Squiz Today / 02 April 2024

Squiz Today – 2 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 11 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I asked him how many Easter eggs he’d eaten that morning … He smiled and said none yet!”

Said one fan of King Charles after an Easter Sunday church service – our monarch spoke with members of the public during his first public appearance since starting cancer treatment. With Princess Kate absent and the King on restricted duties, the event was labelled ‘Easter Lite’.

Netanyahu do you think you are?

The Squiz

Tens of thousands of Israelis have protested against PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, calling for his “immediate removal” through early elections. The demonstrations began in Tel Aviv before spreading to Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Netanyahu’s residence, and to other cities. It’s fuelled by the failure to reach a deal with Hamas over the release of the remaining 130 hostages taken by terrorists on 7 October. Protest organisers say “Israel is facing one of the most difficult moments in its history”. But in a televised address yesterday, Netanyahu said an election would further delay the hostages’ release, and he vowed to continue with a ground assault on Rafah saying “nothing will stop us”. 

How did we get here?

Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving PM – first elected in 1996, he’s been in and out of the top job since then – and this is not the first time there’s been a public push against him… Widespread protests calling for Netanyahu’s resignation also took place in 2020-21 over his handling of the COVID pandemic. There were also rallies over his corruption charges and his political opponents have protested his right-wing policies and alliances. And now public anger is focused on his handling of the hostage situation. Many of the 130 are presumed dead, and there are concerns more will die if a ceasefire deal is not reached. On top of his political issues, reports say the 74yo is unwell and underwent hernia surgery over the weekend.

Where does this leave the conflict?

Ceasefire talks are resuming with Israel in Egypt and Qatar after Netanyahu “approved” the attendance of “delegations on their behalf”. And despite recent tensions, Israel and the US will meet virtually today to discuss alternatives to a raid in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are sheltering… Israel’s battles aren’t just confined to Gaza right now. Overnight, it’s been accused of an airstrike which destroyed the Iranian Consulate in Syria, killing at least 5 including a senior Iranian commander. Israel hasn’t confirmed its involvement but reports say the strike was carried out by Israeli jets. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed “grave concern” over clashes at the Israel-Lebanon border between Israeli forces and Hamas’ ally Hezbollah after 3 UN peacekeepers – including an Aussie – were injured by an explosion. Lebanon called it a “targeted attack”, which Israel denies. So there’s still a fair bit to sort out…

World News

Squiz the Rest

A last-minute legal move

Network Ten will make an urgent application to reopen the defamation case brought against it and presenter Lisa Wilkinson by former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann, presenting what’s been described as “explosive new evidence” in a Federal Court hearing later today. Reports say Ten’s lawyers will present an affidavit from former Seven producer Taylor Auerbach claiming Lehrmann was the source of private text messages from Brittany Higgins. They were obtained under subpoena during Lehrmann’s criminal trial and made public when Lehrmann appeared on Seven’s Spotlight program – for his part, Lehrmann denies leaking them. At the time, Ten’s lawyers referred the leak to police to review whether a contempt of court was committed – but no charges were laid. Justice Michael Lee was due to hand down his decision on Thursday, but if the case is reopened, that’ll be delayed…

Australian News

Sky-high problems

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen spent Easter Monday defending himself and PM Anthony Albanese after they flew to the NSW Hunter Valley on 2 separate Air Force planes last Thursday to make a local renewable energy announcement. Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie was among those saying the lack of transparency about the flights is “a problem”, but Bowen said the Air Force advised the local runway wasn’t suitable for the PM’s “normal large jet” so 2 were required. “Even the small jets weren’t fully laden because of the weight restrictions,” he said. They weren’t the only government jets making headlines… Journalists travelling on Air Force One with US President Joe Biden have been told to stop stealing “souvenirs”, with branded pillowcases, glasses and gold-rimmed plates recently going missing. Cheeky… 

AusPol Australian News

Easter weekend’s wet end

Nearly 30 people got more holiday adventure than they bargained for after becoming marooned at a popular camping site alongside the East Leichhardt Dam near Mount Isa in Queensland on Saturday night… Several camping groups were stuck after flash flooding – one camper Danor O’Leary said “we unzipped the tent and had the water right there – I thought it was some sort of bad dream”. Five of the 29 people at the site were rescued by authorities, but the remaining group decided to wait until the floodwaters receded. Rain also moved south over parts of Victoria and South Australia yesterday, bringing some relief to farmers who have had a dry patch… Bureau of Meteorology data shows Melbourne experienced its driest March since records began in 1856 while April’s soggier already with thunderstorms hitting the city overnight and more than 20mm of rain expected today. 

Australian News Weather

Canadians counter the cost of contraception

A massive healthcare shake-up by the Canadian Government could see 9 million women receive free access to contraception, including IUDs, the pill, hormonal implants and the morning-after pill. PM Justin Trudeau says “women should be free to choose the contraceptives they need without cost getting in the way.” It’s the biggest overhaul of the public healthcare system in decades and will also cover the cost of diabetes medication for 3.7 million people, with other drugs to be added down the track. When it will kick in is still TBD because the federal government has to win over provincial governments that administer healthcare. Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland says the government is “committed to getting it done” because they want Canadians to “enjoy their full human rights and for women”. 

Health World News

A new warning for Jolene

Even if you had a digital detox over the long weekend, you probably heard that Beyonce’s new album Cowboy Carter dropped on Friday… The fan/critics’ response has been glowing, with one labelling it a “slick and starry Western epic”, and it’s already broken records – becoming Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day so far this year with 76.13 million downloads on its release day… The 79-minute-long album includes Beyonce’s first forays into country music, and she recruited some of Nashville’s biggest names – we’re talkin’ Willie Nelson, Linda Martell and Dolly Parton – to take part. One of the most talked-about tracks includes a rewritten cover of Jolene, while Parton’s goddaughter Miley Cyrus also takes part in a duet on II Most Wanted. But in classic Beyonce style, she managed to get in a few surprises – the album also includes rap, pop and funk influences, along with a cover of The Beatles’ iconic song Blackbird. The only negative? Some fans reckon some of the 27 tracks are missing off their vinyls and CDs…


Apropos of Nothing – Winners edition

Tasmania’s basketball team the JackJumpers have won their first NBL title after defeating Melbourne United 83-81 on Sunday. In just their third season in the comp, their success bodes well for the state’s new Tassie Devils AFL team when it lands in 2028. 

A sniffer dog called Vespa officially has the best nose in the business after winning the 2024 NSW Service Dog Award at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The black labrador made a record-breaking 739 interceptions at Sydney International Airport in 2023, so he has great form…

And a plumber from regional Victoria has gone from pipes to planets after being awarded a medal by the Astronomical Society of Australia. Rod Stubbings is one of 3 people in the world to make 400,000 measurements of the brightness of variable stars to help astronomers better understand the Milky Way. An amateur star is born…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – MP Greg Combet will address the National Press Club on Australia’s path to net zero emissions

5.00pm (AEDT) – Cricket: Australia v Bangladesh; Women’s T20, Dhaka

US presidential primaries in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin 

World Autism Awareness Day and the start of Autism Awareness Month 

International Children’s Book Day  

International Fact-Checking Day

Anniversary of:

  • The birthdays of author Hans Christian Andersen (1805), muso/filmmaker Serge Gainsbourg (1928) and singer Marvin Gaye (1939)
  • Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours going to #1 (where it stayed for 31 weeks) (1977)
Squiz the Day

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