Archive for the ‘杭州桑拿’ Category

OPINION: Cannabisused to top up prescribedopioids

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

ONE in six people using prescribed opioids for chronic pain also use cannabis, a study of 1500 Australians led by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW has found.
Shanghai night field

The researchers also found that those who used cannabis in addition to opioids reported greater pain relief than those using opioids alone.

Use of cannabis among chronic-pain patients using opioids was common. Past-year cannabis use was more than three times higher than in the general population – 13per cent of the sample had used cannabis in the past year, compared with only 4.7per cent of the general population aged over 40 years. One in six had never used cannabis for pain relief (16per cent), and a quarter (23per cent) reported that they would use cannabis for pain if they had access to it.

The analysis of cannabis use among prescription opioid users was conducted as part of Australia’s largest study of chronic pain sufferers using pharmaceutical opioids. Called the POINT study, it is following more than 1500 Australians over two years.

Those in the cohort who had used cannabis for pain were younger than those who used prescription opioids only (average age of 49 compared with 59 for non-users), were more likely to report more severe pain, had been living with pain for longer and reported that their pain interfered with their lives to a great extent. They were also more likely to have a history of substance use disorders and mental health issues.

There is limited research evidence on the effectiveness of cannabis use for chronic pain, either on its own or in conjunction with opioids.

Yet despite this, and the fact that cannabis use is illegal in Australia, use of cannabis among this group was high.

Despite scientific uncertainty about the benefits of cannabis use for medical purposes there is a significant sub-population of people living with chronic pain who report that they experience real benefits in terms of pain relief.

Associate Professor Nicholas Lintzeris, an Addiction Medicine specialist from Sydney University has noted: ‘‘We need to know much more about the potential role of cannabinoids for chronic pain conditions.

‘‘We have documented that a small but significant population of chronic pain sufferers reported pain relief from their cannabis use. This group of individuals generally reported more complex and debilitating pain conditions than non-cannabis users, and less satisfactory symptom relief with conventional pain treatments such as opioid medication. It may be that cannabis use provides some additional therapeutic benefits for those not benefiting from usual treatment approaches.

‘‘However, there is often a complex relationship between pain and other health issues – such as mental health, sleep and substance use, and much more research is required to disentangle the effects of cannabis use in chronic pain sufferers,’’ he said.

This is a group of individuals with complex clinical histories. The potential risks of long-term cannabis use need to be considered and carefully managed.

The study has been published in the international journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Professor Louisa Degenhardt is the lead author

OPINION: Put vulnerable children first

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

CARE: Adoption can help provide a happy home to those who need one.‘‘I’M a happy and loved son, brother, father and adoptee. Living proof’’.
Shanghai night field

This young man reminded me of why Adopt Change continues to believe in the enormous difference a permanent, safe, loving family can make.

Sadly, not every vulnerable child who cannot be cared for by their biological parents will get that experience.

Adoption is at an all-time low in Australia – over the past 25 years there has been a 76per cent decline in the adoption of children.

The latest figures published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that in 2013-14, 317 children were adopted; 36per cent of those children were adopted from overseas and the remainder were from within Australia.

Yet we know that there are more than 50,000 Australian children who were in foster care at some time last year and more than 11,000 babies were removed from neglectful and/or violent families.

Worldwide there are estimated to be 153million orphans – approximately 18million of these children have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development. These children are at risk for disease, malnutrition, and death.

We need a fundamental shift in how we help vulnerable children through adoption, both in Australia and overseas. In Australia, adoption has become a stigma, it brings up images of forced adoptions, where women and men were coerced into giving up their babies.

The profound pain caused by this system has echoed down the generations. We need to learn from these experiences and move towards an ethical, open and supported adoption system in Australia. Children who cannot be cared for by their biological parents should have the option of growing up in a safe, loving family. This is because it is the best thing for a child.

The research clearly shows that stable, long-term relationships help healthy brain, behaviour and emotional development. Adults and children are hard-wired to connect with each other – the day-to-day moments shared by young children and the adults who care for them affects the connections and the circuitry of the developing brain*.

When children don’t get this, it disrupts their development, and leads to an increased range of risk of emotional and behavioural disorders.

The consequence for children is that they are less likely to graduate from high school and to develop healthy relationships – setting them up for an increased risk of experiencing disadvantage and social isolation.

There are many barriers to adoption that we need to remove in order to help vulnerable children. Parents share with me stories of long wait times (around five years to adopt a child from overseas), different eligibility criteria across states and territories, the cost and an anti-adoption culture among some working in the area.

In Australia, we need a system that places the needs of the child in the centre and provides a timely response that enables them to grow up in a stable, loving, permanent family. We need support for all of those involved in adoption – if alive, the parents who cannot look after their children, the adoptive parents and the child.

Over the Australia Day weekend, the federal government announced a positive step forward for parents wanting to adopt from overseas. The Intercountry Adoption Support Service will be a ‘‘one-stop-shop’’ to provide prospective families with access to a dedicated 1800 help line and special website. Trained staff will advocate on their behalf, dealing with state authorities and partner countries. Families will be given direct referrals to the people they need to talk to.

The plan includes funding for family support services to provide much needed help to parents and families involved in inter-country adoption.

With this focus and support, the government hopes to reduce the time it takes for parents to adopt from overseas and for a child to be placed with a family. The Commonwealth government will also pursue new inter-country adoption programmes with the USA, Poland and Vietnam, with discussions progressing with four other countries. We strongly encourage the federal government to keep working on opening up relationships with more countries overseas.

There is much to do within Australia and overseas to ensure ethical adoption is an option. Our number one priority should be to ensure children can grow up in a loving, caring family because it will set them up for the best possible chance in life.

And for all those who have adopted or are considering adopting a child, David Howe, puts it beautifully: it is ‘‘an uplifting tale of love which is unconditional, care which is warm, and commitment which is life-long’’.

Every child deserves that.

*InBrief – The Science of Neglect, Harvard University, 2014

Jane Hunt is the CEO at Adopt Change.

City: Brum, brum – Birmingham revs up

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

According to Britain’s  Office for National Statistics, in the year to June 2013 almost 60,000 thirtysomethings left London looking for a better work/life balance – and the majority of those went to Birmingham.
Shanghai night field

The word’s out beyond the UK, too: the Rough Guides’ annual list of the top 10 places to visit this year includes New Orleans, Hamburg, Yangon and … Birmingham.

In Birmingham, it said “creative hotspots are beginning to emerge in the urban sprawl … like the old industrial district of Digbeth, where vintage shops and street food stalls have begun to appear in and around the old Victorian buildings. Head to the old Bird’s Custard Factory for vintage kilo sales and live music performances”.

You’ve only to walk around the city to catch the buzz, the feeling that, finally, Birmingham is about to take its place, if not in the sun (this is England, you fool) then in the limelight.

This is, after all, the city with the biggest, sexiest new library in Europe – the £188 million  gold and blue-steel cubular belle in Centenary Square. It is quite simply a pleasure to take the escalators up through the magnificent, beautifully lit space-age spiral of the central atrium to the top-floor balconies for the view across the city and the extraordinary Elizabethan-style Shakespeare Memorial Room (see libraryofbirmingham上海龙凤419m).

For more classical fare there’s the Museum and Art Gallery nearby, looming imperiously over Chamberlain Square and home both to one of the largest collections of pre-Raphaelite art in the world and the amazing Staffordshire Hoard, the biggest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found in Britain and  described by one expert as “the metalwork equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells” (see birminghammuseums上海龙凤419.uk/bmag).

Back over the other side of Centenary Square, past the Walkabout bar (where Australian cricketer David Warner punched England’s Joe Root in 2013 and where Thursday night is Kylie’s Beach Night) a left-hand turn will bring you to (a) the Tap and Spile pub, and (b) Gas Street Basin where a flotilla of narrow boats cuddles together and awaits hire.

Birmingham is the hub of the country’s canal network and historic Gas Street Basin is slap-bang in the middle of that. From here you could take a narrow boat all the way to London – but most people make do with day trips, dinner cruises and longer  three, four and seven-day journeys floating serenely into the heart of the English countryside. Gill Smith, owner of the Away Group canal boat company, says short B&B stays on the boats are also becoming popular with the conference crowd (see away2canal上海龙凤419.uk).

And then there’s the Jewellery Quarter, a Georgian-era conservation area at the heart of the city full of listed buildings, jewellery businesses, funky shops, quirky bars and a residential property market that, compared to London, is magnetisingly cheap (see jewelleryquarter上海龙凤419).

The annual Christmas market in Birmingham spreads across Victoria Square, New Street and Chamberlain Square – a sprawling, sparkling bauble of more than 180 stalls festooned with festive lights and selling everything from handmade wooden toys to bratwurst, beer and gluhwein.

Each year the streets around the town hall and the art gallery are busy with locals and tourists alike. It’s even started to spill over into Centenary Square on the other side of Paradise Forum, where oddly inappropriate reindeer burgers can be found among the tinsel and fairylights.

And it’s a throng that’s only going to get bigger as more young people relocate from London to the UK’s long-derided and much-neglected second city.

TRIP NOTES

MORE INFORMATION

visitbirmingham上海龙凤419m

GETTING THERE

British Airways, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific operate frequent flights between  Sydney and Melbourne and London. Birmingham Airport is serviced by many  low-cost carriers.

Birmingham’s New Street Station has frequent rail services to London’s Euston station and National Express coaches connect the city (at Digbeth Coach Station, just a few minutes from the city centre) to London Victoria station, with links to Heathrow, Gatwick, East Midlands, Stansted and Luton. See.visitbirmingham上海龙凤419m/travel.

STAYING THERE

The Hyatt Regency, 2 Bridge Street, Birmingham, is right in the middle of the city, with fabulous views over the canals and the city and is within walking distance of most major attractions. Rooms start at about $180 for two,  twin share. See birmingham.regency.hyatt上海龙凤419m.

The writer was a guest of VisitEngland and British Airways.

Kevin Rudd’s second coming as PM spurred surge in donations from Chinese

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Kevin Rudd proved popular with the Chinese community. Photo: Ben RushtonKevin Rudd scandalised Beijing when he used his first official trip to China as prime minister to highlight the country’s human rights abuses. Then came his famous declaration during the Copenhagen climate change talks: “Those Chinese f—ers are trying to rat-f— us.”
Shanghai night field

Yet the latest political donations returns, released on Monday, show the fluent Mandarin speaker’s return to office in 2013 was greeted with a surge in donations from the Middle Kingdom and the local Chinese community.

The most stunning donation was $850,000 from an unheard donor named Zi Chun Wang – the biggest donation from an individual to any party in 2013/14.

Wang’s identity had political operatives flummoxed; Google and news archive searches do not produce results for that name.

It has since emerged that the donation was from a Chinese property developer, based in Hebei province, spurred to make the donation by Mr Rudd’s return to the Lodge. The donation is understood to be linked China Ever Bright, a financial conglomerate with interests in construction and property development in Australia. The donation was made at the start of August, days after Mr Rudd called the election date.

On top of that, Chinese-Australian property developer and newspaper tycoon Chau Chak Wing donated $635,000 to the ALP through his company Kingold following Mr Rudd’s return. He also donated a more meagre $200,000 to the Liberal Party. The prolific donor, who has poured over $2 million into the coffers of both major parties, is best known for donating $20 million to build the University of Technology, Sydney’s new Frank Gehry-designed “paper bag” building.

The Australian Chinese Business Elite Awards, held in Melbourne, also gave $260,000 to the ALP in July, a month after Rudd’s return.

A Wencheng Guo, whose address is listed as Mosman in Sydney, gave $100,000 to the ALP last August.

Most mysterious of all is a $400,000 donation to the ALP from Jingui Xu, whose address is listed as South Hurstville. The donation to Labor’s NSW branch was made in late September, weeks after Rudd’s election defeat.

Liberal Party branches also received $525,000 in donations from Chine property development company the YuHu Group and the Coalition received $440,000 from Chau Chak Wing’s HK Kingson Investments.

Follow us on Twitter

Tony Abbott’s leadership crisis deepens as leaked letter reveals plea for unity

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Prime Minister Tony Abbott returns to Canberra to attend a cabinet meeting at Parliament House. Photo: Andrew MearesRead Mr Nikolic’s letter to colleaguesTony Abbott’s TV exchange with David Koch’Back To Work Tuesday’: PM’s days of the week
Shanghai night field

One of Tony Abbott’s most vocal parliamentary interjectors has risked escalating the leadership crisis threatening his boss by pleading with Liberals not to become “the rabble” his party replaced in 2013.

Tasmanian Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic has written to his colleagues urging calm and increased loyalty to the Prime Minister even as the momentum appears to be building towards some kind of partyroom showdown.

“What’s going on?” he wrote.

“I’m struggling to understand how that has happened in the proud team I thought I’d joined.”

He told colleagues that changing leaders was a sign of failure because “only weak parties lose their composure and unity of purpose when challenged”.

“We are not that party,” Mr Nikolic continued.

“The branches and sequels of the disunity I am reading about in the paper each day can go in a number of different ways. My hope, my plea is that we knuckle down, refocus on what’s important and not become the rabble we defeated.”

His arguments came as several senior ministers including Treasurer Joe Hockey, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane rallied behind the Prime Minister.

Mr Macfarlane went as far as to call on deputy Liberal leader and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to “publicly” declare she would not challenge for the leadership.

But as with previous leadership tussles, backbench attempts to buttress flagging support for the leader can also have the effect of reinforcing the existence of a crisis, and risk deepening it.

Mr Abbott has pointedly refused to dismiss claims that Ms Bishop confronted him in one-on-one talks on Sunday, with the news that he was losing the confidence of his party colleagues.

It has been reported that she declined to offer him an assurance of her continued loyalty.

Speculation continues to swirl around a possible alternative leadership ticket involving Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Ms Bishop.

Some backbenchers have approached the two ministers to put themselves formally forward as leadership options.

Others have prevailed upon Ms Bishop to use her deputy role to inform Mr Abbott that he should resign.

“This is ‘backs to the wall’ stuff and I for one want teammates looking that challenge in the eye – not repeating the mistakes of those who created the challenge in the first place,” Mr Nikolic wrote. 

But the entreaty may fall on deaf ears with Liberals increasingly looking for a circuit-breaker for their troubles.

Mr Abbott and his colleagues were on Tuesday afternoon locked in a cabinet meeting scheduled to also run on Wednesday.

Mr Hockey emerged from cabinet to address the cut in interest rates and told reporters Ms Bishop is “100 per cent” behind Mr Abbott.

“I have no doubt, no doubt at all that Julie Bishop is absolutely 100 per cent supportive of the Prime Minister as we all are,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the government’s two-day cabinet meeting as “group therapy” and a “circular firing squad”.

“We don’t even know who the prime minister is going to be next week, we know that their budget’s in disarray and it’s unfair,” he said.

“This government are [sic] chaotic and dysfunctional, they’re more interested in talking about themselves, they’ve got leaks, they’ve got attacks on each other,” he said.

with Latika Bourke

Follow us on Twitter

Who are Tim Cahill’s new team, Shanghai Shenhua?

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Tim Cahill signs with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua
Shanghai night field

When Tim Cahill takes the field for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua he will be at the centre of a push to grow the world’s most popular sport in the world’s most populous nation.

“We are a recognised professional football club with a glorious history, a wide range of fans and great prestige,” said a statement from the club

The reality is that the team has consistently fallen behind its rivals,  the 2013 Asian Champions League winners, Guangzhou Evergrande.

Shenhua has taken out the Chinese Super League twice, in 1995 and 2003, the latter was stripped from the club in 2013 by the Chinese Football Association after it found evidence of matchfixing.

In 2011 it drew 1-1 with Sydney FC in the Asian Champions League.

For a club that has promoted its glorious history, it has been slim pickings over the past decade.

It is a trend that Shenhua is hoping to reverse with the signing of Cahill and fellow Australian born player, Avraam Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos was born in Melbourne but the defensive midfielder has played for the Greek national team since 2008.

He signed for over €3,20 million [$4.6 million] in January.

Cahill remains the highest profile signing for Shenhua since Ivorian striker Didier Drogba. Australian’s Mark Milligan and Joel Griffiths have also worn the club’s metallic blue jersey.

For a squad that has counted both Drogba and Nicholas Anelka among its marquee players, it has struggled to perform on the domestic and international stage.

Drogba, Chelsea’s former star striker, was hailed as a saviour of the Super League club when he joined in 2012, but the title drought since 2007 continued.

The lack of recent triumphs in domestic or international competitions has been reflected in the crowd numbers. Despite holding up to 33,000 people, Shanghai’s Hongkou stadium rarely filled passed halfway in 2014 when the club finished 9th in the league.

The lack of success is not for a lack of finances.

Like its rival, Guangzhou Evergrande and up to 13 other Chinese Super League clubs, the side is backed by multinational property developers.

In 2014, the club changed its name from Shanghai Shenhua, which it had maintained since its foundation in 1993, to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.

Chinese Property developer, the Greenland Group, now has a 28.5 per cent share in the club.

The Fortune 500 company has also added another Australian connection to its team.

Part of Cahill’s salary may end up coming from the sale of the company’s high rise residential apartments that are currently being built on Bathurst Street in the Sydney CBD. 

Property developers continue to drive the growth of the Chinese league, with their backing allowing for the signing of marquee stars such as Cahill.

Their place has come under scrutiny in the past after some reportedly received cheaper land from local administrators in exchange for their support of the local football club, according to the Economist. 

Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will be hoping that Cahill, the man who sent his country out of the Asian Cup with a spectacular bicycle kick, will help reignite the country’s passion for football after the end of the national team’s campaign.

The football-mad president is investing heavily in the sport.

From 2017 he aims to make the game compulsory in all schools, with over 20,000 fields being built in schools across the country.

According to the most recent Chinese population data from 2011, that’s over 17 million primary school students playing compulsory football alone.

It points to a bright future for the sport in the country’s burgeoning league, but mini Cahills could well be practicing bicycle kicks across the country before then.

This Detroit man must walk 33 kilometres a day for his commute. So the internet is trying to help.

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

James Robertson, 56, of Detroit. Getting to and from his factory job more than 30 km on foot. Photo: Ryan Garza James Robertson takes a brief nap while riding the bus. Photo: Ryan Garza
Shanghai night field

James Robertson, 56, of Detroit. Getting to and from his factory job more than 30 km on foot. Photo: Ryan Garza

James Robertson takes a brief nap while riding the bus. Photo: Ryan Garza

James Robertson, 56, of Detroit. Getting to and from his factory job more than 30 km on foot. Photo: Ryan Garza

James Robertson takes a brief nap while riding the bus. Photo: Ryan Garza

James Robertson, 56, of Detroit. Getting to and from his factory job more than 30 km on foot. Photo: Ryan Garza

James Robertson takes a brief nap while riding the bus. Photo: Ryan Garza

James Robertson’s commute is tougher than yours. Just … trust me on this.

Robertson takes a bus to his job at a factory, more than 30 kilometres from his Michigan home. Well, he takes a bus part of the way there.

He can’t rely on public transportation for his full route, so Robertson also walks.

And walks.

And walks.

The round trip totals about 33 kilometres on his feet.

We know this because Robertson’s “incredible daily commute” was featured in the Detroit Free Press, which reported:

Every trip is an ordeal of mental and physical toughness for this soft-spoken man with a perfect attendance record at work. And every day is a tribute to how much he cares about his job, his boss and his coworkers. Robertson’s daunting walks and bus rides, in all kinds of weather, also reflect the challenges some metro Detroiters face in getting to work in a region of limited bus service, and where car ownership is priced beyond the reach of many.

But you won’t hear Robertson complain — nor his boss.

“I set our attendance standard by this man,” says Todd Wilson, plant manager at Schain Mold & Engineering. “I say, if this man can get here, walking all those miles through snow and rain, well I’ll tell you, I have people in Pontiac 10 minutes away and they say they can’t get here — bull!”

Robertson — who makes $US10.55 ($13.50) an hour, about 30 per cent above Michigan’s minimum wage — told the Free Press that his 1988 Honda Accord broke down years ago, and he never got another car to replace it. That led to his weekday treks, which can take hours. (He also said he didn’t previously know about a service in Detroit that helps those with low incomes get to and from their jobs.)

After the piece on Robertson was published, the internet stepped in.

A Wayne State University student created a crowdfunding site that had raised more than $US67,000 by Monday afternoon.

“Are you serious?” Robertson asked a Free Press reporter who told him that a college student had raised thousands on his behalf.

“I just used my phone,” Evan Leedy, a 19-year-old computer science student, told the Free Press. “I created the go-funding site, and within an hour we had $US2000.”

Leedy, the newspaper reported, had been struck by the original article on the 56-year-old Detroit man and the “sudden torrent of people commenting online, many of them asking how they could help Robertson.”

And then there’s the car, which a local dealership has offered to give Robertson, who had told the Free Press that he hadn’t had “a chance” to save for a new one before.

“We were just impressed with his determination,” said Angela Osborne, a customer service specialist at the Chevrolet dealership.

The newspaper reports that others have offered their own cars (or bikes) (or bus tickets) to help out. That group included Joe Coppola, a technical recruiter.

“I want to give him my 2004 Chevy Cavalier,” Coppola wrote in an e-mail, according to the paper. “It runs well and is certainly better than not having a car.”

The Free Press notes that Robertson “has a routine now, and he seems to like it, his coworkers say,” which is probably a thing to consider. And UBS banker Blake Pollock, a friend who sometimes gives Robertson rides, seemed to express mixed emotions about the donations.

But let’s just focus on the positives for now, because it looks like the weather kind of stinks in Detroit, and it would be cool if something nice came out of this, right?

“Putting a car in his driveway and just handing James the keys or filling his pockets with cash is not the answer. But with these resources now, we should be able to do something very positive for the guy,” Pollock told the newspaper. “I think the hundreds of donors want this to go to James and not have this go out of his hands. So, if we can set up this little board to manage his money, I think that can happen.”

Washington Post

Jimmy Fallon takes lip-sync battle to new level with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Will Ferrell hamming it up to Beyonce’s song Drunk in Love.Forget Katy Perry’s lion-mounting Super Bowl halftime show, it was her other performance at Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show which had the audience in uproarious laughter.
Shanghai night field

In a special Super Bowl episode of the show, comedian Kevin Hart lip-synced Perry’s Roar in a lip-sync battle with comedian Will Ferrell and Fallon himself.

Hart’s gyrating Perry had the audience on their feet while Ferrell, Fallon and cameo performer Drew Barrymore sashayed in the background.

But it was Ferrell who stole the show pumping his hips as the icy Frozen bombshell, Queen Elsa, as he mouthed the movie’s theme song, Let it Go.

He even took the trouble to whip out a little fairy dust and appear “frozen” at the end of his rendition.

 

Appearing very comfortable in female impersonations and body rolls, Ferrell’s earlier take of Beyonce with Drunk in Love made James Franco and Seth Rogen’s parody of Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s Bound 2 music video look like child’s play.

Fallon’s ageing rock star performance with Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone ended with a little mascara-running and tortured-soul close up with the camera.

His friend, actress Drew Barrymore, took time out from her kids to relive moments from Dirty Dancing, as he lifted her, with his feet that is, to the crescendo of (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.

All that scuffling and lifting, comparable to an episode of So You Think You Can Dance, took their toll on Fallon’s signature suit pants leaving two holes near his knees.

There were no costumes or make up just three grown men at their miming best.

Low rates underpin $22 billion shopping centre merger

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

The merger WILL cost money to implement. Low interest rates are a major force behind the $22 billion merger that shopping centre owner Federation Centres has negotiated with Novion, the internally managed reincarnation of CFS Retail Property Trust.
Shanghai night field

Federation emerged from the ashes of one of Australia’s biggest global crisis casualties, Centro, and will implement the new merger by issuing securities to Novion including Novion’s 21.6 per cent shareholder, the Gandel Group, which supports the deal.

Ownership of the merged group will split 64 per cent – 34 per cent in favour of Novion’s security holders, reflecting the fact that Novion is contributing assets of $14.9 billion compared with Federation’s $7.3 billion.

Both sets of investors are promised longer-term gains, however, as the group extracts merger savings and debt service savings.

The combined operation’s $22.2 billion asset base will make it the second largest retail shopping centre manager behind Scentre, the former Westfield Retail Trust.

It will be an ASX top 30 stock, with a market capitalisation of over $11 billion, and will have a national retail footprint, led by Victoria (44 per cent of the combined portfolio, including Novion’s Chadstone Shopping Centre), New South Wales (19 per cent of the portfolio), Queensland (17 per cent) and Western Australia (11 per cent).

The merged retail mix looks to be well balanced between stores that sell things shoppers need to buy regularly, and stores that sell discretionary merchandise. Supermarkets account for 33 per cent of the portfolio, and specialty stores 33 per cent. Department stores, a struggling retail category, account for only 5 per cent of the merged portfolio. Merger costs and savings

The merger will cost money to implement. The groups say that transaction costs will be $458 million, including stamp duty of $106 million, costs of $75 million taken as the merged operations are rationalised in pursuit of longer-term, repeatable savings, and debt restructuring costs of $277 million, taken as the debts of both groups are renegotiated.

There are several offsetting positives, however. Federation and Novion say that earnings will be boosted by at least $42 million a year once overlapping costs, including the groups’ two head offices, are rationalised.

Novion’s corporate costs are currently 0.39 per cent of its assets under management, and Federation’s corporate overheads are 0.55 per cent of assets. The merged group’s overheads will be 0.26 per cent of assets, the groups predict.

On top of that, debt-service cost savings that flow from the rollover of the debt both groups hold into new facilities are predicted to bump up earnings by $35 million a year.

Operational savings are to be expected in a merger of this size between groups in the same market. The financing savings underline how interest rates can be a deal catalyst.

Novion’s expected average interest rate this year on existing debt facilities totalling $3.4 billion that are drawn down by $2.8 billion is 5.3 per cent. Federation’s expected average interest rate on facilities totalling $1.7 billion that are drawn down by $1.4 billion is 4.8 per cent. The merged group expects to be able to recreate the debt at an interest rate of 4.1 per cent – and lock it in for an average of more than five years, up from 3.9 years currently at Novion, and 2.7 years at Federation.

Those debt cost savings are a crucial part of the merger maths for the two groups, and for Gandel Group, Novion’s cornerstone shareholder. The merger sums will be reinforced by the Reserve Bank rate cuts that the markets are waiting for.

How long does it take for food poisoning symptoms to appear?

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Real thing: Can you tell real cinnamon from the cheaper cassia bark? Photo: iStock Cooked rice can be a breeding ground for bugs, depending on how it is stored. Photo: Supplied
Shanghai night field

Why rice can be risky

How long before eating contaminated food does it take for the symptoms of food poisoning to appear? L. Barling

“It must have been the garlic prawns (or insert other strongly flavoured food),” says the person between bouts of transferring the contents of their digestive system into that of the sewers, one way or the other. Those affected by food poisoning can suffer from something as mild as flu-like symptoms, to severe pain, fluid loss and, in extreme circumstances, death. Putting your finger on the exact cause can be difficult as different bugs can affect you in a matter of hours to 90 days. Campylobacter, often found in undercooked chook, generally takes between two to seven days to bring about a bout of gastro, which lasts for about five days. Bacillus cereus, which loves breeding in cooked rice, can bring about a 24-hour case of the runs within eight to 16 hours. The first symptoms for botulism, such as nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting, start within 12 to 36 hours, which can then be followed by neurological symptoms. From ingestion of salmonella bugs (a common source is raw egg mayo kept out at room temperature), to getting salmonellosis, is eight to 72 hours, but can take a few weeks for gastro flu-like symptoms to arise. Illness from eating food infected with Listeriamonocytogenes, which can cause flu-like symptoms, discoloured urine and miscarriage in pregnant women, can take anywhere between eight to 90 days. So a ghastly dose of food poisoning might not be caused by the last meal you ate.

Where can I buy proper cinnamon? M. Callaghan

A few weeks back we had a reader who complained about the cinnamon she bought from a supermarket being made from the cheaper cassia bark. True cinnamon is still sold in supermarkets and has a finer bark – imagine a rustic dark-brown cigar made from paper-bark. Cassia looks like a tube of mummified leather. I buy my spices from Indian grocers but try essentialingredient上海龙凤419m.au and herbies上海龙凤419m.au. Both have physical stores and online stores.

My grandmother claimed she could “hear” when her cakes were ready. Is there any science in this? J. Fisher

A lot of good chefs cook with all five senses working overtime: tasting, sniffing, feeling, eyeing-off and, of course, listening to their food. A good mate of mine is head chef at a Surry Hills restaurant in Sydney and refuses to have music playing during kitchen prep. “We toast a lot of fresh spices here,” he says. “And you have to not only smell when they are ready but listen when they pop!” I had a kitchen job at 14 and was taught by the chef to listen to the sound the foam of the sponge batter made when you folded the dry ingredients into the beaten eggs. Now as far as your nanna goes, hearing when cakes are ready, I can’t find any evidence or examples of this in food science literature so I can only assume she was listening for the oven timer or had superhuman powers. Perhaps our readers may have some suggestions?

My cream pie filling is going thin and soupy overnight. J. Hopkins

When I was younger I watched Gilligan’s Island and used to wonder, among many things, where Mary Ann was getting her eggs, flour, sugar and milk to make her pies. Cream pies are filled with what is basically a creme patisserie topped with whipped cream or meringue. Creme patisserie is a custard that is thick and stable yet still creamy-tasting at room temperature – think eclair fillings. Now, eggs contain an enzyme called amylase that breaks down starch. To stop this enzyme destroying the gelling power of the starch it needs to be brought to a temperature high enough to knock it out. To do this, the custard needs to be brought just to the boil and held there for a minute or so over medium heat, stirring continually.

Letters

Last monthwe covered rubbery clafoutis to which C. Ashby wrote, “Clafoutis does not involve custard, but batter. The texture of batters is actually determined by the gluten in flour, which will toughen when overworked.” Thank you.

Send your vexing culinary conundrums to [email protected]上海龙凤419m.au or tweet to @Foodcornish