Squiz Today / 03 July 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 3 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Good weeks start here. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“This is the most lopsided, one-way traffic 40 minutes I have ever seen.”

Said commentator Cooper Cronk as rugby league recorded the biggest winning margin in the NRL’s history. That sound you could hear on Saturday night was North Queensland Cowboys fans cheering their team to a 74-0 thrashing of Wests Tigers…

Say hi to the NACC

New financial year, new watchdog on the beat to detect, investigate and report on corrupt conduct in the Australian Government public sector. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) – an independent agency that will investigate allegations, tell the public what it finds, and educate the public sector on how to prevent corruption – has come into being as July ticked over. And today – its first day of operation – is predicted to see every side of politics lining up to refer matters to the NACC for investigation.

We have anti-corruption laws to ensure those in power do the right thing and weed out those who don’t. Every state and territory also has some sort of anti-corruption/integrity commission – and as of today, so does the Commonwealth. The NACC – led by Commissioner Paul Brereton – will investigate allegations of “serious and systemic” corruption relating to the public service, ministers/pollies and their staff, and those working with the Commonwealth. Critics say the NACC’s teeth aren’t sharp enough, but the Coalition is onboard, supporting its establishment after the Albanese Government’s election last year. Now up and running and wielding the powers of a royal commission, the NACC can compel witnesses and evidence. And it should have “the reputation of being fearless but fair”, Brereton has said.

The Greens have a list… Top of the list is former Morrison Government minister Stuart Robert over his dealings with consulting firm Synergy 360, which allegedly planned to secretly funnel funds to him in return for government contracts. That blew up last week. The PwC consulting scandal is another. And the Coalition reckons the NACC needs to look into former staffer Brittany Higgins’ compensation payout after leaked text messages showed senior Labor figures were briefed about her allegations before she went public. And there are many more… But it’s not just down to our pollies – anyone can make a referral, and the NACC can launch its own investigations if it thinks something’s off. Ultimately, Brereton and his anti-corruption crew will decide what they investigate – and Han Aulby, executive director of the Centre for Public Integrity, says “we need to respect its independence”. Whether our politicians get that, time will tell…

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Get set for a new financial year…

Good question, because there are several changes on the books. Parents will now have access to 20 weeks of paid parental leave, with couples able to split the time between them as they like. The start of the Albanese Government’s $5.4 billion childcare subsidy changes also come into effect to benefit 1.2 million families – but there are concerns about what it will do to fees… At the other end of the age spectrum, Aussies must now wait until 67yo to access the aged pension. And minimum/award wage workers will get a pay bump, and all workers get more put away in superannuation. And first-time house hunters can now team up with friends and family to jointly access the various government-subsidised on-ramps into the property market. Calculators out…


Anti-police protests in France continue

The family of the 17yo, whose killing by police sparked widespread unrest across France, have called on protesters to stop and for laws on the lethal force at traffic stops to change. Last Tuesday, teenager Nahel M was pulled over in Nanterre (a suburb outside Paris) and died after a police officer shot him. Authorities initially claimed the teen had driven towards police, but a video showed that wasn’t the case. The officer who fired the shot has been stood down and placed under investigation for voluntary homicide. The incident has hit a nerve around race and policing in France because Nahel was of Algerian descent. President Emmanuel Macron denies there is systemic racism inside the nation’s law enforcement agencies, but the United Nations human rights office said “this is a moment” to address the issue.

World News

Indigenous excellence honoured

It’s NAIDOC Week to celebrate/recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and Professor Kelvin Kong has been recognised as the Person of the Year. Kong, a Worimi man and Australia’s first Indigenous surgeon, accepted the award “on the back of terrible ear statistics”. Middle-ear disease disproportionately impacts remote Indigenous communities (and particularly kids), with 40-85% suffering from recurring perforated eardrums. King is an ear/nose/throat specialist who says he’s “embarrassed” that our “first world country has a third world health statistic”. Also shining at the ceremony, award winner Rachel Perkins urged Aussies to back the ‘Yes’ vote in the upcoming Voice referendum. “Stand with us, Australia,” the Yes23 campaigner said. The group held events around Australia yesterday and is ramping up its ad spend in the face of sliding poll results.

Australian News

Twitter wants you to get some fresh air

Under new limits imposed by Twitter owner Elon Musk, users who haven’t paid for blue tick verification will be temporarily limited to scrolling through 600 daily posts. ‘Verified’ subscribers will get their fix of 6,000 posts. Musk said the change was to “address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation” but later wrote it was “because we are all Twitter addicts and need to go outside.” Whatever the reason, the change caused the site to crash for some, effectively limiting post views to 0. And it’s not the only company staging tech-feature-rug-pulls… On 26 July, Apple will shut down a feature called My Photo Stream. If you’re worried about losing the 50,000 images you took on the weekend of your kid/dog/cat sleeping, here’s a guide to avoiding the picpocalypse.

Australian News

Aussies go two up

The final day of the second action-packed Ashes Test started with England needing 256 runs to win, with 6 wickets in hand – and overnight, Australia took them out with 43 runs to spare. Our victory wasn’t for England’s lack of trying… Their captain Ben Stokes scored 155 runs, and after he was out, their batting order collapsed. To say the Aussie weren’t cheered on to victory is an understatement because of a controversial runout. Even the fancy blokes in the Long Room of Lord’s had something to say about it. But the action wasn’t contained to Day 5… “Every day of this Test, something incredible has happened, and I don’t think we have seen a Lord’s Test like this one,” said former great/commentator Glenn McGrath. The win means we have a commanding 2-0 lead in the 5-game series, with the third match starting on Thursday. And the Aussie women are also in fine form – a win on Wednesday will be enough to retain the Ashes with 4 games to play.


Apropos of nothing

Ticks can’t jump or fly onto their host – but the bloodsuckers can use static electricity to latch onto people and animals. Scientists made the discovery while looking into how the “ambush predators” spread disease and misery…

Cardboard ‘rocketships’ could help our wildlife survive the aftermath of future bushfires. The biodegradable shelters that provide cover after the protective undergrowth is burnt out are the brainchild of conservation ecologist Dr Alexandra Carthey – she came up with the idea after the 2019-20 Black Summer fires.

In a selfless act of civil service, the mayor of Mexico’s San Pedro Huamelula married a crocodile-like caiman to continue an ancestral tradition to bring good fortune to the town. The reptile was even dressed in a sequined white dress, and she looked beautiful

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00pm (AEST) – Tennis – Wimbledon begins – London

Independence Day – Belarus

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits Sydney (until 5 July)

ABS Data Release – Lending Indicators, May; Building Approvals, May

Plastic Bag Free Day

Birthdays for Tom Cruise (1962) and Julian Assange (1971)

Anniversary of:
• the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle ever fought on the American continent (1863)
• Karl Benz driving the first automobile (1886)
• the death of rocker Jim Morrison (1971)
• the premiere of Back to the Future (1985)

Squiz the Day

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