Squiz Today / 25 January 2023

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 25 January

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It was the day where it was really hot, so that added to the joy of finding it so quickly.”

Said Lisa Fox from rubbish contractor JJ Richards after a Dandenong resident accidentally threw out his wife’s gold jewellery that he had been storing in the freezer. They located the misplaced goods amongst the contents of some 500 smelly bins, making the search a stinking success…

Alice Springs update

After knocking back Coalition leader Peter Dutton’s invitation to join him for a visit to the besieged Central Australian town of Alice Springs yesterday, PM Anthony Albanese made his way there. And after meetings with officials, including Chief Minister Natasha Fyles and local community leaders, it was decided that there will be “immediate restrictions” on the sale of alcohol, stopping short of bringing back the bans that expired in July last year.

Takeaway-alcohol-free days will be put in place on Mondays and Tuesdays, which adds to the bottleshops being closed on Sundays. From Wednesday-Saturday, the hours when takeaway alcohol can be purchased will be restricted to 3pm-7pm, and a one transaction per person per day limit will be put in place. Fyles said she knew “not everyone will be happy” with the restrictions, but it’s a decision “police fully support – and by reducing that amount of alcohol, we will reduce the harm.” Those arrangements will stay in place for 3 months, but Albanese has a tighter deadline in mind… Dorrelle Anderson, a local leader in domestic violence prevention programs, has been appointed ‘regional controller’ and will report back to the PM and Chief Minister in a week.

It’s a fair question, but it’s a town in the grip of a crime crisis… Albanese wants quick advice on “potentially moving to an opt-out situation rather than opt-in.” What the what? That refers to the arrangement put in place by the NT Government after federal laws that kept alcohol out of most remote areas and communities in the Territory lapsed in July. Chief Minister Fyles says she wouldn’t support another “race-based policy” but has copped criticism for the results of the transition to communities ‘opting-in’ to remain dry. Albanese’s essentially asking if grog bans should be the default, which would see him pull rank on his Territory colleague. And while the problems are complex, it’s that access to alcohol that police and mayor Matt Paterson say is behind the +50% spikes in domestic violence, commercial break-ins and property damage in the town in recent months. Yesterday, Coalition leader Dutton said the PM and his government have to increase support to Alice Springs, and his side “will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him to tackle these issues.”

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Turkey says ‘yasak’ to Sweden

That’s Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying no to waving through Sweden’s application to join NATO. To step things back a bit… It was in mid-2022 that Sweden and Finland broke with their longstanding neutrality policies, deciding to apply for membership to the great big military alliance citing the fragile security situation in Europe. Turkey’s leader has been against it from the get-go, saying they shelter “representatives of terrorist organisations”, including the Kurdish Workers’ Party (aka the PKK). Tensions flared in Sweden on the weekend when an anti-Islam protest was held outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm – and Erdoğan said authorities should have shut it down. New members of NATO need unanimous support from member countries, but with Turkey firmly offside, it’s tricky. Other NATO nations have been supportive of the Nordic nations’ applications, saying it would help make Europe safer.

World News

Japan’s feeling clucky…

The ageing country will face significant problems if its falling birthrate is left unaddressed, says Japanese PM Fumio Kishida. Japan, which has a population of 125 million, had fewer than 800,000 births last year – down from more than 2 million a year in the 1970s. Adding to Japan’s life expectancy increasing in recent decades, it means there are far fewer young people working to support many more older people. He says Japan – which has the 2nd-oldest population in the world (Monaco is #1, in case you were wondering…) – is “standing on the verge of whether we can continue to function as a society” and that policies regarding children and child-rearing need immediate prioritisation. It comes a week after China confirmed its first population decline in 6 decades as its fertility rates also dive.

World News

Myer’s mega result

Retail analysts have long talked of the death of the middle-of-the-road department store, but Myer is bucking the trend after posting its strongest sales result in almost 20 years. Myer boss John King said sales between August and December last year jumped 24.8% on the previous year, and the company’s first-half profit is forecast to reach +$60 million – up 89%, going higher than pre-pandemic figures. But it wasn’t all chirping cash registers… Myer’s online transactions fell 9.4% to account for 20.1% of the retailer’s total sales as Aussies returned to IRL shopping. Analysts say retail spending on fashion and beauty has been strong thanks to life getting back to normal, but some warn that cost of living pressures could bite in 2023. King says the company feels cautious but confident, which is a very 2023 vibe…

Australian News Business & Finance

And the Aussie of the Year is…

Insert shrugging lady emoji… It will be announced in Canberra tonight, and after tennis champ/disability advocate Dylan Alcott took last year’s honours, this year’s list is packed with lesser-known legends. The biggest name is NSW’s Craig Foster – he’s the ex-Socceroos captain/commentator/human rights advocate who helped get Afghan athletes to safety and donated part of his World Cup income to the families of migrant workers who died in Qatar. To name a couple of others: representing Tassie is John Kamara, a refugee from Sierra Leone who works in the advocacy and charity space. And from Queensland is award-winning Indigenous classical composer William Barton. You can find the full list of nominees here, as well as those for Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and the Local Hero awards. Legends one and all…

Australian News

Oscar noms drop

You can’t see the film in Oz until tomorrow, so just nod when we tell you that Cate Blanchett’s performance in Tár has earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress. Announced overnight, she joins Aussie Catherine Martin, who received noms for best production design and best costume design for her work on Elvis. Her husband Baz Luhrmann missed out on a best director nomination for the biopic, but the film scored 7 nominations. Leading the charge is the fabulously weird flock Everything Everywhere All at Once with 11 nods. The winners will be announced on 12 March – and to get ahead, put in your diary a nomination for Dylan Alcott in 6 years’ time… As for the recognition no one in Hollywood wants, the satirical Razzie Awards have released their list of nominees. Leading the pack for worst picture and director is Marilyn Monroe ‘biopic’ Blonde (although lead actress Ana de Armas is up against Blanchett at the Oscars…). May the worst film win…


Apropos of nothing

A 4yo called Teddy Hobbs has become the UK’s newest/youngest Mensa member. At just 2yo, he taught himself to read and count in English and Mandarin, leaving his parents to brainstorm how to “keep him grounded”…

UK museums are cracking down on how patrons describe the ancient Egyptian human remains, saying ‘mummy’ has become too synonymous with supernatural tales. Instead, they’re adopting terms like ‘a mummified person’. Doesn’t have quite the same ring…

Fashion house Schiaparelli has kicked off Paris Fashion Week with dresses featuring life-sized lions, leopards and wolves’ heads. The brand says they’re all (very well made) faux animals – and we’ve always thought that 2 heads were better than one…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.30pm (AEDT) –2023 Australian of the Year announced – ABC TV

7.30pm (AEDT) – Tennis – Australian Open Quarter Finals – Men’s Singles – Novak Djokovic v Andrey Rublev – Melbourne

Funeral for Liberal Senator Jim Molan – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Monthly Consumer Price Index indicator, December; Consumer Price Index, December Quarter 2022

Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright is back in NT court

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

A birthday for Ukrainian President/comic actor Volodymyr Zelensky (1978)

Anniversary of:
• Antarctica being identified as a new continent by Charles Wilkes’ American naval expedition (1840)
• the Beatles hitting #1 in the US for the first time with I Want to Hold Your Hand (1964)
• first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Australia, from a returning traveller from Wuhan, China (2020)

Squiz the Day

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