Property industry confidence in Queensland real estate is on the up

first_imgConfidence rises among property industry participants in Queensland real estate. Photo: AAP Image/Marc RobertsonTHE latest National Australia Bank (NAB) survey of 300 property industry respondents reveals rising confidence in the Queensland property price outlook.The NAB Quarterly Australian Residential Property Survey for the September Quarter showed expectations were on the up across most jurisdictions, according to NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster.“The NAB Residential Property Survey shows an improvement in market sentiment across most states last quarter, but we continue to see market conditions that vary across different locations,” Mr Oster said.“The momentum is clearly with Victoria, while New South Wales is experiencing something of a slowdown,” he said.More 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 investorless than 1 hour agoAccording to the report, the NAB Residential Property Index rose 6 points nationally to +20 during the quarter.The report said sentiment improved in all states except NSW, while Queensland saw a four point rise to +16.Despite the sentiment, NAB is forecasting a slowdown in national price growth over the coming year.NAB Group Economics revised its national house price forecasts to an increase of 3.4 per cent in 2018 — previously 4.3 per cent.NAB’s Hedonic House Price Forecast for Brisbane predicts growth of 1.9 per cent in 2018, softening to 1.2 per cent in 2019.“Melbourne and Hobart are currently experiencing solid growth in prices; Sydney is cooling and we expect Brisbane and Adelaide will cool,” Mr Oster said.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclairlast_img read more

Syracuse men’s basketball roundtable: Everything to know before the ACC tournament

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (19-12, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) plays a rubber match with Wake Forest (11-19, 4-14) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Barclays Center in the first round of the ACC tournament. Syracuse has historically struggled in Brooklyn, but will need to exorcise its demons and likely go on a mini run if it hopes to make the NCAA Tournament.Our beat writers take on three questions surrounding the Orange ahead of the conference tournament.Syracuse split with Wake Forest during the regular season. What does Syracuse need to do to fend off a pesky Demon Deacons team?Matthew Gutierrez: First, overcome whatever sort of ghosts lie under the Barclays Center floor that have doomed Syracuse, because SU has lost four in a row at that place. Fellow beat writer Tomer Langer, a native of the area, may know the answer.Aside from that, all the Orange really has to do is stick to its identity, which was on full display Saturday in its first win against a ranked opponent this season, as junior point guard Frank Howard pointed out. That’s strong defense — remember WFU’s six-straight 3-pointers? — and reliance on the big three scorers.Any contributions Marek Dolezaj can bring, and any sort of job players can do to minimize turnovers, are plusses. It’s not necessary a formula to beat quality teams, but it’s a way to scrape by.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSam Fortier: Erase Bryant Crawford. Wake Forest goes as their do-it-all guard does, and if Syracuse’s defense prevents him from draining three corner 3s down the stretch — as he did in WFU’s Jan. 3 win — than the Orange should be fine. He greases the wheels, assisting on nearly one-third of his team’s buckets, per, and is a serviceable shooter from all over the floor.SU’s thin frontcourt should be worrisome against 7-foot-1, 280-pound big man Doral Moore, but as long as the Orange keeps him off the boards they should be OK. So, OK, there’s a lot to do to beat Wake Forest in a venue it’s faced some mighty struggles in, but Syracuse should — should — be able to do it.Tomer Langer: Contain Doral Moore on the inside and hope he doesn’t get the ball too much. Moore is fairly athletic and posed some issues for the sometimes slow-footed Paschal Chukwu on the inside the last time these two teams matched up. SU head coach Jim Boeheim said after the Boston College loss last week that Chukwu is playing on sore knees. And while Syracuse’s center did have a nice double-block sequence against Clemson on Saturday, there were multiple times the Tigers got easy buckets on the inside.A lot of the focus will be on Wake Forest’s 3-point shooting after the Demon Deacons hung around in Syracuse back in mid-February by raining from deep. But if SU stretches the zone too far out, Moore can cause matchup issues in an area in which the Orange is depleted.With games on consecutive days throughout the ACC Tournament, will SU’s short bench play a factor?M.G.: You’d like to think so. But because Syracuse didn’t play a preseason tournament against formidable opponents, we don’t really know the answer. Syracuse had little rest between its home loss to No. 1 Virginia and its impressive win at Louisville, so it’s possible that SU can play when tested on short rest. Where it would get murky is if SU must play three or four in a row. Syracuse played three games in five days back in November, but that was in the Carrier Dome versus, you know, teams that visit the Carrier Dome in November.S.F.: Yes. Jim Boeheim’s strategy, which to his credit has seemed to work this season, is that media timeouts provide players adequate rest to get through a game without fatigued legs dooming his team at the end. That works for single games. Now, the ACC tournament schedule foists an untenable workload on Syracuse players who have shouldered heavy burdens this season already, timeouts be damned.Playing nearly 40 minutes a night is tiring, freshman forward Oshae Brissett admitted Saturday, but he hits the ice baths hard in between games to get himself right in the approximately two- to four-day rests he usually has. But there’s none of that now. While a short bench doesn’t guarantee a loss or anything that drastic, it’s going to impact this team and tire them out more than normal.T.L.: Conceivably, yes. I just think it’s a bit overstated how much. SU’s short bench has played a factor all year, even when there’s been rest in between the games, because if guys aren’t on their game, Boeheim has no one else to put in. And, for any team, it would be hard to have to play on the first day and win five-straight games to secure the ACC Tournament crown.But the Orange is used to its playing style, and I don’t think the back-to-back days element will be too different than it is for other teams, because teams tend to ride their star players and shorten the bench in important games, anyway.How many games does Syracuse need to win to make the NCAA Tournament?M.G.: The magic number here might be three. Two wins would probably be attractive in the eyes of the Selection Committee, but that still puts Syracuse in cloudy bubble territory, I think, while three wins this week in Brooklyn punches Syracuse’s ticket to the Big Dance. Three wins would prove that Syracuse can play away from home consistently, beat one or two quadrant one teams, and withstand the rigors of one of the toughest conference tournaments in college hoops.That, of course, means big games from the big three every night and a fourth scorer in Dolezaj. Without the latter, the NIT may be Syracuse’s final destination.S.F.: Two. If Syracuse beats Wake Forest, that impresses no one. But beating a well-rested, top-10 team on the second night of a back-to-back? That would automatically replace Clemson as the Orange’s marquee win of the season and get some double takes from the Selection Committee.No matter what, this won’t be an anxiety-free process. Syracuse fans should intently watch other bubble teams like UCLA, Marquette, Alabama, Baylor, Oklahoma State and, yes, Mike Hopkins-led Washington. Two wins won’t inspire the most confidence, but it’ll get the Orange into the NCAA Tournament in the same way an action hero always slides underneath a heavy, descending door just in time.T.L.: Can I say 2.5? It’s definitely more than one and it really depends on what other bubble teams do as well. Sam is right in saying that if SU beats Wake Forest and then goes on to beat UNC, it would be the marquee win of the season. That being said, picking up really your only marquee win of the season in March might not be enough to sway a committee that looks at a team’s body of work and doesn’t put as much stock into recency. Two wins would give the Orange a jolt, and I think three wins would assure a spot. Comments Published on March 5, 2018 at 10:08 pmlast_img read more

Justice for Liberia, Peace for the Citizens

first_imgSince the civil war ended and Liberia transitioned into a rather fragile peace, it is people of other countries who have been championing justice for the impoverished and war affected people.It is estimated that 250,000 innocent Liberians were killed with nearly the entire infrastructure and social fabric of the nation destroyed.Besides the destruction caused by the war, Liberians appear to have turned on themselves as a result of prolonged exposure to violence and crime and engendered ethnic hatred.For instance, bitterness from the war exists between Gio-Mano on the one hand and the Krahns on the other hand.  Mandingos and the two major tribes of Nimba, the Gio and Mano, are yet to be fully reconciled because of bitterness from the war.The same is with the Mandingos and the rest of the tribes of Lofa County.Amidst this persistent bitterness and animosities rooted in the prolonged civil war, there is an urgent need to do away with bitterness and animosity, but this may prove unachievable until justice takes its course.In order to help relieve Liberians of the burden of hurt and grief and to provide to a significant existence, guarantees of non-repetition, accountability for past abuses should be a must do as a way of undermining impunity and discouraging the settling of old scores which could lead the nation down the path to conflict once again.In this regard, the arrest in France recently, of former battlefield commander of the defunct United Liberation Movement (ULIMO-K), Kunti K, is a welcome development.In 2017, the Belgian Government arrested former National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) Artillery Commander, Martina Johnson for her role in the Liberian war.In Great Britain in 2017, Agnes Reeves Taylor was arrested by the British Government to answer to charges of human rights abuse committed during the civil war.The United States Government had, by then, already convicted Mohammed Jabateh otherwise referred to as Jungle Jabbah, and NPFL former Defense Minister, Thomas Woewiyu who, just a few months ago, faced trial in the United States.Dutch arms trafficker, Gus Kouwenhoven has also been slapped with a 19-year jail term having been adjudged guilty of selling arms to jailed former President, Charles Taylor during the war.The fight for justice in Liberia still continues, however, this time around, with a kind of resurgence never seen since the TRC submitted its report in December 2009. Currently there is a growing wave of international support for accountability for past abuses.Most notable is that received from US Congressman, Daniel Donovan, who has announced plans to introduce a bill seeking the establishment of a War Crimes Court and the implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).The quest is for Justice, both restorative and retributive as recommended by the TRC. So far, the call for justice has centered mainly on retributive justice, or the prosecution of war and economic criminals.This newspaper, however, remains mindful of the compelling need to restore communities to a state of harmony and peaceful coexistence which were ruptured by the conflict, as well as to restore individuals who lost their humanity and committed atrocities during the prolonged civil war.The term justice means rendering to everyone his due or right; just treatment, requital of desert; merited reward or punishment; that which is due to one’s conduct or motives (1913 Webster).This newspaper observes that mounting efforts to ensure that victims of the civil conflict receive justice are being undermined by a few Liberians, mainly perpetrators, using scare tactics to silence calls for justice.They argue that the establishment of a War Crimes Court here means the country will revert to war. As a result of such scare tactics by former warlords, many ordinary Liberians to harbor fears that the quest for justice would serve to undermine peace and foment anarchy.Such negative perception only serves to entrench the culture of fear and impunity and rewards war criminals with lucrative positions in government. To the disappointment of a growing number of Liberians, the CDC-led Government that once advocated for the establishment of war crimes court to prosecute perpetrators now appears to be linking up with the very perpetrators to sweep justice under the carpet.This paper, the Daily Observer, believes that in order for this country to achieve progress, its leadership must tackle corruption, address the culture of fear and impunity, promote unfettered access to cold, neutral and impartial justice to all its citizens without bias or discrimination and create opportunities for self-actualization for all and sundry.We hope the campaign for justice in Liberia will succeed in establishing the Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal for Liberia as recommended by the TRC. This newspaper firmly believes that this is perhaps the best guarantee for non-repetition of the horrors visited upon the Liberian people by individuals who lost their humanity.For to do otherwise will only serve to further undermine the rule of law and entrench a perception of ‘might makes right’, which will ultimately cause immeasurable harm to the nation and its peoples.This newspaper strongly supports accountability and the rule of law. It shall not, never ever bend its knees in deference to those who seek to wave the ‘Sword of Damocles’ over this nation and frighten the people into subservience and fear.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more