Squiz Today / 14 May 2021
Squiz Today – Friday, 14 May
“The world's slowest getaway.”
Is what reports are calling the theft of a ride-on lawnmower in Cairns. The thing is, the culprit did outrun the owner (who was on foot) and was filmed cruising down the street, tinny in hand, before ditching the machine. Oh FNQ, you never disappoint…
TWO HIGH PROFILE WINS FOR THE REGULATORS
Crown Resorts could open the doors to its $2.2 billion Barangaroo casino on Sydney Harbour by the end of the year. That’s what the chairman of the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) says after the company and its potential suitor The Star agreed to introduce cashless gambling, stop courting international high-rollers and ban indoor smoking at its casino. ILGA’s Philip Crawford yesterday said Crown had “achieved a lot” since the findings of a damning inquiry were released in February.
UMM… WHAT INQUIRY?
Geez, you've got a memory like a goldfish… The NSW gaming regulator’s inquiry looked at Crown’s plans to open its brand new Sydney casino after serious money laundering claims and links to criminal syndicates took off in 2019. Former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin said Crown was "not suitable" to operate a casino in the state and needed a management overhaul if it was to get a license. Chief executive Ken Barton left the company, as did other execs and board members, and yesterday the regulator gave the company's new management team points for progress. "The old management, I reckon, wanted a fight," Crawford said. A lot is happening with Crown... Regulators will meet in the next fortnight to discuss 2 takeover bids by rival casino group The Star and US-based equity firm Blackstone. Crown is also the subject of 2 ongoing royal commissions in Victoria and Western Oz. Watch this space...
AND WHAT’S THE OTHER ISSUE?
Well, just because you asked… Australia’s biggest telco Telstra was yesterday fined $50 million by the Federal Court after it admitted to selling mobile phone products and plans to Indigenous customers in rural and remote communities who didn’t understand the T&Cs and couldn’t afford them. After an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the fine was Australia’s 2nd-largest penalty imposed under our consumer laws behind Volkswagen’s $125 million. “I am deeply and personally disappointed that we have let you down,” Telstra boss Andy Penn said. “We should have picked this up earlier.”
SQUIZ THE REST
HOME SWEET HOME
Thirty-eight Australian Indian Premier League players/coaches/commentators/umpires could be home as soon as Sunday, reports last night said. Cricket authorities are said to be close to finalising a deal with the NSW Government for the men to quarantine in Sydney and not the Howard Springs facility in the Northern Territory. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is reportedly footing the quarantine bill. The group left India last week, as COVID-19 cases continue to soar in the country, and have stayed in a small resort in the Maldives. Last Friday, PM Scott Morrison said the current ban on commercial flights between India and Australia will remain in place and be “reviewed shortly”, but repatriation flights into Darwin could resume tomorrow with one flight every 7-9 days. That’ll see around 1,000 of the 9,000 Aussies stranded in India home by the end of June. We can expect to hear more about the Indian border ban today and over the weekend…
ISRAEL PREPARES TO SEND TROOPS INTO GAZA
Israel’s military began stationing troops at the border of the Gaza Strip yesterday as tensions continue to climb despite international calls for calm. Israeli troops last entered Gaza en masse during a 2-month war in 2014, when more than 2,200 Gazans were killed. PM Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “continue acting to strike at the military capabilities of Hamas and the other terrorist groups active in the Gaza Strip”. The Palestinian Authority condemned Israel’s “military aggression”, saying it was “traumatising an already beleaguered population of 2 million people”. Militants in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel since Monday, and Israel has responded with devastating airstrikes in Gaza. At least 83 Palestinians - including 17 children - and 7 Israelis have been killed so far. Clashes also continued overnight on the streets of several Israeli cities between Jewish and Arab Israelis, prompting Netanyahu to announce “more powers to the police” and enforce curfews “as needed”.
TESLA TURNS DOWN BITCOIN
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has backtracked on the company’s stance on Bitcoin, saying it will no longer accept payments using the cryptocurrency. Back in March, the electric carmaker’s announcement that it will accept Bitcoin payments was met with criticism from environmentalists because of the energy-intensive nature of digital currencies. Wait, what? Earlier this year, a Cambridge study estimated Bitcoin mining uses more energy annually than the entire country of Argentina because the process needs big computers using stacks of electricity. Yesterday, Musk tweeted that Tesla had changed its tune due to the environmental concerns. The US$1.5 billion in Bitcoin the company bought in February will not be sold off but will be used “as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy”, Musk also said. The announcement saw a hit to the price of Bitcoin and Tesla shares, with the cryptocurrency losing 10% of its value yesterday.
AFLW CLAIMS FOUR MORE CLUBS
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan yesterday announced plans to expand the women’s league, increasing the total number of teams from 14 to 18. If the plan goes ahead, it will mean every existing AFL club will have an AFLW team, with Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, and the Sydney Swans expected to sign up for the 2023 season. "AFLW has significant momentum, and we want to keep that momentum and bring the power and the supporter base behind all 18 clubs before the end of 2024," McLachlan said. Next season's competition - which will start in December - will be increased from 9 rounds to 10. And there will be 3 weeks of finals after the league scrapped its controversial conference system last year. Not so happy about the announcement was Hawthorn President/former premier Jeff Kennett, who called the club’s exclusion from the upcoming season a “disgrace” and said the club hasn’t ruled out taking legal action.
ROCK ON, THE CLASS OF 2021
What do The Go-Go's, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters and Tina Turner have in common? No, they haven't all embraced a mullet at some point in their careers (although, maybe…). They're the newest inductees into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Turner, King and Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl have been acknowledged for other parts of their long careers. It’s the “most diverse list of inductees in the history of the organisation,” the Hall said. Not everyone could land a spot - missing out are Mary J Blige, Rage Against the Machine and Iron Maiden. Big deal for some, but not so much for Rundgren...
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
It’s redonkulous that Tina Turner hasn’t made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her own right until now. We feel very strongly about it after watching the brilliant new doco about her life on Foxtel/Binge - it was Simply the Best. Boom… Spoiler alert: Aussies played a big role in her career revival.
Buying jeans - it can be a traumatic experience. If you need something to get you started, The Strategist’s 30 Best Jeans for Women is an all-shapes-and-styles overview.
If you love risotto, but you're looking for something that's not so high maintenance, you'll be pleased to know Donna Hay has a tasty cheat version of cauliflower risotto - using risoni. Creamy and nutty, it’s manageable for a weeknight.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Birthdays for George Lucas (1944), Cate Blanchett (1969), Sofia Coppola (1971), Mark Zuckerberg (1984)
• British doctor Edward Jenner administering the first inoculation against smallpox, using cowpox pus (1796) #SquizShortcut
• the publication of Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway (1925)
• the deaths of Rita Hayworth (1987), Frank Sinatra (1998), B.B. King (2015) and Grumpy Cat (2019)
Repatriation flights begin for Aussie citizens in India
• the patenting of the world’s first machine gun (1718)
• the formation of the National Woman Suffrage Association, founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1869)
• Jessica Watson becoming the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world at age 16 (2010)
• the deaths of Emily Dickinson (1886), Robert Menzies (1978), Bud Tingwell (2009)
• the marriage of Marie Antoinette and future King Louis XVI of France (1770)
• the release of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds (1966)
• Anniversary of the death of Bob Hawke (2019)
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.