Squiz Today / 09 November 2020

Squiz Today – Monday, 9 November


“Overjoyed and beyond excited.”

Is not a quote from Team Biden… It’s how Michigan native Jay Schwandt and wife Kateri are feeling after she gave birth last week to a girl. What’s notable about that is her other 14 kids are boys… That’s a lot of stinky boy-smells for one house…


Fireworks were set off as supporters gathered in front of the White House in Washington DC. The Empire State Building in New York lit up in red, white and blue. One man brushed away tears on camera. And some other funny business was going on as it was that Democrats Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris had won the US election. “This is the time to heal in America,” said Biden in an address to the nation declaring the coronavirus crisis his first priority. And his message to the world: “We lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.” The result is the realisation of 77yo Biden’s White House dream more than 30 years after his first tilt at his party’s nomination. And Harris is the first woman and person of colour to be elected vice president.

Taking nearly 4 days to name a winner, it was the calling of Pennsylvania for Biden yesterday morning (Oz time) that tipped him over the 270 electoral votes mark. The win in Pennsylvania restores the northern ‘blue wall’ with Biden also scoring victories in Michigan and Wisconsin – 3 states that had traditionally supported Democrats but fell to Trump in 2016. Meanwhile, the as yet-undeclared battleground states of Arizona and Georgia are leaning in Biden’s direction, while North Carolina has Trump ahead. If that holds, the result will see Trump end up with 232 electoral college votes to Biden’s 306. Trump, who was on the golf course when Biden claimed the win (and is there again today), has not conceded defeat saying the election is "far from over." He continues to tweet about election fraud.

"The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said yesterday. And that means a whole lotta legal action following on from his startling press conference on Friday when he alleged that “big donors, the big media, the big tech” had conspired against him. Reports say Trump may never concede defeat and wants to keep his supporters "energised for what comes next.” As for next steps, it’s a detailed process… But long story short, disputes over the vote need to be wrapped up by 8 December; the result will be announced after a joint session of the Congress on 6 January; and 20 January is inauguration day. That’s the sketch. But the fine brushstrokes of how they get from here to inauguration day are yet to be painted…



Fill up your petrol tank, Victorians… Trips of more than 25km from home are now allowed for Melbourne residents as Premier Daniel Andrews announced more coronavirus restrictions are being relaxed. And from midnight, the 'ring of steel' keeping the city distanced from the rest of the state was lifted. For the first time since June, the same rules that are in place for regional Victoria now apply in Melbourne. That means that from today, the city’s gyms, theatres and cinemas will be able to reopen. And more can be seated at pubs, bars and restaurants. Meanwhile, Andrews’ message to Victorians about staying close to home was reinforced with a ‘Stay Close, Go Further’ ad campaign. U2 wrote a song about that…


Islamic ‘personal laws’ preventing unmarried couples from cohabitating, curbing the drinking of alcohol, and permitting 'honour killings' have been amended in the United Arab Emirates. The broadening of personal freedoms was announced on Saturday and follows a push by the country to be seen as “a Westernised destination for tourists, fortune-seekers and businesses” - particularly with the World Expo scheduled to start later next year. That's been difficult with Westerners falling foul of the laws, often sparking outrage in their home countries. And with foreigners outnumbering citizens by 9:1, changes will also see foreigners avoid Islamic Shariah courts on issues like marriage, divorce and inheritance. Not up for review: the formation of political parties and labour unions. They remain illegal in the UAE.


Myanmar's general election saw voters head to the polls yesterday for the second time since military rule ended in 2011. The favourite to win is Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party. Once lauded for her non-violent stand against the military regime, she has been fiercely criticised across the world for not doing more as the country's military brutally drove out 740,000 Rohingya Muslims in 2017. Not that these elections are expected to make much difference to the way the country is run. The military holds 25% of the seats in Parliament allowing it to block constitutional reforms. A result is expected to be declared today.


It’s not like the Kiwis to take pity on us Aussies when it comes to rugby so we’ll have to accept that the Wallabies took out the 24-22 in the final game of the Bledisloe Cup in Brissie under their own steam. After the Wallabies’ shockin’ 43-5 defeat the week before, expectations were not high. But ye of little faith were pleasantly surprised by a strong performance by the Aussie side. The last Test the Wallabies lost in Brisbane was in 2014, and that was by a point. Which means every big game we play from here on in has to be in Brisbane, right? You’re welcome, Rugby Australia…


She was a big deal in entertainment in Australia in the 70s and 80s. A Gold Logie winner in 1977, the ‘flamboyant’ Jeanne Little has died aged 82yo, her daughter Katie confirmed yesterday. It’s hard to describe Little and the phenomenon that she was if you didn’t see her on the telly at the time. She made her name as a talk show guest after her debut on the Mike Walsh Show in 1974. “Her trademark was flamboyant outfits, an over-the-top personality and her drawling speech which included greeting everyone as "daaahling," were her trademarks, the ABC noted yesterday. For someone who lived in vibrant technicolour, her battle with Alzheimer's disease was a sad chapter, her family noted.

And Midnight Oil confirmed yesterday that bassist and backing vocalist Bones Hillman has died from cancer at 62yo. "He was the bassist with the beautiful voice, the band member with the wicked sense of humour, and our brilliant musical comrade,” the band said on Twitter. A Kiwi and former flatmate of Crowded House’s Neil Finn, Hillman sang and played on every recording since the Oilz’ 1990's Blue Sky Mining album.


And look, that’s exactly what someone from the Trump campaign team did, just not the one you might imagine. If you need proof that when you’re hot, you’re hot, and when you’re not… look no further than here.


Federal Parliament resumes

ABS Data Release - Building Approvals for September

Cambodia’s Independence Day

Start of National Recycling Week (on until 15 November)

A birthday for singer Delta Goodrem (1984)

Anniversary of:
• Napoleon Bonaparte becoming the dictator of France under the title of First Consul after staging a coup (1799)
• the opening of checkpoints allowing East Berliners to walk freely into West Berlin (1989)
• the deaths of British PM Neville Chamberlain (1940), French president Charles de Gaulle (1970) and author Stieg Larsson (2004)

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