Squiz Today / 24 July 2020

Squiz Today – Friday, 24 July


“Take our gloves off / Take our shoes off / Put them where they’re supposed to go / You take off your brave feeling / Because there’s nothing / to be scared of in the house.”

Is a poem composed by Nadim Shamma-Sourgen called Coming Home. The UK lad’s scored a book deal that makes him one of the world’s youngest-ever published writers… at 4yo. His response: “When my poems are in a book, can I please have a copy?”


Friday means just one thing: it’s a National Cabinet kinda day, and top of the agenda is the ongoing COVID-19 spike in Victoria. PM Scott Morrison and state/territory leaders are watching what’s going down in the state like hawks, and yesterday’s update was discouraging with the state reporting 403 new cases and five deaths, including a man in his 50s. Announcing a new $300 payment for people without sick leave to stay home while waiting for test results, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews made a plea for compliance with the health orders. On day one of mandatory masks for those in the Melbourne and Mitchell areas, reports say locals got the message.

NSW recorded 19 new cases of the virus, and most were easily traceable. The state’s Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant advised residents to stay at home if they’re feeling sick and wear a mask if they’re in situations where social distancing can’t be guaranteed. With new cases continuing to bubble along in NSW, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk added the residents of Fairfield in Sydney to the list of those who would be turned around at the border alongside anyone from Liverpool, Campbelltown and the entire state of Victoria. Fairfield is the location of a Thai restaurant that is linked to about 40 coronavirus cases. Palaszczuk was unapologetic for the move saying it’s a matter of "life and death”.

• The US continues its bad run reaching 4 million coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. In the past two weeks, the US has recorded more than 915,000 new cases - more than the whole month of June.

• Hong Kong yesterday reported a record 118 cases, and health officials are urging people to stay at home. That’s difficult for those who want to protest China’s new security law.

• The World Health Organisation is worried about the wave of cases in South Africa, saying it could be a "precursor" to a surge of cases across the continent. It reported a record 572 COVID-19 deaths yesterday, and experts think the death toll is much higher than what's being officially reported.

• And Brazil registered a daily total of 67,000 new cases in 24 hours on Wednesday - another record. It’s recorded almost 2.3 million cases and 83,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

• Globally, there have been 15.3 million cases and 625,000 deaths. More than 8.7 million people have recovered from the virus.



We'd been warned that the numbers would be "eye-watering"… Yesterday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said last financial year's budget ended up $85.8 billion in deficit - the biggest since World War II. And remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Team Morrison was talking up its prediction of a ‘back in black’ $5 billion surplus… And looking ahead, they're thinking the current financial year will end up $184.5 billion in the red. In more bad news, Frydenberg said our net debt is set to hit $677 billion this FY, the unemployment rate will probably reach 9.25% in the December quarter, and puppies won’t get any hugs anymore. Ok, not the last one, but you get how grim it all is… Still, Frydenberg says "We will get through this, and we will get through this together." Labor's Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers criticised Team Morrison for not revealing a plan for dealing with the dramatic rise in unemployment.


The man known as the ‘Family Court Bomber’, 73yo former firefighter Leonard Warwick will likely spend the rest of his life in jail after he was found guilty for a string of serious crimes. Between 1980-85, Warwick killed three people, including a judge who had presided over his case in the Family Court. He also targeted another judge and bombed the Family Court in Parramatta, Sydney and a Jehovah's Witness church hall in an attempt to gain control over his daughter and home during legal proceedings against his ex-wife. Warwick pleaded not guilty to more than 20 charges, but he was found guilty of all offences except the alleged murder of his brother-in-law. He will be sentenced in August.


Following the unrest over the killing of black man George Floyd by police in Minneapolis in May, US President Donald Trump has stepped up his law and order campaign. He's announced a plan to send hundreds of federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque to crack down on violent crime. It’s an expansion of the “Operation Legend” program, named after 4yo LeGend Taliferro who was recently shot and killed while he slept at home in Kansas City. Trump says the cities are seeing a "shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders, and heinous crimes of violence." They're also communities that have Democratic-led city governments… The program involves the deployment of FBI agents, US Marshals and other federal agencies - which if you’ve watched any American police drama/comedy on the telly, you’ll know will go down with local law enforcement like a lead balloon... Commentators say Trump’s playing to his political base with November’s election in mind.


In the grip of a five-year war, and suffering from floods, locusts and now COVID-19, millions of people in Yemen are facing “alarming” levels of famine, according to a new United Nations report. Agencies estimate that by the end of the year, about 3.2 million people in the country's south will face very serious food shortages. Famine has never been officially declared in Yemen, but in 2018 the UN led a massive aid effort to feed 13 million Yemenis a month. In recent times, the coronavirus crisis has seen funding drop. “Unless the international community steps up with an urgent injection of funds, we are going to find ourselves right back where we were in 2018 when we had to fight our way back from the brink of a full-scale famine," the World Food Program's David Beasley said. Recent estimates say some two million children are acutely malnourished in Yemen.


Just like Taylor Swift’s surprise album (out today…), China’s looking to answer some big questions. And so the launch of a mission to Mars. To clarify, China’s going to Mars, not Swifty… Landing on Mars is something only the US and Russia have pulled off, and in 2011, a Chinese orbiter on a Russian mission was destroyed after failing to leave Earth’s orbit. This time around, China's own spacecraft - called Tianwen-1, or 'quest for heavenly truth' - includes both a rover and orbiter, and it's on track to reach Mars in seven months. If successful, it's tasked with searching for underground water and evidence of ancient life. It’s one of three missions heading there this month. This week has seen a historic launch by the United Arab Emirates, and NASA is set to launch its own Mars rover late next week.


So not lite… But a super good listen. We’re going to be hearing a lot about a coronavirus vaccine in the coming months. And this episode of the New York Times’ ‘The Daily’ podcast seeks to explain the reluctance of an estimated 50% of Americans to be immunised when one is sorted.

At the other end of the scale, one man with too much time on his hands has composed music to harmonise with a “deranged yelling cat”. Hauntingly… haunting.

And cooking. We made this olive oil and zucchini bread for the first time through the week, and it was a winner. More cake than bread, it’s a little bit sweet, a bit nutty, and light on the spice. And you mix by hand, so it's light on fuss too. And we all need a bit of that…


Darwin Show Day public holiday (NT)

Morning - Continuation of a NSW Supreme Court hearing on a prohibition order application made by police to stop a Black Lives Matter protest planned for Sydney on Tuesday

12.30pm (AEST) - Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to address the National Press Club - Canberra

International Self-Care Day

Lifeline's Stress Down Day

Birthdays for Jennifer Lopez (1969), Rose Byrne (1979), Elisabeth Moss (1982) and Bindi Irwin (1998)

Anniversary of:
• Jacques Cartier becoming the first person to land in Canada, claiming it for France (1534)
• Aussie cyclist Cadel Evans winning the 98th Tour de France (2011)

Puerto Rico's Constitution Day

Anniversary of:
• scientists announcing the first human stem cells to be cultured in a laboratory (1997)
• Lance Armstrong winning the first of seven consecutive Tour de France titles (but is later disqualified for drug cheating) (1999)
• WikiLeaks publishing classified documents about the war in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in US military history (2010)

Start of Donate Life Week (until 2 August)

Birthdays for John Howard (1939), Mick Jagger (1943), Helen Mirren (1945), Sandra Bullock (1964) and Jacinda Ardern (1980)

Anniversary of:
• the capital of New Zealand moving from Auckland to Wellington (1865)
• Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announcing plan to nationalise the Suez Canal, initiating the Suez Crisis (1956)

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