Squiz Today / 20 October 2021

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 20 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

News to help you get up and go.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I was actually out in the paddock doing some farm stuff, and the assistant manager called and said ‘we’ve got him’!”

Said Glenn Daley, the tourism manager for Cowra, NSW. Looking to put the town of 13,000 on the map for COVID-normal tourists, they set their sights on Chris Hemsworth becoming an ambassador. Don’t ask, don’t get…

The push to get vaccinated

Western Australia will not be open to visitors from NSW, Victoria and the ACT this year. Premier Mark McGowan yesterday confirmed the hard border to those from ‘COVID states’ will remain in place into 2022. It’s different for travellers from Queensland – they can enter Western Oz without quarantining from Friday. McGowan said the hope is 80% of the eligible population in his state will be fully vaccinated by Christmas. “People need to understand, we’ll open when the time is right, and it’s safe to do so,” he said yesterday.

Well, McGowan is asking people to do it ASAP. “Don’t wait for an outbreak – it could be too late. The virus will find people who aren’t vaccinated,” he told residents yesterday. The state’s rate for the eligible population has grown to 73.8% for first doses, and 56.5% are fully vaccinated – that puts Western Australia behind the national average. Even so, McGowan says he won’t set a date for border bans to be lifted like Queensland did earlier this week in an effort to push people to do it. Maybe a South Australian-style sausage sizzle is the answer? Over on the east coast, Victoria is cracking on and has reopened its border to travellers from Greater Sydney from today – they will not be required to go into quarantine or have a COVID test to enter the state.

Except it’s a firm ‘whoa’ for unvaccinated international tennis players. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday hinted that they will not be given the green light to compete in next year’s Australian Open tennis grand slam. He flagged that under current plans, it’s unlikely unvaxxed players will be given a visa to enter the country. And if they were, they would have to undergo 2 weeks of quarantine. The glitch in the rules at the moment is that Victoria requires local professional athletes to be vaccinated, but it remains unclear if internationals will face the same requirements. One person who has been called out in all this is world #1 Novak Djokovic. He has refused to disclose his vaccination status and has said he is unsure if he will be defending his title at the Australian Open given COVID restrictions.

Australian News Health

Squiz the Rest

PM can go his own way, says Joyce

The Liberals can adopt the climate policy of net zero emissions by 2050 on Australia’s behalf without having the Nationals onboard, Nats leader Barnaby Joyce says. He’s not the boss of PM Scott Morrison, he said, and the Liberal leader can adopt a new climate policy because he has “his own mandate and he has his own capacity, and that is absolutely and utterly his own right.”. Still, the parties are in a coalition, and it’s a policy split they are trying to avoid. As for the timeline for setting Australia’s emissions targets ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow: the Nats will hand over their wish list for protecting regional jobs by the end of the week, reports this morning say.


Missing girl mystery deepens

Ellie Smith, the mother of missing 4yo Western Aussie girl Cleo, said the last 4 days of searching for her had been “horrendous”, and she has “no idea” where her daughter is. She says she and her partner Jake Gliddon woke up on Saturday morning and noticed the tent zipper was open. After searching the area, they called the police. The family were camping north of Carnarvon (about 960km north of Perth), and it’s thought that Cleo wandered off, or something more sinister happened like she was abducted. Inspector John Munday said yesterday authorities were no closer to “unravelling the mystery”. The search was suspended yesterday due to bad weather, but efforts resume as they kick off day 5 today.

Australian News

Myanmar junta eyes a seat at the ASEAN table

Since Myanmar’s military seized power in February, about 5,600 people have been arrested or are subject to arrest warrants for taking part in anti-coup protests. They will now be granted amnesty, with some released from detention yesterday. There’s no word yet on the fate of the country’s 7,300 political prisoners, including civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The military’s surprise move comes days after its leader General Min Aung Hlaing was blocked from attending a soon-to-be-held regional summit over his failure to commit to de-escalating unrest in the country. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members agreed last week to invite a “non-political representative” from Myanmar instead of the military leader. Commentators say that Hlaing – who blames the political opposition for the unrest – is looking to legitimise his regime. 

World News

Star in the spotlight

Sydney’s Star Casino operators will face public hearings next March following allegations the company enabled criminal activities, NSW’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority said yesterday. Earlier this month, a Sydney Morning Herald/60 Minutes investigation alleged money laundering and the hosting of high-rolling crime figures at its casinos in Sydney, Brissie and the Goldie – something the company’s top people were warned about in 2018. The inquiry will investigate those allegations to determine whether Star is suitable to hold a casino licence in NSW. Star said it was “concerned” by the “misleading” allegations, but it “will take the appropriate steps” to address them with regulators.

Australian News Business & Finance Crime

Emma hangs up the yellow skivvy

After an 11-year run, Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins will leave the skivvied supergroup by the end of the year. She said the pandemic gave her time to “reflect on what is important in life,” and spending more time with family and on her postgraduate studies (and maybe her drumming career…) is what’s next. Watkins played iconic characters like Wags the Dog and Dorothy the Dinosaur before becoming the first female Wiggle in 2013 when spots opened up after founding members Greg Page, Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook had enough fruit salad yummy yummy. Her marriage and divorce to fellow performer Lachlan Gillespie did not destabilise the ship, and she made a big impact during her time. Replacing her will be 16yo Tsehay Hawkins – she joined the Wiggles earlier this year as one of 4 new diversity-boosting members. And for those who fondly remember the old lineup, the OG Wiggles have announced a national reunion tour for adults. Get out your Wiggles fingers…


Apropos of Nothing

Giant hailstones fell north of Mackay in Queensland late yesterday – possibly even breaking the Aussie record for size. Take cover…

No surname, no middle name: Ye is the artist formerly known as Kanye West. Why? He’s previously said he believes it’s the most used word in the Bible. And channelling former PM Julia Gillard, he said, “​​In the Bible, it means ‘you’. So, I’m you. And I’m us. It’s us.”

Phil Collins – who, depending on your generation, is either the legendary muso or Lily Collins’ dad – has a groovy kind of love for the Alamo and Davy Crockett. He’s obsessed with the battle between Texas and Mexico that the southerners won in 1836, and Collins is a significant donor of artefacts to a fledgling museum. The things you learn…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO, delivers the 2021 Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society, marking the 30th Anniversary of the world-renowned Cooperative Research Centres Program – National Press Club, Canberra

World Osteoporosis Day

International Chef’s Day

Birthdays for composer Thomas Newman (1955), director Danny Boyle (1956), US Senator and VP Democratic nominee Kamala Harris (1964), rapper Snoop Dogg (1971)

Anniversary of:
• US President Abraham Lincoln formally establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday (1864)
• the publication of the third and final volume of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King (1955)
• the opening of the Sydney Opera House by Queen Elizabeth II (1973)
• Joko Widodo becoming President of Indonesia (2014)

Squiz the Day

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