Squiz Today / 17 November 2017

Squiz Today – Friday, 17 November


“It's not a simple case of Amazon coming in and eating our lunch - we'll be the most formidable competitor they've ever seen.”

You’ve got to admire Gerry Harvey’s chutzpah. For context, Harvey Norman is a $4.35 billion company, and competition crusher Amazon is worth US$533 billion. Meaning Harvey will play ‘David' in this battle…


Zimbabwe remains under military control, and President Robert Mugabe is under arrest. However, talks with the ageing leader have started and reports say he is digging in. Military leaders maintain it’s not a coup and that the 93yo president and his family are safe. There are conflicting reports on the whereabouts of Grace Mugabe, the president’s 52yo wife - some reports say she fled to Namibia, while others say she is with her husband. There are many clips of Zimbabweans welcoming their arrest, and there have been no reports of unrest on the streets of the capital Harare with tanks and troops stationed across the city.

Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe as a dictator ever since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980. It's interesting that what might bring him and his family unstuck isn’t the terrible poverty and terror his rule has inflicted on his people or its collapsed economy (eg inflation peaked at 500 billion per cent). It’s because his Zanu-PF party has fractured over his wife’s grab at power. Previously known for her spending (she's called ‘Gucci Grace’), reports say the generals aren’t happy about the prospect of Grace Mugabe succeeding her husband. Last Saturday military leader General Chiwenga reportedly asked the president to stop his wife. “Instead the president - and, most likely, the first lady - had a youth leader give a speech that accused the general of embezzling diamond revenue worth over $15 billion. That appears to have been the last straw for the army, triggering the coup.” And here we are.

It’s hard to say. The military say they’ll stay in control “until order is restored” but there’s no clarity on what that actually means. The Zimbabwean opposition want Mugabe to resign. And one of the many questions that's been raised: what is China’s role in events? That’s because General Chiwenga was in Beijing last week meeting with senior military figures. China said “nothing to see here” while experts say the General may have been seeking their blessing given they are a big investor. Watch this space.


PYNE’S TWITTER HACK - We’ve been working really hard of late to not get caught in your spam filter so bear with us as we attempt to cover this one. Defence Industries Minister Christopher Pyne exclaimed yesterday (please deploy your best jazz-hands); “I was hacked!” after it was revealed his Twitter account ‘liked’ a video post where two consenting men were doing things to each other that let’s just say is not safe to view at work. Pyne said the ‘like’ was made at 2am and he was asleep. His arch-nemesis Senator Cory Bernardi called for an official inquiry, and Labor agrees. Pyne said it’s not a big deal and his Twitter account bring breached doesn't put sensitive Defence material at risk. We'll leave it there to maximise our chances of landing in your inbox...

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE DEBATE COMMENCES – And Senators will have their say until the end of next week, then it goes to the House of Reps when they return to Canberra on 27 November. The highlights: the Liberal’s Dean Smith and Labor’s Penny Wong.

NSW REJECTS VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA – The bill was defeated in their upper house last night by just one vote. The Victorian parliament is still debating their proposed legislation.

The latest gender equality scorecard from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency revealed the gender pay gap fell slightly over the last year from 17.7% to 17.3% based on full-time pay. And when you include total remuneration it went down from 23.1% to 22.4%. That means men still earn more than women by an average of $26,527 per year in every industry and occupation. Interestingly, the gap has closed more in blokey industries like mining, construction and manufacturing and it was female dominated industries saw the pay gap increase. The worst industry for pay disparity? Financial services, although it improved a smidge - female pay was 36.1% lower than the men in 2013-14 going to 31.9% in 2016-17.

Julian Simpson, a 30yo Australian representative at the United Nations, fell to his death from a Manhattan balcony yesterday. He slipped over a railing after a night out with friends. Reports say Simpson argued with another man and the accident may have occurred during a ‘trust game’. But there’s no suggestion Simpson’s death is anything other than an accident. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said he was a skilled diplomat who would be missed.

The Bureau of Meteorology has released its summer outlook and it’s a great one for people who love to talk endlessly about the weather because all the options are on the table. The east coast might be wetter than average– or it might not. And it could also be warmer than average – but then again… You get the picture. There is a bit more certainty about Darwin and Adelaide – it’s expected to be hot. "It's not an easy year to be a climatologist,” said the manager of climate prediction services Andrew Watkins in the biggest cop-out ever.

Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World), a 500yo painting of Christ thought to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci, sold in New York yesterday for a record A$590 million(after agent’s fees). That’s a lot of money for a painting that has worm-tunnelling. Da Vinci died in 1519 and there are just 20 paintings of his in existence. The painting has only recently been ‘rediscovered’ giving sceptics reason to raise their eyebrows. It was sold in 1958 for £45 as it was thought to have been painted by one of da Vinci’s followers. The winning bidder has not been identified.

With talk of avos being expensive this year we were keen to pursue this bit of info. Turns out you can freeze your leftover avocado. Once defrosted you can’t use it in a salad again, but apparently it's perfectly fine for guacamole or a smoothie. Definitely worth a try.

Margaret Trudeau – she’s the mother of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But after reading this article, that seems like one of the most uninteresting things about her. Well worth a read.

And to finish up a remarkable week - what same-sex marriage looked like 12 months on after it was legalised in the US from the perspective of couples who raced down the aisle.



7.10pm (AEDT) - Women's Ashes Cricket Twenty20 Match - Australia v England - Sydney

8.30pm (AEDT) - Men's Rugby League World Cup - Australia v Samoa - Darwin

ABS Data Release - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, September; State Accounts, 2016-17; Sales of New Motor Vehicles, October


Nothing scheduled - so why not make sure you've Squiz'ed every day this week to be in the running for a $100 Dan Murphy's gift card?


2.00am (AEDT) - Rugby Union - Australia v England - Twickenham

2.35pm (AEDT) - Women's Ashes Cricket Twenty20 Match - Australia v England - Canberra

Chile General Election

World Toilet Day

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