Squiz Today / 23 August 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 23 August

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

A news update that fits in with you.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

11 / 21
6 / 12
12 / 25
7 / 14
6 / 18
3 / 10
19 / 35
4 / 11

Squiz Sayings

“I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get pasta”

Was the one-liner judged the funniest joke at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It means we know a few dads who could have a successful career in comedy…

Imran Khan cops a legal bouncer

Former cricket great/Pakistan PM Imran Khan has been charged under the country’s anti-terrorism laws after a weekend rally in Islamabad where he accused the police and judiciary of detaining and torturing his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill, who is being detained under sedition charges. Since being kicked out of office on 10 April, Khan has been staging popular anti-government protests and is blamed for rising political tensions across the country as he seeks to return to office at next year’s election. He could face several years in prison if it goes all the way to a guilty verdict in court.

Khan was ousted as Pakistan’s leader after a vote of no-confidence in his leadership. Criticised by his opponents for failing to revive the economy and tackle corruption, analysts said it had more to do with losing the backing of Pakistan’s powerful army and intelligence services. For his part, Khan claimed he’d lost support because of a “foreign conspiracy” connected to America and that he’d been singled out because he wouldn’t be “a puppet by the West”. The US State Department said there is no truth to his claims. Khan had been in office for 4 years, and was replaced by Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of 3-time PM Nawaz Sharif. No prime minister in Pakistan has completed their full term since independence in 1947, but Khan was the first to be ousted by a no-confidence vote in the Parliament. All the others were removed via military coup or another form of interference.

Yep – not that it’s stopped Khan, who has been campaigning hard, criticising the government and the military, and calling for fresh elections. And he’s been making progress with his PTI party doing well in provincial elections – but he says that’s seen the government target him and his people. Things came to a head on the weekend with the terror charges. Khan has not commented yet, but his lawyers have appealed for pre-arrest bail, which was granted. He is likely to appear before an anti-terrorism court in the capital on Thursday. Supporters have gathered outside his home and have vowed to stop his arrest. So, yeah, the political temperature in Pakistan is hot…

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

An ‘extraordinary’ fentanyl seizure

Authorities have seized a record amount of fentanyl after an illegal shipment from Canada was intercepted in Melbourne. A joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force uncovered an “extraordinary” 11.2kg of the highly addictive synthetic opioid – amounting to 5.5 million doses – hidden inside machinery along with $27 million worth of methamphetamine. With former seizures of fentanyl amounting to 30g or less, there are no precedents for calculating the estimated street value of the drug here. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and is the drug at the centre of the devastating opioid crisis in the US – and was responsible for music legend Prince’s death in 2016. The AFP’s Anthony Hall said it’s still “highly unusual” to find it misused here. Authorities say organised crime groups are behind the smuggling attempt, but no arrests have been made as the investigation continues.

Australian News Crime

Looking for a slam dunk for Greiner

Former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman has put his hand up to go to Russia to seek the release of Brittney Griner. She’s the WNBA champ sentenced to 9 years in prison earlier this month after she was convicted of possessing and smuggling cannabis oil into Russia at the start of the year when she arrived to play in their national women’s comp in the US off-season. Rodman has a history with strong man leaders, like Michael Jordan. And in the political realm, he has cultivated a relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the past decade, and in 2018, he showed up at former President Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim in Singapore. He’s also called Russian President Vladimir Putin “cool” after a 2014 trip to Moscow and says he knows him well. There are no restrictions on US citizens travelling to Russia, but yesterday Rodman said “I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl,” and he wants to go this week.

Crime Sport

A worsening worker shortage looms

Industries across the board are already struggling with staff shortages, and it’s set to worsen in several key sectors over the next 5 years. That’s according to new government research, which found Australia is facing a shortfall of civil engineers, nurses, chefs, electricians and aged care and childcare workers, among other professions. Our international borders opened back up in February, but our strict pandemic rules have seen potential skilled migrants hesitate to move here, experts say. A new employment forecast from Deloitte revealed that for every migrant arriving in Oz, there are 0.9 Aussies moving overseas – a significant increase on the ratio of 0.65 departures per arrival in pre-pandemic times. So there are growing calls for fast-tracked visas for tens of thousands of skilled migrants and a lift to the migration cap – 2 possibilities that will be discussed at next week’s jobs and skills summit.

Australian News Business & Finance

Star’s light dims ahead of Queensland probe

Star Entertainment yesterday posted a loss of $198.6 million for the 2021-22 financial year after suffering through lockdowns and border closures. But the biggest part of the red result was the writedown in the value of its Sydney venue by $162.5 million due to the “heightened regulatory risk” posed by a damning NSW inquiry held by the gaming regulator into money laundering claims and accusations of facilitating criminals. Several senior executives, including the CEO and chairman, resigned as a result of the investigation. The regulator will announce its decision about the company’s suitability to hold a casino license next week. Similar allegations plague Star’s casinos in Brissie and the Gold Coast, with a new investigation revealing a major Star shareholder is linked to Chinese organised crime. Public hearings for a 2nd independent inquiry in Queensland are set to begin today.

Australian News Crime

It’s that time again…

Many parents and carers of primary school-aged kids across the country likely spent the weekend in a scramble ahead of one of the most loved/dreaded national pastimes: Book Week. Held in Oz for the first time in 1945 after being imported from the US, the annual event has become a bit of a competition over which adult can best wrangle a glue gun – or summons their magic powers to conjure a fully-fledged character from household items to hand including a pair of red socks, a straw hat and a floral dressing gown. Book Week is touted as a way to get the kids into reading, and research shows that the key to fostering a love of reading in kids is giving them the time and freedom to read what interests them. And if you’re a desperate parent needing a last-minute costume that makes sense, here’s an excellent list of easy ideas.

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

Queen Elizabeth has eaten jam pennies – a type of crustless sandwich – for afternoon tea every day since she was a toddler, according to her former private chef. Her love of strawberries is well-documented – and everything’s better when someone makes it for you… 

A statistician has created a formula for predicting the likelihood and timing of children throwing a temper tantrum during a long car journey. He said the average child will throw a tantrum 70 minutes in, but providing food and entertainment can extend that. Good luck…

And just as we were starting to recover from the cancellation of skinny jeans, a new style featuring ‘denim leg warmers’ is an Insta smash-hit. A fast fashion addiction hotline couldn’t have come any sooner…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Chair of the Cyber Industry Advisory Committee/Telstra boss Andy Penn addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to release legal advice on Scott Morrison’s ministry actions

Public hearings begin into an inquiry into Star Entertainment’s suitability to hold a casino license in Queensland

Domain releases its latest capital house prices report

A private funeral is held for music legend Archie Roach in Warrnambool, Victoria

Company Results – Ansell; Boral; Zip Co; Kogan; Retail Food Group; Seven Group Holdings; Breville Group; Endeavour; Scentre Group

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

National Flag Day in Ukraine

Anniversary of:
• the Battle of Stalingrad – 40,000 died in the WWII battle (1942)
• the World Wide Web being opened to the public (1991)
• the release of Jeff Buckley’s only studio album Grace (1995)
• Hurricane Katrina forming over the Bahamas, later becoming a category 5 hurricane that devastated the New Orleans area of the US (2005)
• the first use of the hashtag in a tweet by US product designer Chris Messina (2007)
• the birthdays of actors Gene Kelly (1912)and River Phoenix (1970), and basketball star Kobe Bryant (1978)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.