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PENRITH five-eighth Travis Burns faces bans of up to 16 matches, while South Sydney star Greg Inglis has been hit with a possible five-match suspension after being among nine players charged by the NRL match review committee.
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Among them are three St George Illawarra players – Dan Hunt, Josh Miller and Trent Merrin – all of whom were charged with grade one careless high tackles.

Burns is set to miss the rest of the season after he was charged for an intentional high tackle and a chicken wing incident in the Panthers 28-16 victory over the Roosters at Centrebet Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

He was was sent-off for a high shot on Martin Kennedy and received a grade three intentional high tackle charge that carries a suspension of 12 matches, while he is also facing a grade a grade two dangerous contact – unnessary arm/shoulder pressure for his chicken-wing style tackle on Roosters forward Mose Masoe.

If the Panthers take the early plea to both charges, the five-eighth would be ruled out for a total of 12 matches.

Inglis was charged with a grade four dangerous contact – shoulder, for his tackle on Young in the 33rd minute of the Rabbitohs’ 36-14 victory at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

An early guilty plea would sideline him for four matches but he faces a five-match ban if he unsuccesfully challenges the charge at the judiciary.

Brisbane’s Ben Te’o is facing a week suspension after he was charged with a grade two careless high-tackle on Titans forward Luke Bailey.

Teammate Josh Hoffman is facing a one or two-match suspension for a grade two dangerous contact charge.

Canberra’s Josh Papalii was charged with a grade one dangerous contact with a kicker, but will be free to play if he takes the early guilty plea.

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Question: I share an undercover double car space with a tenant. Because he parks his car too far forward I have extreme difficulty getting in and out.

I had the garages measured and a line painted in front and a letter was sent to him from his real estate and strata telling him to park behind the line.

He has ignored the request and has said he will park how he wishes as his tyres are on the line.

Is it OK to park like that, even though the front of his very big ute with a massive metal frame on it hangs way over onto common property? – Butterflyness2006, via Flat Chat Forum

Answer: If he’s parking over common property he’s parking on common property – it doesn’t matter where his wheels are.  The next time the strata manager or rental agent writes to him it should be to explain that he is breaching a by-law which means he is also breaching the terms of his lease.

It’s a shame you can’t work this out amicably but this person seems to have no consideration for his neighbours so it may take a warning that he could be evicted if he doesn’t pull his head (and his truck) in.

Read about the whole parking madness here.  NormalfalsefalseEN-AUX-NONEX-NONE

QUESTION: I share an undercover double car space with a tenant. Because he parks his car too far forward I have extreme difficulty getting in and out.

I had the garages measured and a line painted in front and a letter was sent to him from his real estate and strata telling him to park behind the line.

He has ignored the request and has said he will park how he wishes as his tyres are on the line.

Is it OK to park like that, even though the front of his very big ute with a massive metal frame on it hangs way over onto common property? – Butterflyness2006, via Flat Chat Forum

ANSWER: If he’s parking over common property he’s parking on common property – it doesn’t matter where his wheels are.  The next time the strata manager or rental agent writes to him it should be to explain that he is breaching a by-law which means he is also breaching the terms of his lease.

It’s a shame you can’t work this out amicably but this person seems to have no consideration for his neighbours so it may take a warning that he could be evicted if he doesn’t pull his head (and his truck) in.

Read about the whole parking madness here.  

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Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson.Firebrand Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson is believed to be under investigation for abusing an umpire during a junior football carnival yesterday.
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The Age has been told Clarkson, who punched a hole in the wall of a coaches’ box at the MCG on Saturday, was an official runner for his son’s under-nine team when he allegedly fell foul of an umpire.

The Age understands it has been claimed that Clarkson directed abuse, including the word “f–k”, at the umpire when he was told to leave the field during the South Metro Junior Football League’s end-of-season lightning carnival.

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Approached by The Age for comment, Hawthorn Football Club spokeswoman Leah Mirabella said she was preparing a statement but “wanted to get all the facts straight” first. Clarkson could not be reached for comment.

Asked by The Age if the incident involved Clarkson, David Cannizzo, general manager of the SMJFL, said a team official had been reported for “unacceptable behaviour” but it was league policy not disclose the names of players or officials “to protect the people involved”.

But he issued a statement confirming the league was “investigating an incident involving an umpire representative and a team official” during the carnival yesterday at King George Reserve in East Bentleigh.

“Following a review of the match report, the SMJFL has requested an explanation from the relevant club,” the statement reads.

“The League does not believe it is appropriate to release the names of those people involved and will not be making further comment at this time.”

The president of one of the junior clubs confirmed Clarkson’s son was an under-nine player and the club was co-operating with the SMJFL investigation, but would offer no further comment.

The lightning carnival is the premiership round-robin playoff for all under-nine teams in the SMJFL. Each participating team plays in three matches of two 12-minute halves.

Meanwhile, the club is believed to be footing the bill after Clarkson damaged a wall in a coaches’ box at the MCG on Saturday after Hawthorn defender Matt Suckling conceded a goal to Collingwood at the end of the first quarter.

Hawthorn went on to beat Collingwood by 47 points, and sits in third spot on the AFL ladder behind Sydney and Adelaide.

Clarkson gained a reputation for his fiery temper following a spiteful match between Hawthorn and Essendon late in the 2009 season when he had to be restrained by Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans as he shouted abuse at Bombers players.

In recent years the AFL has taken a firm approach to incidents of perceived umpire abuse as it attempts to tackle problems with umpire recruitment across all levels of the game. Last month Richmond was fined $5000 after the AFL found one of its staff had abused an umpire following a game against Fremantle.

Last month, Carlton players Jarrad Waite, Jeremy Laidler and Marc Murphy were fined $2500 each by the AFL after they posted comments on Twitter that criticised umpires who officiated during Carlton’s losing match to West Coast.

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Matthew Scarlett throws his arm back and strikes his tackler, Essendon’s Cory Dell’Olio.A one-week ban for Matthew Scarlett and the potential suspension of Melbourne high-flyer Jeremy Howe for wiping blood on an opponent’s shorts were the most significant outcomes of the match review panel’s examination of round 17.
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Scarlett’s poor record — he is saddled with the maximum loading of 50 per cent — has prevented him downgrading a minor striking charge against Essendon’s Cory Dell’Olio to a reprimand.

Should he challenge the ban and lose, he would miss not only the Cats’ home match against Adelaide this weekend but also the vital round-19 match against Hawthorn.

The referral, which also took place last week, involves Howe.

The spring-heeled forward, like Carlton’s Chris Judd last week, has been referred directly to the tribunal for an act of serious misconduct. The action arose from an incident in the Demons’ match against Port Adelaide on Saturday night in which he wiped blood, coming from a wound on his knee, on the shorts of Power opponent Tom Jonas.

Six players from yesterday’s Richmond-North Melbourne match — Tigers Shane Tuck, Alex Rance, Dustin Martin and Luke McGuane and Kangaroos Michael Firrito and Jamie MacMillan — can each accept $2100 fines for a second instance of engaging in a melee.

Tigers midfielder Brett Deledio has also been fined for absuive language, for the incident that resulted in a 50-metre penalty and subsequent goal to North after he sledged the presiding umpire.

West Coast’s Beau Waters was cleared of blame for a head clash that injured Adelaide’s Kurt Tippett, while Sydney’s Ben McGlynn was cleared of a hefty bump on St Kilda’s Brendon Goddard.

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Potato lovers will defend the humble spud to the end. They’ll block their ears against diet-conscious criticism from those who say the potato is nothing but a carbohydrate calamity.
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The potato was revered for thousands of years in its native South America, where it was cultivated as a dietary staple. But it created controversy when it arrived in Europe in the 1500s. Europeans initially saw the potato as food for the poor. Dubbed ”Ireland’s lazy root”, it was considered ”ungodly” by early Scottish Presbyterian ministers because there was no mention of it in the Bible.

The French also sometimes scoffed at the spud. The antiquarian and historian Legrand d’Aussy was scathing in his 1783 History of the Private Life of the French. ”The pasty taste, the natural insipidity, the unhealthy quality of this food, which is flatulent and indigestible, has caused it to be rejected from refined households and returned to the people whose coarse palates and stronger stomachs are satisfied with anything capable of appeasing hunger,” he wrote.

The potato was more popular in Germany, but not with everyone. Nietzsche linked potato consumption to ”the use of liquor” (and rice to opium abuse). His warning apparently fell on deaf ears; Germans are among the world leaders in potato consumption. I’m not sure where the country ranks in alcohol consumption.

Some say it was Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who really popularised the potato. When these keen gardeners planted potatoes, people were intrigued. Why was a king growing a vegetable popular with the plebs?

Despite all this criticism, the vitamin- and mineral-dense spud provides substantial nutrition for very few kilojoules. A boiled potato with no added butter only contains about 260 kilojoules. Importantly, it also contains folate, vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B6, iodine, thiamin, potassium, phosphorous, calcium and zinc. In other words, the potato is power-packed.

Little wonder, then, it is among the top 10 vegetables found in the modern Australian kitchen. Easy to grow and with a huge selection of varieties available, the potato has become an Aussie staple.

Potatoes make an excellent first crop in new vegetable gardens, as they break up the soil. They can also be grown using a no-dig method in an above-ground bed of straw and compost, or even cultivated in potato bags on sunny courtyards and balconies.

Plant seed potatoes, which are guaranteed to be free of disease. They are available now from nurseries and by mail order. About two to three kilograms of seed potatoes will give you 40 to 50 plants. In frost-free areas, plant from now until October for spring, and in January and February for autumn. In frosty areas, plant from August to December.Buy seed potatoes. ‘Ruby Lou’ is an old Australian variety with shiny pink skin and creamy flesh. Purple potatoes contain antioxidants, which are good for your health. The flesh of the ‘Sapphire’ is an unusual mauve colour. Both potatoes are available from greenharvest南京夜网.au, which also sells potato bags. Diggers (diggers南京夜网.au) sells a combination of antioxidant seed potatoes including ‘Sapphire’, red-fleshed ‘Cranberry’ and the yellow-fleshed ‘Dutch Cream’.Weed or spray lawns for bindii now to avoid the summer ouch factor.Feed potted vegetables with a soluble plant food, such as Powerfeed.

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Room to spare … Naomi and Chris Kim with their daughters, Joanne and Jade, at the new home. Photo: Steven Siewert. The Kim’s new home.
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Size matters … 147 Avalon Parade, Avalon, has been rebuilt and includes several living areas, an appealing feature for a big family.

147 Avalon Parade, Avalon.

Kingsford.

Avalon Parade.

Avalon Parade.

Petersham.

Turramurra.

In the inner west, four-bedroom houses come on the market so rarely that when they do, agents are often bowled over in the rush.

Simon Pilcher is one of them. He has been selling in the inner west for more than a decade and has seen the increasing popularity of these larger homes as more families move into the area, while those already living there look to upgrade from smaller properties.

”Four-bedroom homes are so tightly held that when they do come on the market they’re commanding very high prices,” he says. ”There is never enough supply to satisfy the demand.”

This was shown a few weekends ago when almost 50 groups inspected a four-bedroom semi in Breillat Street, in north Annandale. It was one of Pilcher’s busiest open days this year, which he believes was partly because of the price guide: at $1.1 million-plus, it was at the entry level for four-bedders in the area.

This demand is evident more or less across Sydney and is reflected in 2011 census figures, which show that four-bedroom houses are becoming more popular, while the number of three-bedroom houses is dropping.

Three-bedroom houses account for 43.6 per cent of Australian dwellings, which is down from 45.4 per cent in 2006. But properties with four or more bedrooms account for 30.3 per cent of homes, which is up from 28.1 per cent in 2006.

Naturally enough, the struggle for Sydney families is to find a four-bedroom house that they can afford. At Greenhills Beach, a new suburb being developed by Australand near Cronulla, house-and-land packages start from about $1 million and almost every one of the 95 blocks sold so far will have a four-bedroom residence on it.

”There’s no doubt that if people can afford it the preference in Sydney is for people to have a four-bedroom home, if they’re talking new,” says the NSW general manager of residential for Australand, Nigel Edgar.

Industry specialists say the trend towards more four-bedroom houses has been at work for 20 years, pushed along by years of economic prosperity, lower interest rates, increasing net migration, and households being larger.

The result is that the four-bedroom house has replaced the three-bedroom one as the ”traditional family home”, says the senior economist at the Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors, Dr Andrew Wilson.

This has been made possible because builders and architects make much better use of space than they did in the past, and building materials are more advanced, Wilson says.

But it might not last. The chief economist with the Housing Industry Association, Harley Dale, says while there will always be a market for larger houses, the high price they command will start to drive more and more people towards smaller dwellings.

”There’s an affordability constraint at work, I think,” he says. ”Housing for people aspiring to get into the market is not as affordable as it was the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

”You’ve got a bit of a push-back for people looking more at semi-detached townhouses, which probably have a three-bedroom cap to them.”

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To understand Alexandria, it was suggested that Domain trot along to one of the suburb’s most recent cafe offerings, The Grounds.
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To wit, this cafe in a converted warehouse in a nursery setting offers a funky mix of the suburb’s industrial and heritage past. Its contemporary touches accommodate a predominantly Gen X crowd and their kids, including an eclectic menu, retro music, sustainable garden practices, a chook run and a vegie patch.

It’s a little noisy and a hit among the weekday workers and resident locals. Like in the suburb, parking was limited.

Following the example set by nearby Surry Hills, Alexandria is in large part embracing its industrial and commercial areas. As The Grounds shows, when done right it’s an appealing combination.

”Alexandria used to be a stepping-stone suburb for people looking further ahead,” McGrath Edgecliff agent Brad Gillespie says. ”Now, it’s very family-oriented with a real sense of community.”

Certainly, it goes some way to explaining the figures of the past 12 months: the median house price is up 2.7 per cent, apartments are up 1.6 per cent, the auction clearance rate is up from 72 per cent and the average time on the market is down from 55 days.

Locals like

It offers comparatively affordable housing less than five kilometres from the city, with leafy streets and a great sense of community.

Best addresses

Renwick and Dibbs streets in the golden triangle, and parkside on Buckland Street.

The prospects

”As the area continues to transform from an industrial suburb into a high-density residential one, the handful of terraced housing will become increasingly sought-after,” APM research analyst Clinton McNabb says.

”Already, 75 per cent of recent sales have been apartments, with a steady stream of new developments adding to that stock. Houses have outperformed apartments in the past five years, growing at 7.1 per cent each year, compared with apartments’ 4.4 per cent.”

Where else you might try

Redfern

Median house prices fell 7.5 per cent in the past year to $835,000, but apartment values rose 2.1 per cent to $551,500.

Zetland

The median house price is $812,000. Apartment values rose 2.6 per cent to $599,000 in the past year.

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Pinion co-founders (L-R) Daniel Ringland, Karl Flores and David Banham at the E3 gaming expo. The show Dexter gets a plug via Pinion in Counter-Strike: Source.
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A Pinion ad for the film Green Lantern appears in the game Counter-Strike.

A video ad for Hotmail in the game Day of Defeat.

Asher Moses in Silicon Valley | Episode 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Three Australian mates reckon they’ve worked out how to make advertising in video games work – and investors have backed them to the tune of just under $2 million.

It started as an idea in a pub three years ago, when Sydneysiders Daniel Ringland, Karl Flores and David Banham wondered whether they could create an advertising network targeting an audience of online gamers.

Tomorrow, Ringland, 30, and Flores, 32, are off to Seattle to set up Pinion’s US office while Banham, 26, stays back in Australia to build out the engineering team (currently two people but increasing to four).

Early this year, after ups and downs turning the concept into reality, they partnered with Valve, one of the world’s largest game developers. This has helped them secure $1.5 million in funding from Australian investors, on top of the $400,000 they raised a year ago.

Globally, if you play multiplayer PC games such as Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead or Team Fortress 2 online, then you may encounter ads served up from Australia by Pinion.

For those who run online game servers it is a chance to earn back the costs of running the server, while for advertisers it provides them access to the lucrative engaged 18-35 male demographic, which is increasingly spending time away from mainstream media.

Gamers can buy products from within the game window without being bumped out into a web browser. Advertisers so far have included companies such as KFC, Paramount, Boost Mobile and Budweiser.

“We identified a way to place advertising in video games in a different way to what anyone had tried in the past,” said Ringland, Pinion’s chief operating officer.

Others have tried and failed to create ad networks for video games.

Massive, acquired by Microsoft for between $US200 million and $US400 million in 2006, allowed game developers to write ad inventory into their code which could be changed dynamically. The ads appeared on objects such as billboards and storefronts.

Microsoft shut Massive down at the end of 2010, with the company struggling to gain traction because it required game developers to modify their code before the game’s release. Some publishers worried about putting gamers offside and said the revenue gained was too small.

Pinion currently only works with multiplayer games and it takes advantage of ad slots that have already been created in the games, so there’s no extra work for game developers.

Their ads appear in front of players –  3 million a month so far – on landing pages such as the welcome screen when they join a new game server. This slot was traditionally used by the server host to run server information and logos.

With ads built into the game content itself it is difficult to measure the success of an ad – and even what counts as one “view”. But Pinion can provide full analytics including the number of people who viewed an ad or engaged further i.e. by watching a video commercial.

They are in partnership talks with other game publishers and will soon launch Pinion Game Servers, a site where anyone can host online games for free, support by ads. Since there is a new revenue model game titles can be supported long after the publisher of the game has lost interest.

Pinion wasn’t an overnight success. The team had a few false starts and struggled to get media agencies onboard.

“All founders suffered hardships (debt, loss of assets, etc) to get the company up and running,” said Flores, Pinion’s chief executive.

“There was a three-month period where each month we told ourselves that it was the last month, that we couldn’t afford to pay any more server costs, but when the day came to cancel there would be a small glimmer of hope that would force us to keep going.”

Constant pitching to potential clients and partners paid dividends, as did advice from successful entrepreneurs such as Scott Farquhar from Atlassian and Dean McEvoy, founder of daily deals site Spreets.

But even after large investments the Pinion trio had a lot to learn, and were burnt by a bad deal in the US that “held the company back for a year”.

Atlassian CFO John Bruce-Smith has recently joined Pinion as its CFO, while Newmarket Capital founder Stuart Giglia has signed on as commercial director.

Early on in the company’s life a young man from Melbourne approached Pinion to let them know the servers they were running were rubbish and needed fixing. They met him instead of deleting his email – and he’s now the company’s head of community relations.

Pinion plans to keep at least its engineering base in Australia for as long as it can.

“Throughout our journey we’ve been offered money left right and centre from the US, including an accelerator program run by Microsoft,” said Ringland.

“Our aim has always been to keep the company Australian, but our trips to the US have shown us that on several levels, it’s all happening in the US and succeeding here will be very difficult.”

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Dick Smith, right, said he would normally write this kind of letter to Rupert Murdoch but the two were no longer communicating.Dick Smith’s letter
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Entrepreneur Dick Smith has launched a stinging attack on News Corp and Kim Williams, the head of its local operations, News Ltd, branding the media organisation’s campaign against proposed media reforms as hypocritical.

Mr Smith said News Ltd’s claim that proposed media regulations would curtail freedom of speech was “claptrap” because his papers and organisation regularly censored any criticism of it. Acknowledging that he risked incurring the wrath of News proprietor Rupert Murdoch, Mr Smith went on to attack its corporate culture, and its unwillingness to tackle issues such as anthropomorphic climate change.

In the past month, Mr Williams has launched a campaign to prevent any further regulation of the media, stating that he was prepared to go to the High Court to stop the introduction of more laws.

In the letter, Mr Smith, who is a vocal supporter of the need to act on climate change, said that it was in News’s commercial interests to oppose the idea that people were responsible for the rise in global temperatures.

“And I’m on to you. When friends ask me why your organisation runs such opposing views on climate change – from Fox News’s claims that it’s all bunkum to The Australian newspaper occasionally claiming it’s accepted science – I am able to say: ‘It’s simple,'” he writes.

“It’s all about making more money. They have worked out they will get more advertising and make more money on Fox News if climate change is debunked using sensationalism while they are likely to get greater circulation and more advertising dollars if The Australian shows a different view, so staff are directed accordingly.”

In the letter Mr Smith also claims Mr Williams was personally getting involved in rejecting one of Mr Smith’s ads because it mentioned the Murdoch press. In April Mr Smith said that he tried to book an ad in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph to promote his Wilberforce Awards – which reward young people with leadership qualities. The ad also offered a $5000 reward to any journalist who could get the issue of climate change and finite resources covered in one of Mr Williams’s papers.

Mr Smith said he found most journalists at News to be professional and fair-minded but that they censored themselves to please their boss.

He went on to say that he would normally write this kind of letter to Mr Murdoch but that the two were no longer communicating after Mr Smith criticised The Daily Telegraph for its front page attack last year on the actress Cate Blanchett after she appeared in ads supporting the carbon tax.

“Isn’t it amazing – Rupert Murdoch tells people: ‘Climate change poses clear catastrophic risks’ and claims he made News Ltd carbon-neutral and he is treated like a hero by you and your colleagues, whereas Cate Blanchett is attacked so more papers could be sold and more profits made!” he wrote, before adding that he had been warned that releasing the letter publicly was a “high-risk strategy” and that retribution would be “swift”.

“I wonder if you will instruct your reporters to come after me, just as News Ltd did to its critics in the United Kingdom? But I think it is time to stand up to your bias and bullying and put your claims of ‘freedom of speech’ to the test.”

A response from News is being sought.

 

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Asian stocks fell, while the euro weakened to an 11-year low against the yen and Treasury 10-year yields dropped to a record as a Chinese central bank board member warned of slowing growth and on concern Greece may exit the currency bloc. Corn declined after touching a record.
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The MSCI Asia Pacific Index tumbled 1.5 per cent in Tokyo as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 2.6 per cent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.4 per cent.

The euro touched a two-year low against the greenback, and the Australian and New Zealand dollars each fell 0.6 per cent.

The yield on the US 10-year note slumped to 1.4348 per cent, while Asian government bonds rallied. Corn lost 1 per cent after climbing to an all-time high of $US8 a bushel.

“It’s going to be volatile, it’s going to be difficult,” said Raymond Chan, chief Asia-Pacific investment officer at Allianz Global Investors, which oversees about $US300 billion. “We’ve not seen any solutions to make sure that the euro stays intact.”

In China, “we don’t expect a strong recovery but we’ve probably seen the worst already,” Chan said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

China’s economic expansion may cool for a seventh straight quarter to 7.4 per cent in the three months to September, said Song Guoqing, a member of the People’s Bank of China monetary policy committee.

Greece’s creditors meet this week amid doubts that the country will meet its bailout commitments. German Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler said he’s “very skeptical” that European leaders will be able to rescue Greece. A July 27 report may show the US economy grew in the second quarter at the slowest pace in a year.

Euro declines

The euro slipped 0.6 per cent to 94.89 yen after touching 94.87, the lowest since November 2000, before a Spanish bill sale tomorrow. It dropped 0.3 per cent to $US1.2123 after earlier sliding to $US1.2106, a level unseen since June 2010, as Spain’s 10-year note yields climbed toward a euro-era record last week.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars retreated for a second day, as global growth concerns reduced demand for riskier assets. South Korea’s five-year government bond yield slumped to a record low and Japan’s 10-year yields tumbled to the lowest since June 2003.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.8 per cent on July 20, the most in a week, as China pledged to keep curbs on its property market. Economic growth in the country slowed to 7.6 per cent in the three months ended June, the sixth straight deceleration, as Europe’s fiscal crisis sapped exports and a crackdown on property speculation curbed domestic demand.

About eight stocks fell for every one that rose on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. Ricoh Co., a producer of office equipment that counts on Europe for 21 per cent of revenue, retreated 5.8 per cent in Tokyo.

US earnings

McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain, releases results today.

Earnings at US companies have exceeded analyst estimates at about 73 per cent of the 118 S&P 500 companies that reported quarterly results so far, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While profits are up 0.4 per cent for the group, sales rose an average 2.9 per cent, the weakest since a drop of 0.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2009.

The S&P 500 rose last week, posting its first back-to-back gain since June, as results from International Business Machines to Baker Hughes Inc. beat forecasts and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he’s prepared to add stimulus. US consumer confidence and equity valuations are diverging the most in 17 years as price-earnings ratios fall, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

US gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services the nation produced, rose at a 1.4 per cent annual rate after a 1.9 per cent gain in the prior quarter, according to the median forecast of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Factory orders softened and new-home sales were little changed, other data may show this week.

Corn, soybeans

Corn for December delivery in Chicago fell to $US7.8850 a bushel, after earlier surging to $US8 as a drought scorched crops in the US, the world’s top producer and exporter. The previous peak for the most-active contract was $US7.9925 on June 27, 2008. Soybeans were 1.4 per cent lower after touching an all-time high of $US16.9150 a bushel.

Roesler, who is Germany’s economy minister, told broadcaster ARD that Greece was unlikely to be able to meet its obligations under a euro-area bailout program as its troika of international creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – hold talks this week in Athens.

Should that be the case, the country won’t receive more bailout payments, Roesler said.

The International Monetary Fund will stop paying further rescue aid to Greece, making the country’s insolvency in September more likely, the Der Spiegel magazine reported, citing unidentified European Union officials.

Data today may show an index of consumer sentiment in the euro region probably fell to minus-20 in July from minus-19.8 a month earlier, economists predicted in a Bloomberg survey.

Bloomberg

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