Squiz Today / 11 December 2023

Squiz Today – 11 December 2023

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“We are not going to eat donuts every day.”

Said a spokesman for France’s National Confederation of French Bakeries as Krispy Kreme opens up shop in the land of internationally celebrated baked goods. With more than 1,100 bakeries in Paris alone, the locals say they’re not worried about the American imposter…

Palaszczuk calls time

Palaszczuk calls time

The Squiz

After nearly 9 years in the top job, Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called it quits, announcing she will step down as premier this week and leave the parliament by the end of December. “I have given everything, but now is the time for me to find out what else life has to offer,” she said through tears yesterday. Palaszczuk was the first woman to become a state premier from opposition and the first to win 3 elections. Yesterday, she said that “standing up for the people of Queensland has been the honour of my life.” 

What did she do with her time at the top? 

Palaszczuk was first elected Queensland’s premier back in 2015, which she said was “like climbing Mount Everest” because Labor held 7 out of 89 seats going into that campaign against the Liberal-National Party (LNP) and Campbell Newman. For that win and the 2 that followed, PM Anthony Albanese said that Palaszczuk would retire a “Labor hero”. She was also a hero to the state’s sports nuts after leading a successful bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games. And let’s not forget COVID – Palaszczuk’s hardline approach to the state’s closed border was a feature of those times. But in recent months there have been persistent murmurings about her leadership as moves to crack down on youth crime tarnished her popularity. In early December, one poll had her net likeability at negative 17

What happens next?

Palaszczuk has endorsed her deputy Steven Miles, saying he’d “make an excellent premier”. But Miles isn’t the only name in the race – Treasurer Cameron Dick and Health Minister Shannon Fentiman are also in the mix. Queensland’s Labor MPs will meet tonight to kick off proceedings to find a replacement. Whoever wins will have a tough run in next year’s October state election – a recent poll put the LNP at 37% support, with Labor at 33%. The LNP leader is David Crisafulli – yesterday, he said that Palaszczuk’s time as the state’s leader “deserves acknowledgement and respect”.

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Pushback grows after the UN’s ceasefire vote fails 

Supporters of the United Nations Security Council’s resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza have condemned the US after it was the only council member to vote against it on Saturday morning. The final vote was 13-1, with the UK abstaining – but it’s notable that allies France and Japan voted in favour. The US and Israel believe a ceasefire would benefit Hamas. As for what’s next, Israel says it will keep on keeping on with its airstrikes and ground invasion of Gaza in order to eliminate Hamas. In Gaza, the Hamas-run health ministry says the death toll in Gaza has passed 17,700 people. And a senior UN official said half of Gaza’s population is starving as conditions make aid deliveries “almost impossible”.

World News

A new plan for migration

We don’t know what it is yet, but Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil will set us straight today… What it’s about is reducing immigration to “sustainable levels” that “enables Australia to get the skills that we need” while also ensuring there’s enough housing and infrastructure for those who live here, PM Anthony Albanese says. We’ve already heard some details about higher English language requirements for international students. As another teaser, Treasurer Jim Chalmers yesterday said the government will hit foreign investors with tax hikes if they have residential property in Australia that’s left empty. Chalmers says the government wants them to rent out their ‘ghost properties’ to help address Australia’s housing shortage. “This is about boosting housing stock and getting more homes onto the rental market,” he said. Nationals leader David Littleproud says it won’t do much because foreign investors can afford the higher fees


How’s the weather?

It’s a topic that might have come up in the past few days… In NSW, temps have eased after a heatwave sent pretty much everyone to their local beach/pool/river/dam on Saturday. The highest temperature recorded was 43.6C in Penrith until a cool change swept through in the evening. More than 80 bushfires were burning across NSW yesterday, while in Western Australia’s midwest, firies have been battling a blaze in the Chapman Valley region – with an emergency-level warning issued yesterday for those in Howatharra and White Peak, and some residents told to evacuate. It was a different story altogether in South Australia, where some parts of the state were drenched with 2 months of rain in 24 hours… As for Queensland and Tropical Cyclone Jasper – it’s weakened to a category 2 storm, but it’s still likely to cause strong winds north of Gladstone before it makes landfall mid-week. It’s going to be a long few days there… 

Australian News Environment & Science

A slick scheme 

When you think “lucrative criminal enterprise”, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) might not be the first thing that comes to mind… European authorities are cracking down on gangs cashing in on the “liquid gold’s” popularity with fake/lesser quality substitutes. Anyone who’s opened a Mediterranean cookbook would know EVOO is a prized ingredient, with countries like Spain, Italy and Greece producing about 67% of the world’s supply. Globally, it’s a $33.8 billion industry that’s tipped to grow faster than you can say ‘olive tree’ over the next decade… Europol has arrested 11 people to date – they’ve been accused of selling fake EVOO containing sunflower and canola oils for up to $45/litre in the US. And they went to some bother… Europol officers say they used chlorophyll and beta-carotene to give the fraudulent oil its traditional hues. 


Knocking it out of the park

How’s this for a payday: Japanese baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani has signed a US$700 million/10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers – it’s easily the biggest contract in American sports history. The next closest was for Patrick Mahomes, an NFL quarterback who scored a $450 million/10-year deal in 2021. As for why there’s so much fuss around Ohtani, his agent called him “a unique, historic player”, referring to the fact that he’s simultaneously one of the best batters and pitchers in the sport. Usually players are lucky to be one or the other. Ohtani’s star power also makes him a guaranteed ticket-seller, and an opportunity for the team to score new fans in Japan… In his Instagram post announcing the decision, Ohtani said, “I apologise for taking so long to come to a decision” and that he would “always do what’s best” for his new team. He might like to start by shouting his new teammates a round at the bar – or a car… 


Apropos of Nothing

Speaking of expensive sports stars, 38yo Portuguese football superstar Christiano Ronaldo has ticked off another milestone – playing his 1,200th professional match. He helped his team to a 4-1 win on Friday with his league-leading 16th goal of the season. 

A mysterious space case appears to have been solved, with a space-grown tomato that went missing on the International Space Station 8 months ago suddenly reappearing. It means US astronaut Francisco Rubio is off the hook – he’d been accused of snaffling it for a snack…

The Royals have sent out their season’s wishes in the form of family Christmas cards… King Charles and Queen Camilla’s was snapped on coronation day, while William and Kate have gone for a more casual family vibe that’s been compared to something that could be taken at the mall…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEDT) – The Helen Clark Foundation hosts a conversation with Malcolm Turnbull covering ‘a wide range of topics’ – webinar

1.00pm (AEDT) – Papua New Guinea PM James Marape addresses the Lowy Institute about his strategic priorities – Sydney

6.30pm (AEDT) – Presentation of the Newcombe Medal and the Australian Tennis Awards – Melbourne 

Victorian Year 12 students get their ATAR results

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare will meet with state and territory education ministers to kick off negotiations for the next National School Reform Agreement – Sydney

International Mountain Day 

National Tango Day – Argentina 

A birthday for media personality/cake baker extraordinaire Hamish Blake (1981)

Anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (1946)


Midnight (AEDT) – Announcement of the nominees for the 81st Annual Golden Globes

Squiz the Day

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