Fasting diet ‘reverses’ diabetes in mice

A fasting diet has been shown to reverse diabetes in mice.

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A US study published in the journal Cell shows the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) triggered the re-growth of pancreatic cells in the damaged organ leading to a reduction of symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

The results raise the prospect of treating diabetes without the need of insulin regulating drugs, lead researcher Professor Valter Longo from the University of Southern California said.

“Cycles of fasting-mimicking diet and a normal diet essentially reprogrammed non-insulin producing cells into insulin-producing cells,” said Prof Longo.

Previous research has already shown the diet reduces risk factor markers for cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The FMD involves a monthly fasting cycle in which calorie consumption is cut drastically by around two-thirds for five days. The patient then returns to normal levels of food intake for the remaining 25 days.

To maintain a healthy weight, a man needs to consume 2,500 calories per day and a woman 2,000 calories.

People on the FMD make do with less than 800 calories during the fasting periods.

For the mice study, the diet was adapted by halving calorie intake on day one and cutting it to just 10 per cent of normal levels on days two to four.

After four days, the mice were allowed to eat as much as they wanted for 10 days to rebuild their body weight.

Two different strains of mice were used to mimic the two kinds of diabetes.

One group had a gene mutation that prevented their bodies responding properly to the blood sugar regulating hormone insulin, a hall mark condition of Type-2 diabetes known as insulin resistance.

The other mice were treated with a chemical that destroyed the insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas. This simulated Type-1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that wipes out beta cells.

Both types of diabetes were reversed by FMD cycles.

Every day, 280 Australians develop diabetes – that’s one person every five minutes, according to national figures.

It’s estimated around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. Another 500,000 people may have it without knowing.

Prof Longo says the latest findings have the potential to be very important because it’s been shown in mice that diet can be used to “reverse” the symptoms of diabetes.

Slater & Gordon shares hit new depths

Slater and Gordon shares have plumbed fresh depths yet again after the law firm reported a first-half loss of $425 million largely due to another $350 million writedown of its troubled UK business.

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The shares, which were valued at $8.07 less than two years ago, dropped 25 per cent to 12 cents on Monday after the firm said revenue for the six months to December 31 slipped 33.8 per cent to $322.7 million amid underperformance in both UK and Australia personal injury claims.

“While we have made progress in the UK in the past 12 months, the turnaround is taking longer than we anticipated and billed revenue performance in segments of the business is lower than expected,” managing director Andrew Grech said in a statement.

“In Australia, our business leaders have had to combat almost two years of the effects of the negative publicity and sentiment.”

The downturn in sentiment came following regulatory changes and accounting issues in the UK, where it acquired the former Quindell business for $1.3 billion in 2015.

The changes led to a loss of $1.02 billion in the 2015/16 financial year and a collapse in share price from its all-time high of $8.07 in April 2015.

The shares hit an all-time low of 14 cents last week after Slater and Gordon warned of the upcoming impairment but, after opening at 16 cents, set another unwanted record on Monday.

At 1330 AEST, the shares were down 3.5 cents, or 21.88 per cent, at 12.5 cents.

First-half fee and services revenue fell 17.5 per cent in Australia and 39.9 per cent in the UK.

Mr Grech reiterated that Slater and Gordon is in negotiations with its lenders over its capital structure, and that support is crucial to a company whose bank debts exceed its enterprise value.

SLATER’S FH SLUMP

* Net loss $425.1m v $958.3m net loss in pcp

* Revenue down 33.8pct to $322.7m

* No interim dividend

Labor fails to secure penalty rates debate

Bill Shorten will have to wait three weeks at least before he can introduce legislation that seeks to overturn an independent tribunal’s ruling that aligns Sunday and Saturday penalty rates for hundreds of thousands of workers.

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The Turnbull government on Monday headed off the opposition leader’s attempt to table a private bill and have it debated in the lower house.

“Today I’m offering the prime minister the chance to work with us to protect penalty rates and take-home pay of hard-working Australians,” Mr Shorten told parliament.

“I know the government is busy worrying about each other but Labor is here because we are concerned about the conditions of up to 700,000 of our fellow Australians.”

Mr Shorten described his move as a chance for Malcolm Turnbull to show some leadership, arguing there was no fence the government can sit on.

“A decision to not remedy this decision of the Fair Work Commission is a decision to support it,” he said.

Mr Turnbull hit back, labelling the stunt as “gold-plated hypocrisy” and noting the commissioners who made the decision had been appointed by Labor.

As well Mr Shorten, as minister at the time, helped establish references for a review of penalty rates in the hospitality and retail sectors.

“He knew very well that there is a trade off between the level of penalty rates and the level of the availability of jobs on weekends,” Mr Turnbull said.

Citing Mr Shorten’s pledge last year to accept the independence of the commission and its decision, Mr Turnbull accused the Labor leader of saying anything to suit his purpose.

Earlier, Treasurer Scott Morrison questioned what Mr Shorten was considering next.

“He doesn’t like what the Reserve Bank decides on interest rates and he decides he wants to legislate and change that?” he told Ray Hadley on 2GB radio.

Unions have called on all politicians to join them in their fight to protect workers’ pay.

The Greens have their own plans for legislation to protect penalty rates.

Rohingya fleeing Myanmar across river into Bangladesh

Bracing for more clashes, thousands of Rohingya, mostly women and children, have decided to try to wade across the Naf River in an attempt to reach Bangladesh.

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Around 2,000 people are believed to have made the dangerous journey from Myanmar since Friday, when the latest violence erupted in Rakhine state.

A series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya militants on several police posts signalled a new shift in the long-running conflict.

The militants attacked about 30 police stations and an army base, wielding guns, sticks and homemade bombs.

A smaller attack in October last year was met with brute military force from Myanmar, along with claims of human-rights abuses.

Rohingya refugee Mujibur Rahman says the people just want peace.

“In our village, there was huge fighting. So we have come here, taken shelter near the border, and we want to stay here in Bangladesh, because, in our country, there is much repression, so we are here. We appeal to the Bangladesh government to allow us to stay for some days. After that, when there is peace in our country, we will go back.”

The government of Myanmar says it has evacuated at least 4,000 non-Muslim villagers as fighting continues.

The United Nations has confirmed it has pulled out all non-essential staff from the area.

At least 12 members of the security forces and several civilians are believed to be among the dead.

Advocates for the Rohingya say many people have fled to the mountains or are seeking to cross into Bangladesh.

Witnesses have described seeing several hundred people stuck in a “no man’s land” at one border point, their path blocked by Bangladeshi guards.

The Bangladesh Border Guard’s Lieutenant Colonel Manzurul Hasan Khan says authorities are trying to deal with the situation.

“This morning, we have heard a huge number of fighting on the other side of the border, including explosions. What I think is the reason is, this morning, Rohingya again came down to this side in numbers. They are looking scared. It looks like they are running out of the fear of their life.”

The Rohingya have faced severe restrictions in north-western Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and their movements are limited.

Many Myanmar Buddhists, who make up the majority of the nation’s population, consider them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

But some can trace family connections in Myanmar for generations.

Some analysts are speculating the latest flare-up could be linked to Ata Ullah, the leader of a group that claimed responsibility for last October’s and Friday’s attacks.

Myanmar’s government has declared the group a terrorist organisation and has threatened to take action against it.

The treatment of the more than one million Rohingya living in Myanmar has become a major issue for leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has faced criticism from the international community.

Speaking in Vatican City, Pope Francis has called for kindness to prevail.

“Sad news has arrived of the persecution of the religious minority, our Rohingya brothers. I’d like to express my full closeness to them. Let us all ask the Lord to save them, and encourage men and women of goodwill to help them, for them to be given their full rights.”

Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar to Bangladesh since the early 1990s, with around 400,000 now in the country.

 

Weekend sports wrap

It was predicted to be the highest-grossing fight financially in boxing history, and the action in Las Vegas lived up to the hype.

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Ireland’s Conor McGregor lasted 10 rounds with one of the best boxers the world has seen in Floyd Mayweather.

In the end, Mayweather dealt with an early flurry of punches from the dual-weight Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, champion before asserting his dominance.

It gave Mayweather his 50th career victory without a loss, and he promptly retired after the fight.

He admitted it was a tougher fight than he expected.

“He’s a lot better than I thought he was. He used different angles, he was a tough competitor. But I was the better man tonight. Conor McGregor, you are a hell of a champion, and, to the country of Ireland, we love you guys.”

Mayweather retires with more wins in an undefeated career than any man before him.

Not many had given McGregor much hope of making the transition from UFC into the world of boxing.

But his showing proved some of the skills that have led him to two world titles at UFC are transferable.

“Early on, I felt it was handy enough, to be honest. But he’s composed in there. You’ve got to give it to him. That’s what 50 fights will give you. So, fair play to him.”

In cricket, Australia had appeared to be off to a good start in the first test against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Australia bowled out the home side for 260, with the spin pair Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar taking three wickets each and fast bowler Pat Cummins taking another three.

But Australia lost David Warner, Usman Khawaja and nightwatchman Lyon to be three wickets down for 18 at the close.

In tennis, it has been a great weekend for Australian Daria Gavrilova, who won her first Women’s Tennis Association title at the Connecticut Open in the United States.

She had to recover from a set down and fought back hard against Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova.

After two hours and 45 minutes, Gavrilova secured the win, which moves her into the world’s top 20 for the first time.

The 22 year-old Russian-born Australian was delighted.

“Thank you, everyone who came and supported us throughout the whole week. It means the world to me to hold this trophy. Thank you so much.”

Gavrilova plays US qualifier Allie Kiick in the first round of the US Open in New York next week.

In Rugby Union, Australia pushed the All Blacks all the way in Dunedin on Saturday, but a late try by New Zealand was enough to secure a 35-29 victory.

On arrival back in Sydney on Sunday, Australian coach Michael Cheika said he was disappointed to see New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 15th straight year.

But he said he was pleased with many parts of his team’s performance in the last two tests.

“As you can see by the performances in the back half of game one and for the majority of game two, we can play at that level. It’s about being consistent and having the mental aptitude to play, and play for every minute. And we let a few minutes in different parts of the game go last night, and they hurt us.”

The next test for Australia is against South Africa in Perth on September the 9th.

The teams playing in the first week of the AFL finals have been confirmed after the weekend action.

The Adelaide Crows take on Greater Western Sydney, Geelong meets Richmond, and Port Adelaide will face the West Coast Eagles.

Last season’s grand finalists, the Sydney Swans, will play Essendon.

In the National Rugby League, the final make-up of the top eight will not be known until next weekend’s matches are completed.

That is because Saint George Illawarra managed to beat Penrith on Sunday.

That result means Saint George needs to beat the Canterbury Bulldogs next week to make the finals.

It also means Penrith has to beat the Manly Sea Eagles to guarantee its spot.

In English Premier League football, Liverpool has humiliated Arsenal 4-0 this morning.

And Lewis Hamilton won his 58th career race in the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix.

 

India city under siege after clashes over ‘rape guru’ kill 36

The army was deployed in Haryana state’s Panchkula city after tens of thousands of followers of guru Ram Rahim Singh went on an angry rampage, attacking television vans and setting fire to dozens of private vehicles.

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Security forces were put on high alert to ensure there was no repeat of the violence that erupted Friday afternoon, minutes after a special court pronounced the self-styled guru guilty of raping two of his followers.

Mobile phone services were disrupted in some parts of Haryana and neighbouring Punjab state, where authorities had earlier imposed a curfew following the clashes. 

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Although the curfew was lifted Saturday, restrictions on public assembly remained in place.

Haryana police chief B.S. Sandhu told AFP Saturday at least 30 people had died with the toll likely to rise as some of the wounded were being treated for serious head injuries. 

“The toll within the state is at least 30 dead and around 200 injured including about 50 police and security personnel,” said Sandhu.

“Some of the injured didn’t come to the hospitals fearing that they could face police action or arrests for involvement in the violence,” he said.  

Official sources told AFP earlier that at least 36 people had died, with most of the fatalities caused by gun shots.

The 50-year-old Singh is known as the “guru in bling” for his penchant for bejewelled costumes and claims to have 60 million loyal followers worldwide.

The rape case was brought against him after an anonymous letter was sent to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002 accusing him of repeatedly raping the sender and several other women in the sect.

A judge asked the Central Bureau of Investigations to look into the accusations, but it took years to trace the alleged victims and it was not until 2007 that two women came forward and filed charges.

Some 200,000 members of Singh’s sect had gathered in Panchkula in a show of support for the guru a day ahead of the verdict.

Fifty-year-old Singh is known as the “guru in bling”. AAP

The conviction enraged his followers, with many saying they were in a state of shock over the verdict.

“I have been with dear Ram Rahim Singh for around 14 years. I can bet that all the allegations against our guru are false,” said Rajkumar, a shopkeeper from Haryana who was undergoing treatment at the hospital.

“He can’t do any wrong… He works to rid the world of all its troubles,” he told AFP, his head heavily bandaged.

Singh’s sentencing will be announced on Monday. 

Jones laments Demons’ AFL finals near-miss

Melbourne co-captain Nathan Jones has blamed their agonising AFL finals near-miss on a season of inconsistency.

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While he blasted their woeful first quarter in Saturday’s upset loss to Collingwood, Jones said they had let other opportunities slip during the year and only have themselves to blame.

Jones hopes the tumultuous end to Melbourne’s season burns in their guts through the summer to fire them next season and he expressed sympathy for the anger of long-suffering Demons fans.

Melbourne were aiming for their first finals appearance in 11 years this season and they were seventh going into round 23.

After their disastrous loss to the Magpies, it came down to the last five minutes of the home and away season.

Two last-ditch West Coast goals meant the Eagles took eighth spot from Melbourne by just 0.5 of a percentage point.

“It’s obviously a pretty bitter pill to swallow,” Jones said.

“The players are hurting as much as our supporters would be livid when the opportunity was there and we let it slip.

“It’s a culmination of results … rather than just the first-quarter performance against Collingwood (that) has led us to this position.

“Hopefully it burns in the players’ gut over the pre-season.”

Sidelined by a leg injury, Jones was by himself on Sunday as he watched their finals spot snatched from them.

“I locked myself down and sat on the couch,” he said.

“It’s one of the more nerve-racking situations I’ve been in … frustration and anger.”

Despite the agonising near-miss, Jones is bullish about their future.

“We’re well aware of where we sit in our journey, there are going to be ups and downs,” he said.

“That can be quite frustrating at times, particularly to our supporters who have been through such a range of emotions and such a downward spiral over the past decade.

“To see us on the improve … with hope and the opportunity that was there for this season, to see it slip like it has, is a bitter pill to swallow.

“But hopefully it leaves us in a better position as a footy club and as a playing group for the experience.”

Fellow captain Jack Viney missed the end of the season after he returned early from foot injury and was sidelined again.

Jones was asked if the Demons had erred by letting Viney return quicker than expected from the operation.

“Speaking with him, I don’t think think the two things (injuries) are directly related, but maybe they could have taken a little bit more time,” Jones said.

“At the same time, guys are trying to push the limits … it was a credit to him, really, for how well he did come back.”

Jones added that second-year midfielder Clayton Oliver was “pretty stiff” to miss the All-Australian squad.

Fittler yet to discuss NSW coaching job

Brad Fittler insists Laurie Daley’s sacking as NSW coach was such a shock that he’ll wait for the dust to settle before potentially starting discussions about taking over the job.

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Fittler is viewed as one of the leading candidates for the role after the NSWRL board last Friday decided not to renew Daley’s contract after four State of Origin series losses in five years.

Up until last week, Daley was tipped to be offered a one-year contract extension and it’s understood he had the backing of several key decision-makers including NSWRL CEO Dave Trodden.

However following a review of the 2017 series they lost 2-1 after winning the first game convincingly, Daley was let go and Fittler said the call surprised everyone around the game.

“It’s pure paper speculation,” Fittler said of suggestions he was a shoo-in for the position.

“It was a shock to the board. Everyone just thought Laurie Daley was going to get another year.

“I haven’t spoken to Loz but obviously he’s been bombarded and the key here is to let it settle.”

It’s been reported the NSWRL will seek to install Fittler as head coach with Phil Gould and Andrew Johns in advisory or assistant positions.

Fittler said he was happy with his media and commentating roles and working in the NSW pathways program.

Asked if he wanted the job, Fittler told NRL长沙桑拿按摩论坛,: “At the moment, I love what I’m doing. It’s pretty much as simple as that.

“I love the commentary, I love working with the kids. Some really good things are coming out of that, some kids like Campbell Graham and Nick Cotric, who have all been a part of the pathways, Cam Murray, are all starting to play first-grade at 18 or 19-years-old.”

He said there was a lot of water to pass under the bridge before he would accept the role.

“For me to be interested there’s got to be a lot of discussions with a lot of different people,” Fittler said.

“When you start bringing it all together, it’s not as easy as going ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ and ‘yes’. At the moment I’m just relaxing and loving what I’m doing.”

Dad charged after girl, 3, found shot dead

The mother of a three-year-old girl shot dead in their Sydney home has blamed the child’s father, screaming that he shouldn’t have had a gun in the house.

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“Not my baby girl, not my baby girl,” the mother screamed as she raced from the Lalor Park home into the street on Sunday night, neighbours recalled.

“I hate you.”

It’s unclear how the girl sustained the single fatal gunshot wound, but police are investigating whether she accidentally fired the weapon herself.

Neighbours spoke of hysterical scenes after the shooting.

“The mother came out, she was … really angry. And she was just screaming,” the neighbour Mark Tapua told reporters on Monday.

“She was just saying it was his fault, he shouldn’t have had a gun in the house.”

The girl’s father, who emerged from the house covered in blood, was charged on Monday with possessing an unregistered sawn-off shotgun and not storing the weapon safely.

The 43-year-old Arncliffe man, who did not live at the house, was also charged with contravening domestic violence orders.

“When police arrived … they found the child had suffered a fatal wound to her neck,” police Superintendent Paul Carrett said.

The mother and daughter and three other children, aged between three and eight, had been in the house at the time.

The father appeared before Blacktown Local Court on Monday and did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

He is scheduled to appear before the same court again on Friday.

Television footage from the scene showed a woman, thought to be the mother, screaming “I hate you… may you rot in hell”, as she was taken away in an ambulance, while a man was sitting in the gutter with his head in his hands.

Dependable skipper Smith falters in Dhaka

So often Australia’s saviour, Steve Smith showed that even he is fallible when he threw his wicket away at the worst possible time during the first Test against Bangladesh.

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The visitors resumed on day two in Dhaka at 3-18 after David Warner, Usman Khawaja and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon were all dismissed within 10 balls in the previous day’s final session.

Australia badly needed a steady hand, and who better than Smith, who averaged an astonishing 71.28 during the tour of India earlier this year to cement his status as the world’s premier Test batsman.

Smith started the day looking confident, crunching a half-volley from Shafiul Islam through the covers for four in the second over.

But the following over he was gone for eight after charging down the pitch to a delivery from right-arm off-spinner Mehedi Hasan that went straight past the inside edge and hit leg stump.

It was an uncharacteristic dismissal for Smith, who has proven his ability to grind out big scores under pressure on the subcontinent.

With top-scorers Matt Renshaw (45) and Peter Handscomb (33) both unable to go on after promising starts, the Australians will look to Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade to rebuild their innings after reaching 6-123 at lunch.

Australian coach Darren Lehmann spoke ahead of the Test of the importance of his batsmen sacrificing their egos for the good of the team.

“At times, you’ve certainly got to put your ego away with the bat and go slowly, if that makes sense,” Lehmann told FiveAA radio.

“We’re still looking to score but sometimes the game goes slowly and sometimes it goes quickly.

“We’ve just got to really be able to oscillate between those speeds of the game.”

Turnbull calls in energy bosses again

Malcolm Turnbull says the government is taking short and long-term steps to put a lid on power prices.

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But the electricity sector says the retail market is not the problem and the prime minister continues to ignore the biggest hurdle – a clean energy target to give investors certainty.

The prime minister flew by helicopter to Cooma on Monday to discuss feasibility work on Snowy Hydro 2.0 with key players.

The project – which would provide 2000MW of underground generation and 29km of tunnels between existing reservoirs in the Snowy Mountains region – will take about six years to complete, depending on geological problems encountered along the way.

Following a cabinet meeting in Canberra on Tuesday, Mr Turnbull will eyeball electricity chiefs for a second time in Sydney on Wednesday to discuss progress on getting power prices down.

“We know there are at least a million households, probably a lot more, that are paying more for electricity than they need to because they are on the wrong plan,” Mr Turnbull told reporters.

“So we are taking action right now to ensure Australians right now are not paying more for their electricity than they need.”

He said in the long-term, renewable energy – supported by projects such as Snowy Hydro 2.0 and a possible third stage – would make power more reliable and affordable.

Australian Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren, who will be one of the bosses at Wednesday’s meeting, said enabling investment in new power generation was the best way to drive down energy bills.

“Retailers recognise that many customers are doing it tough, and will be stepping up their efforts to draw attention to the cheap energy market deals which are on offer,” he said.

“The current spike in electricity bills is the result of a shortage of supply in the generation or wholesale market.”

The key to fixing power bills was to adopt the independent advice of chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel and bring in a technology-neutral clean energy target, Mr Warren said.

Mr Turnbull said the government was “working through” the issue of a CET and awaiting a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the government had yet to deliver on its promise to halve gas prices, let alone cut electricity bills.

“Australia is in the midst of a gas and energy price crisis,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.

Noting the prime minister was travelling to the Snowy Mountains by chopper for an announcement, Mr Shorten said: “A joy-ride in a helicopter doesn’t help families with their energy bills.”

Mr Turnbull said Labor had failed to put in place protections for domestic gas supply when Mr Shorten was a government minister.

Amaysim eyes cross-selling future

Amaysim has racked up one million mobile subscribers for the first time, helping drive the diversifying telco provider’s full-year underlying earnings up more than 20 per cent.

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Amaysim’s underlying earnings for the year to June 30 rose 22.9 per cent to $43.5 million, with the group’s total broadband subscribers rising to about 5,000 and its mobile subscriber base rising 11 per cent.

But net profit fell 6.5 per cent to $11.5 million due to the cost of acquiring online energy retailer Click and further broadband investment through May’s launch Amaysim’s own-branded NBN service.

In August 2016, Amaysim also acquired Australian Broadband Services (AusBBS), adding to its broadband capabilities.

The group plans to incorporate the energy business into its single sign-in platform in FY18 as part of a strategic push to cross-sell.

The Australian energy market is “ripe” for Amaysim’s disruptor approach, chief executive Julian Ogrin said.

“Looking to the future, energy provides us with a terrific opportunity to cross-sell our products to 800,000 households in the group as public awareness of energy costs increases consumers seek better service price and more transparency,” Mr Ogrin said.

The group is now “a more diversified and resilient business” than when it listed on the ASX in July 2015, Mr Ogrin said, with “scope for significant growth.”

The addition of Click – with subscriber growth up 25 per cent at 165,000 – contributed two-month statutory net revenue of $45.7 million.

Mr Ogrin said lower cost customer acquisition helped drive down mobile costs for the year by eight per cent, with the junior telco ‘s average revenue per user (APRU) – a key industry measurement – in line with expectations at $22.46.

The number of exiting customers – the annual churn rate – was also steady at two per cent, with industry surveys recording high customer satisfaction and low complaints.

The company delivered a fully-franked final dividend of 5.1 cents per share, compared to an unfranked 5.3 cents the previous year.

The full-year payout for 2017 was a partially franked 9.1 cents per share.

Amaysim shares closed up 7.5 cents, or 4.5 per cent, at $1.74.

AMAYSIM RESULTS

* Net profit down 6.5pct $11.5m

* Underlying profit up 6.3pct to $121,185.

* Revenue up 29pct to $326.7m

* Final dividend of 5.1 cents, taking the total year to 9.1 cents

Iraqi artist’s visions of home strike a chord

The winner of the 19th Liverpool Art Society Exhibition Hedar Abadi says he paints with the intention of capturing the experience of being a refugee in Australia.

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Earlier this year his collection entitled ‘Save Our Fish From Drowning’ was exhibited at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney’s south west – the prize for winning the Arts Society’s competition.

The works were informed by Mr Abadi’s early life in Babylon,  fleeing from war-torn Iraq and migration to Australia in 1992.

“My passion for painting started from the river near my house. I used to get the mud when I was five-years-old and I use to make sculptures with it and speak to my works. That’s how it all started, and I call it the ‘toy for the poor’.”

Pamela Rodoreda, Liverpool Art Society’s 2016 exhibition coordinator, says his winning painting ‘Migration’ captured the complexities of the human experience.

‘Migrating’ won Hedar Abadi the Annual Liverpool Art Society scholarship prize.Facebook/Hedar Abbas Abadi

“His art is unique partly at least, because it is often very personal, coming from a place of deep emotions, lived trauma and cultural displacement,” she said.

For the 61-year-old who graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1988, memories of his childhood in Babylon influence his sense of displacement.

“I feel like I’m a fish in an aquarium because I’m living in Australia and everything is beautiful, but I would like to swim in my water – the Al Forat River.”

Power and the natural order of the world are also prominent themes in Mr Abadi’s artworks.

“We live in a world of fish where big fish eats little fish – like America invading Iraq.”

Ms Rodoreda says Mr Abadi is a prolific and accomplished artist who is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects.

“He works hard and I believe he will keep going from strength to strength as he continues to explore the depths of human experience through his painting.”

Hedar Abadi beginning one of his creations.Facebook/Hedar Abbas Abadi

 

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