Squiz Today / 25 May 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 25 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

News for on-the-go people. 

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I’m not sure Banksy realises the unintended consequences on homeowners.” 

Said a British couple who forked out £200,000 to remove the secretive artist’s seagull mural from the side of their London home after it was targeted by vandals, thieves and local councillors. They said it was too much of a bird-en to leave it there…

A Trump challenger enters the ring

This has been on the cards for months, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is officially nominating to become the Republican nominee for the 2024 United States presidential race. The move puts him in direct competition with Donald Trump, who wants another crack at the White House. One last-minute surprise is that DeSantis will be making the announcement via a live Twitter broadcast with platform owner Elon Musk. Pundits say it hints at the kind of campaign DeSantis intends to run – one based on his brand of ‘anti-wokeness’ that has become the calling card of his time in politics. The broadcast is expected at 8am our (eastern) time this morning.

Ron DeSantis is a Harvard Law grad and former Republican member of the US House of Reps who gained Trump’s endorsement in the race to become Florida’s Governor. That helped him win the 2018 election, and since then, he’s helped turn Florida into something of a right-wing cultural haven. Most notably, DeSantis was loudly anti-lockdown during the pandemic, but he’s also introduced restrictions on abortion, outlawed gender-transition care for minors, and expanded gun rights and the use of the death penalty. He’s also picked a fight with Disney, a huge employer in the state, over its support of the LGBTQI+ community. The Disney fight has recently become a bit of a thorn in DeSantis’s side, with the mouse company suing the Governor over his “retaliation”, calling him “anti-business”.

Trump views DeSantis as disloyal for running against him, given (as the former president’s supporters would say) Trump made the Governor’s political career. “He’s got no personality. And I don’t think he’s got a lot of political skill,” Trump recently said… Adding injury to insult, DeSantis was polling well against Trump at the turn of the year, but in recent months the Disney scuffle and reluctance to engage with the media has taken the shine off DeSantis. Commentators say that left plenty of room for Trump to shine, even during his recent legal woes. A CNN poll published overnight had Trump the first choice with 53%, and DeSantis a distant second with 26%. But the great unknown of the Republican presidential nomination is Trump’s ongoing legal struggles, and possible imprisonment, with a trial date in his hush-money case set down for March 2024… right in the middle of the Republican voting calendar. Hold onto your hat…

World News

Squiz the Rest

A new migration pact with India

PM Anthony Albanese and Narendra Modi got down to business yesterday following the Indian PM’s rockstar welcome to Sydney on Tuesday night… With an agenda quickly pulled together in the wake of the cancelled Quad leaders’ summit, the leaders’ time together seems to have paid off… They signed a new migration plan that Albanese says will “promote the exchange of students, graduates, researchers and business people” and locked in an Oz-Indian taskforce to share/expand clean energy opportunities. But, as many sports fans will attest, the strongest Oz-India tie is surely cricket – so Modi summed the new partnerships up in those terms, saying, “our ties have entered the T20 mode”. By that, he means that things are moving along quickly, not that future meetings will be conducted in colourful uniforms in front of loud crowds…

AusPol Australian News

Nowland dies, and officer charged

Clare Nowland, the 95yo who was tasered in a NSW nursing home last week, has passed away in hospital, surrounded by family and loved ones, NSW Police say. And Senior Constable Kristian White, the officer who tasered Nowland, has been charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault. To recap the story: police say 33yo White attended the aged care home at Cooma with a colleague after staff called for help because Nowland (who had dementia) had a steak knife. White tasered Nowland as she “slowly” approached them using a walking frame – she hit her head when she fell. Earlier this week, Nowland’s family described the great-grandmother as a “loving and gentle-natured matriarch” and a “giving member of her local community”. White – who was suspended from work on Tuesday – will appear at Cooma Local Court on 5 July.

Australian News Crime

PwC referred to the AFP

… And if you’re looking for the ABCs and 123s on the situation, you’ve come to the right place… Consulting firm PwC has been accused of improperly using confidential Commonwealth information. That happened when the company’s head of international tax, Peter Collins – who had signed confidentiality agreements covering his expert advice to the government – shared the details of the secret project he was working on with his colleagues. The project covered new tax laws targeting profit-shifting multinational companies, and PwC took the intel to 14 clients who would be affected. Collins resigned late last year, and when that didn’t quiet the critics, PwC Australia boss Tom Seymour announced he would also leave later this year. But last night, Treasury head Steven Kennedy said criminal charges against Collins should be looked at. PwC is yet to comment – it’s announced a review into the firm’s governance, accountability and culture that will report back by September.

Australian News Crime

Simply The Best

Tina Turner, the “Queen of Rock and Roll”, has died peacefully at her home in Switzerland, according to her publicist. Turner was 83. The tributes are flowing in thick and fast, with Turner being remembered as “a riveting live performer” with “husky, powerful vocals” who influenced musicians from Mick Jagger to Beyoncé. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” the statement from her publicist said. So if you’re in the mood for some music today, why not belt out “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, or “Proud Mary”, or “(Simply) The Best”, or “River Deep, Mountain High”, or “Nutbush City Limits”…

Culture Entertainment

Your password is incorrect…

The good ol’ days of families and friends sharing a Netflix account are over, with the streaming giant launching its password-sharing restrictions yesterday. The company says an estimated 100+ million users have shared their password with another household – but the crackdown means those days are over. A sternly-worded email delivered the news, saying from now on, “a Netflix account is for use by one household,” which the company will track using IP addresses – unless users want to pay an additional fee. It comes as Netflix grapples with falling market share. While it still has 232.5 million paying customers globally, new streaming services are popping up everywhere. Whether the new rules mean Aussie users will be calling ‘finale’ on Netflix remains to be seen, but reports say a soft launch in Canada has gone relatively well for the company. That’s those polite Canadians for you, eh? 


Apropos of nothing

In a bid to cut the nation’s carbon emissions, France has banned domestic flight routes that can be completed by train in less than 2.5 hours. The move has outraged airlines – not to mention convenience-focused travellers.

Swiss neuroscientists have discovered that the human brain is more emotionally receptive to sounds heard through the left ear. They’re not sure why that’s the case, but it’s something for Casanovas who like to whisper sweet nothings to keep in mind…

And a program using AI to transform images of existing city streets​​ into more ‘liveable’ streetscapes has been doing the rounds on social media. BetterStreetsAI’s founder Zach Katz was inspired by a stint living in Amsterdam, so it’s no surprise many of the images look like a cyclist’s dream…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expected to announce his presidential campaign

Africa Day

Independence Day – Jordan

Tasmania hands down its state Budget

Company AGM – Appen

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea for cancer

World Thyroid Day

International Missing Children’s Day

Australian Book Industry Awards – Sydney

Geek Pride Day

Chardonnay Day

Birthdays for Ian McKellen (1939), Mike Myers (1963), and Cillian Murphy (1976)

Anniversary of:
• author Oscar Wilde sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for “gross indecency” (1895)
• athlete Jesse Owens equalling or breaking 4 world records in 45 minutes – known as “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport” (1935)
• the release of the original Star Wars movie, Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and Return of the Jedi (1983)
• the airing of the last episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, ending her 25-year run (2011)
• the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (2020)

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