Squiz Today / 17 June 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 17 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

Gets your fab Friday started. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, but he has a sweet tooth and likes candy.”

Said Victor Chen of the Go Go Sun Tour bus company in Boston after one of his drivers blacked out behind the steering wheel after snacking on lollies infused with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. Even a sugar hit is tricky these days…


The paperwork has been filled out and sent to Climate Change HQ – PM Anthony Albanese has signed Australia up to a new short-term emissions reduction target. Dispensing with the Coalition Government’s 2030 target of 26-28% below 2005 levels, Albanese has written to the United Nations to commit to a 43% reduction. Both of our major parties back the net zero emissions target by 2050. Albanese says it should end the “climate wars” and provide an “opportunity to provide the certainty going forward” to get the business sector working towards it.

You’ve got that right, and the race is on to keep global warming to under 2C this century… Albanese’s plan (sans some details still to be worked out…) is set out in Labor’s Powering Australia policy that he took to the election. It includes things like improving the electricity grid’s infrastructure, changes to managing pollution from the big emitters, and more ‘clean energy’ generated by renewable sources. “For years, the Australian Government told the world that was all too hard. Told Australians it was too hard … Well, the Albanese Government today sends a very different message,” Energy Minister Chris Bowen said yesterday. Angus Taylor – the guy who had that job until 21 May – said he didn’t know how Labor would reduce emissions and lower energy prices, particularly with all the problems the National Electricity Market is experiencing. “I can’t see how they are going to deliver all that,” he said yesterday.

So far, so good… But reports say the ​​electricity generators aren’t happy. They want to know how the system will work after the Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) took control on Wednesday. To recap: they are under pressure to produce more power to ease the supply crisis affecting the east and southeast of Oz. For the coal/gas-fired generators part, they want to know how they will get paid because making power costs some producers more than the price cap set by the regulator. A bit more than half of Australia’s electricity is fired by coal – but coal assets/mines are winding down, and the new government has ruled out extending their life as a short-term solution. Oh, and there’s the coldest start to winter for a while to deal with. Simples…


Squiz the Rest

Employment stays low

Australia’s job market continued to strengthen in May, with the unemployment rate remaining at 3.9% for the 3rd month. According to the Bureau of Stats, 60,600 more Aussies were employed last month, all entering full-time work. Workers were also able to pick up more hours as businesses grapple with staff shortages, which saw underemployment fall from 6.1% to a 40-year low of 5.7%. And even though COVID/flu/snot-producing lurgies kept many workers at home, the participation rate reached a record high of 66.7%, up from 66.4% in April. Analysts say the red hot employment market and rising inflation will likely see interest rates increase by 1% in the coming couple of months. That’s good news for former Tassie Liberal Senator/former Employment Minister Eric Abetz, who lost his job yesterday.

Australian News Business & Finance

Russia-China ties strengthen over Ukraine

Who wouldn’t want to mark their birthday with a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin? Chinese President Xi Jinping and his bestie did just that as they recommitted to boost ties. After their “no limits” alliance was announced ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Beijing has refused to criticise the Kremlin. During the latest call, Xi reiterated China’s support for Russia’s sovereignty and commitment to do more trade with Russia to counter “the illegitimate sanctions policy pursued by the West,” the Kremlin readout said. That’s in addition to a spot of symbolic bridge-building… And while we’re talking about Ukraine, the leaders of France, Germany and Italy arrived in Kyiv last night for talks after taking a train from Poland. Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Mario Draghi Scholz say the visit shows their commitment to Ukraine on the financial, humanitarian, and weapons front. #SquizShortcut

World News

Murder in the Amazon

A 10-day search for a missing British journo and a Brazilian Indigenous expert has ended after a local man admitted to killing the pair. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsarno had faced mounting international pressure to act on the disappearance of Dom Phillips and former government official Bruno Araújo Pereira in the Amazon. The men disappeared while researching conservation efforts in the region, work authorities described as “dangerous” given its intersection with illegal miners, loggers, and international drug dealers. Brothers Amarildo and Oseney da Costa de Oliveira were arrested, leading to the discovery of 2 bodies in the rainforest. Police are now working to identify the bodies, but they are thought to be the missing men.

Crime World News

Maxwell pleads for a reduced jail term

It was December last year when disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of recruiting and grooming teenage girls for the disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 2004. The 60yo maintains her innocence but faces up to 55 years behind bars when she is sentenced later this month. Prosecutors have recommended a 20-year jail sentence after considering her clean record. But a pre-sentencing report from Maxwell’s legal team argues for “well below” the recommended jail term saying she “should not bear all the punishment for which Epstein should have been held responsible”. She is due to be sentenced on 28 June. Speaking of high-profile abuse cases, actor Kevin Spacey has made his first appearance in a British court on charges dating back almost 20 years. He was granted unconditional bail and will reappear mid-next month to enter a plea. His lawyer says he “​​strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case”.

Crime World News

The Logies are back

Clear your Sunday night calendar – Australian television’s night of nights is back after a 2-year hiatus. Yep, it’s time to get your Logies party frock on… The 2019 winner of the Gold Logie – Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson – is up for the top prize again, along with former winners Karl Stefanovic and Ray Meagher and first-timers Melissa Leong and Julia Morris. The fan favourite is Hamish Blake, who is expected to claim his 2nd Gold Logie this year for his work with Lego Masters. There will be a few changes to the program – the Silver Logie Award for the most popular TV presenter has been renamed in honour of Bert Newton. And in a nod to the number of Aussies finding success overseas, a new Silver Logie award will honour the most popular Aussie actor in an international program. You can watch it live on Nine, with the red carpet coverage kicking off at 7pm.

Australian News Entertainment

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Headbands are still a major thing for the fashionable set… If the thought doesn’t pinch you behind the ears, here’s some inspiration from the northern summer. Or maybe a tiara’s more your thing? Yass queen…

Many many big new TV shows have been released by the streamers this year. If you’re losing track of things like we are, this ‘best of’ guide from Vanity Fair will help wrangle the must-watch list.

A hearty soup that’s not going to break the calorie bank? Here you go – it’s broccoli, zucchini and a bit of parmesan, and it’s super easy. That will offset these potato skins with garlicky cheese dip that will form the centrepiece of our weekend… 

Friday Lites

Do the Squiz Quiz

Reckon you know the name of the once-popular internet browser that was taken offline this week? Have a crack at the Squiz Quiz.

Squiz the Day

Foreign Minister Penny Wong flies to Honiara to meet Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogovare

First National Cabinet meeting since the federal election

Iceland’s National Day

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Birthdays for former tennis star Venus Williams (1980), rapper Kendrick Lamar (1987), and former Aussie swimmer/Olympian Stephanie Rice (1988)

Anniversary of:
• Charles Goodyear obtaining his first rubber patent (1837)
• the Statue of Liberty arriving in New York aboard French ship Isere (1885)
• the last public guillotining in France (1939)

Squiz the Day

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