Squiz Today / 09 December 2019
Squiz Today – Monday, 9 December
It’s the growing phenomenon of groups of mums taking off to celebrate getting their kids through school (or ‘doolies’ if it’s a dads group). Look out Bali…
FROM WADA WITH LOVE
The sporting world is expecting the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban Russia from participating in international competition for the next four years. That includes the summer and winter Olympics, Youth Olympics, Paralympics, world championships and other major sporting events. It’s the big agenda item on the WADA executive committee meeting being held in Lausanne, Switzerland today.
SO IT’S A DONE DEAL?
Hold your performance-enhanced horses… A ban is one of the options on the table. It could be that Russian officials are disqualified from sitting on international sporting boards and committees. Or that it won’t be allowed to host any major sporting event for some years, or a range of other penalties. That said, the 12-member WADA panel - which has no representatives from Russia or the US - has been criticised in the past for not coming down hard enough on Russia for its serial flouting of the doping rules. And its Compliance Review Committee made headlines last month when it recommended a ban. Which means it looks like things are heading that way.
WHAT’S HAPPENED IN RUSSIAN SPORT TO LEAD TO THIS?
Since 2015, there have been concerns about a state-sponsored doping program to improve their athletes' performances. And after the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, blew the lid on the whole shebang via the Oscar-winning documentary Icarus (add it to your summer Netflix viewing if you haven't seen it…), WADA has stepped up its efforts. And after a lengthy investigation, evidence was found that Russian officials had attempted to hide hundreds of failed drug test results, and had manipulated or destroyed reams of records. If Russia is banned today, what happens to its athletes who can demonstrate they are clean remains TBD.
SQUIZ THE REST
FIRE WARNINGS AHEAD OF AN EXPECTED DANGEROUS WEEK
There was some respite in NSW as calmer weekend conditions helped authorities fighting almost 90 blazes across the state. Not that they relaxed at all… It allowed some time for preparations to be made for what is expected to be a hot and windy week ahead, particularly on Tuesday. And the 60km firefront that was created when five fires west of Gosford merged on Friday had many asking questions about how to fight a fire that big. PM Scott Morrison yesterday paid a visit to RFS HQ, no doubt happy to be out of smoky Canberra. The conditions in Queensland remain dangerous, and Victoria is also bracing for a hot and hazardous week.
ASSAULT ACCUSATION AT THE HEART OF HAWKE ESTATE CLAIM
Rosslyn Dillon, former PM Bob Hawke and Hazel’s youngest child, has accused former Victorian Labor MP Bill Landeryou of sexually assaulting her three times in the 80s. And she’s accused her father of pressuring her not to report it to police because he was about to become Labor leader. The accusations are part of a $4 million claim Dillon has on Hawke’s $14 million estate. She says the assaults have had an ongoing impact on her life and she is financially strapped. Senior Labor MP Tanya Plibersek yesterday wouldn't comment directly on the matter but said "anybody who has been the victim of a sexual assault should be encouraged to take the matter to police to have it dealt with properly". Both Hawke and Landeryou died this year. Today would have been Hawke’s 90th birthday.
QUICK WORLD NEWS WRAP
DELHI FACTORY FIRE CLAIMS AT LEAST 43 LIVES - The blaze broke out at the four-storey building early on Sunday morning. Reports say more than 100 workers were sleeping inside the bag manufacturing factory, and there are fears the death toll will rise.
HONG KONG MASS RALLY - To mark six months of what has become a pro-democracy/anti-China movement, the first significant demonstration since its major victory in district council elections last month took place in Hong Kong yesterday. Organisers say 800,000 people turned out to remind the government they still want their demands met, while police put the number at 180,000.
IRAN-US PRISONERS EXCHANGED - Xiyue Wang, an American jailed by Iran for spying (although his uni says he was carrying out research on Iran's Qajar dynasty for his PhD), will be home soon. He was exchanged for Massoud Soleimani, an Iranian who was being held over accusations he violated US sanctions. The Swiss Government negotiated the prisoner swap deal that went ahead despite the tensions between Iran and the US.
VACCINATIONS UP AS MEASLES SPREADS
Samoa yesterday said its emergency immunisation program has reached 89% of its population of 200,000 - a tripling of its coverage for measles in a few weeks. That brings an end to a national government shutdown that was put in place to facilitate the mass mandatory vaccination effort. And an update to the numbers: at least 65 people, mostly children, have died in recent weeks, and more than 4,500 Samoans have been infected by measles. Meanwhile, neighbouring US territory American Samoa has declared an outbreak of measles and will close schools and ban public gatherings. A vaccination program will start today when a shipment arrives from mainland USA.
CONCERNS ABOUT THE GIG ECONOMY
One of the numbers that economists keep flagging as a concern when the monthly employment numbers come out is what’s happening with people who want to work more hours. New Parliamentary Library research commissioned by Labor MPs Clare O’Neil and Daniel Mulino shows the national underutilisation rate is 13.8%. That means it’s estimated that 2 million Aussies are not earning as much as they could. And with the official figures counting people who work one hour or more each week as 'employed', the MPs say the rise of the gig economy means the predicament of people who are losing full-time or part-time work are hidden in numbers. It's something we're likely to hear more about as our economic managers find the answers as hard to come by as the right door.
APROPOS OF NOTHING - PLEASE EXPLAIN EDITION...
SQUIZ THE DAY
Aged Care Royal Commission kicks off a big week of hearings - Canberra
Victoria’s Royal Commission into the management of informants to call Chief Police Commissioner Graham Ashton to give evidence - Melbourne
WADA’s executive committee to meet to discuss a ban on Russia’s participation in international sport for the next four years
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin of Russia to meet - Paris
Dame Judi Dench's birthday (1934)
Anniversary of Bob Hawke’s birthday (1929)
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