Squiz Today / 24 November 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 24 November

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Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Not just beige, but also oatmeal, flax, cream, stone, rope, bone and ash.”

Wrote one columnist who was describing the ‘sad beige parenting’ trend that is said to be taking over the next generation’s nurseries. Each to their own colour palette, but the @officialsadbeige Insta account is far from bland…

Trump’s tax returns handed over

The US Supreme Court has approved the release of 6 years of former president Donald Trump’s tax returns. That means the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – aka America’s tax office – is set to hand over the documents outlining Trump’s personal finances to a Democratic-controlled congressional committee. Trump was/is a billionaire businessman – or so he said. And he was the first president in 4 decades to refuse to release his returns on taking high office. Democrats say the House Ways and Means Committee needs to assess whether the IRS is auditing presidential returns correctly. But Trump’s lawyers take a different view… They say the committee is politically-motivated and will weaponise the information to use against him – right as he joins the 2024 presidential race…

Good question. Usually, a candidate releases their tax returns during their campaign for the White House. It’s all to do with integrity and transparency – opening the books on their personal financial matters is a way to show they’re on the straight and narrow. There’s been pressure on Trump – mostly from Democrats – to release his tax returns since way back in 2016 during the Republican campaign to pick their presidential candidate. More recently, he’s been in a 3-year legal fight to keep the returns private. Under Trump’s administration during his time in office, the Treasury Department refused to release the documents. But that all changed under President Joe Biden’s administration, which says the law is clear in allowing the committee to review any taxpayer’s returns, including a president’s… And yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed.

Although this counts as a big loss for Trump, the drawn-out legal fight over releasing the returns could ultimately work in his favour… The House of Representatives, currently controlled by the Democrats, will be taken over by Republicans on 3 January following this month’s midterm election result. And that means the Democratic-controlled committee will only have about a month to examine Trump’s tax documents… But it could be enough time for them to complete the review. Ways and Means Committee chair, Congressman Richard Neal, says lawmakers will “conduct the oversight that we’ve sought for the last 3 and a half years” but didn’t say whether they plan to release the tax returns publicly. We’ll have to wait and see…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Zelensky’s plan to make Ukrainian’s “invincible”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced over 4,000 special “invincibility centres” have been set up around the country to keep people safe and warm during the winter. It comes as Russian forces launched new missile strikes overnight, cutting off power and water supplies across the country. Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has already been destroyed – causing rolling blackouts for up to 10 million people at a time. The new centres will provide 24/7 access to electricity, heat, water, internet, mobile phone coverage and medicines – free of charge. Ukraine is also importing 8,500 power generators daily to reduce reliance on the grid, with the country’s major energy provider warning that blackouts will likely continue until at least March next year. Zelensky has asked citizens to conserve energy saying, “I am certain that by helping each other, we will all be able to get through this winter together.”

World News

Soaring to new heights

After surprising observers last month by forecasting a return to profit by mid-2023, Qantas’s share price took off again yesterday after the company lifted its first-half profit forecast. The airline told investors it expects to post up to $1.45 billion in pre-tax profit during the July-December half – up $150 million from its October forecast. That’s due to the strong demand for air travel – particularly on domestic routes. And when you add whopping fuel costs, it’s seen some fares reach their highest level in 2 decades. Qantas said customers continue to “put a high priority on travel ahead of other spending categories”, but analysts say some will be priced out in the long term as cost of living pressures bite. With airfares set to stay among record highs for the first half of 2023, Qantas has promised to release more sale fares towards year’s end. There’s some holiday spirit…

Australian News Business & Finance

Soz to weather-weary Aussies…

…but extreme climate events, including floods, bushfires and heatwaves, are set to get worse, the latest ‘State of the Climate’ report by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology has found. The biennial snapshot of Australia’s climate says national and global temperatures continue to rise. Oz is now 1.5C hotter than when national records began in 1910, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels. That’s seen sea levels rise at an accelerating rate, as Antarctic sea ice is melting faster. Extreme heatwaves and torrential downpours have also increased in recent decades, and despite La Niña bringing record rainfall for southeast Oz, the region’s long-term outlook is looking increasingly drier. The number of snow days around the country has also dropped in recent years – although that’s not currently the case for alpine parts of NSW, Victoria and Tassie, which received an unseasonable dusting of snow yesterday…

Australian News Weather

Socceroos are down but not out

The Socceroos have an uphill World Cup battle ahead after being thumped 4-1 by defending champions France in Qatar yesterday morning. Despite the Aussies sinking an early goal so glorious it made you believe anything is possible, the French roared back with a convincing win. Australia is now last in Group D after a 0-0 draw between Denmark and Tunisia. We now have to win at least one match and draw one to make it through to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the 2nd time ever. It’s not going to be easy – our next match is against Tunisia at 9pm our time on Saturday night, and with an estimated 55,000 Tunisian expats living in Qatar, its fans have already been dubbed the loudest at this year’s FIFA World Cup – unlike the German team who were silent overnight… Then we face the top 10-ranked Denmark next Thursday. At least it can’t be worse than the “greatest upset in World Cup history”#SquizShortcut


Addicted to the music, not our partners…

If you find yourself listening to the same song on repeat but don’t know why some Canadian scientists might have the answer… By analysing the lyrics of 7,000 songs chosen by 570 people, researchers found our favourite tunes say a lot about our attachment style – that is, how we relate to our favourite people. For older generations, a “secure” attachment style is common, as they are generally comfortable getting close to others and don’t tend to experience many doubts. That’s tied to tracks like Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. But it seems younger generations are developing an ‘avoidant’ attachment style, as they are more nervous about interpersonal intimacy, which is why songs like Heartless by The Weeknd are so popular. Experts think this shift could be down to us experiencing more avoidance in daily life “thanks to things like social media and online work”. Geez, we’re a complicated lot, us humans… 

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

The humble bin chicken has a bad rap for dining on our rubbish, but they could also be eating our problems… Apparently, ibis’ have been seen tucking into cane toads – something they can do thanks to an ingenious “stress and wash” method to shake the toxins out of the toads. No wonder they’ve survived for thousands of years

France is often portrayed as the most romantic place on Earth, but it seems that may not be the case… A new study has found that 10% of French couples choose to sleep in separate rooms, and more would like to do so. Maybe a good night of sleep helps them enjoy the ‘city of love’…

The National Dictionary Centre has announced the 2022 Word of the Year is ‘teal’. No, it’s not a reference to the beauty of our oceans, but the ‘teal wave’ of climate-focused, independent candidates who won several seats in the federal election. That’s some ‘colourful’ language you can use in front of your gran…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.30pm (AEDT) – ARIA Awards – Sydney and broadcast on Nine

Company AGM – Harvey Norman

Thanksgiving in America and Brazil

Unique Talent Day

Fairy Bread Day

Birthdays for author and activist Arundhati Roy (1961) and actor Katherine Heigl (1978)

Anniversary of:
• Dutch explorer Abel Tasman ‘discovering’ Van Diemen’s Land (1642)
• the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection (1859)
• Kevin Rudd’s Labor beating John Howard’s Coalition to claim government (2007)
• the deaths of Queen’s Freddie Mercury (1991) and Aussie wit Clive James (2019)

Squiz the Day

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