Squiz Today / 11 October 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 11 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Take it for a walk.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Bolsonaro has revealed that he would eat human flesh.”

Was the central claim of an election ad put out by Brazillian President Jair Bolsonaro’s opponent before it was pulled because the claim was used “out of context”. To be crystal clear, the President’s team say he doesn’t have cannibalistic tendencies, which will be reassuring for voters as they head back to the polls on 30 October… 

Japan rolls out the welcome mat

After more than 2.5 years of some of the world’s toughest COVID-related border restrictions, Japan is fully reopening to international visitors today. Japan closed its border in April 2020 in line with many countries, but unlike many others, its reopening has been slow and incremental. Since June, there has been a limited arrivals cap that allowed tourists on strict guided tours – but that’s finished. While Japan’s border closure has kept coronavirus deaths relatively low, it has hurt their economy. Last month, the government intervened in the currency market for the first time since 1998 after the Yen fell to a 24-year low against the US dollar. Bad news for Japan, but good news for foreign travellers who might find it cheaper than pre-COVID.

Tourists and business travellers no longer need a visa, but they will need a valid international certificate proving they’ve had at least 3 doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine. For context, Australia has been allowing unvaxxed travellers in since July. For Aussies needing a top-up to travel, adults can now get an Omicron-specific booster that protects against the original virus and the nasty subvariant. It’s been available in several countries for a while, and the US is getting even further ahead by preparing a specific vaccine for more Omicron variants.

If you’re asking when the pandemic will be over, there are more signs it’s on the horizon. Ending mandatory isolation for people who test positive for COVID is a big one, and that will cease in Australia from this Friday. But for Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly’s part, the ’emergency phase’ of our response is over, but it “does not in any way suggest that the pandemic is finished”. And it’s not all about us… China still has tough restrictions on travel both in and out of the country, and millions are still regularly subject to stringent lockdowns as President Xi Jinping continues to pursue a ‘COVID zero’ policy. That has an ongoing impact on global trade and will limit Japan’s bounce-back, with Chinese visitors the largest source of pre-pandemic tourist revenue. Onwards and upwards…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Putin strikes back

More than 10 deaths have been reported across Ukraine as Russia unleashed a wave of air strikes. It’s the first major attack on Kyiv in months, and reports say civilians were targeted as things got too close for comfort for one journo… Residential buildings, playgrounds and the National University in the capital were hit along with transport and energy infrastructure assets that have left many regions without power. Analysts say it’s the most widespread series of Russian attacks since the early weeks of the war. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of “terrorism” following Saturday’s blast on the bridge in Crimea. He said the strikes were retaliation, and there’s more to come. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg condemned Russia’s “horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine” and said the alliance would continue to support Ukraine.

World News

Get set for another whopping power bill…

Energy bosses have warned Aussies could face “a minimum 35%” increase to their electricity bills in 2023 amid steep rises in wholesale power prices thanks to the war in Ukraine and the transition to clean energy. Alinta’s CEO Jeff Dimery told The Financial Review’s Energy and Climate Summit that as the operator of the big Loy Yang B coal-fired power station in Victoria: “What cost me $1 billion to acquire is going to cost me $8 billion to replace, so let’s talk about that and explain to me how energy prices still come down.” Origin’s CEO Frank Calabria agreed, saying the transition to green sources to hit Australia’s emissions reduction targets will be tricky and expensive. Momentum Energy’s Lisa Chiba added that they get times are tough for consumers. Her business is giving ‘compassion fatigue training’ to staff to ensure they can keep looking after customers facing financial difficulties.

Australian News Business & Finance

A soggy and cyclonic summer awaits

Soz to those hoping for a ‘normal’ summer, but it looks like more extreme weather events are on the horizon for much of the country. According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s long-range forecast, round 3 of La Niña and a negative Indian Ocean Dipole means there’s an increased risk of floods for eastern and northern Australia this summer, as well as an above-average number of tropical cyclones. And Australia’s cyclone season – which usually spans November to April – is likely to start this month. While the risk of bushfires in the east remains average, there’s a higher risk of grass fires and heatwaves in southern Australia. Meanwhile, several regional NSW communities remain on flood alert as another round of rain is expected to start in NSW tonight. South Oz, Victoria and Tassie are also set to get a drenching before a mostly dry weekend. Onwards and upwards x2…

Australian News Weather

Djokovic wants to play

Japan isn’t the only one looking forward to moving on from COVID… Yesterday, Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley confirmed that Novak Djokovic wants to come to Melbourne to play in the Aussie Open next year. That’s an issue because of the way things went down in January… As you’d remember, he was deported over his vaccination status – as in he’s not vaxxed against the coronavirus – which has seen him miss 2 grand slam tournaments this year. And after being booted from our shores, he was handed an automatic 3-year ban from re-entering. Djokovic can reapply for a visa, and then it will be up to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to give him the green light. His office wouldn’t comment on it yesterday, but Coalition frontbencher Dan Tehan said any application from the world #7 player should be rejected. “As a tennis lover, I’d love to see him there… But the most important thing here is that we protect the integrity of our immigration system,” Tehan said.


Just nod…

The first thing to say about this one is we didn’t conduct this study, so don’t shoot the messenger… But here it is – men don’t really listen to their female partners. In an experiment using hetero couples, researchers asked individuals how they thought their household ranked in terms of relative income. They deliberately picked that question because it’s frequently answered incorrectly. When they gave some individuals the correct answer, they found that the women could repeat that information regardless of whether it was conveyed to them by their partner or someone else. But men only got it right after they were told by someone else. If the correct answer was given to him by their female partner, he completely forgot/ignored/overrode what she’d said. If it makes the blokes feel better, it was a German study, and Aussie blokes are much better at listening, right?

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Speaking of Novak Djokovic, Serbian scientists have named a newly-discovered beetle after the tennis champ. The ‘duvalius djokovici’ shares several traits with its namesake, including strength and thriving in harsh environments. Like detention in Melbourne, perhaps?

We told you last month about tiny backpacks for birds, and now bumblebees are getting even tinier backpacks. The fuzzy creatures are native to the Northern Hemisphere and considered an invasive species in Tassie, so Aussie scientists are tracking how they might affect native species. 

And a long-lost tablecloth doodled on by The Beatles ahead of their final official concert in San Francisco in 1966 is up for auction, gravy stains and all. The story behind it is quite something

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.00pm (AEDT) – External Affairs Minister of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, addresses the Lowy Institute – Sydney

ABS Data Release – Overseas Arrivals and Departures, August; Monthly Household Spending Indicator, August

Company AGM – Telstra

International Day of the Girl

Ada Lovelace Day, aimed at increasing the profile of women in STEM

The winner of the annual Fat Bear Week competition is announced 

Birthdays for comedian Dawn French (1957), actor Joan Cusack (1962), and rapper Cardi B (1992)

Anniversary of:
• the inauguration of the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university (1852)
• the premiere of Saturday Night Live, with George Carlin as host (1975)
• a wedding anniversary for Bill and Hillary Clinton (1975)
• the birthdays of the first Governor of NSW Arthur Phillip (1738), former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884), and actor Luke Perry (1966)
• the death of singer Édith Piaf (1963)

Squiz the Day

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