Squiz Today / 03 December 2021

Squiz Today – Friday, 3 December 2021

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Squiz Today Podcast

Taking you into the weekend in an informed state. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“This is certainly a new situation for us.”

Said Danish IKEA store manager Peter Elmrose after he, staff and customers had to bed down in the showroom for the night because they’d been snowed in. Wonder if they had an Oasis cover band to keep them entertained…

US Supreme Court set to roll back abortion rights

It’s an issue that’s never far from the frontline of American politics, and now 6 of the Supreme Court’s 9 judges are set to accept a legal challenge that could ban abortions after 15 weeks. Currently set at 24 weeks, the laws were established in a famous case known as Roe v Wade. Reports say that conservative judges are ready to abandon that decision and give states the right to decide whether – and at what stage of pregnancy – terminations would be allowed. In language you don’t usually hear in the staid legal environment, Justice Stephen Breyer warned his colleagues they had “better be damn sure” of their next steps.

Fair call. In 1973, an all-male US Supreme Court voted 7-2 to make it legal to have an abortion in a judgement that said it was a woman’s “fundamental right”. In that case, the state of Texas (represented by district attorney Henry Wade) was found to have breached the rights of “Jane Roe” when she was banned from having a termination. Many legal and political attempts have been made to chip away at it in the decades that followed, and there’s been violence too with 11 people associated with services murdered since the 70s. But until recently, the prospect of rolling back the Roe v Wade precedent seemed fanciful. Fast-forward to 2016 when Donald Trump won the Presidency… He promised to appoint new Supreme Court justices who would “automatically” overturn Roe – a promise that he kept. Pro-choice groups warn that disadvantaged women will be the worst affected if the Supreme Court rolls back abortion rights in the US.

The current case is Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi. Conservative justices yesterday indicated they are up for ditching the status quo, but liberal members of the Supreme Court aren’t going down without a fight with Justice Sonia Sotomayor saying change could damage the court’s legitimacy. Chief Justice John Roberts has floated a 3rd way: that the court upholds the Mississippi laws but doesn’t overturn Roe in its entirety. “Why is 15 weeks not enough time” to decide to get an abortion, he asked. The court will make its final judgement on the matter next June so strap yourself in for this to be ongoing for a while…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Agenda derailed by Tudge claims

An investigation into claims that now-suspended Education Minister Alan Tudge was emotionally and physically abusive towards his former press secretary during a 2017 affair will be conducted by Dr Vivienne Thom. She’s the former Inspector-General of our intelligence and security agencies who led the probe into claims against former High Court judge Dyson Heydon. Rachelle Miller went public with claims against Tudge a year ago, and yesterday she went one step further to say she had literally been kicked out of bed by the Cabinet minister early one morning after a boozy night. Tudge “completely and utterly” rejects the claims, but PM Scott Morrison asked him to stand aside so the allegations could be “properly assessed”. So, yeah, it was a messy last day of federal parliamentary for 2021 as the government struggled to move ahead on key bills ahead of the election that’s due by 21 May next year. Note: Labor’s Anthony Albanese is set to reveal his climate policy today, reports this morning say.


Meanwhile, in coronavirus news…

• COVID troubles in South Australia went to another level yesterday with the state’s Parliament shut down after former premier Jay Weatherill tested positive for the virus. Sixteen of the 18 cases reported there yesterday were linked to a high school reunion he attended last weekend before he called in on his old workplace earlier this week.

• NSW health authorities are “concerned” after new cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed yesterday – including the first traveller who had not come from southern Africa. There are now 8 cases with the new variant in NSW and one in the Top End.    

• And Victoria has new pandemic laws after weeks of debate, protests and a marathon 21-hour sitting to work through amendments. The legislation gives the premier and health minister the power to declare a pandemic and enforce restrictions, taking those powers away from the chief health officer.

Australian News

Meghan wins latest court battle against tabloid

It was March when the Duchess of Sussex learned she would be awarded £450,000 (A$800,000) for her legal win against the Mail on Sunday. A London court found the publication breached her privacy after publishing excerpts from a letter she wrote to her estranged father in 2019. The tabloid appealed the decision – and overnight, she won again… The Court of Appeal rejected Associated Newspapers’ attempt to take it back to trial – a decision the company said it was disappointed with. It’s considering another appeal – this time to the Supreme Court. Meghan said it was a win “not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right”. And she’s urged people to be “brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that… profits from the lies and pain that they create.”

World News

More questions than answers in Baldwin chat preview

Movie star/producer Alec Baldwin says that he has “no idea” how a live bullet got onto the set of his film Rust – and he “didn’t pull the trigger” of the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never,” Baldwin told US network ABC News in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that was previewed yesterday. There’s speculation about what that statement means because it’s been confirmed by others that Hutchins was accidentally shot by Baldwin during a rehearsal. Stephanopoulos said the on-camera talk was “the most intense I’ve ever experienced”, which is saying something because he was a key adviser to US President Bill Clinton during some rough years… We’ll find out what’s what when the full interview is aired mid-today Aussie time. The police investigation is ongoing.


The soundtrack to 2021

Spotify and Apple have both released their most-listened-to music of the year. Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny took out Spotify’s top artist spot for the 2nd year running with his hits streaming more than 9 billion times, compared to 2020’s 8.3 billion. So yeah, he’s a big deal… The reggaeton was followed by Taylor Swift, BTS, Drake and Justin Bieber. Olivia Rodrigo’s smash hit Good 4Uwas Spotify’s most-played track globally, while Apple listeners preferred BTS’ Dynamite. As for Oz, taking out Spotify’s top artist spot was T-Swizzle, whose latest release Red (Taylor’s Version) dropped just weeks ago, while Glass Animals’ Heatwaveswas the nation’s top track. Not that much of Oz will see that weather phenomenon this summer…


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Get married, don’t get married – your choice. Still, there’s something about wedding photos and how people choose to portray their love/special day that’s compelling. This week, the ​​International Wedding Photographer Of The Year winners were announced, so enjoy…

We’re starting to get to the point of the year where mustering the attention span to watch a whole movie seems like a possibility. Here’s Vanity Fair’s top 10 for 2021.

Fish cakes – love ’em. We’re making these salmon and sweet potato beauties to jazz up our oily fish consumption this weekend. Like last week, all ingredients are supermarket staples, so get ’em in ya.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know where Omicron came from? Check your news skillz against the S’Quiz. 

Squiz the Day

1.00pm (AEDT) – WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, gives an update on COVID-19 in the region

International Day of People with Disability

Bartender Appreciation Day

International Sweater Vestival

A birthday for rocker Ozzy Osborne (1948) and actors Brendan Fraser (1968) and Amanda Seyfried (1985)

LOL c u l8r, it’s the 29th anniversary of the very first text message (1992)

Anniversary of:
• the Eureka Stockade (1854)
• the deaths of author Robert Louis Stevenson (1894), painter Pierre Auguste Renoir (1919)
• Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George HW Bush declaring the Cold War over (1989)

Squiz the Day

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