Squiz Today / 08 January 2024

Squiz Today – 8 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 8.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“They’re like ‘nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30am’.”

Says Jodie Foster about her Gen Z colleagues, who she says can be “really annoying” to work with. But let’s face it, the youngsters won’t be the only ones who aren’t feeling the ‘let’s get to work’ vibe today…

Boeing’s wings clipped in the US

Boeing’s wings clipped in the US

The Squiz 

You might have seen the images of a plane flying with part of its left side missing – if not, here you go. On Friday in the US, a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet had to turn around 6 minutes after takeoff from Portland, Oregon, when a section of the plane’s fuselage (aka its main body) popped off and disappeared into the night – or, more likely, the Portland suburbs. No one on the Alaska Airlines flight was in the seat next to the missing panel, and the plane landed with everybody safe, if a little shaken. Yesterday, US officials grounded 171 other Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft pending federal inspections. Some planes have already been cleared and are returning to operation.

Yikes… Do we have these in Oz?

Those with good memories (or a fear of flying…) might remember the drama around the Boeing Max jets back in 2018 and 2019 after 2 of the planes crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia, killing 346 people. Those crashes did affect Australian flights at the time, with carriers not allowed to fly the 737 Max 8 model in and out of the country. This time around, the possibility of panel-popping seems to be confined to the Max 9 – none of which are flown by Australian airlines. The closest we’ve got here is the fleet of Max 8s owned by Virgin and flown on domestic routes and to our Pacific neighbours. Budget airline Bonza also has 4 Max 8s. Those planes haven’t been grounded.

What happens now?

There are about 215 Max 9 aircraft in service around the world, with the majority owned by 2 airlines – Alaska and United. Both are American, so if you’re reading this on your US holiday there’s a chance you’ll be delayed… But, so far, this doesn’t seem to be a repeat of the 2018/19 Max 8 saga, which saw those craft grounded for around 2 years. In the meantime, the airlines affected expect that flight disruptions might last until next week but that they should have all their Max 9 planes inspected soon and back in action. Dibs on the aisle seat…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Stability mission from Blinken

It’s now 3 months into the Israel-Hamas conflict, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Middle East once again, this time in an attempt to stop the war from spreading to other nations. It’s Blinken’s fourth visit to the region since the 7 October attack by Hamas, and it comes after the assassination of a Hamas leader in neighbouring Lebanon on 2 January. Iran-backed Houthi militants have also continued to attack international ships passing through the nearby Red Sea. The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 22,000 people according to the Hamas-run health ministry, and the UN warns that famine in Gaza is “around the corner”… Blinken says regional leaders are committed to preventing the conflict from spreading, as well as playing a “positive, productive” role to build a stable peace once the conflict ends. Blinken’s trip will take him to Israel and the West Bank on Tuesday and Wednesday, local time. 

World News

Cyclists honour one of their own

Hundreds of people have paid tribute to Olympic cyclist Melissa Hoskins in Ballarat, holding a minute’s silence yesterday for the 32yo. Hoskins died after she was hit by a ute near her home in Adelaide on 30 December – some grim details of what happened were published on Saturday. Her husband – fellow champion cyclist Rohan Dennis – faces driving charges over her death and has been bailed to appear in court in March. Yesterday, riders at the AusCycling Road National Championships in Ballarat remembered Hoskins as “a world champion and a world record breaker”. “I think the important thing is to wrap our arms around her closest friends, her family and her young, beautiful children,” Australian cyclist David McKenzie said. The women’s Tour Down Under starts in Hoskins’ adopted home state of South Oz on Friday, and a minute’s silence ahead of the start will be observed there, too. 

Australian News

An Aussie is coming in hot…

Tennis star Alex de Minaur is on a roll ahead of next week’s Australian Open, becoming the newest member of the men’s international top 10 players yesterday. It’s the first time an Aussie men’s player has been ranked in the top 10 since Lleyton Hewitt’s last appearance in 2006, and it’s got 24yo de Minaur feeling pretty good… “It’s what I’ve worked so hard for, it’s another milestone,” he said. It comes after he beat 10th-ranked Taylor Fritz, 7th-ranked Alexander Zverev and world #1 Novak Djokovic at the United Cup over the last week – which brought an end to Djokovic’s 43-match winning streak. The pundits are tipping a strong run from de Minaur at the Oz Open, so fingers crossed… As for the other tennis news, Elena Rybakina and Grigor Dimitrov took out the respective singles titles at the Brisbane International, while Germany clinched the United Cup final after an epic singles win from Alexander Zverev. Less epic was the news that Rafael Nadal is out of the Australian Open with an injury – he’s flown back to Spain already to see his own doctor. 


Speaking of injuries…

In other sports hero news, Sam Kerr’s injury troubles continue, with the news early this morning that she’s torn her ACL (the anterior cruciate ligament, one of the ligaments in your knee joint). Kerr’s injury happened during a training camp in Morocco with her English team Chelsea. It gets worse: a torn ACL is a serious injury that often takes around 12 months of recovery… and with the Paris Olympics starting on 24 July, it means that Kerr will be out for the tournament. Aussie team coach Tony Gustavsson said that his focus is on ensuring that Kerr recovers well, and also said that “Sam’s guidance and influence on the team is significant and, as a result, this will be an incredible loss for the national team.” Kerr is returning to London, where Chelsea staff will manage her recovery. As for the Matildas, their next 2 Olympic qualifier games are on 24 February (in Uzbekistan) and 28 February (in Melbourne).

Australian News Sport

Awards season is upon us…

If you’re looking for a distraction as the world resumes regular programming, look no further than the 81st Golden Globes… Celebs will start hitting the red carpet in their finery at 11am Aussie Eastern daylight savings time (Sunday night in the US) before the awards ceremony kicks off at noon. And if you’re wondering what films are up for the top gongs, it’s another Barbenheimer special… Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is nominated in 9 categories – including best actress for Aussie Margot Robbie – and Oppenheimer is up for 8 awards. Other names in the mix for best picture include the indie romantic drama Past Lives and dark comedy/sci-fi flick Poor Things. Hosting the spectacle is comedian/actor Jo Koy – he only got the gig 2 weeks ago… Keen beans can watch it live on Stan.


Apropos of Nothing – New Year, new you edition

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make a new place home, you’re not the only one… Real estate agents say people are turning to major fixer-uppers as property listings remain low. And if you’re looking for inspo, this Townsville ‘love shack’ might give you some…

If a new job is what you’re after, you might like the sound of this ‘Monkey King’ role… Spoiler alert: it involves dressing up in the Chinese mythical creature’s costume, sitting in a “warm cave”, and being hand-fed bananas by visitors.

Or maybe following in the footsteps of the incoming Queen of Denmark is more your thing? The Sydney-based ‘princess whisperer’ who taught Mary Donaldson how to walk, talk and smile with grace is restarting her classes after a surge in interest. Better than that resolution-driven self-help book, eh?

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.00am (AEDT) – Golden Globe Awards – Los Angeles (streaming live on Stan)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s birthday (1983)

Anniversary of Tonya Harding winning gold at the US Figure Skating Championships, which was later stripped from her after revelations of her involvement in the attack of rival Nancy Kerrigan (1994)

Birthday anniversaries for:

  • Elvis Presley (1935)
  • Stephen Hawking (1942)
  • David Bowie (1947)
Squiz the Day

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