Squiz Today / 04 April 2024

Squiz Today – 4 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 11 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“This is the worst Karaoke I’ve ever seen. Scrap it, just scrap it.”

Said one of the several unimpressed critics of the Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black, which will be released in Aussie cinemas next week. To be fair, could anyone live up to Winehouse’s unique voice and talent?

Mostyn makes it

The Squiz

Prominent businesswoman and gender equality advocate Samantha Mostyn will become Oz’s next Governor General with a kick-off date of 1 July. The 59yo will replace incumbent David Hurley – a former Chief of Australia’s Defence Force – who has been in the role since 2019. Mostyn is the second woman to take up the position and the 28th GG since Australia became a thing in 1901. PM Anthony Albanese says she’s a modern and optimistic person whose “leadership reflects our enduring Australian values of equality, fairness and a responsibility to build a better future for the next generation”. And for her part, Mostyn says she’s “deeply honoured” to represent the “values, hopes and aspirations of all Australians.”

Umm, remind me who she is… 

We’ve got you. A lawyer by trade, Mostyn’s held a lot of fancy public and private sector roles spanning business, sport, climate change, and the arts. She’s been on a lot of boards – her most notable current engagement is as the chair of Citi Australia’s consumer bank. And she’s the president of Chief Executive Women, “the pre-eminent organisation representing prominent and influential women leaders”. Mostyn was also the first female commissioner of the AFL – she held that role for over a decade until 2017 and Albanese yesterday noted that she remains a “strong advocate” for the women’s competition. All of that and her work in the charity sector has seen Mostyn recognised with numerous accolades, including the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to business, community and women”. 

And what is the gig exactly?

The Governor General is technically appointed by the Crown – aka King Charles as the head of the Commonwealth – but he makes that decision based on advice from Australia. That means Mostyn will be the King’s representative here and she’ll have a role overseeing some pretty important governmenty things. So, given all that, Mostyn’s suitability for the role has been raised… Conservative campaigners yesterday questioned her support for our constitutional monarchy – one of those was Matthew Sheahan from Advance, who said Albanese has “rewarded a republican with a $500,000 a year salary to represent an institution she doesn’t believe in.” Mostyn wouldn’t be the first GG to support the idea of Australia becoming a republic – former GGs Bill Hayden and Dame Quentin Bryce were all for an Aussie becoming our head of state.

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

A pointed message for Netanyahu

Yesterday was busy for PM Albanese… On top of announcing a new GG he also spoke to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and conveyed Australians’ “anger and concern” over Israel’s deadly airstrike on aid workers on Monday, which left Aussie Zomi Frankcom and 6 others dead. They were volunteering with the World Central Kitchen when their 3-vehicle convoy came under attack. Reports this morning (paywall) say Frankcom’s family has called for the soldiers involved to be investigated and charged with war crimes. “It should never have happened”, her brother Mal said in a statement, adding that “Zomi would be heartbroken” to know that aid had been suspended after the attack. Albanese said Netanyahu has committed to a “thorough investigation” into what happened. As US President Joe Biden weighed in, the strike has called into question the effectiveness of the Israeli-led system to protect aid workers in Gaza.

Australian News World News

Searching for survivors

You might have seen the shocking images of out of Taiwan yesterday after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit the east coast just before 8am leaving at least 9 dead and 900 injured, and causing several multi-storey buildings to dangerously tilt/collapse. Rescuers are working to free more than 100 still trapped inside tunnels on mountain roads. The worst-hit city was Hualien, about 158km south of the capital Taipei –  videos show people inside the damaged buildings scrambling to crawl through windows and then sliding to the ground. There was initial confusion over the strength of the earthquake, but Taiwan’s weather bureau was clear that the quake was the worst Taiwan has recorded since 1999. Chinese media reported the quake being felt in its south-eastern Fujian province, and tsunami warnings were issued in southern Japan and the Philippines – they were later downgraded. 

Australian News World News

As juicy as a $361 steak

New details about the evidence Network Ten lawyers will present in the Federal Court have been released after they were given the green light to reopen their defence against former political staffer Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation suit. To recap, Ten’s new witness is former Seven producer Taylor Auerbach – he worked on Lehrmann’s interview with Spotlight last year. His 3 affidavits allege Lehrmann received more perks on Seven’s dime than his rent… Auerbach claims Lehrmann had Thai ‘massages’ worth around $10,000, a $400 round of golf, and about $13,000 worth of accommodation, drugs and meals – including a $361 tomahawk steak. Ten’s lawyers will argue the evidence damages Lehrmann’s credibility – but Seven has called the claims “false and misleading”… And over in WA, the defamation matter between Senator Linda Reynolds and Brittany Higgins and her partner David Sharaz will head to court after mediation broke down yesterday. 

Australian News

Swiftly rising up the rich list

We already kinda knew this, but now it’s official – Taylor Swift has joined the billionaires club. The superstar entered Forbes World’s Billionaires List for the first time with her $1.1 billion fortune (AUD$1.7 billion), alongside 140 others. And keeping with her habit of breaking new ground, it’s the first time a musician has made the list just off the back of their music… All up, Forbes reported a record 2,781 billionaires in 2024, with another newbie’s name being one regular Squizers are likely familiar with – Sam Altman, the creator of AI chatbot ChatGPT. Chase Peterson-Withorn, the magazine’s wealth editor, reckons it’s been “an amazing year for the world’s richest people”. And here’s a word most of us non-billionaires wouldn’t hear every day – he says “a record-breaking 14 centibillionaires (aka those with more than $100 billion) have 12-figure fortunes”. Dr Evil would be jealous


Can’t face the truth

A recent US study has found most people aged 50-80yo think they look younger than they actually do. It’s basically a coping mechanism to help us deal with our impending mortality… Women and those on higher incomes are especially delusional, but no socio-demographic group is immune – only 6% of adults think they look older than their counterparts. Appearing fresh-faced was associated with more positive experiences of ageing, so it’s no wonder 35% admitted to spending money to try and turn back the clock. But it’s not necessarily something you can buy – other studies have also found people with better physical and mental health have more positive experiences of ageing. And it’s not just vanity – being the butt of jokes about looking old can have real impacts on your health. So, you know, kindness first… 


Apropos of Nothing

If numbers are your thing, you might enjoy this story about a couple of Irish basketball teams being forced to replay the final stretch of their contested quarter-final match. And by final stretch, we mean the final 0.3 seconds

UK man Jimmy Sheen’s get-rich plans have gone down the toilet, with the 39yo pleading guilty to stealing a $9.3 million gold toilet from the 18th-century Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. And FYI – the gold toilet looks just as luxe as you’d expect.

Scottish singer/actress Lulu has evolved past the catchcry of her 1965 song Shout – she reckons “speech-fasting” is the way to go. When she has a gig planned, she won’t talk – or even whisper – until noon, saying “silence is golden”. No doubt introverts everywhere agree…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.30am (AEDT) – New evidence to be heard in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation case against Network Ten/Lisa Wilkinson – Sydney

5.00pm (AEDT) – Cricket, Australia v Bangladesh in 3rd Women’s T20 – Bangladesh

7.40pm (ACDT) – 2024 AFL Gather Round begins (on until 7 April) – Adelaide 

ABS Data Release – Building Approvals, Feb; Monthly Household Spending Indicator, Feb 

National Biosecurity Forum – 

World Asthma Day

World Rat Day 

International Mine Awareness Day 

World Stray Animals Day 

Birthdays for Hugo Weaving (1960), Graham Norton (1963) Robert Downey Jr (1965) and Natasha Lyonne (1979) 

Anniversary of:

 the signing of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty in Washington, D.C. (1949)

the founding of Microsoft (1975)

the marriage of Beyonce and Jay-Z (2008)

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos’ record-breaking $35 billion divorce settlement (2019)

Squiz the Day

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