Squiz Today / 19 November 2020
Squiz Today – Thursday, 19 November
Are a newly launched Twitter feature. They are fleeting tweets that disappear after 24 hours that the company says might help people feel “more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings” - three things that are in short supply on Twitter…
SOUTH OZ PRESSES THE STOP BUTTON
"There is no second chance to stop a second wave. We are at a critical point, but we will get through this," said South Australian Premier Steven Marshall yesterday as he announced the arrangements for a severe 6-day statewide lockdown. The Parafield coronavirus cluster in Adelaide’s north yesterday has grown to 23 confirmed cases with 7 more people being monitored closely. Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the strain they’ve detected is breeding "very, very rapidly" and has a 24-hour incubation period. And so "we are going hard, and we are going early," Marshall said.
Bloody hard. The state is now under the harshest restrictions Australia has seen during this pandemic. But it’s hoped that what officials are calling the ‘South Australian Circuit Breaker’ will be a short one. It’s easier to list what is open than what’s not… Essential retail and services remain open - supermarkets, banks, medical care, petrol stations. Everything else is closed: schools/unis, restaurants, takeaway food outlets, and on and on. People are not allowed to leave their homes for exercise. Weddings and funerals are banned. Aged care homes and disability care facilities are in lockdown. One person per household is allowed to leave their home per day, and only for essential purposes. And all South Aussies are urged to wear a mask, but it’s not mandatory.
WHAT’S THE RESPONSE BEEN?
You mean beyond the supermarket shelves being stripped bare and limits placed on toot paper again? Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in quarantine in Canberra after returning from Tokyo yesterday, backed the temporary measures because there’s “a clear end date.” And SA Labor leader Peter Malinauskas said he was “here to support the government, not undermine it.” Meanwhile, the SA business community expressed shock at the extent of the restrictions. And the Australian Medical Association state president Dr Chris Moy said it was better to respond now than be left with a Victorian-style months-long lockdown.
SQUIZ THE REST
AND CROWN PUMPS THE BREAKS...
The NSW gaming regulator yesterday banned Crown Resorts from opening its new $2.2 billion Sydney casino, restaurant and entertainment development next month after the company admitted it’s likely that money laundering has occurred via its Melbourne and Perth casinos. The regulator’s chairman Philip Crawford said the Sydney casino’s opening plans will stay on ice until February next year when Commissioner Patricia Bergin, who is currently conducting a review into Crown’s fitness to hold a gaming licence in NSW, will hand down her findings. "Because when we talk about money laundering … we're talking about potential drugs, child sexual exploitation, people trafficking and financing terrorism … you can see why we have concern," he said. Crown is still negotiating to open bars and restaurants at the Barangaroo development before February. These developments were so seismic that Crown went into a trading halt on the stock exchange yesterday.
QUICK UPDATE ON SOME RECENT STORIES
CHINA COMPLAINS - After Australia and Japan took the next step towards deeper military cooperation on Tuesday night, the Chinese Government mouthpiece the Global Times has called us “tools”. Let’s put that in context… "Countries like Japan and Australia have been used as US tools,” an editorial published yesterday said. It will likely make it onto a list of grievances about our conduct now we know that Chinese officials keep one...
US TROOPS OUT - The next group of American troops will leave Iraq (where there are 3,000) and Afghanistan (4,500-5,000) before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in January next year. The move will leave around 2,500 troops in each nation. It doesn't fulfil outgoing President Donald Trump's promise to remove all troops from the region during his term in office, but it is earlier than his military commanders would like, reports say.
WAR CRIMES REPORT RELEASED TODAY - A redacted version of the long-awaited Inspector-General’s report into alleged war crimes committed by Australian special forces soldiers while in Afghanistan is due to be released today. PM Scott Morrison and senior military figures have told the nation to brace for a shock.
UK CALLS TIME ON PETROL AND DIESEL CARS
As of 2030, you won’t be able to buy a new petrol or diesel car or van in the UK. Some hybrid vehicles would still be available, UK PM Boris Johnson said yesterday. It’s part of a "green industrial revolution" to create up to 250,000 jobs in the ‘green economy’ while also reducing emissions. It comes as a new study found that 1% of the world’s population is responsible for half of global aviation emissions. American travellers emit more than those from the next 10 countries (including the UK, Japan, Germany and Oz) combined.
AUSSIE GIN A TOP TIPPLE
And that’s not a random thought about a favourite beverage... Based in Healesville in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Four Pillars distillery has won the title of International Gin Producer of the Year at the world’s most prestigious spirits competition. Announced early this morning, the gin geniuses beat out more than 4,000 other entries to take the International Wine and Spirits Competition prize for the second time in 2 years. "I was wearing my full kilt for good luck, same as I did last year in London, and I don't think I will take it off all day, maybe all week," said co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie of the team's win. Cheers to that…
“A bunch of nobodies with busted bodies” have won this year’s State of Origin series as Queensland took the series 2 games to NSW's one after winning last night's game 20-14. The Maroons' Cameron Munster and his golden boot were awarded the Wally Lewis medal for player of the series - an incredible effort given he didn't play most of round 2. Meanwhile, NSW struggled with captain James Tedesco forced from the field midway through the first half with a head knock. The Queensland team had been branded the state's worst-ever side, but some commentators say both sides struggled because the series was played after the end of the (ir)regular season. The 52,000 capacity crowd that piled into Brisbane’s Lang Park last night is thought to make the game the largest sporting event in the world since the Women's T20 World Cup final was played at the MCG in early March.
‘ON BRAND’ FOR 2020
Oh Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, how manky are thy branches…
SQUIZ THE DAY
Release of the Inspector-General’s report into alleged unlawful killings by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan
ABS Data Release - Labour Force, October
Booker Prize winner announced
World Philosophy Day
Monaco’s National Day
Birthdays for designer Calvin Klein (1942), and actors Meg Ryan (1961), Jodie Foster (1962) and Adam Driver (1983)
• American inventor Frederick E. Blaisdell patenting the pencil (1895)
• the expulsion of Leon Trotsky from the Politburo (1926)
• the death of cult leader Charles Manson (2017)
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