Squiz Today / 26 May 2023

Squiz Today – Friday 26 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you to the weekend in good nick.

Today’s listen time: 9.20 minutes

12 / 18
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Squiz Sayings


That’s what was trending on Twitter after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched his glitch-plagued bid for the Republican presidential nomination on the platform’s new live audio product Spaces. His rivals wasted no time in jumping online to roast the entire saga

Melissa Caddick declared dead

The NSW Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan says missing Sydney fraudster Melissa Caddick is dead – although “a more problematic issue” is whether there’s sufficient evidence to discover how, when and where Caddick died. Ryan shared the findings from her coronial inquiry into the 49yo’s disappearance in court yesterday. She was particularly critical of Caddick’s husband, Anthony Koletti’s behaviour and “untrue” statements to authorities after his wife vanished. She said it was “fair to say that when he was not creating further inconsistencies, he was attempting to account for them with opaque and at times unintelligible explanations”. Four police officers – including the officer in charge of the investigation – have testified that no evidence points to Koletti killing Caddick, but Ryan yesterday said his involvement hasn’t been ruled out.

The story starts in 2009 when Caddick set up a financial firm without the necessary financial licence to run it. And things really kicked off in September 2020 when the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) launched an investigation into her business dealings. Then on 11 November, after freezing Caddick’s bank accounts and banning her from leaving the country, 21 Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers arrived at Caddick’s home in Dover Heights to search the property. Police vision shows Caddick looking on as officers seized about $1 million worth of designer clothes, handbags and jewellery. Around 5.30am the next day, her son says he heard the front door close and assumed Caddick was going for a run, although she hadn’t taken her phone, wallet or keys. Koletti reported her missing 30 hours later. And 3 months later, in February 2021, Caddick’s foot washed up on the NSW South Coast.

ASIC accused Caddick of running a Ponzi scheme and stealing over $24 million from more than 50 of her family and friends to fund her pricey lifestyle. Ryan yesterday said Caddick’s family felt a “profound sense of betrayal” after being conned. For his part, Koletti vouched for Caddick’s character early on, telling police, “everything she’s done has always been legit”. He also criticised ASIC and the AFP’s “cruel and inhumane treatment” during the initial raid. Ryan was also critical of the police investigation but for a different reason… She noted “shortcomings” such as delays (including a crime scene being set up 19 days after Caddick disappeared) and a lack of thoroughness in the early investigation. Ryan said yesterday that it was “certainly possible” that Caddick took her own life, but without further evidence, she can’t say for sure. That means many questions remain unanswered…

Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

ABC in the clear

The ABC’s Ombudsman, Fiona Cameron, has cleared the national broadcaster of breaching editorial standards over its Coronation coverage. The ABC received more than 1,800 complaints about a panel discussion on the monarchy’s ties to the extermination of Indigenous people during its pre-crowning TV coverage. Some claimed the panel – which included outgoing Q+A host/Wiradjuri man Stan Grant – breached the national broadcaster’s editorial standards. But Cameron said the views presented by the panel were “legitimate and newsworthy” while also acknowledging that the timing may have been “jarring” for some viewers. Last Friday, Grant said he was going on indefinite leave following a barrage of racist abuse, and yesterday police charged a Sydney man for allegedly making online threats against the presenter. He was granted bail and is due to appear in court next Wednesday.

Australian News

Turkey votes again

After 20 years in power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads back to the polls on Sunday to face his 2nd election in a fortnight with the aim of securing another 5-year term. He came close to the 50% needed to win the first round, claiming 49.24%. His main opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu received 45.07%, and here we are with a run-off ballot… Erdogan has been an authoritarian leader who has given himself wide-sweeping powers while cracking down on dissent and the media. And Kemal Kilicdaroglu – a more progressive economist – is seen as having the best chance to unseat Erdogan in years. Soaring inflation – currently at 43.7% – and the devastating earthquakes that have left more than 50,000 people dead – have been the key issues of debate – still, Erdogan is the favourite to win on Sunday. Western nations are interested in the result because Turkey is a member of NATO member while also having close ties to Russia.

World News

Powering up the price

If you live in South Australia, NSW or southeast Queensland, soz but your power prices are set to go up by 20-25% from 1 July. That’s the advice of the Australian Energy Regulator, and it will affect 600,000 customers who are on a default offer – a cap on the price energy retailers can charge existing customers. Apologies also go to Victorians – according to the state’s Essential Services Commission, your electricity bills are set to rise by 25%. While that might sting, regulator Clare Savage has previously said things could have been much worse… The default offer would have increased by 40-50% if the federal government hadn’t intervened in the power market last year. The prices for coal and gas have eased, but they’re still very high, which is mainly behind the power price rises. It’s likely enough to make those in areas that are set to see a dump of snow this weekend think twice about turning their heaters on…

Australian News

Who’s the richest of them all?

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart, according to the latest Financial Review’s Rich List. Coming in with $31.06 billion, Rinehart saw her wealth jump $2.2 billion in 6 months as iron ore hit record high prices. Similarly, Pilbara mining mogul Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is riding the commodities boom, coming in at #2 with $27.25 billion. Next up is Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes ($20.18 billion), cardboard king Anthony Pratt and family ($20.09 billion) and another Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar ($20 billion). The next 5 include familiar names like Clive Palmer ($13.01 billion) and Frank Lowy ($8.51 billion) but breaking into the top 10 for the first time are the co-founders of the graphic design platform Canva, Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht ($7.98 billion). Celebratory drinks are on them… Here’s the top 10 list (paywall).

Business & Finance

Fish will fly before Cairns gets a city sign

Those who have been to Amsterdam, Brissie, or Townsville are probably familiar with the memorable city signs that have become popular tourist selfie spots. Locals have varying views on whether they’re an eyesore or a bit of fun – but one city not getting on board is Cairns… Councillors from the tourist mecca unanimously rejected a proposal to place a city sign along its famous esplanade, which one said was already “an iconic selfie in itself”. Tourism Tropical North Queensland had strongly advised the council against the idea, saying the city already had a significant piece of public art in the area: artist Brian Robinson’s woven fish sculptures. And there might be some classic inter-city rivalry at play, too – councillor Brett Moller said that while he didn’t want to compare Cairns to Townsville, the latter is “still where brown meets the sea”. Ouch…

Australian News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

We can’t go past the sad news yesterday that Tina Turner has died. The NRL absolutely nailed it with their ads featuring her fabulous music – and this story about how they got her involved via her Aussie agent Roger Davies is great.

The Atlantic’s got a couple of podcasts we’re interested in, and their new offering – How to Talk to Peoplekicked off this week with an episode on small talk. If the thought of those awkward moments is enough to make you feel exhausted before you even start, it’s a good one.

We know we’re meant to be past the pandemic/baking bread phase, but this tomato/goat’s cheese focaccia is all we can think of. And if we could think of anything more delightfully middle class to say, we’d say it…

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Release – Australian Industry, 2021-22 financial year; Retail Trade, April

National Sorry Day

Independence Day in Georgia and Guyana

Start of Vivid Festival – Sydney (until 17 June)

Birthdays for Stevie Nicks (1948), Lenny Kravitz (1964), Helena Bonham Carter (1966), and Lauryn Hill (1975)

Anniversary of:
• Alse Young becoming the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies (1647)
• the release of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the UK (1967)
• Ireland voting to repeal their 8th amendment to legalise abortion (2018)

Squiz the Day

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