Squiz Today / 27 April 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 27 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

Your rundown for on-the-run mornings. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

16 / 23
14 / 22
17 / 26
15 / 23
13 / 21
10 / 20
26 / 33
9 / 19

Squiz Sayings

​​“By the time he was 4yo, he had the unattractive habit of yapping at his nanny, Barbara Barnes, ‘No one tells me what to do! When I am king I will have you punished.’ “

Said author Tina Brown of Prince William in her new book, The Palace Papers. For poor Barbara’s sake, we hope he doesn’t hold a grudge…

Musk buys Twitter and wants more free speech


Cheers and fears has been the reaction to news that the world’s richest man Elon Musk has bought Twitter for US$44 billion ($61.2 billion). The entrepreneur/big Twitter user, who launched the takeover bid before Easter, said the social media company has “tremendous potential”, and he wants to reduce moderation on the site to encourage freer speech. The Tesla/SpaceX boss said Twitter is a digital “town square” which should be a forum for open debate, tweeting to his 80 million followers that “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”


Fair enough because it’s unfolded quickly. Musk was one of Twitter’s biggest fans before he bought a 9% stake in the company in April, making him the biggest shareholder. Things started to get a bit weird about a week later when Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk was set to join the board, which the multi-billionaire then rejected. Then things headed into hostile takeover territory, and Twitter fought back to thwart the deal. But by the end of last week, Musk provided corporate regulators with the details of how he would finance it, including US$25.5 billion in debt and US$21 billion in equity financing against his Tesla shareholding. And after discussions on the weekend and Monday, the Twitter board unanimously approved the sale.


Musk says he will privatise the platform, which is a fancy way of saying he will take it off the stock market and have the company all to himself with his investors riding shotgun. That’s got the blue tick of approval from former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who tweeted that “it has been owned by Wall Street and the ad model” – which is a hint that he didn’t like what Twitter has turned into with public shareholders to answer to. So why’s Musk doing it? He recently said that he wanted to buy Twitter because of the power and influence rather than the money it could generate. Even so, the debt will need to be financed, which some say could come from a leaner business model. For now, Musk is tight-lipped about his plans, but there is a lot of interest in how he’s going to run it. The European Commission is one who says he must protect users from harmful content. Someone who’s not much interested is former US President/covfefe king Donald Trump… He says he’s sticking with his fledgling/struggling platform Truth Social.

Business & Finance Technology

Squiz the Rest

China says a Solomons base isn’t happening

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin yesterday dismissed speculation Beijing could build a permanent military base in the Pacific, saying the concerns were “completely fabricated … by a few people with ulterior motives”. Despite the assurance, the issue has pushed national security forward as a key election issue of the campaign so far. And with Labor accusing PM Scott Morrison of abandoning the Pacific, the party yesterday pledged to increase foreign aid to the region by $525 million over 4 years. Labor’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said it would boost diplomatic and military ties with the region “and restore Australia’s place as first partner of choice for our Pacific family”. Foreign Minister Marise Payne accused Labor of “playing politics”, saying Oz was providing $2.7 billion in funding to the Pacific this year and was already the Pacific’s “security partner of choice”. #SquizShortcut

AusPol World News

No women’s tennis for China

The governing body for women’s professional tennis is the WTA and yesterday it said it will not return to China this year because there has been no resolution with Beijing over Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai’s safety. There were concerns for her wellbeing when she disappeared from public life after making sexual assault allegations against a senior Chinese official last year. Peng later retracted her claims, but the WTA responded by suspending all of its tournaments in China in a move that is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship deals. WTA boss Steve Simon said the organisation has not had any “recent communication” with Peng, and the suspension will remain in place until a resolution is reached. And while we’re talking about tennis, Wimbledon organisers say COVID vaccinations won’t be mandatory for players at this year’s tournament. That means men’s world #1 Novak Djokovic will be free to defend his title.


North Korea talks tough on nuclear missiles

The nation might be battered by the pandemic and sanctions, but Kim Jong Un has made a defiant speech at a big military parade yesterday, vowing to ramp up the country’s nuclear arsenal and use those weapons if provoked. The parade was to mark the 90th anniversary of the army, which is the backbone of the Kim family’s authoritarian rule. The rogue nation enjoys showing off its new weapons at these public events, and the jewel in the crown is its intercontinental ballistic missile. It was tested last month, and analysts say it showed North Korea’s strike range now extends as far as the US mainland. In response, the US ratcheted up its sanctions, but Kim is undeterred. “We will continue to develop the nation’s nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace,” he told the crowd at the parade. Analysts say the recent election of South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk-Yeol, who has a harsher line on its neighbour, has frayed relations and stalled peace talks.

World News

Excitement over today’s inflation figures

The latest official inflation figures will be released today covering January-March, and chat about it will feature in every coffee queue, elevator, and friends catch-up today. Look, that might be overstating things, but it is a bit of a moment… Prices are expected to have risen by 4.6% over the last year, which would be the highest since the global financial crisis in the late noughties. Note: the Reserve Bank wants inflation at 2-3%. The rise in prices is being driven by big jumps in the cost of fuel, as well as housing and food. COVID, the floods and the war in Ukraine have a lot to answer for… If today’s figures show that inflation is galloping away, the Reserve Bank will be under pressure to lift interest rates when its board meets next week. And because we’re in an election campaign, that’s a bit of an issue because it can damage the government’s chances of reelection. Told you it’s a belter…

Australian News Business & Finance

Plane stunt takes a nosedive

The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a plane crash that occurred after a stunt went wrong on Sunday. In an event organised by energy drink giant Red Bull and livestreamed by Hulu, 2 pilots-turned-skydivers were tasked with parachuting from their nosediving planes to swap cockpits at a height of 14,000 feet over the Arizona desert. It didn’t quite go to plan, with one of the pilots missing his plane, so he was forced to parachute back to Earth. The other pilot managed to catch and safely land his plane. There were no passengers or spectators, and no one was injured during the stunt. But it’s left safety regulators with quite a few questions about how it was able to go ahead at all, given they had denied a request from organisers for an exemption from federal aircraft safety regulations. Yikes…

Quirky News World News

Apropos of Nothing

Lana and Lilly Wachowski – the sibling directors behind The Matrix series and Cloud Atlas are auctioning off their collection of nearly 200 props and memorabilia from their famous films. You can check out the catalogue here.

And a black cat called Jinx has been declared the Mayor of Hell. And by Hell, we mean the unincorporated town in Michigan…

If you’re excited about Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck getting back together, this is for you. Experts say reigniting a flame with a love from the past is more than chemistry – it’s about recapturing “the essential you.” Heavy…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Bridget McKenzie addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Freedom Day – South Africa

International Guide Dog Day

Denim Day

Birthdays for singer Lizzo (1988) and tennis player Nick Kyrgios (1995)

Anniversary of:
• Ludwig van Beethoven composing Für Elise (1810)
• the Australian Labor Party under Prime Minister Chris Watson becoming the first labour movement-aligned government in the world (1904)
• Sierra Leone declaring independence from the UK (1961)
• RC Duncan patenting the disposable nappy (1965)
• the Korean summit, which saw North and South officially end the Korean war and agree to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons (2018)
• the deaths of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1882), Australian politician and Federation father Sir Henry Parkes (1896)

Squiz the Day

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