Squiz Today / 27 May 2024

Squiz Today – 27 May 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings


Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, it’s one of the most famous lyrics ever written thanks to songwriter Richard Sherman, who has died at 95yo from an “age-related illness’. Working with brother Richard, they wrote over 200 songs, including some of Disney’s most iconic ditties.

Cracking down on hate speech

The Squiz 

Australia’s Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus is overseeing the creation of new hate speech laws which will include criminal penalties for those who seriously breach them. Our current laws impose civil penalties for people who vilify others based on race, sexuality, gender, disability or faith, and reports say the government wants to go further to protect the community “from those who promote extremism, hatred or seek to incite violence”.

Why is this coming up now?

It’s because Oz – like many other countries – has been dealing with an uptick in hate speech in real life and online. A lot of that has to do with the war in Gaza, with reports of cases of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia rising. That escalated over the weekend with anti-Semitic graffiti (which we won’t repeat here…) being spraypainted on Melbourne’s largest Jewish school, Mount Scopus Memorial College, which prompted Jewish leaders to call on the Albanese Government to “push back against this wave of extremism”. Elsewhere, there have been questions over whether recent protests at uni campuses have breached hate speech laws. And on Friday, Elon Musk’s social media platform X also came under fire… A judge ruled it’s subject to Queensland’s anti-discrimination laws, meaning it could be held liable for hosting anti-Muslim hate speech.

Yeesh. There’s a bit going on, then…

Yep – and the move to strengthen our hate speech laws hasn’t come out of the blue, with PM Anthony Albanese flagging it in February. So what’s taken so long? Yesterday, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said “identifying those gaps and making sure that we feel that we have appropriate penalties in place” has taken a while. Coalition leader Peter Dutton has also indicated he’s in favour of strengthening the hate speech laws. But given there’s no date set for when we might see the reforms legislated, Coalition Senator Michaelia Cash said existing criminal laws should be enforced. In the meantime, Rowland wouldn’t get into what criminal penalties could be on the cards under the new laws – she said they’re still under “active discussion”. So it’s a case of TBC…

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Calling out a killer

The man responsible for a “senseless” double murder-suicide in the Perth suburb of Floreat on Friday has been identified as Mark Bombara. The 63yo was searching for his ex-wife when he shot and killed 59yo Jennifer Petelczyc, a friend of his ex-wife, and her 18yo daughter Gretl inside their home before also shooting himself. WA Police say the incident was technically not a domestic violence matter as the people involved were not related, but that didn’t wash with WA Premier Roger Cook, who’s calling for more to be done to prevent domestic and family violence and described the murders as “senseless, chilling and absolutely horrific”. That’s been backed up by local MP Kate Chaney who says “enough is enough” as at least 38 women have died at the hands of men this year.

Australian News Crime

Mixed messages in Gaza

There are conflicting reports about renewed Gaza ceasefire talks, as both Israel and Hamas continue to attack each other despite the United Nation’s top court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordering a halt to the hostilities on Friday. The ICJ called the humanitarian situation in Gaza “disastrous” and ordered Israel not to carry out military operations that could “cause the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population”. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) say it’s carrying out “operational activity in specific areas of Rafah”, targeting Hamas fighters and destroying tunnels. Hamas claims to have captured a number of Israeli troops, and reports overnight say the militant group launched at least 8 rockets towards Israel’s capital Tel Aviv, but no casualties have yet been reported.

World News

Campaigning like it’s 1960…

UK PM Rishi Sunak has come out of the election campaign gates with a splash, announcing that his government would bring back mandatory national service. Last in place in 1960, the scheme would give 18yos a choice between joining the military full-time for a year or volunteering one weekend every month for community organisations including the police and the National Health Service. This would kick off in September 2025 at a cost of nearly $5 billion a year, and Sunak says it would help foster “national spirit” and divert at-risk youth away from “lives of unemployment and crime”. The Labour Party called it “another desperate” unfunded commitment, as leader Keir Starmer announced 16 and 17yos could be given the vote if he wins, saying “if you can work, if you can pay tax, if you can serve in your armed forces, then you ought to be able to vote”.

World News

A discount ticket to ride

Queensland’s set to get flat rate public transport fares of just 50 cents from 5 August as part of a 6-month trial. Premier Stephen Miles says it will help ease cost of living pressures, saving commuters “thousands of dollars” while helping to “bust congestion”. But he’s warned people to “use it or lose it”, saying the scheme could become permanent, but only if it gets people back onto public transport. The cheap fares will be applied on trains, buses, CityCat ferries and the Gold Coast light rail – regardless of the distance travelled. It comes on the back of a $1,000 power bill rebate for every household announced earlier this month, and that’s led to warnings the measures could undermine the Reserve Bank’s inflation-fighting efforts. State Deputy Coalition Leader Jarrod Bleijie says Queenslanders are “cynical” that the trial will end shortly after the state election on 26 October.

AusPol Australian News

Au revoir Paris

All eyes are on Spaniard Rafael Nadal at the French Open, as this could be his last time at Roland Garros. The 37yo ‘King of Clay’ is dealing with ongoing health battles meaning even his first match tonight against 27yo fourth-seed German Alexander Zverev will be a challenge. That said, the superstar has teased that he might not be done just yet. A small consolation may be his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz is the men’s singles favourite… Definitely waving adieu is 37yo Brit Andy Murray. The Scotsman is also recovering from ruptured ankle ligaments and has already announced plans to retire this year. Meanwhile, Polish current world number one Iga Świątek is the fave for the women’s singles, given her 88% win record on clay but hot on her heels is Aussie open champ Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka… As for the Aussies, they got off to a rough start with 4 players exiting in the first round including Ajla Tomljanović who went down to Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska… Watch all the action on 9Gem.

Sport World News

Apropos of Nothing

And speaking of France… The Cannes Film Festival has wrapped with Anora – a drama about a young exotic dancer who becomes involved with a Russian oligarch’s son, winning the top prize – aka the Palme d’Or. If that’s not your bag, Kodi the griffon mix won the Palm Dog for his role in Dog on Trial.

Cicada-geddon has been a hot topic for us this year, and it’s not over yet… Now you can find out what it’s like to get up close and personal with these loud critters thanks to this amazing photo gallery. Be prepared though, some of them look pretty alien…

And it might sound like science fiction but Sydney man Phillip Rhoades has become the first Aussie to be cryogenically frozen. For a price tag of $170,000 we hope the un-freezing process is a bit more scientific than the movies make out…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Canberrans have a public holiday for Reconciliation Day today, marking the start of National Reconciliation Week

4.00am – 10.00am (AEST) – Surfing: WSL Shiseido Tahiti Pro (until 31 May) – Teohupo’o, Tahiti

9.00am (AEST) – Rugby league: State of Origin, Maroons squad announced for game one – Brisbane

9.30am (AEST) – Bruce Lehrmann’s failed defamation case against Network Ten/Lisa Wilkinson will return to court for a case management hearing regarding costs – Sydney

Tennis: French Open – Billed as one of the biggest 1st round matches in history, Rafael Nadal is back from injury to take on world number 4, Alexander Zverev. It’s possibly Rafa’s last ever appearance at Roland Garros as he attempts to win a record 15th French Open title before his likely retirement at the end of the ATP tour – Paris, Watch on 9Now

9.00pm (AEST)- The first race of the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Festival begins at noon local time – Gloucester, UK

Start of National Reconciliation Week (on until 3 June) 

Memorial Day in the US, honouring those who died serving in the United States Armed Forces

Birthdays for Pauline Hanson (1954), Neil Finn (1958), Joseph Fiennes (1970), Jamie Oliver (1975)

Anniversary of:

  • the founding of Saint Petersburg by Russian Tsar Peter the Great (1703)
  • Australians voting in favour of a constitutional referendum granting the government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and count them in the national census (1967)
  • actor Christopher Reeve becoming paralysed from the neck down after falling from a horse (1995)
  • Russian President Boris Yeltsin signing a historic treaty with NATO (1997)
  • the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicting 4 people including President Slobodan Milošević for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo (1999)
  • the marriage of Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel and Aussie model/entrepreneur Miranda Kerr (2017)
Squiz the Day

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