Squiz Today / 06 December 2021

Squiz Today – Monday, 6 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Helping you get your arms around it. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“If Taylor Swift looks you in the eye, touches your arm, and says, ‘Come with me…’ – I got up like a puppy and went, ‘yeah, okay, that seems like a great idea. I’ll follow you.'”

Said Prince William as he recounted his last-minute decision to join Swift and Jon Bon Jovi on stage for a rendition of Livin’ On A Prayer at a 2013 charity event. If only she’d taken his hand and said “we’ll make it, I swear”…

Fears Russia will invade Ukraine bring Biden to the table


US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will talk via video conference in the middle of this week over concerns that Russia is set to invade Ukraine. Russia has deployed armoured vehicles, electronic warfare systems and 94,000 troops along its shared border with Ukraine over the last couple of months – the largest massing of Russian forces on its borders since it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Russia says they are there for military exercises and has dismissed concerns as “alarmist”, but US officials and European leaders fear a “large scale” attack on Ukraine is coming.


Yeah, let’s go back a little… In 2014, Ukraine’s Russian-friendly president was driven from power following mass protests. Russia denies it, but it’s widely accepted that Russia retaliated by backing a separatist insurgency that broke out in Ukraine’s east. During the fighting, you would recall that MH17 was downed by a missile system that belonged to a Russian brigade killing all 283 passengers, including 27 Aussies. A peace agreement was brokered in 2015 where Ukraine was to grant autonomy to the pro-Russian rebel regions – but things are far from settled… Ukraine says the separatists keep violating the ceasefire agreement, and Russia has accused Ukraine of failing to give the rebel regions freedom. To the here and now, Russia is said to be livid with the idea that Ukraine is getting close to NATO, which would push Western Europe’s and America’s security interests too far east for Russia’s comfort.


The hope is that will become clearer this week. Putin might outline his intentions when he talks to Biden on Tuesday (local), but many doubt he’ll be forthcoming. We know that Putin has said that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people,” so you can understand why many think an invasion is on the cards… And he’s said that Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO represent a “red line” for Moscow. On Saturday, Biden warned he would make it “very, very difficult” for Putin to “go ahead and do what people are worried he may do”. So watch this space…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Mayhem on Mount Semeru

At least 14 people have died and 100 were injured after the volcano erupted in Indonesia’s East Java province on Saturday. Reports say that at least 300 families were evacuated following the eruption, and at least 11 villages were buried in ash. Locals sprinted to get away from the debris and burning hot lava that travelled up to 11km over the weekend. Experts say Mount Semeru is in a near-permanent state of eruption and it regularly spews ash – it last erupted in January, and there were no casualties. But the collapse of the volcano’s dome after days of rain is a “pretty significant increase in intensity,” said Campbell Biggs from Darwin’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre. Indonesia is no stranger to this sort of thing – it sits between 2 continental plates in an area known as the Ring of Fire that’s known for its high levels of volcanic activity.

World News

Kids COVID vaccine given the green light

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has given provisional approval for the Pfizer COVID vaccine to be administered to children aged 5-11yo, with 2.3 million youngsters becoming eligible. Next stop: approval by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Now that you’re all brushed up on your official health body acronyms, here are some more technical details… Health Minister Greg Hunt says he expects jabs will start rolling on from 10 January – and because it comes in at a 3rd the size of what everyone else gets, steps are being taken to ensure there’s no mix-up. Doses will be “clearly differentiated by being dispensed from orange-capped vials instead of grey or purple-capped vials,” Hunt said yesterday. Looking at the current run-rate, 88% of Aussies aged 16yo+ are fully vaccinated. And Hunt says 76.6% of the 12-15yos have had at least one dose.


Labor turns on campaign mode

If you saw any news on the telly yesterday, you could be forgiven for thinking we are in the middle of an election campaign… As PM Scott Morrison visited NSW’s rain-drenched Central West, Labor leader Anthony Albanese delivered a speech to the party faithful in Sydney. In his pitch to voters, Albanese said he would provide “renewal, not revolution” as he detailed a $1.2 billion education and skills policy. We also got a look at the details of Labor’s climate policy on Friday. Long story short, Labor would commit Australia to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 43% reduction by 2030 if elected – that compares to the Coalition’s formal 26-28% commitment and a loosey-goosey forecast of 35%. Labor’s plan got good reviews from business leaders, but PM Morrison said Labor’s target could go even higher if they had to negotiate with the Greens to get into government, which would damage our economy. Newspoll out this morning has voters tipping a Labor win at the next election, which is due by 21 May.


Not our fish and chips…

If you saw the glorious canola crops in full flower this spring, you’ll know it was a delight. And now those farmers are reaping the rewards with canola prices close to doubling. While we’ve made hay while the sun shines, Canadian producers have suffered drought conditions and logistics challenges. It’s traditionally the world’s largest canola producer, but now little ole Oz is about to slide into first spot just as a shortage delivers a price surge. So yay for our agricultural sector – but spare a thought for the hard-working deep-fryers around the country… Canola oil is preferred by many fish and chippers, and the price is up by 70% in some areas. That could mean more expensive takeaway coming down the line, so adjust your budget accordingly…

Business & Finance

Cambage RSVPs no

Aussie basketball star Liz Cambage has not had a good relationship with those who run our national team of late. So when news surfaced on Saturday that she was about to be left out of the Opals squad for the World Cup in Sydney next year, she decided to share her side of things. Taking to Insta, she yesterday posted part of an email from Basketball Australia asking whether she wanted to be considered for selection. Her response: “MY interest was and still is ZERO”. Cambage didn’t play at the Olympics after withdrawing because of mental health concerns. And last month, she was reprimanded for an altercation with Nigerian players in an Olympics warm-up match pre-Tokyo. Australia’s 24-player World Cup squad is expected to be named today.

While we have you… Having more luck on the world stage is Matilda Sam Kerr. She scored twice to lead her UK club team Chelsea to a women’s FA Cup win against Arsenal in the final overnight. “I’m paid to score goals, but our defence was amazing and it was a team effort. I can’t wait to party,” she said after the game.


Apropos of Nothing

PM Scott Morrison called in on the Bathurst 1000 touring car race yesterday – and the only thing revving faster than the car were the political lines as he hung on for a hot lap

Some hard-working doggos have been awarded a $376,380 2-year contract to keep the seagulls away from outdoor diners at Sydney’s Opera House. Here’s hoping the woofers get their fair share…

Japanese ‘forget-the-year’ drinks parties are being met with trepidation by workers. It’s so bad that a recent survey found that many will stage a silent protest when they reluctantly pick up a glass alongside their colleagues and bosses in the coming weeks. Cheers…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen address the National Press Club – Canberra

Terence Kelly, the man charged with abducting Cleo Smith, is due to front court in WA

Finland’s Independence Day

Saint Nicholas Day in Western Christian countries

Anniversary of:
• the ratification of the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution abolishing slavery (1865)
• the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty that created Northern Ireland (1921)
• the bloody water polo match between the USSR and Hungary at the Melbourne Olympics (1956)

Squiz the Day

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