Squiz Today / 24 January 2024

Squiz Today – 24 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10.15 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Am I not meant to eat snow?”

Said Reese Witherspoon, who caused a stir on TikTok after sharing her homemade “Snow Salt Chococinno” recipe featuring scoops of freshly fallen snow. There was a backlash from followers, prompting Witherspoon to reassure them she’d microwaved the snow first. Seems counterintuitive…

Leaving the Canberra Bubble

The Squiz  

Former PM Scott Morrison has decided to call an end to his political career after more than 16 years in the Federal Parliament and almost 4 in the top job. He says “now is the time to move on” after securing offers to join a bunch of global advisory firms where he will focus on defence and security policy. He’ll make a formal announcement today before finishing up as an MP at the end of February. And although his Sydney seat of Cook looks safe for the Libs with a margin of 12%, there will be a lot of interest in the by-election when that happens around April… 

How’s history gonna judge him?

Look, we don’t write the history books, but it’s fair to say his time in the political spotlight has been pretty turbulent. He was controversial in the Immigration and Social Services portfolios – but as PM, his 2019 ”miracle” election win made him the toast of the Coalition. Morrison cited tax cuts, stopping the boats, and managing Australia through the pandemic as some of his career highlights. But his record also includes the “secret ministries” controversy, the backlash over his Hawaii holiday during 2019’s massive bushfires, and criticism over his handling of Brittany Higgins’ allegations. In his new life, Morrison will be leaning into his work as the architect of the AUKUS pact while keeping Sydney as his home base, where he will be “more active in my Church community”. And maybe ukelele lessons are on the cards… 

Anything else happening?

Umm yep… Plenty of speculation we’re about to see some change to the Stage 3 tax cuts. In an interview with Sydney FM host Kyle Sandilands yesterday morning, PM Anthony Albanese said “everybody will be getting a tax cut” – while his ministers danced around giving an answer to that question. In their current form, the next round of cuts due in July would give people earning $180,000 a $6,000 cut, but not so much for people taking home less than $100,000. Albanese met with his Cabinet yesterday to sign off on a new cost of living package – and will meet with the broader Caucus (aka all Labor MPs and senators) this arvo in Canberra. Stay tuned…   


Squiz the Rest

Cummins calls for an Oz Day change

There have been some heated conversations ahead of Friday’s Australia Day, and Aussie cricket captain Pat Cummins was at the centre of things yesterday when he called to change the date. He says, considering the history of 26 January, “we can probably find a more appropriate day to celebrate”. Cricket Australia (CA) also says it won’t call this week’s Test match against the West Indies ‘the Australia Day match’ or mention ‘Australia Day’ on Friday, and hasn’t since 2021. Instead, the match announcer will acknowledge that 26 January holds different meanings to different Australians. That’s caused some controversy, and NSW Premier Chris Minns has asked CA to reconsider. He said it’s a day “to celebrate with family and friends and recognise that we live in the greatest country on earth”.

Australian News Sport

Gotcha comrade

Aussie cyber sleuths have unmasked the Russian cybercriminal responsible for the massive 2022 Medibank hack that saw the sensitive data of 10 million customers stolen. Aleksandr Ermakov – believed to be part of the Russian ransomware gang REvil – was the mastermind behind the hack, officials say. He is now banned from setting foot in Australia and faces financial sanctions under new laws that are being used for the first time. Defence Minister Richard Marles says by naming him, they’ve made it difficult for Ermakov to travel anywhere in the world and enjoy the spoils of his crimes. And while we’re talking about cyber stuff, a robocall is doing the rounds in the US featuring a fake President Joe Biden. The voice has been generated using artificial intelligence, and experts say it should serve as a wake-up call ahead of the 2024 US election.


Ooh that’s sweaty

Adelaideans were spared from the worst of the heatwave passing over much of Oz over the past week, but they couldn’t avoid it yesterday… Adelaide’s CBD notched its hottest day in nearly three years, with a high of 41.2C. A bit further west, the highest recorded temperature was 47.2C at Kyancutta, a small town on SA’s Eyre Peninsula. Southeastern Queenslanders didn’t fare much better… A storm on Monday night left 40,000 homes without power after the region had sweated through temperatures from the high 30Cs-mid 40Cs. Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said the outages were down to “a combination of high demand and heat on localised hardware saw that hardware trip to protect the system”. In Far North Queensland, residents are on high alert as they wait for Tropical Cyclone Kirrily to be officially declared by the Bureau of Meteorology. It’s tipped to make landfall tomorrow night.

Australian News Weather

Chugga chugga big red car

The rise of the large luxury SUV is causing a kerfuffle in Europe… Cars rolling off the production line are growing wider by 1cm every 2 years, creating a parking nightmare – not to mention safety issues. Half of all new cars are now too wide for basic on-street parking spaces (180cm wide) – the minimum standard in many EU countries.  In 2011, the average vehicle was 170cm wide, but some of the most popular UK models have hit the 2-metre mark. The British Parking Association (not making that up…) reckons standard bays need to be widened to 260cm to make it “easier for everyone” to navigate and reduce the risk of opening doors into oncoming traffic. Given Australians’ love affair with big utes and SUVs shows no signs of cooling, experts say this could soon be discussed here, too.

World News

Prepare to be dazzled…

Barbie has been deemed ‘Kenough’ for 8 Academy Awards nominations… But Aussie Margot Robbie has missed out on being nominated for a best actress Oscar – and Greta Gerwig missed a best director nod. As for the other big contenders, Oppenheimer scored the most nominations with 13. And Poor Things, the comedy/drama starring Emma Stone, is up for 11. You can check out the full list here. This year’s Razzie nominations are also in, and the judges reckon there’s been a few stinkers. The fourth movie in Sylvester Stallone’s action franchise Expend4bles leads the pack with 7 nods – including a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie for Stallone himself. Australia’s own Russell Crowe has also scored a Worst Actor nomination for his role as a priest in the latest Exorcist instalment, which has 5 overall. The Golden Raspberry Awards (as they’re officially known) will be held on 9 March, the day before the Oscars are held in Los Angeles. 


Apropos of Nothing

Aussie scientists are celebrating new research that shows the native ‘antechinus’ marsupial – a carnivorous rat – meets a gory end during their annual mating cycles. Let’s just say it paints a chaotic picture of the rats’ so-called “mating massacre”…

Champagne – the French wine region famous for its trademarked bubbly – is facing a new challenge, with scientists warning climate change might put an end to the region’s wine-producing viability by 2050. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are also at risk…

Rory Bidwell, a 12yo from Devon in the UK, is the latest member of Mensa with an IQ score putting him alongside the likes of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. And he wasn’t even stressed during the test… His mum says, “he even took a leisurely stroll to the toilet during one section!”

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

07.15pm (AEDT) – Sydney Sixers vs Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League Final – Sydney, broadcast live on Channel 7

ABS Data Release – Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2023 

International Day of Education 

Global Belly Laugh Day 

A birthday for Neil Diamond (1941)

Anniversary of:

  • The death of former Prime Minister of the UK Winston Churchill (1965) 
  • Apple Computer Inc unveiling its revolutionary Macintosh personal computer (1984)
  • the release of Adele’s second studio album 21 (2011)
  • former US Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison after being found guilty of molesting over 150 girls (2018)
Squiz the Day

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