Squiz Today / 18 July 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 18 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Good conversation days start here. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

10 / 21
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2 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“Maybe our shire might need to bill Boeing or Lockheed or someone for dropping space junk on our beach.”

Said Green Head local Garth Griffiths of the efforts to protect an unidentified object that washed up on the Western Oz beach. It’s “a sort of semi-cylindrical object” that’s taller than a human, and police are guarding it in case it’s hazardous. The truth is out there…

Iran tells women to cover up… again

A fresh crackdown on women breaking Iran’s headscarf rules has begun, according to the country’s state media. Iran’s morality police will return to the streets to enforce the strict Islamic hijab law, which states women must cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothing in public at all times. Reports say those found to be breaking the rules will be given a warning by police, who have the power to “then introduce those breaking the code to the judicial system”.

That’s probably because it’s been 10 months since 22yo Mahsa Amini’s death after she was detained for breaking those rules. She was arrested in Tehran for allegedly wearing her hijab incorrectly, and her death was believed to be the result of a police beating. Authorities denied that, but it kicked off widespread and violent protests across the country against the hijab rules – and the morality police, who stopped their patrols as a result. Data from the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said as of April, 537 protesters and 57 police officers had died, and an estimated 19,200 people were arrested in protests. It’s regarded as the biggest threat to Iran’s government since the 1979 revolution, and while the protests have never completely stopped, things have cooled off a bit.

Iranian women have continued to defy the rules by not wearing head coverings in public, and experts say it was just a matter of time before the government had enough… Billboards started popping up in May telling women to wear head coverings “to honour their mothers”. Police have installed surveillance cameras to catch rule-breakers, and authorities have also been closing businesses for serving women not wearing hijabs. In the courts, one woman was recently sentenced to a month of washing and preparing corpses for burial for not wearing a head covering while driving. And last week, an Iranian actress was told to attend counselling “to cure her anti-social personality disorder” after attending a funeral in a baseball cap. But that hasn’t been enough for hardline Islamists, who have been pushing for more action from the morality police. Analysts say that almost a year after things exploded, it looks like the conservatives have got their way… 

World News

Squiz the Rest

Flash floods, unprepared South Korea

We mentioned it briefly yesterday, but the floods in South Korea have claimed more lives. Torrential rain has been lashing parts of the central and southern regions since Thursday, and so far, at least 40 people have been killed, with another 9 missing. One of the hardest-hit cities is Cheongju, where vehicles were trapped in a tunnel that filled with water after a river levee broke, and rescuers have recovered 13 bodies since Saturday. President Yoon Suk Yeol has questioned why the tunnel wasn’t closed despite the flood warnings, and concerns have been raised about the nation’s flood preparedness. It’s not like the country didn’t have a warning… Last year, authorities vowed to improve infrastructure after the worst floods in 115 years, which killed at least 14 people. And in other ‘the northern hemisphere is sizzling’ related updates – geez, it’s hot

Australian News

Another neighbourly dispute

We’ve heard a lot about the Solomon Islands and China becoming close buddies, and last week, a new policing pact was signed between the two nations. But there was fresh drama yesterday as Solomons PM Manasseh Sogavare accused Australia of promising – and then withdrawing – budget support. Sogavare was fresh from a trip to China where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss their “comprehensive strategic partnership” and the funding that comes with it – which Aussie analysts say is China’s unsubtle attempts to buy influence in the Pacific. And in a blistering press conference, he said Aussie/Kiwi shortfalls in funding “left this country and people in a predicament. But I am glad to announce and delighted to announce the People’s Republic of China have really stepped up”… The Aussie Government is yet to respond to Sogavare’s claims.

Australian News World News

A serve of yes and no

Get your interwebs fired up – the Australian Electoral Commission will publish the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns’ talking points on why we should/shouldn’t support the upcoming referendum on enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the constitution. MPs from both sides of the debate submitted their homework yesterday in separate, unedited, and unformatted documents – and they will be uploaded by the AEC today exactly as they have been received. Next, we’ll get the pamphlet version that’s being mailed to all Aussie households before the referendum. As for when that vote will be, PM Anthony Albanese yesterday said he won’t make that announcement early next month, as many had expected. He says the date somewhere between October-December will be revealed closer to the time because it “doesn’t need to be that very long campaign.”

AusPol Australian News

Vale Jane Birkin

You might know her name from the extremely hard-to-buy Hermès bag, but Jane Birkin, who has died at 76yo, was more than a style-setter… Born in London, she moved to Paris at 22yo and became a cultural fixture and fashion icon of the city. Along with her own music projects, she features on the saucy hit Je t’aime… moi non plus with her music producer partner, Serge Gainsbourg. And across her life that was guided by her adventurousness, Birkin was also a film and theatre actress and playwright. The cause of Birkin’s death has not been confirmed, but reports have mentioned a stroke in September 2021 and a broken shoulder in March last year. Following the news of her death, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that Birkin was “a French icon.”

Culture World News

Knees are an optional extra…

They’re the cheap seats for a reason… In a comprehensive overview of airline seat dimensions, Jetstar has emerged as the squishiest carrier. If you’re aggravated by the kid behind you kicking your seat, maybe you should have shelled out for Japan Airlines… These things are measured in ‘seat pitch’, which is the distance between a point on your seat and the same point on the seat in front – Jetstar’s usual pitch is 76.2cm, compared to Japan Airlines’ roomier 83.8cm. Width-wise, you’ll get about 43.2cm for your hips on Jetstar, while Qatar Airways will give you up to 48cm on some flights. Not that any of these economy seats will give you much room to stretch, especially since flights in and out of Oz are about 90% full. So be kind to your seat neighbour, and remember to be thoughtful about the armrests

Australian News Business & Finance

Apropos of nothing

It’s been a rollercoaster few years for the meat-replacement industry, but backers are still bullish (pun intended) on the opportunity of animal-free meat, particularly as scientists figure out how to replicate meat’s fatty flavour. It’s not a barbie without that sizzle…

In the US, official stats show that ice cream consumption has melted from an average of around 8kg per person in 1986 to roughly 5.4kg in 2021. The experts put it down to health concerns and more boutique flavours in smaller sizes.

That won’t bother US President Joe Biden, who is on the record as an ice cream lover. His other food habits have been collated in one very enjoyable article, including his love of orange Gatorade and his must-have food staples ketchup, peanut butter and jelly.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00pm (AEST) – Women’s Ashes – 3rd ODI – Australia v England – Somerset

Term 3 begins for public schools in the NT

World Listening Day

Start of Islamic New Year

Nelson Mandela International Day on the anniversary of his birthday (1918)

Birthdays for former Aussie cricket great Dennis Lillee (1949), Richard Branson (1950), Shaun Micallef (1962), Vin Diesel (1967), Elizabeth Gilbert (1969), and Kristen Bell (1980)

Anniversary of:
• the debut of Play School (1966)
• the death of Jane Austen (1817)
• Kim Jong Un being appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea (2012)

Squiz the Day

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