Australian multimillionaire Tim Gurner ‘deeply regrets’ comments on unemployment after backlash
An Australian multimillionaire says he “deeply regrets” his comments at a property summit where he said unemployment should jump by up to 50% to create more productive workers.
Tim Gurner, CEO of real estate company the Gurner Group, was heavily criticised after complaining the COVID pandemic had changed employees’ work ethic.
The property developer is known for his controversial comments after hitting the headlines in 2017 when he stated millennials should not be buying smashed avocado or expensive lattes in their attempt to save up for their first home.
Speaking at a business forum in Sydney on Tuesday, he said “we need to see pain in the economy” and that unemployment should rise by 40-50% to adjust expectations.
“People decided they didn’t really want to work so much anymore through COVID,” he said.
“They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years, and we need to see that change.”
He added: “We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around.”
His comments were viewed more than 23 million times on X (formerly Twitter) after being posted by the Australian Financial Review.
After coming under fire from politicians and unions, Mr Gurner said on Thursday he “deeply regrets” his comments, acknowledging they were “deeply insensitive to employees, tradies and families across Australia who are affected by these cost of living pressures and job losses”.
Posting on employment-focused social media platform, LinkedIn, he said that while they are important conversations to have, his comments “were wrong”.
“I want to be clear: I do appreciate that when someone loses their job it has a profound impact on them and their families and I sincerely regret that my words did not convey empathy for those in that situation,” Mr Gurner wrote.
In the aftermath of Mr Gurner’s comments, US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared the video to her own social media followers, pointing to a growing discrepancy between executive and employee pay.
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“Reminder that major CEOs have skyrocketed their own pay so much that the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is now at some of the highest levels ever recorded,” she wrote.
Latest data released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed unemployment remained steady at 3.7%.
But the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Michele Bullock, warned back in June the jobless rate would need to climb to 4.5% – implying about 140,000 job losses – to tame inflation, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Viktor Sokolov: Top Russian admiral appears in video call – after Ukraine claimed he was killed in missile strike
A top Russian admiral has appeared in a video call – a day after Ukrainian special forces claimed he had been killed in a missile strike.
Admiral Viktor Sokolov – the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and one of Russia’s most senior naval officers – was reportedly killed in last week’s strike on the naval port of Sevastopol, according to Ukrainian officials.
The Russian Defence Ministry did not immediately respond when asked by news agencies to confirm or deny if Mr Sokolov had been killed.
However, the ministry released a video on Tuesday appearing to show Mr Sokolov attending a conference with other top Russian military officials via video link.
Mr Sokolov was not seen speaking in the footage of the conference – led by Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu.
It is not clear when the footage was filmed, though Russia’s defence ministry claimed the meeting took place on Tuesday.
Ukraine special forces said on Telegram: “Since the Russians were urgently forced to publish a response with Sokolov allegedly alive, our units are clarifying the information.”
In the video, Mr Shoigu said more than 17,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in September and that more than 2,700 weapons, including seven American Bradley fighting vehicles, had been destroyed.
Both Russia and Ukraine have at times exaggerated enemy losses in the war, while also saying little about their own losses.
Michael Clarke: It is possible Admiral Sokolov lives – but Russia needs to produce more convincing evidence
Sky News’ defence and security analyst Professor Michael Clarke says: “We’ve looked at the video, it’s not very clear and it jumps around quite a lot.
“We’ve located the person on the video who looks most like Sokolov, and it may be him, but it’s not a completely clear match.
“It could be Sokolov, looking at previous photographs of him. On the other hand, there’s still no proof that this video is really current.
“There’s a lot of evidence that Sokolov was in the building that was hit on Friday by a couple of Storm Shadow missiles.
“So it is possible that Sokolov lives. But I think the Russians would have to produce more convincing evidence than this if they want to be taken seriously on this particular issue.
“And it’s odd that producing a rather vague video and saying he’s here somewhere and leaving it to news organisations like us to try to work out who it might be is less than clear in the message they were trying to send.”
On Monday, Ukraine’s special forces claimed they had killed Mr Sokolov and 33 other officers in last week’s missile attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.
“After the strike on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet,” Ukraine’s special forces said on the Telegram messaging app.
“Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Ukraine’s claim that it had killed Mr Sokolov, instead referring reporters to the defence ministry.
In a statement after the attack, the Russian defence ministry said one serviceman was missing, revising an earlier statement that the man had been killed.
Moscow-installed authorities in Sevastopol also said they were taking extra measures to address Ukraine’s increased attacks on Crimea.
The attack came after an earlier strike on Sevastopol, in which a Russian submarine and warship were damaged.
A Ukrainian and a Western source said that British Storm Shadow cruise missiles were deployed in the attack on the port of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Alexei Navalny: Russian opposition leader loses appeal against extra 19-year prison sentence
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has lost his appeal against a 19-year sentence added to his existing jail term.
It was imposed in August after he was convicted on six charges related to alleged extremist activity – which he denied.
The appeal was rejected by a judge in Moscow, with Mr Navalny – wearing a black prison uniform – joining by video link from prison.
Media were not allowed to witness proceedings apart from the reading of the verdict.
The 19-year sentence was imposed on top of 11 and a half years that he was already serving after being convicted of fraud and other charges.
His political movement has been outlawed and declared “extremist”, with its main players either being jailed or fleeing Russia.
President Putin makes a point of never referring to Mr Navalny by name as part of an attempt by authorities to portray him as irrelevant.
The 47-year-old politician returned to the country voluntarily in 2021 after nearly dying when he was poisoned with a nerve agent in a suspected Russian plot.
He was immediately arrested when he landed and is imprisoned in Melekhovo, about 145 miles (235 km) east of Moscow.
Mr Navalny said in the summer that he had been forced to listen to the same speech by President Putin for more than 100 days in a row.
A TV technician who worked for Mr Navalny, sentenced at the same trial in August, also had his appeal against an eight-year sentence rejected on Tuesday.
Daniel Kholodny shouted “Alexei, see you!” just before the video feed of the hearing ended, with Mr Navalny waving his hand in response.
Body of migrant found on Sangatte beach near Calais
A body of a migrant was found this morning on Sangatte beach near Calais.
The authorities confirmed she was a 24-year-old Eritrean woman.
In August, at least six people died and dozens more were rescued after a migrant boat crossing the English Channel capsized.
The incident took place off Sangatte in northern France.
A vigil was held in the port town of Folkestone for the victims as participants called for “safe routes” and “enough deaths”.
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