Squiz Today / 08 August 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 8 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

Get on top of your Tuesday.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Get your best snow dancing shoes on, everyone.”

It’s been a patchy old ski season so far, leaving snow bunnies frustrated. The unusually warm and dry July means not a lot of snow has been falling in the Aussie Alps, so they’re crossing their fingers for some cold fronts to hit us in August. Brrr… 

Matildas do or die

The Matildas have done it again… Our national women’s football team beat Denmark 2-0 in front of a Sydney crowd of +75,000 last night, securing a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. It’s the fourth time we’ve made it this far in the tournament, having done it before in 2007, 2011 and 2015. We haven’t ever progressed to the semis, but after last night’s commanding performance, we can dream, right?

The first goal came 30 minutes into the first half with a perfectly weighted pass from Mary Fowler, allowing Caitlin Foord to drive home a nutmeg (sorry, we’ve been waiting to use that word – it’s when you shoot through the goalie’s legs). Goal No 2 came in the second half – and it was just as delicious. It saw Hayley Raso claim her third for the tournament. All of this happened before Our Sam even got out of her trackie dacks… She ran on with 11 minutes left in the game for the first time in this World Cup with her huge smile and was met by loud cheers. Someone else we’d also like to think was smiling for the Aussie win was Our Mary… The Crown Princess of Denmark now has no reason not to cheer for Australia

On the Matildas’ side of the draw, we’ll likely play France (if they get past Morocco tonight) in the quarter-final in Brissie on Saturday arvo. And whoever wins that is looking down the barrel of a semi-final against England – unless Jamaica/Colombia (who also play tonight) cause a massive upset. And on the other side of the draw, there are some absolute belters coming up… Giant killers Sweden (who defeated #1 ranked USA on Sunday) are taking on red-hot Japan in one quarter-final. They’ll meet the winner of the bookies’ favourite, Spain v Netherlands, in the first semi on Tuesday next week. Long story short, after tomorrow night, there will be 8 teams left; after Saturday, there will be 4, and a winner will be declared the weekend after that…

Australian News Sport

Squiz the Rest

Police probe family luncheon deaths

A lunch that has left 3 people dead in Victoria’s Gippsland region has investigators seeking answers. Sisters Heather Wilkinson (66yo) and Gail Patterson (70yo) died on Friday, and Don Patterson (70yo) died on Saturday while Wilkinson’s husband Ian (the local Baptist Church pastor) remains in hospital. All had eaten a meal that authorities believe included the highly-toxic death cap mushrooms, but that’s yet to be confirmed. Reports say the food was served to them by the daughter-in-law of one of the couples – and it’s unclear if she ate the same meal. Her name is Erin Patterson, and she appeared in a brief TV interview last night, saying she’s “devastated that they’re gone” but “didn’t do anything”. She was also interviewed by police on Saturday. Yesterday, Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said that although the homicide squad is investigating, it “doesn’t automatically mean that the deaths are suspicious”. “At this point in time, the deaths are unexplained,” he said.

Australian News

A reckoning for the ACT’s legal system

The report from the Sofronoff Inquiry into the prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann has been released, and, as previewed last week, the findings are not pretty for the ACT’s former chief prosecutor Shane Drumgold. The main findings of misconduct against Drumgold over his actions in taking up former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ allegations against Lehrmann were already out there, and yesterday didn’t cast a new light on that… What is new is the ACT Government has ruled out reviewing 18 criminal cases led by Drumgold since taking the job in 2019. Some commentators argued that was necessary because of the scathing assessment of his work. But the government is getting advice on whether Sofronoff’s leak of the report to 2 media outlets breached the law… The government says it “interfered with the due process that should have been afforded to impacted parties”, and ACT leader Andrew Barr called it a “significant lapse of judgement”. Still, the report’s recommendations have been accepted.

AusPol Australian News

Niger on the brink

The West African nation of Niger is on edge with its neighbours threatening war depending on how the military coup plays out. A regional bloc of 15 nations, including Nigeria and Ghana, says it could intervene if the coup leaders don’t hand back power to the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum. Other neighbours – including Burkina Faso and Mali – have said they’d treat any outside military intervention as “a declaration of war” against them. Niger’s former colonial power France and the European Union have already suspended aid to the country, but the US is still trying to negotiate with coup leaders. The West is worried the military wants to forge closer ties with Russia, forcing French and US troops out of the country. The coup leaders have closed the airspace over Niger to thwart foreign players.

World News

Seeking a community connection

It’s the first-ever Loneliness Awareness Week in Oz, and a new report suggests social disconnection is a bigger issue than many realise. The Ending Loneliness Together survey talked to 4,000 Aussies aged between 18-92yo. A third of the respondents reported feeling lonely, and 1 in 6 said they felt severely lonely. Here’s a good breakdown by age group, but young people between 18-24yo had the highest levels of often/always feeling lonely (38%), followed by the 45-54yo cohort (36%). In a bit of a surprise, senior Aussies (+75yos) were the least lonely (13%). Those numbers have researchers pointing to a need for more community connection. Survey lead Michelle Lim says feeling “like you can go to your neighbours for help, feeling that your neighbourhood is safe and that you can rely on other people” is linked to less loneliness. Time to knock on your neighbour’s door for a cup of flour…

Australian News Health

My post is bigger than yours

The world’s wealthiest/wackiest cage match may well be on, with tech billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg taking to their social media platforms to diss the other. The barbs began with Musk tweeting (xeeting?) about lifting weights at work to prepare for the fight. On Threads, Zuckerberg responded by saying he’s suggested 26 August, but: “[Musk] hasn’t confirmed. Not holding my breath.” Musk then said the fight would be “live-streamed on X”, his social media platform, with proceeds going to charity. Zuck’s retort was that they should “use a more reliable platform that can actually raise money”. There’s not much more to add, except that some observers say this thing might actually happen, but opinions differ on whether it would be the peak or the nadir of culture. Consensus is, though, that any fight would get eyeballs

Quirky News Technology World News

Apropos of nothing

Barbie has been out for 3 weeks and has taken US$1 billion in box office revenue. Warner Bros called the “Barbillion” marker a “watershed moment”. It makes director Greta Gerwig the first solo female director to hit the milestone.

On the topic of big numbers, scientists have determined there are trillions (aka 1,000,000,000,000s) of free-floating planets in our Milky Way galaxy. By ‘free-floating’, they mean planets not orbiting around a host star, like Earth does the sun. Perhaps to make them sound less lonely, the official name for these bandit planets is “rogues”.

Roaming untethered around the cargo hold of a passenger flight was a bear, which “escaped the crate specified for its shipment”. The bear was legally on the flight between Baghdad and Dubai and had to be sedated upon arrival. Didn’t it see the seatbelt sign?

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator, June

Company Results – James Hardie

Premiere of Season 3 of Only Murders in the Building – Disney+

International Cat Day

Birthdays for John Laws (1935), Dustin Hoffman (1937), Roger Federer (1981), Beatrice, Princess of York (1988), and Shawn Mendes (1998)

Anniversary of:
• the invention of Corn Flakes by William Kellogg (1898)
• the US, USSR, Britain and France signing Treaty of London, which set down procedures for the Nuremberg war trials of Nazi leaders (1945)
• the formation of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (1967)
• the death of Olivia Newton-John (2022)

Squiz the Day

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