The surprise visitor at David Leyonhjelm’s gay marriage press conference

Senator Cory Bernardi listens in as Chris Teoh and Ivan Hinton from Australian Marriage Equality and senator David Leyonhjelm talk about the same-sex marriage bill. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Senator Cory Bernardi arrives to listen in. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Shanghai night field

Same-sex marriage bill to reignite debateThe Pulse live from Parliament House

Cory Bernardi is not exactly known for his support of same-sex marriage.

In fact, the Liberal Party senator famously lost his frontbench spot in 2012 after he warned it would lead to people being able to marry animals.

So Bernardi was the last person one expected to see at senator David Leyonhjelm’s press conference promoting a free Liberal Party vote on his marriage equality bill.

But sure enough, at the back of Thursday’s media conference, there was the South Australian, who has also warned same-sex marriage will lead to group marriages.

When representatives of Australian Marriage Equality took over the microphone, Leyonhjelm went over to Bernardi to investigate the situation.

“I’m not supporting him, all right?” Bernardi told the Liberal Democrat Senator, in reference to marriage equality advocate Ivan Hinton-Teoh.

But Leyonhjelm replied he was perfectly relaxed.

“We know that. It’s not a problem, I’m happy to accept opposition,” he told Bernardi.

In fact, the two men may not agree on same-sex marriage but they were in furious agreement about free speech in a democracy.

“You’re a senator, you’re entitled to bring in any bill you like,” Bernardi told him.

“And I’m entitled to advocate [against it].”

“You are, you are,” Leyonhjelm nodded.

Bernardi, who had business in the nearby committee rooms at Parliament House, explained that he had simply dropped by to inform himself.

As the two men shook hands, he said: “Just wanted to hear what you had to say.”

Leyonhjelm will make a second-reading speech on his “freedom to marry” bill next Thursday, and says that the Liberal Party should decide whether it will allow a free vote on the issue at their party room meeting next Tuesday.

He said this meant Prime Minister Tony Abbott could not “stand in the way”.

“The time has come for the Prime Minister to reveal whether the word ‘liberal’ actually means anything to him or it’s just a brand name like Datsun or Krispy Kreme,” Leyonhjelm told reporters.

Leyonhjelm introduced his bill, which would amend the Marriage Act to allow marriage between same-sex couples, as well as transgender and intersex Australians, last November. But he has not yet given the major second-reading speech, which triggers a parliamentary debate on the bill.

Follow us on Twitter

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

David Pocock happy to bide time on Brumbies bench for Super Rugby comeback

Returning ACT Brumbies flanker David Pocock says he’s happy to bide his time on the bench, conceding “I don’t see any way you could drop” Ita Vaea or Jarrad Butler to make way for his Super Rugby comeback.
Shanghai night field

Pocock also claims the Brumbies are underdogs as they prepare to to play against the defending champion NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Sunday.

As revealed in Fairfax Media, former Wallabies captain Pocock will play his second game of the season from the bench after recovering from ankle ligament damage.

Pocock has battled through more than two years of injury woes after moving to Canberra for the 2013 season, having two knee reconstructions and playing just six games for the Brumbies.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is putting faith in back-row duo Vaea and Butler to take on the Waratahs, easing Pocock into action from the bench.

“Ita Vaea and Jarrad Butler have been outstanding, I don’t see any way you could drop them after the last four or five performances,” Pocock said on ABC Canberra.

“[The ankle] is feeling good … we had a fairly brutal session [on Wednesday] and to get through that gave me a lot of confidence.”

Vaea and Butler have formed a back-row partnership in Pocock’s month-long rehabilitation, and they will hold on to their spots for at least one more week.

The Brumbies have won four of their first five games this season, including a 29-0 rout against the Queensland Reds last weekend.

They have scored 18 tries in their five games and conceded just three to be 10 points clear at the top of the Australian conference.

The Waratahs are still finding their rhythm after winning their inaugural Super Rugby title last year, but will be intent on continuing the Brumbies Sydney woes on Sunday.

The Brumbies have failed to score more than eight points per game in their past three matches in Sydney while the Waratahs have won 10 of their past 11 games at home.

Pocock warned that the Brumbies would need to lift their physicality if they want to reverse their Sydney trend.

“The Waratahs are probably the most physical team in the competition and [the game] will definitely be a big step up from anything we’ve had over the last few weeks,” Pocock said.

“There’s a lot of history between the Tahs and the Brumbies and that runs pretty deep. Our focus has been on trying to improve little aspects of our game.

“It’s a huge opportunity for us, we go up as underdogs. The Tahs at home…they haven’t lost too many in Sydney. They’re starting to play some pretty good rugby.”

Pocock’s bench spot will delay a match up with incumbent Wallabies openside flanker and skipper Michael Hooper.

And despite having the perfect chance to impress Test coach Michael Cheika, who doubles as the Waratahs mentor, Pocock said World Cup selection wouldn’t add extra motivation to his comeback game.

“You can’t think like that [about Wallabies], my approach has always been that you focus on playing well for your Super Rugby team and the rest will take care of itself.

“You can’t go out there trying to prove yourself for Wallabies five weeks into the season.”

Pocock is the only change Larkham has made to the game-day squad for the Australian derby match.

Fotu Auelua and Jesse Mogg have returned to full training, but both are building their fitness before returning to Super Rugby.

SUPER RUGBY ROUND SIX

Sunday: NSW Waratahs v ACT Brumbies at Allianz Stadium, 4.05pm. TV time: Live on Fox Sports 2.

Brumbies team: 15. Robbie Coleman, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Joseph Tomane, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Ita Vaea, 7. Jarrad Butler, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. Jean-Pierre Smith, 19. David Pocock, 20. Jordan Smiler, 21. Michael Dowsett, 22. Lausii Taliauli, 23. James Dargaville

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Research finds plain packaging keeps smoking urge under wraps

Plain packaging made smokers more likely to consider quitting in the year after it was introduced and made cigarettes less appealing to teens, Cancer Council research has found.
Shanghai night field

More than 5000 smokers were surveyed over the period the plain packs were introduced for the research, which has been published in British medical journal Tobacco Control.

One of the key architects of plain packaging, Australian Council on Smoking and Health president Mike Daube, said the research was a “stunning vindication” of the legislation.

“The outcomes from this meticulous research are even better than we had expected,” he said. “No wonder the tobacco companies opposed plain packaging so ferociously.

“We now have evidence of falling sales, declining smoking and positive impacts on adults, potential quitters and children. That’s an extraordinary outcome after only two years for a measure that was always aimed at the longer term.”

All brand names and logos were removed from cigarette packs in December 2012, which also show graphic warnings of the health affects of tobacco.

The research found about one in five of the smokers surveyed had attempted to quit in the months before the change. However, one year on from the plain packs, this had increased to more than one in four. This data was adjusted to account for the impact of anti-smoking advertising campaigns and price increases.

A separate survey of 6000 high school students in 2011 and 2013 found those interviewed after the introduction of plain packaging had a more negative view of the packs’ appeal.

Professor Daube, who chaired the government committee that recommended plain packaging, said the biggest impact of the legislation would be on children dissuaded from taking up the habit.

The research’s lead author, Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer director Melanie Wakefield, said the results were “a very good sign for public health and a good sign for the future”.

The research also found that after plain packaging was introduced: Smokers were more likely to hide the drab cardboard packs from view and stub out their cigarettes early, which Dr Wakefield said was a sign the smoker could go on to contemplate quitting the habit.The price of cigarettes increased across the board and the proportion of smokers buying from convenience stores remained static, but there was no sign of a surge in overseas, online or duty-free purchases.  There was no increase in use of illegal cigarettes.

The research coincides with news that Britain and Ireland will follow Australia’s lead by also introducing plain packaging

“Lots of other countries are interested in the plain packaging policy,” Professor Wakefield said “The evaluation that is being released today will help their decision making about that.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Mantra Group raises $50m to buy Outrigger Australia

Mantra, which listed just under a year ago, has an extensive network of budget to high end brands including Breakfree, Mantra and Peppers Resorts.Listed Mantra Group is raising $50 million to fund its expansion program, that kicked off with the acquisition of the four Outrigger Hotels & Resorts in Australia.
Shanghai night field

Its tapping institutional investors, and will pay Outrigger $29.5 million for the management rights of 984 rooms plus freehold title to the “Managers Lot” real estate, being comprising restaurants, conference facilities and other common areas.

The four hotels are Outrigger Surfers Paradise; Outrigger Twin Towns Resorts, Coolangatta; Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa, Noosa; and Boathouse Apartments by Outrigger Airlie Beach.

Outrigger Australia has been looking to sell the management rights of the four hotels in recent times as it looks to focus on other countries, including the US and Hawaii, where the brand was founded.

The offer is 16.4 million additional shares at $3.05 through Macquarie and UBS.

Mantra, which listed just under a year ago, has an extensive network of budget to high end brands including Breakfree, Mantra and Peppers Resorts.

As part of its growth, Mantra offers investors the ability to buy a room or apartment in its hotels and either live there or lease it back to Mantra as a hotel room investment. It also manages the Peppers resort in Seminyak, Bali.

The group’s chief executive, Bob East, said it was a natural fit to acquire the Outrigger brands.

“The hotels will be rebranded, two as Mantra and two as Peppers and comes at a time when we see conditions in the hotel sector on the ascendency,” Mr East said.

“The opportunity came up a few months ago, and after much discussion, its a deal that fits with our stated growth strategy.”

Mr East said the hotel and leisure market was one of the beneficiaries of the softer $A as its boosting both domestic and international inbound visitations.

“The impact of the Outrigger Acquisition and the placement is expected to be accretive to earnings per security in financial year 2016. Settlement of the Outrigger acquisition is expected to complete by June 2015, subject to closing conditions customary for an acquisition of this nature,” he said.

Mantra has UBS and CVC Asia Pacific as escrowed shareholders, as part of the 2014 float, with the agreement ending in August this year. This has prompted suggestion a block trade could occur at that time.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Janet Yellen isn’t going to raise rates until she’s good and ready

Won’t be boxed in: Janet Yellen has bought herself some latitude to decide when and how the Fed ushers in an era of tighter money.meeting. Photo: Joshua RobertsThe key words in Janet Yellen’s news conference Wednesday were rather pithy, at least by central bank standards.
Shanghai night field

“Just because we removed the word ‘patient’ from the statement doesn’t mean we are going to be impatient,”  the Federal Reserve chairwoman said.

With this framing, Yellen was putting her firm stamp on the policy of an institution she has led for just over a year – and making clear that she will not be boxed in. The Yellen Fed, her words and accompanying announcements conveyed, has no intention of taking the support struts of low interest rates away until she is absolutely confident that economic growth will hold up without them.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, the Fed’s policy committee had removed a promise to be “patient” about raising interest rates from its written statement, which had been anticipated by financial markets for months as a signal that interest rate increases are imminent.

But Yellen managed a delicate task of changing that language to obtain flexibility without setting the Fed on a preordained course to tighter money. Patience versus impatience

Yellen’s comments about patience versus impatience were part of that dance. But the dual message was even more powerful when combined with other elements of the central bank’s newly released information, which make clear that policymakers intend to move cautiously on rate increases.

Fed officials’ forecasts of how high rates will be at year’s end for 2015, 2016 and 2017 all fell compared to where they were in December. They marked down their forecast for economic growth and inflation for all three years, implying that the nation’s growth challenge is tougher and inflation risks more distant than they had seemed a few months ago.

Fed officials lowered their estimate of the longer-run unemployment rate, to 5.to 5.2 per cent, from 5.2 to 5.5 per cent. That is important because with US joblessness hitting 5.5 per cent in February, it implies that the job market has more room to tighten. In fact, Fed leaders are now forecasting unemployment rates in 2016 and 2017 that one would expect to translate into rising wages.

In other words, policymakers want to run the economy a little hot for the next couple of years in order to spur the kinds of wage gains that might return inflation to the 2 per cent level they aim for, but which they have persistently undershot in recent years.

But apart from the details of the dovish monetary policy signals Yellen and her colleagues sent, it is clear she wanted to jolt markets out of any feeling that policy is on a preordained path. Jolting markets

At times over the last couple of years, the Fed has seemed to set a policy course and then went on a forced march until it got there, regardless of whether the jobs numbers are good or bad, or whether inflation is rising or falling.

That is certainly how it felt when the Fed decided in December 2013 to taper its quantitative easing by $US10 billion per meeting, which it did through the first nine months of 2014 with few signs of re-evaluation as conditions evolved.

In her first news conference as chairwoman a year ago, Yellen had suggested that interest rates might be on a similar preordained path by saying that she could imagine rate increases “around six months” after the conclusion of quantitative easing. (That comment increasingly looks to have been a rookie mistake, and she later backed away from it.)

Since then, the job market has shown strong improvement, particularly in terms of jobs added and the falling unemployment rate. But meaningful wage gains have still been lacking.

Meanwhile, oil prices have plummeted and the dollar has risen on global markets, both of which are pushing inflation far below the Fed’s 2 per cent target (leaders of the central bank expect inflation of 0.6 to 0.8 per cent in 2015).

With Wednesday’s meeting, Yellen was making clear that the committee really will adapt its policy to incoming information rather than simply carry on the path it set a year ago.

If the strengthening dollar and falling oil prices start to translate into still-lower expectations for future inflation, it will hold off on rate rises – and the same if wage gains and other job market indicators show a lack of progress. Conversely, if the job market recovery continues and it becomes clear that inflation is going to rise back toward 2 per cent, Yellen doesn’t want to be constrained by language about “patience.”

“This change does not necessarily mean that an increase will occur in June,” Yellen said, “though we cannot rule that out.”

She has now bought herself some latitude to decide when and how the Fed ushers in an era of tighter money.

Now the question is just how patient or impatient  US economic conditions will allow her to be.

The New York Times

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Jamie Durie sells Bilgola house for $3.8 million

Jamie Durie has sold his Bilgola house for $3.8 million after dropping the price.Landscape-designer-turned-reality-host Jamie Durie has sold his Bilgola home for about $3.8 million after he dropped his initial price hopes of beating the suburb record.
Shanghai night field

Durie built the dramatic residence as a collaboration with the designer and architect Walter Barda, and features luxury add-ons such as a sauna, gym, yoga room, pool and rooftop deck. Durie had also included his signature vertical and suspended gardens.

Having bought the 614-square-metre property in 2003 for $1.3 million, Durie listed it last September with initial hopes of topping the suburb’s non-beachfront record of $4.4 million set in 2013 for a house on Bilgola Avenue.

Before the property was sold the listing agents Ken Jacobs, of Christie’s International, and Bill Eames, of LJ Hooker Avalon, dropped the asking price to $3.75 million-plus. Neither agent would disclose the sale result, leaving it to a source to reveal the result.

Durie offloaded the house because of his growing commitments in the United States, where his new series Outback Nation starts next month.

The sale coincides with a price adjustment on another Bilgola property, the Iain Halliday-redesigned Stone House, owned by liquidator Ian Ferrier and Joanne May who first listed it in November also with hopes of topping the $4.4 million suburb record.

The 1927-built sandstone house was bought by Ferrier and May, the mother of hotelier Ben May, in 2001 for $2.1 million, and the adjoining 1200 square metres added the following year for $725,000.

Glenn Lee, of Raine & Horne Palm Beach, is now asking more than $3.5 million for the 2500-square-metre property with the landmark house, going to auction on May 5. The adjoining 1200 square metres is on offer for more than $1 million.

Follow Domain on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Fortescue’s pulled bond is canary in our mine-driven economy

Fortescue’s debt woes signal more pain ahead for miners, and the wider economy. Photo: David GrayFortescue Metals’ scrapped bid to borrow $US2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) stands as a warning of more distress in our economy, so hamstrung by its dependence on selling raw materials to China. The world’s fourth-biggest exporter of iron ore was forced to pull plans to refinance some of its debt after the rout in commodity prices. The extra yield investors demand to hold Fortescue’s existing 2022 notes instead of US Treasuries jumped above 10 percentage points to the highest since they were issued in 2012.  Fortescue’s market value fell to $5.8 billion on Wednesday, having peaked at $35.8 billion in 2008. The miner’s success over the past years had spurred dozens of smaller companies, driving a record mining-investment boom. Now Australia’s economy is seeking new drivers of growth. “Fortescue shelving their $US2.5 billion deal is obviously an indicator that conditions weren’t ready to absorb that deal at the right price,” said Michel Lowy, chief executive officer and co-founder of SC Lowy, an independent loan and bonds specialist firm based in Hong Kong. “Mining is certainly an industry that has been suffering, but more from the equities side.” Chinese demand
Shanghai night field

He said there are 10 to 12 Australian mining-related, high-yield bonds that have repriced on refinancing concerns. The industry’s fortunes are linked to that of Chinese property developers as construction has driven demand for commodities, including iron ore used to make steel, he explained. The seven-year senior secured bonds that Fortescue was looking to place were being marketed to yield 8 per cent to 8.25 per cent, while some lenders were looking for an all-in yield of 9 per cent, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. “It’s obviously tough times out there,” said Glyn Lawcock, head of resources research at UBS in Sydney. While Fortescue’s next debt maturity isn’t until April 2017, the deal’s postponement “doesn’t leave a great taste in investors’ mouths,” Lawcock said. Volatile markets

The yield on Fortescue’s existing unsecured 2022 notes was 10.16 percentage points above Treasuries on Tuesday, Trace pricing indicated. The spread slipped back to 10.05 percentage points in New York midmorning trade on Wednesday as the bonds were quoted at 75.8 cents on the dollar to yield 12.08 per cent, Trace data show. The company’s existing $US4.9 billion term loan maturing in 2019 fell to about 90.25 cents on the dollar from 91 on Monday and 96 on March 5, when the miner announced refinancing plans, according to people familiar with the trades. Fortescue’s shares fell 5.3 per cent to $1.865 in Sydney on Wednesday, the lowest close since January 2009, after the producer said the sale had been postponed, citing volatile US credit markets and a failure to achieve the terms it wanted. “Debt capital markets were not favourable at this time and as a result we think it is a disciplined and prudent decision to defer the voluntary refinancing at this stage,” Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said in a statement on Wednesday. The delay came as the price of iron ore, Australia’s biggest export commodity, plunged by the most in more than a week. Ore with 62 per cent content at the Chinese port of Qingdao fell 2.6 per cent to $us55.48 a ton on Wednesday, according to Metal Bulletin. That’s the lowest since at least May 2008, when Metal Bulletin started compiling weekly prices. Slowing economy

It’s also below the reduced price forecast published Wednesday by the Australian government, which lowered its 2015 price estimate to $US60 a ton from a $US63 projection in December. The reduction in global commodity prices is putting pressure on the government’s revenues, hampering its ability to address a slowing economy that’s pushed unemployment to near the highest level in more than a decade. Goldman Sachs has said there is a one-in-three chance that the country will fall into recession over the next year. With confidence languishing, the RBA has said that it may need to cut its benchmark rate further from an already record low of 2.25 per cent, and swaps markets are pricing in a further 0.45 percentage point of reductions over the next year, according to a Credit Suisse index. “Commodity prices have declined over the past year, in some cases sharply,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in the statement accompanying this month’s monetary policy decision. “The economy is likely to be operating with a degree of spare capacity for some time yet.”

Bloomberg

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Nike’s ‘Just do it’ slogan inspired by death row prisoner’s last words

Just do it: Best tagline of the 20th century? Photo: Sarah Berry Just do it: Best tagline of the 20th century? Photo: Sarah Berry
Shanghai night field

Just do it: Best tagline of the 20th century? Photo: Sarah Berry

Just do it: Best tagline of the 20th century? Photo: Sarah Berry

It has been described as arguably the best tagline of the 20th century. It is certainly one of the most recognised.

But, Nike’s fitspo “Just do it” line has its dark roots on death row.

It was inspired by the last words of a convicted killer before his execution.

In a new interview, Dan Wieden, the advertising executive behind the famous campaign, opened up about its origins.

It was 1988 and Wieden was struggling to come up with a line that could capture the sportswear company’s spirit across different TV commercials the ad agency had created for them.

“I was recalling a man in Portland,” Wieden told Dezeen magazine.

Utah killer Gary Gilmore was sentenced to death in 1977 for robbing and murdering two men.

“They asked him if he had any final thoughts and he said: ‘Let’s do it’,” Wieden recalled.

 

“And for some reason I went: ‘Now damn. How do you do that? How do you ask for an ultimate challenge that you are probably going to lose, but you call it in?’ So I thought, well, I didn’t like ‘Let’s do it’ so I just changed it to ‘Just do it’.”

At first Nike’s founders hated the idea.

“[Co-founder] Phil Knight said, ‘We don’t need that shit’,” Wieden said. “I said ‘Just trust me on this one.’ So they trusted me and it went big pretty quickly.”

The ‘Just do it’ line made its debut that same year in an ad featuring 80-year-old runner Walt Stack.

“I run 17 miles every morning,” Stack says in the ad. “People ask me how I keep my teeth from chattering in the winter-time.

“I leave them in my locker,” he smiles as the screen fades to black and the slogan “Just do it” appears with the trademark swoosh.

The slogan and the swoosh resonated with all audiences and helped Nike overtake their rival Reebok to dominate the sneaker market.

It is “arguably the best tagline of the 20th century,” says Campaign magazine, noting it “cut across age and class barriers, linked Nike with success – and made consumers believe they could be successful too, just by wearing its products”.

Of the slogan that is still popular 30 years later, the magazine said: “Like all great taglines, it was both simple and memorable. It also suggested something more than its literal meaning, allowing people to interpret it as they wished and, in doing so, establish a personal connection with the brand.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Conman Dene Broadbelt faked own death when sprung on social media

A young DJ-turned-conman who tried to hire staff and buy vehicles and services for a proposed real estate agency has seemingly gone to the bizarre extreme of issuing a press release  pretending he died by suicide at the weekend.
Shanghai night field

Dene Broadbelt, who has used several aliases for a string of dubious business ventures and unpaid debts across Australia, raised suspicions in the Timboon region of Victoria during the past few weeks with his bold plans and brash style.

His guise was blown on Monday night by two young Timboon district men who, after discovering his past, confronted him via social media. Soon afterwards Broadbelt’s telephone number was disconnected and his Facebook site closed.

Then, on Tuesday evening, the radioinfo website and journalists received an email from a “Jason Blackford”, announcing “the sad news that Dene Broadbelt died unexpectedly on Saturday night when he took his own life. There is to be a memorial service held ASAP”.

The website editor ran it in good faith, but removed it yesterday after information came to light about Broadbelt being seen alive, at least twice, in Timboon after his supposed death.

He was in a local cafe conducting job interviews on Sunday and was responding to social media conversations on Monday. Where he is now is anyone’s guess.

According to two members of the Dene Broadbelt Support Group for victims, on Facebook, Jason Blackford does work in the radio industry, but he has denied sending the emailed death notice and claims someone else sent it in his name.

“He’ll definitely pop up again somewhere else,” said film director Noel Sadler, who is spokesman for the Dene Broadbelt Support Group for victims.

“This guy needs to get some professional help. After what’s happened why would you keep on trying to these scams you know you are going to get caught out again?”

In July 2014, Fairfax Media revealed that Mr Broadbelt, then 21, had run up debts of more than $120,000 over 18 months with elaborate deceits.  He has claimed to be filming a charity cancer walk for Channel Seven in the outback, a music promoter touring a national festival and a big-city DJ talent agency chief.

In Timboon, using the alias Harrison Eyles, the managing director of business called Coast and Country Real Estate, Mr Broadbent conducted face-to-face interviews and trawled through Facebook to recruit prospective employees.

On several occasions he left his business card, bearing the name Harrison O’Connor.

He attended a meeting of the Timboon Action Group to touch base with local business operators and in a subsequent letter to the association said he wanted to open a real estate agency that mirrored Melbourne-style agencies.

In his letter he claimed the local market was “over-saturated by respectfully older-style agents and agencies with old ideas and values” and that “my competitors are playing golf twice a week or bowls”.

He claimed to be the owner and founder of the business. However, investigations revealed he does not hold a Victorian real estate licence.

One of his prospective employees checked out Broadbelt’s claim of having a father who was an established real estate agent and found the person was actually a 28-year-old whose only commonality was the surname Eyles.

“I thought he was dodgy from the start,” the prospective employee said.

One Timboon business operator said Broadbelt “wasted a lot of our time” in seeking quotes from tradespeople about prospective alterations to a shop he indicated he would lease in the centre of town.

He also placed tentative orders for three new vehicles from a local dealership and made inquiries about a premises in Port Campbell.

The Dene Broadbelt Support Group has 118 members who have been affected by his actions. He allegedly has debts for unpaid goods and services across the nation, but has never been charged in court.

For help or information call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636

– Warrnambool Standard , with Peter Vincent

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Frankfurt burning: Anti-capitalism protesters clash with police near ECB

Protesters set cars on fire and clashed with police officers on Wednesday as they marched toward the European Central Bank’s new headquarters, in a demonstration against austerity and capitalism that took on a markedly more heated tone than past protests.
Shanghai night field

The rally, organised by a group called Blockupy and German workers’ unions, drew thousands of people as the central bank inaugurated its new tower. In the morning, as a group of roughly 400 demonstrators tried to cross a bridge over the Main River and head toward the tower, they were blocked by the police. Smaller groups burned police cars, furniture, trash and bikes nearby. Hundreds of police officers in riot gear guarded an area around the bank, and officers sprayed tear gas at protesters who had been throwing rocks.

More than 200 demonstrators were injured by police bats and tear gas, Blockupy said, and the police said 94 officers were injured. “The violent acts of some activists were neither planned nor wanted,” said Frauke Loew, a Blockupy spokeswoman.

The size and intensity of the protests sent a strong signal that the German Blockupy movement was back after an earlier wave of activism petered out in 2012. But in contrast to the earlier, mostly mellow protests, there was a distinctly violent element on Wednesday, reflecting the political polarisation that has built in the eurozone after four years of harsh cuts in government spending and astronomical unemployment in Greece and other troubled countries. Activist alliance

Blockupy is a left-wing alliance of dozens of activist groups from across Europe. Its members include one of the largest German labour unions, the United Service Union, known as Ver.di, and Syriza, the left-wing, anti-austerity Greek political party that is now leading the government in Athens.

The European Central Bank is one of Greece’s main creditors, and it is part of the so-called troika of international organisations that are supervising the Greek bailout program that the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to renegotiate. The central bank, along with the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, are widely blamed for imposing austerity measures on countries that have needed bailouts.

Rosina Sfyridou, a German of Greek descent who lives in Frankfurt and was among a small group carrying a Syriza flag near the Main River at midday, said she wanted to fight for democracy and social justice, and not only in Greece.

“The troika is making life difficult,” she said. “Schools are closing. Greeks can’t get proper health care. I have family there; we’re closer to the problem.”

Panagiotis Tsianakas, another German of Greek descent, headed to a central square to hear a speech by a Syriza representative, Giorgos Chondros. “The European finance ministers are brushing democracy to the side,” Tsianakas said. ‘Battle for all Europeans’

Antagonism has been growing between Greece and Germany, Athens’ biggest European lender. “Our battle in Greece is a battle for all Europeans,” Chondros told a cheering crowd of about 8000. “We need a European organisation against austerity, and that organisation has started here today.”

Employees of the central bank began moving into the new headquarters, which cost about $1.6 billion, near the end of last year. Away from downtown Frankfurt on a parklike site overlooking the Main River, the 600-foot-high tinted-glass tower is a more potent symbol of central bank power than the generic gray high-rise in central Frankfurt that it previously occupied.

The inauguration ceremony on Wednesday was scaled back in response to the protests. In addition, some European Central Bank employees were encouraged to work from home on Wednesday, though a central bank spokesman said the institution was “fully operational.”

Mario Draghi, president of the bank, acknowledged in a speech inaugurating the headquarters that European unity was being strained and that “people are going through very difficult times.”

As a European Union institution “that has played a central role throughout the crisis, the ECB has become a focal point for those frustrated with this situation,” Draghi said in prepared remarks. “This may not be a fair charge – our action has been aimed precisely at cushioning the shocks suffered by the economy. But as the central bank of the whole euro area, we must listen very carefully to what all our citizens are saying.”

Since 2012, activists have occasionally handed out leaflets in front of the central bank’s headquarters, but there had been little organized protest in Frankfurt until Wednesday.

The previous headquarters was the focal point of protests beginning in October 2011 as part of the global Occupy movement. The following year, an estimated 60 to 100 protesters encamped in a grassy area below the building until the police cleared it in August. The eviction took place without any major incidents.

On Wednesday, many businesses near the headquarters shut their doors, and residents watched the action on the street from their windows, coffee and cameras in hand.

One protester, a woman from Denmark who would give her name only as Sara, said she arrived on an overnight bus with about 80 others to show her disdain for the way the capitalist system enriched some but impoverished others.

“I believe in fighting against the system,” she said, taking a break in a bakery. “It won’t change if you don’t do something. I am here for solidarity.”

The New York Times

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.