Daily News Roundup

December 5, 2019


United States President Donald Trump has called Justin Trudeau “two-faced” after the Canadian PM was apparently caught on camera joking about his press appearances during a chat with other world leaders.

At a Buckingham Palace reception for NATO leaders on Tuesday evening, Mr Trudeau was filmed describing how surprised US officials appeared to be by Mr Trump’s performance at an earlier news conference, news agencies reported.

The conversation also involved British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Princess Anne.

“Is that why you were late?” Mr Johnson asked Mr Macron.

“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference,” Mr Trudeau then interjected, apparently referring to Mr Trump.

“Oh yeah, yeah! Forty minutes!”

Other words were exchanged but could not be heard, before Mr Trudeau added with a chuckle: “I just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

Asked on Wednesday if he had heard Mr Trudeau’s remarks, Mr Trump said: “He’s two-faced”.

He suggested Mr Trudeau was upset because he had accused him of not spending enough on Canada’s NATO contribution.

“I find him to be a very nice guy but you know the truth is that I called him out over the fact that he’s not paying 2 per cent and I can see he’s not very happy about it,” he said.

Mr Trump later appeared to make light of his own remarks about Mr Trudeau.

“That was funny when I said the guy’s two-faced,” he was caught saying on an audio clip following a lunch with some of the NATO leaders.

At a final news conference, Mr Trudeau played down the incident, saying he and Mr Trump had enjoyed a great meeting.

He said the “jaws drop” comment was a reference to the announcement that the next meeting of G7 leaders would be held at the US presidential retreat Camp David.

“We were all surprised and I think pleased to learn that the next G7 will be at Camp David,” he said.

“I think every different leader has teams who every now and then their jaws drop at unscheduled surprises, like that video itself for example.”


Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle has described reports that the organisation paid $8 million to Israel Folau as part of a legal settlement as “wildly inaccurate”.

Folau’s contract was terminated by Rugby Australia (RA) in May after he posted to social media that homosexuals, among others, would go to hell.

He then took legal action against RA, demanding $14 million in compensation and an apology for what he claimed was an unlawful dismissal.

On Thursday morning Castle denied claims in the Daily Telegraph Folau had received an $8 million payout.

In a press conference later in the morning, Castle refused to disclose the exact sum, but said the decision was a “commercial” one.

“We didn’t back down — we needed to give the game some certainty,” she said.

“This was that. And it is a situation where the settlement is less than the cost of a trial going ahead.

“Taking this conversation further into a court situation was not in the best interests of the game.”

On Wednesday, a joint statement from RA, NSW Rugby and Folau confirmed a settlement had been reached after talks resumed via teleconference.

“While it was not Rugby Australia’s intention, Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus,” the statement said.


New-age air conditioners being installed in a growing number of Queensland homes allow the electricity network company to send a signal that turns the air conditioning down for a short time during times of peak demand when the network is feeling the strain.

That’s because they are fitted with what is called “PeakSmart” technology.

“We cycle down the compressor, which is what creates the cooling part of the air conditioner,” Peter Price, an executive general manager at Energy Queensland, told the ABC.

“It cycles down for 20 minutes. The fan still runs, blowing out cold air. Customers don’t know that we’ve done that, but it pulls down the peak demand enough to make a difference.”

“We’ve not noticed a thing,” Brisbane user, Peter Casey told the ABC.

“The air conditioner works exactly the same as it has before. It’s not noticeable when they’ve activated it, so if the room’s cool it stays cool.”

“Every air conditioner sold in Australia should be sold with this capability.

“You tick the box, get the saving, help the [electricity] network. It should just be what we do.”

PeakSmart air conditioners are installed in about 100,000 households — a key part of Queensland’s “demand management” initiative, which more than 1.2 million, or 55 per cent, of electricity customers in the state have enrolled in.

It has helped the state avoid blackouts when the mercury has soared.

“It’s on those very days when you have this massive peak demand that demand management really comes in to its own,” Mr Price said.

“Without demand management we wouldn’t be able to keep customers connected.”

Demand management has allowed the state to avoid spending huge sums — likely in the billions — on network upgrades, which would then be passed on to customers through higher power bills.

“The fact is that without demand management prices would have been higher than they are today,” Mr Price said.

Queenslanders have also adopted demand management schemes that allow the energy network to shift the heating of off-peak hot water systems and pool cleaners to the middle of the day, when Queensland’s high penetration of rooftop solar means there is an abundance of energy supply.

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