Squiz Today / 23 October 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 23 October

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

13 / 23
12 / 26
15 / 26
15 / 30
13 / 25
8 / 23
25 / 35
4 / 24

Squiz Sayings

“I am furious.”

Said homeowner Susan Hodgson, who returned to Atlanta from a holiday to find her family home had been demolished. She wasn’t living there, but the house was being maintained until it was reduced to rubble. The demo company You Call It We Haul It says they went to the wrong address

On the edge in the Middle East

The Squiz

An Israel Defence Forces (IDF) official has confirmed they will “deepen” and “increase” the strikes on Gaza as preparations for a ground invasion are finalised. Over the weekend, Israel has continued to mass tanks and troops along the border with Gaza and warned those who remain in the north of the Palestinian territory to leave. IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the priority is “to eliminate the terrorists and especially those involved in the massacre on Saturday 2 weeks ago.” Officials have not confirmed a specific timeframe for when they will go in. As those preparations are made, a group of United Nations agencies said the conditions in Gaza are “catastrophic”, with growing concerns the territory will collapse under the weight of starvation, dehydration, disease and Israeli attacks.

Is aid getting through?

Yep – on Saturday, 20 trucks of aid were allowed into Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing for the first time since the Israel-Hamas war erupted, and reports say another convoy has been allowed in overnight. UN Secretary-General António Guterres says the shipment of food, water and medicine was welcomed but insufficient to help alleviate the crisis. Since Israel announced a “full siege” of Gaza after the deadly 7 October Hamas attacks, electricity and water supplies have been cut, and food, fuel, and medicine shipments have been blocked. Adding to that, reports say more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people – who are packed into the 360km2 strip (about the size of an Aussie regional city…) – have been displaced but remain in the territory because they can’t get out. That includes 77 Australian citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members.

What does the world say about that?

Western nations are standing by Israel and its right to defend itself. Yesterday, US President Joe Biden said he will “continue to work with all parties” to get more aid into Gaza – he’ll also send extra air defences to the Middle East and has placed more forces on standby, ready to “assist in the defence of Israel”. Meanwhile, Arab leaders got together on Saturday, but there was no agreement on how to move forward. What they did was condemn Israel’s escalating strikes on Gaza – as did thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters over the weekend… In London, reports say 100,000 turned out, as did upwards of 12,000 in Sydney. Jewish communities rallied too – in Melbourne, there was a gathering yesterday supporting the hostages taken from Israel. On that front, Friday saw 2 American hostages handed over by Hamas for “humanitarian reasons”, the terror group said.

World News

Squiz the Rest

On the road again

Or, more accurately, PM Anthony Albanese’s in the air… He’s the third Aussie leader in 20 years to get a bells-and-whistles state visit to the US. It came about as a consolation prize when President Biden had to cancel his trip to Sydney thanks to a budget crisis and congressional game-playing… Now Albanese will arrive in the American capital amid a budget crisis and congressional game-playing – so much so there was speculation the trip might be canned. But he’s there and will hold talks with Biden over the AUKUS defence deal, what’s goss in the Asia-Pacific region, and a host of economic matters. As for one of the things that’s on Biden’s mind, the US House of Representatives remains frozen as the Republicans struggle to elect a speaker. That’s a problem because Congress faces a government funding deadline in November, and Biden wants funding for aid to Ukraine and Israel.


Cheers to China

The US isn’t the only trip PM Albanese’s got in the diary… Yesterday, details of his highly-anticipated trip to China were announced – he’ll be in Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping between 4-7 November. It’ll be the first time an Aussie leader has visited China since 2016, and it marks the 50th anniversary of Labor luminary Gough Whitlam’s trip in 1973 when he became the first Aussie PM to visit. The breakthrough comes after efforts to improve the Oz-China relationship have led to some recent breakthroughs… Aussie journalist Cheng Lei was released from prison and is back in Oz. And yesterday, Chinese officials said they’ll review the tariffs on Australian wine. Australian wine exports to China were worth $1.2 billion when the tariffs of up to 220% were imposed in 2020 – today, it’s $8 million.


Indigenous leaders are back online

Following a week of silence to consider the referendum result that saw 60% of Aussie voters vote ‘No’ to a Voice to Parliament, Indigenous leaders say they will “continue to fight to seek justice for our peoples”. They have penned an open letter for PM Albanese that was made public last night, although it is unsigned, so it’s unclear who supports the statement. We point that out because reports say there was division within the group over the statement. “The truth is that the majority of Australians have committed a shameful act whether knowingly or not, and there is nothing positive to be interpreted from it,” the statement says. And they point to a big factor in the ‘No’ result – the lack of bipartisan support. “While I appreciate the disappointment by some Indigenous leaders for ‘Yes’, this was a democratically determined outcome the country made,” Nationals leader David Littleproud said.


Paddling away from some problems

Swimming Australia has saved itself from being expelled from the global governing body World Aquatics after a tense few months… The organisation has been under pressure to adopt a new constitution to address its governance problems – there were issues with its representation policies and criticisms that not enough consultation with athletes and coaches was happening. That happened on Friday night – if it didn’t, there was the prospect of expulsion from the international scene, meaning our swimmers would not be able to compete for Australia (they would be under a ‘neutral’ flag) in next year’s Olympics. Can. You. Imagine… One star we want to see in green and gold is Kaylee McKeown – she’s set new records for the 100-metre and 50-metre backstroke on the weekend. “I just wanted to get out fast and see what I can do… I am super stoked with that,” she said.


An out of this world find

The NSW town of Deniliquin might be best known for its annual Deni Ute Muster, but there’s another feather to add to its cap… Scientists reckon they’ve found the world’s largest impact crater buried under millions of years of sediment. The crater is said to be about 520 kilometres in diameter, and experts believe it could have been left by an asteroid’s crash to Earth about 420 million years ago. If that’s the case, the study’s lead author/NSW Uni Professor Andrew Glikson says it would have caused an ice age, killing up to 85% of the species here at the time. To prove its sky-high origins, scientists will have to drill down and collect samples for testing, with geologist Tony Yeates saying it might shed light on the history of life on Earth. Little old Deni, eh?

Environment & Science Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

Would you pay $54 for a sandwich? That’s what British luxury retailer Harrod’s is asking for the UK’s most expensive butty – including seared Wagyu beef from Japan, mushrooms, truffle butter, and ‘gold’ mustard mayo on sourdough. Some reviewers aren’t sold

If you’ve ever had to think about crocodile safety while on holiday in our north, spare a thought for Indonesians… They have the most crocodile attacks in the world – 1,000 over the past decade, 450 of which were fatal. Despite what Bob Katter might believe, Oz has had 3 fatal attacks since 2018.

And if you’ve got a Halloween party coming up, NFL star and Taylor Swift’s rumoured boyfriend Travis Kelce reckons they offer some inspo… He says his moustache and bright red jersey – which Swift has famously worn while watching his games – are “pretty iconic”.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

2.00pm (AEDT) – Netball – Constellation Cup – Australia v New Zealand – Auckland

PM Anthony Albanese arrives in the US for an official state visit (until 26 October)

Liberation Day in Libya, marking the anniversary of the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime (2011)

Start of Melbourne Fashion Week (until 29 October)

Mole Day (which is actually about chemistry…)

World Snow Leopard Day

Birthdays for Ryan Reynolds (1976) and Emilia Clarke (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the first plastic surgery being performed (1814)
• the release of Walt Disney’s Dumbo (1941)
• the release of Britney Spears’ debut single Baby One More Time (1998)
• Apple releasing the first iPod (2001)
• the release of Adele’s single Hello, which would become the first song with more than a million downloads in its first week (2015)

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.