Squiz Today / 04 August 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 4 August

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Get up to speed in no time flat.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

15 / 21
13 / 18
12 / 24
11 / 17
9 / 17
9 / 16
21 / 31
11 / 15

Squiz Sayings

“You hear of guard dogs – this is a guard cat.”

Said Mississippi man Fred Everitt of his 9.1kg feline helping to prevent an early morning robbery at his home by meowing loudly and pulling the bed covers down. Given the cat’s name is Bandit, it’s a surprise he wasn’t on the side of the would-be home invaders…

Lock it in, Albanese

The Greens will support the Albanese Government’s legislation for a 43% emissions reduction target by 2030 on 2005 levels – and that means it will likely get through the federal parliament when it lands in the Senate next month. The Greens’ agreement came from lengthy negotiations between the parties – but they could not extract a ban on new coal and gas mines. Greens leader Adam Bandt said he was disappointed he couldn’t get the new government to move because “you can’t put out the fire while pouring more petrol on it.” But Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said it was “a good day for Australia.”

Yeah, sure. So Australia is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – as are most nations. It’s where the world comes together to discuss the latest climate change science and what actions each country will take to limit the damage. The landmark Paris Climate Agreement came from its 2015 round of talks, and the last meeting – COP26 – was in Glasgow. At that meeting, former PM Scott Morrison confirmed that his government wasn’t interested in upping Australia’s target of 26-28% emissions reduction by 2030 – but he did sign us up to net zero emissions by 2050. Morrison copped a lot of flack over the stationary short-term target, but the Coalition did not budge. Meanwhile, Labor campaigned on the 43% target ahead of the May election, and the Greens advocated for a 75% reduction by 2030. Labor and PM Anthony Albanese prevailed – and they don’t need legislation to put it in place.

Good question… So there are a couple of things about that. The first reason to put it into legislation is to give investors some certainty about emissions reductions. Yesterday, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the approach “is in Australia’s national interest and will provide certainty for business”. The new government also wants the world to know that “Australia is open to business when it comes to renewable energy,” said Minister Bowen. And it comes back to politics. Albanese says that securing support to legislate for his target means it’s a way for the whole parliament to “be on the right side of history”. And it’s “an opportunity to end the climate wars – if the Coalition decides to break with their rhetoric and actually come to the table.” The Liberal and National parties say they will vote against the legislation – and they’re going nuclear


Squiz the Rest

A high-impact trip to Taiwan

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was short – and not so sweet for China… She is the Speaker of the US House of Representatives and a very senior Democrat – and she’s the most senior US politician to visit Taiwan since the mid-90s. Calling in on President Tsai Ing-wen, senior politicians and human rights activists during her quick trip, Pelosi’s visit is receiving a lot of attention because of the fraught relationship between the US and China. While Taiwan sees itself as an independent state, China sees it as a breakaway province to be reunified with Beijing – maybe by force. Neither Team Biden nor China wanted Pelosi to make the trip, but she says it was essential to “make it unequivocally clear” that the US supports Taiwan in the face of Chinese aggression. China responded by getting ready for some big war games as the White House tries to take the pressure down. Analysts say it will be Taiwan that pays for the short stay… #SquizShortcuts

World News

A tough week for the Libs in for state politics

Senior NSW MP Stuart Ayres resigned yesterday from his frontbench and Liberal Party leadership roles over a potential breach of the ministerial code of conduct. The former minister’s involvement in the (now scuttled) appointment of former Deputy Premier John Barilaro to a lucrative trade envoy role based in New York has been under the microscope. Ayres maintained the process was completed at arm’s length, but new evidence before an ongoing parliamentary inquiry shows that’s not the case. Earlier this week, NSW Small Business Minister Eleni Petinos was sacked over bullying allegations – claims she denies. And the Victorian Coalition aren’t travelling much better… Opposition leader Matthew Guy’s chief of staff resigned over proposed payments to his personal business – it’s been referred to the authorities. Victoria’s state election is in November, and NSW’s is in March…


COVID jabs confirmed for at-risk kids

Vulnerable children aged between 6 months and 5yo will be able to receive the Moderna vaccine from 5 September after getting the thumbs up from official vaccine experts ATAGI. The decision will see about 70,000 kids with health conditions and at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID made eligible for their first jabs. It makes Oz one of the first countries to roll out the COVID vaccine to kids under 5yo, but ATAGI held off on recommending vaccination for the entire age group due to their lower risk of developing severe illness. On COVID more broadly, Health Minister Mark Butler says he’s hopeful that we’ve passed the peak of the winter COVID wave. And while we’re talking vaccines, health authorities have locked down some supply of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine to protect at-risk Aussies from monkeypox. It’s a safer/nicer vaccine than the one we have in our stockpile – it’s known as ACAM2000. #SquizShortcut

Australian News Health

Dastardly Dipole declared

Widespread power outages have wreaked havoc in Perth and much of southwest Western Oz as the weather bureau issued a severe weather warning for “destructive winds” in NSW, Victoria, South Oz and WA. It’s set the scene for an end to the run of sunshine on the east coast, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) confirming a new weather phenomenon that’s set to bring more heavy rain and flooding during the rest of this year and possibly the next… That’s the negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) – it’s essentially the west coast’s version of La Niña. And like the Pacific Ocean version, it typically brings more rainfall – this time to southern Oz while bringing warmer conditions to the north. And despite the declaration of the negative IOD, the BOM has maintained a 50/50 chance of La Niña returning this summer. Heavens above…

Australian News Weather

McKeon makes more Commonwealth Games history

Aussie swimming champ Emma McKeon has become the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history, claiming 19 medals after adding 2 more to her tally yesterday. ​​The previous record was 18, held by South African swimmer Chad le Clos and shooters Phillip Adams from Oz and Mick Gault from England. McKeon has clinched a record 13 career Comm Games gold medals and needs just one more to equal Ian Thorpe and Susie O’Neill’s record of 6 at a single Games. That could happen early this morning with Australia favoured to win the women’s 4×100 medley relay. It’s not all about McKeon – teen swim sensation Mollie O’Callaghan beat out McKeon for the gold in the women’s 100m freestyle, and Ariarne Titmus set a new Games record in the women’s 800m freestyle. There were a few more wins out of the water, too, with Oz cracking the 100 medal mark yesterday. We’re well ahead of the next nation on the tally – the Brits…


Apropos of Nothing

An Airbnb listing for an 1830s slave cabin on the site of a former plantation in Mississippi has been taken down after it was blasted on social media. The listing had 4.97 stars on the platform…

A new survey has found that one in 30 Britons take a CD player with them on holiday, while 26% persist with a camera. And despite the introduction of e-readers, 54% still prefer to pack a physical book – now that we do get…

And one US hotel chain is putting a different spin on pillow talk after offering guests a talking pillow voiced by iconic Seinfeld actor Patrick Warburton (Elaine’s on/off boyfriend Puddy). With phrases including “whoa, those are some awesome PJs”, it’s an interesting amenity…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

6.00pm (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Netball – Australia v Jamaica

7.00pm (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Cycling – Women’s Individual Time Trial, followed by the men at 9.00pm

11.30pm (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Women’s Beach Volleyball – Australia v Cyprus

National Cabinet meets

ABS Data Release – International Trade in Goods and Services, June

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

Constitution Day – Cook Islands

Barack Obama Day in Illinois, where the former US prez launched his political career

Birthdays for author Tim Winton (1960), former US President Barack Obama (1961), and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex (1981)

Anniversary of:
• the invention of Champagne by Dom Pérignon (1693)
• the arrest of Anne Frank following a tip-off (1944)
• Prince’s Purple Rain album going to #1, where it would stay for 24 weeks (1984)
• the Beirut blast, which killed 207 people (2020)

5.35am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Athletics – Men’s Discus Final

6.00am (AEST) – Commonwealth Games Men’s Hockey – Australia v Pakistan

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.