Police radio used by car thief, union leader says

Source: The Examiner
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A thwarted attempt to catch a car thief in Launceston has confirmed that the Tasmania Police digital radio network is insecure, a union leader has warned.

But police command said it was “tenuous” to suggest a link between the failed road spike operation and access to the digital channel.

Police Association of Tasmania president Pat Allen said a car thief evaded road spikes on Thursday after officers confirmed to colleagues via digital radio that they were deploying the spikes.

“Before the car had even sighted the police vehicle, the offenders stopped and went the other way,” Constable Allen said.

“They had no idea there was a police car up ahead, except when the call went out over the air.

“The police involved in that have no doubt they were actually scanning.”

Constable Allen said members had suspected for some time that other people could access the digital network.

Constable Allen said members used their own mobile phones to combat safety and privacy concerns with people accessing police radio.

He said people scanning police radio was nothing new, but was a problem which should have been addressed by now.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling said scanning of the police radio network was not illegal, but there were privacy issues and the disclosure of some information might be unlawful.

“It is tenuous to suggest the outcome of a road spike operation was impacted by access to information from the digital channel,” Mr Cowling said.

“The Tasmania Police Digital Upgrade Project is in the final stages of completion, with some technical issues to be resolved prior to final network testing.”

Mr Cowling said police could also use mobile data terminals, or in Kingston Division the new tablet devices, to do secure background, registration and licence checks online.

Opposition police spokeswoman Elise Archer said she was concerned about reports that police radio was now being streamed live over the internet for anyone to listen to.

Union leader Pat Allen claims criminals are scanning police radio channels to get the drop on officers.

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Criminals revealed on Facebook page

Lawbreakers looking to network are visiting a new Facebook page to share exploits and lash out at police.Source: The Border Mail
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A Facebook page for self-professed Albury “criminals” could be used for recruiting offenders and planning crime, police say.

The page, which Fairfax Regional Mediahas chosen not to name, was set up on Saturday and as of yesterday afternoon, it had more than 180 members.

Posts on the page include youths encouraging members to “add all criminals” and, in an overt snub to police, to “F.T.P”, an acronym for “f–k the police”.

Another post suggests a member knows who was responsible for a crime with another telling that user “not to rat”, while others post “no snitches on this page” and “if anyone snitches on this page then they’re dead”.

Albury police Insp David Cottee said members of the page allegedly had committed offences such as assaults, break and enters and the theft of cars.

He said some were also members of the “Scooter Gang”, youths who steal from Lavington shops and harass its traders.

Insp Cottee said the page had the potential to morph into a crime-breeding ground.

“It could be used as a platform for criminal enterprise,” Insp Cottee said.

“They’re talking together on the website and they could recruit people to commit offences with them.”

The page was set up in response to another Facebook site with a different motivation.

Albury Live Crime, which has a following of almost 8000 people since it began in April, posts details of crime as it is reported across police scanners.

Its administrators say it has increased the reports of crime and information on crime to police, despite Albury police hitting out at the page for its potential to risk the safety of officers and their ability to investigate incidents.

Insp Cottee said police communications in Albury would soon switch over to an encrypted signal and it would stop the function of the page.

For the criminals page, however, Insp Cottee said police were monitoring it and would move to shut it down.

He also held concerns for the members of the page who did not have criminal records.

“They’re setting themselves up for future failure,” he said.

He said potential employers could find them on the site and they could become victims to internet predators.

“They’re young, they’re vulnerable and they may think they’re street smart but they could become street soiled,” Insp Cottee said.

He told people not to join the page and, if they were already a member, to leave it.

Insp Cottee said most crime in Albury was committed by youths and that was nothing new.

But he said brawls in public spaces, like the one in Dean Street’s City Walk arcade last week, were unusual.

He said the arrest of one person may be pending in relation to last Monday’s brawl.

Fifteen youths were involved in the incident.

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Reith echoes ‘throat slit’ comment

Former Howard government minister Peter Reith echoed on live television the comments of a Liberal backbencher that the Prime Minister and her staff were in line to have their throats ”slit”.
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Liberal Member for the Gold Coast seat of Moncrieff, Steve Ciobo, first used the phrase during a debate over Kevin Rudd’s leadership ambition’s with Labor backbencher Nick Champion (and avowed Rudd backer) last Friday on ABC’s Lateline program.

”Well, I think if anybody saw today’s press conference that Kevin Rudd conducted . . . they’d know that they’re anything but united behind Julia Gillard,” Mr Ciobo said.

”I think that if anybody had the opportunity to slit Julia Gillard’s throat, Nick would be one of the first ones to be there.”

The imagery was then repeated by Mr Reith, the former high-profile Liberal turned commentator, in a slightly different context.

Appearing the ABC’s Drum program on Tuesday, Mr Reith said that if “I was her [Julia Gillard’s] adviser I’d go and slit my throat.”

Mr Reith was making reference to the advice Ms Gillard has received from her staff on a series of policy announcements, which has seen her popularity ratings go into freefall in the past three months.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott defended Mr Ciobo’s comments on Tuesday during a press call with the backbencher, initially questioning the validity of the reporting of the statements before playing down the use of the violent term.

”I’m not sure that that’s exactly what he said,” Mr Abbott said.

”But people often deal in metaphors.

”I think everyone knows what’s meant, and I think there are a lot of Labor members of parliament right now stabbing the Prime Minister in the back metaphorically.

”No one means it literally but we all know what’s happening.”

During the Lateline interview, Mr Champion immediately called out his opposite number for the reference and demanded he apologise.

”That’s an appalling way to refer to any politician and Steve should moderate his language,” Mr Champion said at the time.

Mr Ciobo replied, ”Oh okay, Nick, would you prefer if I said stab in the back?”

The comment – first by Mr Ciobo and then by Mr Reith – is not the first time a high profile individual has invoked imagery of violence when referring to Ms Gillard’s government.

In 2011, radio broadcaster Alan Jones made headlines – and was referred to the Australian Broadcasting Regulator, ACMA – for his suggestion that Ms Gillard and Sydney Mayor Clover Moore should be drowned.

”Put (Moore) in the same chaff bag as Julia Gillard and throw them both out to sea,” he said.

Earlier this year, Mr Ciobo also likened the Prime Minister’s behaviour to that of an alcoholic.

”Julia Gillard is like an alcoholic,” he told Sky News in April.

”Every single day she’ll come up with another set of excuses to justify poor behaviour and what’s taken place the previous day.”

Mr Abbott, who was at the time on the Pollie Pedal charity bike ride, was forced to distance himself from the comments and said he would not use such ”colourful language”.

Instead, Mr Abbott said: ”I think everyone knows that this is a government which has been spending like a drunken sailor.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Stocks set for sharp early loss

Join the Markets Live blog from 9.30am
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Aussie stocks are set to follow world markets lower after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he sees no need to expand monetary stimulus immediately, triggering fears among investors that central banks would step back from stimulus efforts.

On the ASX24, the SPI futures contract was 44 points lower to 4721. The Aussie was trading higher against the greenback despite hitting a fresh 32-month low. The dollar slipped to 93.3 US cents late on Tuesday night, the lowest point since mid September 2010, but recovered to 94.39 US cents by 6.45am today. It was also buying 90.6 yen, 70.88 euro cents and 60.25 British pence.

What you need to knowSPI futures are 44 points lower at 4721The $A is higher at 94.39 US centsIn New York, the S&P500 was 1% lower at 1626.13 In Europe, the FTSE100 lost 0.94% to 6340.08China iron ore was flat at $US110.90 a metric tonne Gold lost $US9 to $1377 an ounceWTI crude oil lost 39 US cents to $US95.38 a barrelReuters/Jefferies CRB index lost 0.5% at 285.01

Making news today

In economics news:Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) lending finance for AprilWestpac/Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer SentimentDragon boat festival public holiday in China

There is no major economics news scheduled for today.

Analyst rating changes:Gindalbie Metals raised to neutral at JPMorganCochlear cut to underperform at Credit SuisseFairfax cut to buy at BBY LtdNewcrest cut to neutral at BofA-Merrill Lynch

How we fared yesterday

The Australian share market closed higher as cautious investors searched for higher yielding and defensive stocks.

Banks and defensive stocks led a 19.4 point, or 0.4 per cent, gain in the S&P/ASX 200 index to 4757.1. The index moved further away from 4-1/2 month lows hit last week. The broader All Ordinaries index was up 19.6 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 4748.9.

BusinessDay with agencies

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Speed-dealing dominatrix off to jail

A dominatrix in New Zealand who headed a multimillion-dollar methamphetamine business has been sentenced to 20 years’ jail – and has lost the $764,830 cash she had hidden around her rural property.
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Jolene Rose, 37, a mother of three, was living in her Manuwatu farm cottage, three kilometres from Woodville on the North Island, running what a judge has conservatively estimated was a business that grossed nearly $5 million in about 3.5 years.

She supplied at least 8.44 kilograms of methamphetamine, all while collecting just under $45,000 in welfare benefits.

In a text message revealed at her trial in April, she boasted of having met a target to make $120,000 in just over 48 hours.

In the High Court at Wellington yesterday, Justice Lowell Goddard said Rose kept a loaded revolver beside her bed in the hood of a black satin cloak that completed her dominatrix outfits. A pen pistol was close at hand in the hobby shed, where she crafted wooden boards with catchy phrases to sell at carboot sales.

The weapons were among the firearms and stun guns police found when they raided the cottage on March 20 last year.

She had a security system monitor in her bedroom, and a buzzer sounded in the room when a light beam across the driveway was tripped. A police communications scanner was still operating even as officers busted Rose and her partner, Sean Christiaan Murray, 43.

Rose had thought the cottage, which she occupied on a rent-to-own basis, was the perfect drug base. She was accused of, but denied, starting her dealing in August 2008, while still on parole from an earlier prison term for drug dealing.

She eventually pleaded guilty to having cannabis for the purpose of supply, apparently in a failed attempt to persuade the jury that she was just a cannabis-dealing prostitute, and that the meth business was Murray’s.

At a sentencing at which the couple were conspicuously kept apart, Justice Goddard found Rose was firmly in control and that Murray, who suffered severe brain damage in 2007, was her “enabler”.

He had fallen in love with a bewitching woman and thought he was living the dream, the judge said.

Murray was sentenced to 8 years and six months’ jail. The one thing for which he was held more responsible than Rose was the number of firearms around the property, some of which may have been for hunting.

Police found just 3.5 grams of methamphetamine. They also found a cryptic list that was the key to finding the money hidden around the property, some of it buried.

Justice Goddard said it seemed Rose was a high-level dealer and did not stockpile the drug. It was sourced, processed and sold very quickly.

She did not doubt that Rose was an intelligent woman and astute in business, but said she had learnt nothing from her previous prison term.

A jury had found Rose guilty of 22 charges: supplying methamphetamine; possessing the drug for supply; and 20 charges relating to firearms and ammunition. She also pleaded guilty to benefit fraud.

She must serve at least 10 years’ jail before she can be considered for parole.

Murray pleaded guilty to 23 charges. His lawyer, Paul Surridge, said he helped Rose, but did not sell drugs.

FAIRFAX NZ

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Turkish police battle protesters in Istanbul square

Istanbul: Turkish riot police using tear gas and water cannon battled protesters for control of Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Tuesday night as demonstrators defied Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s demand they clear the area and end 10 days of demonstrations.
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Police fired volleys of tear gas canisters into a crowd of thousands – people in office clothes as well as youths in masks who had fought skirmishes throughout the day – sending them scattering into side streets and nearby hotels. Water cannon swept across the square targeting stone-throwers in masks.

Istanbul’s governor said on Tuesday riot police would continue operations against protesters in Taksim Square day and night until it was cleared, and appealed to people to stay away for their own safety.

“We will continue our measures in an unremitting manner, whether day or night, until marginal elements are cleared and the square is open to the people,” Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said in a brief television announcement.

Protesters, who accuse Mr Erdogan of overreaching his authority after 10 years in power and three election victories, thronged the steep narrow lanes that lead down to the Bosphorus waterway. Gradually, many began drifting back into the square as police withdrew, and gathered around a bonfire of rubbish.

Mr Erdogan had earlier called on protesters to stay out of Taksim, the centre of demonstrations triggered by a heavy-handed police crackdown on a rally against development of the small Gezi Park abutting the square.

Gezi Park has been turned into a ramshackle settlement of tents by leftists, environmentalists, liberals, students and professionals who see the development plan as symptomatic of overbearing government.

The protests, during which demonstrators used fireworks and petrol bombs, have posed a stark challenge to Mr Erdogan’s authority and divided the country. In an indication of the impact of the protests on investor confidence, the central bank said it would intervene if needed to support the Turkish lira.

Mr Erdogan, who denies accusations of authoritarian behaviour, declared he would not yield.

“They say the prime minister is rough. So what was going to happen here? Were we going to kneel down in front of these (people)?” Mr Erdogan said as action to clear the square began.

“If you call this roughness, I’m sorry, but this Tayyip Erdogan won’t change,” he told a meeting of his AK party’s parliamentary group.

Western allies have expressed concern about the troubles in a key NATO ally bordering Syria, Iraq and Iran. Washington has held up Mr Erdogan’s Turkey as an example of an Islamic democracy that could be emulated elsewhere in the Middle East.

Victor in three consecutive elections, Mr Erdogan says the protests are engineered by vandals, terrorist elements and unnamed foreign forces. His critics, who say conservative religious elements have won out over centrists in his AK party, accuse him of inflaming the crisis with unyielding talk.

Market Turmoil

“A comprehensive attack against Turkey has been carried out,” Mr Erdogan said.

“The increase in interest rates, the fall in the stock markets, the deterioration in the investment environment, the intimidation of investors – the efforts to distort Turkey’s image have been put in place as a systematic project,” he said.

Despite the street protests against Mr Erdogan, he remains unrivalled as a leader in his AK party, in parliament and on the streets.

The unrest has knocked investor confidence in a country that has boomed under Mr Erdogan. The lira, already suffering from wider market turmoil, fell to its weakest level against its dollar/euro basket since October 2011.

The cost of insuring Turkish debt against default rose to its highest in ten months, although it remained far from crisis levels.

The police move came a day after Mr Erdogan agreed to meet protest leaders involved in the initial demonstrations over development of the square.

“I invite all demonstrators, all protesters, to see the big picture and the game that is being played,” Erdogan said. “The ones who are sincere should withdraw … and I expect this from them as their prime minister.”

Protesters accuse Mr Erdogan of authoritarian rule and some suspect him of ambitions to replace the secular republic with an Islamic order – something Erdogan denies.

“This movement won’t end here … After this, I don’t think people will go back to being afraid of this government or any government,” said student Seyyit Cikmen, 19, as the crowd chanted “Every place is Taksim, every place resistance.”

Turkey’s Medical Association said that as of late Monday, 4947 people had sought treatment in hospitals and voluntary infirmaries for injuries, ranging from cuts and burns to breathing difficulties from tear gas inhalation, since the unrest began more than ten days ago. Three people have died.

Mr Erdogan has repeatedly dismissed the protesters as “riff-raff”. But Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on Monday leaders of the Gezi Park Platform group had asked to meet him and Erdogan had agreed.

A meeting was expected on Wednesday.

Reuters

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Hold your horses and rein in the mortgage

Illustration: Michael MucciQ I’m 31 with a $215,000 mortgage on a home that’s three years old. I’m overdue in starting a wealth-creation program but I want to make a move now – I don’t want to still be working at 70! With a wage of $90,000, what are your thoughts on purchasing an investment property versus paying my mortgage off as quickly as possible?
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A You’ve got plenty of time on your side. My recommendation is that you keep paying the mortgage until you reach a stage where your payments are $12 a month for every $1000 borrowed – that would be $2580 a month on a $215,000 mortgage. This will ensure it will be paid off in less than 10 years, provided rates stay under 9 per cent. Once you have the mortgage under control, you can take advice about borrowing to invest in growth assets.

Q You recently answered a question from a man aged 65 in which you inferred there could be an exit tax payable on his superannuation. Could you please clarify?

A Withdrawals are tax-free for most people once they reach age 60 but there is another class of super funds called unfunded funds – the members of these are public servants. There can be an exit tax on these funds because no 15 per cent contributions tax was paid initially.

Q My husband and I are age pensioners, 82 and 75, respectively, and live in the city. In 1976 we bought land in the country and built a house for retirement, which was completed in 1994. The value of the property has since grown significantly.

We are thinking of selling due to financial commitments, and understand there is a difference with capital gains tax on property bought before 1985. We would appreciate your advice on how that could affect us if we sell, or after our demise if our children sold the property.

A This is a little complex and you should be taking advice from your accountant. The land will be a pre-CGT asset and the house will be a post-CGT asset, so you will need to have calculations done to work out how much capital gains tax will be payable. If the bulk of the gain is in the land, the CGT may be small. If you leave the property to your children in your will, and they sell it within two years of you dying, there will be no CGT at all.

Q I am retired and have all my assets in an allocated pension balanced portfolio. The returns for 2012 were 14 per cent, and less than 3 per cent for 2011, but I can find nothing to compare these returns with. Is there independent accurate information available on allocated pensions?

A It is very dangerous to compare returns without getting specific advice because a fund that gives you a low return may have lower volatility and so be classed as lower risk. You need to sit down with your adviser and agree on a portfolio that suits your risk profile and then have an annual interview to make sure that portfolio is performing well in respect of its own benchmarks.

Q I’m trying to grasp the dividends paid by fully franked shares in an SMSF. I understand if they are fully franked and your super fund is taxed at 15 per cent until you reach 60, the fund doesn’t pay tax on the dividends as they are taxed at the higher company tax rate. Does this mean at the end of the financial year you can be refunded the difference between what your SMSF was taxed and what the fully franked shares were taxed?

A When you receive a franked dividend, the amount of that dividend plus any accompanying imputation credits is added together, grossed up, and tax is payable on the total. Then, the imputation credit is deducted from the tax payable. For example, if your fund received a $700 dividend with franking credits of $300, the grossed-up amount would be $1000, on which tax would be $150 because your fund would be paying 15 per cent tax on its income. When you deduct the $300 imputation credits, you find yourself in the fortunate position of having a bonus of $150 tax-free, making franked dividends an attractive investment for self-managed super funds.

Q I am moving to retirement living. How does Centrelink treat leaseholds and franking credits in calculating total assets and income?

A Most retirement village contracts these days are 99-year leasehold or licence arrangements. From a Centrelink perspective, the amount you pay to enter a retirement village is an entry contribution, and is used to determine whether you are considered a home owner as well as your eligibility for rent assistance. If the amount you pay is less than $139,500, you are considered to be a non-home owner and the value of the retirement village unit is included in your assets. If the amount you pay is above this threshold, you are a home owner and the amount you pay is exempt. While a deferred management fee (exit fee) is often charged when you leave the retirement village, this is not used to reduce your assessable assets while you live there.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature. Readers should seek their own professional advice before making decisions. Email: [email protected]杭州夜网m.You can follow Noel on Twitter – @NoelWhittaker

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Hidden costs of ignoring small outlays

Waste not, want not. Photo: Paul Jones You’ve heard the old adage; it’s the little things that add up. This could be the case if you have a number of small recurring expenses. The costs for the goods and services that can range from subscriptions, memberships, to apps and late-payment fees are easy to miss if the costs are small. Let them slide for too long and you’ll find these little expenses will add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year.
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Subscriptions These days you can just about subscribe to anything – from household goods and services to books, magazines, memberships, food and interactive games.

Most subscription users generally have the payments automatically deducted from a credit card or bank account, either monthly or annually. What can happen is you stop using the product, but forget to check if the fees are still being taken out.

A typical money drainer for parents is where they have signed the kids up for interactive games or learning programs. The kids soon get bored of the games and move onto others. Parents are caught out when they forget to cancel the subscription.

Downloads A new study from the US Online Publishers Association, A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User – Wave II, found tablet users spend $349 a year on purchases made from their devices. That’s about $29 each month. The downloaded items may be only small, but over time, they add up.

An app charge for a magazine or music video is so small that they’re easy to let slip and forget. The study also reported that paid apps account for 23 per cent of all apps downloaded in the past year.

Apps Speaking of apps, the average number of downloaded apps an individual carries on their mobile device ranges from 40 to 60. It’s fair to say with this many apps, it’s easy to forget the number purchased.

Once you begin to pay for a few of them, they can really start to add up. A song app might only cost $2, but if you’re after the latest tunes, 10 songs a month will set you back $24 or $288 a year.

Health insurance Private health cover is great when you need it. Just be aware you’re not paying for extras you may never use.

It pays to regularly check with your insurance provider to work out whether you have the desired cover to suit your needs. Most health funds offer additional extras to the basic cover. One example is pregnancy and obstetrics cover. After members have had the desired number of children, often this additional cover is no longer required.

If you forget to cancel the extra cover, you’ll continue paying the higher premium.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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How to retire by 50

Do you dream of retiring in paradise by 50?It’s the dream of many small business owners to earn enough money to retire before they turn 50. If you’re in that category, here are the secrets to how to do it.
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Ironically, those who do well enough to stop working early are often the type of people who love what they do so much that they want to keep going.

“If you look at what makes an entrepreneur successful, it’s actually all about the win, it’s all about being successful at what they’re doing and they can’t stop,” says internet entrepreneur Klaus Bartosh, whose latest business is online medical booking service 1stavailable (https://www.1stavailable杭州夜网m.au/).

“They’ll keep doing it until the day they die.”

Even so, even if you’re not the sort of person who wants to retire early, it’s nice to have that choice, so here are seven tips on how a small business owner can stop working by age 50.

PLAN FROM THE START

“You’ve got to start succession planning and retirement planning when you start the business,” says Penny Spencer, the owner of Spencer Travel. “You can’t just say at 45, ‘I’m going to retire at 50’ without having a plan to do that.”

Spencer turns 50 this year and as the owner of a business that takes in $35 million a year in bookings could retire if she wanted to, but she has chosen to work on. Nonetheless, she says she put together her exit strategy about a year after she started the business, with a plan to bring in managers who could take over and run the business once she left.

WORK HARD IN THE EARLY YEARS

Any business owner will tell you that the first couple of years are a crucial foundation for a successful business.

“There’s no doubt that the first two years of any new business takes one of your nine lives,” says Klaus Bartosh. “It absolutely consumes and removes part of your soul and there wouldn’t be any business owner on the planet that wouldn’t acknowledge that.

“Once the first two years are up when you get it basically on its own feet and washing its own face in terms of making enough money then you can start to relax a bit more.”

BUILD A BUSINESS THAT CAN BE SOLD

Cashing out of your business is usually the best way to retire, but you shouldn’t set out to build a business to sell it, even if that is your ultimate aim, says Bartosh, who sold his Hostworks web hosting business to the Macquarie Group in 2008 for $69 million. “That’s actually the worst thing that you can do, because what you then tend to create is a business that’s not sustainable,” he says.

If you’re always thinking about selling the business, you’ll be doing things for the wrong motive. “You’re making decisions with the intention of putting lipstick on something to sell it as opposed to building a business that’s actually got some substance about it that a prospective buyer will look at and pay a premium for.”

BRAND THE BUSINESS NOT YOU

Make sure that all of your branding and publicity efforts go into getting the business better known, rather than getting your name out there, says entrepreneur Creel Price, who started Blueprint Management Group at the age of 25 with just $5000 in capital and sold it within a decade for more than $100 million.

“Too many entrepreneurs become so entrenched in the business without a way to escape because the business’s reputation is based on them,” he says.

EMPOWER PEOPLE

If the business can’t run without the owner then it’s also extremely difficult to sell, so you need to make yourself replaceable. “Give your staff more and more responsibility (and scope to fail) so that when it is time to create a succession plan you are replaceable,” says Price.

TAKE MONEY OUT OF THE BUSINESS

A lot of business owners fail to save for their retirement, putting everything back into the business instead, says Olivia Maragna of financial planning organisation Aspire Retire (aspireretire杭州夜网m.au).

“You are taking a risk getting into business, so you want to make sure that you’re actually taking money out of the business as you go through the business,” she says. The business has to provide not only the day-to-day living costs such as housing and a car, but also needs to provide money for personal investments – that is investments that aren’t part of the business – for the owner’s retirement.

“If you do want to retire by the age of 50 you’ve got to be constantly each and every year looking at the business and grabbing some money from there,” Maragna says.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Facing sexual boundaries

Sex style: facing options“I’ve booked in for a facial”.
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She was met with little more than bawdy guffaws as the couchful of men before her heard pornified innuendo in her harmless message of personal indulgence.

Stunned, she stood agape, her knitted brow and open mouth begging for explanation.

“What? What’s so funny?”

From the writhing fit of teen-boy hooting, one apparently grown man offered to elucidate.

“Well…,” he began, as the snorts softened to wet sniggers. (They were waiting to see how he’d explain the source of their mirth to this dumbstruck innocent.)

“Facials… are… when you, er, ‘arrive’ on your girlfriend’s… um…

“Face.”

Cocky laughter erupts again.

“Oh,” she said.

“That’s disgusting.”

But is it?

I’m trying hard to write this blog as sensitively as possible. It’s one that needs to be written. Sex educators tell me more young people are asking about facials now than before. It is a subject that needs to be discussed as porn’s influence on our sex lives becomes more apparent.

Neither element – the asking or the porn – represent something that is necessarily bad. But an absence of sensible discussion would. Therefore, the subject of today’s blog is: What does it mean when a man wants to ejaculate on a woman’s face?

With the addendum: Is it good or bad for women?

To the first question: What does it mean?

According to the literature there are several explanations. One school of thought says facials evolved out of the patriarchy’s need to oppress women and degrade them sexually. Another views facials as a sign of how far the porn industry needs to go now to sell content. Facials mean money, which is bad for women because they’re exploited for profit.

Another explanation, which also investigates the relationship between porn and the business of film, reasons facials could, in fact, signify a man’s “longing for female acceptance” rather than a desire to dominate the so-called weaker sex. According to sex educator Charlie Glickman, facials in porn came about out as the movies evolved into longer features comprising several sex scenes. Ejaculation shots came to serve as the ‘full stop’ between each sex sequence. So ejaculation-on-face shots became a handy way of displaying “evidence of male pleasure” (read: ejaculation) at the same time as evidence that “a woman’s reaction to that pleasure mattered”. Glickman also points out that the majority of straight porn shows women happily accepting the facial.

This should be interpreted as symbolic of a man’s need to be approved of by women, rather than to dominate them, he says. It’s a need that may be understood by any woman who’s only found acceptance of her own body through a man. Some girlfriends of mine, for example, have only come to terms with their sex organs when they’ve been with a bloke who clearly relishes his intimate interaction with them.

So is it possible that a female’s apparent enjoyment of a ‘facial’ helps him feel ok about his sex organ? And if it’s possible, does that mean this is simply a man asking “am I ok?”, that he could feel more loved by her seeming to enjoy the act in question?

It’s possible. Sure – most things are possible. But do women actually enjoy it?

I put this question to my girlfriends and it garnered a mixed response. Of the three who had actually been there, one said yes, one said she didn’t love or hate it and the other vehemently opposed ever doing it again, ever.

“He didn’t even ask,” she said. “He just went ahead and did it. Disgusting. I felt like he was a dog and I was a tree and he was just pissing all over me, but worse, because while I could return in kind if we were urinating dogs, I couldn’t give him a facial in quite the same way.

“It just underscores the fact men’s sexuality is all out-there, and women’s is an inside thing, and because female sexuality is less apparent it’s maligned, while men get all the attention.”

How interesting. Would women feel less offended by the facial if they also had ‘the power’ to return the, uh, favour?

“I don’t even see it in terms of him doing something to me, or at me,” said the girlfriend who was fine with the facial.

“It’s just something that happens in the moment of us having sex together – it’s a mutual thing. It’s him expressing myself, and his enjoyment of what we’re doing, inasmuch as I might scream or pull his hair or scratch his back… sometimes I wrap my fingers around his throat… this is stuff that would be considered ‘degrading’ if he did it to me, but I don’t do it to him as a power thing I get off on. It’s just – I don’t know – it’s just the moment. We’re in love, we trust each other, we’re happy to push boundaries.”

If anything, I believe the point to make here relates to the addendum: Are facial’s good or bad for women?

My response: Facials may be good or bad, depending on the circumstance. It is certainly wrong to say all facials are bad. But it is also wrong to say facials are necessarily good for women, and men, and make for nourishing sexual relationships.

The point, as ever, is to talk about what this sex act means to you, and why. If you’re a man who does it, or wants to do it, why? If you’re a woman who’s experienced it, or wants to experience it, or would utterly hate experiencing it, why?

If your honest answer is couched in harmful, negative terms, than it’s clearly no good for you, or the people you encounter. But if you can prove a positive side to the subject, well, I’m happy to endorse this sex act as fine for happy, healthy, consenting adults to incorporate into their repertoire.

What about you?

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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