Squiz Today / 07 December 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 7 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Powering you past the halfway mark.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

SYD
16 / 29
MEL
12 / 20
BNE
20 / 32
ADL
14 / 21
PER
13 / 31
HBA
7 / 19
DRW
25 / 35
CBR
8 / 25

Squiz Sayings

“I feel how the Port Macquarie Hastings Council Christmas tree looks.”

Tweeted one tired journo after the NSW coastal town’s Christmas centrepiece was dubbed the ‘worst ever’… We don’t like to judge, but it has become an instant meme… just saying.

Interest rate hits a 10-year high

THE SQUIZ
As anticipated, the Reserve Bank lifted the official cash rate by 0.25% to 3.1% yesterday, marking the 8th raise in a row and taking it to the highest level in a decade. It means those with a $500,000 mortgage are now paying an extra $834 a month compared to May. Treasurer Jim Chalmers yesterday acknowledged rate rises have “harsh and heavy” consequences for Aussies, adding that the “full impact” won’t be felt until later. He also noted that Oz is “hostage” to international factors that are keeping inflation high, including the war in Ukraine and the ongoing COVID lockdowns in China.

HOW HIGH CAN IT GO?
We won’t know that answer until next year. The big banks are already hazarding a guess – Westpac and ANZ predict a peak of 3.85% in May. But how our economy is tracking is an important factor, and we’ll know more when the latest data is released by the Bureau of Stats today. Meanwhile, we found out yesterday that while we’re spending 20% more than at this time last year, that eased up a bit in October, suggesting cost of living pressures are squeezing us right in the hip pocket. And there’s no escaping it – even eating at home is expensive with food prices growing at the fastest rate in 16 years. Christmas spoiler alert: fruit and vegetable prices are set to peak in mid-December.

AND WHAT ABOUT ELECTRICITY PRICES?
That’s TBD… Despite PM Anthony Albanese’s latest bout with COVID, he insists power bill relief will be determined before Christmas and kick in by February. The details will be thrashed out at a postponed/virtual National Cabinet meeting on Friday. Team Albanese wants the states/territories to cap wholesale coal and gas prices to bring electricity prices down. That’s proving a bit unpopular so far – NSW and Queensland are leading the calls for compensation in place of lost royalties worth billions and reports this morning say Treasurer Jim Chalmers is considering that demand. Several premiers have also complained that they don’t know the details of what will be discussed on Friday, but Albanese insists the bureaucrats have been working it through in a “whole lot of detail”. The more things change, the more they stay the same… 

Australian News Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Ukraine accused of terrorism

Russian authorities have described drone attacks on 2 of the country’s air bases as “terrorist” acts after 3 military personnel were killed and at least 4 injured. The sites are hundreds of kms from Russia’s western border, and Moscow has blamed Ukraine. For its part, Ukraine hasn’t claimed responsibility but has posted cryptic messages on social media. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: “if something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point”, probably referring to Russia’s continuous air strikes throughout the war. It comes as Russia bombarded Ukraine with more missiles early this week. Zelensky says most were shot down, but there have been setbacks to restoring power to some areas.

World News

China set to shake off more restrictions

Major Chinese cities have started to ease some COVID restrictions, including widespread lockdown measures and mandatory PCR testing following last month’s unprecedented anti-lockdown protests that have challenged President Xi Jinping’s leadership. Yesterday, Reuters reported that Chinese authorities are set to announce the easing of more restrictions today. Commentators say the Communist Party has underestimated the public’s anger after 3 years of strict health measures, and while it’s unlikely that restrictions will be scrapped entirely anytime soon, things are changing – including messaging that new COVID variants are not as harmful as previous ones. And whaddya know – there’s a Squiz Shortcuts episode on all that coming out tomorrow morning…

World News

Draconian laws passed in Indonesia

Indonesia’s parliament has unanimously passed big changes to the country’s criminal code, including banning premarital cohabitation/sex and forbidding insults against the president, among other laws. It means that anyone – Indonesians or foreigners – found guilty of adultery or premarital relations could face 12 months in jail. To be phased in over 3 years, critics say the laws violate human rights and will disproportionately affect women and the LGBTQI+ community. One opponent says the danger is not that they will be widely used, but that police could use “selective enforcement”. But Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly says the government has tried to “accommodate the important issues and different opinions” – and on they go… The legislation was set to go through in 2019, but nationwide protests prevented it from passing, and there could still be court challenges.

World News

Vale Kirstie Alley

The beloved TV and film star died on Monday at 71yo after a recent cancer diagnosis, her family has confirmed. The Kansas-born actor was best known for her award-winning role as Rebecca Howe on the 80s sitcom Cheers. She won more awards for the 1994 miniseries David’s Mother and then got her own sitcom Veronica’s Closet. Many would also remember her alongside John Travolta in Looks Who’s Talking – particularly this iconic dance scene… In the early 2000s, when tabloid magazines extensively covered her weight, Alley responded by creating and starring in Fat Actress and later became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. She turned to reality TV in recent years, featuring in the US version of The Masked Singer earlier this year. Yesterday, her kids honoured their “incredible, fierce and loving mother”.

Entertainment

Harry and Meghan doco promises to spill the tea

In case there was any doubt, we’re unlikely to see any festive goodwill between the Sussexes and the rest of the British Royal Family after a new trailer for Prince Harry and Meghan’s Netflix doco released yesterday promises a new wave of discomfort…. A voiceover of Harry declaring “there’s a hierarchy of the family… there’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories” picks at the scab of hurt that the Californian-based couple has previously outlined. He also says there’s “pain and suffering” for the women marrying into the family played over images of Meghan, Diana and Kate. There has been no word from Buckingham Palace just yet, but plenty in the media have Meghan and Harry to task for some of the misleading images used in the promo. If there was ever a time to grab the popcorn, it’s 7pm on Thursday when the first 3 episodes drop here in Oz.

Entertainment

Apropos of Nothing

Her recent trademark bid may have failed, but singer Mariah Carey has finally been recognised as the ‘Queen of Christmas’ – in a new comic book about her life and times. After being denied the title officially, it’s another way of claiming the mantle…

Word of the year titles continue to be declared – this time, it’s the Oxford Dictionary giving its crown to ‘goblin mode’. For those not across the gist of this Twitter page, the term refers to “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy” – like eating shredded cheese straight from the pack. Guilty. As. Charged.

Not in goblin mode were the attendees of yesterday’s British Fashion Awards… A-listers including Florence Pugh, Tilda Swinton, and Naomi Campbell graced the red carpet with their fabulous outfits – you can check out the gallery here. You’re welcome.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

1.30pm (AEDT) – AACTA Awards – Sydney

Overnight – Annual Australia-US Ministerial (AUSMIN) and AUKUS meetings held between US and Australia Foreign and Defence Ministers – Washington DC

Elizabeth Holmes’ former business partner/boyfriend Sunny Balwani to be sentenced after being convicted on fraud charges – California

ABS Data Release – Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, September

AIHW Release – Australia’s hospitals at a glance

Release of report on NSW’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

International Civil Aviation Day

Anniversary of:
• the deaths of Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero (43BC) and British naval officer William Bligh (1817)
• the attack on the US Naval Base in Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (1941)
• the premiere of the first Star Trek movie (1979)
• the passing of same-sex marriage legislation through the Australian Parliament (2017)

Squiz the Day

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