Category: News

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It is time to stop scandalising sport

3 years have passed since former head of ASADA Richard Ings decried the ‘blackest day in Australian sport,’ and the skies have not brightened since.

Professional sport is in a bad way in 2016. Few, if any, major sporting events are not subject to scandal and controversy these days. You have to ask: is it the sport that is going downhill, or is the media’s coverage of sport. You will find that it is both. Read more …

The Footy is No Place For Protests

Going to the MCG for a game of AFL isn’t meant to be a political experience. It’s a form of escapism for spectators after a busy week in the real world. But Friday night’s Collingwood vs Richmond game became the setting for a demonstration which quickly found itself out of place.

Members of the far-right nationalist United Patriots Front (UPF) erected a banner reading “Go Pies!”, followed by “Stop the Mosques” underneath one of the video screens in the midst of a group of Collingwood supporters. Read more …

Australians are scared of losing data, a study by Google has revealed

Are you scared of losing last week’s selfies or last year’s travel photos from your computer? Do you backup your data regularly to an external drive or the cloud?

 

If so, you’re not alone. Keeping digital memories, secure and private, appears to be the norm for almost half of the Australian population.

 

A data protection survey by Google has revealed that almost 50 per cent of Australians fear losing personal photos and videos from their electronic devices.

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Ceçi N’est Pas La Cinématographie – Introspection Through Film

[Herein lies an extract from my journal containing the notes from my interview with M. de Robespierre]

In order to better organise my thoughts, I will be jotting down the happenings of my excursion to la rive droite for my interview with this distinguished filmmaker. I’ve been flown in by the paper on immediate notice of an interview being set up with the illusive filmmaker Robert de Robespierre. The trip from Toronto to Charles de Gaulle was vehemently early and the 18$ whiskeys overzealously watered. Needless to say, the chic norman decoration and the contralto overture of the narcissistic waitress did little to improve my mood. I look around the 8 foot wide exemplar of a culinary tradition that bold fadedly refuses to adapt to a modern cosmopolitan life. The only other noticeable patron, a forlorn looking refugee from one of the art colleges in the next arrondissement over mirrors myself in a singular way; we are both currently wondering what poor life choices have led to us sharing this terrible, communal experience. She ordered the filet de saumon sauvage 3/4 of an hour ago. I realise that I have more in common with her unavailing plate than I do with her. All of this I notice in order to put off fixing my attention on the matter before me.

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“death tax” on the cards while private companies earning over $200 million pay none

With the release of the budget by the Coalition just over a month away, possible inclusion of the controversial policy of collecting student debts from the dead, as well as increasing student fees could find themselves to be on the table in an attempt to achieve savings.

Currently HECS debts of deceased estates worth more than $100,000 are written off by the government, recognising that these sums will never be recovered. If however such policy was to be implemented, it would lead to a potential $800 million in savings. This is something Education Minister Simon Birmnigham would very much welcome, due to the pressure the education sector is under to produce some substantial savings.

Although other options are under consideration to gather funds, a positive in recovering HECS debt from deceased individuals is that it would be mostly affecting wealthy households, ensuring that low-income graduates would not be affected due to the $100,000 basis.

While such a policy would see a small contribution to the deficit in the short-term, it would highly impact on the debt that the government still had outstanding in the long-term, meaning that future budgets and economic activity would benefit.

Additionally there is still the matter of a 20% cut in funding and increasing student fees without full deregulation of the system, options that still remain official government policy, and will apply with other reforms the government decide to adopt.

Such savings are important for the government in order for the budget to eventually come back into surplus, and furthermore to provide resources to fund other projects it has set on it’s agenda. What goes against such a death tax and its need to create savings is the fact that almost a third of large private companies paid no tax in the 2013-14 period. These figures would immediately make one believe that such companies were dodging their obligations, yet the fact that such companies are associated with a variety of entities, means that the aggregate of these private groups could result in no profit, or losses in previous years which are offset, and therefore no tax.

 

Oxfam Australia’s Joy Kyriacou said upon this instalment that “it’s time for the Australian Government to crack down on large companies…. [they] should justify their investments in tax havens, and be required to publicly report the taxes they pay- both in Australia and overseas.”

Such insight would clarify and ensure that companies operating in Australia are paying their fair share of tax, but then the question arises of where do we draw the line in terms of information that companies should report? AASB standards reflect the requirements and important information users need to make informed decisions. What is clear is that users will never be completely informed of everything going on in relation to a company, and publicly reporting taxes paid in various countries may not be of extensive use to such a point as to make it a requirement. But would it assist in getting rid of unfair tax breaks? Possibly, a matter that ultimately would need to be debated by the government and accountants in the industry.

What is imminently clear though is that voters will not warm highly to the idea of a ‘death tax’ where tax isn’t being contributed by large private companies operating in Australia. Tightening tax laws just might have to occur in order for other elements proposed by the government in their looming budget to be accepted by the Australian voters.

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Japanese TV Personality Revealed as Fraud

Shinichiro Kawakami, or mostly better known as his stage name Sean K, or Sean McArdle Kawakami, has been a popular TV and radio commentator in Japan. For example, he hosted the new-oriented radio show “MAKE IT 21” for 15 years. He has been also recognised as a business consultant who runs the consulting firm, Bradstone Management Initiative Limited in America. He has also written several printed publications about business and management, such as “5 essentials for the professional: how to make your business succeed (Japanese title translated into English by the writer), for instance.

His attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree at Temple University, followed by an MBA, Master of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and some study experience at l’Université de Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne in France makes academic portion of his CV appear impeccable. But to the shock of many, this incredible academic history was unveiled as a big fat lie, as reported by “Shukan Bunshun”, one of Japan’s major weekly tabloid magazines, which then went viral on the internet. Read more …

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Williams Defies Sexist Comments of Indian Wells Director

Raymond Moore, the tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open, told media on Sunday morning that female tennis players were “very, very lucky” for being able to “[ride on the] coattails” of men, strongly alluding to the opinion that WTA players owed their success to the stars of the men’s game. 21 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams was quick to hit back at her post-match conference.

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Seasonal Change: Japan’s Sakura Forecast set

Japan, experiencing rather warm winter, seems to have a welcoming season of nationally beloved flowers. Spring is almost there with the bloom of sakura, or cherry blossom.

Have you ever heard of a sakura zensen, or cherry blossom front? The expected date of the bloom of sakura from mid-Feburuary to April is reported thorough Japan via various outlets such as internet website, the TV weather forecasts and the listings of the best sakura viewing venues feautured on magazines and local papers.

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Coral Reef a Rising Concern

Minister of Environment’s concerns spark reminders of broken policies of the 2050 plan for the Great Barrier Reef

After surveying the northern isles of the Great Barrier Reef, Federal Minister of Environments, Greg Hunt, described one of the worst cases of bleaching since the year 2000. When overseeing the reefs of Lizard Island, Hunt acknowledged as you go north of the tropical mass, “it becomes more severe.”

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Sugar Tax

Jamie’s Statism

I love food and drink. I grew up in Singapore, surrounded by some of the best food and drink imaginable, from every Asian culture imaginable. Cuisine all the way from the deserts of Rajasthan to the Tropical Island of Hainan graced my palate and they have come to define how I see food. It is an experience; a choice that people make that brings people together. It has transcended necessity and become a source of community. Irrespective of who you were or where you came from, the food you ate was essentially the same. It is one of the few things that make us quintessentially human.

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