Squiz Today / 16 March 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 16 March
There’s a new gesture in town. It’s the Wakanda Forever salute from Black Panther, and it's starting to turn up in world sport as a celebration of black excellence. Cultural impact made.
TWO EXCITING ELECTIONS TOMORROW
Don’t you wish you lived in South Australia? That’s because Crow Eaters get to participate in a doozy of a state election tomorrow. And in Victoria, the federal by-election for the seat of Batman is going to be a fight for Labor to hold.
TELL ME ABOUT THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ELECTION…
It’s going to be a thriller.
• The incumbent is already the longest-serving Labor government in the state’s history, clocking up 16 years in power. So another four-year term would be extraordinary.
• The lower house has 47 seats making 24 the magic number to form a majority government. The last government was made up of 23 Labor members, 19 Liberals and five independents. Premier Jay Weatherill’s government included two independents in Cabinet.
• SA Best is predicted to receive +20% support making this election a three-way contest. Despite this support, Xenophon will have to fight to win his seat. How voters who put SA Best first on their ballot paper then rank other candidates will be crucial to the result.
• The main issues have been power, electricity and energy. Yes, they’re words for the same thing, but you catch our drift. It’s a big issue with SA short of reliable supply.
NOW, TO THE BAT CAVE!
You mean the Batman by-election, yes? We’re here because former Labor member David Feeney couldn’t prove he wasn’t a dual British citizen. Labor’s candidate is former trade council head Ged Kearney (who’s been battered this week by Labor’s plan to end dividend tax credits), and Greens candidate Alex Bhathal is making her sixth attempt to win the inner Melbourne seat. Labor’s held the seat continuously since 1969 and a loss to the Greens would in part reflect the seat's changing demographics. Commentators say it’s likely to be a close one with many leaning towards a Greens win. Holy tie-dyed t-shirts, Batman!
GET YOUR HOT CROSS BUNS
PRESENTED BY WOOLWORTHS
Did you know that Woolworths has hundreds of carb-specialists (aka bakers) working in stores across the country producing hot cross buns from scratch?
Bakers like Anthony Fleming, NSW's Woolies baker of the year, will help the supermarket sell 70 million hot cross buns this season. That's a lot of fruity goodness.
SQUIZ THE REST
AND THEN THERE’S THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION…
No, we’re still not done. There’s also the small matter of the Russian presidential charade… sorry… election that kicks off on Sunday. Incumbent President Vladimir Putin's a shoo-in for his second consecutive term (and fourth in total) having silenced the opposition. Sunday is the first round vote, and if Putin doesn't win an absolute majority, a second round will kick off in early April.
While we have you, Russia has threatened to retaliate against the UK for moving to expel 23 Russian diplomats over the Skripal poisoning. And the US has announced new sanctions against Russia over attempts to tamper with the 2016 US presidential election.
ASEAN COMES TO SYDNEY
To break it down, that’s the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and there's a security lockdown in Sydney this weekend. Apart from disrupting the locals, the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit (because Australia is not an ASEAN member, but could become one soon) will be focused on business and trade links, and regional security. Every ASEAN nation leader (except for Rodrigo Duterte from the Philippines) will be there. Protestors are expected to call out Hun Sen, the PM of Cambodia (who wants to do his own security) and Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. To say both face human rights problems at home is an understatement.
ROMAN THE BORDER NO MORE
Geddit? OK, let’s start fresh. Suspended Border Force commander Roman Quaedvlieg was sacked yesterday. A 10-month-long inquiry found he’d ‘misbehaved’ in rigging the HR process to get his girlfriend a job with the Force and he’d not disclosed his new relationship to the Minister, as required of senior security officials. Quaedvlieg again denied the accusations and said he's considering his options.
THE END OF TOYS R US
The company yesterday filed the documents with the bankruptcy court in the US that will lead to the sale or closure of all 800 American stores. Finance types say it had too much debt to keep up with the changing retail market. "This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years," CEO Dave Brandon said in a statement. It's packing up in the UK as well. It’s expected the Australian stores will also be liquidated, however, its local spokesperson said they remain open.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Not so lite, but we're enjoying The New York Times 'The Daily' podcast. This week it featured two interviews with the Times journalist Wil S Hylton about Venezuela’s persecuted and beloved opposition leader, Leopoldo López. The podcast and Hylton’s feature piece on Lopez are extraordinary and well worth a read/listen if you don’t know much about the crisis gripping the country that sits on the world’s largest proven oil reserves.
Fiskars - the iconic orange-handled scissors. Who knew they were so interesting?
E Jean, US Elle magazine’s advice columnist is a favourite, as long time Squiz subscribers will know. We could spend an hour (actually, we did) browsing through her latest pearls of wisdom. We particularly enjoyed this one regarding a woman who's thinking of marrying a slob. He sounds gross…
The longlist for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize was announced this week. Booktopia have done the hard work for you with a neat collation and explainer on the books judged as the best international works translated to English of the last year. And if you buy any or many of them using this link, The Squiz will get a little commission. What a great way to expand your horizons. We’ve ordered Fading Like a Shadow.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (on until 25 March)
Anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea (2014)
50th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War (1968)
ASEAN-Australia Special Summit (on until 18 March) - Sydney
South Australian Election
By-election in the federal seat of Batman
Russian Presidential Election
Run For The Kids - Melbourne
World Naked Bike Ride - Melbourne (hopefully it's a safe distance from the Run For The Kids...)
12.00am/aka midnight (AEDT Monday) - Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics
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