Squiz Today / 05 August 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 5 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

Setting the tone for a fab Friday.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

13 / 22
11 / 15
14 / 26
9 / 14
6 / 15
7 / 14
22 / 31
5 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“Alive, alert and awake.”

Is what artist Antony Gormley thinks his latest massive statue conveys, and why he says it’s perfect to be installed at Imperial College London. The problem is many people say there’s a particular part of the male figure that looks alive, alert and awake, and it’s making them uneasy…

China ‘blockades’ Taiwan

China has begun its biggest ever military drills in the waters around Taiwan. And at 20km off the island’s coast, Chinese forces are also the closest they’ve ever been for this kind of exercise, using real weapons and live ammunition. Taiwan says it’s not a drill at all – it’s a blockade and that China is deliberately stopping ships and planes from using the space. Tensions have been high in that part of the world for more than a year – and the latest flashpoint comes after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit this week.

China sees self-ruled Taiwan – which lies 160km from the mainland – as a breakaway province that will eventually be under its control. As for talking it out, that’s not possible because Beijing sees Taiwan’s government as illegitimate. And because of that estranged relationship, most countries have no official ties with Taiwan. So if you see something about the ‘One China’ policy, that’s what it’s about – not officially recognising Taiwan as an independent state because China sees it as theirs. That’s the policy of Australia, the US and many others. However, we are also sympathetic towards those being pushed around by China – including former Defence Minister/current Coalition leader Peter Dutton, who has said that Australia would join a conflict to defend Taiwan. The Albanese Government hasn’t gone that far – it’s reverted to the default position of urging peace and stability in the region.

Well, China is massively peed off by Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. She is the most senior US politician to go there since 1997, and it was expected there would be a response from China because she went despite their warnings, and it needs to look strong on Taiwan. For China’s part, its Foreign Minister Wang Yi said diplomatic efforts had been made to avert a crisis but that China would never allow its core interests to be hurt. The drills are expected to continue across the weekend, and if China starts operating closer and closer to Taiwan, analysts say the situation could escalate. And even if these exercises end with no consequence, we should expect more of them because China is “trying to normalise a pattern of more aggressive behaviour against Taiwan,” said Bonnie Lin, Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Hold onto your hat…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Conspiracy theorist accepts reality

Jurors have begun deliberations in the first of 3 defamation trials brought against InfoWars host Alex Jones by the families of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. The parents of 6yo Jesse Lewis are seeking US$150 million in damages after the notable conspiracy theorist repeatedly claimed the tragedy was staged by gun control advocates and that no one actually died. The family testified they suffered significant emotional anguish after Jones’ fans stalked and harassed them. Jones has since retracted his claims, acknowledging yesterday that the shooting was “100% real”, and he was put in a difficult spot after his lawyer accidentally sent his text messages to the opposing side… His legal team say the claim should be denied because it was unreasonable to expect him to foresee the harassment the family endured. The next 2 trials start next month.

World News

Pollies urged to avoid TikTok

And no, that’s not a message from Gen Zers sick of seeing older people trying to be cool… Australian MPs and their staffers have been urged to get a 2nd phone to separate their work messages from social media apps as privacy concerns grow about Chinese-owned app TikTok. Reports say our cybersecurity agency – the Australian Signals Directorate – has recently briefed MPs on the dangers lurking on their work phones. Last year, employees of the Home Affairs and Defence Departments were banned from having TikTok on their work phones due to worries that their data could be accessed by the Chinese Government, but it remains a recommendation for MPs for now. It follows other similar moves this week – across the Tasman, Kiwi MPs were advised not to use TikTok on their work devices. And in the UK, ministers and their staff have been urged to shut down their accounts.

AusPol Technology

A rebounding Reef

Yay for the GBR… The Great Barrier Reef’s northern and central regions have recorded their highest levels of coral cover in 36 years. Scientists say it shows recovery is possible if cyclones and coral bleaching give it a break. Unfortunately, the corals growing back are the most vulnerable to marine heatwaves, storms and the predatory crown-of-thorns starfish. Those threats are set to intensify with climate change, so there’s concern the reef’s recovery could be short-lived. The Albanese Government says it’s doing its bit to protect the world heritage site – its emissions reduction bill passed the House of Reps yesterday. And last night, Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek said she’s unlikely to approve a Queensland Coal project proposed by Clive Palmer due to “unacceptable impacts” on the reef. It’s the first time a federal environment minister has proposed the refusal of a coal mine in our history.

Australian News Environment & Science

The world’s bestselling car…

…is not the humble Toyota Corolla but a mainstay of many backyards – the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe. The iconic ride-on toy car was the first to forgo the pedals and use Flintstones-like foot power to send kids on their way without the need for a driver’s license. Its inventor, former Chrysler designer Jim Mariol, was inspired when he propelled himself across the floor with his office chair. It enjoyed massive success when it came onto the market in 1979 – and today, it’s considered the world’s best-selling car. It’s gone through very few design changes in its time, except for introducing a set of eyes in 2009. Considering the fuel price right now here’s hoping there’s an adult-sized version on the way…

Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

As you know, we quite like a weather report here at The Squiz. So Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Bacon’s repurposing of the 80s anthem Head over Heels by Tears for Fears into a song about the 4-day forecast – well, we’re here for it.

Bed linen is a personal thing, but our favourite sheets are on sale. We’re not into a super high thread count – give us these beauties any day.

We only noticed this week that pork seems to be well-priced compared to many other meat ATM. So we’ve already bought a rolled loin roast, and we’ve gone back to the cooking instructions from the experts to ensure we get that cracklin’ goodness. Don’t forget the apple sauce

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which Aussie swimmer became the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz. 

Squiz the Day

6.00am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Hockey – Australia v Pakistan – Birmingham

6.00pm (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Women’s Hockey Semi-Final – Australia v India

PNG Election result due to be declared

Jeans for Genes Day

Edinburgh Fringe Festival begins (until 29 August)

International Beer Day

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Joseph Merrick aka ‘The Elephant Man’ (1862), former PM Harold Holt (1908), and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong (1930)
• the deaths of actor Marilyn Monroe (1962) and author Toni Morrison (2019)
• Humphrey Gilbert claiming Newfoundland for Britain – the first English colony in North America and the beginning of the British Empire (1583)
• the Indian Government announcing it would change the status of Indian-controlled Kashmir from a state to a union territory (2019)

Squiz the Day

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