Aboriginal teenagers have stolen a car and raided a bakery

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An NT News car was stolen by four Aboriginal teens on Sunday morning before they smashed a front window of the Outback Bakery with a wheelie bin and stole sweets and charity money.

May 29, 2017 at 10:16AM

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PHAA claims ‘Islam ISN’T linked to terrorism’

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The Public Health Association of Australia has called on a powerful committee to ‘disavow’ the concept that there are ‘inherent links’ between Islam and terrorism.

May 29, 2017 at 10:16AM

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Battling Kyrgios ready to play through pain

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PARIS, May 29 (Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios is having a “hard time” with hip and shoulder injuries but the Australian said he has done all he can to be ready for…

May 29, 2017 at 10:16AM

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UBS: Big miners can still perform even if China’s economy slows

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UBS remains overweight in its exposure to Aussie mining stocks, despite a slowdown in China and lower commodity prices.

Analysts David Cassidy and Dean Dusanic argue that despite competing forces at play, the positive indicators for both mining and energy sub-sectors outweigh the negative.

The two analysts noted the changes under way in terms of demand from China. They referred to the period of Chinese growth since 2004 as the “China Age”, and said that the resulting strong demand had clearly supported commodity prices “particularly the steel making bulk commodities”.

However, growth since 2004 has also been accompanied by bigger swings in China’s demand cycle. That caused more volatility in commodities, which resource stocks have tended to track closely:

Cassidy and Dusanic said that if China continues its shift towards a slower and more stable rate of growth, volatility in commodity prices may subside.

In that environment, they cited data from 1991 to 2003 (before the boom in Chinese demand) to argue that resources stocks didn’t track commodity prices as closely when volatility was lower:

“On balance we think the commodity environment going forward could still be better than the 1992 to 2003 period, but it is a reasonable benchmark to compare and contrast with the more recent 2004 to 2017 period,” they said.

The two analysts said that lower volatility would bring different dynamics into play. Rather than just tracking commodities prices, analysts will place more emphasis on free cash-flow in determining fair value.

In view of that, “company-specific execution” will be more important. Diversified exposure with asset positions such as oil and copper will be beneficial, although Cassidy and Dusanic said they still expect the bigger, low-cost iron ore producers to perform well.

Against a backdrop of lower volatility, Cassidy and Dusanic said that UBS client views were mixed on the outlook for resources stocks.

On one hand, an argument can be made that resources stocks look quite cheap by a number of valuation metrics. They’re currently below the market average on both a price-to-earnings ratio and a price-to-book ratio.

“Valuation advocates generally rely on low price to book as the bedrock to their argument, as well as the generally moderate nature of commodity assumptions required for reasonably good cash-flow projections (particularly for the large cap low cost miners),” the two analysts said.

In addition, they cited the reflation argument whereby commodities stand to benefit from more government spending on infrastructure projects.

Off-setting that is a view among some clients that resource stocks won’t be able to escape the effects of China’s slowdown, and the resulting pressure on commodity prices.

On balance, UBS remains overweight resources in both mining stocks and the energy sub-sectors.

“This is based on relative value of these sectors versus the broader market (figures 11 and 12) and a reasonably constructive view of global growth relative to recent years (notwithstanding the likelihood of slower China demand growth),” they said.

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May 29, 2017 at 10:12AM

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How avoiding what we fear can often lead to more anxiety than if we faced it head on

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Our imagination is a wondrous thing.

Without it, the most beautiful works of human kind would never have been brought into existence. Perhaps you wouldn’t have been either! Yet when fuelled by fear, our imagination can drive us to underestimate ourselves, overestimate the risks and exaggerate potential consequences. By turning shadows into monsters, it can fool us into believing that danger lurks around the corner and that we’re safer staying exactly where we are.

So you want to make a change, or take a chance or shake things up a little … or a lot. But arghhhh … what if everything goes wrong?

What if I mess things up?

What if I misjudge the situation?

What if people let me down?

What if I fall short?

What if it turns into a complete and utter unmitigated disaster … like you end up homeless, totally broke, abandoned by your friends, disowned by your family, the laughing stock of everybody you’ve ever wanted to be respected by?

Fear drives you to focus more on what could go wrong than on what could go right.

What if …?!

Let’s face it, for all the beauty our imagination can conceive, when fear takes hold of it, it can come up with some pretty worrisome, if not outright terrifying, scenarios.

It’s called ‘catastrophising’. (Well that’s what I call it anyway.)

It can freeze you in your tracks and guarantee you never fail because it stops you ever daring to attempt. In novelist Stephen King’s words, ‘Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win’.

It’s little surprise that most of the things we spend our lives afraid might happen never actually do. Our children aren’t abducted. We don’t catch the killer virus. Our plane doesn’t crash.

Fear is the by-product of the thoughts you create in your own head; the projection of some possible future occurrence fuelled by an experience from the past. Usually one that is completely disconnected.

FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. Taming it sometimes requires figuring out whether our ‘monsters and ghosts’ are real or just figments of our imagination kept alive from our past. After all, it’s not what you think you fear, it’s what you link to fear.

It’s not the event that you fear that holds the power over you; it’s your fear of it.

The irony is that in our best efforts to avoid ‘the worst’ we often inadvertently create more anxiety than we would have had we risked full exposure.

Not only that, but we pay a steep opportunity cost as we deprive ourselves of building the confidence, courage, capacity, competence and sheer enjoyment we gain when we dare to do more than we have before. Little wonder people blessed with abundant wealth who do nothing meaningful with it can end up being so depressed. They’re missing the juice of life that is extracted from being stretched and challenged.

By asking yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen and then sitting with any fear that rises up, you come to know that even if it did happen, which is often highly unlikely, it would not kill you. Rather, it would introduce you to yourself on a whole new level: you’d learn, you’d grow and you’d emerge from it a wiser, braver and better version of yourself than you were before.

Daring to expose yourself to those monsters in your head is ultimately far less frightening than spending your entire life running from them.

When you expose your worst fear to the truth, you open the doorway to a whole new realm of possibility: freedom to dare boldly, to speak truthfully and to live authentically.

Expose the monsters in your head

So, as you think about taking the big, bold action towards the future you most want, ask yourself:

What is my absolute worst fear? (Your worst case scenario.)

If it did begin to happen, what would I do to intervene and manage any fall out?

What are the outcomes of more probable scenarios? How likely is it that I could produce at least a moderately good outcome?

How are events from my past amplifying my fear of what might happen in the future and driving me to overestimate the risks?

This is the ‘Stop Catastrophising’ chapter from Margie Warrell‘s book “Make Your Mark”. Warrell is a regular Forbes columnist and has contributed to leading media outlets globally from CNN to The Today Show.

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May 29, 2017 at 10:12AM

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This is why I gave up on wireless charging for my smartphone and went back to cable

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Wireless charging came into the mainstream in 2015 when Samsung switched its then-new flagship Galaxy S6 to an irreplaceable battery.

A sealed body was a newish concept among Android phones then, when battery endurance was far worse than what we enjoy with premium phones in 2017. To make up for this, the Korean manufacturer allowed the S6 to be charged without a cable – conveniently allowing the user to just place the handset on top of an induction charging accessory.

All sounds good — who wants to be fumbling around with messy cables if your phone can magically rejuvenate without plugging in? I certainly didn’t, so we recently tried Samsung’s circular fast charge wireless charger pad.

Unfortunately and unexpectedly, after just one day of use, the trial was a fail on all accounts. What seemed to be a dream in theory turned out to be too annoying for practical use.

I immediately returned to cable charging.

The Samsung wireless charger pad has very prominent LED lighting that indicates the status of the charge – blue for “in progress” and green for “done”. The big problem is that there is no way to switch this very bright light off.

Most people charge their phones in their bedroom as they go to sleep, but that’s all but impossible with the wireless pad. The light is too bright for people trying to fall asleep in an otherwise dark room.

There are internet forums where people discuss this annoyance, and some people have reportedly taken to opening up the unit and spray-painting the inside of the chassis to black out the light source. That hack is not for everyone.

A lesser second issue is that it’s too easy for the phone to be disconnected from the wireless charging if it’s placed just a bit off the centre of the pad. Multiple times I put the phone down, the blue light would turn on, the handset screen would indicate that charging had started, but hours later the battery would not be charged.

So unfortunately, wireless charging remains a dream, at least with the Samsung charger.

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May 29, 2017 at 10:12AM

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IT workers whose tax disappeared in the Plutus Payroll case have been thrown a lifeline

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The Australian Tax Office (ATO) says workers won’t be penalised if their tax payments went missing during the Plutus Payroll fraud case.

The ATO today issued initial guidance to help those affected by the alleged actions of the payroll services company under investigation by Australian Federal Police.

“Workers will not be penalised when the amount reported as being withheld is not actually paid to the ATO,” the tax office said in a statement.

“At tax time, the amounts withheld from their pay will be applied when their income tax liability is assessed.”

Plutus Payroll was used by a lot of IT contractors to ensure their tax and superannuation payment obligations were met. Police allege money meant to be paid to the ATO was skimmed off by a crime syndicate.

Ten people have been charged in connection with an alleged $165 million tax fraud. Among them is Adam Cranston, the son of deputy ATO commissioner Michael Cranston.

Michael Cranston, a long servicing senior executive at the ATO, was issued a court attendance notice for alleged abuse of his position as a public official. He must appear in court on June 13.

His 24-year-old daughter, Lauren, was also arrested.

Simon Anquetil, the founder of Plutus Payroll, the company at the centre of the alleged criminal conspiracy, has also been charged.

The ATO says it hopes this general advice will provide certainty to workers and employers who have used the services of Plutus.

“Employers who are concerned whether they have met their tax and super obligations can also find out what they need to do,” the ATO says.

“We understand that sometimes workers and employers are affected by circumstances outside their control and we are implementing a range of support measures to ensure that you have clarity on your circumstances.”

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May 29, 2017 at 10:12AM

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