Squiz Today / 19 April 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 19 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting your news week started. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

16 / 27
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12 / 20
11 / 26
11 / 18
25 / 35
10 / 21

Squiz Sayings

“A tremendous team effort with a little help from the Easter Sunday rising tide in the Chesapeake Bay.” 

Said William Doyle from the Maryland Port Administration of the refloating of the Ever Forward yesterday proving yet again that Easter Sunday’s a good day for rising…

Mariupol set to fall to Russia

Russia has all but taken control of the southern city of Mariupol as it continues its attack on Ukraine. The port city has been under heavy bombardment since the start of the war and is still home to as many as 100,000 stranded civilians. Ukraine has vowed to fight to the end, and as Russia gears up for a big new offensive in the east, President Volodymyr Zelensky has refused to hand over any territory. “I don’t trust the Russian leadership,” he said. “It doesn’t mean if they are able to capture Donbas, they won’t come further towards Kyiv.”

Taking it would allow Russia to create a continuous land bridge from the Donbas in the east of Ukraine to Crimea, which is the peninsula it illegally annexed in 2014. And it’s a critical logistics hub. Ukraine rejected a Russian deadline to surrender the city on Sunday and is fighting on. Russia had called on local soldiers to comply with the order or risk being “eliminated”. The city is now encircled by the invading army, and local officials say Russian troops are now issuing movement passes. “Without which next week it will be impossible not only to move between districts of the city but also on the streets,” reports say. Russia hasn’t limited its attention to Mariupol – it has also targeted other cities in recent days, including Lviv in the west, Kharkiv in the northeast, and Mykolaiv near the southern port of Odessa on the Black Sea.

He wants weapons, and he wants them as soon as possible. That’s because Ukrainian troops are gearing up for Russia’s new offensive in the Donbas region, which is expected to be bloody and decisive. Zelensky also wants US President Joe Biden to come to Ukraine to see the situation for himself, but Biden said last week that he was working with his team to determine if he should dispatch a senior administration member. It comes after UK PM Boris Johnson travelled to Kyiv and pledged more money and equipment to the war effort. Zelensky has also invited French President Emmanuel Macron to visit, who is juggling his diplomatic role with a looming election. “Macron has been reluctant to use the word genocide, stating earlier that he was ‘not sure what an escalation of rhetoric serves that cause.’ He’ll come and see, and I’m sure he will understand,” Zelensky said yesterday.

World News

Squiz the Rest

We’re not lovin’ either of ’em

The prospect of a hung parliament is looming as the latest Newspoll in The Australian points to low support for both the Coalition and Labor. This morning’s result shows neither would cruise into power if the election was held last weekend, with their primary vote at 36% for Labor and 35% for the Coalition. That means they would require either strong preference flows in their favour or have to do deals with the minor parties and independent candidates to form a government. Yesterday’s Resolve Political Monitor in the Sydney Morning Herald/Age indicated a similar result (Coalition 35%, Labor 34%). It’s a vibe that’s not lost on the independents… Some high profile candidates say they would want action on climate change and an integrity commission as a starting point for negotiations. Meanwhile, Labor and leader Anthony Albanese’s tough first week on the campaign trail has shown up in the poll numbers. Newspoll says net satisfaction with his performance has fallen to -14% – the lowest since he became opposition leader.


Concerns for Aussies in Syrian camps

Australian women and children are being held in torturous conditions in Syrian detention camps, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council. It has written to our government listing 46 Aussie women and children who are being held in the camps in the country’s northeast and has called for their repatriation to Oz. They are the wives and children of Islamic State fighters, and they’re suffering complex physical/mental health conditions and malnutrition, and they are living in “dire housing and sanitary conditions,” the Council says. Evacuating them is the only “legal and humane response”, it says in a letter received in February and released yesterday. Officials say they cannot bust out Aussies from detention overseas, and Foreign Minister Marise Payne says it’s complicated because of the group’s connection to radical Islam. But Mat Tinkler from Save the Children says the government should act because “these are Australian citizens, these children are innocent.”

Australian News

COVID challenges China

The hard lockdown in Shanghai is entering its 4th week, and locals are concerned about getting enough food, medicine and other essentials to keep going. And it’s not just Shanghai in lockdown – last week, 87 of China’s 100 largest cities had imposed some form of restriction on movement as they fight off the worst outbreak of the pandemic. Still, the government remains committed to COVID-zero – a difficult thing to pull off in the era of Omicron, low vaccination rates across older age groups, and claims the locally-made vaccine is not as effective as others. As China tries to contain COVID, the equivalent of 40% of China’s economic output is under some form of lockdown. That’s reflected in the nation’s latest economic stats – domestic consumption is down, and there is slower than expected economic growth for the year’s first quarter. Analysts say resume the supply chain shortage brace position…

World News

Elon Musk turns Twitter troll

Last week, we talked about the SpaceX/Tesla boss becoming the biggest shareholder of social media giant Twitter. But while we were eating HXBs on the long weekend, Musk upped the ante and launched a US$43 billion takeover of the company. He says he wants to release the platform’s “extraordinary potential” to support free speech and democracy worldwide. Twitter: not so thrilled… It launched a defensive strategy known as a ‘poison pill’ that would enable other shareholders to dilute Musk’s 9% stake – long story short, it’s a sign Twitter’s board will fight hard to keep control away from Musk. There are a few hurdles Musk still needs to clear if he is to buy the company, including sourcing the funding, which may involve selling down his share in his electric car company Tesla. There’s never a dull moment when you’re the world’s richest man…


Shrouded in mystery

Teaming with the Easter theme, filmmaker David Rolfe is putting his money where his mouth is and has challenged the British Museum to back up its claim that the Shroud of Turin is a forgery. Some believe it’s the cloth that wrapped Christ’s body when he was said to have risen from the dead almost 2,000 years ago. Rolfe is releasing a new film that supports its authenticity – and he’s so convinced he’s launched a US$1 million challenge. “They said it was knocked up by a medieval conman, and I say: well, if he could do it, you must be able to do it as well.” If the British Museum can replicate the result, Rolfe will pay up. It was Rolfe who brought the relic to international attention when he made an award-winning doco on it in 1978. A decade later, Museum and Oxford Uni scientists ran some tests and said the cloth was from the 13th or 14th century. Now a converted Christian, Rolfe says the process was flawed. As for the Museum, it says talk to the Vatican, which owns the shroud…

World News

Apropos of Nothing

Ugh COVID, is there nothing you won’t take? NSW Country Women’s Association volunteers at the Sydney Royal Easter Show are thin on the ground, so there’ll be no scones for the last day of the show. Boo…

Enterprising locals in the town of Greenbushes in southwest Western Oz have turned ride-on lawn mowing into a sport. You can do that when you make your yard maintenance machine go 100km/hr…

There’s a battle brewing between space nerds… NASA wants to dust off an experiment from the 1970s to broadcast a message into the depths of space to see if there’s anyone out there. But Oxford scientists fear it might reveal Earth’s location and provoke an alien attack. Makes you reassess your interprofessional rivalries, eh?

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Julie Collins debate agriculture policy at the National Press Club – Canberra

SA Liberal opposition MPs vote on a new leader to replace Steven Marshall

Birthdays for actors Tim Curry (1946) and Kate Hudson (1979), and former tennis champ Maria Sharapova (1987)

Anniversary of:
• Captain James Cook’s first sighting of Australia (1770)
• the deaths of Lord Byron (1824) and Charles Darwin (1882)
• Charles Manson being sentenced to life in prison for the murder of actress Sharon Tate (1971)
• Advance Australia Fair being proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, and green and gold becoming the national colours (1984)
• the Oklahoma City bombing which killed 168 (1995)
• Fidel Castro resigning from the Communist Party of Cuba’s central committee after 45 years (2011)

Squiz the Day

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