Squiz Today / 19 October 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 19 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It’s not really a big deal for her, she is not a big drinker, but it seems a trifle unfair that at this stage in her life she’s having to give up one of very few pleasures.”

Said a ‘friend’ of Queen Elizabeth quitting the booze. She’s said to be in training for celebrations next year marking her 70 years on the throne. Just one martini and she’ll be a firecracker at that party…


Western Australian Police have not ruled out abduction and homicide investigators from Perth have been called to a holiday spot near Carnarvon (960km north of the capital) where 4yo Cleo Smith went missing in the early hours of Saturday. The Defence Force is assisting with the search around the Blowholes Shacks campsite in Macleod as the sea search was scaled back with authorities saying their focus was on land. “We feel very desperately for the family in this very unusual situation where we don’t know where Cleo is,” WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said yesterday.

Police say they are keeping an open mind. “We are not going to get blinkered or sort of assume that something has happened,” said Inspector Jon Munday. What authorities have said is Cleo’s mum Ellie Smith and partner Jake Gliddon put her to bed on Friday night, she was last seen at 1.30am on Saturday, but she was not there when the adults woke at 6.30am. Her sleeping bag is missing, police say, but they have not said if other items are also gone. And there are reports that some campers heard a car skidding its wheels as it took off from the area at about 3am – police have not publicly confirmed that either. With rain forecast in the area today, authorities are keen on a breakthrough. Deputy Premier Roger Cook yesterday said his thoughts were with Cleo’s family, who would be feeling “heartache and absolute agony”.

Let’s go across the border to the Top End where police have hailed as an “absolute miracle” the survival of friends Mahesh Patrick (14yo) and Shaun Emitja (21yo). They were missing for several days after their vehicle became bogged. They walked to find water in the wrong direction, backtracked, and then became separated. The alarm went off when they failed to return to the remote community of Hermannsburg, and a search ensued with Patrick found on Friday night and Emitja the following day. “They are extremely lucky to be alive – we all know how harsh it is out there,” said Acting Commander Kirsten Engels yesterday. And in case you needed reminding, if you get in trouble while travelling in our sunburnt country: “Stay with your car, we cannot stress that enough,” she said.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

New laws needed to protect sacred sites

New national laws are required to protect Indigenous heritage and give traditional owners the power to refuse projects threatening significant sites, the Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia has recommended. The inquiry was prompted by Rio Tinto’s blasting of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge rock shelters in the Pilbara region of Western Oz mid-last year. That happened even though the traditional owners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP), had taken formal steps to stop it. The public furore that followed saw the mining giant’s boss Jean-Sebastien Jacques leave the company. Committee member and Yawuru man Senator Pat Dodson said the recommendation for better protections was about “correcting the balance and recognising the significance of Aboriginal cultural heritage”.

Australian News

Morrison makes the case

Federal Nationals MPs and senators might be having their sessions, but yesterday PM Scott Morrison pulled together his Liberal colleagues to go over the plan to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. He told his party people that he wants to take the commitment to further lower emissions to the COP26 climate summit as a Nationally Determined Contribution. What the what? Get used to the jargon – an NDC is a firm commitment made by a government rather than an airy-fairy statement of intent. One thing he’s not looking to do is set a new ambitious target for 2030, reports say. Morrison is said to be just fine with the plan to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2030 on 2005 levels – the target set by the Aussie Government at the Paris talks in 2015. Parliament House’s favourite new pastime – Nats Watch – resumes today…


Vale Colin Powell

One of America’s best-known soldier statesmen has died from complications from COVID at 84yo. Powell was the first black man person to be US Secretary of State in 2000, meaning he was America’s top diplomat during the 9/11 crisis and the invasion of Afghanistan. Harbouring doubts about the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he struggled to make the case on the world stage before being asked by the Bush administration to leave the post. His theory of “you break it, you own it” ended up being true with America just recently moving to wrap up those conflicts… Before that, he was the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military where he guided America’s campaign in the 1991 Gulf War. Once considered a potential Republican presidential candidate, he dropped his party allegiance later in life and supported Barack Obama before criticising Donald Trump. A favourite quote of his: “Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.” His family said he’d had multiple myeloma in recent years. The blood cancer compromised his immune system leaving him unable to fight off the coronavirus despite being double vaccinated.

World News

Petrol costs how much?

With borders reopening and people looking forward to Chrissy holidays and those glorious hours spent in a car, you might want to brace yourself… Oil prices yesterday hit their highest mark in years thanks to strong global demand as industries ramp up production to shake off the COVID-19 pandemic, and power generators in Asia and Europe look for alternative fuel sources other than heaps expensive gas and coal. So when you hear that Australia yesterday recorded record high petrol prices – and it’s only going to continue to go up – well, it’s a lot. It was 18-months ago that prices were super low, and compared to those days, analysts say it is costing motorists an extra $56 each time they fill up a 70-litre car with petrol. Yikes…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

The T20 World Cup has kicked off in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and overnight Irish all-rounder Curtis Campher clocked a rare double hat trick taking four wickets in four balls against the Netherlands. He was one happy Campher…

Two hundred naked men and women – painted white – have posed by the Dead Sea for renowned photographer Spencer Tunick. Totes natural.

A favourite sub-genre of news here at The Squiz is statues of celebs that have not landed well. Soccer superstar Ronaldo was a hit, pioneering Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin was even better. Fresh to the mix: behold Greek opera great Maria Callas. Sure, it’s striking, but “Gandhi in heels” is a bit rough…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Musical juggernaut Hamilton returns to the stage – Sydney

Company AGMs – Cochlear, Tabcorp

International Gin and Tonic Day

Birthdays for authors John le Carré (1931) and actor Michael Gambon (1940)

Anniversary of:
• the Russian Politburo throws out Leon Trotsky and his followers (1926)
• the death of businesswoman Elizabeth Arden (1966)
• the release of Cher’s Believe – the song that introduced Auto-Tune to the mainstream (1998)
• then 37yo Jacinda Ardern becoming New Zealand’s youngest leader in 161 years after the Labour Party formed a coalition government (2017)

Squiz the Day

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