Squiz Today / 21 December 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 21 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Our hat tip to busy mornings.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“A Christmas-time miracle.”

Is what Senior Sergeant Ian Pregnell called the rescue of 4 paddleboarders who went missing off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula on Monday afternoon. Strong winds and sea currents took the teens more than 20km off course. It’s easy to get blown away at this time of year…

Trump to face the music… maybe

Nearly 2 years after the attack on the US Capitol, a US House of Representatives committee has unanimously voted to refer former US President Donald Trump to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. It’s the first time a US Congressional investigation has made a criminal referral against a former president. They say he should be charged with 4 federal crimes, including insurrection, and a report detailing their thinking will be released later this week. But in short, the committee found that Trump instigated the attack, illegally provided “aid and comfort” to rioters, and that “none of the events of January 6 would have happened without him”.

So to explain the committee a bit… It’s a panel of 7 Democrats and 2 Republicans, and they’ve spent 18 months investigating the riots, which left 5 people dead and hundreds injured in the violence. They also looked into Trump’s “multi-part plan” to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss. Committee vice chair Liz Cheney – a Republican (aka from Trump’s party) – said they found him “unfit for any office”. She called his refusal to issue a public statement while watching things unfold on TV an “utter moral failure and a clear dereliction of duty”. If prosecuted and found guilty, Trump could face 20 years in prison, huge fines, and a ban from running for political office – but there are no guarantees that will happen… Congress can’t lay charges, so it’s up to the Justice Department to decide. But that’s not where it ends for Trump – he’s got other legal issues over his handling of classified documents, the campaign to get the election result overturned in Georgia, and there are scores of civil cases.

Trump says the investigations into him and his businesses are partisan “witch hunts” designed to stop him from regaining power, so his supporters may view this latest development as proof of those claims. But recent polls show his popularity is waning with many Americans – including amongst Republicans. Since announcing his 2024 bid last month, Trump hasn’t done much to further his campaign – unless you count the launch of an NFT collection… Polling shows him losing to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican presidential nomination, and he’s also trailing in a head-to-head match-up against President Joe Biden. With all that said, it wouldn’t be the first time Trump has overcome the odds

World News

Squiz the Rest

Weinstein convicted again

A Los Angeles jury has found Harvey Weinstein guilty of 3 counts of assault relating to an Italian actress known as Jane Doe 1 in the latest trial former Hollywood film producer. She said he attacked her in a hotel room in 2013. However, he was also on trial over claims made by 3 other women… He was acquitted on the charges relating to a massage therapist, and a mistrial was declared on the charges involving 2 other women after the jury could not reach a decision. Jane Doe 1 issued a statement saying Weinstein had “forever destroyed” part of her, and she hopes he “never sees the outside of a prison cell during his lifetime”. So to tally it all up, Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence in New York and could now face 24 years in jail in California with this guilty verdict.

Crime World News

Fiji has a new government

Frank Bainimarama’s nearly 16-year rule has ended with his Fiji First party outdone in negotiations to form a government following last week’s election. That sees Sitiveni Rabuka from the People’s Alliance set to step up after scoring the backing of the right-aligned Social Democrat Liberal Party to form a coalition government, along with support from the centre-left National Federation Party. Bainimarama came to power in a coup in 2006 and later won 2 elections, but he’s long been accused of restricting freedom of speech through media censorship and intimidation. And Rabuka is no stranger to a coup himself… He was the leader of Fiji’s first coup in 1987 and served as PM from 1992-99 – and he founded his new political party last year. Last week, Rabuka was questioned by police after he called for the military to intervene in the election over concerns about the electoral commission’s processes. But things ultimately went his way – he says Fijians have “voted for change, and we have given them that.”

World News

Mr Rudd goes to Washington

He’s a former prime minister and diplomat, and as he famously said in 2007, “I’m from Queensland, and I’m here to help.” Kevin Rudd continues the recent trend of appointing notable former politicians to the post of Australia’s ambassador to the US. He’ll replace former Liberal Senator/chief-of-staff to John Howard Arthur Sinodinos, who replaced former Liberal Treasurer Joe Hockey, who replaced former Labor leader Kim Beazley. It’s a plum posting, but it’s not a cushy job… There’s AUKUS, countering China in our region, and maintaining good vibes with America as our “closest global partner”. Given all that, PM Anthony Albanese says Rudd “brings unmatched experience to the role.” But he does have some baggage… Rudd has been critical of former US president Donald Trump, who might run again. And he’s not a fan of US-based media company News Corp, which is big in the US… Rudd says he’s “honoured” to get the job, and the Coalition has also given it a thumbs up.

AusPol Australian News

Putting nature back on track

After more than 4 years of negotiations, nearly 200 nations, including Oz, have signed a historic deal to protect and restore at least 30% of Earth’s ecosystems by 2030. The COP15 United Nations biodiversity summit in Montreal was considered the last chance to put nature back on track following warnings about the start of Earth’s 6th mass extinction event. The ‘30 by 30’ deal also includes a pledge to undertake urgent actions to halt human-caused extinctions of threatened species. The US and the Vatican were the only 2 holdouts, but others were also unhappy… A major sticking point was funding poorer nations’ conservation efforts, particularly in Africa. Disagreements aside, Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault called it “a moment that will mark history as Paris did for climate”.

Environment & Science

Tis’ the season for getting shaken and stirred…

Christmas cocktails? Yes, please… Some of London’s best bartenders have shared tips and recipes for perfect festive beverages, and we’re totally here for it. Salvatore Calabrese has the aspirational title of “drinks expert” and is known as “The Maestro” for his skills at the luxe Corinthia hotel. He reckons the #1 trick to serving an impressive drink is the right glass, saying “it’s the canvas of the drink”. Other tips include choosing the right ice, decorating the glass and garnishing the drink. Jake Burger, who co-owns The Distillery in Notting Hill, also says the thing many home bartenders get wrong is a little too much enthusiasm with their cocktail shakers… He says they’re only needed when using juice, egg whites or cream. “As an Englishman, it pains me to say it, but James Bond got it wrong. A martini should definitely be stirred, not shaken,” he says. And if booze isn’t your thing – or if you’re catering for alcohol-free drinkers – this guide is for you. Cheers…

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

If you’re in the market for a new ride, how about a 1953 Land Rover that formerly belonged to the Queen? With an estimated price tag of between $182,000-$272,000, you’ll need a big wallet full of the new King Charles bank notes to pay for it…

The sword fighting techniques depicted in movies and TV shows have been primarily made up after the medieval art was lost over the centuries, historians say. And not only that, but knights of yore weren’t so chivalrous, pulling dirty tricks on their opponents. Monty Python could have told you that…

There’s nothing like a game of Mr and Mrs to see how much your spouse knows about you, but a low score is particularly embarrassing if you’re US President Joe Biden on Drew Barrymore’s chat show. Luckily he’s much better at picking the right Christmas present

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.00am (AEST) – Memorial service for Constables Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold – Brisbane Entertainment Centre

50th anniversary of PM Gough Whitlam formally recognising and establishing diplomatic relations with China (1972)

Yule begins (on until 1 January) – and here are some tips on how to celebrate it

International Dalek Remembrance Day

Birthdays for actor Samuel L Jackson (1948) and French President Emmanuel Macron (1977)

Anniversary of:
• scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovering radium (1898)
• the premiere of the first full-length animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
• Psy’s pop hit Gangnam Style becoming the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube (2012). It’s now up to 4.28 billion…

And it’s 4 days until Christmas…

Australian News

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