“It is inconceivable that there is any likelihood of confusion between your client’s theme park and related products and Ms Swift’s music and related products.”
Said Taylor Swift’s lawyers after a fantasy-themed amusement park named Evermore launched legal action claiming its trademark has been infringed by the singer’s last album that goes by the same name. It’s a good defence – unless their fantasy is Swift-based…
FEEL IT COMING IN THE AIR
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said he’s going “full steam ahead” with plans for the grand slam event to kick off on Monday – despite 160 players being asked to isolate yesterday and get a coronavirus test. The uncertainty comes after a 26yo man tested positive to COVID on Wednesday. He was yesterday described by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews as a “model employee” for his adherence to the safety rules while working as part of the tournament’s hotel quarantine program.
IF HE FOLLOWED THE RULES, HOW DID HE GET IT?
To start with, officials say they’re working on the assumption he picked it up at work, but genomic sequencing will give officials more clues about the origin of his infection. One thing to note: there is growing concern about airborne transmission of the virus with Andrews saying that it can’t be ruled out in this case. Some experts say there will be “more groundhog days” if officials and policymakers didn’t do more to deal with airborne transmission within quarantine hotels. This and broader concerns from state premiers about delivering the hotel quarantine program will be discussed today at National Cabinet.
BRING ON OCTOBER…
Yep. That’s when Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says all Australians who want a COVID vaccination will have had their jabs. To that end, the Federal Government’s bought another 10 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, taking the total to 20 million doses. It’s considered the world’s most effective protection against the virus. PM Scott says he expects the jabs to start rolling out to vulnerable and frontline Aussies in the last week of this month. On the AstraZeneca vaccine (you know, the one that hasn’t been approved here, but we’ve booked 53.8 million doses) – it looks like it can reduce transmission of the virus. Which is so great. To date, it and other vaccines have shown they can reduce the chance of death and severe illness, but it’s not been clear whether immunised people can still carry COVID and pass on.
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PERTH FIRE UPDATE
The number of homes lost in the Perth Hills bushfire jumped to 81 as it enters its 5th dangerous day. The still out-of-control blaze has since grown to 130km in diameter and has burned through more than 10,400 hectares since Monday as hot and windy conditions prevail. Respite may be on the way with the “heaviest rain in months” set to hit Perth over the weekend. If it’s not enough to help firefighters get on top of it, the strong winds expected to follow it could worsen conditions. As for the country’s southeast, get your brolly out… Heavy rain and storms are forecast for large parts of Victoria, South Oz, Tassie and NSW today and Saturday.
HELLO, MR PRESIDENT
Coming off a low benchmark for chats with newly inaugurated US presidents, the first phone call between US President Joe Biden and PM Morrison was a raging success. It was “warm and engaging“, and focused on the 3 C’s: COVID, climate change and China, Morrison said. Morrison said he wasn’t pressed on setting more ambitious carbon emission reduction targets, but there was talk of working together on new technologies. Morrison extended an offer to pop over for a drink with the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance to be marked later this year. In return, Morrison hopes to secure an invitation to Biden’s climate change summit in April.
Also up for a chat with the PM yesterday was Alphabet (Google’s parent) boss Sundar Pichai. Afterwards, Morrison said the company was in a “more positive space” after last month saying it would pull its search engine from Oz if we went ahead with a code that would force it to pay for Australian news content.
SUU KYI CHARGED
Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is facing up to 3 years in prison after being charged by the country’s military, which took control of the nation on Monday. Her alleged crime? The possession of walkie-talkies. Wait, what? Most likely used by her security agents, she’s been pegged for possessing illegally imported communications equipment. “They’ll try just about any charge they think can silence them and put them in prison,” said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar. If/when convicted, it will see her banned from representative politics. And with her out of the picture and the dominant party she leads dismantled, the military-backed party will have no competition if/when the next election is staged. Suu Kyi and other government officials are under house arrest for now.
RIHANNA V SACHIN TENDULKAR
India’s A-listers have slammed tweets posted by pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg supporting the country’s farmers. For more than 2 months, tens-of-thousands of farmers have protested against PM Narendra Modi’s new laws to open the country’s agricultural sector to free trade. “Why aren’t we talking about this?!” Rihanna tweeted yesterday. “We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India,” said Thunberg. That was enough to create a social media storm in India… The country’s foreign ministry labelled them “sensationalist”. And cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar along with Bollywood actors and directors said it was unwanted interference. “India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised,” Tendulkar tweeted. Another big farmers protest is planned for tomorrow.
WE ARE AUSTRALIAN
Most Aussies support multiculturalism, but only if newcomers adopt Australian values, a new report has found. Surveying 5,500 people across the country, the Scanlon Foundation found that 84% of respondents agreed that multiculturalism was good for Australia. However, 60% said they thought immigrants weren’t making enough effort to fit in. The report also showed negative sentiment towards people from Asia, Africa and the Middle East was on the rise, with nearly 50% of respondents holding negative views of Chinese Australians. In response, Minister for Immigration and Multiculturalism Alex Hawke acknowledged the persistence of racism in Australia, but said there were high levels of support for immigration programs. Labor’s multicultural affairs spokesman Andrew Giles said a national anti-racism strategy was needed.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
A couple of weeks ago, we nailed a life goal – to find a comfy bra. Next up: a hairstyle that suits us…
Dunno what this says about our physiological state, but we’re hanging for something mustardy. So we’re dusting off this oldie but goodie – roasted cauliflower with anchovy mustard. Scroll past that recipe, and there are some other appealing options too…
SQUIZ THE DAY
6.00pm (WST) – Western Australia hard lockdown set to end if no cases are recorded today – but some restrictions will remain in place
National Cabinet meeting
ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, December
World Nutella Day
Birthdays for Michael Sheen (1969), Mary Crown Princess of Denmark (1972) and Christiano Ronaldo (1985)
• the discovery of the world’s largest alluvial gold nugget, the Welcome Stranger weighting 97.14kg, in Moliagul, Australia (1869)
• the US Senate acquitting US President Donald Trump of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress (2020)
7.40pm (AEDT) – Men’s Big Bash League Cricket Final – Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers – Sydney
Waitangi Day – New Zealand
• HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin arriving in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) (1836)
• the birthdays of Ronald Reagan (1911) and Bob Marley (1945)
• the launch of Monopoly (1935)
Skywhalepapa, the companion of the bulbous and 10-bosomed Skywhale, will take off – Canberra
Birthdays for country music star Garth Brooks (1962) and actor Ashton Kutcher (1978)
• the colonial Tasmanian Parliament passing the world’s first secret ballot (1856)
• New Zealand’s worst maritime tragedy, when the HMS Orpheus sunk off the coast of Auckland, killing 189 (1863)
• the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, which killed 173 people (2009)
And make sure you’ve read every Squiz Today email from this week to be in the draw for a $100 gift card from Woolies. Simples.
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