Squiz Today / 13 May 2024

Squiz Today – 13 May 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

14 / 22
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9 / 19
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5 / 20

Squiz Sayings

“These are farcical scenes.”

Said one sports commentator after a scoreboard error in a Super Netball match on Saturday. The Sunshine Coast Lightning left the court thinking they’d won, but a review revealed a tie, and extra time gave the game to the Greater Western Sydney Giants… You can’t fire a machine, can you?

Bowling up to Budget week

The Squiz 

It’s almost the day you’ve (or maybe that should be ‘we’ve’?) been waiting for… Treasurer Jim Chalmers will deliver the 2024-25 Federal Budget tomorrow night, so prepare to strap yourself in for a fair bit of fiscal chat this week… Doing the pre-Budget rounds yesterday, Chalmers wouldn’t get into the nitty-gritty, but said it would be “responsible” and include “substantial” relief for Aussies struggling with continuing cost of living pressures. 

Can’t this wait until later in the week? 

No – it’s right up there in the news headlines today, so consider this a sharpener… A stack of funding announcements have already been made, but yesterday, Chalmers said the Budget will be “good for mums and middle Australia, good for families, pensioners, students and young people”. Aside from the Stage 3 tax cuts we already know about, there will also be more energy bill relief, funding for domestic violence services, and relief for those with student debt. But with Australia’s gross debt tipped to rise above $1 trillion by June 2026, the Coalition says it’s worried about a cash splash. Its Treasury spokesperson Angus Taylor wants Australia’s former fiscal rules reintroduced to keep a lid on government spending.

Why not splash some cash? 

Umm, because that could affect inflation… The government’s challenge is to offer enough cost-of-living relief without adding inflationary pressure on the economy. Executing that task is even more in the frame because there’s a federal election a’comin, and the Albanese Government wants interest rates to start coming down ASAP. That’s easier said than done – and it’s not the only thing on the government’s plate… With ongoing cost of living pressures, the rising cost of housing, immigration, crime, China, energy, and local complications from the war in the Middle East, you can see why former Western Australian premier Colin Barnett says Team Albanese has “too many balls in the air”. It’s less than a day until we find out how well Chalmers and Co can juggle… 

**Want more budget?

Over on News Club Claire chats with James Chessell, former Managing Director of Publishing at Nine Entertainment and a former staffer, on how the Budget is made. Give it a listen here.

Squiz Kids had some questions too and Treasurer Jim Chalmers answered them. Check out out the Squiz Kids interview here.

AusPol Australian News Economy

Squiz the Rest

Live sheep exports to be baa-nned

Sticking with governmenty news for a sec, Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt yesterday confirmed Australia’s live sheep export trade will end on 1 May 2028 because the industry has shown “time and again that they are unable to meet the community’s expectations”. He’s promised a 5-year $107 million support package to support the transition in the move that fulfils a Labor promise. It’s been welcomed by animal rights groups who oppose the practice but has disappointed the National Farmers’ Federation whose members are “shocked” by the timeline and say Watt has booked them “on the express train to disaster”. Live sheep exports are worth about $77 million a year – that’s down about 90% from 20 years ago. The industry has also been under pressure following a series of disasters, including in 2017 when 2,400 sheep died from heat stress on the Awassi Express

Australian News Business & Finance

Pumping up the pressure

US President Joe Biden says a ceasefire in Gaza would be possible “tomorrow” if Hamas releases all remaining Israeli hostages. That’s unlikely as Israel prepares to expand its offensive in Rafah, despite the United Nations warning against any further violence as 300,000 Palestinians are fleeing once again in search of somewhere safe. Another 150,000 Gazans left the city last week, heading to the “expanded humanitarian zone” in the coastal area of al-Mawasi. The conflict is also causing tensions at home, with Liberal Senator Jane Hume condemning the Albanese Government’s decision to support a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member, claiming it “rewards Hamas”. Foreign Minister Penny Wong rejects that, saying they voted for it specifically because “a 2-state solution, both Israel and Palestine, is the opposite of what Hamas wants”.

World News

Trump’s in more tax trouble…

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hit the campaign trail in New Jersey on Saturday, and while he was popular with the tens of thousands who turned out to see him, he’s facing fresh scrutiny over his company’s tax practices… A federal tax audit shows the Trump Organisation might owe US$100 million in taxes after improperly claiming write-offs from one of his skyscrapers in Chicago. It’s not the first time Trump’s tax records have been reviewed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but his son/Trump Organisation executive vice president Eric Trump said the organisation was “confident” in its position. Trump will be under more scrutiny when his hush money trial gets back underway in New York on Monday, with his former lawyer/fix-it man Michael Cohen taking the stand as the prosecution’s star witness. And if you need a recap on where that trial is at, this might help

World News

Amazing auroras

Did your socials fill up with stunning images of auroras lighting up night skies over the weekend? Ours did after Aussie stargazers in Tasmania, outback Western Oz, and coastal regions of Victoria and Southern Oz revelled in the Aurora Australis – aka the Southern Lights – which can usually only be seen in Tassie or Victoria’s far south. But it wasn’t just a show for the Southern Hemisphere… The Aurora Borealis – aka the Northern Lights – also dazzled in countries that rarely see them – including the US, the UK and Russia. Scientists have put the extraordinary event down to a rare severe geomagnetic storm causing a solar outburst to reach Earth, calling it a “gift from space weather”. And there’s likely to be more opportunities this year as the sun remains in its most active phase in a decade. Those links have some great pics, so get into ‘em…

Australian News Environment & Science

Not so united by music

Eurovision 2024 has crowned Switzerland’s Nemo the winner with their song The Code, but the 68th grand final didn’t come without controversy… That includes an ongoing row over Israel’s entrant Eden Golan being allowed to perform after changing some of the lyrics to her song about Hamas’ 7 October attack and the title from October Rain to Hurricane. Counter to this year’s theme, “united by music”, thousands of Palestinian supporters protested the event, booed her on stage and turned their backs during vote counting. Critics say it’s a double standard because Russia was banned in 2022 over the Ukraine war… If that wasn’t enough, Netherlands contestant Joost Klein was expelled hours before the final after a production assistant claimed he’d “intimidated” her, with the Dutch labelling the move “disproportionate”. For some fun, check out the ‘ABBA-tars’

Entertainment World News

Apropos of Nothing

The Autumnal weather is firmly upon us bringing cooler temperatures and heavy rain in many areas, but on the plus side it’s a very pretty time of year as the leaves turn from green to red. And with this handy guide, you’ll be sure to find some of the best displays…

Thrillseekers keen for a chilly dip are flocking to see the many beautiful sinkholes of South Oz’s Limestone Coast, which were formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago… If it’s not your thing, we’re reliably informed the area is also famous for excellent wineries and seafood…

And a Chinese zoo has come under fire for dying 2 Chow Chows black and white to resemble pandas. Some punters accused Taizhou Zoo in the eastern province of Jiangsu of trying to trick them into believing they were baby pandas, but officials claim they were clearly advertised as “panda dogs”…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEST) – Appeal hearing to begin for Chris Dawson, convicted of murdering his wife Lynette in 1982 – Sydney

10.00am (AEST) – Judgement in eSafety Commissioner’s order for X to take down graphic content depicting the Wakeley terror attack – Sydney

10.00am (AEST) – The NSW Government is set to unveil new bail reforms in Parliament today – Sydney

CBA releases household spending insights (for April) 

Australian Fashion Week begins (until 17 May)

Coeliac Awareness Week begins (until 20 May) 

World Cocktail Day

Start of Food Allergy Awareness Week (until 19 May)

Start of Climate Action Week in Sydney (until 19 May)

International Hummus Day 

Birthdays for Stevie Wonder (1950), Scott Morrison (1968), Lena Dunham (1986), and Robert Pattinson (1986)

Anniversary of:

  • Captain Arthur Phillip leaving Portsmouth, England with 11 ships of criminals bound for Botany Bay (1787)
  • the first-ever race of the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship (1950)
  • the death of actor Ruth Cracknell (2002)
Squiz the Day

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