Squiz Today / 02 December 2020

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 2 December


“I honestly do not know where to start…”

Said freed Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert to those who supported her while she was in prison in Iran. She’s released a statement thanking her friends, colleagues and the government for working to secure her freedom. Good luck to her.


The world is getting back on track to meet the top end of the Paris Climate Agreement goal according to a new study by the Climate Action Tracker. The independent and scientific analysis that tracks government climate action says a couple of things are behind the "optimistic analysis" that suggests global warming of 2.1C by 2100. The first is China's commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2060. And the second is Joe Biden’s election to the White House with his commitment to put America back into the Paris Agreement and to have the country achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Then the world is looking at warming of around 2.7C by 2100. That was the tracker’s estimate from September before those two developments. And remember, it was just a year ago that the United Nations reported that the world was heading for a 3.2C global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels. So while the predictions are still well above the main goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C, 2.1C is significantly better than 3.2C and the wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts that would bring. So China (which is responsible for 28% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions) and the US (with 15%) have the power to shift the dial.

Just this week, Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor reported that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3% in the 2019-20 financial year due to the initial COVID-19 lockdown, the ongoing drought which saw farmers carry less livestock, and more renewable energy coming online. Australia is set to meet its 2030 target without the controversial use of 'carryover credits', but the Morrison Government remains under pressure to commit to a target of net zero emissions by 2050, like the US, UK and many other nations have. It’s a topic that’s in focus as we recorded our hottest ever spring and November, New Zealand declares a climate emergency today, and Pacific Island nations step up their campaign to demand action from Australia ahead of the next United Nations virtual summit on 12 December.



At least 4 people including a baby have died and 15 are injured after a car drove through a pedestrian area in the German city of Trier. A 51yo local man has been arrested and the circumstances of the attack are not yet clear. Trier authorities say he drove his SUV at high speed for 1km "hitting people at random on his way" before being cornered by police. A Christmas market is usually held in that part of town at this time of year, but it was cancelled due to COVID. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "The news from Trier is very sad. My sympathy goes to the relatives of people who were torn from their lives so suddenly and forcibly. I also think of those who have suffered severe injuries and I wish them much strength."


Taking to WeChat (the massive Chinese social messaging platform) overnight, PM Morrison has defended Australia’s handling of claims several elite soldiers were involved in war crimes in Afghanistan. Highlighting the difference between how Australia and China handle hot topics, he said it was “a strength of this country”. He also thanked Chinese-Australians for the contribution they make to Oz. It comes after his demand for an apology from China over that "repugnant" tweet was labelled an “overreaction" by China’s Embassy in Canberra said yesterday. New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern said her government had contacted Chinese authorities over the use of a doctored image to target Australia’s war record. Meanwhile, MPs from around the world have launched a campaign promoting Australian wine. Cheers to that...


• As we live and breathe… Western Australia’s restrictions on travellers from Victoria and New South Wales will be lifted next Tuesday (8 December), just in time for Christmas. "I just warn people that if there's an outbreak, we'll put a hard border up again," Premier Mark McGowan said yesterday.

• On the medical front, researchers from Oxford have found that COVID is causing lung abnormalities that are detectable more than 3 months after infection. Researchers say understanding this better will be important to monitor patients’ ongoing risk of severe illness and death linked to the damage.

• And the UN says the pandemic has resulted in a 40% increase in the number of people needing humanitarian assistance around the world. It’s appealing for US$35 billion to keep delivering support in 2021.


Exactly 78 years after he died in battle, Tassie’s Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean yesterday posthumously received Australia’s highest military honour, the Victoria Cross. It’s the first VC to be awarded to a member of the Royal Australian Navy. Sheean launched life rafts from the HMAS Armidale while under attack by Japanese forces off the coast of modern-day Timor-Leste in December 1942. He then returned to his position to fire at enemy aircraft as the ship went down, and was never seen again. "At that moment, Teddy Sheean exemplified the characteristics that the first Anzacs left us - mateship, endurance, courage and sacrifice," Governor-General David Hurley said at yesterday’s ceremony. The award was presented to Sheean's nephew Garry Ivory, who led a decades-long campaign to have his uncle recognised.


Seven West Media is taking Cricket Australia to court claiming their broadcast contract has been broken. Seven, which bought the free-to-air television rights in 2018 for $450 million, argues that changes to the game schedule of India's current tour of Oz have reduced the value of the contract. To explain: Seven has the rights to broadcast the Test matches, which will be played later in the season. It maintains that viewership on Seven could be impacted as fans get into the groove of watching cricket on Foxtel or Kayo, which are airing the limited-overs matches and the Tests. Smelling a rat, Seven says Foxtel and India's powerful organising body has received preferential treatment while it’s suffered. And so it wants it to reduce its contract or get out of it altogether. Cricket Australia’s interim CEO Nick Hockley said the company has already offered Seven a contract reduction, which it didn’t accept.


Forget the Melbourne Cup. Forget the AFL Grand Final and the Super Netball showdown. The contest that sets our nation (and its taste buds) alight - the great supermarket ham taste test. And for 2020, it’s Aldi #1 and #2. Mmm... ham…


12.30pm (AEDT) - ACTU Secretary Sally McManus addresses the National Press Club - Canberra

2.40pm (AEDT) - One Day Cricket - Australia vs India - Canberra

New Zealand set to declare a climate emergency

ABS Data Release - Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, September

National days for the United Arab Emirates and Lao People’s Democratic Republic

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Birthdays for author Ann Patchett (1963), actress Lucy Liu (1968) and pop star Britney Spears (1981)

Anniversary of:
• Napoleon Bonaparte being crowned Emperor of France (1804)
• the release of Fred Astaire's first film, Dancing Lady (1933)
• Fidel Castro becoming President of Cuba (1976)
• the death of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (1993)

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