Squiz Today / 13 August 2020

Squiz Today – Thursday, 13 August


"The lady at the DMV did not really believe me when I was like 'hey, I need my license fixed.'"

Said Tennessee resident Jade Dodd of an error on the vital bit of ID where the picture was just an empty chair. "My boss thinks it's funnier than anyone,” she said. “I was at work Friday and he pointed to a chair outside of his office door and was like, 'I thought this was you, I waved at it this morning.'”


With 2.5 months until the US presidential election, Democratic challenger and former veep Joe Biden (77yo) has picked his running mate: Kamala Harris (55yo). Her selection locks in the Democrats’ ticket to take on Republican President Donald Trump (74yo) and Vice President Mike Pence (61yo) on 3 November. (PS it seemed unfair to nominate her age and not the others. So there you go…)

• If there’s one thing to know, it’s how to pronounce her name. It’s ‘car-mar-lah’, and it’s enough of a thing that she produced a video about it…

• Her mother (a cancer researcher/civil rights activist from India) and father (an academic from Jamaica) had her in Oakland, California. They divorced, and she was brought up by her mum whose story often features in Harris’ telling of her life. On her Indian/black roots, she has said “I am who I am. I'm good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I'm fine with it." On her homelife: she’s married to lawyer Doug Emhoff and is step-mum to two kids in their 20s.

• Working her way through the Democrats’ ranks in California to become Attorney General where she was known as a tough law enforcer, she became a US senator in 2017. There, Harris made a name for herself for her full-on questioning of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

• She’s also a one-time frontrunner to become the Democratic presidential candidate, and she took some bark off Biden over his record on racial issues. But her campaign flamed out, and she withdrew from the race late last year.

• And now she’s Biden’s running mate. It’s a relationship insiders say started with her friendship with Biden’s son Beau - a fellow state Attorney General who died of brain cancer in 2015 at 46yo.

Harris is the first woman of colour to appear on a presidential ticket. And she is the fourth woman to ever get the nod from a major party. A self-described progressive who bolsters Biden’s cred with many women voters, she’s been accused by progressives for not being progressive enough… But President Trump says she’s a dangerous leftie who is "one of the meanest, most horrible" people in the US Senate. For Biden’s part, he tweeted “Let’s go win this.” Bring on the Saturday Night Live impressions



• Victoria sadly registered a new record death toll with 21 deaths confirmed yesterday. There were links to aged care homes for 16 of those people. And there were 410 new cases - a rise on the previous couple of day’s numbers. But Premier Daniel Andrews said he was confident the curve was flattening.

• NSW recorded 15 new locally acquired coronavirus yesterday - still a concern, officials say. And citing hardship cases, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said returning NSW residents coming from Victoria won’t have to pay $3,000 for mandatory hotel quarantine for the next month.

• And in Kiwiland, there’s speculation COVID-19 has re-entered the country via refrigerated freight - one of the four infected people worked at a cool storage facility. How bonkers is that?


Forget it… In the worst numbers on record, wages growth is up 1.8% over the last year but has ground to a halt in recent months. Public sector wages growth was 2.1% higher, and private sector pay was up 1.7% for the year. But the numbers for the April-June quarter show a fall of 0.1% for private sector wages, which is a first. Wages fell across many industries with professional services, construction and real estate among those with the biggest pay cuts. Ouch.


There’s been a spike in migrants attempting to cross the English Channel by boat, and so the UK and France are working on a plan to make it “unviable”. More than 4,000 people have crossed the Channel this year, mostly from war-torn nations like Yemen. UK Immigration Minister Chris Philp said the crossings were “completely unacceptable” and is looking to get the Navy involved in preventing the arrival of migrants there. France has said it needs funding from the UK if they are to prevent migrants leaving their shores. Under a longstanding deal with Europe, the UK can send back anyone who is seeking asylum if they could have claimed it in another country during their journey.


Australian archaeologists have uncovered the earliest known evidence of Indigenous people cultivating bananas from more than 2,000 years ago. The site, which is located on the island of Mabuyag in the western Torres Strait, consisted of retaining walls, stone arrangements and banana plant microfossils. Lead researcher Robert Williams said the latest findings further dispute the myth that Indigenous Australians were “only hunter-gatherers” - an argument used by some seeking to undermine claims to traditional lands.


Someone’s profiting from the pandemic at least… Thanks to more people than ever tuning into Netflix, leading man Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has topped the Forbes Highest Paid Male Actor list for the second year in a row. Earning US$87.5 million last year thanks to his Netflix thriller Red Notice and a new fitness clothing line, Johnson beat out Ryan Reynolds ($71.5 million), Mark Wahlberg ($58 million), Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel. Even funnyman Adam Sandler, who only graced our screens last year on the critically-acclaimed Uncut Gems, came out ninth following his four-film, $250 million deal signed with Netflix in 2014. Nice work if you can get it…


They say the best things in life are free. But for the lovelorn/frisky, sometimes things aren’t that simple - particular if you’re an urban straight 50yo+ male or female aged 30yo+, consumer watchdog Choice has found… Not that best practice guidelines allow for… ummm… a nice experience if things click.


ABS Data Release - Labour Force, June; Average Weekly Earnings, May

Company Earnings Announcements - AGL; AMP; Treasury Wine Estate; Breville; Telstra; Woodside Petroleum; Goodman Group; QBE Insurance Group

International Left Hander's Day

Anniversary of:
• the fall of the Aztec Empire after Spanish conquistadors capture Aztec Emperor Cuauhtémoc in Tenochtitlan (1521)
• Berlin being divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city’s eastern and western sectors in order to halt the flight of refugees (1961)
• the premiere of South Park (1997)
• the birthdays of Alfred Hitchcock (1899) and Fidel Castro (1926)
• the deaths of Florence Nightingale (1910) and Julia Child (2005)

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