DINNER PARTY INTEL...
The topics you have to be able to discuss this week
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.