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Top prosecutor orders speedy investigation into first lady’s alleged acceptance of luxury handbag – The Korea Herald

South Korea’s top prosecutor has instructed his staff to create a team dedicated to investigating allegations that first lady Kim Keon Hee accepted a luxury handbag in 2022, legal sources said Friday. Prosecutor General Lee One-seok made the call during a regular meeting with Song Kyung-ho, chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, on Thursday, according to the sources. First lady Kim has come under fire after a local media outlet released video footage last November that showed her receiving a Christian Dior bag from a Korean American pastor in September 2022. The pastor had secretly filmed her with a hidden camera. Last December, the media outlet filed a complaint against Kim and President Yoon Suk Yeol to the prosecution, for allegedly accepting a bribe, although there has been little visible progress in the investigation. The instruction came after the ruling People Power Party suffered a crushing defeat in the parliamentary elections last month, with the main opposition Democratic Party vowing to propose a special probe into multiple allegations surrounding the first lady, once the new session of the National Assembly begins later this month. Kim has also been accused of involvement in manipulating the stock prices of Deutsch Motors Inc., a BMW car dealer in South Korea, between 2009 and 2012. In February, President Yoon Suk Yeol said his wife failed to “coldheartedly reject” the gift giver but stopped short of offering an apology. (Yonhap)

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Food prices: How can I save money on my grocery shop?

As price rises bite into budgets, many people are cutting back on the weekly food shop. Makers of some popular food brands have raised prices by more than their costs over the past two years, according to the UK’s competition watchdog. As well as buying less, people are looking for ways to make their money go further and to make the most of what they have. The BBC spoke to money bloggers for their tried and tested tips. Rosie suggests taking a good look at your cupboards before each shopping trip. “We all know the value of making a list, but if you’re adding to what you’ve already got in your cupboards, then you’re going to spend money on things you don’t need,” she says. “There’s no point in buying more jars of pasta sauce if you’ve already got five of them in the cupboard.” She keeps a list of what’s in her cupboards in a notebook, so she always knows what she already has when she goes shopping. She says it has helped bring her weekly food shop for her, her husband and one-year-old son down to around £40. Lynn recommends changing how you shop when you walk into a store and to head straight for the reduced section. “If you spot something there that’s on your list, you can tick that off and you’ve already saved some money,” she says. She suggests then going straight to the frozen-foods section, and then the canned-produce aisle. “Frozen meat, fish and vegetables will almost always be cheaper than the fresh option,” she says. “If you get what you need from there before going on to the fresh produce aisles, you’re likely to make significant savings.” According to sustainability charity Wrap, the average household wastes around £700 every year by throwing food away. Lynn says making better use of her freezer has helped her cut down dramatically on waste. “If things are getting close to their use-by date you should always try to freeze them,” she says. “Things like milk and cheese, even fruit and vegetables, can all be frozen and kept for when you need them.” More on the basics of freezing can be found on the Food Standards Agency website. Kate Hall, who runs The Full Freezer website, uses her freezer as a pause button rather than a long-term storage solution. She says that while almost all foods can be frozen, you do have to change the way you use them. “You can’t defrost a banana or salad and expect it to be the same as when it went into the freezer,” she explains. “But if you think about how you could use it in puddings or in soups or in casseroles, then you’re going to save a lot of money.” Rosie says that a lot of what we buy in the supermarket is packaged for their convenience and not ours. “How often have you bought a tray of mushrooms covered in cling film only to have them go off in their packaging? They’re wrapped up like that to make them easier to transport,” she explains. She puts hers in a paper bag when she gets them home but says just taking off the plastic wrapping will help them last longer. Helen White, from Wrap, which runs the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, says there are small things we can do to make food last longer, especially fresh vegetables and salads – the UK’s most wasted food group. “Just putting a piece of kitchen roll into an open bag of salad to absorb moisture is going to help it last longer,” she says. Keeping fruit in the fridge will help it last longer, but she suggests checking that the temperature is set to below 5°C. “We think millions of UK fridges are at least two degrees too warm,” she says. “This is bad news for milk and other food items kept in the fridge, which can go off [more quickly] when not stored at the right temperature.” Rosie tries to use local, smaller retailers a lot to tap into their years of experience. “Butchers are a great resource and someone we shouldn’t be afraid to talk to about saving money,” she says. “If you go into your local butcher and tell them you’ve only got £8 for your meat for the week, they’ll be able to tell you how to stretch your money by buying the cheapest cuts. “They’re the best people to advise on how to cook them and how to make them go further.” We asked you for your tips, here are some you sent in: My wife and I sit with our iPads on both Asda and Tesco and put in the exact same things for our weekly delivery. We then check at the end total costs including delivery and whoever is cheapest ‘wins’ our order. We feel that writing a list of things you need then getting them online saves going to the shop where we would invariably end up throwing things in that we don’t need. Russell, Portstewart, Northern Ireland I highly recommend having a weekly menu, so you know what you are going to cook/prepare for your meals each week. I post this on our fridge and our family of five always knows what to expect. This not only saves money but eliminates the stress of “what’s for dinner”? I know exactly what I need to get, and I stick to my budget because I go to the supermarket with a plan, plus I check the fridge/pantry before I go shopping. Michelle Lutchman, Surrey Tip is not about food but about cleaning products. There is much money to be saved on laundry and cleaning products. These are full of gimmicks to make us buy additional stuff. For instance, you don’t need separate washing powder for coloureds. Fading is largely due to exposure to daylight rather than brighteners in washing powder. Helen Borodzicz, Lytham, St Annes I go to the supermarket at about 2.30 pm when they are reducing sandwiches – that’s my tea sorted! Sue Tingey, Wiltshire How is the rising cost of living changing the food you eat? You can share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways: If you are reading this page and can’t see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at HaveYourSay@bbc.co.uk. Please include your name, age and location with any submission.

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Mortgage rates: Five ways to save money

While interest rates may have peaked at 5.25%, holding steady at that level since August, it may be some time before they start to fall. That means for the 1.6 million UK homeowners whose cheap fixed rate deals are due to expire by the end of December 2024, higher costs will be inevitable when they come to remortgage. The more than 1.4 million people on tracker and variable rate deals who have had to absorb immediate increases to their monthly repayments will be hoping for a drop in rates sooner rather than later. With the help of some of the UK’s leading mortgage experts, here are a few tips on coping with rising costs. If you still have some time on a low fixed-rate deal, your mortgage could work harder for you now. “Most lenders will allow up to 10% overpayments per annum, but make sure you keep some cash as a rainy day fund as it won’t be easily accessible once used to reduce the mortgage,” says David Hollingworth from mortgage brokers London & Country. Putting money in a savings account can build up and also earn interest to help to pay down some of the mortgage ahead of fixing a new deal. If you have an interest-only mortgage it means you are only paying the interest on the amount borrowed, and you are not paying down the size of the debt. Moving to an interest-only mortgage can keep your monthly payments affordable, says Richard Dana, chief executive of digital mortgage broker Tembo. “However, it’s best to use this as a short-term solution, otherwise you will have to pay your remaining mortgage balance at the end of your mortgage term,” he adds. Your income and the amount of equity you hold in the property will determine your eligibility. This is possibly not a realistic option for a growing family, or for the owners of a small flat. But for older mortgage customers whose children have flown the nest, selling up and buying a smaller property could reduce the mortgage size – or potentially pay it off entirely. “Consumers looking to re-mortgage may find it difficult to afford higher interest rates, so seeking independent advice is essential to consider every option available to them, such as downsizing,” says Rachel Springall from financial data firm Moneyfacts. The typical mortgage term is 25 years, but 30 and even 40-year terms are now available. “Extending the term can help reduce the monthly payment but can cost tens of thousands of pounds more in interest over the life of the mortgage,” says David Hollingworth. “Make sure that you regularly review whether you could cut the term back again as your circumstances change.” From listing with a short-term letting site like AirBnB, renting out your parking space with an app like Just Park, or taking in a lodger or overseas student, there are several options to make a bit of cash. “Under the government’s rent-a-room scheme you will get a tax free allowance of £7,500 per year for income generated from your main home too,” says Richard Dana. How will the latest interest rate rise affect you? You can share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways: If you are reading this page and can’t see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at HaveYourSay@bbc.co.uk. Please include your name, age and location with any submission.

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52 stalls and live music this Saturday at Huntly Spring Market

Huntly Spring Market this Saturday will see the town centre packed with food, crafts and music to mark the start of the long bank holiday weekend. A total of 52 stalls have signed up for the event, which will also see live acts preforming throughout the day in The Square. Some of stalls are being set up inside upon the ground floor of the No 30 building, with guided tours available around the rest of the eagerly-anticipated venue. Kay Thomson, one of the organisers said: “We wanted to celebrate Spring, showcase local talent and put on an event for the whole family.” Amongst the acts performing will be Huntly Pipe Band, Billy Barron and members of Huntly Folk Club. Meanwhile, Maddison Reid, who’s aged nine and from Cornhill, will also be continuing her challenge to ‘dance the alphabet’ at local locations from Abercherdir onwards, in order to raise money for the Archie Foundation. The Huntly Spring Market, which will be on from 9am-1pm, is not the only event on Saturday. A coffee morning is also being held at Stewart’s Hall from 10am-noon in aid of Glass Hall. Then, from early doors on Monday, there will be a car boot sale on Marketmuir in aid of Huntly Sports Trust. Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

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