Squiz Today / 21 July 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 21 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Kath & Kim cast reunite to film 20th anniversary special”

Crack out the dippity-bix, footy franks, and the Chardonnay (the ‘h’ is silent…) – the foxy ladies from Fountain Lake are getting the pumpkin coach back on the road to mark 2 decades since they first charmed us with their nice/different/unusual take on life. Just when we thought it was o-v-a-h…

Clean up in aisle politics

The Victorian Government will introduce “sweeping integrity reforms” after the state’s anti-corruption commission and ombudsman released a report yesterday outlining toxic behaviours within the Labor Party. Specifically, they found instances of “the hiring of unqualified people into publicly funded roles, using those roles to support factional work, nepotism, forging signatures, bullying and attempts to interfere with the government grants process.” They’ve made 21 recommendations to prevent it from happening again, and Premier Daniel Andrews says he’ll go “even further”. He said the political watchdogs found “absolutely disgraceful behaviour” and as the party leader, says he takes “full responsibility … and I apologise for it.”

It was mid-2020 when a 60 Minutes/Age investigation aired claims that Labor heavyweight Adem Somyurek was involved in “industrial scale” branch stacking – and it opened Pandora’s box on a lot of ugliness within Victorian Labor. It was so bad Andrews asked the party’s federal organisation to take over all state and federal candidate preselections until 2023 and saw party luminaries Steve Bracks and Jenny Macklin brought in to run the show for a while. Somyurek quit the party and insists he’s done “absolutely nothing wrong” – he now points to no criminal charges coming out of the investigation as evidence. For Victorian Liberal leader Matthew Guy’s part, he says the Andrews Government is “mired in corruption, cover-ups and political games at the expense of Victorians”. And in a nod to the state election set down for 26 November, he added the episode “has exposed a political party unsuitable to hold office.”

There were sensational claims made against former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro yesterday. He’s embroiled in a scandal over the dumping of a candidate to fill the position as the state’s well-paid trade envoy to New York so he could fill the job himself. Barilaro denies any wrongdoing, but at a parliamentary hearing into the mess, his former top staffer said his boss had it in mind in 2019 when he said that “this is the job for when I get the fruitcake out of this place.” Look, he didn’t say ‘fruitcake’, but you get the gist… Barilaro called the claim “fictitious, false”. Labor leader Chris Minns says the Coalition Government created the job “for a friend” and the “selection process was rigged”. Barilaro will no longer head to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.


Squiz the Rest

Foot and mouth worries escalate

That’s because fragments of the virus were detected on luggage and goods brought into Australia from Indonesia and China. It was “routine retail surveillance” by biosecurity authorities that picked it up in pork products in Melbourne. They also found African swine fever in the Chinese imports, another significant worry. And a traveller from Indonesia was found with a beef product which tested positive for foot and mouth disease (FMD) viral fragments. What’s been detected is not the same as the live virus, so Australia remains virus-free. But it highlights why authorities and the livestock industry are stirred up about the current risks from nations to our north. The cost of a major outbreak here would be circa $80 billion, the CSIRO reckons. Sanitation foot mats will be placed in international airports – passengers walk over them to disinfect shoes and remove the gunk that could carry the virus.

Australian News

Same same but different in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been confirmed as the embattled nation’s new president after MPs took it to a vote yesterday. Thanks to the support of his ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, Wickremesinghe defeated opposition party rival Dullus Alahapperuma 134 votes to 82. The 6-time PM replaces Gotabaya Rajapaksa but is an unpopular figure with protesters. They burned down his private home and stormed his office in Colombo last week to pressure him to resign over the nation’s economic collapse alongside his close colleague Rajapaksa. Wickremesinghe had promised to go, but the latest vote means he has an opportunity to carry out the rest of the presidential term, which ends in November 2024. A new wave of demonstrations led by locals furious with months-long shortages of food, fuel and medicine in the bankrupt country is expected. #SquizShortcut

World News

Netflix stems the flow

Streaming giant Netflix posted its biggest-ever loss of subscribers after shedding 970,000 of ’em in the April-June quarter. It follows the company’s loss of 200,000 subscribers during the first 3 months of the year – the first time the company went backwards after a decade of growth. Global cost of living pressures and tough competition are taking a toll, but analysts say the latest season of Stranger Things released this month probably saw many viewers stick around. The show has become the streamer’s 2nd show after Squid Game to pass the 1 billion hour viewing milestone. That’s a lot of sofa time… Investors didn’t mind the update with the share price jumping 5.6% – news that there’s a clamp down on shared accounts coming would have helped with that…

Business & Finance Technology

Jumping for gold

Eleanor Patterson has become the first Australian to win a gold medal in the high jump at the World Athletics Championships – and it nearly didn’t happen… After claiming gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, she had a crummy 2018 Rio Olympics and nearly quit the sport. Since then, the country Victorian has moved to Sydney and resurrected her high jumping dream. And yesterday, she won gold in Oregon, equalling the Aussie and Oceania records and setting a personal best of 2.02 metres, beating Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko. The incredible achievement sets the 26yo up for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which kick off in Birmingham next Thursday, where Australia is expected to claim a swag of medals. Not getting any medals: keen Aussies pushing through some late nights/early mornings to watch the events live…

Australian News Sport

Happy National Lamington Day

Yep, it’s a day for cake lovers, and we thought we’d whet your appetite… The humble lamington is loved and loathed by Aussies – which side of the fence you sit on usually depends on your feelings about desiccated coconut… The cake stall staple is acknowledged to be a Queensland invention, first created in the late 1800s and named after then-Queensland Governor Lord Lamington. But its exact origin story has long been a topic of contention between Brissie, Ipswich and Toowoomba. Some say it was created by Lord Lamington’s chef, who allegedly used leftover sponge cake, chocolate and coconut to feed unexpected guests. Others claim it was first served to Lamington’s entourage in Toowoomba or Ipswich. One thing is certain: it’s not a Kiwi creation. We’d take a lamington over a pav any day… Toowoomba’s official recipe is here.

Australian News Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Supersized sharks are on the rise due to an abundance of food from the establishment of more no-fishing zones and more protections for the species. Looks like we’re never swimming in the ocean again…

With the Royal Queensland Show – better known as the Ekka – starting on 6 August, the event’s resident matchmaker is busy at work to ensure there will be more than 400 baby animals on display. He’s one organised man…

And a series of educational farming videos posted on TikTok by Floridian Taylor Blake have gone viral thanks to a cheeky emu called Emmanuel. Too bad the fame seems to have gone to his head

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Belgium’s National Day

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet embarks on his first overseas trip as state leader on a trade mission to Japan, South Korea and India

AIHW Report – The last year of life: health service use patterns and expenditure

Australian Defence Science, Technology and Research Summit – Sydney 

National Lamington Day

Anniversary of:
•the birthdays of author Ernest Hemingway (1899) and actor Robin Williams (1951)
• the creation of Central Park in New York (1853)
• Sirimavo Bandaranaike becoming the world’s first non-hereditary female head of government in modern history as PM of Ceylon aka Sri Lanka (1960)
• the release of Guns N’ Roses’ debut album Appetite for Destruction. It became the bestselling debut album of all time (1987)

Squiz the Day

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