Squiz Today / 14 July 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 14 July


"If they're trying to register cats, I'm not sure who else they're trying to register."

Said Atlanta resident Carol Tims of being mailed a US voter registration application form addressed to Cody Tims - a moggie who died 12 years earlier. But don’t worry, even if he was registered, officials say Cody wouldn’t be able to vote because he doesn’t have a license or state ID. And, presumably, because he’s a dead cat…


A thousand additional Defence Force personnel will be sent to Victoria to help local authorities get on top of the coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne. Their role has not been decided, but it’s thought they will add to the efforts of almost 300 troops who are currently helping with border monitoring and testing. Canberra will also send five million protective masks from the medical stockpile for use by the state's frontline health workers (not that they’re easy to put on…). Victoria yesterday confirmed 177 new cases and warned they might not yet be at the peak of the outbreak. Across the border in NSW, the Crossroads Hotel cluster in southwest Sydney has grown to 21 cases including 10 staff and patrons and 11 of their close contacts. Reports this morning say the NSW Government is set to announce new crowd restrictions on pubs today.

And World Health Organisation boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing overnight that things are “going to get worse and worse and worse” if the basics aren’t followed. “Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” he says. So that’s not great… And the discovery that people who have recovered from COVID-19 may lose their immunity to the disease within months is also a bummer. Researchers from King’s College London have analysed the immune response of more than 90 patients and healthcare workers. They found that the levels of antibodies that can destroy the virus peaked about three weeks after symptoms appeared, and then swiftly declined. In some cases, antibodies to the virus became undetectable after three months. That suggests that people could become re-infected and that a vaccine, when developed, may not protect us for long periods. It's a small study, and this is a new virus, so there's a lot of work still to do.

Need something lighter? How about the BMW that’s been in the Adelaide Airport staff car park since February/March with the bespoke number plates COVID19? That’s odd… Or if you need a cute hit, Chicago’s adventure penguins are at it again



The Australian man behind Christchurch’s horrific mass shooting will represent himself at his sentencing hearing next month after he sacked his Kiwi legal team yesterday. Brenton Tarrant’s former lawyers said there was no "conflict or relationship breakdown", and they were “not disappointed” by the decision. The 29yo from NSW has pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism for his attack on worshipers in two mosques in March last year. It was the worst mass shooting New Zealand has ever seen. The sentencing hearing has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it's due to start on 24 August and is expected to go for three days.


The US Government was set to carry out its first federal execution in 17 years this morning, but it was delayed by a court overnight. Oklahoman Daniel Lee, who was convicted in 1999 over the 1996 murders of three members of the same family, including an 8yo girl, is facing a lethal injection in a federal Indiana prison. Some of the victims’ family yesterday lost an appeal to delay the execution of the “one-time white supremacist” on the basis that the coronavirus meant it was unsafe for them to attend. But overnight, a court found there were still unresolved legal challenges against the US Justice Department that need to be heard - a decision the government is appealing. The pursuit of Lee’s execution - and those of three other convicted child killers - follows the Trump administration’s promise to resume federal executions after the nearly two-decade hiatus.


Almost 600,000 Hongkongers turned up to vote in what pro-democracy supporters say is a symbolic protest vote against China’s tough new national security laws. While organisers were hoping for a turnout of 170,000, many more turned out to vote on who will represent the pro-democracy opposition in September's legislative council elections. And they came out despite a warning last week from a Chinese official that voting could be in breach of the new security law. China critics are concerned that Beijing will use the law to stop pro-democracy candidates from running in September’s election.


If you’re a politics/history nerd like some people we know [points at self…], today’s a bit exciting. After a long and expensive fight, Monash Uni professor Jenny Hocking will get her hands on the corro between Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s representative in Australia at the time, Governor-General Sir John Kerr, on the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975. The Palace, Government House (representing the office of the Governor-General), the federal government and the National Archives of Australia all objected to the release of the correspondence. But in May, six High Court judges to one ruled that Aussies should see the letters. And today’s the day... QEII’s peeps have long said that the Palace had no part in the dismissal, but Hocking expects the letters to show that claim to be “problematic”. [Rubs hands together with glee…]


If you come from the country, like your footy, and/or enjoy the Aussie sense of humour, this will be right down your alley. Go Curto and the McLaren Football Club…


This morning - The ‘Palace Letters’ to be released

12.30pm (AEST) - President of the National Farmers' Federation Fiona Simson addresses the National Press Club - Canberra

ABS Data Release - Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia for the week ending 27 June 2020; Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional, June

Bastille Day - France (marking the anniversary of the beginning of the French Revolution with the fall of the Bastille Prison in 1789)

Birthdays for Anna Bligh (1960), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (1985) and Conor McGregor (1988)

Anniversary of New Zealand holding its first general election (1853)

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