Squiz Today / 09 December 2022

Squiz Today – Friday, 9 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Fabulous Friday fodder. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

15 / 21
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3 / 21

Squiz Sayings

“Not your average poppy.”

Is the slogan of a new campaign to remind gardening enthusiasts that sometimes flowers are more than they seem. Why now? The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens was accidently selling the pretty opium plants… Who says Aussies don’t like tall poppies?

Powering up to tackle energy bills


The Albanese Government is hoping to secure an agreement with the states and territories on a plan to bring down energy prices when National Cabinet meets today. That’s the meeting that was delayed due to PM Anthony Albanese’s COVID diagnosis earlier in the week, and they’re racing against the clock to lock it in with the PM’s promised Christmas deadline coming up fast… Top of the agenda will likely be Team Albanese’s request for the states/territories to cap wholesale coal and gas prices. It didn’t go down when it was first floated, but they’ve had some time to hash things out since…


No need to be snarky – it’s a Friday, after all… To recap why we are where we are: Aussie immediate electricity price woes primarily come down to the war in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia’s energy exports that have pushed up the price of coal. Coal-fired power plants produce half of Oz’s electricity… The idea is that capping coal prices will significantly reduce that input cost, and that could be the ticket to us consumers having lower power bills. But NSW and Queensland – both states where coal power is produced – have been leading the charge against the Feds’ plan, saying they’d need compensation in place of lost royalties worth billions. But they might have backtracked on that… Reports say a deal was smoothed over at a national energy meeting in Brisbane yesterday, with NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean foreshadowing a thumbs-up from the state, saying he’s “almost ready to sign up” and that NSW would “be prepared to take a hit” by not seeking compensation.


Well, another thing happened at that meeting yesterday – ministers unanimously signed off on a plan to speed up Australia’s uptake of renewable energy. The so-called ‘Capacity Investment Scheme’ will see $10 billion of investment in the sector. Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen says moving on renewables is important as Aussie coal-fired power stations age and become “increasingly unreliable”. It’s early days, but state ministers also spoke positively about the plan. Queensland’s representative Mick de Brenni says “only when the market is dominated by clean, renewable energy will we see wholesale energy prices come down permanently”. It all comes as the ACCC, Oz’s consumer watchdog, warns that if nothing is done, power prices could remain sky-high until at least 2024. Yikes…

AusPol Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Brittney Griner sent home by Russia

US basketballer Brittney Griner is on her way back to the States after being released by Russia in a prisoner exchange deal. She’s spent 10 months in detention after being arrested in a Moscow airport for possessing cannabis in February. Reports say the exchange was proposed by US President Joe Biden’s office, and overnight, she was swapped for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout – ominously known as the ‘Merchant of Death’. It comes after President Vladimir Putin said the global threat of nuclear war is rising at Russia’s annual Human Rights Council meeting yesterday. He says that Russia has not “gone mad” and would not use nuclear weapons first, but he added “if you don’t use them first, that means you don’t use them second, either”. He also warned the Ukraine war would be “a long process”, contrasting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who says he’s looking forward to peace for his country next year…

World News

Balwani sentenced over Theranos’ bad blood

After multiple podcasts and TV adaptations, fans of Bad Blood and The Dropout – aka the scandal surrounding the now-defunct Theranos blood testing start-up once valued at US$9 billion – finally have a conclusion. Former company president Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani has been sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for his role in the business, with prosecutors describing him as “ruthless”. It means he’s set to serve 2 years more in jail than his ex-partner/Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who was sentenced last month. The case became infamous for the false claims the pair made about a device that could scan for hundreds of diseases with just a few drops of blood and the many high-profile investors who were duped, including media titan Rupert Murdoch. Balwani didn’t speak as he was sentenced, but his lawyers say that, like Holmes, he plans to file an appeal.

Business & Finance World News

Warner’s manager bowls up a googly…

Former Aussie cricket captain David Warner’s manager has dropped a bombshell claim about the 2018 ball tampering scandal… During a radio interview yesterday, James Erskine alluded to the players being “told to do it” by Cricket Australia executives. He also believes more people were involved in the incident than reported at the time, saying “there was far more than 3 people involved in this thing”, and that Warner “was completely villainised”. Erskine made the claims a day after Warner dropped a 9-month-long fight to appeal his lifetime cricket captaincy ban. Although he had Cricket Australia’s backing to appeal, reports say he was frustrated that the independent review panel responsible for overseeing his application wanted to revisit the ball-tampering affair and make it public. To top off a tough day, Warner failed to fire with the bat in the first day of a test match against the West Indies in Adelaide. There’s always another innings…


First half of Harry & Meghan doco drops

Harry & Meghan finally released its hotly anticipated first 3 episodes on Netflix overnight, and the reaction has been… instant. Trailers referring to a “war against Meghan” and Prince Harry speaking of the “dirty game” amped up anticipation, but reports have been quick to point out that no “bombshell” claims have been made yet. The couple hasn’t shied away from discussing race issues… Viewers got an inside look into the clandestine early days of their relationship and some racially-tinged media responses to news of their engagement. There’s also been confusion over whether the Royal Family was approached – the doco says Royal reps refused to respond to requests, but Buckingham and Kensington palaces say they were never asked… Netflix has weighed in, saying the King’s office was contacted directly. It raises questions about whether the couple will be invited to Charles’ coronation… At least it can’t take the shine off his new currency.


What’s that name again…

What do Domhnall Gleeson, Zaporizhzhia and a Negroni sbagliato have in common? So many of us struggle to pronounce them (umm, our hands are up…). That’s according to The Captioning Group, which has been compiling a list since 2016 of the words and names most often mangled on live television by newsreaders, politicians, public figures and others. Esteban Touma from language platform Babbel says while the list is humorous, it shows the “ways we interact with other languages and really gives a good grasp of what’s going on in the world and how we connect with people abroad.” And you don’t need to feel embarrassed because even simple-looking words can surprise us… Recently singing superstar Adele informed the world that even her biggest fans have mispronounced her name for years – apparently, it’s not “ah-DEL” but “uh-DEL.” Clearly, she’s just been too polite to tell us, and hopefully, it’s Water Under the Bridge

Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we like this week

A week ago, artificial intelligence company OpenAI launched ChatGPT. Here’s a good article explaining it, but it’s a platform where you can ask it to write something for you – like a Seinfeld script or a poem about carbs – and it interacts in a conversational way. It’s free and a lot of fun to play with – be prepared to have your mind blown…

It’s been a journey, but during the work week, we’ve ditched the handbag and become backpack people. This purchase made a couple of weeks ago in forest green has converted us – and we reckon it’s a good gift for a loved one struggling to carry everything.

We mentioned this recipe earlier this year, but this is a good reminder. If you have people you need to give something to for Chrissy, this chilli oil is easy to make, cost-effective, and it goes on everything (not just dumplings…). Buy some nice airtight jars, and you’re away. If you can’t get your hands on some cassia, cinnamon quills will do the trick, just chuck in a couple extra.

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

2.00am (AEDY) – Soccer – FIFA World Cup Quarter Finals – Croatia v Brazil – Qatar

6.00am (AEDT) – Soccer – FIFA World Cup Quarter Finals – Netherlands v Argentina – Qatar

Human Rights Day

International Animal Rights Day

Anniversary of:
• the publication of the first edition of Encyclopaedia Brittanica (1768)
• the birthdays of the world’s first computer programmer Ada Lovelace (1815) and poet Emily Dickinson (1830)
• the publication of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
• the death of critic AA Gill (2016)

Squiz the Day

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