Squiz Today / 01 March 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 1 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

Launching you into March.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

20 / 23
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20 / 27
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14 / 23

Squiz Sayings

“I got yodelled at for no valid reason.” 

Is one of the one-star reviews received by Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art. And it’s now a feature of MONA’s new ad focusing on what people didn’t like about the unique attraction. Owner David Walsh says the campaign will be done their way: “ill-advised and potentially disastrous”.

Floods go from really bad to worse

“A natural disaster of unprecedented proportions” is continuing to unfold in Queensland and NSW with epic flooding that just won’t quit. The Federal Government has declared it a disaster, and Defence Force personnel have been deployed to assist.

Let’s start in northern NSW, where 62,000 people are under evacuation orders and warnings. Late yesterday, officials say 400 people are missing or need to be rescued in Lismore – that’s a lot for Emergency Services and citizens with boats to handle as they spent yesterday retrieving people from roofs across the city. To get a sense of how big Lismore’s flood is, these pictures help. And so do the numbers: Wilsons River reached 14.4m yesterday – more than 2m higher than the previous record set in 1954. It’s down to the incredible amount of rain the area has received in a short period of time. Yesterday, an official rain gauge north of Lismore recorded 775mm – the second-highest daily rainfall total in NSW’s history. And Lismore’s not the only town in trouble – Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby and Grafton are also flooding. More bad weather is expected today as the nasty piece of work weather system that belted Queensland heads south.

The Brisbane River reached its peak as expected yesterday morning recording 3.85m – happily under the anticipated 4m. There will be another worrying high tide in the centre of the capital this morning, and low-lying areas will remain flooded this week as authorities release water from the Wivenhoe Dam. So, conditions remain dangerous in Brisbane (as this run-away crane demonstrates), but the water is falling… Looking north to Gympie and Maryborough and south to the Gold Coast, an estimated 18,000 homes have been affected by floodwaters. A total of 8 people have died in these floods in Queensland so far. “The rain has stopped now, which is a welcome change, but we’re certainly not out of the woods yet,” Brissie Mayor Adrian Schrinner said yesterday.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Ukraine and Russia commence talks

Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine have met in Belarus for talks aimed at brokering peace. There were no breakthroughs, but reports this morning say a second round could occur in the coming days. Ukraine’s ask is clear – it wants a ceasefire and Russia’s withdrawal. Russia, however, has not declared its hand. It comes as fighting escalated overnight and Ukraine’s 2nd largest city of Kharkiv has sustained heavy bombing of its residential districts. Officials say they expect dozens of civilians to have died in the attack. The capital Kyiv remains under Ukraine’s control but analysts say Russia is stepping it up after failing to make the early gains that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted. Russia’s also stepping it up on another battlefield – its economy. It’s more than doubled the interest rate to 20% in a bid to halt a slump in the value of its currency. But with sanctions raining down on it, Putin maintains that he has the resources to ride it out.

World News

Roberts-Smith accused of Afghan war atrocity

A former SAS soldier told Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial yesterday that he saw his former brother-in-arms kick an unarmed and handcuffed Afghan man off a cliff. He said the Victoria Cross recipient then coached his fellow soldiers on what to say about the man’s death. To recap: Roberts-Smith says reports published in 2018 by Nine Newspapers and former stablemate the Canberra Times are defamatory because they claim he committed war crimes. He denies that accusation. But the former soldier identified as ‘Person 4’ yesterday said the Afghan man did go over the edge thanks to Roberts-Smith. The man was then shot dead, but Person 4 didn’t see who pulled the trigger. Under the rules of engagement that guided Australian troops in Afghanistan, what has been described constitutes murder. For Roberts-Smith’s part, he says the Afghan man was first seen in a field and showed “hostile intent”. The trial continues…

Australian News Crime

Last chance on climate change

“Potentially irreversible” damage is being done to the Earth, and time is running out to curb the worst effects of climate change. That’s the latest assessment from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Its latest report was released overnight, and it’s a tome UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described as an “atlas of human suffering”. Researchers say efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not just about preventing rising temperatures – they’re to mitigate extreme weather events, including fires, floods and drought. And their concern is that change is happening so quickly that there is no time to adapt, rendering 40% of the world’s population “highly vulnerable”. Picking up where last year’s climate change summit in Glasgow left off, the report’s authors say there is a brief window of time to avoid the worst. “Our report points out very clearly this is the decade of action if we are going to turn things around,” says co-chair Professor Debra Roberts.

Environment & Science

Australians spend up a storm in January

If you can remember all the way back to January, many people went into a ‘shadow lockdown’ as Omicron cases surged. But according to the latest Bureau of Stats release, that didn’t stop Aussies from shopping up a storm… Retail sales fell 4.4% in December as many Aussies stayed home so as not to ruin Christmas, but January exceeded expectations with a 1.8% increase in retail sales. That’s the 2nd highest monthly gain on record after last November’s end-of-lockdown boom. That result was driven by gains in food retailing (2.2%), ‘other’ retailing including recreational goods, toys and cosmetics (4.5%), and department store purchases (4.9%). Cafes/restaurants/takeaway food services (-0.8%) and clothing/footwear sales (-1%) were the only segments to go backwards as Aussies opted to cook at home in their melded-on trackie dacks. Sounds familiar…

Business & Finance

Upsets aplenty at the SAG awards

And the winners are… In TV, Korean thriller Squid Games, the first non-English language series nominated at the SAGs, won the major TV drama acting awards. But it was Succession and Ted Lasso that took out best drama and comedy series in a continuation of their golden run. And on the movie front, it was coming-of-age film CODA about a hearing teenager and her deaf family that took top honours. Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur said it “validates the fact that we, deaf actors, can work just like anybody else.” Take note because the Screen Actors Guild Awards are considered one of the most reliable predictors of the Oscars. All the winners are here. It was also the first Hollywood red carpet of 2022 where Selena Gomez did what we know we’d 100% do given a chance… The Academy Awards are on 27 March (aka 28 March Aussie time).


Apropos of Nothing

In 2020, there were fears the old English sheepdog was done for. But the shaggy breed is back in high demand as pandemic-weary/tree-changing Brits seek out larger best buddies and take up dog grooming as their new favourite pastime…

Remember the 225kg black bear nicknamed Hank the Tank? He was wanted by Californian authorities for breaking into more than 30 homes in search of food. Well, isn’t this a turn up for the books – DNA evidence has discovered there are 3 Hanks

We’re operating in a heavy news environment. If it makes you want to roll away from it all, here’s your spirit animal

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

The Australian Electoral Commission releases details of annual financial disclosure returns from MPs and Senators

The RBA holds its monthly meeting ahead of an announcement on interest rates

ABS Release – Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, December 2021; Lending Indicators, January 2022

The World Ocean Summit kicks off virtually (until 4 March)

Shrove (Fat) Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. It’s the culmination of the Carnival season in many countries across the world

Zero Discrimination Day

World Compliment Day

World Horse Day

Birthdays for actor Lupita Nyong’o (1983) and singers Kesha (1987) and Justin Bieber (1994)

Anniversary of:
• the start of the infamous Salem Witch Trials in Salem, Massachusetts (1692)
• Yellowstone becoming the world’s first national park (1872)
• Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity (1896)
• the US explosion of Castle Bravo, a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, which accidentally became the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the US (1954)
• the release of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
• colour television transmissions beginning in Australia (1975)

Squiz the Day

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