Squiz Today / 21 June 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 21 June

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Get into the news groove.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

9 / 20
11 / 15
11 / 22
10 / 16
11 / 22
9 / 14
21 / 33
2 / 12

Squiz Sayings

“It certainly brings a whole new meaning to a shared pathway.” 

Said Deputy Mayor Chad Buchanan from Salisbury, South Oz of the power pole that has popped up in the middle of a bike path. SA Power Networks says “it’s a really excellent opportunity to do a post-project review”. The bike riders of Adelaide’s northern suburbs will be happy to help…

A dash to Sri Lanka

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil is in Sri Lanka to talk to government officials about people smugglers who are pitching Australia as a place to go to flee the nation’s economic collapse. Four boats have been intercepted by Border Force and Sri Lankan authorities in the last month after none since January 2020. On O’Neil’s agenda: talks with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister GL Peiris about what they can do to stop boats from leaving. As for what we can do for them: we’ve got $50 million in food aid/emergency financial assistance.

If you go online and search ‘Sri Lanka collapse’, you used to get something about cricket. These days, it’s about the dire situation the nation’s in with civil unrest, fuel shortages, soaring food prices and a lack of medicines as it experiences its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948. Failure is an orphan, but there are many factors at play… These include ballooning government debt (including big loans from China), poor management by the government, and punishment from global markets. Add in the prevailing/troubled global headwinds, and Sri Lanka’s 22 million people have been left short on the necessities of life. A recent United Nations World Food Programme survey found that about 65% of Sri Lankan households have been forced to reduce their food intake. So it’s no wonder many are looking to find somewhere that promises a better future.

Not if they seek to come by boat, the government says. PM Anthony Albanese says he will not change the policy put in place by the Abbott Government in 2013 of turning back boats. “We will do as Australia has done for a long period of time. We will look after our international obligation to do the right thing – but the right thing is not a free-for-all whereby people who turn up will be settled,” he said yesterday. Pundits say he’s unwilling to return to the days during the previous Labor administration when 50,000 people came to Australia on boats, and at least 1,200 died at sea. On election day, the Coalition sent text messages to voters warning Australia’s borders would not be safe and that “an illegal boat” had been intercepted. The new government is investigating the Coalition’s use of that sensitive information.

AusPol World News

Squiz the Rest

A spanner in the Higgins trial works

There could be another delay to the Brittany Higgins rape trial with the accused man raising concerns about Lisa Wilkinson’s speech at the Logies on Sunday night. The Project host won the gong for most outstanding news coverage or public affairs and said it was the most important story she’s worked on during her 40-year-long career. “As Brittany warned me before we went to air, her story would be seen by many of the most powerful people in this country not as a human problem but as a political problem.” Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann, who was charged last year and has pleaded not guilty, is due to face the ACT Supreme Court next Monday. His lawyer says more than 800,000 people tuned in to the Logies, and Wilkinson’s speech has been widely shared on social media and news outlets, resulting in a wave of negative vibes for his client ahead of the jury trial. The judge will hear the application today.

Australian News

ACCC launches probe into energy prices

In a bid to “provide greater transparency” around skyrocketing power prices, Australia’s competition regulator has launched an investigation. Wholesale power prices have increased 5-fold since the start of the year, and PM Albanese has accused some generators of “gaming the system” to rake in higher payments. The ACCC’s probe into energy companies’ profits will report next month. And to avoid ongoing energy shortfalls, the Energy Security Board – made up of the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Energy Markets Commission – has released a draft plan for a new “capacity mechanism” that would pay generators to be on standby to pump out more electricity when needed. The board rejected calls to exclude fossil fuel producers, arguing a spread of generation sources will help smooth the way to net zero emissions by 2050.

Australian News

The Senate results are in

Following a big campaign costing millions, Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party has won a seat in the Federal Parliament. The Electoral Commission has given the green light to former real estate agent/conspiracy theorist Ralph Babet for the final Senate spot in Victoria, taking it from ​​Liberal Greg Mirabella. Results for Western Oz and NSW are also through yesterday. Long story short, the Coalition is down 5 seats, but it still has the most in the 76-strong Senate with 32, followed by 26 for Labor, 12 for the Greens. There are 2 each from One Nation (including Pauline Hanson) and the Jacqui Lambie Network, one for UAP and independent David Pocock. It means Labor will need the 12 Greens + one more to pass legislation. And the public service is bracing for a shakeup with departmental heads expected to be confirmed this week. #SquizShortcut


Macron loses his majority

French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition has lost its parliamentary majority after a new alliance on the left, and the right’s National Rally party made gains in Sunday’s election. Macron’s ‘Together’ coalition is on track to be the largest party in French Parliament, but it’s had significant losses. With almost all votes counted, Macron’s crew is on track to win 245 seats (down from 345), left-wing alliance NUPES is set to win 131 seats, and the National Rally will likely claim 89, up from 8 seats. It’s left France’s parliament fragmented, and pundits say the parliament isn’t ungovernable, but it’s “going to require a lot of imagination” if Macron is to implement the reforms he’s promised. Macron was re-elected in April’s presidential election over National Rally’s Marine Le Pen by a tighter margin than in 2017. #SquizShortcut

World News

Dark days be gone…

Set a reminder for tonight – it’s the Winter Solstice (aka the point at which the southern hemisphere is tilted furthest away from the Sun). After that, we’ll be heading towards longer days and shorter nights as we climb back to summer. Before you get too excited, it doesn’t mean it will get warmer anytime soon… July is usually our coldest month, and that’s down to what the experts call ‘seasonal lag’. “There’s a delay because the Earth takes a while to cool down and heat up again,” says Sydney Uni astronomer Professor Tim Bedding. If you want to completely nerd out on how it works, this is the article for you. Or, if you’re more into weird pagan rituals that come with the solstice, here are some suggestions. Just stay away from Krampus – he looks like a seriously bad dude…


Apropos of Nothing

The advice of money-making guru Warren Buffett is highly valued. But paying $27 million for a private steak lunch with the legend? You’d want a strategy out of it to recoup your investment…

A sealed, near-mint condition 1986 VHS tape of Back to the Future has sold for $107,000, setting a new record for a videotape. Now to find a VHS player…

And if that doesn’t rev you up, how about Peter Brock’s Torana? The car loved by mullet-sporting car enthusiasts all over the country took one of Australia’s best-known racing drivers to victory in his first Australian Touring Car Championships in 1974. If only we could afford the fuel…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEST) – RBA Governor Philip Lowe delivers a speech on economic outlook and monetary policy – Sydney

6.30pm (AEST) – Cricket 4th ODI – Australia v Sri Lanka – Colombo

NSW and Queensland hand down their 2022-23 State Budgets

Winter Solstice

World Humanist Day

International Yoga Day

World Music Day

Go Skateboarding Day

National Selfie Day

Birthdays for author Ian McEwan (1948), Indonesian President Joko Widodo (1961), Prince William (1982), whistleblower Edward Snowden (1983), and singer Lana Del Rey (1985)

Anniversary of:
• the first Victoria Cross won during the Crimean War (1854)
• the birthday of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (1905)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.