Tuesday, 9 July - Baby we were born to run

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, 9 July. In your Squiz Today…

  • France’s shock election result

  • A snap curfew in Alice Springs

  • And the next generation falling for romance novels… 💌

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Squiz the Weather

Squiz Sayings

"I definitely made it a lot harder than I probably should have.”

Said Alex de Minaur after forging ahead in his Wimbledon campaign, beating Frenchman Arthur Fils in a gritty 4 setter and making the quarter finals at the All England Club for the first time. Fans were concerned because he appeared to be limping after match point, but he shrugged it off, saying “I’ll be alright.” You’ve got this Demon!

France says ‘non’ to the far-right

The Squiz

After the polls tipped that France’s snap election would usher in the far-right National Rally (RN) party to power, yesterday’s results proved that things don’t always play out as predicted… Instead, French voters turned out in droves to give the leftist coalition formed only 3 weeks ago - the New Popular Front - the most seats in the country's General Assembly. President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance came in second, followed by RN. No party won a majority, so a coalition will need to be negotiated, bringing a plethora of issues… The vote did see a swing to the left, but the whole exercise highlighted the divisions within France, which led to rioting and protests as the votes rolled in.

So what happened to the National Rally? 

Plenty of people are trying to work out what happened, including RN party members and their leader, Jordan Bardella - the 28yo who was hoping to become the new PM… Yesterday, Bardella said a “dishonourable alliance” has “deprived the French people” of his party's rule. What he's pointing to is candidates from Macron's alliance and the left dropping out of the running in many seats to ensure the defeat of RN. And if you're wondering what all of this means for the Paris Olympics which kick off in a fortnight, incumbent PM Gabriel Attal has offered to lead a caretaker government for the next few weeks to provide some stability. That offer might come in handy, given Macron says he’s not in a rush to name the next PM.

What does it mean more broadly?

Well, analysts say the fact that France is facing a hung parliament - split between 3 parties with hugely different platforms - means it could be in for some difficult years of trying to pass new legislation. And because France plays a big part in the European Union, others have pointed out it could also cause headaches across an already-tense political environment in Europe… France is also a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (aka NATO) - which is a nice segue, given its annual summit is kicking off in Washington DC tonight. All eyes will be on US President Joe Biden’s mental fitness, given he’s still facing pressure to drop out of the presidential race. That’s of interest to the 32 European/North American NATO member countries because Republican candidate Donald Trump isn’t a huge NATO fan. Watch this space…

News Club on a shift in our politics…

Each week for News Club we pick a topic, use our expert lens to sift through the news, and curate a banger list of recommendations that get you across it. And this week’s newsletter is all about Senator Fatima Payman’s decision to quit the Labor Party after she crossed the floor on a Greens’ Senate motion backing Palestinian statehood. It’s a topic of conversation that’s hanging around, because the issues extend further than one senator.

PS: If a weekly curated list of reading, watching, listening recommendations on a news topic sounds like your cup of tea - click here to get it in your inbox.

Squiz the Rest

Russia launches deadly strikes on Ukraine

…And on the eve of that NATO meeting where Ukraine will be a major topic, Russia has bombarded Ukraine with missile attacks, killing at least 31 and injuring 100. The strikes hit the captital Kyiv - where a children's hospital was targeted - and 4 other cities in daylight hours yesterday, reducing buildings and homes to rubble. At least 7 people died in Kyiv, in what was described as one of the "worst attacks" on the capital since the start of the Russian invasion as so many people were on the streets. Other cities hit include Pokrovsk in eastern Ukraine and Kryviy Rih, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is from. "The whole world should use all its determination to finally put an end to the Russian strikes", Zelensky said. The attacks came as world leaders prepare to gather for the NATO Summit, where support of Ukraine - who wants to be a member - will be high on the agenda. 

A state of shock

NSW Premier Chris Minns says the whole state has been left with a “deep wound” after 3 young children died in a house fire at the hands of their father in western Sydney’s Lalor Park on Sunday morning. The 28yo man is in an induced coma in hospital, but Minns says he will face “the most serious charges on offer” for the “horrifying and senseless act”. Four other children were rescued by a neighbour who says he followed his instincts to help. They and their 29yo mother are recovering from their injuries. As the ongoing discussion about domestic and family violence continues, researchers say 2 women have been diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after years of abuse. CTE usually affects elite sportspeople after repeated head knocks, but experts say the findings highlight the importance of screening DV victims for CTE.

Cracking down on crime

It’s déjà vu for Alice Springs, which has been put under a new overnight curfew following a spate of violent incidents over the weekend. NT Police Commissioner Michael Murphy says he feels “obliged” to protect public safety using his powers to issue snap curfews that were introduced under new laws in May. The restrictions run from 10pm-6am for 3 nights starting last night, and unlike last time, apply to “all classes of people” - aka adults and children. It comes at an awkward time as the city is currently hosting numerous NAIDOC week events. Local Labor MP Marion Scrymgour backed the move but the Coalition’s Indigenous affairs spokesperson Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price - also a local - says the focus should be on “underlying” issues (paywall), including high rates of domestic and family violence. A decision on whether to extend the curfew will be made mid-week. 

Fly like the wind

Aussie middle distance runner Jess Hull has hit her stride at just the right time - running the fifth-fastest 1,500m in history at an Olympic warm-up event in Paris. Hull broke the Australian record by 5 seconds with a time of 3:50:83 - but she still came home behind Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, who set a new world record time of 3:49.04. Ukrainian high-jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh has also sent an ominous warning to her rivals - breaking a 37-year-old record in the women's high jump by leaping 2.10 metres. Not enjoying such a dream run into the Games are our Boomers - aka the men's basketball team. The Aussie side has drawn a super tough group stage - with Olympic veteran Andrew Bogut even calling it the “pool of death”. The Boomers have to face #2 ranked Spain as well as an in-form Greece and Canada just to make it to the knockout phase… 

The new young romantics

We know Squizers love a saucy read, but teens are also getting into bodice rippers as a new trend of romance novel recommendations is taking YouTube by storm… A growing number of ‘BookTubers’ are being increasingly discovered by younger generations. They say that contrary to the stereotype of teens having unrealistic expectations of relationships, it helps them explore emotions on a deeper level from various perspectives. But romance author/academic Dr Jodi McAlister says the trend is nothing new, as many of us find it "psychologically useful" to know the book we're about to read will have a happy ending, providing comfort in times of uncertainty. And despite romance novels often being dismissed as cheesy or trashy, "we all care about hope, love, joy, comfort, pleasure". We're on that page...

Apropos of Nothing - Dramatic travel edition

If you thought long-haul flights were a pain, imagine one without any podcasts or videos to pass the time… The latest TikTok craze has young men challenging themselves to exactly that - although they’re making time to film themselves between the hours of nothingness…

If you’re a foodie heading on hols to Japan, you might like to put Osaka on your itinerary… The city, known as 'the kitchen of Japan', has a local saying: "Kuidaore", which loosely translates as "eat in Osaka like you're going to go bankrupt". Sounds good to us…

And if you’re heading to Barcelona, you might want to pack a waterproof jacket. Mass tourism protesters in Spain’s capital have taken some extreme measures to get their point across - including squirting visitors with water pistols at popular tourist spots.

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEST) - The 15th International Congress on Mathematical Education (considered the Maths Olympics), held every 4 years - Sydney 

12.00pm (AEST) - NSW Energy Market Outlook (a CEDA event) with NSW Energy Minister Penny Sharpe and others to give an update on the state’s energy market - Sydney 

12.30pm (AEST) - Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to address the National Press Club on national risk assessments along with Brendan Thomas, the CEO of regulator AUSTRAC - Canberra

8pm (AEST) - Tennis: Aussies Ash Barty & Casey Dellacqua to partner up at Wimbledon in a legends doubles exhibition round robin - London, and watch on Stan Sport

NATO Summit begins (on until 11 July) - Washington DC 

Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of actor Alec Baldwin over the involuntary manslaughter of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while filming the movie Rust - Santa Fe

ABS Data Release - Underemployed workers, Feb; Job participation, Feb

Independence Day in Argentina and South Sudan

Constitution Day - commemorating when the Constitution of Australia was approved in 1900

Anniversary of:

  • the first Wimbledon tennis championship (1877)

  • the premiere of the original UK version of The Office (2001)

5.00am (AEST) - Soccer: Euro 2024 semi-final Spain v France - Munich, and watch on Optus Sport