Squiz Today / 16 March 2021
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 16 March
This activity is becoming a thing, and let’s just say it has more to do with people looking for insights into their gastrointestinal health than leisurely shopping for backless seating options…
PORTER SUES AS WOMEN CALL FOR CHANGE
A crowd of more than 5,000 gathered outside Parliament House in Canberra yesterday to call for equality for women and an end to gendered violence. It was one of 40 March 4 Justice rallies around the country that culminated in a petition with 90,000 signatures calling for change being handed to Labor's Tanya Plibersek and the Greens' Larissa Waters. A surprise speaker in Canberra was former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins whose alleged rape kicked rally organisers into gear. She said she hoped more women speaking out about harassment and violence would lead to “meaningful reform to the workplace culture inside Parliament House and, hopefully, every workplace, to ensure the next generation of women can benefit from a safer and more equitable Australia."
WHAT WAS THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE?
Neither PM Scott Morrison nor Women's Minister Marise Payne attended the rally, and organisers declined an offer to meet privately. Addressing the Parliament, Morrison said the safety and advancement of women was “a common cause, and we must not let our frustration with the failure to achieve so many of the results we would hope for to undermine the unity needed to continue our shared progress.” And Payne said it was up to every elected representative to “own the failings” that have led to demands for change. Labor leader Anthony Albanese, who is dealing with claims that female Labor staffers have also been mistreated, said that many Aussies are “crying out that this is a moment that requires leadership. And it requires leadership from this prime minister."
AND CHRISTIAN PORTER?
Yep. The Attorney-General yesterday launched defamation proceedings against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan. Porter's lawyers said it will give him the opportunity to deny the historical rape allegation made against him under oath. The case focuses on an online article that he says portrays him as the perpetrator of a “brutal” rape that contributed to a woman taking her own life. It did not name him, but Porter’s lawyers said he was easily identifiable and was “obliged” to identify himself. Yesterday, Porter said he would return to work by the end of the month.
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CLOTTING CONCERNS PUT ASTRAZENECA VACCINE ON HOLD
Germany, Italy and France have become the latest countries to suspend the vaccine's use. They join several other smaller European nations to put the vaccine on hold while blood clot concerns are checked out. AstraZeneca, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation all say the vaccine is safe to use, but Germany's Paul Ehrlich Institute, an authority on vaccines, recommended the suspension while analysis was undertaken. Reports say the number of blood clots reported by vaccinated patients is in line with those typically reported by the general population. And they're talking about small numbers - about 17 million people in the European Union and the UK have received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 37 cases of blood clots have been reported. On the weekend, our Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said that the “AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is effective, it is safe, and it’s a high-quality vaccine,” and backed its ongoing use here.
CRACKDOWN IN MYANMAR AFTER VIOLENT CLASHES CLAIM MORE LIVES
Two areas of Myanmar’s largest city Yangon have been placed under martial law by the military to gain control over protestors. Chinese-owned factories in the city were also set alight on Sunday night by demonstrators angered by China’s failure to condemn the coup. Security forces opened fire on protesters as escalating violence was also reported in the cities of Mandalay and Bago, where a police officer also died after a confrontation with protesters. At least 38 demonstrators were killed across Myanmar in violent clashes on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths to 126 people since the military seized control in February. Arrests have also continued to rise, reaching 2,150 people by Saturday.
POPE UNBENDING ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
The Vatican has issued a statement overnight saying the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions. Referring to them as a "choice" and a "sin", the Holy See says the unions "cannot be recognised as objectively ordered" to God's plans. Pope Francis has previously been more positive towards LGBTIQ+ people and has said he thought same-sex couples should be able to wed via civil unions. Overnight, he says the statement is "not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite". That is unlikely to ease the disappointment of millions of Catholics around the world. Dozens of countries, including Australia, have legalised same-sex marriages.
BOW DOWN TO SAM KERR
Aussie superstar Sam Kerr has bagged a hat-trick for her UK club Chelsea in their 6-0 win over Bristol City to claim the Women’s League Cup final. It only took the Matildas’ captain 90 seconds to score her first goal, and she was rewarded again in the 10th minute and again 3 minutes after halftime. Throw in a signature backflip, and you’ve got a good day at the office for the Western Oz native. “It’s what I came to Chelsea for,” the 27yo, taking her season scorecard to 16 goals for her first full year at the club. It was the Blues biggest-ever Women’s League final margin and their 2nd consecutive cup win.
AND BOW DOWN TO BEYONCÉ
Beyoncé confirmed her Queen Bey status as she became the most awarded singer and female artist in Grammys history. Multiple wins yesterday - including best music video for Brown Skin Girl and best R&B performance for Black Parade - took her career total to 28 Grammys. She said it was a moment she’d been working towards since she was 9yo - the same age as daughter Blue Ivy, who also took home a Grammy yesterday. Other standout winners were Taylor Swift, who became the first woman to win album of the year 3 times and Billie Eilish, who took home record of the year for Everything I Wanted. The full list of winners is here, and when it comes to red carpet looks, the Grammys didn’t disappoint.
Out overnight were the nominations for this year’s Oscars, and it’s all about black-and-white drama Mank. It received 10 nods, including a best actor chance for Gary Oldman. He’s up against Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - he became the first black actor to be posthumously nominated for the Academy Award. On the actress side, Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) and Frances McDormand (Nomadland) are favourites - and their female directors join 5 other women to have been nominated for an award in its history.
APROPOS OF NOTHING
Speaking of top movies, one you would be forgiven for thinking has had its run is 2009’s Avatar. The biggest grossing flick of its day, it was overtaken by Marvel's Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Until this weekend when it was re-released in China…
While we’re looking at size, Netflix is set to be toppled as the world’s largest streaming service by 2024, analysts say. Disney+ has just passed the 100 million subscribers mark after launching in late 2019 - a feat that took Netflix a decade to achieve.
Apparently, in the US, it's a thing for blokes to get a vasectomy in March to align with optimal basketball viewing time. And one clinic’s advertising push has not gone unnoticed by the country’s college league…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, December 2020
Birthday for Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham (1967)
• the My Lai massacre, which saw US soldiers kill unarmed Vietnamese citizens during the Vietnam War (1968)
• American figure skater Tonya Harding pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice over a plot to seriously injure her rival Nancy Kerrigan (1994)
• the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council (2005)
• the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by 2,997.10, the single largest point drop in history (2020)
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