Squiz Today / 15 March 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 15 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

News that helps you get it done. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Our self-issue machines automatically started up and 147 books were issued by customers.”

Said a staff member at Christchurch’s public library after the automated doors accidentally opened on February’s Waitangi Day public holiday. Unstaffed and unsecured, they reckon 380 people used the library responsibly before someone realised the mistake. An excellent way to spend a day off…

Russia asks China for help

It’s week 3 of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and there is growing evidence that it’s not going to plan for Russian President Vladimir Putin with reports that Russia has sought military equipment and economic relief from China. China called the speculation “malicious disinformation”, and Russia says it has the resources to meet its goals – but the US didn’t hold back. “We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

Sullivan met China’s former foreign minister Yang Jiechi in Rome overnight, where he made clear the consequences and isolation China would face if it gave Russia a hand in its war on Ukraine. Since the invasion of Ukraine, Beijing has backed Russia’s official line that it’s a “special military operation” – but before now, there’s been no suggestion that China would help Russia’s military or economy. Reports say the US briefed Beijing on Putin’s invasion plans, but China’s officials believed Putin was bluffing to gain leverage in its demands to get Western Europe to back off its expansion eastwards. But invade he did, and the US is worried that if China assists Russia, it will cement the world into two opposing blocs and create a turning point in global politics. Yikes…

Russian and Ukrainian representatives have held more talks in a bid to end the fighting. Ukraine’s negotiator says they’re focused on establishing a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees for Ukraine – so just a couple of things… Those discussions are set to resume in the coming 24 hours. Meanwhile, Russian forces are edging closer to the capital Kyiv. And they are maintaining their relentless bombing of the southern port city of Mariupol. The city has been without food, power, heating, and clean water, and agreed routes to allow residents to escape have been targeted by Russia. Overnight, the first residents have got out in a convoy of 160 cars. Officials estimate that 2,500 civilians have died in the city since the fighting began.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Oz and the Netherlands take on Russia

Australia and the Netherlands have kicked off new legal proceedings against Russia over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in July 2014 over eastern Ukraine. In addition to the ongoing Dutch prosecution of 4 suspects, the governments are taking it to a United Nations agency known as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). What the governments want from Russia is 2 things: a declaration that Russia broke civil aviation laws and an order for Russia to reenter negotiations on reparations. The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels in the Donetsk region and all 298 people on board died, including 38 Aussies. PM Scott Morrison said the legal action was a big step forward. “The Russian Federation’s refusal to take responsibility for its role in the downing of Flight MH17 is unacceptable, and the Australian Government has always said that it will not exclude any legal options in our pursuit of justice,” he said. Russia has long denied any involvement in the tragedy.

AusPol World News

Assange’s extradition appeal denied

Aussie WikiLeaker Jullian Assange has been denied permission to appeal against his extradition to the US this morning. The UK’s Supreme Court said his application did not raise “an arguable point of law”. Legal eagles say it’s a blow to his hopes of avoiding extradition, but it’s not the end of the matter… His case now goes back to the original decision-making judge who green-lighted his extradition, and then Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to make a final decision. Even then, there may be grounds to mount a fresh challenge. The 50yo is wanted in America over the publication of thousands of classified files in 2010 and 2011 which broke the law and endangered lives, US officials say. Assange maintains the case against him is politically motivated. Assange is a busy guy – he is also tying the knot with lawyer Stella Moris in London’s Belmarsh prison next week. Vivienne Westwood is on board to design the bride’s wedding dress – and it’s a kilt for the groom…

World News

Four Corners boss to step down

Sally Neighbour – the Executive Producer of ABC TV’s flagship current affairs program Four Corners, former 7.30 boss, and award-winning investigative reporter – confirmed she’s leaving the ABC in May after 7 years in the hot seat. Four Corners regularly rubs those in power the wrong way, and yesterday ABC boss David Anderson said that under her leadership, “the program has delivered some of the most important public interest investigations in recent years.” Not fans: the Morrison Government… It had a serious falling out with the public broadcaster over its decision to air sexual assault allegations against former Attorney-General Christian Porter – claims he strongly denies. Inside the Canberra Bubble is one of the program’s most-watched episodes, and its reporter Louise Milligan yesterday tweeted “We love you, Sally”. Now, the ABC has the challenge of filling 2 key editorial positions with the news director chair also currently vacant.

Australian News

Vale William Hurt

Oscar-winner and leading man of the 1980s Hollywood blockbuster, William Hurt has died at 71yo. He’d previously said he had prostate cancer. Hurt was tall, handsome and talented, which saw him cast in some of the era’s most popular films, including The Big Chill, Broadcast News, and his Oscar-winning turn in Kiss of the Spider Woman. In recent years, he reached a new audience via the Marvel universe. Despite his fame, Hurt’s personal life was rocky. His 2 marriages ended in divorce, and other serious relationships were controversial. That included his 3 years with Marlee Matlin – they met while filming Children of a Lesser God. She won an Oscar for her performance and later said when they left the awards, he asked her “What makes you think you deserved it, Marlee?” Yesterday, she said he “taught me a great deal as an actor, and he was one-of-a-kind”. Hollywood stars, including Russell Crowe, paid tribute to his long career.


It’s awards galore…

It’s been a small and large screen buff’s delight with the BAFTAs in London and the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles. Let’s start stateside… There was some Aussie representation, with Sarah Snook taking out Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Succession, and Murray Bartlett winning Best Actor in a Limited Series for his role in White Lotus. Kiwi director Jane Campion also got another Best Director nod to go with her Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay awards for The Power of the Dog. As for the BAFTAs, epic sci-fi Dune may have taken home the most awards, but Campion cemented her place as an Oscars frontrunner by claiming the Best Director and Best Film gongs. And if you’re just here for the fashion, check out the 2 red carpet galleries here and here. The 2-week countdown to the Oscars has commenced…


Apropos of Nothing

NFL star quarterback Tom Brady is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, less than 2 months after his big announcement that he was retiring. “Sounds like Tom Brady had to listen to his kids talk about the Minecraft world they built,” joked one tweeter.

With the Sydney Harbour Bridge set to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its opening on Saturday, the State Library of NSW is trying to track down an amateur photographer who captured the bridge’s construction. Known as Mrs Frank Smith, it could take a while to get through the phone book…

And the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s ‘Women’s Network’ – set up to promote gender equality internally – has unveiled its logo. Let’s just say many could only see one thing – actually, it was a pair of ‘em…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEDT) – Women’s Cricket World Cup – Australia v West Indies – Wellington

12.30pm (AEDT) – Former Socceroo, broadcaster and human rights activist Craig Foster addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, January; Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, December 2021

The Federal Court will hand down its appeal judgment on a landmark climate change case brought by 8 high school students against Environment Minister Sussan Ley

A federal parliament committee’s inquiry into social media and online safety hands down its final report

World Consumer Rights Day

International Day Against Police Brutality

World Social Work Day

World Speech Day

Birthdays for actor Eva Longoria (1975) and musician will.i.am (1975)

The 50th anniversary of the release of The Godfather (1972)

Anniversary of:
• the death of Julius Caesar (44BC)
• the birthday of Saint Nicholas (270)
• the return of Christopher Columbus to Spain after his first voyage to the New World (1493)
• the first Test cricket match – Australia v England at the MCG in Melbourne (1877)
• the wedding of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1964)
• the Christchurch mosque shootings that saw 51 killed (2019)

Squiz the Day

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