Squiz Today / 30 March 2020
Squiz Today – Monday, 30 March
“I had about 10 and I don’t see why I should require the Queen to keep giving me cards.”
Said the world’s oldest man, a Brit named Bob Weighton, who turned 112yo yesterday. And it’s not that he’s anti-QEII, the supercentenarian just doesn’t see the point of getting yet another card from Her Maj. The secret to his longevity? Being interested in things - except receiving birthday cards…
‘RADICAL’ NEW MEASURES TO KEEP AUSSIES AT HOME
Another National Cabinet meeting, another round of escalating measures to fight the spread of COVID-19... Last night, PM Scott Morrison said the limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings has been reduced from 10 to two people unless you're with the people you live with. And we've been told to stay home unless we're shopping for essentials, seeking medical care, exercising, or going to work or school where we can't do it remotely. Morrison said it would be up to the states and territories to enforce that. As for people over 70yo, the chronically ill aged over 60yo, and Indigenous Australians over 50yo, the government’s best advice is to self-isolate, but that’s not compulsory. Morrison also re-emphasised that we need to look at this as a six-month-long exercise at least.
BUT DIDN'T HE SAY THE GROWTH OF NEW CASES IS DOWN?
Yep. Social distancing and self-isolation measures have led to a fall in the daily rate of increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, Morrison revealed yesterday. New cases are currently rising by about 15% a day (and yesterday’s rate was 9%) - that’s down from 25-30% a week ago. And it’s an early sign that the ‘draconian’ measures that have been put in place across the country over the last fortnight are working, health officials said. But as the number of cases in Australia edged towards 4,000 yesterday and our death toll increased to 16, more needs to be done.
RIGHT. ANYTHING ELSE?
The big game in town is a wage guarantee, and PM Morrison appealed to businesses to keep their staff on until they've seen it. It's a plan that's yet to be finalised and it's likely to be huge - so watch this space. Governments are also discussing rent relief for commercial and residential tenants while putting a ban on evictions for those having trouble making rent. While we’re waiting for the deets, why not get stuck into the Government’s WhatsApp message bot and 'Coronavirus Australia' app with all the latest info? You know you want to…
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MEANWHILE, IN OTHER CORONAVIRUS NEWS…
• Travellers coming to Australia are being compulsorily quarantined for 14 days in hotels under the supervision of police and Defence personnel. That’s because two-thirds of our cases come from or are closely linked to overseas travellers - something a group of medicos were a bit casual about on Friday night…
• Also unveiled was a new $1.1 billion package for health, mental health and family violence services for vulnerable people who have been put at higher risk as a result of the coronavirus crisis. On health, the private health funds have suspended the scheduled 1 April premium increase for at least six months.
• Myer announced it’s closing its stores, as is the Cotton On Group, Country Road Group, RM Williams and Kathmandu. Staff have been stood down. It’s believed more than 100,000 retail, hospitality and entertainment workers have been thrown into turmoil so far.
• On high-profile cases: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to the US after two weeks of isolation on the Gold Coast. "Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us,” tweeted the actor. And UK PM Boris Johnson revealed he has COVID-19 saying he, like many of us, will fight on via video-conference.
MEDIVAC TRAGEDY IN MANILA
Eight people were killed overnight when an air ambulance burst into flames as it took off from Manila bound for Japan. Onboard was the pilot and two crew members, three medical staff (all Filipinos). The two passengers were confirmed to be an American and a Canadian. It's not known if the flight was being used to transport coronavirus-hit patients. The plane was operated by Manila-based Lionair, which has no connection to the Indonesian airline Lion Air. A Lionair small plane crashed in September, killing nine people. Investigators said they would ground its fleet.
ANOTHER TWIST IN ISRAEL’S ROAD TOWARDS GOVERNMENT
All of the last few weeks of tough-talking from Israel's opposition leader Benny Gantz about pushing ahead to form a government on his own have come to nought. Instead, he is in talks with caretaker PM Benjamin Netanyahu to form a 'national unity government' where they would take turns as prime minister. In all three elections held in the last year, Gantz told voters he would not form an alliance with Netanyahu. But those election results and the coronavirus crisis has changed the situation. Details could be released as soon as today. Netanyahu is facing bribery and fraud charges in proceedings that have been delayed by the pandemic.
NORTH KOREA ACCUSED OF BAD TIMING
South Korea says the timing of its northern neighbour’s latest ballistic missile tests is “inappropriate”. Which leads to the question: when would be a good time? But we digress... Two short-range ballistic missiles were launched into the ocean off the peninsula’s east coast yesterday making them the eighth and ninth to be launched in four rounds of tests in recent weeks. It’s the most missiles North Korea has ever fired in a single month. What do they want? International sanctions to be lifted. Magically, North Korea has no reported cases of COVID-19. Colour the experts sceptical…
APROPOS OF NOTHING - VIRAL EDITION
The J Paul Getty Museum has challenged people to “recreate a work of art with objects (and people) in your home”. Hilarity ensues…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - International Merchandise Trade: Confidential Commodities List, February
World Bipolar Day
Birthdays for Eric Clapton (1945), MC Hammer (1962), Piers Morgan (1965), Celine Dion (1968), Norah Jones (1979) and Sam Stosur (1984)
• Russia signing the Treaty of Paris, ending the Crimean War (1856)
• the US buying Alaska from Russia for the 2018 equivalent of AU$189 million (1867)
• US President Ronald Reagan being shot and wounded in an assassination attempt (1981)
• the death of famous gin-drinker, the Queen Mother (2002)
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