Squiz Today / 12 March 2020
Squiz Today – Thursday, 12 March
“I was like a kid at Christmas.”
Said farmer Graeme McCrabb of yesterday’s arrival of water to the Menindee Lakes in far western NSW - the first since 2016. The breaking of a dry spell can undoubtedly bring a sense of relief…
MO MONEY MO CORONAVIRUS PROBLEMS
As the World Health Organisation declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, PM Scott Morrison will today announce an economic stimulus package of more than $15 billion. To be spent over the next 12 months, the priorities are to "keep people in work, keep businesses open and ensure the economy bounces back when the spread of the disease abates,” the ABC reports.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It means there will be support for small businesses to keep apprentices on, and sectors that are having a torrid time, like tourism, will receive help to put employees in training instead of letting them go. There are also one-off payments for pensioners and those on unemployment benefits, reports say. The government’s economic response follows yesterday’s $2.4 billion health package as our number of confirmed cases rose to 122. And the government also announced that Italy would be added to the list of those with travel bans. That means foreign nationals coming to Oz need to spend a fortnight in a third country before arriving here.
SO BACK TO THAT PANDEMIC THING...
A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time - and that’s what happening with COVID-19. WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks - but the advice remains the same. Countries with cases need to take "urgent and aggressive action" to contain the spread, he said.
SQUIZ THE REST
WEINSTEIN JAILED FOR 23 YEARS
Found guilty of rape and sexual assault in a US trial last month, Harvey Weinstein has been given the upper end of the maximum 25-year sentence he faced. Once one of Hollywood's most influential figures, Weinstein has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct. Two of those made it to court in New York, and he still faces a trial on two other cases in Los Angeles. They will mount an appeal against his conviction, but his lawyers asked for the minimum sentence of five years saying the state of the 67yo's health meant that it could be tantamount to a "life sentence". Speaking for the first time in the case, Weinstein said "I really feel remorse for this situation." He also repeated his belief that the relationships with the women who have spoken out against him were consensual.
FIVE DEAD IN CAPE YORK PENINSULA CRASH
Five people died in a plane crash on Quintell Beach on Cape York, about 800 kilometres north of Cairns, yesterday morning. The plane, which was carrying four public servants and the pilot, attempted to land twice at the nearby Lockhart River airport in heavy rain and winds before it crashed, reports say. The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau is investigating. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted her condolences for the victims family and friends.
BIDEN EXTENDS HIS LEAD
If you thought Super Tuesday was exciting, you'd enjoy the sequel… Voting in the Democratic presidential candidate race continued with Super Tuesday II and former Vice President Joe Biden has extended his lead over Bernie Sanders. The big state in play was Michigan, which Biden won handsomely. That’s a blow for democratic socialist Sanders who won the state in 2016 when he was going up against Hillary Clinton. Biden now has 785 delegate votes to Sanders’ 642. The analysts’ takeout: Biden appears to be on an “unstoppable march” towards a showdown with US President Donald Trump come November.
And if you'd like a quick briefing on how this US presidential election malarkey works, we've got a Squiz Shortcut for you.
Riddle us this: you've been at the top of your nation's civic life for more than 20 years, but a constitutional requirement for you to step down will bring your dream run to an end in 2024. Do you: A) get ready to depart the stage; or B) declare that your country isn't "politically mature" and suggest changes to the constitution that means you can continue to rule until 2036? If you're Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s obviously option B… He says "stability" is required, and last night the Russian parliament agreed. But critics say the move is tantamount to a constitutional coup. We might set the alarm to re-run this story with updated dates in 2032…
MATILDAS QUALIFY FOR THE OLYMPICS
Look, it’s still not certain that the Tokyo Olympics are going ahead given all the coronavirus drama. A member of the organising committee yesterday said it could be delayed for a year or two, and then the committee boss said a late July start was still the plan. But anyway… The Matildas soccer side will be there whenever it is having qualified last night with their 2-1 win against Vietnam. They played in an empty stadium that had lighting issues. A win’s a win…
WE KNEW IT...
Turns out money can buy you happiness. Or so a new study using a small group of German college students found... The act of donating money to save a life produced joy at first, but the effects didn't last, according to the study. A month later, those who had hung onto their cash were happier than those who'd been generous. Many other 'happiness' researchers questioned the findings, citing numerous studies that highlight the benefits of a "helper's high". No wonder Celeste Barber says she would do it all again…
SQUIZ THE DAY
Qualifying for the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix begins (events on until 15 March) - Melbourne
World Kidney Day
A birthday for Liza Minnelli (1946)
Anniversary of the deaths of the father of modern China Sun Yat-sen (1925) and Anne Frank (1945)
Anniversary of the wedding of Paul and Linda McCartney (1969); Of the Foundation Stone being laid in Canberra (1913); and of Abel Tasman becoming the first European to sight New Zealand (1642)
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