Squiz Today / 13 September 2021

Squiz Today – Monday, 13 September

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Earphones in, informed conversations out. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

12 / 19
8 / 14
16 / 31
8 / 17
5 / 21
6 / 11
24 / 32
0 / 13

Squiz Sayings

“My first plank was in November 2020 and that was for 2 minutes. And the 2 minutes felt like an absolute lifetime.”

Said Adelaidean Daniel Scali of where he started on his journey to break the world record for planking. Scali suffers from a complex pain condition, and he says his ab-crunching 9.5 hour-long effort was to show those in a similar situation that they could do what they set their mind to. What a planker…

9/11 anniversary exposes old wounds

Just after America marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, a longstanding question many victims’ families have about whether or not Saudi Arabia supported the hijackers in their quest to attack the US was partly addressed. A newly declassified FBI document was released by the Biden administration yesterday that does not prove that senior Saudi officials were involved, but some analysts say it hints at it. 

Fifteen of the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers were Saudi citizens, and founder Osama bin Laden was from a prominent Saudi family, so there have long been claims the Saudi government was linked to the 9/11 attacks. The families of 2,500 of the dead are suing for billions of dollars, claiming “the active, knowing support of the Saudi government”. In the lead up to Saturday’s memorial services, President Joe Biden was under pressure from those families to release information from the official investigations. He agreed, and the FBI document – which details the contact 2 of hijackers had with US-based ‘Saudi associates’ – is the first cab off the rank. Note: an official commission found no evidence that Saudi Arabia directly funded al-Qaeda but left open the possibility that individual Saudi officials might have. For its part, Saudi Arabia has long denied any involvement in the attacks.

President Biden was present at the 3 memorial services in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He cut a quiet figure who mostly stayed in the background of the services. He noted that days like Saturday were “incredibly difficult” for victims’ loved ones because “it brings back the instant they got the news, no matter how years go by.” Some pics are here. And in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s flag was raised at the Presidential Palace. Reports say the white banner featuring a Quranic verse was hoisted by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, PM of the interim government, and it signals the beginning of the Taliban’s administration. Its first policy: segregating the sexes in education.

World News

Squiz the Rest

COVID vaccine supply soon to meet demand

Another weekend, more COVID cases in NSW, Victoria and the ACT… Families in those areas that remain in lockdown will soon be able to plan a family outing: a trip to the pharmacy to get everyone aged over 12yo vaccinated. That opportunity has come about with the Federal Government securing 1 million Moderna vaccine doses from Spain, Czech Republic, Portugal and Bulgaria. PM Scott Morrison said it means everyone still waiting for a jab will be able to roll up their sleeves in October. It is also a ramp-up in the pharmacy vaccine program – so far, 500,000 of the 22,669,372 doses administered nationally have happened at the chemist. In the meantime, it’s time for many locked down NSW residents to get picnic-ready… 

Australian News Health

A report card on the world

As far as global issues go, there are a few things on the boil… And as far as the United Nations is concerned, if the world was a person, she’s taken up smoking, she’s acting shady, and she’s picking fights left, right and centre. The world is under “enormous stress” on almost every front, said UN boss Antonio Guterres. The coronavirus remains a huge issue, the ‘Our Common Agenda’ report he’s released says. And what it’s done is demonstrate the failure of nations to come together and take effective action, he says. Climate change, rising poverty, hunger and gender inequality, and big nations going toe to toe are other examples. Not helping things is the disintegration of public discourse. “We must make lying wrong again,” Guterres said. The next step: a global ‘Summit of the Future’ to take place in 2023.

World News

Are you being served?

If you’re Prince Andrew, the answer is no. The question has come up in the civil case against him in New York following Virginia Giuffre’s claims that he sexually abused her. Prince Andrew’s legal team do not believe that papers from Giuffre’s lawyers have been successfully served. It’s a process where the documents of a lawsuit are delivered to the defendant so they can’t claim not to know about it. Her lawyers said they were left with a police officer at his home in Windsor. However, Andrew is currently at Balmoral, the royal family’s Scottish estate. Today, a US judge will determine whether the papers have been “served” before any case can get underway. Which is a good time to point to Booker-winning author Hilary Mantel’s theory that the British monarchy could be done and dusted within 2 generations

Crime World News

Quick sports news wrap

Smashed it: Dylan Alcott has his Golden Slam after he took out the US Open quad singles title this morning. Woot… And Sam Stosur and her Chinese partner Zhang Shuai have taken out the women’s doubles title. Woot woot… Congrats also go to world #150 Emma Raducanu for her victory over Leylah Fernandez to claim the women’s singles title. The 18yo is the first British woman to win a major tournament since 1977. Up this morning: Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev.

Revved it: Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo has won his first Formula One title since 2018, taking out the Italian Grand Prix overnight. He led from start to finish, and “I don’t think any of us expected that,” he said. It’s his 8th career title.

Sorted it: The AFL grand finalists. The Melbourne Demons crushed Geelong on Friday night, and the Western Bulldogs squashed Port Adelaide on Saturday. Reports say the Birds of Tokyo now have 2 weeks to warm up their voices for Perth’s 25 September premiership game.


A hat tip to the mad scientists

The Ig Nobel awards are an annual ray of sunshine in a year of serious scientific endeavour. Set up to be a Nobel Prize spoof that recognises strange scientific findings, it’s a gold mine for those with a funny bone. And this year’s winners: animal scientists who looked at whether it’s safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside-down than on their sides on stretchers. Spoiler alert: it is… Also receiving accolades: the team that figured out that discarded chewing gum is gross, and researchers who reckon that men are designed to grow beards to protect their jaw from strikes. No word on whether that means men with beards are more objectionable…

Environment & Science Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Lauren Jackson has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame overnight, becoming the first Aussie player to receive the honour. Aussie coach Lindsay Gaze was added for his coaching achievements 6 years ago.

Mayo has lost the All-Ireland football championship title – again… They can thank a 70yo curse put on them by a priest for that, according to superstitious locals.

AFL has been called cross-country ballet, but the Western Australian Ballet has taken that to another level. Let’s just say it’s unlikely any of the dancers will be drafted…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.00am (AEST) – Tennis – US Open Men’s Singles Final – Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev – New York

10.00am (AEST) – MTV Music Video Awards – New York – live on Foxtel, Fetch, Binge or at mtv.com.au

Birthdays for former cricketer Shane Warne (1969) and designer Stella McCartney (1971)

Anniversary of:
• the birthday of Roald Dahl (1916)
• the Swiss inventor George de Mestral granted a patent for Velcro (1955)
• the premiere of Scooby-Doo (1969)
• the release of Nintendo’s first-ever Super Mario Bros game (1985)
• the premiere of Law and Order (1990)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.