Squiz Today / 18 March 2024

Squiz Today – 18 March 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 8 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“We are delighted that so many of our family and friends could share this special day with us.”

Said Foreign Minister Penny Wong, who married her long-term partner Sophie Allouache in Adelaide on Saturday. PM Anthony Albanese was among the guests and maybe took home some ideas for his own impending nuptials… 

Queensland pushes back against Labor

The Squiz

Queensland Labor has copped the biggest by-election swing in decades, losing the once-safe state seat of Ipswich West to the Liberal-National Party’s Darren Zanow with a 17.7% 2-party-preferred swing in a by-election on Saturday. The pain for Labor didn’t end there… Labor’s Margie Nightingale held onto former premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s seat of Inala, but the LNP recorded a 19% swing towards it there. And in local government elections on Saturday, the LNP hung onto power in Brisbane while Labor lost votes to the Greens, who scored their best-ever result. Yesterday, Queensland’s Labor Premier Steven Miles said he knew the weekend’s elections would be tough, “and they’re even worse than that”.

Yikes. What does it mean?

Well, LNP leader David Crisafulli reckons voters are saying “enough is enough” to Labor, which makes these results a loud warning shot for Premier Miles ahead of the state election on 26 October… State Greens MP Michael Berkman put the government’s woes concisely – aside from youth crime and cost-of-living issues, he says Labor is “bleeding voters” on housing, “particularly renters and first home buyers”. Whatever it is, state Labor would find it hard to hang onto government if even half the level of those swings is replicated in October – a prospect backed up by Newspoll results (paywall) out this morning. And looking federally, it also means the Albanese Government would find it tough to win any additional seats in the state – something it’s keen to do, particularly with 3 first-term Greens occupying lower house seats…  

Interesting times… 

And it’s super interesting in Tassie this week… The only state/territory Liberal government in the country will face the voters next Saturday. It’s an early election that was called by Premier Jeremy Rockliff after 2 Liberals became independents and put the government into a minority. That boilover was about the government’s support for the construction of a $715 million/23,000-seat AFL stadium in Hobart that is earmarked for the state’s first AFL team. And we’re mentioning all this because the team’s launch – its logo, guernseys and colours – is on tonight… Tasmanian Labor says the new stadium is a “bad idea”, but leader Rebecca White will be there – she says she’s “very excited” about a local team getting off the ground. However, don’t expect to see Premier Rockliff or his Liberal colleagues – it’s too politically fraught for them… 


Squiz the Rest

New hope for Gaza

There are renewed hopes for a ceasefire in Gaza, with Israeli negotiators headed to Qatar after Hamas agreed to drop some key demands and said it would consider a 40-day pause instead of a permanent ceasefire. Hamas has suffered a series of setbacks in the last week and is under increased pressure after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced he’d approved the invasion of Rafah – the militant group’s last stronghold and home to over one million displaced Palestinians. The first sea shipment of aid to Gaza arrived over the weekend, delivering nearly 200 tonnes of much-needed food. The Albanese Government has restored Australian visas for some Palestinians trying to leave Gaza and also reinstated funding to aid agency UNWRA after it was paused over allegations some staff were involved in the 7 October Hamas attack – a move the Coalition “does not support”

World News

Rebels revolt in Russia

Moscow has accused Kyiv of using “terrorist activities” to disrupt the election wrapping up in Russia and Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine, claiming they launched 35 drone attacks and shelled a polling station. As the war continues, Ukraine has ramped up attacks on Russia, including air strikes in the border region of Belgorod, where authorities have closed schools and shopping malls. Ukraine’s spy chief Kyrylo Budanov claims Russians are behind some of those attacks as they attempt to “solve this domestic issue”. Putin’s opponents have also acted out within Russia, where in addition to Sunday’s “noon against Putin” protest, demonstrators set fire to voting booths and poured dye into ballot boxes, leading to numerous arrests. Despite the disruptions, Putin is all but certain to win a fifth term in power with widespread allegations of vote rigging.

World News

Access denied

About 740,000 Aussies could soon be unable to make emergency calls as telcos continue to shut down 3G networks in the switch to 4G, and that’s proving problematic for many people living in the bush. TPG was the first to decommission its 3G on 30 January, with Telstra and Optus set to follow soon. Communications Minister Michelle Rowland says “supporting Australians’ access to Triple Zero is critical”. At the centre of this one is that people won’t realise they have 3G-only handsets or that their 4G handsets rely on 3G for Triple Zero calls. So, the government is calling on major telcos to contact affected customers and provide advice/information. There have been a few issues with emergency calls of late… A Melbourne man died after he was unable to dial Triple Zero in an outage, and Optus has paid a $1.5 fine for “alarming” public safety breaches.

Australian News

Princess v Princess

The BBC has aired another interview involving the British royals… Charles Spencer reckons speculation about Princess Kate isn’t as bad as his sister Princess Diana faced as the media pack was “more dangerous back in the day”. The Earl says Diana’s death forced the paparazzi to consider “more carefully” what it could and couldn’t do. Kate hasn’t appeared publicly since Christmas Day but is due to return to public duties after Easter following abdominal surgery, when she may provide more information about her health… Spencer also revealed he and Diana were physically abused by the family’s nannies – saying a life of privilege didn’t protect them. Across the Atlantic, Meghan Markle has launched a new lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard – but it’s unclear what it will sell as the socials/website simply includes a Royal-esque monogram. But a short video showing Meghan in a kitchen furthered speculation by internet sleuths who found trademark applications for cookbooks, food and home decor. 

World News

A couple of GOATS…

Aussie Olympic moguls (aka freestyle) skiing champ Jakara Anthony has nabbed her 14th World Cup circuit win for the 2023/24 season. That’s out of only 16 World Cup dual/singles events, so it’s fair to say the 25yo has dominated – and even before her weekend win, her season was described as the greatest-ever by any moguls skier… Anthony described her trophy haul as “seriously crazy”, saying “I’m going to have some big luggage issues getting back to Australia tomorrow”. And there might not be a trophy on offer, but Melbourne Storm NRL player Xavier Coate is probably an early contender for the league’s Try of the Year… His effort in the final minutes of Saturday’s game against the NZ Warriors won the game for his team and has been labelled by some as the greatest ever in the NRL’s history.

Australian News Sport

Apropos of Nothing – Funky Fashion Edition

We previously mentioned the Welsh woman who was dragged up a shopfront after her coat got caught in the shutters. Now, a mural of the unintentional TikTok star will ensure the “funny moment” is “immortalised” forever – just in case the internet forgets…

A fashion faux pas delayed a women’s soccer match in the UK as both teams turned up in matching socks. Arsenal spent 30 mins switching footwear before 33,000 fans got to watch the team, including Aussie Caitlin Foord, but it didn’t stop them from losing 3-1 to Chelsea…

Former SBS newsreader/legend Lee Lin Chin is auctioning off some of her most iconic looks… Fashionistas can scoop up 67 items, including special Japanese-inspired pieces from Comme des Garcons and Vivienne Westwood. No guarantees it will make you as cool as her though…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

5.30pm (AEDT) – New Tasmanian AFL team to reveal club name, colours, logo and jumper design – Hobart

Federal Parliament sitting – both Houses (until 21 March) – Canberra

Leading Innovation Summit – Sydney

Birthdays for Queen Latifah (1970), Adam Levine (1979) and Lily Collins (1989)

Anniversary of:

  • the first-ever public ‘bus’ service operating in Paris (1662)
  • Mahatma Gandhi being sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for disobedience (1922)
  • the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty Org (NATO) (1949)
  • Alexey Leonov becoming the first person to walk in space (1965)
  • the deaths of actor Natasha Richardson (2009), musician Chuck Berry (2017) and Dr Catherine Hamlin (2020)
Squiz the Day

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