Squiz Today / 11 May 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 11 May

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

Squiz Today Podcast

We’ll get you up to speed. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

19 / 22
10 / 20
16 / 24
10 / 21
11 / 22
6 / 17
25 / 33
7 / 17

Squiz Sayings

“He basically came home and banged it out and had to record it the next day” 

Said Polly Connolly, the daughter of the composer of the Play School theme song Richard Connolly who has died at 94yo. Connolly also created a collection of Catholic hymns, but they didn’t reach the legendary status of There’s A Bear In There

Sri Lanka teetering on the brink of chaos


PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned after months of protests over the country’s deteriorating economy turned deadly. Protesters aren’t done – they’re calling for the resignation of his brother – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa – the other half of the family that has largely controlled Sri Lankan politics for 2 decades with an iron grip. But their hold on power is faltering in the wake of the country’s worst financial crisis since independence. An island-wide curfew is in place until this morning as authorities seek to get on top of the violence.


Roger that. There’s been months of largely peaceful protests against the economic crisis which has sent food and fuel prices soaring. The country’s foreign cash reserves have dropped so low that it can’t afford to import basic essentials like medicines and cooking gas. Things went downhill on Monday when pro-government supporters attacked demonstrators in the capital Colombo and police responded with tear gas and water cannons. Anti-government protesters then retaliated and torched the home of PM Rajapaksa and his political allies, resulting in 8 people being killed and almost 200 injured. Reports say President Rajapaksa forced his older brother to resign, which he reluctantly did hours later on Twitter before he and his family were moved to a safe house as part of a pre-dawn military operation yesterday. “He was like the emperor of Sri Lanka who has been unceremoniously dumped,” one analyst said.


Reports say the violence looks set to continue with angry mobs shouting “Gota go home” – a reference to the President, but he’s not budging for now. Overnight, Sri Lankan security forces were ordered to shoot law-breakers on sight and tens of thousands of army, navy and air force personnel have been deployed to the streets of Colombo to restore order.  Commentators say the PM’s resignation brings the volatile situation into an uncertain phase after weeks of trying to renegotiate the country’s massive debts with international creditors. A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) started work this week on a bailout that would include tough reforms accompanying financial support. But opposition parties have so far insisted that both Rajapaksa brothers leave government altogether before any negotiations happen, leading to a stalemate.“If Gota goes, the anger will be defused,” says Sri Lankan political expert Murtaza Jafferjee.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Spy chief says Chinese officials are feeding information to Oz agencies

Our top spy chief has suggested that a growing number of Chinese officials are feeding information to local intelligence agencies because they’re unhappy with the Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly authoritarian stance. Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) Director-General Paul Symon made the remarks in a rare speech in Sydney yesterday to mark the agency’s 70th anniversary. “Increasingly, officials and individuals unhappy with the trajectory of closed societies are willing to speak up and take risks,” he told the Lowy Institute gathering. And in a gloomy picture of the country’s strategic outlook, Symon says countries hostile to Oz are seeking to weaken our institutions and bend our values. On the new security pact between China and Solomon Islands, he wouldn’t criticise PM Sogavare but instead share information with them so they can “understand what’s going on at the moment is a big deal.” Reports this morning say Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is likely to visit Solomon Islands in coming weeks, possibly before Oz’s 21 May election.


NT Chief Minister resigns

First it was Tassie’s Peter Gutwein who resigned as premier because he had “nothing left in the tank” – and now NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner is bowing out because he’s lost his leadership mojo. The 46yo had just finished delivering the Territory’s budget speech when he said that the recent birth of his 2nd child made him consider his future. “My head and my heart are no longer here, they are at home,” he said. “I have grappled with this decision for some weeks and welcoming little Nash into the world sealed the deal.” Gunner became Labor leader in 2015 and took his party into government the following year. Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Mansion will step into the top role in an acting capacity until a vote is held by the Labor caucus in the coming days.

Australian News

Court hears case against Craig McLachlan

The actor’s defamation trial in Sydney was told yesterday that he has indecently assaulted 11 women he worked with in Oz theatre and TV productions. The evidence was part of the defence from ABC and Sydney Morning Herald,who McLachlan is suing over stories from 2018 containing allegations he indecently assaulted and exposed himself to female cast members during the 2014 tour of The Rocky Horror Show. One of those is actress Christie Whelan Browne who also made allegations on the ABC TV’s 7.30 – she is also being sued by McLachlan.Lawyer Michael Hodge QC told the jury that McLachlan would kiss and touch the women’s bodies while out of view of the audience. He said that it wasn’t something McLachlan had been directed to do, and the women had not consented. McLachlan then took the stand and said that physical displays of affection and practical jokes between cast members were common. The hearing is expected to run for 5 weeks.

Australian News Crime

The science of friendship

As much of the world retreated into enforced isolation during the pandemic, for some it raised an age-old question: how many friends do you really need? Friendships play an important role in wellbeing, but according to US pollster Gallup, 12% of Americans reported they had no close friends in 2021, compared to 3% 30 years ago. British psychologist Robin Dunbar’s popular theory contends that humans are only able to maintain about 150 connections at once, including an inner circle of about 5 close friends. That number has been backed up by subsequent studies, but because views on friendship are subjective, psychologist Marisa Franco says it’s more helpful for people to ask themselves whether they feel lonely. And according to University of Kansas researcher Jerry Hall, the key way to mitigate loneliness is to have at least one important person in your life. Which sounds more manageable than maintaining 150 friendships…


Apropos of Nothing

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Deputy PM/Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce gives his federal election address to the National Press Club – Canberra

7.30pm (AEST) – Basketball – NBL Grand Final Game 3 – Sydney Kings v Tasmania JackJumpers – Sydney

9.10pm (AEST) – 3rd Leaders’ Debate between PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese – broadcast on Channel 7

ABS Data Release – Housing Statistics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2018-19

Australian International Beer Awards – Melbourne

Anniversary of:
• William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth embarking on their expedition westward of Sydney (1813)
• the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats (1980)
• the 1996 Mount Everest disaster when 8 climbers were caught in a blizzard and died

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.