Squiz Today / 19 December 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 19 December

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Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Note to self: sip sakau, scull kava!”

Tweeted former Deputy PM Michael McCormack after he got the wobbles from downing a whole bowl of the extra-potent Micronesian kava known for its narcotic/sedative effect. Some good could still come of it: he thinks the Department of Foreign Affairs will establish the ‘McCormack Principle’ by warning politicians about the traditional drink before future visits…

Sullying the beautiful game

After weeks of enthusiasm for Aussie soccer, Saturday night’s pitch invasion at the Melbourne Derby of the A-League Men’s tournament has left the sport in tatters. Football Australia CEO James Johnson yesterday condemned the actions of those involved at the Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City game and outlined 3 investigations in response. Victory will be issued a “show cause” letter asking the club about its role in what went down. Another probe will endeavour to identify the individuals involved, and the 3rd will consider the result of the match itself after play was abandoned. Victoria Police are also investigating and have released photos of those involved but are yet to make any arrests.

The thing to know is that last week, officials made a decision to hold A-League grand finals in Sydney for the next 3 years under a $12 million deal with the NSW Government. It breaks the tradition of the highest-ranked team hosting the event, wherever they are in Australia. A fan walkout was expected during Saturday night’s game to show their displeasure with the decision, but violence erupted when spectators from the Victory end of the stadium stormed the pitch. City goalkeeper Tom Glover and referee Alex King were injured in the scary scenes that unfolded. Melbourne Victory boss Caroline Carnegie says she’s “disgraced and appalled”, and Football Australia insists “strong sanctions” will be handed down. But commentators and former top players say it’s ruined the positive momentum from the Socceroos’ terrific performance in Qatar.

Those willing to brave a very early alarm this morning – or stayed up all night – have been rewarded with a thrilling final between France and Argentina that saw their stars shine. At stake: Argentina was chasing their first title since 1986, and France was hoping to become the 3rd side in World Cup history to win back-to-back World Cups. Argentina was in control of the match until France staged a massive comeback, with Kylian Mbappé scoring twice in the final minutes of regular time to level the score 2-2. Argentina went ahead in extra time thanks to Lionel Messi, and then Mbappé scored again for France taking the match to a penalty shootout. And from there, Argentina was able to take it out. Coming in 3rd place was Croatia, who defeated Morocco 2-1 yesterday morning – their coach Zlatko Dalic called it “bronze with a golden glow”. So that’s that for another 4 years – bring on the Women’s World Cup being staged here and in Kiwiland in mid-2023…

Australian News Sport

Squiz the Rest

Steps forward, steps backward in Ukraine

Over the weekend, 2 things happened that are worth noting. Russia launched more missiles targeting Ukraine’s infrastructure, including in the capital Kyiv. More than 1,000 missiles and Iranian-made attack drones have taken out the country’s vital assets since the start of October – acts leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron say are war crimes. Despite the ongoing assault, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says power has been restored to 6 million. And in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the commanders of his armed forces to get their advice on how the ‘special military operation’ should proceed. Some say Russia is preparing for a new assault on Kyiv from Belarus to get back on the front foot, but others say Putin’s war efforts are flagging. Reports say Russia will run out of reliable munitions by early 2023.

World News

More tragedy playing out in Iran

Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winning movie The Salesman, has been arrested by Iranian authorities on charges of spreading falsehoods about the big protests that have gripped the country. In November, Alidoosti posted a picture of herself to Instagram where she’s not wearing the hijab and is holding a piece of paper with the protest’s catchcry “women, life, freedom”. And last week, she expressed solidarity with the first man executed for crimes allegedly committed during the demonstrations. ″His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action is a disgrace to humanity,” she said in the social media post. The 38yo isn’t the first popular figure to be detained, but ​​she is regarded as one of the most influential Iranian actors of her generation, so the symbolism is huge. Activists say at least a dozen people have been sentenced to death in closed-door hearings, and there are fears these will be carried out soon.

World News

A chips and spinach update…

Why we didn’t lead with this story, we don’t know… Australia is staring down a chip shortage after flooding in Australia’s east has left the nation without enough potatoes. And we can’t even look overseas for emergency relief because there’s an international shortage of chips due to supply chain and transport issues. If you need evidence that this is a very real situation, Coles has introduced a temporary purchase limit of no more than 2 frozen chip packs per transaction. Strap yourself in because growers say soggy paddocks mean the shortage will be ongoing for the next 6 months. The pubs’ industry body says it’s told venues to start using other veggies with meals “or, of course, there’s always the healthy salad option”. Boo… And it’s not like salad’s always safe – baby spinach sold at Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and Costco (the specifics are here) has been recalled. The food safety regulator says it’s been contaminated with a weed that can cause delirium and hallucinations.

Australian News

The truth is out there

Officials from the US Defense Department investigating UFO sightings in the skies and even underwater aren’t ruling out the possibility extraterrestrials have visited Earth. Intelligence boss Ronald Moultrie says there’s no concrete evidence we’ve received intergalactic visitors, like “an alien crash or anything like that”… But Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the newly-formed All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, whose mission is to look into unexplained activity around military installations and the like, hasn’t ruled it out. It follows a sharp increase of 400+ sightings this year, up from 140 cases of “unidentified aerial phenomena” between 2004-2021. Last week, Congress highlighted the investigations in its annual defence policy bill, calling for a report into UFOs dating back to 1945. Kirkpatrick says it’s “going to be quite a research project.” You know who they need on the case…


Here Max/Bella/Luna – but not Colin…

If you’ve taken your pooch to the park recently – or if you’re not a dog person but have feigned interest in your people’s pups – you’ll know what this is about. It seems that more dogs are getting human names – a phenomenon the Washington Post has looked deep into by analysing 61,000 dog names on the American website Petfinder and comparing it with baby names from official records stretching back to 1880. They found that Bella, Max and Luna are among the most human names used for dogs, but popular people names like Robert, James and Mary are rarely used. And just in case you’re wondering, Colin is definitely considered a human name… If you want to find out how your best buddy’s name rates (or, for that matter, your own…), a convenient analysis tool can be accessed from here.

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

The theft of $178 million of jewels from a museum in Dresden was big news in 2019, and yesterday, authorities said they’d recovered a lot of it after talks with the 6 Germans accused of taking the culturally important bling. Two of the suspects have already been convicted of taking a 100kg gold coin from a museum in Berlin. That couldn’t have been easy to pull off…

Sotheby’s in New York has sold a Tyrannosaurus rex skull for more than $9 million. It was the first of its kind to hit a public auction, and experts say it could be the start of a new high-end collectables trend for fossils. The skull’s name is Maximus, in case you’re wondering…

It’s the season for giving, so in that spirit, we thank the team behind the restoration of the Nativity by Piero Della Francesca. One arty type says their efforts resemble those that gave life to the ‘Monkey Christ’, with one of the shepherds looking like he’s “trying to remember where he parked the donkey”. Everyone’s a critic…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Saint Nicholas Day in Eastern Christian countries

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal’s birthday (1980)

Anniversary of:
• the release of Charles Dickens’ Yuletide tale A Christmas Carol in Britain (1843)
• the death of Emily Brontë (1848)
• the first radio broadcast from space – US President Eisenhower sent a Christmas message (1958)
• the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration to transfer Hong Kong back to China in 1997 (1984)
• the impeachment of US President Bill Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice (1998)

And it’s 6 days until Christmas…

Squiz the Day

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