Squiz Today / 09 February 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 9 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

Smoothing over your hump day.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

17 / 31
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Squiz Sayings

“You break the bread into small, mouth-sized pieces, butter it and there you go.”

You’re at a fancy dinner and feeling a bit carbolicious – that’s the way to butter your bread etiquette expert Dr Clinton Lee says. We say maximising the butter-to-bread ratio and getting it in your gob quickly is correct…

The PM says sorry to Higgins and abused staffers


It was 15 February last year when Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins quit her job and went public with claims she had been raped by a colleague in their Parliament House office in 2019. And yesterday, PM Scott Morrison apologised for the harm she experienced. He was joined by Labor leader Anthony Albanese, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and Greens leader Adam Bandt to acknowledge the harassment, assaults and bullying experienced by staffers, particularly women, in the past. And they vowed to do better in the future.


Since Higgins went public almost a year ago, there have been several reviews into her claims, the workplace culture, and the support available to our 2,020 federal parliamentary staffers. In her report, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins found that 37% of staff had been bullied, and 33% had been sexually harassed. She recommended our political leaders deliver an apology for what’s happened and acknowledge that things need to improve. Many of the women there yesterday said they wanted to see action to back up the words. Note: the government is introducing legislation into the House this week that addresses other recommendations in Jenkins’ report.


Higgins, who was in the gallery to watch it unfold, left early in tears. After a bruising year when an apology was hard to come by, to hear the prime minister say the words would have been a lot… We’ll hear directly from her today when she addresses the National Press Club alongside Grace Tame. Last year’s Aussie of the Year inspired Higgins to go public with her claims, and the 26yo advocates for sexual abuse survivors have become mates. The pair are expected to use their address to call out the government for not doing enough. Morrison said he won’t be watching on


Squiz the Rest

Religion and politics still don’t mix well…

When it comes to legislation, the government usually has the support of its own party members… That’s not the case for the Coalition when it comes to the contentious religious discrimination bills, and it’s looking likely they will need to rely on Labor’s support to pass them. Conservatives are on board because the laws are meant to protect people and organisations of faith. But moderate Liberals aren’t so enthusiastic because they worry religious considerations could override other protection ensuring women, and gay and trans people get a fair go. So, in a bid to smooth the way, PM Morrison has promised to ban schools from expelling kids on the basis of their sexual orientation. Gender, however, is a whole other thing and that means trans kids could still get a raw deal. Cue equality advocates including former Olympic champion Ian Thorpe who are calling on the bill to be scrapped. Why is this a thing? The Coalition promised to get this done before the election, which is due before 21 May.


An Aussie in trouble in Hong Kong

He’s an Australian-Chinese man, to be totally accurate… And yesterday, Australian officials confirmed he has spent the last 11 months in jail and could face life in prison after being charged under Hong Kong’s national security laws. The unnamed man was arrested for ‘conspiring to subvert state power’ on 6 January last year. China watchers say that suggests he was one of the 47 pro-democracy activists and politicians detained that day as part of China’s crackdown on troublemakers in Hong Kong. Our Foreign Affairs Department says its officials have been denied the opportunity to give consular assistance to the man because dual citizenship is no longer recognised in the territory. Officials are in “regular contact” with his lawyers and will “continue to attend future court hearings,” they say. More than 160 people in Hong Kong have been arrested under controversial laws since they were implemented in 2020.

Australian News World News

Allies not on the same Ukraine page

A new day, a new twist in the Ukraine crisis… Yesterday, US President Joe Biden upped the pressure on Russia, vowing to stop the opening of a $11 billion Russian gas pipeline to Germany if Russia invades Ukraine. Biden is hosting Angela Merkel’s replacement Olaf Scholz at the White House, and they’re tackling some difficult issues to kickstart their relationship. Scholz said Germany was “absolutely united” with the US on the Ukraine crisis, but declined to commit to halting the gas project. In short, Germany really really really needs Russia’s gas… Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has been chatting it up with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and he reckons they’re making some headway in calming the farm. And despite Russia’s assurances it isn’t planning on invading Ukraine, it is continuing to build up its military presence along Ukraine’s border, reports say.

World News

Clear the way, winners coming through

Between the Winter Olympics and the resignation of Australia’s men’s cricket coach Justin Langer, the spotlight has been well and truly off our unstoppable women’s cricket team. But yesterday the Ashes series against England wrapped up and they are well and truly retained. Australia took an unassailable 8-4 points series lead last Thursday, and sealed the series victory on Sunday with another win. And in the 3rd/final one-day international (ODI) yesterday, Australia made it an undefeated series with a comfortable 8-wicket win. That means the team would have to feel pretty good about heading to the ODI World Cup in New Zealand in March… And the men’s side have named their squad for the upcoming tour of Pakistan. It’s notable because Oz hasn’t toured Pakistan since 1998 over security concerns, but Cricket Australia gave the tour a (baggy) green light last week, and no players have pulled out. Now all they need is a full-time coach…


Oscar nominations announced

Aussies will be strongly represented at the 94th Academy Awards next month with Nicole Kidman nominated for Best Actress for her depiction of Lucille Ball in the drama Being The Ricardos, which she described as the “hardest role I’ve ever done.” New Zealand’s Jane Campion swept the field of nominations that were announced overnight, including for producing, directing and writing the Netflix film The Power of the Dog. 25yo Aussie Kodi Smit-McPhee got a nod for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Campion’s psychological drama/western, as did the film’s editor, Peter Sciberras. The film received 12 nominations. And Aussie cinematographer Greig Fraser was recognised for the sci-fi blockbuster Dune which received 10 nominations. See the full list of nominees here. And never fear, the Razzies are here too… They’re the counterbalance to the Oscars where Hollywood stars accept gongs for the worst performances of the year. Netflix’s Diana the Musical topped the list with 9 nominations. Yikes… As per tradition, the ‘winners’ will be announced on 26 March – the day before the Oscars.


Apropos of Nothing

A Brisbane house inspired by Bluey has been listed on Airbnb. For just $10 a night, even non-fans might enjoy a stay/play there…

As part of a bid to boost regional tourism, a new version of Monopoly is being developed for Victoria’s Bendigo. The city has its own Pall Mall, so it might not be a difficult exercise.

And an English pub that claims to be the oldest in Britain is closing its doors due to pandemic-related financial issues. The Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans had been in business since 793AD – and no one is around to say different.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.30am (AEDT) Health Minister Greg Hunt launches a landmark report on melanoma

12.30pm (AEDT) – Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins address the National Press Club – Canberra

3.30pm (AEDT) – Winter Olympics Men’s and Women’s Snowboarding Halfpipe Qualifications – Beijing. Watch out for Aussies Scotty James and Valentino Guseli

6.45pm (AEDT) – Winter Olympics Women’s Snowboard Cross Final – Beijing. Watch out for Aussies Belle Brockhoff and Josie Baff

Company Half-Year Results: Commonwealth Bank; Mineral Resources; Temple & Webster

National Pizza Day – US

Birthdays for author Alice Walker (1944), Derryn Hinch (1944), Mia Farrow (1945), Gina Rhineheart (1954), Glenn McGrath (1970), Tom Hiddleston (1981), Michael B. Jordan (1987), Rose Leslie (1987)

Anniversary of the death of Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II (2002)

Squiz the Day

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