Squiz Today / 20 June 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 20 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

Busy people’s news starter. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Menopausal mauve”

Is one of Camilla’s least favourite colours. The Duchess of Cornwall is the subject of a Vogue photo shoot to commemorate her upcoming 75th birthday, and a request to dress to complement some wisteria was firmly denied…

Assange’s extradition gets the tick

Under pressure to prevent the extradition of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US, the Albanese Government says it will not participate in “diplomacy by megaphone”. MPs from across the political spectrum, the unions, and his Australian family and supporters are calling on the new federal government to appeal to decision-makers in the UK and US after the British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Assange’s extradition. The Aussie is charged with breaching the US Espionage Act and faces up to 175 years in jail if convicted.

We’ll be short because there’s a lot… The US alleges that Assange engaged in a 2010 conspiracy with Chelsea Manning (who served 7 years in military prison before she was pardoned by President Barack Obama before he left office in 2017). It involves the leaking of more than 500,000 classified military files about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, along with sensitive US diplomatic cables. He was also wanted in Sweden over rape allegations, and to avoid extradition, he sought protection in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in mid-2012. Sweden dropped its investigation in 2017, and a couple of years later, he was dragged from the embassy, taken into custody and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail. Cue 2.5 years of the legal wrangling over America’s request to have Assange sent to the US to face 18 federal counts relating to his publishing of the secret documents.

Well, the legal challenges in the UK aren’t over… Assange has 2 weeks to appeal the order from the UK Home Office – something his lawyers say they will do. His brother Gabriel Shipton said the appeal will include new information that’s not been previously considered, including claims of plots to kidnap and kill Assange from within the CIA. And his wife Stella says they will keep fighting. “We are not at the end of the road here … I’m going to use every waking hour fighting for Julian until he is free, until justice is served.” Yesterday Team Albanese frontbencher Tony Burke said the government’s view was that the case had gone on too long and that conversations are happening. “We’ve been building constructive relationships again with our allies, and they’re conversations that happen government to government,” he said.

Crime World News

Squiz the Rest

Digging in for a long war in Ukraine

“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine,” says NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg. The military alliance’s Secretary-General says the financial costs will be high, “not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices.” UK PM Boris Johnson delivered the same message after visiting Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Friday. “The worry that we have is that a bit of Ukraine-fatigue is starting to set in around the world. It is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul, and we are giving them that strategic resilience that they need,” he said. The European Union is taking steps to bring Ukraine into the fold by recommending that it become a candidate to join the bloc. Aussies have also shown their support by donating $5.1 million to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal since Russia’s invasion. And the organisation says to keep it comin’…

World News

Oh, what a feeling (to receive some compo…)

More than 260,000 Toyota owners will be contacted from today and told they can register their interest to receive thousands of dollars in compensation. It follows a Federal Court ruling in April that found that ​​the diesel version of the manufacturer’s Hilux, Prado, and Fortuners sold between October 2015 and April 2020 had a defective filter system, leaving owners out of pocket. Not only have owners had to deal with foul-smelling white smoke, but the fault also decreased their vehicles’ fuel efficiency. Notices will be sent via email, text message and snail mail, letting owners know that their set of wheels is worth 17.5% less than what the average customer paid. If all come forward, Toyota is on the hook for $2.7 billion. “If a significant number of those group members do come forward, then there is a possibility … that this will be the largest compensation payout in Australian history,” said lawyer Matt Mackenzie.

Australian News Business & Finance

Revlon finds it hard to put lipstick on this pig…

The mega-cosmetics company has filed for bankruptcy in the US, potentially heralding the end of the iconic brand. Its problems? Well, it’s got big debts, inflation, supply-chain pressures and competitive threats to deal with… In the US, filing for bankruptcy can be a way to get a fresh start by allowing debtors and creditors to agree on a repayment plan. In Revlon’s case, we’re talking about US$575m required in bankruptcy financing. Bankruptcy proceedings can also give a business some breathing space to map out its future – but for the beauty mainstay, that’s tricky… The company says demand for its products remains strong, and corporate moves like buying Elizabeth Arden for US$870 million in 2016 have helped it fend off the competition. But industry insiders say they aren’t brands that zing on social media, and a spell sans makeup during the pandemic has lingered for many women. Fun fact: Revlon developed the first red nail polish in the 1930s, calling it Cherries in the Snow.

Business & Finance

Aboriginal flag to fly high

It’s going to cost $25 million and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet doesn’t know why, but the Aboriginal flag will be a permanent feature on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. “I think it brings unity to our country, and I think it’s a small price to pay for that unification,” he said yesterday. Previously up for 19 days a year to mark days of importance, it follows a petition pushing for the acknowledgement of Aboriginal cultures led by Indigenous artist Cheree Toka receiving 177,000 signatures. Officials say it’s quite an engineering feat to install the new 6-storey flag pole and a 9×4.5m flag – a project that should be completed by the end of the year. “I’m even surprised it takes this long … I’ll go to Bunnings myself and climb up there and put the pole up,” Perrottet said yesterday. The Aboriginal flag has been around a lot in the last month – it and the Torres Strait Islander flags are now featured in federal government press conferences alongside the Aussie flag.

Australian News

A winning weekend

THE LOGIES – It was a big night for Hamish Blake – he took out the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian TV and the inaugural Bert Newton award for the most popular presenter. He said “​​this time 10 years ago I won and the papers ran a story of me holding the Gold Logie under the headline ‘Fool’s Gold’. Well, jokes on them – now they can run ‘Fooled Me Twice’.” A full list of winners is here, and of course, there’s a red carpet gallery

NBA FINALS – the Golden State Warriors are the NBA champions once again, topping the Boston Celtics for their 4th title in the last 8 seasons. And Warriors MVP Steph Curry was the man of the moment – let’s just say he had a big night

AUSSIE SPORTING TYPES – Peter Bol, one of the breakout stars of the Tokyo Olympics, has lowered the Australian 800m running record for the 3rd time. He’s looking good ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games next month. And our swimmers and para swimmers are looking good too…

Entertainment Sport

Apropos of Nothing

If you’ve been on social media and seen grids of new spins on iconic images, it’s an AI take on translating a written instruction into art. Made by a ‘neural network’ called DALL-E, some experts say it poses ethical issues that live in the same neighbourhood as deep fakes.

Scientists from the University of Queensland are working with a ‘superworm’ that can survive solely on polystyrene. The idea isn’t to create worm farms to break down the environmental troublemaker but to harness their enzymes. Nom nom…

And a British beauty brand has come up with 2 cheese-scented nail polishes. They’re apparently for people who want to “show the world they are living a big, bold, and unrestrained life”. If only Revlon had thought of that…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, hosted by Rwanda

World Refugee Day

National Continence Week begins (until 26 June)

Start of Learning Disability Week (until 26 June)

International Surfing Day

Birthdays for musicians Brian Wilson (1942) and Lionel Richie (1949), and actor Nicole Kidman (1967)

Anniversary of:
• Queen Victoria ascending the British throne at 18yo following the death of her uncle King William IV (1837)
• Samuel Morse patenting his telegraph (1840)
• the premiere of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975)

Squiz the Day

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