Squiz Today / 11 August 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 11 August

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Rolling into the weekend with you. 

Today’s listen time: 8.00 minutes

9 / 19
9 / 16
11 / 27
7 / 16
8 / 19
7 / 16
21 / 32
-2 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“He basically cuddles us. We leave it up to him to decide, and he usually wants to.”

Said wildlife vet Carrie Goertz of a walrus calf that was found 6km inland on an Alaskan oil field. Without his mum, the highly social creature requires round-the-clock cuddles, which depending on your personal space regime, is the best thing ever/worst nightmare…

A holiday haven destroyed

Aussies with an affinity for Hawaii or a familiarity with fires would have clocked what has happened to the township of Lahaina on the island of Maui. At least 36 people are dead, and more than 20 were taken to hospital with burns and smoke inhalation. Lahaina was home to 9,000 people and is historically significant as the former Kingdom of Hawaii’s capital – its residents have been evacuated, along with thousands of tourists, many taking shelter in Maui Airport. Incredible photos and videos show the levelling of the town by the blaze that started on Wednesday our time. Maui isn’t the only Hawaiian island dealing with fires – 3 active blazes are burning on the Big Island, although there’s been no reports of homes lost there.

Hawaiian Governor Josh Green said “hurricane-force winds in the region and underlying drought conditions” is behind the devastation, calling it “the deadliest natural disaster the state has seen in generations.” The supercharged conditions surprised locals, forcing them to leave behind pets and belongings as they fled homes and businesses. And in scenes reminiscent of the Aussie town of Mallacoota during the Black Summer bushfires, residents ran into the ocean to avoid the smoke and flames – 14 had to be rescued by the US Coast Guard. Authorities say at least 271 buildings were destroyed in Lahaina. “We have no more Lahaina. It’s gone,” said one local, while another said the decimated township “looks like something out of a movie, a war movie”. President Joe Biden has declared the wildfires a major disaster, which means federal funding to assist with rescue and recovery will be provided.

They sure have… Greece is on fire alert again after fires burned for 11 days last month, forcing thousands of residents and tourists to the Greek Isles to evacuate. Portugal hasn’t been so lucky – 3,400 firefighters are battling 130 fires there as temperatures exceed 40C. And in Spain, people are dealing with temperatures up to 15C higher for this time of year. More than 30 million acres have burned in Canada, where authorities declared this year’s wildfires the biggest in modern history. Just as Aussies plan for a drier, warmer summer just around the corner…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Dear Australia, love Cheng Lei

It will be 3 years on Sunday since Australian journo Cheng Lei was detained by Chinese authorities. She worked for the state-owned English-language news channel CGTN before being found guilty of “illegally supplying state secrets overseas” in a closed trial last year. She’s still waiting to be sentenced… And last night, Cheng’s first public statement was released by her partner Nick Coyle. “Every year, the bedding is taken into the sun for 2 hours to air. When it came back last time, I wrapped myself in the doona and pretended I was being hugged by my family under the sun. I can’t believe I used to avoid the sun when I was living back in Australia,” she writes. She’s receiving regular consular visits, but Coyle says “the long-term separation from her children, that is, without doubt, the most difficult thing.” Our government continues to advocate for Cheng’s release with China’s government, as they do for detained author Yang Hengjun.

Australian News World News

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

The White House has confirmed PM Anthony Albanese will get the fine china treatment of a State Dinner when he travels to Washington for an official visit in October. Not every visiting foreign leader gets this grand display of hospitality, and Albanese says he’s “honoured” to accept the invite. This will be the fourth state dinner Biden’s hosted – he previously gone all out for India’s Narendra Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron (he got butter-poached lobster…) and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. When Donald Trump was in office, he hosted Scott Morrison, and the event was attended by hybrid Aussie/US celebs like astronaut Andy Thomas and golfer Greg Norman. Albanese is likely to have back-to-back trips to the US later this year – the APEC summit is in San Francisco in November, and it’s a meeting Aussie leaders usually never miss.


Final grilling for bank boss

When you’re finishing up a job, you might think about cake, a card and slacking off for a bit… Reserve Bank Governor Phillip Lowe doesn’t have that luxury – he’ll be answering some tough questions from our federal pollies today about – you guessed it – interest rates… Lowe has to face a bunch of parliamentary committees this year – and things can get a bit testy like last time when he was accused of trying to “smash Australia into a recession”. A few issues are expected to be raised by MPs for Lowe’s final appearance today: the lagged impact of rate rises, the pressure on the housing market, and the global economic headwinds facing Australia. Lowe’s due to finish in mid-September after 7 years in the top job – he’ll be replaced by Deputy Governor Michele Bullock.

Australian News Business & Finance

Disney does a Netflix

Disney has posted a rare quarterly net loss. On top of some recent box office flops, the entertainment giant posted a 7.4% drop in its Disney+ subscribers over the 3 months to June, led by its India-based Hotstar service that lost out on the rights to broadcast the Indian Premier League cricket. To up its revenue, Disney is following the lead of streaming rival Netflix, announcing it will crack down on password sharing. It will also hike the price of its US-only ad-free streaming tier in October and expand its ad-supported option to Europe. And as the company’s theme parks division continued to bolster its bottom line, rumours of an Aussie Disneyland could see Melbourne become the happiest place on earth…

Business & Finance Technology

The game that will stop a nation

Geez it’s exciting… The Matildas are going up against France in the World Cup quarter-final in Brissie at 5pm tomorrow arvo. You might recognise that’s an earlier kick-off time than their previous matches, which has created problems for World Cup broadcaster Seven’s programming schedule. It said it will screen the game on its main channel, meaning it will have to shift its 6pm news bulletin (except in Western Oz…) to after the match – something that has only happened before because of an AFL final or the Olympics. And because Seven also owns the broadcasting rights to the AFL, a match between Carlton and Melbourne will be pushed back to 7.30pm – which will work if the Matildas finish up in regular time… As for the game, our women’s team hopes to replicate their 1-0 victory against world #5 France in last month’s friendly match – with Sam Kerr starting on the field or the bench

Australian News Sport

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Actor Riley Keough was stunning in Prime’s TV rendering of Daisy Jones & the Six. We didn’t know much about her before that, which seems silly because she’s Lisa-Marie Presley’s daughter and now the sole custodian of her grandfather Elvis’s estate Graceland. And she’s married to an Aussie… You can get clued in like we did with this Vanity Fair profile.

If you liked The Bear or you’re a home cook who likes to give it a red hot go, this is for you. Writer Chris Godfrey – an ambitious foodie – had a crack at some dishes from the show with varying results…

Footy on a Saturday arvo requires good snacks. Longtime Squizers will know we’re dedicated to this edamame dip, and it’s with good reason. It’s so darn delicious and moreish and yields an excellent return for effort.

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

11.00am (AEST) – Women’s World Cup Quarter Final – Spain v Netherlands – Wellington

5.30pm (AEST) – Women’s World Cup Quarter Final – Japan v Sweden – Auckland

Independence Day in Chad

Company Results – News Corp; Newcrest Mining; REA Group

Red Nose Day

News Corp’s national Bush Summit begins in Tamworth

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair begins (until 13 August)

National Presidential Joke Day in the US

Birthdays for Steve Wozniak (1950), Hulk Hogan (1953), Joe Rogan (1967), and Chris Hemsworth (1983)

Anniversary of:
• Enid Blyton’s birthday (1897)
• the start of the Weimar Republic in Germany (1919)
• the first federal prisoners arriving at Alcatraz (1934)
• the premiere of The Wizard of Oz (1939)
• the formation of Al-Qaeda (1988)
• the founding of Airbnb by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk (2008)
• the death of Robin Williams (2014)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.