Squiz Today / 09 March 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 9 March

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you to the ‘good to go’ stage of the morning. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

18 / 24
15 / 22
23 / 33
13 / 25
21 / 35
10 / 19
27 / 34
12 / 22

Squiz Sayings

“Juan Carrito never harmed anyone,” 

Said Luigi Liberatore, a resident of Roccaraso, Italy, who started a petition against the capture of a local bear named Juan Carrito. Juan has a loyal following after breaking into the town’s bakery, but he’s now in an enclosure for ‘problem’ animals. In his defence, a bakery treat is hard to resist…

Sloshing around in stormy NSW


A low pressure system hanging over NSW has wreaked havoc across Greater Sydney, bringing with it relentless rain and gale-force winds. It’s already Sydney’s wettest start to the year on record and authorities say the flooding stretches all the way down the coast.


It seems like someone’s turned the rain tap on full ball and forgotten to turn it off. Most parts of Sydney were affected yesterday, with the northern suburbs copping the brunt of the downpour. At one point, there were almost 60 evacuation orders affecting 40,000 people. And just to give you a sense of how extreme the situation was, an area around the popular tourist suburb of Manly on the Northern Beaches was evacuated as the nearby dam started to spill. And there are still big problems in Western Sydney… Sadly, the bodies of a 67yo woman and her adult son were identified yesterday after their car was found in a stormwater canal in Wentworthville. That brings the state’s death toll 7 from these floods. Forecasters say there is some relief coming, but the flood threat remains as river levels continue to rise.


Good question… There has been lots of criticism thrown around that the response has been too slow. PM Scott Morrison came out of COVID isolation last night and will travel to flood-ravaged towns in northern NSW today with new funding to support the reconstruction. The Defence Force has ramped up its operations in flood affected areas of NSW and Queensland, after some locals in NSW complained they had to rely on volunteers rather than emergency services. And yesterday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he took responsibility for the inadequate disaster response, saying it’s  “pretty clear” more could have been done. As for the recovery, he says it will “not take days and weeks, but months and years ahead.” 

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

US bans Russian energy imports

President Joe Biden will stop buying Russian oil, natural gas and coal in protest against the war in Ukraine. In the major announcement this morning, Biden said the move targeted “the main artery of Russia’s economy” and warned that it would lead to more expensive petrol prices and power bills for Americans. The UK will also phase out the importation of Russian oil by the end of 2022, which makes up 8% of UK’s supplies. China’s President Xi Jinping has also weighed in on the war in Ukraine, describing the situation in the country “worrying” and said the priority should be preventing it from “spinning out of control”. It’s rare commentary from the Chinese leader who has previously refused to condemn Russia’s actions after signing a strategic alliance with President Vladimir Putin. And Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has delivered an historic address to the British House of Commons via videolink, asking for Britain to impose a ‘no fly zone’ over Ukraine to stop the Russian bombing attack.

World News

The new-old virus on the block

Just to keep us on our toes, say hello to the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV)… Last night, health officials confirmed that a Victorian man in his 60s died from the disease on 28 February. Investigations are underway into how he contracted the disease. Another 8 cases have been confirmed since then. JEV typically affects pigs and horses and yesterday, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said it’s been found in 42 piggeries in South Oz, NSW, Queensland and Victoria. And when it comes to people, an infection presents like a mild cold, but severe cases can cause neurological complications and death. And how does it spread? Mozzie bites, and they get their kicks from warm and damp conditions – aka the kind of summer many parts of eastern Oz have had. Asked about climate change’s role in JEV’s spread, Littleproud said it’s “a real threat that we need to take seriously.” Yesterday, the global Encephalitis Society said Aussies need to stay mosquito safe as extreme weather conditions persist.

Australian News Health

Latest shot in the Baldwin drama

Speaking at a film festival in Colorado, Alec Baldwin has implied that the family of Halyna Hutchins and others suing him and other movie execs over last year’s accident on the set of his movie Rust are going after “deep pockets”. The cinematographer was fatally hit with a live round from a revolver Baldwin was rehearsing with. The film’s director Joel Souza was also hit and he survived. Baldwin said “the people who have money are not negligent” when it comes to the incident, but he says the attitude of those suing is “we’re not gonna let that stop us from doing what we need to do in terms of litigation.” Last month, Hutchins’ husband Matthew said he was disappointed that Baldwin had painted himself as a victim and was trying to “shift responsibility to others” for the death of his wife. He’s said he’s frustrated Baldwin has not accepted some responsibility for her death, adding “there were a number of industry standards that were not practiced, and there’s multiple responsible parties.” The police investigation is continuing.

Crime Entertainment

The Amazon approaches the edge

The Amazon rainforest is reaching a critical “tipping point”, and that could have “profound” implications for the world’s climate and biodiversity. Scientists have examined month-to-month satellite images taken over the past 20 years, and they say that more than 75% of the South American rainforest is taking longer to recover from droughts, fires, and logging. That’s bad… Thanks to climate change, dry seasons in the Amazon basin have become longer and droughts have become more common. Deforestation is another factor, with areas closest to urban areas and farm land showing the most “resilience loss”. That could see the rainforest lose large parts of its forest canopy which would turn the ‘lungs of the world’ into a grassy savannah and release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. “This is alarming,” said Professor Niklas Boers in the understatement of the year. The good news is that the tipping point hasn’t been reached yet, so scientists are calling for urgent action.

Environment & Science

One step closer to reversing ageing

Beauty companies and tech billionaires like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos are obsessed with finding the secrets to everlasting youth, but US scientists have claimed a victory after successfully rejuvenating the cell tissues of middle-aged mice. Researchers have drawn on the work by Japanese Nobel laureate Professor Shinya Yamanaka, who discovered that a mixture of 4 molecules – known as Yamanaka factors – can turn older cells into younger stem cells almost anywhere in the body. Mice who received Yamanaka factors for several months looked more youthful, with particular improvements in their skin and kidneys. Scientists are excited about what it could mean for anti-ageing and diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, but they are cautious about using the same therapy on humans, with previous studies showing that fully reprogrammed cells can turn cancerous. Nothing’s ever easy…


Apropos of Nothing

The London Underground has just 3 stops named after women. So to mark International Women’s Day, actor/activist Emma Watson and friends have created an alternative map. Next stop, Virginia Woolf, mind the gap… 

America has jumped on the Eurovision bandwagon by creating their own version. To be hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, performers from all 50 US states, 5 territories and Washington DC will compete. Let’s hope it’s just as wacky as the original… 

And Aussie director Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin have put their 5-storey New York mansion on the market for $27 million. The house – which has been featured in numerous design magazines – is just a bit glam, like the couple themselves. 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – OzHarvest founder Ronni Kahn addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

South Korean presidential election

Anniversary of:
• the launch of the Barbie doll at the American Toy Fair in New York (1959)
• Soviet flight Sputnik 9 returning from orbit with a dog, frogs and a guinea pig (1961)
• the death of rapper The Notorious BIG (1994)
• NASA Space Shuttle Discovery making its final landing after 39 flights (2011)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.