Squiz Today / 01 September 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 1 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Putting a spring in your step.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

12 / 21
7 / 16
13 / 23
6 / 16
9 / 23
9 / 13
23 / 33
5 / 17

Squiz Sayings

“We’re trying to find instructions on exactly where it’s at before we just start digging.”

Said Ashley Nordahl, a local businesswoman from Sheldon in Iowa on their thwarted plans to excavate a 50yo time capsule as part of the town’s 150th anniversary celebrations on Friday. To be fair, we can barely remember where we put things 10 minutes ago…

Goodbye Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader credited with bringing the Cold War to an end, died in Moscow at 91yo following “a serious and protracted disease“. Few other details have been released, but in June, it was widely reported he had been admitted to hospital after suffering from a kidney ailment. He will be buried in Novodevichy Cemetery next to his wife Raisa, who died of leukaemia in 1999. It is the final resting place of many prominent Russians, including playwright Anton Chekhov and Gorbachev’s successor Boris Yeltsin.

Gorbachev came to power in 1985 and led the Soviet Union until it dissolved in 1991. After decades of Cold War tensions, he brought the Soviet Union closer to the West through arms reduction deals and new partnerships, which helped to bring down the Iron Curtain. At home, he made essential reforms to the economic and political system known as ‘perestroika’. And he introduced ‘glasnost’ (aka a policy of ‘openness’) which allowed people to publicly criticise the government. That emboldened nationalists to push for independence in 15 Soviet nations, and when Gorbachev refused to use force against them, it marked the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union and his leadership. Many Russians never forgave Gorbachev for the impact of his reforms, including declining living standards. But to others on the outside, Gorbachev was a hero who received the Nobel Peace Prize “for the leading role he played in the radical changes in East-West relations”.

Many world leaders paid tribute to him yesterday. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says he opened the path to a free Europe, and UN chief Antonio Guterres says he “changed the course of history” as “a tireless advocate for peace”. US President Joe Biden says Gorbachev believed in “glasnost and perestroika not as mere slogans, but as the path forward for the people of the Soviet Union after so many years of isolation and deprivation.” And British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, says Gorbachev’s “tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example to us all”. As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he expressed “his deepest condolences” despite having referred to Gorbachev’s reforms as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Getting out and about sooner

In a nod to the fact that we’ve basically watched everything Netflix has to offer in the last couple of years, our federal, state, and territory leaders have agreed to reduce the COVID isolation period for positive cases. From Friday, 9 September, it changes from 7 to 5 days if you have no symptoms – unless you’re a worker in high-risk settings, including health and aged care. “Clearly, if you have symptoms, we want people to stay home. We want people to act responsibly,” PM Anthony Albanese said following yesterday’s National Cabinet sesh. The other announcables from the meeting: workers who don’t have access to paid sick leave will still have access to the pandemic leave disaster payment despite Treasurer Jim Chalmers saying that it “can’t continue forever”. And from next Friday, the mandatory mask mandate on domestic flights will be lifted.

Australian News Health

Summiting the big challenges

If you’re not on the list to attend the Albanese Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit kicking off today in Canberra, well, you’re in the same boat as 99.99999% of the population… There are 142 government, business and union leaders attending, along with experts in labour markets, education/training, and migration, to discuss some of the biggest issues confronting Australia’s economy and start nutting out the reforms needed to ensure Australia’s prosperity. No pressure… On the problems side, we’re still recovering from the massive domestic and international disruptions brought on by COVID. Add that to persistent issues like low wages growth, a tight labour market, finding enough skilled migrants and a skills system that isn’t producing enough workers for the industries where they’re needed – and geez that’s a lot to talk about… Let’s just hope that someone thinks to provide Anthony Albanese with a chair

AusPol Australian News

Taiwan fires it up

Taiwan has fired warning shots at Chinese drones flying over its outlying islands for the first time. The China-claimed territory has complained about increased Chinese drone incursions after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit last month. China’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the concerns, saying the drones were nothing “to make a fuss about” as they were flying in “Chinese territory”. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen disagrees and has pledged to upgrade the country’s defences as she ordered the military to take “strong countermeasures”. And while we’re talking security, the Australian Navy has been given the green light to get nuclear-powered submarine ready… Personnel will train in the UK ahead of the building of our own fleet under the AUKUS pact. Experts say a delivery is unlikely to happen before 2040, but it’s never too early to start…

World News

Water, water everywhere

The BOM has released a new climate update, and the absence of one big wet thing caught the eye of many weather-watchers – it’s still holding off declaring another La Niña weather system for later this year. Our weather agency remains on ‘alert’, even though officials from the US, Japan and India have already made the move. Still, Aussies are bracing for another wet summer, with thousands of residents in NSW and Queensland picking up the pieces from catastrophic floods in the year’s first half. In Brisbane, the City Council has started negotiations to buy back the homes of 16 residents who no longer have the will or the finances to rebuild. It’s a drop in the ocean as 23,000 Brisbane properties were flooded, but so far, 171 applications for buyback have been submitted. And while we’re talking floods, a 3rd of Pakistan is underwater, according to the government. New satellite images show the devastation that has claimed 1,100 lives as the United Nations pleads for donations.

Australian News Weather

Ketchup or makeup?

That’s the actual name of a new collaboration between popstar/businesswoman Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF. Confused? Yep… It’s a US$25 box containing 6 identical sachets filled with either Fenty’s Gloss Bomb Lip Luminizer – or actual ketchup… Luckily for beauty fans/condiment enthusiasts, MSCHF says there will be a mix of each in every box. The collective has also been behind other products that poke fun at consumerism, including US$76,000 Birkenstock sandals made out of recycled Hermés Birkin bags, a Tiffany & Co ‘Ultimate Participation Trophy’‘Eat the Rich’ popsicles and the controversial Satan Sneakers. The latest collab has received mixed reactions, with some appreciating the novelty and others wondering if they can get away with smearing ketchup on their lips and calling it ‘fashion’. No wonder Rihanna’s a billionaire…

Business & Finance

Apropos of Nothing

Period pain simulators for men – genius. With pain levels ranging from one to 10, most women participating in a trial in southern India didn’t flinch at level 9, while the men couldn’t make it past level 4. Insert eye-roll emoji…

Once mainstays of dusty bookshelves and bargain bins, Mills & Boonnovels are experiencing a resurgence as they are embraced by Gen Zers on ‘BookTok’ – a community for book lovers on TikTok. Apparently, they love the old-fashioned ‘romance’…

And a new survey of 2,000 parents found that 47% of them hate their kids’ favourite music, but things are looking up as a Beyoncé kids’ track resurfaced on the socials…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Jobs and Skills Summit – Canberra (until 2 Sep)

ABS Release – Lending Indicators, July

Bail hearing expected for Chris Dawson – Sydney

New fire danger rating system introduced

Start of Asthma Week (on until 7 September)

Start of World Alzheimer’s Month

Wattle Day

Birthdays for Dr Phil (1950) and Zendaya (1996)

Anniversary of:
• the opening of the Sydney General Post Office (1874)
• the start of WWII after Germany invades Poland (1939)
• the US, Australia and New Zealand signing the ANZUS defence treaty (1951)
• the discovery of the wreck of the Titanic (1985)

Squiz the Day

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