Squiz Today / 30 January 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 30 January

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Squiz Today Podcast

We brief you, and you’re set for the day.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me.”

Said tidying-up guru Marie Kondo. Spending time with her 3 kids is currently more important than keeping her home in immaculate order – right in time for a new book about cleaning up our “mental and emotional spaces”…

Another case of police brutality puts America on edge

There have been protests in several American cities over the weekend in response to the killing of Tyre Nichols, a 29yo black man, at the hands of police in Memphis earlier this month. It’s in the spotlight now because the 5 black police officers involved in the assault were charged with Nichols’ murder at the end of last week, and authorities released footage of the traffic stop gone wrong on Saturday (warning: it’s disturbing), generating outrage at the extreme violence inflicted on the man who said he was “just trying to go home.”

On 7 January, Nichols was pulled over in the Tennessee city at 8.24pm. Authorities initially alleged reckless driving but later said there was no evidence of that. His family says he was a keen photographer and was out taking pictures of the sunset, but as the footage makes clear, the encounter goes from 0-100 in a moment… Nichols was subjected to what Police Chief Cerelyn Davis called a “heinous, reckless, and inhumane” attack, where he was punched, kicked, pepper sprayed, tasered, and hit with batons for 3 minutes as he screamed for his mother. It then took more than 20 minutes before medical attention was provided to a conscious but clearly injured Nichols. As they waited, the officers were recorded saying that Nichols went for one of their guns and that he was on drugs. but neither claim has been supported by evidence. Nichols died in hospital 3 days after the assault.

There sure are… The first has to do with the so-called SCORPION Unit that existed to target violent offenders. Reports say officers used routine traffic stops as an opportunity to arrest people for more serious offences, and it’s now been disbanded. The 2nd question is about how much progress has been made since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis in 2020. Case numbers of police killing civilians remain high, and black Americans continue to die at a higher rate than white citizens. And the 3rd is about the fact that the 5 officers charged with Nichols’ murder are also black. It’s said to be “complicating the anguish and efforts at police reform”. For the Nichols family’s part, their lawyer Ben Crump says there needs to be a discussion about “this institutionalised police culture that has this unwritten law – you can engage in excessive use of force against black and brown people.”

World News

Squiz the Rest

Angry and ready to roll

It’s beginning to feel a lot like… the US presidential primaries season. Yep, the big election won’t take place until November 2024, but the first step is for the major parties – the Democrats and Republicans – to confirm their candidates. And while former president Donald Trump announced a run late last year, he’s not said much since then… That changed yesterday with his first campaign stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina to start drumming up support with the Republican faithful – he says “I’m more angry now, and I’m more committed now than I ever was.” So far, he’s the only declared candidate, but pundits expect challenges from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former vice president Mike Pence and former South Carolina Governor/ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. On the Democrats’ side, President Joe Biden hasn’t confirmed he’s going for a 2nd term, but reports say his team is gearing up for it.

World News

National Cultural Guidelines incoming…

The Albanese Government will unveil its long-awaited National Cultural Policy to support Australia’s arts and entertainment sector today. The details are scarce so far, but we know that it’s been designed in consultation with artists and organisations and utilises some of the plans from the Gillard Government’s ‘Creative Australia’ policy from 2013, which was scrapped by the Coalition. A few areas it will focus on include supporting Indigenous storytelling and establishing fair remuneration guidelines. There’s also a focus on producing more diverse Australian stories on free-to-air TV and streaming services, potentially with a local content quota. The arts industry’s still recovering after suffering big hits courtesy of the COVID pandemic, so there will be many eyes on Arts Minister Tony Burke today…

Australian News

Radioactive cap missing in action

If you’re in Western Oz, you might like to stay clear of any small metallic capsules you find on the ground… It could contain a radioactive substance that went missing between the Pilbara town of Newman and Perth a couple of weeks ago – so there’s just 1,400km to scour… The capsule, which is smaller than a 10c coin, contains a small quantity of radioactive Caesium-137 (just nod…) that’s used in mining operations – officials say exposure to the nasty stuff can cause skin burns, radiation sickness and cancer. It’s taken officials 2 weeks to notice it was gone after it came loose from a damaged secure container on a truck during the journey south. An investigation has been launched, and radiation detectors are being used to locate the gamma rays. “What we are not doing is trying to find a tiny little device by eyesight,” said Darryl Ray from the state’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Australian News

Swings (and misses) at tennis greatness

That’s it for another Aussie Open… And sure, the withdrawal of some big names saw many people tune out this year, but the finals were riveting. Novak Djokovic sobbed after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to claim his 10th title in Melbourne and 22nd career grand slam, equalling Rafael Nadal’s record. The win – which he called the biggest of his life – will also see him reclaim the world #1 spot. Tsitsipas honoured Djokovic after the match, calling him “the greatest that has ever held a tennis racquet”. On the women’s side, Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka conquered Kazakhstani Elena Rybakina – and herself – in a nail-biting 3-setter. And Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler had to goods to keep the men’s doubles crown in Aussie hands. The pair had never played a tournament together, and said the shared $695,000 prize money was “career-changing”.


The best of the best of summer

The elements that make up an Aussie summer are as varied as our wide/brown land, but few are more iconic than the beach and Triple J’s Hottest 100 – so here are timely updates on both… The best beach for 2023 has been named – and good on ya Stokes Bay on South Oz’s Kangaroo Island. It’s the first time a beach from the state has won the award, as judged by beach guru Brad Farmer. Boomerang Beach on the NSW Mid North Coast came in 2nd (check, it’s beautiful), while Rainbow Beach near Queensland’s Fraser Island came in 3rd. Just remember to put the sunscreen on more than just your face… As for the tunes to listen to while you’re enjoying the salt water, you’ll be considered one of the cool kids if you have Flume’s Say Nothing featuring MAY-A on your playlist. The Aussie producer is the second artist to top the list twice, following Powderfinger’s late 90s/early noughties success. Links to the top 10 tracks are here.

Australian News

Apropos of nothing

If you’ve ever lost a prized piece of jewellery at the pool, this is for you… Several semi-precious stones have been discovered in a ye olde drain almost 2,000 years after they were lost at a Roman bathhouse in England.

And if you’ve had a kid accidentally rack up the credit card charges from a video game, just be thankful you don’t have to keep an eye on your fish

America’s Associated Press, the biggest news agency in the US, got the French offside after advising journos not to refer to people from France as… “the French”. Ooh la la was there a response

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.30pm (AEDT) – Australian Cricket Awards – Sydney

Industry Climate Action Summit – Sydney

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Birthdays for actors Christian Bale (1974) and Olivia Colman (1974)

Anniversary of:
• the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi (1948)
• the birth of the Ashes legend after the defeated English team is presented with the ashes of a bail (1883)
• The Beatles performing their last live gig on a London rooftop (1969)
• the WHO declaring COVID-19 as a public health emergency (but not yet a pandemic…) (2020)

Squiz the Day

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