Squiz Today / 06 January 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 6 January

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Routine items that used to be completed with a minimum of effort now occupy more time and divert attention away from flying the aircraft.”

Said a Qantas spokesperson of the increased number of reports identifying COVID hiatus induced pilot errors, like “commencing take-off with park brake set”. Flying a commercial jet – not as easy as riding a bike…

Djokovic’s vaxx exemption hits Border Force’s net


Novak Djokovic is being held at Melbourne Airport this morning after being denied entry over problems with his visa. He arrived in Australia late last night and was quizzed by Border Force over the documentation he’s using to support his medical exemption to play in the Grand Slam while unvaccinated. To further complicate matters, reports say he’s applied for the wrong visa. Yesterday, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews had flagged “issues” surrounding Djokovic’s travel declaration. “No individual competing at the Australian Open will be afforded any special treatment,” she said in a statement.


On Tuesday night, the men’s world #1 tennis player confirmed he’d received a COVID vaccination exemption allowing him to compete at the Australian Open. He’s previously said that he’s against compulsory vaccination and there has been ongoing speculation about his vaccination status. Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said Djokovic’s application was assessed on a no-names basis, and he was also signed off by Victorian officials. Many people expressed their frustration that he’s been waved through while they have been unable to see their families during the pandemic. Meanwhile, cheeky AFL legend Kevin Bartlett reckons Djokovic should now be considered “the greatest tennis player ever” because he’s “won 20 Grand Slams and 87 titles and a billion dollars without us knowing he had a debilitating medical problem.” 


If Djokovic makes it through border controls, and that’s a big ‘if’, he’s got some explaining to do. That’s what Victoria’s Acting Premier Jacinta Allan expects, and so too does Tiley. In fact, he says he doesn’t know the details of why Djokovic was granted an exemption because it’s private medical information, so he reckons it’d be much clearer if the Serbian star cleared it up himself. It’s going to be an interesting fortnight before the Aussie Open gets underway on 17 January…


Squiz the Rest

COVID testing protocols updated, again…

PM Scott Morrison has unveiled the latest take from National Cabinet as 64,000 more Aussies were added to the COVID-positive list yesterday. In an effort to ease “incredibly frustrating and highly disruptive” testing delays, the requirement to get a PCR test to confirm a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) has been scrapped. As for paying for a RAT, concession card holders (aka 6.6 million people) will be able to get up to 10 free tests from pharmacies. They will also be provided for free at testing clinics to those with symptoms/close contacts. And in response to claims of retailers jacking up the price, there will be a provision put in place to prevent price gouging. Morrison also acknowledged the boom in Omicron cases is putting pressure on hospitals in some areas, but things are “well, well, well within the capacity of the hospital system,” he says.


North Korea fires up, again…

North Korea yesterday fired a ballistic missile 500km into the sea off its east coast as the nation’s leader Kim Jong Un vowed to boost the country’s military program. It’s the latest in a series of provocations. In October, North Korea said it was testing a newly developed long-range missiles which could perform mid-air maneuvers making it harder to intercept. South Korea, Japan and the US don’t much like the idea of Kim having that sort of weapon but they have had trouble engaging with North Korea since talks spearheaded by former US president Donald Trump collapsed in 2019. The sticking point: how much sanctions relief should be given in return for Kim starting to ditch his nuclear warheads. Analysts say North Korea’s economy is in dreadful shape due to the pandemic and Kim’s mismanagement, and more of this sort of attention-seeking is to be expected.

World News

No one likes a lurker…

The coast of southeast Queensland and Far North NSW have had a rough few days, and it’s all down to ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth that has made like a bad Christmas house guest and lingered off the coast for days. Beaches have been closed and king tides have been exacerbated by the rough surf that has been stirred up. Yesterday, it was confirmed that a 58yo man died at a Gold Coast beach after he hit a sandbank while riding his boogie board in the rough surf. And earlier this week a 47yo woman died in rough seas at Coffs Harbour. Towns have been inundated with water, Bribie Island has been divided in half, and the tide has tried to make off with kegs of beer and a ute. And it’s not over… Conditions are set to worsen as Seth gets close to the coast. That prompted the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a warning that rain and wind are expected to increase in the area today. Hold onto your hat…

Australian News

Gadgets galore

The world’s biggest consumer electronics show (CES) kicked off in Las Vegas overnight, and while some of the biggest tech names were absent this year thanks to Omicron, there are plenty of new gizmos on offer. Samsung claimed the most anticipated launch of the annual show with its new flagship phone. And fellow South Korean tech giant LG has unveiled the largest and smallest OLED televisions available on the market. As for the quirkier stuff, there’s an anti-snoring pillow, a fitness tracker for cats, and a smart lightbulb that tracks sleeping habits. But our personal favourite is a smart device from US plumbing company Kohler that solves the age-old problem of getting bathwater temperature just right. It can even drain the tub using voice control, but you’ll have to add your own bubbles…


Madonna’s child makin’ it in the art world

Pop queen Madonna has (another) artist in the family… Art sluthes have been onto this one for a while, and after an indiscrete Insta post, they are now convinced that her 21yo son Rocco Ritchie is the up-and-coming artist Rhed. Close watchers note that Madonna and her former husband/film director made a rare joint appearance at Rhed’s debut show at a gallery in London in 2018, and there has been speculation ever since. His works are expressionist in style, and his vibe is that there is “beauty in the struggle of life” – something he does via “thickly applied oils and gestural brushstrokes”. And look, it’s fair to say that the critics are divided, so cue the debate about whether his success is due to talent or quiet nods/winks about who his oldies are. But given his pieces sell for 5-figures, maybe he could afford to get his jeans hemmed don’t you think?


Apropos of Nothing

Those of a certain age might remember Crystal Pepsi – a clear cola that had a 2-year run in the 90s. Now the decade is all the rage, Pepsi is giving away bottles of the stuff to 300 lucky fans deemed to have the best pics from the era. Wonder if 2nd place is 400 bottles… 

Four beekeepers have been arrested in Chile after protests demanding financial assistance for the drought-stricken honey industry ended with 7 police officers being stung. The protesters mostly included an estimated 10,000 bees…

A clever pooch has saved his human’s life after he became stranded while hiking in Croatia, keeping him warm for 12 hours before he was found by rescuers. And in the US, Tinsley the German Shepherd has been deemed a hero after directing police to his injured owner’s crashed car. Dogs = the best.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.30am (AEDT) – Cricket – 4th Ashes Test – Australia v England – Sydney

Sydney Festival begins (on until 30 January)

Birthdays for comedian Rowan Atkinson (1955), chef Nigella Lawson (1960), actor Eddie Redmayne (1982), rocker Alex Turner (1986)

Wedding anniversary for King Henry VIII of England and Anne of Cleves. It was his fourth marriage, and it didn’t quite work out… (1540)

Anniversary of:
• the wedding of King Henry VIII of England and Anne of Cleves. It was his fourth marriage, and it didn’t quite work out… (1540)
• Maria Montessori opening her first Montessori school in Rome (1907)
• the death of US President Theodore Roosevelt (1919)
• cricket legend Don Bradman scoring 452 not out in 415 minutes, a then-record in a first-class match (1930)
• a mob of supporters of former US President Donald Trump storming the US Capitol in Washington DC (2021)

Squiz the Day

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