Squiz Today / 06 May 2021

Squiz Today – Thursday, 6 May


“Matured in a unique environment.”

You’d need a unique selling proposition if you’re looking for US$1 million for a single bottle of wine… The French plonk spent more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station. The astronauts onboard might have paid that price to have a glass at some point during their long stint...



With the Indian Premier League (IPL) now suspended, more than 30 Aussie cricketers, coaches, umpires and commentators stranded in India after the Morrison Government last week closed the border could soon have a way out. Interim Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley yesterday said that he’s working with Indian cricket’s governing body to evacuate the group to the Maldives or Sri Lanka where they will wait it out until 15 May - the date the government says the temporary travel ban could be lifted. From there, they would be flown home on a charter flight. One man who will not be with them is former top player Michael Hussey after he tested positive for COVID - the batting coach will remain in isolation in his hotel room and will receive support from the IPL. 


Well, it’s a private arrangement to get out of India to a third country - they just can’t come home to Oz. And they aren’t receiving any special assistance from our government to do that. For Morrison’s part, on Tuesday he asked the contingent to “be patient like everyone else.” That didn’t stop the pressure from continuing to build, including the sledge from player-turned-commentator Michael Slater who tweeted that PM Scott Morrison had “blood on [his] hands” over the border ban (and he’s had another go overnight…). But it’s not just cricket circles who are bowling bouncers… Everyone from private citizens to the United Nations have taken aim at the measure which, for the first time, levels criminal sanctions against citizens for entering Oz. Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell (yes, the former NSW premier…) yesterday said there are now 9,000 Aussies there who want to come home, and 900 of them are considered to be vulnerable. 


Coronavirus deaths rose by a record 3,780 in the 24 hours to yesterday morning and daily infections rose by 382,315, official data showed. PM Narendra Modi continues to cop flack for his handling of the crisis despite senior figures saying they’re doing all they can to ramp up hospital capacity and boost supplies of oxygen and drugs. International aid is arriving, including Australia’s contribution.



Geez, the cricket community are in the news a bit this week… Four men were arrested by police yesterday over the alleged kidnapping of former Aussie Test cricketer Stuart MacGill from Sydney’s Lower North Shore in April. In the hour-long ordeal, the 50yo was confronted by Marino Sotiropoulos – the brother of his restaurant-owning partner - and forced into a vehicle. He was taken to Sydney’s southwest, assaulted and threatened with a gun by the group before he was released. That happened on 14 April, but MacGill didn’t report it to police until 6 days later because he said he was fearful for his family. Authorities believe the spin bowler was targeted for money, but said he did not have a personal debt to the kidnappers. The 4 men, who are alleged to be involved in a drug-dealing crime gang, were denied bail yesterday. MacGill was considered to be a great bowler in his day - problem was he was up against the King of Spin Shane Warne for selection.  


Australia Post yesterday called on former boss Christine Holgate to make her compensation demands public. It’s right, the government-owned company said, to be transparent about the process “given the public interest in this matter”. Earlier this week, Holgate threatened to sue the Australian Government over her departure from the company unless it agreed to the talks. She says she was unlawfully stood down over the purchase of Cartier watches as a reward for senior execs and claims she was bullied by both chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo and PM Scott Morrison. Earlier this week, Holgate set  the deadline to commence mediation of last night - that wasn’t met by AusPost.  At a Senate inquiry hearing on Monday, Di Bartolomeo said he had “no idea” what claims the parties were supposed to be mediating, but Holgate says the issues were outlined in a letter to the company’s board last month.


Lawyers for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, have filed a motion for a new trial. Last month, a 12-person jury took just 10 hours to unanimously convict Chauvin on 3 counts of 2nd and 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter. But in a court document, attorney Eric Nelson alleged Chauvin had not received a fair trial due to heavy media coverage of Floyd’s death, as well as misconduct by the jury, prosecutors, and judge Peter Cahill. While requests for a new trial after a guilty verdict is handed down are commonplace, Minneapolis defense attorney Mike Brandt said its unlikely Chauvin’s conviction will be overturned. 


But not on Twitter or Facebook… After a 4-month hiatus from social media, a web page titled ‘From the Desk of Donald J Trump’ was unveiled yesterday. Resembling a Twitter-like blog, users can share Trump’s snackable musings on Facebook and Twitter. There were talks of Trump launching his own social media platform after he was banned indefinitely from most platforms following the attack on the US Capitol by his supporters on 6 January. But his senior adviser Jason Miller said more information will be “coming on that front in the very near future”. Trump will need to develop his own social platform if he wants to get amongst it after Facebook upheld his indefinite ban overnight. It will review the decision in another 6 months.


Draw a line across the middle of the country and winter is set to bring above-average rainfall and temperatures to areas south of the boundary, according to the weather bureau. Sorry western Tassie, you’re exempt from this prediction. While siblings El Niño and La Niña are currently giving us a break for now, warmer sea temperatures, particularly off the Western Oz coastline, are forecast to bring more of the wet stuff. It comes as Australia’s southeast experienced one of its driest Aprils on record as La Niña came to an end following one of the wettest Marches on record. Swings and roundabouts, eh?


Moths - not our favourite flying object. But one with a wingspan of up to 25cm? No thanks… Builders have discovered an example of the giant wood moth at Queensland’s Mount Cotton State School which inspired the kids’ creative writing - including a piece about their Year 4/5 teacher being eaten by one. Poor Mrs Wilson… 

If you were in charge of a Japanese town, what would you do with almost $300,000 in emergency funds for COVID measures? If your answer isn’t ‘buy a giant fiberglass squid”, you’re not thinking big enough… 

Political campaigning doesn't get much bigger than in America. So behold a new entrant for campaign ad of 2021 for a potential race for governor of California. Spoiler alert: it features a live bear... And it looks like the Bidens have literally grown in stature since taking the White House…


International No Diet Day

Birthdays for Tony Blair (1953), George Clooney (1961) and a 2nd birthday for Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (2019)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Sigmund Freud (1856) and Orson Welles (1915)
• the deaths of Henry David Thoreau (1862), Maria Montessori (1952) and Marlene Dietrich (1992)
• George V being made King of Great Britain after the death of his father, Edward VII (1910)
• Michael Jackson and the Bee Gees being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1997)
• the founding of SpaceX by entrepreneur Elon Musk (2002)
• the release of 84 abducted schoolgirls in exchange for Boko Haram suspects in Nigeria (2017)


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