Squiz Today / 23 December 2020
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 23 December
“This is not the sweet, warm nostalgia that Christmas usually generates.”
Is one of the nicer comments on the “unorthodox” nativity scene currently adorning St Peter’s Square in Rome. Let’s just say it features an astronaut and a figure “reminiscent of Darth Vader from Star Wars”... 'Round yon virgin mother and child - and space adventurers…
CROSS YOUR FINGERS FOR A COVID-NORMAL CHRISTMAS...
NSW recorded 8 cases of locally-acquired COVID-19 yesterday - 7 are linked to the Northern Beaches cluster taking the total number to 90. The other case is a nurse who was involved in transporting infected people in hotel quarantine. A close contact of hers tested positive after the 8pm reporting cut-off - that case will be counted in today’s numbers. Further afield, a teenager who travelled from the Northern Beaches to Melbourne last Thursday has also tested positive. Despite those complications, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday said "the vast majority of cases are linked to two events" - ie those held at the Avalon RSL and Bowling Club. But more venues - including those outside the Northern Beaches - are being added to the list, and Berejiklian said she and officials are worried about the risk that poses.
SO WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TODAY?
Dammit we forgot to warm up our time machine… But it’s the question 250,000 Northern Beaches residents are sweating on because today, Berejiklian will announce if they’ll be in lockdown on Christmas Day. And the 6 million residents across Greater Sydney, Illawarra and the Central Coast will also find out if restrictions on gatherings will be eased. Both those measures run out at midnight tonight. Berejiklian was giving no hints yesterday saying her 11am announcement will go down to the wire - so assume the crossed fingers/arms/legs position… What won’t be sorted today - delays on NSW’s borders where checks have been set up to monitor Christmas travellers.
AND WHAT ABOUT THIS SUPER-STRAIN FROM THE UK?
Yeah, but note it’s thought to be more contagious, but not necessarily more dangerous. Aside from the UK, it’s confirmed to be in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands - and Australia. There have been 4 cases detected here, but Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly (not the one busy making gravy…) said we do not need to block those coming to Oz from the UK (aka mostly returning Aussie citizens). That's because our hotel quarantine system is our safety net, and our border isn't as porous as those in Europe. But more than 40 European countries and nations beyond have taken steps to block travel and freight with the UK. Overnight, there’s been efforts to settle things down with World Health Organisation officials saying new coronavirus strains were to be expected, and BioNTech says it’s likely its vaccine will provide coverage against it. The development has put the UK’s south - including London - into a severe lockdown for Christmas.
SQUIZ THE REST
BUSY TRUMP GIVES MORRISON A PARTING GIFT
PM Scott Morrison has received one of America’s highest military honours, the Legion of Merit, from outgoing US President Donald Trump. It recognises "leadership in addressing global challenges and promoting collective security”, as well as strengthening ties between our countries. We assume it comes in titanium… It’s a little surprising Trump had the time with more attempts to overturn the election result being mounted as he starts his final month in office. He’s brought together an unofficial election advisory council stacked with “conspiracy theorists, media-hungry lawyers and other political misfits” to come up with a cunning plan. Pundits say it’s unlikely he will find success with most of the proposed tactics deemed unconstitutional - like ordering the military to rerun the election in key swing states. Yep, that’s been discussed...
MAKING THE WINDSORS LOOK NORMAL…
...are the Thai royals. In an apparent act of sabotage, more than 1,000 photos - many of them said to be explicit - of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s official consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi have been leaked to anti-monarchy activists around the world. The 35yo former nurse - who was given the royal title last year before being purged and imprisoned last year for ‘disloyalty’ - has only recently returned to favour. The latest scandal is believed to be connected to Sineenat’s intense rivalry with the king's fourth wife, Queen Suthida. It comes as Thailand’s anti-monarchy protests continue, with the United Nations this week condemning authorities' recent crackdown on protestors. Since July, demonstrations have been ongoing despite the country’s strict lèse-majesté law, which bans criticism of the scandal-ridden royals. #SquizShortcut
UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE IN 2024?
Who wouldn’t want the latest Apple device? Well, this time it could be a car… Looking to jump on the smart-car bandwagon, the tech giant is said to have plans to release its own offering in 3 years. Plans for an Apple self-driving car - dubbed Project Titan - have been in the works since 2014, but they were put on ice as other projects were prioritised. And while the plans have not been made official, Apple is reportedly working on a new type of battery that could “radically” reduce cost and increase the vehicle’s range. Apple’s already proven that it’s a force to be reckoned with as the rumours stripped 6.5% from Tesla’s share price yesterday.
TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU
With two more sleeps to go, it’s looking like a mixed bag of weather around the country on Christmas Day. There’s a chance of showers in Sydney and Brissie - boo. But the other capitals are set to get some good weather. And Western Oz is set to sweat with rain in some parts, but the weather bureau maintains the weather won’t be extreme. And the best place to be on Christmas Day with "an absolutely perfect day” of sunshine and 29C? It’s Adelaide. Well, aren’t you amazing…
THE BIG NAMES IN NEWS
When you look over 2020, PM Scott Morrison was never far off the pace with a year that started with bushfires and is finishing with the never-ending coronavirus crisis. US President Donald Trump was the most mentioned figure in Australia’s news this year. Well, he certainly did being the drama… The top 10 - all politicians. And put your hands in the air - 2 women are up there, unlike previous years. Watch the flashdance through the year, thanks to our friends at Streem.
CHRISTMAS LITES - THREE THINGS YOU LIKED THIS YEAR
Squizer, these are three most clicked links from the Squiz Today email during 2020. We’ve got to say you’re a bit weird - and it’s what we like about you...
Coming in third - Aldi’s passive-aggressive note to those seeking to stock up on toot paper. Could there be anything more appropriate?
Second - A love story with a difference. It came in the form 2 parrots from different species which were very determined to have some 'alone time'...
And [drumroll…] in first place - the Sussexes. The night before their last formal engagement in London, they were out and about. And the picture of the night - well, it’s the stuff legends are made of.
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