Squiz Today / 27 October 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 27 October


“We are offering five cases of wine to anyone who will help us pin down these unscrupulous thieves.”

It’s a rather specific reward… But Benoit Giroussens of the Coteau Rougemont vineyard in Quebec, Canada made the offer after 500kg of white wine grapes were stolen off their vines in one night. Police are investigating the bunch who made a grape escape…


"Now is the time to open up. Now is the time to congratulate every single Victorian for staying the course," said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews with news that the state had recorded donuts - zero new coronavirus cases, and zero deaths. It was the first time Victoria had recorded no new cases since 9 June. And so after 3.5 months of lockdown, some 800 deaths, 18,000 cases, and economic/social challenges borne by millions of Victorians to overcome the second wave of the virus, the easing of restrictions begins…

A full list is here, but from midnight tonight, Melbourne will see a full reopening of retail and beauty services. Restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars can open with seating restrictions. Residents will be able to leave home anytime they want, but the 25km travel limit stays in place. Outdoor activities will restart, with some limitations. And there are changes for weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies. The next horizon is 8 November when it's hoped the 25 km limit will go when the state "will be one again," Andrews said. It's also when it's expected that gyms will reopen, the numbers of people who can gather at home and outdoors will increase, and numbers allowed in restaurants and bars will lift.

And many Melburnians ate their feelings with some celebratory donutsMayor Sally Capp said “Melbourne did what we needed to do and so did the Premier.” The Victorian Chamber of Commerce said it was pleased Andrews heard the pleas of business after Sunday’s disappointment. “There is a sense of optimism this afternoon as the whole of Victoria can finally get back to work.” PM Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg thanked Victorians “for their patience and perseverance.” And they encouraged Andrews to quickly remove restrictions that “do not have a health basis”. Asked if he was having a beer last night to mark the occasion, the Premier said “I might go a little higher up the shelf.”



Following a three-day committal trial last month, the Alice Springs Local Court Judge John Birch yesterday confirmed that Constable Zachary Rolfe will stand trial for murder in the Northern Territory Supreme Court. Rolfe is accused of shooting and killing teenager Kumanjayi Walker in the remote community of Yuendumu in November 2019. The committal trial heard evidence that Walker stabbed Rolfe and his partner with a pair of scissors during an arrest attempt. The prosecution says that 2 of the 3 shots Rolfe then fired at Walker were "excessive, unreasonable and unnecessary". Rolfe's legal team says his actions were in self-defence. Walker's death led to a rise in community tensions with a crowd gathering at the police station demanding answers. Rolfe has participated in hearings from Canberra and has not entered a plea.


Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she is expecting a report from Qatar’s officials later in the week after the “grossly, grossly disturbing” physical examinations of 13 Australian women at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. “Once I have seen that, we will determine the next steps,” she said. The women were taken off a Qatar Airways plane on 2 October and forced to undergo a pap smear-like procedure after a prematurely born baby was allegedly abandoned in the terminal bathroom. The baby is reportedly in good health, according to the airport, but the mother is yet to be identified. Payne said the Aussie women involved in the incident had been provided with "appropriate support", including mental health support, and the matter has also been reported to the Federal Police for investigation. One of the women involved said "If the other 12 women came forward with a class action, I would definitely be part of that." Qatar Airways is yet to respond to requests for comment.


Daniel Crennan, the deputy chair of Australia’s corporate regulator ASIC, resigned yesterday after concerns were raised on Friday that $70,000 he received for housing costs exceeded the limit set for his salary. Crennan, who had planned to retire next year, said his immediate resignation was in the "best interests of ASIC”, and that he would repay the money. The Audit Office also sounded the alarm over $118,000 claimed by ASIC boss James Shipton for personal tax advice. He’s been stood aside while an inquiry is underway. The financial regulator has long had its critics over its approach to enforcing the law on Australia’s companies and directors. But the recession is already seeing some regulations eased, and that will see the business sector given an easier ride, some critics say. ASIC fronts Senate Estimates today.


As the US Senate prepares to vote for Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court mid-today out time, Team Trump enters the final stretch of the election campaign under fresh fire as reports of new COVID cases pick up pace. And what a race to the end it’s shaping up to be… Early voting in person and through the mail has seen 58.6 million ballots already cast - more than were lodged in the entire 2016 campaign. According to voter data, Democrats registrants cast 51% of all early ballots while Republican account for 31%. Experts say it's an imperfect science to predict what that means for the overall result. But with a week to go, a strong early Democratic turnout could put a fire under the Republicans to get out the vote between now and 3 November.

Check out our special series of Squiz Shortcuts on the US Elections why don't you? 


One thing scientists are pretty sure about these days is the Moon isn’t made of cheese… But there is more water there than was previously thought, NASA has confirmed overnight. That’s important for a lot of reasons, not least that the agency is hoping to establish a lunar base there by the end of the decade and the aim is to tap into the celestial body’s natural resources rather than do a drinks-run back to Earth every 5 minutes. More work needs to be done on where the deposits are and how abundant it is after water molecules were detected by an infrared telescope mounted in a modified 747 jet that flies above the Earth's atmosphere. Science, eh…


Because there's been nothing scarier in 2020 that a Zoom call


Birthdays for comedian John Cleese (1939) and cricketer David Warner (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of iconic pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923) and poet Sylvia Plath (1932)
• the release of film Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
• the death of musician Lou Reed (2013)
• the release of Taylor Swift's fifth studio album 1989 (2014)
• the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting where 11 worshipers died in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States (2018)

Read the email every day this week and you'll go into the draw to win a $100 gift card from Bunnings. Because who doesn't have something around the house that needs doing?

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