Squiz Today / 07 August 2020
Squiz Today – Friday, 7 August
“There are some people watching obsessively - it’s a bit like their version of Days of Our Lives.”
Said Judy Harrington, the founder of the EagleCAM project that’s keeping a livestreamed eye on a couple of fluffy eagle chicks that hatched last week at Sydney’s Olympic Park. Plotline: there’s a sibling rivalry developing that would make the residents of Salem proud…
VIC PREMIER ANDREWS UNDER PRESSURE
With Victoria in lockdown and officials reporting another 471 coronavirus cases and eight deaths, the heat yesterday was on Premier Daniel Andrews over his government’s handling of the outbreak. Of particular concern: how cases leaked out of the state's hotel quarantine program in the first place. It's getting a lot of attention because thousands of people have been infected, many have died, millions of people's lives are disrupted, businesses are shut, and it's going to cost a lot. About $10 billion kinda a lot…
THAT HAIRY CHESTNUT…
Yep. And it’s now the subject of an inquiry led by former judge Jennifer Coate where it’s been heard that "every case" of Melbourne's second coronavirus wave could possibly be traced back to the quarantine breaches. Premier Andrews and government ministers have declined to answer questions about what went down since setting up the inquiry at the start of July saying it would be inappropriate while it's underway. But on Wednesday, Coate said there was no reason not to discuss the matters being examined. And so yesterday, Andrews fielded a barrage of questions about it during a 90-minute press conference yesterday.
AND THE ANSWERS WERE?
Andrews says he doesn't have the answers - that's what the inquiry's for. What he did say was he was aware in May that returned travellers had infected hotel and security workers (including during a special cuddle time) in late May. But he only found out at the end of June that the wave of new cases was linked to the quarantine breaches. And by early July, the quarantine program was overhauled and the inquiry set up. Andrews yesterday said, "I will be accountable for those errors." Liberal opposition leader Michael O'Brien said Victorians deserved answers because "we are only in lockdown because of the bungles in hotel quarantine".
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ANN MARIE SMITH DEATH ARREST
Adelaide care worker, 68yo Rosemary Maione, has been charged with the manslaughter of Ann Marie Smith. Smith, who had cerebral palsy, died in April this year in what police say were "disgusting and degrading circumstances". Investigations discovered the 54yo had been left in a cane chair for a year by her NDIS-appointed carer, and she died of severe septic shock and organ failure. She was also malnourished. Police also discovered jewellery worth $35,000 and two fridges had been stolen from Smith’s home, and money had disappeared from her bank account. Police haven’t been able to find anyone who provided medical treatment to Smith since 2014, and there are questions about how she was left to slip through the disability system’s cracks.
SHOCK TURNS TO ANGER IN BEIRUT
As Beirut port officials are accused of negligence and mismanagement of the storage of a highly explosive chemical that led to the catastrophic blast, public anger is growing. "I've known all the time that we are led by incompetent people, incompetent government … But I tell you something - what they have done now is absolutely criminal," said one resident. At least 137 people have died, and 5,000 were injured when a large amount of ammonium nitrate exploded in a warehouse fire. As the satellite images show, the damage is significant. The recovery effort is expected to cost up to US$15 billion, with Australia chipping in $2 million for immediate humanitarian support.
AGENCY'S POWERS INCREASE IN CYBER SECURITY BOOST
Kids, older people and businesses are under threat from criminals on the internet, the federal government says. “And some foreign governments are using the internet to steal health data and have the potential to turn off banking or energy systems,” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said yesterday. Yikes… And so a new $1.66 billion cyber security strategy was unveiled yesterday to counter that. It’s underpinned by world-first legislation that will give our security agencies the use of computer access warrants to identify and disrupt criminals lurking on the dark web. That includes giving the Australian Signals Directorate, whose job it is to deal with foreign threats, a role in helping Federal Police to look into threats from within Australia. That’s a significant change, experts say. But that all has to go through the Parliament…
TRUMP FALLS FOUL ON THE SOCIALS
Facebook and Twitter were in lockstep yesterday when they acted against US President Donald Trump for "the spreading of misinformation" about the coronavirus. The Team Trump Twitter account and Trump’s official Facebook account posted a video from a Fox News interview where he said kids are “almost immune” to COVID-19. Twitter blocked the account from tweeting until the post was taken down. And Facebook removed the post itself. Twitter has intervened with Trump’s tweeting in the past, but it’s a new thing for Facebook, which has long been a proponent of allowing free speech. Trump's supporters smell a conspiracy…
KEEPING THE HERD IN ORDER
Cows - more complicated than meets the eye. Like high-schoolers at lunchtime, they have their group, and when they’re shuffled around to hang with a new crowd, it’s disruptive. A new study has found that they prefer individuals of a similar age, suggesting a certain familiarity with those they grew up with. And there’s a whole ritual around licking others - a crucial friends-making exercise. You know that's about the cows, not the high-schoolers, right?
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
America has discovered the Aussie kids' TV wonder, Bluey. This look at what makes it unique in the New Yorker is like an outsider telling you what they like about you. Which is always nice.
Speaking of true blue Queenslanders, we’re putting a bid on a couple of Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen’s cake tins in the auction of items from the estate she shared with former Premier Sir Joh. So back off…
It’s cold enough for golden syrup puddings. Honest, it is.
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National Cabinet has a few coronavirus crisis things to discuss…
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to announce new eligibility criteria and funding for the JobKeeper program
Birthdays for Aussies Greg Chappell (1948), Trevor Hendy (1968), Sophie Lee (1968) and Megan Gale (1975), and Abbie Cornish (1982)
Anniversary of the discovery of the bodies of Canadian teens Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, who were at the centre of a huge manhunt and suspected of killing three people in British Columbia (2019)
From 1.00am - Queensland closes its border to NSW and ACT residents
Birthdays for John Laws (1935), Dustin Hoffman (1937), Roger Federer (1981), Princess Beatrice (1988), and Shawn Mendes (1998)
• the invention of Corn Flakes by William Kellogg (1898)
• the US, USSR, Britain and France signing Treaty of London, which set down procedures for the Nuremberg war trials of Nazi leaders (1945)
• the formation of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (1967)
Singapore's National Day
Birthdays for tennis player Rod Laver (1938), designer Michael Kors (1959), former Kiwi PM John Key (1961), actor Gillian Anderson (1968), actor Eric Bana (1968), and actor Anna Kendrick (1985)
• the opening of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican (1483)
• the US dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan (1945)
• the Manson family committing the Tate-LaBianca murders (1969)
• the resignation of US President Richard Nixon (1974)
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