Squiz Today / 30 November 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 30 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

We’ve got news, you’ve got ears. It’s a perfect match. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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11 / 26

Squiz Sayings

“The reserve is there to make sure that we are always able to sell and offer this product.”

Said Helene Normandin, the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers spokeswoman. The OPEC of the sweet sauce has dipped into its strategic reserve to keep it on shelves after 2021 delivered a short “sugaring season” and demand surged as the world ate its COVID feelings…

Keep calm and carry on

There are plenty of nerves about the new variant of concern, but PM Scott Morrison says Australia’s response to Omicron will be “sensible, balanced and proportionate”. The Federal Government has delayed plans to ease border restrictions, meaning visa holders won’t be able to fly to Australia as planned from tomorrow, along with international students and skilled workers. At this stage, that’s set to ease from 15 December. Restrictions on arrivals from 9 African countries are already in place but reports say there are no plans to close the international border to Australian citizens. Overnight, the World Health Organization has warned that the strain poses a “very high global risk“, but there is hope that the Omicron variant could be “relatively mild compared with previous versions” of COVID, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says. 

Good question. True to form, the states and territories have reacted in different ways, but there might be some clarity later today with National Cabinet convening to hammer out a national response. For his part, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the timeframe for booster shots could be tightened in light of the new strain. “We’re prepared with supplies,” he says. Despite an air of calm, it’s little surprise that many living abroad say there’s a rising sense of dread about getting home. Reports say that many are scrambling to get on flights back home or cancel their Christmas travel plans altogether.

So keep in mind that COVID appears to surge in winter, so you can understand that many nations in the northern hemisphere are worried…  Japan is one example – it’s banned all incoming foreign travellers for a month. Israel has done the same thing. In the UK, masks are back and the gap between 2nd COVID jabs and boosters is being reduced from 6 to 3 months. Across the Atlantic, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a state of emergency in response to the new variant, which hasn’t officially been found yet in America. “It’s coming,” she declared. Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wants travel bans overturned ASAP because they have “no scientific basis”. All that and Omicron was officially reported to the WHO just last Wednesday…


Squiz the Rest

Floods get mooving

Rain has eased in large parts of the country’s east coast, but the floodwaters have not… In NSW’s northwest, floods are wreaking havoc. Yesterday, the State Emergency Service said they had responded to more than 4,400 calls for help since the floods began 2 weeks ago. The Namoi River in northern NSW is currently the biggest cause for concern, with Gunnedah and Narrabri called out for dangerous flooding. More rain is expected today and tomorrow in that part of the state, so major flood warnings remain in place for the area and the Lachlan River in the state’s central west. Further north, flood warnings are in place for Queensland in the Southern Downs, Central West, Central Highlands and Coalfields regions after buckets of rain, and buckets more on the way. Flooding in the Queensland city of Mackay has caused road and school closures, with one principal receiving an early phone call yesterday morning to relocate his school’s herd of cattle. “I don’t remember this being part of my education degree,” he quipped.

Australian News

Taiwan and Xi hang tough

Just 2 weeks ago, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping faced off over escalating tensions over Taiwan. It’s the breakaway Chinese province that the mainland wants to reunify with, but locals hold as a sovereign state. For the last year and a bit, China has flown repeated Air Force missions close to the island to remind Taiwan of its ambitions. That happened again on Sunday when 27 Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone. The timing was not random… Xi had just wrapped up a 3-day meeting with China’s top brass to discuss strengthening the armed forces to be able to win wars. To that end, soldiers should “experience the wind and rain, see the world, strengthen their muscles and bones, and develop their talents in fiery military practice,” Xi said. Sounds peaceful… Taiwanese officials say they won’t bow to China’s pressure.

World News

Maxwell goes on trial

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial has started in New York over her alleged participation in billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty and vehemently denies any wrongdoing, but prosecutors will argue ​​the 59yo helped Epstein groom, traffic and abuse 4 underage girls over several years starting in the 1990s. They include key accuser/now-Aussie Virginia Guiffre, and it could be their last chance at justice after Epstein died in prison in 2019. It’s also expected that more information will emerge about the shadowy workings of Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring, which is believed to involve several high-profile figures. If found guilty, Maxwell faces up to 80 years in prison, but her legal team will challenge both the accusers’ memories and the notion that she committed “grooming-by-proxy”. The trial is expected to last up to 6 weeks.

World News

‘Sussexit’ is the word

Is it sus-exit? Or sussex-it? Whatever it is, the BBC is saying it after dropping ‘Megxit’ as the title of the 2nd of its 2-part doco series The Princes and the Press. Prince Harry has argued that Megxit is a misogynistic term that blames his wife Meghan for their departure from royal life. It was “created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew into mainstream media,” he says. The UK’s national broadcaster has heeded the call – but there’s still a lot of unhappiness about the series. The first ep focused on the princes’ relationship with the press, and the second is on Sussexit. See, it’s catching on… Buckingham Palace has called the series “overblown and unfounded”, and William and Kate are so cranky they’re said to be thinking about uninviting the BBC from their Christmas party… There’s no word on when the doco will be available to view here in Oz.

World News

Actor David Gulpilil dies

Indigenous actor David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu has been described as a “once-in-a-generation” artist who shaped the history of Australian film and Aboriginal representation on the screen. Gulpilil became a household name after the 1976 hit movie Storm Boy. Over the years, he appeared in films like Crocodile Dundee, The Tracker and Rabbit-Proof Fence. And in 1987 he was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to the arts. Gulpilil was shooting his own documentary My Name is Gulpilil when diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017. In the film, he speaks candidly about racism and years of substance abuse. But he lived long enough to attend the premiere of the documentary in Adelaide earlier this year and received a standing ovation. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said he was “an actor, dancer, singer and painter, he was also one of the greatest artists Australia has ever seen.” He was 68yo.

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

Culinary institution the Good Food Guide is available for free in Nine newspapers today – and it’s unlike any other in its 4-decade history. There are no scores, and none of the famed ‘hats’ ratings because they found it impossible to fairly rate restaurants visited before and after lockdowns. Gone is the book – it’s now a 100-page glossy magazine. If you’re looking for a simple dessert, there’s a list of Sydney’s best gelato outlets, and in Melbourne these chilli wontons are our pick. 

A Friday night out to watch an Oasis tribute band has turned into a 3-night stay for patrons of the Tan Hill Inn in Britain’s Yorkshire Dales. It’s the nation’s highest pub, and few are asking if you’re gonna be the one that saves them because they don’t want to leave…  

Commentary about female TV presenters’ appearance is nothing new, and rarely does a man’s style update generate anything close. Come on down ABC News Breakfast’s Tony Armstrong

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.05pm (AEDT) – Women’s Soccer Friendly – Matildas v USA – Newcastle

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s verdict on charges of corruption is due to be handed down today – Myanmar

ABS Data Release – Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, September; Building Approvals, October

Barbados will become a republic, on its 55th anniversary of independence

Independence Day in Yemen and Barbados

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

St Andrew’s Day

A birthday for model/TV presenter/social media phenomenon Chrissy Teigen (1985)

Anniversary of:
• the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982)
• the premiere of Schindler’s List (1993)
• the death of former US President George HW Bush (2018)

Squiz the Day

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