Squiz Today / 07 October 2021
Squiz Today – Thursday, 7 October
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Squiz Today Podcast
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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes
“Kind of like giving the MVP trophy to some old man at a nursing home ‘just because.’”
Said one incensed Fat Bear Week devotee of Otis’s epic win. The 25yo is a veteran, but the 4-time chunky champ was voted the best beefcake of all the brown bears at Alaska’s Katmai National Park for 2021. Now to sleep it off for 5-7 months…
NSW hits the big 7-0
NSW has become the first state to hit the target of getting 70% of residents aged 16yo and over fully vaccinated against COVID, Premier Dominic Perrottet (that’ll take some getting used to…) confirmed on his socials late yesterday. That will trigger the easing of restrictions across the state from next Monday. It comes as NSW yesterday recorded its lowest number of new COVID cases in 7 weeks: 594 new local cases and 10 deaths.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
First and foremost, Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong will end a 114-day lockdown. Come Monday, shops will reopen, as will restaurants and bars. Masks won’t need to be worn outside, and gyms will be good to go. Up to 5 visitors will be allowed to visit/check your home for signs of weird lockdown behaviour. And hairdressers better get a wrist brace – they are about to be hammered. And things get even better at 80% in a couple of weeks. Things are also getting better on the health front for NSW, with higher vaccination rates flattening the curve of new cases and hospitalisations. Note: Perrottet has flagged some changes to the roadmap that he wouldn’t be drawn on – but he has scrapped NSW’s daily 11am press conference.
AND WHERE IS THE REST OF OZ AT?
The good news for leaders and officials is that the vaccination rate across Oz has picked up, and experts are hopeful it will continue to be strong in the coming weeks. At our current pace of administering more than a million 2nd doses a week, it’s expected that 70% of Australians aged 16yo and over will be fully vaccinated by the end of this month. Nationally, 80% of Aussies are at least one shot down, and almost 60% are fully vaccinated. The next jurisdiction to hit 70% fully vaxxed will be the ACT – that will happen today or tomorrow. Queensland and WA are last on the tally with 49.5% of their residents double jabbed. Now, to dust off the National Plan…
Squiz the Rest
Malaria vaccine hailed a major breakthrough
After 100 years of trying to crack a vaccine against malaria, children across Africa are set to be immunised. And when we say ‘malaria’, there are more than 100 types of parasite – this RTS,S vaccine targets the one that is the most deadly and most common in Africa. Trials of the vaccine developed by pharma giant GSK have been ongoing for several years, and there was a lot of scepticism that it would work. That’s because it is a 4-dose regimen delivered to babies from 5-months-old. But overnight, the World Health Organisation confirmed it is safe and led to a 30% reduction in severe malaria. There were 260,000 children who died from the disease in 2019, mainly in Africa, and the development is being hailed as one of medicine’s all-time great achievements that will save tens of thousands of lives each year.Health World News
Oz to end offshore processing in PNG
Nauru will soon be Australia’s only regional offshore processing centre after Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews yesterday said the arrangement with Papua New Guinea will end on 31 December. Set up by the Gillard Government in 2012, PNG has wanted to end things after the Australian-run Manus Island Detention Centre shut in 2017. Of the 1,229 people in the centre at the end of 2015, 124 men remain in PNG, mainly in Port Moresby. They will have the option to settle there permanently or be transferred to Australia’s centre in Nauru. There are also some awaiting resettlement in America under Australia’s refugee swap deal. Australia’s offshore processing regime has been criticised by the United Nations and plenty of human rights groups, but Andrews yesterday said the Morrison Government’s border protection policies “have not changed”.Australian News
The buck stops with Zuck
That’s the key point made by ex-Facebook-employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen, who testified before the US Congress yesterday. The 37yo leaked thousands of internal documents to lawmakers and the Wall Street Journal that revealed the tech giant was aware of problems with its apps. Calling for government regulators to step up, she said “as long as Facebook is operating in the dark, it is accountable to no one, and it will continue to make choices that go against the common good.” And she took aim at her former boss, saying “the buck stops with Mark [Zuckerberg].” The Facebook founder yesterday addressed the claims in a note to staff. Facebook cares “deeply about issues like safety, wellbeing and mental health,” he said, and he rejected the claim that the company puts profit over people. “That’s just not true,” Zuckerberg said.Technology
Downsizing your home loan
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hinted it would happen, and yesterday the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) confirmed it will rein in home loans. That means lenders will apply a stricter test to determine whether new borrowers can afford their mortgage repayments if the interest rate was 5%. It will reduce the amount the average Aussie will be able to borrow, and analysts say it will hit investors hardest. And that will help cool the jets of surging house prices, which are up 18.4% over the last year thanks to record-low interest rates. Analysts say they expect a drop in the number of buyers borrowing more than 6 times their pre-tax incomes. #SquizShortcutsBusiness & Finance
Tina a money Turner
At 81yo, music legend Tina Turner deserves whatever she wants. And if that’s to sell the rights to her extensive music catalogue, good luck to her. Music publishing company BMG has done a deal with the icon for the artist’s and writer’s shares of her recordings and the management of her name, image, and likeness. Sorry to tease, but there are no sums to report. Calling it “my life’s work, my musical inheritance”, she said the decision to sell was “something personal”. Her story is an incredible one, told spectacularly well in a doco released earlier this year. And Aussie Roger Davies was a big part of her comeback. You have to see it. #SquizShortcutEntertainment
Apropos of Nothing
From Squid Game to K-pop, it’s fair to say Korean culture is having a bit of a moment. So it’s no surprise the Hallyu (Korean wave) has reached the Oxford English Dictionary – it’s added 26 words of Korean origin to the latest edition.
A tiny pygmy seahorse discovered off New Zealand’s north coast has been given a Māori name: cylix tupareomanaia. The ‘manaia’ part is the Māori name for a seahorse. It’s thought to be the first time an indigenous group has formally named a new animal species.
A study of 6 “genius” dogs found they could remember the names of more than 100 different toys. Fluffy has some work to do…Quirky News
Squiz the Day
7.40pm (AEDT) – Women’s T20 Cricket – Australia v India – Gold Coast
10.00pm (AEDT) – Nobel Prize for Literature announced
Birthdays for human rights activist Desmond Tutu (1931), author Thomas Keneally (1935), Russian President Vladimir Putin (1952), cellist Yo-Yo Ma (1955), Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (1968) and comedian/musician Tim Minchin (1975)
• the establishment of KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), the world’s oldest airline (1919)
• News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch and executive Roger Ailes launch Fox News (1996)
• the beginning of the US invasion of Afghanistan (2001)
• the launch of Spotify (2008)
5:30am (AEDT) – World Cup Qualifier – Socceroos v Oman – Doha