Squiz Today / 27 October 2021

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 27 October

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Squiz Sayings

“We only get one life, and I want us to spend it with the one we love.”

Said Kei Komuro, the Japanese commoner who yesterday married Princess Mako after years of controversy. She called him “irreplaceable” at their not-so-romantic port-nuptial press conference. Now off to live in the US, they surely lived happily ever after…

Destination net zero locked in

Australia has joined the net zero emissions by 2050 club, becoming the 70th country to take the pledge. And while we’re not following the lead of others to make formal short term commitments, Oz is said to be on track to deliver emissions reductions of 30-35% on 2005 levels – an improvement on the 26-28% we pledged in Paris in 2015. Next stop: PM Scott Morrison will take the plan to the United Nations’ COP26 climate conference in Glasgow next week (where he won’t see the Queen…) after trotting it past the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome on the weekend. At home, there will be scrutiny of Team Morrison’s plan to remove as much greenhouse gas from the atmosphere as what’s emitted by the middle of the century.

Good question:

• For 85% of the road to net zero, the government intends to use existing and emerging technologies. Half of that will come from an investment of more than $20 billion by the end of this decade in things like “clean” hydrogen, “ultra-low-cost solar”, battery storage of renewable power and carbon capture and storage.

• The remaining 15%? Insert shrugging lady emoji… They reckon there will be “further technology breakthroughs” between 2030 and 2050.

• And the list of what the plan won’t deliver is long… The target won’t be legislated. It won’t increase energy bills or add new costs or taxes, the government says. And they say it won’t put jobs at risk – in fact, 62,000 new regional mining and heavy industry jobs are projected for the period.

Well, Morrison has a challenge: he’s climbing aboard the climate bus – as demanded by many voters – while giving comfort to those who aren’t sold on the idea yet. That accounts for his pitch that it’s to “protect the Australian way of life”. Meanwhile, the Greens called the plan “a fraud”, and Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s take is that Morrison has left out vital details. Labor supports the target of net zero emissions by 2050 but is yet to reveal its detailed plan – something the party says it will do ahead of the next election.


Squiz the Rest

Victoria keeps its Crown

Crown Resorts will hold onto its casino licence in Victoria despite the adverse findings made by the Royal Commission into the company’s conduct in its final report. Crown engaged in “disgraceful” conduct at its Melbourne casino, Commissioner Ray Finkelstein’s report says. And there is evidence of links to criminal gangs and repeated breaches of money laundering laws to boot. But unlike the result of NSW’s review of the same claims, Finkelstein stopped short of recommending that it be stripped of its gaming licence. Instead, it should be given 2 years to reform when a “special manager” will tell the regulator if it’s up to scratch. One of the Commission’s recommendations is that by 2024, no shareholder should hold more than 5% of the company without the regulator’s approval. James Packer has 37%, and he may be forced to sell that down if the Victorian Government moves to adopt the limit. All of that was received well by investors – Crown’s share price jumped 8.7% yesterday.

Business & Finance

Some Christmas cheer with borders set to open

Fully vaccinated Aussies will be able to enter South Oz without quarantining from 23 November, said Premier Steven Marshall yesterday. And Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday warned residents they have 5 days to get their first jab to be fully vaccinated when the state’s borders open on 17 December. Western Australia’s response is to think about reinstating its hard border with ‘non-COVID’ states South Oz, Queensland and Tassie, which have set dates this side of Chrissy to open up, with the Top End set to follow in mid-January. Further afield, Singapore has announced overnight that it will allow fully vaccinated Australians to enter the country without quarantining from 8 November.

Australian News

A landmark legal case

over the death of an enslaved girl in a landmark case. The woman referred to as Jennifer W converted to Islam in A German woman who joined the Islamic State has been jailed for 10 years over the death of an enslaved girl in a landmark case. The woman referred to as Jennifer W converted to Islam in 2013 and travelled to Iraq the following year to marry an IS fighter. Her husband purchased a Yazidi woman and her 5yo daughter as slaves in 2015, and the girl died from exposure after he chained her up in a courtyard. Jennifer W was deported to Germany in 2016 after being arrested in Turkey, and the mother of the girl launched legal action against her, backed by human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Yesterday, the Munich court found Jennifer W had not attempted to help the girl, even though it was “possible and reasonable”. The case is believed to be the first in the world to indict crimes committed by IS members against the ethnic minority.

World News

Mo money, mo problems for Facebook

It may be facing a series of damning revelations following a big leak of documents by whistleblower/former employee Frances Haugen, but the tech titan is still making a motza. Thanks to solid ad revenue, Facebook beat analysts’ expectations after posting a $12.3 billion profit for the July to September quarter. Founder Mark Zuckerberg took the opportunity presented by the investor call to respond to allegations that Facebook puts profits before user safety, calling recent coverage “a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company”. Next up: Zuckerberg says Facebook is “retooling” to make Facebook cool again to reengage young adults. Groovy…


Lemurs get into the groove

It may not come as a surprise for anyone who’s seen Madagascar, but researchers have discovered that singing lemurs are the first known non-human mammals to display a sense of rhythm. Indri are a critically endangered lemur species that are native to the African island nation. And sure, their voices might sound like “bagpipes being stepped on“, but they do like a family singalong. After analysing their songs, scientists say that like humans and some songbirds, the lemurs make distinctive and predictable patterns, like the beat of a song. Researchers identified 2 types of categorical rhythms: 1:1 (like a metronome) and 2:1 (like Queen’s We Will Rock You). Amazing, but not as accomplished as their onscreen counterparts

Environment & Science

Apropos of Nothing

The good people at Parkes Observatory did not detect “promising” radio signals that seemed to be extraterrestrial in 2019. It was likely a malfunctioning device, 2 researchers have found.

The only thing less enticing than an 8-month-long cruise is… one that goes for 9 months? Bookings are open…

And in Kiwiland, bird lovers are being beaten by a native bat. The nation’s Bird of the Year comp is heading towards a controversial conclusion – strap yourself in…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.09am (AEDT) – Baseball – Major League Baseball’s World Series Opener – Houston Astros v Atlanta Braves – Houston

12.30pm (AEDT) – Climate change experts Professor Mark Howden, Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick & Professor Frank Jotzo address the National Press Club – Canberra

Former Wagga MP Daryl McGuire fronts an ICAC corruption hearing into former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

An appeal hearing for the extradition of Wikileaker Julian Assange to the US (until 28 October) – London

ABS Data Release – Consumer Price Index, September

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Birthdays for comedian John Cleese (1939) and cricketer David Warner (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of iconic pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923) and poet Sylvia Plath (1932)
• the release of film Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
• the death of musician Lou Reed (2013)
• the release of Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album 1989 (2014)
• the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting where 11 worshipers died in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States (2018)

Squiz the Day

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