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The new owners of the iconic inner city “giraffe’’ house promise to keep the animal housed

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first_imgMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor7 hours agoUnfortunately the monkey didn’t stay with 37 Macquarie St, TeneriffeAs a result of the sale, the buyer of the house then offered their home at Palm Ave, Ascot for sale and it has broken the street record, achieving $8.3 million for the deal.When the former owners moved into the Teneriffe home, a joke about a zoo-like enclosure on the front lawn resulted in the landscaper delivering a truckload of fake animals including the giraffe. 37 Macquarie St, TeneriffeANIMALS lovers can breath a sign of relief as the new owners of the iconic giraffe house at Teneriffe have promised they will continue to house the animal.The 2.7 metre giraffe stands out of the front of the waterfront home at 37 Macquarie St, Teneriffe which has now sold for $5.1 million.Marketing agent Hamish Bowman of Ray White said the new owners had promised they would keep the giraffe which become a popular local attraction. The home at Ascot sold for $8.3 million.The owners also had a life-size horse, a monkey on a swing on the deck and a gorilla around the pool area. Palm Ave, Ascot. Plenty of passers by have stopped to do a selfie with the giraffe at Macquarie St, Teneriffe.The home has four bedrooms, a pool, cellar, rumpus and a kitchenette on the ground level.Mr Bowman sold the properties with Matt Lancashire.last_img read more

UK investment consultants back trustee ESG push

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first_imgA UK responsible investment association and the Association of Member-Nominated Trustees (AMNT) have sought to harness the power of consultants to promote trustees’ consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decision-making.In an initiative co-ordinated by the AMNT and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), 12* influential investment consultants have committed to back guidance from the UK pensions regulator that trust-based defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) pension schemes should take ESG factors into account where they are financially material.The advisory firms said they would draw attention to the guidance through various routes, such as putting consideration of ESG on trustee meeting agendas, issuing briefings, and holding training sessions.“We also recognise the significant role that client-facing consultants can play in ensuring that our clients are well informed on the issues,” they added in a joint statement. Dawn Turner, chief executive of the £23bn (€26.2bn) Brunel Pension Partnership, said the consultants’ public commitment was “a major step forward”.She added that Brunel would help ensure the initial positive step served as “a catalyst to ensure ESG issues are at the heart of the client offering to the investment consultant industry”.The AMNT and UKSIF said they acted on behalf of members to convene leading UK investment consultants to ask how they would act on the guidance issued by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).TPR issued guidance for DB schemes in March and a new code for DC schemes in July. Fred Berry, lead investment consultant at TPR, said that many trustees – in particular those without a financial background – rely on advisers to keep them up to date with the regulator’s news and guidance.“We expect investment consultants and others advising pension schemes to support trustees to manage risks to member benefits, including risks to the sustainability of the scheme’s investments,” he added.The consultants’ declaration coincides with the opening of the annual conference of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in Berlin today. Many pension funds, in particular smaller, resource-constrained schemes, rely heavily on advice given to them from their advisers, a state of affairs highlighted as a concern by the Financial Conduct Authority. It was one of the reasons the UK regulator called for a competition investigation into the investment advisory sector. This is just beginning to get underway.*The 12 consultants are: Allenbridge, Aon Hewitt, Barnett Waddingham, bfinance, Cardano, Hymans Robertson, JLT Employee Benefits, Lane Clark & Peacock, Mercer, Quantum Advisory, Redington, Willis Towers Watsonlast_img read more

Student serves in Israeli army before starting at USC

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first_imgMost freshmen enter USC straight out of high school with limited life experiences. Twenty-two-year-old screenwriting major Ilan Benjamin, however, is starting his freshman year at USC after spending 2 1/2 years in the Israeli army — and wrote a book about the experience.Call of duty · Freshman Ilan Benjamin traveled through the Middle East during the 2 1/2 years he spent as an Israeli soldier. – Photo courtesy of Ilan BenjaminBenjamin grew up in Oakland, Calif. His father is Israeli, and Benjamin’s family visited Israel many times throughout Benjamin’s childhood. On one such visit, they gave a soldier a ride.The experience had a profound impact on Benjamin.“To me, [this soldier] was the epitome of everything cool and important and meaningful,” Benjamin said. “At eight years old, I knew this was someone I wanted to emulate.”When Benjamin took another trip to Israel at age 16, he was sure he wanted to serve in the army.“Israel is surrounded by enemies. … It’s a miracle Israel exists,” he said.Benjamin’s parents did not take his wish to serve seriously until he refused to fill out college applications, and instead chose to enlist in the army.“I needed time to experience real life,” Benjamin said. “I wanted something to write about.”During his years in Israel, Benjamin found inspiration for his writing. When asked to describe his experience, he said his time in the army was “every adjective you could imagine.”“We got through the hard stuff with laughter,” Benjamin said. “I had a lot of fun, but it could be scary and intense.”The Israeli soldiers were guarding the country against an enemy who “wanted to drive every Jew into the sea.”Most of his worst experiences occurred when he was stationed at Har Dov, a disputed territory also known as Shebaa Farms.Located in the mountains, Har Dov stood far from civilization.“You could go a little crazy,” Benjamin said.Har Dov is perhaps the hardest place to guard in Israel, because the enemy was extremely close.“It was scary to see them, but scarier when the fog came in and we couldn’t see,” Benjamin said.Not all the places Benjamin was stationed, though, were so trying. While serving on the Gaza Strip, Benjamin interacted with the people he was protecting. Observing children studying in bomb shelters made the experience “feel meaningful.”“Everyone lives in constant fear of bombardment,” Benjamin said.Benjamin wrote throughout his experience. All of his stories were written in the moment, based on his urges and the trials of the people he met.“My stories were a way of venting. … Writing was like therapy,” Benjamin said. “Fiction guarded me. There’s a difference between saying, ‘He did this’ and saying, ‘I did this.’”Benjamin never intended for the tales to become a book, but after his service, he noticed they all connected.He could not, however, find a publisher willing to sell his short stories. Benjamin was told  nonfiction sells much better. Benjamin, however, preferred fictional stories.“Nonfiction is like a glorified diary. … It wouldn’t have captured the experience as well,” he said.Benjamin started a campaign on Kickstarter to pay for professional editing, layout and distribution costs. The campaign has already surpassed its $3,000 goal.“I’m grateful to everybody and everything,” Benjamin said. “My supporters mean the world to me.”Thanks to help from family, friends and strangers, Benjamin’s book Masa: The Stories of a Lone Soldier will be available on Amazon in December.For now, Benjamin has thrown himself into life at USC.“Being accepted into the screenwriting program was a dream come true,” Benjamin said.Already involved in several film-related projects, Benjamin cannot wait to “write like crazy” in the future. Ultimately, he wants to make a documentary using some of the footage he shot in Israel.“Since I finished serving, my life has been amazing. I appreciate everything,” Benjamin said.While being a 22-year-old freshman means he sometimes must deal with immaturity and “dumb questions” about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Benjamin said he loves living in New/North Residential College.“I try to treat everyone as an equal and surround myself with more mature people,” Benjamin said, “But that’s not to say I can’t be immature too.”Though he said he is enjoying his time at USC, Benjamin does miss aspects of Israel: the food, the people and even the army.He also misses the “blunt” nature of the Israeli people.“There is no political correctness in Israel,” Benjamin said. “It rubbed off on me; I’m a straightforward guy.”Both cultures will always be a part of his identity: “Here, I feel Israeli. There, I feel American. America and Israel are two flawed but beautiful countries. Both are worth defending and being proud of.”last_img read more

Transfer rumours and paper review – Tuesday, June 23

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first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Tuesday’s newspapers…Louis van Gaal is planning a £150million summer spending spree to build on Manchester United’s fourth-place finish last season. Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, Real Madrid duo Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema and Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger are targets. (Daily Mirror)Manchester United defender Phil Jones is set to end uncertainty over his future at Old Trafford by signing a new contract this week. Jones is understood to have agreed similar terms to his United and England teammate Chris Smalling worth in the region of £80,000 a week. (Daily Mail)Manchester City will move for Jack Wilshere — if they miss out on Paul Pogba. City are desperate to land the French star but Juventus want a whopping £71million while Barcelona and Real Madrid are also interested. And City are lining up Arsenal’s Wilshere as an alternative. (The Sun)Manchester City target Kevin De Bruyne is in line for a huge new deal from Wolfsburg who have vowed to fight to keep him. The 23-year-old former Chelsea winger has confirmed City have been in touch for his services. But Wolfsburg want to offer him around £100,000-a-week to stay. (Daily Mirror)Dick Advocaat is prepared to smash Sunderland transfer record and beat Newcastle to £15m Dutch ace Georginio Wijnaldum. The 24 year PSV attacking midfielder is at the top of Sunderland’s wanted list. (Daily Mirror)Sunderland want to sign West Ham winger Stewart Downing but face competition from his hometown club Middlesbrough. (Daily Star)Newcastle will offer top transfer target Charlie Austin the same shirt that convinced Toon legend Alan Shearer to sign for his hometown club. The Geordies are so desperate to land the QPR striker they will promise him the famous No. 9 jersey, worn by the likes of Shearer, Andy Cole and Jackie Milburn. (Daily Star)Stoke City responded to Sevilla’s “insulting” bid for Steven Nzonzi by proposing a cheeky swap deal for £20million-rated midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak. (Daily Telegraph)Luke Garbutt is to sign a new five-year contract at Everton and then move to Bournemouth on a season-long loan. (Guardian)Tottenham defender DeAndre Yedlin has been targeted by Bolton following the north Londoners’ capture of Kieran Trippier. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Exclusive – Petr Cech worth ’15 points’ to Arsenal, claims Chelsea captain John TerryExclusive – Manchester United make enquiry about Aston Villa’s Christian BentekePremier League move does interest Man United target Sergio Ramos, talkSPORT toldManchester United are being used by Sergio Ramos, talkSPORT toldFormer star warns Manchester United: Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos is a ‘red card walking’Reports – Liverpool launch £16m bid for Real Madrid star Asier IllarramendiExclusive – ‘I hate watching him’! Ex-star tells Chelsea to forget about signing Real Madrid star PepeBlow for Man United! Strike target Mario Mandzukic ‘undergoing Juventus medical’Manchester United continue talks over signing Monaco star Fabinholast_img read more