Squiz Today / 16 May 2024

Squiz Today – 16 May 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Spider venom is really cool.”

No that’s not Peter Parker talking, but researcher Dr Shaodong Guo who is milking hundreds of venomous arachnids to create an insecticide against locusts without killing honey bees. It’s very honourable, just don’t ask us to catch the spiders…

The other side of the Budget coin…

The Squiz 

Coalition leader Peter Dutton will give his Budget reply speech at 7.30pm AEST tonight, but he’s already dropped some hints on what’s on his mind. Yesterday, he criticised the government for having the “wrong priorities”.

So he’s not a fan? 

Dutton’s labelled the Budget a “Band-Aid on a bullet wound” and has flagged there are initiatives the Coalition won’t support… That includes the Future Made in Australia (FMIA) plan’s $13.7 billion of production credits for green hydrogen and critical minerals. Dutton says those projects should be supported, “but not with taxpayers’ money.” He’s also criticised a lack of measures addressing the “housing emergency” which he says is down to Team Albanese allowing “almost a million people” into Oz over the last couple of years. The Coalition isn’t opposed to everything – it will back the Stage 3 tax cuts, increased Commonwealth Rent Assistance, cheaper medicines, and changes to student debt arrangements. They’ll also support the $300 energy bill rebate, even though others say giving it to wealthy households is “ridiculous”

What else has come out of Tuesday night?

The Budget papers point to plans to ‘mothball’ the Australian Government’s refugee processing centre on Nauru within 12 months, saving taxpayers $264 million a year. That doesn’t mean the facility will be shut down – the idea is it will go from an “active state” to a “standby state” meaning it would be maintained and could be reactivated within 2 days if necessary. That plan has raised some questions though… The Coalition’s Home Affairs spokesman James Paterson says it would be “heroic, to say the least” given there are currently 64 people housed there, and more people are arriving by boat, including in the last week. ​​Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil’s people defended the move saying the plan is “standard practice”. And Albanese could face questions over one of his tenants closer to home, after this report today…

AusPol Australian News Economy

Squiz the Rest

Two worlds collide

China’s President Xi Jinping will roll out the red carpet for his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin today – his second visit in less than a year. Comparisons have been drawn between the pair, as both have started new terms after rewriting rules about how long leaders can serve with no real opposition. The men previously toasted their “no-limits” friendship as a counter-balance to America’s global influence. That mutual opposition to Washington looks set to tighten this week after President Joe Biden announced huge new tariffs on imports from China but the big ticket item is a 100% tariff on Chinese electric vehicles in a bid to protect US jobs. China has already threatened to retaliate, but some commentators say the move is part of Biden’s re-election bid… The trip comes as one of Putin’s allies, the PM of Slovakia, Robert Fico, was shot overnight in an assassination attempt.

World News

A stand-off with students

Tensions are escalating at Aussie universities after hundreds of students stormed a building at the University of Melbourne yesterday in the latest in a growing number of on-campus protests over the war in Gaza. At least 40 students refused to leave last night after the university ordered the crowd of pro-Palestinian protestors to disperse – and the administration is now threatening to call in police. Students at protest camps at ANU in Canberra and Deakin University in Perth are also in a stand-off with uni leaders after refusing to clear out. The protests in Melbourne came as Victoria’s parliament yesterday banned MPs from wearing the keffiyeh, a scarf symbolising solidarity with Palestinians – the justification from Speaker Maree Edwards being MPs were not allowed to wear ”political paraphernalia”.

*If you want to know more about the uni student protests, keep an eye out for our latest Squiz Shortcut out today…

Australian News

A rainy reason to celebrate

We probably don’t have to tell Queenslanders this, but they’ve seen their fair share of rain over the past few months – and those downpours have helped the state be declared drought-free for the first time in 11 years… The last 2 local government areas to have their drought declarations revoked this month were the Diamantina and Bulloo shires, both of which are more than 1,000km west of Brisbane. And the photos from those regions, where heavy rains have turned the dusty red landscapes green, attracting more native wildlife, are really something. The wet weather updates don’t end there – the Bureau of Meteorology has also told Aussies to be prepared for another La Niña. It says cooler and wetter conditions give us a 50/50 chance of seeing the climate pattern again. Here we go again… 

Australian News Environment & Science Weather

A rivalry for the ages

While you’re hunting for your wet weather gear, if you’re in NSW or Queensland you might also like to dig up your scarf – so you’re ready for Game 1 of the Women’s State of Origin series tonight. You can get up to speed on it here, but this year is historic because it’s the first time it’s been expanded to include 3 games. Tonight’s match will be held at Suncorp Stadium, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Last year’s Dally M winner, 27yo Tamika Upton, says the Maroons are looking to back up their success last year after claiming the 2-game tied Series based on a points aggregate. The bookies also have Queensland as the favourite, but the Blues’ co-captain Kezie Apps says NSW has something to prove. Carn the Blues (fight us…). 

Australian News Sport

Pink makes the King wink

The first official portrait of King Charles since his coronation has been revealed and it’s an unexpected choice, to say the least… While his face is visible, the rest of his body is shrouded in a haze of hot pink. Charles is a fan, giving it his Royal seal of approval. The unusual artwork by Jonathan Yeo is a whopper, measuring 2.8m x 2.2m, but given it’s set to be hung in the extremely grand Drapers’ Hall in London, it will fit right in. It’s not the first time Yeo has painted a Royal, having previously captured Queen Camilla. But if he gets a chance to portray her again, she might not be wearing a traditional regal cape having sworn off buying animal fur again…

Culture World News

Apropos of Nothing

Astronomers have found a new planet that’s bigger than Jupiter – aka the largest known planet in our solar system. It’s called WASP-193b, but the really interesting thing about it is that it has low density – scientists say it’s “basically super fluffy” and “close to cotton candy”. 

Speaking of fluffy… Sage the Miniature Poodle has been crowned Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show in New York. Sage and her mane of glorious hair beat out Mercedes the German Shepherd, who went home as Reserve Best in Show.

A 24/7 live stream connecting Dublin’s O’Connell Street to a mirroring portal in New York’s Fifth Avenue has been temporarily disconnected after viewers witnessed some “inappropriate behaviour” from the Irish side. It wasn’t all bad – some young people took the chance to expand their dating pool

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.10am (AEST) – Public Inquiry into local government sustainability – Canberra

12.00pm (AEST) – The Aussie Badminton team for the Paris Olympics will be announced at the National Championships – Bendigo

From 5.00pm (AEST) – Melbourne City Mission’s Sleep At The ‘G – Melbourne

7.30pm (AEST) – Opposition Leader Peter Dutton to deliver the Budget Reply address – Canberra

7.30pm (ACST) – AFL: Gold Coast SUNS v Geelong Cats in Darwin

7.45pm (AEST) – Rugby league: Women’s State of Origin game one – Queensland v NSW – Brisbane, Watch live on Channel 9HD and 9Now

Graincorp HY24 results

ABS Data Release – Labour Force, April; Livestock Products, March 

International Day of Living Together in Peace 

International Day of Light 

Anniversary of:

  • the marriage of Marie Antoinette and future King Louis XVI of France (1770)
  • the release of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds (1966)
  • the death of former PM Bob Hawke (2019)
  • the fire that engulfed Loafers Lodge in Wellington and claimed the lives of five people (2023)
Squiz the Day

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