Squiz Today / 26 May 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 26 May

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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Manchester United are rubbish” Said the BBC’s breaking news ticker before the network realised the gaffe and took it down, blaming it on a training error. It adds insult to injury for the iconic club which ended its worst season of the Premier League era this week…

Biden pleads with Congress to end gun ‘carnage’


Nineteen children, 2 adults and a gunman are dead after the 18yo went on a shooting spree at Robb Elementary School in the small town of Uvalde in southwest Texas. The kids were aged 7-10yo and were set to start their extended summer holiday later this week. It’s the deadliest attack on an American school since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut in 2012. Yesterday, US President Joe Biden demanded action be taken by lawmakers. “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he asked.


Local resident Salvador Rolando Ramos conducted the attack on the school with one or both of the semi-automatic rifles he bought just after his 18th birthday last week. He posted to Facebook prior to the rampage to say he was going to shoot his grandmother who he’d recently moved in with (she’s now in a critical condition in hospital) and another to announce he was going to shoot an elementary school. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the gunman went into the school through a backdoor before entering a classroom and locking 19 children and 2 teachers inside before opening fire.  Authorities forced their way into the barricaded classroom and shot and killed the gunman. Ramos’ neighbour of 17 years, Ruben Flores, told American TV “he was quiet and, from what I could see, the mother never really showed love. He had a rough life,” he said.


If the history of gun control in America is anything to go by, the chances of stricter gun controls are slim. Yesterday’s tragedy was America’s 27th school shooting and the 212th mass shooting this year. President Biden yesterday urged lawmakers to pass “common-sense” gun laws like background checks on gun owners and restrictions on automatic weapons. “What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone?” he asked. And he acknowledged the parents’ and community’s loss. “To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” he said. The National Rifle Association, which has long opposed gun restrictions, is holding its annual convention in Texas on Friday. It will be attended by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Wong embarks on a Pacific trip, too

As China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi starts his Solomon Islands visit with PM Manasseh Sogavare today, Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong will launch her own Pacific program. Wong is heading to Fiji to meet PM Frank Bainimarama and start her prep for the Pacific Islands Forum meeting there in July. “This visit, in my first week as foreign minister, demonstrates the importance we place on our relationship with Fiji and on our Pacific engagement,” Wong said. FM Wong’s visit comes before Wang Yi travels to Fiji next week for a foreign ministers meeting where it’s emerged he’ll be seeking a region-wide deal covering policing, security and data communications cooperation. A draft communique of the meeting has prompted pushback from the Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo, who said the proposal should be rejected over fears it could spark a new ‘Cold War’ between China and the West. In Solomon Islands, Wang will only take questions from the Chinese state-owned broadcaster CCTV, which has really got local journalists’ goat.

Want to know more about Saturday’s election? Tune into our Squiz Shortcut where we dig deeper into the result and what it all means. 


Labor warns of money troubles

Treasurer Jim Chalmers says he wants to be “upfront” with the Australian people about the magnitude of the economic challenge facing the Albanese Government. That includes rising inflation/interest rates, the fall in real wages and record high government debt. “No new government can flick a switch and make $1 trillion of debt disappear,” he said, encouraging people to have a “big, national, honest conversation” about the problems the country faces. Cost of living pressures and interest rates were a big talking point of the election campaign and yesterday the Assistant Reserve Bank Governor Luci Ellis said government grants to help aspiring homeowners have pushed up prices. CoreLogic says many home-purchasing decisions were brought forward to take advantage of the incentives over 2020 and 2021. 

AusPol Business & Finance

Scathing report blames PM Johnson for COVID parties during lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is again facing calls to resign after a report into lockdown-breaching UK government parties found a “culture” of rule breaking started in the PM’s office. The report was conducted by senior civil servant Sue Gray and concluded that there’d been “failures of leadership and judgement in No 10 (Downing Street)”. Gray investigated 16 gatherings held in 2020 and 2021 at the PM’s official residence while the country was under strict lockdown that prevented people socialising with anyone outside their household. At one leaving event for an official in June 2020, Gray said there was “excessive alcohol consumption” which led to one person being sick and a fight between others. At another after the funeral for Prince Philip in April 2021, people partied into the early hours and broke a swing used by Johnson’s son. PM Johnson told Parliament he had “learned a lesson” from what had occurred but that it was now time to move on and focus on the government’s priorities. 

Health World News

Turning off the tube for heart health

Sorry couch potatoes – a new study has found 11% of cases of heart disease could be prevented if people cut their TV time to less than an hour a day. Previous studies have identified an association between watching the box and the buildup of cholesterol and glucose in the body, and University of Hong Kong researchers say that could increase the risk of developing heart disease. After analysing the data of 373,026 UK Biobank participants aged 40-69yo – and considering factors including genetics, age, weight, diet and physical activity – researchers found those who watched an hour or less a day of TV had a 16% lower risk of developing the disease compared to those who watched 4 or more hours a day. The trend held up across all ages and genetic risk of disease, and it doesn’t seem to apply to those in front of a screen at a desk all day because they aren’t eating/drinking like many do while relaxing with a show. There goes our retirement plan… 


Cairns farewells Captain Cook

The bloke who was the first to chart the east coast of Australia remains a big figure – but not quite like he’s been in Cairns in FNQ… For the last 50 years, a 9.7m statue of the explorer has stood on one of the city’s main streets with his right arm extended into, ahem, a problematic pose. But like Cook’s visit to Hawaii, the statue’s time has been cut short and yesterday, it was carted away to a new home 100km away in Mount Molloy. All went to plan as a whopping big crane manoeuvred the figure onto an extended semi-trailer. But his arm – that got the chop, and it will be reattached when he gets settled into a new location. Some Cairns locals are glad the statue is gone because of Cook’s links to Australia’s colonialist past, and others saw it as a feature. At one point the statue was used to advertise a topless bar – how that worked we’re not sure…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

A blue and white gingham dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz has been withdrawn from auction after the niece of the deceased owner claimed it was hers. It was found last year in a shoebox at the Catholic University of America, and was expected to fetch up to US$1.2 million.

Pro surfer Sebastian Steudtner may have been captured surfing a huge wave off Nazare, Portugal in October 2020, but it took until this week to certify that at 26.21m tall, it’s the largest ever surfed. “You don’t feel the size, you feel the power,” he said. Which sounds a bit like a marketing campaign for Canberra

Speaking of famous number plates, a Victorian set with the simple number ‘14’ were sold on Tuesday night for $2,383,500. And if you think that’s expensive, apparently the single digits are where the big money’s at…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Tassie hands down its state Budget

ABS Data Release – Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, March

National Sorry Day

Independence Day in Georgia and Guyana

Chardonnay Day

Birthdays for Stevie Nicks (1948), Lenny Kravitz (1964), Helena Bonham Carter (1966), and Lauryn Hill (1975)

Anniversary of:
• Alse Young becoming the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies (1647)
• the release of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the UK (1967)
• Ireland voting to repeal their 8th amendment to legalise abortion (2018)

Squiz the Day

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