News RSF_en April 7, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Abductors release newspaper journalist Ali Abdullah Fayad Follow the news on Iraq Ali Abdullah Fayad is the 39th journalist to be kidnapped since the start of the war in Iraq. In addition, 86 journalists and press assistants have been killed. Receive email alerts Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Help by sharing this information December 16, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa February 15, 2021 Find out more Organisation RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the release of journalist Ali Abdullah Fayad of the privately-owned tri-weekly Al-Safeer, who was kidnapped on 21 March in Kut, southeast of Baghdad.“We are delighted and relieved that another hostage has been freed just one week after Jill Carroll’s release,” the press freedom organisation said. “But let us not forget that two other journalists, Reem Zeid and Marwan Khazaal, have been held hostage for more than two months.”Fayad’s kidnapping was claimed by a hitherto unknown group calling itself the Baath Party Brigade, which demanded a ransom for his release.————————————————————————–24.03.2006 A fourth journalist kidnapped since the start of the yearReporters Without Borders has called for the immediate release of Ali Abdullah Fayad, journalist on the privately-owned tri-weekly al Safir, who was kidnapped by an unknown group in Kut, south-east of Baghdad on 21 March.”This kidnapping is part of a wave of abductions which have rapidly increased these last three months,” said Reporters Without Borders. After Jill Carroll, Rim Zeid and Marwan Khazaal, Ali Abdullah Fayad is the fourth journalist to be kidnapped in Iraq since the start of 2006.“This situation is extremely alarming: With the surge in kidnappings and murders of journalists these last few months, the country is closing in on itself more and more,” the organisation said.The kidnapping of Ali Abdallah Fayad was claimed by the Baath Party brigade, a hitherto unknown organisation. Someone claiming to speak for the organisation phoned the editor of al Safir and demanded 30 million dinars (20,000 euros) in exchange for the release of Ali Abdullah Fayad. He also called for the release of three of its members, held by the Iraqi authorities.Al Safir has lost two journalists since the start of the war in Iraq: its bureau chief in Mosul, Firas Al-Maadhidi, was gunned down by two armed men on 21 September 2005, in front of his home in the An-Nur district. One of his colleagues, Hind Ismail, was killed the previous evening. She was murdered by men wearing police uniforms in central Mosul. The newspaper closed its office in the city after these killings.Elsewhere, Muhsin Khudhair, editor of the weekly magazine Alef Ba was shot dead at the wheel of his car on 13 March in Sayadiya, west of Baghdad by unidentified gunmen. He had just attended a meeting of the Iraqi journalists’ union during which journalists had called for everyone to respect their neutrality in Iraq. IraqMiddle East – North Africa News December 28, 2020 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News to go further News
Get the latest real estate news from The Courier-Mail to your inbox for free The one thing you must do from July 1 if you are preparing to sell This could seriously affect the settlement of your home sale post July 1Follow Sophie Foster on Twitter @SophieFoster The Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade in Hamilton is among infrastructure programs of the Brisbane City Council in the coming year. Picture: Liam Kidston4. Water and sewerage charges will increase for example by 2.3 per cent in Greater Brisbane (Queensland Urban Utilities) and 3 per cent in SEQ (Unity Water). (Local Government) More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoTAX5. A 1.5 per cent surcharge will be introduced for absentee payers of land tax, applying to land holdings of $350,000 or higher in addition to other land tax payable (does not apply to Queensland residents but anticipated to impact on property investment). (State)6. Foreign tax residents will be subject to an increased Capital Gains Tax withholding rate of 12.5 per cent (up from 10 per cent) and a reduced CGT withholding threshold of $750,000 (down from $2 million). (Federal)7. ATO will disallow deductions for travel expenses relating to inspecting, maintaining, or collecting rent for a residential rental property. (Federal)OTHER8. Individuals who are looking to purchase their first home will be able to access specific voluntary contributions made in to superannuation after 1 July 2017. The voluntary contributions will be accessible by individuals from 1 July 2018. Limits apply to the amount that individuals can contribute under this measure to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total. (Federal)9. To assist first home buyers entering the housing market, the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant temporary increase, from $15,000 to $20,000 for contracts on newly constructed homes will be extended to eligible transactions entered into between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2017. (State)(Source: QEAS) HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:COST OF LIVING1. Commencement of the Major Bank Levy on NAB, ANZ, CBA, Westpac and Macquarie and anticipated flow on increases in home and commercial lending rates. (Federal)2. Electricity bills in Regional Queensland will rise by 3.3 per cent for households and 4.1 per cent for small businesses (these increases are half of those originally proposed as a result of State Government funding the removal of the Solar Bonus Scheme from electricity prices for three years and directing Energy Queensland to remove costs from network charges across Queensland). (State)3. Council rates across Queensland will rise. Brisbane (2.4 per cent), Gold Coast (1.8 per cent), Sunshine Coast (2.3 per cent), Logan (1.7 per cent), Moreton Bay (3.99 per cent), Western Downs (2.9 per cent), Bundaberg (3.45 per cent), Redland (2.73 per cent), Cairns (1.75 per cent), Townsville (1.48 per cent), Ipswich (2.95 per cent). (Local Government) Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced an average 2.4 per cent rise in rates starting July 1 to help fund major infrastructure programs. Picture: Liam KidstonA PERFECT storm of federal, state and local government changes kick in from July 1 impacting every homeowner, renter and househunter.Of all the government changes kicking in from midnight that day, nine were specifically targeted at either homeowners, househunters or renters, according to a list compiled by Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions.QEAS director Nick Behrens said “this year is unique in that many legislative changes commence at the same time as the usual suspects that occur every year”.Though each change was applied in isolation by the various governments, the combined impact could be overwhelming for some.Four of the changes that impact property have come from the Federal Government, three were from the Queensland Government and two were from Local Government/councils.Four of the changes concern the cost of living, three were linked to tax measures and two were either superannuation or grant related, according to QEAS.
The actual survey, conducted by research body SEO Economisch Onderzoek, showed that at the end of 2017, 66 pension funds had opted for both investment advice and asset management from the same provider.The study involved 31 investment advisers. At 21 of them, all pension fund clients also bought asset management services, according to the regulator.The watchdog said it couldn’t explain higher costs based on expensive investments, the managers’ performance or achieved surplus returns.It suggested that purchasing a package of investment advice and asset management could be beneficial for the co-ordination between the adviser and the manager, leading to a tailor-made approach.“To small and medium-sized schemes, this could outweigh higher asset management costs as a consequence of the bundling of services,” it said.The watchdog further found that changing asset managers could increase costs by up to 8.3% in the year of the switch.It suggested that these transfer costs could reduce a scheme’s willingness to change asset managers, and argued that this posed a competition risk at the expense of pension funds and their participants. Pension funds that buy both investment advice and asset management from a single service provider incur approximately 10% in additional costs relative to schemes purchasing the same services from different players, according to Dutch competition watchdog ACM.It said that an exploratory survey into possible distortion of competition between asset managers had found that the additional costs applied especially to small and medium-sized pension funds.The supervisor added that schemes that buy the services from a single player tend to stick longer to such arrangements.ACM drew its conclusions on data of 135 pension funds spanning the period 2012-2017 as well as on interviews with market players and experts.
The Lyon Center, which was originally built in the 1980s, has been undergoing renovations this summer and is scheduled to reopen all of its facilities in early August, well before move-in day. Michael Munson, the associate director of facilities at the Lyon Center, said that this remodel would reflect many external changes that fitness centers have introduced in the past few decades. “The building is 30 years old, and needed some [updates],” Munson said. “The design in the ’80s was very compartmentalized, and now the style is more open.” The construction is progressing rapidly, with demolition almost done and structural framing currently taking place. The lobby area will feature a glass divider from the main gym as opposed to an opaque wall, in order to create the feeling of a more open space. The gym equipment, which will include new strength machines, cardio machines and fitness accessories, is scheduled to arrive during the first week of August, according to Munson.The squash courts and racquetball courts are also a primary point of focus. Justine Gilman, the senior director of recreational sports facilities, stated that the updates would also incorporate a system in which students will be able to swipe themselves into the center, in order to improve workflow and efficiency. In the past, the Lyon Center has faced some pressure from student groups to improve the facilities. A few years ago, a Facebook group called “Revamp Lyon Center” was created and since then, students have been consistently pushing for an upgraded fitness center and gym. “I’m really excited,” said Shaina Wottitz, a rising junior majoring in communication. “I work out there a lot, and I think that the place definitely needed some fixing up.” Along with the new equipment and updated facilities, the auxiliary gym, which previously existed on the second floor of the building, will no longer be in service. According to Gilman, this space will be utilized as a practice room for the Trojan Marching Band. Gilman stated that this change, along with the introduction of a fitness center at the upcoming USC Village, gave the administration a chance to look at how they can provide other recreational facilities to students. The fitness center at the USC Village, which is currently scheduled to open in mid-July, is a 30,000 square-foot project with 100 machines for cardiovascular exercise and 75 machines dedicated to weights. “The renovations at the Lyon Center will bring us on somewhat of an equal footing with the brand-new USC Village,” Munson said. According to Munson, the administrative team at the Lyon Center is also hoping to expand on the F-45 classes. F-45, a high intensity interval training class with approximately 3,000 different exercises, is popular among students. This remodel will include an extension of the group exercise studio in the hopes that more students will be able to participate in the F-45 classes. In addition, some equipment from the auxiliary gym will be moved to Court A in the basketball gym on the second floor. Munson stated that the administration is willing to get some feedback from students about this change.“Moving the equipment to Court A is kind of a one-year experiment,” he said. “We want to see if students want that space for equipment and cardio, or whether they want it for multifunctional court, for example.” Currently, the Lyon Center has its pool and main gym open to students, but only a few cardio and weight machines. Summer hours are also significantly shorter; during the academic year, the Lyon Center is open for 116 hours a week, compared to 82 hours a week during the summer.Shradha Jain, a rising junior majoring in business administration who is living at USC this summer, said that she has felt the effects of this sudden adjustment and it has infringed on her normal workout routine.“The [hours] are so much shorter now, and this can be inconvenient,” Jain said. “I got really used to following a schedule, and not being able to follow it anymore changed my routine.”Though the hours and equipment are limited this summer, Munson said the Lyon Center staff is trying their best to help students.“We’ve been trying as much as we can to give some options for people to work out over the summer,” Munson said. “Our other option was to shut everything down.”While the Lyon Center will close its doors to students between July 15 and early August, the fitness center at the USC Village will be available for use beginning July 17.