Squiz Today / 24 July 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 24 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Good weeks start here. 

Today’s listen time: 7.30 minutes

11 / 18
7 / 15
11 / 20
9 / 15
8 / 21
8 / 15
16 / 28
-2 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“Most of us are pretty used to waving our phones around for payment.”

Said economist Nicki Hutley about Aussies’ shift away from using cash. In fact, the amount of cash in Oz has declined for the first time since decimal currency was introduced in 1966. It’s another thing we can thank COVID for…

Netanyahu’s under pressure (and under the knife…)


Hundreds of thousands of protesters have demonstrated across Israel over the weekend ahead of a crucial vote on the government’s proposed overhaul of the nation’s judiciary. The Benjamin Netanyahu-led government plans to strip power from Israel’s Supreme Court in what many see as a conservative attack on the democratic foundations of the state. It’s not just civilians protesting, either – 10,000 army reservists announced they’d be off-duty to protest the changes, and 100 former defence leaders have accused PM Netanyahu of compromising Israel’s security. If that weren’t enough, Netanyahu spent the weekend in hospital getting a pacemaker installed, just a week after being hospitalised for dehydration. With or without him, the vote is pressing on


This one has a backstory, so let’s take a moment… At the end of last year, after another inconclusive election, Netanyahu formed government with the help of the far right, who have long held grievances against the Supreme Court. Now they’re in charge, they want parliament to have the power to appoint judges and overturn court decisions. Those against the overhaul say it’ll erode protections for human rights in Israel, and they also point out that Netanyahu – who’s on trial for corruption – might have his own reasons for disempowering judges… Protesters have taken to the streets every Saturday night for the past 7 months, and the vote has already been delayed due to enormous protests in March. But Netanyahu doubled down on the changes over the weekend, and here we are with the vote set down for today. 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?Well, let’s see because negotiations for a compromise/postponement on the judicial overhaul are still underway. It’s no easy thing with Israel’s international partnerships, including with the US, at stake. US President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Netanyahu to reconsider the changes, and last week the White House said that “shared democratic values have always been and must remain a hallmark of the US-Israel relationship”. As for those protesting army reservists, experts have speculated that the turmoil within Israel’s military could weaken the state’s security. Chalk it up as one to watch…

World News

Squiz the Rest

MH17 attacker faces charges in Russia

A man who was found guilty – alongside 2 others – of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has been arrested in Russia. Former spy/soldier Igor Girkin was found guilty in the International Court of Justice last year of murdering 298 people (including 38 Aussies) for his part in shooting down MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. He hasn’t faced any punishment because he fled to Russia shortly after the attack, and they have prevented his extradition. So that’s in his past, but it’s not why he’s been arrested… As a Russian nationalist and supporter of the invasion of Ukraine, Girkin has been an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin. He was arrested at home on Friday and charged with inciting extremist activity. Reports say he’s been remanded in custody and could face up to 5 years in jail.

World News

Rinehart’s legal battle begins

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart is set to appear in the WA Supreme Court today for the first day of a major legal challenge to her multi-billion-dollar empire that’s been more than a decade in the making. Multiple parties are challenging her rights to mining royalties and the ownership of the Pilbara iron ore mine Hope Downs. The main challenger is fellow billionaire Angela Bennett and her company Wright Prospecting. Bennett is the daughter of Peter Wright – aka the late business partner of Rinehart’s late father, Lang Hancock. Reports say that Bennett is fighting for dividends worth hundreds of millions from Hope Downs, along with a share in part of the site that could be worth billions. Rinehart’s 2 oldest children are also fighting for money they claim their grandfather left to them. The ‘clash of the dynasties’ court case could run for about 3-4 months, so buckle up…

Australian News Business & Finance

Vale Tony Bennett

Legendary singer Tony Bennett died in his Manhattan home on Friday at 96yo – and to call him a legend seems understated when even Frank Sinatra called him “the best in the business”… The 20-time Grammy winner’s career spanning 8 decades saw him record more than 70 albums. Bennett’s signature song was I Left My Heart In San Francisco, but as the last of the crooners, he became the keeper of the ‘Great American Songbook’ – the fabulous jazz/popular songs penned last century by the likes of George Gershwin (thinkLove Is Here To Stay) and Cole Porter (Night and Day). In 2016, Bennett made his Alzheimer’s diagnosis public, and his last public performance was in August 2021 when he appeared with his good friend Lady Gaga in a show titled ‘One Last Time’. Dare you to watch this video and not get a bit misty…  The White House said, “Tony Bennett didn’t just sing the classics – he himself was an American classic.”

Culture Entertainment

A rainy day saves it

Australia has retained the Ashes after the final day of the fourth Test was rained out. We had still been chasing England’s dominant first-innings tally of 592, so the rain might have been Australia’s soggy saving grace… taking the match to a draw and keeping the series at 2-1. The fifth Test begins on Thursday and is Australia’s chance to win the Ashes outright. And over in France, Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard has rolled to a back-to-back Tour de France victory. He led the processional stage into Paris overnight (Sunday local time) and said he was “very happy” to win his 2nd Tour. “Probably, I will try to win it again next year,” he said. Third time’s a charm…


A ‘Barbenheimer’ weekend box bonanza

It’s been a big weekend with a capital B if you’re a fan of Barbie… We won’t know the final opening weekend box office figures until today, given they include the all-important North America/European markets, but early results show the Greta Gerwig-directed film has had the biggest opening weekend of the year. In fact, it’s tipped to rake in more than US$150 million in the States in its first 3 days alone, making it one of the biggest opening weekends on record. As for Oppenheimer, it’s on track to bring in more than US$80 million in its first weekend, which is a very respectable result. Experts say that means the Barbenheimer hype will likely have delivered cinemas its first huge weekend in years. And if social media is to be believed, many movie buffs followed even through on their promises to buy tickets to both movies… That means there were outfit changes galore to keep up with…

Culture Entertainment

Apropos of nothing

Forget the lotto – 71yo retiree Carmel Ash stumbled across a 424-carat sapphire worth more than $300,000 during a walk in Queensland. Naturally, she’s given the gem a name – ‘Amazing Grace’ – and has it under lock and key to help boost her retirement funds.

If gold is more your thing… A US man has dug up over 800 Civil War-era coins, estimated to be worth millions, in a Kentucky cornfield. He sums it up best in the video of his find: “the most insane thing ever”.

And if you’re planning a clean-out, Queensland couple Cathy and Phillip Harth say it pays to do some digging before you dump anything… They found a box of metal in their shed, which turned out to be the pieces of a 1934-era birthday cake-shaped clock – and it just fetched $48,000 at auction.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Term 3 begins for public schools in South Oz

Lifeline’s Stress Down Day

Start of National Pain Week (until 30 July)

International Self-Care Day

Birthdays for Jennifer Lopez (1969), Rose Byrne (1979), Elisabeth Moss (1982), and Bindi Irwin (1998)

Anniversary of:
• Jacques Cartier becoming the first European to land in Canada, claiming it for France (1534)
• Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger starting its 6-week run at No. 1 on US charts (1982)
• Aussie cyclist Cadel Evans winning the 98th Tour de France (2011)

Squiz the Day

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