Squiz Today / 02 August 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 2 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

Part of every good morning routine.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I would have thrown a tomato. I eat mostly vegan.”

Said Rotterdam resident Stefan Lewis of plans to ’egg’ Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s new superyacht. The 127-metre vessel has been built in the city, and there was an uproar over the prospect of the beloved Hef Bridge being dismantled so it could get to the ocean. Locals’ motto is “be average”, so no, they weren’t happy to help the billionaire out…

Moving on up…

Interest rates are set to rise again today after the Reserve Bank board meets this morning. With inflation continuing to climb and a new prediction from Treasurer Jim Chalmers that it will peak at 7.75% by the end of the year, today’s increase won’t be the last, experts say. If official rates go up by the anticipated 0.5% to 1.85% today, “it’s possible there may soon be no lenders with variable rates under 3%,” said RateCity.com.au’s Sally Tindall. “This is a stark change from just 12 months ago when 113 lenders were offering variable rates under 3%.” And even though the hikes started 3 months ago and the current rate remains relatively low, it’s already having a big effect on the property market.

Yeah. Home prices in some cities are falling faster than they have in decades as fewer buyers are willing or able to enter the market given the rate rises. Looking at July, analysts CoreLogic’s latest report says the worst-affected market was Sydney where prices were down 2.2% – the city’s sharpest decline in more than 30 years. AMP Capital economist Dr Shane Oliver is one expert who says it’s worrying. “The previous occasions where it came on this rapidly and early on was during the mid-80s before a severe recession and during the GFC, but the RBA were able to turn it around quickly by cutting rates. But there’s not much relief on the horizon just yet, so there’s a high risk of further acceleration in price declines as the possibility of a rate cut is more than a year away.”

Many Aussies are seeing their cost of living increase significantly with rising interest rates. Since rates started climbing in May, someone with a $500,000 loan has had to find an extra $472, and there’s likely to be more where that came from because official rates are expected to more than double. But it’s not just mortgage-holders feeling the squeeze – renters also face hikes in many regions. You only have to go to the shops for food or fill up your tank to know that grocery and petrol costs are up. Gas prices are increasing due to supply issues. It’s enough to make you want to pack it in and head to the pub. Except, oh no

Australian News Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Subs deal under scrutiny

Indonesia is worried that sharing nuclear submarine technologies will lead to the development of more nuclear weapons. In its submission to a United Nations review, our neighbour didn’t name us or our government’s plans to develop nuclear-powered subs under the AUKUS pact, but it adds to China’s concerns about the deal. The AUKUS agreement is expected to come under scrutiny during a month-long UN conference that started in New York overnight, covering progress on implementing the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The agreement aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and has been ratified by 191 signatories since it came into effect as the Cold War raged. The treaty has been criticised for a loophole that allows non-nuclear countries like Oz to access nuclear technology, but AUKUS crossed their hearts on upholding international law. #SquizShortcut

AusPol Australian News

Russia expands its naval ambitions

Continuing with the nautical theme… Russia has a new naval doctrine that sets out its desire to become a “great maritime power” and “defend its national interests in the world’s oceans”. Russia’s navy is set to foster stronger ties with counterparts in India, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. And it will boost its presence in the Arctic and Black Seas. The doctrine also highlights “the strategic policy of the USA to dominate the world’s oceans” as Russia’s main threat and pledged to use military force in the oceans if other avenues are exhausted. In a speech on Russia’s Navy Day yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated he’s prepared to make good on that pledge with powerful Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles being delivered to Russia’s naval ships within months.

World News

China and the Solomons get cosy again

Australia has been urged to intervene in the proposed sale of a Solomon Islands port and WWII airstrip to a Chinese state-owned company. To go back a step, the security agreement signed by the 2 nations raised concerns about China’s ambitions to expand its influence in the Pacific region. And to soothe jangled regional nerves, both countries said Beijing will not set up a permanent military presence there. But those fears are rising following a new investigation by ABC’s Four Corners that has revealed China has restarted negotiations to secure several strategic assets in the Solomons. It’s also claimed that China provided a slush fund to keep the Solomons’ pro-China PM Manasseh Sogavare in power. Nearly $3 million from that fund was allegedly distributed to MPs loyal to Sogavare – something critics have condemned as “corruption”.

World News

Going back in time

If you’ve felt like the days are shorter than usual – and yes, we are in the middle of winter – but the clocks are slightly out on time. On 29 June, Earth had its shortest day on record after completing a full rotation in 1.59 milliseconds less than its usual 24 hours. Basically, scientists reckon Earth’s average rotational speed decreases over time, which has seen 27 ‘leap seconds’ – or 1-second adjustments – added to the clock since the 1970s. But in recent years, the phenomenon has reversed, and that could see clocks forced to turn back to compensate. Scientists aren’t 100% sure what’s causing it, but some attribute it to the ‘Chandler Wobble’, which is when things like the tides, the moon and even climate change affect the speed our Earth rotates on its axis. While a few milliseconds doesn’t sound like much, it can throw satellites and navigational systems out of whack. Sadly, it doesn’t account for why we’re perennially 5 minutes late for everything…

Environment & Science

Best shows of the last 25 years

And look, it’s not all the shows… This poll has a particular lens applied because it’s from the UK-based publication Radio Times. That means it’s loaded with TV gems that don’t necessarily translate to North America’s big/brash audiences but land quite nicely here in Australia. So to get on with it…. Top of the list is Call the Midwife, which is about a group of, umm, midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950s. It was a clear winner with 25% of the vote. Rounding out the top spots are Doctor Who, Line of Duty, and Sherlock – and then it’s a bit more international with Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Not on the list – Antiques Roadshow. Call a Royal Commission…


Apropos of Nothing

Former Wiggle Emma Watkins has popped up as ‘Emma Memma’ – a new kids character that sees her trade a yellow skivvy for bright orange, pink shirt, flowers and butterflies. And as her promo vid shows, she’s all about Auslan and dance – something she’s said is her passion.

Australia has a new deepest known cave – it was discovered by the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers and has been named ‘Delta Variant’ in honour of the times. And there are sections called ‘Test Station Queue’, ‘Super Spreader’, ‘Daily Cases’ and ‘Freedom Day’.

And there’s a new trendy pizza topping to get exercised about – pickles. “If you took this to your nonna in Sicily, she would spit in your face,” said the Washington DC-based creator of one example. “But, like, try it and tell me it’s not tasty.” Hmm…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

2.30pm (AEST) – The Reserve Bank announced its decision on interest rates

6.00pm (AEST) – Commonwealth Games – Women’s Hockey – Australia v New Zealand – Birmingham

9.00pm (AEST) – Commonwealth Games – Netball – Australia v Wales- Birmingham

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr hands down the territory’s 2022-23 Budget

A judgment is expected to be handed down on mining magnate Clive Palmer’s defamation trial against WA Premier Mark McGowan – Melbourne

Company Results – Uber

ABS Data Release – Building Approvals, June; Lending Indicators, June

Birthdays for author Isabel Allende (1942), actor Sam Worthington (1976), and pop star Charli XCX (1992)

Anniversary of:
• the formal signing of the US Declaration of Independence (1776)
• The Beatles performing their first gig at Liverpool’s Cavern Club (1961)
• rubber bullets being used for the first time in Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’ (1970)
• Ed Sheeran’s Divide tour becoming the most attended and highest-grossing tour of all time, overtaking U2 (2019)

4.05am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games – Athletics – Women’s Pole Vault Final – Birmingham

From 4.43am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games – Swimming Finals – Watch Aussie Emma McKeon attempt to add to her Olympics gold in the 100m freestyle final and the mixed 4x100m medley relay final, as well as Ariarne Titmus in the 800m freestyle final

5.30am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games – Basketball – Men’s & Women’s 3×3 Final – Birmingham

Squiz the Day

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