Squiz Today / 19 March 2020

Squiz Today – Thursday, 19 March


“I have so many friends and family who have had to give up careers because they wanted to move rurally... so I strongly believe there is no reason an employer can't consider remote working for any role these days.”

Says podcaster/writer/farmer Skye Manson. As she says, a revolution in that space is on the way… Her new podcast Company is about “bringing together clever women from the bush, the city and all over the world". And look, we're not boasting, but The Squiz got a mention… Please welcome Skye to the Three Minute Squiz.


That’s how PM Scott Morrison yesterday characterised the coronavirus crisis as the number of confirmed cases in Australia rose to 512 and another death was recorded taking the total to six. "Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world. Life is going to continue to change,” he said. And some big new measures bring that statement to life as a human biosecurity emergency was declared.

• "Do not go overseas”, Morrison said as the travel warning went up to Level 4. Which means the government’s official advice is stay put. And if you do go abroad, our officials may be unable to help if you get stuck.

• Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are banned. Some exceptions include public transport, shops, medical facilities, offices, jails, parliaments, factories, construction and mining sites. The ban on outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people remains in place.

• Vulnerable Australians will be protected. Residents in aged care will be restricted to one visit per day by no more than two people. And visits to remote Indigenous communities will be restricted. Social distancing is the new black, and schools remain open because the impact of closing them would be “severe”, Morrison said.

Look, maybe… or maybe not? There's every chance things will escalate, and more serious measures will need to be taken. And when that time comes, "whatever we do, we've got to do for at least six months," Morrison said. Which is daunting when you’re talking about school closures… But as the chief medical officer Brendan Murphy noted yesterday, the majority of new cases are "imported cases or direct contacts of imported cases", so those earlier travel bans that were put in place have been super important. The bad news: NSW yesterday recorded the biggest spike of new cases in 24 hours. Onwards and upwards (although not the tally please…).



Stop hoarding… The panic buying at our supermarkets is "un-Australian" PM Morrison said. And a prime minister only gets to play the ‘un-Australian’ card once or twice, so you know he means it…

• The Reserve Bank will today consider an out-of-session interest rate cut and potentially have its first-ever go at quantitative easing. Which is a big deal economically speaking.

• The see-sawing stock market gave investors whiplash yesterday. The index measuring our top 200 listed companies was down 6.4% yesterday as the US market took another tumble And following on from Qantas, Virgin Australia said it will suspend its international operations from March 30 and slash domestic seats by 50%.

The UK will close schools from Friday, the US and Canada are closing their border to all non-essential travel, and coronavirus deaths have spiked in Iran. The total number of cases globally rose above 200,000 yesterday, and more than 8,700 people have died.

The AFL season featuring a shorter version of the game is going ahead from tonight in front of an empty stadium. Everything else is delayed or cancelled… Not going forward is the Anzac Day dawn service in Gallipoli, Eurovision, or the 50th Glastonbury music festival. Even Neighbours has halted production for the week...


The brother of the man responsible for killing 22 people following an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in the UK in 2017 has been found guilty of murder over his role in planning the attack. Hashem Abedi, 22yo, maintained his innocence, but DNA evidence and phone records revealed he had helped his brother collect bomb-making ingredients and construct prototypes in the lead up to the attack. “I hope the fact that one of those behind this callous attack has been brought to justice will provide some measure of comfort to all those affected,” said Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council. Perpetrator Salman Abedi died in the bombing.


China will kick at least 13 American journalists out in the coming days. Beijing says fair cop because there are new restrictions in the US that put a limit on the number of Chinese citizens who can work as Chinese state-journalists there. And so reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal working in China have to return their media passes within 10 days. Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron said the decision was particularly regrettable because it come during the coronavirus crisis when reporting from China is important. China was angered on Tuesday when US President Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus as “Chinese”.


Former US Veep Joe Biden has continued his winning streak in the latest round of Democratic primaries claiming victories in Florida, Illinois and Arizona and extending his delegate lead over competitor Bernie Sanders. Support for Biden - which was buoyed by voters from diverse backgrounds and ages - all but guarantees his nomination to face President Donald Trump in November. Analysts say Biden needs to win 47% of the remaining delegates to win, while Sanders must secure a near-impossible 57.9%. Meanwhile, President Trump has officially taken out the Republican nomination. Like it was ever in question…


Worrying about people snooping at your risque texts and emails may soon be a thing of the past... Reports say tech giant Apple has filed a patent for new technology that stops other people reading your phone screen. The new technology, which is called ‘gaze dependent display encryption’, uses facial recognition and an eye-tracking sensor to determine the location of a phone user’s gaze, while making the rest of the screen indecipherable to others by blurring or warping text and images. Whether Apple ends up using the technology is another thing.


Some people have a lot of time on their hands at the moment - and they have theories… Others have helpful hand-washing suggestions. And then there’s always that person who has perspective


7.25pm (AEDT) - AFL season opener - Carlton v Richmond - Melbourne

ABS Data Release - Labour Force, February

Oxfam Close The Gap Day

Birthdays for Glenn Close (1947) and Bruce Willis (1955)

Anniversaries - Of the Lumière brothers recording the first footage ever using their newly patented cinematograph (1895); The opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932); The beginning of the Invasion of Iraq by American and British-led forces (2003)

Anniversary of the death of automobile engineer John DeLorean (2005), who was an interesting dude...

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