Squiz Today / 11 September 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 11 September

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Hello again…

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

9 / 20
8 / 17
13 / 23
10 / 22
11 / 24
2 / 14
23 / 36
-1 / 18

Squiz Sayings

“Thanks viewers for letting us know.”

Wrote the operators of the Bear Cams that provide a live feed from Alaska’s Katmai National Party after views alerted them to a stranded hiker asking for help. The area is remote with no mobile range, so it’s Fat Bear Week that’s saved him…

Morocco’s mounting death toll


A magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Morocco on Saturday morning has killed over 2,100 people so far, with the death toll expected to rise as aftershocks hit and emergency workers race to rescue trapped victims. The quake’s epicentre was in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains, about 70 km away from the ancient city of Marrakesh, where maze-like lanes filled with rubble. Early reports indicate that most casualties are in the poorer Al Haouz province – south of Marrakesh and closer to the epicentre, where buildings have been constructed without much reference to safety standards. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has called in the army to assist with search and rescue and has directed humanitarian efforts towards helping “orphans and vulnerable people”. 


Morocco hasn’t had a quake this bad in over a century, which experts say has left residents unprepared for the disaster. Many of the buildings in Morocco’s rural areas are built using cheap materials and without reinforcement, making them especially vulnerable during a disaster like this. There are reports that most of the clay brick buildings in the mountain village of Tafeghaghte have been destroyed. On top of that, landslides in the mountains around these villages have slowed down rescue efforts. As of Monday morning, there were 2,421 Moroccans injured in the earthquake, with the Interior Ministry saying that more than 1,400 are injured critically. The health system is being supported by Doctors Without Borders, who say that earthquake survivors often need surgery or dialysis.


Since the quake, countries have been lining up to offer Morocco humanitarian aid and rescue support. So far, Morocco has accepted help from Spain, Tunisia, the UK, the UAE, and Qatar – with France saying it’s still waiting for its offer to be accepted. Within Morocco, blood banks have been appealing for donations to aid victims. Given the scale of the destruction, Red Cross director Hossam Elsharkawi has said, “We are looking at many months if not years of response.” Morocco’s king has set up a commission to disperse the incoming aid and to provide “emergency rehabilitation and assistance in the reconstruction of destroyed housing in disaster areas”. He also declared 3 days of mourning for the victims of the quake.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Taking the indirect route

They came, they fist bumped, they agreed… First up, the African Union was given permanent member status of the G20 at the leaders summit held in India’s New Delhi over the weekend – a step US President Joe Biden said was “a long time coming”. And despite expectations it wouldn’t get done, leaders also agreed on a joint declaration. That’s down to any explicit condemnation of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine being left out – a step leaders weren’t willing to take when they met in Bali last year. The statement calls on all states to “uphold the principles of international law including territorial integrity and sovereignty” and mentions “the human suffering and negative added impacts of the war” but notes the “different views and assessments”. Germany’s Olaf Scholz and the UK’s Rishi Sunak went into bat for the statement, saying it reflects their opposition to Russia’s actions, but Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the declaration was “nothing to be proud of”. 

Economy World News

Another slide for the Voice

It’s the last week of sittings of the Federal Parliament before we head off to vote in the referendum on enshrining an Indigenous Voice in the Constitution on 14 October, and new polling released on Saturday shows support for the proposal continues to decline. RedBridge, a research group from Melbourne led by cross-party experts, said its latest survey shows 61% of Australians are opposed to the Voice and 39% are in favour. Its director Kos Samaras says the ‘Yes’ case was being propped up by “university-educated voters and younger voters, and even that’s dropping.” Meanwhile, Peter Lewis, Essential Research’s pollster who’s working with the Yes23 campaign, points to a generational divide. “If this referendum was being run by under 35s, it’s a slam dunk, and it’s dead on arrival if you’re over 55.” Yesterday, Indigenous leader/’Yes’ campaigner Noel Pearson said he’s optimistic. “We’re the underdog in this referendum but I still believe we can achieve victory.” 

AusPol Australian News

Big in Europe

Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has become the biggest company in Europe, overtaking LVMH, the home of luxury brands including Dior and Louis Vuitton. If you haven’t heard of the company, it could be because you aren’t a diabetic/know someone using their insulin products. And now the company’s fortunes have blown sky high as experts hail its semaglutide drug Ozempic and Wegovy as massive breakthroughs in helping people with diabetes (and many without…) manage their weight. The products have had other consequences – demand has kept its home nation out of recession. Now valued at about $660 billion (for comparison, our biggest iron ore producer Rio Tinto’s valued at about $160 billion), its so dominant that Denmark’s Treasury is working out how to monitor other parts of the economy. Ozempic and Wegovy have been approved for use in Oz – Ozempic is here but in limited supply, and Wegovy is yet to arrive. 


Let’s go Coco

It felt like it was a matter of time… American Coco Gauff has won her first Grand Slam title, winning the US Open final against Aryna Sabalenka in a 3-set thriller 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. With the backing of a home crowd filled with celebs in New York, the 19yo’s the first teenager to win the tournament since Serena Williams in 1999. “Honestly thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me. To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, they were putting gas on my fire and I’m burning so bright right now,” she said, trophy in hand. Coming close to a win was Aussie Matt Ebden – he and men’s doubles partner Rohan Bopanna went down in 3 sets in their final. And this morning, Novak Djokovic is aiming for Grand Slam win #24. Standing in his way is Daniil Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in the 2021 US Open final. 


Polishing up your ‘I love you’

Writing good is hard. And when it comes to writing something elegant, eloquent and romantic for the person you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with – that’s real hard… That’s why more and more people are outsourcing their wedding vows, according to industry insiders. “By bringing in a vow writer, it’s not saying, ‘Oh, I’m too lazy to do my vows’. It’s saying, ‘I am struggling and I want to make this perfect for you’. It’s very considerate and thoughtful, actually,” said writer Asheda Weekes. And perfection is required because of the advent of posting the special moment to your socials… One expert said there are 4 parts to it: 1. start with how you met and what brought you to this day; 2. what do you love about ‘em; 3. nail down 3-6 promises; 4. talk about your future together. And look, you can always divorce if it doesn’t work out… 


Apropos of nothing

In the nick of time, Marilyn Monroe’s old home in Los Angeles has been saved from demolition after a public outcry over the plan. Marilyn lived in the house for a few months before her fatal overdose there.

Happy seventh birthday to the kid who found a 2.95-carat golden brown diamond in a national park in Arkansas. It’s a biggie, but it’s only the second-largest diamond from the same park this year – according to park rangers, 1 to 2 diamonds are discovered there per day.

Joining politician dancers of note, including former UK PM Theresa May and Aussie Treasurer Peter Costello, Vice President Kamala Harris has busted some moves at a party for hip-hop’s 50th birthday. Any manoeuvre that involves a lot of pointing has got to be good… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.00am (AEST) – Tennis – US Open – Men’s Singles Final – New York

6.00pm (AEST) – 2023 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards – Canberra

Start of Property Congress 2023 (until 13 September) – Adelaide

Start of AFR Property Summit (until 13 September) – Sydney

Birthdays for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (1965) and musician Moby (1965)

Anniversary of:
• Enid Blyton publishing the first of her Famous Five children’s novels, which went on to become one of the best-selling children’s series ever with over 100 million sold (1942)
• the release of the Atari 2600 video game console, which revolutionised the video game industry (1977) • the last known smallpox death – that of medical photographer Janet Parker who was infected in a British lab (1978)
• the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which killed 2,996 (2001)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.