Friday, 5 July - I'm walking away

Good morning, it’s Friday, 5 July. In your Squiz Today…

  • Protesters breach Parliament House security

  • Bruce Lehrmann’s facing another trial

  • And no more koala cuddles… 🐨

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Squiz Sayings

“La dolce feeta.”

Is how singer Lily Allen is selling photos of her feet - and it will be the good life for her if/when she gets the estimated $240,000 a year for her pedi pics. It’s enough to put a spring in anyone’s step…

Problems in parliament

The Squiz

Four people - a woman and 3 men - have been charged after breaching the security of Canberra’s Parliament House to hang flags carrying pro-Palestine messages across the entrance yesterday. If you missed it, the footage of how the major security breach unfolded is quite something… The group has been charged with Commonwealth trespass offences. PM Anthony Albanese condemned their actions - he said “peaceful protest has an important place in our society, but this was not a peaceful protest”. Coalition Leader Peter Dutton called the flags “anti-Semitic” and said the group’s actions were “designed to inflict fear”.

What prompted it?

As you know, pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protests have been happening across our major cities since the 7 October Hamas attacks and the resulting Gaza war. And this week, the issue’s been in the spotlight after Western Australian Senator Fatima Payman fell out with her Labor Party over Palestinian statehood. She officially quit the party yesterday despite having what she says is support from “rank and file” party members. Ultimately, she says she felt too “pressured to conform to caucus solidarity and toe the party line”. Just on that, Labor members agree to stick together for parliamentary votes, so her action of crossing the floor to vote with the Greens last week broke that rule and made her the first Labor member in 18 years to do so. Payman says she’ll now sit on the crossbench as an independent.

I feel like it’s been a politics-heavy week…

Sure has, so let’s expand that thought to look overseas… Pressure keeps building on President Joe Biden to withdraw from the race and hand over the reins to a younger Democrat. The 81yo’s ability to do another term in the top job has long been discussed, but his much-criticised performance in the first debate against Republican rival Donald Trump last week took things to another level. Reports say Biden has told his Democratic allies he only has days to salvage his candidacy, and he’s pushing hard to do that… In a campaign email, he said “no one is pushing me out … I'm in this race to the end”. Speaking of election races - we’re waiting on UK results to start filtering in today. Then France’s run-off vote is also happening on Sunday - so it’s all systems go…

Squiz the Rest

A tragic end brings a dire warning

After a tense wait, Northern Territory Police delivered the “devastating news” they’d found the remains of a 12yo girl killed following a suspected crocodile attack yesterday. The girl went missing on Tuesday afternoon after swimming in Mango Creek, Palumpa - about 350km southwest of Darwin. Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson says police launched an “extensive search effort” via boat, helicopter and foot following reports the girl had been attacked. It’s the first time someone has been killed by a croc in the NT since 2018. Police Minister Brent Potter has authorised officers to “remove the crocodile” from the area if it’s found. The “devastating outcome” has shaken the local community and the officers involved, with Gibson saying it should act as a “salient reminder” that “waterways in the territory could always have crocodiles in them”. 

Another trial for Lehrmann

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann will stand trial once again, this time on 2 counts of rape, with Magistrate Mark Howden yesterday rejecting his argument that he had “no case to answer”. Lawyers for the 29yo tried to have the case thrown out, but 2 weeks after the complainant gave her evidence and was cross-examined in a closed court, Howden concluded that “a reasonable jury, properly instructed, could return a verdict of guilty”. The case will be heard in Lehrmann’s Queensland hometown of Toowoomba with the date TBD. The alleged offences occurred in October 2021, 2.5 years after he raped his former colleague Brittany Higgins inside Parliament House (according to Federal Court Justice Michael Lee anyway…). Lehrmann attended court by phone yesterday and when asked if he had anything to say about the charges, he said “not at this time”.

Pressure pushin' down on me

Just in case we needed any more information about how brutal the weather is for much of the country right now, a weather station in Tasmania recorded a record high pressure reading yesterday morning. The Sheffield outpost - about 23km inland of Devonport - reported 1044.6 hectopascals (hPa) at 10:30am, which if confirmed, beats the previous Australian record of 1044.3hPa at Launceston from way back in June 1967. If those numbers don’t mean anything to you, fair enough… To put it another way, the abnormally high pressure is partly to blame for all the recent cold weather bringing below-zero overnight temperatures and rainy days along the eastern seaboard. And it’s not done yet… Reports say another peak could occur tomorrow before easing off on Sunday. We'll take it as a sign that it's a good weekend for some slow-cooked lamb shanks

Back away from the koala

Chances are you’ve got a childhood snap with one of our national icons, but the long-held tradition of cuddling a koala is falling out of favour. Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the latest nature park to stop offering paying punters the chance to hold the marsupials in a move it says will "address increasing public demand" for "more immersive and educational experiences". That’s a very tactful explanation, but ecologists say koalas are naturally solitary creatures and holding them can induce stress. It might not sound like a big deal, but the practice is already strictly regulated and effectively banished in NSW, Victoria, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. But one of our most famous facilities is holding out… Australia Zoo - aka home of the late Steve Irwin - near Beerwah in Queensland still offers a $124 “cuddly koala encounter”. Perhaps it’s time our pollies found another awkward photo op

Serving up some serious style

The opening week of Wimbledon hasn’t been all strawberries ‘n cream for Aussie hopefuls with our singles players whittled down to the “devilishly good” Alex de Minaur and Alexei Popyrin. But if the on-court action isn’t doing it for you, the fashion is, well, ace… Wimbledon is famous for its strict all-white dress code, but this year female players are pushing the boundaries. World #2 Coco Gauff has sported a custom-made cut-out dress that some suspect is a homage to Serena Williams, while 4-time Grand Slam champ Naomi Osaka’s ruffle ensemblewouldn’t have looked out of place at the Met Gala”. It’s a far cry from the stuffy image of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, but a historical review proves that Wimbledon style has never been boring. If you need some colour in your life though, the courtside celebrity fashionistas are bringing it - including our very own Rebel Wilson.

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Friday Lites - 3 things we liked this week

Given we’re not sure how much longer she’ll be America’s First Lady, check out Dr Jill Biden’s Vogue cover story. It’s part election pitch and part insight into the work the woman behind President Joe Biden has been up to for the last 3 and a bit years…

We’ve mentioned the Disney+ series The Bear before, and now it’s back for season 3, it’s time to mention it again because it’s just as viscerally enjoyable as ever. The high-end cooking meets chaos vibe doesn’t fully kick in until episode 3 but when it does, it’s chef’s kiss worthy… 

And speaking of kitchen capers, if you reckon you’re a bit of a gourmand, it’s time to lean in and prove it with this epic white chicken chilli recipe. Yes, it has a lot of ingredients, but what else are you doing with your time on these wet, wintry weekends…?

Squiz the Day

9.30am (AEST) - BMX and Mountain biking teams for the Paris Olympics to be announced - Gold Coast

10.00am (AEST) - Queensland LNP Convention - Coalition leader Peter Dutton and Nationals leader David Littleproud to speak (on until 7 July) - Brisbane

10.30am (AEST) - Archery: The Aussie archery team heading to the Paris Olympics to be named - Sydney

7.30pm (AEST) - Women’s basketball: Opals v China in the second of 2 pre-Olympics friendlies - Melbourne and watch on Kayo

9.05pm (AEST) - Cycling: Tour de France, stage 7, Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin (a short one at 26km), and watch on SBS

NSW, ACT, SA, and Tassie schools finish up Term 2

ABS Data Release - Monthly Household Spending Indicator; May

Independence Day in Venezuela and Algeria

Anniversary of:

  • the launch of the famous luncheon meat Spam (1937)

  • the launch of the modern bikini (1946)

  • the premiere of Seinfeld (originally titled The Seinfeld Chronicles) (1989)

  • the founding of Amazon by Jeff Bezos (1994)

  • the WHO announcing the containment of SARS after affecting 26 countries and resulting in 774 deaths (2003)

  • the release of Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra (2011)

  • the release of an FBI report stating Hillary Clinton was "extremely careless" handling classified emails, but doesn't recommend prosecution (2016)

4.45pm (AEST) - Women’s rugby union: Australia v Fiji - Sydney, and make it a double-header with the Aussie men in action straight after…

7.45pm (AEST) - Men’s rugby union: Australia v Wales - Sydney

9.05pm (AEST) - Cycling: Tour de France, stage 8, Semur-en-Auxois to Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (176km), and watch on SBS

International Kissing Day 

Birthdays for the Dalai Lama (1935), George W Bush (1946), Sylvester Stallone (1946), Geoffrey Rush (1951) and 50 Cent (1975) 

Anniversary of:

  • the birthdays of Frida Kahlo (1907), Nancy Reagan (1921), and Hilary Mantel (1952) 

  • the release of Forrest Gump (1994) and Pokémon Go (2016)

9.05pm (AEST) - Cycling: Tour de France, stage 9, Troyes to Troyes (199km), and watch on SBS

The French National Assembly election part II - the second round of voting begins

NAIDOC Week (on until 14 June) 

Start of Islamic New Year (Al Hijri) 

Solomon Islands National Day

World Chocolate Day

Ringo Starr's birthday (1940)

Anniversary of:

  • Missouri becoming the first place sliced bread is sold (1928)

  • the death of Sherlock author Arthur Conan Doyle (1930)

  • the first Three Tenors concert featuring Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti in Rome (1990)

  • the London terrorist attacks that targeted commuters during the morning rush hour killing 56 and injuring 784 people (2005)

1.30am (AEST) - British Grand Prix - Towcester, England, and watch on Kayo