A Sniippet of weekly news #14 – July 2020

Good news on the global front with several vaccines progressing well in stage three trials. Meanwhile, Victoria continues to see increased coronavirus cases and measures.

The anti-viral medication Remdesivir has now been approved for use in Australia.

PM Morrison has ruled out an elimination strategy for the coronavirus and has announced extensions for JobKeeper and the supplement for JobSeeker.

The RBA governor laments the tough job market for young people while young people are protesting the possible US ban of TikTok.

With most flights grounded, one Greek student couldn’t wait and rode a bicycle back to Athens all the way from Scotland.

The one-minute weekly recap

A Sniippet for You

What are the changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker? (ABC, 21 July)

  • JobKeeper: from the end of September, payments for full-time workers are decreasing from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight. It will then drop to $1,000 in January before ending in March.
  • For part-time workers, payments are falling to $750 in September and then to $650 in January.
  • Employers will have to meet the hardship criteria in September and again in January.
  • JobSeeker: After September the supplemental payment will decrease from $550 to $250 a fortnight.
  • But, from the end of September, you will be able to earn $300 a fortnight, instead of the previous $106, before your JobSeeker payment is affected.
  • From 4 Aug, JobSeeker recipients will be required to start actively looking for work again


Australia’s first COVID-19 treatment approved (health.gov.au, 13 July)

  • Remdesivir has been given provisional approval for use in adults and adolescent patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms who have been hospitalised
  • Remdesivir has been found to reduce hospital time for those suffering from severe COVID
  • The Government is working to secure a sustainable supply of the medicine

Kogan faces big fines for lifting prices before ‘taxtime discounts’ (AFR, 17 July)

  • Kogan misled customers by lifting prices just before tax-time discounts according to the Federal Court
  • The discounts were around 10 percent but Kogan had lifted the price of over 600 products by at least 10 percent before the promotion
  • Kogan also reduced the prices of these products shortly after the promotion ended, many back to their pre-promotion levels

Please don’t take my TikTok away (AFR, 17 July)

  • A potential US ban has sparked an anit-Trump backlash among young users of TikTok
  • Some TikTok stars have already migrated to YouTube
  • Other apps like Byte are also looking to benefit

What you can do if your office isn’t adopting coronavirus-safe practices (ABC, 19 July)

  • All employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers at their workplace
  • If an employer fails to provide a safe workplace within the requirements of government directives and taking the safe workplace principles into account, an employee could contact the workplace health and safety (WHS) enforcement body in their state or territory
  • The Government has introduced the National COVID-19 safe workplace principles but by themselves they are not legally binding

Some good news on the COVID-19 vaccine front (Axios, 20 July)

  • The Oxford vaccine produces an immune response and is safe 
  • It is in phase three trials, the last step before possible approval
  • Other vaccines in phase three include, Moderna (US) and at least six Chinese vaccines
  • According to the Milken Institute’s tracker, there are 197 candidate vaccines in development, 19 of which are in some stage of clinical trials

The worst laser and inkjet printers we’ve tested (Choice, 17 July)

  • Worst inkjet: Canon Pixma TS3160; Worst colour laser: HP Colour LaserJet Pro M283fdw
  • It’s important to be realistic about what sort of printing you are likely to do most, and what features are essential for you
  • Ink is usually a bigger component of total cost than the printer itself

A Sniippet of Finance advice

11 investment lessons (Switzer Daily)

  •  The average fund manager does not beat indexes so that’s why index funds are a good option. Good fund managers deserve their premium.
  •  An investment property with a tax strategy can be a great way to build wealth pretty safely
  •  I like to have 20 shares in my portfolio so I only have 5 per cent exposure to any one company, but some people I respect think 10 to 15 can be okay

A Sniippet of Brain food

12 secrets of the brain to use in marketing (Lifehack)

  • Aim for a gut reaction: we have gut reactions in three seconds or less
  • Our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90 percent of the data that our brain processes is visual
  • We are drawn to pictures of human faces

A Sniippet of Trivia

Greek student bikes home from Scotland after flights were repeatedly canceled (UPI, 13 July)

  • The student was studying at the University of Aberdeen but could not fly home to Athens after his flights kept getting canceled 
  • He decided to bicycle the 3,500 kms home; it took 48 days
  • He cycled through England, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Italy before catching a ferry from Italy to Greece

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