Squiz Today / 03 November 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 3 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

17 / 26
9 / 14
19 / 32
12 / 18
10 / 23
13 / 16
29 / 34
11 / 19

Squiz Sayings

“It is what it is… If your time’s up, your time’s up.”

Said one visitor at Taronga Zoo yesterday after she was advised that 5 lions had escaped their enclosure. All’s well that ends well – but it’s good to know visitors are going in with eyes wide open…

North Korea fires up

North Korea fired a series of missiles towards South Korea yesterday morning, with one breaching the country’s ‘Northern Limit Line’ (aka the maritime border) for the first time since they split more than 70 years ago. South Korean authorities said at least 23 missiles – the most fired in a single day – were fired by North Korea, and one landed in the sea less than 60km from the South Korean city of Sokcho. Residents of Ulleungdo – an island off the South’s east coast – were also ordered into underground shelters as air raid sirens rang out. In response, South Korea fired 3 missiles northwards, with President Yoon Suk-yeol calling Pyongyang’s actions an “effective territorial invasion”. Experts say it’s one of the most “aggressive and threatening” moves by the North in years.

Tensions in the Korean Peninsula have been bubbling for ages, but this year North Korea has fired a record number of test missiles. North Korean President Kim Jong Un usually launches missiles to test weapons technology, send political messages to the US and others, and shore up support amongst his own people for the military. And as it just so happens, the US is involved in big air drills with South Korea this week… And Japan’s joined them after North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile over the country last month. North Korea has demanded a stop to the provocation. “The US and South Korea will have to face a terrible case and pay the most horrible price in history,” one senior North Korean official said.

South Korea and Japan’s leaders have called national security meetings in response to yesterday’s events, and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to meet his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-sup at the Pentagon today. South Korean military bosses say they won’t tolerate the North’s provocations and will “strictly and firmly respond under close South Korea-US cooperation”. With concerns from the United Nations’ watchdog that Pyongyang could be preparing for a nuclear test, officials are watching the situation “very closely”. “We hope it doesn’t happen, but indications, unfortunately, go in another direction,” International Atomic Energy Agency boss Rafael Grossi said last week. Yikes…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Vigils for Cassius

Thousands have gathered across the country to remember 15yo Indigenous boy Cassius Turvey, who died after sustaining injuries in what PM Anthony Albanese said was a racially motivated attack in Perth’s suburbs last month. ‘Justice for Cassius’ vigils were held in more than 40 cities and towns yesterday, and there will be future events – including in New Zealand and the US. WA’s Police Commissioner Col Blanch said police were “exploring all options for charges” against a 21yo man. Blanch also spent time with Cassius’s mother Mechelle, who said she felt “very satisfied” after the meeting. In a speech read out at the vigils yesterday, she said she is “overwhelmed and eternally grateful” for the support the family is receiving.

Australian News

Netanyahu set for a comeback

Former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu looks set to regain power in the country’s 5th election in 4 years election. He and his Likud party were given the boot last year and replaced by Yair Lapid from the Yesh Atid party. To secure 65 seats in the 20-seat parliament, Netanyahu is relying on support from the ultra-nationalist Religious Zionism party, which is described in the Washington Post as being a “fringe, aggressively anti-democratic, fundamentally racist movement”. Netanyahu remains a divisive figure in Israel and internationally. He opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state despite international support. And he firmly supports Israel’s settlement-building in the West Bank despite being considered illegal under international law. Netanyahu is also currently on trial over bribery and fraud charges, accusations he denies. Officials said voter turnout was 66.3% – the highest since 1999 – in an election widely seen as a vote either for or against Netanyahu.

World News

Hunting for revenue and audience

As multi-entrepreneur Elon Musk gets his feet under the desk at Twitter and sacks execs left, right and centre, he’s floated a new revenue idea – a monthly fee for the prized blue tick. It’s the ‘verified’ badge that gives credibility to high-profile accounts. “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bulldust*. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” Musk said in a tweet. Not onboard is author Stephen King – he thinks instead Twitter “should pay me” to use the platform… Also on the hunt for new customers is Amazon – the mega everything company says Prime members will soon get access to a full music and podcast library at no extra cost. It’s an example that highlights why competition regulators worldwide are getting concerned about big tech’s ability to cross-subsidise services to dominate rivals and stifle innovation from smaller players.

*Umm he used a stronger word than that…

Business & Finance Technology

And the Shonky Award goes to…

Consumer group Choice’s annual Shonky Awards highlights what it rates as the worst products and services on offer in Australia. And this year, Qantas took the gong for “being the Spirit of Disappointment” because it “deliberately out of its way to win” with a year of delays, lost baggage, and unusable flight credits. VetPay, a quick loan service targeting people struggling to pay vet bills, was recognised for its high fees and interest rates of 18%-plus. Steggles’ Chicken Nuggets Boosted with Veggies got a mention for “hiding veggies so well we could barely find them”. The Zega Digital pot was deemed an “expensive ‘self-cooking’ smart pot that doesn’t properly cook” with the $299 appliance turning out raw chicken. Maybe that’s what our former PM was using… And flower delivery company Bloomex received a Shonky for “dodgy deliveries, dead flowers and accepting orders they can’t fulfil”. Seems there’s no pleasing some people…

Business & Finance

Financing your future with Funko Pops

If the cost of living has you looking for alternative investments, then Funko Pops – aka big-headed figurines of famous faces – could be for you. The 10cm tall collectables look like kids’ toys, but some limited edition ‘Pops’ are valued at over $26,000. Yes, really… That’s for the ‘Holy Grail’ of a glowing Alex DeLarge Clockwork Orange Funko after only 6 were made, and all signed by Funko boss Brian Mariotti. Not all ‘limited edition’ Pops are valuable, but some experts are calling them the ‘cryptocurrency of collectables’. Most retail for $10-20 and can be picked up at your local shopping centre, so it’s one to keep in mind for Christmas gifts. Just beware – you might have to wait a couple decades for their inevitable ironic resurgence to make your money back, much like the recent Beanie Baby/Tamagotchi craze.

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Welsh authorities are begging Harry Potter fans to stop leaving old socks at the beach site used for Dobby’s grave in the popular film franchise. Officials decided to keep the shrine but say thousands of yearly visitors are damaging the delicate ecology with their tributes.

The world’s oldest cowboy Bob Holder, known as the ‘Cootamundra Cat’, has vowed to get back in the saddle after falling off his horse and spending a month in Wagga hospital. The 91yo says wild horses couldn’t drag him away from the rodeo circuit…

A new study reckons swearing will make you fitter, happier and more persuasive. So next time someone tells you to mind your language, you know what you can tell them – and we ain’t spelling it out here…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.30am – Women’s Rugby League World Cup – Australia v Cook Islands – England

10.30am (AEDT) – Former PM Malcolm Turnbull to launch the Australia Institute’s 2022 Climate of the Nation report – Sydney

12.30pm (AEDT) – Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.30pm (AEDT) – Netball – Australia v England – Brisbane

ABS Data Release – International Trade in Goods and Services, September

National Days for Dominica, Micronesia and Panama

National Sandwich Day – US

Birthdays for US Vogue editor Anna Wintour (1949), sports star Ellyse Perry (1990) and model/TV personality Kendall Jenner (1995)

Anniversary of:
• the English parliament passing the Act of Supremacy, which saw Henry VIII and subsequent monarchs become Head of the Church of England (1534)
• the patenting of the first modern elastic bra by New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob (1913)
• the Soviet Union launching Sputnik 2 with space dog Laika aboard, the first animal in space (1957)
• the election of US Presidents Lyndon B Johnson (1964) and Bill Clinton (1992)
• the release of Whitney Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s single I Will Always Love You (1992)
• LA Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant becoming the then youngest player to make his NBA debut at 18yo (1996)
• Michelle Payne becoming the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup (2015)

Squiz the Day

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