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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Oman firms sending expat bosses home

January 31, 2016 | 7:48 PM by REJIMON K reji@timesofoman.com The tightening of the belt has become a necessity as the cash inflows have reduced and thereby the cash availability. - Shutterstock Sharelines Oman firms sending expat bosses home #Oman firms sending expat bosses home The tightening of the belt has become a necessity as the cash inflows have reduced and thereby the cash availability. - Shutterstock MUSCAT: Companies have begun repatriating expatriates from highly-paid positions and tightening their spend on nationals as oil-driven austerity starts to dig into staff budgets. “Many companies are centralising their offices to reduce the workforce, cutting down bonuses, adjusting annual leave plans and air ticket provisions and also dropping off training opportunities abroad,” Dr Anchan CK, an investment advisor and financial expert, said. “While big companies are into austerity measures, small companies are looking for merger options to survive,” Anchan added. Due to the global oil price crisis since the middle of 2015, Oman’s government announced an OMR3.3b budget deficit in 2016 with plans to dramatically lower spending and slash subsidies. This has already seen petrol prices rise and visa fees increase with more measures expected, and so companies are planning to cut their costs to survive in 2016. Talking to Times of Oman on the condition of anonymity, two senior expatriate managers said that they were told to leave due to cost cutting measures. “I was told to quit as part of cost cutting measures. I have been a long time employee in the company. However, I don’t feel sad,” a general manager in one of the companies in Muscat who was forced to leave Oman a few days ago, said. Another senior manager in engineering firm also said that he was forced to leave as part of the cost cutting exercise. “The company was centralising the departments to save money. The company offered me a golden handshake and I agreed to it,” the senior manager said. According to a finance advisor in a government driven initiative, cost cutting measures have already come into effect. “This time, the plan is to cut bonus by 50 per cent for the employees. Tight control over air tickets, visa for maids and abroad training options are in place already,” the finance advisor said. Tonia Gray, general manager at Competence HR, said, “Companies have cancelled the payment of bonuses and allowances (including field/special allowances) and in some cases employees have accepted reduced pay during this time to avoid the need for redundancies. “Some have cancelled the medical insurance for nationals as they have access to government health services. These measures are an attempt to save the company and therefore the employees’ jobs in the longer term. While no-one likes to be on the receiving end of such cuts, the alternative of loss of jobs or company closure would be far worse.” An official in one of the leading health insurance firms said that they are seeing reduced price requests from companies during the time of policy renewal. “We may have to wait a little more to link it with bad economy. However, it’s happening. We are also seeing that some companies are willing to pull out from insurance coverage for their employees,” the insurance company official said. Tonia also added that other than restructuring their organisations resulting in redundancy of employees and the remaining employees undertaking more work and responsibility, other companies are reducing benefits. “Restructuring has to be done in such a way that key skills and experience are kept to ensure the company can deliver its services, whatever those services may be,” Tonia added. A board member from general federation of Oman trade union said, “We are hearing about it. However, we are confident that companies won’t surpass the conditions set by the Labour Law. If somebody are being denied the facilities agreed in the job contract, they have to come forward. If they come forward with official complaints, then we will be able to take it up to government authorities,” Mohammed Khaldi, the trade union federation board member, said. An economist and business consultant said that the tightening of the belt is necessary as the cash inflows have reduced and thereby the cash availability. “Every responsible employee shall understand the situation and appreciate the need to cut down on all ‘extras’,” Krishnan MAK, the business consultant in Muscat, said.

Land & Properties for sale in South Australia (Residential, Commercial, Industrial & Rural)

Letter of Invitation: I have land for sale in South Austalia starting from just 10 cents/ square meters to some properties for as less as equivalent to price of 2 mangoes/ square meters. I would be available to answer any queries regarding best suburbs to integrate socially, just to let you know 21 suburbs of South Australia which are red-flagged by Australian banks. I am happy to provide detail answers to any questions with reference to Property Investment, Subdivision, Development, Buying/ Selling Residential, Commercial, Rural Properties and Businesses. I am available in person (Tue/Thu at 1289 South Rd, St. Marys, SA 5042 12 to 5 p.m) or on cell to answer any questions, and concerns you have to decide about your Real Estate. (Cell: 0431 138 537, Email: Saqlain@Dukesrealestate.com) Click here to invest in South Australian Residential Commercial, Rural Properties, Schools & Businesses. If you have something for sale, I can sell it for you at nominal fee. I sell land on this Earth for as cheap as 10 cents/ Sq.M to a price equivalent to price of 2 Aussie Mangoes/ Sq.M. I hope tomorrow I will be selling and leasing Moon's Surface. (Earth is rising over the Moon's Surface), Source: https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/photos/a.899877783394135.1073741829.899009183480995/920077631374150/?l=734b9eef72 Council Names Diagram Book Name Hundred Name 290 Councils Show Show entries entries entries Search: Search: Search: Option Option Option Adelaide Corp Adams Adams Albert District Rd. Bd Addison Addison Aldinga DC Adelaide Adelaide Alexandrina DC Adelaide And Parklands Alexandrina Alma Plains DC Alexandrina Allen Angas DC Allen Allenby Angaston DC Allenby Alma Apoinga DC Alma Andrews Balaklava DC Andrews Angas Barmera DC Angas Anna Barossa DC Anna Anne Barossa East DC Anne Apoinga Barossa West DC Apoinga Appila Beachport DC Appila Archibald Belalie DC Archibald Arkaba Belvidere DC Arkaba Ash Benara DC Ash Auld Berri DC Auld Ayers Black Springs DC Ayers Bagot Blanchetown DC Bagot Bagster Blyth DC Bagster Bakara Booborrowie DC Bakara Baker Booyoolie DC Baker Balaklava Bremer DC Balaklava Baldina Brighton Corp Baldina Bandon Brighton DC Bandon Barna Brinkley DC Barna Barndioota Broughton DC Barndioota Baroota Brown's Well DC Baroota Barossa Burnside Corp Barossa Bartlett Burnside DC Bartlett Barunga Burra Burra DC Barunga Barwell Burra Corp Barwell Batchelor Burra DC Batchelor Beatty Bute DC Beatty Beeamma Caltowie DC Beeamma Belalie Campbelltown Corp Belalie Belvidere Campbelltown DC Belvidere Benara Carrieton DC Benara Bendleby Caurnamont DC Bendleby Berri I A Central Rd.Bd Berri I A Bews Central Yorke Peninsula DC Bews Bice Clare Corp Bice Billiatt Clare DC Billiatt Binnum Clarendon DC Binnum Black Rock Plain Cleve DC Black Rock Plain Blacker Clinton DC Blacker Blanche Cobdogla DC Blanche Blesing Coglin DC Blesing Blyth Col. 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Bd Guthrie Hanson Penola DC Hague Hardy Peterborough Corp Haig Hart Peterborough DC Haines Haslam Petersburgh Corp Hall Hawker Pinnaroo DC Hallett Hay Pirie DC Hambidge Heggaton Port Adelaide Corp Handyside Hill Port Augusta Corp Hanson Hincks Port Broughton DC Hardy Hindmarsh Port Elliot & Goolwa DC Hart Holder Port Elliot Corp Haslam Hooper Port Elliot DC Hawker Horn Port Gawler DC Hay Howe Port Germein DC Hd Boundaries Hudd Port Lincoln Corp Heggaton Hutchison Port Macdonnell DC Hill Hynam Port Pirie Corp Hincks Inkerman Port Wakefield Corp Hindmarsh Inkster Port Wakefield DC Holder James Prospect Corp Hooper Jamieson Prospect DC Horn Jeffries Queenstown & Alberton DC Howe Jellicoe Rapid Bay DC Hudd Jenkins Redhill DC Hutchison Jessie Renmark Corp Hynam Joanna Renmark Irrigation Trust Inkerman Joyce Rhynie DC Inkster Julia Creek Ridley DC Islands Jutland Riverton DC James Kadina Robe DC Jamieson Kaldoonera Robertstown DC Jeffries Kanmantoo Rocky River DC Jellicoe Kanyaka Rosewater DC Jenkins Kappakoola Saddleworth & Auburn DC Jessie Kappawanta Saddleworth & Waterloo DC Joanna Kapunda Saddleworth DC Joyce Karcultaby Salisbury & Elizabeth DC Julia Creek Karlowan Div Salisbury Corp Jutland Katarapko Salisbury DC Kadina Keith Sedan DC Kaldoonera Kekwick Semaphore Corp Kanmantoo Kelly Snowtown DC Kanyaka Kennion South Rhine DC Kappakoola Ketchowla Spalding DC Kappawanta Kevin Springton DC Kapunda Kiana St. Peters Corp Karcultaby Kilkerran Stanley DC Karlowan Div Killanoola Stirling DC Katarapko King Stockport DC Keith Kingsford Strahtalbyn DC Kekwick Kingston Strathalbyn Corp Kelly Kirkpatrick Strathalbyn DC Kennion Kondoparinga Streaky Bay DC Ketchowla Kongorong Swan Reach DC Kevin Koolgera Talunga DC Kiana Koolunga Talunga District Rd. 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Bombs kill 45, wound 110 near Syria shrine

Letter of Invitation: I would be available to answer any queries regarding best suburbs to integrate socially, just to let you know 21 suburbs of South Australia which are red-flagged by Australian banks. I am happy to provide detail answers to any questions with reference to Property Investment, Subdivision, Development, Buying/ Selling Residential, Commercial, Rural Properties and Businesses. I am available in person (Tue/Thu at 1289 South Rd, St. Marys, SA 5042 12 to 5 p.m) or on cell to answer any questions, and concerns you have to decide about your Real Estate. (Cell: 0431 138 537, Email: Saqlain@Dukesrealestate.com) Click here to invest in South Australian Residential Commercial, Rural Properties, Schools & Businesses. I sell land on this Earth for as cheap as 10 cents/ Sq.M to a price equivalent to price of 2 Aussie Mangoes/ Sq.M. I hope tomorrow I will be selling and leasing Moon's Surface. (Earth is rising over the Moon's Surface), Source: https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/photos/a.899877783394135.1073741829.899009183480995/920077631374150/?l=734b9eef72 By AFP Published: January 31, 2016 6 SHARES Share Tweet Email The Syrian government accuses rebels of targeting Sayyeda Zainab shrine, which is now protected by hundreds of fighters from Iraq and the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah group. PHOTO: AFP The Syrian government accuses rebels of targeting Sayyeda Zainab shrine, which is now protected by hundreds of fighters from Iraq and the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah group. PHOTO: AFP BEIRUT: At least 30 people were killed and dozens more wounded on Sunday in three bombings near the Sayyida Zeinab shrine south of the Syrian capital Damascus, state media said. State news agency SANA said 110 people were wounded in a car bomb attack and two suicide bombings, citing an interior ministry source. An earlier report said more than 10 people were killed in the blasts. Dozens more were wounded in the blasts, one of which was caused by a car bomb, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. The monitor had initially reported eight deaths in the blasts. Surprise assault: Da’ish fighters kidnap 400 civilians in Syria It said the cause of the second blast was not immediately clear. State television carried a breaking news alert reporting “two terrorist blasts, one of them a car bomb, followed by a suicide bomber… in the area of Sayyida Zeinab.” Brazen assault: Seven killed as IS attacks Jakarta The Sayyida Zeinab mosque contains the grave of a granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed and is particularly revered as a pilgrimage site by Shia Muslims. It has been targeted before, including in February 2015, when two suicide attacks killed four people and wounded 13 at a checkpoint near the shrine. Also that month, a blast ripped through a bus carrying Lebanese Shia pilgrims headed to Sayyida Zeinab, killing at least nine people, in an attack claimed by al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front. =================================== Sun Jan 31, 2016 | 7:02 PM EST Syria opposition considers U.N. offer after 'positive' talks 1:52 PM EST | 01:41 Syrian peace efforts disrupted by deadly blast in Damascus Syria opposition considers U.N. offer after 'posit...X By Tom Miles and John Irish GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's main opposition group is considering a proposal by U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura that could pave the way to the delegation pressing ahead with talks after holding their first meeting with him on Sunday, a Western diplomatic source said. Representatives of the Saudi-backed Higher Negotiation Committee (HNC), which includes political and militant opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, had warned earlier in the day that they may yet walk away from the Geneva talks unless the suffering of civilians in the five-year conflict is eased. With Islamic State bombers killing over 60 people near the country's holiest Shi'ite shrine, the Syrian government's chief delegate retorted that the blasts in Damascus merely confirmed the link between the opposition and terrorism - even though Islamic State has been excluded from the talks. The United Nations is aiming for six months of talks that would focus on achieving a broad ceasefire, while working toward a political settlement to the civil war that has killed over 250,000 people, driven more than 10 million from their homes and drawn in global powers. After the HNC initially insisted air strikes and sieges of Syrian towns must end before it joins the "proximity talks", in which de Mistura would meet each side in separate rooms, there appeared to be some signs of a softening in their position on Sunday evening. HNC spokesman Salim al-Muslat described discussions with de Mistura as very positive and encouraging "concerning humanitarian issues." The delegation met for several hours later on Sunday to debate the proposal. The U.N. special envoy's office said he would meet the Syrian government delegation on Monday at 1100 (1000 GMT) and the HNC at 1700 (1600 GMT). "De Mistura made them a proposition, and that's tempting them to enter the negotiations. They are very prudent," a Western diplomatic source said, adding he was not aware of the content of the offer. The delegation representing the HNC is seeking a halt to attacks on civilian areas, the release of detainees and a lifting of blockades. It has a list of 3,000 women and children in Syrian government jails. The measures were mentioned in a Security Council resolution approved last month that endorsed the peace process for Syria. "They want tangible and visible things immediately. Things they can give to their grassroots," the source said. "Certain things aren't possible immediately like the end of the bombings, but the easiest is the release of civilians, women and children." "TOTAL" SIEGES U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the talks - the first in two years - as long overdue. "I urge all parties to put the people of Syria at the heart of their discussions, and above partisan interests," he said during a visit to Ethiopia. ADVERTISEMENT Related Coverage Oxfam report says some states in Syrian war fail to help victims In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged both sides to seize the opportunity to make progress. "In the end there is no military solution to the conflict," he said in a televised statement. The Syrian government's delegation head in Geneva, Bashar al-Jaafari, said Damascus was considering options such as ceasefires, humanitarian corridors and prisoner releases, but suggested they might come about as a result of the talks, not before them. "Absolutely, this is part of the agenda that we agreed upon and that will be one of the very important topics we will discuss among ourselves as Syrian citizens," Jaafari said. Russian air strikes have killed nearly 1,400 civilians since Moscow started its aerial campaign in support of Assad nearly four months ago, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Saturday. Opposition delegate Bassma Kodmani said the bombings had increased in the last week. "In preparations for the negotiations, everything has intensified. The sieges have become total," she said, adding later that her delegation was likely to stay at least three to four days in Geneva. On Sunday, the United Nations said that Mouadamiya, a rebel-held town of 45,000 on the southwestern edge of Damascus, faced a new siege by government forces. Moscow has objected to two Islamist rebel groups, Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, taking any part in the talks. However, a negotiator from Jaish al-Islam, Mohamed Alloush, told Reuters he was going to Geneva to show that the Syrian government was not serious about seeking a political solution. In another sign that talks may gather pace, the Western diplomat and a source close to the opposition said the HNC's main coordinator Riad Hijab could also arrive on Monday. ISLAMIC STATE CLAIM Islamic State claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks in the Sayeda Zeinab district of Damascus, according to Amaq, a news agency that supports the militant group. It said two operations "hit the most important stronghold of Shi'ite militias in Damascus." The Britain-based Observatory put the death toll at over 60, including 25 Shi'ite fighters.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Jian Ghomeshi sex-assault charge carries 18-month maximum

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press Published Friday, January 29, 2016 7:10AM EST Last Updated Friday, January 29, 2016 4:39PM EST TORONTO -- Former radio star Jian Ghomeshi faces maximum penalties that -- if convicted -- would be dramatically different for each offence with which he's now charged. While the most he could get for the headline-grabbing sexual assault counts against him is 18 months, the obscure choking charge he also faces carries a theoretical life in prison. The huge gap in potential penalties is, in large part, related to a complex web of decisions and agreements made by both Crown and defence in the run-up to the former "Q" host's trial, which starts Monday. Related Stories Timeline: Ghomeshi affair began with news he was dealing with personal issues 5 key facts about the Jian Ghomeshi case Photos Jian Ghomeshi Jian Ghomeshi leaves court in Toronto, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS) Canadian law recognizes two broad groups of offences: less serious summary offences and more serious indictable ones. A third group, which includes sexual assault, are called hybrid in that the prosecution can choose to proceed either summarily or by way of indictment depending on the gravity of the allegations. "The Crown has elected to proceed summarily on the (sexual assault) counts that are before the court," said Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General. Going the summary route means the prosecution, after looking at exactly what Ghomeshi is alleged to have done, must have been satisfied the sexual assault allegations were not so serious that, if proven against the first-time offender, would warrant punishment more severe than a maximum 18 months. However, given that the sex charges involve incidents that happened in 2002 and 2003, Ghomeshi's lawyer would have had to agree to the summary proceedings given that charges prosecuted this way must normally be laid within six months of the alleged offence. On the straight indictable choking charge, Ghomeshi opted for trial in the province's lowest court, the Ontario court of justice. "Where an accused elects to be tried by a provincial court judge, the accused's trial will be heard and fully completed in the Ontario court of justice," Crawley said. The lower court route means, as one key consequence, no preliminary inquiry. For the defence, preliminary hearings are largely an exercise in learning the full extent of the Crown's case. They can also involve hearing witnesses under oath -- a setup for later cross-examination at a trial in Superior Court, which instead will now be the first forum for any appeal arising out of Ghomeshi's prosecution. If prosecutors think their case is relatively weak, a preliminary may afford an opportunity to patch any holes. No preliminary -- especially in sensitive sexual assault cases -- also means complainants and witnesses need only testify once, a key consideration for the prosecution. In Ghomeshi's case, his lawyer Marie Henein must have felt confident that the Crown had disclosed enough pertinent material, such as videotaped witness statements and police records, to obviate the need for a preliminary hearing, said veteran criminal lawyer, Clayton Ruby. "Sometimes, you know what the Crown's case is from the disclosure you're given," Ruby said. No preliminary inquiry also means a much faster timeline for getting to trial, which can otherwise take several years to take place.

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Suicide, shooting attack on Saudi Shi'ite mosque kills four

Fri Jan 29, 2016 | 8:21 AM EST By Sami Aboudi DUBAI (Reuters) - A suicide bombing and gun attack on Shi'ite Muslim worshippers killed at least four people in eastern Saudi Arabia on Friday, the interior ministry and witnesses said, extending a spate of attacks on the kingdom's Shi'ite minority. The assault on the Imam Rida mosque in the Eastern Province town of Mahasen, a mixed Sunni-Shi'ite district in which there is an extension of a compound where state oil company Aramco employees live, also wounded at least 18 people. There was no early claim of responsibility but it resembled previous attacks by Sunni militants from Islamic State on Shi'ites it considers to be heretics. The oil-producing Eastern Province is home to Saudi Arabia's Shi'ite community. It came less than a month after Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, most of them al Qaeda militants convicted of attacks in the world's biggest oil exporting state since 2003, as well as dissident Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. The Saudi interior ministry said security forces prevented two suicide bombers from entering the mosque, where one blew himself up, killing four people. Security forces exchanged fire with the second man and arrested him. Witnesses said one suicide bomber blew himself up outside the mosque, causing a power blackout inside. They said worshippers overpowered a second attacker after he opened fire in the mosque where 200 people were performing Friday prayers. "The explosion happened outside the mosque, at the courtyard of the mosque, while another one entered with a machinegun. There are martyrs and wounded," one witness said in an audio message circulated on social media. "The young men grabbed his machine gun and beat him up, but he did not die. The police then came and took him away and the wounded were taken in private cars because ambulance cars did not arrive quickly." Another witness, speaking to Reuters by telephone, said a third attacker was believed to be involved in the attack and that he may have fled or disappeared. A video recording provided by activists showed a crowd surrounding a man prone on the floor, turning him over and unfastening what they said was a suicide belt around his waist. Witnesses had earlier said three people died in the attack. Saudi Arabia has suffered a string of deadly shooting and bomb attacks in recent months, many of them claimed by the ultra-radical Islamic State. Islamic State is bitterly hostile to Gulf Arab monarchies and is seen to be trying to stoke Sunni-Shi'ite sectarian confrontation within Arabian peninsula states to destabilize and ultimately overthrow their dynasties. Al Qaeda has warned Saudi Arabia it will pay for the executions of dozens of its members on Jan. 2, saying they were intended to be a new. year's gift to Riyadh's Western allies aimed at consolidating the Saud dynasty. (Additional reporting by Omar Fahmy in Cairo; Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by) ============================= Staff writer, Al Arabiya News Friday, 29 January 2016 At least two people have been killed after a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in Saudi Arabia's eastern governate of al-Ahsa on Friday, a Saudi interior ministry spokesman said. Saudi authorities prevented two suicide bombers from entering Imam Rida Mosque in Mahasen neighborhood in al-Ahsa region during Friday prayers, the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing a statement by the ministry's spokesman. "When security men stopped them, one blew himself up at the entrance of the mosque and there was an exchange of fire with the other. He was wounded and arrested wearing an explosive belt," the spokesman said. Video: Moment one suspect is reprehended At least seven people were injured in Friday's attack, he added. Residents said security forces were exchanging gunfire with five suspects. To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading your web browser Eastern regions of Saudi Arabia have been on alert after ISIS claimed two attacks Shia mosques last year. In August, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people in an attack on a mosque used by members of a local security force in southwest Saudi Arabia. In May, a suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers at a mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing at least 21 and wounding 81 others. Last Update: Friday, 29 January 2016 KSA 15:03 - GMT 12:03

Thursday, January 28, 2016

BOJ adopts negative rates in ramped-up stimulus campaign, stuns markets: competitive devaluation

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(Earth is rising over the Moon's Surface), Source: https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/photos/a.899877783394135.1073741829.899009183480995/920077631374150/?l=734b9eef72 ========================= News Analysis: BOJ's surprising steps stopgap antidote to domestic woes, may spark broader devaluations Source: Xinhua 2016-01-30 14:45:04 by Liu Tian, Xu Yuan TOKYO, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Friday surprised markets by announcing that it would introduce a negative interest rate to show resolution in the fight against prolonged deflation. The proposed remedy, however, may hold few substantial cures for Japanese economic structural woes and may trigger other currencies' competitive devaluation, which would ultimately send stocks lower here and inhibit capital expenditure, the exact opposite of the central's ultimate reflationary goal. Japan's top central banker Haruhiko Kuroda told a press conference on Friday that "by adding an option for easing from the perspective of interest rates, we will make full use of easing measures with three dimensions, quantity, quality and interest rates." Although the BOJ chief was reluctant to follow suit when the European Central Bank plunged into negative interest rates, he hoped that Friday's "shock move" will suddenly motivate lending and thus spending, so as to actualize policy effects at the earliest possible juncture. The central bank planned to introduce the minus interest rate from next month and said it will further cut the interest rate if necessary. By doing so, the bank is hedging that commercial banks will be further incentivized to lend to businesses to promote widespread investment and growth, and put the bank back on track to hit its 2-percent inflation target, although the timeframe for this has once again been pushed back. But the danger of this gamble is that the BOJ has no means to ensure that the funds flowing out from commercial banks will be successfully injected into the real economy. If not, the market will soon erase surging gains made after the surprise announcement and return to a protracted spell of retreat into territory. This, more so if a "deflationary mindset" continues in businesses and households here, and other countries' currencies are forced lower and the yen used as a safe haven, which drives stocks lower, pummels Japan's export sector, which in turn impacts production and ensures businesses keep their purse strings tighter. Furthermore, the policy, to some extent, exposed the fact that the BOJ's previous monetary easing measures have failed to help bolster the banks reflationary efforts, while the meager rise in the consumer prices index in 2015 and the delayed timeframe of achieving the inflation goal, has proved that the country may possibly reenter its well-known deflationary quagmire. The BOJ, in terms of its monetary base, decided in the meantime to continue to increase the base at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen (around 674.48 billion U.S. dollars) through aggressive purchases of government bonds. But analysts here pointed out that the introduction of the negative interest rate showed that the BOJ's capability to purchase government bonds has reached its limit since commercial banks here will be reluctant to deposit cash in the BOJ and make it more difficult to continue such purchases. The BOJ's dramatic move temporarily halted the Japanese yen's appreciation and forced its devaluation, with the currency's fast retreating from the 118-yen level to the 121-yen zone versus its U.S. counterpart, after the BOJ's latest easing measures were announced Friday. However, a constantly depreciated yen will finally damage assets held by common Japanese people. Meanwhile, another issue of the minus interest rate that needs to be focused on, involves recent policy moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve raising its key interest rate and the European Central Bank hinting it will further ease its policy this spring. The BOJ's move triggering the yen's retreat will exert more pressure on other central banks to also ease their currencies and the result could end up severely hampering the tepid recovery of both regional and global economies. Related: BOJ to introduce negative interest rates, delays inflation target amid oil price slump TOKYO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Friday following the conclusion of a two-day policy board meeting said it would introduce negative interest rates from next month to encourage more lending and business spending amid projections the central bank will not clear its 2 percent inflation goal, as oil prices' slide and a global economic downturn threatens to further impact spending. The BOJ surprised markets here, with economists widely believing further easing measures announced Friday would be negligible if at all, by saying it plans to introduce a negative interest rate from Feb. 16, as falling oil prices have hampered the bank's reflationary efforts, with the shock move aimed at proactively defending against global economic malaise denting business sentiment here.Full story Bank of Japan further eases monetary policy TOKYO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Friday said it would implement new monetary easing measures amid projections the central bank will not clear its 2 percent inflation goal. While delaying the timing of its 2 percent inflation goal, the central bank also cuts its inflation target for fiscal year 2016, stating it now expects CPI to increase 0.8 percent. Full story =============================================== ------------------------ DEFINITION of 'Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP)' A negative interest rate policy (NIRP) is an unconventional monetary policy tool whereby nominal target interest rates are set with a negative value, below the theoretical lower bound of zero percent. BREAKING DOWN 'Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP)' During deflationary periods, people and businesses hoard money (A supply or store of something held or hidden for future use.) instead of spending and investing. The result is a collapse in aggregate demand which leads to prices falling even farther, a slowdown or halt in real production and output, and an increase in unemployment. A loose or expansionary monetary policy is usually employed to deal with such economic stagnation. However, if deflationary forces are strong enough, simply cutting the central bank's interest rate to zero may not be sufficient to stimulate borrowing and lending. A negative interest rate means the central bank and perhaps private banks will charge negative interest: instead of receiving money on deposits, depositors must pay regularly to keep their money with the bank. This is intended to incentivize banks to lend money more freely and businesses and individuals to invest, lend, and spend money rather than pay a fee to keep it safe. Examples An example of a negative interest rate policy would be to set the key rate at – 0.2%, such that bank depositors would have to pay two-tenths of a percent on their deposits instead of receiving any sort of positive interest. The Swiss government ran a de facto negative interest rate regime in the early 1970s to counter its currency appreciation due to investors fleeing inflation in other parts of the world. In 2009 and 2010 Sweden and in 2012 Denmark used negative interest rates to stem hot money flows into their economies. In 2014 the European Central Bank (ECB) instituted a negative interest rate that only applied to bank deposits intended to prevent the Eurozone from falling into a deflationary spiral. Theoretically, targeting interest rates below zero will reduce the costs to borrow for companies and households, driving demand for loans and incentivizing investment and consumer spending. Retail banks may choose to internalize the costs associated with negative interest rates by paying them, which will negatively impact profits, rather than passing the costs to small depositors for fear that otherwise they will move their deposits into cash. Though fears that bank customers and banks would move all their money holdings into cash (or M1) did not materialize, there is some evidence to suggest that negative interest rates in Europe cut down interbank loans. Read more: Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/negative-interest-rate-policy-nirp.asp#ixzz3ybyEE1ma Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook --------- Macroeconomics - The Consumer Price Index & Inflation Inflation Inflation is defined as an increase in the overall price level. Please note that inflation does not apply to the price level of just one good, but rather to how prices are doing overall. A consumer facing inflation that occurs at the rate of 10% per year will able to buy 10% less goods at the end of the year if his or her income stays the same. Inflation can also be defined as a decline in the real purchasing power of the applicable currency. Consumer Price Index (CPI) The CPI represents prices paid by consumers (or households). Prices for a basket of goods are compiled for a certain base period. Price data for the same basket of goods is then collected on a monthly basis. This data is used to compare the prices for a particular month with the prices from a different time period. Example: The inflation rate is computed by subtracting the CPI of last year's prices from the CPI value for this year, dividing that difference by last year's CPI value and then multiplying by 100. So if the value of the price index for the current year is equal to 165, and last year's value was 150, the rate would be calculated as: Inflation rate = (165 - 150)/150 X100= 10 CPI Sources of Bias The CPI is not a perfect measure of inflation. Sources of bias include: ·Quality adjustments - quality of many goods (e.g., cars, computers, and televisions) goes up every year. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics is now making adjustments for quality improvements, some price increases may reflect quality adjustments that are still counted entirely as inflation. ·New goods - new goods may be introduced that will be hard to compare to older substitutes. ·Substitution - if the price goes up for one good, consumers may substitute another good that provides similar utility. A common example is beef vs. pork. If the price goes up, and the price of pork stays the same, consumers might easily switch to pork. Although the CPI will go higher due to the price increase in beef, many consumers may not be worse off. Also, when prices go up, consumers may effectively not pay the higher prices by switching to discount stores. The CPI surveys do not check to see if consumers are substituting discount or outlet stores. Read more: The Consumer Price Index & Inflation - CFA Level 1 | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/exam-guide/cfa-level-1/macroeconomics/consumer-price-index.asp#ixzz3ycdLQHk4 Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook ---------------------------------------- Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:59pm EST Related: Japan TOKYO | By Leika Kihara A line of waiting customers are reflected in a window as an employee counts money at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ foreign currency exchange in Tokyo October 10, 2008. Reuters/Yuriko Nakao The Bank of Japan ramped up its aggressive stimulus campaign on Friday, adding negative interest rates on central bank deposits to its massive asset-buying program, stunning financial markets that expected no action or a moderate increase in asset purchases. The central bank said the move was aimed at forestalling the risk of global financial turbulence hurting business confidence and reviving the "deflationary mindset" it is striving to wipe out with aggressive money printing. Asian shares jumped and the yen fell across the board and sovereign bonds rallied after the BOJ said it would charge banks for excess reserves parked with the institution, an aggressive policy pioneered by the European Central Bank. The BOJ maintained its pledge to expand base money at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($675 billion) via aggressive purchases of government bonds and risky assets conducted under its quantitative and qualitative easing (QQE) program. But in a narrow 5-4 vote, it also decided to charge a 0.1 percent interest to current accounts that financial institutions hold with the central bank. "The BOJ will cut the interest rate further into negative territory if judged as necessary," the bank said in a statement announcing the decision. Markets have been split on whether the central bank would ease policy as slumping oil costs and soft consumer spending have ground inflation to a halt, knocking price growth further away from the BOJ's ambitious 2 percent target. In a quarterly review of its forecasts released on Friday, the BOJ cut its core consumer inflation forecast for the coming fiscal year beginning in April to 0.8 percent from 1.4 percent projected three months ago. However, it expects consumer inflation to accelerate to 1.8 percent in the fiscal year ending in March 2018, taking into account the effect of Friday's measures. The decision came in the wake of data that showed household spending and output slumped in December, underscoring the fragile nature of Japan's recovery. Consumer inflation was just 0.1 percent in the year to December, invigorating expectations that the BOJ would eventually have to deliver further stimulus. Many BOJ policymakers have been wary of using their diminishing policy tools to counter what they see as factors beyond their control, such as volatile financial markets and China's economic slowdown. But pessimists on the BOJ board have worried that slumping Tokyo stocks may discourage firms from boosting capital expenditure, threatening the positive momentum the BOJ is trying to create with its heavy money printing. (Story refiles to correct spelling of bank in opening paragraph) (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Eric Meijer) =========================== MEDIA RELEASE 5/2016 27 January 2016 Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time) CPI December quarter 2015 rises 0.4 per cent The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4 per cent in the December quarter 2015, following a rise of 0.5 per cent in the September quarter 2015. The most significant price rises this quarter were in tobacco (+7.4 per cent), domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+5.9 per cent) and international holiday travel and accommodation (+2.4 per cent). These rises were partially offset by falls in automotive fuel (–5.7 per cent), telecommunication equipment and services (–2.4 per cent) and fruit (–2.6 per cent). The increase of 0.1 per cent for the housing group is the weakest movement since March quarter 1998 as price rises for rents (+0.2 per cent) and new dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+0.1 per cent) have been subdued through the quarter. The 0.1 per cent rise for new dwellings purchase by owner occupiers is the weakest movement since March quarter 2014. The CPI rose 1.7 per cent through the year to the December quarter 2015, following a rise of 1.5 per cent through the year to the September quarter 2015. Further information is available in Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0) available from the ABS website: www.abs.gov.au Media note: When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source. Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070. This issue incorporates a feature article titled "Australian Dietary Guidelines Price Indexes". The article is available in Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0) available from the ABS website: www.abs.gov.au ================== The Federal Reserve started raising official interest rates in December. But in the stress tests that large U.S. banks have to undergo, the central bank is hypothesizing that short-term Treasury yields could drop below zero. The European Central Bank and, since Friday, the Bank of Japan are trying it with policy benchmarks. Though negative U.S. interest rates are for now only in the Fed’s worst-case scenario, they are becoming a plausible downturn assumption.

The stress tests are required each year under the Dodd-Frank Act, and the 2016 parameters for big financial institutions were announced last week. They come in “baseline,” “adverse” and “severely adverse” flavors. The last is supposed to represent a severe global recession, and that’s where the Fed has told banks to model negative yields on short-term Treasury securities – emphasizing that it’s a hypothetical scenario, not a forecast.

Yet it’s no longer looking outlandish. There’s plenty for now to keep the Fed on a gradual path toward higher rates, including healthy U.S. employment and relatively steady growth. Even the uninspiring first estimate for GDP last quarter, which indicated a 0.7 percent annualized pace, still showed year-on-year expansion of 1.8 percent.

There are deepening wrinkles, though. Global market volatility should matter to the Fed only to the extent it reflects or causes real economic trouble, but the flickering of screens in real time may loom larger than that psychologically. Another concern is that actions like Japan’s decision to set a negative rate add to the reasons for the dollar to strengthen, potentially making U.S. exporters less competitive.

Either way, another downturn will eventually come to the United States, and the option of going negative may appeal to the Fed on policy grounds, whether or not Treasury yields are below zero. If Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues haven’t managed to raise rates much by then, there may not be much juice in cutting official rates only to zero.

Yellen in November told a House of Representatives committee that if the economy took a turn for the worse, “potentially anything – including negative interest rates – would be on the table.” If the ECB, the BOJ and others have shown by then that charging depositors is even marginally effective, negative rates could shift from the severely adverse scenario into the Fed’s regular toolkit.

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Jan. 28 published the scenarios for annual so-called stress tests required of large U.S. banks under the Dodd-Frank Act.

In the Fed’s Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review scenarios, the worst of the three cases, dubbed “severely adverse,” represents a severe global recession, corporate financial stress and negative yields for short-term Treasury securities.

The Bank of Japan unexpectedly cut a benchmark interest rate below zero on Jan. 29, surprising investors with another bold move to stimulate the economy.


Woman who predicted 9/11 made a grim prediction for 2016

I am going to predict total devastation of ISLAM-abad by 2016, it will be ruled by ISIS Administrator while Baba Vanga...

Posted by Saqlain Naqvi on Thursday, 28 January 2016
By News Desk Published: January 26, 2016 1,132 SHARES Share Tweet Email A blind mystic who ‘foresaw’ the 9/11 terror attacks on the US and the Boxing Day Tsunami had also prophesied that Europe would be destroyed in 2016. PHOTO: AFP Bulgarian peasant Baba Vanga had claimed a vision came to her showing Europe bleak and desolate in 2016 following a series of catastrophes which shook the continent. The blind seer, who has been credited with an 85 per cent success rate by her followers, predicted that the population of Europe will diminish to zero by 2025 as Muslim invaders, believed by some to be Islamic State (ISIS), will move in to conquer the EU by 2043. London, Paris dismiss Islamic State video as EU police warn of more attacks Vanga had also predicted that in 2018, China will become the first super power and a space probe will find “a new form of energy” on Venus. In 1989, while predicting the attacks on the Twin towers in the United States Vanga said, “Horror, horror, the American brethren will fall after being attacked by the steel birds. The wolves will be howling in a bush, and innocent blood will be gushing.” Predicting the 2004 Tsunami she had said, “A big wave will cover a large coast with people and villages where everything disappears under water.” Czech leader says Muslim integration ‘practically impossible’ in Europe Moreover, Vanga had also predicted that the “great Islamic war” would begin in Syria concluding in complete control of Rome in 2043. It was in 1930s, Vanga predicted the beginning of World War II. The mystic was even visited by King Boris III and Adolf Hitler. Vanga lost her eyesight after she was swept away by a mighty tornado, and had been making predictions since the age of 16. Baba Vanga had further predicted: China will be a world power by 2018 The ice caps will be melted by 2045 The US will launch an attack on Muslim-held Europe, using a climate-based ‘instant freezing’ weapon The Earth will be uninhabitable by 2341 By 4674 humanity will have totally assimilated with aliens 5079 the universe will end This article originally appeared on Express. Baba Vanga had predicted: Europe bleak and desolate in 2016 following a series of catastrophes which shook the continent. China will be a world power by 2018. Vanga had also predicted that in 2018, China will become the first super power and a space probe will find “a new form of energy” on Venus. population of Europe will diminish to zero by 2025 as Muslim invaders, believed by some to be Islamic State (ISIS), will move in to conquer the EU by 2043. Vanga had also predicted that the “great Islamic war” would begin in Syria concluding in complete control of Rome in 2043.The ice caps will be melted by 2045. The US will launch an attack on Muslim-held Europe, using a climate-based ‘instant freezing’ weapon The Earth will be uninhabitable by 2341 By 4674 humanity will have totally assimilated with aliens 5079 the universe will end

Pakistan one of top 3 in Chevron’s portfolio

By Kazim Alam Published: January 28, 2016 98 SHARES Share Tweet Email Company official says Rs2 billion to be injected into country’s business. PHOTO: AL-ATAA MAGAZINE Company official says Rs2 billion to be injected into country’s business. PHOTO: AL-ATAA MAGAZINE Company official says Rs2 billion to be injected into country’s business. PHOTO: AL-ATAA MAGAZINE Company official says Rs2 billion to be injected into country’s business. PHOTO: FILE. KARACHI: Pakistan is one of the top three markets in Chevron’s worldwide lubricants portfolio based on its high profit margins, a company official said on Wednesday. Addressing a press conference, Chevron Pakistan Lubricants Chairman Muhammad Najam Shamsuddin said the company will make an equity investment of over Rs2 billion from 2016 to 2018 to upgrade its infrastructure in the country. Book building: Hi-Tech Lubricants raises Rs1.35 billion Chevron Pakistan Lubricants is an indirect subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, which is the world’s fourth largest integrated energy company. The equity investment will be used in upgrading and expanding its lubricants blending plant in the West Wharf area of Karachi as well as other facilities across Pakistan. “Some people thought Chevron would exit the lubricants industry once it divested its fuel business. Chevron isn’t going anywhere. We are scaling up our investments instead,” Shamsuddin said. US-based Chevron exited its fuel retail and storage business in Pakistan recently by selling it to Total Parco Pakistan. Chevron Pakistan Lubricants trades under the Caltex brand in Pakistan and markets its lubricants products in the country under the Havoline and Delo brands. IPO: Hi-Tech Lubricants to offer 7.25m shares to public It is one of the major players in Pakistan’s lubricants industry and controls a share of roughly 24%, according to Shamsuddin. Other major players include Shell, ZIC, Total and PSO. The company will use the new investment to increase its production by over 36% — i.e. from current 55 million litres per annum to 75 million litres per annum. “We see high growth prospects in Pakistan,” he added. Lubricants are made by mixing additives with base oil. While some companies import base oil, others buy it from local refineries. Additives, on the other hand, are always imported. Some companies import lubricants in the finished form while others operate their own plants to manufacture lubricants locally, including Chevron Pakistan Lubricants. The company established a chain of 65 oil change facilities across Pakistan during the last 18 months as it no longer operates petrol pumps of its own. “We plan to have up to 150 such facilities by the end of 2017,” he said. Although he refused to divulge the company’s financials citing its status of a privately held entity, Shamsuddin said last year’s gross profit was Rs3 billion. This Pakistani bootstrapped his company all the way to IPO Another major player in the lubricants market – Hi-Tech Lubricants that produces ZIC – is in the process of the initial public offering (IPO). Its gross profit for the last fiscal year amounted to Rs1.3 billion, which is less than half of the gross profit posted by Chevron Pakistan Lubricants. “We don’t plan to go for an IPO right now,” he noted. Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2016.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Insurers face $515m summer damage bill

Print Email Facebook Twitter More Insurers face $515m summer damage bill By Thuy Ong Updated 15 Jan 2016, 4:35pm Images of tornado devastation from Sydney's Kurnell PHOTO: The tornado that ripped through the Sydney suburb of Kurnell is one of many expensive natural disasters so far this summer. (702 ABC Sydney: Corey Hague) MAP: Australia Insurance claims have exceeded $515 million so far this summer and are likely to jump further as the country continues to grapple with bushfires and severe storms. Key points $202 million from 4,282 claims from the Sydney tornado and storm $170 million from 1,991 claims in the South Australia Pinery bushfires $86 million from 482 claims in the Great Ocean Road bushfires $57 million from 616 claims in the Yarloop bushfires in Western Australia The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said the figure is made up from four catastrophes, including three major bushfires in Pinery in South Australia, Victoria's Great Ocean Road and in Yarloop in Western Australia, and from the Sydney storm and tornado in December. "Insurers were expecting this to be a fairly dire summer, all predictions were for a heightened bushfire risk in exactly the areas that have suffered bushfires, and this is still only mid-summer," said Campbell Fuller, general manager of communications for the ICA. "It's likely that we will see further national disasters." Around $1.3 million have been paid out each day, according to the ICA, for repairs, rebuilding and as monetary assistance. The ICA said the $515 million figure is steep, but claims are being prioritised to those most in need. "There is within that some constraints, in many areas of course it's difficult to get into areas while bushfires are still raging or while those initial clean up operations are taking place," Mr Fuller said. "We can't predict how far it will go, we are still waiting for claims to flow through from many of these areas and these are initial figures. "We expect, in a number of these cases, these figures will continue to grow," he said. From other news sites: The Sydney Morning Herald: If lightning strikes today, is your business toast? The Australian: Summer natural catastrophe losses pass $500m Powered byPowered by Bing Find out more about these links Topics: insurance, storm-disaster, bushfire, australia First posted 15 Jan 2016, 4:32pm Print Email Facebook Twitter More

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New York travel ban lifted, Washington at standstill after storm

Sun Jan 24, 2016 | 1:59 PM EST 9:55 AM EST | 00:48 The big dig out begins By Frank McGurty and Ian Simpson NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York lifted a travel ban and mass transit started getting back to normal on Sunday after a record-setting blizzard in the U.S. Northeast, but Washington remained at a standstill following storms that killed at least 19 people across the country. The blizzard was the second-biggest snowstorm in New York City history, with 26.8 inches (68 cm) of snow in Central Park by midnight on Saturday, just shy of the record 26.9 inches (68 cm) set in 2006, the National Weather Service said. Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia on Saturday. One person died in Maryland and three in New York while shoveling snow. Two died of hypothermia in Virginia, officials said. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday would be a major cleanup day. He urged residents to stay off streets so city crews could clear roads. “The snow pile is going to be with us for a while, but I think we'll be in good shape in the next 24 hours," he said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous." After the storm moved out into the Atlantic Ocean, much of the Northeast was expected to see a mix of sun and clouds on Sunday with temperatures just above freezing. New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo lifted a travel ban on New York City-area roads and on Long Island at 7 a.m. (1200 GMT) on Sunday. A state of emergency declared by Cuomo was still in place. Most bus and subway services operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority were up and running again by 9 a.m. (1400 GMT), officials said. The agency was working on restoring full service on Sunday. The Metro-North rail line, which serves suburbs north and east of New York City, expected to have commuter train service running into and out of New York by 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Sunday. A spokeswoman for the New York Stock Exchange said the market planned to open as usual on Monday. City schools also were set to open on Monday. The New York Sanitation Department had plowed all streets at least once, and was focusing on Sunday on secondary and side streets, the mayor's office said in a statement. The city was deploying more than 2,300 pieces of snow-clearing equipment and keeping sanitation workers on 12-hour shifts, it said. RECORDS SET The National Weather Service said 17.8 inches (45.2 cm) fell in Washington, and Baltimore-Washington International Airport notched a record 29.2 inches (74.2 cm). The deepest regional total was 42 inches (106.7 cm) at Glengarry, West Virginia. Peter Hoeppe, head of reinsurer Munich Re's Geo Risks research unit, said in a statement that it was too early to estimate possible losses from the storm. Washington was a dazzling white under a bright sun, and walkers, sledders, some cars and the occasional cross-country skier were out on Sunday. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a call for 4,000 people to help dig the city out, above the 2,000 volunteers already signed up. The House of Representatives canceled its voting until Feb. 1. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority had suspended operations through Sunday. Public schools were closed on Monday across much of the Washington and Baltimore region, with some shuttered through Tuesday. One Washington food store, Broad Branch Market, opened with a handful of employees, and was trying to organize volunteers to shovel the sidewalks of the elderly and others who needed help. “I have a lot of people on the list (who want shoveling) but I have yet to have any kids sign up to work today,” said the owner, Tracy Stannard. The market is out of firewood, snowmelt chemical and bread - but is baking baguettes, she said. A snow plow stuck on a nearby street late on Saturday was still there on Sunday. At Dupont Circle, hundreds of people gathered to pelt each other with snowballs. Jomel Nichols, a tourist from Kansas City, Missouri, accompanying three exchange students and her daughter, was plastered with snow. "They all turned on me, as teenagers will do," she told Reuters Television. FLIGHTS CANCELED About 3,500 flights were canceled on Sunday, and 700 were called off for Monday, according to aviation website FlightAware.com. Among New York-area airports, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia were open, with limited flight activity expected on Sunday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said. About 150,000 customers in North Carolina and 90,000 in New Jersey lost electricity during the storm. More than 20,000 residential and business customers in New Jersey remained without power on Sunday, mostly along the Jersey Shore, which was hit with major flooding.. In North Carolina, about 4,000 Duke Energy customers had no power on Sunday, mostly in the eastern part of the state. On Sunday, moderate coastal flooding was still a concern in the Jersey Shore's Atlantic County, said Linda Gilmore, a county public information officer. The storm developed along the Gulf Coast when warm, moist air from the Atlantic Ocean collided with cold air to form the massive winter system, meteorologists said. (Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert, David Gaffen and Susan Cornwell; Writing by Mary Milliken and Grant McCool; Editing by Andrew Bolton and Jonathan Oatis)

Federal agency: Magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit southern Alaska

Jan. 24, 2016 6:57 AM ET Letter of Invitation: I would be available to answer any queries regarding best suburbs to integrate socially, just to let you know 21 suburbs of South Australia which are red-flagged by Australian banks. I am happy to provide detail answers to any questions with reference to Property Investment, Subdivision, Development, Buying/ Selling Residential, Commercial, Rural Properties and Businesses. I am available in person (Tue/Thu at 1289 South Rd, St. Marys, SA 5042 12 to 5 p.m) or on cell to answer any questions, and concerns you have to decide about your Real Estate. (Cell: 0431 138 537, Email: Saqlain@Dukesrealestate.com) Click here to invest in South Australian Residential Commercial, Rural Properties, Schools & Businesses. I sell land on this Earth for as cheap as 10 cents/ Sq.M to a price equivalent to price of 2 Aussie Mangoes/ Sq.M. I hope tomorrow I will be selling and leasing Moon's Surface. (Earth is rising over the Moon's Surface) Source: https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/photos/a.899877783394135.1073741829.899009183480995/920077631374150/?l=734b9eef72 Federal agency: Magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit southern Alaska THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit southern Alaska early Sunday morning, awakening residents and shaking buildings in this earthquake-prone region. The earthquake struck about 1:30 a.m. Alaska time and was centered 53 miles east of Anchor Point and 160 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In its initial report, the agency had classified the earthquake as a magnitude-7.1 event. The earthquake was widely felt by residents of Anchorage, and there are reports of scattered power outages from the Matanuska Electric Association and Chugach Electric in the Anchorage area. But the Anchorage and Valdez police departments say they have not received any reports of injury or significant damage. Anchorage resident Ron Barta says his house shook about 1:34 a.m. when the earthquake hit. Barta, 55, says the pictures on the walls started moving, but there was no damage to his house and no one was hurt. "I was sitting here with the dogs getting ready to go to bed about 1:34 local time. ... I felt a little rumble that didn't quit for about 30 to 45 seconds. It felt like the house moved," said Barta, who is married to an Associated Press reporter. The violent shaking woke up Associated Press reporter Mark Thiessen, who had been asleep for about two hours when then quake struck. "I remember the bed swaying back and forth, and loud noises, enough to wake me up even after taking sleeping pills," said Thiessen, 53. "My husband came into the bedroom forcefully saying, 'Get up! Get up!' " he said. "But I was already awake, trying to figure out what was happening." Barta, who has lived in Anchorage for about 10 years, says Alaskans on social media say the earthquake woke them up. People were saying on social media that the earthquake "was the biggest I ever felt as long as I have lived here," Barta said. One Twitter user wrote: "Everyone in Anchorage is awake and on Twitter right? Biggest longest #earthquake of my entire life. Family is all hanging in our bed now." A tsunami is not expected as a result of the earthquake, the National Weather Service said. ___ Associated Press writer Tarek Hamada in Phoenix contributed to this report.

What Should Greece Do? Leave the eurozone and return to the drachma

Interesting take on Greek debt by Hudson. He says there is no legal mechanism for eliminating government debt. He also says that the Greeks did not receive the bail out dosh - French and German banks did - like with the Irish bailout. He also says that under US Law making loans which the lender knows cannot be repaid is fraud. http://michael-hudson.com/2015/07/why-greeces-debt-is-illegal/ Quote: HUDSON: The United States and Europe have a long body of law going back hundreds of years to deal with private sector bankruptcy. Individuals have bankruptcy laws to free themselves from debt. Corporations go broke all the time, they go to court, and debts are written down. But government debts are something different. There is a deliberate anarchy that’s been imposed, especially since World War II, to prevent a discussion of governments writing down debt. The idea is that if the world’s bondholders – and basically, we’re talking about the 1 percent – if the 1 percent can stop any court form writing down this, then there’s anarchy if a government says it can’t pay. It’s obvious that a lot of governments can’t pay, above all Greece. Normally, governments have been able to renegotiate debts with bondholders. There’s a market in government bonds. By 2010-12 the marketplace had priced down Greek government bonds to about 30 cents on the dollar. That means that the markets believed that maybe Greece could pay a third of its bonded debt, not more. But central banks today have something else in mind besides writing down debts. It’s not really economic, and it’s not really financial. It’s political. If you look at how the European Union has been organized, it doesn’t have any common governing organization. There’s no real parliament able to set European-wide tax rules, regulatory rules or anything else. There’s only one European organization that can set policy, and that’s the European Central Bank. And the European Central Bank, like central banks everywhere, are run by the commercial banks. And in Europe they’re run by the ultra-right wing. So we’re talking about a right-wing extremist policy, and they believe essentially in privatization giveaways. So what’s at issue isn’t really whether or not Greece can pay the debts or not. Everybody knows that it can’t. Yesterday U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew came out and said that Greece needs a writedown, it can’t pay the debt. A week ago the International Monetary Fund said that it will not make any more loans with the European Central Bank to Greece, because it can’t pay. Everybody realizes it can’t pay. But the European Central Bank has taken what is very nearly a fascist position. It also knows that Greece can’t earn the money to pay that debt. What it can do is sell off its islands, it can sell the Parthenon. It can sell its land. It can sell its gas rights in the Aegean. It can sell its radio stations and television stations. It can sell its roads to people the EU approves. For comparison, imagine that all of a sudden there was a financial crisis in America, and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey or Mayor Rahm of Chicagowere put in charge of selling off the public domain. They’d sell to their cronies. They’d sell to their insiders. That’s basically what the European Central Bank has told Greece to do. Two years ago, the right-wing parties that ran Greece agreed to privatize their gas rights. Half of the privatization that was scheduled was supposed to be the gas pipeline. The largest bidder was Gazprom of Russia. But the ECB said no. Operating on behalf of NATO and the New Cold War, they told Greece to sell to their appointees at a lower price. Greece said, wait a minute. You’re telling us to sell off the public domain, to privatize to people who are going to charge more to use the roads, charge more for public health, charge for the islands, and drain us. You want us to sell to the crooks that the Greek people have just thrown out? They knew Greek politicians have accused the ECB of backing the most anti-democratic individuals. Quite frankly, they’re gangsters. From the beginning, Syriza’s Varoufakis and Tsipras saw that the European Central Bank was operating with its own agenda. Even the IMF said that the ECB had to write down the debt that Greece owed it. But instead, the European Central Bank said, “We’re in control. We insist that you do exactly what the previous parties were going to do” – the parties that were voted out of power in January. “You must sell off your land and privatize, and basically wipe out a big chunk of your pensions. You need 30 percent of your population to emigrate within two years. You have to create a permanent austerity crisis. If you don’t do this and agree to it, we’re going to wreck your banks and cause chaos.” ..... PERIES: So Michael, earlier you were calling the debt that Greece has an odious debt. Describe what that is, and explain the mechanism that you have derived that could possibly deal with the debt crisis. HUDSON: The term odious debt is a legal term. It was invented earlier in the century, almost 100 years ago, for debts that are basically wrong, or ones that are taken on by a non-democratic government in the name of the people, but paid to themselves and their backers. Then they try to shift this debt onto a country’s taxpayers. Under international law such debts don’t have to be paid. That’s what happened in Greece. The loans made to Greece by the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank were not really made to Greece. Greece was only a vehicle for them to pay bondholders, who made a killing. Many bondholders had bought Greek bonds for 30 cents on the dollar, and ended up getting paid 100 cents on the dollar. This made tens of billions of dollars for speculators and insiders. Then the European Central Bank said, “Just like we made Ireland’s government and Irish taxpayers pay for the crooked debts by the Irish banks to bondholders, we’re going to make you, the Greek taxpayers pay.” One of the principles of odious debt is similar to what’s called fraudulent conveyance in the United States. Under U.S. law if somebody makes a loan to another person, or a company (especially) but knows that the company can’t pay, it’s a fraudulent loan. Suppose that you see somebody who owns a home – a widow who has inherited a house, but doesn’t have much money. Suppose the home is worth, say, a few hundred thousand dollars. Suppose you lend her maybe $1000 to help her buy groceries. And then all of a sudden you say, well, it’s collateralized by the house. And then, before she gets her next welfare check to pay it back, you demand payment. She can’t pay. So then you try to grab the house. That’s considered a fraudulent debt, because the lender had no idea how the creditor could repay in the normal course of business. During the 1980s, a lot of corporations in America were taken over by high-interest junk bonds. People would borrow a lot of money, take over the company, and empty out the pension funds. They’d sell off the parts and break them up. And the companies tried to protect themselves by suing under the law of fraudulent conveyance. This is much what has been done to Greece. The European Central Bank says, “We will lend you more money. We know that you can’t pay, and we’re not even going to discuss whether you pay or not. We’re going to lend you money, and if you don’t do as we say, we’re going to smash all your banks. We’re going to stop the bank internet payment. We’re going to stop supplying you with currency, and we’re going to drive you bankrupt if you don’t agree to sell off your public domain.” That’s what we’ve just discussed in the previous segment. This is illegal under the odious debt law. So finally the Greek ruling party, Syriza, is preparing a legal case to go to the European court of justice and claim that this is an odious debt. We’re not going to go to the IMF, because that’s a kangaroo court. The IMF people are tunnel-visioned doctrinaire people who are trained simply to calculate how much a country has to pay. If it can’t pay, they come in and smash and grab. .... The European Central Bank and the IMF are not run by economists, but by lawyers. Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, was an anti-labor lawyer. She worked for firms to smash up labor. That’s the job of the IMF. It’s not there to help countries to balance their payments deficit. It’s job is to strip away their pensions, cut their wages, and make them more “competitive” under the pretense that any country can pay its debt if it only will reduce its wages and living standards by enough. That’s an odious concept. That’s the right-wing concept, and it’s effect is downright evil. That’s what finally the Greeks are coming out and saying. The way the financial system is structured now is anti-human, against human rights, against national sovereignty. It’s pretty much what in the vernacular is called evil.

Urban development in Australia comprises much less than 1 % of the land area.

Access to land at root of soaring house prices * Alan Moran * From: Herald Sun * March 04, 2011 12:00AM Posted Image Looking for land: Planning procedures are barriers to new housing development. Source: News Limited IN 2004, a report by the Commonwealth's normally reliable Productivity Commission (PC) completely misread the causes of high house prices. It failed to recognise that government planning processes had boosted house prices by starving the market of land for urban development. The PC instead blamed interest rates. Since then house prices have defied gravity even though interest rates have gone up and down. A new study by the PC into planning and zoning concludes that government regulation of land availability is the cause of Australia's high house prices. It demonstrates how planning procedures are barriers to new housing development. "Objectives overload" is how the PC describes why all Australian states suffer from excessively high house prices caused by government squeezing land supply. As well as unlocking land for housing, planning aims to promote environmental, social, safety, waste management and a host of other goals. As a result, the PC's new study shows that even after receiving in-principle approval to build, "in greenfield areas . . . as many as 10 years may pass between the time a developable parcel of land is assembled and the subdivision of that land is completed". Over the past 40 years, town planning has morphed from facilitating urban expansion into preventing it. Instead of supporting consumers' requirements by identifying what is needed in terms of trunk roads, mainline water and sewerage facilities etc, planning now seeks to cannibalise urban development in directions preferred by the planners themselves and by politicians. The result is increased costs that are paid for by new house buyers. One rationalisation for planning controls over the location of new housing is that development involves costs to governments. Nowadays, however, government costs in new urban expansions are largely confined to trunk roads and schools. These costs are dwarfed by those the new home buyer pays in land development, local roads, water and sewerage facilities, electricity and telecommunications, etc. Yet, the government costs, which frequently carry excessive charges, often dictate planning and zoning approvals. The PC demonstrates that using planning regulations to prevent "urban sprawl" is not justified for Australia. Unlike densely populated Hong Kong, one of the few jurisdictions with higher house prices than Australia, urban development in this country comprises much less than 1 per cent of the land area. Unfortunately, there are pressures to intensify "objectives overload" in the planning system. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) with its intrinsically heavy-handed bureaucratic procedures has got involved. COAG's chief bureaucrat Terry Moran has called for "co-ordinated infrastructure, transport and land use plans, clearly identified priorities for future government investment and policy effort, and to enhanced collaboration between all three levels of government". By adding new layers of costs and delays that approach would further gum-up the process. At one time, entrepreneurs like Alan Bond simply bought scrubland close to the city, built local roads and subdivided land with little input from government. At present day prices, such ready-to-build upon blocks would cost $70,000. That's a far cry from the $200,000-plus slug for new buyers looking to build on the outskirts of Melbourne, let alone the $350,000 required for Sydney. Alan Moran is the Director, Deregulation at the Institute of Public Affairs. ======================================================== 150 years of mining to end as Rio Tinto closes Blair Athol mine in central Queensland by end of year John Mccarthy The Courier-Mail August 09, 2012 12:00AM RIO Tinto's Blair Athol mine in central Queensland will close by the end of the year. Blair Athol has had a history of stop-start mining since coal was first discovered there in 1864. Rio opened its main mine in 1984. The end came because of higher costs, the exchange rate and the "significant drop in thermal coal prices". But its end had been predicted five years ago, as the easier-to-reach coal seams began to run out. The decision follows a shutdown by BHP Billiton of one of its seven joint-venture mines in the Bowen Basin earlier this year for similar reasons. Rio said there were about 170 employees and contractors at the mine. About 30 positions will be retained after production finishes in the coal handling and preparation plant and rail load-out facilities, which will continue to be used for coal from the nearby Rio-operated Clermont Mine, as well as care and maintenance work in the lead-up to a rehabilitation program. Clermont region general manager (operations) Dawid Pretorius said the majority of employees wanted to take a redundancy. Redeployment was possible. Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/years-of-mining-to-end-as-rio-tinto-closes-blair-athol-mine-in-central-queensland-by-end-of-year/story-fndo45r1-1226446255855 ================================================ strawman - a person used as a cover for some questionable activity ≡figurehead, front man, nominal head, straw man, front ↔beguiler, cheater, deceiver, trickster, slicker, cheat - someone who leads you to believe something that is not true 2. strawman - a weak or sham argument set up to be easily refuted ------------ spruik (ˈspruːɪk) vb (intr) archaic slang Austral (Of, relating to, or coming from the south.) to speak in public (used esp of a showman or salesman) ==================

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Doctor Home Loan: When a home buyer doesn’t have finance

Source: Letter of Invitation: I would be available to answer any queries regarding best suburbs to integrate socially, just to let you know 21 suburbs of South Australia which are red-flagged by Australian banks. I am happy to provide detail answers to any questions with reference to Property Investment, Subdivision, Development, Buying/ Selling Residential, Commercial, Rural Properties and Businesses. I am available in person (Tue/Thu at 1289 South Rd, St. Marys, SA 5042 12 to 5 p.m) or on cell to answer any questions, and concerns you have to decide about your Real Estate. (Cell: 0431 138 537, Email: Saqlain@Dukesrealestate.com) Click here to invest in South Australian Residential Commercial, Rural Properties, Schools & Businesses. I sell land on this Earth for as cheap as 10 cents/ Sq.M to a price equivalent to price of 2 Aussie Mangoes/ Sq.M. I hope tomorrow I will be selling and leasing Moon's Surface. (Earth is rising over the Moon's Surface), Source: https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/photos/a.899877783394135.1073741829.899009183480995/920077631374150/?l=734b9eef72 At Mortgage Providers, we have access to lenders who can tailor package a home loan specifically for doctors and other medical professionals. These types of loans are designed to attract people who work within the medical profession with better than average interest rates and give-aways such as LMI waivers. LMI Waived with a Doctor’s loan? You may have the Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) waived if you apply under the Doctor’s Home Loan package up to 90%LVR up to $5m per individual security. Pricing discount with a Doctors Home loan? You can qualify for a special discount with a Doctor’s Home Loan package depending on the size of your loan amount. You may even qualify for a rate below 4% and have many of your home loan fees reduced or waived. Types of medical professionals who qualify for a Doctors Home Loan There are many different types of medical professionals who qualify for a Doctor’s Home Loan or medico package. This includes a doctor who is running their own medical practice, or a doctor who is employed by a hospital. Additionally, any of the following medical professionals can qualify using the Doctor Home Loan special policy: •Anaesthetist •Cardio Thoracic Surgeon •Cardiologist •Chiropractors •Clinical Pharmacologist •Cosmetic Surgeon •Dentist •Dermatologist •Ear and Throat Surgeon •Emergency Surgeon •Endocrinologist •Gastro Intestinal Surgeon •Gastroenterologist •General Practitioner •General Surgeon •Gynaecologist •Haematologist •Hepatologist •Immunologist •Nephrologist •Neuro Surgeon •Neurologist •Obstetrician •Oncologist •Ophthalmologist •Optometrist •Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon •Orthopaedic Surgeon •Orthopaedic Registrars •Otolaryngologist •Paediatric Surgeon (Neonatal/Perinatal) •Pathologist •Physiotherapist •Plastic Surgeon •Psychiatrist •Radiologist •Reconstructive Surgeon •Respiratory/Thoracic Surgeon •Rheumatologist •Surgeons •Urologist •Vascular Surgeon •Veterinarian (Vet) Do I need to be part of any professional board of practitioners? Some lenders will require you to be part of a specific medical association and/or medical board. These different types of boards can vary depending on the institution. Specific medical doctors and dental professionals can be verified on state government registers such as http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx . Other medical professionals like Physiotherapists and Chiropractors can be determined to qualify by being part of specific professional bodies or by showing their medical qualifications. If I am a Doctor, can I obtain finance to purchase a medical practice? You can obtain finance to purchase a commercial medical practice up to 95%LVR. In other words, if you were looking at purchasing a commercial office to run a doctor’s practice or surgery from, you will only need 5% deposit + costs such as stamp duty and legal fees. If you are a doctor or medical professional and looking for a Doctor Home Loan, we will be able to assist as we have multiple lenders with various packages to suit your profession and situation. Please call us today and see how we can help. ========================= When a home buyer doesn’t have finance Jan 22, 2016 Christina Zhou After nervously waiting weeks to sell your life’s biggest asset – the family home – the price is negotiated, the contracts are inked, and all you need is word that the buyer has their finance approved. But the news isn’t good. Your agent tells you a bank has rejected your buyer’s loan application. Or worse, you haven’t heard back from the buyer and the sale is about to become unconditional. That nightmare became reality for one Yarra Valley resident, when the sale of their three-bedroom house fell through because the buyer couldn’t obtain finance, and kept delaying their promise to provide a letter from the bank to break the contract. Professional driver Mark, 32, who didn’t want his surname published, said the buyer paid $1000 upfront to secure the property just before Christmas, but failed to pay the deposit after the cooling off period. The sale was made subject to finance, with a deadline set a month later because of the holiday interruption, and their house was left on the market – under contract – for weeks. “We don’t know where we sit, what happens if it comes January 22 and legally she has to buy it,” he said. “I don’t [want] to go down the road of taking her to court to get the money.” Mark said he couldn’t put a deposit down for a new house until he sold his. He eventually ended the contract after receiving a letter from the mortgage broker, and his home is now back on the market. It is a familiar story for many Melbourne vendors who sold their homes, only to find the buyer could not obtain finance. Nelson Alexander sales director Arch Staver believed more subject-to-finance sales had fallen through – particularly in the first home buyer market – at the end of last year because banks changed lending criteria and tightened the belt across the board. A buyer who received a pre-approval in the middle of last year, he said, may later find the bank had revised down that offer. Calculations from lender ME show a couple with two children and a combined annual base gross income of $115,000 were able to borrow a maximum of $619,500 – that amount has now dropped to $556,300. “In the last eight to 12 months, all the major lenders … had been working closely with the [Australian Prudential Regularity Authority] to ensure that lending standards don’t deteriorate when we have a combination of record low interest rates and house price growth,” general manager of credit risk Michael Hendricks said. “And so part of those processes have been looking at how banks take into account, and make assumptions around, living expenses and types of non-stable income – bonuses and overtime – so really making sure that we maintain a good focus on affordability.” Aussie Home Loans has recorded a 11 per cent drop in the number of loans to investors over the December quarter compared to the same period in 2014. There was a 6.5 per cent rise in first home owner loans, and a 5.7 per cent jump in purchases by owner-occupiers. Mortgage Choice spokeswoman Jessica Darnbrough said much of the tightening over the past six months had been around investment policy and pricing. Some of those changes, such as banks increasing buffers to ensure a buyer can meet the repayments comfortably, have also affected owner-occupiers, she said. Werribee-based agent James Antonio at YPA Estate Agents said two-thirds of the agency’s sales this year had been subject to finance. But usually only one or two of the conditional sales fell through a month, he said. Offers subject to finance weren’t “rock-solid deals”, he said, so it could be difficult for vendors if there were multiple offers on the table. ==========================================================

Ayatollah Khomeini invited Yasser Arafat to Tehran and handed him the keys of the Israeli embassy

Ayatollah Khomeini invited Yasser Arafat to Tehran and handed him the keys of the Israeli embassy to raise the Palestinian flag on its mast. Unlike Sunni Gulf Arabs, the Shiite Iranian government renders significant financial, military and political support to Sunni Palestinians. Ayatollah Al-Sistani has issued a final call to Iraqi politicians to pay attention to people's needs and to stop plundering Iraqi wealth. To US Gulf Arab Allies: Shiites of Iraq influence Iran and not vice versa. Most Iranian elites speak Arabic but few Iraqis speak persian. For the US Zombies and their Gulf Allies: 80% of Iraqi Arabs are Shiites. The majority of Non-Arabs e.g Kurds and Turkmen are Sunnis. Palestinians must feel guilty for attacking Iran and Hizbollah who are supporting their efforts to end the brutal Israeli occupation. The Sunni Gulf Arabs had a good relationship to Iran during the Shah when there was a large Israeli embassy with a huge MOSSAD presence. Unlike the Pro-Israeli Shah, the current Iranian government is vehemently anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian rights. The Sunni Gulf Arabs led by Saudi Wahhabis are flirting with the Israelis and forming security alliance with Israel against Shiites Iran. While ISIS is on the verge of defeat in Syria following Putin actions, the US, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia want to intervene militarily. No-US forces were deployed when ISIS was winning and threatening Baghdad. The US ground forces at this moment are there to divide Iraq. Erdogan plays a dirty role in Syria and Iraq. He is supported by Israel, NATO, US and Israel. Chicken will usually come home to roost. American-Financed Israeli Nazi Practices: Ten Facts Everyone Needs To Know About Israel shar.es/1hcC9U via @grtvnews According to Naom Chomsky, NATO is an American rapid intervention force: 'US exploiting NATO for global warfare' presstv.com//Detail/2016/0… A Very Appropriate Label: Israeli justice minister turns to police after professor calls her ‘neo-Nazi scum’ on FB rt.com/news/327407-is… View summary · Reply Retweet Like Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 15h Jews=NAZIs have/had difficulty living France: Au revoir and shalom: Jews leave France in record numbers @CNNI cnn.it/1PovqfS View summary · Reply Retweet Like Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 16h Nazi SS/IDF Rules of Engagement Were Observed: Israeli troops kill Palestinian girl presstv.com//Detail/2016/0… "A one-eyed man is king in the country of the blind Zombies":Trump opens up huge national lead presstv.com//Detail/2016/0… "The five remaining kings: one in Britain and four in a deck of cards" Is it time for the UK to become a republic? independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-n… The Highly-manipulated British Judicial System is unable to tell the world who killed Roberto Calvi found hanged in London on 18.06.1982.