Squiz Today / 10 September 2019

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 10 September


"Most people ask why is it called dog's balls until you show them a picture of the fruit."

Said Andrew Barrett from Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens of a native fruit-bearing shrub that’s getting a new name. Barrett’s right - if your dog was red…


An emergency situation has been declared on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with more than 10 homes at Peregian Beach lost last night to what officials said was a fast-moving bushfire threat. Hundreds of people were evacuated from the area after a fire flared at nearby Peregian Springs late yesterday. As the fire continued to move northward, Marcus Beach, Castaways Beach, Sunrise Beach, Sunshine Beach were also under threat with residents told they should prepare to leave. It was one of 87 fires that are now burning across Queensland in what has been the state's worst known start to the bushfire season.

Hundreds of firefighters are continuing to battle intensifying blazes across northern NSW. Strong winds made a bad situation worse in drought-ridden northern NSW, where residents near Yamba, Tenterfield and communities near Armidale were put on alert. And to add to the drama, there was snow in Ebor, about 30km from where fires are burning near Armidale. And as for the fires from the weekend in Queensland, high winds made it tough going yesterday, particularly in the Gold Coast hinterland and Stanthorpe areas.

Climatologists and bushfire experts weighed in to say the drought plus a warmer than usual winter have combined to create these dangerous conditions. Andrew Watkins from the Bureau of Meteorology says the southern half of Australia has experienced the driest January to July on record, which has led to a lot of dry fuel on the ground - perfect for devastating bushfires. And on the subject of whether climate change has had a role in the fires in Queensland, experts told the ABC it’s more complicated than that. But further south, they say the drought is linked to climate change trends.



Back for another life-affirming day of political battle, efforts by UK PM Boris Johnson and his Conservative Government to get an election off the ground are likely to hit the wall - again. It’s been a hectic few hours with the five-week suspension of parliament to begin at the end of the day’s sitting. Reports say that means MPs will not get another chance to vote for an early election until mid-October, so an election would not be possible until late November at the earliest. And with Johnson saying he would rather “die in a ditch” than delay the UK’s departure from the European Union, reports say he's looking to “test to the limit” the legislation preventing a 'no deal' Brexit on 31 October. It’s all been too much for the Speaker of the House - John Bercow announced he is calling time on more then a decade of shouting “orr-derr!” And if that’s all too much for you, maybe this picture of Johnson trying to lead a bull at the weekend will pep you up…

There’s never been a better time to get the Brexit basics down. Our Squiz Shortcut to Brexit is the best 10 minutes you’ll spend today.


A lot of passengers’ travel plans were disrupted when nearly 4,000 British Airways pilots launched a two-day strike over a pay dispute yesterday, leading to the cancellation of 1,700 flights. The action will cost the airline up to A$70 million a day. Another strike has been scheduled for 27 September if the parties aren't able to reach an agreement. Australian passengers travelling from London to Europe on Qantas code-shared flights have been warned their travel plans will be affected. Meanwhile, good luck if you need to rebook your flight…


A JAPANESE TYPHOON - A powerful typhoon has shaken Tokyo, leaving hundreds-of-thousands of commuters stranded. Typhoon Faxai hit yesterday morning causing flight cancellations and power outages for 930,000 homes. And central and eastern areas of the country are set to be hit with record-breaking winds and rain in the coming days. Not great timing with the Rugby World Cup set to kick off on 20 September…

A FRENCH HEATWAVE - They said it was hot… A total of 1,465 additional deaths occurred during France’s heatwaves in June and July this year, according to official health data. The high point: the mercury hit 46C on 28 June at Verargues in the south of France.

AND FISH ON THE MOVE - As part of the NSW Government's $10 million 'rescue mission', thousands of native fish will be moved from the drought-ravaged Menindee Lakes in the west of the state to better conditions in the Lower Darling. Native fish species including the Murray Cod and Golden Perch will be chauffeured to their new home in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the massive fish kills of last December and January. It's a different kind of takeaway…


When people on the outside are the ones throwing the stones, it’s easier to duck. But when it’s your own side saying Australian business leaders' skills aren’t at the level of the Americans, well that’s a bit tough… The federal Department of Industry yesterday released a report saying if there was a management Olympics (suits compulsory, except on casual Friday…), the Yanks would beat the Aussies in every race. The healthcare and social assistance sector fared best for talent, the worst was the farming sector, the report said. The research contends that deficient managers are holding Aussie businesses back.


High-profile former St Kilda footballer and Richmond coach Danny Frawley died yesterday in a car crash near Ballarat, Victoria. He was 56yo. Tributes for the man who'd played 240 senior matches for the Saints between 1984 and 1995 and coached the Tigers in the early 2000s poured in from the football community and colleagues from his later successful media career. AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said; "Danny was passionate about footy and passionate about people. He made such a positive and lasting influence on so many in our game." Frawley also spoke publicly about his struggles with mental health in recent times. Nicknamed 'Spud', Frawley was a potato farmer before he was recruited to play in the big smoke.


What a game. If you're lucky enough to work for a startup that's done its first round of work by 7am (ahem), you had time yesterday morning to watch Rafael Nadal beat Russian Daniil Medvedev in an almost five-hour-long US Open final. It was epic, as the 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 score suggests. Nadal is just one win away from equalling Roger Federer’s record of 20 grand slam men’s singles title - a prospect that brought him to tears.


National Australia Bank Business Confidence Index for August released

World Suicide Prevention Day

Release of The Testaments, Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale (buy using this link and The Squiz will receive a little commission - yay)

Colin Firth birthday (1960)

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