Socceroos may set up camp in Miami to avoid Honduran hostilities

It’s been 12 years since beat Uruguay to qualify for the World Cup, but the success of that play-off is still influencing the Socceroos’ approach to playing Honduras in their quest to reach Russia.
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Fairfax Media understands the Socceroos are looking at holding their pre-match training camp at a nearby neutral venue before flying into San Pedro Sula, Honduras, immediately before the game. It is a similar approach to how prepared for their first leg tie against Uruguay in 2005, training in nearby Buenos Aires in Argentina before travelling to Uruguay for the match in Montevideo.

In 2001, played Uruguay in Montevideo for a place in the 2002 World Cup and were subjected to an intimidating reception from supporters, including fireworks ignited around the hotel to disrupt the players’ sleep. That prompted a different approach in 2005 to avoid any potential disruption, by keeping the players away from the hostilities of local fans and media.

The 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Honduras will be played in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, at a venue that is notoriously intimidating. Should coach Ange Postecoglou choose to go down a similar road as Guus Hiddink did in 2005, Miami is firming as the most likely venue that will use as a training base.

Football Federation has already made tentative plans for the team to stay in Miami for several days before making the two-hour direct flight to San Pedro Sula on the eve of the match. It’s understood the national team coaches will make the final decision next week on where the team will be based.

While the chance of interference remains possible, the coaches are confident their players are more accustomed to difficult surroundings as a result of their experiences throughout this qualifying campaign. The most challenging environments the 2001 and 2005 teams that played Uruguay had previously experienced during qualification was in cities such as Honiara. By contrast, the 2018 hopefuls played in Bangladesh during a period of terrorist attacks targeting Westerners and required high-level security.

The Socceroos could charter a flight to take them from Honduras to Sydney after the first leg to afford the players as much recovery time before the second leg. The FFA assisted the Socceroos’ preparations for their AFC play-off tie against Syria with a chartered flight from Malaysia to Sydney and have not ruled out doing so for the final intercontinental play-off to get to Russia.

However, it may not be necessary as there are commercial flights available that could see the team arrive in Sydney only a few hours later than a chartered plane.


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Jesinta ponders ‘retirement’ as gay marriage celebrant

Jesinta Franklin considered adding “marriage celebrant” to her CV so she could officiate at her friends’ same-sex wedding this summer.
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But the David Jones ambassador and vocal supporter of marriage equality said that given the wedding is in Thailand, she didn’t end up needing a legal qualification to conduct the wedding of the US-born couple.

“We were hoping same-sex marriage would have been [legal in ] by then … but hopefully on November 7 we will at least know the outcome of the [postal] vote,” Franklin said at the Caulfield Cup preview day in Melbourne on Friday.

“I didn’t have to do [the course] and that was the most heartbreaking thing. When they asked me if I wanted to do it, I said I would love to … but when they told me … it’s not official on the day, it actually made me quite teary.”

Still, Franklin, 26, said if she “does a good job” and her friends can eventually marry legally in that she would consider obtaining the qualification.

“If I get asked again, maybe I will do the course – it could be my retirement plan,” she said. Equality for the win ?????? Just posted our #YES votes off. Our generation is the most likely to forget to vote yet we have the power to make the biggest impact. Don’t be complacent, this simple act means so much to so many people and is your chance to make a difference ?????? @amequalityA post shared by JESINTA. (@jesinta_franklin) on Sep 20, 2017 at 4:14pm PDTWhilst I was in the air many of my close friends marched the streets of Sydney for Marriage Equality. I wish I was there to stand proudly side by side with you all ?????? I believe all ns should be treated equally under the law, in every facet of society. Marriage equality might not be something that crosses your mind or something that will impact your life directly, but for many ns this impacts their lives daily. Later on this year I get the honour of officiating two of my best friends marriage at their wedding. I didn’t have to do a celebrants course or take part in any official paperwork because, heartbreakingly, I can’t marry them officially as their marriage is not recognised in . This truly breaks my heart because when I look at them I witness two of the most amazing, kind, caring human beings who love eachother endlessly. They both work hard, contribute to our society, pay taxes and all of the other things Aussies do, but they aren’t allowed to get married!? Marriage should be a right, not a privilege! So when you receive the postal vote for Marriage Equality don’t just think; I’ll do that later, or, what does it even matter? This is your chance to make a difference and do something that will positively change the lives of so many n’s. ?????????????????????? Ps stole your pic @alexrathgeber ???? ** I respect that not everyone shares the same views as me, however, if you choose to write anything degrading, derogatory or disrespectful on my page you will be deleted and blocked.A post shared by JESINTA. (@jesinta_franklin) on Sep 10, 2017 at 3:10pm PDT


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Ex-magazine music editor’s drug mules sent to jail

The drug mules were caught in the ultimate vice-like grip.
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One was a model, another was a DJ, a third was starting out as a music promoter and the fourth worked in events.

Each one was trying to break into Toronto’s arts scene when the then music editor of Canada’s Vice magazine, an industry heavy with alleged links to a Mexican drug cartel, approached them to carry drugs into .

For various reasons they reluctantly agreed, and when each in turn attempted to back out they learned it was already too late.

Toronto DJ Jordan Mykel Gardner, 27, New York model Nathaniel Brandon Carty, 23, music promoter Robert Wang, 25 and events management worker Kutiba Senusi, 24, were sentenced in the NSW District Court on Friday to minimum prison terms ranging from three years and four months to four years four months for importing commercial quantities of cocaine.

Their contact with n law enforcement began three days before Christmas in 2015, when customs officials at Sydney airport detected several passengers arriving on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles with a large amount of luggage for a short stay.

They also had in common a stopover in Las Vegas and suitcases that tested positive for cocaine.

Between five drug couriers – including Porscha Wade, 20, who has also pleaded guilty but not been sentenced – a total of 28kg of cocaine with a street value of more than $22 million was seized.

Based on the agreed facts, Judge Dina Yehia found that drug ring figures including Vice journalist Slavo Pastuk had heavied and cajoled the mules into carrying the drugs and most had accepted the task under duress.

Gardner, an electronic music artist, had been living with Pastuk and rebuffed several approaches to do such a trip. He finally relented under pressure when Pastuk called him shortly before he was due to perform at a promotional event.

He tried to back out the next day, but by this time Pastuk had already obtained his passport and he now threatened to hurt Gardner’s girlfriend and family if he did not go through with it.

Gardner had overheard Pastuk telling his friend about those who had been tortured and killed for assisting the authorities. He believed that Pastuk was connected to a Mexican cartel, and he had no doubt that the threat was genuine.

But he told the court that he tried to pull out again in Las Vegas, when he was given the suitcase to take to and noticed that it smelled strongly of glue.

This time his contact grabbed him by the collar and pushed him against a car while holding a gun. He relented.

Senusi told the court he was dragged into taking the drugs after his friend, whom he had agreed to accompany on a drug run, bailed out due to his criminal record.

He demurred, but his friend said that if he did not go through with it “he could not guarantee his safety, or that of his brother”. He was told that others who tried to pull out had razor blades placed under their fingernails.

Wang agreed that for him, the trip was a way to ingratiate himself with Pastuk, who was influential in the music scene and promised to help him further his career.

But when he learned of Pastuk’s involvement with the Mexicans he tried to withdraw.

He texted Pastuk: “Sorry bro, thought about it a lot, just not a step that makes a lot of sense for me atm.” He was then told by a third contact that if he did not go through with it “bad things would happen”.

Carty, who Judge Dina Yehia found was “the most naive of the offenders”, had initially believed he was being given a free trip when Pastuk offered him a holiday in Sydney.

They had met at a Vice party in New York and Carty told Pastuk he had always wanted to visit .

“I can make that happen,” Pastuk allegedly replied. Tickets were organised the following day.

It was only when a mutual contact told Carty he would be required to carry some extra luggage that the model smelled a rat and tried to back down.

He then received a call from an unknown male: “The guy is really mad. This doesn’t look good. He has your passport so he’s going to know stuff about you.”

Judge Yehia said the offenders were low in the drug importation hierarchy.

“I am very firmly of the view that these offenders were exploited by people who were ruthless, persistent and manipulative in recruiting them,” she said.

She sentenced Gardner and Senusi to seven years and six months in jail with a non-parole period of four years and four months. They will be eligible for parole in April 2020.

Wang received a minimum four years, while Carty was sentenced to a minimum three years four months.

Judge Yehia said she took into account Carty’s immaturity and the fact he was “completely lacking in wiliness” in giving him a lighter sentence.

“He was completely out of his depth.”


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EDITORIAL: Playing Russian roulette with party drugs

MORE than a dozen young Hunter people have found themselves in hospital this week after taking “blue superman” pills they believed were the party drug ecstasy, or MDMA.
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Instead, the triangular tablets have been analysed and found to contain alprazolam, the key ingredient in a potent short-actingbenzodiazepine marketed as Xanax, which can be extremely dangerous when mixed with alcohol, as was apparently the case here.

There will be some readers who will say that those hospitalised brought it on themselves: that they deserved what they got for taking illegal drugs that they hadno way of knowing the contents of.

But the reality is that manyns use –or have used –illicit drugs, despite decades of warnings and a legal system that still relies heavily on prohibition as themain weapon in along-running “war on drugs”.

Despite prohibition, n law-makers have seen fit in some circumstances to bend to the reality of the situation by adopting policies based on “harm management” strategies.

Needle exchanges are a case in point. Countless syringes are distributed without charge every year by needle exchanges –including those in the Hunter–on the basis that clean needles demonstrably reduce the spread of dangerous blood-borne diseases including HIV-AIDS and hepatitis C.

In a similar light, there have been calls for some years now for pill testing to be available at music festivals, where a potentially sizeable slice of the audience will have run the risk of taking party drugs. Pill testing kits are available for purchase online but the NSW government has previously opposed their official use at festivals. The ACT government had approved pill testing at next month’s Spilt Milk festival in Canberra, but the organisers announced this week that the testing organisation had not been able to get the required documents and insurance, meaning the trial would notgo ahead.

The ACT has a reputation for progressive government and it would not surprise to see another Canberra festival proceed with testing before long. It is difficult to imagine the Coalition changing its mind in NSW –despite its support for medicinal cannabis –meaning that those determinedto break the law by taking party drugs are being left to play Russian roulette.

It’s a far from ideal situation.

ISSUE: 38,623.


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Newcastle Knights are still hoping to bolster their ranks for 2018.

VERSATILE: Slade Griffin, who played in Melbourne’s grand final win against the Cowboys, is joining Newcastle next season. Picture: APNEWCASTLE’S priority would appear to be outside backs as they strive to fill the remaining positions in their squad for 2018.
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After a productive recruitment campaign dating back to November last year, when Newcastle announced they had signed North Queensland tyro Kalyn Ponga 12 months in advance, Knights coach Nathan Brown has steadily rebuilt his roster.

It is understood he still hopes to add another two or three imports during the 2018 pre-season, although he has also stated on a number of occasions that he is willing to leave positions vacant in case players at rival clubs belatedly enter the market.

The Knights have announced the signing of two veteran front-rowers, Jacob Lillyman (Warriors) and Chris Heighington (Cronulla), in the past two weeks.

Along with Herman Ese’ese (Brisbane), they will bolster an engine-room rotation that already includes Daniel and Jacob Saifiti and Josh King.

Newcastle have also been linked to controversial young prop Matt Lodge, who has not played in the NRL since being sacked by Wests Tigers and de-registered after a much-publicised incident in New York in 2015.

Lodge, a former Junior Kangaroo who played 12 NRL games with the Tigers, spent this season with Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup.

The 22-year-old has also attracted the interest of Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett, although Newcastle are probably in a position to offer him a more lucrative deal than the Broncos.

Ideally, Newcastle would be hoping to sign one more prop before next season.

NEW RECRUIT: Former Sydney Roosters utility Connor Watson will get first crack at five-eighth for Newcastle next season. Picture: AAP

Brown is understood to be satisfied with his back-row depth. Former Queensland and Test forward Aidan Guerra will join Mitch Barnett, Sione Mata’utia, Jamie Buhrer, Sam Stone, Luke Yates and Lachlan Fitzgibbon, who was one of the finds of the season in 2017, scoring eight tries in 14 games. Former Melbourne utility Slade Griffin can also play back row as well as hooker.

Despite signing Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters) mid-season and then Tautau Moga (Brisbane), Newcastle would welcome a couple more outside backs to provide depth.

At this stage, Kenny-Dowall and Moga are shaping as Newcastle’s likely centres, with Chanel Mata’utia to challenge Nathan Ross and Ken Sio for a wing berth.

Ponga is certain to start the season at fullback, with Dylan Phythian as his back-up, once he has recovered from knee surgery.

Brown has promised former Roosters utility Connor Watson first shot at five-eighth, alongside either Brock Lamb or Trent Hodkinson.

Lamb would appear the early favourite after his impressive 2017 campaign, but Hodkinson is vastly experienced and might benefit from playing behind a stronger pack. There has also been speculation, however, that Hodkinson is consideringcontinuing his career in England.


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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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The Commons Hobart aiming to be China’s first truly “carbon positive” building

A line of architect-designed, super-sustainable, mid-rise residential buildings are growing into an interesting family of developments known as The Commons. The next will emerge in Hobart when an eight-level, nine-star-energy-rated structure comes out of the ground on the edge of the business district.
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The Commons Hobart, which has ambitions to be not only energy neutral but to become ‘s first truly “carbon positive” building, will have 30 one, two and three-bedroom apartments that face north and give all buyers power-producing sun exposure along with superb views of Mount Wellington.

Like the original Commons in Brunswick, that in 2013 scooped many awards in design and sustainability competitions, the Hobart project brings together another crack creative team.

Proven “deep green” builder, St Kilda-based Small Giants Developments, and an award-winning Hobart architectural firm, Core Collective, see the black trellis-faced building – that will become entwined with greenery – as an exciting project.

The credentials of a structure that will be measured for its carbon footprint, from the moment the 450-square-metre corner site in Bathurst Street is demolished, to the actual sustainable contribution, is apt in a town “that has a lot of climate change research going on”, says Core Collective’s Chris Clinton. Related: Melbourne’s Nightingale precincts a model worth replicatingRelated: How to live green in an apartmentRelated: Some our most creative architects come from Tasmania

“Hobart is the launch place of ‘s Antarctic science and there are already a lot of very educated people here. So because of the big claims (for the building), we’ve got to get it right.”

With the apartments being priced from $350,000 for one-bedroom units to $815,000 for three bedrooms, early marketing indicators reveal locals have engaged with the offering.

“In Hobart, where a lot is happening with talk of a lot of tall and quite controversial new high-rises, The Commons is a departure,” says Clinton. “It’s being designed for a 100-year lifespan.”

Hobart’s Commons is also being designed to socially connect its future occupants.

Along with the shared roof space and laundry there will also be a multi-purpose studio space “that can be used for things like cooking and yoga classes”.

And beyond the proprietary residents, the building is also seeking to give back to the street, with ground-level commercial spaces and a cut-out corner that Clinton says “is still part of the building but that will become a pocket park that the public can use”.


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