Squiz Today / 25 June 2020
Squiz Today – Thursday, 25 June
“Do you have an overbite, face burns, long skinny limbs, deep cheekbones, lines on your face, acne scars, ears that stick out, bulbous or interesting noses, small eyes, big eyes, skinny faces, missing bones?"
If you’re “funky looking” and live in Auckland, a TV production of Lord of the Rings wants you…
CORONA COMEBACK CAUSES CONCERN
Victoria’s coronavirus woes deepened yesterday with the confirmation of 20 new cases - the eighth straight day of double-digit increases — bringing the state’s total number of active cases to 141. Hundreds more are in quarantine after coming into contact with people who have tested positive in recent days. And there have now been 103 deaths from coronavirus in Australia after a Victorian man in his 80s died yesterday. Testing centres have been smashed in Melbourne with the state’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton encouraging people to “shop around” for a less busy centre. Also shopping around are… well… shoppers with the major supermarkets reintroducing limits to stave off panic buying. And Victoria is getting support from other states and the Defence Force for medical and logistical support as it tries to get on top of the outbreak.
AND AMERICA’S HEADING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION?
On Tuesday, the country reported 34,700 new cases of the virus making it the third-highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, yesterday called the surge “disturbing” and that things could worsen without new restrictions. On the bright side, he said he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine would be available by the end of the year.
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT’S A BIT LESS DREARY?
Here are three things. Your wallet's probably a bit lighter because the coronavirus restrictions that closed down retail has seen “virtually no demand” for coins, the Australian Mint says. Notes, on the other hand, are up for the year after a run on cash in the pandemic's early days. Next, researchers are excited by the opportunity to study the ‘anthropause’. Which is a fancy way of describing the global slowdown in human activity that’s made more space for wildlife. And there’s been a 1,000% increase in older people undertaking physical challenges for charity.* The latest example is 90yo Scottish stairmaster Margaret Payne who’s raised $750,000 for the NHS and other health organisations.
*May not be a verified statistic.
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FURTHER INQUIRIES INTO HEYDON
A new inquiry into the alleged conduct of former High Court Justice Dyson Heydon has been launched with the Financial Review (paywall) this morning reporting that the court has reached out to “more than 100 former associates, male and female” to get to the bottom of who knew what. The ACT Director of Public Prosecutions has also asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate Heydon "to determine whether or not criminal charges should result'. The ball started rolling with the confirmation earlier this week that an inquiry commissioned by the court found that the sexual harassment complaints of six women against Heydon were believed. Heydon’s lawyers continue to "emphatically any allegation of sexual harassment or any offence".
ABC WINDS IN THE SPENDING
Up to 250 ABC staffers are set to lose their jobs as the public broadcaster grapples with an $84 million budget cut. Its Comedy channel will be scrapped, and Aunty says lifestyle portal ABC Life will be renamed ABC Local as it moves in a "broader editorial direction". And its radio news bulletins will be scaled back, including the ‘flagship’ 7.45am update - which some news fans took badly. Managing Director David Anderson also addressed concerns the broadcaster’s content is too Sydney-centric, pledging 75% of its content-makers will be based outside of Sydney by 2025. The changes were expected after the Coalition Government announced a three-year funding indexation pause in 2018.
LABOR READY TO SOCIALISE THE ENERGY PROBLEM
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese is calling for a bipartisan solution on the establishment of a national climate change and energy policy. In an address to the National Press Club yesterday, Albanese said his party was willing to negotiate with the Coalition on a policy framework, and wouldn’t push to revive former policies it favoured, or on the setting of a clear emissions reduction target during those talks. While not ruling out his party’s support for a carbon tax altogether, Albanese said a price on carbon is no longer necessary. He said the government should focus on ways to boost investment in renewable energy to provide more business certainty, echoing the Coalition’s “technology, not taxation” sentiment. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he didn’t know if Labor’s truce was for realz.
FACEBOOK ADVERTISING BOYCOTT GROWS
Big tech has been under increasing pressure to deal with ‘misinformation’, particularly with the 2020 US presidential election coming up. But things have come to a head sooner than expected in the wake of the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter unrest in the US with Facebook allowing posts from President Trump to stay up as Twitter flagged the content as misleading or glorifying violence. And now several brands have decided to boycott Facebook by not advertising on the platform during July. We’re talking lifestyle brands Patagonia, the North Face, Eddie Bauer and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. One media buyer said it’s an issue for advertisers because “Facebook is a double-edged sword. You don’t want to support it, but you have to use it in order to reach a large audience.” Reports say the social media giant has been busy briefing advertisers on the steps it has taken to deal with the issue.
Speaking of Black Lives Matter matters… A noose that was this week found hanging in the garage of Bubba Wallace - NASCAR’s only black driver - had been there since at least October last year, and was probably used as a door pull, the FBI said yesterday.
It was billed as the ultimate urban transport, but it never took off in a big way. Which is why some people said it was the “most hyped product since the Apple Macintosh”. Ouch… It did, however, find a place as the go-to prop for goofy TV/film characters. Don’t worry too much about the device’s inventor, Dean Kamen, because he’s already focused on his next business venture: mass-producing lab-grown human organs…
FEELING A BIT WORLD WEARY?
Here’s a funky lady octopus doing her thing. You’re welcome.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Job Vacancies, May
Croatia’s and Slovenia’s National Day
Birthdays for Ricky Gervais (1961) and Busy Philipps (1979)
• Venetian Elena Cornaro Piscopia becoming the first woman to receive a university doctoral degree or PhD (1678)
• 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War
• the divorces of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1974), and Cher and Sonny Bono (1975)
• the first use of the rainbow flag as a symbol of gay pride, at a march in San Francisco (1978)
• the release of Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner (1982)
• Prince releasing his album Purple Rain (1984)
• the marriage of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban (2006)
• the birthdays of Anthony Bourdain (1956) and George Michael (1963)
• the deaths of Farrah Fawcett (2009) and Michael Jackson (2009)
And in the early hours of tomorrow morning - FIFA will announce the host of the 2023 Women's World Cup (c’mon the AU-NZ bid…)
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