Squiz Today / 19 January 2021
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 19 January
An emerging term for clothes that are "neither stylish nor particularly comfortable, yet constantly in rotation." It's that pair of trackie dacks that you don't like but who cares in the current setting - and not to be confused with 'sadwear' (that pair of trackie dacks that make you feel better). Throw in a couple of well-worn tees and you’ve got our entire wardrobe…
STAYING PUT FOR 2021
Federal Health Department boss/former Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy yesterday said it’s unlikely Aussies will be able to travel internationally without a special exemption this year. That’s despite plans for a widespread vaccination program to be rolled out during 2021. The reason? Scientists don’t yet know how effective the current crop of vaccines will be to slow the spread of COVID-19, he told ABC TV’s News Breakfast yesterday. That sparked calls for more support from the tourism industry that’s heading towards a year with no international tourism and a terrible Christmas-New Year season given state border closures.
BUT OTHER BORDERS ARE EASING?
They are, again... Some Victorian restrictions were relaxed overnight after 25 council areas in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong were downgraded from 'red' to 'orange'. That means if you've been to an 'orange' zone in the past 2 weeks, you can now get a permit to travel to Victoria - as long as you get a test within 3 days. Ten areas of Sydney remain in a ‘red’ zone, but many NSW border towns have been reclassified from ‘orange’ to ‘green’ - good news for those who live their lives on both sides of the border. A traffic light refresher is here… The move was welcomed by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian who has been critical of the ongoing hard border.
AND OUR TENNIS TRAVELLERS ARE STAYING IN LOCKDOWN?
Indeed - despite the challenge that poses for some guests' personal grooming requirements... And despite world numero uno tennis champ/new players’ association spearhead Novak Djokovic calling on Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley to ease up on the 72 tennis players who are currently in hard lockdown ahead of the Oz Open. Putting them in homes with tennis courts could be part of the solution, he suggested... ‘Yeah, nah’ was the gist of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ response. “The rules will not be changing," he said yesterday.
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KIMI AS FUN AS A WET WEEK
After picking up pace yesterday, Cyclone Kimi off the Far North Queensland coast has weakened and is now unlikely to cross the coast, officials said overnight. It's been an unpredictable storm that's changed direction a couple of times, but it's now slowing down. That means destructive winds are no longer set to blast the coastal stretch between Innisfail and Ayr, including Townsville and Palm Island - but the region is bracing for a whole lot of rain. And that's an issue because Cyclone Imogen brought heavy rain to the same area just a couple of weeks ago, so the region is primed to flood again. And Tassie has been as windy as a kid with a tummy full of baked beans. Most of the state was under a severe weather warning last night as damaging winds swept from left to right across the map (which map-literate people tell is west to east…). You know it’s serious when the weather bureau advice is to wait before putting the bins out…
NAVALNY SILENCED AGAIN
Returning to Russia for the first time since he was poisoned with the deadly nerve agent Novichok in August last year (allegedly by government agents), opposition figure Alexei Navalny was arrested on arrival at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport yesterday. It came after his flight from Berlin was diverted at the last minute by authorities in an attempt to avoid journalists and supporters. He has been accused of violating the terms of a suspended prison sentence for embezzlement (a charge Navalny rejects) and will spend 30 days in custody, reports this morning said. The prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin says the moves to silence him come from the top of the government. the developments drew international condemnation with senior Biden advisers, European leaders and the United Nations calling for his release.
CHINA’S ECONOMY REVS
Last year saw the world’s weakest period of economic growth in decades, but China’s economy still managed a 2.3% bump upwards new figures out yesterday show. It’s a result that is unlikely to be shared by the other major economies, many of which are still battling 3rd and 4th waves of the coronavirus. Even in Oz, where case numbers remain relatively low, our economy went backwards 3.8% for the 12 months to September. But China’s economy has defied the trend with the December quarter delivering growth of 6.5% compared to the same period a year earlier - mostly driven by exports and its citizens buying stuff. Commentators warn it’s too early to say whether China has recovered given new coronavirus outbreaks and the expected continuation of US-imposed tariffs by the incoming Biden administration. Now, if only our exporters could get back in there so we could grow together…
THAT’S A LOT OF SALMON…
Five former employees of the Huon Aquaculture salmon plant in Sydney’s southwest have been charged over the theft of 250 tonnes - about $4 million worth - of salmon. They’ve been accused of incorrectly labelling the premium-grade fish as waste and then sneaking it out of the plant to resell or trade. Between June and December, about 600kg of salmon was missing every day - an issue that was picked up by an internal audit after management smelt something fishy. From a logistical POV, police reckon the product was taken in a couple of big lots. That makes sense because our grandmother was prolific with the salmon patties (kinda like these) and even she couldn’t have kept up that pace… The 5 involved - 3 men and 2 women aged between 30yo and 50yo - have since been fired and charged with stealing and larceny.
APROPOS OF NOTHING
Bali officials have found a new way to punish foreigners for non-compliance with the COVID rules like wearing a mask - push-ups. Terrifying…
Lincoln the goat and Murfee the dog are joint-mayors of a town in Vermont - and they’re doing a great job having raised $30,000 for a community playground. You’d have to be bleating/barking mad to run against them next election…
There was his Angry Penguins phase, Ned Kelly series, and obsession with Burke and Wills. And now - behold legendary Australian artist Sidney Nolan’s spray-painted works from the 1980s. And the more than 50 works are up for grabs for $9,800 each - non-Tasmanians need not enquire…
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C’mon Aussie (and stay away rain...) - Australia has a chance to take out the Border-Gavaskar trophy in the last day of play in the Australia v India men’s Test cricket series - Brisbane
Dolly Parton’s 75th birthday (1946)
Husband’s Day - Iceland
• Triple J broadcasting for the first time (1975)
• birthdays of rocker Janis Joplin (1943) and rapper Mac Miller (1992)
• the death of former Aussie cricketer David Hookes (2004). His untimely death led to national discussions on violence and organ donation
• champion cyclist Lance Armstrong admitting to doping in all seven of his Tour de France victories (2013)
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