Squiz Today / 03 June 2020

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 3 June


“It was a stylish navy blue number given to me by a lovely viewer named Rhonda. She’s in her 70s and had been casting about for someone to hand it on to for a few years.”

And after seeing Tamara Oudyn, ABC TV’s news presenter in Melbourne, wearing something similar on-air one night, Rhonda knew she’d found someone for her non-traditional wedding frock. Which is how we came to find Tamara was a Squizer after she gave us a shout when we mentioned it. The webs we weave, eh? Please welcome Tamara to this week’s Three Minute Squiz.


Declaring himself a “president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protestors,” US President Donald Trump yesterday said he will call in the military if state governors don't do more to bring the cross-country violence under control. After that, Trump walked to a nearby church where he held a bible for the cameras. To give him a clear passage, authorities broke up a peaceful protest by firing tear gas and deploying flash bangs into the crowd. A journo and camo from Channel 7 were targeted by law enforcement officers, and PM Scott Morrison has asked our embassy in Washington DC to investigate.

The threat of a military crackdown drew criticism from Democrats who said it was a move of a would-be authoritarian leader. "We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship," said Congressman Adam Smith. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump was “more interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care.” Meanwhile, America’s allies and critics are carefully keeping track of what’s going on. From column B, Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam said there was a double-standard given international critics of China’s move to up security in the territory have remained silent when it comes to Trump’s call for a crackdown on protestors.

While thousands of demonstrators are peacefully protesting last week’s death of 46yo black man George Floyd after he was detained by police in Minnesota, the chaos comes at night despite curfews remaining in place in many cities. That has continued with more bad scenes in New York where stores were looted on Monday night. And authorities in PhiladelphiaAtlantaDenver and St Louis continue to struggle to get on top of the night-time violence. Five police officers were shot and injured yesterday, and more than 5,600 people have been arrested nationwide. The number of deaths related to these protests has passed 10 people.



• While the World Health Organisation (WHO) was publicly praising China for its quick response to the emerging coronavirus back in January, privately it was a different story, AP reports. Behind the scenes, WHO officials were frustrated by significant delays by China which could have helped contain the spread of the virus, leaked documents show. The US last week said it would bail out of the WHO because it was controlled by China. #SquizShortcuts

• Still with the WHO, and Central and South America are “the intense zones” for COVID-19 currently. The region is home to five of the 10 countries with the highest number of new cases. Africa continues to be a concern for officials with 150,000 cases recorded there. And if that’s not enough, a new outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been declared.

• To something more cheerful, Woolies is saying thank you to its staff for getting the supermarket chain through a torrid period by giving full and part-time staff Woolworths Group shares, and casuals a $100 gift card.


How low can interest rates go? Well, there isn’t much room to move with the Reserve Bank yesterday holding rates at 0.25%. And analysts say there’s an expectation that things will stay that way until 2023 given the economic stink that the coronavirus crisis will leave behind. We’ll know a bit more today when the Bureau of Stats releases growth data for the January-March quarter, but Governor Philip Lowe says there are reasons for optimism even though the economy is facing its biggest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s. And that's because there's hope our ‘U’ is sharpening a bit into a ‘V’ when it comes to recovery time. The Morrison Government is also working through some new stimulus measures, including for the construction industry. So it ain’t over yet…


Back in 2011, the Gillard Government declared a ban on the live export of cattle following an ABC TV Four Corners investigation into the poor treatment of our animals at abattoirs in Indonesia. A class action by farmers who lost significant income followed, and yesterday, after an 18-month wait for a decision, they won their landmark case. The judge ruled former Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig “committed misfeasance in public office” by introducing the ban. That’s because he moved ahead despite assurances that the exports could be more tightly-controlled, and without talking to the Indonesian government or his department about it. The live cattle export market to Indonesia is worth about $600 million a year.


On behalf of Captain Vaughan Strawbridge and the entire crew at Deloitte, they’d like to acknowledge two special passengers on the final leg of a journey towards ownership of Virgin Australia. Welcome aboard, Cyrus Capital Partners and Bain Capital. The race to buy and relaunch the collapsed airline is down to two overseas-based firms after Melbourne-based BGH Capital and investment partner AustralianSuper bowed out. Both are “well-funded,” Strawbridge said, which sounds like a good attribute to have in an investor. The next steps: more meetings with Virgin's management, workforce, airline lessors and creditors ahead of making a binding offer by 12 June.


Soz but even the trees have some worrying news… An area of primary forest the size of a football pitch was lost every six seconds in 2019. And primary forests are particularly valuable because they’re older and carbon-rich and could possibly have Dame Judi Dench somewhere in the vicinity of them. The problem areas: Brazil, where the Amazon burned at alarming rates. And Indonesia where fires saw smoke reach neighbouring countries. And put your hand up, Australia. We saw a sixfold rise in total tree loss with those big bushfires in NSW and Queensland in late in 2019. At least things are going better on the fauna side of things. Actually, scratch that


Mary Queen of Scots was said to be “la plus parfaite”, which we’re reliably informed relates to her beauty, and not any likeness to a great big delicious dessert. But she didn’t get along with cousin Queen Elizabeth, so things didn’t end well for Mez. And during the 18 years that she was held captive in England before being executed in 1587, it’s fair to say she prayed. A lot. And now you can buy her prayer book - if you have a cool $630,000. How divine...


Businessman Nev Power to face the Senate COVID-19 Committee to answer questions in his capacity as chair of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

US presidential primaries to be held in nine states and the District of Columbia

ABS Data Release - Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, March; Building Approvals, April

Mabo Day

World Bicycle Day (UN)

A birthday for Rafael Nadal (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the first bikini bathing suit displayed in Paris (1946)
• Aretha Franklin's Respect reaching #1 (1967)
• the London Bridge terror attack (2017)
• the death of ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali (2016)

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