Squiz Today / 27 February 2024

Squiz Today – 27 February 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 6 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It is a very large, natural Christmas tree, and it is being thrown by her in a very agile movement.”

Were the words that ended an Irish woman’s $1.3 million claim against an insurance company after she was pictured winning a Christmas tree-tossing competition… The judge concluded she had not been left in a “disabling” condition from a car crash and threw her case out – along with the tree…

A police search intensifies…

The Squiz

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb and her deputy, David Hudson, gave updates about the investigation into Channel Ten presenter Jesse Baird and Luke Davies’ alleged murders yesterday… They say Baird’s phone was used to call triple-zero about 4 minutes after gunshots were heard at his Paddington home last Monday – but they’re not sure who made the call as it disconnected before anyone spoke… The police officer accused of killing the couple, Baird’s ex-partner Beau Lamarre-Condon, also purchased weights and an angle grinder at Bungonia –  about 2 hours south-west of Sydney – on Wednesday last week. Divers searched dams at a private property there yesterday, but “nothing of interest” was found…

What do they think happened?

Hudson says Lamarre-Condon hired a white van and drove it to Bungonia on Wednesday, returning there at least once before handing himself in to police on Friday, when he was charged with murder. Police allege Lamarre-Condon used the angle grinder to “sever a padlock from the gate” of the private property and later replaced it with “a padlock purchased from the hardware store”. They also believe he made a “partial admission” to a friend and that she travelled with him to Bungonia – but police haven’t named or accused her of wrongdoing. Lamarre-Condon isn’t assisting, leaving detectives with questions about whether the couple’s bodies were moved during a gap in the timeline investigators have put together. Reports say police have now turned their search to Grays Point in southern Sydney. 

So what now?

Hudson says the “number one priority” is to “locate Jesse and Luke to give the family some solace and be able to come to terms with what’s occurred”. In the meantime, NSW Police is facing questions about its gun rules, given Lamarre-Condon is alleged to have used his police-issued Glock to shoot the couple. Commissioner Webb said yesterday that police “have been updating our (service weapon) policies”, and she’s called for a review. The relationship between NSW Police and the state’s LGBTIQ+ community is also under the microscope, with Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Board requesting police not march in this weekend’s parade. The board said police participation “could intensify the current feelings of sorrow and distress”, and the community “needs space to grieve the loss of Jesse and Luke who, before this tragedy, would have been here celebrating with us at the festival”.


Squiz the Rest

Zelensky talks up some big numbers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says “millions” of people could die in the war with Russia, as he begs US lawmakers to pass a proposed $101 billion aid package – of which Ukraine would get about $73 billion – saying “they know we need their support”. It comes as the appetite to continue providing funding to the war-torn nation is waning, with other domestic and foreign issues – including the Gaza conflict – taking the attention of many American politicians. That has seen another $145 billion bill to provide aid stalled by several Republicans who don’t want to keep spending on foreign conflicts. Zelensky’s comments came just hours after he revealed that 31,000 Ukrainian troops have already died in the war, which has just entered its third year.

World News

Déjà vu in WA shark attack

Less than a month after 29yo Lauren O’Neill sustained serious leg injuries in a rare shark attack in Sydney, another woman with similar injuries is in a serious condition after being bitten in Western Australia yesterday. Ambulance workers were called just before midday, and 2 rescue crews and a helicopter were dispatched to Jurien Bay, about 220km north of Perth. Some reports say the 46yo woman was attacked by a 2-metre-long tiger shark while taking part in a sea lion tour in the water off Sandland Island – a spot popular with tourists. A private boat brought her to shore, where she was rushed to the local hospital before being airlifted to Perth. Several local beaches were closed following the news, with officials urging people to “take additional caution” in the area while they investigate.

Australian News

An ordeal in PNG

An Aussie helicopter pilot has been released after being kidnapped at gunpoint in Papua New Guinea’s highlands region, along with 2 local technicians. PNG Police Commissioner David Manning said the trio were taken during a planned stop by an “issue-motivated group“. But reports say after several hours of negotiations with the kidnappers, the Australian pilot and Papua New Guinean subcontractors were released without harm. The focus is now turning to the abductors – Manning says they’re “being tracked so they can face justice”. Kidnappings and violence are common in the region – last year, an Aussie professor was among a group of researchers who were taken hostage for a week before being safely released. And just last week, over 50 people were killed in a massacre in the area.

Australian News World News

Show me the money

Big businesses are firmly in the spotlight today – with data published for the first time revealing the difference between how much they pay men and women. Some of the almost 5,000 companies to note include major airlines and banks… Jetstar has a median gender pay gap of 53.5%, Virgin’s is 41.7%, and the gap at Qantas is 39.3%. Commonwealth Bank’s median gender pay gap is 29.8%, and Westpac’s is 27%. Reports say the disparity is generally fuelled by more men holding lucrative senior roles. The chief executive of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Mary Wooldridge, says while the whole exercise isn’t meant to name and shame, “in a tight labour market… it’s very risky for employers not to take this issue seriously”. The pay info used to be kept under wraps – but Parliament passed laws last year to ensure it went public.

Australian News Economy

A PSA about voice notes…

Love ’em or hate ’em, voice notes have become a bona fide communication tool. And if you’re on the hate ’em side of things, you’re not the only one… The controversial audio messages have many people scrambling to decide whether they have time to listen to what might be a quick, 30-second reminder or joke, or a 6-minute deep dive into something that happened during the sender’s day. An etiquette expert has now weighed in – Elaine Swann says we should “exercise self-control” before hitting send on a “long-winded” voice note. Her suggestion is to keep all the latest lengthy gossip for phone calls and only deploy the vocal check-ins when “tone is necessary, but a conversation is not”, like when we need to apologise for something. Perhaps a ‘sorry’ for all the long voice notes we’ve sent in the past…

Culture Entertainment

Apropos of Nothing

If you’re clinging to the end of stone fruit season, you might want to rethink how you store them… “Fruit bowls are out”, claims a produce expert, who says we should use multiple flat plates placed at least an arm’s length apart instead – we’re gonna need a bigger kitchen…

It’s the end of an era, as we say bye-bye to Tay Tay after she wrapped up her final Aussie gig in Sydney last night. She’s got a few days off before the show moves to Singapore, with the first of 6 concerts kicking off on Saturday. No doubt she’ll have that audience just as Enchanted… 

And it’s lights out for Asia’s Lunar New Year celebrations, with a spectacular lantern display marking an end to the festivities… The lights came in all shapes and sizes, but our fave was the frog lantern, as we’re keen to jump into the Leap Year on Thursday

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.00pm (AEDT) – The Republican and Democratic presidential primaries in Michigan

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency will publish the first set of private sector employer gender pay gap reports

Company results – Alumina; Coles; Woodside 

Fair Trade Fortnight (until March 12th)

World NGO Day 

International Polar Bear Day 

Anniversary of:

  • the birthdays of author John Steinbeck (1902) and actor Elizabeth Taylor (1932) 
  • the world’s first women’s magazine Ladies’ Mercury published in London (1693)
  • the discovery of carbon-14 (radiocarbon dating) at the University of California Radiation Laboratory (1940)
  • General Hafez al-Assad becoming head of Syria via military coup starting the family’s rule over the country (1969)
  • the deaths of Louis Vuitton (1892), Ivan Pavlov (1936), Spike Milligan (2002), Fred Rogers (2003) and Leonard Nimoy (2015)
Squiz the Day

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