Squiz Today / 28 February 2024

Squiz Today – 28 February 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 6 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“So if you want to pick up an extra shift, work a few extra hours, you won’t be penalised because you will be able to keep more of what you earn.”

Said Finance Minister Katy Gallagher last night after the Albanese Government’s changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts passed the parliament. Set to cost $107 billion, it’s part of a plan to deliver cost of living support to low and middle-income Aussies. Time to think about getting that second (or maybe third) job… 

A breakthrough in Bungonia

The Squiz

NSW Police Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty says they are “very confident” that 2 bodies found at Bungonia (about 180km southwest of Sydney) are those of young couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies. After days of not cooperating, the breakthrough was made after the accused murderer/serving police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon “was forthcoming with detectives about the location” yesterday morning. The bodies were found in surf bags, and the couple’s families were immediately called, Doherty said.

They were searching around that area already, right? 

Yep. Police divers searched 2 dams at a Bungonia farm on Monday but came up empty-handed. And then yesterday, the bodies were found “near a fence line” under rocks and debris at another Bungonia property’s entrance, 20 minutes away from their initial search. Police will allege 28yo Lamarre-Condon acted alone in transporting the bodies from Baird’s Paddington home to the original Bungonia farm before returning at a later time to move them to the second property. “He is the sole person responsible for the murders of Luke and Jesse,” Doherty said. The breakthrough came with homicide detectives re-interviewing him after he’d “obtained legal counsel”. Police Commissioner Karen Webb gave a nod to detectives working on the case for following up on “many, many leads” from the community.

What happens now?

Crime scene detectives began their forensic analysis at the property yesterday, and a postmortem will be conducted on the bodies. In the meantime, Doherty says arrangements have been made for members of the Baird and Davies families to visit the area where they were found. Webb passed on her condolences to them, the couple’s friends and the LGBTIQ+ community, saying that “each day, each hour was an agonising wait” to find Jesse and Luke. Webb also said a senior Victorian Police officer will review the NSW Police processes around officers’ access to guns after Lamarre-Condon allegedly used his service weapon to shoot the couple. She’s also met with Sydney Mardi Gras organisers to discuss a deal for plain-clothed police officers to march in the parade down Oxford Street on Saturday night after NSW Police were disinvited. Stay tuned…

Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

Victorians bracing for more blazes

Premier Jacinta Allan has warned that Victoria is facing “one of the most dangerous days” in recent years, with hot, dry and windy conditions expected across the state as the mercury pushes 40C in some parts. Half the state is under an extreme fire danger warning, with catastrophic conditions flagged in the west. That’s seen 30,000 people urged to leave their homes in the most at-risk areas yesterday. It’s been a rough trot for many in the danger zones, including last weekend when bushfires west of Ballarat destroyed at least 6 homes. NSW is predicted to feel the heat on Thursday, while the BOM also warns that Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia could face heavy rain and severe thunderstorms for the rest of this week.

Australian News

Presidents makin’ moves

US President Joe Biden says he’s hopeful of a ceasefire in Gaza by next week. Negotiations have been grinding on for weeks in Qatar – but Biden reckons “we’re close” – with representatives from Hamas and Israel said to be nearing an agreement on the release of the Israeli hostages. Others are doubtful there can be a lasting truce while Hamas leader Yehiya Sinwar remains bunkered down in southern Gaza. And across the globe, French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine. Macron says there’s no consensus among European leaders about how to diffuse the conflict, but they must ensure “Russia does not prevail”. His more bullish stance comes as Sweden has finally been given the tick to join NATO. Its Nordic neighbour Finland recently did the same thing, giving up its long-held neutrality to counter Russian aggression. 

World News

Mind the gap

Since the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) report dropped yesterday, showing that two-thirds of 5,000 big Aussie companies have a pay gap favouring men, there have been quite a few reactions… Finance Minister Katy Gallagher was less than impressed with Liberal-Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, who called the report “useless data” that “breeds resentment and division”. Liberal deputy leader Sussan Ley also disagreed, saying it was a situation Aussie women understood “only too well”. Corporate leaders say it comes down to women taking on family responsibilities, and that makes the men’s grip on higher-paying jobs hard to shift. If you work for a large company and want to see how it stacks up, here’s a handy tool to check it out.

Australian News

Morrison’s mic drop

It was an emotional day for former PM Scott Morrison as he said farewell to the Federal Parliament after nearly 17 years. Morrison choked back tears, thanking his family, staff, and 2 members of his security team who were seriously injured in a car crash during the 2022 election campaign. “I will always be grateful for your sacrifice,” he said. Morrison also spoke about the “gold standard” COVID response, praised the “quiet Australians” in his electorate of Cook, and congratulated Anthony Albanese on his engagement. In response to his speech, Coalition leader Peter Dutton also got a bit teary, thanking Jenny Morrison for her service. Albanese credited the former PM with bringing “100% of his energy” to political life. Morrison will tour the US in May to promote his book Plans for Your Good and says he will follow Julia Gillard’s lead in steering clear of domestic politics. 

AusPol Australian News

A cool career choice

If the cost of living crisis has got you looking for a simpler life, perhaps Antarctica could be your new home – as long as you’re not fussed about flushing toilets or running water… A British charity is recruiting for several roles in what they are calling the “challenge of a lifetime”. But the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust says only “passionate adventurers” need to apply – and they’re not joking. One employee says she had to put up tents blindfolded while wearing oven gloves during the interview process… You’ll also have to live and work at a small base at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island, about the size of a football pitch. Other downsides include near-constant daylight and always freezing temperatures, but there are lots of whales and penguins… The charity’s CEO says it’s a “unique opportunity to live in a landscape that makes you feel pure awe and wonder”. 

Environment & Science Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

As the Matildas face Uzbekistan again tonight in their second Olympic qualifier, fans can finally show their love for goalie Mackenzie Arnold. Replicas of her “iconic” purple jersey went on sale yesterday, with Nike admitting they “didn’t serve” her fans during last year’s Women’s World Cup.

Hollywood actress Emma Stone has revealed she had to nosh on no less than 60 Portuguese tarts while filming the BAFTA-winning movie Poor Things. The pastel de nata are delish, so she’ll have to try a bit harder if she’s suggesting she suffered for her art…

If you reckon you can spot a deepfake a mile off, you can test yourself against 10 real and fake audio recordings of Joe Biden and Donald Trump. And it’s harder than it sounds – we only got 60% right…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Launceston Cup – a public holiday for some of the region 

12.30pm (AEDT) – HE Vasyl Myroshnychenko & Kateryna Argyrou (and moderated by Chris Uhlmann) will be addressing the National Press Club on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine after 2 years – Canberra

8.00pm (AEDT) – Women’s soccer final Olympic qualifying game – Australia v Ubekezkistan – Melbourne, and broadcast live on Ten/10Play

ABS Data Release – Monthly Consumer Price Index indicator, January 

Company results – Flight Centre; Worley

Ovarian Cancer Australia’s Giving Day 

Rare Disease Day 

Birthday for architect Frank Gehry (1929) 

Anniversary of:

  • Francis Crick and James Watson discovering the chemical structure of DNA (1953)
  • Egypt gaining independence from the United Kingdom (1922)
  • the end of the Gulf War after Iraq accepted a ceasefire following their retreat from Kuwait (1991)
  • the flooding of northern NSW communities, including Lismore (2022)
  • the passenger and freight train collision in Greece, killing 57 people (2023)

About 1.00am (AEDT) – Hunter Biden will appear before the US House of Representatives Oversight and Judiciary Committees for a private deposition, as part of the impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden

Squiz the Day

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