Squiz Today / 07 August 2023

Squiz Today – Monday, 7 August

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Squiz Sayings

”Honestly, it brought a tear to my eye, I thought, ‘Is it a mistake? I’m a pretty ordinary person’.”

Broken Hill man Trevor Barry (or Terrestrial Trevor, as he’s known to locals) was happily surprised to take out the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers’ annual amateur astronomy award for his work in observing the Solar System. He’s quite a star…

Voice questions return from Garma


Parliament returns for another sitting week today, with PM Anthony Albanese and a handful of pollies returning to the nation’s capital after a weekend at the Garma Festival in the Northern Territory. Yesterday, Albanese said the Voice referendum vote will be a “once in a generation opportunity” to deliver “the form of recognition that Indigenous people have asked for”. He also made it clear the referendum was the only shot at constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, saying “we will not abandon substance for symbolism.” 


Coalition leader Peter Dutton says he would support constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, but a Voice-like advisory body should be legislated rather than enshrined in the constitution. And even as the PM was making his latest pitch, new poll numbers published in the Daily Telegraph were not good for the ‘Yes’ camp, showing them losing out to the ‘No’ vote nationally, with 44% of the vote to 56% (paywall). The Australian also had a Newspoll (paywall) showing support for the Voice had fallen below 50% in every state. Also coming out of the weekend were questions about the ‘No’ campaign’s tactics, with a former Nationals/current Independent MP Andrew Gee accusing the Coalition of using their ‘No’-support to fundraise for the Liberal/Nationals parties. And former NAIDOC chair John Paul Janke said the ‘No’ team were using an AI Indigenous character “to try to look like it is an Indigenous person supporting the No campaign.” ‘No’ campaigner Warren Mundine denied the claim, saying: “If someone is doing it, it’s definitely not us”. 


You’ll remember that adviser/consulting firm PwC’s use of confidential government tax info to benefit itself and its customers has been a thing… Yesterday, the government said consulting firms caught in future tax exploitation schemes could be fined up to $780 million. Treasury will also review how firms like PwC are regulated and beef up the powers of the Tax Office to gather tax data from companies. “The PwC scandal exposed severe shortcomings in our regulatory frameworks,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers said. Hours after his announcement, those shortcomings seemed to crop up again, with new claims from the ABC’s Four Corners that the consultants KPMG had repeatedly overcharged the Defence Department (although KPMG and Defence deny the claims)…

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Six dead after island fire

A father and his 5 sons are dead after a fire burned through their home and neighbouring properties on Russell Island (off the coast between Brisbane and the Goldie) early yesterday morning. Authorities say the 34yo man – named by neighbours as Wayne Godinet – and his boys, aged between 3-11yo, were at home when the blaze broke out, and late yesterday it was confirmed that their bodies had been found. Reports say the 28yo mother, who fled the property to raise the alarm, escaped without serious injuries. Queensland Police Superintendent Mat Kelly said it was a “very confronting” scene, particularly for the local Rural Fire Service volunteers who knew the family. Authorities are investigating what started the fire, but reports say police do not believe it was suspicious.

Australian News

Drumgold resigns after a tumultuous week…

The ACT Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Drumgold, has resigned following the Sofronoff Inquiry’s report that was handed to the territory’s government last week. Leaked to the media, it accused Drumgold of “serious misconduct” like misleading the court and failing to disclose evidence to the defence team during his prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann (the man accused of assaulting former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in 2019). Yesterday afternoon, ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said Drumgold’s position was “no longer tenable”. In his own public statement, Drumgold said that “while I acknowledge I made mistakes, I strongly dispute that I engaged in deliberate or underhanded conduct in the trial or that I was dishonest”… and he said all his decisions were made in good faith. Meanwhile, the ACT Government is expected to give a detailed response to the Sofronoff Report this week.

Australian News

Political leaders behind bars

Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan has been sentenced to 3 years in jail after being found guilty of “corrupt practices” linked to selling state gifts worth hundreds of millions of rupees. On Saturday, a judge in Islamabad found the former cricketer had “deliberately submitted fake details” to the court of the gifts received and was guilty of “hiding the benefits he accrued” by selling them. Khan – who’s facing nearly 150 court cases on various charges – denies any wrongdoing and called on his supporters to protest. The sentence means he’s banned from politics for 5 years, derailing his hopes of success in elections scheduled for November. And in Russia, imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s had his jail term extended by 19 years. Already serving a 9-year sentence, Navalny was found guilty of founding an extremist organisation. He denies that, and the US State Department described the verdict as “an unjust conclusion to an unjust trial”.

World News

She shoots, she scores…

It’s a massive day for Aussie sports fans, with Australia’s Diamonds winning back the Netball World Cup in South Africa early this morning with a resounding 61-45 win over England’s Roses. The win marks the Diamonds’ 12th total World Cup win and means they currently hold all of netball’s major titles. And if you’re following the other World Cup, the Matildas are hoping to clinch a win against Denmark in Sydney tonight. They’ve got a big ace up their sleeves – captain Sam Kerr is widely tipped to make her World Cup debut after recovering from a calf injury that’s kept her on the bench so far. The winner progresses to the tournament’s quarter-finals – and we are the favourites. But soccer can be a fickle game, as the USA team/tournament faves found out in a shock penalty shootout loss to Sweden last night. Them’s the breaks…

Australian News Sport

A final moment up for a gong

If you tuned into the coverage of the Royal Family last year, you might recall a photo of Queen Elizabeth II waiting in the drawing room at Balmoral Castle to meet with then-UK PM Liz Truss. She died 2 days later, and it was one of the last photos taken of her. Now the pic is up against 19 other memorable snaps vying for Photograph of the Year in the UK Picture Editors’ Guild competition. It’s a UK-based award, but images from the US, Qatar and Ukraine are in the top 20, which you can see here. The Queen isn’t the only royal to feature on the list… Photos of the antics/many facial expressions of Prince Louis during last year’s Platty Joob celebrations (that’s the Platinum Jubilee…) also made the cut. The winner will be announced in October.


Apropos of nothing

A team of researchers at Humboldt University in Berlin have undertaken a wholesome scientific experiment: tickling rats. It’s all in the name of studying the neuroscience behind play – aka what effect it has on mammals’ brains. 

The use of artificial intelligence has spread to travel guidebooks. But the self-published, AI-generated guides, with taglines such as “Everything you Need to Know Before Plan a Trip to Paris” are being called out for being, umm, not entirely accurate…

The Vietnamese are shunning US coffee chain Starbucks in favour of their neighbourhood coffee shops’ brews… But they’re not turning away from taking selfies in front of the famous brand’s stores – 26yo Tu Anh Le says “pictures at Starbucks make my Instagram look nicer”.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.30pm (AEST) – Women’s World Cup – Australia v Denmark – Sydney

Picnic Day public holiday in the Northern Territory

Aged Care Employee Day

Start of Homelessness Prevention Week (until 13 August)

Start of Dental Health Week (until 13 August)

Birthdays for Aussies Greg Chappell (1948), Trevor Hendy (1968), Sophie Lee (1968) Megan Gale (1975) and Abbie Cornish (1982)

Anniversary of the discovery of the bodies of Canadian teens Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, who were at the centre of a huge manhunt and suspected of killing three people in British Columbia (2019)

Squiz the Day

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