Squiz Today / 10 February 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 10 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

We’ll give you something to talk about.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It’s going to be a long road and I’m just getting the legs ready to run that road so I’m going to try and go all the way.”

Said Aussie surfer Jack Robinson, who has taken the world #1 ranking after winning the season-opening World Surf League event in Hawaii. The 25yo West Australian is now the man to beat at next week’s Sunset Pro, proving his achievement is no pipe dream…

Tudge pulls the pin on politics

Victorian Liberal MP Alan Tudge has announced his exit from federal politics and says he’ll leave the parliament next week. The former Human Services/Education minister said Coalition leader Peter Dutton’s been in the know since last month when his decision to spend more time with family “was cemented” by his father’s death. “It’s not been an easy decision for me, but it is necessary for my health and family, amongst other reasons,” he said, noting that he has received death threats during his political career, including as recently as last week.

It’s a good question because it’s not like he’s currently on the government’s frontbench wielding any power – but he was until May last year, and it’s in that capacity that he’s still a relevant figure. First and foremost, the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme is ongoing, and Tudge was the minister during its largest ramp-up in late 2016 and into 2017. He was before the Commission last week and said he did not ask for or receive advice about the scheme’s legality – or lack thereof… A final report on that is expected on 18 April, so he won’t disappear from public view anytime soon. And Tudge is notable because in 2020, his former press secretary Rachelle Miller claimed he physically and emotionally abused her while they were in a relationship. Last year, she reached a $650,000 settlement with the Commonwealth, but Tudge maintains her claims are untrue.

Tudge’s resignation means there will be a by-election for the 110,000 voters in his seat of Aston, which takes in several of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. The seat has been in Liberal hands since 1990, but after the 11.64% swing against Tudge in May last year following all of his troubles and voters’ allergic reaction to the Morrison Government in general, the pundits say it will be hard for the Liberals to hold. As for who the candidates will be, insert shrugging lady emoji… There was a rush of speculation yesterday that former Liberal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg could be tapped for a run, but reports say he’s ruled that out. Who would have thought a good job in investment banking was a more appealing way to spend time than slogging it out in opposition…


Squiz the Rest

An Aussie among latest earthquake deaths

Sydney man Can Pahali is the first Australian confirmed dead after Monday’s earthquakes, with fatalities now exceeding 19,700 across Turkey and Syria. That number is rising as hopes for finding survivors are fading as the critical 72-hour window that disaster experts consider crucial to saving lives has passed. Public anger over the Turkish Government’s response is growing, but President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says they’re going as fast as possible. The World Health Organization says freezing conditions and a lack of food and water pose a “real danger” of a “secondary disaster” which could harm “more people than the initial disaster”. In Syria, the United Nations has finally been able to get across the border to start helping the millions of victims there – it’s the first international aid to arrive.

Australian News World News

Zelensky presses for jets

The Ukrainian leader is touring Europe, hoping to secure more military assets to help repel the ongoing Russian invasion. Starting in the UK, he met with PM Rishi Sunak and King Charles – reports suggest that was a success, with Sunak ordering the Ministry of Defence to investigate which aircraft they could offer. Zelensky then headed to Paris, where he met with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – they could be “game changers” if they provided battle tanks, fighter jets and long-range missiles. And overnight, he met with European Union leaders in Brussels. Meanwhile, Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters incensed Ukraine’s allies at the UN Security Council. Speaking at Russia’s invitation, he said although the invasion was “provoked”. Ukraine’s representative called Waters’ speech “another brick in the wall” of Russian disinformation.

World News

Bard makes a costly blunder

The value of Google’s parent company Alphabet fell by US$100 billion (A$144 billion) this week after its new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot shared inaccurate information in a promotional video. Earlier this week, Google revealed a soon-to-be-released tool called Bard, which, like Microsoft-backed ChatGPT, uses AI to provide detailed answers to users’ questions. Google boss Sundar Pichai said Bard will be available to the public “in the coming weeks”, but the tech giant was left red-faced after a new ad included an inaccurate claim about the James Webb Telescope. Google said it’s kicking off a “rigorous testing process” before public release. However, the error wasn’t the only reason Alphabet’s share price fell 7.7%, with Microsoft set to add a ChatGPT tool to its search engine Bing. While Bing’s popularity has long trailed behind that of Google, experts – and investors – reckon it could finally become a serious competitor. Let the AI games begin…

Business & Finance Technology

Oz eyes a World Cup hat-trick

The women’s T20 World Cup bats off in South Africa tomorrow morning, and the Aussies are in excellent form despite a surprise loss to Ireland in a warm-up match on Wednesday. Our reigning champs are the clear favourites to win after taking out the last 2 World Cups and gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games. The 15-strong squad includes veteran captain Meg Lanning, vice-captain Alyssa Healy, and T20 player of the year Tahlia McGrath – but there are a few newbies to watch, including Irish-born Kim Garth. And there’s Heather Graham, who impressed with a hat-trick against India in her international T20 debut in December. Hosts South Africa will open the tournament with a match against Sri Lanka tomorrow, while the Aussies are up against the Kiwis on Sunday morning. Go you good things… And here’s a good guide to all 10 teams battling for finals glory on 26 February.


Vale Burt Bacharach

The pop music icon has died “of natural causes” at 94yo at his home in Los Angeles. If your first reaction is “who’s Burt Bacharach” – first, how very dare you. Second, he composed many of the biggest songs from 1950-90 that were sung by the biggest artists going around. Walk on By, I Say a Little Prayer, Anyone Who Had a Heart, What the World Needs Now Is Love, That’s What Friends Are For – and our favourite, This Guy’s In Love… He was behind more than 70 US top 40 hits, winning him Grammys, Emmys and Oscars. And when we say ‘biggest artists of the day’, we mean Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, and Stevie Wonder. And of the more contemporary artists, Oasis star Noel Gallagher and Dr Dre were big fans. The key to Bacharach’s success: “Never be afraid of something that you can whistle.” This weekend, we’ll rewatch My Best Friend’s Wedding, which heavily features his songs.

World News

Friday Lites – Three things we like this week

If you need inspiration to go for some of your goals, read this New York Times article on Lhakpa Sherpa. The Nepali holds the record for most Everest ascents ever by a woman, she has no sponsors, has survived domestic abuse, and works at Wholefoods in Connecticut to pay for everything. Amazing.

The Grammys spotlight the big stars – but one major award delivered a surprise winner. Blues legend Bonnie Raitt won Song of the Year for Just Like That against the likes of Adele and Beyoncé. And get this, the 73yo’s song is about a stranger showing up on the doorstep of a woman who blames herself for her son’s death. Plot twist: the man got her son’s heart as a transplant… You can listen here – it’s quite beautiful.

Celeb chef Matt Moran’s ‘weeknight’ recipes can be a bit ambitious for us, but these spicy lamb koftas with some pita bread and a tomato/lettuce salad hit the mark this week. Five stars, will come again…

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

12.30pm (AEDT) – Winter Olympics Men’s Individual Figure Skating Final – Beijing. Watch out for Aussie Brendan Kerry

6.15pm (AEDT) – Winter Olympics Men’s Snowboard Cross Final – Beijing. Watch out for Aussie Olympic 2018 Silver Medallist Jarryd Hughes

A 2-day meeting of Quad foreign ministers begins

National Cabinet meets

ABS Data Release – Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, December 2021; Building Approvals, December 2021 (Additional Information)

Company Full-Year Earnings Results – AMP

Company Half-Year Results – Mirvac; Northern Star Resources; AGL; ASX

First Half Company Results – Mirvac; AGL Energy

AIHW Release – Young people in residential aged care

World Pulses Day

Birthdays for actors Laura Dern (1967), Elizabeth Banks (1974) and Chloe Grace Moretz (1997)

Anniversary of:
• the debut of the Tom & Jerry cartoon (1940)
• Glenn Miller’s In the Mood hitting #1 (1940)
• the sinking of the HMAS Voyager after colliding with aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne killing 82 people (1964)
• IBM’s Deep Blue becoming the first computer to win a game of chess against a reigning human chess champion – in this case Gary Kasparov (1996)
• more than 30 bushfires in NSW being put out by the heaviest rainfall in 30 years, helping end one of Australia’s worst bushfire seasons ever (2020)

Squiz the Day

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