Monday, 1 July - Strawberries on a summer evenin’

Recognising everyday heroes with the Fred Awards

Good morning, it’s Monday, 1 July. In your Squiz Today…

  • US President Joe Biden’s under pressure

  • A deadly bus crash in Queensland

  • And Balmoral Castle opens the gates… 🏰

🎧 Listen to the podcast

🤓 This email will take you 5 minutes to read

Squiz the Weather

Squiz Sayings

"I was so nervous because of how slippery it was."

Said Max Allen, who won this year’s greasy pole competition in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He managed to walk along the 14-metre oiled-up telephone pole to capture the flag at the end before falling into the sea. It certainly beats trying to climb the greasy pole

Biden on the ropes

The Squiz

US President Joe Biden’s widely panned performance in Friday’s presidential election debate against his predecessor/Republican challenger Donald Trump, has his own side considering a replacement. Time magazine captured the panic of many Democrats after the 90-minute debate in which Biden stumbled, often losing track of what he was saying. The 81yo leader acknowledged his shortcomings at a rally the next day saying, “I know I’m not a young man … I don’t debate as well as I used to”. But he also dug in, fired up from the criticism saying, "When you get knocked down, you get back up".

Crikey, so what now?

Well, the Democrats haven’t yet named Biden as their nominee - that’s set to happen at the Democratic National Convention in 8 weeks' time, but they could force him out if another candidate steps up… Vice President Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer have all been floated, but given the primary elections held around America backed Biden, it’s a tricky one. Biden’s biggest supporters still back him, including former President Barack Obama, who tweeted: “Bad debate nights happen. Trust me, I know”. Meanwhile, Trump is on a high with a CNN poll showing 67% of voters thought he won the debate as the 78yo labelled Biden’s performance “grossly incompetent” and a “trainwreck”. 

Isn’t there another election today?

Yep, hold onto your beret… Voters in France have gone to the polls overnight in what could prove to be a historic election with right-wingers closer to power than at any other time in recent history. Polls show the National Rally (RN) party is well ahead following their successful run in the European parliamentary elections, prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to call the snap election. If RN manages to secure a majority in the lower house - which would make 28yo Jordan Bardella the new prime minister - Macron will have a tough time of it because the pair do not gel politically. Like, at all... Depending on the results, which will be coming through this morning, there could be a run-off vote next Sunday.

*Check out this Squiz Shortcut for more on the French election and what it means for Europe.

Nominate a mate for the Fred Awards

The Fred Hollows Foundation has opened nominations for the 2024 Fred Awards, celebrating everyday humanitarians across Australia who embody kindness, compassion and integrity. People like 80-year-old Laurel were nominated last year for delivering meals within her local community of Liverpool in Sydney for 28 years. If you know someone like Laurel, nominations are open and close on Sunday, 21 July. To learn more, visit

Squiz the Rest

A deadly collision in Queensland

At least 3 women are dead and 4 men are in hospital - 2 in a critical condition - after a bus and a 4WD towing a caravan crashed on the Bruce Highway in Queensland’s Whitsundays region yesterday. Superintendent Graeme Paine from Queensland Police said the victims and the injured were all passengers on the Greyhound bus, which was carrying 33 people from Bowen to Townsville. Reports say the crash happened in a 100km/h zone and the impact sent the caravan through the bus's windscreen and into the cabin. Paine said it was clear there was a "very significant impact and very significant consequences". The nearby rail line, along with the highway, was closed for several hours resulting in long delays for travellers. Road experts have long been calling for upgrades to the Bruce Highway, where 149 people lost their lives between 2018 and 2022. 

Keeping up the pressure

US officials are pushing for updates to a draft ceasefire deal to get Israeli and Hamas authorities back on board and restart negotiations on its 3-step plan to release Israeli hostages, withdraw Israeli troops from Gaza, and establish a permanent ceasefire. The bit Israel and Hamas disagree on is related to what they can negotiate during the second step… Hamas wants to focus on the return of Palestinian prisoners, and Israel wants to talk about demilitarising Gaza. Reports say if Hamas agrees to the new wording, “it will allow [them] to close the deal”. Here at home, Western Australian Labor Senator Fatima Payman has been “indefinitely suspended” from the party’s caucus after saying she’d cross the floor again to vote on Palestinian statehood. She narrowly avoided punishment for doing so (and breaking party rules…) last week.

New financial year, new you… 

A pinch and a punch for the first day of the month/new financial year, and brace yourself because there are more than a couple of things happening, including a rise in your employer’s superannuation payments and a boost to parental leave. The Albanese Government’s Stage 3 tax cuts are also kicking in, leaving every working Aussie with more in their pay packet. Given concerns about how that extra $100 billion in consumers’ wallets could affect inflation - particularly after it rose to 4% in May - Treasurer Jim Chalmers says he’s “confident” that the “future trajectory of inflation” is on track. The Coalition doesn’t agree, so there could be more debate about that in the federal parliament this week… Less taxing is the swearing-in of our new Governor-General Sam Mostyn this morning - she’s scored a massive pay rise for her new gig… 

‘Tis the season for strawberries and cream

And some tennis, of course… Wimbledon gets underway tonight with 14 Aussies competing in this year’s grass court tournament… Top of the list is world #9 Alex ‘Demon’ de Minaur - who’s considered to be our best hope after reaching the quarter-finals in the French Open last month. He’s facing a tricky draw - so how far he’ll get is anyone’s guess… On the women’s side, 2-time Australian Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic received a wildcard entry - so fingers crossed for her. A couple of Aussie Open champs - men’s world #1 Jannik Sinner and women’s world #3 Aryna Sabalenka - are favourites to win their respective comps, but Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, Iga Świątek and Elena Rybakina are also in the mix. Meanwhile, it’s not clear if Andy Murray will make it to the court after undergoing surgery - but fans are hoping he does as this will be his last hurrah at the All England Club…

If these walls could talk…

Scotland’s Balmoral Castle was Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite holiday home and her place of death in 2022 - and now a lucky few members of the public will be allowed inside for the first time in its 167-year history. Only 3,400 tickets priced from $190 went on sale for the “bespoke” 50-minute tours of 7 rooms which start today, and they sold out in less than 24 hours. There won’t be any royal selfies as visitors must surrender their phones, but thanks to sneak-peek reports, we can have a gander at the sumptuous decor from afar… That includes 22 stuffed stag heads, swathes of the Royal Stewart tartan, and a giant dinner gong. And the monarch doesn’t mind the intrusion, with the estate's manager saying, “It’s a magnificent place, I think the King wants people to see [it].”

Apropos of Nothing

We’d never heard of a kinkajou before, but after one was rescued on a Washington state highway - far from its natural rainforest habitat - take a moment to appreciate how cute these animals (which are a bit like a cross between a monkey and a tiny bear) are. Altogether now, aww…

Coldplay has made history at the Glastonbury festival by becoming the first band ever to headline the mud-filled spectacular 5 times… But even frontman Chris Martin was upstaged in front of the 100,000-strong crowd when Michael J Fox made a surprise cameo

And Mexico City has hosted a big gay wedding where 147 same-sex couples tied the knot at the same time in mass nuptials as part of Pride Month celebrations. The annual event isn’t just economical - it’s also designed to recognise the LGBT struggle for equality. Felicidades…

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) - Jimmy Lai’s son, Sebastien Lai, along with human rights lawyers Jennifer Robinson (who represented Julian Assange) and Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC will address the National Press Club on 'The Trial of Jimmy Lai, Press Freedom and Democracy in Hong Kong'

1.00pm (AWST) - Hockey: The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos squads for the Paris Olympics will be announced - Perth

2.00pm (AEST) - Rowing: The paralympic rowing team will be announced for the Paris Paralympics - Canberra

7.15pm (AEST) - Cycling: Tour de France stage 3, Piacenza to Turin (229 km), and watch on SBS

8.00pm (AEST) - Wimbledon begins (on until 14 July) - London, and watch on 9Now

Both Houses sitting (until 4 July) - Canberra

Governor-General Hurley's term ends and Samantha Mostyn’s begins

Territory Day - Northern Territory 

Canada Day - marking the anniversary of the foundation of Canada (1867)

Independence Day in Rwanda

International Chicken Wing Day

Birthdays for Debbie Harry (1945), John Farnham (1949), and Daniel Ricciardo (1989)

Anniversary of:

  • Princess Diana’s birthday (1961)

  • SOS morse code signal becoming the worldwide standard for help (1908)

  • The beginning of the Battle of the Somme, one of the biggest battles of WWI (1916)

  • The founding of the Chinese Communist Party (1921)

  • The Sony Walkman being launched (1979)

  • The establishment of the International Criminal Court (2002)

  • Marlon Brando’s death (2004)