Squiz Today / 25 September 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 25 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s news to move to.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“A bad word went through my head on gate one, but I held it together and my goodness, it was a crazy race.”

Said Aussie paddling legend Jess Fox after winning her 14th world kayaking championship yesterday morning after she was penalised for touching the first gate. Quite apt for a sport where you bob along in the water, we have a feeling the bad word might rhyme with ‘duck’…

Russia against the Western world


Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Western powers like the US “are straight-up fighting with us” – a reference to the weapons, ammunition and money that’s been provided to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion at the start of last year. Speaking of, US President Joe Biden has agreed to send long-range missiles to Ukraine. 


Good question because Russia v America = WWIII… Along with his remarks about the proxy war with the West, Lavrov used his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly meeting to accuse Western allies of aiming to “fuel conflicts which artificially divide humanity into hostile blocks”. Lavrov also nixed 2 diplomatic pushes to end the war in Ukraine. One was a 10-point peace plan put forward by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which called for the withdrawal of Russians and prosecution of alleged Russian war crimes. Lavrov said the plan was “completely not feasible”. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has also been attempting to revive a deal to allow grain exports through the Black Sea in an effort to get the precious cargo to people who need it – but again, Lavrov said the “proposals won’t work … they’re simply not realistic.” 


The UN’s annual get-together was huge for him, too – he told those gathered that “many seats in the General Assembly hall may become empty if Russia succeeds with its treachery and aggression.” Zelensky also stuck it to the Security Council over Russia’s veto power. But one country wasn’t delighted with Zelensky’s performance – and that’s Poland… Ukraine had been planning to export grain over land via Poland since the closure of the Black Sea route, but Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki has so far banned the shipments. Zelensky called it “political theatre”, which Morawiecki did not take kindly to… But Biden’s promise for long-range missiles was welcomed by Zelensky after pleading for more military support. The missiles should arrive in the coming weeks; Ukraine says they will be crucial in reaching behind Russia’s front line to hit them on home soil. Meanwhile, in the physical fighting, Ukraine claims a missile strike killed key Russian naval officers on Friday, but Moscow denies any deaths.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Mushy lunch survivor goes home

Ian Wilkinson, the pastor from Victoria’s Gippsland who survived after eating poisonous mushrooms in July, has been released from hospital. After 7 weeks of treatment in Melbourne’s Austin Hospital, Wilkinson’s family said it was a “moment of immense relief” and thanked the medical teams who treated him for their “unwavering dedication and exceptional care”. His wife Heather died after eating lunch at the Leongatha home of Erin Patterson, as did her sister and brother-in-law, Gail and Don Patterson. Patterson is married to Gail and Don’s son (but they separated some months ago), and the Wilkinsons were part of the family. A definitive finding hasn’t been delivered, but police reckon the group ate death cap mushrooms. Patterson remains a suspect as investigations continue and has denied any wrongdoing.

Australian News

Trepidatious times at the Top

In Darwin, the Nightcliff Markets are legendary for a Sunday wander around arts/crafts stalls – and for delicious food. But not having a great time yesterday morning was Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles after she (allegedly) had a cream-covered pancake pushed into her face by an unnamed woman. We say allegedly because the incident is being investigated by police after the Top End’s top pollie was left shaken. Fyles is said to be a regular at the markets, which are located in her electorate, and she is yet to say anything about it… And a former politician who copped a metaphorical pancake to the face is ex-NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian… Following the state’s anti-corruption commission finding that she engaged in serious corrupt conduct, Berejiklian is taking civil legal action. The state’s newish Labor Premier, Chris Minns, said she has a right to appeal the finding. 

Australian News Crime

Is there anything more annoying than a late RSVP?

Riddle us this: you spend ages planning an important get-together, and you time it so they’re in your neck of the woods for another big engagement – but then a key person declines the invite… That tortured scene-setter is what the Solomon Islands’ PM Manasseh Sogavare has done ahead of today’s second US-Pacific Islands summit. After a gathering last year, part 2 was to take place in Papua New Guinea a few months ago, but Biden had to cancel thanks to domestic budget wrangling. The meeting was then rescheduled for this week when most Pacific leaders were in the US for the United Nations General Assembly, but Sogavare – who is in America – has said yeah nah. Analysts say it’s down to the Solomons’ tilt towards China, but Sogavare says he needs to get home. And like a diligent party planner, US officials say they’re “disappointed” but will push forward to “reaffirm the US commitment to our shared regional priorities and deepening our cooperation”.

World News

Up the Pies and Lions and Panthers and Broncos

Brissie footy fans had a cracker weekend, with their teams claiming spots in next weekend’s AFL and NRL grand finals. In the rugby league, the Broncos walloped the NZ Warriors 42-12, with Reece Walsh stealing the show (and being called an “absolute freak” by one commentator). They will be joined by the Penrith Panthers, who smashed Melbourne Storm 38-4 on Friday night. And in the Aussie Rules, the Brissie Lions held off Carlton for a 16-point win (79-63) in what would normally be called a tight match if it weren’t for the Giants’ one-point loss to Collingwood. Note: the red-carpet enabled Brownlow Medal ceremony is tonight… But happening right now is a do-or-die match for the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup in France. If they beat Wales they might advance to the final 8, but the loss to Fiji last week means even a win might not be enough.


Space comings and goings

Talk about overtime… A US astronaut has broken a NASA record for the longest consecutive time in space, with his 6-month mission stretching out to more than a year. Frank Rubio arrived at the International Space Station on 21 September last year and would have been back on Earth by now if his craft hadn’t started leaking coolant. There are 2 Russian astronauts with Rubio, but there are no records for them… That’s because Russian astronaut Valeri Polyakov spent 437 days in orbit in the 90s. In a recent interview, Rubio said he’s looking forward to “just going out in the yard and enjoying the trees” – and who can blame him? In other space news, not returning home anytime soon is India’s Chandrayaan-3, which is sound asleep on the moon. And arriving on Earth for the first time is 250g of a 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid, with the help of some Aussie scientists. The sample was collected 2 years ago by NASA, and it’s been quite a feat to get it back… 


Apropos of nothing

There’s a new world record in the women’s marathon after Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa ran the 42.195km Berlin Marathon in just 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 53 seconds. She beat the previous record by 2 minutes 11 seconds, with a pace of 3:08 per kilometre.

Taking your dogs for a 5km walk – tick. Taking your dogs for a 5km walk when you’re 2yo – cross… All’s well that ends well – toddler Thea Chase was found asleep off a trail near her Michigan home using one of the pups as a pillow. 

And speaking of errant children, a 10yo boy and his 11yo sister were pulled over by police in Florida on Friday after driving 320km from home. They took off because they were upset with their mother after she took away their electronic devices. Hard to think they’ll get them back anytime soon…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00pm (AEST) – AFL Brownlow Medal Awards – Melbourne

King’s Birthday public holiday in Western Oz

Treasurer Jim Chalmers to release the Employment White Paper

The National Bushfire Preparedness Summit begins (until 26 September) – Canberra

Sleep Awareness Week begins (until 1 October)

World Pharmacists Day

Start of Paris Fashion Week (until 3 October)

Start of Sustainable Fashion Week (on until 8 October) – UK

World Dream Day

Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969) and husband Michael Douglas (1944) share a birthday, as well as Will Smith (1968) and Donald Glover (1983)

Anniversary of:
• the birth of the remote control after engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully guided a boat (1906)
• Henry Ford announcing an 8-hour, 5-day work week (1926)
• the formation of U2 after student Larry Mullen Jr posted an ad at Dublin’s Mount Temple Comprehensive School (1976)
• Cathy Freeman’s famous 400m Olympic win at the Sydney Olympics (2000)

Squiz the Day

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