Squiz Today / 17 September 2021

Squiz Today – Friday, 17 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Perfect prep to up your weekend chat game.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

Wait, so is this the actual installation or are they doing something under it?”

Said British tourist Jack Silkstone of the late Christo’ art installation that’s taken over Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. It’s named “L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped” and it certainly has some rapted…

Getting fight-fit for the future

It was a sea of red, white and blue as PM Scott Morrison, US President Joe Biden and UK PM Boris Johnson gathered virtually to announce one of the biggest developments in defence and strategic direction in decades. In an acknowledgement that our Indo-Pacific region is where it’s at, Australia, the UK, and the US have made a new security pact – AUKUS. Under that pact, the US and UK have agreed to share their nuclear-powered submarine technology for the first time to enable Australia to build a fleet of at least 8 of the highly incredibly exceedingly complex watercrafts.

Three things to note:

• Only 6 countries currently have nuclear-powered submarines. And Australia has no current capacity to build a nuclear-powered anything right now. The US and UK will give us the know-how to build submarines that don’t need to be refuelled – ever. Super handy if you think you’re going to be patrolling the oceans a lot…

• It’s a break up of sorts with France with the $90 billion conventional sub-building program scuttled. And look, French President Emmanuel Macron and Co aren’t happy about it, but billions will be paid in compensation and for the work that’s already been done.

• But it’s about a lot more than a sub… What the announcement does is effectively call out China as the sort of threat to world peace that warrants the US and UK giving Oz much sharper weapons and inviting us deep into their secret armoury.

There’s an 18-month scoping project to work out how the subs will be built, and the expectation is the first subs will be operational sometime between 2036-38. In the meantime, there’ll be China’s response to deal with. Experts say if you thought China’s reaction to Oz calling for an investigation into the origins of COVID was something, wait until you see their response to this… And domestic politics could get interesting with Labor leader Anthony Albanese a long time anti-nuke advocate. He’s been briefed and has criticised the waste of taxpayers money over the ditched French project. On Oz having this new tech, he says he wants some more info.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Getting down to the details

Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in August – the lowest it’s been in almost 13 years. But there’s some fine print… COVID lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT meant many people gave up looking for work, so they aren’t counted in the official numbers. In NSW, 173,000 jobs were lost in August and the number of hours worked fell 6.5% – and that’s really not good. That weighed heavily on the national numbers, with 211,188 fewer Aussies working in August compared to June. Adding to the whack: the number of hours worked by those who have a job fell by 3.7% last month and underemployment (aka those in work but could do more hours) rose to 9.3%. Experts say the August beating is set to continue until both Sydney and Melbourne ease restrictions in [insert your own estimate here…].


Queensland passes assisted dying laws

Queensland yesterday became the 5th state to give eligible citizens suffering from advanced and progressive conditions the right to choose to end their life after the legislation was passed by the state’s parliament. Like programs in Victoria, Western Oz, Tassie and South Australia, there are strict criteria to meet. In Queensland, that includes being at least 18yo, having an eligible condition that is advanced, and a prognosis of death within 12 months. With laws passed in every state except NSW, two-thirds of Aussies will have access to assisted dying by the time the Queensland scheme comes into effect in 2023. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the laws give Queenslanders “dignity in death”. 

AusPol Australian News

Kremlin silences opposition ahead of elections

Election lovers rejoice… Russia heads to the polls in what is said to be a big test of President Vladimir Putin’s presidency. From today and across the weekend, voters will select their lower house representatives of parliament (the Duma), and while Putin’s United Russia party’s approval rating is sitting at a record low of 26%, it’s expected to hold onto its majority in the 450-seat chamber. Of course it will, say critics who reckon this election will be the least democratic since Putin came to power 21 years ago. That’s because the Kremlin barred a number of independent candidates from running – including Russia’s key opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who has been behind bars since February after surviving an assassination attempt. With online voting being a thing this time around, voter fraud is a big concern too. Get ready to hear the term “lacks transparency” a few times before this one is done… 

World News

Showing respect where respect is due

It’s hard enough to name your personal favourite song, let alone the #1 greatest song of all time… Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody? Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off? Joe Dolce’s Shaddap You Face? Nope. It’s the 1967 anthem Respect by Aretha Franklin, according to Rolling Stone. The music mag has updated its list of top 500 songs. And the protests are rolling in… It was originally published in 2014 and was one of the most widely read stories in the magazine’s history. But a lot has changed since then… More than 250 artists, musicians and producers – from singer Sam Smith to American rapper Megan Thee Stallion – were asked to rank their personal top 50s before the results were combined. The result: more hip-hop, modern country, indie rock, Latin pop, reggae and R&B. That’s one helluva good playlist to tee up for your weekend chores…  


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Speaking of submarines… We devoured the first 3 episodes of BBC’s Vigil – the story of a murder on a nuclear-powered sub doing super secret work off the Scottish coast. Can’t wait to get back into the next ep this weekend. On Binge.

We’ve almost finished a bottle of this lite and foamy face cleanser* and we’re stoked that we’ve finally found a goodie with a decent price tag. Better put another order in pronto…

If you’re feeling fishy on a Friday, we’ve got just the recipe. This warm poached prawn salad with lemongrass and lime is super quick, easy and tasty. We paired it with a simple rice pilaf because you don’t make friends with salad.

*By using this link and The Squiz may earn a little commission.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know what billionaire’s company sent an all-civilian crew on a 3-day orbit of Earth this week? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz. 

Squiz the Day

7.50pm (AEST) – NRL Semi-Finals – Manly Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters – BB Print Stadium, Mackay

Australian Citizenship Day, marking the anniversary of the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia (1900)

Birthdays for Indian PM Narendra Modi (1950) and director Baz Luhrmann (1962)

Anniversary of:
• Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek becoming the first to report the existence of bacteria (1683)
• the debut of the Looney Tunes characters Wile E Coyote and Road Runner in the cartoon Fast and Furry-ous (1949)
• the premiere of MAS*H (1972)
• the signing of the Camp David Accords, frameworks for peace in the Middle East and between Egypt and Israel (1978)

Squiz the Day

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