Squiz Today / 07 May 2024

Squiz Today – 7 May 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“He walks around like he owns the joint.”

Said Port Macquarie man Jason Hannah, who filmed his suburb’s resident koala – dubbed Big Boy – interrupting the Ironman Australia 2024 triathlon by crossing a road participants were running along. And it’s not the first time – Jason reckons the locals know to let Big Boy “do his own thing”…

Not exactly jumping for joy

The Squiz 

Over 86,000 Qantas customers who purchased tickets for ‘ghost flights ‘ – aka ones that had already been cancelled – will receive between $225-$450 following a lawsuit by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC). The consumer watchdog took legal action after the airline sold the fares despite knowing they’d never take off in a move ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb labelled “egregious and unacceptable”. Qantas boss Vanessa Hudson acknowledged they fell short of their own expectations and said they’re “sincerely sorry”. 

Who’s getting the payments?

The settlement will cost the flying kangaroo $120 million – $20 million for payments to passengers and a $100 million civil penalty. It comes after Qantas booked/re-booked passengers on flights due to depart between 1 May 2022 and 10 May this year after it had already decided to cancel them. It also covers their failure to adequately notify customers – taking up to 48 days in some cases – and offering flight credits with hard-to-use expiry dates for trips impacted by Covid-19. Affected customers will get $225 for domestic or $450 for international tickets – on top of any other reimbursement already provided. The settlement still needs approval in the Federal Court, but Qantas says it intends to pay before then. That’s prompted the ACCC to warn people to be wary of scammers masquerading as the airline.

Anything else?

As well as the payments, Qantas and Jetstar have guaranteed they will notify customers about cancellations “as soon as practicable” – no more than 48 hours later. They’ll also stop selling cancelled flights within 24 hours. The ACCC says the deal shows that businesses must “communicate clearly, accurately and honestly with their customers at all times.” But consumer group Choice says customers need a clear legal entitlement to compensation, and it’s “calling for the establishment of a new travel and airline [ombudsman] scheme and stronger rights to refunds and compensation for cancelled flights”. The government hasn’t commented on that but Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the airline “should count themselves lucky” as paying up was “the least that Qantas could do”.

Australian News Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Israel makes its move

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has begun evacuating the southern Gazan city of Rafah – where more than a million Palestinian civilians have been sheltering – in preparation for its long-awaited ground offensive there. Overnight, Hamas announced it had accepted the latest ceasefire offer brokered by mediators, which saw Gazans celebrating in the streets – but reports say Israel has rejected the terms and has fired on targets in Rafah’s east. The IDF yesterday dropped flyers in Rafah warning civilians it’s “about to move with force against terror organisations in the area you currently reside”. It says it’s expanded a nearby “humanitarian area” for people displaced. Israel’s plans to invade Rafah have been condemned by world leaders for months, and the UN says a ground assault on Rafah would “put the final nail in the coffin” on Gazan aid operations.

World News

Brothers confirmed dead in Mexico

Friends of Aussie brothers Jake and Callum Robinson have paid tribute to the “beautiful human beings” after they were confirmed dead by their parents yesterday, alongside their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad. Jake – a doctor who was about to start working at a hospital in Geelong – was remembered for his “smile”, “laugh” and “kindness”. Emily Horwath, the girlfriend of Callum – a professional Lacrosse player – said her heart was “shattered into a million pieces”. And the brothers’ parents, Debra and Martin, said their only comfort “is that they were together doing something they passionately love”. Meanwhile, Mexican authorities have given more details about the murders – they said their “preliminary theory” is that the trio were shot by thieves trying to steal their ute’s tyres. Locals in Ensenada, near where the men were killed, have also gathered to mourn their deaths.

Australian News Crime

Time ticking on 3G

Telstra is delaying switching off its 3G network over fears hundreds of thousands of customers might not be able to make emergency calls. The telco was due to pull the plug on the older network at the end of next month – but is now delaying the closure until 31 August to give particularly regional Aussies more time to get a new phone. Communications Minister Michelle Rowland welcomes the delay because it’s critical to manage it “in a safer way”. Mobile phone companies have been planning to switch off 3G for 5 years (to boost data speeds for 4G and 5G) but a recent audit found 400,000 users might not be able to get through to Triple-0 on their old handset. Optus is planning to shut down its 3G network in September – meaning it should be done and dusted by the time freshly announced CEO Stephen Rue takes the reins in November… 

Australian News

Aussie gals say ohh la la

A team of little-known Aussie women will be competing at the Olympics after qualifying in a sport that only made its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games. The 3×3 basketball team won a tournament in Japan over the weekend, meaning they’ve now locked in a spot to compete in Paris. The game’s played on a half court and kind of mirrors how basketball is played in driveways and urban areas. Player Anneli Maley said the team is beyond stoked because “we don’t get to go on the tours, we don’t get to do any of that stuff”. Also joining the Aussie Olympic express is the 4x100m women’s relay team after they qualified for the first time since Sydney 2000. The foursome – anchored by teen speedster Torrie Lewis – set a national record of 42.83 seconds and placed 5th fastest at the lead-up event in the Bahamas. 

Australian News Sport

A buzzarre wine weekend

There’s nothing like a weekend of wine tasting, and even better when it‘s matched with some delicious food, but we’re not too sure about the latest offering from a South Oz winery – an edible insect wine pairing as part of next week’s Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival… Customers will be offered ants, mealworms and crickets paired with both white and red wine varieties which Patrick of Coonawarra winery says will offer wine enthusiasts “a completely new experience”. It might sound like some crazy ant-ics, but owner Luke Tocaciu says he “really wanted to do something outside of the box” to celebrate sustainability and “get people thinking about the future and edible insects.” It’s an honourable intention but we might need to be feeling a bit buzzed to wash down a plate of crickets with our cabernet…

Australian News Culture

Apropos of Nothing – Eccentric Europeans edition

We don’t like to stereotype, but the French love their bread, and to prove it, a team of local bakers have gained a new world record for the longest-ever baguette. Coming in at a whopping 140.5 metres, the baked delight didn’t go to waste afterwards – it was cut up, slathered in Nutella and handed out to a raft of hungry locals… Bon Appétit! 

This year’s Eurovision hopefuls have walked the turquoise – not red – carpet in the Swedish city of Malmo ahead of this weekend’s contest. There were – as you’d expect – some interesting looks to say the least… including Finland’s Windows95man in an upside-down denim umbrella…

Residents in a sleepy English town have complained “everything is going downhill” after the local council did away with apostrophes on street signs. Officials in North Yorkshire reckon punctuation confuses its computers – but annoyed locals have taken to hand drawing them back onto affected streets… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00am (AEST) – Met Gala red carpet begins – New York

10.00am (AEST – The case of Erin Patterson, accused of serving a fatal mushroom lunch, is back in court to decide the location of her committal hearing – Morwell, Vic

12.00 (AEST) – Victoria’s State Budget 24/25 to be delivered – Melbourne

2.30pm (AEST) – RBA’s rate announcement and media conference to follow – Sydney

Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner Micaela Cronin will convene a national roundtable on domestic violence

The Senate Report into Supermarket Pricing is to be tabled 

The Senate Inquiry into proposed new immigration laws is due to report back

Road to Rodeo (on until 7 May) – Mount Isa

World Asthma Day  

Anniversary of:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th (Chorale) Symphony premiering in Vienna (1824)
  • the first Mother’s Day being declared by US President Woodrow Wilson (1914)
  • the makers of Agent Orange reaching a $180m out-of-court settlement with veterans (1984)
  • Emmanuel Macron winning France’s presidential election (2017)

5.00am (AEST) – Eurovision 2024 begins

Squiz the Day

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