Squiz Today / 05 May 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 5 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

We’ve got news, you’ve got ears. It’s a perfect match. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

​​“It was just the way the light bounced off the skin of the chicken.”

Said PM Scott Morrison who is embroiled in a scandal – about whether the chicken korma he featured on his socials on the weekend was cooked enough. On a curry heat scale, this is vindaloo hot…

The abortion debate in America fires up the midterms

US President Joe Biden has warned that overturning a landmark legal decision that effectively legalises abortion in the US would be a radical move that could threaten all citizens’ freedoms and challenge Americans’ right to privacy. A leaked draft of a majority Supreme Court decision says the 1973 Roe v Wade decision that legalised terminations is “egregiously wrong.” It’s not final, but it has galvanised support for both sides of the divisive abortion debate and sent a shockwave through the midterm election campaign, which will determine the shape of Biden’s remaining time in office.

Sure. If this judgment is overturned, women’s access to abortion would be left up to the states, and they could instantly see the procedure restricted or banned in 23 states. One study from a pro-choice research group says 58% of American women of reproductive age (aka 40 million) live in states that are “hostile” to abortion. Other research has found that black and Hispanic women would be particularly affected by restrictions/bans because they get abortions at rates higher than their white peers due to more limited access to health care and birth control. They also have a harder time travelling out of their state to get a termination or raising children they might struggle to afford. Justice John Roberts is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – he is furious that the draft judgement has been leaked but says the decision isn’t final and will be debated further before it’s published in the next 2 months. 

American presidents stand for election every 4 years but near the midpoint of their term, Congressional elections are held. All 435 members of the House of Representatives and about a 3rd of senators face re-election, so control of both chambers of the US Congress is in play. The Democrats are looking to win the Senate, which would open the door to actioning Biden’s agenda – but his poor standing in the polls has worried strategists. Commentators now say that the seismic shift in the political landscape brought on by the potential rescinding of reproductive rights could energise Democratic voters. So when the Aussie election is over in a couple of weeks, there’ll be a whole new race to tune into…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Sogavare lets rip

Solomons Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare says those who have criticised his security deal with China are “racists” and “bigots”. Delivering the stinging attack in the nation’s parliament on Tuesday, he said Australia and its allies are trying to undermine his government “for non-justifiable reasons”. And in an anti-Western spray, he lined up with Russia on its war with Ukraine and praised China’s civil control, saying there were “no beggars” on the streets. Long story short, an Aussie official told the ABC they are concerned about Sogavare becoming “increasingly autocratic and hostile to Australia after signing a security pact with China.” Concern about what’s happening in the Solomons isn’t a niche issue – the SMH/Age Resolve Monitor this morning says 72% of voters are worried about the security deal.


The rental market is living rent-free in renters’ heads…

We’ve been talking a lot about those looking to buy a home, but if you’re trying to rent a place right now, soz… According to real estate group Domain, prospective tenants are facing the toughest conditions on record as Australia’s rental vacancy rate remained at a record low of 1% in April. That’s down a point from last year when closed borders shut international tenants out. Property managers say demand has spiked as international arrivals return and Aussie workers return to the office in the major cities. Sydney recorded its lowest-ever vacancy rate of 1.4% last month, and Melbourne fell to 1.7%. The toughest place to rent is Adelaide – it has the country’s tightest rental market with 0.3% vacancy. Domain says the increased demand has created a landlord’s market in the cities and the regions, where urbanites have headed for the hills and regional coastal towns.

Australian News

Musk flags changes at Twitter

Technoking/soon-to-be #1 tweeter Elon Musk is using the platform to raise changes like a potential pay-to-use model for business and government users. When the board accepted his US$44 billion takeover bid recently, Musk said he wanted to unlock Twitter’s “extraordinary potential” by moving away from advertisements and spam ‘bots’. Yesterday he said that “Twitter will always be free for casual users” but suggested the big guys might need to pay to play. At the Met Gala ball earlier this week, Musk said he’d make Twitter more transparent about how posts are promoted/demoted, and he’s said its algorithm could be made available for public scrutiny. His takeover is expected to be completed later this year, and he will remove the company from the stock exchange.

Business & Finance Technology

US female basketball star ‘wrongfully detained’ in Russia

The Biden administration has determined that WNBA star Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia. Griner is widely considered one of the greatest female basketballers of all time – she was detained at an airport in February when Russian authorities said they found vape cartridges in her bag containing cannabis oil. Since then, fans have criticised the US Government, saying more needs to be done to help her get out. And yesterday, a big step was taken with her case being transferred to the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, which is focused on negotiating for the release of Americans classed as being wrongfully detained in other countries. “Brittney has been detained for 75 days, and our expectation is that the White House do whatever is necessary to bring her home,” Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said.

Sport World News

Let them eat pudding

Five amateur bakers from across the UK have been named from 5,000 applicants as the finalists for the Queen’s highly-anticipated Platinum Jubilee pudding competition. The contest was launched to find the perfect pud to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign, and locals have been encouraged to serve the winning entry at street parties during the celebrations held between 2-5 June. The chosen entries include a crown-shaped bundt cake with Dubonnet jam; a ‘4 nations pudding’ featuring Scottish berries, Yorkshire rhubarb, Welsh cakes and Irish butter; a passionfruit and thyme frangipane tart; a rose falooda cake originating from India; and a lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle, inspired by the Queen’s favourite dessert. And save the date: the Duchess of Cornwall and Dame Mary Berry will announce the winner on 12 May. We’re feeling a tad peckish now…

Quirky News World News

Apropos of Nothing

Half the Australian population changes their online passwords twice a week because we keep forgetting them, a new study from tech giant Cisco has found. Experts recommend using an online password manager rather than using these easy-to-guess options

Reports say a Queensland man in his 70s who fell off his catamaran 8km from the coastline made it safely back to shore after swimming in rough conditions for 9 hours. Even more incredibly, he landed on the beach where his boat had washed up…

And if you need some warm/fuzzies, a Minneapolis woman Tracy Peck has had an emotional reunion with 2 Yugoslavian refugee sisters. She gave the girls $100 on a plane trip 23 years ago after they arrived in the US. The money helped feed them for an entire summer, but they couldn’t say thanks until their story went viral last week.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.00pm (AEST) – Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas gives his state Budget address – Melbourne

12.30pm (AEST) – Defence Minister Petter Dutton and Shadow Defence Minister Brendan O’Connor debate defence policy at the National Press Club – Canberra

ABS Data Release – International Trade in Goods and Services, March; Building Approvals, March

Company Results – NAB

Company AGM – Rio Tinto; QBE

Celebration of Cinco de Mayo

Liberation Day in the Netherlands in remembrance of the end of the country’s Nazi occupation (1945)

World Hand Hygiene Day

International Day of the Midwife

World Password Day

Archibald Prize finalists and Packing Room Prize winner announced

A birthday for singer Adele (1988)

Anniversary of:
• the birthday of Karl Marx (1818)
• the death of Napoléon Bonaparte (1821)
• Carnegie Hall opening in New York with Tchaikovsky as guest conductor (1891)
• Perfume Chanel No 5 released by fashion designer Coco Chanel (1921)

Squiz the Day

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