Squiz Today / 05 October 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 5 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

13 / 23
9 / 17
19 / 28
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4 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“Your children are going to live to 100 and not have cancer because of technology. And literally they’ll probably be working three-and-a-half days a week.”

Said JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon who reckons people need to calm down about artificial intelligence. Sure, some experts say AI poses an existential threat to humanity, but check out the work/life balance…

Visa fraud in Oz under the spotlight

The Squiz

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil says “unscrupulous” migration agents will be targeted in a $50 million crackdown on fraud in Australia’s visa system. The reason for it is twofold… There was a review into our immigration system led by former Victoria Police Commissioner Christine Nixon that found “grotesque abuses” against temporary migrants and international students, including “sexual exploitation, human trafficking and other organised crime”. And there are concerns that migration and education agents are getting visas for non-legit students and then trying to extend their stays through asylum claims.

So what’s the solution?

To be Captain Obvious for a second, the visa/migration system isn’t straightforward, so O’Neil says they will tackle it in a few ways. The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Captain Obvious here again – it registers and regulates agents…) will be given more resources to examine agents’ conduct and powers to hand out penalties to agents found in the wrong. O’Neil says a strike force will also be set up in the Home Affairs Department to increase background and compliance testing of visa applicants. And Operation Inglenook, which was a temporary taskforce investigating cases of migrant exploitation/human trafficking, will be made permanent.

That sounds pretty straightforward?

Sure, until you pour some politics on it… O’Neil unloaded on Coalition leader Peter Dutton, saying he was behind “one of the great frauds that’s been perpetrated in Australian politics”. That’s because he was the Home Affairs minister until Team Morrison was dumped at the last election. Nixon’s investigation found 180 compliance staff were removed between 2013-14 and 2022-23, and O’Neil says “Peter Dutton was the person who oversaw the immigration system and its decline in resourcing”. Dutton was having none of it. “If you think I’m going to take a lecture from Clare O’Neil and Anthony Albanese in relation to migration and how to keep our country safe, you’ve got another thing coming,” he said, pointing to Labor’s record on unlawful boat arrivals.

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Floods follow the fires

PM Anthony Albanese says it’s going to be a challenging summer ahead as he and NSW Premier Chris Minns visited the state’s bushfire-affected South Coast yesterday, where several homes have been lost this week. Blazes near Bermagui and in Victoria’s Gippsland region were downgraded early yesterday after a massive cold front moved in, bringing high winds and heavy rain. Flood warnings have been issued, and there are concerns for the residents of Gippsland communities along the Macalister River after the region received more than 170mm of rain since late Tuesday, which is a lot… Despite the cool change, more than 60 fires are burning across NSW, and there are concerns about the windy conditions and high temperatures that are set to return next week. Albanese said “we don’t underestimate the size of the challenge” and “will make whatever resources are required available” over the summer.

Australian News Weather

Pollies get the boot

Yesterday, we mentioned the turmoil at the top of US politics as Republicans considered booting out their leader. Well, the booting happened. Kevin McCarthy has become the first speaker of the US House of Representatives to be voted out of the high-powered role in a move instigated by fellow Republican (and hardcore Trump fan) Matt Gaetz. He and 7 of his hard-right Republican colleagues moved against McCarthy after becoming angry over what they say is are broken promises to push the Biden Administration to cut spending. McCarthy has a different take – he says his ejection was “personal” and “had nothing to do about spending”. As for what happens next, there’s a bit to play out… And in Tassie, outgoing Attorney-General Elise Archer said she’ll quit the parliament, allowing another Liberal to fill her seat and keep the minority government afloat. Sorry if you’re an election freak, but there’s no need for an early election.

AusPol World News

Russia reckons they’ve got this

Russia claims that it’s paused recruiting, with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu saying that this year, the army has signed up 335,000 people to the “special military operation” against Ukraine. Experts say that number includes civilian recruits and Wagner fighters absorbed after things went pear-shaped with that relationship mid-this year. That’s notable because the attempt to force Wagner fighters to join the Russian Armed Forces was behind the failed mutiny attempt back in June. The 335,000 recruits also means “there are no plans for an additional mobilisation,” according to Shoigu, which refers to efforts last year to get Reservists involved, resulting in tens of thousands fleeing. Also on Russia’s invasion, NATO Admiral Rob Bauer says Ukraine’s allies are running out of ammo supplies and “the bottom of the barrel is now visible”. He has called for increased production.

World News

Welcome to the Hall of Fame

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame has announced its 7 new inductees, and there are some big names… Making the cut this year are NRL legend Jonathan Thurston, Socceroos great Tim Cahill, and Olympians aplenty. That’s rower Kim Brennan, aerial skier Lydia Lassila, rowing coach Tim McLaren, ​​wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley, and hockey player Nova Peris, who became the first Indigenous Aussie to win Olympic gold in 1996. Selection chairman Bruce McAvaney said the inductees are people who “left an indelible mark in their field” and have “excelled over a lifetime, paving the way for those who follow”. The official ceremony – which will take place in Sydney on 16 October – will also see a couple of Hall of Famers elevated to ‘Legend’ status, joining the likes of Don Bradman and Cathy Freeman.

Australian News Sport

Itchy in Paris

Paris Fashion Week is underway, and the French capital’s bed bug infestation is making bigger headlines than Pamela Anderson’s makeup-free debut… There were reports the itchy-scratchies were infiltrating movie theatres earlier this year, and they have now spread around Paris and other French cities, with disgruntled locals and tourists seeing the critters crawling around metro seats, restaurants, hotel rooms, and at Charles de Gaulle airport. That’s seen fashionistas taking extra precautions, including thoroughly steaming their garments and throwing them into the freezer afterwards. While the French Government is calling for action ahead of next year’s Paris Olympics, bed bug expert Jean-Michel Berenge says social media has exaggerated the problem – he says infestations always increase in late summer as tourists move around the country. At least it’s a sure way to cure Fashion Week FOMO…

World News

Apropos of nothing

A stir has been caused by producers who are moving ahead with a flick about the Titan submersible tragedy. To be called Salvaged, director/submersible adventurer James Cameron denied any involvement, calling the project “offensive”.

Perth will soon be home to the world’s tallest timber building after plans were approved for a 50-storey carbon-negative tower that will store more carbon than it uses. It will require timber from 580 pine trees…

And if your idea of a good night out is hitting the dancefloor, grabbing a feed of fried chicken, and hitting the dance floor again, have we got an event for you… A secret location in Sydney is becoming a Kentucky Fried Club thanks to the launch of a new sometimes food with music producer Luude.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.05pm (AEDT) – Women’s Cricket – Third T20 – Australia v West Indies – Sydney

10.00pm (AEDT) – Nobel Prize for Literature announced

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator August; International Trade in Goods and Services, August; National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2020-2022

World Teachers’ Day

Bathurst 1000 begins (until 8 October)

Birthdays for Imran Khan (1952), Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958), Guy Pearce (1967), and Kate Winslet (1975)

Anniversary of:
• the release of the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961); the first James Bond film Dr No (1962); The Beatles’ first record, Love Me Do (1962); Elton John’s album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973); and Stephenie Meyer’s novel Twilight (2005)
• the death of Steve Jobs (2011)
• the publication of the New York Times investigation into sexual harassment claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein (2017)

Squiz the Day

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