Squiz Today / 10 June 2020

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 10 June


“Get curious, look to understand people’s needs, push through the discomfort of trying something new... and have some fun.”

That’s how to bring some innovation into your life, says change agent Poppy Rouse. In her job working with some of Australia’s biggest companies, she’s interested in helping them make a positive impact on their customers, communities and the environment. Please welcome the David Attenborough fan to this week’s Three Minute Squiz.


Before you get too relaxed about the easing of the coronavirus crisis here at home, the World Bank has issued a grim forecast. The global economy will this year shrink by 5.2% this year - more than we’ve seen since WWII. And with output as measured per-head-of-population contracting in more than 90% of countries, incomes will be reduced, sending millions of people into poverty in emerging and developing nations. The good news? The economy is expected to stage a strong bounce-back in 2021, growing 4.2%, according to the bank. But it’s choppy waters ahead for now. “Given this uncertainty, further downgrades to the outlook are very likely,” said the bank’s Vice President Ceyla Pazarbazioglu.

And it’s particularly worrying for the Australian economy and our exporters with China's growth slowing significantly. The world's second-largest economy is projected to grow just 1% this year, down from 6.1% in 2019. And that's before you put on the table all the snarky issues we have kicking along at the moment... Meanwhile, the world’s largest economy - aka America - officially went into recession in February, it was revealed yesterday. That brings to an end a historic 128-month run of economic expansion. And their officials say things won’t bounce back quickly. “The time that it takes for the economy to return to its previous peak level of activity or its previous trend path may be quite extended,” said the Business Cycle Dating Committee (which we’re 99% sure isn’t a hook-up agency for business cycles…). And if those two nations struggle, Australia will also struggle, even if unemployment isn’t as bad as was initially forecast.

Investors are feeling more chipper than the World Bank... There are a few points they’ve seized on in recent days that add up to optimism that the global economy will recover more quickly than was first thought. On the Aussie Stock Exchange, seasoned pundits say the turnaround has been “remarkable”. That’s because the index measuring our top 200 listed companies is up by more than 35% since the confidence-wobbling low on 23 March. Will that vibe continue? That depends on how things look when government stimulus packages end and whether the world economy picks up - assuming other nations are successful in flattening their coronavirus curve.



The funeral of George Floyd, the man whose death at the hands of police in Minneapolis sparked two weeks of protests across the country, is underway in Houston, Texas, the city he grew up. “In the tradition of the African American church, this will be a homegoing celebration," said Fountain of Praise Pastor Mia Wright. His family are dressed in white for the service where civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton has delivered the eulogy saying "this was not just a tragedy. It was a crime." And a video message from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has been played. He met with Floyd’s family yesterday. “We cannot leave this moment thinking we can again turn away from racism that stings at our very soul," he said. Floyd will be laid to rest next to his mother later this morning.


After spending a second day searching in "life-threatening" conditions, Victorian Police are concerned for the wellbeing of a 14yo boy who went missing on Mount Disappointment, north of Melbourne on Monday. Reports say that William Callaghan, who is autistic and non-verbal, ran ahead of his parents as they approached the summit on Monday afternoon, and they haven’t seen him since. An air and ground search was launched, and more than 400 people have joined the effort. But there are serious concerns for him with temperatures plunging toward 0C during Monday and Tuesday nights. Police say William was not dressed for cold weather and had no food or water with him, and that his family are devastated but "holding up as well as can be expected".


The big miner has been booted from Reconciliation Australia’s most advanced action program over last month’s destruction of a 46,000yo Aboriginal heritage site in the Pilbara region of Western Oz. Reconciliation Australia called the incident a “breathtaking breach of a respectful relationship”. Rio Tinto’s suspension is dependent on how the company now engages with the traditional owners of the Juukan Gorge site, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) peoples, and on whether it releases a review of the incident. The company says it’s sorry for the distress caused to the PKKP. Hundreds of people rallied outside their office in Perth yesterday to protest the destruction of the site..


Five Australian universities have been ranked in the world's top 50, says the QS World University Rankings out this morning. Canberra’s Australian National University is our top tertiary institution - it fell two places from last year to be placed joint 31st. The University of Sydney was next rising two places to 40th, and then came the University of Melbourne, dropping three places to 41st. The University of NSW (44th) and the University of Queensland (46th) also made the top 50 list. Hindering our uni sector’s progress - teaching capacity and students’ assessment of their job readiness after study. Meanwhile, in its latest diplomatic sideswipe, China has warned its students about "racist incidents" in Australia during the coronavirus pandemic.


We were going to get a bit huffy at mercurial tennis talent Nick Kyrgios and his latest update on his career aspirations. And by aspirations, he’s not much bothered by not getting to a grand slam final and just wants to “be on the beers” after a game. But look, it’s his life, eh? So let's focus on the latest achievement of a remarkable adventurer - Kathy Sullivan. The first American woman to walk in space is now also the first woman to reach the deepest known spot in the ocean. She’s still at sea, as is Kyrgios in a way…


The winners of the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards have been announced, with subjects ranging from pangolins in South Africa to ice fishing huts in Canada. But it was Pablo Albarenga who took out the top spot for Photographer of the Year for his snaps of indigenous communities and the effects of deforestation in Latin America. You can check out a gallery of all the winning shots here.


Federal Parliament resumes in Canberra

ABS Data Release - Lending Indicators, April

The 67th Sydney Film Festival starts online (on until 21 June)

He’s one off the ton - a birthday for Prince Philip (1921)

Anniversary of:
• the first victim of the Salem witch trials being hanged for witchcraft in Massachusetts (1692)
• the Myall Creek Massacre, which saw 28 Indigenous Australians murdered (1838)
• the launch of the Spirit Rover, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission (2003)
• the death of Ray Charles (2004)

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