Squiz Today / 21 July 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 21 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

The homestretch never sounded so informed. 

Today’s listen time: 8.00 minutes

9 / 18
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10 / 19
5 / 13
19 / 32
2 / 14

Squiz Sayings

“The diluted cordial of the onion world.” 

Was one less-than-favourable review of the new ‘tearless’ onions that arrived in some Aussie supermarkets last week. Some were left a bit disappointed by their lack of flavour but at least they can’t cry about it…

Matildas win the opener without Kerr

The Matildas came out swinging in their first Women’s World Cup match last night, beating Ireland 1-0. The Aussies had a tough start, with captain Sam Kerr ruled out at the last minute with a calf injury, but she was still there to lead her team onto the field and cheer them on. The win sets them up for their game against Nigeria next Thursday… And across the ditch, the Kiwi Football Ferns made history in their game against Norway, also winning 1-0. It was New Zealand’s first win at a World Cup, giving the team plenty to celebrate in front of a record crowd. And we didn’t mention this yesterday, but PM Anthony Albanese raised the stakes this week – he reckons a public holiday could be on the cards if the Matildas win the ultimate trophy. We’re already one step closer…

A bit happened off the field… For one, a gunman opened fire at a construction site in Auckland’s CBD yesterday morning. The unnamed 24yo killed 2 people and injured another 6 before he was killed in a shoot-out with police. It happened around 7.30am local time – less than 12 hours before the Football Ferns were due to kick off the tournament opener against Norway. Teams from Norway, the US, Italy and the Philippines are staying in hotels near the shooting, but NZ PM Chris Hipkins said there was “no identified political or ideological motivation for the shooting, and therefore no national security risk”. Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the shooter worked at the construction site and had a history of domestic violence and mental health issues. Still, extra officers have been stationed in the area to reassure locals and visitors.

The short answer is a lot more football. The group stage is well and truly underway with games between Nigeria/Canada, the Philippines/Switzerland, and Spain/Costa Rica – and that’s just today… The weekend’s schedule (and beyond) is here. Match times are scattered throughout the day, but for once, it’ll be our friends in the Northern Hemisphere pulling all-nighters to watch the action. Beyond that, several players and coaches are hoping to break some records throughout the tournament, and if you’ve got a bit of time over a cuppa, get up to speed with what they’re chasing. As for the Matildas, sportswear giant Nike (paywall) says the team’s official jerseys are flying off the racks and outselling the Socceroos’ 2022 World Cup kit. Not that it’s a competition, right?


Squiz the Rest

A top bureaucrat is suspended

The public service boss responsible for the Robodebt scheme has been suspended without pay from her current $900,000 job in the Defence Department. Kathryn Campbell was the boss of Human Services back in 2015 and oversaw the rollout of the unlawful debt recovery cluster disaster. The Royal Commission was scathing of her actions – and it’s now emerged she was stood aside from her AUKUS role on 10 July – 3 days after the Royal Commission report was tabled. She had copped a lot of flak from MPs who thought it was an insult that she was still collecting the big bucks from taxpayers given the damage the scheme caused. Campbell is one of a bunch of public servants and politicians who had adverse findings against them in the Robodebt report. Note: we still don’t know who’s been named in the ‘sealed section’ or what sanctions they face…

Robo-WHAT? Need to catch up on the backstory to Robodebt and what the Royal Commission had to say about it? We gotcha covered with our Squiz Shortcut.


Thailand braces for protests

We’ve been following the ups and downs of Thailand’s politics ever since the shock election result from the 14 May vote, which saw the progressive youth-led Move Forward party win the most seats. Its leader Pita Limjaroenrat hoped to become Thailand’s next prime minister, but there was a setback last week when military-appointed senators united against him. This week, those same lawmakers voted again to deny Pita a second vote, which had been scheduled for Wednesday. And separately, Thailand’s conservative Constitutional Court suspended Pita from the parliament over allegations that he held shares in a media company – something that’s banned for elected officials, despite that media company being defunct for 15 years. The moves against Pita are Thailand’s conservative establishment closing ranks to block progressives from taking power, and reports say protests are on the way.

World News

China cools on climate talks

Restarted US-China climate talks have wrapped up with the Aussie equivalent of a big yeah/nah… Beijing has sent US presidential envoy John Kerry home with no new promises to reduce emissions. China burns more coal than the rest of the world combined, and Kerry had been looking for “specific actions” that would “move the ball”. But while he spent 3 days chewing the fat with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua, he didn’t score a meeting with President Xi Jinping. And in the diplomatic equivalent of a serious side-eye, Xi gave a speech this week while Kerry was still in the country, insisting China would take climate action at its own pace and not be dictated to by outsiders. Meanwhile, the world just measured the hottest 2 weeks on record, and the heat-frying parts of the Northern Hemisphere are set to sizzle for a few more days yet…

Environment & Science World News

Netflix crackdown pays off

If you’re someone who got kicked off your family/friend’s account and signed up for one to call your own, you’ll be one of the 5.9 million new subscribers Netflix added over the 3 months to June. That’s almost 3 times more than analysts expected, suggesting that despite the initial tut-tutting, streaming junkies got on with it. And that was where the good news ended for the company yesterday… Netflix’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% from the previous year to US$8.2 billion, but that didn’t meet analysts’ predictions, sending its share price tumbling 9%. And Netflix productions like Stranger Things are caught up in the actor/writer strike in the US, but analysts say the company is well-placed to weather it because of its range of international shows and films. It might even save itself $1.5 billion this year…

Business & Finance Entertainment

Less phubbin’, more lovin’

It’s a modern-day love story: 2 people sitting together on the couch in total silence, both scrolling on their phones. ‘Phubbing’ – or the practice of snubbing someone in favour of your phone – is a term that was coined in 2012 by the Aussie branch of advertising agency McCann. And it isn’t just a phenomenon that occurs among partners, but Turkish researchers reckon it could lead to an unhappy marriage. After surveying 712 married people with an average age of 37yo, they found couples who regularly phub each other report lower marriage satisfaction than non-phubbers. The researchers said it “demonstrates the power of effective communication”, with marital conflict likely to arise when someone feels ignored by their significant other. At least they had an easy solution to the problem: couples could just “put their phone away”. Or they could doom scroll together and share the joys of endless cat videos

Culture Technology

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

It’s hard to explain this one, and it’s for those fascinated with celebrities and the digital times we live in. In 2019, we stumbled across this piece and then wanted to know more about the curious case of Caroline Calloway. She’s now published her long-promised book, and this Vanity Fair piece on where she’s at is quite something…

At the other end of the scale is the sweet/innocent ABC TV series New Leash On Life with Joel Creasey and dog behaviourist Laura V. The brief is to find the right rescue dog for a family that needs a pooch in their lives. It’s delightful – but you want to rescue them all…

We wanted to do a traybake last weekend, but we also wanted ricotta meatballs. This recipe delivers both. It was delicious with the pasta, and we had the leftovers with some broccolini – you know which we preferred…

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

Belgium’s National Day

National Pyjama Day

National Lamington Day

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Ernest Hemingway (1899) and Robin Williams (1951)
• the creation of Central Park in New York (1853)
• Sirimavo Bandaranaike becoming the world’s first non-hereditary female head of government in modern history as PM of Ceylon aka Sri Lanka (1960)
• the release of Guns N’ Roses’ debut album Appetite for Destruction. It became the bestselling debut album of all time (1987)

Squiz the Day

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