Squiz Today / 22 June 2020
Squiz Today – Monday, 22 June
"There's not a lot else at the time to look forward to because it's dark and you're just working, so it's a real event..."
Said Antarctic electrician Lisa Wilkinson of the -2C dip she and her colleagues take to mark the shortest day of the year. Lisa says the 21 June Winter Solstice celebrations are better than Christmas, which means the festive season in December must be particularly grim…
VICTORIA TAKES STEPS TO STOP COVID SPIKE
As Victoria recorded the highest number of active coronavirus cases in two months, its state of emergency has been extended for at least four more weeks. Premier Daniel Andrews says the state is “absolutely at risk of a second peak” and will look into locking down affected suburbs while scrapping plans to ease restrictions. Victoria has recorded 116 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, up from 35 cases in the previous week. The uptick has been linked to transmission amongst families getting together in homes and not observing social distancing. One of the new cases is Essendon defender Conor McKenna, and the AFL team is now bracing for advice to quarantine other players and staff. “We are at a point where we have to turn it around or the numbers get beyond us,” said Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY?
Federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth yesterday said it shouldn’t mean much because we’re moving into a future where localised outbreaks will happen, and that will need to be managed tightly. And that’s why Western Oz, the NT and Queensland should not adjust their thinking on opening their borders due to what’s happening in Victoria “because the epidemiology is different," Coatsworth says. But WA and the Sunshine State said ‘we’ll be the judge of that’...
WHAT’S HAPPENING FURTHER AFIELD?
COVID-19 continues to spread globally at a cracking pace. On Saturday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said there were 150,000 new cases of COVID-19 recorded on Thursday making it the highest single-day rise since the pandemic began. Another worrying benchmark was breached on the weekend with Brazil becoming the second country in the world to surpass one million cases of the coronavirus, the US being the other. And US President Donald Trump said crowds stayed away from his first campaign rally for almost four months because the media overstated the coronavirus risk. Others are pointing to some mischievous TikTok teens…
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UK PARK STABBINGS CONSIDERED A TERROR ATTACK
A 25yo man from Reading in southeast England has been arrested for stabbing several people in a local park, three fatally. Three others were seriously injured. Naming the man overnight as Khairi Saadallah, authorities say he acted alone in what they are now considering a lone terror attack. He has been described as an asylum-seeker from Libya, and reports say he came to the attention of authorities last year. There has been praise for the police officer who arrested the attacker at the scene, with reports saying he tackled the man to the ground. PM Boris Johnson said "If there are changes that need to be made to our legal system to stop such events happening again, we will not hesitate to take that action."
CHINA MAKING MOVES INTO HONG KONG
China is set to set up an office in Hong Kong to gather intelligence and handle crimes against national security, reports yesterday say. The move follows China’s decision to impose a new security law on the territory to weed out “separatist activity, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign elements”. Many nations have criticised China for going against the agreement it struck with the UK to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy until 2047, but China rejects that’s the case. On Friday, the European Parliament voted to take China to the International Court of Justice in The Hague if the law was imposed. Reports say the protest movement has stalled due to higher risk of arrest, and the seriousness of what being arrested can mean under the new regime.
CYBER SCAMS COST DEARLY
Online scams cost Aussies about $2.5 billion in the past decade, a new report out today from the Competition and Consumer regulator today says. And that’s a figure that’s understated with one in three scams going unreported. Of huge concern is the sophistication of the operations with experts saying it's very difficult to discern the authenticity of those making contact. The alarming report comes on top of last week's warning from PM Scott Morrison that a "sophisticated state-based actor" (which we're reliably informed isn't Timothée Chalamet) has been mounting large-scale hacking attacks on Australian government departments, service providers and companies. Yikes… That saw China’s foreign ministry channel Shaggy, coming out to say ‘it wasn’t me’. In the meantime, anyone online has been reminded to take steps to protect their data.
A BRAND BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL STILL TASTE AS SWEET
As American activists continue to pull down statues of notable slave-owning citizens in the wake of the mass protests over the police killing of George Floyd, there has been a rush of brands looking to address cultural insensitivities and racist references ingrained in their offerings. The company making the chocolate-covered ice cream Eskimo Pie will retire the name and bring out a new look for the sweet treat by the end of the year. For a long time, campaigners have linked it to “racist, non-Native colonisers who settled in the Arctic”. It joins Uncle Ben’s rice and Mrs Butterworth’s syrup amongst others to review the depictions of African Americans on their packaging. And in the UK, Prince Harry - the patron of Rugby Football Union - is said to support a review into whether England rugby fans should be discouraged from singing the rugby anthem Swing Low, Sweet Chariot because of its association with slavery.
THAT’S AN EXPENSIVE SET OF STRINGS...
For one Aussie entrepreneur, money was no object to owning a piece of music history. Peter Freedman, the owner of Rode Microphones, shelled out a record $8.8 million on Saturday at the Music Icons auction for Kurt Cobain’s 1959 Martin D-18E guitar. It’s the one he played during 1993’s MTV Unplugged performance. And Prince's custom-made ‘Blue Angel’ Cloud 2 guitar went for $825,000 - a relative bargain. As for the other items up for sale, here’s something for you to procrastinate over today...
SQUIZ THE DAY
Final bids due for Virgin Australia
NSW ski fields open
Birthdays for Meryl Streep (1949), Elizabeth Warren (1949), Cyndi Lauper (1953) and Dan Brown (1964)
• Galileo Galilei being forced to recant his view that the Earth orbits the Sun by the Pope (1633)
• Anniversary of Princess Elizabeth meeting future husband Prince Philip of Greece (1939)
• Nazi Germany invading the Soviet Union during WWII (1941)
• the deaths of Judy Garland (1969) and Fred Astaire (1987)
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