July 24, 2021

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:25 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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July 22, 2021

How To Create An Online Retoucher Portfolio

Filed under: Software And Web Development — Admin @ 3:00 pm

By Anthony Pugh

No matter if you are new to the industry or are a seasoned professional, the article that follows can help you craft an image that is inherently impressive and highly marketable. In order to attract interest in the services you provide, you must have an attention-grabbing portfolio that makes clients want to hire you and only you. The foundation of your portfolio should be comprised of somewhere between five and ten examples of your very best work. The key is to focus on the quality of the pieces, not the volume of work. If you are just launching your career as a retoucher and have not yet amassed a sizeable body of work from which to choose, fear not. It is possible to utilize online Photoshop tutorials in order to create your samples. Simply use your own images in order to avoid stealing someone else’s work.A few of the best sites include:

1 – photoshoptutorials

2 – noupe

3 – psdtuts

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After you have assembled no less than five, but hopefully ten examples of your work, you must make sure they are online and ready for prospective clients to view. I strongly suggest that you display before-and-after images as part of your online portfolio, as this technique is the best way to showcase your skills as a retoucher. Make certain to obtain permission from all photographers and clients, as necessary.

Method 1

Engage the services of professional web designers and developers who are able to establish a website using a domain name of your choosing. This is a bit costlier than other options, since you will be responsible for paying hosting fees, the cost of registering your domain name and the rates charged by the designer and developer for crafting your website. However, this also represents the most professional route, because you retain complete control over the site’s appearance. You will be able to stand apart from competitors by having a site that is truly your own.

Method 2

It is also possible to make use of online website creation and blogging platforms, which afford you the opportunity to integrate a domain name of your choosing without the need for a web developer or designer.

WordPress is a particularly good choice, because it is designed to optimise search engine placement, is fairly simple to use, offers integrated blogging capabilities, is customizable and costs nothing. There are essentially two ways you can use WordPress, with the first requiring you to download and complete WordPress installation on a hosted domain of your own (if you have one). Because the site will be accessed via your domain name alone (, you must still pay fees for hosting and domain registration. Alternatively, you can open a account and take advantage of their free servers to create your site ( Be sure to review all site building instructions and build your online presence by using one of several preexisting theme templates.

Method 3

If you lack the time, the motivation or the funds to create a site of your own, multiple online portfolio sites exist onto which you can place your images, descriptions and additional information at no charge. Such sites frequently boast active online forums as well as abundant resources that can be of great value. Furthermore, these sites tend to be search engine optimised, and can give you a personalised online address to which you can direct prospective clients. The only negative about such sites is the fact that they tend to project a slightly less professional image than the prior two options, which may have a slight impact on your ability to attract business.

A few sites worth exploring include:

1 – behance (seasoned professional)

2 – deviantart (semi-pro)

3 – flickr (novice)

As is the case with virtually any endeavor, the degree of benefits you will reap from establishing an online presence is directly related to the amount of effort you devote to carefully crafting it.

About the Author: Anthony is a freelance creative digital


with over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry servicing clients globally through ftp. Please visit for more information.


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July 21, 2021


Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:28 pm


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July 20, 2021

US Senate Panel approves bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:13 pm

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A United States Senate committee has passed landmark legislation aimed at combating global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions. The vote was timed to coincide with the U.N. conference on climate change taking place in Bali, Indonesia.

The bill would set caps on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from electric utility, transportation and manufacturing industries beginning in 2012 with the goal of cutting emissions 60 percent by 2050. It would create an incentive system that would give credits to industries that cut pollution. Industries that failed to reduce emissions would be forced to buy credits from others.

The Democratic-led Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted eleven to eight, largely along party lines, to send the measure to the full Senate for what supporters hope will be action early next year.

“We are facing a crisis that will hit our children and our grandchildren the hardest if we do not act now. Not to act would be wrong, cowardly, and irresponsible,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, a Californian Democrat, chairwoman of the committee.

Senator Boxer, who is expected to travel to Bali as part of a U.S. congressional delegation next week, said committee approval of the bill sends a signal to the rest of the world that the United States is serious about reducing global warming.

But many Republicans oppose the legislation, saying it would increase energy costs and lead to job losses. They argue the measure does not ensure that other nations, particularly China and India, will cut emissions.

“China’s emission will continue to accelerate as it builds coal plants and imports jobs from the United States. This will be enormously expensive to households within seven years as electricity prices skyrocket by 35 to 65 percent,” said Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the committee.

But co-sponsor Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia, who broke with many in his party to support the measure, offered a different view: “If we do not act, China and India will hide behind America’s skirts of inaction and take no steps of their own. Therefore we simply have to lead,” he said.

The House of Representatives has yet to draft its own version of the legislation.

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July 19, 2021

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis A Genetic Disease?

Filed under: Joint Treatment — Admin @ 3:23 pm

By Nathan Wei

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory type of arthritis. It affects more than 2 million Americans and is still a leading cause of both disability as well as days lost from work. RA is more common in women than men, and typical onset for the disease is between 25 and 50 years of age. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include swelling, loss of movement, stiffness, and pain in joints, most commonly, the fingers and wrists.

RA is to be feared and respected because it is a systemic autoimmune chronic condition that affects internal organs as well as joints. While the cause of RA is still not completely known, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine conducted by researchers in the United States and Sweden links a genetic region to rheumatoid arthritis.

A new study indicates a new genetic association with RA.

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Researchers in the U.S. compared genetic material of 908 patients with RA from the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium with the genetic material of 1,282 individuals without RA. Swedish researchers compared DNA samples from 673 individuals without RA with genetic material from 676 individuals with RA obtained from the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Both groups of researchers used the new genome-wide association approach, which allows researchers to examine 300,000 to 500,000 small discrepancies in genetic material. Researchers examined genetic material in blood samples of all individuals that were part of the study.

The researchers found two genes in chromosome 9 responsible for the inflammation associated with RA: TRAF1 and C5. TRAF 1 codes for tumor necrosis factor, a specific target for many of the new biologic drugs used to treat RA. C5 codes for complement, a protein that also plays a big role in inflammation. Other genetic predisposing factors have been identified previously. These include HLA-DRB1 and PTPN22.

Elaine F. Remmers, Ph.D. in the Genetics and Genonics Branch of the NAMS Intramural Research Program and one of the authors of this study stated in a press release, “TRAF1-C5 showed association not only in the sample that we did with the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium but also independently in the Swedish group. By combining our information, we were able to make a much stronger case. The combined evidence was pretty impressive.”

The researchers are unclear as to both how these genes are connected to RA as well as to which gene is causing the condition. Remmers added, “Actually, both genes are very interesting candidates. They both control inflammatory processes that really are relevant for the disease, so we could easily envision either of them playing a role – or both.”

The authors hope that future research can reveal more about how these genes are linked to RA. They also hope that by learning more about the genes’ connection to the disease, they will become closer to producing more effective treatment for the condition.

Remmers went on to say, “We are hoping that we will find variants in either of the genes that will lead us to new targets for therapy. Once we understand how the RA-associated variants work, we may be able interfere with the pathways the variants are influencing and either prevent the disease or block its progression.”

Author’s note: While the subject seems to be pretty dry, this is actually pretty exciting stuff. Soon… or at least I hope soon, we will be able to biopsy patients with RA when they come in, identify the genetic markers they have, and put these patients immediately on the therapies that hopefully will either put them into complete remission or even cure them.

About the Author: Nathan Wei, MD FACP FACR is a rheumatologist and Director of the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. For more info:

Arthritis Treatment


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July 17, 2021

Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:26 pm

Monday, May 14, 2007

Buffalo, New York —A massive warehouse complex of at least 5 buildings caught on fire in Buffalo, New York on 111 Tonawanda Street, sending a plume of thick, jet black colored smoke into the air that could be seen as far away as 40 miles.

As of 6:40 a.m., the fire was under control, and firefighters were attempting to stop it from spreading, but could not get to the center of the fire because of severe amounts of debris. Later in the morning, the fire was extinguished.

“The fire is mostly under debris at this point. It’s under control, but it’s under some debris. We really can’t get to it. We’re just going to have to keep on pouring water on it so it doesn’t spread,” said Thomas Ashe, the fire chief for the North Buffalo based fire division who also added that at one point, at least 125 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze. One suffered minor injures and was able to take himself to the hospital to seek medical attention.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. as many as 3 explosions rocked the warehouse sending large mushroom clouds of thick black smoke into the air. After the third explosion, heat could be felt more than 100 feet away. The fire started in the front, one story building then quickly spread to three others, but fire fighters managed to stop the flames from spreading onto the 3 story building all the way at the back.

According to a Buffalo Police officer, who wished not to be named, the fire began at about 7:00 p.m. [Eastern time], starting as a one alarm fire. By 8:00 p.m., three fire companies were on the scene battling the blaze. Police also say that a smaller fire was reported in the same building on Saturday night, which caused little damage.

At the start of the fire, traffic was backed up nearly 4 miles on the 198 expressway going west toward the 190 Interstate and police had to shut down the Tonawanda street exit because the road is too close to the fire.

At one point, traffic on the 198 was moving so slow, at least a dozen people were seen getting out of their cars and walking down the expressway to watch the fire. That prompted as many as 10 police cars to be dispatched to the scene to force individuals back into their cars and close off one of the 2 lanes on the westbound side.

One woman, who wished not to be named as she is close to the owner of the warehouse, said the building is filled with “classic cars, forklifts, and money” and that owner “does not have insurance” coverage on the property. The building is not considered abandoned, but firefighters said that it is vacant.

Officials in Fort Erie, Ontario were also swamped with calls to fire departments when the wind blew the smoke over the Niagra River and into Canada.

It is not known what caused the fire, but a car is suspected to have caught on fire and there are reports from police and hazmat crews, that there were also large barrels of diesel fuel being stored in one building. Firefighters say the cause of the blaze is being treated as “suspicious.” The ATF is investigating the fire and will bring dogs in to search the debris.

Retrieved from “,_New_York_USA_can_be_seen_40_miles_away&oldid=1982766”

Public disclosure made of final report on deaths of nine in Finnish school shooting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:21 pm

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation yesterday released 600 pages of the 2,000 page final report into the Jokela school shooting. 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen opened fire at Jokela High School, killing eight before turning his gun on himself, receiving fatal wounds.

The remaining 1,400 pages of the report are to remain confidential. The public section reveals a number of problems that may have impacted on Auvinen’s decision to conduct the attack, but says that police failed to find any conclusive motive. Also released was an animation depicting events at the school.

The report says Auvinen had been bullied since the age of ten and concludes the extent of this problem was greater than previously thought. Auvinen suffered from anxiety and blushing, especially in lessons, and had been diagnosed with a panic disorder, for which he had been prescribed medication. Auvinen also suffered from sleep disorders and loneliness, and had few friends, although one former bully did go on to become a good friend of Auvinen’s. His mother said inability to settle on a suitable ideology contributed to Auvinen’s depression.

His parents had noticed and reacted to the bullying problem, but their intervention only served to worsen the situation. According to entries in Auvinen’s diary, he first began planning the shooting – which he gave the English name “Operation Main Strike” – about eight months prior to actually conducting the shooting.

Auvinen had told his mother that under certain circumstances he could approve of violence. He had often viewed web sites promoting violence and had a number of online contacts whom he discussed his ideas with. One of these was a United States teen arrested for planning a similar attack, and two others discussed the Columbine High School Massacre with him and traded videos they found online. However, there is no evidence he informed anyone of his plans until immediately prior to the attack.

The report called Auvinen a moderately good student, but noted his mental problems had impacted his performance at school. He had been interested in politics from an early age, being involved with the Centre Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Left Alliance, and the Finnish Communist Party.

“In the best case, this (attack) would create massive destruction and chaos, or even a revolution,” read one diary entry. “In any case, I want this to be remembered forever. Maybe I’ll even have a follower; after all, I am a super-person, almost God.” Another revealed he intended to “kill as many of you bastards as possible”. His diary also reveals he was aware he would be dead by the end of the attack.

He obtained a .22 calliber handgun which he named Catherine, having been denied a license for a 9mm gun, and submitted his plans online – including to YouTube – just 14 minutes prior to firing his first shots, having cycled to school. It was determined that, given the time-frame, there was little that could have been done by anyone who saw the material to prevent the attack. He fired 75 shots, 50 of which struck his eight fatally wounded victims, who were apparently chosen at random. Thirteen others were injured in the event.

The deceased were six students, the school headmistress and the school nurse. Auvinen shot at each several times in the region of the head and upper torso. He ultimately shot himself in the school toilet, and died in hospital from head wounds ten hours later, having never regained consciousness.

Police could not determine why he chose the date he did, although it was noted his online relationship with a foreign girl had ended just days before. It was also determined little could be done to predict and prevent future incidents, although one measure being sought is to require medical checks for gun licences and parental consent for prospective owners under 18.

The confidential section of the report discusses causes of death and police operations.

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July 16, 2021

Famous Athletes That Have Gone Bankrupt

Filed under: Performing Arts — Admin @ 3:01 pm

By Albert Whitestaff

Sports stars today can earn millions. We regularly hear of footballers earning in excess of one hundred thousand pounds a week and in the United States basketball players, American footballers and baseball players are paid staggering salaries, with the best earning millions of dollars a year. On top of their salaries athletes often enjoy huge sponsorship packages and can receives millions in image rights. But even with all this money, financial mismanagement is rife and plenty have ended up with nothing, below are a few stories of where it has all gone wrong for these sport superstars.

When we think about top athletes that have earned millions and thrown it all away, one name immediately springs to mind Mike Tyson. The former heavy weight champion of the world is believed to have earned around $400 million during his career as a top class boxer but in 2003 he was forced to file for bankruptcy after amassing debts in excess of $23 million.

How could this happen you may ask? How could anyone burn through that much money? I mean $423 million dollars is a lot of money to spend, Well, the answer is quite straightforward when you look at some of Mike Tyson’s behavior when it came to his spending. Just prior to him filing for Chapter 11, he bought a diamond studded gold chain for over $170,000. Add this to the mansions, cars and even Siberian tigers and you can see how he squandered his fortune. In just two years between 1995 and 1997 he spent $9 million dollars on legal fees alone.

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With his boxing career practically over the future looked bleak for Mike but various acting roles and television appearances have helped him back to a relatively stable financial position but no where near his $400 million peak.

Mike Tyson is not alone however and there is a long list of other famous athletes that despite their success have lost it all. Olympic athlete Marion Jones may have won five medals at the 2000 Olympics and benefited from multimillion-dollar endorsement deals but due fighting legal battles over the charges of steroid abuse and wild overspending, she found herself deep in debt and her house was foreclosed by the bank.

The former American football player Larry Taylor was a linebacker for the New York Giants and ended up filing for bankruptcy in 1998 after getting into trouble for using drugs and dodging tax. Top women’s basketball player Sheryl Swoopes, was known as the “female Michael Jordan” but that didn’t stop her from having to file for bankruptcy in June 2004 and being forced to auction her medals and trophies.

All these cautionary tales show that even with the incredible financial rewards that modern athletes can gain with successful in their chosen sport, a sensible approach to managing your money is vital. These examples are just a few of many, as despite earning millions over the course their careers, a lot of athletes fail to plan and save for the future and their love of the luxury lifestyle and extreme spending can drive them to financial ruin.

About the Author: Albert has worked in the the debt management industry for over a decade and is an expert in all this


and Insolvency, and works for one of the largest

debt management companies

in the UK.


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July 14, 2021

Over 30 killed in a Baghdad restaurant bombing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:22 pm

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A suicide bomber detonated himself in a crowded Baghdad restaurant Thursday morning at approximately 9:30 local time (0630 GMT). 35 were reportedly killed and 25 wounded in the blast. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The restaurant was frequented by US-backed Iraqi security forces, often the target of Sunni Arab rebels and Islamist Al-Qaeda groups. A police officer said that at least four Iraqi police patrols were in the restaurant at the time of the bombing.

The bombing was one of the biggest attacks in Baghdad in recent months. A statement on an Islamist website used by Al-Qaeda said that the attack was a part of an Al-Qaeda campaign to counter recent raids by US and Iraqi forces on suspected militant strongholds near the Syrian border.

The attack came just a day after the bombing of hotels in Amman, Jordan, attacks also claimed by Al-Qaeda.

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July 13, 2021

US President Obama proposes financial reform

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:25 pm

Friday, January 22, 2010

Speaking Thursday in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, United States President Barack Obama presented new proposals for financial reform.

“While the financial system is far stronger today than it was a year one year ago, it is still operating under the exact same rules that led to its near collapse,” said President Barack Obama. “My resolve to reform the system is only strengthened when I see a return to old practices at some of the very firms fighting reform; and when I see record profits at some of the very firms claiming that they cannot lend more to small business, cannot keep credit card rates low, and cannot refund taxpayers for the bailout. It is exactly this kind of irresponsibility that makes clear reform is necessary.”

Obama’s two key proposals were to limit the types of operations that a bank may undertake and to limit the size of the largest financial firms.

Under the proposals banks would be prevented from owning or investing in hedge fund or a private equity fund. Nor would they be allowed to sponsor such funds. To limit size of financial institutions, further consolidation of the financial sector by restricting growth in the market share of their liabilities.

Obama called the restrictions on banking operations the “Volcker Rule” in reference to Paul Volcker, the chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. These activities are “unrelated to serving their customers,” Obama said.

According to Obama, the current “economic crisis began as a financial crisis, when banks and financial institutions took huge, reckless risks in pursuit of quick profits and massive bonuses. When the dust settled, and this binge of irresponsibility was over, several of the world’s oldest and largest financial institutions had collapsed, or were on the verge of doing so. Markets plummeted, credit dried up, and jobs were vanishing by the hundreds of thousands each month. We were on the precipice of a second Great Depression.”

The President said his administration is seeking to protect consumers and close loopholes that allowed financial products such as credit default swaps without oversight. The goal would be to strengthen capital and liquidity requirements to make the financial system more stable. Another goal of Obama’s reforms would be to ensure that the failure of one firm could not take the entire economy.

“We’ve come through a terrible crisis. The American people have paid a very high price. We simply cannot return to business as usual. That’s why we’re going to ensure that Wall Street pays back the American people for the bailout. That’s why we’re going to rein in the excess and abuse that nearly brought down our financial system,” Obama said in closing.

Before any of the proposals can go into effect, they will have to be passed into law by both houses of the United States Congress.

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