Squiz Today / 22 May 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 22 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

Let’s do this.

Today’s listen time: 10.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“He’s a good shot – he always has been.”

Said Andrew Burns of his 13yo son Owen who scared off his 8yo sister’s kidnapper with a slingshot. The kid from Alpena Township, Michigan, said hitting the assailant was easier than knocking over the one Pepsi can he practises on…

It couldn’t have been an email…

It turns out US President Biden wasn’t snubbing PM Anthony Albanese… They met in Japan over the weekend, with Biden apologising for cancelling his planned Sydney visit. The pair were able to sneak away from the G7 leaders summit with Japan’s leader Fumio Kishida and India’s Narendra Modi for a quick Quad meeting that was meant to be held in Sydney this week. Under discussion: China. Sort of… They released a lengthy statement that didn’t mention China by name but reaffirmed a joint commitment to “a region that is peaceful and prosperous, stable and secure, and respectful of sovereignty.” Separately, G7 leaders said they want to “de-risk, not decouple” from China, and they also want the nation to knock off its threats against Taiwan and expansion into the South China Sea – a call Albanese backed

Heaps, and we’ll get onto Russia/Ukraine in a sec… Biden and Albanese also got some time to themselves and used it to sign a new agreement. And take a  breath before you attempt to say it – it’s called the Australia-United States Climate, Critical Minerals, and Clean Energy Transformation Compact… Long story short, it aims to coordinate supply chains between our nations such that Australia can become a key global supplier of the resources needed for clean energy production to help the US become a net-zero economy. Senior Coalition Senator Simon Birmingham backed the deal, saying, “It’s essential to work cooperatively with our partner nations.”

Even though Biden is no longer coming to Sydney, Indian PM Narendra Modi will head here this week. Well, he could hardly cancel his stadium tour, could he? Modi will speak to an audience of more than 20,000 at Sydney Olympic Park on Wednesday, amongst other events. But it won’t all be smooth sailing – reports say some in the Indian diaspora have questions about Modi’s treatment of Muslims. Looking locally, federal parliament is back this week, and there is a lot to pick up following the Budget a fortnight ago and Aussies saying the cost of living is their #1 priority… And further down the track, Anthony Albanese said he will travel to China later this year as negotiations to lift trade sanctions continue. At least our leader is getting some pretty good meals out of it…

Australian News World News

Squiz the Rest

Fancy seeing you here…

You didn’t think we were done with the G7, did you? The meeting had a surprise, in-person visit from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who flew in to make the case for more aid in his country’s fight against Russia. The impromptu appearance meant that Zelensky could have his first in-person meeting with Modi – that’s significant because Modi hasn’t yet condemned Russia, though this weekend he said India would do “everything we can” to end the war. Amongst Western nations, it appears that Ukraine’s request for F-16 fighter jets has been approved, with the US allowing other countries to send the American-made planes to Ukraine. But even as Zelensky concluded his weekend in Japan, Russia claimed the capture of Bakhmut, the symbolically (but not strategically) significant city that has been the most protracted battle since Russia’s invasion. Ukraine has not conceded that loss.

World News

The Commissioner won’t watch it back

Another case of NSW Police’s rough handling of an aged care resident has surfaced after Clare Nowland, a 95yo with dementia, was Tasered in Cooma last week. Six police officers used 2 sets of handcuffs on Rachel Grahame – an 81yo with dementia – after she took a staff member’s lanyard in October 2020. Grahame’s family sued, and the case was settled – but her daughter Emma has come forward because Nowland’s case “showed me that the police have learned nothing,” she says. On Saturday, NSW Police boss Karen Webb said she had met with Nowland’s family but wouldn’t look at the footage of officers struggling to take a steak knife from the elderly woman as she moved “at a slow pace” towards them using a walking frame. When Nowland fell, she struck her head and is now receiving end-of-life care. Webb says the “best detectives in NSW” are investigating. The sector’s federal safety regulator is also conducting a review

Australian News

Getting the facts on the Voice

Looking for information about the upcoming Voice referendum? Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney yesterday launched the government’s website voice.gov.au. It’s designed to be a place to go for factual info about the proposal to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament that would be enshrined in our Constitution. Burney says we’ll need it because the compulsory vote will require us to be “well-informed”. Alongside the stuff on the interwebs, the government has allocated almost $1.5 million to the Museum of Australian Democracy and Constitution Education Fund Australia to create content and information about the Constitution and the referendum process. Last week, polling showed support for the Voice had slipped – 44% supported the Voice, 39% opposed it, and 18% were undecided. The ABC is pondering its approach as prominent Indigenous broadcaster Stan Grant left Q+A last week, citing racist attacks

AusPol Australian News

All jabbed out

After a couple of years of COVID vaccinations, the latest numbers show Aussies aren’t keen on topping up with a booster. Older Aussies are at the top of officials’ concerns – 2.85 million +65yos have not received a COVID vaccine in the past 6 months, while 1.6 million have rolled up their sleeves again. For that age group, the advice is to get an additional booster shot 6 months after the most recent vaccination or infection. And with winter a fortnight away, experts say anyone eligible for a booster would be well advised to do it ASAP. “I would really recommend they get their booster for COVID ASAP, and at the same time, in the opposite arm, you can get your flu jab,” said funster Robert Booy from Sydney Uni/the Immunisation Coalition. At the other end of the age spectrum, medicos are worried that under 5yos have an influenza vaccination rate of 11%. Experts say the flu is back after little circulation in recent years. 

Australian News Health

The Force Awakens – just not at the Star Wars hotel

If a stay at Disney’s Galactica Starcruiser in Florida was on your bucket list, you might need to adjust your plans… The company is closing the “immersive adventure” due to cost-cutting measures, including shuttering its underperforming attractions. Opened just 18 months ago, a 2-night stay at the hotel featuring “exciting and exclusive activities, missions, character encounters and adventures” costs more than $7,200 for 2 people and heading north of $9,000 for a family of 4. For that price you would think you’d get a great view out the window, but no… Stars, planets and asteroid showers are shown on video screens. Superfans aren’t surprised – one said it was too pricey and wants Disney to “find a way to discount the experience to make it more obtainable for the average family.” As Luke Skywalker said to the dentist, may the floss be with them…

Business & Finance Entertainment

Apropos of nothing

The world’s best-selling book just set another record – a 1,100yo Hebrew Bible sold for a whopping $57 million at a Sotheby’s auction. It was bought by a group of Jewish Americans and will be displayed in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

The ‘German Kate and William’ – aka Bavarian Prince Ludwig and Sophie-Alexandra Evekink – wed this weekend with an old-timey royal wedding in Munich. One-upping the British couple, the bride briefly swooned and was caught by the groom. Show-offs… 

And in a less pleasant update from Germany, a surgeon has been fired after enlisting a cleaner to help him with a toe amputation. There is no word on whether the cleaner kept their job or got a promotion to medical assistant…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Lawyer, human rights activist and Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

House of Representatives sits for 2 weeks

International Day for Biological Diversity

Harvey Milk Day

Sydney Writer’s Festival begins (until 28 May)

Sherlock Holmes Day

World Goth Day

Birthdays for Naomi Campbell (1970) and Novak Đoković (1987)

Anniversary of:
• the abolishment of the transportation of British convicts to NSW (1840)
• the founding of the non-profit news organisation Associated Press (1846)
• Abraham Lincoln becoming the only US President to receive a patent (for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions) (1849)
• the first modern sighting of the Loch Ness Monster by Aldie and John Mackay, who saw “something resembling a whale” (1933)
• Ireland becoming the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote (2015)
• the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 22 (2017)

Squiz the Day

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