One third of mortgage owners have less than a month’s buffer against financial instability, the Reserve Bank has warned, in a review highlighting increased risks in the heated Sydney and Melbourne property markets.
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The RBA’s half-yearly financial stability review, released on Thursday, also took aim at the noticeable rise in investor credit, stating a decline could trigger a sharp downturn in the market.

“The concern is that investors are likely to contribute to the amplification of the cycles in borrowing and housing prices, generating additional risks to the future health of the economy,” the RBA said.

“Periods of rapidly rising prices can create the expectation of further price rises, drawing more households into the market, increasing the willingness to pay more for a given property, and leading to an overall increase in household indebtedness.”

According to the RBA, aggregate mortgage buffers are high, at about 17 per cent of outstanding loan balances.

“But these aggregate figures mask significant variation across borrowers, with available data suggesting that around one-third of borrowers have either no accrued buffer or a buffer of less than one month’s repayments,” the RBA found.

“Those with minimal buffers tend to have newer mortgages, or to be lower-income or lower-wealth households”.

The RBA’s assessment follows Treasurer Scott Morrison’s push for regulators to crack down on investor loans after they rose to more than 50 per cent of all loans in January, amplifying market risk and entrenching the housing affordability crisis.

House prices surged 1.4 per cent across in March, pushing annual price growth to 19 per cent in Sydney and 16 per cent in Melbourne.

Of particular concern to the RBA was the rise in interest-only loans, which now represent 23 per cent of owner-occupier lending and 64 per cent of investor lending.

“Interest-only lending has the potential to increase households’ vulnerability in part due to the higher average level of indebtedness over the life of an interest only loan compared with a regular principal-and-interest loan,” the RBA stated.

TD Securities strategist Annette Beacher observed that “interest-only” lending was mentioned 17 times in the report.

“This report is a not-subtle threat against rising ‘risky’ investor mortgages.”

The RBA also took a swipe at the big four banks for poor culture that led to the financial planning and life insurance scandals exposed by Fairfax Media and Four Corners.

“International experience has shown that banks that allow or encourage a culture of excessive risk-taking can pose significant harm to financial stability if poor culture becomes pervasive,” the RBA stated.

It said banking regulator the n Prudential Regulation Authority had found in some cases, “banks allowed a culture to develop within their core banking divisions over recent years that prioritised protecting market share … over sound lending practices”.

On the global economy, the RBA said the outlook had improved over the past six months, though some longstanding vulnerabilities in the US, Europe and China remain.

“Risks related to some international political developments have increased, though markets have generally reacted to events in an orderly manner so far,” the RBA stated.

“While still under discussion, some of the new US administration’s policies, particularly in relation to trade and financial regulation, could adversely affect global economic growth and financial stability.”

The RBA said the influence of “Eurosceptic” parties in elections to be held later this year could undermine the resilience of European banks and sovereign debt markets.

On China, the RBA warned of rising levels of debt “with particularly strong growth in lending from the less regulated and more opaque parts of China’s financial system.”

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SportTuggeranong Vikings Vs Canberra Royals. Royals’ Tom Cusack.Filed: Saturday, 27 July 2013 6:18:40 PM Photo by Rohan Thomson, The Canberra Timesrt130727Union-4883.jpg Photo: Rohan ThomsonRio Olympian Tom Cusack had to take a pay cut to chase his ACT Brumbies dream, but the former n sevens stars says it will all be worth it when he makes his debut.
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Cusack is poised to play his first Super Rugby game after being named on the Brumbies bench for the clash against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old spent the past four seasons travelling the world to tournaments in Las Vegas, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and the Rio Olympic Games.

But the well-travelled back-rower has never played a competitive match in Melbourne and is bracing for a brutal battle against the Rebels.

Cusack was one of ‘s best performers at the Olympics last year, and was named in the team of the tournament.

However, he turned his back on another year in sevens to pursue his Super Rugby ambitions.

The Brumbies tried to lure Cusack to Super Rugby in 2013 and 2015, but Olympic and Commonwealth Games campaigns convinced him to stay in sevens.

This time he took the deal and a pay cut just to join the Brumbies’ extended chance in the hope of achieving a childhood dream.

“I was happy to go down the sevens path and then when it became an Olympic sport, that dragged it out to four years,” Cusack said.

“Ticking off a Commonwealth Games, an Olympic Games and travelling the world for four years is something I will never regret.

“But I always wanted to play for the Brumbies. It’s always been a gamble, but I’ve put my hand up to throw myself into the deep end.

“You have a fear that you won’t get the chance to do what you want. This is where I want to be and sometimes you have to take a step back to go forwards.

“For me it was never about money. I do need to make money because it is my job. But the financials weren’t the issue, I wanted my foot in the door.”

Cusack has been biding his time in the first two months of the season, but Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is throwing him into the clash against the Rebels.

No. 8 Jordan Smiler injured his hamstring and will miss at least two weeks, opening the door for Jarrad Butler to move into the starting XV and for Cusack to join a forwards-heavy bench.

Larkham made five changes to the team that beat the Queensland Reds last weekend.

Butler replaces Smiler, skipper Sam Carter has been recalled after being rested, Andrew Smith will move to inside centre to replace Kyle Godwin (broken hand) while Cusack and Jordan Jackson-Hope have been added to the bench.

Smith is starting his first game for the Brumbies in three years after a stint in France and injuries last year limited his involvement.

“Smitty is a very consistent competitor and I think has the skill set to play [either inside centre or outside centre],” Larkham said.

Andrew Smith of the Brumbies evades the tackle of Samu Kerevi of the Reds. Photo: Getty

“He’s been here in the past more as a No. 13, but we feel like we’ve got the right game plan to utilise him at No. 12. He looks very comfortable in that position.”

Cusack’s balancing act has been keeping the speed that made him a key player in sevens while also bulking up to match the physical demands of the Super Rugby back row.

“Sevens has given my game so much and in my mind it was the best thing that could happen in my career in the early stages,” Cusack said.

“I got to try something unique and now I get to transition back to 15-a-side and bring those things back with me.

“Until you’re a stalwart of the team, you still have some doubts. All I’m here to do is to make sure I put my hand up, get bigger and train harder.

“This is where I always wanted to end up – playing Super Rugby. Being a Canberra boy, this is what I see as a natural fit and it’s humbling.”


Saturday: Melbourne Rebels v ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park, Melbourne, 7.45pm. TV time: Live on Fox Sports 1.

Brumbies team: 15. Aidan Toua, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Andrew Smith, 11. Tom Banks, 10. Wharenui Hawera, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Jarrad Butler, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Robbie Abel, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Nic Mayhew, 18. Ben Alexander, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Tom Staniforth, 21. Tom Cusack, 22. De Wet Roos, 23. Jordan Jackson-Hope.

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DELIVERING: Maitland City Council General Manager David Evans.Maitland residents are being asked to comment onthe city’s draft operational plan which will beon public exhibition until May 15.
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Councillors supported the detailed plan at a meeting this week and called on ratepayers to have their say.

The delivery program and draft operational plan, which incorporates the city’s annual budget, fees and charges (including rates) and capital works program, sets out what will be deliveredover the next financial year.It also shows how council objectives and actions will help achieve goals specified by residents in the community strategic plan Maitland + 10.

The$148 million draft plan is forecast to reap an additional $4.7 million in rate revenue.While council is budgeting for a surplus of $12,000 it also has to fork out a myriad of levies to various government departments.

General Manager David Evans said over the next year council willfocuson completingmanyprojects. “This is ourlargest budget to date. Projects identified in theplan which willprogressinclude construction of the Riverlink building, the Mount Vincent Road wastetransfer station, reconstruction of Athel D’Ombrain Drive (east), a new community centre at Gillieston Heights and construction onMaitland Regional Sportsground athletics track. Wehave also set a target of increasing grant revenue,” he said.

Mayor Peter Blackmore said this is an extraordinary plan guided by an elected council sitting beyond their standard four year term.”The announcement council will not amalgamate with Dungog was followed by a proclamation that we will go to the polls on September 9.As such this operational plan has been prepared with a tight focus on business as usual and completion of identified initiatives,” he said.

A range of other priorities have been highlighted in the plan such as crime prevention strategies, affordable housing and the launch of a new corporate website.

“Next financial year we will also spend nearly $13 million on the reconstruction rehabilitation and resurfacing of roads,’ the mayor said.

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IN THE MIDDLE: Maitland councillor Philip Penfold pictured with an overgrown median strip on the New England Highway at East Maitland.Maitland City Council should take over the mowing and maintenance of main road median strips from the Roads and Maritime Service, according to mayoral hopeful Cr Philip Penfold.
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Cr Penfold said the RMS allocation to mow and maintain the highway median strips wasinsufficient and the job should be taken out of the hands of the state and put under the control of council.

“In the coming term of council I will move for council to take on the mowing and maintenance in return for compensation from the RMS,” Cr Penfold said.

He saidcouncil needs more resources allocated to mowing irrespective of his latest proposal.

“This issue has existed for many years, under the previous ALP government and under the current Coalition government,” Cr Penfold said.

Cr Penfold first raised his concerns aboutthe city’s main road weed problem in November, 2014.At that time he saidthere were manymedian strips and road sides across the city that were strewn with litter and overgrown.

Council raised the issue of the need for improvement with the then Roads Minister Duncan Gay when a community cabinet was held in the city in 2014.

“Council thought highly enough of the issue to make it one of five points to raise with the minister,” he said.

Cr Penfold said median strips in East Maitland were most in need of maintenance.

An RMS spokesperson said mowing the median strips is based on seasonal growth rates and the timing of maintenance work varies.

“The council is free to carry out additional mowing maintenance work at their cost,” the spokesperson said.

“The council would need to comply with certain RMS requirements such as road occupancy licences and also have a formal agreement with RMS.”

Cr Penfold said that almost three years on, the state of median strips and roundabouts located on the city’s main roads does not present Maitlandin a good light. “Particularly at the city gateways where roundabouts and median strips are overgrown,” he said. Asked if he had the support of the current council on his proposal, Cr Penfold said he did not.“I am hopeful the new crop of councillors will agree after the election,” he said.

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There’s a lot to love about the prospect of a chocolate-filled Easter long weekend.
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But it pays to be prepared, as many shops and services will be closed at various times over the holiday period.

Here’s a look at what’s open, and what’s not, from Good Friday to Easter Monday in Sydney: Retail

Sydney Fish Market expects to sell 500 tonnes of seafood in 12 hours on Friday. Photo: Getty Images

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are classified as restricted trading days under the Retail Trading Act 2008, meaning it is an offence to trade on those days.

However, there are some exemptions from this rule including small independent shops, which are allowed to open. It’s best to check their websites.

Most Coles and Woolworths supermarkets are closed on both days, though some in the CBD and regional NSW are open on Easter Sunday.

Sydney Fish Market is also an exception ??? Friday will be its biggest trading day of the year and its hours are extended from 5am to 5pm. More than 50,000 people are expected to pass through the doors in 12 hours, buying 500 tonnes of fresh seafood including salmon, prawns and barramundi.

Sydney CBD

: Closed Good Friday, open Saturday 9.30am – 7pm, closed Sunday, open Monday 10am – 7pm.

: Closed Good Friday, open Saturday 8am to 7pm, open Sunday 10am to 7pm.

Sydney Fish MarketWoolworths, Town HallColesKmart, BroadwayWestfieldDavid JonesMyerKmartWoolworthsColesParramatta Central Medical CentreChemist Warehouse, WestfieldMyerDavid Jones, WestfieldKmartWoolworthsColes, Westfield Photo: Jay Cronan

All take-away bottle shops must closeon Good Friday and Easter Sunday, according to the Retail Trading Act. If you’re planning to have a few drinks this long weekend, then it’s best to stock up early. Chain stores such as Dan Murphy’s will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

However a take-away liquor outlet operating under a hotel licence is allowed to trade on Easter Sunday, the act states.

Pubs, bars, hotels and clubs are allowed to open, but some choose to close. Check their websites. Transport

Expect a Sunday timetable on every day except Saturday. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Bus, ferry and light rail services will operate to a Sunday timetable on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Saturday services will run to the usual Saturday timetable. Easter Sunday Church services

Church services will be held on Easter Sunday. Photo: Kate Geraghty

St Andrew’s Cathedral: 8.30am and 10.30am Holy Communion, 5pm Contemporary Evening Church Service

St Mary’s Cathedral: 7am and 9am Mass; 10.30am Solemn Mass; Midday Low Mass (Extraordinary Form); 5pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction; 6pm Mass.

St John’s Cathedral Parramatta: 8am, 9.30am, 11am, 7pm Entertainment

The Royal Easter Show is open each day of the long weekend. Photo: Royal Agricultural Society

Cinemas: Open. Check individual websites for details.

Royal Easter Show: Open each day, 9am to 9.30pm.

Taronga Zoo: Open each day, 9.30am to 5pm.

Art Gallery of NSW: Closed on Good Friday, open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10am to 5pm.

Museum of Contemporary Art: Open each day, 10am to 5pm.

Powerhouse Museum: Open each day, 10am to 5pm.

n National Maritime Museum: Open each day, 9.30am to 5pm.

n Museum: Open each day, 9.30am to 5pm.

Luna Park: Open Friday and Saturday 10am to 10pm, Easter Sunday 10am to 9pm, Monday 10am to 6pm.

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Seussical Kids: The young cast members in rehearsal for the popular show. Photo: Jamie Gilmore.THE colourful characters in the children’s stories by Dr Seuss have been popular with adults and youngsters alike, so it’s not surprising that the musical Seussical, which brings many of those characters together, has been a hit with people of all ages.
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Likewise, when the trend of adapting stage works into what are called KIDS versions began a few years ago with the aim of giving very young performers the chance to develop their skills, Seussical was again at the top of the list.

The popularity is shown by the fact that the demand for tickets for a production of Seussical KIDS by Hunter Drama at the Civic Playhouse from April 26 has been so strong that an extra show has been added.

The production features 36 performers aged 14 and under, led by Amelia Carpenter playing the mischievous and spirited Cat in the Hat, who takes the audience on a lively journey.

The Cat pops up with surprises at unexpected times, and Amelia sees her character as positive and uplifting in helping the other characters out of difficult situations.

The story, in this 45-minute version, focuses on Horton, an elephant, trying to save people known as the Whos, minute figures who live on endangered grass in the Jungle of Nool, after he encounters Jojo, a child Who, and the son of Mr and Mrs Mayor.

The tale’s other characters include two very different birds, Gertrude McFuzz and Mayzie LaBird, the Sour Kangaroo and its young child, a trio of mischievous monkeys, the Wickersham Brothers, an eagle, Vlad Vladikoff, and a turtle, Judge Yertle, with ensemble members playing Whos, fish, and figures such as a talk show host.

Amelia Carpenter said the songs by writers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are a mix of amusing and moving.

She is particularly fond of Alone in the Universe, which has Horton reflecting on his situation.

Assistant director Sophie Carmody points to It’s Possible and Monkey Around as being very funny.

Director James Tolhurst was a member of a Hunter Drama team of performers and teachers who presented a musical number at the United States Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta in January.

Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty were among the festival presenters, and talked to Tolhurst and others for an hour about the staging of Seussical KIDS when they learnt that Hunter Drama was presenting the show this year.

Seussical KIDS has performances at the Civic Playhouse nightly from Wednesday, April 26, to Saturday, April 29, at 7pm, plus 10am and 2pm shows on the Saturday, and a 10am show on Sunday, April 30.

Tickets are $24.15. For bookings telephone4929 1977.

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Traffic jam: Liam Scanlan believes parking hassles keep people out of the city. Picture: Penelope Green
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STUDENT and retailentrepreneur Liam Scanlanhasan idea he thinks has the potential to alleviate Newcastle’s ongoing city parking woes.

The 20-year-old Maitland residenthas entered the Smart Ideas competition, a part of the Hunter Innovation Festival, with a user-pays app concept he believes couldopen up more parking spaces in the inner-city.

“When people park, they log into theapp, plug in their basic details – license plate number, and a payment measure likePayPal or credit card -and then save their user profile,” he says. “Once parked, you ‘start meter’, and go about your daily business then when you get back to your car you ‘end meter’ and only pay for the exact amount of time you were absent from your vehicle.”

Mr Scanlan said the current parking metres force drivers to pay in advance and guess how long they might be at lunch or shopping or in a meeting. He saidparking inspectors would not have to look for paper tickets on windshields but simply scan the licence plate number to see if the parking space was being paid for, and issue fines as required.

The app could have additional features, including location services that allow drivers to see whether they are in a metre area, what the prices are and where free parking is.

​Parking in the city is set to be an issue for Mr Scanlan, a trainee accountant and creative specialist at Bottrell Business Consultants andfounder of Eat Your Water clothing. He is studying a double degree in business, innovation and entrepreneurshipand must soon relocate from the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus to the NeWSpace city campus. “There are about four car spaces at NeW Space and everyone at Callaghan is complaining about how they are going to find a park.”

The Smart Ideas competition calls for entries with a produce, service of concept to benefit the Hunter.

Email entries [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.auwith Smart Ideas Competition in the subject line. Written entries must be 500 words or less and can bedelivered to TheHerald at 28 Honeysuckle Drive.Entries close5pm on May 5.

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Queensland, it seems, is the place to be if students want an enjoyable university experience.
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Six of the 16 universities that scored above the average 80 per cent in a newly released n university satisfaction survey were in Queensland.

The private Bond University on the Gold Coast had the highest student satisfaction rating at 90.8 per cent, while Griffith University was the second highest-rating public institution at 84.2 per cent, according to data released by the federal Department of Education.

Griffith University student president Lucas Kennedy said support for the university’s students helped the institution stand out.

“Because it’s primarily more of a working-class university, a lot of our students are the first in their family to come to university,” he said.

“The staff are very capable in providing assistance for students in that situation.” !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”//”);

Mr Kennedy said learning support had been good in previous years, and there were various “very successful” programs to help students from lower socio-economic backgrounds cope with university life as well as programs for the student population more broadly.

At Bond University, vice-chancellor and president Tim Brailsford said the institution was humbled students had ranked it so highly.

“We talk at Bond about transforming our students’ lives and it is pleasing that our students recognise what we do and the impact it has on them and their career journey,” Professor Brailsford said.

The student satisfaction ranking came as the University of the Sunshine Coast announces a new campus at Moreton Bay.

USC, the third-highest Queensland institution for student satisfaction, opens a Petrie campus on a former paper mill site in 2020.

The new campus would mean a much shorter commute for tertiary students in the Moreton Bay region, according to mayor Allan Sutherland.

“Currently 90 per cent of tertiary students from the Moreton Bay region spend around three hours travelling to and from their higher education facility in either Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

USC vice-chancellor Greg Hill said the new campus would offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs including science, law, business and engineering.

In the survey, USC received a student satisfaction rating of 83.8 per cent.

The data, based on responses from more than 178,000 students across n universities and published on the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching website, would help inform students’ tertiary decisions, Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said.

However Mr Kennedy said the research would not have a great impact on the decisions of students.

“Most students in year 12 depending on their school … are fairly informed as to what their options are,” he said.

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Washington: Approaching the 100-day point, the marker at which there’s a reckoning on the performance of a new American president, there’s much speculation that Donald Trump is contemplating a shake-up.

It would be a bid to break from endless reporting on internal ideological wars and less than stellar success in implementing key policy.

The words that issued from Trump’s mouth when he was asked if he still supported the divisive, nationalist Bannon stopped the chattering classes in their tracks – “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late.”

And the words that issued from Spicer’s, in a truly bizarre Hitler-was- better-than-Assad riff as he denounced the Syrian dictator’s use of chemical weapons, were strong grounds for any boss to tell him: You’re fired!”

In police parlance, the Bannon case reads like attempted murder; and in Spicer’s, it looked like an attempted suicide.

If Trump were to throw over both of them, it would be a scalp from each of two of the dominant White House factions and a lesson to all to at least manage, if not bury ideological difference that keep the administration on a constant war footing.

In suddenly keeping Bannon at arms length, Trump dismissed him as little more than an adornment in his stunning November election victory, telling the New York Post: “[By the time Bannon joined the campaign,] I’d already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”

Bannon’s trouble is he fights too hard – he calls his office “the war room.” And his mistake was to go to war against Trump’s son-in-law and counselor Jared Kushner and his less hardline allies in the administration.

On Monday, Spicer hosed down reports of the Bannon-Kushner infighting, but on Tuesday, Trump was talking them up.

He told the New York Post that he had issued an ultimatum: “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”

It was a cruel jab – Bannon headed the Trump campaign for the last 11 decisive weeks; he was a key player in the transition; and on arriving at the White House he was the man.

But there was an echo in Trump claiming that he hardly knew Bannon. It was the language the administration has resorted to in disowning a cast of troublesome characters, including sacked National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and Bannon’s predecessor as campaign boss, Paul Manafort.

Spicer’s Tuesday gaff was so bad that he went on national TV to make an abject, if rare White House apology for what was an appalling clanger – “Hitler ??? didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

The spokesman told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “I mistakenly used an inappropriate, insensitive reference to the Holocaust – I apologise. It was a mistake to do that.” But he still hadn’t recovered his stride – having earlier mispronounced Assad’s name, he expressed regret that his comments had distracted from Trump’s “attempts to destabilise the region.”

Later on Tuesday, Spicer was still groveling in an interview with Politico: “I don’t even know how to explain it. It was a straight up mistake.”

Spicer is no stranger to trouble – often because his boss demands that he trade in falsehoods, like his first inauguration day appearance in the press room, when he insisted against all the evidence that the Trump crowd had been bigger that Barack Obama’s. He’s also confiscated his staff’s phones to have them searched for clues to identify the dozens of White House staffers who leak to the media.

Ari Fleischer, a press secretary for George W. Bush, came to Spicer’s defense – “Until you’ve stood at that podium, you have no idea how hard it is day in and day out to never make a mistake -Sean made a big one today. He handled it properly. He apologised.”

“Now, he’s going to take a pounding, and he’s going to move forward,” Fleisher told The Washington Post.

Some media critics gave Spicer a pass, blaming his stumble into such a weird rabbit warren not on anti-Semitism so much as the failure by Donald Trump to enunciate a coherent Middle East policy that Spicer might then be able to sell from the lectern.

There have been occasional reports of Trump’s frustration with Spicer, but his cutting public remarks about Bannon sounded like a kiss of death, though the signaling from the White House on how they might be read was contradictory – probably because they were being filtered by factional allies and enemies.

But it follows Bannon’s ceremonial removal from his prestigious perch on the National Security Council, at a time when the portfolio of Kushner, husband to Ivanka Trump has been expanding. And Trump, apparently is sick and tired of hearing about how Bannon won the election and is deemed to be so such a force in the White House that some refer to him as President Bannon.

Trump has had a go at both Kushner and Bannon – but in private. He has reportedly taken to mocking media coverage of the breadth of Kushner’s vast portfolio; but he has also taken to evicting Bannon from some meetings, telling him that his presence is not required.

But Kushner has something that Bannon can never trump – Kushner is family. And even if Bannon is retained, it could be challenging for such boisterous and aggressive operators to continue to serve a president who so dissed him in public.

Even before Trump’s outburst, there were reports that Bannon’s influential connections beyond the White House were looking for a post for him. Trump reportedly holds Bannon responsible for the bungled launch of Trump’s migrant and refugee crackdown and, in part, for the botched negotiations with Congress on the failed GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But as the self-appointed holder of the torch for the populist and nationalist policies, on which Trump ran for election, Bannon collides frequently with Kushner, Ivanka and others – who he disparages as “the Democrats” – who have been urging Trump to back away from some of his campaign promises and much of his rhetoric.

To the extent that the internecine wars are about the direction and future of the Trump presidency, the timing could not be worse for Bannon – in the aftermath of Trump’s missile strike on Syria and his Florida summit with Chinese Leader Xi Jinping, some analysts detect a retreat from the isolationist cocktail of his America First rhetoric and Bannon’s “destruction of the administrative state,” as Trump aligns himself more with the Washington foreign policy and national security establishment.

The evidence, they say, is that he is backing away from his frothy anti-China rhetoric – on Wednesday he even abandoned his oft-repeated threat to formally brand Beijing as a currency manipulator. On trade with China, Trump is talking about diplomacy, not tariffs.

And though Trump personally has not backed away from his bromance with Russia, his national security team is hammering Moscow – on Syria and on Crimea.

If the shift is on, it’s a work in progress – and it remains to be seen if Bannon will hang around to shape or thwart it; and if Spicer can survive to spruik it in the pressroom.

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Police have launched an urgent appeal for information to find two teenagers who have disappeared from a Sydney hospital with their three-day-old baby.

Jayden Lavender, 14, and Jenifer Morrison, 15, were captured on CCTV footage leaving Nepean Hospital in Kingswood with their baby daughter, Aria, about 12.30am on Thursday.

They left the hospital together on foot, and are believed to be in the company of an unknown man.

Police have serious concerns about the welfare of all three children.

Detective Chief Inspector Grant Healy said poor quality CCTV footage showed the teenagers leaving the hospital, with their baby deliberately concealed.

He said hospital staff contacted police as soon as it was noticed they had left the maternity ward. He was unable to say why the young parents may have taken their baby.

“We haven’t been able to speak to the young parents so we don’t know what was operating on their mind at the time,” he said.

“We’d love to be able to speak to the parents to make sure they’re alright as well and understand what’s going through their heads so we can get the right support around them.”

Detective Chief Inspector Healy said the teenagers were not in trouble, but hospital staff wanted to see both the newborn and the mother.

“For Jenifer and Jayden, the two parents, you’re not in trouble, we’d really appreciate if you could go to the hospital so we can check out and see if you’re alright and just make sure everything is fine with you. The doctors do still need to see your baby and make sure it’s progressing nicely,” he said.

He said they were “very young parents” who needed help.

“The father is 14 years old, the mother is 15. They need all the help that people can give them. So if you’re out there, these kids need your help. Give us a ring. Tell us where they are so we can help them,” he said.

“The hospital would like to see the baby to make sure it’s alright.”

The teenagers come from the Mt Druitt area and they have family on the Central Coast.

“We’ve spoken to their parents and they have given us some information that they are working on.”

He said Family and Community Services have been notified.

Police described Jayden as being of Caucasian appearance, with brown eyes and short brown hair. He is believed to be wearing a black and white hooded jumper.

Jenifer is described as being of Caucasian appearance with long brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white hooded jumper, grey tracksuit pants and Ugg boots.

The man they were thought to be with was wearing a black Everlast jumper, police said.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact triple zero immediately.

On Wednesday, Jayden’s mother posted photographs of her newborn granddaughter on her Facebook page.

“My pride and joy,” she wrote.

“This is Jayden 1 hour and my Most beautiful Girl in the world Aria Jayde Tanya Lavender born 10/04/2017 she is daddy’s girl 100% love you all.”

The photos showed her son cradling Aria, and the baby in hospital wrapped in a blanket.

Just hours after her son went missing, she posted: “My life is always so sad if something good happens something bad follows”. /**/

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