Squiz Today / 21 October 2021

Squiz Today – Thursday, 21 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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14 / 22
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9 / 24
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Squiz Sayings

“Phase B”

Is where we’re at on the national COVID-19 recovery plan after the nation reached a fully vaccinated rate of 70% for those aged 16yo and over yesterday. It’s like moving from bronze to silver in your favourite rewards program – but gee, we want gold and platinum status…

Protecting our assets

As concerns escalate about the havoc cybercriminals and ‘malicious state actors’ can wreak in the real world, the Morrison Government yesterday unveiled legislation that aims to protect our critical sectors. The list covers the sectors we need for our society to function – energy, communications, financial services, defence, food, water, and more. If the legislation passes, businesses and organisations in those fields will have to report cyber attacks on their operations. The government will offer help to fight off an attack if required. Some say compliance will create red tape, and there are privacy concerns. But Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said it brings the nation’s response to cyber threats more into line with how the government deals with “threats in the physical world.”

Cyber attacks on critical assets? Absolutely. Here in Oz, the Australian Cyber Security Centre said there were more than 67,500 reports of cybercrime of all types in 2020-21 – that’s one report every 8 minutes, and that’s just what’s reported. And experts say targeting of critical infrastructure and essential services is on the up. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) boss Mike Burgess says that the nation’s adversaries could be preparing to sabotage our critical infrastructure. He worries they’re infecting systems with malicious code that can sit there for years before an attack is launched. It’s the brave new world…

Or, to sound like a Miss Universe hopeful, wish for world peace. But while we’re talking about fighting more conventional battles, there are still concerns about the AUKUS deal Australia has forged with the US and UK. It’s raised issues for the world’s nuclear watchdog – the International Atomic Energy Agency – because we will be the first non-nuclear weapons state to acquire nuclear-powered subs – and that’s a grey area when it comes to monitoring. Oh, and Indonesia and Malaysia aren’t too thrilled with AUKUS because of its potential to destabilise the region. Onwards and upwards…

Australian News Technology

Squiz the Rest

Fossil fuel debate heats up

The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow is focused on countries bringing more ambitious emissions reductions to the table. The latest pain point: a new report by the United Nation’s Environment Programme that says plans to extract fossil fuels up to 2030 are incompatible with keeping global temperatures below the 1.5C threshold. Earlier this year, officials said urgent action is needed to keep global warming to that sort of level. But this new report says countries are expected to ramp up oil and gas production over the next decade while coal production is expected to dip slightly. The impact on resources industry jobs here in Oz is at the centre of concerns about adopting new emissions targets. Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says the party will arrive at their position by the end of the week.

AusPol Environment & Science

Former former Premier shocked by former Premier’s relationship

Or to put names to those vague titles, yesterday Mike Baird said he was “incredulous” when he heard his colleague/friend Gladys Berejiklian had a secret relationship with Wagga MP Daryl Maguire. Baird gave evidence to the NSW anti-corruption commission ICAC about Berejiklian’s conduct when she was his treasurer, and in focus was whether she pushed for multi-million dollar grants to be awarded to organisations in Maguire’s electorate. Former Baird staffer Nigel Blunden yesterday said she had put one untested proposal on the agenda after efforts to remove it. His assessment in a briefing note Premier Baird: “WTF”… Baird said he was disappointed that Berejiklian did not disclose her thing with Maguire. Still, he believes her to be someone of “the highest integrity”, and what was discussed “doesn’t change the way I feel,” he said. The hearings continue.


Facebook hits the refresh button

Reports say the tech giant is preparing to change its corporate name next week. Set to be unveiled at a big conference next week, it’s expected that the apps – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – will be products of a newly named parent company. It would be a set up similar to how Alphabet is Google’s parent company. So why the change? A ‘source’ says the company wants to move beyond the bigger ‘Facebook’ company being used as shorthand for ‘social media’. And it’s looking to branch out to other things, like the development of the ‘metaverse’. That’s a whole thing that we’ll probably have to do a Squiz Shortcut on, so hold that thought… Ever sceptical, critics say the moves are an attempt to divert attention from a series of scandals in recent months. #SquizShortcut


Gagging for a drink

Look, you’ll be fine – but some of Australia’s favourite booze brands might be in short supply soon. Global economic and logistics stresses mean there are a lot of shortages at the moment, and the company behind drinks retailers Dan Murphy’s, BWS and more than 340 Aussie pubs yesterday warned that will affect the availability of some drinks products, particularly imported ones. In a trading update, Endeavour Group boss Steve Donohue said the company is also facing labour issues thanks to a host of pandemic-related disruptions. But as Oz starts to reopen, he says the company was looking to hire 4,000 new workers in the coming weeks. Cheers to that…

Australian News Business & Finance

Simmons bounced from the Sixers

Aussie basketballer Ben Simmons will miss out on playing in the Philadelphia 76ers NBA season opener today after being suspended from the team for “detrimental” behaviour. The 2-time NBA All-Star has played for the Sixers since 2016, but the wheels started to fall off after a lacklustre finals season mid-year. It was such a big thing that he said he wouldn’t play for Australia in the Olympics because he had to focus on rebuilding his skills. Since then, Simmons demanded to be traded to a new club. That didn’t happen, and as things have become increasingly fraught, he’s been fined around US$2 million by his club for mucking up. It’s uncertain whether Simmons will play in Philly’s 2nd game against the Brooklyn Nets this weekend, but if he does, he’ll have another Aussie to contend with… Patty Mills started with the Nets yesterday, and he grabbed headlines after equalling an NBA record for 3-pointers. Go you good thing…


Apropos of Nothing

It’s not nothing – in fact, it’s quite something… Surgeons in New York have attached a kidney grown in a genetically altered pig to a human patient – and the organ worked normally. There’s a lot of work still to do, but supporters say it could be the answer to the limited supply of organs for severely ill patients.

Flipping the switch to something else entirely, if you’ve ever wanted the likeness of a celebrity or any image shaved into your hair, we’ve found the barber for you

And Squid Game is not just a financial boon for Netflix – it’s an inspired lazy Halloween costume suggestion. As is Ted Lasso (blue tracksuit and mo) and Mare of Easttown (jeans/green parka/messy ponytail). You’re welcome…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Melbourne’s last day of lockdown

Company AGMs – Crown Resorts, Transurban, Wesfarmers

International Day of the Nacho

Birthdays for Judge Judy (1942), former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (1949) and Kim Kardashian West (1980)

Anniversary of:
• English scientist John Dalton unveils his atomic theory (1803)
• China’s occupation of Tibet (1950)
• the death of former PM Gough Whitlam (2014)
• Australia’s biggest newspapers blanking out their front pages in protest against press restrictions during the George Pell case (2019)

Squiz the Day

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