Squiz Today / 09 May 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 9 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

Gets you moving and newsing.

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“There’s always something.”

Is what a lip reader reckons King Charles uttered as he waited at Westminster Abbey for the Prince and Princess of Wales before the official Coronation proceedings kicked off on Saturday. They were literally being slow coaches…

Drone strikes ahead of Victory Day

Multiple explosions and injuries were reported in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv yesterday as large-scale Russian drone attacks were launched across the country. Reports say that 35 Iranian-made drones were destroyed by Ukraine’s air force around the capital yesterday, and air raid sirens rang out across 2/3rds of the country following attacks in Odesa and Kherson in the south and Zaporizhzhia in the east. Ukrainian military official Natalia Humeniuk says Russian forces are trying to exhaust Ukraine’s air defence systems with continual attacks. And it’s happening ahead of Russia’s annual Victory Day celebrations today.

Glad you asked… Victory Day is a big one on the Russian calendar – it marks the Soviet defeat of Germany in 1945. And it’s significant this year for a couple of reasons… You might recall that when Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, he drew comparisons with what says Russians are facing from Ukraine and the West today. Ukrainian officials say that claim was a cover-up for a land grab, but experts say Putin’s likely planning to use the day to boost patriotism and support for his costly/drawn-out “special military operation” in Ukraine. But there might have been a bit of a damper put on those plans… The normally-festive Victory Day parades and events have been scaled back in several Russian cities/regions, given several drone attacks on Russian soil over the past week.

Well, we mentioned the drone attacks in Zaporizhzhia earlier, and there have also been mass evacuations of the region over the past 24 hours for another reason. To explain… Russian forces captured parts of Zaporizhzhia last year, including the region’s nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe. At the weekend, the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency boss Rafael Grossi warned a “severe nuclear accident” could happen as Ukraine’s push to recapture Russian-held land begins and the chance of fighting near the plant intensifies. Grossi says he’s “extremely concerned about the very real nuclear safety and security risks” and said the plant needs to be protected. And in the eastern city of Bakhmut – which is at the centre of a long-running battle – the leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, says they’ve gained ground. Over the weekend, he made threats to pull out of the region due to dwindling military supplies.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Trouble in Texas

There are more details about the mass shooting at a Dallas mall on Saturday, and while police haven’t declared a motive, there are reports that the gunman was wearing a patch on his clothing that references a far-right hate group. The 33yo gunman killed at least 8 people before being killed by a police officer. President Joe Biden ordered the flags of the White House flown at half-mast as a “mark of respect for the victims”, and he renewed his calls for a ban on weapons like the AR-15 used by the gunman – a suggestion that is supported by 61% of Americans. But new gun laws aren’t likely for Texas as their Republican Governor Greg Abbott continues to blame “the mental health crisis” for the shooting. Elsewhere in Texas driver ran a red light and killed 8 people waiting at a bus stop opposite a migrant shelter. Police have charged the 34yo driver with several counts of manslaughter.

World News

Single parents get a boost

Policy nerds, tonight’s the night… After weeks of hints and hype, Treasurer Jim Chalmers will deliver the Budget at 7:30pm AEST tonight – and reports say he’s expected to deliver the 1st surplus in 15 years. Having said that, Labor turned up to the finish line with another announcement yesterday giving more low-income single parents access to increased support payments until their youngest child turns 14yo, lifting the age threshold from 8yo. The change will affect 57,000 single parents (mostly women) and will deliver those parents up to $176.90 per fortnight more than they would have received on JobSeeker. Advocates were hoping the age threshold would be lifted to 16yo, but PM Anthony Albanese said that 14yo was totes appropes because “children have typically settled into high school and need less parental supervision.” The extra payments will cost the government $1.9 billion over 4 years.

AusPol Business & Finance

Snow season starts early

If you live in Australia and have fingers and toes, you already know it’s freezing cold. Well, not everywhere in Australia… Western Oz and the Northern Territory are still posting balmy temps – and as far as we’re concerned, they can respectfully go jump. Everywhere else in Oz experienced minimum temperatures below zero on Monday, which the Bureau of Meteorology blamed on a cold southerly front. The gusts also caused dangerous surf along the east coast, with waves higher than 6 metres that didn’t deter some thrillseekers yesterday. Inland, Canberra officially recorded its coldest May day ever on Sunday, with locals grimly posting images of snow and sleet on the surrounding hills and roads. The cold snap will apparently stick around, wanted or not, until Thursday. Brrr…

Australian News Weather

Striking a soccer deal

Ted Lasso fans will know that football is life, and now it looks like football is also diplomacy… The Socceroos are set to book a Beijing game against Lionel Messi’s Argentina in a match-up that would be a win for Oz as we try to thaw trade relations with China. If confirmed, the game would happen in mid-June, just weeks after our Trade Minister Don Farrell visits China to advocate for Aussie barley, wine, lobsters, and plenty of other exports that have been restricted/banned in recent times. China’s President Xi Jinping is said to be a soccer nut, and Messi is hugely popular in China. The best player in the world won’t come cheap, with Argentina’s national side charging a cool $7.4 million appearance fee. But if you’re looking for a match closer to home, you can set your clock to 72 days when the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and Kiwiland.

AusPol Sport

An Eastern concept takes off…

‘Postpartum confinement’ might not sound like a great time, but a Chinese method of chillaxing for new mothers and their babies – officially known as ‘zuo yue zi’, or ‘sitting the month’ – is taking off in Western countries. The method has new mums stay home for 1 month after giving birth to allow their bodies time to recover. And here’s the kicker… During that month, a ‘pui yuet’ – or a ‘confinement nanny’ – spends time caring for the mum by cooking and helping her with breastfeeding, along with giving massages/body wraps and lessons on how to care for the baby. The problem is that hiring a pui yuet and participating in zuo yue zi can be mega expensive. Or you can dig in and roll with it – it’s up to you…

World News

Apropos of nothing

Not safe for work is the French finance minister Bruno Le Maire’s latest novel Fugue Americaine, which can be found in the loosely termed ‘romance’ section. Note: he isn’t the first French pollie to enjoy writing racy material…

An AFL star has either soft-launched his new health food, or simply ate grass. Gold Coast Suns player Matt Rowell’s nibble of the turf caught the attention of Fox Footy’s Andrew Gaze, who turned philosophical: “You connect with your environment, and then it all comes back; it’s like this big circle.”

Birds need breaks too, and Bali sounds nice… At least it must have to Millie, the black kite from Broome, who stowed away on a ship bound for Indonesia. However, due to Australia’s strict biosecurity laws, Millie can’t return home and is being rehomed in Bali. Sounds like someone needs a holiday from their holiday…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.30pm (AEST) – Treasurer Jim Chalmers hands down the federal Budget – Canberra

Federal Parliament sits for 3 days

Northern Territory budget handed down

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator, March

Coeliac Awareness Week begins (on until 15 May)

Europe Day

Victory Day – Russia

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)

5.00am (AEST) – Eurovision Semi Final 1 – Liverpool, UK – broadcast live on SBS

Squiz the Day

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