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How Amazon became the best of the best

<p>Any company whose brand becomes a common noun (without the capital letter, called an eponym) has made a big impact. Generations have cleaned the house with a hoover, blown their noses with a Kleenex, stored hot drinks in a thermos and xeroxed a document. Most of us google rather than search.</p> <p>Although not exactly the same thing, the goal of many new companies is to become ‘the Amazon of’ something. In wealth management and superannuation, many new entrants describe their strategy as aiming to become ‘the Amazon of financial services’.</p> <p>Well, good luck with that, because not only is Amazon a unique company, it may well want to become the Amazon of financial services itself. FinancialAdvisorIQ (part of the Financial Times group) recently published an article about digital financial advice (FA) called ‘Betterment Yearns to be Amazon of FAs. Does Amazon?’ including this statement:</p> <p>“Amazon entering wealth management would cause a major disruption to the advice industry, pushing down prices and driving up demand for far faster delivery of financial services.”</p> <p>And now Amazon is coming to Australia, and it will change retailing and other sectors such as property and shopping malls forever. Investors should consider whether other companies held in an investment portfolio can measure up to these challenges in a digital, fast-moving world.</p> <p><strong>CEO Jeff Bezos’s annual letter to shareholders</strong><br />Amazon has disrupted many industries, and destroyed companies such as Borders Bookstores, but in its 20 years, it has had negligible impact on financial services.</p> <p>Warren Buffett produces an annual letter to his shareholders which is widely quoted, but it’s less well-known that Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos does the same. It’s a completely different style. Buffett focuses on his returns and investments, and it’s clear that making money is the main game. In his 2017 letter, Bezos does not mention ‘profit’ once, while ‘customer’ receives 19 hits.</p> <p>There are a few highlights in Bezos’s letter that everyone can learn from, although the vast majority of large companies do not have the internal structures and processes to make them work. Bezos wants his company to always operate as if it’s Day 1, as Day 2 is a step to an excruciating, painful decline followed by death. Day 1 vitality requires obsessive customer focus.</p> <p>He identifies four rules for making high quality decisions that apply to managing a company, and they may be useful for investing or even making the most of a relationship. The rules are:</p> <p><strong>High velocity decision making</strong><br />Large organisations struggle to decide quickly because they fear failure. Speed matters, and where a decision is reversible, it should use a lightweight process. It doesn’t matter much if it’s wrong.</p> <p><strong>Don’t wait for certainty</strong><br />Most companies overestimate the cost of being wrong, whereas being slow will be expensive.</p> <p>“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognising and correcting bad decisions.”</p> <p><strong>Disagree and commit</strong><br />It’s often difficult to achieve consensus, as nobody can know with certainty the outcome of a new initiative. He says ‘disagree and commit’ saves a lot of time:</p> <p>“I disagree and commit all the time … (My staff) had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with “I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made.” Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.”</p> <p><strong>Recognise misalignment</strong><br />Misalignment between teams and objectives must be identified early and addressed, or the problem will lead to exhaustion.</p> <p>“Whoever has more stamina carries the decision. I’ve seen many examples of sincere misalignment at Amazon over the years. When we decided to invite third party sellers to compete directly against us on our own product detail pages – that was a big one. Many smart, well-intentioned Amazonians were simply not at all aligned with the direction. The big decision set up hundreds of smaller decisions, many of which needed to be escalated to the senior team. “You’ve worn me down” is an awful decision-making process. It’s slow and de-energising. Go for quick escalation instead – it’s better.”</p> <p><strong>Does it work?</strong><br />Many analysts have criticised Bezos over the years for investing in the business rather than creating more profits and dividends. When $10,000 invested in 1997 now has a value of about five million dollars, it’s hard to criticise success and the way Amazon is challenging other businesses the world over. Are investments in your portfolio ready for the Amazon challenge?</p> <p>Do you use Amazon? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Graham Hand. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/superannuation/four-rules-amazon-uses-to-build-its-dominance.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Prince Philip surrenders his driver’s licence following dangerous car crash

<p>After being involved in a car crash last month, Prince Philip has voluntarily surrendered his driver's licence.</p> <p>The Duke of Edinburgh caused an uproar after he was spotted behind the wheel shortly after the collision in last month without a seatbelt.</p> <p>The 97-year-old gave his licence up on Saturday according to Buckingham Palace.</p> <p>The crash left two women hospitalised after the Prince’s Land Rover collided with their vehicle on January 17.</p> <p>But despite issuing an apology to those affected, only 48 hours after the incident, the royal was pictured driving without a seatbelt.</p> <p>“After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read.</p> <p>Philip pulled out onto a busy road, causing his car to flip over and crash into a Kia, which was carrying a 9-month-old child, his mother and another passenger.</p> <p>While the royal made it out unharmed, passenger Emma Fairweather wasn’t so lucky, as she broke her wrist and demanded for the Duke to be charged for negligent driving.</p> <p>According to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/" target="_blank"><em>Sunday Mirror</em></a>, the Duke wished Ms Fairweather a “speedy recovery” and that he “failed to see the car coming” in a letter that was written to her on January 21.</p> <p>He faulted the bright sunlight for obscuring his vision, saying that he was “very contrite about the consequences”.</p> <p>Authorities revealed that they spoke to the Prince and gave him “suitable words of advice” and if necessary, “any appropriate action” would be taken.</p> <p>Norfolk Police released a statement on Saturday regarding the incident, saying that the matter “has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for their consideration”.</p> <p>Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman said the royal could be charged with a hefty penalty for negligence. </p> <p>But according to another lawyer, he could avoid prosecution all together if he surrenders his right to drive. </p> <p>Despite handing over his licence, Prince Philip will still be allowed to drive around the grounds of the palace and other royal estates. </p>

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Heartbroken widower scammed out of $377,000

<p>A widower from Australia has been left heartbroken after falling for an expensive and elaborate dating service scam.</p> <p>The man was promised a bride-to-be from a group saying they were a dating agency, but instead, he ended up penniless.</p> <p>The 69-year-old, who has requested to remain anonymous, was tricked into handing over large sums of money over the course of a year.</p> <p>The amount money he ended up handing over was approximately $377,000.</p> <p>The retiree was coerced in to handing over the funds for fees, such as membership fees, marriage costs, an engagement ring, as well as paying for his future wife’s legal fees.</p> <p>The lonely man was trying to build a life after his wife of 35 years passed away and decided to try the matchmaking service.</p> <p>"It was stupid but I was very vulnerable. I was lonely at the time and was feeling very low. I thought there was a connection," he told<span> </span><a href="https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/"><em>Sunshine Coast Daily</em></a>. </p> <p>The man met women who were posing as office consultants and managers to collect the payments from him. They met at a range of locations, including Melbourne Airport.</p> <p>'I think they are animals. They have left me destitute. It was my life savings and now I try to get by on a pension," he explained.</p> <p>There are a range of ways to see whether or not the person you’re talking to is trustworthy, which include:</p> <ol> <li>Take your time, especially when talking about yourself. You don’t need to tell them your whole life story as soon as you meet them.</li> <li>Check if there are records of the person you’re interested in online. Use a search engine to check their profile images.</li> <li>Keep your bank and account information private.</li> <li>Do not transfer money to a ‘safe account’ and ignore anyone who asks you to do this.</li> <li>Report suspicious behaviour immediately, trust your instincts and stop talking to anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. </li> </ol> <p>Has this happened to anyone you know? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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Don’t travel until you know these laws

<p>When travelling people love to feel free and they are capable of everything – except when you’re overseas, it’s important to remember there are just some things you can’t do.</p> <p><strong>Don’t feed the pigeons in Venice</strong></p> <p>Throwing birdseed in Venice’s Piazza San Marco is largely prohibited, and the consequences of refusing to follow the rules could land you a hefty fine.</p> <p>However, the government has good reason for their law. The pigeons cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to statues and clean-ups every year. Although seed-throwing used to be the square’s trademark for tourists, staying on the good side of the city means opting for a wine, coffee or gelato on one of the piazza’s patios to watch the birds mill around instead.</p> <p><strong>You can only bring certain chewing gum to Singapore</strong></p> <p>Bringing chewing gum into Singapore has been illegal since 1992. The reason for the strange rule tourists and locals have to follow is due to the gum causing serious problems for the public transit system. Singapore’s government says the clean up for gum litter cost US$106,000 per year before the ban.</p> <p>A hefty fine or in some cases, jail time, could be placed upon those who ignore this law.</p> <p>However, certain gums are now allowed in Singapore for “therapeutic” purposes such as nicotine gum and sugar-free gum for dental health benefits.</p> <p><strong>No dirty magazines or alcohol in the Maldives</strong></p> <p>The Maldives is a primarily Islamic country and does impose strict laws many westerners would find strange. In particular, sex toys, dirty magazines and liquor sold past duty-free is illegal and unless you want to risk a humiliating bag search and a possible fine, leave it at home.</p> <p><strong>Don’t throw out your train ticket in Paris or Madrid</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, throwing out a train ticket in Paris and Madrid might cost you way more than you bargained for, and despite how much it might let you off in other places, ignorance won’t work in these cities.</p> <p>It is heavily advised to never throw out your train ticket while in transit, as getting out could risk you a fine from metro police – how are you able to prove you didn’t hop a turnstile without one?</p> <p>Expert travellers and locals advise purchasing a ‘multi-trip’ ticket or a weekend-long metro card rather than a single trip ticket. You’ll save much more over a fine.</p> <p><strong>Kissing in Dubai might be tricky </strong></p> <p>If you’re thinking of taking a trip to the United Arab Emirates, you should be aware of the <em>public decency </em>laws, which are much different to countries like Australia and New Zealand. Public kissing and/or touching your partner can land you jail time. Hefty fines are also likely to be imposed, so make sure you keep yourself to, well, yourself if you’re wanting to explore Dubai or Abu Dhabi anytime soon with someone special.</p> <p>Did you know any of these laws? Have you ever been caught by one of them? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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6 weird Australian laws you might not know about

<p>The law is a set of rules put in place to protect us, but sometimes it can get taken a little too far. At the end of the day, these strange rules Aussies have to follow can give us all a good laugh – and a few things to keep in mind as well.</p> <p><strong>1. It is illegal to have more than 50kg of potatoes in one place </strong></p> <p>Believe it or not police have a right to stop and search a person and their vehicle if there is suspicion of more than 50 kilograms of the vegetable in your possession. This strange law only applies in Western Australia (fortunately for everyone else).</p> <p><strong>2. Your grandkids probably can’t buy spray paint </strong></p> <p>Spray paint cans are only <em>legally </em>allowed to be purchased by a person over 18. However as weird as this law might seem, the government reports graffiti vandalism costs NSW local councils, business owners and private property owners up to $300 million each year <em>alone. </em></p> <p>On a national scale, removing illegal graffiti can come at a hefty price – a staggering $1.5 billion dollars is spent annually</p> <p><strong>3. Change your showerhead if you want to – but know it’s illegal </strong></p> <p>Rental property laws in Victoria require an owner to be asked by a renter to install “fixtures” or make “alterations” to a home. So, changing your lightbulb might not be a crime but don’t even <em>think</em> about changing your showerhead unless you want to break the law.</p> <p><strong>4. Walking on the right-hand side of a footpath in a busy Australian street is against the law </strong></p> <p>Police have the right to fine you if you are caught walking on the wrong side of the footpath – literally. </p> <p><strong>5. Pigeons are not ‘pets’ – according to Australian law</strong></p> <p>In Australia, native birds like cockatoos, finches, doves, ducks or pigeons are not allowed to be kept as home pets <em>if</em> they’ve been caught in the wild.</p> <p><strong>6. Don’t be a wedding or funeral crasher in South Australia – it’ll cost you </strong></p> <p>This obscure law prohibits anyone from attending a wedding or funeral in South Australia uninvited. If you choose not to listen, you might just get fined up to $10,000.</p> <p>Did you know about any of these obscure laws in Australia? Tell us in the comments below.</p>

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Car crash victim "chuffed" as Prince Philip finally apologises with personal letter

<p>Prince Philip has apologised for his part in a car crash that left two women injured earlier this month, blaming the accident on sunlight glare that obscured his view.</p> <p>The 97-year-old royal was driving near the Queen’s Sandringham Estate on January 17 when his Land Rover <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/prince-philip-involved-in-car-crash-very-shocked-and-shaken/">collided</a> with a Kia carrying two women and an infant. One of the women, Emma Fairweather, suffered a broken wrist from the crash.</p> <p>“I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads,” Prince Philip said in an official letter obtained by<span> </span><em>The</em> <em>Mirror</em>.</p> <p>“I have been across that crossing any number of times and I know very well the amount of traffic that uses that main road … the sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Exclusive: Here is Prince Philip’s letter sent to crash victim Emma Fairweather. The Duke says he is “deeply sorry” and admits he “failed to see the car coming”. Read full story here - <a href="https://t.co/HWLFeBKMPo">https://t.co/HWLFeBKMPo</a> <a href="https://t.co/ckQImiEZAP">pic.twitter.com/ckQImiEZAP</a></p> — Russell Myers (@rjmyers) <a href="https://twitter.com/rjmyers/status/1089299157569933318?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">26 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The Prince also said he is “deeply sorry” about Fairweather’s injury and wished her “a speedy recovery from a very distressing experience”.</p> <p>Fairweather said she was “chuffed” to receive the letter. “I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title. I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalised nature,” said Fairweather.</p> <p>“A lot of people said it was unrealistic that I wanted that human kindness from Prince Philip – which is what I saw this letter as … He’s tried to give an explanation so I appreciate that, whether I agree with it or not.”</p> <p>The apology emerged following a widespread backlash of him and the Buckingham Palace over the handling of the incident. Prior to the letter, which was dated January 21, Fairweather had complained about the royal family’s lack of response.</p> <p>“I’m lucky to be alive and he hasn’t even said sorry,” said Fairweather. “It has been such a traumatic and painful time and I would have expected more of the Royal Family.”</p> <p>The Duke of Edinburgh was also spotted driving on a public road without a seatbelt only two days after the crash.</p> <p>Meanwhile, an investigation into the collision continues. </p> <p>“As is standard procedure with injury collisions, the incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken,” said the Norfolk police force.</p> <p>“We are aware of the public interest in this case. However, as with any other investigation, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the causes of the collision until an investigation is carried out.”</p>

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Should you help your adult children buy a property?

<p>Do you have questions about how to help your children get into the property market? Here’s how!</p> <ul> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/finance/7-easy-mistakes-we-make-about-life-expectancy.aspx" target="_blank"><span>7 easy mistakes we make about life expectancy</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/finance/should-i-set-up-a-self-managed-super-fund.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Should I set up a self-managed super fund?</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/finance/25-easy-tips-to-help-you-avoid-common-estate-planning-mistakes.aspx" target="_blank"><span>25 easy tips to help you avoid common estate planning mistakes</span></a></li> </ul> <p>The reality is many of us will need to help their kids get into the property market. Without that help, the maths doesn’t work and many of them just may not be able to do it. It’s as simple as that.</p> <p>This is largely a tale of three immigrant cities - Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane - that now have average prices that are outside the reach of a younger generation (although Brisbane remains the most affordable).</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>THEN AND NOW</strong></h3> <p>Let’s look at 1975 - a good year to focus on because Baby Boomers were just turning 30, getting married, having kids and buying homes. On average they were marrying about six years earlier than they are today.</p> <ul> <li>The average price of a house in Sydney was $34,000.</li> <li>The average price for a unit in Sydney was $26,000.</li> <li>The average income was about $8,000.</li> </ul> <p>So, the house to income multiple was in the low fours - roughly four years’ income paid for a house, and less for an apartment.</p> <ul> <li>Today the average house price in Sydney is $1m.</li> <li>With average income at about $75,000.</li> </ul> <p>So the multiple is in the low 13s (even with two incomes you do not get back to the maths of the 1970s).</p> <p>Put simply, the maths has changed so much that without some help, younger generations will not be able to step onto the inflationary elevator that is Australian property.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>CONTRIBUTING FACTORS</strong></h3> <p>In 1974, just as a large wave of Baby Boomers was entering university, university fees were abolished. And then in 1989, just as the last Baby Boomers were leaving university, the fees were reintroduced again. So today’s university student can easily leave university with a $30,000 debt (or much more) compared to the unencumbered Baby Boomer.</p> <p>This is relevant to the discussion of entering the property market as these debts have a material impact of someone’s ability to get and service a loan. Having to pay 4-8% of your gross income with after tax dollars materially affects borrowing capacity and cashflow, and delays the entry into the property market. It now takes on average about eight years to pay off a university debt!</p> <p>So that’s the back story, and now on to the question of what older, wealthier parents who can afford it and want to can do to help their kids get into the property market.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>JUST GIVE THEM THE MONEY</strong></h3> <p>Let’s not beat around the bush. If you want to help them and you have the means to do so, just give them the money. Call it what you want, a gift or early inheritance, but the bottom line is that it was your money and you made it theirs. Saving enough money for a deposit nowadays borders on the impossible.</p> <p>After tax, living expenses, rent and the university debt, there is not much left to save for a deposit that can easily reach $100,000. By the time they have been able to save the deposit, many years later, property prices have risen again and they never get to latch on.</p> <p>If we put family relationships and politics aside, it really is a question of maths. Can you give them enough money to help them into the market without affecting your lifestyle? Even better, are you happy to have your lifestyle affected a little bit to help them in?</p> <p>Ask yourself The 5% Question.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>THE 5% QUESTION</strong></h3> <p>Would giving them 5% of your net worth affect your lifestyle today? If your net worth was $3m, would giving then $150,000 affect you and if so how much? If your net worth was $2m, would $100,000 affect you and so on.</p> <p>Or, you might say, that a large part of your net worth is in your home, so then you could ask the question a different way. Would giving 5% of your retirement fund affect you?</p> <p>So let’s say that between your super and an investment property you have $1.5m. Would giving them $75,000 (or possibly less than one year’s returns) affect you in a major way?</p> <p>Whatever the amount or percentage is, what you are really asking yourself is whether you can do without that money in order to help a child into the property market.</p> <p>One client comes to mind, who retired last year, with a net worth of about $4m. He gave his 28-year-old son $200,000 to help him and his wife buy an apartment near the city for about $800,000. It hasn’t affected his retirement income in any material way and he is deeply satisfied with the fact he was able to get his son into the market. Now, had he had five kids, his ability to help to that degree would have changed, but you have to work with the hand you are dealt.</p> <p>I often hear concerns from parents around the loss of family wealth in the event of an adult child divorcing. It’s a legitimate concern but one that has solutions if you get the right advice.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>EARLY INHERITANCE</strong></h3> <p>Lets look at this subject in more depth. If you are 60 and your daughter is 35, helping her now with a small portion of your wealth could make a profound difference to her and a minor difference to you. However, if you go down the more traditional road of inheritance and give it all to her at your death, she could be waiting another 30 years. By the time she inherits the funds at 65, it won’t have the same impact on her life because she has lived most of it already.</p> <p>The whole idea of early inheritance is giving the funds when it really matters.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>LEND THEM THE MONEY</strong></h3> <p>Alternatively you can lend them the money. This can take a variety of shapes and forms:</p> <ol> <li>These can be interest free loans, as they often are.</li> <li>They can be an informal handshake agreement or they can be formalised with a written agreement.</li> <li>They can have an indefinite repayment term, which makes it a gift by another name, or an agreed repayment timeline.</li> <li>The agreement  can be directly between you and your child or you can include a third party between you to formalise the arrangement.</li> </ol> <p>If you lend them the money on an interest free basis, you are in effect ‘gifting’ them the interest on the money.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>OFFSET ACCOUNTS</strong></h3> <p>If you have the funds and your son has a mortgage, you could get them to set up an offset account so that you could simply ‘park’ your money in their offset account and save them the interest on that part of the loan. The only cost to you would be the ‘opportunity cost’ of earning a return on that money in your own bank account.</p> <p>If you had the money in your bank account you might earn 2% on which you would pay tax, but in your daughters offset account, it would save her 5% on her debt, after tax.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>HECS-HELP</strong></h3> <p>You could choose to pay for their university education so that they leave university unencumbered. Or if they have a HECS-Help loan, you could choose to pay it off for them, which at the very least will help with any loan applications that they make. It will increase their borrowing capacity and increase their ability to cash-flow any loans.</p> <p>For example, if they are paying 6% of the gross income towards their student loan that could easily reduce their borrowing capacity by 20%.</p> <p>Making any or a combination of these ideas work for you, requires customisation to your individual circumstances. There will be tax, legal and liability considerations for many of them and you would be well advised to first canvass the viability of an idea with a financial adviser. They are best suited to navigate you through the varied and interconnected areas of expertise that are required to solve this type of problem.</p> <p>Watch out for our follow up article on other ways you can help support you adult children when trying to get into the property market without directly giving them the funds to do it.</p> <p><em><strong>What do you think about helping adult children into the property market? Join the conversation below.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Written by Frank Paul. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/investment/should-you-help-your-adult-children-buy-a-property.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Age discrimination in the workplace and how it affects you

<p>Over the past year, age discrimination has moved to the front and centre of the national debate. As we are working longer than ever before, experts suggest that ageism is set to become a more pertinent problem. </p> <p>It is a serious issue that affects many of us in the work-place over the age of 50 and age discrimination has wide-ranging social and economic effects on us as individuals and our nation.</p> <p>Here are some tips on how to avoid - and deal with - ageism and continue a fulfilling career.</p> <ul> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/how-to-get-a-good-job-after-50.aspx" target="_blank"><span>How to get a good job after 50</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/want-to-discover-the-secret-to-positive-thinking.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Want to discover the secret to positive thinking?</span></a></li> <li><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/help-us-find-50-reasons-why-you-should-love-being-over-50.aspx" target="_blank">Help us find 50 reasons to love being over 50!</a></span></li> </ul> <p><strong>What is age discrimination?</strong><br />The good news is we are covered legally because under federal law, we are all protected from discrimination on the basis of age. The Age Discrimination Act 2004 makes it illegal to treat someone who is older person unfairly because of their age. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, but the law gives a person the right to equality in a number of distinct situations. These include, but are not limited to, employment, the provision of goods, education and accommodation.</p> <p>Though several exceptions to the law already exist, there are clear-cut examples of age discrimination that are covered by the law. These include: the blanket refusal of employment based upon one's age; less than desirable terms or conditions that differ to those afforded to other, younger workers; the denial of promotion and training; general dismissal for reasons related to age; and any other detrimental decision that was made on the basis of an individual's age.</p> <p>Despite the best intentions of the federal law, it seems that acts of age discrimination are nonetheless going unreported and undetected. Alarmingly, statistics also seem to indicate that ageism is increasingly common in the Australian workplace and particular during periods of 'hiring and firing'.</p> <p><strong>The statistical prevalence of ageism</strong><br />According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, age discrimination is significant and statistically common. In a 2015 study, <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/AgePrevalenceReport2015.pdf%20" target="_blank">'National prevalence survey of age discrimination in the workplace'</a></span>, the AHRC made alarming discoveries about the current Australian workplace. The report arrived at the following findings:</p> <ul> <li>27% of Australians aged 50 and over had experienced age discrimination in the workplace over the last two years</li> <li>32% of respondents reported that they were aware of others in their age range who had been discriminated against</li> <li>32% of respondents aged between 55 and 59 believer they experienced discrimination</li> <li>44% of managers aged over 50 years admitted that age was a deciding factor in their hiring choices</li> <li>33% of those responsible for making staff-based decisions considered a person's age on a frequent or occasional basis </li> </ul> <p>The AHRC study also found that a mammoth 43% of Australian workers did not take any action to curb the discrimination. Of those who did report the problem to external or internal authorities, a paltry 18% reported that they were subsequently employed, re-trained, accommodated in terms of working hours or given an apology. All of these statistics are unveiling a job-culture that does seem to be biased towards younger employees, and a system that is having difficulty with transitioning to an older workforce.</p> <p>Thankfully Attorney-General George Brandis recently ordered the AHRC to begin work on a national inquiry into ageism. The <span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/media-releases/willing-work-national-inquiry-launch" target="_blank">'Willing To Work'</a></em></span> inquiry is set to focus on the economic impacts of isolating older people from the workforce, as well as ways to promote participation among older Australians. It will conclude and report by July 2016.</p> <p><em><strong>Did you know an extra 3% participation rate in workers over 55 is estimated to account for a $33 billion boost to Australia’s gross domestic product! </strong></em></p> <p><strong>The economic benefits of staying in the workforce longer</strong><br />Every year, the Australian economy suffers as a result of age discrimination. Recent Deloitte Access Economics figures indicate that older workers are highly valuable to the economy. The statistics show that an extra 3% participation rate among older workers (over 55s) would account for a $33 billion boost to the nation's Gross Domestic Product. The recent Intergenerational Report reaffirmed the important role of older workers by finding that the continued presence of those aged 55 and over add a whopping $55 billion (or 2.7%) to the country's bottom line.</p> <p>The employment of ‘older workers’ has also been positively linked to lower recruitment and training costs, the increased flow of knowledge to less experienced workers and the encouragement of a more diverse and equal workforce.</p> <p><strong>7 tips for battling ageism in the workplace</strong><br />During the hiring process, and while we are gainfully employed, older workers will face a barrage of issues that may impact on our long-term job prospects. Though these discriminatory factors are patently unfair, there are ways to side step the problems and improve your chances of staying employed or getting a great new job.</p> <ol> <li>Make sure your resume is up-to-date, well set out and looks modern.</li> <li>Familiarise yourself with user-based technologies, applications and common programs to avoid the perception that you are 'out of touch'. Consider investing in education such as covering basics in social media if relevant to your field.</li> <li>Sell your skills and years of experience. Don't be afraid to refer to your years of experience in a specific field as it may well reverberate with potential employers faced with less-experienced, younger workers.</li> <li>Dress well and professionally. A modern looking dress-sense can make you seem more approachable and more adaptable. Invest in a new hair cut. In doubt about what to wear? Seek professional advice. David Jones offer a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.davidjones.com.au/Store-Services/Fashion/Personal-Shopping-Service" target="_blank"><span>free personal shopping service</span></a><span> </span>by appointment.</li> <li>If appropriate don't be afraid to address the elephant in the room. If you get the opportunity, discuss your age and the perceived impact it may have on your ability to work or get the job. Ask questions and be honest with your potential employer. Assert yourself as pro-active and flexible.</li> <li>Listen to younger workers and develop a good working rapport with them – share your experiences and knowledge with younger workers and work to foster a steady flow of communication between older and younger workers.</li> <li>End the interview or each working day on a positive note. </li> </ol> <p>If you choose to you can continue working and contributing to the productivity of the nation and your workplace. We want to know what you think so if you've had experience with age discrimination in the workplace, please share your thought and experiences with others via social media or in the discussion below. </p> <p>For more information on age discrimination visit the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/age-discrimination" target="_blank"><span>Australian Human Rights Commission</span></a>.</p> <p><em><strong>Have you experience age discrimination in the workplace? Share your thoughts and experiences below. . . </strong></em></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/employment/what-do-you-think-about-age-discrimination-in-the-workplace.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Trusts: What you should know

<p class="Body">A trust is a legal relationship which is recognised and enforced by the courts.</p> <p class="Body">In a trust, a person or company (the trustee) is required to hold and distribute assets on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. Assets can be anything from equity, to shares or even real estate, and beneficiaries can be individuals, companies, or organisations.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">What is the purpose of a trust?</strong><br />Trusts are useful for a whole range of personal and corporate purposes. Some common ways trusts are used in transactions include:</p> <ul> <li>To invest, such as cash management trusts and property trusts</li> <li>To hold money for family members for the future</li> <li>To protect family assets and assist with tax planning</li> <li>To hold money and assets for the purposes of research or charitable purposes</li> <li>To protect business assets</li> <li>To protect the financial interests of people with a disability and provide for their needs</li> <li>For superannuation</li> </ul> <p class="Body"><strong><span class="bigger-text">Types of trusts</span><br />Discretionary trusts (family trust)</strong></p> <p class="Body">In this case, the beneficiaries have no fixed interest in the assets and the trustee can distribute income or capital however they see fit. This flexibility means they are useful for family tax planning, according to financial planner<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.wfscanberra.com.au/why-use-us/our-staff">Catherine Smith</a></span><span> </span>from<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.wfscanberra.com.au/">Wholistic Financial Solutions</a></span>.</p> <p class="Body">“In a dual income household, a trustee might decide to allocate more income to the lower earning individual. This could afford the couple the maximum tax benefit,” says Smith.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Unit/fixed trust</strong></p> <p class="Body">The beneficiaries of unit trusts (known as unitholders) have a set interest in the trust, identified by holding units. These units can be likened to shares in a company. Each unitholder receives a set income or capital from the trustee, according to the number and value of units they hold.</p> <p class="Body">“This trust structure is mostly used by unrelated parties. It is common for investment trusts like managed funds, property trusts, and joint business ventures,” says Smith.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Testamentary trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">These trusts are created under a will and take effect when the testator (will maker) dies. “They are good for protecting the testator’s assets against creditors and divorcees since the assets are owned by the trust, not the individual,” says<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.omniwealth.com.au/staff/duncan-barber">Duncan Barber</a></span>, Managing Director of Accounting and Advisory at<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.omniwealth.com.au/">Omniwealth</a></span>. Testamentary trusts also provide capital gains tax benefits since this tax can also be shared among beneficiaries.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Superannuation trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">Superannuation funds in Australia operate as trusts. Their obligations are set out in the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00052">Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993</a></span>, including special provisions to which the funds must comply, such as the minimum age of entitlement.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Bare trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">A basic trust in which one beneficiary has absolute right to the assets and any income generated by the trust.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Charitable trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">These trust structures exist for the purpose of charitable and philanthropic work. They have special tax concessions and tax deductions for taxpayers who gift money to them.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">How do I set up a trust?</strong><br />To set up a trust, follow these steps:</p> <ol> <li>Determine assets to be held by the trust</li> <li>Appoint a trustee</li> <li>Determine the beneficiaries</li> <li>Draft a trust deed</li> <li>Pay stamp duty</li> <li>Register as a company (if required)</li> <li>Open a bank account</li> <li>Start operating as a trust</li> </ol> <p class="Body">There are a number of websites that can assist with establishing a trust, including the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/super/self-managed-super-funds/setting-up/create-the-trust-and-trust-deed/">ATO (Australian Taxation Office)</a></span>.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Who can be a trustee?</strong><br />A trustee can be any legally competent person or company. This person or entity is obligated to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries at all times, otherwise they may be held liable by beneficiaries.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Trusts and tax</strong><br />The tax payable from income allocated from trusts depends on the beneficiary entitlements at 12:00am on June 30— each year. If all or part of a trust’s income is paid to a beneficiary, that income is assessed as normal for tax purposes — unless that beneficiary has a legal disability, in which case tax concessions may apply. Any income to which the trustee deems no beneficiaries are entitled to yet is taxed at 47 per cent.</p> <p class="Body">Trusts whose beneficiaries are individuals that have held assets for 12 months or more are eligible for a 50 per cent concession on tax for capital gains.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">What else do I need to know about trusts?</strong><br />It’s useful to know that trusts have pitfalls and aren’t for everyone:</p> <ul> <li>There are ongoing obligations and administrative duties for trustees and beneficiaries.</li> <li>Some trusts — such as discretionary trusts — can lead to disputes among beneficiaries.</li> <li>Trusts can require a thorough understanding of the legal complexities set out in the deed.</li> </ul> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">What should I do before establishing a trust?</strong><br />Do your homework and meet with the experts first. This includes seeking professional legal advice for the deed, as well as a qualified tax agent and a financial planner to discuss how being involved in a trust will affect you and your loved ones financially.</p> <p class="Body"><em><strong>What experience have you had with trusts? Share your thoughts below.</strong></em></p> <p class="Body"><strong>Read more:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/wills-and-disability.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Wills and disability</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/helping-your-adult-kids-to-be-financially-savvy.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Helping your adult kids to be financially savvy</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/is-an-smsf-right-for-you.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Is an SMSF right for you</span></a></li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/trusts-what-you-should-know.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Why Queen Elizabeth doesn’t need a driver's license

<p>The royal family has faced a lot of criticism lately when it comes to driving, starting with <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/prince-philip-involved-in-car-crash-very-shocked-and-shaken">Prince Philip’s car accident</a> which saw him in a car crash with two women and a nine-month-old toddler.</p> <p>The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, made headlines again two days later after he was seen driving again, this time without wearing a seatbelt.</p> <p>Since then, questions have been raised as to why the royal is still on the road.</p> <p>At the age of 92, the Queen also insists on still driving – and she doesn’t even have a driver’s license.</p> <p>According to British law, the Queen is exempt from needing a driver's license to roam around in vehicles because licenses are issued in her name.</p> <p>One of the discretionary powers or rights that she is exclusively not obligated to follow is the regulations and laws governing the road.</p> <p>The 92-year-old learnt to drive at 18 though, when she trained as a driver and mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II.</p> <p>The Queen is so confident on the roads, she famously unnerved King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with her fast driving.</p> <p>In 1998, she insisted on driving the then Prince Abdullah herself around the Balmoral estate in Scotland. The former British Ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles told the <em>Sunday Times</em> he was surprised when the Queen climbed into the driver’s seat.</p> <p>“Women are not – yet – allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a Queen,” he said.</p> <p>"His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time.</p> <p>“Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.”</p> <p>The monarch’s car collection is estimated to be worth upward of $18 million, with the royal’s favourite brands consisting of Land Rover, Range Rover, Jaguar and Bentley.</p> <p>What do you think about the Queen and Prince Philip still driving in their 90s? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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Royal justice: Victim wants Prince Philip charged over car crash

<p>The driver of the car that Prince Philip crashed into says that she wants the Prince to face consequences if he is to be found at fault for the crash.</p> <p>Emma Fairweather made her thoughts known after speaking on British television.</p> <p>She called the Duke “highly insensitive and inconsiderate” after he was spotted just days after the crash not wearing a seatbelt.</p> <p>“There needs to be a decision as to whether Prince Philip and I are from the same walk of life here or not,” she said.</p> <p>“I feel that his treatment has not been the same as mine.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7822883/car-crash-prince-philip.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ae361ad29ff1410181ad86b24aaaaeec" /></p> <p>Fairweather’s comments come after she realised she has been waiting for police to contact her to make a statement about the incident.</p> <p>“I need somebody to understand that I still have medical concerns. I’m very worried that I haven’t been asked for a statement from the police,” Fairweather said.</p> <p>Although she has been contacted by one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting, it doesn’t seem to be enough.</p> <p>“She left me a voicemail that was just an hour or two before my interview with the papers became known … to say that the Queen wished me well, and that she would like to call me back but she was going out for the evening.”</p> <p>The other passenger, Ellie Townsend, was in the car with her nine-month-old son. </p> <p>A relative of the family has spoken out to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8240040/prince-philip-lucky-to-be-alive-land-rover-crash/" target="_blank">The Sun</a> saying: <span>“It’s scary to think what could have happened.</span></p> <p>“She’s just still very shaken and wants to spend time with her son and husband Shaun. The pair of them are lucky to be alive.</p> <p>“They are doing as well as can be expected after a traumatic event.</p>

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The Queen drives without seatbelt after Prince Philip’s car crash

<p>Queen Elizabeth II has been seen driving without wearing a seatbelt only a day after her husband Prince Philip’s car crash.</p> <p>On Friday, the 92-year-old was seen driving her Range Rover on a public road in Sandringham, less than two kilometres from the Prince’s accident scene.</p> <p>The Queen is the only person allowed to drive without a license in Great Britain. While the UK laws require drivers to wear a seatbelt, the Queen is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.</p> <p>However, Prince Philip as the Duke of Edinburgh is still liable for civil and criminal proceedings and will be treated the same as any other individual under the law.</p> <p>The day prior, the 97-year-old Prince Philip <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/caring/prince-philip-involved-in-car-crash-very-shocked-and-shaken/">collided</a> with a Kia when he was driving his Land Rover, leaving two women with minor injuries. Reports said the Prince was overheard telling the police he had been “dazzled by the sun”.</p> <p>One of the women, who suffered from a broken wrist, revealed that the royal has not apologised for the crash.</p> <p>“I’m lucky to be alive and he hasn’t even said sorry,” said 45-year-old Emma Fairweather. “It has been such a traumatic and painful time and I would have expected more of the Royal Family.”</p> <p>The Duke, who left the accident uninjured, was spotted behind the wheel again two days after the collision without a seatbelt in pictures published on Saturday, resulting in callouts from social media users.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Prince Philip, 97, has been spotted driving a replacement Land Rover, just 48 hours after his vehicle overturned in a car crash <a href="https://t.co/5nWUPlbv2R">https://t.co/5nWUPlbv2R</a> <a href="https://t.co/UECnMZiFEU">pic.twitter.com/UECnMZiFEU</a></p> — ITV News (@itvnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/itvnews/status/1086647566723366912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 19, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The Norfolk police responded, “Suitable words of advice have been given to the driver. This is in line with our standard response when being made aware of such images.”</p> <p>The investigation into Thursday’s car crash continues, with police saying “any appropriate action” would be taken if necessary.</p>

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What do I need to know about making a will?

<p>A will is one of the most important legal documents you'll create during your life. Here’s what you need to know today.</p> <p><strong>Why do you need a will? </strong></p> <p>Essentially a valid will can save your family and loved ones a lot of time and money at a difficult time.</p> <p>If there are issues in administering a will, there may be significant repercussions and increased costs associated with the delay. For example, in matters of intestacy, the courts must establish a possible list of the testator's kin, a laborious process that could take years.</p> <p><strong>So, what is a will exactly?</strong></p> <p>It is a legal document that disposes of the testator's (the person making the will) property in the event of his or her death. A person must make the will with testamentary capacity - in other words, the will maker must be of sound mind and reasonable health.</p> <p>The will should also be executed properly and duly witnessed by independent persons. The document must exclusively deal with property owned by the testator and must not have been revoked by the creation of another will.</p> <p>If a will is effectively declared, then it may proceed to probate (the will is proved) under the provisions of the <em>Probate and Administration Act.</em> After the death of the testator, the Supreme Court must grant the executor the power to discharge the will. With this authority, the executor may pay debts, deal with title on real property and administer the estate according to provisions in the will.</p> <p>If a will is found to be invalid, then the rules of intestacy apply. In these cases, the Supreme Court may appoint an administrator and grant letters of administration to see that the estate is adequately administered.</p> <p><strong>Important points to remember </strong></p> <p>Because a will is a legally binding document, testators will often need to be certain about the choices outlined in the will. Always seek professional advice.</p> <p>Family members who claim to be ignored or under-represented in a will can make a Family Provision claim to apply for a more amenable execution of the will. This is a costly and time-consuming process, so be sure to create a fair document and carefully evaluate who will benefit from the execution of the will.</p> <p>The divvying up of assets upon one’s passing can easily lead to unnecessary rifts and arguments within a family. So be sure to create an airtight and equitable will that doesn’t leave room for ambiguity or altercation.</p> <p>Although it may be tempting to use a DIY will-making kit to save yourself a few dollars, seeking the professional knowledge and experience of a solicitor could well save your estate valuable time and money in the future.</p> <p>A professionally crafted will be much easier to deal with for those included in the will. The document will be held within your solicitor’s offices and promptly moved to probate upon your passing, solving a very common problem affecting many families – finding the will.</p> <p><strong>Here are 8 top tips for making a will:</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Have a legal professional draft your will </strong>as their knowledge and expertise will indemnify your estate against intestacy.</p> <p><strong>2. Consider your choices of executor or executrix. </strong>Also, consider the list of potential beneficiaries under your will. Be honest and frank about your choices.</p> <p><strong>3. Put together a clear and thorough list of all your assets and possessions </strong>include bank accounts, shares, business interests and other valuable items (including, but not limited to, art pieces, coin collections and other ephemera).</p> <p><strong>4. If you have specific items you want left to specific people, begin communicating </strong>these decisions to your legal representatives and family members.</p> <p><strong>5. Make sure that older versions of your will are not floating around </strong>the family home or being stored by previous legal representatives- many people will draft several wills over the course of their life, a frustrating factor that may come into play once probate is necessary.</p> <p><strong>6. Constantly update your will </strong>and contact your lawyer as your estate changes- if a will is out of date or refers to possessions which no longer exist, the court may find that the will is invalid.</p> <p><strong>7. Think about any additional powers that may be required</strong> in the execution of your estate- for those with business and other financial interests, granting special powers to your executor may result in a more equitable and smooth probate process.</p> <p><strong>8. Be truthful and open about the list </strong>of potential beneficiaries under your will- if a Family Provision claim is made later, it might disrupt the validity of other provisions contained within your will.</p> <p>Don’t forget to contact your solicitor in order to get a better understanding of the process involved in drafting a will and always seek professional advice. <br /><br />What are your thoughts on putting a will in place? Let us know in the comments!</p> <p><em>Written by Wyza. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/what-do-i-need-to-know-about-making-a-will.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Suspect admits in prison letters: "I killed JonBenét Ramsey!"

<p>The JonBenét Ramsey murder case, where an unknown assailant murdered a 6-year-old beauty queen, has plagued the public for decades. However, a longtime suspect in the case has confessed to his high school friend the truth.</p> <p>Gary Oliva, 54, who was arrested back in 2016 for possessing child pornography, had been a suspect in the JonBenet murder case for a number of years.</p> <p>This was due to police finding 335 images of JonBenét on his computer, which included photos from her autopsy report.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7822713/jonbenet-killer.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4f9f6c2007a8441f835744da1338fce2" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo: Gary Oliva in court at Boulder County Jail.</em></p> <p>Oliva confessed his crimes in letters to his high school classmate, Michael Vail, 55.</p> <p>Oliva wrote to Vail: “I never loved anyone like I did JonBenét and yet I let her slip and her head bashed in half and I watched her die. It was an accident. Please believe me. She was not like the other kids.”</p> <p>Oliva also confessed in another letter of his attraction to the six-year-old. He wrote:</p> <p>“JonBenét completely changed me and removed all evil from me. Just one look at her beautiful face, her glowing beautiful skin, and her divine God-body, I realized I was wrong to kill other kids. Yet by accident she died and it was my fault.”</p> <p>His classmate, Vail, has been convinced of Oliva’s involvement in the crime for more than two decades. He told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6555009/Pedophile-Gary-Oliva-confesses-killing-JonBen-t-Ramsey-accident.html" target="_blank">DailyMail </a>that he thinks that the written confessions are the proof he needs to get Oliva formally charged with the crime, as no one has presently been charged.</p> <p>“I've continued this for decades now, even with him being in prison. But he has only just admitted to killing her. He believes he will go to hell if he doesn't admit to it.</p> <p>“I have now sent these letters to Boulder (Colorado) police in the hope it will get Gary to provide them with firm proof and to name who else may have been involved in JonBenét's death. “</p> <p>A police spokesman for the Boulder Police Department, when asked about the letters submitted, stated that:</p> <p>“The Boulder Police Department is aware of and has investigated Mr. Olivas’ potential involvement in this case.</p> <p>“We have passed on the additional information you provided onto investigators. We will not comment on any actions or the status of this investigation.”</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7822714/jon-benet-family.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0e01e5ff09cc4771ae228e839687eaed" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenét.</em></p> <p>Vail hopes that letters are enough to charge Oliva with the crime.</p> <p>'”I hope it helps bring justice for JonBenét and peace for her family.</p> <p>''Now they have this, a written confession, the police need to charge him with her murder.</p> <p>“The thought that he could be released on probation next year chills me to the bone because he should never be allowed out. He is a danger to society.</p> <p>“The day he walks free is the day I will be terrified for every child and family."</p> <p>Oliva is due for parole in 2020.</p> <p>What do you think of these confession letters? Let us know in the comments. </p>

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The world’s richest man announces divorce after 25 years of marriage

<p>The world’s richest man and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos is ending his 25-year marriage with wife MacKenzie.</p> <p>“We have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the couple said in an announcement posted on Bezos’s Twitter page. </p> <p>“Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/Gb10BDb0x0">pic.twitter.com/Gb10BDb0x0</a></p> — Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffBezos/status/1083004911380393985?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Bezos is the world’s wealthiest person with a current estimated worth of US$137.1 billion (AU$191 billion) according to Forbes. The 54-year-old owns 16 per cent of tech giant Amazon, which is worth about US$130 billion (AU$ 181.2 billion). Bezos also owns space company Blue Origin and newspaper <em>The Washington Post</em>.</p> <p>MacKenzie Bezos is a novelist with two published books. She was known for supporting her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s business early on in their marriage by working as an accountant. She also founded anti-bullying organisation Bystander Revolution in 2014.</p> <p>The couple, who has three sons and an adopted daughter, met at investment firm D.E. Shaw in 1993 where they worked together. They got engaged after three months of dating.</p> <p>The couple lives in Washington State, which requires divorcing couples to split any assets gathered during the marriage. This means MacKenzie may leave the union with US$75 billion (AU$104.6 billion) in stock and become the world’s richest woman, eclipsing Walmart heiress Alice Walton, who currently holds the title with US$44.5 billion (AUS$62 billion) net worth. However, no financial details have been revealed about the divorce.</p>

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New police investigation: Was Madeleine McCann killed by a drunk driver?

<p>She disappeared at the age of three and has been missing for 11 years. Madeleine McCann was on a holiday in Portugal with her family when she vanished in 2007 while her parents were having dinner in a nearby restaurant.</p> <p>Sadly, there hasn’t be a credible sighting of her since that night.</p> <p>For 11 years British police, Scotland Yard and the toddler’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have worked endlessly over the past decade to try and locate her.</p> <p>In what could be a positive sign, a new lead came into play recently. As reported by <span><em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7820354/madeleine-mccann-looking-for-parents/">The Sun</a></em></span>, British police are re-examining the theory that the toddler woke up in the middle of the night, left the apartment and began walking around the villa looking for her parents.</p> <p>According to the theory, Madeleine walked out of the complex and could have possibly been struck by a drunk driver, who placed her body in a car and buried her later.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Scotland Yard officers are looking into the possibilities of a kidnapping or burglary gone wrong.</p> <p>“A meeting took place at the HQ of the General Attorney’s Office, which was attended by the prosecutor from Portimao, who is in charge of the Portuguese inquiry,” a Portugal informant said.</p> <p>“One of the lines of investigation that continues to be pursued is that Maddie could’ve walked out of the holiday flat herself,” shared David Edgar, a former investigator on Madeleine’s case, as he explained his theory.</p> <p>As reported by <span><em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7779795/madeleine-mccann-investigator-claims-missing-could-be-alive/">The Sun</a></em></span>, Edgar is adamant the toddler was kidnapped by a child sex gang.</p> <p>“She is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar or dungeon and could emerge at any time,” he added.</p> <p>The former investigator also believes Madeleine is still in Portugal and is being held against her will and that someone in Portugal knows what happened to the young girl.</p> <p>Edgar urged that now is the time to come forward with information.</p> <p>“Unless a body is found there is hope. Everyone hopes for a positive outcome and Kate and Gerry will never give up, even when the funding runs out. I hope they get an answer, they’ve been waiting for so long,” he pleaded.</p> <p>British Home Office has announced that it has allocated an extra 150,000 pounds ($265,275 AUD) to Scotland Yard so they can continue their investigations to find Madeleine. Metropolitan Police are following two new leads which they have informed Maddie’s parents about, and they are “hopeful of getting a result”.</p> <p>Edgar hopes they’re chasing up his theory which he didn’t have the resources to pursue himself when he was working on the case.</p> <p>“Not for want of trying, but as a private investigator, I was faced with certain restrictions and stumbling blocks unlike the official authorities,” he explained.</p> <p>Kate McCann wrote a heartbreaking letter to the <em>Telegraph</em> where she revealed that each year she still buys presents for her daughter at Christmas time.</p> <p>“The presents I buy for her usually have to jump out at me,” she wrote. “She would be a teenager now so I always try and pick something that would be suitable and enjoyable for her no matter what age she is when she gets to open them.”</p> <p>The heartbroken mother added, “In my head I guess I just want everything to be right for her when she comes back home. The loft is filled with the presents I have bought for Madeleine and her wardrobe too.”</p> <p>Kate also shared that she hasn’t touched her daughter’s bedroom since she went missing and that it’s in the same condition as it was before her disappearance.</p> <p>She confided in the letter that during the time Maddie went missing she felt “numb”, and now, over 10 years later, everything she does on a daily basis is tinged with sadness.</p> <p>Do you think this new investigation will finally lead to answers? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p> </p>

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Driver’s angry note goes viral: “Laziness is not a disability”

<p>It is becoming more commonplace for people to leave passive-aggressive notes to strangers, calling them out for behaviour they deem unacceptable.</p> <p>However, one mum has shared her fury after she returned to her parked vehicle after visiting the doctor to find a note accusing her of wrongly parking in a disabled spot.</p> <p>Emma Gearing took a photo of the brutal note and shared it on social media.</p> <p>“Laziness is not a disability,” the note reads.</p> <p>“Using a disabled badge when you don’t need it could cost you £2,000 and permanent removal of the badge. Don’t take your good health for granted.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Femma.j.flood%2Fposts%2F10155484620691735&amp;width=500" width="500" height="740" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The 26-year-old mum slammed the author of the message for being “heartless”.</p> <p>She explained that her son, Reggie, has several medical conditions and needs to be fed through a peg inserted into his stomach.</p> <p>“I think it is disgusting how people can judge too quickly,” she wrote. “Pushchair, walking, wheelchair whatever is used you should never ever judge anyone! </p> <p>"I feel so sorry for anyone who has gone through this themselves.”</p> <p>She said that medical disabilities are “not always obvious” and that she hopes the culprit will see the post and learn not to carelessly assume things about other people.</p> <p>Emma, who hopes her post will go viral to raise awareness about unseen disabilities, has had her post shared over 150 times.</p>

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Woman’s disturbing discovery while cooking supermarket chicken

<p>Just when we thought fruit being sabotaged with needles was finally over, a woman has discovered something in a piece of chicken as she bit into it during her meal, which she had purchased from a supermarket.</p> <p>Nadia Petersen, from New Zealand, shared a post on her Facebook page after her horrifying discovery – she found a rusty nail in the chicken as she was grilling the boneless piece.</p> <p>Peterson confirmed she had purchased the boneless chicken thigh pieces from a Countdown supermarket.</p> <p>Sharing the warning on her Facebook page with photos, Petersen wrote, “Check your boneless chicken thighs from Countdown (Regent Whangarei). Just about chomped on a rusty … nail.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnadiapetersenx%2Fposts%2F10216864299661100&amp;width=500" width="500" height="420" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>She told local news company TVNZ, “I picked it up and I held it and stared at it for a couple seconds in disbelief, then I ran outside and spat my food out then washed my mouth out.”</p> <p>Petersen also took measures to ensure she would not fall ill or suffer any poisoning following the incident.</p> <p>“I rung the hospital first who took my details and passed me on to the poisons centre to make sure I wasn’t going to get sick from ingesting chicken with rust in it,” she told TVNZ.</p> <p>Petersen posted an update on Facebook, stating: "<span>I shop at Countdown Regent all the time and the staff there are awesome. Today they gave me a $50 voucher on surrender of the chicken and nail, and gave me a pack of chicken, but most importantly they took it seriously."</span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnadiapetersenx%2Fposts%2F10216870758342563&amp;width=500" width="500" height="708" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>In the meantime, the New Zealand supermarket chain is investigating how a rusty nail ended up in a piece of boneless chicken thigh.</p> <p>A Countdown spokesperson confirmed to <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/womans-shocking-discovery-supermarket-chicken-055542138.html">Yahoo7</a>, “<span>Food safety is our utmost priority and we have a really thorough process to ensure we investigate any complaints properly.</span>”</p> <p>They continued, “We have a range of safety precautions and measures in place which include metal detectors at points in the process and full traceability on all fresh meat.”</p> <p>The Countdown spokesperson also told Yahoo7 that “investigations are already underway and once the nail arrives we’ll be able to further analyse this”.</p>

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The cop who has made $632K from Madeleine McCann’s abduction

<p>An ex-police chief, who claimed that Madeline McCann’s parents covered up her death, has profited more than $632,000 from his book and DVD about the case.</p> <p>The Portuguese former cop has made huge earnings from his book <em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Truth Of The Lie</em>, revealed in court documents.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><u>The Sun</u></em></strong></a>, Kate and Gerry McCann are currently in a legal battle with Goncalo Amaral over the allegations he made about them.</p> <p>Mr Amaral has claimed that three-year-old Madeleine actually died in an accident in 2007 and that the McCann’s covered it up.</p> <p>Kate and Gerry are currently challenging Mr Amaral at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, so he doesn’t make any more money from his claims.</p> <p>Documents filed at the ECHR show that Mr Amaral made $432,000 from book sales in 2008-2009.</p> <p>He made another $63,000 from the DVD spin-off.</p> <p>The book has since been translated into multiple languages, with more than 180,000 copies printed.</p> <p>An injunction against the book, to stop further sales, was issued in 2009.</p> <p>However, the ruling was overturned on appeal and the injunction was lifted, a decision upheld by Portugal’s Supreme Court.</p> <p>Mr Amaral was awarded compensation and received thousands of dollars from more sales.</p> <p>Reportedly he also made at least $36,000 from interviews with newspapers and TV stations.</p> <p>The McCann’s have gone to the ECHR in a last bid to avoid paying Mr Amaral $1.35 million in compensation.</p> <p>Madeleine’s parents fear that if they lose the case, Mr Amaral’s payout will use up the fund set up to finance the continuing search for their daughter.</p> <p>Sources close to Kate and Gerry also fear that Brexit may impact the case, with judges taking “vengeance” for Britain leaving the EU by ruling against them.</p> <p>In their argument to the ECHR, the McCann’s legal team addressed the pain Kate and Gerry have gone through since their daughter disappeared during a family holiday in Praia da Luz in May 2007.</p> <p>They also say that Mr Amaral’s book “incriminated innocent citizens, accused of terrible crimes they never committed”. </p> <p>It goes on to explain they are trying to “protect not only their reputation but that of the child as well”.</p> <p>They also say that Mr Amaral’s book was “extravagant” and “damaged the good reputation” of the McCann family. </p> <p>Mr Amaral previously argued that his book’s allegations come from the police investigation.</p> <p>In October 2007, Mr Amaral was removed as the investigation head and subsequently left the police to write his book.</p> <p>An insider said, “Kate and Gerry still have full confidence the European Court of Human Rights will find in their favour.”</p> <p>They added, “It hasn’t altered their determination to carry on searching for their daughter. They have never given up hope and this case is an awful distraction but they feel compelled to do something.”</p>

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