budget: Budget sops that can send realty, aviation, tourism stocks soaring


NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has over the past couple of months announced a slew of measures to revive demand for the Covid-hit sectors. While the focus of the forthcoming Budget is seen shifting from ‘growth’ to ‘repair’ and from ‘survival’ to ‘revival’, a host of Covid-hit sectors such as travel & tourism and real estate, among others, are eyeing budgetary sops.

For the hotel sector, the biggest wish has been to get an infrastructure status, as loans available to the asset-heavy sector attract as high as 15-20 per cent interest rate. The industry has sought that capital expenditure above Rs 25 crore be granted infrastructure status. At present, the status is granted only to hotels incurring capex of Rs 200 crore and above.



“If the hotel industry is granted infrastructure status, it can avail loans at lower interest rates for greenfield projects and will help them get water and electricity at industrial rates. It would be positive for Indian Hotels Company, Chalet Hotels, Lemon Tree Hotels, Jubilant FoodWorks and Speciality Restaurants,” Sharekhan said.

YES Securities said there are expectations that the government may allow business losses to be carried forward for up to 12 years, instead of eight years now, and there could be easing of tax for hotels from 34.94 per cent at present, to help increase cash flows. Hopes are also high of credit-guaranteed loans to the sector.

The tourism industry, as a whole, is asking for deferral of all statutory dues at the state government level such as excise fees, levies, taxes, power and water charges, and also deferral of renewal periods for all permits, licences, bank guarantees and security deposits across the tourism, travel, hospitality and aviation industry by 12 months.

Such a step would be positive for aviation companies SpiceJet and InterGlobe Aviation as well as hotels.

The tourism industry is also seeking to be brought under the ‘concurrent list’ by amending Schedule VII of the Constitution. “It would be ideal for each state to remove certain regulatory and licensing requirements that are currently in place to ease costs and the process of doing business,” said Sharekhan. “Thus, a more defined approach will be adhered to for the tourism sector, which would be driven by the unique needs of each state,” it said.

In the case of real estate, a Rs 2 lakh rebate is available on housing loan interest rates under Section 24 of the IT Act. There are expectations that this could be increased to at least Rs 5 lakh. If that happens, real estate stocks such as DLF, Godrej Properties, Prestige Estates, Brigade Enterprise, Ashiana Housing would be in focus.

It would also be positive for building material players such as Kajaria Ceramics, Century Plyboards, Astral Poly Technik and Supreme Industries, brokerages said.

The real estate sector is also seeking a GST waiver for a limited period. So far, the rate on under-construction properties is 5 per cent (minus the input tax credit benefit) for premium homes worth over Rs 45 lakh. The rate is 1 per cent for affordable homes (less than Rs 45 lakh).

The sector is also seeking a higher deduction under Section 80C up to Rs 1.5 lakh against principal repayment of housing loan, which is currently clubbed with other tax savings

“When it comes to investment in REITs, which have become a favoured route to raise funds for developers with renting-bearing commercial properties, an investment of up to Rs 50,000 should be allowed as a deduction under Section 80C. Also the holding period for REITs to qualify for long-term capital gain should be reduced from 36 months to 12 months, a step which will spur retail investment in value-creating instruments like REITs,” said Krish Raveshia, CEO at Azlo Realty.

Edelweiss said the government may look to support the bounce in the real estate sector by providing an extension to the PMAY-CLSS scheme, which is expiring at end of March 2021, which would also be in line with the government’s vision to provide Housing for All by 2022.

Meanwhile, public health has become very critical of late and further investments in public health infrastructure would be keenly awaited.

The vaccination rollout will be a very large project involving significant government expenditure. The outlay for this mega project and possible funding structure could become critical aspects of the budget, analysts said.



Thanks for seeing this post regarding International and Indian news and updates called “budget: Budget sops that can send realty, aviation, tourism stocks soaring”. This news release was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

#budget #Budget #sops #send #realty #aviation #tourism #stocks #soaring



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Just send them a text: leveraging SMS for business


Sponsored
Article

Once
the exclusive domain of personal communications to friends and family, SMS has
quickly become the most effective platform for businesses to engage with their
customers and staff.

At 98
per cent, SMS has one of the highest open rates of any platform with most
people opening a text within just 90 seconds of receiving it. This ensures
messages, offers or promotions are not only seen by more people, but at a
faster rate than they would be on other platforms.

In addition to improving customer response times, effective SMS communications facilitate higher customer engagement and conversion with an average response rate of 30 per cent. SMS marketing has a higher ROI than any other platform with 50 per cent of those responders typically making a purchase. This redemption rate for promotional coupons is 10 times higher than any other channel.

For
maximum cut through and engagement, small businesses can utilise SMS for a
range of marketing and customer communications including promotional messages,
appointment reminders, booking confirmations, click and collect, event
management and satisfaction surveys. SMS is also ideal for standardised and
auditable communications to employees, including availability checks, RU Safe
and lone worker notifications.

However,
the challenge for small businesses has always been how do you deploy SMS at
scale so that you’re not welded to your phone all day instead of running your
business.

Easy-to-use
technology platforms can now be used to implement and automate SMS communications.

Communications platforms like Whispir’s are incredibly versatile and can be utilised by a diverse range of businesses to solve a range of challenges using SMS. They provide fast development capability, cost-effective infrastructure and service delivery, repeatability and reliable process automation – all key benefits when looking at ways to more effectively operate in this new COVID-normal.

This
capability has extended beyond basic messaging and scheduled delivery, with
businesses now able to use workflows to automate messaging paths based on
keywords or phrases used in the body of the incoming text message responses.

This two-way conversational building block dynamically captures recipient
content to trigger and route further automated communications.

And
the great news for small businesses is that the platforms have low-code/no-code
capability. This means it will integrate with what IT system you’re using and
can be quickly implemented and used without the need for outside IT expertise.
They use drag and drop style templates so that you can build them yourself.

For example, your businesses could use this capability to ascertain customer interest in a virtual event. Based on whether the recipient’s answer was “yes” or “not right now”, they can respond to the recipient with additional information on the event. This information can then be routed to the business email to record responses for follow-up and reporting purposes.

Automated SMS responses are completely customisable and not limited to Yes, No or numbered list responses. Businesses are also not limited with the number of SMS responses prompts they can establish and can set time constraints for when SMS responses are captured. For example, if you’re messaging your staff about a vacant shift tomorrow, you can select to only capture responses that are received today. Businesses can also use the same platforms to preset different automated responses in instances when the recipient hasn’t responded to the initial.

Conversational
messaging significantly improves customer experience, providing seamless contextual
engagement based on earlier recipient interactions. As SMS messages can
incorporate URL links, businesses can use messaging pathways, conditional logic
and triggers to move customers and employees online to purpose-built web pages
that do not require an app.

By
automating more of the communication journey, organisations can build loyalty
with their customers, resolve enquiries faster, save time and improve user
experience.

Ben Erskine, Head of Content,
communications workflow platform provider Whispir



Thank you for reading this story regarding Australian State and Federal Business news named “Just send them a text: leveraging SMS for business”. This article is presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

#send #text #leveraging #SMS #business



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How to Send a File to Participants After they Submit your Google Form


Google Forms for Giveways! How to send a file attachement like PDF ebook or MP3 music to form respondents after they complete the quiz or survey and submit your Google Form.

Published in: Google Forms

When someone fills out your Google Form, you may want to send a file or two to the form respondent. For instance:

  1. A school teacher can send a Word document containing a copy of the answers to students who have completed the quiz.
  2. A musician can send her latest composition as an MP3 file to users who have completed her website survey built with Google Forms.
  3. An author can email a preview copy of her upcoming book in PDF to fans who have subscribed to her newsletter.
  4. An online store may send their catalog PDF to customers who have placed orders through Google Forms.

Demo – Send Files with Google Forms

Open this Google Form, type your email address and hit the Submit button. Check your inbox and you should immediately find a PDF copy of our famous 101 useful websites collection.

How to Attach Files to Form Emails

The Email Notifications add-on for Google Forms lets you send customized emails to form respondents after a new entry is received. The same notification can also be customized to include one or more file attachments that are picked from your Google Drive and sent as an attachment in the auto-responder email.

Add File to Google Drive

  1. Go to the Google Drive website and upload any file that you wish to send via Google Forms.
  2. Change the sharing settings on the file so that it is accessible to anyone with a link. You cannot attach private files to form emails.
  3. Right-click the file in Google Drive and choose Get Link to copy the full URL of the file to the clipboard.


Configure Google Forms

  1. Go to your Google Form, and create a new email rule.
  2. Check the Notify Form Submitter option and select the form field where you ask for the email address of the form submitter.
  3. Go to the Attach Files section and paste the URL of the Google Drive file that you have copied in the previous step.

Save the rule to activate it. Submit a new form and when new users submit the form, they’ll automatically receive a copy of your file as an attachment.


Send File Attachment

PS: You may use this workflow to send files in any format including PDF, Images, Audio, Video, GIFs, PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents. The file size should be less than 5 MB. Also, it is not possible to attach native Google file formats like Google Docs, Sheets and Google Slides.



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Customers fundraise to send Ontario Tim Hortons employee back to school


Customers at a Vaughan, Ont., coffee shop have raised funds to send their favourite employee back to school.

Vishnu Gopansothilingan greets customers at the Tim Hortons drive-thru at Bathurst and Rutherford with positive energy that brightens everyone’s day, said customer Matthew Shulman.

“He makes your day,” said Shulman. “This guy, he fist-bumps you, he gives you weather reports. Everybody in the community thinks they’re special and he only does it with them, but it turns out he’s doing it with everybody.”

Customers start GoFundMe

Gopansothilingan was studying IT at York University, but dropped out due to financial constraints.

When Shulman heard his story, he organized a GoFundMe campaign called “Vishnu The Tim Horton’s Happy Fist Bumper!”

“In a time of such uncertainty, [Vishnu] is and always has been a ray of sunshine! I, like many others look forward to my morning coffee, fist bump, huge smile, worldly quotes, weather reviews, silly jokes and the ‘have an amazing day,’ ” wrote Shulman on the GoFundMe site. 

“Vishnu is much more than a guy in a mask working the Tim Hortons drive thru. He is an amazing human being.
AS A COMMUNITY, LET’S SHOW HIM HOW MUCH WE CARE, send him back to school.” 

The campaign has so far raised just over $9,300 of its $10,000 goal, with more than 200 people donating. 

“It’s amazing how people appreciate the small things that I do,” said Gopansothilingan, who gave out doughnuts after Shulman presented him with the money outside the coffee shop.

“I love people. This is who I am, giving back and making people smile.”



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Vandoula Lass could send Tommy Berry into COVID-19 quarantine


“We will find out more about her on Saturday because the Randwick 1100m is a good test and it will show if she’s up to the Magic Millions.”

Vandoula Lass is a $2.10 favourite for the two-year-old race and is part of a good book of rides for Berry, including Laure Me In in the Summer Cup, Criminal Code, Travest and Starla.

“I think Laure Me In gets a good weight turnaround on Greysful Glamour in the Summer Cup from his last start and Criminal Code will be better on the big track,” he said.

Berry has fallen nine wins behind James McDonald, who is on 51 wins after a treble at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, and if he doesn’t go to the Magic Millions there would be a chance to make up some ground.

“I’d like to win the premiership and James has kicked clear, but he is going to Magic Millions, so won’t be there for a couple of weeks, which would be a good opportunity for me to catch up if I stay [in Sydney],” Berry said. “It makes it a tough decision.

“I’m taking next week off for a holiday with the family and it wouldn’t hurt me to extend it if I have to go to Queensland.”

Trainers Gai Waterhouse, John O’Shea and Paul Snowden have made plans to stay outside the Greater Sydney area after the weekend while leading jockeys Hugh Bowman and McDonald will quarantine following the Gosford Guineas meeting on Tuesday to meet the Queensland protocols.

Other trainers are monitoring the situation and will make decisions over the weekend.

McDonald sees it as the perfect chance to have an enforced break at the start of 2021 as he eyes a first Magic Millions Classic on either Breeders Plate winner Shaquero, who runs in Saturday’s Bruce McLachlan Stakes at Eagle Farm, or She’s All Class, the convincing Wyong Magic Millions winner.

“I would usually be over in New Zealand for a couple of weeks, so to do nothing for a week will give me a good break and freshen-up,” McDonald said.

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“I have a good ride in the [Magic Millions] two-year-old whichever one the stable wants me to ride. Shaquero is a good colt and the filly could not have been more impressive winning at Wyong.”

There is no question about the Magic Millions going ahead with the sale starting on January 12 and raceday on January 16. Magic Millions owner Gerry Harvey has already left Sydney to meet the COVID-19 requirements.

“I wouldn’t miss being on the Gold Coast at this time of the year,” Harvey said. “The sale is on, it’s just getting people from Sydney there that is a problem at the moment.

“I’ll have Christmas up here [on the NSW north coast] and then be able to go to the Gold Coast for the sale in a couple of weeks where I have some nice horses to sell.”

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Sydney northern beaches COVID-19 cluster triggers CA to send David Warner to Melbourne early


Cricket Australia were planning to fly Sydney-based Test squad members David Warner and Sean Abbott to Melbourne on Saturday in a bid to avoid them being stranded in the NSW capital for next week’s Boxing Day Test if Victoria shuts it border to people from Sydney due to a virus outbreak.

Warner and Abbott were in Australia’s original 17-member squad for the Border-Gavaskar trophy series against India but neither made the trip to Adelaide for the first Test as a result of injuries.

David Warner has not been ruled out of the second Test in Melbourne.Credit:Getty Images

Warner, who tore his groin during the one-day international series against India last month, remains an outside chance of returning to the side for the second Test at the MCG while Abbott, who strained a calf playing for Australia A against the Indians last week, is eager to link up with the Test squad for the first time.

The new Sydney cluster cause further impact around the first Test at Adelaide Oval on Saturday with Cricket Australia staff questioning commentators, broadcast production personnel and media about whether they had been to particular postcodes in the city before flying to South Australia.



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Racing Victoria is set to send shockwaves through the Australian racing industry with “whip free” racing in the new year


Racing Victoria’s contentious position on the use of the whip by jockeys will escalate to the next level over summer with a proposal for a series of whip free races culminating in a “final” on All Star Mile day at Moonee Valley.

Details are still to be confirmed but I am aware of a proposal to run a series of benchmark races at country and provincial tracks where jockeys will carry, but not be allowed to use the whip.

To reinforce RV’s determination to “modernise” the perception of the whip, RV confirmed to me today that “the potential to trial whip-free races is one of those (options), but there have been no decisions made on that, or any other options at this time.”

“As we had expressed previously when commenting on whip use, there are a number of options that Victoria could consider to progress the discussion on whip reform. These include things such as conducting customer research and other activity to provide insight and data,” an RV spokesman told me.”

Such customer research came in the form of a study conducted by Data2Decisions (part of the worldwide Dentsu Group), revealed last week in The Age newspaper which said 56 per cent of 1851 people questioned believed the whip should be banned and 87 per cent agreed that the whip should be limited to no more than four strikes a race, on direct questioning.

But the possible step to staging a series of races where the whip is “banned” from use will rapidly accelerate participant’s positioning on the matter, as much as public response to the issue.

Are jockeys’ non-winners in this situation? If they refuse to support any such trial through a proposed series, are they seen as “pro-whip”. If they concur and ride, which they will, what issues may arise in a tight finish where a jockey reaches for the whip for “encouragement”? We still can’t get stewards to allow over use of the whip to turnover a protest.

If RV programs significant prizemoney backed races as part of the series at the provincials and in the country, those jockeys can seize the opportunities (but without using the whip). But will those jockeys be part of the play if the series culminates in “the final” at The Valley.

So, if the “trial” is successful is the Jeanie out of the bottle and is there no way back in Victoria in its current go it alone policy on the whip?

What impact will a potential whip free series have on wagering and the same questions can be asked – will punters support it, will they not care and bet anyway and if so, underline RV’s position on elimination of the whip as anything but a safety tool that will not affect the industry’s bottom line.

RV, as far back as February has put a line in the sand in its whip position, and at this stage it is set to go it alone, but this whip free race proposal will place them more on their own all-but deserted island.

RV put their position on the Racing Australia board table last month, and then on hold as RA conducts its own review, and at this stage it seems they have not garnered much sympathetic support.

RV wants to limit the use of the whip to a maximum number of between five and eight times in a race to alter the current five times in non-consecutive strides prior to the 100m mark and at the rider’s discretion in the final 100m of a race.

RV believes that the current national whip rules are no longer appropriate, however they do not call for the abandonment of carrying the whip, but for safety purposes only.

There were two pieces of research conducted by Data2Decisions for RV, with other findings revealing that 70 per cent of “non-customers” said the whip should be banned, compared to 35 per cent of the racing audience.

“The research sample is representative of the Australian population (i.e. male/female, young/old, different states – minimum age of 18) and categorises people either as customers – those who have attended, watched or placed a bet on thoroughbred racing in the past 12 months – or non-customers, being those that had not. Across the two studies there have been a bit over 2,000 racing customers collectively surveyed,” RV said.

“Whether people wish to believe it or not, the research identifies that there are a number of current and potential customers who do not support the use of the whip in racing and/or wish to see its usage reduced. It is pertinent to remember that we are talking about the views of customers, not licensed participants.”

And of course, all of this is run alongside another high-profile RV and Victoria Racing Club inquiry into the alarming amount of catastrophic injuries to horses in the Melbourne Cup as well as international competitors in the spring carnival, the focus as broad ranging as the Werribee training facility to veterinary checks in UK quarantine and much more, but not expected to solidify a position before the first quarter of 2021.

And all of this is to do with dealing with the public perception of major issues facing the sport and the industry as a whole, but both shining bright lights on them at the same time, seemingly unapologetically, in Victoria, via it’s governing body at least.
************************************************

Last week’s column lead highlighting the failure of Racing Australia to support individual sponsorship for jockeys ignited much discussion, most positive, some a little ill-informed.

There is no push for the rich jockeys to get richer – though in the real world, market forces determine corporate value.

This is about any jockey sharing any potential partnership with all jockeys via their Trust as well as the industry via contributions to equine welfare. Any potential “conflict of interest” with a current industry sponsor was also addressed in the proposal.

This is as much about sponsorship and growing the stars of the industry, a proposition which may lead to new partnerships in challenging times.

Look at leading trainer Chris Waller last week, proudly and rightly so highlighting his ongoing partnership with Mercedes-Benz of Parramatta.

Richard Freedman took it a step further – sponsor the horse!

Glen Boss, certainly the right man for the job in terms of marketing and promotions, rang in support of the sentiment and mentioned his first car sponsor was Lexus, well before they had any commercial interest in racing. They of course are now the partner for Australia’s most famous race The Lexus Melbourne Cup, after previous long term partners Emirates and Carlton And United departed the game.

Boss is now a Maserati ambassador but can see the value of opportunity. “I go and speak and engage at events throughout the year and spread the message of racing for the greater good, who knows where that might lead, we have to be able to promote our sport and I’m all for the jockeys like Jye McNeil and ladies like Rachel King and Jamie Kah flying the flag.”

I’ve been pushing the industry using, and Jye capitalising on his famous Melbourne Cup victory and I’m pleased that he has a business manager – John Kanga, working through possible corporate opportunities with pet companies, pyjama retailers and airlines, each or any of which would benefit himself, but other jockeys, the trust and equine welfare.

And any of these partnerships would be much better leveraged if the jockey was allowed to brand in a race or on a racecourse.

Hamish Sterling, a high-profile graphic designer has worked on a trading card for McNeil and others believing there is not only a corporate branding association with a series of cards, in a field that is dynamic across a variety of age groups right now.

The Jye McNeil – Twilight Payment trading card. Photo: Sterling Graphic Design

Again a portion of the sale of any such jockey trading cards would be shared with the NJT to ensure benefits for the industry as a whole not as just an individual but another way of engaging the sport with its fan and customer base.

A Brisbane based company Fan Fave, established by Brett Clulow has promoted a series of products for jockeys and trainers as well as some owners.

Clare Lindop is on the Fan Fave list, though not a current jockey, and is an outspoken advocate for jockey welfare and supportive of any initiative to help riders, and in turn the sport.

“I promoted racing wherever I went and spoke, and I look back now and thought if I had an agent back then, how much I could have made and how much I could have promoted more,” Lindop said.

“My message has been and always is – follow your dreams, not put them in a box.”

Lindop, still a public speaker through the Pick Star group, says now is the right time for the discussion about jockey’s sponsor to be had, as much about the industry as jockey welfare and opportunity.

“Intellectual property, sponsorship, and official merchandise are all elements which I believe Jockeys should be allowed to have a say in their own destiny,” she wrote in a blog on the Fan Fave sight.

“In 2020 we see the silks sponsorship promoting the National Jockeys Trust. Is it now time to allow individual riders to seek their own sponsors?
“I believe even one leg and the backside could be allowed to be for an individual rider to seek sponsorship, or even another charity you wished to champion.”

************************************************

I have mentioned here before the work that England’s champion rider Oisin Murphy does to promote racing via his management company M3 Media.

He was at it again this week with fellow jockeys “Aussie” Tom Marquand, Cieren Fallon and Grace Mcentee in a Christmas cooking bake off in Newmarket, another way of normalising, humanising or just engaging jockeys with the fans and perhaps in turn a broader community that might learn to know them more.

It’s worth watching and well held together by Matt Chapman, full of his double entendre hosting and Gina Bryce.

********************************************

­

So in this week’s edition of Wayne’s World, we deal with his (that’s Wayne Hawkes of course) call to end Moonee Valley night meetings by 9pm, not 10pm. It was met with a swift rebuke and wagering figures to match and debunk from The Valley CEO Michael Browell.

Wayne’s view was that finishing late had the track as a “ghost town”, well they have been for the last eight months with COVID fan bans, and “how many people are actually watching.”

Fellow trainer Matt Ellerton responded in support of Wayne, but highlighted the issue facing participants and the industry rather than viewers and ratings.

********************************************************

It follows something raised by young Scone based trainer Will Freedman, son of Richard, re days off around Christmas, so staff could spend more time with their families and extrapolated into discussion re jockeys having Boxing Day off so they could lap up the festive day.

In typical Freedman fashion, the responses were polarising and in typical Freedman fashion, Will embraced such, but also doubted there would be any change to the status quo anytime soon.

**************************************

While the world Turf Championships in Hong Kong were another stunning success for the leadership at the Jockey Club under Winfried Englebrecht-Bresges, winners from Ireland and Japan and local star, Australian bred-New Zealand sold Golden Sixty cemented his claim on the world stage, there was a race in Japan with a stunning and exquisite result on Sunday.

Is this the first white horse in the world to win a Group 1 race – her name is Sodashi, her mother Bushiko was a legend in Japan (not just for the appaloosa type markings but her behaviour and performances) and now her daughter is an equine superstar to Japan’s enthusiastic race fans. And what a win.

Not only was there an isolated camera on her but there is a 90-minute documentary on her available on YouTube.

***********************************************

And on the undercard at Sha Tin was the debut performance in Hong Kong of the former Richard Laming trained Master Montaro, bought off a stunning Pakenham maiden win for $1.5m for clients of David Hayes who then had to run him again to get his qualifying rating up and they did so to similar effect at Geelong in May.

A gamble, yes at the time, but not after this Class 3 Hong Kong debut on Sunday. And his time was comparable to Hong Kong Sprint winner Danon Smash who ran 1.08.45s for the 1200m (last 400m in 22.9s) v Master Montaro 1.08.97s (22.96s).

And to a point – do you ever hear in Hong Kong, a horse wasn’t suited to the way the track raced today? No, it doesn’t happen, a spectacularly cared for track and true tempo in most races. But Master Montaro will be winning more.

And highlighting a massive day for Swettenham Stud stallion Toronado and a clutch of opportunistic retweets.





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SA Christmas lights map 2020 — send us your lights locations


Help us put Christmas on the map in South Australia. Fill out our simple form to tell us about your display and get it added to our interactive map.

After the year we’ve had, it’s fair to say we could all use a bit of fun.

With South Australia’s expert handling of the pandemic, most of us are luckily on track to celebrate Christmas as we’ve always done – with good food, our family and friends and our fun annual traditions, like heading out to see the Christmas lights across our towns and cities.

As we do every year, we’re inviting people across the state to tell us about their Christmas lights displays to be featured on The Adveriser’s annual Christmas lights map.

Simply fill out the form, taking care to ensure you give us all the most important information.

↓↓↓ SCROLL DOWN TO SUBMIT YOUR DISPLAY ↓↓↓

HOW TO BE COVID-SAFE THIS CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SEASON

Here are some helpful hints from SA Health to help you stay safe when heading out to view the Christmas lights this year.

Remember to take hand sanitiser and sanitise your hands regularly and keep 1.5 metres apart from others wherever possible.

Practice good hygiene at all times so everyone can celebrate the Christmas festivities in a COVID Safe way. Please do not go out if you are unwell and if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, get tested as soon as the symptoms appear.



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Tottenham 2-0 Man City: Son Heung-min and Giovani lo Celso send Spurs top


Son Heung-min has nine goals and two assists in nine Premier League games this season

Tottenham Hotspur went top of the Premier League after producing a display of clinical efficiency and tactical discipline to beat Manchester City.

In the usual battle of wits between Jose Mourinho and his old adversary Pep Guardiola, the Spurs manager came out on top as his team’s season gathered further momentum.

Son Heung-min put Spurs in front after five minutes, finishing coolly from Tanguy Ndombele’s pass before Manchester City had a first-half goal ruled out by VAR for a handball by Gabriel Jesus after Aymeric Laporte’s finish.

City continued to enjoy greater possession but Spurs, as you would expect from a Mourinho side, were fiercely drilled and resilient, taking their chance when it came to double their advantage and finish the game.

It came in the 65th minute after a dream substitution from Mourinho, Giovani lo Celso beating Ederson with a low finish from another Kane pass 35 seconds after coming on for Steven Bergwijn – the only cloud for Spurs coming with a late injury to Toby Alderweireld after an outstanding performance.

Mourinho revels in statement win

Mourinho was a bundle of energy in his technical area as Spurs took all Manchester City could throw at them to come out with the win that puts them at the Premier League summit and also made a powerful statement about their ambitions and aspirations.

Mourinho’s voice echoed around this vast, empty arena as he urged on his players, shouting instructions with regular demands of “press the ball”. Guardiola, in contrast, was understandably subdued and downcast.

It is still early days for a club that has struggled to win silverware over so many recent years, but there is a growing sense of strength and optimism around Spurs, fuelled by a serial winner as a manager who looks revitalised after the acrimonious end to his spell at Manchester United.

Spurs have the golden threat of the likes of Son – who has now scored 11 goals in all competitions this season – and Kane, with Gareth Bale on the bench here, but they now have some many of the usual Mourinho traits that have always made his teams so difficult to beat.

It has been a year since he succeeded the hugely popular Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs are starting to resemble Mourinho’s image and likeness, epitomised by the unfussy but highly effective midfield sentry Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, a signing from Southampton that was a managerial priority in the summer.

Spurs are currently a potent mix of solidity and threat, as proved by the way they dug deep to keep Manchester City out before striking to deadly effect. Spurs had two shots on target and scored twice.

In Kane, Spurs also possess the complete forward at the very top of his game, a class act as a provider for the ninth time in as many league games this season – but also the master marksman when his chances come along, as they will with regularity this season.

Spurs and their fans will not get carried away but there can be no denying Mourinho’s tried and trusted methods are having their effect, with the long-time foe Guardiola the victim on this occasion.

Toothless Man City fall short again

Manchester City clearly had a grievance against the decision to rule out Laporte’s goal for handball against Jesus that left them nursing a sense of injustice. However, it would still disappoint Guardiola that his team had so much of the ball but actually did so little with it when it came to seriously testing Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris.

It has become something of pattern with Manchester City and this was another occasion, although Guardiola did not feel able to risk the likes of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero other than on the substitutes’ bench, reducing their level of threat.

City were easily unpicked by Ndombele’s pass for Son’s early strike and there was almost a sense of inevitability that their toothlessness would end with Spurs sweeping up the other end to add a second through Lo Celso.

It is hardly panic stations for City as they stand eight points off the top with a game in hand. This is shaping up as a season with many twists and turns to come – but this was another unsatisfactory result and performance.

Aguero’s now regular fitness issues rob Guardiola and City of their most lethal finisher in and around the box, the 32-year-old Argentine still the most reliable goalscorer at the club but now seemingly troubled too much by injury.

Guardiola will now move into the next phase of his reign at City after signing a two-year contract extension and preparing for the day they have to do without one of their all-time great players will soon be an issue.

This is still a Manchester City side packed with world-class players but this was another of those days that have been happening since the start of last season when they simply lack a ruthless edge and end up being punished.

It is a problem Guardiola needs to resolve – and quickly.

‘We are not fighting for the title’ – what the managers said

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho told BBC Sport: “It feels good [to be top], but maybe tomorrow we are second again and honestly that would not be a problem for me, I am just happy with the evolution.

“People cannot expect us to come here and after one season we are fighting for the title. We are not fighting for the title, we are just fighting to win every match. But we are going to lose matches, we are going to draw matches.

“Dinner tonight will be nice and relaxed and I will watch Atletico Madrid v Barcelona and sleep like an angel. But no problem if Leicester wins [on Sunday] and we are second again.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said: “It could be better, we played similar to how we have all season. We did not defend good for the first goal. They then defended so deep, they defended with six and it was not easy. We had our chances, but we couldn’t score and they made two or three chances on the counter-attack and we lost the game.

“We knew before the game that you cannot give them the first goal. We had more chances than them but we lost. Mourinho’s teams are like this, you make a mistake and they punish you on the counter-attack.”

Spurs end day top for first time in six years – the stats

  • It is the first time since August 2014 that Tottenham will finish a day top of the Premier League and the first time they have done so after at least nine top-flight games since January 1985.
  • Meanwhile, 12 points from eight games is Manchester City’s lowest points total at this stage of a Premier League season since 2008-09, while their 10 goals scored is their lowest after eight games since 2006-07.
  • Tottenham have won back-to-back league games against Manchester City for the first time since October 2016.
  • City have had 41 shots in their past two league games against Spurs but have lost both without scoring.
  • Tottenham have scored more goals in the first half of Premier League games than any other side this season, with their 11 in the opening 45 minutes more than City have scored in the competition this season (10).
  • Son has scored five goals in five games in all competitions against Manchester City and his strike after four minutes 19 seconds was the earliest City have conceded in the league since December 2016, against Arsenal.
  • Kane has provided nine assists in his nine Premier League games this season, after providing just eight assists in his previous three campaigns, or 94 games, combined.

What’s next?

Both sides are in European action in midweek, as Manchester City travel to Olympiakos in the Champions League on Wednesday (17:55 GMT) and Tottenham host Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday (20:00).

City then host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00), before Spurs are away to Chelsea on Sunday (16:30).

Player of the match

KaneHarry Kane

Line-ups

Tottenham

  • 1Lloris
  • 24Aurier
  • 4AlderweireldSubstituted forRodonat 81′minutes
  • 15Dier
  • 3Reguilón
  • 17SissokoBooked at 42mins
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 28NdombeleSubstituted forLo Celsoat 65′minutes
  • 23BergwijnSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 73′minutes
  • 10KaneBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 9Bale
  • 12Hart
  • 14Rodon
  • 18Lo Celso
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 33Davies
  • 45Alves Morais

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben DiasBooked at 87mins
  • 14Laporte
  • 27Cancelo
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 16Rodri
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forFodenat 72′minutes
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forSterlingat 72′minutes
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 21TorresBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 7Sterling
  • 8Gündogan
  • 10Agüero
  • 13Steffen
  • 47Foden
  • 50García

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COVID-19: Pfizer boss says company aims to send out vaccine within hours of approval | World News


The head of Pfizer has told Sky News his company is poised to send out doses of its COVID-19 vaccine “within hours” of it receiving official approval.

Chief Executive Albert Bourla said his company would be applying for permission from regulatory authorities across the world “very, very soon – within a couple of days” and was then ready to start shipping the first of 20 million vaccine doses that have already been made.

He told Sky News doses would be sent out to countries as soon as their health authorities gave permission, raising the possibility of a “race to regulate”, but said the world would have to be “patient” because demand would outstrip supply.

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COVID vaccine: 20 million doses already produced

“The light is real – there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

“I believe that the second half of 2021 will be a very different experience for many of us.”

Mr Bourla spoke to Sky News exclusively, shortly after his company had concluded its Phase 3 study into its COVID-19 vaccine, created in partnership with the German firm BioNTech.

The study showed it to be 95% effective, a figure he described as “spectacular” and “a great moment for science but, more importantly, for humankind”. He said the day when he was told about the vaccine’s success was “the most brilliant day of my life”.

His company has already produced more than 20 million doses of the vaccine and expects that figure to have reached 50 million by the end of the year. Another 1.3 billion doses are planned to be manufactured in 2021.

Before it can be used, the vaccine needs regulatory approval from health authorities.

Mr Bourla said: “It is a question of days before we apply to send the requested information to regulatory bodies around the world. Then it is their call. They need to take their time and follow their processes.

“Once they give us the green light, our goal is to start shipping in a couple of hours.

“The major regulatory authorities of the world listen to each other, but they are powered scientifically.

“They are independent. It’s not likely that one agency takes time and another comes to a conclusion much faster.”

However, Mr Bourla confirmed his company would react to each decision in turn – meaning that the faster a country grants regulatory approval, the faster it would receive the vaccine.

“If someone approves faster than the other, then I believe the ethical thing to do is to start sending vaccines to the citizens of this jurisdiction because every day means lives,” he added.

The rules over who can administer a vaccine have been changed to include more categories
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50 million doses of the vaccine will be made before the end of 2020, Mr Bourla said

The Pfizer boss’s prediction is that “if we would be able to vaccinate the populations, I think we will be able to go back” to a normal life, but he urged patience and caution.

“Until the time when we reach herd immunity, people need to be very careful. They need to follow the instructions of the health authorities – to wear masks and respect social distancing,” he said.

With each person requiring two doses of the vaccine for it to be effective, the company’s estimate of 1.3bn doses by the end of 2021 would only cover around 9% of the world’s population. So, would he consider sharing production with rival companies?

“Oh yes, we are not bound by our own infrastructure,” Mr Bourla said.

“It is very challenging to transfer manufacturing to GSK or Sanofi. It’s not that easy. But we will explore any possible avenue. That will need to involve other manufacturing networks of other corporations.”

He said he would also offer support to other companies, working on separate vaccine projects, and said that the level of collaboration across the industry “is something that will redefine the industry right now, for the world and for all of us, there’s only one competitor – the virus”.

Mr Bourla said poorer countries would receive the vaccine on a “not-for-profit” basis, which means “the lowest possible price so we can make it accessible for them”.

He said Pfizer had already worked on contingency plans in the event of customs disruption caused by Brexit.

“I don’t think it’s a secret that our company, together with all the corporate world, was not fascinated with the idea that the UK will separate from Europe, but it is the will of the United Kingdom’s people and we have been working for years now to come to a solution when this transition happens,” he said.

During our conversation, Mr Bourla, who is Greek and has worked for Pfizer for 27 years, was awash with optimism and happiness. There was only one moment when his mood darkened, and that was when he reflected on the experience of one country – the United States.

People wearing face masks walk in Burgos, northern Spain, on October 21, 2020, on the first day of a two week lockdown in an attempt to limit the contagion of the new coronavirus COVID-19 in the area. - Spain has become one of the pandemic's hotspots in the European Union, with close to 975,000 registered cases and nearly 34,000 deaths. (Photo by Cesar Manso / AFP) (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Pfizer boss said wearing face masks and social distancing will still be important

“Something went wrong and that something was in the US – and that was the politicisation of this process,” he said.

“It became a political statement – if you wore a mask; if the vaccine will come quickly or not. That didn’t help at all.

“Everybody started discussing scientific topics with political instead of scientific terms, and people got confused. They didn’t know who to believe, or what to believe, and that is the situation we face right now.

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Pfizer boss interview in full on new vaccine

“I hope all the things that we did were a demonstration of the ultimate transparency we placed, all together as an industry. We follow the strictest guidelines. We publish the protocols, we started publishing the data.”

He also issued a message to those who were dubious about the value of vaccines, saying that anyone who refused a vaccine risks “becoming the weak link that allows this virus to replicate. I hope that a lot of the people who were sceptical before will reconsider”.

Water cannons were fired as riot police pushed back protesters
Image:
Anti-restrictions protests have been happening around the world, but Mr Bourlas said a vaccine will not stop measures straight away

My last question to him was about his own reflections, about the process of leading Pfizer, a company valued at more than $200bn, over this tumultuous year.

It was only his second year as the company’s chief executive, but he told me that pressure was “not at all the political pressure that some people were speculating but the pressure of billions of people, millions of businesses and hundreds of governments – they are investing in our industry, in Pfizer, to find a solution – so you feel that on the shoulders”.

“The moment when I received the call to say we had an effective vaccine…and ten minutes later I was informed that the level of efficacy was 95,96%, it was the most brilliant day of my life,” he said.

“I couldn’t describe with words the relief and the feeling of purpose, but I felt at this moment that this is a decision that determines the future of the world – not of my company or my family. And I was very lucky to be in this position, and to be able to do what I did.”



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