Squiz Today / 17 April 2024

Squiz Today – 17 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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6 / 19
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8 / 21

Squiz Sayings

“Neither El Niño nor La Niña are active…”

Said the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday in its latest climate driver update. And as we say goodbye to the warm/dry El Niño, keep in mind that the damp/cool La Niña follows about 40% of the time. Oh for an ordinary year… 

The hits keep on coming in Sydney

The Squiz

NSW Police have been given extraordinary powers after a terror attack inside a south-western Sydney church left a bishop with serious stab wounds and triggered violent scenes outside. The National Security Committee of Cabinet has met in the wake of the attack in Wakeley, while NSW Premier Chris Minns called for calm after the second major stabbing incident within a couple of days.

So what happened?

The 53yo Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was giving a sermon in Christ The Good Shepherd Church – which was being livestreamed – when a 16yo lunged at him with a knife. A priest at the Assyrian church (which is a conservative Christian denomination), Father Isaac Royel, was also injured and taken to hospital, as was a worshipper who’d attempted to restrain the attacker. Police Commissioner Karen Webb said an “uncontrolled” crowd then gathered – they attacked officers, damaged 20 police cars, and blocked paramedics from getting to the injured people inside. PM Anthony Albanese said it was “understandable” people were on edge after the Bondi “atrocity”, but “people should not take the law into their own hands”.

So why is this being called a terrorist incident?

Commissioner Webb says she’s satisfied the incident was “religious motivated extremism“ and that the attacker was aiming for “intimidation of the public” because it was being livestreamed. ASIO boss Mike Burgess says while it’s likely the attacker was acting alone, the security agency will look at anyone connected to him “to assure ourselves there’s no one else in the community with similar intent.” The teenager was “known to police” after being arrested for a knife crime in January. Webb’s also warned rioters they should expect to be prosecuted – while religious leaders of all faiths have called for unity and said the “horrifying” attacks have “no place in Australia”. 

Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

A step closer to extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a step closer to extradition to the US after America last night provided the UK High Court with assurances he wouldn’t face the death penalty if convicted and that he’d be treated fairly. Assange’s family is “extremely distressed” by the move after their hopes were raised by President Joe Biden last week saying America was “considering” Australia’s request for him to be allowed to return home. His wife Stella says America’s assurances to the UK High Court were “weasel words” that did “nothing to relieve our family’s extreme distress about his future”. The 52yo Assange has been charged by the US with 18 counts of espionage for allegedly publishing classified information on his WikiLeaks website. The case is back in court on 20 May for more arguments – a decision on whether Assange can appeal the UK’s decision to extradite him to the US will be delivered after that.

Australian News World News

A retreat gone wrong

Victorian Police have opened an investigation after a 53yo Melbourne woman died and 2 others fell sick at a holistic health retreat in Clunes, about 30km north of Ballarat. Nothing’s confirmed, but reports say investigators are looking into whether the trio had a “mushroom-based” drink at the Soul Barn retreat. A police spokesperson says officers and paramedics were called when the woman went into cardiac arrest “after ingesting a drink about 12pm” on Saturday. “Investigations remain ongoing and police will prepare a report for the coroner,” the spokesperson said. The victim hasn’t been named, but police say she’s from the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood North. As for the 2 others, they were taken to Ballarat Base Hospital for observation. If it’s ringing bells about another mushroom death case, alleged murderer Erin Patterson is due in court next Monday. 

Australian News Crime

D-day for the supermarket bosses

It’s fair to say that outgoing Woolworths Group boss Brad Banducci didn’t receive the warmest of welcomes at the Senate committee inquiry into supermarket prices yesterday… Greens Senator Nick McKim went all in on Woolworths Group’s profit metrics to the point where he told Banducci that he could be held in contempt and sent to jail if he didn’t answer the questions… The retail boss – who appeared before the hearing on his Pat Malone – had a go but there was no version of Woolies’ numbers that McKim would accept as showing a fair deal for consumers. Coles CEO Leah Weckert was next and managed to dodge mentions of prison time while explaining her operation’s profitability… The committee will now finalise its report – it’s due to be delivered by 7 May. 

Australian News Business & Finance

Different strokes for different folks

The latest Bureau of Stats (ABS) data has shone a light on exactly what Aussies over 15yo are getting up to in their leisure time – and spoiler alert: it varies by age. The big caveat is that it was collected from November 2020 to July 2021 – aka peak pandemic – so keep that in mind… The interwar generation (75yo+) spends the most time watching telly, with an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes daily. They’re also well-read – 47% read daily. For the young’uns, Millennials had the least amount of daily leisure time (3 hours and 27 minutes), but of those who do find time for fun, 11% are gamers, coming only behind Gen Z for daily video game usage (22%). Sorry to Gen X – most of your stats were middle of the road. Typical… 

Australian News Culture

Oh my gourd, I’m famous…

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the biggest fruit/veggie winners at agricultural shows, a keen NSW canoer has given one a fresh purpose… Adam Farquharson nabbed his mate’s 407kg Royal Easter Show-winning “monster pumpkin” – named Tormund after a Game of Thrones character – for a journey down the Tumut River. Farquharson, a self-declared “big one for shenanigans”, was on the lookout for a supersized gourd to carve into a pseudo-canoe but had run into troubles when they “rotted off and died”. He had no such challenges with the “slimy” Tormund, who he took for a spin/float on Saturday as 1,000 people watched from the riverbank. Farquharson reckons that level of “worldwide fame” hasn’t gone to his head, saying, “I won’t end up like Taylor Swift. I’ll just get back to life as normal”. It’s good to stay grounded – even in a floating pumpkin… 

Australian News Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

A restaurant in the northern Italian city of Verona is offering a free bottle of vino to diners who hand over their phone during meals. Owner Angelo Lella reckons 90% of customers have taken up the offer to have a device-free pasta fresca. Now that’s La Dolce Vita… 

A 9yo US boy got more than he bargained for after begging his parents for a pet octopus. Terrance the octopus turned out to be a female – something her owners only realised after she laid 50 eggs. Baby octopi Squid Cudi, Swim Shady and Jay-Sea are all doing well…

Many claim to know the secret to life, but the Costa Ricans seem to really know what they’re talking about. The country is one of only 5 Blue Zones, where people age healthily – and some locals reckon their traditional cacao harvesting is key. Chocolate – it’s magic… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.30am (AEST) – Australia’s uniform for the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics to be revealed – Sydney

9.00am (AEST) – IOC VP John Coates and Brisbane 2032 review head Graham Quirk to attend a Senate hearing into Australia’s Olympic preparedness – Brisbane

9.00am (AEST) – The Australian Swimming Championships kick off (until 20 April) – Gold Coast

10.00am (AEST) – The case of Iranian immigration detainee ASF17 to be heard by the High Court of Australia – Canberra

12.30pm (AEST) – Defence Minister Richard Marles will address the National Press Club on the national defence strategy – Canberra

6.30pm (AEST) – Auction of a significant Arthur Streeton painting of Sydney Harbour from 1894, Sunlight at the Camp, thought lost for 130 years – Sydney 

Solomon Islands general election

Youth Homelessness Matters Day

World Haemophilia Day 

Syria’s National Day 

International Haiku Poetry Day

World Circus Day

Banana Day

Birthdays for Barnaby Joyce (1967), Jennifer Garner (1972) and Victoria Beckham (1974)

Anniversary of:

  • the invention of modern snooker by Sir Neville Chamberlain (aka not the former UK PM…) (1875)
  • the premiere of Game of Thrones on HBO (2011)
  • the deaths of Benjamin Franklin (1790), Linda McCartney (1998), Gabriel García Márquez (2014) and Barbara Bush (2018)
Squiz the Day

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