記事原文 Cracking under pressure: More Aussies falling behind on their home loans From: Herald Sun September 29, 2011 THE cracks in Australia's real estate market are spreading rapidly as the economic slowdown takes an increasingly heavy toll, according to new research. A string of downbeat reports released yesterday have deepened fears that the market is in a prolonged downturn, intensifying pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut the official interest rate. Research by Moody's reveals that mortgage customers are increasingly defaulting on their payments - albeit at low rates - as house prices slide The report shows that the proportion of delinquent mortgages - where customers are behind on their repayments by 90 days or more - has climbed from 1.36 per cent in March last year to 1.67 per cent at the end of June. While house prices have fallen significantly in Victoria, the worst regions for mortgage delinquencies in the Moody's data were in Queensland, NSW and WA. "We're seeing evidence of the two-speed economy," said Moody's senior analyst Arthur Karabatsos. "People really hurting are those with lower incomes in cheaper areas, borrowing a bigger proportion of their incomes to finance a home." Mining areas were prosperous but Queensland was hit hardest, due to the impact of the Japanese tourism downturn on the Gold Coast and Cairns. In Western Australia's non-mining areas, price rises for food and utilities took a heavy toll. In other negative reports, a NAB survey of industry players found that house prices have fallen 2.4 per cent across Australia this quarter. Victoria, which has suffered the steepest fall in prices in the current quarter, is expected to be the nation's worst-performing property market for the next two years, according to the study. CommSec economist Craig James described it as a "dead cat bounce" in what was the weakest housing sales market in a decade. And a report released by RP Data revealed that nationwide, 7.7 per cent of houses bought since 2007 are now worth less than their purchase price. Mortgage holders are facing an equity crisis with more than 300,000 homes nationally today worth less than their owners paid for them. That includes almost 100,000 homes bought since the onset of the global financial crisis in early 2008, many of which were first homes purchased with the assistance of federal and state grants. Queensland has been hardest hit by declining home values, with about one in seven homeowners sitting on paper losses, according to RP Data's analysis of the difference between the price of the property at purchase and today, but not homeowner debt. The worst regions were far north Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. One in 10 homes in Western Australia are now worth less than their owners paid for them, with the southeastern region dragging down the state's overall figure.
記事原文 Scammers fleece Aussies of $93 million From:AAP September 28, 2011 2:54PM INTERNATIONAL scam artists pretending to be financial advisers have fleeced thousands of Australians of a total of $93 million in recent years. NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says cold callers operating mainly out of South East Asia, especially in Hong Kong, are targeting their victims after getting information from bona fide sources such as investment registers. The callers point their targets to elaborate, fraudulent investment websites. Victims then send money to overseas bank accounts and are pointed to other online sites where they are told they can watch their "investment" grow. The cold callers often continue to target the same victims, with some getting up to 10 phone calls a day. At least 2400 people have fallen victim across Australia since 2007, with a total loss of $93 million. Many of the people robbed are retirees or people approaching retirement. Mr Scipione said people targeted by the scammers should remember the golden investment rule: "If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true". "These people are predators," Mr Scipione said. People who receive calls requesting them to invest their money should ask for the company's name and license to do business in Australia. Anyone who suspects they've been a target of investment fraud should contact the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) by calling 1300 300 630 or visitingwww.moneysmart.gov.au/scams.
記事原文 Boy, 4, left blind in one eye after magpie attack in Toowoomba From: The Courier-Mail September 22, 2011 A FOUR-year-old boy has been left blind in one eye after he was attacked by a magpie in a park in Toowoomba. Seth McInnes, was riding a bicycle on a footpath near the playground equipment in the West Ck Reserve beside Lemway Ave about 4pm on Sunday when the magpie swooped, his father Chris said. "He was riding his bike back towards me and I saw it (a magpie) coming down really fast," Mr McInnes told The Toowoomba Chronicle. "His screams didn't shoo it away, it was only when I got over there it left. "He had a little scratch over his eye. But when I looked in his eye it was full of blood." Seth was rushed to Toowoomba Hospital, where Mr McInnes was told his son would probably lose all vision in his left eye.
記事原文 Sex? Yes please, we're Aussie - Nielsen survey says AAP September 19, 2011 SOME randy Aussies want sex three times a day or more, a survey has revealed. But only a small minority are getting as much action as they'd like. A survey by dating website RSVP found 37 per cent of Australians - male and female - consider three to six times a week the ideal frequency for sex. However, 46 per cent want sex three times a day or more during the first month of a new relationship. And only 16 per cent of those in a relationship and four per cent of singles are having their preferred level of sex. "Physical contact and sex are important elements of healthy relationships and yet these results show us that across the board the majority of people in relationships would like to be having sex more often," RSVP's John Aitken said. The survey of 5300 people, carried out by Nielsen, found Generation Y (generally those born in the late 20th Century) are most likely to want sex up to six times a week. As age increases desire for frequent sex falls, the survey found. More than 90 per cent of Aussies rated sexual chemistry as "important" when selecting a partner.
記事略文 The strange cases of the good houses that just won't sell ＴＨＥ ＡＧＥ September 18, 2011 THEY are scattered across Melbourne - from family houses in the 'burbs, to flash CBD apartments, to period homes near the bay - but these properties all have one thing in common. In the struggle to make a sale, their asking prices have been slashed by up to 30 per cent, earning each a spot on a list of the most discounted properties in the city. The asking prices have been so deeply slashed that some are likely to sell at a loss. ''They price their properties way over the market to begin with and miss their best selling opportunity, which generally comes in the first three weeks of any campaign.'' As the market has cooled, there has been a blowout in the amount of time its takes for a Melbourne property to sell by private sale. Houses are now spending 92 days on the market on average, up from 53 days last year, according to Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors. Units are taking 86 days to sell, up from 57 days. In comparison, the homes on the SQM list have been advertised for an average of 166 days; two Southbank apartments have been available for almost a year.
記事原文 Virgin Galactic space flights to start within a year, Richard Branson says From: AFP September 16, 2011 11:03AM VIRGIN boss Sir Richard Branson hopes to launch a vessel into space within the next 12 months, kicking off an era of commercial space travel. "The mother ship is finished... The rocket tests are going extremely well, and so I think that we're now on track for a launch within 12 months of today," he told CNN. "This could be the beginning of a whole new era of space travel, which will be commercial space travel." His company, Virgin Galactic, hopes to one day send people into space and launch satellites for a fraction of the cost of government-run programs, as well as eventually offering high-speed intercontinental flights. "About an hour between Los Angeles and London is not completely out of the question," Sir Richard said, adding that it will likely take many years before the company can offer such a service. In the meantime, Virgin has sold some 430 tickets for space travel - at $200,000 a pop - for an estimated $86 million. "It's not a cheap thing to build a spaceship company and it's been fantastic to have people all over the world sign up," Branson said. The company plans to begin by taking tourists on sub orbital flights before eventually soaring higher. Branson has said in the past he hopes to one day build a hotel in space.
A number of private companies are rushing to fill the gap left by NASA, which ended its 30-year shuttle program in July with the completion of the final Atlantis mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Earlier this year, the US space agency distributed nearly $270 million in seed money to four companies - Boeing, SpaceX, Sierra Nevada and Blue Origin - to boost their bids to be first in the new space era.
記事略文 Cats and coffee! Inside Tokyo's 'Nyan da cafe' By Andrew Ramadge From: news.com.au September 14, 2011 WOULD you like your coffee with a black, or white cat? There's plenty of tabbies, too. At the Nyan da cafe in Odaiba, Tokyo, customers can enjoy their favourite drink with the company of up to 40 different feline friends. A signboard at the entrance shows a portrait of each cat along with their name, age, breed and a short profile. Entry for one hour costs ¥1200 ($15), with a tea or coffee included in the price. Nyan da cafe isn't the only cat cafe in Tokyo — there are dozens — but it is probably the most recognisable. "Nyan" is a play on the sound a cat makes. Inside, there are several rooms, each with a different atmosphere. One feels like a pet shop; another like a vet's office. Towards the back, there is a darker and much quieter area where customers and cats relax together. And the cats themselves? Well, some are sleepy, some are cheeky and some are downright cranky. A member of the Nyan da cafe staff said the shop received about 30 visitors per day through the week and 80 on weekends.
記事原文 Pauline Hanson trumps former Miss Universe Australia Jesinta Campbell in her undies From: news.com.au September 14, 2011 4:42PM Pauline Hanson washes cars in underwear All part of charity drive for new reality show Former pollie starring in new Celebrity Apprentice Pauline Hanson has stripped down to her undies, alongside former Miss Universe contestant Jesinta Campbell, in a bid to raise $60,000 as part of her first official task for the new Channel Nine series Celebrity Apprentice. The outspoken former pollie shed her clothes in the name of charity (and her latest showbiz foray) in an attempt to earn the cash for AussieBum at a car wash in Sydney’s Bondi today. The price to watch Hanson scrub your car in her red undies? $1000. While Hanson, 57, and Campbell, 20, pictured below, opted to whip off their clothes for the challenge, the other female Celebrity Apprentice contenders, including Lisa Curry Kenny, Julia Morris and Demi Hines, kept their gear on.
元記事省略文 Killer dog owners warned of Ayen's Law Grant McArthur, Amelia Harris From:Herald Sun September 13, 201112:00AM UPDATE 12.25pm: OWNERS of killer dogs will be jailed for up to 10 years under new laws to be introduced today, even as another man suffered dog attack injuries. A 54-year-old man was bitten on the face and arm by the labrador in Melbourne’s north this morning, after trying to stop it fighting with his jack russell terrier. Owners of killer dogs could face 10 years jail The most serious of the new offences carries a 10-year jail term for the owners of dogs that kill another person, the same penalty that apply for dangerous driving causing death. Owners could be jailed for five years, even if the victim is not killed. Owners who do not restrain their dogs in public will be hit with fines of $4800. Anyone who wants to dob in a pit bull or other dangerous dog can call 1300 101 080 from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week.
記事原文 Teen boy raped in 'predatory' attack ABCUpdated September 08, 2011 Sydney police are searching for a man who raped a 15-year-old boy in the city's west last night. The teenager was walking through Alpha Road Park at Greystanes about 7:15pm (AEST) when the man grabbed him from behind. Police say the man dragged the boy to a nearby toilet block and sexually assaulted him. The teenager then managed to escape and run to a nearby house to seek help. Detective Inspector David Jones says the attack is of particular concern. "All rapes are very serious, but the random nature of this one is that it's very predatory in nature," Inspector Jones said. "The young boy is just walking through the park minding his own business and the offender is unknown to him." The boy is receiving counselling in hospital. Police are seeking the public's help to catch the attacker. He is described as being of African appearance, about 185 centimetres tall and was wearing a fluorescent yellow shirt at the time of the assault. Anyone with information should call Holroyd Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
記事原文 Jobless rate up in August ABC Updated September 08, 2011 14:37:01 Australia's unemployment rate jumped unexpectedly in August, with almost 10,000 jobs lost. Bureau of Statistics figures show a total of 9,700 jobs were lost last month, sending the unemployment rate up to 5.3 per cent. Economists had predicted 10,000 jobs were likely to have been created and had expected the jobless rate to stay steady at 5.1 per cent. The loss of 12,600 full-time roles was only slightly countered by the addition of 2,900 part-time positions. Credit Suisse director Jarrod Kerr says he believes the unexpected rise will help keep interest rates on hold for some time. "The fact that the unemployment rate has risen in recent months will raise a couple of alarm bells," he said. "We do note that full employment in Australia is around 5 per cent, so this is by no means a disaster reading and I think the Reserve Bank would want to see a couple more months of data to confirm whether the labour market is weakening in a substantial manner."
記事原文 No escape from 32 new speed cameras From:Herald Sun September 03, 201112:00AM MELBOURNE is set to get 32 new speed and red light cameras that will see tens of thousands more motorists booked and earn the State Government an extra $30 million a year. Police Minister Peter Ryan said yesterday the cameras should be catching drivers before the end of the month at some of the city's busiest intersections, including along Hoddle St, East Melbourne and Warrigal Rd, Chadstone. More than 740,000 motorists were fined $148.5 million by the state's 181 fixed traffic cameras in 2010-11, an average of $820,464 a camera. Mr Ryan said the Government had no plans for more traffic cameras, but he would consider buying extra if police asked. "As to whether we ultimately get more, that's something that I will receive material from the police about from time to time and I will consider that on its merits," Mr Ryan said. Mr Ryan said point-to-point speed cameras on Hume Freeway, which have been turned off since October, will be reactivated once testing of secondary timing devices is completed.
記事原文 Toyota employees walk out of factories From: AAP September 02, 2011 3:58PM MORE than 3000 employees have walked off the job at Toyota plants in Melbourne and Sydney, crippling the car manufacturer's output. The workers say they are in a stand-off with Toyota over the timing of pay upgrades. In addition to the 24-hour work stoppage which began at 7am (AEST) today, a further three weeks of Thursday/Friday stoppages are planned. Acting national secretary for the vehicle division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, Dave Smith, says the two parties aren't too far apart in a complex negotiation. He said the employees have not had a pay rise since early 2010, but Toyota could only offer an immediate one per cent rise. "We're not that far apart on the quantum, it's more so the timing of the increases," Mr Smith said. "Due to cost issues with the new Camry ... (Toyota's) ability to pay us is restricted. "Also in terms of the Japanese budget year, which runs from April to March, there's also some pressure on in terms of that." He said Toyota approached the union yesterday with a two-year agreement which would involve an immediate $500 payment and a one per cent rise, plus three per cent rises in April 2012 and 2013. "It's been close to 17 months since the guys last received an increase so when the company puts one per cent on the table it's a hard offer for them to sell," Mr Smith said. The work stoppage hit the Toyota manufacturing plant at Altona, in Melbourne's West, and a warehouse in Sydney. The Altona plant produces the four-cylinder Camry, Hybrid Camry, and six-cylinder Aurion models, with more than 559 cars built per day. Toyota said its pay offers were fair and responsible. "The company had offered a wage increase proposal of 11 per cent over 39 months in late July and (yesterday) following the union's request, offered three options for a seven per cent increase over two years plus a bonus," Toyota said today. "All offers were rejected by the unions. "Toyota Australia continues to be willing to hold discussions with the unions and employees to achieve an agreement." Toyota said it regretted any inconvenience to customers, suppliers and dealers.