Squiz Today / 28 April 2021

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 28 April


“I’m not ready to live without you.”

Is a lyric from a popular song that some of the men from the sunken Indonesian submarine belted out a few weeks ago. Captured on video, officials released the footage yesterday. Ain’t that a kick in the feels…


All flights from India to Australia have been paused until 15 May as the coronavirus crisis deepens across the subcontinent. Passengers seeking to come to Australia from India via another country will also be blocked, and planned repatriation flights have been canned. PM Scott Morrison said the decision was based on official health advice following increased numbers of travellers from India testing positive to COVID in our hotel quarantine systems. Joining other international efforts, Australia will send initial assistance in the form of ventilators and personal protective equipment to help India's smashed health system. Labor leader Anthony Albanese tweeted that Australia must “help our friends in need.”

They’ll have to stay put and wait it out. Foreign Minister Marise Payne says there are 9,000 Aussies in India who want to come home, and 650 are considered vulnerable. She also said those numbers are expected to rise. Among them are Australian cricketers including Steve Smith and David Warner who are there for the lucrative Indian Premier League. They won’t get any special treatment - Morrison says they’re travelling under their own steam and will get the same assistance as other Aussies. And he rejects the suggestion that the government’s abandoned citizens in their hour of need. "This is the challenge of a pandemic," he said.

India continues to rack up more new coronavirus cases than any other nation by a long shot. And while the number of new cases was down yesterday for the first time in 6 days, the country still recorded more than 323,000 new infections. Another 2,771 people were reported to have died yesterday, taking the death toll to almost 200,000. But that’s unlikely to be the true extent of the toll the virus has taken… The country has ordered its armed forces to deliver oxygen to hospitals amid reports of hoarding. The World Health Organisation joins the US, UK, Germany and others who have pledged to send resources, including much-needed oxygen concentrator devices. “Heaven & earth are being moved to overcome challenges thrown up by this wave of COVID19,” India’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted yesterday.



It’s the 25th anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre - the worst single mass shooting by a lone gunman in Australia’s history and a tragedy that left 35 people dead. On this day in 1996, Martin Bryant went on a shooting rampage using semi-automatic weapons that he’d brought without a licence. It quickly saw Australia, led by PM John Howard’s newly elected government, to cement the National Firearms Agreement that tightened the nation’s gun laws. And it worked… The incidence of mass shootings and intentional firearm deaths declined - and we became the shining international example of strict gun control laws. But it’s no time to rest on our laurels, advocates say, with exposed failings in gun ownership laws. And Howard recently called on Australia’s leaders to uphold gun control laws and said “we mustn’t allow it to get fritted away”. To mark the terrible but important day, we’ve pulled it all together in this week’s #SquizShortcut.


British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was yesterday sentenced to a further year in jail and banned from travel for another year after being found guilty of propaganda charges. Previously jailed for 5 years for spying, the latest charges relate to her participation in a protest in London 12 years ago and speaking to BBC Persia. She has consistently denied any charge of wrongdoing. UK PM Boris Johnson, who is under significant pressure over his government's handling of the case, said he would "redouble" efforts to free her. But analysts say Iran's hardball approach and its wrangling with the UK and others over its nuclear capabilities have seen Zaghari-Ratcliffe used as a political pawn. Overnight, her husband Richard Ratcliffe said he has not told their 6yo daughter that "mummy could be in prison for another year". British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert was released in November last year after 2 years in detention in Iran over accusations of spying. #SquizShortcuts


A Los Angeles court yesterday dismissed a lawsuit of Aussie choreographer Wade Robson, who claims mega pop star Michael Jackson sexually abused him as a child. Robson, one of 2 men who aired his allegations in the documentary Leaving Neverland in 2019, argued Jackson’s companies had a duty of care to protect him. Yesterday, the case was dismissed. "There is no evidence supporting plaintiff's contention that [the] defendants exercised control over Jackson," Judge Mark Young said. A similar case brought by co-accuser James Safechuck met the same fate in October last year. Robson and Safechuck’s lawyer Vince Finaldi said the ruling sets a "dangerous precedent" for children working in the entertainment industry and that he'll challenge it in California's Supreme Court. Jackson's estate denies the allegations.


American runner Blake Leeper’s Olympic dream looks like it won’t get out of the blocks after a World Athletics review panel yesterday barred him from participating in the Tokyo Games. It believes his carbon-fibre prosthetic legs would give him an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners as they made him "unnaturally tall". Leeper's prostheses give him a standing height of 184cm, but the rules state that he should not be allowed to run at more than 174.4cm. No stranger to knock-backs, the 8-time Paralympic medallist has also been blocked by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Leeper still has avenues of appeal but says it's too late for him to relearn his running technique with shorter blades. Whatever the result, he says he plans on competing in the Tokyo Paralympics, which kick off on 24 August. 'Legal' or not, geez he can run


Advertisers’ ability to specifically target Apple iPhone and iPad users based on their search history (or conversations…) is set to be disturbed after the company unveiled one of its most anticipated software updates yet. The iOS 14.5 update includes a new privacy tool called App Tracking Transparency, and it provides users with the option to choose whether or not they want their online activities to be monitored. After installation, users will start getting a pop-up window when they open some apps. Note to self: don't mindlessly dismiss it - it's your device asking if you want to give the app consent to track your activity. And by 'app', it's targeted at the likes of Facebook, which slammed the new feature on behalf of small businesses. Privacy advocates say Facebook, which sells users' data to advertisers, is worried about the threat to its business model. And if getting tough on data isn't enough of a drawcard, there's more than 200 new emojis waiting for you…


Second-hand sneakers for US$1.8 million? You’d have to hope the previous owner wore some sockettes - and threw in some rather fancy whiskey to seal the deal.

Zoom happy hours and socially distant lunches - ugh. For those still doing the WFH thing and craving the scent of the office, here’s an idea for you.

And if you didn’t get the opportunity to marvel at the Supermoon last night, some thoughtful Aussies have already posted their pics. Beautiful.


12.30pm (AEST) - Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten addresses the National Press Club - Canberra

6.13pm (AEST) - Supermoon rises

Porsche driver Richard Pusey due to be sentenced - Melbourne

ABS Data Release - Consumer Price Index, March

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

International Guide Dog Day

Pay It Forward Day

Birthdays for Jimmy Barnes (1956), Penelope Cruz (1974) and Jessica Alba (1981)

Anniversary of:
• Captain James Cook landing at Botany Bay (1770)
• the mutiny on HMS Bounty against William Bligh (1789)
• the death of Benito Mussolini (1945)
• the Port Arthur Massacre (1996)

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