Squiz Today / 22 April 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 22 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

Taking you into another long weekend.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“They are 2 of the world’s most recognisable women.”

Said Kate Williams, a London-based history professor/TV presenter of the new Barbie doll commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. It’s the first time Barbie has represented a living royal. But can someone please check that Kate knows Barbie isn’t a real person?

Albanese has the ‘rona…

Yep, the Labor leader is off the campaign trail and in isolation at his Sydney home, adding many degrees of difficulty to his efforts to become Australia’s next prime minister. Anthony Albanese tweeted just after 6.30pm yesterday that he’d done “a routine PCR test this afternoon ahead of interstate travel to Western Australia” that came back positive. He says he has been testing regularly for COVID, and his team say he has not had any symptoms. Yesterday, Albanese was in the marginal Labor-held seat of Gilmore, and he visited an aged care home in Nowra – with a face mask on. The facility’s managers say they will now “take precautions which include testing, cleaning and monitoring for symptoms”.

It means a lot of zoom’d in press conferences and interviews for the major party leader. He will continue to campaign from home, and it’s expected that senior Labor team members – think deputy leader Richard Marles, Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers, Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong – will take the lead on the ground. Labor figures have been keen to point out that they have a contingency plan for this very scenario, and it’s already in play with the press pack that had been travelling with Albanese going to Perth last night ahead of today’s events. Note: PM Scott Morrison had COVID last month, and he continued to take meetings and give interviews from home. As he was stuck in iso, Albanese toured marginal seats across the country. So what’s good for the goose…

It’s a good question and one we probably won’t be able to answer until after it’s run and done on 21 May. The coverage this morning has quotes from unnamed Labor sources saying the positive is that Albanese will be able to hit the airwaves and do a stack of talkback radio and TV interviews in a way that’s difficult while on the campaign trail. And the glass-half-full view is also that Labor’s senior team will be on show, and voters will be able to see more of the bench strength on offer. Less flattering is the suggestion that it’s a “blessing in disguise” after a shaky start to Albanese’s campaign. But it’s not ideal, and other Labor sources say the only good thing about it is that it ­happened “in the second week and not last week of the ­campaign”.

AusPol Election 22

Squiz the Rest

Ramos-Horta wins election in a landslide

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jóse Ramos-Horta has claimed a decisive victory in Timor-Leste’s presidential election. He is one of the country’s best-known political figures and came out of retirement at 72yo to break a political stalemate that has gripped the nation. A former president and PM, he was a crucial player in Timor-Leste gaining its independence from Indonesia. The revered Xanana Gusmão turned political kingmaker backed Ramos-Horta after President Francisco Guterres flipped on a deal to swear in several ministers from Gusmão’s party. He’s had a big win, but it won’t be easy… Ramos-Hortafaces the daunting task of revving up the economy and creating jobs, with 42% of the population living below the poverty line. Analysts say reviving the stalled $50 billion Greater Sunrise oil and gas field project operated by Australian energy group Woodside is a priority. Ramos Horta will be sworn in on 20 May – the 20th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia.

World News

Macron v Le Pen: The presidential run-off

French voters go back to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to give President Emmanuel Macron a second 5-year term or give his right-wing opponent Marine Le Pen a chance to reshape the country. Macron and Le Pen clashed over the spiralling energy costs in their first and only debate yesterday – she says that 70% of the nation believes that their standard of living has fallen since he came to power. Le Pen is a 3rd-time presidential candidate – she has ties to Russian President Putin and is a Euro/NATO sceptic – and is running on a hardline immigration policy and assistance to help with cost of living pressures. Macron is a hairy-chested centrist who is pro-business – he says the election is “a referendum on Europe, on secularism and a moment of clear choice.” The polls say he’s set to win Sunday’s vote, which would make him the first president in 20 years to be re-elected.

World News

Ukraine war could cause global food crisis

The US is sending an additional $800 million in heavy artillery weapons, ammunition and tactical drones to help those on the “frontlines of freedom”, as President Joe Biden puts it. It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops not to storm the steel plant where the last group of Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol is holding out. Instead, he’s told them to seal it up so that not even a “fly” could escape. Meanwhile, the consequences of the war go beyond Ukraine, with the world facing a “human catastrophe” from a food crisis, according to World Bank boss David Malpass. Ukraine is a big producer of wheat, maise, sunflower oil, and fertiliser. Prices have risen sharply across the world following Russia’s invasion- the United Nations says they are at their highest since records began 60 years ago. If the crisis continues, Malpass says hundreds of millions of people will be pushed into poverty and hunger.

World News

Obamas looking for a new pod home

Reports say former first couple Barack and Michelle Obama are splitting up with Spotify and are talking with Amazon’s Audible and iHeartMedia over the rights to distribute podcast content from their production company Higher Ground. The Obamas inked a deal with Spotify in 2019, setting their sights on producing “powerful stories” from diverse sources after leaving the White House. That’s seen Spotify put their ‘original content’ badge on the Barack’s Renegades podcast with singer Bruce Springsteen and The Michelle Obama Podcast. But with the deal set to expire at the end of the year, insiders say Spotify hasn’t offered a fresh bid. Neither Spotify nor the Obamas have commented, but reports say Higher Ground wants to release content across multiple platforms. There’s never a dull moment in the podcasting game… Wonder how his nature show with Netflix is going?

Business & Finance

Sittin’ and walkin’ and trainin’ and hopin’

We’ve talked a lot about COVID upending the global economy and causing chaos across almost every industry you can think of. Add dog walking and training to the list. They were stopped cold in their tracks when the pandemic started and lockdowns became a thing, but the pace is picking up as something resembling pre-2020 times returns. And the kicker: all those pandemic pups that need looking after… Many walking businesses are still to get back on track because of hybrid working. But behavioural specialists are seeing boom times. That’s because doggie additions to the family have been at home with the humans almost all the time. Now that people are heading out to work, for leisure, and for holidays without their furry friends, some pups are struggling. Our little buddy: he’s overjoyed that he’s finally got some peace and quiet… 

Australian News World News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Murmurations – the wonderful swirling and swooping displays of thousands of starlings. The New York Times recently featured the work of photojournalist Søren Solkær capturing these formations in Europe. So we followed him on Insta, and it’s also a firm recommend.

The weather’s getting a bit cooler, so we were looking for something a bit cozy/murdery – and a Nordic Noir fan recommended The Valhalla Murders on Netflix. It’s Icelandic with a strong female lead over 8 x 45-minute eps – a good one for the sofa + blanket.

It’s another long weekend, and we have our hearts set on Sunday night lamb shanks. These from Matt Moran are Moroccan-inspired and all sorts of yum. And you’re going to want some ANZAC bickies this weekend, so here’s mum’s recipe.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which pop star broke a Guinness World Record this week for most Spotify streams in 24 hours? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

Earth Day

Birthdays for actor Jack Nicholson (1937), filmmaker John Waters (1946), muso Daniel Johns (1979), and actor Amber Heard (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the signing of the Paris Agreement (2016)
• the birthdays of philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724), Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin (1870), artist Sidney Nolan (1917), model Bettie Page (1923), and musician Glen Campbell (1936)
• the death of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the USA (1994)

Squiz the Day

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