Squiz Today / 17 November 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 17 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“We do not comment on rumours or insinuations”

Was the characteristically royal line given by the Danish palace in response to cheating rumours involving Crown Prince Frederik, aka Our Mary’s hubby. The allegations have been shot down, but the Prince should know that we’re watching and Australia has her back…

Cracking down on convicted immigrants

The Squiz

Federal legislation has passed to impose strict new visa conditions on 84 people who were released from indefinite immigration detention after a High Court ruling last week. This issue has been heating up this week because some are criminals convicted of terrible offences, including murder and sex crimes. So “to ensure community safety”, the Albanese Government has agreed with the Coalition to pass laws to enable authorities to restrict and monitor the former detainees’ movements with possible jail time for those conditions.

Back it up a bit…

On Wednesday last week, the High Court ruled that non-Australian citizens can’t be indefinitely detained if they can’t be deported. Sirul Azhar Umar is a good example… He was convicted of murdering a woman in Kuala Lumpur in 2006, but he escaped and came here. Our government couldn’t send him back to Malaysia because he faced the death penalty – a punishment Australia condemns. Sirul is one of the 84 to be released since the decision, and the Solicitor-General says 340 others could join them. That’s generated a lot of political heat this week as the Coalition pushed the government to implement strict conditions, including curfews and rules about their proximity to children. Coalition leader Peter Dutton says it still doesn’t go far enough – he wants the group returned to detention as soon as possible.

What else is happening?

Now that you’ve asked… The UK’s Supreme Court has rejected the Conservative Government’s plan to send unauthorised arrivals to Rwanda. Britain and Rwanda made an agreement in 2022 that would see thousands of people who arrived by boat in the UK sent to Rwanda to request asylum there. You can see why plenty of comparisons to Australia’s offshore processing policies have been made… But the court – which is at the top of the legal tree in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – was highly critical of the plan. UK PM Rishi Sunak isn’t letting that stop him – he’s pushing through emergency legislation to make it happen. It’s another thing on his plate after an interesting week that saw the surprise return of former PM David Cameron as Foreign Secretary…

AusPol Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

APEC leaders kick into gear

The streets of San Francisco are thick with world leaders right now… While US President Joe Biden was hosting leaders of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) at a fancy dinner last night, China’s President Xi Jinping broke away to dine with top business leaders. And before that, Biden and Xi sat down for almost 4 hours to make “real progress” on a stack of issues, including reestablishing military communications. The pair also talked about Gaza, Taiwan and artificial intelligence – but generating just as much buzz was Biden calling Xi a “dictator” at his post-meeting presser. It was almost as uncomfortable as Biden reminding Xi it was his wife’s birthday next week… PM Anthony Albanese has joined the summit after a crazy schedule of international travel – he says that “at a time of global uncertainty, it is important that I’m here at APEC”. The main leaders’ talks will happen later today our time.

World News

A road to nowhere

PM Albanese’s honeymoon with state premiers is officially over after his government took the axe to a bunch of road and rail projects across the country. Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King says an independent review found plans worth $120 billion were facing a $33 billion cost blowout due to rising building costs and labour shortages, so the Commonwealth’s cancelling 50 projects. On the chopping block: NSW loses a big road upgrade between Sydney and the Central West and works around Western Sydney. Victoria faces cuts to the Geelong Fast Rail. And in Queensland, the Sunshine Coast rail and M1 upgrades are gone. Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has led the angry response, calling the cuts “outrageous” and a “body blow”.

AusPol Australian News

Optus said, Singtel said…

Another twist has emerged in the Optus outage saga after the telco’s Singapore-based parent company bought in yesterday to say a botched software upgrade wasn’t the cause of the meltdown. That’s a bit awks because it contradicts what Optus and a company insider claimed earlier in the week… Singtel said Optus was aware it was running a “routine upgrade” on its international internet exchange and that the Aussie network remained “up and running” after the upgrade was completed. It adds to the many questions CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin will face when she gets a grilling by a Greens-led Senate Committee this morning, where the focus will be on what steps Optus is taking to avoid another national outage and the compensation it offered to affected customers. It’s no wonder the Financial Review reports this morning that she’s considering resigning (paywall)….

Australian News Business & Finance Technology

Aussies go for glory

Top of the morning to you if you’re a sports fan because we’ve come out on top in both cricket and soccer overnight… Our men’s cricketers beat South Africa by 3 wickets with 16 balls remaining in a rain-interrupted game in front of 130,000 cricket fans. That’s seen us advance to the World Cup final on Sunday night for the eighth time – and it continues poor old South Africa’s streak of never having made it past the semi-finals. A formidable opponent lies ahead if we’re to claim the trophy – the home side India has been in sensational form, topped with superstar Virat Kohli smashing records. Meanwhile, our Socceroos beat Bangladesh 7-0 in Melbourne last night – they are just at the start of their qualifying campaign to make the 2026 World Cup in North America. The experts reckon we should make it through pretty easily – helped by the fact that 48 teams (up on 32 from last time) will go into the final draw.

Australian News Sport

Self-care for Schoolies

It’s that time of the year when Year 12 graduates flock to the Goldie and Byron Bay for 2 weeks of hardcore partying. But the tradition is getting a shakeup as more Gen Zers ditch alcohol-fuelled debauchery for a more wholesome celebration. While overseas hotspots like Bali, Thailand and Fiji have become more popular in recent years, those after a more leisurely experience have local options, including a 4-day “self-care journey”… Run by meditation teacher Michelle Eckles, she puts on a grog-free event on the Sunshine Coast that includes yoga, meditation, mandala art, mocktail making, and Zumba. “I wanted to help kids cope with anxiety and stress so they can prepare for the real world without turning to coping mechanisms,” Eckles says. The kids might change their mind when they discover the drink formerly known as Hard Solo

Australian News Culture

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Oprah’s favourite things list has dropped for 2023, spreading gift ideas across the land… The most intriguing item – a notebook called ‘I’m Dead, Now What?’ so you can record the details your loved ones might need in the event of your death. Festive or what?

We’ve watched 3 docos this week, and one we recommend for your Friday night is on ABC iView called Rose Gold. It’s the story of the Boomers – not the generation, the national men’s basketball team – and their road to winning bronze in the Tokyo Olympics. It’s about mateship more than sport, and yes, we shed a couple of tears… (Note: we’ll tell you about the other 2 in tomorrow’s Saturday Squiz – what a tease…)

Confession time: we’ve mostly eaten Vegemite toast this week. So we’re lining up this San Choy Bow for dinner tonight. Fresh and crunchy, we always feel good for eating it.

Australian News Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

PM Anthony Albanese attends the APEC Economic Leaders’ Retreat – San Francisco

Company shareholder meeting – Lendlease

International Students’ Day

World Prematurity Day

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Bluey: The Videogame released

Birthdays for Martin Scorsese (1942) Danny DeVito (1944), RuPaul (1960), Kate Ceberano (1966), and Rachel McAdams (1978)

Anniversary of:
• Elizabeth I ascending the throne at 25yo following the death of her half-sister Mary (1558)
• the opening of the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean and Red seas (1869)
• the anniversary of the first ship sailing through the Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (1913)
• Douglas Engelbart receiving a patent for the first computer mouse (1970)
• the premiere of the film Twilight (2008)

Squiz the Day

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