Squiz Today / 13 December 2023

Squiz Today – 13 December 2023

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Despite what my teenage self would tell you, there is a limit to how much ice cream I can enjoy.”

Said brave reviewer Nicholas Jordan, who taste-tested supermarket choc-covered ice creams on a stick. He and his mates took things seriously, rating the ice cream’s chocolate snap, appearance, taste, and “structural integrity”. And the winner was one we heartily agree with – it’s hard to beat a Classic Magnum…

No deal at COP28

COP on the rocks

The Squiz

The United Nations-hosted climate talks in Dubai have headed into overtime, with Australia part of a group of nations refusing to sign a proposed deal on phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Nations including the US, UK, New Zealand, Norway, and Israel have joined Oz in pushing for an agreement that strengthens the commitment to do that, describing what’s being proposed by the conference leaders as “grossly insufficient”. On the other side of the argument are nations including China, India, and Saudi Arabia – they support the version which suggests countries “could” phase out fossil fuels.

That’s not what I was expecting… 

Yeah, because it seems like Australia’s always in trouble at these meetings over our role as the world’s third-largest fossil fuel exporter… So to explain, at the annual COP summit, countries are asked to agree on a big joint statement – and this year, the main question was whether an agreement on reducing or eliminating fossil fuel production could be reached. It’s tricky, so the version conference leaders put to all 198 countries was an agreement to “take actions that could include” a reduction of fossil fuels. Samoan delegate Cedric Schuster called it a “death certificate.” And the Albanese Government’s Chris Bowen agreed – “I speak as the climate and energy minister of one of the world’s largest fossil fuel exporters. We also live in the Pacific, and we are not going to see our brothers and sisters inundated and their countries swallowed by the seas,” he told the conference.

So Australia’s now for phasing out fossil fuels?

Umm not quite… “We don’t need to phase out fossil fuel emissions,” Bowen said – and the key word in that equation is ‘abatement’. The idea is that fossil fuel use can continue if their emissions are dealt with through measures like carbon capture and storage – but the jury is out on whether that actually works… Bowen and Co want the final statement to include ending “unabated” fossil fuel use – so that’s being discussed as we speak. So COP28, which was meant to be over by now, is still in motion, and negotiators are furiously, umm, negotiating to get a deal that includes more ambitious language to address the cause of the climate crisis. Exciting, huh?

World News

Squiz the Rest

A mega storm intensifies

Communities in Far North Queensland are preparing for what could be days without power as Cyclone Jasper closes in. It’s currently a Category 1 storm, but yesterday, the Bureau of Meteorology said it’s likely to strengthen into a Category 2 before making landfall near Port Douglas around 1pm local time today. Here’s a guide on how to prepare if you’re in the red zone – but to give you a preview, the experts say winds of up to 140km/hour and flash flooding are on the cards, with a dump of up to 500mm of rain in some areas. That’s more than 3 months’ worth of rainfall in that part of the world… Police Minister Mark Ryan said the message for locals is that “things are going to get a little bit rough over the next 12-24 hours”. If you’re up that way, we’re thinking of you today… 

Australian News Weather

Queensland gets a new Premier…

Well, almost… Steven Miles is set to become the 40th Premier of Queensland after doing a deal with Treasurer Cameron Dick, who was eyeing a run for the top job himself. The pair will take the top jobs after Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman withdrew from the race yesterday (so let’s see what, if anything, she gets out of it…). Miles says the “ultimate decision rests with Caucus” when it meets on Friday. But if the big chair is his, Miles says his focus will be on cost-of-living pressures, with Queensland to freeze car registration fees for a year from July 2024. “I said to Cameron … let’s find something right away that we can do that can help Queenslanders, and this is what we came up with,” Miles said of the idea. 


Answering a threshold question

US Special Counsel Jack Smith – the bloke charged with investigating former US President Donald Trump’s role in the 2021 riot on the Capitol – has asked the Supreme Court to decide if Trump can be prosecuted for alleged crimes committed while in office. It’s a question that keeps coming up, and Smith wants an answer before the criminal trial gets going next year. “This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former president is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution,” Smith said. The Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track the request and ordered Trump’s lawyers to file their response by 20 December as they continue to call the prosecution politically motivated. Whatever the answer, experts say it will be a significant moment in US legal history – but that’s Trump for you… 

World News

Leaving the team

Netball Australia’s boss Kelly Ryan has thrown in the towel after a bruising and long-running pay dispute with the players’ union. Ryan took the job in mid-2021, and it’s been a rollercoaster – controversies aplenty and the loss of $18 million in government funding happened on her watch. Stacey West, Netball Australia’s executive general manager for performance, has been handed the acting CEO baton. “The sport has a lot going for it. Yes, we’ve come out of a difficult period, but all parties are working to move forward,” said NA Chair Wendy Archer. And in a bit of a trend, the NRL’s Wests Tigers has also seen a major shake-up – yesterday, the board was dismissed, with chief executive Justin Pascoe also resigning. Former NSW Premier/Tigers tragic Barry O’Farrell will become the interim chairman. 


Google googles the top searches

You’re not the only one who’s done some internet sleuthing to get across the major events of 2023… The Google Year in Search results are in, and here in Oz, the top news event searched was ‘Optus outage’, followed by the war in Israel and Gaza and the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum results. As for people-related searches, there are no prizes there – Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler topped that list. The Royals and recipes got a look in, too – King Charles’ coronation quiche was crowned #1 in the kitchen, followed by something we’d missed – a McDonald’s ‘Grimace shake’ that went viral on TikTok. Globally, many of us were also searching for the meanings of new slang terms – including ‘rizz’, ‘it’s giving’ and ‘no printer’. Brb we’re off to Google that last one…


Apropos of Nothing

What’s more festive than Santa Claus/Father Christmas/Saint Nicholas? Thousands of ‘em… The Santas descended on New York City over the weekend for an annual charity pub crawl – followed by a bunch of Grinches and elves…

And if you’re not feeling the jolly Christmas spirit when it comes to your seasonal social obligations, a new study reckons most hosts won’t mind if you RSVP ‘no’… Most people are worried about the potential ramifications of turning down an invite – apparently, we’re overthinking it.

Get ready for some school camp nostalgia… Interior designers have declared it the ‘year of the bunk bed’ after the utilitarian set-ups began to pop up in fancy beach/mountain homes and boutique hotels across America. Bags the bottom bed…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

1.00pm (AEDT) – NDIS Minister Bill Shorten to address the Committee for Economic Development on the future of the NDIS – Livestream      

11.30am (AWST) – Aussie Cricket captain Pat Cummins to address the media ahead of tomorrow’s start to the Aussie summer of cricket – Perth 

Former UK PM Boris Johnson to deliver the John Howard Lecture to the Menzies Research Centre

Tasmanian Year 12 students get their ATAR results

Republic Day in Malta

A birthday for singer Taylor Swift (1989)

Bruce Lehrmann’s rape case (QLD) due back in court

Anniversary of:

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman’s sighting the South Island of present-day New Zealand (initially he calls it Staten Landt but changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland) (1642)

League of Nations establishing the International Court of Justice in The Hague (1920)

Squiz the Day

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