Squiz Today / 12 October 2021

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 12 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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Squiz Sayings

“Bats are not birds.”

Said an outraged Kiwi (person, not bird) of the native long-tailed bat being included in the nation’s hotly contested bird of the year poll. Whatever your view, you’ve gotta conceded that whoever is doing PR for bats nailed it… 

Morrison nudges the Nats on climate policy

Reducing Australia’s greenhouse emissions is a question of “how, not if,” PM Scott Morrison said yesterday. And it’s up to the government to ensure “communities right across rural and regional Australia can look at this change and understand that there are big opportunities and there is a way through.” He was addressing the media, but Morrison had 20 people in mind when he spoke those words yesterday: Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and the federal Nationals’ party room.

Well, Nationals’ MPs and senators met yesterday to discuss endorsing a more ambitious 2030 emissions reduction plan and the longer-term target of net zero emissions by 2050. And #itscomplicated… Time is running out for the Coalition to settle its climate policy with the United Nations’ COP26 summit on climate change kicking off in early November. A decision on the PM’s attendance remains unmade. Reports this morning say a majority of Nats back targets that step things up, but they want compensation for industries adversely affected by the policy change and clean energy investments to be spent in the regions. On coughing up some mega-bucks, Morrison’s “how, not if” seems valid for that question too…

The actual proposal to change the emissions targets and provide for compensation/investment will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting tomorrow. And Joyce says he’s then in for a tough discussion with his colleagues. “Ultimately, this will be taken to the Nationals party room in one of the most difficult meetings we’ll ever have in my political history,” he said on the weekend. That’s likely to take place next Sunday, reports say. And as Morrison waits for his call from the Queen, he can take heart that he’s not the only leader having a hard time getting a policy settled ahead of Glasgow. US President Joe Biden’s plans to reduce emissions – said to be the most ambitious America has seen – have been held up by political wrangling between his moderate and progressive Democratic colleagues. One UN climate adviser said the US risks “coming to Glasgow with some fine words” but “not much else”.

AusPol Environment & Science

Squiz the Rest

Out and about in NSW

Soz Melbourne, parts of regional Victoria and the ACT – NSW wasn’t trying to rub it in… But many across Sydney and the surrounding areas got amongst it yesterday, marking their first day on the loose for 15 weeks. Forget lockdown: it was locks down as hairdressers were hammered with many experiencing the relief only Baarack would understand…  After enjoying a cheeky 10am beer at a Sydney pub, Premier Dominic Perrottet warned the state’s case numbers will rise in the coming weeks. Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese – who yesterday channelled Hawkey – is another voice urging caution on NSW’s reopening, as are many medicos. Some pics of people going about their lives are here.

Australian News

Anger as Hekmatullah released

The rogue Afghan soldier who killed 3 off-duty Australian soldiers in Afghanistan in 2012 has been released from jail in Qatar and his whereabouts is unknown, Aussie officials confirmed yesterday. Known as Hekmatullah, the deserter was jailed in Afghanistan for murdering Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, Private Robert Poate and Sapper James Martin. Last year, he and other prisoners were transferred to Qatar during the US-led peace talks with the Taliban. And just recently, Hekmatullah’s release was sped up by the Taliban after taking control of Kabul in August. Victims’ families were upset by the Taliban deal when it was revealed last year. Poate’s father Hugh called it a “damning indictment on the Australian-American alliance”. “We share the sorrow of Australians at this outcome and again offer our condolences to the families and the loved ones of our 3 fallen soldiers,” a federal government spokesperson said yesterday.

World News

UK police won’t pursue Price Andrew investigation

As he fights a sexual assault lawsuit in the US, Prince Andrew has one less legal matter to worry about. The Metropolitan Police yesterday said they stood by their decision to not investigate the sexual assault allegations levelled at the Duke of York and late billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein by accuser Virginia Giuffre. Andrew denies the 38yo’s claims that he assaulted her in London, New York and on Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean. Giuffre’s public accusations and new documents prompted the Met to review its previous decision. That review is over, and the Met says it will take “no further action” but will continue to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who are investigating allegations linked to Epstein. Meanwhile, rumours are swirling about discord in the royal family over Andrew’s situation. Prince William is said to want his uncle to step away from royal duties for good.

World News

Crater provides close quarters

Israeli scientists have managed to simulate life on Mars. Commandeering the dusty Ramon Crater, 6 scientists have spent a month pretending they’re astronauts on the Red Planet. They’ve been sleeping, eating and conducting experiments inside their expedition base while donning mock space suits for outdoor excursions. It’s all to make sure astronauts are adequately prepared for a visit to Mars once it becomes a reality – something SpaceX founder Elon Musk says could happen as early as 2024. And it’s important because “for every mistake we make here on Earth, we hope we don’t repeat it on Mars,” said Austrian Space Forum director Gernot Gromer. Meanwhile, Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner, admits he is “terrified” ahead of his scheduled venture into space aboard a Blue Origin on Thursday. He’s not so boldly going where some have gone before…


McCartney gets back…

Who broke up the Beatles? More than 50 years later, Paul McCartney has finally voiced his answer: it was John Lennon. Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the icon said it was the “most difficult period of my life”. “This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue.” But it wasn’t to be with Lennon making a new life with Yoko Ono. And “John had always wanted to sort of break loose from society because, you know, he was brought up by his Aunt Mimi, who was quite repressive, so he was always looking to break loose.” For years, McCartney has carried the blame for the split because he was the first to confirm it. Considered the most influential band in popular music history (fight us…), the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership was responsible for more than 180 songs. Legendary director Peter Jackson’s doco on the band’s dying days is due out late next month.


Apropos of Nothing

We’re thinking of starting a segment called “something awesome from the internet”. If you have 2 minutes, this is our opening offer

Presidential candidate/former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now a novelist. And the thriller co-written with her bestselling crime writing friend Louise Penny, State of Terror is already a bestseller ahead of today’s release date.

A memory card concealed in a peanut butter sandwich delivered to a prearranged ‘dead drop’ location. Sounds like something from Clinton’s book… But for a US Navy nuclear engineer and his wife accused of trying to sell submarine design secrets to a foreign power, the nutty plot and its consequences are real.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.15pm (AEDT) – World Cup Qualifier – Socceroos v Japan – Japan

Spain’s National Day

Independence Day in Equatorial Guinea

Columbus Day in the US, and, in more than 100 cities and several states, Indigenous Peoples’ Day

World Arthritis Day

Ada Lovelace Day, aimed at increasing the profile of women in STEM

Birthdays for actors Hugh Jackman (1968) and Josh Hutcherson (1992)

Anniversary of:
• the first Oktoberfest when Bavaria’s royal family invited the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen (1810)
• Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh beginning to sell raincoats (macs) after patenting them (1823)
• The Day of Six Billion: when the 6 billionth human in the world was born (1999). We’re now at more than 7.9 billion…

Squiz the Day

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