Squiz Today / 02 September 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 2 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Get it in your ears. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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4 / 15

Squiz Sayings

Puppy Love was my very first record, and 6 decades later, my love for pets is stronger than ever.”

Said country music icon Dolly Parton as she launched pet apparel brand called… Doggy Parton. Featuring fringed cowgirl dresses, rhinestone harnesses and a platinum blonde wig, you’ll be working canine to 5 to pay for it all…

Working hard at the job summit

The 142 business, union and community representatives will reconvene in Canberra today as the Albanese Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit enters its 2nd and final day. It’s brought together the key stakeholders on some of the biggest issues dogging Australia’s economy – and from here, it’s up to those in power to turn the discussion into action. And geez they set a cracking pace on day 1… Coming out of yesterday’s sessions: a commitment to bring forward 180,000 free TAFE places to next year costing $1.1 billion, a push to speed up childcare reforms, and progress on reforms to the Fair Work Act, including multi-employer bargaining and the Better Off Overall Test.

A lot – and look, it’s Friday, so let’s not go overboard… On TAFE places, PM Anthony Albanese says speeding things up will help more Aussies get into jobs more quickly. Tick. On childcare, there’s a recognised need to get more women into the workforce ASAP. It’s also going to be expensive, so it’s shaping up to be a ‘yeah nah’ response in the short term. As for the Fair Work Act stuff – knock yourself out on the details… But in short, it’s about protecting workers while freeing up employers to get on with business – and the Financial Review (paywall) points out that these were essentially Morrison Government proposals that Albanese rejected before the election. As for day 2, more big ticket items are on the agenda, like a proposal to lift the cap on skilled migration from 160,000 people a year to 200,000 – a move that both the unions and business support. Note: none of that will help ease labour shortages in the next few weeks/months…

Because there’s the impending fight for Christmas casual workers. Retailers expect stiff competition for staff in the retail, hospitality, tourism and logistics sectors, and there’s a reduced pool of people to source them from. Australia Post is trying to beat the rush and has already started recruiting for the silly season. Department store David Jones and jeweller Michael Hill hope their brand/reputation will make them more attractive to those looking for a summer gig. But not all shops are scrambling for staff… Harvey Norman and Best & Less are focusing on shoring up existing employees to minimise their reliance on casuals. Our tip: you might want to start your Christmas shopping now… #SquizShortcut


Squiz the Rest

Dawson doesn’t apply for bail

Convicted murderer Chris Dawson (that will take some getting used to…) didn’t apply for bail when he appeared in court yesterday. To recap, he was found guilty of murdering his wife Lynette in 1982 on Tuesday after a long, highly publicised battle to bring him to justice. As NSW’s new laws require convicted offenders to prove exceptional circumstances to be awarded bail ahead of sentencing, the 74yo’s lawyer Greg Walsh said an application would be “doomed to fail”. Walsh also said he was still reading through Justice Ian Harrison’s lengthy judgment, but an appeal will be mounted. He also noted that Dawson has already been subjected to a “large number” of death threats in Silverwater prison, which saw him granted extra protection and access to mental health services. Dawson will be sentenced on 11 November.

Australian News Crime

Home prices fall for a 4th month

August was a biggie for home prices… According to analysts CoreLogic, they fell by 1.6% in the month – that’s the biggest national monthly decline since 1983. Prices fell across every capital city except Darwin (0.9%), with Sydney leading the pack with (-2.3%), and then we have Brisbane (-1.8%), Melbourne (-1.2%), Canberra and Hobart (-1.7%), Perth (-0.2%) and Adelaide (-0.1%). In regional Oz, there was a fall of 1.5%. Analyst Eliza Owen says would-be buyers are freaked out by higher interest rates and cost of living pressures. Those factors have led to a 10.7% drop in the number of first home buyers in July, the Bureau of Stats says. And further falls in the property market are expected if the Reserve Bank continues to raise interest rates. We’ll find out on Tuesday after the central bank’s board meets. 

Australian News

UN releases Uyghur report at the 11th hour

A long-awaited United Nations report has concluded that China “may” have committed human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the country’s Xinjiang region. Despite calls from Beijing to withhold the report over the claim that it’s a politically-motivated Western “farce”, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet released it yesterday – on her last day on the job… Based partly on interviews conducted with former detainees of the detention centres that China claimed were job training facilities, the report backs up what’s already been well and truly documented by rights groups and media outlets. The UN report accuses China of using “discriminatory” birth control policies and arbitrary detention, with investigators uncovering “credible evidence” of torture against the Uyghurs. Human rights advocates are sceptical about the latest report resulting in any change but have called for more scrutiny of the government’s actions in the region. #SquizShortcut

World News

Ups and downs in the US Open

As last year’s champ Emma Raducanu and former world #1 Naomi Osaka bowed out, the GOAT Serena Williams is through to the 3rd round in what is likely to be her last US Open. She takes on our very own Ajla Tomljanović on Saturday at 9am Aussie eastern time. We’re torn, but our established principle means it’s c’mon Aussie… As for the men’s side of the singles’ draw, Aussies Alexei Popyrin, Jason Kubler, Alex de Minaur, and Nick Kyrgios are still in it. Just on the latter… Kyrgios is back riding the riled-up rollercoaster – yesterday, he took on the crowd (telling the umpire someone was smoking marijuana in the stands) and his own team (who he said weren’t supporting him enough). To his credit, Kyrgios did refocus after the match… He’s also in the 3rd round on Saturday. And if you feel like some Friday morning doubles action, the Special Ks are scheduled to take the court at 10.15am eastern time.


You talkin’ to me?

Small talk may be a dying art, but according to a new study, engaging in just 4 minutes of chit-chat a day could radically improve your social interactions. Researchers at the University of Warwick divided 338 participants into pairs in 2 groups; those in group one had a 4-minute convo by text, while the pairs in group 2 had zero interaction. They all then played 2 strategic games, during which those who had interacted were much better at correctly predicting their partner’s behaviour, which meant they ultimately did better. Study co-author Professor Daniel Sgroi said the results highlight the importance of regular small talk communication, even when it doesn’t seem relevant. “Through short, seemingly trivial interactions with others, we become better able to predict the personalities of those we talk with, which boosts our performance when we interact with them in the future,” he said. Soz if you’re an introvert…

Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

It’s spring, meaning a wardrobe tidy-up/chuck-out is on the cards. Instead of doing it all at once this year, we’re tackling a cupboard/drawer each weekend, so it’s not an all-consuming day of hell. Here are the rules, except we have a 2-year no-wear limit – one seems very short…

The Netflix doco on the story of American footballer Manti Te’o and the humiliation he suffered in 2013 when it was revealed that he was catfished by a friend makes for a compelling documentary. Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist isn’t just for sports fans – it’s an incredible story.

Last weekend, dinner at a mate’s place introduced us to these grilled corn with miso mayo flavour bombs. So good and super easy to make. We know ‘cos we’ve made them twice since Saturday…

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know who took home the top prize at the MTV Video Music Awards this week? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz. 

Squiz the Day

Company Results – Wesfarmers; Ramsay Health Care

Women’s Equality Day in the US – marking the anniversary of American women winning the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution (1920)

International Dog Day

Birthdays for Governor-General David Hurley (1953), and actors Macaulay Culkin (1980) and Chris Pine (1980)

Anniversary of:
• Captain James Cook setting sail from England on board HMS Endeavour (1768)
• the birthdays of Mother Teresa (1910) and Katherine Johnson (1918)
• the release of The Beatles’ Hey Jude (1968)

Squiz the Day

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