Squiz Today / 19 October 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 19 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“We said ‘oh you do look like Nicolas Cage’ and he said ‘I am.'”

Said shop owner Annie Liban who had to do a double take when the Hollywood star walked into her small grocery store in Busselton WA for some eggs and kimchi. Apparently it was the Prada sunnies and boots in hot weather that gave it away… 

Sky-high tensions greet Biden in Israel

The Squiz

US President Joe Biden has jetted into Tel Aviv and already departed after “an extraordinary wartime trip” for talks with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the nation’s military leaders. As for who Biden’s not meeting – that would be the leaders from Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. Those meetings were cancelled soon after the bombing of the al-Ahli Arab hospital in northern Gaza yesterday – the Hamas-run Health Ministry says 471 Palestinians were killed and wounded 314 more.

So tell me about this bombing…

It’s the deadliest single incident in Gaza in the last couple of weeks, with the World Health Organization describing it as “unprecedented in scale”. Hamas has blamed an Israeli airstrike, while the Israeli military is pointing to a rocket misfired by other Palestinian militants. Biden weighed in overnight as he spoke alongside Netanyahu – he said that “based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team”, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group was named by Israel as responsible. Pro-Palestine protesters aren’t buying it with demonstrations kicking off in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Iran, Tunisia, Lebanon and Turkey.

Given all that, what did Biden’s visit achieve?

It’s a good question, but there has been progress on getting aid into Gaza – Netanyahu’s office says that Israel “will not thwart humanitarian supplies from Egypt as long as it is only food, water and medicine for the civilian population in the southern Gaza Strip”. But – and it’s a big but – Israel will “not allow any humanitarian aid from its territory to the Gaza Strip as long as our hostages are not returned.” And just on the Israeli hostages, Biden said there is “no higher priority” than securing the safe return of the 199 Israelis taken by Hamas. Reports say the US is working with Qatar as a go-between with Hamas in negotiations to secure their return. Wrapping up, Biden urged caution. “While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it,” he told Israelis, adding that after the 9/11 attacks “we sought justice, got justice, but we also made mistakes”.

World News

Squiz the Rest

China gets five side eyes

When Mike Burgess – the Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) – speaks, politicians/security analysts/the media listen… And yesterday was a big occasion with the heads of the ‘Five Eyes’ (aka US, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand) security agencies coming together in California. Cue an unprecedented press conference to call out corporate theft by Chinese spies… Burgess says China is engaged in “the most sustained, sophisticated and scaled theft of intellectual property and expertise in human history”. The UK’s MI5 boss Ken McCallum says tech firms are hot targets and that 20,000 Britons have been approached by Chinese spies on LinkedIn. Not that Chinese President Xi Jinping is bothered – he’s hanging out with his “dear friend”/Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing…

AusPol Australian News World News

Calling it a day

Up to 1,200 jobs are on the chopping block after mining giant Glencore announced it will close its copper mining operations in Mount Isa by the end of 2025. The iconic mining city in northwest Queensland is home to the nation’s second-largest copper mine/one of the biggest underground mines in the world, but Glencore says it’s mined most of the good stuff already and getting the rest wouldn’t be “economically viable”. There will still be mining in Mount Isa – Glencore has zinc and lead operations there and 2 smelters that will remain open – but Mayor Danielle Slade says the 20,000-strong community found it “hard news to hear”. And in more unsavoury business news, Aussie sweet treats giant Sara Lee has gone into voluntary administration. There are hopes the company will be able to find new owners, so our days of eating an entire Chocolate Bavarian to yourself aren’t over yet…

Australian News Business & Finance

KIIS and take over

Tune your dial to intrigued as the mega radio company ARN launches a $330 million takeover bid of rival Southern Cross. ARN is the company behind Kyle and Jackie O’s station KIIS in Sydney and Gold in Melbourne, while Southern Cross has always been the home of 2Day, TripleM and Hamish & Andy… In the last couple of years, Southern Cross has not had a great run as far as investors are concerned, but there is some head-scratching from the market since Aussie laws limit the number of broadcasting licences that can be operated by one company in any one market… Analysts say there are many ways to structure the deal to get around that, and ARN’s bid mentions combining “digital audio assets”. Note: Southern Cross has the LiSTNR podcast network as both companies lean into podcasting as the future of audio (and have we told you that we’re good at podcasting? Good-o, just checking…)

Australian News Business & Finance Entertainment

Ball sports unite

Australia’s cricketers have come to the aid of our netballers after a drawn-out pay dispute means many of them aren’t bringing home any income. Our top netballers have been locked in bitter negotiations with Netball Australia and have officially been ‘off-contract’ since 30 September. Our men’s and women’s cricket teams reckon the netballers are getting a raw deal, so they’ve created a fighting fund of around $200,000 to help prop up their salaries while the saga gets sorted. Cricketers get a share of revenue in their game and reckon it’s only fair the netballers get the same – player association boss Todd Greenberg yesterday said the netballers’ ask is “modest and affordable”. It’s been a tough few years for netball – and go the Diamonds as they look to further their 2-0 lead in the Constellation Cup against the Silver Ferns tonight…

Australian News Sport

Straight or scalloped?

If you’ve ever grumbled about a ripped/uneven edge on your toot paper (our hands are up…), you need to get a life. But you’re also not alone… Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble has heeded customer complaints in the US and developed a new kind of toilet tissue with a scalloped edge. According to this review, it “tears off incredibly smoothly” and “is undeniably better” than its straight alternative. Sounds like P&G is flushed with success, and fingers-crossed they roll it out here… It’s the sort of pivot the pear industry might require after new data revealed sales of the fruit are on the decline. Once a fruit bowl favourite, the Aussie pear industry’s value has dropped 62% in the decade to 2021. “Pears seem to be in favour among the older generation and the babies,” Fruit Growers Victoria’s Michael Crisera said. May we suggest this pear and ginger crumble?

Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

Australia’s overall fertility rate continues to drop, but there is a rise in the fertility rate of mums aged 40-44yo. That’s tripled in the last 4 decades. #SquizShortcut

A new study reckons listening to relaxing music is good for your skin because it can reduce stress and help manage dermatitis and psoriasis. The researchers deemed Taylor Swift to be “the world’s most relaxing musician”, so do with that information what you will…

And if you’re a 44yo new mum stressed out about your skin, how about a drink in Barcelona? It’s been judged the coolest place to have a drink in the world, with a cocktail joint called Sips taking out the World’s Best Bar award. Sydney’s Maybe Sammy (#15) was judged Australia’s best drinking hole.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

5.30pm (AEDT) – Netball – Constellation Cup – Australia v New Zealand – Invercargill

ABS Data Release – Labour Force, September

Company shareholder meeting – ASX

Evaluate Your Life Day

International Gin and Tonic Day

Killers Of The Flower Moon released in Aussie cinemas

Anniversary of:
• the Russian Politburo throws out Leon Trotsky and his followers (1926)
• the release of Cher’s Believe – the song that introduced Auto-Tune to the mainstream (1998)
• Jacinda Ardern becoming New Zealand’s youngest ever leader at 37yo when her Labour Party formed a coalition government (2017)

Squiz the Day

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