Squiz Today / 05 March 2020
Squiz Today – Thursday, 5 March
"We've lost all sense of reality. We are all part of the human herd, and we are just following the stampede."
BIDEN AND BERNIE BEAT BLOOMBERG BIGLY
It’s the biggest day on the US presidential electoral calendar bar election day itself. And Super Tuesday didn’t disappoint… With the Republicans' endorsement of Donald Trump a mere formality, all eyes are on the Democrats' search for a candidate. And yesterday’s jostle was a big one with registered Democratic voters in 14 states having their say.
CUT THE CHIT-CHAT… WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?
Former Vice President Joe Biden overtook left-winger Bernie Sanders to become the frontrunner. Biden won nine of the primaries including a sweep of southern states like Texas, Virginia and Alabama. Sanders won four races, including the big one - California. And it was a fizzer for Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and businessman - he won in American Samoa. Which is kinda like winning a frozen chook at your local pub’s Friday night meat-tray raffle when there are surf-’n-turf platters up for grabs... So he’s dropped out of the race. Also having a bad day was Elizabeth Warren - she didn't even win in her home state of Massachusetts.
SO WHAT’S IT ALL MEAN?
Biden faltered in the early races, but he’s back, baby… Helped along by endorsements from departing candidates and support from Democrats who were worried about Sanders and Bloomberg’s chances against Trump, Biden is coming through the middle. However, Sanders’ strong win in California shows he is running a formidable campaign. He also lost some states yesterday that he was banking on, so nothing’s locked away. As for Bloomberg, critics say Super Tuesday bounced his cheques. That’s a reference to the almost A$800 million he’s spent on his campaign. For a sense of the relativities - Bloomberg spent more than US$12 million on television ads in Virginia and got no delegate votes. Biden spent about $200,000 and got 48. That means this next phase is all about Biden v Sanders. And there’ll be a lot said about whether either of them can take it up to Trump.
And if you want to know more about how this crazy ride works, we've got a new Squiz Shortcut on the US presidential election.
SQUIZ THE REST
MORE CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NSW HEALTH SYSTEM
The spread of the coronavirus to an aged care facility is one of the scenarios health authorities really didn’t want because it appears to be most severe in the elderly. But that’s happened in northern Sydney with a 50yo aged care nurse and two elderly residents testing positive - one of whom died on Tuesday night becoming Australia’s second coronavirus death. Reports yesterday noted that four people found this week to have the virus worked or lived within four kilometres of each other. Nationally, we have 52 confirmed cases, including another doctor working in a Sydney hospital. Meanwhile, the World Bank has earmarked US$12 billion in aid for developing countries to deal with the crisis. There are more than 92,000 cases worldwide, and more than 3,000 people have died.
BATTLE TO BEAT EBOLA HITS KEY MILESTONE
Speaking of health crises… The most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus kicked off in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August 2018, and it rapidly spread to infect more than 3,300 people, killing about 65% of them. The World Health Organisation declared it a global health emergency - the last one before the COVID-19 outbreak. But there was good news yesterday with the last patient released from a treatment centre. And didn’t the nurses and doctors celebrate… But it’s not over yet. People who may have come into contact with the patient are being monitored. And the end can only be officially clocked when there are no infections for 42 days after the last reported case has tested negative.
THANKS FOR THE GROWTH MEMORIES
It’s good to be grateful, but let’s hope yesterday’s economic growth update isn’t ‘see you later’ to a positive result. Registering our 29th consecutive year of growth without a recession, 2019 saw our economy expand by 2.2%. Which isn't as good as the 2.75% the Reserve Bank was targeting, but it's better than the annual rate of 1.7% that we were going along at. And the 0.5% result for the October-December quarter was stronger than analysts were expecting. Not included in this result: bushfires and the coronavirus outbreak which has economists and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg assuming the brace position.
A TRIO OF SCIENCE
WHO’S A PRETTY (SMART) BIRDIE? - Our feathered friends - don’t trust ‘em. It started when an emu chased us across a paddock when we were 8yo and yes an emu’s not a bird but same difference… And now they’re angling to become our overlords with their ‘domain-general intelligence’ more advanced than was thought. Or at least that’s the case for New Zealand’s kea parrot which can take two sources of information to make a judgement. Terrifying…
IT'S A CHROMOSOME THING - No, women don't live longer than men because the blokes have a genetic memory of travelling far, establishing territory and competing for a mate. A new study says that having two copies of the same sex chromosome helps with having a longer lifespan. Which is good for women (XX), and not so much for men (XY).
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH HER - Born with what her family describes as a nub on the end of her left arm, 11yo Florida girl/Star Wars fan Isabella Tadlock dreamed of an R2-D2 bionic arm. And she got one, along with a big fan…
JOHNSON NAMES HIS TOP WOMEN
As you well know, International Women’s Day is on Sunday. So it’s dangerous territory that UK PM Boris Johnson strayed into when asked to name the five women who have influenced and inspired him the most. Not on the list: political spirit guide Margaret Thatcher, or predecessor Theresa May. His mother, first or second wives, and fiancé also missed out. On the list: Malala, “a modern-day saint”, singer Kate Bush, and his Granny Butter, who “could not properly communicate with her half-Turkish husband because she was deaf and he always spoke with a pipe in his mouth.” The things you learn…
AN UNEXPECTED PLUS ONE…
We’ve all got that jerk relative who is determined to make your special occasions all about themselves. But bringing a llama to your wedding as their date is something else...
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.00pm (AEDT) - Women’s T20 World Cup Semi-Final - Australia v South Africa - Sydney
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to meet security ministers from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance - Washington DC
ABS Data Release - International Trade in Goods and Services, January
Anniversary of the birthdays of instant noodle inventor Momofuku Ando (1910) and Bee Gee Andy Gibb (1958)
Anniversary of the deaths of Joseph Stalin (1953), Patsy Cline (1963)
50th anniversary of the ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
Anniversary of Bob Hawke becoming PM (1983)
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