Friday, 28 June - My heart will go on

Good morning, it’s Friday, 28 June. In your Squiz Today…

  • The first US presidential debate kicks off

  • Our Olympians get a funding boost

  • And Marilyn’s Monroe’s home saved from the wrecking ball…

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Squiz the Weather

Squiz Sayings

“They came out firing and I think that’s what we lacked from the very get-go.”

Said Sky Blues co-captain Isabelle Kelly after the Queensland Maroons crushed the hopes of the NSW Sky Blues to clinch the decider 22-6 in the first ever Women’s State of Origin series. Revenge is sweet…

A debate between 2 old rivals

The Squiz 

After months of campaign rallies, personal legal dramas and jabs about each other’s age, the Trump v Biden showdown round 2 is about to begin… At 11am eastern time today, you can tune in to the first of 2 presidential debates - the second is in September - between Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and his Republican challenger Donald Trump. It’s a big deal not just because of the personalities involved, but also as it’s the first time a sitting and former president have faced off. And with polls showing the US November election could go either way, there’s everything to play for. CNN is hosting the 90-minute event, with anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash asking the questions.

So what can we expect?

It’s their first public debate in 4 years and there’s a new set of pre-agreed rules. Microphones will be muted unless it's their turn to speak, there’ll be no studio audience, no props or pre-written notes will be allowed, and team consultations are also out. Reports say the new rules are to make the debate more issues-focused, rather than full of the personal attacks that defined their last meeting. Even so, experts reckon we’re “going to see some fireworks". Reports say Biden’s been madly prepping at Camp David, transforming an aeroplane hangar into "a mock debate stage", while Trump says campaign rallies are "the best strategy" to get ready. The big issues will be America’s involvement in Ukraine and Gaza, abortion, immigration, cost of living and crime rates. But also expect more personal jibes about Biden’s fitness at 81yo, and 78yo Trump’s ongoing legal dramas.

Anything else?

Well yes… if all that wasn’t enough across the Atlantic, UK Conservative PM Rishi Sunak and his Labour opponent Keir Starmer have completed their final pre-election debate ahead of next Thursday’s election. Televised in front of a live audience, the pair clashed over their tax plans, border controls, the cost of living and women-only spaces. The pressure is on for Sunak as polls suggest the Tory government is all but facing a wipeout. But before we find out if that will happen, across the Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron’s snap election gamble will kick off this Sunday in the first of two rounds of voting. A massive shakeup for the whole of Europe could be on the cards if Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party wins enough votes to install her protégé, 28yo Jordan Bardella as PM. Zut alors

Acting on a time crunch

As another financial year comes to an end, there's something workers need to do - and it's not tax related... Today, ask your employer if your personal development budget has been spent. If it hasn't, the good people at NIDA Corporate Training have a suggestion to support your growth at work. Their Prologue by NIDA communication course aims to empower the next generation of leaders, creators and teams with the essential soft skills for handling the hard situations. It's available to purchase online now, and the course can be completed at any time, anywhere. Check it out here.

Squiz the Rest

A record-breaking funding boost

With just a few weeks until the Paris Olympics begin, the federal government has caught gold-medal fever - announcing a record breaking funding package for sports and elite athletes. PM Anthony Albanese and Sports Minister Anika Wells are set to unveil details of the $489 million package today, which aims to help cash-strapped sports and athletes struggling with high travel costs, coaching and support ahead of the Brisbane games in 2032. It'll be made up of a $283 million boost for high-performance sports over the next 2 years, and the government will also double its previous investment in paralympic sports and athletes. Athletes are also in line for $17.6 million in additional direct funding to help with travel and competition costs. Albanese said the nation is "so proud" of our athletes heading to Paris. "And my government is backing Aussie athletes with record funding," he said.

A big bill for a big case

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann has been ordered to cough up $2 million for Network Ten’s legal costs after his failed defamation suit in the Federal Court. Ten says the actual cost was $3.6 million - but it had offered a discount. That might have something to do with Lehrmann’s tricky financial situation… Yesterday, Justice Michael Lee, who presided over the case, said Lehrmann - whose own lawyers worked for him on a “no win, no fee” basis - probably wouldn’t be able to pay up. “The applicant is a man of modest means,” Lee said. To remind you, Lehrmann sued Network Ten/presenter Lisa Wilkinson for defamation over an interview with his former colleague Brittany Higgins, but Justice Lee ultimately ruled in favour of Ten. Lehrmann’s dispute with his former landlord over allegedly unpaid rent and property damage is in court next Thursday - so more bills could be coming…

Clutching the purse strings

New data shows the highest number of mortgage holders are falling behind on their payments in 8 years, with credit rating agency Fitch pointing the finger at the Reserve Bank’s interest rate hikes. And given inflation is going in the wrong direction - rising to 4% in May, up from 3.6% in April - mortgagees probably won’t feel much relief anytime soon, particularly if we see another rate rise. The Coalition’s Home Affairs spokesman James Paterson criticised the Albanese Government yesterday, saying it had “let loose the purse strings”. Finance Minister Katy Gallagher denied that, saying although “inflation is remaining higher than we would like”, it isn't unusual to see “a bit of movement up and down”. In the meantime, the stage 3 tax cuts, which kick in on Monday, might provide some relief - but the jury’s out on what impact it will have on inflation…

A tough pill to swallow

It turns out starting our day by popping a multivitamin may not be as beneficial as we think… A team of US government researchers ran a huge study of 400,000 adults - none of whom had any major health problems - over 2 decades to see if taking a daily multivitamin increased their longevity. But they found those taking them were slightly more likely to die in the study period. They didn't outright blame multivitamins, but say their "use to improve longevity is not supported". The Australian Medical Association has long warned that it simply gives people “very expensive urine”. Our $5 billion vitamin/supplement industry is thriving - but experts are warning people to beware of products claiming to cure anxiety, with one brand of mushroom gummies recalled nationally following the hospitalisation of more than 8 people. An apple a day might be the way to go…

Don’t bother to knock

Fans of Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe are celebrating after the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to make the home where she lived and died a historical landmark, preventing it from being bulldozed. The decision follows months of battling between the council and the homeowners after a couple bought the house last year, planning to knock it down so they could expand their estate next door in the ritzy Brentwood neighbourhood. Council member Traci Park led the charge saying, "There's no other person or place in the city of Los Angeles as iconic” and to "lose this piece of history…would be a devastating blow for historic preservation." But the owners aren’t too pleased, with their lawyers accusing the council of conducting “backroom machinations” to keep the home standing. Sounds like some like it not…

Wanna be in the Saturday Squiz?

After watching the footage of Prince William cutting loose at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour we’re wondering... What's your dance style?

Click to cast your vote and tell us how you like to move it move it. We'll share 3 responses in tomorrow's newsletter.

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Here’s a little reminder of Prince William’s dance moves… And if you want to see the poll results in Saturday’s newsletter - sign up here.

Friday Lites - 3 things we liked this week

It’s another celeb/notable person documentary to recommend this week… I am: Celine Dion on Prime is not what we expected - the focus is her health troubles (which are significant) and how they’ve robbed her of the ability to sing in the way she does best - belting out a power ballad. Make it a contender for your weekend watching. 

The Missing Campers Trial podcast has been running for a while, but with Gregory Lynn convicted this week of Carol Clay's murder while being acquitted of Russell Hill's, it's a great way to get up to speed on this very unusual case and the equally unusual verdict.

If the recent cold snap has you looking for ways to warm yourself up, this Drunken Dumplings recipe might hit the spot. Think laksa and dumplings all in one… We’re also digging this unique take on chai tea. It’s naturally sweet, making it perfect for after dinner.

Squiz the Day

6.00am (AEST) - Basketball: NBA draft, second round - NYC

8.00am (AEST) - Treasurer Jim Chalmers will address the A50 Australian Economic Forum - Sydney

8.30am (AEST) - The case of former Australian Test Cricketer Michael Slater is back in court. He’s charged with domestic violence and assault - Maroochydore, Qld

9.00am (AEST) - Meta, TikTok, Snap Inc and Google to front the Government’s parliamentary inquiry into social media - Canberra

11.00am (AEST) - US President Joe Biden and Donald Trump go head to head in the first presidential debate in Georgia, watch on Channel 7, 9Now or SBS on Demand

3.00pm (AEST) - Parliamentary inquiry into major defence projects sits - Canberra

7.30pm (AEST) - Rumour Has It, the stage show about Adele, opens in Melbourne

Term 2 ends for school kids in Victoria and Western Australia 

ABS data release, household and family projections 2021-2046

Iran presidential election

Matariki - the new year in the Māori lunar calendar


Birthdays for Mel Brooks (1926), Kathy Bates (1948), John Cusack (1966), and Elon Musk (1971)

Anniversary of:

  • Catherine the Great declaring herself sovereign ruler of Russia (1762)

  • the coronation of Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey (1838)

  • the patenting of the saxophone by Antoine-Joseph “Adolfe” Sax (1846)

  • the last stand of the Kelly Gang at Glenrowan (1880)

  • the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (1914)

  • the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, ending WWI and establishing the League of Nations (1919)

10.00am (AEST) - National Indigenous Art Fair 2024 (until 30 June) - Sydney

8.00pm (AEST) - 2024 Tour de France begins for the first time in its 111-year history from Florence, Italy and broadcast live on SBS

Mauritania presidential election

Anniversary of:

  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London burning down during a performance of Henry VIII (1613)

  • the birthdays of Australian gangster Joseph “Squizzy” Taylor (1888). He was indirectly involved in the naming of The Squiz…

  • the start of apartheid in South Africa (1949)

  • Marilyn Monroe’s marriage to playwright Arthur Miller (1956)

  • the deaths of actors Lana Turner (1995) and Katherine Hepburn (2003) 

12.30am (AEST) - Cricket: T20 World Cup Final, South Africa v (TBC) - Barbados

8.15pm (AEST) - 2024 Tour de France stage 2, from Cecenatico, Italy and broadcast live on SBS

11.00pm (AEST) - Motorsport: F1 Austrian Grand Prix - Spielberg, Austria, and watch on Fox

EOFY 2023-24

France snap election - first round of voting

Independence Day - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Social Media Day

Birthdays for Murray Cook (1960), Mike Tyson (1966), and Michael Phelps (1985) 

Anniversary of:

  • the world’s first emergency telephone number (999) being introduced in London (1937)

  • the first appearance of Superman in DC Comics’ Action Comics Series issue #1 (1938)

  • Donald Trump becoming the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea (2019)

  • the Hong Kong national security law coming into effect (2020)