Squiz Today / 16 January 2024

Squiz Today – 16 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“When you have polyamory with a robot, don’t think of a robot as looking all steely – a robot can be beautiful.” 

Said famed futurist Faith Popcorn while delivering her predicted trends for times ahead. As well as couples getting friendly with robots, she reckons we’ll be using hologram devices to beam 3D images of ourselves to places we can’t (or don’t want to) be. What a mixed bag the future is shaping up to be…

The US presidential race kicks up a gear…

The Squiz

It’s all systems go for US Republican presidential hopefuls as they make their last-ditch pitches to the party faithful in the midwestern state of Iowa. The state is hosting the first caucus that will see Republican supporters have their say on who the party’s presidential candidate should be to face off against the Democratic President Joe Biden on 5 November. Voting opened at more than 1,500 voting locations across Iowa overnight – just as the state is in the grip of an epic cold snap. And a result should be clear by mid-today our time. 

Any early hot tips?

You might be able to guess who led the final polls in Iowa – that would be former president Donald Trump with 48% of Iowan Republican voters’ support. His main competition comes from Nikki Haley – the former Governor of South Carolina and America’s UN Ambassador under Trump – who is mounting a challenge to Trump, but the polls have her at a distant second in the race. The latest polls have her at 20%, while former Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – another former Trump ally – is polling at 16%. 

Sounds like anything could happen…

Particularly because the weather is so awful. The candidates are urging voters to get out and have their say. “Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it,” Trump told supporters at a rally on Sunday. And it’s just the beginning… After this state-by-state process, there will be the party’s conferences in July and August to confirm the candidates, and then it’s on to the actual presidential campaign and election on 5 November. Here’s a timeline of all the key dates in case you’re playing along. And if you’re wondering about the Democrats, they are going through a similar process with President Biden and 2 others vying for their party’s nomination. It’s unlikely Biden will face any serious challenge as the incumbent, but there’s still a process to go through. Buckle up, it could be a bumpy ride…

World News

Squiz the Rest

An anxious wait

Families of 3 Israeli hostages are on edge after Hamas released a video showing the trio urging their government to stop the attacks on Gaza. The 37-second clip ended with a written message from their captors saying “Tomorrow we will inform you of their fate”. Since then, reports say a second video claims to show the bodies of 2 hostages – although it hasn’t been verified by Israeli officials. One of the women in the video is 26-year-old Noa Argamani – she was kidnapped by Hamas and taken away on the back of a motorcycle in one of the most unsettling images of the 7 October attack. In the new video, she says the other 2 were killed by “our own IDF strikes”. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Penny Wong has kicked off a visit to Jordan before she moves on to Israel. She’s due to meet the families of hostages as well as Palestinians impacted by Israeli settler violence in the West Bank.

World News

Gas gets the Green light

After a bruising legal battle, oil and gas company Santos has been given the go-ahead on a massive project off the coast of the Northern Territory. Indigenous groups in the Tiwi Islands had argued the $5.7 billion Barossa liquified natural gas development would cause irreparable harm to cultural heritage sites and dreaming places along the route of the 262km underwater pipeline. The case was brought to court by traditional owner Simon Munkara who claimed Santos had failed to consult with the community over their connection to the sea. But Justice Natalie Charlesworth was not convinced and has allowed Santos to proceed without revising its environmental plan. The project’s been in limbo since mid-2022 when the legal action began. Note: Woodside Petroleum is fighting a similar case over its $16.5 billion Scarborough gas project in Western Oz.


DIY for the ladies

It’s one of those doctor’s visits that isn’t a whale of a time but has to be done – but it probably won’t be long before there’s no need to see a doc for a pap smear. The stats show the new self-collected cervical screening test is taking off with usage skyrocketing 25-fold since it became more widely available in mid-2022. It’s a big win for women’s health because it could mean no more ‘this might feel a little uncomfortable’ speculum examinations – a procedure that puts some women off if they’ve had a bad experience or cultural objections. And that’s a problem because about 70% of the 800 women diagnosed with cervical cancer in Australia each year have either never had a test or were overdue for one. Until 2017, most women needed to be screened every 2 years – but that changed with better technology to every 5 years for low-risk cases.

Health Technology

Aussie Open aces the drama

It’s been the usual controversy-filled start to the tournament… Adding an extra day to the Aussie Open was meant to eliminate crazy late finishes, but it went pear-shaped on day one with defending women’s champion Aryna Sabalenka not serving her first ball until 11.41pm on Sunday night. Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic has his own complaint – he’s annoyed that fans are now allowed to walk around between points instead of having to wait for a change of ends. He reckons “I did not know about that new rule” and that it caused distraction. As for the latest results, former world #1 Naomi Osaka’s return to grand slam tennis has been cut short, being defeated in straight sets by French 16th seed Caroline Garcia. And Aussie Alex de Minaur is through to the second round after injured Canadian Milos Raonic dropped out of their match early.


Anne’s fashion moment

Well, here’s a royal fashion twist for you… Princess Anne has become the muse for Italian fashion house Fendi’s latest menswear collection. The ‘Town and Country’ collection was inspired by her military attire and her sustainable approach to fashion. Designer Silvia Venturini Fendi is a big fan saying “I fell in love with the style of Princess Anne, who, to my mind, is the most elegant woman in the world.” And it seems the Princess is not just a muse, but a fashion eco-warrior too. During a recent trip to Sri Lanka, she took a swipe at fast fashion and suggested a return to old-school tailors. According to Anne, “we need materials that can do more than one evolution of fashion”. All of which is a fine excuse to look at her back catalogue of fashion moments to see why she hit icon status…

World News

Apropos of Nothing

Speaking of fashion moments, Hollywood’s awards season fashion is a bit hit and miss for our money, so we were happy to see our own Barbie/Margot Robbie break the pink code for red at yesterday’s Critics Choice Awards.

It’s not all about King Fred – Asia’s most eligible royal is off the market after a 10-day wedding ceremony. Brunei’s Prince Abdul Mateen is worth around $45 billion dollars – and his bride Yang Mulia Anisha Rosnah has broken the hearts of his 2.6 million Insta followers…

Sooo fetch… Mean Girls topped the US box office over the weekend. The musical version of the 2004 movie just beat out the original in terms of takings, raking in about $40 million for its opening weekend. Pretty good considering it only cost slightly more than that to make…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

From 12.00pm (AEDT) – 75th Primetime Emmy Awards – Los Angeles, and broadcast live on Binge and Foxtel 

ABS Data Release – Overseas Arrivals and Departures, November

National Nothing Day in the US… A day to celebrate… nothing

A birthday for Kate Moss (1974)

Anniversary of:

  • the death of Australian photographer Frank Hurley (1962). Fascinating bloke.
  • Muammar Gaddafi taking over rule of Libya, 4 months after leading a coup against the monarchy (1970)
  • the premiere of BBC’s landmark nature series Life on Earth presented by David Attenborough (1979)
  • the US announcing the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait (1991)
Squiz the Day

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