Squiz Today / 30 June 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 30 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.”

Said UK PM Boris Johnson following the G7 summit in Germany where he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “toxic masculinity” and called for more women to be in positions of power. One thing’s almost certain: if the Russian leader was a woman, there’d be less shirtless horseriding

‘A true monster’ who couldn’t be stopped

It’s unlikely that Rowan Baxter could have been stopped from murdering his estranged wife Hannah Clarke and their 3 children, the Queensland’s Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley has found. She’s handed down a 150-page report after a 9-day inquest in Brisbane from late March to early April about what happened in February 2020. To recap: Baxter ambushed Clarke and their children – Aaliyah (6yo), Laianah (4yo), and Trey (3yo) – as they headed out on the school run from her parents’ home in the Brissie suburb of Camp Hill. He jumped into the vehicle, poured petrol around and set it alight. The kids died in the blaze, and Baxter died soon after from a self-inflicted stab wound. Hannah succumbed to her injuries in hospital. Choking back her tears as she offered her condolences to Clarke’s parents, Bentley also said that Baxter was “not mentally ill – he was a master of manipulation.”

Bentley said that everyone Clarke dealt with – police officers, service providers, friends or family members – failed to recognise the “extreme risk” she would be killed. “That failure probably came about because Baxter had not been violent and had no relevant criminal history,” she said. As for the police response, she said there were missed opportunities, but Clarke was dealt with appropriately. But urgent changes have been recommended, including a 12-month trial of a specialist domestic violence police station in Logan (near Brissie) or Kirwan (near Townsville) – places where the rates of domestic violence are high. Bentley says there’s also the need for more domestic violence training for police and more funding for men’s programs.

Deputy State Coroner Bentley also said there are some issues regarding community attitudes to domestic violence. She said that even after the tragedy, “a number of people continued to give statements to police in which they stated that Baxter loved his wife and children, he was a great father, and that his actions were somehow excused or explained by the fact that he was losing everything” in his separation from Clarke. So a better/broader understanding of coercive control is needed, Bentley said. That’s the use of extreme manipulation and controlling behaviours to attempt to limit a victim’s freedom and rights – and experts say many domestic homicide cases were preceded by coercive control, not physical violence. And that’s why Clarke’s parents, lawmakers and family violence prevention advocates say it’s a big issue to address. The Queensland Government has announced plans to criminalise coercive control.

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Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

State health systems in the red

Victoria’s embattled ambulance system yesterday confirmed its 5th ‘code red’ for 2022 in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It meant ambulances were unavailable for people who called 000 at some points that morning. The Victorian Ambulance Union pointed to staff shortages thanks to COVID, high demand, and too many calls for non-urgent medical issues. Today, locals have been told to only call for emergency assistance if they absolutely need it. With Victoria heading to the polls in November, pundits say it could impact Premier Daniel Andrews at the ballot box, noting that similar issues were a big factor in the downfall of South Oz’s government earlier this year. Over in Western Oz, St John Ambulance WA boss Michelle Fyfe announced her resignation, saying “new energy” is needed. The state’s ambulance system has also been in turmoil with COVID-related staff shortages and record ambulance delays.

Australian News Health

Trump tried to take the wheel on 6 Jan

That allegation came from one of the most explosive days of testimony in the investigation into the 6 January riots on the US Capitol. Former staffer Cassidy Hutchinson shared new details about what happened in the White House that day, including a retelling of what happened in the Beast. She said then-President Donald Trump wanted to be taken to the Capitol after addressing a rally of supporters, but his secret service agents insisted that he return to the safety of his office. The former aide to Trump’s chief of staff said she was told that Trump attempted to seize the steering wheel and that he lunged at his security detail leader with his free hand. Trump-supporting Republicans couldn’t say “hearsay” enough… Hutchinson also said Trump’s senior officials knew that some of the President’s supporters were armed and that things would likely get crazy that day. There’s a lot to unpack… Trump responded, saying Hutchinson is “bad news”. Hearings resume next month.

World News

R Kelly sentenced

American R&B singer/producer R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison this morning after being found guilty of 9 racketeering and sex trafficking last year. The 55yo, best known for the 1996 hit I Believe I Can Fly (which won 3 Grammy Awards), was found to have used his celebrity status to lure women and underage girls with promises of jumpstarting their careers before taking control over their lives and sexually assaulting them. Kelly has long denied the many allegations from many women. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of more than 25 years due to his lack of remorse, but Kelly’s lawyer said he deserved no more than 10 years. The singer says he was abused as a child, and his lawyer claims he has a low IQ and is “functionally illiterate”. Kelly is also facing trials in Chicago, Illinois and Minnesota.


Williams rejects retirement rumours

And it’s a shame she had to do it so early in this year’s Wimbledon tournament… That’s because Serena Williams – one of the greatest tennis players of all time – didn’t get through to the 2nd round, losing yesterday morning to debutante Harmony Tan in a thrilling 3-setter. It was the first singles match Williams had played in 12 months after limping off Wimbledon’s centre court with an ankle injury in last year’s first round. Now ranked 1,204th in the world, Williams says there’s lots of motivation to play in the US Open in August-September, saying it’s “something that’s always super special”. As for the Aussies, there are a few blokes to look out for today, including Nick Kyrgios. He’s set to play his 2nd round match tonight. As for the women, our hopes ride on Ajla Tomljanović – her 2nd round match is also today. The Special Ks – Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis – will also be looking to make a splash after Kokkinakis was bundled out of the singles by Novak Djokovic overnight.


Snoozing on the long haul

…can be a challenging task unless you’re lucky enough to turn left on boarding. But that’s set to change after Air New Zealand announced it will be offering the world’s first economy bunk beds. The airline is getting 8 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners by the end of 2024, which will be used on its long-haul routes. Each plane will have 5 economy seats removed to make way for 6 ‘Skynest’ sleeping pods. The idea is that economy passengers will still have their standard seats but will have the option to book one 4-hour session in the pods at an extra cost. Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran says it’s a “gamechanger for the economy travel experience”, but with 200 economy passengers per plane, you’d need to act fast…

Business & Finance

Apropos of Nothing

After temporarily banning parties at its short-stay rental properties due to concerns about rules violations and COVID restrictions in 2020, Airbnb is now banning them for good. Having 50 of your closest friends over for a quiet drink isn’t a party, right?

If a sleeping pod is something you’d like to use in your everyday life, a rental listing in Melbourne offers single sleeping capsules for $900 a month. Cosy…

For something a bit fancier, Squiz favourite Dolly Parton is renting out her extravagantly-decorated tour bus to fans while she stays close to home. It’s US$10,000 for a 2-night stay, but a chunk of the proceeds will go towards the singer’s various charities.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.30pm (AEST) – Basketball – World Cup Qualifiers – Australia v China – Melbourne

Adam Bell SC to hand down his findings to ILGA on Star Entertainment’s suitability to hold a casino licence in Sydney

The independent inquiry into NSW floods hands down its first report to NSW Government

AIHW Release – Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia

Independence Day – Democratic Republic of the Congo

International Asteroid Day

International Day of Parliamentarism

Social Media Day

Birthdays for red Wiggle Murray Cook (1960), former b=heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson (1966), and former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps (1985)

Anniversary of:
• the world’s first emergency telephone number (999) being introduced in London (1937)
• the first appearance of Superman in DC Comics’ Action Comics Series issue #1 (1938)
• Donald Trump becoming the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea (2019)
• the Hong Kong national security law coming into effect (2020)

Squiz the Day

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