Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The fight against fake news; Belgium’s shot-putting hurdler; Aussie women’s Ashes victory; and pets flying first class. 


Shot putter runs the hurdles:

Jet-setting pets:


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(SQUIZ-E HOWL) … oh hello! It’s Squiz-E the Newshound .. what are you doing here in The Lowdown?

What? Really? The Australian government is stepping up the fight against fake news? Why – that’s excellent news! 

The Federal Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland has announced that social media platforms could be hit with millions of dollars worth of fines if they repeatedly fail to take action against misinformation.

That means, if new laws are passed here in Australia, Facebook or Instagram or Twitter could be fined millions if they continually allow misinformation – or fake news – to flourish on their platforms. 

Why is this a thing? Because, as any of you who have started our Newshounds media literacy program will already know – there is unfortunately a lot of information out there on the internet that is simply not true. It’s why Squiz-E reminds us every week to STOP THINK and CHECK before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. 

If the law passes and the fines are imposed, Australia will join countries in the European Union as being among the most advanced when it comes to fighting fake news. And that’s something to be really proud of. 

Meanwhile: if you want your class to join the 1300 other classrooms around Australia currently listening to our free, eight-part media literacy podcast series, called Newshounds – then hop on over to our website, and get involved.

(HOWL) Yeah – you said it, Squiz-E.



Each day we give the word globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Poland … where a shot putter has competed in a hurdles race.

When her home country, Belgium, was going to be disqualified for not fielding a competitor in the 100m hurdles at the European athletic championships this week, shot put and hammer throwing champ Jolien Boumkwo stepped up to the starting line.

Never mind that she was twice the size of the other competitors – or that she hadn’t spent her professional sporting life practising the hurdles – Jolien was determined to stand in for two of her hurdling team-mates who had been forced out of the event due to injury.

As the video I’ve linked to in today’s episode notes shows: Jolien approached every hurdle with caution, and carefully hopped over them. And though she finished last – 32 seconds behind the winner of the race – she achieved something just as important as the winner: namely, proving that sometimes just taking part in a sport is something to be proud of. 

Jolien – Squiz Kids Salutes you. 




Dogs travelling first class on aeroplanes? Cats getting comfy in full-sized reclining seats designed for humans on private jets? That’s what’s happening in the skies above your head as more and more pets are travelling in the cabins of private jet charters.

For a measly $40,000 your pet can have its own seat on a private plane from Melbourne to London.

And on a recent pet flight, there were 19 humans, one cat and 23 dogs cooped up in a plane cabin for almost 24 hours. Poor cat …

According to the company that offers these pet flying services – all the animals got along really well – even using the toilet area that had been set up at the back of the plane. Eugh.

Normally when pets fly between countries, they do it in crates in the cargo hold of the plane. Now, if you’ve got the cash, they’re able to do it next to you. Window or aisle seat? Chicken, fish or dog bone?




And it’s a special Squiz Kids Salutes this morning to the Australian women’s cricket team – who smashed England in the Womens’ Ashes Test match in England yesterday morning.

In front of a record crowd for a women’s Test match in England, the Aussie bowler Ash Gardner was unstoppable, claiming eight wickets for 66 runs in the fourth innings to wrap up the sole Ashes Test.

Want more stats to underscore how awesome this team is? Gardner’s 12 wickets across all innings is the best of all time by an Australian woman. Take a bow, Ash.

The win comes as the Aussie men’s cricket team pad up today in London for the second Ashes Test – fresh from their remarkable victory in the first Test Match.

All things considered: a good couple of days for Aussie cricket … 


This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. From which country was the shot putter who conquered the hurdles?
  2. How much does it cost to send your pet on a private jet from Melbourne to London?
  3. What’s the name of the Aussie women’s cricketer who bowled an impressive 8/66 in the Ashes Test in England?





It’s June 28 – the second window of pre-sale tickets for Tay Tay’s Aussie concert tour goes on sale today …aagggh … please be kind to your parents, kids – they’re doing the best they can …


Today is also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … 

Tyson from Tarrington, Isabella from North Ainslie, Caleb from Yeoval, Evie from Shoreham, Mia from Bankstown, Amelia from Albany Hills, Annabelle from Millthorpe, Bridie from Gulgong, Chloe from Holsworthy, Ava from Burleigh and Sophie from Carlingford. 


Belated shout outs go to… Isabella from Harrington Park, 


Classroom Shoutouts today go to … Class 4E and Mrs Erich at Westdale Public School in Tamworth, class 7S and Mr A at Dubbo College the Delroy Campus, the students at Northfield Primary School in Adelaide, class 6L and Ms Le Ray at Lakes Grammar School in Warnervale, class 5/6M and Miss Merryfield at Turvey Park Public School in Wagga Wagga, Room 7 and Mrs Bonwick at Bicton Primary School and lastly to class 6W and Mrs Ross at Our Lady of Fatima Primary School in Caringbah. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Belgium
  2. $40,000
  3. Ash Gardner