Squiz Today / 02 March 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 2 March


“Is this on? Can you hear me now?”

Is how British actor Daniel Aaluuya restarted his Golden Globes acceptance speech for his best-supporting turn in the film Judas and the Black Messiah after a producer forgot to unmute him. Like anyone who’s been on a video call in the last 12 months, it’s a line he’s probably rehearsed extensively…


Fundamental reform of the aged care system is required and the federal government must lead the change, Commissioners Lynelle Briggs and Tony Pagone said yesterday as PM Scott Morrison made public the final report from the inquiry into the quality and safety of the sector. Titled Care, Dignity and Respect, the report outlines 148 wide-ranging recommendations that Commissioners say will take 5-years to implement to help older Aussies “live an active, self-determined and meaningful life in a safe and caring environment that allows for dignified living in old age."

Well, Briggs and Pagone say a lot of work has to be done... They uncovered outrageous examples of neglect, abuse and mismanagement within the system. Yesterday, they said at least a third of people accessing aged care services had experienced substandard care, and almost half had concerns about those in charge of their care. That’s why Commissioners say new legislation that “puts older people first, enshrining their rights and providing a universal entitlement for high quality and safe care” is required. From there, the sector’s oversight, governance and staffing arrangements, service accessibility and funding models need a complete overhaul, they say. So, pretty much everything… Unusually, the Commissioners’ opinions differed on some recommendations. “But we both strongly conclude that fundamental change is needed,” said Pagone.

Except for one thing - how much it will cost to fix things. Neither the Royal Commission nor PM Scott Morrison could answer that yesterday. But the PM said there was a clear need for "generational change", and an immediate injection of  $452.2 million will start the process with the next steps to be outlined when the Federal Budget is delivered in May. Labor's Aged Care spokesperson Clare O'Neil said Morrison's response doesn't fill her with much confidence. "I'm really worried this will join the 21 other major reports the government has received during their time in office which have told them some variation on the themes that came out in the final report today,” she said yesterday.



It was no surprise that PM Morrison was also asked yesterday to address claims made against an unnamed Cabinet minister. His answer: his colleague "vigorously and completely denied" the allegation that he raped a 16yo in 1988. The matter is a matter for authorities, Morrison said. With several of the unnamed woman’s friends (but not all of them...) and her lawyer calling on PM Morrison to hold an inquiry into the allegations, he said that wasn’t possible. “It is the police, in a country where you're governed by the rule of law, that determine the veracity of any allegations of this nature," he said. As for what he knew and when, Morrison said he became aware of the claims on Wednesday last week and spoke to his accused colleague and the Federal Police that evening. Reports say NSW Police can’t undertake an investigation without the complainant, who died last year.

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Nicolas Sarkozy has set an unenviable record - he’s the first former president of France to receive a custodial sentence. That happened overnight when he was sentenced to 3 years in jail (with 2 of those years suspended) for corruption. The 66yo (better known to some as Mr Carla Bruni…) was at the top of the nation’s government between 2007-12. The conviction relates to a bribe he offered a judge in 2014 when he dangled the promise of a prestigious job in return for information about an investigation into claims he'd accepted illegal campaign payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. Pundits say he's expected to appeal - a process that could take years - and he'll remain free while that's worked through. Sarkozy also faces a raft of other legal woes from his time in office.

And speaking of political leaders' legal wrangling, deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been seen for the first time since the 1 February coup when she appeared for a court hearing via video link with still more charges levelled against her. Her lawyers said they believe she's in good health. The weekend’s unrest has not simmered down, even as military boss Min Aung Hlaing delivered a televised address last night saying the nation's protest leaders would be punished.


“Do you miss me yet?” It was vintage Donald Trump yesterday as he spoke to a group of keen supporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando in his first address since leaving office 5 weeks ago. He’s been on mute without his Twitter megaphone, but yesterday he got the crowd riled up by blasting President Joe Biden and repeating unfounded claims about the ‘stolen election’. His pièce de résistance: hinting at a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. ”Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time,” he said. Cheeky… While Trump has flirted with the idea of creating a new party, he pledged on Sunday to stay in the Republican camp. Even before Trump graced the CPAC stage, the event was trending on social media for the wring reasons when the design of the CPAC stage was likened to a Norse rune used by Nazis. Organisers said the comparisons were “outrageous and slanderous”.


So much for a COVID-induced property crash… Australia's home prices surged at their fastest rate since 2003. Every capital city and region recorded significant growth last month on the back of record-low interest rates, government incentives and a limited number of homes for sale. Sydney and Hobart led the pack with a 2.5% surge, with Melbourne and regional centres next with 2.1% price growth. Melbourne remains the only capital in negative territory when you look at home prices over the previous 12 months. And it doesn’t look like it will stop there - Westpac yesterday said that home prices could climb as much as 10% both this year and the next. Yikes… Also on the up in February were job advertisements, hitting their highest level since October 2018. Economists say that’s promising for the employment pipeline, and it might help come the end of JobKeeper later in March.


It couldn’t be a pandemic-era Golden Globes without some glitches, including some of the low tech variety... And it’s not a Hollywood awards season without a diversity controversy. But to the standout winners: Nomadland won best drama film. We’re claiming Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Subsequent Moviefilm best comedy gong for Oz, along with his best comedy actor win. Chadwick Boseman’s posthumous best dramatic actor win was an emotional affair… On the best actress side, Rosamund Pike won for comedy I Care A Lot and Andra Day for the drama film The United States Vs Billie Holiday. And congrats also to Anya Taylor-Joy - she won best actress in a limited series for The Queen’s Gambit making her top frock and US$1.5 million in Tiffany diamonds worth the effort. Also in TV awards - go The Crown… It won best drama series, with the unstoppable (except that it ended…) Schitt’s Creek winning best comedy. A complete list of winners is here. But the important thing is there were some well-dressed people to gawk at as others kept it cosy and comfortable.


On a sartorial roll, the WFH pyjama suit is genius, and the only problem we have is we didn't invent it.

Several top golf players, course workers and fans turned out to a Florida tournament yesterday wearing a version of Tiger Woods' signature red shirt - something that moved the injured champ. “You are truly helping me get through this tough time," he tweeted after undergoing more surgery on his injured right leg.

And if you had all the snow that Denver, Colorado's had in the last few weeks, forming a nice snowman seems like a reasonable and even enjoyable pursuit. But a massive fluro-coloured snake? Terrifying…


5.00pm (AEDT) - Constellation Cup Netball - Australia v New Zealand - 9Gem/Netball Live app

9.00pm (AEDT) - Channel 9 airs Framing Britney Spears documentary

Birthdays for Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977) and Rebel Wilson (1980)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Dr Seuss (1904), Lou Reed (1942) and Karen Carpenter (1950)
• the release of The Sound of Music (1965)
• Winx setting a world record for Group 1 wins by taking home the Chipping Norton Stakes in Sydney (2019)

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