Squiz Today / 24 June 2020

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 24 June


“I don’t think this guy - or these people - should be referred to as restorers. Let’s be honest: they’re bodgers who botch things up. They destroy things.”

Said Fernando Carrera, a professor of conservation, of the latest hit job on an old religious painting. Move over ‘Monkey Christ', an updated Virgin Mary is coming through


The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Victoria continues to rise. The state recorded its seventh consecutive day of double-digit increases with 17 new confirmed cases making Victoria home to 127 of Australia's 225 active coronavirus cases. And it's unlikely to be over with Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday saying there would be "significant community transmission" among the new cases. Still, he says that health officials have a “really good handle” on where infections are coming from. “It is principally families, larger families often, making decisions that are not in accordance with the rules, and are not the right thing to do,” he said.

More than a million people are living in Melbourne's coronavirus hotspots, and there is a lot of testing happening. And Andrews says an “army” of public health officials has also been deployed to doorknock the six local government areas to make sure everyone knows the drill, including multicultural and multi-faith communities. And while they haven’t been put into a hard lockdown like some experts have recommended, Andrews says statewide measures will be imposed if the advice isn't heeded. Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has been committed to keeping her state borders open throughout the pandemic, urged tourism operators and other businesses to shun customers from Melbourne’s coronavirus hotspots. And South Australia is sending police to checkpoints with Victoria to ensure rules at its closed border are maintained.

Good of you to ask. Its boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is a lot worried, truth be told… It took more than three months for the world to rack up the first million coronavirus cases, but getting from eight to nine million cases (which happened earlier this week) took just eight days. Dr Tedros has asked big nations, particularly those that are easing restrictions while still recording high numbers of new infections, to come together to help stop the spread. “We cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world,” he said. Saudi Arabia’s doing its bit by significantly limiting the number of foreign pilgrims who can participate in the hajj in Mecca in late July. Last year 2.5 million attended the five-day ritual. Oh, and tennis star Novak Djokovic has tested positive for the virus after hosting a tennis tournament in Croatia and Serbia.



Three women who said they were sexually harassed by former High Court Justice Dyson Heydon are seeking compensation and will pursue legal action against him if he does not agree to enter talks. The women’s lawyer said Heydon’s response to date indicates he won’t come to the table, and so proceedings will likely be lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission. It follows revelations on Monday that an independent investigation commissioned by the High Court upheld all the associates' allegations of sexual harassment against Heydon. Reports say some of the women decided not to pursue a career in law after they were harassed by Heydon. President of the Law Council of Australia Pauline Wright said the findings indicated deeper systemic problems in the legal profession.


We’re feeling pretty gloomy when it comes to our regard for international players, says a new Lowy Institute poll released overnight. Particularly when it comes to China… Trust in our biggest trade partner has halved from two years ago with 23% of those surveyed believing it acts responsibly in the world. Lowy researchers cite its dealings with Hong Hong, concerns about cybersecurity, and the spread of COVID-19 for the dive in trust. We still value America (although we’re a bit sus about US President Donald Trump), and we think New Zealand and Japan have pretty good leaders. But overall, Australians feel less safe in 2020 than any other time in the Lowy Poll's 16-year history.​


The Aussie swimmer, who is fighting a four-year doping ban after testing positive for Ligandrol last year, yesterday said she is the victim of an online extortion attempt. Since the ban was enforced, Jack’s phone and social media accounts have been breached multiple times with hackers threatening to release private images of her unless she pays up. It’s another troubling ordeal for the 21yo who is preparing to appeal her swimming ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the next few months. Jack has taken down her social media accounts and referred the matter to Queensland Police.


Graphic design platform Canva - which has made a name for itself for helping even the most unskilled hacks produce schmicko work - has become Australia’s most valuable private company. It struck a valuation of $8.6 billion after raising more capital from investors - this time a cool $86 million. That makes co-founder Melanie Perkins Australia's third-richest woman following mining magnate Gina Rineheart and TPG Telecom founder Vicky Teoh. Canva boasts more than 30 million monthly active users.


Australia’s Super Netball is the world’s premier league, and it’s looking to shake things up from the first centre pass in August. Officials have announced the introduction of a two-point ‘super shot’ that will see double points awarded when a goal is scored from the area at the edge of the goal circle during the final five minutes of each quarter. Organisers say it will make the game “dynamic and unpredictable” (which is a good description of a Centre we used to play with…). But some people aren’t happy, including the captain of our national team. Caitlin Bassett took to social media to question the push to make the game more “entertaining” while other key players and coaching staff asked why they weren’t consulted. So it’s gone down as well as an annoying Wing Attack with non-regulation long nails…


Well, just in case it is… If you thought you’d seen everything there is to stream, put 3 July in your Blackberry (and maybe pencil in 4 July just in case that’s the time it rolls around here) for the worldwide release of Disney+’s movie version of the stage production featuring all the original stars. The trailer’s here. Satisfied?


12.30pm (AEST) - Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese to address the National Press Club where it’s expected he’ll focus on energy policy - Canberra

Victorian ski fields open

Birthdays for Mick Fleetwood (1947), Raelene Boyle (1951), Mindy Kaling (1979), Solange Knowles (1986) and Lionel Messi (1987)

Anniversary of:
• Julia Gillard becoming Australia’s 27th Prime Minister (2010)
• the longest match in tennis history, where American John Isner defeated France's Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon after 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over 3 days (2010)
• the resignation of British PM David Cameron after the UK votes to leave the EU (2016)
• women being allowed to drive for the first time in Saudi Arabia after the ban was lifted (2018)

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