Squiz Today / 15 June 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 15 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

You’ve gotta get up to get down.

Today’s listen time: 8.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Desk yoga”

Is the new wellness routine that India’s civil servants are being encouraged to take up to help them “refresh, de-stress and refocus” during their workday. It’s being touted as the new coffee break but some say that’s a bit of a stretch…

Happy birthday Mr President

Chinese President Xi Jinping turns 70yo today. Last year, he got an HBD phone call from his best friend, Russian President Vladimir Putin. This year, he’s getting the Socceroos v Argentina, with star player Lionel Messi included… For our purposes, we thought that given he’s China’s most consequential leader since communist founder Mao Zedong, and one of the world’s most powerful/disruptive figures, it’s a good time to zoom in on him and check out how relations with China are currently tracking.

Xi’s the son of Xi Zhongxun, a veteran first-generation Communist leader who made Mao irritate and was subjected to 16 years of harsh internal exile. As a teen, Xi was sent to work as an agricultural labourer, and he worked his way up the ranks of the Communist Party despite the hardship that had been inflicted on his family. Xi was elected President in 2013, and this year he began a historic third term as leader, cementing himself at the centre of the nation and its ambitions at home and abroad. But not everyone’s onboard… Critics say he has ruthlessly suppressed dissent and crushed human rights and free expression. He has also cracked down on foreign and domestic businesses, which many say has impaired the nation’s development in favour of security. And he has significantly changed China’s relationships with the world.

Well, aside from China’s ties with countries like Russia and Iran, you don’t have to scratch around too much to find experts pointing to the breakdown of US-China relations as a major issue – and how that, in turn, implicates the rest of the West. Add a potential military standoff over Taiwan to the mix, and it’s a powderkeg of tensions. But there is a positive development to point to – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Beijing on a diplomatic visit on Sunday, and many are waiting to see if the 2 countries can start papering over their issues… For Australia’s part, concerns about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific remain, but our relationship is getting back on track after a rocky few years. Our exports to the country hit a record high earlier this year after China started to loosen its trade restrictions on Aussie goods. Oh, and that soccer game? It’s on at 10pm (AEST) tonight.

Sport World News

Squiz the Rest

Search for missing Aussie hiker ends in tragedy

Brisbane woman Julia-Mary Lane has been found dead in the Canadian wilderness 3 days after she left on a hike. The 25yo was said to enjoy the outdoors and had been living in the western province of Alberta since January. Last week, she travelled to British Columbia for a week-long solo trip along the Bear Lake Trail. She was last seen alive on Saturday afternoon as she started her hike ​​, and after her housemate raised the alarm on Tuesday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police launched a search using dogs and a drone. Two hikers found her body on the trail yesterday. Authorities say her death is not considered suspicious as the evidence shows she accidentally lost her footing in what they called “some pretty steep terrain”. The Department of Foreign Affairs is assisting Lane’s family.

Australian News

Senator Thorpe withdraws her abuse claim

It’s been a bruising couple of days in federal parliament… Yesterday afternoon, Senator Lidia Thorpe accused Liberal Senator David Van of “harassing” and “sexually assaulting” her during his speech criticising the Labor Party for its handling of Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ sexual assault allegations. “I’m feeling really uncomfortable when a perpetrator is speaking about violence,” she said. During the exchange, Van denied the allegation, and Thorpe wouldn’t withdraw it – but last night, she did. She says she will have more to say about it today. Meanwhile, the Coalition’s campaign to find out what Finance Minister Katy Gallagher did with the early information she received about Higgins’ claims continues. Put under the griller again yesterday, she said she had been invited to Higgins’ fiancé David Sharaz’s first wedding in 2019 but did not attend.

AusPol Australian News

Ukraine makes some modest gains

Ukraine has made its biggest advances against Russian forces in 7 months in the early stages of its long-awaited counteroffensive, following independently-verified reports it has retaken the eastern village of Neskuchne. It’s one of several villages Ukraine says it has reclaimed from Russia in recent days, as both sides report heavy fighting in the eastern Donetsk and southern Zaporizhzhia regions. Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky’s claims of early success, saying Ukraine had suffered more “catastrophic” losses than Russia. In his most detailed remarks on the war in recent months, Putin suggested his military could seize more Ukrainian land along the Russian border but said he wasn’t planning on mobilising more troops. But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said while it was still “early days”, Ukraine is “making progress”.

World News

Kyrgios’s low point

Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has revealed he was self-harming and had thoughts of ending his own life when he was admitted for psychiatric care in London following his 2nd round Wimbledon loss to Rafael Nadal in 2019. In a new episode of the Netflix doco series Point Break due next week, the Canberran said he’d isolated himself from his loved ones and struggled with substance abuse because he “couldn’t deal with” the “all-eyes-on-you expectation”. He added that he’s never felt “really accepted” in the tennis world and that “people confuse my confidence for arrogance at times because they have no idea what I’ve gone through”. It was a bit of a turning point, though and after taking 7 months off to recover from knee surgery, Kyrgios played his comeback match at the Stuttgart Open on Tuesday, losing in the first round to China’s Yibing Wu. He later tweeted, “Be patient with me my fans please… It’s a process to get back to where I was.”

Need help?

Australian News Sport

Vale Cormac McCarthy

The famed author was 89yo, and his people say he died of natural causes at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Yesterday, fellow author Stephen King called him “maybe the greatest American novelist of my time” – and he certainly was successful. Penning 12 novels, 2 plays, 5 screenplays, and 3 short stories during his decades-long career, McCarthy won the National Book Award in 1992 with All The Pretty Horses, a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road, and the film based on his No Country for Old Men won the Oscar for best picture in 2008. As his New York Times obituary notes, his specialty was writing about outsiders who inhabited the American frontier and post-apocalyptic worlds. “I was always attracted to people who enjoyed a perilous lifestyle,” McCarthy said in a rare interview. His preferred subject matter was far from cheery, but he was a beautiful writer who dodged flowery language. Note: All The Pretty Horses is our favourite book of all time…

Australian News

Apropos of nothing

A giant prehistoric skink that was as big as a human arm has been dubbed the ‘Mega Chonk’ by Aussie researchers after they discovered its fossil in NSW’s Wellington Caves. These days the ‘lil lizards measure about 10cm…

If you know the difference between turquoise, lapis and cerulean, US Vogue is looking for a new style assistant to work with editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The Devil Wears Prada author  Lauren Weisberger based the book on her own experience in the job, so great/tough times await…

And something Miranda Priestly/Anna Wintour probably wouldn’t be too impressed with is this microscopic handbag that resembles a real Louis Vuitton design. Ludicrously capacious it ain’t…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00pm (AEST) – Men’s Soccer – International Friendly – Australia v Argentina – Beijing

ABS Data Release – Labour Force, May; 2021 Census Update of the Net Interstate Migration Model 2020-21; National, state and territory population December 2022

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Global Wind Day (meteorological, not flatulence…)

International Working Animal Day

2023 Walkley Awards

Birthdays for Xi Jinping (1953) and Neil Patrick Harris (1973)

Anniversary of:
• the signing of the Magna Carta (1215)
• France surrendering to Nazi Germany, which occupied Paris (1940)
• the premiere of Disney’s The Lion King (1994)
• Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes being charged with fraud (2018)

Squiz the Day

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