Squiz Today / 17 May 2024

Squiz Today – 17 May 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It’s one of those things I’m regretting putting my hand up for.”

Said conservator Doug Rogan, whose restoration of Snowy Mountains township Adaminaby’s ‘Big Trout’ unveiled in December saw locals turn their noses up like it was a week-old fish rotting in the sun. Rogan’s been hooked in again with remedial work casting off this week

Top man down in Slovakia

The Squiz 

Robert Fico, PM of the central European nation of Slovakia, was badly injured in yesterday’s alleged assassination attempt, which saw him shot 5 times at close range in the small town of Handlova. The 59yo is in a stable but very serious condition after several hours of surgery for wounds to his stomach. Reports say a 71yo man (who has not yet been named) has been charged over the shooting – he’s a poet and political activist who was working as a security guard at a shopping centre. It’s the first attempted assassination of a serving European political leader since Serbia’s PM Zoran Djindjic was shot dead in 2003

I know nothing about Slovakia…

You’re not alone… It’s a country that rarely comes to international attention, so to give you a snapshot, it’s a nation of 5 million people and shares a border with Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Ukraine. As for Fico, he is a pro-Russian/anti-American populist who returned to power last year and immediately ended Slovakia’s military support for Ukraine, prompting widespread protests. It wasn’t the first time he’s clashed with his own people… Fico’s been the on/off leader since 2006, and in 2018, he was forced to resign after a journalist investigating corruption and his fiance were killed. He’s also a former Communist with anti-LGBT/anti-free press views and a critic of the European Union, putting him at odds with much of the continent.

Was the shooter politically motivated?

Reports say that just before he opened fire, the shooter said he disagreed with Fico’s efforts to take away the independence of the nation’s public broadcaster by turning it into a state-run media outlet. That’s backed up by Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok who says eyewitness accounts “clearly point to political motivation”. World leaders have been quick to condemn the shooting, with US President Joe Biden calling it a “horrific act of violence” while Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a “monstrous crime”. The incident has put much of Europe on edge over fears that increasingly polarised political views in several countries and the rise of the far right could escalate into further violence.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Big trouble in paradise

France has sent hundreds of extra police to New Caledonia after 4 people – including a police officer – were killed in riots that have gripped the islands for days. The ‘French overseas territory’ is about 1,500km (or a 2.5-hour flight) northeast of Brissie, and reports say 200 people have been arrested since violence broke out on Monday. That was sparked by a change to French laws which will give greater voting rights to its citizens in the territory. The indigenous Kanak community fears that will make it tougher for them to gain their long-fought independence. The French Government has declared a 12-day state of emergency with a curfew and a ban on TikTok – while President Emmanuel Macron has called for local leaders to meet him “face to face” in Paris. As some Aussies remain stranded, the Oz Government has upgraded travel advice, urging people to reconsider their need to visit the territory.

World News

More fuel for the economic debate

While it’s been all about the Budget this week, one figure popped yesterday, taking a few economists by surprise. Unemployment ticked up to 4.1% in April – that’s notable because the markets thought it would stay steady at 3.9%. The increase is due to more people looking for work despite heaps of new jobs being created last month (38,500). Welfare advocacy group ACOSS reckons it’s more proof of how tough things are as it slammed the Albanese Government’s $300 energy rebate for leaving some jobseekers worse off. Also adding to the debate is Coalition leader Peter Dutton… In his Budget reply last night, Dutton pledged to cut migration by a quarter and ban foreign investors from buying Aussie homes to free up housing if elected. He also reaffirmed his commitment to nuclear power and said a Coalition Government would tackle knife crime and toughen laws around domestic violence.

AusPol Australian News Economy


Federal Police are investigating a “large-scale” data breach at electronic prescription provider MediSecure. It might not be an organisation you’re familiar with, but your deets might be with them if you’ve received a prescription other than the paper one the doctor hands you in recent times… The company’s government contract ended late last year, but it’s not yet clear what information is exposed or the extent of the hack. Authorities have said it’s not on the same scale as the attack on Medibank in late 2022, which saw the personal health information of nearly 10 million customers leaked online. National Cyber Security Coordinator Lieutenant General Michelle McGuinness said she was informed on Wednesday afternoon and is working with other agencies to stem any damage.

Australian News Crime

Reliving the glory days

If you still get the warm/fuzzies remembering the Matildas’ World Cup campaign, it’s time to mark this next event in your forward planner… Australia’s just been confirmed as the host of 2026 Women’s Asian Cup – and given how quickly Tillies tickets sell out these days, you’ll probably want to get organised. The 12-nation tournament will be played in NSW, Queensland and Western Oz, and it’ll be the first time the high-profile tournament will be on home soil since 2006. Our gals have a bit to prove – they were knocked out in the quarter-final in the last Asian Cup in India in 2022 – but won it in 2010 in China. And while we’re talking women’s footy – what a start to the 3-match State of Origin series in the women’s rugby league last night, with NSW beating Queensland 22-12 in front of a record crowd of 25,492 at Brisbane’s Lang Park. Game 2’s in Newcastle on 6 June. Bring it on…

Australian News Sport

A controversial Cannes Cannes

Europe’s most glamorous film festival in Cannes, France, has kicked off – but what was supposed to be a year celebrating women, including Meryl Streep, could be the opposite with reports that a secret list of 10 abusive men in the film biz will be revealed. Reports say the “explosive” list includes top actors and directors, prompting festival organisers to have a crisis management team at the ready. So far the list hasn’t been made public, and the 77th year has continued with its usual glamour… That includes the red carpet – we’re big fans of Jane Fonda’s jumpsuit-trenchcoat combo, but can’t get past Greta Gerwig’s ‘hoof’ shoes… The most anticipated film is Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis, but if sci-fi’s not your thing, there are several movies featuring dogs as filmmakers have gone canine crazy… The festival runs until 25 May.

Entertainment World News

Friday Lites – 3 things we liked this week

Some of us aren’t huge Marvel/action genre fans around here, so forgive us for not quite getting the phenomenon that is Chris Hemsworth. But we’ve bridged the gap with this cover piece for Vanity Fair – as legendary director George Miller says, he’s “a way more complex, considered person than I’d ever imagined”. 

One keen Squizer (who fully supports our enthusiasm for Fat Bear Week and Bald Eagle webcams) got in touch this week to let us know about the Fish Doorbell… It’s a live feed from a camera below the surface of a river in the Dutch city of Utrecht. How the doorbell comes in is you’re encouraged to hit the button on the screen when you see a fish to alert a local council worker to open the lock, allowing the fish through. That’s important because it’s the season for the fish to get upstream to get it on… Our correspondent says they have the livestream on an extra screen in their office, just in case a fish comes by…

You know what’s needed right now? Some good meals in the freezer to help out on those weeknights where cooking and ordering food seems too hard. Good Food has put together a great selection here – one we’re making this weekend is this Bill Granger chicken/risoni soup recipe.

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

8.45am (AEST) – Australia’s Paralympic Team uniform for the Paris Olympics to be unveiled on the catwalk at Australian Fashion Week – Sydney

10.00am (ACST) – Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Minister for Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek to make an announcement about the future of hydrogen and critical minerals – SA

12.00pm (AEST) – Launch of the Salvos’ 2024 Red Shield Appeal – Sydney 

4.55pm (AEST) – Women’s Rugby Union: Pacific Four Series – Wallaroos v USA – Melbourne or stream here

6.00pm (AEST) – SEEDS documentary airs at the State Library of New South Wales with a Q&A with CEO Annabelle Chauncy, Head of Programs in Uganda, Janepher Nansubuga and Film Director and Producer Cameron D’Arcy to follow – Sydney

Squiz Today Podcasts – It’s our 6th birthday 🥳

New album by Billie Eilish – Hit Me Hard and Soft – to drop

NRL Magic Round (until 19 May) – Brisbane, or watch on 9Now

Motorsport – Supercars Championship – Perth Supersprint

National Work From Home Day

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 

World Hypertension Day 

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day  

Malcolm X Day – US 

World Baking Day

Pinot Grigio Day

Anniversary of:

  • the first rules of Australian Rules Football being published (1859)
  • the publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum (1900)
  • the World Health Organization removing homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses (1990)
  • the release of Minecraft (2009)
Squiz the Day

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