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Understanding the financial pages

<p>Looking at the financial pages of the daily newspaper may seem like a bewildering onslaught of information with reams of market statistics and measurements. This can make the investment world seem quite complex and intimidating, but when you break it down and try to grasp each of the component parts, it is well within the capacity of most lay people to understand.</p> <p>Here are a few tips that may help to get you started:<strong><br />Firstly, a word of warning</strong><br />Beware of the temptation to start reading the financial pages in the same way you would read the form guide for horse racing!</p> <p>It is easy to get caught up in habit of tracking daily movements of particular share values, but this can distract you from the taking the broad, long term view that is so essential to successful investing. In short, don’t be tempted to try and ‘pick winners’.</p> <p><strong>Understanding the ASX table</strong><br />The financial section of the newspaper will normally show the full list of companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Next to each company will be a range of figures, usually beginning with the price of the share for that company at the end of the previous day’s trading. Some publications will also show a three letter ‘ASX code’ used to identify the company.</p> <p>Other measurements shown on this table include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Weekly volume</strong> – The total number of shares of a company that were bought and sold within the last week.</li> <li><strong>Price movements</strong> – This may be shown as the price change since the previous day’s closing price, or it may be shown as a change over the previous week and some financial tables will even show the change over the last 12 months.</li> <li><strong>Dividend yield percentage</strong> – This figure is sometimes also shown and is the amount a company pays out in dividends each year as a percentage of the current share price. For example, if a particular share has a value of $100 and has paid a dividend of $5 then its dividend yield is 5% ($5 divided by $100).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Market indices</strong> <br />While the ASX table breaks down the performance of each company separately, you can also look at the collective performance of the market as a whole via the ‘All Ordinaries Index’. This tracks the movement of the total value of all shares on the exchange and the change over the last week and month may also be shown.</p> <p>Apart from the All Ordinaries Index, there are also a range of other sub-indices which indicate the performance of different segments of the market. The ASX 200, for example, is an index that tracks the change in collective value of the largest 200 public companies.</p> <p>Some indices focus on specific industrial segments. The S&amp;P ASX200 Energy Index, for example, measures the largest 200 energy companies. There are indices for and range of other sectors, such as health care, industry, finance, and metals and mining.</p> <p><strong>International markets</strong><br />Financial pages will also usually show various indices for major stock markets in other countries, such as the Dow Jones index in the USA, the FTSE in the UK and the Hang Seng in China.</p> <p><strong>Commodity prices</strong><br />The prices and price changes of key commodities are also a feature of many financial pages. Oil and gold are two such commodities that will usually be shown because of their importance as indicators of the general direction of the world economy and of market sentiment.</p> <p><strong>Exchange rates</strong><br />These are another important indicator of economic conditions and the state of the economies of different countries relative to each other. The financial pages will usually show the daily movement of the Australian Dollar against major world currencies, such as the US Dollar, the Euro and the Yen.</p> <p>There can be many factors within each country’s domestic economy which influence the movements in exchange rates. These can include interest rates, inflation, political stability, government debt and terms of trade.</p> <p><strong>Making sense of it all</strong><br />It would obviously take quite some time if you were to review and analyse all the items being reported and measured on the daily financial pages. Even if you do have the time to do that, it takes a considerable amount of skill and experience to interpret what different movements mean.</p> <p>Often the day to day movements in things like share prices and exchange rates are the result of transient factors and it is only a consistent analysis over a long period of time that can start to make a coherent interpretation.</p> <p>While it can be interesting to follow the fluctuating fortunes of particular shares, or the daily machinations of indices, commodities and exchange rates, it helps to have a financial adviser on your side to look at the bigger, long term picture.</p> <p>They will have access to expert research resources that constantly analyse markets at home and abroad and can position you to grow wealth without the need to personally keep track of day to day changes.</p> <p>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/understanding-the-financial-pages.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></p>

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Ex-police sergeant charged for stealing from homes of the dead

<p>A 66-year-old ex-police sergeant whose job it was to comfort grieving families may land himself in jail after it was found out he was stealing from the homes of the dead. </p> <p>Graeme 'Taff' Williams’ role was “sudden death coordinator” at Stoke Newington police station, in London, UK, until 2013.</p> <p>His job was to locate relatives of the deceased and log their belongings and valuables.</p> <p>However, it was revealed William’ stole more than $10,000 and valuable furniture from the homes of three deceased people after visiting their homes.</p> <p>He was “trusted implicitly” by his employers and was paid an annual salary of $52,966.82 by the time he retired.</p> <p>Williams was convicted of three charges of theft by a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court.</p> <p>Prosecutor, Alexandra Felix, said Williams abused his position “by helping himself to the cash that was recovered, stealing it and providing information to heir hunters in return for payment”.</p> <p>Expensive furniture, artwork and other pricey goods were stolen from the home of one deceased, whose family thought were being taken to a homeless charity.</p> <p>An $800 watch, a 60-inch flat-screen TV, a fridge-freezer and washing machine were missing from the home, said the deceased's sister.</p> <p>She noted only the expensive items were the ones that had gone missing.</p> <p>William told Hackney council in 2012 that $35,835 had been recovered from the home of an elderly man who had been moved to a care home despite $40,835 being “banked” in the superintendent’s safe.</p> <p>Despite retiring in 2013, he continued to volunteer at Newingtown station and made money from heir hunters.</p> <p>Jurors heard $6,520 was missing from $46,315 cash that was found from under the bed of a man who died in his flat in 2015.</p> <p>Police raided Williams' home and found $20,000 in a safe and $5,000 in a box.</p> <p>Not stopping there, he had also received $11,504.02 in “discretionary” referral fees from heir hunting firm Fraser and Fraser, after he left the force.</p> <p>Company boss Andrew Fraser told jurors that as far as his firm was aware Williams was retired.</p> <p>Her further went on to say he hadn’t realised he was still working with police.</p> <p>“I knew he was retired because I was invited, as lots of other people were to his retirement. I didn't know he continued to work at Stoke Newington police station” Mr Fraser explained.</p> <p>“A number of cases were referred to us after his retirement. I think there might have been a dozen or so.</p> <p>“A couple of cases were looked at but we didn't spend much time on them but couldn't establish much value in them.</p> <p>“'After he retired he was a private individual. These referral fees were paid out at discretion.</p> <p>“Payments of $8,000 and $3,504.02 were paid in discretionary referral fees in relation to two estates.”</p> <p>The court heard that Firm Fraser had received an email addressed to them from William’s police email on at least one occasion.</p> <p>“The whole firm thought he had retired from the police,” Mr Fraser said.</p> <p>“If I knew he was still any matters referred to us from a police officer I would not have made payment. We saw him as a member of the public from after his retirement.”</p> <p>Williams denied but was convicted of three charges of theft. A separate charge of fraud was dropped earlier in the trial.</p> <p>Judge Alex Gordon ordered a medical report and bailed Williams ahead of sentence on 7 January.</p>

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“You destroyed my life”: Widow’s heartbreaking reply to man who killed her husband

<p>A man who bashed a grandfather in Adelaide to death with a hammer in front of his wife has been ordered to spend the rest of his life under mental health supervision.</p> <p>In May 2018, Steven Berg stormed the house of the couple and attacked 74-year-old Deon Hewitt who was cooking dinner with his wife, Patricia. The attack ended in death.</p> <p>Patricia saw the horrific crime and said to Berg in court that he “destroyed my life”.</p> <p>"You destroyed my life. I couldn't even say goodbye to the man I spent the best parts of my life with…. For this I will never forgive you."</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F9NewsAdelaide%2Fvideos%2F1434612646686069%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Berg was found not guilty of murder due to mental incompetence as the court was told he was suffering delusions at the time of the unprovoked and random attack.</p> <p>"My husband was my best friend, taken from me in the most horrific way - You have inflicted more pain on my family than any sentence can on you - until my final day I'm to live without my husband, stuck with the memory of that night," Ms Hewitt said.</p> <p>Five victim impact statements were read out in court by family members of Leon, as his grandchildren outlined their grief and the toll his passing had on their mental health.</p> <p>"When we were feeling down, we had Pop to call," they said.</p> <p>Leon and Patricia’s daughter Vanessa said that as long as Berg is detained “society is a safer place”.</p> <p>"the day you took dad from us, we lost a mother as well - I fear for the day Berg is released - While he is detained, society is a safer place,” she said.</p> <p>Berg is being held in the secure mental health facility of James Nash House.</p>

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Our grandchildren learn through play – it shouldn’t stop at preschool

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/123771/Transition-to-Primary-School-A-literature-review.pdf?sequence=1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">transition from preschool to school</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is a big deal for many children and parents. Over the next few weeks, many preschoolers will take part in a </span><a href="https://www.cela.org.au/category/around-australia/page/4/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">transition program</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, designed by their teachers, to prepare them for school.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They’ll meet their </span><a href="https://www.kidspot.com.au/school/primary/starting-school/what-is-the-first-year-of-school-called/news-story/d66b0b9a2a5d6959dd97c01328420028"><span style="font-weight: 400;">foundation</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> teachers, spend some time in a classroom and hopefully make some new friends.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These children’s education has so far focused on </span><a href="http://ceril.net/index.php/articulos?id=594"><span style="font-weight: 400;">play-based learning</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. This means they’ve learnt through exploring and playing, supported by skilled early childhood educators.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But they’re about to enter a world of formal learning. Although play-based learning does happen in schools, there tends to be a stronger focus on instruction.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The current system isn’t working for many students. One-quarter of children who start school </span><a href="http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/reports/educational-opportunity-in-australia-2015-who-succeeds-and-who-misses-out/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">aren’t developmentally ready for this transition</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/childhood-anxiety-australia-report/7214886"><span style="font-weight: 400;">levels of mental ill-health among children</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are concerning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many educators and researchers argue </span><a href="https://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3692&amp;context=ajte"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more play in the early years of school</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> could better support children’s transition and learning. Parents think so too. In a </span><a href="https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/social-affairs/school-children-have-too-much-phone-time-not-enough-play-time"><span style="font-weight: 400;">recent survey</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, 93% of parents acknowledge the benefits of play and 72% said the first years of school should focus more on play-based learning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If we’re genuinely committed to improving outcomes for all children – and we know play benefits learning – we need to better integrate play-based learning into schools’ formal learning structures.</span></p> <p>How do we learn through play?</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Increasing play-based learning in schools means changing how we think about playing. When many of us think about play, we probably think of free play, which is unstructured and directed by children, usually without adult involvement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Play-based learning, though, is </span><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10409289.2016.1220771"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more usefully conceived as a spectrum</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, with free play at one end and teacher-guided, </span><a href="https://www.monash.edu/conceptual-playworld/about"><span style="font-weight: 400;">playful learning</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> at the other. In between are a variety of methods either entirely based on play, or incorporating elements of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For example, a skilled educator can help children discover new ideas when they play with water. The educator might encourage children to playfully experiment with water tubs and toys in a way that allows them to develop their own hypotheses about how water behaves in certain situations and why.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The educator could work with the children to test their hypotheses, questioning and talking to them about what they observe during their play.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Play-based learning in the early years of school can </span><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/183693911103600416"><span style="font-weight: 400;">significantly improve kids’ language and social connections</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Research shows the impact of play-based learning extends into other areas of development too.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Quality-is-key-in-early-childhood-education-in-Australia.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">High-quality</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> play-based learning can:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">strengthen </span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325171628_Neuroscience_and_learning_through_play_a_review_of_the_evidence"><span style="font-weight: 400;">neural pathways associated with learning</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">enhance </span><a href="https://www.edutopia.org/article/how-use-play-learning"><span style="font-weight: 400;">well-being</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">improve </span><a href="https://www.parentingscience.com/benefits-of-play.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">memory and organisational abilities</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">teach children </span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329000371_Play_cognition_and_self-regulation_What_exactly_are_children_learning_when_they_learn_through_play"><span style="font-weight: 400;">self-regulation and problem-solving skills</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">encourage </span><a href="https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/images/pedal/play-culture-article.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">creativity and critical thinking</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Quality depends on warm and responsive relationships with skilled educators and an environment that facilitates exploration and learning. It also involves a developmentally appropriate learning program.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The skills children learn through play equip them </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/play-based-learning-can-set-your-child-up-for-success-at-school-and-beyond-91393"><span style="font-weight: 400;">to engage with formal, academic learning</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. When children start to develop and harness these skills, </span><a href="https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/play-based-learning/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">research shows</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> they’re better able to cope with the demands of formal learning and thrive later on in school.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And when more than </span><a href="http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Australias-health-tracker-overview.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">70% of children don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, play is even more essential.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many researchers and educators believe less play – inside and outside the classroom – </span><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/10/all-work-and-no-play-why-your-kids-are-more-anxious-depressed/246422/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">may be contributing to rising levels of anxiety, depression, and challenges related to attention and self-control</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For children experiencing high levels of stress or other forms of disadvantage, </span><a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/142/3/e20182058"><span style="font-weight: 400;">play can be a vital antidote</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/supporting/deep-persistent-disadvantage/deep-persistent-disadvantage.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">links between disadvantage, poor health, changing lifestyles, and inequality</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are, of course, complex. But there is </span><a href="https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/18189/16/EPPE_TechnicalPaper_12_2004.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">good evidence</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to suggest how we approach education in the early years – particularly in relation to play – is an important part of how we address these challenges.</span></p> <p>Australia’s school system downplays play</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://www.education.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework-0"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australian Early Years Learning Framework</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> guides educational programs for children aged 0-5. It complements the </span><a href="https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australian Curriculum</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which guides learning throughout primary and secondary school.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While complementary, the frameworks take quite </span><a href="https://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3692&amp;context=ajte"><span style="font-weight: 400;">different approaches to play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Play is a fundamental component of the Early Years Learning Framework. In contrast, the curriculum’s focus on academic performance has </span><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/education/political-pressure-takes-the-fun-out-of-kindy-say-academics-20140506-zr5b3.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">extended formal learning to the early years of school and even preschool</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, despite the fact play-based learning is far more appropriate at these ages.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are a few policy options that can support more play-based learning in the early years and ensure it is integrated into education in the middle years of childhood and beyond. These options include:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029435-000-too-much-too-young-should-schooling-start-at-age-7/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">starting school later</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (either by changing legal starting ages or parents electing to start their children later)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://www.edutopia.org/article/research-tested-benefits-breaks"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more or longer breaks</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for play during the day</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4jDZn2d3VrAenFUMGFodTBIaUE/edit"><span style="font-weight: 400;">extending play-based approaches into the early years of school</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">integrating more play-based learning into existing approaches.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Increasing school starting ages by law would involve governments and parents meeting the significant cost of an extra year of early education and care. </span><a href="https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/social-affairs/school-children-have-too-much-phone-time-not-enough-play-time"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Research</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> shows most parents want less break time at school, and schools are already finding it difficult to adequately cover the curriculum in the time they have.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While some policy options are likely to gain more traction than others, there is strong support for increasing play-based learning in schools. This will require teachers, governments and families to all be on the same page about the benefits of play for children’s learning. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Kate Noble. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/children-learn-through-play-it-shouldnt-stop-at-preschool-126921"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Conversation. </span></a></em></p>

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Why aren’t today’s protests leading to revolutions?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We live in a world of violent challenges to the status quo, from Chile and Iraq to Hong Kong, Catalonia and the Extinction Rebellion. These protests are usually presented in the media simply as expressions of rage at “the system” and are eminently suitable for TV news coverage, where they flash across our screens in 15-second splashes of colour, smoke and sometimes blood.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These are huge rebellions. In Chile, for example, </span><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-50191746"><span style="font-weight: 400;">an estimated one million people demonstrated last month</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. By the next day, </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/chile-hundreds-shot-and-beaten-street-protests"><span style="font-weight: 400;">19 people had died</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, nearly 2,500 had been injured and more than 2,800 arrested.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">How might we make sense of these upheavals? Are they revolutionary or just a series of spectacular eruptions of anger? And are they doomed to fail?</span></p> <p><strong>Key characteristics of a revolution</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As an historian of the French Revolution of 1789-99, I often ponder the similarities between the five great revolutions of the modern world – the English Revolution (1649), American Revolution (1776), French Revolution (1789), Russian Revolution (1917) and Chinese Revolution (1949).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A key question today is whether the rebellions we are currently witnessing are also revolutionary.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A model of revolution drawn from the five great revolutions can tell us much about why they occur and take particular trajectories. The key characteristics are:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">long-term causes and the popularity of a socio-political ideology at odds with the regime in power</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">short-term triggers of widespread protest</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">moments of violent confrontation the power-holders are unable to contain as sections of the armed forces defect to rebels</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the consolidation of a broad and victorious alliance against the existing regime</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">a subsequent fracturing of the revolutionary alliance as competing factions vie for power</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the re-establishment of a new order when a revolutionary leader succeeds in consolidating power.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Why today’s protests are not revolutionary</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This model indicates the upheavals in our contemporary world are not revolutionary – or not yet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most likely to become revolutionary is in Iraq, where the regime has shown a willingness to kill its own citizens (</span><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/09/middleeast/iraq-protest-death-toll-intl/index.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more than 300 in October alone</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">). This indicates that any concessions to demonstrators will inevitably be regarded as inadequate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We do not know how the </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/university-under-siege-a-dangerous-new-phase-for-the-hong-kong-protests-127228"><span style="font-weight: 400;">extraordinary rebellion in Hong Kong</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will end, but it may be very telling that there does not seem to have been significant defection from the police or army to the protest movement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">People grow angry far more often than they rebel. And rebellions rarely become revolutions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, we need to distinguish between major revolutions that transform social and political structures, coups by armed elites and common forms of protest over particular issues. An example of this is the massive, violent and ultimately successful protests in Ecuador last month that </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/14/ecuador-protests-end-after-deal-struck-with-indigenous-leaders"><span style="font-weight: 400;">forced the government to cancel an austerity package</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The protests in Hong Kong and Catalonia fall into yet another category: they have limited aims for political sovereignty rather than more general objectives.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All successful revolutions are characterised by broad alliances at the outset as the deep-seated grievances of a range of social groups coalesce around opposition to the existing regime.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They begin with mass support. For that reason, the Extinction Rebellion will likely only succeed with modest goals of </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/06/how-extinction-rebellion-put-world-on-red-alert-year-since-it-was-founded"><span style="font-weight: 400;">pushing reluctant governments</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to do more about climate change, rather than its </span><a href="https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/faqs/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">far more ambitious aspirations</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of a national Citizen Assembly, populated by ordinary people chosen at random, to come up with a programme for change.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mass protests also fail when they are unable to create unity around core objectives. The Arab Spring, for instance, held so much promise after blossoming in 2010, but with the possible exception of Tunisia, failed to lead to meaningful change.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Revolutionary alliances collapsed rapidly into civil war (as in Libya) or failed to neutralise the armed forces (as in Egypt and Syria).</span></p> <p><strong>Why is there so much anger?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fundamental to an understanding of the rage so evident today is the “democratic deficit”. This refers to public anger at the way the high-water mark of democratic reform around the globe in the 1990s – accompanied by the siren song of economic globalisation – has had such uneven social outcomes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One expression of this anger has been the rise of fearful xenophobia expertly captured by populist politicians, most famously in the case of Donald Trump, but including many others from Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines and Victor Orbán in Hungary.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Indeed, there are some who claim that western liberalism has now failed).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Elsewhere, the anger is popular rather than populist. In upheavals from Lebanon and Iraq to Zimbabwe and Chile, resentment is particularly focused on the evidence of widespread corruption as elites flout the basic norms of transparency and equity in siphoning government money into their pockets and those of their cronies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The broader context of today’s upheavals also includes the uneven withdrawal of the US from international engagement, providing new opportunities for two authoritarian superpowers (Russia and China) driven by dreams of new empires.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The United Nations, meanwhile, is floundering in its attempt to provide alternative leadership through a rules-based international system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The state of the world economy also plays a role. In places where economic growth is stagnant, minor price increases are more than just irritants. They explode into rebellions, such as the recent tax on WhatsApp in Lebanon and the metro fare rise in Chile.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There was already deep-seated anger in both places. Chile, for example, is one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries, but has one of the worst levels of income equality among the 36 nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.</span></p> <p><strong>Rebellions with new characteristics</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of course, we do not know how these protest movements will end. While it is unlikely any of the rebellions will result in revolutionary change, we are witnessing distinctly 21st century upheavals with new characteristics.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the most influential approaches to understanding the long-term history and nature of protest and insurrection has come from the American sociologist Charles Tilly.</span></p> <p><strong>Tilly’s studies of European history have identified two key characteristics.</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, forms of protest change across time as a function of wider changes in economic and political structures. The food riots of pre-industrial society, for instance, gave way to the strikes and political demonstrations of the modern world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And today, the transnational reach of Extinction Rebellion is symptomatic of a new global age. There are also new protest tactics emerging, such as the flashmobs and Lennon walls in Hong Kong.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tilly’s second theory was that collective protest, both peaceful and violent, is endemic rather than confined to years of spectacular revolutionary upheaval, such as 1789 or 1917. It is a continuing expression of conflict between “contenders” for power, including the state. It is part of the historical fabric of all societies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even in a stable and prosperous country like Australia in 2019, there is a deep cynicism around a commitment to the common good. This has been created by a lack of clear leadership on climate change and energy policy, self-serving corporate governance and fortress politics.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All this suggests that Prime Minister Scott Morrison is not only whistling in the wind if he thinks that </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/01/scott-morrison-threatens-crackdown-on-secondary-boycotts-of-mining-companies"><span style="font-weight: 400;">he can dictate the nature of and even reduce protest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in contemporary Australia – he is also </span><a href="https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/publications/activist-wisdom-practical-knowledge-and-creative-tension-in-socia"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ignorant of its history</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Peter McPhee. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/we-live-in-a-world-of-upheaval-so-why-arent-todays-protests-leading-to-revolutions-126505"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Conversation. </span></a></em></p>

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Bill Cosby gives first prison interview: no “remorse”

<p>For the first time, disgraced star Bill Cosby has given an interview in prison. </p> <p>The 82-year-old continues to remain defiant about the sexual assault that landed him behind bars, and further insisted he’s not guilty and the jurors were “imposters.”</p> <p>Cosby said he will never admit to any wrongdoing, even if it means losing out on winning parole from SCI Phoenix, near Philadelphia, USA - where he is serving up to 10 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004. </p> <p>“When I come up for parole, they’re not going to hear me say that I have remorse,” Cosby said in a series of prison phone calls, as reported by<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://blackpressusa.com/nnpa-newswire-exclusive-bill-cosby-speaks-from-prison/" target="_blank">BlackPressUSA</a>.com.</em></p> <p>The disgraced comedian added he believes he will be serving his full sentence. </p> <p><em>The Cosby Show </em>star further said his trial was unjust as his jurors were going to convict him no matter what evidence was presented. </p> <p>“It’s all a set-up. That whole jury thing. They were impostors,” Cosby said, and noted that one juror was overheard saying before the trial, “he’s guilty, we can all go home now.”</p> <p>Cosby - who refers to his jail cell as his “penthouse” - told a reporter he now spends his time in lockup lecturing fellow inmates during Saturday sessions of a prison reform program. </p> <p>“I go into my penthouse and lay down and start to think about how I can relay a message and give it on Saturdays so that they would hear it and feel it,” Cosby said.</p>

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450,000 cars recalled for brake fluid leak that could make them catch fire

<p>Nissan is recalling over 450,000 vehicles worldwide due to a brake fluid leak that could cause them to catch fire.</p> <p>Due to the fire risk, Nissan is urging owners to park the vehicles outdoors and away from structures if the antilock brake light comes on for more than ten seconds.</p> <p>The recall covers the Nissan Murano SUV from 2015 through 2018 and Maxima sedans from 2016 to 2018. There are other cars included, which are Infiniti QX60 and Nissan Pathfinder SUVs from 2017 to 2019.</p> <p>Most cars are in the US and Canada.</p> <p>Nissan says that the antilock brake actuator pump can leak fluid onto a circuit board causing electrical shorts and fires.</p> <p>It’s Nissan’s third recall for the same problem, and the company keeps expanding the number of affected models.</p> <p>About 120,000 US vehicles were recalled in 2016 and Nissan further recalled 215,000 in 2018, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/consumer/2019/11/16/nissan-recalls-450000-vehicles-worldwide/" target="_blank">The New Daily</a></em>.</p> <p>Nissan dealers will now replace the pumps on all of the vehicles. Notices telling owners of the safety risk will be sent December 2.</p> <p>Owners will get a second notice next summer when additional parts are available.</p> <p>In a statement on Friday, Nissan said a seal in the pump can leak brake fluid onto an electronic control circuit board. In rare cases, the leaks could cause an electrical short.</p> <p>“Nissan Group is committed to the safety, security and satisfaction of our customers and their passengers,” the statement said.</p>

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How to shop smarter and save big

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I truly believe that all of us can shop smarter. Just take a bit of time before shopping to plan what you need, during shopping to ensure you get everything (and prevent another trip, which incurs costs on fuel) and after shopping to make sure your goods are stored correctly so they will last until you cook and eat them.</span></p> <p><strong>Here are some tips:</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keep your shopping list somewhere where you will see it all the time and then remember to take it with you when you shop. I keep mine on a spreadsheet open on my computer (because I’m on the computer all day) – but I used to keep it on my fridge door. (I attached some old magnets to the back so it would stay there.) You can also keep it in your phone if you prefer; that way you will be less likely to leave it at home!</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pay attention to unit prices. Since 2009 it’s been compulsory for every supermarket in Australia to provide a unit price for every item so that shoppers can quickly compare costs. Unit pricing breaks the cost of a product into a unit of weight, volume or number. For example, chocolate will have a unit price per 100 g, milk a unit price per litre and a bulk pack of breakfast bars or drinks might list an ‘each’ price.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">In most cases, the larger the size or amount, the smaller the unit price. For example, the unit price of a 1-litre carton of milk might be $1.20 per litre, yet for a 2-litre carton it might be $0.90 per litre.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t always assume that you are getting a good deal when buying in bulk. Sometimes it is actually cheaper to buy multiples of the smaller packs. So always check the unit price before you purchase.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pay cash instead of using a card. (Use the internet to work out how much your items will cost before you go.) It forces you to keep to your budget.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take a calculator (or use your phone) and add up what you are spending as you go.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never shop when you are hungry (I know you’ve heard it before, but it makes a huge difference.)</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Try not to shop with young children – it’s distracting for you and stressful for everyone (especially if they’re hassling you nonstop to buy toys or sweets and you’re not giving in!). If shopping with preschoolers is unavoidable, give them a special ‘job’ to do (putting stuff in the trolley), or put them in the trolley with a colouring book.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bring your own bottle of water and sip it to get you past the chocolate, soft drink and snack aisles. Better yet, don’t even go down them!</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Avoid shopping at peak times (Saturday mornings and 3–5 p.m. weekdays).</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never shop at eye level – that’s where the supermarket promotes the product with the highest profit share. Brands pay a premium to have their products at eye-level for people who don’t care too much about what they’re buying and just want to grab it and go. Check out the bottom shelf, then the top.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">But the truly best place of all to find the cheapest items is at the ends of the aisles. This is where the supermarket places bulk items that they want to get rid of quickly – and they will sell them at close to cost price. Take advantage of this – especially with staple items.Check out the clearance section. It’s often a messy, uncoordinated pile, which discourages most shoppers – but don’t let it discourage you. If you are patient enough to weed through this section you may just find an item or two on your list.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">The only time to stray from your budget is when you encounter an unexpected sale on staple items that you just can’t go past.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you keep to your budget, give yourself a small, inexpensive treat as a reward (or just put a couple of dollars in a piggy bank to save up for something just for you).</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">And the biggest hint of them all: check your receipt. Supermarkets make mistakes all the time. If you find an error, they will often refund you the cost of the entire item, not just the error, so by checking for mistakes, you could get a few items for free!</span></li> </ul> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is an edited extract from The $50 Weekly Shop Weekday Dinners by Jody Allen, published by Penguin Random House and available now, RRP $24.99</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Jody Allen. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/how-to-shop-smarter-and-save.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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3 easy ways to eradicate mould at home

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It can be difficult to identify hidden mould in an older home. However, once you have discovered it, you can learn to eliminate it forever.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Spores are small, often incognito little gremlins that can grow from one to many in a very short amount of time. They can remain invisible for months or even years, but if they are left alone, they can slowly take over your house and affect your family's health.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, what should you do to identify exactly where those unwanted little spores are lurking?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Energy-efficiency expert and scientist Jenny Edwards from Light House Architecture and Science has uncovered helpful mould precautions tips specifically for Australian homes.</span></p> <p><strong>Tip 1: Don’t block off airways </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the winter months it is easy to close the blinds early and lock in the heat from the heater. However, doing this will create a petri dish of mould in your room, especially bathrooms. Edwards suggests that you should always install a new extractor fan in the bathrooms of older homes. It will stop the moisture from growing spores.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Handy hint:</strong> Keep the extractor fan on after you leave the shower because it needs time to work. </span></p> <p><strong>Tip 2: Try not to dry your clothes inside </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sometimes drying your clothes inside is unavoidable. However, if there is a ray of sunshine outside and a slight breeze, try and let your garments blow in the wind. Wet clothes drying inside will increase the moisture in the air and lead to condensation. Condensation, of course, grows the mould and that is what we are trying to avoid.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Handy hint:</strong> If you do dry clothes inside then at least put them in the sunniest room in the house and have the windows open to allow some sun and air in.</span></p> <p><strong>Tip 3: What do to if your house already has mould </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You can be super cautious and attentive but mould can still creep through the cracks. So, if you do discover mould that you missed upon execution, here is what you do.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">CEO for Mycology Dr Heike Neumeister-Kemp says that the best way to get rid of mould is using white vinegar and a microfibre cloth. If there is a huge amount of mould that you can't reach, then the last resort would be to use a dehumidifier to attack the build-up of moisture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you live in a home that is a little older, have a building inspector check for any mould if you think you can smell it but can’t find the source of. It can make the difference.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Handy hint:</strong> The best way to get rid of mould is using white vinegar and a microfibre cloth.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Stewart Bunn. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/3-easy-ways-to-eradicate-mould-at-home.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></em></p>

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How easy is it to flip a property?

<p>‘Flipping’ or buying properties to do up and sell can be a lot of work but the pay-off could be huge when the time comes to selling your fixer-upper. With risk comes rewards and flipping properties may just be the best financial decision for you, but weigh up the odds first.</p> <p><strong>Risk versus profit</strong> <br />Most people recognise the risks that come with flipping properties. You invest your time and hard earned money into renovating a home but it may not always pay off when it comes time to sell. Before you do anything, you must plan your budget for fixing up the fixer-upper and budget down to the smallest of things. Investing Answers suggests that you pay for the house in cash and avoid getting a mortgage for it. Even splitting the investment with a partner will be better. Having a mortgage is a "fixed obligation" and it adds extra pressure for you to be successful with flipping.</p> <p><strong>What do buyers look for?</strong> <br />The <a href="http://www.nationalpropertybuyers.com.au/buyers-agents-australia/?gclid=CLXI2pmL_c4CFQuMvQodUnQG9A">Real Estate Buyers Agents Association</a> recently released a survey of the most popular features that Australians want for their new home. These are the top 10 features:</p> <p>1. Open plan living</p> <p>2. At least two bathrooms</p> <p>3. Natural light </p> <p>4. Close to schools and shops</p> <p>5. Kitchens that flow out to outdoor entertainment</p> <p>6. Two living areas</p> <p>7. Level yard</p> <p>8. Pantry</p> <p>9. Storage space</p> <p>10.Secure car space</p> <p>Now that you know the most popular features, you can start to plan your renovations with them in mind. Aussies love to renovate their homes but perhaps more importantly, they like to do it themselves. This means that there will be a lot of costs saved on hiring people to build or demolish.</p> <p><strong>Best house on the worst street or worst house on the best street?</strong> <br />Location can make or break your gains when flipping a property; just remember -  it's all about the serenity. Buying a run-down house and fixing it up can be great, but not if it is on a terrible street. You have to ask yourself if the features of the neighbourhood are going to add value to your home. Research the past rates of property growth in surrounding streets, as well as nearby schools and amenities.</p> <p>If you are now entering the world of flipping property, know that it is a tough game to play. But if you win, the rewards can set you up for a successful financial future. Talk to the team at <a href="https://www.firstnational.com.au/">First National Real Estate</a> to find out the best places to buy for your next investment. </p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-easy-is-it-to-flip-a-property.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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How to have a real work-life balance

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Far too many Australians are stressed at work and it’s taking a toll on our physical and mental wellbeing. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), one in five workers suffers from some form of mental illness whether that be depression, anxiety, stress disorders or suicidal thoughts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion every year. The importance of easing this stress and anxiety is clear. But is the solution as simple as cutting down on work?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Shannah Kennedy, life coach, corporate speaker, author and co-creator of the Master Class of Wellness, a program that empowers professionals to reach their highest potential, says you can have a successful career and achieve a happy, balanced life without giving up your work.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re taking our work with us everywhere we go these days. Work-life balance isn’t about having lots of time off work, it’s about blending our work and recreation to where we feel we have a sense of control over our health - mentally, physically and emotionally,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kennedy says we are often to blame for pushing ourselves too hard. One way we do this is that we don’t set clear boundaries on how we use technology and there is often no separation between our work life and our personal life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Checking phones next to our beds, checking our emails constantly affects the neural pathways for addiction. So people aren’t sleeping properly, they are overwhelmed by information and there is no off switch,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The inability to say no to people’s requests when we really should be looking after our own interests is another contributing factor. We quite often put others’ interests ahead of our own trying to be the best family member, employee, or friend that we can be. Kennedy calls this the ‘disease to please’ and it’s a habit that has to be broken if we are going to find a better work-life balance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people may not even be aware that they are stressed, caught up in what Kennedy calls the ‘treadmill of life’. Telltale signs include sleep apnoea, overreacting to situations and having thoughts that replay in your head constantly. You may also find that you’re not really present in your relationships, may have high blood pressure or have trouble tasting your food.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Those close to retirement age can be particularly at risk of stress and anxiety as they often haven’t prepared for life beyond work and find themselves having to contemplate starting all over again. “Many have forgotten to work on their friendships and hobbies and have to start from scratch when they retire,” says Kennedy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Life coaches Shannah and Lyndall share their tips for achieving that work-life balance we all long for</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But by managing your workplace stress you can become more productive at work and a healthier, happier and more inspired version of yourself. Follow these key strategies to begin your transformation.</span></p> <p><strong>Learn to say “No”</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We fear rejection and we fear missing out, but it’s important to realise that you can’t do everything without it having a detrimental effect on you,” says Kennedy. But how can you say no without offending people? Kennedy says it’s about being nice first. “Thank the person for their invitation and then say ‘unfortunately I can’t make it this time’. Use the time to do something that helps you rest and rejuvenate instead,” advises Kennedy.</span></p> <p><strong>Have a plan and track your time</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Track your time with a timetable and include work but also activities such as yoga, meditation and social catch ups that improve your mind, body, hobbies and relationships. You should schedule this time in the same as you would important business meetings, advises Kennedy. “Book in the asset first. You are that asset in life and it’s about protecting that asset and booking time out to work on and with that asset,” says Kennedy.</span></p> <p><strong>Have technology boundaries</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t sleep with your phone next to your bed and incorporate technology blackout periods into your day. Not checking your work emails will make you feel calmer, but you will also find you become more productive, free from distractions like social media. “From 8pm at night in my house, it’s phones and tablets switched off. Similarly, phones and devices are kept off until after exercise and breakfast and that gives us time to switch off too,” says Kennedy.</span></p> <p><strong>Move your body</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Exercise is a perfect stress release and has the added benefit of keeping us fit, healthy and reenergised. Instead of coming home from work and having more ‘screen time’, invest in your body by going for a walk or taking an exercise class. You will feel more refreshed when you do have to tackle those stressful work deadlines.</span></p> <p><strong>Breathe deeply</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kennedy calls this her big secret that allows her to perform better and without stress in her working life. “Most of the population use only 30 per cent of their lung capacity. They are not maximising the oxygen intake into their bodies and their brains so they can’t think; they can’t make decisions,” she says. To reap the benefits of life-giving oxygen take five deep breaths three times a day. “You can change your whole mental state if you learn how to breathe properly,” says Kennedy.</span></p> <p><strong>Use technology to help you</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t be a slave to technology. “Make it your slave and become more productive,” says Kennedy. Program your phone’s calendar with things that are non-negotiable to you and set your phone to notify you when you should be doing them. “That means my yoga, my walk, my friend time, my finances. When you get a notification to do your finances for example, you know you can’t go to bed until you finish them,” Kennedy says.</span></p> <p><strong>See a life coach</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bring some extra help into your life by finding a life coach. “A qualified life coach can help educate you about how to better manage your work-life balance and then help you create the structure you need to be the best version of yourself by helping you improve your health, wellbeing, your family life and career,” says Kennedy.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.Wyza.com.au">Wyza.com.au.</a></span></em></p>

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How to protect your nest egg

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Building up your super and other investment assets to fund your retirement is an essential financial goal for all of us. But what about after you retire?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After you cross that line and begin relying on investment income rather than earned income, your financial decisions can have a much more profound effect on your day-to-day lifestyle and your longer term financial wellbeing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Protecting and preserving your retirement income, assets, and estate from the threats of tax, inflation and potential financial crises takes some serious thinking and careful planning. Let’s take a look at some of the big issues you should consider.</span></p> <p><strong>Preserving capital </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Deciding where to invest your retirement savings is primarily driven by the dual objectives of generating enough income to live on and making sure your investment capital lasts the distance of a retirement that may be 20 or 30 years — or longer. Balancing these objectives is critical and can be quite daunting.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At one extreme, you might choose to stick with high capital security and a predictable income from fixed interest investments. While this can be a “safe” option, it carries the risk of inflation eating into the value of your capital. In a low interest environment, the income returns are also not too flash.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the other end of the scale, you could seek greater income flow from share investments that pay high dividends and have the added bonus of potential capital growth, but this comes with the corresponding risk of market fluctuations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The answer for most people will be somewhere in between, and will depend on many personal and unique factors. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The important thing is not to become too preoccupied with the income side of the equation: by remaining diligent about the need to protect our capital, we can cope with the demands of funding an adequate retirement lifestyle over the long term. This is where having a financial planner you can trust is so valuable for objectively assessing your situation and needs, and balancing them with a sophisticated strategy that addresses your goals.</span></p> <p><strong>What about tax? </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tax efficiency is an important component of nest egg protection and the tax implications of any investment choice must be considered in making a balanced investment decision. This doesn’t mean that we should blindly make decisions based purely on tax minimisation, but we do need to take tax into account as part of our strategy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In relation to retirement, this may mean considering such things as income stream investments and the benefits of dividend imputation from shares or managed funds. It can even affect decisions made in relation to maintaining or downsizing your home. Again, some informed professional advice can help weigh up the tax issues as part of a holistic strategy.</span></p> <p><strong>Disaster-proofing your plans </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making contingency plans for sudden mishaps is a crucial part of the protection puzzle. While insurance needs will certainly be reduced as family leave the nest and debts decrease, there is still a very strong case for maintaining some level of coverage against death and disability: to provide a legacy to your surviving spouse and children, to cover funeral expenses, and to fund any final legal and tax expenses. Healthcare costs will rise as you age, so private health insurance is also something you should not let lapse.</span></p> <p><strong>Protecting your estate </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beyond your own retirement needs and lifestyle, you may also need to consider how your assets will be best preserved and passed on to the younger generations in your family. Estate planning is an essential component of your overall financial plan, to ensure that:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">wills are properly drawn up,</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">powers of attorney are put in place to ensure decision-making continuity,</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">trusts structures are implemented to protect from unnecessary tax liabilities and from misuse of inheritances, and</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">superannuation and insurances beneficiary arrangements are properly organised to make sure that benefit payouts are made promptly, and are directed in accordance with your wishes.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The professionals you consult about such issues, including your legal adviser and financial planner will play a critical role in helping you cope with what can be a highly complex set of challenges — even for relatively modest estates.         </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/how-to-protect-your-nest-egg.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></a></em></p>

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5 ways to protect your small business

<p>Taking calculated risks is an integral part of the entrepreneurial spirit that drives the small business community in Australia. Without risk there is no reward.</p> <p>At the same time, however, there are some risks that are not worth taking and that can threaten the survival of a small business. Some things are simply not worth leaving to chance and you need to shelter the business from potentially disastrous impacts.</p> <p>Here are 5 of the big ones that all small businesses should consider.</p> <p><strong>1. Protect the key factor that drives success]</strong></p> <p>Think of the most valuable asset a business has and invariably it will be a person. This will usually relate to a specific attribute that key person possesses, such as a unique skill, expert knowledge, sales flair, innovative aptitude or even just a pure capacity for hard work. However, the value that this person has can be a double-edged sword, because without that person the business may quickly fail.</p> <p>To protect against this risk, a smart business will take out insurance against a catastrophic event, such as premature death or a major illness or injury. This is commonly known as key person insurance. Insuring a key person will provide an instant capital resource to enable the business to take emergency actions, such as paying out debts, employing a specialised replacement or shoring up any drop in business income, while the business adjusts to the loss.</p> <p><strong>2. Protecting partnerships</strong></p> <p>Many businesses are successful because of the combined skill and resources of two or more partners who create the synergy that makes a business tick. If one of the partners suffers a major sickness or injury or sudden death, the other partners may want to continue the business, but they will need to deal with the missing partner’s share of the business, which will most likely pass into the hands of his or her spouse.</p> <p>The ideal solution here is to have insurance protection in place to fund a buy-out of the exiting partner’s share, so that their spouse and dependents are looked after and the remaining partners can focus on keeping the business going. A solicitor can draw up a document known as a buy-sell agreement to cover the mechanics of how this transfer of equity will occur and a financial planner can be consulted to put the necessary death, disablement and critical illness insurances in place to fund this agreement.</p> <p><strong>3. Ensuring you have a succession plan</strong></p> <p>Eventually there will come a time when you will want to transition from being a business owner and into a leisurely retirement. Many business owners simply never get around to facing up to this reality, but this leaves them exposed to a major risk of the business value not being realised when the time comes to leave.</p> <p>A business succession plan worked out with a qualified financial planner will seek to take care of this by dealing with such issues as:</p> <ul> <li>will the business ownership be passed on to family members and, if so, how will the owner be compensated?</li> <li>will the business be sold on the market and how can its value be maximised?</li> <li>what are the retirement funding goals for the business owner and what shortfall is there after the business sale is taken into account?</li> <li>how will such shortfalls be made up through superannuation and investment plans outside of the business?</li> </ul> <p>There is also the risk that business succession will be forced on the owner well before retirement if health conditions arise, so a contingency plan for this must also be built into the succession plan, to avoid a fire sale situation.</p> <p><strong>4. Protecting those who matter most</strong></p> <p>Regardless of the business survival plans, business owners must also consider how they actually insure their own worth to their family – particularly if there are dependent children involved and a high level of living expenses being maintained. Business owners don’t have the luxury of an employer to pay their sick leave, so an income protection plan is essential to guard against temporary sickness and injury.</p> <p>Lump sum cover should also be in place to give the family a capital resource in the event of premature death, total and permanent disablement and suffering a traumatic illness such as heart attack or cancer. A financial planner can make a personal risk assessment and recommend cover to protect the family against the financial impacts of these emergencies.</p> <p><strong>5. One other risk often overlooked</strong></p> <p>While income protection insurance will protect a business owner personally if sickness or injury occurs, there can be a blind spot back in the business that is left exposed. Regardless of whether the business continues to trade or not, there will be a range of fixed business expenses that will continue to be incurred, such as utilities, rent, leases and non-income producing staff.</p> <p>Expenses such as these can be protected by business expense insurance. This type of cover is not very well known, but provides a vital link in the protection chain by coming into play in tandem with the person’s income protection to help pay for those fixed business expenses. Cover usually extends for a period of up to 12 months of absence and this can make all the difference in ensuring there is a business to come back to once the owner returns to work.</p> <p>Talk to your financial planner if you want to take decisive action on protecting against all of these acute business risks.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/small-business/5-ways-to-protect-your-small-business.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Top 10 tips for your financial back-up plan

<p>It’s natural to procrastinate over a daunting task, but the bottom line for any financial plan is how well it provides for the protection of you and your family if the worst happens. These tips will help you identify the key elements your plan should include to get the right cover at the right price.</p> <p><strong>How much is enough life insurance?</strong><br />When it comes to insuring your life, working out how much cover you should have may seem like a very subjective question, but there are certainly some guidelines to follow.</p> <p>If, for example, the family breadwinner was suddenly taken out of the picture, how much would the family need to invest to replace their income and how much capital would you need from an insurance payout to fund that investment?</p> <p>You may also want to have additional cover amounts to pay out a mortgage, cover specific emergencies or situations, or fund special purposes, such as a children’s education fund.</p> <p><strong>Are you insuring your greatest asset?</strong><br />Do a quick mental calculation of your annual income multiplied by the number of working years you have left before retirement. The answer is the amount you potentially risk if you don’t have income protection to cover you against sickness and accident.</p> <p>You can generally insure up to 75 per cent of your gross income and you can tailor cover with a “waiting period” that ties in with your sick leave entitlements, to keep premiums to a minimum.</p> <p><strong>How do you "bridge the gap" between life cover and income protection?</strong><br />If you really want to protect your lifestyle against the threat of major diseases such as a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, then why not consider trauma cover? You can insure yourself for a lump sum that is payable upon diagnosis of a range of medical conditions. You can then use this cover to fund a lifestyle change, an extended recuperation holiday, pay off debts to de-stress your life — the choice is yours.</p> <p><strong>Are you protected from a fate worse than death?</strong><br />Financially speaking, a total and permanent disablement can be a fate worse than death. You could completely and permanently lose your ability to earn income, but on top of that you may incur even greater expense burdens related to your condition, such as home renovations for wheelchair access, special vehicles, and expensive medical treatments. To protect against this financial threat, you can attach lump sum total and permanent disablement cover on your life insurance plan.</p> <p><strong>Will the cover in your super fund be enough?</strong><br />Relying on your super alone to take care of your insurance needs can be a shaky strategy. Will it be enough cover to give you the level of protection you need? Will you be able to continue coverage if you leave your employer? If not, will you still be insurable if you want to take out cover privately?</p> <p>Your financial planner can help you answer these questions and complement your work super cover with personal insurance plans.</p> <p><strong>It’s not all about the breadwinner</strong><br />A full-time homemaker in a family will also need to be protected, in case something happens to them. Lump sum life insurance cover on their life can be used to fund the cost of home help or even replace the breadwinner’s income if the breadwinner wants the flexibility to leave work and take care of children.</p> <p><strong>Don’t compromise on quality</strong><br />Not all insurance plans are the same — especially when it comes to income protection and trauma insurances. Benefit definitions and supplementary benefit inclusions can make thousands of dollars of difference when it comes to claim time, so consult a financial planner to ensure you have quality cover at the right price. When it comes to personal insurance, value is far more important than cost.</p> <p><strong>What about the children?</strong><br />Did you know that you can even insure children against premature death? It may not be a pleasant thought, but the harsh reality is that there will be significant expense if a child was to die.</p> <p>You are also ensuring that they will have the option in future to convert their cover to their own personal insurance when they reach adulthood, thus avoiding any insurability issues that may emerge at that time.</p> <p><strong>Have a review system in place</strong><br />Cover needs can fluctuate dramatically at different stages of life, so you could suddenly find yourself dangerously under-insured or wastefully over-insured. An annual review program with a qualified financial planner will help keep your plan relevant to your needs and potentially save you real dollars.</p> <p><strong>Are you paying too much?</strong><br />Using a financial planner to help with your protection program gives you the benefit of their inside knowledge on a range of insurers. They can save you the hassle of comparing plans so you can achieve the most economical solution.</p> <p>No single insurer will be cheapest for everybody at every age, so the expertise of someone who understands the market is invaluable for sourcing the best cover at the best price.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/top-10-tips-for-your-financial-back-up-plan.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Robert De Niro sued for harassment and gender discrimination

<p>Robert De Niro has been accused of gender discrimination and harassment in a $12 million lawsuit filed by former employee Graham Chase Robinson.</p> <p>In a court document obtained by <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6446423-Robinson.html">the <em>Hollywood Reporter</em></a>, Robinson alleges that De Niro and his film production company Canal Productions subjected her to a “hostile work environment” and “years of gender discrimination and harassment”, including “gratuitous unwanted physical contact”, “abusive and sexist comments”, and underpayments “because she was not a male breadwinner”.</p> <p>According to Robinson, whose most recent position at the company was vice-president of production and finance, De Niro called her a “bitch” and a “spoiled brat”, asked her to “scratch his back” and “put away his boxers”, and made her work 20 to 30 hours of overtime per week without any additional pay.</p> <p>De Niro also allegedly implied Robinson deserved a lower salary than a male staff “whose job required no greater skill, effort or responsibility” because she was “a woman without children”.</p> <p>“De Niro made demands of Ms Robinson that he never imposed on males,” said Robinson’s lawyer Alexandra Harwin.</p> <p>“De Niro’s treatment of Ms Robinson was inappropriate, demeaning, abusive, and intolerable, and he needs to be held accountable.”</p> <p>The complaint comes after De Niro’s company filed <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/aug/19/robert-de-niro-sues-ex-employee-embezzlement-netflix-binge">a $6 million suit</a> against Robinson in August, accusing her of embezzling money and binge-watching television shows during office hours.</p> <p>Robinson argued that De Niro’s decision to sue her was “filled with baseless, bad faith and frivolous allegations” designed to “destroy her reputation” and prevent her from pursuing her claims.</p> <p>“Now, when her name is Googled, these allegations pop up on the screen,” the file read. “The results have been devastating to Ms Robinson. Her reputation and her career have been destroyed.”</p> <p>In response, De Niro’s lawyer Tom Harvey said Robinson’s claims are “beyond absurd”.</p>

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Starting a business later in life

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Should age be a barrier to entrepreneurship? A quick look at the statistics suggests that the answer is a resounding “no”, with nearly 30 per cent of business owners in Australia aged over 55. This includes 11.8 per cent who are aged between 55 and 59, 9.7 per cent between 60 and 64 and 7.8 per cent 65 and over.*</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, what motivates people to start a business later in life? For many, it may be a case of fulfilling a dream that was simply impractical earlier in life, due to family or financial circumstances. For others, it might be a desire to take a new direction in life after becoming stagnant in their current job or being made redundant. Some may also see it as a way of staying engaged and active in their retirement years, rather than just putting their feet up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whatever the reason, starting a business offers some real benefits, as well as some challenges. So what key aspects should you consider?</span></p> <p><strong>What are the positives?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On the plus side, you will have lifetime of experience to draw upon. Your experience in your previous jobs may have given you skills and attributes that are essential to running a business, such as technical know-how, an understanding of human relations, and a more sober ability to assess what you are good at and what you may need assistance with. These are qualities that you would not necessarily have had in your younger days.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You may also have developed a strong network of contacts and experts with specialist knowledge whose experience you can draw on, such as accounting and finance, legal, sales and marketing, and tradespeople.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Financially, you may also be in a better position as an older person, since you may have the expenses of family and a mortgage behind you, and you may have savings, superannuation or a redundancy payout available to help fund the venture.</span></p> <p><strong>Consider the negatives</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is equally important to consider what may hold you back. For starters, the skills required in the business you are starting may not correlate to experience you have gained from previous employment. For example, if you have been working in a white-collar business all your life and want to start a café, there may be a steep learning curve about suppliers, food service regulations, and retail practices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s also important to be realistic about your physical stamina and health. You’re not as young as you used to be and you don’t want to end up running a business that becomes a burden. You need to have a real passion for the business, so that you enjoy it as part of your lifestyle and are not doing it purely for financial gain. In other words, make sure it is a joy and not a jail!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ensure your spouse is happy with the venture, too. The last thing you want is for the business to drive a wedge between personal relationships.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Possibly the biggest negative, however, is the financial risk. Assuming that one day you will want to retire completely, you need to be wary about overcommitting your financial resources to the business. If things don’t work out as you plan, or if selling the business proves to be a struggle, you may find yourself risking your retirement lifestyle.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once you have weighed up the pros and cons, and have decided to go ahead, you need to get your planning in place.</span></p> <p><strong>Be prepared</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before you jump into a new business venture, you need to do your homework. That means doing some research and analysis on the market for your product or service to understand your competitors and your target customers. If you are buying into an existing business, get a professional to help assess its financial state and viability.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once you have established that there is a good business case, the next step is to put together a business plan. This is essential for articulating concrete business goals, sales and marketing plans, financing arrangements, cashflow projections, staffing issues, and regulatory/compliance obligations. It is vital to seek professional input on your plan to make sure it is sound.</span></p> <p><strong>Have an exit strategy</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before you commit to going in, make sure you have a defined path for getting out too. That means:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ensure you are not overcommitting retirement funds and superannuation, so that you have a fallback if things go belly up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are dipping into retirement funds, have a plan to allocate a portion of your profits to replenish your retirement savings, so that your retirement is not overly dependent on business income or the sale of the business.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Have a succession plan for a smooth and financially successful exit from the business down the track. Will it be passed to another family member? What financial records will you need to keep on top of to maximise future sale value? How will the business be sold?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To get such a plan in place, it is wise to speak with a financial planner who has the experience to integrate your business plans with your overall financial plan. They can also work with your accountant to make sure all the bases are covered. Drawing on the expertise of competent advisers is a critical aspect to making your venture the success that you want it to be.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">*Australian Bureau of Statistics: Counts of Australian Business Operators by Selected Characteristics, 2012</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/small-business/starting-a-business-later-in-life.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Safety at home is more important as we age

<p>The ageing of Australia’s population in the coming decades has significant implications for the housing market. So how might your needs change and what should you be thinking about when it comes to your current home or future needs?</p> <p>Home safety features, small and manageable housing, and easy accessibility will become more attractive to a growing proportion of our population, turning much of Australia’s traditional housing, designed for a post-war baby boom as well as younger, larger families, on its head.</p> <p>Over the 20 years between 1994 and 2014, the proportion of Australians aged 65 and over increased from 11.8 to 14.7 per cent of Australia’s population. This group is expected to increase more rapidly over the next decade, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, to almost 26 per cent by 2051. A further nine per cent is expected to be aged over 80.</p> <p>It’s therefore pretty clear that many more of us will be living alone and wanting suitable housing. More families will be caring for a parent or relative, and others will want to stay on in their homes despite debilitating illnesses that can be associated with ageing.</p> <p>This has important implications for the design, layout, fittings and locations of our existing and future housing. Because it’s increasingly clear that government may struggle to fund the supply of dedicated, affordable housing facilities for seniors, many of us will find that it is up to us to plan how we can adapt our existing homes so they remain suitable for us well into the future. This means we need to start anticipating today what our future needs may be, as well as what precautions and aids may be needed.</p> <p>If you are beginning to weigh up your housing options or you’re keeping an eye on a parent, relative or friend, here is some advice:</p> <p><strong>Stairs and entrances</strong></p> <p>Many of us downsize from family homes to multi-level townhouses and, as time goes on, we start struggling with stairs. If you’re considering downsizing, try and keep in mind finding a property with at least one bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor. That way, if stairs become difficult, you have the option of adjusting your living arrangements and staying in your home, rather than having to sell. If you have stairs, make sure there are secure handrails, a smoke detector, and that the stairs and stairwell are well lit. Also make sure that the floor coverings, whether carpet, wood or tiles, are secure and can’t be slipped on. The entrance and hallways should also be clear of any clutter, and have easily accessible bright lighting.</p> <p><strong>The kitchen</strong></p> <p>It’s important to make sure that kitchen appliances are easy to reach and are in good working order. Easily reached kitchen taps, microwave, oven, and stovetop controls all play a role in helping us remain self-sufficient in meal preparation. Thought should also be given to the height of bench tops, cupboards, and how easy it is to carry food from the kitchen to the eating area. It can be worthwhile making some simple design changes now rather than waiting until a parent or relative starts to have problems.</p> <p><strong>The bathroom</strong></p> <p>Moving in and out of the shower or bath without risk, and with ease, is the most important safety feature for the bathroom. Could you need to install bars or a shower seat in the future? Is it possible to add non-slip rubber mats in and beside the shower and bath? Is the shower door easy to open and close or is it difficult to manoeuvre around? Also, can the bathroom be easily accessed at night, without having to use stairs?</p> <p><strong>The bedroom</strong></p> <p>It’s important there’s a clear, uncluttered path from the bedroom to the bathroom as well as to the doorway leaving the bedroom. You might also want to consider whether it’s possible to put a television and armchair in the bedroom, if there’s the space, as this can provide a private, comfortable and secure area to relax in the evenings. It’s also important to consider whether there’s an easily accessible telephone, in the event of emergencies.</p> <p><strong>Other areas</strong></p> <p>It’s also important to make sure working smoke alarms are placed throughout the home, and make arrangements for batteries to be changed at least annually. In fact, better still, it’s a good idea to check your smoke alarms at the beginning and end of daylight saving. As you re-set clocks, just check the smoke detectors. All appliances should be in good working order and stray cords that can easily be tripped over should be firmly taped or reorganised. Take a look at your door and cupboard handles. It’s much easier to replace handles than the property, when somebody in your care is becoming less mobile. And finally, make sure emergency phone numbers are kept beside every phone in the house.</p> <p>While a safety assessment of the home might seem something only parents of young children need to need to worry about, it is an exercise that can benefit everybody.</p> <p><em>Written by First National. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/safety-at-home-is-more-important-as-we-age.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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How to get a good job after 50

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We might roll our eyes when politicians suggest we work until we are 70 but the fact is many older Australians want, or need to work. As the baby boomer generation ages, the number of workers aged 60 plus is increasing at four times the rate of any other demographic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With national age discrimination legislation barely a decade old, workers who lose their jobs at 55 or older spend an average of 72 weeks unemployed, 1.8 times longer than their younger counterparts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s a statistic that calls for some hard-hitting strategies to level the playing field, which is what prompted veteran career coach Rupert French to write 'How To Get A Good Job After 50.'</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Age is not the issue; it is the perception of being too old that creates the barrier and, too often, that perception is greater in the mind of the job seeker than it is in the mind of an employer,” French says.</span></p> <p>Rupert French and his master class for mature job seekers</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The book outlines the strategies and tools to give mature workers the confidence to win a rewarding role.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A master of reinvention, having been a journalist, a teacher and a truckie, before his 20 years as a career coach, French knows firsthand just how to repackage transportable skills and make yourself a must-have job market commodity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over the past 20 or more years, French has developed a very effective job search methodology.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Now that I’m getting closer to retirement, I would like to share these insights so that others can enjoy the same success that my clients have enjoyed,” he said.</span></p> <p>In the books he writes: </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"So you are over 50 and you’re looking for a job. Perhaps your job search isn’t being as easy as you would like it to be and you are beginning to think that no one wants you because you’re too old. Well, think again. You can, and almost certainly will, get a good job within a reasonably short period of time if you follow the strategies described in this book. By ‘good job’ I mean one that will give you job satisfaction — one that matches your interests, your values and personality; and one that is a job of your choosing. It may not be the same as your last job. That sort of job may no longer be available due to changes in technology or economic circumstances. But it will be a job that will give you fulfilment and, as a result, a feeling of success."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">'How to Get a Good Job After 50' is available from </span><a href="http://www.exislepublishing.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Exile Publishing</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and wherever good books are sold RRP $29.99. Also available as an eBook.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Shannon Wall. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/employment/how-to-get-a-good-job-after-50.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></p> <p> </p>

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Major heartbreaking change in Kevin Spacey lawsuit

<p>A male massage therapist who accused disgraced Hollywood heavyweight Kevin Spacey of sexual assault has died - however the lawsuit the star faces may still continue according to court records. </p> <p>Spacey, whose real name is Kevin Fowler, is being investigated in both London and Los Angeles over several allegations. </p> <p>The 60-year-old faces a titan federal lawsuit alleging he assaulted the late masseur, and his lawyers have filed a “notice of statement noting plaintiff’s death” in the federal case on Tuesday, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9957461/kevin-spacey-sexual-assault-allegations-accuser-dead/" target="_blank">The Sun. </a></p> <p>The filing said they were informed on September 11 of the masseur’s passing. </p> <p>“No further information or details have been given to Mr Fowler’s counsel, but Plaintiff’s counsel stated they intended to notify the Court with additional information at an appropriate time in the future.”</p> <p>The massage therapist claimed he was attacked by the Oscar winning actor three year ago during a massage session in Malibu, US. </p> <p>The actor also allegedly grabbed the masseur’s hand twice and guided it to his private parts. </p> <p>He has also been accused of asking to perform a sexual act on the massage therapist - which caused him to bolt from the session. </p> <p>The lawsuit could continue despite the therapist’s death. </p> <p>Spacey has been accused by more than a dozen men of sexual misconduct. </p>

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What you should know about renovating and asbestos

<p>We all love making our own home better to live in, but are we aware of the risks? </p> <p>Many amateur renovators aren’t aware of some of the hidden renovating risks. For instance, you only have to inhale one tiny dot of asbestos into your lungs and there’s a chance, many years later, you could develop mesothelioma – a deadly cancer of the lungs and chest wall.</p> <p>In the past, the people who were being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma were mostly men who’d been exposed to asbestos through their work as tradesmen. However, more recently, this has changed with current research showing more people – including women – are exposing themselves to very slight amounts of asbestos when they do simple home renovations.</p> <p>A recent study by Professor Eun-Kee Park into Asbestos exposure during home renovations in NSW showed: </p> <ul> <li>61.4 per cent of DIY renovators reported being exposed to asbestos during home renovations.</li> <li>39.3 per cent reported their partner and 22.8 per cent reported their children, were also exposed to asbestos during home DIY home renovations.</li> <li>Non DIY renovators were less likely to be exposed or have their families exposed.</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>In Australia, at least one house in every three has some asbestos in it</em></strong></p> <p>Asbestos was widely used in Australian homes before 1987 and so to help get this information to the general public, this month is National Asbestos Awareness Month.</p> <p><strong>John Jarratt wants to help spread the message</strong> <br />Well-known Australian actor, <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/entertainment/where-are-they-now-john-jarratt.aspx">John Jarratt</a>, feels strongly about asbestos exposure because he had a close friend, Harold Hopkins, die from mesothelioma at the age of 67. Because of Hopkins story Jarratt agreed to be a spokesperson for National Asbestos Awareness.</p> <p>Jarratt’s friend was a fellow actor and when he was studying his craft, used to work in the building trade, renovating houses. In 1968, he renovated a fibro house and was exposed to the asbestos fibres.</p> <p>“He ended up with mesothelioma,” says Jarratt. “It killed him in six months, once he was diagnosed.”</p> <p><strong>A few seconds of exposure is all it takes</strong> <br />Jarratt is aware of just how easy it is to expose yourself to asbestos accidentally – even just momentarily – but he says that’s enough to be a death sentence. Jarratt also worked in the building industry when he was an up-and-coming actor, and he’s seen first-hand how easy it is to accidentally come across asbestos.</p> <p>“It’s potent stuff. Only one tiny little dot of it goes into your lungs, and you’re gone,” he says.</p> <p>The trick with mesothelioma is the fact it can lay dormant for between 20 and 50 years but when it does develop, it’s usually at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for mesothelioma and the average survival time is 10 to 12 months following diagnosis. As well as mesothelioma, you can develop lung cancer, asbestosis and benign pleural disease from inhaling asbestos fibres.</p> <p>“It can lay dormant a long, long time,” says Jarratt. “I could be down the drain myself because I was raised in a fibro house myself in a little coal-mining village on the south coast of New South Wales.”</p> <p>“Every time my mum got pregnant, the old man was out there cutting up sheets of fibro and building another room. And we were all sucking it all in, helping him out. So I could just as easily suffer for it – who knows?” he explains.</p> <p>Jarratt is quick to point out, it doesn’t matter how careful you are after you’ve been exposed. His friend, Hopkins, was a vegan and kept himself extremely fit.</p> <p>“If you wanted to put money on somebody to get to 100, you’d put all your money on Harold. He ran 15k, which was his morning run and halfway through his hundred push ups he got a pain in the chest. Six months later he was dead,” says Jarratt. “But none of that helps – once you’ve been exposed, there’s nothing much you can really do.”</p> <p>“Also, unfortunately you can be susceptible to it too. That’s the other thing. You can be a lucky guy and have a strong immunity to it or maybe not,” Jarratt adds.</p> <p><strong>It’s easy to check if your house has asbestos</strong><br />Jarratt emphasises it’s very easy to be proactive and find out if your house has asbestos in it.</p> <p>“You go to your local council. Every council in Australia knows about it,” says Jarratt. “You just go there and they’ll give you a leaflet on it and that’ll tell you exactly what to do and what the problems are. It’s all very well organised in that regard.”</p> <p>“If your house is pre-1987, it’ll most definitely have asbestos in it – could be the back board of your meter box. It’s everywhere. You know those old hot water services that used to be in the roof? They usually sit on a bed of asbestos. So it’s in all sorts of places,” he adds.</p> <p>As for DIY renovating, Jarratt warns it’s important to know what you’re doing: “If you’ve got an old house and some timber cladding, you’ve got to make sure that someone hasn’t put that over fibro which is very common.”</p> <p>“Just don’t bore a hole into a wall unless you know what it’s all made of,” he adds. “I know, because I’ve done a lot of building. I just simply go under the house and look up through the stud wall and see on the inside, all the sheeting. That’s the only way you can see the sheeting so that’s what experts who know what they’re doing, do,” he explains.</p> <p>Jarratt adds there’s no safe level of working with asbestos.</p> <p>“Look, I’ve been exposed to it all my life because I’ve built houses in between acting jobs. I mean, it’s very extensive in this country. I mean they call the working class the fibro belt for god’s sake,” he laughs.</p> <p>But as Jarratt explains, if you find some fibro in your house and don’t touch it, you’re fine. “If you don’t touch it you’re fine – don’t touch it. You can paint it – that’s fine. But don’t go sanding!!! Leave it alone and get advice – it’s not worth it!”</p> <p>It’s important to keep in mind, asbestos is not only found in fibro homes. Australia was among one of the largest consumers of asbestos-containing materials in the world with asbestos-containing products still found in one in three brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad homes built or renovated before 1987.</p> <p>Asbestos was also used in the manufacture of a broad range of products. It can literally be anywhere! Under-floor coverings including carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space (insulation), eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chook sheds and even dog kennels.</p> <p>Without knowing where these types of asbestos-containing products might be located or how to manage and dispose of asbestos safely, you can end up at risk when you try to renovate your house yourself.</p> <p><strong>Asbestos exposure is common during home renovations</strong><br />To find out more about asbestos and where it could be in your house, take a look at the <a href="http://asbestosawareness.com.au/">Asbestos Awareness site here</a>. This site will make it easy for you to identify the sorts of products you need to look out for, the locations where asbestos might be found and how you need to get professional help to manage and dispose of asbestos safely.</p> <p>The video below with Cherie Barber will help you identify the various locations in homes where asbestos might be found in your home, providing the most practical and easily accessible resource for homeowners, renovators and tradespersons.</p> <p><strong>Asbestos Safety Check</strong></p> <p>1. At least 1 in 3 Australian homes contains asbestos including brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes. </p> <p>2. Asbestos was widely used in building materials before 1987 so if your home was built or renovated before 1987 it most likely contains asbestos in some form or another.</p> <p>3. If asbestos is disturbed during renovations or maintenance your health and the health of your family could be at risk.</p> <p>4. DIY is not recommended where asbestos is present.</p> <p>5 When renovating or working in and around homes, if in doubt assume asbestos materials are present and take every precaution.</p> <p>6. Dealing with asbestos is important and serious, but it’s not overwhelming – it is manageable!</p> <p>7. If you’re not sure if asbestos is in your home you can have it inspected by a licenced removalist or a licensed asbestos assessor.</p> <p>8. Products made from asbestos cement include fibro sheeting (flat and corrugated), water, drainage and flue pipes, roofing shingles, guttering and floor and wall coverings.</p> <p>9. If left undisturbed asbestos materials in good, stable condition are unlikely to release dangerous fibres and pose a health risk. Generally, you don’t need to remove the asbestos. Paint it and leave it alone but remember to check it occasionally for any signs of wear and tear.</p> <p>10. There are legal requirements regarding asbestos management, its removal and disposal</p> <p>11. While some might follow the regulations and safety requirements to remove small amounts of asbestos, the safest way to manage its removal is to retain a licenced professional asbestos removalist equipped to protect you and your family from the dangers of asbestos dust and fibres.\</p> <p>12. Where asbestos fibres are friable (loose and not bonded into building materials), ONLY licenced friable asbestos removalists are allowed to remove it.</p> <p>13. The cost of asbestos removal by a licenced professional is comparable to most licenced tradesmen including electricians, plumbers and tilers.</p> <p>14. If you must work with any material that may contain asbestos or remove asbestos yourself, protect yourself and your family and follow the legal and safety requirements for the management of asbestos to minimise the release of dust or small particles from the asbestos materials.</p> <p>15. Never use tools on asbestos materials as they will make asbestos fibres.</p> <p><em>Written by Pamela Connellan. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/what-you-should-know-about-renovating-and-asbestos.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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