Squiz Today / 23 July 2020

Squiz Today – Thursday, 23 July


“Previously, chips were overflowing at the top of the packages whereas now we have had to close the lids.”

Said the Adelaide Oval’s Darren Chandler of the issue that has offended chip-loving peoples everywhere… The venue cut the price of chips sold at AFL matches - but has downsized the serve to close the cardboard lid. Because… coronavirus. Is there nothing it won't ruin?


Get the tissues out… Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will today reveal what he says are "eye-watering numbers around debt and deficit.” He’s set to outline what helping Australia through the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression looks like at a time when everyone had hoped our curve of new coronavirus infections would have well and truly flattened - and they haven’t.

Point 1: Frydenberg is not delivering a mini-budget… That will happen in October. Today he's providing a financial update on what's already gone down (which will be bad) and a fiscal outlook going forward (which won't be much better). Point 2: PM Scott Morrison says there will be no new announcements today. Soz. But what’s left is still significant - and that’s a historic deficit of an expected $90 billion to the end of last financial year, heading towards $190 billion in the current one. Which is kinda like leaving your credit card out for your housemate to buy a couple of new cushions for the sofa and they end up redecorating the entire house… “That’s the harsh reality of this pandemic. The coronavirus has required the government to spend unprecedented amounts of money to support people in need,” Frydenberg said yesterday.

It has to. Yesterday it delivered the worst single-day rise since the start of this whole cluster disaster with a record 484 new cases. And Premier Daniel Andrews said he was "very unhappy and very sad" because almost 90% of people are failing to self-isolate when they become unwell. And when they did get tested, 53% did not self-isolate while waiting for results. "Unless people who get tested are staying at home and isolating until they get their test results, then we will not see those numbers come down," he said. And if the numbers don’t come down, the restrictions that five million Melburnians are living under will stay in place for longer than six weeks… Australia has recorded 12,896 cases and 128 deaths, including two in Victoria yesterday. Globally, we've passed the 15 million cases threshold, and 618,000 people have died.



Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds will fly to Washington next week to discuss our deteriorating relationship with China with their US counterparts. Of top concern - China’s breaches of international commitments, including the hacking of governments and companies (including COVID-19 research), and its moves in Hong Kong. Our relationship with China has been bumpy of late, including a confrontation in the South China Sea, reports this morning say. One fly in the ointment has been our offer to Hongkongers to live and work in Australia after China imposed a new security law on the territory. Aussie universities say they are seeing a "quite significant" spike in interest from Hongkongers who are interested in taking up the offer. Speaking via a webinar yesterday, former PM John Howard and Labor luminary/Western Oz Governor Kim Beazley agreed that China's President Xi Jinping is a "bully", but we can't let go of our "tremendously important" economic relationship with China.


Kiwi politics has been hit by a couple of scandals this week… PM Jacinda Ardern sacked her Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway over an "inappropriate relationship" with a staffer. "He had not modelled the behaviour I expect as minister who is in charge of setting a culture as minister for workplace relations and safety," she said. With a completely straight face. It came a day after National Party MP Andrew Falloon resigned over allegations he sent an unsolicited explicit image to a young woman - the latest resignation within the opposition party. The Nats currently trail Ardern’s Labour Party in the polls with an election less than two months away.


Put this in the ‘that’s unusual’ file… An armed gunman in the western city of Lutsk, Ukraine has surrendered himself to police and released all hostages after President Volodymyr Zelensky consented to an unusual demand. After 44yo animal rights activist Maksym Kryvosh seized a bus with 13 people on board, three hostages were released after he spoke directly to Zelensky. The remaining hostages were released after the President posted a video on his Facebook page recommending the 2005 animal rights documentary Earthlings, which is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. Zelensky said he just wanted to make sure everyone was ok. All’s well that ends well?


Kim Kardashian West, the high profile wife of music/fashion entrepreneur and presidential aspirant Kanye West, has issued a statement calling for “compassion and empathy” following West's weeks of “worrisome behaviour”. Earlier this week, West hosted a chaotic political rally in South Carolina and then took to Twitter accusing his wife and her mother Kris Jenner of trying to lock him up. “As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder,” starts the statement on Instagram Stories. “Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand," she says. The couple has not spoken in great detail about managing the rapper’s mental health before.


Qantas’ said goodbye to its last Boeing 747 jumbo jet yesterday afternoon as it departed Sydney Airport to spend its retirement in California’s Mojave Desert. “The Boeing 747 has changed Qantas; it has changed aviation in Australia, it has changed aviation in the world,” CEO Alan Joyce said. The introduction of the 747 in the 70s not only allowed Qantas to fly longer routes, but it also improved the affordability of air travel for many Australians thanks to its larger capacity. Qantas plans to replace the fleet with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners, which are more fuel-efficient and cheaper to operate. Assuming we’re allowed to go anywhere again…  In a nice touch, the ‘Queen of the Skies’ left one final message for aviation fans...


We’re hoping you can help us sense check a sensitive topic. It’s ok to objectify museum objects, right?


Josh Frydenberg to deliver the Morrison Government's economic update (remember, it’s not a mini-budget…)

Speculation China's Tianwen-1 Mars mission could to lift off

Revolution Day – Egypt

Birthdays for Woody Harrelson (1961), Slash (1965) and Daniel Radcliffe (1989)

Anniversary of:
• Austria-Hungary issuing an ultimatum to Serbia following the killing of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serb assassin (1914)
• the formation of One Direction on X Factor (2010)
Amy Winehouse’s death (2011)
• NASA's announcement of the discovery of the most Earth-like planet found yet - Kepler-452b. It’s a convenient 1,400 light-years away… (2015)
• Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as UK PM (2019)

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