Squiz Today / 23 February 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 23 February

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

Squiz Today Podcast

We talk, you walk. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

SYD
20 / 28
MEL
14 / 32
BNE
22 / 24
ADL
16 / 32
PER
19 / 35
HBA
12 / 28
DRW
25 / 31
CBR
14 / 26

Squiz Sayings

“It’s unbearable – it’s a constant acoustic aggression”

Said Parisian ​​Raphael Bianchi, one of many French urbanites affected by the sound of scooters and motorcycles, particularly at night. In response, the government has installed ‘sound radars’ to identify any offending vehicles. It must be a huge issue because it seems unlike the French to get grumpy…

Russia invades Ukraine – so what now?

Not long after we spoke yesterday, Russia acted on the West’s worst fears and sent its tanks and troops into Eastern Ukraine. That happened after Russian President Vladimir Putin formally recognised the breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk – he said his troops were needed for “peacekeeping functions” to protect locals against Ukraine’s aggression. America, the UK and Western European nations immediately dismissed the premise for Russia’s invasion as “nonsense” and accused Russia of breaching international law at the United Nations Security Council. Britain and the EU have imposed sanctions on wealthy Russians and 5 banks, while Germany has stopped the approval of a US$11 billion gas pipeline. And the Aussie Government closed its embassy in Ukraine and deployed remaining officials to nearby Poland.

WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country would stand firm. “We don’t owe anything to anyone, and we will not give away anything to anyone,” he said in a televised address to the nation following the invasion. British PM Boris Johnson described Russia’s move as a “very dark sign”, adding that “Putin’s venture in Ukraine must fail.” The US President, Joe Biden, will speak about the crisis this morning and is expected to announce “significant” sanctions. Yesterday, in a fiery address to the nation, Putin said Ukraine “never had a tradition of genuine statehood” and was created by Russia. As for PM Scott Morrison said it was “nonsense” to suggest that Russia had sent in troops to keep the peace in Ukraine and warned the escalating conflict could result in “terrible human consequences”. He says Australia will support any sanctions against Russia.

IS ANY OF THIS GOING TO IMPACT ME?

Well, it certainly will if you have friends and rellies in Ukraine… There are more than 38,000 Australians of Ukrainian descent – so what’s happening there is worrying for many people here. And it will impact you if you like the price of petrol to be less than $2/litre… Oil prices surged to US$99, which was up nearly 4% and the highest in more than 7 years on fears that the crisis would disrupt supply. Natural gas prices surged by 13%, but global stock markets fell sharply as investors become concerned about a full-blown European conflict.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Australia ramps up its Antarctic presence

Even Antarctica can’t escape the Australia-China feud… PM Morrison yesterday unveiled a $804 million funding package to boost Australia’s influence as China looks to make its mark on the frozen continent. Over the next decade, Australia will supply drones, helicopters and other vehicles to help scientists explore, establish research stations, and focus on climate science. Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the announcement had “strategic importance” to ensure the region remains “free from conflict” and “protected from exploitation”. Under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, Oz lays claim to ​​42% of Antarctica. Only 4 other nations recognise that claim, and with the Treaty set to be renegotiated in 2048, Antarctica is hot property. In recent times, China has become interested in the inland areas and fishery access – hence the fears Beijing could challenge Australia’s claim.

Australian News

Ahmaud Arbery’s killer guilty of hate crimes

A jury in America has found the 3 white men who murdered black jogger Ahmaud Arbery guilty of federal hate crimes. Greg McMichael and his son Travis, and their neighbour William Bryan have already been given life sentences for killing Arbery in February 2020 when they grabbed guns and jumped into a truck to pursue the 25yo after they saw him running through their ‘nice’ neighbourhood in the city of Georgia. The murder was captured on mobile phone footage, and was been described as a modern-day lynching.  During the trial, prosecutors showed about 2 dozen text messages and social media posts in which Travis McMichael and his neighbour used racist slurs and made derogatory comments about black people. Witnesses testified that Greg McMichael ranted about black activists saying “all those Blacks are nothing but trouble.” Speaking outside court, Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones criticised the Department of Justice and said that the verdict “wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the fight that the family put up,” to have the charges heard.  

Crime World News

Tonga reconnects with the world

Tonga’s Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni is confident that the undersea communications cable which was damaged in last month’s massive volcanic eruption has been fixed, restoring phone and internet connections. It’s an important milestone in the country’s recovery more than a month after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apei volcano exploded and shattered the country’s only fibre optic cable. It was thought to have broken in 2 places, but repair crews later discovered the damage was more extensive and had to be rebuilt. Another cable that links to the smaller islands still needs to be fixed. The crisis has revealed that it sucks to rely on one communications cable, and Tongans have renewed calls for a backup system. That would come at a cost as big as the eruption’s sonic boom, but Oz and Kiwiland are helping Tonga assess the cost. Part of the answer could be Elon Musk… SpaceX has been in Fiji establishing a Starlink Gateway, providing internet connectivity through the company’s satellite network. #SquizShortcut

World News

The wild summer weather is back

From heatwaves in the West to unstable and stormy conditions in the East, the lull in Australia’s wild weather since January is officially over. Forecasters say the heat in Western Oz has combined with a trough over southeastern Oz – perfect for storms, wind gusts and large hail. Parts of Sydney and the Central Coast got a taste of it yesterday with flash flooding. By the end of the week, showers and thunderstorms are expected to extend from tropical Queensland all the way to Tassie with it up to 100mm of rain expected. In Western Oz, consistent temperatures in the high 30s have again increased the risk of bushfires. “There’s no really significant rainfall forecast for WA at all,” meteorologist Sarah Scully said. So while summer is officially over at the end of next week, expect tropical conditions to last for a while yet.

Australian News Weather

Brissie gets on board the daylight saving train

Thirty years after Queensland’s failed referendum to implement daylight saving time (DST), it remains the only eastern state to not change the clocks over the warmer months. But Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has renewed calls for a new referendum on the matter. In 1992, 54.5% of Queenslanders voted against daylight saving (which means that 45.5% voted in favour, right?). Fellow east coasters have long chuckled about worries for confused cows and faded curtains, but the Queensland tropics get less variation in daylight hours as seasons change. Now, Schrinner believes more than 70% of Queensland’s southeast – home to more than half the state’s population – supports introducing DST. He says having the same timezone along Australia’s east coast all year round would make interstate business easier and make better use of the sunlight hours. But with FNQ still opposing the idea, Schrinner says another option could be splitting the state up into different timezones. It’s not the first time Quexit has been floated#SquizShortcut

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

Pop icon Britney Spears will spill the beans in a tell-all memoir about her conservatorship ordeal and troubled personal life. The US$15 million deal would be amongst the most lucrative in publishing history.  

Look away, coriander haters… McDonald’s China has released a limited edition ice cream sundae flavoured with the pungent herb. Fresh/tangy… 

And America’s most expensive house is on the market for a cool $US295 million (A$411 million). With multiple bowling alleys, 5 swimming pools, a juice bar, and a beauty salon, it would make the perfect home for an upsizer…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – ACCC Chairperson Rod Sims addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Wage Price Index, December 2021; Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary, December 2021

Company Results – Domino’s Pizza; Woolworths; Rio Tinto; APA Group; Stockland; WiseTech Global

Launceston Cup – a public holiday for the city

Day of Defenders of the Fatherland and the Armed Forces – Belarus

Teal Ribbon Day for Ovarian Cancer

Play Tennis Day

Single Tasking Day – a day to get things done, one thing at a time

Birthdays for actors Aziz Ansari (1983), Emily Blunt (1983) and Dakota Fanning (1994)

Anniversary of:
• Johannes Gutenberg printing the first-ever book using a printing press – the Bible (estimated date 1455)
• the deaths of John Keats (1821) and Dame Nellie Melba (1931)
• The Times of London publishing the world’s first classified ad (1886)
• the first mass inoculation against polio (1954)
• rapper Eminem releasing his first major record album The Slim Shady LP (1999)

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.