Squiz Today / 18 July 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 18 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Let’s go. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I think Netflix has a bit to answer for.”

Said federal Coalition frontbencher/monarchist Andrew Hastie of the positive PR The Crown gave the institution in Oz and internationally. The next season out in November tackles the events leading to Diana’s death, and the Queen takes a hit in the polls over that…

Sizzling up north, shivering down south

Weather conditions are on the cold/wet side here in Oz – but across large parts of the Northern Hemisphere, they’re sizzling through a hot summer. And over the weekend, wildfires and warnings of record temperatures have seen authorities kick into action.

There are dozens of fires burning across France (in the southwestern), Greece (near Crete and southeast of Athens), northern Portugal, southern Spain, Croatia’s Adriatic coast and northern Morocco. Thousands of people have evacuated, and thousands of firefighters and equipment have been deployed from neighbouring countries to help. And in the UK, the Met Office issued the first ever ‘Red’ warning with ‘exceptional’ temperatures in the high 30C/low 40C forecast for early this week. Britain has never hit 40C – the record stands at 38.7C in Cambridge from July 2019. Schools will close, and people have been told to stay off public transport because of fears of roads melting/tracks buckling. A national emergency has been declared, and there are concerns for vulnerable and elderly residents across the UK.

Across Australia’s east and south, it’s been rainy and windy, and while northern Oz is fine, it’s a bit cooler than usual. Sure, it’s winter – but this one’s been cold, wet and windy. Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide copped a cold blast over the weekend, and temperatures will stay low today. Perth has shivered through its coldest weekend for a couple of years – something Brisbanites can sympathise with. And if you’re sick of Sydneysiders complaining about the rain, get ready for some more… The city has already recorded its wettest July since records started, but it’s not done yet. Forecasters say the NSW capital and surrounding regions won’t get a dry stretch until next month.

Australian News Weather World News

Squiz the Rest

Resuming the COVID brace position

Aussie health officials say that the latest wave of COVID cases will likely peak next month, and millions will likely be infected in this half of the year. That’s because the new Omicron strains have measles-like infection rates, and that’s set to ramp up the pressure on hospitals and doctors over the next 2 months. PM Anthony Albanese brought forward today’s National Cabinet meeting to Saturday, and it was agreed that consistent messaging around wearing masks was important. The return of mask mandates isn’t on the horizon, but wearing them “indoors where appropriate” – aka where people are mixing and can’t socially distance – is “highly encouraged”. Albanese also announced the reinstatement of $750 pandemic leave payments for workers without access to sick leave. It will be available until the end of September at a cost of nearly $800 million to taxpayers.

Australian News Health

It’s still tricky finding a place to call home

Forecasts that Australia is set to undergo the largest housing market correction in at least 40 years are hitting home with auction clearance rates slumping on the weekend and owners discounting properties as they languish on the market. Clearance rates in Sydney fell below 50% for the first time since before the pandemic. And sellers in Melbourne have cold feet with new listings down 17.6% compared to a year ago. As for buyers – they’re taking their time… “No one wants to be that person who overpaid and was down 10% in their first year,” said analyst Carlos Cacho. Home prices are expected to decrease by 15-20% by the end of next year, thanks to interest rate increases. 

Australian News

The sun sets on Suncorp’s bank

An announcement that big 4 bank ANZ is set to buy Suncorp’s bank in a $5 billion deal is expected this morning. The deal would have to pass some tests, including getting clearance from Treasurer Jim Chalmers and the competition regulator. Suncorp is Queensland based, and there are also state laws that have to be navigated. For ANZ, it’s about boosting its home loans business, and with Queensland holding the title as the state taking in the most residents from interstate, it’s a good place to grow their mortgage business. Analysts say it would be the biggest deal in banking in a decade, but at the top of the ACCC’s mind will be reduced competition amongst the regional banks. If Suncorp’s banking arm is gobbled up by ANZ, it leaves 2: the Bank of Queensland and the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Queensland’s Shadow Treasurer David Janetzki said consolidation was expected given “the complexity of the business and the war for executive talent”.

Australian News Business & Finance

Golfing glory for Cameron Smith

The 28yo Queenslander has won the 150th British Open overnight, surging past the leaders with a “birdie blitz” over the last 9 holes. He had a shocker on day 3 but aced day 4 of the famed tournament, landing on a score of 20-under after shooting 8-under overnight. The course at St Andrews is notoriously hard, but Smith made 5 straight birdies on the 10th to 14th holes – for the uninitiated, that means it took him one less shot than allowed on the hole to make par. “To look at these names on this trophy and then add mine is unreal. I’m lost for words. I’m definitely going to find out how many beers fit in this thing, that’s for sure,” he said. It’s Smith’s first major title, and he’s the first Aussie to win the British Open since Greg Norman in 1993. According to fans, Smith’s moustache and mullet put him on a winning trajectory. “That hair deserves all the majors,” tweeted one supporter.


From disaster to the big screen

Things aren’t getting any better for Prince Andrew after it was confirmed on the weekend that the story of his 2019 interview with BBCs Newsnight will be made into a movie. The show’s producer Sam McAlister has left the program and has already written about how she and the team convinced Andrew to do the interview in her book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews. She also goes into how gun host Emily Maitlis handled the interview itself and the Prince’s reaction immediately afterwards – he and his team thought he’d nailed it… To recap: it was Andrew’s take on his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He also revealed that he wasn’t a sweaty guy and couldn’t have sex with a then 17yo girl Virginia Giuffre because he was at the Pizza Express in Woking on the day in question. If you can’t wait for the movie’s expected 2024 release, an explosive excerpt from McAlister’s book is here.

World News

Apropos of Nothing

The staff of mining giant Mineral Resources are in for a treat today – former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stars in a corporate video extolling the virtues of their new office complex. Joining Perthonalities like actors Hugh Jackman and Kate Walsh, JBish looks comfortable in her monogrammed robe…

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has turned 75yo – which calls for a new picture. One thing it revealed – she’s mad for white peaches.

Australian-born astronaut Phillip K Chapman didn’t get to go into space – but a little capsule of his ashes is set to make the voyage. He’s travelling with a Celestis memorial spaceflight, a commercial outfit dedicated to doubling down on the great unknowns – death and space…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

World Listening Day

Start of National Farm Safety Week (until 24 July)

Nelson Mandela International Day, on the anniversary of his birthday (1918)

Birthdays for former Aussie cricket great Dennis Lillee (1949), billionaire businessman Richard Branson (1950), media personality Shaun Micallef (1962), actor Vin Diesel (1967), author Elizabeth Gilbert (1969), and actor Kristen Bell (1980)

Anniversary of:
• the debut of Play School (1966)
• the death of Jane Austen (1817)
• Kim Jong Un being appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea (2012)

Squiz the Day

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