Squiz Today / 19 October 2020

Squiz Today – Monday, 19 October


“Most days are really rubbish, and yesterday was another day I was feeling really low. I thought: I’m going to be honest.”

Said COVID-weary Surrey man Edmund O’Leary, and so he tweeted that he was down. Thousands of responses of support later, he was stunned by the reaction. Twitter as a force for good - who’d have thunk it?


Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday outlined some relief for Melbourne residents, including the removal of the time limit for leaving home, the extension of the ‘travel bubble’ from 5km to 25km from home, and an increase to the limit on outdoor gatherings to 10 people from 2 households. Unkempt Melburnians can seek help with hairdressers reopening, and some recreational facilities and home services are restarting. And for regional Victorians, hospitality venues can serve more people. The next stop: another round of significant changes for Melbourne has been scheduled for 2 November, including lifting stay-at-home orders. But the business and hospitality sectors have again urged Andrews to open up more quickly - a call backed by PM Scott Morrison. That’s not on the cards with Andrews worried Victorians will break the rules during next weekend’s AFL grand final. He's warned locals that they can't pretend the pandemic is over “because we all desperately want it to be."

...are Kiwi travellers. To recap: New Zealanders have been allowed to fly into New South Wales and the Northern Territory since last Friday. There is no requirement for them to go into quarantine like other international arrivals because of the near elimination of COVID-19 in NZ. Now also keep in mind that Victoria does not have restrictions on incoming domestic arrivals from any state or territory… So confusion reigned when up to 55 Kiwis travelled on to Victoria after arriving in Sydney. Premier Andrews yesterday said there was no agreement that his state was part of the Kiwi travel bubble, adding "I've got no power to stop them coming in." Meanwhile, acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said the Victorian Government knew all about it before Friday. “I have a bit on at the moment, right?” was Andrews’ retort. Western Oz’s Premier Mark McGowan was similarly unhappy with Kiwis who headed there.

A grim record was set on Friday - global coronavirus cases rose by more than 400,000. Europe is now the epicentre of new infections as it records more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined, and it's projected that the region will clock a million new cases every 9 days at the current rate. The United Kingdom, France, Russia, Netherlands and Spain accounted for about half of Europe's new cases last week, and nations across the continent are reimposing restrictions (but not on yodelling…) in the hope the wave can be brought under control before winter. In total, there have been almost 40 million cases of coronavirus worldwide. More than 1.1 million people have died, and 27.3 million have recovered.



Eleven people have been arrested as French authorities investigate the grizzly murder of 47yo school teacher Samuel Paty on Friday. The suspected killer has been identified as Abdoulakh A - an 18yo man of Chechen origin who was unknown to anti-terrorism police. He’s been accused of killing and beheading Paty in the street outside his school in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 30km north-west of Paris. Abdoulakh A was shot and killed by police after the attack. Reports say Paty had been the target of threats since he showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class about freedom of speech and the Charlie Hebdo case. President Emmanuel Macron labelled the attack terrorism and said Paty had been killed because he "taught freedom of expression". Crowds gathered across France overnight against terrorism and in support of Paty. "You do not scare us. We are not afraid. You will not divide us. We are France!" tweeted Prime Minister Jean Castex, who was amongst the crowd in Paris.


Leaders from around the world - and the Dalai Lama - have congratulated New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern on her thumping election win on Saturday night. Her Labour Party won 49.1% of the vote and a projected 64 seats delivering a rare parliamentary majority in the 120 seat parliament. "New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in almost 50 years. We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander," she said. The National Party has seen its representation reduced from 54 to 35 seats. And Ardern’s former coalition partner NZ First has lost all of its 9 seats. Labour may still enter a coalition with the Greens, so watch this space. “Reasonable weekend. A++ would trade again,” tweeted Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford. And in the ACT, Labor’s Andrew Barr is set to be returned via an agreement with the Greens to extend the party’s 19-year grip on power in the national capital.


Worn across Australia’s boardrooms and back blocks, RM Williams’ boots are as Aussie as Holden winning the Bathurst 1000... And the iconic brand will be returned to Australian ownership with mining billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s family investment office Tattarang inking a deal to acquire the company for a reported $190 million. The leather goods/fashion retailer has been in the hands of private equity firm L Catterton Asia, which is best known for its partnership with LVMH (aka the group that owns luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Moët and Hennessy). It initially had it on the market for $400-500 million, reports say. Actor/part-owner Hugh Jackman pockets circa $10 million for his share and is expected to remain a brand ambassador. Just when he got his gear off for them…


Melbourne can celebrate (from an appropriate social distance, of course…) its Super Netball win with the Vixens’ 66-64 victory against the West Coast Fever. The Vixens also laid claim to player of the match Mwai Kumwenda - she scored 47 from 50 shots. "Holy crap, that was right down to the wire," said Caitlin Thwaites, who retires on a high. Meanwhile, the lineup is locked in for next weekend’s festival of footy grand finals. For the AFL, Richmond is looking to defend its premiership title as it takes on Geelong on Saturday night with Brisbane’s Gabba playing host. Last night, the Brisbane Lions’ Lachie Neale was judged the league’s fairest and best player winning the prestigious Brownlow Medal (with his wife Julie rocking the red carpet…). And in the NRL, Melbourne and Penrith will meet in the decider to be played in Sydney on Sunday night. Over in New Zealand, it wasn’t to be for the Wallabies yesterday arvo. They went down to New Zealand’s All Blacks 27-7 as the Aussies’ 34-year Eden Park losing curse continues…


Our Princess Mary's eldest son Prince Christian has turned 15yo. New official pics were released to mark the day, and gee you could pick him out as a Donaldson in a lineup. Not that it's anticipated the royal, who no doubt has impeccable moral qualities, will ever find himself in police custody…


7.30pm (AEDT) - NRL’s Dally M Awards recognising the season’s best and fairest

Federal Parliament resumes with the House of Reps sitting and Senators in Estimates hearings  - Canberra

Anniversary of:
• the Russian Politburo throwing out Leon Trotsky and his followers (1926)
• the deaths of businesswoman Elizabeth Arden (1966)
• the release of Cher's Believe single (1999)
• Jacinda Ardern becoming New Zealand's youngest leader in 161 years when the Labour Party formed a coalition government (2017)

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