Squiz Today / 28 September 2020

Squiz Today – Monday, 28 September


“Shoot! Shoot!”

Is a perfectly reasonable thing to shout in the comfort of your apartment while watching an ice hockey final on the telly. Just spare a thought for the worried neighbours


There was good news for Melburnians yesterday with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announcing the city will take the second step on the roadmap out of restrictions today.

• The curfew has been lifted from tonight, and up to 5 people from 2 households can meet outdoors - as long as it’s within 5km of home. Some restrictions on hospital/aged care visits have also been relaxed.

• Almost 130,000 workers can return to their jobs with a focus on construction workers and in the manufacturing and logistics sectors.

• And if you could hear a cheer yesterday arvo, it was most likely from parents… Childcare will reopen, and primary students will return to school from 12 October, as will senior high schoolers.

But wait, there’s more… Step 3 on the roadmap - which sees no restrictions on Melburnians leaving their homes and the hospitality/retail sectors reopening - looks set to kick in from 19 October if new cases continue to come down.

And it’s been a huge weekend on the political front... Health Minister Jenny Mikakos resigned not just from her ministerial job but also from parliament on Saturday. It came after Andrews told the inquiry into the failed hotel quarantine program on Friday that she was accountable for the programs’ failures that led to Victoria’s second coronavirus wave and more than 750 deaths. Mikakos said she was “deeply sorry” for what happened, but she disagreed with Andrews’ assessment. Andrews, Mikakos and other senior politicians and officials have told the inquiry they don’t know who made the decision to staff the program with private security firms. Reports point towards Victorian Police's reluctance to deploy its officers as a driving factor. “I have never shirked my responsibility for my department but it is not my responsibility alone,” Mikakos's statement said.

Notified of her decision by text, Andrews said Mikakos’s resignation was “the appropriate course of action”. And with that, she was quickly replaced by Mental Health Minister Martin Foley. Andrews himself is fending off calls to resign saying "I don't run from problems and challenges.”



A little more than a week after the death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - and 5 weeks out from the presidential election - President Donald Trump has announced his pick to replace the famous feminist. Amy Coney Barrett, her husband and 7 children joined Trump at the White House yesterday where he said she was "a woman of remarkable intellect and character" and joked that her confirmation process "should be easy" and "extremely non-controversial". That's in part because she bolds staunch conservative views, including against abortion. Yesterday she said she wouldn’t try to impose her personal views upon the law. It’s also a thing because no president has tried to get a judge confirmed to the Supreme Court this close to an election. Her appointment would make her the sixth justice of 9 to be appointed by a Republican president. You can find out more about the 48yo here.


LEBANON’S ACTING PM QUITS - Mustapha Adib’s efforts to bring the ruling factions together to form a government has hit a wall, and so he’s outta there… It’s the criticism many have had of Lebanon - an inability to move forward because of the power the religious and political factions have. His departure is a setback for the disaster-hit nation, and it could endanger the conditional promise of financial assistance from France. Adib is the third PM to go in a year.

UYGHUR POLICIES “TOTALLY CORRECT”, SAYS XI - Speaking at a conference in Beijing over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping doubled down on the strategy to put Chinese national identity “deep in the soul” of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. The indoctrination/detention camps are thought to hold more than a million people, and China has been condemned internationally for it.

TIKTOK BAN IN THE BALANCE - With the Trump administration set to impose a ban on TikTok downloads today, a US judge is weighing it up. The Chinese-owned app has called the impending ban “irrational" and “political” with negotiations ongoing that would see American interests manage its US operations. The government says it’s pursuing “a formal national security judgment of the president”.


The death in June of Indian film star Sushant Singh Rajput sent shockwaves through India. He was young, handsome and successful when he was found dead in his Mumbai apartment. Police ruled that he had killed himself*. Behind the scenes, friends said he had been struggling with bipolar disorder. But things really took off when his family filed a complaint against actress Rhea Chakraborty, his girlfriend, saying she had driven him to it and that she'd stolen his money. She was arrested but denied the claims. Now, it seems the Narcotics Control Bureau is pursuing two investigations - the first into Chakraborty and others close to Rajput over allegedly supplying him with drugs, and another into claims of widespread drug use in Bollywood. Reports say the growing scandal, fuelled by stars being pulled in to answer questions, isn’t going away. Bollywood, which makes Hindi-language movies, accounts for 45% of India’s box office revenue.

*Need help?


Pioneering feminist Susan Ryan died yesterday aged 77yo. A Labor senator for 12 years, she was the party’s first female Cabinet minister taking up the education and youth affairs portfolio in the Hawke Government in 1983. She was also the first minister for women. “At that time, it was not unlawful to sack women who married or became pregnant… Correcting it was hard and contentious,” she said last year. What followed was the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 to protect women in the workplace. Former PM Paul Keating said she had other strings to her bow. "Her great achievement was to lift Year 12 retention rates in schools, which was an abysmal 3 in 10 when she took office in 1983, to end at 9 in 10 in 1996," he said. Ryan was also Australia's first age discrimination commissioner and later served as a disability discrimination commissioner. Reports say she became ill after going for a swim on Friday morning.


In one of the weirder scientific hook-ups you’ve ever seen, Tourism Western Australia has joined with Leeds Uni to look at whether cute animal videos contribute to a reduction in stress and anxiety. And the results are in - all 19 participants in this thorough/comprehensive study saw their heart rate and blood pressure reduced after 30 minutes of cat/pup/adorable wildlife video viewing. Which seems like an elaborate way of getting pics of quokkas in front of people. Oh ok, here you go


Queen's Birthday public holiday (WA)

JobKeeper scheme extended from today

Right to Know Day

World Rabies Day

Anniversary of:
• the release of Stevie Wonder's album Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
• the release of Olivia Newton-John's single Physical (1981)
• SpaceX launching the world's first private spacecraft, the Falcon 1, into orbit (2008)

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