Security fence nearing completion at Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Andrew Meares Officials at Parliament House concede they have no idea who has possession of a 1000-page security manual lost in November last year, despite calling in private investigators.
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Labor senator Kimberley Kitching used Senate estimates hearings on Monday to reveal the sensitive security manual had been lost by a “private entity”, and ask officials from the Department of Parliamentary Services why an investigation was not launched until February.

Senate President Stephen Parry said there was no indication security had been compromised but the investigation had failed to find the sensitive material.

The n Federal Police were informed the contractor had lost the manual, but senior political figures including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Attorney-General George Brandis and Justice Minister Michael Keenan were not immediately informed.

The manual was lost by a company involved in security upgrades at Parliament House.

“There has been no compromise to the Parliament House security,” Senator Parry said.

“There is no indication or confirmation that that manual has gone anywhere… I don’t want to leave it out there that this manual is somewhere out there in the public domain.”

He said the manual dealt with security matters in the future.

Labor MP Kimberley Kitching listens as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten addresses caucus meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 29 November 2016. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

“Not matters that had actually taken place, which gives the department the opportunity to modify and change,” he said.

“It was an early draft, a lot of the matters are now redundant, a lot of the matters have been modified and over 50 per cent of the materials which were going to be sourced were commercially available.

“It is not a breach of security and security at Parliament House has not been compromised.”

Officials told the hearing an investigation was completed between late February and March 23, with the AFP providing advice on the private investigator chosen for task.

Department of Parliamentary Services first assistant secretary Paul Cooper, who oversees security, said the investigation had been conducted as if a “worst case scenario” had taken place.

He said it found there had been “no substantial breach of security”.

“Often is the case with these things that the conclusion turns out to be far less concerning than it may have looked, but we are obliged to take the worst case scenario with these matters and have them investigated in the way we did,” he said.

Asked if the manual had been found, Senator Parry said he didn’t know where it was.

“It is definitely lost,” he said.

A $126 million security upgrade is under way Parliament House, including a 2.6 metre-high steel fence across the sloping front lawns.

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Until recently, the focus of ’s housing affordability crisis was on prices, with people asking, “will I be able to afford my own my own home?”Increasingly, the focus is on intergenerational equity, with people asking, “will I be able to afford to live and raise a family where I grew up?”
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If market conditions have put ownership beyond the reach of many, our politicians must act quickly to prevent renting going the same way. It’s time for a paradigm policy shift at the federal, state, and local level to build a diverse and resilient rental sector.A rental sector with a different value proposition for tenants that includes longer and more secure tenure. One that produces sustainable community development and density done well. One that allows renters to live close to where they work, with easy access to an integrated transport network.

A residential asset class that does all that has been operating successfully overseas for more than 20 years. Known as Build to Rent, these developments are designed specifically forrentingrather than for sale, typically owned by institutional investors and managed with a high service-led culture by specialist operators.

To inform industry policy, last month I led a 30-strong delegation to three US cities to meet with the global leaders in Build to Rent. We learnt first-hand from the investors and city officials who have refined Build to Rent and turbo-charged the supply of new, affordable housing.

On the beachfront in Santa Monica,Los Angeles, affordable high-quality rental homes for working families shared common areas with luxury condominiums. Seattle will produce 50,000 homes in the next decade; 20,000 of which will be for low and moderate-income earners. San Francisco has a pipeline of 40,000 affordable housing units. While the scale may be different to Newcastle, the principles for improving housing affordability and choice in each city were the same.

At the federal level, tax policy supports Build to Rent as a vehicle for delivering new homes. At the state level, there is unprecedented expenditure on public transport infrastructure. At the local level, councils are meeting demand with zoning changes to add development capacity. And the best designed affordable housing projects were part of mixed use property developments, surrounded by amazing public spaces.

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The future boss of the new Home Affairs department has launched a defence against claims it will be a “sinister behemoth” concentrating too much power and adding another layer of bureaucracy to agencies.
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Michael Pezzullo told a Senate estimate hearing on Monday the mega-department, announced in July, would be limited by checks on power and labelled claims to the contrary “fallacious and unworthy”.

“Power must always be exercised with legitimacy and never more so than in the performance of the security function of the state,” he said.

Michael Pezzullo, secretary-designate of the Home Affairs department, said it would remain subject to the sovereignty of parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

“Any contrary suggestion that the establishment of Home Affairs will somehow create an unchecked extrajudicial apparatus of power is ill-informed, even if predictable coming from some quarters.

“It is commentary which bears no relationship to the facts or to how our system of government works.”

Mr Pezzullo, the architect of the Home Affairs department taking in Immigration, ASIO, the n Federal Police, Austrac and the n Criminal Intelligence Commission, has been subject to accusations of “empire building”.

The proposal was hotly contested within the uppermost ranks of the government, and both minsters and officials complained it was unnecessary and potentially counterproductive.

Supporters of the merger have argued that it would improve co-ordination across the government in preventing terrorist attacks.

Mr Pezzullo said any executive actions within Home Affairs must have prior legal authority, to be given by parliament.

“In bringing together the security powers, capabilities and capacities of the Commonwealth into a single portfolio, these fundamentals will of course remain in place,” he said.

“That is constitutionalism, the sovereignty of parliament, and the supreme rule of law. All of which are crucial attributes of liberty.”

Mr Pezzullo revealed that, subject to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision, the new department would be formed before February.

n Border Force would remain an operationally independent body, but would be connected to and have its corporate and enabling services provided by Home Affairs.

However commentary that the department would complicate agencies’ work with another layer of administration was unfounded, Mr Pezzullo said.

“I can assure this committee that the department will not act as an overseeing, overriding bureaucratic layer, and nor will it be dictating terms to heads of agencies in the performance of their statutory functions,” he said.

Home Affairs’ role would be to improve the “strategic level of policy development and planning”, and to support the minister-designate, Peter Dutton.

It would coordinate policy strategy and planning for domestic security, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, protection of sovereignty, and resilience of national infrastructure and systems.

Outlining the breadth of the department’s scope of work, Mr Pezzullo said it would also deliver policy, either leading or supporting other agencies, for immigration and citizenship, transport security, biometrics and identity, cyber security, and customs and border protection.

Emergency management, including disaster recovery and resilience, and defending against foreign interference and political subversion would also fall within the department’s remit.

Home Affairs’ work would include countering violent extremism “including working with other departments regarding programs concerned with the cohesion of our society on the basis that it’s open, inclusive, multicultural and united,” Mr Pezzullo said.

Mr Pezzullo told senators the government would reshape the Attorney-General’s department, which would adopt new roles from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet including oversight for intelligence and security.

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Wellington: This morning Labour Leader and Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern received a call from US President Donald Trump congratulating her on the outcome of the New Zealand election.
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“The President was genuinely interested in our election, and spoke about the coverage it had received in Washington DC,” Ms Ardern said of the five-minute phone call which came three days after a deal with the NZ First Party landed her the post.

“We are likely to meet at APEC where I look forward to carrying on talks around our role in the Asia Pacific region, and our commitment to a strong relationship with the United States.

“The President also asked that I pass on his warm regards to the people of New Zealand.”

The APEC summit will be held in Vietnam during November. Leaders of the 21 Asia Pacific member economies meet to discuss issues in the region.

The summit could be tense for mr Trump after one his first acts in office was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in Auckland last year.

After Trump withdrew from US-led TPP negotiations shortly after taking office, some of the remaining 11 nations in the pact – including New Zealand under former prime minister Bill English – have lobbied to keep it going.

Leaders involved in talks were hoping to sign a new agreement on the sidelines of APEC, which meant a tight timeline for trade officials to gain concessions while working to hold ground in other areas.

Mr Trump has repeatedly expressed his opposition to free-trade deals, and was also set to sign an order to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) deal between the US, Canada and Mexico.

Even though Ms Ardern has worried some investors with policies such as pledging to reform the central bank, cut immigration and boost spending on welfare, she insists that her Labour Party believes in the benefits of free trade.

“We have signed significant free-trade agreements; we’ll continue to do so in the future,” Ms Ardern told Sky News.

She said in a separate interview that Labour wouldn’t cut immigration by as much as that demanded by NZ First leader Winston Peters, her coalition partner and kingmaker.

Mr Peters, whose populist appeal has seen him compared to Mr Trump, campaigned in last month’s election campaign to slash immigration to just 10,000 a year from about 73,000. Labour also wants a cut but only by as much as 30,000.

“Labour’s policy remains absolutely unchanged as a result of these negotiations” with Mr Peters, Ms Ardern said.

Separately, Ms Ardern hoped the Turnbull government wouldn’t go ahead and restrict Kiwis from university courses in as she may be forced to end a reciprocal arrangement.

Ms Ardern told Sky News on Sunday she hoped the mutual access would continue.

“But if we do find New Zealanders aren’t able to access tertiary education the same way as ns currently do, there will be flow-on effects here,” she said.

Stuff苏州夜场招聘.nz, Bloomberg, AAP

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All the Dirty Parts Daniel Handler Bloomsbury, $24.99.
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Parents can do plenty of things to embarrass their teenager, but writing a novel about sex has to be up there with the worst. Which is why Daniel Handler, who is more well known by his pen name Lemony Snicket, is not surprised that his latest novel, All the Dirty Parts, has remained untouched on his 14-year-old son’s bookshelf.

“The book could have come out when he was really too young to care and now it is out at prime embarrassment time for him which is regrettable,” Handler says. “I know he has some friends who have read it but I certainly don’t blame him being embarrassed that his father has written a book about sex.”

There is as much sex in All the Dirty Parts as unlucky occurrences in Handler’s famous 13-part children’s book series, turned film and TV show,A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The novel consists of a series of fragments detailing the erotic fantasies, impulses and activities of high-school student Cole. They are narrated from his perspective and are at times ethically questionable, particularly when it comes to consent.

“Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and 10 is it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.” Cole warns us early on.

The publication of the novel has not only caused discomfit for Handler’s son. There was a lengthy delay between when Handler completed the book and its release, as his publishers debated whether it should be marketed as young-adult fiction. The decision? No.

“They were concerned that if we published it for young people it would be chopped off at the waist. That no one would have it in their libraries and no one would be interested in fitting it into the world of young-adult literature. It would just be too much of a hot potato,” Handler says.

Handler says he witnessed how the guardians of young-adult literature – the critics, publishers and booksellers – remained “terrorised by sexual content”. The harshest criticism, he says, emerged when the concept of the book was publicised and there was outrage it would be a “dirty book for children”.

“If I had written a book about teenagers murdering one another no one would have thought twice about publishing that for young people. The idea that you could write a book about watching porn on your computer in your room and that would somehow be so dangerous that we better not let it in the library was startling to me even though I expected that it might happen.”

There is perhaps some irony in excising sexuality, particularly male sexuality, from young-adult fiction. There is a well-documented gender gap when it comes to young people and reading. Handler says he, and other male authors, are frequently asked what ought to be done to encourage more young men to read.

“Having thought about what was interesting to me and to other people I knew when they were young men, certainly there is a lot of interest in sex and that is the one thing that is policed very sternly in the literature that we’re giving to young people,” Handler says.

Handler, who has published five other novels outside of the Snicket alter ego, has his own anecdotal evidence to support this claim. His mother recently cleaned out her attic and discovered a stack of books Handler read when he was a teenager. When he re-read them, he discovered they all had one thing in common.

“They were all full of sex and I hadn’t really remembered them that way at all,” he says.

But does All the Dirty Partslive up to its title? The novel touches on the themes that recur in young-adult fiction – friendship, confusion about sexual orientation, the joy of falling in love for the first time and the pain of heartbreak.

“I keep writing, and not just, I’m thinking, the dirty parts. There’s more,” Cole eventually concedes after he falls for the new student at his school, Grisaille.

This points to some of the questions Handler was interested in asking. What are the “dirty” parts and can you catalogue them from all the other parts?

“It’s not a work of pornography and it’s not the same as pornography,” he says. “It’s not something that is meant to titillate and to do nothing else but I like the idea of thinking about whether something is dirty or not. On the one hand everyone knows what you mean and on the other hand no one can agree.”

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Make your own piece of Indigenous art at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Experience Indigenous culture with an immersive summer program at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
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On November 4 and December 16, join an Aboriginal art class, with an experienced Aboriginal educator, and be inspired by traditional Indigenous art concepts and the environment around you.

Using materials provided — including sticks, ochre, grasses and bark, as well as paints and natural brushes, visitors will create a unique piece of art to take home.

The classes run for two hours and are priced at $40.

On weekdays from 8-19 January there are also classes for kids in bush-tucker pizza. Kids will explore the Cadi Garden to find out about plants used by Aboriginal people for food and shelter, and then make their own delicious pizza using native ingredients to add flavour.


An intriguing juxtaposition … Cockatoo Island’s historic Bolt Wharf crane silhouetted by New Year’s Eve fireworks. Image: Ian Evans.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve on Cockatoo Island, Sydney’s Harbour only island where you can stay overnight, and watch the fireworks from a spectacular location right in the heart of the harbour.

There are glamping, camping and BYO camping options available, as well as a variety of activities and entertainment to make the night an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy a two-night getaway as you explore the island and camp in style, with activities running from December 30 through to January 1.

Join in the guided tours exploring the island’s convict and shipbuilding histories, games and crafts for the kids, historic steam-crane demonstrations, movies in the Wolverine Cinema and a live DJ on New Year’s Eve.

There’s also a selection of food-and-drink options, with pop-up stalls and food trucks for this special event.

The two-night packages are priced from $450 to $2400 for up to six people.

Visit www苏州夜场招聘

A fabled sight … a jabiru takes off in Kakadu.

Book a Top End walking tour with Park Trek before December 15 and save 20 per cent on 2018 departures.

Destinations for the company’s five- and nine-day fully accommodated tours include Kakadu, Arnhem Land, Nitmiluk and Litchfield, with tariffs including transport, meals, guides and glamping-style accommodation.

Enjoy a cruise on Yellow Water Billabong and Corroboree Billabong, swim in crystal clear waters of Gunlom in Kakadu and marvel at ancient rock art at Injalak Hill in mystical Arnhem Land.

Walk among monsoon rainforest, through sandstone escarpments and past ancient Aboriginal art sites. There are also plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, swimming, bird watching, photography and wildlife spotting.

The five-day tours are priced from $2280 per person twin-share, including the discount, while nine-day tours start from $2776 per person twin-share.

Visit www.parktrek苏州夜总会招聘.au

Spectacular action … seaside racing in the Rockingham Beach Cup.

Seaside Rockingham, on the West n coast just south of Perth, will hold its second Beach Cup horse-racing carnival from November 10-12, starting with a golf tournament on Secret Harbour’s traditional links-style course, with small pot bunkers, rolling fairways amid the natural sand dunes and spectacular ocean views.

The Peel Cycling Club will run a criterium on the Saturday on a course with tight corners but one which enables high speeds to be reached.

Other highlights of the program include a waterfront community fair and art show, which will feature buskers, street performers, sculptors, photographers, wood turners, a blacksmith, pottery and glass displays and local food providers, plus a lavish black-tie gala dinner and charity auction.

The highlight of the weekend will be the race meeting on the Sunday, with a festival foot race between the fifth and sixth horse races.

Two marquees will be erected near the finishing line. These will accommodate 450 people in the general-admission area and 200 in the separate VIP area.

Visit www.rockinghambeachcup苏州夜总会招聘.au

The Woodbridge Smokehouse … more than 75 years turning out a premium product.

The Woodbridge Smokehouse, a half-hour drive south-east of Hobart, has been renowned for more than 75 years for the quality of its fine smoked seafood.

Now visitors can enjoy the produce at its new Taste House, including ocean trout and atlantic salmon straight from the pristine surrounding waters.

The smokehouse is set on a 25-acre apple orchard and features traditional hand-smoking processes using a mixture of local hard woods, including shavings from the apple orchard.

The Taste House is open weekdays from 10am-4pm, noon-4pm on Saturdays, and by appointment on Sundays.

On Thursdays and Fridays there are ‘Go behind the Production’ tours for groups of four to eight. Tours last approximately an hour and cost $45 per person, including tasting samples.

Phone (03) 6267 4960 or visit www.woodbridgesmokehouse苏州夜总会招聘.au

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News: Heavy traffic on Northbourne Avenue as Acton Tunnel on Parkes Way is closed due to a earlier crash with an excavator on the back of a low loader damaging the ceiling . 20th October 2015. Photo by Melissa Adams of The Canberra Times. Generic scenes of people at lunch time in Martin Place, Sydney. Office workers, jobs, employment, CPI, population, city, CBD. Tuesday 26th April 2016 photo Louie Douvis AFR
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The proportion of Canberrans working in public administration and safety has dropped by nearly 2 percentage points in the past five years, with new census data showing rates closer to levels before the end of the Howard government.

The latest 2016 census results published on Monday by the n Bureau of Statistics show 30.8 per cent of people in the ACT reported working in the sector, down from 32.7 per cent in 2011 and slightly higher than 30.1 per cent in 2006.

Public sector employment was buffeted in the period, including from more than 15,000 public service job cuts.

Canberra leads the nation on riding and walking to work, but the new data showed a 5 percentage point increase in the number of people who report driving.

Last year 74.9 per cent said they drove to work, either as the driver or passenger, up from 69.3 per cent in 2011.

A further 8.4 per cent said they rode a bike or walked to work and 7.1 per cent said they used trains or buses.

The remaining population share drove trucks, motorbikes or used some other method.

Cycling rates in the ACT have grown from 2.1 per cent in 2006 and 2.4 per cent in 2011.

In 2016, more than half of the population in each n state or territory held a non-school qualification for the first time, with 65 per cent of ACT residents aged above 15 years reporting have completed further study.

Tasmania had the lowest proportion of further study rates with 51 per cent.

The ACT also had the highest year 12 completion rates in the country last year, at 57 per cent, ahead of Queensland at 42 per cent.

Children in the ACT are required to be in education until they complete year 12 or turn 17, whichever happens first. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”https://e.infogram苏州夜总会招聘/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”);

The results showed Canberrans continue to move more regularly than people in some other states and territories.

More than 67,100 Canberrans lived at a different address from where they were one year ago, making up 18.6 per cent of the territory’s population.

More than 47 per cent of the territory population, or 166,068 people, lived at a different address to five years ago.

Figures published in June showed Canberra had the fastest population growth anywhere in in the past five years, with a boom in the city’s north making Gungahlin ‘s second-fastest growing region.

Migration from other states is continuing with more than 17,200 Canberrans reporting they lived interstate one year ago, and a further 47,881 said they lived interstate five years ago.

More than 9400 ACT residents lived overseas one year ago, while 29,300 people said they were based overseas overseas five years ago.

The 2011 census showed most ACT residents who moved house in the year before the census stayed in Canberra, at 59.2 per cent.

Slightly more than 12 per cent of people had moved to the ACT from overseas in the year prior to 2011.

The new data showed 79 per cent of ns worked in the eastern mainland states and territories, while 99 per cent lived in the same state or territory in which they worked.

Canberra was an exception to the rule, with 87 per cent reporting they both lived and worked in the ACT.

People living in ‘s capital cities were almost twice as likely as residents of regional areas to hold a Bachelor degree or higher qualification, with 30 per cent in capitals and 16 per cent in the regions.

Nearly a quarter of people in regional areas hold a Certificate III & IV level qualification, compared with just 16 per cent of people in capital cities.

The gap in educational attainment between men and women has narrowed in the past decade, falling from 51 per cent for men and 42 per cent for women in 2006 to 58 per cent for men and 54 per cent for women last year.

The new data found a 27 per cent rise in the number of Canberrans with qualifications in the health field and a 19 per cent rise in the number of people employed in the health care and social assistance industry.

Health care and social assistance grew 18.8 per cent between 2011 and 2016 to become the second largest employment industry in the ACT, while retail trade fell by 1.6 per cent.

Community and personal service workers, which includes carers, hospitality workers and protective service officers, saw the largest growth in the period, increasing by 19 per cent.

The fields of society and culture were the most popular qualifications, with 43,000 people completing study in the field which includes political science, law and economics.

Fenner MP Andrew Leigh said the Coalition’s cuts to the public service were showing up in census data.

“Earlier this year, we learnt that the number of public servants was at its lowest level since 2006,” he said.

“Those who remain are suffering from ham-fisted decisions like the move to pork-barrel APVMA jobs to Barnaby Joyce’s electorate.” iFrameResize({checkOrigin:false},’#canberra-times-quiz’); var frame = document.getElementById(“canberra-times-quiz”); function setWidth(containerId, quizId) { var frame = document.getElementById(quizId); var container = document.getElementById(containerId); var containerWidth = window.getComputedStyle(container, null).width; = containerWidth; } setWidth(“canberra-times-quiz-container”, “canberra-times-quiz”); window.addEventListener(“resize”, function() { setWidth(“canberra-times-quiz-container”, “canberra-times-quiz”); });

More to come.

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So here we are again: the ASX 200 index is within striking distance of 6000 points. It’s a hurdle the benchmark sharemarket measure has repeatedly tried and failed to jump over the past few years.
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It came within spitting distance on four occasions in 2015, reaching 5997 and 5995 in two sessions in March, and then going as far as 5996 and then 5985 in two trading days in April. Two years later it got as high as 5950 in April of 2017, and then 5956 in a session the following month.

Which brings us to now. A bit over two weeks into a rally that has added 255 points and bust the sharemarket out of its multi-month lethargy, and investors and assorted hangers-on are wondering whether we are building the platform for another assault on the unscaleable heights.

We are only one ot two solid trading days away: the index got as high as 5925 on Friday, and its fetching above 5900.

The temptation to roll your eyes will be strong, after all 6000 is just a number. Matthew Ross, an equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, would agree with the sentiment.

“No, I don’t think it matters if the index breaches 6000,” Ross says. He has a downbeat forecast for the ASX 200, placing it at 5800 in 12 months, suggesting any push would be quickly unravelled over the coming months.

Of course, the ASX 200 isn’t the only measure of sharemarket success. The version including reinvested dividends, known as the ASX 200 accumulation index, is 35 per cent above its pre-GFC peaks and passed 58,000 points for the first time on Tuesday of last week.

Ross points out that the price index has struggled in large part because of ‘s high dividend yield – which lies above most if not all other developed economies’ sharemarkets.

“If you look at the total return of the index, it is well above prior peaks and has performed well in a global context,” Ross says.

Bank reporting season – which begins this week with ANZ’s full-year results on Thursday – will surely be a defining catalyst for whether the ASX 200 can push beyond 6000.

Withs annual profits from NAB to follow on November 2 and then from Westpac four days later (CBA gives a quarterly update on the 8th), UBS analysts reckon the major banks’ 2017 financial year results will be “solid”.

“We expect solid, relatively clean results to be delivered as they benefit from favourable economic conditions, mortgage repricing and super-low bad and doubtful debt [BDD] charges,” they write.

But, chiming with Ross’s more dour 2018 prediction for the ASX, the UBS banking analysts ask: “With a very challenging outlook in 2018, can the banks keep rallying?”

They answer their question with a laundry list of worries:

“We expect the housing market to continue to slow and if this does not occur, further macro-prudential moves are very likely. Mortgage mis-selling and responsible lending risks are a growing concern. Net interest margin pressure likely to continue given interest-only switching while BDD can no longer be a tailwind.

“With a federal election likely during 2018, we believe it will be difficult for the banks to outperform.”

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Fairfax Media wanted to “destroy” West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle by publishing allegations of “very serious sexual impropriety” about him, his barrister has told the NSW Supreme Court on the first day of his defamation trial against the publisher.
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Bruce McClintock, SC, acting for Gayle, told a four-person jury on Monday that Fairfax mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times had published “quite foul” and “quite wrong” allegations that he exposed himself to a woman in a dressing room in Sydney in 2015.

Chris Gayle arrives at court on Monday. Photo: AAP

He said it was a “work of fiction” and Fairfax journalists had acted dishonestly and maliciously “to harm my client and damage his reputation”.

Gayle is suing Fairfax Media over a series of articles published between January 6 and January 9 last year, which he says falsely claimed he “exposed his genitals to” and “indecently propositioned” a female massage therapist in the West Indies team dressing room during the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

Fairfax Media is defending the stories on two bases, including that the allegations are true.

Dressed in a dark suit and blue shirt, Gayle appeared briefly in the witness box on Monday.

He said “No I didn’t” when asked by his barrister if he exposed himself to the woman. He added later, “It never happened.”

Gayle said he would expect any man who did so in that context to be punished.

“It’s the most hurtful thing I’ve actually come across in my entire life,” Gayle said of the “heartbreaking” allegations.

“This is one case I have to fight. I want to clear my name.”

He said be believed the allegations had “ruined” him.

“You actually have a daughter, don’t you?” Mr McClintock said.

“Yes I do,” Gayle replied.

Gayle told the court he “love[s] massages” and they were important because he was not particularly flexible.

“It’s important to me to be loose at all times,” he said.

He said the massage therapist at the heart of the stories, Leanne Russell, had “massaged me before” but he did not find her services satisfactory.

“She wasn’t a good masseuse. She wasn’t good for me, I should say,” Gayle said.

Asked about an email circulated to all West Indies cricketers about unspecified events that made Ms Russell feel uncomfortable, Gayle said he did not believe it referred to him.

Mr McClintock foreshadowed that Gayle’s friend and teammate Dwayne Smith would give evidence he was present in the dressing room in Drummoyne in Sydney’s inner west at the time of the alleged incident in February 2015 and it “didn’t happen”.

Mr McClintock said Fairfax had made “no attempt” to contact Smith before publishing the allegations.

“They intended to blacken his name,” Mr McClintock said.

“They want to destroy him.”

Gayle’s defamation case reunites the leading defamation barristers who appeared in former treasurer Joe Hockey’s case against Fairfax.

Melbourne barrister Matthew Collins, QC, who appeared for Rebel Wilson in her successful case against Bauer Media and opposite Mr McClintock for Fairfax in the Hockey case, is once again acting for the publisher.

Fairfax Media says the allegations against Gayle are substantially true. It has also pleaded qualified privilege, a defence requiring a publisher to show the articles were of public interest and it acted reasonably.

The court heard the articles were published shortly after Gayle made headlines by inviting sports reporter Mel McLaughlin, then at Network Ten, to “have a drink” after a Big Bash game and saying “Don’t blush baby!” during a live interview.

Mr McClintock told the jury the conversation was “a bit of banter” and “some people might have thought it was inappropriate”.

He said Gayle’s comments had “become something that might be called a meme or a trope” but it was “not particularly relevant” except for the fact that the massage therapist at the centre of the stories “opportunistically” spoke to Fairfax in the wake of that controversy.

Dr Collins, for Fairfax, suggested to Gayle that he had noticed McLaughlin looked uncomfortable during the interview, which was played for the jury in court.

“No,” Gayle replied.

Gayle agreed he was criticised publicly for the interview. But when asked if the criticism was that the comments were sexist, Gayle replied: “What is sexist?”

After Dr Collins explained the term, Gayle replied: “No.”

Gayle also agreed he had expressed the view that ” needs to lighten up” after he was criticised for the interview.

Asked if he had “sought to cultivate a public reputation as a bit of a bad boy”, Gayle said he would describe himself as a “weirdo”.

But he later agreed he had made an advertisement for a brand of condoms that included the line “I’m a bad boy with women”.

Justice Lucy McCallum said, after objections from Mr McClintock, that it was unclear that the question was relevant.

Gayle denied he had said to Ms Russell before a massage in 2013, “Do you want to come touch me up baby”.

Asked whether he exposed himself to Ms Russell in 2015 by pulling his towel “up and down” so that his penis was “partially exposed”, Gayle said: “That never happened.”

Dr Collins asked Gayle if he went out of his way to stop speaking to Ms Russell after the email was circulated to all West Indies cricketers about incidents that had made her feel uncomfortable.

“We’re not friends like that anyway,” Gayle said.

A jury of three women and one man was empaneled in the trial shortly before midday.

Justice McCallum said she excused two prospective jurors after they told her they were “fans of cricket” and of Gayle.

The hearing continues.

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James Toback and Alec Baldwin in Seduced And Abandoned
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More than 30 women have come forward to claim they were sexually harassed by Hollywood director James Toback.

Toback, 72 – the director of films including The Pick-Up Artist (1987) and Two Girls and a Guy (1997) starring Robert Downey Jr, and the Oscar-nominated writer of Bugsy (1991) starring Warren Beatty – is accused of setting up private “auditions” in movie trailers and hotel rooms, where he would proposition women and expose himself.

In a piece published by the Los Angeles Times, 38 women – including 31 who officially went on the record – described Toback’s alleged pattern of abuse, which included first approaching them on the streets of New York with promises of making them “a star”.

“My name’s James Toback. I’m a movie director. Have you ever seen Black and White or Two Girls and a Guy?” he’d ask, before organising a private meeting.

Alone, the director would then ask the women personal questions about their sex lives, before exposing and touching himself, the Times reports.

Actress Adrienne LaValley described a 2008 hotel room encounter which saw the director attempting to rub his crotch against her leg.

“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done’… I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends,” she said, describing why she hadn’t raised the allegations sooner.

In another instance, musician Louise Post, a guitarist in alt-rock band Veruca Salt, said Toback told her “he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes”.

“Going to his apartment has been a source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible,” she said.

Another actress Chantal Cousineau described Toback masturbating off-set while she was auditioning for a role in his film Harvard Man in 2001.

“I felt so violated. And there was my abuser, inches away from me,” she told the Times.

Toback has denied all the allegations, saying he never met any of the women, or if he did it was for “five minutes”. He also claimed that it was “biologically impossible” for him to engage in such behaviour in recent decades due to his diabetes and a heart condition.

The accusations against Toback come in an atmosphere of increased focus on Hollywood predators, as the industry confronts the fallout of one-time Miramax mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein, shunted by his film production company and the Oscars Academy, is at the centre of criminal investigations following accusations of decades of sexual harassment and abuse, including rape.

Much like Weinstein, rumours about Toback’s behaviour have filtered around Hollywood for decades.

In a Facebook post, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn said he’d been “warning people” about Toback for over 20 years.

“When I lived in New York in the ’90s, this dude was everywhere. I have personally met at least fifteen women who say that he’s accosted them in NYC,” he wrote.

Actresses Rose McGowan and Asia Argento also added their voices to those naming and shaming Toback.

“So proud of my sisters for bringing down yet another pig,” Argento tweeted.

Toback’s most recent film, The Private Life of a Modern Woman, starring Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September. James Toback damn you for stealing, damn you for traumatizing. https://t苏州夜场招聘/rLpboMcIMT??? rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 22, 2017One of the main jobs of a director is to create a safe environment for the actors. James Toback is a disgrace. https://t苏州夜场招聘/pxLFmBrUJ0??? Paul Feig (@paulfeig) October 22, 2017So proud of my sisters for bringing down yet another pig: James Toback https://t苏州夜场招聘/73xLVU3FVY??? Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) October 22, 2017Read More →