Squiz Today / 04 June 2020

Squiz Today – Thursday, 4 June


“It’s OK to fall sometimes. I’m just going to get back up and push even harder.”

After a hard knock, oh to have the courage of 11yo UK Olympic skateboarding hopeful Sky Brown…


We was robbed. Australia was so close to hitting three decades of continuous economic growth, but it’s not to be. Yesterday, we found out how hard the drought, Black Summer bushfires and coronavirus crisis hit our economy with the Bureau of Statistics confirming our economy shrank by 0.3% in the January-March period. And although a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth and we haven’t yet reached the end of the second quarter of 2020, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday said the advice is that it’ll be worse than the first quarter result.

Indeed. But it’s unavoidable, Frydenberg says, with the health measures adopted to protect Australians from the coronavirus badly damaging the economy. “Saving lives was our priority, and that has been the result,” he said. Still, things could have been worse... The billions of dollars the government has tipped into the economy softened the blow. And who knew the panic buying we saw in March would be helpful? It buffered our retreat from spending, but consumption in the quarter still dropped 1.1% – the biggest fall since 1986. But Frydenberg was keen to point out that in the same period, other big economies had a more torrid time than we did. “While there will be difficult days ahead, we can be confident about our future,” Frydenberg said. Labor Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said the result shows the economy was on the slide before the coronavirus hit, and the government needs to do better.

It's all about stimulus, baby... With more than $200 billion committed to supporting jobs and the economy already, a new HomeBuilder program to help the construction/building industry with $25,000 grants to owner-occupiers for renovations to their homes will be announced today. There's also a Treasury review into the JobKeeper scheme will start soon to inform new government economic forecasts to be released next month. And then comes the long slog to climb our way out. In the meantime, let the reminiscing about life in Australia in 1990 commence… #SquizShortcuts



• Reports this morning say that charges will be upgraded against Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder. He had been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, which are underpinned by an assumption that he didn't intend on killing 46yo black man George Floyd. Charges against the other three police officers involved will also be laid, reports say. All four have been sacked from the force.

• Defence Secretary Mark Esper has played down the likelihood of the military being deployed to bring unruly crowds to heal. "The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now,” he said overnight. That puts him at odds with President Donald Trump.

• Meanwhile, Roxie Washington, mother of Floyd’s 6yo daughter Gianna, has demanded justice for Floyd's death. "No matter what anybody thinks, he was good,” she said yesterday.

• Former President Barack Obama will make his first on-camera comments about what's gone down in a virtual town hall meeting in the coming hours. He will address “the importance of ensuring that this moment becomes one for real change."

• The first of three services to honour Floyd’s life will be held in Minneapolis early tomorrow morning (our time). There’s also a memorial service on Saturday in Raeford, North Carolina (where Floyd was born), and the funeral will be held in Texas (where Floyd grew up) mid-next week.


The family of an Indigenous teenager, whose arrest in Sydney on Tuesday was caught in a video that went viral, say they will take civil action against the NSW Police unless the officer involved is charged. The 16yo boy was with a group who were exchanging words with three police officers. As the boy was being restrained, the police officer kicked his legs out from underneath him, causing him to fall headfirst into the pavement. Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the officer had a “bad day”, but "not for one minute am I sitting here saying the officer's actions were correct.” The boy’s sister said there is a problem between authorities and young Indigenous people. "We want to be able to develop better relationships … and this won't happen if we allow officers to feel they are entitled to abuse us without facing proper consequences," she said yesterday.

And while we have you… The High Court ruled yesterday that the tear-gassing of four teenage detainees at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre (outside of Darwin) in 2014 was unlawful and that the victims can now seek compensation. Prison officers used the gas to control one prisoner, and it led to a Royal Commission that recommended an overhaul of the youth justice system in the Northern Territory and its dealings with young Indigenous people.


Scotland Yard's investigation into the disappearance of 3yo British girl Madeleine McCann has identified a German national as the new prime suspect in the case. She went missing from a Portuguese holiday resort in May 2007. And now investigators have zeroed in on a 43yo German man who was travelling around Portugal in a camper van at the time. The suspect, who has not been named, is currently in jail for an "unrelated matter". They’ve appealed to former contacts of the man to come forward if they know anything.


As China looks to enact a new security law that many in Hong Kong fear will bring an end to their freedoms, the UK is talking to its Five Eyes partners (the US, Canada, NZ and Australia) about plans to help eligible residents who decide to leave. The UK, which was the administrator of the territory until 1997, is forging ahead with PM Boris Johnson yesterday announcing Britain will change its immigration rules to offer millions of people in Hong Kong "a route to citizenship" if China goes ahead with the law. Australian officials have not given an indication on whether it would make special allowances for Hongkongers. But the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said China has our attention. "The Australians feel very much that this is in their neighbourhood and their backyard and are taking a very principled point of view," he said.


No, that's not the tech fix for 2020... If you’ve had a Facebook account for more than a decade, you might have an archive of embarrassing posts you'd rather never saw the light of day. Now Facebook's made it easier to take down all your old emo/bad hair/did-I-really-date-that-loser pics with its new ‘Manage Activity’ feature. It allows users to delete or archive individual posts in bulk. And it’s the latest move from the social media giant to give users more control over their data.


Back in March, headlines in Alaska were about a Norwegian man and the 24 race-winning dogs that helped deliver him victory in the completely nuts annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Alaskans have since moved on, but thanks to coronavirus travel restrictions, Thomas Waerner and his mutts weren’t able to. Until yesterday. Finally, he’s been able to hitch a ride home with a historic aircraft destined for a Norwegian museum. His wife, kids, and 35 dogs back home would be stoked/have a lot of things for him to do…


PM Scott Morrison to hold a virtual summit with India's PM Narendra Modi

ABS Data Release - International Trade in Goods and Services, April; Retail Trade, April

Birthdays for Angelina Jolie (1975), Russell Brand (1975) and Evan Spiegel (1990)

Anniversary of:
• the creation of a stinky cheese in a cave near Roquefort, France (1040)
• the US, Soviet Union, Britain and France agreeing to divide up occupied Germany (1945)
• the patenting of the ATM (1973)
• China's Tiananmen Square Massacre (1989)

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