Squiz Today / 01 July 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 1 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Make it your new financial year’s resolution.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

10 / 17
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Squiz Sayings

“I’m just a guy in a booth, just letting the Rage play over and over.”

Said the host of a Vancouver radio station, which has been playing Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Namenon-stop for more than 24 hours. It’s uncertain whether it’s a protest against recent staff layoffs or a stunt signalling a format change to alternative rock, but it’s one way to make a statement…

Xi cements China’s control over Hong Kong

Chinese President Xi Jinping has left mainland China for the first time since the start of the pandemic to travel to Hong Kong for the 25th anniversary of the territory’s handover from the British. Analysts say he’s making the trip to cement China’s control over Hong Kong after the crackdowns of the last 3 years and to complete a “victory lap” as the leader who made it happen. But for others, it’s a solemn day to reflect on freedoms lost.

It was on this day in 1997 that more than a century and a half of British colonial rule ended. There was an agreement that Hong Kong would get 50 years with a “high degree of autonomy” under an arrangement known as ‘one country, two systems‘. That meant Hong Kong belonged to China, but it would have its own economic and administrative systems that were quite different to the socialist regime across the rest of the nation. But along with Xi’s assertive agenda came a crackdown on Hong Kong’s freedoms. That started in earnest in 2019 when pro-democracy protests were crushed, and in 2020, a new national security law was introduced that bans challenges to China’s authority. Xi’s supporters say he’s enabled the “second return” of Hong Kong. Those opposed to what’s happened say he’s “brutally self-interested” and shown China to be untrustworthy by reneging on the 50-year deal.

Funny you ask – NATO members have just declared China to be a security threat for the first time. The world’s most powerful security alliance that takes in Western European and North American nations yesterday said that Beijing’s ambitions and coercive behaviour are major challenges to the group’s interests. “China is not an adversary, but, of course, we need to take into account the consequences to our security when we see China investing heavily in new modern military capabilities, long-range missiles, nuclear weapons, and also trying to control critical infrastructure, for instance, 5G networks in our own countries,” NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg said. PM Anthony Albanese agrees, saying China aims to become the “most powerful nation in the world”, and that Beijing and Moscow’s cosy relationship is a problem. Chinese state media responded, calling on him to be “more diplomatically astute”.

World News

Squiz the Rest

NATO down on Russia, Albanese up on France

Speaking of NATO… The leaders’ summit has ended in Spain with members branding Russia as the biggest “direct threat” to Western security. But someone who says he’s interested in peace is Indonesian President Joko Widodo – he’s passed a note from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Russia’s Vladimir Putin in a meeting overnight. No, we’re not in Year 9 English – Widodo’s met both men this week and says he could help broker a peace ahead of the G7 meeting in Bali in November. Meanwhile, PM Albanese has moved on from Madrid to Paris. He’s not there to take a romantic spin around the City of Lights – at least not with partner Jodie Haydon – but he could be on the market for a bromance with French President Emmanuel Macron… He extended the invitation after the unpleasantness of the breakdown in relations with the Morrison Government over the broken submarines contract. One sign things are back on track – negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union will recommence

World News

Paris terrorist handed life sentence

After the biggest trial in France’s modern history, the only surviving member of the group that committed the 2015 Paris terror attacks has been given a rare life sentence. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks across bars, restaurants, a football stadium and the Bataclan music venue that left 130 dead and hundreds injured. Most of the attackers were killed that night, but Salah Abdeslam was found guilty of all terrorism and murder charges yesterday. The Belgian-born French citizen abandoned his suicide vest on the night of 13 November, claiming he had a change of heart, but expert evidence revealed it was defective. Nineteen others who supported the terrorists were also found guilty and copped various sentences.

And while we have you… Convicted drug trafficker Domenic Perre was found guilty of sending a parcel bomb to Adelaide’s National Crime Authority office in 1994. It went off, killing Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Bowen and injuring lawyer Peter Wallis. Perre will be sentenced in September.

Crime World News

Territories set to get assisted dying laws

The Albanese Government will put forward a bill establishing the right for the ACT and Northern Territory to make their own voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws. It’s been a longstanding sticking point between the territories and Commonwealth… In 1996, the Northern Territory became the first jurisdiction in the world to legalise voluntary euthanasia, but that ended the following year when the Howard Government passed laws that removed the territories’ power to legislate on VAD. It’s bubbled away since then, including a 2018 attempt to overturn the federal law, which was narrowly defeated. But with every state passing legislation for VAD programs, the new federal mob are making good on an election promise to attempt to lift the territories’ ban. New Territories Minister Kristy McBain says a bill will be presented to Parliament soon. #SquizShortcut

Australian News

A not-so-dry July

We’re not talking about skipping the booze, but good luck if you are… After a June dry spell as La Niña said ‘adiós’, a pair of “intense” rain events are set to drench much of the country over the coming days. Parts of northern Oz – amid its dry season – are set to receive record-breaking rain from today, with the deluge moving through the Top End before hammering eastern Queensland. And NSW’s east coast is set to get up to 300mm of rain between now and early next week – which is wet. Torrential downpours are expected to cause more flooding in already sodden parts of southeast Queensland, the Sydney and Illawarra region, and NSW’s South Coast likely to be the hardest hit. And to top it all off, the weather bureau has forecasted above-average monthly rainfall. We won’t say cheers to that…


What makes a happy song

It’s generally thought that songs in a major key sound happier than those in minor. But a new Aussie study suggests this perception isn’t universal. In one of the only studies on the matter involving participants who haven’t been subjected to significant Western influences, researchers from Western Sydney University played major and minor melodies for people living in remote communities in Papua New Guinea, as well as a Sydney-based group. Participants were asked to identify which pieces they thought sounded happier – the Sydney-based group preferred those using major chords, but those in PNG showed no preference. Researchers say it points to a Western understanding of music taught through association or cultural learning. Someone ought to tell Elton John

Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

A bit of a left-field one… If you’re looking to be on the pulse of pop culture – specifically, what’s happening in NYC right now – the Dinner Party newsletter from New York Magazine is for you. The writing is fun, the topics are interesting – and it’s free. It’s strong, so not everyone’s cup of tea, but sign up here to try it.

Much more sedate is our recommendation for something to watch. Written and directed by Hugh Laurie, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans is an Agatha Christie thriller we found to be a solidly entertaining watch last weekend over 3 x 1-hour-long eps. And it’s free on ABC iView.

And cooking – it’s osso buco time. We have ours with a Milanese risotto. Decadent – and a reason to be thankful that it’s winter…

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which popular artist rock legend Jimmy Barnes beat for the #1 spot on the ARIA charts this week? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz. 

Squiz the Day

Happy new financial year…

7.30pm (AEST) – Men’s Basketball – World Cup Qualifiers – Australia v Japan – Melbourne

8.00pm – Tour de France begins – Copenhagen

Territory Day – Northern Territory

Canada Day, marking the anniversary of the foundation of Canada (1867)

Independence Day in Rwanda

Chinese President Xi Jinping heads to Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover to China from the UK. It’s his first trip outside the mainland since the pandemic began

Federal, state and territory health ministers meet – Canberra

International Reggae Day

Tartan Day

International Chicken Wing Day

90th anniversary of the official launch of the ABC (1932)

Birthdays for singers Debbie Harry (1945) and John Farnham (1949), and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo (1989)

Anniversary of:
• the birthday of Princess Diana (1961)
• the “SOS” morse code signal becoming the worldwide standard for help (1908)
• the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, one of the biggest battles of WWI (1916)
• the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (1921)
• the release of the Sony Walkman (1979)
• the establishment of The International Criminal Court (2002)
• the death of actor Marlon Brando (2004)

Squiz the Day

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