Squiz Today / 29 November 2023

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 29 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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13 / 22

Squiz Sayings

“A pyrotechnic piece of goal scoring” 

Said one commentator describing one of soccer’s goals of the decade courtesy of 19yo Manchester United star Alejandro Garnacho. The teenager’s been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham – and if football doesn’t work out, the kid’s got a big future in gymnastics… 

Wet ‘n wild weather all over the place

The Squiz

Since South Oz copped a right battering yesterday, heavy rains and thunderstorms have been heading for the east coast. In Adelaide, the weather system caused havoc by dumping up to 40mm of rain in an hour, leaving more than 8,000 homes in the dark, grounding flights and flooding streets. And, fittingly, a Moby Dick whale sculpture broke free of its tethers and swam downstream… The storms arrived in NSW, northern Victoria and Queensland yesterday – although agricultural communities in western and southern parts of the Sunshine State welcomed the downpour after several dry months.

What’s the weather map saying?

The ‘supercell’ thunderstorms – which meteorologist Milton Speer described as the most dangerous – moving over southeast Oz aren’t a pretty sight… They have the potential to cause flash flooding, hail, strong winds, and even tornadoes. Forecasters reckon southeastern Queensland, inland NSW, and northern Victoria could be in for a drenching today, with up to 150mm of rain expected in some parts. The BOM says that “heavy, locally intense rainfall that may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding is likely”. If you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, it’s also time to get the brollies out – 35mm and 25mm of rain is predicted, respectively… Weatherzone meteorologist Anthony Sharwood says it’s down to 2 upper-level troughs moving through – he says one of those is forecast to stall “for a few days” over the Murray Darling Basin.

What happened to El Niño?

Good question because we’ve been hearing for months that we’re in for dry and warm conditions that could lead to a bad bushfire season. And although this latest dumping of rain might indicate otherwise, hot times are still a-comin. Meteorologist Ben Domensino explains the science behind it here, but essentially, he says there can still be ups and downs in rainfall – like we’re seeing this week – during a visit from El Niño. That’s backed up by the BOM’s latest climate driver report that says below-average rainfall is forecasted across northern Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tassie, South and Western Oz between December and February. As for the next few days, Aussies up and down the east coast – you’ve been warned

Australian News Weather

Squiz the Rest

Not for the claustrophobic

There were tears and cheers in India overnight when all 41 Indian workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in the northern state of Uttarakhand were freed after 17 days. A landslide caused a blockage at the entrance of the tunnel on 12 November – none of the road construction workers were injured, and they spent the next 2 weeks surviving on oxygen piped through the rubble, and then rescuers worked out how to get dry food to them through a 15cm pipe. And after days of digging through the 60m of rubble with a drilling machine, it broke down, forcing them to finish it by hand. The final rescue also involved a pipe – overnight, the trapped men were pulled through a 90cm steel pipe, arriving to shouts of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” – “Long live mother India” – from the crowd of locals and family. Indian PM Narendra Modi has praised the trapped men’s “inspiring” courage and patience. 

World News

Highly caught out

The High Court has published a summary of its reasons for its surprise 8 November decision that has seen 141 people released from immigration detention. The short summary is indefinite detention is punitive, and under the Constitution, only courts – not parliament – can dole out punishments. We also learned that the decision was unanimous amongst the judges, who overruled a 2004 precedent – something the government was not expecting to happen. While we’re on the topic, it was confirmed yesterday that 6 of the released detainees haven’t been fitted with a monitoring device, and one of those has gone missing. Sorting that out is a priority, as is enacting preventive detention laws to redetain people considered to be high-risk offenders after the High Court left the door open to that kind of arrangement. 

AusPol Australian News

Pat hangs up his hat

Pat Dodson, the towering figure in Indigenous advocacy known as the “father of reconciliation”, is set to leave federal politics. Dodson has cancer and will finish up as a Western Australian Senator on Australia Day, which is “3 days before my 76th birthday, and it’s a Friday – it will be a good day to retire”. PM Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Dodson’s lifelong work for reconciliation, saying “you would gladly follow him into battle, yet he’s made it his life’s work to make peace.” Because of ill-health, Dodson only made one prominent appearance campaigning for a Voice to Parliament when he pleaded with Australians to vote ‘Yes’. On that topic – the referendum’s failure to pass has just been analysed by an Australian National University survey, which found voters knocked it back because of the proposed model – not because they don’t support Indigenous rights. 


A reckoning on a morning sickness drug

It isn’t every day we get a national apology, and this morning, PM Albanese will deliver one to all Aussies affected by the drug thalidomide. It was a morning sickness medication marketed to pregnant women in the 50s and 60s that caused significant birth defects. An estimated 10,000 babies around the world were affected, and 40% died before their first birthday. Thalidomide wasn’t tested on pregnant women before it was approved for sale, and the fallout from its side effects led to greater medical oversight around the world, as well as the creation of our Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). A national apology was one of the recommendations of a 2019 Senate Committee report, as was creating a recognition site for survivors, which will be unveiled tomorrow near Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. There are 146 thalidomide survivors registered in Oz. 

AusPol Health

Fair dinkum definitions

No joshing around – ’authentic’ truly is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year. The oldest American dictionary defines ‘authentic’ in a couple of ways, including “not false or imitation” and “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” As for why they chose it, they said that interest in the term had spiked due to “stories and conversations around AI, celebrity culture, identity, and social media”. Less high-minded was the Aussie Macquarie Dictionary’s word of the year, which is ‘cozzie livs’ – aka slang for “cost of living”. Macquarie’s pool of potential winners limits the dictionary to new words, and ‘cozzie livs’ is fresh… But editor Victoria Morgan reckons there’s a gravity to the choice because “when something is very serious”, Aussies shorten it up “to discuss things in a more light-hearted manner”.

Culture Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

Calling all misophones… Snack giant Doritos has created a new app that uses artificial intelligence to reduce the sound of crunching on any audio call requiring a microphone. It’s mostly marketed at gamers, but we’re definitely checking it out…

US First Lady Jill Biden has unveiled this year’s White House holiday decor, and it’s the Christmas equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory… Featuring candy-themed ornaments, a gingerbread miniature White House, and 98 Christmas trees, it’s a dentist’s worst nightmare…

Former US Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to visit Oz next year as part of a bid to boost the number of American tourists heading Down Under. Hopefully, it has a better outcome than her controversial trip to Taiwan…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – CEO of The ParentHood, Jessica Rudd, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.40pm (AEDT) – Women’s Cricket – WBBL Eliminator – Perth Scorchers v TBC – Perth

9.00pm (AEDT) – Men’s Soccer – Asian Champions League – Melbourne City v Ventforet Kofu (Japan) – Tokyo

PM Anthony Albanese to deliver a national apology to survivors of the drug thalidomide and their families in the federal parliament – Canberra

Brittany Higgins gives evidence at Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation trial – Sydney

ABS Data Release – Monthly Consumer Price Index indicator, October

Company shareholder meeting – Harvey Norman Holdings

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Birthdays for philanthropist Janet Holmes à Court (1946) and songwriter Don Walker (1951)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of authors Louisa May Alcott (1832) and CS Lewis (1898)
• physicist Erwin Schrödinger publishing his famous thought experiment ‘Schrödinger’s cat’ (1935)
• the release of the first commercially successful video game, Pong (1972)
• the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album (1982)
• the deaths of actors Natalie Wood (1981) and Cary Grant (1986), and Beatle George Harrison (2001)
• the release of Adele’s single Rolling in the Deep (2010)

Squiz the Day

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