Squiz Today / 13 September 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 13 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

The easy news hit. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Out of respect, I don’t think one should do anything.”

Said 89yo Mary Reynolds who is hanging up her crown after 34 years of working as a Queen Elizabeth II impersonator. Her Majesty’s death has far-reaching consequences…

Disgruntlement about a day off for the Queen

PM Anthony Albanese came under pressure yesterday over the declaration of a national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth. The Australian Retailers Association says businesses are frustrated by the short notice for the Thursday, 22 September public holiday – it wants urgent clarification about trading hours as they juggle staff shortages. And hospitality businesses are whipping out their calculators to do a cost/benefit analysis of whether it’s better to remain open and pay staff penalty rates or close and lose a day’s trading. The Australian Medical Association has also been critical, saying it will force hospitals and doctors to cancel crucial surgeries and appointments. Albanese rejected that claim saying the “idea that operations don’t occur during a public holiday is of course not correct.”

Well, if you’re in Victoria, you’re probably ecstatic… That’s because Friday the 23rd is the Grand Final Eve public holiday, meaning they will enjoy a 4-day weekend. But taking the day before off is problematic for the State Parliament, as next Thursday was due to be the final sitting day before the election in November. And it’s not just Victorian politicians re-arranging their diaries… Federal Parliament was cancelled this week, but pollies will attend a special service on Thursday next week, and a motion of condolence will be moved the next day, giving every MP and senator a chance to speak about the death of Queen Elizabeth… The week after, Parliament will resume, but it’s complicated for PM Albanese… He is heading to Tokyo to attend another state funeral – this time for former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

The Scots are paying their respects with the Queen’s coffin lying in rest in St Giles’ Cathedral, and King Charles and his 3 siblings will hold a vigil for their late mother with each standing by a corner of her coffin. Tomorrow, the Queen’s coffin will be flown to London and taken to Buckingham Palace. And there will be more wrangling over the Queen’s funeral with its max capacity of about 2,000 attendees. Nations have been urged to fly their single senior representative on commercial flights over using private jets. As for the service, they will be bussed to Westminster Abbey from a site in west London. Unless you’re Australia, of course… PM Albanese and David Hurley get to take the government jet and take their partners and acting UK High Commissioner Lynette Wood to the funeral. Ten other Aussies will also be invited – 8 from the states/territories plus tennis legend Dylan Alcott and racehorse trainer Chris Waller. 

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Lights out in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of attacking the country’s power grid in retaliation for Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive that saw it recapture large parts of its former territory in the eastern Kharkiv region. Russia denies that it is deliberately targeting vital infrastructure, but Ukraine says power and water supplies have been cut off in the region and surrounding areas after Russian forces struck major water facilities and a thermal power plant. Moscow has so far remained largely quiet about the retreat except to say it was a strategic decision to “regroup”. That’s angered some pro-Russian figures who have criticised Russia’s military on social media, and commentators say that could put political pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

World News

A record pelvic mesh settlement

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has reached a record $300 million settlement for 2 Aussie class action lawsuits brought on behalf of 1,350 women who suffered debilitating side effects from pelvic mesh implants. If approved by the Federal Court, it will be the largest settlement in a product liability class action case in Australian history. Used to treat pelvic floor damage, vaginal mesh implants have caused side effects like severe/chronic pain and incontinence – and campaigners had to make some noise to get them banned in Oz in 2017. It was in November 2019 that the court found in favour of the women after finding the company had been “negligent” by supplying the product. Johnson & Johnson appealed the decision, but that was dismissed in March 2021. Similar lawsuits against the giant multinational and other pelvic mesh manufacturers have resulted in over US$8 billion in settlements worldwide, and many are still ongoing.

Australian News Health

Bets off for Ladbrokes

Financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC has launched an investigation into UK-based global gambling giant Entain, the owner of online betting platform Ladbrokes, over claims it was not appropriately managing the risks of crime, including money laundering and terrorism financing. Last month, the company was fined $28 million by the UK’s Gambling Commission over similar concerns, and it now faces fines of up to $22 million here if there have been breaches if its gambling licence. Entain says it is cooperating with the investigation and that the probe relates to activity between July 2016 and June 2020. The company certainly has its hands full – it’s going head-to-head with rival Tabcorp for state wagering licences in Western Oz and Victoria.

Australian News Crime

The dawning of the age of Alcaraz

Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz has swept the tennis world off its feet after he beat Norway’s Casper Ruud in 4 sets to win his first Grand Slam title at the US Open yesterday morning. It means the 19yo has not only replaced Russian Daniil Medvedev at the top of the world rankings, he’s also become the youngest #1 men’s player in history, overtaking Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt, who was world #1 at 20yo in 2001. It’s Alcaraz’s first full season on the ATP tour, and he says he’s there to win grand slams – that’s been his dream since he was a kid starting out in the sport. Yesterday, the dream became a reality. Those in the know have predicted Alcaraz’s rising star, and one fan is compatriot/legend Rafael Nadal. He says Alcaraz has a big future ahead of him…


A shiny distraction for this morning

If you need to change the channel on the wall-to-wall coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s death, this morning has something for you… It’s the 74th Emmy Awards recognising the best on the small screen – in this day and age, it’s where the streaming giants fight it out for original content glory. Leading the way is HBO’s Succession, which is nominated for a ginormous 25 awards, including 14 in the acting categories. That’s broken the 20-year/12-nom record held by iconic political drama The West Wing. Apple TV’s Ted Lasso and HBO’s The White Lotus are not far behind, with 20 nominations each. And there are some Aussies to keep an eye on: Sarah Snook (Succession), Toni Collette (The Staircase), and Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus). The ceremony’s host is Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson, who says it will be a kinder/gentler experience than this year’s Academy Awards ceremony – which wouldn’t be hard…


Apropos of Nothing

Oscar-winner Kenneth Branagh says it’s not “too soon” to play former UK PM Boris Johnson in pandemic miniseries on his 2020, including “COVID-19, Brexit, and a controversial personal and political life”. One thing that wouldn’t be too soon is giving the makeup team an award

In the latest edition of ‘things Gen Z doesn’t like that older generations find hilarious’ – GIFs. Apparently, teens-26yos find the animated message embellishments ‘cringe’. That’s fine – unless you’re tech company Giphy, which is in the final stages of a $460 million takeover deal with Meta…

NSW’s Anton Kerr and his giant boxing kangaroo are travelling to Slovenia this week to compete in the World Hot Air Balloon Championship. “For such a gentle, peaceful activity, the competitions are like being in a Formula One car,” he says. Which makes us wonder if he’s only ever travelled by balloon…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEST) – 74th Primetime Emmy Awards – broadcast on Foxtel

ABS Data Release – Overseas Arrivals and Departures, July

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of author Roald Dahl (1916) and cricket legend Shane Warne (1969)
• the Swiss inventor George de Mestral granted a patent for Velcro (1955)
• the premiere of Scooby-Doo (1969)
• the release of Nintendo’s first-ever Super Mario Bros game (1985)
• the premiere of Law and Order (1990)

Squiz the Day

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