Squiz Today / 18 August 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 18 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

News for your ears.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Kristin Chenoweth’s answer rhymes with ‘heinous’!”

Said Steve Harvey, the host of America’s Celebrity Family Feud to a bleeped-out answer given by  the triple-threat superstar. The question: “After the lips, what is your favourite part of a man to kiss?” Her answer was not on the board…

Morrison’s explanation


Former PM Scott Morrison says the “weight of responsibility that was on my shoulders” led him to appoint himself to 5 senior ministries between March 2020 and May 2021. “I understand the offence that some of my colleagues particularly have felt about this. I understand that and I have apologised to them,” he said during a marathon press conference in Sydney yesterday, but the pressure of leading the pandemic response was something “only I could really understand”. And in response to the waves of robust questions from the journalists in attendance, he said “You are standing on the shore after the fact, I was steering the ship in the middle of the tempest.”


He did… Morrison said it was down to the practical considerations of the pandemic to make sure key portfolios were covered if COVID took the minister offline. That’s why he says the appointments were “prudent, responsible action” at a time when the media and his political opponents were “constantly telling me that I was responsible for everything”. As for why Morrison didn’t tell his colleagues or the public about his multiple ministries, he said he thought it would be “misinterpreted and misunderstood”. That could have caused “unnecessary angst in the middle of a pandemic and could have impacted on the day-to-day functioning of the government.” And he emphasised that he didn’t exercise any power over those departments – except to strike out a oil/gas exploration licence off the NSW coast. So at the end of the day: “I did what I thought was necessary in the national interest,” Morrison said.” And no, he’s got no plans to leave the parliament, as some have recommended. 


Well, you’re going to have to be scraped off the floor when we tell you that PM Anthony Albanese didn’t give Morrison’s appearance a glowing review… “Scott Morrison was evasive, he was defensive, he was passive-aggressive, and he was self-serving. So at least he was true to himself today.” Sure, he’s apologised to his colleagues, but “how about an apology to the Australian people?” Albanese asked. As for Coalition leader Peter Dutton, he put some distance between himself and his predecessor yesterday, and said he will work with Albanese to ensure “the checks and balances are put in place to make sure that it can’t happen again.” And last night, Governor-General David Hurley’s office issued a statement rejecting suggestions it was on him to ensure Morrison’s moves were announced. Next up: Albanese will receive advice on Morrison’s moves from the Solicitor-General on Monday. Onwards and upwards…


Squiz the Rest

Wages boosted but still going backwards

Aussie’s pay packets are growing at their fastest rate in 8 years as workers change jobs for a better deal. But… real wages are going backwards thanks to surging inflation, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Statistics. The Wage Price Index (WPI) – the official measure of changes to pay – jumped by 0.7% in the April-June quarter and 2.6% over the past year. That was slightly below economists’ expectations but it’s an increase on the previous quarter. With inflation at 6.1%, it means worker’s wages have dropped 3.5% in real terms over the past year to 2011 levels despite record-low unemployment. That trend is set to continue with inflation forecast to peak at 7.75% by the year’s end. The Reserve Bank expects it won’t be until 2024 that real wage growth will kick in, and Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the issue will be front and centre at the Albanese Government’s jobs summit next month. 

Australian News Business & Finance

Failures highlighted in NSW flood inquiry

The NSW Government will accept all 28 recommendations of an independent inquiry into the response to the state’s devastating floods that killed 9 people this year. A key failure outlined in the report was disaster agency Resilience NSW’s coordination issues when it came to emergency management, with a recommendation to downsize/refocus it on delivering support for the first 100 days post-disaster. The State Emergency Service (SES) was also found to be “unprepared” for large scale disasters, with the agency set to be partially merged with the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to improve volunteer training and other processes. And pointing to the growing threat of climate change, the report said residents living in the high-risk Northern Rivers flood plains need to be “urgently” relocated through land swaps and buy-backs. Premier Dominic Perrottet said they will start tackling that next month.

Australian News

A big defeat in US politics

So, it’s primaries season in the US for November’s mid-term elections – the thing to know is all 435 seats in the House of Reps are up for grabs (yep, they have 2-year terms…), as are 35 of the 100 Senate spots. And yesterday, Republican incumbent/former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz Cheney was defeated in her bid to continue as her party’s candidate in Wyoming. She’s found herself in interesting territory as a campaigner against former President Donald Trump – he’s also a Republican. She was defeated by Harriet Hageman, a lawyer with Trump’s endorsement. Undeterred, Cheney said “now, the real work begins” and promised she “will do whatever it takes to ensure Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.” That could include a presidential run in 2024… And remember Sarah Palin? She’s moved through to the next stage to have a crack at representing Alaska in Congress. Her former in-laws are not onside

World News

The return of the Tassie tiger

There have been hundreds of alleged sightings since it was hunted to extinction in the 1930s, but the Tasmanian tiger could be brought back to life within the next decade. That’s the claim of US biotech company Colossal, which made headlines last year after it announced plans to recreate the wooly mammoth using genetic engineering. Now, a multi-million dollar partnership with Melbourne Uni is focused on reviving the Aussie thylacine. To do this, scientists will take the stem cells from a living species with similar DNA – the fat-tailed dunnart – and convert them into tiger cells using a newly-developed gene editing method. The stem cells will then be made into an embryo, which will be placed into either an artificial womb or surrogate dunnart to develop. If successful, the plan is to introduce the marsupial apex predator back into Tassie wilderness, but critics have called the idea “fairytale science”. 

Australian News Environment & Science

Ready for lift-off

US space agency NASA is set to take another giant leap for mankind as it prepares for the maiden voyage of its new moon rocket. No humans will be aboard the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) spacecraft when it blasts off on 29 August, but in the coming years it will send astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in more than 50 years, and maybe one day to Mars. Future missions using SLS’s have been dubbed Artemis after the twin sister of Greek god Apollo, and the first crewed flight should take off in 2024, with a 2nd the following year set to put the first woman on the moon. And if you’re after the thrill of high speeds but can’t snag a spot aboard a rocket, American Airlines has agreed to purchase 20 supersonic jets, which can fly twice as fast as regular commercial aircrafts. Seven hours to LA – yes please…


Apropos of Nothing

The National Capital Authority – the mob in charge of the planning/developing Canberra – have given Russia 20 days to get off a block in Yarralumla where it was to build a new embassy. After several years, not a lot has happened. The authority has the same policy as every PT we’ve ever met – use it or lose it… 

No one likes tension during the festive season, but Mariah Carey has made an application to trademark ‘Queen of Christmas’. Two other singers are not happy, including Darlene Love who had a pretty big Christmas hit of her own… 

Retired tennis star Ash Barty has a new job: Chief of Inspiration at Optus. She joins F1 driver/Chief of Optimism Daniel Ricciardo and Gladys Berejiklian, former NSW Premier/Chief of Moving On, at the company. 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Release – Labour Force, July

Company Results – ASX Limited; Transurban; Blackmores; Orora; Origin Energy; Medibank

50th anniversary of Australia’s withdrawal from the Vietnam War (1972)

Vietnam Veterans Day – commemorated on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan (1966)

Never Give Up Day

Birthdays for director Roman Polanski (1933), actors Robert Redford (1936), Edward Norton (1969), and Andy Samberg (1978), and basketball star Liz Cambage (1991)

Anniversary of the death of Genghis Khan (1227)

Squiz the Day

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