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Why Mary Poppins has received a new rating 60 years on

<p dir="ltr">Almost 60 years after <em>Mary Poppins</em> was first released, the classic film has been given a new rating by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). </p> <p dir="ltr">The BBFC, which regulates films and video content in the country, changed the rating of the 1964 Disney musical last week from U (Universal) to PG (Parental Guidance) because it features a racial slur once used by white Europeans to refer to the native peoples of southern Africa.</p> <p dir="ltr">"<em>Mary Poppins</em> (1964) includes two uses of the discriminatory term 'hottentots'," a BBFC spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.</p> <p dir="ltr">"While <em>Mary Poppins</em> has a historical context, the use of discriminatory language is not condemned, and ultimately exceeds our guidelines for acceptable language at U."</p> <p dir="ltr">The approaching 60th anniversary of the film is what prompted the BBFC to reexamine the film, as it is set to return to UK cinemas in celebration of the milestone. </p> <p dir="ltr">Even as <em>Mary Poppins</em> remains a treasured part of UK culture, the film has long been criticised for the use of blackface. It's partly in this context that the discriminatory language referenced by BBFC appears in the film.</p> <p dir="ltr">In one scene, the eccentric Admiral Boom asks one of the Banks children if he is going on an adventure to "defeat hottentots." </p> <p dir="ltr">Later in the film, as Admiral Boom sees chimney sweeps with soot-blackened faces dancing in the distance, he shouts, "We're being attacked by hottentots!" and orders a cannon to be fired in their direction.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Hottentot" is a derogatory term used by European settlers to refer to Khoikhoi peoples of South Africa and Namibia, according to the Oxford Dictionary reference.</p> <p dir="ltr">Per the new film rating, children of any age can still watch without an adult present, but parents should consider whether the content might upset younger or more sensitive children, a BBFC spokesperson said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Disney</em></p>

Movies

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Five ways to take advantage of rising interest rates to boost your savings

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/fredrick-kibon-changwony-234363">Fredrick Kibon Changwony</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a></em></p> <p>With the Bank of England base rate <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-bank-of-englands-interest-rate-hikes-are-filtering-through-to-your-finances-210344">currently the highest</a> it has been since early 2008, you may have a valuable opportunity to increase your earnings on pensions, investments and savings accounts. After all, when the central bank raises its main rate – the base rate, which is typically used as a benchmark for loans as well as savings accounts – it is trying to encourage people to spend less and save more.</p> <p>But UK banks and building societies have <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/money/martin-lewis-savings-rates-mortgage-crisis-b2362955.html">recently been accused</a> of letting their savings rates lag the recent rapid rise in the base rate. UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority has urged these financial firms to offer “<a href="https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/action-plan-cash-savings">fair and competitive</a>” savings rates in response to the increasing interest rates.</p> <p>Many financial institutions do offer accounts with <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2023/jul/15/uk-savings-accounts-interest-nsi-building-societies-banks-deals">rates of 6% or more</a>. This is good news for avid savers – but only if you keep an eye on the market so you can switch from less competitive products. This is why it’s important to establish a regular savings habit, but many people are unsure about what that should involve.</p> <p>My colleagues and I have studied the <a href="https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/handle/1893/32240">correlation between people’s savings goals</a> (if they have any) and how they invest their money. We also looked at how seeking financial information advice, and being “good with numbers”, both influence this correlation.</p> <p>We analysed data from more than 40,000 individuals in 21,000 UK households from five waves of the Office for National Statistics Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS), conducted between 2006 and 2016. This data captures comprehensive economic wellbeing information and attitudes to financial planning.</p> <p>Our research shows the importance to your finances of setting multiple savings goals, keeping up with financial news, and seeking professional advice. Based on this, here are five research-based ways to make the most of your money.</p> <h2>1. Set specific savings goals</h2> <p>Establishing personal savings goals is one of the first steps most financial institutions and advisers will recommend to their customers, because it’s a good idea to <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/compoundinterest.asp">save regularly</a>. Plus, our study shows that total financial assets increase in line with the number of savings goals you have, and that setting specific, rather than vague, goals leads to higher performance.</p> <p>Specific savings goals should have an end date, target figure, and even a meaningful name – for example, “£1,000 for 2024 trip to Asia” or “£250 for 2023 Christmas present fund”. This will create tangible reference points that encourage self-control and increase the pain you feel if you fail to meet your goal.</p> <h2>2. Seek professional financial advice</h2> <p>Rather than relying on friends, family and social media for financial advice, speak to an expert.</p> <p>Our research shows households that access professional financial advice were more likely to allocate a higher share of their wealth to stock portfolios than those that rely on friends, family and social media for financial advice. This result was consistent even across different wealth and income levels, with lower earners possibly using products like ISAs to make investments in stocks and shares. Other <a href="https://academic.oup.com/qje/article/134/3/1225/5435538">research shows</a> stock portfolios outperform most other types of investment in the long term.</p> <p>We also found that access to professional financial advice can substitute for setting goals, because your adviser should help you to determine the kinds of products to invest in (which is called asset allocation) for specific timelines and aims.</p> <h2>3. Brush up on your maths</h2> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.2007.00052.x">Several studies</a> show numerical skills affect how households gather and process information, <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/a0013114">set goals</a>, perceive risks, and <a href="https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/fedred89&amp;i=791">decide to invest</a> in various financial assets. So, by brushing up on your basic numeracy and financial literacy skills – even with free online videos – you could boost your savings for the long term.</p> <p>Our study shows that individuals with high confidence in their numerical skills tend to have better financial planning habits – such as investing more in stocks and bonds than cash, which carries more risk but also the potential for greater returns. This trend is particularly evident among households with no savings goals, suggesting that numerical ability could compensate for failing to set such goals.</p> <h2>4. Adopt appropriate savings strategies</h2> <p>Diversified stock market portfolios generally outperform bonds and cash savings <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjz012">over longer periods</a>. However, stock markets can be volatile, so putting savings into less risky assets like bonds and cash is wise for savings goals of less than five years.</p> <p>In the longer term, investing across different global stock markets for more than five years can help counteract inflation. And you can access low-cost, diversified investment portfolios via financial products based on indices of stocks or other assets, such as exchange traded funds.</p> <h2>5. Set, monitor and adjust your plan</h2> <p>Free financial planning and budgeting apps can help you save money by tracking your spending and savings goals, and encouraging you to adhere to a budget.</p> <p>Most importantly, once you set savings goals and create a budget, don’t forget about them. Check regularly to see how your savings are building up and to monitor for any spending changes. A growing array of fintech tools can prompt and encourage this kind of long-term planning.</p> <p>Keeping an eye on savings rates is also important. As banks change rates or create new accounts, consider switching to get a better deal if you can do so without falling foul of account closure fees.</p> <p>It’s important to make sure your savings are working for you at any time, but its crucial in the current economy, when finances are tight but interest rates are rising.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/208853/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/fredrick-kibon-changwony-234363">Fredrick Kibon Changwony</a>, Lecturer in Accounting &amp; Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-ways-to-take-advantage-of-rising-interest-rates-to-boost-your-savings-208853">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Why you’re probably paying more interest on your mortgage than you think

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sander-de-groote-1472267">Sander De Groote</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kevin-li-892606">Kevin Li</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>For most things we buy, the price we are quoted is the price we pay.</p> <p>That’s supposed to be the case even where taxes and fees are involved. Australian law requires anyone selling anything to display a <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/pricing/price-displays">total price</a> that includes all “taxes, duties and all unavoidable or pre-selected extra fees”.</p> <p>But our investigations, which compare the interest rate quoted on our mortgages with the fine print in our own mortgage documents, shows this is hardly ever the case for home loans.</p> <p>Even though we are both trained as accountants, until recently we hadn’t bothered to check – even as interest rates climbed. We assumed the rates we were being told we were being charged (say 5% per year) were the rates we were actually paying.</p> <p>This would be easy enough, and in our view the right thing, for banks to do.</p> <h2>The price quoted usually isn’t the price paid</h2> <p>Mortgage interest is usually charged monthly, but the rates are yearly. This means that each time interest is charged, the outstanding amount <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/compoundinterest.asp">compounds</a> as interest is applied to interest.</p> <p>That sounds bad enough. But this isn’t our main complaint.</p> <p>It’s that there are two possible ways to calculate the amount of interest. Banks calcualte interest on a daily basis.</p> <p>The most reasonable would be to calculate the daily amount in a way that adds up to an annual amount that matches what was quoted. That way, a 5% rate would really be 5%.</p> <p>Although there’s a bit of <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/2814/compound_example.pdf">calculation</a> involved, it’s easy enough for banks to do.</p> <h2>How banks calculate mortgage interest</h2> <p>The other, arguably less reasonable, way is what’s called the “<a href="https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020614/learn-simple-and-compound-interest.asp">simple</a>” method. Our investigations show that this technique is used by all the big four banks, and probably many others too.</p> <p>It’s called the simple method because it involves simply dividing the annual rate (say 5%) by 365 to determine the daily rate.</p> <p>This seems to not be important, but because of compounding it means the amount charged over a year is more than the rate quoted.</p> <p>Say you borrow $100,000 for one year at an annual rate of 5%, repaying the whole amount at the end of the year.</p> <p>You might expect to pay back $105,000. Instead, the banks’ method of calculating interest results in a total repayment of $105,116.</p> <p>This is because the daily interest rate (5% divided by 365) is applied to the outstanding balance <em>each day</em> and added to your balance once a month. These regular increases mean your interest compounds costing you more.</p> <h2>Over decades, the difference matters</h2> <p>In July 2023, the average size of a new mortgage in New South Wales was about A$750,000, with an average interest rate of about 5.95%.</p> <p>The method of calculation used by the banks and in the fine print of their mortgage contracts requires a monthly payment of $4,473 including the repayment of the amount originally borrowed over the life of a 30-year loan.</p> <p>But if 5.95% were actually charged each year, the monthly payment would be $4,398 – a difference of $900 per year.</p> <p>In this typical example, the difference over the life of the loan amounts to about $27,000. It means these borrowers will end up paying an effective interest rate of 6.11%.</p> <h2>We had to read the fine print</h2> <p>We checked the terms and conditions of each of the big four banks – Westpac, the Commonwealth, the National Australia Bank and the ANZ – as well as their biggest subsidiaries which include St George, The Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA and Bankwest.</p> <p>They all charge interest using the “simple” method.</p> <p>Mutual banks – the old credit unions and building societies owned by their members – have different reporting requirements, and we were unable to check the terms and conditions used by each one. But where we could, we found they used the same method as the big four.</p> <p>You can find this small print yourself, usually in the middle of your mortgage document. It’s a formula, accompanied by a paragraph of explanation.</p> <p>But you have to look carefully. Or you could call customer service, as we did, and ask the bank to explain the calculation.</p> <p>You shouldn’t have to.</p> <h2>The price quoted ought to be the price paid</h2> <p>We think the price quoted for a product should be the price that’s actually charged, as the law <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/pricing/price-displays">generally requires</a> for products other than mortgages.</p> <p>This means if you are told you’ll be charged 5.95% interest per year, you should pay 5.95% per year – not 6.11% because of a quirk in the formula.</p> <p>Mortgages are a larger financial commitment than most purchases. This means that honesty and clear communication are even more important.</p> <p>It’s worth knowing what you are letting yourself in for when signing up for a mortgage. That way, when the bank or broker explains it to you and it’s not what was advertised, you can ask for a discount.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213862/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sander-de-groote-1472267">Sander De Groote</a>, Lecturer, School of Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kevin-li-892606">Kevin Li</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-youre-probably-paying-more-interest-on-your-mortgage-than-you-think-213862">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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“Breaking Aussies’ spirits”: Karl rips into Reserve Bank

<p dir="ltr">Karl Stefanovic has ripped into the Reserve Bank for their decision to pause interest rates at an all time high. </p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>Today</em> host blasted their decision to freeze the cash rate at an 11-year high of 4.1 percent, as Aussies continue to struggle through the cost of living crisis. </p> <p dir="ltr">Karl Stefanovic has accused the Reserve Bank of “not giving a toss” about the millions of Australians struggling to keep their homes amid seemingly endless interest rate rises. </p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday, Karl let loose on the RBA, slamming their decision to put Aussies under further financial strain.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CuQTWInBqdU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CuQTWInBqdU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by thetodayshow (@thetodayshow)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“They have single-handedly crushed, strangled Australian households,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Aussies who go to work, pay their bills, and just made the mistake of wanting to own their own home. Now you are being held to ransom.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Everything you have built is now on the line because our central bank missed the inflation tidal wave. This is what's worse though.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It's not over-spending respective governments carrying the can. It's you at home.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“It's you trying to put food on the table, pay your power bills and keep a roof over your family's head. It's no wonder it's breaking Aussies' spirits right now.”</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday, the RBA moved to pause interest rates at an 11-year high of 4.1 per cent for the next month. </p> <p dir="ltr">Governor Philip Lowe hinted at more monetary policy tightening because inflation is still too high, even after the most aggressive rate rises since 1989.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even if interest rates don't rise again, mortgage repayments could still be hiked.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Today</em></p>

TV

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“My sex statue is famous”: Larry Emdur reacts to X-rated home reveal

<p dir="ltr"><em>The Morning Show</em> host Larry Emdur has been making a name for himself in the world of game show TV for a few years hosting<em> The Chase Australia</em>, but despite his success, he’s still had his sights set on one more goal: making an appearance on the<em> Have You Been Paying Attention?</em> series. </p> <p dir="ltr">And now, it seems like Larry’s dream has come true, though not exactly in the way he might have expected. </p> <p dir="ltr">The popular host and his wife, Sylvie, have had their hands full recently trying to sell their Kangaroo Valley retreat, better known as Sky Ridge. </p> <p dir="ltr">And while pictures of the property and its picturesque surrounds are available thanks to Belle Property, it wasn’t the property’s luxury four bedrooms or sweeping views that saw it get a mention on the Channel 10 game show.</p> <p dir="ltr">Instead, it was a statue situated in the home’s main living space that caught their attention, with <em>Have You Been Paying Attention? </em>host Tom Gleisner asking his panel if they knew why Larry’s holiday home had gone viral throughout the week. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ed Kavalee was quick to suggest that it was because “the price was right”, while Sam Pang asked if it was because “it has to do with the backyard, they found a shallow grave?”</p> <p dir="ltr">Kavalee eventually got to the right answer, revealing that “there was, like, a pornographic statue in there.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The statue in question could be found perched on top of Larry’s dining room table, and appeared to catch two people caught up in the moment having “X-rated raunchy sex”, as Larry himself put it. </p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>HYBPA?</em> audience found it hilarious, and thankfully, Larry was more than happy to see the funny side of it all, too. </p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to social media after learning about his unexpected cameo, Larry shared that he’d “always wanted to be on <em>Have You Been Paying Attention?</em> but not for a disgraceful reason like this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“My sex statue is famous,” he added, before sharing details of the property and that “YES !!!! <em>The Price is Right</em>”.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CttOo9pByBy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CttOo9pByBy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by @larryemdur</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Larry’s fans raced to express their amusement, with dozens sharing laughing emojis, while others assured him that the feature piece was certainly “a work of art”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Love a good conversation piece,” one user said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s…… unique,” another added. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Can’t stand that show,” one confessed. “But at least this time they are talking about something interesting”.</p> <p dir="ltr">And one other agreed that it had been “so funny”, noting that it was also a “nice house”, but that most importantly, they were sorry you weren't nominated for a gold logie, you sure deserved it”. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: realestate.com.au, Getty</em></p>

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Ratings results after Shirvo’s first day in Kochie’s chair

<p dir="ltr">The results are in and <em>Seven</em> has maintained its position on top, with thousands of viewers tuning in to watch newly appointed <em>Sunrise </em>co-host Matt Shirvington <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/kochie-s-sunrise-replacement-revealed" target="_blank" rel="noopener">replace Kochie</a> on the breakfast TV show.</p> <p dir="ltr">Over 235,000 metro viewers tuned in to Seven on Monday, while Nine’s Today drew around 188,000 viewers, and 104,000 watched ABC’s News Breakfast.</p> <p dir="ltr">The reactions were positive and many took to social media to share their well-wishes for the former sprinter after his first day on the show.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Your first morning Shirvo, great, So natural,” one viewer posted on Instagram.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The best person to replace Kochie,” wrote another.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Matt Shirvo is exactly what Sunrise needed,” another viewer added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am so glad they went with Shirvo. A fresh start for Sunrise,” commented another.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 44-year-old was<a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/kochie-s-sunrise-replacement-revealed" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> announced as the new host</a> alongside Nat Barr on June 5, and officially replaced Kochie a week later.</p> <p dir="ltr">He has shared his delight and excitement over joining the show, and even posted an <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CtWFmBhPAT4/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&amp;igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==" target="_blank" rel="noopener">image </a>of all the alarms he set in preparation for his new job.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m so excited but also humbled by the opportunity to co-host such an important show to so many Australians,” he said last week.</p> <p><em>Image: Sunriseon7 Instagram</em></p>

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RBA announces major interest rate rise

<p>The Reserve Bank of Australia has lifted its official interest rate to 4.1 per cent, an increase not seen since early 2012.</p> <p>The bank’s board chose to lift the cash rate target by 0.25 of a percentage point for the second month in a row amid concerns that inflation is taking too long to decrease.</p> <p>The latest monthly consumer price index from the Australian Bureau of Statistics saw prices rise 6.8 per cent from 2022 to April 2023, up from the March reading due to statistical uncertainties caused by last year’s temporary fuel excise cut.</p> <p>Reserve Bank governor Phillip Lowe warned the public about rising costs of services including hospitality which are labour intensive and vulnerable to increased wages.</p> <p>"Recent data indicate that the upside risks to the inflation outlook have increased and the board has responded to this," he highlighted in his post-meeting statement.</p> <p>"While goods price inflation is slowing, services price inflation is still very high and is proving to be very persistent overseas. Unit labour costs are also rising briskly, with productivity growth remaining subdued.”</p> <p>Lowe noted the most recent and bigger than expected rise in minimum and award wages, which was the highest increase in decades.</p> <p>"Wages growth has picked up in response to the tight labour market and high inflation," he explained.</p> <p>"At the aggregate level, wages growth is still consistent with the inflation target, provided that productivity growth picks up.”</p> <p>The interest rate spike will add around $76 a month to the repayments on a $500,000 loan, and double that on a million-dollar 25-year mortgage.</p> <p>Someone with $500,000 owing on their home loan will see their monthly repayment increase by around $1,134 a month since the RBA started lifting rates from a record low of 0.1 per cent in May 2022.</p> <p>However, there is still the risk of another rate rise.</p> <p>"Some further tightening of monetary policy may be required to ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable time frame, but that will depend upon how the economy and inflation evolve," Lowe warned.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Twitter</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Short naps can improve memory

<p>Rather than distracting you from the task at hand, naps can improve your memory function, a new sleep study has found.</p> <p>Scientists at the Saarland University in Germany have found that taking a 45 to 60 minute power nap can boost a persons’ memory by up to five-fold.</p> <p>The study, published in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, showed participants 90 words and 120 unrelated word pairs. The group was then split into two: one group took a nap and the other group watched a DVD.</p> <p>When the participants were tested again, the group who had napped were able to remember the words as accurately as they could after they learn them.</p> <p>Professor Axel Mecklinger, who supervised the study, said: “A short nap at the office or in school is enough to significantly improve learning success. Wherever people are in a learning environment, we should think seriously about the positive effects of sleep.”</p> <p>He added: “Even a short sleep lasting 45 to 60 minutes produces a five-fold improvement in information retrieval from memory.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/mind/2015/12/positive-thinking-and-mental-health/"><strong>Can positive thinking improve your mental health?</strong></a></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/mind/2015/12/health-benefits-of-turmeric/"><strong>Turmeric boosts mood and mind</strong></a></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/mind/2015/12/definition-of-happiness-changes-with-age/"><strong>Your definition of happiness changes with age</strong></a></em></span></p>

Mind

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"The numbers don't lie": Sunrise and Today take their ratings rivalry to the next level

<p dir="ltr">Tensions have reached new heights between Australian networks Seven and Nine, with one broadcaster releasing a public statement in defence of its own reportedly lacklustre breakfast show audience numbers. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to a new report from the <em>Daily Telegraph</em>, Nine’s <em>Today </em>has been lagging behind Seven’s <em>Sunrise</em>, with year-to-date average audience figures putting <em>Sunrise </em>ahead by 18 per cent.</p> <p dir="ltr">At a national scale, things don’t look much better for Nine, with <em>Sunrise</em>’s average sitting at 363,000 viewers and 271,000 for <em>Today </em>- numbers confirmed by <em>news.com.au</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The publication also reported that a source claimed executives were concerned about <em>Today</em>’s new line-up of Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo, and that it may not be connecting with their audiences as intended.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nine’s director of morning television, Steven Burling, had plenty to say about the report, calling it a “fabrication and a distortion of the old fashioned and out of date overnight ratings system.” </p> <p dir="ltr">He also noted that <em>Today </em>was actually in a favourable position with younger audiences, and considered that to be “all important”.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, <em>Sunrise</em> weren’t too keen on accepting that fact, with a spokesperson for their network informing news.com.au that the ratings that had placed <em>Sunrise</em> at the top of the pecking order were, in fact, accurate.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The numbers don’t lie,” they stated. “<em>Sunrise</em> has been number one for 19 years and is number one again this year, across the capital cities and nationally.</p> <p dir="ltr">“<em>Sunrise </em>wins in Sydney, New South Wales, Victoria, Adelaide, South Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland. It is growing well in Melbourne. <em>Today</em> is ahead in Brisbane.”</p> <p dir="ltr">They also had thoughts about<em> Today </em>being ahead with younger age groups, unwilling to believe it and instead arguing that <em>Sunrise </em>was the leader of the pack with the 25-54 group. </p> <p dir="ltr">The same couldn’t be said for the 16-39 age bracket, with <em>Today</em> still seizing the win there. </p> <p dir="ltr">The situation may yet change, as it’s already been in flux for a few years, with the two shows actually managing to narrow their gap in 2021.</p> <p dir="ltr">2022 and 2023 were a different story, with that divide widening again, leading many to speculate that it may or may not have something to do with each breakfast programme’s chosen line-up. </p> <p dir="ltr">David Koch has been hosting over at <em>Sunrise</em> for 20 years - with co-host Natalie Barr contributing in some capacity for the same span of time. </p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, <em>Today</em> has endured shake up after shake up in recent times, with Karl Stefanovic’s co-host Sarah Abo only joining him at the helm in 2023, after Allison Langdon left for a position at <em>A Current Affair</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Sunrise / Seven, Today / Nine </em></p>

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Tiny Tassie home comes under fire for steep rental rate

<p>A property up for rent in Tasmania’s Huon Valley has faced a wave of criticism over its rental asking price - at a staggering $175 per week for the freestanding, singular room. </p> <p>While the ‘home’ does boast stunning views as well as access to the main property’s amenities, most are in agreement that the asking price serves as a harsh reminder that Australia’s housing crisis is far from over. </p> <p>The advertisement first appeared on Facebook Marketplace, with a listing that declared it to be a “small fully insulated cabin with heat and power. Shared kitchen and bathroom. $175 [per] week!</p> <p>“On a rural bush setting with walking tracks, creeks and magnificent views. Just three-minute drive from Cygnet or 25-minute walk. Genuine inquiries only. Thank you.”</p> <p>Comments from irate viewers came in fast and furious, with even going so far as to post on Twitter about the listing, writing “this tiny wooden box is barely wider than a two-seater couch, has no bathroom, no kitchen, and is a 25 minute walk from Cygnet.</p> <p>“The owner wants $175 a week. If you had tried that on as little as five years ago, someone would have tossed you directly into the Tasman Sea.”</p> <p>“My chook pen is bigger than that,” a fellow user said in response. </p> <p>“I’ve seen better dog kennels,” someone else declared. </p> <p>And one even asked if the building had “approval as a habitable building”, while another asked if it was actually just a ‘dunny’. </p> <p>Luckily for the owner, the Tenants Union of Tasmania at least confirmed to <em>7NEWS.com.au</em> that “the property does meet the requirements of a ‘boarding premises’ under the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (Tas).”</p> <p>The owner was of another opinion to the critics, however, reportedly telling <em>The Mercury</em> that “if people had actually reached out to me before having a crack they would see I am an honest guy trying to help people.</p> <p>“I share the main house with my 18-year-old daughter and we both work full-time jobs. I don't charge electricity, water or rates and I couldn't do it any cheaper with rising interest rates.”</p> <p>And as he also told <em>7NEWS</em>, “I thought, coming into winter, it’s going to be pointless having a good home there [if it’s not being used], and if I can share the cost of living with somebody, my daughter and I would be happy to have the right tenant to come along.”</p> <p><em>Images: Twitter</em></p>

Real Estate

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Where you can snap up a home for just $30,000

<p>More than a dozen homes in the mining town of Coober Pedy are being auctioned off for as little as $30,000 for an unusual reason. </p> <p>The properties in the regional South Australian town are being sold in an attempt to recoup unpaid council rates. </p> <p>Andrews Property director Warren Andrews said 16 properties are up for sale, due to years of outstanding rates payments. </p> <p>They ranged from residential blocks, commercial premises and incomplete underground dwellings or “dugouts” that needed plumbing or electricity fitted, he said.</p> <p>Andrews went on to say that some properties were in good condition, while others needed major refurbishments. </p> <p>Their prices started from about $5000 for an 800sqm residential block, to $800,000 for an entire office building.</p> <p>Andrews said the prices were great value for money, as prices that low wouldn’t be commonly seen outside the regional town.</p> <p>The price of a three-bedroom home varied between $30,000 to $550,000, he said.</p> <p>“I’m expecting a lot of buyers to be external. Coober Pedy attracts a lot of interest from NSW and Victoria. It’s very cheap real estate,” he said.</p> <p>The town of Coober Pedy is located in the centre of South Australia, nine hours from the capital of Adelaide and boasts a population of only 1,500. </p> <p>It is known as the “opal capital of the world” for its opal mining.</p> <p>Coober Pedy real estates and the district council have long been auctioning off homes in the hopes of recouping outstanding rates payments, as in 2021, 33 properties went to auction for the exact same reason. </p> <p>Although the town of Coober Pedy is located deep in the outback, Andrews said people have already shown interest on the auctions, with many seeing it as a desirable place to live away from bustling city life, or a great place to purchase an investment property. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Real Estate

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“Sam has plans afoot”: Ratings smash puts Sam Armytage in the driver’s seat

<p><em>Farmer Wants a Wife</em>'s Samantha Armytage has enjoyed early success with her new hosting gig, with the reality series seeing a wave of success in the ratings department for its first few episodes.</p> <p>The 2023 season premiere alone drew in approximately 1.08 million viewers, leading many to believe that Armytage has made leaps and bounds towards reasserting herself as a valued member of the team over at Seven.</p> <p>“She’s now in a place to get just about anything she wants from hereon in,” a source told New Idea, before noting that Armytage was driven by ambition, and was already looking ahead to her next steps with the network.</p> <p>“Sam has plans afoot,” they explained. “She's cleverly stayed on the network's radar, knowing if she landed and nailed a lead role like in <em>FWAW</em> [<em>Farmer Wants a Wife</em>] then doors would open.”</p> <p>Sam, who had parted ways with Seven’s breakfast show <em>Sunrise</em> in 2020, had a tough battle ahead when she took over from beloved former <em>FWAW </em>host Natalie Gruzlewski. Even though Armytage had previously appeared on the show in a guest capacity, fans were shocked by the news, and struggled to come to terms with the upcoming shift.</p> <p>According to <em>New Idea</em>’s insider, this applied in part to Gruzlewski too, with them explaining that “no one saw this coming, least of all Nat. She didn't know the full extent of the role changes until recently - it was a bolt out of the blue!</p> <p>“Sam has sold herself as the better choice because she maintains she is married to a farmer, grew up on a farm, and therefore is more relatable. Although that remains to be seen.”</p> <p>And it was an obvious change from the first 15 minutes of the new season, with Gruzlewski only seen in a handful of frames, while Armytage took centre stage interviewing the latest batch of hopeful contestants. </p> <p>The same source reported that Armytage is a “management favourite”, suggesting that the lineup shakeup was all part of an effort from the network to elevate Armytage’s professional profile again. </p> <p>They also explained that Gruzlewski was “taking the demotion in her stride”, all while demonstrating the good quality that fans had come to know from her.</p> <p>“Nat is no diva and was always a crowd favourite, the farmers and the women almost always warmed to her,” they said, before noting that there was a very real sense “this might end up being Nat’s final season” in light of the changes. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Check your rates: Couple's warning after being overcharged for more than a decade

<p>A disgruntled couple from the NSW south coast town of Kiama have slammed their local council after discovering they have been overcharged by around $8,000 for a rubbish bin they weren’t even using.</p> <p>The couple, Kim and Geoff Oppert reached out to <em>A Current Affair</em> to warn other ratepayers to carefully check the fine print on their bills.</p> <p>The pair had made the decision to downsize their red-lid general waste bin after their daughter moved out of the family home, which ideally would have lowered their rates.</p> <p>Due to a mistake on their bills - clouded by legal jargon - the couple were paying twice as much for their red-lid garbage bin.</p> <p>This meant Kiama Council had been charging them for TWO bins for the past 12 years.</p> <p>"Look at your rates notice and check you're paying for just one bin," Mr Oppert told A Current Affair.</p> <p>"Over 12 years we paid $16,000 in garbage waste disposal and it really should have been half that," he said.</p> <p>"Our rate notice doesn't clearly say how many bins we have. It's bureaucratic speak no one could understand."</p> <p>When the couple finally realised the mistake they went straight to the council.</p> <p>"But they would only give us a refund for two years and quoted some tax act as the reason why," Mr Oppert explained.</p> <p>"It is so unfair and just not right," Mrs Oppert added.</p> <p>"It was their mistake not ours, and they admitted it.”</p> <p>Mr Oppert seeks to warn all Australians paying a council for a bin service, "Check your rates notice and make sure you're not getting ripped off.”</p> <p>Kiama Council were made aware of the situation and gave a partial refund to the couple.</p> <p>"When this matter was brought to our attention, Kiama Council acted quickly to rectify the situation, in accordance with the law, as outlined below.”, a Kiama Municipal Council spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>“We refunded the amounts of $805.72 for 2021-22 and $818.61 for 2022-23.</p> <p>The couple have not received a full refund due to tax laws.</p> <p>"The Office of Local Government has advised that, where charges go back more than 1 year, the Recovery of Imposts Tax Act 1963 applies as follows", the spokesperson continued.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/03/BINS-PIC.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>"In addition, Kiama Council is now working on an audit of all our urban and residential waste services to ensure our charges are correct.</p> <p>"Council reminds all ratepayers to check their bills and if anything is unclear, please get in touch with us to discuss, we are always happy to help."</p> <p><em>Image credit: A Current Affair/Kiama Municipal Council</em></p>

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"We’re all f***ed if that happens": 60 Minutes' stunning f-bombshell

<p><em>60 Minutes</em> reporter Tom Steinfort spoke for Australians all across the nation when he swore at Treasurer Jim Chalmers in an interview on interest rates.</p> <p>The exchange transpired as homeowners brace for a 10th consecutive rate rise, with the move expected to produce the highest interest rates Australians have seen in the past decade. </p> <p>“Do you see similarities between now and what happened in the early ‘90s?” Steinfort asked the treasurer, referencing a difficult period of recession for Australia.</p> <p>“There’s absolutely no chance that interest rates will get to the level that they were at in the early 1990s. I wanna make that clear,” Chalmers responded. </p> <p>And while the treasurer had wasted no time in giving his answer, it wasn’t enough to stop Steinfort from scoffing, “yeah, well, we’re all f***ed if that happens.”</p> <p>In January 1990, interest rates peaked - or hit rock bottom - at a record high of 17.5 per cent. </p> <p>And now, the RBA is set to deliver more bad news - passing on another 0.25 per cent interest rate rise - with homeowners already feeling their wallet strings tightening when faced with the disparity between house prices and annual wages. </p> <p>Australia’s inflation rate of 7.8 per cent marks the highest level since the early 1990s and is over twice that of the RBA’s 2-3 per cent inflation target - one they adopted in 1993. - the RBA took on its inflation target in 1993.</p> <p>Experts fear that further interest rate hikes will see Australia face its first recession since 1991, a concern that Steinfort clearly shares. </p> <p>Elsewhere in the interview, Steinfort wanted to know if Chalmers believed Australians had seen the worst of the inflation crisis, asking, “do you think we’ve hit the inflation peak?” </p> <p>“That’s our expectation, yeah,” Chalmers said. “We think that’s most likely, uh, that inflation peaked at Christmas time and has started to moderate. But we won’t know until we get that next set of data.”</p> <p>“You think we might be through the worst of it?” Steinfort pressed. </p> <p>“Well, I think inflation is starting to come off,” Chalmers responded, before adding that despite his optimism, Australians shouldn’t expect for things to get easier overnight, “but even as it moderates we can’t be complacent about it, because it’s still going to be a challenge in ‘23, just like it was in ‘22.” </p> <p>“You paint a picture that we’ve turned a bit of a corner and that there are better times ahead, but the people we’re speaking to - I mean, even when I look at my home mortgage bill - we’re not feeling it,” a sceptical Steinfort pointed out. </p> <p>To which a smiling Chalmers answered, “yeah, I understand, and I think that certainly the prime minister understands, and that the government understands, that people are under real pressure now. </p> <p>“We’re doing what we can to deal with it within the constraints of a responsible budget.” </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Federal treasurer Jim Chalmers believes we’ve already seen the worst of Australia’s inflation problem. However he says 2023 will still be a challenging time for many families.</p> <p>Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/60Mins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#60Mins</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/9Now?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@9Now</a> <a href="https://t.co/4G5tZZO3fU">pic.twitter.com/4G5tZZO3fU</a></p> <p>— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) <a href="https://twitter.com/60Mins/status/1632322412959215617?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 5, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p><em>Images: 60 Minutes</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Millennials clash with Boomers in the battle of the housing market

<p>A 27-year-old home loan document has reignited debate over which generation had the biggest mountain to climb in their quest to buy a place to call their own. Read more: </p> <p>The document, uploaded to the Facebook group Perth Reflect, outlines ANZ bank’s various interest rates offered on “owner occupied” homes, as well as those available for “investment property loans”, both respectively effective as of February and March 1996. </p> <p>The poster encouraged the group to discuss the find, and to share their experience with their own first home loans, with the caption “found this in our filing cabinet (1996) and was wondering what interest rates others were paying on their first home loan.”</p> <p>In 1996, the East Start loan for a home was 7.95 per cent per annum, and a variable at 10.50 per cent. Fixed rates began at 8.69 per cent for one year term, and went up to 9.69 per cent for five years. Loan terms for homes were offered up to 25 years, and 20 for investment properties.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in 2023, ANZ boasts a variable interest rate of 5.09 per cent per annum. Fixed index rates now begin at 5.69 per cent, 6.59 per cent for five years, and peak at 7.69 per cent for 10 years. This comes after Australia’s Reverse Bank passed down nine consecutive rises, with the cash rate reaching a 10-year high. </p> <p>The reveal came as a surprise to some, with the numbers of paper appearing much worse for those trying to buy a property in the ‘90s. And in the Facebook comment section, some recalled how their actual rates were even higher than the document suggested.</p> <p>“Paid 17.5 per cent initially, but was on variable,” wrote one of a purchase in the late ‘80s. </p> <p>Another noted how those with a fixed term loan believed they had it “much better” at the time. </p> <p>The younger members of the group, however, were quick to point out that while the numbers looked to be in favour of the older generation, the rates for 2023 did not accurately compare with those from 1996. </p> <p>“Houses were a 5th of the price,” one wrote, referencing an old and recurring argument about the disparity in house prices over the years. </p> <p>It was mentioned that while interest rates were high, prices were low, and “everything was affordable”. </p> <p>The discussion over the impact of the cost of living on wages has been covered from all sides on many occasions, but it didn’t stop it from coming up in this debate too, with one commenter writing, “regardless [of] if wages have increased, everything else has increased twice as much.”</p> <p>It led to the older members of the group circling back to a tired argument, too. One was determined to stop that line of argument in its tracks, suggesting that they’d been able to afford their home with the higher rates because they didn’t purchase takeaway coffee and “only ate out occasionally”.</p> <p>This wasn’t to be taken lying down, with the younger generation refusing to allow that buying the occasional little treat was the reason they couldn’t get a foot in the door of their own home. </p> <p>One member, perhaps realising that bickering wasn’t going to get them anywhere, decided to whip out a calculator and get to the bottom of it all. </p> <p>Someone wrote that they paid $44k for a 3 bedroom home in 1986, with a yearly income of $31k behind them, before allowing that “maybe things weren't so tough”.</p> <p>“If adjusted for inflation,” one said in response, before sharing their maths, “your income today would be $92k pa and the price you paid for your house would have been $131k.”</p> <p>While both generations faced struggles with the property market, the challenges faced in 2023 are an entirely new beast, and one member of Perth Reflects shared their sympathy over the situation. </p> <p>After explaining that they struggled through a 17.5 per cent interest rate themselves, they outlined the difference in their situation and their kids’, writing “my home loan was way less than what my kids are paying today”. </p> <p>They bought land and built a house in High Wycombe on a loan of around $130k, and noted that it can be difficult - if not impossible - find a deal like that in even a country town, where prices tend to err on the ‘cheaper’ side of the scale. </p> <p>“Wages are different,” they surmised, “but housing affordability has gone stupid and wages [have] not [been] increased accordingly.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty, Facebook</em></p>

Money & Banking

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“I know you will recover”: Mark Bouris' candid confession

<p>Mark Bouris has revealed he was forced to sell his house due to soaring interest rates. </p> <p>The Australian entrepreneur and mortgage expert made the frank admission on TikTok, admitting he had no other option that to sell his own home after being crippled by skyrocketing interest rates in the 1990s, and that it was “heartbreaking” to see “history repeating itself”.</p> <p>The former <em>Celebrity Apprentice</em> host began the candid video by saying he had only ever witnessed one other period of brutal economic conditions similar to today’s, in 1990, when the official cash rate hit a staggering 17.5 per cent: just 12 months before Australia was plunged into a devastating recession. </p> <p>“It was 1990. I had a wife, I had four kids, and I had to sell my house,” he said.</p> <p>“Telling my wife that I had to sell the house was the worst thing that I had to confront. Packing my family up was additionally really bad."</p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; width: 610px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7199376964300328194&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40markbouris%2Fvideo%2F7199376964300328194&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2Fd7eb67746f7e4a39bb2fbba6748cf211_1676235593%7Etplv-dmt-logom%3Atos-alisg-i-0068%2F2c16bbc3a49f42e8873431f16ac1ccd4.image%3Fx-expires%3D1676527200%26x-signature%3DJZG4wrBd%252Btt35jmBfpDi1wW%252FmjY%253D&amp;key=5b465a7e134d4f09b4e6901220de11f0&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>“My friends could see that I had to sell my house, and I felt embarrassed. And I have to tell you, I was really angry."</p> <p>“I was angry at the time with the government, because the government jacked up rates, therefore the banks jacked up rates as well, and I was forced to sell.”</p> <p>He continued by adding that, “This stuff happens, and it happens in cycles, but the last time it happened was in 1990, and it happened to someone like me”.</p> <p>“I know you will recover. If you have to sell, you have to sell."</p> <p>“Don’t worry about it, your family, your partners, your friends, they’ll understand, don’t feel embarrassed.”</p> <p>He finished the video by encouraging anyone who was “confronting this position right now” to reach out, and provided his own email.</p> <p>Just days later, he followed it up with an Instagram video, revealing he had been inundated with responses that “actually breaks my heart to be frank”.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/ConjlBWBsuN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/ConjlBWBsuN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Mark Bouris (@mark_bouris)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“I’ve got to be honest with you I didn’t anticipate the response,” he wrote in the caption.</p> <p>“I knew it’d be big but woah. All these messages just highlight the failure of the government and RBA.”</p> <p>He revealed he was struggling to keep up with the emails, but promised he did “give a damn” and that he would do what he could to help out those in difficult positions. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Baby boomers outraged by satirical post about buying a home

<p>A group of older Australians have fallen for a satirical news article about rising interest rates and home ownership, with baby boomers everywhere expressing their disapproval. </p> <p>A post from Australian satire news site <em>The Shovel</em> has gone viral, after they riled up the older demographic who likely bought their homes for a very reasonable price, while still urging millennials to try harder to get into the impossible property market. </p> <p>The headline of the joke post reads, “'But interest rates were 17 per cent in my day!' complains man who bought house for $67,000".</p> <p>The satirical article goes on to state John Bradly, a fictional 63-year-old man from Melbourne who bought his house in the 1980s, thinks young people concerned about interest rate rises “don’t know how good they have it”.</p> <p>Bradley is quoted as saying he had to save up “for weeks” for a house deposit and that he only had his salary to rely on which was “only about one-fifth of the value of the average home back then”.</p> <p>“It took me more than seven years to pay off my first house. Seven years! I was practically in my thirties by the time I was debt free. Can you imagine? Being beholden to a bank for your entire twenties! I’m pretty sure no-one in their twenties these days has to go through that,” the joke article stated.</p> <p>The article finishes with another jab at older Australians who are making it even harder for first home buyers by owning multiple properties.</p> <p>“Try managing tenants across 11 investment properties scattered around Melbourne and Sydney during a global pandemic. That’s what hard work is,” Bradley was quoted as saying.</p> <p>Despite the almost palpable satirical tone, dozens of Aussies were convinced the article was legitimate, flocking to comment that the article made them feel personally attacked.</p> <p>Even general manager of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Phil Gould, got caught up in discourse, urging the "news" site to do more research before publishing their articles.</p> <p>“Average full-time wage in 1990 was $566.80. Try to do just a little research,” he wrote, sharing a link to the satire article on Twitter. </p> <p>His followers were quick to point out that he had been duped by a fake news post, while others chose to highlight how he was only proving the point the article was making.</p> <p>Gould was not the only one who took the post seriously, with angry baby boomers sharing their stories of hardship when it came to buying their first home. </p> <p>“When my wife and I bought a 2 bed duplex in 90/91?, it cost us $108,000. Interest rates were 17 per cent. $108,000 was a LOT of $$ back then,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“We sacrificed a LOT. We started modestly as well.”</p> <p>Another person claimed that, while they bought their first house in the late 1980s for just over $71,000, but added they didn’t get things like paid parental leave and subsidised child care.</p> <p>“And yes interest rates at 17-18 per cent scared us,” the commenter said.</p> <p>Despite the outrage over the post, many people pointed out that despite the article being of a satirical nature, there could be an element of truth behind the sarcasm. </p> <p>One person said, "It’s getting harder and harder to tell the actual “news” content now", while another wrote, "I thought this was supposed to be a satirical publication".</p> <p><em>Image credits: The Shovel / Getty Images </em></p>

Real Estate

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Ping, your pizza is on its way. Ping, please rate the driver. Yes, constant notifications really do tax your brain

<p>A ping from the pizza company. A couple of pings from your socials. Ping, ping, ping from your family WhatsApp group trying to organise a weekend barbecue. </p> <p>With all those smartphone notifications, it’s no wonder you lose focus on what you’re trying to do do. </p> <p>Your phone doesn’t even need to ping to distract you. There’s <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-28923-001">pretty good</a><a href="https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/691462">evidence</a> the mere presence of your phone, silent or not, is enough to divert your attention.</p> <p>So what’s going on? More importantly, how can you reclaim your focus, without missing the important stuff?</p> <h2>Is it really such a big deal?</h2> <p>When you look at the big picture, those pings can really add up. </p> <p>Although estimates vary, the average person checks their phone <a href="https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30085/1/PubSub7601_Andrews.PDF">around 85 times</a><a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/trapped-in-the-net-are-we-all-addicted-to-our-smartphones-20190531-p51t44.html">a day</a>, roughly once every 15 minutes.</p> <p>In other words, every 15 minutes or so, your attention is likely to wander from what you’re doing. The trouble is, it can take <a href="https://lifehacker.com/how-long-it-takes-to-get-back-on-track-after-a-distract-1720708353">several minutes</a> to regain your concentration fully after being <a href="https://www.ics.uci.edu/%7Egmark/chi08-mark.pdf">interrupted</a> by your phone.</p> <p>If you’re just watching TV, distractions (and refocusing) are no big deal. But if you’re driving a car, trying to study, at work, or spending time with your loved ones, it could lead to some fairly substantial problems.</p> <h2>Two types of interference</h2> <p>The pings from your phone are “exogenous interruptions”. In other words, something external, around you, has caused the interruption.</p> <p>We can <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-46276-9_21">become conditioned</a> to feeling excited when we hear our phones ping. This is the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1360-0443.2002.00015.x">same pleasurable feeling</a> people who gamble can quickly become conditioned to at the sight or sound of a poker machine.</p> <p>What if your phone is on silent? Doesn’t that solve the ping problem? Well, no.</p> <p>That’s another type of interruption, an internal (or endogenous) interruption.</p> <p>Think of every time you were working on a task but your attention drifted to your phone. You may have fought the urge to pick it up and see what was happening online, but you probably checked anyway.</p> <p>In this situation, we can become so strongly conditioned to expect a reward each time we look at our phone we don’t need to wait for a ping to trigger the effect. </p> <p>These impulses are powerful. Just reading this article about checking your phone may make you feel like … checking your phone.</p> <h2>Give your brain a break</h2> <p>What do all these interruptions mean for cognition and wellbeing? </p> <p>There’s increasing evidence push notifications are associated with <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352853217300159">decreased productivity</a>, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2451958820300051">poorer concentration</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0927537116300136">increased distraction</a> at work and school. </p> <p>But is there any evidence our brain is working harder to manage the frequent switches in attention? </p> <p>One study of people’s brain waves <a href="https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cin/2016/5718580/">found</a> those who describe themselves as heavy smartphone users were more sensitive to push notifications than ones who said they were light users. </p> <p>After hearing a push notification, heavy users were significantly worse at recovering their concentration on a task than lighter users. Although push notification interrupted concentration for both groups, the heavy users took much longer to regain focus. </p> <p>Frequent interruptions from your phone can also leave you <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563219302596">feeling stressed</a> by a need to respond. Frequent smartphone interruptions are also associated with <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131519301319">increased FOMO</a> (fear of missing out). </p> <p>If you get distracted by your phone after responding to a notification, any subsequent <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2050157921993896">procrastination</a> in returning to a task can also leave you feeling guilty or frustrated.</p> <p>There’s <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563219300883">certainly evidence</a> suggesting the longer you spend using your phone in unproductive ways, the lower you tend to rate your wellbeing.</p> <h2>How can I stop?</h2> <p>We know switching your phone to silent isn’t going to magically fix the problem, especially if you’re already a frequent checker. </p> <p>What’s needed is behaviour change, and that’s hard. It can take several attempts to see lasting change. If you have ever tried to quit smoking, lose weight, or start an exercise program you’ll know what I mean.</p> <p>Start by turning off all non-essential notifications. Then here are some things to try if you want to reduce the number of times you check your phone:</p> <ul> <li> <p>charge your phone overnight in a different room to your bedroom. Notifications can prevent you falling asleep and can repeatedly rouse you from essential sleep throughout the night</p> </li> <li> <p>interrupt the urge to check and actively decide if it’s going to benefit you, in that moment. For example, as you turn to reach for your phone, stop and ask yourself if this action serves a purpose other than distraction</p> </li> <li> <p>try the <a href="https://www.themuse.com/advice/take-it-from-someone-who-hates-productivity-hacksthe-pomodoro-technique-actually-works#:%7E:text=The%20Pomodoro%20Technique%20is%20a,are%20referred%20to%20as%20pomodoros">Pomodoro method</a> to stay focused on a task. This involves breaking your concentration time up into manageable chunks (for example, 25 minutes) then rewarding yourself with a short break (for instance, to check your phone) between chunks. Gradually increase the length of time between rewards. Gradually re-learning to sustain your attention on any task can take a while if you’re a high-volume checker.</p> </li> </ul> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/ping-your-pizza-is-on-its-way-ping-please-rate-the-driver-yes-constant-notifications-really-do-tax-your-brain-193952" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Technology

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Kyle's cheeky swipe at Ben Fordham after ratings victory

<p>Kyle Sandilands has shared the cheeky text he sent to Ben Fordham after the <em>Kyle and Jackie O Show</em> dominated in the radio ratings. </p> <p>The KIIS co-hosts knocked the dominant 2GB host off the number one spot in Tuesday’s GfK ratings, increasing their total audience share to 14.9 per cent,  up 2.1 percentage points.</p> <p>Meanwhile Fordham, who took over as host from Alan Jones in 2020, fell just behind with 14.8 per cent total audience share, down 2.1 per cent.</p> <p>As 2GB have held the title of ‘Sydney’s top-rating breakfast show’ for more than 15 years, Kyle and Jackie O's ratings victory is an impressive feat for the veteran broadcasting duo. </p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/radio/kyle-sandilands-text-to-ben-fordham-onair-after-winning-radio-ratings/news-story/b094e1334468e23bf91e6a2adb6671e4" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a>, the 51-year-old shock jock said he couldn’t help but rub salt in Fordham’s wound after hearing the news.</p> <p>“I sent him a text saying ‘Sorry Ben … x’, and he wrote back, ‘How did you go?’, because obviously I know everything in radio, he’s only new,” Sandilands joked.</p> <p>He added, “So I said, ‘We beat you by a little bit. By an ants d**k. And he wrote nothing back. I told him in the middle of his show. [But] I did it very nicely, I didn’t gloat and carry on. Just placed it in front of him.”</p> <p>The broadcasting duo have had a successful few weeks, after being <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/kyle-sandilands-reveals-why-he-s-never-been-fired" target="_blank" rel="noopener">inducted into the Hall of Fame</a> at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards last month.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

News

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Europe warming at double the rate of other continents

<p>Europe is the fastest-warming continent in the world, according to a newly released report from the World Meteorological Organization.</p> <p>The State of the Climate in Europe report cites the loss of more than 25 metres of ice loss in alpine glaciers, and 20 metres of loss in Greenland (a Danish territory), as particularly responsible for the rise in ocean levels.</p> <p>Climate change events were also responsible for more than US$50 billion in damages.</p> <p>In its statement releasing the report, the WMO described Europe as the “live picture” of a world burdened by warming climate. Since 1990, Europe’s temperatures have undergone an average rate of temperature increase of 0.5 degrees each decade.</p> <p>That rate is twice as high as the next fastest warming continent.</p> <p>The WMO points to high-impact weather and climate events – nearly 85% of which were floods and storms – as directly affecting around 510,000 people.</p> <p>Extreme heat also took its toll, with provisional record temperatures experienced in southern Italy in August reaching 48.8°C. These temperatures influenced drought and low rainfall across the Mediterranean, leading to deadly wildfires that burned through three times the amount of land area than the region’s 15-year average up to 2020.</p> <h2>But are carbon emissions decreasing in Europe?</h2> <p>Fuel prices and the COVID-19 pandemic were major influences on the continent’s carbon emissions reduction, the WMO found.</p> <p>A 31% decline in carbon emissions between 1990 and 2020 was recorded, although it’s expected to be far less in 2021 due to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and altered fuel prices.</p> <p>2021 also marked the introduction of EU legislation to make net zero by 2050 a legally-binding target for member nations.</p> <p>Although temperature data provided by six datasets showed a decrease in 2021 from the preceding year, it still marked one of the 10 warmest years on record.</p> <p>And observers will keenly await the release of next year’s 2022 appraisal, after record summer droughts and heatwaves heaped pressure on European nations.</p> <p>Even now, regions across the continent are recording their hottest temperatures for November on record. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">(2) More November records in Europe.<br />France had 21 records today (left column), the most important were: Aigues Mortes (POR since 1872), Aix en Provence and Valence (1st class stations).<br />In Austria 4 records beaten the highest was 23.3C at Hohe Wand (right column).<br />tb continued.. <a href="https://t.co/DjmR7oR0oR">pic.twitter.com/DjmR7oR0oR</a></p> <p>— Extreme Temperatures Around The World (@extremetemps) <a href="https://twitter.com/extremetemps/status/1587481854680219653?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 1, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>“[Europe] reminds us that even well-prepared societies are not safe from impacts of extreme weather events,” says WMO secretary-general Professor Petteri Taalas.</p> <p>“This year, like 2021, large parts of Europe have been affected by extensive heatwaves and drought, fuelling wildfires. In 2021, exceptional floods caused death and devastation.</p> <p>“On the mitigation side, the good pace in reducing greenhouse gases emissions in the region should continue and ambition should be further increased. Europe can play a key role towards achieving a carbon neutral society by the middle of the century to meet the Paris Agreement.”</p> <h2>Future outlook</h2> <p>The release of the report comes ahead of the global climate change conference to be held in Egypt, where delegations from around the world convene to recalibrate efforts to address climate change.</p> <p>Last year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow was criticised for scrubbing language to phase out coal from the final agreement. In its place came language to ‘phase down’ its use. Coal is the leading source of carbon emissions from energy use.</p> <p>Similarly, several nations failed to renew important targets to reduce carbon emissions by the end of the decade, considered an important tipping point if net zero by 2050 is to be achieved.</p> <p>The WMO echoed the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts that weather, climate and water disasters will increase in the future, and that Europe will experience temperature rises at rates exceeding global average increases.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/europe-warming-at-double-the-rate-of-other-continents/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Matthew Agius.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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