Squiz Today / 12 August 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 12 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

Good prep for some 5-star news chat. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

11 / 18
9 / 15
12 / 21
10 / 15
8 / 21
5 / 14
22 / 33
5 / 14

Squiz Sayings

“Alive, alert and awake.”

Is what artist Antony Gormley thinks his latest massive statue conveys, and why he says it’s perfect to be installed at Imperial College London. The problem is many people say there’s a particular part of the male figure that looks alive, alert and awake, and it’s making them uneasy…

Making a start on saving lives

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is a year into its inquiry and it has another 2 years to run, but 13 urgent recommendations were made in its interim report handed down yesterday. Eight have to do with making things easier for future hearings, including giving better legal protections to those who have sensitive information to share. And 5 recommendations are about improving the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ compensation and rehabilitation claims processes and staffing. The system is “so complicated” that the Commission has found it can contribute to the suicide rate of serving and former members of the Australian Defence Force. “Behind each claim is a veteran who needs support, and it is gravely important that this assistance is provided as quickly as possible – lives and livelihoods depend on it,” Commission chair Nick Kaldas said.

Former PM Scott Morrison launched the Royal Commission in April last year after a long-running campaign from the defence community, affected families, and pressure from MPs and Senators. And it’s core purpose is to look into what’s behind the climbing number of serving and ex-servicemen and women taking their own lives. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1,273 veterans and serving personnel died by suicide between 2001 and 2019. Many campaigners put that number next to the 41 Australian troops who died during the almost 20-year-long conflict in Afghanistan. Initially, the former Coalition government proposed an independent commissioner to investigate the suicides, but the legislation failed to receive support in the Senate, where crossbenchers, including former soldier Jacqui Lambie who gave evidence last week, demanded a Royal Commission. And this is the first formal report of what they’ve found.

It’s a good question because the report says 50 reports and more than 750 recommendations have been delivered on these issues in the past 22 years… Veterans Affairs Minister Matt Keogh offered an apology and said the report’s recommendations would be considered. “Clearly, something’s not working in Defence and Veterans Affairs,” he said. And the Coalition’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence Phillip Thompson – who was wounded while serving in Afghanistan and has lost friends “to their war within” – said a lot more needs to be done, but the report has “shone a spotlight on the darkest corners which will allow us to finally take the necessary action”. As for Senator Lambie, she says the Commission’s on the right track, and the government needs to act. “I will pound them every step of the day until those recommendations are implemented,” she said.

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Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Disney overtakes Netflix in the battle for eyeballs

Disney has had a win in the battle of the streamers – it yesterday reported 221.1 million subscribers in the April-June quarter, pipping Netflix at the post with its 220.7 million subs. The ‘Mouse House’ – which also owns Hulu and sports-focused ESPN – says its Disney+ streaming platform continues to grow its customer base despite the easing of COVID restrictions. That’s in contrast to rival Netflix, which lost nearly one million accounts last quarter to cost of living pressures and competing platforms after a decade of growth. Disney+ launched in 2019, and analysts say it has more room to grow its revenue. On that note, it announced plans to up the price for its regular offering while launching a cheaper subscription offer with ads in the US later this year/internationally next year. Shareholders celebrated the news, with its share price jumping more than 6%.

Business & Finance Technology

Palmer to pay some of McGowan’s legal costs

Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer has been ordered to pay part of Mark McGowan’s (aka Western Australians’) legal costs after he turned down the Premier’s offer to settle defamation proceedings in December last year. The pair were embroiled in a lengthy defamation case over a dispute about the state’s hard border, and the blocking of Palmer’s $30 billion damages claim over a delayed iron ore project. In his scathing judgment last week, Justice Michael Lee found both parties had defamed each other and gave the men a dressing down. And yesterday, the judge doubled down, saying ending the litigation “would have saved a great deal of time, money and effort”. Now Palmer will pay some of the costs, which are expected to be hefty, with McGowan’s lawyer charging more than $20,000/day for his services

Australian News

A high-profile murder mystery

An Indonesian police chief, his wife, and the murder of a junior police officer in their house. It’s not the plot of the latest hit streaming series – it’s a case gripping our northern neighbour and has seen President Joko Widodo weigh in to urge a thorough investigation. Inspector General Ferdy Sambo, the head of internal affairs at the National Police, has been charged with the murder of 27yo Brigadier Nopryansyah Yosua Hutabarat, an aide/driver for Sambo. According to the original official report, Hutabarat died after a shootout with another member of Sambo’s protection team on 8 July after he sexually harassed Sambo’s wife, Putri Candrawathi. However, reports say she and the young police officer were having an affair, and his family say he was tortured and killed on Sambo’s orders. Sambo and 2 others are facing the death penalty if convicted after another protection team member turned informant. This week, the Jakarta Post said the scandal is “just the tip of the iceberg of the endemic corruption within the police force”.

Crime World News

Vale Paul Green

The former NRL star player and coach died yesterday at 49yo – reports say it’s been confirmed that he took his own life. Green played 162 games in his extensive NRL career, starting as a half-back for the Cronulla Sharks and moving onto the North Queensland Cowboys, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels and Brisbane Broncos – and he represented Queensland and Australia. After finishing his playing career in 2004, he found success as a coach, steering the Cowboys to their first premiership in 2015. He also coached the Maroons in last year’s State of Origin series. News of his death stunned the NRL community – Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys said “Paul was a brilliant player, and then became one of the few to make a very successful transition into coaching.” Green’s family said he was devoted to them and asked for space. “Our family is still trying to understand this tragedy,” they said.

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The taste of dreams

Yeah, we’re not sure what that means either, but it’s a new flavour being served up by Coca-Cola. The drinks giant has been releasing experimental, limited-time flavours of the iconic fizzy beverage as part of its Creations range. Aimed at younger consumers as the popularity of soft drinks wanes worldwide, each bottle or can comes with a QR code that provides access to a virtual, augmented-reality “music experience”. Past offerings in the range included ​the space-inspired Starlight, pixel-flavoured Byte, and a more traditional strawberry and watermelon flavour developed in collaboration with DJ/producer Marshmello. Dreamworld is the 4th and final iteration, which the company says “bottles up the technicolour tastes and surrealism of the subconscious”. Tab fans must feel so betrayed right now…

Business & Finance

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

If you’re over winter and wondering what your summer wardrobe might need to include, here’s a good distillation of the American trends. Think colour, texture, and something called Coastal Grandmother

This week, Serena Williams announced that she’s ending her tennis playing career in her own unique way, which is what we’ve come to expect from one of the greatest the game’s ever seen. Have a read of her thoughtful piece penned for US Vogue about letting go of the life she’s loved.

You know what, something yum for lunch tomorrow is on our mind. And these mushroom and leek ‘hand pies’ are yum-scrum. With the store-bought puff pastry, it’s an easy one too. Bonus points: make a double batch and freeze one lot for later…

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which fast food company announced that it’s shutting up shop in Italy? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

11.35am (AEST) – the Sturgeon supermoon peaks, but the clearest view starts at 5.30pm

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus chairs his first meeting with state/territory counterparts since the election

Former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick delivers her report into NSW Parliament culture

Barunga Festival begins – Katherine

World Elephant Day

International Youth Day

Birthdays for media personality Karl Stefanovic (1974), and models Jesinta Franklin (1991) and Cara Delevingne (1992)

Anniversary of:
• American inventor Isaac Singer patenting the sewing machine (1851)
• Henry Ford’s company building the first Model T car (1908)
• Clarence Birdseye receiving a patent for his method for quick freezing food (1930)
• IBM launching its first Personal Computer (1981)
• the deaths of Cleopatra (30BC), and actors Henry Fonda (1982) and Lauren Bacall (2014)

Squiz the Day

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