Squiz Today / 03 August 2020

Squiz Today – Monday, 3 August


"People have things they feel strongly about in language."

Said Australian Dictionary Centre director Amanda Laugesen of the brouhaha caused by the new edition of the government’s updated style guide. Providing guidance for “anyone faced with the task of preparing material for publication,” we’re totes excited by the recommendation to use numerals for 2 and above. Not recommended: the use of ‘totes’...


With Victoria adding 1,068 new coronavirus cases over the weekend, including 671 yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews has significantly stepped up restrictions across the state. Declaring its second-ever state of disaster, Melbourne moved to Stage 4 restrictions last night. And from 11.59pm on Wednesday, Stage 3 restrictions will return for regional Victorians. Those arrangements will remain in place until mid-September.

You know how Stage 3 restrictions mean staying at home unless you have to go to work/education, going out for food, seeking care/providing care, or getting some huffy puffy? Stage 4 restrictions mean people in metro Melbourne are really staying at home...

• A curfew started last night with those living in metro Melbourne required to be at home between 8pm to 5am every day unless they’re working or receiving/giving care. Reports say it’s the strictest curfew in Australia’s history.

• Between 5am and 8pm, residents can leave their homes to shop and exercise within 5km of their homes. And only one person from each household will be able to shop or exercise at a time, and just once a day.

• Restaurants and cafes can continue with takeaway and home delivery service. Bottle shops remain open, which was a hot internet search term...

• All students across the state will return to home learning, and childcare centres will close.

• Weddings are banned within Melbourne except on compassionate grounds. And the rules for funerals remain unchanged, allowing 10 mourners.

“I’ve had the job of leading this state for almost 6 years – more than 2000 days. And today is by far the hardest day,” Premier Andrews said yesterday. But he says the current strategy is "not working fast enough" and the state would not reopen until the end of the year if the numbers continue as they are. The growing number of mystery cases is also a concern. There are 760 active cases in Victoria where contact tracers can’t find the source. And there’s the human cost with Andrews saying the state can’t “accept days and days and days of hundreds of cases and more and more death.” Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp said the city is devastated. "Our reputation, everything we are known for as a city where people come together, that sense of who we are, our personality, our character, all of those things are at risk at the moment." More restrictions on business operations will be announced this week, possibly today.



• NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has recommended her state's residents wear a mask if they are on public transport or buying groceries, working in customer-facing roles, attending a place of worship, or they’re in an area that’s recording high levels of community transmission. It’s not compulsory, but “a strong recommendation,” she said. The state reported 25 new locally-acquired cases this weekend.

• Looking overseas, India added 1.1 million cases in July, but there is hope that New Delhi and Mumbai have passed their peaks. South Africa passed the 500,000 cases mark and is the hardest-hit country on its continent. The death toll in the US has passed 150,000 as Brazil recorded 90,000 deaths. Russia rounds out the top five nations for cases with 850,000 and rising.

• In Australia, we’ll likely pass the 18,000 cases mark today - we've racked up 17,923 cases since the start of the pandemic. There have been 208 people who have died, including 123 in Victoria. The global number of cases is heading towards 18 million, and 680,000 people have died. More than 10.5 million people have recovered.


NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have returned to Earth on their SpaceX Dragon Capsule after a two-month stay on the International Space Station. The Endeavour splashed down off Florida's Gulf coast at 4.48am this morning ending the beginning of a new era in America's space program. The Demo-2 mission began on 30 May as a big demonstration of SpaceX's system with its first crewed flight into space. NASA had been funding the private sector to come up with a commercial spacecraft that could shuttle its astronauts to space, and entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX outfit is the first to do it. "Welcome back to planet Earth. Thanks for flying SpaceX," mission control radioed the Endeavour crew. "It was truly our honour and privilege," Hurley radioed back.


Sealed court documents have been released as prosecutors bolster their sex trafficking case against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Accused of finding and grooming girls as young as 14yo for her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein and of participating in the abuse, Maxwell was sued by Virginia Giuffre five years ago. Giuffre has alleged she was forced into sex with Epstein and his friends, including Prince Andrew in 2001. Included in the 350 pages of documents, Giuffre described Maxwell’s role in procuring and abusing her. “She's the one who I believe, in my heart of hearts, deserves to come forward and have justice happen to her more than anybody,” Giuffre said in a deposition. The trove also has Maxwell emailing Epstein with concerns about the accusations. More documents could be released this week. Maxwell is in detention awaiting trial in July next year.


US President Donald Trump told reporters he’s going ahead with a ban on Chinese-owned social media juggernaut TikTok over security and censorship concerns. That's put a chill on a potential deal with Microsoft, which is said to be interested in buying the US operations of TikTok. Market types speculated a deal would be a victory for both companies because it would give Microsoft a big news social media asset, and TikTok’s parent company Bytedance gets out of its regulatory nightmare. Australian security agencies are said to be giving TikTok’s practices a good look over.

And while we have you, Australia’s competition regulator is proposing Facebook and Google pay commercial news outlets for content that’s published on their platforms under a code of conduct that could be introduced by the end of the year. A consultation process is now open. The tech businesses’ responses are expected to be variations of ‘yeah nah’ and ‘we really don’t think so’.


Want to party like you’ve been stranded on an island with no food or appropriate accommodation despite paying thousands to be part of the cool crowd? Have US Marshals got a deal for you… Seeking to recoup some funds for dudded Fyre Festival investors, you can dress the part for your next epic fail in some white trackies and festival wristbands. Weirdly enough, there are no top models in the catalogue…


Picnic Day public holiday (NT)

Start of Dental Health Week and Sleep Awareness Week (on until 9 August)

Birthdays for actor Martin Sheen (1940), Martha Stewart (1941), Gina G (1970) and footballer Sonny Bill Williams (1985)

Anniversary of:
• American-American sprinter Jesse Owens famously winning gold in the 100m (10.3 seconds) in front of Adolf Hitler at the Berlin Olympics (1936)
• the US Senate ratifying the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union (1972)
• two mass shootings occurring in 24 hours in the US, when a terrorist kills 22 and injures 24 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, and a gunman kills nine and injures 27 at a bar in Dayton, Ohio (2019)

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