Monthly Archives: November 2018

Malouf eyes the Middle East

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Michelin-starred chef Greg Malouf has dashed the hopes of Melbourne foodies, announcing he has no plans to return home to set up a restaurant following his departure from Petersham Nurseries Cafe in England.
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Malouf told Fairfax today his next move was likely to be to the Middle East. He is leaving Australia for Dubai next week, and is in discussions with investors about potential projects there, in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul.

A spokeswoman from Petersham Nurseries announced this week the cafe was searching for a new chef to take over from Malouf, who was awarded a Michelin star during his seven-month stint at the trendy establishment, located in Richmond just outside London.

Malouf says he has left Petersham on amicable terms, describing his tenure as a win-win for him and the nursery’s owners Gael and Francesco Boglione following the much rockier departure of Skye Gyngell.

“It’s opened lots of doors for me,” said Malouf today of his time at Petersham. “I’ve had a lot of people (in London) approach me with various opportunities, although, I should add there are a lot of tyre-kickers around.”

Malouf told Fairfax last month that his long-term dream was to open his own Middle Eastern restaurant in London and said today that was still the plan. “But at the moment it makes more sense to base myself in the Middle East, because it is much closer to Australia and my number one priority is family.”

Malouf’s wife and her two children, aged 12 and 15, still live in Melbourne although the eventual plan is for them to join him overseas.

Malouf said basing himself in the Middle East also made sense because he is in the planning stages of a new travel book about the Arab Peninsula with former wife Lucy, who is now based in Provence. Malouf was reluctant to spell out the details of the Middle East projects saying no contracts had been signed, but said it was likely he would be based there for the next 18 to 24 months at least.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Partial eclipse still worth an early start for Canberrans

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Did you see the eclipse? Tell us about it below, or send your photos to us by email.
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Canberrans may not have been treated to the spectacular total eclipse witnessed on the beaches of Cairns, but here in the capital there were still plenty of people gazing at the sky on Wednesday.

While not as rare as a total solar eclipse, the partial solar eclipse over Canberra still made for some impressive viewing.

Craig Bornholm, an IT worker from Gordon, said he was watching the eclipse on television with his three children, and thought he’d try his luck seeing the real thing from outside.

“We just sort of watched it over breakfast while we were getting ready,” Mr Bornholm said.

“I was just lucky enough to be able to see it from home.”

Mr Bornholm, who said he “dabbles” in landscape photography, grabbed his SLR camera and managed to snap a clear shot of the partial eclipse between the clouds.

He said his eldest son was the most excited about the rare phenomenon this morning.

“[It was] exciting that the kids were able to watch it as well on the TV,” Mr Bornholm said.

“They were quite interested in it, especially my eldest … He’s in to space and astronomy like most 8 year olds.”

Mr Bornholm said he’d probably try his luck again with the camera the next time an eclipse comes around.

But just why did northern Queensland get the full light show, while Canberra only got a slice of it?

A total eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun.

At this time, both the sun and the moon – which is 400 times smaller than the sun, but 400 times closer to Earth – appear the same size in the sky while the moon casts a small, circular shadow on Earth.

Those lucky enough to be on the small strip of land over which this shadow is cast are able to see the solar eclipse in its entirety.

The shadow of Wednesday’s eclipse was about 140 kilometres wide. It began in the Northern Territory at sunrise, and crossed the top of far north Queensland before exiting the east coast between Innisfail and Port Douglas.

Conveniently cloud over the region was patchy on Wednesday morning and there were plenty of opportunities for people living there, particularly in northern Queensland, to see the full eclipse in all its splendour.

Cloud cover here in the capital was quite heavy, but some Canberrans were lucky enough to witness a partial eclipse through grey patches.

A spokeswoman from the Bureau of Meteorology in Canberra explained that cool sea breezes coming off the coast on Tuesday night were responsible for the moisture which formed the night’s cloud cover.

And although happenings outside the earth’s atmosphere are not strictly within the Bureau of Meteorology’s remit, the spokeswoman was happy to explain the reason we didn’t see the full eclipse was because Canberra did not fall directly under the path of the moon’s shadow, cast by the sun onto the earth on Wednesday morning.

“It’s all to do with position and timing, relative to the three bodies,” she said.

An easy way to understand is by imagining two people standing in direct sunlight facing the sun, she said.

If one person stands still and the other sits completely covered in their shadow, the second person will be unable to see the sun.

But if the second person moves so they’re partially within the shadow and partially in the sun, they’ll be able to see part of the sun.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Trumped! Why dead celebs may be the safest option

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Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.ANALYSIS
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When PepsiCo announced a marketing campaign earlier this year that involved plastering Michael Jackson’s silhouette on a billion Pepsi cans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Bad album, some wondered if celebrity endorsement might have run off the rails. After all, Jackson was dead and not drinking much soda.

But there was an upside to this as well – despite the controversies that followed him in life, Jackson was no longer in a position to heap unexpected embarrassment on Pepsi through fresh words and actions.

Living celebs can do more damage – as Nike and other backers of Lance Armstrong found out recently.

Now, Macy’s, the world’s largest department store chain, is also finding out the hard way how celeb alliances can have a nasty sting in the tail. And the implications go deeper than just celebrity endorsement – they run to the heart of the identity crisis that is plaguing department stores everywhere.

Macy’s immediate problem lies in the cantankerous persona of 66-year-old Donald Trump, whose signature line of suits, shirts, ties and fragrances have helped drive improved sales performance at the chain in recent months. Now, Macy’s is on the receiving end of a petition to end its relationship with the Donald. The petition accuses Macy’s of being socially irresponsible and already reportedly has 500,000 signatures.

Trump, a constant presence in the Twittersphere, has been running his mouth off in ways that many consider to be inappropriate and ridiculous. He has ranted, among other things, about global warming being a Chinese conspiracy and of Obama not being born in the US. After the election he was at it again, claiming that Obama’s victory was a sham and an injustice and advocating that people march on Washington to protest.

Seemingly oblivious to Trump’s divisiveness, Macy’s has aired a video ad called Another Miracle on 34th Street in which Trump tugs at Santa’s beard in the retailer’s New York flagship store to prove that he isn’t real. This has been seen as an attempt by the retailer to cash in on Trump’s irrational obsession about the president’s true country of origin.

Whether or not Macy’s decides to cut Trump loose, the controversy hoists into full public view the broader problem of what department stores actually represent.

Department stores have been around for so long they have become identified with a past generation of shoppers that is dying out. They are venerated as a shopping icon by many older citizens but have fought hard to demonstrate continuing relevance among younger shoppers. In the retail industry’s zoo they want to be its cheetahs, not its armadillos or its ostriches.

Unfortunately, identifying with people like Trump plays right into the armadillo stigma. It might help sell ties to ageing and stridently unenlightened white males, but it will not help them with the younger generation of shoppers they so badly need to be on their side.

In trying to reverse the steady loss of market share they have experienced for many years in just about every developed country you can name, department stores are now fighting their own extinction by trying to appeal to millennials with more contemporary brands and greater use of technology.

So much so that a broader cross-generational appeal has become one of the department store industry’s biggest conceits – witness the hype David Jones is creating just by putting up a functional website.

But the problem for department stores and for any retailer that tries to have mass appeal is that it becomes impossible to define a clear point of view. You end up standing for nothing. Mass appeal or standing for something – it’s rare you can have it both ways.

Global retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, Zara and Victoria’s Secret know this only too well. They sometimes annoy the hell out of whole segments of the consumer market in order to appeal more to the people they are really targeting.

Department stores are still playing monkey in the middle. They want to look hip but they are still aligning themselves with dinosaurs. Their very survival may depend on how well they are being able to resolve the conflict.

Michael Baker is principal of Baker Consulting and can be reached at [email protected]南京夜网 and www.mbaker-retail南京夜网.

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Obeid family had inside information, inquiry hears

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Business interests … former NSW ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid.The Obeid family had extensive inside information about an upcoming government coal tender, according to confidential file notes made by their solicitor.
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The Independent Commission Against Corruption, which is investigating the decision to open the Bylong Valley to coal mining, heard testimony today from Chris Rumore, a partner at Colin Biggers & Paisley.

Internal file notes he made during private meetings with three of ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid’s sons reveal extensive planning for the family to take as much as 40 per cent of the mining company that would win a coal exploration licence for the valley.

Mr Rumore received these instructions in June and July 2008 – but the tenders were not called until September that year. The Obeids even knew, the notes suggested, how long the expression of interest process would be open to bids.

They also show the lengths the Obeids were prepared to go to to disguise their holding, with a web of trusts and shelf companies which were to be in the names of Mr Rumore and another Colin Biggers & Paisley lawyer, Greg Skehan.

The Commissioner, David Ipp QC, asked Mr Rumore to clarify the notes.

“These provisions suggest to me that the Obeid brothers were contemplating the real prospect of coal exploration activity being conducted?” he asked.

“Yes,” Mr Rumore confirmed.

The ICAC has previously heard that the Obeids were expecting a windfall profit on their coal deals of $100 million. To date, they have received $30 million, it has been alleged.

In earlier evidence John Cherry, Kerry Packer’s former tax adviser, told the commission of numerous conversations with Eddie Obeid about the purchase of his property at Bylong.

“Eddie Obeid had some weird and wonderful option deal that I did not understand,” he said, prompting laughter in the public gallery.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.