Stretchband pilates | Brisbane City Council


Date & time
Mon 1 Mar 2021
9:00am to 10:00am

Age

All ages. Children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost

Free

A beginner to immediate pilates based workout using a stretchband specially designed to improve posture, reduce stress and tone your body. This workout is suitable for adults of all ages.

Bookings

No bookings required. For more information contact Jenni from ZipRfit on 0403 859 013.

Requirements

Yoga mat or thick towel

Meeting point

Meet by the fitness equipment.

Venue

Ray Lynch Park, 90 Halsey Street, Holland Park

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Melbourne man convicted of killing his girlfriend ‘looking for love’ on Elite Singles


A grieving mother has gone public to issue a warning to women after the man convicted of killing her daughter was found looking for love on dating apps.

Charles Evans, 47, has been out on parole for six months after spending two years and eight months for running down his fiance Alicia Lee in a Toyota Hilux in 2017 after she ended their relationship.

A murder charge was downgraded to dangerous driving causing death and fail to render assistance in a deal with prosecutors.

He had previously said: “Mental illness caused her death, not me”.

Upon his release, however, he’s wasted no time looking for a new partner.

On his Eilte Singles profile, Evans wrote he is “enjoying life” and looking for “love, happiness, friendship, chemistry”.

Alicia’s mother Lee is calling for more regulation for who is able to sign up for dating sites.

“It scares me that it’s so easy to get on these sites and start preying again,” she told 7NEWS.

“They should have a regulation for predators and perpetrators.

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Richmond scores historic first AFLW win with 47-point thrashing of Geelong


Richmond has created history with its maiden AFLW triumph courtesy of a 47-point thrashing of Geelong at Kardinia Park.

The Tigers, who entered the AFLW last year, had found themselves winless after 10 matches across their first two seasons.

But they posted their first triumph in style, defeating the Cats 9.6 (60) to 2.1 (13) in the opening match of the AFLW’s Indigenous Round, before enjoying some emotional celebrations with their legion of fans who had made their way to Geelong.

Captain Katie Brennan led by example with three goals, icing the win in the dying stages with her third of the evening.

Brennan also tallied 17 disposals and five marks.

Courtney Wakefield kicked two goals for the Tigers, while Kodie Jacques, Sabrina Frederick, Ellie McKenzie and Gabrielle Seymour each kicked one major.

Monique Conti was a valuable contributor for the victors with a match-high 27 disposals, 17 of which came in the first half.

Richelle Cranston and Amy McDonald kicked the only goals for the Cats, who could not muster a point in the opening two quarters.

Adding insult to injury for the Cats, star player Olivia Purcell (right knee) limped off the ground in the second quarter amid fears she may have ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament.

The result in the battle of the cellar-dwellers ensured the Cats remain winless from five matches so far this season, still searching for their own drought-breaking win, having not tasted victory in 358 days.

Geelong has already recorded 13 goalless quarters and eight scoreless quarters in what has been a disastrous season so far.

The Tigers pounced early, ambushing the Cats with exceptional pressure in the first quarter to register 10 of the first 12 inside 50s and take a 13-point lead at quarter-time.

They maintained their manic intensity in the second period and Geelong simply could not cope, with a raft of defensive errors — three of which handed Richmond goals — leading to a total capitulation.

The visitors dominated the first half with a whopping 47 more disposals (128-81), 14 more inside 50s (19-5) and 25 more handball receives as they opened up a commanding 39-point lead at the main break.

The Tigers then outscored the hosts by eight points in a far less eventful second half.

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Emerging Markets Aren’t Safe Yet


Emerging markets had a bumpy 2018. Over the summer, Argentina and Turkey saw their currencies fall sharply as their economies ran into trouble. Argentina had to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $57 billion loan. Commentators sharpened their pencils, ready to draw parallels with the wave of financial crises that swept over emerging markets in the late 1990s.

Yet most emerging-market economies came through the summer’s turbulence more or less unscathed. That is largely thanks to big improvements in economic and financial management since the last major wave of crises in the 1990s. Most countries that succumbed to crises then have moved from pegged exchange rates to largely floating exchange rates and have adopted sounder monetary policies. Most also now have more resilient banking systems, the result of a general shift away from risky short-term bank funding in favor of long-term funding from bond markets.

Perhaps the most remarkable change since the crises of the 1990s has come in the way emerging-market countries finance their debt. Governments now borrow much more in their own currencies than in foreign ones, making them less vulnerable to runs and currency crises. But risks remain. Developing countries still have work to do if they are to shield themselves from the vicissitudes of global financial conditions.

ORIGINAL SIN

Economists once thought that emerging-market countries that borrow from abroad were confined to doing so only in foreign currencies. Barry Eichengreen and Ricardo Hausmann called the phenomenon “original sin” because it seemed to doom developing countries to perpetual dependence on foreign financial conditions. When a country’s currency fell, its government found its debts harder to pay. Debt crises turned into currency crises.

But since the 1990s, the share of emerging-market government debt issued in foreign currencies has fallen significantly. Foreign investors have grown more comfortable owning government debt denominated in the local currency. In some countries, such as Peru, South Africa, and Indonesia, foreign investors now hold around 40 percent of government debt in the local currency. Many other large emerging-market economies have figures close to this level. Companies in these countries still rely on foreign currency borrowing, but for their governments, original sin has turned out to be less a fundamental weakness than a passing phase.

Governments have gained greater control over their finances by developing local bond markets, shifting their economies away from relying on the kinds of short-term loans in foreign currency that left them vulnerable in the 1990s. But for all the good these changes have done, emerging-market countries have discovered that borrowing in their own currencies does not solve all financial woes. They are still vulnerable to the ebb and flow of global financial conditions.

Developing countries still have work to do if they are to shield themselves from the vicissitudes of global financial conditions.

To see why, look at the effects of exchange-rate changes on domestic inflation. If global financial conditions worsen and capital starts flowing out of an economy, the domestic currency falls. When that happens, inflation tends to rise, since imports get more expensive. If investors trust the central bank to keep inflation under control, the bank can raise rates to bring the economy back to an even keel. But expectations become self-fulfilling: if investors don’t trust the central bank, raising rates by itself won’t do the trick, and drastically tightening monetary policy will further damage an already weak domestic economy. If the political fallout is serious enough, policymakers may lose their nerve and reverse course.

It’s worth taking a step back, however, and asking why a big fall in the domestic currency causes problems at all. After all, economics textbooks teach that when a currency falls, it gives the economy a boost by making exports more competitive. A stronger economy, the argument goes, then starts a virtuous circle and restores the confidence of global investors.

But although this effect is undoubtedly important over the medium term, it does not always seem to hold in the short term. That’s largely because of the pressure currency depreciations put on global investors. Those investors measure their returns in terms of dollars or other major currencies (such as euros or yen), so exchange-rate moves amplify their gains and losses. A sharp fall in a currency can push investors to sell even more of their assets before the boost to exports turns the economy around and attracts new investment.

Bonds are riskier for global investors than local investors, as we can see by a measure of riskiness known as a bond’s “duration.” The duration of a bond reflects the degree to which the percentage return on the bond depends on changes in interest rates. In general, when bond prices fall, interest rates rise, since the fixed payments to bondholders make up a larger percentage of the bond price. The reverse also holds: when interest rates fall, existing bonds rise in value. The higher the duration, the bigger this effect—that is, the more the bond’s returns will move when interest rates change, and thus the riskier the bond is for investors.

Crucially, bond returns—and thus duration—can be expressed in terms of the local currency and in dollar terms. For many emerging-market countries, local currency sovereign bonds have significantly higher durations in dollar terms than in local currency terms. The graphs below show the weekly returns to investors from Brazilian sovereign bonds denominated in local currency, with returns in the local currency (on the left) and in dollars (on the right).


The slope of the lines shows the percentage return on the bond to a one-percentage-point change in the yield—that is, the duration. The important point is that the slope of the red line (which gives the duration in dollar terms) is steeper than the slope of the blue line (which gives the duration in local currency terms). For Brazil, the dollar duration is 8.5 and the local currency duration is 4.3. The same pattern holds in Indonesia, as shown in the graphs below, where the dollar duration is 6.6 and the currency duration is 4.5. For global investors, who care about returns in dollar terms even when they buy bonds in the local currency, these bonds are riskier than they are for local investors, who care only about returns in their own currency.


Exchange-rate changes and interest-rate changes push in the same direction. When yields rise, financial conditions tend to be tighter, so demand for the local currency falls and the currency depreciates against the dollar (at least in the short term). So dollar-based investors lose twice: because they must convert the local currency back to dollars at the lower rate and because the local currency price of the bond will have fallen in response to the rise in interest rates. The reverse is also true. When yields fall and bond prices rise, financial conditions are generally looser and investor flows push up the value of the local currency, such that dollar-based investors gain from both the price rise and the more favorable exchange rate. In that case, confidence that the authorities have things under control will limits the sales of bonds, cushioning the joint movement of bond yields and currency movements. This broad pattern holds for emerging markets as a group.

Think of this effect like a wind-chill factor that dollar-based investors experience but local investors don’t. Global investors have to deal with the effect of currency movements (the wind chill) on top of the underlying local currency returns (the temperature). For this reason, bonds in emerging-market countries tend to be riskier for global investors, who care about returns in dollar terms than they are for local investors, who care about returns only in their own currency. So dollar-based investors stand to gain and lose much more. Emerging-market governments, it turns out, are still vulnerable to ups and downs in global markets even when they borrow in their own currency.

ORIGINAL SIN REDUX?

Original sin, then, may not have been vanquished after all. It may merely have shifted from borrowers to lenders. To illustrate the point, it helps to consider how global investors make their decisions. Major investors, such as pension funds and life insurance companies, have obligations to their beneficiaries and policyholders in their home currencies—dollars, euros, or yen. Many such investing giants put limits on how much risk their investment managers can take—limits denominated in their home currency. Investors may also be swayed by advice from consultants to give more emphasis to recent news.

Such risk aversion can cause problems. These investors hold assets in a wide range of currencies, including local currency sovereign bonds from emerging-market economies. But although their assets are spread over many currencies, they incur liabilities in only one, their home currency. When emerging-market bonds fall in value, the effect is amplified by the associated currency depreciation, which can trigger global investors’ risk limits, leading them to sell their assets. That in turn puts further downward pressure on the borrower’s local currency. If the currency and bond prices both fall far enough, they can set off even more selling by investors.

If that’s the case, then, emerging markets still suffer from original sin, although not in the way Eichengreen and Hausmann originally theorized. Borrowers used to contend with a currency mismatch, as they would take in revenues in the local currency but owe debts in foreign ones. Now, the currency mismatch problem may have moved to the investors, who lend in one currency but must pay their beneficiaries and policyholders in another.

Given this shift, financial analysts should pay more attention to lenders. Commentators tend to focus on the borrowers—their latest current account deficit numbers and budget projections, the twists and turns in their politics—and pay much less attention to what drives the supply of credit. But lenders’ actions matter, too.

THE ROAD AHEAD

How should emerging-market governments deal with the new original sin? One way would be to develop a large domestic institutional investor base that sets its objectives in domestic currency terms and is thus insulated from exchange-rate swings. National pension systems contribute to this goal, and many emerging-market countries, such as Chile and Mexico, have made solid progress in this direction.

But this prescription relies on countries already having large domestic pools of wealth. Some emerging-market countries fit this bill, particularly if they have experienced rapid economic growth and demographic changes, such as an aging population, that increase savings rates. But many developing countries can’t provide such large pools of investors to buy their government debt, at least not in the short run.

They can, however, deepen their domestic capital markets over time. Take South Korea, which has moved past its unhappy history of financial crises. The country has a rapidly aging population and a large national pension fund, which gives it a deep pool of domestic investors to buy its government debt. As a result, bond yields on its debt don’t vary much and the wind-chill effect is much weaker than for other countries that suffered crises in the 1990s. Countries with a history of financial crises can, it seems, achieve greater resilience than in the past.

Many developing countries still lack deep domestic capital markets, however. In those countries, the central bank is often the largest investor. This arrangement creates a dilemma for policymakers. When the local currency depreciates, import prices rise, driving up inflation. Policymakers would normally raise interest rates to fight inflation, but currency depreciation usually signals a weak domestic economy, which argues for lower rates. In most cases, external conditions win out and central bankers are forced to raise rates to tighten policy.

This dilemma has generated a long-running debate on how authorities should combine sound management of the economy with policies to mitigate risks in the financial system. One common approach is to use tools that lean against the prevailing winds. When domestic borrowing is rising rapidly, for example, policymakers can tighten monetary policy to prevent the boom from getting out of hand.

Another approach could be to build up foreign exchange reserves when investors are pouring capital into emerging markets. Recent research by the Bank for International Settlements suggests that building up reserves cools down the growth of credit by much more than one might expect from the normal mechanical effect whereby bonds sold by the central bank crowd out lending by commercial banks.

The big difficulty with any systematic intervention in the foreign exchange markets is that the government in question will be accused of manipulating its currency to boost its trade competitiveness. Such accusations bite hard, especially given the current political environment. International policymakers should perhaps allow room for governments to intervene temporarily in currency markets in order to slow the appreciation of their currencies but not to fix the exchange rate for long periods. But even here, the practical details will be difficult to thrash out.

When it comes to debt crises, analysts often see building up foreign exchange reserves as a distant second best to creating a global financial safety net, a collection of national and international policies and institutions designed to lower the risk of crises and tackle them when they occur. Analysts often frame the choice as one between costly self-insurance by emerging-market economies and a centralized insurance scheme.

But in practice, the arguments aren’t so clear-cut. The traditional reason for building up foreign exchange reserves during economic upswings is so that they can be used in a crisis. But building them up may also dampen the boom itself and thus make crises less likely in the first place.

Policymakers must recognize the importance of global liquidity for domestic financial conditions. It is all too easy for an economy enjoying abundant credit to mistake the cyclical upswing in investment for a vote of confidence in its domestic economic policy. Governments need to be careful not to drink too much from the fountain of global liquidity during times of plenty.

Most important, developing countries need to build strong economic fundamentals if they are to benefit in a sustainable way from open global capital markets. Solving original sin has turned out to be harder than simply following a recipe of good policies, but the success of some countries in putting their debt crises behind them shows that it can be done.

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Drunk driver had to be dragged from smash



A man has been charged after he was caught driving allegedly more than four times the legal limit in Coffs Harbour.

At about 4.30pm on Friday, a silver Toyota Corolla crashed into a kerb and gutter along Orlando Street.

Witnesses removed the driver – a 27-year-old man – from the vehicle and contacted police.

Officers attached to Coffs/Clarence Police District attended and the driver was breath tested at the scene, allegedly returning a positive reading.

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He was arrested and taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station where a subsequent breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.203.

He was charged with drive with high range PCA.

The Coffs Harbour man has been bail refused to appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court on Monday 1 March 2021.



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Australian university study hubs keep students engaged in China


A UNSW spokeswoman said 100 science and engineering students were attending in Yixing and another 50 students from non-STEM disciplines are starting in Shanghai.

“Both centres are designed for students to build a sense of community, and work on collaborative projects while international borders remain closed,” the spokeswoman said.

UNSW Offshore study hub in China.

The University of Sydney and Study Group Australia have set up in Shanghai for Chinese students enrolled in the University of Sydney Foundation Program.

Study Group Australia managing director Alex Chevrolle said students studying online in China were keen for more opportunities for interaction.

“Our online teaching and learning allows students to experience and engage with course content and lecturers, and our new centre in Shanghai means students can also experience invaluable face-to-face engagement with peers to work on course work, assignments and projects,” he said.

Mr Chevrolle said the Shanghai centre allowed 60 students at a time to study virtually in a campus environment under the supervision of an on-site manager. The centre provided high speed internet, large screens and audiovisual technology.

Students were also provided with other support services including welfare, administration, accommodation, English language and social activities. The centre was housed in a facility with a library, gym and canteen.

UTS said its offshore learning centres (OLCs) provide a physical learning space and extra support for course work students enrolled at UTS who are studying remotely in China and Vietnam. A UTS spokeswoman said about 700 students have attended the centres which opened last year on the campuses of Chinese university partners in Qinhuangdao, Chongqing and Nanjing.

“Our students live on campus at the OLC host university, study in physical groups or independently at their will, and obtain support for both academic and non-academic aspects of learning,” the spokeswoman said.

“OLC students use UTS’s online learning portals to take their UTS classes, consistent with their peers studying remotely in Australia and in other overseas locations.”

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Venice Yun from IDP Connect which is partnering with universities to provide the pop-up centres said they had provided an opportunity for students to gather locally in China and “feel more connected to their institution and studies, while also using the space for social gatherings”. “The hubs show a positive attitude from Australian institutions to provide additional solutions and services to those who are banned by the travel restrictions,” she said.

Monash University said it offers programs in Suzhou, China. A Monash spokeswoman said it opened a joint graduate school, partnered with China-based Southeast University, in November.

“Feedback from these students has been very positive,” the spokeswoman said.

“In China, this will continue in 2021 until borders in Australia have opened. Once borders are opened these students can transfer to Australia when it is safe to do so.

“We are also looking at using our other international campuses in Prato, Jakarta and Malaysia to offer similar on campus options in the future.”

An ANU spokesman said more than 100 students have regularly used the Shanghai hub since it opened last year. Up to 300 students have attended events including an Australian-themed barbecue and Australian Rules football training.

“ANU has just doubled the space for the hub in anticipation of increased demand and use in 2021,” the spokesman said.

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8 jobs to do in the garden before the end of summer


It’s true that 2020 saw us all spending more time at home and in our gardens, so what did we enjoy about it? What did our gardens provide us, beyond a sanctuary of green? What did we improve on and what’s still on the to do list?

There are a few things lingering on my list that I’m yet to get done in my garden this summer, and finding the perfect grafted Hass avocado is one of them. In the meantime, here are eight jobs I’m getting done before summer’s out.

Irrigation and La Nina

If you’re a hand-waterer then this summer’s La Nina has probably given you a bit of time off – the east-coast rains have been giving our gardens a soaking. If you haven’t already, turn down your irrigation system to avoid overwatering lawns or garden beds. Some systems have rain sensors so will be already adjusting their watering duration to suit the weather. To make the most of this rainfall, take your indoor plants outside for a good wash on the next rainy day and they’ll love you for it.

Harvesting summer annuals

UrbanGrowers2016.03.04-126_n0idpr
Eggplants have been thriving in the steamy weather. Photo: Alex Carlyle Photography

I’m seeing plenty of eggplants and tomatoes ballooning on their vines, as well as beans, pumpkin, okra, passion fruit and a variety of leafy greens sprouting throughout all our gardens, rapidly ripening in this steamy weather. Once these are finished come the end of summer or early autumn, our beds will need to be topped up with fresh compost, cow manure, worm castings and some organic veggie fertiliser and soil conditioners in preparation for autumn planting.

If you’re keen to grow some autumn veggies, now’s the time to get planning – buy the pots or make the beds, do the soil prep and order your seeds for planting in a couple of months. Remember, you’ll be planting winter annuals this autumn. It’s already too late for most summer crops to go in now, but get cracking on some autumn growing.

Lawns and top-dressing

Our lawn has loved the ample sun and rain of late and looks vastly different this year. I’ll be busy aerating compacted areas, fertilising and adding a quality top dressing over the next few weekends.

Potting up and repotting plants

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Repot plants with fresh premium potting mix and water in well with some seaweed solution. Photo: Urban Growers

While our plants are actively growing throughout summer and we have wet weather to keep them hydrated, now would be a great time to get repotting and potting up. Remove your plants from their pots and tease off about a quarter of the old potting mix from around the root ball. Repot them with fresh premium potting mix and water in well with some seaweed solution. Mix a quarter of a bag of cow manure to every bag of potting mix for plants that love water. Avoid doing it on a hot day and water the plant the day before.

Pruning deadwood

You’ll need a sharp pair of secateurs, a saw and or some good loppers. Have a close look at your trees and shrubs and then remove dead branches and crossing branches that are rubbing. What to prune and when depends on the plant type, but taking out old dead or diseased wood will open up the tree for light and allow new growth to thrive.

Fertilise

Healthy soil is your priority focus as a gardener, so build it up with rich, organic matter such as compost, manure, worm castings and mulch. A great combination of these nutrient-dense ingredients will build excellent soil structure, which will provide water and nutrients to plants. Adding organic fertilisers and soil conditioners will boost nutrients.

How to grow Hass avocados

iStock-1184861864_l0mcqd
Try your hand at growing your own avocado tree. Photo: iStock

If you love a bit of smashed avocado like the rest of us, and you have the space, then try growing one. You can buy grafted trees that fruit sooner, rather than growing from seed.

They do best with an A and B type planted close by for pollination, but most cities on the east coast have plenty of varieties growing in backyards, so you’re pretty safe with the one type.

Keep an eye out for good-looking specimens at your local nursery and choose the ideal size for your home and variety for your climate.

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Two Myanmar protesters shot dead as police crack down on anti-coup demonstrations


Myanmar police have shot and killed two protesters and wounded several as they cracked down in a bid to end weeks of demonstrations against a 1 February military coup, a doctor and a politician say.

Police opened fire in the town of Dawei, killing one and wounding several, politician Kyaw Min Htike told Reuters from the southern town on Sunday. The Dawei Watch media outlet also said at least one person was killed and more than a dozen wounded.

Police also fired in the main city of Yangon and one man brought to a hospital with a bullet wound in the chest had died, said a doctor at the hospital who asked not to be identified. The Mizzima media outlet also reported that death.

Police and the ruling military council did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Myanmar has been in chaos for a month since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

The coup, which stalled Myanmar’s progress toward democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

In Yangon, several people, some bleeding heavily, were helped away from protests, images posted earlier by media showed.

It was not clear how they were hurt but media reported live fire. The Myanmar Now media group said people had been “gunned down” but did not elaborate.

Police also threw stun grenades, used tear gas and fired into the air, witnesses said.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities have been using minimal force to deal with the protests.

Nevertheless, at least five protesters have died in the turmoil. The army said a policeman had been killed.

The military appears determined to impose its authority in the face of widespread defiance, not just on the streets but more broadly in areas such government sectors and the media.

Police were out early on Sunday, taking positions at main protest sites in Yangon as protesters, many clad in protective gear, began to congregate, witnesses said.

They moved swiftly to break up crowds.

Myanmar police have shot and killed two protesters and wounded several as they cracked down in a bid to end weeks of demonstrations.

AFP

Doctors and students in white lab coats fled as police threw stun grenades outside a medical school elsewhere in the city, posted video showed.

Police in the second city, Mandalay, fired guns into the air, trapping protesting medical staff in a city hospital, a doctor there said by telephone.

Saturday brought disturbances in towns and cities nationwide as police began their bid to crush the protests with tear gas, stun grenades and by shooting into the air.

State-run MRTV television said more than 470 people had been arrested on Saturday.

The police action came after state television announced that Myanmar’s UN envoy had been fired after he urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to reverse the coup.

The ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, was defiant, telling Reuters: “I decided to fight back as long as I can.”

Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

The next hearing in her case is set for Monday.

Myanmar’s generals have promised to hold a new election but not set a date.

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ASX down for third week, bonds hold sway



Australia’s share market had its heaviest percentage fall since early September after investors opted for rising yields in the bond market.

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A&H Aqua Therapy and Fitness



Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 7:30 – 8:30am

A&H Aqua Therapy and Fitness

Our 45 minute aqua fitness classes are perfect for people who want to boost their fitness level but need a gentler workout. Using the centre’s pool waters, an expert physiologist from the General Wellness Centre will take you through several low-impact strength and cardio exercises to get your body moving.

Registration is required before the class so please head to reception about 10 minutes prior to the class to sign in.

Venue: Tallebudgera Leisure Centre
Address: 1525 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Suburb: Palm Beach
Meeting point: Registration is required before the class so please head to reception about 10 minutes prior to the class to sign in.
Bookings required: No
Category: Aqua classes
Contact email: goldcoastrec@qld.gov.au
Contact name: Tallebudgera Leisure Centre
Contact phone: 5669 2100
Cost: $3.90

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