Squiz Today / 31 October 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 31 October

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

SYD
12 / 19
MEL
9 / 14
BNE
21 / 31
ADL
7 / 19
PER
15 / 24
HBA
6 / 14
DRW
26 / 35
CBR
1 / 18

Squiz Sayings

“I think it’s the silliest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Said legendary horse trainer Gai Waterhouse after the Victorian Racing Club gave the green light for men to wear tailored shorts in the members’ areas at Flemington during Cup week. “Maybe I’m old-fashioned,” she added – or maybe she has good taste…

Fears for Gazans as Israeli troops advance

The Squiz

The Palestinian Red Crescent says Israeli officials have told the al-Quds hospital – a major facility which reports say is sheltering up to 14,000 displaced civilians and patients – to evacuate immediately “because it is going to be bombarded”. It’s located in Gaza City in the Palestinian territory’s north, and doctors say moving intensive care patients and babies in incubators is impossible given the damage to the hospital building and neighbourhood. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) says Hamas is using the hospital as cover and its repeated calls for Palestinian civilians to get out of the region. Yesterday, the IDF’s Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said “we are today emphasising that this is an urgent call”.

Is this part of Israel’s dismantling of Hamas?

Yep. And reports say images of Israeli tanks on the Gaza Strip’s western coast point to a plan to encircle Gaza City because it’s seen as the Palestinian terror group’s stronghold. As that’s happening, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan yesterday said that Israel must allow aid to get through to Gazan civilians because if they don’t, it could be a war crime. He added the court has “active investigations ongoing” over “crimes allegedly committed in Israel” on 7 October, as well as in Gaza and the West Bank going back to 2014. International human rights organisations are also putting a spotlight on child casualties. Save The Children International says more than 3,195 Gazan children have been killed in Gaza this month – that’s more than the annual number of children killed in conflict zones worldwide since 2019.

And what’s going on outside those borders?

In Russia, hundreds of people stormed the airport in Dagestan in search of a flight from Tel Aviv on Sunday night. It’s a predominantly Muslim area of southern Russia, and videos show the rioters holding Palestinian flags and signs as they run to the tarmac and attempt to break through a plane’s windows. Dagestan’s government has voiced support for Gaza but appealed to locals to end the protests as Israel urged Russia to protect “all Israeli citizens and all Jews”. And closer to home, our living former PMs (except one…) have issues a joint statement supporting Israel while calling for civilian deaths to be avoided. Paul Keating didn’t put his name to it.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Red alert in the Sunshine State

Queensland is currently in the thick of it with around 80 bushfires burning – and things are expected to get worse with strong winds and rising temperatures on the way. Over the past 10 days, more than 700 fires have burned, with the Darling Downs region particularly impacted – 46 homes have been torched, and 2 people have died. Authorities reckon some fires have been deliberately lit, and investigations are on the go. Locals have raised concerns about not getting enough info from officials about the fires, but there is help on the way – fire crews from Victoria will lend a hand later this week, and more interstate help has been requested. Extreme fire conditions are predicted for today in several areas across the state. It’s going to be a hot one, so please stay safe if you’re in those at-risk areas.

Australian News

Farmers ditch a dud deal

Australia has walked away from free trade talks with the European Union after it couldn’t secure better access for exports like beef and dairy. Negotiations have been crawling on since 2018, but they have now collapsed after Trade Minister Don Farrell couldn’t move things on at a meeting in Japan over the weekend. With its 445 million high-income consumers, the EU is a market we’re keen to crack, but each side is pointing the finger at the other… The EU is adamant Australia must give up naming rights to products like prosecco and parmesan, while Australia says the EU must lower its restrictions on a raft of agricultural exports. Farrell says he’s still hopeful there can be a deal “one day” – but that’s unlikely to be before EU elections next year.

AusPol

Readying for a regulatory rumble

Qantas is in a bit of a pickle with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over allegations it sold tickets on more than 8,000 ‘ghost flights’ that had already been cancelled. But Qantas isn’t taking it lying down… Yesterday, it launched its legal defence, saying that it can’t guarantee specific flight times due to the unpredictable nature of the aviation industry. And the company denied the ACCC’s allegations, stating it didn’t delay communication with passengers on those specific flights for commercial gain, with everyone getting a flight or a refund. Meanwhile, Qantas director/TV personality/advertising guru Todd Sampson is feeling the heat from shareholders who are unhappy with the airline’s performance. Reports say big investors are preparing to vote against his re-election to the board due to the airline’s damaged brand reputation. It’ll make for an action-packed shareholder meeting on Friday…

Business & Finance

Australia’s rugby bin fire

Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan is resisting calls to resign following Wallabies coach Eddie Jones’ dramatic departure. McLennan – a notable business dude in Oz – was the key negotiator in bringing Jones in to coach the Wallabies in January this year (aka months ahead of their disastrous World Cup campaign). And by ‘disastrous’, it’s the only time we’ve been bundled out in the pool stage… While he admits the code is at “rock bottom”, McLennan also reckons he’s the bloke to fix it “once and for all”. Names being mentioned to inherit the coaching role include Kiwi Ian Foster, as well as former Brumbies’ coaches Dan McKellar and Stephen Larkham. And in the wacky world that is Aussie rugby ATM, there are calls for former coach Michael Cheika to return. As for the man in the middle, Eddie Jones? He’s got a pretty colourful way of saying the mess is not his fault… 

Sport

Australia gets its spooky on

It wasn’t long ago that Halloween wasn’t a thing here, but there’s little doubt in 2023 that Australia is all aboard the ghost train… Aussie families are expected to spend a spooky $490 million on their celebrations this year – that’s up an impressive 14% on last year. Some places go more cray-cray than others – the small Victorian town of Warrnambool went all-in with a zombie parade on the weekend, while this homemade mega spider in Queensland’s Bundaberg is something to behold. And then there’s this bloke trying to turn his Sydney suburb of Stanmore into ‘Stabmore’… While Aussies will do Halloween tonight – with the whole timezone thing – we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what costumes trended in the US. Some of our fave 2023 recommendations from New York Mag include a Justin/Hailey Bieber combo and a puffer-clad Pope. And there’s even something for Succession fans – and it involves a blender…

Economy Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

Melbourne man Navishta Desilva has been handed 200 hours of community service after he stole $240,000 from work to get high-profile international cricketers to play in a suburban T20 tournament. He said he took the money because he didn’t want to “let anyone down” – except maybe his employer…

Speaking of sports-related ventures, former basketball great Magic Johnson has become the fourth athlete to become a billionaire, according to Forbes. He has interests in several sports teams, but it’s stakes in Starbucks, Burger King, 24 Hour Fitness and insurer EquiTrust where he’s made his dosh.

The South Gippsland Shire Council has been considering new local laws to limit grass growth to 30cm, which has drawn confusion from farmers. “People love to sensationalise things and jump on board with something to make it look like it’s more ridiculous than it is,” says Mayor Nathan Hersey. True dat…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.00am (AEDT) – Ballon d’Or winners announced – Paris

10.50am (AEDT) – Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Brad Jones delivers a speech at the Australian Finance Industry Association conference – Sydney

12.15pm (AEDT) – The Whakaari-White Island trial judgment is handed down

12.30pm (AEDT) – 2023 Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.30pm (AEDT) – Netball – South Africa Series Game 3 – Australia v South Africa – Hobart

Company shareholder meeting – Endeavour Group

AFR Super and Wealth Summit – Melbourne

Start of the International Mining and Resources Conference – Sydney (until 2 November)

World Cities Day

Trick or treat, it’s Halloween

Birthdays for Peter Jackson (1961), Vanilla Ice (1967), and Willow Smith (2000)

Anniversary of:
• Michelangelo completing the painting of The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel (1541)
• the last successful cavalry charge in history by the 4th Australian Light Horse during the Battle of Beersheba in WWI (1917)
• the completion of the Mount Rushmore Monument (1941)
• the birthdays of painter Jan Vermeer (1632) and poet John Keats (1795)
• the deaths of magician Harry Houdini (1926) and actors River Phoenix (1993) and Sean Connery (2020)

Australian News

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.