Squiz Today / 31 January 2020

Squiz Today – Friday, 31 January


“She's basically just massively overindulged.”

Lady owl, we feel you…


Diary note: The United Kingdom will leave the European Union at 10am (AEDT) tomorrow our time. Which is Friday, 31 January at 11pm local time.

No, it’s for reals. And you’re right, it’s been quite an ordeal. The battle for Brexit brought an end to two Tory prime ministerships (David Cameron and Theresa May), sparked two early elections, saw more false starts than the Olympics, and delivered more plot twists than a bestselling thriller. And after all that, tomorrow is the day that the result of the June 2016 referendum will be honoured with the UK formally leaving the EU 10 months after it was scheduled to happen, and 47 years after the UK originally joined. But keep your hair on, Brexit Day is just the start of the next chapter. The UK now enters a transition period that is due to end on 31 December this year.

Think of it like a divorce. The parties have had long discussions about the terms of the split, and today it becomes official. But because their union involved some complex and critical areas - like trade, security and migration - the next 11 months will be spent bedding down what has been agreed. It’s a big job for UK PM Boris Johnson and his government this year. Members of the European Parliament, including UK representatives, yesterday gave their final approval, and Auld Lang Syne was sung. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said "We will always love you, and we will never be far." Johnson said he would be “celebrating in a way that I hope is respectful of the scale of the event”. Which surely means an epic party is being held at 10 Downing Street… And maybe he’ll get ready with some blue shampoo?



With the numbers of deaths and cases increasing since last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is meeting to consider declaring the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency. That would enable "a coordinated international response", including giving the WHO input into measures to control the global spread of the virus via steps like limiting travel and screening at airports. In other developments, the death toll has risen to 170, with more than 7,711 reported cases. There are nine confirmed cases in Oz (two of whom have already been released from hospital), and two Aussie citizens in China have been infected. And passengers on a Tiger Air service between Melbourne and the Gold Coast on Monday have been urged to contact health authorities after a man now diagnosed with coronavirus was on the flight. The Chinese national fell ill while travelling with eight others, one of whom tested positive for the virus last night.


As we head into more dangerous fire conditions, three US aerial firefighters who died in an air tanker crash near Cooma, NSW last week were remembered as heroes who “paid the ultimate sacrifice” at a memorial service in Sydney yesterday. The families of Captain Ian McBeth, First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson and Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr travelled to Oz for the service, and to attend the site where the aircraft crashed. The sad event came as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced an independent inquiry into the state's devastating bushfire season. The six-month probe will be headed by former NSW Police deputy commissioner Dave Owens and former NSW chief scientist Mary O'Kane. It will focus on the effects of climate change, fuel loads, drought, human activity and hazard reduction on the “frequency, intensity, timing and location” of this season’s bushfires.


If smoking was in your past/is in your present, and you're worried about the impact on your health, there is some good news… Scientists have discovered that our lungs have an uncanny ability to repair mutations caused by smoking that can lead to the development of lung cancer. While it was previously thought the damage done to the lungs through smoking was permanent, scientists have observed the phenomenon in patients who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 40 years before quitting. It's still unclear how this all works, but researchers think that a smoker's remaining healthy lung cells "exist in a nuclear bunker". And it is these cells which grow and repair the damaged cells once the patient quits the darts. Not a bad incentive...


Sure, the aptly named Ash Barty bowed out of the Australian Open yesterday just one match short of the grand slam final. But she rocked up to the after-game press conference with her 11-week-old niece in her arms and said “this is what life is all about.” Our fair-play stickler went down to American Sofia Kenin in straight sets. Kenin takes on Garbiñe Muguruza in the final tomorrow night. On the men’s side of the draw, Roger Federer went down in straight sets to Novak Djokovic last night. He plays the winner of tonight’s Dominic Thiem v Alexander Zverev match in the men’s final on Sunday night.


Get ready - there’ll be a bit of that today… A UK study says 31 January is the most popular day of the year to quit a job. That’s because it’s a new year, promises have been made to get happier/fitter/more manicured (or maybe the last one is just us…). And after returning to work for a couple of weeks, the doubts creep in about the year ahead and whether the job will do it for you. The advice? Chillax for a few weeks, and if you're still unhappy, it's time for action. And securing a new job before chucking the current one is always a good idea, experts say. Or you could just blow your life up…


If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, or you’re heading there during what’s left of the summer, this is a good guide to help you read the water.

After a heavy news week, you might enjoy something high on the adorable/wholesome scale. Behold Dinosaurs in Love

Sad story. We passed up trying a piece of this Matt Moran mango vanilla slice last weekend and have regretted it ever since. Like, really regretted it/had dreams about how good it looked. So we’re giving it a go this weekend. The plan: to eat just one slice and give the rest away. Probability that will happen: 1/10…


Women's T20 International Tri-Series begins (on until 12 February) - Canberra

ABS Data Release - Producer Price Indexes, December

Independence Day in Nauru

Birthdays for Portia de Rossi (1973), Jackie O (1975) and Justin Timberlake (1981)

10.00am (AEDT) - UK departs the European Union

7.30pm (AEDT) - Australian Open Tennis Women’s Final - Garbiñe Muguruza v Sofia Kenin

Beginning of Ovarian Cancer Month

A birthday for Harry Styles (1994)

Anniversary of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster killing all seven astronauts aboard (2003

Anniversary of the arrest of Martin Luther King Jr. and 700 protestors in Selma, Alabama (1965)

Anniversary of The Beatle's first #1 hit 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' going #1 in the US (1964)

7.30pm (AEDT) - Australian Open Tennis Men’s Final - Novak Djokovic v TBD 

BAFTA Awards

Anniversary of New Amsterdam (later known as New York) becoming incorporated as a city (1653)

Anniversary of the Australian Premiers' Conference deciding to locate Australia's capital (Canberra) between Sydney and Melbourne (1899)

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