Squiz Today / 23 March 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 23 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

We’ll get you started and on your way.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“On Netflix in a typical day, the ‘Skip Intro’ button is pressed 136 million times, saving members an astonishing 195 years in cumulative time!”

Said Cameron Johnson, the streaming company’s product innovation guy on the 5th anniversary of introducing the convenient feature. Confession time: we use it all the time, but feel a tinge sad for the people whose job it is to work on the opening…

United Nations gets up in Australia’s grill


The United Nations has had a fair bit to say about Oz and our environmental policies this week.  In an address to a global sustainability summit, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres named Australia as a “holdout” amongst developed nations that are committing to more ambitious emissions reductions targets. Also this week, scientists from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have begun a 10-day monitoring mission of the Great Barrier Reef. Last year, Environment Minister Sussan Ley successfully lobbied to keep it off their ‘in danger’ list


That’s always a good idea. Guterres said that without strong commitments from countries like Oz, the hope of keeping temperature rises to 1.5C by the end of the century is “on life support” and that capping it to 2C may also be out of reach. He said countries were “sleepwalking to climate catastrophe” if they continue to rely on fossil fuels, like coal, which he labelled a “stupid investment.” PM Scott Morrison attended the big climate summit in Glasgow last year, but failed to strengthen Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target or commit to phase out coal. What we did agree to is a target of net zero emissions by 2050. Yesterday, Simon Bradshaw from the Climate Council said the UN chief’s attack was unprecedented. But the Morrison Government shrugged off the criticism, with senior frontbencher Paul Fletcher saying “the chattering classes of the UN can say whatever they want,” but that Oz was “delivering outcomes” with its climate policies. 


It’s being given a checkup by UNESCO in a visit that was brokered as part of a compromise deal after the Morrison Government said a recommendation to downgrade the natural wonder’s World Heritage listing wasn’t based on progress being made to protect it. And the group has arrived at an interesting time – there’s new concerns about a mass coral bleaching event over summer. Bleaching occurs when warm water expels the algae in the coral tissue, turning it white and making it vulnerable to disease and starvation. The 2,300km reef has seen 5 mass bleaching events between 1998 to 2020, with climate change playing a lead role. The UN’s scientists are there until the end of next week and will complete a progress report by early May. And then a new government will have to deal with it when it goes to the World Heritage Committee in June.

Australian News Environment & Science

Squiz the Rest

Putin critic gets more jail time in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic – Alexei Navalny – will spend more time in jail after being given a 9 year sentence for fraud, in what critics have described as a “sham” trial.  Navalny was jailed when he returned to Russia last year after surviving a poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. A judge has found him guilty of stealing US$4.7 million of donations given to his now banned organisations, which will see him moved to a maximum-security jail in the east of the country. His spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, labelled his conviction “another monstrous crime being committed inside Russia.” This comes as Russia continues to bombard the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has described as a “city in ruins” with 100,000 who remain trapped inside it. He made another urgent appeal for humanitarian corridors to let people out. President Zelensky has also made an address to the Italian Parliament and says he’s appealed to Pope Francis for help in brokering a peace deal with Russia.

World News

One MP is charged, and another former one pleads guilty

The first to note is NSW state MP Gareth Ward. Yesterday, he was charged by police over the alleged sexual abuse of a 17yo boy in 2013 and 27yo man in 2015. He was a Liberal minister in the Berejiklian Government, but left the party last year when he ‘fessed up to being the subject of an ongoing police inquiry. He’s been in the media a lot… In 2017, Ward claimed to have been the target of an attempted mugging during a massage in New York. And in 2020, police were called when he was found outside with no clothes on trying to get into a Sydney apartment that wasn’t his own. In a statement, Ward said he was “completely innocent” of the charges. And former federal Labor MP Craig Thomson yesterday pleaded guilty to several domestic violence-related charges involving his estranged wife. In January, police alleged Thomson sent her 140 emails, and Magistrate Michael Antrum said many of the messages were designed to “meant to intimidate and harass”.

AusPol Crime

Watch out, stormy weather about…

“Yay, more rain,” said no one on Australia’s east coast… Still, a cold front is on its way to the nation’s southeast bringing rain, storms and cold temperatures to Victoria, Tassie and NSW tomorrow. The rain will be felt as far north as Queensland over already saturated river catchments – just as thousands have put away the mop. Sydney could cop 100mm of rain from today onwards and Melbourne is expected to plunge to a low of 12C tomorrow, with Hobart and Adelaide hovering around the same temps. Brrr… At the same time, a tropical cyclone has developed off the northern coast of Western Oz. Tropical Cyclone Charlotte is about 840km from Exmouth, and is set to weaken over the ocean – but it is expected to bring rain and wind to the state from Friday. Has anyone got a discount code for gumboots?


New car, new extended wait times

If you’re in the market for a new car, well aren’t you fancy… And you’re facing lengthy delays of more than 12 months on popular models. It’s down to the ongoing global computer chip shortage, which has been exacerbated by 2 years of lockdown restrictions and shipping delays, and the war in Ukraine. Most cars these days rely on the chips to function, and the shortage has seen global car production fall up to 40% in some markets. Major carmakers including Toyota General Motors, Ford, and Kia are among those hit. And for another whammy: the cost of new cars have jumped 25%, and used cars are up to 50%, according to pricemycar.com.au. Add it to the list of things to get revved up about…

Business & Finance

A trio of space news

  • More than 5,000 planets are now confirmed to exist beyond our solar system with NASA added 65 more ‘exoplanets’ to its archive. Scientists don’t know much about them, including who lives there. But 4% of the confirmed exoplanets are ‘terrestrial’ – that is, rocky planets like Earth or Mars – so you never know…
  • The Australian Defence Force has launched a new space division called Space Command, which will have its eyes on the threat of hypersonic missiles and satellites used in war. Defence Minister Peter Dutton said Oz would need to establish a military presence in space one day as it becomes “a new realm for conflict”. We bags designing the uniform
  • And US comedian/Kim Kardashian’s current squeeze Pete Davidson is no longer going to space this week after he turned down his free seat on a Blue Origin suborbital flight. It’s unclear why…
Australian News Space

Apropos of Nothing

A new Aussie report has revealed how much water the different generations use. The frugal Baby Boomers used the least amount of water at 53 minutes a day, while Millennials used the most at 2 hours and 11 minutes. 

One of Andy Warhol’s iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe is set to sell for a record US$200 million when it goes up for auction at Christie’s in May. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn could become the most expensive 20th century work and the 2nd most expensive artwork to be sold at auction. In first place is Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi which was bought for US$450 million in 2017.

And actor Hugh Grant broke a few hearts yesterday when he denied reports that he was in talks to take on the role of the Doctor in the BBC’s longrunning Doctor Who series. The rumours started with a tip from a “TV insider” who fans will now exterminate…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Former Socceroo/human rights activist Craig Foster addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

10.00pm (AEDT) – Boxing – AFL greats Sonny Bill Williams and Barry Hall face off in a heavyweight match – Sydney

Aussie businessman Neville Power to be sentenced over breaching WA’s quarantine laws – Perth

AIHW Release – Sports injury hospitalisations in Australia 2019-2020

World Meteorological Day

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will tie the knot with Stella Moris in prison – London

Birthdays for former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (1952), celebrity blogger Perez Hilton (1978), and Eugenie, Princess of York (1990)

Anniversary of:
• the 1st recorded use of “OK” [oll korrect] in the Boston Morning Post (1839)
• the Battle of Okinawa, the largest battle of the Pacific War in World War II (1945)
• the premiere of soap The Bold and the Beautiful (1987)
• the death of Elizabeth Taylor (2011)
• Syria declaring the last Islamic State-controlled territory had been retaken (2019)

Squiz the Day

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