Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand GOOP has waded deep into the homeware waters with the launch of its first furniture line, a collaboration with Crate & Barrel’s diffusion line, CB2.
The line – everything from lounge and dining room sets, to crockery and glassware – appears perfectly suited to GOOP’s demographic: extremely rich ladies with access to excellent stain removers.
“Our goal,” said Paltrow on her website, “was to make it easy for anyone to achieve a cohesive, curated look for their space.”
That is, of course, provided that their “space” has room for a small laundry basket with a recommended retail price of $400. There’s also a $350 floor pillow (which is a totally different beast to an ordinary bed pillow, and anyone who disagrees should be jailed).
And for those who enjoy watching the servants work, there is a gorgeous leather tote for firewood, replete with large handles to carry it to and from the woodpile – all for the bargain price of $737.
But the cherry, or rather – the activated almond – on the flourless carrot cake would be the mid-century style lounge, which comes in light grey and pale pink, and is obviously suited to any couple with small children who are not yet toilet-trained.
Goop's mid-century style lounge. Goop’s mid-century style lounge. Photo: CB2
    No, seriously, Paltrow’s aim was to appeal to people with kids. “…We designed a collection that (we believe) meets the needs of modern families.” Well, there is an indoor swing chair in there, going for just under $2000. It’s the perfect place for your little princess to hide when she returns home from transcendental meditation camp.
    However, there are a few pieces in the collection with kinder price points. That plush lounge has a price tag of just under $3000. The glassware, too, is well priced, with white wine stems coming in at under $20. The crockery – which features a quaint bird motif – wouldn’t look out of place in David Jones.
    It’s almost obscenely tasteful, with a colour pallet that ranges from white all the way to snow, with pops of cream in between. Paltrow believes it is “an eclectic mix” and hopes people will pick and choose the pieces they want, which might explain what a white peacock is doing, sitting on the edge of a credenza.
    The indoor swing chair, retailing for $1,920. The indoor swing chair, retailing for $1920. Photo: CB2
    But in the end, no-one will know for sure that you got it from GOOP, which might defeat the purpose.
    So if you’re after something that screams, “I spent way too much on this and I have zero regrets”, you might be interested to learn that DJ Khaled, American music producer and radio personality, has also launched his own luxury furniture line. Based on items in his own home, and called, somewhat unsurprisingly, “We the Best Home”, the collection features a lot of gold and will be sold through a Miami store before going national.
    Like Paltrow, DJ Khaled has designed his line with families in mind. “I wanted to create something that highlighted how important our homes are to our lives – it’s where we spend time with family. It’s where we make memories. It’s where we raise our children.”
    Of course, in his own home Khaled has a throne prominently on display, so his top priority was another, in red and black velvet, standing at 194 centimetres, complete with lion insignia, for just over $4000. Khaled calls it a “must-have”.
    The royal theme continues throughout, with an end-table made of glass, and held up by a gold lion ($600) a gold tub chair ($2000), and a gold and bronze stool, replete with etched lion heads (a relative bargain at $300 each).
    The Dreams Unlocked Bed, retailing for $1,199. The Dreams Unlocked Bed, retailing for $1,199. Photo: We The Best Home
    For contrast, he has included some black leather here and there on the furniture. The rugs, walls, and other finishings are all red velvet.
    It’s as if an Egyptian pharaoh travelled through time, consulted with Donatella Versace, stopped by a yum cha restaurant and promptly vomited everywhere.

    Gwyneth Paltrow launches ‘eclectic’ homeware line with $350 floor pillows

    A former Victorian principal ran his school as a “personal fiefdom” by employing relatives and using “public funds as he saw fit”, a scathing Ombudsman’s report has found.
    Following a lengthy investigation, Ombudsman Deborah Glass has concluded Ernest Fleming abused his position as principal of Bendigo South East College by hiring and promoting his wife and son.
    She also confirmed Mr Fleming engaged a bus co-ordinator who was a manager of Bendigo Coachlines, a company co-owned by another son.
    Former Bendigo South East College principal Ernest Fleming.
    Former Bendigo South East College principal Ernest Fleming.
    Photo: Supplied
    This business received work from the school at the expense of other local bus companies.
    “If a case study into nepotism is needed, this is it,” Ms Glass wrote in the damning 129-page report, published on Tuesday.
    “For many years, Ernest Fleming ran the college as a personal fiefdom, employing and promoting family members, providing substantial benefits to his son’s business partner and companies owned by his son, and using public funds as he saw fit without consultation or approval from the college council.”
    Mr Fleming denies having used his position for personal gain and says clearances were received in regard to potential conflicts of interest.
    The Education Department’s regional office was inundated with more than 20 complaints about the principal’s behaviour between August 2014 and February 2016 but failed to “meaningfully investigate" them, the report said.
    According to the Ombudsman, this allowed Mr Fleming to “continue to engage in improper conduct with impunity”.
    Mr Fleming resigned in May – almost 18 months after being temporarily stood down by the department.
    Ombudswoman Deborah Glass.
    Ombudswoman Deborah Glass.
    Photo: Simon Schluter

    Ms Glass said Mr Fleming's conduct ''impacted the culture of the college and the careers of numerous past and current teachers and staff. Nepotism is particularly pernicious in rural and regional areas with fewer job opportunities.”
    Mr Fleming employed his son Adam as a consultant before appointing him manager of the college’s specialist sports program in December 2014. His son received the sought-after job over a more qualified candidate, the report said.
    Six weeks after Adam began the role in the sports program, his father had given him a backdated promotion that increased his annual salary by $7,203.
    The investigation also found Mr Fleming’s wife was promoted to the role of his personal assistant despite there being no evidence she submitted a valid application.
    In 2013, Mr Fleming engaged Michael Bulmer as the school's regional bus co-ordinator – a role which involved booking buses for students – despite knowing he had a conflict of interest as a manager at Bendigo Coachlines. In 2016, Mr Fleming's son became a co-owner of the business, which was still used for students.
    On Wednesday, Mr Fleming's lawyer attacked the Omdudsman's report.
    “The Ombudsman’s office has demonstrated its partisan approach to the inquiry by issuing a public statement using sensational language to attract media attention to its release,” David Schier said.
    “It claimed that Mr Fleming ran the college as his 'personal fiefdom' and then wholly failed to show, in its lengthy document where Mr Fleming benefited personally, financially or otherwise from the allegations so made.
    “There is not one finding, despite a two-year investigation and two audits ordered by the department, that Mr Fleming received the benefit of one dollar. The report entirely clears him of some of the main but now entirely discredited allegations that were made by the early anonymous complainants.”
    Mr Schier said the Education Department had failed Mr Fleming and college staff over many years in its governance of conflicts of interest and associated complaints.
    “Mr Fleming has claimed throughout that he made full disclosure to senior officers of the department of conflict of interest issues and received the appropriate clearances,” he said.
    An earlier independent report prepared for the department had found Mr Fleming was open in dealings with staff and family members and ''there was nothing insidious in relation to conflict of interest”, Mr Fleming said.
    An Education Department spokesman said it welcomed the report and had taken steps to address issues at the school.
    "Since these issues occurred, the department has undertaken an extensive integrity reform agenda, which has addressed many of the issues raised in this report," he said.
    With Bendigo Advertiser

    Case study in nepotism': principal ran school as own fiefdom, says report

    Elon Musk is the 31st richest person in the world

    (Bloomberg) - Elon Musk raised his fortune by $ 1.4 billion on Tuesday (7) with a single tweet.
    Tesla shares jumped 11 percent to $ 379.57 in New York, bringing Musk's fortune to $ 25.8 billion after he said he was considering closing the capital of the maker of electric vehicles $ 420 a share.
    His message came minutes after the Financial Times reported that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund had accumulated an undisclosed 3 percent to 5 percent stake this year, according to unidentified people with direct knowledge of the issue.
    Musk said in the tweet that he secured the funding, without giving details. A price of $ 420 per share would rate the company at $ 82 billion, including debt. Even though it is the 31st richest person in the world and Tesla's largest shareholder, Musk would rely on external financing for the possible purchase, considering his wealth is highly illiquid.
    The CEO told employees that shareholders would have the final say if he decided to go ahead with the idea of ​​closing the company's capital.
    About half of Musk's $ 26 billion fortune is held through its stake in Space Exploration Technologies, which the billionaire has promised to keep private until it starts conducting regular missions to Mars, which would happen in years.
    His $ 13bn stake in Tesla would likely be injected into privately-held company. Musk, 47, has already committed a portion of its stake in Tesla's common stock to secure bank loans, according to the June 2018 market announcement.
    A buyout at $ 420 per share would probably not allow Musk to reap any benefits from the $ 2.6 billion stock option grant it received this year. At this price, the stock value alone stands at $ 72 billion, below the initial performance target of $ 100 billion. That means the titles would be lost.
    (With the collaboration of Dana Hull)

    Musk needs just 61 characters to enrich $ 1.4 billion

    Inter-American Development Bank accompanies events in the country, which affected its management and led to the withdrawal of personnel from the office of Managua


     Nicaragua: IDB management can suspend disbursements to borrowing country (Jorge Cabrera / Reuters)
    Protests against the government that have shaken Nicaragua since April and whose violent crackdown has generated international criticism have affected the work of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the country, but its leadership has not yet considered suspending loan disbursements, the agency said. Tuesday (7).
    The IDB follows "closely" events in Nicaragua that have affected its management on the ground and led to the removal of non-essential personnel from the Managua office for security reasons, a spokesman told AFP.
    "The crisis has affected the preparation and execution of projects and disbursements of IDB loans in the country. Our active portfolio of investment loans in Nicaragua has a disbursing balance of $ 624 million, "he explained.
    The IDB's board of directors, where the 48 member states are represented, may suspend disbursements to a borrowing country, such as Nicaragua, but did not do so.
    "To date, this alternative has not been discussed by our management," says the spokesman.
    "We remain vigilant in deliberations on Nicaragua in the Organization of American States (OAS) and we support the calls of the international community for a peaceful resolution of the political conflict in this member country of the IDB," he added.

    Crisis in Nicaragua affected IDB projects and disbursements

    The new government's estimates have been reduced and indicate that Italy will grow 1.2% this year and between 1% and 1.1% in 2019

     Italy: With the reduction of economic growth, a bigger deficit for next year of 1.2% is expected (Getty Images / Getty Images)
    Rome - Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Wednesday that the country's economic growth is expected to decline until next year but that the government will remain faithful to its fiscal commitments.
    The new government estimates the country will grow 1.2% this year and between 1% and 1.1% next year, Tria said, according to the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, below the government's most recent forecast. 1.5% this year and 1.4% in 2019.
    This would translate into a larger deficit for the next year of 1.2%, compared to the previous estimate of 0.8%.
    In addition, it would also slow the pace at which Italy planned to reduce its huge debt. The previous government, led by Paolo Gentiloni, predicted a reduction of public debt to 122% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021, from 131.8% in 2017.
    "What counts is the way down [to debt], which is not under discussion," he told the Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper, adding that the entire government agrees to respect the financial constraints imposed by the European Union.

    Italy reduces growth estimate for 2018 and 2019

    Imports fell 20.6% compared to July 2017, due to the accumulation of inventories in preparation for US tariffs


     China imported 8.01 million tonnes of soybeans in July (Dan Koeck / Reuters)
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese imports of soybeans fell in July from June, customs data showed on Wednesday, with processors slowing purchases after mounting record inventories in preparation for heavy US import tariffs in the month past.
    China, the world's largest soybean buyer, imported 8.01 million tonnes of soybeans in July, down 8 percent from June's 8.70 million tonnes, according to data from the country's General Customs Administration .
    Imports fell 20.6 percent from the record volume of 10 million tonnes in July 2017.
    "Chinese buyers bought a lot of Brazilian soybeans to avoid the impact of the Sino-US trade war ... The pressure on domestic stocks is high, so imports from July have dropped a bit," said Tian Hao, senior analyst at First Futures.
    Beijing imposed a 25 percent tariff on a list of US products totaling $ 34 billion, including soybeans, on July 6 in response to US actions on similar Chinese goods.
    Chinese companies have been big buyers of Brazilian grains in recent months, in anticipation of Beijing's imposition of tariffs.
    Large arrivals of the oilseed led the country to register record stocks of soybean meal and put the crushing margins into negative territory.
    China imported 52.88 million tons of soybeans in the first seven months of the year, down 3.7 percent year-on-year.
    "Imports in August and September are expected to be around 8 million tonnes as well. Inventories will remain at high levels, "said Tian.
    China's soybean meal stocks hit a record 1.27 million tonnes in early July.
    China, which imports 60 percent of the soybean traded in the world, bought 32.9 million tonnes from the United States in 2017, accounting for 34 percent of total purchases.

    China's soybean import falls after stockpiling before tariff

    MRV Engineering founder Rubens Menin won the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018, which brought together leaders from more than 50 countries

     For the first time, a Brazilian was considered the entrepreneur of the year in the world.
    Rubens Menin, founder of MRV Engenharia, is also the first South American to receive the honors, the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018.
    The event has been organized since 2001 by Ernst & Young - one of the largest consulting firms in the world. In June this year, it brought together men and women from more than 50 countries who, through their commitment, strategic vision and innovative energy, help transform the reality of their markets.
    Elected as entrepreneurs of the year in their respective countries, participants were evaluated by an independent panel of judges, who selected the best among the best. Menin's announcement of victory was made by Mark Weinberger, Global CEO of EY. Before the election, all the entrepreneurs were honored for their trajectory and the transforming power of their businesses.Four decades of history
    Ahead of MRV Engenharia, Menin believes in the positive impact that civil construction and access to housing have on social development.
    Its history began in the late 1970s with the recognition that home ownership was an unattainable dream for the largest portion of the Brazilian population.
    On a plot in Belo Horizonte (MG), Menin, newly formed and with the help of his parents and two cousins, built his first popular house. Today, one in every 200 Brazilians lives in a property built by MRV.


    "I'm very proud," Menin said in his speech of appreciation as he stepped onto the stage with a Brazilian flag in his hands. "The most important thing about these beautiful days that I spent here were the entrepreneurs I met. All companies here want to change the world. And we are able to do that, "he said.Focus on essence
    The awards took place on the last day of the event and crowned an extensive agenda of lectures and debates. The meeting of world leaders, who have the opportunity to interact, exchange experiences and communicate their trajectory to journalists from different countries, is one of the great benefits of World Entrepreneur Of The Year.
    "The global stage brings together a very select group of entrepreneurs from dozens of countries. Interacting with this group over several days already represents a prize, "comments Leonardo Donato, strategic market partner for South America EY.
    "This year, we were awarded the prize of a Brazilian. Proof that Brazil is capable of generating entrepreneurs of global influence. The story of MRV, which has already enabled thousands of Brazilians to realize their dream of home ownership, is very impressive, "says the executive.
    In addition to Menin, four other entrepreneurs from South America were present. Humberto Enrique Rodríguez from the Sala Group, a company that uses innovative technology for the removal of industrial waste, promotion of basic sanitation and the collection of waste was indicated in Colombia.
    Also participating in the meeting were the Chilean José Rosenberg, who founded Colchones Rosen, leader in the manufacture of mattresses in Latin America, and two Argentines: Nicolas Szekasy and Hernan Kazah, from Kaszek Ventures, an investment fund with 50 companies in the portfolio.
    "The Brazilian edition of the Entrepreneur of the Year award is quite mature," says Donato. "In October of this year, will be held the 22nd edition. Our main objective is to recognize and stimulate entrepreneurship actions that have a great impact on the community, as they bring direct benefits to their region. "
    The Entrepreneur of the Year was created in 1986 by the EY office of Milwaukee, United States. With the success of the event, EY offices in the UK, Canada and Australia have launched similar initiatives. In Brazil, the Entrepreneur of the Year has been held since 1998. In 2001, the World Entrepreneur Of The Year was created, the international stage of the award.

    Brazilian is named Entrepreneur of the Global Year