Squiz Today / 26 October 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 26 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

A friend of mine called from California and said, ‘You have gone viral.’ And I said, ‘No, honey, I’m fine. I don’t have COVID’.”

Said 67yo actor Leslie Jordan about his millions of Instagram followers thanks to his hilarious pandemic antics. Better known as Beverley Leslie in Will & Grace, he died in a car accident on Monday. Karen Walker would be furious

No budget party for Team Albanese

Australia is staring down the prospect of a 3rd global downturn within 15 years. “This time not a financial crisis or a pandemic, but a war driving high prices and higher interest rates here and around the world, and the risk of another global recession,” said Treasurer Jim Chalmers as he delivered the Albanese Government’s first budget. He’s outlined the many and varied challenges and what the new administration intends to do about some of them. And the government has reserved judgement on some other strong headwinds that threaten Aussies’ quality of life.

You’re right – it’s a good place to start. So the good news is the deficit for this financial year – aka how much more the government is spending than taking in via taxes and other payments – will be $36.9 billion. That’s much less than the $78 billion projected before the election, and it comes down to surging commodity prices and low unemployment. After that, it’s choppy waters… We’re set to deliver deficits for years into the future, and Australia’s gross debt is set to exceed $1 trillion next year, which comes with a huge interest bill. And there are some other difficult numbers to stare down: economic growth is expected to slow to 1.5% next financial year (from 3.9% in 2021-22); inflation is expected to peak at 7.75% this year (note: the target is 2-3%); and unemployment is set to rise as real wages go backwards over 2023. That all adds up to a concerning picture

Actually, there was – just not on anything flashy or fun. Cost of living relief was a centrepiece last night – that covers $7.5 billion for lower cost of childcare and medicines, making housing more affordable, expanding paid parental leave, and supporting pay increases for low-income and aged care workers. But Team Albanese hasn’t got a response to rising energy cost increases yet… Electricity prices are set to go up by 56% over the next 2 years – and gas prices by 44% in the next 18 months. And another big ticket item that got some attention last night was the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It’s set to cost “hundreds of billions of dollars” over the coming decade, and Chalmers acknowledged that’s unsustainable. What is covered under the scheme and how it’s being paid for is also up for discussion. Today, we can expect much to be said about this not being much of a victory lap by the new government – and stay tuned for Coalition leader Peter Dutton’s response tomorrow night.


Squiz the Rest

Medibank hack bigger than first thought

Private health insurer Medibank yesterday said that more data was stolen in a recent hack than it initially realised. Up to 4 million current Medibank customers may be affected, and they say sensitive information linked to past customers is also part of the data that has been breached. Medibank says private medical records have been stolen, but it still doesn’t know the exact number affected. Calling it a “distressing development”, CEO David Koczkar apologised again to members. “This is a malicious attack that has been committed by criminals with a view of causing maximum fear and damage,” he said. If you’re a member and are worried about it, they say their cybercrime hotline is worth a ring.

Australian News Business & Finance Crime

Sunak under pressure to deliver at home and overseas

He’s had the job for just a few hours, and already new UK PM Rishi Sunak is under pressure… Many world leaders welcomed him ahead of his swearing-in by King Charles, including Indian PM Narendra Modi, who sent Diwali wishes and said he looks forward to working with him. Sunak’s win was big news across India – one broadcaster proclaimed “Indian son rises over the Empire” – a reference to Britain’s previous colonial rule of the subcontinent. But he is perceived differently at home, where he’s known as the Prada-loving husband of Akshata Murty, the daughter of ‘India’s Bill Gates’. Next up, Sunak has to resolve lingering Brexit issues, unite a divided Conservative Party, and drive down soaring inflation and energy bills – all with ongoing concerns about the war in Ukraine and fears of another winter COVID wave. Given that Sunak is the 3rd PM in 2 months, maybe he’s the charm?

World News

New Weinstein trial begins in LA

The latest trial of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has started in Los Angeles, with prosecutors laying out their opening arguments. The 70yo is charged with multiple sexual assaults between 2004 and 2013. It follows his sentencing to 23 years in jail in New York for similar charges – a conviction he’s appealing. On Monday, prosecutors said 8 women would testify against the film producer, detailing allegations of assaults in hotel rooms. Most will remain nameless in court – referred to as Jane Doe – but one was identified as filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who is married to the current governor of California. She says Weinstein raped her after turning up for a business meeting in 2005. For his part, Weinstein has denied ever having non-consensual sex with anyone – his lawyers told the court that some have “made up” the assaults and others had “transactional sex” with him to further their careers.

Australian News

On the 26th day of October, my true love sent to me…

Ho, ho, ho, there are less than 2 months to go until Christmas – and if you’re planning to send your loved ones (and those you don’t like much) something that requires snail mail, Australia Post has a deadline for you. Every country varies, but if you’re sending something to the UK, the deadline is less than 4 weeks away on 21 November. And if you’ve got mail for residents in Oz, get your interstate parcels sent by 12 December if they want them to be under the tree on Christmas Day. For the last-minute Lindas with deep pockets, you can send them Express Post up until 19 December and still have them arrive on time. Talk about living on the edge… It’s also why Santa invented digital gift cards – true story.

Australian News Business & Finance

Kits off for a cause

Ever wanted your naked body immortalised in a mass public artwork? Us neither, but maybe it could be your new thing… US artist Spencer Tunick is coming to Australia in November and has called for 2,000 volunteers to bare it all for an art installation in Sydney. It’s for a good cause – charity Skin Check Champions has commissioned Tunick to raise awareness during National Skin Cancer Action Week, and each participant will represent someone who’s died from skin cancer. It might sound daunting to some, but it’s not the first time Tunick has asked thousands to go au naturel – he had more than 5,000 rudey nudies lie on the steps of the Sydney Opera House during Mardi Gras in 2010. He reckons it’s not going to be hard to get people on board next month, saying he’s “honoured to visit and engage with my Australian friends again – everyone is just so eager to get their kit off”.

Australian News Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Skipping is hard. That makes Filipino athlete Ryan Alonzo’s new world record of 3,731 consecutive crossovers (when you cross your arms over and back while jumping the rope) all the more impressive. He also holds the record for 40,980 double-under skips in 12 hours. Get that man a less intensive hobby…

Faux fish in the future? It’s on the menu with Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey and some other big names putting money into a cell-cultivated seafood company called Wildtype. It makes as much sense as fish fingers…

Cats appreciate the effort you make to put on a ‘here kitty kitty kitty’ voice for them. It helps our feline friends tell when you’re talking to them and not to people. Whether they’d prefer you to only speak when spoken to wasn’t studied…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Treasurer Jim Chalmers gives a post-Budget speech to the National Press Club – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Consumer Price Index, September Quarter 2022

Company AGM – Woolworths

World Amyloidosis Day 

Austria’s National Day

Birthdays for former US First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (1947), singer Keith Urban (1967), comedian Seth MacFarlane (1973) and singer Guy Sebastian (1981)

Anniversary of:
• the first use of a lead (graphite) pencil (1492)
• the eradication of smallpox, with the last natural case of smallpox discovered in Somalia (1977)
• the release of the film The Terminator (1984)
• Jacinda Ardern being sworn in as PM of New Zealand, becoming the world’s youngest female head of government (2017)
• the death of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria by US Special Forces (2019)
• the Uluru climb ban coming into force (2019)

Squiz the Day

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