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first_imgHong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong was granted bail on Wednesday after being formally charged in court in connection with participating in an unauthorized assembly in October 2019 and violating a city anti-mask law.The court decision comes as Wong and other activists face prosecution on suspicion of several offences related to last pro-democracy protests last year, which prompted Beijing to impose a sweeping national security law in the Asian financial hub on June 30.Wong, 23, who was arrested on Sept. 24, was defiant. “We just want to send a clear message to the world, even if they arrest us, prosecute us and even lock us up in prison, there’s no reason for us to give up,” he said outside the court.His case was adjourned until Dec. 18.Just 17 years old when he became the face of student-led Umbrella Movement democracy protests in 2014, Wong was not a leading figure of the often violent unrest that shook the semi-autonomous former British colony last year.He had been a frequent visitor to Washington where he appealed to the US Congress to support Hong Kong’s democracy movement and counter Beijing’s tightening grip. His US visits angered Beijing, which says he is a “black hand” of foreign forces.The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison.Authorities introduced a law against masks last year in a bid to help police identify protesters they suspected of committing crimes.The Hong Kong government has since then made masks mandatory in most circumstances because of the novel coronavirus.center_img Topics :last_img read more


first_imgThe Reserve Bank implemented three rates cuts through the middle of 2019, which was a win for those looking to get mortgages but experts are concerned about the rest of the economy.Christmas has come early for homeowners, with almost a quarter of experts naming Brisbane the best city in Australia to invest in as the Reserve Bank today chose to hold fast on interest rates.Chairing the final monetary policy meeting of the decade for the RBA board, Governor Philip Lowe not only kept the official interest rate at a historic low 0.75 per cent – a move widely expected by the market – but he said “it was reasonable to expect that an extended period of low interest rates will be required in Australia to reach full employment and achieve the inflation target”. Oct 2, 2019 -0.25% to 0.75%Jul 3, 2019 -0.25% to 1.00%Jun 5, 2019 -0.25% to 1.25%Aug 3, 2016 -0.25% to 1.5%May 4, 2016 -0.25% to 1.75%.May 6, 2015 -0.25% to 2.0%Feb 4, 2015 -0.25% to 2.25%Aug 7, 2013 -0.25% to 2.5%May 8, 2013 -0.25% to 2.75%Dec 5, 2012 -0.25% to 3.0% (Source: RBA) Best capital city to purchase property, December 2019. Source: Fnder.com.au/SuppliedMelbourne figured at the top too (22 per cent) – though with a significantly higher pricetag for buyers. Canberra and Sydney were tied (13 per cent each) while 9 per cent favoured Hobart, and dragging along the bottom were Perth and Adelaide “with only 4 per cent of experts tipping the cities to be a wise property investment”.The final RBA monetary policy meeting for 2019 comes amid a weak domesic economy that’s crying out for stimulus, with the central bank having responded with three rate cuts that have paid dividends for housing prices but not as much for the rest of the economy. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is against going into negative rates.The same Finder survey saw almost a quarter of the experts name Brisbane the top city to buy property in (22 per cent), with the Queensland capital showing “good value”.The results could mean a surge in New South Welsh people on the hunt for property in Queensland over the holiday season, with Finder insights manager Graham Cooke saying Sydney’s low performance in the survey was a surprise.“While Melbourne and Brisbane are strong candidates for the most promising property market in Australia, it is a bit stunning to see Sydney perform relatively poorly,” he said. “The state you live (in) doesn’t need to be the state where you buy. With many Sydneysiders grappling with housing affordability, rentvesting could be the way to go.” Australia’s biggest housing jump in 16 years “The Board is prepared to ease monetary policy further if needed to support sustainable growth in the economy, full employment and the achievement of the inflation target over time,” Mr Lowe said in a statement released after the RBA meeting this afternoon.All but one expert in the latest Finder RBA Cash Rate Survey (97 per cent) predicted rates would hold, and a whopping two-thirds now expect the central bank will move to drop to 0.5 per cent in February 2020.The board is facing growing pressure to find the right balance between not overcooking the housing market and stirring up the rest of the stagnant economy via one of the only moves available to the RBA – lower rates. Pedestrians walk past the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.The latest RBA Rate Indicator showed market sentiment has definitely shifted towards a hold position, with a 91 per cent expectation of “no change” yesterday. “As at 2 December, the ASX 30 Day Interbank Cash Rate Futures December 2019 contract was trading at 99.270, indicating a 9 per cent expectation of an interest rate decrease to 0.50 per cent at the next RBA Board meeting,” according to the ASX rate tracker.One of the Australia’s Big Four banks, the Commonwealth Bank, expected the RBA to keep its options open for future rate cuts.“It is not the external sector which is driving low annual growth rates in Australia’s real GDP, but the weakness in Australia’s domestic economy,” the latest CBA Global Markets Research report said. But if the RBA expects more cash in hand for homeowners will mean more retail spending, it may be disappointed, with CBA predicting that extra wealth off lower mortgage rates would be used “to speed up debt repayment”.“Most households that have a home loan have not adjusted their principal and interest repayments downwards as a result of recent RBA easing. Just 7 per cent of CBA customers with a principal and interest home loan, for example, have reduced their monthly repayments as mortgage rates have come down in 2019.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agocenter_img RBA: LAST 10 RATE CUTS MORE: Rivers, the sea, canals driving up prices Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Before we talk about the action, here are the requisite power figures you need to know. On paper, the BMW should lose because it’s the weakest of the bunch with only 600 horsepower (448 kW) and 553 pound-feet (750 Newton meters) of torque. The AMG Merc doesn’t have much of an advantage with 603 hp (450 kW) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm), but the Panamera Sport Turismo boasts a cracking 680 hp (507 kW) and 626 lb-ft (849 Nm) of twist. However, the Porsche carries a weight disadvantage of around 880 pounds (400 kilograms) over the BMW. Can the Panamera’s power advantage and instant electric torque from the hybrid mill send it to victory in this three-way drag race? Spoiler alert: we already said that the mass makes a difference compared to the previous race, which incidentally the Porsche won. On paper, all three cars have virtually identical times to 100 km/h (62 mph) but as everyone knows, bench racing doesn’t automatically transfer to real life. Even the smallest advantage or disadvantage on the starting line can have a colossal difference at the other end of the track, and that – combined with the Porsche’s weight disadvantage – keeps it out of the top spot this time.As for how the race actually played out for all three contenders, we’ll leave that excitement to the video.Source: Top Gear More Porsche Racing Action Watch BMW i8 Race Porsche 996 Turbo, BMW M3 And Others We saw the same competitors a few months ago, but this time the outcome is different.Here’s an awesome bit of drag racing (on a closed airfield of course) to help you usher in the weekend. Top Gear lined up three super German machines for a friendly contest of speed, starting with the BMW M5. Next up is the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, and rounding out the trio is a Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. If the contestants seem familiar somehow, they should  – Autocar did virtually the same race a couple months ago with one very notable difference. The Porsche in this lineup is the heavier Sport Turismo versus the sedan. And yes, that extra mass does make a difference. Source: Electric Vehicle News Watch Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Race BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Watch Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Take Down 6 Track Records read more

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