Wednesday, 3 July - Take the pressure down

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, 3 July. In your Squiz Today…

  • Albanese hits a rough patch

  • Trump marks a win

  • And why it “feels like” it’s freezing 🥶

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Squiz the Weather

Squiz Sayings

”His hands, his intangibles, his slice, his dinking: he has it all.”

Said Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrigos as he made a good impression for his thoughtful Wimbledon commentary on the BBC, which came as a bit of a shock to some observers. It’s discombobulating when someone you like/dislike changes your mind…

Albanese hits some rough seas

The Squiz

PM Anthony Albanese is copping it from all sides this week, but his biggest issue is coming from within his own party. The fallout from Western Australian Labor Senator Fatima Payman’s decision to cross the floor for a vote in favour of Palestinian statehood last week - and her resulting suspension from the Labor Party caucus - is still bubbling along… Then on international matters, Albanese is also facing criticism from the Coalition over his decision to skip next week’s North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) security summit. And on top of that, a news opinion poll reckons his approval rating as PM has dipped to a new low

Geez I thought I had a bit on… 

Indeed, but back to the PM… Reports say Albanese’s frustrated with the Payman issue and the fact it’s taken attention away from the Stage 3 tax cuts that came into play this week… To recap, she’s a first-term Labor Senator who broke the party’s rules on toeing the party line on parliamentary votes when she voted with the Greens last week. In response, Albanese opted to suspend - rather than expel - her. But Payman’s since claimed she’s been “exiled” from the party, and reports suggest she’s considering leaving the party altogether… Albanese’s colleagues have backed his handling of the issue - one is NDIS Minister Bill Shorten who says Labor members are “giving her space”. But some members of the Muslim community aren’t happy, and a political movement has been launched to “topple” Labor ministers at the next federal election. 

Is that it?

Not quite. The Albanese Government has also drawn the ire of sheep farmers over the phasing out of live sheep exports by sea by 2028… The legislation passed on Monday, and farmers and livestock industry leaders from Western Oz - which is the only state still allowing live sheep exports - say it’ll mean job losses for farmers, shearers and truckies working in the $143 million industry. National Farmers' Federation boss David Jochinke said the affected communities “have been sold out for political gain”... That’s because the legislation has been passed after years of lobbying from animal welfare groups and advocates after several high-profile instances of large numbers of animals dying onboard export ships. Those groups welcomed the news yesterday - Animals Australia said it was “history in the making”.

Squiz the Rest

A supremely controversial decision

The US Supreme Court’s decision to grant former/potential President Donald Trump immunity over some of his actions while in the top job has been labelled a “dangerous precedent” by current President Joe Biden. That was echoed by one of the 3 dissenting judges, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who says her colleagues have made the role of president “a king above the law”. Legal experts also expressed concerns about the ruling’s implications saying in the extreme, it could enable presidents to assassinate political rivals without consequence. And it’s already having an impact with Trump’s lawyers successfully arguing to have his hush money conviction sentencing delayed while they work out how the ruling could impact his case. Overnight, Judge Juan Merchan set a new sentencing date of 18 September. No wonder this week is being called the ultimate “summer bump” to Trump’s election campaign… 

Tick tock for big tech

In the push to protect kids from online harm, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant has given the tech industry a deadline to do better. Social media, adult websites, search engines, and others have until October to come up with a code for how they'll stop kids viewing adult content on their platforms/devices. That includes “reasonable efforts” to verify users’ age, safe search and parental controls, and filtering/blurring inappropriate content. Several industry bodies will be involved in the development of the new rules, which Grant says ensures “there isn’t a single point of failure”. But she’s also warned there will always be some “rogue” sites that “are never going to comply”. The new codes could be enforceable as soon as mid-2025. It comes as a new report has exposed the dangers of how graphic content has changed how young people treat their intimate partners.

Time for an urgent check-up

The latest report card on our health is in, and the news isn't good… For the first time in 3 decades, Australians' life expectancy has gone down by one month - the latest data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that's partly due to the lingering impact of COVID. Aussie men now live to an average of 81.2yo with heart disease the biggest killer, while women live to 85.3yo and are most likely to die from dementia. If that wasn't enough, the majority of us - about one in 6 - now live with at least one chronic condition which covers everything from anxiety to liver disease. That's despite us spending more on health - an average of $9,365 per person in 2021/22. Experts say it's "a phenomenon" we "need to keep an eye on", so let's hope our eyesight holds out…

A matter of perception… 

If like us, you see the morning weather forecast and immediately feel betrayed as soon as you step out the front door because it feels so much colder than they said, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) hears you… It’s planning a major redesign of its website, which will include a greater focus on the ‘feels like’ temperature to give us a more realistic idea of whether it’s a day for a singlet or a puffer jacket. As for how that’s determined, weather boffins say it’s all about “how the air will feel to the human body when factoring in relative humidity, moisture and wind speed”. That means for example, “the stronger the wind and the drier the air, the more heat is taken away from your body, so it feels colder and colder.” We knew we weren’t just being wusses…

Book it to the library

We know Squizers love a good read, and with the shortlist for the 2024 Miles Franklin Literary Award - aka our highest honour - announced, it’s time to dive in… The long list has been whittled down to just 6 contenders, representing the most diverse field ever. Four finalists are people of colour and 3 are women, including favourite Alexis Wright for Praiseworthy*, Sanya Rushdi for Hospital, and Jen Craig for Wall. If one of them wins, it will be the eighth year in a row the $60,000 prize has been taken out by a female author. But they’ve got stiff competition from Hossein Asgari for Only Sound Remains*, André Dao for Anam* and Gregory Day for The Bell of the World*. The winner will be announced on 1 August, but if you can’t wait until then, why not read them all and decide for yourself…

*Buy using this link and the Squiz may earn a little commission.

Apropos of Nothing

Commuting can be a bit of a slog, which is why transport authorities in the US city of Boston have tried to bring a smile to the dials of their customers by putting ‘googly eyes’ on the front of subway trains. Side note: is there anything funnier than googly eyes?

Maccas has reverted to old times, scaling back breakfast hours in Aussie stores due to the current egg shortage. It’s only temporary, but as of yesterday, brekkie service cuts off at 10.30am - and everyone calm down, you can still get your hands on a hash brown all day. 

And it’s many happy returns to Aussie rock legend John Farnham and his family who’ve been celebrating his 75th birthday by posting some rare photos since his cancer surgery in 2022. No doubt they were all Reminiscing on an epic life so far… 

Squiz the Day

12.00pm (AEST) - Tasmanian premier Jeremy Rockliff to give the CEDA state of the state address - Hobart

12.15pm (AEST) - Rugby Sevens: Australia’s rugby sevens men’s and women’s squads for the Paris Olympics will be announced - Sydney

12.30pm (AEST) - Australian Human Rights Commission President, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher, will address the National Press Club on 'Free + Equal: Safeguarding the rights of all Australians'

12.45pm (AEST) - The parliamentary inquiry into the live music industry in Australia will hold a second round of public hearings - Canberra

7.30pm (AEST) - National Press Gallery Federal Parliamentary Midwinter Ball - Canberra

9.20pm (AEST) - Cycling: Tour de France, stage 5, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Saint-Vulbas (177km) - France and watch on SBS

ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, May; Retail Trade, May 

Independence Day - Belarus

Plastic Bag Free Day

Birthdays for Tom Cruise (1962) and (no doubt an extra happy one) for Julian Assange (1971)

Anniversary of:

  • the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle ever fought on the American continent (1863)

  • Karl Benz driving the first automobile (1886)

  • the death of rocker Jim Morrison (1971)

  • the premiere of Back to the Future (1985)