Squiz Today / 11 August 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 11 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

The easy news hit. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

8 / 19
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6 / 19
3 / 14
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Squiz Sayings

“I find it stressful.”

Said Lewis Hamilton about driving on normal roads in a normal car. The F1 superstar has no issue getting behind the wheel of a racing car that can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h, but he draws the line at traffic. Fair call…

Ambassador makes China’s case


Xiao Qian, China’s ambassador to Australia, says with the election of the Albanese Government, “there is an opportunity for a possible reset of relationship” between our nations. And when it comes to our ongoing trade dispute over China’s blackbanning of Australian wine, barley, lobsters and more, his nation is ready to move on “if the new government in this country is ready,” he said in his address to the National Press Club yesterday. Xiao added that 22 December was a good date to note – it’s the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and Australia. “I think it’s perfect time for our two countries to review the past, look into the future, take concrete actions in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefits.” But there is one issue where there can be no give/take, and that’s Taiwan. 


True. On that point Xiao said China has been “waiting for a peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province – but it could use other means if necessary. “As to what does it mean ‘all necessary means?’ You can use your imagination,” he said. China blames the US and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the escalation of tensions and the just concluded military drills that have simulated an attack on the island. He added that if nations were concerned about peace in the region, they would “put their ‘One China’ policy into practice with sincerity, with no compromise”. Likening Taiwan to Tassie as far as mainland Australia is concerned – “not a good example,” he said… – he asked the Aussie media to see the situation as one of “territorial integrity” and stop using words like “invasion”. “Media coverage of China is, at many times, misleading and harms friendship between the 2 peoples,” he said. 


It’s not simple… Acting PM Richard Marles yesterday dismissed China’s accusations that Australia’s undermining regional peace and stability by meddling in its affairs and having views on its operations in the Taiwan Strait. And he said diplomacy might only do so much because there are some things China wants that we won’t be able to stomach. “We can only control our end of this equation. But we will always be speaking up for the national interest,” Marles said. Feng Chongyi, a China expert from the University of Technology Sydney, said despite Xiao’s words about a relationship reset, we might not see much progress even with new faces at the top of our government. “The policy of the previous Australian government was a bipartisan consensus, a fact the Ambassador ignored,” he said. Oh, and if you picked up that PM Anthony Albanese’s not on deck, you’re right – he’s on hols


Squiz the Rest

Zelensky wants Crimea back

“Crimea is Ukrainian and we will never give it up.” That’s what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told his people in his regular video update yesterday, setting the country’s endgame as it continues to battle Russian forces. Crimea is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine but it was annexed by Russia in 2014 after a referendum that was widely seen as illegitimate. Many see Russia’s moves to take control of the Black Sea peninsula in Ukraine’s south as the real start of the war. “Today it is impossible to say when this will happen. But we are constantly adding the necessary components to the formula of liberation of Crimea,” Zelensky said. Meanwhile, it’s emerged that a series of explosions rocked a key Russian air base on the Crimean Peninsula, causing confusion about what had occurred. A Ukrainian attack on Russian forces there would be a significant upping of Ukraine’s counterattack, but it’s denied responsibility.

World News

Getting over COVID

And look, there’s no official declaration by our official health advisers, the government, or the World Health Organization. With those T&Cs behind us, when it comes to the COVID outlook for the rest of the year, infectious diseases modellers Romain Ragonnet from Monash Uni and James Wood from the NSW Government say it’s unlikely Oz will see another big knockout wave of infections. There’s a big ‘but’, and that’s if a new nasty variant comes on the scene. As for where things stand now here and around the world, the combo of vaccination/the immune response from infection is seeing cases and hospitalisations fall, they say. Supporting that theory, ANU Professor Peter Collignon is another who thinks “the worst is over”. Note: there are others who say it’s too soon to call because COVID has continued to evolve and surprise. One things that’s definitely over is the $21 million COVIDSafe App. If you’re one of the 7 million Aussies who downloaded it, it’s time to take it off your phone. 

Australian News Health

Interest rate rises whack confidence

The Commonwealth Bank – Australia’s biggest bank/a big player in our economy – says its customers cut their spending as soon as the first interest rate increase was announced in May. Presenting the company’s very healthy financial results yesterday, boss Matt Comyn said the dive in consumer confidence is more pronounced with customers who have a mortgage. “Those increases in the cash rate are going to have, and continue to have, quite a pronounced effect on the economy,” he said. That’s in line with the latest temperature check on consumer sentiment – the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute survey showed households have become “deeply pessimistic”. That’s not the winter blues speaking… High inflation, interest rate hikes and falling home prices have freaked Aussies out. Having said that, we’re so far making ends meet. “We’re looking for early signs of stress. We’re not seeing that yet,” said Comyn.

Australian News Business & Finance

A trio of career moves

ENDING IT – Let Serena Williams’ long “evolve away” from the game of tennis commence… Williams is one of the best the game has ever seen, and she’s talked about the pain she’s feeling about ending her playing career. She’s set to play in the US Open starting at the end of this month, and it’s now expected to be the 40yos last grand slam. 

TAKING A BREAK – Aussie women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning is on hiatus. She’s had a non-stop year leading the team to a One-Day World Cup win and Comm Games gold medal, and she needs to “spend time focusing on myself,” she said yesterday. No return date has been nominated, but the team heads to India in December. 

MAKING AN EPIC RETURN – Lauren Jackson, you little ripper… The basketball great has been picked in the Opals squad for the World Cup, which starts in Sydney on September 22. She’s 41yo, she’s one of the all-time greats of the game internationally, and while injury slowed her down, she’s back. After an almost decade-long break, she got the call yesterday and said “I had a bit of a cry to be honest.” 


It’s party time for cuttlefish…

Australian giant cuttlefish are the largest in the world. And at this time of year, they do something unusual – they abandon their solitary lives to gather in their thousands in the shallow waters of the upper Spencer Gulf of South Oz. That’s the slice out of the state’s coastal stretch at the eastern end of the Great Australian Bight, and it’s home to Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Pirie, and Port Augusta. Experts say they don’t know how far they travel or why they’ve chosen that place to party, but they only have one thing on their cephalopod minds… The technical term for what’s happening is a “mass spawning aggregation”, and when it comes to cuttlefish, it’s the only one on Earth. This year, more than 137,000 of ‘em have rocked up – that’s after numbers sunk to 13,000 in the recent past, resulting in a ban on fishing them in the area. As for what’s going down, it’s a ladies game… There are many more females than males, so the blokes had better bring their A-game with bright colours and a dance to impress a mate.

Australian News Environment & Science

Apropos of Nothing

Domino’s Pizza is shutting up its 29 shops in Italy. If you’re wondering why on Earth they would even try in Italy, the boss at the time said the country had “a lot of pizza, but there’s not a lot of delivered pizza.” Yeah, nah it didn’t work… 

Hoping for a better translation are the producers of a new Bollywood production based on… Forrest Gump. There have been adaptations in the past, but “such an iconic Hollywood film has never happened before” in Bollywood, said filmmaker Karan Johar. Life is like a box of… Gulab Jamuns?

Speaking of Forrest Gump… British marathon legend Robert Pope has become the first (they think…) to run the width of Ireland in a day. Starting with a Guinness in Galway and ending with a Guinness in Dublin, he completed the 211km trot in 23 hours and 39 minutes. He said he was pretty nauseous at the start…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Costs hearing in the Federal Court defamation case between mining magnate Clive Palmer and WA Premier Mark McGowan – Melbourne

Company Results – AMP; Telstra; QBE Insurance

Independence Day in Chad

Birthdays for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (1950), Hulk Hogan (1953), podcaster Joe Rogan (1967), actor Chris Hemsworth (1983)

Anniversary of
• the death of actor/comedian Robin Williams (2014)
• the start of the Weimar Republic in Germany (1919)
• the first federal prisoners arriving at Alcatraz (1934)
• the premiere of The Wizard of Oz (1939)
• the formation of Al-Qaeda (1988)
• the founding of Airbnb by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk (2008)
• the birthdays of author Enid Blyton (1897)

Squiz the Day

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