The Block’s Elyse and Josh are set to sell their Coburg home

The Block’s Josh Barker and Elyse Knowles are set to sell their Coburg home at auction just three weeks after the show’s finale.
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The couple renovated the three bedroom, two bathroom California bungalow, giving it all the modern touches while still keeping its heritage charm.

Barker is a carpenter, so had the technical know-how, but for model Knowles, renovating was a whole new experience.

“We bought the house when I was 21, and I’d never had any experience in this so I was really relying on Josh and his knowledge,” Knowles said. “I think I’ve always been a creative person and I think it opened up more doors for me and I learnt a lot along the way.”

Hocking Stuart director David Wood said said the property is expected to sell between $1.35 and $1.45 million at the auction, to be held on November 18. Mr Wood said the pair did a fantastic job on the renovation, particularly with the huge undercover outdoor entertaining space.

“It’s really Josh and Elyse out the back – it’s really stylish and chilled,” Mr Wood said. “It’s an area for all seasons.”

Knowles said she and Barker wanted to inject some of their personality into the home, and the outdoor area was a way to do that. Related: View inside The Block houses for saleRelated: Josh and Elyse win Domain magazine coverRelated: Race between Block teams heats up

“It becomes another room, and that’s what we wanted – an extension of the house outside. We’re outdoor people, we like to entertain outdoors,” Knowles said.

The home is close to schools, Sydney road shopping and cafes, parkland and public transport. It is also a three-minute drive to CityLink.

Barker said the couple was nervous about both auctions, but that Coburg was very important to them.

“It’s probably more stressful going through that auction than it is The Block because it’s our own money and our own blood, sweat and tears over 18 months to 2 years,” Barker said.

Knowles agreed: “We lived in the old shack, showered outside, we cooked on the barbecue. Every wall was a different wall paper, the bathrooms were every colour under the sun – it was a very interesting time.”

The couple plans to renovated their third property in the near future, this time in a blue chip suburb in Melbourne’s leafy east.

“We’ll be living through it all again – I’m so excited – not,” Knowles said laughing.

Barker is more optimistic.

“We want to do a nice architectural built that showcases top end quality,” he said. “We want to really capitalise on our experience on The Block and show people what we can do.”

The Block houses are live on Domain:

Josh and Elyse: 46A Regent Street, Elsternwick

Sticks and Wombat: 46B Regent Street, Elsternwick

Ronnie and Georgia: 46C Regent Street, Elsternwick

Clint and Hannah: 46D Regent Street, Elsternwick

Jason and Sarah: 46E Regent Street, Elsternwick


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‘Tip of the iceberg’: Emma Thompson’s comments on ‘predator’ Weinstein go viral

British actress Emma Thompson has labelled Harvey Weinstein a “predator” and said the allegations against the disgraced movie mogul are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to abuse in Hollywood.
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“I didn’t know about these things, but they don’t surprise me and they’re endemic to the system anyway ??? What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg,” Thompson told BBC Newsnight about the string of allegations levelled at the former Miramax head in the wake of recent exposes.

“I don’t think you can describe him as a ‘sex addict’; he’s a predator,” she continued.

“What he’s at the top of the ladder of is a system of harassment and belittling and bullying and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the old days as ‘pestering’.

“This has been part of our world, women’s world, since time immemorial.”

Echoing earlier calls by fellow star Jane Fonda, Thompson drew a direct line from Weinstein’s behaviour to that of US President Donald Trump.

“What we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity, the crisis of extreme masculinity, which is this sort of behaviour, and the fact that it is not only OK but it also is represented by the most powerful man in the world at the moment,” she said.

When asked by journalist Emily Maitlis if she thought there were others like Weinstein in Hollywood, Thompson replied: “Of course, many!”

“Maybe not to that degree … [but] does it only count if you really have done it to loads and loads and loads of women? Or does it count if you do it to one woman once? I think the latter,” she said.

Thompson’s comments, which were trending on Twitter on Friday morning, come as more and more high-profile stars add their names to the list of women accosted by Weinstein, including model Cara Delevigne, and actresses Claire Forlani and Kate Beckinsale, who said she was propositioned by Weinstein when she was just 17.

“A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realised he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not,” Beckinsale wrote on Instagram.

The fallout over Weinstein’s string of abuse has put the spotlight on Hollywood’s tendency to turn a blind eye to such allegations, with actors Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek also revealing their own experiences of sexual harassment at the hands of industry power-players.

“I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger,” Van Der Beek, the former star of Dawson’s Creek, shared on Twitter.

“I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness and inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome,” he wrote.

Crews, a former NFL star and actor on the hit sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, shared a similar story, saying “a high level Hollywood executive came over to me and groped my privates” at a Hollywood function last year.

He said the potential headlines – “240lbs black man stomps out Hollywood honcho” – and the threat of jail time dissuaded him from confronting his abuser.

“I decided not to take it further because I didn’t want to be ostracised – par for the course when the predator has power and influence,” he added.

“I understand why many women who this happens to let it go … I understand and empathise with those who have remained silent,” he wrote. Emma Thompson tells us the Harvey Weinstein allegations are just the tip of the iceberg of a wider and systemic problem in Hollywood pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/VDxswrUP5Z??? BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) October 12, 2017I was called to meet Harvey Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel when I was 17. I assumed it would be in a conference room which was very common.When I arrived ,reception told me to go to his room . He opened the door in his bathrobe . I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older ,unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him .After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left ,uneasy but unscathed.A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting .I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not .I had what I thought were boundaries – I said no to him professionally many times over the years-some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a cunt and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh “Kate lives to say no to me .” It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things,while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself,undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.I would like to applaud the women who have come forward , and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers,managers,executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said ” well, that’s just Harvey /Mr X/insert name here ” will realize that we in numbers can affect real change.For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behavior and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in .I had a male friend who, based on my experience,warned a young actress who said she was going to dinner with Harvey to be careful. He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film ;the girl was already sleeping with Harvey and had told him that my friend had warned her off.Let’s stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder,and let’s remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick,and that we have work to do.A post shared by Kate Beckinsale (@katebeckinsale) on Oct 12, 2017 at 6:02am PDT


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Investment basics: the difference between ETFs and LICs

LICs and ETFs have similarities but there are nuanced differences. Photo: Erin JonassonIn recent years investors have been increasingly drawn to the diversification benefits offered by listed investment companies (LICs) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Despite this, many investors are seemingly unaware as to the nuances between the structures and the impact they may have on portfolios.
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Fundamentally, the variance between the two stems from the difference in their structures. ETFs are open-ended unit trusts, meaning they incur unlimited daily in-flows and out-flows of funds. While this does provide investors with certainty regarding liquidity, it also means units are regularly created or redeemed as investors buy and sell an ETF.

Alternatively, LICs are closed-ended listed companies – meaning, for the most part, investors looking to buy an LIC must do so on a secondary market, purchasing shares off an existing holder.

This structure allows managers to invest for the long term, as they are not affected by daily fund flows and hence rarely find themselves to be forced to buy or sell holdings. This is a luxury not enjoyed by ETFs, which are required to sell underlying shares to fund redemptions and purchase shares in order to deploy newly invested capital.

Further, LICs have the ability to retain capital gains and income earned. This allows them to evenly spread dividends, across a range of market conditions, a benefit not afforded to ETFs, which are forced to pay out all returns each year. Additionally, the structure of LICs and the imputation credit system allows tax paid to be paid out to investors in the form of franking credits.

While the benefits of LICs are compelling, specific attributes of ETFs are favourable. ETF units are easily created or redeemed by “market makers” subject to fund inflows or outflows. The positive impact of this is ETFs trade very closely to their underlying net asset value and provide investors with a high level of liquidity.

Conversely, as shares in LICs can only be bought and sold by third parties, liquidity is solely reliant on investor appetite. Further the market price can deviate from the underlying net asset value to trade at either a discount or premium to the LICs true value. An important consideration for any investor thinking about purchasing an LIC is its true value compared to its market value, as buying an asset at a considerable premium may impact ongoing returns.

Additionally, ETFs typically offer superior transparency as they are required to regularly publish the entire contents of their portfolio and intra-day pricing on units. Conversely, many LICs only provide investors with an update of their underlying net asset value and largest investments on a monthly basis, limiting transparency and making it difficult for investors to accurately assess the true value of the underlying portfolio.

The advantages and disadvantages of both investment structures should be considered alongside the objectives of each individual investor.

Daryl Dixon is the executive chairman of Dixon Advisory. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au


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‘Longtime ethics crisis’: Investors slam Murdoch empire

An organisation that advises several union pension funds invested in Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox called on Thursday for the company to overhaul its board and conduct a comprehensive review of its workplace culture in the wake of sexual and racial harassment scandals at its Fox News division.
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The organisation, CtW Investment Group, sent a letter to Viet Dinh, the chairman of the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee, accusing directors of failing to effectively address a “longtime ethics crisis” at Fox News, and risking the company’s reputation, operations and long-term value.

“If the board was aware of the settlements and refused to investigate and mitigate the risk, instead allowing the problem to fester, then it failed in its risk oversight function and facilitated a tone at the top that permits unethical behaviour by high performers,” Dieter Waizenegger, CtW’s executive director, wrote in the letter, referring to settlements paid to women at Fox News who made sexual harassment allegations.

“If the information of the settlements did not reach the board,” Waizenegger added, “then it failed to ensure that the proper corporate controls were in place.”

In a statement, 21st Century Fox said, “We take seriously all communications from shareholders and investment groups, and will respond accordingly.”

The move is one of the investment community’s harshest public critiques of 21st Century Fox over its handling of the scandal at Fox News.

The company has been dealing for more than a year with the fallout from a crisis that exposed a workplace that women said was rife with harassment and where they feared reporting inappropriate behaviour. The scandal led to the departure of Roger Ailes, the founding chairman of Fox News; Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host; and several others.

Even as 21st Century Fox tries to move on, the US attorney’s office in Manhattan is conducting a criminal investigation into Fox News’ handling of the sexual harassment complaints. The company also faces continuing regulatory scrutiny in Britain over its $19 billion bid to acquire full control of Sky, the European satellite giant.

The financial price of the scandal has mounted, with 21st Century Fox incurring about $US50 million ($63 million) in costs tied to the settlement of sexual harassment and discrimination allegations involving Fox News in the year that ended June 30.

That figure does not include a $US40 million payout to Ailes or a $US25 million payout to O’Reilly. And, according to CtW, 21st Century Fox could face penalties of $US140 million if the Sky deal is delayed into 2018 and $US164 million if it falls through altogether.

The company said in a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month that it had “made significant changes to the leadership and management of Fox News Channel after allegations of misconduct at the Fox News Channel business.” It also said it had hired a new global head of human resources at 21st Century Fox and a new head of human resources at Fox News. And, the company said, nearly 7,000 employees had received training about workplace behaviour in the past 12 months.

In addition, 21st Century Fox said it had approved the creation of a new “compliance steering committee” to be made up of company executives and answerable to the board.

CtW said in its letter that the changes were inadequate and that 21st Century Fox needed to commit to making corporate governance changes in order for the organisation to support the re-election of the board’s audit committee members at the company’s annual shareholder meeting next month.

CtW called specifically for the resignation of Roderick Eddington, the company’s lead director and the chairman of the audit committee, saying that he “clearly failed in his risk oversight responsibilities.” The group is also urging that 21st Century Fox appoint two new directors with backgrounds in human resources, expand the number of independent directors and increase the number of women on the board. (The company board has one female director.)

In addition, CtW said 21st Century Fox should create a new committee composed of independent directors focused on “organisational culture, workplace safety and health, work force diversity and pay equality, and employee engagement and development.”

Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, said the scandal at Fox News had raised concerns about management and board oversight of the parent company.

The broader corporate governance issue at 21st Century Fox, Elson said, was the company’s dual-class share structure, which gives voting rights to the owners of one class of stock but not to the other. The Murdoch family controls about 40 per cent of the voting stock in the company, giving it significant sway over the board.

“The question is, if the independent directors had known, could they have done anything?” Elson said.

Shareholders are expected to vote at the company’s annual meeting on a proposal from the Nathan Cummings Foundation that would end the dual-class share structure in favour of giving each share of common stock one vote.

The foundation made a similar proposal with regard to 21st Century Fox’s share structure in the past, and the allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination at Fox News have revived the focus on the company, said Laura Campos, the foundation’s director of corporate and political accountability.

“For us, that is underpinning many of problems the company has faced,” Campos said of the dual-class structure.

The 21st Century Fox board has recommended that shareholders reject the proposal, stating that “the current dual-class capital structure continues to be appropriate and is in the best interest of the company and its stockholders.”

The calls for corporate governance reform at 21st Century Fox echo a push by shareholders for the Murdoch media empire to make changes six years ago after a phone-hacking scandal in Britain prompted investor concern.

The New York Times


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