Squiz Today / 06 March 2024

Squiz Today – 6 March 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 7 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“This is not our first tumble-mageddon.”

Said a resident of Utah’s South Jordan, which has been inundated with thousands of tumbleweeds after recent storms. Forming piles up to 10m high, it was their version of Wangaratta’s ‘hairy panic’ circa 2016…

Secrecy surrounds Sam Kerr’s charges

The Squiz

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has vowed to support Sam Kerr “as a human being” despite being blindsided by the charges against her yesterday, saying it was “the very first time” he’d heard about it. The 30yo is set to go on trial in the UK for the alleged racially aggravated harassment of a police officer following a dispute over a taxi fare in southwest London on 30 January last year. It comes after Kerr appeared in court, where she was accused of using insulting/threatening/abusive words that caused alarm or distress to the officer. Appearing via video link, the Chelsea striker/Matildas captain pleaded not guilty

What’s this about exactly?

Good question… Despite the incident over a year ago, little information has been made public. What we do know is the alleged offence happened the day after Kerr scored a hat-trick – aka 3 goals – against Liverpool in the FA Cup, which Chelsea won. Reports say she was out celebrating, but how things escalated into a row over a taxi fare that saw police attend is unknown. It took until 21 January this year for Kerr to be charged under Section 4A of the UK’s Public Order Act, meaning she faces a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Football Australia boss James Johnson says news of the “unsettling event” was a surprise to him, and they need to “find out what actually happened”. 

What comes next?

Kerr will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court in February next year, where 2 police officers will give evidence in the trial that will last about 4 days. Her lawyers are expected to argue that her behaviour was “not racially aggravated”. Whatever happens with Kerr’s legal battle, it won’t stop the Matildas… Their last 2 matches before July-August’s Paris Olympics as part of an international series against China are set for 31 May in Adelaide and 3 June in Sydney, and both games are expected to sell out. Whether Kerr will play in those matches or the Olympics is still TBD given her serious ACL injury – she has not been officially ruled out but reports say her captaincy could be in question. Former Socceroo Robbie Slater said Kerr is an icon and like football’s Taylor Swift. “But it is all very strange, and you can’t blame Sam Kerr if it’s taken a year for a charge to come.”

Australian News Sport

Squiz the Rest

Malnutrition sets in for Palestinians

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says a lack of food has led to the deaths of at least 10 children in the last standing paediatric hospital in Gaza’s north. WHO staff visited local hospitals over the weekend for the first time since October, and Tedros yesterday shared their “grim findings”. They include “severe levels of malnutrition, children dying of starvation, serious shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies [and] hospital buildings destroyed”. In Israel, a new report from the UN has also laid out fresh allegations over the 7 October Hamas attack. It found there are “reasonable grounds to believe” sexual violence occurred and that hostages taken from Israel and held in Gaza have been assaulted.

World News

China eyes an ambitious goal

China has set an economic growth target of 5% this year, with Premier Li Qiang – aka President Xi Jinping’s 2IC – saying they’re looking to “transform” the economy after suffering “deep-rooted problems” in 2023. Li made the announcement at the massive annual National People’s Congress in Beijing. Li told his fellow officials that slow economic recovery from the pandemic was a factor – but China’s massive property market debt has also been an issue. It’s also worth noting the growth target is higher than the 4.6% the International Monetary Fund has forecast for China this year, so let’s see who’s right… China’s growth has been a big talking point at the ASEAN special summit in Melbourne this week – Malaysia’s PM Anwar Ibrahim is a voice in favour of the rising giant. “I sense that some countries just cannot accept the fact that you have another superpower emerging. I don’t have that problem,” he said. 

World News

The price you pay for health

Every year, the federal government reviews the price rises our private health insurers want to roll out. After initially knocking them back, the Albanese Government has agreed to an increase in premiums from 1 April. Health Minister Mark Butler says 15 million Aussies who hold private health insurance can expect an average increase of 3.3% to their bills, with NIB’s premiums to go up 4%. Its boss Mark Fitzgibbon says it’s due to “a rise in health and medical treatment costs” post-COVID. The 3.3% figure is the biggest private health increase in 5 years, but insurers say it’s lower than the industry’s 10-year average and lower than the 6% they requested… The Coalition has accused Labor of not announcing the rises until after the weekend’s Dunkley by-election, where cost-of-living was a big issue. If you want to see how your provider lines up, there’s a table outlining each insurer’s changes here.

Australian News Health

A world first in France

Their lawmakers have made a historic move by voting 780-72 to enshrine the right to abortion in the country’s constitution. It makes France the first in the world to give women the “guaranteed freedom” to end their pregnancies, and it comes at a time when reproductive rights are under threat in other Western nations, including the US. Despite abortion being legal in France since 1975, the amendment didn’t go through without pushback – activists have been vocal, and the Catholic Church said “in the era of universal human rights, there can be no ‘right’ to take human life”. Polls show 85% of French people supported the change, and there’s been widespread celebration. France’s new PM Gabriel Attal says they’re “sending the message to all women – your body belongs to you, and no one has the right to control it in your stead”.

World News

Licence to thrill

If you’ve ever watched James Bond and fantasised about becoming a ‘00’, a real-life British agent says the job includes “way more than what you see in the spy movies”. The secret sleuth known only as ‘Kwame’ works for the UK’s foreign intelligence service MI6, which is trying to recruit a more diverse range of people. And he’s done a good job of selling the career by saying, “I’ve seen some of the coolest stuff – things that will blow your mind”, but he wouldn’t divulge any further, as “you have to be in it to see it.” He’s also keen to dispel the stereotype that spies are all posh men who like martinis saying his real-life ‘Q’ – aka the agency’s head of technology – is one of many women “doing really cool stuff in the tech space”. What we really want to know, though, is whether his ‘M’ is as cool as Judi Dench

World News

Apropos of Nothing

Dutchman Bert Janssen has set a new Guinness World Record, becoming the longest-surviving transplant patient. He was given a new heart back in June 1984 after being diagnosed with a serious heart disease at 17yo. He was told at the time he would only be around a few months, but he’s still here to tell the tale.

If you’ve never spotted a lowland Leadbeater’s possum, you’re not alone… Aside from being critically endangered, the tiny possums are so fast that they’re nicknamed ‘forest fairies’. And yay, conservationists in Victoria say their numbers are on the rise.

This is a PSA for Colin Firth/Mr Darcy fans: his iconic white shirt from the BBC mini-series is up for grabs. It’s one of more than 60 famous costume pieces being auctioned in London for charity. And FYI, it looks like it’s been to the dry cleaner since its dunk in the lake… 

Australian News Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Labour Day – WA 

12.30pm (AEDT) – MP Max Chandler-Mather & Mike Zorbas will address the National Press Club on the housing crisis

1.00pm (AEDT) – 2024 AFL season launch – media conference – Sydney 

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, January 2024, National Accounts, December 2023

Independence Day – Ghana

Day of the Dude 

Birthdays for the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova (1937), Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour (1946), and rapper Tyler the Creator (1991)

Anniversary of:

  • the first modern trampoline being patented (1945)
  • the death of former First Lady Nancy Reagan (2016)

4.00am (AEDT) – Hawaii Democratic presidential primary

Squiz the Day

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