Squiz Today / 18 May 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 18 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

Smoothing over hump day. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It’s an old-fashioned attitude, wanting to be really thin. I think women today want to look healthy and curvy.”

Said famously slender fashion/beauty entrepreneur/Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. We’re wondering if this means she’s given up her 25-year diet of steamed fish and vegetables…

Ukraine surrenders in Mariupol


After resisting a fierce, almost 3-month-long siege in the strategic port city, Ukraine has surrendered control of the Azovstal steelworks to Russia in its most significant defeat of the war. Ukraine’s military declared that it completed its “combat mission” in the city and hundreds of people have been evacuated and bussed to Russian-controlled territory. They’ll eventually be brought home in exchange for captured Russian soldiers in a deal brokered by the Red Cross and others. President Volodymyr Zelensky declared it a “difficult day” but added “Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive.”


The Russian Defence Ministry said that a ceasefire had been established to allow the wounded Ukrainian servicemen to get out, according to Russian state media. It showed video of around 10 buses leaving the steel plant, with reports saying some appeared to be ambulances. Ukraine’s government said that 53 seriously injured people were evacuated to a medical facility in Novoazovsk, and another 211 were moved to Olenivka – both are under Russian control. Many civilians had already been evacuated from the plant a fortnight ago, helped by Red Cross workers to crawl over rubble and climb out to safety. Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar credited the “defenders of Mariupol” for keeping Russian forces busy, giving her country critical time to regroup for the larger war effort.


The victory in Mariupol clears Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s bid to create a land bridge between the Crimean peninsula and areas it controls in the nation’s east. And it’s evidence that the war rolls on amid predictions from NATO that Russia’s war effort had stalled. Britain’s most senior military officer Admiral Sir Tony Radakin says that Ukraine is winning the war and its future as an independent country is guaranteed. And a Ukrainian counterattack in recent days has driven Russian forces out of the area near Kharkiv, the biggest city in the northeast. Peace talks between the 2 countries have stalled, with Ukraine accusing Russia of abandoning its own rules and timetable for discussions. Moscow’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko hit back, saying Ukraine had “practically withdrawn from the negotiating process.” Both sides have previously insisted that they’re still open to a negotiating end to the fighting.

World News

Squiz the Rest

The election’s on a knife-edge

It’s something that election watchers have been waiting for and yesterday was the first sign of the polls tightening. The Sydney Morning Herald/Age Political Monitor has been refreshed and it shows a fall in support for Labor, cutting its primary vote from 34% to 31%. The Coalition has picked up a point moving to 34% with the rest backing minor parties and independent candidates. On a 2-party preferred basis, Labor comes out ahead 51:49 against the Coalition. The poll has a margin of error of just over 2% so what it means is, if replicated on election day, it’s going to be down to the wire, making these last few days before Saturday important. It’s why the leaders are dialling up their media appearances, so brace yourself because there will be more of it… PM Scott Morrison continued his outreach yesterday by appearing on Nine’s A Current Affair where he was asked about the times he’s been “a bulldozer”. And Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s “robust” exchanges with his travelling press pack continued yesterday over the party’s policy costings – he’ll appear at the National Press Club in Canberra today.

AusPol Election 22

Sri Lanka’s running on empty

Newly installed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says his nation is down to its last day of petrol as it faces its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years. In a televised address, he said the nation urgently needs US$75 million in foreign currency in the next few days to pay for essential imports, and they will have to print money to pay government wages. They are moves he says he’s making “against my own wishes.” Wickremesinghe is also considering selling off state-owned Sri Lankan Airlines. “The next couple of months will be the most difficult ones of our lives,” he said. Sri Lanka’s economy is sagging under the weight of the pandemic, rising energy prices, and populist tax cuts. And its shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation have led to a severe shortage of medicines, fuel and other essentials. Former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned last week and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is under pressure to go. The Rajapaksa family has ruled the country for most of the past 2 decades, and it’s not in good nick. 

World News

‘Bongbong’ Marcos unwinds in Melbourne

A week after winning the Philippines presidential election, returning his notorious family to power, Ferdinand Marcos Jr is in Melbourne on a private trip. While he waits for the result to be confirmed by the Philippines Congress in June, the 64yo is in Oz seeing his youngest son Vincent, a law student at the University of Melbourne. The visit had been kept secret by his staff in Manila but was discovered by Filipino expats who have started to gather outside the apartment complex where he is staying to protest his win after his father’s oppressive 20-year rule. Marcos Jnr’s spokesman says he’s taking some time out before being sworn in. “President-elect Bongbong is on a private vacation with his family to rest, recharge and prepare for the journey ahead.” Australian officials confirmed that the Philippines had informed them of the visit.

Australian News

Aussies lead a solar power breakthrough

A team of Aussie researchers from the University of NSW have made a major breakthrough after generating solar power at night for the first time. It means that the potential to harness solar power continues after the sun has set. That’s because after the energy from the sun arrives on Earth, the planet releases the same amount of energy back into space that can then be captured. To do that, the team used a thermoradiative diode  – a semiconductor sensor used in existing technologies like night-vision goggles – to then convert the captured particles into electricity. Lead researcher Professor Ned Ekins-Daukes says the technology is still in its “very early stages”, but he hopes it can be developed to be used on a much larger scale. Long story short (and attention, Corey Hart…), there’s still no need to wear your sunglasses at night.

Environment & Science

A chippy crisis in the UK

A third of the UK’s 10,000 fish and chip shops are set to close in the next 9 months as the prices of key ingredients soar due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to ​​the National Federation of Fish Friers. Which is not a made up thing, promise… Up to 40% of the UK chippy industry’s cod and haddock come from Russian waters, and about half of its sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine. But with supply chains impacted by the conflict, businesses are paying about 83% more for sunflower oil compared to early March, and the price of a case of Icelandic cod has nearly doubled to $475 on a year ago. Shops have been forced to raise their prices for the usually cheap fare, but the rising cost of living pressures mean many customers have been lost. It’s put the UK’s unofficial national dish in the frying line…

World News

Apropos of Nothing

At least 55% of Americans watch ‘comfort’ TV and movies to wind down, according to a new poll. It beat out options such as ‘having a bath’ (42%) and ‘doing yoga’ (33%). ‘Having a wine in your trackie dacks while blasting 80s anthems’ was nowhere to be seen…

Disney yesterday unveiled a wide-ranging list of Aussie-made content that will appear on its streaming service this year and next. It includes a psychological thriller inspired by The Family cult, a reimagining of Oliver Twist, and a miniseries on toys hosted by Rove McManus.

And speaking of some famous names coming to Oz, Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling is officially heading to Sydney to shoot upcoming movie The Fall Guy, based on 80s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man. It’s the latest blockbuster film to shoot on Aussie shores, with the pandemic proving a great time for celebrity spotting…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Labor leader Anthony Albanese gives his Leaders’ Address to the National Press Club – Canberra

6.00pm (AEST) – Postal voting applications for the 2022 federal election close

ABS Data Release – Wage Price Index, March

International Museum Day

The winner of the inaugural Environmental Music Prize is announced

A birthday for Tina Fey (1970)

Anniversary of:
• Napoleon Bonaparte being proclaimed Emperor of France (1804)
• the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)
• India becoming the 6th nation to explode an atomic bomb (1974)
• the debut of Shrek (2001)
• the Morrison Government winning the 2019 election

Squiz the Day

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