Squiz Today / 23 May 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 23 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

Your easy news fix. 

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Instagram being down is a good thing!! Take a break from social media and let your brain reset!”

Said one observer of Instagram’s outage yesterday morning – not to a mate at the coffee shop or in skywriting. They posted it on Twitter – a mega social media platform. As Billy Joel (almost) sang, irony is such a lonely word…



The family of 40yo South Aussie man Jason Kennison say they take “great solace” in knowing he achieved a major goal of reaching the summit of Mount Everest before his death on Friday. His mum Gill yesterday described him as “an amazing son, amazing brother, amazing uncle, he was just on top the world – literally on top of the world”. And Jason’s sister, Michelle, said her brother – a diesel mechanic – was “one to live a full life” after he survived a major car accident in 2006 that left him with spinal cord injuries. He had to learn to walk again twice in his life – after the accident and again 3 years ago when spinal surgery caused nerve damage. His Everest climb was a fundraiser for Spinal Cord Injuries Australia – Jason described it as “an ambitious feat” he wouldn’t have dreamed of after he was told he wouldn’t walk again. The organisation sympathised with Jason’s family yesterday, saying, “he was a shining example of overcoming the odds.”


That hasn’t been confirmed, but reports say that Jason was making his way down from the peak when his guides noticed he had started to feel ill. The expedition company’s manager Dawa Steven Sherpa said the guides took Jason down to Everest’s ‘Balcony area’ below the peak – which is just over 8,000m above sea level – and had to leave him there to fetch more supplies when they started running out of oxygen. They descended to Everest’s ‘Camp IV’ area to pick up the supplies needed to rescue Jason, but bad weather prevented them from being able to climb back up to him straight away. His body still hasn’t been recovered.


Nepalese media say 10 people have died whilst climbing Everest in the last 3 months alone. That’s on top of the more than 310 deaths recorded there since Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay and Kiwi Sir Edmund Hillary first went up in 1953. National Geographic last year said the death rate is about 1 in 100 attempts. That number is on its way down, with expert Alan Arnette saying, “statistically, Everest is becoming safer primarily due to better gear, weather forecasting, and more people climbing with commercial operations”. As news of Jason’s death emerged yesterday, it was confirmed that Hari Budha Magar, a former soldier in the Gurkha regiment who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, had reached the top of Mount Everest. He is set to be the first double above-the-knee amputee to conquer the mountain.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Lehrmann detective uneasy with charges

The ACT’s inquiry into the prosecution of former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann continues this week, with local police giving their take on the fraught relationship between the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigators. Yesterday, Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said he “didn’t think there was enough evidence” to proceed with the charges but went ahead after direction from ACT Commander Michael Chew. Moller said it was “hard for me to articulate the kind of pressure that was on us at that time” and that several of his colleagues took stress leave and haven’t returned to work. And on the criticisms of authorities’ handling of Brittany Higgins’ allegations that she was attacked by Lerhmann, Moller said police held concerns for her mental health. He added that they’ve “also got an obligation to collect the … most thorough evidence we can to put before the courts”. The inquiry will hear from more officers involved in the case this week.

AusPol Australian News

ABC staff won’t stan(d) for it

Employees of the national broadcaster around the country walked out of their offices yesterday in support of outgoing Q+A host/Wiradjuri man Stan Grant. On Friday, Grant said he was going on indefinite leave after he copped racist abuse for his views about the monarchy’s ties to the extermination of Indigenous people and the theft of land during the broadcaster’s pre-coronation TV coverage. Those were topics sections of mainstream and social media didn’t think were appropriate, and Grant said it was “an institutional failure” when no ABC executive defended him. On Sunday, ABC boss David Anderson apologised, and yesterday news director Justin Stevens told his colleagues, “we will not tolerate our staff being subjected to racial abuse or any form of abuse.” Grant signed off from his final show last night, saying he was feeling down, but he’ll take a break and “get back up”. Radio National presenter Patricia Karvelas will take up Q+A hosting duties.

Australian News Business & Finance

My big fat Greek election

Greece held national elections on Sunday, and yesterday the results showed the centre-right New Democracy party with a dominant lead. New Democracy has been in power for the past 4 years, led by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and it seems like the Harvard graduate/former McKinsey consultant’s heading in the right direction with 41% of the vote. The next-closest party is the centre-left’s Syriza, which polled at a distant 20%. Because of the way the Greek electoral system is structured, Mitsotakis will be offered the chance to form a ruling commission, but reports say he’ll reject the offer and take Greece to a 2nd election in June, where he’ll try to win outright control of the parliament. The key election issue was the cost of living pressures that are going nowhere between now and the next poll…

World News

If it walks like a loan…

If you’re considering adding Zip or Afterpay to your financing mix, the process might become more involved after yesterday’s announcement that the government would regulate the buy now/pay later apps as a credit product. That means that before signing up new customers, the credit providers will have to run ‘responsible lending’ background checks to make sure the purchaser is in a position to make their repayments. It also means that automatic credit limit increases will be a thing of the past. The changes follow a 2020 report from corporate watchdog ASIC that found one in 5 users missed their repayments. According to Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones, the changes will account for the breadth of the industry that covers payments for pairs of jeans to major household purchases like solar power systems. Industry players were cautious yesterday, saying they would work with the government on the new laws to be in place by the end of the year.

AusPol Business & Finance

Watching them, watching us

Grab your binoculars and get to the water – it’s whale-watching season… Between May and June every year, between 40,000 and 50,000 humpback whales make the long journey from the feeding grounds of Antarctica to the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the equivalent of Tasweigans heading to Queensland for the winter… And during their migration, the whales can be spotted along most of Australia’s east coast if you’re lucky enough to get to a headland or on a boat. If you are on a boat, you’ll be glad to know that Australia has humpback whales and not orcas, which have sunk 3 boats off the coast of Spain in recent years. The theory of one biologist is that a female orca was injured by a boat and then rounded up her friends, and her friend’s children, to carry out their revenge. Note to self: never cross an orca…

Australian News Environment & Science

Apropos of nothing

McCafe – Macca’s offering to tap into Aussies’ insatiable desire for barista-made coffee – is turning 30yo. To celebrate, please welcome the ‘birthday cake latte’ because, as the spokeswoman says, “why not mix it in the same drink?” Why not, indeed…

Paying US$600,000 for a guitar sounds like a lot – and paying that much for a smashed-up guitar seems like lunacy. Unless it’s one that belonged to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain

Remember when American Idol was massive and launched the careers of Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Adam Lambert? Well, yesterday, it crowned the winner of season 21 – 18yo Hawaiian Iam Tongi, who sang Keith Urban’s Making Memories Of Us for his final performance – in his thongs…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Victoria hands down its Budget

World Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Day

World Turtle Day

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

2023 International Booker Prize Award winner announced

Anniversary of:
• US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin announcing his invention of bifocals (1785)
• Mao Zedong starting the Great Leap Forward movement in China (1958)
• the Good Friday Agreement being accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland (1998)
• Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning re-election in a landslide (2019)

Squiz the Day

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