Squiz Today / 23 September 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 23 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Maintaining your news game.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“His presence always managed to keep both our toddler target audience and their parents equally engaged with the show.”

Said ABC TV executive Jennifer Collins of the death of Playschool favourite John Hamblin at 87yo. Known as ‘Naughty John’, she says he had “wicked sense of humour and was not afraid of a double-entendre” – an act that would be hard to pull off these days… 

Putin ups the ante in Ukraine war

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the mobilisation of up to 300,000 military reservists – the first since WWII – after Ukraine regained control of large areas of Russian-occupied territory. It means Russians who’ve completed mandatory military service could be called into active duty. He also claims he’s willing to use nuclear weapons if need be, saying the West is engaging in “nuclear blackmail”. Putin says the moves are necessary to ensure Russia’s territorial integrity, but many experts say it shows he is under pressure. Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded during a video address to the United Nations General Assembly, calling for Russia to face “just punishment” over the invasion. That includes further financial penalties and stripping Moscow of its veto power on the Security Council.

Fear and panic was the response from many… Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu tried to smooth it over by saying the call-up would be limited to men with combat experience. And to put it into context, he said Russia has 25 million potential fighters at its disposal and that 6,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the start of the invasion… Jangled nerves weren’t soothed by that, nor the lower house of the national parliament voting to toughen laws against desertion and surrender by Russian troops, punishable by up to 10 years in jail. Many are looking for a way out with one-way flights leaving Russia selling out at sky-high prices, and reports this morning say Russian men have been fleeing across the border to countries including Georgia and Finland. Meanwhile, protests have erupted across the country, and strict anti-protest laws have been used to arrest more than 1,300 people.

Well, it’s a significant escalation from Russia, and Western powers aren’t pleased about it… NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the mass mobilisation of troops “dangerous and reckless”, and US officials said Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons should be taken “seriously”. Many are sceptical, including the UK’s Ministry of Defence, which doubts whether Russia can mobilise that many people as other experts say Putin’s nuclear threats are nothing new. Nonetheless, Ukraine wants to see action against Russia and has asked for more weapons, including from Australia – a request Foreign Minister Penny Wong says is being considered. “We are in contact with our Ukrainian colleagues. We understand the extraordinarily difficult circumstances they face, the war in which they have been forced to engage,” she said yesterday.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Freedom protests spread in Iran

Iranian authorities have restricted residents’ internet access in response to protests that have recently escalated across the country that have seen about 17 people killed by authorities. The unrest was sparked last week when 22yo Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died in custody after she was arrested by morality police in Tehran for not wearing her hijab correctly. Amini’s death – which police deny involvement in – has sparked public anger about human rights in the Islamic republic and other issues like economic hardship. Also in the spotlight is the plight of Iran’s Kurdish ethnic minority – the protests began in Iran’s Kurdish-populated northwestern regions before growing into the country’s largest demonstrations since 2019. And women are playing a prominent role, with many publicly burning their veils and cutting their hair. Analysts say the pressure is building, and activists fear a violent crackdown by authorities. 

World News

Tough tasks in Tassie and NSW

Rescue efforts are continuing to save the surviving pilot whales that became stranded on Tasmania’s west coast on Wednesday. There were 230 that became stranded – most died, but 32 were refloated yesterday in what rescuers called a “terrific result”, and the remaining 3 whales will be refloated today. This unfolded at Ocean Beach, near the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, almost 2 years to the day since Australia’s worst mass whale beaching event at the same spot. Marine experts say it’s difficult to pinpoint why strandings occur, but herd mentality, water temperature and Tassie’s shallow beaches could be to blame. Speaking of repeating disasters… The city of Lismore in northern NSW is prepping for its 3rd major flood for 2022 after the weather bureau issued severe weather warnings for the region yesterday following heavy rain. The wet conditions are forecast to continue today. It follows flooding further inland in towns including Gunnedah, Warren, Tamworth and Dubbo earlier this week. Enough already, La Niña…

Australian News Weather

Optus targeted in a huge cyberattack

Telco giant Optus has warned the personal data of customers past and present – maybe as many as 9 million Aussies – could be compromised following a colossal cyberattack. The company says the attack was “immediately” shut down, but names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers and driver’s licence numbers have been exposed. Payment details and account passwords were not targeted, boss Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said yesterday, but she’s encouraged customers to have “heightened awareness” of suspicious transactions or contacts in the coming days/weeks. Optus has informed the Australian Federal Police of the breach and is working with the Australian Cyber Security Centre. Cybersecurity expert Shannon Sedgwick says it’s a bad breach. “Think of what can be done with passport and licence information if they have both,” he said. 

Australian News Business & Finance

A star marooned by cheating scandal

You know one of our jobs is getting you across the big watercooler topics, so here’s your rundown on the latest celebrity scandal… Early this week, Instagram model Sumner Stroh claimed on TikTok (c’mon, keep up…) that she had an affair with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter is married to model Behati Prinsloo, and Stroh laments their involvement, saying she was “young, I was naive…” If that isn’t enough, she says Levine recently got in touch to say he was thinking about naming his anticipated 3rd child ‘Sumner’. “You ok with that? DEAD serious,” he messaged. Cue an internet meltdown and 4 more women coming forward to say he was overly familiar on social media… For his part, Levine says he was never physically involved with any of the women, but “I crossed the line during a regrettable period in my life.” So there you go, moving along now…


It’s time for footy finals fever

As the AFL reels from shocking allegations over the treatment of First Nations players at Hawthorn, it’s the grand final that’s in focus today and tomorrow. The Sydney Swans have jetted into Melbourne for the showdown with the Geelong Cats after navigating a chaotic Sydney airport… Geelong (which have won their last 15 games on the trot…) start as favourites, but few are writing off the plucky Swans. What is certain is that entertainers Robbie Williams and Delta Goodrem (who’s not bad with the boot/pink heels…) will rock the MCG tomorrow arvo – with or without Kylie Minogue. And for NRL fans, the North Queensland Cowboys take on the Parramatta Eels tonight, and tomorrow it’s the South Sydney Rabbitohs v Penrith Panthers in the prelim finals. The NRLW is also at the pointy end with the Roosters, Knights, Dragons and Eels playing off. Whatever happens, may the party pies be hot and plentiful…


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Some fine inventors come from South Australia, like David Unaipon (Australia’s Leonardo da Vinci) and Howard Florey (who developed penicillin). It’s also home to Peter Brinkworth, who created chicken salt. And now, his story has been made into a short film to be released next month – from the trailer, it looks pretty dramatic…

GALAH is just beautiful – as founder Annabelle Hickson says, it’s “a cultural magazine that explores life in regional Australia”. A subscription is one of our favourite things to gift to friends, so there’s an idea for you… And if you want some GALAH in your life right now, sign up for their weekly newsletter – it’s free, and we enjoy getting it in our inbox.

And a new fact for you: the calories you consume during a footy grand final do not count. How good is that? So here’s Good Food’s collection of recipes (vegetarians need not apply…) – our pick is the taco dogs. And here’s our annual reminder that this edamame dip is still the best thing to nibble on that’s ever been created in the history of food. Fight us…

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which Broadway show is ending its record 35-year run in New York? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

7.50pm (AEST) – NRL Preliminary Final – North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels – Townsville

8.30pm (AEST) – Women’s Basketball – FIBA World Cup – Australia v Nigeria – Sydney

Public holiday in Victoria ahead of tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final

Saudi Arabia’s National Day

ABS Data Release – Retirement and Retirement Intentions, 2020-21 financial year

International Day of Sign Languages

Birthdays for muso Bruce Springsteen (1949) and Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander (1959),

Anniversary of:
• the birthday of Ray Charles (1930)
• the founding of Nintendo Koppai (later Nintendo Company) by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market the playing card game Hanafuda (1889)
• the premiere of The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and TV comedy Modern Family (2009)
• the death of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (1939)

Squiz the Day

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