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Is the filibuster rule destroying America’s democracy? | ticker VIEWS

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It’s been a big week in Washington, with the Senate majority blocked from passing their own laws

It was a blow for the US Democratic party this week when Republican lawmakers moved to rely on the controversial filibuster rule to prevent proposed sweeping voter protections from becoming law.

US Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer labeled the move as “voter suppression”, with many of his colleagues now concerned that the rule is destroying America’s already fragile democracy.

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In many respects, you can see where they are coming from – despite what side of the political coin you fall on.

The Senate’s filibuster rule works by requiring proposed legislation to receive a supermajority before it can progress from a discussion to a vote and, ultimately, become law.

In the Senate, this means that bills must receive support from 60 of the 100 elected Senators – an issue when the Democrats hold the narrowest of majorities with just 51 seats.

The filibuster rule has only been used one other time this session, when it was enacted to block the vote on a bipartisan commission into the deadly January 6 Capitol Riots. But it has been gaining traction over the past decade.

This time, it was used to block the “For the People Act” – a wide-range of measures designed to prevent Republican-led states from implementing new restrictive voting measures.

Particularly, Democrats say the Republican states are trying to make it more difficult for minorities and lower-income Americans from casting their vote and having their say come election time.

Republicans defend their actions as necessary to protect the safety of future US elections.

However, despite all of this, and despite whether or not you believe that the voter restrictions are good or bad, the filibuster rule goes against everything America’s democracy claims to be.

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When a government or a party is elected into power by the people who live and breathe the values of the country – they should have the control to lead the country as they see fit.

Just as the Republicans were able to control the agenda in the Senate’s previous session, the Democrats should be able to control the agenda now.

At the end of the day, what is the point of voting in a senate majority if this majority can’t actually pass any laws?

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William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly ticker Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

Tech

TICKER NEWS is available on podcast apps

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For the first time, TICKER NEWS is now available on podcast apps, allowing you to hear the latest news, plus special programs

TICKER NEWS is now available as a podcast.

You can catch up on the latest news, or programs devoted to special topics including U.S. politics and TICKER AIR.

TICKER CEO Ahron Young says:

“TICKER always puts the story first. Video is in our DNA, but we want TICKER content to be available however our audience wants to enjoy it.”

“We are putting significant resources into TICKER content to make sure we get to the heart of the stories we cover.”

TICKER AIR is one of the podcasts available from TICKER

The first podcast to air is TICKER AIR, cohosted by Ahron Young and Geoffrey Thomas from Airlineratings.com

Every day, two full world news bulletins will be available, as well as three special documentary programs.

TICKER podcasts are available daily on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Just search TICKER NEWS to subscribe.

APPLE PODCAST – https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/ticker-news/id1632145760

SPOTIFY – https://open.spotify.com/show/3iidnXUXPDVWG2QMEhN0Kt?si=e2e195a8ee584fa6

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Five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now

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We’ve been waiting years to go on holiday, but wow it’s expensive to fly. Here are the five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now

Remember the good old days of competition in the travel industry? Those were the days. Now every time you look to book a flight, the prices are soaring. Even if you want to use your points.

The airline industry is complex, so a total shut down of the industry was always going to have long term effects. The long hangover from the shutdowns and lockdowns are with us.

So let’s break down the five key reasons your flight is so expensive.

“Revenge travel”

It’s not just you who wants to go overseas and change up the scenery. Everyone else is thinking the same thing.

And as the northern hemisphere enjoys its first lockdown free summer in years, everyone is clamouring to use all that saved up cash, topped up with government assistance, to spend on flights.

The simple supply versus demand philosophy means it’s become an airline’s dream to push up prices while often pushing down the value of the ticket. How bad are those airline meals at the moment?

Big planes are grounded

Remember the good old 747 and A380s? Well you’re doing well to find a 747 in the skies these days. The last remaining airlines that were operating them used the cover of COVID to either reduce their fleet of the ageing Queen of the Skies, or retire them altogether.

Then there’s the A380, which is integral to huge airline flees like Emirates.

They were first to go into storage in the desert in 2020 as the pandemic hit. Airlines noticed its often cheaper to fly two 787s on the same route as an A380. So they are begrudgingly bringing the super jumbo back, but only once all their 787s are back in service first.

Don’t you just long for the days of extra space on a plane?

Rocketing fuel prices

In some cases, spot prices for aviation fuel has soared to 80 per cent! Airlines usually rely on hedging fuel prices (as in locking the price in in advance). But not many carriers in Asia do that, meaning they are at risk of fluctuating oil prices.

Airlines have a simple strategy for dealing with rising fuel prices – passing the cost on to consumers. Some passengers flying out of Asia are finding that a flight to London in economy is now $5000, five times the price.

The war in Ukraine hasn’t helped matters either, with Russian oil now missing from the global supply chain. That’s pushing up the cost of resources everywhere, and there’s no sign that’s about to end.

Lack of staff

Airline staff get COVID too, and in some (hilarious) cases, front line staff are returning to stop working from home!

Airlines have rules in place regarding how many flight attendants and pilots need to be on board an aircraft. And with so many different types of planes in service, some flight attendants can only work on certain aircraft types.

That severely limits the capability of airlines to quickly man aircraft in an emergency. And one cancellation snowballs into a travel nightmare.

Airports are struggling too. Lack of maintenance at baggage carousels and airport equipment means some airports are relying on just one vehicle to help every plane back out of a gate.

Remember when the pandemic hit and airlines sacked thousands of workers? The airlines didn’t think they would need them all back so quickly, and highly skilled pilots went on to find other, perhaps more stable jobs.

Accountants taking over

Airlines are big businesses with gigantic overheads. Think of the cost of a plane, which often reaches over $300 million.

Then add the cost of airports, fuel and staff.

Qantas had a debt bomb of $6.5 billion at the height of the pandemic, and while governments have been throwing money at airlines to stay in business, they still are a business.

Airlines need to make a profit, they need to return value to shareholders, and they need to pay down debt to stay financial. Not to mention cashflow.

So regardless of the airport queue, or the soggy sandwich you’re eating in business class, think of the balding accountants praying for good news.

And keep your eye out for some bargains. It’s not all doom and gloom. Some airlines are even allowing you to burn your points on upgrades. So why fly economy?

And if you can hang on a few months longer, you might enjoy cheaper fares. But no promises.

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Media

Disney vs Netflix – who will win the streaming revenue raise?

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Netflix and Disney shares fall as the streaming companies fight to stay on top of their game

Investors to evaluate Walt Disney’s shift from cable television to subscription service as the company’s shares fall by 31 percent.

This comes after Netflix announced its first ever decrease in subscribers last month. The company reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter while predicting more losses ahead.

Netflix’s decision to suspend its services in Russia also led to a loss of 700,000 subscribers. It’s shares have also fallen by a staggering 71 percent this year, a bigger loss than its competitor Disney.

While Netflix struggles with its subscriber count, FactSet Estimates predicts Disney+ to have attracted 5.3 million new subscribers through march leading to a total of about 135.1 million subscribers.

Disney also predicts it will have amassed more than 230 million subscribers by September 2024.

Netflix is reportedly considering adding an advertisement-based subscription option by the end of the year as the company looks at how to stay competitive in the increasingly saturated streaming market.

In a previous statement, Netflix’s chief executive said they were looking to introduce advertisements in a year or two but a leaked internal note to the employees has revealed the company is introducing it as early as October 2022.

The note also says Netflix will begin cracking down on password sharing by monetizing it.

All of this has resulted in Netflix being sued by shareholders who argue they have been mislead about the state of the company and future prospects.

Rijul Baath contributed to this report

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