Squiz Today / 10 August 2020

Squiz Today – Monday, 10 August


“Please don't run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself."

Is the latest advice from America’s National Parks Service on what to do if you’re confronted by a bear. Because friends don't let friends get eaten...


Australia passed the 20,000 coronavirus cases mark on the weekend with 879 new cases added to the tally over the weekend. Victoria added 860 of those cases and sadly recorded the 17 deaths yesterday - the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said that 2,758 cases in the state were from an unknown source. The growing number of ‘mystery cases’ is particularly concerning to health authorities because it makes tracing and containment of the virus harder if they don’t know where it’s coming from.

So is supporting Australians' mental health. Victoria has seen a surge of residents requiring emergency services in hospitals, as well as teleservices, following restrictions being reinstated. Young people are particularly vulnerable, Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said. And so an additional $59.7 million in funding was announced to "keep people with mental illness away from emergency departments" which were already under intense pressure, he said. The federal government chipped in an additional $14.6 million for outreach services last week. Former Australian of the Year and youth mental health expert Pat McGorry said the pandemic had delivered a "very major effect” on everybody. And at the moment in Victoria, “the things you do to maintain your mental health, you are just not able to do them at the moment. So lots of people are going over the edge here."

Just some not so cheery stats… The world is close to clocking 20 million cases - we’re currently at 19.7 million. The US has recorded 5 million of those cases and 160,000 deaths as it continues to struggle to contain the virus. And Brazil also passed a grim milestone on the weekend with 3 million cases and 100,000 deaths. India (with more than 2.1 million cases), Russia (885,000 cases) and South Africa (550,000 cases) round up the five nations with the most COVID-19 infections. Over the weekend, the global death toll surpassed 700,000 people. One ray of sunshine: New Zealand has reached 100 days without recording a locally transmitted case.

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Geez you’ve got to feel for them - after the Black Summer fires and coronavirus travel bans squashing tourism, there are now floods... Last night the residents of Moruya, Sussex Inlet and some parts of Nowra were told to evacuate with major flooding expected today. Emergency Services have had a busy weekend responding to more than 700 calls for help across southern NSW. Heavy rain also hit the ACT with flood warnings issued for Queanbeyan. It’s not over yet - a severe weather warning for big winds and surf has been issued for metro Sydney, the Mid North and South Coasts, Illawarra, Hunter, and Central Tablelands regions. Pro tip: if you're in the area you might need a brolly today. And maybe an inflatable raft...


Anger in Lebanon's capital Beirut bubbled over into violent protests after the catastrophic blast last week that devastated much of the city. Tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding the resignation of the government were met with tear gas as they clashed with police and soldiers over the weekend. Lebanon was on a knife-edge before the blast that's considered to be one of the world's biggest-ever industrial accidents. World leaders held a virtual summit overnight and agreed to provide “major resources”, but only if government reforms were made. And we found out who the Australian was to die in the blast - 2yo Isaac Oehlers. “We are heartbroken,” said his family. The rescue operation is ongoing, but so far 158 people are confirmed to have died, and more than 5,000 people were injured.


Since we last spoke, US President Donald Trump has made arrangements to ban two Chinese-owned social media platforms in mid-September if they aren’t sold. Trump has been saying for some weeks that the government is worried about data being available to the Chinese Government. Microsoft, which is said to be interested in buying at least TikTok’s US, Australian, Kiwi and Canadian operations. And Twitter is also sniffing around. But TikTok’s parent ByteDance is thinking about a legal challenge, reports say. While TikTok is mainly used by yoofs for fun, Chinese tech giant Tencent’s app WeChat plays a big role in keeping expats in touch with home. Its inclusion on the hit list surprised many. "Everybody in China uses WeChat. It's hard to appreciate how important it is for reaching people in China," said Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih. With the announcement made, Team Trump now has more time to get his face on Mount Rushmore...


They seek him here, they seek him there. Those Spaniards seek him everywhere… Former King of Spain Juan Carlos is not in the Dominican Republic as reported last week - he’s in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. At least, that's where he's believed to be… After announcing last week that he was leaving Spain amid a corruption scandal to allow his son to continue as king without distraction, there's been intense speculation over his whereabouts. No need to feel too sorry for him - he’s reported to be occupying an entire floor at Abu Dhabi's five-star Emirates Palace hotel...


Tennis great Serena Willams is committed to treading where many of the game's leading players won't go… She's set to front up for the US Open at the end of the month, and the French Open in September. There will be no fans, but like the honey badger, she don’t care… It’s an opportunity to reminisce about playing in front of nobody when she was an up-and-comer, she says. World #1 Ash Barty is one of the game’s top current players to confirm she’s out of those comps given corona concerns. Which is an appropriate time to note that Williams has 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the second-most of all time behind Australia’s Margaret Court with 24…


TASTING - Wagyu beef. A team of tasters and scientists has come up with 800 words to describe the flavour - about the same as wine. Which seems like a lot for a steak…

SMELLING - Shane Warne’s first fragrance. And no, apparently it doesn’t smell of a cricket pitch and used Playboy jocks…

WATCHING - The joy of young people discovering Phil Collins’ classic In The Air Tonight. It’s up there with the Cadbury gorilla


Ecuador’s National Day

World Lion Day

Birthdays for Antonio Banderas (1960), Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins (1962) and not quite a billionaire Kylie Jenner (1997)

Anniversary of:
• the Louvre Palace officially opening in Paris as The Museum Central des Arts (1793)
• the release of Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album (1979)
• unrest breaking out in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of African-American Michael Brown while in police custody, starting the Black Lives Matter movement (2014)
• the death of Jeffrey Epstein (2019)

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