Squiz Today / 25 October 2023

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 25 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

18 / 25
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20 / 31
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8 / 20

Squiz Sayings

“Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on Earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.”

Said vet Dr Karen Becker of Bobi the Portuguese mastiff who died this week after a record-breaking 31 years on the planet.  One of the secrets to his longevity? Bobi ate the same meals as his owners (like almost every dog we know…). 

High stakes hostage negotiations with Hamas

The Squiz 

Reports say Hamas is considering releasing 50 hostages who are dual citizens. There are expectations that about 25% of those taken could be released today… It comes after the terror group released another 2 people seized in Israel during their 7 October attack after talks facilitated by officials from Qatar and Egypt. The Israeli peace activists – 85yo Yocheved Lifshitz and 79yo Nurit Cooper – were released for “humanitarian reasons”, but their husbands continue to be held at an unknown location in Gaza. The women’s release means 4 hostages have been freed, so the focus remains on getting the other 220 hostages back.

What have the released hostages said?

Lifshitz, the 85yo, said she “went through hell” and described how the 7 October attackers “didn’t care if they were young or old”. The family of 2 American women released by Hamas on Friday has also spoken for the first time. Ayelet Sella, the cousin of Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie, says they’re relieved but won’t celebrate until all hostages – including their other family members – are free. Ayelet says getting them home “should be the only thing on the table at the moment” for the Israeli government – and that’s an opinion US officials share… They’ve doubled down on their calls for Israel to delay its ground invasion into Gaza but say a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas shouldn’t be considered until all the hostages are safe – the thinking is that’s the best way to keep the pressure on Hamas. The United Nations has a different view – its officials say a ceasefire is essential to get Gazans the aid they need.

So what’s the situation like on the ground?

The Hamas-run Health Ministry says the death toll in Gaza is now more than 5,700 people, with a record 704 killed in the last 24 hours. About 40% of the dead are children, according to the Health Ministry. To put that in perspective, the last time Israel invaded Gaza during the 2014 war, reports say 1,462 Palestinian civilians were killed. Agencies say the Palestinian toll is likely to rise, particularly as civilians return to their homes in the north – against advice – because of a lack of shelter and supplies in the south of the territory. In Israel, officials say more than 1,400 are dead – most were killed in the initial Hamas attack earlier this month. As for where things are landing today, the UN agency in Gaza said that Tuesday’s planned aid trucks didn’t arrive, and that if no fuel turns up their operations could halt within the day…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Putting up our Cyber Shield

We’ve mentioned that PM Anthony Albanese is in the US this week, and while there’s lots to see and do, it’ll be hard to beat his appearance with Microsoft boss Brad Smith to herald in the tech giant’s $5 billion investment in Australia’s cybersecurity capabilities. A big chunk of it will go towards working with the Australian Signals Directorate – our national cybersecurity agency – on building capabilities to fend off bad online actors. Not the YouTube kind – we’re talking hackers etc.… Officially called the ‘Cyber Shield’, the partnership is part of Australia’s aim “to become a world-leading cyber secure and resilient nation by 2030”. The Microsoft money is also going towards expanding the company’s cloud computing footprint in Australia. Next up for the PM: a state dinner at the White House, with the Rugby League chief Peter V’landys getting the call-up as a guest of honour… 

AusPol Australian News Technology

Bushfires build in Queensland

Hot and dry conditions are contributing to a growing bushfire emergency in Queensland’s southern Western Downs region (about 300km west of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast). Authorities say at least several homes have been destroyed, and alerts have urged residents in Tara, Kogan and Wieambilla to leave immediately. Police said overnight that they are investigating a body found in the Tara area. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned more bushfire alerts could be issued in western and central parts of the state over the coming days, with severe thunderstorms forecast tomorrow on top of a possible early cyclone season… It’s been a busy start to the bushfire season as we head into what’s predicted to be a scorching El Niño summer… To get ready, Aussies can now download a world-first Bushfire Resilience Rating app to help with their preparations. 

Australian News Weather

Aussie Ange is breaking records

Cor blimey… Aussie/soccer coach Ange Postecoglou is the hottest property in English football right now after his Tottenham Hotspurs powered to the top of the Premier League table with another win yesterday. They’re 9 rounds into the 38-round comp, but it’s Tottenham’s best start to a season in 60 years, and Our Ange has set a new record for the best start to a season of any new manager. It’s got critics and fans alike praising the Aussie boy made good – but he’s not letting it go to his head… Not having such a great time with the round ball game is Jamaica. The Reggae Girlz had a brilliant World Cup just a couple of months ago, but they’re now on strike after accusing their football federation of poor management. The team says it’s waiting to be properly paid for the World Cup campaign and will sit on the sidelines until the dispute’s resolved.


Britney’s own words

The hype around Britney Spears’ memoir – The Woman in Me* – has been huge. The book is available to buy in Oz today, and there’s been no shortage of headlines in the past few weeks about what’s in it. That includes that she terminated a pregnancy when dating fellow pop icon Justin Timberlake while just starting out in her solo career. And she shared some insights into her difficult rise to fame and mental health battles that saw her family take control of her life and finances under a conservatorship arrangement that was finally lifted in 2021 after the massive #FreeBritney movement. As for what’s next, Spears says she isn’t interested in pursuing a music career right now and that “it’s time to actually find myself”. You can read some excerpts here

*Buy using this link and The Squiz may earn a little commission.


A mitey anniversary

Vegemite turns 100yo today, and whether you hate or adore it, everyone agrees it’s an Aussie icon. As the legend goes, food technologist Cyril Callister developed an Australian version of the popular yeast-based British spread Marmite after WWI stopped imports. His recipe was a winner (and is still in use today…), and while sales were initially slow, Vegemite’s popularity grew over the decades. But it was the debut of the Happy Little Vegemites jingle in the 1950s that cemented its place in Australia’s cultural/culinary history. (Fun fact: scientists found Vegemite eaters really are happier…) The brand has had some hits and misses since then (ahem iSnack 2.0…), and more than 22 million Vegemite jars continue to be sold every year, with the spread featuring in foods ranging from curries to gelato. Still, it might take another century for non-Aussies to figure out how to eat it properly…  

Australian News

Apropos of nothing

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Awards are out, and the judges are feeling fishy… Neil Perry’s seafood restaurant Margaret is top of the list, while the Chef of the Year is Josh Niland, behind Charcoal Fish and the Fish Butchery. Consider us hooked.

A Paris wax museum says it’ll improve its version of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson after a recent unveiling attracted criticism. Even The Rock reposted comments saying that the statue had “never seen the sun a day in his life” and could be “part of the royal family”.

If you didn’t have enough free advice/judgement from your family on your dating life already, Tinder has introduced a feature called Matchmaker, which allows users to have their matches reviewed by friends and loved ones. As they say, feedback is a gift…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Ambassador for the State of Israel in Australia, Amir Maimon, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.30pm (AEDT) – Netball – South Africa Series Game 1 – Australia v South Africa – Cairns

7.30pm (AEDT) – Men’s Cricket – World Cup Group Stage – Australia v Netherlands – Delhi

ABS Data Release – Consumer Price Index, September Quarter

Start of All Energy Australia Conference – Melbourne (until 26 October)

International Artist Day

World Pasta Day

National Greasy Foods Day – US

Birthdays for Anne Tyler (1941), Zadie Smith (1975) and Katy Perry (1984)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Pablo Picasso (1881) and Helen Reddy (1941)
• Vegemite appearing on Aussie supermarket shelves (1923)
• the flight of the first Airbus A380 passenger flight – the world’s largest passenger airliner – operating for Singapore Airlines, flying between Singapore and Sydney (2007)
• the release of Taylor Swift’s third studio album Speak Now (2010)
• the death of 4 people on a theme park ride at Dreamworld (2016)

Squiz the Day

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