Squiz Today / 07 November 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 7 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I want to explore what makes paper and pens beautiful … the different ways we can represent a stripe.”

Said Lisa Gorman, the women’s fashion designer who’s taken over as creative director of Kikki.K. She reckons there are a lot of “straight stripes and grey lines” in our stationery, and she’s up for rewriting the notebook…

Hitting the reset button with China

The Squiz

He came, he saw, he shook hands… PM Anthony Albanese has met with China’s President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Heading in, there were smiles all around as both men recalled Gough Whitlam’s trip 50 years ago that kick-started diplomatic relations between our nations. “In China, we often say when drinking water, we should not forget those who dug the well. The Chinese people will not forget Prime Minister Whitlam for digging the well for us,” Xi said.

Enough with the fluff – what happened? 

Alright, alright… The relationship strain of the last few years left Albanese with a list of things to go through with Xi, ranging from trade to China’s territorial ambitions in our region, its human rights abuses, and the ongoing detention of Aussie citizen Dr Yang Hengjun. But things got off to a good start with Xi saying he was hopeful that “we keep moving forward the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries”. That key phrase is music to Sinophile’s ears that indicates Chinese hopes for greater agreement. On that front, reports say one of China’s main aims for the visit was to warm Australia up to it potentially joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a trade agreement between nations around the Pacific Rim that Australia’s been against letting China into. Albanese says Xi raised China’s bid to join “as part of a general issue about global trade” but didn’t ask for his backing.

What’s next?

Well, like any relationship that’s warming up, we’ll have to wait and see… Heading into the closed-door talks, Albanese said the point of the trip is to reestablish “high-level dialogue and people-to-people links” that will “be beneficial into the future” for both our countries. To that end, Albanese invited Xi to visit Oz – at this stage, the RSVP is pending… But for today, Premier Li Qiang (Xi’s 2IC) is hosting Albanese for more talks and an official ceremonial welcome at the Great Hall of the People. From there, Albanese jets off to the Cook Islands tonight for the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting, where there will be some notable absences. Incoming Kiwi leader Chris Luxon and PMs Charlot Salwai (Vanuatu), James Marape (Papua New Guinea), and Manasseh Sogavare (Solomon Islands) will send delegations in their places. But let’s pick that up tomorrow, eh?

AusPol Australian News World News

Squiz the Rest

A horror 24 hours for crashes

Victorian police yesterday confirmed that the victims of Sunday night’s crash into the Royal Daylesford Hotel were from 2 families who were together on a weekend visit to the town. Police Commissioner Shane Patton called it “an absolute tragedy” after Pratibha Sharma, 44, her daughter Anvi, 9, and partner Jatin Chugh, 30, along with Vivek Bhatia, 38, and his 11yo son, Vihaan, were all killed. Five others remain in hospital with injuries. The 66yo driver returned a negative alcohol test, and Patton says investigators are still piecing together what happened. And in Sydney’s southwest, 2 boys – who reports say were 13yo and 14yo – died after a car they were passengers in crashed into a tree and a power pole yesterday morning. Police are still searching for the driver and another passenger after they fled the scene.

Australian News Crime

Gaza City encircled by Israel’s ground troops

Israel’s military spokesman last night said its forces had fully encircled Gaza City, effectively dividing the Palestinian territory in 2. Over the last week, Israel called on Gazans to get out of the area, and more than a week into its ground operations, Gaza City has been cut off from the south. Analysts say the Israeli military’s main focus is on the densely built-up areas and the nearby Jabalia and al-Shati refugee camps because they believe they are the main Hamas stronghold. Israel says it has hit 450 “targets” in the past day after intense bombing of the area. “We are carrying out a large attack on terrorist infrastructure both below and above ground,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military’s chief spokesman, said. And as Arab leaders’ calls for a ceasefire continue to go nowhere, United Nations agencies updated their figures – they say 1.5 million people have been displaced by the war, and the average Palestinian is now living on 2 slices of bread a day.

World News

Brace/clench/gird for a rate rise

There will be no Champagne/chicken lunch for the Reserve Bank board today (well, we don’t really know, and you know what happens when you assume…) as members gather to make this month’s decision on interest rates… Most signs point to a rate hike – that’s what the 4 major banks and most economists are forecasting after inflation hit a higher-than-expected 5.4% in the July-September quarter thanks to high fuel prices and soaring home values. If it goes up, it’ll be the first shift to the current 4.1% cash rate in 5 months and would take monthly repayments on a $750,000 mortgage to more than $4,700, up $1,800 since May 2022. New data from Compare the Market shows that 12% of Aussies – largely Millennials – are falling behind on their home loan repayments, while 29% said they have no savings in the bank. Stay safe out there…

Australian News Business & Finance Economy

The race that stops some of the nation…

Pubs and offices around Australia will be in full swing as the Melbourne Cup race takes off at 3pm local time this arvo. But this year, the event is expected to draw fewer than 85,000 people to Flemington, reflecting the decline in television ratings that haven’t recovered since Taylor Swift’s cancellation/boycott in 2019, followed by the pandemic years. The downward shift is being driven by younger Aussies who are concerned about animal welfare/drinking culture/gambling, with several brands quietly distancing themselves from the race. But for those who will be tuning in, Irish neddy Vauban is this year’s favourite, while Absurde, Without A Fight, Soulcombe and Breakup are others to watch. And if you need some nibbles, how about the world’s greatest chicken sandwiches? We’re not even exaggerating…

Australian News Sport

Let the jolly times roll…

It’s early November, which means (sorry, Advent followers…) it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas – at least according to the retailers of Australia. Keen beans supermarket shoppers aren’t the only ones getting a head-start, according to research out of the UK. The John Lewis report reckons that one-fifth of Britons do some planning for the big day in the month beforehand. Just don’t put the milk and cookies out too soon… As for the latest trends around decorations, the report also says that a third of British homes have a second Christmas tree, which they call a “show tree”. They weren’t the only ones making the claim, either – a tree-marketing exec from the US pitched the idea of giving kids a personal tree in their bedroom, decorated in “the theme of their favourite reindeer, Christmas movie, or even their favourite superhero”. Hello – Santa is the original superhero…

Business & Finance Culture

Apropos of nothing

Dan Brown’s bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code has become notorious for being dumped in thrift stores by the thousands, so British artist David Shrigley decided to act. He collected 6,000 copies of the book over 6 years, pulped them, and turned them into copies of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Ominous or ingenious? 

A tourist in California’s Death Valley National Park made headlines after they crashed their campervan while trying to avoid an animal who had wandered into the middle of the road. But it wasn’t a bear – it was a tarantula. The spider “walked away unscathed,” the park said. 

A Norwegian blue cheese has been named the best in the world at the World Cheese Awards. The Nidelven Blå from cheesemaker Gangstad Gårdsysteri (pronunciation suggestions warmly welcomed…) was described as having a “real dense fudginess” and “wine-like characteristics”. Umm yum…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Melbourne Cup public holiday in Victoria

2.30pm (AEDT) – Announcement on interest rates following today’s RBA board meeting

3.00pm (AEDT) – And they’re racing in the Melbourne Cup – broadcast live on Channel 10

7.30pm (AEDT) – Men’s ICC World Cup Cricket Group Stage – Australia v Afghanistan – Mumbai, India

Hug a Bear Day

Birthdays for David Guetta (1967), Matt Corby (1990), and Lorde (1996)

Anniversary of
• the birthdays of Marie Curie (1867), Leon Trotsky (1879), and Albert Camus (1913)
• Franklin D Roosevelt being re-elected President of the United States for a record 4th term (1944)
• Hillary Clinton being elected to the US Senate, becoming the first US First Lady to win public office – and while still the First Lady (2000)
• the death of Leonard Cohen (2016)

Squiz the Day

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