Squiz Today / 11 April 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 11 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you back on the news track.

Today’s listen time: 9.20 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“The way I walked out of the Super Mario movie with a huge grin on my face only to look at my phone and see that Taylor and Joe tweet.”

Tweeted one theatre-goer who caught the box office debut of the year only to be brought down by a high-profile celebrity split. It’s a rollercoaster being a pop culture aficionado…

US intelligence springs a nasty leak

American national security agencies are trying to discover how over 100 documents containing highly classified military and intelligence information were leaked. Reports say some documents began showing up on online platforms 4chan and Discord in March, and a bigger leak was revealed by the New York Times on Friday. They cover reports on the goings-on in Israel, China, South Korea, Canada, the Middle East, and recent tensions in the Indo-Pacific. But the most sensitive docs are about Russia’s war on Ukraine, with officials worried the leaked US intel could help Russian efforts. Ukrainian officials have already confirmed they have altered some military operations. The pressure’s now on the US Department of Justice to figure out who’s behind the leaks, and its allies want answers… The Aussie Government yesterday said it’s “concerned about the disclosure” and we’re “seeking further information”.

It’s said to be the largest leak of US classified material since the WikiLeaks release in 2013… The leaked info is mostly photographs of intelligence briefing papers dating back more than a month. And because we live in the age of misinformation, much has been said about whether the documents are real or a ploy to help Russia and other nations/players who aren’t fans of America. Mykhailo Podolyak (an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky) says the leaks contain “fictional information” and “there is not the smallest doubt that this is yet another element of hybrid warfare”. Kyiv says the documents – which include details on US/NATO plans to help Ukraine with the upcoming counteroffensive it’s launching – are a Russian plot to “sow doubt” about Ukraine’s efforts. Officials in Moscow also said the documents are full of trickery, but they say Ukraine’s behind them. That’s all been debunked by Pentagon officials though – they say the leaked documents are authentic.

Dunno, but investigators have a few theories… A leak from pro-Russian sources was considered, but experts say that’s unlikely given the range of international intel that was dropped. Former senior Pentagon official Michael Mulroy says the focus “is on this being a US leak, as many of the documents were only in US hands”. Reports say investigators are looking into whether it was a single person or a group of people, and they’re looking into potential motivations ranging from a disgruntled employee striking out to an insider who wants to undermine US security. And with the breach being labelled “a nightmare for the Five Eyes” (aka the intelligence alliance between Oz, the US, Canada, Kiwiland, and the UK), key agencies have already begun to review their practices of sharing intel internally.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Hoping that practice doesn’t make perfect…

China has undertaken 3 days of military drills around Taiwan – their largest show of force in years – simulating strikes on the island it claims as its own territory. Starting on Saturday, the Chinese military encircled Taiwan and practised land/sea/air attacks, with Beijing calling it a “stern warning” after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen visited the US last week. Reports say 71 Chinese aircraft and 11 ships crossed the Taiwan Strait median line – the unofficial dividing line between Chinese and Taiwanese territory. In response, officials said Taiwan’s forces would “not escalate conflicts nor cause disputes” and would respond “appropriately” to China’s drills. And President Tsai said they will keep working with the US and other democracies in the face of “continued authoritarian expansionism” from China. Reports said there were no signs of panic in Taiwan, with one local saying the vibe was “here we go again”…

World News

Anticipating big events in the west…

Say hello to Tropical Cyclone Ilsa – the result of a tropical low off the coast of Western Australia’s northern Kimberley Coast. Forecasts predict it will reach category-4 level (aka bring winds in excess of 200km/hour in the core…) by Wednesday as it heads towards the Pilbara coast, but it is early days, and its path is still uncertain. The most likely area of impact is between Port Hedland and Broome late on Thursday/early Friday, with significant destruction expected, and communities between Cape Leveque and Broome have been advised to get ready. It’s a busy time along our western coast, not just because thrillseekers are making the most of the school holidays… Up to 25,000 stargazers from all over the world are expected to travel to Exmouth – more than 1,300km from Broome – to catch 20 April’s total solar eclipse. Officials have urged holiday-makers to stay on top of the forecasts.

Australian News Weather

Earning their keep

A prominent cafe and growing gourmet food business off the Hume Highway has found itself in hot water after the owners spoke to the ABC about employing schoolkids, some as young as 11yo. The Long Track Pantry at Jugiong started out as the place for travellers to get a good coffee when it opened in 2006, and over the years, it’s become a destination for foodies with a taste for their jams, sauces and other delicious bits. Finding workers to support their growth was an issue – a challenge met by local children who now make up most of the business’s 100-strong workforce. “They work hard, but it’s really fun,” said supervisor Treen Brooker. Not happy: many on social media who encouraged one-star reviews. NSW doesn’t mandate a minimum working age, but the federal government is currently looking at signing an international agreement that would mean children under 13yo would be banned from paid work, with some exceptions.

Australian News

A new spin on the sisterhood

Settle in for some generalisations… According to new findings from a groundbreaking Harvard study, women can be more competitive with other women than men are with other men. Human evolutionary biologist Dr Joyce Benenson says her team’s findings upend decades of stereotypes and have significant implications for understanding human society. That’s because “accepted wisdom both within evolutionary biology and psychology is that men are the more competitive sex.” Why it’s the case, Benenson’s not sure, but she reckons it’s to do with childrearing and envy of other primary carers (aka other women) “with lots of resources that they did not have” because they would be “better able to care for their children”. As for the blokes, the study found that men are more competitive towards women than women are towards

Australian News Environment & Science

Counting down to the coronation

If you’re giddy with anticipation for King Charles’ coronation on 6 May, you’ll be delighted to hear there will be 2 processions through London from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey and back again. That calls for 2 carriages, of course… The first was made in Sydney and boasts air conditioning, electric windows and modern suspension for a smooth ride. And the second is the Gold State Coach – it’s been used in every coronation since the 1830s, and let’s just say it under-indexes on the mod cons… Buckingham Palace has also outlined what royal bling will be used in the ceremony, including the solid gold/2.23kg St Edward’s Crown. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, put a 2kg bag of spuds on your head when you’re next at the supermarket and see how you go… A lot easier to show off – the new crown emoji fashioned for the occasion.

World News

Apropos of nothing

It’s been a big few days for rabbits, particularly a Californian fluffball named Percy. The domestic bunny was found on a road and has hopped into the hearts of the Yuba City Police Department, scoring a promotion to the rank of officer for its work as a support animal.

Two audience members at the theatre version of The Bodyguard in Manchester cut the show short due to their “rowdy” behaviour. An audience member said the show’s final number – I Will Always Love You – had the troublesome duo singing along and attempting to hit the song’s high notes – they couldn’t, “and that’s when the chaos began”…

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has taken a rare picture of Uranus and its rings – a feat that has only been achieved twice before. Still, it’s easier than hitting Whitney’s high notes…

Quirky News

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