Squiz Today / 11 May 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 11 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

We’ll get you from A to up to speed. 

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It has been a fun and interesting (albeit stressful) experience getting embraced into the world of Swift”

Said one New York bookstore after it received 600 pre-orders for an untitled, upcoming non-fiction book that’s rumoured to be penned by Taylor Swift. It rocketed up bestseller lists before it was revealed it actually has nothing to do with the superstar…

Pakistan protests after Khan’s arrest


Pakistan’s military has been called in to dispel the violent unrest that began after the country’s populist ex-leader Imran Khan was arrested while attending a court hearing on Tuesday. Police have arrested hundreds of Pakistanis taking part in the nationwide protests – which have included open attacks on key military buildings, school closures, and road blockages – while social media platforms have been restricted. Reports say at least 5 people have died. Khan’s arrest marks a dramatic escalation after months of tension between him and the military, which holds significant sway over the country’s political process. Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (which translates to “Movement for Justice” and is also known as the PTI) has been encouraging the protests, sharing messages on Twitter like “this is the time to save your country”.


To wind it back a bit… Khan’s a former cricket hero who entered politics in 1996, but only began to gather momentum in the 2010s when his anti-corruption, anti-American message drew hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis to his rallies. Supported by the military, Khan won the prime ministership in 2018. Following years of double-digit inflation and a dispute with the military, Khan was ousted as Prime Minister in 2022 by a no-confidence vote in parliament. That’s when things really started to escalate – there were mass protests, and months later the PTI swept an important state election. Khan faced terrorism charges which were dropped before he was found guilty of “corrupt practices” and disqualified from holding office. During more protests in November last year, 70yo Khan was shot in the leg. That brings us to this week, with the arrest arriving as Khan was feuding with the military and facing further corruption charges, which he says are bogus. 


Khan will be held for eight days of questioning by Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau, even as members of his PTI party say they won’t “succumb to dark forces” and plan to challenge his arrest in the nation’s Supreme Court – in defiance of the regional Islamabad High Court declaring the arrest legal. Overnight, Khan was also indicted in a separate case for illegally selling state gifts while he was Prime Minister. Pakistan, with some 230 million people, is the 5th biggest nation in the world, and in 75 years no prime minister has ever served out a full term. A Pakistani English-language newspaper yesterday wrote that “astute students of history may say that in the real Pakistan, the game may now be out of political hands”.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Republicans ponder Trump’s re-election hopes

Former US President Donald Trump was quick to respond to yesterday’s ruling that he’d sexually assaulted writer E Jean Carroll in the mid-90s… “I have no idea who this woman is. This verdict is a disgrace – a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time,” he posted – in all-caps – on his social media platform. His legal team says they plan to appeal, but in the meantime, Trump’s on the hook for US$5 million in damages. The jury verdict has Republicans wondering how it will affect Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign… South Dakota Senator John Thune said the finding – along with other court battles Trump is currently facing – will have “a cumulative effect … People are going to have to decide if they want to deal with all the drama”. Texas Senator John Cornyn was blunter: “I don’t think he can get elected.” Only time will tell…

Crime World News

The Budget fallout continues…

It’s been money, money, money in the headlines over the past 48 hours, as experts broke down what the 2023-24 Federal Budget means for Aussies far and wide… And a big question that’s come up is what the new policy announcements mean for inflation and interest rates. Some economists don’t believe the budget will affect the Reserve Bank’s decision to increase the cash rate or not. Westpac senior economist Bill Evans said he doesn’t “think there’s anything in this budget that will make them go, ‘we have to raise rates’.” But others, like Goldman Sachs chief economist Andrew Boak, said the $20.6 billion net spending outlined in the budget could increase the risk of more interest rate hikes. That’s a risk that Treasurer Jim Chalmers was keen to talk down yesterday, telling the National Press Club that he’s “supremely confident” the budget “will take some of these cost-of-living pressures off without adding to inflation”.

Need a breakdown of what went down in Tuesday’s Budget? Our latest Squiz Shortcut has you sorted…

AusPol Australian News

Lehrmann inquiry hears interference allegations

More allegations emerged yesterday from the ACT’s inquiry into the trial of former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann. The ACT Government called the inquiry to investigate whether the territory’s criminal justice agencies appropriately handled assault allegations levelled against Lehrmann by former colleague Brittany Higgins. And yesterday, chief prosecutor Shane Drumgold told the inquiry he believed it was “possible, if not probable” that there was a political and police conspiracy to derail the case. Those comments were made when he was questioned about a letter he had sent to ACT police chief Neil Gaughan after Lehrmann’s trial was abandoned. It was that document – in which Drumgold alleged police had pressured him not to charge Lehrmann – which sparked the inquiry, and yesterday, Drumgold said a series of “strange events” throughout the case had raised his suspicions on the matter. The inquiry is set to hold public hearings for up to 4 weeks.

AusPol Australian News

Rolling out the koala chlamydia vaccine

You’d be hard-pressed to find this story on any Aussie news sites yesterday, but the US media lapped it up… Aussie scientists have launched a field trial in NSW to vaccinate wild koalas against the widespread disease that can cause blindness, infertility, and death. Alongside habitat clearing and bushfires, chlamydia has devastated populations of the endangered marsupial, with over 80% of one koala population in northern NSW infected by the disease. The trial involves scientists vaccinating and monitoring around half of the koala population in NSW’s Northern Rivers region. They’re hoping it’ll provide answers about how much of a population needs to be vaccinated to significantly reduce the spread of infection. As for why the US was so into this news, it might have something to do with talk show host John Oliver having a koala chlamydia ward at Australia Zoo named after him back in 2018. It was a whole thing

Australian News Environment & Science

The very best boy

Buddy Holly (the petit basset griffon Vendéen, not the late American singer…) was crowned Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show in New York yesterday. It’s the first time the breed has won top honours at the prestigious annual event, which is considered the Super Bowl of dog shows. Buddy was up against some ruff competition including runner-up Rummie the Pekingese, Ribbon the Australian Shepherd, Cider the English Setter, Monty the Giant Schnauzer, Trouble the American Staffordshire Terrier, and last year’s runner-up and Westminster veteran, Winston the French bulldog. And not in the final 7 but winning the top prize for his breed’s debut was a Bracco Italiano named Lepshi, who is co-owned by country music star Tim McGraw. For something to get your tail wagging, you can find an excellent gallery of all the canine action here

Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

A new wellness gym that charges up to $1,500 a week has opened in Melbourne. Including services like full-body MRIs, a spiritual healer, a meditation cave, and a breathing coach, it’s so exclusive that would-be members must pass a 5-stage interview process before flashing their cash. 

New York City real estate agents are cashing into the Succession hype with not one but 3 apartments featured on the popular show currently up for sale. Despite the discounted prices in a sluggish housing market, most buyers would still need to be a Roy heir to afford them…

And Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg surprised many onlookers after he took home 2 medals in his first jiu-jitsu tournament. He says the hobby helps him focus at work, and at least it doesn’t require him to wear sunscreen

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.30pm (AEST) – Peter Dutton to deliver the Coalition’s Budget reply – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, March

WA state budget handed down

Anniversary of:
• William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth embarking on their expedition westward of Sydney (1813)
• the birthday of Salvador Dali (1904)
• the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats (1980)
• the 1996 Mount Everest disaster when 8 climbers were caught in a blizzard and died

5.00am (AEST) – Eurovision Semi Final 2 featuring Aussie band Voyager – Liverpool, UK – broadcast live on SBS

Squiz the Day

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