Squiz Today / 24 April 2020

Squiz Today – Friday, 24 April


“Instagram v Reality”

Even a prince with a perfect social media profile is a disaster in real life…


With the spread of the coronavirus slowing significantly in Oz, it’s only natural that questions are being asked of our political leaders and health officials about when restrictions will be lifted. And Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy fronted a Senate committee hearing yesterday (where their video conference backgrounds have been rated…) and he outlined what policymakers are currently thinking.

So impatient… There’s a sense that the last restrictions to be applied will be the first to be eased. Which is great if you want to see more than one person outside your ‘family’ group and get out and about a bit more, but not so great if you are itching to get overseas. Murphy doesn’t see international borders being opened for around four months, and maybe longer. But he does see us being able to meet in small groups, and for some retailers to reopen. And after that, there’s the possibility of restarting community sports events and allowing larger groups to gather. But those loftier goals are weeks if not months off into the future.

It’s all contingent on Aussies getting on board with a contact tracing app, having a good supply of testing kits, and being confident that we can respond quickly to any future outbreak. "We're in a wonderful position, but there is a permanent risk of further waves. This is a highly infectious virus and it can take off fairly quickly," said Murphy. The watch out for today: with just eight new cases reported yesterday, Murphy’s scheduled briefing on the transmission of the virus is expected to have an upbeat tone.



• Western Australian media magnate Kerry Stokes and his wife were exempted from a government-mandated quarantine hotel stay after arriving into Perth from the US on a private plane a fortnight ago. A spokesman for the couple said they had been exempted by officials because the billionaire had recently undergone a medical procedure, and they have been in isolation in their Perth home.

• China, which has officially reported more than 83,000 COVID-19 cases, may have actually had more than 232,000 cases, says research out of Hong Kong published in the Lancet. Meanwhile, the mayor of Las Vegas has called for the city and its casinos to be allowed to reopen to test if social distancing really works. Health officials have rejected the proposal over concerns that what happens in Vegas may not stay in Vegas…

• To the numbers: there are 6,660 confirmed cases in Australia and 76 deaths. Globally, there are almost 2.7 million cases, more than 186,000 people have died, and 730,000 have recovered.


The driver of a Porsche who had been pulled over before a crash that killed four Victorian police officers on Wednesday is in police custody after he allegedly ran from the scene. Police say 41yo mortgage broker Richard Pusey was on bail for unlawful assault and theft charges and was allegedly under the influence of drugs when he was pulled over by police for speeding before a truck crashed into the group. Pusey also allegedly took graphic photos of the accident and posted them to Facebook. The police officers who were killed were named yesterday. They were Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney. “Their names will forever be remembered, their service honoured, and their memories celebrated,” Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said in a statement.


Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on both countries, the Iran-US rivalry isn't showing any signs of slowing down... Iran yesterday announced that it had successfully launched its first ‘military satellite’ into orbit after many failed attempts. The led US President Donald Trump to order his Navy to sink any Iranian fast boats that harass American ships. And in another disputed shipping route, Foreign Minister Marise Payne has criticised China’s recent actions in the disputed South China Sea and confirmed an Australian warship is in the area.


It’s the legal case that has royal followers frothing with excitement… And in the UK today, proceedings kick off in the dispute between Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and news publication, the Mail on Sunday. Long story short, Meghan accuses the paper of misusing her private information, breaching copyright and selectively editing a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle. The Mail on Sunday says that’s rubbish and that there was "huge and legitimate" public interest in publishing the letter. The letter, in incredible handwriting, was a plea from daughter to father expressing her dismay at the circus that developed after he didn’t come to her wedding to Prince Harry. And this week, text messages from that time were also revealed. Pundits say the legal action will likely become an inquiry into Meghan's family relationships.


Raelene Castle's time as CEO of Rugby Australia was more of a brutal rolling maul than a smooth kick through the goal. She resigned late yesterday after the board decided that she was no longer the person to lead them. Taking the job in 2017, Castle became the first woman to take the reins of one of our major football codes. But the sport lurched from disaster to disaster. Like the Israel Folau religious discrimination saga. And there was a falling out with coaching staffmoney problems, and issues with finalising broadcast rights. This week 11 former Wallabies captains called for a change in leadership. In a statement to ABC TV’s 7.30, Castle said “I love rugby on every level and I will always love the code and the people I have had the honour of working with since I took this role.”


A lot has been written about wild animals coming into public spaces and the environment being cleaner with so many nations doing the #stayathome thing. This New York Times article looks at the genre and introduced us to this funny tweet.

Quarantined stuntmen and women. They have a lot of time on their hands…

And tomorrow is going to be a very different Anzac Day to what we've become accustomed to, but some things remain the same. Like mum's Anzac Biscuit recipe… But given it’s falling on a Saturday this year and you might have time to jazz it up, would an Apple Anzac Pie tickle your fancy?


Beginning of World Immunisation Week (until 30 April)

UN International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace

International Guide Dog Day

Hubble space telescope turns 30

Birthdays for Barbra Streisand (1942) and Ash Barty (1996)

Anniversary of:
• the knighting of Winston Churchill by Queen Elizabeth II (1953)
• the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh which killed 1,134 mostly garment workers (2013)

Anzac Day

2.00am (AEST) - PlayOn virtual festival begins, featuring Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Tones and I, and more (on until 27 April)

UN World Malaria Day

World Penguin Day

Birthdays for Al Pacino (1940), Björn Ulvaeus (1945), Hank Azaria (1964) and Renée Zellweger (1969)

Anniversary of:
• the publication of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719)
• Microsoft becoming the third US company to be listed with a market worth of 1 trillion, after Apple and Amazon (2019)

World Intellectual Property Day (UN)

Birthdays for Melania Trump (1970), Channing Tatum (1980)

Anniversary of:
• the wedding of Prince Albert Duke of York (King George VI) and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1923)
• the Chernobyl nuclear disaster (1986)

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