Squiz Today / 13 December 2021

Squiz Today – Monday, 13 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Getting your week on track. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“New weekly drop model” 

Is how one whipper-snapper referred to hit show Succession’s drip feed of one new episode per week. Just letting you know in case you didn’t already feel old as we edge towards the end-of-year finish line…

Keeping up with the coronavirus


Last Christmas, COVID led us astray and the very next Christmas, it’s hectic again… Put the Wham! classic behind it and you’ll know what we were aiming for… Long story short, COVID-related developments are coming in thick and fast. And if you’re looking to protect yourself, cross a state border, or understand the impact of the pandemic, it’s good info to be on top of.


Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday said booster shots will be available at the 5-month mark after your second COVID vaccination. The change brings it forward by a month and means an extra 1.5 million Aussies are now available to get their 3rd shot now. With the Omicron and Delta strains doing the rounds, officials say the booster gives stronger and longer-lasting protection, and it helps prevent the spread. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available as boosters, Hunt confirmed.


So. Much. Stuff. In 3 quick points:

Queensland’s border opened early this morning to all fully-vaccinated Australians for the first time since July. Those coming from hotspot areas need a border pass after providing proof of vaccination and a negative test result received within the previous 72 hours. Thousands of people have been locked out of the state over the last 5 months, and lengthy queues on the roads from NSW are expected today.

On anticipated border openings, Premier Mark McGowan will today announce when Western Oz will reopen, reports say. February is the hot tip, which is when the state’s vaccination rate is expected to hit 90%. And our international border could be reopened to uni students from overseas, skilled migrants and other visa holders from this week, reports say. That was delayed when Omicron arrived as the shiny/new thing.

And for the economics nerds – MYEFO will be delivered on Thursday. MY-what-now? The federal government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Update. You might remember Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered May’s budget with the confidence of a squirrel facing a bountiful season – and weeks later, Sydney and then Melbourne went into lockdown. We’ll find out how much that’s impacted the government’s budget outlook.


Squiz the Rest

Twisters wreak havoc in the US

Tornadoes have slammed through 6 states in America’s south and Midwest, killing at least 94 people. The death toll stands at 80 in the state of Kentucky alone and that’s expected to rise with the town of Mayfield appearing to bear the brunt of the storm. The town’s candle factory was utterly wiped out, where 60 of the factory’s 100 workers remain missing, presumed dead. A tornado also hit an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois killing 6 people, with Jeff Bezos describing it as a “tragic loss”. The tornadoes are believed to be the worst on record, and experts say they rarely strike in December with this ferocity. President Joe Biden has promised federal help with the recovery, and he linked it to climate change, saying “we know everything is more intense when the climate is warming”.

World News

Oz called on to stop Assange extradition

Aussie WikiLeaker Julian Assange is one step closer to being extradited to America to face charges of violating the espionage act and hacking into a government computer. On Friday, the US Government won its appeal in the British High Court against an earlier ruling that had blocked Assange’s deportation. US prosecutors regard Assange as an enemy of the state whose actions risked the lives of undercover agents because confidential diplomatic cables referencing their names were published by Wikileaks in 2010-11. The US Government says a sentence of 3-6 years was likely if he was convicted, but a maximum sentence could be as much as 100+ years. Assange’s fiancé and mother of his 2 children, lawyer Stella Morris, revealed that he had a stroke last year during the appeal hearing. However, it’s not over yet – legal experts say the legal wrangling could go on for years.

World News

Planning for a Trump coup

It seems that even democracy disruptors work off PowerPoint when formulating a strategy… The US congressional committee investigating the 6 January raid on the Capitol has its hands on a deck that reveals how then-President Donald Trump and his allies were planning to hold onto power after he lost the election. Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows has handed it over as part of a trove of 6,000 documents – and then said he was no longer cooperating with the investigation. The presentation outlines how Team Trump could escalate claims of foreign interference in the election, followed by the declaration of a national emergency. Another option involved Veep Mike Pence rejecting Joe Biden’s win when called on to certify the result in the congress on 6 January – which became the flashpoint for the riot. Pence – who’s said to be eyeing a run in 2024 – was briefed but refused to be involved. Pundits say Meadows will likely be charged for refusing to participate in the ongoing investigation.

World News

Racing to the line in Abu Dhabi

The epic season finale of Formula 1 racing has ended with Dutchman Max Verstappen being crowned champion after a dramatic last-lap overtake of rival Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton took the lead immediately off the start line and had about a 10-second lead nearing the end of the race. But the field bunched up again after a crash and a controversial decision was made to allow lapped drivers to overtake the safety car.  That brought Verstappen back within hunting distance of Hamilton and he overtook his British rival with the end in sight. Hamilton’s Mercedes team has lodged a formal protest. The stakes couldn’t have been higher going into the race with the pair level on points. And to put some Aussie flavour into the high-octane mix, 20yo Melburnian Oscar Piastri has taken out the Formula 2 world title. He claimed 5 victories this season and will be a reserve driver with the Alpine Formula 1 team next year. “He didn’t just win, he dominated,” said Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo, who finished 12th in the F1 championship overnight.


Peleton stocks slump after guest star appearance

Massive spoiler alert, so scroll past quickly if you don’t want to know where things are at with Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda… So, the first 2 episodes of And Just Like That (aka the Sex and the City follow-on) have dropped sans Samantha. And the reboot has an unexpected plot twist at the end of the first episode with a key character’s death from a heart attack after a 45-minute ride on a fancy Peloton exercise bike. Sure, the show is fiction, but it’s had a very real world impact on the company, sending its share price down by 11% since the show aired late last week. Peloton has gone into damage control, saying while it knew the bike was going to feature in the series, it wasn’t aware of the specifics. It’s now issued a statement through a cardiologist stating the character would have actually delayed a fatal heart attack by riding its bike as regularly as they did. It’s already been a tough year for the company which expanded to Oz this year – its share price is down 75% as the world emerges from the pandemic.


Apropos of Nothing

An Italian Bishop who was bothered by the commercialisation of Christmas has told children Santa isn’t real. “The red of the suit he wears was chosen by Coca-Cola exclusively for advertising purposes,” he said. The company says that’s not entirely true, and the church has apologised. 

Speaking of Catholics in trouble, Spain’s youngest bishop has been relieved of his duties after he married a psychologist-turned-author of satanic raunch. That would do it… 

‘Tis the season for royal Christmas cards. Nothing from Harry and Meghan so far after their illustrated effort of 2020. But the Charles-Camillas and William-Kates are on the scoreboard. And a walk down memory lane is here. Hands up if you haven’t sent yours (aka we’re totally with you)… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

13 December 2021

South Korean President Moon Jae-In arrives in Australia for a 3-day visit, where he will meet with PM Scott Morrison

Republic Day in Malta

A birthday for singer Taylor Swift (1989)

Anniversary of:
• Dutch explorer Abel Tasman’s sighting the South Island of present-day New Zealand (initially he calls it Staten Landt but changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland) (1642)
• League of Nations establishing the International Court of Justice in The Hague (1920)
• the capture of Iraq President Saddam Hussein (2003)

Squiz the Day

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