Squiz Today / 05 December 2023

Squiz Today – 5 December 2023

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz.”

Says UK actor Tom Holland about his romantic prowess. ‘Rizz’ (short for charisma) is Gen Z slang for someone who’s flirty and/or charming, and it’s just been given the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year crown. Tom reckons all the Holland rizz went to his brother, Paddy

Southern Gaza in the firing line

Southern Gaza in the firing line

The Squiz

As Israel’s military operation in the south of Gaza expands, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) officials have warned their upcoming moves against Hamas will be of “no less strength” than they were in the north last month. More than 700 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes since the ceasefire ended on Friday, according to the Hamas-run government in Gaza, and Palestinian civilians who were told to flee south last month say they’re now fearful of a ground invasion there. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that 8 in 10 Gazans are now displaced, with 60% of the territory’s housing completely flattened or partially damaged.

So where will Palestinians go?  

One of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s advisors says Israel has notified civilians and humanitarian groups of the “safer areas” they can move to, with Rafah – the southern city near Gaza’s border with Egypt – being named as one. But one 80yo Palestinian man said it was “nonsense” after Israeli strikes hit Rafah on Friday, and said he wouldn’t move again. “There is nothing left to fear. Our homes are gone, our property is gone, our money is gone, our sons have been killed, some are handicapped. What is left to cry for?” he said. IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari says Israel “continues to extend its ground operation against Hamas centres in all of the Gaza Strip”, as they’re “coming face-to-face with terrorists and killing them”. Meanwhile, Iran has warned of a “war expansion” if Israel doesn’t stop the strikes on Gaza. So there’s a lot going on… 

And is it time to check in on Ukraine? 

Good shout. So, Ukrainian prosecutors say they have footage of Russian soldiers killing 2 unarmed Ukrainian prisoners of war, calling it a “gross violation” of the laws governing warfare. Russia hasn’t responded to the claims. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russian shelling is intensifying in the east, and hitting the southern port city of Kherson particularly hard. And a couple of related diplomatic visits are scheduled… Newly minted UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron is headed for Washington this week to discuss support for Ukraine with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. And Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko – one of Russia’s key allies – is in China for talks with President Xi Jinping. Lukashenko yesterday called his country’s relationship with China “reliable”. High praise indeed…

World News

Squiz the Rest

A Labor MP taken too soon

Peta Murphy might not be someone you have heard of unless you’re following federal politics closely. The member for Dunkley (located on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula) was elected in 2019 after her first run ended in defeat in 2016, and she was re-elected in 2022. During her relatively short time in the federal parliament, Peta made an impact, particularly in the area of gambling reform. So it was a shock when PM Anthony Albanese confirmed that she had died yesterday at 50yo after a long illness. She was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, and it was back in 2019, just as she was getting ready to be sworn in as an MP for the first time. Albanese highlighted her strength, noting she travelled to Canberra last week for a breast cancer event, and said his government was “broken-hearted”. On Insta, her family said, “she died the way she lived – with dignity and strength and a touch of sarcasm to boot”.


Origin not for buying

Brookfield and EIG turned up with their golden briefcase, but it was no deal… If you’re at the starting line on this, the long story short is Origin Energy received a $20 billion takeover bid from the Canadian-American investment consortium. Origin needed 75% of the shareholder vote to come in for the deal, but yesterday, the proposal was rejected with 66.97% of the vote in favour. The main spoiler was Australian Super, which owns 17% of Origin. The massive fund said, “the value and future value of Origin is better in the hands of members … rather than a private equity consortium.” Brookfield and EIG promised to spend big money ($20-$30 billion) on speeding up Origin’s transition to renewables, but former PM Paul Keating described it as a “get-rich-quick” by a “profiteering private equity fund”. It remains to be seen whether the bidders will pack it up or have another go…

Business & Finance

Are we there yet?

Set your alarm for Reserve Bank o’clock when the central bank board will announce its final rates decision of the year… Economists are predicting rates will be left on hold at 4.35% – especially after monthly inflation stats came in lower than expected last week, at 4.9% for the 12 months to October. The market had been expecting 5.2%. It’s not only local economists predicting a hold, with the OECD predicting last week that the RBA won’t raise rates again, and will actually start cutting them in the second half of 2024. Elsewhere in data, the property nerds at CoreLogic said that Australia’s median property value is now at a record high of $753,654. And ANZ and Indeed published data that indicates a cooling job market, with ad postings down by 4.6% between October and November, and down 16.8% from the year before. Topsy-turvey times…

Business & Finance Economy

Gold Coast won’t host

Spare a thought for those wanting to catch some elite squash or international lawn bowls… the Commonwealth Games are still stateless after the Gold Coast withdrew its bid to host the event in 2026. The search for a new host city was kicked off when former Victorian Premier Dan Andrews withdrew from the plan to hold the Games in regional Victoria earlier this year, and speculation quickly turned to the Gold Coast, which was the location of the 2018 Games. Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate was gung-ho on a bid for the 2026 Games, but Queensland and the federal government were not going to stump up the cash required to make it work, so Tate admitted defeat yesterday. Boss of the Comm Games in Australia Craig Phillips thanked Tate for his efforts. As for whether the 2026 Games will go ahead, he says “conversations continue on 4 continents including here at home”…

Australian News Sport

Farewell, old pal

A Welsh couple have survived a decades-long near-miss after a live bomb they’d been using as a garden ornament was finally taken and destroyed. Sian and Jeffrey Edwards said the bomb was over 100 years old and had been standing upright in their garden for a long time – Sian even said she would bang her trowel against it to get the dirt off. A police officer spotted the bomb, and a disposal squad took it to an unused quarry, where they discovered it still had a live charge and promptly blew it up. Once the Edwards got over the shock, they took a sentimental turn, with Jeffrey saying the bomb “was an old friend. I’m so sorry that the poor old thing was blown to pieces.” He needn’t despair yet, though, with emergency services in the UK still fielding 20 callouts a year for undetonated explosives. Plenty of fish in the sea…

World News

Apropros of Nothing

Italy’s less-famous leaning tower lives in Bologna, where fears of its toppling lead authorities to issue alerts for nearby streets. Now the city has announced works to secure the tower, starting in January. Fingers crossed it lasts ‘til then…

We’ve been following Aussie soccer coach Ange Postecoglou in his coaching gig with the Tottenham Hotspurs, especially during his winning streak and subsequent losing streak. But don’t panic – a thrilling 3-3 draw against reigning champs Manchester City has righted the ship…

Beyonce’s fashion designer Guarav Gupta has given a peek under the seam… Gupta created 3 pieces for the Renaissance tour: he said it took 200 hours to create a sari, 500 hours for a crystal bodysuit, and 700 hours to hand-stitch beads and crystals into a gown. Dedication to the max…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Professor Brian P Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor & President of the Australian National University, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

2.30pm – Announcement on interest rates following today’s Reserve Bank board meeting

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator, October; Total Value of Dwellings, September quarter

International Volunteer Day 

World Soil Day

Day of the Ninja Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of animator Walt Disney (1901) and muso Little Richard (1932)
• the end of alcohol prohibition in the US (1933)
• the death of former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela (2013)

Squiz the Day

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