Squiz Today / 12 September 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 12 September

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Get it in your ears. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

10 / 25
13 / 22
17 / 27
10 / 15
5 / 20
10 / 20
21 / 33
1 / 23

Squiz Sayings

“It is evident that I will not be able to return to my position.”

Said Luis Rubiales on his decision to resign as president of the Spanish Football Federation 3 weeks after he kissed World Cup champ Jenni Hermoso without her consent. She’s filed assault charges, 81 Spanish players said they would not play for their nation while he held his job, and FIFA urged him to go. So there were a few hints…

A rat in the UK’s ranks


There’s a spy scandal unfolding in Britain after the Sunday Times reported (paywall) that 2 men were arrested in March under suspicion of infiltrating the UK Parliament on behalf of China. One of the men arrested was 28yo Chris Cash – a parliamentary researcher for the Conservative Party (aka the Tories). During his time there, he worked on projects for Tom Tugendhat (who would go on to be the UK’s security minister) and Alicia Kearns (the chairwoman of the nation’s powerful Foreign Affairs Committee) focused on China. At the time, Cash was also single and ready to mingle… The second man is in his 30s, but not much has been reported about him. If proven, pundits say it would be one of the most damaging breaches of security at Westminster.


It’s a good question because the placement of spies in the UK’s halls of power would be next-level stuff… And experts say it would be a major escalation by China at a time when the relationship is strained. At the weekend’s G20 leaders summit, PM Rishi Sunak raised the issue of meddling directly with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, saying he has “very strong concerns about any interference in our parliamentary democracy, which is obviously unacceptable”. It’s not the first time the UK has brought it up – an intelligence report from July warned against Chinese investment in the UK tech sector and last year, government departments were told to stop installing Chinese-made surveillance cameras. But Sunak – like other Western leaders – has decided that engagement with China is better than nothing, and efforts to warm up their relationship are ongoing.


Claims of spies in the UK Parliament raise the question of whether Australia might have its own moles, according to Coalition Home Affairs spokesman James Paterson. Earlier this year, ASIO boss Mike Burgess warned that “more Australians are being targeted for espionage and foreign interference than at any time in Australia’s history.” And when it comes to keeping tabs on officials, experts say look no further than TikTok – that’s prompted bans on having the social media app on government devices, including in Oz. Deep into the struggle against China’s push into the world, US President Joe Biden was asked about his administration’s relationship with China yesterday. He said he wasn’t looking to start a Cold War but that China must “succeed by the rules”.

World News

Squiz the Rest

The long wait for help…

Shock is turning into anger as people in Morocco wait for aid – nearly 4 days after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake killed at least 2,680 people. Reports from the Atlas Mountains foothills south of Marrakesh say locals have no food or water. “No one came to us, we don’t have anything,” one man said. Other reports say thousands of people are living in tents on the side of roads because they’re too afraid to return to their damaged homes. Rescue teams from Spain, the UK, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are headed to the disaster zone to boost the search for survivors and will focus on remote villages where help is sparse. Spain’s defence minister Margarita Robles says they’ll continue to “send whatever is needed because everyone knows that these first hours are key, especially if there are people buried under rubble”.

If you want to know more about this disaster and why Morocco is vulnerable to earthquakes, look no further than our latest Squiz Shortcut, hot off the press this morning.

World News

A major fire threatens Tennant Creek

Residents of the Northern Territory’s Tennant Creek have been told to prepare as a major bushfire heads for the outback town. Strong winds pushed the Barkly fire towards the town, and the conditions haven’t eased much… Wind gusts of up to 50km/hour and high fuel loads have provoked “intense fire behaviour,” Deputy Chief Fire Officer Josh Fischer says, and that makes things difficult for those working to contain the blaze. The Territory’s had a tough start to the bushfire season, with multiple fires burning this year. Authorities say high fuel loads caused by 3 years of La Niña could prompt up to 80% of the NT to burn as the dryer/hotter El Nino climate driver takes hold… Meanwhile, Sydneysiders suffered through “very poor” air quality yesterday – authorities said burn-offs around the city’s outskirts caused a smoke haze to drift over that could last for days.


Ukraine’s counteroffensive is running out of time

Top US General Mark Milley has warned Ukrainian forces that they’ve got about 6 weeks before the onset of winter will slow their counteroffensive. Milley said from November, rain and mud will bog things down, but “there is still a reasonable amount of time, about 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather left”. It’s an important deadline because Ukraine’s concerted effort to push Russia back has entered a 4th month, and reports are flying about its sluggish progress. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the counteroffensive “has failed, not stalled”. But Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence reported gains in the country’s east. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, says they’ll push into winter. “Hostilities will continue, the counteroffensive will continue,” he said.

World News

Set your iPhone alarm

It’s a big week for Apple lovers of the tech variety. The American company is tipped to unveil its newest iPhone in the early hours of our Wednesday morning, and if you’ve lost count of which model we’re up to now – it’s the iPhone 15 they’ll be unveiling. As for what’s new, the rumour mill suggests Apple might move to a USB-C charging port, something that’s long been requested – and even mandated in Europe – to streamline charging across devices/brands. As for what else will be announced at the ‘wonderlust’ (no, that’s not a typo…) themed press event, it’s all very secret squirrel, but reports say they’ll have to be pretty major. That’s because Apple’s sales fell for the 3rd consecutive quarter in July to $81.8 billion, and investors want to see that trend reversed. The event will be livestreamed, but unless you’re keen for a 3am start, you might want to catch a replay…

Business & Finance World News

Djokovic matches Margaret

Novak Djokovic has made it to a record-levelling 24 Grand Slam title wins with a 3-set dismantling of Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final. Not that it was easy… Medvedev pushed his 36yo opponent around the baseline and took the second set to a tie-breaker, coming within a point of taking the set. But Djokovic didn’t flinch, ending the match 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 and a huge grin on his face as he held up his fourth US Open trophy. The win means that he’s now won 3 of the 4 Grand Slam events this year – the only one he’s lost was to Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon. “It means the world to me,” Djokovic said after his win that landed him the same number of Grand Slam tournament trophies as Australia’s Margaret Court. Earlier in the week, he was asked when he might consider retiring – he’ll start thinking about it if he was getting his “a** kicked by young guys in the Grand Slams”. After yesterday’s win, that is not going to be anytime soon…


Apropos of nothing

It hasn’t been the best few weeks for English soccer fans… First, the Women’s World Cup loss to Spain, and now, Prince Harry has gone down in a penalty shootout against the German Defence Minister. Luckily, it was all in good fun to promote the Invictus Games.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s new biography included a surprise – he’s fathered a third, previously unreported child with his ex-partner Grimes. Continuing with the couple’s unusual baby name conventions, the child is called Techno Mechanicus – nicknamed ‘Tau’ for short.

A whopping 11,000 competitors in the 2023 Mexican Marathon were disqualified after their tracking data showed they didn’t hit the necessary checkpoints – and, therefore, didn’t run the full 42.195km. They sound like the smart competitors of the pack… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00pm (AEST) – Men’s Cricket – 3rd ODI – Australia v South Africa – Potchefstroom, South Africa

ABS Data Release – Overseas Arrivals and Departures, July

International Crochet Day

Birthdays for Michael Ondaatje (1943) and Hans Zimmer (1957)

Anniversary of:
• the marriage of John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier (1953)
• the premiere of The Smurfs (1981)
• the collapse of Ansett Australia (2001)
• the disappearance of 3yo William Tyrrell from Kendall, NSW (2014)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.