The foul comments on the Oceans 8 trailer are exactly why we need it right now

It might not be screening until June next year but that hasn’t stopped women of almost every age, colour and creed excitedly celebrating the Ocean’s 8 trailer. Starring Sandra Bullock in the George Clooney role, and Cate Blanchett in the Brad Pitt one, it features plenty of what we need right now: relief. Certainly, there is more than this. There’s Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Sarah Paulson; there’s witty banter, there’s action, there’s jewellery and clothes and there’s not one single sex pervert in sight. We need this right now. We need a movie to show that yes, women can go get what they want, (even if it is, ahem, a jewellery heist) but more importantly, women can have fun.
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Women? Fun? Don’t we know that already? It would appear not, as a glance at the comments below the YouTube trailer would suggest.

“Seeking attention with bullshit diversity. It’s gonna suck balls. Don’t even bother”.

“All female cast. Insta garbage (historically)”.

“Another movie the feminists ruined”.

???”Looks like they decided to make all the women all confident badasses. That was a mistake.”

“They need to stop shoving these forced all women movies on us”

“Ghostbusters teach you nothing ? Look at the dislikes already ? Internet you know what to do.???”

It would appear that these commenters, like so many before them, have no idea that all-female casts are kind of exactly what half the population wants. All-female casts, and the aforementioned fun. ???We need fun so desperately right now, it’s not even funny how badly we need fun. It’s been quite a year for women; a year in which the rest of the populace finally clicked to what we’ve been enduring for millennia. Sexual assault, sexual harassment, dream killers, rape, workplace harassment. The populace clicked and expressed outrage and shock, but so far nothing much has changed. A handful of careers are over. For now. But nobody has been charged with anything, and Matt Damon, original star of the original remake of Ocean’s 11 is still wondering why we don’t celebrate men more.

Ocean’s 8 shouldn’t have to be a perfect film – Ocean’s 11 certainly wasn’t. Go back and watch it. It’s cheesy; it’s cliched and the acting – from Clooney and Pitt in particular – is average. Let’s not even mention Ocean’s 12 and 13. But none of it mattered. What mattered was that a group of good-looking, sweet-talking, movie star men were banding together and getting up to no good.

It’s interesting that all-male casts don’t have to be extraordinary, they can just be average. Because all-male casts aren’t considered special, they’re the generic default.

It’s just a tad reminiscent of what happened late last year. You know that thing that set the backlash ball rolling in the first place: the first woman to run for President of the United States lost the election.

Hillary Clinton was far from perfect, but because she’s a woman she was held to a higher standard than every other candidate. And in the end, even accounting for voter suppression, the college electoral vote and collusion with Russia, the American people sent a clear message: they’d rather have an unstable, unqualified, racist, sexual harassing narcissist in the top spot than a woman.

Similarly, women aren’t yet allowed to make fun-loving, slightly pointless movies. If there’s a female cast, it had better be super important and statement-making, like Wonder Woman; or Big Little Lies. It should tell us something about how strong women are, and how seriously we’ve fought against patriarchal constraints. If it is trying to be funny, it has to be the right type of funny – not Bridesmaids funny, where there’s pooping and burping involved. And not Ghostbusters funny where the gags don’t always land. No, it has to be expertly hilarious and shiny and perfect. You know, like Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel, or Louis CK’s I Love you Daddy. Yeah, just exactly as funny and topical and brilliant as that.

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Travelling on the M1 these holidays? Allow extra time for these road works

File image: M1 Motorway.Significant roadworks have begun between the Tuggerah and Doyalson interchanges and at the Weakleys Drive and John Renshaw Drive intersection, which can become potential congestion points for holiday traffic.
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“There are 12 kilometres of roadworks on the M1 between Tuggerah and Doyalson this holiday season with reduced speed zones” Parliamentary Secretary Scot MacDonald said.

Mr McDonald has warnedSydney, Central Coast and Hunter motorists to allow extra travel time for the M1 over the Summer holidaysto allow for roadwork upgrades.

“We anticipate these will cause delays for holidays motorists travelling in both directions.

“Motorists who haven’t used the M1 for some time may be caught out”.

Read more: Holiday opening hours for essential services in Newcastle and the Hunter

Roads and Maritime Services is expecting an increase of holiday traffic at the M1 service centres at Warnervale and will deploy traffic controllers to manage vehicles entering the centres during the holiday period to minimise delays on the motorway.

Work on the M1 between Tuggerah and Doyalson will stop during the busy Christmas period to ensure motorists reach their holiday destinations safely. No construction work will be carried out from Friday, December 22, to Wednesday, January 3.

A reduced speed limit of80 km/hwill remain in place for the safety of motorists.

The Beresfield Driver Reviver will finish operating on Monday, January 1,after 30 years of service to allow work to start on the upgrade.

The M1 upgrades make up the $391.6 million M1 Productivity Package funded by the Australian and NSW governments.

[email protected]: ASX to open slightly lower

The information of stocks that lost in prices are displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg MARKETS. 7 JUNE 2011. AFR PIC BY PETER BRAIG. STOCK EXCHANGE, SYDNEY, STOCKS. GENERIC PIC. ASX. STOCKMARKET. MARKET.
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Stock information is displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

It was certainly positive to see the ASX 200 convincingly hold and close above the 10 November high and year-to-date highs and while Aussie SPI futures indicate that the ASX 200 will open just a touch weaker (our call sits at 6069), the trend in the index is higher and any pullbacks into 6055/50 should be supported today.

1. Japan and China: Keep an eye on the Nikkei 225 and China too. The Nikkei 225 is called to open a touch weaker at 22,856, but there is a ceiling open the market at 23,000 and a close through here would be significant, so hold tight and wait for any closing move through here as it could indicate higher levels are on the cards. China requires attention as the government release its economic blueprint for 2018 today and the talk is looking quite positive for risk. The view is they place less emphasis on debt reduction and that debt levels will be tolerated in a bid for higher growth, notably, given creeping concerns about a softer property market and trade threats.

This could be a highlight of the session ahead.

2. ASX: With the ASX 200 at a nine-year high, we looked at valuations yesterday and one conversation I had with clients is the sort of index levels we can expect in the index in 2018. Of course, for a trader making longer-term predictions is often a negative exercise as it just creates a bias and a view that so many fall in love with and refuse to alter even if price or ‘the trade’ is going against them. The market is not wrong if you are making a loss and it’s the trader’s job to admit that and move onto another idea where their capital is put to better use. So we need to consider that while we have seen earnings growth in 2017, however, with the 7% gain in the ASX 200 (13% total return) YTD, the ASX 200 commands a forward earnings multiple of 16.6x. There have really only been two brief occasions in the past decade that investors have been happy to buy the market above here, so the question for equity investors is where does the growth come from? Materials, banks, healthcare? Without a belief that we can see earning re-ratings then it’s very hard to see the index push through 6150 to 6200 anytime soon.

We also need to consider the macro backdrop, as this has an important role in determining if the market is happy to pay a lofty premium (relative to the long-run average) for the index and if investors felt equities had to wear a higher risk premium then perhaps 15.5x earnings would be a more fair multiple, which would result in the index close to 5700 to 5800. Of course, the central backdrop to this investment case is near-record implied volatility, not just in the ASX 200 or S&P 500, but in interest rate, Treasuries and FX markets too.

So while being long Bitcoin (and the numerous other cryptos) has been easily the retail trader’s trade of 2017, selling volatility has been the institutional trade of the year and this has kept markets supported on any pullbacks as more and more cash made their way off the sidelines. This has been largely backed by global corporations themselves, who have been the biggest buyers of stocks over the years and we can see corporate buy-backs have had a huge role in suppressing volatility too. So as long as implied volatility stays low then investors will be happy paying a lofty multiple for these future cash flows and earnings.

3. The year ahead: I stand by the call that there is a good chance we see a repeat of January 2017, where the S&P 500 continued on its bullish trend from the get-go and just because it was a new calendar year nothing changed. That should, in theory, materialise this year too, with inspiring global growth still a dominant theme, back by earnings growth and central bank forward guidance, which makes life so much more predictable. Inflation and importantly inflation expectations is therefore key and if we are to see a sustained pick-up in volatility, which will promote an unwind of a sizeable short volatility structure, that in turn increases cash levels within portfolios and causes traders to ramp up expectations of tighter policy from the Fed, ECB and BoJ then it has to come from inflation expectations moving higher. Central banks have created the conditions by which we live today, so they will ultimately be the driver of moves in credit, equities and fixed income. The question is of course, whether the market is guided to tighter financial conditions by the central bankers themselves, or they front run the idea of more aggressive tightening and try to get ahead of the curve?

One could say this is now actually happening in Europe right now where we just have to look at the interest market. So despite the ECB being openly dovish, with its QE and liquidity forever message, the market is starting to question this. We can see the spread or difference between December 2018 and 2019 Euribor futures contracts now at the widest in a year and about to break higher through 29bp, which would be key. This requires close attention, especially if one trade the DAX or EUR.

4. Green light for tax plan: Back to the here and now and tax reform has been the central focus of late, but is discounted into equity markets here. We are hearing the vote is unsurprisingly passing through the House, followed by a vote in the Senate tomorrow. The market has heard the change of heart from the likes of Senators Collins and Corker and Marco Rubio has seen conditions change to vote for the plan, so we have come to a conclusion here.

5. Wall Street: So with tax priced in and in the absence of any new triggers, US equities have been modestly offered, with the S&P 500 currently -0.2%, driven by weakness in tech, REITs and utilities. That said, there have been some decent moves in bond markets and a steeper Treasury curve has been in play, where we can see small selling in the UK- and German 10-year, while the US-10 year Treasury has pushed up a sizeable 7bp into 2.46% and breaking out of the recent consolidation range. US banks have not warmed to this traditional driver, but we have seen an impact in FX, with USD/JPY the main beneficiary, with a move back into ??113 which should support the Nikkei 225. We can actually see EUR/USD not responding at all to higher US bond yields and has focused quite intently at the interesting workings taking place in the interest rate markets (Euribor) which I mentioned earlier. EUR/USD has gained of 0.5% on the day is in play and a test of last Thursdays high of $1.1862 takes the pair into $1.1900 perhaps $1.2000 in the early parts of January.

6. Aussie dollar: AUD/USD is unchanged on the day and the three-day consolidation continues here, with a pronounced ‘doji’ candle in play that needs to be reconciled and it will make interesting viewing as to the direction of the ensuing move.

7. Commodities: In commodity markets, we can see buying in US and Brent crude (+0.4%), while gold is largely unchanged, as is copper and spot iron ore closed -0.3%, with a touch of weakness in iron ore futures too. Nothing here that will greatly inspire, although the ASX 200 materials space was hot yesterday and put in good points, so one suspects weakness will be bought today, although traders should keep an eye on any headlines around the China economic blueprint.

8. Market watch:

SPI futures down 5 points or 0.1% to 6072

AUD flat at 76.60 US cents

On Wall St: Dow -0.1%, S&P 500 -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.4%

In New York, BHP -1.1% Rio -0.8%

In Europe: Stoxx 50 -0.8%, FTSE +0.1%, CAC -0.7%, DAX -0.7%

Spot gold -0.1% to $US1260.92 an ounce

Brent crude +0.5% to $US63.70 a barrel

US oil +0.5% to $US57.47 a barrel

Iron ore slips 22 US cents to $US73.93 a tonne

Dalian iron ore -0.4% to 531 yuan

LME aluminium +1.2% to $US2099 a tonne

LME copper +0.5% to $US6942 a tonne

10-year bond yield: US 2.46%, Germany 0.37%, Australia 2.57%

This column was produced in commercial partnership between Fairfax Media and IG

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Government delivers NRL clubs another win

30Jul2015. Sydney:?????? Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015Day 1 – Session 3 – Moderator The Hon. Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Minister for Sport, NSW Government. Photo Michele Mossop/Boao Forum.A new community and high-performance centre will be developed by the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Maroubra, part-funded by a $50 million outlay from the state government to NRL clubs.
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Sports Minister Stuart Ayres revealed on Tuesday the government would increase funds available to NRL clubs for “centres of excellence” from $40 million to $50 million.

The funds, which the government says come from previous cash allocations for NRL grand finals, are contingent on clubs raising equivalent money themselves or from third parties.

At Maroubra, Souths will use $8.7 million from the state government to build a 5,500 square metre facility at Heffron Park costing $25.7 million. The federal government will provide $10 million, Randwick Council $3 million, and Souths $4 million.

The club’s chief executive, Blake Solly, said the bulk of the centre would be open for public use and for Souths’ community programs. “The gym facility won’t be, but pretty much everything else will be,” said Mr Solly.

Such facilities included sporting fields, a classroom and meeting rooms. Souths plan to move into the area when their lease runs out at Redfern Oval in 2020, though the club said it would retain links with its “spiritual home”.

The government will also make grants to the Bulldogs ($2 million), Newcastle Knights ($10 million), the Roosters ($5.8 million) and the Cronulla Sharks ($8 million). The government said it would reserve for the Sea Eagles $10 million, and Wests Tigers $5.5 million, while those clubs developed proposals.

The funding for the Roosters is to be spent on headquarters and training facilities, the government said, while the Bulldogs’ facilities will be developed at Belmore. In a statement, the interim chief executive at the Sharks, Paul Eriksson, said the club’s centre of excellence would be a “sporting, community and education hub.”

The announcement of the funding allocation follows significant public controversy over stadium funding. The $40 million was promised in April 2016, when former premier Mike Baird said the government would refurbish ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park, but not build a new stadium at Moore Park.

Last month, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over-turned that decision, and said the government would replace stadiums at Moore Park and Olympic Park at a cost of $2 billion.

Mr Ayres said the centres of excellence would “provide NRL clubs an opportunity to maintain a strong presence in traditional communities as the government prioritises capital investment into a targeted number of … venues”.

The opposition, which has previously promised $55 million for NRL centres of excellence, criticised the increase in the funding.

“This is even before we get to the additional $200 million needed for the indoor sports stadium they have promised,” said Labor’s sports spokeswoman, Lynda Volz.

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Revealed: minister failed to release gambling harm report despite advice

Former NSW deputy premier Troy Grant was advised in May last year to make public “as soon as possible” a landmark gambling harm report that recommends banning a controversial poker machine feature that was the subject of a Federal Court battle involving billionaire James Packer’s casino company Crown.
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But the NSW government sat on the report until October this year – almost two years after it was delivered – despite inquiries from its lead author, University of Sydney gambling researcher Professor Alex Blaszczynski, who “expressed frustration” at the delay.

The revelations are contained in emails and briefing notes released to Fairfax Media under government information access laws.

In October Gaming Minister Paul Toole finally released the report by the University of Sydney gambling treatment clinic, commissioned in 2013 at a cost of $263,000 and handed to the government in December 2015.

Among its recommendations is banning a controversial feature of poker machines known as “losses disguised as wins”, blamed by experts for fuelling addiction.

Losses disguised refers to when celebratory music and graphics are played when a player wins an amount, despite it being less than what was gambled.

The government sat on the report as Crown and poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat fought a Federal Court case in which it is alleged the feature is “misleading and deceptive”.

Crown and Aristocrat are defending allegations by a former poker machine addict, Shonica Guy, that a machine called Dolphin Treasure – 38 of which are installed at Crown’s Melbourne casino – is misleading, deceptive and in breach of consumer law. The parties are awaiting a verdict.

A May 2016 briefing note for Mr Grant, who at the time was deputy premier and gaming minister, recommends that he approve release of the report. It says the report “should be published as soon as possible to ensure that it is still current when it is released”.

“The research provides new and important information about the harms related to gambling products,” it says.

“This will be valuable to all gambling stakeholders in Australia. It will ensure that any new initiatives are informed by the latest evidence.”

An October 21 email from a senior Liquor and Gaming NSW official says the report and its recommendation were “sent to the deputy premier on 31 May, 2016, with a recommendation to release the report. However, the deputy premier has not yet advised on the release of the report.”

It notes the Herald had questioned the delay and that Professor Blaszczynski had “expressed frustration” and raised “concerns” including “the lack of updates or rationale provided by the government to date as to the significant delays in releasing this research report”.

An October 31 email between bureaucrats shows an adviser in Mr Grant’s office had flagged the report would be released but was “awaiting necessary authorisations”.

A response on November 3 states: “FYI – I have been informed today that Dr Blaszczynski has inquired with Leanne Perry in my unit as to who he can speak to in order to arrange a meeting with the deputy premier to discuss this issue.”

Mr Grant, who is Police Minister, was dumped as Nationals leader and deputy premier in a reshuffle in late November and replaced as gaming minister by Mr Toole in January this year.

A spokesman for Mr Toole said the report “made a number of legislative, regulatory and policy recommendations which needed be to clarified and further considered by Liquor & Gaming NSW”.

“It was important the government gave due regard to these issues as part of an extensive process of evaluation,” he said.

“There was also a need to draft a formal government response document and for both the report and response document to be considered by cabinet. Once this had all occurred, the report was released without delay.”

The government has said a ban on losses disguised as wins will be considered as part of a broader review of prohibited features on poker machines in NSW, with the timeframe yet to be determined.

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