Squiz Today / 11 October 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 11 October
That was the response from Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold-medalist (and keen Squiz’er) Emma George when we asked her to sum up the experience of walking into the stadium as part of Team Australia at the Sydney Olympics. Because she wasn’t there. She’d stayed in Perth to train. It’s enough to give you FOMO for the rest of your life… Her otherwise upbeat Three Minute Squiz is here.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BURNS
A state of emergency was declared yesterday in northern California as fires spread through the wine growing areas of Sonoma and Napa. At least 11 people are dead, there are fears for the safety of 100 more, 2,000 properties have been destroyed and 20,000 people evacuated by some of the worst fires the state has ever seen. Californian Governor Jerry Brown said; “It’s not under control by any means. But we’re on it in the best way we know how.”
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
Dry conditions caused by a prolonged drought and strong winds of 80km/hour set the scene for 15 fires to spread quickly through +70,000 acres. Northern California isn’t used to fires like the southern end of the state. As a result, questions have been raised about the North’s preparedness. One local told the BBC; “This is big earthquake country. We don't expect fires to come into the city and burn at the rate they did."
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Authorities say conditions are not expected to change in coming days. Governor Brown has appealed to US President Donald Trump for federal emergency aid saying; “this incident is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State.” And with many of America’s coveted wines coming out of the region, the wine industry is waiting to hear what the damage is.
SQUIZ THE REST
ABBOTT’S NEW LINE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Former PM Tony Abbott pushed the boat out into new territory (can you do that with a boat?) on climate change in a widely reported speech to the Global Policy Foundation in London yesterday. Abbott has taken many positions on climate change over the last decade, but this angle was a newbie. The highlight was; “climate change itself is probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm.” It wasn’t a throwaway line. He backed it up with the view that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide are “greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields”. And that “far more people die in cold snaps than in heat waves” so a “gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial.” Few of his Coalition colleagues spoke in his defence yesterday and Labor said he was “loopy”. However, there will be those who agree with him and they will be vocal as the Turnbull Government moves to set/walk away from a Clean Energy Target in coming weeks.
MORE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE VOTES IN
The Bureau of Stats yesterday said 10 million Australians (that’s 62.5% of eligible voters) have participated in the postal survey on same-sex marriage as of last Friday. We’re being more diligent than a researcher working on the new series of The Crown.
ANZ AND WESTPAC GO TO CANBERRA
The Parliament’s 'Review of the Four Banks' will hear testimony today from Westpac’s CEO Brian Hartzer and ANZ’s boss Shayne Elliott. The purpose is “to hold the four major banks to account before the Parliament”. Which could mean anything. Westpac yesterday started to pre-position for the appearance saying it get that trust with the public is low and that lack of trust could turn into a danger to the economy. The Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank receive their public flagellation session next week.
CATALAN LEADER PRESSURED TO DELAY SEPARATION PLANS
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont addressed the Catalan Parliament this morning saying; "We're suspending the declaration of independence for a few weeks, because we want a reasonable dialogue, a mediation with the Spanish state."He was expected to announce a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain but mounting pressure from Madrid and unsupportive Catalans seem to have slowed Puigdemont down a bit. Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, is one of the wealthiest areas of Spain. As the BBC correspondent in Barcelona said; “Never before has the world watched Catalonia's regional parliament so closely.”
GO TO BED AND GET SOME SLEEP
How are you feeling this morning? Did you get enough sleep and are you feeling good? Probably not, if data from Sleep Cycle received by Fairfax Media is correct. Oz ranks 83rd out of 91 countries meaning we're a pretty grumpy mob on waking. We’re dubious, mainly because you have The Squiz to look forward to when you wake up. But also because the rankings say Venezuelans are in the best mood (and they are in a national crisis) and the Japanese are in the worst (which is silly because they have so much great food to look forward to eating through the day). Another thing that confounds us – why are you going to bed at 11pm? We thought 9pm was late…
SOCCEROOS PROGRESS TO NEXT ROUND OF WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
The Socceroos won, but they had to do it in extra time with coming Syria so close to taking the win. We were locked in a 1-1 draw at fulltime and after Syria just missed a goal from a free kick, Tim Cahill did the honours taking us to a 2-1 win. We’ll find out mid-today who we have to play next – it will likely be Panama or Honduras, or maybe the United States. At least our players didn’t walk off when things got tough like Nick Kyrgios did last night…
MELANIA V IVANA
Nothing should surprise us about the current occupants of the White House, but this caught our eye yesterday. First Lady Melania Trump hit back at President Trump’s former wife Ivana describing her comments that she was First Lady as “attention seeking and self-serving noise”. We checked to see if we’d missed the launch of The Real Housewives of Pennsylvania Avenue but apparently not. The other headline we thought was fake when we first saw it – “Trump challenges Rex Tillerson to an IQ test”. Real life sure is stranger than fiction...
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEDT) - Jennifer Westacott, CEO of the Business Council of Australia, to address the National Press Club on 'A New Plan for a Skilled Australia' - Canberra
7.30pm (AEDT) - Netball - Australia Diamonds v New Zealand - Adelaide
ABS Data Releases - Migration, 2015-16; Building Activity, June
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.