Squiz Today / 03 June 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 3 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

Easing you into the weekend.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“A lot of the vegetables are being ruined.”

Said Todd Irvine from Ziggy’s Fresh in Canberra of the perfect storm of floods and global factors that have smashed vegetable crops this year, particularly the leafy green ones. The good news is that hard veg like potatoes are good to go – proof that 2022 isn’t a complete burning rubbish bin…

Leaning into change

Facebook/Meta’s 2nd in charge, business strategist and ‘resident grown-up’ Sheryl Sandberg is getting ready to leave the job that made her rich and famous. “When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for 5 years. Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life,” she posted to Facebook yesterday. Forging a reputation as a tough business operator who has been unfailingly loyal to founder Mark Zuckerberg despite increasingly fraught times, she also wrote the manifesto for women looking for more in their professional lives. And she did well financially, becoming a billionaire in the process.

Well, first up is that Sandberg’s probably the most famous female business executive in the world. And second, it was Sandberg who turned the free online social networking site created by Zuckerberg into one of the biggest advertising companies in the world. “Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company,” Zuckerberg said yesterday. Her contribution to Facebook is so unique that she won’t be replaced – instead, the company’s leadership structure will be rejigged. With all of the glory came controversies over data privacy and user safety, and reports say Zuckerberg held her responsible for some of those stuff-ups. As for what’s next, Sandberg says her initial plan is to spend more time on her ‘Lean In’ Foundation that leans on her 2013 book on female empowerment and advancement at work.

That’s what Tesla boss Elon Musk wants to know… In a memo sent to the company’s executive and admin staff, he’s asked them to return to the office or “pretend to work somewhere else”. Not a fan of hybrid work arrangements, Musk’s position is that “anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers.” His edict differs from the approach taken by many other companies that are embracing remote work. Here in Oz, a recent study found more than 40% of workers are going hybrid, splitting their week between days in the office and working from home.

Business & Finance Technology

Squiz the Rest

Robert Hughes to be deported to the UK

After being granted parole yesterday, the former Hey Dad! star is set to be released from prison in Sydney before being deported to England. The 73yo was jailed in 2014 after being found guilty of committing 10 offences against 4 girls between 1985 and 1990, including his on-screen daughter, played by actor Sarah Monahan. Hughes and his wife Robyn Gardiner – who was Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne’s agent – have maintained his innocence, which saw the actor refused parole twice since his non-parole period expired in 2020. This time around, authorities approved his release because they say he poses a “below average risk” of reoffending. Now, the former dual citizen will be deported to the UK after renouncing his Australian citizenship in 2019 and plans to “maintain a very low profile” with his family.

Crime Entertainment

Concerns for detained Aussie TV anchor

Nick Coyle, the partner of Aussie journalist Cheng Lei, is concerned about her deteriorating health as she remains in detention in China. Cheng was an anchor for the Chinese state media’s English-language broadcaster CGTN before she was detained in August 2020 and accused of providing state secrets to foreigners. A Chinese court deferred its verdict after Cheng was tried in secret in March, but there’s not a lot of hope for her release – the country has a 99% conviction rate in criminal trials. Coyle, who is the outgoing boss of the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce, says she has a “range of health issues” that have worsened in detention, exacerbated by a diet of white raw rice. And he said that monthly consular visits and video meetings have been suspended due to China’s strict coronavirus rules. As for her 2 young children, her partner said they are “dealing with things as well as they can”.

Australian News

Taiwan takes up arms

The number of Taiwanese seeking out gun training has quadrupled since Russia invaded Ukraine as concerns grow that China could make a similar move on the breakaway island. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up its military manoeuvres around the island, including on Monday when officials reported the largest incursion by China’s air force into its airspace since January. China’s military said it was in response to “collusion” between the US and Taiwan, with US President Joe Biden angering China last week after warning the US would respond if China sought to forcibly reunify. US officials later said there has been no change to Washington’s longstanding policy of “strategic ambiguity” on the issue, even as Taiwan stocks up on US weapons and defence systems. Analysts say a Chinese attack on Taiwan would see heavy costs on both sides. #SquizShortcut

World News

A gassy problem

And it not that we’ve eaten something that’s fighting us from the inside… The Albanese Government is looking into securing more gas for the domestic market and containing price shocks. That’s in focus this week on the eastern seaboard because of a cold snap that’s seen us pump up the heat, and there have been outages at coal-fired electricity plants and surging commodity prices because of the war in Ukraine. Energy Minister Chris Bowen called it “a perfect storm” and says there are no quick fixes. In the meantime, Resources Minister Madeleine King is ringing around the gas companies to urge them to boost supply. They say state governments and others are to blame for “more than a decade of energy policy failure that has stopped the industry developing more gas supply in a timely manner,” Santos boss Kevin Gallagher said yesterday. The Australian Workers Union is urging action because “manufacturing literally cannot survive these spiking gas prices for much longer”.

AusPol Business & Finance

Smoking out cigarettes in the Netherlands

Inspired by Australia’s example, the Netherlands is considering plans to push up the price of a pack of cigarettes to €47 (A$69) by 2040 to reduce smoking rates. About 20% of Dutch people smoke, and the government aims to reduce that number to 5% by 2040. A pack of darts currently costs €8 (A$12), and under the plan – which is based on research showing smokers will only give up if there are substantial price increases – the price will rise incrementally until 2040. In Oz, smoking rates have been falling since the federal government implemented an annual tobacco excise rise of 12.5% between 2016 and 2020 – although vaping is on the rise. Similar to recent laws introduced by New Zealand, which are now being considered by Oz, the Netherlands wants to create a ‘smoke-free generation’ by making it inaccessible to young people. More than 7 million people globally die due to their smoking habit each year.

Health World News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

The hashtag #Swedengate lit up our socials this week after it emerged that Sweden – aka one of the happiest places on Earth – is full of families that don’t feed child visitors. It’s a whole thing, as you’ll see in this helpful article. And this Instagram account mapped out European hospitality. Good to know…

Sometimes you just need something good to watch. Not fabulous, not challenging, not incredibly thoughtful – just plain old good… That’s The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix. We found it pleasingly adequate.

It must have been a week for being happy with ordinary because we got totally psyched about porridge… We’re not going to pretend this is something remarkable, but here’s the basic recipe, and we made a batch of stewed fruit to top it off. Add roasted slivered almonds = nailed it.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which seat saw Labor claim a 77-seat majority in the House of Representatives this week? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Release – Lending Indicators, April

Mabo Day

World Bicycle Day

World Cider Day

National Donut Day

A birthday for tennis champ Rafael Nadal (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the first bikini bathing suit displayed in Paris (1946)
• Aretha Franklin’s Respect reaching #1 (1967)
• the London Bridge terror attack (2017)
• the death of ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali (2016)

Squiz the Day

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