Squiz Today / 31 July 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 31 July

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Let’s shake, rattle and roll. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

SYD
7 / 20
MEL
7 / 17
BNE
12 / 22
ADL
9 / 19
PER
10 / 17
HBA
7 / 16
DRW
15 / 29
CBR
-4 / 16

Squiz Sayings

“A lot of those silver medals can be flipped to gold by the time we get to Paris.”

Said American sports analyst/former swimmer Rowdy Gaines of his nation’s 20 second placings at the World Swimming Champs that concluded last night with the magnificent Aussie on top. It’s just the second time since the 1956 Olympics that we’ve beaten the US at an elite comp – not that America’s conceding

Chopper crash victims named

THE SQUIZ
Four Aussie soldiers are still missing after a weekend of searching near the site of a helicopter crash near Lindeman Island in Queensland’s Whitsundays. The chopper went down at about 11pm on Friday night during a joint military training drill with US soldiers, and the search has involved the Australian, American and Canadian militaries along with Queensland and federal emergency services. Rescue efforts are continuing, but the men are feared dead, making it one of Australia’s worst peacetime military disasters in 20 years. On Sunday, PM Anthony Albanese said the crash is a “stark reminder that there are no safe or easy days for those who serve in our country’s name.”

WHO’S MISSING?
They are Captain Daniel Lyon, Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent, Warrant Officer Class Two Joseph Laycock and Corporal Alexander Naggs – all were based at Holsworthy Army Barracks in Sydney. An investigation into the cause of the crash has started – what has been confirmed is the helicopter was an MRH-90 Taipan, and Australia’s fleet of more than 40 was grounded following the crash. The choppers – which can reach maximum speeds of 300km/hr – have been involved in past accidents, including a sea crash in March that 10 Navy personnel onboard survived. The Army says the Taipan is the “most advanced tactical troop transport helicopters of the 21st century”. If the crash is found to have been caused by mechanical issues, the future of the fleet will be in doubt, reports say.

WHAT ARE AMERICAN TROOPS DOING HERE?
We’re hosting Exercise Talisman Sabre – the massive biennial (that’s every 2 years, not twice a year like we used to think…) war games that we alternate with the US. This year, more than 30,000 troops from 13 countries are taking part in the exercise across Northern Australia that has been on for more than a week and will wrap up on Friday. Also here were America’s top Foreign and Defence officials for the AUSMIN talks with ministers Penny Wong and Richard Marles – they’ve announced the US will help us build advanced missile systems and upgrade our northern military bases. Speaking about the crash, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said America “stands ready to provide any further assistance that we can.”

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

No rest in peace

Russian President Vladimir Putin says a plan to end his invasion of Ukraine proposed by African leaders could “become the foundation of certain processes towards a peaceful resolution”. African leaders have been in St Petersburg to meet with Putin and have raised their concerns about rising food prices and the disruption to grain supplies from Ukraine. But before you get excited about the plan, there’s a strong chance it will go nowhere, like the China plan before it. That’s because Putin says with Ukraine on the offensive, the plans are “virtually impossible to implement”. Both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have said they’re open to talks if certain preconditions are met by the other side. Ukraine wants its borders restored, and Russia wants it to recognise a “new territorial reality”. Also worried about territorial realities is Poland – it says 100 Belarus-based Wagner fighters are too close for comfort…

World News

A new military leader joins the coup club

This was on the boil for a few days, but on Saturday our time, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself the leader of the West African nation. That followed the detention of the nation’s democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum mid-last week. Leading a group called the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, Tchiani said the government’s failure to tackle Islamist insurgents, corruption, and economic woes led him to seize power. Analysts say it’s about Bazoum wanting to replace Tchiani in his role in the presidential guard and tensions within the armed forces. Niger was the final domino to fall with military rulers now controlling a belt of 6 countries across Africa. Niger has been an important American and French ally in the region – both have cut off their financial support. That will be a heavy blow to one of the world’s poorest countries.

World News

It’s a cruel summer

“The era of global warming has ended” and “the era of global boiling has arrived,” according to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. His alarming statement followed the European Commission’s Copernicus Climate Change Service declaration that the sizzling conditions across the Northern Hemisphere in July are “rather remarkable and unprecedented”. That included the hottest 3-week period ever recorded and the 3 hottest days on record – and while the month is still to wrap up, the Service’s boss Carlo Buentempo said it would go down as the hottest month on record. Also playing on climate scientists’ minds are high ocean temperatures. The experts are unsure why, but they say it will make raise land temperatures (hello, eastern Oz…), disrupt marine life, destroy coral reefs, and make fires, floods and hurricanes more intense. Even grizzly bears aren’t immune

Environment & Science

Luck be a Matilda tonight

We’re nearing the pointy end of the World Cup group stages, where the top 2 teams from each group of 4 make it through to the next stage… And so all eyes are on the Matildas tonight – they need a win against a tough Canadian side to guarantee their progress. A draw could also see them through – if and only if Ireland wallops Nigeria by 2 goals. Coming off the bench is our superstar striker Sam Kerr – she said she “feels good” now, after missing the first 2 games of the tournament, but there are lots of questions about whether she will get in the game given calf injuries can be severe. But as we get ready for tonight’s thriller, keep these 2 things in mind… First, World Cup host nations have always progressed out of the group round (and if you squint hard, you can’t see New Zealand bombing out last night…). And second, the Matildas have only lost once in Melbourne, and that was in 1997. We’ve got this…

Sport

And the Gold Logie goes to…

…Sonia Kruger. The dancer-cum-TV presenter has been voted 2023’s most popular personality on the box ahead of last year’s winner/bookies favourite Hamish Blake. Viewers have had several opportunities to size her up – she hosts Seven’s The Voice, Dancing with the Stars and Big Brother. Accepting her award, she said “you have made me feel so good.” Also done good was the ABC’s Tony Armstrong, who won the Bert Newton Award for Most Popular Presenter, and Australian Story won Most Popular Current Affairs Program. The top acting accolades were awarded to Colin from Accounts husband and wife duo Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer, with the show also taking out Most Outstanding Comedy Program. And the upset of the night – ABC’s Crazy Fun Park beat Bluey for Most Outstanding Children’s Program providing a good life lesson for the adored pup. The full winners’ list is here, and here’s your mega red carpet gallery

Entertainment

Apropos of nothing

How many points do you get for W-I-N-N-E-R? Melbourne logophile David Elgar won the World Scrabble Championship in Las Vegas over the weekend, taking home the $10,000 cash prize.

A Sydney woman is glad that she checked a lotto ticket that had been stuck to her fridge door for 2 weeks – it turns out that the slip of paper was worth a neat $2 million. The unnamed woman said she’s going to pay down the mortgage and set her kids up. Boring…

And Swifties in Seattle will go down as winners for enthusiasm… A local seismometer recorded the equivalent of a 2.3 magnitude earthquake after 2 nights of dancing as Taylor Swift’s Eras tour came to town. So, more raucous than a Scrabble tournament, then…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00pm (AEST) – Women’s World Cup – Matildas v Canada – Melbourne

Federal parliament returns for 2 weeks

Start of National Missing Persons Week (until 6 August)

Start of the Sydney Royal Wine Show (until 4 August)

Anniversary of:
• New Zealand’s Christchurch becoming chartered as a city (1856)
• Germany’s adoption of the Weimar Constitution (1919)
• the end of Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland. It was the British Army’s longest-running operation (2007)
• Michael Phelps becoming the greatest medal winner in Olympic history after securing this 19th. He ended his swimming career with 28 medals… (2012)

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.