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US lawmaker’s bill forces men to get note from wives before purchasing Viagra

Viagra Photo: Supplied Mary Lou Marzian, a member of the Kentucky General Assembly, is putting fellow legislators’ family values to the test. Photo: Kentucky State Legislature
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Tired of what she considers the government inserting itself into women’s private lives, a Kentucky lawmaker has decided to return the favour.

Louisville Democrat Mary Lou Marzian has introduced a bill that would force men who want to use erectile dysfunction drugs to jump through a series of humiliating hoops beforehand, such as visiting a doctor twice and getting notes from their wives.

“I want to protect these men from themselves,” Ms Marzian, who is a nurse, said.

“This is about family values,” she added.

Ms Mazian told broadcaster WDRB that House Bill 396 would also require that someone seeking Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or Avanafil “make a sworn statement with his hand on a Bible that he will only use a prescription for a drug for erectile dysfunction when having sexual relations with his current spouse”.

“I started thinking, ‘How would this body of men feel if the government was injecting [itself] into their private medical decisions,’ ” she said.

Ms Marzian’s proposal arrives a week after Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, signed a bill requiring women to consult a doctor at least 24 hours before an abortion, according to the Courier-Journal. The “informed consent” bill, as it was labelled, passed with 92 “yes” votes on January 28, according to WDRB. Ms Marzian was one of three members of the Kentucky House to vote against the law, the station noted.

An abortion rights supporter, Ms Marzian has argued that government should not be able to interfere with people’s medical decisions. She told WDRB her proposal was also inspired by her fellow lawmakers’ values.

“We are very ‘family values’ in the Kentucky General Assembly – they are all awash in Christian family values – so that’s why I put that part in there that [erectile pills] can only be used in a marital relationship,” she said.

Ms Marzian admitted her bill was more symbolic than serious and she did not expect it to receive much support. And yet, she isn’t done introducing provocative proposals.

The lawmaker told a local newspaper she intends to introduce a bill that would require gun buyers to get counselling from victims of gun violence 24 hours ahead of a firearms purchase.

“I’m just making sure the government is taking care of your safety,” she said.

Washington Post

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Man skulks in dam after driving van into water to escape police

The man refused to emerge from the water. Photo: Sunrise The man in the dam after driving a stolen vehicle into the water. Photo: Sunrise
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Police kept their guns trained on the man as he remained in the dam. Photo: Sunrise

A 45-year old man drove his van into a dam at Penrith early on Tuesday morning, and then skulked in the weedy water and refused to emerge even when police drew their weapons.

Police from Penrith Local Area Command were racing to the scene of another crime – an alleged robbery of a bobcat – with lights and sirens blaring when they saw a white Toyota van strike some debris, travel through a fence and eventually stop in a dam.

As the officers stopped their vehicle to check on the driver of the van, he got out and swam to the middle of the dam.

Officers attempted to negotiate with the man – who can be seen submerged in water on video obtained by Sunrise – but he refused.

He allegedly threatened police when they drew their firearms, police said.

As police organised for a boat to be delivered to the area, the man left the water and was arrested, wrapped in a towel and bundled into the back of a police van.

The man was allegedly driving a stolen van. He was taken to Penrith Police Station where inquiries into the van and the incident continue.

Another man was arrested nearby. He is not believed to be linked to the van but is being spoken to in relation to other alleged offences.

AT 2pm on Tuesday, police charged a man with allegedly stealing a bobcat at Glenmore Park earlier this morning..

Meanwhile, officers are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding a nearby incident at Orchard Hills, where a man crashed a stolen vehicle into a dam.

The man was arrested and remains in custody at Penrith Police Station but no charges have yet been laid.

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Kanye West probably isn’t in $US53 million debt

Kanye West claims in his latest outburst he’s $74 million in debt, but he probably isn’t. Photo: Kevin MazurHe made headlines this week for claiming to be $US53 million ($74 million) in debt, but maybe Kanye West shouldn’t be passing around the collection plate just yet.
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The 38-year-old rapper, who simultaneously launched his new album and fashion collection at NYFW last week, lamented to his Twitter followers that he had incurred a significant “personal debt”, tweeting billionaires including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to help him out, but it seems unlikely that West has incurred a debt anywhere near the figure quoted.

According to a TMZ source, the $US53 million figure just refers to West’s investment in his music and fashion empires, not actual debt.

The source said that, although his artistic outlay had been significant (the source said West had spent $US40 million on his Yeezy fashion empire alone, which he originally funded entirely from his own pocket) it was unlikely that it had sent the rapper into that level of debt.

The expenditure seems paltry when you consider West’s net wealth (widely estimated to be north of $US100 million) as well as his annual income (which Forbes put at $US22 million in 2015 and $US30 million in 2014), making it unlikely that the $US53 million figure is debt in the traditional sense of the word.

West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, is also not exactly what you would call a low-income earner, having an estimated net wealth of $US50 million.

The TMZ audit comes after West took to Twitter to express alleged financial struggles on Sunday.

Following a series of tweets about his new album, The Life of Pablo (which he said is named after Paul the Apostle), West revealed it costs a lot to be the self-professed greatest artist of all time.

“I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt … Please pray we overcome … This is my true heart,” he wrote.

The rapper went on to encourage his followers to subscribe to artist-owned music streaming service Tidal, which he is a shareholder in, saying that he would not release his new album on any other platform for a week.

“Please for all music lovers. Please subscribe to tidal I decided not to sell my album for another week. Please subscribe to tidal.” I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome… This is my true heart…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016Mark Zuckerberg invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016Please for all music lovers. Please subscribe to tidal!!! I decided not to sell my album for another week. Please subscribe to tidal.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016Man thank you so so so much everyone for signing up to Tidal. Tidal is now the number one app in the world!!! pic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/O3r9DkX03R— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016

Fairfax Media

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need2know: ASX poised to rally

Local shares are poised to open higher as base metals and oil advance. Results pending from NAB, among others.
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What you need2know

SPI futures up 35pts or 0.7% to 4820

AUD 71.43 US cents, 81.85 Japanese yen, 64.04 Euro cents and 49.48 British pence

Wall Street is closed for a holiday

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +2.8%, FTSE +2%, CAC +3%, DAX +2.7%

In London, Rio +0.19%, BHP -0.34%

Spot gold -2.3% to $US1209.10 at about 7am Sydney time

Brent crude +1.4% at $US33.83 at about 6.30am Sydney time

Iron ore up $US2.61 or 6% to $US46.26

What’s on today

RBA latest meeting minutes, lending finance.

Overseas economic data: UK January inflation, German February ZEW index, US February Empire State manufacturing, US February homebuilder sentiment, US Treasury December net foreign securities purchases.

Central banks: South Korea rate decision. US Fed speakers: Philadelphia president Patrick Harker, Minneapolis boss Neel Kashkari, Boston chief Eric Rosengren.

Germany’s constitutional court holds a hearing in a lawsuit against the European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transactions program. UK Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the leaders of political groups in the European Parliament in a closed session in Brussels.

Overseas earnings: Hormel Foods, Vornado Realty Trust, Express Scripts Holding, Public Storage, Zoetis, Devon Energy, FMC Technologies, Cimarex Energy, Air Liquide, HeidelbergCement, Electricite de France, Orange.

Stocks in focus

Local earnings: NAB, Bradken, Cash Converters, Challenger, CSL, G8 Education, Greencross, Invocare, Pacific Brands, Paladin Energy.

Currencies

The European Central Bank will take measures to ensure its monetary policy reaches the real economy if that appears threatened by financial-market turbulence, president Mario Draghi told European lawmakers. The euro fell. The Frankfurt-based bank faces its next policy decision on March 10.

China’s currency appreciated 1.2 per cent, the most since July 2005, to 6.4962 a US dollar as of 11.29pm in Shanghai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The offshore yuan rose 0.08 per cent to 6.5035, broadly in line with the onshore rate. The People’s Bank of China raised its daily fixing against the greenback by 0.3 per cent, the most since November.

“In the near term, the stronger fixing and Zhou’s comments reflect the PBOC’s consistent view of stabilising the yuan,” said Ken Cheung, a Hong Kong-based strategist at Mizuho Bank. “Containing yuan depreciation expectations and capital outflows remain top-priority tasks.”

Commodities

Iron ore imports by China dropped last month from a record as steelmakers in the largest producer reined in output before a national holiday. Overseas purchases fell to 82.19 million metric tons from 96.27 million a month earlier, according to customs data on Monday. In 2015, imports rose 2.2 per cent to 952.72 million tons.=

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister plans to meet with his Russian counterpart in Doha on Tuesday to discuss the oil market, according to a person familiar with the talks. Ali al-Naimi, the most senior oil official of the world’s biggest crude exporter, will speak with Russia’s Alexander Novak in the Qatari capital.

United States

Wall Street was closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

Europe

The optimism that swept through European equities entered a second day as lenders and carmakers further rebounded, while investors bet on additional central-bank stimulus.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 3 per cent at 4:31 p.m. in London, taking its two-day gain to 6 per cent. Italian and Greek lenders led a bank rally, while the region’s automakers advanced, helped by a weakening euro. Miners are close to a 20 per cent rebound from their January low.

Greece’s Eurobank Ergasias, Piraeus Bank and National Bank of Greece surged more than 26 per cent, while Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena rallied 9.2 per cent after hitting record lows last week.

Danske Bank, which this year surpassed Deutsche Bank in market value, advanced 6.3 per cent after renewing a pledge to retail clients that they won’t foot the bill for Denmark’s negative interest rates.

Credit Suisse Group, which also tumbled to the lowest ever, rebounded another 2.6 per cent, while HSBC Holdings rose 1.5 per cent as it said it will keep its headquarters in the UK after considering a relocation to Hong Kong.

What happened yesterday

Australian shares on Monday bounced from recent losses, pulled higher by Friday’s global equities rally, firmer oil prices and a relatively serene return of Chinese markets after the Lunar New Year holidays.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index closed at 4765.3 points, up 1.64 per cent, or 78.2 points, on the day. The broader All Ordinaries Index was ahead 1.6 per cent, or 76.8 points, at 4893.4.

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Team up with your neighbours for garage sale initiative

Environmental initiative Our Super Street Sale has arrived in the Cessnock local government area.
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Originally developed by Lake Macquarie City Council, the Our Super Street Sale initiative aims to help residents to reduce landfill, clear out storage space and to sell unwanted items.

Cessnock City Council is encouraging residents to hold a garage sale with two or more of their neighbours, and council will promote the sale across its website, social media and with a coloured classified ad in the Advertiser.

“Our Super Street Sale will provide an opportunity for residents to be part of the drive towards reducing waste, while building better relationships with their neighbourhood,” Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent said.

“It is a fantastic initiative and we’re anticipating a great response from the community.”

Residents are invited to register their on Cessnock City Council’s website to receive a free garage sale kit.

Visit council’s website or call 4993 4203 to register.

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