Squiz Today / 01 June 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 1 June 2023

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you prepped for those ‘how is it June already?’ conversations.

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Proud Queenslander, apart from 3 nights a year.”

Tweeted a Blues fan just before the State of Origin Game 1 kicked off in Adelaide. There’s no word on whether any allegiances have been switched after the Maroons fought back from behind to win 26-18…

Another step towards a Voice vote

Another step has been taken down the road towards a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, with the House of Reps passing a bill that will allow the national vote to be set up. Federal MPs voted on the legislation yesterday after a marathon debate, and the scoreboard read 121 in favour and 25 against. Applause broke out at the conclusion of proceedings, and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said, “we have left base camp at Uluru. We can see the goal on the horizon”.

You can get into the nitty-gritty of the Constitutional Alteration Bill here. But to put it briefly, what it does is tick the legislative box to get the referendum happening, including the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment. If you’re baffled by the vote numbers and thought, “but isn’t the Coalition opposed to setting up a Voice?” – you’re right… What happened is the Liberals (mostly) supported the bill yesterday because they say they won’t get in the way of the referendum happening, even though they don’t support the change. There’s also another procedural quirk – some Libs had to vote against it to ensure the party is represented on the committee, which will draft the official ‘No’ pamphlet that will be distributed to households.

Now that the bill’s passed the lower house, it will head to the Senate in mid-June. If/when it passes there, the Albanese Government will set a date for the national poll. Altering the constitution is a big deal – just 8 of the 44 proposals for change have been approved. Every Aussie voter will be required to write ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the proposal, and that’s where this referendum comes in. As for a hint about when it will take place, the government has flagged it will be scheduled between October-December – the hot money’s on 14 October.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Are we out of the woods yet?

Yeah, nah… That’s according to Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe, who fronted a Senate estimates hearing yesterday. While the prices of some goods were declining, he says the central bank is forecasting rent – the most significant contributor to inflation – to rise by 10% as demand continues to outstrip supply. And with house prices rising for another month in May, housing was a key reason behind Australia’s inflation rate rising to 6.8% over the 12 months to April, up from 6.3% in March. That’s according to new Bureau of Stats data released yesterday that revealed spikes in food, transport and recreation costs. Economists are split on whether interest rates will go up again when it meets next Tuesday, but some reckon it won’t as underlying inflation – which excludes volatile items like food and fuel from the data – eased to 6.5% in April from 6.9% in March. Just 5 more sleeps until we find out…

Australian News Business & Finance

Get ready for a big defamation verdict

That’s the case brought by decorated war veteran Ben Roberts-Smith against The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Canberra Times, which wrapped up in the Federal Court last July. He sued over reports he says point to him committing war crimes while serving in Afghanistan – he denies the allegations while Nine Entertainment stands by the reporting. Reports last night said Roberts-Smith won’t be in court today – he’s on holiday in Bali. Since the Brereton Report containing allegations of war crimes by Aussie elite soldiers was released in 2020, only Oliver Schulz has been charged, and some believe Justice Anthony Besanko’s decision today will serve as a litmus test for future investigations and prosecutions. It comes as Defence Chief Angus Campbell revealed the US military warned him that those war crimes allegations could jeopardise its cooperation with Aussie special forces in the future.

Australian News Crime

Death by AI

It sounds a bit OTT, but that’s what a group of tech experts is warning could be in store for humanity if the risks posed by artificial intelligence aren’t addressed. Hundreds of executives and academics – including the bosses of ChatGPT developer OpenAI and Google’s DeepMind – signed a statement saying mitigating the development of AI technology “should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war”. They’re concerned AI systems could become impossible to control once they reach a certain level of intelligence. But other respected figures in the field, including Meta’s chief AI scientist Yann LeCun, say the concerns are overblown and unrealistic. It’s the latest warning of the dangers of AI in recent months, and Dan Hendrycks, the boss of the Center for AI Safety – the non-profit that published the statement – said it disproved misconceptions that there are only a handful of “doomers” in the industry.


Warming up for winter

It’s the first day of winter, and for those worried about the mercury dropping even further after shivering through May, the Bureau of Meteorology has some good news for you… After all Aussie states broke their coldest May minimum temperature records, they’re forecasting a warmer-than-average winter in its latest outlook, with less rain and higher temperatures during the day but cooler nights. Soz, but you can’t have it all… The BOM says that’s because 2 climate drivers that typically bring warmer/drier weather could potentially be operating in Oz: a positive Indian Ocean dipole and a potential El Niño event. Meteorologist Ben Domensino says if they both develop simultaneously, “they’ll be reinforcing each other”, with inland areas set to bear the brunt. He says areas like the Murray-Darling Basin and inland central and western Australia will face the chilliest overnight temperatures. Might be time to invest in an Oodie


A beary peculiar dating trend

You can always rely on the internet to provide some insights into the dating world, and one that’s courting controversy is a new trend that breaks down men into 4 categories of animal: bear, reptile, eagle and dog. The idea is that a man who is “bear handsome” has a round face and broad shoulders, a “reptilian handsome” bloke has a straight nose and sharp eyes, “dog handsome” fellas have big eyes and a cheeky grin, and “eagle handsome” men have small eyes and a long nose. And for gender parity, there are 4 categories for women too: fox (light hair and sharp features), cat (dark hair, round face and sharp features), deer (dark hair, long face and soft features) and bunny (light hair, round face, and soft features). Don’t ask us what it means – we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts…

Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

Forget flying in style – now you have the chance to fly in designer style… Aussie fashion designer Rebecca Vallance has partnered with Qantas to release a PJ set available to business class customers on the newly relaunched Sydney-New York route.

London woman Karin Arsenius has been left befuddled after 20 random people turned up on her doorstep over the past month, thinking they’d booked her home to stay in. She made up beds for those who had nowhere else to go, which takes hospitality to a whole new level…

Garlic lovers, rejoice… Researchers from the Doherty Institute say some Aussie garlic varieties have antiviral properties with up to 99.9% efficacy against viruses like COVID and the flu. Maybe stock up on some mints too…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

2.15pm (AEST) – Ben Roberts-Smith defamation verdict to be delivered – Sydney

7.45pm – Game 1 of the Women’s State of Origin Rugby League series – Sydney

Independence Day – Samoa

PM Anthony Albanese heads off for a 4-day trip to Singapore and Vietnam

Global Day of Parents

International Children’s Day

World Reef Day

Start of LGBT Pride Month

Start of Migraine Awareness Month

Start of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

World Milk Day

Birthdays for Morgan Freeman (1937), Heidi Klum (1973), Alanis Morissette (1974), and Amy Schumer (1981)

Anniversary of:
• Anne Boleyn being crowned Queen of England (1533)
• the birthday of Marilyn Monroe (1926)
• the launch of CNN, the world’s first 24-hour news channel (1980)
• the deaths of Helen Keller (1968) and Yves Saint Laurent (2008)

Squiz the Day

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