Squiz Today / 30 November 2018

Squiz Today – Friday, 30 November


“I am not ready for a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale but also @MargaretAtwood I am SO READY.”

Tweeted one fan on yesterday’s news that after more than 30 years and a hit telly drama series, Margaret Atwood is penning a sequel to her fictional story about life under a totalitarian regime in the US. It’s called The Testaments, and it will be published in September next year. Praise be.


It’s the premier forum for international economic cooperation amongst the world’s largest economies. But the lead up to the G20 leaders' summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina suggests the discussion will be focused on participating nations’ differences. With a few issues on the home front, PM Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann would probably prefer not to go. But trade will dominate the agenda, and with the Oz economy dependent on it, they’ll need to put domestic niggles aside for a couple of days.

You got it.

• The G20 = Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union. It’s a powerful group.

• The key issue for this meeting is the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China. There was a suggestion earlier this week that US President Donald Trump could call a truce on the escalating tariff war, but pundits said that's unlikely. Trump’s interactions with Chinese President Xi Jinping will be closely watched.

• Also on the agenda: leaders will be keen to speak to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from Saudi Arabia about the murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. Not on the agenda? A meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump has cancelled it over Russia's refusal to release Ukrainian Navy ships and sailors after last weekend's confrontation. (Maybe that frees up a spot for Morrison?)

A quiet weekend in Aussie politics, if we were guessing… It has been a frenetic week with Morrison holding on like an unsecured hang glider. But you were asking about the G20, yes? The best outcome for Australia is a settling down of trade tensions. “This is critically important to Australia as an open, trade-reliant economy - our continued growth and prosperity depends on it,” Morrison said.


After eight years of legal delays and protests, Adani will commence construction of the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin, Queensland (west of Mackay) in the coming weeks. The Indian conglomerate yesterday announced it would fund the project itself. At one point it was going to be Australia’s largest ever coal mine costing $16.5 billion. But its scale has been reduced and reports say it will cost less than $2 billion to develop. The federal Coalition supports the mine, while federal Labor hasn’t really articulated a position as such. The Australian Conservation Foundation questioned the mine's development“right when the world’s climate scientists desperately warn we must rapidly transition away from burning fossil fuels to halt global warming”.

Around 130 fires are still burning along the coast of Queensland with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warning locals that “We’re not out of this yet.” The worst of the fires are burning around Mackay, Rockhampton and Bundaberg. The brutally hot and windy weather has eased, but conditions remain difficult. Authorities said that given more than 200 fires were burning on Wednesday, it’s incredible that no lives have been lost and only two homes destroyed. Meanwhile, the weather bureau said we're in for a hot, dry summer.

Hamish Bidgood, an 18yo schoolie from Sydney, fell to his death from a Surfers Paradise hotel balcony early yesterday morning. Paramedics were unable to revive him. Police are waiting on toxicology tests, but reports say he'd inhaled nitrous oxide before his death. The group of mates he was away with are returning home following the tragedy.

Things are getting serious between North and South Korea. On the gifts front, that is. First, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gave South Korean President Moon Jae-in a couple of ‘peace pups’ earlier this year. Well, one of those dogs had pups, and they’re adorbs. Moon has sent 200 tons of tangerines to Pyongyang as a thank you for other gifts. As you do. The two are talking about reestablishing road and rail lines, defusing border clashes and generally getting along. Still, for real change to happen Kim needs to demonstrate that his fondness for nuclear weapons has been replaced with enthusiasm for more positive things. Like tangerine marmalade making, perhaps.

The Washington Post has dared to cast doubt on Knickers, the internet-famous steer from WA, and his claim to massiveness. Particularly galling was the suggestion it's all a photographic trick because he was snapped mingling with a herd of a small breed of cattle. “Rubbish,” said ABC Rural reporter Jacqueline Lynch who discovered the bulky bovine. Still, in the era of #FakeMoos it pays to be cautious…

You’re probably starting to think about Christmas gifts, particularly for the hard to buy for people in your life. If you can’t get some ideas from this, nothing can save you.

Apparently you can tell by someone’s eyebrows whether they’re a narcissist. We thought it was the lack of empathy that was the giveaway…

A great savoury cheese biscuit is a delight with a glass of wine or a beer (or any beverage really…) of an evening. With this recipe you can roll the dough into a log and freeze it to bake fresh anytime you fancy a nibble. (Note: we don’t bother with the glaze…) Actually, there are lots of good recipes in this book, so have a browse. The bickies are on page 164.


8.30am - Start of Senate Committee hearing into the allegations of political interference in the ABC - Canberra

10.30pm (AEDT) - Boxing - Jeff Horn v Anthony Mundine - Brisbane

Start of the G20 Leaders Summit (on until Saturday) - Argentina

Student Strike for Climate Action

ABS Data Releases - Changing Patterns of Mortality in Australia, 1968–2017; Corrective Services, Q3'18

St Andrew’s Day - Scotland

Anniversary of the birthdays of Mark Twain (1835) and Winston Churchill (1874)

Anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller (1982)

Andrés Manuel López Obrador begins a 6-year term as President of Mexico

World AIDS Day

Anniversary of Papua New Guinea gaining self-governance from Australia (1973)

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

United Arab Emirates' National Day

Hanukkah (begins at sunset and ends at sunset on 9 December)

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