Squiz Today / 06 February 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 6 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I don’t feel great, but it is what it is.”

Said Aussie basketball legend Lauren Jackson after the 41yo’s career ended just 62 seconds into her WNBL tribute match. It looks like the Opal suffered an Achilles injury but conceded she was on “borrowed time” after her miraculous comeback last year. Seems it’s finally time for her to bounce…

Top Gun end high-flying spying

One week after it first entered American airspace, a US F-22 military fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina. US President Joe Biden gave the order on Wednesday, but military commanders waited until Saturday to ensure it was over the sea, minimising the risk to people below. US Navy divers and ships are racing to recover the debris – which is scattered across 11km of water – and take it for analysis. China hasn’t denied owning the airship but disputes it was being used for spying, with a government spokesperson expressing “strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US’ use of force to attack civilian unmanned aircraft”.

Yep, just when you thought modern espionage was all high-tech, this isn’t the only giant white orb that’s been spotted… The Pentagon (aka US Defence HQ) says a 2nd one was seen flying over Latin America last week, with sightings over Costa Rica and Venezuela. China insists the one that was shot down was merely a “civilian” airship used for meteorological research that blew off course due to “westerly winds” and “limited control capability”. But the US says it targeted several sensitive military sites after travelling over huge areas of the US and Canada at an altitude of about 60,000 feet – well above commercial airspace. US officials also say it was carrying sensors and surveillance equipment and was able to change course, while experts think it may have been looking for holes in the US air defence warning system.

It’s not great… US Secretary of State (aka America’s top diplomat) Antony Blinken cancelled a planned trip to Beijing on Sunday that would have been the first of its kind in 5 years. He was due to continue mending fences after Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping had a positive meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali. This balloon blowup is another thorn in the side of US-China relations, adding to concerns over China’s increasing aggression over Taiwan, the dismantling of democracy in Hong Hong, and China’s refusal to condemn Russia over the war in Ukraine. US State Department officials say they will arrange another meeting, but analysts think the nations have hit an all-time low in their relationship

Technology World News

Squiz the Rest

Young shark attack victim named

Western Australian officials have named Saturday’s victim as 16yo Stella Berry. Reports say she had been jetskiing with mates on the Swan River before jumping in to swim near dolphins and was pulled from the water around 3.30pm with significant leg injuries. Authorities are still investigating, but WA Fisheries Minister Don Punch said a bull shark may have been responsible for the attack, as they “do enter estuaries and freshwater river systems”. Premier Mark McGowan gave his condolences to Stella’s loved ones and said shark attacks were “very rare events, but when they happen, it’s just awful”. Stella’s death is the 20th fatal shark attack in Western Oz’s waters since 2000 and the first in the Swan River in 100 years. Her parents, Sophie and Matt, said she was “the best daughter we could have hoped for.”

Australian News

Federal Parliament’s back, baby…

…and one of the big things on the agenda will be the Labor Government’s plans for a referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament this year. In an address yesterday, PM Anthony Albanese said he doesn’t believe the public will buy any “misinformation” about the proposal from anti-Voice campaigners, who he accused of fuelling a “culture war”. The proposal’s been copping flak from Coalition leader Peter Dutton, who has called for more details on the constitutional change before it goes to a national vote. Albanese said yesterday that he was open to “improving” the draft’s wording. Whatever happens, we’re likely to hear much more about it… Also on the schedule this week: new industrial relations reforms, funding for social housing, protections for migrant workers in Oz, extending paid parental leave, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s hope they’re refreshed from the break… 

AusPol Australian News

Pakistan’s ex-president dead in Dubai

Pakistan’s former President, General Pervez Musharraf, died at 79yo in the United Arab Emirates overnight, where he’d been living in self-imposed exile since 2016. He had been suffering from a rare disease called amyloidosis, which affected the functioning of his organs. Musharraf seized power during a coup in 1999 but became a key US ally against al Qaeda after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, where he was known as President George W Bush’s “best buddy”. He served as president from then until 2008, surviving multiple assassination attempts. Musharraf was praised for boosting the economy with foreign investment and cracking down on militants but criticised for not giving up his military ties and squashing any political dissent. Pakistan’s PM Shehbaz Sharif expressed his “condolences and sympathy to the family”. The former leader’s body will be flown to Pakistan for burial today.

World News

Not everyone has a new podcast…

You may be reading our newsletter instead of listening to our Squiz Today pod – but this might still interest you because it fascinated us… New data from British podcast producer Chartr found there weren’t as many new shows created in 2022 as in years past, with an 80% drop. There were 219,000 new podcasts launched worldwide last year, compared to the highs of the previous 2 years – 1,109,000 in 2020 and 729,000 in 2021. Experts say it might be “a case of the jitters” as sponsorship revenue slows post-pandemic, while others reckon the pod industry is maturing/stabilising. Sean Glynn, whose company is behind the popular Bellingcat Podcast, says while new shows are down, “listenership figures are still high and continuing to grow”. That’s certainly news to our ears, and we’re grateful for all our loyal Squizers who’ve been binging our daily pod since 2018…

Culture Entertainment Quirky News

Crying out over a cringe-worthy carbonara

We know Squizers love a good pasta recipe, but we’d never dream of messing with a classic – a lesson The New York Times has learnt the hard wayA tweet from the publication encouraging home cooks to add tomatoes to their carbonara sent the internet into meltdown. One incensed reader asked: “What is this thing where we treat dishes like it’s some sort of modular building set where we can swap in and out ingredients?” Many were surprised the NYT wasn’t more cautious because when food writer Kay Chun’s recipe was first published, the Italian farmers’ association described it as the “tip of the iceberg” in the “falsification” of traditional Italian dishes. Perhaps her mamma never taught her not to play with her food…

Quirky News World News

Apropos of nothing

Wild Youth triumphed over experience as 70’s punk icon Johnny Rotten lost his bid to represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. However, the 67yo won people’s hearts by dedicating his song Hawaii to his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s tempting to get dinner via an app after a hard day, but it’s not clear what excuse a 6yo Michigan boy had for ordering a US$1,000 “virtual smorgasbord” of meals… Luckily the kid might have a new gig to help his folks pay for forking out… 

Adelaide’s Brighton Beach was awash with hundreds of Marilyn Monroe lookalikes, all donning their best wigs, white dresses and heart sunnies for the annual Marilyn Jetty Swim. It’s raised $1m for Cancer Council SA over 10 years. That’s some serious blonde ambition…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

From 5.00am (AEDT) – Surfing – WSL Tour – Billabong Pro Pipeline – Hawaii

11.00am (AEDT) – Grammys

Federal Parliament sits for the first time in 2023

Waitangi Day in New Zealand – anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840)

Anniversary of:
• HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin arriving in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) (1836)
• the birthdays of Ronald Reagan (1911) and Bob Marley (1945)
• the launch of Monopoly (1935)
• Queen Elizabeth II marking her Platinum Jubilee – 70 years on the throne (2022)

Squiz the Day

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