Squiz Today / 11 July 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 11 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

We’ll catch you up.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“This is a practical and pragmatic solution…”

Said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet of his decision to scrap plans for a 3rd flag pole on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the Aboriginal flag. Instead, the flag will permanently replace the NSW flag, saving $25 million and a trip to Bunnings

Sri Lankan leaders out for an economic duck

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have agreed to resign following big protests in Colombo on Saturday. Calm returned to the nation’s commercial capital yesterday after thousands of angry citizens descended on the city, setting fire to Wickremesinghe’s home and making themselves comfortable in the official presidential residence. Neither man was home at the time… Mostly peaceful anti-government protests have been going on since April over the government’s handling of the deepening economic crisis – the nation’s worst in 70 years.

Sri Lanka is bankrupt and has run out of foreign currency, leading to a ban on fuel sales for private vehicles. Food prices and medicine shortages have also spiked, leaving people hungry and sick. But how did they get there? Dodgy government policies are to blame. After he took office in 2019, Rajapaksa slashed taxes and resisted help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He also backed a ban on chemical fertilisers that hurt crop yields as food prices soared. The pandemic decimated the tourism industry, a key source of foreign currency. And then the war in Ukraine drove up energy costs, leaving Sri Lanka’s economy in a steaming mess. Rajapaksa is in focus because he and his family have dominated Sri Lankan politics for 20 years – including his brother Mahinda who stepped down as PM in May. Fireworks went off in Colombo on Saturday night when Rajapaksa said he would go on Wednesday and that Wickremesinghe would follow to make way for an all-party coalition.

There’s some scepticism that Rajapaksa will leave office, so analysts want to see how that pans out before getting too far ahead of themselves… That’s a sentiment shared by protestors who have vowed to occupy the leaders’ residences until both leaders officially resign. But looking ahead – it’s all about getting the nation’s economy back on its feet despite efforts to date (like giving government employees a day off to grow crops in their backyards…) doing little to fix things. The great hope is a deal with the IMF on a bailout package, and it hopes for a resolution to the political turmoil so talks can resume ASAP. In the meantime, there’s always cricket… 

World News

Squiz the Rest

Remembering Shinzo Abe

Tetsuya Yamagami, the 41yo accused of assassinating Shinzo Abe in an attack on Friday, is said to have targeted the former PM because he believed Abe to be linked to a religious group that ruined his mother financially. Yamagami also “stalked” Abe to other cities where he made campaign appearances in the lead-up to yesterday’s Upper House election, reports say. Police have shared little information but say there were security flaws in Nara. And in a country where gun violence is a rarity, it’s been confirmed that the weapon used to kill Abe was crudely made with metal and wood, wrapped in heavy-duty black tape. The Abe family will hold a wake today and a small funeral tomorrow. Former Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull remembered him as a determined and fun guy. “Shinzo was unflappable, always calm, good-humoured but firm and always coming back to the issue he wanted to pursue,” he said yesterday.

Australian News World News

China’s conditions for restarting with Oz

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi hopes that Australia will “seize the opportunity, take concrete actions and come to a correct understanding of China,” according to a summary of his meeting with our Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Bali on Friday night. It goes on to say that the Morrison Government was “irresponsible” and the difficulties have been ongoing because China is seen as “an ‘opponent’ and even a ‘threat’” in Oz. China has 4 demands of Australia, and it’s a difficult line for the new mob to walk because Team Albanese agrees that China’s behaving aggressively – something PM Anthony Albanese has condemned on the world stage. For Wong’s part, she said “we do have our differences,” but we both have “a path to walk and we’ll see if it can lead to a better place between the 2 countries.” Albanese and China’s President Xi Jinping might get a chance to have their own chinwag when they attend the G20 leaders’ summit in Bali in November.


Australia on the move

No, we haven’t collectively taken up a new exercise regime… New official states show that almost 500,000 people moved state/territory in 2021. That’s a 20% increase on the previous record set in 2002. NSW was the biggest loser, shedding 54,500 residents (net) during 2020-2021. Over the last couple of years, almost 45,000 New South Welshpeople have moved to Queensland. The Sunshine State also did well out of Victoria… It suffered its biggest loss of residents since the recession of the early 1990s, losing 31,700 residents (net) to other parts of the country, including NSW. “It’s not surprising that the states most impacted by lockdowns during the COVID period have seen the most intense and historically significant movements to other states in Australia,” demographer Dr Liz Allen said.

Australian News

Twitter gets the poop emoji from Musk

Two months after saying the deal to buy Twitter was “on hold” over questions about the number of spam and fake accounts, Elon Musk is attempting to terminate the US$44 billion ($64 billion) deal. Twitter “is in material breach of multiple provisions of that agreement,” according to Musk’s lawyer. But Twitter isn’t letting him off the hook that easily – it says it’s heading to court, arguing he is required to close the deal. Some experts say Twitter is on sound legal ground, but there’s a question about whether Musk could be forced to buy a company he doesn’t want. There are few examples of it happening before, but those have been much smaller businesses. Analysts said the writing was on the wall some weeks ago – Musk’s last tweet to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was the poop emoji. As for Musk, he didn’t look too bothered as he talked up the colonisation of Mars and avoided commenting on reports of a new set of twins


Wimbledon’s done and dusted

And Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3). The Serbian had to deliver some of his best tennis to take his 7th title at the All England Club, making it his 21st grand slam overall. “He’s a bit of a god, I’m not going to lie. I thought I played well,” Kyrgios said. There were the usual Kyrgios flourishes, including a go at a spectator. But Djokovic said to the Aussie: “everything is starting to come together for you and we will see more in the later stages of grand slams.” The women’s singles title was taken out by Elena Rybakina over 3rd seed Ons Jabeur – and she was pretty emotional about it… And it’s been a good end to the tournament for Aussies men’s doubles legends Matt Ebden and Max Purcell after their gruelling 5-set victory over Croatia’s defending champions Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić. The pair – the first from Oz to win at Wimbledon since the Woodies dominated the scene 22 years ago – even celebrate in unison


Apropos of Nothing

A pregnant Texan woman has thrown the overturning of Roe v Wade back in the face of local law enforcement after they pinged her for driving in a designated multi-passenger lane. After she was told her unborn child did not count, she will fight the $275 ticket in court because, under Texas law, an unborn child is considered an ‘individual’ from conception.

If you ask the Poms, most want Oz to stick with the Commonwealth… In a survey conducted in the UK, 58% of respondents said it was fairly or significantly important that Australia remains a member. As for sticking with the monarchy, a third said we should do it. Not that they get a say…

According to tattoo removal experts Removery, hot on the erase list are tribal-inspired markings (31%), the Southern Cross (27%), followed closely by butterflies (26%). Bets or dares account for 14% of tattoo regret – no word where ‘boozy night out’ inkings rank…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

World Population Day

Birthdays for fashion designer Giorgio Armani (1934)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Charlotte’s Web author EB White (1899) and former PM Gough Whitlam (1916)
• the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
• the death of actor Laurence Olivier (1989)
• the escape of Mexican drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán from a maximum-security prison near Mexico City (2015)

Squiz the Day

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