Squiz Today / 30 March 2021
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 30 March
“There's a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list."
Said NASA scientist Davide Farnocchia of new modelling that shows our planet won’t be hit by a troublesome asteroid for the next 100 years at least. So that’s something to be grateful for…
WOMEN PUT ON CLEAN UP DUTY IN MORRISON RESHUFFLE
PM Scott Morrison last week left the door open to a ministerial reshuffle, and yesterday he announced a new lineup that aims to address 2 priorities. The first is to “shake up what needs to be shaken up” by shifting Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds to new portfolios. And the second is to provide what Morrison called a “fresh lens” to get better outcomes for women. It comes after a rolling maul of scandal for the Morrison Government over the treatment of women in politics and unsuccessful attempts by the PM to reset the agenda.
DON’T GO ON AND ON - BUT WHAT ARE THE NOTABLES?
• First to the losers. Porter is no longer the Attorney-General and Industrial Relations minister as he shifts to Industry, Science and Technology. And Reynolds won’t return as Defence Minister but picks up Government Services and the NDIS. Both remain in Cabinet, but they have been demoted.
• Foreign Affairs and Women’s Minister Marise Payne becomes the “Prime Minister for Women” (a position we’re 99% sure doesn’t give her pay equity with Morrison...). They later sought to clarify that she’s the ‘primary’ minister in her role as co-chair with Morrison of a taskforce on women’s equality, safety, economic security, health and wellbeing.
• Seven out of the 23 ministers in the Federal Cabinet are women. And with the addition of female-focused portfolios - including Anne Ruston adding the new Cabinet-level Women's Safety role to her Families/Social Services job - Payne says women's policy priorities will be elevated. Next stop: the Federal Budget in May…
SO THAT’S THAT, EH?
Well, Labor leader Anthony Albanese tweeted that “Shuffling the deck won’t change the bad hand that the Morrison Government is dealing Australians.” So the government’s critics are unlikely to let up. And yesterday, there were more developments on the toxic culture front. Yesterday, Adelaide radio host Jeremy Cordeaux was sacked for calling former staffer Brittany Higgins a “silly little girl who got drunk”. Nationals MP Dr Anne Webster revealed she’d filed a complaint with her party after she was allegedly sexually harassed in the House of Reps chamber last week. And last night, Nine reported that the woman who was the target of an inappropriate picture snapped by Brissie MP Andrew Laming has taken it up with Queensland Police. So no, that’s not that…
SQUIZ THE REST
BRISSIE BACK INTO LOCKDOWN
It’s Snap 3-Day Lockdown - The Sequel for Greater Brisbane after 4 new locally acquired coronavirus cases were recorded yesterday, bringing the total number of new cases since late last week to 7. Two are colleagues of a 26yo bloke who tested positive last week. The others are a nurse who worked on a COVID ward and her sister who visited tourist hotspot Byron Bay while unknowingly contagious last week. Cue concern from NSW officials… Queensland Premier Annastacia Palszczuk yesterday said the lockdown was necessary to get on top of contact tracing and to break the viral transmission chain if that's happening. The restrictions will be reviewed on Wednesday night, but it's already led many to ditch Easter holiday plans with some states and the ACT/Top End imposing border and travel restrictions.
DOZENS KILLED IN MOZAMBIQUE
Reports say about 60 people have been killed in a brutal attack by Islamist insurgents in northern Mozambique. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on the town of Palma, which is near a big gas project run by French energy company Total. The details are sketchy, but reports say nearly 200 people - including international workers from the UK, France and Spain - were targeted as they sheltered in a hotel. At least 7 people died in a rescue attempt on Friday that saw hundreds taken to safety. The UK's Minister for Africa James Duddridge tweeted that the government was working to support their citizens in the area. "We stand with the people of Mozambique against terror," he said. The region has seen terrible violence since 2017 as Islamic State-aligned insurgents fight for control of the Muslim-dominated region.
GEORGE FLOYD TRIAL UP AND RUNNING
The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with the murder/manslaughter of George Floyd, began in Minneapolis overnight. He was charged after kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes after the 46yo black man was arrested in May last year. The prosecution says Chauvin's actions were directly responsible for Floyd's deaths, and he prevented others from helping. And the Defence says it will argue that it wasn't Chauvin's knee but drugs and other factors that claimed Floyd's life. The trial is due to last between 2 to 4 weeks, and Floyd's friends and family, Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo, and Darnella Frazier - the teenager who filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck - are among those expected to testify.
FACEBOOK’S NEW PLAN TO CONNECT
In a scenario that's a bit like a car manufacturer building the road, Facebook’s looking to roll out two underwater cables to boost internet connections between Singapore, Indonesia and North America. The project, which involves Google and regional telecommunication companies, is expected to increase the region's interwebs capacity by 70%. The cables - named Echo and Bifrost - will need regulatory approval, with the first scheduled to be laid by 2023. And why Indonesia? It's one of its top 5 markets globally... It's not Facebook's first look at this sort of thing - plans for a subsea cable from Los Angeles to Hong Kong were scrapped last year. The tech giant has also shown interest in Africa, with plans to boost its internet connection via a 37,000km cable around the continent.
EVER GIVEN FLOATS AGAIN
Blasting horns celebrated the freeing of the mammoth container ship overnight after it blocked one of the world’s most important waterways for almost a week. Authorities said 13 tugboats, a specialist salvage team and the dredging of 30,000 cubic metres of sand was all it took to get the ship off the bank of Egypt's Suez Canal. And now, the 400m-long ship is being towed to the Great Bitter Lake for checks. Authorities didn’t waste time to start clearing the backlog of circa 450 ships stuck waiting for the Ever Given to get ever goin’... Clearance of the impasse couldn’t come a day too soon with reports the canal's revenues were taking a daily $18-19.5 million hit.
APROPOS OF NOTHING
Feel like splurgin' on some new kicks? Lil Nas X has a deal for you… His 'Satan Shoes' featuring a drop of human blood and demonic imagery can be all yours for $1,300 - just in time for Easter.
But sometimes the best things in life are free - particularly if you’re a cheeky stray pup with a love for a purple unicorn… It’s a good thing that bad behaviour is sometimes rewarded...
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Regional population, 2019-20
World Bipolar Day
Birthdays for Eric Clapton (1945), MC Hammer (1962), Piers Morgan (1965), Celine Dion (1968), Norah Jones (1979) and Sam Stosur (1984)
• the US buying Alaska from Russia (1867)
• the birthday of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad (1926)
• US President Ronald Reagan being shot and wounded in an assassination attempt (1981)
• the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (2002)
• the Morrison Government announcing the introduction of the JobKeeper payment (2020)
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