Squiz Today / 14 April 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 14 April

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you across the finish line.

Today’s listen time: 9.20 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“You’ll be seeing a lot of me – and a lot less rats. There’s a new sheriff in town.”

Said New York City’s inaugural ‘rat czar’, ​​Kathleen Corradi. The city advertised for the job last year as rodent populations spiked, seeking someone “somewhat bloodthirsty” with a “general aura of badassery”. Some might even call her ‘Rat Dracula’…

Cyclone Ilsa gets her destructive on

Tropical Cyclone Ilsa made landfall just after midnight local time about 100km east of Port Hedland on Western Australia’s Pilbara coast last night as a category 5 storm, bringing heavy rains and “very destructive” winds. To be exact, it arrived between De Grey and Pardoo Roadhouse, recording wind speeds of up to 274km/h at the centre of the storm. Ilsa was downgraded to a category 4 system almost an hour into its land crossing. The Bureau of Meteorology’s Shenagh Gamble said Ilsa is a “well-behaved” storm that’s followed the forecast tracking map. But with wind gusts of 130km/hour in the region and more than 100mm of rain recorded so far, she said “it’s a pretty hefty system that’s moving through.”

Well, it is a big one… Ilsa has set a new sustained wind speed record of 218km/hour as it passed over a recording station on Bedout Island, off the Pilbara coast. The previous record was Cyclone George’s 194km/hour, which was set in 2007, so the BOM said the last record was “blown away”… Chuckles aside, the experts say Ilsa has brought extremely destructive winds, and it’s not letting up anytime soon. The storm is expected to weaken as it continues but will maintain its structure and intensity. That means cyclonic conditions are expected to impact communities across the Pilbara for days. Local officials say they are prepared to ride the storm out, and the evacuation of hundreds of people from small communities like Bidyadanga to Broome was necessary. Nearly 100 additional first responders were flown into the region, and authorities had started preparing for the clean-up and relief effort ahead of Ilsa’s arrival.

Ilsa’s right up there as one of the strongest to hit Oz since Cyclone Trevor moved over the Northern Territory and Queensland in 2019. In case you need a reminder of what happened there, Trevor caused the largest mass evacuation of people in the Territory since Cyclone Tracy hit back in 1974. Thankfully, there were no fatalities and no major infrastructure damage. Speaking of Cyclone Tracy, that category 4 storm reached wind speeds of 217km/hour in Darwin before the weather monitoring equipment was destroyed. As for Western Oz, experts say the state’s northwest is the most cyclone-prone region in Oz. That’s because of the Indian Ocean’s high sea surface temperatures and southern hemisphere cyclones moving in south-easterly directions. So there you go…

Australian News Weather

Squiz the Rest

A call for more boots on the ground

That’s what Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson wants as he repeated calls for support from the Federal Police, saying violent crime in the Central Oz town has reverted to where it was at the start of the year. He said there was a brief lull after alcohol restrictions were reinstated, but the town is now seeing an uptick in crime requiring federal assistance. It echoed comments by Coalition leader Peter Dutton as he doubled down on his party’s stance against the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum on day 2 of his visit to the town yesterday. It comes as a key parliamentary inquiry into the referendum holds its first public hearing in Canberra today, fronted by several prominent legal experts and Voice advocates. The committee will then make a 2-week whip around Orange, Cairns and Perth before the parliament votes on the referendum’s wording in about 6 weeks. 

Australian News Crime

Another blow for a vaping giant

E-cigarette giant Juul Labs has reached a US$462 million (A$689 million) settlement with 6 US states, including New York and California, over claims it advertised to children. It’s the largest settlement Juul has made to date ​​- the company has now agreed to pay US$1 billion to 45 states for its role in the surge in vaping among young people. Juul has laid low since it first came under scrutiny in 2019, dropping all advertising and pulling its flavoured products from shelves. The company is still facing several lawsuits in other states, and the Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering a ban on its products. The youth vaping ‘epidemic’ is being tackled by governments worldwide, including Oz – but UK lawmakers are taking a very different approach… In the first policy of its kind, one million smokers will be given a free vaping kit to encourage them to give up the darts. #SquizShortcut

Health World News

A festival of footy

The inaugural ‘Gather Round’ – aka the AFL’s take on the NRL’s ‘Magic Round’ – kicked off last night with a match between the Adelaide Crows and Carlton. That game was the 1st of 9 sell-out matches being played in South Oz this weekend in “a festival of footy”. The goal is to highlight the historical culture of the league – despite the top levels mostly being played in capital cities these days, it has its roots in suburban/country footy clubs. Over 180,000 footy fans nabbed tickets to games at the Adelaide Oval, the suburban Norwood Oval and the regional town of Mount Barker’s main footy ground. And while many games are still to play out this weekend, outgoing AFL boss Gill McLachlan says it’s already “exceeded expectations”. The SA-born league boss says “there’s people coming from everywhere… and it’s building into the weekend”. To get into the mood, there’s even a very-Aussie-sounding official playlist you can chuck on. NRL fans – your Brissie-based Magic Round starts on Friday, 5 May.


A magical announcement

The rumours have been floating around for a while, and yesterday it was finally confirmed: the Harry Potter series is being turned into a TV show. There’s no release date, but the adaption will have a brand new cast and a season devoted to each of the 7 books, set to be rolled out over a decade. That’s a lot of television… Author JK Rowling is on board as the show’s executive producer – something that has divided fans with those who don’t like her views on transgender issues not digging it. There are threats of a boycott, as there was for the recently launched Hogwarts Legacy video game – still, it is one of the fastest-selling video games of the year. Warner Bros Discovery made the announcement yesterday as part of its upcoming plans for its Max (formerly HBO Max) streaming service. And if that isn’t enough content for ya, a new Game of Thrones prequel is on the cards, too…


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

We Apropo’d this week that a pair of Air Jordans broke auction records, so this is timely… If you got to know Michael Jordan in The Last Dance and reckon you’ll see Air, the new movie about Nike’s shoe deal with the basketball superstar, you’d enjoy this vintage article on the famous endorsement deal that changed the game for big-name athletes.

If you’ve been watching the latest episodes of Succession and had to pick your jaw up off the floor like we have because it’s so darn good, you might have wondered why this is the last season. We looked into it, and this recent New Yorker piece with the show’s creator Jesse Armstrong answers that question. It’s a skill to go out on top…

It’s cooling down a bit where we are, so soups are making a comeback even though we maintain liquids aren’t foods… What makes this leafy greens soup (which is tasty…) is the easy-to-make accompanying potato bread. Seriously, give it a try – we did it for the first time over Easter, and we’ll be making it very regularly from here on in.

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

A parliamentary committee on the Voice referendum holds its first public hearing

The Opera Australia costume clearance sale begins (until 15 April) – Sydney

International Cake Show Australia begins (until 16 April) – Brisbane

Birthdays for Julie Christie (1941), Julia Zemiro (1967) Adrien Brody (1973), and Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977)

Anniversary of:
• US President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth (1865)
• Dr Harry Plotz discovering the typhoid vaccine (1903)
• the RMS Titanic hitting an iceberg (1912)
• Justin Trudeau being elected leader of Canada’s Liberal Party (2013)

Squiz the Day

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