Squiz Today / 08 May 2024

Squiz Today – 8 May 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“By 25 your body’s like – can I have something else now?’’

Said Aussie James Webb after eating 51 sausages in 10 minutes, setting a new world record at a festival in Texas. And if Webb’s feats sound familiar – we gave him a shout-out last year when he knocked over 276 chicken wings in 12 minutes in New York. Breakfast anyone?

Tempering expectations

The Squiz 

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) yesterday opted to leave the cash rate on hold at 4.35%, quashing any predictions of a shift. But the real takeaway is that it’s lifted its short-term forecast for inflation – which is currently at 3.6% after several months of slowly dropping towards the bank’s 2-3% target range. The board says that means “the path of interest rates that will best ensure that inflation returns to target … remains uncertain and the board is not ruling anything in or out”. Which loosely means we could see more rate hikes…

But what about rate cuts…?

That’s a fair question, given there’s been plenty of speculation from economists in recent months that rates could start to drop in the second half of this year. But you know what they say about best-laid plans… The problem, which the Reserve Bank flagged yesterday, is that it’s becoming increasingly clear that high inflation is dragging on for longer than first thought. Reports say that’s largely down to soaring petrol prices and Oz’s healthy employment figures – but the high costs of other essentials, like rent and electricity, are also contributing. That’s not to mention the effects of global wars, overseas inflation, and trade issues… All that has RBA Governor Michele Bullock warning the final push to return inflation to target “will likely continue to be bumpy, and we should all be prepared for that”.

Anything else? 

Well, we could hardly talk about interest rates without mentioning next week’s Federal Budget… Reports say the Reserve Bank’s decision yesterday could put an end to the cash splash some were expecting from the Albanese Government. But Treasurer Jim Chalmers was careful to point to the positives yesterday – he said Australia’s net debt will come in $152 billion lower than forecast. He also flagged that we’ll see increases in welfare payments as part of the Government’s cost-of-living relief measures. And while we’re talking budgets, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas delivered his 10th for the state yesterday… The top line is that several major projects – including Melbourne’s long-awaited airport train – have been delayed as the Government looks to keep a lid on spending. A common theme, it seems…

AusPol Australian News Economy

Squiz the Rest

Crossing a line

After starting to evacuate civilians in parts of Rafah yesterday, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) says it’s established “operational control” of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing. If that’s ringing any bells, it’s because the crossing – which is just south of Gaza City, along the Gazan/Egyptian border – is one of the main entry points for humanitarian aid into the Strip. Vision released by the IDF shows tanks bearing Israeli flags entering the area, which military leaders claim was “being used for terrorist purposes”. The takeover means all movement through the crossing – including aid deliveries – has stopped. Israel began launching “targeted strikes” on parts of eastern Rafah yesterday, hours after Hamas announced it had accepted a ceasefire deal. But Israel said the terms of that deal were “beyond” the original offer and they are returning to Cairo today for more talks. 

World News

A Stormy encounter

Adult film star Stormy Daniels has taken the stand in US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “hush money” trial. In a morning of heated exchanges in the New York courtroom, Daniels told of receiving a payment of US$130,000 ahead of the 2016 election from Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to “stay quiet” about an alleged affair she had with Trump. She said this was a “win-win” because she didn’t want her partner at the time to find out. Daniels also outlined to the court a sexual encounter she claims she had with Trump at a golf tournament – which he denies – and at one stage Judge Juan Merchan told the prosecution to rein in the “explicit nature” of their questions. Trump’s lawyer argued for a mistrial due to the line of questioning, which was denied. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business documents to cover up the payment.

World News

China tensions flare up

PM Anthony Albanese says China “will be very aware” of his concerns after one of its jets dropped flares into the flight path of an Australian Navy helicopter over the weekend. HMAS Hobart was helping the UN enforce sanctions against North Korea in international waters – when a Seahawk chopper was forced to take evasive action to avoid being hit by the flares. The Defence Department labelled China’s actions “unsafe and unprofessional”, while the Opposition Leader Peter Dutton says the Prime Minister should be directly contacting President Xi Jinping. The PM says the Government’s made “strong representations” at “every level” and will raise it with China’s premier when he visits Oz in June. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman responded overnight, saying the Australian pilot “deliberately flew within close range of China’s airspace in a provocative move”.

AusPol World News

Fast-tracking a trial

Alleged mushroom murderer Erin Patterson has opted to have her case “fast-tracked” after pleading “not guilty” to all 8 charges yesterday. It means she will skip a committal hearing in the magistrates court – where police evidence would have been formally tested prior to a trial – and instead go straight to the Supreme Court in Melbourne on 23 May. Magistrate Tim Walsh said police had compiled “an extremely voluminous” brief of evidence. Patterson is facing 3 counts of murder and 5 counts of attempted murder over the alleged poisonings of her family members on multiple occasions. The decision to go to Melbourne marks a shift in Patterson’s legal strategy as she had previously wanted the case to stay close to her home in Leongatha in regional Victoria. No reason has been given for the change and Patterson remains in custody.

Australian News Crime

The Meh-t Gala

It’s one of fashion’s biggest moments on the first Monday in May, but this year’s Met Gala was a little underwhelming for many fans with an absence of any really wild outfits (remember Jared Leto’s Choupette costume last year?) and several big stars MIA… In a sea of beige and black, there were a few standouts who really leaned into the theme of ‘The Garden of Time’. Our faves include Demi Moore channelling the Queen of Hearts, Cynthia Erivo’s “run through a garden” half-tux, half-gown, and model Wisdom Kaye’s burnt-poppy with big jewellery look which was on fire (literally)… The absence of stars like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé raised some eyebrows, but not as many as the fake Katy Perry – who really wasn’t in attendance despite first appearances… Which is a shame as her non-existent garden gown would have been our pick of the bunch.

Culture Entertainment World News

Apropos of Nothing

Queen Mary’s given a candid interview about life since she and her husband, King Frederik, ascended the Danish throne in January… During the pair’s first state visit as King and Queen – to Sweden – Mary admitted to feeling a touch overwhelmed “at times”. Understandable, really…

Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa’s spin in the tardis is imminent – and the early reviews reckon the fifteenth Doctor Who is “a dazzling, all-singing, all-dancing delight”. It does look fun if his 60s-inspired fashion is anything to go by…

The daughter of Mama Cass Elliot – of The Mamas & The Papas fame – wants to clear up one of the longest-running musical myths of all time… Owen Elliot-Kugell debunked the rumour about her mum choking to death on a ham sandwich. It’s been a long-running gag, but Elliot-Kugell says “enough with the jokes” because it never happened. 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

5.00am (AEST) – Eurovision 2024 begins – Malmö, and broadcast live on SBS/SBS on Demand

9.00am (AWST) – Breakfast with the PM – Anthony Albanese outlines the government’s agenda for WA ahead of the federal budget – Perth

9.30am (AEST) – Brett Button, driver in the fatal Hunter Valley bus crash, will enter a plea today – Newcastle

9.30am (AEST) – CEDA 2024 Climate & Energy Forum with a focus on improving Australia’s climate outcomes – Brisbane

10.15am (AEST) – Federal Court appeal hearing in the repatriation case of 21 Aussie women and 12 children linked to Islamic State from Syrian detention camps – Melbourne

12.30pm (AEST) – Saul Eslake & Colin Barnett speaking at the National Press Club on the “GST debacle” – Canberra

4.30pm (AEST) – Case management hearing for Australia’s e-Safety Commissioner against X over video takedown order – Melbourne

Prince Harry returns to the UK for a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games at St Paul’s Cathedral – London

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War 

World Ovarian Cancer Day 

World Red Cross Day 

A birthday for David Attenborough (1926)

Anniversary of:

  • the first Westminster Dog Show (1877)
  • Coca Cola being sold publicly for the first time at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia – cocaine and all… (1886)
  • VE Day: World War II ends in Europe after Nazi Germany formally surrenders (1945)
  • The Beatles releasing their final album Let It Be (1970)
  • the World Health Organization announcing the eradication of smallpox (1980)
  • Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivering the first budget surplus in 15 years (2023)
Squiz the Day

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