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  1. Shock as All-Australian squad named

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    Nanjing Night Net

    HAWTHORN defender Josh Gibson and Western Bulldogs skipper Matthew Boyd are among the unlucky players who missed out on All-Australian squad selection yesterday.

    The 40-man squad, to be trimmed to 22 by the selectors, also did not include Chris Judd, who has been in the team for the past four years. Judd’s four-match suspension in the second half of the season plainly cost him, and there is a slight changing of the guard in the midfield spots.

    Gibson has had a fine year across half-back for the Hawks, but was overlooked for the likes of Geelong’s Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor, Sydney’s Ted Richards, West Coast’s Darren Glass and Fremantle’s Luke McPharlin for a key defensive spot.

    Among the first-time nominations are West Coast’s Nic Naitanui, Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield, Sam Jacobs, Brent Reilly and Taylor Walker, Collingwood’s Dayne Beams, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins and Lonergan, Richmond’s Ivan Maric, St Kilda’s Shaun Dempster and Sydney’s Lewis Jetta.

    For Maric, it is the climax of a wonderful resurgence as an AFL player, having crossed from Adelaide to Richmond in a trade at the end of last season.

    Geelong and Adelaide have the bulk of the squad with five players each.

    The Bulldogs, Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney and the Brisbane Lions did not get a single player in the squad of 40.

    Boyd, a two-time all-Australian and twice Bulldogs’ best and fairest, has been his steady and reliable self for the Bulldogs this year.

    But his team’s malaise appears to have dragged him down in the selectors’ eyes.

    Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich is nominated after a fine season up forward for the Dockers, and he will become the most decorated of current players if he is named in the team, as most observers expect.

    Pavlich would be receiving his seventh All-Australian guernsey, overtaking Judd and Matthew Scarlett. He has not been in the team since 2008.

    The All-Australian selection panel is Andrew Demetriou (chairman), Adrian Anderson, Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Danny Frawley, Gerard Healy, Glen Jakovich and Mark Ricciuto.

    They will announce a final team on 17 September.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


  2. It takes a real man to ask the tough ones

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    IT takes a real man to take another bloke aside and ask them the hardest question for males: ‘‘No, don’t give me that crap, are you really OK?’’
    Nanjing Night Net

    The theme of an upcoming campaign to encourage men to check on mates’ well-being is something some of us have already been doing.

    Last year, after the tragic suicide of a man whom others mourning his death had known all their lives, while I met him only a too-short year before, I saw it as my duty to not take ‘‘Yeah, I’m fine’’ for an answer.

    Half a dozen times during his wake I ‘‘poked’’ blokes I had also known for only a short time, but already good friends, and said: ‘‘No, are you really all right, and don’t bullshit me?’’

    And half a dozen times they unloaded the weight of their anger, sadness and frustration, which was rolled up in a big knot in their guts.

    Many were nurses, including intensive care legends, who deal with death every day but fight it, well, to the death.

    Yet even they, who watch families fall apart every day when their best efforts to save someone fails, could not deal properly with their mate’s decision without support.

    One little bloke, the life of any party, a little wild but a lovely guy, when asked if he was ‘‘really’’ OK, fell into my arms weeping, crying and cursing.

    Then there’s a fellow I know, who has made and lost a fortune in something at which he is a genius, seemingly unable to get himself off the booze after his marriage break-up.

    Many men, and women in this bloke’s case, tried to confront him – telling him we all loved him, that he is funny and should get back to rebuilding his life.

    None of us were doing any good, but the other day a bloke I know told me that despite the recent loss of his mum, he had taken this task on board with a vengeance.

    Rules have been put in place regarding all aspects of his life, particularly drinking, with this true mate helping him take tiny steps.

    Knowing this man and seeing the voluntary work he does, I had already thought, in the old Aussie vernacular, that he was ‘‘a decent sort of chap’’, who as a first-generation Australian from a strife-ridden part of the world knows a bit about suffering.

    Now I want to put this man on

    a pedestal. I didn’t kiss him, although I did place a hand on his shoulder to say: ‘‘You are a good man, mate.’’

    So if there’s a man in your life, fellas, who you think is a little off kilter, for heaven’s sake, back him into a corner over a quiet ale or squash and don’t take no for an answer.


  3. New media battleground challenges convention

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    Last Friday week Mitt Romney made a stupid mistake at 12.23pm before a home town crowd.”No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” he said, inadvertently or otherwise associating himself with the dark and loony fringe of his party who still believe President Barack Obama is a Manchurian candidate from Kenya or Indonesia. We know exactly when it happened because within 60 seconds of the words leaving his lips they were tweeted by a Washington Post reporter, and within four minutes of that tweet Politico had the comments online.(Politico also ran an excellent breakdown of the events that I am stealing this timing from.) By 12.41pm the segment of the speech had been loaded onto YouTube and Romney’s campaign had responded. Three minutes later, Obama issued a statement lamenting the comments.That is, at this election candidates and their staff – not to mention the journalists following them – are working to 21-minute news cycles. No wonder they look so tired.The implications of online campaigns are still becoming apparent to the parties and the reporters, not to mention the vast vulture industry that feeds on the whole circus. This year it is estimated that a billion dollars will be spent on TV ads, but it is not quite clear that they are having the impact they once would have.Either way, you can bet that the new media innovations warping the US 2012 campaign will be deployed during Australia’s next general election. Australian political consultants always closely watch American elections.At a forum held yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina – the town that has just been taken over by the Democratic National Convention – political reporter Major Garrett of the National Journal, which co-hosted the event with The Atlantic, noted that the oceans of money spent on TV ads might not have bought the attention the campaigns expected.According to a survey, people likely to vote in the upcoming election watched 20 hours of video in the past week, but half of that was either watched on DVR or direct streaming. Even more disconcerting – at least to campaign strategists and TV networks – of the 40 per cent of viewers in the key states of Florida and Ohio who watched coverage recorded on DVR or streamed, 90 per cent said they skipped the ads.Meanwhile, many of those who do watch major campaign events – such as Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech or Clint Eastwood’s debate with a stool – do so with one eye on a second screen, a laptop or handheld device.The result, says Garrett, is that we may learn by the end of this campaign that traditional advertising is not working. This could go some way to explaining some apparently contradictory polls that have come out. A Gallup poll found that only 38 per cent of respondents thought Mr Romney’s speech was good or excellent, a figure lower than the past eight acceptance speeches.Moreover, Gallop found the whole Republican Convention had very little impact on voting intentions. Nonetheless, the Huffington Post’sPollster南京夜网 found Romney had crept to within a tenth of one percentage point of Obama nationally.It is too soon to draw conclusions from new media and polling data regarding the Republican National Convention, says Twitter’s head of government, news and social innovation, Adam Sharp, but he notes spikes in approval in mentions in Twitter traffic appear to be presaging polls.It could be that parts of the electorate are bypassing advertising and making their decisions based on recommendations via social media. During the forum, Facebook’s head of policy said research showed that recommendations via social media on purchases carried far more weight with consumers than advertising, and it was likely this would be reflected in political decision-making.According to The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Rute, who addressed the forum, 40 per cent of the online traffic was now coming from social media recommendations. The campaigns are not waiting to find out and have thrown themselves into the new media.Joe Rospars, the Obama campaign’s chief digital strategist, said the Obama campaign was maintaining a presence across at least eight social media venues, including the recent Q and A the President conducted on Reddit南京夜网. He said a new smartphone app allowed supporters to become Obama organisers on the spot, looking up numbers for people to call and seek support or streets to door-knock.Sharp said analysis of Twitter traffic showed that the discussion viewers might once have had with one another as paid pundits began their “post-game” analysis of the major speeches had already spiked and ended before the speaker left the stage.Before Clint Eastwood had finished muttering at the empty stool during the Tampa convention, the President had responded via Twitter, with a picture of himself at his desk in the Oval Office with the caption “This seat is taken”.But Sharp said the scale of Twitter meant politicians who had lost immediate connections with voters as a result of growing population were now able to make direct contact with them again via Twitter.
    Nanjing Night Net

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


  4. CSIRO rejects coal seam gas claims

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    The CSIRO has rejected claims made by the coal seam gas industry in a new TV advertising campaign, and asked last week that the ads not be aired.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The commercial includes the statement: “CSIRO [and government studies] have shown that groundwater is safe with coal seam gas”.

    However, the national science body said this afternoon that this claim was not true.

    “At no time has CSIRO made such a statement, and nor do the results of CSIRO research support such a statement,” the organisation said.

    “CSIRO has stated on the public record that coal seam gas extraction is likely to pose a ‘low risk’ to groundwater quality through contamination,” it said.

    The TV commercials were produced for the coal seam gas industry body, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, which said it had “taken the CSIRO’s comments on board”.

    The ads were aired on Sunday night in Queensland where the gas industry is rapidly expanding, and are part of a campaign that reportedly cost $2.5 million to put together.

    “APPEA has created a number of ads for its latest CSG campaign that relate to economic benefit, environmental protection, energy security and technological know-how,” a spokesman for the industry body said.

    “All of our ads have been approved as factual by the independent advertising regulator. The ads we run, where we run them, and when we run them, will be determined over the months ahead. However, we have taken CSIRO’s comments on board.”

    The statement, released today by the national science body, said: “CSIRO has also indicated that groundwater levels will fall as a consequence of coal seam gas extraction. In some places this could see aquifer levels subside by tens of metres for tens of years; in others it is likely to reduce aquifer levels by several metres for several hundred years.”

    The CSIRO said it became aware of the ads last Friday and “requested for the commercial not to be aired”.

    The activist group Lock the Gate and the Greens also asked for the ads to be taken off air.

    The gas industry in Australia has maintained for years that gas drilling does not significantly affect the underground water aquifers that farmers rely on.

    More than 10,000 coal seam gas wells are planned for Queensland, to be drilled over the next decade.

    The industry is also expanding in NSW, with at least 4000 wells proposed over the coming decade.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


  5. Get back to budget basics

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    Chop and change … divvy up your pay to achieve savings goals. Illlustration: Karl HilzingerSix months ago, a couple went to financial planning group ipac for some advice. Professional people with jobs in upper management, they had a combined income in excess of $250,000. But it wasn’t self-managed super or how their investments were going that was on their minds.
    Nanjing Night Net

    ”They had built up $200,000 of debt on several credit cards,” the national manager for advice strategy at ipac, John Dani, says.

    It was time to go back to basics – which, in some ways, is the message of the inaugural MoneySmart Week, which began on Sunday.

    ”We see a lot of people earning a lot of money and spending more than they earn,” Dani says.

    People on much more modest incomes can, in fact, be richer, he says, because it’s not how much you earn that determines your wealth but how much you save.

    The trouble is that these days maintaining a comfortable lifestyle – at least temporarily – no longer requires good money management, Dani says. ”Easy access to debt basically means people can live it up,” he says.

    ”But it will eventually come back to bite them. And that’s what happened to this particular couple.”

    Dani recalls how, as a young man, his wages came in the form of cash and he would set aside money in separate envelopes for expenses such as rent and for spending.

    ”It was with the actual transfer of cash into these envelopes that I first started budgeting,” he says.

    That physical connection with cash also meant that he thought twice before spending.

    ”But those days are gone,” he says. ”Budgeting is under direct threat now due to easy access to debt, eftpos, online shopping and our ever-increasing expectations about lifestyle.”

    Financial planner and university lecturer Barry Lizmore, author of Take Control of Your Money, also sees rising expectations as an issue, particularly for younger Australians who have known only a growing economy.

    ”In our parents’ day, people didn’t take out high mortgages and they made do with a second-hand car,” he says. ”We used to holiday [down the coast] or in Queensland. Now we holiday overseas.”

    And people are taking on debt to fund this lifestyle, he says.

    What’s more, they take on debt under the assumption that they’ll always get a better job and that house prices, for instance, will always go up.

    How to get out of this rut? Dani says the first step is to know where your money is going now. For at least a fortnight (or your pay cycle), run everything through a single account or card so you can look at one statement to see what’s happening.

    Next, you need to decide on a purpose for your budgeting.

    Both Dani and Lizmore suggest visualising your goals. Now you can start divvying up your money.

    ”I still have those envelopes,” Dani says, ”but they’re ‘virtual’ envelopes in the form of separate accounts.”

    Automating the process is the key, he says. The money should move directly from your pay or a central account to the accounts you set up for specific purposes.

    The chief executive of Teachers Mutual Bank, Steve James, says most financial institutions will have some form of bonus saver – such as TMB’s Reward Saver – where there’s the carrot of high interest if you deposit a minimum and make no withdrawals each month (in TMB’s case, 4.75 per cent), and a stick of low interest (0.10 per cent) if you fail to maintain your discipline.

    These accounts are sometimes criticised for their low base rates, but James says you should only ever deposit what you won’t need.

    Finally, Dani says people should stop the constant use of credit cards. If you can’t cut them up, lower the limit so you’re less reliant on them and use a debit card for most of your spending.

    If you have a home-equity loan, refinance with a traditional, must-pay-every-month mortgage, he says.

    ”A home-equity loan is just an overdraft on your home,” Dani says. ”The banks talk about how a home-equity loan will help you pay your loan off quicker, but human nature works against that.”

    Tools for the task

    As part of MoneySmart Week, ASIC is offering a financial “health check” via an online questionnaire or mobile phone app. You’ll be asked about your goals, budgeting, debt, savings, investments, insurance and retirement planning, with the dial swinging to green, orange or red depending on the extent to which you have things under control.

    The online version of the tool then generates an individual report setting out an action plan for the steps you still need to take (the app saves the top five actions).

    Then there’s the MoneySmart TrackMySPEND app – for iPhone, with Android on the way – that allows you to monitor spending by category and against limits you set. Its mobile calculator app helps you do your sums on savings, investments, superannuation, loans, mortgages and the true cost of interest-free deals.

    Go to moneysmart.gov.au or your phone’s app store.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.