Squiz Today / 24 October 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 24 October

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

Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

17 / 22
14 / 22
18 / 31
13 / 20
12 / 21
10 / 14
28 / 35
12 / 19

Squiz Sayings

“We named her after a good time, not a bad one.”

Said Brit Jodi Cross, who had such a good time at home with her husband Rob during the lockdowns in 2020-21 that they’ve called their baby Lockie. Thank goodness they didn’t conceive during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Xi gets his way

Chinese President Xi Jinping will serve a historic 3rd term in the nation’s top job – an anticipated outcome of the Chinese Communist Party’s week-long meeting in Beijing that wrapped up yesterday. To get technical about it, what’s happened is Xi was confirmed as the party’s ongoing general secretary, which means he will continue to be the president of China – a position that will be confirmed with a vote of the legislature in March. Xi also retains the post of chairman of the Central Military Commission, which means he’s in charge of China’s People’s Liberation Army. After overturning the party’s 2-term leadership rule, Xi is the most powerful Chinese leader since founder Mao Zedong.

Mmm hmm… Also not high on the shock register are the men – because they’re all men – who will support him. Li Qiang is the man expected to become China’s Premier/Xi’s #2 – he had the honour of walking onto the stage after Xi for yesterday’s unveiling of the 7-member Politburo Standing Committee. Li is the party’s chief in Shanghai and was Xi’s chief of staff when he was the party’s most senior rep in Zhejiang province. Li’s rise is notable because he was a focus of criticism over Shanghai’s harsh 2-month COVID lockdown earlier this year, and as the man who will be responsible for China’s economy, there are some questions about whether he’s up to it. “For all its other faults, China’s Communist Party had prided itself on being a meritocracy, but this appointment would seem to fly in the face of that,” one commentator said.

It means that Xi has locked down his authority over the party – and China. By stacking the nation’s most powerful decision-making bodies with loyalists and allies, Xi has removed any resistance to his agenda on the domestic and international fronts. Speaking of power moves, former president Hu Jintao’s removal from the stage on Saturday has raised all sorts of questions… Yesterday, Xi thanked his supporters and said he would pursue “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts”. But academic Yang Zhang says “Xi’s full control means his team will be fully responsible for any policy mistake … His autocracy may provoke stronger international pushback from the US-led Western countries. All of these scenarios will make his third and likely fourth terms not as easy as expected.” With great power comes great responsibility…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Floods aplenty with more rain on the way

More than 120 flood warnings are in place across NSW, including at emergency levels for parts of the North Coast. The region is back in focus after heavy rain saw evacuation orders and flash flooding warnings issued for parts of Lismore and Byron Bay, and there’s more rain on the way. Large parts of Moree are underwater, and towns, including Hay, Deniliquin, and so many others are on watch out as rivers rise. In the NSW-Victorian border towns of Echuca and Moama, the levees are mostly holding the Murray River back as it continues to rise. After days of preparations, locals are exhausted and waiting for whatever comes next. Across Victoria, there are more than 70 flood warnings still in place. In Queensland, there was heavy rain from the Sunshine Coast to Brissie and the Goldie over the weekend – the weather bureau says that’s now easing. And soz, eastern Oz, it’s far from over

Australian News Weather

Party games in the UK

Firming up as the favourite to become the next PM of the UK is Rishi Sunak. He went up against Liz Truss in the long process that saw the Conservative Party select her for her low tax agenda that freaked out financial markets once she got into office, and here we are… During the last leadership race, Sunak campaigned against Truss’s plan, urging a more measured response to the troubled economic times. This morning, he’s has confirmed his candidacy, but former PM Boris Johnson is yet to declare his hand. The process from here: nominations close today. To go forward, a candidate needs more than 100 votes from the 357 Conservative MPs, and if more than one can do that, there will be a vote to narrow the field. If that doesn’t result in a winner, there will be an online vote of party members. The plan is to get it wrapped up by the end of the week…

World News

Trump told to testify

The US House of Representatives committee investigating the riots on the Capitol in Washington on 6 January last year is demanding testimony from former President Donald Trump. In the “extraordinary” subpoena, he’s accused of “personally orchestrating” efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The committee has also demanded Trump’s personal communications with members of Congress and extremist groups from that day. Trump’s attorneys are looking at it and say they’ll respond soon to the “unprecedented action.” Meanwhile, Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, has been sentenced to 4 months in jail for defying a subpoena he received from the same committee. He’s appealing and remains free in the meantime.

World News

Netball’s funding pulled

Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has pulled its $15 million 4-year sponsorship deal with Netball Australia, saying it is “unnecessary for sports organisations to be used for social or political causes”. The company will also pull its funding from Netball WA, making Super Netball side the West Coast Fever collateral damage. To recap: team members had refused to wear the Hancock logo on their uniforms in support of Donnell Wallam, an Indigenous player who is uncomfortable with racist comments made by the company’s founder/Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock in the 80s. Calling it “a challenging period for all involved”, Netball Australia said they “have not been able to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome.” The debt-heavy organisation has been given a 4-month grace period by Rinehart to find new funding. On the court, the Diamonds had a win last night, levelling the Constellation Cup to retain the trophy.

Australian News Sport

Swift’s hero status secured

Taylor Swift’s Midnights has deepened her legend status, with Spotify confirming it has become the most-streamed album in a single day. The people have spoken – as have the critics… Industry leader Rolling Stone says Swift has returned to “the dazzling synth-pop of albums like 1989 and Reputation, with lyrics caught between a love story and a revenge plot.” Not so complimentary was the New York Times, calling her new songs “capable and comfortable but often insufficient”. As the woman herself has sung, “haters gonna hate (hate hate hate hate)”… The album’s first single Anti-Hero is getting a lot of buzz for its ‘Easter eggs’. They’re the hidden messages and symbols in her lyrics and videos that she leaves for fans to decipher. Oh yeah, it’s a whole rabbit hole to go down if you have a spare moment – or a week…


Apropos of Nothing

At the Philippines’ Bicol University College of Engineering, students were told to come to their exams with a “fun” anti-cheating hat – and they sure did oblige. For future engineers, some of their creations don’t look too stable…

Singapore is struggling with an exploding otter population. While they’re comfortable living an urban lifestyle, many people aren’t so enthused – particularly a man who “thought he was going to die” when a pack chased him down last year.

Ever wondered what an ant’s face looks like? Us neither, but it’s an image we won’t forget in a hurry…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.00am (AEDT) – F1 – United States Grand Prix – Texas

9.05am (AEDT) – RBA assistant governor Christopher Kent delivers a speech at the Commonwealth Bank Global Markets Conference – Sydney

The 2022 Property Congress begins (until 26 October) – Gold Coast

Dilwali – Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths celebrate the Festival of Lights and the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance

World Polio Day

United Nations Day

Global Media and Information Literacy Week – what a great time to launch a media literacy course for kids, right?

Birthdays for former PM Malcolm Turnbull (1954), rapper Drake (1986) and YouTuber PewDiePie (1989)

Anniversary of:
• the founding of the world’s first soccer club, Sheffield FC (1857)
• the first photograph of Earth from outer space by a camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket (1946)
• the deaths of civil rights activist Rosa Parks (2005) and rock n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino (2017)

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.