Squiz Today / 12 January 2024

Squiz Today – 12 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 8.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“What a fine young man!”

Said one internet commenter about France’s newly-appointed PM. At 34yo, he’s the youngest in history and also the first openly gay French PM. And as far as French cuisine goes, he is quite the dish…

All eyes on Our Mary

The Squiz  

The final preparations for the proclamation of a new head of the Danish royal family are being made. Frederik, the Crown Prince of Denmark, will become King on Sunday afternoon (aka the wee hours of Monday morning for us). And more importantly (to us, anyway…), Mary Donaldson, the Tassie-born Crown Princess of Denmark, will make history as the first Australian to become a Queen. She’s credited with “breathing new life” into the family when she joined it 20 years ago, so it’s an exciting time. 

Back it up a bit… 

Queen Margrethe II announced she would step down from the throne in her New Year’s address almost 2 weeks ago, making her the first Danish royal to do so in nearly 900 years. It was a shock because the 83yo planned to rule for life, but Margrethe pointed to her age and health as reasons for handing over the reins. She chose Sunday for her abdication because it marks the 52nd anniversary of her own crowning. It’ll be a bittersweet day for Danes… Despite being known as one of the world’s grumpiest royals (and the ‘Ashtray Queen’ for her lifelong smoking habit that she only recently quit…), Margrethe has been a much-loved monarch with a reputation for straight-talking. She also pursued her interest in art and design while raising a family and dealing with an unhappy husband – so she’s had a bit on the go… 

So what’s the plan for Sunday?

The order of events has official proceedings starting at 1.30pm in Copenhagen. The handover is a low-key affair – don’t expect a lavish service like King Charles’ coronation with world leaders and celebrities galore. Instead, at 2pm (midnight AEDT), Queen Margrethe will sign a declaration of abdication in front of Danish PM Mette Frederiksen, Crown Prince Frederik and his son Prince Christian (aka the incoming Crown Prince). At 3pm, Frederik and Mary will step onto the balcony at Christiansborg Palace, where Frederiksen will proclaim them King and Queen Consort. And it wouldn’t be a Royal event without a bit of extravagance on show… A huge fireworks display will mark the new era. What not to expect – any tribute to Mary’s Australian roots – she’s a fully signed-up Dane these days… But her sister Jane – who is a pharmacist in Hobart – will make the trip to be by her side on Sunday. ‘‘I am enormously proud of my sister,” she said ahead of the big day. 

World News

Squiz the Rest

Violence rocks PNG

Papua New Guinea is seeing escalating violence and political instability following a police strike over a payroll issue that has seen a good chunk of their salaries unpaid. With no cops on the beat on Wednesday, uncontrolled riots led to 16 deaths, looting and significant damage to businesses in Port Moresby and PNG’s second-largest city Lae. National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop says the unrest is at an “unprecedented level“. PM James Marape is under pressure to resign over the dispute with police, but he is standing firm and urged locals not to take to the streets and “do anything and everything they feel”. Marape doesn’t have long to sort it out… A grace period preventing a vote of no confidence in his leadership will expire next month.

World News

Putting their voting foot down

The United Nations Security Council yesterday demanded an immediate stop to the attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on commercial ships in the Red Sea. The resolution passed with an 11-0 vote, and it also calls for the release of a Japanese-owned ship seized by the Houthis back in November. The rebels, who are backed by Iran, say their attacks are a response to Israel’s war on the Hamas terror group in Gaza. The Red Sea is a major trade route with an estimated $1.5 trillion in goods passing through each year, and the attacks have forced many shipping companies to take a longer/pricier route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Yesterday, the US and UK hinted at potential military action against the Houthi rebels, so watch this space…

World News

A big election to be aware of…

Taiwan’s nearly 20 million voters will choose a new president tomorrow, and wildcard candidate Ko Wen-je is the name to know. His off-the-cuff humour and knack for stirring the pot has seen Ko build a big online following, and that’s made life difficult for frontrunners Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (the incumbent party) and Kuomintang candidate Hou You-yi. “We have taken people by surprise,” said Cynthia Wu, who’s running to be Ko’s deputy. Dali Yang, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, reckons Ko’s influence will only grow after the election, even if he doesn’t win. As for what’s ahead for whoever lands the top job – it’s a lot about managing relations with China, Taiwan’s biggest threat/largest trade partner. And they have to keep Western leaders onside, particularly given the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea.

World News

No pressure, Alex…

As the Australian Open serves off on Sunday, Aussie 10th seed Alex de Minaur is shouldering the hopes of the nation. He’s recently notched up wins over some top-10 players, and he’ll need to be in top form from the get-go with the tournament draw released yesterday revealing he will start off against Canadian/former world #3 Milos Raonic. But if being in the right headspace is half the battle, Raonic better look out because de Minaur says it’s been “a goal of mine for a while to make the deep end of the slams … so why not this Australian Open coming up?” And in the women’s draw, world #1 Iga Swiatek hasn’t got an easy run either, with some top players returning from pregnancy or injury. Are you wondering what Nick Kyrgios is up to this time around? He will commentate for broadcaster Eurosport alongside Boris Becker, a bloke he really doesn’t get along with. Yikes… 


Apropos of Nothing

Our New Year’s resolution for 2024 was to get back into reading for pleasure, and we’ve already inhaled 2 books (from the super easy/fun Thursday Murder Club* series). If you’re the competitive type, you might enjoy this analysis of how much you have to read to be considered a top reader. 

Speaking of the New Year (and we promise this is the last you’ll hear of it), watching CNN’s renowned/serious journalist Anderson Cooper giggle his head off during a live cross to singer John Mayer in a cat cafe in Japan is still making us laugh. 

The most serious cooking we’ve done in the past fortnight was to make these pork/lemongrass meatballs. They go with some rice vermicelli and salady bits with a zingy dressing. Delish…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11:10am (ACDT) – the Tour Down Under begins with the women’s race in Hahndorf, South Australia – you can stream it live 7Plus

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator, November

Birthdays for author Haruki Murakami (1949), Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (1964), singer Zayn Malik (1993)

Anniversary of:

  • Josef Dzhugashvili first using the pseudonym Stalin (“man of steel”) in a letter penned to the newspaper Social Democrat (1913)
  • the founding of Timely Comics (later Marvel) by New York publisher Martin Goodman (1939)
  • the death of British crime novelist Agatha Christie (1976)
  • an earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people (2010)

2024 Taiwan General Election

Birthdays for actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1961), Patrick Dempsey (1966) and Orlando Bloom (1977)

Anniversary of:

  • the death of Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon/Princess Margaret’s ex (2017)
  • the false emergency alert warning of an impending missile strike on Hawaii (2018)

11:00am (AEDT) – the first matches of the Australian Open 2024 begin

World Logic Day 

Anniversary of:

  • the first successful caesarean section operation (1794)
  • the deaths of Lewis Carroll (1898), Dorothea Mackellar (1968) and Alan Rickman (2016)
  • the establishment of the Reserve Bank of Australia (1960)
  • the birthday of Joy McKean, the grand lady of Australian country music (1930)


1:00am (AEDT) – Denmark’s new King and Queen will be proclaimed

Squiz the Day

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