September 16, 2021

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:37 pm

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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September 15, 2021

Why A Caravan Holiday Is A Fantastic Idea

Filed under: Camping — Admin @ 3:13 pm

Why a caravan holiday is a fantastic idea


Hugh Freeman

Planning a holiday with your family can be quite intimidating with plenty of things to worry about such as transport, accommodation, activities and food. Caravan holidays are a fun way to spend quality time with your family and help sort out quite a few of your holiday worries such as transport and accommodation. Apart from being a cheaper alternative form of accommodation, caravans provide more for holiday makers – comfort, freedom and flexibility. Here are a few reasons why people opt for caravan holidays:

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Caravans help save money. A caravan is a mobile home, which means that you can go anywhere you wish to go at any time during your vacation. Some families opt to visit holiday parks instead of driving to multiple locations, a decision which keeps fuel costs to a minimum. Those who prefer to spend different nights in different locations can simply pack up and drive off to their next holiday spot without any fuss or worry. Also, since the caravan is a home on wheels, you do not have to worry about accommodation costs, since you essentially take your home with you wherever you go. Since caravans will help reduce both transport and accommodation costs, extra savings made from this can be used to splurge on meals or activities and attractions. Caravans offer freedom and flexibility. Other fantastic reasons to look into caravan holidays are flexibility and freedom. If the weather turns nasty or if you get bored at one location, then you can simply drive to another destination and change your plans accordingly. This way, caravans appeal to all age groups from children to the elderly as activities can be planned for everyone. You can hit the open road and drive to where you feel inclined to travel to without making many arrangements in advance. Caravans are comfortable. Some people are under the impression that caravans are rickety and old and belong in the 1970’s. Nothing could be further from the truth! Caravans of today come with great amenities such as plasma screen TVs, central heating, full kitchen, proper toilets, showers and air conditioning. In addition, caravan parks have restaurants, swimming pools, clubs and wireless internet facilities, so you have everything at the tip of your fingers on your vacation. Caravan holidays are a great solution for holiday makers. Whether you are going on holiday with your family or friends, caravan holidays come with a sense of adventure and freedom that other holidays do not provide.

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September 14, 2021

Wikinews interviews Sandra Jephcott, Sustainable Australia candidate for 2020 Groom by-election

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:49 pm

Friday, November 27, 2020

Voters in the Australian electoral district of Groom are scheduled to go to the polls in a by-election this week following the resignation of Liberal National MP John McVeigh for family reasons.

Groom is located in the state of Queensland, and is centred around the city of Toowoomba. At the last federal election, the Liberal National Party, Queensland’s dominant conservative party, won this seat by over 70% of the two-party-preferred vote, and since the seat’s creation in 1984, it has been held by conservative political parties.

Some political analysts considered this a foregone conclusion, with analyst Kevin Bonham having declared it on his blog as “Australia’s most boring by-election”, however Bonham noted the size of the swing may have been indicative of the dominant centre left Labor Party’s general performance in Queensland. There was a 4.2% swing against the Labor Party in the state of Queensland at the previous federal election.

Wikinews spoke to one of the four candidates running in the by-election, Sandra Jephcott, who is running for the Sustainable Australia party. Sustainable Australia describes itself as a “independent community movement from the political centre”. According to the party’s website, Jephcott is a veterinarian and farmer, who has completed a veterinary degree from the University of Queensland, as well as a Master of Business Affairs at Bond University and a Master of Science at James Cook University. With Wikinews, Jephcott discussed climate change, COVID-19, water security, and foreign ownership.

Retrieved from “,_Sustainable_Australia_candidate_for_2020_Groom_by-election&oldid=4626421”

Lou Piniella retires after fifty years of baseball

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:41 pm

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced Sunday that he will retire from Major League Baseball after almost fifty years of coaching, managing, and playing the sport.

Piniella’s announcement came after the Chicago Cubs lost to the Atlanta Braves 16-5 at the Cub’s Wrigley Field. The 66 year-old Piniella said that he was retiring because of family issues. For much of the 2010 MLB season, Piniella’s 90 year-old mother has been ill.

“This will be the last time I put on a uniform. This has been very special for me. I’ll go home, do what I have to do there…and enjoy my retirement,” said Piniella. “My mom needs me at home; she hasn’t gotten any better since I’ve been here. In fact, she’s had other complications. Rather than continue to go home, come back…It’s not fair to the team, not fair to the players. The best thing to do is to step down, go home and take care of my mother,” he added.

During his 18 year career as a player, Piniella logged 1,705 hits. As a manager, he also won 1,800 games over the course of 23 years. Mike Quade, The Cub’s third-base and outfield coach, will be Cubs manager for the remainder of the 2010 season.

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Sunflower oil saves at-risk newborns from infection

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:07 pm

Saturday, March 5, 2005Simply massaging low birth weight babies with sunflower seed oil can protect them from potentially fatal infections.

Infections and complications from preterm birth cause more than half of all neonatal deaths, and very low birth weight babies are particularly vulnerable.

Preterm babies have immature skin that lacks a protective film called vernix that has antimicrobial properties.

In some countries, such as India, newborns are routinely massaged with mustard oil.

But mustard oil, says Gary Darmstadt of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, can delay recovery of the skin barrier and have a toxic effect on skin.

Seeking an alternative low-cost product, Darmstadt and colleagues experimented with sunflower oil and an ointment called Aquaphor that comprises petrolatum, mineral oil, mineral wax and lanolin.

The researchers tested the treatments on 497 newborns (72 hours old or less) and preterm babies (less than 33 weeks gestation) between 1998 and 2003 in Bangladesh.

They applied the treatments to the entire body besides the scalp and face three times daily for the first 14 days and then twice daily until discharge.

Babies treated with sunflower oil were found 41% less likely to develop infections than controls.

“Evidence is emerging that the skin is much more important as a barrier to infection than previously recognized, particularly in preterm infants whose skin is underdeveloped,” says Darmstadt. “The good news is that treatment is available to strengthen the function of the skin as a barrier in these vulnerable newborns.”

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September 10, 2021

U.S. Pet Food Market Volume Forecast And Value Chain Analysis 2014 2020

Filed under: Dog Supplements — Admin @ 3:58 pm

Zion Research has published a new report titled “U.S. Pet Food (Dry Food, Wet Food and Treat & Snacks/Mixers) Market for Dogs, Cats and Other Pets, 2014 – 2020.” According to the report,U.S. pet food industrywas valued at USD 23.15 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach USD 28.19 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 3.41% between 2015 and 2020.

Plants or animal extracts are key raw materials used in the manufacture of pet food products. Pet food products are manufacture red according to the nutritional value of the raw materials that go well with the requirements of the type and age of the animal being fed. Pet food products in U.S. are sold through retail outlets in supermarkets and specialized pet stores.

Browse the fullU.S. Pet Food (Dry Food, Wet Food and Treat & Snacks/Mixers) Market for Dogs, Cats and Other Pets 2014 – 2020report at

The pet food market growth in U.S. is triggered by increase in pet humanization and growing pet health concerns further supported by revival in economy. People in the region are more concerned about fulfillment of the physical and emotional need of their pet. This has resulted into increase in spending on providing good quality food products to their pets. Further, increase in pet health concerns has made pet owners to shift towards healthy and nutritious food that is exclusively prepared according to the age and type of pet. U.S. is mature market for pet food products and the package, label, and other claims by pet food companies influence the purchase trends. However, ever increasing product recalls and increasing pet obesity have posed major threat to the pet food industry in U.S. market. Obesity has become very common problem with pets such as dogs and cats. Over, 50% dogs and cats in U.S. are facing health problems owing to obesity. Moreover, arthritis and heart disease are other ailments affecting aging pets, thus discouraging the adoption of pets.

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TheU.S. pet food marketwas valued at USD 23.5 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.4% between 2015 and 2020. Pet food market is mainly segmented into dry food, wet food and treat & snacks/mixers. Dry food was the largest market segment of pet food industry in U.S. Wet food was the second largest market segment with around 20% share in total sales in 2014. Treat & snacks/mixers is small volume market and holds small market share. In terms of revenue, dog food accounted for largest market share followed by cat food segment with around 30% share in total revenue generated in year 2014.

The U.S. pet food industry is characterized by presence of large number of pet food product manufacturers. Intense competition among the producers has been resulted into increasing focus on research and development. Big Heart Pet Brands, Mars, and Nestl are among the leading players in the U.S. pet food industry.

This report segments the U.S. pet food market as follows:

U.S. Pet Food Market: Product Segment Analysis

  • Dry Food • Wet Food • Treat and Snacks/Mixers

U.S. Pet Food Market: Application Segment Analysis

  • Dogs • Cats • Other Pets

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Arizona bans abortion for genetic abnormalities

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:37 pm

Friday, April 30, 2021

On Tuesday, the Governor of the US state of Arizona Doug Ducey signed into law a bill banning abortion if sought solely because of a foetus’ genetic abnormality.

Senate Bill 1457, which stalled twice for criticism by opponents of abortion, passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature last week in a party-line vote, amended twice along the way to alleviate concerns by two hesitant Republicans.

The bill makes it a Class 6 felony, the least severe, to seek or perform an abortion “because of a genetic abnormality of the child”, defined as “the presence or presumed presence of an abnormal gene expression in an unborn child”, but not a “severe fetal abnormality” considered “incompatible with life.” Intimidating someone to get an abortion and soliciting or accepting monies to finance an abortion for this purpose has been made a Class 3 felony.

The bill also allows the unborn child’s father or, in case the mother is under 18, a maternal grandparent to sue, as well as including the applicability of state law to “an unborn child at every stage of development”, which Senator Kirsten Engel and Representative Melody Hernandez wrote in a submitted minority report “would open up the potential for prosecutors to charge persons including the pregnant individual whose conduct results in a woman having a miscarriage with murder, manslaughter or child endangerment.”

Other provisions of the bill includes a prohibition on the distribution “via courier, delivery or mail service” of abortion-inducing drugs, a ban on any public educational institution from performing or aiding non-life saving abortion, a ban on the use of public or tax monies paid by the state or students for university research involving foetal remains or somatic cell nuclear transfer, or any state money towards organisations providing abortion care, and requiring all foetal remains to be buried or cremated.

KYMA-DT reported Ducey is an anti-abortion rights governor who ran on the Republican ballot and has never vetoed anti-abortion legislation. In a statement, Duckey said, “[t]here’s immeasurable value in every single life — regardless of genetic makeup […] We will continue to prioritize protecting life in our preborn children, and this legislation goes a long way in protecting real human lives.” The news release, originally published on his website also read, “[w]ith this legislation, Arizona remains among the top pro-life states in the nation.”

Senator Nancy Barto said, according to the release “[w]e need to protect our most vulnerable, especially those with treatable genetic conditions […] They are loved, integral members of our community that make Arizona whole”. Cathi Herrod, president of Center for Arizona Policy said in her own news release, according to the Associated Press “[t]oday, Arizonans win.”

Representative Diego Espinoza wrote in a tweet, “I’m disappointed to see Arizona moving in this direction, ignoring the needs and desires of doctors, women, and families for an extreme political agenda.” Representative and House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding wrote in a statement “it’s disturbing and wrong that the legislature is not focusing on policies to help [women], and instead is stripping away the fundamental freedom to choose if, when, and how to start or grow a family.”

In a letter shared to a Facebook post, the union United Campus Workers at Arizona State University urged last Saturday to the Arizona Board of Regents, university president Michael M. Crow and University of Arizona president Robert D. Robbins to “immediately speak out against SB 1457”, calling it “a blatant attack on reproductive freedom”.

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United States Army suspends ammo contract for Afghan security forces

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:13 pm

Friday, March 28, 2008File:Yugo 7.62×39 M67.jpg

The United States Army has suspended its contract with a company that delivered old and corroding ammunition from China for use by Afghan army and police forces in a way that violated the contract terms.

The ammunition was supplied by the Miami-based AEY Inc., a company run by a 22-year old named Efrain Diveroli. The nearly US$300 million contract stated that bullets were coming from Hungary, but were actually decades-old, damaged and corroded bullets from China.

Officials from the Army Legal Services Agency notified Diveroli, via a letter, that his company is suspended from future contracting with any U.S. government agency. The letter came as part of an Army investigation since November regarding violation of the contract.

According to the New York Times, Diveroli signed papers back on November 25, 2007 certifying that 28 pallets of ammunition for Afghanistan had been manufactured by MFS 2000, a Hungarian company, according to a memo written by investigators.

AEY violated the contract by breaking two clauses, one stating that the ammunition could not be acquired directly or indirectly from the People’s Republic of China, which is a violation of American law. The other clause specified that it must be packaged to comply with best commercial practices for international shipment.

According to the Times, says the ammunition arrived in decomposing cardboard boxes which contained ammunition dating as far back as 1966. However, Army officials believe some ammunition even dates back further to 1962.

The Army had contracted with AEY in January 2007 to supply various types of nonstandard ammunition for use by the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, an Army official said on background. The company was required to purchase the ammunition and deliver it to Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan. AEY was recently awarded a delivery order amount of $48,717,553 on March 17, 2007 as part of the $298,004,398 contract.

Also according to the Times, when purchasing the ammunition, AEY worked with middlemen and a shell company which has been placed on federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking. Also, the Times reported that, Diveroli was secretly recorded in conversation that suggested corruption on his company’s purchase of 100 million aging rounds from Albania.

Bryan Whitman, The Pentagon’s spokesperson told reporters that suspension of the contract was due to the violation of the origin of the ammunition and the packaging of the ammunition, not the safety and performance.

“Safety and performance has not apparently been a factor, according to our folks in Afghanistan. They have had no safety incidents reported and no reports of any ammunition that has malfunctioned associated with this particular contract,” Whitman told the press.

He also denied that the issue happened because the Army awarded the contract to the lowest bidder and that he was not aware of AEY’s qualifications to fulfill the contract.

“As the United States government does business, they are obviously always trying to ensure they get the best value,” he said. “But that does not mean that, in achieving the best value for the taxpayer, that we will accept something that is below standard for what it is we are purchasing, either.”

I would prefer he became a nice Jewish doctor or lawyer rather than an arms dealer. He’s never asked for my approval on the company. He doesn’t always take my advice, I don’t influence him. As a father of a boy genius he’s hard to control.

According to an Army official, the suspension of the contract will not have an impact on Afghanistan operations and other contractors are expressing interest into entering into a contract. “Besides, there’s no shortage of ammunition already in Afghanistan. This will have no impact,” he said.

Michael Diveroli, Efrain’s father, who originally founded AEY as a small printing business, said of his son’s career choice to CBS’ Miami affiliate, WFOR, “I would prefer he became a nice Jewish doctor or lawyer rather than an arms dealer. He’s never asked for my approval on the company. He doesn’t always take my advice, I don’t influence him. As a father of a boy genius he’s hard to control.”

Angelo Diveroli, Efrain’s grandfather said the young man frequently accompanied him to gun shows when he was younger and became an expert at weapons.

A friend of Diveroli said to WFOR, “The government came here and checked him out and gave him the contract. How do you give someone, a 21 year old kid a contract like that?”

The United States Army Criminal Investigation Command is continuing their investigation, according to officials.

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September 8, 2021

Pet parrot saves owners’ lives

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:35 pm

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It turns out that dogs may not be the only ‘man’s best friend.’ A parrot in Muncie, Indiana is being credited with saving the lives of its owners.

According to the owner 33-year-old Shannon Conwell along with his 9-year-old son were watching television when they both fell asleep on the living room couch when a fire began to spread through the house around 3:00 a.m. on Friday October 19.

The Amazon, yellow-headed Parrot named Peanut reportedly imitates the sounds of several objects and began to emit one very similar to a fire alarm, waking the family from their sleep.

“He was really screaming his head off. I grabbed my son and my bird and got out of the house,” said Conwell who also said that the fire alarm was also going off, but the bird woke her and her son. Conwell said that there were several pieces of medical equipment inside the house that also make a lot of noise. The equipment was there due to an accidental finger amputation which occurred only a few hours prior to the fire.

A bedroom, the kitchen and the dining room were all severely damaged in the fire, but no one was injured or killed. The fire department says that they are currently investigating the incident and have not said what the cause was.

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September 7, 2021

Choosing A Birmingham Uk Letting Agent

Filed under: Quantity Surveyors — Admin @ 3:41 pm

By Vinny Papay

Whether you are a first time landlord or you have been in the business for a while, it is important that you find a letting agent that works for you and the kind of property that you own. There are different factors that you need to consider when making your decision, such as where your property is located and the kinds of services that you are going to require in order to make running your property efficiently easier on you. Choosing letting agents is often one of the most important things that you can do in order to keep everything running smoothly.

One of the first considerations that you should have is where your property is located. You need to find a letting agent that is located in the same general area. A Birmingham letting agent for instance is great for serving local properties. Although location is not always a primary consideration, it is often beneficial for the properties owners if they require more of the services that they offer. There are letting agents in Birmingham that do more than just find potential tenants for you, and the closer they are the more they have the ability to do.

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Letting agents in Birmingham, provide services for those landlords that are not always accessible to their tenants. These can include collecting rents, handling legal issues, and even handling the day to day maintenance of the property so that you do not have to. Although you will have to pay for the services that they provide, they are sometimes well worth the investment in the long run. You should also be sure that the letting agent that you choose is familiar with the business and that they have been in business long enough to have a positive letting history with other landlords.

Finding the right letting agent is important for many reasons. From the kind of tenants that you are looking to attract to the ability to be free to do other things in your spare time, you have to be certain that the agreement you enter into is going to work for you in the long run. For this reason, you should also be certain that the letting agent that you use is one that caters to the type of property that you own. There is no sense using a letting agent that does commercial property when you own a single family home. The important thing is to find a letting agent that works for you and has your best interest in mind so that being a landlord does not become more than you can handle.

Shape Lettings is an independent Birmingham Letting Agent providing a unique approach to letting your property. We help Birmingham Landlords let their property quickly at the best possible rent, for an all-inclusive price that covers agent fees and costs. If you’re looking to rent out your property, Shape Lettings ( can help you find suitable tenants for your property. Contact 0121 373 4228 or email

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Letting Agents in Birmingham


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