Squiz Today / 07 May 2020

Squiz Today – Thursday, 7 May


“If there is a way that we can turn a normal word into something that is shorter and easier for us to say, we'll just do that.”

Said Central Queensland Uni’s Dr Celeste Lawson of the slang that’s emerged to cover the coronavirus crisis. And she's defined a trait that should be considered for inclusion on our citizenship test...


As our political leaders get ready to discuss the lifting of coronavirus restrictions tomorrow, there are some dangerous clusters of cases that health officials are working hard to wangle.

In Western Sydney, the Aged Care regulator is so concerned about the situation at Newmarch House, it is considering revoking its licence. Sixteen residents have died out of the 66 cases that have been connected to the facility. The virus was spread by an asymptomatic staff member and the home has been in lockdown since mid-April. And it's been given until 5pm today to respond to the regulator’s concerns about controlling the virus and communicating with families and residents. Meanwhile, the source of an outbreak amongst workers at a meat processing plant in West Melbourne is still under investigation. Forty-nine cases have been linked to the plant. The partner of one of those workers is an aged care worker at a Footscray nursing home, which is now testing residents. And another aged care facility Bacchus Marsh has been put into lockdown when a staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19 in an unrelated case.

It’s not. And the inquiry that’s underway in NSW looking into the outbreak that followed the disembarkation of passengers from the Ruby Princess cruise ship is shining a light on what can happen if things get away from organisations and public health officials. So while we have a record-breaking app, and an eagerness to get our economy restarted, some experts say it’s important to remember there’s still work to do on the health front.



• C’mon baby let the billions roll… The Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment started to be shovelled out the door yesterday with more than 728,000 businesses covering 4.7 million employees signing up to the $130 billion program.

• Our northern neighbour Indonesia is hoping to start to return to "normal" life in June/July even though it’s this week recording some of its worst-case and death numbers of the crisis. In total, it’s seen almost 900 deaths and 12,500 confirmed cases.

• France has made the wearing of masks mandatory on public transport and in schools, which some people aren’t too thrilled about. And so it’s French President Emmanuel Macron’s duty to make it chic. Oui oui…

• And one of the UK’s most senior health advisers whose research prompted their lockdown measures has resigned after he was found to have broken the rules he helped craft to see his ‘lover’ (ugh that word…) while in isolation with a case of the virus.

• To the numbers: globally, there are more than 3.7 million cases, and almost 260,000 people have died. In Australia, there have been 6,875 cases (799 are active), and 97 people have died.


It’s kinda reassuring to know that some things remain the same, despite these changed times (ugh that phrase…). And that’s the capacity of Coalition members to forget they’re on the same side. That’s played out this week as they drag themselves to the starting line for the Eden-Monaro by-election. NSW Deputy Premier and state Nationals leader John Barilaro was going to run, and then he wasn’t. And he proceeded to have a go at the party’s federal leader and Deputy PM Michael McCormack. Let’s just say they have a ‘robust’ relationship… As for the Liberals, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance was going to run, and then he wasn’t. Former military leader/current NSW Senator Jim Molan was going to run, and then he wasn't. And if things couldn't get more weird, Nine reported that former PM Tony Abbott was going to run, but he never was. Where does that leave us? With Labor and its candidate Kristy McBain looking cool, calm and collected…


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has forced one of the country’s largest television stations to shut down in what critics say is the latest example of his regime restricting a free press. ABS-CBN, which was known for its independent/critical coverage of the Duterte administration, was given orders to cease operations after its license to broadcast was not renewed. The move follows recent legal threats from the Duterte administration against the Philippines' largest newspaper, which was sold under pressure to a Duterte ally, and legal cases against popular news website Rappler. Pro-democracy and press freedom campaigners around the world are outraged.


The trial of Bradley Edwards, the man accused of Perth’s Claremont serial killings, has wrapped up with a surprise. He decided against giving evidence in his own defence. The 51yo is charged with killing three women between 1996 and 1997 after he took them from the city’s western suburb. The decision to not present any witnesses in his defence came after the prosecution finished its submissions yesterday, which included evidence from over 200 witnesses. DNA evidence links Edwards to the crimes, the court has heard. Proceedings resume on 8 June with closing submissions.


Actor Tom Cruise is in talks with NASA and SpaceX founder/new father Elon Musk about creating what would be the first feature film to be shot in space. Following a report by Hollywood publication Deadline, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed the news on Twitter. While the film’s planning is in its early stages, and it’s uncertain how COVID-19 will affect production into the future, Cruise is no stranger to physically challenging roles, and is renowned for doing his own stunts.


It’s Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s birthday, and to celebrate, his famous mum and dad have read him a story and posted it to the Save the Children’s Instagram account to highlight the work it’s doing during the coronavirus crisis. In other Sussex-related news, Harry’s given up hunting and sold his guns, reports say, in a further step away from his roots. With the Sussexes wedding anniversary less than two weeks away, you could say they’ve covered a fair bit of ground in the time they’ve been together…


Royal Commission findings on Cardinal George Pell's handling of child abuse claims within the Catholic Church are expected to be publicly released

Former PM Bob Hawke's daughter Ros Dillion's claim for a larger slice of his estate goes before the NSW Supreme Court

ABS Data Release - International Trade in Goods and Services, March

Anniversary of:
• Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th (Chorale) Symphony premiering in Vienna (1824)
• the first Mother's Day being declared by US President Woodrow Wilson (1914)
• the makers of Agent Orange reaching a $180m out-of-court settlement with veterans (1984)
• Emmanuel Macron winning France's presidential election (2017)
• Russian President Vladimir Putin sworn in for fourth six-year term (2018)

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