Squiz Today / 06 September 2021

Squiz Today – Monday, 6 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Here you come again…

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I’m not concerned, but I’m anxious.”

Said Woolworths boss Brad Banducci of anticipated stock shortages in the general merchandise market – basically anything you’d find in a department store – thanks to COVID shutdowns affecting the supply chain. The advice: get shopping now or get ready for Santa to make some substitutes for items on your wishlist…


Kiwis are asking questions about how a 32yo Sri Lankan refugee was living in New Zealand after he was identified as dangerous. Ahamed Aathill Mohammad Samsudeen wounded 7 people in a terrorist attack in Auckland on Friday afternoon using a knife he’d picked up in a supermarket. Samsudeen was shot and killed within a minute of the attack starting by authorities who were monitoring him. A Tamil Muslim, he was a known supporter of the Islamic State and had been a person of ‘national security interest’ since 2016. Three of the victims are in critical condition, but all are expected to survive the attack.

While his name had been suppressed from reporting for years, he’s said to have been “New Zealand’s worst-kept secret”. Samsudeen came to the attention of authorities in 2016 when he posted videos online supporting violent Islamist ideology. In 2017, he was arrested as he tried to leave New Zealand – authorities said he was trying to get to Syria to fight with IS. And he had recently been sentenced to one year of supervision for possessing IS propaganda and plotting a ‘lone wolf’ terror attack using knives. A decision on revoking his refugee status and deportation was pending. Officials say they had no reason to think he was planning an attack on Friday, and those keeping an eye on him believed he was simply out to do his grocery shopping.

That’s the question Kiwis have been asking since Friday. New Zealand’s counter-terror laws say that planning a terror attack is not in itself an offence. Those laws are due to be overhauled in the wake of the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks. Until then, Ardern says that “every tool” available to authorities had been used “to protect innocent people from this individual”. Samsudeen’s family, who do not live in New Zealand, said they were “thinking of the boy who left us and the innocent people. Our lives have changed forever.” PM Scott Morrison tweeted “Kia kaha New Zealand”. Stay strong.

Image source: Getty

World News

Squiz the Rest

Search continues for missing boy

NSW Police have seized a white ute as part of their investigation into the disappearance of 3yo AJ Elfalak. Efforts to find him have been ongoing since late on Friday, but authorities and volunteers have so far found no trace of the boy. AJ went missing from a rural property near the NSW Hunter Valley town of Putty. He is autistic and non-verbal, and his family say it is out of character for him to wander off. “He holds my hand all day and all night, we are together all the time – something’s not right,” said his mother Kelly, who believes he was taken. Authorities said they are looking into all possibilities, including the family’s sighting of an older model Toyota Hilux on the private road next to the property when AJ went missing. “Really every minute is important. Our priority is to just find AJ as quickly as we can,” said NSW Police Superintendent Tracy Chapman.

Image source: NSW Police

Australian News

Meanwhile, in coronavirus news…

As families met at the NSW-Queensland border for Father’s Day in extraordinary scenes, PM Scott Morrison’s said there should be better times by Christmas. Victorian leader Daniel Andrews said that despite the arguments about many other issues, when it comes to Chrissy, there should be an agreement to “work as hard as we can to make that real.” Western Oz’s Mark McGowan isn’t on board – he is sticking to the aim for a vaccination rate of between 80-90% before his border will open. But looking to move things along is NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian – she yesterday said the state planned to phase out the requirement for vaccinated Australians returning from overseas to spend 2 weeks in hotel quarantine. They would be able to isolate at home once vaccination rates hit 80%, she said yesterday. NSW yesterday hit a major vaccination milestone – 40% of the eligible population are fully vaccinated. National efforts will be boosted this week with 457,000 Pfizer shots arriving from the UK last night. 

Australian News Health

Breaking the Prince’s trust

“I can manage without just about anyone except Michael” is what Prince Charles said about his former senior valet Michael Fawcett. But the royal helper did move on to eventually run the Prince’s Foundation, an umbrella group for the charities set up by Charles to promote the preservation of heritage buildings, among other things. But yesterday, Fawcett stepped aside while an investigation is carried out into claims he helped secure a Queen’s honour for a major donor. Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz received an Order of the British Empire in 2016 after the Saudi businessman donated more than £1.5 million to royal charities. Adding to the mystery was the revelation that the gong was given to Mahfouz in a private ceremony. It’s another cloud over the royals following sexual abuse claims levelled at Prince Andrew and legal action coming down the line.

Image source: PA Media

World News

Paralympics stars shine as Tokyo 2020 comes to a close

They were outstanding while they lasted, but the Paralympic Games are done and dusted for another 3 years. Australia finished 8th on the medal tally with 21 gold, 29 silver and 30 bronze medals. It’s just one less medal than our effort at Rio in 2016. Distinguishing themselves on the weekend were Curtis McGrath in the canoe sprint and Madison de Rozario in the wheelchair marathon. And get it up ya Dylan Alcott – the tennis champ is well on his way to glory after his gold medal performance on Saturday. “Paralympics sport saved my life – honestly, it did,” he said, echoing what the Games mean to so many of those who gave it their all over the last 12 days of competition.

And for a full-but-short rundown on what went down over the weekend – including losses by Ash Barty and the Wallabies – the Sport Today podcast is there for you and your need for Monday talking points. 

Image source: Getty


Marvel for an Asian superhero

As far as Marvel movies go, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a bit different. It won’t get the US$202 million Black Panther raked in on its opening weekend in 2018. That pre-pandemic box office record has been hard to break… But it is expected to take US$85 million from American audiences and that much again from international screenings, particularly in Asia. Filmed in Sydney last year, Shang-Chi is the first in the franchise with an Asian lead and storyline, and it’s had rave reviews. To capitalise on the good press, Disney execs are giving it 45 days in cinemas before releasing it on its premium streaming platform. One panda bear in the ointment – Chinese regulators are yet to approve it for release there. Non-locked down areas of Oz can get along now, and the rest will need to wait a bit to see Simu Liu (think Netflix’s Kim’s Convenience) in action…

Image source: Marvel


Apropos of Nothing

Image source: US Vogue

COVID is driving the monkeys of Bali bananas. Deprived of the treats that tourists usually supply, locals say the cheeky primates are raiding homes. The remedy: locals have been encouraged to set aside time to play with and feed their tormentors.

Also getting in touch with the natural world is actress/activist Angelina Jolie. She’s become a beekeeper

And for a smile on your dial – a photographer was in the right place at the right time to capture a Welsh couple’s proposal – and has picked up the gig to take their wedding snaps after tracking them down on social media. Photography, like love, is all about timing…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

From 9.00am (AEST) – Sky News Australia boss Paul Whittaker, Former PM Kevin Rudd and others appear before the Senate media diversity inquiry – Canberra

10.00am (AEST) – The National Women’s Safety Summit kicks off with a keynote address by PM Scott Morrison at 10.15am – it’s a virtual event and the livestream is available here

10.45am (AEST) – Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to address the Australian National University Crawford Leadership Forum – Canberra

Start of Women’s Health Week (until 13 September)

A birthday for actor Idris Elba (1972)

Anniversary of:
• Ferdinand Magellan’s Spanish expedition aboard the Vitoria returning to Spain becoming the first to circumnavigate the earth (1522)
• the Mayflower departing Plymouth, England for the New World (1620)
• the first supermarket, the Piggly Wiggly, being opened in Memphis, Tennessee (1916)
• the premiere of TV sitcom The Brady Bunch (1969)
• the funeral of Princess Diana (1997)
• the deaths of opera great Luciano Pavarotti (2007), actor Burt Reynolds (2018) and former Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe (2019)

Squiz the Day

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