Squiz Today / 27 March 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 27 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

Let’s get this party started. 

Today’s listen time: 9.40 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“The dog is non-judgemental – it doesn’t worry about the children making a mistake or using the wrong words.”

Said Helen Barnett, a retired teacher who’s part of the Story Dogs program. It’s a support initiative for kids struggling with reading to practice with a furry friend. Helen must have a different breed to our super judgy pooch who rolls his eyes at most things we say…

NSW Labor romps back into power

NSW Labor has won the magic number of at least 47 seats in the state’s 93-member lower house to win government in Saturday’s state election. Labor leaders around the country were quick to congratulate Premier-elect Chris Minns, who wasted no time yesterday diving into meetings with his senior ministers-elect. The emphatic victory ends 12 years of Coalition rule in NSW. On Saturday night, outgoing Premier Dominic Perrottet took responsibility for the result and announced he was stepping down as leader of the Liberal Party and urged NSW voters to “get behind” Minns. “I truly believe and have no doubt that he will make a fine 47th premier of NSW,” he said.

Pundits were predicting a late night of close results in key seats, but the ABC’s election expert Antony Green called it for Labor less than 2 hours into the count, and Perrottet conceded just after 9pm. There are about 10 seats considered too close to call, but from the count so far, it’s clear Labor has gained at least 9 seats from the Coalition, with Western Sydney a stand-out region. Minns attributes their success to focusing on issues around essential workers and privatisation. And he said they had greater traction with the electorate “by having candidates that were excellent on the ground, knocking on doors, speaking directly to the people in NSW and having a closer connection with the community.” Liberal strategists say they were also hampered by One Nation and Climate 200-backed efforts to unseat them even though they didn’t convert their campaigns into seats.

The top line is that it means there is no mainland jurisdiction led by a Coalition government – Tassie is the last state standing. Some commentators say it was a classic ‘it’s time’ result, but the conversation that kicked off in earnest following the Morrison Government’s defeat last year has again focused minds on whether the Libs should go harder right or left to bring voters back onside. During Nine’s coverage on Saturday night, former Liberal premier Mike Baird agreed the party is “stuffed” while the infighting continues. As for who will take the party forward, it won’t be former Treasurer/frontrunner Matt Kean who ruled himself out yesterday. Still, the election campaign has been given rave reviews for its lack of nastiness. Yesterday, Minns said it was “perhaps uniquely, a model of respect and civility. Neither party took the low road, neither political party took the low blow,” he said. There’s always a first time for everything…


Squiz the Rest

South Oz becomes the first to raise its Voice

South Australia has become the first state in the country to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament after the passage of the bill in a special sitting yesterday. Premier Peter Malinauskas described the legislation as “momentous” for Indigenous people in the state. The representatives for the South Australian Voice will be elected in the coming months, and it’s expected to be up and running before the end of the year. Attorney-General Kyam Maher said South Oz is leading the nation by empowering Indigenous locals to “speak to the parliament, to speak to the ministers, to speak to the government departments”, which will lead to positive change for the future. Coalition state leader David Speirs and his party didn’t support the legislation because of “flaws” in the model – still, he said he hoped the Voice succeeded. This state-based Voice comes ahead of a referendum to enshrine a federal body in the constitution.


Putin moves nukes closer to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin says tactical nuclear weapons will be stationed in neighbouring Belarus and that Iskander missile systems have already been sent to the nation that borders Ukraine. Russia has also helped Belarus convert 10 aircraft to carry tactical nuclear warheads and will begin training pilots next month. Putin likened this move to the US stationing nuclear weapons in Europe to keep non-nuclear powers from breaking their commitments. NATO has called the move “dangerous and irresponsible”, and the US State Department says it will continue to monitor the situation. On the battlefield, reports say Ukraine’s military forces are fighting back against Russian troops in the ongoing battle for Bakhmut, which has been ongoing for 7 months – the longest of the war. The city is the main point of attack for Russian forces, but British analysts say Russia appears to be shifting towards a defensive strategy. The situation remains uncertain, with the coming week seen as critical.

World News

Gandhi vows to fight

Rahul Gandhi, the top opposition figure in India, has vowed to keep fighting for democracy after being stripped of his seat in parliament on Saturday. Gandhi lost his MP status after being sentenced to 2 years in prison for defamation on Friday following comments he made about PM Narendra Modi in 2019, but he’s blamed his expulsion on his demands for an investigation into Gautam Adani. He’s a key ally of Modi’s and oversees a huge conglomerate that was accused of decades of stock manipulation and accounting fraud earlier this year – claims the company denies. The disqualification means Gandhi cannot participate in next year’s national elections unless he is acquitted or his sentence is suspended. Gandhi’s family is political royalty in India, but his once-dominant Congress party is in decline. Opposition parties concerned about Modi’s power move are planning protests in the coming days.

World News

Taste the rainbow – minus the red…

American candy might look less colourful in the future if a proposed bill to stop the use of chemicals in confectionary and other processed food passes California’s legislature. Lawmaker Jesse Gabriel wants the companies behind Skittles, Nerds, Trolli gummies and Strawberry Nesquik to change their recipes, leaving out “dangerous” chemicals. Several ingredients are on the naughty list, but the major one is erythrosine (aka red dye No 3) – the synthetic chemical used to give food products a bright red colour. It’s been linked to behavioural issues in children and is banned in Oz/European food manufacturing but can be found in more than 3,000 US products. US environmental health science expert Linda Birnbaum supports the proposal and says “manufacturers don’t want to make things that they can’t sell to the 5th-largest economy in the world”. That probably means changes beyond California’s borders if the legislation passes. As long as nobody comes for chocolate…

Australian News Environment & Science

Can’t buy me love

Most people have indulged in an ‘if I won the lotto’ fantasy a time or 2, but a new study has found that a big/sudden increase in wealth might not only prompt running away to a tropical island but can also lead to a change in marital status. For women, that is… The study found that if men win big, they’re more likely to get/stay married following a win of about $140,000. The chances of single men tying the knot increases by 30% in the following 5 years, and it also decreases the chance of married men getting divorced in the same time frame by about 40%. For women, it has the opposite effect… An equal lotto win nearly doubles their likelihood of divorce in the short term. Note: the research was conducted in Sweden, which coincidentally just ranked #6 on the world happiness index, so they must be onto something…

Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

Michaelangelo’s David has long been regarded as a Renaissance masterpiece, but one parent in the US reckons he’s too much for their 12yo child to learn about the famed statue at school. The school’s principal was forced to resign over the snafu, and reports say Michaelangelo was rolling in his grave…

With season 4 of Succession kicking off today, it’s only fitting that we note the popular HBO satirical family drama/comedy is set to go out with a bang… And despite not knowing what the finale will bring, some eagle-eyed viewers suspect the previous 3 seasons’ final episodes might hold a clue.

A Sydney hair salon has launched scientist-run workshops that have upskilled more than 400 hairdressers in speaking to clients about climate change. Gone are the days of glancing through a 5yo New Idea in silence… 

Australian News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Neurosurgeon Charlie Teo to continue a disciplinary hearing before the Health Care Complaints Commission – Sydney

Season 4 of Succession premieres on Foxtel/Binge

World Theatre Day

Birthdays for Quentin Tarantino (1963), Mariah Carey (1971) and Fergie (1975)

Anniversary of:
• the patenting of kerosene (1855)
• Billie Holiday playing in front of a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall 11 days after being released from prison (1948)
• Suharto officially succeeding Sukarno as president of Indonesia (1968)
• the worst aviation disaster in history when two Boeing 747s collided in Spain, killing 583 people (1977)

Squiz the Day

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