Squiz Today / 05 June 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 5 June

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Made for on-the-ball Mondays. 

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

14 / 19
10 / 19
16 / 23
14 / 21
10 / 17
3 / 15
19 / 31
5 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“No one got everything they wanted, but the American people got what they needed.”

Said US President Joe Biden yesterday after signing the law to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, heading off a global financial disaster. The remark’s not smooth enough to be a classic song lyric, but it gets the job done…

Modi promises consequences for India’s train disaster


Preliminary investigations blame a signal failure for India’s 3-way train crash that killed at least 288 people and injured 700 more. According to an early official report, a passenger train travelling at full speed was diverted onto a track where it collided with an idling goods train. The passenger train derailed and spilled onto adjacent tracks, which derailed a second passenger train travelling in the opposite direction. The rising death toll makes this crash the biggest train disaster in decades for a country that relies heavily on rail transport, with 25 million train passengers per day. More than 2,200 people were on the derailed passenger trains.


Survivors have described blood on the tracks, and families are being brought to a nearby school to identify loved ones from the many victims. Compensation has been promised, with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announcing 1 million rupees (about $18,400) for the families of the dead and 200,000 rupees (about $3,675) for those seriously injured. India’s PM Narendra Modi has also promised consequences for those responsible for the tragedy. “We have given directions for all lines of inquiry and whoever is found responsible will be given the strongest punishment. They will not be spared,” Modi said.


On Saturday, he attended the crash scene instead of his scheduled commitment, which was to launch a high-speed train. There’s a national election in India next year, and Modi has been campaigning on better rail infrastructure after pouring 2.4 trillion rupees into the network (AU$44 billion). Now, local industry analysts are advocating for a greater focus on rail safety. “The safety record has been improving over the years but there is more work to do,” said engineering professor/train derailment expert Prakash Kumar Sen. According to a 2018 study, almost all of India’s rail lines – 98% – were built between 1870-1930 and a lot of maintenance work is required across the network.

World News

Squiz the Rest

China and the US go head-to-head

A military showdown between China and the US would be an “unbearable disaster” for the world, according to Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu. Speaking yesterday at the Shangri-La Dialogue (aka Asia’s top security summit that was addressed by PM Anthony Albanese on Friday night), it was Li’s first big outing since his appointment in March. Some analysts said he was restrained, but others say he was clear about China’s ambition for power – even if it means clashing with the US. “As the lyrics of a well-known Chinese song goes, when friends visit us, we welcome them with fine wine. When jackals or wolves come we will face them with shotguns.” Yikes… It wasn’t the only near-collision this weekend – a Chinese warship came within 140m of hitting an American destroyer transiting the Taiwan Strait on Saturday. China said the US is being provocative by being there, but American officials said they’re keeping one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes open.

World News

His side of the story

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann’s first televised interview went to air on Seven last night – and he says it’s not the last we’ll see of him. The man accused of assaulting Brittany Higgins says many people have questions to answer, starting with the ACT’S chief prosecutor Shane Drumgold. Lehrmann again denied Higgins’ claims, saying there was no physical contact between them when they went to Parliament House after a night out drinking in March 2019. The program also showed CCTV footage of the pair and focused on contradictions in Higgins’ account on Network Ten’s The Project, including that she was fall-over drunk. And a recording of Higgins’ pre-interview with Lisa Wilkinson and her producer also highlighted how closely they worked together. Lehrmann said he contemplated taking his own life and is now studying law because of his bad experience with the legal system. “Beware the man who’s got nothing to lose,” he said. Seven says it did not pay Lehrmann for the interview.

Australian News Crime

Musk’s top dollar

Sometimes you lose a couple hundred billion dollars, and sometimes you get it back. Such is life for serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has reclaimed the title of world’s richest man after a surge in Tesla’s share price and a drop in the fortunes of his nearest rival, luxury goods titan Bernard Arnault. At the start of this year the headlines were all about Musk being the biggest fortune loser ever, as his wealth took a dive of US$200 billion. And while he hasn’t yet recouped to the level of an also-record-breaking peak wealth of US$300 billion, Musk is estimated to be sitting on a comfortable US$199 billion, give or take a few bucks. The news came after Musk had been in China, where Twitter is banned. One journalist cheekily suggested that Musk is the richest when he’s not posting on his social media platform…

Business & Finance

Top soccer to get excited about

You don’t need to be a sports-head to get into this one… Ted Lasso fans will know Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola as the guy who shook the cheesy American’s hand after a game against AFC Richmond and said it was their role to “help these guys be the best version of themselves on and off the pitch”. If that’s his approach, he’s a walking billboard for nice guys finishing first… Yesterday, his side won the FA Cup final against Manchester United 2-1 in front of a packed Wembley Stadium. It’s the knockout tournament open to any club – including Ryan Reynolds/Rob McElhenney’s club Wrexham. The win puts Man City on track to take out ‘the Treble’ after also winning the Premier League title (aka the comp between the highest-ranking clubs) last month. Next up: the Champions League final against Inter Milan in Istanbul on Saturday. It’s the comp that sees the best clubs in Europe battle it out. No English club has taken all 3 since David Beckham bent it with Man United in 1999


Who’s a pretty budgie?

While their wild relatives’ numbers explode in the outback, the best of the budgie breed gathered in Ballarat in Victoria on the weekend for the Australian National Budgerigar Council’s national show. In the lead-up to the big event, Les Trumper from Perth said presentation – and a pair of “good strong legs” – was paramount. “A good bird is a bird that stands nice on the perch at 30 degrees, has a nice flow and presents himself as a showy bird.” And now that we’ve seen the winners from Saturday and Sunday, we totally get what Les is saying. The winners do have a nice flow… Following the competition – which Team Victoria won by more than a fluffy bouffant head – there was an auction where pairs went for $4,000 and more. That’s some expensive feathers…

Australian News Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

In a pleasant surprise for his 17th birthday, Dommaraju Gukesh beat world #1 chess player Magnus Carlsen. The young Indian sure earned his cake at the end of the day…

A pub in Scotland has been ordered to remove a large witch mural. Featuring a hooked nose and warts, the local council said it’s “based on historically inaccurate false narratives”. It’s a touchy subject in Scotland – last year the government issued a posthumous apology to more than 4,000 people (mostly women) who were convicted and often executed under the Witchcraft Act of 1563.

A dress rehearsal for alien contact is underway after an artist used a Mars spacecraft to send a radio signal back to Earth. The message is encoded and is currently being deciphered by online sleuths. We’ll let you know if it contains any good gossip…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Western Australia Day public holiday

ABS Data Release – Business Indicators, March

National Cancer Survivors Day

World Environment Day

International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

Birthdays for Mark Wahlberg (1971) and Lara Worthington (1987)

Anniversary of:
• the assassination of Robert F Kennedy (1968)
• the official beginning of the AIDS epidemic, when the US Centre for Disease Control reported on pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in LA (1981)
• the deaths of Ronald Reagan (2004) and Kate Spade (2018)

Australian News

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.