Squiz Today / 22 June 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 22 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you to the ‘good to go’ stage of the morning. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Please welcome Gail Warnings.”

Said ABC News Breakfast weather presenter Nate Byrne as he introduced his drag queen alter ego. She’s a real blow in… 

Higgins trial dogged by a magic word

The trial of the man accused of raping former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins has been delayed over concerns that the line between untested allegations and guilt had been “obliterated”. It follows Network 10 journalist Lisa Wilkinson’s speech at the Logies on Sunday night as she accepted the award for TV’s most outstanding news coverage or public affairs report for her coverage of the claims. The trial was set to commence on Monday, but ACT Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucy McCallum said Wilkinson’s comments and the subsequent coverage meant securing a fair trial for Higgins’ alleged attacker, former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann, was in doubt at this point in time. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

There’s a bit of a backstory… In April, Lehrmann’s lawyers unsuccessfully applied to delay or stop the trial because of the mountains of media coverage of the case. McCallum rejected that, saying she believed he would receive a fair hearing from a jury with the appropriate directions, but she warned the media to be careful. Yesterday, she said she was wrong to reject the defence team’s request to restrict the media’s reporting of the case. And a week out from the trial’s scheduled commencement, McCallum wasn’t happy with Wilkinson‘s Logies speech, an interview the next morning on WSFM radio, and widespread coverage on social media that “almost universally assume the guilt of the accused“. It was also revealed yesterday that Wilkinson spoke to prosecutors about the speech she planned to give if she won the Logie and was warned that the publicity it generated could lead to the trial being delayed.

No one’s happy, but the trial has been put on ice for a while. A further hearing will be held tomorrow to determine when a new trial date can be set – some reports are tipping October for it to go ahead. Prosecutors say they will ask the court to grant a non-publication order at the hearing. Until then, McCallum’s words for Wilkinson will be ringing around Australia’s newsrooms: “Mightn’t good journalism be mindful of criminal proceedings and remembering to insert the magic word ‘alleged’?”

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Lowe goes higher

Aussies should prepare for more economic pain in the coming months, but we’re not preparing for the R-word quite yet… Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe says a recession [insert shudder] is unlikely for Oz at this stage. He pointed to our lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, booming trade exports and low-interest rates as evidence of our “strong” economic fundamentals. But with inflation tipped to hit 7% (up from the current rate of 5.1%) and for it to stay higher than the 2-3% target rate for a couple of years, Lowe says get ready for a year of interest rate hikes. And while acknowledging the central bank has suffered “reputational damage” recently, Lowe disagreed with market predictions that interest rates will hit circa 4% by year’s end, saying that would hurt vulnerable Aussies and homebuyers.

Australian News Business & Finance

Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian food exports a ‘war crime’

That’s according to the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell Fontelles who has issued some of the strongest words yet on the global food crisis that has been developing since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Before the war, Ukraine was a major exporter of grain, cooking oil and fertiliser, but after Russia created a naval blockade in the Black Sea – Ukraine’s only shipping route – the country has been unable to get it off the docks. This has been a major factor in soaring global food prices and rising concerns about widespread hunger, particularly in Africa, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called “a hostage” of Russia’s war. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he will lift the blockade if Western sanctions are lifted. 

World News

Israel heads to the polls – again…

Israel is set to hold its 5th general election in 3 years after its fractured governing coalition agreed to dissolve the Parliament before the month’s end. No, it’s not like an aspro in a glass of water, but there is a lot of fizz… That’s because it could see former PM Benjamin Netanyahu returned to the top job, but he’s still staring down corruption charges that had a role in his ousting last year. The coalition that pushed Netanyahu out brought together 8 parties from across the political spectrum, but ideological differences saw the grouping lose its parliamentary majority, and things came to a head on Monday when a key vote didn’t get enough support. Outgoing PM Naftali Bennett said “we did whatever we could to save this government, not for us, but for the benefit of the country.” A date for the election is still to be set.

World News

Transgender ban considered by more sporting codes

On Monday, FINA became the first global sporting body to ban transgender women from competing at an elite level if they have gone through any part of male puberty. And yesterday, the International Rugby League banned transgender athletes, and other sporting codes confirmed they are looking at their rules. International soccer’s governing body FIFA says it’s taking a look, and World Athletics says it will have a position by the end of the year. President Sebastian Coe said he wants to protect the integrity of women’s sport. “If it’s a judgement between inclusion and fairness, we will always fall down on the side of fairness,” he said. But US women’s footballer Megan Rapinoe says inclusion is the issue, and there’s no evidence trans women “are dominating in every sport, are winning every title.”


If you can balance on one leg…

…then you’re probably in pretty good nick if you’re middle-aged or older, according to a world-first international study. Previous research has linked poor balance with a higher risk of stroke and dementia. But in a first look at the relationship between balance and mortality, 1,702 people aged between 51-75yo with a stable gait were given 3 attempts to balance on one leg for 10 seconds – something one in 5 participants wasn’t able to do. A decade later, 123 of those participants had died from various causes. After accounting for other factors, researchers found those who couldn’t balance were twice as likely to die within a decade from any cause than those who could. The research was purely observational, but findings were so stark that experts reckon a balance test should become an established feature of health checkups for older people. If you see someone standing on one leg today, say hi – they’re likely a Squizer…


Apropos of Nothing

Hong Kong’s iconic floating Jumbo restaurant has sunk in the South China Sea, its owner says. It’s an inglorious end for the restaurant which boasted high-profile clientele and was once featured in a James Bond film.

The world’s largest freshwater fish on record – a giant stingray measuring 4m and weighing nearly 300kg – has been caught and released in Cambodia’s Mekong River. Who knew stingrays were fish…

The Spanish city of Vigo has banned urinating, using soap/shampoo, and washing cooking utensils in the ocean off its beaches. There are no details about how it’s to be enforced – just beware of the warm patches… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, Dr Michael Fullilove, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Birthdays for actor Meryl Streep (1949), US Senator Elizabeth Warren (1949), singer Cyndi Lauper (1953), and author Dan Brown (1964)

Anniversary of:
• Galileo Galilei being forced to recant his view that the Earth orbits the Sun by the Pope (1633)
• Princess Elizabeth meeting her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece (1939)
• Nazi Germany invading the Soviet Union during WWII (1941)
• the deaths of actor/singers Judy Garland (1969) and Fred Astaire (1987)

Squiz the Day

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