Monday, 20 March, 2023

Arresting world leaders; a chilly dive; why the world is googling “raccoon dog”; and meet Happy, the Holstein calf. 


Today’s Quick Links: 

World record frozen lake dive: 

Raccoon dog images: 

Raccoon images: 

Happy the Holstein calf: 

International Day of Happiness: 


Dig Deeper:

About the International Criminal Court: 

“Fires Near Me” website for VIC and NSW: 

The origins of the Covid pandemic – what we know and don’t know: 

Why raccoon dogs shouldn’t be kept as pets: ​​ 

Other unusual animal markings (not all checked by Squiz-E the Newshound): 


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The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, dominated news headlines over the weekend, because both of them are in legal hot water.  

Their cases are unconnected, so let’s start with Vladimir Putin. The International Criminal Court, or ICC, has issued a warrant for his arrest. Based in a city called The Hague, in the Netherlands,  the ICC investigates crimes that are important to the international community—particularly crimes committed during wars. And the ICC says that Mr Putin is personally responsible for certain crimes committed during Russia’s war against Ukraine – which he started. 

The ICC has 123 member countries, but Russia is not one of them. So it’s unlikely Russian officials will be arresting Mr Putin any time soon, and handing him over to The Hague.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump used his favourite communication tool, social media, to announce that he expects to be arrested tomorrow, in connection to an investigation into how his election campaign money was spent in the lead up to the 2016 presidential vote. 

If Mr Trump is charged, it would be the first time in American history that a former or sitting president was charged in a criminal case. And, in what could become a very messy situation, Mr Trump has called for mass protests if he is arrested.  

Making this legal hot water even murkier is the fact that Mr Trump’s lawyer says he has received no information about a possible arrest, and that his client’s social media post was based on rumours in the media. 

So… we have one President whom prosecutors WANT to arrest, but probably can’t… and one former President, who’s running to be President again, using the rumours of an arrest to try to fire up his supporters. What a complicated world we live in. 


Was it unseasonably hot where you live this weekend? Unseasonably means it’s unusual for the season – and much of Australia sweltered this weekend, thanks to hot winds bringing dry conditions to our east coast. And of course, where there’s wind and heat, there’s often fire. Firefighters have worked incredibly hard all weekend to get fires under control in NSW, SA, Victoria… and they’ve kept us safe. Thankfully, cooler temperatures are in sight. Phew. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Switzerland, where a man without a wetsuit has broken a record for the deepest free dive beneath a frozen lake. The water was between 1 and 4 degrees when David Vencl dropped into a hole cut in the ice of Lake Sils, took a deep breath, and went for it. 

It’s a hot day here, but I’m suddenly feeling very cold. 

One minute and 54 seconds later, David reemerged, having made it down to a world record breaking 52.1 metres. You’d better believe I put a video in your episode notes. It’ll cool you right down.  




This past weekend, curious people all over the world were hitting Google to learn more about a mysterious animal. That’s because a team of researchers from the World Health Organisation released data suggesting that the coronavirus – yep, I’m afraid we’re still talking about it – might have spread to humans from something called raccoon dogs. Which got people everywhere wondering – what IS a raccoon dog? 


Well, it’s a small member of the canid family – a group of animals that includes dingoes, wolves, foxes, and domestic dogs. What makes the raccoon dog special is that it climbs trees – my dog definitely can’t do that – and it’s the only canid that hibernates in winter. As the cold weather approaches, the raccoon dog’s fur gets thicker and it packs on weight, to keep it going during that long winter sleep. As for the “raccoon” in its name? Well, have a look at the cartoon robber mask markings on the dogs’ faces in the pictures in your episode notes, and I think you’ll understand. 




Speaking of markings on animals, when I saw a picture on social media yesterday of a cute white calf with black smiley face markings on its side, I was about to forward it on to all my friends and family… and then I thought – wait a second, Amanda! Squiz-E the Newshound would want you to stop, think, and check. 


Which, it turns out, is exactly what the farmer who owns the calf thought, too. He figured some of his farm workers must have painted black lines onto the coat of the calf, which was born last week, to create a perfect smiley face. But no, Happy – which is obviously the little fella’s new name – really was born that way. You’ll want to click on the link in your episode notes to see just how adorable little Happy is. His Victorian owners, who are in the business of breeding and then selling calves, have already decided to keep him to do two very important jobs: eat grass, and put a smile on everyone’s dial. 



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. In which country is the International Criminal Court located? Bonus points for the city, too. 
  2. Raccoon dogs, wolves, foxes, and domestic dogs are all members of what biological family? 
  3. What’s the name of the little calf with the markings of a smiley face?





It’s March 20 – which is the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness. Now THERE is a day I can get behind. This year’s theme is “Be Mindful, Be Grateful, Be Kind.” Which are three pretty great principles for how to live your life, if you think about it. I’ll put a link in your episode notes to some resources on how you might celebrate this special day. 


It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Issac from Cannon Hill, Leo from North Wallaroo, Heidi from Camden, Harrison from Woongarrah, Ethan and Claire from Bathurst, Charlotte from Banksia Park, Skye from Elwood, Shivam from Vermont South, Ever from Williamstown North, and Bahram from Greystanes. 

Belated shout outs go to… William from Hornsby, Isabella from Sydney, Ray from Jindera, Alex and Erik from Narrandera, Alektra from Five Dock and Issy from Brazil.

And a whole lotta Monday love to these classrooms and their teachers… 

Year 5 and 6 with Ms Pryde and Miss Golbsy at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Narrandera, year 6 and 7 at Suzie’s homeschooling hub in Heathridge, years 4, 5 and 6 with Mrs Tully and Mr Tarry at Iona Public School in Woodville, class 4C with Chloe at North Rocks Public School and class 3R with Mrs Rasker at Epping West Public School. 



The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. The Hague, Netherlands. 
  2. Canid family
  3. Happy