Squiz Today / 21 October 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 21 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Easing you into the weekend.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“No one is a greater believer in artistic freedom than I, but this cannot go unchallenged.”

Said Oscar-winner/legend Judi Dench – the latest high-profile Brit to give the new series of The Crownthe thumbs down, calling the latest installment “crude sensationalism”. That sound you can hear is the anticipation of millions who can’t wait to watch it…

Truss is out

UK PM Liz Truss has resigned overnight after 45 tumultuous days in office – she will become the shortest-serving PM in British history when she is replaced next week. Truss blamed “the situation” of “great economic and international instability” and said “I recognise that I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.” But earlier this week, she became “the least popular PM in the history of polling” with 80% of respondents to a mainstay survey viewing her unfavourably.

It’s been a bumpy ride – and the lettuce has won… Last week, Truss fired Chancellor (Treasurer) Kwasi Kwarteng and made a huge policy U-turn dumping her tax cuts agenda after her ‘mini budget’ caused an allergic reaction in financial markets. And then things fell apart at pace for Truss over the last couple of days. Determined to dig in, she had told the Parliament mid-week that she was a “fighter, not a quitter”. But a parliamentary vote on fracking became an unofficial confidence vote, and there were claims that some MPs were “physically manhandled” into backing Truss. Adding to the chaos, Home Secretary Suella Braverman quit her post with a scathing letter, and rumours swirled other senior members of the team had resigned. Labour leader Keir Stamer has called for an election, saying “the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos.”

Truss’s successor will be elected by next week in a process that will see 2 candidates put to party members – unless there is just one candidate for the leadership. So who’s next? So far, none of the candidates that ran against Truss after Boris Johnson was turfed out of office has said if they will have another go except for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who has ruled himself out. Two men are being talked about a lot already: former PM Johnson and Truss’s main competitor in the last round, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Former PM Theresa May said “MPs must now be prepared to compromise. It is our duty to provide sensible, competent government at this critical moment for our country.” The Conservatives have been in power for 12 years, and the next general election is not due to take place until January 2025.

World News

Squiz the Rest

A wet and wild weekend

There’s no relief in flooded areas… In Victoria, the map tells the story. The Murray River at Echuca/Moama is expected to see the worst flood event in more than 150 years in the coming days. There are about 50 flood warnings in place across the state. And in NSW, there are more than 60 warnings, with the northwest and Central West regions the worst affected and vulnerable to more rain, along with parts of Sydney’s outskirts. Much further north, Emerald has recorded its wettest October day ever with 145mm of rain, and residents of Queensland’s northeast coast are now on flood alert. As for what’s in store in the coming days, it’s a familiar tune… It goes something like “storms are forecast for the east coast of Australia, raising the risk of flash-flooding in already sodden areas.” The BOM – which we’re now allowed to say – predicts heavy rain for northern Queensland, large parts of New South Wales, northern Victoria, and eastern South Oz. Stay safe, Squizer…

Australian News Weather

Medibank confirms customers’ data was stolen

After days of speculation, the private health insurer yesterday said the personal data of some of its customers – including names, addresses, Medicare numbers and phone numbers – was stolen in a cyberattack last week. On Wednesday, the company suspended trading on the stock exchange as it investigated a criminal group’s claims that it had stolen 1 million Medibank customers’ records. An exact number hasn’t been confirmed, but Medibank says it will reach out to affected customers and is working with government agencies. The insurer has been criticised over the delay, particularly after it assured investors and customers on Monday that personal data hadn’t been stolen. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the series of recent cyberattacks were a “​​huge wake-up call” that gave the government a mandate to toughen Australia’s laws. #SquizShortcut

Australian News Business & Finance

Greens Senator under fire

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has resigned as the party’s deputy leader in the Senate after reports broke that she’d “briefly” dated former bikie boss Dean Martin in early 2021. That’s a problem because, at the time, she was on the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement that was dealing with confidential info on bikie gangs and organised crime. Greens leader Adam Bandt says he found out about the relationship yesterday and told her to resign from her leadership position – but she’s been allowed to keep her portfolio roles. Thorpe’s failure to disclose the relationship to him “showed a significant lack of judgement” and that their relationship “could be perceived as an issue given her work as a senator, especially on those committees,” he said. For her part, Thorpe said “I accept that I have made mistakes”. PM Anthony Albanese said news of the relationship was a “concerning revelation”.


Jobs stay on par

Australia’s jobless rate held steady at 3.5% in September despite 9,000 more Aussies becoming unemployed last month. The Bureau of Statistics’ latest data also showed 900 positions were created in September – The Squiz was responsible for a couple of those, so yay us… Expectations were that 25,000 jobs would be added in the month. The Bureau (the stats one…) said slowing jobs growth indicated the trickle of people joining the workforce was slowing. Some economists have tipped a rise in unemployment in coming months, which they say is unlikely to see the Reserve Bank hold back on further interest rate hikes due to our ongoing inflation woes. That’s something that will be weighing on Treasurer Jim Chalmer’s mind as he prepares to hand down the new government’s Budget next Tuesday night.

Australian News Business & Finance

Counting down to Midnights

Don’t expect to see or hear much from any Taylor Swift fans in your life after 3pm today – that’s when the genre-busting giant drops her highly-anticipated 10th album, Midnights. Her Squad has been busy generating that hype over the past month, releasing sneak peeks of the tracks on her socials and billboards worldwide. Not one to shy away from sourcing song material from her experiences in love and life, Swift said the 13-track album tells “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life”. And Midnights promises her return to more personal subject matters after the 3rd-person storytelling approaches of her last 2 albums, Evermore and Folklore. Longtime producer Jack Antonoff is back for another round, and some surprise cameos on the album include fellow icon Lana Del Rey and actor/sometime muso Zoë Kravitz. The high-profile collaborations are beyond many Swifties’ Wildest Dreams


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

This footage of Sir Elton John pulling out a crumpled piece of paper and explaining how a new song Tiny Dancer is coming along is… wow. Spoiler alert: it did ok…

Whether you’re in the zone or not, these 56 dating red flags are fun/alarming… One that resonated: “Cheers ‘waheeeey’ when a waiter drops crockery.” That’s happened to us before – it didn’t work out.

We did something different last weekend – let’s face it, a beetroot/parsnip gratin isn’t something you come across every day… It looked as spectacular as the picture suggests and tasted good too. We had ours with green leaves with a sharp dressing and some BBQ lamb chops.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which Canadian actor voices Louie the toy unicorn in Tourism Australia’s latest global ad campaign? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz. 

Squiz the Day

3.00pm (AEDT) – Taylor Swift’s 10th album Midnights to be released

Findings of the inquest into the disappearance of Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez will be released – Byron Bay

Sculpture by the Sea begins (until 7 November) – Sydney

International Day of the Nacho

Back to the Future Day, celebrating the day Doc Brown and Marty McFly first go back in time in the famous film

Birthdays for Judge Judy (1942) and Kim Kardashian (1980)

Anniversary of:
• English scientist John Dalton unveils his atomic theory (1803)
• China’s occupation of Tibet (1950)
• the death of former PM Gough Whitlam (2014)
• Australian newspapers blanking out their front pages in protest against press restrictions on the reporting of legal proceedings against Cardinal George Pell (2019)

Squiz the Day

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