Squiz Today / 26 October 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 26 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

The shortest route from A to up-to-speed. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I would say Gunther is a nice guy, he’s a very shy guy, inexperienced in the ways of love, but a good soul, a good heart deep down – for everyone except Ross.”

Said Gunther aka Friends actor James Michael Tyler, who died on Sunday from prostate cancer at 59yo. Best known for his unrequited love for Rachel, Gunther did not care for her main squeeze which is fair enough because Ross really was the worst

An Imperial wedding – drama included

There’s a royal wedding today, and it’s nothing like the British variety. Japan’s Princess Mako will marry her long-term commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro, but there’s no grand ceremony that will be beamed into homes around the world. The 30yo royal has marked the occasion with a visit to her uncle Emperor Naruhito and aunt Empress Masako, and she’s been to see her grandparents, former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. However, the purpose wasn’t to party – it was to bid them farewell.

Yes, and it’s exposed a big problem for the world’s oldest continuous hereditary monarchy. Only men can inherit the throne, and imperial women are out of the family when they marry a commoner. It’s become a pressing issue because there are currently 18 members of the imperial family, 7 are aged under 40yo, and just one is male. So Princess Mako’s wedding has forced a conversation about the requirement for women to leave when they could stay inside the tent and have sons to add to the heir pool. And in some quarters, there’s also support to overturn the ban on women becoming a ruling empress. Acknowledging the threat, the government has launched a review.

That’s not going to happen. Today, an official will submit legal papers to register the marriage, and then the couple will give a press conference. Sounds dull, but the lead up has been anything but. Since announcing their intention to marry in 2017, they have gone through the ringer. Komuro’s mother was said to owe a former partner money, so the family was portrayed as gold diggers and the wedding was put on ice. The whole sorry saga left Princess Mako with post-traumatic stress disorder, the palace says. The couple hadn’t seen each other for 3 years when they reunited this month to get the show on the road. Komuro works as a lawyer in New York, which is where the couple will settle. And she has said her dream is to “make a warm and comfortable family full of smiles.” Good luck to them…


World News

Squiz the Rest

Warming up to a big reveal

Having secured a deal with the Nationals, PM Scott Morrison is set to announce the details of the government’s climate policy today. We already know that the Nationals’ Resources Minister Keith Pitt is to be elevated to Cabinet. And today, we’re set to find out about plans to incentivise heavy manufacturers to lower emissions, and investments to be made in ‘green technologies’. The government is now signed up to the long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050, but it is not changing the target for 2030 to reduce emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels. More details on how we’re tracking against that target will also be revealed today, reports say. Writing in News Corp newspapers this morning (paywall), Morrison says “I am determined to shield our nation from the negative impact of these changes while positioning us to take advantage of the many opportunities presented, especially for rural and regional Australia.” Labor supports the net zero target, but yesterday urged Morrison to come clean with the details. Not onboard: Nats leader Barnaby Joyce. He’s said to be personally opposed to what has been agreed but has allowed the views of the majority of Nats MPs and senators to prevail.


Telstra moves deeper into the Pacific

The Aussie telco giant and the Federal Government are going in together on a deal to buy and operate the largest mobile phone carrier in the Pacific region. Aussie taxpayers are contributing $1.9 billion to acquire Digicel Pacific, while Telstra will stump up $360 million and get 100% ownership. The deal, which is expected to be completed within the next 6 months, is “consistent with Australia’s longstanding commitment to growing quality investment in regional infrastructure,” the government said. But it’s more than a neighbourly gesture… Digicel, which operates across Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tahiti, was being eyed off by China Mobile before Australia got in the game. Like a high-stakes game of chess, the move is seen as an attempt by Australia to counter China’s rising influence in the region.

Business & Finance

More blows for Facebook

In the latest of a series of revelations to rock the social media titan, internal company memos published by the Wall Street Journal say that Facebook employees consistently pushed to suppress or ‘de-platform’ right-wing news outlets. For example, some staff wanted the Trump-lovin’ Brietbart removed as a News provider, particularly after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and rise of racial tensions that were said to be fanned by the online publisher. Other reports yesterday said Facebook failed to set up effective safety protocols in India, and that allowed for the fuelling political tensions there. This has all come from the big leak of documents by whistleblower/former employee Frances Haugen that commentators say has created the biggest crisis in the company’s history. Facebook employees have been warned to brace for more disclosures…


A coup is underway in Sudan

The military has blamed political infighting for its decision to dissolve civilian rule, arrest the nation’s political leaders, and declare a state of emergency. Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and his wife have been detained, along with members of the government. Where they are being held is unknown. They were part of a transitional government installed after long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by the military more than 2 years ago. Since then, the military under coup leader General Abdel Fattah Burhan had been in a power-sharing arrangement with civilian leaders. Reports say protests have erupted in several cities including the capital Khartoum. Airports are closed and the internet has been taken down. The African Union, UK, US, European Union, United Nations and Arab League have all expressed deep concern for what’s going on.

World News

Gourmet all the way

COVID has not been kind to the hospitality trade generally, and top nosheries specifically. But Gourmet Traveller is looking forward to better days and named its 80 “most exciting and exceptional dining experiences” for 2022. Top of the list is the uber local Tedesca Osteria in Red Hill, Victoria run by Brigitte Hafner. Located in a small community on the Mornington Peninsula, it’s known for its fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from the area. Top chef is Daniel Puskas from Sixpenny in Stanmore, Sydney – he also likes to keep things close to home. Both Hafner and Puskas say the industry has been changed by the pandemic. Some of that is yet to drop, Hafner said, including a more sustainable work culture that has been based on “cheap labour, long, long hours, gruelling work.” Check out the full list here.

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

If we were judging the Beard Olympics, the winner would be the shortest one. But each to their own, and 100 competitors have gathered in Germany to have a hairy go. And while you’re thinking of booking trips, pencil in the Beard Olympics for 2023 in Auckland.

Not to be competitive about these things, but Leos are the best at getting their COVID vaccinations, and Scorpios are at the bottom of the table. Is it a particularly scientific study? Yeah nah…

An internet-famous street dog named Boji catches public transport to do his rounds of Istanbul, sometimes travelling on ferries, trams, buses and trains in a single day. And he travels mask-free, the lucky hound…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00pm (AEDT) – Women’s Soccer – Matildas v Brazil – CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Victorian Royal Commission into Crown Casino report to be tabled

38th ASEAN Summit kicks off – Brunei (until 28 October)

Japan’s Princess Mako marries her long-term commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro

Austria’s National Day

ABS Data Release – Jobs in Australia (2014-2019)

Birthdays for former US First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (1947), singer Keith Urban (1967), comedian Seth MacFarlane (1973) and singer Guy Sebastian (1981)

Anniversary of:
• the first use of a lead (graphite) pencil (1492)
• the release of the film The Terminator (1984)
• Jacinda Ardern being sworn in as PM of New Zealand, becoming the world’s youngest female head of government (2017)
• the death of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria by US Special Forces (2019)
• the Uluru climb ban coming into force (2019)

Squiz the Day

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