of the law, to do anything possible to reduce the effect of the law for the convenience of shooters and the benefit of the arms industry." Gun law researcher
Some political allies say that gun ownership is not simply a matter of convenience, it's a national security issue.
"I want more firearms sold because I want more firearms, you know? I want more people involved in protecting our country." Politician
Those who delivered the national agreement to limit firearms after the Port Arthur massacre say Australians need to sit up and take notice.
"There is a muscling up by those making money out of a trade of guns into this country, and we need to watch that very closely." Gun control advocate

Four Corners: Big Gun's

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
44:42
How a cashed up gun industry has Australia's firearms laws in its sights. "This is the gun industry lobby redux. They're back. And they're ready to spend." Gun law researcher They're the new force in Australian politics - a lobby group funded and directed by major firearms sellers and manufacturers and they're taking aim at Australia's politicians. "We're looking to enter a new era of engagement...We want governments to be held accountable for the decisions they make." Gun industry spokesperson Their campaign represents a newly emboldened firearms industry set on changing Australia's gun laws. "You've got an industry which is prepared to leap in. And they've got a lot of money." Gun law researcher On Monday Four Corners investigates how the gun movement in Australia is reawakening and examines the new tactics they're employing to make their presence felt on the political scene. "The campaign they were running had nothing to do with guns. The idea I think was to inspire people to move their vote to protest vote with minor parties." Campaign manager The industry openly declares it wants to influence how governments are formed and the policies they enact. "We were aiming for a government which couldn't be formed by majority." Gun industry spokesperson Four Corners investigates the industry's political allegiances and how these connections are being used to chip away at gun laws around the country. "There's been a lot of whittling away around the edges, trying to water down the effect of the law, to do anything possible to reduce the effect of the law for the convenience of shooters and the benefit of the arms industry." Gun law researcher Some political allies say that gun ownership is not simply a matter of convenience, it's a national security issue. "I want more firearms sold because I want more firearms, you know? I want more people involved in protecting our country." Politician Those who delivered the national agreement to limit firearms after the Port Arthur massacre say Australians need to sit up and take notice. "There is a muscling up by those making money out of a trade of guns into this country, and we need to watch that very closely." Gun control advocate
Steve Bannon’s new world disorder.
As the Liberal Party tries to piece itself back together after the chaos of last week, Four Corners brings you an interview with the man hoping to overthrow the entire political class.
"I think that Australia is going to be a hotbed of populism."
Steve Bannon put Donald Trump in the White House and rewrote the rules of modern politics along the way. Described as the most dangerous political operative in America, the strategist, renegade Republican and professional provocateur channelled the anger and disappointment of those who felt left behind by globalism to install Donald Trump as president.
"There's a lot of anger out there and I think that this anger can be harnessed."
Now, he's taking his cause to the world in a crusade to "save" western civilisation, as the leader of a global populist-nationalist movement. He calls it a revolution.
"Populism is about getting decision making away from a set of kind of global elites...and get it back to working class people."
In an age of upheaval, he sees opportunity. After playing a key role in Britain's Brexit campaign, he's been forging links with right wing nationalist groups across Europe, including the French National Front.
Australia is next on his radar. He's identified Australia as ripe for his brand of revolution and plans to bring it here.
"Australia is at the tip of the spear on this."
In an interview with Sarah Ferguson, Bannon outlines his manifesto for change and why it resonates with people around the world.
"It doesn't matter how many liberal journalists come in here and say 'Oh this is a bunch of fascists, this is a bunch of Nazis, this is a bunch of racists.' This... is not going to stop."

Four Corners: Populist Revolution

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
39:12
Steve Bannon’s new world disorder. As the Liberal Party tries to piece itself back together after the chaos of last week, Four Corners brings you an interview with the man hoping to overthrow the entire political class. "I think that Australia is going to be a hotbed of populism." Steve Bannon put Donald Trump in the White House and rewrote the rules of modern politics along the way. Described as the most dangerous political operative in America, the strategist, renegade Republican and professional provocateur channelled the anger and disappointment of those who felt left behind by globalism to install Donald Trump as president. "There's a lot of anger out there and I think that this anger can be harnessed." Now, he's taking his cause to the world in a crusade to "save" western civilisation, as the leader of a global populist-nationalist movement. He calls it a revolution. "Populism is about getting decision making away from a set of kind of global elites...and get it back to working class people." In an age of upheaval, he sees opportunity. After playing a key role in Britain's Brexit campaign, he's been forging links with right wing nationalist groups across Europe, including the French National Front. Australia is next on his radar. He's identified Australia as ripe for his brand of revolution and plans to bring it here. "Australia is at the tip of the spear on this." In an interview with Sarah Ferguson, Bannon outlines his manifesto for change and why it resonates with people around the world. "It doesn't matter how many liberal journalists come in here and say 'Oh this is a bunch of fascists, this is a bunch of Nazis, this is a bunch of racists.' This... is not going to stop."
For more than three decades Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who came to power in the country's first democratic elections after the horror years of the Khmer Rouge. Australia played a key role in the peace deal that ended the bloody civil war, but the once bright hopes for democracy have long since faded. Ahead of this weekend's elections, the Hun Sen regime launched a ruthless crackdown on the political opposition and free press. On Monday, in her first story for Four Corners, reporter Sophie McNeill travels to Cambodia to confront the man whose political opponents have been imprisoned and assassinated in mysterious circumstances. While steadily cementing their grip on power, Hun Sen and his family and cronies are accused of amassing enormous wealth through a corrupt and nepotistic system. Four Corners has uncovered evidence of how the regime's wealth has been used to buy properties and businesses in Australia, where some of Hun Sen's relatives have established a base for building support, sometimes through threats and intimidation. Since 2014, Australia has granted the regime $40 million in additional aid, in return for taking some of Australia's unwanted refugees, and the Turnbull Government upgraded ties with Cambodia last year. While the US has begun moves to sanction the regime by freezing assets and blocking visas, international observers accuse the Australian Government of cosying up to Hun Sen. While hopes for democracy have disintegrated, China has moved to dramatically expand its presence and power in the country. As Hun Sen prepares to tighten his grip on power after this weekend's elections, Cambodia's democracy campaigners say they feel abandoned.

Four Corners: Champagne with Dictators

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
45:19
For more than three decades Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who came to power in the country's first democratic elections after the horror years of the Khmer Rouge. Australia played a key role in the peace deal that ended the bloody civil war, but the once bright hopes for democracy have long since faded. Ahead of this weekend's elections, the Hun Sen regime launched a ruthless crackdown on the political opposition and free press. On Monday, in her first story for Four Corners, reporter Sophie McNeill travels to Cambodia to confront the man whose political opponents have been imprisoned and assassinated in mysterious circumstances. While steadily cementing their grip on power, Hun Sen and his family and cronies are accused of amassing enormous wealth through a corrupt and nepotistic system. Four Corners has uncovered evidence of how the regime's wealth has been used to buy properties and businesses in Australia, where some of Hun Sen's relatives have established a base for building support, sometimes through threats and intimidation. Since 2014, Australia has granted the regime $40 million in additional aid, in return for taking some of Australia's unwanted refugees, and the Turnbull Government upgraded ties with Cambodia last year. While the US has begun moves to sanction the regime by freezing assets and blocking visas, international observers accuse the Australian Government of cosying up to Hun Sen. While hopes for democracy have disintegrated, China has moved to dramatically expand its presence and power in the country. As Hun Sen prepares to tighten his grip on power after this weekend's elections, Cambodia's democracy campaigners say they feel abandoned.
Major parties clash over discrimination bill
The second last day of federal parliament for the year and the level of frenzy rose considerably. Asylum seekers, energy and the economy were all being debated, but it was the issue of discrimination against gay students attending religious schools, that had the government and opposition in fiercest combat.

Ita Buttrose gives advice to her younger self
When Ita Buttrose started Cleo magazine in 1972, it was the first time a women's publication was frank about sexuality and it went on to become a huge success. That was just the beginning for a woman who's paved the way for women in journalism ever since. Now Ita Buttrose shares her wisdom in our 'advice to my younger self' series.

Chris Dawson 
Renee Simms, the niece of Lynette Dawson, talks about the arrest of Chris Murphy, who is expected to be charged with the murder of his wife 36 years ago.
 
Reverse mortgages leaving the elderly high and dry
Reverse mortgages are touted as a way to unlock equity in the family home by borrowing against the asset without needing to make repayments until the house is sold or the owner moves out or dies. But a number of banks, including Australia's biggest lender the Commonwealth Bank, are now getting out of the reverse mortgage market, in the face of criticism from the peak financial regulator, ASIC.
Closing Europe's biggest steel works
In the south of Italy, a major corruption trial is underway that is pitting a local community against Europe's biggest steelworks, the Ilva plant in Taranto. The pollution from the plant is so bad it has been blamed in official government reports for the deaths of almost 400 local residents. The former owners of the company have been accused of crimes against public safety.

7.30: December 5, 2018

News and current affairs

Years 11-12 News and current affairs
30:36
Major parties clash over discrimination bill The second last day of federal parliament for the year and the level of frenzy rose considerably. Asylum seekers, energy and the economy were all being debated, but it was the issue of discrimination against gay students attending religious schools, that had the government and opposition in fiercest combat. Ita Buttrose gives advice to her younger self When Ita Buttrose started Cleo magazine in 1972, it was the first time a women's publication was frank about sexuality and it went on to become a huge success. That was just the beginning for a woman who's paved the way for women in journalism ever since. Now Ita Buttrose shares her wisdom in our 'advice to my younger self' series. Chris Dawson Renee Simms, the niece of Lynette Dawson, talks about the arrest of Chris Murphy, who is expected to be charged with the murder of his wife 36 years ago. Reverse mortgages leaving the elderly high and dry Reverse mortgages are touted as a way to unlock equity in the family home by borrowing against the asset without needing to make repayments until the house is sold or the owner moves out or dies. But a number of banks, including Australia's biggest lender the Commonwealth Bank, are now getting out of the reverse mortgage market, in the face of criticism from the peak financial regulator, ASIC. Closing Europe's biggest steel works In the south of Italy, a major corruption trial is underway that is pitting a local community against Europe's biggest steelworks, the Ilva plant in Taranto. The pollution from the plant is so bad it has been blamed in official government reports for the deaths of almost 400 local residents. The former owners of the company have been accused of crimes against public safety.
Malcolm Turnbull 
There is only one week left of parliament but it is going to be a long week for the Prime Minister. The Liberal party's bitter in-fighting is continuing with the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull weighing in to a controversial pre-selection.
ABC journalist 
There's been a lot of focus on women in politics lately and, adding to some of the controversy, today ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas was ejected from Parliament's press gallery. Her crime? Wearing a top which showed too much of her arms.

Gangland investigations
The Victorian Premier has announced a Royal Commission into the way police have handled several high profile gangland investigations, after suppression orders were lifted on a case which showed Victoria Police had recruited a criminal lawyer to report on her own clients. Crime reporter and author, Andrew Rule, says some of the state's most notorious criminals including drug lord Tony Mokbel could now appeal against their convictions.

What is it like being a parent with a disability?
When ABC producer Eliza Hull became pregnant with her daughter, she took a crash course in parenting. As a person with disability, she found the available information often patronising and inaccurate. So she set out to share the genuine experiences of parents with disabilities.

7.30 takes a look at Stuart Robert's business dealings
One of the newer members of Scott Morrison's new ministry is Stuart Robert, the assistant treasurer. He serves in one of the most important roles in government, overseeing the corporate watchdog ASIC. It's a big comeback after his resignation from Malcolm Turnbull's ministry in 2016 but he's found himself at the centre of some unwanted attention in recent months over some of his business dealings.

Former US President George HW Bush dies
This week the body of former president George Bush will lie in state in the U.S. capitol building ahead of a state funeral on Thursday.

7.30: December 3, 2018

News and current affairs

Years 11-12 News and current affairs
29:21
Malcolm Turnbull There is only one week left of parliament but it is going to be a long week for the Prime Minister. The Liberal party's bitter in-fighting is continuing with the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull weighing in to a controversial pre-selection. ABC journalist There's been a lot of focus on women in politics lately and, adding to some of the controversy, today ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas was ejected from Parliament's press gallery. Her crime? Wearing a top which showed too much of her arms. Gangland investigations The Victorian Premier has announced a Royal Commission into the way police have handled several high profile gangland investigations, after suppression orders were lifted on a case which showed Victoria Police had recruited a criminal lawyer to report on her own clients. Crime reporter and author, Andrew Rule, says some of the state's most notorious criminals including drug lord Tony Mokbel could now appeal against their convictions. What is it like being a parent with a disability? When ABC producer Eliza Hull became pregnant with her daughter, she took a crash course in parenting. As a person with disability, she found the available information often patronising and inaccurate. So she set out to share the genuine experiences of parents with disabilities. 7.30 takes a look at Stuart Robert's business dealings One of the newer members of Scott Morrison's new ministry is Stuart Robert, the assistant treasurer. He serves in one of the most important roles in government, overseeing the corporate watchdog ASIC. It's a big comeback after his resignation from Malcolm Turnbull's ministry in 2016 but he's found himself at the centre of some unwanted attention in recent months over some of his business dealings. Former US President George HW Bush dies This week the body of former president George Bush will lie in state in the U.S. capitol building ahead of a state funeral on Thursday.
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