Squiz Today / 25 November 2021
Squiz Today – Thursday, 25 November
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Squiz Today Podcast
We’ll get you up to speed.
Today’s listen time: 9 minutes
“I just count my blessings, and I’m just grateful.”
Said Abel Tesfaye after his song was crowned the all-time #1 single on the Billboard charts, ousting Chubby Checker’s 1960s hit The Twist. You might know him as The Weeknd, and his song is Blinding Lights – another pop anthem with a Swedish touch…
Australian neo-Nazis in the crosshairs
As previewed by security agencies earlier this year, Australian-based white supremacists are being targeted by police. Yesterday, counter-terrorism police in NSW arrested Wade John Homewood over a “very real fear” that his prolific social media posts would inspire someone to carry out violence. Homewood has been charged with urging violence and advocating terrorism against “several political leaders”. In his posts, the 37yo identified groups that should be targeted based on their race and political viewpoints. He appeared in a local court, where he was refused bail. In April, Mike Burgess, the boss of domestic intelligence agency ASIO, said given the growth in nationalist and racist violent extremism, he expected there “will be a terrorist attack in this country in the next 12 months.”
WELL, THAT’S A BIT CONCERNING…
Sure is. An investigation into Homewood, who lives in Tamworth, NSW, was launched a couple of months back. Federal Police said it was the vast number of his online posts and their violent content that made them so concerned. The arrest comes the day after Federal Police said it’s taking threats against specific politicians “very seriously”. Yesterday, WA Police charged 2 Perth men over a series of threatening phone calls to Premier Mark McGowan, including an alleged threat to behead him and his family. And in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrew condemned attacks on him and his family, and authorities said neo-Nazi extremists had infiltrated the Victorian anti-pandemic-law movement. One man was charged with encouraging people to bring guns to the protests.
CAN ANYTHING ELSE BE DONE TO STOP THESE PEOPLE?
So the Federal Government is having a crack. It listed white supremacists ’The Base’ as a terrorist group which means it’s a criminal offence to be a member. It was originally founded in the US in 2018, and reports say it’s “prepping” for a race war to establish a white-only state. It’s also targeting people who contradict their views and religious sites like Jewish synagogues. It’s the 2nd extreme right-wing organisation to be listed as a terror group by the government. ASIO says groups like The Base now account for a 3rd of its investigations.
Squiz the Rest
Germany has a winner
It’s been nearly 2 months since the national election in Germany, and after long negotiations, the leaders of the centre-left Social Democrats, environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats have come to an agreement to take government. Olaf Scholz from the Social Democrats will become Germany’s new leader after winning the most seats in September’s poll. Policies to phase out coal, bring the nation’s economy in line with its climate policies and legalise cannabis form large parts of the deal. It brings an end to 16 years of Christian Democrat rule under Chancellor Angela Merkel. For years, her party had governed in coalition with the Social Democrats, but Scholz said the election result showed voters wanted change. The deal has to be approved by the 3 parties’ memberships, and the new government should be in place early next month.World News
Renting out price pressures
House prices get a lot of airtime – but not rental prices. Experts say that is set to change with low-income families across the country feeling the pinch of rent increases. A lot of that’s down to the removal of COVID payments made by the government, and rental property prices are set to soar further as the national border reopens and immigrants and foreign students return, analysts say. Yesterday, peak housing body National Shelter released its latest Rental Affordability Index that measures housing costs relative to household incomes. The least affordable city in Oz (and the only one to be classed as ‘unaffordable’) is Hobart, with the average household spending a 3rd of its income on rent if paying the median rate. The most affordable cities might surprise you – Sydney (24%) and Melbourne (20%). At least power bills are coming down…Business & Finance
Coffin Bay oysters recalled
Mmm oysters – can’t get enough of ‘em… Which is why we’re relieved our treat from last weekend was the Sydney variety, not from South Australia’s famed Coffin Bay. Snot rockets from that part of the world have been recalled after at least 100 people became sick with gastro caused by a bacteria called Vibrio parahaemolyticus. It’s common in oysters, but more potent strains of the bacteria have emerged over the last decade, and climate change has helped spread it worldwide. Oyster farms in the region will be shut down for a week, but those in the know say there will be plenty available for Christmas. While we’re talking all things fishy, another sea-loving creature facing climate change pressures is the albatross. Known as one of the world’s most loyal creatures, albatross ‘divorce’ rates have spiked along with their stress levels as the seabirds are forced to travel further for food. Hangry strikes again…Australian News
The mice are coming back in town
With La Nina sweeping across much of Oz this summer, experts say conditions will be ripe for another mouse plague in regional NSW. The state’s farmers association vice president Xavier Martin says this year’s mouse plague – which saw so many millions of the critters literally eat Aussies out of their house and home – cost the sector up to $1 billion. He fears next year could be worse… CSIRO researcher Steve Henry said wetter-than-usual conditions this summer could see mice populations explode as they feast on grain too wet to harvest. And floods won’t pose a problem because they’re “very good swimmers,” he said. Not so for the crops – while farmers were set for a great season after years of drought, experts say they could lose billions of dollars in value due to bad weather. At least the cows are getting fat… #SquizShortcutAustralian News
Winners feel the beat
Australian music’s good and great gathered at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo for this year’s ARIA awards. Taking out the top award for best artist went to The Kid LAROI. He’s had a stonking good year with high profile collaborations and his hit singles attracting more than 3 billion global streams. He also won best pop release for Stay. Also in the headlines – artist Genesis Owusu took out album of the year, best hip hop release, and best independent release. Other notable winners are here, and a red carpet with all the thrills and spills is here. And in the US, the Grammy nominations were out yesterday with Olivia Rodrigo the only contender to score nods across the 4 top categories – record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, and best new artist. Good for her… Jon Batiste, the bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with an acclaimed album, led the nominations with 11. The Grammys are on 31 January (aka 9 weeks away, if you can believe that…).Entertainment
Apropos of Nothing
The Cypriot Government is using its embassies abroad to help sell 6 million kilograms of halloumi. Demand for the squeaky cheese plummeted thanks to COVID, so the push is on to clear stock in deep storage.
“Extremely rare” notes penned by Albert Einstein on his famous theory of relativity have been snapped up for $18.23 million – nearly 4 times its estimated price and a record for the legendary physicist. The notes revealed that even geniuses make mistakes, but the key to success is persistence.
Next time you’re planning on watching a film at the cinema/on your couch, you might want to put away the popcorn. That’s because Dutch researchers say that eating while doing a fun activity could actually make you enjoy it less. Or if it’s a bad movie, maybe you’ll enjoy it more…Quirky News
Squiz the Day
It’s a month until Christmas…
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Statehood Day
The Melbourne Institute releases its Pulse of the Nation report into Aussies’ attitudes over a 14-year period
Thanksgiving in America and Brazil
• the debut of cartoon character Woody Woodpecker in Knock Knock (1940)
• the death of Cuban revolutionary and President Fidel Castro (2016)