Squiz Today / 31 May 2023

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 31 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you past the halfway mark. 

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

9 / 21
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6 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“I remember running, then bumping my head, and then I woke up in the tent. I still don’t really believe it, but it feels great”

Says Canadian woman Delaney Irving who won a notorious women’s race in England – despite being knocked out while chasing the 3kg wheel of double Gloucester down the steep Chester Hill. That’s real dedication to cheese…

High steaks trading with the UK


Way back in 2021, when our PM was Scott Morrison and the UK’s was Boris Johnson, Australia and the UK signed a free trade agreement – which is finally coming into effect today. The deal means that tariffs on 99% of Aussie exports into the UK will disappear, while British companies will get an inside track when bidding to win some Australian government contracts. The deal also means that Britons and Aussies aged 18-35yo will soon be able to work/travel in the other country for 3 years – for yonks it’s been a 2-year visa for under-30yos. It’s terrific for wandering young Britons who love Tim Tams, or young Aussies who love… warm beer? But less enthusiasm for the new arrangements is coming from other sectors.


Britain’s farmers are particularly worried about an influx of Aussie beef. Before we get to that, a bit of a history lesson… Before 1973, the UK was the biggest global customer of Aussie farming exports – but that ended when they decided to join the European Union and trade barriers against Australia were put up. Fast-forward to the last couple of years, and Brexit saw farmers in the UK lose their free access to European markets. And now many are worried about what this deal with Oz might mean. But it’s about more than just ag – Trade Minister Don Farrell says the agreement will “open up new markets for our world-class goods and services” and “help revitalise local manufacturing”. But we’re not putting all our lovely eggs in the UK’s basket – Australia is currently negotiating a separate free trade agreement with the European Union. Also this week, we’re putting some work into doing more with South Korea… 


Steady on… Oz already has a free trade agreement with South Korea – it was signed by the Abbott Government in 2014, and it cemented the nation as our 3rd-largest export market valued at $48.8 billion last financial year. Our relationship goals are now focused on security and defence, and Aussie Deputy PM/Defence Minister Richard Marles is in Seoul this week meeting with South Korea’s Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup. There are no concrete details yet, but Marles has mentioned the exchange of “defence science” as well as conducting joint military exercises with South Korea. He also said he plans to meet with his counterpart “​​a number of times over the next few months”. Sounds like a date…

AusPol Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Spies in the skies

Speaking of South Korea’s interest in boosting its defence relationships… Reports from North Korea say the Hermit Kingdom is set to launch its first spy satellite next month to monitor US military activities. It follows an uptick in missile tests overseen by President Kim Jong Un as well as joint US-South Korea military exercises in the region in recent months. Last week, Kim’s regime condemned the 2 countries over ‘aggressive’ live-fire drills simulating a full-scale attack, which it said requires North Korea to be “capable of gathering information about the military acts of the enemy in real-time”. North Korea has notified Japan that the launch will be sometime between 31 May and 11 June, leading Tokyo to put its air defence systems on alert. US officials say any satellite launch undertaken by North Korea using ballistic missile technology would violate several United Nations resolutions. 

World News

Full-time on Hawthorn review

The AFL has ended its review into racism at the Hawthorn Football Club, effectively punting the reckoning over Hawthorn’s past treatment of Indigenous players to the Human Rights Commission. Let’s step it back: in September 2022, media reports emerged that an internal Hawthorn review alleged 3 staff – coach Alistair Clarkson, assistant Chris Fagan, and welfare manager Jason Burt – had separated some Indigenous players from their partners and, in one case, urged an abortion (the 3 men deny any wrongdoing). The AFL intervention, announced in October 2022, has since been criticised by the coaches and the Indigenous families, and Squizers will remember that Clarkson recently stepped away from coaching because of the stress. That brings us to last night, when AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan called time on the AFL’s review, saying that the coaches had been “cleared” and that the Indigenous families agreed to the termination of the review and “feel heard”. But even though the AFL’s process is over, McLachlan said “we support all parties doing what they want to do from here,” and the word is (paywall) that the Indigenous families will pursue a reckoning through the Human Rights Commission.

Australian News Sport

Crown fined for finance crime

Casino operator Crown Resorts has agreed to a fine of $450 million after admitting to breaching anti-money laundering laws. The company called it “a significant step” as it tries to fix its “failings” after more than a couple of years of bad press for its stuff ups that were exposed via government-backed inquiries. In NSW, an investigation into Crown’s operations found the company had facilitated money laundering, worked with businesses linked to organised crime, and also had issues with its gaming licences. Yesterday, Crown’s boss Ciarán Carruthers said the company was “pleased” to have reached the agreement with federal financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC but noted, “it is still subject to consideration and approval by the Federal Court”. The Federal Court hearing is pencilled in for 10-11 July.

Australian News Business & Finance Crime

Bruce Lehrmann settles with News Corp

An amount hasn’t been disclosed, but reports say the former Liberal staffer and the mega news outlet reached a settlement out of court yesterday. Lehrmann launched proceedings against the company and journo Samantha Maiden over 2 articles covering allegations he assaulted his former colleague Brittany Higgins – claims Lehrmann denies. Editor-in-chief Lisa Muxworthy said yesterday no damages had been paid to Lehrmann, but “a contribution has been made to his legal costs”. The 2 articles remain online but have been amended to include an editor’s note. Note: defamation proceedings brought by Lehrmann against Network 10 and The Project presenter Lisa Wilkinson remain active. The trial is set to go ahead in the Federal Court on 20 November. Meanwhile, Lehrmann is scheduled to appear on Channel 7 this Sunday night in his first interview since the accusations.

Australian News Crime

Time to get your league on

It’s mate against mate, and state against state… Rejoice rugby league fans – it’s that time of year when NSW take on Queensland, with game #1 kicking off tonight in… Adelaide? This series the Blues are the favourites, but it’s probably best to remind you that was also the case before Queensland ultimately took it out last year. Also going against NSW – superstar Latrell Mitchell was ruled out due to a calf injury and Nathan Cleary is in doubt with a tooth infection. That’s seen Queensland make some tactical changes. Also to note: Maroons veteran Dane Gagai was controversially overlooked by 2nd-year coach Billy Slater in favour of Dolphins young gun Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow. Other faces to watch out for in their Origin debuts are Dally M medallist Nicho Hynes, Tevita Pangai Junior and Hudson Young on the Blues side, and Reece Walsh for the Maroons. For all the action, it’s live on Nine from 8.05pm tonight.

Australian News Sport

Apropos of nothing

Venetian officials have figured out what was causing the mysterious bright green patch in the city’s Grand Canal. They say it’s fluorescein – a non-toxic substance used to test wastewater. Here’s hoping the colour is a good sign… 

A new study has discovered that dingoes have much less dog in their family tree than initially thought. Genome testing of 391 wild and captive dingoes around Oz revealed that most are purebred, which researchers say is good news for their populations. 

Authorities in Mallorca have called an emergency meeting with Ryanair and the local pastry makers association after the budget airline tried to charge 2 passengers €45 each to bring traditional ensaïmada pastries on board with their hand luggage. They reckon the airline’s handling of the situation was pretty crummy…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Taryn Brumfitt, Australian of the Year 2023, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

8.05pm (AEST) – State of Origin Game 1 – Adelaide

Australia’s free trade agreement with the United Kingdom starts

ABS Data Release – Monthly Consumer Price Index indicator, April

World No Tobacco Day

World Otter Day

50 days until the FIFA Women’s World Cup…

Birthdays for Clint Eastwood (1930), Brooke Shields (1965), and Colin Farrell (1976)

Anniversary of:
• explorers Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains, allowing colonial expansion into Western NSW (1813)
• Dr John Harvey Kellogg patenting “flaked cereal” (1884)
• the world’s oldest bride Minnie Munro (102yo) marrying Dudley Reid (83yo) in Point Clare, NSW (1991)
• Psy’s Gangnam Style becoming the first video to reach 2 billion views on YouTube (2014)

Squiz the Day

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