Squiz Today / 08 August 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 8 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

Get into the news groove.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

9 / 17
4 / 14
9 / 21
5 / 15
10 / 18
2 / 13
22 / 34
-1 / 13

Squiz Sayings

“I love snakes.”

Said professional snake hunter Amy Siewe – one of more than 850 competitors taking part in Florida’s annual Python Challenge. The idea is to kill as many of the environmentally unfriendly Burmese pythons as possible, with the victor taking home $2,500. To the winner, the ssspoils…

Practising for a Taiwan take-over

China has mostly wrapped up 4 days of military exercises that Taiwan says were a rehearsal of an attack on the island. Chinese ships and planes have practised drills in the Taiwan Strait, with some crossing the median line (an unofficial buffer separating the 2 sides). In response, Taiwan dispatched air and naval patrols around the island and activated its land-based missile systems. The weekend’s activities followed Friday’s test launches of ballistic missiles over the island’s capital – something China had not done before. And Beijing has cut communications with Washington DC by cancelling upcoming talks and suspending joint efforts to tackle transnational crime and climate change. It’s also sanctioned US Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose visit to Taiwan last week was the spark that set tensions alight.

Our Foreign Minister Penny Wong joined her American and Japanese counterparts in condemning China’s actions – they were together this weekend at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers’ gathering in Cambodia. They said the exercises were “disproportionate and destabilising”, with Wong adding that “Australia shares the region’s concerns about this escalating military activity, especially the risks of miscalculation.” She also said that Australia doesn’t want to see a change to how things have been with Taiwan peacefully doing its own thing while nations like ours observe the “one-China policy”. That is, we don’t officially recognise Taiwan as a nation out of respect for China’s claim to the “breakaway province”. As for the US (which is walking a fine line after Pelosi’s visit…), Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he doesn’t want to see any further escalation.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed the finger at the US for the flare-up in tensions. “We wish to issue a warning to the United States: Do not act rashly, do not create a greater crisis,” he said at a rare press conference on Friday. And China’s embassy in Canberra also fired back, saying that it is “absolutely unacceptable for the finger-pointing on China’s justified actions to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity” and that “the Australian side has condemned the victim” in the sorry saga. As for where things go next, China has promised “more countermeasures”. And analysts say with so many Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and US warplanes and navy ships in the region, there is a high risk of an accident escalating into real conflict. Watch this space…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Israel’s new strikes on Gaza

Israel has killed 2 top members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militant group in air strikes on Gaza over the weekend. Reports say that 11 children also died in the attacks that have killed at least 36 Palestinians in total – Israel says the PIJ accidentally caused some of those deaths when a rocket misfired. Israel launched the operation on Friday, saying there is an “immediate threat” posed by PIJ. In response, the PIJ has fired back with rockets reaching Jerusalem for the first time since May last year. To explain a bit… The PIJ is allied with Hamas, which has political control and military might in Gaza. Both are hostile toward Israel (and vice versa…) and share a vision of an Islamic Palestinian state. But so far, Hamas hasn’t fired on Israel, which would be a significant escalation in hostilities. It’s the most serious flare-up since the 11-day conflict in May last year, and ceasefire talks are being hosted by Egypt.

World News

Nuclear plant hit in Ukraine

There are grave concerns about a nuclear disaster in Ukraine after the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the country’s southeast. The area has been under Russian control since March, but the plant is staffed by Ukrainians. The facility is near the front lines of fighting between Russia and Ukraine, and they have blamed one another for the attack. Shelling on Friday didn’t damage any of Zaporizhzhia’s 6 reactors or see the release of radioactive material into the environment, but there was other damage to the plant. And more rockets hit the facility yesterday. The United Nations’ nuclear chief Rafael Grossi called the situation “completely unacceptable”, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for Russia to be designated a “state sponsor of terrorism” for creating the nuclear threat. Russia says its protection of the plant means the damage wasn’t more extensive.

World News

Some legal updates…

BACK TO BILO FOR GOOD – Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharnicaa Murugappan have been granted permanent visas by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles. Their citizenship applications are now pending. The decision ends their decade-long legal fight to stay in Australia. #SquizShortcut

JURY PUNISHES MISINFORMATION PEDDLER – Alex Jones, the head of conspiratorial media outlet Infowars, has been hit with US$45.2 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by one of the parents of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The judge is yet to confirm the final amount.

A LEGAL HOUSE OF CARDS – Actor Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay the production company behind the hit Netflix show US$31 million. Spacey was dismissed from the production in 2017 over allegations of misconduct, and cutting him out cost them millions. He also faces a criminal trial in London next year over claims he assaulted 3 men between 2005 and 2013.

World News

One more day of the Comm Games…

There have been some ups and downs overnight. To get the down out of the way, the Hockeyroos lost their gold medal match to host nation England. The Aussie women went down 2-1 – the team hasn’t won a major tournament since 2014. But there are plenty of ups overnight to celebrate… Cassiel Rousseau has produced a near-perfect final dive to win the men’s 10m platform diving. Georgia Baker came in first in cycling’s gruelling road race, and Sarah Roy claimed the bronze medal. Our T20 women’s cricket side prevailed over India in a tight match this morning. And Kelsey Lee Barber doubled down on her World Championship win with a gold medal in the javelin. But if you have one thing to watch today, make it Ollie Hoare’s 1500m track win. We’ve watched it 5 times and can’t work out how he did it… Australia remains at the top of the medal tally – just…


Vale Judith Durham

A giant of Australian music, Judith Durham has been remembered as a “lifelong friend and shining star” following her death on Friday, aged 79yo. The angelic/pure voice of The Seekers fronted their incredible rise that saw them become Australia’s first international musical superstars with songs like Georgy Girl and I’ll Never Find Another You. And generations will remember their Morningtown Ride as a lullaby… Durham had her struggles: a bad car accident in 1990 and a brain haemorrhage during a Seekers tour in 2013. And in recent times, a lung condition she’d had since childhood made life difficult. But her friends say she was heroic in facing her struggles. As for the woman herself, she had it worked out. “It’s not always easy to accept something, but it’s very important. Perhaps this has happened as a blessing in disguise? I’ll just wait and see what happens. Every day brings something different,” she once said. Her family has accepted the Victorian Government’s offer of a state funeral.

Australian News Entertainment

Apropos of Nothing

Social media influencer Ashraful Alam, popularly known as Hero Alam, has been questioned by police in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for his “painful renditions of classical songs”. The pain comes from his off-key performances and “raunchy” videos. Everyone’s a critic…

A PSA for Golden Girls fans… A Beverly Hills bistro has been transformed into the set of a 1980s sitcom – and it’s serving customers. Be on the lookout for Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia…

Ever wanted mayo-flavoured ice cream? How about baked beans or porridge oats? Us neither, but Londoners are being treated to the Heinz ice cream experience for a limited time. Hands off the HP Sauce flavour – it’s ours.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

5.50am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Netball Grand Final – Australia v Jamaica

9.30pm (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Men’s Hockey Final – Australia v India

Company Results – Transurban; Suncorp; Aurizon

International Cat Day

Birthdays for John Laws (1935), Dustin Hoffman (1937), Roger Federer (1981), Beatrice, Princess of York (1988), and Shawn Mendes (1998)

Anniversary of:
• the invention of Corn Flakes by William Kellogg (1898)
• the US, USSR, Britain and France signing the Treaty of London, which set down procedures for the Nuremberg war trials of Nazi leaders (1945)
• the formation of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (1967)

5.15am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games closing ceremony

Squiz the Day

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