The top­ics you have to be able to dis­cuss this week

Financial Mail - - BETWEEN THE CHAINS -

1. Ace’s R8m gift ‘an er­ror’

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ace

Ma­gashule ap­par­ently un­know­ingly handed an R8m Pierneef to a mem­ber of his se­cu­rity de­tail while clear­ing his premier’s of­fice. The Daily Mav­er­ick re­ports that Ma­gashule is now at the cen­tre of a Hawks probe. Se­cu­rity of­fi­cer Ri­cardo Met­tler says: “The paint­ing wasn’t stolen … it was given to me by Ma­gashule, but … we re­alised that it was an er­ror.”

2. Flee­ing the night­mare

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s threat to cut aid to Hon­duras, Gu­atemala and El Sal­vador for fail­ing to stop the mi­grant car­a­van head­ing to the US would only worsen the prob­lem, hu­man rights groups say. Ram­pant vi­o­lence and poverty in Cen­tral Amer­ica are be­hind the miniex­o­dus. Two-thirds of Hon­durans live in poverty: re­mit­tances make up 20% of its GDP. The con­voy, trav­el­ling through Mex­ico, is about 1,500km from the US bor­der. The cri­sis be­gan when about 1,000 Hon­durans set off on foot from the crime-rid­den city of San Pe­dro Sula on Oc­to­ber 13 to es­cape un­em­ploy­ment and vi­o­lence. “They are not seek­ing the Amer­i­can dream — they’re flee­ing the Hon­duran night­mare,” a Hon­duran con­gress­man tweeted.

3. Chi­nese con­nec­tion

The world’s long­est sea bridge/tun­nel, link­ing Hong Kong to main­land China, opened this week. The 55km Hong Kong–zhuhai–ma­cau Bridge spans the Pearl River delta and is 20 times longer than San Fran­cisco’s Golden

Gate. De­signed to with­stand earth­quakes and ty­phoons, it plunges un­der wa­ter for 6.7km mid­way via two ar­ti­fi­cial is­lands to al­low ships to pass. Work be­gan in 2009 and it has cost $20bn. Buses and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles will carry pas­sen­gers and freight over the bridge. Only a few pri­vate cars will get a per­mit to cross. Two im­mi­gra­tion cen­tres will process bridge users. The bridge cuts the land jour­ney around the delta from four hours to 30 min­utes. Crit­ics say it’s all about sym­bol­is­ing Hong Kong’s link to the main­land.

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