Squiz Today / 24 September 2021
Squiz Today – Friday, 24 September
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Squiz Today Podcast
Maintain your news game.
Today’s listen time: 9 minutes
“In fact, it sounds a bit like bacon frying in a pan.”
Is how biologist Mark Meekan described the sounds of healthy reefs being played underwater in a bid to improve coral growth. You got us at bacon, mmmm…
The end of the Merkel era
Germany heads to the polls this Sunday, and Chancellor Angela Merkel won’t be on the ticket for the first time in 30 years. She announced back in 2018 that she isn’t seeking re-election for a 5th term, and after 16 years in the nation’s top job and 18 years as leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, she’s calling time on her political career.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
A theoretical quantum chemist from the former communist East Germany, Merkel became reunified Germany’s first female chancellor in 2005. During her time in office, she earned a swag of nicknames, including the world’s most powerful woman, Europe’s de facto leader and at home, “die Mutti”, aka Mummy. She has steered Europe’s biggest economy through the global financial crisis, migrant crisis, Brexit and COVID – and passed the rare ‘how do I react after a tray of beers have been poured down my back’ test. She’s dealt with some interesting situations with fellow world leaders while packing an epic eye roll (which made her a comedy favourite…). Merkel wasn’t always Germany’s natural leader – she was seen as “temporary” when she first rose through the political ranks. But she delivered stability for her party and the nation. Now 67yo, she’ll be one of the few to exit politics under her own steam and not as a victim of one of the 3 Ds – defeat, disgrace or death.
SO IT’S AUF WIEDERSEHEN MERKEL?
Not just yet… This weekend, Germans will elect members of the lower house of the parliament (aka the Bundestag). And while the party with the most seats should clear on the night, it’s unlikely to have a majority. That means the next chancellor will be selected once a coalition with majority support is settled. The last election was in 2017, and it took almost 5 months for Merkel to form a coalition government. So it could take a while… In the running: Merkel’s CDU colleague Armin Laschet, Olaf Scholz of the centre-left Social Democrats and Annalena Baerbock of the Greens. While that’s being sorted out, Merkel can press on with foreign policy initiatives. “There are demands made of me while I am in office, and I will continue in that way until my last day,” she has said. In the meantime, Merkel’s on the hustings to drum up support for Laschet – exactly where she didn’t want to be…
Squiz the Rest
Push to back net zero
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has reportedly backed the case to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. In a speech to a peak industry group today, Frydenberg is expected to warn that Australia could face higher borrowing costs if it is locked out of foreign capital markets because of assumptions that the nation is moving too slowly towards a low-emissions future. It’s the strongest endorsement to date from a senior cabinet minister, and experts say his push could strengthen support for the goal within the government ahead of the UN’s COP26 Climate Change Conference. As it stands, our government’s position is to reach net zero “preferably” by 2050, but many are calling for an official commitment to that position. For PM Scott Morrison’s part, he told US President Joe Biden earlier this week that Australia was working through its own “Australian plan”, which would be settled in the coming weeks.AusPol Australian News
Murugappan family can stay another year
The Murugappan family were held in community detention for 2 hours yesterday after their 3-month bridging visas ran out – they had to wait for confirmation that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke had signed off on an extension. That came through for 3 members of the high profile Sri Lankan Tamil family – and they’ve been granted 12-month bridging visas. Their youngest daughter Tharnicaa was not granted a visa prompting questions about why. Her eligibility to apply for a visa to remain in Australia is at the centre of an ongoing legal case. Long story short, not granting Tharnicaa a visa means the family must remain in Perth. Ipso facto, they will not be allowed to return to Biloela in central Queensland, where they lived for 4 years. The family’s case is due back in court early next month.Australian News
Far out Brussels sprout
We’re not sure if it’s Brussels sprouts we can’t get excited about or if it’s veggies in general because, well, meh. On the nasty nuggets and others in the brassica family, researchers reckon they’ve worked out why they can have a bad reputation. They contain sulfur compounds which, when mixed with some people’s saliva and broken down by enzymes, produce a very smelly gas in the mouth, according to a new study. “Basically this gas is associated with the smells of farts and the smells of decomposing animals,” said Sydney Uni’s Dr Damian Frank. Charming, and unsurprisingly, that smell may not inspire a hunger for more. The health-friendly news is researchers say you can learn to like them with repeated exposure or, if not, a good culinary trick.Health
Meanwhile, in sports news…
• We’re one sleep away from the AFL grand final game between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs in Perth. The bookies have Melbourne coming out in front of a crowd of 60,000 (soz Melbs…). You’ll see a bit about this today and the weekend, so a couple of off-broadway talking points: both clubs’ presidents are women – that’s a first. And it’s not footy without a pie, and 10,000 are expected to be consumed along with 130,000 cups of beer. Chug-a-lug…
• In league, it’s NRL preliminary finals time when the grand finalists are decided… Up tonight, South Sydney Rabbitohs take on the Manly Sea Eagles. Then tomorrow arvo, it’s the Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers. Both games are in Brissie. And in rugby, the Wallabies take on Argentina’s Pumas tomorrow night in Townsville. The Aussies have won their last 2 games after a dry spell, and they’re talkin’ tough.
• And Aussie netball has a new team captain. Liz Watson (who co-captains the Melbourne Vixens when she’s not injured) and newly appointed vice-captain Steph Wood are leading our world #1 ranked Diamonds. Bring on the 2022 Commonwealth Games…Sport
Vale John Elliott
Former Liberal Party president John Elliott died last night at 79yo. Elliot had a fall and had been ill for a few weeks, his son broadcaster Tom Elliott said. Elliott was a big name in the business world – he acquired jam maker IXL, agriculture pillar Elders, and bought Calton United Breweries, ultimately propelling Foster’s into a global beer brand. He became an influential figure in Canberra as the federal president of the Liberal Party from 1987 to 1990 and was also treasurer and vice-president of the Liberal Party in Victoria. But in his hometown of Melbourne, he was best known for his 20-year reign as the president of the Carlton football club. Tributes have flowed in with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg describing Elliott as a great Victorian Liberal. “He was a larger than life figure who will be greatly missed,” he said. Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett said his friend was a “loud, colourful and committed Liberal who redefined corporate, political and sporting life in Australia”.AusPol Australian News
Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week
Our most excellent colleague at the Sport Today podcast recommended a new Netflix series called Untold. It’s a series of remarkable stories in sport that warrant another look. The episode we enjoyed the most: Crime and Penalties – it’s about the bloke that The Sopranos is based on buying his 17yo son a pro hockey team. And they were “as violent as they were good”. It’s a great yarn.
Sunscreen: you’ve gotta do it. We’re fans of this invisible sunscreen – it’s light and doesn’t leave you with that sunscreeny film. And with things starting to heat up, we’re getting behind the slip, slop, slap train.
We’ve been pampered with sweet treats from our neighbours this week, but the icing on the cake were these lemon buttercream melting moments. They certainly melted any restraint we had…Friday Lites
Do the Squiz Quiz
Reckon you know which famous sports star has announced their candidacy for president in their home country? Have a crack at this week’s Squiz Quiz.
Squiz the Day
24 September 2021
Public holiday in Victoria ahead of tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final
3.10pm (AEST) – Women’s ODI Cricket – Australia v India – Mackay
7.50pm (AEST) – NRL Preliminary Final – South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly Sea Eagles – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Tonight – PM Scott Morrison meets with his counterparts in the US, Japan and India for the first-ever Quad Leaders Summit – Washington DC
AIHW Data Release – Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Australia
• the birthdays of F Scott Fitzgerald (1896), Sir John Kerr (1914), Jim Henson (1936) and Linda McCartney (1941)
• Kentucky Fried Chicken opening its first franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah (1952)
• the release of Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock (1957)
• the release of Nirvana’s album Nevermind (1991)
• the death of Dr Seuss (1991)
• the release of the BBC series Pride and Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth (1995)
• the premiere of The Big Bang Theory (2007)
• the Mars Orbiter Mission making India the first Asian nation to reach Mars’ orbit, and the first nation in the world to do so in its first attempt (2014)