Squiz Today / 08 April 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 8 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

News you can move to.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It made for a more interesting night than we normally have.“

Said Roland Spitaels, the operations manager of the Mr Chips factory in suburban Auckland, after a night shift worker spotted a suspicious-looking potato that was actually a WWII-era grenade. Talk about explosive…

Vive la France


Ooh la la… French voters go to the polls on Sunday for the first round of voting in its presidential election. Assuming no one wins a majority this round, the top 2 candidates will runoff in a first past the post race in a fortnight. At the end of it, the winner gets a 5-year term and the job of unifying a cranky nation on one hand while having an opportunity to be a big player in Europe’s greatest security crisis since World War II on the other. 


There are 12 presidential candidates, but there are 2 to note:

  • The President is Emmanuel Macron. Now 44yo, he became France’s youngest president in 2017 in the first election he ever faced. His party is La Republique En Marche (LREM) – it’s pro-Europe and pro-business. A sitting French president hasn’t won reelection for 20 years, and the word “hated” comes up when analysts talk about Macron’s – but the polls say he’s had a war-inspired popularity bump. 
  • Macron’s main challenger is Marine Le Pen, the veteran far-right winger from National Rally. This will be her 3rd go and she’s again campaigning for a harder line on immigration, and this time on cost of living issues. A fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a photo of them together has mysteriously disappeared from her campaign materials… 

HOW’S THE RACE SHAPING UP? Macron is favourite, but he has a lot of baggage… In 2018, he put a green tax on fuel and it led to the Yellow Vest uprising – it was 60 consecutive weeks of big protests against economic hardship and inequality. Add to the mix cuts to welfare while implementing measures his critics say benefited the rich, and gas price hikes of 35% over the past year, he’s an unpopular guy with many voters. And while Macron has been deeply involved in diplomatic efforts to prevent/end Russia’s war on Ukraine, Le Pen has been campaigning on cost of living issues – and the polls show her numbers are up. So the vote could be more tightly fought than the last time the pair went head-to-head in 2017. Macron beat Le Pen in 2017 by 66.1% to 33.9% in the runoff – this time the polls are pointing to a Macron win, but by 53.5% to 46.5%. Giddy-up…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Russia booted over human rights concerns

Overnight, the United Nations’ General Assembly has moved to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council over “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine. Russia has responded by quitting the body describing the suspension as an “illegitimate and politically motivated step”. Suspensions are rare – the last nation to be benched was Libya in 2011 over violence against protesters by forces loyal to then-leader Muammar Gaddafi. China’s representative Zhang Jun spoke after his ‘no’ vote saying it would “aggravate the division among member states and intensify the confrontation between the parties concerned – it is like adding fuel to the fire.” Also on the diplomatic trail is Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba – he’s been at NATO HQ in Brussels and said that the escalating war in the eastern Donbas region will “remind you of the Second World War” involving “thousands of tanks, armoured vehicles, planes, artillery”. “Russia has its plan, we have ours, and the battlefield will decide the outcome,” Kuleba said.

World News

More rain and floods for NSW

It’s not just northern NSW that has had another taste of floods and evacuations – heavy rain stretching from the Central to the South Coast has seen dangerous conditions return to Sydney and communities north and south of the state’s capital. Basically if you live near a river along that great big stretch of the coastline, you’re on flood/evacuation watch after 300mm of rain this week… Along the Nepean, Hawkesbury and Colo rivers, there are major floods this morning – higher than what was seen in March in many places. There were incredible scenes and dramatic rescues yesterday. As that happened, Sydney ticked over its average annual rainfall – that’s more than 1,213mm of rain in 97 days. More rain’s expected, but it’s set to easy today and dry up by Monday as a cold front settles in. And another joy – watch out for the leeches

Australian News Weather

See you in court…

The High Court yesterday threw a spanner in Team Morrison’s works by agreeing to hear an urgent special leave application over the federal Liberal Party’s intervention in the preselection of 12 candidates in NSW. It’s not going to make a decision about the legitimacy of the preselections this afternoon – this hearing will look at whether the Court wants to take the case. To recap: internal bickering left the NSW branch of the party without confirmed candidates in some key seats, so the federal division took over and a 3-person panel, including PM Scott Morrison, sorted it. Enter IT millionaire/Liberal Party member Matthew Camenzuli, who mounted a legal challenge. On Tuesday, the NSW Court of Appeal denied Camenzuli’s challenge, but yesterday the High Court said ‘give us a look’. What does it matter? Well, you’d want it resolved before you call an election, and time’s a tickin’. High Court watch – what a great way to end the week…


Moriarty mystery ruled a ‘likely’ murder

Patrick ‘Paddy’ Moriarty was “killed in the context of and likely due to” a longstanding feud with his neighbours, the Northern Territory coroner has found. As we talked about yesterday, the 70yo and his dog Kellie disappeared from the tiny town of Larrimah under suspicious circumstances in December 2017. Cafe owner Fran Hodgetts and gardener Owen Laurie both said they would “kill him” over an escalating dispute, but they deny any involvement in Moriarty’s disappearance. On Wednesday, the inquest heard a police recording of Laurie muttering to himself that he “killerated old Paddy … struck him on the head” in the weeks after his disappearance. The coroner can’t point the finger, but the coroner referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The investigation’s lead officer, Detective Sergeant Matt Allen, said the case would remain open with a $250,000 reward for information.

Australian News Crime

Podcast listeners are ace

People who listen to podcasts are likely to be more curious, open to experiences and less neurotic on average than non-listeners, according to a new study. Research conducted by the Queensland University of Technology surveyed 306 people from more than 10 countries on their podcast listening habits and then compared it with personality measures. They found that people who reported that they were podcast listeners scored more highly for curiosity and seeking awareness about the world, and were less likely to be neurotic. “That’s quite different from social media use,” said study co-author Dr Stephanie Tobin. And podcast listeners who scored more highly on the trait of agreeableness were more likely to report forming ‘parasocial relationships’ with their favourite hosts, and feeling like they’re friends. Sounds like our Squizers… Oh, and we’re sure it’s true of newsletter readers too…

Australian News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Actors say mastery of the Aussie accent is tough to do. This rundown of the worst to best examples is in equal part horrifying and giggle-worthy.  

For something warming to watch this weekend, the legendary Julia Child has been immortalised again in HBO’s excellent new 6-part biopic Julia. Starting after the release of her bestselling Mastering the Art of French Cooking, it follows Child’s rise as her TV series turns her into an unlikely star. You can watch it on Binge/Foxtel.  

If you tried the lamb with us last weekend, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Super easy, eh? This weekend for our pre-Easter trial, we’re giving a fish burger a go, but using a hybrid of recipes – this fish with these bun/salad/saucy bits. Nothing ventured…

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which country is set to trial the world’s biggest 4-day work week pilot? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.  

Squiz the Day

7.45pm (AEST) – Soccer – Women’s Friendlies – Australia v New Zealand – Queensland

ABS Data Release – Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, 2022

The RBA releases its bi-annual financial stability review

Start of Parrtjima Light Festival (until 17 April) – Alice Springs

Birthdays for doppelgänger actors Robin Wright (1966) and Patricia Arquette (1968)

Anniversary of:
• the discovery of the Venus de Milo on the Aegean island of Milos (1820)
• the deaths of Pablo Picasso (1973) and Margaret Thatcher (2013)

Squiz the Day

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