Squiz Today / 25 March 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 25 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting another news week behind you. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

18 / 23
13 / 21
20 / 29
12 / 24
19 / 35
13 / 23
25 / 33
13 / 23

Squiz Sayings

“Moris’ eyes filled with tears as she alone cut a vegan elderflower sponge wedding cake outside the prison in front of around 200 supporters and a large media pack.”

Wrote Sydney Morning Herald/The Age journo Latika Bourke as she described the unique wedding reception after jailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and partner Stella Moris tied the knot at London’s Belmarsh Prison on Wednesday. Vegan cake and a media scrum – it’s what every little girl dreams of…

More help for a frustrated Ukraine

Russia’s war on its neighbour Ukraine has entered a second month. To discuss the deteriorating situation, US President Joe Biden has attended an emergency NATO summit, a G7 summit and a meeting of the European Council in Brussels overnight where Western leaders have agreed to increase military aid to Ukraine and tighten sanctions on Russia. It’s another step from the unified leaders, but it falls short of what Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky wants.

He says he’s “waiting for meaningful steps” to be taken on his requests for help with enforcing a no-fly zone to end Russian airstrikes and the loan of heavy military assets like anti-air and anti-ship weapons. Zelensky addressed the NATO summit and again called for “military assistance without limitations” because he says Russia is “without limits using its entire arsenal.” He asked those gathered to provide Ukraine with “1% of all your planes, 1% of all your tanks. When we will have all this, it will give us, just like you, 100% security.” And while he thanked Western nations for the support they already have provided, reports say his frustration was apparent.

More tightrope walking from the West to support Ukraine while not taking up arms against Russia. Western leaders have approved major increases to their forces in Eastern Europe, and 4 new battlegroups will be sent to Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania – they’re either neighbours or close to Ukraine. NATO will reinforce its chemical, biological and nuclear defence systems on fears Russia is planning to use such weapons against the people of Ukraine. The US has also announced that it will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s aggression, and it’s keeping track of war crimes being committed by Russia. Yesterday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “unleashed unrelenting violence” on Ukraine, and his troops will be held accountable for the crimes they commit during the war.

World News

Squiz the Rest

The Solomons turn to China

There was a flurry of intrigue late yesterday when a senior academic posted to Twitter pictures of a draft agreement for closer cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands. It would allow China’s military forces to be stationed in the Pacific nation, less than 2,000km from Australia’s coastline, and give China the right to use its troops to “protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in the Solomon Islands”. The document has been confirmed to be ridgy-didge, and reports say our officials have been aware of moves in that direction for some weeks. Overnight, Solomon Islands officials confirmed they have signed a policing deal with China and will send the broader security agreement covering the military to its cabinet for consideration. Australia has long assisted the Solomon Islands to keep the peace (including right now…), and we’re determined to keep doing it. And China’s power moves in our region give those in charge of our national security cold sweats, so there’ll be more on this one… 

AusPol World News

Refugees to become Kiwi cuzzie bros

If you’re after a blast from the political past, it was 9 years ago that PMs Julia Gillard and John Key agreed that refugees in Oz’s offshore detention system would be resettled in New Zealand. It’s taken until now for the deal to be signed. It will see 150 asylum seekers transferred every year for 3 years and applies to refugees already in detention – not to anyone in that situation in the future. Our officials were hesitant to finalise the agreement because of concerns that those transferred could make their way to Oz and settle here. After lengthy negotiations, Australia let that go and there are no caveats along those lines in the final deal. Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Australia’s offshore detention policy remains unchanged. “Anyone who attempts to breach our borders will be turned back or sent to Nauru,” she said yesterday. Kiwi Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said the deal reflected his nation’s humanitarian spirit.

Australian News

Search for missing Tassie girl continues…

Nearly 100 emergency services personnel are searching for 4yo Shayla Phillips, who went missing from her Stormlea home in southern Tasmania on Wednesday afternoon. She was last seen at 2.30pm playing in her backyard with 2 dogs belonging to neighbours. Her mother checked on her 30 minutes later, and Shayla and the dogs weren’t there. One of the dogs had returned home by the time the search commenced, and the other was later found by a search helicopter about 700 metres from the property. Inspector Gavin Hallett said the movement of the dogs indicated that she’s wandered off, but they haven’t ruled out the possibility that she was taken. Police have concerns for the girl’s wellbeing given her young age, the rough terrain, and chilly overnight temperatures.

Australian News

Bad things come in 3s for Crown

After damning findings were handed down in NSW and Victoria last year, Crown Resorts has been deemed unsuitable to hold a gaming licence at its Perth casino in Western Australia. That’s the conclusion of a Royal Commission that went over the company’s greatest hits, including the facilitation of money laundering and links to criminal syndicates. The inquiry also identified problems with the state’s gaming regulator – commissioners said those overseeing Crown lacked “an adequate or accurate understanding of its role in casino regulation”. It’s a bit like saying the umpire of the AFL grand final doesn’t understand the rules of the game… Commissioners stopped short of recommending Crown be stripped of its casino licence and has recommended an independent monitor be brought in. Crown has promised to “work cooperatively and constructively” with the government. 

Business & Finance

Vale Madeline Albright

The woman hailed as a trailblazer on the world diplomatic stage has died aged 84yo from cancer. Born Marie Korbelova in Prague in 1937, Madeleine Albright was the daughter of a Czechoslovakian diplomat who was forced into exile after the occupation of the country by Nazi Germany in 1939. The family was granted political asylum in America in 1948. Decades later, she learned her family was Jewish and had converted to Catholicism during World War II to escape the Holocaust. Appointed US Secretary of State by Bill Clinton in 1997, Albright was a champion of NATO expansion and argued strongly for intervention in the war in Kosovo to stop the atrocities committed against ethnic Albanians. Albright was also a champion of female advancement – it was her who originally said that “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”. And she was known for her strategic use of brooches

World News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

We were poking around the fab blog Letters of Note this week, and this gem from actor Richard Burton to his estranged wife Elizabeth Taylor is as eloquent a breakup letter as you’ll ever see. And this oldie but goodie – it’s the best letter of complaint ever written.

If you need limited TV series to enjoy over the weekend, we can recommend Bad Vegan on Netflix. It’s the bizarre story of Salma Melngailis, who was a big deal on the Manhattan restaurant scene for her raw food approach that celebs loved. Then she married a guy who promised her and her beloved dog immortality… Four x 1-hour long eps, you can take a slice and put it down. Or binge-watch it. We’re not the boss of you…

In a nod to the plant-based food lovers, we’re going mushy this weekend. Mushrooms on toast, that is. It’s not vegan because butter’s definitely on the cards here. The vinegar, garlic/herbs, and good sourdough make this a magic brunch or Sunday night dinner.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which country has been named the happiest place on Earth in the UN’s latest World Happiness Report? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEDT) – Women’s Cricket World Cup 25th ODI – Australia v Bangladesh – New Zealand

An inquiry into the NSW Government’s handling of the COVID pandemic hands down its report

Independence Day – Greece

Freedom Day – Belarus

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

National FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) Awareness Day

National Ride2School Day

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival starts (on until 9 April)

Birthdays for feminist icon Gloria Steinem (1934), muso Elton John (1947), and actor Sarah Jessica Parker (1965)

Anniversary of:
• the first Easter, according to calendar maker Dionysius Exiguus (31)
• the British Parliament abolishing the slave trade throughout the British Empire (1807)
• the birthday of Aretha Franklin (1942)
• the debut of The Bachelor in the US (2002)

Squiz the Day

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