Squiz Today / 10 December 2019

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 10 December


“26.8 terabytes”

Is how much data one Queenslander used in a single month, NBN Co reported yesterday. It's the equivalent of downloading almost every song on Spotify. Although one of those terabytes was probably used to download the bill…


Yesterday’s volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island is believed to have killed more than 30 people. A popular tourist spot located almost 50km from the east coast of the North Island in the Bay of Plenty, there were about 50 people near the volcano at the time of the eruption. Twenty-three people were taken off the island, and five of them died from their injuries with most of the evacuees suffering burns. And there are grave fears for those who are still on the island, particularly the group captured on camera in the volcano’s crater a minute before the eruption.

There are. PM Scott Morrison last night tweeted; “Australians have been caught up in this terrible event and we are working to determine their wellbeing.” Reports say 24 Aussies were on White Island when the volcano erupted. They were from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship which left Sydney mid-last week on a 12-day tour around New Zealand. "We must prepare for some difficult news in the days ahead," he said last night.

The eruption, which happened at 2:11pm local time, sent plumes of white smoke and debris more than 3,500 metres into the atmosphere. This was captured and posted to Twitter by Michael Schade, a tourist who had been at the main crater just 30 minutes before the eruption. Also known by its Maori name of ‘Whakaari’ (which means to make visible), it is New Zealand’s most continuously active volcano of the last 40 years. This is its first eruption since 2001, and experts say there could be another eruption today. GeoNet, which is New Zealand's official monitoring service, upgraded the volcano's alert level three weeks ago because of increasing activity. Still, experts say an eruption was unexpected. Questions about why tourists were allowed onto the island have already been put to PM Jacinda Ardern. "The absolute focus needs to be the search and rescue," she said. A New Zealand Defence Force ship is heading to the island, and authorities will use drones in their search efforts this morning.



The World Anti-Doping Agency has followed through on last month’s threat to kick Russia's athletes and officials out of all major international sporting events with a ban announced this morning. That includes the Tokyo Olympics next year, the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, and Qatar’s 2022 soccer World Cup. It comes after Russia's anti-doping officials were found earlier this year to have manipulated its athletes' lab results. Athletes who can prove they are clean and free of the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag, WADA said. Russia has 21 days to appeal against the ban. While acknowledging the scandal, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said the punishment was part of an “anti-Russian hysteria which has become chronic."


Myanmar's leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will today front the United Nation's top court, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, to defend her country against genocide charges. The small Muslim-majority African country of The Gambia last month filed a lawsuit accusing the Buddhist-majority nation of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim-minority. It’s been more than two years since Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown that led to the displacement of 730,000 people over the border to Bangladesh. Attempts to repatriate Rohingya have failed with refugees citing the lack of accountability for the atrocities that have been committed by Myanmar’s forces. Suu Kyi’s government has defended the military-led campaign, claiming it was an appropriate response to violence by Rohingya militants. The hearing is expected to run for three days.


At the age of 34yo, Sanna Marin has become the world’s youngest sitting prime minister after she was selected to lead the Social Democratic Party, the largest of five parties in Finland’s governing coalition (which are all led by women). She is the country’s third female national leader. “I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate,” she said. Marin’s appointment came after the resignation Antti Rinne last week after a key coalition partner said it had lost confidence in him over his handling of recent postal strikes. Which seems kinda quaint in this digital age…


We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again - investors don’t like surprises. So it was no surprise that a2 Milk’s share price fell almost 4% yesterday when it announced the departure of its CEO Jayne Hrdlicka after 17 months in the job. The company said she had “agreed to step down from her role” with Hrdlicka citing too much travel to the US, China, and New Zealand while also managing other commitments. Hrdlicka is also President of Tennis Australia. However, reports say the board was concerned about her fast-paced strategy changes. Or to speculate for a moment, maybe she found out a2 milk isn’t really a thing?


Just in time for some wind-down viewing, the Golden Globe nominations are out. Netflix has dominated with its productions of Marriage Story and The Irishman scoring heaps of nods in the movie awards section. On the television side, The CrownUnbelievable, Fleabag and Chernobyl were favoured by judges. Nicole Kidman is nominated for her turn in the second series of Big Little Lies, as is Reese Witherspoon. As for the Aussies, Russell Crowe (The Loudest Voice), Margot Robbie (Bombshell), Cate Blanchett (Where'd You Go, Bernadette) and Toni Collette (Unbelievable) were also recognised. A full list of the nominations is here.


He may not be the hero we deserve, but he might just be the hero we need. Will you please give it up for Brandon Gatgens - the Melbourne man who is getting to the bottom of what a minimum serve of chips actually means. Bravo, sir. Bravo.


Nobel Prize Award ceremony - Oslo and Stockholm

ABS Data Release - Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, September

Annual General Meeting - Bank of Queensland

Human Rights Day

Anniversary of the publication of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768)

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