Squiz Today / 29 September 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 29 September

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

SYD
13 / 29
MEL
9 / 25
BNE
17 / 27
ADL
13 / 29
PER
13 / 24
HBA
11 / 17
DRW
22 / 35
CBR
4 / 27

Squiz Sayings

“I don’t know what it means to be a ‘grandzaddy’ and I don’t know what ‘rizz’ is, and I really don’t know what it means to be trending.” 

Said 72yo Gerry Turner, who is getting plenty of hearts racing as the first ‘Golden Bachelor’ – an older twist on the reality TV franchise that’s just kicked off in the US. And i, like Gerry, you’ve never heard of a zaddy or rizz – there you go…

Troops travel to the tropics

The Squiz

About 800 Australian Army personnel will be packing their bags to head north from Adelaide to Townsville, Brisbane and Darwin, with Defence Minister Richard Marles yesterday announcing the biggest restructure of the Australian Army in a decade. The move is set to happen between December 2024 and January 2025, with the troops joining more than 10,000 others already based in Northern Australia. Marles says moving the troops “will mean Army has a concentration of people and capabilities in Australia’s north, making it easier to deploy for training, major exercises or to support our partners and allies in the region.” And their focus will be on missions to “maintain peace, security and prosperity” along coastlines in the Pacific.

Is this about China again?

Yep, not that anyone’s saying their name… Marles says the shake-up is linked to the Defence Strategic Review, which was handed down in April. It was a big, ahem, review of our defence strategy and operations, and it made some big recommendations for our defence force to adjust to the times. That means being ready to respond to an ambitious China – or, as the review put it, we need to “manage and seek to avoid the highest level of strategic risk we now face as a nation: the prospect of major conflict in the region”. And that’s why, along with our allies (and particularly the US), we’re hustling to make the changes needed to ensure our interests in the Indo-Pacific region are best served. Fun fact: the move will see all of the Army’s heavy armour (aka tanks, armoured vehicles, and self-propelled howitzers) and half its helicopters in Townsville by 2025

Heavy…

It is. As for China, its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning yesterday said that her country’s military moves are purely defensive, and they’re “committed to maintaining peace and stability” in the region. “We do not pose any challenge to any country. We hope relevant countries will not hype up the so-called China threat narrative,” she said. And the Coalition isn’t on board either, with Defence spokesman Andrew Hastie saying the move will “shrink and disperse” the Army and that “will make us weaker”. And in case you were worried about Adelaide, don’t… It will become home to Australia’s future long-range strike and surface-to-air missile systems capabilities – but good luck finding the right workers

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Feel the power…

The Australian Financial Review’s 2023 Power List has been revealed… And for the second year in a row, PM Anthony Albanese has been named Australia’s most powerful person. Meanwhile, Albanese’s Trade Minister Don Farrell has come out on top of the most covertly powerful list for the “key role” he’s played in restoring Oz-China relations. On the business side, Commonwealth Bank’s Matt Comyn came out on top, followed by BHP boss Mike Henry and ex-Fortescue Metals CEO Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest. As for which Aussies wielded the most cultural power this year, you don’t need a crystal ball to guess that Sam Kerr clinched the #1 spot… The football legend was followed by Barbie star Margot Robbie, federal Arts Minister Tony Burke, and ‘No’ campaigners on either side of politics, Jacinta Price and Lidia Thorpe. 

Australian News Business & Finance

An international cricketer is cleared

Sri Lankan batter Danushka Gunathilaka is free to return home after a Sydney court found him not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman he met on a Tinder date in November 2022. The 32-year-old was in Australia for the T20 World Cup and was arrested hours before he was due to fly out – that followed a night out with the 29-year-old woman in the days before. The Crown’s case was that he removed a condom during intercourse without the woman’s knowledge, but Judge Sarah Huggett says the woman didn’t have a “clear memory” of how it ended up on the floor. Huggett also said she formed the “distinct impression” Gunathilaka “was doing his best to be truthful”. After his arrest, Gunathilaka was suspended from cricket, and outside court said he wants to restore his reputation and “can’t wait to go back and play”.

Australian News Crime Sport

University blues

The latest exam results are in – and some of our fanciest universities didn’t cram well enough… The latest Times Higher Education rankings have all of our top unis sliding down the global scale, with Melbourne Uni falling 3 spots to #37, Monash dropping 10 places to #54 and Sydney Uni down 6 to #60. Analysts reckon Australian institutions saw a big decline in revenue from overseas students during COVID – and that means we pumped less money into research, which hurt our standings. The ranker also marked us down for poor staff-to-student ratios, which are some of the worst in the world. Not all academics like the Times rankings – they say a high place does not always equal a good education. Still, if you like the label… Oxford University is numero uno, while Stanford takes out #2. A bit closer to home, Singapore Uni came in at #19…

Australian News

Meta enters the chat(bot)…

Not to be outdone by its tech giant rivals, the parent company of Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp has unveiled a series of chatbots – with a twist… In addition to a new AI chatbot that can be used in messaging across Meta’s platforms, there are more chatbots specialising in certain topics that boss Mark Zuckerberg says are more about “entertainment” than just answering users’ questions. The company has enlisted famous people, including our soccer star Sam Kerr, rapper/alternative lifestyler Snoop Dogg, and model Kendall Jenner, to lend their personalities to different chatbots. For example, the Matildas captain plays a “free-spirited friend” named Sally… But soz Aussies – the feature will only be available to US users for now. Some other new Meta products – an image generation tool and updated smart glasses, which can identify landmarks and translate menus

Business & Finance Technology

Jordans run out of steam

When it comes to sneakers, Nike Air Jordans are considered some of the most valuable on the market. Earlier this year, a pair of Air Jordan 13s worn by namesake/basketball legend Michael Jordan in the 1998 NBA Finals sold for a record US$2.2 million… But new data from analytics firm Altan Insights found some models are struggling. While a pair of Nike’s Air Jordan 1 Retro Highs – long considered a collector’s must-have – sold with a 61% premium back in 2020, this year it dropped to 4%, and some styles are now selling for a loss. Analysts say the Jordan brand may have peaked as its competitors gain popularity, with running shoes from brands like Hoka skyrocketing. Another item that might suffer on the resale market: a US$5,600 pair of Miu Miu sequined undies

Business & Finance Culture

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Want to know more (or just something…) about the guy Taylor Swift is said to be dating? Here you go. Spoiler alert: he’s kinda a big deal…

We’re not hugely manicured – you already know that about us… But we have been known to enjoy a coloured nail polish from time to time – and our new colour is fun. For $13 bucks, it goes on easy, dries fast, and lasts pretty well.

A friend recommended these blueberry pancakes, and they are delish. There’s no secret to them – the ingredients are simple, and the method’s easy. Just get the measurements right to ensure they turn out fluffy…

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

1.30pm (AEST) – Minister for Families and Social Services Amanda Rishworth and NDIS Minister Bill Shorten hold a press conference on the findings of the Disability Royal Commission – Adelaide

7.00pm (AEST) – Men’s Golf – The Ryder Cup Begins – Italy (until 1 October)

Public holiday in Victoria ahead of tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final

Last day of Term 3 for public schools in South Oz and Tassie

Senate report on the impacts and management of feral horses in the Australian alps due

World Heart Day

National Police Remembrance Day

International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

The last supermoon of the year will be visible tonight

Start of the National Pickleball Championships – Sydney (until 2 October)

The Dolly Parton Festival begins (until 30 September) – Narromine, NSW

A birthday for Julia Gillard (1961)

Anniversary of:
• American oil tycoon John D Rockefeller becoming the world’s first billionaire (1916)
• the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 777.68 points, its largest single-day point loss after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and doubts over the futures other financial institutions, which sparked the Global Financial Crisis (2008)
• the death of iconic Aussie singer Helen Reddy (2020)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.