Squiz Today / 11 May 2020

Squiz Today – Monday, 11 May


“So, folks... I need to go dark for a while, getting some complete rest, at home.”

Said Queen legend Brian May of the “healing silence” he needs after he “managed to rip my Gluteus Maximus to shreds in a moment of over-enthusiastic gardening.” Mama, ooh…


About 200 anti-lockdown protestors mixed with anti-vaccination/5G campaigners took to the steps of Melbourne’s Parliament House yesterday drawing criticism from authorities for ignoring social distancing guidelines. Chanting “the police do not have authority" and “arrest Bill Gates”, 10 people were arrested in a standoff with police. Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos called the scene “incredibly disappointing”.

Lockdown protests have been going on for weeks across the US by those who say the measures are unnecessarily hurting people’s civil liberties and strangling the economy. Reports say those behind them are conservative, pro-Trump and pro-gun activists, along with far-right groups and militias. As for what happened in Melbourne yesterday, protestors expressed their frustration with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for not relaxing restrictions like other leaders have. (Note: that could change today with Andrews scheduled to reveal the state’s ‘roadmap’ to ease coronavirus restrictions.) As for the anti-vaxxer crowd, they don’t support the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. And the link to the 5G mobile telecommunications network… Conspiracy theorists say it mucks up our immune systems giving viruses the ability to enter the population. “Very silly misinformation,” Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy yesterday labelled protestors' health concerns.

Anti-vaccination campaigners don’t like Gates because of the significant financial support the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has directed towards the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as other programs. Conspiracy theorists say Gates only supports vaccination as a way to implant devices that would see some global body track people's movements. Others say he wants to use vaccination to "depopulate” the world. Social media platforms like Facebook and search engines like Google have been criticised for allowing the promotion of these theories online.



• The states and territories will take their own sweet time to implement the three-step plan to ease coronavirus restrictions that was outlined by PM Scott Morrison on Friday. Western Oz became the first state to announce big changes to take effect next Monday. And NSW will move ahead with a more modest relaxation of restrictions on Friday.

• China is considering putting tariffs on all barley imports from Australia because of concerns our producers are ‘dumping’ the grain (ie we’re exporting it at a price that is lower than it can be bought for here). Pundits say it’s retaliation for Australia calling for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus’ emergence in China. Speaking of economic headwinds, Australia faces record-breaking budget deficits, a Deloitte report out today says.

• At least two White House staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 causing members of the country's high-level pandemic task force to go into quarantine, including the public face of expert advisers, Dr Anthony Fauci. Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama had some observations to share... He’s called President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis “chaotic”.

• We won’t be seeing Her Maj for a while… After encouraging us to "never give up, never despair", our 94yo monarch will stay in isolation and won’t do any public engagements for a while to try to avoid contracting the virus. It could see her out of the game for several months, and would be her longest absence from official duties in her 68-year reign, reports say. Meanwhile, UK PM Boris Johnson has this morning announced a series of steps for the lifting of their coronavirus lockdown measures.

• To the numbers: Global cases have tipped over the 4 million mark. There have been more than 281,000 deaths, and almost 1.4 million people have recovered. In Australia, 6,166 of 6,941 confirmed cases have recovered, and there have been 97 deaths.


With an election looming in October this year, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk didn’t linger after it was revealed that the state’s anti-corruption body is investigating Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad. Trad announced she was standing aside on Saturday over allegations she interfered with the appointment of a school principal - claims that are being looked into by the Crime and Corruption Commission. The head of the state’s education department has previously said there was no wrongdoing on Trad’s part. In a different saga, the Commission last year cleared her of corruption but found she’d breached ministerial rules over her non-disclosure of a property purchase near a big rail project she'd overseen. It had done the Labor government some "damage", Palaszczuk said at the time. Health Minister Steven Miles is taking the reins as Deputy Premier, and Cameron Dick becomes Treasurer.


Hatice Cengiz, the fiancé of murdered Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, has called on UK soccer club Newcastle United and the Premier League to "consider ethical values, not just financial or political ones" in their consideration of a A$570 million takeover offer from a Saudi Government investment fund. Khashoggi, who was once close to the Saudi royal family, became a vocal critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And in October 2018, he walked into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey and was murdered in what the United Nations labelled “a deliberate, premeditated execution”. Accused of "sportswashing" over the murder and other human rights concerns, Cengiz says "there should be no place in English football for those credibly accused of atrocities and murder".


Rock ‘n roll pioneer Little Richard died at 87yo of bone cancer at his home in Tullahoma, Tennessee on Saturday. Born Richard Wayne Penniman, he was one of 12 children, and he sang to stand out from his siblings. It was a good training ground because he went on to stand out to a worldwide audience with groundbreaking hits in the 50s like Good Golly Miss MollyTutti Frutti and Lucille. When he wasn’t singing it up with his gravity-defying hair, Little Richard was having lots of naughty times off stage. But he turned his back on music for five years after seeing a fireball cross the sky while on stage in Sydney. Turns out it was a satellite returning to Earth - but to him, it was a sign from God that he should change his ways. Throughout his life, he famously struggled with his sexuality and religion. Elvis, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elton John - pretty much anyone who made it big in rock 'n roll - cited him as a musical influence.


For those who have maintained an interest in their personal grooming well aren’t you amazing… For everyone else, the chances of giving themselves a quality home manicure are as good as this guy, even when tutored by someone who can do stuff like this


Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese to rally his troops with a “broad-ranging vision statement" - Canberra

NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess to resume hearings

World Migratory Bird Day

Anniversary of:
• William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth embarking on their expedition westward of Sydney (1813)
• the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats (1980)
• the 1996 Mount Everest disaster when eight climbers were caught in a blizzard and died

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