Squiz Today / 24 February 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 24 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“An unexpected, velvety, buttery flavour that enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate.”

Said Starbucks boss Howard Shultz of a new beverage available in Italy: coffee infused with olive oil. It’s a bold move to make in that country – something Domino’s knows all too well

A good peace these days is hard to find

“Not only have we seen suffering & devastation grow, it is also becoming more evident just how much worse it could all still become.” That’s where things are at as we hit the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He addressed a special session of the General Assembly yesterday and called on Russia to pull out of the war immediately and unconditionally. In response, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, claimed the US and its allies were prepared to plunge the entire world into war to drive Russia into the ground.

Nope – not even a whiff of it. Yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not preparing for peace” – he says that means the West “must give Ukraine what they need to prevail.” (Note: Australia has committed another $33 million in military support, this time in the form of drones.) On the other side of the conflict, Russia and China have had a big week, with Putin declaring their relationship “particularly important for stabilising the international situation”. And the high cost of the war hasn’t forced a rethink… At least 7,199 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, and more than 13 million people have fled abroad or been displaced inside Ukraine. As for the troops, Russia and Ukraine have each seen 100,000 of their soldiers killed or injured. This morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia will be held to account for “all the terror, all the killings, all the torture”.

No, but there will be a lot of attention on this anniversary today and across the weekend. So for our suggested reading:

  • This profile on Zelensky and how he has transformed from a popular comedian to a celebrated wartime leader.
  • This piece on how the people of Bucha are faring – that’s the Ukrainian town where Russia’s alleged war crimes in the early days of the invasion shocked the world.
  • This story about how 4 of the more than 4,500 Ukrainian refugees who came to Australia are getting on.
World News

Squiz the Rest

The flying kangaroo soars

Qantas has posted a $1.4 billion half-year profit thanks to cost-cutting and higher-priced airfares – and boss Alan Joyce says most of the credit goes to the significant number of passengers returning to the skies. And if you’ve dug deep to pay for your fare recently, he flagged lower fares are coming soon as fuel cost and supply chain problems stabilise. “Now those challenges are starting to unwind, we can add more capacity, and that will put downward pressure on fares,” Joyce said. Qantas wasn’t the only cheerful company yesterday… Medibank also saw its half-year profit rise 5.9% to $233 million against the odds (aka the largest data breach Oz has ever seen…). But the odds weren’t in Star Entertainment Group’s favour – the casino operator posted a $1.26 billion loss after money laundering investigations hit hard. Swings and roundabouts, eh?

Australian News Business & Finance

A win for working women

The national gender pay gap – aka the difference in average earnings between women and men – has dropped to a record low of 13.3%, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) revealed yesterday. The pay gap was calculated from the latest official data, which found the average woman working full-time earned $1,653.60 a week while the average man earned $1,907.10. It means women pocket $13,182 less than their male counterparts a year. WGEA said while the latest results were a “trend in the right direction” after the pay gap stalled at 14.1% last year, there is more work to do. That’s also the conclusion of a landmark Sydney Uni study that found young professional Aussie women aged under 40yo reported they felt no safer or recognised in the workplace than they did pre-#MeToo.

Australian News Business & Finance

An uptick in brain disorders

A new report says dementia has overtaken heart disease as the largest cause of health problems and early death in Aussies over 65yo, and it’s on the rise. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found dementia – a collection of disorders affecting brain function – was responsible for nearly 230,000 deaths of otherwise healthy people last year. That figure is up 61% from 2011, but researchers say that’s partly due to the ageing population and progress in managing other nasties like heart disease. The number of Aussies living with dementia last year hit 401,300, and it’s tipped to reach 849,300 by 2058. Experts say there are several ways people can reduce their risk of developing dementia, including upping physical activity, staying mentally/socially engaged, and reducing their wine/beer time. In other words, it’s an excellent time to get back on track with our new year’s health goals…

Australian News Health

More topsy-turvy weather

Lightning shooting in a downward direction from the skies is what we are used to – but teaming with this week’s theme of strange weather phenomena, brave storm chasers in NSW have witnessed the opposite. During a recent storm, photographer Michael Keene captured the must-be-seen-to-be-believed shots of rare upward lightning near the town of Robertson in the Southern Highlands. Think: a photo of regular lightning shooting from the heavens, but upside down. Keene was “ecstatic” to spot the lightning stretching from the top of 2 local transmission towers – he says it has occurred locally before, but it’s hard to catch on camera. For those who want the particulars on how exactly it went down (or up), the Royal Meteorological Society are on the case.

Australian News Weather

McCartney and the Stones come together

Music fans may have gently weptwith joy over reports former Beatle Paul McCartney will feature on an upcoming Rolling Stones album. It’s put to bed longstanding rumours of tension between the 2 British mega groups who rose to fame in the 1960s. McCartney claims the press “manufactured rivalry” between the bands, who he says were “big buddies” and even collaborated on songs, including We Love You. And now, a Stones spokesperson has confirmed Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were working on their 31st album in an LA studio when they invited McCartney, who was in the building at the time, to Help! them out. Sadly, talk of fellow Beatle Ringo Starr also featuring on the album was false. Many are hoping It Won’t Be Long before we hear what the music legends have cooked up…


Friday Lites – Three things we like this week

It’s not just some famous rockers who can live a long/enjoyable life… This collection of tips from 100 centenarians on living a good life is a blast. One theme that comes through is focusing on fun – and good on Emma Wright (100yo from London) – her favourite holiday destination is the party island of Ibiza…

Fans of TV juggernaut Succession – there’s not long to go until season 4 (squeal… ). To tide you over, there are 2 dualling magazine covers from this week: one from the mighty Brian Cox (aka Logan) and one featuring Jeremy Strong (aka Kendall).

Longtime Squizers will remember we became a bit enamoured with snacking cakes last year. And we’ve now found a new one we like (aka half of it was gone before it had cooled…) – this herb/lemon/strawberry loaf. Yummo…

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

5.05pm (AEDT) – Super Rugby Season Opener – Crusaders v Chiefs – Christchurch

From 7.00pm (AEDT) – Kylie Minogue headlines the Sydney WorldPride opening concert – live on ABC TV

Independence Day – Estonia

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Retreat – Fiji

Company Results – Mineral Resources; Brambles; Aristocrat Leisure; Pilbara Minerals; Allkem

Cairns Tropical Writers Festival begins (until 26 February)

Quiet Day

Birthdays for boxer Floyd Mayweather (1977) and tennis champ Lleyton Hewitt (1981)

Anniversary of:
• the sinking of the SS Gothenburg after hitting the Great Barrier Reef, killing approximately 100 (1875)
• the birthday of Steve Jobs (1955)
• the announcement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s engagement (1981)
• Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s wedding (1992)
• former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein being found guilty in New York following associations that ignited the #MeToo movement (2020)
• the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (2022)

Squiz the Day

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