Squiz Today / 19 July 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 19 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you started on the right foot – and ear.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings


Is how hot it got in Hawarden in Wales on Monday to set a new all-time high-temperature record for the country. In Britain, it got to 38.1C in Suffolk – just shy of that nation’s record of 38.7C. Tuesday is expected to be even hotter

Blame laid in US school shootings

Through to the first half of July, there have been at least 330 mass shootings in the US this year. That’s defined as 4 or more people being killed or injured. And there have been at least 24 acts of gun violence on school grounds while students were there. Since the Columbine High massacre in 1999 when 12 students and one teacher were gunned down by a pair of 12th-grade students, more than 311,000 school kids across America have experienced gun violence at school. This level of gun violence, for the most part, is an American phenomenon, and recent gun control laws secured by the Biden administration have been described as the minimum reforms required. And as a company spruiks bullet-resistant steel enclosures for classrooms, 2 high profile cases were front and centre yesterday.

It is, and it’s the most detailed look so far at what happened on 24 May at Robb Elementary School in the Texas town. There’s a lot of blame to go around – it starts with local police, which made mistakes, and goes up to state and federal agencies, which failed to take charge. According to the report written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives, there were 376 local, state and federal law enforcement officers at the scene that day. But their “hesitant and haphazard response” saw 72 minutes elapse from their arrival to when officers entered and killed the shooter. “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making,” the report says. Still, many parents are scathing with one saying that police “have blood on their hands.” Nineteen students and 2 teachers died, and several investigations continue.

The sentencing trial for the gunman who killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, more than 4 years ago began overnight. Nikolas Cruz is now 23yo – he pleaded guilty, so the only question is whether he gets a life sentence in prison or is put to death. It’s taken nearly 3 months to lock in a jury for the trial that’s expected to go on for months. The jury must be unanimous in deciding to impose the death penalty, and if that can’t be reached, he will be sentenced to life. Cruz was a former student who said he hated “everyone and everything” – he was expelled from the school a year earlier. The sentencing trial has been delayed because of the pandemic and legal manoeuvring.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Bruising Budget reality sinks in…

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will deliver a Budget update on Thursday next week as rising inflation, interest rate hikes, and rising COVID cases change the game for the federal government, businesses and punters like us. It comes with a warning we’ll need to brace ourselves because Chalmers says it’s “confronting” – much like our recent electricity bill… We’ll get an update on the nation’s key economic forecasts, and the OMG moment for many will be the extent of the anticipated hit to real wages, he says. Long story short, wage slaves need to get used to the rise in prices to outstrip wage increases for a while yet. A total Budget redo will come in October when the Albanese Government puts its stamp on spending – and, more pressing, saving. Sussan Ley is acting Coalition leader – she says the times, not the Morrison Government, are the blame for the tricky economic situation.

Business & Finance

Take a look at the state of the environment…

The latest State of the Environment Report showing catastrophic losses of wildlife and habitat across Oz is out today. Every category except urban environments has deteriorated since 2016, and 17 mammal species, 17 birds and 19 frogs have become endangered/critically endangered. The report says Australia has lost more mammals than any other continent – that’s down to “increasing pressures from climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and resource extraction”. Lead author of the report Professor Emma Johnston says the biggest change of the last 5 years is the impact of climate change. She added that not all is lost – “stronger protections, innovative thinking and courageous leadership” could turn some problems around. The report had been handed to previous Environment Minister Sussan Ley – she’s defended the Coalition Government’s record. Plibersek says the report “really does give us a wake-up call as a nation”. She is addressing the National Press Club today.

Australian News

Ukraine sacks top officials

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky sacked his top security agency head and top prosecutor after it emerged that more than 60 employees had been “working against” Ukraine in Russian-occupied territory. Zelensky said at least 651 cases of treason and collusion have been opened against the officials, posing “very serious questions” for those in charge. Prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova and security chief Ivan Bakanov were both close colleagues and friends of Zelensky. Some analysts say the information passed on by the employees could explain Russia’s quick capture of large areas of the country’s south in the first week of its invasion. Meanwhile, according to officials, Russia is preparing for its next offensive stage as it eyes the strategic eastern city of Sloviansk. Russia is also reinforcing its defensive positions across the occupied areas in the country’s south after Ukraine pledged to regain the territory last week.

World News

Letting the streams flow

Aussies spent $4.4 billion on streaming services last year as extended COVID lockdowns in NSW and Victoria saw people spend more time on the couch, says PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The company’s latest Media and Entertainment Outlook found more than 75% of households paid for at least one streaming service last year – a number that’s expected to jump to 80% in 2022. But let’s be honest, most households have more than that… Netflix was the nation’s favourite, ahead of Foxtel/Binge/Kayo. But it’s not all chill with the streaming giant after a recent downturn in the growth of new subscriptions… In response, Netflix last week announced a partnership with Microsoft to offer a cheaper subscription plan with ads. We’ll better understand where the company’s at when it releases its latest trading update tonight.

Business & Finance Technology

When chimpanzees catch a lurgy…

they look a lot like a miserable human. That’s the case for those in the chimpanzee enclosure at South Australia’s Monarto Safari Park – it’s been temporarily closed after the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) started to get around. It’s an illness that can cause a fever, runny nose, coughing and wheezing – and it’s become more common in Oz after a lull during the first years of the pandemic. Staff believe the chimps may have caught it from a visitor’s stray tissue because the zookeepers prevent any monkey business from transmitting viruses by wearing face masks and gloves when close to the animals. The zoo says their primate friends are on the mend after getting plenty of rest and mugs of honey/lemon and homemade soup. Chimpanzees and humans – not so different after all…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

A Missouri man is suing a US clothing retailer for refusing to honour a lifetime warranty on socks he purchased from them between 2014 and 2021. The company changed its policy in 2021, probably after they realised the ongoing financial implications of offering a lifetime warranty on socks…

The famous Batman costume worn by George Clooney in the 1997 film Batman & Robin is going to auction this week – nipples and all. If that isn’t weird enough, it comes assembled onto a life-size mannequin with a “hyper-realistic” model of the actor’s head.

And Ryan Reynolds paid tribute to his friend Will Ferrell on his 55th birthday with an interesting take on this famous scene from his 2008 film Step Brothers. It’s not an inch on the beautiful sounds the pair can make together

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Company Results – Netflix; Coca-Cola; Volvo; Johnson & Johnson

Start of Australian Clean Energy Summit (until 20 July) – Sydney

Birthdays for rocker Brian May (1947) and actor Benedict Cumberbatch (1976)

Anniversary of:
• the first US women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls NY, organised by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott (1848)
• the first appearance of Tom and Jerry under their own names in the cartoon The Midnight Snack (1941)
• the premiere of Mad Men (2007)
Depacito by Luis Fonsi ft Daddy Yankee becoming the most streamed song ever, played 4.6 billion times (2017)
• an archaeological dig in Kakadu National Park extending Indigenous Australians’ time in Oz from 65,000 to 80,000 years ago (2017)
• the death of Matthew Flinders, the cat-loving leader of the first circumnavigation of Australia (1814)

Squiz the Day

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