Squiz Today / 08 November 2019

Squiz Today – Friday, 8 November


"There was always a nest of a thrush on top of the door post at the front of our house at Danglemah.”

Former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce is referring to the bird, not the infection… The first round of voting in The Guardian’s Australian bird of the year contest closes today...


Conventional wisdom said Labor was going to win the federal election in May making Bill Shorten prime minister. Spoiler alert: they lost. And now, the process of combing through the ashes of defeat has been captured in a highly anticipated review by party elders Jay Wetherill (former South Oz premier) and Craig Emerson (former federal Queensland MP) that was released yesterday.

That Shorten was unpopular, Labor’s policy agenda was cluttered and didn’t hit the mark, and their campaign tactics didn’t adapt to the Coalition’s leadership change from Malcolm Turnbull to Scott Morrison. That's all… "No one of these shortcomings was decisive, but in combination, they explain the result," the report says. Voters who deserted Labor were low-income workers who didn't think Shorten had their backs; devout, first-generation migrant Christians; and rural Australians. Coal workers, Queenslanders and Chinese Australians were also called out for their lack of love for Labor when it came time to vote. Shorten yesterday tweeted that as captain of the team, he accepted responsibility.

The man who succeeded Shorten, Anthony Albanese, will front the National Press Club in Canberra today to put his spin on it and take questions from the media. And with the report's authors encouraging the party to hang onto Labor's 'core values' of looking out for working Australians, fairness, and care for the environment, it's a safe bet that Albanese will recommit to that agenda. The party is also encouraged to advocate for economic growth and job creation, and turning up the heat on the government by advocating for action on climate change. As they say, hindsight is 20/20…



PM Scott Morrison and a gaggle of ministers yesterday announced more assistance for drought-hit farmers, small businesses and rural towns. More than $700 million in new funding will be channelled to help them "make it through to the better days that will be ahead," Morrison said. Also on offer is more than $1 billion for new interest-free loans. The National Farmers' Federation urged the government to get the money out the door ASAP. Meanwhile, water will be released down the Murray River at a discounted price to farmers. And a $100 million deal between the Feds and South Oz governments will see its desalination plant provide water to produce fodder for farmers in the eastern states.


Brett Lentfer (62yo) and James Spaile (44yo) died on Wednesday near Queenstown, New Zealand when it appears their ropes were severed on sharp rocks during a rock climb. Their guide, who was taking them through a tricky area known as the Grand Traverse near the Double Cone summit at the top of the Remarkables, was unharmed. The men were from the Canberra region. Police and the company they were using for the climb expressed their sympathies.


The US Justice Department has accused two Twitter employees of using their positions at the social media behemoth to gather sensitive information on those critical of the regime in Saudi Arabia. The two men (a Saudi national and a US citizen) and a go-between (also a Saudi man) have been charged with acting as illegal agents of a foreign government. It’s the latest in a stream of allegations that Saudi powerbrokers are active in trying to shut down dissent, including outside their borders. Think: the murder of writer Jamal Khashoggi… The case has also raised questions about the ability of social media platforms to protect the privacy of users.


He’s the new host of ABC TV’s Q&AHamish Macdonald is probably best known for his role with Ten’s The Project. And the 38yo is already well known to ABC audiences with an occasional hosting gig on Radio National’s breakfast show, and contributions to its TV program Foreign Correspondent. Kicking off in the boxing ring of debate in 2020, ABC types welcomed him to the fold. Former host Tony Jones, who is joining his ABC journo wife Sarah Ferguson in China, took it as a comment.


It was only a matter of time before a US Vogue profile on world-beating actress/writer/producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge arrived. “I have really always wanted a cocktail that you order with total confidence; you know, that thing that you order and everyone’s like, ‘Holy sh*t, she knows what she’s doing with her entire life,’” she says. We feel that way about finding the perfect lipstick colour…

Need something new to listen to this weekend? We were intrigued by this article about “one of the greatest albums ever recorded” that almost no one knows about. You can get a taste of the title track here. We’ll give it a spin while doing the Saturday chores. How glamorous…

Katharine Hepburn’s brownies - a great story and an easy recipe to boot. And just a reminder, if you haven’t tried this crushed olive vinegar chicken from a couple of weeks ago, you’re missing out


7.30pm (AEDT) - T20 International Cricket - Australia vs Pakistan

Release of the latest Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Statement

ABS Data Release - Lending to households and businesses, September

Ribit. Start of FrogID Week 

International Day of Radiology

Anniversary of the birthday of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind (1900)

3rd anniversary of Donald Trump’s election as US President (2016)

2.00pm (AEDT) - Federation Cup Final Tennis - Australia vs France - Perth (and here’s hoping our women break a 45-year drought…)

3.00pm (AEDT) - Women’s Soccer Friendly - Matildas v Chile

Cambodia’s Independence Day

Start of Australian Food Safety Week

30th anniversary of the opening of checkpoints allowing East Berliners to walk freely into West Berlin

2.00pm (AEDT) - Federation Cup Final Tennis - Australia vs France

Celebratory parade for the enthronement of Japan's Emperor Naruhito (delayed from last month after Typhoon Hagibis)

World Science Day for Peace and Development

And when you get a moment, make sure you've read every email from this week to go into the draw to win a $100 Gourmet Traveller gift card to spend at restaurants across Oz. Nom nom...

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