Squiz Today / 05 April 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 5 April

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Good conversation days start here. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

15 / 25
13 / 20
19 / 30
10 / 23
14 / 27
13 / 17
26 / 33
7 / 23

Squiz Sayings

“Highly unlikely.”

Said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of the prospect the ibis becoming the mascot of the 2032 Brissie Olympic Games. The bin chicken is native to Australia, and is loved and hated in equal measure. You’d think a politician would appreciate its appeal…  

Zelensky accuses Russia of genocide

In the wake of Russia’s withdrawal from the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, evidence has emerged of the brutal murder of civilians, which President Volodymyr Zelensky described as a “genocide” against his people. He has visited the devastated city of Bucha overnight and says Ukrainians have been tortured and killed because they refused to submit to the Russians. Horrified world leaders are calling for harsher sanctions against Russia and President Vladimir Putin in response to the brutality.

Images show civilian bodies strewn across the streets of Bucha (a small city 55km northwest of Kyiv), and satellite images show a mass grave within the grounds of a church. Ukrainian officials say 410 bodies have been found in the area. The city’s coroner Serhiy Kaplishny has returned after fleeing the fighting and says some were Ukrainian soldiers, but most of the people found were in civilian clothes. Many had their hands tied behind their back with an execution-style gunshot wound to the head. Russian forces also suffered casualties after a column of tanks was attacked by a Ukrainian drone earlier in the war. When Russian reinforcements arrived days later, locals say that troops conducted house-to-house searches, taking food and money. 


The images of the death and destruction in Bucha have drawn a big response. US President Joe Biden once again called Putin a “war criminal” overnight, and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the images and accounts of what happened there as a “punch to the gut.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin and his backers would “feel the consequences” through a new round of sanctions extending to the country’s lucrative gas industry. Russia has rejected the reports of civilian deaths and requested a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the “blatant provocation by Ukrainian radicals.” The US scoffed at this suggestion, and UK PM Boris Johnson said “no denial or disinformation from the Kremlin can hide what we all know to be the truth – Putin is desperate, his invasion is failing.”

World News

Squiz the Rest

Wanted: A new Tassie Premier…

And if you’re in the race to hire, you’ll know how hard it is to source talent at the moment… Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein resigned yesterday afternoon, saying he wants to spend more time with his family out of the blue. He won an election less than a year ago, and the next election isn’t due until mid-2025, but he’s done with politics after 2 and a bit years in the state’s top job. Taking a cue from Ash Barty, he said he has “nothing left in the tank to give” after the challenges of COVID. “During this time, I have quite rightly focused on everyone else’s family. I now want to spend some time focusing on my own.” Just a couple of weeks ago, he spoke about his experience of a sexual assault while expressing support for abuse survivors. And he’s not a politician from central casting – he’s a tattooed Taekwondo black belt who likes hanging out with his pet goats, Alan and Teddy. So he has lots to get on with… The Liberals are expected to elect a new leader/Premier later this week.


Sri Lanka’s Cabinet resigns

As the political and economic crisis in the country deepens, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, are the last surviving members of the government after yesterday’s mass resignation. News that all 26 ministers had quit came as the nationwide curfew and social media ban were lifted yesterday. Crowds returned to the streets calling for the President’s resignation and were met by armed soldiers and police deploying tear gas and water cannons. The Rajapaksa brothers have a history of meeting resistance with violence, and Sri Lanka’s opposition parties have added their support to calls for a new government. The economic crisis in the country stems from massive debts and dwindling foreign reserves, which means there are severe fuel, medicine and food shortages across the country.

World News

The latest plan to save the world

The amount of carbon dioxide that the world has emitted in the last decade is the same amount left to us to limit global warming to 1.5C and stave off the worst effects of climate change – and we’re not on track to do that. In a new report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released overnight, the experts say even if all the policies to cut emissions that governments had announced by the end of 2020 were fully implemented, the world would still warm by 3.2C this century. It is still technically possible – and they argue economically viable – but (and it’s a big one…) we’ve got 3 years for emissions to a peak and then start coming down significantly via “rapid, deep and immediate” emissions cuts. Even then, scientists will need to find a way to suck greenhouse gases from the skies by 2050. UN Secretary-General António Guterres slammed high emitting countries who “are choking our planet”. On that note, Australia’s coal exports are expected to reach $110 billion this financial year – the first time it has hit triple digits.

Environment & Science

Prince Andrew’s new troubles

The long and winding road of controversy that is Prince Andrew has taken another turn. This week, he’s been asked to explain why he received £1 million (A$1.75 million) in payments linked to financier Selman Turk, who is before the UK’s courts on fraud charges. It’s complicated, as the financial arrangements of the rich and famous often are… But long story short, it’s landed in court because Turkish millionaire Nehebat Isbilen says Turk was her business adviser, and he “dishonestly misappropriated” £38 million of hers. That includes a “wedding gift” of £750,000 that was paid to Andrew for Princess Beatrice. The money has been returned, and reports say there’s no suggestion of wrongdoing on the royals’ part. Other payments and gifts to the Duke of York, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their daughters are also under the microscope. Add to that Andrew’s role supporting his mother during a church service for his father last week and Fergie’s now-deleted Insta posts about his military service in the Falklands, and he’s not fading from view…

World News

The Grammys go off

After last year’s toned-down affair, music’s night of nights was back with a bang and plenty of upsets. After facing off fan faves Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Lil Nas X, Jon Batiste won 5 Grammys, including Album of the Year for the jazzy We Are. Silk Sonic – the R&B duo composed of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak (the full stop is not a typo…) – claimed Record and Song of the Year for Leave The Door Open. Teen pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo claimed 3 awards (and promptly broke one…), including Best New Artist, and the recently tragedy-struck Foo Fighters also scored a trio of trophies. And Aussie act Rüfüs Du Sol took out Best Dance Recording for Alive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also dropped by with a pre-recorded address. And we haven’t forgotten – here’s the hectic red carpet gallery – surely Justin Bieber can afford a tailor…   


Apropos of Nothing

The Russian war on Ukraine will likely be the end of the dreams of some space innovators in the UK. A robot rover costing $1.5 billion investment and taking 15 years to build was set to head to Mars in September – the problem is the flight was to be launched using a Russian Proton rocket, so that’s been canned. Ah, the consequences…

Another UK robot will be in service when it surveys the underwater volcano that spectacularly blew its top in Tonga in January. The uncrewed boat will gather data to help researchers understand what was one of the biggest explosions in more than 100 years.

And the first-ever collected samples of moon dust from the Apollo 11 mission are up for grabs. They will be the first specimens to be legally sold, and you could need about $1.5 million for the auction in New York on 13 April.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers gives his post-Budget reply to the National Press Club – Canberra

7.00pm (AEST) – AFLW awards night – Melbourne

The Reserve Bank holds its monthly meeting ahead of an announcement on interest rates

International Day of Conscience

Birthdays for ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog (1950) and rapper/producer Pharrell Williams (1973)

Anniversary of:
• the marriage of American Indian princess Pocahontas and English colonist John Rolfe (1614)
• the birthdays of actors Bette Davis (1908) and Gregory Peck (1916)
• the death of rocker Kurt Cobain (1994)

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.