Squiz Today / 14 July 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 14 July

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Today’s listen time: 8.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Don’t worry, I am told there will be subtitles.”

Joked actor/producer/honourary Welshman Ryan Reynolds about his plan to bring Welsh language telly to the United States via his own TV channel. On ‘Welsh Wednesdays’, viewers can watch shows like Y Wal Goch and Ystwyth Vets, which sound… fun?

Thailand on edge

Thailand’s Pita Limjaroenrat – the leader of the youth-led Move Forward Party – might have won the most lower house seats in May’s election and successfully formed a coalition, but last night he failed to be confirmed as the nation’s PM. He has vowed not to quit in his quest to lead Thailand after he was defeated – despite being the only candidate. Pita fell 51 votes short in the vote of both houses of the parliament as conservative forces closed ranks to keep the progressives at bay. It’s the latest twist in Thailand’s colourful politics featuring coups, court interventions, and massive protests.

Prayuth Chan-ocha – the former army chief who came to power in a 2014 coup and leader of the United Thai Nation party – lost May’s election, taking 36 of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives. It was a thumping… There was record-high voter turnout and massive wins for the opposition parties, with Move Forward claiming 151 seats. Pheu Thai – the party led by Paetongtarn, the daughter of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra – claimed 141 seats. But the incumbent military-backed government was never entirely out of the game because of a military-era rewriting of the constitution which gives the Senate an outsized say over who becomes Thailand’s PM. That parliamentary vote happened late yesterday, and Pita didn’t get the numbers, despite teaming up with Pheu Thai and 6 other minor parties.

Well, the country needs a leader… It was a big day for Thai politics because Prayuth announced his retirement from politics. He’s promised to stay on as the caretaker PM until a new government is formed. Another 2 rounds of voting have been put down for mid-next week, and the 42yo US-educated Pita can nominate again. If that doesn’t resolve things, analysts reckon widespread protests could follow… Pita’s certainly not giving up – last night, he said “I will not surrender and will use this time to garner more support.” But he is fighting an uphill battle to win enough support in the Senate, given Move Forward’s platform to remove the military from politics, dismantle business monopolies, and change the law that hands out long jail terms for insulting the monarchy. Until next week…

World News

Squiz the Rest

An election closer to home

Voters in the federal electorate of Fadden will head to the polling booths for a by-election tomorrow following Morrison Government minister Stuart Robert’s resignation in May. If you’re one of those lucky enough to live in that northern part of the Goldie, the important details are here, but to cover the basics… Gold Coast City Councillor Cameron Caldwell is favoured to retain the seat for the Liberal-National Party, helped along by the party’s healthy 10.6% margin. His closest rival is Labor’s Letitia Del Fabbro – and there are 11 other candidates for voters to choose from… Labor’s campaign has focused on Robert’s alleged wrongdoings while in office, drawing voters’ attention to his part in the Robodebt scandal and claims of kickbacks. May the best democracy sausage win…


Talk about a BBC drama…

One of England’s best-known news presenters Huw Edwards has been named as the BBC employee who allegedly paid a teenager for nasty pics – claims that have now been squashed. His wife Vicky Flind made the revelation yesterday in a statement saying the 61yo was in hospital with “serious mental health issues”. The veteran TV anchor previously shared his long history of depression, and Flind said he will address the allegations when he is well enough to do so. Speculation ran wild this week after tabloid newspaper The Sun published allegations that an unnamed leading BBC presenter had paid a young person £35,000 (A$67,177) for the pictures over 3 years, starting when the person was 17yo. But the alleged victim later denied the incident had occurred, and police confirmed they are taking no further action. His employer is restarting its investigation into claims of inappropriate behaviour towards some younger staff members.

World News

Musk launches a new AI firm

Elon Musk has bounced back from an, ahem, recent hit to business courtesy of another tech billionaire… Yesterday, he announced the launch of his latest venture: an artificial intelligence startup to rival ChatGPT. Sticking by his love of the letter ‘x’, the firm’s called xAI, and its website is up and running. It isn’t the first time Musk has dived into the world of AI – 8 years ago was the biggest funder/on the board of OpenAI, the mob behind ChatGPT. But he’s not ‘rah-rah AI’… A couple of months ago, he voiced his concerns that the technology could lead to “civilisation destruction” and said it needs regulation. These days, he says he’s formed xAI “to understand reality” and wants to use it to create a “maximally curious” AI model rather than explicitly programming it to be morally sound. Consider us maximally curious about what that could lead to…


Getting to the pointy end of Wimbledon

Where did that fortnight go? The Wimbledon finals are already upon us, and while there are no Aussies left in the singles, there’s plenty of action to know about. For the men, a showdown between world #1 Carlos Alcaraz and legend Novak Djokovic could be on the cards – they must win their games today to make it into Sunday’s final. Note: there was some drama after Alcaraz admitted his father “probably” filmed Djokovic’s training session yesterday, though he said he was just “a huge fan of tennis”… On the other side of the drawer, Czech Marketa Vondrousova has become the first unseeded woman in the Open era to make the final of Wimbledon. She will play sixth seed Ons Jabeur – she’s from Tunisia and hopes to become the first African woman to win a grand slam tournament. That game’s on tomorrow night.


Dinner for the girls

We’re not ones for gender stereotypes, but we do believe in being literate about the trends to encourage cross-generational comms. So what’s the latest TikTok thing to know about? It’s the concept of ‘girl dinner’… The New York Times defines it as “an aesthetically pleasing Lunchable: an artfully arranged pile of snacks that, when consumed in high enough volume, constitutes a meal.” It can include anything from a simplified cheese platter to a packet of chips and an icy pole, and many reckon it’s very relatable… Even food icon Nigella Lawson weighed in, saying they’re called “picky bits” where she’s from. Like any viral trend, it has its critics – some say girl dinners glorify problematic behaviours, but others say it’s more about not having to cook and wash up. And if you’re wondering what a boy dinner is, it includes frozen pizza, deli meats and grilled steak. There’s not a vegetable in sight…

Culture Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Stop the press – we’ve updated our pillowcases to these nice velvet ones… Not the ones you sleep on, the ones that go on top of that for show/propping yourself up to read.

If you’re in Brissie between now and early October, head to the Gallery of Modern Art for an exhibition of Michael Zavros’s work. He’s a good friend of a friend so we’ve decided he’s our friend – and that means he’s our favourite artist. Which is fitting, because the exhibition is called ‘The Favourite’…

And to cook – we made this beef brisket mid-week and shredded it up for tacos (following the recipe for the meat, not the accompaniments, although they look great, too…). Oh stop it, we’re not amazing/clever… All you need is the time for it to marinate and then cook – beyond that, it’s crazy simple and great for a weekend dinner.

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

7.30pm (AEST) – Women’s Soccer – International Friendlies – Australia v France – Melbourne

Matariki – or Maori New Year – public holiday is held in New Zealand

Bastille Day – France, marking the anniversary of the beginning of the French Revolution with the fall of the Bastille Prison (1789)

International Non-Binary People’s Day

Start of Darwin Fringe Festival (until 23 July)

Start of Boulia Camel Races (until 16 July) – Warenda, Queensland

Birthdays for Anna Bligh (1960), Jane Lynch (1960), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (1985), and Conor McGregor (1988)

Anniversary of New Zealand holding its first general election (1853)

Squiz the Day

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