Squiz Today / 13 October 2021

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 12 October

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you past the halfway mark.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

13 / 20
12 / 21
16 / 24
10 / 17
7 / 22
7 / 18
26 / 34
5 / 16

Squiz Sayings

“The secret to achieving the triple crossing was to eat more ice cream…” 

Said Aussie endurance swimmer Chloë McCardel as she prepares to break the world record for the most English Channel solo swims. The ice cream was consumed to increase her body fat, but you might know how the science behind that works already…

Unstacking the power games

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese will not force Victorian-based federal MP Anthony Byrne from the party despite his admission to the state’s anti-corruption commission that he participated in branch-stacking. Four Victorian Labor ministers have resigned over the claims since the Sydney Morning Herald/Age first published details of the scandal last year, and there are weeks of hearings to come. And it’s now causing problems for the party’s leadership.

In June last year, Andrews sacked former minister Adem Somyurek when it was claimed that he was at the centre of an “industrial-scale” branch stacking scheme. That’s the practice of signing up members who will vote the way you want to decide candidates for elections, for example. It’s not illegal and IBAC would not usually launch such an investigation, but it’s exploring whether public funds were used in that endeavour. And with hearings kicking off this week, Byrne turned on his former ally and said Somyurek’s “sole objective was power and power alone”. Former federal leader and Victorian-based MP Bill Shorten yesterday said the scandal is “just embarrassing. This isn’t the way our political party should be operating.”

So Byrne has also accused Andrews’ Socialist Left faction of branch stacking, and there are calls for the Premier to be called before the inquiry to answer questions. For his part, Andrews says he has always followed the Labor Party’s rules and doesn’t have time for factional battles. As for Albanese, he’s previously called for Liberal MPs accused of branch stacking to go. And it comes at a time when he is gearing up to take the high road on a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) as the Morrison Government gets ready to reveal the legislation. All that as former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian gets ready for her public anti-corruption hearing to kick off next week… #SquizShortcut


Squiz the Rest

Fighting restarts in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s government has launched a major military offensive against the country’s northern Tigray forces, bringing an end to a 3-month ceasefire. To back it up, Ethiopian PM/Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed’s government launched an attack on his fellow citizens last year in a bid to oust the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) party. Reports of ethnic cleansing, the deaths of thousands, and the displacement of 2 million people followed. A ceasefire was brokered to the relief of the United Nations and aid organisations, but yesterday the TPLF said the government was at it again. Their statement has not yet been confirmed as communications were cut to the north. A spokesperson for Abiy said the government “will continue to counter the [Tigrayan forces’] destruction, violence and killings”.

World News

Already impacted by climate change

As the Coalition gets its climate policy ducks in a row, a new study says at least 85% of the world’s population has already experienced weather events caused by man-made climate change. Researchers used machine learning to analyse more than 100,000 studies of events that could be linked to global warming, such as crop failures, floods and heatwaves. The link between climate change and extreme weather is in firm focus. Yesterday, America’s official researchers said 2021 is on track to be the most active and costliest year for disasters. As for settling Australia’s climate policy, Cabinet will meet today to go through it, and the Nationals will meet on Sunday to decide their position. 

Environment & Science

Fuelling high prices

Analysts say the world is entering its worst energy crisis since the 1970s as fuel and power prices hit record highs. Yesterday, global oil prices jumped to their highest level since 2018, and coal prices have also spiked. There’s no one explanation for what’s going on. There’s a surge in demand as nations shake off COVID. China’s key mining region has been hit by floods, and it’s run itself short of coal after putting Aussie imports in the freezer. Russia’s playing political games with its supply of fuel to Europe. And moves to achieve reduced emissions targets have seen some countries short of power and a need to fire up quickly. A lot is going on… Reports say price hikes are expected to hit Australian shores soon with Oz importing 80% of its petrol, diesel and jet fuel supplies. Isn’t 2021 the gift that keeps on giving…

Business & Finance

Vale Eddie Jaku

The man who called himself ‘the happiest man on Earth’, Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, has died at 101yo. Born in Germany in 1920, he survived WWII after a series of close escapes. After years on the run, the Nazis sent Eddie and his family to Auschwitz. That’s where his parents were murdered as the war neared an end in 1945. Eddie escaped a ‘death march’ before being found by Allied soldiers, and he came to Australia in 1950 with his wife Flores. Here, he became an integral part of Sydney’s Jewish community, and his quest to educate others about intolerance saw him honoured with an Order of Australia. Describing himself as “the happiest man on Earth,” he said “life is what you want it to be, life is in your hands.” PM Scott Morrison said “Eddie chose to make his life a testimony of how hope and love can triumph over despair and hate.”

Australian News

So over it…

Bartenders in New York say the era of the espresso martini has to end. The drink that’s a heady mix of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, sugar syrup (optional), and coffee beans to garnish (mandatory) is the “hottest drink on the planet,” taking over from the Aperol Spritz. The problem is bartenders hate making them because the hot shot of coffee and all the shaking means “I’ve had a few shakers pop open and stain my shirts,” said one weary mixologist. Whether your tipple is an Esme Watson (a port and lemonade) or the latest from the Big Apple, we say you do you…

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

The Nobel Prize will not introduce gender quotas. According to the academy, people win “because they made the most important discovery”. This year, Filipino journo Maria Ressa was the only woman to be honoured, and there are calls for better representation. Since 1901, women have accounted for 59 of the awards’ 962 recipients. Better get working on something important, ladies…

Democratic lawmakers in California want new laws that will force retailers to have ‘gender neutral’ toy sections. It’s an issue that’s gaining traction in the toy world – earlier this week, Lego pledged to make its marketing and toys gender-neutral and “accessible to all”.

To mark America’s National Coming Out Day, DC Comics says Jon Kent, the son of OG Superman Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is bisexual. “It’s not a gimmick,” says the series Aussie writer Tom Taylor – it’s about “a very new hero finding his way”.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

2.00pm (AEDT) – Aussie swimmer Chloë McCardel makes a bid to break the world record for the most English Channel solo swims, with her 44th swim

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

No Bra Day (suits us)

World Thrombosis Day

Birthdays for actor Sacha Baron Cohen (1971), champion swimmer Ian Thorpe (1982) and US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (1989)

Anniversary of:
• Greenwich in London established as the universal time meridian of longitude (1884)
• US champ Simone Biles becoming the most decorated gymnast in history when she won her record 25th medal at the World Championships (2019)
• the birthdays of Margaret Thatcher (1925) and Jamal Khashoggi (1958)

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.