Squiz Today / 08 September 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 8 September


“Tahlequah was mostly separate from the other whales and being very evasive as she crossed the border into Canada...”

And, no, it wasn’t because she was smuggling contraband over international borders... It’s because she has a new baby. Why is that noteworthy? Tahlequah is the orca who captivated the world in 2018 when she carried her stillborn calf above the water’s surface for 17 days. So yay for her…


Typhoon Haishen has caused mass evacuations as it blew into southern Japan and the Korean Peninsula yesterday. And in the US, fires have flared in California as a record-breaking heatwave made bad conditions worse.

It means ‘sea god’ in Mandarin, and it’s the first super typhoon of the 2020 Pacific typhoon season. Now that we’ve introduced ourselves… Nearly 8 million people in Japan’s south were told to evacuate their homes before Haishen hit yesterday morning with wind speeds of more than 200km/hour. Four people are missing, and more than 50 people were injured before it moved on to South Korea. There it made landfall in Ulsan, near South Korea's second-largest city of Busan. And then it was onto North Korea last night. Korea was just catching its breath after Typhoon Maysak made landfall last Thursday. The region is now on alert for tidal surges, and more heavy wind and rain. The search for the live export ship that went missing last week with two Australians onboard resumes today after conditions suspended efforts last Friday.

The state is experiencing a heatwave. Yesterday, Los Angeles County clocked 49.4C - a temperature record for the region. The 3-week fire fight continues with almost 12,500 firefighters battling 22 major blazes. Yesterday, helicopters were involved in the dramatic rescue of 224 people who were trapped when a fast-moving fire cut off a popular reservoir in the Sierra National Forest near Fresno. The state has seen 1,000 fires since 15 August - many started by lightning strikes, and one by a gender-reveal party… Officials say it’s the worst fire season in the state history in terms of the scale of land burnt - and the season still has 2 months to go.



• Australia could be flush with COVID-19 vaccines if two trials - we’re looking at you, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Uni of Queensland - prove successful. For $1.7 billion, all Aussies would get access to the vaccine for free, PM Scott Morrison said yesterday. The hope is the program will start early next year. That was the ‘good cop’ part of the PM’s appearance yesterday…

• Onto ‘bad cop’... PM Morrison took aim at Victoria’s ‘roadmap’ for easing restrictions. He said that “under the thresholds that have been set in that plan, Sydney would be under curfew now.” And NSW is sitting pretty because it has "a tracing capability that can deal with outbreaks," he said. Premier Daniel Andrews rejected the comparison saying NSW hasn't seen the same levels of community transmission of the virus.

• Looking overseas, and India now has the second-largest number of confirmed cases in the world at more than 4.2 million. The US still has the most at almost 6.3 million cases. India has also reported more than 72,000 deaths, the third-highest in the world. Experts are deeply worried about the spread of the virus there.


John Edwards, the 68yo Sydney man who shot and killed his two teenage children in 2018, had a 40-year history of domestic violence, an inquest heard yesterday. Police records show Edwards had intimidated, stalked or been violent towards 5 previous partners and 3 of his 10 children. Despite having multiple charges against his name, he was able to undertake gun safety training and receive a special firearms license in 2017. This allowed him to obtain several guns, which he then turned on his children Jennifer (13yo) and Jack (15yo) in the home where they lived with their mother, Olga. He then returned to his home and took his own life. The inquest yesterday heard that Olga feared Edwards would "do something" to her, but she had "no idea he was capable of doing this to the children". She has since taken her own life. The inquest continues.

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After falling ill on a flight last month, Russian opposition figure Alexi Navalny was evacuated from Siberia to a hospital in Berlin and put into an induced coma. Last week, doctors confirmed he was poisoned with the government produced nerve agent Novichok, and said the road back would be a difficult one. And overnight, he is out of the coma, and his spokeswoman says his condition has improved. "It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning," the hospital said. And while we're in the same neighbourhood… Maria Kolesnikova - one of Belarus’ leading opposition figures - has gone missing. Reports say she was bundled into a minivan by masked men in central Minsk yesterday. She was the last of the three women who joined forces against President Alexander Lukashenko to remain in Belarus after last month’s disputed election.


A boat carrying 297 Rohingya refugees was found by local fishermen before being brought to shore in Indonesia’s Aceh province, authorities said yesterday. The boat is believed to have departed from Bangladesh in March but was turned away by Malaysian and Thai authorities due to COVID-19 concerns. Thousands of Rohingya who have fled persecution in Myanmar and terrible conditions in crowded camps in Bangladesh’s Cox's Bazar have boarded boats to seek refuge in southeast Asia. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Government hopes to convince 100,000 of the one million refugees to go to Bhashan Char island where newly developed facilities can house them. It comes amid an ongoing International Criminal Court investigation into allegations of human rights abuses committed by Myanmar against the Rohingya in 2017. Two Aussie lawyers are pushing for hearings to be held in Asia for the first time so the victims can give evidence. #SquizShortcut


No sooner had we pressed send on yesterday’s memo than world #1 men’s tennis star Novak Djokovic had a brain snap and whacked a ball - accidentally - into the throat of a line umpire. That saw him bundled out of the tournament, and a golden opportunity to take an 18th Grand Slam title to narrow the gap on Rafael Nadal (19) and Roger Federer (20) disappeared. "This whole situation has left me really sad and empty," Djokovic said to his social media followers after the event. Whether he likes it or not, former high-combustion champ John McEnroe said he’s now going to be cast as the bad guy for the rest of his career. Departing the tournament less dramatically was Aussie Jordan Thompson. But Alex de Minaur is through to the quarter-final beating Canadian Vasek Pospisil in straight sets early this morning.


On paper - and in practice - few would advise the gifting of a bottle of whisky to a kid every year of their life. Until he turns 28yo and it's turned into a house deposit


ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, July

International Literacy Day

Birthdays for Bernie Sanders (1941), James Packer (1967), Martin Freeman (1971) and P!nk (1979)

Anniversary of:
• the unveiling of Michelangelo's Statue of David in Florence (1504)
• Richard Drew inventing Scotch tape (1930)
• the publication of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
• the premiere of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and Star Trek (1966),
• the first national broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show in the US (1986)
• the release of Kylie Minogue's biggest hit Can't Get You Out Of My Head (2001)

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