Squiz Today / 11 April 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 11 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting your feet under the week. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

16 / 27
15 / 18
18 / 29
15 / 24
13 / 21
11 / 16
24 / 35
11 / 25

Squiz Sayings

“This kind of ship is not designed to be sitting on the bottom. It’s designed to be floating.”

Said Doug Myers, the senior scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as the Ever Forward starts its 5th week stuck on an embankment off Baltimore. Who’s got a month to lie around?

Bring. It. On.

Sure, it feels like we’ve been in an election campaign since the start of the year, but it was formalised yesterday with PM Scott Morrison heading to Government House in Yarralumla to advise Governor-General David Hurley to call an election on 21 May. Morrison starts the campaign with one achievement under his belt – he’s the first PM to make it through a full term without being rolled by his colleagues since John Howard went to his last election in 2007.

Morrison starts with a mountain to climb to remain in government. The polls show the Coalition is well behind Labor, and no government has come from so far behind to win. But the polls will tighten, and they aren’t always right (ahem, 2019…). And yesterday, we got a taste of where the 2 major parties are coming from. Morrison says the election is about a choice between a government that you know and that has been delivering, and a Labor Opposition that you don’t.” The economy/jobs/tax relief are big themes, along with investing in infrastructure, funding health and essential services, and national security. As for Labor, Albanese says his team will deliver “a better future”. Fended off Morrison’s claim he is inexperienced, Albanese saying he’s a working-class guy who’s well known in the boardrooms of Aussie businesses. His team makes up “the most experienced incoming Labor government in history,” he says.

We got facts… In the 151 seat House of Representatives (aka where the government is formed), the Coalition won the last election with 77 seats, giving it a slim majority of 2. On the floor of the parliament, that translates to a one-seat majority after providing the Speaker. Last year, the Coalition’s number fell to 76 when Liberal MP/egging target Craig Kelly departed the party over a COVID misinformation brawl. Note: he’s now the leader of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party. So at the very least, the Coalition needs to win back Kelly’s seat or find another one to have a working majority. Labor starts with a notional 69 seats (including the new seat of Hawke in Melbourne), which means it has to win 7 seats to claim a majority. That requires a 3.3% national swing, which isn’t easy. That’s the big picture, but like any good soap opera, there are subplots across the country involving the big guys, the minor parties and independents. As Albanese signed off yesterday, “hey ho, let’s go.”


Squiz the Rest

Pope Francis calls for an Easter truce

Speaking at a Palm Sunday service overnight, the Pope has called for a stop to the fighting in Ukraine – not to rearm, but “to reach peace through real negotiations”. And he was critical of Russia, asking “what kind of victory would be one that plants a flag on a heap of rubble?” He is the latest big name to get involved after Saturday’s walk around Kyiv by UK PM Boris Johnson and President Volodymyr Zelensky with the visitor pledging more support to fight Russia. On Friday, the president played host to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who also promised more weapons. Over the weekend, Zelensky called on the international community to hold Russia to account for a missile strike on Kramatorsk station on Friday that killed more than 50 people. The missile had “for the children” scrawled on its side in Russian, which is a reference to claims that kids have been targeted by Ukraine’s troops in the Donbas region.

World News

Khan given out by Pakistan’s Parliament

Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan was ousted as the country’s leader after a vote of no-confidence in his leadership yesterday. Criticised by his opponents for failing to revive the economy and tackle corruption, analysts say it has more to do with losing the backing of Pakistan’s powerful army and intelligence services. Last week, Khan claimed he’d lost support because of a “foreign conspiracy” connected to America and that he’d been singled out because he wouldn’t be “a puppet by the West”. The US State Department said there is no truth to the allegations of interference. Khan had been in office for 4 years, and the parliament will vote today to elect a new national leader. Reports say that’s likely to be opposition MP Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of 3-time PM Nawaz Sharif. No prime minister in Pakistan has completed their full term since independence in 1947, but Khan is the first to be ousted by a no-confidence vote.

World News

Deltacron is here…

War, floods and politics may have taken COVID off the front page, but the pandemic is still a thing despite the weariness of Aussies. So it’s far from a warm welcome for the Deltacron variant – a combination of the more severe Delta strain and the super contagious Omicron virus. Deltacron was initially detected in February in France, and it has been spreading slowly around Europe and the US. And this weekend, it was confirmed to be in NSW and Queensland. Infectious diseases expert Paul Griffin said Deltacron occurred through a rare process called ‘recombination’, which happens when somebody infected with both Delta and Omicron has mixed up the viruses’ genetic material to create a hybrid virus. Griffin says the new variant behaves more like Omicron, so it shouldn’t lead to bad outcomes.


Bracing for a fall

The Reserve Bank has estimated that housing prices may fall up to 15% over the next 2 years if interest rates rise 2 percentage points. It says 40% of borrowers wouldn’t struggle to make the new minimum monthly repayments because they already pay more. However, it warns of risks for the 1-in-5 heavily indebted borrowers who would see their minimum repayments rise significantly. The bank’s twice-yearly Financial Stability Review delivered a rosy assessment of the resilience of Aussie households off the back of rising property prices and additional equity in their homes. The central bank estimates that for the vast majority of borrowers, it would take a 25%-plus drop in home values to send them into negative equity (which is where a borrower owes more to the bank than their home is worth). As for when rates will rise, the big 4 banks reckon it will probably start in June.

Business & Finance

A big weekend in sport…

So let’s jump in:

• The Adelaide Crows claimed their 3rd premiership win in the AFLW competition after defeating the Melbourne Demons 29-16 at Adelaide Oval. And in the NRLW, the Sydney Roosters produced a 2nd-half blitz to beat St George Illawarra 16-4 to become first-time premiers.

Charles Leclerc and Ferrari won the Melbourne Grand Prix yesterday arvo after a pandemic-driven 3-year hiatus. He beat Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ George Russell, with world champion Max Verstappen failing to finish thanks to a steaming hot engine. Aussie Daniel Ricciardo – who came 6th – didn’t drive the LEGO model made for him… 

• And it’s all happening at the Masters at Augusta, where Aussie golfer Cameron Smith is in a final-day shootout with world #1 Scottie Scheffler. It’s pretty exciting for the mulleted Aussie star… It’s not so fun for a limping Tiger Woods despite standing ovations greeting him around the course – he finishes well off the pace.


Apropos of Nothing

Ash Barty hasn’t taken much of a breather before announcing her next venture as a children’s author. The Little Ash series of 6 books is based on the 25yo’s experiences, and she was inspired to write them for her 5yo niece.

Twitter is getting set to allow posts to be edited after being published. This is a look back on some that could have done with a post-production review…

And it’s been quite a weekend for love. Victoria and David Beckham’s 23yo son Brooklyn has married Nicola Peltz – and it was quite something… And Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are engaged for the second time after the couple abandoned their marriage plans in 2003. It was also an opportunity for the singer to drive traffic to her website – how romantic…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Federal Parliament is dissolved ahead of the 21 May election

ABS Data Release – Language Statistics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, June 2016 (First Release)

World Parkinson’s Day

National Pet Day

Anniversary of:
• US President Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act (1968)
• the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange after his forced removal from the Ecuadorian embassy in London (2019)

Squiz the Day

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