Squiz Today / 08 November 2021
Squiz Today – Monday, 8 November
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Squiz Today Podcast
Making Monday’s news easy-peasy
Today’s listen time: 9 minutes
“We must all pull together and drive for the line.”
More questions than answers in Houston crowd-crush
Eight people died and 300 were injured when a 50,000-strong crowd surged towards the stage at the start of a Travis Scott performance in Houston, Texas. Authorities are investigating why the crowd was pushed forward at the Astroworld Festival on Friday night local time. Footage posted to social media shows fans chanting “stop the show” while Scott is performing, and at one point, he asked security to help someone who had collapsed. However, his performance went on for some time, leading concert-goers to question if he knew the severity of the situation as it unfolded.
A press photographer said the crowd was aggressive all day, and a music fan said that as a timer clicked down to the start of Scott’s performance, the crowd pushed forward. Music editors said Scott’s performances are known for being high-energy and that he “really tries to rile up the crowd”. Crowd-crushes are rare with lessons learnt from the tragedies of the last 4 decades. In this case, authorities are also investigating reports that someone in the audience “was injecting other people with drugs.” That included a security officer “who felt a prick in his neck”, fell unconscious, and was revived with a dose of the opioid antidote naloxone. Authorities are looking into that, along with the crowd management measures used close to the stage. Reports say the venue can hold 200,000 people, but attendance was restricted to 50,000.
UMM CAN I ASK WHO TRAVIS SCOTT IS?
Sure, there’s no judgement here. Well, maybe a little bit… He’s a 30-year-old US rapper, singer and music producer from Houston who has been nominated for a Grammy award 8 times. His professional calling card is his 2018 album Astroworld, which the festival is named after. Pharrell, Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone and Lil Wayne have all performed there in previous years. Scott’s personal situation: he’s Kardashian krewmember Kylie Jenner’s better half, father of Stormi, and the couple have another on the way. He tweeted that he is “absolutely devastated by what took place”.
Squiz the Rest
Iraq’s PM survives assassination attempt
Mustafa al-Kadhimi is unhurt, but 7 security guards were injured when an explosives-laden drone attacked his home in Baghdad yesterday. He lives in the Green Zone of the capital – a heavily fortified area that includes many government buildings and foreign embassies. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but there have been simmering tensions since last month’s parliamentary election. The pro-Iran Conquest (Fatah) Alliance lost about 30 seats – a result its supporters have taken to the streets to reject. On Friday, security forces shot at protestors as they made their way to the Green Zone, killing one man. PM al-Khadimi has ordered an investigation into who violated orders not to open fire. The US has condemned the incident and offered its assistance with investigating who is behind the attempt on al-Khadimi’s life.World News
Race for free petrol behind West African tragedy
That’s what witnesses say is behind the deaths of at least 98 people in Sierra Leone after a fuel tanker exploded in the capital of Freetown. The tanker collided with a truck on a highway as it was entering a petrol station to deliver its fuel. The drivers tried to warn those nearby to stay away from the leaking fuel, but reports say motorbike-taxi riders nearby started collecting the leaking fuel, causing a traffic jam. That led to a bus and vehicles on the road, nearby shops and market stalls going up in flames. “It’s a terrible, terrible accident,” said Brima Bureh Sesay, the head of the nation’s National Disaster Management Agency, and the government has declared it a national disaster.World News
Biden’s in the money
It’s taken more time than US President Joe Biden wanted, but the House of Representatives yesterday passed a US$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. That’s $1.6 trillion Aussie dollars, which is equal to about 10 months of our nation’s total economic output… Calling it a “blue-collar blueprint to rebuilding America”, the money is earmarked for COVID-recovery initiatives to create jobs, improve broadband connections, water supplies and other public works. It’s been a bitter fight within Biden’s Democratic party to get it done, and it’s not over yet…Part 2 is an even larger US$1.85 trillion package of spending on health, family and climate change programs – that will go to the vote at the end of the month. Biden’s popularity has faded in recent times, and his supporters hope that the plan – which is the largest federal investment in America’s infrastructure for decades – gives the party a boost. Meanwhile, Republicans have enjoyed watching their political foes struggle to unite behind their president.World News
Boys praised in WA shark attack
The family and friends of Paul Millachip – the 57yo man who disappeared when he was mauled by 1-2 sharks off Fremantle’s Port Beach on Saturday afternoon – have paid their respects as the search for his body was suspended last night. He was described as kind, smart and a devoted dad to 3 kids. Authorities found his goggles but nothing else. The attack was witnessed by a group of 4 teenage boys on a dinghy nearby – they alerted emergency services and urged others to get out of the water. Reports say they also tried to get between the shark and the man, but they could not save him. The man’s wife addressed the media yesterday and praised the boys for their actions. She described her husband of 35 years as “a wonderful man and a wonderful father, and he loved his exercise.” The search for his remains ended yesterday. #SquizShortcutsAustralian News
Cricket gods smile on Oz
Heading into the weekend, Australia needed to win its T20 Cricket World Cup round game to make the semi-finals. And our short-form blokes did just that, beating the West Indies on Saturday night by 8 wickets with 22 balls to spare. That saw us end up in 2nd place on the table in their group – but that alone wasn’t enough to secure a place in the pointy end of the competition… South Africa beat England – but not by the 58 runs required to jump into the final 2 in our group to go through. And look, we don’t like cheering for a less than good result, but yay… England goes through with us. We’ll take on either Pakistan or Kiwiland in the semis at 1am Friday morning. C’mon Aussie… Not securing a win on the international stage: the Wallabies. Our national rugby side went down to Scotland 13-15 overnight, dashing hopes of turning 5 consecutive wins into 6.Sport
Apropos of Nothing
How cool would it be to have skin pockets on your side? We’d give it 2 frog thumbs up – even if they have to be used by the blokes for raising tadpoles…
Astronauts returning from the International Space Station today have to wear nappies because the toilet on their SpaceX taxi is broken. We could think of some other words by NASA’s Megan McArthur called it “suboptimal”.
There are not many people cooler than Mr Beyonce. Last week Jay-Z made his debut on Instagram, accumulated 2 million followers, and closed it down after a day. Mic drop…Quirky News
Squiz the Day
The US opens its doors to international travellers
National Recycling Week (on until 14 November)
Birthdays for author Kazuo Ishiguro (1954) and chef Gordon Ramsay (1966)
• the birthdays of Dracula inspirer Vlad the Impaler (1431), astronomer Edmond Halley (1656), Dracula author Bram Stoker (1847), Chinese revolutionary Qiu Jin (1875) and Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell (1900)
• the first meeting of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II and Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés in Tenochtitlan, Mexico (1519)
• the first distillation of Bourbon Whiskey from corn by Elijah Craig in Bourbon, Kentucky (1789)
• German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen producing and detecting X-rays for the first time (1895)
• the landmark Harvester Decision which became the basis of Australia’s national minimum wage system (1907)
• the premiere of soap opera Days of Our Lives (1965)