Squiz Today / 07 January 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 7 January

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Squiz Today Podcast

New year, new sound. Check it out. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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17 / 25

Squiz Sayings

“No worries”

Is the Aussie-ism that has been put on a list of Michigan’s Lake Superior State University’s “banished words”. It’s a term they believe is so bad it’s up there with “circle back”…

Djokovic saga on a medical timeout until next week


Adventure traveller/world #1 men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic will stay in immigration detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne until Monday – a week before the Australian Open will start. Border Force stopped him at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday night. He was to be sent packing last night until an ​​interim injunction granted late yesterday by the Federal Court was unopposed by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. Tennis Australia wants the matter resolved by Tuesday when the Australian Open draw is set. “If I can say with the respect necessary, the tail won’t be wagging the dog here,” Judge Anthony Kelly said. But the judge wasn’t without sympathy – he enquired as to Djokovic’s access to a tennis court. (The hotel website says yes, along with a video library and 32 asylum seekers who advocates say have been held for 9 years…)


We’ve got a feeling that’s a question Team Djokovic is pondering as they get their heads around Australia’s cooperative federalism (COVID edition)… The key points are:

• Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government went through deciding if an unvaccinated Djokovic qualified for a medical exemption to compete in the tournament. As we learned this week, they gave him a thumbs up. Reports say that on the basis that he had contracted COVID-19 in the previous 6 months.

• But entering the country is a Federal Government thing, and Djokovic had his visa cancelled and was detained at Melbourne Airport yesterday. That’s because he is not vaccinated, which is a condition of entry ATM. And they say he did not provide evidence that he qualifies for a medical exemption to get around that Commonwealth requirement.

• Cue questions about how he could get on the plane to come… He had a visa, but it’s clear his vaxx/medical exemption issues were not ironed out before his departure. And now 2 other travellers connected to the Australian Open who have been let through with a medical exemption are under investigation.


Dunno… Monday’s hearing could answer that question. In the meantime, a different game of tennis will continue as officials and commentators hit the blame ball back and forth. PM Scott Morrison yesterday said Djokovic’s vaccination status problems were flagged in November and “rules are rules”. But former senior Immigration official Abul Rizvi said the situation results from process failures by the Feds. Overnight, his family have called it the “greatest sporting and diplomatic scandal”. But representing the pro-tennis community was Rafael Nadal – the vaccination advocate said “Everyone is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences, no?”


Squiz the Rest

Oz-Japan security pact to up the cooperation

Australia and Japan have signed a historic security pact which will see greater military cooperation and troops stationed in each other’s countries.Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a virtual summit with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida to ink the deal. Kishida had planned on coming to Australia to sign on the line, but a worsening COVID outbreak at home turned it into a virtual event. The agreement has been in the works since 2014 and comes as both countries grow increasingly concerned about China. Practically, it’ll mean more aviation and maritime exercises between the countries. It’s the first agreement of its kind that Japan has struck with another country, and commentators say the most significant since a deal with the US in 1960 to allow American soldiers to be stationed in Japan.

Australian News

Former mafioso undone by Google Maps

If you’re trying to evade the cops after a lifetime of dastardly deeds in the Italian mafia, best not get snapped outside your new digs in Spain. That’s the cautionary tale for Gioacchino Gammino, a convicted murderer captured in an image on Google street view outside his fruit and veg shop in a small town outside Madrid. Police believed one of the 2 men in the pic closely resembled the former Italian gangster, and his identity was confirmed when they came across a listing for a nearby restaurant where the long-time-crim worked as the chef. The digitally-savvy cops found another photo of the former restauranteur on Facebook and recognised the wanted man’s scar on his chin. His restaurant also included a telling menus item called the ‘Sicilian dinner’… After the arrest was made, the prosecutor told the local press it wasn’t all down to some lucky cyber spying, and they were “on a good path” before the Google Maps discovery.

Quirky News World News

People before pets, says Pope

As we hit the halfway(ish) mark of the school holidays, it’s high time for some parenting advice from the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. He says people who choose to have pets rather than children are acting selfishly in a way that threatens to result in a “demographic winter” of ever-declining birth rates. “Il Papa” – or “the Father” as he’s known affectionately, says choosing kavoodles over kids detracts from our humanity as a whole. For those who can’t have kids, Francis thinks they should consider adoption. The bottom line: people should “not be afraid” to embark on parenthood. And it’s not the first time he’s weighed into this thorny debate… In 2014, Francis said he reckoned some people were more inclined to pets because they only required simple emotional connections rather than the complex ones needed with children. While the 85yo has been seen with dogs to children, he’s not thought to have either of his own.

World News

Chillin’ in 2021

Weatherwise, anyway… The template for an annual weather review is: ‘In [insert year], Australia experienced its hottest year on record.’ Not so in 2021, when the nation experienced the coolest mean temperatures since La Niña gave eastern Oz a big wet kiss in 2012. But according to the weather bureau’s Dr Lynette Bettio, that “doesn’t necessarily mean that it was ‘cool’” given the averages in recent years are global warming affected. Also bucking expectations, it wasn’t as wet as you might think. Sure, November was Australia’s wettest on record, and some parts had downfalls the likes they’ve never seen. But overall, 2021 delivered 9% more rain than average. It’s going to be soggy for a few more weeks with La Niña set to hang around until autumn – just mind the brown rot

Australian News

The footy is back

Wait, what? Sure, we’re 7 days into the new year, but footy fans are in luck – the AFLW kicks off tonight. This 6th season starts 3 weeks earlier than it did last year, but it’s later than organisers wanted. Going forward, they say a December launch is what they want. And this year, it’s an unusual first game with neither Collingwood nor Carlton involved… Instead, tonight’s opener will see St Kilda and Richmond take to Frankston Park, about 40km from the CBD. In total, 10 rounds will be played with 14 teams battling for a place in the finals. As for who will be on top at the end, half of the teams’ captains say keep your eye on the red and the blue (aka Melbourne). That’s even after the perenially underrated Brisbane Lions beat 2-time premiers Adelaide for the trophy in 2021. Now to torpedo punt COVID out of the picture so they can get on with it…


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

There are 2 kinds of people right now: those who are obsessed with their daily Wordle, and those who are seeing coloured grids on social media and wondering what the heck that’s about. We’re in the former camp… A good backgrounder is here, or get right into it.

As this article succinctly explains, “Marc Rebillet livestreams improvised music to millions of fans, often in just his boxer briefs.” If that’s a rabbit hole you’d like to go down, his last uber-cool (and fully clothed) effort is here.

‘Tis the season to pay lip service to eating better than last year. This recipe cheered us up no end after a health/flavour conscious mate gave it a whirl. It’s an easy/good-for-you Ottolenghi recipe that ticks the new year’s resolution box.

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know which member of pop music royalty has a child making it in the London art scene? Have a crack at the S’Quiz.

Squiz the Day

10.30am (AEDT) – Cricket – 4th Ashes Test – Jane McGrath Day – Australia v England – Sydney

5.10pm (AEDT) – AFLW – Round 1 Season Opener – St Kilda v Richmond – Melbourne

Birthdays for designer Christian Louboutin (1963), actor Nicolas Cage (1964, rugby coach Ricky Stuart (1967), and champion F1 driver Lewis Hamilton (1985)

Anniversary of:
• Guy Menzies completing the first solo trans-Tasman flight from Sydney to West Coast of New Zealand (1931)
• the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris with 12 people killed by Islamic extremists (2015)

Squiz the Day

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