Squiz Today / 05 April 2024

Squiz Today – 5 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 11 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Yes, those are anatomically correct heart cakes.”

Said The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy, who’s revealed she had some specifically shaped sweets at her secret wedding in 2022 to muso Malcolm McRae – anatomically correct hearts dripping in ‘blood’. Who says romance is dead…

A tell-all about a tell-all

The Squiz

Former Seven producer Taylor Auerbach has testified that Network Seven paid for sex workers and illicit drugs for former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann in a bid to secure an exclusive interview for its Spotlight program in May 2023. He was giving evidence yesterday in Lehrmann’s defamation suit against Network Ten and presenter Lisa Wilkinson, with the broadcaster reopening its defence. It did that earlier this week off the back of Auerbach’s new claims that Lehrmann leaked his former colleague Brittany Higgins’ confidential text messages that were made public on Spotlight after being subpoenaed during Lehrmann’s criminal trial in the ACT in 2022. Team Lehrmann has rejected claims that he’s behind leaking the messages to Seven. In a statement, Seven said it’s “appalled” by Auerbach’s claims. And it’s not over yet – Auerbach will return to the witness box this morning…

Remind me about the Spotlight interview…

It aired Lehrmann’s first public response to Higgins’ sexual assault allegations against him – something he denies. You might remember there was a bit of a hullabaloo over the interview last year – it was initially nominated for a Walkley journalism award before being disqualified when it emerged that Seven compensated Lehrmann handsomely for his appearance. Ten’s legal team is now focusing on the fresh claims that Lehrmann received even more financial benefits than first thought. Auerbach got involved as a last-minute key witness for Ten this week when he provided new evidence about what went on behind the scenes of the Spotlight interview. He doesn’t work for Seven anymore, but he’s rejected comments from Lehrmann that he’s a “disgruntled” former employee – this week, he also threatened to sue Lehrmann over them. 

Why is the new evidence important?

Well, during the hearings last year, Lehrmann denied giving Seven any material for Spotlight aside from his interview – so with Auerbach’s claims, Ten is hoping to damage Lehrmann’s credibility as a witness. And if it’s proven that he was the source of the leaked text messages, Ten’s lawyer Matthew Collins says it could be a contempt of court… But Lehrmann’s legal team has described the new evidence as “trivial” and “not relevant”. Federal Court Justice Michael Lee has already said that he found both Lehrmann and Higgins to have credibility issues, so how much Auerbach’s testimony will affect the trial’s outcome isn’t clear. What else isn’t clear is when we’ll get that ruling… Yesterday, Lee said “what’s now being presented to me is a more substantial exercise” than he initially thought.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

No escaping accountability

Following Monday’s attack in Gaza that killed 7 people, including Aussie Zomi Frankcom, World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés has accused Israel of “targeting” the aid workers, claiming its forces went “systematically, car by car” with missile strikes. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu accepted responsibility, but his comment “this happens in wartime” hasn’t gone down well, and aid has stopped in Gaza since the attack… Andrés says Israel was aware of their movements and “this was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place”. PM Anthony Albanese has repeated his call for a full investigation, but Coalition leader Peter Dutton has refused to condemn Israel – a stance out of step with Oz’s allies. Overnight, US President Joe Biden spoke with Netanyahu, but despite recent tensions, reports say the US will continue to send weapons in support of Israel.

World News

Taking a toll

Taiwanese authorities are continuing with search and rescue efforts following Wednesday’s 7.4 magnitude earthquake – the strongest in 25 years – that killed at least 10 people and left over 1,000 others injured. More than 600 people remain stranded, despite some being rescued overnight by helicopter – but at least 30 more are still missing, thought to be trapped in collapsed tunnels and roads along the eastern coastline near the earthquake’s epicentre in Hualien. Power cuts, internet outages and dozens of aftershocks – more of which are expected – have made recovery efforts difficult. Aussies caught in the quake have spoken of being terrified. WA MP Tania Lawrence, who was in Taipei, said her hotel room was “shaking so violently” she couldn’t stand up. Taiwanese authorities expressed thanks for offers of aid from “allies and friends” but said they would not ask China for assistance.

World News

Looking forward to some daylight

Torrential rain across much of Queensland has claimed the life of a 71yo man in Greenbank near Brisbane. Peter Wells’ friends remembered him as a “kind soul” who died after his car was swept away in the deluge on Wednesday night. The region was hit with up to 150mm of rainfall, and the Bureau of Meteorology predicts there’s a lot more to come for the state’s southeast. It’s part of a major rain event affecting much of Oz’s east coast and is set to continue until at least Saturday morning. Hopefully, things improve on Sunday when it’s time to turn back the clocks as daylight saving is coming to an end… That means if you’re in Victoria, NSW, the ACT, Tassie or SA, you’ll get some extra sleep. 

And if you’ve always wondered how we got daylight saving, our handy Squiz Shortcut breaks it down. We only get to plug it twice a year so humour us… 

Australian News Weather

That lean, mean green

New data from the Bureau of Stats shows household spending has jumped 3.6% compared to a year ago. Every state saw an increase, but South Oz dug deepest into their wallets, shelling out an extra 7.9%. The ABS says it follows “increases of 1.2% in December and 2.9% in January”. But, it’s not because we’re having a knees-up down the shops – we’re paying more for essentials with non-discretionary spending rising by 6.9%, which the ABS says highlights a “shift in consumer behaviour” due to cozzie livs. Transport costs increased the most at 12.3%. Spending on discretionary goods/services fell 0.2%, but if you’ve saved up for a holiday, you might need a re-think as Balinese authorities have taken to enforcing a $15 per person tourist tax introduced in Feb…

Australian News Economy

Cicada-geddon is coming

If a trip to the US is more your thing, brace yourself… Scientists say red-eyed periodical cicadas – aka “evolution’s bizzarro wonders” – are about to emerge in their trillions from the ground in a couple of American states. That could be the greatest number of the bugs in centuries and follows a similar numbers boom in Oz. Even more alarming if you’re bug-averse is the fact that cicadas’ “urine flow rates” are stronger/faster than humans, and even elephants… In the Amazon, researchers noted something they refer to as “weeping trees” – the visible running liquid there is actually cicada wee. Eww… That’s because cicadas are thirsty critters, spending their lives drinking – “a hard way to make a living”, entomologist Carrie Deans reckons. And look, we haven’t even touched on their “sexually transmitted zombie disease” – we’ll leave that with you for a bit of light weekend reading…

Environment & Science Quirky News

Friday Lites – 3 things we liked this week

The hotly anticipated drama Scoop drops on Netflix today. We’re pointing it out because we can’t wait to watch it… And to prep, we’ll be reacquainting ourselves with what the movie is based on – the infamous “car crash” BBC interview Prince Andrew delivered in 2021. Bring. It. On… 

If you spent the late nineties/early naughties following the fashion and dating lives of the Sex and the City characters, you might be surprised by this article about why Gen Zs don’t view the show quite as fondly, given their “prudish” views…

The weather has turned wet and miserable where we are so we’re hankering after the old-school classic cauliflower cheese. It’s easy, tasty comfort food and despite what this recipe says, we like to serve it whole for dramatic presentation purposes. And who doesn’t like a bit of drama from time to time… 

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEST) – Police officer Kristian White to enter a plea in relation to the manslaughter of 95yo Clare Nowland who died after being tasered at an aged care home in Cooma, NSW – Sydney

Inquiry into E-Cigarette Regulation in NSW – Sydney

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, Feb; International Trade in Goods, Feb

Rugby: Hong Kong Sevens begins (until April 7) – Hong Kong

Scoop (the movie about that Prince Andrew interview) drops on Netflix

Northern Territory Term 1 Ends

International Day of Conscience 

Birthdays for Agnetha Fältskog (1950) and Pharrell Williams (1973)

Anniversary of:

  • the marriage of American Indian princess Pocahontas and English colonist John Rolfe (1614)
  • the birthdays of Bette Davis (1908) and Gregory Peck (1916)
  • the death of Kurt Cobain (1994)
Squiz the Day

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