Student found in stream

first_imgThe body of an Oxford Brookes student missing for 36 hours has been found in a stream in west Oxford. Matthew Jones, 23, was reported missing by friends and family on Monday morning after he failed to come home from a trip to a pub in the city centre. His body was later found near his home in North Hinksey by police on Tuesday. The Brookes student described himself on his Facebook page as a nice guy who loved to drink at the Purple Turtle in the city centre. Police are now trying to find out more information about his final movements on Sunday.last_img read more


first_imgTO THE EDITOR OF CCO:I am writing to say a huge “Thank you” to the person or persons who made the file on the investigation of the admitted predatory activities of Jack Schriber available to the media. If you had not done what you did,  Mayor Lloyd Winnecke would have not made the information public until after the election, if ever, because he wanted the votes that the immensely popular educator would “pull” for him. The Mayor had encouraged his friend and mentor to run because he knew the respect people had for Jack would win votes for the entire GOP ticket.Now, Winnecke has admitted that he knew about the investigation in July. It is important to note that he only saw fit to tell the whole truth about when he knew what after Rob Faulkner spoke with the media about the certainty that Winnecke and Bolin attempted a Watergate-style cover up of the truth until after the election. They knew they needed the votes that Mr. Schriber would bring to their ticket.I think we should award our mayor an honorary “BS” in “integrity,” as he claims he was “protecting the integrity of the investigation.” The truth is that he allowed Mr. Schriber to continue campaigning for nearly three months.  He had planned to keep the secret and let t Mr. Szhriber serve on City Council as a “rubber stamp” to whatever he wanted. It would have been easy to get whatever he wanted from Schriber as long as he had that file. If the cat somehow got out of the bag, he could always get Schriber to resign and Winnecke and Wayne Parke would install another person to do their bidding. A true friend would have gone to Schriber and asked him to bow out of the race in July, instead of subjecting him to what Jack has faced in the past two days. The always self-serving Mayor chose to take a chance on keeping things quiet and benefitting from the votes, instead of allowing his “dear friend” to save face.Even worse, what Winnecke and Parke have done is effectively attempt to steal the At-Large votes and cast them for their choice of a person to sit on Council, as they are sure that they can work their will on the party caucus. I have heard that the planned substitute for Schriber is none other than Wayne Parke himself.Those of you who still wish to vote for Republicans should not vote a “straight ticket” unless you want to give up your vote for Council-at-Large. If enough straight ballots are cast to allow Mr. Schriber to win, that will let Parke and Winnecke choose who fills the vacant seat. If you don’t want them to make your choice for you, you should vote for individual names and leave Mr. Schriber out.  By not running anyone against Weaver, they’ve already compromised the votes of their party members, but this makes it even worse. If you already voted absentee, you can cancel that ballot by going to the polls in person.Even if you are a die-hard Republican, please ask yourself if you believe Winnecke is fit for office. The pathetic job of leadership he has done this past four years and his clear dishonesty by continuing to use Jack Schriber once he knew that Schriber was unfit for office should make it hard for anyone to support him. Evansville deserves better than this.SincerelyLaura BlackburnEvansville FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Blind, Autistic Performer Blows Everyone Away With “A Song For You” Cover On ‘America’s Got Talent’ [Watch]

first_imgTV singing competition shows often mine for emotional moments and storylines, but one young performer on this season of America’s Got Talent has already genuinely captured the hearts of the nation with one deeply moving audition.Last week, Kodi Lee, a blind, autistic 22-year-old singer/pianist shocked both judges and the audience away with his jaw-dropping performance of Leon Russell‘s “A Song For You” during his America’s Got Talent audition. Lee took the stage with his mother, who explained that “we found out he loved music really early on. He listened and his eyes just went huge. He started singing and I was just in tears because that’s when I realized, oh my gosh, he’s an entertainer!”“Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world, because when you’re autistic, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does,” Lee’s mother continued. “It actually has saved his life, playing music.”While his condition is quickly apparent in his speech and mannerisms, he undergoes a transformation as soon as he takes his seat on the piano bench, turning in a performance that would surely make Russell—and just about everybody else—immensely proud.The judges were so moved, in fact, that they greeted the performance with the show’s coveted “golden buzzer,” which guarantees Kodi a spot in America’s Got Talent‘s late-season live shows—and guarantees us at least one more chance to hear Kodi perform on TV. Good luck, Kodi! We’re rooting for you!Take a few minutes to watch the judges’ jaws drop as the scene plays out. Kodi will leave you jumping and weeping for joy. We promise.Kodi Lee – America’s Got Talent – “A Song For You” [Leon Russell cover][Video: America’s Got Talent]Plenty of notable people were moved by the performance. Here’s just a few, as retweeted from Kodi’s account:last_img read more

Grand Slam of Darts: Jonny Clayton explains his decision to keep working full-time as he targets Grand Slam glory | Darts News

first_img“It is genuinely how I feel. I’ve got a young family and I want everything to be spot on before I make that decision. I think I need to win a major before that decision is made.”Having said that, if Clayton continues on his upward trajectory, he may have a decision to make sooner rather than later.After kicking off the year with a run to the last eight at the Masters, the 46-year-old has also progressed to the semi-finals at the UK Open and the European Championship, losing out to Price and Peter Wright respectively.He succumbed to Michael van Gerwen in his first televised final at the Players Championship Finals in 2017, yet he’s a more formidable proposition now, which augurs well in his pursuit of glory.“I’m knocking on the door a few times now, so hopefully my bit of luck will come through and it will be my time at the Grand Slam or the Worlds,” said Clayton. Jonny Clayton helped create history on Sunday, as he and Gerwyn Price clinched Wales’ maiden World Cup crown Clayton featured as a challenger in the 2020 Premier League back in March This presents the perfect opportunity for Clayton to capitalise on this momentum. He was devastated after succumbing 11-8 to Wright in last month’s European Championship semi-finals – a remarkable miscount at a crucial juncture proving expensive.Fortunately for ‘The Ferret’, his World Cup medal ensures that is a distant memory, and now the full-time plasterer is focused on raising his darting ceiling.“I let myself down there [European Championship] but I know I can play darts and lifting that trophy has got to give me confidence. It is my second trophy with the PDC.“Austria was my first and this is definitely the biggest trophy. Hopefully this is going to kick me on and the confidence is definitely there, it’s just putting it all together and carrying on.“There are massive competitions left – the Grand Slam, the World Championship and also the Players Championships. I’m looking forward to it.”Follow the action from the Grand Slam with all nine days covered on Sky Sports Arena from November 16-24. If you are out and about follow via our live blogs and @SkySportsDarts for regular updates. Having flourished in tandem last weekend, the pair will now lock horns at the Ricoh Arena after being pitted together in Group G of the cross-code event alongside Pro Tour winner Ryan Joyce and women’s world champion Mikuru Suzuki.Price is eyeing a third successive Grand Slam crown, yet for Clayton, he is targeting a major title that could aid his bid to become a full-time professional. Gerywn Price bigged up his partner Jonny Clayton in a great team effort to claim the World Cup for Wales. “When we used to play Rugby, the hooker usually listens to the scrum-halfs, but I think he’s a bit bigger than me so I won’t talk to Gezzy about the Grand Slam. I’ll keep that to myself!”Clayton offers a little chuckle as he discusses the prospect of dethroning his World Cup partner, but he’s got every reason to be buoyant following his exploits in Salzburg.The pair struggled to fulfil their potential in their previous two World Cup appearances as a partnership, but they performed magnificently in Austria to become the fourth nation to lift the coveted title.“I’m a very proud man. I think we both are to be honest. I don’t know if you’ve spoken to Gezzy [Price] but on the way back on the flight, we were both still buzzing. It was a great night,” he added.“We’re proud Welshman, so to represent your country and win the World Cup for the first time for your country, it’s a special time and I’m over the moon to be honest.” Clayton’s best major results – Advertisement – Live Grand Slam of Darts November 16, 2020, 1:00pmLive on “I still work. I’ve thought long and hard about do I give up to concentrate on darts?” Clayton told the Darts Show podcast.“I am afraid to take that step and I’m going to leave it as it is at the moment because if darts doesn’t go well, I’ve still got that income coming in. ‘The Ferret’ recently regained his place in the world’s top 16, but he remains the highest-ranked player to balance his darting commitments with a full-time job, as a plasterer for Carmarthenshire Council.Glen Durrant is a prime example of what can be achieved when taking the plunge. The three-time BDO world champion left his job as a housing manager after 30 years when he claimed a PDC Tour Card last January, and now he’s a Premier League champion.However, the pressure of competing against the world’s elite is heightened when you are solely reliant on your performances to earn a living, which Clayton concedes is the main factor behind his hesitation.- Advertisement – Masters quarter-final (2020) Players Championship Final (2017)

Conte lashes tight turnaround for Man City clash

first_img– ‘We kept our head’ –Morata and Cesc Fabregas then passed up huge chances before Batshuayi struck the decisive blow with the last kick of the game after a patient team move tore a tiring Atletico to shreds.“It is very difficult when Atletico Madrid score to come back, but despite this we deserved to win because we continued to play with good personality,” added Conte.“We kept our head on the pitch. We deserved to win against a really good team like Atletico Madrid.”Batshuayi was the unlikely hero as he came off bench just eight minutes from time to net already his fifth goal of the season despite playing second fiddle to Morata.“To score for a striker is always important for your confidence but it is more important they understand this way to play is right,” said Conte.“I want this type of player with great athleticism and to give me the possibility to make a change game-by-game.” Madrid, Spain | AFP | Chelsea boss Antonio Conte blasted Premier League schedulers over his side’s short turnaround from Champions League action before facing high-flying Manchester City in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.Conte’s men put in a brilliant performance to inflict only Atletico Madrid’s second Champions League defeat on home soil in 24 games on Wednesday, when Michy Batshuayi’s 93rd-minute winner sealed a 2-1 victory. However, the Italian lamented the advantage handed to City, who played their Champions League fixture at home to Shakhtar Donetsk 24 hours earlier on Tuesday.“I think we are a bit penalised and in this case, it is very important to analyse, before taking these decisions, the different situations of the team,” said Conte.“City played yesterday at home. We played tonight away and we will return to London around four o’clock (in the morning).”City lead the Premier League from Manchester United on goal difference, with Chelsea three points back in third.“Man City is a really strong team. They are scoring a lot of goals, they are in a good moment of form and we have to prepare well (for) this game because it is very important.“Before taking this decision someone must analyse very well this situation.“There is the international break (after this weekend). My surprise is for this because there is the time (to play the game later).”Conte was far more content with Chelsea’s display as they battled back to claim a well-deserved three points despite falling behind to Antoine Griezmann’s penalty five minutes before half-time.Former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata stretched his scoring streak to seven goals in as many games with a deft near-post header from the outstanding Eden Hazard’s cross to level on the hour-mark.center_img In stark contrast to Chelsea’s euphoria, defeat leaves Atletico, who have reached the Champions League final in two of the previous four seasons, struggling to make it out of Group C.The Spaniards trail second-placed Roma by three points following their 2-1 win at Azerbaijani champions Qarabag earlier on Wednesday.“They were better in every aspect of the game,” admitted Griezmann. “We have a lot more games to play and we have to try to win them all.“Maybe I needed to play better too. Apart from the goal it wasn’t a good day for me. I have to learn from today and keep working.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Rejuvenated Steelers finding groove behind Big Ben

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes as Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) pressures in the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Ben Roethlisberger rolled to his left, lobbed one last rainbow on a record-setting night and sent a message in the process.The Pittsburgh Steelers have wholly, finally embraced the NFL’s arms raceAnd they’re doing it with a quarterback at the peak of his powers and a rapidly maturing group of players that could provide matchup nightmares for opponents over the final two months of the regular season and perhaps beyond.Cover all-everything wide receiver Antonio Brown and rookie Martavis Bryant might be open. Or running back Le’Veon Bell. Or Markus Wheaton. Or tight end Heath Miller.Even the lesser-known players are getting into the act. Roethlisberger’s sixth touchdown pass in Sunday night’s 43-23 romp over Baltimore might have been his favorite.Up two scores with 2 minutes remaining, the Steelers didn’t exactly run out the clock.Facing fourth-and-2 at the Baltimore 33, Roethlisberger bought time and found little-used tight end Matt Spaeth lumbering toward the end zone. Spaeth lunged across the goal line to give Roethlisberger his sixth scoring toss of the game and 12 in two weeks, an NFL record.“(Spaeth) has been around a long time and puts a lot of dirty work in, a lot of blocking,” Roethlisberger said. “For him to get that big touchdown, I was just so excited for him.”It’s becoming contagious.BIG DAY FOR BIG BEN—Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a record setting day as he threw for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns in the Steelers 51-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts.Languishing through the first six weeks of the season, the Steelers used a three-game homestand against Houston, Indianapolis and Baltimore to redefine their season. Pittsburgh scored 124 points in 180 minutes while going 3-0.Though Roethlisberger isn’t exactly ready to say the Steelers have arrived, they have certainly closed the gap between themselves and AFC frontrunners Denver and New England.“I’ve said it before, as long as we win that’s all that matters,” Roethlisberger said.Maybe, though the Steelers have added more than a little style to go with their substance.Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates making a first down catch during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. The Steelers won 51-34. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)Brown joined former Dallas Cowboys star and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin as the only players in league history to have five receptions for at least 80 yards in each of his team’s first nine games.Bryant, who languished on the inactive list the first six weeks, has five touchdowns in three games. Wheaton, whose role diminished through much of September and October, has doubled his career touchdown total in the span of two weeks.The Steelers have scored touchdowns in eight of their past nine trips to the red zone over their past two games, one more touchdown than they managed during their first seven weeks of the season combined.“I think everybody has a part in it,” Bryant said. “Everybody looks at their game. Everybody works hard in practice. And everybody takes more emphasis in red zone. So it’s just a whole team thing. Everybody is just working.”And scoring. Roethlisberger’s dozen touchdowns over the past eight quarters have gone to five different players, each of them emphasizing Pittsburgh’s growing versatility.Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) makes a touchdown catch over Indianapolis Colts free safety Josh Gordy (27)in the third quarter of the NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)The 6-foot-4 Bryant gives Roethlisberger the big body the Steelers have lacked since Plaxico Burress was in town a decade ago.Bell is one of the few backs in the league who looks just as comfortable lining up at receiver as he does taking a handoff. Miller is the warm security blanket. Wheaton is the blur quick enough to get behind the secondary.Then there’s Brown. The NFL’s leading receiver is establishing himself as one of the league’s best. His 54-yard catch-and-scat touchdown in the fourth quarter provided a splash of everything.He ran a 15-yard out, with Roethlisberger so confident Brown would be open the quarterback threw the ball before Brown was even out of his break. Brown deftly pulled the ball to his chest, sidestepped a tackler then ran by a handful of Ravens on his way to his eighth score of the season.“Any time you get the ball into his hands he is something special,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s why I said earlier … that the receivers that I play with, he’s at the top of it. He is something special and he’s fun to watch.”At the moment, so are the rest of the Steelers.last_img read more


first_imgSANTA ANITA’S 23-DAY AUTUMN MEET TO OPEN FRIDAY, SEPT. 30ARCADIA, Calif. (Aug. 31, 2016)–Santa Anita’s popular Clockers’ Corner, closed since mid-July, will reopen for business this Saturday, Sept. 3.  Located at the top of the stretch, families are welcome as admittance is free and accessible via Gate 8 off of Baldwin Ave.Open daily from early morning until 10 a.m., Clockers’ Corner is a time-honored destination for fans and horsemen alike.  Tabled seating, a full breakfast menu and breathtaking views of America’s top Thoroughbreds going through their morning training regimen before the majestic San Gabriel Mountains are all part of the attraction as Santa Anita readies for its annual Autumn Meet, which opens on Friday, Sept. 30.With complimentary coffee offered each morning and ready access to some of the nation’s top jockeys and trainers, Clockers’ Corner has become a must-see destination for thousands of fans of all ages.For more information on Clockers’ Corner and the upcoming 2016 Autumn Meet, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

More voices in the media chorus

first_imgHere’s a personal quirk: I like start-up businesses. I particularly like start-up media businesses.So you will have to forgive me when I tell you that tears welled up in my eyes at precisely 7pm on 1 June 2008. It was a great day. South Africa’s first independent 24-hour news channel, eNews Channel, went live on air – and I was lucky enough to be there to witness and participate in it.Veteran broadcaster Jeremy Maggs, cool as a cucumber and smooth like no one’s business, said the first few words. Then the pack of journalists and technical staff holding their breaths in the background stood up in unison and applauded. Once again, brave business and media people had stuck their toes into uncharted waters and launched yet another news outlet.Something happens when a new newspaper, magazine, website or television channel is launched. It is a bit like a child being born. We hold our breaths. We wait for that first edition or that first broadcast and pray for all of it to go well.It rarely ever does. With newspapers, the printed edition comes back with spelling errors and wonky design. With radio and television, presenters fluff their lines and there are silences on air as transmitters skip a beat or two. Editors shout and young rookies think their careers are finished.But one thing that stays with me about these media start-ups is this: I can feel the weight and importance of the fact that a new voice is being added to our society. Every time some brave soul launches yet another media business, I feel like the foundations of our democracy are being dug even deeper into this country’s soil.It is often said that many democracies take their freedom for granted. South Africa is fortunate that it has so many media outlets who are free to speak their minds on any and all issues. Nothing is off the agenda. Politicians are criticized, businessmen kept on their toes and ordinary citizens shown the errors of their ways – or the exemplary nature of their deeds.It is all thanks to the vibrancy of the media. It is all thanks to the fact that from John Tengo Jabavu, who founded Imvo Zabantsundu (“Black Opinion”) in the late 1800s, we have been starting newspapers, failing at it and starting them all over again.In 1985, a century after Jabavu founded Imvo to speak up against colonialism, the Mail and Guardian was founded by young journalists to stand up against and expose apartheid’s atrocities. Along with it was the New Nation and other, smaller but equally feisty magazines and small journals printed by night. It is worth remembering today that it was exactly these newspapers who were at the forefront of exposing the worst of apartheid South Africa’s atrocities and bringing down the National Party government.I think the vibrancy that started with Jabavu and others way back then exists and continues today. I have lived through several births and deaths of newspapers and magazines, and still feel the elation and the dejection acutely.Information is the bedrock of a democracy. Without an informed citizenry, without the free flow and exchange of ideas, democracies flounder and die. A democracy is only as good as the number of people in it who are informed and have the ability and choice to contest ideas.It is a measure of South Africa’s maturity and sophistication as a democracy that there are so many news outlets in the country. A plethora of newspapers exists both at the top end of the market and at the tabloid level.Only recently, in a market that many did not believe could sustain another newspaper, the Sunday Times launched a daily version called The Times. A year down the line, it is healthy and gaining momentum. In KwaZulu Natal, an isiZulu-language newspaper called Isolezwe continues to grow in leaps and bounds.The launch of eNews Channel is only a beginning of the activity in television. New pay-television licensees including Telkom Media and ODM are working feverishly to launch new bouquets to take on the market leader, Multichoice, which already has more than 170 channels.And the blogosphere. Well, if you want to get angry, happy and everything else in between, read the South African blogosphere. Young and old alike are blogging on everything from fashion to politics to business to golf. And with broadband access being rolled out fast, we are set to see more activity as fast internet connections increase.We are a fortunate country to have all these. If there are any doubts about the strength of South Africa’s democracy, one need only look at the competitiveness and vibrancy of the South African media landscape.It is a place to make you smile.Justice Malala is an award-winning former newspaper editor, and is now general manager of Avusa’s stable of 56 magazines. He writes weekly columns for The Times newspaper and Financial Mail magazine, as well as a monthly media and politics column for Empire magazine. He is the resident political analyst for independent television channel and has consulted extensively for financial institutions on South African political risk. Malala was also an executive producer on Hard Copy I and II, a ground-breaking television series on SABC 3. Hard Copy I won the Golden Horn Award for best television series. Malala’s work has been published internationally in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, Institutional Investor, The Age and The Observer.last_img read more

Reputation Research

first_imgSouth Africa has the potential to have a positive influence globally, through its access to the United Nations, the G8 countries and BRICS. Critical to this impact is the country’s international reputation.South Africa Incorporated is a research project designed to interrogate the country’s exposure to, reputation in, and strategic relations with African anchor states. It examines South Africa’s footprint in African markets, taking a range of sectors and realms of cultural interaction into consideration.The South Africa Incorporated series aims to create a platform through which Brand South Africa can relate the story of South Africa’s involvement in, exposure to, and opportunities open for intensified intra-African trade and cultural exchange.For more information, contact:Dr Petrus de Kock, General Manager: Research, Brand South AfricaEmail: petrusd@brandsouthafrica.comTel: +27 (0)11 712 5000Research note: the global reputation and competitiveness of South African cities This research note looks at how South Africa’s cities match up to its global counterparts. The research is based on the 2015 City brands Index and the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index.2016 | 8 March | VIEW DOCUMENT Report: SA Inc Fieldwork Research – Angola and the Need for Cultural CompetenceHistorically, South Africa and Angola have a complex relationship. The former was complicit in the protracted Angolan civil war; the latter served as a base for anti-apartheid liberation forces. This unique history means South African individuals and companies must be sensitive to race and history when doing business in Angola.2015 | 19 November | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT Presentation: SA Inc Fieldwork Research – Perspectives on South Africa’s reputation on the African continentThis presentation explores South Africa’s reputation on the African continent, the country’s performance on the 2015 Nation Brand Index, and indices on our global competitiveness. It also presents Brand South Africa fieldwork research, as part of the SA Inc series.2015 | 17 November | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTPresentation: Brand South Africa Research & Nation Brand PerformanceThis presentation gives an overview of the Brand South Africa mandate and strategy, our nation brand performance, brand reputation, and Brand South Africa research and fieldwork.2015 | 29 September | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTResearch Report: The development of a South Africa Incorporated Strategy for the Nation BrandIn June 2015, Brand South Africa hosted a Research Seminar on the theme: The development of a South Africa Incorporated Strategy for the Nation Brand. The theme draws on a Brand SA research project initiated during 2014/2015 – the SA Inc Project – to develop a more holistic understanding of South Africa’s involvement on the African continent.2015 | 28 July | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTResearch Note: African Market entry strategy – learning to listen & listening to learnBrand South Africa researched the profile of the nation brand in Africa, how South Africa and South Africans are perceived on the continent, and identified opportunities and challenges South Africans, South African brands, and generally speaking the nation brand faces when investing in, trading with, interfacing or interacting with peer African markets.2014 | 12 December | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTSouth Africa In(c) Series Research Report #1Researching the Nation Brand – background to the concept, and initial findings from fieldwork in Kenya and Nigeria. The first SA Inc report aims to introduce the project, and profile some of the initial, and somewhat surprising findings, from fieldwork conducted in Kenya in July 2014 and Nigeria in August 2014. The report also contextualises the Africa-focused research by briefly interrogating the concept, and theoretical trends in the field of nation brand research.2014 | 18 September | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTResearch Note: A lesson for Brand South Africa from NigeriaBe bold, keep it real, and make it quick – a conversation on the art of Nollywood success.Since its birth in the early 1990s, Nollywood has grown to become a multimillion-dollar industry. Its success on the global stage is well recognised. Today Nollywood producers, directors, and actors have become Nigeria’s true brand ambassadors.2014 | 23 August | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTSouth Africa Nation Brand Country Reputation Reports – an orientationThis research note serves as an orientation to a series of Country Reputation Reports developed by Brand South Africa. The purpose of the reports is to bring together a divergent set of reputation, investor perception, and competitiveness indicators that can assist Brand South Africa’s government, business, and civil-society stakeholders when engaging with the markets covered in the reports.2014 | 4 June | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTThe country reputation reports bring together indicators derived from the following studies:•    The Nation Brand Index•    The City Brand Index•    Brand South Africa’s International Investor Perceptions Research•    World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report       South Africa’s overall reputation indicators2014 | April | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in China2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in Brazil2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in Russia2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in India2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in the USA2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in the UK2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in Germany2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT       South Africa’s reputation in France2014 | DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTlast_img read more

Opening Lines of Communication: Asking Financial Questions before Marriage

first_imgReferencesCobb, C. (n.d.) Money Talk Before Marriage: Five Conversations You Should Have.Flora, C. (2014). Just say it. Psychology Today, 47(5), 52-61.Martin, A. (2016). 11 Essential Money Matters to Discuss Before Marriage. Retrieved from, E. (2016). 8 money conversations every couple should have before getting engaged. Retrieved from, B. (2003). For many, prenups seem to predict doom. Retrieved from By: Carol Church & David Lee Sexton, Jr., MSPexels[Man and Woman Sitting Together by Juan Pablo Arenas, March 15, 2018, CC0]Are wedding bells ringing soon for you or someone you know? Planning a wedding can be surprisingly hard work. It’s easy to get caught up in all the many details, from booking a venue to making the guest list. At times, couples can forget about the “big picture”…preparing for the rest of their lives together.During engagement and up to the first few years of marriage, many couples may be experiencing “la vie en rose”… That is, seeing their life, and their partner, through rose colored glasses. Everything will likely seem to be going so perfectly that couples forget to take the time to really get to know the nitty gritty about the person with which they will be spending the rest of their lives. As such, it is important to have those potentially tough conversations so that once the honeymoon phase is over, you and your partner won’t be in for any unexpected surprises.One key aspect of planning for the many years ahead is getting on the same financial page with your partner. Though this may not sound like the world’s most romantic conversation, it’s key. Disagreements about finances are one of most common problems in marriage, and may even be the #1 source of conflict in newly married couples. Getting really mad about money is an especially big problem; couples who tend to get into bitter, angry fights about finances are especially likely to end up in divorce court. But debt also looms large in the divorce crisis. Research shows that “consumer debt” (like credit card debt and car notes) can and does eat away at marital happiness.Meanwhile, couples with low debt who communicate well about money are significantly more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Obviously, whether we like it or not, money matters to marriage.So what’s an engaged couple to do? The key is not to rush into a new marriage simply hoping and wishing for the best…instead, talk about it. Flora (2014) notes that while many of us would like to believe that we are completely open with the ones we love, even the best relationships can have “simmering topics” that are just outright avoided, such as housework, in-laws, or, of course, money. However, relationships are built on compromise, meaning that sometimes things are better left undiscussed, as constant discussions about little stressors or inconveniences can be damaging to relationships.Researchers have examined why some topics may be avoided and some may be brought up, and they have found that the reasons for avoidance may play a larger role than the topic itself; for example, self-protection was found to influence whether or not individuals broach topics with their partners (Flora, 2014). Perhaps the subject is embarrassing and the individual would rather avoid it than subject themselves to the embarrassment of discussing it. However, Flora also notes that disclosure begets intimacy, and while it may be difficult to balance disclosing and avoiding at the start of a relationship, the act itself can strengthen bonds. Below are some tips for better communication and some specific questions should help engaged couples get on the road to financial and marital success.Communication Tips:Before broaching a topic, ask yourself “why am I bringing this up?”Is the topic beneficial for just you or the relationship? Communications professor Melanie Booth-Butterfield suggests that broach topics that benefit both parties will be more beneficial (Flora, 2014).Consider your emotions before broaching heavy topicsIt is also important to wait until you are in the right state of mind to discuss sensitive topics. If you are feeling angry, anxious, or upset, it may not be the right time to discuss serious topics like finances. Take some time to cool down first.Consider your emotions before broaching heavy topicsFinally, be as empathetic as possible. Think about how your partner will feel and consider their emotions and experiences when discussing tough topics. Furthermore, be prepared to own up to any blame you hold for problems you and your partner may have faced.Financial Questions to Ask Before Marriage:Will you combine money, keep it separate, or try some other method?The question of whether or not to put all money in one big “pot” can be a difficult one for some couples. In most cases, combining makes sense, and can be a demonstration of trust in your partner and the marriage. Not combining has actually even been found to be a risk factor for divorce in some studies. However, there may be times that full combination is not the best choice, such as when one partner has come into a large inheritance or needs to set aside money for children from another relationship. Joint accounts can also create stress when one partner tends to be irresponsible about spending. Some experts advise combining accounts for all major expenses, while allowing each spouse a small “fun money” account that he or she can spend out of at will.How will you budget?Perhaps one of you already has a system in place—for instance, devoting 20% of income to savings, or paying all bills up front and only then allowing “frivolous” spending. That’s great, but at this point, you’re going to need to talk that over with your future spouse. Consulting one of the many budget sites out there, like Youneedabudget, may help couples come up with a system that works.Do you know the nitty-gritty details of each other’s financial situations?Though it may seem surprising, it’s not uncommon for partners to avoid revealing problem debt, past bankruptcies, or other financial “oopsies” to their partners, even for years. Marriage and financial counselors alike say this is a bad idea. Couples should be financially “naked” with each other: your partner needs to know your monthly financial obligations, your credit score, your student loan balance, what you have in savings and retirement accounts, and any kind of “money trouble” you’re in. Your financial pasts are bound to come to light at some point, and if the two of you can’t handle those realities together, that’s a concern.Do you know each other’s financial strengths and weaknesses?Are you in touch with what your partner does well and not-so-well when it comes to money? For instance, maybe he balances his checkbook faithfully every month, but can’t stop buying $200 sneakers. Or maybe she has a ton of money in her 401K, but keeps forgetting to pay her credit card bill on time. These are habits both of you need to know about, talk about, and be honest about.Do you know each other’s financial values and beliefs?We all have a set of values and beliefs when it comes to money. For instance, some people tithe 10% to the church, while others would be shocked by this amount. Some people will lend or give money to family in need with no questions asked; others never discuss money with relatives. Some donate generously to charity even when their own finances are tight, while others rarely give.Similarly, many of us have strong feelings about “wasting” money or about being “cheap” that can be quite emotional. For instance, one member of a couple may want to take friends out for drinks regularly or may find it shameful to shop at a thrift store, while the other might feel very differently.These patterns may well be tied to family financial history: how money was handled in each person’s house growing up and what was modeled for them there. This is another topic to discuss!What about a pre-nup?While pre-nuptial agreements are not common (about 5-10% of marriages put one in place), for some people, they can be the smart choice. Typically, a pre-nup is drawn up when one member of the couple has very substantial assets or owns a business. If your future spouse is suggesting one for other reasons, it’s possible that trust issues are at play.Who will do what?In many marriages, one person tends to be the financial manager: paying the bills, tracking investments, and keeping an eye on the general financial health of the union. While this can have its advantages, it’s important that both members of the couple feel good about it and that the “nonmanager” knows how to check and access accounts in case of emergency. In addition, remember to be cautious about consolidating all the financial power in the relationship. Even if someone “manages,” there should still be frequent and clear communication about finances and money goals.What are your financial goals and dreams?Have you talked about your future goals and how they relate to money? For instance, when do you want to retire, and what do you picture that being like? If you want children, is it important to you that someone stay home with them, and for how long? What kind of house do you want to own? Do you want to leave a financial inheritance to your children? All these factors can affect how the two of you think about money, savings, and earning income as a couple.last_img read more