Squiz Today / 14 July 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 14 July
Television is a notoriously tough business – particularly the morning shows. So imagine the angst about accommodating Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos’ height (or lack thereof) when a set change exposed how much shorter he is than his co-hosts. As Stephanopoulos (who is also the author of our favourite political memoir ever – he was a Bill Clinton press sec) demonstrates – it’s the little things (sorry George) that matter.
BRISSIE THE CENTRE OF POWER TODAY
No – this is not another State of Origin recap. Australia’s energy ministers will today meet in Brisbane to discuss Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s report on securing Australia’s energy supply and keeping electricity prices down – all while meeting our climate/emissions targets. Audrey Zibelman, head of the Australian Energy Market Operator this week told governments to “get on with it”, particularly after warnings earlier this year that there are real risks of power shortages in summer 2018/19.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Here are three things:
1. Electricity supply – because we’re short. We have enough for normal days but anything really hot, really cold or if one power generator is unable to supply the grid and lights go out. It’s complicated, but one main supply problem is the decade-long under-investment in power generation assets because of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Abbott/Turnbull governments' climate policy battles.
2. Electricity affordability – because it’s expensive. Turnbull has already moved to ensure Australia has more gas available for use which will help with prices in the future. But prices have just gone up 20% = political dynamite.
3. Reducing emissions – because we’ve made commitments. This is the crux of the coal v renewable energy debate.
The major stumbling block remains agreeing a Clean Energy Target (ie how much of our power generation should come from renewable sources) which falls into bucket #3. But the feeling is PM Malcolm Turnbull knows he has to tackle supply and price as the priorities to get his team over the line and maintain faith with Coalition supporters (which will enrage Labor and the Greens and make legislative changes difficult). Yep, it's a tough one.
SO WILL THEY GET ON WITH IT?
They kinda have to, but it won’t be pretty. Case in point is yesterday’s comment from the Coalition’s climate committee chair Craig Kelly that “people will die” during the winter months because policies mandating renewable energy sources have contributed to price increases. (With friends like that…) But time has pretty much run out and action needs to be taken. Meetings like today’s will show whether achieving progress will be a hard; really hard; or like staying-off-carbs-for-a-month hard (aka the highest degree of difficulty ever).
SQUIZ THE REST
TURNBULL TO TACKLE ENCRYPTION SERVICES
News Corp this morning reports that the Turnbull government will tackle encrypted messaging services (like WhatsApp) to get access to data. They will introduce legislation to force Facebook, Google and other tech companies to decrypt information and hand it over to police and intelligence agencies when they need it for terror-related investigations. Reports say nine out of every ten terror investigations are hampered by the lack of access to information held in these encrypted services.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER LIU XIAOBO DIES
China’s most prominent human rights advocate Liu Xiaobo has died from liver cancer aged 61yo. Liu had been serving an 11-year sentence for subversion. He was instrumental in negotiating for the safety of Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989, and was sent to a hard labour camp for three years for his campaign to have jailed protestors released. He was a pro-democracy campaigner and in and out of jail over the years as a result of his work. Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 but was not allowed to leave China to receive the award. Vale.
FLIGHT CENTRE ACCIDENTALLY GIVES AWAY CUSTOMER PASSPORT DETAILS
Flight Centre has had to ‘fess up to the accidental release of the passport details of “a small percentage” of their retail customers to a third-party tech provider. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are investigating but had these soothing words; "A passport number and personal information contained on the photo page of a passport would be insufficient to obtain another passport in this identity.” Just knowing that our passport photo was in general distribution would be enough to horrify us... it's scary.
ANDY MURRAY, FEMINIST ICON
We would have asked if British tennis star Andy Murray was just a stickler for accuracy if it wasn’t for his track record of support for women in tennis. TBH we’ve never been much of a Murray fan, but his performance at his final Wimbledon press conference after losing his quarterfinal was fab. Sam Querrey’s victory, according to a journo, made him the first American player to make it to a major semi-final since 2009. “Male player,” Murray corrected him, looking distinctly unamused by the slight to several US female players. “That’s my boy,” his mum Judy tweeted. Superb.
And while we have you – our support may have been a jinx… Johanna Konta lost her match against Venus Williams overnight 6-4 6-2. Williams will face off against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the final on Saturday night our time.
To the outside world, Bastille Day is a sombre day of national celebration in France commemorating the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris which sparked the French Revolution of 1789. But to those in the know, Bastille Day is better known as the night French firemen get their groove on. We’re talking about the Bals de Pompiers (Fireman’s Balls) which unfurl in French cities, towns and villages all over the country the night before Bastille Day. Certain fire stations in Paris are renowned for the wild parties they throw complete with finely chiselled, super-fit young fireys climbing atop makeshift bars and stripping for the ladies. What’s not to love about that country?
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
We think about the success/failure continuum quite a bit these days - The Squiz has done that to us… Anyway, again with the self-projecting. We really liked this analytical approach about why Jane Austen was (and remains) a success.
Cute wombats – we’re for them. Do you remember George the Wombat from a year ago? He was orphaned and took a shine to Australian Reptile Park keeper Tim Faulkner. Tim posted this video last year and the interwebs lost its mind. Tim’s recreated the magic to celebrate George’s first birthday and it’s equally adorbs.
The Parisian Pout = the new Duck Face. We never knew about it until now, and it’s hard to do. Have fun giving it a go - and tag #squizthepout in your social posts if you do. Just do your best, darling.
SQUIZ THE DAY
COAG Energy Ministers Meeting - Brisbane
ABS Data Release - Overseas Departures and Arrivals, May
7.30pm (AEST) - Australia v South Africa - Women's World Cup Cricket, Bristol UK
8.00pm (AEST) - Western Sydney Wanderers v Arsenal - ANZ Stadium, Sydney
11.00pm (AEST) - Wimbledon Women's Singles Final
11.00pm (AEST) - Wimbledon Men's Singles Final
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