Squiz Today / 07 February 2024

Squiz Today – 7 February 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

SYD
19 / 25
MEL
13 / 23
BNE
24 / 31
ADL
13 / 27
PER
20 / 36
HBA
13 / 23
DRW
28 / 32
CBR
10 / 24

Squiz Sayings

“He’s a legend”

Said Ross Douglass talking about his mate Len Spence, who at 101yo is one of Australia’s oldest/longest tennis players after first picking up a racquet 90 years ago. They’re part of a gang in Mildura, Victoria, who are collectively 356yo. Age ain’t nothing but a number…

An Aussie is sentenced to death

The Squiz

The global reaction to King Charles’s unspecified cancer diagnosis and treatment has been epic… Prince Harry flew to London from Los Angeles for a visit, while world leaders rushed to offer their well-wishes, including PM Anthony Albanese who immediately wrote to the monarch to “let him know Australians are thinking of him and his family”. He added that “a cancer diagnosis is never easy, not for the person and not for their families”. US President Joe Biden said he’s “concerned about him”, while UK PM Rishi Sunak took a more reassuring tone, saying he has no doubt the King will be “back to full strength in no time”. Despite the positive vibes, there are plans in place just in case…

Like who’s stepping up in Charles’s absence?

Exactly. For now, the 75yo is only stepping back from what Buckingham Palace called “public-facing duties” – he’ll continue his weekly meetings with PM Sunak and do his “official paperwork”. But those reassurances haven’t stopped public speculation about what would happen if he becomes very ill… Royal nerds pointed out that if Charles becomes incapacitated, Queen Camilla and 4 Counsellors of the State can carry out his royal powers – they are Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, and Princess Beatrice. The diagnosis has also given us reason to learn that ‘Operation Menai Bridge’ is the codename for the plan to transition power to William if the worst should happen… It’s named after the world’s first iron suspension bridge in Anglesey, Wales – but surely it’s a shoutout to the southern Sydney suburb… 

So the bases are covered?

Well, there’s been a lot of analysis suggesting that Charles’s “slimmed down” monarchy has been caught short (something Princess Anne was already sceptical of) – especially as Harry and Andrew are no longer working royals. Making matters more complex is that while William is expected to step up, he is already pretty busy looking after Princess Kate – who is still recovering at home after her recent hospital stay. And from a purely selfish perspective, there are also questions over whether Charles’s planned visit Down Under in October this year might be under threat… It was due to coincide with a trip to Samoa for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (aka the gloriously named CHOGM), but Eric Abetz from the Australian Monarchist League says it’ll be a case of “wait and see”.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Charges following a violent shock

Police have charged a 16yo with the murder of 70yo grandmother Vyleen White at a Queensland shopping centre on Saturday. White was fatally stabbed in an underground car park in the Ipswich suburb of Redbank Plains after shopping with her 6yo granddaughter. Four other boys aged 15-16yo have been charged over allegedly using White’s Hyundai as a getaway car. Following the attack, the search was on for 4 “men of African appearance” with arrests made on Sunday and Monday. Yesterday, police met with senior members of the African community and said “they condemn what’s occurred here”. The murder charge is being heard behind closed doors in the Ipswich Children’s Court – and the alleged killer has been denied bail. Youth crime has been a big deal in the Sunshine State – Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill says it’s the #1 issue after a spate of violent incidents

Australian News

Not winning on Indigenous outcomes

The Productivity Commission released its report on the Closing the Gap agreement today, and the scorecard is not good. The Commission said the agreed reforms “have not been prioritised by governments” and added: “Change can be confronting and difficult. But without fundamental change, the Agreement will fail and the gap will remain.” Among other recommendations, the report calls for the government to pass decision-making to community groups and share data with Indigenous communities. Speaking yesterday, PM Anthony Albanese spoke about the failed Voice referendum for the first time this year, saying that his government was “looking for other ways” to hit the Closing the Gap targets. The PM also accepted that the Voice defeat happened “on my watch”. So far, Albanese’s government has been tight-lipped on whether it’ll continue plans for the other elements of the Uluru Statement, i.e. treaty and truth…

Australian News

Inflation and taxes, oh my

Surprising no one, the Reserve Bank kept its official cash rate on hold at 4.35% yesterday – that was the expected outcome given inflation has fallen to 4.1% from a high of 7.8% a year ago. What was new was RBA Governor Michele Bullock giving a press conference after the announcement, in which she wouldn’t be drawn on the possibility of an impending rate cut: “we haven’t ruled anything out, and we haven’t ruled anything in.” As that transpired, the Coalition has decided it’ll ultimately vote to pass Team Albanese’s changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts, after seeking amendments. In the first Question Time of 2024, Albanese defended the changes as “every taxpayer getting a tax cut”, while Coalition leader Peter Dutton pressed him to rule out other tax changes. So, straight back into it then…

Economy

Be alert in Bali

Aussies travelling to Indonesia have been warned to avoid protests in the lead-up to next week’s elections. The Smart Traveller website advises there could be trouble, and anyone heading to our #1 overseas holiday spot needs to keep across what’s happening locally. Tensions are running high as 205 million Indonesian voters head to the polls on 14 February to choose their executive and legislative representatives at all administrative levels. That means they will elect a new president, with popular incumbent Joko Widodo barred from running for a third term. He’s backing former military general Prabowo Subianto, who just happens to have Widodo’s son Gibran Rakabuming Raka as his running mate… The pair are hoping to secure 50% of the popular vote to defeat their 2 rivals – former governors Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo – and avoid a run-off election in June…

Australian News

Food fabulous food

A restaurant co-owned by Newcastle-born chef Brett Graham has become the first Aussie-led eatery to be awarded 3 Michelin stars. That’s the “very highest of gastronomic honours”, according to fancy foodies who regard Michelin as the Oscars of cuisine… The only drawback is The Ledbury restaurant is in London, so it’s a bit of a trek… But gourmands argue the revolving 8-course tasting menu – which will set you back around $405 – is worth it. The 2024 Michelin guide says each mouthful “provides considerable depth of flavour” with “consistently harmonious combinations showcasing a streak of originality”. It’s a hard-earned triumph for Graham, who opened the Notting Hill restaurant in 2005. Graham says his team was so excited they wouldn’t “get much sleep” and have to “draw straws” to decide who would have to pull up the next day. And while we’re on the Michelins, this is your regular reminder that the Michelin judges simply haven’t been bothered to make their way Down Under…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

If you like piña coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain, maybe don’t book a sun-soaked holiday to Zanzibar… The Tanzanian archipelago has run out of booze after import issues doubled beer prices, forcing tourists to rehydrate with water. The horror…

Slow music can be a jam, and now the world has the slowest music composition – As Slow As Possible. The organ piece started in 2001 and changed chords on Monday for the first time in 2 years. It’s not due to finish until the year 2640, so we’ll never know how the piece ends…

Graffiti artists are known for striking in random spots, but they’ve taken their spray cans to new heights in LA over 27 floors of an abandoned luxury high-rise. Police caught 2 culprits, but drone footage of the paint job has many saying the guerilla art should stay…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Professor Allan Fels AO will address the National Press Club on price gouging and unfair pricing practices report  

2.40pm (AEDT) – Women’s Cricket One Day International Series – Australia v South Africa, Game 2 – North Sydney

6.50pm (AEDT) – Rugby Australia Awards announced on the RugbyAU Instagram

Company results – Boral; Amcor; Suncorp

World Read Aloud Day

International Girls and Women in Sports Day

Birthdays for singer Garth Brooks (1962), actor Ashton Kutcher (1978)

Anniversary of:

  • the colonial Tasmanian Parliament passing the world’s first secret ballot (1856)
  • New Zealand’s worst maritime tragedy – HMS Orpheus sunk off the coast of Auckland killing 189 (1863)
  • the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, which killed 173 people (2009)
Squiz the Day

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