Squiz Today / 20 September 2021

Squiz Today – Monday, 20 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your morning news pep talk.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Who said RnR is dead…”

Said former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher who took to Twitter to show his wounds after he “fell out the helicopter” after performing at the Isle of Wight festival on Friday. He needs R&R of another kind…

Blind trust puts Porter on the backbench

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Christian Porter has resigned from the Morrison Government’s frontbench. Last week, he updated the Members’ Register of Interest to reveal that a ‘blind trust’ paid for part of his legal fees in his abandoned defamation case against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan. PM Scott Morrison launched an investigation, and yesterday he said Porter was unable to shed any light on who had stumped up the cash, so to avoid “a conflict of interest or a perceived conflict of interest,” he resigned. Energy Minister Angus Taylor will act in Porter’s portfolios with a replacement set to be announced next week.

Yep. It started when the ABC aired rape claims against an unnamed federal cabinet minister in late February. At that point, Porter was the Attorney-General – Australia’s top law officer. He identified himself as the man in question and took leave to deal with his mental health. But it wasn’t those allegations that have seen him go – it’s about how he paid his circa $1 million legal bill after suing the broadcaster and journo for defamation. Concerns about transparency were raised, but Porter maintains he has acted within the rules. He says he won’t ask for the donors to reveal themselves because they will be attacked by the ‘‘social media mob’’. Who is behind the financial support is still not clear, but “that matter is now concluded,” Morrison says.

Yeah nah… Labor leader Anthony Albanese is calling on Porter to resign from parliament. And there are plenty of questions about whether Porter will contest the next federal election, which is set to take place in the coming 9 months. He says he will stand again in his metro/rural seat of Pearce in Western Oz, and Morrison yesterday resisted any suggestion he or the Liberal Party should take further action against him. What that means is it will ultimately be the voters in his electorate who will make a judgement about whether taking financial support from someone/people he cannot name passes the sniff test. 


Squiz the Rest

“We thought we were mates”

France’s Ambassador to Oz Jean-Pierre Thebault hit us where it hurt as he left Canberra on Saturday night after he and France’s envoy to the US were recalled in protest following last week’s announcement of the new AUKUS security pact. “I’ve seen and learned how deep for an Australian it is when you commit to watch each other’s back. What makes me sad is that we thought we were mates and we were stabbed in the back,” Thebault said. Offt… Analysts say it’s not just about cancelling a $90 billion submarine contract with France’s Naval Group – it’s about the way France – an allied nation with a presence in the Pacific – was cut out of the picture. PM Morrison was unapologetic yesterday, saying “I don’t regret the decision to put Australia’s national interest first.” He’ll be able to get some in-person support this week from US President Joe Biden… Morrison takes off for New York and Washington DC today for talks with him and the other Quad leaders of India and Japan.


Crawling out of COVID lockdowns

Victoria – the state that has endured more lockdowns than any other part of the country – was yesterday presented with the roadmap to never doing it again. But like a lot of packages in the system at the moment, there are some delays… Pegged on Victorians aged 16 years and over hitting 70% and 80% full vaccination rates, restrictions are expected to be eased from around 26 October and 5 November, respectively. There will be pressure on the health system as new cases continue to appear, but “make no mistake, we are opening this place up. There is no alternative,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. In NSW, as Greater Sydney residents head into their 13th week of lockdown, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the easing of hard restrictions for Sydney’s COVID hotspots – they are now under the same stay-at-home orders as the rest of the city. And something to look forward to: from Monday next week, public pools across the state can reopen. You gotta take your wins where you can…


Canadian election one for the keeners

That’s ‘nerd’ in Canada-speak… Today brings democracy lovers a snap election. Incumbent Liberal Party PM Justin Trudeau has been in office for 6 years – he called the election just 2 years into his second 4-year term. At the start of the campaign, Trudeau looked set to secure a majority in Canada’s House of Commons as Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and his party trailed in the polls. Fast forward to now, and O’Toole’s approval rating is level with Trudeau’s. Like many COVID-era leaders, Trudeau hopes that Canadians will reward him for navigating the coronavirus crisis, but analysts say he could be punished for calling the election early for “selfish, political reasons.” And gee the election gods have been smiling – not only is there an ongoing election in Russia, but there’s also a national poll in Germany later this week. *Rubs hands together*

World News

The fairest and the best

Port Adelaide might not have made it through to Saturday’s premiership game, but midfielder Ollie Wines last night took the honour as the player of the season, claiming the prestigious Brownlow Medal. He’s the first player from the club to win it – and he did it in style, raking in a record-equalling 36 points. And yes, there’s a red carpet gallery… Adding to the excitement this weekend was Manly and the Penrith Panthers advancing in the NRL finals – they respectively take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Melbourne Storm in next weekend’s preliminary finals – the last stop before the big GF. And it was another excellent result for the Wallabies – our national rugby side recorded their second win over the South African Springboks in a week. Their return to form has seen them rocket up the rankings to become the #3 ranked team in the world. That seemed like an unrealistic dream not that long ago…


Get your Emmys on

To fill the Met Gala-sized red carpet hole in your life, get ready for the Emmy Awards 2021… Thanks to COVID, TV has never been hotter. And this year, with restrictions eased across the US, many nominees will attend the ceremony in Los Angeles in person. For the first time in forever, there’s no Succession or Schitt’s Creek to win everything. That leaves lovable soccer coach Ted Lasso, murder-mystery The Flight Attendant, and Vegas comedy-with-heart Hacks the hot favourites for some serious statue action. And don’t count out The Crown – it’s totes in the running for acting and show awards. All the nominees are here, and it’s on from 10am (AEST) – be there or be square like your eyes after a year of intense TV viewing…


Apropos of Nothing

After their 3-day tour, SpaceX’s Inspiration4 adventurers landed safely off the Florida coast yesterday. The voyage that has heralded in a new era of space travel is the latest in a year of spaceflight milestones. “We’re just getting started,” said 38yo billionaire voyager Jared Isaacman.

Fires continue to threaten part of California, and firefighters have had to get innovative to protect the world’s largest tree by wrapping its base in protective foil. Standing 83m tall, the General Sherman Tree is a sequoia, and authorities hope they have done enough to save it as flames approached the area overnight.

Speaking of tall, the Dutch have long been the world’s tallest people, but they are getting shorter. To explain, the people aren’t shrinking… A new study shows Dutch men born in 2001 were 1cm shorter than those born in 1980, while women were 1.4cm shorter. The reason? Short people immigrating and mucking up their tall genes.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00pm (AEST) – Former US President Donald Trump speaks to Sky News’ Sharri Markson on Wuhan lab/COVID leak theory 

The Melbourne Magistrates Court is due to hand down a decision on whether former school principal Malka Leifer will stand trial on sexual assault charges

Canadian federal election

Start of Headache & Migraine Week (on until 24 September)

Birthdays for actor Sophia Loren (1934), Game of Thrones author George RR Martin (1948) and Aussie muso Tim Rogers (1968)

Anniversary of:
• the Battle of the Sexes tennis showdown between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs (1973)
• US President George W. Bush declaring a “war on terror” following the 11 September terrorist attacks (2001)
• the release of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe single (2011)
• Hurricane Maria that resulted in 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico (2017)
• students from 185 countries stage the world’s largest-ever protest on climate change culminating in Manhattan rally led by Greta Thunberg (2019)

Squiz the Day

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