Squiz Today / 13 March 2020

Squiz Today – Friday, 13 March


"It only takes :20 seconds to 'SURVIVE!'"

Said musical doyenne Gloria Gaynor as she turned her breakup anthem into a handwashing video. Interesting times…


Travel between America and 26 European countries will be significantly restricted for the next 30 days with US President Donald Trump yesterday announcing measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Targeting nations in the Schengen border-free travel area (including Italy, France and Germany), the restrictions do not include the United Kingdom and will include exceptions for Americans who have received “appropriate screenings”.

Trump’s administration has been criticised for not doing enough to contain the spread of coronavirus. Infections have now reached more than 1,000 across 43 US states and the District of Columbia after escalating in the last fortnight, and there are concerns about the low rate of testing. But Trump was at pains yesterday to point to China as the ignition point, and to highlight recent spikes of cases in Europe. To say that international markets reacted badly is an understatement... The Australian government yesterday extended the travel bans it has in place for China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. The management of international borders is a hot topic right now, with some experts advocating for Australia to close its borders to travellers.

Officials are not there - yet… For the moment, they are trying to contain the spread and gear up for what might happen next. To that end:

• NSW’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant yesterday said about 1.5 million people in the state will contract the COVID-19 coronavirus in its first wave. "There is no need to massively change what you are doing, but it's not business as usual," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

• Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks and his actress wife Rita Wilson were also taking a practical approach to their coronavirus diagnosis, saying they need to do what "public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?" The pair are on Queensland's Gold Coast where Tom was getting ready to start filming Baz Luhrmann's Elvis movie from Monday. So that’s on hold for a bit

• Melbourne’s Formula One race is expected to be cancelled today after the McLaren team withdrew overnight. It joins America’s basketball league as just two examples of many events that have been impacted, with many more disruptions expected to come.



PELL’S APPEAL HEARD - The High Court yesterday reserved its judgment in Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his child sex abuse conviction. During two days of hearings, legal teams have argued about whether the jury in his trial fairly considered all the evidence. A decision is not expected for months.

TODD’S APPEAL FAILS - The Victorian Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the life sentence of 20yo Jaymes Todd, the man convicted of killing aspiring Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon in 2018. There are limited prospects for his rehabilitation, the court says.

FOLBIGG STAYS PUT - Kathleen Folbigg, who was convicted in 2003 of killing her four children, is not entitled to a second judicial inquiry into her case. Folbigg, who was jailed for 25 years, maintains her innocence. She was granted an inquiry in 2018 which found there was no natural explanation for the deaths of the babies.


A rocket attack on the Taji military camp in Iraq has killed two Americans and a British soldier, and injured 12 people. Tensions have been high in the region since January when America killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike, and it’s thought that Iran-backed factions in Iraq carried out this attack. UK PM Boris Johnson called the act “deplorable", and President Trump has authorised a US military response. Meanwhile, Chelsea Manning has been hospitalised after attempting suicide while in jail in Virginia. A federal judge was due to hear a motion for her release in the coming days. Manning, a former US soldier who sent hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 (including on the war in Iraq), has been in detention for a year after refusing to testify in an investigation into WikiLeaks.


New Zealand will mark the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings on Sunday. Fifty-one people died, and the tragedy is still fresh in the minds of survivors and victims’ families and friends with many having mixed feelings about the date. As for what’s happened since that day, new gun laws banning the possession of semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts passed almost unanimously in the immediate aftermath of the attack. But the Jacinda Ardern-led government is struggling to pass further gun reforms. And right-wing extremism is on the rise as social media companies face pressure to do more to weed out extremist content. So, there’s more to be done.


If you doubted there was a study for everything, this should set you straight… Cycling through peak hour city traffic is a more dangerous way to get to work than other forms of commuting. Gasp… In fact, you have a 45% higher risk of admission to hospital if you’re on a treadly compared to going by car or public transport. The upside to cycling: health benefits like a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and premature death. Unless there’s a nasty accident and that last one is null and void… The safest way? Walking to work. Or, you know, not working at all. Stay safe out there…


It's not something we liked but instead thought it's worth a look - the empty public spaces of Italy following the coronavirus lockdown. Spooky…

We’re only wearing sneakers at the moment. High heels be gone… If you’re into the comfy feet thing too, here’s some inspiration for some new kicks.

Pi Day is tomorrow, and it’s got something to do with maths… More importantly, it’s also about pies. Which reminded us to dust off this chicken pot pie recipe for the weekend. Note: no pastry making required…


World Sleep Day

Anniversary of William Herschel discovering the planet Uranus (but he mistakes it for a comet) (1781)

Anniversary of former PM Paul Keating’s election and the fifth term of Labor Government (1993); and of the election of Pope Francis (2013)

Anniversary of the birthday of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (1911), Peaces Geldolf (1989)

Pi Day

Anniversary of Xi Jinping becoming President of the People's Republic of China (2013)

Anniversary of US students staging a mass walkout to commemorate the Florida high school shooting (2018)

Birthdays for actor Michael Caine (1933), producer Quincy Jones Jr. (1933), actor Billy Crystal (1948), actor Jamie Bell (1986), actor Ansel Elgort (1994), gymnast Simone Biles (1997)

Anniversary of the birthday of Albert Einstein (1879); And the anniversary of the deaths of Karl Marx (1883) and Stephen Hawking (2018)

First anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings (2019); And the first anniversary of the first global school climate strike, inspired by Greta Thunberg (2019)

Birthdays for Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933), Eva Longoria (1975), and will.i.am (1975)

Anniversary of Christopher Columbus' return to Spain after his first voyage to the New World (1493)

Anniversary of the release of The Godfather (1972)

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