Squiz Today / 05 October 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 5 October

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Your news icebreaker. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

13 / 23
10 / 18
16 / 30
10 / 19
9 / 18
8 / 17
27 / 33
5 / 13

Squiz Sayings

“One of the most important iconic literary objects there is.”

Said auctioneer James Rylands of Poohsticks Bridge. It featured in AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books, and it was where the author spent time with his son Christopher Robin in the 1920s – and it could be yours for about $465,000. That’s a lot of hunny…

Picking up the pieces in NSW

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is set to become the state’s premier today following Gladys Berejiklian’s resignation on Friday after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) announced it was investigating her. It set in motion 2 more resignations: Deputy Premier and Nationals’ leader John Barilaro is leaving politics altogether, and Transport/Roads Minister Andrew Constance wants to have a go at the federal seat of Gilmore. Labor leader Chris Minns was scathing, saying the men should be focused on “your community, not your own career.” Perrottet will not get it all his own way today – he’ll need to beat Planning Minister Rob Stokes in the first contested leadership ballot the NSW Libs have had in almost 2 decades.

Her downfall stems from the secret relationship she had with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire. And at the centre of ICAC’s investigation are 2 grants awarded to organisations in Wagga while she was Treasurer. The first is $5.5 million to the clay target club (and Maguire is accused of trying to profit from the fit-out), and the 2nd is $20 million for Wagga’s conservatorium of music. She is accused of intervening to personally approve the funds, which she denies. ICAC also wants to know if she knew stuff about Maguire and failed to report it. The commission is notoriously slow to settle matters, and Berejiklian quit because she said the state requires certainty “during the challenging time for the pandemic.” In her future? She’s before the commission on 18 October. And she’s being touted for former PM Tony Abbott’s old seat.

Perrottet, a 39yo conservative who’s economically dry, has to get past Stokes today. They know each other well from their regular trot at lunchtime… But if Perrottet is victorious (as the numbers suggest), he will be supported by Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres as deputy. Ayres hails from Western Sydney, which is important in the geographical mix (and fun fact: he’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s partner). Lined up to be Treasurer is moderate dealmaker/Energy Minister Matt Kean. Whoever it is, they come in at a tricky time… COVID restrictions are set to ease with new daily cases still in the 600s, there will be 3 byelections to fight, and there’s a flagging economy to get firing again… Note: the NSW election will be held on 25 March 2023.


Squiz the Rest

Problems a’plenty for the prosperous

Another vast trove of leaked documents suggests rich and famous people continue to go to great lengths to hide their wealth and avoid paying taxes. To get a handle on the Pandora Papers, let’s start with the numbers. There’s much more information than was in similar leaks like the Panama Papers (2016) and the Paradise Papers (2017). It includes 6.4 million documents, almost 3 million images, more than a million emails and almost 500,000 spreadsheets. And the info reveals networks of “offshore” companies set up in tax haven countries like Panama, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands to hide money and assets. More than 600 journalists in 117 countries have been going over the leaked information for months, and what they found are some big names. And this time around, an Aussie accountant and 400 local clients are accused of being part of it. You can bet the Tax Office is on to that…

Business & Finance

China accused of being provocative

That accusation has been made by the US after China sent 93 military planes into Taiwan’s air defence zone in 5 incursions since Friday. Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang said “China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace”. And the US says the incursions are “destabilising, risks miscalculations and undermines regional peace and stability.” China is yet to comment, but it has previously said the flights are to protect its sovereignty over Taiwan and to discourage “collusion” between Taiwan and the US. It stems from China seeing Taiwan as a breakaway province that it wants to claim, whereas Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state. President Joe Biden has said the US would intervene if China invaded Taiwan, but officials have talked that down.

World News

Japan’s off to the polls

‘Tis the season for political disruption, and no sooner was Fumio Kishida confirmed as Japan’s 100th PM than he outlined plans to dissolve the parliament next week. That means general elections will be held at the end of the month. It’s a bit earlier than pundits expected: they thought he would take as much time as he could in office before pulling the election trigger to hold the poll by 28 November. Banking on a polling honeymoon, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will need a spike in favourable sentiment after outgoing PM Yoshihide Suga left a sour taste in the mouth of voters. The timing means Kishida will not attend the G20 meeting in Italy at the end of October, but he hopes to go to the COP26 climate summit in early November. Voters permitting…

World News

NRL goes off with a Brissie bang

Yesterday saw the Penrith Panthers emerge from their winners’ celebrations and the South Sydney Rabbitohs nurse their wounds after Sunday’s epic grand final – the first to be played outside Sydney. The Panthers won 14-12 in the hard-fought game at Brissie’s Suncorp Stadium where Nathan Cleary, son of Panthers’ coach Ivan Cleary, won the Clive Churchill Medal for his best-on-ground effort. Also winning was Panthers’ Brian To’o who made a nationally televised proposal (mind the blood…). An honourable mention after a rough night: broadcaster/legend Jonathan Thurston. Not only was his Welcome to Country cut perilously close, but he also forgot where to put his mike. Here’s to 2022, JT…


Twerking doesn’t pay off

For Wang Wang the panda, anyway… We saw this video of Adelaide Zoo’s hot-to-trot bear last week and thought gee that music was something we didn’t need to hear… And then we saw how utterly unimpressed his love interest Fu Ni looked and thought it would be a tough sell. And it’s now confirmed: the pair weren’t in the mood, which is a shame because they get 24-72 hours once a year to seal the deal. It’s the latest in a string of issues for the couple – they haven’t produced offspring since they arrived in 2009. Their carers say they have many breeding years ahead of them, and they remain optimistic.

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Rangers in Sydney’s National Parks are painting waratah blooms blue to deter visitors from picking them. In abundance after bushfires went through, plant savvy people say the flowers need to stay on the plants to release their seeds. That and it’s illegal to pick them…

Netflix hit Squid Game isn’t just upsetting viewers – South Korean internet service provider SK Broadband is suing the streamer because of a surge in traffic as the nation goes bananas for the series.

Also going off: the new Bond flick. No Time To Die took US$119 million on its opening weekend, making it the first Hollywood release in pandemic times to generate more than $100 million without China. Cinema-goers are shaken and stirred…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

2.30pm (AEDT) – Announcement on interest rates following today’s RBA board meeting

5.00pm (AEDT) – The New York Times’ ‘Controlling Britney Spears‘ doco premieres on Netflix

6.45pm (AEDT) – Nobel Prize for Physics announced

Hillsong leader Brian Houston to appear in court over charges of concealment of alleged child sex offences by his father in the 1970s – Sydney

ABS Data Releases – International Trade in Goods and Services, August

World Teachers Day

Birthdays for Pakistani PM Imran Khan (1952), and actors Guy Pearce (1967) and Kate Winslet (1975)

Anniversary of:
• the release of the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961); the first James Bond film Dr No (1962); The Beatles’ first record, Love Me Do (1962); Elton John’s album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973); and Stephenie Meyer’s novel Twilight (2005)
• the death of Steve Jobs (2011)
• the publication of the New York Times investigation into sexual harassment claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein (2017)

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.