Squiz Today / 25 November 2020

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 25 November


“Shall we do a sitcom spin-off?”

Is what actors Gillian Anderson and Stephen Boxer said to each other after taking on the roles of the Thatchers in the latest season of The Crown. You can see it now: starting in the 70s, a politically ambitious chemist/barrister rises to become PM with the support of her “honest-to-God right-winger” husband. Becoming the nation’s first female leader, she dominates the 80s while he drinks and golfs. All fictional, of course…


And it comes in the form of visitors from the Greater Sydney region and maybe Victoria… After NSW recorded 4 weeks of no new mystery COVID-19 cases, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the border will open to everyone from the state from 1 December. And Queensland is set to allow travellers from Victoria from the same date if it hits the same 4-week target today. That would see Queensland open to everyone, except those from ‘hotspots’ in South Oz.

Particularly if you haven’t been able to get to see loved ones for a while. Travellers from NSW were blocked from going into Queensland on 1 August. At the start of this month, NSW residents - except those from Greater Sydney - were welcomed back. For Melburnians, it’s been longer. They were blocked in mid-May, and restrictions were put on all Victorians from the start of July. But time flies when you’re combatting COVID and fingers crossed, we’ll be able to make like a teenager enjoying the summer break by coming and going wherever and whenever we please. Except WA which doesn’t want to socialise with anyone… That's the approach agreed at the last National Cabinet meeting.

It sure is. Particularly for businesses like tourism operators who say they’ll now be able to “salvage some of the summer season for the all-important interstate market.” With the NSW-Vic border reopening one of the world’s busiest routes between Sydney and Melbourne this week, and Queensland now set to welcome Sydneysiders and Victorians, the airlines are getting geared up. The business sector and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian would like to avoid a situation “where the border with Queensland opens and shuts at a whim because we are going to get a case in NSW.” However, Queensland officials say nothing is certain when dealing with COVID. Speaking of plans to open up, NSW will today approve the easing of restrictions on patrons and visitors at various venues. And next up: mind the bill-shock...



And we don’t mean the panda cub in the US capital’s National Zoo… US President Donald Trump yesterday sorta-kinda-not-really conceded the presidential election. Did he say the words 'I concede the election'? Not even close. But Trump did direct his team to co-operate on the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden after the General Services Administrator Emily Murphy officially approved the move. Murphy, a Trump appointee, has been a surprise player in the saga that’s unfolded since election night. As the Washington Post put it, “the low-profile head of the government’s real estate and procurement agency became a stand-in for the divisions engulfing the country”. That’s because it was her role to approve Team Biden’s access to federal agencies and release more than US$7 million to support their work before he’s sworn in. The market has responded well to the news (although Trump says it's more to do with developments with coronavirus vaccines...) with the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 30,000 points for the first time.


The mother of a newborn baby that was found in the bin of a bathroom at Doha’s international airport last month has been identified, prosecutors said yesterday. The woman, described as an "Asian national" who fled the country, has been charged with attempted murder and Qatar authorities say they will try to arrest her. The baby's father, who was identified through DNA testing, has also been charged. Also facing charges are the police officers who were responsible for the invasive searches of several women, including 13 Australians, at the Hamad International Airport after the baby was discovered. While details of the charges haven’t been released, Qatar’s prosecutors said the officers had “acted unilaterally” and will face "penalties of a maximum of 3 years".


Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. To draw attention to the cause, peak women's advocacy group WESNET has released research showing an “alarming” increase in technologies like GPS apps and hidden cameras being used by domestic abusers in recent months. "Once [perpetrators] lose physical control, they start looking for other options, and the technology makes it possible," said Karen Bentley. The chilling insight comes as many countries report a spike in domestic violence cases during coronavirus lockdowns. Family violence groups say the pandemic has exacerbated an already bad situation. But there is a small ray of sunshine this year: the families and friends of women in danger are speaking up. "Others are reporting family violence for the first time," said the boss of Domestic Violence Victoria Tania Farha.

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Tesla boss Elon Musk has overtaken Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the world's second-richest person. The 49yo was ranked the 35th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in January, but he’s added a cool US$100.3 billion to his net worth taking it to US$127.9 billion, thanks to a significant jump in Tesla’s share price. Musk owns 20% of the electric vehicle and energy company, and this morning it's passed a market valuation of US$500 billion. Gates (worth US$127.7 billion...) has clashed with Musk this year over cars and COVID. Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has retained his top spot on the index with a net worth of $181.4 billion.


Aussie documentary series Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds won gold at the International Emmy Awards yesterday. Taking out the top prize for the non-scripted entertainment category, it was the only Australian production to win an award at this year’s event. Based on a UK production, it’s a ‘social experiment’ that explored the health benefits of combining older people in care with preschoolers. It’s the latest in a series of wins for the show, which picked up an AACTA award last year, as well as nods at this year’s New York Festivals - TV and Film Awards. Get into the feel-good winner here.


12.30pm (AEDT) - Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work Clare O'Neil addresses the National Press Club - Canberra

7:30pm (AEDT) - ARIA Music Awards (tune in on Nine)

UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - and the start of 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Statehood Day

ABS Data Release - Construction Work Done, Preliminary, September

Anniversary of:
• the debut of cartoon character Woody Woodpecker in Knock Knock (1940)
• the death of Cuban revolutionary and President Fidel Castro (2016)

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