Squiz Today / 29 June 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 29 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you from A to up to speed.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“At this point I’d prefer to try fighting for tickets via hand to hand combat, because at least I’d feel like I have a chance.“

Said one Taylor Swift fan who was a bit frustrated with yesterday’s online battle for pre-sale tickets to her Aussie shows. Ticketek says more than 4 million users logged on and that it “managed to repel more than half a billion bot attempts”. What a time to be alive…

Gambling ads could be punted

Gambling ads during sporting events could be banned within 3 years if the Albanese Government adopts the recommendations of a federal parliamentary committee released yesterday. It looked into online gambling and the financial/mental health impacts, and after 7 months of investigation, MPs came up with 31 recommendations to regulate the industry, phase in the ban and help problem gamblers. The committee chair is Labor MP Peta Murphy – she says their suggestions should be adopted because gambling ads are “inescapable” and “manipulating an impressionable and vulnerable audience to gamble online.”

Well, Murphy says there’s a reason gambling operators spent $310 million on advertising in 2022 – it works… She says the ads normalise online gambling “as a fun, harmless, and sociable activity that is part of a favourite pastime” – aka watching sport. Research shows that Aussies gamble more online than those from any other country in the world, losing $25 billion every year. And earlier this year, a government study found that 3 in 4 of us gambled at least once in the last year – and 46% of those were classified as at risk of harm from their betting. Ad ban advocates say there’s also an urgent need to protect Aussie kids from developing the habit. In response, Responsible Wagering Australia boss Kai Cantwell said the sector expects to be regulated, but maintaining “crucial support to sporting codes and local broadcasters” is also important. And he says that’s what their advertising bucks do…

Dunno – ask Team Albanese… And there are a couple of things to note on the political front. Earlier this year, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland (who was under pressure earlier this year for accepting political donations from Sportsbet) said plans to ban gamblers from using credit cards to bet ­online to stop people from drowning in debt were in the works. And it’s not just Labor interested in changes in this space. Last month, Coalition leader Peter Dutton called on the government to ban gambling ads during the game broadcasts – he said the “bombardment of betting ads” was “normalising gambling at a young age”. And research says the majority of Aussies are on board with restrictions – according to the Australian Gambling Research Centre, more than half of us reckon betting ads shouldn’t be on the telly before 10.30pm. To be continued…

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Chris Dawson racks up another conviction

The 74yo former schoolteacher convicted last year of the murder of his wife Lynette was found guilty yesterday of having a sexual relationship with an underage student. The girl – who was known in court only as ‘AB’ – described being “groomed” to engage in regular sexual activity with Dawson from the age of 16yo. After Lynette disappeared, Dawson and AB married and had a child – she gave evidence against him in this trial. Throughout the trial, Dawson denied being intimate with the teenager until she was 17yo (aka the age of consent) and pleaded not guilty. Dawson, who’s currently serving a 24-year sentence over his wife’s murder, will be sentenced over his latest conviction in September.

Australian News Crime

Belarus rolls out the welcome mat

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says Wagner’s leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has arrived in Belarus following an agreement with President Vladimir Putin that he could escape the heat in Russia. It comes after Prigozhin led his Wagner mercenary fighters in an attempted mutiny over the weekend that took them from the battlefields of Ukraine to 200km south of Moscow. Lukashenko, who negotiated the deal to call things off, says Wagner fighters have also been offered the opportunity to join Prigozhin in Belarus. And while Belarus has rolled out the red carpet, neighbouring Poland, Latvia and Lithuania – all members of the NATO military alliance – have concerns… Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said Wagner’s troops were “serial killers” that could cause an “even greater danger of instability” in the region.

So much has unfolded in Russia, so we have not one but 2 new Shortcuts on Wagner’s mutiny in Russia and a backgrounder to Yevgeny Prigozhin.

World News

Inflation lets off some steam

There are more signs that the worst of inflation may be behind us after the Bureau of Stats released its latest monthly look at inflation, showing the rate fell to 5.6% in the 12 months to May, down from 6.8% in April. That was way better than economists’ expectations and was led by falls in the cost of fuel and holiday travel, though housing (+8.4%), food (+7.9%), and household costs (+6%) were the biggest contributors. That could give the Reserve Bank some wriggle room to hold off on another interest rate rise when its board meets next Tuesday, but many economists expect a couple more rate hikes before the year’s end. And despite the promising signs, the “central bank’s central bank” – the Bank for International Settlements – warns the “last mile” of inflation could be the hardest

Australian News Business & Finance

The Elon Musk effect

And no, this isn’t about a rush of headstrong entrepreneurs racing to buy social media platforms/explore space… The world’s richest man isn’t the first bloke to start having children in middle age – but he is one of the most notorious… That’s why he’s the namesake of a new phenomenon discovered by Norwegian researchers: intelligent men tend to become fathers later in life and have more kids than their less-brainy brothers. They analysed the records of 900,000 Norwegian-born males born between 1950-1981 who were given an IQ score after undergoing an army conscription test. Researchers observed a longstanding pattern where those with the highest IQ scores tended to become dads after 30yo and had more children than the lowest-scoring group, who had high rates of childlessness. Musk reportedly has an IQ score of 155 (which is high), and he has fathered 10 kids

Health Quirky News

Never BBQ burgers…

That’s one surprising bit of culinary advice renowned chef David Chang shared in the latest episode of his podcast, The Dave Chang Show. Cue shock/outrage… Chang – the man behind New York’s Michelin-starred Momofuku Ko – stirred the pot by claiming the only reason home-cooked burgers were associated with the barbie was “nostalgia” and the opportunity to socialise in the backyard. He reckons a frying pan is the best option for a home burger because it keeps the patty juicy/flavourful. For veggie lovers, Chang says corn is “clearly the only champion” when cooked on an open flame. It’s not the first controversy the 45yo has sparked on his podcast – a few weeks ago, there were similar outcries after he claimed: “you can get some of the best cooking of seafood in general in a microwave”. Just wait until Gordon Ramsay finds out

Culture Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

Ancient wall art at the Pompeii archaeological site has had people stumped. It looks like a pizza, but experts say maybe not because tomato and mozzarella wouldn’t have been available in Italy when it was painted. Instead, they reckon it’s focaccia topped with fruit, which sounds noice/different/unusual…

Speaking of ancient sites, a tourist visiting the Colosseum faces some steep penalties after carving ‘Ivan+Hayley 23’ into the wall of the famous Roman amphitheatre to mark their visit. But first, authorities need to find him…

Multi-billionaires have been cast adrift after Naples banned megayachts over a certain size from docking at the local Mergellina port, citing security reasons. Reports say those affected are yacht happy, Gianni…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.00pm (AEST) – Women’s Test Rugby – Wallaroos v New Zealand – Moreton Bay

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) releases its findings on former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, May

International Day of the Tropics

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny premieres in Aussie cinemas

Anniversary of:
• Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London burning down during a performance of Henry VIII (1613)
• the birthday of Australian gangster Joseph “Squizzy” Taylor (1888). He was indirectly involved in the naming of The Squiz…
• the start of apartheid in South Africa (1949)
• Marilyn Monroe’s marriage to playwright Arthur Miller (1956)
• the deaths of actors Lana Turner (1995) and Katherine Hepburn (2003)

Squiz the Day

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