Squiz Today / 08 May 2020
Squiz Today – Friday, 8 May
“Upon arrest, it was obvious these people had taken great measures to change their appearance - put on a lot of weight, they had long hair, they had grown long beards."
Said Queensland Police’s Detective Senior Sergeant Ken Rogers of the lengths a pair of alleged swindlers went to while in hiding after pulling a line-dancing holiday scam. Or maybe it's just that the coronavirus lockdown happened to them...
DON’T BREAK OUT YOUR FREEDOM PANTS JUST YET…
It’s one of the most anticipated National Cabinet meetings of the coronavirus crisis, and today we’re set to find out what PM Scott Morrison and the state and territory leaders are thinking when it comes to the easing of restrictions. Many families are hoping for a relaxation of the social distancing rules to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, but (spoiler alert...) no big changes to the current arrangements are planned in time for this weekend.
Soz. Around the grounds as things stand this morning:
• NSW - Two adults and their dependent children can visit another household as long as social distancing is maintained. Premier Gladys Berejiklian says that won’t be changed for this weekend.
• Victoria - Premier Daniel Andrews says he won’t be changing the state’s tight lockdown measures before Monday. Currently, residents can only leave the house for ‘essential’ reasons like food shopping, exercise, work, education and compassionate/medical reasons.
• Queensland - Restrictions are easing. Household groups of five people can visit another home from this Sunday.
• Tasmania - Premier Peter Gutwein will outline Tasmania’s approach after tomorrow’s meeting, but he’s already ruled out changes to restrictions on aged care home visits until Monday.
• South Oz - It’s had one case in a couple of weeks, and it’s already possible to get as many as 10 people together as long as social distancing happens.
• Western Oz - It’s been without a new case for more than a week and is also a member of the 10-person-get-together club.
• Northern Territory - Same. And it has a plan to reopen pubs and restaurants in a week the lucky ducks.
• ACT - There’s a two-person limit in public, and households are allowed up to two additional guests. Chief Minister Andrew Barr has hinted at easing some restrictions soon.
SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TODAY?
Reports say we’re likely to see a framework of how restrictions might be lifted in the coming weeks and months. One suggestion is things will happen in 3x4-week blocks to give the health experts a chance to measure the effect. And it’s a tough one because the trick for all governments is carving out a ‘COVID-safe’ economy to keep the wheels turning, so it’s expected a plan to reopen businesses and schools will be the priority today.
SQUIZ THE REST
MEANWHILE, IN OTHER CORONAVIRUS NEWS…
• More than 6,000 people of Australia’s 6,891 cases have recovered, Health Minister Greg Hunt said yesterday. There are now fewer than 800 active cases in Oz, and 97 people have died. Worldwide, there are more than 3.8 million cases, and almost 267,500 people have died.
• Aged care home Newmarch House in Western Sydney will keep its licence to operate as it moves to appoint an independent adviser to help it manage the coronavirus outbreak that's killed 16 residents. In Melbourne, there's pressure on the state health department to explain why there was no direct contact between it and a meatworks west of the city to let them know about an infected worker in late April. Sixty-two cases are now linked to the plant.
• And a couple of nice things... Banksy’s latest art escapade is a lovely tribute to health workers in the UK. And walking is a joy for New Yorkers needing a moment outside to deal with what they’ve been going through.
PELL KNEW ABOUT ABUSE AND DIDN'T ACT, COMMISSIONERS FIND
The long-awaited findings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on Cardinal George Pell’s knowledge and handling of abuse allegations within the Catholic Church have been released. It reveals that Pell was "conscious of child sexual abuse by clergy" as early as 1973 and had failed on multiple occasions to act on complaints against priests. Commissioners also rejected Pell’s evidence that he was mislead by church officials about convicted abusers Gerald Ridsdale and Peter Searson. While redacted versions of the reports were released in 2017, sections were censored so as not to prejudice Pell’s trial. He says he is “surprised” by the Commission’s findings and that they aren’t “supported by evidence”. Pell was released from jail last month when his conviction on child abuse charges from the 90s was overturned.
SUPREME COURT CLEARS THE WAY FOR ISRAELI COALITION
A unanimous ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court has removed the last barrier to PM Benjamin Netanyahu and former rival Benny Gantz forming a coalition government. The decision effectively ends more than a year of political paralysis. Which isn't to say the court was happy about it… It expressed its opposition to both Netanyahu's continued leadership and the coalition deal, but ruled it could not stand in the way of either. Under the agreement, Netanyahu will remain PM for 18 months and will be replaced by Gantz for a further 18 months. They will be sworn into parliament on 13 May. Netanyahu still has to face a corruption trial starting on 24 May.
And while we have you... Iraq finally has a new prime minister after spending six months in a leadership vacuum. New PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi is said to be an acceptable choice for the US and Iran with both taking a keen interest in Iraq's government.
‘CONFESSIONS’ OF US INSURGENT
A video of former US soldier Luke Denman appearing to confess to plotting to overthrow the regime of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has been broadcast on its state media. Denman and another ex-US Special Forces soldier Airan Berry were among 13 people to be arrested in Venezuela on Monday after an alleged plot to detain Maduro led by American military veteran Jordan Goudreau was foiled. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the government will use "every tool" to get the Americans back home. Both the Trump administration and Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó – who is recognised as the country’s leader by most of the world - have denied Maduro’s accusations that they were involved in the plot.
AND THE (FAKE) CROWD GOES WILD...
We enjoyed a tweet this week predicting what we will tell future generations about how hard the coronavirus crisis was, one atrocity being endless sports reports without any sport to report on… But there’s some fresh meat for fans: South Korean baseball is back on, baby. Teams are playing in their regular stadiums with no fans in attendance. What they do have is a fake crowd - and they’re all wearing masks. Which is probably the responsible thing to do…
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
A search of online yoga classes took us down a rabbit hole... YouTube exercise classes were a thing pre-coronavirus, but it has undoubtedly accelerated things. This article centred on one popular offer - Yoga with Adriene - is a good read.
This probably says a lot about us, but watching people freak out over something that scares them when it doesn’t scare you - well, that’s just hilarious. So we hope you enjoy this video of 'Terrible Tom’, the wild turkey, and the reporter who has a hard time dealing with his attention.
Cooking adjacent: how to deal with the most common burns, cuts and other injuries incurred in the kitchen. Top tip: if you get chilli juice in your eye, a bit of milk on a cotton pad will help.
SQUIZ THE DAY
National Cabinet meeting to discuss coronavirus restrictions
Sir David Attenborough’s 94th birthday
the first Westminster Dog Show (1877)
Coca Cola sold publicly for the first time at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia - cocaine and all… (1886)
75th Anniversary of VE Day: World War II ends in Europe after Nazi Germany formally surrenders (1945)
Muhammad Ali being indicted for refusing induction in US Army (1967)
The Beatles releasing their final album Let It Be (1970)
the World Health Organisation announcing the eradication of smallpox (1980)
US President Donald Trump pulling the US out of the multilateral Iran nuclear deal (2018)
World Fair Trade Day
Victory Day - Russia
Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War (UN)
the opening of the first Parliament of Australia (1901)
the US becoming the first country to legalise the birth control pill (1960)
Nelson Mandela becoming President of South Africa (1994)
Birthdays for Bono (1960) and Leigh Sales (1973)
Germany’s invasion of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and the appointment of Winston Churchill as UK’s PM after the resignation of Neville Chamberlain (1940)
India's population reaching 1 billion (2000)
Apple becoming the first company to be worth more than $800 billion (2017)
Uber listing on the New York Stock Exchange (2019)
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