“For me, it’s a pride thing. I’m not going to let them win. I’m not going to give them the satisfaction.”
Said the fastest man in history Usain Bolt of his motivation to keep up a strict fitness regime. And he’s not doing it to defy the haters… His mates have taken bets that he’ll “get fat” in 6-8 years after his retirement from the track. Gotta love a support network…
TAKING SIDES IN THE CHINA FIGHT
China has levelled “economic punishment” at our exporters over the last year to get back at the Australian Government for “smearing” it. It was an extraordinary admission made by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Tuesday night in response to a media question about the fall in our agricultural exports. “We will not allow any country to reap benefits from doing business with China while groundlessly accusing and smearing China and undermining China’s core interests based on ideology,” he said. Which at least drops the pretence that our exporters have breached the rules or had quality issues… Zhao added that Australia has acted as “a cat’s paw for others” – a reference to our relationship with the US, and a “crude” attempt to tear us apart, Aussie officials said.
COULD IT WORK?
Never. Well, maybe one day – we were channelling INXS for a second… But not right now, anyway. And we know that because as Zhao was delivering his press conference, the White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell said it was clear China is trying to “cut Australia out of the herd”, but America is “not going to leave Australia on the field”. And China’s move has backfired because there’s “a deepening, intensifying relationship between Canberra and Washington,” he said.
AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE A DEEP/INTENSE RELATIONSHIP?
Commitment phobes? Which is not a category Australia falls into. And neither does Japan, which yesterday declared a preference for the US over China. After years of walking a fine diplomatic line, Japan’s Deputy PM Taro Aso said it would join the US in defending Taiwan if China tried to take it by force. Japan would see that as an “existential threat” that could leave its own territory vulnerable, he said. In recent months, China has not ruled out “reunifying” Taiwan with the mainland by force – a potential flashpoint that experts say could draw the US – and Japan – into a conflict between the superpowers. Where’s Chinese President Xi Jinping in all of this, you ask? Talking to his mates from 160 nations to help them “adjust more quickly to the rise of China,” a spokesman said.
Want to know more about the Taiwan thing? #SquizShortcut
SQUIZ THE REST
HAITIAN PRESIDENT ASSASSINATED
Jovenel Moïse was killed and his wife Martine was injured in an attack on their private residence in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital. Reports say unidentified gunmen stormed the home at 1am local time – they were “foreigners who spoke English and Spanish”, according to interim PM Claude Joseph. A ‘state of siege’ has been declared, which means gatherings can be banned and the military used for police roles as Joseph vowed to bring Moïse’s killers to justice. Moïse was Haiti’s leader since 2017, and in recent times had faced protests demanding his resignation. Many were unhappy that his 5-year term had expired in February, but he was governing by decree after elections due in October 2019 did not happen. One of the poorest nations in the world, Haiti is marred by corruption and widespread gang violence.
HOT JUNE SEES BIG TEMPERATURE INCREASES
Several record-breaking heatwaves worldwide last month point to more “extraordinary” temperature extremes to come, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme has warned. Globally, last month was the 4th warmest June ever recorded. North America sweated through its hottest ever June, with parts of the US and Canada breaking previous temperature records by more than 5C. While scientists aren’t surprised that there are more heatwaves, they’re concerned about heat records being broken by wide margins. Climate change will see that continue, they say, regardless of any reductions in carbon emissions.
SAMSUNG’S CHIPS NOT SO CHEAP…
Tech giant Samsung expects to see its earnings for the April-June quarter jump by 53% as the company cashes in on a global chip shortage. Lovers of the crisp/hot variety need not panic: we’re talking about the semiconductor kind… The price of chips has skyrocketed as manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand as more people start to work remotely. That’s seen Samsung, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of chips and smartphones, able to more than offset a sales slump at the start of the pandemic. Now, the company reckons it will post a quarterly profit of US$11 billion, which would far exceed analysts’ expectations. If confirmed later this month, it would mark Samsung’s biggest 2nd quarter profit since 2018. Plans are underway to address the chip shortage, which has seen industries worldwide that make anything electrical struggle. From cars to electric toothbrushes to hi-tech computers, it’s a problem…
TOKYO GETS CLOSER AS AUSSIE FLAG-BEARERS PICKED
Australia’s flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will be veterans Cate Campbell and Patty Mills. A mainstay of the swimming team, Campbell has won 2 gold, a silver, and 2 bronze medals at 3 previous Games, and all eyes will be on her for the 100m freestyle. As for Mills, the Boomer who plays in America’s NBA with the San Antonio Spurs becomes the first Indigenous Aussie to carry the flag at the Olympics. He’s also off to his 4th Games and is super keen to get Australia on the podium. Both called their selection “an honour and privilege”. The torch relay might be off, but Japan is set to find out today if limited/local crowds will attend any of the Games, just as 2 workers at Tokyo’s Olympics village tested positive to the coronavirus. The opening ceremony is on Friday, 23 July…
APROPOS OF NOTHING
People get a kick out of seeing faces in things. Alarm clocks, chairs, pies – if there’s a face on it, our brain will respond to inanimate objects the same way it would if it was alive. It’s called face pareidolia, and we’re hardwired to do it, researchers say.
Fish swimming in the waste of drug users can become addicted. That’s a problem because the affected aquatic life could lose their enthusiasm for foraging and mating.
And 14 living/direct descendants of Leonardo da Vinci have been found by a couple of art historians. Imagine being able to brag about that at your next BBQ…
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) – Speech by RBA Governor Philip Lowe on the labour market and monetary policy to the Economic Society of Australia – online
10.30pm (AEST) – Wimbledon Semi-Final – Ask Barty v Angelique Kerber
• the first publication of Wall Street Journal (1889)
• the deaths of actress Vivian Leigh (1967) and North Korean founder Kim Il Sung (1994)
• the release of the Spice Girls’ debut single Wannabe (1996)
• the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the final mission of the US Space Shuttle program (2011)
• the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein on further charges of sex trafficking of minors (2019)
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
PREVIOUS SQUIZ TODAY
Weather information reproduced with the permission of the Bureau of Meteorology