Squiz Today / 03 April 2024

Squiz Today – 3 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 11 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“How is this here?”

Asked one shopper who discovered a $949 Gucci wallet on discount department store BIG W’s online marketplace. What cost of living crisis? 

Israel’s war hits home

The Squiz

Australian aid worker Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom has been killed in central Gaza along with 6 international colleagues after their vehicles were targeted by an Israeli airstrike on Monday. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the “tragic” event was “unintentional” and that his government will do everything “to ensure it never happens again”. Frankcom worked for the food charity World Central Kitchen (WCK), distributing aid supplies to civilians, and she was on her way to Rafah when the group was hit by a missile. The 43yo worked in humanitarian aid for many years, including in Oz during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. WCK confirmed the deaths on X (aka Twitter) saying, “humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER.” 

What’s been the response?

PM Anthony Albanese has asked for a phone call with Netanyahu to discuss the incident. “We want full accountability for this. This is a tragedy that should never have occurred”, he said of the attack, which also killed citizens of the United Kingdom, Poland, Palestine, and a dual US/Canadian. He reiterated that the Australian Government supports a “sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza. Overnight, Netanyahu acknowledged his forces had killed innocent people. “This happens in wartime. We are thoroughly looking into it…and will do everything to ensure it does not happen again,” he said. There’s been an outpouring of grief from Frankcom’s friends who say she “risked her life many times to help those in dire need”, and her family says she leaves behind “a legacy of compassion”. 

What else is happening?

A lot… Iran has vowed revenge after an Israeli airstrike on its consulate in Syria killed at least 11 people, including 2 generals. Israel has escalated its targeting of Iran as it provides money and weapons to Hamas in Gaza. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the attack violated “all diplomatic norms and international treaties”. Also making headlines is Israel’s temporary ban on the Qatari-owned news agency Al Jazeera, with Netanyahu promising to “immediately” shut down its Israel office. He’s called the media outlet a risk to national security – it’s part of a long-running feud between Netanyahu and the network. The US has expressed concerns over the move, saying freedom of the press is “critical” as foreign journalists are banned from Gaza, meaning Al Jazeera staff had been some of the only people reporting on the ground.

Australian News World News

Squiz the Rest

Just in the nick of time…

Former US president Donald Trump has made a $269 million bond payment, avoiding several of his real estate assets being seized by the state of New York. Trump, 2 of his sons and several Trump Organisation executives were found guilty of fraud by misrepresenting the value of the company’s property portfolio over the decade before his first presidential run. They were originally told to pay $700 million, and like the time in the ‘90s when we ran up a phone bill by making long-distance phone calls to friends during the school holidays with no way to pay our parents back, Team Trump was fretting about what would happen next… The court ended up rubber-stamping a reduced amount, and that payment has now been made. If only Trump’s Truth Social media platform was impressing the markets… 

World News

A defamation decision gets delayed

Less than 2 days before Federal Court Justice Michael Lee was due to make his ruling in former political staffer Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation case against Network Ten/presenter Lisa Wilkinson, the case has been reopened. A last-minute hearing was held last night after Ten’s lawyers filed an emergency application over the weekend, citing new evidence from former Seven Network producer Taylor Auerbach. He worked on Lehrmann’s tell-all interview on Seven’s Spotlight program last year and claims Lehrmann leaked confidential text messages from Brittany Higgins obtained via subpoena during Lehrmann’s criminal trial. Ten’s lawyers say, if proven, that would be an “outrageous contempt of court”. Lehrmann has denied the leak and objected to reopening the case. But Justice Lee ruled in Ten’s favour – Auerbach will give evidence on Thursday, and a decision in the case will be delayed until next week.

Australian News

Money, money, money

If you’ve been kept awake at night wondering how the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum campaign was funded (neither have we…), the Electoral Commission has revealed the details. Campaigns must reveal their expenditures on the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ sides, and the names of donors making contributions over $15,200 must be declared. So down to tin tacks – the ‘Yes’ side spent more than $60 million, which is a lot more than the ‘No’ campaigners’ $25 million. Of that ‘Yes’ funding, the report shows many of our biggest companies contributed lots of dosh. Prominent ‘No’ campaigner/the Coalition’s Indigenous Affairs spokesperson Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said the chapter should “send a clear message” to corporate Australia that “they should focus on providing for their customers, not telling them what to think”.

AusPol Australian News

Remembering a legendary US veteran

Lou Conter, the last survivor of the bombing on the USS Arizona in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbour, has died in California aged 102yo. Conter was on the deck when the warship was bombed by Japanese aircraft on 7 December 1941, and he witnessed a bomb hitting the ship, setting off the million pounds of stored gunpowder. That set the ship alight and ultimately saw it sunk. “Guys were coming out of the fire, and we were just grabbing them and laying them down,” he said. Conter was one of 93 crew aboard who survived that day – 1,177 sailors on the Arizona died, which was almost half of the 2,403 Americans killed. Each year, more than 2 million people visit the site of the USS Arizona – it sits just under the water, and it’s the resting place of 1,102 of the American sailors who died there.

World News

Justice for seagulls

There’s nothing like a day at the beach rounded off with some fish and chips – until a massive seagull swoops in on your delicious fried food. Rather than be annoyed, scientists say we should be impressed by the intelligence and charisma of the thieving birds… That’s because seagulls are becoming more wiley in their hunt for food as they’re being pushed into living alongside humans as the amount of natural space dwindles. They’re also grappling with diseases like bird flu and decreasing fish stocks (live fish that is, not your battered lunch). And in a major shocker – it turns out “seagulls” aren’t actually a species – there are over 50 types of gulls that we mistakenly refer to as one. So next time you feel your blood boiling about these “sky delinquents” nicking your hot chips, take a breath and instead admire the majesty of these crafty critters.

Environment & Science Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing – Expensive real estate edition

If you’ve got a sea change on your mind and a healthy budget, why not snap up Victor Island in the Whitsundays? It’s on sale for the “bargain” price of about $2.75 million – helipad included… 

If an international escape’s more your thing, Puerto Rico’s most expensive home has just hit the market. For about $65 million, you can live a Latin dream in a luxe penthouse by the sea – meditation space included… 

Or perhaps you’re thinking about the afterlife like tech investor Anthony Jabin? He’s forked out over $300,000 for a burial crypt close to Marilyn Monroe’s. Only one problem – Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is next to the actress, making for a very odd graveyard sandwich…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.30am (AEDT) – NSW Premier Chris Minns to address the COSBOA National Small Business Summit, followed by Federal Opposition leader Peter Dutton – Sydney

9.30am (AEDT) – Brett Button, Hunter Valley bus crash driver, back in court for possible plea – Newcastle

12.30pm (AEDT) – Rosie Batty will address the National Press Club on the national domestic violence crisis – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Building Approvals, February; Lending Indicators, February; Population Projections to 2071

World Party Day  

National Walking Day

Birthdays for Jane Goodall (1934), Alec Baldwin (1958), Eddie Murphy (1961), and Ben Mendelsohn (1969) 

Anniversary of:

the birthdays of actors Doris Day (1922) and Marlon Brando (1924)

the first mobile phone call made in New York by a Motorola employee (1973)

the publication of the Panama Papers (2016)

Squiz the Day

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