“I just didn’t know I was pregnant…” Said mum Lavinia Mounga, a lady we told you about earlier this week. You know, the one who gave birth at 29 weeks while on a flight from Utah to Hawaii with the help of some highly trained passengers. That’ll be one for baby Raymond’s 21st…
NO HAVER AS SCOTLAND VOTES
For the first time since Brexit, Scotland is holding an election. The polls opened last night, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hopes to lead the Scottish National Party (SNP) to another term in government. Why point it out? If Sturgeon wins, it’s likely a new referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom will follow.
DIDN’T THEY VOTE ON INDEPENDENCE RECENTLY?
If you call 2014 recent… At that time, Scottish voters were given a choice to stay in the UK (which Scotland joined in 1707) or become an independent country. The ‘stay’ vote won with 55% support. But a lot has changed in 8 years, and that comes down to Brexit. In the 2016 Brexit referendum, Scotland voted heavily in favour of remaining in the European Union. Since then, Sturgeon (who currently leads a minority government with 61 of the 129 seats in Parliament) started the push for another referendum on independence. This election, she has campaigned heavily on Scotland rejoining the EU.
SO, SCOTLAND AND THE UK ARE HEADING TO SPLITSVILLE?
Calm your Highland cow there are a few steps to go… Opinion polls suggest the push to break away from the UK is one of the most important issues this election, so we’ll see if that pans out. But even with a victory in hand, ushering independence through a referendum won’t be easy. For it to take place, Sturgeon would need the approval of the UK Parliament – and PM Boris Johnson isn’t on board. He says the 2014 result should answer questions about Scottish independence for at least another 40 years… And Sturgeon has rejected calls for a ‘wildcat’ referendum – one held without approval. But a big win for the SNP today could put immense pressure on the UK to allow the vote – and that’s how the 2014 referendum came about. So you can never say never… Votes will not be counted today, but a result is expected to be announced on Sunday our time.
SQUIZ THE REST
SYDNEY ON COVID WATCH
Just as Western Oz eased the restrictions covering 2 million people in and around Perth, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian outlined new rules for Greater Sydney that will be in place until at least Monday as 2 cases of community transmission were confirmed. A keen BBQ shopper was reported to have the virus on Wednesday, and his wife was added to the list yesterday – but how the virus got to them is a mystery. People who visited the many sites frequented by the pair while they were infectious need to limit their travel within Oz, and Kiwiland put a freeze on quarantine-free travel for NSW residents for 48 hours. Meanwhile, today’s National Cabinet meeting is expected to discuss arrangements for travel from India, whenever that restarts. One decision has already been made – repatriation flights for the most vulnerable will start on 15 May, and the Federal Government will commandeer the former workers camp at Howard Springs, outside Darwin, to house travellers for their 2-weeks quarantine period. See you at today’s press conference…
HAYNE JAILED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
Mayhem erupted after former NRL star Jarryd Hayne was sentenced to 5 years and 9 months jail time for sexually assaulting a woman on the night of the 2018 grand final. The 33yo must serve a minimum of 3 years and 8 months of his sentence before being eligible for parole. While an initial trial ended in a hung jury, a retrial in March found the Dally M winner guilty on two counts of sexual assault. Hayne said he intends to appeal the guilty verdict and maintains his innocence. Judge Helen Syme disagreed, saying he was “fully aware that the victim was not consenting and went ahead anyway”. In a victim impact statement, the unnamed woman yesterday said “Yes I am destroyed and damaged but I am still standing”.
CHINA CHATS CANCELLED, JUST LIKE OZ...
China gave the Australian Government some good news yesterday in the form of an apology for the misunderstandings of the last couple of years. Just kidding, they still think we stink… The latest sideswipe is China’s suspension of all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue. The strategic what now? It was a forum for the Australian Treasurer and Trade Minister to hold talks with Chinese officials to discuss investment and trade deals, albeit one that hasn’t been active for 4 years… What seems to have got China’s goat is the Morrison Government’s recent shredding of 2 Belt and Road agreements between Beijing and Victoria. Long story short, the move will have little practical impact, but it means all high-level communications channels are kaput. Which is totally a technical diplomatic term… Trade Minister Dan Tehan said it was “disappointing”, but he’ll stand ready to take China’s call.
FIFTH TIME’S A CHARM…
Elon Musk’s SpaceX finally managed to successfully launch and land its Starship rocket after the previous 4 attempts ended in spectacular fires. Yesterday’s achievement means the company has taken another step towards using the rocket to one day send astronauts to the Moon and Mars. Last month, NASA picked the Starship to send astronauts to the lunar surface in the coming years – that $2.9 billion contract was suspended this week following criticism from losing parties, including fellow billionaire/Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. His company Blue Origin yesterday announced it will be auctioning off a seat on its New Shepard rocket to the highest bidder, with the money going to its non-profit foundation. The company will launch its first human spaceflight mission on the Apollo 11 moon landing anniversary on 20 July. As for more earthly matters, a Chinese rocket in descent is predicted to fall somewhere off the Western Australian coast this weekend. Watch out sharks…
SMALL BONES LEAD TO BIG DISCOVERY
Archaeologists have discovered the oldest known modern human burial site in Africa, a study published in Nature revealed yesterday. The remains of a 3yo child buried 78,000 years ago were found at the entrance of the Panga ya Saidi cave located in southeast Kenya. While older burial sites dating back 120,000 years have been found in Europe, this discovery has researchers excited because only a few ancient burial sites have been found in Africa. It’s thought that could be due to poorer preservation conditions in Africa’s climate, fewer excavations being undertaken on the continent, and differences in the burial practices of early humans. “This burial adds to our understanding of symbolic and conceptual complexity in human populations,” study co-author and archaeologist at the University of Sydney Patrick Faulkner said.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Pop superstar Billie Eilish broke the internet this week when she graced the cover of British Vogue, trading in her punk-rock, green-haired look for old Hollywood glamour. The 19yo talks to the magazine about doing “what makes you feel good”. Legend.
It’s that time of year again when our skin requires some TLC. The heaters are back on, and let’s be frank – it’s drying us out. TMI? This Bioderma moisturiser* has been a saving grace. It’s light, smells good and doesn’t have the sticky moisturiser feeling.
The upside of dry skin season is warm comfort meals – and this potato and leek soup is a good one. It’s a good one to freeze and have on hand – or be generous and drop some off to someone who’s feeling a bit under the weather.