Squiz Today / 16 February 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 16 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

A news update that fits in with you.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“​​As a man, I have to say… are those real words women know? I don’t know a single one.”

Said one baffled bloke of a new Belgian study that compiled a list of words more likely to be recognised by women than men, and vice versa. The women’s list includes ‘kohl’ and ‘freesia’ – and the critics proved the researchers right…

The PM takes aim at China over Ukraine


PM Scott Morrison has lashed out at China for being “chillingly silent” about Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s border. Speaking yesterday, he said while Western nations are urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back, China’s given Moscow tacit approval for an invasion. In response, Morrison says he’s “calling out” China’s behaviour, adding that it would likely draw an angry response because “there’s always blowback against me when I stand up for Australia’s interest.” Right on cue, a Chinese official hit back, saying Morrison was “clamouring for confrontation” in an attempt to seek “selfish political gain”.


A fortnight ago, China and Russia announced a “no-limits partnership” and they promised to collaborate more to progress their interests against the West. And last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to Melbourne and praised our government for being a world leader in standing up to China. You might not have heard but an election is coming up – and the Coalition is ramping up the rhetoric on the importance of standing up to China. Yesterday, Morrison said China wants him to be kicked out of office. And conservative commentators last night backed Morrison’s view after Chinese government mouthpiece The Global Times published an opinion piece by former Aussie diplomat Bruce Haigh endorsing Labor leader Anthony Albanese. Rejecting the notion that China has a preferred horse in the Aussie election race was Labor’s deputy leader Richard Marles saying while it “likes to beat its chest”, the Coalition has failed to manage the relationship with our biggest trading partner.


In a significant announcement overnight, Russia says it’s pulling back some of its troops from near Ukraine and sending them back to their bases. It’s estimated that more than 100,000 troops are massed on the border, as well as Russian warships patrolling the Black Sea. Reports from the weekend said intelligence pointed to 16 February – aka today – as being the day Russia could invade. Instead, Putin said Russia was “ready to continue on the negotiating track”, in a move that commentators see as his attempt to step back from invasion. NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the announcement was grounds for “cautious optimism”, but the alliance hadn’t yet seen “any sign of de-escalation”.

Need a bit more background on the Ukraine crisis? We’ve got you with our latest #SquizShortcut.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Prince Andrew settles US sex assault case

Prince Andrew has reached a settlement in the civil case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre. Perth-based Giuffre alleged Andrew sexually assaulted her when she was 17yo on 3 occasions after meeting her through convicted child abusers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Documents tendered to a court in New York Court say the Duke would pay an “undisclosed sum” to Ms Giuffre as well as a big donation to her charity which supports victim’s rights. The settlement says Andrew never intended to “malign” Giuffre’s character and that she had suffered as a victim of abuse and of “unfair” public attacks. Andrew has also pledged to “demonstrate his regret” for his association with Jeffrey Epstein by supporting the “fight against the evils of sex trafficking”. Pressure had been mounting after it became clear that he could be forced to give evidence at a trial beginning as early as September. His representatives said the Prince had no comment beyond the court statement and makes no admission of liability.


Hayne walks free from jail

Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne is free on bail – he served 9 months in jail after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman on the night of 2018’s NRL grand final. Hayne and the unnamed woman had been texting for a fortnight before he came to her house for what he claimed was consensual sex, but she says she was left “shocked and scared” by the encounter. On Monday, 3 judges found that errors were made by the trial judge, and his convictions were quashed. To secure bail, Hayne paid $20,000 surety and will report to police 3 times a week, surrender his passport and stay away from NSW’s Newcastle, which is where the alleged incident occurred. There’s some speculation a 3rd trial won’t be pursued by prosecutors, but a hearing is set for Friday to fix a date. Hayne’s first trial in late 2020 ended in a hung jury.

Crime Sport

Djokovic puts more tennis titles on the line

World men’s tennis #1 Novak Djokovic says he would prefer to miss out on future tennis titles than be forced to get vaccinated for COVID. “I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body,” he said. In the first interview he’s done since being deported from Melbourne after losing his appeal to stay and compete in the Aussie Open despite not being immunised, he says he hoped the nations where the big tournaments are played will change their rules so that he “can play for many more years”. But if not, he’s willing to forgo the opportunity to become the winning-est player in history. And asked about his experience in immigration detention in Melbourne, he said that it “wasn’t easy.” With Djokovic digging in on vaccination, he is likely to miss the French and US Opens, and players are waiting to see if Wimbledon will require players to be vaccinated.


Crashing out as questions linger over doping decision

Snowboard superstar Tess Coady missed out on her chance to become the first Aussie Winter Olympian to claim 2 medals after she crashed out in the women’s Big Air event yesterday. The 21yo scored big on her first run but failed to land her next 2 jumps. Sydney-born Kiwi gold medallist Zoi Sadowski Synnott won the silver medal, so we can claim that, right? And Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva burst into tears after she qualified first for tomorrow night’s final with a clean performance in the women’s singles short program last night. A drug test the 15yo did late last year came back positive last week, but she was cleared to compete on Monday because she’s so young. Not everyone’s on board with the decision, including American superstar sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson. She was suspended from last year’s Tokyo Games after testing positive for cannabis – she says she used the drug once following her mother’s death. “The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady”, she tweeted.


The case for a diverse diet

From Queen Elizabeth’s fondness for Special K (the cereal, not the drug…) to Victoria Beckham’s commitment to fish and steamed vege, those who prefer to eat the same thing every day are in good company. According to a recent study that looked at the diets of more than 2,500 French adults and 1,275 Americans, 68% of participants reported eating the same meal for breakfast at least twice a week, while just 9% ate the same dinner. But is eating the same thing every day good for us? While the time-saving element is the obvious drawcard, nutrition experts say that more diverse diets are better for gut health. One large study found that people who eat more than 30 types of plants per week had more diverse gut microbiomes than those who ate 10 or less. And researchers are increasingly pointing to a good gut microbiome as an important thing to have… We’re all for it as long as this ‘diverse’ diet doesn’t include eggs – gag…


Apropos of Nothing

“We baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – that’s the erroneous phrase that’s brought US Catholic Priest Father Andres Arango unstuck. By saying “we” instead of “I”, the thousands of baptisms he undertook in the last 2 decades have been deemed invalid. Pronouns = important.

The Oscars haven’t had a host for the past 3 years, but comedians/actors Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall are said to be in talks to host this year’s ceremony. Lips are sealed, but Schumer’s Insta hints at something big. 

And in a bid to disperse a crowd of anti-vaccine mandate protesters outside New Zealand’s Parliament, authorities deployed Barry Manilow last weekend. And now it’s a playlist of the world’s most annoying tunes, including Baby Shark and Let it Go. Umm it had the opposite effect… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Senior Advisor to the Climate and Energy College Simon Holmes à Court addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.10pm (AEDT) – Men’s 3rd T20 Cricket Match – Australia v Sri Lanka – Canberra

10.00pm (AEDT) – Winter Olympics Women’s Cross Country Skiing Team Sprint Final – Beijing. Watch out for Aussies Casey Wright and Jessica Yeaton

ABS Data Release – Land and Housing Supply Indicators, February 2022

Company Yearly Results – Santos

Company Half-Year Results – Fortescue Metals; Treasury Wine Estates; CSL

80th anniversary of the deaths of 21 Australian nurses in the Banka Island Massacre in WWII (1942)

Do a Grouch a Favor Day

Birthdays for Cathy Freeman (1973) and The Weeknd (1990)

Anniversary of:
• Pope Gregory the Great decreeing “God bless You” as the correct response to a sneeze (600)
• the first known cheque written for £400 (1659)
• Howard Carter discovering Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb and sarcophagus (1923)
• former North Korean leader Kim Jon-il’s birthday (1941)
• Fidel Castro becoming the 16th Prime Minister of Cuba after overthrowing Fulgencio Batista (1959)
• the Kyoto Protocol coming into force following its ratification by Russia (2005)

Squiz the Day

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