Squiz Today / 01 June 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 1 June

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you prepped for those ‘How is it June already?’ conversations.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

8 / 15
6 / 12
13 / 19
9 / 15
7 / 19
6 / 12
24 / 32
0 / 8

Squiz Sayings

“AI children will become widely available for a relatively small monthly fee.”

Said Catriona Campbell, a world authority on digital disruption, of what parenting for millions will be like in the metaverse. With 20% of couples forgoing having children because of concerns about overpopulation or cost, digital kids could be the way to go. She calls them the ‘Tamagotchi Generation’…

Hitting Russia where it hurts

In the harshest economic sanction levelled against Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February, the European Union will ban most imports of Russian oil. The deal stops Russian oil imports from arriving by sea by the end of the year, which will cut off more than 70% of the EU’s total imports. The move will cost Russian oil producers and President Vladimir Putin’s government billions of dollars a year, and it sees the EU severe another tie.

It does. But European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Germany and Poland have volunteered to wind down their oil pipeline imports from Russia by the end of this year. She says what’s left over “is around 10-11%,” referring to the Russian pipeline supplying oil to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The exemption for piped oil came after a protest from Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian oil. Note: no sanctions on the supply of Russian gas have been included yet, although nations must not give in to Russia’s demands to pay in roubles. That’s seen Russia cut supply to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, and now the Netherlands, and others are expecting to be cut off soon.

Well… Russia currently supplies 27% of the EU’s imported oil and 40% of its gas. So getting 27 nations to agree to sanctions that will damage their economies under the banner of standing up for Ukraine is an achievement. With EU nations paying Russia about $600 billion a year for those fuels, it’s no wonder European Council chief Charles Michel says yesterday’s deal cuts off a big whack of revenue that’s helping to fund Russia’s war machine. But it’s not easy for EU nations to implement because, like here in Oz, the cost of living crisis/massive energy price hikes are hurting citizens and economies wanting to bounce out of the pandemic. The move also poses questions for Australia with global gas and oil prices surging. Analysts say it means petrol prices will stay above $2/litre, and wholesale gas prices will continue to surge. Ai Group boss Innes Willox describes it as “apocalyptic” for business and consumers.

Australian News World News

Squiz the Rest

Albanese’s top team revealed

The key talking points on PM Anthony Albanese’s frontbench: it has the highest number of women in Cabinet with 10 of the 23, and the first Muslim ministers with the inclusion of Anne Aly and Ed Husic. And there are some surprises… Clare O’Neil is the Home Affairs minister – the Harvard graduate was Labor’s spokeswoman for Senior Australians in opposition. And Tanya Plibersek switches from Education to Environment/Water, and she loses the Women’s ministry in what’s being seen as a demotion, but she says she’s happy. Taking up Education is campaign star Jason Clare, and Katy Gallagher is the Minister for Women. They will be sworn in today. Capping off another big day for Team Albanese, the ABC has called Gilmore for Labor, taking its to 77 seats in the House of Reps.


Shanghai emerges from lockdown

After spending the past 2 months under strict lockdown orders that were meant to last 9 days, most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents can leave their homes from today. After COVID restrictions began to ease in Beijing on Sunday, Shanghai followed suit in low-risk areas after the city’s new infections fell to fewer than 100 a day. As the world learns to ‘live with COVID’ despite Omicron hanging around, many in Shanghai expressed rare anger with China’s ‘zero COVID’ policy that saw the city locked down in early April. The extended lockdown of China’s key manufacturing hub disrupted both local and global supply chains – and saw many residents lose income, struggle to find enough food and cope mentally with prolonged isolation. “We should have been free to begin with, so don’t expect me to be deeply grateful now they’ve given it back to us,” one local told the BBC.

World News

Another Star falls

Star Entertainment Group is “not suitable” to hold a licence for its Sydney casino, the NSW gaming regulator’s public inquiry into the company’s conduct heard yesterday. The inquiry began in March following allegations the company enabled money laundering, criminal infiltration and corporate coverup at its casinos in Sydney. Since then, boss Matt Bekier, chairman John O’Neill, and several top executives at Star have resigned – and there could be more to come. Counsel assisting the inquiry Naomi Sharp SC yesterday questioned whether the resignations would fix underlying cultural issues. The outcome of the inquiry is due to be released by the end of the month. And speaking of casino woes, Victoria’s new gaming regulator yesterday slapped Crown Resorts with a record $80 million fine for a scam involving Chinese bank cards at its Melbourne casino between 2012 and 2016. Neither casino operator is on a winning streak…

Business & Finance Crime

Roll ’em up

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has called on at least 17,500 Aussies to donate blood within the next week, with supplies set to drop to just 2 days’ worth. Reserves of A, O, and B blood types have plummeted as thousands of would-be donors stay home sick with the flu or COVID. Despite there being 15,500 appointments currently booked in over the next week, “a large number of these won’t result in a donation,” leaving thousands of appointment slots unfilled, chief blood gatherer Cath Stone said. Anyone eligible and healthy should roll up their sleeves, she says, but if you’re recovering from COVID, you should wait at least 7 days from when the symptoms dry up. A few weeks ago, the ban on people who lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 from donating was lifted – they will be able to roll up their sleeves from the end of the year.


Kylie’s fizz a corker

In further proof that the Brits love a celebrity drop, Aussie pop legend Kylie Minogue’s rosé prosecco has become the nation’s bestselling branded pink fizz. It’s netted $13.5 million in sales over the past year, outselling its nearest competitor by more than 30%. The former London loiterer got into the wine game during the 2020 lockdown, first launching a rosé in Tesco supermarkets before expanding her repertoire to pink fizz. Her medium-priced £12 (A$21) rosé prosecco was commended in last year’s Drinks Business Awards, and the brand’s UK distributor said it was “extraordinary” how well it had been received. Kylie reckons the brand’s success comes down to its focus on quality, which she says has seen it circumnavigate the “stigma around celebrity wines”. Judging by the achievements of talk show host Graham Norton, the late Warney, and many more, it’s clearly not an issue for many tipple lovers… 

Business & Finance Entertainment

Apropos of Nothing

According to Chinese researchers, a moderate daily intake of coffee can lead to a lower risk of death. But before you reach for your 2nd (3rd, 4th…) cup, one sceptic says that could be because daily coffee drinkers are generally more affluent.

Yes yes we know the experts say getting exercise anytime is good for us – but researchers say morning is best for women, and evenings work best for men. Hormones, biological clocks and sleep-wake cycles all play a role, according to a (small) US study.

Know someone who has gone out of their way to pick an unusual baby name? Researchers say it’s a phenomenon like “negative frequency-dependent selection”, where parents tap into a need to give their offspring something desirable because it’s less common. Which is probably what Elon Musk and Grimes were thinking

Health Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.30am (AEST) – Labor ministry sworn into government by Governor-General David Hurley – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, March

Opening arguments begin in Bill Cosby sexual assault trial – Los Angeles

Ban on single-use lightweight plastic bags comes into effect in NSW

Independence Day – Samoa

Start of Migraine Awareness Month

Global Day of Parents

Start of Pride Month

World Milk Day

Birthdays for actor Morgan Freeman (1937), model Heidi Klum (1973), singer Alanis Morissette (1974), and comedian/actor Amy Schumer (1981)

Anniversary of:
• Anne Boleyn being crowned Queen of England (1533)
• the birthday of Marilyn Monroe (1926)
• the launch of CNN, the world’s first 24-hour news channel (1980)
• the deaths of Helen Keller (1968) and Yves Saint Laurent (2008)

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.