Squiz Today / 23 November 2018

Squiz Today – Friday, 23 November


"I dream about having a paddy field, a house and a buffalo I can ride when I go to work in the fields. With Thong Kham, my last dream has come true."

Thai farmer Surat Paewkate has a BFF – a buffalo friend forever – called Thong Kham. They're very cute together


How good is the weekend? We mean this weekend specifically with its Victorian Election. Australia’s strongest growing state goes to the polls tomorrow with Labor, led by Premier Daniel Andrews, taking on the Coalition under Liberal leader Matthew Guy. And it’s an election the federal pollies will be watching closely with a national election coming soon.

We’ll get to that in a moment… The key points are:

• Labor goes in ahead in the 88-seat Legislative Assembly with 45 seats to the Coalition's 37. The Greens have three seats, and there are three independents.

• With Labor providing the speaker (who also has a casting vote), they currently have enough to make up the 45 seats required to form a majority government.

• Labor cannot afford to lose seats to retain their majority. Otherwise, they will be in tricky territory that requires negotiating a minority government with support from the Greens and/or independent(s).

• The Coalition needs to win seven seats (which will require a uniform swing of about 3%) to win. Another way to look at it, the Coalition needs 51% of the two-party preferred vote to warrant the bubbly being popped.

• The bellwethers? Bentleigh, Mordialloc, Carrum and Frankston. The four seats are south-east of the city on the Frankston train line. And for the last four elections, the seats have changed with the party that’s held government.

Sheesh. We keep forgetting to pick up our crystal ball after its service… What we can tell you is:

• Pundits say it’s been a less than sparkly campaign as evidenced by their slogans (Labor: Delivering for all Victorians. Liberals: Listening to the needs of all Victorians). But for kicks, this clip is about as thrilling as it got…

• Both campaigns have been focused on infrastructure and cost of living pressures. Then there are the elective subjects: Labor – education and health; Coalition – law and order. And then there’s the hoohaa about how to pay for it all. But we won't do that to you on a Friday…

• Despite (or maybe because of) the lack of excitement, bookies and the polls have Labor in front.

Now, our drink selection? We'll finish our evening with a Rutherglen Muscat.


Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester was the highest-ranking serving police officer to be assassinated in our country’s history. And the man accused and previously convicted of the crime, David Eastman, was yesterday found not guilty in a retrial. Eastman has already served 19 years for the 1989 killing that was described by authorities as the end of Australia’s innocence. Eastman, a former Treasury official, had been locked in a battle with police over an assault change he said prevented him from getting another job. While some believed Winchester’s killing was a mafia hit, police had recordings of Eastman’s mutterings confessing to the murder. Winchester’s family yesterday said they were extremely disappointed.

Even Aussie-born ones… PM Scott Morrison yesterday announced the government is considering law changes that would allow it to take away the citizenship of convicted terrorists if the person was entitled to citizenship in another country. That can happen currently for terrorists who have been sentenced to more than six years and have citizenship of another country. The change would be that there is no minimum sentence and that there simply has to be an alternative citizenship option. Morrison also wants to block foreign fighters from returning to Oz from war zones in the Middle East for up to two years. The Law Council and others are not convinced

We’d never heard of the North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal. It’s sealed off from the world and protected by Indian law to preserve their way of life and from modern diseases that would decimate its population. Reports say there are just 100 Sentinelese left on the island. Segue then to John Chau, a 26yo American adventurer/missionary who arrived on the island last weekend. Fishermen say they saw tribe members bury his body on a beach sometime later. Reports say he was there to “share Jesus with the indigenous people” – something he’d wanted to do since high school. Indian authorities are trying to work out how to recover his body. His family has forgiven the tribes members.

RETHINK - Amazon has reopened a range from its amazon.com site for Aussies to shop. Not keen to worry about the hassle of adding GST to international purchases, Amazon blocked access for Aussie shoppers to its US and UK online stores in June.

RETOOL - Ikea is cutting 7,500 admin jobs internationally (about 5% of its workforce) and hiring for 11,500 digital roles as the flat-pack furniture company refocuses from bricks and mortar stores to embrace the interwebs to appeal to modern-day Allen key enthusiasts.

RESTOCK - It’s one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. With its origins in America, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales (on immediately after Thanksgiving) are now part of the global shopping calendar. This year Australian sellers are participating in a big way so as not to miss out to the international retailers. Here are Vogue's suggestions.

And for more on retail trends, including Amazon and the push online, give our Squiz'splains podcast episode on retail a listen.

And the winner is… Hedley Thomas and Slade Gibson – the journalist and producer of The Teacher’s Pet podcast series. They took out the Gold Walkley, Australian journalism’s biggest prize, last night. Dean Lewins was named Press Photographer of the Year. #MeToo was present with Fairfax Media's investigation into Don Burke winning best news report, and ABC's Four Corners episode 'I Am That Girl' taking out the gong for public service journalism. Our favourite prize is for the best headlines – that was taken out by the Daily Telegraph for ‘Bundle of Joyce’, ‘Delay Ole’ and ‘Peking Schmuck’ (stories about former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce’s family situation, delays to the Spanish-built Sydney light rail project, and Sam Dastyari’s ties to China respectively). Sean Dorney, the ABC’s former long-time Pacific correspondent, was honoured for his lifetime contribution. The full list of winners is here.

Need something to read? Here’s the New York Times100 Notable Books of 2018.

The best plants for low-light inside areas. Because the killing season has to end…

Are you a bit of a foodie? Do you think it would be cool the chuck it all in and start your own restaurant? Read this first


7.00am (AEDT) – Women’s World T20 Cricket Semi-Final – Australia v West Indies

6.50pm (AEDT) – Men’s T20 International – Australia v India - Melbourne

Champion swimmer and Survivor winner Shane Gould’s birthday (1956)

Victorian Election

Anniversary of the death of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (1991)

Anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection (1859)

2.00am (AEDT) - Rugby - Wallabies v England - Twickenham, London

6.50pm (AEDT) - Men’s T20 International – Australia v India - Sydney

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Statehood Day

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