Squiz Today / 02 June 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 2 June


“Ugg boot foot”

Don’t worry, it’s not a new strain of fungal infection… It’s a condition podiatrists are seeing with patients’ feet suffering from weeks of wearing footwear with no support. And sorry but we have dibs on inventing supportive uggies…


As a chaotic weekend of violence across America has kicked on, it's unclear if tensions are easing or escalating. After six days, protests have spread to more than 75 cities, and least five people have been killed, including in confrontations between protesters and with business owners. More than 4,000 people have been arrested with hotspots in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago. And in Minneapolis, the city where the death of 46yo black man George Floyd at the hands of police a week ago kicked things off, a driver who drove his tanker toward protesters on a highway was arrested after he was dragged from the cabin and assaulted.

Many cities have instituted curfews and called in troops from the National Guard. But the big focus of demonstrators nationwide is on what Minneapolis’ civic and police leaders will do with those involved in Floyd’s death. The police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes has been charged with murder, but protesters are demanding the other three at the scene be prosecuted. Even rapper and music entrepreneur JAY-Z has called Minnesota Governor Tim Walz demanding all officers involved in Floyd’s death face justice. Yesterday, Walz announced the state’s Attorney General will lead an investigation given the lack of trust in police at the moment. Meanwhile, Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo told CNN yesterday that all four officers at the scene bear the same responsibility. "Silence and inaction, you're complicit,” he said. They are now making plans to deal with angry crowds later in the week with Floyd’s funeral on Thursday.

The White House has again been targeted by demonstrators where police fired tear gas and stun grenades into a crowd of more than 1,000. Three days of protests in the capital kicked off on Friday when things were so hairy President Trump was said to be taken by Secret Service agents to an underground bunker in one of the highest alerts at the White House complex since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Not that it’s tempered any of his criticisms of protestors or the media. And overnight he's criticised state officials’ handling of the crisis calling them "weak". But as the US heads to a presidential election in November after coast-to-coast protests that observers say rival the historical demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras, plenty of people will have plenty to say about Trump’s ability to heal the nation’s wounds.



Police have denied the application for the annual event for the first time in 30 years. The vigil commemorates the killing of thousands of pro-democracy protestors in China on 4 June 1989, but authorities say the gathering would violate coronavirus social distancing rules in place until 4 June. Concerned Hongkongers say it's the beginning of the changes that will stifle their freedom to gather and protest with China last week agreeing to impose a new security law on the territory. Reports say thousands of locals have rushed to apply for/renew their British National Overseas passports - something the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has described as a path to citizenship for some of the 2.9 million eligible Hongkongers.


The Australian housing market is kicking along despite the economic uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis with national home prices declining by only 0.4% in May. Darwin was May’s worst performing capital city with a drop of 1.6%. Melbourne (-0.9%) followed with Perth (-0.6%), Sydney (-0.4%) and Brisbane (0.1%) also falling a bit nego. Meanwhile, Hobart (0.8%), Canberra (0.5%) and Adelaide (0.4%) had a pep in their steps with increases in home prices, with regional areas also holding steady. However, analysts warn the true effects of COVID-19 won’t be seen until after September when mortgage repayment holidays are due to end. But expected stimulus packages - such as a help for builders and first-home buyers could be on the way with PM Scott Morrison hinting at it yesterday.


Three Aussie media outlets have lost an appeal on a pre-trial ruling that held them responsible for “publishing” defamatory Facebook comments via their accounts about former Don Dale Youth Detention Centre detainee Dylan Voller. The 23yo is suing Fairfax Media (now owned by Nine), News Corp and Sky News over a series of claims made about him in the comments section on the social media platform in 2016 and 2017. While the media companies argue they are not liable for defamatory comments made by their readers/viewers/agitators, the NSW Court of Appeal yesterday upheld last year’s ruling, saying the media outlets had "encouraged and facilitated" comments. But it’s not over yet - the Supreme Court has still yet to decide whether the comments were defamatory.


E-commerce mega-giant Amazon is super keen to break into the drug dispensing market… It’s applied for the trademark ‘BasicCare’ for some over-the-counter medications, intellectual property sleuths say. In a move that's likely to be fought by pharmacists, Amazon-branded medicines would be available to buy directly from the website. But it's unlikely to be smooth sailing for the company. That's because of our strict rules about who can play in the pharmacy space, particularly when it comes to the government-funded Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, don't allow for newcomers to get in easily. And as sure as you’ll find jelly beans on their counters, traditional pharmacists will fight Amazon’s entrance to the legal drug-dealing game, as they have whenever the supermarket retailers have expressed an interest.


Now that you’ve had a head start on working on your ugg boot feet, the new season is kicking off with an icy blast. Australia’s south and east is receiving (or will this week receive) heavy winds, snow, storms and hail. The cold front has already brought 90km/hour winds and heavy rain to parts of South Oz and Victoria over the past two days. It’s got chills, and it’s multiplying into NSW bringing chilly temps to Canberra and Sydney today. “Welcome to winter,” said Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Richard Russell. Brutal…


Isn’t she a marvel? Stoic, surefooted. And a bit hairy, but, in fairness, after a couple of months indoors, aren’t we all… Balmoral Fern, the Fell Pony that carried the Queen around the garden of Windsor Castle yesterday, looked a treat. Emerging for the camera after a while tucked away in lockdown, you’d have to say that for a 94yo in jodhpurs, HRH looked not too bad herself


2.30pm (AEST) - Reserve Bank to announce its monthly decision on official interest rates

ABS Data Release - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, March; Business Indicators, March

Foundation of the Republic Day - Italy

A birthday for Steve Smith, former Aussie cricket captain (1989)

Anniversary of:
• Alexander Graham Bell making first sound transmission (1875)
• Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in Westminster Abbey (1953)
• Timothy McVeigh being found guilty of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 (1997)
• the birthdays of explorer William Lawson (1774) and Thomas Hardy (1840)

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