Squiz Today / 08 July 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 8 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Good prep for some 5-star news chat. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

8 / 16
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16 / 29
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Squiz Sayings

It turns out that being hangry is a real thing.”

Said social psychologist Professor Viren Swami, who led one of the first studies into how hunger affects people’s emotions. It found that being hungry does actually tend to make people more irritable, but that wouldn’t come as a surprise to many of us…

Timor-Leste spying case dropped

Four years after he was charged with unlawfully disclosing information about an Australian Secret Intelligence Service mission to bug the offices of Timor-Leste’s leaders, the Federal Government’s legal action against lawyer Bernard Collaery has been dropped. He was representing Witness K – a former Aussie spy-turned-whistleblower who claims our government used underhanded tactics to get the upper hand in negotiating royalties from the rich oil and gas fields in the Timor Gap. Yesterday, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said he’d looked it over with “regard to our national security, our national interest and the proper administration of justice” and decided that the prosecution should end.

There sure is. And truth be told, we’d do a special podcast series on it if we weren’t so busy talking to you each day because it’s so juicy… But to get you to the starting line, let’s start at the beginning. Australia and Timor-Leste were, and still are, great friends. In 1999, we stepped in to help East Timor (as it was known) when violence surged after a vote for independence from Indonesia, and that peacekeeping operation continued until 2005. The nation became independent in 2002, and by 2004, the new government was ready to talk about carving up the oil and gas fields that lay 450km northwest of Darwin and 150km south of Timor-Leste. Worth between $40-50 billion, a deal in Timor-Leste’s favour was super important to them because it would help lift the nation out of poverty. But Witness K said the deck was stacked because our spies had bugged the new government’s offices and knew what deal could be done. Ultimately, we agreed on a 50:50 split.

Well, Witness K reported the alleged bugging of the offices to the intelligence watchdog and got permission to speak to a lawyer. Enter Bernard Collaery… Collaery then helped Timor-Leste build a case against Australia in the International Court of Justice, claiming the spying had rendered the treaty void. The Aussie men are seen as heroes in Timor-Leste – but not so much by the former Coalition Government… In 2018, just as a new deal was done over the oil/gas fields, the then Attorney-General Christian Porter authorised the public prosecutor to pursue charges against Collaery and Witness K for conspiring to release classified information. Witness K pleaded guilty during his ‘secret trial’ and was spared jail time when he was sentenced last year. But Collaery chose to fight – and his case was dropped yesterday. He says it’s “a good decision for the administration of justice in Australia”.


Squiz the Rest

Boris Johnson is gawn…

It’s been some time coming, but as the UK started their Thursday, reports came through that UK PM Boris Johnson would resign as leader of the Conservative party and prime minister. He’s done that overnight but will remain in a caretaker capacity until a new leader is elected. After the deed was done, he said he wanted to stay on, but the “herd” has spoken. He added that “no one is remotely indispensable, and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times.” Up until 12 hours ago, Johnson had refused to resign despite mounting calls to do so. His handling of a string of scandals and growing unpopularity with voters saw even longtime allies desert him. A timetable to get Johnson’s replacement in place will be announced next week. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace appears to be the favourite replacement among party members.

World News

Who needs friends anyway?

You know when a speaker is praising people, and despite being their mate through thick and thin, they don’t mention you… but they give a shoutout to their new bestie? That happened to Australia in the Solomon Islands yesterday. In a speech marking the Solomons’ national independence day, PM Manasseh Sogavare singled out China, calling it a “worthy partner”. He didn’t mention Australia, but insiders’ spidey senses were twitching when he said that the past 3 years had been “particularly challenging” given recent tensions. China’s regional relationships will be one agenda item at today’s G20 foreign minister summit in Bali, and Australia’s rep Penny Wong will get a chance to talk to China’s Wang Yi about getting the relationship back on track tonight at that meeting. It’ll be the first time Australia and China’s foreign ministers have met in person since November 2019.

AusPol World News

Older and sicker than ever

The average Aussie is living longer, but our ageing population is increasing the impact of disease, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Its ​latest big report says the average child born in 2020 is likely to live to the ripe old age of 83yo. But 47% of Aussies – or 11.6 million of us – have at least one chronic health condition, with heart disease and dementia at the top of the list. Researchers say a 3rd of conditions are preventable, and when it comes to lifestyle factors, 2 in 3 adults are overweight/obese. The good news: smoking rates hit a record low of 11%. Overall, Oz fared relatively well in 2020 and 2021, but we’re nowhere near past shaking off COVID cases and deaths. Just in time for a 4th booster shot

Australian News Health

A wild Wimbledon showdown

Nick Kyrgios is through to the final of Wimbledon after Rafael Nadal withdrew from tonight’s semi-final due to injury. “I have tried a lot of times in my career to keep going but it is obvious the injury will get worse,” he said. “I think it doesn’t make sense to play. I feel very sad to say that.” It would have been the Aussie’s first grand slam semi-final of his career – so it’s definitely his first final… He’ll be going up against Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie for the big trophy – their semi is tonight. The women’s final has been set – Saturday night will see Kazakhstan’s Elena Rubakina and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur go for it. Rubakina is the favourite for that match. Also worth noting – Sam Stosur and Matthew Ebden were the first Aussie duo to reach a Wimbledon mixed doubles final in 18 years. They lost in straight sets this morning. 


Vale Tricia

The Perth icon/one of the oldest elephants in the world has died at 65yo after her health rapidly went downhill. The Asian elephant had been a mainstay at Perth Zoo since 1963, with several others joining her in 1993, including bestie Permai. Like African elephants, Asian elephants deeply mourn their dead, and the zoo says it will give her friends adequate time to grieve before deciding what to do with her remains. Now that Tricia’s flying Dumbo-style to the elephant park in the sky, a decision has to be made about the arrangements for the zoo’s other elephants. They will likely be rehomed to a bigger facility – a move that the WA Government flagged in 2018. But before they get there, Tricia (who was also an accomplished artist…) was remembered as a “very special individual” who “had all the good qualities of humans without the bad”, keeper Steve Edmunds said. Some pics of her life are here.

Australian News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

If you’ve run the gauntlet of a post-2020/21 wedding, you’ll know it can be a bit fraught when it comes to the dress code. In response, some couples are getting very specific about it – and if you’re still a bit lost, here are the major codes decoded.

Part of marking the ABC’s 90th anniversary is a TV series hosted by David Wenham called The ABC Of where he shows his guest archived footage of their early days. This week, tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley saw herself playing tennis at 11yo, and she’s speechless. It’s a good watch, particularly during NAIDOC Week.

We have a hankering for some fishy, so we’re returning to this salmon ‘no-frills’ saucy curry this weekend. It’s fresh and comforting without the heaviness. Our tip: it says 2 litres of stock – we used 1.5 litres and added a little bit more towards the end to loosen it up. ‘Cos no one needs a tensed up curry on their weekend…

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which iconic landmark was named the worst big thing in Oz this week? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

2.30pm (AEST) – Men’s Cricket – 2nd Test – Australia v Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka

Guy Sebastian’s former manager Titus Day sentenced – Sydney

Anniversary of:
• the first publication of Wall Street Journal (1889)
• the deaths of actress Vivian Leigh (1967) and North Korean founder Kim Il Sung (1994)
• the release of the Spice Girls’ debut single Wannabe (1996)
• the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein on further charges of sex trafficking of minors (2019)

Squiz the Day

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