Squiz Today / 17 April 2020

Squiz Today – Friday, 17 April


“At least we now know what our PM would look like if she had a crack habit.”

Was one review of Kiwi TV presenter Laura Daniel’s tribute to PM Jacinda Ardern in cake form. It’s not good. And as Daniel herself said, everyone knows you “don’t bake your heroes”...


What French President Emmanuel Macron would like to see during the coronavirus global health emergence is world peace. And no, he wasn’t giving his pitch at a Mr World Pageant… He’s picked up a call by the United Nations for conflicts around the world to be put on hold as a new war is waged against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Well, life has its disappointments, as Banksy’s wife knows. But Macron says he has secured the agreement of most of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. America’s President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the UK’s Boris Johnson back the plan for a global ceasefire, and “I think President Putin will definitely agree too," Macron said. Once that happens, “we’ll be able to hold a joint video conference and relay this call in a solemn, forceful and efficient way,” Macron says.

When you’re five of the most powerful countries in the world, you can just do that. But pundits are wondering if it would be more than a hopeful declaration. How it started was a call by UN Secretary-General António Guterres for a global ceasefire was made on 23 March. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus on the true fight of our lives," he said. America backed the call the next day saying it hoped "all parties in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere will heed the call of António Guterres." But efforts stalled because nations, including the US and Russia, didn't want to be bound by the sort of UN Security Council resolution Guterres was suggesting. But Macron's effort could be a way through because his draft supports a ceasefire, but does not "explicitly demand one," one diplomat said. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, clashes across the world’s conflict zones have been ongoing despite some efforts to stop the fighting.



• Four more weeks... Four more weeks... That’s not the mangled call from a bunch of political campaigners. That’s what PM Scott Morrison says we’re in for when it comes to #stayathome. At least. For restrictions to start to be lifted, we need the curve to stay flat. And then we need a broader testing regime, “industrial capacity” contact tracing (aka a great big new app), and the capability to quickly respond to any outbreak. And we’re not there yet.

• When it comes to sending kids to school, the National Cabinet has seven principles. (Note: not principals.) Long story short, listen to the advice of your state/territory government about what term two will look like.

• President Trump will release guidelines for the lifting of restrictions in the parts of the US with low transmission of the virus today. Meanwhile, business leaders have told Trump there needs to be more testing and the wider availability of personal protective equipment for people to come back to work.

• As for how this crisis is affecting people’s daily lives, wearing a mask in New York City might become a new normal. There are 50 travellers stuck at the train station in Varanasi, India after the government declared a lockdown three weeks ago. And in Canberra, you have to walk around Lake Burley Griffin in a clockwise direction.

• To the tally: There are 2.1 million confirmed cases, 141,000 people have died, and 540,000 people have recovered around the world. In Australia, there are 6,479 cases - up by 30 yesterday. There were no deaths reported yesterday with the toll at 63 people.


Remember the day, because when it comes to official jobs data, we won’t have another one like it for a while. The unemployment rate for March rose 0.1% to 5.2%. As we now know, the next set of numbers are expected to see unemployment hit 10%, according to our federal Treasury. PM Morrison yesterday said that we "need to prepare ourselves as a country for some very sobering news on the economic front in months ahead." In the US, updated numbers show 22 million people have applied for jobless benefits in the past month. It's the worst period for job losses in US history. And there was more bad news for our Asian neighbourhood yesterday with the International Monetary Fund predicting "the impact of the coronavirus on the region will - across the board - be severe and unprecedented”.


Bangladesh’s coast guard has rescued 396 Rohingya from Myanmar who had been adrift at sea for nearly two months while trying to reach Malaysia. More than 30 people died on the boat due to lack of food and water. One refugee told a reporter the group had been turned back from Malaysia twice with the coronavirus lockdown making it impossible to make it to land. The survivors have been handed to the UN refugee agency to have their claims processed. At least 700,000 Rohingya Muslims, a 'stateless' ethnic minority that lived in Myanmar, have fled the region after a military crackdown in 2017 left thousands dead. Human rights groups say they believe other boats of Rohingya are at sea in a similar position. #SquizShortcut


While Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have mostly been put on hold due to the health emergency, China’s top official in the territory has called for previously shelved national security laws to be passed to keep it safe. Luo Huining says Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement was a "major blow" to the rule of law and threatened the city's 'one country, two systems' agreement with China. The proposed law would prohibit “any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion” against the Chinese government. A run at it has already been taken, but efforts were abandoned in 2003 after mass protests. Critics say Beijing is using the pandemic to crack down on social unrest in Hong Kong ahead of legislative elections in the region later this year. #SquizShortcut


Former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s take on the leadership spill which saw him replaced by Scott Morrison in 2018 in his new memoir A Bigger Picture will be released on Monday. But we already know there are a few jabs at Morrison, as well as details on his struggle to maintain good mental health. And he’s criticised Australia’s “debased” media culture and its influence over the country’s politics. Turnbull says News Corp editors embarked on a campaign against him to restore Tony Abbott as the leader saying "while it's easy to say that the Murdochs [the family at the centre of News Corp] thought I was too liberal, at the heart of it was the fact that they knew I was my own man… With [former PM Tony] Abbott they had a deferential prime minister they thought they controlled." Turnbull’s critics said he should have seen ‘a bigger picture’ and picked a less global meltdown-ish kinda time to be more prickly than Prickles...


If you watched the last series of The Crown, it was Princess Anne that came out of it as a bit of a hero with a sharp tongue. Since then, she’s had a popularity boost and has been interviewed by Vanity Fair. It’s a great read. Is she a recycled fashion icon or just tight with her money? “I’m quite mean,” she says…

Barbie has married One Directioner Louis Tomlinson. Harry Styles was the best man and, oddly, another Barbie was maid of honour. Ken came to the wedding but was turfed out after he drank too much. Or so goes this incredible photoshoot

Vegetables? Haven’t seen much of them lately. So we’ll make an effort with this pumpkin and lentil number this weekend. Our only amendment will be to sub out the kale (aka Satan’s tongue) for baby spinach leaves.


Syria’s National Day

World Haemophilia Day

Birthdays for Jennifer Garner (1972) and Victoria Beckham (1974)

Anniversary of:
• the invention of modern snooker by Sir Neville Chamberlain (1875)
• the premiere of Game of Thrones on HBO (2011)
• the legalisation of same-sex marriage in New Zealand (2013)
• the deaths of Benjamin Franklin (1790), Linda McCartney (1998), Gabriel García Márquez (2014), Barbara Bush (2018)

Zimbabwe turns 40

International Day for Monuments and Sites (which you can’t go out and see…)

Record Store Day

World Circus Day

One World: Together at Home concert with Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney

Birthdays for JConan O'Brien (1963) and David Tennant (1971)

Anniversary of:
• the 1st crossword puzzle book published by Simon & Schuster (1924)
• the marriage of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco (1956)
• Wham becoming the first western pop act to release an album in China (1985)
the death of Albert Einstein (1955)

Birthdays for Kate Hudson (1979), Maria Sharapova (1987)

Anniversary of:
• Captain James Cook first sighting Australia (1770)
• Charles Manson sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Sharon Tate (1971)
• Advance Australia Fair being proclaimed as our national anthem (1984)
• the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 (1995)
• Fidel Castro resigning from the Communist Party of Cuba's central committee after 45 years (2011)
• the deaths of Lord Byron (1824) and Charles Darwin (1882)

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.