Squiz Today / 18 March 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 18 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

Helping you out with an informed Friday.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Elite sleepers”

Is the name scientists have given to the superhumans who thrive on less than 6 hours’ kip a night. A new study found they have a lower risk of cognitive decline later in life, which is excellent news for the early risers of Team Squiz…

South Oz gets ready to rumble


You know how long we’ve been waiting for an election? Since 1 May last year when Tassie decided to keep its Liberal government. And tomorrow, voters in South Oz will elect their state government. It’s an interesting one because the polls are pointing to a change in which party has power. And to be Captain Obvious for a sec, it’s also going to be closely watched by politicos across the country because of its proximity to the federal election, which is due by 21 May. 


  • The premier is 54yo Steven Marshall, who was hailed a hero by supporters when he won the election for the Liberals in 2018, ending 16 years of Labor in power. Since then, it’s been hard going with 3 Liberals becoming independents last year, pushing Marshall into a minority position in the 47-seat Assembly. And he’s on a strict keto diet, so go gently… 
  • The Liberals are facing off against Labor under its leader Peter Malinauskas (pronounced mala-nows-kis). He’s 41yo, he’s fit, and he’s the new face of the party in the state after a sweep out following defeat in 2018. And he’s taken a different road to some opposition leaders: Malinauskas has taken a bipartisan approach to supporting Marshall’s handling of the pandemic. 
  • And then there’s 4 members on the crossbench – all former Liberals. So even if things were going Marshall’s way, he would still have a lot of work to do. That’s because the Liberals have to win all their seats, and battle to regain seats they won last time that are now occupied by independents who have had the benefit of office. 


No. And that largely comes down to the government’s handling of the Omicron outbreak. South Oz remained relatively untouched by the pandemic, enduring just one 6-day lockdown. Marshall opened the border on 23 November and the next day, Omicron was declared a thing. Case numbers rose, the health system came under pressure, and many families had Christmas in iso. Marshall maintains that opening up was the right thing to do, while Malinauskas talks about the “calamity” that was summer. But long story short, it gave Labor a chance in this election that they didn’t seem to have 6 months ago. Fun fact via the ABC’s expert Antony Green: “Of the nine opposition leaders around Australia in January 2020, only 2 have survived the political dislocation of COVID. Those 2 are Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese, and South Australia’s Labor leader Peter Malinauskas.” The experts say its hard to predict a winner, and don’t expect a result tomorrow night. Insert gritted teeth emoji… 


Squiz the Rest

More talks on Ukraine as Russia is accused of targeting civilians

In the besieged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, local officials have accused Russia of bombing a theatre where up to 1,200 civilians were sheltering yesterday. The hope is most were in the basement with the bombs landed and that most survived. This morning, survivors are starting to emerge, reports say. Critics say it’s more evidence that Russia is targeting civilians, and adds to the list of ​​hospital, churchs and apartment buildings that have been hit killing hundreds. “Our hearts are broken by what Russia is doing to our people. To our Mariupol,” Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address. On the talks front, US President Joe Biden will speak with the Chinese President Xi Jinping today to discuss the Ukraine war “and other issues of mutual concern”. China is copping it from across the globe do more to persuade its mate Russia to back down. This week, NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg said China has an obligation as a member of the UN Security Council to help bring an end to the war in Ukraine. It’s pressure China’s not loving… 

World News

Unemployment falls to a record low

Australia’s jobs market is surging with unemployment falling to an equal record low of 4%. The last time the jobless rate was this low was in August 2008. The latest data released from the Bureau of Stats estimates that 77,400 extra people were employed in February, bringing the jobless rate down from 4.2. Omicron slashed working hours in January and while there was a strong improvement in February, analysts say the virus is still a thing. “The number of employed people working no hours over the entire week due to illness or sick leave was around 80% higher than we would normally see in February,” said the head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis. Underemployment – which is when someone has a job but wants to be doing more hours – eased slightly and the participation rate is up, meaning more people are working or looking for work. The data shows 1.2% more women are trying to get back into the workforce compared to the height of the pandemic in 2020. 

Business & Finance

Retirement poses a million-dollar question

They say that saving up a million-dollar nest egg is key to a comfortable retirement, but new research has challenged the claim. After looking at retirees’ spending habits and how much they have in the bank, Super Consumers Australia (SCA) – which is attached to consumer advocacy group Choice – has developed new savings targets for retirees. They found that the million-dollar figure is “appropriate really only for very high expenditure households” who require an income of at least $73,000 a year. Meanwhile, SCA said a couple wanting an average-sized annual income of $55,000 would need to have savings of $360,000 by the time they reach 67yo, whereas a single person would need $259,000 to maintain an average income of $37,000. But there’s one catch – SCA’s modelling assumes that retirees owned their own home, with those paying off a mortgage or renting showing “really high rates” of financial stress. Super is one of those things where more is more…

Business & Finance

Hello dampness my old friend…

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but forecasters say the rain set to hang about the east coast a bit longer than expected. Boo… Forecasters have previously said that you could unplug the dehumidifier, but the official word is La Niña will now be here until the end of autumn. That’s because trade winds on the Pacific Ocean strengthened a few weeks ago – possibly because of warmer than normal temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, although that’s still being explored. And warmer ocean temps and cooler, cloudy skies that precipitate precipitation are likely to continue longer than expected. “Overall, the outlook is continuing to look at above-average rain for the next month,” forecaster Andrew Watkins said. Rain is most likely in northern Oz but Dr Watkins has a warning… Parts of the east coast could see more heavy rainfall on their already sodden catchments over the next couple of weeks – but at least it’s not dusty… Are we allowed another gritted teeth emoji?

Australian News Weather

New emojis to improve your chat game

Because today we’ve demonstrated we need to mix it up… It’s that time of year again – Apple has released 37 new emojis as part of its latest iOS 15.4 update, and there are some pearlers. There are a few new hand gestures, including an Uncle Sam-inspired pointing finger and the iconic hands shaped into a heart symbol. And there’s a disco ball, a pregnant man, and – much to the internet’s delight – an actual troll emoji. On the more obscure side of things, it looks like the tech giant has responded to longstanding calls for a kidney bean emoji after 1,931 bean enthusiasts signed a change.org petition back in 2020. And of course, there are plenty of new smileys to pick from, including a salute and one crying happy tears. We have a feeling this melting face emoji is going to be popping up everywhere… Still, there’s no white wine emoji – and you know what emoji we want to use to express our frustration about that…


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which world leader adopted a Volodymyr Zelensky-inspired “crisis wardrobe” this week? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz. 

Squiz the Day

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg gives a pre-Budget speech at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Canberra

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Women Marise Payne and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi co-chair the inaugural Southeast Asia Dialogue of Women Leaders – virtual

Carer Rosa Maioneto be sentenced over the manslaughter of Ann Marie Smith – Adelaide

World Sleep Day

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

Birthdays for rapper/actor Queen Latifah (1970), singer Adam Levine (1979), and actor Lily Collins (1989)

Anniversary of:
• the first-ever public ‘bus’ service operating in Paris (1662)
• Mahatma Gandhi being sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for disobedience (1922)
• the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty Org (NATO) (1949)
• Alexey Leonov becoming the first person to walk in space (1965)
• the deaths of actor Natasha Richardson (2009), musician Chuck Berry (2017) and Dr Catherine Hamlin (2020)

Squiz the Day

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