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USS enters direct inflation-swap deal with Yorkshire Water

first_imgThe multi-employer pension scheme for higher education workers in the UK said long-dated derivatives were becoming expensive for counterparties to roll over with banks when break clauses are reached.Yorkshire Water’s break allowed USS to offer an alternative, adding an inflation match in the scheme’s liability-driven investment (LDI) portfolio.Ben Levenstein, head of private debt and special situations at USS Investment Management, the scheme’s in-house asset manager, said it restructured Yorkshire Water’s inflation swap to match its own requirements.“We got to a situation where both parties were happy with the predicted stream of cash flows from the new swap put in place,” he said.USS, which has 7.4% of its assets in LDI, purchased long-dated inflation swaps from Yorkshire Water that mature in 2063.It also removed any further break clauses.Levenstein said USS began discussions with the water company a year ago, knowing it would require inflation-linked financing.Water companies in the UK are owned privately, but their revenues are regulated by the government and include annual adjustments in line with the retail prices index, the same inflation measure used by USS to increase pensions.He said the scheme was keen to continue sourcing direct inflation-swap deals with companies that require counterparties with a longer-term perspective.“We are very keen to explore new opportunities,” he said. “USS is perfectly suited to this sort of investment with inflation and duration exposure.“There have not been many of these transactions before, so we have developed the process to undertake ones like this.”USS declined to comment on the structure of the deal, including whether the swap was collateralised.Levenstein, however, said Yorkshire Water was a “strong” counterparty.The pair set up a special-purpose vehicle, Aysgarth Finance, to manage the swap’s cashflows.Earlier this year, Yorkshire Water announced it held £2bn in inflation swaps, with further breaks in 2018, 2020, 2023 and 2025 but plans in place to manage the breaks in 2018.Yorkshire Water said its inflation-linked derivatives portfolio was putting pressure on the company’s credit quality, downgraded recently by Moody’s. The £49bn (€67bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has become a direct counterparty to a UK utility company in an inflation swap used to manage liabilities.Inflation swap derivatives are normally run through banks that act as counterparties to both sides.The cost of managing these transactions, however, has increased due to banking regulation since the financial crisis.The deal with Yorkshire Water, thought to be worth more than £130m, was arranged when the company’s previous swap deals approached a break clause – where banks and customers often renegotiate the pricing of derivatives.last_img read more

Gold Coast market on a downward slope but don’t panic just yet

first_imgVarsity Lakes is one of the Coast suburbs that’s performing well.Herron Todd White Gold Coast director Tod Gillespie said there were a number of reasons the market was softening, but assured there was no reason to panic.Different lending criteria potentially as a result of the banking inquiry and Chinese buyers disappearing from the market were partly responsible.But he said low consumer confidence was making buyers, particularly locals, cautious.“It’s a combination of the press about the Sydney and Melbourne markets slowing,” Mr Gillespie said.“Generally the Gold Coast market follows.“We’ve just gone through four years of sustained growth year on year so at some point, it has to slow down.”He encouraged anyone looking to buy on the Coast to do their research.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:28Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:28 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p270p270p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenElizabeth Tilley talks prestige property07:29 A new report predicts the Gold Coast property market will slow down in coming months.THE Gold Coast property market is on a downward slope, a new report reveals.The latest report by property valuation and advisory group Herron Todd White suggests both the housing and unit markets on the Glitter Strip are “starting to decline”.The findings are based on property market performance in major cities and regions across the country over the first half of the year and where they are likely to go in the next six months.Following a dull period during the Commonweatlh Games, the report said agents indicated the market had improved to level back out.Despite sales dropping over the past year in most areas, some suburbs were still performing well, particularly Varsity Lakes and Mermaid Waters. The Gold Coast property market has sustained strong growth over the past four years.“They have attributed the positive levels of buyer inquiry in these suburbs to a shortage of good quality stock in central areas and asking prices being more affordable in comparison to neighbouring suburbs,” the report said.However, it said agents were finding it tougher to get quick sales for units priced between 500,000 and $1.5 million.“If the apartment is not reasonably priced from the get go, feedback has indicated that it will likely sit on the market for an extended period,” the report said.“There are many new medium to high rise developments under construction between Mermaid Beach and Surfers Paradise at the moment. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“It will be interesting to see if this will create a huge oversupply in the near future.”The second half of the year is expected to remain stable.“Whilst we don’t expect sales volumes to increase any time soon, steady levels of demand and a lack of listed stock will likely continue in most central suburbs,” the report said.“An unexpected rate rise in the next six months however would definitely make things very interesting.”last_img read more

Graham Quirk works hard for first auction win

first_imgGraham Quirk had lots to say about Brisbane during long pauses between bids at Saturday’s auction. Picture: Steve Pohlner.And while he is on their team in a voluntary role, there was no International Olympic Organising Committee to sweeten the bidding here, so he was forced to place another vendor bid of $700,000.“Just to keep things rolling and what we’ll do now is bid in $10,000s,” Mr Quirk said.At this point, the Googan family asked about auction practices.“The vendor can bid as long as you can,” Karalis Real Estate’s lead agent Michael Sunderland explained to the family.“In NSW it’s one only, but in Queensland it’s as many times as you want.”Soon after this, Lily threw up paddle number eight and entered her first auction with a bid of $720,000 and what followed was a series of three quick-fire bidding volleys over five minutes between Lily and the Googans, during which the price got to $796,000. The largely local crowd gather to see Graham Quirk’s first auction, at 6 Archiva St, Mount Gravatt East: Picture: Steve Pohlner.“G’day, I’m lucky to have you all here,” Mr Quirk said, before reporting in for duty.“I’ve got the gavel, let’s hope I can bring it down.” Part way through the auction, a real estate agent’s mobile phone started ringing to the sound of Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice. Nobody was shocked by the tone of Graham Quirk’s voice. Picture: Steve Pohlner.The opening bid of $500,000 came from Peter Lukose, who was prepared to go to $650,000 but no further as his wife had not seen the house he was bidding on.“He’s 101 per cent for me,” Mr Lukose said of Graham Quirk’s first day on the job.“He’s a little bit tricky, going to the market, then winding us up, that’s a trick.“But the way he presented, just very nice, because he know every piece and corner of Brisbane.”Bidding against Mr Lukose was Peter Googan and his family from Holland Park.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoThe winning bidders James & Mae Googan, with their children Liam, 3yrs & Flynn, 6yrs. Karalis Real Estate agent Michael Sunderland (left) stood beside them during the auction. Picture: Steve Pohlner.“I think he was a little bit nervous,” Mr Googan said afterwards.“We didn’t know who he was to be honest.“We’re originally from Sydney and we came here about a year ago, but it wasn’t until we showed the listing to other people at work and they knew who he was. They were really excited. They were surprised, they thought he was still mayor I think.”Mr Quirk recommended $50,000 bids to start and found the going tough so at $550,000 with Mr Googan in front he was forced to place a vendor bid of $600,000.Mr Googan replied with $650,000 and then there was another long pause, during which Mr Quirk launched into a city sales pitch that would have made Queensland’s Olympic bid organisers proud to have him on their team. We’re not sure how much he’s charging for his auctioneering duties but Graham Quirk’s number plate might give us a hint. Picture: Steve Pohlner.“This is your virgin auction,” said Mount Gravatt East resident Dale Hanley, who was propped up on a pre-war shooting stick on the front lawn as part of the 80-strong neighbourhood welcome party for former Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. Racing champ to sell Brisbane house Graham Quirk congratulates the winning bidders. Picture: Steve Pohlner.“I’d give myself a seven out of 10,” Mr Quirk said afterwards.“I’ve got a lot of improvement that will come very quickly because today was a bit of an unnatural environment with the media around,” he said.“Not that that’s an unnatural environment for me but it still is in this set of circumstances.” He also had his Racing Queensland board member badge pinned to his jacket, but it would still take the best part of half an hour before the gavel came down on 6 Archiva St, Mount Gravatt East at $796,000, with two vendor bids, three active bidders, and not a single pause to negotiate.center_img Brisbane’s million-dollar suburb boom MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES Graham Quirk wore his Racing Queensland badge during the auction and was heading to the races for the afternoon. Picture: Steve Pohlner.It was 12.52pm, and the hottest part of the day, when Mr Quirk asked for the crowd’s indulgence to seek instruction from the vendor about whether the property was on the market, but there was no escaping the spotlight or the heat.“I’ve done it for you,” Mr Sunderland said by the auctioneer’s ear.“Oh, well, you’re ahead of yourself,” replied Mr Quirk.“Well ladies and gentlemen I’ve just had word … that this property is now on the market.”There were no further bids and the property went to the Googan family. FOLLOW DEBRA ON TWITTER Graham Quirk at his first auction as a professional auctioneer on Saturday. Picture: Steve Pohlner.A COUCH cushion in the house said ‘enjoy today’, but there were nerves all around as rookie bidders stood in front of a rookie auctioneer who just four months ago was the Lord Mayor of Brisbane.last_img read more

Fireman’s pole gets you from bed to kitchen in seconds

first_img MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES This eclectic house at 29A Kivas St Tarragindi features a fireman’s pole and some odd collectables.THERE is a fireman’s pole off the master bedroom that takes you to the dining room of this unique Brisbane house with multiple living areas and artificial grass on a 405sq m block.The property at 29A Kivas St, Tarragindi has just hit the market and will go to auction later this month. The house at 29A Kivas St, Tarragindi.Harcourts Property Centre’s Trent Powles says the five-bedroom house takes innovation ‘to a whole new level’. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOKcenter_img “If you appreciate the eclectic style and fabulous design of the Teneriffe Woolstore apartments but are looking for land and a more residential feel, you have come to the right place,” he said in the property listing. The main living area with the spool seat and landing pad for the fireman’s pole.To test out the fireman’s pole, you cross the polished concrete floor and climb the sold mesh staircase to the second level where a security gate encases the top of the pole. The entrance to the Fireman’s pole is just outside the master bedroom in the stairwell.The red cushioned landing at the bottom of the pole doubles as a stool in the open-plan living area of this industrial designed home.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours ago“They say in real estate to look for a unique point of difference when purchasing a home … well this innovative one of a kind residence takes that to a whole new level.”The home also features a tiled inground saltwater pool, bespoke hoop pine doors, and recycled flooring. The tiled pool area with artificial turf.“If you’re concerned about the upcoming water restrictions, you need not worry here, there’s not a blade of grass in sight.”The property will go to auction on January 25 at 12pm.last_img read more

NextDecade, Port of Cork to develop Ireland’s FSRU project

first_imgUS LNG export player NextDecade signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Cork Company to set up a floating storage and regasification unit and associated LNG import terminal infrastructure in Ireland.Under the terms of the MOU, the potential development at the Port of Cork would receive LNG from NextDecade’s planned Rio Grande LNG project in South Texas, increase and diversify Ireland’s supply of natural gas as a result, a joint statement reads.The MOU commits the parties to undertake exclusive negotiations to develop the LNG import project in Ireland’s Port of Cork, a sheltered, natural deepwater harbor capable of handling large liquids and cargo ships of all sizes.NextDecade believes the Port of Cork facility could support imports of up to 3 mtpa from Rio Grande LNG.In December 2016, NextDecade signed a heads of agreement with FSRU provider FLEX LNG for the joint development of a full value chain infrastructure solution utilizing FSRU and dockside regasification import technology.FLEX LNG will be supporting NextDecade to provide a fully integrated regas import solution for the proposed LNG terminal at the Port of Cork.The company is also in discussions with European energy companies to enter into long-term purchase contracts for delivery of LNG at the Port of Cork.Additionally, NextDecade will manage the shipping from its proposed RGLNG export facility at the Port of Brownsville in South Texas to the Port of Cork.last_img read more

Cote D’Ivoire Re-elected President Sworn In

first_img“Our dream of a peaceful Cote D’Ivoire is becoming a reality, the one that the nation’s father, president Felix Houphouet Boigny, passed down to us. Only lasting peace, strong institutions and Ivorians who place national interest above all else will allow our country to irreversibly join the ranks of the great democracies and developed nations.” Said Alassane Ouattara, Cote d’ivoire PresidentThe president said this during his swearing in on Tuesday after a successful run for a second five year term in office.  President Ouattara pledged to ensure that all the people of Cote d’ivoire benefit from the revived economy. It was due to the 9 percent economic growth over the last four years in the country that the president was re-elected.President Outtara in his speech promised to foster reconciliation between the divide due to political and ethnicity in the country. The peaceful October vote showed the democratic growth in the country.last_img read more

OFW from Hong Kong enters capitol undetected

first_img“Gusto ‘ya si governor ma-istorya, mangayo daw clearance nga-a i-quarantine siya,” said Mamon. The provincial capitol actually prepared for the OFW’s visit,Mamon said; she was informed in advance by the OFW’s lawyer about the visit. ILOILO – Despite the tight screening of people entering thecapitol as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirusdisease 2019 (COVID-19), an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Hong Kongmanaged to get inside undetected by security guards yesterday morning.  Requireto fill-up Quick Assessment Tool for Travelers and refer appropriate healthpersonnel for intervention 3. Employeesand visitors/clients shall pass the designated lanes as provided at the capitolmain entrance. Employees with no frontline/capitol ID shall pass the visitor’slane and undergo a non-contact infrared thermometer check and similarprocedures. Last monththe provincial government issued entry rules and regulations against thepossible spread of COVID-19 pursuant to Executive Order 28-A previously issuedby Governor Defensor further strengthening quarantine procedures and otherdisease prevention and control measures. According to the provincial administrator, she told herlawyer-friend to advice the OFW to first undergo 14 days of quarantine beforevisiting the capitol. It was Dr. Neneth Pador, chief of the PSWDO, who discovered theOFW’s undetected entry during her interview with the worker. 1. Allprovincial government employees are required to wear their frontline/capitol IDupon entry and while within the IPG premises. The No ID, No Entry police shallbe implemented. She also ordered the disinfection of the Office of the Governorand the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO). Hong Kong, aspecial administrative region of China, has several COVID-19 cases. As this was being written, the OFW was poised to be referred tothe Western Visayas Medical Center for quarantine. Atty. Suzette Mamon, provincial administrator, immediately ordereda review of the screening protocols.  Closecontact with persons with travel history to China, Hong Kong, Macau, SouthKorea Clients and employees of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol gets temperature check using a thermal scanner as they enter the building. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PNcenter_img  Travelhistory: country visited for the past 14 days or from Jan. 1, 2020 (China, HongKong, Macau, South Korea) The OFW returned to Iloilo from Hong Kong just three or four daysago to follow up a custody case involving her child. 2. Only thecapitol and Casa Real main entrance shall be opened for visitors/transactingclients. Capitol employees may use all opened entrance doors provided thatfrontline/capitol ID shall be implemented. The OFW was a resident of Cabatuan town in the 3rd District. Shesought a quarantine clearance, according to Mamon, and visited the Office ofthe Governor and PSWDO. 4. Members ofprint and broadcast media may use the employee’s lane upon presentation ofpress/company ID. Employees,visitors and clients transacting at the capitol must observe the following: 6. Securitypersonnel and/or EROI shall assess the following:  fever of 38 degreesCelcius (hilanat) through anon-contact infrared thermometer; colds (sip-on); and cough (ubo) The OFW, however, gave a different name to the guards so she wasable to enter the capitol. Capitol guards posted at the entrance and exit doors werefurnished with the OFW’s name. The EROI or Emergency Responders of Iloilo(EROI) was also alerted. 7.Visitors/clients observed to be with symptoms (fever, colds, cough) shall beprovided with surgical mask for precautionary measures and further be subjectedto the following questions in accordance with COVID-19 Decision Tool: 5. Securitypersonnel and/or Emergency Responders of Iloilo (EROI) shall conduct a RapidHealth Assessment (RHA) to all clients and visitors. A personalized stickershall be provided as an access to all offices in the capitol upon entry. 8. Entranceand exit gates at the back portion of the capitol shall be closed at 9:30 a.m.Gate between the Casa Real and Power House may be used as entrance/exit. Therest of the gates are open to public./PN)last_img read more

Indiana DNR ‘Owl Cam’ shows second brood of chicks

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — The barn owl pair on a DNR nest cam in southern Indiana is raising a second brood of chicks unusually late into the nesting season.The existence of a bonus round of chicks in 2017 is good news for barn owls because they are an endangered species in Indiana. In 2015, only 10 barn owl nests were reported statewide.The mother owl laid this second clutch of eggs in late September, which is just within the standard barn owl breeding season from March to October. But this year was the first time this pair laid eggs that late while on the nest cam.Five chicks hatched from the second clutch.On Dec. 5, DNR nongame bird biologists inspected the chicks while placing identification bands on their legs.Three chicks were healthy, whereas two were much smaller. The healthy chicks will likely survive until fledging. The average number of chicks fledged per nest is two to three, so having three survive is normal, according to Allisyn Gillet, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife nongame bird biologist.“The survival of the chicks will depend on food availability over the next few weeks,” Gillet said. “There must be enough prey to feed both adults and chicks in order to have a successful second nest.”This pair successfully raised and fledged six chicks in late spring.A barn owl pair has been living in this DNR-built nest box inside a metal pole barn in southern Indiana almost every year for the last eight years.Barn owls were once common in the Midwest, living in hollow trees and wooden barns, and hunting for meadow voles in hayfields, idle grain fields, pastures and other grasslands. But many wooden barns are being torn down, and few modern farms offer the land a barn owl needs for hunting.The goal of the webcam is to promote public interest in birds and raise awareness about efforts to support barn owls.DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program has been placing nest boxes for barn owls since 1984. The nest boxes, like the one the webcam owls use, give owls a safe place to raise their young. More information is here.The barn owl webcam can be viewed anytime with an unlimited number of viewers here.The barn owl is one of more than 750 animal species, including many rare and endangered animals, supported by the DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program. WDP depends on donations to the DNR Nongame Fund. You can donate here.last_img read more

Late Wood penalty frustrates Wolves with draw at Burnley

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Foxes attack Burnley Ings not interested in leaving Saints, Southampton manager says A stoppage-time penalty from Chris Wood gave Burnley a 1-1 draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers after the visitors had led through a superb Raul Jimenez strike in the Premier League on Wednesday.Wolves had the better pressure in a game with few chances and went ahead in the 76th minute through their Mexican forward’s 17th league goal of the season. Adama Traore broke from deep in midfield and fed Matt Doherty on the right and the substitute’s drive bounced off Burnley defender James Tarkowski and towards Jimenez who hammered a brilliant volley past Nick Pope.Wood should have equalised in stoppage time but headed wide from close range but, shortly after Wolves defender Matt Doherty handled the ball in the box and Wood made amends from the spot.The result was a blow for Wolves’ chances of making the Champions League and left them in sixth place on 56 points, three behind Leicester City and Manchester United who occupy fourth and fifth spots.Reuters/NAN.Tags: BurnleyChris WoodPremier LeagueRaul JimenezSean Dychelast_img read more

Why can’t BCCI produce good umpires?

first_imgNew Delhi: Sundaram Ravi, an umpire on the elite panel of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is considered good by world standards. Just like all the umpires, Ravi also made some outstanding decisions and fumbled at times.Poor umpires now cannot escape their omissions and commissions as the television cameras catch everything they do out in the middle. It was cruel to expose Ravi failing to spot a no-ball off the last delivery of a nerve-tingling Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday.That one ball became contentious as an extra delivery could have given RCB a chance to win the match by hitting a six off the “free-hit”. Things were made worse for Ravi as the giant screen in the ground pointed to the no-ball and replayed it over and over to magnify the blunder.Ravi is not the only umpire who failed to spot a no-ball because of a variety of factors such as the bowler’s run-up, his jump and the delivery stride smudging the bowling crease. It is not to justify the mistake, but one bad call cannot be decide the competence of an umpire.When action-replays were introduced, the highly respected former India captain and international umpire Srininvas Venkatasraghavan once told the Australian media that the camera was not in the right position to judge a leg before decision whereas the umpire was since he was the nearest to the action.Should the Indian cricket board or the IPL Technical Committee take penal action against Ravi? Not many are in favour of that because if action is taken against the best umpire in the land, who had an off day or as Steve Smith might put it as “brain fade”, what about the scores of umpires whose incompetence goes unnoticed right through the cricket season at different levels?The worst affected by erroneous umpiring are the cricketers at junior levels as their careers get badly hit. What about action against the RCB skipper Virat Kohli, who made a spectacle of his disgust publicly for the cameras to pick? The point here is will the match referee report the captain’s behaviour to the authorities?Even the winning captain, Rohit Sharma, went along with Kohli as if to sympathise with his India skipper, pointing to the other umpire for calling a legitimate delivery a wide in the previous over.Do these great men take bad decisions in their strides without a murmur only in Tests and ODIs where the match referees are made of sterner stuff?At the end of it all, when one looks back at the way the umpires come through the selection process and the manner in which the postings are being made, it is nothing but a racket.Like academic examinations in some parts of the country, the umpiring tests are also marred by the leaking of theory papers and recommendations from powerful officials of the cricket board for candidates from their state units.The appointment of match referees, umpires and coaches/supervisors for first-class matches doesn’t appear to have had any positive impact. Umpires continue to make awful mistakes and get away with the help of the state officials.A chairman of the board’s umpiring panel got some nincompoops from his state promoted through the rungs and they are getting away with murder. His promotees include an umpire who failed the hearing test.One umpire, because of his proximity to the key Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials, used to threaten the match referees against mentioning his goof-ups in their reports.Another well-known international umpire made dozens of mistakes in a Ranji Trophy match, from leg before and caught-behind to run-outs. All he did was to plead with a board official to leave him with just a rap on the knuckles.Neither the board officials, nor the media take junior cricket seriously as none of these matches are watched by anyone except the players and their parents, who are sometimes accompanied by goons who ensure that their favoured players are helped by the umpires.Frankly, there are not enough umpires, leave alone qualified ones, to supervise the matches. And even the good ones are often under the pressure to please the powerful in the cricket board. If the BCCI cannot find good umpires, what is the use of all the money it generates? IANSAlso Read: SPORTS NEWSlast_img read more