Squiz Today / 15 October 2020
Squiz Today – Thursday, 15 October
“Send noodz, not nudes.”
Was Kraft’s Mac & Cheese promotion to mark National Noodle Day in the US, which landed like a heavy microwave bowl of… mac and cheese. Parents didn’t appreciate adult themes being applied to their kids’ favourite dinner-in-a-packet. As they say, no noodz is good news…
GREAT BARRIER REEF IN BAD SHAPE
Our recognised great wonder of the natural world - Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef - has lost half its corals since 1995. In shallow and deep water, baby corals and adults of all sizes and species have been affected. That’s according to an assessment by the Townsville-based/government-funded ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies published yesterday.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
It’s down to climate change with a side of destructive cyclones and runoff from agricultural chemicals. The big culprit: record-breaking water temperatures in 2016 and 2017 that triggered bleaching across the north of the reef. It happened again at the southern part of the reef earlier this year, although that isn’t counted in this assessment. All that’s nothing new. Last year, the federal government released a report saying that the long-term outlook for the reef was “very poor”, mainly thanks to water temperatures warming and the advent of ‘marine heatwaves’. Composed of 3,000 individual reefs covering 344,400km2, the sheer size of the reef hasn’t protected it. And the study’s authors say that it shows that “even the world’s largest and relatively well-protected reef system is increasingly compromised and in decline.”
YIKES… CAN THIS END WELL?
Maybe not… Overcoming the loss will be tough for the corals because there are "fewer babies and fewer large breeding adults." And without super urgent global action on climate change, more damage is likely, experts say. Last year, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said that the "current rate of global warming will not allow the maintenance of a healthy reef for future generations.” And its chief scientist Dr David Wachenfeld has previously said his worry was "that people will lose hope for the reef. Without hope, there's no action." A federal government spokesperson said more than $1.9 billion for the management and protection of the reef has been committed by the Morrison Government - "an unprecedented investment."
SQUIZ THE REST
MEANWHILE, IN CORONAVIRUS NEWS...
• Four new coronavirus cases in Melbourne was “very positive news”, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said yesterday. Not such great news was 3 cases in the regional centre of Shepparton after an infected person, who'd also visited Benalla and Kilmore, 'fessed up on Tuesday night that they stopped off there too. There will be some easing of restrictions announced on Sunday, Andrews said, but it won’t be as significant as some might like. Meanwhile, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt joined the chorus of critics against maintaining Melbourne’s lockdown saying the numbers show it’s no longer a hot spot.
• Over the border in NSW, 11 new locally-acquired cases were recorded yesterday, and it’s "the most concerned" authorities have been in months, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday. So the state has ditched the easing of crowd rules for dining and events announced earlier this week.
• And with 700,000 new coronavirus cases recorded in Europe last week (up by a third on the previous week), health officials are worried there’s a massive wave of infection that is about to take hold there. The UK, France, Russia and Spain accounted for half of those cases, and most are in the process of reimposing restrictions to get on top of things before winter sets in.
MAGUIRE ADMITS TO WRONGDOING
It was another fast and furious day in politics in NSW with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire facing the Independent Commission Against Corruption over allegations he misused his office for personal gain between 2012 and 2018. That happened, he admitted yesterday, including when he took thousands of dollars in ‘success fees’ in a dodgy ‘cash-for-visas’ scheme through a company he was a secret director of. He sometimes took payment via cash delivered to his office in Sydney’s Parliament House. He also agreed that he used his role as the chair of the parliament’s Asia Pacific Friendship Group to further his personal business interests and spruik his access to top government officials. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who earlier this week told the inquiry she had been in a relationship with Maguire during that period, strongly pushed back on journalists and Labor telling them to be careful about the allegations they are levelling at her. "I know the people of this state know that I have done nothing wrong," she said. Maguire is back before the inquiry today.
PUSEY VOWS TO FIGHT REMAINING CHARGES
The man who was involved in the Eastern Freeway crash that killed 4 police officers back in April yesterday said he will fight the remaining charges he is facing. Richard Pusey was pulled over by police for allegedly speeding in his Porsche when a truck hit the officers on the side of the road. Some charges including failure to render assistance at the scene of a crash were thrown out by the County Court yesterday, but he was again refused bail with police concerned he could harass and intimidate witnesses. The 42yo has pleaded not guilty to the 11 remaining charges, including drug possession and reckless conduct endangering serious injury and death. Pusey has also been handed a rare charge of outraging public decency relating to his alleged filming of a dying officer with his phone.
THAI PROTESTS FLARE UP
Tensions between anti-government protesters and monarchists in Thailand are on the rise after yesterday’s demonstrations saw the biggest turnout of royal fans yet. After 3 months of largely peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations drawing tens of thousands of Thais out in support, yesterday’s anniversary of the 1973 mass uprising against the country’s military dictatorship provoked a standoff and stoked fears that violence would once again erupt. Those calling for change want the military-backed government to resign and reform to the monarchy. While criticism of the royals is outlawed in Thailand, bold protesters gave King Maha Vajiralongkorn a three-finger salute as the royal convoy passed this week. Experts say it could be a watershed moment for the movement. Others say the protesters’ attacks on the royal family - which is beloved by many - are alienating the movement. #SquizShortcut
CONSUMERS GET SOME PEP IN THEIR STEP
Aussie shoppers are getting their mojo back with consumer confidence jumping to its highest level in more than 2 years. According to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute monthly index, consumer sentiment jumped by 11.9% in October to its highest level since July 2018. Confidence in the housing market has also risen by 10.6% to its highest level since September 2019. Commentators have put it down to the Budget handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last week. The index recorded a thumbs up with respondents expecting the Budget to improve personal and national finances - a first for the study. “This is an extraordinary result,” Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said.
APROPOS OF NOTHING
Societies can only operate if there are rules. So it’s good some ground rules are being established for the moon… The key takeout: respect historic sites, don’t litter, and let people know when you’re going to visit.
Hey there, tree-hugger… Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov is 2020’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year for this snap of an Amur tiger showing love for a Manchurian fir tree in a Siberian forest. Aww…
And stop everything - this might be the most important thing we’ve ever told you… Here’s a list of where you can find Australia’s top 10 potato cakes. And if you want to call them potato scallops, that's fine, but you're wrong. And yes, we're well aware that them's fightin' words…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Labour Force, September
• the first ballet performance, Ballet Comique de la Reine, in Paris (1581)
• the execution of Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari for spying for Germany during WWI (1917)
• the birthdays of writer PG Wodehouse (1881) and philosopher Michel Foucault (1926)
• the publication of EB White's Charlotte's Web (1952)
• the ‘Balloon Boy’ fake news story (2009)
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.