Squiz Today / 25 January 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 25 January

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Squiz Today Podcast

From us, straight to your ears. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It’s never too late to try again.” 

Said 32-year-old Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet who beat former world #1 Simona Halep at the Aussie Open yesterday. Cornet is competing in her 17th Open, it was 63rd appearance at a grand slam tournament – and it’s the first time she’s made the quarterfinals. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place…

Cleo Smith’s abductor pleads guilty

The man accused of abducting 4yo Cleo Smith from a tent in Western Oz’s Pilbara region has pleaded guilty to a charge of child stealing. Local man Terence Kelly admitted to taking the girl from a campsite at the Quobba blowholes, near Carnarvon, on 16 October and holding her for 18 days at his home. Kelly was remanded in custody until his court next appearance on 25 March, when a date for his sentencing will likely be set. Local MP Vince Catania said the guilty plea was a massive relief for the small town. “I think this is the start of the healing process for the family … but also the community of Carnarvon and the whole of Western Australia,” he said.

Kelly made the guilty plea via video link from Casuarina Prison in Perth, where he’s been held since his arrest. Reports say the 36yo appeared solemn and spent much of the hearing looking down, except to say “guilty” when asked by Magistrate Ben White how he would plead. Kelly admitted to the brazen attack as her parents slept metres away. Following one of the most extensive missing persons investigations in Australian history, Cleo was rescued after 4 detectives stormed Kelly’s home in a midnight raid. Almost 3 months later, the details of why Kelly took the girl or how police solved the case have yet to be revealed in court. Kelly is also facing a new charge for assaulting a police officer the day after his arrest but is yet to enter a plea.

No, they’ve declined to speak publicly since their daughter’s safe return, other than issuing a statement thanking the community for its support. And then we learned last week that they’ve signed a deal with the Nine Network for almost $2 million for a sitdown interview, one of the largest deals in Australian TV history. Last week, The Australian spoke to leading child psychologist Steve Zolezzi (paywall), who said it’s not safe to interview Cleo about her ordeal because of the risk that she’ll be re-traumatised. Others have speculated that plans to film the interview have been thrown into disarray by Premier Mark McGowan’s decision to keep the state’s border closed. No date has been given for the interview to air, but pundits say Kelly’s guilty plea makes it more likely that it’ll happen sooner rather than later.


Squiz the Rest

Assange given the green light to appeal

The Aussie WikiLeaker’s legal avenues in the UK aren’t exhausted in his quest to avoid extradition to the US… To recap: Julian Assange is wanted in America to face 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse linked to WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of leaked military and diplomatic documents. He’s being held in prison in London, and just over a year ago, a district court judge rejected America’s request because Assange was likely to kill himself if held under harsh US prison conditions. US officials responded that he wouldn’t face the sort of treatment that would put his physical and mental health at risk, and last month, the High Court said that it was game on… Those assurances were at the centre of a new ruling by the High Court last night, giving Assange permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. His lawyers will now lodge the appeal, and experts say it will take the court a couple of months to decide whether to accept it. Note: in the UK, the Supreme Court is a rung higher than the High Court.

World News

A win for the Murugappans

Three high profile Sri Lankan Tamil family members can apply for new bridging visas to stay in Oz, a court has ruled. Yesterday, the Federal Circuit Court overturned the Commonwealth’s decision to prevent parents Priya and Nades and their 6yo daughter Kopika from applying for further bridging visas, saying it was procedurally unfair. Their current bridging visas are due to expire in September, but because 4yo Tharnicaa’s claim to remain in Australia is at the centre of ongoing legal wrangling, the family is being kept in community detention in Perth. Their supporters are hopeful the ruling will ultimately see the family return to the Queensland town of Biloela, but they are sceptical anything will happen until after this year’s federal election.

Australian News

Peng Shuai saga plays out at the Aussie Open

T-shirts reading ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ might be making more appearances at the Aussie Open after an online fundraiser to sell 1,000 of them exceeded its $10,000 goal yesterday. The fundraiser was launched after 2 activists were thrown out of the tournament on the weekend for displaying the slogan in support of the Chinese tennis star. There have been concerns for Peng’s safety since she aired assault allegations against a former top Communist Party official late last year. Tennis Australia (TA) defended the decision, saying political messages aren’t allowed at the tournament. But a handful of insiders have slammed the decision – including tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who accused TA of “capitulating” to China. As for the tennis, Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott are Australia’s last singles hopes after Alex de Minaur lost to Italy’s 11th seed Jannik Sinner in straight sets last night.


Aboriginal flag now free for all

After years of negotiation, the Federal Government has won the copyright to the iconic red, black and yellow flag from its creator Harold Thomas. Under the $20 million deal, he retains ‘moral rights’ over the flag, but he’s given up the royalties from flag sales. Those will now be put towards the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (aka NAIDOC). Last night, PM Scott Morrison said its use will be free, “but must be presented in a respectful and dignified way.” The ​​Luritja artist created the flag in 1970, and it was formally recognised in 1995, but its copyright remained with Thomas, and anyone who wanted to use the flag legally had to ask permission or pay a fee. And in recent times, WAM Clothing, a non-Indigenous company that had exclusive use of the flag on clothing, physical and digital media, was criticised after sending cease-and-desist letters to the AFL, NRL, and Indigenous organisations for their use of the flag. Thomas says he is grateful that his art “has come to represent something so powerful to so many.”

Australian News

Meet your Aussie of the Year contenders

2022’s Australian of the Year will be announced in Canberra tonight [rubs hands together…]. Among those with a chance is Indigenous rights advocate/Boomers captain Patty Mills. There’s also tennis champ/disability advocate Dylan Alcott -he can’t make the ceremony because he’s a bit busy ATM… And South Australian childhood vaccination researcher Professor Helen Marshall is another oft-mentioned contender. The full list is here. Also up for grabs are the Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and the Local Hero awards. National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand said the finalists were all “extraordinary” people, inspiring others “simply by doing what they’re passionate about.” And capping off a big year was 2021 winner Grace Tame – she announced her engagement to partner Max Heerey on the weekend. Aww… 

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

For the first time ever, the number of Aussies watching streaming services like Netflix and Stan have overtaken those who watch free-to-air television, according to new data. Still in the clutches of the old guard: news and sport.

The creator of 90s sitcom Full House Jeff Franklin has listed his Beverly Hills home for a cool US$117.6 million. It includes a hair salon, waterslide, and a shark tank. It’s also on the site where actress ​​Sharon Tate and 4 others were murdered by the Manson Family. So, you know…

Millie the dog became stuck in Hampshire mudflats as the tide rose. Knowing she had a taste for snags, rescuers ingeniously lured her to safety by tying one to a drone. In truth, if someone did that to us, we’d totally follow it too…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

From 12.00pm (AEDT) – Australian Open Tennis quarterfinals. Watch out for Dylan Alcott at 11.00am, Rafael Nadal at 2.00pm, Nick Kyrgios/Thanasi Kokkinakis after 3:30pm, and Ash Barty at 7.00pm

12.30pm (AEDT) – Federal Labor Leader Anthony Albanese addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.30pm (AEDT) – Announcement of the Australian of the Year – ABC TV

ABS Data Release – Consumer Price Index, December 2021

AIHW Report – Elective surgery waiting times 2020-21

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

A birthday for Ukrainian comedian & president Volodymyr Zelensky (1978)

Anniversary of:
• Antarctica being identified as a new continent by Charles Wilkes’ American naval expedition (1840)
• the Beatles hitting #1 in the US for the first time with I Want to Hold Your Hand (1964)
• first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Australia, from a returning traveller from Wuhan, China (2020)

Squiz the Day

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