Squiz Today / 20 July 2020

Squiz Today – Monday, 20 July


“It's taken a while for us to actually digest what's happened.”

Said David Arnott, grandfather of 10yo Lucas who was grabbed by a shark from a six-metre fishing boat off the coast of northwest Tasmania on Friday. Lucas’ dad jumped in, the shark let the boy go, and he’s now in a stable condition in hospital. "Congratulations to dad. Top fella," said local man Ben Allen. Incredible…


Since Friday morning, Victoria has added more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases to its tally, including 363 new cases recorded yesterday. Six deaths were also recorded there over the weekend. That's led to growing concerns amongst experts about the state's ability to bring the spike in infections under control. NSW has also seen cases increase by 41 since Friday morning. That includes 18 cases recorded yesterday - the state’s worst result in three months. And it's given rise to new border restrictions coming into force tomorrow night.

Yep. The state government has mandated that residents living in the Melbourne and Mitchell areas must wear a mask when outside their homes from Wednesday night. Sans face covering, locals risk a $200 fine. There are some exemptions: if you’re out for a run; have a medical issue that makes wearing a mask difficult; have a job where wearing one is difficult (like teaching); if you’re under 12yo. It might not end there with Andrews saying he will impose more restrictions if necessary. But “if we see people wearing masks, then that will mean it is less likely we have to move things like only having daily exercise in your own local postcode," he said. Which would be welcome news to one committed walker… The state’s also looking at measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus in workplaces with Andrews yesterday stating that about 80% of new infections since mid-May "are being driven by transmission in workplaces, including private-sector aged care".

There’s not a lot of good news. The number of deaths globally now exceeds 600,000, and there have been 14.3 million cases. Three lowlights:

• The surge of infections in the south of the US is testing health systems with reports that many hospitals and intensive care units are full. Florida is currently the epicentre for COVID-19 in the country. In total, more than 140,000 people have died in America from the coronavirus, and it's recorded more than 3.7 million cases.

• The number of cases in India has exceeded one million, and more than 26,000 have died there. That’s led to many local authorities reimposing restrictions that were recently lifted.

• South Africa now ranks fifth in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases with the nation accounting for half the recorded cases in Africa. Gauteng province (which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria) is now Africa’s epicentre for COVID-19.



Maybe for a bit longer than September when it was due to run out… Launched in March as an emergency measure to help businesses stranded by the coronavirus crisis and employees at risk of losing their jobs, the flat $1,500/fortnight payment is expected to cost taxpayers $70 billion by the end of September. Yesterday, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said some tailoring is in order "to reassess which businesses still should be receiving this support.” That review would be done “in a responsible fashion”, he says. Though the next sitting of parliament has been canned, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to have the deets when he delivers an economic update on Thursday. And the Council of Trade Unions will release its plan for what it thinks should happen today.


The latest Newspoll out this morning shows more Australians are supporting PM Scott Morrison and his government during these virus-challenged times. The Coalition has registered its highest levels of approval since last year’s election with its two-party preferred rating jumping two points to lead Labor 53 to 47. Morrison’s better PM rating also rose by a point to 59 with Labor leader Anthony Albanese remaining stable on 26. The overall result is a 10-point turnaround for the Coalition after Morrison’s less than perfect bushfire response at the start of the year.


Under pressure in India and the US for its links to the Chinese state, social media juggernaut TikTok is likely to get a look over locally by a federal government inquiry. TikTok and other Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo have come to the attention of lawmakers across the world amid concerns Beijing could access the data collected and use it in a way that threatens security. Speaking to the media on Friday, PM Scott Morrison said he "won't be shy" about taking action against TikTok if the advice from Australia’s security agencies is that it’s a problem. Meanwhile, TikTok has reportedly pulled its consideration of London as the location for its headquarters with the China-UK relationship going badly. #SquizShortcut


Whenever you see iconic pictures of Martin Luther King Jr, it’s likely that John Lewis is also in the frame. And after a lifetime of fighting for the civil rights of black Americans, he died on Friday at 80yo from cancer. Lewis was a frontline activist and organiser in the 60s who advocated for non-violent protests - but he took many beatings during clashes with authorities all the same. With many gains secured, he went to Congress as a Democrat and spent 30 years defending those gains. Many of his colleagues yesterday said he was the ‘conscience’ of the Democratic caucus on many matters and was a key person in former president Barack Obama’s life. “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made,” Obama said.


Poor Princess Beatrice. Not only did #9 have to delay her nuptials to property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in May, but she also had to settle for a much smaller affair while wearing second-hand clothes… In fairness, they were some pretty special hand-me-downs from her grandmother, including a diamond fringe tiara the Queen wore on her own wedding day in 1947. Best on ground - Her Maj, of course. She looked, well, regal in pastel green. Nowhere to be seen - Beatrice’s parents… (PS new pics were released this morning.)


Because this face mask hack seems like it could come in handy for many Squizers right about now. Maybe just wash your sock first…


Start of Term 3 in the ACT, NSW, SA, Tasmania, WA, and for most Victorian students

Start of National Pain Week (until 26 July)

Start of National Farm Safety Week (until 25 July)

Colombia's National Day

International Chess Day

International Cake Day

Birthdays for Terri Irwin (1964), Sandra Oh (1971) and Aussie basketball star Ben Simmons (1996)

Anniversary of:
• Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first men to walk on the moon (1969)
• the CIA releasing documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments (1977)
• the death of Bruce Lee (1973)

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.