Squiz Today / 06 April 2021
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 6 April
“I don’t want to be a male going out there and saying this is right.”
Said corporate governance expert Vas Kolesnikoff as he commented on reports that incoming AMP boss Alexis George will be paid less than her predecessor Francesco De Ferrari. Analysts say the reason is that George will lead a smaller company, but you’ve gotta give it to Vas for his room-reading abilities…
AT THE RISK OF JINXING IT…
There will be cause to get on your brown paper horse and holler ‘yee-haw’ if Kiwi PM Jacinda Ardern does what is expected today… Reports say that airports and airlines in New Zealand are gearing up for Ardern to give the green light for a quarantine-free, two-way travel bubble to be established with Oz - and its kick off is said to be in the coming days. Australia (except Western Oz) currently accepts Kiwiland's travellers without requiring them to go into 2 weeks hotel quarantine, but travellers heading there from Oz are required to go through the fortnight freeze. Ardern has suspended plans for a two-way travel bubble twice before - in September last year and last month. Worth billions in tourism dollars, travel operators say it would mark a significant step towards COVID-normal.
AND THAT’S POSSIBLE WITH LAST WEEK’S NEW CASES?
Kiwi officials say they would take a state-by-state approach, so travellers from some areas may be excluded. Soz southeast Queensland/northern NSW… On that front, Queensland officials yesterday said they were confident there are no cases circulating around the community. And coronavirus restrictions in northern NSW lifted last night after a Byron man tested positive last week. He was infected by a Queensland nurse who attended a hen’s party in the tourist haven.
BUT EVERY SILVER LINING HAS A DARK CLOUD…
Geez, aren’t you chipper after an extended long weekend? You’re right, of course... It was an interrupted Easter for health policymakers with rounds of analysis/criticism about the pace of the COVID vaccine rollout. On Sunday, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said that a record 79,283 shots had been administered on Thursday. The pace will pick up this week with a doubling in the number of sites administering the shots and local vaccine production is also ramping up, he said. But Labor says the program is a mess. And immunisation expert Professor Robert Booy yesterday said the problems needed ironing out quick-sticks because “the possibility of the virus mutating to a more transmissible form is something that should concern us”. The vaccination program is likely to be the focus of Friday’s National Cabinet meeting.
SQUIZ THE REST
AUSSIE COUPLE RELEASED FROM HOUSE ARREST IN MYANMAR
Business consultants Christa Avery and Matthew O’Kane were pulled off a flight as they attempted to hightail it out of Myanmar last month and placed under house arrest. Yesterday, Avery said she and her husband were “incredibly relieved” to have been freed. “Even though I knew that I had done nothing wrong, it was very stressful,” she said. They were working in the agriculture sector and are friends of Professor Sean Turnell, the Aussie economic adviser to ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Turnell remains in prison, and there are concerns for his wellbeing. Pro-democracy protests continued over the weekend despite the military’s attempt to control rallies by shutting down wireless broadband and mobile data services. Six people were killed by authorities in ongoing clashes with demonstrators.
TRAGEDIES STRIKE TO OUR NORTH
At least 113 people have died and many more are missing after torrential rain and landslides stretching from Indonesia’s Flores Island to neighbouring Timor Leste flooded thousands of homes on Sunday. "We suspect many people are buried, but it's not clear how many are missing," said Alfons Hada Bethan from Indonesia’s disaster agency. More damaging rain, waves and wind are forecast to hit the region as a tropical cyclone approaches. And in Taiwan, at least 50 people died and more than 200 were injured after a train hit a driverless truck on Friday. The 49yo truck driver, who is part of a team that inspects the rail line for landslides and other risks, apologised and said he will cooperate with the police and prosecutors to “take the responsibility I should take”.
FACEBOOK HACK EXPOSES DEETS OF HALF A BILLION USERS
The phone numbers, locations, email addresses and other personal details of more than 533 million Facebook users have been published on a hacking forum. The leak was first discovered in January when someone tried to sell the list, reports say. Now, the records of users from 106 countries, including Australia, have been posted on the forum and can be accessed for free. Facebook said the breach was previously reported on in 2019 and fixed, but it's not clear if the social media giant informed affected users. Meanwhile, experts said the post makes users data more accessible for cybercriminals who can scam users into handing over personal info. Tips on finding out if your data was exposed and how to protect yourself can be found here.
A TREMENDOUS EASTER FOR AUSSIES IN SPORT
• The Australian women’s one-day cricket team has 22 consecutive wins under its belt with Sunday’s 6 wicket victory against New Zealand. So what? It breaks the record set by 2003’s much-admired Ricky Ponting-led national men's team. Ponting paid them their due.
• And all hail Ash Barty as she took out a consecutive Miami Open title on the weekend. Opponent Bianca Andreescu retired hurt in the final with a foot injury, but a win’s a win... Criticised for remaining the world’s #1 under a tweaked system where players aren’t penalised by COVID disruptions, Barty said “I never have to prove anything to anyone.”
• Know Molly Taylor’s name? She’s the only woman to have won the Australian Rally Championship. And yesterday, she doubled down on the claim that she’s the most successful woman in Aussie motorsports history by winning the inaugural Extreme E series race in Saudi Arabia. The series sees electric vehicles race in 5 countries that have been impacted by climate change. Racing alongside 3-time World Rallycross champion/Swede Johan Kristoffersson, Taylor said the event was “definitely extreme”.
VALE CARLA ZAMPATTI
She was one of Australia's biggest names in fashion and is being remembered as a "true trailblazer" in business and women's rights. The 78yo died in hospital on Saturday - a week after a fall at an outdoor opera performance in Sydney. Pretty much anyone who is anyone expressed their condolences. Born in northern Italy, her family immigrated to Western Oz when she was 6yo, and she moved to Sydney at 19yo to pursue a career in fashion. A lot of hard work later, Zampatti’s clean/bold designs are regularly worn by some of Australia’s most influential women, including our Princess Mary and Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard. Jenny Morrison wore one of her creations to the State Dinner thrown by former US President Donald Trump in 2019. Zampatti and former politician/Ambassador to France John Spender were married for 34 years before divorcing in 2010, and she had 3 children - the most high profile is designer Bianca Spender. She will be honoured with a state funeral.
APROPOS OF NOTHING
Now that you're significantly chocolate'd, it might be the time to tell you that the ‘Great Easter Bunny Hunt’ in New Zealand’s Central Otago has a different meaning than the soft, fluffy part of your brain might want to allow.
We’d never thought about what sort of car an Egyptian mummy might drive, but now we know…
Vegas weddings had a bumper Saturday with loved-up couples sealing the deal on the romantic day of 4/3/21 (allowing for America's weird date order...). Actually, maybe it’s less romantic, and more about remembering the wedding anniversary…
SQUIZ THE DAY
First meeting of PM Scott Morrison’s new women’s taskforce of Cabinet
Birthdays for Paul Rudd (1970) and Zach Braff (1975)
• the establishment of Cape Colony, the first European settlement in South Africa (1652)
• the arrest of Oscar Wilde for gross indecency (1895)
• Americans Robert Peary & Matthew Henson becoming the first to reach the North Pole (1909)
• the US declaring war on Germany, entering World War I (1917)
• ABBA winning Eurovision with Waterloo, launching their international career (1974)
• the beginning of the Bosnian War (1992)
• the beginning of the Rwandan genocide after the aircraft carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana is shot down (1994)
• the divorce of Heidi Klum and Seal (2012)
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