Squiz Today / 10 March 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 10 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

The homestretch never sounded so informed. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

17 / 27
14 / 24
22 / 28
12 / 26
16 / 27
14 / 22
24 / 32
6 / 26

Squiz Sayings

“Lonely, widowed domestic goose seeks life partner for companionship and occasional shenanigans”

Reads a personal ad on behalf of an Iowegian goose named Blossom after the death of her partner Bud. The owners of a lonely male goose called Frankie heeded the call and the pair are now inseparable. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…

Defence down under the sea…

It’s been bubbling under the surface for a while, but reports say we’re getting closer to locking in our new/expensive submarine fleet. Yesterday, there was speculation that PM Anthony Albanese will shore up plans (pun intended…) to secure 2 types of nuclear-powered submarines for Oz under the $100 billion-plus AUKUS deal that will be outlined with an all-star cast including UK PM Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden in San Diego on Monday.

Albanese’s US visit will flesh out some details on the security pact between Australia, the UK and America that responds to China’s growing presence in the Pacific. A big part of the agreement that was announced 18 months ago is for Australia to acquire a fleet of super sophisticated nuclear-powered subs to replace our ageing assets. And yesterday, reports said we’ll get at least 4 Virginia-class subs built in the US and delivered around the mid-2030s to help “bridge the capability gap”. We’re also set to work with the UK on a modified version of their new Astute-class sub that would be built in Adelaide and take a bit longer to complete. Albanese has refused to comment on the reports, but in the coming days, we can expect a lot of commentary about the cost and timelines. And given Oz will become the 7th nation to have nuclear-powered subs, there are questions about our capacity to build and maintain the fleet. 

There sure is… After a ride on a different sort of bat mobile before the start of the 4th Test between the Aussie and Indian men’s sides, he announced that India will join Australia for this year’s Talisman Sabre war games for the first time during a visit to India’s flagship carrier INS Vikrant. Those massive exercises held every 2 years off the Queensland coast include defence personnel from the US, UK, Kiwiland, Canada, Japan, and South Korea. Albanese went all Top Gun as he labelled India a “top-tier security partner”, saying there has “never been a point in both of our countries’ histories where we’ve had such a strong strategic alignment.”

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Fiji’s former PM charged

Police yesterday charged the nation’s former leader Frank Bainimarama with abuse of office in the latest chapter of high political drama in the Pacific. He had been in the top job for 16 years but lost December’s election to rival Sitiveni Rabuka. It’s alleged that while he was PM, Bainimarama and former police commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho shut down an investigation into financial mismanagement at the University of the South Pacific. And it comes a day after Bainimarama’s sensational resignation from parliament in protest over his 3-year suspension last month after he accused his successors of “setting out to destroy constitutional democracy” and called on the country’s military to intervene. His critics say that’s a bit rich, given he took power in a coup in 2006 and was a dictator for the ensuing 8 years… Bainimarama, who is currently in police custody, says he will remain the leader of his FijiFirst party.

World News

Robodebt Royal Commission hearings wrap up

…and the evidence delivered by witnesses has been a doozy. To refresh: Robodebt was a Coalition Government scheme that aimed to recoup Centrelink overpayments, except some dodgy maths meant that, in practice, debt recovery notices were sent to Aussies for debts that were wildly inaccurate or completely false. That happened to hundreds of thousands of Australians and has been linked to several suicides. The scheme was later found to be illegal. During hearings, the Royal Commission learned that the departments running Robodebt had advice about the scheme’s illegality before it was implemented and that those same departments misled the Ombudsman during a 2017 investigation. Several former ministers, including Alan Tudge, Christian Porter, Scott Morrison and Stuart Robert, also faced the Royal Commission for their part in the cluster disaster. That’s not the end of it – the report will be handed to the government on 30 June.

AusPol Australian News

Myer is… quite profitable

That’s thanks to a strong Christmas period which has ho ho ho’d the department store to its best profit result since 2014. Reporting on its earnings for the 6 months to the end of January, the company says its profit has hit $65 million – more than doubling its result from last year. It hasn’t always been this way – in 2018, it made a loss of almost $500 million. But a management shakeup, a new strategy, and the return of shoppers after COVID lockdowns have improved performance. And CEO John King says there’s a focus on improving the online shopping offer, but whether customers come IRL or virtually, “we’re fine either way.” Also feeling confident is Kmart, which is taking its Anko own-brand product range to Canada. It’s not opening stores but will wholesale the products to established retailers. Those well-priced decorator pieces were always too good to just stay in Oz…

Australian News Business & Finance

A mouse with two dads

Japanese researchers have made a breakthrough in reproductive science after creating mice with 2 biological fathers. A team led by renowned fertility pioneer Professor Katsuhiko Hayashi could generate eggs from male mice’s skin cells by turning male XY sex chromosomes into female XX ones. After the eggs were fertilised, they were implanted into surrogate female mice, who then birthed healthy mouse pups. The team is now attempting to replicate the development with human cells – something that could take many years as scientists are yet to create viable lab-grown human eggs from female cells. If successful, same-sex couples could one day have their own biological children and help infertile women who cannot produce their own eggs. Given that’s some time off, those with ethical concerns about the hyper-modern approach to reproduction will have plenty of time to get organised…

Environment & Science Health

Officially good buns

It’s less than a month until Easter, and you might have already indulged on hot cross buns that have been in stores since Boxing Day…But if you’re in the market for some HXB action, you’re in luck because the good testers from consumer advocacy group CHOICE have done the hard yards and ranked 21 of Australia’s supermarket and chain bakery offerings. Long story short, the best are among the most wallet-friendly… Woolworths’ ‘traditional’ variety was ranked #1, ahead of the supermarket’s ‘luxurious’ range. Choccy hot crossies were rated separately, and the Aldi variety topped that category. Buns were ranked mainly by flavour, with points also awarded for appearance, aroma, and texture. If they need another judge, we volunteer as tribute…

Australian News

Friday Lites – Three things we like this week

We’re adult lady people, and ugh the pimples are brutal ATM… We’re new to pimple patches, and this guide was a good recce for these little circles of zit-zapping brilliance. It pointed us to the best $8 we’ve ever spent…

If you need a laugh, here’s a TV game show that’ll keep you guessing. On Game Changer, the game changes (funny that…) every episode, and the comedian contestants have no idea what they’re getting into. This series is from Dropout, a paywalled streaming service from the old CollegeHumor crew, but there are a couple of full sample episodes on YouTube you can watch for free.

Craving something fresh for dinner last Sunday, we made this fatteh recipe. For the uninitiated, it’s an Egyptian salady-type dish with chickpeas and a yoghurt dressing over toasted flatbread, and we included some hot smoked trout. A few ingredients are involved, but get ’em in your pantry because it will become a frequent flyer…

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

7.30pm (AEDT) – Men’s Basketball – NBL Grand Final Game 3 – Sydney Kings v NZ Breakers – Sydney

Last day of Robodebt hearings

Womadelaide begins (on until 13 March)

Motorsport – Supercars Championship Newcastle 500 begins (until 12 March)

Get your earplugs its International Bagpipe Day

Birthdays for Chuck Norris (1940), Sharon Stone (1958), Prince Edward (1964), Jon Hamm (1971), Robin Thicke (1977), Carrie Underwood (1983) and Olivia Wilde (1984)

Anniversary of:
• the birthday of NZ suffragette Kate Sheppard (1847)
• Ethiopian Airlines crash that led to the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX planes (2019)

Squiz the Day

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