Squiz Today / 22 April 2024

Squiz Today – 22 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“What an incredible tribute to the oldest living culture in the world, at the oldest art exhibition in the world.”

Said PM Anthony Albanese after Indigenous artist Archie Moore became the first Aussie to win the Venice Biennale’s highly coveted Golden Lion award. Moore wrote 65,000 years of his genealogical history in chalk on the walls/ceiling of the Australian Pavilion for his installation kith and kin. Go you good thing…

Musk’s X-treme fight with Oz

The Squiz

Billionaire Elon Musk’s social media company X (aka Twitter) is threatening to take Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant to court over an order calling for the removal of graphic videos of the terrorist attack at the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley in Sydney’s southwest last Monday night. X’s Global Government Affairs account stated that “eSafety’s order was not within the scope of Australian law” and “global takedown orders go against the very principles of a free and open internet and threaten free speech everywhere.”

How did it come to this?

Monday’s live-streamed church service captured a 16yo allegedly stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, and there was footage captured of the teen being held by the congregation as a riot erupted outside the church. These videos are still circulating on X, despite the social media giant’s previous claims it had complied with the order to remove them. X also says the regulator told it to “withhold” the posts or face a daily fine of $785,000 and Musk has accused Inman Grant of “demanding *global* content bans!” The issue has united politicians with Coalition leader Peter Dutton saying there is “no question at all” that greater action against social media companies who “see themselves as above the law” is needed. NSW’s Premier Chris Minns has also criticised X/Musk for disregarding “lies and disinformation” being spread on their watch, fuelling the riot

Does this have a crossover with what happened in Bondi? 

Yep – X also came under fire after several accounts falsely linked the Westfield attack to Islamist terrorism and identified the wrong man as the attacker. Reports say that led Channel 7 to falsely name student Benjamin Cohen, who is suing the network for defamation. The spate of attacks last week has also shone a light on the issues of knife crime and violence against women. Last night, a candlelight vigil was held at Bondi Beach to remember the 6 victims from Bondi Junction and 6 others who were seriously injured – including a 9-month-old baby who has now been released from hospital. Minns addressed the women in the crowd, saying they have “the right to live free from violence.” “We will not be a state where a woman is forced to change her behaviour because of feelings of anger of other people,” he said.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Breaking a stalemate

Enough Republicans in the US House of Reps have voted for a US$60 billion ($94 billion) Ukraine aid bill to get it over the line. The package still has to go to the Senate/US President Joe Biden for approval later this week, but it’s likely to pass those hurdles. It hasn’t been straightforward… There’s been a months-long debate between Republicans (who want to focus on domestic policies) and Democrats, but last week Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson went against his conservative/Trump-aligned colleagues’ wishes to push for it. That’s put his job at risk… But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is thankful – he says the money will “keep history on the right track”. Aid packages for Israel and Taiwan were also passed, as was a sweetener for Republicans – a bill on national security that could see the US inching closer to a TikTok ban

If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of that potential TikTok ban, we’ve got the perfect Squiz Shortcut for you. You’re welcome…

World News

Chinese swimmers in hot water

Swimming Australia says it’s “making inquiries” after bombshell reports about 23 Chinese swimmers – two-thirds of the country’s Olympic team – testing positive to the banned drug trimetazidine. The kicker is that they tested positive before going on to win 6 medals (including 3 gold) at the Tokyo Olympics. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed it cleared the swimmers to compete after accepting their explanation about being exposed to the drug accidentally after it was detected in a hotel that they’d stayed in. As you might guess, that’s raised questions, but WADA’s medical director Olivier Rabin says the organisation stands by its decision – and it’s been backed up by World Aquatics. “Ultimately, we concluded that there was no concrete basis to challenge the asserted contamination”, Rabin said. But Swimming Australia says it advocates “for fairness and integrity”, and wants “to ensure a level playing field” ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Australian News Sport World News

A workout falling out

Football legend David Beckham is suing showbiz pal Mark Wahlberg after a deal in his gym franchise F45 went sour. Becks and his company DB Ventures Ltd claim he was “duped” into becoming a global ambassador for the Aussie-made gym franchise and is $16.4 million out of pocket after stocks he was promised were withheld until after the share price plummeted. The British star is also suing the actor’s investment firm and F45 founders Adam Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch. They say the claims are baseless and want the judge to dismiss the case that alleges fraudulent conduct. But it’s not the only issue facing F45/Wahlberg… Golfer Greg Norman is also suing over claims he wasn’t properly paid for his endorsement. And last year, reports stated F45 was “hanging by a thread” after huge financial losses of $582 million in 2 years were revealed.

World News

Vamoose, vaping

New data shows a sharp uptick in the number of Aussies trying to put down their vapes once and for all… Quitline Victoria says in the first quarter of 2024, 14% of clients said they wanted to quit vaping – double the number of people 12 months ago. That’s reflected across the country, and the calls for help are coming from people aged 12-79yo. Federal Government data also shows one in 6 high school students and one in 4 Australians aged 18-24yo are vaping. A Quitline spokesperson said increasingly, they’re hearing of people “successfully quitting smoking but taking up vaping, only to become more addicted to vaping”. To combat that, Federal Health Minister Mark Butler announced new legislation on Friday that would ban the sale of non-prescriptive (aka recreational) vapes. It has the backing of all states and territories – although they admit it won’t be easy

Australian News Health

Racking up more records

Taylor Swift has doubled down on her music industry dominance with her latest double album The Tortured Poets Department – it’s only been out for a few days and has already broken multiple records, including the most-streamed album (with 300 million…) and most streamed artist in a single day on Spotify – along with similar records on other streaming services. The album’s lead single Fortnight also broke the record for the most streamed song in a single day – stealing the crown from the Queen of Christmas (that’s Mariah Carey…) and All I Want For Christmas. All those listeners/Swifties were hot on digging up all the ‘Easter eggs’ Swift is famous for – and there were many to be found. And as always, there’s also been plenty of speculation about her muses – alongside breakdowns of the celebrities she outright name-dropped


Apropos of Nothing – Dramatic Oz edition

If you were in South Oz or Tassie over the weekend and up late you might have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the spectacular Aurora Australis – aka the Southern Lights. For the rest of us, here are some pretty pictures/videos from the natural wonder to enjoy…

It might have been 30 years since its release, but Priscilla Queen of the Desert still has a place in our hearts, which skipped a beat when we heard that a sequel – with the original cast – is set to be made. Time to break out your feather boas…

After 17 days on the run at Melbourne Airport, crafty canine Milo has been reunited with his owners in the UK… The Jack Russell escaped from animal transport handlers and was eventually found hiding under a shipping container. His relieved puppy parents are spoiling him rotten after finally being reunited.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEST) – Day 1 of the World Health Summit Regional Meeting to discuss local and regional health issues with speakers including Penny Wong and Helen Clarke (until 24 April) – Melbourne

10.00am (AEST) – The case of alleged mushroom lunch killer Erin Patterson is back in court for a special mention – Morewell, Vic

Sydney’s Katherine Bennell-Pegg will become the first-ever Australian-badged astronaut when she graduates from the European Space Agency in Germany today

Passover begins tonight (until 30 April)

Earth Day 

Birthdays for Jack Nicholson (1937), John Waters (1946), Daniel Johns (1979), and Amber Heard (1986)

Anniversary of:

  • the birthdays of Immanuel Kant (1724),  Vladimir Lenin (1870), Sidney Nolan (1917) and Glen Campbell (1936)
  • the death of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the USA (1994)
  • the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement (2016)
Squiz the Day

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