Squiz Today / 19 March 2024

Squiz Today – 19 March 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 8 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It’s pretty bonkers to be honest.”

Said cricketer Ellyse Perry after she and fellow Aussie Sophie Molineux proved to be the matchwinners, as their team – the Royal Challengers Bangalore – took out the Indian Women’s Premier League title with an 8-wicket victory. Looks like we have a new GOAT on our hands…

The Detainee Debacle Deepens

The Squiz

The political stand-off over Australia’s immigration detention policies has flared up with the Coalition’s Immigration spokesman Dan Tehan claiming up to 150 more detainees – including “hardened criminals” – could be released into the community. That’s something the Albanese Government denied in parliament yesterday. This saga follows the High Court’s unanimous decision in November that indefinite detention for non-Australian citizens is unlawful if they have no real prospect of being deported. And now, a second High Court decision that could affect the additional detainees is pending.

Wait, wasn’t this taken care of?

#itscomplicated… So last year – the High Court’s ruling in a case based on a claim from a detainee referred to as NZYQ saw the release of 149 detainees, half of whom had been convicted of violent crimes overseas. And this year, an Iranian asylum seeker – known as ASF17 – launched legal action along similar lines. The government yesterday said the difference between the 2 cases is that the second group are people they have determined aren’t refugees, and they “​​simply refuse to go back to their home” (the inference is they aren’t a bunch of criminals like the first lot…). Immigration Minister Andrew Giles says the government will argue that asylum seekers who do not cooperate should remain in detention. He says they “successfully defended this position in the Federal Court and will vigorously defend this in the High Court” when it lands there next month.

So after that it will be sorted? 

Not according to the Coalition, which has accused the Albanese Government of “shocking incompetence”. Adding to the government’s woes this week, it’s admitted the original 150 released detainees were granted invalid visas… That’s an issue because 10 of them had been re-detained after breaching their visa conditions by committing crimes – but the visa problem means their charges have now been dropped. Coalition Home Affairs spokesman James Paterson has urged the government to implement the new preventative detention powers, passed in response to last year’s High Court ruling to force former detainees back behind bars – but the government says that takes time. 


Squiz the Rest

Mounting up for Megan

Australian Defence Force personnel have been unable to evacuate about 700 people in the NT, as severe weather from Tropical Cyclone Megan prevented the aircraft from landing. The Category 3 storm made landfall yesterday afternoon, pummelling Top End and Queensland border communities with 220km/h winds and heavy rain. Residents in the remote NT fishing town of Borroloola were told by police to find a place to shelter after the evacuation failed. Overnight, Megan has weakened to a Category 1 storm and is moving slowly south-west, but residents have been told to stay inside until emergency services check the area. The storm’s warning area yesterday spanned hundreds of kilometres and caused damage to roads and mine sites, along with flooding and felled trees. Megan is the fifth named system this season, with the BOM saying more cyclones had made or threatened landfall this year than any other.

Australian News Weather

No surprises in Russia

Vladimir Putin will continue as Russia’s President for at least the next 6 years after winning the weekend’s election with 87.97% of the vote. The result – which confirms his 5th term as leader – was widely anticipated following allegations of vote rigging. The White House was quick to issue a statement saying the vote was “obviously not free nor fair”. Putin’s opponents protested at polling stations and Russian embassies around the world as part of ‘noon against Putin’. That included Aysoltan Niyazova, a member of the dissident feminist punk group Pussy Riot who said “this is not an election; this is a crime against the election law.” Maria Pevchikh, who chairs Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, called protestors “heroes” and encouraged Russians not to give up hope despite facing the “darkest times”. Overnight, Putin thanked Russians for their support and said his country “would not be intimidated”.

Australian News World News

A fare settlement

It’s been a long time to flag down, but ride-share company Uber will pay nearly $272 million to compensate Aussie taxi and hire car drivers for loss of income and licence values after settling a 5-year legal battle. Over 8,000 taxi and hire car owners joined the class action, which alleged Uber knowingly operated illegally and had an unfair advantage when they launched in Oz as they used unaccredited cars and drivers. The settlement marks the fifth largest class action payout in Oz’s history. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers says “after years of refusing to do the right thing … Uber has blinked, and thousands of everyday Australians joined together to stare down a global giant“. Uber says it has made “significant contributions into various state-level taxi compensation schemes”, and with this settlement, the company is putting “these legacy issues firmly in our past.”

Australian News

Getting over an Olympic hurdle

The Queensland Government has rejected a proposal to build a new $3.4 billion, 55,000-seat stadium in Brisbane’s Victoria Park. That plan came from a review of the state’s Olympic and Paralympic infrastructure, but Premier Steven Miles says he can’t justify the spend while “Queenslanders are struggling” with the cost of living. Instead, the state government plans to upgrade the existing Suncorp Stadium – aka Lang Park – to a standard that can “host a fantastic opening and closing ceremony” ahead of the 2032 Games. That follows a cheaper plan put forward by Olympics boss John Coates, who recommended using existing infrastructure. The Gabba will get some upgrades instead of a $2.7 billion rebuild, as will the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre which will be used for athletics – with Miles saying around $1 billion will be spent “half-half” between the Gabba and Suncorp.

And while we’re talking sport/stadium debates – the details of Tasmania’s AFL team have been revealed ahead of their anticipated debut in 2028. They’ll be called the Tasmania Devils and look resplendent in green and red guernseys featuring a yellow map of Tasmania with a red T in the centre.

AusPol Australian News

A Vege-mate for e-waste

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your e-waste – aka old TVs, phones and other tech – the solution could be lurking in your pantry… Austrian scientists have discovered that spent brewer’s yeast – aka the main ingredient in Vegemite – can be used for ‘selective metal recovery’. Researchers say through a process of adsorption – where particles or molecules bind to a top layer of a solid – metals can be pulled from the yeast surface by acid treatment, allowing them to separate out aluminium, copper and zinc. And because the yeast can be recycled up to 5 times, it can be re-used to recover different metals, making it “cheap, easily available and safe”. It’s not the first time the yeast has been praised for its environmental purposes – it’s also been used to treat wastewater. Exactly what you want in a brekkie spread… 

Australian News Environment & Science

Apropos of Nothing – British Arts Edition

Art fans are rushing to Finsbury Park in London, where a suspected new Banksy mural has appeared. Green paint on a wall behind a bare tree creates an optical illusion, and one expert says the message is clear: ” Nature’s struggling, and it is up to us to help it grow back”.

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has won over new fans in India by singing in Punjabi during a concert in Mumbai alongside Indian artist Diljit Dosanjh, leaving one fan saying it was “the crossover we never knew we needed”.

The British Wildlife Photography Award winners have delivered the goods. Our fave is The Crop Thief, depicting a hungry hare munching on some greens. How wholesome is that? 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

2.30pm (AEDT) – RBA Monetary Policy Decision Statement 

3.30pm (AEDT) – RBA Governor Michele Bullock will hold a press conference regarding the latest interest rate decision

International Read to Me Day

World Social Work Day

Neurodiversity Celebration Week 

Federal Parliament Sitting, both houses (until 21 March) – Canberra

State Parliaments of NSW, VIC, SA and QLD Sitting

Birthdays for Glenn Close (1947) and Bruce Willis (1955)

Anniversary of:

  • the first stone being laid for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona…it is unfinished to this day (1882)
  • the Lumière brothers recording the first footage ever using their newly patented cinematograph (1895)
  • the first International Women’s Day (it was moved to 8 March in 1913) (1911)
  • the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932)
  • the beginning of the invasion of Iraq by American and British-led forces (2003)
  • the formal adoption of the International High Seas Treaty (also known as the agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction or ‘BBNJ’) (2023)
Squiz the Day

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