Squiz Today / 14 February 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 14 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

Ear to ear, we’ve got you covered.

Today’s listen time: 9.40 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I’m ready for a nap.”

Said author Lloyd Devereux Richards after he became TikTok famous and his book climbed the bestseller charts after “25 years of little hope” it would take off. It happened after his daughter posed a quick video saying “I’d love for him to get some sales.” Ask, and you shall receive…

The Gap, the Voice, and apologies…

PM Anthony Albanese has announced $424 million for programs to address Indigenous disadvantage. It’s part of the Albanese Government’s new Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, with the money set to be split across things like infrastructure for clean drinking water ($150 million), housing in remote parts of the Northern Territory ($117 million), food security ($11.8 million), and education support ($21.6 million). There’s also $68.6 million for culturally-appropriate family violence prevention, legal services and support. Speaking on the 15th anniversary of former PM Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations, Albanese said the plan was important because the inequalities between the general population and First Nations peoples “not only persist, but some are getting bigger”.


Sure thing. This funding follows the November release of the 2022 Closing the Gap Report, which detailed no progress in improving some outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It showed when it comes to Indigenous children’s school readiness, incarceration rates, suicide and child removal – aka 50% of the plan – things are getting worse. Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney spoke to that yesterday, saying that although several governments had tried, “there is enormous failure in meeting all the Closing the Gap targets”. Burney says along with the “real change” from the new implementation plan, she believed an Indigenous Voice to Parliament would be a “fundamental” part of tackling First Nations’ disadvantage.


Coalition leader Peter Dutton repeated his previous apologies to members of the Stolen Generation for skipping the apology in 2008. He says he “failed to grasp at the time the symbolic significance” of the statement but now understands it was a “profound moment”. And although Dutton welcomed the Albanese Government’s new Closing the Gap plan, he maintains there are questions about how the Voice to Parliament will work. He said those who want more information about the proposal are “not hardhearted” but deserve to be trusted “with the detail”. Liberal frontbencher Jane Hume says they won’t support the legislation until the Coalition’s demands are met. It’s currently pushing for equal funding for both the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns for the Voice equally – something the government’s so far refused to buckle on. 

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

An unwelcome visit from Gabrielle

Geez Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle’s been a bit of a handful… It’s no longer technically a tropical cyclone, but the experts say it’s not necessarily any weaker. The east coast and upper part of the North Island of New Zealand were most heavily affected yesterday, and overnight, the weather system got closer to the coast, and the whole North Island and parts of the South Island are set to be battered today. Winds up to 160km/hr and heavy rain along the Coromandel Peninsula and nearby Auckland – the country’s most populous city – have seen more than 50,000 homes lose power and mobile phone coverage drop out in parts. Late yesterday, PM Chris Hipkins said conditions “are likely to get worse before they get better” as communities were evacuated. Last night, Gabrielle is expected to “pinball” east and out to sea tonight and tomorrow. 

And while we’re talking natural disasters… Miraculously, they continue to pull survivors from the rubble after last week’s deadly earthquakes affecting large parts of Turkey and Syria. Overnight, the number of people confirmed to have died has risen to more than 35,000. 

Weather World News

Spy talk flying high

American fighter jets took down another unidentified object flying close to the Canadian border yesterday – this time, an uncrewed “octagonal structure” with strings attached to it. That makes 4 objects discovered over Canada and the US, and it prompted a Chinese official to say the US has flown balloons into its airspace more than 10 times in the past year. Not true, say American officials… It also led to questions of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) boss Mike Burgess. He says he’s “not aware” of any Chinese spy balloons over Australia and says it’s “not the principal means” for spying on Australia. Apparently, being located on our own continent makes that harder to do… Burgess was also asked about Australia’s terror threats – he says while right-wing extremism snowballed thanks to COVID conspiracy theorists, that threat has “moderated” slightly, but it “does live on”.

World News

Palm(er)ing off coal mines

Despite a declaration that “there will be action taken” after his proposal for a new coal mine in central Queensland was blocked, billionaire political campaigner Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal withdrew its appeal yesterday. The project in the Galilee Basin would have been the biggest mine in the country. It was knocked back by the Queensland Land Court in November because that emissions would threaten the human and cultural rights of Indigenous people and young Queenslanders. But that’s not the end of it – the court’s decision will be looked over by the Queensland Government. Palmer hasn’t had a good run with getting projects approved of late… Central Queensland Coal – another proposed mine in the same region – was last week formally blocked by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek because of fears of damage to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the first time a coal mine has been rejected under national environmental laws.

Australian News Business & Finance

Chiefs stun and Rihanna shines in Super Bowl

The Philadelphia Eagles went down to the Kansas City Chiefs in a tight NFL Super Bowl contest in Phoenix yesterday. The Eagles – including Aussies Jordan Mailata and Arryn Siposs – went to the halftime break with a strong lead, but the Chiefs launched a successful comeback to win 38-35. The halftime entertainment equally set the internet alight… Music superstar/entrepreneur Rihanna performed live for the first time in 5 years, managing to multitask as she performed several hits from a ‘floating’ stage whilst also revealing her 2nd pregnancy to the world. Advertisers were probably ecstatic about that surprise announcement… Reports say each company that ran a commercial during the game paid a cool US$6-7 million for a 30-second slot – so understandably, they’re not afraid to go all-out with their ads featuring big-name celebs. Our favourite involves hold music that we also enjoy grooving too…


Feeling moo-ved by Valentine’s Day

There might be a bit of love lost after Indian authorities’ failed attempt to rebrand this year’s Valentine’s Day to ‘Cow Hug Day’… A government agency shared the idea last week, saying that rather than celebrating the Western holiday, “hugging cows will bring emotional richness and increase individual and collective happiness”. Despite cows being considered sacred by the Hindu population, many were udderly unimpressed… The idea was mocked for days by Indian media outlets before the idea was dropped, allowing people to focus on more conventional romantic plans. Back in Oz, restaurateurs have shared their tales about a different type of Valentine’s Day proposal… It sounds like Melbourne’s Grossi Florentino restaurant might be a good place to book in – it’s got a policy of Champagne for anyone who pops the question – regardless of the outcome.

Quirky News World News

Apropos of nothing

Nancy Pelosi – one of America’s most powerful Democrats when she was Speaker of the US House of Representatives – eats a hotdog with mustard and relish every day for lunch. She’s 82yo and our new food icon – but some dieticians have a problem with it… 

Proving TikTok is a force for good/evil depending on your view, Doritos topped with crème fraîche and caviar, is the latest trend on the platform to set the internet ablaze. The key takeout is the uber luxury is now considered an item for everyday gatherings… 

Mars Wrigley – the company behind Mars Bars, Malteesers and M&Ms – has been fined US$14,500 after 2 workers fell into a large tub of chocolate. Where we come from, that would be considered a workplace perk…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Company Results – Ansell; James Hardie; Seven West Media; CSL

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator, December

Valentine’s Day

International Book Giving Day

Library Lovers Day

Birthdays for Michael Bloomberg (1942), Simon Pegg (1970), Cadel Evans (1977), and Freddie Highmore (1992)

Anniversary of:
• the death of Captain James Cook (1779)
• the release of the original Dracula film starring Bela Lugosi (1931)
• the patenting of the first microchip (called “micro on a chip”) by Texas Instruments (1978)
• the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which prompted widespread protests against gun violence in the US (2018)

Squiz the Day

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