Squiz Today / 23 June 2020
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 23 June
“If there's social distancing we probably won't go ahead.”
Said Riverina Bachelor and Spinster’s Ball organiser Ash Craig of the impact the coronavirus crisis will have on the infamous social mixers. Because whatever social distancing is, the opposite is a B&S ball…
CONFIDENCE IN CORONA CONTAINMENT HERE AS WORLD CASES SKYROCKET
As the World Health Organisation reported record new coronavirus cases on Sunday, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the “understandable” level of complacency here in Australia that has crept in after months of restrictions is “dangerous”. Talking about some hotspots in Victoria, Murphy said he was confident the state would "get on top of this" as the spike of new infections from community transmission continued yesterday. In the seven days to Monday, Victoria recorded 121 cases of coronavirus, only 34 of which were in recently returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine. Locals now face hard restrictions as officials rush to get hold of 1,000 people who came into contact with those with confirmed cases. PM Scott Morrison said we can expect to see more outbreaks where localised restrictions will need to be put in place. It’s all "part of living with COVID-19," he said yesterday.
HOW DO OTHER AREAS FEEL ABOUT THAT?
So-so… With school holidays about to start, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged people from Melbourne’s affected suburbs to stay at home, and says residents from her state shouldn’t go to Melbourne “unless they have to”. Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday said that “everyone should be concerned” about what’s going down in Victoria. She hasn’t said whether it will delay Queensland’s border reopening.
AND THE WORLD IS ALSO STRUGGLING...
It sure is. Included in the weekend's record rise in new cases was a big bump in Brazil’s tally - it recorded almost 55,000 new cases on Sunday. In total, it has seen 50,000 coronavirus deaths and has recorded more than one million cases since the start of the pandemic. The US was next with more than 36,000 cases reported on Sunday, and then there were 15,400 from India. And a charity tennis tournament in Serbia and Croatia hosted by star player Novak Djokovic has seen the virus spread to two top 40 players. In better news, last week’s spike in cases in China and South Korea has slowed. Across the world, nearly 9 million people have been infected, and more than 468,000 people have died.
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HIGH COURT JUDGE HARASSED ASSOCIATES
Former High Court Justice Dyson Heydon sexually harassed six staffers, an independent inquiry undertaken by the court has found. Appointed to the nation’s top court by the Howard Government in 2003, Heydon was there until 2013. And in 2014 he was appointed by then Prime Minister Tony Abbott to oversee the Royal Commission into trade unions. The inquiry into Heydon focused on claims of sexual harassment made by six women from his time as a High Court Justice, five of whom were his associates. Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said she personally apologised to the women, saying “their accounts of their experiences at the time have been believed”. A separate investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald uncovered other allegations of harassment and assault. Heydon’s lawyers said “any allegation of predatory behaviour or breaches of the law is categorically denied by our client."
TRUMP DELAYED UYGHUR SANCTIONS TO SAVE TRADE TALKS
US President Donald Trump has been accused of being ‘transactional’ when it comes to human rights. It follows an interview he gave where he said he held off on imposing sanctions against Chinese officials involved with the mass detention of Uyghur Muslims because it would have interfered with his trade deal with Beijing. American officials and human rights groups say that China has placed up to one million Uyghurs in indoctrination camps in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang region. But Trump said the $250 billion trade deal was important for his nation’s economy. PM Scott Morrison has previously said Australia has raised its concerns about the treatment of the Uyghurs with China. #SquizShortcut
30KM/HR LIMIT GETS MIXED REACTION
Tassie lawmakers are looking into lowering the current driving limit in some areas of Hobart’s CBD from 50km/hr to 30km/hr to make the roads safer for pedestrians. Since 2009, there have been 11 serious accidents involving pedestrians in the city’s CBD, including the death of a UK woman in September last year. While the proposal isn’t popular amongst many drivers who argue it will cause more traffic congestion, it’s been backed by the likes of Bicycle Network Tasmania. The Hobart City Council will vote on it tomorrow. And we’d like some acknowledgement of how disciplined we’ve been in not making any jokes linking this the pace of life on the Apple Isle, please. Luv ya, Tassie…
ARTIC HEATWAVE TO SMASH RECORDS...
Remember weather fluctuations? Still a thing… And it’s certainly the case in Verkhoyansk, a Siberian town that reached a stinking 38C on Saturday - a likely all-time high-temperature record. Extreme weather in that part of the world is not uncommon with temperatures diving to an average minimum of -42C in January, and going up to 20C in June. But weather watchers say the Arctic Circle is currently in the middle of a heatwave that is exacerbating wildfires. The higher temperatures are also kicking along the thawing of the once permanently frozen permafrost below ground, and that’s a problem because carbon dioxide and methane previously locked up below ground are released, and it contributes to rising sea-levels.
...AND A DUST CLOUD THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM SPACE
A 3000km-wide dust plume stirred up in the Sahara Desert is making an 8,000km journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the east coast of the US where it’s expected to drift at altitudes between 20,000 and 30,000 feet. But it isn’t a random event - every year, billions of kilos of dust are picked up from Africa and carried across the ocean where it adds to beaches in the Caribbean and fertilises soils in the Amazon. Dust plumes are common during the Atlantic hurricane season from June to November. So while it's terrible news for anyone with a dust allergy, it also creates the perfect opportunity to take some pretty sunset snaps. You can check out the satellite images on NASA’s website. The things you learn…
THE ORIGINAL AND THE BEST
The faux feud between Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds - adorable. But when it comes to agro for show, nothing comes near Matt Damon and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. It's been going on for a while. And yesterday things hit a new high/low...
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Olympic Day, commemorating the formal establishment of the International Olympic Committee in 1894
Birthdays for Frances McDormand (1957) and Joel Edgerton (1974)
• the first contraceptive pill is made available for purchase in the US (1960)
• 20 years since the Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire that killed 15 tourists visiting the Queensland town (2000)
• the United Kingdom voting in a referendum to leave the European Union (2016)
• Ash Barty winning the Birmingham title, becoming women's world #1 (2019)
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