Squiz Today / 27 July 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 27 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your morning news pep talk. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“What God is gonna do to y’all is above my pay grade’’ 

Warned Brooklyn preacher Lamor Miller-Whitehead to a group of masked men who robbed him of US$1 million worth of jewellery during a sermon on Sunday. Retribution may be above his pay grade, but a fleet of luxury vehicles, designer suits, and diamond-encrusted chains are not…

Manly’s rainbow disconnection

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler apologised yesterday for the NRL club’s “significant mistake” of not consulting players about plans to debut a gay pride jersey in their match tomorrow night. This issue blew up on Monday night when 7 players told team officials they would not wear the shirt with rainbow colours where white stripes usually are and would boycott tomorrow night’s game against the Sydney Roosters. The club is going ahead with the plan – it will be the first time an NRL team wears a jersey to promote LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in the sport.

The players – Josh Aloiai, Toafofoa Sipley, Tolutau Koula, Christian Tuipulotu, Haumole Olakau’atu, Jason Saab and Josh Schuster – say the gesture is incompatible with their religious and personal beliefs. Coach Hasler says he’s worried about the group because “spirituality is a central part of their wellbeing”. But he didn’t back away from the aim of promoting inclusiveness, saying he was sorry for the “confusion, discomfort and pain for many people, in particular, those groups whose human rights we were, in fact, attempting to support”. Hasler has received high praise for his words, including from his former teammate Ian Roberts, a Sea Eagles legend and the first NRL player to come out as gay back in 1995. He “fully respects” the players’ call but says the episode is damaging for young people struggling with their sexuality and has called on the sport’s governing body to do more.

In an immediate sense, it ends with Hasler finding another 7 players to plug into his 17-man lineup for an important game for the team’s finals prospects. But the issue is set to simmer with the NRL considering the launch of a pride round next year. The thing to note is that 45% of NRL players are of Samoan, Tongan, Fijian and Cook Islands heritage – and many have a strong connection to church groups that frown on anything other than hetero ways of life. So standby… And the boycott isn’t without precedent – earlier this year, Muslim AFLW player Haneen Zreika opted out of the league’s pride round on religious grounds. Yesterday, a Christian Lobby spokesman said it’s “not inclusive to force someone to wear a political symbol.” But the sport’s chairman Peter V’landys is undaunted, saying the message has to be that it “doesn’t matter who you are, we are treated equally”. And as for the fans, well, the Manly jersey has sold out.


Squiz the Rest

Mother charged in Port Hedland tragedy

Margaret Dale Hawke has been charged with the murders of her 3 children in a fire at their Port Hedland home last week – she appeared in a Perth court yesterday. Hawke was not required to enter a plea against the 3 counts of murder and one count of causing criminal damage by fire. The 36yo was taken into custody last week after police found the bodies of the children aged 10yo, 7yo and 5 months old inside the family’s home after it went up in flames. An investigation into what happened is ongoing, and newly-appointed WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch could not confirm whether ​​the children were dead before the fire. In a statement last week, the family said the kids’ deaths were a “shattering loss”.

Australian News Crime

COVID’s getting around…

It feels like almost everyone has had some sort of lurgy in recent months, whether it’s COVID, the flu, a bad cold or some kind of nasty stomach bug. This morning, researchers say there’s a good chance you’ve had COVID – the latest round of analysis from a sample of blood tests has shown at least 46% of Aussie adults had been infected by early June. That’s almost tripled since late February, when it was thought to be 17%. Kirby Institute researcher Dorothy Machalek says it’s down to the international border reopening and relaxing restrictions like mask-wearing mandates. “We’ve also gone into winter, so the behaviour of people has changed – it’s gotten colder, so we’re inside more.” She says the rise isn’t unexpected, “but it does seem like a big increase.” If you haven’t had COVID – actually, there’s a good chance you have… About 40% of confirmed cases are asymptomatic, according to the research.


Russia squeezes gas supplies to Europe

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of orchestrating “gas blackmail” against Europe as it confirmed more supply cuts to its main export pipeline to the continent. Europe imported about 40% of its gas from Russia last year, but supplies through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline into Germany dropped to 40% capacity in June. And yesterday, that was cut even further to 20% due to alleged maintenance issues. Experts say Russia could be getting ready to turn off supply as the Northern Hemisphere heads into winter. That’s left many European nations already dealing with high energy prices to scramble to find enough supply. Overnight, European Union members have agreed to cut gas consumption by 15% over the next 7 months, although there are a lot of exemptions… Hungary, which has close ties to Russia, is the only country to reject the deal.

World News

Some nasty monkey business

There’s been a crime wave on the streets of Japanese city Yamaguchi in recent weeks with 42 people – including children, women and the elderly – falling victim to scratching and biting assaults. Blame has been laid at the door (or tree…) of some marauding macaque monkeys – although officials are unsure if the attacks are the work of a group or one rotten banana. The attacks aren’t just out in the open – some have happened after an animal has broken into apartments and schools by sliding screen doors or entering through open windows. Since the first attack earlier this month, attempts to capture the macaques with traps have been unsuccessful, and police patrols have failed to stop them. The next step is to shoot them with tranquiliser guns and remove them from the city. Once a vulnerable species, Japanese macaque numbers have recently increased. Experts say urbanisation + more monkeys = inter-species conflict.

World News

Reaching out to old friends

As we get older, it’s not uncommon to think about getting in touch with long-lost friends. It can be nerve-wracking to reach out to them after so long, but a new study found it is usually more appreciated than you may think. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh surveyed more than 5,900 participants to see whether they could accurately estimate how much their friends valued them reaching out and what the best form of communication was. They found those who initiated contact with an old mate significantly underestimated the recipient’s reaction. And rather than big gestures, a simple phone call, text, email, note or small gift was the best approach. And don’t write off Facebook just yet – it can be a powerful connection tool, as the cute reunion story of high school besties Steve and DeSande shows. Aww…

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Queensland researchers/food sorcerers have developed a strawberry that tastes and smells like a piña colada. We guess a strawberry daiquiri would have been too easy…  

Incredible footage has emerged of a massive sandstorm engulfing motorists in China’s Qinghai province last week. The phenomenon is not uncommon there due to the Gobi Desert in the north, but scientists say they are set to worsen due to climate change.

And a 600kg walrus named Freya has reappeared in Norway, where she is spending time napping on boats that can barely support her weight. Another wandering walrus called Wally is now thought to be in Latvia after he made headlines during his 6-week stint off the coast of Cornwall last year. What a life…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – CSIRO boss Dr Larry Marshall addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

PM Anthony Albanese meets with US Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Consumer Price Index, June

Company Results – Amazon; Rio Tinto

AIHW Report – Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2020-21

Victory Day in North Korea, marking the end of the Korean War (1953)

Anniversary of :
• the first tobacco being brought to England from Virginia (1586)
• Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolating insulin at the University of Toronto (1921)
• Bugs Bunny’s cartoon debut in A Wild Hare (1940)
• the Korean War armistice (1953)

Squiz the Day

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