“Two flame-grilled 100% Aussie beef patties, topped with melted cheese, special sauce, fresh lettuce, pickles and onions on a toasted sesame seed bun.”
Sound familiar-ish? McDonald’s thinks so…
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, SEPARATELY
Ahead of today’s National Cabinet meeting, PM Scott Morrison has called on state and territory leaders to make Australia “whole again”. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Morrison said “Australia was not meant to be closed, Australia was meant to be open… We need to come together, we need to ensure that we are clear with Australians that we will seek to make Australia whole again by Christmas this year.” And so he’s hoping today’s powwow will result in a roadmap for border reopenings – a lofty ambition with Queensland, Western Australia, Tassie and the Northern Territory standing by their restrictions.
SO WHAT’S THE WAY FORWARD?
Well, remember PM Morrison has no say in what the states do here, so let’s see what happens today. But as a starting point, relief for NSW residents seeking to get into Queensland seems some way off with the northerners yesterday confirming that NSW must have 28 days of no community transmission before borders are reopened. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she “doesn’t know anywhere on the planet” that could clear that hurdle. Coalition MPs say Queensland’s Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is grandstanding ahead of the state election on 31 October. And they say her position is undermined by the state’s willingness to allow 400 AFL officials, players and their families into the state this week. For her part, Palaszczuk says she won’t apologise for protecting Queenslanders from the coronavirus. And that’s just one border…
• Victoria’s new coronavirus cases were back into triple-digits yesterday. Officials said they weren’t happy with the numbers ahead of unveiling the state’s roadmap out of Stage 4 (Melbourne) and Stage 3 (regional Victoria) lockdown restrictions on Sunday.
• Victorian Police won’t apologise for arresting a pregnant 28yo Ballarat woman over a Facebook post publicising an anti-lockdown protest. Zoe Buhler, who livestreamed the encounter, said she didn’t realise she was doing anything wrong (“I had a bit of a bimbo moment,” she said). “I’m a passionate person, and I’m sick of the lockdown… I personally lost my job,” she said yesterday.
• As for the numbers, global coronavirus cases passed the 26 million mark yesterday. More than 865,000 people have died, and 17.3 million people have recovered. Here in Oz, there have been 26,049 cases, 21,718 people have recovered, and 678 people have died.
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AUSSIES ON CAPSIZED CARGO SHIP
Two Australians are missing after a live export ship capsized and went missing during a typhoon with 43 crew and almost 6,000 cattle on board. The Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress signal from the East China Sea after being caught up in Typhoon Maysak early on Wednesday on its way from New Zealand to Japan. One man has been rescued from the crew of 39 from the Philippines, 2 from New Zealand and 2 from Australia. One of the Australians has been named – he’s Lukas Orda, a 25yo vet and dad from Queensland. The search continues, and our government says it’s providing assistance to the Australians’ families.
DRIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO THE MANSLAUGHTER OF FOUR KIDS
A 30yo Sydney man who killed four children when he crashed into them while drug/drink driving in February will plead guilty to four counts of manslaughter. Samuel Davidson is accused of driving with 3 times the legal blood-alcohol limit and having cocaine and MDMA in his system when he hit Abdallah siblings Antony (13yo), Angelina (12yo), and Sienna (8yo), and their cousin Veronique Sakr (11yo) on a footpath in Oatlands in Sydney’s west. They were on a summer night’s walk to buy some ice cream. Danny Abdallah, father of 3 of the children, welcomed the plea and said “the pain remains and we’re just trying to find a new normal in our family.” Also in a Sydney court yesterday, the man known as the ‘Family Court Bomber’, 73yo former firefighter Leonard Warwick, will spend the rest of his life in jail after he was found guilty of 3 murders and a string of serious crimes that targeted members of the judiciary in the 80s.
HEKMATULLAH TO MOVE, REPORTS SAY
Afghanistan will transfer 7 Taliban prisoners to Qatar ahead of imminent peace talks, according to reports. Among them is former Afghan sergeant Hekmatullah, who was sentenced to death after he killed three Australian soldiers – Lance Corporal Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic, Private Robert Poate and Sapper James Martin – in 2012. Our government has been lobbying to keep Hekmatullah in prison, and the Afghan government says he won’t be released without Australia’s consent. But the Taliban came to an agreement with the US Government over the release of 5,000 prisoners as a precondition to peace negotiations, including several convicted of killing international soldiers. Earlier this week, the Afghan Government released nearly 200 Taliban prisoners to kickstart the stalled talks – a successful manoeuvre with the meeting set to start.
BIDEN MAKES KENOSHA TRIP
Following in the path carved by US President Donald Trump earlier this week, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has visited Kenosha, Wisconsin – the city that’s been in turmoil since the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake nearly a fortnight ago. Biden has visited Blake’s family – something Trump did not do after the family’s demand to have lawyers present. Pundits say Biden’s campaign is struggling to counter Trump’s focus on ‘law and order’ that’s backed local law enforcement. The Democrat’s message is more nuanced – he’s backed authorities while acknowledging police violence towards black Americans. According to the polls, Biden is still ahead, but his lead over Trump is narrowing.
THAT’S ONE HELLUVA POT PLANT
“Houseplants have become especially popular among millennials, experts say, many of whom are unable to nurture babies or pets due to financial and property constraints,” wrote The Guardian. Which still doesn’t quite explain why one Kiwi paid NZ$8,125 for a four-leaved pot plant…
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Accuracy is something The Squiz takes seriously. Chicken wings are also an active interest of ours. The collision of these two themes is a treat we’d never thought possible.
Sometimes we like to relax on the weekend by streaming something on the telly – like a docu-drama on significant geopolitical manoeuvrings. The Salisbury Poisonings on SBS OnDemand (aka it’s free on your smart device/TV…) was what we enjoyed last weekend – 4.5 stars, David.
After a glorious couple of warm days where we are, it’s set to cool down again. We don’t mind, it’s lamb shank time… Against our better judgement, we’ll do a cauli puree and broccolini instead of mashed potatoes. Boo…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, July
International Taekwondo Day
Birthdays for Dawn Fraser (1937), Mark Ronson (1975), Samantha Armytage (1976) and Beyoncé (1981)
• English astronomer Edmond Halley first observing the comet named after him (1682)
• the founding of the city of Los Angeles (1781)
• Britain ending its policy of penal transportation to New South Wales (1884)
• George Eastman patenting the first roll-film camera and registering under the name “Kodak” (1888)
• English author Beatrix Potter first writing the story of Peter Rabbit for a 5yo boy (1893)
• the deaths of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin (2006) and Joan Rivers (2014)
• Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam withdrawing controversial extradition bill to China after three months of massive protests (2019)
3.00am – First T20 game of Australia’s tour of England – Rose Bowl
The running the race that stops the US, the Kentucky Derby
Birthdays for Michael Keaton (1951), India Hicks (1967) and Rose McGowan (1973)
• the First Opium War beginning in China (1839)
• Christine Hardt patenting the first modern brassiere (1889)
• the premieres of The Huckleberry Hound Show featuring Yogi Bear (1958) and The Muppet Show (1976)
• Freddie Mercury’s birthday (1946)
• the death of Mother Teresa (1997)
• Hurricane Irma becoming the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin region with winds of 280km/h (2017)
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews expected to announce Melbourne’s ‘roadmap’ out of Stage 4 restrictions
Start of Migraine Awareness Week (on until 12 September)
A birthday for actor Idris Elba (1972)
• Ferdinand Magellan’s Spanish expedition aboard the Vitoria returning to Spain, • becoming the first to circumnavigate the earth (1522)
• the Mayflower departing Plymouth, England for the New World (1620)
• the first supermarket, the Piggly Wiggly, being opened in Memphis, Tennessee (1916)
• the premiere of TV sitcom The Brady Bunch (1969)
• the funeral of Princess Diana (1997)
• the deaths of Luciano Pavarotti (2007), Burt Reynolds, (2018) and Robert Mugabe (2019)
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