Squiz Today / 05 September 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 5 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Let’s go. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

10 / 18
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Squiz Sayings

“Where does one even buy a floppy disk these days?”

Said Japan’s Digital Minister Taro Kono as he declared war on outdated technologies used by the nation’s bureaucrats. He’s vowed to change the way businesses are required to store data, which is a relief to many given it takes more than 20,000 disks to replicate an average 32GB memory stick…

Getting set for a new UK PM

It’s been almost 2 months since UK PM Boris Johnson resigned, and tonight Aussie time, his successor will be announced. It follows a process where the Conservative Party’s parliamentarians picked 2 candidates – Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak. Then about 160,000 rank and file members could vote for the person who will become the nation’s new prime minister. Johnson has been caretaker PM during the period, and in the last week, he’s been spruiking his record. Meanwhile, Truss and Sunak have been crisscrossing the UK stumping for votes.

Dunno, but Truss is the frontrunner. During their many appearances – including one TV debate where the moderated fainted – the rising cost of living has been the dominant topic. Truss is the 47yo Foreign Secretary – she’s a big fan of Margaret Thatcher’s and has promised to focus on lowering taxes as the way through these tricky economic times. As for Sunak, he’s a 42yo teetotaler who became Chancellor (aka Treasurer) in February 2020. That means it was his job to steer the UK economy through the pandemic. He was one of Johnson’s top colleagues who resigned in July over the issues that ultimately brought his government down. Sunak strongly opposes Truss’s plan to cut taxes – he says it will fuel inflation. Last week, he said he would rather lose than “win on a false promise” of matching Truss’s promises.

There are a few things to get through this week… We’ll find out who the winner is at 9.30pm tonight Aussie eastern time. Then on Tuesday local time, Queen Elizabeth will swear in her 15th PM – and this time, it will be different… It will take place at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she spends the summer, rather than at Buckingham Palace in London. With her mobility issues, she’s not travelling. Whoever wins will have a tag-along… Johnson will give his resignation to the Queen in person. Then on Wednesday, it’s straight into with Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. He says neither Sunak nor Truss have a handle on the UK’s problems and says a new Tory leader will not mark a “new dawn”. The latest the next general election can be held is January 2025.

World News

Squiz the Rest

A power struggle over Europe’s power supply

The energy battle between Russia and the West continues as Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant lost its last remaining link to the main power line. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog says Europe’s largest plant is now relying on a reserve line to continue the power supply to Ukraine’s grid and prevent a meltdown. UN inspectors arrived at the site on Thursday, and the idea going forward is that 2 independent nuclear experts will be stationed at the plant in the hope that it will reduce the risk of a catastrophe. It’s not the only power issue to speak of… As the war continues and sanctions bite, Russia has vowed to keep the main gas pipeline to Germany shut off as Europe heads into winter. Massive energy-saving measures have been rolled out across Germany to prevent a shortage, and overnight the government has announced a €65 billion (A$95 billion) package to help low-income citizens and businesses with their energy costs.

World News

Jobs summit fallout

Getting a lot of attention from last week’s Jobs and Skills Summit is support for widening access to multi-employer bargaining. That would mean that a union can negotiate deals for workers that cover more than one employer. That’s different to the current system of enterprise bargaining, where an agreement with each employer is struck. The unions are calling for it, and business groups agreed to consider it, but it’s an issue for their members. Over the weekend, many big employers said it would be harder to get a mutually beneficial deal with their staff. And yesterday, Coalition employment spokeswoman Michaelia Cash said they would “fight this every step of the way”. That won’t stop Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke from making a start on the legislation this week. Which is a long way of saying get ready for another shouty industrial relations debate when parliament resumes today…

Australian News Business & Finance

Data concerns that we can’t dance around

TikTok’s harvesting of enormous amounts of user data will be the subject of an investigation by the Department of Home Affairs. Sparked by concerns that the Chinese Government can access the personal information of Australians, it’s not just TikTok in the frame. Chinese instant messaging/social media app WeChat and other social media companies are part of the brief. “The fact that we’ve got millions of Australians accessing an app where the usage of their data is questionable is very much a modern security challenge for the country, and no country in the world has found the easy solution for managing this,” said Home Affairs/Cyber Minister Claire O’Neill. She says the government isn’t considering a ban on the apps, but Aussies need to know more about how their data is accessed, stored and used.


Homecoming for Harry not a family affair…

Look, we’re not gossip-hounds, but this is likely to be in the news this week, so here you go… After mixed reactions to Meghan Markle’s new Spotify podcast Archetypes and the headline-making interview with The Cut, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are back in the UK for a series of charitable events. Today, Meghan will give a keynote speech at the One Young World Summit in Manchester before the couple goes to Germany, where Harry will speak – but not answer questions – at an Invictus Games press conference. Reports say they will then head to their former home on the Queen’s Windsor estate. That’s 1km from where William and Kate are based, but insiders say there are no plans for a catch-up. It also appears unlikely that Meghan and Harry will visit the Queen at Balmoral. The release of Harry’s memoir, which he says will present an “accurate and wholly truthful” account of his life, is said to be enhancing tensions with his family. Yikes…

Entertainment World News

Hits and misses at the US Open

It was the perfect thing to watch on a lazy Saturday morning, but it wasn’t the result tennis champ Serena Williams and tennis fans worldwide were looking for. Williams was beaten by Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in 3 sets – and if she is going to end her 27-year professional career there, she can hold her head high. It was a tough encounter with both women playing some awesome tennis… The victory saw the Aussie through to the round of 16 to face Russian Ludmilla Samsonova – and after her crowd-winning speech on the weekend, we reckon she’ll have more than a few new fans cheering for her. On the men’s side of the draw, Nick Kyrgios is the only Aussie still standing – he takes on Russian/Aussie Open villain Daniil Medvedev this morning. And that sound you could hear yesterday was Rafael Nadal fans celebrating his win through to the round of 16 after whacking himself in the face earlier in the tournament. Even the pros have their moments…


Apropos of Nothing

Janus, the bicephalic tortoise believed to be the world’s oldest, has turned 25yo. He has 2 hearts, 2 pairs of lungs – and 2 distinct personalities… “The right head is more curious, more awake, it has a much stronger personality. The left head is more passive and loves to eat,” said his carer from Geneva’s Natural History Museum. Who said that 2 heads are better than one?

Former US President Barack Obama has won an Emmy for his work on the Netflix docuseries Our Great National Parks. He already has 2 Grammys for the audiobook reading of his 2 memoirs. He’s halfway to EGOT status – were’s wondering what his Oscar (film) and Tony (theatre) awards will be for…

And it’s Monday morning, so we won’t get gory here – suffice to say that researchers say they’ve found the remains of a ‘female vampire’ in Poland. There were no fang teeth, just an unusual burial method to ensure she didn’t rise from the grave to torment locals…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.10am (AEST) – US Open Tennis – Ajla Tomljanovic v Ludmilla Samsonova

9.00am (AEST) – US Open Tennis – Nick Kyrgios v Daniil Medvedev

8.00pm (AEST) – ABC TV’s Australian Story on Lyn Dawson’s disappearance

10.30pm (AEST) – The UK’s new prime minister is announced

From today, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available to children aged 6 months-4yo who are severely immunocompromised, have a disability or have complex and/or multiple health conditions

A coronial inquest into Kumanjayi Walker’s death begins

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases the latest quarterly report on fuel prices

Amnesty International Australia to release its annual Human Rights Barometer

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases its vehicle sales data for August

ABS Data Release – Business Indicators, June

Start of Women’s Health Week (until 11 September)

Start of Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week (until 11 September)

International Day of Charity

Be Late for Something Day

Birthdays for actor Michael Keaton (1951), designer India Hicks (1967), and actor Rose McGowan (1973)

Anniversary of:
• the First Opium War beginning in China (1839)
• Christine Hardt patenting the first modern brassiere (1889)
• the premieres of The Huckleberry Hound Show featuring Yogi Bear (1958) and The Muppet Show (1976)
• Freddie Mercury’s birthday (1946)
• the death of Mother Teresa (1997)
• Hurricane Irma becoming the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin region with winds of 280km/hour (2017)

Australian News

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