King James Bible from 1669 is a holy find at the Lifeline book fair

Source: DailyTelegraph

Helen Mitchell holding the 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.

Helen Mitchell holding the 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.Source: News Corp Australia

This 345 year old Bible has travelled far and wide to find its way into a discarded pile of books at Lifeline, Wahroonga.

The intricately illustrated King James Bible, printed in 1669, was discovered by Lifeline’s Carole Stannard and volunteers while they were rummaging through donations for a used book fair.

“We don’t know who dropped off the Bible but it was originally from London, printed by John Bill and Christopher Barker, who were printers to the king’s most excellent majesty from 1669,” she said.

“We sold a similar Bible for $1400 at a silent auction that we hold, and this year’s auction will have 33 items including a 19th century encyclopaedia,” she said.

The 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.

The 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.Source: News Corp Australia

 

Antiquarian bookseller and valuer Peter Tinslay, who appraised the book, said there were no doubts about it being genuine.

“It’s not in bad condition, a little foxing. It’s been rebound and trimmed quite close to the upper margin,” he said.

 

The Bible which has more than 150 detailed illustrations will now go under the hammer this weekend.

“It lacks the title page which affects the price considerably,” Mr Tinslay said.

“In terms of value I’d say it is worth around $600 to $800 with the missing title page, but if the title page were still intact then I’d say its value would be around $1000 to $1200,” he said.

 

The 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.

The 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.Source: News Corp Australia

 

Mr Tinslay said the book may not appeal to all serious collectors but it still had historical value.

“It wouldn’t be a good investment to buy a book without a title page, but someone might like it because of its age,” he said.

“A lot of the collections you buy here have come from the UK, someone has usually brought them out and then passed them through the family and eventually when someone dies and no one wants it, then it gets out into the market,” he said.

People downsizing their homes is providing a surprise bonus for Lifeline fundraising.

People downsizing their homes is providing a surprise bonus for Lifeline fundraising.Source: News Corp Australia

 

Highly collectible Bibles include misprinted versions, which can go for astronomical prices.

Mr Tinslay said a “wicked” reprint of the King James Bible published in 1631 by Barker and Lucas from the royal printers is one of the rarest and most well documented versions.

“The wicked Bible is quite rare because it had something like ‘Thou shalt commit adultery’ and while I’ve been in the book business for 40 years, I’ve only ever seen one and that was about 30 years ago,” he said

He said the erroneous version ended up causing mayhem.

“There was an obvious mistake and it had a limited run because they realised very quickly, which is why the wicked is the most famous out of the old Bibles and why it also caused a lot of sensation at the time,” he said.

Helen Mitchell holding the 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.

Helen Mitchell holding the 1669 Bible which was found among a stack of random books.Source: News Corp Australia

Reforms vital for Greece, says Greek PM amidst anti-reform protests

Source: ATHENS, July 11 (PNA/Xinhua) —

Greece stands on its own feet again after a severe economic crisis and Europe faces the future with more confidence, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told a financial forum in Athens on Thursday evening.

Greece this year is exiting recession and returns to development thanks to the reforms introduced which are “vital, not luxury” for the country, along with fiscal consolidation and growth- oriented policies, Samaras stressed, addressing an Economist forum.

Amidst a new wave of protests against reforms aimed to streamline the public sector and privatization plans for the public power corporation PPC-DEI, the Greek Premier accused a group of unionists and the main opposition of seeking to block any reform.

“They resist any effort for change…They will not manage to obstruct this course,” Samaras stressed.

Public sector employees held a new 24-hour strike on Wednesday in protest of fresh salary cuts and a mobility scheme which leads to more dismissals.

The Greek parliament ratified on the same a bill which opens the way for the sale of 30 percent of stakes of PPC-DEI next year.

The government argues that the liberalization of the energy market will benefit consumers, while labor unions and opposition parties object to the privatization and try to put the issue on a referendum.

Despite innumerous strikes and protests after the start of the crisis over the painful austerity and reform program introduced four years ago under bailout deals in return of international loans, Greece made significant progress in fiscal consolidation, but still has way to go on reforms, officials and analysts point out.

The necessity to fully implement structural reforms without wasting time was underlined on Thursday at the start of the new regular review of the Greek program by envoys of EU/IMF lenders in Athens.

According to Greek Finance Ministry sources the foreign officials insisted that the focus should stay on reforms in coming months. They appeared to dismiss any talk for the moment of reduction of taxes as a way to boost growth, as suggested by Samaras during his speech on Thursday and other Greek officials.

Why is food so expensive in Australia compared to other countries?

Source: news.com.au

Why is our food so expensive in Australia?

Why is our food so expensive in Australia? Source: News Limited

AUSTRALIA grows its own fruit and vegetables, we produce the world’s best meat and we’re surrounded by seafood-rich oceans.

So why are Australians’ grocery bills so expensive?

It’s a question that we often ask ourselves when we travel overseas, and find ourselves raving about how cheap the food was.

While there are a number of factors, experts are beginning to recognise that it is partly because shoppers have simply got used to high prices and foodie shows such as MasterChef may also encourage us to pay a premium for food.

Who us? What does MasterChef have to do with our food prices? Picture: Supplied

Who us? What does MasterChef have to do with our food prices? Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

 

THE PROOF

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2014 survey, Sydney was the fifth most expensive city in the world to live in. The most expensive was Singapore, followed by Paris, Oslo and Zurich.

When it comes to food prices, news.com.au analysis of the EIU’s data found that Sydney was more expensive than London, New York and Hong Kong if you calculated the price of a basket of food including bread, butter, apples, tomatoes, eggs, mince, fresh chicken, cheese, spaghetti and milk.

According to Numbeo, a website where users contribute data from around the world, grocery prices in the US were 24.85 per cent lower than in Australia. In Singapore they were 18.52 per cent lower, in the UK 12.25 per cent lower, France 9.67 per cent lower and Japan 9.47 per cent lower.

food prices desktop

food prices mobile

 

IT’S OUR OWN FAULT … AND MASTERCHEF’S

Most people believe that “market forces” dictate food prices but Brigit Busicchia, a PhD candidate studying the politics of food at Macquarie University, said this was not the complete picture.

“We have got to question why some are happy to pay $5 for a croissant or a loaf of bread in Sydney while in the middle of Paris it costs only one euro ($1.45),” Ms Busicchia said.

People often point to high wages in Australia and while this can be a factor, this did not explain why prices in other high-wage countries such as France were often cheaper.

“It’s nothing to do with wages or price support; it has to do with what is socially acceptable and what politicians think voters will demand,” she said.

It costs one euro in France or $5 in Australia, why the big difference?

It costs one euro in France or $5 in Australia, why the big difference? Source: Supplied

 

“Australian people think that price equates quality. It is often true, but what if price is driven by what the consumer is ready to pay rather than what it actually costs?”

Ms Busicchia said she thought shoppers had also been influenced by shows such as MasterChef or My Kitchen Rules, which encouraged food cults and an acceptance of premium prices.

“Not only are these shows invitations to consume more but they also turn food into a form of entertainment, making us think about food and its value in a very different way,” she said.

But she said there was more to food than just its commercial value and inflating prices created problems for those on a tight budget.

“Food is vital to many of our social and cultural endeavours, not to mention the essential role it plays in our nourishment and survival,” Ms Busicchia said.

Food is vital for nourishment and is part of our culture, it’s not just a commodity. Phot

Food is vital for nourishment and is part of our culture, it’s not just a commodity. Photo: Supplied. Source: Supplied

 

WE EARN ENOUGH TO ABSORB THE COST

Senior economist John Ferguson at the Economist Intelligence Unit agreed that Australians had been accepting of high food prices for many years and this was partly due to the strength of the economy.

At the beginning of this decade wages were growing by between 4-5 per cent a year and Mr Ferguson said this meant that price rises could be absorbed.

“I think this made Australian consumers less sensitive to price rises, so they were willing to absorb higher retail prices for things like food,” he said.

“It created a very positive environment for the supermarket sector and allowed them to be confident with mark-ups of their product.”

But if you look at the Economist Food Security Index, Australians spend a modest 10.2 per cent of their total household expenditure on food. This is a lot less than the world average of 34.5 per cent.

Mr Ferguson said this showed wages had increased enough for the average household to absorb price increases, and was possibly why Australians were more comfortable about accepting higher prices.

Champagne tastes: Wages have kept pace with price increases for food in Australia. Pictur

Champagne tastes: Wages have kept pace with price increases for food in Australia. Picture: Chloe James Instagram Source: Supplied

 

BUT IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT US

Extreme weather events such as drought and flood have pushed up prices for certain foods in recent years. An example of this was the 2010-11 floods in Queensland, which sent the price of bananas skyrocketing. But Mr Ferguson said it was hard to tell whether price rises were completely reversed once the crisis was over.

“Prices might subside a little but there’s increasing concern among economists that those prices aren’t fully reversed, we need more research here,” Mr Ferguson said.

This will continue to be an issue due to climate change, which is expected to lead to more extreme weather events.

Mr Ferguson said Australia needed more competition as there were only two major supermarkets operating in the country.

However, he said the next two years would be interesting as growth is forecast to slow and this could make supermarkets reconsider their prices.

“I think retail will become more competitive because wage growth is slowing regardless of government policy.”

Remember when bananas cost $2.99 a kilo?

Remember when bananas cost $2.99 a kilo? Source: News Limited

 

HOW MUCH ARE SUPERMARKETS TO BLAME?

Woolworths is one of the most profitable supermarkets in the world and Jean-Yves Heude, the former chief executive officer of Kelloggs ANZ, estimates that shoppers are probably paying about 3-3.5 per cent more for groceries due to the dominance of the two main supermarkets in Australia.

Mr Heude now works as a consultant helping businesses adapt to the world’s changing retail environment and said while competition could be better, he thought the difference was marginal.

“Woolworths’s earnings before income tax is 7.6 per cent and this is one of the highest in the supermarket world,” Mr Heude said.

The British supermarket Tesco is on 6.1 per cent, and the average for retailers across the world was 3-4 per cent, he said.

He said the dominance of supermarkets Coles, which is on 4.8 per cent, and Woolworths in Australia was probably lifting prices by about 3-3.5 per cent, if you looked at the difference between Woolworths’s profit and the world average.

But he said he thought this was marginal and there were other factors that were making a bigger difference to prices.

Woolworths is the most profitable supermarket in the world. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloo

Woolworths is the most profitable supermarket in the world. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg Source: Supplied

OUR POPULATION IS SMALL COMPARED TO EUROPE

Mr Heude said he thought Australia’s smaller population compared to Europe was one of the biggest factors.

Europe has a population of 400 million people and over the last 20 years has become seen as one manufacturing market. This means that businesses are catering to a bigger number of people across many different countries, and so each product becomes cheaper to produce.

A company can have several factories, each dedicated to one technology or line of products.

In contrast, in Australia and New Zealand, which is also seen as one market, the population is 10 times smaller.

“In Australia and New Zealand you probably have one factory making all your products,” Mr Heude said.

Australian factories often use smaller machines, which are less cost effective, and several products will be processed on the same lines.

“One of the big issues is the changeover, when you are finished (making) one product and you need to make another product,” Mr Heude said.

“Depending on how similar that product is you might have to clean the line and that might take 12-24 hours. And during that time, the line doesn’t work.”

Australia’s huge land mass is another factor that drives transportation costs. “For example, France has three times the population of Australia and is 15 times smaller, that means its average density is 45 times higher than in Australia.”

We are a country of wide open spaces and few people.

We are a country of wide open spaces and few people. Source: News Limited

 

WE PAY OURSELVES A LOT

Wages are quite high in Australia compared to other countries.

According to OECD figures, the minimum wage in Australia in 2013 was $21,475. In France it was $20,588, in the UK it was $17,437 and in the US it was $15,748.

However, Mr Heude said this was a “chicken and the egg” issue because high prices could not be sustained if people did not have the money to pay for the goods so the cost of food ultimately had to be affordable for residents.

 

REGULATION

Mr Heude said that Australian food regulations tended to be more extreme than those overseas and this meant imports of cheaper products from other countries was restricted.

For example in Europe food that contains less than 0.9 per cent of genetically modified ingredients can be labelled as GMO-free but in Australia it has to be 100 per cent free of GMO products.

So if a company wants to use an ingredient such as flour, imported from overseas, it can face two costly options: either make a specific product in Europe to comply with Australian regulations or make it in Australia.

“From another angle, those regulations indirectly protect employment so you can look at that as a positive thing,” Mr Heude said.

We like our food GMO-free.

We like our food GMO-free. Source: Supplied

THE GOOD NEWS

The inflation rate of food has actually declined in Australia in recent years after many years of increases.

In 2012 food prices declined by 3.5 per cent, according to the OECD, after seven years of increases from 2005 to 2011.

Mr Ferguson said Australia needed more competition to encourage cheaper prices but said supermarkets already look to be reducing prices, perhaps in recognition of the slower wage increases forecast.

To further push prices down, Mr Ferguson said he would like to see more innovation in agriculture production because this would make crops more resilient to extreme weather events and reduce volatility in the market.

“We need to be more productive with how we use our land,” Mr Ferguson said.

However, Ms Busicchia believes that keeping prices affordable will require political courage.

Keeping food prices down will require political courage.

Keeping food prices down will require political courage. Source: Supplied

“Governments may need to negotiate with food industries to contain price inflation,” she said.

She said when international prices for things such as wheat, corn and soy rose sharply, food processors and distributors increased their prices.

“When international commodities prices fall there is never such readjustment unless governments start negotiating with the industry,” she said.

“To be able to monitor how prices develop is very important if one wants to maintain affordability and access.

“Traditionally, Australian governments have preferred not to intervene in the corporate affairs hoping that competition forces will provide the best outcomes for the consumer.”

But she said unregulated market economies always tended towards concentration, monopolies and lack of competition.

For Mr Heude, the answer was not increased regulation. He said if Australians wanted cheaper food prices the country should align its regulations with those in Europe so companies could access cheaper ingredients.

However, he said in order to expand the market in Australia, companies should probably be looking to Asia. “It’s a real opportunity, (Australia and NZ products) have a very good image in Asia of being of a high standard, there is a positive image from a market standpoint.”

This would allow companies to increase the number of products they make and eventually make each product cheaper.

When it comes to the retail market in Australia, Mr Heude said that he did not expect another general supermarket would be able to directly compete against the dominance of Coles and Woolworths but that companies could look at different models.

“There could be more competition, there already is now from Aldi and Costco … you need a different positioning and this allows you to attack from a different angle.”

Greek heart surgeon arrested on bribery charges

Source: ATHENS, Greece (AP)

Greek authorities have arrested a heart surgeon in a major Athens hospital on charges of bribery and blackmail for allegedly demanding money in order to perform urgent surgery, police said Thursday.

The 59-year-old doctor, who was not named, was arrested in Athens on Wednesday following an investigation triggered by a complaint from a patient who suffered a heart attack.

According to the complaint, the surgeon initially demanded 1,500 euros ($2,040) to perform bypass surgery, allegedly threatening to release the patient if the money was not paid. The amount was eventually reduced to 500 euros.

Police said a relative of the patient met with the doctor and handed him 500 euros in marked bills, after which plain-clothes police officers waiting nearby arrested the surgeon.

Apart from the marked bills, doctors said they also confiscated another 355 euros found in the doctor’s possession, as well as handwritten notes containing the names of other doctors at the hospital and monetary amounts.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the doctor had been accused by another patient last year of demanding 1,500-2,000 euros to perform heart surgery at the same hospital, which has not been named. Police said they were investigating whether the doctor was involved in other bribery cases.

Successive Greek governments have vowed to crack down on corruption as the country struggles through a four-year financial crisis that has left it dependent on funds from an international bailout.

Greek Orthodox priest accused of embezzling doesn’t show in court

Source: wisn.com

Greek Orthodox priest accused of embezzlement misses first day in court

THE HOSPITAL SAYS THAT PARENTS DO NOT WISH TO DO INTERVIEWS. A COURTROOM NO-SHOW BY A GREEK ORTHODOX PRIEST ACCUSED OF IN DAZZLING. — EMBEZZLING. FATHER JAMES DOKOS MISSES FIRST COURT APPEARANCE BECAUSE HIS CAR BROKE DOWN. THIS GREAT CHARGE IS AN ICON. — THIS GREEK CHURCH IS AN ICON. IT WAS STRUGGLING WHEN THE PRIEST BEGAN SIPHONING MONEY FOR HIS PERSONAL USE. WHEN THE CLERK CALLED FATHER JAMES DOKOS IS ATTORNEY APPEARED ALONE. HE HAS A TRAVEL PROBLEM. WE WOULD LIKE TO RESCHEDULE FOR MONDAY AFTERNOON. CHURCH MEMBERS DONATED A LOT OF MONEY. PROSECUTORS SAY HE USED A LOT OF THE MONEY FOR PERSONAL ITEMS AND PERSONAL BILLS. THE MONEY THE INCREASED INVESTMENT FROM THE CHURCH WAS INTENDED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW CULTURAL CENTER. PROSECUTORS SAY THAT HE KEPT MORE THAN $100,000. HE IS THE PRIEST. HE LEFT TWO YEARS AGO FOR A CHURCH IN CHICAGO. SOME PARISHIONERS REMAIN SUPPORTIVE. HE DID MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT . HE TURNED IT OVER TO THE CHURCH. IT CAN’T BE THAT BAD. WHY WOULD HE SAY THAT IN FRONT OF PARISHIONERS? THE PRESIDENT SAYS THE CHURCH WILL NOT COMMENT ON THE CASE.

MILWAUKEE —A Greek Orthodox priest accused of embezzling church money to support a luxury lifestyle was a no-show in court Thursday.

Father James Dokos missed his first court appearance because his car broke down.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is an icon on Milwaukee’s northwest side. Prosecutors said it was financially struggling when its priest began siphoning money for his personal use back in 2008.

When the court clerk called Dokos’ case, his attorney appeared alone, saying the priest’s car broke down on the way.

“There were some travel problems, and as a result, we communicated that it’s rescheduled for Monday afternoon,” Dokos’ attorney Patrick Knight said.

Elderly church members left more than $1 million to Annunciation, and named Dokos trustee.

Prosecutors said he improperly used more than $100,000 on travel, dining and jewelry for friends and family, as well as paying personal bills.

Prosecutors said the money the priest embezzled from the church was intended for the construction of its new cultural center.

“Prosecutors say he kept more than $100,000, WISN 12 News reporter Colleen Henry said to a Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church parishioner.

“I don’t think so,” Georgia Koremenos said. “I mean, he’s a priest for crying out loud.”

Dokos left Annunciation two years ago for a church near Chicago, but some parishioners in Milwaukee remain supportive.

“One other time when I was in church, he did make an announcement that he got a personal donation, and he turned it over to the church, so evidently he can’t be that bad because why would he say that in front of all the parishioners?” Koremenos said.

Annunciation’s parish president said the church won’t comment while the court case is ongoing.

If Dokos fails to appear in court on Monday, the court will order his arrest.

Nick Kyrgios in most important phase of his career: John Fitzgerald

Source: canberratimes

Canberra teen tennis star Nick Kyrgios.
Canberra teen tennis star Nick Kyrgios. Photo: AP

Former Australia Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald says Canberra young gun Nick Kyrgios is in the middle of his most important development phase, but doesn’t think the world No.66 needs a high-profile coach for the next stage of his blossoming career.

Kyrgios is considering a switch from current Melbourne-based coach Simon Rea, after deciding he wants to be closer to his family.

He will leave for Melbourne on Monday to begin a three-week training block with Rea before his next tournament – the Rogers Cup, in Toronto, from August 2.

His first date with Rafael Nadal was a dream come true, knocking Nadal out of Wimbledon and off the top rung of men’s tennis, and the Canberran might not have to wait long for his next outing with the world No.2.

The Rogers Cup is part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series and the top 44 men’s players have committed to it, including Nadal, world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and the man who knocked Kyrgios out of Wimbledon in the quarter-finals, Milos Raonic.

Rea has coached Kyrgios for the past 18 months, which has seen him climb from outside the top 800 to within sniffing distance of the top 50.

But Kyrgios is considering a switch and Aussie legend Pat Cash, who coached Mark Philippoussis to the 1998 US Open final, threw his hat into the ring earlier this week.

Fitzgerald didn’t want to comment on Kyrgios’ coaching situation as he didn’t know the details, but he did feel choosing a coach was horses for courses.

“Whatever works for the athlete – Roger Federer spent a large part of his career with no coach,” Fitzgerald said.

“I think it’s horses for courses, I really do. You work out along the journey what you need and what you don’t need … just surround yourself with good people.”

But Fitzgerald did think Kyrgios was in the middle of the most important stage of his career, which would decide exactly how high the 19-year-old could climb on the world rankings.

He said a player did most of their development from the years of 15 to 22.

It was a stage when Kyrgios couldn’t afford to be satisfied and needed to keep pushing himself to ensure he got the most out of what Fitzgerald hoped was a long career.

Fitzgerald said the surge to the Wimbledon quarter-finals had been a fantastic step forward and he was excited about what Kyrgios could achieve at the world’s most famous tournament in the future.

“Young players improve mainly at his age – from 15 through to 22 is a massive part of your development and he’s in the middle of that,” he said.

“He’s improving quickly, but he can’t stop improving otherwise the ceiling comes down on the end result, so you’ve got to keep improving to try and keep that ceiling as high as possible.”

19-year-old Greek-Australian Pavlos Tsapournis serving in Greek Army

Source: greekreporter.com

armyThe 19-year-old Greek-Australian Pavlos Tsapournis was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, but decided to do his military duty in Greece, to serve the homeland of his parents. The 19-year-old man is serving on the Greek island of Samos, just across the Turkish coast.

When Greek Minister of Defence Dimitris Avramopoulos during a visit in the camp asked the young man why he decided to come and serve in the Greek army, Tsapournis responded: “It is my duty to the motherland, Minister.”

“Your parents and your commander should be very proud of you,” said the Defence Minister, who was so impressed by the young man’s decision to serve in Greece that he contacted his parents in Australia to thank them and to congratulate them for the way they have raised their son.

The oldest brother of Tsapournis, who was born in Melbourne, also served in the Greek army.

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