Squiz Today / 10 January 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 10 January

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Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Why not Wollongong?”

Said Aussie creative Michael Cusack about Koala Man, which is putting The Gong – and specifically Dapto – on the world stage. The “average” superhero’s crusade against unkempt front lawns is voiced by some above-average talent, including Sarah Snook and Hugh Jackman…

Brazil reels from political unrest


More than 2 months after losing the presidential election to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (aka ‘Lula’), supporters of the former national leader Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and Presidential Palace in the capital Brasília yesterday. In scenes reminiscent of America’s Capitol Riot in 2021, it took authorities 3 hours to eject thousands of people after they’d smashed their way in and vandalised the buildings while wearing Brazil’s yellow and green colours. Reports say more than 1,500 people have been arrested. Lula said the protests were “without precedent”, and those behind them were “fanatic fascists”. He also blamed Bolsonaro for fuelling the riots via social media. The United Nations and several world leaders have condemned the violence, including US President Joe Biden, who said it was an “assault on democracy”.


Brazil’s presidential election in October 2022 was a bitter contest between far-right incumbent Bolsonaro and far-left former President Lula. Neither won 50% of the vote initially, so a run-off election was held a month later, which Lula won by a slim margin, scoring 50.9% of the vote. Bolsonaro never conceded defeat and was in the US last week instead of attending Lula’s inauguration ceremony. Bolsonaro’s supporters continue to spread claims that Brazil’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to fraud and that Lula’s Workers Party is corrupt and intent on implementing socialism. That all sounds a bit familiar, but unlike the violence former US president Donald Trump’s supporters carried out before Biden’s inauguration, the riots have come 8 days after Lula was sworn in. Bolsonaro has so far defended his supporters, saying they were mostly taking part in “peaceful demonstrations”, calling the violent scenes an “exception”.


Bolsonaro remains in Florida, where his presence is becoming a headache for US authorities, and several Democrats have called for him to be sent back – although reports say “no official request” has been made from Brazil to the US regarding his visa. In Brazil, Lula has sacked the city’s security chief and vowed to take action, saying, “these people who did this will be found, and they will be punished”, while authorities have also dismantled a camp set up in Brasília as a de-facto HQ for Bolsonaro’s supporters. Lula’s also announced a ‘federal security intervention’ in Brasília lasting until 31 January. During the election, Lula campaigned on a promise to unite the country after years of division under Bolsonaro’s leadership. Experts say the storming of the nation’s most important government buildings will make that even more challenging, with Lula under pressure to crack down on those on the far right of politics.

World News

Squiz the Rest

A cash splash for Western Oz

It’s a better splash than that made by flood waters… Anthony Albanese and Premier Mark McGowan visited affected areas in the north of the state yesterday, with the PM bringing a “significant” financial aid package with him. Visiting people affected by the catastrophic flooding in the Kimberley, Albanese couldn’t put a figure on how much will be required but said the region needs a “massive infrastructure investment” to rebuild. Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie – the troublesome weather system that caused the flooding – has been moving over the Northern Territory and is now on its way to Queensland. It’s expected to dump huge amounts of rain and cause thunderstorms over large parts of that state. Ellie’s been everywhere in the past 3 weeks – and you can see its exact path here.

Australian News

Home prices take a historic dive

Australia’s property market saw its biggest downturn on record, with prices across the nation falling 8.4% since peaking at an all-time high last May. According to analysts CoreLogic, the 9-month price drop – primarily brought about by rising interest rates – eclipsed the previous record 8.38% decline between October 2017 and June 2019. Home prices in Sydney saw the biggest falls (-13%), followed by Brissie (-10%) and Melbourne (-8.6%). Analyst Eliza Owen says prices are more sensitive to rate rises than in the past because Aussies have more individual debt. And this isn’t the end… Home prices are expected to fall further over the coming months as interest rates continue to rise. As for renters, things aren’t set to ease up anytime soon, either…

Australian News Business & Finance

More dirty royal laundry aired…

Prince Harry’s 2 TV interviews to promote the launch of his memoir Spare have done the job the publisher’s PR team wanted… Despite its unexpected early release thanks to some keen booksellers in Spain, Harry’s generated a wave of fresh headlines from his couple of hours on the telly. In the British interview, he said his family’s silence after a now-retracted newspaper column written last month by revhead/farmer Jeremy Clarkson about Meghan was “deafening”. Along with criticisms of King Charles and William’s behaviour, Harry pointed at stepmother Camilla when talking about rampant leaking to the media, saying, “certain members of the family have decided to get in bed with the devil to rehabilitate their image”. And he’s not remorseful about ‘speaking his truth’, saying “silence only allows the abuser to abuse” – still, he’s hopeful for better days with his brother and dad. Maybe don’t hold your breath…

World News

Warming up for some cracking tennis

But not everyone will be there… Next week’s Australian Open will be missing a few high-profile names, but organisers talked it up while announcing a warm-up charity match between frenemies Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios on Friday night. Djokovic might like the court time in Melbourne, given he missed last year’s tournament after he was deported over his COVID vaccination status. This year, players who have COVID during the tournament will be allowed to play, Tennis Australia confirmed yesterday. Friday’s match also marks Djokovic’s first against Kyrgios since defeating him in last year’s Wimbledon final. At this year’s Aussie grand slam, the men are facing less competition than usual following Roger Federer’s retirement and world #1 Carlos Alcaraz’s withdrawal due to injury. On the women’s side of the draw, former #1 Naomi Osaka is the latest big name to pull out of the tournament.


A candle scandal…

As a go-to gift, many of us have a good stash of smelly candles or diffusers. But before you light ‘em up, health experts warn that scented products can dramatically impact indoor air quality. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollutants are typically 3 times higher than outdoors due to things like cooking, heating, and cleaning products. Scented products are adding to this issue, too – fragrances can generate potentially toxic pollutants, and manufacturers are not legally required to disclose what chemicals they use. If you’re not keen to bin your candles, experts recommend keeping indoor spaces ventilated, using vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and air purifiers, growing indoor plants, and cleaning regularly. Or perhaps a pair of these air-purifying headphones is just the ticket?


Apropos of Nothing

For years, many have shied away from asking French President Emmanuel Macron about his teenage romance with Brigitte Auziere, a married teacher who became his wife. But a group of interviewers on the autism spectrum have put it to him, asking why he didn’t set a better example. “When you’re in love, the choice isn’t yours,” Macron said in his defence.

Seahorses are a bit like snowflakes. No, they don’t melt in water – that would be very inconvenient. They have markings that make them individually unique, and now researchers in Perth are deploying facial recognition technology to track them – and presumably what they buy at the mall…

Want to get hip with the kids? First, don’t use the word ‘hip’. Ever. Then whip out your old point-and-shoot digital camera from the bottom of the draw where you keep your redundant tech, just in case… Arty Gen Z types are digging it. (And don’t ever say ‘digging it’, either…)

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Football Australia expected to announce sanctions for Melbourne Victory following last month’s crowd violence

Margaret Thatcher Day (Falkland Islands)

World Hindi Day

Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, released today

A birthday for singer Rod Stewart (1945)

Anniversary of:
• the establishment of the frontrunner to the United Nations, the League of Nations, as the Treaty of Versailles took effect (1920)
• the deaths of Coco Chanel (1971) and David Bowie (2016)

Squiz the Day

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