Squiz Today / 31 October 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 31 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

17 / 26
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29 / 34
11 / 19

Squiz Sayings

“Is that the face of the Stay Puft marshmallow man from Ghostbusters?”

Tweeted one of NASA’s pictures released yesterday. And much like the Ghostbusters character, the smiling face has a malevolent side as experts warn it could lead to solar winds that can muck up our GPS systems and power supply. That wasn’t on our 2022 bingo card…

South Korea in mourning

At least 154 people have died and more than 130 were injured in a crush at a Halloween celebration on Saturday night in the South Korean capital of Seoul. More than 25 foreigners are among the dead, including one Australian. Authorities say most of the victims were teenagers and young people aged in their 20s, and they expect the death toll to rise. Reports say about 100,000 people went to local pubs and clubs in the area with many dressed in Halloween costumes to enjoy the first big outdoor, mask-free night out since the start of the pandemic.

That’s still being investigated, but officials and witnesses say the jam started in a narrow, sloped alleyway near Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon, an area of the city that’s popular for its thriving nightlife. As the pressure at the top grew, some fell, sending people tumbling over others. One Aussie who was there said: “There was no stampede. It was a slow and agonising crush. Authorities say they first received reports of people being “buried” in crowds at 10:24pm local time. Moon Ju-young, a 21yo who was there, said it was “at least more than 10 times crowded than usual”. Officials say many victims suffered cardiac arrest and couldn’t be saved, even after 400emergency workers arrived. Footage shows chaotic scenes with ambulances backed up and victims being given CPR by fellow revellers. It’s the deadliest disaster in South Korea since 2014, when an overloaded ferry sank, killing 304 people, mostly children.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the scene yesterday and declared a period of national mourning until Saturday. Flags are flying at half-mast, and non-urgent events have been postponed. Yoon also promised to assist with funeral arrangements and to make physical and psychological treatment of the injured a top priority. South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo offered words of reassurance, saying their country has a “history of overcoming disasters” and asked everyone to “join so that we can overcome sorrow and rise again.” Condolences have been sent from around the world, including from US President Joe Biden, who said “We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea”. PM Anthony Albanese also offered Australia’s condolences.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Attack raises election fears in America

Paul Pelosi – husband of senior American politician Nancy Pelosi – is in hospital recovering from surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious arm/hand injuries after he was attacked on Friday morning. Reports say the suspect David DePape – whose blog was filled with delusional thoughts – entered the San Francisco home looking for Nancy, who was away campaigning for next week’s midterm elections. Police say the attack wasn’t random and praised Pelosi’s handling of the situation. He was able to dial 911, and while he couldn’t talk to the dispatchers, he kept the line open as he negotiated with DePape. As police arrived, there was a struggle over the hammer, and Pelosi was struck several times. Nancy flew home to be with her husband and said the family was “heartbroken and traumatised”. The attack has seen several politicians raise concerns about their personal safety as former US President Barack Obama urged calm ahead of the poll.

World News

New threats in Iran

Saturday was “the last day of the riots” in Iran, according to Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Salami in some of the toughest language used during the crisis. Since the death of 22yo Mahsa Amini after she was taken into custody by the morality police last month, widespread demonstrations have built into a movement that analysts say poses the biggest threat to Iran’s leadership since the 1979 revolution. Addressing protesters across the country, Major General Salami told them not to “slap the security forces who are defending you in the face.” Experts say it’s the clearest sign that security forces will step up their already forceful response that has claimed the lives of 272 protesters with nearly 14,000 arrested. Officials are also cracking down on the journalists who broke the story of Amini’s death. Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi have been accused of being CIA spies – a charge that carried the death penalty in Iran. #SquizShortcut

World News

Remembering Cassius Turvey

Hundreds from Perth’s Indigenous community have gathered to remember Cassius Turvey and voice their anger over death. The 15yo died a week ago – reports say he was attacked while walking home from school with mates in Perth’s northeast 10 days before his death. A 21-year-old man has been charged with his murder and the assault of another boy in the group. Asked about it on Friday, PM Anthony Albanese said the assault was “clearly” racially motivated, leading Cassius’s mother Mechelle Turvey to thank him for speaking out. Not buying into that was Western Australian Police Commissioner Col Blanch – he says he won’t jeopardise any future court case and said “I would caution everyone in commenting directly on the motivations of this case.” A public candlelit vigil will be held tonight in Perth to coincide with Halloween – the boy’s “most favourite day of the year” – and events are planned across the country this week.

Australian News

Aussies spend big on Halloween

Five million Aussies will celebrate Halloween today and spend an average of $86 each getting spooky, according to the first survey of its kind by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). That will give retailers a $430 million boost, with people aged 35-49yo the most likely to join in with the festivities. And it’s not just parents: 20% of those people will host or attend a party without kids. ARA boss Paul Zahra says Halloween has grown in popularity in Oz, and many shop owners are joining in with themed windows and store displays. But there’s no doubt the US remains the epicentre of All Hallows’ Eve, with Americans spending a whopping $16.5 billion on the annual celebration of all things macabre, including $1.1 billion on pet costumes alone, even though the evidence suggests they hate it

Australian News

That’s a lot of flapping…

We paddle pretty hard here at The Squiz. Each week is a 6-day sprint of early mornings and late stops as we decode the news and work out how to grow. So our hats are well and truly tipped to juvenile bar-tailed godwit #234684 for its record-breaking stint of 11 days and 1 hour flying non-stop from Alaska, arriving in northeast Tassie last week. Even we get to sleep overnight and take Saturdays off… Covering 13,560km as tracked with a GPS chip powered by a tiny solar panel and attached with a harness, the 5-month-old bird smashed the previous non-stop record set by an adult bar-tailed godwit last year. But it could have been a bit of an accident – the Tassie tourist likely made a navigational error requiring a sharp right-hand turn to land. The birds fatten up to about 500g before their epic flight and burn half their body weight during the journey. That seems like a lot of effort to shed 250g… 

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Art experts are embarrassed after a historian pointed out that a piece by Piet Mondrian has been hanging upside down for 75 years. New York City I will have to stay the wrong way up as it could disintegrate if adjusted.

A Scottish homeowner is facing a $36,000 fine if she refuses to repaint her pink front door after being dobbed in for deviating from traditional Edinburgh colours. But in a travesty of justice, no action is being taken over her bathroom blind…

If you’re looking to up the spooky factor today, how about a virtual visit to an island inhabited by thousands of weird dolls? Mexico’s Island of Dolls is said to be one of “the most terrifying places in the world” – some of the residents look like they’ve been Barbie-cued…

Australian News

Squiz the Day

Tap into your spooky side – it’s Halloween

7.00am (AEDT) – Mexican F1 Grand Prix – Mexico City

12.00pm (AEDT) – The 2nd season of The White Lotus drops on Binge/Foxtel

7.00pm (AEDT) – Men’s T20 World Cup Cricket – Australia v Ireland – Brisbane

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, September

World Cities Day

Birthdays for director Peter Jackson (1961), rapper Vanilla Ice (1967)and actress/singer Willow Smith (2000)

Anniversary of:
• Michelangelo completing the painting of The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel (1541)
• the ‘last successful cavalry charge in history’ by the 4th Australian Light Horse during the Battle of Beersheba in WWI (1917)
• the completion of the Mount Rushmore Monument (1941)
• the birthdays of painter Jan Vermeer (1632) and poet John Keats (1795)
• the deaths of magician Harry Houdini (1926) and actors River Phoenix (1993) and Sean Connery (2020)

Squiz the Day

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