Squiz Today / 09 May 2024

Squiz Today – 9 May 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It is the greatest toilet, and men won’t be allowed to see it.”

Said Kirsha Kaechele – the artist behind the women-only Ladies Lounge at MONA in Hobart – has found a way to keep the space operational following a court-ordered shutdown under anti-discrimination laws… The exhibit will be transformed into a women’s toilet to make it “compliant” with regulations.

From Russia without love

The Squiz 

Ukrainian authorities say 2 men have been arrested and charged with treason over the latest plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky and 2 other senior Ukrainian officials. The men were colonels in Ukraine’s government protection unit – which is responsible for keeping officials safe – but they’re accused of working undercover as moles for the Russian state security service – aka the FSB. Their attempts to assassinate Zelensky involved searching for one of the President’s security guards who would be willing to kidnap and execute him. Ukrainian officials say the assassination plots were devised as “a gift to Putin” before the Russian President’s inauguration on Tuesday.

Not your standard gift…

Nope, and given the plots were foiled, Putin had to make do with a regular swearing-in ceremony at the Kremlin. Just to refresh your memory, this will be a historic fifth term for the 71yo as Russia’s leader after he won a general election in March with a landslide victory – which his critics say was a sham vote given he had no serious opposition. And although many world leaders – including Oz’s – boycotted Putin’s inauguration, the event did draw several of his allies. Speaking of… Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Europe this week, where he’s been trying to walk back claims his country is helping Russia in its war against Ukraine. At a press conference with French President/Ukrainian ally Emmanuel Macron, Xi said, “China is neither the creator of the crisis, nor a party to it”, and has “been actively contributing to reaching peace”.

What’s happening in the war?

Well, as Zelensky has been flagging for months, Ukraine is facing losses on the battlefield as its military deals with ammunition/weapons shortages while also waiting on aid packages to flow through from the US and other allies. And those frontline losses give the Kremlin another reason to celebrate tomorrow, as the country’s annual Victory Day parade kicks off. The celebration marks Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, but it’s taken on new meaning for Putin and his allies since the invasion of Ukraine. This year, Ukrainian tanks and military equipment seized by Russian forces will be on display in Moscow, with reports saying Putin is looking to push the message that his country is saving the world with its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

If you’re keen for a refresh on Putin’s rise to power, check out this Squiz Shortcut.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Bus crash families devastated

There were emotional scenes in a NSW court as a bus driver pleaded guilty to causing a horrific crash that killed 10 people and injured 25 others. Brett Button had been ferrying wedding guests in the Hunter Valley in June last year when he lost control of the coach at a roundabout. Some of the victims’ families became distressed and others later said they were “disgusted” at the prosecution’s decision to drop manslaughter charges and accept Button’s guilty plea to 10 charges of dangerous driving causing death and 25 lesser driving offences. Reports say court documents detail the driver’s long addiction to pain medications after a workplace injury in the 1990s. His lawyer asked the court to take Button’s “diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and other things” into account while he remains behind bars ahead of sentencing. The deadly crash was Australia’s worst in nearly 30 years…

Australian News Crime

Beef gone bad

We wouldn’t normally wander into the fray of a rap beef, but the ongoing feud between Drake and Kendrick Lamar has taken a deadly turn after a drive-by shooting outside Drake’s home in Toronto. The incident happened at about 2am local time on Tuesday and left one of his security guards in a critical condition. It’s a long-running row but it escalated recently with both releasing ‘diss tracks’ – aka not very nice songs – about each other. Lyrics have included serious allegations such as domestic violence, secret children, infidelity and even paedophilia. Police say it’s unclear whether the incident was related to the feud, but fans have pointed out the cover of Lamar’s latest track Not Like Us features a satellite image of Drake’s house with numerous red locator markers on it and opens with the line, “I see dead people”.

World News

Rainy old Sydney town

If you live on the NSW coast and have been struggling to dry your washing for the past week – sorry to tell you the big wet is forecast to run right through the weekend. The heaviest falls are likely to hit between Newcastle and the far south coast – with warnings of 100-200mm over the next few days. And because we seem to do a lot of extreme weather in this country – it’s worth mentioning the PM’s been at Beef Week in Queensland (yeah, it’s a thing…) promising $514 million for farmers to improve their drought resilience. That fits with the global picture… This April was the hottest ever on record – the 11th month in a row that world temperatures have broken old limits. It’s been especially fierce in Asia – with the Philippines and Bangladesh shutting schools and Thailand reporting severe crop losses.

Australian News Weather

My home is my castle

There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition when it comes to the best places to live, but new data shows where Aussies experience the highest levels of serenity. A total of 518 Local Government Areas (LGAs) were judged on 7 criteria, including health, income, housing and environment, with Sydney’s Northern Beaches ranking the highest in Oz. In fact, 8 of the top 10 were in Sydney, with the ACT taking out second place, and Queensland only getting a look in at number 10 with Brisbane. Queensland also had the lowest performing regions – Yarrabah and Palm Island in the state’s north. Despite the brutal rankings, researcher Julian Szafraniec says “It’s not a scorecard … it’s a tool to inform a debate about where investment should go”. You can use this handy interactive map to find out how your area stacks up…

Australian News

Sweden’s Electric shock

Spoiler alert – if you’re saving all your Eurovision energy for a viewing party this weekend, skip ahead now… Despite bringing Aboriginal culture to Europe’s biggest song contest for the first time in what’s been described as a “dazzling stage performance”, Aussie entrant Electric Fields is out after the first semi-final. An estimated 162 million people saw their performance of One Milkali (One Blood) featuring the Yankunytjatjara language, but it wasn’t enough to score the votes needed to head to Sunday’s grand final. Despite the loss, vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding says it’s still a “special moment” for them. And we still have another horse in the race as Cyprus’ entrant Silia Kapsis is also an Aussie, and she’s made it through. We’ll find out who the remaining finalists are after Friday’s Semi-final 2.

Australian News Entertainment World News

Apropos of Nothing

If you were bored by the beige of the MET gala, maybe the wilder looks of the afterparty will get your fashion senses sizzling. Though the real style rebel might actually be Matt Damon’s wife wearing a pair of shoes she could actually walk in… 

We’ve been captivated by cicada-geddon in the US, and now we have a love story to go with the insect phenomenon… That’s courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois, who’s made a fantastically low-fi reenactment of the cicada’s life – and love – cycle…

You don’t need to feel sorry for Britain’s “ugliest dog”, as she’s landed a top Hollywood movie gig… Peggy will take on the role of Dogpool in the upcoming Marvel flick Deadpool & Wolverine and gets to star alongside Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman – we’re jealous…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.30 (AEST) – Defence Force Chief General Angus Campbell, Aussie Astronaut Katherine Bennell-Pegg, and General B. Chance Saltzmann of the US Space Force to address the Air and Space Power Conference – Canberra 

9.30 (AEST) – Water polo: The Aussie women’s water polo team to be named for the Paris Olympics – Sydney

4.00pm (AWST) – WA State Budget to be handed down – Perth

6.00pm (AEST) – Australian Book Industry Awards – Melbourne

Europe Day 

Victory Day – Russia

National Moscato Day

Anniversary of:

  • the opening of the first Parliament of Australia (1901)
  • the US becoming the first country to legalise the birth control pill (1960)
  • Nelson Mandela becoming President of South Africa (1994)
  • Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered the first budget surplus in 15 years (2023)
Squiz the Day

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