Squiz Today / 31 August 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 31 August

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

Squiz Today Podcast

Busy people’s news starter. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

11 / 20
6 / 16
14 / 24
7 / 15
7 / 22
8 / 16
23 / 33
4 / 17

Squiz Sayings

“I went 38 miles down the river without standing up in that pumpkin and my knees still hurt.”

Said Nebraskan Duane Hansen who spent 11 hours bobbing down the Missouri River with an esky full of beer in a home-grown gourd named ‘Berta’ to celebrate his 60th birthday. That’s  squashed a world record for ‘the longest journey by pumpkin boat’ – which really exists… 

Chris Dawson found guilty

It was one of the most anticipated criminal trials in recent times, and yesterday former teacher and rugby league player Chris Dawson was found guilty of murdering his wife Lynette on or about 8 January 1982. Dawson’s 10-week trial was held without a jury to ensure proceedings weren’t tainted by the extremely high levels of media coverage or the long delay in charging him with his wife’s murder. And yesterday, Justice Ian Harrison said he was satisfied that Dawson killed Lyn, disposed of her body, and then lied about it for 40 years.

Well, Harrison said a lot yesterday – it took him almost 5-hours to declare “guilty”… But long story short, he believes Lyn is dead and “did not voluntarily abandon her home” on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. That’s a rejection of Dawson’s lawyers’ argument that Lyn abandoned their 2 young daughters and her marriage. Harrison said it was clear she had a “strong maternal bond with her daughters”, and there was “scant evidence” that she had packed for or could fund a new life. He added that he didn’t believe Dawson’s evidence that Lyn called him in the days after her disappearance or alleged sightings were true. So why does Harrison think Dawson did it? To keep his relationship with their teenage babysitter/former student/future wife, JC. He’d developed a “possessive infatuation” with her, Harrison said, and it wasn’t possible to be with her with his wife in the picture.

Dawson’s lawyer Greg Walsh said his client was “obviously shocked, he’s upset, he wanted me to ring his wife Sue.” He added that he’s “not well and he’s been suffering from cognitive problems.” Dawson is likely to appeal his conviction, and a hearing on bail will be held tomorrow. After the verdict yesterday, his twin brother Paul clashed with the awaiting media and pushed a cameraman, which saw the police step in. Headley Thomas, the journalist from The Australian whose Teacher’s Pet podcast cast a spotlight on the case in recent years, said Dawson may have convinced himself he’d done nothing wrong. “I think he’s been scheming and manipulating and lying. For at least 40 years. And I hope that he is appropriately punished for it.” As for Lyn’s family, her brother Greg Simms pleaded with Dawson to reveal the location of her remains. “The journey is not complete. She is still missing. We still need to bring her home,” he said outside court.

Australian News Crime

Squiz the Rest

Time for iso to be reduced?

National Cabinet will meet today, and top of the agenda is a proposal to reduce the mandatory COVID isolation period from 7 days to 5 – a move supported by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is more circumspect, saying that any decisions must be based on medical advice. While Perrottet and Andrews remain at odds over iso, they are on a joint ticket on extending pandemic pay for workers who don’t have sick pay to stay home with COVID if mandatory isolation rules are reconfirmed today. And they have joined forces to each establish 25 bulk-billed/urgent care clinics to alleviate the pressures on emergency departments. The clinics will complement a similar federal trial promised by Labor at the election. And faster than you can say ‘Kevin Rudd’s Super Clinics’, some experts say it won’t be enough to address the many issues facing the states’ stressed hospital systems.

Australian News Health

Ukraine tries to take back the south

After vowing for months to take back its southern territory from Russia, Ukraine has launched a major counter-offensive in the southern Kherson region. It was the first area to fall to Russian forces after the invasion began in February, and Ukrainian troops have spent recent weeks trying to cut off Russia’s main supply routes using sophisticated Western-supplied weapons. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been tight-lipped on the details but says his troops have managed to break through the front line – a claim Russia denies. And not far from there, a team of nuclear experts will be paying a visit to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant later this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed yesterday. Ukraine and Russia have denied responsibility for dangerous shelling near the site, raising the alarm for a serious nuclear disaster.

World News

Confidence dims on energy crunch

With many Aussies receiving a rude energy bill shock in recent weeks, consumer confidence in the country’s energy market has plunged to its lowest levels on record, according to advocacy group Energy Consumers Australia. The price of coal and gas has soared in the wake of the Ukraine war and faltering coal-fired power plants in recent months, and that’s driven up household energy bills across the country. That’s all led to a plunge in consumer sentiment, with 53% of survey respondents saying they felt they were getting value for money this month, down from 62% in July. A similar fall was noted for gas customers. With experts warning of more price hikes over the year, calls have grown for governments to help make homes more energy efficient.

Australian News Business & Finance

Putting for dough

He’s the biggest signing to the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit… Australia’s Cameron Smith – the world #2 – will turn his back on the PGA and join the Greg Norman-led competition that is paying participants millions more in prizemoney. Add a sign-on bonus of a reported $145 million, and it’s a big payday for the talented/mulleted 29yo Queenslander. This year’s British Open winner is a big signing for the challenger comp as the highest-ranked player to join so far. Team LIV has struggled to get the top 10 on board, but it has high-profile players, including Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Overnight, Smith said he’s signed on because the schedule is good and he can spend more time in Oz – and the money was “definitely a factor in making that decision. I won’t ignore that or say that wasn’t a reason.” Players who ‘defect’ to LIV have been banned from future PGA events – a decision that was recently upheld in a Californian court.


Meghan moving on – kind of…

It was meant to be an interview to promote her new Spotify podcast Archetypes, but it’s turned into another peek into the familial fracture between Prince Harry and the royal family. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has talked to American publication The Cut about their life after 3 years of drama and the transition to a place where they own their lives – and their personal brands. But the family stuff is never far away… “Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process.’ It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision,” she said. As for what it meant to marry a royal, she says she was told by an unnamed South African actor “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.” Long story short, it’s a good read for anyone dying for their next fix of The Crown


Apropos of Nothing

A new survey has found that eating in bed is a dating dealbreaker for 38% of young adults, even though 40% of those surveyed admitted to doing it themselves. Nobody wants a crummy experience in bed…

French homeowners have been caught out by an artificial intelligence program that discovered 20,000 undeclared swimming pools, each of which owed an average of $290 in pool tax. Authorities are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of an extra $60 million in revenue in 2023 when they will also start looking for illicit extensions, patios and gazebos.

And overnight babysitters are in high demand among European jet-setters keen to hit the nightclubs sans children. Depending on how hard the adults party, a ‘disco nanny’ can be employed well into the afternoon…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEST) – US Open Men’s Singles – Rafael Nadal v Rinky R. Hijikata

11.00am (AEST) – US Open Women’s Singles – Naomi Osaka v Danielle Collins – New York

12.30pm (AEST) – Vice-Chancellor and President of Sydney University Professor Mark Scott addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

National Cabinet meeting – Sydney

ILGA due to hand down its final report on Star Entertainment’s Sydney casino’s suitability to hold a licence

National Days for Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan and Trinidad and Tobago

International Overdose Awareness Day

International Day for People of African Descent

National Meals on Wheels Day

La Tomatina tomato-throwing festival in Buñol, Spain

Birthdays for musician Van Morrison (1945), actor Richard Gere (1949), and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (1985)

Anniversary of:
• the Irish Republican Army (IRA) declaring a ceasefire in 1994, which led to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998
• the deaths of Arthur Phillip (1814) and Princess Diana (1997)

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.