Squiz Today / 12 January 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 12 January
“What do I do here?”
Great question. What do you do when you find a red-bellied black snake has attached itself to your car’s side-mirror and is tapping on your window to get in? Ted Ogier phoned a work colleague who met him on the road and ushered the snake to nearby bushland with a broom handle. #PeakStraya.
OZ AND CHINA BUTT HEADS OVER PACIFIC AID
China yesterday accused Australia of “behaving like an arrogant overlord” of the Pacific after our government’s International Development minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells criticised the communist power’s aid program in the region. Reports also say the Chinese have registered a formal complaint with our ambassador in Beijing.
WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?
Fierravanti-Wells told The Australian earlier this week she was concerned that some Pacific countries were taking on debts they could not afford to repay. These debts are funding China-backed projects for “useless” buildings and roads to nowhere. Yesterday Foreign Minister Julie Bishop sought to pour oil on troubled waters (no sea life were hurt in the exercise) saying; “Australia works with a wide range of development partners, including China, in pursuit of the goal of eliminating poverty in our region and globally.” Labor said the Abbott and Turnbull Governments’ aid cuts in the region left it vulnerable to China's attention.
NO, REALLY… WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?
Our changing geopolitical paradigm. (Work that into your conversations with colleagues/friends today and watch them recoil with weird admiration… or horror.) The world’s power dynamics are changing. Expect the topic of China’s rise to be a repeating theme in 2018.
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JESSICA FALKHOLT REMOVED FROM LIFE SUPPORT AND DRIVER'S RECORD REVEALED
Sad news this morning - 29yo TV actress Jessica Falkholt’s life support was turned off last night with her condition failing to improve. She remains in a critical condition. And the Daily Telegraph says the driver responsible for the Boxing Day car crash that claimed the lives of the Falkhart family had previously been jailed four times for dangerous driving offences. It’s understood that Craig Whitall, who also died in the crash, had visited a methadone clinic just before the incident.
ASSANGE AND ECUADOR MAKE IT OFFICIAL
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has become a citizen of Ecuador. The move is designed to help the houseguest, who has well and truly outstayed his welcome at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, to move out. Assange has been holed up in the embassy for five-and-a-half years in order to evade US prosecution. He's not home and free yet - Ecuador’s Foreign Minister said he would not leave the embassy without guarantees he won't be arrested – something the British government has so far refused to so.
RETAIL SALES GO GANGBUSTERS
The Aussie retail sector beautifully executed one of our life principles – to under-promise and over-deliver. Official figures show a whopping 1.2% sales increase in November last year - much higher than the expected 0.4%. It was the biggest monthly increase in five years. The number was assisted by the new Apple iPhone release and Black Friday sales. But it wasn’t great news for everyone - department store sales were down 1.1%.
QUICK CONSUMER NEWS WRAP
VIOLET CRUMBLE RETURNS HOME – Mega-food company Nestle has sold Violet Crumble to South Australian manufacturer Robern Menz. They make the South Oz delicacy FruChocs. Think chocolate coated dried apricot. It’s really better than it sounds.
PUSHING PINEAPPLE PROBLEMS - A pineapple glut has forced Queensland farmers to leave tonnes of fruit on the ground to rot. The oversupply also means producers won’t get great prices this year and one farmer said it was disappointing the Golden Circle cannery would not open to process the surplus fruit. Maybe there's a market for pineapple pens?
ACCC LAUNDRY DETERGENT DEFEAT – Mention the word ‘cartel’ and immediately you think of high-stakes international intrigue involving oil or drugs. Not here in Australia. This case is about laundry detergent. Four years ago, the ACCC thought it had a squeaky clean case against manufacturers Cussons, Unilever and Colgate saying they came to an understanding (which Woolworths was aware of) to transition from powder to liquid concentrate. Unilever had immunity after dishing the dirt, Colgate frothed and paid an $18 million fine, and Woolies also folded paying a $9 million fine. Only Cussons ignored the spin-cycle and the court yesterday confirmed its reasons why it found the ACCC hadn’t proven its case. That brings an end to that soap opera.
HAVE A SPARE 17 HOURS THIS WEEKEND?
SBS will air the extended version of its entree into ‘slow TV’ – 17 hours of The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey. It’s simply footage of the iconic train trip from Adelaide to Alice Springs. The trip is actually a 54-hour odyssey so this is a condensed version. And that’s it, apart from the odd fact about the trip popping up on screen. A three-hour version screened on SBS last Sunday drawing its best audience numbers for 12 months. If you’re into it we won’t judge you*.
*We probably will.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
We’ve often reflected on the digital communication preferences of our circle of friends – the texters, the emailers, the message app people and the callers. This piece is a reflection on how it can impact on a relationship.
An Australian advertising institution, Meat & Livestock Australia’s summer lamb campaign is out. Taking on current themes, the ad shows how lamb can bring those of all political persuasions together.
Day in day out journalists put their safety on the line to report the news. Like this guy who was mobbed by lemurs. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time…
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Jeff Bezos' birthday (aka the world's richest man)
50th anniversary of Johnny Cash's performance at Folsom State Prison
2.30am (AEDT) - The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey starts on SBS Viceland channel
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