Squiz Today / 09 April 2024

Squiz Today – 9 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Eid Mubarak”

Is what you should say to anyone celebrating Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan today, which means “blessed feast/festival”. It’s a big celebration with a lot of food that usually lasts for 3 days, but in some countries, it carries on for a whole month. Sounds pretty good to us…

Double-checking your docket

The Squiz

The Albanese Government has thrown its in-principle support behind new fines for Aussie supermarket retailers who engage in anti-competitive behaviour. That’s one of 8 key recommendations made by former Labor Minister/economist Craig Emerson in his interim review of the voluntary Food and Grocery Code of Conduct. PM Anthony Albanese called the provisional findings a “very strong” start and said the process is all about “how we make our supermarkets as competitive as they can be so that Australians get the best deal possible”.

Tell me more…

Emerson has recommended that the supermarkets fork out 10% of their annual revenue if they’re found to have mistreated suppliers and farmers. To give you a sense of what that would look like, Coles made more than $35 billion in sales last financial year, so that sort of fine would be a lot… Making the code mandatory – another one of Emerson’s recommendations – would force the likes of Coles, Woolies, IGA and Aldi to play by the rules. As for how we got here, the review was prompted by suppliers claiming large discrepancies in what they were being paid versus the retailers’ prices – claims the retailers reject. But Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the idea is to prevent suppliers from being “dudded” by the supermarkets, and “a big motivation is to put downward pressure on prices” for consumers. 

So we’ll see cheaper grocery bills?

Albanese is confident… He says the current code “essentially is run by the same businesses that are being complained about” so an overhaul would see “a change in the power relationship”. Coalition leader Peter Dutton disagrees – he said the recommendations aren’t “the solution consumers are looking for”. And the Nationals and Greens aren’t pleased that Emerson rejected their suggestion to allow the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (which is running a different supermarket review) to break up retailers if they do the wrong thing – he reckons that’s too “heavy-handed”. As for the retailers, they will get their say when Emerson’s report goes through an industry consultation process before the final report is handed down on 30 June. Stay tuned…

Australian News Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Nuclear attack is no joke

The head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not happy about a “reckless” attack by Russia on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Sunday. The facility is already under the control of Russian forces who seized it shortly after the invasion began in February 2022. But Rafael Grossi called the latest drone attack – which had a “physical impact” on one reactor – “a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers”. He says there have been “at least 3 direct hits” against the plant’s “main reactor containment structures”, which he called a “no go” and says there is no conceivable political benefit from such attacks. Despite several recent missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy system, Energy Minister German Galushchenko says the country’s power supply is “stable and balanced”.

World News

Not exactly jumping for joy

If you’re a member of Qantas’ Frequent Flyer program, you probably received an email yesterday spruiking the benefits of its new Classic Plus Flight Rewards. The overhaul will see 20 million new reward seats – aka ones you can pay for with points – on offer, but the rub is that they will be ‘priced’ much like regular airfares, meaning the number of points needed increases during peak times. That’s instead of the fixed number of points currently required for 5 million seats. Qantas boss Vanessa Hudson unveiled the revamp yesterday saying it will give passengers “more choice and more destinations”. Qantas hopes it will help restore credibility with customers after a very rocky few years… Less helpful for all airlines was news of yet another Boeing safety issue on a US flight with passengers capturing dramatic footage

If you want to know more about Boeing’s safety issues, check out the latest Squiz Shortcut.

Australian News Business & Finance

Hustling for new hosts

Victoria is out, but the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) hasn’t given up hope of finding a new host for the 2026 event. Like a proud but pimply teenager waiting for someone to ask them out, the organisation says it’s “considering multiple proposals” for both a location and some “innovative new concepts” to give the event a bit of a zhuzh. But it won’t be in Singapore or Malaysia which both recently rejected offers… In its first public statement since Victoria pulled the pin over rising costs, the CGF says “significant progress had been made”, and it’s “excited by the early concepts” to “reset and reframe the Games”. It’s aiming to announce a new host next month. And it doesn’t end there because the preferred 2030 host – the Canadian province of Alberta – has withdrawn its bid, leaving the whole future of the Games in a precarious position…

Sport World News

Total eclipse of the (tortoise) heart

Millions of North Americans have witnessed a 4-minute total solar eclipse early today. Huge crowds turned out for the extremely rare event, prompting some cities to declare a state of emergency, but only the clouds created havoc for sky-gazers as they were plunged into temporary darkness. Researchers carried out scientific experiments, including peering into space with massive cameras to glimpse the Sun’s atmosphere. And people watching along the path of totality were urged to wear special glasses to avoid damaging their eyes. Elsewhere, academics watched animals in zoos – that might sound a bit weird but during the 2017 eclipse, giant Galapagos tortoises suddenly started mating… And in less fruitful endeavours, the phenomenon sparked an array of conspiracy theories and some excellent memes… 

Environment & Science World News

Tones and I

If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s, you’re probably familiar with the ‘seasonal colour analysis’ fad that aimed to tell us if we’re a “winter” or “summer” person to identify which colours we should/shouldn’t wear. And like all things fashion, what once was old is new again as TikTokers have picked up the trend and run with it for a whole new generation. And like before, getting advice about your seasonality comes at a price – nearly $800 if you’re willing to sit down with the self-proclaimed ’colour analysis queen’ – aka Tatum Schwerin – who makes nearly $50,000 a month from consultations with people desperate to know what tones they should lean into. If that’s a bit rich for your blood, there’s a wide array of content creators giving their advice on TikTok by holding up different swatches of coloured fabric – just don’t ask us if they got it right…

Australian News Culture

Apropos of Nothing – Giddy Up edition

The first foal of legendary racehorse Winx fetched a fortune at auction yesterday as the 18-month-old filly sold for a record-breaking $10 million. The sale smashed an all-time record for a thoroughbred yearling, doubling the $5 million paid for Black Caviar’s half-brother in 2013…

Hippophiles without stables have also had their moment, as young hobby horse fanatics competed in England for a $575 prize. But they had to defend their moment in the spotlight as a lot of people thought the story in Horse & Hound magazine was a joke…

And if equestrian sports really aren’t your thing, you might be more interested in runaway Merino Woody who’s been given a good shearing after spending 3 years on the lamb… There are also some goats going begging in Italy – if you can catch them that is…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00am (ACST) – National Security Conference with a focus on Indo-Pacific security, national resilience and capability – Canberra

7.00pm (AEST) – A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens as part of Shakespeare Under the Stars (until 28 April) – Sydney

SA Parliament sits, both Houses

Eid al-Fitr 

National Library Workers Day

Birthdays for Nigel Slater (1958), Marc Jacobs (1963), Cynthia Nixon (1966), Kristen Stewart (1990), and Lil Nas X (1999)

Anniversary of:

  • the end of US Civil War after the surrender of the Confederate Army (1865)
  • US troops capturing Baghdad, which led to the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime (2003)
  • Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding (2005)
  • the death of Prince Philip (2021)
Squiz the Day

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