Squiz Today / 14 January 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 14 January

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Squiz Today Podcast

Gets your fab Friday started. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I am under no illusion that my sketches represent great art or a burgeoning talent!”

Said heir to the British throne and budding artist Prince Charles who revealed his humble side as a collection of his landscape watercolour paintings go on show in London. Even shy guys can have an exhibishionist streak…

COVID and Djokovic wreak havoc for Aussie Open organisers

Organisers of the Australian Open tennis grand slam were in the same boat as anyone watching the Federal Government v Novak Djokovic saga yesterday – just waiting for news. The hot tip was an announcement from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on whether the tennis star would be deported over his lack of a COVID vaccination was imminent. But watched pots never boil, and an update didn’t arrive. The waiting game delayed the announcement of the tournament draw – but it eventually landed, and it includes the world #1. Another degree of difficulty was delivered to tournament organisers yesterday when the Victorian Government capped tournament crowds at 50% after a surge in COVID cases.

That’s a good question, given the tournament kicks off on Monday… PM Scott Morrison was asked about it yesterday, and he says it’s a matter for Hawke to decide. While we wait for that, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews weighed in with some advice for the Serbian tennis star. “Just get vaccinated,” he said. And Greek world #4 Stefanos Tsitsipas has accused Djokovic of “playing by his own rules”. He was hesitant about vaccination but got his shots to travel here for the Open. “No one really thought they could come to Australia unvaccinated and not having to follow the protocols… It takes a lot of daring to do and putting the grand slam at risk, which I don’t think many players would do,” he said.

Yeah nah… His Insta post this week has put the cat amongst the pigeons back in Europe. He’s now facing an investigation by the Spanish Government after it was revealed he was there without a vaccination certificate or exemption. The International Tennis Writers Association is also going him for failing to inform staff at French sports newspaper L’Equipe he was COVID-positive when he sat down for an interview with them. And last but not least, lawyers in Serbia say his breach of the country’s strict isolation laws was a criminal offence, which could see Djokovic having to pay a fine – but more likely undertake community service. When you’re hot, you’re hot…


Squiz the Rest

Prince Andrew stripped of his titles

Yesterday, we learned that a civil case over allegations Prince Andrew sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was 17yo would proceed in New York. And Buckingham Palace has not mucked around in responding with an announcement this morning that his military titles and royal patronages returned to the Queen. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” the palace said in a statement. Those roles will be covered by other royal family members. Andrew is also expected to stop using ‘His Royal Highness’ in an official capacity. The pressure had been building for the palace to respond after it became apparent that Andrew could be forced to give evidence at a trial which could begin between September-December 2022 if no settlement is reached. The Duke of York has denied the claims made against him.

World News

Johnson’s leadership in crisis

A growing number of Conservative MPs are calling on UK PM Boris Johnson to step down following his admission yesterday that he attended a drinks party with 30 of his staff in attendance at his official residence during lockdown in May 2020. And a challenge could be on the cards after Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and other senior backbenchers registered their lack of confidence in his leadership. In Parliament yesterday, Johnson apologised for his handling of the event and said he understood the public’s “rage” over it. And people are raging – one opinion piece from this morning is titled ‘Boris Johnson partied for 25 mins – 5 mins longer than my dad’s funeral’. But he has declined to resign, saying he believed the BYO-booze bash was a “work event”, and will wait on the outcome of an independent probe into allegations of COVID breaches levelled at his government. That investigation is also looking into 2 other ‘illegal’ gatherings held at 10 Downing St.

World News

Isolation rules relaxed for more workers

As previewed this week, isolation rules for more workers in more critical industries will be relaxed as Omicron continues its march forward. It will be up to the state and territories to implement, but the idea is teachers, child care workers and others in critical industries like transport and freight won’t have to isolate if they’re a close contact of a COVID case. They will need to return a negative rapid test to get back on the tools, which remain hard to come by. PM Morrison yesterday outlined the changes following a meeting of the National Cabinet as pinch points across the economy grow. And he had a bit to say about people attending ‘COVID parties’ to catch the virus and, they believe, gain immunity. The problem with that scenario: reinfection can occur with Omicron. “All this nonsense about COVID parties, it’s ridiculous,” Morrison said.


Crown set to accept takeover bid

Crown Resorts says it is ready to accept a takeover bid from US private equity group Blackstone after it increased its non-binding offer by $400 million to $8.87 billion. Crown’s board says it will recommend the offer to shareholders, which would see them pocket $13.10 a share. One investor who likes what he sees is former chairman James Packer – he says he is “encouraged” by what Blackstone has offered. And let’s face it, the prospect of receiving $3.26 billion for a 37% share of the casino operator would put a pep in your step… Any deal also needs to receive the approval of gaming regulators in Victoria, NSW and Western Oz. That’s all happening as the WA Government starts to wrap up its Royal Commission into Crown’s suitability to hold a casino license at its Perth venue. It followed similar inquiries held in NSW and Victoria last year.

Business & Finance

Vale Ronnie Spector

She was the lead singer of the 1960s musical trio The Ronettes, and it was confirmed by her family yesterday that she’s died at 78yo after “a brief battle with cancer”. Born Veronica Bennett in New York, Spector formed a girl group called The Darling Sisters with her sister Estelle and cousin Nedra Talley in 1957. But it wasn’t until producer Phil Spector signed the group that they changed their name and found global success with a string of hits, including 1963’s Be My Baby. After The Ronettes disbanded in 1967, Ronnie had a short-lived/abusive marriage to Spector who forbade her from performing. They split, and she embarked on a solo career spanning the rest of her life, but she never captured the sort of success she experienced at the start. The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. “She was the sweetest person you could ever know,” rocker and friend Joan Jett tweeted, “and her mark on rock and roll is indelible.”


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

We are late to this party, but the best thing we have watched since the start of the Christmas break is Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive. F1 wasn’t our thing, but this series is so interesting, we’re hooked. We just thought we’d mention it in case you flick past it when you’re looking for something to watch, just like we used to. 

At the other end of the reality series scale, if you don’t adore the Great British Bake Off, you’re a monster. Even this Vanity Fair review by a professional baker of 2 contestants’ efforts from the current season won’t see us break faith with the weekly dose of good, wholesome content…

This week we were introduced to the concept of snacking cake – simple to make, impossible to walk past without carving a slice. Our opening gambit: this strawberry sheet cake. Strawbs are such a good price ATM – and they’re delicious – so get it in your belly.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know what food innovation UK supermarket Waitrose said it is soon to introduce? Have a crack at the S’Quiz.

Squiz the Day

1.30pm (AEDT) – Cricket – 5th Ashes Test – Australia v England – Hobart, Tasmania

ABS Data Release – Lending Indicators, November 2021

The Tamworth Country Music Festival begins (on until 23 January)

World Logic Day

Quitters Day – the most likely day for people to give up on their New Year’s resolutions

Anniversary of:
• the first successful caesarean section operation (1794)
• the deaths of Lewis Carroll (1898), Dorothea Mackellar (1968) and Alan Rickman (2016)
• the establishment of the Reserve Bank of Australia (1960)

Squiz the Day

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