Squiz Today / 08 April 2020

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 8 April


“When you take the time to slow down, be mindful when you bake and notice the individual steps, you not only learn so much more, but you will also enjoy the experience tenfold.”

Is how keen Squizer and BakeClub founder Anneka Manning practices the science and art of baking. After a long stint as a food author and editor, she runs a hands-on and online cooking school. And she has a hot cross bun recipe for you... Please give Anneka a light and fluffy welcome to this week’s Three Minute Squiz.


Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, had his child abuse conviction overturned by the High Court yesterday. The 78yo Pell has spent more than a year behind bars after he was found guilty of abusing two choirboys at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in the 90s. All seven High Court Justices supported the decision to acquit him on the basis that "the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant's guilt."

A divisive figure who was criticised for his handling of abuse claims over many years, Pell was the third highest-ranking official in the Vatican when he was charged with historical child abuse offences in June 2017. Long legal story short, he was convicted in the Victorian County Court in December 2018 and sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison. He appealed the decision and lost. And then it was on to the High Court where prosecutors backed the evidence given by an unnamed complainant who accused Pell of two occasions of sexual assault in the priest’s sacristy after Sunday services. But Pell’s lawyers said the evidence that cast doubt on his opportunity to commit the offences was not properly considered, and yesterday the High Court agreed with them. Pell has maintained his innocence throughout. Following the decision, Pell left Barwon Prison and headed to a monastery in Melbourne where he tucked into a steak dinner. But it’s not entirely over - reports say many civil cases centring on abuse allegations are set to be launched against him and the Catholic Church.

Lisa Flynn, lawyer for one of the victims’ families: “Our client is currently in shock. He is struggling to comprehend the decision … He says he no longer has faith in our country’s criminal justice system.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews - “I have a message for every single victim and survivor of child sex abuse: I see you. I hear you. I believe you.”

PM Scott Morrison - "The High Court has made its decision, and I know for many Australians … just the mere discussion of these topics brings back great hurt and when these things are raised my thoughts are always with them."

Pope Francis via Twitter - “Let us #praytogether today for all those persons who suffer due to an unjust sentence because of someone had it in for them.”

Cardinal Pell: “The only basis for long term healing is truth and the only basis for justice is truth, because justice means truth for all.”



As Australia heads towards the 6,000 coronavirus cases mark, PM Scott Morrison yesterday said it would have been “tens of thousands of cases” had restrictions not been put in place some weeks ago. And the fall in the growth rate of new cases has been great, he said. "But we must hold the course. We must lock in these gains. It is providing us with much-needed time." A timeline for how long we have to hold this socially-distanced posture is TBC, but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday suggested it could be our new way of life until a vaccine is found (aka next year). Meanwhile, the modelling that’s helped inform the government’s response was released yesterday - but it didn’t outline the scary numbers nations like the US have shared. Still, it showed a scenario where the demand for intensive care could peak at 35,000 beds a day. Note: we currently have fewer than 2,400 ICU beds across the country.


• Federal Parliament is back again today with a third of our MPs making celebrity guest star appearances to pass the legislation required to put the $130 billion JobKeeper program in place. The Coalition has done a deal with the unions, but Labor still has concerns.

• Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe yesterday confirmed our mega-record-low interest rate of 0.25% would stay in place for now, and possibly for three years. "A very large economic contraction” is imminent, with unemployment set to sky-rocket, he says. Which will be painful, as many mothers will attest…

• And looking overseas, France, the UK, and New York have reported their highest daily death tolls of the crisis. Meanwhile, officials in China reported no new deaths yesterday - a first since January (but some people are sceptical…).

• And UK PM Boris Johnson is said to be in “good spirits” as he remains in intensive care in a London hospital.

• On the numbers: there are more than 1.4 million cases globally, 80,000 people have died, and almost 300,000 people have recovered.


Read on and that headline will make sense… Reports say an inquiry by the United Nations has concluded that it is “highly probable” that the Syrian government was behind a series of deadly attacks on civilian and humanitarian sites in northwest Syria last year. The investigation, which looked into just six air raids out of hundreds on hospitals and schools, indicted Syrian government forces in three of the attacks. But human rights and advocacy groups have criticised the report’s limited scope, with one stakeholder criticising the "mealy-mouthed" report for failing to identify Syria's principal ally Russia as a perpetrator, despite strong evidence of its involvement. Both Russia and Syria have said their forces do not target civilians.


Over the past summer, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef suffered its most widespread coral bleaching event yet. A survey of more than 1,000 reefs last month found severe levels of bleaching occurred across a quarter of the entire reef, from north to south. It’s the first time that’s happened since bleaching became a thing in 1998. The coral-endangering phenomenon occurs when sea surface temperatures rise, and the heat stress can cause the corals to bleach and possibly die. Dr David Wachenfeld, chief scientist at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, says the reef's third mass bleaching event in five years indicates the world heritage site is "calling for urgent help” on climate change.

And while we have you… A 23yo man has died after being bitten by a shark while working off North West Island in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger Zach Robba was working his “dream job” when the attack occurred.


After much speculation, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are making plans to launch their new charity, which they have called ‘Archewell’. According to the UK’s Daily Telegraph, the couple filed paperwork for their new brand in the US last month, and the charity will share “education and training materials” via films, podcasts and books. The couple also revealed the Greek word ‘arche’ - which means ‘a source of action’ - was the inspiration behind the name of their son, Archie. Prince Harry and Meghan said they “look forward” to launching the organisation, which will replace their defunct Sussex Royal brand, and will reveal further details “when the time is right” in a post-coronavirus crisis-ridden world.


Particularly when it comes to news broadcasting if this nifty new segment is anything to go by...


Passover begins (end 16 April)

Federal Parliament resumes (briefly…)

Gary Jubelin, the former NSW police detective found guilty of making illegal recordings during William Tyrell investigation, to be sentenced

ABS Data Release - Lending Indicators, February; Building Approvals, February

Beginning of Kidney Health Week (on until 14 April)

Birthdays for Robin Wright (1966) and Patricia Arquette (1968)

Anniversary of:
• the discovery of the Venus de Milo on the Aegean island of Milos (1820)
• the deaths of Pablo Picasso (1973) and Margaret Thatcher (2013)

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