Squiz Today / 06 November 2018

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 6 November


“The reality is that I’m really chubby now, really hairy... When I made it to dry land I was just relieved I didn’t fully fall over.”

Said Ross Edgley, the ultra-marathon swimmer who swam for 12 hours a day, every day, for 157 days to become the first person to complete a lap of Great Britain. Eating 10,000-15,000 calories a day, and suffering something called ‘salt mouth’ (spoiler alert: parts of his tongue dropped off), there’s got to be an easier way to see the sights…


Champagne – check. BBQ chook and coleslaw – check. Fancy hat and shoes you’ll kick off by 4pm – check. It's the first Tuesday in November, and that means one thing – voting in the US. Actually, that’s only every second year. The event we’re talking about is in Melbourne… And it’s a horse race… Oh c’mon, it’s the Melbourne Cup. Sheesh…

Absolutely none. But here’s some fodder that will get you through any awkward office party conversation:

• The favourite - Yucatan (pronounced Yoo-ka-tan). Part owned by six-time Cup winner/billionaire Lloyd Williams, the Irish horse is one of the best bred in the field, which means he's definitely not from South Australia… Your talking point: "I like Yucatan's form, but he drew a bad barrier, and I'm just not sure he can go the distance."

• The streaker – Magic Circle. The English gelding has some staying form, which means he has a good chance of performing at the Cup’s long distance. Your talking point: “I hope that billionaire bloke keeps his clothes on…”

• The roughie – Rostropovich. Trained by the same bloke as Yucatan (Aiden O’Brien), this one’s a Colin Farrell (ie an Irish stallion). The number crunchers say he’s the one. Your talking point: “What’s a roughie?”

If you're talking to someone you want to impress, try these on for size:

Starting in 1861 in front of a crowd of 4,000 people, the first Cup was won by Archer. By 1880, the crowd was 100,000 strong for the Cup – impressive given Melbourne’s population was just 290,000.

• Trainer Bart Cummings is the king of the Cup. He won a record 12 Melbourne Cups between 1965 and 2008.

• And two questions that always come up: the prize money is $7.3 million in total with $4 million going to the winner. And last year’s winner was Rekindling.

You’re welcome.


A 33yo man died in Mackay Hospital last night from a shark mauling in the Whitsundays’ Cid Harbour – the same location where Tassie woman Justine Barwick and Melbourne schoolgirl Hannah Papps were attacked within 24 hours of each other a couple of months ago. Reports say the man sustained injuries to his legs and left wrist, and that he suffered massive blood loss. Authorities and locals noted in September that the sharky area was a swimming/diving no-go-zone.

As part of a broader push to recognise Aussie veterans, Virgin Airlines on Sunday committed to giving them US-style acknowledgement on planes and priority boarding. “Tokenistic” was the response from Neil James of the Australian Defence Association, adding that the Americanism would probably not go down well in Oz. By yesterday arvo, Virgin said it was pausing the changes to consult with veterans. Earlier Qantas said it would not follow Virgin because it valued the contribution many of its passengers made for the betterment of our country.

Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday promised to cut import tariffs and advocated for an open global economy. Xi’s pledge (delivered at the Shanghai trade fair that our Trade Minister Simon Birmingham is attending) is a counterpoint to his country’s bruising trade war with America featuring tit-for-tat tariff hikes on the other’s imports. Which, but the way, Xi said China could weather a prolonged battle on that front. He also said a “winner-takes-all” strategy is a “dead end”. US President Donald Trump’s ears were burning…

And while we have you, it was announced yesterday that Foreign Minister Marise Payne will travel to Beijing tomorrow for a meeting with her counterpart. Former minister Julie Bishop hadn’t been for more than two years.

“Courageous, generous and very brave” is how Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi described their father, Jamal, to CNN. Giving their first interview since the writer’s disappearance, the siblings appealed for the return of their father’s remains so he could be buried in Saudi Arabia. Salah said his handshake with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (the man many have speculated commissioned the killing) and King Salman has been over-analysed. "The King has stressed that everybody involved will be brought to justice. And I have faith in that,” he said.

To younger Australians, Mark Taylor's a guy on the telly who flogs air-conditioners. To anyone over 40yo, he’s Tubby, the former captain of the national cricket team. After chairman David Peever stepped down as chairman of the sport’s governing body last week, Taylor’s move up to the chairman’s role was as anticipated as a Spice Girls reunion. But yesterday Taylor said no, he's worn out, so he's quit the board. Another wicket down.

Her lifetime achievements include a lot of speed record and daredevil antics. We’re talking about reaching speeds of 600km/h in a rocket car and diving 40 metres off the Los Angeles Hilton while filming stunts for Wonder Woman. But it was O’Neil’s determination to live that’s most impressive. She lost her hearing at 5-months-old when she simultaneously contracted mumps, measles and smallpox. She missed out on diving for her country at the Tokyo Olympics after she contracted spinal meningitis. And she had cancer in her 20s. That's aside from surviving some crazy stunts… O’Neil died of pneumonia at 72yo. What a woman.


2.30pm (AEDT) - Reserve Bank decision on interest rates

3.00pm - The race that stops the nation - Melbourne Cup

US Midterm Election

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 

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