Squiz Today / 07 September 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 7 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

News for every morning routine.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“And by the way, it is Grade AA salted butter…”

Said Linda Christensen, who is retiring after sculpting human heads out of butter for 50 years. That sounds like another fulfilling job idea that wasn’t suggested by our careers counsellor…


Three-year-old AJ Elfalak was found yesterday, 3 days after he went missing from his family’s rural property in the NSW Hunter region. He is autistic and non-verbal, and there were significant fears for his safety. But mid-yesterday, AJ was spotted drinking water from a creek less than 500 metres away from home – the video footage from the police chopper is quite something. AJ’s dad Anthony said the boy had suffered ant bites, nappy rash and scrapes from falling over, but the fact he is alive is a “miracle”.

AJ disappeared around noon on Friday – he had been playing with his brothers at home near Putty, southwest of AJ disappeared around noon on Friday – he had been playing with his brothers at home near Putty, southwest of Singleton. Since then, almost 400 police, emergency services and volunteers had been searching for AJ. His family said it was out of character for him to wander off and feared he had been kidnapped after a “suspicious” white ute was spotted by family members nearby when he went missing. That led police to seize a vehicle on Sunday as part of their investigation. But yesterday, Police Superintendent Tracy Chapman said AJ’s discovery in a gully was a “good news story”. He was retrieved and taken to his overwhelmed mum Kelly. And after devouring pizza and a banana, it was off to Maitland Hospital to be checked over. He is expected to return home today.

Not quite. NSW Police will now try to piece together what happened since Friday. Aside from looking at a white ute, Superintendent Chapman said CCTV footage from a local service station was seized and another property was searched after reports of sounds of a child crying and screaming. They are also looking into missing CCTV footage from the family’s home around the time that AJ disappeared. Those things are “part of our inquiries still,” she said. As for AJ’s family, they celebrated his return yesterday and thanked the police, volunteers and friends for their support. “Our family is together again. For that, we are grateful to everyone who has assisted in any way over the last 3 days,” a spokesman said.

Image source: AAP

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

NSW braces for the COVID peak

Image source: News Corp

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday said new COVID cases could peak at 2,000 a day “in the next week or so” with a spike in hospitalisations and demand for intensive care beds to follow. There are currently 177 people being treated in ICU in NSW, but modelling by the Burnet Institute shows that could rise to 560 by October. Yesterday, Susan Pearce from NSW Health said they had been “planning and preparing for this increase in cases since the start of the pandemic last year”. Also getting a look is the allocation of vaccine doses across Australia with the Delta outbreak seeing NSW get a large chunk of the supply of Pfizer vaccines since last month. It’s something other states are said to be worried about as the current outbreak continues in Victoria and the ACT.


Towards making women safe

A 2-day National Women’s Safety Summit kicked off yesterday, bringing together (virtually, of course…) government leaders and officials, experts, advocates, and survivors to consult on the way forward for ending violence against women across Oz. The summit was put together in the wake of former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins going public with the allegation that she was raped in Parliament House. Yesterday, PM Morrison said there is a culture in Oz that excuses, justifies and ignores gender inequality which drives violence against women. “We need to change behaviours and attitudes so that we stop violence before it starts,” he said. Neither Higgins nor Aussie of the Year Grace Tame was impressed by his take… With the current national plan running its course in June 2022, survivors and advocates are calling for more financial support and a target of reducing violence against women by 80% by 2031.


Sky’s blue over YouTube vids

Yesterday, the Greens-led Senate inquiry into media diversity regrouped to look at YouTube’s “unprecedented” week-long suspension of Sky News Australia from the Google-owned platform. The tech giant said misinformation about the pandemic, vaccination and COVID treatments saw the broadcaster muted for a week – a position rejected by Sky boss Paul Whittaker who said the claims were “frankly ridiculous”. Also up for questions was the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) over its role in policing misinformation in the news media. Former PM Kevin Rudd has been critical of ACMA for “allowing” Sky and others to run content he believes is inaccurate and damaging. The inquiry kicked off last year to take a broad look at the “diversity, independence and reliability” of Australia’s media. The committee reports on 15 November.

AusPol Technology

Getting chatty with the Taliban

As the Taliban tightens its grip on Afghanistan, the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) Ahmad Massoud said he’s open to starting peace talks. The group is made up of former Afghan security force members and local militias. The Taliban yesterday claimed to have taken control of the remaining pocket of Afghanistan – the Panjshir province. The northeastern region has been an NRF stronghold since Kabul fell to the Taliban last month, and the group says they remain in control. And speaking of talks, after meeting with the Taliban on Sunday, UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths said aid would soon be delivered to 18 million Afghans in need, which is almost half the population. #SquizShortcut

World News

Unpacking the holiday blues

Image source: Unsplash

It’s something many of us are feeling right now because we can’t go anywhere. But this is something else… If you’ve ever booked a trip and felt like the holiday is over before it began, you’re not alone. In a recent study, researchers looked at 510 Americans’ attitudes before the Thanksgiving long weekend, and it was those who were looking forward to it who got those feelz. Researchers say that’s because the more you look forward to something, the longer time seems to drag on before the event and the faster the event itself seems to go. It seems what a cranky neighbour from our childhood used to say was correct: you wait forever for something good to happen, and then it’s over. Her other favourite saying was “can you get me a beer, love” so, you know…

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Blue-tongue lizards have developed a resistance to the venom of the red-bellied black snake. That’s not because it’s super smart… A new study says it’s because they are slow and can’t outrun their predators.

Also slow off the mark are those who say they have one of Napoleon Bonapart’s signature bicorne hats. At least 200yo, the current owners recently found hair in the nogging lid they believe to be from the French revolutionary leader.

A New York home made of shipping containers has sold for US$5 million. Its top-listed feature: “New York City’s last permitted wood-burning fireplace”. Only in Brooklyn…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEST) – US Open Tennis – Novak Djokovic v Jenson Brooks – New York

10.00pm (AEST) – Soccer World Cup Qualifier – Australia v Vietnam – live on Network Ten

A leadership challenge for Victorian Liberals expected to go down today

ABS Data Release – Building Approvals, July (Additional Information)

Independence Day in Brazil

Threatened Species Day, on the anniversary of the death of the last Tassie tiger (1936)

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

Anniversary of:
• Australia observing a ‘day of humiliation’ and praying for rain during a bad drought. Rain started falling 3 days later… (1902)
• the start of the Blitz when Germany bombed London for 57 nights as the Nazis prepared for an invasion (1940)
• the shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur (1996)
• Tony Abbott becoming PM with the Coalition defeating the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor Government (2013)
• the death of rapper Mac Miller (2018)

Squiz the Day

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