Squiz Today / 10 November 2021

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 10 November

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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“The incredible little battler 4BWRB”

Is how Clarke Gayford aka Mr Jacinda Ardern described a notable godwit. To explain, a godwit is a long-billed, long-legged migratory bird. And this particular godwit has been tagged with a radio transmitter so his migration can be tracked. This year, his efforts to get from Alaska to New Zealand have been epic

A grand Aussie Open farewell

Dylan Alcott, the most successful men’s quad tennis player of all time, will retire after the Australian Open in January. A long time world #1, Alcott has accumulated 3 US Open, 2 Wimbledon, and 3 French Open titles – and he’s won 7 Aussie Opens. This year, he became the first male player to complete a Golden Slam – a clean sweep of the major events + Paralympic gold in a calendar year. Before his tennis triumphs, Alcott won gold with the Rollers – our wheelchair basketball team – at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and a silver medal in London in 2012. And now, the 30yo says it’s time to wind it up because “I feel like I’ve done everything I need to do on the tennis court”.

Alcott was born with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord. It was successfully cut out when he was 3 weeks old, but the operation left him a paraplegic. And after a childhood of endless operations and teenage years of self-loathing, he says sport saved him. Tennis was his first love before basketball took him to Paralympic glory at 17yo. Then in 2012, a bloke with “a few drinks under his belt” at a function tried to pick up his chair, he fell out and severed an artery in his hand on broken glass. Months of recovery followed – and a switch to para tennis. And the rest is history, along with his locker room encounter with Roger Federer’s man bits… Looking forward, Alcott will be kept busy as an advocate for people living with disabilities, along with his burgeoning media career. He did win the Logie for Most Popular New Talent in 2019, after all… 

You betcha. And Alcott is planning to bring it. “The Australian Open changed my life … I owe it everything, and what better way to finish than in my home city in front of big, big crowds,” he said yesterday. Also looking forward to it is our other world #1 player, Ash Barty. “I hope we can put on a good show for the Aussie fans and particularly the people of Melbourne who have had a rough time with lockdowns,” she said earlier this week. A fully-clothed Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are also gearing up for the event. Still in doubt over his vaccination status: Novak Djokovic


Squiz the Rest

Deadly failures at Perth’s Children’s Hospital

The parents of 7yo Western Australian girl Aishwarya Aswath, who died at Perth Children’s Hospital on 3 April, say they are disappointed with an external review released by the state government yesterday. It does not give them specific answers about what led to her death, they say. In April, Aishwarya waited for treatment in the hospital’s emergency department for 2 hours before she died of sepsis, a life-threatening bacterial infection. The hospital started an internal review, but in May, an external investigation was launched after Aishwarya’s parents began a hunger strike. It found the hospital was understaffed, those on duty were “exhausted”, and there was “a cascade of missed opportunities” to provide care. The review made 30 recommendations, which will be “accepted and acted upon immediately,” WA Health Minister Roger Cook said. A coronial inquest will take place next year.


Hold your horses on kids COVID jabs

ATAGI – the government’s immunisation experts – want to see safety data from the US before giving the green light for Aussie kids aged 5-11yo to receive the Pfizer vaccine against COVID. The US last week granted emergency use authorisation for the age group, and trial data has found the vaccine was safe and effective. But with Australia hitting high adult vaxx rates (and a woop woop to NSW for reaching 90% yesterday…), the view is to wait and see how it goes in the US – including looking at whether there is any risk of rare complications. ”The timing isn’t clear, but it would probably be at least December, possibly January before we might start administering vaccines to younger kids,” said ATAGI co-chair Professor Allen Cheng. Between January and the end of last month, 7,000 young kids caught COVID, 244 were hospitalised, and none died.


Maxwell to challenge abusers in court

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is preparing to front court in New York later this month over her alleged participation in billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein sexual abuse of underage girls. And yesterday, her legal team has revealed how it is planning on defending her in court. They will question the accusers’ memories and will bring in experts in the field to testify in her defence, including psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. She has testified for the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Ted Bundy and OJ Simpson. Another expert will testify that the accusation that Maxwell committed “grooming-by-proxy” has no support in the scientific community. Maxwell’s trial starts on 29 November, and it is expected to last up to 6 weeks.

World News

Nothing good happens after 10pm…

according to a new UK study that looked at how sleeping habits affect people’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Using the sleep data of more than 88,000 people over an average of 5.7 years, researchers found that going to sleep at 10pm or shortly after that is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease. Those who fell asleep earlier or later had a higher risk – maybe because they miss important cues that help reset the body’s internal clock each day. That “increases inflammation and can impair glucose regulation, both of which can increase risk of cardiovascular disease,” the lead author says. Nothing was mentioned about the people who always go to sleep too late and get up at 3.30am to work on morning newsletters and podcasts, so we’ll take that as a win…


A princess returns

Yesterday, it was a royal drama from the UK. Today we bring you the latest from Monaco, where the return of Princess Charlene has made many people happy. The former Olympic swimmer/wife of Prince Albert/mother of Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella has spent a good part of the year in her homeland South Africa. It was meant to be a short trip, but a sinus infection prevented her from flying and saw her undergo several surgeries. And if you thought your 2021 was ordinary, her beloved dog was also run over… Nevertheless, rumours swirled that there was trouble in the royal marriage. Who’d want to be one of ‘em, eh?

World News

Apropos of Nothing

Thinking of a career change? The job of chief postie in Bombala in the NSW’s Monaro region is up for grabs – you just have to buy the post office first.

Who knew Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had a sense of humour? He’s pushed back – almost literally – after Leonardo DiCaprio got a bit close to his squeeze Lauren Sanchez…

And going viral on Insta is great, right? Not if you have to spend the rest of your life planting trees thanks to all the posting, liking and sharing…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEDT) – A meeting of APEC members’ trade and foreign affairs ministers hosted by New Zealand is held virtually

12.30pm (AEDT) – Former Prime Minister Paul Keating addresses the National Press Club on Australia’s strategic framework – Canberra

Company AGMS – Newcrest Mining, Coles Group

World Science Day for Peace and Development

National Ride2Work Day

Sesame Street Day

Anniversary of:
• the Dutch formally ceding New Netherlands (New York) to the English (1674)
• German engineer Gottlieb Daimler unveiling the world’s first motorcycle (1885)
• the premiere of Home Alone (1990)
• the birthdays of theologian Martin Luther (1483) and actor Brittany Murphy (1977)

And it’s a birthday for The Squiz’s farter-in-chief, Tucker

Squiz the Day

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