Squiz Today / 05 June 2020
Squiz Today – Friday, 5 June
"Can everyone get off the grass, please? Come on. I've just re-seeded that."
Because nothing can get between a proud homeowner and his lawn - not even a prime minister and his press pack…
TAKING STOCK AFTER 10 TERRIBLE DAYS
The first memorial service for George Floyd takes place this morning, and civil rights campaigner Reverend Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy. Before the services, he said he’s “more hopeful” that he’s been for a while because “I see more Americans of different races and different ages standing up together, marching together, raising their voices together... That makes me know we're on the brink of real change." The service follows charges being laid against three police officers who were at the scene. And charges were upgraded for Derek Chauvin, who pinned Floyd to the ground by his neck on Monday last week leading to his death. The Floyd family’s attorney Ben Crump said it was “a significant step forward on the road to justice.”
WHERE ARE THE PROTESTS UP TO?
Still large, but more subdued, reports say. But fancy department stores and luxury retailers in New York aren't taking any chances, further fortifying their properties. In other protest hotspots Washington DC and Los Angeles, protests have been peaceful with no notable confrontations with authorities, who are out in huge numbers. Some cities have now lifted curfews or decided not to enforce the orders as unrest subsides. Nationwide, more than 10,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, and more than 12 deaths have been reported.
HOW IS IT AFFECTING AMERICA’S INTERNATIONAL STANDING?
America’s rivals, including China, have pointed to the mess of the last 10 days and accused it of double standards. And the editor of the Communist Party-controlled news outlet Global Times tweeted that America’s “repression of domestic unrest has further eroded the moral basis to claim itself ‘beacon of democracy.’” Even North Korea had a go… Former American diplomat Nancy McEldowney said; "When America is tied down with internal divisions, we cannot lead, we cannot be an effective player internationally." So US leaders have some work to do on rebuilding relationships domestically, as well as internationally…
SQUIZ THE REST
MEANWHILE, IN HONG KONG…
Yesterday was the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre – the 1989 tragedy where thousands of pro-freedom protestors were killed by Chinese authorities. Since then, Hong Kong has held an annual vigil in remembrance, but it was banned this year for the first time with authorities citing coronavirus concerns. Not many were expected to turn out to commemorate the date with more than 3,000 riot police deployed to enforce the ban, but thousands did last night. There’s also rising tensions as Beijing moves to enact a controversial security law which many fear will end Hong Kong’s unique freedoms. And yesterday, the territory’s parliament voted in favour of a bill that makes disrespecting the Chinese national anthem after pro-democracy MPs were thrown out for disrupting proceedings. Asked about our preparedness to take fleeing Hongkongers, a government spokesman said they can already apply for a range of visas to work and live in Australia.
ACCOUNTING FOR DRUG WAR DEATHS IN THE PHILIPPINES
A crackdown on drugs led by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte may have killed tens of thousands with “near impunity”, according to a damning United Nations report. Which is a fancy way of saying that police have killed Filipino citizens, largely without consequences, under the cover of a drug war. Government data indicates 8,663 people have died since July 2016, but other estimates are three times that number. Police, who don’t require a warrant to conduct house raids, say they have been acting lawfully, and blame the deaths on suspects resisting arrest. But the report pins the blame on authorities’ “incitement to violence”, and said victims were often coerced by police into making self-incriminating statements under threats of violence.
KINDERGARTENERS STABBED IN ATTACK
A school security guard has been detained after he injured at least 40 children and adults in a stabbing rampage at a primary school in the city of Wuzhou in southern China yesterday morning, according to state media. While most victims received minor injuries, three are seriously injured, including the head of the school. It follows similar attacks on schools in China in recent years. The attacker’s motive is unknown, and an investigation has been launched.
AND A CORONAVIRUS UPDATE…
• Did you hear that heavy thud? That was the sound of retail sales hitting the floor… Total sales dropped 17.7% in April after a spike of 8.5% in March. Sales of clothing and footwear fell 54% in the month, and all those pantry items we couldn’t find (think loo paper, pasta, rice) were down by 40% and more. Crikey…
• Are you ready to get up, up, and away? Well, it might not be beyond Australia, but Qantas and Jetstar are preparing for wheels up on some domestic routes. It's currently flying at just 5% of pre-pandemic levels, and it's heading towards 40% by the end of July. Some of that will depend on whether Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory open their borders…
• New Zealand is within a kiwi’s d… ahem… dermis of having no coronavirus cases. And they even have a date for when they'll have zero cases. Mark Monday 15 June in your diary for CUL8RCOVID-19 Day…
• The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb in Brazil, and President Jair Bolsonaro didn’t have a lot of comfort for his people. "We lament all deaths, but it's everyone's destiny," Bolsonaro said in front of the presidential residence in Brasilia earlier this week. The country has almost 585,000 cases and an official death toll of 32,500 people, but experts believe it to be much higher on both counts.
• And to the numbers: There are more than 6.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases internationally, and almost 390,000 people have died. In Australia, there are 7,240 cases, and 6,668 people have recovered. There are 464 active cases remaining, while 102 people have died in Oz.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Makeup? Haven't seen a lick of it for weeks. But good skincare is right down our alley. And this article with Meghan Markle’s beauty right-hand-man Daniel Martin has a lot of products we hadn’t seen before. Fancy…
Do the times have you thinking about long-lost friends and considering a “hey, how you doin’” call? Read this first.
It’s cold, and it’s a long weekend. Which means it's Osso Bucco time, don’t skip the gremolata.
SQUIZ THE DAY
World Environment Day
International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing
Birthdays for Mark Wahlberg (1971) and Lara Bingle (1987)
• the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (1968)
• the official beginning of the AIDS epidemic when the US Centre for Disease Control reports on pneumonia affecting five gay men in LA (1981)
• the first article based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden are published by the Guardian (2013)
• the deaths of Ronald Reagan (2004), Alan Bond (2015) and Kate Spade (2018)
Queensland Day marking the day the Sunshine State was established as a separate colony from New South Wales (1859)
Sweden’s National Day
• the patenting of the electric iron by New Yorker Henry Seely (1882)
• the beginning of D-Day as the Allies land in Normandy, France (1944)
• the release of David Bowie's breakthrough album The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
• the release of video game Tetris by Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov (1984)
• the premiere of TV juggernaut Sex and the City (1998)
World Food Safety Day
Birthdays for Liam Neeson (1952), Mike Pence (1959), Bear Grylls (1974), Michael Cera (1988) and Emily Ratajkowski (1991)
• the founding of the British Museum (1753)
• the Vatican City becoming a sovereign state (1929)
• the Supreme Court of the United States deciding on Griswold v. Connecticut, legalising the use of contraception by married couples (1965)
Queen's Birthday public holiday (excluding Western Oz and Queensland)
The Claremont serial killings trial resumes with closing statements to be heard
World Brain Tumour Day
Birthdays for Nancy Sinatra (1940), inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee (1955) and Kanye West (1977)
• the completion of the first transpacific flight (US to Australia) by Charles Kingsford Smith (1928)
• Siam changing its name to Thailand (1949)
• the publication of George Orwell's 1984 (1949)
• homosexuality becoming legal in NSW (1984)
• the death of Anthony Bourdain (2018)
Which means we won’t be in your inbox on Monday. It’s a public holiday where we are, and dammit we’re taking the sleep in. See you next Tuesday.
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