Squiz Today / 22 October 2021

Squiz Today – Friday, 22 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Here you go again…

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I can ditch the modems, but I can’t really gouge her eyes out.”

Said Aidan Meller, the human behind Ai-Da, the “world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist”. The bot was on her way to her latest exhibition when Egyptian authorities detained her at customs fearing she was a spy. What a world…

A bold move to find Cleo

The Western Australian Government is offering a $1 million reward to anyone who has information that will help authorities find 4yo Cleo Smith. It’s the equal biggest reward offered in the state’s history, and the 4th time such a reward has been offered to solve a murder or disappearance. “We want to ensure police have everything they need to solve this case,” Premier Mark McGowan said.

Police believe Cleo was abducted from a tent in a campsite north of Carnarvon in the early hours of Saturday morning. There are “grave concerns” for her safety as the extensive search concluded its 6th day, but Acting Police Commissioner Col Blanch said they hope to find her alive with 100 officers assigned to the case. Authorities are confident that the search of the campsite and surrounds would have found her if she had wandered off, and so their attention is on suspicious activity at the time of her disappearance. But there are no suspects, and no one is being questioned about Cleo’s disappearance as things currently stand. Blanch yesterday said that the case “strikes at the heart of West Australians, and I am here to reassure the community that everything that can be done is being done.”

Rarely. According to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, abduction is one of the least common ways for children or young people to go missing. Looking at adults and children, fewer than 1% of Australia’s 38,000 annual missing person reports are related to abduction. When it does happen, it’s a family member or someone known to the victim who is responsible more than half the time. And when a child goes missing, they are usually returned within 48 hours. There are, of course, elevated concerns about young kids because they are considered to be particularly vulnerable. In Cleo’s case, she has been missing for much longer than 48 hours. That’s why police say that the case is growing more urgent with every passing hour.

Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

A trio of exercises in transparency

• Former NSW Labor powerbrokers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, along with Obeid’s son Moses were sentenced to jail yesterday over a plot to get a coal exploration licence for an Obeid family farm. Macdonald, who was resources minister from 2007 to 2009, rigged a tender that led to a $30 million windfall – money the family have kept… It is Macdonald’s and Eddie Obeid’s 2nd stint in prison for misconduct in public office.

• Speaking of ICAC, it’s released the witness list for next week’s hearings into former premier Gladys Berejiklian’s conduct. She will front up on Thursday and Friday. Her former boyfriend Daryl Maguire, the original target of the inquiry, will appear on Wednesday.

• And in Canberra, the committee that looks into the rules for MPs will examine politicians’ use of funds from anonymous donors to pay legal bills. There was a blow-up on Wednesday night when Speaker Tony Smith proposed look-see into former minister Christian Porter’s use of a “blind trust” was voted down. PM Scott Morrison said it’s not just a Porter problem, and a broader look was warranted. Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the government is trying to protect Porter from scrutiny.


Heading towards COVID 2022

We saw the movie 2020: The Pandemic and didn’t like it much. We returned in 2021 for The Pandemic: Delta’s Revenge and liked it even less. As for 2022, don’t cancel your ticket quite yet… The World Health Organization’s Dr Bruce Aylward says the pandemic could “easily drag on deep into 2022” because developing nations are not getting the vaccine supplies they need. For example, data shows that African nations account for 2.6% of doses administered globally. Another sore point is booster shots. Last month, WHO urged developed countries to hold off on offering booster shots to free up supply, but some countries have started rolling them out. Here in Oz, the boosters are set to be administered in Australian nursing homes within weeks, subject to regulatory approval.  

Australian News

Tesla revs up the profit

Despite facing a global computer chip shortage and other supply issues, electric vehicle (EV) giant Tesla has posted a record-smashing profit of US$1.62 billion for the July-September quarter. The boost was driven (hehe…) by the record-breaking sale of 241,300 EVs. In a statement to shareholders, the company said it has addressed “global challenges” with “ingenuity, agility and flexibility that is unparalleled in the automotive industry”. And as it builds a new HQ in Texas, the company said it expects sales to grow an average of 50% annually – a rate any established company would be happy with.


Giddy-up towards civilisation

It’s a mystery that has long plagued researchers, but the question of where and when modern horses were first domesticated may have been finally put to bed – in a stable, of course. A new study published in Nature yesterday has found that the DNA of all modern horses can be traced back to a group that lived in the Western Steppes of Russia 4,200 years ago. Within a few centuries, domesticated horses spread across Asia and Europe, and then they were everywhere. Researchers say gee-gees helped shape human civilisation because they could take our ancestors’ to faraway places, pull heavy things and help out in agriculture. It’s nothing to neigh at…

Environment & Science

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Documentaries have been a dominant viewing theme of 2021, and that continued this week – but with a twist… WeWork: Or the making and breaking of a $47 billion unicorn is a doco-film focused on the vision of entrepreneur Adam Neumann. Well worth a look on Prime this weekend.

We’ve been notorious sunscreen-dodgers in the past. This year we’re doing it differently, and we have all the good things to say about Ultra Violette’s range. Our everyday face fave: the Supreme Screen.

And we had a hankering for San Choy Bow this week – and this recipe didn’t disappoint. We like ours with pork mince, but chicken would work a treat. Fresh and filling.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which country has taken on Robertson, NSW with its own version of a big potato? Have a go at the S’Quiz.

Squiz the Day

Company AGMs – Huan Aquaculture, IAG, McMahon Holdings


Wombat Day

International Stuttering Awareness Day

Birthdays for actor Jeff Goldblum (1952) and director Spike Jonze (1969)

• Thomas Edison perfecting the carbonised cotton filament light bulb (1879)
• US President John F Kennedy imposing a naval blockade on Cuba, beginning the missile crisis (1962)
• PM Scott Morrison making a public apology to victims of child sexual abuse in institutions (2018)

Squiz the Day

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