Squiz Today / 29 June 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 29 June

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Get the news, get on with your day. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

8 / 19
6 / 13
12 / 21
8 / 14
7 / 18
7 / 14
21 / 29
-3 / 12

Squiz Sayings

“For everyday she wears her silver or gold because it is rough and tumble. She wears her diamonds at parties.” 

Said the founder of luxury pet brand Richie Paws Daniel Haddon about his cavoodle Penelope’s extensive jewellery collection. Maybe diamonds are a dog’s best friend…

Texas truck tragedy

“A migrant smuggling attempt gone wrong” is how authorities described yesterday’s discovery of an abandoned truck on a remote back road of San Antonio, Texas, with 46 dead and 16 dying adults and children. Authorities said the container had no air conditioning and there was no drinking water inside, and temperatures had reached 39.4C in the area where the truck was found. The survivors were said to be “hot to the touch” and suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the victims had families “and were likely trying to find a better life. It’s nothing short of a horrific, human tragedy.” The victims were from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. And last night, the San Antonio Police Department said 3 people were in custody. 

It’s the worst case of migrant deaths due to smuggling in the US. And it’s not so long ago that 10 migrants died while trapped inside a truck found in a Walmart carpark in San Antonio – that was in 2017. It has also brought back memories of the grim discovery of 39 dead Vietnamese migrants in a truck trailer not far from the port in Essex, England, in October 2019. In that case, 9 men were convicted in the UK and 19 were jailed in Belgium. While Essex is an entry point for freight, San Antonio is about 250km from the border – but it’s the closest major city to a big border crossing between the US and Mexico.

Oh yeah – a big one. And like this issue is here in Oz, it’s political. After former US President Donald Trump pushed to ‘build the wall’, Joe Biden promised a more compassionate approach. That’s seen record numbers of hopeful migrants from Central American nations fleeing poverty and violence attempt to cross America’s southern border. But experts say a pandemic measure put in place by Trump and kept by Biden to head off “mass uncontrolled cross-border movement” has pushed migrants into taking big risks to get into the US. Migrant advocate Domingo Garcia says it’s seen people “being thrown into the hands of human smugglers and coyotes who are willing to risk the lives of others for a dollar”. Biden tried to rescind the measure known as Title 42 last month but has been blocked in court by Texas and other border states.

World News

Squiz the Rest

Western leaders condemn Ukrainian shopping centre attack

G7 leaders have called a Russian missile strike on a busy shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk that killed at least 18 civilians a “war crime”. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said 1,000 civilians were believed to have been in the building when it came under fire yesterday and had no strategic value to Russia. The G7 leaders’ condemnation came as they wrapped up their meeting in Germany and started to make their way to a 3-day NATO summit in Madrid. Today’s summit will mark the largest-ever gathering of NATO members and allies, including Aussie PM Anthony Albanese. It’s expected that the meeting will approve an increase in its troops on high alert from 40,000 to more than 300,000. The summit will also cover further military assistance for Ukraine and security challenges posed by China.

World News

Maxwell sentenced

Disgraced former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in a US prison for helping disgraced former financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse young girls between 1994 and 2004. Prosecutors recommended a 30-55 year jail sentence after considering her clean record, but Maxwell’s legal team argued she should receive “well below” the recommended jail term. He took his own life in a Manhattan jail cell, and her people said she “should not bear all the punishment for which Epstein should have been held responsible”. The 60yo had maintained her innocence throughout the trial, but this morning she apologised to the victims. Maxwell said meeting Epstein was “the biggest regret” of her life. “My association with Epstein will permanently stain me,” she said, adding that she hoped her prison sentence would allow the victims “peace and finality”.


Scottish pride gets a wee push

That sound you can hear is William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace and Sean Connery stirring from beyond the grave… Both staunch Scottish nationalists, they’d be proud of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has laid out her plan for a vote on Scottish independence from the UK in October next year. That’s a thing because she does not have the explicit legal power to do that – it’s a power held by the UK Government, and so far, they’ve said no. Sturgeon reckons she can get around that issue by testing it in the Supreme Court. And if that fails, she says the next general election would become a “de facto referendum” – that poll is due in 2026. The last independence referendum was held in 2014 – the “no” side won 55% of the vote. This time Sturgeon reckons the nation’s onboard with ‘indyref2’ because Brexit and the pandemic have changed the game, and she says most Scots want to go their own way. 

World News

Making a lot of Census

Australia – there’s more of us, and we’re more diverse than ever. And for the first time, the Bureau of Stats has asked about long-term health conditions. There were 3 that more than 2 million people said that they had: 2.2 million people said they had a mental health condition, 2.1 million said they had arthritis, and 2 million people had asthma. Why it’s important that the Census picked it up is it will be possible for health researchers to analyse where/if there are hotspots and if it’s relevant for preventing/managing conditions. Our quirky data pick: 456,543 people aged between 25-34yo live with their parents – an increase of almost 17% since 2016. And a hat tip to the ABS marking the start of Wimbledon… They noted that Victoria has more tennis coaches than any other state – all 921 of ‘em.

Australian News Business & Finance

Elvis rocks the box office

Aussie director Baz Luhrmann’s biopic on the King of Rock ‘n Roll has overtaken Top Gun: Maverick for the #1 box office spot in Australia and the US. Elvis raked in $6.74 million across Oz in its opening weekend – the 2nd-highest debut for an Aussie film, just behind Luhrmann’s 2013 film The Great Gatsby. Elvis also exceeded expectations in the US, beating out Top Gun to claim $44.8 million in ticket sales. Movie buffs say The King has drawn in older crowds who have been slow to return to the cinemas since pandemic restrictions lifted – but in Oz, half the moviegoers were said to be under 44yo. It’s not all bad news for Top Gun – the film passed the US$1 billion mark in global ticket sales after 5 weekends. That makes it the most successful film of 2022 and the most successful of Tom Cruise’s career. Fans have shown him the money…


Apropos of Nothing

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga is charging US$225 ($325) for a pair of undies that have been compared to Bridget Jones’ infamous pants. And to add insult to injury, they’re dry clean only… 

A pair of Swiss artists have set up a ‘zero star’ hotel art installation. The latest iteration is situated on a roadside next to a petrol station in Switzerland, where for $491/night, guests are invited to spend a sleepless night reflecting on the world’s problems. Breakfast is included…

After celebrating in the UK, newlyweds Danni and Tyler Barnes sent a box ‘o stuff home to Auckland. Sadly, it went to the wrong address, and the recipient gave it to charity. Some items were found in a local op shop, but the item they really want back is the guestbook from their big day. “I just thought who on earth is going to want to buy that?!” asked bamboozled bride Danni.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.00am (AEST) – Soccer – Women’s Friendlies – Matildas v Portugal – Portugal

12.30pm (AEST) – Climate Change Minitser Chris Bowen addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

2.30pm (AEST) – Men’s Cricket – 1st Test – Australia v Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka

7.00pm (AEST) – AFLW Draft – Melbourne

10.45pm (AEST) – Wimbledon – Men’s Singles – Novak Djokovic v Thanasi Kokkinakis – London

TBD – Wimbledon – Men’s Doubles – The ‘Special Ks’ v Kwon Soon-woo and Aljaž Bedene – London

NATO leaders summit – Madrid

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, May

Inquest findings to be handed down into the deaths of Brisbane woman Hannah Clarke, her 3 children and estranged partner Rowan Baxter

Singer R Kelly due to be sentenced after being found guilty of racketeering and other charges – New York

2022 Rim of the Pacific naval exercises commence (until 4 August)

International Day of the Tropics

Anniversary of:
• Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London burning down during a performance of Henry VIII (1613)
• the birthdays of Australian gangster Joseph “Squizzy” Taylor (1888). He was indirectly involved in the naming of The Squiz…
• the start of apartheid in South Africa (1949)
• Marilyn Monroe’s marriage to playwright Arthur Miller (1956)
• the deaths of actors Lana Turner (1995) and Katherine Hepburn (2003)
• Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ wedding (2012)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.