Squiz Today / 22 January 2024

Squiz Today – 22 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10.15 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I would give 60 points out of 100 – we barely passed the test.”

Japan became the fifth country to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon on Saturday, but officials are gloomy about a solar panel problem causing the probe to run low on power. It’s made the mission one small step but not the giant leap they’d hoped for…

The heat is on…

The Squiz

Large parts of the country sweated through a scorching weekend – and a shoutout to Paraburdoo in Western Oz’s Pilbara region, which got close to 50C yesterday. It’s been a rollercoaster of weather events over the last couple of months – the Bureau of Meteorology says several concurrent climate drivers are behind the hot/wet/cyclonic conditions that won’t ease up anytime soon.

Umm cyclonic?

Yep. A big storm is strengthening off the Queensland coast, with meteorologists tipping it will turn into a tropical cyclone today – it has pre-emptively been named Kirrily. Forecasters say it’s expected to make landfall as a Category 3 storm on Wednesday or Thursday between Cooktown and Mackay, with locals told to prepare for more heavy rainfall. The region is still mopping up after Tropical Cyclone Jasper, and residents forced to evacuate in December say they’re nervous about what Kirrily might bring. “The ground’s still pretty wet, they’ve had a lot of rain this past week as well, so it’s a wait-and-see game,” said one local who headed to family in Victoria after the last cyclone went through.

And what’s happening elsewhere?

The Top End and central Northern Territory are experiencing massive floods thanks to heavier-than-usual monsoonal rains. The Defence Force is preparing to help communities cut off by flooding along the Victoria River, which is closing in on flood records set in 1991. And with 500km of the Stuart Highway cut off along with rail lines, supermarket shelves are bare… NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler says “if the road network remains closed, contingencies including alternative transportation methods or routes will be considered”. And in Western Oz, South Oz and NSW, geez, it’s been a hot weekend… The BOM says “older people, babies, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with medical conditions and people who are unwell” should continue to be careful this week with high temperatures persisting in many parts. Right in time for a long weekend…

Australian News Weather

Squiz the Rest

Tensions pile on top of tensions

Leading the pack is Iran’s accusation that Israel is behind an airstrike on Damascus in Syria on Saturday that killed senior Iranian military figures. Iran’s promised to retaliate, and reports say it’s planning to launch attacks with its own forces instead of using fighters it supports in the region. Also on Saturday, a US air base in western Iraq was hit by heavy fire from what officials said were Iran-backed militants. Analysts say the 2 incidents point to growing volatility in the Middle East. As for the Gaza war, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is insisting his nation will have security control over the Palestinian territories after Hamas is brought to heel. That’s not what the US and many Western nations want to see – they believe a future Palestinian state existing peacefully alongside Israel is the best way to ensure stability in the region. According to the Hamas-run health ministry, more than 25,000 people have now been killed in Gaza.

World News

Getting the politics party started

PM Anthony Albanese called an urgent caucus meeting on Wednesday to go through some cost-of-living solutions. As for what those are – insert shrugging lady emoji – but Treasury has been asked to provide some ideas that don’t add to inflation. Last weekend, News Corp published a poll of 1,000 Aussies, with 74% nominating cost of living as their #1 priority. Further to that, more than 80% said the Albanese Government has failed to tackle the crisis… And we had to break it to you, but we’re rounding the corner to head into the final straight of the electoral cycle, so Team Albanese is keen to demonstrate they’re onto it after 2023’s focus on the Voice referendum. After that meeting with his colleagues, Albanese will address the National Press Club on Thursday, so get that in your diary this week.


Dying to see it

The quest for Instagram-worthy snaps at off-the-beaten-track beaches is driving a worrying increase in adult drownings in Australia, according to Surf Life Saving Australia. They have crunched the numbers on over 2,600 coastal deaths from July 2004 to June 2021, and during the holidays, they’ve found it’s adults, not kids, who are most at risk. “People want to be where they see on social media: they are looking for that perfect photo, wanting to be on that isolated sandy beach,” said CEO Adam Weir. This summer, 33 coastal drowning deaths have been reported, up from 26 at the same time last season. That highlights the need for water safety messaging to focus on the dangers of unpatrolled beaches, even if they are beautiful. Or, like so many things in life, it’d be better to stick between the flags – a lesson 3 teens learned in Sydney yesterday…

Australian News

You’re in, then you’re out

Not into week 2 of the Aussie Open – Alex de Minaur. He lost his match against fifth seed Russian Andrey Rublev last night in an epic 5-setter. Huff… That’s all the Aussies out of the singles race. Having a better day was tournament favourite Novak Djokovic, who advanced to the quarter-finals after being bumped from the prime centre-court spot by de Minaur. Another favourite Iga Świątek is out, though – the world #1 lost to Czech 19-year-old Linda Noskova on her Saturday night. “I’ll have to work on stuff to feel more comfortable next year,” she said after the match – and by ‘stuff’, she means dealing with the speed of the Aussie Open courts. And while we’re talking about people moving on, how about Aussie swimmer Mack Horton? The 27yo Olympic gold medalist/world champion freestyler says he’s done with competition and will take up a job in advertising. Watching Mad Men has gotta be first on his to-do list…


Chippy chippy chippy…

To play Gobbledok for a minute, on a scale of 1-100, we like chips 100 million-zillion. That’s why our hearts were racing when we saw this analysis of the best on the Aussie market – not because we need guidance but for the opportunity to talk about the potatoey treats. Brought to us by the brave guy who tested all the choc-covered ice creams on a stick on the market, Nicholas Jordan and his team of 12 reviewers have put 35 packets of chips from 15 brands through their paces. And the winner – Kettle. As one reviewer said: “This is what I want to eat when I’m depressed and alone on a Tuesday night.” Yikes… The chip that fell flat was Burts, scoring 2/10 due to their taste and texture – a result we humbly disagree with, but this isn’t about us… And the Gobbledok would be happy with this – Smith’s were up the top because they are “crunchy, salty, consistent and affordable”. What’s not to love?

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

Meet Zou Shengyu, or as she’s better known, Shengsheng. At just 9yo, this Chinese whiz-kid is making waves with her celebrity portraits. She’s already snapped the likes of Aquaman star Jason Momoa and tennis champ Li Na, and she’s very good…

Also beautiful (but not celebrity beautiful…) is Ariel, a 6-legged spaniel found abandoned in a supermarket car park in Wales. Her condition gave the vet surgeons paws for thought, but the “complicated little dog” has had the extra limbs removed, and she’s now on the mend.

Paul Newcombe from Forbes in NSW’s Central West is looking to retire but can’t find anyone to replace him. That could be because he’s the region’s snake catcher… “If someone rings to say there’s a snake in their daughter’s bedroom, I can’t just say, ‘No, I’m not coming’,” he says. How sss-selfless…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Queensland schools are back for Term 1 of 2024

Day of Unity in Ukraine – a state holiday that marks it becoming a sovereign state

The birthday of Michael Hutchence (1960)

Anniversary of:

  • the landmark Roe v Wade ruling, which saw the US Supreme Court legalise most abortions (1973)
  • the marriage of Melania and Donald Trump (2005)
  • the deaths of Queen Victoria (1901) and actor Heath Ledger (2008)
Squiz the Day

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