Squiz Today / 04 December 2020
Squiz Today – Friday, 4 December
“5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and a PowerBall number of 10”
Were the winning numbers that 20 South Africans selected to win the national lottery draw this week - an occurrence that “while uncommon, is not impossible," the governing body said. Who knew it was that easy?
AMERICA STANDS WITH OZ OVER CHINA ARGY-BARGY
President-elect Joe Biden’s point-guy on tricky international relationships - incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan - yesterday channelled James Taylor saying the US will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Australia. “The Australian people have made great sacrifices to protect freedom and democracy around the world,” he tweeted. And so the US will “rally fellow democracies to advance our shared security, prosperity, and values.” Australia has received broad support in Washington this week after China posted a provocative social media post to Twitter, and called PM Scott Morrison’s call for an apology an “overreaction”. And America isn’t just expressing their concern about China with words…
THEY’RE SAYING IT WITH FLOWERS?
It’s a nice thought, but no. The Trump administration’s Naval Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite yesterday said the US will build-up their Navy's presence to Australia's north to put a check on China’s expanding interests in the region. That will see the reforming of the US Navy's 1st Fleet for the first time in more than 40 years. "This will reassure our partners and allies of our presence and commitment to this region while ensuring any potential adversary knows we are committed to global presence, to ensure rule of law and freedom of the seas," Braithwaite said. It's a big gesture that could see the Australian Defence Force join in for exercises and support.
AND IN THE MEANTIME?
PM Scott Morrison says he wants to cool things down and hold an “open and regular dialogue” with Beijing. But given the events of this week, some experts believe we’re likely to remain in China’s freezer for some time to come, which is difficult for Aussie exporters who rely on trade with China. “I don't have control over the ultimate objectives of other nations,’ Morrison said yesterday. But he says the government’s ultimate goal is “a happy coexistence” that will deliver stability and prosperity. Which seems as likely as this koala getting her own Christmas tree…
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NSW BACK ON COVID ALERT
A Sydney quarantine hotel cleaner has tested positive for COVID, which has ended NSW’s 26-day streak of no new locally acquired cases of the virus. There were 9 recorded COVID cases in hotel quarantine on Wednesday, but authorities are still determining whether the new case was acquired through the quarantine system or another source. Thousands of public transport users have been urged to get tested and self-isolate, as well as workers at Darling Harbour's Novotel Hotel and Ibis Hotel. But Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there was “absolutely no reason” to put a brake on plans to further ease restrictions next week. But it could derail the opening of the WA border to NSW residents next week with Premier Mark McGowan putting the decision under review.
MELBOURNE TRUCK DRIVER PLEADS GUILTY
Truck driver Mohinder Singh was severely sleep-deprived, high on ice and ranting about a witch when he killed 4 police officers on a Melbourne freeway in April, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard yesterday. The 48yo’s case will now move to the Supreme Court after he pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including 4 counts of culpable driving causing death and drug trafficking. Court documents released on Thursday also outline the worries his family and employer had about his fitness to drive that day. Singh’s lawyer yesterday said “he is very sorry” for causing the deaths of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
IRAN PLOTS REVENGE, LEGISLATIVELY SPEAKING
Iran's Guardian Council has passed laws that would see the blocking of United Nations' inspections of their nuclear sites and a stepping up of its uranium enrichment program to make weapons-grade fuel. The move is in retaliation for the killing of Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in an ambush last week. The laws go against the terms of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with nations like Britain, France and Germany, and are yet to get the tick off from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is facing pressure to bring an end to the crippling sanctions, criticised the move as being “harmful to diplomatic efforts”. Iran has blamed Israel for Fakhrizadeh’s killing, and pundits say the episode will see incoming US President Joe Biden navigating some rocky terrain when he takes office in 7 weeks.
REEF TROUBLES CONFIRMED BY UN
The outlook for Queensland's Great Barrier Reef has significantly worsened. It has been rated at the highest level of 'critical' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature - a body which advises UNESCO - in the latest health check released yesterday. Climate change was called out as the reef’s biggest threat, as it was for the world heritage-listed parts of the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney) and Gondwana rainforests (made up of 40 separate reserves between Newcastle and Brisbane). Both were significantly affected by last summer’s bushfires. There’s also elevated concern for Western Australia’s Shark Bay and Ningaloo Coast. Looking for some good nature news? The Great Barrier Reef’s annual PG-rated sex party is on this weekend - catch all the action here.
AN END TO COMFORT IN THE SKIES
As far as news subgenres go, reporting on unusual emotional support animals is up there as a favourite. And so we note with some disappointment that America’s Department of Transportation has issued new guidelines stating dogs are the only animals that will be allowed in airlines’ cabins going forward. The reason: "unusual species of animals" on flights have "eroded the public trust in legitimate service animals," the department said. Which is really just a long way of reminding you about Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt, the emotional support duck...
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
For Christmas TV ads that tug on the heartstrings, it’s hard to go past the competition between the UK’s big supermarket retailers. This year, Tesco has abandoned the emotion and gone for humour - and it’s such a goody.
And another annual tradition - Billie Eilish’s yearly interview with Vanity Fair. It's her fourth go around, and it's super interesting to hear how 2020 has changed things for someone who was at the peak of creating music and performing at the start of this year. And she's just 18yo…
And a potato and pickle salad from Adam Liaw? Well, that’s the easiest home run you’ll hit this summer.
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.10pm (AEDT) - T20 Cricket - Australia vs India - Canberra
ABS Data Release - Retail Trade, October
Birthdays for actor Jeff Bridges (1949), rapper/entrepreneur Jay Z (1969) and supermodel/TV host Tyra Banks (1973)
• Elizabeth Taylor’s seventh marriage to politician John Warner (1976)
• the disbandment of Led Zeppelin, two months after the death of drummer John Bonham (1980)
7.45pm (AEDT) - Rugby Championship - Australia v Argentina - Sydney
• the birthdays of Walt Disney (1901) and Little Richard (1932)
• the end of alcohol prohibition in the US (1933)
• the death of former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela (2013)
7.10pm (AEDT) - T20 Cricket - Australia vs India - Sydney
• the ratification of the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution abolishing slavery (1865)
• the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty that created Northern Ireland (1921)
• the bloody water polo match between the USSR and Hungary at the Melbourne Olympics (1956)
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