Squiz Today / 25 February 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 25 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Is it gauche to post your wordle now there’s a war?”

Asked writer Mat Leys of the Twitterverse, soliciting a response from domestic goddess Nigella Lawson. “It always was, I’m afraid.” She’s as sharp as her knives…

Russia goes to war with Ukraine


Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Starting at 2pm yesterday our time – which was the early hours of Thursday local time – reports of missile strikes and explosions in several major cities – including the capital Kyiv – started to roll in. Russia is attacking Ukraine from the north, south, and east by land, air and sea. It says it’s targeting military installations and air bases but there are reports of civilian casualties as thousands flee to neighbouring countries. Earlier this week, Putin claimed that Ukraine provoked the conflict – a “ridiculous” statement, Western leaders said. They point to the fact that Russia has built up a force of more than 150,000 troops on the border since late last year, and his belief that Ukraine has no right to exist as an independent country. “We now have war in Europe on a scale and of a type we thought belonged to history,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said this morning. 


It was hectic… Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “special military operation” and called on Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms. If they don’t, “all responsibility for possible bloodshed” will fall on the government in Kyiv, he said. And he says nations “will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history” if they interfere – which analysts say is a rare overt threat of nuclear attack. As for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, his message to Russia was “you will see our faces, not our backs” as he vowed to fight. He has severed diplomatic relations with Russia, declared martial law (aka military authorities have taken temporary control of the nation), and told locals that weapons are available to anyone who wants to fight the Russians. 


Yeah. Earlier this month it was reported that US intelligence says an invasion of the scale Russia has launched “could leave up to 50,000 civilians killed or wounded, decapitate the government in Kyiv within two days, and launch a humanitarian crisis with up to 5 million refugees fleeing the resulting chaos.” And beyond Ukraine, analysts say it marks a “new era of global upheaval, with huge potential ramifications for the power dynamics of the superpowers” with Russia and China on one side, and the US on the other. This morning, the US, UK and European nations are imposing new sanctions to hurt Russia’s economy, and that’s expected to jangle the already frayed nerves of international markets. And from a military perspective, a virtual NATO leaders summit is being planned for tonight. There is no suggestion that NATO troops will be sent to Ukraine to push back against Russia. Strap yourself in – it’s going to be a big few days…

Get your #SquizShortcut on the Ukraine-Russia relationship and what the West and NATO has to do with it. We’ll bring you up to speed in just a few minutes.

World News

Squiz the Rest

A trio of COVID-tinted business news

  • At least 750 Probuild employees and many more contractors are without work after Probuild went into voluntary administration yesterday. Its South African parent company WBHO abruptly withdrew financial support yesterday blaming the Australia’s pandemic policies that shutdown worksites. Reports say Probuild is involved in 18 major projects across the country with billions of dollars. 
  • Qantas boss Alan Joyce says Omicron set the airline’s pandemic recovery back 6 months. Reporting the company’s numbers yesterday, Qantas delivered a $1.28 billion loss between July and December. Joyce reckons allowing passengers to fly mask-free is what will get people flying again.
  • It was better news for food giant Bega Cheese, which posted a 29% rise in its profit to $28 million in the same 6 months. An increase in demand for Vitasoy milk was one call-out. The company (which has brands like Vegemite and Dairy Farmers) said its profit would have been higher had it not been for supply chain problems and locked down workers.
Australian News Business & Finance

Clive Palmer’s COVID scare

Ambulances were called to the Gold Coast home of Queensland mining magnate/political mover-and-shaker Clive Palmer and his wife Anna yesterday after the billionaire confirmed he had been suffering COVID symptoms earlier this week. Palmer was transported to hospital and was later released – his spokesman said he was “just getting tested”. The billionaire missed a scheduled address to the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday. When it comes to COVID, he’s said that he’s “not vaccinated and I don’t intend to be vaccinated.” He’s also opposed to vaccine mandates, which is a policy position his United Australia Party has taken under leader/Liberal defector Craig Kelly. Palmer has a full plate ATM… He’s launched what’s set to be the most expensive political campaign in Australian history, and he’s running for the Senate. He’s also in the middle of a defamation case against Western Oz Premier Mark McGowan, and his company is in court over $30 billion worth of iron ore contracts. So there’s a bit going on…

AusPol Australian News

Keep that raincoat handy…

Soz but the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a wet autumn for large parts of Oz. And as we’re seeing this week, it doesn’t take much to turn already sodden ground into floods. Police have confirmed that they’ve found the body of Queensland man Phillip Lambert, who was reported missing after his motorbike was found in an area that had flooded near Gympie. And they confirmed a 2nd person died in floodwaters in the state’s southeast on Wednesday – her name was Philippa Tayler and she was found in her submerged vehicle. Authorities reissued their plea to those on wet roads: “if it’s flooded, forget it”. And Sydney has made it through its wettest summer in 30 years, with La Niña delivering more than 500mm of rain.


Zverev apologises for tennis tantrum

On Tuesday, men’s tennis #3 ranked player Alexander Zverev made history after his match against American Jenson Brooksby in the Mexican Open when the match finished at a yawn-inducing 4.55am in the morning. Hours later, the German was back in the news again after being kicked out of the tournament for “unsportsmanlike conduct” after he hit the umpire’s chair repeatedly with his racquet at the end of a doubles match. He was tired, supporters say, but Zverev later apologised saying there “was no excuse” for his behaviour and that he will use the coming days to “reflect on my actions and how I can ensure it will not happen again”. The outburst has refocused attention on claims of domestic abuse made by former girlfriend Olya Sharypova. The sport’s governing body is in the midst of investigating the claims the German denies. 

And while we have you, Aussie Nick Kyrgios has taken to social media to outline his struggles with depression, drugs and alcohol. But he’s feeling good these days saying “I’ve completely turned myself around and have a completely different outlook on everything.”


A different way to keep kids off devices…

Reckon you could go 6 years without social media if someone was to pay you $2,500? That’s what American teen Sivert Klefsaas did after his mum Lorna posed the challenge to him when he was 12yo. She was inspired by a similar idea she heard on the radio, and after seeing her 3 older daughters become “too engrossed” in their phones. “It was affecting their mood, their friendships and was kind of a depressant,” she said. Now 18yo, Sivert says he didn’t find the challenge too hard because “it was more of a pride thing” for him. He’s since broken his social media drought by downloading Instagram, and plans to spend the cash on something for his college dorm room. Maybe a vlogging LED ring? After Sivert’s success, his mother took to Facebook to share the challenge, saying a lot of parents were interested in the idea. No irony intended…

Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

A new season of Netflix comedy Space Force is out. Featuring Steve Carrell, John Malkovich and Ben Schwartz, we’re already up-to-date. Good for some time-out… 

This week = heavy. We’ve earned some sweetness, and these moments of kindness from Canada and America bring all the feels. Aww… 

If you’re able to delay your pleasure, this focaccia recipe is a goodie. Don’t worry – there’s no kneading – but it does need time to do it’s thing. On the ricotta dip – yum. We coudn’t find the fancy chilli flakes so used whatever was at the shop – worked for us…

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which international band will be headlining Australia’s first full-capacity stadium concert since the start of the pandemic? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

12.00pm (AEDT) – NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet to give his ‘State of the State’ address – Sydney

Company Results – Reece Group; Medibank Private

Last day of the APEC summit hosted by Thailand

Walkley Awards announced

Mulletfest kicks off in Kurri Kurri, NSW (until 27 February)

Birthdays for comedian Chelsea Handler (1975) and actors Rashida Jones (1976) and Jameela Jamil (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of painter Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841) and Beatle George Harrison (1943)
• the deaths of playwright Tennessee Williams (1983) and legendary Aussie cricketer Don Bradman (2001)
• Fidel Castro retiring due to ill health after nearly 50 years as the President of Cuba (2008)

Squiz the Day

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