Squiz Today / 09 February 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 9 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

Your news icebreaker.

Today’s listen time: 9.40 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“His extraordinary athleticism, power and speed leave you in awe.”

Said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver of LeBron James breaking one of American basketball’s toughest records with the LA Lakers’ legend passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38yo 38,387 point record yesterday. He’s got more baskets than Kmart…

Aussies AWOL as clock ticks in Turkey and Syria

Time is running out for rescuers looking for earthquake survivors in Turkey/Syria as the search enters a 3rd night. The official death toll has passed 11,000 – a figure that is expected to rise – making it the deadliest seismic event in more than a decade. At least 40,000 more are injured. Foreign Minister Penny Wong says 4 Aussies remain unaccounted for, and our officials are assisting another 40 Aussies and their families in the area. One of those missing is Sydney man Can Pahali, who was visiting his sister in Turkey’s hardest-hit province Hatay, where at least 872 people have died. Drone footage reveals the extent of the damage there, while video from a live broadcast during the 2nd earthquake shows the chaos many faced.

There are some miraculous stories of survival, including a newborn baby, but also many accounts of people frustrated by a lack of help. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces, but residents claim the official response has been too slow. In the epicentre of Gaziantep, locals say it took 12 hours for emergency crews to arrive. Erdogan conceded some failings but said, “It is not possible to be prepared for a disaster this big.” Turkish officials blamed the devastation spread across more than 1,000km, winter conditions, damaged infrastructure and insufficient resources for hindering their efforts. In Syria, rescuers report hearing cries from beneath the rubble but have no equipment to reach them. Doctors Without Borders warned those without shelter are also at risk, and people will suffer for “months upon months” as it’s a “catastrophe on top of a catastrophe” in the wartorn nation. 

On top of Australia’s $10 million in aid, PM Anthony Albanese says 72 “highly trained” Aussie search and rescue crew are en route to Turkey, joining 60,000 other aid workers from around the world. At least 70 countries have sent funds, specialist teams and equipment to assist, including 16 earthquake rescue dogs from Mexico. For the public, disaster response experts say the best way to help is to donate money to a reputable charity rather than “pile minibuses full of old jumpers”. Former UN aid boss Jan Egeland warned when it comes to Syria, people should donate to international organisations as it is a “very, very complex political landscape” with multiple groups still fighting for control and a government that has pocketed aid before. One reputable organisation is the Red Cross, and details about their fundraiser are here

Australian News World News

Squiz the Rest

Together for America’s annual address

Bipartisanship between Democrats and Republicans was top of mind for US President Joe Biden in his State of the Union address yesterday. As the parties start to get their candidates organised for the 2024 presidential election, it was a chance for him to talk up his successes and his goal for the parties to work together and “unite the country”. We’d be here all day if we listed every topic he spoke about (or a few minutes, anyway…), but if you want the ins and outs, there are good breakdowns online… Biden did address the balloon in the room – aka heightened tensions with China after its spy equipment was shot down. But overall, Biden was optimistic about the state of the US, which was at odds with some Republicans who heckled him during parts of the speech. Also opting out was Labor Secretary Marty Walsh – but as the government’s ‘designated survivor’, at least he had a good excuse… 

World News

Something for your reading list…

There will be 2 x 2,000-word essays coming your way. Yesterday, Finance Minister Katy Gallagher confirmed the Australian Electoral Commission will distribute the pieces – one written by MPs in support of the constitutional change to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and one by the proposal’s opponents. That’s standard practice for how referendums are run in Oz, but the Albanese Government was hoping to do away with that bit. Coalition leader Peter Dutton has maintained that voters require written info from both sides of the debate. While Nationals MPs have already decided to vote ‘no’, the Liberals haven’t stated their position, so you can see why commentators say going ahead with the mailout is a goodwill gesture from Team Albanese to the Libs. The next question: will the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cases get taxpayer funds for their campaigns? Dutton says they should, but so far, the government isn’t keen to fund either side. 


Investigators blame Putin for MH17 missile

International prosecutors investigating the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 say they’ve found “strong indications” that Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the supply of the missile used to Russian-backed separatists. All 298 people on board were killed in the incident, including 38 Aussies. In The Hague, representatives from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) provided evidence implicating Putin, including tapped phone calls but did not say that he ordered the plane be shot down. Despite the revelation, Dutch prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer says the investigation has “reached its limit” after more than 8 years, and the JIT has “exhausted all avenues” due to a lack of cooperation from Moscow. As a current head of state, Putin has immunity and is protected by Dutch law. Paul Guard, whose parents Roger and Jill died in the crash, said while he’s grateful for investigators’ efforts, he’s disappointed the reason why the plane was shot down “may never be known”.

World News

Let the broadcast games begin…

The 2032 Olympics in Brissie will be exclusively aired on Nine after the media giant inked a $315 million deal with the International Olympic Committee. It ends the Games’ longstanding partnership with rival broadcaster Seven, which has televised every Olympics since the 1970s… except the 2012 London Games. The new, decade-long deal gives Nine the broadcasting rights to the 2024 Paris Olympics, the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, and the Winter Games. Broadcasting rights of our biggest sports have been in the news a lot in the last few months. In September last year, Seven and Foxtel secured the AFL until 2031 in a historic deal worth $4.5 billion. And in January, Aussie Cricket signed a 7-year deal worth $1.5 billion that will see Seven and Foxtel stay at the crease until the end of the 2030-31 season. Nine has ongoing deals for the NRL and Aussie Open tennis. 

Australian News Business & Finance Sport

Bailing on a bad date

If you’ve experienced an iffy first date, you may not be surprised to learn that 51 minutes is the average time to hang in there before finding an excuse to leave. That’s the finding of a new survey of 2,000 Brits by vehicle breakdown provider Britannia Rescue, who are perhaps used to helping people out of sticky situations… The survey revealed 25 minutes is how long the average person reckons it takes to feel a spark – or lack of one – and 20% of respondents admitted to making up an excuse to leave a dud date after the 51-minute mark – much like this memorable SATC scene… The top reasons for hightailing it out of there include their date being rude (48%), constantly checking their phone (37%), and an awkward vibe (36%). But the majority of respondents (58%) said they felt obligated to be polite and stick the date out. Who said romance is dead?

Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

It’s a somewhat unlikely pairing, but the Aussie Bureau of Stats has channelled superstar rapper Eminem and wants you to Lose Yourself in a new batch of numbers. Go on, try to read it aloud without getting the tune stuck in your head…

The royal family’s PR team won’t be too excited, but Prince Andrew’s infamous BBC interview will be immortalised in a Netflix movie titled Scoop, starring Rufus Sewell and Gillian Anderson, who also appeared in Netflix’s other royal drama, The Crown. It was only a matter of time…

Pest controller Nick Castro had a surprise when he discovered more than 320kg of acorns behind an internal house wall in Santa Rosa, California. He reckons the woodpecker responsible for the epic stash was “a bit of a hoarder”. Must have been a Game of Thrones fan…  

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

3.00pm (AEDT) – Men’s Cricket – First Test – Australia v India – Maharashtra, India

Company Results – Mirvac; News Corp; AGL Energy

Magic Mike’s Last Dance premieres in Aussie cinemas

Birthdays for author Alice Walker (1944), Derryn Hinch (1944), Mia Farrow (1945), Gina Rineheart (1954), Glenn McGrath (1970), Tom Hiddleston (1981), Michael B Jordan (1987), and Rose Leslie (1987)

Anniversary of:
• the first flight of a Boeing 727 jet (1963)
• the Beatles performing their first-ever gig at Liverpool’s Cavern Club (1961) and their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (1964)
• the death of Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II (2002)

Squiz the Day

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