Baby drought as China’s fertility rate falls to 10-year low

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is effectively in the middle of a baby drought. The fertility rate has dropped to 1.8. Photo: ABS
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The average number of babies n women are havinghas fallen to the lowest level in 10 years –the level it was when the federal government introduced a baby bonus to boost population growth.

The national fertility rate has dropped to 1.8 children per woman, down from 1.88 children last year.

“This rate has been declining since 2008, though not reaching the low recorded in 2001,” said AJ Lanyon, the regional director atthen Bureau of Statistics.

Altogether, 299,700 births were registered in in 2014, down from 308,100 in 2013.

The country’sfertility rate started increasing in 2002 and sat at two children per woman from 2007 to 2010,coinciding with the peak of the mining boom.

However, it has all been downhill since 2010,despite the introductionof government-funded paid parental leave in early 2011.

Demographer Peter McDonald said it was “impossible” to know ifthe baby bonus, child care rebate and tax rebates introduced after the 2004 election caused the spike. He believes it wasdue to women in their 30s deciding not to delay having children any longer. The recent decline was because those women had finished having their children.

The extra government support”may have helped people in making their decision to go ahead with the first birth”, Professor McDonald said.A rate of 1.8 was normal for and not a cause for concern, he added.

Meanwhile, a 9.3 per cent decline in births in NSW has been attributed to a clerical lag, with the state’s birth rate expected to return to normal. This means the national rate couldactually be around 1.85, according to Professor McDonald.

Overall, women aged between 30 and 34 were the most fertile, recording 120 babies per 1000. They were followed by women aged 25 to 29, with 95 babies per 1000.

Teenagers and women over 40 now have roughlythe same fertility rate -12.9babies and 14.4 babies per 1000 women respectively. This is a historical low for teen pregnancies, which fellfrom a peak of 55 babies per 1000 girls in 1971.

For the first time the ABS mappedbirth rates andfound families in city centres have a much lower birth rates than outer suburbs, where the rate exceedstwo children.

Piers Greville with son Lucien Greville-Mac. Photo: Luis Ascui

Artists Piers Greville and his wife Bridget Mac still live close to Melbourne’s CBD and are anexample of families choosing to haveone child.

Lucien Greville-Mac was born in early 2012 when the national fertility rate was at 1.9, just slightly higher than it is now.The couple were living in Berlinbut returned home when Lucien was born. Mr Greville saysthey are content with one child and he has”a feeling that there is enough people in the world without [us] contributing to a population explosion”.

“We thought one child might allow us some of the lifestyle we hadbefore having a child,” Mr Greville explains.

It also gives them a chance to concentrate on raising one person, rather than being stretched by two. Friends with multiple childrentell him that two children were harder than one.

Asked whether Lucien might miss having siblings, Mr Greville says they try hard to socialise with other families as often as possible.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Chris Waller among big spenders at Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale

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Big spender: Cox Plate-winning trainer Chris Waller was active at the Tattersalls horses-in-training sale. Photo: Tertius PickardWizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFollow our Derby Day tips to find a winner
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n buyers came to the fore at the first two sessions of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training sale in England earlier this week with the three top-priced gallopers all destined for careers in Sydney and Melbourne.

The top-priced lot on the opening day was Prospector purchased by Grant Pritchard-Gordon, who declared the winner of three races was bound, but wouldn’t confirm the identity of his client.

Pritchard-Gordon made the opening bid of 240,000 guineas for Prospector, which was to prove a winning move. The agent revealed he had adopted this sale-ring tactic successfully in the past.

The colt was initially purchased by Coolmore for £1.4 million ($3 million) as a yearling. He is a half-brother to one of their successful shuttle stallions Mastercraftsman.

“Prospector has a profile of a very nice staying horse who should be suited to racing in .” Pritchard-Gordon said.

Chris Waller’s bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster bought three horses on day one but had to settle as the under bidder on the second-highest lot, Red Galileo.

Ed Dunlop ended up paying 155,000 guineas for Red Galileo who is Dubai bound, with the Mulcaster-Waller duo ending up with three tried stayers.

They bought Obsidian (Street Cry), a two-time winner for 60,000 guineas; Estikhraaj (Dansili) for 30,000 guineas, the winner of one race with two placings during his three-year-old career. Prescience (Kyllachy) cost 22,000 guineas after placing on four occasions this year in Britain.

On Tuesday Louis Le Metayer’s Astute Bloodstock signed for the day’s top lot at 230,000 guineas for Pilote D’Essai (Oasis Dream), the winner of three mile races in France from his six overall starts.

Astute bought the horse on behalf of Melbourne-based clients and said at this stage a trainer had not been decided. The horse was a late addition to the Tattersall’s sales having been prepared by Andre Fabre.

The Waller-Mulcaster duo struck with Lot 661 – McCreery (Big Bad Bob) – which has had just four starts for two wins earlier this year and one placing.

Mulcaster said: “We really wanted McCreery. The biggest attraction was his form and he looks a very progressive type. We went to 200,000 guineas for the three-year-old and Chris should be able to syndicate him after last Saturday’s Cox Plate success.”

Mulcaster also bought another on day two, paying just 16,000 guineas for Lord Major (Lawman), which has been placed twice for Ed Dunlop.

The biggest spend for the Waller-Mulcaster team was at the third session with four buys for a total of 272,000 guineas. This gave them new additions for 600,000 guineas, averaging out at 66,667 guineas.

They bought Richard Of Yorke (Oasis Dream) for 120,000 guineas, Hipparchus (Champs Elysees) for 100,000 guineas, Scooter (Mizzen Mast) for 30,000 guineas and Quick Defence (First Defence) for 22,000 guineas.

Waller began his assault at the Tattersall’s sales back in 2006 and he has prepared a huge number of winners including group 1 performers My Kingdom of Fife, Moriarty, Foreteller and Opinion.

It’s obviously 12 months to the 2016 Melbourne Cup but won’t it be remarkable if one of Waller’s nine buys graduates to the race that stops a nation.

Hoofnote: There were two-high priced colts sold on the third day, with Convergence fetching the top price of 420,000 guineas. He will head to Qatar, while Rembrandt Van Rijn is off to the 2016 Dubai carnival after changing hands for 400,000 guineas.

Darley lifts US stallion fees

Darley has announced their 2016 stallion fees for their US base, Jonabell Stud in Kentucky, with Medaglia d’Oro having his covering costs raised from $US125,000 ($176,000) to $150,000.

The sire of 14 group 1 performers stood the 2015 n season at their Aberdeen base for $110,000 (inc GST) as a result of his two-year-old Vancouver winning this year’s Golden Slipper Stakes.

Other shuttle stallions from Darley include Bernardini, which rises from $US85,000 to $US100,000 with Hard Spun and Street Sense both rising from $US35,000 to $US50,000, while Animal Kingdom remains at $US35,000.

Coolmore stallion Uncle Mo took the honours for being the busiest stallion in Kentucky in the 2015 breeding season with 221 coverings. Other Coolmore shuttle sires currently serving in are also prominent with Declaration Of War (192) and Verrazano (183) coming in seventh and ninth respectively.

Winx boost for Street Cry

The 2015-16 n stallions premiership took a new look with Winx’s record-breaking Cox Plate win last Saturday catapulting her sire Street Cry to a lead of close to $1 million over hot favourite Fastnet Rock.

It was quite intriguing to see the new top 10 including four stallions that are either deceased or infertile, with Street Cry having passed away at Darley’s n farm in September last year.

Encosta De Lago (third) was retired on December 31 due to fertility issues at the Jerry’s Plains Coolmore Stud, while High Chaparral (eighth) was euthanised at Coolmore’s Irish base on December 21.

The remaining stallion is Northern Meteor (10th) who died on July 30, 2013 at Widden Stud, now the home of his best son Zoustar, which stands alternative seasons at the latter farm and also Woodside Park in Victoria.

Street Cry’s winning total is $3,858,674 and he had a lead of $993,379 over Fastnet Rock after racing last Saturday. The latter, however, has a commanding lead in the number of individual winners with 66 successful to comfortably lead Not A Single Doubt.

The other top-19 stallions currently are Holy Roman Emperor (fourth), Lonhro (fifth), Redoute’s Choice (sixth), Sebring (seventh) and Exceed and Excel (ninth).

No doubt the stallions premiership will have many more changes during the next eight days with the huge prizemoney on offer at the four Flemington meetings.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Danny O’Brien chases a group 1 bonus with Miss Rose De Lago in the Myer Classic

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Danny O’Brien has fulfilled his brief with West n mare Miss Rose De Lago but believes there could be a group 1 bonus coming in the Myer Classic at Flemington on Saturday.

Owner Barry McRostie sent Miss Rose De Lago to O’Brien in the winter with the instructions to get her rating up, so the daughter of Encosta De Lago could return home for its group 1 carnival.

It seemed ambitious but in reality, she was more than up to the task.

The talented mare had four wins from 16 starts when she arrived in Melbourne for a winter campaign. She was immediately a winner at Caulfield in May and four starts later she stretched out to 1800m to win again at the Heath. That earned her a shot at the spring.

“She is a beautiful type of a mare, big and strong and we were just hoping she could win a couple of races over winter, which she did,” O’Brien said.

“The long-range dream was the Railway Stakes back in the west. Barry wanted to get her rating up to put her in a position to get into that.

“She has probably surprised us in that she has gone past just doing that and got to the Myer [Classic] with a very good chance.”

Miss Rose De Lago, a natural front-runner, caught the eye after a short break when she sat three-deep and looked the winner in the Let’s Elope Stakes before being swamped late and running fourth, only a half length from Amicus.

She returned to Caulfield and stepped to a mile last time and powered her way to comprehensive win making all the running.

“She is certainly better at a mile. Over the shorter trip they are a bit sharp for her at the end,” O’Brien said. “As we got her out in trip in the winter she got better and I think she showed how effective she is at a mile last time.

“Over the mile she can get them out of their [comfort] zones and really make them chase. She is a big, strong thing and runs a really strong mile and I think she will run 2000m one day. That is a real advantage in a race like this.”

Miss Rose De Lago has drawn perfectly in gate two and should roll straight to the front in the Myer.

O’Brien’s instructions to rider Opie Bosson will be to let her roll, particularly with favourite Stay With Me and Azkadellia, an $8 hope, having the pattern of getting back.

“If she sits up a bit they can outsprint her, so there will be no loafing on Saturday. She is going to get rolling from the 800m and test them all out,” O’Brien said. “The favourite is going to have [to be] a bloody good filly to give her a start and a beating.”

Win or lose on Saturday, Miss Rose De Lago has earnt a trip for the Railway Stakes and the Kingston Town Stakes and with a touch of luck by the end of next month she could be a group 1 winner.

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Victoria Derby 2015: Tarzino the one, but play at your peril

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There are few straighter shooters in racing than Mick Price. In an era of inflated stud deals and constant self-promotion, the racing hyperbole is usually at its peak at this time of year when the tyres of would-be champions are at their most inflated.

If Price’s horse is going like a busted, he won’t mince words. Going well? You will get the vibe in his down-to-earth way, too. And there can be little doubt Victoria Derby favourite Tarzino is doing just that. It may not have been a $3 million race, but there was an eye to a bigger fish to fry when Craig Newitt snagged the colt back to last from a horror draw in The Vase last week.

An extra 50 metres and the horse wins after running a slashing third. An extra 500m of the gruelling Derby trip? You wouldn’t think it would a pose a problem. That is usually what sifting through a Derby field is generally like, one big head scratcher. Rough results are common and the horse thought most likely is often found in reverse down the unforgiving Flemington straight the second time of asking.

On Saturday Tarzino should start the shortest priced Derby top pick in 13 years and barring any awful luck will hold most hard earned. But at $2.40 in a race for early spring three-year-olds, the money should stay in the pocket. Use him as a roving banker in all trifectas.

Finding an obvious danger is difficult. West n Kia Ora Koutou ($8) is a compelling case. A month between runs is a worry, what is not was his last start beating of older horses, albeit moderate, over 2200m rather than the traditional Melbourne lead-ups of a mile-and-a-quarter. Lizard Island ($12) has the class factor and should be in all exotics and the Derby always produces a horse that has moderate form, but will stick all day. Palace Tycoon ($41) might be it and should be thrown in as the other option.

The rest of the best card in n racing has much more betting appeal. You can throw a blanket over a vintage Mackinnon Stakes field. It looks a mighty difficult equation to solve.

The country’s best colt Exosphere should win the Coolmore Stud Stakes at long odds on, but the last of the four group 1s in the Myer Classic should have value shoppers salivating.

Stay With Me is a top class filly with no weight on her back and Royal Descent has class on her side despite being eased out of the Caulfield Cup, but Solicit is the value play.

Set for this race second up, where she performs at her best, the $19 in an even field looks juicy. Granted, the mile and group 1 level have always tested, but the days of the breeding barn beckoning are over and the older legs still have the zest for racing and quite possibly the yearning for this trip.

The Lexus Stakes? The noises from the Godolphin camp suggest Elhaame is a very bright prospect. Saeed bin Suroor wouldn’t bring him all this way if he didn’t think he would be competitive in a Melbourne Cup, let alone the race’s last chance saloon. The $7.50 will do.

* Odds supplied by Ladbrokes


Flemington (Saturday)

Race 3: Disposition $4.20

Race 5: Elhaame $7.50

Race 8: Solicit $19

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Microsoft Sydney opens next month

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New Microsoft flagship store in Pitt Street Mall, opening on November 12. It’s looming as the battle between Windows and iPhones, as the giant Microsoft enters the n market in a prime City spot, to take on the equally powerful Apple, located just around the corner.
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In its  first stand-alone store opened outside of North America, Microsoft has leased an enviable position at the front entrance of Westfield Sydney in Pitt Street Mall.

Microsoft identified as a key market five years ago, but has waited patiently for the best site possible in the prime mall site, which became available earlier this year after Esprit departed.

When the doors swing open on November 12, it will be the group’s 116th store and follows the opening of a mega flagship outlet in Manhattan, New York last week.

It will be one of the final pieces of the puzzle of the redevelopment of the mall, which has in the past been anointed in the top 10 of the most expensive retail strips in the world, in terms of rent. On Saturday, October 31, the Swedish fast fashion giant H&M opens further along the mall, and Vodafone is moving in opposite Microsoft early next year.

Apple established itself on the corner of King and George Streets in June 2008, and Samsung leased the store further along George Street, next to Myers in mid 2012. There are suggestions Sony is looking at the new retail section at 383 George Street.

While the focus is on the Sydney store opening at the moment, the group said it always working to identify the best possible locations for Microsoft stores based on consumer needs and preferences.

One of the key features of the Microsoft store is the interactive nature, with banks of Xbox ​ consoles and a giant screen facing Pitt Street Mall.

Nick Wells, Microsoft store manager, said the priority of Microsoft was customer service and to that end the more than 50 staff hired for the Sydney store speak more than 21 different languages and are from 11 countries.

They have been ensconced in the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel undergoing intense training to man the service counters, known as answer desks, on the ground and upper floors.

“The answer desks are a priority for us and our staff have been trained to offer the best advice across all of our products,” Mr Wells said. “That will include the ‘out of box’ service, where customers can unpack the product in the store and get advice on how to set it up and answer all questions on the spot.”

On the upper level of the 1000 square metre store will be a theatre room that can be used for presentations to small businesses on how to integrate their office equipment.

“We want the store to be as interactive as possible. In the store, we will have more than 178 digital panels throughout the store with 38 different video feeds. All digital screens are 1080p resolution, delivering more than 2 million image pixels through the store,” Mr Wells said.

To be sustainable, the LED lighting, throughout the store, will have four different settings, while a Green Star rating has been achieved in the development from certified timber flooring, VOC paint and sustainable materials, used in all of the joinery.

In celebration of the opening, where British singer Jessie J will be a guest, Microsoft will donate more than $US2 million ($2.8 million) in software and technology grants to several not-for-profit community groups making difference in Sydney, and across .

A number of complimentary workshops and seminars, will also be open to members of the community on level 2 of the store in the weeks that follow the grand opening.

These events will include a digital workshop for girls aged 14-18 to introduce them to the world of possibility with coding and potential career paths, a creative coding academy aimed at secondary school students during school holidays and a seminar aimed at parents to equip them with the knowledge they need when it comes to online security and safety for children.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Tim Southee laid low as New Zealand bowlers hammered in tour match

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Off early: Tim Southee. Photo: Hagen HopkinsNew Zealand’s preparations for the first Test hit a sizeable speed hump on Thursday, and that was before Aaron Finch and Ryan Carters plundered their attack to all parts of Blacktown International Sportspark.
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This was supposed to be Tim Southee’s first big hit out in but the Black Caps swing man delivered just three overs before leaving the field.

A New Zealand spokesman said Southee was suffering from a tummy bug. Though it will not have any impact on his availability for the first Test it is far from the ideal preparation for such an important bowler. Southee has played just one first-class game since May and will need to get plenty of overs under his belt on Saturday or risk heading to Brisbane in need of a gallop. But the Kiwis are confident that will not be the case.

In the absence of Southee and Trent Boult, who was rested, the Black Caps attack failed to take a wicket as Finch and Carters batted all day to take the Cricket XI to 0-376 at stumps on the first day.

Finch finished the day unbeaten on 214, his maiden first-class double century, while Carters was on 156.

The Black Caps’ impotence with the ball will raise questions about the depth of their bowling ranks and give confidence that they can prosper so long as they can negotiate the dangers of their leading strike weapons. Short of getting time on their legs, as the Blacks Caps put it, they gained very little.

For starters, the flat and lifeless wicket could not be any more different to the fast and bouncy conditions that will greet them at the Gabba, rendering this match as close to a waste of time for them.

The only positive for the tourists was they were able to give Matt Henry, Doug Bracewell and spinner Mark Craig the overs they needed though part-timers were required so they were not overtaxed. Even Brendon McCullum, who started his career as a wicketkeeper, rolled his arm over.

For Finch, this was just the tonic ‘s World Cup-winning opener needed after being surprisingly overlooked for Victoria’s shield team following a lean Matador Cup.

Although an experienced player on the international stage in the limited-overs formats, Finch is yet to make his mark in the red-ball game. But innings like this will give him confidence it’s a matter of when not if.

“To play games in a row in one format is pretty crucial and I suppose when you’re chopping and changing formats it can be hard and it does disturb your rhythm a bit,” Finch said. “At the same time I’m a professional cricketer that should be able to adjust a bit better than that.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Guess what – banks make money

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Banks are in the business of making money, and if they don’t, we should be worried. Photo: Paul Rovere Banks are in the business of making money, and if they don’t, we should be worried. Photo: Paul Rovere
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Banks are in the business of making money, and if they don’t, we should be worried. Photo: Paul Rovere

Banks are in the business of making money, and if they don’t, we should be worried. Photo: Paul Rovere


We want cheap houses, cheap credit, a strong economy – oh and bank profits make us feel a bit sick.

If the above sentence seems like a reasonable proposition, I’ve got news,   It’s not. You’re being manipulated.

It’s not really your fault. It takes an economist to understand these things sometimes, and we can’t all be economists. Most of us wouldn’t want to be anyway.

But the situation isn’t helped when, for the sake of populism, consumers are simply told they are being rooted rather than trusted with the complex truth.

ANZ has just announced a record $7.2 billion profit. The announcement follows NAB’s $6.7 billion announced Wednesday, also a record and a 20 per cent increase on last year.

Investors like it when banks book record profits, but it’s not a great political look when they are, at the same time, being caned for making mortgages more expensive.

Following NAB’s announcement, consumer advocate CHOICE raged  on this point. The group rightly pointed to competition as the means to lower prices, but missed the mark by saying NAB was “increasing profits and consumer costs at the same time”.

Maybe. Probably. We don’t know yet. What we do know for sure is that not a penny of the money made from increasing rates last week found its way into a profit figure calculated from books that were closed on September 30.

We’ll have to wait six months, when the bank gives its next results presentation, to see how it has fared in the context of this increase. That goes for ANZ as well.

At any rate, the 20 per cent figure is a little misleading.

The number that’s a lot more relevant to the things people get angry about is a lot smaller: 1.85 per cent.

That was the bank’s net interest margin – the difference between what it costs to make a loan and what they get to charge for things like mortgages. As Malcolm Maiden has explained, the slice has become a lot thinner over the past 10 years.

But here’s a truth: banks make money. That’s what they do. Often they make a lot of money. When they don’t, it’s generally a bad thing because it means there is probably not much going on in the economy.

Last week’s rate rises were also met by the predictable “warnings” from treasurer Scott Morrison, who said he wouldn’t give the banks “a leave pass”.

“The government didn’t make you do it,” Mr Morrison said. He followed this with the admission that it was a “good thing” to have strong banks and “they are in a position to actually pass these costs on”.

You can’t have it both ways. If you know a particular action is going to have a particular effect, and you do it anyway, you’ve got to wear a bit of the responsibility.

The banks say the increases were the result of a letter sent to the banks last December by the n Prudential Regulatory Authority, in which the regulator limited the amount of money on the banks’ books that they could lend to property investors.

If people want something, and you make that thing less available, its price increases. It’s the most basic economics out there.

And it’s not as if the banking sector has become massively more competitive since December, so much so that the banks’ ability to pass costs on to customers has been dramatically lessened.

Mr Morrison knows this. If he didn’t, he’d be in big trouble as Treasurer. There are economic concepts you’d want him to know well that are a lot more complex than these.

Otherwise, how could we trust him to navigate the country through another financial crisis, if there is one?

The last time that happened, it put into stark relief that mortgage rates just aren’t tied to the Reserve Bank the way they used to be.

That means the RBA’s cash rate isn’t such an effective throttle on the economy. The whole argument about “out of cycle” rate movements has been obsolete since at least 2008.

Mr Morrison’s comments are a marginal improvement on the mock outrage then-treasurer Wayne Swan and his predecessor Peter Costello gave voice to when the banks raised rates – or even threatened to do so – during the crisis. They are marginally better because he followed them with: “I think what I have to focus on is what are the things I can change and what are the things I can do something about”.

Good idea. The best change we can hope for is a bit more honesty all around.The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Rio Tinto a better bet than BHP Billiton: Citi

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Citi says Rio Tinto’s earnings outlook is healthier than that of rival BHP Billiton. Photo: Peter BraigRio Tinto has beatenBHP BillitonasCiti’s preferred pick among the big miners, retaining its “buy” ratingdespite a heavy reliance on iron ore.
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Rio, which is currently trading at $52.23, has been given a target price of $58 by Citi.

“Rio trades on significantly lower earnings multiples than BHP on both our forecasts and spot prices,” said Citi.”Combined with a stronger balance sheet this makes buy-rated Rio our preferred diversified mining stock.”

Under the heading “tables turned”, Citi noted that Rio’s 2015 first half earnings were higher than BHP’s for the first time since the BHP and Billiton merger.

Citisaid that Rio’s underlying earnings would be higher than BHP’s for the next two-and-a-half years, aided by the South32 demerger and ongoing pressure on the prices of oil and coking coal, part of BHP’s energyportfolio.

Citi admittedits predictions for Rio, which is more exposed to iron ore than BHP,was”somewhat surprising” given Citi’sown forecasts for iron ore.

Citi expect Rio to deliver higher earnings than BHP through until 2017.

Iron ore, which has just dipped below $US50, willtrade around $US40 per tonne for the nextthree years, the bank said.

Although the iron price “appeared already priced in” for Rio, Citiconceded that “headwinds are never easy to run into”.

The key risk to the forecast was that “iron ore continues to slide into year-end driven by continued growth in seaborne production, falling cost curve and the negative steel spread.”

BHP, currently trading at $23.98, was given a $24 price target by Citi. It retained its “neutral” rating.

In terms of the medium-term outlook, Citi said that at current forecasts “we expect Rio to deliver higher earnings than BHP through until 2017, before BHP briefly regains the upper hand for two-and-a-half years.”

But following that, “Rio once again takes the title as iron ore and aluminium prices recover.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

ABC cuts regional Mornings programs

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ABC’s regional radio programming will undergo a shakeup in 2016. Photo: Andrew QuiltThe ABC has infuriated Coalition MPs by axing its all its regional flagship ‘Mornings’ programs from next year’s radioschedule.
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The ABC will instead extend the ‘Breakfast’ program and introduce a new feature-based program,Local Life, to run from 10am to 11am.

Some regional stations, such as Newcastle, have been told they willbe exempt from the changes.

ABC Newcastle is exempt from the programming cuts to regional stations.

— Michael McGowan (@mmcgowan569) October 29, 2015

Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said on Thursday the decision was “very disappointing”.

“If this is so good, and they claim it will deliver better services to regional communities, well, why not deliver better services for the people Sydney and do the same thing for them?” he asked.

“I think the ABC has lost its way.”

The member for Herbert, Ewan Jones, said he was furiousthat the Mornings program on his local ABC North Queensland would no longer exist.

“I think that [ABC managing director] Mark Scott has lost the plot completely,” he said.

“He won’t be happy until the ABC just becomes a bastion of the intelligentsia in Ultimo, Canberra and Melbourne.

“This is piss poor management from the ABC.”

Mr Jones said he had complained to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield about the decision, which he said had blindsidedregional MPs. The ABC is beginning negotiations with the government about its next three-year funding deal.

Mr Jones said he had “copped a belting” from local Mornings presenter Paula Tapiolas on occasion but that she held politicians to account.

“There is no way this will lead to a better ABC,” Mr Jones said.

ABC head of regional Fiona Reynolds described the changes as “minimal” and said two local presenters would still be required in the mornings.

“ABC Regional is putting more focus on breakfast radio programming with increased production support at a time when we know audiences are strongest, according to the data and feedback from those audiences,” she said.

Ms Reynolds said the changes would allow local reporters “the ability to get out of the office more to gather local and distinctive content”.

The Abbott government last year cut the ABC’s budget by $250 million over five years.

Following that decision the ABC closed down its South n production studios, axed state-based current affairs, axed theBush Telegraphradioprogram and closed some regional reporting outposts.

It also created a new regional division with 50 new jobs.

In a speech earlier this monthMr Scott arguedan ABC funding boost would help it deliver better regional news services.

“My central thesis tonight is that the public’s investment in news at the ABC represents better value for taxpayers than ever – and is more important than ever,” Mr Scott said.

“As commercial media operations struggle with market forces and the slow decline of their business models, the role of the ABC, particularly in respectto news, is becoming increasingly vital to the health of our democracy and culture.

“Nowhere is this being more keenly felt than in rural and regional , where news operations are contracting at an alarming rate.”

Volvo tests technology to prevent kangaroo collisions

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Volvo animal detection expert, Martin Magnusson at Tidbinbilla during Kangaroo detection testing. Photo: Rohan Thomson There are more than 20,000 kangaroo strikes on n roads each year, costing over $75 million in claims. Photo: Jay Cronan
ChangZhou Plastic Surgery

Swedish car maker Volvo’s plan to develop technology that can detect kangaroos to avoid collisions moves a step closer this week with tests at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve west of Canberra.

Volvo Cars safety engineers are filming kangaroos’ roadside behaviour  in their natural setting, in a nationally recognised hot spot for kangaroo collisions. The data will be used to develop ‘s first kangaroo detection and collision avoidance software.

According to the National Roads and Members Association (NRMA) more than 20,000 kangaroo strikes on n roads each year cost over $75 million in claims. The human cost of serious injuries and fatalities from animal collisions is incalculable.

To help address this, Volvo is developing radar and camera technology to detect kangaroos and automatically apply the brakes if an accident is imminent.

“Whereas Volvo’s Pedestrian Detection technology is geared towards city driving, animal detection is designed to work at highway speeds.” Volvo’s senior safety engineer, Martin Magnusson said.

“Kangaroos are very unpredictable animals and difficult to avoid, but we are confident we can refine our animal detection technology to detect them and avoid collisions on the highway.

“In Sweden we have done research involving larger, slower moving animals like elk, reindeer and cows which are a serious threat on our roads. Kangaroos are smaller than these animals and their behaviour is more erratic. This is why it’s important that we test and calibrate our technology on real kangaroos in their natural environment.”

“Volvo’s City Safety truly is state-of-the-art technology, because the brakes can be primed in milliseconds, much faster than a human,” Magnusson said. “We are only at the beginning of what is possible.”

Volvo Car managing director Kevin McCann said kangaroo detection was part of Volvo’s vision that no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.

“This type of technology is not designed to take responsibility away from drivers. If the driver is inattentive the car will warn her and eventually make a hard braking to avoid a collision.” he said.

Kangaroo research stems from Volvo earlier work to detect, cars, cyclists and pedestrians at day or night. The technology uses an advanced light sensitive, high-resolution camera to detect animals.

A radar sensor in the grille scans the road ahead to detect moving objects like animals, cars, cyclists and pedestrians. A camera in the windscreen works in parallel with the radar to detect which way the object is moving and help the computer decide what action to take, if any.

The system processes 15 images every second and can react to an emergency in half the time of a human. Volvo says it takes 1.2 seconds for an attentive driver to detect danger and then apply the brakes, compared to about 0.0.5 seconds for the computer system

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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