Squiz Today / 07 December 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 7 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Whatever your new morning routine, we’re here to talk you through the news. 

Today’s listen time: 8.30 minutes

17 / 27
14 / 16
20 / 29
13 / 20
16 / 37
13 / 17
25 / 34
12 / 26

Squiz Sayings

“I would like everyone to know that half of my branches are not missing – they are social distancing.”

Tweeted London’s Trafalgar Square Christmas tree (you read that right…) to those concerned it’s looking sparse. An annual gift from the people of Norway since 1947, and recognises Britain’s support during the Second World War.

Aung San Suu Kyi jailed

A military court in Myanmar has sentenced the country’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 4 years in jail – subsequently reduced to 2 years – for inciting public unrest and breaching COVID protocols. Former president Win Myint received the same sentence. In recent weeks, the trials of other senior members of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy have wrapped up with the military handing out harsh sentences. The party was ousted in a military coup on 1 February, and senior members were detained. International Crisis Group’s Richard Horsey said the leaders’ sentences “were about retribution and a show of power by the military”, and critics have dismissed the process as a farce.

She is a hugely popular figure in Myanmar and the daughter of the country’s independence hero, General Aung San. She fought for democracy and independence against the country’s military rulers, which saw her put under house arrest for 15 years until 2010. In 2015, her party won the first election in years in a landslide, but Suu Kyi was banned under Myanmar law from becoming president because her 2 sons are British citizens. Despite that, she has acted as the nation’s de facto leader. In a tragic twist under her leadership, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were murdered by the military or forced to flee in 2017. Suu Kyi controversially chose to defend the generals against accusations of genocide, drawing criticism from international supporters. But back home, Suu Kyi’s popularity grew before the military snatched back power and executed a bloody crackdown earlier this year.

Suu Kyi, who denies any wrongdoing, could be sentenced to 100 years in detention if found guilty of 9 other charges. As for where she and Win Myint will serve their sentences, junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun says it will be “at their current detention places”. It’s not clear where that is, but it’s believed to be house arrest in the capital. The military has banned Suu Kyi’s lawyers from talking to the media, and her other trials will happen over the coming months. Still to go before the court is Suu Kyi’s economic advisor, Australian Sean Turnell. He has been charged with breaking the official secrets act, and supporters say he can’t receive a fair trial.

World News

Squiz the Rest

US to boycott Beijing Winter Olympic Games

Diplomatically speaking… The White House has announced that the US won’t send its officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. A diplomatic boycott will allow US athletes to compete while keeping its officials at home. It’s designed to mark America’s disapproval with China’s concerning human rights record and aggressive stance on Taiwan without punishing the athletes. The countries’ presidents talked last month, which commentators saw as an important step in thawing relations between the economic giants. But after the virtual summit, Biden said officials may not go to the Games as pressure builds on Western nations to send a message to China. Reports say Australia may do the same now that the US has led the way. Overnight, Chinese officials said the Games are “not a stage for political posturing and manipulation”. They are set to start on 4 February.

Sport World News

COVID a warm-up, vaccine pioneer says

Co-creator of the AstraZeneca vaccine/Barbie muse Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert has warned that future pandemics could be worse than COVID. Yesterday, she called for greater funding for preparedness, saying the knowledge that has been gained over the last 2 years “must not be lost”. She also warned that current COVID vaccines could be ineffective against Omicron and urged “caution” until more is known about the strain. US infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci takes a more optimistic view – he says Omicron appears to be less dangerous than the Delta strain. The new variant has not deterred Queensland from opening its border to vaccinated Aussies on 13 December – 4 days ahead of schedule. The Sunshine State is a small banana away from 80% of the eligible population being fully vaxxed.

Australian News Health

Berejiklian urged to run

Look, her personal fitness regime is up to her, but we’re not talking about her lacing up her joggers… What started as a whisper has turned into PM Scott Morrison entertaining the idea at a press conference yesterday – that former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian could run as the Liberal candidate in the seat of Warringah in next year’s federal election. That’s the seat former PM Tony Abbott occupied for 25 years before he was tipped out by climate independent/former Olympic skier Zali Steggall. Abbott supports the idea, and some analysts reckon she has a good chance of winning it back for the Libs. Berejiklian has not said a word on whether she’s interested, but yesterday Morrison said it was “a great opportunity”. One thing to factor in is what the NSW corruption commission has to say in the investigation that saw her stand down from state politics – an element that party players say they “don’t care” about. Labor says their opponents are undermining the anti-corruption probe.


Attack on Pearl Harbor remembered

Thirty-two survivors and 119 other American WWII veterans – including centenarians – are in Hawaii to mark the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor tomorrow morning local time. On 7 December 1941, Japan’s surprise attack killed 2,403 Americans and sank/destroyed 8 battleships. Sixty-four Japanese were also killed. The huge move drew America into WWII, which changed the course of the war and shifted the tide of history because until then, the Nazis and their allies, including Japan, were in the box seat to defeat Great Britain, France, Russia – and Australia. For our part, it saw many Aussie troops diverted to the Pacific, where we joined the US to fight Japan. Eighty years later, the close relationship between the US and Oz lives on. But in Oahu tomorrow, dignitaries, veterans and locals will pause to remember one of the darkest days in America’s history.

Australian News

Three times as nice

They say bad things come in 3s, but maybe good things do too… For the first time in its 33-year history, the Doug Moran art prize has been awarded to not one but 3 winners. The national portrait award launched in 1988 by the late Aussie businessman is the world’s richest, with the winner usually taking home the $150,000 prize. This time, 3 Melburnians have claimed $100,000 each. The winners are Michael Vale for his self-portrait, Andrew Greensmith for a painting of twin Auschwitz survivors, and Vincent Fantauzzo for a portrait of his “muse” and wife Asher Keddie. The judges could not reach a consensus on the winner, so a trio it was. There was money in the kitty after 2020’s competition was abandoned, thanks to COVID. You can check out a gallery of the finalists’ works here.


Apropos of Nothing

If your Monday was rough, be grateful that you weren’t one of 900 people who were simultaneously terminated on a Zoom call. They worked for a US outfit named better.com…

Baby bats learn to navigate by hanging upside down from their mum’s belly as she flies through the dark. It’s how they get to know their neighbourhood, researchers say.

And for a change of pace. If you love Succession and are trying to get under the hood of why it’s great, this interview with Jeremy Strong (aka Kendall Roy) out yesterday is an eye-opener. He takes it very seriously… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

2.30pm – Announcement on interest rates following today’s RBA board meeting

The 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour (1941)

ABS Data Release – Sexual Harassment, December; Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, September; Building Approvals, October (Additional Information)

International Civil Aviation Day

Anniversary of:
• the deaths of Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero (43BC) and British naval officer William Bligh (1817)
• the attack on the US Naval Base in Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (1941)
• the premiere of the first Star Trek movie (1979)
• the passing of same-sex marriage legislation through the Australian Parliament (2017)

Squiz the Day

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