Squiz Today / 11 March 2024

Squiz Today – 11 March 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 6 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Look, I’m very young, energetic and handsome. What the hell am I doing this for?”

Joked US President Joe Biden in a new ad that’s part of a US$30 million blitz to convince Americans he’s not too old to keep the top job ahead of the November election. The 81yo might have lost some hair over the years, but not his sense of humour…

A plan to feed hungry Gazans

The Squiz

A US military ship is on the way to Gaza, carrying supplies to build a temporary aid port off the Palestinian territory’s coast. The plan is to construct a floating pier to allow much-needed humanitarian aid to be delivered by sea after land and air deliveries have proven difficult. It will take up to 60 days to build, but the Pentagon says the port could help 2 million meals get through to Gazans each day. It comes as US President Joe Biden said Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the war is “hurting Israel more than helping Israel”. He urged Netanyahu to “pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken”.

What’s happening with aid now?

The UN says more than half a million people in Gaza are facing “catastrophic” levels of starvation, and late last week, there were reports of a growing number of Palestinian children dying from starvation. Officials say fewer than 150 trucks have been reaching Gaza daily, but that needs to be “massively” scaled up to get to more than 2 million Palestinians. Several things are hindering access, but security checks and bottlenecks at border crossings are the main problems. Over the weekend, Canada and Sweden resumed funding to the UN’s main Palestinian aid agency UNRWA… That was after 16 countries, including Australia, suspended contributions after Israel accused staff of involvement in the 7 October Hamas attacks. Australia is yet to make a call on restoring at least $6 million to the agency.

What about the ceasefire?

Good question – there was lots of talk last week about an imminent ceasefire, including from Biden. That hasn’t panned out yet, although Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad says mediators are still pushing for a deal. Both Israel and Hamas are blaming each other for the hold-up… Hamas says it’s received no guarantee that Israel will permanently end the war and pull its troops from Gaza. But Israel says Hamas is dragging out the negotiations to stoke more fighting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which has just begun. There were hopes that a truce could be reached by the time Ramadan started, but world leaders are instead looking to head off any additional tensions spreading across the Middle East region.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Murder grips another Victorian town

Victorian Police are investigating after a woman’s body was found in a wheelie bin in the state’s southwest on Saturday. Young mother Chaithanya ‘Swetha’ Madhagani’s body was discovered inside a green waste bin in bushland at Buckley, about 37km west of Geelong. Police say the site is linked to another crime scene 86km away in Point Cook and have said that the people involved are known to one another and the alleged offender “may have fled overseas”. Madhagani’s husband Ashok Raj Varikuppala flew to India in recent days with the couple’s young son, but police have been tight-lipped about whether he’s a suspect. The state is no stranger to alleged violent crimes in recent times… Police are still searching for the body of Samantha Murphy, whose alleged killer Patrick Orren Stephenson was named on Friday.

Australian News Crime

Tell him he’s dreaming

That was the phrase Energy Minister Chris Bowen used as he slammed his political opponent’s claim that Oz could have nuclear power plants fully up and running within the next decade. But the Coalition’s Climate Change and Energy spokesman Ted O’Brien says the “best experts around the world” agree it is viable. Nuclear energy has become a big part of the debate on our energy supply. It’s currently banned due to environmental and health concerns and several famous disasters. But supporters say building reactors at old coal plant locations would save money as the sites come with poles and wires ready to distribute power and the storage needed to allow for times when wind/solar production is low. Coalition leader Peter Dutton is expected to announce a plan to convert retiring coal plants in NSW and Victoria into nuclear energy sites around Budget time in May.

AusPol Australian News

It’s hard to keep your cool

Millions of Aussies in Victoria, South Oz, the ACT and Tassie are having a sweaty long weekend as another heatwave scorches the southeast of the country. Yesterday, temperatures exceeded 40C in several areas, and they’re set to reach similar heights today. That’s seen Melbourne’s much-loved Moomba festival parade canned, with organisers saying the “hot, heavy costumes” put performers’ health at risk. And the Pitch Music & Arts Festival in the Grampians was cancelled due to extreme temperatures and a suspected overdose. Even Hobart locals sweltered through their hottest night in 112 years at 24.3C – well above the March average of 11C… A cool change is expected for many areas tomorrow, but that won’t help those in the north of the country who could face another cyclone this week as the next phase of the monsoon weather arrives. Hold onto your hat… 

Australian News Environment & Science Weather

A Mother’s Day fit for a princess

The Princess of Wales wished the UK a Happy Mother’s Day overnight, when she released a photo with her children. It’s the first official photograph released by Kensington Palace since her abdominal surgery, and it puts to bed rumours about her health. Princess Catherine is smiling with her three children in the pic, snapped by Prince William, and she thanked the public for their “kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” signing off neatly as “C.” A US gossip site recently published a paparazzi pic of the 42 y/o princess with her mother in Windsor – the first time she’s been seen since her mid-January surgery. Officially, she hasn’t appeared in public since Christmas, fuelling conspiracy theories about her well-being. Despite providing proof of life, the palace says the princess will continue to take it easy until after Easter.

World News

The best after the worst

The Razzie Awards have been run and done with the terrifying take on Winnie The Pooh declared the worst film of the year… As for more watchable fare, the 96th Academy Awards – aka the Oscars – are on this morning. Oppenheimer looks set to shine with 13 nominations, followed by Poor Things with 11 nods and Killers of the Flower Moon with 10. All 3 are up for Best Picture, as is Barbie, even though Aussie star Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig were overlooked. Ryan Gosling, who spoke out about the snub, will still be front and centre performing I’m Just Ken, which is up for Best Original Song. Watch all the glitz on Channel 7 from 10am Sydney time. And if that doesn’t do it for you, there’s always the Fido awards


Apropos of Nothing

It might be roasting at home, but 25yo Victorian Olympic ski champ Jakara Anthony has scored her 13th World Cup victory this season, making her the best in the world, ever. The 2022 Winter Olympics gold medalist was already a legend, but her wins racked up across Finland, Sweden, France, Georgia, Canada, the US, and Kazakhstan are quite something… 

At a less civilised skiing event, drunken fans ruined the moment for female cross-country skiers in Norway, where brawls broke out leaving 130 people in need of medical treatment. The winner – Sweden’s Frida Karlsson – was left confused as she was booed at the finish line…

And Marilyn Monroe is about to be brought back to life at the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas – 62 years after she died. An AI Marilyn will chit-chat with attendees in her trademark “breathy” voice. The company behind the tech ‘owns’ the likeness of several dead celebrities, so who knows where this ends… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Adelaide Cup Day 

Canberra Day 

Eight Hours Day (Tasmania)

Labour Day in (Victoria)

9.00am (AEDT) – AFR Live Business Summit 2024 (on until 12 March)

11.00am (AEDT) – The 2024 Oscars – Los Angeles, and broadcast live on Seven/7Plus

Ramadan (Islamic Holy Month) begins in Australia (on until 9 April) 

Australian Cider Day 

World Plumbing Day

Birthdays for Rupert Murdoch (1931), Benji and Joel Madden (1979) 

Anniversary of:

  • Liberal Party leader John Howard being sworn in as PM (1996)
  • the Madrid train bombings which killed 193 people (2004)
  • an earthquake and tsunami in Japan that triggered the 2nd-worst nuclear accident in history at Fukushima nuclear plant (2011) 
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping being appointed president for life (2018)
Squiz the Day

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