Cows on the Beach in Palolem, India

first_imgAs the sun slinks off to the other side of the globe we fully intend to chase it. This year, The Manual suggests a well-deserved respite from the winter gloom in sunny Goa. The Southerly, lesser-known town of Palolem offers delicious, health-conscious food in abundance and a laid-back beer-swigging vibe all around.PLAYPalolem beach is a hub of entertaining activity. Frequented by local fishermen, cows, dogs and friendly hawkers, people watchers will never be short of action. As the sun sets, make your way to Monkey Island, on the far right of the beach. Seeing the charcoal rocks, visiting jellyfish and ocean view in the evening light is an experience you won’t forget.SHOPThe days in Palolem are dreamily slow so be ready to take it down a few gears. The Manual recommends browsing the many shops and stalls that line the Palolem main road for artisanal gifts and wares. Look out for handcrafted leather footwear and the awesome Tibetan blanket scarves that most of the stores stock – and don’t be afraid to put your bartering hat on.EAT & DRINKThe walk from the resort to the main town is around twenty minutes but it’s a pleasant one. Beeline for a hearty, healthy breakfast at Café Inn. The staff are super friendly and the food is a little slice of the café culture we’ve all become accustomed to. You’ll be dreaming about the poached eggs in exploded tomatoes until lunchtime.For dinner, The Manual recommends the tasty wood fired pizza at Magic Italy. The menu is endless and the beer is shockingly cheap – roughly a dollar a pint when we visited. End the night at the Silent Noise Disco at Neptune Point. The rocky area to the South of the beach provides a suitably awesome backdrop to the end of a truly memorable day.SLEEPThough compact, the summer season sees the opening of infinite accommodation options. The Manual suggests investing in a little me time and booking into your very own cabana at the Bhakti Kutir resort. Gauge yourself on the town’s most prolific organic fare at the in-house restaurant and shower amongst the palms in your bamboo-enclosed En Suite. Keep Your Pants On With the Best Belts for Men Editors’ Recommendations 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts 11 Best Gins for a Refreshing Gin and Tonic All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked Why Your Desk Chair Matters and the 9 Best Ones to Boost Your Productivitylast_img read more

Weigh the cost when deciding between low interest loans or RRSP withdrawls

Weigh the cost when deciding between low interest loans or RRSP withdrawls AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Canadians may be tempted to take advantage of low interest rate loans instead of dipping into their RRSPs before retirement to either buy a home or go back to school.But financial experts warn that while it may be difficult to resist the lure of “cheap money” — whether it’s from a bank or your RRSP — both options will come at a cost.“We now have a phenomenon of cheap money,” says Avraham Byers, an adviser with Breakthrough Personal Financial Trainers.“With cheap money, it’s easy to say, ‘Well I’ll just borrow more and more money.’ We see lines of credit are getting bigger and bigger. The problem is that cheap money isn’t always cheap.”Banks have been dropping interest rates on loans and lines of credit after the Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate to 0.75 per cent in January and many analysts expect the central bank to lower its rate again.But despite the rock-bottom rates, Byers advises clients to be careful with how much debt they take on.“The litmus test on a loan you’re about to take is to imagine that loan, or line of credit, puffed up by five per cent or so,” he said.“If you can handle that, then that’s great. But if you can’t handle that amount on there, then that may not be the best thing to do.”Any amount of debt can easily spiral out of control, he added.But if a loan isn’t affordable, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Canadians should automatically dip into their RRSPs to fund expenses.The Canada Revenue Agency permits first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $25,000 tax-free from an RRSP using the federal Home Buyer’s Plan, but that money needs to be paid back within 15 years. If that doesn’t happen, then the money will be added to their income for that tax year.Similarly, those who are going back to school full-time are allowed to withdraw $10,000 a year for a total of $20,000 from their RRSP under the Lifelong Learning Plan. One-tenth of the amount needs to be paid back each year, with the amount completely paid back within 10 years.“You have to understand that if you take money out of an RRSP, you really are taking money from your older self,” cautioned Byers.Mark Thierriault, a financial adviser with Nicola Wealth Management in Vancouver, says RRSP contributors need to do the math.“If you take out a loan from a bank, you have to start paying that back right way and have to pay interest payments,” he said. “With an RRSP withdrawal under the Home Buyers or Lifelong Learning plans, you’re missing out — for however long it takes you to pay it back — on the growth you would’ve gained in that RRSP.”For example, if investments in an RRSP are generating returns of six per cent, then it would make sense to keep the funds in that account and take out a loan at three per cent interest instead.“Really, it comes down to the level of risk you’re taking in the investment and can you outperform the cost of borrowing,” said Thierriault.Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. The original version that moved Feb. 23 gave incorrect RRSP withdrawl amounts under the Lifelong Learning Plan. by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 25, 2015 12:41 pm MDT read more

End the ongoing atrocities against people with albinism in Malawi say UN

“We urge the authorities to step up their investigations into these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the experts said in a statement on Friday.People with albinism are born with lighter than normal skin, hair and eye colour, making them sensitive to the sun and bright light.  In some communities they are attacked or even killed for their body parts which are erroneously believed to possess magical powers.Since 2014, 150 cases of killings, attacks and other human rights violations against persons with albinism have been reported in the southeast African nation.Ritual killings and egregious human rights violations of the worst kind are instigated specifically against persons with albinism ­– UN experts Despite various moves to support people with albinism, “the recent attacks demonstrate that the Government needs to redouble its efforts to end the ongoing atrocities,” according to the experts.“We call on the Government to urgently address the root causes of these attacks and to strengthen nationwide campaigns to raise awareness, conduct robust investigations and prosecutions in all cases, increase protection for victims, and finance and implement all necessary measures,” stressed the experts.UN experts fear that presidential and legislative elections due to take place in late May, could further aggravate the situation for persons with albinism. Killings and attacks often spike during election periods “because of false beliefs that their body parts can bring good luck and political power when used in witchcraft-related rituals,” the UN human rights experts said.Some witchcraft practices result in “serious human rights violations”, such as torture, murder, discrimination and exclusion, including banishment from communities, they added.“These two incidents are part of a larger disturbing pattern in Malawi where ritual killings and egregious human rights violations of the worst kind are instigated specifically against persons with albinism,” they underscored. “The attacks and violations are astonishing in their brutality.”“We call on the authorities to ensure the deployment of adequate police and law enforcement personnel to protect persons with albinism where they live,” the experts concluded.The pattern of attacks prompted the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, to reiterate the need to follow the concrete recommendations she made, following her 2016 visit to the country.The experts also expressed concern at the reported backlog of cases of human rights violations and crimes against persons with albinism, noting that to date, there have been very few prosecutions, giving the impression of impunity.The statement was issued by Ms. Ero; Catalina Devandas, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities; Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and  Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. read more