Squiz Today / 03 June 2024

Squiz Today – 3 June 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It involves many engineering innovations, high risks and great difficulty.” 

Said China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) of yesterday’s successful landing on the far side of the moon. The uncrewed spacecraft is there to collect rock and soil samples, making CNSA a frontrunner in the global moon race. One small, challenging step for China…

Taking American voters into uncharted waters

The Squiz 

We commend you for your excellent news-deflecting abilities if this is the first time you’re hearing that former US President Donald Trump was found guilty of all 34 charges in his ‘hush money’ trial on Friday… After deliberating for a day and a half, the jury found in favour of New York prosecutors who went after the property mogul/Republican firebrand for falsifying business records. It’s the first of 4 criminal cases that have been brought against Trump and relates to the reimbursement of hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels to cover up a sex scandal during his 2016 presidential campaign. 

Is this a big deal? 

The verdict is history-making. Never before has an American president – past or present – been found guilty of a crime. And never before has a person convicted of a crime been a presumptive major-party presidential candidate. So Trump – the former/hopeful future leader of the most powerful nation in the world – has squared away a remarkable twofer with Friday’s guilty verdict… Addressing the media on Saturday, Trump – while still under a gag order – blamed President Joe Biden and the Democrats for the “scam” trial. That saw Biden push back: “It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” he said. 

So what does it mean for the election? 

The top line is Trump is not prohibited from running for president because he has a criminal conviction. He could even win the top job on 5 November and be inaugurated early next year from jail if it comes to that. Whether that’s what a majority of American voters want is another question… The pundits are predicting another close race between Biden and Trump, so there’s a raging debate going on about how Friday’s verdict might affect the result, if at all. There’s also more legal wrangling to come in this case, with Trump confirming he will appeal the verdict… In the meantime, there are some dates for your news diary – Trump is slated to be sentenced on 11 July, just a few days before he’s set to be confirmed as the Republican’s presidential candidate at the party’s national convention. So strap yourself in, it’s going to be quite a ride… 

World News

Squiz the Rest

Other things President Biden has been involved in…

On the war in Gaza, mediators are pushing Israel and Hamas to approve a ceasefire deal outlined by the American leader. It involves an initial 6-week truce, a partial withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the release of some hostages. Hamas said it views the proposal “positively”, but Israel has made it clear again that it isn’t interested in an end to the war that Hamas survives. The United Nations and mediators hope something will come of it. And in Ukraine, Biden’s approved the use of US-supplied weapons for “counter-fire purposes” around Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine, near the Russian border. It’s the first time Biden has allowed US weapons to be fired at forces inside Russia – and it’s the first time a US president has authorised attacks on targets inside a nuclear-armed adversary. So, it’s a pretty significant step… 

World News

South Africans vote for change

The African National Congress (ANC) party has lost its majority in South Africa’s general election, capturing 40% of the vote. It’s the first time that’s happened since 1994 – that was when Nelson Mandela led the party to power after the end of apartheid. Experts say it’s down to voters being unhappy about the country’s unemployment figures, inequality and an energy crisis that’s led to widespread blackouts. And despite still holding the majority of seats in South Africa’s parliament, it means the ANC will have to form a coalition… It’s most likely to do that with one of 3 parties, and political watchers are eager to see how that will work in practice. The result has also heaped pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa – he has 2 weeks ahead of the parliament’s scheduled swearing-in to make it happen. Watch this space…

World News

Contemplating a comeback

Former Treasurer/Deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg could be prepping for a comeback to federal politics after the Electoral Commission proposed boundary changes to his former seat of Kooyong in Melbourne’s inner-east… The redraw hasn’t been finalised, but the suburbs of Toorak and Malvern are set to be included, bolstering the Liberals’ chances at the next federal election. Frydenberg was once considered the frontrunner to succeed Scott Morrison as party leader, but he lost Kooyong to Teal/independent Monique Ryan in 2022. Pollster Kos Samaras reckons re-contesting the seat “is riddled with risk” given many of Kooyong’s new voters are Gen Z – aka youngsters who aren’t feeling the major party vibe. Another issue is the party has already pre-selected a candidate for the next election. For his part, reports say Frydenberg “hasn’t ruled anything in or out”…


A win for health science

Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of the disease, and more than 2 million women across the world are diagnosed with it every year. So it’s pretty exciting that scientists from the Breast Cancer Now research centre in London have come up with a blood test that can predict the risk of breast cancer coming back to those who have previously had it 3 years before it would show up on scans. The test uses whole genome sequencing to look for 1,800 mutations and can pick up tiny amounts of cancer DNA in the bloodstream. In a trial with 78 patients, the test correctly identified a high risk of recurrence in all 11 patients who relapsed during the 5-year trial. Experts say it could be a game-changer in the fight against breast cancer by allowing for earlier intervention and treatment. Ain’t science grand?


A pawsitively wholesome move

Has there ever been a cuter social media trend? The “paws-in” challenge is a simple/adorable task where 2 people sit with a pooch, stack their hands in the centre, and see if their furry friend will put a paw in the pile. The trend has gone barking mad, with one compilation of clips viewed over 32 million times. So why do dogs get involved? Experts reckon it’s a mix of their ability to mimic human behaviour, love of attention, and training history. On that last point, dogs that do it right away are probably used to giving their humans a paw to do things like ‘shaking hands’ or getting their claws trimmed. But more than that, our puppers are “super interactive and very in tune with their people,” says Harvard University’s Julia Espinosa. Now to get our best mate to stop licking the whole of the kitchen floor at night… 

Australian News Entertainment

Apropos of Nothing

Visits to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra are up by almost 25% since it emerged mining magnate Gina Rinehart doesn’t much like a picture of herself that’s featured there. They say all publicity is good publicity… 

Cozzie livs isn’t stopping everyone from reaching into their very expensive handbags for their fancy wallets… Analysts reckon about 10% of Aussies are sheltered from the current economic storms, and they aren’t afraid to splash their cash on luxury handbags, gym memberships, and on the “buoyant” art market.

Can you spell I-M-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E? Florida’s Bruhat Zoma has won the US National Spelling Bee (and $75,000 in cash and prizes) after correctly spelling 29 out of 30 very challenging words during a tiebreaker round. All it took the 12yo was 90 incredible seconds

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEST) – The Aussie Marathon team for the Paris Olympic Games will be announced – Melbourne

10.30 (AEST) – The annual wage review decision will be handed down by the Fair Work Commission

7.40pm (AEST) – It’s an Aussie cheer-fest tonight with the Matildas playing China in the second Women’s Soccer friendly in Sydney, watch on 10 Play

And Alex de Minaur is taking on Daniil Medvedev in the 4th round at the French Open in Paris, watch on 9Gem

House of Reps sitting (until 6 June) and Senate Estimates continue – Canberra

North Korea plans to launch a new spy satellite

Mabo Day 

World Heart Rhythm Week 

World Bicycle Day 

World Cider Day

A birthday for Rafael Nadal (1986)

Anniversary of:

  • the first bikini bathing suit displayed in Paris (1946)
  • Aretha Franklin’s Respect reaching #1 (1967)
  • the London Bridge terror attack (2017)
  • the death of ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali (2016)

From 12.00am (AEST) – Hunter Biden’s felony gun trial is set to begin – Wilmington, North Carolina

Squiz the Day

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