Archive for May 13th 2019

Jakarta: One of the daughters of Indonesia’s first president has called for the US to apologise after the release of a “top secret” document from 1975 that reveals the CIA considered assassinating Sukarno during the Cold War.
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The document – a summary of an investigation into CIA involvement in plans to assassinate foreign leaders – was among 2800 previously classified files related to the assassination of President John F Kennedy that were released last week.

It details CIA attempts to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro and says the CIA also considered killing Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba and Indonesian president Sukarno.

“America should not only apologise to Indonesia, America should apologise to all the countries they disturbed, if they will admit to it,” Sukarno’s daughter Sukmawati Sukarnoputri told Fairfax Media. “They never want to admit to it, especially the CIA.”

The newly declassified document reveals the degree to which the US was prepared to intervene in other nations’ affairs during the Cold War.

It said Richard Bissell, who was CIA Deputy Director of Plans at the time, testified there had been discussion within the CIA of the “possibility of an attempt on the life of President Sukarno of Indonesia”.

The plotting “progressed as far as the identification of an asset who it was felt might be recruited for this purpose”.

Bissell testified that the assassination plan “was never perfected to the point where it seemed feasible”.

He stressed the CIA had “absolutely nothing” to do with the death of Sukarno in 1970, when his health deteriorated after being put under house arrest.

Ms Sukmawati claimed the CIA had been responsible for riots, revolts and coups in Asia, Africa and Latin America because the US was opposed to the Non-Aligned Movement of nations, of which Sukarno was a founding member.

Ho Chi Minh, then president of North Vietnam, chats with Sukarno in Indonesia in 1959. Photo: AP

The founding members believed that developing countries should not help either the Western or Eastern blocs in the Cold War.

“Sukarno was warned by his friends before the (launch of the) Non-Aligned Movement: ‘Be careful, the US will launch a coup against any state leader who is not pro the US’,” Ms Sukmawati said.

She said her father’s foreign policy had not been “pro-US” because he was opposed to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

PhD scholar Donald Greenlees said this was not the first time documents had been released relating to CIA plans to assassinate Sukarno.

“I would like to know the identity of the CIA ‘asset’. I assume that is buried in a file somewhere,” he said.

Mr Greenlees said there were assassination attempts against Sukarno. “Sukarno was a divisive figure. He had enemies at home. But it remains unclear whether the assassination attempts were simply coincidence, whether people cultivated by the CIA acted alone, or whether some in the CIA were entrepreneurial.”

University of Melbourne Associate Professor Kate McGregor said the US had been concerned at the time about Sukarno’s increasingly radical policies including his campaign against Malaysia, turn to China and support for the Indonesian Communist Party, the PKI.

She said the then president had increasing visibility and influence as an anti-imperialist icon across Asia and Africa who was not afraid to challenge ongoing economic and cultural imperialism.

At the time the West believed there was a real threat that Indonesia would fall to the communists.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Sukarno in 1960. Photo: Fairfax Media

Professor of Asian history at the Australian National University, Robert Cribb, says the CIA and US State Department had been obsessed with Sukarno and the potential damage he could do to their interests in South-east Asia.

“What we are seeing is a little bit more evidence that the CIA was closer to planning an assassination,” Professor Cribb said. “There doesn’t seem to be evidence of a definite plot but there is serious discussion of an assassination.”

The JFK documents are the second batch of newly declassified documents that shed fascinating light on the Cold War period in Indonesia.

Earlier this month the National Security Archive in the US published newly declassified documents from the US Embassy in Jakarta from 1964 to 1968 that revealed the US government’s knowledge and support of a campaign of mass murder against the PKI.

One cable cites as its source a “reliable Australian journalist”, who is understood to be Frank Palmos.

It suggests US officials were well aware that alleged PKI supporters and members being arrested or killed in an army-led campaign of repression and mass murder had no role in – or even knowledge of – an abortive coup in which six army generals were murdered.

Another cable cites the observations of anthropologist James Fox – now a professor at the Australian National University – who was living on Rote island in East Nusa Tenggara at the time and reported the execution of “between 40 and 50 local Rote communists plus another 30 communists” from the neighbouring island of Sawu.

Professor Cribb said it is fascinating every time previously classified documents are released.

“Next year I will be teaching a course called ‘Lies, Conspiracy and Propaganda’ and this will be a very good bit of material for that course.”

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Brumbies second-rower Blake Enever was on a coffee run before an NRC match on Sunday when he missed a phone call from an unknown number.
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“I thought it was maybe one of the guys asking for a coffee,” Enever said. “I called him back, he missed it, but then straight away [he] called back and said: ‘It’s Michael Cheika, mate, do you want to come on the spring tour?'”

Enever, a 26-year-old, 200-centimetre forward with just three Super Rugby starts this year, went into shock.

And when he ran out onto T G Millner Field for the Canberra Vikings against the Greater Sydney Rams, he decided to keep the best news of his career a secret from teammates.

After the game, which the Vikings won 35-22, he passed on the good news and began telling those closest to him that he would be travelling to the UK for the first time.

“It’s awesome news and I was so stoked to hear that,” Enever said. “It’s an opportunity for myself.

“It was a bit of a surprise. I still had to try and stay focused as much as I could. In the back of my mind I was really excited to get into camp today [Monday]. I tried not to go into my shell. At the back of my mind I wanted to play well and try and flow into the camp as well as possible.

“I called my fiancee and she was pretty stoked and then tried to keep it a bit quiet until after the game. I had a few mates in the team that were stoked after the game. I didn’t want to tell them before, otherwise it could have rattled them a little bit. Everyone has been happy for me.”

Once he got the news, Enever had to spring into action, knowing the Wallabies were flying to Japan within 48 hours.

“I caught the bus back to Canberra on Sunday and I got home at 11.30pm, packed, [was] in bed by midnight,” he said. “Then I was up at 4.30am for a 6.10am flight. That was all fine. It was a big day today.”

Enever went on a schoolboy tour to Japan in 2008 and played for Australia at the 2011 Junior World Championship in Italy but has never been to Wales, England or Scotland where the Wallabies will play Tests in November.

Cheika has liked a number of Enever’s traits and after a Super Rugby quarter-final, then-Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told Enever he was made of the right stuff to one day become a Wallaby.

“It’s a dream to be able to be a part of the Wallabies squad,” Enever said. “I wasn’t expecting it but I’m really stoked to get the call.

“I’m sure I’m not going over there for a holiday but a day here and there would be good to get your mind off rugby for a bit.

“He [Cheika] has explained a few roles he wants me to take on in the lineout but moving forward hopefully he’ll drip-feed them into me because it’s been a pretty big day so far. He’ll have a few things I’ll need to work on and offer to the squad.

“There’s a fair bit of knowledge that I’ve got to try and knuckle down on in the first couple of days and from then on it’s just refining them and getting myself the best opportunity to be picked.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

There is yet to be any interest in delisted former Western Bulldogs forward Stewart Crameri ahead of the first delisted free agency signing period, which opens on Wednesday.
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Crameri, 29, who moved to the Bulldogs from Essendon for the start of the 2014 season, has played 99 games since making his AFL debut in 2010.

The mobile yet strong marking forward has battled persistent hip injuries recently and spent 2016 on the sidelines thanks to a suspension received for his part in the Essendon supplements saga.

Fairfax Media understands no clubs have signalled their interest in Crameri at this stage.

He would likely have moved back to Essendon in the trade period had they not secured Jake Stringer from the Bulldogs.

Geelong had been interested in Crameri but don’t have a spot on their list for him. The Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns are also understood to not be in the running for Crameri.

He has been training throughout the off season and is willing to take any opportunity that might come his way, including as a rookie draft selection.

Meanwhile, delisted Hawthorn speedster Billy Hartung is more confident of finding a new home for 2018.

It is understood he has been contacted by clubs and, like Crameri, is happy to take his chance as a delisted free agency signing or as a rookie.

Hartung, 22, has played 63 game since making his debut in 2014. He has played 36 of those games in the past two seasons but coach Alastair Clarkson is understood to have finally run out of patience with the Dandenong Stingrays product.

Hartung was infamously dropped for Hawthorn’s 2015 grand final drubbing of West Coast after he played in the preliminary final and 19 other games for the season.

Taylor Hunt, who was delisted by Richmond last week (after being delisted by Geelong at the end of 2014) is understood not to be hopeful of his AFL career continuing into 2018.

Hunt studied to be a carpenter while he was at Richmond and will likely play VFL or local football in the immediate future.

Between November 1 and November 8, clubs can sign delisted free agents. They can do so again between November 10-17 and November 25-26. Final lists have to be lodged for the 2018 season on November 29.

If delisted free agents miss out on being signed in those periods they can also be picked up in the pre-season or rookie drafts, which take place on November 27.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Steven Lowy’s bid to deliver a new Congress structure that is vehemently opposed by A-League clubs and the players union, the PFA, has been dealt a body blow by Victorian soccer officials.
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Local soccer chiefs have refused to bend under pressure from the embattled FFA chairman and will not support Lowy’s proposals at an emergency general meeting of the existing Congress, due to be held on Wednesday.

Lowy was understood to be planning to fly to Melbourne on Monday to lobby his case with Victorian officials, but hours before the scheduled meeting, FFV chairman Kimon Taliadoros sent Lowy a letter making it clear he would not be persuaded to side with FFA and seven other state federations.

In the letter obtained by AAP, he indicated the congress changes on the table fall “significantly short of satisfying” the wishes of stakeholders and FIFA’s mandate for more democratic governance.

Taliadoros subsequently urged Lowy to withdraw FFA’s notice for the EGM, notify FIFA and “immediately return to negotiations with the stakeholders” as time ticks down to the November 30 deadline.

One key Lowy antagonist, Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin, had earlier described the decision to hold an emergency general meeting of the existing Congress – which elects the FFA board and determines how the game is run in this country – as “a final cynical act” that, he argues, will destroy the board’s credibility and mandate.

Lowy is understood to have the support of most of soccer’s state federation bosses save for NSW, which has sided with the A-League clubs, and now Victoria, which had looked to be the “swing seat” among the state representatives.

The FFA chairman needs at least eight of the 10 votes at Wednesday’s EGM in order to carry his proposals for the new Congress, which would then be made up of nine state votes, four for the clubs, one for Professional Footballers Australia and one for the women’s game.

The clubs and PFA want a 9-5-1-1 model featuring one extra vote for the clubs, a small but crucial difference that would ensure the nine states no longer have majority power to elect FFA’s board.

All this manoeuvring is going on with the shadow of FIFA intervention hanging over the local game.

The sport’s governing body has the power to take over the running of the game here if it believes changes to the Congress are not broad enough to reflect all interests in the game.

The legal and procedural dispute has been brewing for months and is coming to a head.

The A-League clubs have decided to shelve plans to sue the FFA, although they have warned Lowy repeatedly there could be severe consequences if they and the players do not get more say in the decision-making process.

Days before FFA called the EGM earlier this month, incensed clubs wrote to Lowy threatening to seek an injunction to have the meeting – described by Griffin as an “abuse of power” – ruled illegal.

But in another charged letter to Lowy on Saturday, Griffin indicated the clubs would leave the legalities in the hands of FIFA.

“Noting that the FFA is one of only a handful of FIFA member associations structured as a corporation, part of our considerations is the apparent current focus of the FFA board on the Australian Corporations Act over the obligations of the FFA as an association member of FIFA,” the letter read.

“Those obligations to FIFA are clearly manifested in the consistent instructions the FFA board has received from FIFA with regard to governance reform over the last year, and indeed in the seven years prior to that.

“We do not wish to act in any way that might undermine FIFA’s authority in this matter and therefore will not take legal action at this juncture.”

A “commensurate” response would follow should the FFA push through its preferred model, the A-League clubs have said.

Both the clubs and PFA have accused FFA of attempting to remain as the game’s “dominant” or “pre-eminent” stakeholder.

Even if pushed through, the ultimate decision lies with FIFA, which has made it clear reforms must be agreed to by all stakeholders – identified by the world governing body as the states, clubs and PFA.

A resolution must be struck by November 30 or FIFA will remove Lowy and his board and install a normalisation committee to run Australian soccer.

with AAP

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

You’ve saved. Scrimped. Worked hard. Missed overseas trips, delicious and expensive breakfasts and music festivals … all in the pursuit of saving a deposit for your first home.
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After all that you’ve managed to save $20,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 – a huge effort! But, unfortunately, you’re still barely half way to where you want to be.

Despite house prices gains in major cities beginning to stall, the damage is done – a first home buyer is likely looking at laying out around $500,000 or more. If the full 20 per cent deposit is still the goal, that means coming up with $100,000.

How, then, can a hopeful first home buyer put their existing savings to work for them while they continue to save?

The methods outlined below focus on investing for income, rather than growth, so would theoretically boost an ongoing savings plan, rather than replace the task altogether.

It’s always best to speak with a financial adviser or planner before embarking on an investment strategy, and remember that, in all forms of investing, past performance is not a good indicator of the future.

That said, here are five ways young people could invest for income to put toward a first home deposit. 1. Term deposit

This is extremely popular territory for young savers. As far as risk goes, there’s pretty much zero. The bank will tell you in advance what your return will be, and you know exactly when you’ll be able to re-evaluate your investment.

The cost of that peace of mind, however, is large. Thanks to a global plunge in official interest rates, one-year term deposit rates in Australia have dropped to a record low of 2.25 per cent on average. It’s an easy-to-understand and safe way to store your savings but, unless official interest rates start rising fast, will provide almost no income. After a year, your hard-earned $30,000 will only bring in an extra $675. If you roll it over for five years, you’ll have a total of $33,530.

“The yields on these investments will move over time and, since the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the trend has been down,” according to AMP Capital chief economist and head of investment strategy Shane Oliver.

“There are lots of alternatives to bank deposits for income,” Dr Oliver said. 2. Shares (S&P/ASX 200)

Shares are inherently volatile. A 10 per cent drop in the value of an equity or sector is not that uncommon, according to market experts. That’s why a couple of things are widely agreed on – diversity is a good idea, short-term or leveraged trading comes with heightened risk, and emotions are best left out of it.

That said, the ASX 200 is heading for 6500 points by the end of next year, according to one market strategist – Credit Suisse’s Hasan Tevfik – which marks an almost 10 per cent gain from current levels and 15 per cent total return.

“We don’t think bull market is over,” Mr Tevfik told Domain.

“One of the attractions for the Aussie market is that it is the highest yielding market in the world, but it’s also the highest yielding asset in Australia at around 4 per cent, pre-franking.”

He’s talking about the whole index of 200 companies, which can offer a false sense of optimism for retail investors planning on picking a handful of stocks and hoping for the best.

That’s why equities ring alarm bells for so many – individual stocks can be heartbreakers, and, while volatility has dropped in recent years, a fall is often lurking in the shadows.

But, with a total yield of around 6 per cent (including franking credits) $30,000 would become $40,146 over five years.

A quick word on franking credits

This is where everybody’s eyes glaze over. Franking credits, or “dividend imputation”, is tricking you into ignoring it by having the world’s most boring name. It’s actually a brilliant feature of Australian stocks and can add to your income. Click here to find out more about franking credits, but, in a nutshell, Australian companies pass them onto the shareholders, who can then use them to reduce their tax burden. Paying less tax (or, if you’re on a low marginal tax rate, even scoring a refund) is as good as earning more. 3. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Rather than picking a handful of shares yourself and crossing your fingers, ETFs allow investors to track the performance of an entire index or asset class at once.

An ETF manager packages tradeable funds, which follow an index or commodity, or bundle stocks aimed at following a certain sector, like healthcare or even cyber security. And, as with all investing, the focus is usually slanted either towards growth or income.

“There’s always going to be a trade-off, you can’t have it both ways,” BetaShares spokesperson, Ilan Israelstam, told Domain.

But some of the ETFs group high-yield stocks together at the expense of overall capital growth. So, unlike a bank term deposit, you’ll receive more income during the investment but the overall value of it might not track any higher – in fact, it might drop.

“An example of that would be our Equity Yield Maximizer Fund – that owns the top 20 ASX stocks and uses an options strategy, basically, to give you a higher income,” Mr Israelstam said.

“It has been delivering about a 9 per cent yield. But, of course, the capital return is lower than what you’d expect from the market.”

Younger income-hungry investor might want think about bringing in some growth to their portfolio, according to the fund manager.

If a 9 per cent return is maintained for five years, and dividends are reinvested, then $30,000 could become $46,158. 4. Fractional property investing

For those hell-bent on using property as an investment, but lack the capital – meet fractional property investing. Funds like BrickX and DomaCom offer the opportunity to gain diversified exposure to the housing market while lowering the bar for entry.

DomaCom is a managed investment scheme which uses a crowdfunding campaign process to pool property investors together. The investors then contribute as much as they want towards the purchase of a property and receive “shares” in return. Investors can buy and sell their shares to other investors.

BrickX, similarly, buys a property in advance and then offers 10,000 shares, or “bricks”, in that property, which are sold individually to investors.

Both offer distribution to investors from rental income in line with their number of shares. 5. Superannuation

The proposed first home Super Scheme offers the chance to temporarily tack your savings onto your super and be taxed at a lower rate than usual.

Announced in the May budget but still to be fully legislated, individuals can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total, to their super account, according to the federal government plan. These contributions and earnings would then be taxed at 15 per cent and can be withdrawn only for a first-house deposit. Withdrawals will be taxed at marginal tax rates minus a 30 per cent offset.

The scheme was meant to come into effect on July 1 of this year but has been delayed.

Finally, why have we been talking about investing for income rather than growth? Because for many, buying a house remains a short-to-medium-term goal.

Plenty of analysts and asset managers will tell young investors to take advantage of their age and go for growth, which means taking riskier investment options. They can “weather the storms” better than older investors who’ll need their money sooner for retirement.

But if the goal remains buying a house, then young investors don’t have all that much time either.

It could be that all they want is to do better than the 2.25 per cent bank rate for a few years while they continue their savings plan. That’s why first home buyers should be looking around for options where their risk remains relatively low but their return is better than they would get with a bank.

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