Squiz Today / 09 March 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 9 March


“She’s leggy at the back end, a slopey rump - things that are very much her.”

It’s ok, sculptor Tanya Bartlett is talking about her difficulty sculpting a horse. Not just any horse, but world-beater Winx, who has been immortalised in bronze outside Sydney Rosehill Gardens - bad bum and all…


The sad story of a young family who saved themselves from the unbearable pressure of Royal life, or a declaration of war against ‘The Firm’. There was something for critics and supporters of the Sussexes in their interview with Oprah Winfrey. Regardless of your viewpoint, some shocking disclosures - and some pleasant ones too - came out of the 2-hour access-all-areas tell-all.

Real deep… We’ll summarise into 3 Hs…

• The couple is hurt. And it started with the belief that the Royal family failed to protect them. Worse, Meghan's said she found "that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family.” Case in point: she says it was Kate who made her cry before her wedding - not the other way around, as was widely reported. She says she hit rock bottom when Harry was asked by one unnamed family member about "how dark" their son's skin might be. Racism towards Meghan from the UK press was one of the main reasons the family left the UK, they said.

• Hard times followed. Meghan’s mental health deteriorated to a point where she had “very, very clear” thoughts of taking her own life. After they left, Harry said his family cut him off financially. Hence the Netflix and Spotify deals. He’s working on restoring his relationship with his father Charles, who stopped returning calls or emails as they worked out their exit. As for his relationship with his brother William, Harry says they’re "different paths" but there’s love there.

• But in their relationship, they’re happy. Their secret was they were married 3 days before the public spectacle - “just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.” And now, they are set to have a baby girl in the coming months. Harry said “to have a boy and then a girl, what more can you ask for. We’ve got our family -the four of us and our two dogs.” And traditionalists will be happy to know he talks to Queen Elizabeth - a lot. "My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and a good understanding," Harry said.

Reports say the reaction has been one of “universal shock” in the UK, and the pressure is on Buckingham Palace to respond. One thing that Labour MPs have noted is that the Royals were quick to announce an investigation into Meghan’s alleged bullying claims last week, and so claims of racism towards her should also be dealt with just as quickly. PM Boris Johnson says he’s made a habit of staying out of Royal issues, and he isn’t about to change that approach… The UK newspapers, which labelled by Harry as “bigotted” are yet to publish their infamous front pages since the interview aired. But in the United States, sympathy for the couple poured in after the interview. As for the real star of the show, Tina Brown, a former Vanity Fair editor and a biographer of Princess Diana, said we need to “bow down to the real queen here - Oprah.”

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With the JobKeeper wage subsidy ending at the end of the month, Australia’s economy might not receive the jolt some anticipated, new research published in The Australian (paywall) says this morning. Since April, the Commonwealth Bank reckons households have saved $120 billion more than what they normally would after overseas travel and social activities weren’t possible. And it’s that “war chest” that’s driving property price hikes, retail spending increasing confidence, they say. Despite the pep in our economic step, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says he is contemplating ongoing targeted financial support in sectors like tourism, aviation, and for employers to put on trainees. PM Scott Morrison is addressing the Financial Review’s Business summit this morning where he’s expected to outline some of the details for the economy’s “the post-emergency phase”.


A series of explosions in the Equatorial Guinea city of Bata has killed at least 20 people and injured more than 600. President Teodoro Obiang said Sunday’s blasts, which damaged almost all of the buildings in the Central African city, were caused by the negligent storing of dynamite at the military base. Obiang, who has ruled the country for almost 42 years, said it likely started with farmers burning off surrounding fields. His flashy vice-presidential son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who has responsibility for defence and security, was spotted inspecting the scene of the blasts. State television showed a massive plume of smoke above the site of the explosions - thought to be from at least 5 blasts - and crowds fleeing the area. Workers were treating the injured at the site of the blast and in medical facilities, but officials fear more people are buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings.


With America set to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by 1 May, the time crunch to reduce violence between the Taliban and Afghan Government and work out ongoing governmental arrangements is on. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has written to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to suggest a "transitional peace government" to help the nation through the turbulence, followed by national elections. Experts say it's part of an effort to get the government and the Taliban to progress talks. The Trump administration did a deal with the Taliban in February 2020 that would see US troops leave Afghanistan, but making arrangements have been hard with significant levels of distrust between the two sides.


Face coverings worn by some Islamic women will be outlawed in Switzerland after voters narrowly supported the move in a referendum with 51.2% of the vote yesterday. The so-called ‘burqa ban’ has been implemented in a handful of countries across Europe and Africa, and in China. While the Swiss campaign didn’t mention Islam and was said to be about the stopping of violent protestors from protecting their identities, the country’s right-wing Swiss People’s Party said it was to ‘stop extremism’. The country’s leading Islamic group, the Central Council of Muslims, said it was "a dark day" for Swiss Muslims and that it would challenge the decision in court. However, one Muslims leader said while the motivation was likely Islamophobia, he supported the move to "emancipate Muslim women". Research showed that almost no women living in Switzerland wear the full face covering burqa or niqab.


Nearly one-fifth of food that is produced globally ends up in landfill, a new report published by the United Nations has revealed. It estimated that 17% of food - amounting to 1.03 billion tonnes - is wasted every year. About 60% comes from households, while restaurants and retailers account for 26% and 13%, respectively. And when taking into account farming and supply chain waste estimates, researchers say the total percentage of food lost could be as high as a third. While food waste is often considered to be a problem for developed nations, the report found levels were similar across all nations. Here in Oz, there are calls for councils to put small food bins in every household so food scraps can be turned into compost/soil fertiliser.


Her name might be Wisdom, but this Laysan Albatross needs her head read... Already thought to be the oldest wild bird in the world, the 70yo has hatched a chick.

The cold weather in northern Europe has seen large flocks of starlings form some seriously impressive formations over the UK. That activity is called a murmuration, which is what we thought our elderly neighbour did…

And done with being an early bird is Sunrise host Sam Armytage. The keen Squizer announced on air yesterday morning that she’s taking a break after the low of losing her mum late last year, and the high of getting married in the new year. Time to ”calm things down”, she said. Others in the running to catch the morning TV worm are already being canvassed.


8.30am (AEDT) - PM Scott Morrison's opening keynote address - AFR Business Forum, Sydney

12.30pm (AEDT) - Former PM Kevin Rudd to address the National Press Club - Canberra

7pm (AEDT) - Kylie Moore-Gilbert, the Aussie academic who was imprisoned in Iran, speaks to Melissa Doyle - Sky News

Anniversary of:
• the launch of the Barbie doll at the American Toy Fair in New York (1959)
• Soviet flight Sputnik 9 returning from orbit with a dog, frogs and a guinea pig (1961)
• the deaths rapper The Notorious BIG (1994)
• NASA Space Shuttle Discovery making its final landing after 39 flights (2011)

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