JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Thursday Open Thread

8.3 out of 10 based on 12 ratings

154 comments to Thursday Open Thread

  • #
    Mark D.

    I have a question: Where to put investment monies when the economies are ramping back up? Certainly there are new places that will fare better than average and innovators that have come up with new ways to do things? My future retirement (if any) requires a better than average rebound.

    Thoughts?

    30

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Give it to me mate I’ll look after it !

      It’s actually a good question but anything supermarket I’d have thought , also anything related to hospital and medical supplies plus gold is always good .

      50

      • #
        joseph

        Some are saying silver is even better.

        30

        • #
          farmerbraun

          Some say gold. I have neither of those.
          Your comment brought to mind the words of a song from long ago and far away.
          And seeing as how it was an open thread I thought Cacofonix might get away with a song, the words of which may have had a bearing on the subject.
          Lo and behold , the song, which is just a ditty , had in one recent production, been “weaponised” . . . .maybe.

          You have been warned .

          And so without further ado:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwwgOyGZO-4

          11

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I was at Bunnings today.
        It was going gang busters.
        People are spending their money
        On where they spend their time.
        At home !

        And while the lock down might/will be eased
        I suspect that many people will be reluctant
        To leave their homes and take the chance on
        Getting this disease. for a while.

        30

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Good question Mark.

      One thing I saw from a previous crash was that each country can be different.

      In the big crash following the Clinton era big real estate lending spree there was a notable difference between the US and Australia.

      The US real estate seemed to go down very badly while we in Australia were OK. Our share-market was bad by comparison with the US.

      I suspect that with the government spending spree we will see inflation soon.

      Does that mean that bank deposits will get a good return? I don’t know.

      KK

      20

    • #

      Mark,

      Not that I’m any kind of investment guru but I have an adviser whom I do not hesitate to recommend. He’s done very well for me for a long time and I trust him. And he calls every client once a month to keep them updated. Something most do not do.

      You have my email address. Just let me know you’re interested and I’ll put you in touch with him or him with you. Just need your phone number and I’ll make the connection. By the way, he’s located in La Jolla, California {pronounced La Hoya, Spanish meaning the hole} and we do business by phone and US mail.

      I know he would give you this advice, beware the overly aggressive schemes that promise too much. They fail too often.

      70

    • #
      sophocles

      shares and land. Or land and some shares.

      cash up and exit late 2025 —2026 will be too late.

      20

      • #
        farmerbraun

        That’s a big call. You’re saying that TPTB can keep this bubble inflating until 2025?
        That would probably mean the Very Big Permanent Depression to run from 2026 until the cycle repeats.

        10

  • #
    TdeF

    Much as the Greens hate it, our country runs on coal and iron ore and gas. And they have been going very well, setting records during the lockdown. The rest of our economy is largely service industries and health and education. We make almost nothing, except perhaps toilet paper and the Greens have been trying to stop that. At least in Tasmania. And we have been using our incomes to buy German and Chinese windmills and solar panels. What we have not been doing is building dams and pipelines and coal power stations. We leave all that to the Chinese.

    Does anyone spot a problem with that?

    And the Greens who are over represented in the frequent flyer miles competition will have to stay home. Maybe this crisis will do some good as a real life threatening crisis makes nonsense of waiting 30 years for that catastrophic warming or sea level rise and those infallible computer models.

    So perhaps we can stop with the latest scare that we are going to lose our Great Barrier Reef. Again. And a few hundred million dollars need to be spent by the usual universities so they can sue any staff member with the temerity to suggest it is all made up.

    You would have to think the Great Barrier Reef might be a little less fragile than we are told. And this morning I read that cold water is as much of a threat as hot water. So that covers the lot. Just send millions.

    Still we should as a country be planning how we are going to work, holiday and enjoy this great country without half the population going overseas and being replaced by Chinese tourists. Maybe we could spend just a little advertising how good this will be? And encouraging Jetstar and Qantas that if they really want to impress us, they would go for low price, high volume internal flights.

    And as our Pacific neighbours clear the virus from their shores, why not help their struggling economies with our mineral driven wealth. New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Cook islands, Tonga, the Solomons, even as far as Tahiti, five hours from New Zealand.

    It sure beats paying them cash to not tie into the Chinese sphere of influence. Or giving them the odd patrol boat.

    This complete revolution in Australian holidays needs to be a positive thing for the country and its neighbours, 2% of the world’s population. And New Caledonia is only 400km further than Cairns from Melbourne.

    151

  • #
    Gf

    Enough is enough, people were laughing at Victoria’s strange and biased lock down rules, but they are now over it.
    It is passed time to fight back and put this virus to rest.The beurocrats have had their hour of limelight and can go back to doing nothing and the medicos back to what they ‘re greaght at. It is now a logistics issue to win the fight back starting in rural Australia where there are very few people known positive. Take these people out of the community and into supervised isolation as the two positives in our area have proved to stupid to trust. If the cities se the rurals back to normal they se some hope for themselves. The last thing we need is the food supplies to be
    compromised as the UK and US has. Don’t just watch the virus fight it.

    101

    • #
      Gf

      And my phone will have to learn to spell.

      50

      • #
        sophocles

        Gf said:

        And my phone will have to learn to spell.

        Nah! It’s fine. We now have a new term for the EU: Beurocrats. Serendipity, it really is.
        So leave yer phone alone and see what it comes up with next. 😀

        30

      • #
        Reverse Transcriptase

        Gf
        I se your phone is greaght.

        10

    • #

      GF, WA’s regional borders will help rural folk. Melbourne should be cut off temporarily. The more separate regions we have, the more we can isolate the last spots left with the virus. Once a region is clear — with no cases for ? I suppose 3 – 4 weeks or maybe 2 if there is a lot of testing — the region can open and go to school and work as per normal .

      Why should the regions have to wait for Melbourne to clear it’s cases?

      The only problem with separate regions is maintaining the borders but somehow getting food and trade through the border safely.

      90

      • #
        Sunni Bakchat

        Jo, it is indeed an interesting question as to how to get from where we are now as quickly as possible to global eradication or even Australian eradication of the disease. Perhaps the idea of eradication whilst good in theory, is not achievable? Perhaps the best means of minimising harm is a different path? If the Vo strategy is replicable Australia wide, leading to eradication, that would be great. But when i go through the scenario’s for achieving this, I constantly come back to Human Nature fouling it up every time.

        The above questions, quite unbelievably, might be unpopular on this blog. I don’t particularly care. It would be nice not to be constantly personally insulted by people who ought to know better. If this is really a science blog however, there ought to be a solid discussion on the details of how to achieve the desirable outcome seen in Vo on a national level. Ideas and Reason – Bring it on!

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” – Voltaire

        102

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          You base your views in this comment on’Human Nature”
          Well I guess the best human nature you know is yourself.
          And given that
          We are fortunate you are not here in Oz now
          But far away in Geneva !

          Meanwhile here in my part of Australia
          People are still doing the things necessary to destroy this virus here.
          Staying at home.
          Staying ~ 1.5 meters from others
          Working from home
          Etc..

          29

        • #
          el gordo

          ‘Perhaps the idea of eradication whilst good in theory, is not achievable?’

          Australia can achieve this by easing restrictions in regional and rural areas, with strong advice to city slickers to stay away unless tested. It should be easy to track down asymptomatic carriers through better detection, so we’ll have to take our chance and get life back to normal.

          41

      • #
        Richard Ilfeld

        You have pinpointed the biggest US internal problem.
        We half a state that never shut down, and a number of others with very loose rules.
        But we have no internal borders.
        If New York Opens early there is a real fear that New Yorkers who can will run for cover to rural areas.
        We have no internal travel restrictions. We cannot count on the common sense of big city dwellers.
        They are likely to suffer while rural folks get back to life because there is no way to manage
        their compliance with local rules if they become mobile.
        But it is clear that the folks in our hinterland are not disposed to wait an extra and unnecessary month because New York chooses
        to.
        This internal travel issue may become our toughes problem of all.

        40

      • #
        Chad

        Jo Nova
        April 17, 2020 at 12:30 am ·

        Why should the regions have to wait for Melbourne to clear it’s cases?

        The only problem with separate regions is maintaining the borders but somehow getting food and trade through the border safely.

        Presumeably , you would also include Sydney, Brisbane, and other “hot spots” ,..in those exclusions ?
        But “trade” and food , does not just mean a few hundred trucks passing “quarantine” checks…
        Trade is mass movement of people in and out of cities and regeons.thousands of people travel interstate between cities to facilitate “trade” .
        You cannot Email a particular Skillset across the country.
        Like wise on the bigger, more important, issue of International trade..

        20

  • #
    TdeF

    Personally I am hopeful that this has broken the back of the IPPC/WHO/EU/UN/IMF. These are destructive political machines. The advice given by WHO to the world was appalling. And the EU. This puts the fairyland IPCC in the same position, making up stories of imminent armageddon and computer models which have
    never made a correct prediction, after 32 years.

    You can add Australia’s Human Rights Commission which persecuted people with $5000 payments to shut up or be prosecuted. (One year they collected $350,000 in such payments). And when they went to court, they lost. Like JCU.

    Perhaps we can start to have a more realistic society after this? We could start by selling off the ABC/SBS. There is an internet app where you can listen to every radio station in the world for free, on your phone. Why do we have the SBS? Can somone tell them they are not needed? And the ABC.

    Then you have to ask what the CSIRO did with their 5,000 scientists in this time? More studies into Climate Change?

    There are so many people living off our tax money, like the University chancellors on $1Million a year salaries. And so many council employees on $400K salaries. It just has to stop, this stealing from the public.

    Most importantly we learned that the people, working together with the health professionals can make a difference. Now lets build those power stations and get electricity prices down to what they were. Then perhaps people can afford to manufacture again so we don’t have to buy everything made in China. In case anyone saw a problem with that?

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    • #
      GD

      Now let’s build those power stations and get electricity prices down to what they were. Then perhaps people can afford to manufacture again so we don’t have to buy everything made in China

      If the Nationals’ Matt Canavan was prime minister, that would be the immediate agenda. I don’t see it happening while Scott Morrison is PM.

      While ScoMo is handling the health crisis reasonably well, he is doggedly sticking to the Paris Agreement, and now he’s spruiking the achievements of the WHO.

      There’s a bit of Tony Abbott in ScoMo but a lot more of Malcolm Turnbull.

      Scott Morrison on the WHO.

      The US decision to stop funding the World Health Organisation sent shockwaves around the world on Thursday, however, Mr Morrison has confirmed Australia will continue to pay its share.

      “While I have had my criticisms of the WHO as have many other leaders, and I think they are very valid criticisms, we have got to remember also, while they may have had a few poor outings lately there are also some very important work they have been doing and I do want to make reference to it.

      110

      • #

        Speaking of the funding for the WHO, here’s a wonderful little snippet, eh, and again please forgive my cynicism.

        The Rotary Club of the U.S. contributes more to the WHO than China.

        Not the Rotary Club of China ….. the WHOLE of China.

        Tony.

        80

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Maybe the Rotary Club of the USA
          Will now choose to spend it’s money elsewhere !
          We can hope so.

          30

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Maybe the Rotary Club of the USA
          Will now choose to spend it’s money elsewhere !
          We can hope so.

          00

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          I would love to see your link on that.

          02

          • #

            But you don’t ever take those links, well any links really. You use that ploy to waste our time. We all know that.

            Tony.

            50

          • #

            And, to use your own advice you give to us, you have the Internet, so go look for yourself, eh!

            Tony.

            50

          • #
            AndyG55

            “I would love to see your link on that.”

            We would love to see your links on actual real empirical science that shows human CO2 causes global warming. Totally MIA !

            You have never shown Tony to be in-correct about anything.

            He has regularly shown you to be either totally wrong or totally mis-guided.

            40

        • #
          toorightmate

          A few decades ago, Rotary International was instrumental in ALMOST eliminating polio.

          10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The ideal guide to our future.

      10

    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      TdeF,
      We think so similarly on many topics.
      I have been trying to create formulae that can be said and remembered easily, so that policies made in the coming rebound phase can include some ideas. Most of these formulae have been said by many others before we, so here goes on some samples:

      1. No new regulation unless it replaces two or more existing.
      2. Divide jobs into two, those that generate new wealth for the nation and those that recycle existing wealth, and promote the former.
      3. Classify jobs into those that pay your salary when you succeed and those that rely on OPM and promote the former.
      4. Buy made in Australia ahead of made oversea.
      5. Promote activities that make Australia self-reliant in a crisis.

      Now we have some hard ones where I can express a wish, but not a formula for making it real. Examples –
      6. Revisit Australian education industries at all levels to ensure that heritage and nationalism remain proud concepts.
      7. Examine tertiary education entrance requirements to ensure that only those capable of succeeding are admitted, in terms of English language fluency, mathematical ability and at least one hard strand like geology, physics, chemistry, maths.
      8. For formal education, reserve Universities for top layer students and severely downplay the arts and humanities fringe dwellers, while retaining excellence in heritage, history, traditional literature, music, painting.

      And so on into the night …. Geoff S

      30

  • #
    Slithers

    Slithers Law states that ‘There Will Be Consequences’.

    Eliminate the bats, I hear pundits proclaim.
    Let me point out some consequences of doing that!
    Bats in the main are nocturnal and most types eat insects, BILLIONs of insects!
    No Bats will lead to a mega plague of insects!
    Insect larvae eat plants, so many more plants get eaten, lots and lots more plants.
    Cattle and sheep eat plants, do they eat diseased plants?
    Can Cattle and sheep get sick and die if they eat diseased plants?
    Sick Cattle and Sheep and large Vetenary bills are the likely consequence.
    Less meat and more expensive meat for human consumption is then the likely consequence.
    Humans like to eat many varieties of Fruits and plants so spoiled fruit and more plants eaten by insect larvae means less Fruit and plant food for humans. Fruit and Veg will be more expensive.
    The demand for insecticide will be huge, what will that do to the price of Fruit and Veg?
    What will all those chemicals in farm run-off do to the Great Barrier Reef?
    Then there is the fungal infections that are spread by insects so even less healthy plants and worm infested fruits, so less food for humans.

    Knee Jerk reactions often lead to injured knees!

    150

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Fruit bats
      Foreign to SA, & Vic.
      Eat Fruit.
      And are feral pests !

      23

      • #
        Slithers

        I know about Fruit Bats we see them fly over every evening. I have a relevant question about those new areas that they have emigrated to like Melbourne and parts of SA.
        Has there been an increase in Human illnesses that could even remotely be attributed to increase Fruit Bat numbers?
        I know that their roosting habits destroy trees. Their droppings are disgusting. Are there Possums falling sick? Are there more cockroaches, more beetles living under those trees where they roost?
        Could it be that Cockroaches are the silent carriers?
        Questions to which there are no answers, perhaps our universities could do some research???

        110

      • #
        robert rosicka

        The indigenous folk have been eating fruit bats for thousands of years here in oz and without ill effect .

        21

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Nahhhh !
          Not allowed now mate
          They are a protected species !

          00

          • #
            Chad

            Bill In Oz
            April 17, 2020 at 9:39 am ·…
            Not allowed now mate
            They are a protected species !

            Maybe you missed the “Indigenous”. part in that comment Bill ?
            ….they are a protected species also with traditional rights .!

            20

            • #
              Graeme#4

              So are bush turkeys.
              Great photo of a whopping big Cape York goanna in today’s The Australian, over a metre long, caught by the locals who said it was “yum” for dinner.

              10

        • #
          Serp

          Don’t tell Bruce Pascoe — he’ll have bats being farmed and umbrella factories built to process the skins.

          20

    • #

      Slithers. Good point. I’d kinda like microbats up the backyard. I’m told these tiny bats eat 1000 mossies a night. http://ausbats.org.au/install-a-microbat-house/4582876246

      Though like all bats… there is a catch.
      https://www.murdoch.edu.au/news/articles/microbats-of-western-australia-think-before-you-touch

      Sigh.

      60

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Jo, when I was farming, we set up roosts for the microbats.
        They are excellent predators of flying insects.
        I used to watch them at dusk flying over the dam below my home
        Catching their tucker on the wing.

        40

    • #
      Another Ian

      Re eliminating.

      Years agone a bloke fron NZ environment explained this from what they had learned eliminating introduced species from some islands there:-

      “The last 1% will take as long and cost as much as the first 99%”

      20

      • #
        farmerbraun

        He was probably referring to the opossums which really are a terrible scourge in NZ.
        That’s why the NZ Predator -Free by 2050 policy is “aspirational” (TM Jacinda Ardern), just like the one billion trees. We haven’t got one billion tree protectors for a start.
        Just propaganda, and plenty of it.

        20

  • #

    Anyone ready for an end to his virus crisis? I know I am, cabin fever isn’t my idea of living. It feels more like being in jail. And here we are, a month into the battle and it looks like the fight hasn’t even begun yet.

    I’m being held prisoner by an organism so small that only an electron microscope can see it. How easily the mighty are humbled and toppled from their ivory towers by little more than a few of the building blocks of living things cobbled together in a sham imitation of life. And yet it amazes me that such a thing can reproduce, find whatever nourishes it and carry on a life of some kind.

    Oh virus so small yet mighty;
    What is thy purpose so light and flighty;
    Doest thou waste the hours of my life so short;
    Or are you just junk and don’t give a snort.

    H-E-L-P ! 🙁

    Well what do you expect. They revoked my poet’s license back in middle school.

    110

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The virus is Looking
      Hunting !
      For you Roy.
      Stay safe a while longer !
      Here in Oz we have almost destroyed it.
      The maybe others will sit up & take notice
      Even in the USA
      Cheers !

      30

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      PS G & T may help defuse the cabin fever

      20

    • #

      Roy, you have a tougher lockdown than anyone at the moment. No even with your wife!

      61

      • #

        True, she can’t get in to see me and I can’t even get out of bed yet without help. If she would come to the front or side entrance and I would row my wheelchair to the entrance we could waive through the glass and that’s it.

        I survived a year in Saigon with only men for company and I’ll survive this too. Actually made some friends from those days and still exchange Christmas cards and occasional email with one of them. But I’d rather have my wife.

        70

        • #

          This lockdown has exposed how ridiculous we humans can be. I have a friend who lives adjacent to one of the major parks and it has a botanical garden with a hiking trail which remained open. He likes to get out walking and the hiking trail was ideal. But last I talked to him he was complaining that the trail was closed off because a man and his wife were seen walking along side by side instead of the mandatory 6 feet apart. For crissake! They sleep together in the same bed. But rules are no respecter of reality.

          160

          • #
            GD

            This lockdown has exposed how ridiculous we humans can be. I have a friend who lives adjacent to one of the major parks and it has a botanical garden with a hiking trail … But last I talked to him he was complaining that the trail was closed off

            Hi Roy, until I read Jo’s comment, I wasn’t aware of your situation. More strength and prayers to you.

            I live in Geelong, Victoria (AUS). My usual cycling paths included the Barwon River Trail, the Bellarine Rail Trail and the Geelong waterfront with Eastern Park and the Botanical Gardens. Absolutely breathtaking and sublime.

            However, with the lockdown, I am scared to go that far from home. The Victorian government has draconian measures in place to keep the populace in their homes. The fine for breaching these rules is $1652. People have been fined for riding 5 km from home. Another fine issued was for sitting on a park bench.

            As a pleasant aside, when riding the Barwon River Trail, I am often reminded of the ‘Florida Suite’ by Frederick Delius, particularly the 2nd movement: ‘By The River’ (from 12:36).

            I look forward to being able to do that again.

            All the best to you, Roy.

            80

            • #

              Thank you for the good wishes.

              Like you I have some favorite music, the Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Groffe that perfectly captures the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. I hope you can get back to Florida and while you’re at it, the Grand Canyon. The view over the south rim is spectacular.

              60

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                I wonder id I’ll ever get home and be able to listen to that Grand Canyon Suite or any of my collection again.

                30

    • #
      neil

      Today the Victorian government announced they are increasing ICU beds 10 fold from 400 to 4000. If we have flattened the curve why would they do this? All we have done with this lock down is delay the pandemic, we can’t keep our boarders closed forever we have to open up for business soon.

      The only way to beat Covid19 is with a vaccine and that could take five years the experts admit that 18 months is overly optimistic. The lockdown has been a delaying tactic to get our health services prepared but even if we reduce new infections in Australia to zero, as soon as we open our boarders it will be back but we can’t afford to suspend tourism and travel until a vaccine is available, we can’t stay isolated from the rest of the world for years.

      We are currently acting like we are at war but we refuse to fight the enemy for fear of taking casualties so we keep retreating. We have to get on with our lives, open up for business and just accept a lot more people are going to die before this is over

      132

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Some actual evidence to support your opinions
        Is normal on this infectious disease issue.
        Please !

        16

        • #
          neil

          Influenza virus crossed to humans in 1919 and killed 50 million people.Influenza still kills 400,000 people every year.

          How much evidence do you need?

          71

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Factually incorrect mate
            The Spanish Flu virus went extinct because it killed so many of it’s victims.
            The flu types which are around now are not Spanish flu virus.
            How do we know ?
            Well Back in the 1990’s a team of archeologists and infectious disease specialists
            went digging in the completely frozen grave in Alaska of a Inuit woman who died from Spanish Flu in 1919.
            They recovered samples of the extinct Spanish flu
            Genome sequenced it and found it was different to the ones we have now.
            From memory it is related to the H1N1 type.
            Not a COVID disease type.

            Do you have more evidence ?

            25

        • #
          Chad

          Bill In Oz
          April 17, 2020 at 1:17 am ·
          Some actual evidence to support your opinions
          Is normal on this infectious disease issue.

          Really bill ?….since when did anyone need .evidence to support an OPINION !

          50

          • #

            Since when? Since the beginning of time unless you want your opinion ignored. And who are these boarders? Sounds a bit gruesome that they were open in the first place.

            The only way to beat…

            02

            • #
              Chad

              As defined in the Cambridge Dictionary

              opinion
              noun [ C/U ]
              US /əˈpɪn·jən/

              the ideas that a person or a group of people have about something or someone, which are based mainly on their feelings and beliefs, or a single idea of this type:

              “Feelings and Beliefs “ ….not facts , or evidence !

              20

              • #
                Gee aye

                So. You seem to have confirmed my comment. If you want your opinion to be accepted, provide evidence. Thanks for the affirmation

                01

              • #
                Gee aye

                Just to be clear. Your definition of opinion just defines an opinion. It has nothing to do with supporting an opinion which was what I wrote about and you failed to address.

                Of course you can have an opinion without supporting it. How stupid to think that such an opinion has any weight compared with one which has support by data

                01

            • #
              robert rosicka

              And yet opinions count for everything when it comes to CAGW !

              10

      • #
        Sunni Bakchat

        Neil, There’s a source of hope in better treatment. The Chloroquine treatment discovery has great potential. Also the discovery this disease manifests more as a hypoxic type illness than viral pneumonia. If we keep learning about the disease and how to treat, we may become less reliant on the immediate hope for a vaccine.

        40

    • #
      James Murphy

      Roy, the only consolation I have for you is that there is merit in both gaining, and losing a poet’s license. To gain one, you must have known what you were doing, and to lose one, you must have broken poetry convention, and upset the right people – a sign of a true, if misunderstood and under-appreciated artist.

      50

    • #
      Raving

      You remember the Korean war and the follow on cold war.

      Youth of today have are unaware of a real ‘existential threat’. Even in it’s worst imagined danger, it is tame by comparison.

      12

  • #
    Slithers

    I should have said Knee Jerk reactions always lead to injured knees.

    40

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    For the record.

    It was just over a week ago that I had this exchange with that “former investment banker and first in finance” called AP. He seems to have gone back to his teller’s cage since then.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/04/weekend-unthreaded-305/#comment-2304593

    AP

    “Currently the Australian 2 year bond yield is 5.75%. This is the rate at which the Australian government borrows that $300 billion in stimulus cheques. It is NOT the RBA’s cash rate target. Completely different things.”

    Sceptical Sam:

    Tommy rot. You’re exaggerating AP.

    The Australian Government has three series on offer for next week (6, 7 and 8 Apr):

    1. $2.0 Billion at 2.25% maturing 21 November 2022
    2. $1.0 Billion at 1.50% maturing 21 June 2031
    3. 2.0 Billion at 5.50% maturing 21 April 2023.

    See those dates?

    https://www.aofm.gov.au/program/forthcoming-transactions#TB

    AP’s response:

    Also that may be what’s on offer, but thats not the current bond yield. The yield (set by the secondary market) ultimately determines the rate the gubbimint can get. Why participate in an offer on the primary market if you can pick up the same instruments on the secondary market at a better yield?

    You need to learn your stuff mate. I am a former investment banker and came first in finance.

    Sceptical Sam’s response:

    Re: Why participate…. etc

    An investment banker wouldn’t need to ask that question, sonny.

    Next week’s issues will be going at the rates set by the Government. Not the rates set by the secondary market. The Government is not raising funds in the secondary market.

    The proof of your tommy-rot will be seen next week when the Government gets the full $5 Billion away. And, every month thereafter.

    So today what do we hear?

    The Prime Minister tells us that on the bond markets $13 billion was raised yesterday with the offer being over subscribed with some $25 billion of bids.

    And in relation to the $5 billion raising over 6, 7, and 8 April which was the subject of AP’s tommy-rot, that issue was over bid by four times and at the rates offered by the AOFM.

    That particular announcement came in the PM’s briefing of this afternoon. You can catch the specific reference to the bond raising at around the 7:00 minute mark:

    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/04/pms-live-update-following-todays-coronavirus-national-cabinet-meeting.html

    The whole briefing is worth a listen.

    AP seems to be just another fly-by-nighter, two-bob-a-dozen, investment banker. No wonder he’s “a former”. I wonder if he’s any relation to that other former investment banker, and former politician, who had his book published today. A self-aggrandizing missive that nobody will buy and even fewer will borrow?

    🙂

    50

  • #
    James Murphy

    A phone app to track movements of people – for our own safety of course… I for one, would not install it (or a proposed French equivalent). I do not believe for a second that this application of existing technology will be secure, anonymous, or restricted to the current human malware pandemic.

    Of course, the ABC is right on board though:
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-16/coronavirus-tracing-app-should-i-download-it/12151324

    If the phrase “We don’t have the luxury of debate time” doesn’t ring alarm bells, I don’t know what does.

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    • #

      I read that. If you know me at all you know my traction was, “Hell no.” That scares me more than the virus and I don’t even live in Australia. I hope no one downloads the app. The problem here is fear. You never know what that will do inside someone’s head, including government types. Let’s hope no one downloads the app —— serve the right if no on did.

      50

      • #
        James Murphy

        I don’t know how the Aussie one would work, but I know some may be based on trusting the user to enter correct information. I would not be surprised if:
        – People lie
        – medical treatment is withheld if the patient doesn’t install the app
        – People leave their registered phones at home, or just turn off bluetooth for those apps planning to use this as another locator.
        – People decided to cause an inordinate amount of trouble by saying they have it, just after, say, catching public transport, or visiting a supermarket, or a Centrelink (social security) office or other public service. (‘accidental’ slip of the finger in the app,, or course)
        – As has been done to fool google traffic, someone carries a bag full of ‘tested positive’ phones around
        – Lots of people lie about being positive to protest the gross violation of privacy that this sort of tracking represents.
        – People change the status on other people’s phones to ‘positive’ as a ‘joke’
        – Workplaces will force employees to use it, or something like it, threatening them with being fired or having pay cut if they do not
        – There will be data breaches, and it will be discovered that there is a lot of personally identifiable information ‘accidentally’ stored too.
        – The data will be used as evidence in court cases, either by the prosecution or defence.
        – A police force will say they need access to the data to stop drug dealers, human trafficking, etc, which will set a nice precedent for more widespread use
        – People cheating on their significant other will get caught out!
        – Simultaneous claims that both Installing the app, and not installing the app is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, dangerous for women, only suitable for tracking white males, or some other thing that upsets the far-left on a hourly basis.
        – Individuals or companies will make a fortune out of the data and/or providing and maintaining the app

        The weather is getting nice in my part of the world, and when cafes and bars are open again, I can just imagine the devastation caused if just one person decided to say they tested positive (or they really did catch it). They could just be sitting outside at a cafe on a narrow street, drinking a beer while hundreds of people will be flagged as being in close proximity to them.

        50

        • #
          farmerbraun

          The people of China got around it by having two phones. I believe that is the reason that a large number of cell phones in China were recently ” de-activated”.

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        • #

          Mr Smith, we noticed that you left your mobile phone at home when you were out recently, why is that?

          Umm! How do you know I was out?

          CCTV!

          (who would have thought?)

          Ever wondered why the ALP always employs more Public Servants whenever they win Government.

          Tony.

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        • #

          That second item in your list is the one that would worry me. But the rest are pretty much possible if people want to d it.

          20

        • #
          Chad

          James Murphy
          April 17, 2020 at 5:24 am ·
          I don’t know how the Aussie one would work, but I know some may be based on trusting the user to enter correct information.

          ….Well you can rest easy…since that is NOT the was the proposed system is intended to function.
          NO operator input required.
          Do a little research.

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    • #

      I read that. If you know me at all you know my traction was, “Hell no.” That scares me more than the virus and I don’t even live in Australia. I hope no one downloads the app. The problem here is fear. You never know what that will do inside someone’s head, including government types. Let’s hope no one downloads the app — serve them right if no on did.

      50

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Morrison’s support for the tracking app is being discussed in The Australian this morning.

      30

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Well this issue of the tracking app has just became more interesting. We now have the CMO saying they may have to consider compulsory tracking if insufficient folks don’t sign up to be tracked – the percentage quoted is 40%. Certainly raised a few hackles over in The Oz.

        20

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    The Swiss government announces easing of lockdown restrictions from the 27th April – https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-78818.html

    21

  • #

    I’m amazed at how a supposedly serious branch of science was formed based on completely junk physics.

    http://phzoe.com/2020/04/08/do-blankets-warm-you/

    What’s more amazing is how many skeptics defend it.

    Why? Do they fear being ridiculed by imbeciles?

    It just boggles the mind.

    44

    • #
      AndyG55

      Furthermore,

      When the Earth’s surface,(body), becomes warm…

      The atmosphere acts to COOL the surface.

      That is one clever “blanket” 😉

      The “blanket” analogy is one based on total ignorance of how the atmosphere works to help regulate the surface temperature.

      But that is “climate science” for you.

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  • #
    • #
      farmerbraun

      We are not even in the winter flu season here in Godzone. By the end of May we will be.
      But who knows? We might get a really sunny but cold winter . That would be very good for carbon sequestration in permanent pastures. And good for Vitamin D. Also for isolation by staying at home if you are alone .Also good for depression and probably general health.
      Anyway, the G.P. were told right at the outset to expect waves , and level switching for about a year.That seems logical .

      11

    • #
      Sunni Bakchat

      Sophocles, very interesting. Especially the commentary in the article about the delayed peak. It seems we can control the rate of infection and thereby spare our hospitals from overload; but any attempts to disrupt the long term potentiality of the virus is far more difficult and very, very costly.

      11

    • #
      Sunni Bakchat

      [ Duplicate]

      01

  • #
    Raving

    Growth in new cases for Ontario has been 6% per day for a week now. Similar increases in Quebec..

    Another day, another nursing home story, in the USA this time …
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/nyregion/coronavirus-nj-andover-nursing-home-deaths.html?referringSource=articleShare

    The pattern emerges of contagion invading protected bubbles .. .be they long term care homes, warehouses meat packers or aircraft carriers.. Once the bubble is infected, the virus spreads quickly and maybe close to 100% attack over time. Old people die easily from it.

    Too many bubbles out there. Lifting social distancing will increase the chsnce of infecting the local bubble

    Was hoping the virus would die out as it might in Australia. Would like to imagine that declining world statistics were because covid was somehow naturally in decline, perhaps seasonal but better globally so.

    Unfortunately the infection, flare up and deaths regarding these close contact bubbles says otherwise

    11

    • #
      farmerbraun

      That’s how it is in NZ also, but denial is prevalent because of the “messaging”.
      I doubt that Australia is any different, but “it’s too soon to say”.

      Here we pretend that the rest home bubbles were protected, but the facts always said the opposite, and the facts were denied. Everyone knows what the different levels of “scrub up” and “clean ” mean ; say food processing compared to surgical.
      So I wonder why you said “protected bubbles” ; I didn’t see any.

      01

      • #
        Raving

        Protected bubble is used loosely to describe a closed population in extended close proximity.

        The irony is that nursing homes are locked down to protect the residents from visitors carrying infections inside from outside.

        The staff at these homes who might also work at multiple health care locations bring in infections to the locked down / protectted / isolated incubators 🙁

        21

      • #
        Raving

        Protected bubble is used loosely to describe a closed population in extended close proximity.

        The irony is that nursing homes are locked down to protect the residents from visitors carrying infections inside from outside.

        The staff at these homes who might also work at multiple health care locations bring in infections to the locked down / protectted / isolated incubators 🙁

        01

    • #
      Sunni Bakchat

      Raving, I’m not sure if you saw Jo’s excellent post last week on Microdroplet distribution. According to the research on microdroplets, simple changes like increased fresh air ventilation and reduced contact times could greatly reduce transmission. Are the patients in these nursing homes wearing masks? I gather being Canada, many of these building are designed for very cold weather and therefore might be sealed up preventing natural ventilation?

      It seems the health authorities in Canada governing these institutions either don’t know how the transmission is occurring or are unable to do anything about it.

      20

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Some nursing homes here forbid the use of PPE around the old folks the reason given ” so as not to upset or scare them” , only used if one resident has confirmed infection and even then only on the one resident.

        30

    • #
      Sunni Bakchat

      Raving, I’m not sure if you saw Jo’s excellent post last week on Microdroplet distribution. According to the research on microdroplets, simple changes like increased fresh air ventilation and reduced contact times could greatly reduce transmission. Are the patients in these nursing homes wearing masks? I gather being Canada, many of these building are designed for very cold weather and therefore might be sealed up preventing natural ventilation?

      It seems the health authorities in Canada governing these institutions either don’t know how the transmission is occurring or are unable to do anything about it.

      40

      • #
        Raving

        Very little PPG. Underpaid staff that get sick resulting in shortage. Seniors wharehoused, a few to a room. Same story in the UK and some of the U.S. can imagine therare some very expensive nursing homes elsewhere in the US.

        Think of 2 to 4 seniors in a small room, which need help doing everything. No provision for social distancing oreven for sufficient staff to care properly in good times

        No PPG even for hospitals here. Scrambling to get supply for primary health care staff. Similar situation to Europe and the US. Our government is thinking of sending the army into these long care homes to help boost caregiving

        Droplet and ventilation system is really low down on the list here. Much more basic issues are failing
        The droplet thing might be important with ships and meat packers. They both have air conditioning chillers

        https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/covid-care-homes-warnings-1.5532312

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  • #
    Another Ian

    “Another Climate-COVID Computer Modelling Similarity”

    http://coyoteblog.com/?doing_wp_cron=1587071873.4362659454345703125000

    10

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Third bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef in three years. I’m going to love the explanation for this.

    07

    • #
      robert rosicka

      You go first Peter ?

      30

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Robert, I have no explanation, but I would believe those which did the survey. Why 3 times in 5 years? there is no comparable period in the relatively short history of these events.

        03

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Reef bleaching is not a new phenomenon despite what the alarmist scientists say and as you admit ” short history ” , it’s a bit like saying that the past few winters have been colder than the last few summers .

          20

        • #
          toorightmate

          Peter,
          You believe those brilliant researchers, but not Peter Ridd now Jennifer Marohasey. You are a very bright specimen indeed – certainly not bleaching.

          10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Bleach spill up river?

      70

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Check out Jennifer Marohassy’s blog.
      It ain’t happening.
      More BS from a discredited BS academic at JCU>

      40

    • #
      Graeme#4

      So somebody flies over the GBR at over 100 kmh at a height, and from that speed and height can accurately determine that the reef is bleaching? Would you really give any credence to that method as a scientific study?

      50

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Yep – given the remote sensing equipment available today, it would be a doddle.

        04

        • #
          AndyG55

          “given the remote sensing equipment available today,”

          But not in the 1970s, or even up to the early 2000s, so nothing to compare it to.

          And remote sensing would only pick up the near-surface bleaching, which is usually to do with lower than normal sea levels and less surface water currents.

          Engage your brain, if you can find it.!

          20

    • #
      Chad

      Peter Fitzroy
      April 17, 2020 at 7:52 am ·
      Third bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef in three years. I’m going to love the explanation for this

      Err ?.. maybe thay have not been looking that frequently or closely previously ?

      10

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        IT has been reported on since the 1970’s, but the frequency has changed, from 1 in 20 – to the 3 in 5 now.

        02

        • #
          AndyG55

          has been reported “

          Very funny, !

          El Nino conditions for last few years.

          Why do you continue to be-clown yourself ?

          10

        • #
          el gordo

          Upwelling sir …

          ‘Upwelling in the GBR is enhanced during doldrums conditions that were a feature of these summers. During these conditions, the poleward-flowing East Australian Current flows faster, lifting the thermocline closer to the surface, spilling more sub-thermocline waters onto the shelf. Doldrums conditions also result in intense local heating, stratification of the water column, and, when severe, coral bleaching.

          ‘Upwelling intrusions are spatially restricted (central GBR), generally remain subsurface, and are often intermittent, allowing GBR-wide bleaching to occur despite conditions resulting in enhanced upwelling.

          ‘Intense upwelling events precede anomalous seasonal temperature maxima by up to 2 months and bleaching by 1–3 wk, leading to the prospect of using upwelling activity as a seasonal forecasting index of unusually warm summers and widespread bleaching.’

          10

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    Emirates becomes the first airline in the world to test all passengers before departure. Results available in ten minutes – https://theweek.com/speedreads/909119/airline-conducts-covid19-blood-tests-passengers

    30

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Good !
      I hope that this actually works well reliably.
      I also suggest that this MUST become standard procedure
      For all international airline flights to Australia.
      NO ONE has the right to bring infectious diseases here.

      11

    • #
      Graeme#4

      But the use of their test kits have been questioned. It seems that these instant test kits suffer from many false positives and negatives.

      20

    • #
      Annie

      That’s good news! They also require all passengers to wear a mask. I wonder if that’s the case on EK407 yet?

      10

  • #
    Robber

    This darn elusive virus.
    How did “fortress” Tasmania suddenly become a hot spot?
    Average daily number of new cases over last 5 days: Tas 9; NSW 10; Vic 7; Qld 8; SA 1; WA 4
    Still, overall promising trends from a peak of new cases around 380 per day in late March, daily average for last 5 days is 40.
    And number of active cases now 2669, down from 3161 a week ago. Cases in hospital 201, intensive care 66.
    Will Australia hit zero new cases before mid May?

    20

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Rumour says Medical staff there had a big party !
      Police investigating.

      Some medical staff there are saying
      ‘No enough PPE in the hospitals’

      But let’s be frank
      Everywhere in Oz has had a major shortage of PPE
      During this pandemic.
      No reserve stocks were built up in January/February.

      ( Evidence : On April first, I was involved in a vehicle collision
      None of the Emergency service people who attended had PPE.
      NONE.
      And the staff at the Scanning Lab I attended
      Had just ONW face mask a day !)

      So I doubt that it was a shortage of PPE
      Which caused the big outbreak in NW Tassie.

      10

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Turns out a medical person from that area lied about their medical status.

      10

  • #
    RicDre

    Well, here we go again:

    Democrats Say Trump’s Halt to W.H.O. Funding Breaks ‘Same Spending Laws that Brought About His Impeachment’

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/16/democrats-threatening-impeachment-over-trumps-order-to-halt-w-h-o-funding/

    30

    • #
      PeterS

      I doubt Trump will put up with another nonsensical impeachment process. He ought to come out will all guns blazing that surely will lead to many arrests for treason or other crimes.

      20

    • #
      Serp

      “Same Spending Laws that Brought About His Attempted Impeachment” surely.

      10

      • #
        RicDre

        “Same Spending Laws that Brought About His Attempted Impeachment”

        Actually the original quote, without the word “Attempted” is correct. Its a two-part system, The House of Representatives votes to impeach the President and if that vote succeeds by a simple majority then the Senate conducts a trial then votes to decide if the President will be removed from office (a two-thirds majority vote is required in the Senate to remove the president from office). In the history of the US, three presidents have been successfully impeached by the House of Representatives but none of them were removed from office by the Senate.

        10

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    Early testing with Remdesivir showing excellent results. https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/16/early-peek-at-data-on-gilead-coronavirus-drug-suggests-patients-are-responding-to-treatment/

    Will Chloroquine and Remdesivir shift the focus from Vaccines to Treatment in the short to medium term. It’s increasingly likely.

    50

    • #
      Graeme#4

      The linkage between Remdesivir and the Wuhan lab is interesting. They apparently tried to patent the drug in January.
      Story here: https://www.trialsitenews.com/wuhan-institute-of-virology-china-sought-to-patent-gileads-remdesivir/

      30

    • #
      Orson

      I posted a handful of paragraphs at the bottom of the April 6? thread on Sheep Dip and Ivermectin thread (jolly good humour, Jo, even if lost on many). But Dr Amit Patel reports an observational study of severely distressed COV19 patients — in ICUs and on ventilators — showing death rates from a single dose of Ivermectin at less than half, and time in hospital reduced by one-third! In other words, very promising results.

      Are the Aussie in vitro scientist-pioneers going to be sheep dip heros?
      The preprint paper abstract is here. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3570270

      Also, see the link to a pathologists breakdown of Patel’s findings at my original post. Patel introduces and closes his abstract thusly:

      As the quest to define an anti-viral therapy for treatment of COVID-19 illness continues with little success, a new potential candidate has emerged. [Namely, Ivermectin.] …

      In COVID-19 illness, critically ill patients with lung injury requiring mechanical ventilation may benefit from administration of Ivermectin. We noted a lower mortality and reduced healthcare resource use in those treated with ivermectin. These observations should not be considered definitive [but nevertheless] allow for translation of a hypothesis from bench to bedside which will require confirmation in a controlled clinical trial setting .

      21

  • #
    Dave in the States

    So much for the future of public transportation and the demise of privately owned ICE vehicles:

    https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/mta-was-major-disseminator-coronavirus-nyc-study-argues

    30

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘The Australian economy faces a projected $30 billion to $60 billion hit within the next three years from the loss of revenue from international students.’ SMH

    10

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    In The Australian Thurs. 16th (p.13 & 20) there is an article by Perry Williams claiming that coal fired producers may be shutting down soon. Based on a report by a firm called RepuTex who are apparently modellers.

    The article mentions the drop in consumption due to the Covid19 and a fall in the wholesale price. With the drop in oil & gas prices, and the rise in large scale renewable projects they expect the wholesale price to drop below $50 a MWh, making it uneconomical for black coal fired plants to operate at a profit.

    If that is the case we can expect blackouts very soon after and very upset voters.

    I haven’t bothered to read the report which can be found here:
    https://www.reputex.com/research-insights/covid-19-pandemic-creates-a-perfect-storm-for-forecast-wholesale-electricity-prices/

    While it does mention that the lower $Aus would make new renewable projects more expensive, it misses the obvious that renewables can only compete in the wholesale market because their profit depends on subsidies loaded onto the retailer. $40 or $50 a MWh doesn’t make that much difference if you can gouge the voters for $80 regardless of any benefit.

    30

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Please correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t the coal fired producers have to pay a subsidy to the renewable generators?

      10

      • #
        Robber

        Correction G#4: Retailers must buy LGCs from renewable generators to meet a set target of GWhrs.
        Those certificates were selling for $80/MWhr, but now $31/MWhr as presumably there is now a slight surplus available.

        10

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          So more renewable generation means more Certificates available, hence lower price.
          So, while the “CHEAPEST” form of electricity looks possible at $50 + $31 per MWh, are they going to make money at $40 + $20?

          I foresee a business opportunity…..scrap metal recovery from unwanted wind turbines.

          20

        • #
          Graeme#4

          Thanks for clarifying this Robber. Much appreciated.

          10

  • #
    Another Ian

    “UK’s Five Tests to Lift the Lockdown Revealed, as Measures Extended Another Three Weeks”

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/16/three-more-weeks-raab-reveals-uks-five-tests-to-lift-the-lockdown/

    “After you Alphonse; so long as I get there first”?

    00

  • #
    Murray Shaw

    Absolutely amazing in this time of great technology and science advances that we have had to resort to medieval methods to combat this virus.

    10

  • #
    Tel

    Total long shot here.

    Dr Roy Spencer found a strange statistical inverse-correlation between countries high in Malaria and the lethality of COVID-19.

    Did you know that Malaria also has a type of pneumonia associated with it?

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2566801/

    Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a major cause of death in adults with severe malaria [1, 2]. In hospital case series of severe malaria, 9%-23% of patients developed pulmonary edema [3-5]. Without ventilatory support for affected patients, the mortality for malaria-associated ARDS reaches at least 80% [2], which is higher than the 15%-30% overall case-fatality rate for severe malaria [1]. Despite this finding, the pathogenesis of ARDS in patients with severe malaria is poorly understood; no previous studies have examined altered pulmonary physiology in patients with severe malaria [2]. Microvascular sequestration of parasitized red blood cells (RBCs) underlies most extrapulmonary organ-specific manifestations of severe falciparum malaria [6, 7]. However, ARDS usually commences during the first 5 days after the start of treatment, when peripheral parasitemia has decreased or disappeared [1, 8-10]. It has therefore been hypothesized that lung injury following treatment of malaria may be predominantly an inflammatory response, rather than a purely microvascular mechanical obstructive phenomenon [11].

    Is it not interesting that this mechanism sounds rather similar to what is happening in COVID-19 patients?

    Any at the same time we have a drug that is known to have anti-malarial properties which happens to also be helping patients with COVID-19 but no one knows exactly why.

    I mean, what are the chances?

    Is is possible that some of these patients in hospital might be Malaria patients all along, and the reason that the drug works so well is that it is indeed treating Malaria? Has anyone tested? What I have learned from years of fault finding is always take a look, just in case. It’s amazing how much you don’t see when you don’t look. Do some tests then get back to me.

    50

  • #
    farmerbraun

    This is for Tonyb when he gets in. The predicted contraction for the June quarter is a bit alarming.

    https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2020-04/weu-17apr20.pdf

    00

  • #
    el gordo

    Media news, opportunity for the Cat to unload excess baggage.

    ‘Earlier this week I advised employees that the printing operations at some of our press sites and the production of a number of our non-daily publications would be suspended for three months.

    ‘Our 14 daily newspapers and our leading agricultural journals in each state are not affected, but some of our smaller non-daily titles will not be published from next week and will offer limited news coverage on their websites.’

    Antony Catalano (ACM)

    10

  • #
    greggg

    Covid 19 antibodies breakthrough made in San Francisco.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDBVwqNOBXY

    00

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Falling demand for electricity caused by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could leave Western Australia’s main electricity system at risk of a solar power overload within months, experts have warned.’ ABC

    10