Squiz Today / 04 August 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 4 August


"Hurry home so we can go get my dog.”

Said 6yo Theo Behnken, son of returned NASA astronaut Bob, who was promised a puppy when his dad returned to Earth after 2 months on the International Space Station. Kids - so hard to impress since…. probably forever…


Following Sunday’s strict Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday ordered the shutdown of businesses across the city to help hit the goal of having a maximum 25% of residents "moving in the community". Emphasising that it was another difficult call to make, Andrews said “unless we have literally hundreds of thousands of people at home and not going to work ... then we will not pull this virus up, we will not see those numbers reduce." The extreme measures came on top of another challenging day of coronavirus numbers with the state recording 429 new cases and 13 more deaths. That equals Australia’s deadliest day since the pandemic began.

It’s easier to tell you what’s staying open… Supermarkets/speciality food stores are open. "That means people do not need to be going and buying six weeks worth of groceries," Andrews said. And bottle shops, cafes/restaurants for takeaway and delivery only, servos, chemists, convenience stores, newsagents, post offices and banks also remain open. Construction projects that are underway and meatworks (mostly located in regional areas) can operate but at a reduced capacity and under strict health protocols. Pretty much everything else will close until mid-September. And don't forget some businesses will shut down across the rest of the state from tomorrow night including restaurants, cafes, beauty services and gyms as Stage 3 restrictions come into force. 

There’s a lot of anger and disappointment - and some good humour - about what's happening in Victoria… But if you’re talking economically, it’s a government budget-blaster, and analysts say it's most likely a business-killer for many. A special payment of $1,500 from the federal government for workers without sick leave has already been outlined. But will the lockdown work? Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Stage 3 restrictions “flattened the curve to a point where we got to a plateau. I think, over the next 10 to 14 days, we should see the effects of these restrictions show in the numbers,” he said. Start the countdown and cross your fingers…



• NSW continues to hold its breath with new coronavirus cases trickling through. Thirteen were recorded yesterday with 4 people, including a baby, from Wagga - they’d been self-isolating following a visit to Melbourne. Premier Gladys Berejiklian continues her non-compulsory call for the wearing of masks saying it’s this season’s must-have pocket/bag accessory.

• South Australia didn’t muck around yesterday after four new cases were recorded there in the last couple of days. Premier Steve Marshall said the number of people allowed to gather in homes will be reduced from 50 down to 10 from tomorrow. And only seated patrons will be permitted at licensed premises. The state has recorded 455 cases since the start of the pandemic.

• And members from the Mutitjulu community have blockaded an entrance to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the NT. Mutitjulu is an Indigenous community near the closest airport for visitors wanting to see Uluru, and they’re not keen on interstate visitors ATM.

• In a not-so-cheery thought, World Health Organisation boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing overnight that despite strong hopes for a coronavirus vaccine, there might never be a "silver bullet" for the virus. Ongoing clinical trials will answer that question. And in the meantime, make masks a symbol of solidarity, he said.

• COVID-19 has the world so turned upside down that even France’s Champagne makers are at each other's throats… The problem: there’s not a lot of celebrating/joy around needing to be accompanied by some bubbles…


At least 29 people are dead as a group affiliated with the Islamic State mounted a 20-hour-long attack on a prison in eastern Afghanistan. The attack began on Sunday after a suicide bomber drove into the prison entrance in Jalalabad, 115km east of the capital Kabul, followed by gunmen. While the motive hasn’t yet been confirmed, the prison held hundred of IS fighters, and reports say 300 prisoners remain on the loose. It comes amid a recent rise in violence in Afghanistan led by Islamic State, which is a staunch rival of the Taliban’s. There had been an uneasy peace with the Taliban and government forces agreeing to a three-day ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Given a spike in IS attacks in Afghanistan, there are hopes that faltering peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan Government can get back on track.


Microsoft has 45 days to negotiate a deal with Chinese-owned video app TikTok as far as US President Donald Trump is concerned, reports say. Trump is keen to ban the social media platform over national security concerns. But Microsoft said it would continue to negotiate with Chinese tech company ByteDance following a discussion between the President and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella yesterday. Under the proposed deal, the company would take on TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Oz. Insiders say Trump changed his mind on moving to ban the platform following pressure from advisers who are concerned about the legal ramifications, and its impact on young voters ahead of November’s election.


Taswegians are used to the cold. But the worst cold snap in five years? Get your thermals and woollies and uggs and electric blankets out… A low-pressure system brought snow and icy winds of up to 90km/h last night, including to Hobart. It's so cold that bushwalkers and drivers have been warned they could be frozen solid. Well, maybe not quite, but you catch our drift... The low-pressure system has arrived in Victoria this morning, bringing rain and “really cold Antarctic air”, the weather bureau said. Which is a disappointingly straightforward description of weather events that we’re not used to… The Antarctic Blastinator (well, we had to do something…) then moves on to South Oz and southern NSW.


It’s a name we didn’t recognise, but we use his invention nearly every day. English, who died last week of respiratory failure California at 91yo, built the first mouse (of the computer kind...) in 1963 following an idea from his colleague Doug Engelbart. The pair were computing pioneers ahead of their time. It took more than 20 years for the mouse to catch on when Apple took on home computing. Neither man made much money from the invention - it was developed by them for Xerox, which owned the IP, and then was out of patent when it became a thing in the late 80s. And now we can’t imagine life without it…


No doubt hyped with excitement that his SpaceX Endeavour shuttle was making history, quirky entrepreneur Elon Musk set Egyptologists and the Egyptian Government alight with his theory that aliens built the pyramids. He’s into space exploration - what does he know that we don’t?

If you’re an expert, like we are, on the NBA circa 1990-2000 having watched The Last Dance, you might recognise this guy

Sick of your current exercise drill? Some retro workout routines could be just the ticket. Just beware Jane Fonda who is “an absolute machine”...


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

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

Constitution Day – Cook Islands

Birthdays for author Tim Winton (1960), former US President Barack Obama (1961), the Duchess of Sussex/Meghan Markle (1981) and singer Jessica Mauboy (1989)

Anniversary of:
• the invention of Champagne by Dom Pérignon (1693)
• the arrest of Anne Frank following a tip-off (1944)
• the release of Elvis Presley's Hound Dog (1956)
• the capture of Nelson Mandela. He would spend the next 27 years in prison in South Africa (1962)
• Prince's Purple Rain album going to #1, where it would stay for 24 weeks (1984)
• the birthdays of Louis Vuitton (1821), the Queen Mother (1900) and Louis Armstrong (1901)
• the death of Hans Christian Andersen (1875)

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