Squiz Today / 03 June 2021
Squiz Today – Thursday, 3 June
“More views than humans.”
Tweeted keen tweeter Elon Musk of the enemy of parents everywhere - Baby Shark. And he’s right - the world’s population is 7.87 billion, and the earworm tune has had almost a billion more views on YouTube than that. And that’s probably not where it ends doo doo doo doo doo doo...
MORE LOCKDOWN AS VICTORIA WORRIES ABOUT THE STRAIN
Melbourne is in for an additional week of lockdown as officials confirmed 6 new locally acquired coronavirus cases linked to the current outbreak, taking the total to 60. The rest of the state will see restrictions eased by midnight tonight if no cases in the regions are reported between now and then. The new rules for city and country are here. Acting Premier James Merlino says he and the experts are cautious because the strain they're dealing with is spreading fast and without a lot of contact. "We've got to run this to ground because if we don't, people will die," he said yesterday.
SO ABOUT THIS STRAIN OF THE VIRUS…
Yeah, it’s a thing. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton yesterday said that contact tracers have identified someone who visited a food store in the suburb of Epping contracted the virus 2 hours after a positive case had left. Another is thought to have been infected while eating outdoors at a pub in Anglesea despite no encounter with an infected person. That doesn’t mean there’s consensus from the experts about whether the Indian strain (aka the Delta strain…) troubling Victoria is significantly more infectious than other strains. But it’s a strain that’s worrisome across the world.
ANOTHER WEEK OF LOCKDOWN’S GOTTA HURT…
Which is why Premier Dan Andrews - who is still laid up with a back injury - sent some inspirational tweets last night. And yes, it’s hard, particularly for workers and businesses affected by the ongoing shutdown. Many numbers are floating around, but reports suggest the lockdown will cost the state's economy around $1 billion over the fortnight. The Victorian Government has come to the party with $460 million in assistance, but it hasn’t taken the pressure off the Morrison Government to help out. Yesterday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg seemed open to it, saying a longer lockdown meant a chat with Victoria about what can be done was coming. Watch this space…
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HOW ABOUT THAT AUSSIE ECONOMY?
It's growing, according to yesterday’s official update for January-March. And unlike the waistlines of many who have joined the WFH army (ahem…), the Aussie economy is back to its pre-pandemic size. In fact, it's in better shape. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew another 1.8% in the first quarter of this year, taking annual economic growth to 1.1% - all driven by confident consumers, analysts say. It's an incredible thing, given the doom and gloom predictions a year ago. And Deloitte Access Economics says we are one of just 6 countries that can boast about an economy that's bigger than before COVID-19. But analysts say it's not all smooth sailing from here. "The primary threats to the economic recovery are a broad Australian 'second wave' of the virus and a slow, extended vaccine rollout," said CommSec’s Craig James.
TOKYO OLYMPICS FACES A VACCINATION HURDLE
As public opinion about next month’s Tokyo Olympics continues to sour, Japanese authorities are racing to get vaccination numbers up amid a fourth wave of the virus. Japan, which yesterday passed 750,000 COVID cases since the pandemic began, wants to vaccinate 1 million residents a day. It's currently delivering half that, and it's expected that 70% of the country will be unvaccinated by the time the Games' start on 23 July. Japan's medicos say the Olympics could become an incubator for a 'Tokyo variant' of the virus as athletes, officials, sponsors and journalists arrive from around the world. But having already postponed the Games last year, the Japanese Government and Olympic officials are determined to steam ahead.
BIG MEAT SENDS IN THE FEDS
The FBI is investigating this week’s cyberattack on the world’s biggest meat processor, JBS Foods. Initial intelligence points to Russian hackers who are holding the company to ransom, reports say. JBS says its US operations started getting back on track yesterday, but its Aussie operations remained offline for a 3rd day, leaving more than 6,500 workers locked out. There’s also speculation that there will be a noticeable disruption to the world’s meat supply, but Agricultural Minister David Littleproud yesterday said it’s too early to tell. The attack is the latest of a series by Russian criminal groups targeting large Western corporations. Last month, hackers targeted US fuel distributor Colonial Pipeline which saw the company pay a US$4.4 million ransom to avoid a nationwide petrol shortage.
RACE TO FIND OUR KNOWN UNKNOWNS
The Australian Academy of Science yesterday proposed a mammoth project: documenting 500,000 undiscovered Aussie plants and animals before they are lost to climate change. Oz is thought to be home to 750,000 different plants, animals, and insects, but most haven't been discovered or documented. The Academy says the task will cost $824 million - but it crunched the numbers and says it could deliver up to almost $30 billion in economic returns over the next 25 years via advances in medicine, biosecurity and farming. As for more well-known species, a new World Wildlife Fund report warns the likes of penguins and some turtles may face extinction if the world warms beyond 1.5C. The kicker: they say Arabica coffee beans are also at risk…
COPYCAT FASHION BRANDS SLAMMED
Mexico’s Ministry of Culture yesterday accused some of the world’s biggest clothing retailers of appropriating their Indigenous designs for profit. In a letter sent to fashion giants including Zara and Anthropologie, officials claim they have stolen their designs and called on the companies to pay compensation. Inditex - the world’s biggest clothing retailer which owns Zara - denied the claims, saying “the design in question was in no way intentionally borrowed from or influenced by the artistry of the Mixtec people of Mexico". The appropriation of designs by fashion brands from smaller designers or other cultures has long been an issue and tricky to address. Even Aussie brand Zimmermann has been accused of it...
APROPOS OF NOTHING - WILD ANIMAL EDITION
China is not a country we associate with rampaging herds of elephants, but one gang is wreaking havoc, and no cornfield or alcohol factory is safe.
Ever driven down a major highway and wondered if the elaborate wildlife overpasses/bridges/diversions work? Apparently, they do - for our American furry (and scaly) friends anyway.
Standing up for her pup pack against a mumma bear was a tenacious 17yo Californian teenager. The clip is pretty wild, but all’s well that ends well…
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.00am (AEST) - Deadline for Israeli opposition parties to form a new government that would end PM Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year stretch as prime minister.
ABS Data Release - International Trade in Goods and Services, April; Retail Trade, April
A birthday for Rafael Nadal (1986)
• the first bikini bathing suit displayed in Paris (1946)
• Aretha Franklin’s Respect reaching #1 (1967)
• the London Bridge terror attack (2017)
• the death of ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali (2016)
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