Squiz Today / 16 January 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 16 January

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Squiz Today Podcast

Fresh and fast for a new year.  

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It hurts a little bit.”

Said Aussie endurance motorbike legend Toby Price after missing out on winning the Dakar Rally – by 43 seconds. After riding 5,000km across Saudi Arabia’s gruelling terrain over 2 weeks, it’s safe to predict it’s not just the 2-time winner’s competitive spirit that’s hurt…

New support for Ukraine

Russia launched new missile attacks across Ukraine across the weekend, with explosions reported in the major cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Odesa. At least 23 civilians died when a 9-storey apartment building was hit in the eastern city of Dnipro, leaving locals scrambling in freezing weather to rescue survivors from the rubble. Local officials said many of those buried sent text messages asking for help, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to fight “for every person, every life”. Reports say the weekend saw the worst attacks in months and has caused widespread blackouts after more power infrastructure was targeted. The strikes were launched as Ukrainians marked the Orthodox New Year – and it came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin named a new war chief.

Zelensky has made a fresh plea for allies to supply Ukraine with heavier weapons, saying it would help prevent future Russian attacks on civilians. Western nations – including Australia – have provided varying degrees of assistance since the start of the war, but sending heavy weaponry was something they were resisting… Yesterday, there was a sign that approach might be changing ahead of this week’s 12-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion. UK PM Rishi Sunak has promised to send ‘Challenger 2’ battle tanks (which the British military claim have ”never experienced a loss at the hands of the enemy”) and artillery systems to Ukraine. Sunak believes the tanks will help Ukrainian forces “push Russian troops back”, and Zelensky said thanks for the support. He tweeted that the move would “send the right signal to other partners”.

No prizes for guessing… Russia isn’t happy with the UK’s tank announcement, which follows a ramping-up of other recent weapons assistance pledges for Ukraine from countries including Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, France and the US. Russia says the international help will lead to intensified operations and more civilian casualties, and yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “weapons supplies are legitimate targets for Russian strikes”. Meanwhile, Russian forces say they have taken control of the eastern Ukrainian town of Soledar – but that’s disputed by Ukrainian authorities who have called the claims “information noise”. Reports say the town has little strategic value, but it would be considered a symbolic win for Moscow after months of setbacks.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Quick world news wrap

KHAN SURVIVES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT – Pakistan’s former PM/international cricket great Imran Khan was wounded in the leg when gunfire hit his vehicle overnight. He was leading a demonstration in the city of Wazirabad, calling for early elections. Police have a man in custody, and in interview footage that’s been released, the man says he did it because Khan was “misguiding the people.”

ETHIOPIANS AGREE TO A NEW PEACE DEAL – After 2 years of civil war that has led to an estimated 500,000 deaths, an unexpected peace deal has been struck between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. It’s not the first time a truce has been agreed, but it’s hoped this one will stick.

NOW JAPAN’S IN NORTH KOREA’S SIGHTS – Yep, it fired an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) in that direction yesterday, but reports say it failed mid-flight. On Wednesday, North Korea fired more than 23 missiles – the most it’s ever launched in a single day – and experts’ reckon leader Kim Jong Un may be preparing to fire a nuclear test missile.

World News

Another reason not to run for office…

Our federal parliamentarians and the Governor-General were subjected to a spike in nasty online threats, vile letters and verbal assaults in 2022, according to the Australian Federal Police. One of the great things about our democracy is that our pollies are relatively easy to access – including those at the top of the tree. But with the number of direct threats made against them in the last 3 years tripling to 548 reports of harassment, nuisance and other threats, the AFP is dedicating more resources to protecting them. The surge in cases has been put down to the increase in far-right extremism and conspiracy movements supercharged by the pandemic. One expert said that the trick for the AFP is to “pick through all of this noise” to identify the small number of people who might follow through on their threats.

AusPol Crime

Charging into the holidays

The summer holiday road trip with your nearest and dearest can be the best of times and the worst of times – and that was when you could lob into one of a trillion servos to refuel without much fuss. This summer, the drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) faced long waits to recharge. The industry says this was the first time there were enough electric cars on the road for significant congestion to build at charging stations across the country. In 2022, more than 33,000 electric vehicles were sold in Australia – almost double the number in 2021. Fuel retailers, power companies, EV manufacturers and others are planning to roll out more charging stations toot sweet, but the industry anticipates charging queues this Easter, next Chrissy and beyond until demand catches up with supply.


Another thing to keep you awake at night

It’s hard to overstate how much we think about sleep. The early mornings and – depending on the news of the day – late finishes mean we’re constantly thinking about it. And if quality sleep isn’t possible during the week, the ace we thought we had in our back pockets was the weekend and the glorious opportunity to catch up. Sadly, that’s a flawed theory, according to a study… Your ‘sleep debt’ is almost impossible to ‘repay’ over a couple of days, it says. In fact, for every hour of sleep debt, you need 4 consistent nights of 7-9 hours of good sleep to fully recover. Lose an hour each night during the week, and it would take almost a month to make it back. Others say not to overcomplicate things – try to sleep at the same time each night and make an effort to get as much as you need. Simples…


Two weeks of top tennis

There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip, but this year’s Australian Open tennis grand slam is set to be the first ‘normal’ tournament since 2019 when it kicks off this morning. And this year, the spotlight’s on what happens on the court rather than bushfires, COVID and border rules – despite the early attention falling on who won’t be there… Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Ash Barty have retired. Men’s world #1 Carlos Alcaraz and Aussie Ajla Tomljanović are injured, and Naomi Osaka is taking time out as she prepares to become a mum. That leaves 21-year-old Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal as the top seeds in the women’s and men’s singles. Just don’t count out Novak Djokovic – he says he turned his deportation last year to his advantage. They say success is the best revenge…


Apropos of nothing

Rapper Kanye West – also known as Ye – might have married an Aussie. Reports say the controversial music entrepreneur and architect Bianca Censori recently held a “wedding-like ceremony”. He may have been dropping a hint when he released a song called Censori Overload last month…

Fossil-hunter John Reeves claims that potentially valuable prehistoric mammoth bones were dumped in New York’s East River in the 1940s, which has caused a bit of a bone rush. The freezing conditions haven’t deterred divers – even with the American Museum of Natural History pouring cold water on the claim…

Friday the 13th became one American’s lucky day when they won a $1.35 billion Mega Millions lottery in Maine. The jackpot grew over 3 months after 25 unsuccessful draws before the winner was found… That’s a lotta moolah.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.00am (AEDT) – The Australian Open tennis tournament gets underway – Melbourne

From 11.00am (AEDT) – Critics Choice Awards – Los Angeles

11.05am (AEDT) – Women’s Cricket ODI – Australia v Pakistan – Brisbane

Late afternoon – Extreme runner Erchana Murray-Bartlett to finish her 42.2km-a-day run over 150 days – Melbourne

World Economic Forum annual meeting – Davos, Switzerland

World Religion Day 

A birthday for Kate Moss (1974)

Anniversary of:
• the death of Australian photographer Frank Hurley (1962). Fascinating bloke
• Muammar Gaddafi taking over the rule of Libya, 4 months after leading a coup against the monarchy (1970)
• the premiere of BBC’s landmark nature series Life on Earth presented by David Attenborough (1979)
• the US announcing the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait (1991)

Squiz the Day

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