Squiz Today / 04 May 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 4 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

You walk, we talk.

Today’s listen time: 9.20 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Have you ever looked at a tree and thought ‘Can I drink this?’ I did.”

Said Aubrey Plaza in an ad for a fictitious new product called ‘Wood Milk’. The non-dairy milk spoof saw The White Lotus actor bring back the milk moustache look made famous by the ‘Got Milk?’ ad campaign of the late 90s – only Aubrey’s has bits of bark in it…

Fracking bound for Beetaloo

The Northern Territory Government has given the all-clear for major onshore gas projects in the Beetaloo Basin, about 500km southeast of Darwin. The big announcement that’s been years in the making clears the way for potentially thousands of wells across the gas-rich region. It’s firmly against the wishes of 96 scientists who published an open letter yesterday that urged local lawmakers to prohibit fracking due to environmental concerns. And environmentalists say a gas industry in the Beetaloo Basin could lead to 89 million tonnes of emissions annually, 4 times the Territory’s current emissions. Chief Minister Natasha Fyles didn’t explain yesterday how those extra emissions would be offset, but she says green-lighting Beetaloo projects will help to “transition the Northern Territory and Australia to net zero emissions”. Experts say the region has the potential to become one of the biggest gas-producing areas in the world.

Yep, let’s step it back… The Beetaloo Basin has long been thought to be rich in oil and gas. Exploration began in 1984, but it wasn’t until 2015, when Origin Energy drilled a couple of wells and liked what they found, that things got serious. That prompted the Territory Government to commission an independent inquiry led by Justice Rachel Pepper. And in 2018, she found there are risks involved with an onshore gas industry, but if 135 recommendations were implemented, “those risks may be mitigated or reduced – and in some cases eliminated altogether”. But there has long been opposition to the idea from environmentalists and traditional Indigenous landowners who are concerned about carbon emissions and the effect on the region’s water table. That’s because fracking involves injecting high-pressure fluid into bedrock to extract the gas.

Fyles says it’s a green light from them because no new risks have been identified, and a gas industry in the region will create thousands of local jobs and help fund things like schools, hospitals, and more development in remote regions. But expect climate advocates to continue to press the point that the United Nations says “any new gas or coal projects would blow our chances of limiting warming to 1.5C”. Independent Senator David Pocock agrees – he said it’s “so disappointing to see in 2023, Labor governments pushing to see the expansion of the fossil fuel industry”. From here, oil and gas production companies can start to weigh up the regulations they’ll have to adhere to if they want to start projects in the Beetaloo Basin. Some companies have already bailed, but others will begin submitting the first paperwork next year. According to the official plan, it will be about 8 years before the gas/oil will start flowing.

Australian News Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Two police officers stabbed in South Oz

And late yesterday, authorities confirmed one has “life-threatening, critical injuries” following a “high-risk incident” in regional South Australia. Police say the officers were called to a house in Crystal Brook, about 200km north of Adelaide, yesterday morning on another matter when the resident of the house stabbed them. The attacker was shot dead at the scene and one of the officers was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with stab wounds to his neck, arm and hands. The other officer is in a serious but stable condition after receiving wounds to his leg and arm. Mark Carroll, president of the state’s Police Association, said the attack was “a horrifying reminder of the levels of extreme violence frontline police officers face in the line of duty.” He said the union was providing support to the affected officers and their families. 

Australian News Crime

Aussies evacuated from Sudan

It was confirmed yesterday that the Aussie Air Force got 36 Australians and their families out of Sudan as the fighting there entered its 3rd week. Our RAAF Hercules plane took them to Cyprus along with citizens from 6 other nations. This kind of international cooperation on evacuations has helped 190 Aussies evacuate so far, thanks to support from the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. On the ground, the conflict is fast turning into a humanitarian crisis – the UN reports that 100,000 refugees have crossed the border out of Sudan in the last 2.5 weeks. The 2 sides – Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces – have agreed to a 7-day ceasefire, although the pause has been called a “theoretical truce” since shooting and air strikes are still rocking Khartoum.

World News

Ukraine denies an assassination attempt

Russia has accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, saying 2 “unmanned aerial vehicles were aimed at the Kremlin” – where Putin’s official residence is. He wasn’t there at the time, and there were no casualties, but Russian officials say they “reserve the right to take retaliatory measures”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – who’s currently in Finland – says his country wasn’t involved. “We don’t attack Putin or Moscow, we fight on our territory,” he said. US officials say it’s “too early” to say whether the incident, which Russian state media has shared videos of, was a false flag attack to justify stepping up their efforts in Ukraine. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also said the US “is certainly not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders”. It comes as analysts say Ukraine may have begun its long-awaited counteroffensive…

World News

Albanese gets coronation ready

Three sleeps ’till Charles’s big day! PM Anthony Albanese met the monarch in London for a handshake and a giggle and took the opportunity to invite Charles and Queen Consort Camilla to Australia for an official tour. Albanese also confirmed that he would swear allegiance to Charles during the coronation. “I’m a republican,” Albanese said, “but that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the institution.” Also attending the big event is Nick Cave. When fans questioned him about it on his (wonderful) blog, he replied: “I hold an inexplicable emotional attachment to the Royals – the strangeness of them, the deeply eccentric nature of the whole affair that so perfectly reflects the unique weirdness of Britain itself.” Speaking of unique Britishness, Squizers already know about the official cheesy quiche of the coronation… and now they can follow it with the newly-announced official dessert, a lovely-looking strawberry trifle

Can’t wait to coronate? Our Squiz Shortcut out today will take you through it so you can glisten like a crown jewel on Saturday.

AusPol World News

Bonding over bad habits

Most of us know (or are part of) that couple that swears by the benefits of going for a run together, but a new Swiss study has found indulging in bad habits makes a couple closer. Focusing on 3 groups of couples who either smoked, lazed around, or ate junk food, the University of Zurich researchers analysed diary entries written by participants over a month. The diaries tracked how often a couple engaged in those behaviours together and also saw participants rate their satisfaction with their relationship daily. They found that the couples who smoked and lazed around together reported higher relationship satisfaction the day after engaging in those behaviours, while those who tucked into junk food reported no change. Researchers reckon that’s because those activities are often used to relieve stress or improve mood, allowing partners to share what they consider positive experiences. Too bad it doesn’t extend to a junk food hangover…


Apropos of nothing

Ed Sheeran says, “I’m done, I’m stopping” if he loses his latest copyright case. He’s been accused of ripping off Marvin Gaye with his Grammy-winning 2014 single Thinking Out Loud. And he’s not happy, telling the court the case is “really insulting”.

A Minnesota politician is the latest to be caught in a state of undress on Zoom. During an online legislative meeting, Calvin Bahr appeared lying in bed shirtless before quickly turning off his camera. It’s tough work, all that lawmaking…

And a Michigan man who designed his mailbox to look like a tiny home found 2 tiny dolls left inside with a note that read “We’ve decided to live here” last August. Since then, miniature furnishings have also appeared. The dolls sign their letters Mary and Shelley, perhaps a reference to the Frankenstein author? Cute, but also a little creepy…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

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

Company Results – NAB

Company AGM – TPG Telecom

International Firefighters’ Day

Star Wars Day (May the fourth be with you…)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Audrey Hepburn (1929) and Keith Haring (1958)
• Margaret Thatcher becoming the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the UK (1979)

Squiz the Day

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