Squiz Today / 15 March 2021

Squiz Today – Monday, 15 March


"Last time, I didn't know who you were, but now I know who you are!"

Said 86yo Jane Malysiak to her vaccination buddy PM Scott Morrison yesterday as the pair became the first in the country to receive their second COVID shots. Here’s hoping familiarity breeds an immune response…


Big in the news today will be the March 4 Justice rally scheduled to take place outside Parliament House as our Federal pollies return to Canberra for another week. Calling for equality and an end to gendered violence, 85,000 people are expected to attend events held around Australia. No Coalition minister will attend the Canberra rally, but PM Scott Morrison has offered to meet with a delegation in his office. “I’ll respectfully receive that as I’m sure they will respectfully engage with me. I think that’s the right way to do this,” he said yesterday. Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek and Greens co-deputy leader Larissa Waters will attend the rally and receive a petition calling for change.

Usually, government members are a focus for protestors because they can deliver change through legislation. This time, it's the politicians' behaviour that's under scrutiny. Rally organisers say they’ve moved “at speed” to organise the rallies following historical rape allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter and allegations by staffer Brittany Higgins that she was sexually assaulted by a colleague. Labor staffers are also said to be preparing to speak out about their experiences. These issues are at least partly responsible for taking a chunk out of the Morrison Government's appeal to voters, pundits say. Team Morrison's 2-party preferred status has fallen 2 points to trail Labor 48:52 in the latest Newspoll.

It was more a vigil than a protest, but things got messy when police intervened yesterday. To backtrack for a second: there has been a public outpouring of grief across the UK over the murder of 33yo marketing executive Sarah Everard who went missing on 3 March after she set out from Clapham to walk home alone. On Friday, her body was found and serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens was arrested. PM Boris Johnson and Kate (aka the Duchess of Cambridge) paid tribute to her over the weekend, and several hundred people gathered on Saturday night for a vigil. Police said they had no choice but to enforce the COVID rules and forcibly remove some of those attending. Politicians across the board said the heavy-handed actions were inappropriate. "Women came together to mourn Sarah Everard - they should have been able to do so peacefully,” said Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer.



A quarantine hotel worker in Sydney has tested positive to COVID-19 ending a 55-day run of no local transmission in the state - the longest of the pandemic. Health authorities are hustling to identify the infection source, and 130 people who worked with the guard at two quarantine hotels are being tested/self-isolating. Queensland also reported a new COVID case yesterday, but officials say it's unlikely to be connected to the Brisbane hospital doctor who tested positive to the UK strain on Friday after treating 2 infectious patients. And one of Brisbane’s quarantine hotels - the Grand Chancellor - is back in lockdown as authorities investigate whether a case was transmitted in house. It’s the same hotel where an outbreak in January put Brisbane into lockdown.


The polls got it right... To say Labor won Saturday’s WA state election is an understatement. Premier Mark McGowan and his party obliterated their opponents, scoring at least 50 (and probably 52) of the Legislative Assembly's 59 seats. The Liberals look like they will hold 3 seats (down from 13), with the Nationals set to become the official opposition with 4 seats (down from 6). There is a lot of counting to be done, but it looks like Labor attracted 70% of the two-party preferred vote making it Labor’s biggest win in any election ever. Liberal leader Zak Kirkup - who took on the leadership just 16 weeks ago - became the state’s first major party leader to lose their own seat in 88 years. He will not continue in politics. “Thank you so much to every Western Australian,” McGowan said. And so he should - almost every one of them voted for him…

Another Western Australian doing well in elections is former Finance Minister Mathias CormannHe's the new boss of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), delivering what pundits say is "a diplomatic triumph for Australia".


As more protestors are killed in Myanmar, National League for Democracy Party figure Mahn Win Khaing Than has called on Myanmar’s citizens to continue to resist the country’s military leadership. He escaped arrest in the early days of the coup that saw Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi detained and charged. Than remains in hiding with other senior officials and leads a newly formed group called the Committee for Presenting Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), which is seeking international recognition as Myanmar's rightful government. The group has been deemed illegal by the military. Reports say more than 80 protestors have died in clashes with authorities since 1 February. #SquizShortcut


Tributes flowed over the weekend for Murray Walker, aka ‘the voice of Formula 1 racing’,  who died on Saturday at 97yo. A WWII veteran, Walker commented on his first Grand Prix for the BBC in 1949 - the start of a career that spanned more than 5 decades before he retired in 2001. He was known for his high-energy commentary style and memorable phrases that became known as ‘Murrayisms’ like “there’s nothing wrong with his car except that it’s on fire”... Former Grand Prix driver Martin Brundle described him as a “national treasure, communication genius, formula 1 legend.”


The 63rd Grammy Awards will have no live audience. Performers will be separated on 5 stages to maintain social distancing. And the awards will be handed out by bartenders, security guards and cleaners from concert venues that have been forced to close because of the pandemic. So, this morning’s ceremony will look a bit different... Music’s night of nights will be hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, and Beyoncé goes in as frontrunner with 9 nominations in total - including 4 for her civil rights anthem Black Parade. Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa are next in line with 6 nominations each. Even Meryl Streep could win her first Grammy... But someone who’s got the grumps is The Weeknd after he was snubbed in the nominations. He and a string of other big names say they won’t be tuning in.


Chicago isn’t under the grip of a weird algae bloom, it’s getting back in the St Patrick’s Day groove after taking 2020 off.

Saturday Squiz email recipients would have clocked our enthusiasm for an amazing one-shot drone tour of a Minneapolis bowling alley. Next up - a cinema. (And to get the Saturday Squiz, all you have to do is get 3 of your people to sign up... )

Let’s face it - our parents probably accidentally dropped us at some point when we were little, and if you’ve had kids, you might have done the same. But a 2-metre drop at birth seems like a tough way to get your start in life… PS all is fine, phew.


11.00am (AEDT) - 63rd Annual Grammy Awards - broadcast live on Network 10

11.19pm (AEDT) - Oscar's nominations announced

International Day Against Police Brutality

World Consumer Rights Day

Start of Brain Awareness Week and Kidney Health Week (on until 21 March)

World Speech Day

Birthdays for actor Eva Longoria (1975) and musician will.i.am (1975)

Sydneysiders Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fischer celebrate a wedding anniversary (2010)

Anniversary of the:
• death of Julius Caesar (44BC)
• birthday of Saint Nicholas (270)
• return of Christopher Columbus to Spain after his first voyage to the New World (1493)
• first test cricket match - Australia v England at the MCG in Melbourne (1877)
• wedding of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1964)
• release of The Godfather (1972)
• Christchurch mosque shootings that saw 51 dead (2019)

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