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British tourist charged after Port Macquarie crash

13/03/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

The girl died at the scene. Photo: 9NEWSA young British tourist is facing charges after a car crash left a teenage girl dead and two people with serious injuries on the NSW Mid North Coast.
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The horror smash occurred when a Mitsubishi van and a Toyota Prado carrying a family of seven collided on the Pacific Highway south of Port Macquarie just before 11am on Thursday.

The van driver, 20, from Britain, has been charged with negligent driving causing death and not giving way.

He has been granted conditional bail and will appear in Port Macquarie Local Court on Friday.

Police allege he pulled out from the verge of the Pacific Highway and started to head north.

Police said it appeared the vehicle carrying the family swerved and rolled several times. A 16-year-old girl, who was a passenger in the Prado, was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.

The driver of the Prado, a 37-year-old woman, and a nine-year-old girl suffered fractures and were flown to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle where they are in a stable condition.

The remaining family members, a 40-year-old woman, a 20-year-old man and two boys, aged 15 and six, were taken to Port Macquarie Base Hospital as a precaution.

The driver of the van was treated at Port Macquarie Base Hospital where he underwent mandatory testing.

His passenger, another 20-year-old man, did not require medical treatment.

Friends of the dead girl have flooded social media with tributes, describing her as “gorgeous and bubbly” and an “angel”.

Police are urging road users to take care and slow down over the long weekend.

Double demerits will be in place over the entire long weekend for all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle-helmet offences.

CBA’s Narev won’t earn long-term bonus this year

13/03/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

Departing Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev will not be eligible to earn new long-term bonus shares this financial year.
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In a note to shareholders before next month’s annual general meeting, at which CBA will try to avoid receiving a second “strike” on executive pay, chairman Catherine Livingstone said Mr Narev’s exit from the bank was behind its decision on long-term incentive shares.

It came as the banking industry warned of serious gaps in the government’s planned laws to make senior bankers more accountable, saying the proposed changes were poorly defined, and could even affect large numbers of mid-level and junior executives.

CBA has said Mr Narev will leave the bank by the end of next June, and Ms Livingstone said the board had started an “extensive” search for a replacement.

“The board has also determined that as a result of his retirement, Ian Narev will not be eligible for a long-term incentive award this year,” Ms Livingstone said.

Last year, the board determined Mr Narev could have earned up to 55,000 incentive shares under the scheme over the coming years if he had hit the required hurdles.

CBA says it is company policy for a CEO who is leaving to miss out on this type of incentive, and it had the same approach for Mr Narev’s predecessor, Ralph Norris, when he left the bank.

Dean Paatsch of proxy adviser Ownership Matters said the move seemed “logical” but was not widespread among companies with a departing chief executive.

“It seems an entirely logical approach given he has signalled his intention to retire. It’s a gesture that’s open to all companies, unfortunately not that many take it,” Mr Paatsch said.

CBA, the country’s biggest bank, been embroiled in a money laundering compliance scandal since early August, which was followed by the announcement of Mr Narev’s exit from the bank, and a board shake-up.

The entire banking industry, meanwhile, is being targeted by the federal government’s banking executive accountability regime, or BEAR, a series of proposed law changes announced in the budget, and released in draft legislation last week.

The BEAR will give the banking regulator the power to have senior bankers disqualified; it will require senior executive bonuses to be deferred for at least four years; and it could leave banks facing civil fines of more than $200 million.

The n Bankers’ Association on Friday lodged a submission on the draft laws, saying it was not clear which bank employees would be affected and what would constitute a breach of the new rules.

Chief executive Anna Bligh said the legislation suggested it would apply to banks’ subsidiaries, potentially affecting “a large number of mid-level and junior executives”.

The BEAR will apply to issues that threatened a bank’s “prudential standing” or “reputation,” but Ms Bligh said it remained unclear what would constitute a breach.

“Neither of these terms are defined, nor do they have an equivalent in any other law,” she said.

Banker pay is likely to remain a hot topic at CBA’s annual meeting, on November 16, at which Ms Livingstone will explain to shareholders changes to its remuneration policies.

Last year, 50.9 per cent of CBA’s shareholders rejected the remuneration report, making CBA the first major bank in to receive a first strike. If CBA receives a second “strike” next month, it will trigger another vote on whether to call another meeting to spill the board.

Ms Livingstone said that since last year’s strike, the company had undertaken a detailed review of its remuneration policies, and moved to make them more transparent. There is now a greater emphasis on financial hurdles, after a shareholder backlash last year over linking bonuses to “soft targets” such as employee engagement.

In response to the money laundering scandal, Ms Livingstone dumped short-term bonuses for the bank’s top executives, in a move that experts said was a first for an n bank.

After CBA’s executives pay packets were announced in its annual report in early August, Ms Livingstone also said Mr Narev would leave the bank by the end of this financial year. She said the move was in response to “speculation” about Mr Narev’s future in the financial markets and the media.

CBA shareholders will also be voting on a resolution from a group of shareholders to “provide certainty” that the company would align itself with the goal of limiting climate change to no more than 2 degrees, in line with the Paris agreement.

CBA’s board said the shareholders held 0.0077 per cent of the company, and argued it was “inappropriate and unwise” to single out climate change as an issue that required more board attention than others.

Shareholders will also vote on former Westpac banker Robert Whitfield’s proposed board appointment, alongside the re-election of directors Andrew Mohl, Wendy Stops and David Higgins.

Why Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova is giving back

13/03/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

Natalia Vodianova has the accent of a seductive James Bond villainess: husky, her native Russian laced with Parisian fricatives. She’s probably a good deal tougher than Bond though, despite her bone-snapping appearance. She has a focused determination that seems uniquely Russian: unrelenting and hard.
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Whereas the cliche once belonged to gymnasts and piano players, Russia now seems to export these gritty female entrepreneurs whose work ethic makes us all look idle.

Last time I met her she was eight months pregnant and wearing a sweatshirt over a bump the size of a bumbag. Two babies in the intervening three years and I detect a little concealer around the eyes, maybe a shallow frown line. At 35, she’s a mother of five (five!). Is she done? “For a while,” she smiles. “I need to make sure I do well with everything else I have on, which is a lot.”

Yes, well she certainly packs it in. There’s the modelling from which she made her name, a multimillion-dollar career trimmed to an efficient 20 days a year. Then there is her Naked Heart Foundation, which has raised $50 million since 2004 for children with disabilities. Four years ago she launched Elbi, an app which allows people to “micro donate” by pressing a “love button”.

She calls it “a philanthropy collective”, happily reclaiming a word once soaked in communist propaganda.

“It’s a very Russian idea,” she continues. “You don’t have 100 roubles but you have a hundred friends. It’s about collective power.”

It’s tempting – oh, so tempting – to see her as just another rich celebrity patronising the poor and relieving her conscience with “good works”. After all, she was married at 19 to the aristocrat Justin Portman, 13 years her senior, whose family coffers pulsate with revenue from the large chunk of central London it owns.

Now she lives with the father of her two youngest children, Antoine Arnault. He’s the son of Bernard Arnault, the owner of luxury-goods company LVMH, worth $73 million and ranked the eighth-richest person in the world. Arguably, she has a Marie Antoinette existence in central Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower from her apartment and any material thing her fluttering heart desires.

But that is to oversimplify. Hers is a rags-to-riches story: a childhood below the poverty line in Nizhny Novgorod, a bleak industrial city in western Russia. She and her mother, Larissa, were abandoned first by her father, then her stepfather after her half-sister Oksana was born with autism and cerebral palsy.

By 11 she was selling fruit by the side of the road. Cold, hunger, survival – these were not alien or romanticised concepts. The mark of poverty is still on her, she says, most explicitly in her understanding of the “shame” that surrounds it.

When I ask if she can see it in others, she surprises me: she starts to cry. It touches something visceral.

“It’s a very emotional question. For those simple families who nobody cares about, really living with that stigma [for example] of disability, then even if I give them money, it’s not enough. The best thing I can do is spend time with them.”

She says shared traumatic experiences such as living in poverty or losing someone to cancer transcends friendship, nationality, blood “or any other bond”. In an ideal world, she says, we would draw on our experiences to comfort one another more often. “We have blind corners ??? we may have next door someone who we could understand.”

I’m sure psychologists could find an unconscious link between the hardship of childhood and her attraction to extremely rich men. But one driving, and very conscious, ambition has been to improve her mother’s life.

“And I have succeeded. My mother has a little business and is independent. She can buy me presents that I did not pay for.” She says Larissa instilled in her two things: self-reliance and a steely drive. (“I tell myself this is the heritage I am leaving my kids: a work ethic.”)

“My mother was in a desperate situation, working four jobs, raising kids alone. From a young age she taught me, ‘Only rely on yourself. You have to be strong. You have to do it for yourself.’

“And she lived it. For me, the government was a faraway thing that did not affect me, touch me or help me.” Of course, her children are growing up in a different universe, with easy proximity to the government. She has met French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte.

We sidetrack to discuss the age difference of 25 years between Macron and his wife, and Natalia gives a Gallic shrug and says this is not unusual in Paris. “I often see it where you have this incredibly handsome young guy with this beautiful older woman – and obviously much older. It’s quite common. If he wasn’t the president, no one would blink.”

We are sitting in the showroom of made苏州夜总会招聘 on Rue ??tienne Marcel surveying yet another of her projects combining tech and fundraising, a children’s furniture range she has designed for the online company co-founded by her friend Brent Hoberman of lastminute苏州夜总会招聘 fame. A bedroom scene – bed, wardrobe, bookshelves decorated with matryoshka dolls – has been set up in a little tableau vivant beside us.

Natalia tells me she met Hoberman through the online community of tech entrepreneurs, Founders Forum, and he insisted she get involved, which wasn’t a chore as she loves tech. Importantly, all proceeds go to Naked Heart.

She takes me through the detail – the pull holes for drawers to stop little fingers getting trapped. “This is a phobia for me because when I was five someone closed the door on my finger. I still remember the pain.”

So what was her own bedroom like growing up? “I didn’t have a bedroom,” she says.

In 2015 with her children by ex-husband Justin Portman: Lucas, Neva and Viktor. Photo: Getty Images

“Every single one” of her children – Lucas, 16, Neva, 11, Viktor, 10, with Portman; Maxim, 3, and Roman, 1, with Arnault – have just done a publicity shoot here and “loved it”, she says. She softens when she talks about her kids, flipping one thigh-high boot over the other, her rod-straight back dissolving a little.

They were all breastfed, “which is very, very tiring. None of my children slept, so for 15 years I’ve been up every night twice at least.”

She has help – “of course, or I wouldn’t be here” – and keeps tabs on each of the children by carving out one-on-one time. “I have moments where I feel I’m losing control – that’s motherhood.”

They don’t complain, although recently she overheard the youngest of the Portman brood saying to the eldest, “Yes, but you had Mummy to yourself for four years.”

The three eldest moved to Paris from a rural house in England’s West Sussex in 2012. “Of course, they left friends behind and I do sense that they miss the pleasures of the countryside because they don’t have this in Paris. But they’ve settled well. And now they speak another language.”

Are they very Parisian now? She smirks. “No, they are still very English.” Paris was the first European city the 17-year-old Natalia experienced on arriving from Russia as a fledgling model. “I spent one year here as a girl with no money, going on the Metro, really discovering the city. And it’s probably the city I know the most, apart from my home town.”

At 18 she moved to New York, where she threw herself into work. And it was there she met the sybaritic Portman, an artist and prince charming with a taste for models (he’s recently been dating Ukrainian Anna Shut, 23).

Natalia could have lived happily ever after if her happily ever after had been going to parties, looking pretty and staying up late. She once said that “the biggest differences between England and France is royalty versus republican, and my marriages reflect that. My first husband was a member of the aristocracy, did not work, but was a walking encyclopaedia. My second husband is a workaholic.”

I ask her to elaborate. “I am a workaholic as well,” she says brightly. “That’s why it didn’t work with my ex-husband. We loved each other but we were just very ???” She searches for the elusive word. “Our rhythm of life was different.”

In the past she has described Portman’s parenting as ‘hands-off’. “With Antoine, we love to get up in the morning, be with the children, then go to work.”

The British aristocracy, she says, was “another world”, not necessarily welcoming to outsiders. “It’s a beautiful world, yes. But if you haven’t been born into it, it can be difficult to be part of. I was born into a working-class family.”

By age 19, she was married to Portman and had her first child. She stepped back on the runway 10 days after giving birth. “[Portman] had all this free time to follow me and our baby around in my crazy career. At the time I thought I knew everything. I thought that it didn’t matter that we were so different because we had complicity elsewhere. In emotional ways we were very supportive of each other.”

On returning to England, they bought a country house and filled it with children and animals. But the “glue” of their relationship began to come apart and Natalia’s patience with Portman’s partying wore thin.

She first met Arnault in 2008 at a shoot for Louis Vuitton, although she doesn’t remember it. They met again in 2011, and after two dates she was smitten. Moving her three children to Paris wasn’t difficult, as Portman spends so much time wrapped in a sarong on a sprawling estate in Uruguay.

But shortly after they separated, Portman wrote a post on Facebook saying that his life was not in “synchronicity” with her “fashion” life. He claims she was embarrassed by him, treated him like an “old Louis Vuitton handbag” and that after a stint in rehab she didn’t receive him home with any warmth.

She describes the 40-year-old Arnault – chief executive of menswear brand Berluti and the chairman of Italian cashmere company Loro Piana – as “always happy to go to work: very driven and very hardworking”.

She continues, “We are very well balanced. He inspires me and I think I inspire him because of the same energy I give, but to philanthropy.

“He is an incredibly compassionate person. But like any man his view is, ‘Make your own money first, secure your career, your wellbeing, the wellbeing of your family – and then you think of everything else’.” She says she feels guilty about working so hard, “especially when, in principle, I don’t have to work any more”.

She compensates by having no time to herself – and even then she feels guilty. Last night, she says, she tried to enhance her evening beauty routine by five minutes. “I swear to god, I am standing there doing this, thinking, ‘Ah, my husband is already in bed. I could be cuddling with him.’ I tell myself, ‘Shut up. Stop it. You’re crazy.’

“But I can’t help it.”

Koroibete risk is worth taking

13/03/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

Rebels winger Marika Koroibete is something of an anomaly in this Wallabies team.
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His introduction into the Wallabies has been so gradual it gives the impression that Michael Cheika is a conservative selector.

Cheika has been anything but in other areas but while others were handed their starts Koroibete has had to wait. It is now 10 months since Koroibete made his initial appearance in a non-Test fixture against the French Barbarians.

Cheika has either shown he is more methodical than first meets the eye or he simply realised early on how much polishing this potential diamond needed.

And Koroibete needed work. His Rebels debut against the Hurricanes was a struggle. Not only did his positioning look bad but he didn’t look to have the beating of Julian Savea for pace, and Savea wouldn’t be in the top five in New Zealand, probably not even top 10.

Then again Koroibete may have had a reason. He looked troubled by a knee on that sunny Wellington afternoon and watching him closely for the rest of the year I think he may have been inhibited for at least half the season.

Still, he doesn’t look the type that goes looking for excuses.

But after that debut, two things started to happen that brought Koroibete to this point in South Africa.

First, he started to learn the game and narrow down the areas where teams could target him. He made himself less of a risk.

Second, his rivals for the Wallabies jersey – and here I think he is going up directly against Eto Nabuli and Henry Speight – didn’t take ownership of the jersey. Speight has been decent but decent doesn’t cut it at the top level when you are trying to progress the team. The Wallabies need one wing who is doing something special.

So they have arrived at Koroibete knowing that he is far from the finished product but has delivered enough on the potential they saw in him at the Storm.

It hasn’t been an easy path for Koroibete. Our friends in the 13-man code no doubt thought he was going to walk into the Wallabies and start carving teams up but that was never going to happen.

There were speedbumps. In fact he became one himself when Ned Hanigan ran over the top of him in Melbourne but slowly Koroibete started to increase the number of involvements that highlighted the good things about his game – his carries and his finishing. He’s at his best when he is hovering around the halfback looking for a gap or with turnover ball.

But by the end of the Super Rugby season he was just a threat, pure and simple. The pace was there. It was a minor surprise not to see him involved during the June series, although this was perhaps a nod to some of the positional aspects of the game.

For there are two areas Koroibete does not want to find himself in against the Springboks. The first is dealing with any ball over his head. He actually looks reasonable under the high ball but when he is forced to turn it exposes his lack of a kicking game and instinct to run sideways, which can be so costly in Test rugby.

The second is defending from a Springboks scrum if the home side have a decent blindside to work with. Of course, every winger can be exposed in this situation but Koroibete’s tendency – at least in Super Rugby – to rush up and smack the ball carrier, be it the No. 8 or halfback, creates an easy overlap for the winger outside.

Presumably, these are the things the Springboks have been looking at and there is no doubt that in handing him a debut against South Africa in Bloemfontein Cheika is heightening the risk in picking him.

Yet the Wallabies have been crying out for something more from their wingers. Koroibete has shown flashes of it. The selection has merit, regardless of the outcome.

‘No sign of slowing’: Now one apartment for every two houses

13/03/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – July 2, 2017: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AFR NEWS: 170702: New apartments under construction adjacent to an existing developement at 86 Courallie St, West Homebush in Sydney’s western Suburbs. Buyers of the units still being built are having ongoing issues with the property developers. (Photo by James Alcock/Fairfax Media) SMH News. Story by, Matt O’Sullivan. Story about the huge demand for public transport due to the boom in apartments around Green Square. This is leading to severe overcrowding of the train service at Green Square. Photo shows, In and around Green Square Station. Photo by, Peter Rae Tuesday 16 May, 2017.
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A rapidly developing pocket of Sydney has overtaken the central business district as the city’s apartment resident hotspot.

The building boom saw the former semi-industrial area of Zetland, Beaconsfield, Waterloo and Rosebery overtake the inner city and five other regions as having the most people living in apartments.

The area – home to developments including Green Square – saw an 81 per cent increase in unit occupants between 2011 and 2016, thanks to an extra 5213 occupied apartments recorded on census night last year.

With about 27,550 people counted in its apartments, data released by the n Bureau of Statistics shows the Waterloo-Beaconsfield statistical area is second only to inner-city Melbourne in terms of the number of apartment residents – which houses 37,916 people.

But Sydney in its entirety is the apartment capital of – there are now only about two occupied separate houses for every occupied apartment.

And within the next two decades there could be just as many occupied apartments as detached houses.

“It’s quite possible that it will happen probably within 20 years [in Sydney], but in the rest of it will take quite some time,” said demographer Glenn Capuano, from population consultancy .id.

He noted Melbourne would be unlikely to catch up to Sydney’s unit population – which made up 46 per cent of all ns living in apartments on census night – as it had more room to grow on the city fringe. Green Square penthouse sells for $3.6 millionHow Waterloo is becoming family friendlyGreen Square is Sydney’s ‘public transport disaster’

With record building approvals in recent years, particularly for high-density development in infill areas, high overseas migration and high housing costs, Capuano said Sydney’s surge of apartment dwellers was showing no signs of slowing down.

Affordability issues and the fact that more than half of the apartment population was born overseas, was behind an increase in high-density family living, according to Georgia Sedgmen, an associate town planner at Tract Consultants.

“People from Asia and Europe are more likely to have grown up in apartments, they find it quite unusual that people aspire to own a detached dwelling,” she said. “That’s a very n idea.”

The ease and convenience of apartment living, which Sedgmen said particularly appealed to Millennials, was another driving factor. She noted people’s increasingly busy lifestyles weren’t conducive to the great n dream of the quarter-acre block.

But with development on the north-west and south-west fringe of the city still heavily focused on houses, Sedgmen said it would be decades before apartments equalled or outnumbered houses.

However, she said the high number of apartments to roll out in the state government’s priority precincts, risked dividing the city into high-density and low-density areas, when there should be more of a focus on the missing middle.

While apartments and semi-detached terrace and townhouses in Sydney both had about a 23 per cent occupancy increase in the latest census, Sedgmen said this didn’t account for all the apartments still in the construction pipeline.

She expected that by the 2021 census areas in Sydney’s west, such as Liverpool, would have caught up to the Parramatta-Rosehill region – home to Sydney’s third largest apartment dweller population.

“I also suspect we’ll see a lot more pressure on anything with access to the city from the south,” she said. “We really need to have a proper understanding of infrastructure capacity before we push for too much in any given area.”

Sydney’s biggest problem was the disconnect between infrastructure and planning, said Philip Vivian, the director of architecture firm Bates Smart and co-chair of the 2017 Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat conference.

“We can go build in old industrial areas and create apartments and then later it’s like ‘oh where should we put parks, do we maybe need a hospital, another school,’ ” he said. “We need infrastructure first, then we can provide the density around it.”

With Sydney predicted to need an extra 726,000 homes by 2036 to accommodate a population of 6.42 million people, Vivian said a variety of well-designed high and medium-density dwellings was key to creating a compact, walkable and well-connected city.

“You just can’t [accommodate that population] with quarter-acre blocks,” he said. “Places with high density can be quite exciting as it supports urban life. But it needs to be mixed use and it’s vital that it’s on a good transport line, has open spaces for community living and a diversity of dwellings.”

Our gas policy won’t change, Berejiklian tells PM

13/02/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has rebuffed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s calls for NSW to open areas of the state to gas production that are currently off-limits, declaring the state’s policy “will not change”.
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A day after Mr Turnbull renewed his attack on NSW and Victoria over restrictions on gas mining, Ms Berejiklian said the Commonwealth “can say what it likes, but we need a national approach”.

On Wednesday Mr Turnbull announced the government had reached an agreement with Santos, Origin and Shell to provide enough gas to cover a predicted shortfall in 2018 and 2019 by increasing supply to the domestic market.

He called on NSW and Victoria to lift bans on gas production.

The Prime Minister has also urged the NSW government to approve a Santos application to drill production wells in the Pilliga State Forest, which is being considered under planning assessment rules.

Ms Berejiklian said the state government had clearly identified areas where gas exploration can and cannot occur, following a review by the NSW Chief Scientist and “community consultation”.

She highlighted the NSW policy of protecting prime agricultural land and water catchment areas from gas mining.

The government has also imposed a two-kilometre buffer zone around residential areas and indicated it will not permit gas activity on the NSW north coast.

“We are not changing our policy,” she said. “I want to make that clear. Our policy stands, our policy is solid.”

Ms Berejiklian said a national approach to gas supply was the best way to reduce prices.

The comments come as the NSW government prepares to fight byelections in Cootamundra and Murray on October 14, including against the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party, which defeated it at last year’s Orange byelection.

On Thursday former Nationals leader Troy Grant – who lost his position after the byelection defeat – attacked the Shooters over the gas issue, accusing it of having an “open-slather” policy.

Mr Grant, who is Police Minister, challenged the party to “come clean with the farming community that you allegedly represent. You want an open-slather policy for coal seam gas”.

But Shooters MLC Robert Borsak accused Mr Grant of being “full of hot air”.

He said the party’s policy had not changed for years and included supporting the ban on coal seam gas exploration on prime agricultural land and in areas that threaten the water supply or water table.

The party also believed landowners should have the final say about whether drilling can occur on their land, and be entitled to royalties.

Asked on what basis Mr Grant believed the party had an “open-slather policy”, a spokeswoman said he had no further comment.

Turnbull avoids another tough decision in the region

13/02/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

It’s in the Turnbull government’s DNA to avoid taking creative foreign policy initiatives on sensitive issues, even as democracy and freedoms backslide in countries such as Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
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But the increasingly repressive rule in our neighbourhood pales into insignificance compared to what is happening in Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar.

Outrage is mounting over atrocities committed by Myanmar’s security forces in Rakhine State over the past month which have forced almost half a million Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh, creating an emergency in squalid refugee camps.

The United Nations calls it ethnic cleansing.

Human Rights Watch says it meets the criteria for crimes against humanity under international law.

If ever there was a time for to stand-up, it is now.

has expressed its deep concern over the violence, provided $20 million in aid to victims and sent a handful of relief experts to Rakhine to assess people’s needs.

It is not enough.

Human rights activists are appalled that insisted on weakening a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she doesn’t condemn Suu Kyi – who has called allegations against her military “fabrications” while at the same time appearing alarmingly ignorant of the situation, saying last week “we want to find out why this exodus is happening”.

What apologists for her overlook is that she outrageously linked international aid agencies to “terrorist” insurgents, bringing to an abrupt end the delivery of desperately needed aid to tens of thousands of Rohingya still in Myanmar.

To be sure, Suu Kyi is in a difficult position as her country’s military leaders appear to be calling the shots.

And and like-minded countries want to keep Suu Kyi and her government above water in the hope the country’s “transition to democracy” can continue.

But it is clear that both Suu Kyi and the military are in a state of denial.

should take leadership in rallying concerned countries to consider ways to best have an impact on the Myanmar military’s behaviour.

A start would be to stop pandering to Myanmar in the UN human rights council and to cut the n Defence Force’s ties to the country.

What to do if targeted for a tax audit

13/02/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

The Tax Office’s new data matching technology is catching out more taxpayers than ever.
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Tax experts say they have seen a significant increase in the number of “please explain” letters, which can be sent out up to two years after lodging a tax return.

If you’re riding around in the latest sports car and enjoying life in an exotic overseas location, but only declaring income of $10,000 on your tax return, it’s easier than ever for the Tax Office to be aware of your lifestyle.

It’s able to assess the assets you own – cars, properties, boats – and work out how much income you would need to support your lifestyle.

And for those suspected of serious tax evasion, the Tax Office scrapes social media sites to find out a little more about their lifestyles.

Instagram posts in front of a convertible or enjoying the high life in the Caribbean might not sit too comfortably with the Tax Office if income to pay for the lifestyle has not been declared.

Rapid advances in technology enable the Tax Office to drill down to low-level evasion and innocent mistakes.

Tax experts say the Tax Office will be reasonable if the mistakes are innocent, with the shortfall in tax repaid, plus “penalty” interest.

The interest, which is tax deductible, is up to 9 per cent a year. Penalties

There is, however, a range of penalties in the Tax Office’s armoury for more serious offences.

Failure to take reasonable care results in a penalty of 25 per cent of the amount owed. Recklessness incurs a penalty of 50 per cent of the amount owed and intentional disregard attracts a penalty of 75 per cent.

H&R Block tax communications director Mark Chapman says it’s important not to ignore a please explain letter and to give the Tax Office everything it asks for.

“If you fail to co-operate, the Tax Office can impose higher levels of penalty,” he says.

“Tax audits and reviews can be stressful and potentially expensive in terms of extra tax payable, interest and penalties.”

Liz Russell, a senior tax agent at Etax, says taxpayers need to take immediate action as they typically have only two to three weeks to respond.

She says that if you bury your head in the sand and do nothing, the Tax Office will make an adjustment based on what it thinks should apply.

“This year, we are seeing more data matching letters being issued, but that doesn’t mean more people are doing the wrong thing,” she says. Net cast wider

“The Tax Office’s latest technology helps it cast a wider net and catch more errors or unusual deductions claims,” Russell says.

The long arm of the Tax Office is extending beyond the long-standing compliance hot spots of work-related expenses, rental property income and capital gains tax to those earning income from the sharing economy.

The Tax Office says it is looking at those working as Uber drivers, letting rooms on Airbnb and offering services through Airtasker.

As the transactions in the sharing economy are made electronically, they are easy to trace.

Tony Fittler, the managing partner at HLB Mann Judd, Sydney, has also seen an increase in data-matching letters from the Tax Office.

“You have to assume that the Tax Office is getting much more information,” Fittler says.

Tax Office will be specific about what it thinks you have not declared. The letter will state exactly what adjustments it plans to make based on that new-found information.

Russell says in some circumstances little can be done and if you agree with the information in the letter, you do not need to contact the Tax Office.

After the deadline to object passes, the Tax Office will automatically send you an amended assessment.

“But if a taxpayer disagrees with what a Tax Office letter says and has the evidence to support their claims, the Tax Office will usually be understanding and reverse its position,” Russell says. Data matching not infallible

But the Tax Office’s data matching is not infallible, Tony Fittler says.

“It’s important to check the information carefully, as we have found data-matching errors,” he says.

Mark Chapman says being proactive when dealing with the Tax Office can help.

“If you haven’t yet been contacted by the Tax Office, but you become aware that there may have been a mistake in your tax return, then consider submitting an amended tax return or making a voluntary disclosure,” Chapman says.

“This will minimise the likelihood of penalties. The best policy is to stay out of trouble in the first place.”

A “sure-fire” way get into trouble with the Tax Office is failing to declare taxable income, he says.

“Even if you are relying on information pre-filled by the Tax Office itself, the responsibility for ensuring that you’ve included everything you need to rests with you.”

And he says foreign income is a growing area of concern to Tax Office.

It is not only foreign income from employment, but also income-producing assets such as an overseas rental property, as well as income from overseas shares and bank accounts, Chapman says.

Other common triggers for an audit include not disclosing capital gains on the sale of shares and property, he says.

And don’t forget bank interest. n Banks report all the interest they pay to the Tax Office so any discrepancy is easy to pick up, Chapman says. Small businesses

Business people have to be particularly careful, Chapman says.

“If you run a small business and don’t declare all your sales, the Tax Office will often identify that your business performs poorly compared to other similar businesses,” he says.

“They do this by establishing ‘benchmarks; for businesses in certain sectors.

“If your business is outside the benchmark for your sector, expect additional Tax Office scrutiny.”

Work-related expenses is another continuing hot area for Tax Office scrutiny.

Taxpayers, particularly those who doing their tax returns themselves, can easily get it wrong, Chapman says.

“Tax law can be difficult and it can be hard to know what to claim and not what to claim,” he says.

Chapman says the Tax Office is looking closely at work-related deductions, including the deductions of up to $300 that can be made without receipts.

It’s important to claim only for items you actually spent the money on. And even with the first $300 you need to be able to show how those claims were calculated, he says.

“You do need to have spent the money,” he says.

It’s important not to claim private or domestic costs, such as the cost of the car for the daily commute to and from work, which is not an allowable deduction.

Chapman says if in doubt on what to do in response to a query from the Tax Office, seek professional help from an accountant or tax agent.

Liz Russell says a tax agent can communicate with the Tax Office about any special circumstances you’ve faced.

“That could be the difference between whether you get a penalty, or a refund,” she says,

Moore wants to ‘go out the big door’ with repeat of 2010 ‘special win’

13/02/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

Johannesburg: Wallabies stalwart Stephen Moore has been recalled to ‘s bench to face the Springboks at a venue in Bloemfontein he says holds a special place in his heart after a famous victory there in 2010.
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It comes as Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma said it was important for Moore to “go out the big door” at the end of the year with teammates carrying him atop their shoulders after what has been a fine career.

Moore did not feature for the Wallabies in their last match against South Africa in Perth because he was in Brisbane for the birth of his third child.

The 34-year-old was not recalled to the match-day 23 in Canberra a week later but has been given the green light by coach Michael Cheika on the bench, behind starting hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.

There have been plenty of raps on 20-year-old Melbourne Rebels hooker Jordan Uelese, who now has two Tests under his belt against the Springboks and Pumas.

Some thought his emergence was a sign of Cheika transitioning Moore out the team but the veteran’s experience and grunt will be required against a strong South African pack.

Moore was one of three players, alongside Kurtley Beale and Will Genia, to play in ‘s famous victory in Bloemfontein seven years ago where Beale slotted a penalty after full-time to seal a 41-39 win and end a 47-year drought on the Highveld.

“It was an important game and it was myself and Drew Mitchell’s 50th Tests, so you remember those kind of games and particularly the way it ended,” Moore told Fairfax Media. “I remember when the whistle went they were trying to shut the game down. Wayne Barnes gave us a penalty and that was it, Kurtley stepped up and once he knew he was going to take the kick, he nailed it. It was a great kick and those kind of things you remember for sure.

“After the game, those moments in the dressing room, they’re the kind of things you play for and anyone who was there would say the same thing. It was our first win on the Highveld for a while and it was a pretty special win, and when you look back at everything it was right up there.

“To win here, you need everything to go well and you need preparation to be spot-on.”

Even though Moore will retire from Tests at the end of year, Ledesma said he had so much to offer from a leadership perspective and even imparted his own metaphor for how the 122-cap hooker should finish his career in a gold jersey.

“Cheik and I have been chatting with him and he definitely has an important role to play with us in terms of leadership, in terms of driving standards, in terms of his legacy,” Ledesma said. “For him we need him to finish strong.

“There’s a saying in France: ‘you go out the big door’. It’s like in the corrida, when a toledo wins, he goes out of the big door and somebody is carrying him.

“If we can do that for him and if he can do that for him, that’d be awesome.”

Moore is happy to sail off into the sunset and help a newcomer in Uelese find his feet around the Wallabies set-up two years out from a World Cup that he will no doubt be targeting.

“It’s really good for the team because in two months I won’t be playing any more,” Moore said. “It’s something that we should look positively at. We’ve got a young player that has come up, had two Tests there and shown that he’s capable of playing at this level. I think Taf has been doing a great job as well.

“That is the pleasing thing for the team because it’s an important position and we need to make sure we build more depth there going into the Word Cup.”

Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu, another older member of the squad, is adamant competition from younger players is beneficial for a guy like Moore in the twilight of his career.

“He’s come back in and there’s three quality hookers ??? that competition is keeping him hungry,” Kepu said. “We’ve got the younger guys coming through and we’ve got to keep pushing harder than ever.”

Penthouse pet loses defamation bid after court find claims were true

13/02/2019 | 苏州夜网 | Permalink

Simone Farrow aka Simone Cheung, charged with drug offences. Image from the Ed Hardy campaign. For Bellinda Kontominas story.A former Penthouse pet’s attempt to sue News Corp for defamation over an article that claimed she was a prostitute and ran a drug ring has been thrown out by the NSW Court of Appeal, partly because the claims were based on her own evidence at her criminal trial.
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Simone Farrow, who is serving a prison sentence for drug smuggling, took action over an article published in The Sunday Telegraph that she said carried the defamatory imputations that she formed a secret sexual relationship with a prison guard in return for being allowed to make phone calls that were not recorded, that she ran a drug ring, had skipped bail, was a prostitute and was convicted of criminal offences.

The story ran under the headline “Drugs, sex and an officer” and alleged that she had sex with a prison guard in exchange for favourable treatment, which Farrow denies.

The NSW District Court rejected her claim as an abuse of process, given some of the claimed imputations were incontrovertibly true – that she had skipped bail, had pleaded guilty to a charge of importing crystal methamphetamine and was sentenced for that offence to a term of 11 years’ imprisonment.

Judge Judith Gibson found the remaining imputations did not justify the cost of the legal action.

Farrow sought to appeal the order in the NSW Court of Appeal, which rejected her application on Thursday.

Justice Lucy McCallum found the story was “plainly defamatory but at least partly true”, and truth was a defence to defamation.

Farrow had argued it was not true that she had bartered sex for favourable treatment and that contrary to the description of her as somebody who had “run” a drug ring, she was one of several principals in the smuggling operation.

But Justice McCallum dismissed the notion that a convicted offender could be entitled to invoke the authority of the court “to vindicate such a nuanced analysis of the findings of the criminal court”.

She also found that it was clear from the story that Farrow was no longer working as a prostitute, and that the reference to her employment history came from her own evidence in the criminal trial, where according to The Sunday Telegraph she told of being conscripted into sex work by her mother to pay for her boarding school fees.

“It would be absurd to allow the applicant to seek a remedy for damage to her reputation caused by the publication of her own evidence,” Justice McCallum said.

Justice John Basten and acting Justice Ronald Sackville agreed.

Farrow was sentenced to a minimum 6?? years in prison in September 2016 over her role in an ice smuggling ring. She was accused of using her role as a swimsuit model as a cover, while concealing the drugs in packets of bath salts.