The Loop: Whistle blown on greenhouse gas reduction plans, Madeleine Albright dies, world reacts to Ash Barty's shock retirement

Hi there. It’s Thursday, March 24 and you’re reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of today’s news headlines.

One thing you’ll be hearing about today

The former chair of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee has blown the whistle on Australia’s greenhouse gas reduction schemes, saying they lack integrity.

  • Andrew Macintosh chaired the statutory body tasked with vetting the integrity of carbon offset schemes under the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund for almost seven years
  • He’s decided to go public with his concerns about the hundreds of millions of dollars the government is paying to projects designed to cut emissions
  • He says Australia’s carbon market has “degenerated to become a rort” and that integrity standards set down in legislation are being compromised

Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor says Australia’s carbon credits scheme is seen as one of the best “in the world”, and the Clean Energy Regulator has dismissed allegations about compromised integrity as false.

News while you snoozed

  • Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as US secretary of state, has died of cancer aged 84. Ms Albright, who fled the Nazis as a child in her native Czechoslovakia during World War II and rose to become America’s top diplomat (and, in her later years, a pop culture feminist icon), was awarded the prestigious Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2012
  • Google says it will not help websites, apps and YouTube channels sell ads alongside content that it deems exploits, dismisses or condones the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Company spokesman Michael Aciman says Google can “confirm that we’re taking additional steps to clarify, and in some instances expand our monetisation guidelines as they relate to the war in Ukraine”

What Australia has been searching for online

  • Stormlea. Police are continuing the search for a missing four-year-old girl in the remote area on the Tasman Peninsula after she went missing yesterday afternoon while playing with her dogs (one of which is also missing). Members of the public have been asked to stay away from the area at this stage
  • Ash Barty. In case you missed it yesterday, the women’s world number one announced her shock retirement from professional tennis aged just 25. ABC Sport’s Russell Jackson says the announcement is “a bolt from the blue, but she departs tennis with universal acclaim and respect”

One more thing

It turns out stinking out the office isn’t the only thing to worry about when smashing out a tuna-based lunch.

A tin of tuna is significantly cheaper than many types of fresh meat or fish. But how much can you eat before you need to worry about mercury?

CSIRO’s Simon Apte, a Senior Senior Principal Research Scientist, and Chad Jarolimek, a Senior Experimental Scientist, reckon they have the answer.

Lab tests they conducted for Catalyst suggest — depending on your body weight and the exact brand of tuna you buy — you could eat anywhere between 25 and 35 small tins (95g each) of tuna a week before you hit maximum mercury limits.

“That’s a level even the most keen tuna-lover would be hard pressed to consume,” the experts say.

But if you’re a seafood lover, watch out for other fish species as some Australian fresh fish can contain higher mercury concentrations than canned tuna. There’s more on that here.

You’re up to date

As always, thanks for reading.

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