Total Fire Ban declared as ‘severe’ conditions impact



WE MAY be in for a rainy summer thanks to La Nina but hot and windy conditions have seen a Total Fire Ban declared for the Far North Coast today.

MORE STORIES: 5 things you should never do during a Total Fire Ban

On Sunday the NSW Rural Fire Service announced that a Total Fire Ban would be in place today, commencing at midnight on Monday November 23, with a severe rating for Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

And if you are heading to the North Western region, be advised there is also a severe warning for Moree Plains, Narrabri, Walgett and Warrumbungle.

MORE STORIES: 5 Ways to protect against bushfire

The NSW RFS provided the following advice:

Under Severe and Very High fire conditions:

* Well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety during a fire

* Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and remain vigilant

* Keep informed by listening to local radio, watching television news broadcasts and monitoring www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

Please note:

* The NSW RFS may issue a Harvest Safety Alert for areas of heightened risk. Harvest operators should monitor conditions and regularly check that they are operating within guidelines.

* No fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended during a Total Fire Ban. * Gas and electric barbecues may be used provided certain conditions are met. Total Fire Ban rules and a map of current Total Fire Ban areas are listed at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.





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Finland reports roughly 350 new coronavirus cases, total rises over 20,000


OFFICIALS from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Thursday confirmed that the number of new coronavirus infections is increasing in Finland.

The number of new infections, they warned, is presently so high that the epidemiological situation can deteriorate rapidly in all parts of the country.

Taneli Puumalainen, the chief medical officer at THL, revealed in a press conference that the total number of coronavirus infections will rise by roughly 350 today. “Finland will today breach the 20,000-mark for confirmed coronavirus cases,” he said.

The number of new infections stood at 1,534 between 9 and 15 November, representing an increase of 122 from the period between 2 and 8 November. The majority of the cases from last week were reported by the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS), where the weekly increase in cases has grown by roughly a hundred since the week ending on 25 October.

A total of 986 new cases were detected in the district between 9 and 15 November.

THL on Thursday confirmed that the hospital district currently meets many of the criteria for the worst, spreading stage of the epidemic, even though the demand for hospital and intensive care capacity remains manageable.

The epidemic is currently in the acceleration stage not only in HUS, but also in Kanta-Häme, Länsi-Pohja, Pirkanmaa, South-west Finland, Vaasa and Åland Islands. All other hospital districts are in the base stage of the epidemic, with the exception of the towns of Kouvola, Kruunupyy, Lahti and Rauma.

Although the majority of new infections are caught within the country, the share of infections contracted overseas has crept up slightly, currently making up about six per cent of new infections. Another six per cent of new infections, meanwhile, are linked to an infection brought to the country from overseas.

More than a third of new infections are detected in people who were in quarantine at the time of detection.

Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, the head of strategic affairs and chief medical officer at the Ministry of Social Affairs, reminded that 55 per cent of new infections are contracted from another member of the household.

“The inner circle, home and friends remain the biggest sources of infections, but more infections are now caught at workplaces – about 20 per cent of all traced infections,” she said. “Break facilities and coffee stations are places where it’s good to keep hygiene and social distancing in mind.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT



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Three more cases added to Adelaide’s Parafield coronavirus cluster bring total to 23


Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced three extra cases of coronavirus have been identified within South Australia’s Parafield cluster.

A spokesman for South Australian Health Minister Stephen Wade confirmed the cases, saying they were in addition to one case announced by the Premier this morning.

The spokesman said it brought the total number of confirmed and suspected cases in the Parafield cluster to 23.

Mr Hunt said all the new cases were among the same family and there were “no cases of community transmission in South Australia outside of that cluster”.

The line to get tested at the Victoria Park drive-through coronavirus clinic this morning.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Spence Denny)

Premier Steven Marshall told State Parliament this afternoon there were “in excess of 5,300 tests conducted yesterday”, which was a record for the state.

“We all know that the incubation period for this disease can be up to 14 days so we still do have an anxious wait to see what the true situation is in South Australia but there is more and more data coming in all the time,” he said.

He said the virus was transferred to a cleaner at the Peppers Waymouth medi-hotel “via a surface” and that they believe she infected two security guards but none were symptomatic.

A tall building on a city street with cars driving past
The virus appears to have originated in the Peppers Waymouth Hotel in Adelaide’s CBD.(ABC News: Brant Cumming)

Five schools have now closed because of connections with the northern suburbs cluster — Roma Mitchell College in Gepps Cross, Mawson Lakes School and Preschool, Thomas More College in Salisbury Downs, Holy Family Catholic School in Parafield Gardens and Mount Carmel College at Rosewater.

Mr Marshall and South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier are due to give an update this afternoon.



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Total Gym Strength Training Workout for Beginners


Total Gym Strength Training Workout For Beginners

Congratulations on receiving your new Total Gym!

It’s awesome that you took the first step in creating a higher quality of life for yourself. You have your new and beautiful piece of equipment right in front of you and I bet that you’re already in love with your Total Gym!

And why wouldn’t you be? It’s just one of the coolest and most effective pieces of equipment ever created!

As exciting as this time may be, it can also be intimidating if you’re at a beginner fitness level. So to make this process as simple and seamless as possible for beginners, we have created a quick Total Gym Fitness Routine for you to start with and slowly incorporate more exercises to get to a more advanced fitness level.

Follow this routine and you’ll soon start to reap all of the associated benefits such as building strength, creating power, increasing muscular and cardio endurance, and improving your core.

The Total Gym Strength Training Workout For Beginners

Chest Press:

Sit up straight with good posture facing away from the Total Gym. Grab onto the handles and push out directly in front of you to complete your first rep, then repeat the exercise to complete the set. Remember to press out fast but to come back in slowly to control the movements and maximize the muscle contractions. (2 Sets of 15 Reps)

Upright Back Rows:

Sit up straight with good posture facing the Total Gym. Grab onto the handles and begin to pull them towards your body with the goal of getting your hands lined up with your chest, then come back out to complete the rep. Now repeat that motion to complete the 1st set. Remember to pull in towards your body fast but to go out slowly to control the movements and maximize the muscle contractions. (2 Sets of 15 Reps)

1 Legged Regular Squat:

Sit upright with your butt as close as possible to the bottom of the seat with one leg on the platform and the other leg lifted in the air to the side of the platform. Proceed to squat on the one leg that is on the platform by going down slowly until you feel engagement in the quadriceps region of your leg, then press to lift your body back up to complete the rep. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 15 Reps on Each Leg)

Curls:

Sit up straight with good posture facing the Total Gym. Grab onto the handles with a closed fist and begin to curl your hands up with the goal of getting your hands lifted up all the way to your chest. Curl up fast, then come back down to the starting position slowly to complete the rep. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 15 Reps)

Leg Raises:

Lay down flat on your back on top of the slider with your arms fully extended above your head to grab onto the hand grips of the Total Gym with your hands facing one another. With your arms fully extended and your body stretched out, begin to lift your legs up simultaneously as high as you can to form the letter “L” out of your body, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 15 Reps)

Remember, this is not a competition, but more so an opportunity to create a strong foundation for yourself to create fitness success and help you get to the next level. It is recommended that you perform the following exercises 2 – 3 times per week for 4 weeks before advancing to the next level and creating more advanced exercise opportunities for yourself.

Good luck!



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What is Bouldering and how can you mimic the moves on Total Gym?


With the critical acclaim of the movie Free Solo, which tells the story of Alex Honnold’s attempt to climb El Capitan without ropes, climbing sports have seen a huge resurgence! If you’re interested in learning to climb, and don’t want to invest in climbing gear, bouldering may be a great option for you!

What is bouldering?

Bouldering is the art of climbing obstacles shorter than 20-feet, without ropes. The sport came out of mountaineering in the 1800’s and was a way for climbers to train their technique and conditioning with low risk. One of the great aspects of bouldering is how accessible it is! Every rock climbing gym has an area of low walls and a crash-mat covered floor for you to practice your skills. Once you develop some skill, you can grab some portable crash-mats and your friends, and head outside to train.

Part of what makes bouldering a great endeavour is how much of a workout it is! This sport not only involves critical thinking, and problem solving, it will challenge every muscle from your finger tips to your toes. In particular, you will develop great mobility as well as arm, back, and core strength. This sport ties in your upper and lower body like few others. A strong core and back will go a long way towards helping you stay on the boulder longer. Your grip and finger strength will improve the more time you spend climbing.

Let’s look at some exercises you can do on your Total Gym to improve your bouldering. The goal in your home training will be to strengthen your back (to help you hang and pull yourself up the wall), to strengthen your legs (to support your weight when climbing), and to strengthen the core (to provide stability and tie your upper and lower body together).

    • This exercise is predominantly for the upper back and shoulders.
    • When performing, keep your elbows high, and pinch your shoulder blades together.
    • Do sets 12-reps with a 1-second hold at the top. Rest 60-seconds and repeat for 3-sets.

 

    • This exercise focuses on the lats, middle, and lower back.
    • Keep the elbows low, and pull the handles towards your belly-button
    • Do sets 12-reps with a 1-second hold at the top. Rest 60-seconds and repeat for 3-sets.

    • This exercise helps strengthen your back and prepares you for holding up your body weight.
    • Pull your elbows towards your sides and pinch your shoulder blades together.
    • Do sets of 8-reps with a 2-second lower from the top. Rest 60-seconds and repeat. For 3-sets.

    • This exercise will help with unilateral core stability.
    • On the side of your body facing down, try and bring your hip and elbow together without moving them. This will help your core stay tight.
    • Do sets of 15-30 seconds per side. Rest 60-seconds and repeat for 3 to 4-sets.

    • This exercise will strengthen your legs individually. This is necessary to support your body weight when balancing, and standing, on the hand-holds on the bouldering wall.
    • Focus on pressing through your heel as you stand up.
    • Do sets of 8-12 reps per side. Rest 60-seconds and repeat for 3-sets.



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Trump Jr. calls out ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ for ‘total lack of action’ in ballot-counting fight


Donald Trump Jr. pressured potential 2024 GOP contenders to vocally support President Trump as the president continues to air often unfounded grievances about alleged voter fraud and accusations that Democrats “can try to steal the election from us” — and his push apparently quickly yielded results in the form of tweets from a handful of those Republican politicians

“The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ is pretty amazing,” Trump Jr. said. “They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead. Don’t worry @realDonaldTrump will fight & they can watch as usual!”

WHERE THE RACE STANDS: BIDEN ERASES TRUMP LEAD IN GEORGIA AND PENNSYLVANIA COUNTS, NEARS 270 ELECTORAL VOTES

Less than 90 minutes later, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., directed his followers to support the legal fund the Republican party has put together for post-election challenges, as well as donate to Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are potentially facing runoffs.

“We are not done. EVERY Republican needs to: 1-Support Trump’s legal fund,” Cotton said. “2-Support Sen. Loeffler vs. a radical who hates the police… 3-Support Sen. Perdue vs. a trust-fund socialist.”

Cotton added: “Our country depends on it.”

Just minutes before Cotton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley credited Trump for GOP down-ballot victories and flicked at the Trump campaign’s legal challenges, which have been shut down in Michigan and Georgia but achieved limited success in Pennsylvania and are still pending in Nevada. 

“We all owe @realDonaldTrump for his leadership of conservative victories for Senate, House, & state legislatures,” Haley said. “He and the American people deserve transparency & fairness as the votes are counted. The law must be followed. We have to keep the faith that the truth will prevail.”

BIDEN OVERTAKES TRUMP IN GEORGIA COUNT AS TALLY NEARS COMPLETION

There were notable exceptions to the grievance that potential 2024 GOP contenders hadn’t been sufficiently supporting the president, Trump Jr. said. Those were Sens. Josh Hawley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

“If last 24 hrs have made anything clear, it’s that we need new election integrity laws NOW,” Hawley said in a tweet. “Ban ballot harvesting, guarantee poll watcher access, make ballot counting transparent. I will introduce”

“Thanks @HawleyMO good to see this was before my tweet,” Trump Jr. replied. 

Not all possible 2024 Republican candidates were supportive of the president, or remained silent on his comments and actions. 

“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who wrote in his recent book that some members of Trump’s cabinet asked him to primary Trump this year. “America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”

And others on the right, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who ran for president in 2016 and helped the president prepare for his first debate against Biden, panned Trump’s post-election behavior. 

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“If this stuff is going on that that president is talking about, all of us want it ferreted out because it would undercut everything that we believe in in our system,” Christie said. “If you’re going to say those things from behind the podium at the White House … show us the evidence. We heard nothing today about any evidence.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, took a more measured tone, as he has often when Trump makes harsh and disputed comments. 

“Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process,” McConnell said in a tweet. “And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes. That’s how Americans’ votes decide the result.”

Added Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: “States have the authority to determine the specific rules of elections. Every valid vote under a state’s law should be counted. Allegations of irregularities can be adjudicated by the courts. We must all respect the outcome of elections.”

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Jason Donner contributed to this report. 



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Weapon or Experiment? X-37B Space Plane Is a Total Mystery


Just what is the mission intent and concept of operation for the U.S. Space Force’s experimental X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle drone? Is it an anti-satellite space attack plane? Can it attack missiles or track enemy weapons? Such questions abound as the Boeing-built space drone enters new phases of technological maturity and nears operational status. The X-37B is the first vehicle since NASA’s Shuttle Orbiter with an ability to return experiments to Earth for further inspection and analysis, a Pentagon paper explains. 

“Upon command from the ground, the OTV autonomously re-enters the atmosphere, descends and lands horizontally on a runway,” an Air Force Statement says. 

The Air Force report goes on to say that the technologies being tested in the program include advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high temperature structures and seals, conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems, advanced propulsion systems, advanced materials and autonomous orbital flight, reentry and landing.

The technologies cited by the Air Force as under examination raise some interesting and substantial questions, several of which pertain to the ability to conduct operations at extremely high speeds and therefore high temperatures. “Thermal protection” is essential for space flight in several key respects, as it is necessary to ensure a stable flight trajectory for space-travelling weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles or hypersonic missiles. Moreover, thermal protections or insulating technology of some kind is precisely the kind of technology needed to enable humans to travel through space. This raises the possibility that, at some unknown point in the future, armed, manned high-speed spacecraft may well launch attacks from beyond the boundaries of the earth’s atmosphere. 

Secondly, “advanced materials” are essential to successful space operation as they are what’s needed to engineer structures, components and propulsion systems durable enough to survive the temperatures and atmospheric rigors of space travel. Materials of this kind are already maturing quickly as they are fundamental to the operational deployment of hypersonic weapons. Not only are they necessary to sustain flight stability at hypersonic speeds, but they are needed to ensure the structural configurations needed to generate the proper air flow boundary layer surrounding missiles, interceptors or spacecraft. 

Space autonomy is also of great significance, as advanced algorithms enabling autonomous space flight are progressing at lightning speed, creating a circumstance wherein unmanned systems could conduct surveillance missions, reinforce or expand satellite communications networks or even fire weapons when directed by humans operating in a command and control capacity. 

NASA’s original X-37 program began in 1999 and was transferred to DARPA in 2004.

Kris Osborn is the new Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Image: Reuters



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Jobmaker will create just 10% ‘genuinely additional’ jobs of Coalition’s total pledge, treasury says | Australia news


The Coalition’s youth wage subsidy will create 45,000 “genuinely additional” jobs, just 10% of the 450,000 number boasted by Josh Frydenberg on budget night, according to treasury.

Treasury officials revealed the conservative estimated benefit of the jobmaker hiring credit on Monday, ahead of a snap inquiry likely to spark calls to legislate more safeguards to the program.

The hiring credit is the last major plank of the budget’s economic measures yet to pass parliament, after Labor waved through income tax cuts and business tax concessions.

But despite $98bn of new spending to boost the Australian economy, questions remain around whether the measures will be enough to cut short the Covid-19 recession.

On Monday the treasury secretary, Steven Kennedy, advised there is room for the federal government to spend more on fiscal stimulus if required.

The jobmaker hiring credit would pay employers $200 a week for each additional employee they hire aged 16 to 29 and $100 a week for those aged 30 to 35.

On budget night, Frydenberg said treasury “estimates that this will support around 450,000 jobs for young people”.

On Monday Jenny Wilkinson, the deputy secretary of treasury’s fiscal group, told Senate estimates it was “very hard to judge” whether businesses would have hired a new employee anyway or will have done so only because of the hiring credit.

“In costing this we’ve made a conservative assumption that about 10% of employment is genuinely additional – it would not have happened but for the hiring credit,” she said. “A significant proportion are going to be additional.”

Wilkinson added there were “very wide” margins of error on the estimate. International studies suggested wage subsidies can create “close to zero” additional jobs up to 30%, depending on design and economic context.

Labor’s shadow employment minister, Brendan O’Connor, said the evidence meant the $4bn program is set to create just 45,000 jobs “costing nearly $90,000 per job”.

He called on Frydenberg to “explain the discrepancy between his inflated jobs number claims compared to treasury’s estimates”.

“This government is all about announcements, but fails on delivery.”

The hiring credit has copped criticism from unions, Labor and the Greens who warn it does nothing to help older workers and could even see them laid off by employers hoping to gain payments.

The Greens will amend the bill to prevent employers sacking existing staff to claim the subsidies, on top of the government’s unlegislated safeguards that employers must increase their headcount and payroll to claim payments.

O’Connor has also hinted at “potential amendments” from Labor, although it will be difficult for the opposition to stand in the way of a stimulus program if the government does not take up its suggestions.

In its review of budget measures, the parliamentary library has warned jobmaker hiring credits could have “potentially distortionary displacement effects”. These include the risk of hiring younger workers at the expense of others who are ineligible and “deadweight effects”, of paying employers for workers “they would have hired anyway”.

Wilkinson defended the scheme, noting that businesses who received subsidies for jobs they would have created anyway “could make decisions to hire someone else, or to invest”.

“[The hiring credit] provides additional support in terms of what they want to do to support the economy.”

The finance minister, Mathias Cormann, said the program was targeted at young people because they would “find it harder to reconnect” to jobs and the government wanted to avoid “a new generation of long-term unemployment”.

“Older [people] have a longer track record and demonstrated employability, they’ll find it comparatively easier to find work, so they won’t need the same level of support and incentivisation,” he said.

Earlier, Kennedy told Senate estimates that although the budget had “resulted in a sharp rise in debt”, Australia’s fiscal policy “remains sustainable” because interest rates are low and debt levels still below other advanced economies.

“The current and projected debt levels would enable additional targeted and temporary fiscal support measures to be adopted should they be required,” he said.

Kennedy has consistently argued that during the recession unemployment is a bigger problem than debt. The Reserve Bank of Australia has similarly given the government the green light for further spending by noting debt levels are manageable.



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Germany’s Total Coronavirus Infections Surge Past 500,000


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3 High-Yield Dividend Stocks Offering at Least 8%; Analysts Say ‘Buy’

America goes to the polls on Tuesday (well, actually, America has been early voting for a few weeks, now), and while Democrat Joe Biden has a solid lead in the polls, there is some of evidence that President Trump may still win a second term. Finally, with all of the early voting, mass absentee ballots, and possible extended counting deadlines, we might not know on Tuesday night who the winner is.It’s a situation made of uncertainty, and financial markets don’t like that. Which brings us to dividend stocks. Investors want a pad, something to protect their portfolio in case of a market drop, and dividends offer just that. These profit-sharing payments to stockholders provide a steady income stream, that typically stays reliable even in a modest downturn. Wall Street’s analysts have been doing some of the footwork for us, pinpointing dividend-paying stocks that have kept up high yields, at least 8% to be exact. Opening up the TipRanks database, we examine the details behind those payments to find out what else makes these stocks compelling buys.Altria Group, Inc. (MO)We’ll start with Altria Group, the tobacco company best known for its iconic Marlboro cigarettes. Altria, like many of the so-called ‘sin stocks,’ is one of the market’s dividend champions, with a long history of reliable, high-yielding payments. The company has benefited from a psychological quirk of human nature during such a wild year as 2020: People will hunker down if necessary, but they won’t give up their small pleasures.Cigarettes are exactly that, and even though overall smoking rates have been declining in recent years, Altria saw stable financial results in the last few quarters. The first and second quarters both showed $1.09 in earnings, well above the 97 cents expected in Q1 and modest beat against Q2’s $1.06 forecast. Revenues hit $5.06 billion in Q2, in-line with the two previous quarters.Looking ahead, analysts expect Altria to post $1.15 per share in earnings on $5.5 billion in revenues when it reports Q3 results. That report is due out tomorrow morning. Meeting those results will help Altria maintain its dividend – although the company has a long-standing, very public, commitment to do just that. Altria has kept its dividend reliable for the past 12 years, and for the last payment, made it September, the company even slightly raised the payout by 2.4%. The current dividend is 86 cents per common share, or $3.44 annualized, and yields an impressive 8.8%.Looking at Altria in the lead-up to the Q3 report, Deutsche Bank analyst Stephen Powers writes, “[We] are positively biased on company fundamentals as we approach MO’s results next week—reinforced by healthy scanned channel demand intraquarter across MO’s core tobacco businesses, with particular strength in cigarettes driven by the Marlboro brand… we believe continued operational execution in its core business will enable MO to more credibly position itself as a stable core tobacco investment…”Powers rates the stock as a Buy, and his $51 price target implies a 37% upside for the coming year. (To watch Powers’ track record, click here)Overall, Altria has a Moderate Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on 3 Buys and 2 Holds set in recent weeks. The stock’s current share price is $37.04, and the average price target of $46 suggests a 24% one-year upside. (See MO stock analysis on TipRanks)American Finance Trust (AFIN)Next on our list is a Real Estate Investment Trust, a REIT. These companies are known for their high dividends, a fact resulting from a quirk of tax regulation. REITs are required to return a certain percentage of profits directly to shareholders, and dividends are one of the surest means of compliance. AFIN, which focuses its portfolio on single- and multi-tenant service-retail properties, is typical for its niche.And its niche has been solid. AFIN boasts major companies like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Dollar General among its top ten tenants, and announced earlier this month that it has collected over 91% of its third quarter rents. Looking ahead to Q3 results next week, EPS is expected at 23 cents, a 15% increase from Q2. The company offers a monthly dividend, at a rate of 7.1 cents per common share, instead of the more common quarterly payments. The monthly format allows some flexibility in managing adjustments to the payout rate; in April, AFIN reduced the dividend from 9 cents to 7.1 as part of efforts to manage the corona crisis effects on business. The current payment annualizes to 85.2 cents per share, and yields a robust 14.7%. This is more than 7x higher than the average dividend yield found among S&P 500 companies.B. Riley analyst Bryan Maher notes the difficulties that AFIN has faced, as a property owner and manager during an economic downturn, but is confident in the company’s ability to meet the challenges.“Like most REIT’s, AFIN has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not surprising given its portfolio has a large number of service retail assets. However, 71% of the portfolio is necessity-focused retail, with the balance being distribution and office properties. As such, AFIN collected 84% of cash rents due in 2Q20, including 96% of the cash rent due from its top 20 tenants. Cash rent collection for July improved to 88%. AFIN has been proactive in working with certain tenants to negotiate rent deferrals/credits…” Maher noted. To this end, Maher rates AFIN stock a Buy, and gives it a $10 price target. At current trading levels, this implies a strong one-year upside potential of 76%. (To watch Maher’s track record, click here)AFIN is priced at $5.69, and its average target matches Maher’s, at $10. The stock has a Moderate Buy from the analyst consensus, based on an even split between Buy and Hold reviews. (See AFIN stock analysis on TipRanks)Golub Capital BDC (GBDC)Last but not least is Golub Capital, a business development company and asset manager. Golub works with middle market companies, providing solutions for financing and lending. The company boasts a market cap of $2.2 billion, as well as over $30 billion in capital under management.In the months since the corona virus crisis hit the economy, Golub has seen a depressed share price and high volatility in its earnings. The stock is down 28% year-to-date. Earnings, which collapsed in 4Q19, have been bouncing in 2020. The first quarter showed 33 cent per share, while the Q2 figure came in at 28 cents. Looking ahead, the forecast expects a repeat of the second quarter EPS figure, 28 cents. Revenues have been just as volatile; the first quarter saw a deep net loss, but Q2 saw the top line bounce back to $145 million. This was the highest quarterly revenue figure in the past year.Golub believes in keeping up the dividend for investors, offering not only a reliable regular payment but also periodic special dividends. The company adjusted the payment earlier this year, both to keep it affordable during the coronavirus crisis and to keep the yield from getting too high. The result was a 12% cut, making the current payment 29 cents per common share quarterly. This still gives a high yield of 9.16%, which compares well to the 2.5% average found among finance sector peers.Finian O’Shea, from Well Fargo, notes that Golub has recently announced a $2 billion unsecured debt issue, a move that gives the company plenty of liquidity in a difficult time. He writes, “GBDC isn’t paying a hefty premium for unsecureds to begin with… We think the improved flexibility and longer tenor of unsecureds make them an attractive addition to the right side of the balance sheet, and see it as a vote of confidence in GBDC’s underlying portfolio.”O’Shea reiterates his Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating on this stock. His price target, at $13.50, indicates room for a modest 6% upside. (To watch O’Shea’s track record, click here)Like AFIN above, Golub Capital has a Moderate Buy consensus rating, with 1 each Buy and Hold reviews. The stock’s average price target matches O’Shea’s, at $13.50. (See Golub’s stock analysis at TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.



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Nifty: F&O: Nifty chart patterns show total bear grip on the market


By Chandan Taparia

Nifty opened positive on Wednesday and surpassed previous day’s high, but couldn’t hold at higher levels. It descended throughout the day to touch an intraday low of 11,685 before closing 160 points lower. The index formed a Bearish Engulfing and a Bearish Belt Hold kind of patterns on the daily scale, which signalled that the bears had a complete grip throughout the day.

The index has turned highly volatile in the last few sessions and got stuck in a wider trading range in which every decline got bought into, while multiple hurdles were intact in the 11,950-12,020 zone. Now, the index has to cross and hold above 11,777 level to witness a bounce towards 11,900 and then 12,020 levels, while on the downside, major support exists at 11,666 and below. Fresh selling could emerge towards the 11,550-11,500 zone.

India VIX moved up 4.86 per cent from 22.19 to 23.28 levels. Volatility needs to cool down below 20 level for the market to stabilise, taking into account any spike ahead of the US election.

On the options front, maximum Put open interest stood at 11,500 level followed by 11,000, while maximum Call OI was seen at 12,000 followed by 11,900 levels. There was Call writing at strike prices 12,000 and 11,800 and Put writing at 11,450 and 11,600 levels. Options data suggested a wider trading range between 11,600 and 11,900 levels.

Bank Nifty opened flat, but failed to hold above the immediate hurdle at 24,750 level and drifted towards 24,050 level. The index witnessed around 700-point decline from higher levels and negated the bullish price structure of the previous session. The index formed a Bearish Belt Hold candle on the daily scale as it continued to make higher lows for five weeks. Now, it has to hold above 24,250 level to witness a bounce towards 24,750 and while a key support was seen in the 24,000-23,900 zone.

Nifty futures closed negative at 11,719 level with a loss of 1.34 per cent. The trade setup looked positive Marico, Siemens, Adani Enterprises, L&T, Havells and Maruti but weak in DLF, MindTree, Indiabulls Housing, Federal Bank IndusInd Bank, IndiGo, SBI, Lupin, Sun Pharma and UBL.

(Chandan Taparia is Technical & Derivative Analyst at MOFSL. Investors are advised to consult financial advisers before taking an investment calls based on these observations)





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