Squiz Today / 03 November 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 2 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

17 / 26
9 / 14
19 / 32
12 / 18
10 / 23
13 / 16
29 / 34
11 / 19

Squiz Sayings

“My job is to investigate misinformation, and I’m setting up fake accounts. The irony is not lost on me.”

Said journalist Marianna Spring of her creation of 5 fake Americans to see how misinformation spreads on social media. She’s assuming their online personas – from “very conservative” Larry to “very liberal” Emma. We have enough trouble inhabiting one character…

US bombers set for the Top End

Chinese officials have warned that a plan for the US to deploy 6 nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Northern Territory could trigger a “regional arms race”. Following this week’s Four Corners on ABC TV, China’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian yesterday said it would undermine regional peace and stability. Not on the same page are our officials… Defence Personnel Minister Matt Keogh said he doesn’t believe any future visits from the huge aircraft will enflame tensions with China “at all”. And the NT’s Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison said the region is already a strategic defence location, and there’s no cause for concern.

It’s a way of being finished – like 4 years off – but there’s a plan to build dedicated facilities for the giant aircraft, which have a combat range of over 14,000km and are capable of delivering both nuclear and conventional weapons. Experts say the move is designed to act as a deterrent to China, which is not taking a backward step in its regional ambitions. That includes growing concerns that President Xi Jinping is planning on forcibly taking control of Taiwan. The US Air Force says the plan to base these aircraft outside Darwin “sends a strong message to adversaries” about their ability to “project lethal airpower”. The $1.6 billion upgrade to the Aussie Airforce’s Tindal base (south of Darwin) to accommodate the planes is said to be part of a plan to host more US defence assets in Australia. And a major expansion of the secretive Pine Gap intelligence base near Alice Springs is also rumoured to be in the works.

It depends on who you ask… Some experts believe it could lock Australia into joining the US in a conflict against China and make Australia “the tip of the spear” if a war broke out over Taiwan or whatever else. But Dr Malcolm Davis from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says basing the planes here would be a “sensible move” that would act as a nuclear deterrent and “dissuade China from using force to resolve territorial disputes”. But Tom Corben from the US Studies Centre reckons something bigger could be in the works… “You wouldn’t drop a billion dollars in infrastructure spending to support a 70-year-old aircraft that you’re phasing out over the next decade,” he said.

Australian News World News

Squiz the Rest

Interest rates to rise… again

Right on cue, the Reserve Bank raised interest rates for the 7th time this year. This time, it’s a 0.25% hike, bringing the country’s cash rate to 2.85% – a smaller increase than some predicted. It does mean more pain for mortgage holders, though… Those with a $500,000 loan will soon be paying about $800/month more than they were in April when interest rates started marching upwards. It’s also unlikely to be the last one we see – RBA boss Philip Lowe told borrowers to brace for more, saying the central bank “will do whatever is necessary” to bring inflation down. On that topic, there’s more unsettling news… The Reserve Bank reckons inflation will now hit 8% this year, which is higher than previously expected and way beyond the 2-3% target.


Ukrainians queue for water

Residents in several Ukrainian cities have been forced to queue for water after Russia launched air strikes across the country earlier this week. In Kyiv, 40% of homes are without water, and large areas have no power. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were in response to a drone attack on Russian ships off the coast of Crimea – something Ukraine’s not owned up to. Meanwhile, Russia’s problems resourcing its war continue with authorities suspending the country’s mobilisation of citizens to fight. The attempt to bolster Russian troops in Ukraine hasn’t gone smoothly, with thousands of people fleeing the country.

World News

Locked down at Disneyland

‘The happiest place on Earth’ is anything but after visitors to China’s Shanghai Disneyland resort have been locked in until they produce a negative COVID result. It’s the 2nd time in 12 months this has happened to visitors to the resort, and it follows other snap lockdowns that have caught people in inconvenient places, like the Foxconn factory – which makes iPhone. It’s all to do with China’s strict Zero COVID policy, and in Shanghai, 10 locally-transmitted cases on Saturday saw another lockdown imposed with little notice. Lockdowns are said to be affecting millions of people across 200 sites – and it continues to hit China’s economy hard. At least at Disneyland, they’re keeping the rides going for those stuck inside…

World News

A ‘Planet killer’ from outer space…

We know things can be a bit dicey on Wednesday – it’s been a big week already, and there’s a lot more to do… Without meaning to add to the hump day load, we just thought we’d drop into the conversation that astronomers have spotted 3 near-Earth asteroids – and one of them has the potential to be a “planet killer”. Allocated the name of ‘2022 AP7’, it’s about 1.5km long, and it’s the largest potentially hazardous object posing a risk to Earth to be discovered in the last 8 years. Not that it’s an issue for us – it’ll be up to our great-great-great-great-great (you get the idea…) grandchildren to work out what to do about it, with the experts saying there is ​​”an extremely low probability of an impact in the foreseeable future.” Phew… Our great-great-great-great-great (you get the idea…) grandchildren will be living on Mars by then anyway…


A Melbourne Cup for the mudders

And the winner is…. the retailers of rain-proof ponchos at soggy Flemington Racecourse. Also coming in first was Gold Trip, an Aussie-trained gee-gee that had won just one race before taking out yesterday’s Melbourne Cup. Jockey Mark Zahra called it “redemption day” – in 2021, he missed out on riding Cup winner Verry Elleegant after he was suspended for attending a party during Victoria’s COVID lockdown. Australian-trained horses made up the top 3 – Emissary finishing 2nd and High Emocean coming from last place to claim 3rd. Race favourite Deauville Legend finished 4th, and 4 horses technically didn’t finish in the heavy conditions – all pulled up ok. On the entertainment side, pop star/singer Cody Simpson impressed with the national anthem. And fashions on the field? You got it


Apropos of Nothing

Taylor Swift has become the first artist in the history of America’s 64yo Billboard Hot 100 to occupy each of the top 10 places. Leading with the first single Anti-Hero (which is playing in a continuous loop in our heads…), positions 2-10 almost follow her new album Midnights’ track listing.

Last week, we talked about Australia’s biggest lottery jackpot – spoiler alert, we didn’t win. This week, we bring you a Chinese man who has won $45 million – but has decided to keep it a secret from his wife and child, saying he is worried the cash could make them lazy. That’s guaranteed to end well…

And speaking of the neddies and farshun, we were disappointed not to see a pair of these horse sneakers on the track yesterday…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Coalition Treasury spokesman Angus Taylor addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Lending Indicators, September; Building Approvals, September

Day of the Dead – Mexico

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

World Ballet Day

David Schwimmer’s birthday (1966)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Marie Antionette (1755)
• the first publication of women’s fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar (1867)
• the start of cheerleading in the United States as Johnny Campbell leads the crowd cheering on the football team at the University of Minnesota (1898)
• Democrat Jimmy Carter elected President of the United States (1976)
• the start of ‘The Great Emu War’ when Aussie soldiers were engaged to cull crop-destroying emus in WA (1932)
• 50 years since the release of epic film The Godfather (1972)
• the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller single (1983)

Squiz the Day

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