Squiz Today / 17 January 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 17 January

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Fresh and fast for a new year.  

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

SYD
21 / 28
MEL
14 / 29
BNE
21 / 28
ADL
17 / 35
PER
16 / 27
HBA
11 / 21
DRW
25 / 32
CBR
15 / 28

Squiz Sayings

“I’m devastated, obviously.” Said Aussie tennis hope Nick Kyrgios as he pulled out of the Melbourne grand slam with a knee injury (that hasn’t stopped him scooting…). Also devo are tournament organisers as they watched the promise of packed stands for his games across the fortnight evaporate…

Female Afghan MP shot dead in Kabul

THE SQUIZ

Former Afghan politician Mursal Nabizada and her bodyguard have been shot dead in her home in Kabul around 3am Sunday, while her brother and a second guard were injured in the attack. Reports say a 3rd security guard ran from the scene after taking jewellery and money. The perpetrator and their motive aren’t known, but police said, “security forces have started a serious investigation regarding the case to find the criminals”. She’s the first politician from the previous administration to be killed in Kabul since the takeover.

WHO WAS SHE?

Nabizada was a member of Afghanistan’s parliament before the Taliban seized control in August 2021. Elected in 2018 representing Kabul, the 32yo was involved in defence and economic development policy. She was one of the few female MPs who remained in the country after the US-backed national government was toppled – most escaped to avoid becoming the targets of violence. Fellow former female MP Mariam Solaimankhil yesterday remembered Nabizada as a “trailblazer”, saying she was “a strong, outspoken woman who stood for what she believed in, even in the face of danger”. She also noted that Nabizada was offered the chance to leave the country but “chose to stay and fight for her people”.

SO THINGS AREN’T IMPROVING THERE?

No – particularly for women. Many who worked in professional jobs – such as lawyers, journalists and politicians – during the 2 decades that the US was in Afghanistan fled the country. But most of the 20 million Afghan women there have had to adapt to the Taliban’s harsh rules. Since May last year, women have had to wear head-to-toe coverings in public, ideally with just their eyes showing… That was on top of restricting women’s movements and banning them from secondary and higher education, public sector work, and sport. The Taliban’s encouraged Afghans to return, claiming they’re securing the country – but there are still terror attacks, including Wednesday’s deadly explosion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul. Reports say it was just one sign of worsening security in the city.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Nepal’s search for answers

Nepal’s PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal has declared a national day of mourning as more details come to light about the plane crash in Nepal that killed at least 68 people – including young Sydney man Myron William Love. Authorities say it’s unlikely any of the 72 passengers and crew survived the 27-minute Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara. Some experts believe the pilots lost control of the aircraft, but the cause of the incident is still under investigation. Videos of the plane rolling sharply before it plummeted, along with eyewitness accounts, have emerged. Those accounts will be part of the investigation, along with the black boxes aviation authorities say they’ve recovered. Nepal has a poor airline safety record, but the latest crash is the country’s worst in over 30 years and its 3rd deadliest ever. Poor regulation standards have seen Nepalese airlines banned from European Union airspace since 2013.

Australian News World News

No rest for drenched Californians

Oz isn’t the only country grappling with ongoing floods… In the US, 20 million Californians remain on flood watch as more heavy rainfall, wind and snow are headed their way. At least 19 people have died in the storms, which have been ongoing since December. US weather officials say back-to-back storms mean the ground is saturated and cannot absorb any new rainfall, a phenomenon many Aussie communities are familiar with… Several regions have recently received more than a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours, including Santa Barbara, which saw its wettest day on record with 107mm. California Governor Gavin Newsom says while the whole state is suffering, those in Monterey County and Merced County in the agricultural Central Valley are “disproportionately taking the brunt” of the wild conditions. President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster, giving locals access to federal aid. Some pics are here.

Weather World News

At the shops…

Warning: there will be a bunch of important economic data coming at us this year as policymakers brace for a downturn. To keep you limber, the latest results from a couple of retailers are informative, starting with Super Retail Group – the mob that owns Rebel Sport, Supercheap Auto and BCF (the outdoorsy shop with the Aussiest ads on telly…). Yesterday, it told investors that its profit for July-December will probably be 20% higher than expected, falling over the $200 million mark. What the company and analysts say is it shows that Aussies aren’t cutting back their spending, despite interest rate hikes. They also say that might continue into this year if prices start to fall with China opening up. But that’s not a theory that covers everyone… Baby Bunting, the nation’s biggest seller of prams and cots, is predicting a 59% slump in half-year profits on last year. It says it has lowered prices while incurring higher supply chain costs. Retail, it’s a tricky business…

Australian News Business & Finance

A rolling maul at the top of rugby

If you’re a rugby fan, the shockwaves you felt yesterday morning were from the surprise announcement that national coach Dave Rennie is gawn, effective immediately. Boom… And Eddie Jones – the Aussie-born coach of England’s national team/former Wallabies coach from 2001-05 – has been appointed in his place. Double boom… Not content with only coaching the blokes, Jones will also “oversee the Wallaroos program as Rugby Australia (RA) pushes forward towards a professional future for the Women’s XVs game”. A new Aussie coach was expected, with Rennie securing 5 wins from 14 Test matches in 2022 (note: Jones’ recent record is just a smidge better, with England winning 5 of 12 Tests last year…) – but conventional wisdom was that would happen after the World Cup in France in September and October. RA chairman Hamish McLennan said Jones’ return is “a major coup”. Rennie – a Kiwi rugby legend – has ruled out being Jones’ assistant coach.

Australian News Sport

Causing a stir at the Critics’ Choice Awards

As Hollywood continues to enjoy a post-COVID return to in-person awards ceremonies, at the Critics Choice Awards, Aussie Cate Blanchett got riled up in her acceptance speech… As she took out the gong for best actress for Tár, she described competition within the industry as a “patriarchal pyramid” that promotes a “televised horse race”. It was an interesting moment in an otherwise straightforward event, which came a week after she skipped the Golden Globes, where she also won for the same performance. Other big winners included a teary-eyed Brendan Fraser as best actor for The Whale… Squiz fave Jennifer Coolidge won again for her iconic role in The White Lotus, while Oscars favourite Everything Everywhere All at Once scooped 4 awards… It’s really all about the red carpet, though, and we’re already working on recreating Natasha Lyonne’s makeup while wondering if we should be ripping up grandma’s curtains a la Elle Fanning…

Entertainment

Apropos of nothing

Native Alaskan residents who recently went through damaging storms have been left scratching their heads after the US Government distributed info that was ‘translated’ into native languages. One read: “Your husband is a polar bear, skinny”, which doesn’t help much…

If trying to Marie-Kondo your home has proven a bridge too far, the good news is that ‘cluttercore’ is in vogue… The interior design trend focuses on creating a colourful, organised mess that we’re here for – just keep this Clutter Image Rating Scale (scroll down to find the printable PDF…) in mind…

And who cares about “dry January”? Certainly not Hollywood A-Lister Tom Hanks, who’s spruiking ‘Diet Cokagne’ – a mix of Diet Coke and champagne… That tests the theory not to knock it ’til you try it…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Releases – Agricultural Commodities, 2021-22; Overseas Arrivals and Departures, November

International Mentoring Day

Birthdays for Aussie netball legend Liz Ellis (1973), actor Jim Carrey (1962) and former First Lady Michelle Obama (1964)

It’s the anniversary of the start of the 13-year-long prohibition on alcohol in the US (1920)

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.