Squiz Today / 04 April 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 4 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

Your kickstart to the week. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“The entire contents of our apartment, all of our furniture, lots of books, things of sentimental value are all in a container stuck in the Chesapeake Bay.”

Said Tracy Alloway, whose move to New York has been frustrated by the Ever Forward’s stalled situation near Baltimore. Its sister Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal for 6 days – the Ever Forward has been stuck for 3 weeks

Morrison under attack

With an election set to be called this week, the road to the starting line continues to be bumpy for PM Scott Morrison. From stinging character assessments to problems locking in candidates to more nasty polling, it’s all happening for the Coalition as we countdown to the campaign.

Not at the beginning because ain’t nobody got time for that on a Monday… But let’s get across the claims that Morrison racially vilified the man the Liberals originally picked to represent his seat of Cook back in 2007. Michael Towke won 82 votes to Morrison’s 8 in the preselection ballot. But in the days that followed, Towke’s candidacy was picked apart, and he stepped down under a false cloud. Morrison ultimately became the candidate, and the rest is history – until now… Reports this weekend say Morrison told party members not to vote for Towke because he’s Lebanese (which is true), and some might think he’s a Muslim (which is untrue, he’s Catholic). That was a thing because it was less than 2 years after the Cronulla riots in December 2005 – and some party insiders believed Towke would lose the seat for the Liberals. Morrison said the claims are “quite malicious and bitter slurs which are deeply offensive, and I reject them.” It comes days after a colleague and opponents called the PM a bully.

Dualling opinion polls out this morning can shed some light on that. Both are taken after the Budget was delivered last Tuesday night, and both deliver a similar result. The Australian‘s Newspoll says Labor is ahead of the Coalition 54:46 on a 2-party preferred basis – that’s a one-point dip in support for Labor. And the Financial Review‘s Ipsos poll shows a 55:45 result in Labor’s favour. Both Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese are in negative numbers when it comes to voter satisfaction via Newspoll. Still, the PM is a teeny-tiny bit in front as our preferred national leader, leading 43% to Albanese’s 42%, with 15% of those polled uncommitted. If this sort of result was delivered on election day, it would see Labor elected in a landslide. Note: these polling numbers are eerily similar to those before the last federal election, and they were wrong. The companies taking the surveys say they’ve fixed the issues, but #justsayin’…


Squiz the Rest

Russia pulls back from Kyiv

Russia is pulling its forces from the outskirts of Kyiv and shifting focus to Ukraine’s east. Analysts say the move represents a new phase of the war and that it’s an admission by Russia that it won’t achieve its original goals of seizing the capital and installing a friendly government. As Russian troops pulled out of the city of Bucha on the northwest outskirts of Kyiv, Ukrainian troops found civilian bodies on the streets. Reports this morning say 410 bodies have been found in towns near Kyiv, and local investigators are collecting evidence for future war crimes prosecutions against Russia. Russia’s new strategy to take the Donbas region Ukraine’s east is making a bleak situation even worse in the city of Mariupol. And just to double-back on an issue from last week: Australia will supply Ukraine with the Bushmaster armoured vehicles requested by President Volodymyr Zelensky in his address to MPs and senators last week.

World News

A quick wrap of international news

• Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan is clinging to power after his government successfully blocked a no-confidence vote that could have seen him removed yesterday. Khan’s party has dissolved the parliament and called a fresh election – the opposition is taking it to court today. Analysts say the former international cricketing great held government with the help of the army, but they have fallen out. Critics also say he failed to revive the economy or address widespread corruption.

• A curfew is in place in Sri Lanka until this morning, and the government has blocked the country’s access to social media. It follows violent protests against food and fuel shortages. The country is in the midst of an economic crisis and angry residents last week set vehicles on fire near President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s private residence.

• Yemen’s warring sides have accepted a 2-month truce brokered by the United Nations to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It’s a huge breakthrough after years of attempts at brokering a deal in the brutal civil war between the Saudi-backed government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels that has raged since 2015 killing more than 150,000 people.

World News

Gambling with kids’ wellbeing

Nearly 200,000 Aussie kids under 15yo have parents who engage in risky gambling, and 60,000 of them are exposed to it at the extreme end of the scale. That’s the conclusion of a big study by researchers at the Australian National Uni. They previously found that kids suffered significant harm, like financial stress and psychological distress, all the way up to neglect, violence and abuse. “We knew the harm, but we didn’t know the extent of it,” said the study’s lead author Dr Aino Suomi. She said that the number of children affected was higher than expected, and it requires targeted interventions to help the kids at risk because they are at risk of becoming gamblers themselves. On the upside, the research found that 9 out of 10 adults don’t engage in risky gambling.


SJP says cheers

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker has swapped her trademark Cosmo for a new range of low-alcohol wines in a partnership with Aussie/Kiwi company Invivo. The new ‘Sevenly’ range contains 7% alcohol (as opposed to the usual 13%) and “have a great deal of flavour and mouthfeel to them, which is important to us,” Parker said. Drinks retail giant Dan Murphy’s is also getting in on the act, opening a zero-alcohol bar in Melbourne catering to “athleisure-wearing wine mums“. Boss Alex Freudmann said these women are keen on a full-strength vino on the weekend, but they’re cutting back on the booze on other occasions. It’s further evidence that NOLO (aka no and low-alcohol) is a thing, with market-watchers saying there has been a genuine change in consumer habits. The next frontier: carbon-neutral gin à la Four Pillars


We are the champions

Woot woot… Australia has claimed its 7th Women’s One Day International Cricket World Cup after beating England by 71 runs in New Zealand last night. The Aussies were lifted by a record-breaking innings by opener Alyssa Healy, who scored 170 off 138 balls – which is the highest score in a women’s or men’s World Cup final – to help her team reach 356 runs after being sent in to bat. England came out looking strong and was ahead for much of the game, but they couldn’t keep up with the run chase as the innings wore on. The Aussies last won the trophy in 2013 and skipper Meg Lanning said “we felt like we’ve waited for a hell of a long time … and I think we deserved victory.” And hooray for Healy – she claimed more than 500 runs and was named Player of the Tournament. The Aussie men weren’t so lucky, losing to Pakistan in their first ODI series in 20 years. Oz never recovered from losing both openers for ducks and slumping to 3-6 in the 6th over of the match, all out for 210.


Apropos of Nothing

The actress who played George Costanza’s overbearing mother Estelle in the hit US series ‘Seinfeld’ has died at 93. “Serenity now and always,” tweeted her onscreen son Jason Alexander.

China’s financial regulator has launched a crackdown on advisers using feng shui to predict stock market moves. Several brokers have already received warning letters. A tongue-in-cheek report from a Hong Kong broker published before the Lunar New Year might not have gone down well…

Quolls are little cuties – but they have a taste for human flesh… A historian has uncovered evidence that quolls snacked on dead people during a conflict between Indigenous people and British colonists in the 1820s in northern Tassie. Yikes…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEDT) – Grammy Awards – Los Angeles

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, February (Additional Information)

Start of NSW Youth Week (until 14 April)

World Rat Day

International Mine Awareness Day

World Stray Animals Day

Birthdays for TV host Graham Norton (1963) and actors Hugo Weaving (1960), Robert Downey Jr. (1965), and Natasha Lyonne (1979)

Anniversary of:
• the signing of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty in Washington, D.C. (1949)
• the founding of Microsoft (1975)
• the founding of Alibaba (1999)
• the marriage of Beyonce and Jay-Z (2008)
• Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos’ record-breaking $35 billion divorce settlement (2019)

Squiz the Day

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