Monthly Archives: October 2018

George Bailey says yellow wide-brimmed floppy hat will be as iconic as baggy green

Talk of the town: George Bailey models a wide-brimmed hat at the WACA. Photo: Getty Images Steve Smith and George Bailey star as Australia beat IndiaKhawaja replaces Warner in ODI squad

George Bailey has declared the canary yellow wide-brimmed floppy hat is here to stay and believes it could even become as iconic as the baggy green in years to come.

When Bailey donned a yellow floppy hat in Tuesday’s one-dayer against India, there was no shortage of love for it on social media, as cricketers and fans made it clear they wanted to get their hands on one, more or less because players in limited-overs cricket only wear caps as opposed to the option of a baggy cap or wide-brim in the Test arena.

At a time when the importance and value of one-day cricket is being questioned, a simple hat may be the spark this dying format needs – or that is at least what Bailey thinks.

“I imagine in ten or fifteen years the coloured floppy will have the same sort of significance as the baggy green,” Bailey joked during his post-match press conference.

“We’ve been pushing for years to bring back the coloured floppy. I think there will be youngsters wanting to don the floppy and it has that sort of power. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few more boys wearing them in game two.”

The thought of an entire slips cordon of yellow floppies is one that no doubt Australuan cricket fans would love to see.

Injured Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins tweeted that he thought Bailey’s fashion was “so good” but admitted he wished it was “terry towelling”. Thoughts on George Bailey bringing back the gold floppy for the #AUSvIND series? #stylekingpic.twitter老域名/7hY18P9doE— cricket老域名备案老域名 (@CricketAus) January 11, 2016“@ahealy77: Can everyone please stop and appreciate George’s yellow floppy hat!! #AUSvIND” So good. Still wish it was terry towelling.— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) January 12, 2016

Terry towelling – the style of bucket hat worn by many cricket fans in the crowd made with a fabric that can absorb large amounts of water – was also given the tick of approval by Bailey who “absolutely” wanted to see a terry towelling revolution.

“It’s a fabric that isn’t used enough, across not just on the sporting field, but in general life,” Bailey said.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Cricket Australia’s merchandise department make the most of this latest trend. Man made things that can be seen from the moon . Pyramids, Great Wall of China, George Baileys Hat #Epic#AUSvINDpic.twitter老域名/0tO94O1c7w— Damien Fleming (@bowlologist) January 12, 2016Bring out Bailey and his floppy hat, he’ll get the job done! #AUSvIND— Adam Tomlinson (@adamtomlinson20) January 12, 2016Great to see George bring the floppy back to ODI cricket. @CricketAus#wherehasitbeen#AUSvIND— Jordan Silk (@jcsilk14) January 12, 2016Australian debutant rankings so far: 1. George Bailey’s hat 2. Scott Boland 3. Joel Paris #AUSvIND— Dan Liebke (@LiebCricket) January 12, 2016This George Bailey yellow floppy debate isn’t the first time he’s been at the centre of a fashion controversy… pic.twitter老域名/1np0cqytyS— Ben Wise (@BenWiseMelb) January 12, 2016George Bailey’s floppy hat the only highlight from the Aussies bowling. #AUSvIND— ed kavalee (@mredkavalee) January 12, 2016

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Cologne attacks: Germany to deport refugees convicted of crimes

Foreigners attacked in retaliationCologne gang has no fear, says former cop

Cologne: Germany will strip refugee status from convicted criminals and deport them from the country, in reaction to hundreds of alleged sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve among a crowd of drunk migrants in Cologne.

The country will also update its sexual assault laws, which have long been criticised for requiring evidence that women resisted or fought back when attacked.

The move came as police revealed another 100 people had come forward with claims of sexual assault or theft in an out-of-control crowd outside Cologne’s main train station on New Year’s Eve.

Police said on Tuesday they had to bring in extra prosecutors to deal with the total 653 allegations, of which more than a third were of sexual assault.

Germany is still being rocked by dissent and violence in the wake of the attacks, which have triggered new debate over its generous refugee policies.

On Monday an estimated 2000 anti-Islam protesters marched through Leipzig​, while a group of far-right extremists and football hooligans rioted in the city’s Connewitz​ district.

Police arrested 211 people after foreign restaurants were vandalised, and cars set on fire.

Marchers called for Merkel’s resignation. One retiree who joined the protest told local reporters he didn’t “want my grandchildren to live in a Sharia state”, and said he had armed his family with pepper spray in defence against Muslims.

On Tuesday two German government ministers announced in a statement they would reform the law to allow “the expulsion of criminal foreigners, a denial of refugee status if specific offences are committed, and – regardless of the current events – consistent penalties for sexual assaults”.

Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas said no one was above the law and there was “no justification and no excuse” for offences like sexual assault.

“Criminals must be consistently accountable,” he said. This approach would protect the “many refugees who are not guilty” of such offences.

“Migrants must not be placed under general suspicion,” he said. “We have to protect the many law-abiding refugees who seek safety and shelter with us.”

The new laws will make it easier to deport, or to deny refugee status to a criminal who has been found guilty of murder, assault, rape, theft or resisting arrest.

Mr Maas admitted that the country’s sexual assault laws had needed updating anyway.

“There’s no clear answer in law to how much resistance a woman has to offer for an offence to constitute rape,” he said.

He said public pressure following the Cologne assaults had played a role in getting agreement on the new laws, which will now go to cabinet and then the Bundestag, or German parliament.

Chief prosecutor Ulrich Bremer said on Tuesday Cologne police had now received 653 crime reports – 100 more than the day before – in relation to the New Year’s Eve attacks.

They had so far investigated 12 suspects, five of whom had been taken into custody, on minor charges.

All the people under investigation are migrants from North Africa – however Mr Bremer said they were suspected of theft, not sexual assault.

Cologne police have now been relieved of primary jurisdiction over the investigation, after widespread criticism of their initial handling of crime reports from the night. Separately, 32 suspects have been identified by federal police, who are responsible for train station security.

Federal police chief Holger Muench said he did not believe the attacks were a symptom of organised crime – police had not found any evidence of “closed groups organised in a hierarchy”.

Instead, the groups had arranged on social media to meet up that evening.

Mr Muench said police were investigating a link to “taharrush gamea” – an Arabic term for ‘collective’ sexual harassment of women by groups of young men, which has been highlighted as a significant social problem in Egypt.

The chairman of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, warned against generalisations connecting the New Year’s attacks with his religion, saying they were “highly dangerous”.

The drunk young men responsible were committing a grave sin against Islam, he said. He blamed an atmosphere of “incredible emotion and hysteria” for increasing Islamophobia.

On Saturday, riot police used water cannons against anti-migrant protesters in Cologne. Demonstrators headed by the anti-Islam Pegida movement threw fireworks and bottles at police, and taunted them by asking where they had been on New Year’s Eve.

Meanwhile, an Indian man in Cologne reported that he had been injured in an attack by right-wingers intent on scaring away migrants.

It was one of five attacks committed on Sunday evening against foreigners.

Police have also increased their numbers in downtown Cologne at night, stopping people and checking identity documents.

The 154 identity checks found two men from Afghanistan who were in Germany illegally, local media reported.

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What to do if you leave your money on the ATM

Colouring books can be fun, but mindfulness can’t be bought. Photo: James DaviesI call it the Vague Tax. Along with car registration, home insurance and swimming lessons for the kids, my budget requires a certain allowance for costs incurred while my mind was absent.

Not long ago, I visited an ATM to withdraw $100. I completed the transaction, put my card back in my wallet, my wallet back in my bag, then walked away … leaving the cash on the machine. I realised 10 minutes later and rushed back but it had gone.

Over the years I’ve left phones in taxis and wallets in cafes, I’ve let gift cards expire and paid fees on direct debits that bounced because I didn’t update the card details.

It’s frankly embarrassing and it adds to my sneaking suspicion that, even though I’m now 39, I’m not a real grown-up yet. Yet when I tell my friends, more often than not, they respond with a resounding “Me too!”

My friend Tim – who coined the term Vague Tax – was driving home one evening when he pulled over to let a police car pass. Instead, the cop pulled in behind him and demanded to see his licence.

“You’re driving an unregistered vehicle; that’s a $637 fine,” the cop said. “Licence please.”

Turns out, Tim’s licence had also expired. “That’s another $531 fine,” the officer said.

“Oh, I know what happened,” Tim said. “I forgot to change my address, so the reminder notice didn’t arrive.”

“Don’t tell me that, sir. That’s another $106 fine.”

Tim was forced to abandon his car on the side of the road and walk home, owing nearly $1300 to the state government.

With such an epidemic of forgetfulness sweeping Australia, or at least my Gen X cohort, it’s no wonder that adult colouring books promising “mindfulness” are so hot right now.

Only I fear if I succumbed to the craze, I would forget where I put the book, my colouring pens or pencils, and it would add to the clutter in my life. Living with my four-year-old twins and their passion for art and craft means I am not short on clutter.

And surely reducing clutter, both physical and mental, is the key to being more mindful? I’m certain that wasting money on another tchotchke​ is not going to help.

When I was growing up, no one talked about mindfulness. No one except my Buddhist mother that is, and I was embarrassed when she did. (Sorry, mum.)

Now, like fitness before it, mindfulness has become an industry. The only problem is that mindfulness is not something you can buy.

It is free if you take the time to breathe and focus on right now. It’s free if you choose to reduce busyness rather than wear it as a badge of pride. In fact, if the benefits include paying less Vague Tax, it’s better than free.

Meanwhile, if you ever realise you’ve left your money behind at an ATM, call your bank to lodge a dispute straight away. It turns out that most ATMs will swallow any unclaimed money within a few minutes, and the discrepancy will show up when the machine is balanced at the end of the day.

If no one came along immediately behind you, you stand a good chance of getting your money back.

I got my missing $100 returned to my account just in time for Christmas.

Caitlin Fitzsimmons is the editor of Money. This is a new weekly column called Mind Over Money. Twitter: @niltiac.

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Retirement calculators mislead super fund members

The online calculators on some super funds’ websites are shoddy. Photo: Erin Jonasson Some of the retirement calculators on the websites of the largest super funds are misleading fund members and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) needs to take action.

In 2005, ASIC granted super funds regulatory relief on their calculators. That meant the funds have been allowed to put calculators onto their websites without fear of running foul of the regulator so long as the assumptions are “reasonable”.

There are, however, calculators on the websites on major super funds that have not even been updated to account for the deferral in the increase in the superannuation guarantee.

When providing estimates of how long retirement savings will last, some calculators, as well as not having accurate projections of compulsory super, do not even take into account the age pension.

There are wide variations in the assumptions used for investment returns, the taxes paid on fund earnings and how future retirement dollars should be valued in today’s dollars. Some super funds exclude fees and insurance premiums from their estimates of the lump sum at retirement.

Superannuation researcher Chant West compared the seven calculators of the largest public offer funds along with the calculator provided by ASIC. Unfortunately, it does not name the funds.

Using the example of a male aged 35 with a salary $60,000, an account balance of $50,000 and compulsory super contributions only, one calculator showed a lump sum at retirement at 65 of almost $377,000.

Putting the same assumptions into the ASIC calculator showed a lump sum at retirement of $235,000, or about 40 per cent less.

Chant West says there may be a case for standardising assumptions used in retirement calculators, or at least requiring sign-off from the regulator or an actuary if different assumptions are used.

Of course, some differences will result naturally from reasonable variations in assumptions.

But how can it be allowed to stand that some super funds continue to have calculators on their websites that use the wrong figures on the legislated future changes in the compulsory super?

Those who want to get the most realistic estimate on how much they will have in retirement should go straight to ASIC’s calculator.

It is conservative in its estimates and uses realistic assumptions. It allows users to change a lot of the assumptions and try out different scenarios like making voluntary contributions and seeing how that increases the level of income in retirement.

ASIC’s calculator allows couples to estimate their joint retirement savings.

Estimating retirement savings jointly makes a big difference to basing the estimate without reference to a partner.

Most super funds’ calculators do not facilitate joint estimates.

Some of these calculators are shoddy and leaving fund members with the wrong impressions of how they are tracking for their retirements.

Perhaps some funds are guilty of more than just sloppy work. There’s a suspicion that funds with calculators showing high estimated lump sums at retirement are trying to lure new members from funds whose calculators estimate smaller lump sums.

Twitter: @jcollett_money

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Brisbane MP Teresa Gambaro electorate office landlords’ LNP links revealed

Teresa Gambaro’s office says the Brisbane MP would have preferred not to move into an electorate office with LNP links. Photo: Andrew MearesA Brisbane Liberal National Party federal MP has come under opposition fire for moving into a new taxpayer-funded electorate office owned by landlords with strong links to the party.

Member for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro moved last week into her inner-city Newstead electorate office, part-owned by a company with links to former state Liberal Party leader Terry White.

While Ms Gambaro only recently moved into the office, a lands title search revealed the Commonwealth had been paying rent for the property since March 1 last year.

A Fairfax Media investigation has revealed strong links between the 5 Kyabra Street, Newstead, building and figures with ties to the LNP in Queensland.

The strata-titled Kyabra Street building also boasted former Liberal Party heavyweight Santo Santoro as an owner, via Santoro Super Company Pty Ltd.

Santoro Consulting, Mr Santoro’s lobbying firm, operated from the second floor.

Ms Gambaro and her electorate office staff moved into suite 3.1 at the property last week, which records showed was owned by two companies, Benter Pty Ltd and Arcani Nominees Pty Ltd.

ASIC searches showed Benter Pty Ltd was a family company linked to former Queensland Liberal Party leader Terry White, while Arcani Nominees Pty Ltd was a Pellegrino family company.

An Electoral Commission of Queensland donation disclosure showed one of Arcani’s directors, Steve Pellegrino, hosted at least one LNP fundraiser at his house.

That fundraiser, in September 2011, provided the LNP with the modest amount of $1000.

A spokesman for Ms Gambaro directed queries about the selection of Kyabra Street to the Commonwealth Department of Finance.

The department was asked how many options were considered for Ms Gambaro and whether it was aware of the property’s ownership structure and whether conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise, were considered as part of the office selection process.

“The Department of Finance does not comment on its dealings with individual parliamentarians,” a department spokeswoman said in response.

“Procurement undertaken by the Department of Finance is in accordance with Commonwealth procurement rules.”

Ms Gambaro’s spokesman said the Member for Brisbane had little to do with the decision to move her electorate office to Newstead.

“The decision to move offices was necessitated by water damage and mould at the previous electorate office at Grange, which the department deemed to be a serious health and safety risk,” he said.

“Temporary accommodation was found in the government-owned offices at Waterfront Place until a suitable and more permanent location could be found. This was at no cost to the taxpayer.”

The spokesman said the process to find a suitable electorate office had been a two-year process and, in the end, Ms Gambaro’s personal choice of office had been denied.

“Ms Gambaro’s first preference was to move in to an existing electorate office in Albion, which would have come at no extra cost to the taxpayer,” he said.

“This involved extensive negotiations and lobbying, nevertheless Ms Gambaro was informed by the minister responsible at the time that the office in question was no longer available.

“The department investigated a number of alternate options and, taking into account a number of factors including access for constituents and rent, 5 Kyabra Street was deemed to be the best option available.”

Federal Queensland Labor MP Terri Butler, from the neighbouring electorate of Griffith, called for more transparency in electorate office selections.

“People have a right to be asking questions about how this transaction came about,” she said.

“It’s really important that in spending public moneys that efficiency is one of the things taken into account.

“But it’s equally important that any conflicts of interest, or possible conflicts of interest like this, be disclosed.

“In a situation like this, where there could be a conflict, there needs to be an open and transparent discussion about that possibility.

“The question is, who knew about the ownership of this property?”

Ms Butler said she was less concerned about the proximity of Mr Santoro’s business.

It is understood Labor has lodged a freedom of information request concerning the selection process of the new electorate office.

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