Squiz Today / 20 July 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 20 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Smoothing over your hump day.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I’m listening to the lyrics, going ‘Oh no. Oh, I can’t be this guy!’”

Actor Dave Coulier, famous for playing Joey Gladstone in 80s sitcom Full House, reckons he’s the guy Alanis Morissette’s 1995 break-up banger You Oughta Know is about. They were an item for a couple of years just before the song came out, so he probably does know… 

A COVID tune we’ve heard before…

Mask up when you’re indoors and in a crowded place – that’s what Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly wants us to do. Speaking to the media yesterday with Federal Health Minister Mark Butler, the nation’s chief medico also urged people to get their booster shots, work from home if possible and, if particularly vulnerable, use the antiviral medications available. “This will not be forever, but for the next few weeks. This is the way we can actually influence the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable people in our community and also protect our healthcare systems,” he said.

IT’S FEELING VERY 2020/2021…
It’s déjà vu all over again. And that’s down to the new COVID variant BA.5, which is much more infectious than those before it. That poses an increased risk of reinfection for those who have already had COVID. Kelly briefed the National Cabinet on Saturday, telling them the variant is “very good at escaping immunity”. “Vaccines do not stop the transmission of this virus, this variant is unusual in that case,” he said yesterday. Butler (who last week said that millions of Aussies will get COVID before the end of the year) said the “3rd Omicron wave for 2022 is proving to be a very, very significant one” and that hospitalisations were “almost certain to increase further” over the coming weeks.

It’s a good question, given Kelly’s warning that our COVID vaccinations aren’t going to stop the spread. That’s why he says masks, social distancing, and resurrecting the WFH trackie dacks are the order of the day. But vaccinations have been effective at taking the edge off the symptoms and helping to keep people out of hospital – so getting a booster is critical, officials say. More than 5 million Aussies haven’t had a booster 6 months or more after receiving their primary course, officials. Kids aged between 6 months and 5 years still have a wait to get their COVID jabs, despite the Therapeutic Goods Administration giving the Moderna paediatric vaccine the green light yesterday. “My department is in active negotiations right now with Moderna for Australia to secure as many doses as we possibly can from this very limited global supply,” Butler said. Pfizer is yet to submit data to the regulator for its vaccine for under-5s.

Australian News Health

Squiz the Rest

A ‘heat apocalypse’ in Europe

The UK has hit 40.2C
– its highest recorded temperature ever and the first time it’s cracked the big 4-0. That happened at Heathrow Airport west of London at 12.50pm local time. Ten separate fires across the city are also occupying emergency services personnel, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan calling the situation “critical”. Scientists – who have put the conditions down to climate change – are shocked. Meanwhile, Belgium, France and the Netherlands have sizzled with records tumbling as the heat soared. In Spain and Italy, more than 1,000 deaths have been attributed to the heat in recent days, and Italy’s been put on notice for 40C-plus days later this week. And fires continue to burn across Western Europe – tens of thousands of residents and holidaymakers have been forced to evacuate in France, Portugal, Spain and Greece. The situation remains dangerous across the region as the heatwave and bone dry conditions persist.

Weather World News

Sri Lanka to get a new prez

Sri Lanka’s MPs will vote to replace former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today. That’s happening because Rajapaksa resigned after fleeing the country last week when protesters came at him over the nation’s economic collapse. With the support of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party behind him, acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe is the favourite to win despite promises to resign along with Rajapaksa. The other frontrunner was opposition leader Sajith Premadasa – we say ‘was’ because he withdrew from the race yesterday. He’s thrown his support behind rival candidate Dullas Alahapperuma from an SLPP breakaway group. Pundits say the opposition has a better chance of beating Wickremesinghe with one clear candidate, but it’s expected to be close. Whoever wins has a big job before they can call an election in 6 months. #SquizShortcut

World News

Cracking the piggy bank open

The Reserve Bank reckons the money many saved during COVID by not going out/on holidays/doing anything fun will hold them in good stead if they have a mortgage. Deputy Governor Michele Bullock says about half of those with a variable-rate loan has paid it forward in the last couple of years – enough to service their current repayments until 2024. “These payment buffers help to protect against the risk that, as interest rates rise, households will find themselves unable to meet debt repayments,” she said. That’s what a $260 billion increase in household savings through the pandemic will get you… But before you feel too relaxed, financial markets expect the central bank to take the cash rate to 3.5% by the middle of next year. And yesterday, ANZ made a big prediction – it reckons rates will go up in 0.5% increments in each of the coming 4 months. For those with a $500,000 loan, that’s more than $600 a month to find…

Australian News Business & Finance

Most ‘Indigenous art’ is fake

That’s according to the Productivity Commission, which found one in 3 ‘Indigenous’ artworks were produced by a person of Aboriginal/Torres Strait heritage. Around $250 million worth of Indigenous art and crafts were sold here between 2019-2020, but the report said Indigenous artists get a portion of that after being cut out by cheaper overseas suppliers. ​​Productivity Commissioner Romlie Mokak says it’s not an easy problem to fix because consumers can’t tell what’s authentic. Previous authentication schemes created more barriers for Indigenous artists, so the recommendation is to put the onus on those producing inauthentic items to call it out. Strengthening Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP) laws and creating more deterrents for those who are found to have faked or stolen Indigenous designs is another suggestion.

Australian News

Get it in ya gob

The world’s top 50 restaurants of 2022 have been announced, and Copenhagen establishment Geranium tops the list. The Danish capital is renowned for its culinary prowess – Noma took the top prize in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2021 before a rule change saw restaurants unable to win a 2nd consecutive time. Geranium is an interesting pick – it’s located on the 8th floor of Copenhagen’s national football stadium and serves a meat-free menu. Coming in at #2 was Central in Lima, followed by Disfrutar in Barcelona. The list has come under fire for only featuring European or North American restaurants in its #1 spot throughout its 20-year history, with no place on the list for establishments in the Middle East, India, or Australia at all. We’re a bit more than meat-and-3-veg these days…

World News

Apropos of Nothing

Aussie football star Sam Kerr has made history by becoming the first female player to be featured on the global cover of the latest edition of EA Sports’ FIFA video game franchise. Forget bend it like Beckham – kick it like Kerr…

Also making history is the pop duo The Chainsmokers, who are set to become the first musicians to perform at the edge of space. With David Bowie no longer with us, they needed a backup option…

And language lesson website Preply has revealed the most mispronounced place names in the world. Topping the list was the French resort town Cannes – Bondi and Melbourne also make the list. We’ll put our hand up to Kiribati (pronounced kee·ruh·bas) – podcast listeners gently pulled us up on that last week. Oops…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Leader of Sinn Féin and Leader of the Opposition in the Irish Parliament, Mary Lou McDonald, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Colombia’s national day

International Chess Day

International Cake Day

The winner of the Miles Franklin literature award announced

Birthdays for wildlife conservationist Terri Irwin (1964), actor Sandra Oh (1971), Aussie basketball star Ben Simmons (1996)

Anniversary of:
• Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first men to walk on the moon (1969)
• the CIA releasing documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments (1977)
• death of Bruce Lee (1973)

Squiz the Day

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