Squiz Today / 03 November 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 3 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I think Claude has introduced his partner and joey to the all-you-can-eat buffet, now that she’s eating for 2.”

Said NSW nursery owner Humphrey Herrington of his theory/update on what Claude the koala is up to. The marsupial munched his way through thousands of eucalyptus seedlings in September and has returned to the scene of the crime with company. Every crim needs an adorable sidekick…

Erin Patterson has been charged with murder

The Squiz

Three months after 3 people died following a meal believed to contain toxic death cap mushrooms, Erin Patterson has been charged by police with 3 counts of murder and 5 of attempted murder. The 49yo woman who made and served the beef Wellington lunch was arrested at home in Leongatha in Victoria’s Gippland region yesterday morning and remanded in Morwell last night. The charges relate to the deaths of her estranged husband’s parents Don and Gail Patterson and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson, while one of the attempted murder charges relate to Heather’s husband Ian. As for the other 4 counts of attempted murder, reports say they relate to Patterson’s estranged husband Simon – one is from the 29 July lunch that he was meant to attend but pulled out of at the last minute. The others are from 3 separate alleged poisonings of her husband between 2021 and 2022. 

Remind me what happened…

Patterson has previously given police a written statement saying she bought the mushrooms at an Asian grocery store in Melbourne’s Mount Waverley. After the lunch, the 4 guests became ill, and Don, Gail and Heather died over the next week. Ian Wilkinson survived and was released from hospital almost 2 months later. Patterson says she was also hospitalised with stomach pains and diarrhoea – which the local health service confirmed – but police have said she didn’t suffer any symptoms of poisoning. At the centre of it all is a food hydrator police seized from a local tip after Patterson dumped it. And police are still waiting for the toxicology report about the mushrooms being responsible for the deaths… Patterson’s previously denied responsibility for the deaths, saying she had “no reason to hurt these people, whom I loved”.

Where to from here?

Patterson will appear in court in Morwell today. It follows a drama-packed day yesterday where police searched her home again – this time using technology detector dogs, which can sniff out things like USB sticks and SIM cards. We don’t know if that turned up anything, but police were photographed leaving with bags of evidence. Last night, Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said the charges are “just the next step in what has been an incredibly complex, methodical and thorough investigation by Homicide Squad detectives.’’ He added that he understands the “media and public interest, not only here in Victoria, but also nationally and internationally” but asked for the public to refrain from sharing “misinformation” about the case. He says the focus should remain on the “3 people who, by all accounts, were much beloved in their communities and are greatly missed by their loved ones”.

Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

A war zone escape

Twenty Australians have made it out of Gaza, but Foreign Minister Penny Wong says there’s a big effort required to get another 65 out. The deal for foreigners to leave the Palestinian territory via the Rafah crossing into Egypt on Wednesday night was brokered by Qatar and involved the US, Egypt, Israel, and Hamas. And reports this morning say more foreign passport holders were able to leave overnight, with more to come today. Israeli airstrikes are making the journey to the checkpoint risky, and US President Joe Biden is continuing to press for a “pause” in the conflict. But overnight, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli troops are at “the height of battle” in their ground operation in the territory and are advancing on Gaza City. “We will advance and win,” he said. The Hamas-led Health Ministry in Gaza says the death toll has passed 9,000

Australian News World News

Beijing buddies

He’s barely had time to do a load of washing since his US trip – but PM Anthony Albanese is off again tomorrow on a 4-day visit to China. It’s the first trip there by an Aussie leader since 2016 – so it’s a big deal… While a few sticky issues have been smoothed over in recent weeks – there’s still a lot of angst, and Albanese’s said he’ll be raising everything from China’s trade restrictions and its aggression over the South China Sea to human rights issues. Albanese says he wants a relationship of “no surprises” with China, and Beijing is expected to push for support for its bid to join a key regional trade bloc known by its light ‘n breezy acronym CPTPP. The PM’s key meetings will be in Beijing with President Xi Jinping. He’ll also travel to Shanghai for the International Import Expo.

AusPol Australian News World News

Bracing for a rough AGM…

On a scale of one-10, how excited would Qantas execs/directors be to face shareholders at the airline’s annual general meeting this morning? There’s no shortage of issues to discuss… There’s the High Court finding over the illegal sacking of 1,700 workers, the competition watchdog suing Qantas for allegedly selling tickets for cancelled flights, backlash over the handling of COVID flight credits, and an IT system meltdown last month. And this morning, the NSW District Court is due to deliver its verdict on whether Qantas broke the law by sacking a cleaner who raised safety concerns during the pandemic. Two things to look out for today: questions about the payment of bonuses for executives currently being withheld and the re-election of 2 Qantas directors, including advertising guru Todd Sampson. 

Australian News Business & Finance

Ending the postcode lottery

It’s the disease that’s touched nearly every Aussie family – and now the federal government has determined that anyone diagnosed with cancer should get the same high-quality treatment no matter where they live. The new 10-year Cancer Plan released yesterday aims to stop patients falling through the cracks – especially if they live in regional areas. Case in point: it took 75yo Ray Suttie 2 years to be diagnosed with prostate cancer because of a doctor shortage in his Victorian home town of Ballarat. Health Minister Mark Butler says while Australia has some of the best results for cancer patients, it’s not the case for everyone. Case in point #2: Indigenous Australians are nearly 50% more likely to die from cancer. Cancer Australia CEO Dorothy Keefe says the plan will give all Australians better access to services like preventative screening and blood tests.

AusPol Australian News Health

Bad grammar: Its stressful…

Whether it’s a prospective date’s text typos or your social media-using uncle who doesn’t know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, reading bad grammar is a grating experience for many. And it isn’t just word nerds who find it so irritating – a new UK study has found that poor grammar can cause a physical stress response. Researchers from Birmingham Uni measured the intervals between the heartbeats of 41 healthy Brits as they showed them a variety of written examples containing either good or bad grammar. They found a significant correlation between sentences containing poor grammar and a stress response. The research suggests that our understanding of language affects our nervous systems more than previously thought. It’s the perfect excuse next time someone gets antsy with you for correcting them…

*insert winky face emoji

Health Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

If you want to feel old, ask anyone under 35yo if they’ve heard of Milli Vanilli… We’re just prepping you as we give a solid thumbs up for the docu-movie about their controversial rise and fall that was released on Paramount+ last week. It’s really good, whether you’ve heard of ‘em or not. 

Sorry to be a downer, but here’s your public health announcement… A mate was home with her dad a couple of weeks ago when he had a stroke. She knew it was a stroke because she remembered the FAST steps – and as a result, her dad will be ok. Take a look – that little bit of knowledge could help someone you love. 

Squiz HQ was graced by these miso/macadamia/white choc cookies made by one of the team – and it’s a recipe to put on repeat. Get practising now (they’re easy, but you should try at least a couple of batches to taste test just to be sure…), and we reckon they would make great Chrissy gifts for those neighbours/teachers/colleagues you rely on all year. 

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

11.00am (AEDT) – State funeral for former Governor General/Treasurer Bill Hayden – Woodend, Victoria

11.30am (AEDT) – The Financial Services Institute of Australia hosts its annual ‘The Regulators’ lunch where APRA, ASIC, AUSTRAC and the RBA will share their priorities for 2024

5.00pm (AEDT) – Women’s Rugby Union – WXV 1 – Australia v Wales – Penrose, New Zealand

Company shareholder meeting – Qantas; Coles Group

Company Results – Macquarie Group

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator, September

Start of the 2023 Australian Electric Vehicle Association Conference and Expo (until 4 November) – Perth

National Days for Dominica, Micronesia and Panama

Ribit. Start of FrogID Week (until 12 November)

National Sandwich Day – US

Birthdays for Anna Wintour (1949), Ellyse Perry (1990), and Kendall Jenner (1995)

Anniversary of:
• the English parliament passing the Act of Supremacy, which saw Henry VIII and subsequent monarchs become Head of the Church of England (1534)
• the patenting of the first modern elastic bra by New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob (1913)
• the Soviet Union launching Sputnik 2 with space dog Laika aboard, the first animal in space (1957) • the election of US Presidents Lyndon B Johnson (1964) and Bill Clinton (1992)
• the release of Whitney Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s single I Will Always Love You (1992)
• LA Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant becoming the then youngest player to make his NBA debut at 18yo (1996)
• Michelle Payne becoming the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup (2015)

Squiz the Day

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