Squiz Today / 14 December 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 14 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

The news starter for busy people. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“It speaks a lot to some of the really important parts of Australian culture and important events in Australian culture.”

Said National Film and Sound Archive curator Thorsten Kaeding of 2022’s additions to the Sound of Australia. Sure, there’s Julia Gillard’s ‘misogyny speech’, Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees, and Neighbours’ theme song. But check out Sister Janet Mead’s rock rendition of The Lord’s Prayer. Holy moly, what a backstory

Coming to terms with Queensland’s siege tragedy

Those involved in the deadly 6-hour siege in Queensland’s Western Downs region on Monday have been named. Two police officers – 29yo Rachel McCrow and 26yo Matthew Arnold – were killed “execution style”, while 59yo neighbour Alan Dare died when he went to help. Reports describe the terrifying ordeal that another 2 officers at the scene went through. Recent academy graduate Constable Keely Brough crawled through long grass to escape despite fires being lit to “smoke” her out. And Constable Randall Kirk sustained a leg injury but got away in a police vehicle. Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll called the deaths of the 2 young officers “absolutely devastating”.

Police have named former school principal Nathaniel Train (46yo), his brother Gareth (47yo) and his wife Stacey (45yo) as the 3 people who were shot dead by police during Monday’s siege. Nathaniel left Dubbo and his job in nearby Walgett in regional NSW in December 2021 following a heart attack. He was in contact with family members until October this year, and NSW Police kicked off a missing person investigation earlier this month. On Monday, the 4 officers went to his brother’s Wieambilla property (about 310km west of Brisbane) for a welfare check. Queensland MP Craig Crawford said he knew Nathaniel as a “mild-mannered educator” and says those who knew him are asking the same questions: “And the big one is why?” No motive for the attack on police has been confirmed, but reports say Gareth and Stacey were conspiracy theorists who weren’t fans of government authority. For example, he posted that the Port Arthur massacre was “a false-flag operation” to seize Aussies’ guns…

Constable Arnold’s mother Sue said the family was expecting their “beautiful boy” home today for Christmas and that words “cannot express” their devastation. Floral tributes have been growing at the Chinchilla Police Station, where the 2 slain officers were based. And in Brisbane, the Story and Victoria bridges were lit up in tribute overnight, with government buildings flying their flags at half-mast. PM Anthony Albanese said it was “a devastating day for everyone who loved these Australians”. And Coalition leader Peter Dutton – a former Queensland copper – said “the loved ones of those police officers who said goodbye for the last time yesterday, they will never ever recover from that.” As for what happens next, the 6 deaths will be investigated by Queensland’s coroner and the police response will be reviewed.

Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

Higgins settles

Just a week ago, former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins lodged the paperwork for a compensation claim against the Commonwealth and former ministers Linda Reynolds and Michaelia Cash. And overnight, her legal team confirmed a confidential deal was struck after a day of mediation. Higgins alleged she was attacked by her colleague Bruce Lehrmann at Parliament House in 2019, but the criminal case against him ended in October after jury misconduct, and it’s been confirmed that a retrial won’t be pursued because of concerns for her mental health. Reports say Higgins wanted $2.5 million for future economic loss and damages/expenses of circa $500,000, but the final figure to be handed over has not been disclosed. Lehrmann has always maintained his innocence and is said to be considering legal actions, including a compensation claim against the Commonwealth.


Foreigners free to get frisky in Bali

According to local officials, foreigners travelling to Indonesia won’t be affected by the controversial new extramarital relations ban. The new criminal code passed last week by Indonesia’s lawmakers was said to apply to citizens and foreign visitors and could see those caught bumping uglies outside of marriage jailed for up to a year. But with tourism contributing massively to Indonesia’s economy, government spokespeople say visitors “did not have to worry” about the new laws because charges must be based on police reports lodged by someone’s spouse, parents or children. And yesterday, Bali Governor Wayan Koster backed that, saying foreigners visiting or living on the island won’t have their marital status checked. “Bali is Bali as usual”, he said. So time to party, then…

World News

Fijians set to vote

They’re going to decide whether PM Frank Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party will get another 4-year term in office and become the country’s longest-serving leader – or if his arch-rival Sitiveni Rabuka from the People’s Alliance Party will rain on his parade. Both are former military strongmen and coup makers – and both say they’ll adhere to the rules. That’s in question because it’s been an interesting campaign… Candidates have been arrested, and there were claims of misconduct against the Attorney-General over an incident at the printers. “The results of the election and the subsequent handling of those results will further test Fiji’s democracy and the commitment of security forces to the rule of law,” say researchers from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. More than 600,000 people have registered to vote for 350+ candidates competing for 55 seats in parliament. And the Multinational Observer Group (MOG) led by Australia will be there to keep an eye on things.

World News

FTX founder arrested in the Bahamas

Just 24 hours before he was due to testify before US Congress over the downfall of his multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency exchange platform, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas yesterday. Reports say he’ll be extradited to the US after prosecutors filed criminal charges against him, including wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering. The 30yo stepped down as company CEO last month after FTX filed for bankruptcy as traders rushed to withdraw US$6 billion from the platform, and rival crypto exchange Binance backed out of a rescue deal at the last minute. Since then, it’s emerged Bankman-Fried secretly used US$10 billion in customer funds to prop up his other businesses, and then there’s at least US$1 billion that’s gone missing… As a result, it’s estimated over one million people have lost their crypto investments. The disaster has also caused Bitcoin and other digital assets to plummet, prompting calls for greater industry regulation.

Business & Finance

Netball gets a new look

Netball Australia has pivoted on its longstanding uniform code, saying dresses will no longer be mandatory across all levels of the sport. New rules that come into effect on 1 January next year say dresses remain optional, but other choices – singlets, bodysuits, short sleeve or long sleeve shirts, skirts, shorts and long pants, head coverings – are here if players need… The aim is to improve inclusivity and comes after a push by Netball NSW. They introduced uniform options last year following a 2020 review led by netball great Liz Ellis that found the mandatory dresses were turning some away from the sport. “Netball is ever-evolving, and we need to reflect this in all aspects of our game, including uniform choices,” Netball Australia’s Glenn Turner said. Still excluded: the long-nailed…


Apropos of Nothing

If you’re into cray, it’s your lucky day… Australia’s largest lobster company says it’s a good season for the shellfish, with more than 1.2 million being distributed across the country in the weeks leading up to Chrissy. It’s got something to do with WA’s crayfish migratory season – all we know is that it means [insert chef’s kiss]…

Two 4-legged friends gifted to South Korea by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have found their furever home… After a standoff over who would cover their food and vet bills, they’re on their way to run free – kind of – at a zoo in the southern city of Gwangju.

And if you require some animal-themed light relief, the Comedy Wildlife Photography winners for 2022 have been announced. As people who value their sleep, our top pick has to be the owls looking grumpy about sharing a bed…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.00am (AEDT) – Soccer – FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals – Argentina v Croatia – Qatar

9.30am (AEDT) – Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe delivers a keynote address at the AusPayNet Annual Summit – Sydney

Fiji general election

ABS Data Release – Employee earnings, August

Company AGM – Westpac

Monkey Day

Birthdays for Sophie Monk (1979) and Vanessa Hudgens (1988)

Anniversary of:
• the deaths of Vlad the Impaler (1476) and George Washington (1799)
• the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where 20 children and 6 adults were killed (2012)

Squiz the Day

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