Squiz Today / 15 October 2021

Squiz Today – Friday, 15 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting you across the news so you can move onto ‘where did that week go?’ type conversations.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.”

Said Elton John, who has become the first to score a UK Top 10 single in 6 different decades thanks to his new collab with Dua Lipa. It puts him ahead of Elvis Presley, Cher, Cliff Richard, Michael Jackson and David Bowie who had hits in 5 decades. Losers…

Vaccination and the race to reopen Australia

Victoria yesterday broke Australia’s pandemic record with 2,297 new daily cases. It’s a blow after numbers fell earlier this week, and there was talk of a peak being reached. But that hasn’t translated into a rethink of lifting Melbourne’s lockdown when the full-vaccination target reaches 70% next week. It’s full steam ahead… Premier Daniel Andrews says that “the case numbers become less relevant, save and except for this point – case numbers, particularly among unvaccinated people, will translate into a number of hospital patients.” And concerns for the unvaccinated dominate in other states as well.

NSW is one. It’s expected to reach 80% fully vaxxed next week, and that will bring a further easing of restrictions. But one restriction that is unlikely to be eased is allowing residents from Greater Sydney to travel to the regions. That’s in response to concerns from regional mayors and medicos who say lower vaccination rates and scarce medical resources in the country means limiting the risk of the spread of infection is prudent. And it’s that sentiment that’s behind Queensland (54.7% fully vaccinated) and Western Oz (53.9%) keeping their borders closed, they say. Still, medicos in the Sunshine State say a date needs to be set to give people the drive to get the jab. And in the West, Premier Mark McGowan says the border will reopen when residents are between 80 – 90% fully vaccinated.

Yes. The full vaccination rate for Indigenous people is behind the rest of the population by 23.1%. And while 83.6% of all Aussies aged over 16yo have received one dose, that number is 57.5% for Indigenous people. Despite being a priority in the vaccination rollout when things kicked off in March, officials say the changed expert advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine sent things off course. Since then, the Pfizer vaccine has proven to be easier to transport and store than officials thought, so it’s being rolled out now.


Squiz the Rest

A titan’s fall from grace

Disgraced businessman Ron Brierley has been sentenced to 14 months in prison over the possession of child abuse material. He was arrested in 2019 after authorities found in possession of 46,000 images of girls aged between 4-15yo on computers and memory sticks. He told police he believed it was legal, but he later pleaded guilty. A Kiwi, 84yo Brierley was a notable investor and ‘corporate raider’, but he has been stripped of the knighthood he received from New Zealand in 1988 for his business acumen. In her sentencing yesterday, Judge Sarah Huggett said Brierley had a “lifelong obsession and sexual attraction to pre-pubescent girls,” she said. The judge noted his deteriorating health but said the “vast” number of images warranted a jail term. Brierley can apply for parole in 7 months, and an appeal is expected. 

Australian News

Bow and arrow murder spree shocks Norway

A Norwegian man was arrested yesterday over the murder of 5 people using a bow and arrow in the town of Kongsberg, near the capital Oslo. Police say 37-year-old Espen Andersen Brathen walked through the town shooting arrows at shoppers in the early evening, and several of the victims – 4 men and one woman aged between 50-70yo – were shot while in a supermarket. Two people are currently in intensive care, including an off-duty officer. Police say the man is a Muslim convert who had been flagged as having being radicalised, and Norway’s Acting PM Erna Solberg described the attack as “gruesome”. Mass killings are rare in the Scandinavian country, and it’s the worst mass killing since 2011 when right-wing extremist Anders Breivik killed 77 people.

World News

A princely warning

It’s unusual for the royals to say anything too edgy, but the Windsors are in full-court press mode on climate change in the lead up to the Glasgow COP26 summit. Overnight, Prince William said we “need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.” That’s a dig at 3 of the world’s richest men – Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk – and their race to open up space. Earlier this week, his father Prince Charles said the world is in the “last chance saloon”, and leaders, including PM Scott Morrison, should attend the conference early next month. If a royal prod won’t do it, the Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle yesterday said Australia risks becoming an investment pariah if it is not seen to be doing more to address climate change. The Nationals are meeting on Sunday to discuss the climate policy put to Cabinet this week. Watch this space…

Environment & Science World News

Super storms set the stage for a soggy summer

Australia’s east coast is as battered as a pup in a tornado… A supercell storm has dumped rain and hail from Sydney to southern Queensland, and the NSW regional city of Armidale was hit by a tornado. There’s a big clean up to be done… As authorities issued flash flood warnings, the coastal stretch from Wollongong to Coffs Harbour is bracing for damaging winds, large hailstones, and heavy rain. And there’s a good chance there’s more severe weather to come with the latest outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology warning there’s an above-average risk of floods and cyclones this summer. Earlier this week, it said La Niña isn’t done with us quite yet. Better keep your brollies handy…


The price of being vegan

And we’re not talking about a sudden drop in dinner invitations… Research by consumer advocacy group Choice has found that Aussies pay up to twice the price for vegan or plant-based products, from guacamole to burgers. Take mayonnaise for example. The one marketed as vegan cost almost 40% more than its ‘regular’ alternative despite both containing only plant-based ingredients. The consumer advocates say part of the price disparity comes down to higher manufacturing costs and more expensive ingredients, but often “there’s a price premium that’s added as a result of having the claim that something is vegan.” Veganism has taken off worldwide, and 2% of Aussies are thought to follow the cruel torture method… sorry… diet. And for those who would like to eat and drink better, it’s hard to fight our ancestors

Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

It’s been a looong time since a trip to the cinema. Confession time: we’re one of those people who want to watch the trailers so shhh… And now that we know there’s a formula, we won’t be able to take our eyes off them.

Did you know that if you like your shoes, you shouldn’t wear them 2 days in a row? Your sweaty feet mean they need to dry out. Eww… We learned that while looking for some interweb guidance on keeping our new pair of white sneakers clean.

Where we are, it’s got cold and rainy again, so we’re lining up this Neil Perry seafood stew tonight. It’s quick for a speccie result. And if fishy things aren’t convenient/preferable, OMG these veal cutlets are nice and easy. Note: we’ve also used salmon/lamb chops for the protein.

Friday Lites

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