Mining downturn to push more into arrears

The mining downturn and soft property price growth are expected to hurt Australians with a mortgage, especially in resource-reliant regions.

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Moody’s Investors Service, the credit ratings agency’s research arm, expects the proportion of Australians more than 30 days behind in their mortgage repayments will edge up over the coming year, after rising slightly in 2015.

But, it will still stay at a historically low level, Moody’s says, after the “delinquency” rate rose to 1.20 per cent in the 12 months to November, compared with 1.19 per cent the previous year.

Moody’s assistant vice president Alena Chen says the country’s economic growth was well below the long-term average of 3.5 per cent, with the mining industry wind-down having a major impact on borrowers.

“The economic backdrop will prompt a slight increase in the mortgage delinquency rate in 2016,” Ms Chen told AAP.

“What needs to be highlighted is the diverging performance between the states and the big difference we are seeing between the more diversified states compared to the ones that are more reliant on the resource sector.”

She said the resource reliant regions in WA, NT and Queensland would experience the most mortgage arrears, while better labour market and economic conditions in NSW would likely mean its level of arrears remains steady.

In 2015, a high proportion of the worst performing parts of the nation were where employment hinged on the mining industry, a sector hit hard by low commodity prices, falling investment and China’s declining demand for iron ore.

WA had the highest level of mortgage arrears in 2015 with the rate rising by a significant 0.48 percentage point over the year, Moody’s report says.

Imports of Adler shotgun pouring into Aust

SYDNEY, March 4 AAP – Thousands of Adler rapid-fire shotguns have flooded into Australia over the past six months, sidestepping a ban on a previous version of the controversial weapon imposed following the deadly Sydney siege.

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As commonwealth and state ministers and attorneys-general were undertaking an urgent review of national gun laws following the siege, orders for a five-round version of the Turkish-made Adler A110 were already pouring into gun dealers across the country.

Figures obtained by AAP from law enforcement agencies in NSW, Queensland and Victoria reveal almost 4000 of the lever-action shotguns have been imported into those states alone.

In some states, they are sold to shooters under the least restrictive weapon category, which includes air-rifles and paintball guns.

The gun-control lobby argues that even the modified weapon – which fires five 12-gauge cartridges in rapid succession – should be classified as a semi-automatic firearm, warning that tough laws introduced by John Howard after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre are being eroded.

“How utterly shameful in the year of the 20th anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre, governments have commemorated the year by handing back to the gun lobby general access to rapid-fire shotguns,” Gun Control Australia president Samantha Lee said.

“Rapid-fire rifles turn up in mass shootings, which is why these guns were basically banned here after Port Arthur.”

Plans to import a previous seven-round version, marketed as a game changer for hunters because of its rapid-fire ability, were halted by a 12-month ban imposed in July on guns that fire more than five rounds without the need for reloading.

But since then, more than 1000 five-round shotguns have been imported into NSW, with 701 sold to shooters and a further 373 held by dealers as stock.

“There was no Adler A110 shotgun 5 capacity identified on the Integrated Licensing System prior to 15 September 2015,” NSW Police said.

In Victoria, 602 Adler A110s have been registered by licence holders since September while 86 are held by dealers.

There are 2063 Adler shotguns “registered in possession” in Queensland.

The original version – which anti-gun lobbyists say had similar firepower to a pump-action shotgun – was banned by former prime minister Tony Abbott for six months, which was extended to 12 months, to allow time for the states and the federal government to consider a review of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).

A spokesperson for Justice Minister Michael Keenan has confirmed to AAP that at a meeting of commonwealth and state ministers and attorneys-general on November 5 an updated NFA was referred to federal, state and territory police commissioners and justice department secretaries for consideration.

“Once appropriate amendments to the NFA have been agreed by senior officials, the updated NFA will be reconsidered by the LCCSC (Law, Crime and Community Safety Council) in 2016, prior to being reviewed by the Council of Australian Governments,” the spokesperson said.

Microsoft pushes smart chats with computer

Microsoft wants you to talk more with your computer – and have more useful conversations.

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The software giant is promoting new uses for Cortana – its voice-activated answer to Apple’s Siri digital assistant – including the ability to interact with software “bots” that can have limited conversations with users and help with tasks such as booking a hotel room, ordering a meal or arranging a delivery.

Voice-activated services such as Siri, OK Google or Amazon’s Alexa can already perform tasks for users such as playing a song at a request or answering a question.

Bots are smarter than traditional software apps, though, using artificial intelligence to respond to a wider range of commands and in a convenient, conversational way.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, at the opening on Wednesday of the company’s annual conference for software developers, touted the power of “conversational intelligence” as he outlined a long-term vision in which Cortana, a central feature of Windows 10, becomes a digital concierge for other online interactions.

“Bots are the new apps,” Nadella told developers.

Lilian Rincon, a program manager for Microsoft’s Skype service, demonstrated how this might work.

After receiving a video message from her boss that mentioned an upcoming conference in Dublin, Rincon used Cortana to mark the dates on her calendar. Cortana then used Skype to contact a hotel chain’s bot, which suggested a room and helped Rincon make a reservation for those dates.

Integrating Cortana with other companies’ bots could increase the use of Microsoft’s services, and make them more valuable, said analyst Ross MacMillan, who follows tech companies for RBC Capital Markets, in an email on Wednesday.

Bots are not perfect, however. Microsoft recently shut down an experimental internet bot called “Tay” after some Twitter users taught it to make offensive statements.

Nadella acknowledged the episode Wednesday, saying it shows the importance of designing technology to be “inclusive and respectful.”

Cortana isn’t as well-known as Siri or OK Google. But unlike those services, which are found mostly on smartphones and tablets, Microsoft has made Cortana available on desktop and laptop PCs, via Windows 10.

But Microsoft, after seeing its business suffer because fewer people buy new PCs, has also released Cortana as an app for smartphones and tablets that run Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating software. Similarly, Skype also works on those platforms.

Microsoft is now releasing programming tools for developers to build bots that will interact with Cortana.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft would be glad to see people use these services on Skype, the internet video and voice-calling service that it owns. But some of its tools for creating bots will work with other messaging services: Microsoft listed Slack and standard text messaging, among others.

Federal Labor pushes anti-slavery laws

Australian companies would be required to report on measures they’re taking to reduce slavery in their overseas supply chains, or risk being fined, under legislation proposed by the federal opposition.

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Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten on Monday outlined how a Modern Slavery Act could work, including the role of a new independent anti-slavery commissioner.

Australia’s top 1000 companies would be held to account by the legislation with monetary penalties for those that don’t comply. They could also be named and shamed in parliament.

Mr Shorten said Labor wanted to work with Malcolm Turnbull’s government to introduce the slavery act.

“(But) if Mr Turnbull fails to act a Shorten Labor government will,” the opposition leader told reporters in Sydney.

“The right to freedom belongs to everybody, it’s not some middle-class Australian value, it’s a universal value.”

Business Council of Australia spokesman Adam Carrel says local businesses are willing to accept the risk of being fined in order to stamp out slavery.

“When business invites legislation in such a way as they have in this instance, I think they might expect that at some point or another there might be some naming and shaming going,” the Ernst and Young partner said.

“They see the task of remedying modern slavery as so important that they’re willing to accept that risk.”

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney believes the act could help eradicate slavery.

“Trade unions see, only too sadly, first hand the results of modern slavery in Australia and particularly our region,” she said on Monday.

Walk Free Foundation founder and mining magnate Andrew Forrest praised Labor for its commitment to support modern slavery legislation in Australia.

Mr Forrest believed the Turnbull government would support the legislation.

“The commitment of the Labor party and the positive feedback the Walk Free Foundation has received from government, opposition, Greens and independent MPs gives me great confidence that a bill introduced into parliament by the government would be overwhelmingly supported,” Mr Forrest said in a statement.

NSW ‘camo attacker’ may have struck again

A Central Coast community is on high alert with fears a camouflage-wearing sexual predator has struck again, just weeks after dragging a 12-year-old girl into bushland and assaulted her at knifepoint.

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An 18-year-old girl has told police a man grabbed her around the neck after she got off a train at Narara Railway Station on Sunday afternoon.

The incident occurred about two kilometres from where the schoolgirl was attacked in mid-May.

The attacker, thought to be in his mid-20s, was wearing a grey hooded jumper, long camouflage pants and had a loose covering over his face that exposed his eyes and nose.

The teenager attacked on Sunday kicked the man and broke free before running off and screaming for help.

She then rang triple-zero after seeing the man walk away towards Narara Valley Drive.

“The fact this person was wearing camouflage clothing and covering their face is a concern to us and shows the level of criminality of the person involved,” Detective Acting Superintendent Mick Haddow told AAP on Monday.

Police said the description of the man was “strikingly similar” to the one given by the schoolgirl who was abducted while walking to school alone on May 15.

Her attacker was wearing a knitted camouflage shirt, camouflage pants and a camouflage hat and had a loose covering over his face.

He dragged the terrified girl to nearby bushland, tied her up and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint.

She managed to escape and was treated at Gosford Hospital for her injuries.

More than 1000 people have shared an online a post by Brisbane Water Police about the attack.

One member of the community in an open letter described her disgust and anger toward the attacker.

“This brave little girl will be admired for her strength and bravery and will be protected by the community during all that lay ahead of her,” the letter states.

Act Supt Haddow said police received numerous tips after the first attack, and investigations often turned on information supplied by members of the public.

He urged members of the public to consider if they knew anyone who fitted the description or owned similar camouflage clothes.

“It’s concerning to us that this person might live in the area,” the detective said in Sydney.

UK victims recall the terror, insist they will live life

Britain is dealing with its third militant attack in as many months after three attackers in a van ran down pedestrians on London Bridge, then got out and began stabbing bystanders.

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Police shot dead the trio just minutes after the first call to emergency services was made.

Spanish tourist Carolina Mayo, who was staying at a hotel next to the scene of the attack, has described how events unfolded.

“The policemen were there and told us to leave the hotel and not to run but walk very, very fast (along) all the streets until we arrived to a point that I can’t remember. And we stayed there for about 10 minutes, and, suddenly, a man came to us and told us that he had a bar and told us, ‘You can come with me, stay in my bar, and you’ll be warm there,’ because people from the hotel were without socks or without shoes, a lot of children and people in pyjamas, you know. I can’t describe the feelings.”

Another witness, a woman named Rhiannon, says she ran for her life and sheltered in a nearby pub.

“A taxi driver just swerved towards me and screamed at me, saying, ‘Run. You have to run. They’ve got a knife.’ And his face was just like … something was just very wrong. I just started running as fast as I could. There were sirens everywhere, people screaming, the glass was smashed in one shop. And there was a guy, like he was injured. I just started to run. I ran into this pub in Borough Market called Applebee’s, and I just screamed into that, ‘Everyone, run! They’re stabbing people. You’ve got to run now.'”

London reporter Oliver Jones, who worked with SBS, says it is hard to believe two incidents like this could happen so close together.

But he says locals are refusing to back down.

“There were a lot of people staying nearby who were staying in hotels, who were visiting London. I spoke to somebody who was from the north, and they’d obviously, you know, a week and a half ago, been affected by the attack in Manchester, but, now, to have come to visit London and have another attack, I think they said to me that they were petrified. I took a walk earlier just to clear my head, and I live quite close by to one of our main tourist attractions, Columbia Road Flower Market, and there were still people enjoying that. There were lots of people in the bars, lots of people in restaurants. It really did seem that, actually, Londoners were being defiant and not willing to give in to fear and terror.”

Undeterred by the latest attacks, a benefit concert for the victims of last month’s bombing of an arena in Manchester has gone ahead.

Singers including Katy Perry, Robbie Williams and Justin Bieber performed, along with Ariana Grande, whose concert was the focus of the attack in which 22 people died.

Ariana Grande performed the Crowded House song Don’t Dream It’s Over alongside pop star Miley Cyrus.

Despite the recent attacks, many Britons say they are determined to keep living life as they know it.

On social media, many have lampooned headlines in US media outlets saying locals are “reeling” from the latest incident, tweeting about how they are carrying on with life.

Also demonstrating that defiant spirit is Richard Angell, who was at a nearby restaurant when the attack happened.

“I keep saying, if me having a gin and tonic with my friends, flirting with handsome men, hanging out with brilliant women, is what offends these people so much, I’m going to do it more, not less, because that’s what makes London so great, that’s what makes it the best city in the world, and we’re going to go out and enjoy it more, and I’m more determined than ever to love the city that looks after me.”

 

 

 

 

 

Fears for fifth Aussie in London attacks

There are heightened fears for a young Brisbane woman who may be a fifth Australian injured in the weekend’s London terror attacks.

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Family and friends of Sara Zelenak have taken to social media to appeal for information about the missing 21-year-old who hasn’t been heard from since witnessing the London Bridge attack on Saturday night.

Her family had hoped Ms Zelenak may have been one of two unnamed Australians caught up in the dramas but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday afternoon said the government had been in touch with those families.

A Facebook post written by a friend, and shared numerous times, says Ms Zelenak was last seen on London Bridge and witnessed the attacks before getting separated from her friends.

“Her phone has rang with no reply and now the battery must have gone,” read the original post, which has since been deleted.

“She is Australian aged 21 with long blonde hair. She calls her mum daily. It’s been over 24 hours with no news from the consulate. We was hoping the 3rd Australian reported would be her, but it’s not.

“She is based in London. Please share with as many people as possible especially if you have friends down south. Thank you for your help.”

The frantic appeal came as the Queensland families of two other Australians – Brisbane’s Candice Hedge and Darwin electrician Andrew Morrison – breathed major sighs of relief after they were stabbed.

Ms Hedge, 34, working as a waitress in the Borough Markets area, underwent emergency surgery but is expected to make a full recovery after her attackers missed her windpipe or arteries.

“She can’t think how she got so lucky because she thought she was going to die,” Ms Hedge’s grandfather Brian, who lives in Queensland’s Darling Downs, told AAP.

Mr Hedge spoke to his granddaughter, who has been living in the UK for just over a year, after ringing her in hospital on Monday morning.

“She told me she’s going well. She said ‘grandad you know I’m a Hedge and I’m a fighter, I’ll get over this,” he said.

Mr Morrison is on his way home after receiving stitches for a stab wound he received while leaving a bar after watching the Champions League soccer final.

He said he believed a brawl was breaking out when “all of a sudden a guy comes up with a knife … stabs me there (motioning to his neck) I push him off and blood is going everywhere”.

Mr Morrison’s Gold Coast-based father Dave has told reporters he was thankful his son was heading home, and expect him back on Tuesday.

“It could have been worse, a lot worse,” he told ABC radio.

Seven people were killed and 48 wounded when three men launched the attack just after 10pm on Saturday local time.

Police shot the three terrorists dead within eight minutes of the violence erupting.

Mr Turnbull says the government has “very real concerns” for the other two unnamed Australians but wouldn’t divulge details of the pair.

“This is the work of cowardly, crazed criminals,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

Their evil message was a “blasphemous corruption” of Islam and millions of Muslims around the world, he said.

NSW religious leaders join Adani protests

Religious leaders have camped out at Commonwealth Bank’s Sydney headquarters to protest the proposed Adani mega coal mine in Queensland.

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Ten Buddhist and Christian leaders rallied inside the Darling Harbour office on Monday holding signs with messages including “People of faith say rule out Adani” and “Grandpa what did you do about global warming?”

More supporters gathered outside.

The protest comes ahead of the bank’s board meeting on June 13 when it will decide whether to fund coal projects including Adani’s Carmichael mine.

Uniting Church Minister Rex Graham said the group was opposed to the expansion of coal mines in Australia.

“The other banks have heard the message, particularly National Australian Bank and Westpac, and that’s what we’re looking for the Commonwealth Bank to also do,” he told AAP.

Commonwealth Bank quit an advisory role on the Adani project in August 2015 but hasn’t followed other banks in ruling out financing the mega mine.

The bank on Monday said people had the right “to express their views in a peaceful manner”.

The Commonwealth Bank supported “nearly every sector in the economy,” a spokesperson told AAP on Monday.

“(But) we will only fund projects that meet our strict environmental, social and governance standards.”

A Stop Adani spokesman later told AAP he was sceptical of that claim, however, given the bank had given millions of dollars to Adani over the years.

The Indian miner last week accepted the Queensland government’s royalties deal for its $16 billion coal mine in the Galilee Basin although the details won’t be released due to commercial-in-confidence.

Captain Roo hits 300 AFL games

St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt has thrown the limelight for his 300th AFL match towards Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, the foundation raising money for bone marrow failure in honour of his sister.

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The veteran forward notches the revered 300-game milestone on Saturday night against Western Bulldogs.

His club has produced a campaign to pay tribute to Riewoldt’s services across 16 seasons, the last 10 as captain.

The 33-year-old in turn will use the grand occasion help finance finding a cure for bone marrow failure, the condition which claimed his sister last February aged just 26.

“Maddie is the only thing that will be missing on Saturday night as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

“We’re extremely fortunate that we are able to leverage this occasion to do something really good.

“To pay tribute to her, honour her legacy and raise some money for bone marrow failure syndrome and Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, it’s a great thing to be able to do that while we celebrate my 300th.”

Riewoldt said he was “very flattered” by tributes coming his way as he prepares to become the fifth St Kilda player to reach the milestone.

He joins former teammates Robert Harvey, Nathan Burke and Stewart Loewe in reaching the 300-game milestone for Saints, as well as 1966 premiership hero Barry Breen.

Riewoldt said he was in awe of the trio when he joined the club in 2001.

“I remember my first year … thinking at the time they were great St Kilda people. And old,” he said.

“I certainly don’t feel old.

“It goes quick.

“When it starts to creep up … you can’t help but enjoy the experience and enjoy the ride.

“It’s something I’m really honoured by, especially given the calibre of players that have already achieved that for St Kilda.”

Riewoldt was joined by opposing skipper Bob Murphy on Wednesday, who was delighted to help promote the contest.

The pair have duelled for more than a decade on the field but have become friends after turning out in the International Rules series together.

Murphy, due to celebrate his own 300th match later in the season, promised Riewoldt a celebration in the right spirit.

“Nick’s a special player and one of the great players of my generation,” he said.

“He broke my heart a couple of times. Like all great romances we’ve patched it up.

“I’ll give him a hug before the first bounce and I’ll run into my pack and give them orders to rip him apart.

“I think that’s the way it has to be.”

Korean cosmetic boom hits Australia

The K-Pop music phenomenon has helped increase demand for South Korean make-up across Asia and the United States, and now Australia is catching on.

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Complex skincare routines form part of a daily ritual for many South Korean women as well as women of Korean ancestry living in Australia.

Annie Lee said ensuring a squeaky clean face was of paramount importance.

“My skincare routine’s actually quite elaborate for Koreans,” she said. “In the morning I like to double cleanse, and that’s to ensure that your skin – that when you do your make-up and stuff – all the residue is taken away so your skin is very clean before you do the other skincare routines like the toner, serum, essence and your creams.”

The South Korean cosmetics sector continues to challenge traditional European and United States cosmetics markets.

South Korean beauty chain The Face Shop has enjoyed massive expansion around the world, including in Australia.

The Face Shop’s Jessica Chae said the business’ success was reflective of the growing popularity of South Korean popular culture.

“I think, in general, the popularity of the Korean pop, Korean movies, Korea drama, all of that combined, as well as the tourism, has actually made Korea more popular, bringing in customers.”

Related readingDigital boom

Jen Kim, also known as “meejmuse,” is an Australian-born video blogger with a love for all things beauty.

The former primary-school teacher moved to South Korea a few years ago, and hundreds of thousands of people follow her online make-up tutorials.

She felt there was a lack of diversity in the make-up tutorials available online.

“I felt like there wasn’t enough about how to apply on Asian features and Asian eyes. You know, we’ve got very different eyes.”

Jen Kim said Korean women tended to favour a certain look.

“To sort of generalise, I guess it would be kind of the opposite of what is popular in the Western world. So it’s not so much about contouring and crazy arched brows, but it’s completely opposite to that. It’s more about the subtle, clear complexion. It’s a bit more of an innocent, charming, kind of baby-type-of-face look. “

Some of Jen Kim’s routines have been inspired by the K-Pop music phenomenon, a look some Korean-Australians like Angela Kim want to emulate.

“I think I’m happy with the Aussie way, but I also do want the clean-face look as well, because I was brought up in the Korean society as well. There’s a lot of Korean influence from the media as well. There is a lot of like pretty-faced-looking girls with nice skin, and I think everyone just looks up to that.”

In Australia, government trade figures show Korean cosmetic imports had almost doubled from 2014 and 2015, reaching almost 18 million dollars.

University of New South Wales economist Tim Harcourt said the Korean cosmetic sector currently ranked number five in the world, behind the United States and France and ahead of Italy.

“There is a lot of like pretty-faced-looking girls with nice skin, and I think everyone just looks up to that.”

He said large markets were developing, especially in Asia.

“Korea’s main flagship industries include cosmetics. Even the president, President Park herself, said it was one of the main things Korea wants to do in the world. So it’s been a phenomenon right around Asia, in America, and here now in Australia as well.”

Mr Harcourt said South Koreans have always had a great tradition in beauty and healthcare and with improvements in technology and growing living standards, the growth of the sector was inevitable.

“Income growth in Korea is quite substantial, they’re able to spend a lot of money domestically on cosmetics, and that’s allowed them to grow it as an international industry for them as well.” 

Chinese journalist resigns amid government clampdown on media

Yu Shaolei, Culture Editor of the Southern Metropolis Daily in China’s Guangdong province, posted a photo of his resignation letter on his Weibo account.

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The note said he could no longer toe the Communist Party line or “bear the surname” of the party.

His comments refer the President Xi Jinping’s widely publicised tour of China’s top three state media organisations in February, where he said that the allegiance of all journalists was to the party.

Yu had worked for the newspaper for more than 15 years. Though his social media post was quickly deleted by online censors, a cached version is still available on the FreeWeibo monitoring site.

“I’m getting old and have been kneeling so long I can’t bear it,” he wrote in the post. “Now I’d like to try to change posture.”

Knowing his note would be removed from Chinese social media, Yu added: “To the person responsible for watching my Weibo feed and notifying supervisors about what to delete, you can heave a sigh of relief. Apologies for causing you stress these past few years, and I sincerely hope your career will head in a new direction.”

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Yu’s letter is the latest expression of defiance by those frustrated by Xi Jinping’s efforts to silence voices that don’t toe the party line.

Property tycoon and businessman Ren Zhiqiang had his social media account deleted by censors after condemning Xi’s comments on the media. His Weibo account had more than 37 million followers.

Recently more than 20 people have been arrested after an anonymous letter calling for Xi Jinping’s resignation was published on the state-affiliated website Wujie News.

Chinese dissident Wen Yunchao, who currently lives in the United States, said members of his family had been detained, though he denied any connection to the letter. Last week columnist Jia Jia was arrested, and later released, after reportedly being suspected of penning the article.

German-based dissident Zhang Ping, also known as Chang Ping, said on Monday his siblings were being held in retaliation for writing about Jia Jia’s detention on the website of German broadcaster Deutsche-Welle. Authorities maintain that his relatives are being investigated on charges of arson.

Australian policy consultant David Kelly runs Beijing-based thinktank China Policy. He said the government had always had strict control of the media, but the public’s attitude toward it is changing.

“Something has happened in the relation between the power centre in the party and public opinion. Public opinion is not sitting still, public opinion is very different from what it was 50 or 60 years ago,” he said.

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Authorities have also announced regulations that will increase the party’s oversight of the media.

At the end of February, a new law was announced banning foreign companies from publishing content online. While the law takes effect this month, its scope remains unclear.

Although a number of western media sites are already blocked in China, many others still providing content to Chinese users via foreign internet servers.

On Monday, draft guidelines were posted on a government website that would prohibit Chinese internet service providers from allowing connections to websites with domains or internet addresses registered outside China. Violators would face fines of more than $5,000.

The government has not commented on its plans to concretely implement the guidelines, as similar rules have in the past been poorly enforced. But many believe it is in line with the government’s recent efforts to maintain tight control of China’s media and information sphere.

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Roos mulls personnel changes for Demons

Lynden Dunn, Heritier Lumumba and Angus Brayshaw will all contend for selection in Melbourne’s round-two AFL clash with Essendon.

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The Demons will shoot for a 2-0 start to the season and back-to-back wins on the MCG for the first time in five years on Saturday afternoon.

Supporting their case is a new-found depth on Melbourne’s list that makes coach Paul Roos’ time at the selection table more difficult.

At this stage of the campaign, Roos is picking the fittest players he’s got in the hunt for a competitive advantage.

“We made a really conscious decision to pick a fit and healthy team (against the Giants) and as it turned out it was a probably a good decision,” he said.

Roos suggested Dunn, Lumumba and Brayshaw, who suffered a knee injury in the NAB Challenge, were the names closest to cracking into a winning 22.

“The discussion is going to be around the fitness side of things again,” he said.

“At the moment we’re healthy, but those guys will certainly come into consideration. It becomes more about health and touch and (if) we feel like this week’s too early or not.”

“H (Lumumba) only came back to training five or six weeks ago.

“Dunny had that groin strain early in the (pre-season) game against the Bulldogs.”

There is likely to be a vacancy in Melbourne’s defence given Oscar McDonald’s ankle injury sustained against the Giants.

The 20-year-old had a low-key training session on Wednesday, with Dunn the most likely replacement for the youngster.

The emphasis on fitness is likely to keep Christian Petracca out of the side, especially given the interchange cap requiring an extra effort from all 22 players.

“There’s nowhere to hide on an AFL ground,” he said.

“The plan will stay the same and when we think he’s at a suitable level of fitness we start to judge him on his form, and what round he gets into the team will be determined by those two factors.”

Businesses losing money by not recycling

Cafes in inner Sydney are paying to dump 3,000 tonnes of coffee grounds in landfill each year, when a little more attention to recycling could save them money.

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A report from not-for-profit environmental group Planet Ark says 70 per cent of businesses think they are doing all they can to reduce waste, even though only 60 per cent of commercial and industrial waste is recycled.

If businesses use a recycling contractor to pick up their waste instead of sending it to landfill, they will save money and in some cases even make money, Planet Ark campaign head Brad Gray said.

“Most of the time businesses don’t actually spend any time thinking about what they’re paying for waste,” Mr Gray said.

“If they are part of a bigger building it’s probably part of their rental fees.”

Recyclable items commonly sent to landfill include plastic, cardboard and food scraps.

This includes more than 90 per cent of coffee waste from the 921 cafes in the City of Sydney, which could instead be sold to make oil or compost.

“It’s really good for growing mushrooms,” he said.

Cardboard is a material most businesses are either lazy or ignorant about, Mr Gray said, as it is flattened to remove the big spaces between pieces.

“(Businesses) are paying for air to be removed from their property,” he said.

Business managers are often limited in their understanding of recycling because they think of it only in terms of what is recycled in the home.

“What we’re trying to do is encourage them to think in a fuller range,” Mr Gray said.

“If you’re a manufacturer, those plastic off cuts – why not recycle those?”

The report also said 76 per cent of Australian businesses believe good waste management improves their public perception, an incentive to be environmentally friendly.

“They have to recruit less often and staff are happier in their work,” Mr Gray said.