Squiz Today / 30 November 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 30 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

Putting the hum in Hump Day.

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

SYD
16 / 23
MEL
10 / 20
BNE
20 / 23
ADL
11 / 24
PER
24 / 35
HBA
10 / 19
DRW
25 / 35
CBR
9 / 24

Squiz Sayings

“There is no excuse for my lack of coasters.”

Tweeted the world’s richest (and busiest) man Elon Musk about the bizarre array of objects he keeps on his bedside table – including 4 empty cans of caffeine-free Diet Coke. The ring marks are definitely not the thing that caught most people’s eye…

Morrison gets his day in Parliament

THE SQUIZ

Former PM Scott Morrison will face a rare censure motion in Parliament today over his decision to secretly appoint himself to 5 government ministries during the COVID pandemic. Yesterday, the Coalition said it won’t support the motion and leader Peter Dutton labelled it “a stunt”. But that won’t stop it from being passed when it’s raised in the House of Representatives, where the Labor government has a majority. The censure motion is expected to be moved by Leader of the House Tony Burke. PM Anthony Albanese says legislation will also be introduced this week to ensure similar secret appointments “can never, ever happen again”. 

HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?

In August, Albanese appointed former High Court Justice Virginia Bell to lead an inquiry into revelations that Morrison had appointed himself to the health, finance, treasury, home affairs and industry portfolios – all without the knowledge of his ministers… Morrison says he gave himself the extra powers when “there was a need for considerable urgency” in decision-making. He claims he only used them once to overrule a minister in a matter unrelated to COVID. The Bell report was released last Friday and was scathing in its review of Morrison’s actions. It found they were “corrosive of trust in government” and had “little if any connection to the pandemic”. It echoes the findings of an earlier investigation by Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue, which noted Morrison’s actions were technically legal but “fundamentally undermined” the principle of “responsible government” laid out in the Aussie Constitution. 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MORRISON?

Not much, legally… A censure won’t force him to resign, but it will be officially noted that MPs disapprove of his actions. Morrison has already faced angry colleagues who unknowingly shared their portfolio responsibilities. Former Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews called on him to quit in August and his former ally, ex-Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, asked for an apology, calling it an “extreme overreach”. For his part, Morrison – who initially shared joke memes about the issue on social media – has doubled down on the Bell Report’s findings that his actions were “not found to be unlawful” and yesterday thanked colleagues for their support. But at least one Liberal is expected to break ranks… Backbencher Bridget Archer says she will likely cross the floor to support today’s motion. #SquizShortcuts

AusPol

Squiz the Rest

China plans ‘crackdown’ on protestors

China’s top security agency has called for a crackdown on nationwide protests that have spread to 15 cities and Hong Kong. Reports say the police presence has increased in Beijing and Shanghai, and some protesters have been tracked down and interrogated. Online censorship has also tightened on sites, including Twitter. Demonstrations started last week after a deadly apartment fire fuelled public anger over strict COVID restrictions and now pose an unprecedented challenge to the leadership of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party. Some protesters are calling for free speech and democracy in numbers not seen since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Many have been holding up blank sheets of paper or displaying other creative symbols of defiance, including mathematical equations to evade government censors. While relaxing some restrictions on Monday in response to the protests, the Chinese Government said it is standing by its ‘COVID-zero’ policy.

World News

Hawaiian sky burns red

The night sky above Hawaii’s largest island glowed bright red yesterday as the world’s largest active volcano erupted for the first time in nearly 4 decades. Lava was seen flowing down the side of the Mauna Loa, but as it’s contained within the volcano’s summit at 4,169 metres above sea level, authorities say it doesn’t pose a threat to residents living downslope – for now. However, Big Island’s 200,000 inhabitants have been told to make preparations to evacuate just in case, as the volcano’s last eruption in 1984 sent a flow of lava within 8km of Hilo, the island’s largest city. Officials warn the air quality could deteriorate in the coming days due to high levels of volcanic gases, including sulphur dioxide, that can be released in eruptions. People heading outside have been urged to cut back on “strenuous exercise” and wear a mask to avoid inhaling ash particles. 

World News

Bracing for major flight disruptions next week

Air passengers could face severe disruptions over Christmas with airport firefighters planning to strike next Friday. The industrial action is set for the morning of 9 December at 27 airports across Australia, including major international hubs Sydney and Melbourne. The timing couldn’t be worse for Queenslanders, as the walk-off will occur just one day before the school holidays start. The United Fire Fighters Union says it’s taking the action as part of a dispute with government body Airservices Australia over safety concerns, with claims 100 firies were axed to cut costs. But Airservices Australia says the watchdog has conducted safety audits, and the dispute is really about pay. If the strike goes ahead, it could be up to airlines to decide whether they continue, reschedule or cancel flights. And there could be further disruptions after Qantas domestic flight attendants also voted in favour of strike action. No wonder more Aussies are choosing the train these days…

Australian News Business & Finance

Croc star charged over chopper death

Matt Wright is the croc-wrangling star of hit TV shows Outback Wrangler and Wild Croc Territory, but now it’s Top End police who’ve done the wrangling after a warrant for his arrest was issued on Monday. The 43yo handed himself into Darwin police yesterday and has been charged with numerous offences, including perverting the course of justice, destruction of evidence, and interfering with witnesses over the death of his friend Chris Wilson in February. Better known as ‘Willow’, the 34yo died in a helicopter crash in the NT’s West Arnhem Land while collecting crocodile eggs. Wright is the 3rd person arrested over the incident but “strenuously denies” any wrongdoing describing it as a “tragic accident”. The others are pilot Michael Burbidge who’s facing 4 charges, including fabricating evidence, and former senior police officer Neil Mellon who’s charged with 35 offences, including disclosure of confidential information. Wright has been released on conditional bail and will face court this morning. 

Australian News Crime

We the people love Christmas

If you’re still haunted by the memory of Melania Trump’s Handmaid’s Tale-esque take on Christmas, fear not because this year’s White House decorations have taken a decidedly homelier turn under the watch of current First Lady Jill Biden. The theme is ‘We the People’ – evoking the preamble of the Constitution – and it’s a narcissist’s dream as it features thousands of mirrors hanging from 77 Christmas trees. Biden believes it’s important that “people see themselves in the decor.” The display is completed by 25 wreaths and more than 83,615 lights, but the FLOTUS didn’t hang them all herself… no less than 170 volunteers worked around the clock for 7 days to get the job done. Fifty-thousand visitors are expected to take in the festive ambience first-hand over the next month, but in case you’re not in Washington DC, check out this gallery to share the joy. Now that’s commitment to the Christmas spirit…

World News

Apropos of Nothing

It felt a bit like déjà vu when ‘teal’ was named Macquarie Dictionary’s 2022 Word of the Year yesterday in a nod to the climate-focused independent political movement as it was also the National Dictionary Centre’s word of choice last week. At least Squiz favourite ‘bachelor’s handbag’ saved face by taking out the people’s choice award… 

One Finnish brand is taking the upcycling trend to a delicious new level by turning old McDonald’s uniforms into high fashion. It’s a lot kinder on the eyes than the KFC x Crocs collaboration

And a Brahman cow has gone viral after forming an unlikely bond with an orphaned brumby foal on a Queensland cattle station. The images are very mooving…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.00pm (AEDT) – Men and Women’s Hockey – Kookaburras and Hockeyroos v India – Adelaide

Independence Day in Yemen and Barbados

Labor to move a censure motion against former PM Scott Morrison in the House of Representatives – Canberra

Australian Parliament to unveil its official portrait of former prime minister Tony Abbott – Canberra

ABS Data Release – Monthly Consumer Price Index, October;
Building Approvals, October

St Andrew’s Day

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

A birthday for model/TV presenter/social media phenomenon Chrissy Teigen (1985)

Anniversary of:
• the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982)
• the premiere of Schindler’s List (1993)
• the death of former US President George HW Bush (2018)

Thursday
2.00am (AEDT) – Football – FIFA World Cup Group Stage – Australia v Denmark – Qatar

Squiz the Day

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