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"I ended her life": Brian Laundrie's diary finally released

<p>Sinister details of Gabby Petito’s murder have been revealed in the form of handwritten notes made by her fiance Brian Laundrie. He offered an apology, along with his confession for killing Petito out of ‘mercy’.</p> <p>The notebook – which was recovered from the Florida nature preserve where Laundrie's body was found after the 23-year-old took his own life in October 2021 – has been shared by the Laundrie family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino.</p> <p>“I ended her life,” Laundrie wrote in the notebook, which was recovered near his body, before going on to detail his version of events of the day that Petito died.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Pages of Brian Laundrie’s diary released. On this page Laundrie appears to say he killed <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GabbyPetito?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GabbyPetito</a> out of mercy…because she had injured herself.<br />The diary doesn’t explain why he didn’t call for help <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nbc4ny?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nbc4ny</a> <a href="https://t.co/Dhps2JdEwr">pic.twitter.com/Dhps2JdEwr</a></p> <p>— Pei-Sze Cheng (@PeiSzeCheng4NY) <a href="https://twitter.com/PeiSzeCheng4NY/status/1540418661344808961?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 24, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>“Rushing back to our car trying to cross the streams… before it got too dark to see… I hear a splash and a scream," the notebook pages read.</p> <p>“When I pulled Gabby out of the water she couldn’t tell me what hurt, she had a small bump on her forehead that eventually got larger.</p> <p>“Her feet hurt, her wrist hurt, but she was freezing, shaking violently.</p> <p>“Gasping in pain, begging for an end to her pain.”</p> <p>Laundrie then describes trying to keep her warm and awake while Petito was in “extreme” pain, but his entries do not explain any effort made to find medical attention.</p> <p>“I don’t know the state of Gabby’s injuries, only that she was in extreme pain.</p> <p>“I ended her life, I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made.”</p> <p>Police encountered the pair during their trip in Moab on August the 12th<br />2021, after reports of domestic violence. The couple were on a cross-country road trip and sharing their adventures on social media.</p> <p>Bertolino said Laundrie flew home to Florida alone on August the 17th, and that Laundrie then returned to Utah six days later to “rejoin Gabby”.</p> <p>On September the 1st, Laundrie drove back to his parents' Florida home, again without Petito. He had been sending text messages from her phone to fool people into believing that she was still alive.</p> <p>Petito’s body was later found on September 19 in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, with an autopsy later revealing she had been strangled by someone’s bare hands, and likely died three to four weeks before she was found.</p> <p>The notebook was found in October 2021, along with human remains, a backpack and a revolver, and a month later the remains were identified as Brian Laundrie’s.</p> <p>Bertolino said he met with the FBI in Tampa, along with the Petito family attorney, where personal items belonging to Laundrie and Petito were handed back to their families.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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What happens when a petting zoo visits an aged care home

<p dir="ltr">In June 2022, residents, families and team members at Arcare North Lakes had an a-moo-sing time with the beloved animals from mobile petting zoo, Amazing Animals. </p> <p dir="ltr">Residents had the opportunity to feed and pat the farm animals which included ducks, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep and baby animals such as piglets, a one-month-old calf and a three-week-old goat.</p> <p dir="ltr">While holding onto the baby goat, resident Joyce Crawford said, “I love you! I would take you home in a flash; I just need a bag big enough to steal him,”</p> <p dir="ltr">Joyce’s husband John, who is also a resident at Arcare North Lakes and is visually impaired, spent quality time with the animals as the Lifestyle team made sure to bring them close to him. He fed and cuddled them and enjoyed the sensory experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I had a great time with the animals and I’m glad we could spend time with them today,” John said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The residents enjoyed their visit so much that they have already booked them in for another visit.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Animal therapy is a wonderful way to support aged care residents as it promotes confidence, supports sensory and tactile stimulation and enables them to relive memories as many of the residents grew up on farms. One question was asked time and time again "can we keep them!" it was such a special moment for them to enjoy.” - Lifestyle Coordinator Maree said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There were smiles, laughs and enthusiasm as resident’s shared stories and fond memories of their own experiences working on their farms,” lifestyle Coordinator Maree said.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-fab907f1-7fff-bd8d-2734-04ce2488949d"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Check out the adorable gallery below.</p>

Retirement Life

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12 foods you didn't know could kill your dog

<p><strong>1. Grapes</strong></p> <p>Grapes are a simple healthy snack for humans, but they are toxic to dogs. Eating them can make your pooch vomit or lose his appetite. If your dog shows signs of diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, or tremors, his kidneys could be failing. And yes, raisins are just as bad.</p> <p><strong>2. Onions</strong></p> <p>Cooked or raw, onions contain thiosulphate, a substance that causes your dog’s red blood cells to burst in a condition called hemolytic anemia. Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, breathlessness, and lethargy; it could take two to four days for them to become noticeable. You also put your dog at risk if you give her certain foods that are made with onions, like pizza or tomato sauce, which could trigger the same reaction.</p> <p><strong>3. Coffee and tea</strong></p> <p>These drinks—and really any form of caffeine—can give animals hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, hyperthermia (increased body temperature), and seizures. A few laps of spilled coffee won’t poison your dog, but ingesting moderate amounts of coffee grounds and tea bags can kill small dogs.</p> <p><strong>4. Lollies</strong></p> <p>Keep the candy bowl far away from your dog. Eating significant amounts of sugary, high-fat sweets can give dogs pancreatitis, even though symptoms may not show for two to four days. Look out for decreased appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy, and abdominal pain.</p> <p><strong>5. Any kind of chocolate</strong></p> <p>Chocolate is the worst kind of candy your dog can eat because it contains theobromine, a substance similar to caffeine. Baking and dark chocolates have the highest levels of theobromine, but milk and white chocolate are also harmful to dogs. As with caffeine, symptoms of chocolate poisoning include high blood pressure, tremors, and seizures.</p> <p><strong>6. Fatty trimmings and cooked bones</strong></p> <p>Don’t scrape leftovers from your steak dinner into the dog bowl. Not only can fat trimmings lead to obesity – it doesn’t take many extra calories for small dogs to become obese – but they also contribute to pancreatitis. Severe cases can result in a blood infection and internal bleeding. Small bones, like those found in meat, are a choking hazard, and they can splinter and tear into a dog’s throat or intestines. If your dog wants a bone, make sure it’s a raw one.</p> <p><strong>7. Peaches</strong></p> <p>The flesh of a peach is a great source of fiber and vitamin A, but the pit contains cyanide. Cyanide interferes with cellular oxygen transport, preventing your dog’s blood cells from getting the right amount of oxygen. Signs of cyanide poisoning include dilated pupils, red gums, and difficulty breathing. Other pitted fruits like cherries and plums pose the same problem. Be sure to cut the fruit into small pieces before feeding your dog.</p> <p><strong>8. Raw fish</strong></p> <p>Eating raw fish regularly can cause a vitamin B deficiency, which could be accompanied by seizures. The most toxic fish for dogs are salmon and trout. Raw salmon can host parasites infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal if not treated properly.</p> <p><strong>9. Raw meat</strong></p> <p>Raw meat is a controversial topic for pet owners. It’s a great source of protein, but it does carry the risk of microbes and parasites like E. coli or, in raw poultry, salmonella. If you do give raw meat to your dog, buy the highest quality possible and keep all ingredients fresh.</p> <p><strong>10. Salt</strong></p> <p>Your dog could experience vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst or urination, potential injury to the kidneys, and even death as a result of salt poisoning. Be on the lookout for sources of salt in places other than your kitchen, like rock salt for de-icing products, table salt, paint balls, and sea water.</p> <p><strong>11. Dairy products</strong></p> <p>Just like their owners, some dogs can be lactose intolerant. They happily drink their mothers’ milk as pups, but most dogs can’t produce enough enzymes to digest the lactose in milk once they become adults. Too much milk can mean diarrhoea and vomiting. Cheese contains less lactose than milk, so small nibbles are safe for many dogs to eat as long as the cheese is low in fat and sodium.</p> <p><strong>12. Bacon</strong></p> <p>We’re as surprised as you are about this one. The high fat and sodium content put your dog at risk for pancreatitis, high blood pressure, obesity, and bowel cancer. But if you pet is begging for some of your breakfast, it’s safe to slip it small bits of low-fat, low-sodium bacon. This is the kind dog food manufacturers use in their products.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/pets/12-foods-you-didnt-know-could-kill-your-dog?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Artificial Intelligence makes Cosmo cover debut

<p dir="ltr">Though Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around since the 1950s and has been used for everything from predicting how much toilet paper stores should stock (Covid times notwithstanding) to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8556641" target="_blank" rel="noopener">helping doctors make the best decisions for their patients</a>, more creative applications are still in relative infancy - though the latest <em>Cosmopolitan</em>’s latest efforts have pushed efforts forward.</p> <p dir="ltr">With <em>Cosmopolitan</em>’s latest cover, a team of the magazine’s editors, members of artificial-intelligence research lab Open AI, and digital artist Karen X Cheng - the first “real-world” person to use the AI system the researchers have developed - went through the lengthy process to create it.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-eba60aa4-7fff-6d58-c649-5f9bef9deaac"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Though the AI system - called DALL-E 2 - takes just 20 seconds to create an image using verbal requests from users, it took the team several rounds of selecting phrases that would help the system generate the image of a powerful woman that would grace the cover.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfEls6Gr6Pa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfEls6Gr6Pa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Cosmopolitan (@cosmopolitan)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Cheng, who <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfEwohiJdXW/?hl=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shared</a> the process on social media, revealed the final phrase that resulted in the magazine’s final cover: “A wide angle shot from below of a female astronaut with an athletic feminine body walking with swagger towards camera on Mars in an infinite universe, synthwave digital art”.</p> <p dir="ltr">DALL-E 2 is powered by a neural network and learns to identify objects and how they relate to each other using images labelled by humans. By being shown numerous images of jam jars and lemon tarts, each labelled with what the image contains, the AI learns how to identify and distinguish between them.</p> <p dir="ltr">That being said, DALL-E 2 is far from perfect and is still in “preview” phase, meaning it is only being released to a thousand users a week while engineers continue to tweak it.</p> <p dir="ltr">It is also far from replacing human artists, a fear held by some who are wary of the tech. It requires plenty of intervention from humans, and, as writer Gloria Liu puts it: “DALL-E truly is an artist’s tool - one that can’t create without the artist”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-2bd774a4-7fff-ced0-b26b-3caecb9ab1fe"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">To read the full <em>Cosmopolitan </em>story, head <a href="https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a40314356/dall-e-2-artificial-intelligence-cover/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p>

Technology

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Wee-lly bad idea sees horse test positive to caffeine

<p dir="ltr">Winning racehorse Explosive Miss has tested positive to caffeine, but it’s not because the racer has been enjoying some pre-race beverages.</p> <p dir="ltr">The horse tested positive to a random post-race drug test for the substance, which is prohibited in racing, though her trainer, avid coffee-drinker Clinton Isdale, had no idea how it could have happened, as reported by the <em><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/caffeine-in-trainers-urine-causes-horse-to-fail-post-race-drug-test/NX2UXT52SUDQVPOJ5DO3YA6D5M/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">NZ Herald</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Isdale told the Racing Integrity Board that he had no idea caffeine ended up in Explosive Miss’ system, but said he would drink roughly three cups of coffee a day and then urinate in the same corner of the stables, behind the horse stalls, every morning.</p> <p dir="ltr">After testing soil samples from the spot, investigators confirmed that caffeine was present.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is believed that the probable cause of Explosive Miss’ positive has been via contamination by Mr Isdale urinating in the corner of the stables by the stall,” the board said in its decision.</p> <p dir="ltr">As a result, Mr Isdale had to forfeit the $15,000 prize from his horse’s win and had to pay a $2000 fine.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Isdale, who has no previous charges for prohibited substances, told the board he was truly remorseful for his actions.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am a hardworking young trainer in the industry and have worked tirelessly to get to this position in racing,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m truly sorry this happened and take full responsibility and have thoroughly improved my stable practice so nothing like this happens again.”</p> <p dir="ltr">This isn’t the first case of horses testing positive to caffeine thanks to their trainers, with a similar case resulting in a trainer being fined $2,000 in March last year after it was found they had also been urinating in the corner of the horse’s stall.</p> <p dir="ltr">Caffeine is banned in horse racing because it’s purported to give animals an edge, with the Equestrian Sports NZ website warning trainers to “be aware when drinking soft drinks around your horse, or eating snacks such as biscuits or chocolate bars as caffeine is a common positive test result”.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-c054e756-7fff-d935-129e-5e4801cf1b39"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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Readers Respond: What was your career and what do you wish you did?

<p dir="ltr">Now more than ever, people are changing their careers or jobs when they’re not happy. </p> <p dir="ltr">Writing for an audience of 60+ was never in my book but it’s quite interesting to see what interests you have and what keeps you going.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is why we have our Readers Respond questions to occasionally get a glimpse into your life.</p> <p dir="ltr">We decided to ask you, what was your career and what do you wish you did? </p> <p dir="ltr">Check out your responses below.</p> <p dir="ltr">Veronica Prendergast - Office worker, mainly accounts. I wanted to do commercial art but my parents couldn’t afford college fees at the time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Roy Hurst - Large articulated freight relocator eg truck driver but wish l had become a brain surgeon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lizzie Bartlett - Nursing. Preferred? Gardener.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dawn Parker - Many different jobs in healthcare (favorite being medical assistant in a pediatric office) but I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kathy Ford - A nurse. I was lucky enough to go out in the Flying Doctor plane quite a few times. Trained at Port Augusta in the 60's.</p> <p dir="ltr">Julie Ann Lewis - I was a nurse and wanted to be a hairdresser.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dorothy Estelle Winks - Office work, secretary. Would have liked to have been a vet or had a life similar to David Attenborough.</p> <p dir="ltr">Roslyn Crane - I worked as a typist, switchboard operator, and receptionist. I wanted to walk in my mum's shoes as a nurse but I wasn't academic enough. I then joined the Citizen Military Forces, Royal Australian Army Nursing Corp which is the Reserves today.</p> <p dir="ltr">Raymond Richards - Office worker. I wish I had worked in the travel industry as it would have saved me a fortune over the years.</p> <p dir="ltr">Steve Smith - IT Operations when it took skill to run computer systems until networking took over the planet. I wish I did architecture. </p> <p dir="ltr">Share your career wishes <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid0QjzqPxiQ8dpiiYhe453cw17euoqeSSLTPWwyiQ7v6aBboBEHJUzGLnFimXrZm13Al" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Readers Respond: What is your favourite scene from The Sound of Music?

<p dir="ltr"><em>The hills are alive, with the sound of music</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Admit it, you sang that line because <em>The Sound of Music</em> is obviously one of your favourite movies.</p> <p dir="ltr">We asked the OverSixty audience what their favourite scene is from the classic and for those of you who didn’t answer “all of it”, you are wrong. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. (Just kidding!)</p> <p dir="ltr">Read your responses below:</p> <p dir="ltr">Lorraine Briggs Lane - The kiss in the gazebo.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chris Howie - The dance in the garden where Maria and the Captain dance a beautiful Austrian folk dance. So romantic.</p> <p dir="ltr">Merle Davis - I loved everything but the wedding was beautiful.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jill Harker - When they declare their love! One of my favourite movies!</p> <p dir="ltr">Lorraine Peters - When he signs you are 16 going on 17.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sandra Wilkins - The first 174 minutes. </p> <p dir="ltr">Leonie Cortez - Love it from beginning to end.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sonia Freeth - The kids saying goodnight and heading off to bed. </p> <p dir="ltr">Rita Sammut - The greatest movie. Love every scene.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ellen Taylor - The Captain singing Edelweiss.</p> <p dir="ltr">Share your favourite scene/s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid0cjtGdMtKhn57hiBbAnwz4mXGw4WkDsjNRWGxNxTsmprbWJ9BBnMrXctDUVHT7tgol" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Movies

News

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Four people injured in stabbing frenzy

<p dir="ltr">Four members of the public have been horrifically stabbed in what police have described as an “isolated” incident. </p> <p dir="ltr">The alleged offender randomly stopped four people in Murrays Bay on Auckland's North Shore about 11.18am on Thursday before stabbing them with “quite a large knife”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another member of the public stepped in and stopped the alleged attacker with a clutch before police apprehended him. </p> <p dir="ltr">Luckily, none of the victims were severely injured but are being treated in hospital. </p> <p dir="ltr">Waitematā district commander Superintendent Naila Hassan commended the random person’s efforts, saying it could have been “a lot worse”. </p> <p dir="ltr">"This was an isolated incident," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"This offender was on the move, he was on foot, it started in Murrays Bay [where he stabbed members of the public], and he continued to walk through to Mairangi Bay.</p> <p dir="ltr">"A number of members of the public were following him and eventually one of them intervened.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It could've been a lot worse and that's why I really need to acknowledge the bravery of those members of the public that intervened to bring this to a conclusion."</p> <p dir="ltr">Superintendent Hassan gave a special shoutout to the members of the public who helped prevent the situation from getting any worse.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I really need to acknowledge the bravery of the members of the public who intervened," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">A thank you to the public was also released on the North Shore, Rodney &amp; West Auckland Police Facebook page.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We would like to acknowledge members of our community for their actions, who put aside their own personal safety to get involved in the events earlier today,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Whilst Police generally discourage intervening, we greatly appreciated their efforts today which undoubtedly prevented further harm.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We also want to thank those who called emergency services.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Understandably the community will be shaken by what has occurred today and I would like to reassure them that this was an isolated incident and we have the person responsible in custody. </p> <p dir="ltr">“There will be an increased Police presence across the community as a result of what has occurred.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We would like to thank the community for their patience as scene examinations and area canvases taking place.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The alleged attacker remains in North Shore Hospital under police guard where he is being treated for his injuries. He is yet to be charged.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: RNZ</em></p>

News

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Lisa Wilkinson lawyers up

<p>Lisa Wilkinson has called in top lawyer Matthew Collins after he called her Logies speech "ill-advised", in which she discussed the high-profile case of Brittany Higgins. </p> <p>Matthew Collins, president of the Australian Bar Association, told Seven’s Sunrise on Wednesday morning that The Project host may be in serious trouble following scathing comments made by ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum, who made the decision to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/serious-legal-fallout-of-lisa-wilkinson-s-logies-speech" target="_blank" rel="noopener">delay the trial</a>. </p> <p>“It’s certainly possible that the authorities will be looking at speech she made to the Logies and assessing that speech went against the standard which applies in this branch of the law,” Dr Collins said.</p> <p>“That standard is, did anything that she did have a tendency to interfere with the administration of justice?”</p> <p><a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fbusiness%2Fmedia%2Flisa-wilkinson-hires-barrister-matthew-collins-after-he-labelled-her-logies-speech-illadvised%2Fnews-story%2F721bab3f1373c77706d4ac393cbcb740&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21=dynamic-warm-test-score&amp;V21spcbehaviour=append" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Australian</a> claims that just hours after Collins made these comments, he was contacted by Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson. </p> <p>Ten confirmed that Dr Collins had been called upon to represent the network and Wilkinson, adding that Ten “fully supports Lisa Wilkinson”.</p> <p>“Both Network 10 and Lisa Wilkinson take their legal obli­gations very seriously, including in the preparation and delivery of her speech given at the Logies event,” a spokeswoman said.</p> <p>“In light of the continuing proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”</p> <p>While on Sunrise, Collins added that journalists in the mainstream media “understand the risk inherent in talking about cases which are about to go to trial before courts, particularly serious, high-profile cases”.</p> <p>“So clearly this was ill-advised,” he said.</p> <p>“The whole point is that everybody in our community facing a serious charge like this is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and that means that going into the courtroom there should be no preconceptions one way or the other, so that the jury just sits and focuses really keenly on the evidence as it unfolds in the witness box, and puts out of their mind anything which they might have seen in the media, or God forbid and often far worse, in social media.”</p> <p>Due to the high-profile speech, ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum called for the trial of Bruce Lerhmann, who is accused of sexually assaulting Brittany Higgins in 2019, to be delayed. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

News

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Former swim coach Dick Caine arrested for alleged historical sexual abuse

<p dir="ltr"><em>Content warning: This article includes mentions of child sexual abuse (CSA).</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Former swimming coach Dick Caine has been arrested and charged over the sexual abuse of two teenagers he trained in the 1970s.</p> <p dir="ltr">Police arrested the 76-year-old at a home in Condell Park, in Sydney’s south-west, and took him to Bankstown Police Station on Wednesday morning, according to a <a href="https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/news_article?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGZWJpenByZC5wb2xpY2UubnN3Lmdvdi5hdSUyRm1lZGlhJTJGMTAxOTgzLmh0bWwmYWxsPTE%3D" target="_blank" rel="noopener">statement</a> from NSW Police.</p> <p dir="ltr">He was charged with nine offences relating to the alleged abuse of two teenage students at a swim school in Carss Park, south of Sydney.</p> <p dir="ltr">After a woman reported to police that she was targeted while she was a student at the swim school, investigators under Strike Force Coco uncovered further allegations of another teenage girl being abused at the same swim school.</p> <p dir="ltr">Acting Superintendent Chris Nicholson said police will allege the victims were aged 16 and 17 at the time of the alleged offences, which he said took place “in a number of locations in and around the southern Sydney area”, per <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/dick-caine-former-swim-coach-arrested-on-allegations-sexual-abuse-teenage-female-athletes-in-1970s/c856a380-f722-4513-a4f1-d0fbd326b809" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The charges laid against Caine include six counts of carnal knowledge by a teacher of a girl aged 0-17, and three counts of indecent assault.</p> <p dir="ltr">Caine has been refused bail and is due to face Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nicholson also praised the women who came forward for their “courage and bravery” and shared a message for other survivors.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I would like to say to all survivors of sexual abuse living in our community that the NSW Police Force wants to listen to your story,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What today should show is that whether the NSW Police Force receives an allegation of sexual violence that occurred yesterday, or last week, or last year or 50 years ago, that we will investigate all matters that come to our attention with our full potential and we will wrap our full support around victim-survivors as they tell their story.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-4a138780-7fff-b32f-558f-302c88a98b3e"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: TeamCaine.com.au</em></p>

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Update to tragic honeymoon death on Hamilton Island

<p dir="ltr">A newlywed woman has died in a horrific golf buggy crash on Hamilton Island while on her honeymoon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Marina Hanna, 29, and husband Robbie Morgan married in a lavish wedding in Sydney’s Doltone House on June 11.</p> <p dir="ltr">The loved up couple then jetsetted to Queensland’s Hamilton Island to celebrate their honeymoon.</p> <p dir="ltr">The pair were travelling on a buggy between holes on a golf course on Monday when Morgan did a U-turn, causing the buggy to tip over.</p> <p dir="ltr">A doctor, off-duty dentist and off-duty firefighter rushed to the scene and desperately performed CPR for 35 minutes on Marina, who unfortunately could not be revived.</p> <p dir="ltr">Queensland Police Inspector Anthony Cowan announced in a press conference that Marina was not wearing a seatbelt while in the buggy.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was just a tragic accident with a golf buggy,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There may have been some inexperience driving those type of vehicles while turning it has rolled on its side and the woman has fallen out and sustained life-threatening injuries.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It just appears inexperience in driving that type of vehicle, turned too quick and rolled on its side and unfortunately, it has ended up with this result.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It appears there was no seatbelt worn at this point in time; we come back to the Fatal Five but now is not the time to dwell on what they should have done.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Inspector Cowan confirmed that no drugs, alcohol or dangerous driving caused the accident.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

News

Travel

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Why you need to add Copenhagen to your travel bucket list

<p dir="ltr">As international borders have officially reopened and people are heading off on their long overdue adventures, one place that needs to be at the top of everyone’s travel list is the beautiful city of Copenhagen.</p> <p dir="ltr">The capital of Denmark has so much to offer, from extraordinary architecture, a mouth-watering food scene, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet. </p> <p dir="ltr">The stunning culture, amazing scenery and rich history are just a few reasons why Copenhagen should be at the very top of your travel bucket list. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The architecture</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">One thing Copenhagen is known for is its amazing and unique architecture that is instantly recognisable to people around the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">The harbour that boasts the colourful houses, or Nyhavn (meaning New Harbour), is home to spectacular views and is home to some of Copenhagen’s most delicious restaurants and cafes. </p> <p dir="ltr">Other must-see spots in Copenhagen include the Royal Theatre, Royal Residences, the house of Hans Christian Andersen, Frederik’s Church and so many more. </p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/copenhagen-1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-ef54e206-7fff-3c6c-7c4b-98eee27bc4d3">Nyhavn, or New Harbour. Image credit: Supplied</span></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/copenhagen-2.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f312822d-7fff-e7cb-386a-1fe588ec3ccb">The Royal Theatre. Image credit: Supplied</span></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/copenhagen-3.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>The Royal Residence. Image credits: Supplied</em></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The activities</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Copenhagen is filled with fun ways to spend the day if you’re looking for something other than wandering around and looking at pretty buildings. </p> <p dir="ltr">One thing that everyone in Copenhagen should do is a canal tour which begins in Nyhavn.</p> <p dir="ltr">These tours are very reasonably priced and take approximately one hour, and are complete with a guide who will point out all the historic monuments that the city has to offer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another spot to pay a visit to is Tivoli: the third-oldest amusement park in the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">Whether or not you’re one for rides, the gardens on which Tivilo sits are extraordinary on their own, and are laced with delicious restaurants. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tivoli also puts on a pantomime in an open air theatre that has been running since the 1800s. </p> <p dir="ltr">If you are looking for a truly unique experience, take a trip to Freetown Christiania, a “free state” that is often dubbed a hippie paradise, that operates independently of the rest of Copenhagen. </p> <p dir="ltr">Enjoy the markets and scenery of Christiana, but be wary that there is a strong no photos rule!</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/copenhagen-6.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-92c5190f-7fff-d192-8658-aea4abe86bb2">The Tivoli carousel. Image credits: Supplied</span></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/copenhagen-7.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Freetown Christiania. Image credits: Supplied</em></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The food</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Copenhagen has a notoriously famous food scene which is filled with traditional dishes that are a must-try. </p> <p dir="ltr">One Danish specialty is known as Smørrebrød, which is a traditional Danish open sandwich. </p> <p dir="ltr">Usually served on dark rye bread, Smørrebrød is stacked up with the most delicious toppings, with places that serve the traditional dish offer a range of different toppings. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another unusual thing the Danish food scene is known for is their street hotdog stands. </p> <p dir="ltr">Similar to what you would find in America, you will find a hot dog stand on every corner of Copenhagen, with each one offering delicious street hot dogs. </p> <p dir="ltr">One place all foodies must visit in Copenhagen is Sankt Peders bakery, which offers cinnamon scrolls and delicious Danishes every day of the week. </p> <p dir="ltr">Established in 1612, this famous establishment is the oldest bakery in the city and is a hot spot for all travellers to visit. </p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/copenhagen-4.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-8bd21d49-7fff-7795-00fa-449911653ffa">Traditional Danish Smørrebrød. Image credits: Supplied</span></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/copenhagen-5.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Sankt Peders bakery. Image credits: Supplied</em></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d493de22-7fff-3ca7-cbe1-a7a42d8880ce"></span>All images: Supplied</em></p>

International Travel

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The gross reason you should steer clear of hotel tap water

<p dir="ltr">You might want to think twice about filling up your glass in your hotel room.</p> <p dir="ltr">The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) – a product testing, inspection and certification organisation with headquarters in Michigan, US, has begun to urge tourists not to drink the tap water in hotel rooms. Two years of little-to-no use could have well and truly led to bugs and germs collecting in the stagnant systems. </p> <p dir="ltr">Jérôme Logie, from the Water Division at NSF, claims that water supplies now pose a real risk to travellers that may not have existed previously.</p> <p dir="ltr">While Logie was quick to remind people of the importance of staying hydrated, he has warned anyone going abroad to assure their water comes from a safe and reliable source. </p> <p dir="ltr">“After such an extended period with low to no travel, hotels and their water supplies now pose a significant risk to travellers, something many aren’t aware of,” he explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Water and good hydration are essential, but there is a real risk from potentially lethal bacteria that can thrive in stagnant water, such as in unused hotel pipes.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Add to that a build-up of germs and varying international standards of filtration, and you can see why travellers must be water-smart to ensure they can enjoy prettier sights than their hotel bathroom.”</p> <p dir="ltr">To help people avoid illnesses, the NSF has put together a list of top tips for staying safe when drinking water abroad when travelling.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Don’t trust the tap water in your hotel bathroom</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No matter how desperate you are for a cool drink of water in the middle of the night, do not resort to drinking from the bathroom tap. Stock up on bottled water from a local supermarket or convenience store. </p> <p dir="ltr">Hotel plumbing is a potential breeding ground for harmful microorganisms such as E.Coli, as water in unoccupied hotel rooms can remain stagnant in pipes for days, weeks or even months.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Hot = good</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Many hotels heat their water to 55 degrees+ to kill any microorganisms that might be present which is why you will often encounter ‘Warning: hot water!’ signs.</p> <p dir="ltr">In larger resorts and hotel chains, companies have their own corporate standards for water management, and some even have water treatment facilities on-site to ensure quality, travellers are still encouraged to exercise caution. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Say no to tap water at restaurants</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">It’s not just in your hotel room you need to be wary, but also the hotel restaurant.</p> <p dir="ltr">To avoid encountering any water woes, play it safe and make simple switches such as asking for bottled drinks rather than a jug of water to accompany a meal.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>If it’s cloudy, it’s contaminated</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Detecting bacteria in clear water is impossible but never, ever drink cloudy water.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are travelling to a remote location where bottled water is not available, certified devices and equipment can be used.</p> <p dir="ltr">E.g: light strobes can kill bacteria; portable filters can be used to remove heavy metals, as well as bacteria; chlorine pills, although not perfect, can be a convenient way to make drinking water safe.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-7827b5a5-7fff-8381-85de-bc1477777669"><br /><em>Image: Getty</em></span></p>

Travel Tips

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Qantas loses woman's luggage that contains her mother's ashes

<p>A woman has been left "non-functional with distress" after Qantas lost her luggage which contained her mother's ashes. </p> <p>On a flight from London to Sydney, the woman and her partner were confused when they were still waiting for their luggage to turn up at Sydney Airport several hours later. </p> <p>Women’s Community Shelters chief executive and Domestic Violence NSW chair Annabelle Daniel expressed her frustration on Twitter after she and her partner had not heard back from the airline when they reached out to enquire about the lost bag. </p> <p>“Hey @Qantas, my partner‘s bag is four days late from QF2 on Saturday morning,” she posted on Wednesday night in a now-deleted tweet. </p> <p>"It has her mother’s ashes in it. She wasn’t able to see her mum before she died, or attend the funeral in 2020 due to the pandemic."</p> <p>“No responses from your website. Could you help more please?”</p> <p>The tweets attracted the attention of several shocked Twitter users, as Annabelle described how the situation was effecting her distraught partner.</p> <p>“My partner was so close to her mum and just devastated she couldn’t travel to be with her when she died. Watching your mum’s funeral on Zoom is gut wrenching enough, let alone this,” she wrote.</p> <p>“She’s not the kind of person to make a fuss, but this compounds the grief all over again."</p> <p>“She’s quite non-functional with distress. I very much hope this is sorted out."</p> <p>“She’s so anxious and this has just been a horror show.” </p> <p>The Qantas Twitter account responded to Annabelle and asked for further details so they could sort out the issue. </p> <p>In a statement to NCA NewsWire, an airline spokesperson apologised for the “extremely distressing situation” and said the bag was being sent to the woman on Thursday. </p> <p>“We understand that this is an extremely distressing situation for this customer and have apologised for the delay in getting their bags to them,” the Qantas spokesperson said.</p> <p>“The bag is being couriered to the customer today (Thursday)."</p> <p>“Heathrow Airport has had widely publicised baggage issues over recent days which led to tens of thousands of misplaced bags.”</p> <p>Airports all over the world have been making headlines for long queues, baggage losses and dallied flights as eager travellers jet off freely for the first time since the start of the pandemic, putting unprecedented strain on air travel. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <div class="media image" style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none; box-sizing: inherit; display: flex; flex-direction: column; align-items: center; width: 705.3308715820312px; margin-bottom: 32px;"> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Where do all the mosquitoes go in the winter?

<p>Summer evenings by the pool, lake or BBQ mean mosquitoes. But what about during winter when we’re mostly indoors? As the weather cools, these bloodsucking pests are rarely seen.</p> <p>But where do they go?</p> <p><strong>Warm, wet conditions suit mosquitoes</strong></p> <p>Mosquitoes have complex life cycles that rely on water brought to <a href="https://theconversation.com/hidden-housemates-the-mosquitoes-that-battle-for-our-backyards-59072" target="_blank" rel="noopener">wetlands, flood plains, and water-holding containers</a> by seasonal rainfall. Depending on whether we’re experiencing a summer under the influence of <a href="https://theconversation.com/will-the-arrival-of-el-nino-mean-fewer-mosquitoes-this-summer-102496" target="_blank" rel="noopener">El Niño</a> or <a href="https://theconversation.com/la-nina-will-give-us-a-wet-summer-thats-great-weather-for-mozzies-147180" target="_blank" rel="noopener">La Niña</a>, mosquito populations will change in different ways.</p> <p>During warmer months, their life cycle lasts about a month. Eggs laid around water hatch and the immature mosquitoes go through four developmental stages. Larvae then change to pupae, from which an adult mosquito emerges, sits briefly on the water surface, and then flies off to buzz and bite and continue the cycle.</p> <p>Water is crucial but temperature is really important too. Unlike warm-blooded animals, mosquitoes can’t control their own body temperatures. The warmer it is, the more active mosquitoes will be. There’s usually more of them about too.</p> <p>But once cold weather arrives, their activity slows. They fly less, they don’t bite as often, they reproduce less, and their life cycle takes longer to complete.</p> <p>Temperature also plays a role in determining the ability of mosquitoes to <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2020.584846/full" target="_blank" rel="noopener">spread viruses</a>.</p> <p>Cold weather isn’t great for mosquitoes but <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-ento-011613-162023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">millions of years of evolution</a> have given them a <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13071-017-2235-0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">few tricks to survive</a>.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/468677/original/file-20220614-21-qmcj4w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;rect=0%2C43%2C4883%2C3211&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/468677/original/file-20220614-21-qmcj4w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/468677/original/file-20220614-21-qmcj4w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/468677/original/file-20220614-21-qmcj4w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/468677/original/file-20220614-21-qmcj4w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/468677/original/file-20220614-21-qmcj4w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/468677/original/file-20220614-21-qmcj4w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><em><span class="caption">Ponds and puddles may be frozen but that doesn’t mean all mosquitoes have disappeared.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://unsplash.com/photos/7UYnlgDyf0o" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tom Keldenich/Unsplash</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY</a></span></em></figcaption></figure> <p><strong>Mosquitoes don’t disappear completely</strong></p> <p>On a sunny afternoon in winter, you may notice the occasional mosquito buzzing about in your backyard. Not as many as in summer but they’re still around.</p> <p>Some mosquitoes do disappear. For example, the activity of the pest mosquito <em>Culex annulirostris</em>, thought to play an important role in the <a href="https://theconversation.com/japanese-encephalitis-virus-has-been-detected-in-australian-pigs-can-mozzies-now-spread-it-to-humans-178017" target="_blank" rel="noopener">spread of Japanese encephalitis virus</a> in Australia, dramatically declines when temperatures start dropping <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1442-9993.1980.tb01260.x" target="_blank" rel="noopener">below 17.5℃</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/aen.12021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Studies in Sydney</a> have shown some mosquitoes, such as <em>Culex annulirostris</em>, disappear. Others, such as <em>Culex quinquefasciatus</em> and <em>Culex molestus</em>, remain active throughout the winter. You just may not notice them (unless they enter your home to buzz about your ears).</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/469917/original/file-20220621-17-k6jyri.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/469917/original/file-20220621-17-k6jyri.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469917/original/file-20220621-17-k6jyri.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469917/original/file-20220621-17-k6jyri.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469917/original/file-20220621-17-k6jyri.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469917/original/file-20220621-17-k6jyri.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469917/original/file-20220621-17-k6jyri.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><em><span class="caption">Some mosquitoes, such as the common Aedes notoscriptus, may occasionally be seen buzzing about in winter.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Cameron Webb/NSW Health Pathology</span></span></em></figcaption></figure> <p><strong>Mosquitoes can disappear into diapause</strong></p> <p>We’re familiar with the idea of mammals hibernating through winter but mosquitoes, like many other insects, can enter a phase of inactivity called <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eea.12753" target="_blank" rel="noopener">diapause</a>.</p> <p>Once cold weather arrives, adult mosquitoes find hiding places such as tree hollows and animal burrows, within the cracks and crevices of bushland environments, or in garages, basements or other structures around our homes, suburbs and cities. These mosquitoes may only live a few weeks during summer but going into diapause allows them to survive many months through winter.</p> <p>Mosquitoes can also be found in frozen bodies of water, whether it is a bucket of water in your backyard or a near freezing wetland. For example, there is a group of mosquitoes that belong to the genus <em>Coquillettidia</em> whose <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvec.12338" target="_blank" rel="noopener">larvae attach</a> to the submerged parts of aquatic plants and can survive the cold winter temperatures. Their development dramatically slows and they’ll stay in the water until spring arrives.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/469888/original/file-20220621-11-eny4r6.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><em><span class="caption">By going into ‘diapause’ adults can survive in places like tree hollows for the cold months.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1625635756778-218152037ccc?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&amp;ixid=MnwxMjA3fDB8MHxwaG90by1wYWdlfHx8fGVufDB8fHx8&amp;auto=format&amp;fit=crop&amp;w=1770&amp;q=80" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Unsplash/Pat Whelan</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY</a></span></em></figcaption></figure> <p><strong>All their eggs in one winter basket</strong></p> <p>Some mosquitoes make it through the winter thanks to their eggs. Mosquito eggs can be incredibly resilient. They survive being dried out in hot and salty coastal wetlands during summer but also frozen in snow-covered creeks in winter.</p> <p>In coastal regions of Australia, eggs of the saltmarsh mosquito (<em>Aedes vigilax</em>), sit perfectly safely on soil. Once the weather warms and tides bring in water to the wetlands, these eggs will be ready to hatch.</p> <p>There is also a special mosquito in Australia known as the “snow melt mosquito” (<em>Aedes nivalis</em>) whose <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1440-6055.1996.tb01371.x" target="_blank" rel="noopener">eggs survive under snow</a> and hatch once that snow melts and fills ponds, creeks and wetlands throughout alpine regions.</p> <p><strong>Does it matter where mosquitoes go in the winter?</strong></p> <p>It also isn’t just the mosquitoes that survive the cold months. Viruses, such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/japanese-encephalitis-virus-can-cause-deadly-brain-swelling-but-in-less-than-1-of-cases-178985" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Japanese encephalitis virus</a> or <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-ross-river-virus-24630" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ross River virus</a>, can survive from <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2631767/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">summer to summer</a> in mosquito eggs, immature stages, or diapausing adults.</p> <p>Knowing the seasonal spread of mosquitoes helps health authorities design surveillance and control programs. It may help understand how <a href="https://entomologytoday.org/2022/05/24/snow-covered-tires-help-invasive-mosquitoes-survive-cold-winters/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">invasive mosquitoes survive</a> conditions in Australia outside their native ranges by <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211167" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hiding out from the cold</a>, such as in rainwater tanks.</p> <p>Even mosquitoes typically found in tropical locations can even <a href="https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1365-2664.13480" target="_blank" rel="noopener">adapt to cooler climates</a>.</p> <p>This knowledge may even expose the chilly chink in mosquito’s armour that we can use to better control mosquito populations and reduce the risks of disease outbreaks.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/185021/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cameron-webb-6736" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cameron Webb</a>, Clinical Associate Professor and Principal Hospital Scientist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841" target="_blank" rel="noopener">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/where-do-all-the-mosquitoes-go-in-the-winter-185021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Health

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Dramatic underwater rescue of unconscious swimmer captured in photographs

<p dir="ltr">The dramatic rescue of Team USA swimmer Anita Alvarez has been captured by underwater photographer Oli Scarff in a series of photos that make for a moment-by-moment replay.</p> <p dir="ltr">Alvarez was performing in the artistic swimming solo free final at the 2022 World Aquatics Championship in Budapest when, at the end of her swim, she became unconscious and sank to the bottom of the pool.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-01548cc8-7fff-8bb9-08a0-7e9ed3b7fe5e"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Head coach Andrea Fuentes quickly sprang into action, diving into the pool fully clothed and swimming down to grab Alvarez.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was a good scare,” Fuentes told Spanish sports newspaper <em>Macra</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I had to dive in because the lifeguards didn’t do it. I was scared because I could see she wasn’t breathing.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c768b9ad-7fff-b3c4-cf03-c7d3e2e2b8ae"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Fuentes then brought Alvarez to the pool’s surface, where another swimmer helped take the unconscious athlete to the edge of the pool.</p> <p dir="ltr">Alvarez was lifted out of the water and onto a stretcher so she could receive medical attention.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a statement, Fuentes confirmed that Alvarez had a medical emergency but that “all is okay”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc … all is okay,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We have seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them to get there.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is okay. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not. Thank you for all your well wishes for Anita.”</p> <p dir="ltr">This isn’t the first time Alvarez has experienced a medical emergency in the pool, nor is it the first time Fuentes has saved her.</p> <p dir="ltr">Alvarez briefly lost consciousness at the end of a routine while at an Olympic qualification event in Barcelona last June, where Fuentes dove in to rescue her.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 25-year-old came seventh in Wednesday’s competition with a score of 87.6333, with Japan’s Yukiko Inui claiming victory having scored 95.3667.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-1d8743d9-7fff-d5de-90ba-85bf48e13c84"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Oli Scarff (Getty Images)</em></p>

Caring

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Karl Stefanovic’s daughter rushed to hospital

<p dir="ltr">Karl Stefanovic has issued a grave warning to parents after his daughter was rushed to hospital in a terrible condition. </p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>Today</em> co-host teared up as he spoke about the terrifying ordeal which saw him and wife Jasmine rush two-year-old Harper to hospital.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Little Harpie, she went downhill. She just had a sniffle and a small cough. Then within six hours, we had her at the GP.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We gave her Neurofen, Pandadol but her heartbeat went up to 200 and her temperature was at 40 in almost an instant. So it got a hold of her. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It was only because of a great GP she was able to get on top of it, straight into the ambulance, then to the hospital. She was there overnight.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Karl said the reason he is speaking about the “really scary” incident is to remind people about our doctors and nurses doing it tough. </p> <p dir="ltr">“They're just so good at what they do, they were able to sort things out. But there's so many kids out there at the moment who are going through this.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There were literally thousands of parents in similar situations.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are lucky it wasn’t more serious, and we were lucky we had good people around her.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Karl confirmed baby Harper is now doing much better.</p> <p dir="ltr">Associate Professor Margie Danchin, a paediatrician at the Royal Children's Hospital, said emergency departments were filled with worried parents and their sick children. </p> <p dir="ltr">"We don't want parents going to the emergency department waiting six to eight hours if they can go to their GP," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"If a child has breathing difficulty or any blueness around the lips, or any signs of dehydration - if they're not drinking, if they're listless, pale, those are the things that should encourage a parent to take their child to the emergency department.</p> <p dir="ltr">"But if the child has a fever, cough, runny nose, those sorts of more mild respiratory symptoms, then we would encourage them to access community care first."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: The Today Show</em></p>

Caring

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“We thought this day may not come”: Kate Langbroek gives update on son’s cancer journey

<p dir="ltr">Radio star and comedian Kate Langbroek has shared an emotional update on her eldest son Lewis’ cancer journey.</p> <p dir="ltr">The mum-of-four gave fans an update during Thursday’s episode of <em>3pm Pick Up </em>on KIIS FM and was full of praise for the medical care Lewis has received since being diagnosed with leukaemia when he was six.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We went through all that treatment and rarely paid for anything - that is the magnificence of the country we live in, and the magnificence of taxpayers,” Lanbroek said.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-7af5441e-7fff-1814-8536-91f157d3c316"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">After suffering through four years of “terrible” treatment, the now-18-year-old has been going to the “amazing” Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne with his mum for regular check-ups to monitor his health.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYnZoASvKx6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYnZoASvKx6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kate Langbroek (@katelangbroek)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">After his annual check-up on Monday, Langbroek said that for the first time, she was sent out of the room several times to give him privacy as he disrobed.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was so strange! But it’s great because it means that he’s a grown-up,” she told co-host Monty Dimond.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Anyway, they told us, ‘This is the last time we’ll be seeing you at this hospital, because Lewis is transitioning to an adult hospital’. I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, there were so many times where we thought this day may not come’. You’re confronted with what the course of his illness looked like, and there were times when we thought, ‘I don’t see how we can make it through this’.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And there we were - being DISMISSED by the beautiful doctors and being sent on our way,” she said with a laugh.</p> <p dir="ltr">Langbroek added that the annual check-ups were often surprisingly emotional as they bumped into hospital workers who had cared for Lewis when he was severely ill, revealing that their last visit saw a nurse who had treated Lewis approach them in the cafe.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She said, ‘I looked at you when you were little and you were really sick. We never wanted to tell you this at the time, but we were so worried about you. We worried you might not make it’,” Langbroek recalled.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She had tears in her eyes, I had tears in my eyes - and Lewis is just standing there like a big doofus.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She said the encounter made her realise how important bringing a “good news story” back to the hospital was for both staff and patients, with the success of Lewis’ treatment being one good example.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-61a7cbb8-7fff-5eee-0adb-1ea455d5430e"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“I just love him, I love him,” she said.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY-kie0PVDL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY-kie0PVDL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kate Langbroek (@katelangbroek)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Langbroek has previously spoken about her son’s journey through numerous checkups and appointments, sharing an update with fans on Instagram in January.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My eldest boyo got a good checkup on his thyroid,” she wrote. “How brilliant to hear the endocrinologist say ‘normal, normal, normal, normal, normal, normal, good!’”</p> <p dir="ltr">The mother-son duo celebrated with Lewis driving (to Langbroek’s praise and nervousness expressed in emojis) to see his grandmother, and with Langbroek getting her first facial in years - “so now we are glowing inside and out”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you friends, for your words of love and solidarity in my previous post. Every prayer is appreciated. Every day is precious.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-65c4947d-7fff-8995-5f68-8b2788380a06"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @katelangbroek (Instagram)</em></p>

Caring

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Model dies after battle with mental illness

<p dir="ltr">Model and influencer Niece Waidhofer has died following a long battle with mental illness, something she was very vocal about to her 4.2 million followers.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 31-year-old was found dead in her home in Katy, outside of Houston, in May 2022 after a concerned family member raised the alarm. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Sadly, Niece took her own life after a long battle with mental health issues,” a family member told TMZ.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She was very open with her followers about her struggles, even wanting to help followers who also suffered.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cbht9HduDhj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cbht9HduDhj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Niece Waidhofer (@niecewaidhofer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The influencer rose to fame in 2015 after starting the popular 'Roast Me' trend on Reddit and had fans worried after deleting almost all of her Instagram posts except for three. </p> <p dir="ltr">Her final posts include a selfie complimenting her new blonde hair, a video playing with her pet dog, and the engagement photo with her ex. </p> <p dir="ltr">In her Niece’s honour, the family will be creating a non-profit organisation for mental health awareness which looks to give grants into mental illness research. </p> <p dir="ltr">It will be called “Peace from Niece”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram/TikTok</em></p>

Caring

Lifestyle

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Online dating fatigue – why some people are turning to face-to-face apps first

<p>For the last two-plus years, people hoping to meet their soulmate in person have had a rough time. Lockdowns and uncertainty about social gatherings have led many people to turn to dating apps. People who feel they have lost months or years of their dating life may be eager to avoid the perils of dating apps – <a href="https://theconversation.com/from-ghosting-to-backburner-relationships-the-reasons-people-behave-so-badly-on-dating-apps-179600" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ghosting, backburner relationships</a>, or just wasting time chatting with the wrong people.</p> <p>People are eager to meet in person, and the menu of dating apps is expanding to accommodate this. In addition to the likes of Tinder, Hinge and Bumble, there are apps that focus on bringing people together in person.</p> <p>One of these is an <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/01/07/thursday-dating-hit-millennials-suffering-app-fatigue/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">increasingly popular</a> app called Thursday. It is live just once a week (on Thursdays) and gives users just 24 hours to arrange a date. This cuts down on the onerous swiping and messaging throughout the week and possibly prevents people using the app simply for validation or amusement. Thursday also hosts in-person events where attendees might meet someone without swiping at all.</p> <p>There are a few reasons in-person dating may be more appealing to some people than dating apps. The information we glean from online profiles gives us little to go on. Meeting in person results in a far richer and more detailed impression of a date than meeting online, where all we see is a photo and, usually, a brief bio. Also, 45% of current or previous users of dating apps or sites reported that the experience left them <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/ft_2020-02-06_datingtakeaways_02" target="_blank" rel="noopener">feeling frustrated</a>.</p> <p>Online dating matches us to people we don’t know, making it easy for <a href="https://theconversation.com/first-the-love-bomb-then-the-financial-emergency-5-tactics-of-tinder-swindlers-176807" target="_blank" rel="noopener">scammers to take advantage of them</a>. Apart from this, users often misrepresent themselves, resulting in disappointment when daters meet face to face.</p> <p>While online dating appears to offer an abundance of choice, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15213269.2015.1121827?cookieSet=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">research suggests</a> that we make poorer decisions online about dating choice. We use simpler methods when choosing from a large array of potential suitors than when we choose on a one-to-one basis in person. This is often referred to as the paradox of choice.</p> <h2>Are dating apps dead?</h2> <p>Dating apps have undisputedly had a huge impact on how couples meet. In the US, <a href="https://news.stanford.edu/2019/08/21/online-dating-popular-way-u-s-couples-meet/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">meeting online is the most popular</a> way that couples meet, and the number has increased in recent years.</p> <p>Part of the appeal of apps is their simplicity: you can create a profile and start matching with people in a matter of minutes. Despite this, using dating apps does take time and effort. A large survey by <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/millennials-spend-average-of-10-hours-a-week-on-dating-apps-survey-finds-but-heres-what-experts-actually-recommend-8066805" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dating app Badoo found</a> that millennials spend on average 90 minutes a day looking for a date, by swiping, liking, matching and chatting.</p> <p>Often, messages by one party go unanswered by the other, and even if there is a response, the chatting may never result in meeting in person. In 2016, Hinge’s data found that only <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soloish/wp/2016/10/03/why-is-the-dating-app-hinge-bashing-swipe-apps/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">one in 500 swipes</a> resulted in phone numbers being exchanged.</p> <p>This onerous process may lead to online dating fatigue for some. If we get no positive matches from our seemingly endless swiping, or we receive no response to our messages, our online dating efforts will eventually fizzle out.</p> <p>Traditional dating apps are still incredibly popular, especially among young people. As of 2021, Tinder has been <a href="https://www.tinderpressroom.com/news?item=122515" target="_blank" rel="noopener">downloaded</a> over 450 million times – with Generation Z making up 50% of the app’s users.</p> <p>Research by <a href="https://lendedu.com/blog/tinder-match-millennials/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lendedu</a> asked 3,852 millennials whether they had ever met up with their Tinder matches. The research found that only 29% said “yes” – much lower than the 66% who reported meeting for at least one date via more traditional dating sites such as Match or OKCupid.</p> <p>But not everyone on Tinder is hoping to find a date. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0736585316301216" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Research among Dutch Tinder users found</a> that many use the app for validation (using matches merely as an assessment of one’s own level of attractiveness), or for the thrill of receiving a match but having no intention of pursuing a date.</p> <p>For this reason, dating apps may eventually lose users who are pursuing genuine relationships, particularly if they are instead turning to face-to-face opportunities first. But as long as they adapt to the changing demands of daters, apps are here to stay.</p> <p><em><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-4ce66f8c-7fff-c363-fc29-f51da3852aa7">This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/online-dating-fatigue-why-some-people-are-turning-to-face-to-face-apps-first-184910" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</span></strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Relationships

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REVIEW: Blossom Bar

<p dir="ltr">Feeling a little bored and want to break up the week? Looking for new places to add to your rotation? Look no further than Blossom Bar.</p> <p dir="ltr">Situated in Sydney’s Chippendale Spice Alley, Blossom Bar is a small cocktail hideaway, something you’d likely find walking through the back streets of Tokyo. The venue is intimate and alluring, with different Japanese inspired drinks on the menu that form part of the unique experience. </p> <p dir="ltr">On a Wednesday night, the team at Over60 decided to make it a date and see what Blossom Bar had to offer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Once seated (not too difficult on a Wednesday), we immediately ordered food and drink. The service was quick and the staff seemed to be super confident and efficient. </p> <p dir="ltr">The way the drinks were served and presented made the experience a stand-out and had everyone </p> <p dir="ltr">Starting off strong, the drinks of choice were:</p> <p dir="ltr">The ‘Yuzu Sparkler’ (Japanese gin, yuzu, yuzu bitters, prosecco), served with an actual sparkler, this cocktail looked too pretty to drink. It wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet and had quite a refreshing and citrusy taste to it. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Blossom Martini (Japanese rice gin, maraschino, house-made sakura vermouth). This drink was high on the sweetness scale and I wouldn’t recommend it to those who don’t have a sweet tooth. Best consumed slowly, this drink was like a little dessert. </p> <p dir="ltr">The ‘Bubblegun Martini’ (Hubba Bubba Vodka, hubba bubba syrup, sakura, pressed citrus, rosemary smoke bubble) was served with a bubblegum, forming a rosemary smoke bubble. </p> <p dir="ltr">The absolute crowd favourite was the ‘Disko Drink’ (Vodka, elderflower, house-made yuzu marmalade, lychee sherbet, prosecco), which ended up being the most impressive cocktail on the menu, served with a speaker and disco lights! The staff let us keep the speaker for the table and we ended up picking the tunes all night, and as a millennial would say “the vibes were immaculate”. For those of you who don’t understand, we had an incredible time!</p> <p dir="ltr">The food started rolling out at the perfect time, as we all picked classic sushi restaurant snacks. Think edamame, pork gyoza, chicken and avocado rolls and a grilled salmon nigiri share plate.</p> <p dir="ltr">The portions were small, which complimented the drinks nicely. Blossom bar is first and foremost a cocktail bar, with the emphasis on the relaxed and alluring atmosphere, next time around I will be sure to either start the evening here for a couple of drinks before dinner or eat prior to going, in order to explore a wider variety of their bespoke cocktails.</p> <p dir="ltr">Everything was extremely insta worthy and felt effortlessly glamorous. The prices reflected the quality of the food and drinks, while being on the slightly more expensive side but for a pleasant night out in Sydney it was worth every cent.</p> <p dir="ltr">Blossom Bar is the perfect hole-in-the-wall escape from the hustle and bustle of dining inside the CBD. Spice Alley is quite accessible being a 15-minute walk from Broadway Shopping Centre and a five-minute walk from Central Station.</p> <p dir="ltr">You can flick through a gallery of the team’s favourites below. </p>

Food & Wine

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Mariah Carey shimmers in her eccentric date-night outfit

<p dir="ltr">Mariah Carey is known for her style and iconic looks, and her latest night on the town has seen her embrace glitter and glam in the name of Pride Month.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-329161db-7fff-7083-2129-7328173bbf3f">The Queen of Pop was spotted at a special screening of her friend Billy Eichner’s new film <em>Bros </em>in a black glittery mini dress with ‘Bros’ written across her chest in gold, paired with a rainbow-striped, sequined jacket, diamond stacked bracelets, and Christian Louboutin stilettos.</span></p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/mariah-pride1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Mariah turned heads with her bedazzled look at a screening of ‘Bros’, accompanied by her partner, Bryan Tanaka. Images: Getty Images</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Carey attended the event - which she also hosted - with her partner, Bryan Tanaka, who styled a black leather varsity jacket with a white T-shirt and light-wash denim.</p> <p dir="ltr">The film in question is a romantic comedy co-written by and starring Eichner, the first openly gay man to write and star in his own major studio film according to the movie’s <a href="https://www.brosthemovie.com/synopsis/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a>, which also features an entirely LGBTQ+ principal cast.</p> <p dir="ltr">Later taking to social media, Carey had nothing but praise for her friend's new movie, due to be released on September 30, and shared how it was an honour to celebrate Pride through the screening.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-d1f12bd7-7fff-8f1f-df89-c545b260f09b"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“It was an honour to celebrate PRIDE 🌈 &amp; host a special screening of @brosthemovie for LGBTQ+ orgs!” Carey captioned a trio of photos from the night.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfHN3rYq64E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfHN3rYq64E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“My friend @billyeichner has created something truly special, important and hilarious!!!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Eichner was quick to respond to Carey’s praise, commenting in all caps: “YOU ARE MY RAIN-BRO 4 LYFE!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! 💓🌈🦋”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Fans dubbed the singer “Queen of the gays” and “Queen of Pride”, while others showered her with praise for her outfit.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Love u queen,” one wrote. “Celebrating every moment of pride month with you.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“You look stunning queen,” another said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7fc953a6-7fff-a57f-67eb-12e6bab7feb0"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Simon Baker discusses his "difficult" relationship with his father

<p>Simon Baker has shared emotional family secrets and details of the strained relationship with his father on the SBS hit series <em>Who Do You Think You Are?</em></p> <p>The Aussie actor agreed to do the show after being approached for many years, “despite my mum, sister and kids saying ‘you should do it’.”</p> <p>Eventually he decided to take part in the show, saying “I thought, I’ll just see what kind of adventure it is and where it will all take me.”</p> <p>He discussed the early days of his life after he was born in Launceston in 1969 to his father Barry Baker and mother Elizabeth.</p> <p>“And soon after, my parents moved to the highlands of New Guinea, with two kids, to a remote area,” he says.</p> <p>In the show he summarises the family’s brief time there, saying “They went on this incredible adventure – and they didn’t come back together.” </p> <p>He explains how his young mother went on to remarry, but his father remained in his life under a different persona. </p> <p>“I didn’t know he was my dad. He was a family friend, Uncle Barry. I’ve struggled with that.”</p> <p>A reunion between the two finally took place when Baker was 18 years old, but in the meantime, the family moved to the northern NSW beach community of Lennox Head.</p> <p>“It was a small community and back then it was an idyllic place to live,” Baker says. “I felt a really strong sense of belonging in that place and still do. It was a phenomenal childhood in that regard – but the personal family life was difficult.”</p> <p>Before he appeared on <em>Who Do You Think You Are?,</em> Baker “looked back at my immediate family as this sort of mess,” he says.</p> <p>“But the truth is, families have many different forms and I think if you can look at your own past and the past of your ancestors with compassion, you can carry that forward with you with a little bit more wisdom.”</p> <p>He admitted that revealing the story of his parents was "challenging", and likened his difficult childhood to why he became an actor. </p> <p>“I’m pretty shy … But there is a kind of psychological reason in why I became an actor. The initial desire when I was young was about connecting with people, the idea of seeing someone in a story on a screen that you could identify with, and it could help you understand feelings inside you that you didn’t necessarily know how to articulate. When I watched certain episodes of <em>Who Do You Think You Are?</em>, I felt a connection to that person – and with that, you don’t feel as alone.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: SBS</em></p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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Big winners from the impending tax cuts

<p>Despite the overwhelming rise in the cost of living, it is well-off Australians who will get the biggest tax break.</p> <p>Anthony Albanese has promised to push ahead with tax cuts that disproportionately benefit high income earners.</p> <p>The Prime Minister has already warned of the pain to come as he admitted the government will have to place a strict cap on spending when it hands down its first budget, while also fulfilling commitments Labor made at the election.</p> <p>The Stage Three tax cuts are by far the biggest piece of spending, costing a whopping $15 billion per year. This will benefit higher-income Australians.</p> <p>Mr Albanese said Labor will push ahead with the implementation of already-legislated income tax cuts in 2024 which will create a flat rate of 30% for those making between $45,000 and $200,000.</p> <p>Those earning over $120,000 who are now taxed at 37% are set to benefit the most. With workers who are making $90,000 a year saving $1,125 and those on $200,000 will be over $9000 better off.</p> <p>Mr Albanese confirmed there will be another federal budget handed down on October 25th, 2022, just months after Scott Morrison’s government delivered a budget in March.</p> <p>Mr Albanese also warned of some tough decisions in the October budget.</p> <p>“We’re going to have to really put the brakes on some of the spending which is there,” he said. “There are a range of things we would like to do that we won’t be able to do in our first budget.</p> <p>He said election commitments like cheaper childcare, setting up Jobs and Skills Australia and climate change would be honoured, as would the tax cuts for high-earners.</p> <p>Professor Ben Phillips, an expert in welfare and cost of living said the cost of the tax cuts dwarfs the cost of Labor’s key promises and benefits a group of Australians who are already doing well for themselves.</p> <p>“These cuts blow everything else out of the water in terms of costs, so that’s where the biggest problem is going to come from in terms of balancing the books,” he said.</p> <p>“They could instead give more assistance to low-income areas like JobSeeker recipients – that’s where relief should be targeted because middle and higher income earners are doing OK.”</p> <p>Unemployed Australians receiving Centrelink payments will get no extra money after Labor ditched plans to review the rate of JobSeeker. A single person currently earns $642.70 a fortnight or $46 a day.</p> <p>Millions to benefit from minimum wage increase</p> <p>Millions of low-earning Australians will however benefit from a rise to the minimum wage.</p> <p>Roughly 2.7 million minimum wage and low-paid workers on awards are receiving a wage increase of up to 5.2%, the most generous in 16 years.</p> <p>From July 1st, this will see the lowest paid receive $812.60 a week, an increase of $40, and $21.38 an hour, up $1.05.</p> <p>Labor will also honour the abolition of the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset.</p> <p>Income earners on up to $126,000 have received the lower and middle income tax offset worth up to $1080 a year each financial year since 2018-19.</p> <p>The offset was due to end when stage two tax cuts came into play but was extended for two more years after the cuts were brought forward to 2020 due to the pandemic.</p> <p>The end of the rebate means that Aussies earning up to $126,000 will pay up to $1500 more income tax in 2023 than this year.</p> <p><em>Image: Skynews</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Tania Burgess' teen killer granted parole

<p>The teen who stabbed Tania Burgess to death while she walked home from school on the Central Coast has been granted parole. It has been nearly 17 years after her murder.</p> <p>The NSW State Parole Authority said intensive supervision of the convicted murderer known as DL, including around the clock electronic monitoring, is critical in keeping the community safe.</p> <p>DL has been in custody since he was 16. He is now 32, and with no period of maturing in the community he is likely "institutionalised", according to an expert report.</p> <p>Tania was only 15 when she hopped off a school bus and walked through the car park of Forresters Beach Resort on the 19th of July 2005. DL caught the same bus, followed her and stabbed her 48 times.</p> <p>As the offence occurred when DL was a minor he cannot be named for legal reasons. He was arrested that evening and was convicted by a jury at trial and jailed for at least 17 years serving a maximum term of 22 years.</p> <p>This was reduced on appeal by four years in 2018, meaning he has been eligible for parole since mid 2018.</p> <p>During a hearing, Justice James Wood extended the parole authority's deepest sympathies to Tania's parents who were present in court.</p> <p>Justice Wood accepted the expert advice from the Serious Offenders Review Council that strongly advised DL should be released with supervision before his full-time sentence expired.</p> <p>This decision to release DL with supervision comes despite vocal objections from the likes of 2GB's Ben Fordham, who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/he-should-never-be-released-ben-fordham-speaks-out-against-killer-s-parole" target="_blank" rel="noopener">said that DL should "never be released"</a>. His release will also come as a shock to the local community.</p> <p>The Serious Offenders Review Council have shared: "The priority is now supervision to foster his reintegration and the protection of the public."</p> <p>DL must provide authorities daily notifications of all his movements and engage with forensic psychologist treatment along with other strict conditions.</p> <p>He is due to be released on August the 1st, 2022.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine Network</em></p>

Legal

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Not a ‘relationship’: why the legal language of child abuse needs to change

<p>The ACT government has <a href="https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/rattenbury/2022/act-government-strengthening-family-violence-laws" target="_blank" rel="noopener">announced</a> plans to <a href="https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/b/db_65584" target="_blank" rel="noopener">change the name</a> of the criminal offence of engaging in a “sexual relationship with child or young person under special care” to “persistent sexual abuse of child or young person under special care”.</p> <p>ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-10/act-bill-change-legal-definition-child-sexual-assault-grace-tame/100817058" target="_blank" rel="noopener">explained</a> this change was inspired by public advocacy by victim-survivors, including 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame. The change was made because, for many, the term “relationship” implies the victim was a willing participant in their abuse, adding to the often <a href="https://theconversation.com/review-louise-milligans-witness-is-a-devastating-critique-of-the-criminal-trial-process-148334" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gruelling experience</a> of complainants in sexual assault trials.</p> <p>In 2019, Tasmania made similar reforms in response to <a href="https://www.justice.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/561163/Submission-Knowmore-Renaming-sexual-offences.PDF" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sustained</a> <a href="https://www.justice.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/561162/Submission-EROC-Renaming-sexual-offences.PDF" target="_blank" rel="noopener">advocacy</a>. In that case, the government changed the name of the crime of “maintaining an unlawful relationship with a child” to “<a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/tas/consol_act/cc192494/s125a.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">persistent sexual abuse of a child</a>”. Critics had <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-15/call-for-sexual-assault-laws-overhaul-in-tasmania/11414982" target="_blank" rel="noopener">said</a> the original wording “normalised” sexual offending against children and suggested the child was a voluntary participant.</p> <p>These reforms are the latest chapter in law-making efforts, going back to the 1990s, which aim to craft criminal laws that capture this kind of offending.</p> <p>In recent years the Child Abuse Royal Commission reviewed the relevant laws. The commission found the laws in most states and territories were not working as designed. This has renewed attention to the issue and created an opportunity for reform across the country.</p> <h2>Why the language of the law matters</h2> <p>According to journalist and survivor-advocate Nina Funnell, the “sanitised” language of a relationship <a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/the-australian-states-where-raping-children-is-called-maintaining-a-relationship/news-story/d488b5764056c95224fa369f1eda46f2" target="_blank" rel="noopener">exacerbates</a> the trauma of survivors, painting them as active participants in a mutual romance.</p> <p>These criticisms are backed by research <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AdelLawRw/2021/1.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">showing</a> that, in some cases, courts have interpreted the crime of an “unlawful sexual relationship” by comparing it to “<a href="https://www.queenslandjudgments.com.au/caselaw/qca/2014/48" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ordinary</a>” sexual relationships between mutually consenting adults.</p> <p>This has made it <a href="https://www.queenslandjudgments.com.au/caselaw/qca/2018/213" target="_blank" rel="noopener">necessary to prove</a> there has been consistent, ongoing sexual contact. Cases where abuse is sporadic or <a href="https://www.queenslandjudgments.com.au/caselaw/qca/2009/181" target="_blank" rel="noopener">opportunistic</a> might not be enough.</p> <p>This is at odds with social science evidence that sexual abuse is often opportunistic. In fact, labelling abuse as a “relationship” mirrors the <a href="https://journals.lww.com/forensicnursing/Fulltext/2008/09000/Cognitive_distortions_in_child_sex_offenders__An.3.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">distorted thinking</a> of many perpetrators.</p> <h2>What about the other states and territories?</h2> <p>The term “relationship” is <a href="https://eprints.qut.edu.au/232485/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">now used</a> in the laws of all states and territories except for Victoria and Western Australia.</p> <p>Although reforms in Tasmania and the ACT change the name of the offence, the words “relationship” or “sexual relationship” still appear in the legislation.</p> <p>In fact, in the past few years, both South Australia and New South Wales have changed their laws from “persistent sexual exploitation” or “persistent sexual abuse” to “maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship”.</p> <p>This reflects the <a href="https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/criminal-justice" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recommendations</a> of the Child Abuse Royal Commission that all Australian states and territories adopt this language in their criminal laws. This was despite the commission’s <a href="https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/file-list/final_report_-_criminal_justice_report_-_parts_iii_to_vi.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">acknowledgement</a> this language did not match the “exploitation” of repeated sexual offending against a child.</p> <p>So why did the commission recommend this language?</p> <p>Simply, because it works.</p> <p>Child sexual abuse is one of the most under-punished crimes in Australia.</p> <p>The purpose of the royal commission’s recommendations was to ensure these offences were <a href="https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/file-list/factsheet_-_criminal_justice_report_-_outline_of_recommendations_0.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">made more effective</a> by reflecting the way victims remember repeated child sexual abuse.</p> <p>Our legal system normally requires crimes to be charged individually, with specific details like the time and location of an offence. This gives the accused the best possible chance to mount a defence.</p> <p>However, it is very normal for a survivor of persistent sexual abuse to remember the abuse as a whole and not as individual acts.</p> <p>This creates what two justices of the South Australian Supreme Court have <a href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/supreme-court-warns-of-law-that-makes-it-harder-to-convict-paedophiles-for-longterm-sex-abuse/news-story/68545fdf9e1c4938d4d97c951a10b6b3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">called</a> a “<a href="https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/sa/SASCFC/2015/170.html?context=1;query=paradox" target="_blank" rel="noopener">perverse paradox</a>”: that “the more extensive the sexual exploitation of a child, the more difficult it can be proving the offence”.</p> <p>As a result, all Australian states and territories have laws that allow repeated sexual offending against a child to be charged as a single offence. However, in most jurisdictions, juries must still be able to identify and unanimously agree on a minimum number of separate occasions of abuse. This undermines the effectiveness of the laws by requiring complainants to recall details of specific events.</p> <p>At the time of the royal commission, the Queensland law was unique in allowing a jury to convict if they agreed an unlawful sexual relationship existed, even if they did not unanimously agree on specific acts of sexual offending. This overcame the “perverse paradox”.</p> <p>For that reason, the royal commission drafted model legislation using the Queensland wording, labelling the crime “maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child”, and requiring a jury to unanimously agree there was a relationship but not on individual acts of abuse.</p> <h2>Future reforms</h2> <p>Many states and territories have now partly implemented the royal commission’s recommendations, but more work needs to be done. Four states and territories still require evidence of individual acts of sexual offending. This includes the only two states, Victoria and Western Australia, that do not describe the crime as a “relationship” anywhere in their legislation.</p> <p><a href="https://www.thegracetamefoundation.org.au/the-harmony-campaign" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Calls</a> for national reform of these offences using language that accurately names the crime are timely and well justified. Future reforms should tell the truth about this crime: it is persistent sexual abuse of a child, not a relationship. Reform should also create laws that give survivors a chance to secure justice through the courts.</p> <p><em><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-4fb107f5-7fff-3f11-895e-f8821297a78c">This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/not-a-relationship-why-the-legal-language-of-child-abuse-needs-to-change-184453" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</span></strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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"He should never be released": Ben Fordham speaks out against killer's parole

<p dir="ltr">The heartbroken parents whose teenage daughter was brutally killed by a 16-year-old boy have spoken about her killer potentially being released on parole. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tania Burgess was on her way home from school on the Central Coast on July 19, 2005 when a 16-year-old boy followed and stabbed her 48 times before running off.</p> <p dir="ltr">The school girl named her killer  in her dying moments, who was then found and sentenced to 22 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 17 years. The sentence was appealed and reduced by four years. </p> <p dir="ltr">The killer, known only as DL because he was a minor at the time of the murder, has been eligible for parole since 2018 and this is his last chance of it being granted. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tania’s parents Mandy and Chris spoke to 2GB’s Ben Fordham saying DL’s release would be a “shock”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s hard to comprehend that, first of all, DL has never really admitted any kind of remorse. And yet his time is up. He may be set free,” Mandy said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He will never own the crime that he did. He virtually is unnamed as DL. (He’ll) just wipe 17 years off and start a new life, yet we lost our daughter.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Fordham said the community would “be in danger from this person” as Mandy reflected on what her daughter’s life may have been.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You can only dream what kind of life she might have had,” she continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She was such a beautiful, caring, loving teenager. She could have maybe become a nurse, or some kind of health community worker. It’s hard to say. She loved her ballet. She might have been a ballerina.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You can only let your imagination run really wild. But she was taken away from us. She was just a girl. She was just starting to bloom at 15. She was stolen.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I try to block out those horrible images of what we saw that day, and remember Tania for who she was. Not what we saw, not what he did, but for what she was at the time. She was a beautiful, loving, caring girl, just starting her life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“The reality is that he should never be released,” Fordham responded.</p> <p dir="ltr">DL’s case has two options - either he is granted supervised parole, or he can walk free at the end of his sentence without supervision.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mandy said it would probably be better that DL be monitored to see what he’s like in public saying it would be “frightening” to know if he was out there not being supervised. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Legal

Entertainment

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A list of must-see museums in Florence

<p dir="ltr">If there’s one thing that Italy has in abundance, it is art, culture and a rich history. </p> <p dir="ltr">While the capital of Rome is home to a lot of incredible galleries and museums, the city of Florence is full of galleries that house some of the most important artworks in the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">With museums showcasing original works from Da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo, as well as the iconic Statue of David, these are the galleries that are not to be missed in Florence.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Uffizi Gallery</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">This three-storey museum is home to one of the largest collections of both Middle Age and Renaissance art in the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">The U-shaped building is filled with paintings, sculptures, drawings, and archives, as well as boasting extraordinary architecture. </p> <p dir="ltr">You can see some early works from Da Vinci and Michelangelo, as well as Botticelli’s iconic The Birth of Venus.</p> <p dir="ltr">Uffizi also boasts an impressive rooftop cafe which showcases stunning views of Florence. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVfnsqdNgnD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVfnsqdNgnD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Gallerie degli Uffizi (@uffizigalleries)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Accademia Gallery</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Located on a quiet street near the city centre, the Accademia Gallery, or Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze, is where you will find the incredible Statue of David by Michelangelo.</p> <p dir="ltr">Known for its stunning collection of Renaissance art, the Accademia Gallery is a must visit gallery to discover the wonders of Italian art history. </p> <p dir="ltr">Thousands flock to the gallery everyday to observe the sheer wonder and beauty of the Statue of David, along with other lesser known (but still as extraordinary) marble works by the same artist. </p> <p dir="ltr">This understated gallery is definitely one to make time for.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdbEEsGqosu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdbEEsGqosu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Galleria Accademia Firenze (@galleriaaccademiafirenze)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Palazzo Vecchio</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, which holds a replica of the Statue of David in the city centre. </p> <p dir="ltr">The gallery offers Roman ruins, a Mediaeval fortress and amazing Renaissance chambers and paintings for visitors to travel through time via the astonishing works on offer. </p> <p dir="ltr">As well as boasting an impressive art collection, the Palazzo Vecchio also showcases a series of secret routes and tunnels underneath the building that have huge archeological importance to the history of Italy. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CeLXDYNjk5i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CeLXDYNjk5i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Loris Fiasconi 📷 (@lorismaker)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Palazzo Medici Riccardi</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The Palazzo Medici Riccardi showcases the impressive history of the Medici family, who were a political dynasty in Florence during the first half of the 15th century. </p> <p dir="ltr">All the artworks on show were once collected by the family, before being donated to the public. </p> <p dir="ltr">As well as the permanent collection of Renaissance works, the gallery also often showcases a series of temporary exhibits to help expand the knowledge of art history in Italy. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CaVEDQULm9-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CaVEDQULm9-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by italia_in_art (@italia_in_art)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Art

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Two nearby, newly discovered exoplanets mirror Earth

<p>Scientists have found two rocky exoplanets – not much larger than Earth – orbiting a star so close to us that they are practically in our solar system’s backyard.</p> <p>The star, HD 260655, is a low-mass M-class star, a type known as a red dwarf, about 33 light years away. The discovery was announced by Rafael Luque of the University of Chicago and the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain, at a recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society in the US.</p> <p>To put that distance into perspective, 33 light years is so close that if you constructed a scale model of the galaxy, in which the Sun was in Pasadena (site of the meeting) and HD 260655 was in neighbouring Hollywood (18km away), then the centre of our galaxy (the Milky Way) would be somewhere around Nepal.</p> <p>That’s important because it puts the two new planets close enough to us to make them prime targets for the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope.</p> <p>The planets were first observed in late 2021, when NASA’s planet-hunting space telescope <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/tess-transiting-exoplanet-survey-satellite" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)</a> spotted them passing between us and their star, causing its light to dim as they eclipsed a portion of it.</p> <p>That was interesting enough, but when Luque’s team looked back at prior observations of the same star from telescopes on Earth, they found that its motion appeared to wobble as it was tugged alternately toward and away from us – exactly what would happen if it was being affected by the gravity of orbiting planets. That wobble hadn’t been strong enough to alert scientists to the presence of the planets at the time, but combined with the TESS observations, it was a smoking gun.</p> <div class="newsletter-box"> <div id="wpcf7-f6-p195069-o1" class="wpcf7" dir="ltr" lang="en-US" role="form"> <form class="wpcf7-form mailchimp-ext-0.5.62 spai-bg-prepared init" action="/space/astrophysics/two-nearby-newly-discovered-exoplanets-mirror-earth/#wpcf7-f6-p195069-o1" method="post" novalidate="novalidate" data-status="init"> <p style="display: none !important;"><span class="wpcf7-form-control-wrap referer-page"><input class="wpcf7-form-control wpcf7-text referer-page spai-bg-prepared" name="referer-page" type="hidden" value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/" data-value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/" aria-invalid="false" /></span></p> <p><!-- Chimpmail extension by Renzo Johnson --></form> </div> </div> <p>Better yet, Luque says, combining the TESS data (which gave the diameter of the two planets by the degree to which they blocked their sun’s light) with the wobble data (which revealed their masses), it was possible to calculate their density. “We found that these planets, despite being slightly larger than the Earth, have a density pretty similar to ours,” he says.</p> <p>This means they aren’t water worlds or gas-dominated worlds like those in our own outer solar system. “Both are consistent with having a composition consistent with rocks,” Luque says.</p> <p>Not that this means they are twins of Earth, let alone suggests that they can support life as we know it. The one nearest to its star might be nearly as hot as Venus, and the other might still have a surface temperature as high as 284°C.</p> <p>But even if they prove to be too hot for complex life, they are important targets for study because they might teach us more about a truly Earthlike world, once we find one at the right distance from its star. “Both are ranked among the ten best targets to look at,” Luque says.</p> <p><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=195069&amp;title=Two+nearby%2C+newly+discovered+exoplanets+mirror+Earth" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><!-- End of tracking content syndication --></p> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/astrophysics/two-nearby-newly-discovered-exoplanets-mirror-earth/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/richard-a-lovett" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Richard A Lovett</a>. Richard A Lovett is a Portland, Oregon-based science writer and science fiction author. He is a frequent contributor to Cosmos.</em></p> <p><em>Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech</em></p> </div>

Technology

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101-year-old reunited with painting looted by Nazis

<p dir="ltr">A Nazi-looted painting has been returned to its owner after being lost for 75 years. </p> <p dir="ltr">101-year-old Dutch woman Charlotte Bischoff van Heemskerck was reunited with the 1638 portrait of the Dutch merchant Steven Wolters, which was stolen by the Nazis during the occupation of The Netherlands in World War II. </p> <p dir="ltr">The painting had once hung in Charlotte’s childhood bedroom and was a much-loved possession of her father, who went into hiding after refusing to accept Nazi orders. </p> <p dir="ltr">Charlotte’s father had stored the painting in the Amsterdam Bank to protect it, where it was later stolen, along with countless other works, by Nazi invaders. </p> <p dir="ltr">The portrait was then lost for decades before being acquired by a private collector in Germany in 1971, where negotiations with the collector led to the painting being returned to Bischoff van Heemskerck in 2021.</p> <p dir="ltr">Recalling the moment that she saw it again, she told the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/12/i-am-amazed-101-year-old-dutch-woman-reunited-with-painting-looted-by-nazis?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other&amp;fbclid=IwAR1Xn3-h5Nt_HwsEJ3yE8S-HXjc1A0iw5paSLZEQ2JUEp3h1P7pMSWi3JC4">Guardian</a>, “I was amazed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Charlotte’s father died in 1969, but she said he would have been “so happy that it came back”.</p> <p dir="ltr">After treasuring the painting in her possession for six months, the family have decided to sell the portrait at Sotheby’s auction house in London, where it is expected to sell for between $50,000 and $90,000. </p> <p dir="ltr">She said: “I had five brothers and sisters. There are 20 offspring and they are very sweet, so I never had the feeling that it was mine. It’s from the family.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Art

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Kate Bush reflects on hit song revival

<p dir="ltr">British singer-songwriter Kate Bush has reflected on a new generation of fans discovering her music that was made popular in the 1980s. </p> <p dir="ltr">After appearing in the highly-anticipated new season of the Netflix series <em>Stranger Things</em>, Bush’s 1985 hit song <em>Running Up That Hill</em> has found itself back in the top 10 of the international music charts. </p> <p dir="ltr">In a rare interview, the singer told <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qlvb">BBC’s Woman’s Hour</a> radio show how wonderful it has been to have a new legion of younger fans. </p> <p dir="ltr">She said, “Well it’s just extraordinary. I mean, you know, it’s such a great series, I thought that the track would get some attention. But I just never imagined that it would be anything like this. It’s so exciting. But it’s quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She added, “What’s really wonderful I think is this is a whole new audience who, in a lot of cases, they’ve never heard of me and I love that. The thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it is, well, I think it’s very special.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Bush also discussed the meaning of the song and how it has been reinterpreted by the show, giving the track a new life. </p> <p dir="ltr">She said, “I really like people to hear a song and take from it what they want. But originally it was written as the idea of a man and a woman swapping with each other. Just to feel what it was like, from the other side.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She also revealed that the show led her to listen to <em>Running Up That Hill</em> for the first time in a long while, admitting “I never listen to my old stuff.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But then you know, when things like this come along, I’m normally involved in something like you know, maybe doing an edit or revisiting the track for some kind of other reason, I’m working on it. So yeah, I hadn’t heard it for a really long time.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Unlikely hack makes ironing a thing of the past

<p>Wishing you could find a way to make ironing a thing of the past?</p> <p>Well, you’re in luck. This clever grandma has come up with a genius hack for crease-free clothing – and best of all, there is no iron in sight.</p> <p>The savvy nan called Babs, also known as brunchwithbabs on Instagram, shared the hack on her page and she’s gone viral.</p> <p>The US-based grandmother who calls herself the “internet mom/grandma you didn’t know you needed” shares all kinds of advice on her page gaining her quite the following.</p> <p>Captioning the video showing how to remove creases from clothes without an iron, Babs writes:</p> <p>“Babs Hack *tip: high heat, works great on cotton and another option is throwing in a damp rag which also works like a charm.”</p> <p>In the footage, Babs asks viewers, ”Do you like to iron on a beautiful sunny day? Me neither.</p> <p>”Try ice cubes instead.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cdalnisloi4/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cdalnisloi4/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Babs (@brunchwithbabs)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Four to five ice cubes right in,” she revealed, before adding that you should let the ice cubes do their magic for 10 to 15 minutes.</p> <p>At the end of the video, Babs can be seen removing the dresses and showing they are wrinkle-free.</p> <p>The video has been viewed more than 50,000 times and her fans are impressed. Let us know if you've tried this genius hack.</p>

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Supermodel Kristy Hinze Clark makes super profit on Florida mansion

<p dir="ltr">Kristy Hinze Clark and her husband, American tech titan Jim Clark, have just sold their sprawling Florida home for a record-breaking sum.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple’s 16-acre home in Palm Beach is expected to sell for more than $US 175 million ($AUD 253 million) in an off-market deal, according to <em><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-billionaire-bought-a-florida-home-for-94-2-million-last-year-now-hes-selling-it-for-around-175-million-11655323328" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Wall Street Journal</a></em>, in a deal far exceeding Florida’s current sales record of $US 130 million.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hinz Clark and her billionaire husband are set to make around $US 81 million ($AUD 117 million) from the sale, which was a “spur of the moment purchase” 15 months ago.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to <a href="https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2000-S-Ocean-Blvd_Lantana_FL_33462_M57433-88058" target="_blank" rel="noopener">property records</a>, the oceanfront home was bought by the couple on March 8, 2021, for $US 94,173,300 ($AUD 136,580,949), when they thought they were going to live in Florida most of the time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Clark told the Wall Street Journal that, although they fell in love with the aesthetics and other features the home offered, they decided to stay in New York and enrol their two daughters there.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In the end, we sort of thought, ‘How much will we come down here?’” he recalled. “I knew there was someone who wanted it and I beat them to it so I thought, ‘Let’s see if they want it again’.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Boasting a total of 30 bedrooms spread across the 12-bedroom main home, two four-bedroom beachside cottages, the seven-bedroom Mango House, and a guest or staff house comprised of four studios.</p> <p dir="ltr">Other luxe features include a swimming pool, tennis court, golfing area, half-basketball court, fitness centre, and a spa, as well as access to a dock and pier on Lake Worth.</p> <p dir="ltr">The home itself has 360-degree views and is surrounded by 1200 feet of beach facing the Atlantic, and 1300 feet of frontage on the lake.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the listing from its 2021 sale, the home is also within a “singular microclimate” created by the Gulf Stream, meaning it is treated to “refreshing breezes and warmer waters, even when cooler weather prevails in Miami”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These unique conditions allowed for the creation of extensive botanical gardens that showcase neqarly 1,500 tropical species that replicate a ‘walk through the Caribbean’,” the listing reads.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Look, it’s a phenomenal property,” Mr Clark said. “You can’t find anything like that in Florida.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-edce07b8-7fff-9f42-4baa-b880783b24ea"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty Images, Realtor</em></p>

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"Getting onto the wait list is a battle in itself": insiders on what it takes to get social housing

<p>Social housing has become extremely difficult to access; in 2021 around <a href="https://cityfutures.ada.unsw.edu.au/documents/685/Waithood_paper.pdf">160,000 households</a> were on the waiting list.</p> <p>To have any chance of getting a social housing spot in a reasonable time frame, applicants must be on the priority waiting list; people on the general waiting list <a href="https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/applying-assistance/expected-waiting-times">may never get social housing</a>. </p> <p>However, to get on the priority list, applicants need to</p> <ul> <li>have complex needs</li> <li>not be in a position to rent privately and</li> <li>be in danger <a href="https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/applying-assistance/waiting-times">of becoming homeless</a></li> <li>show they have tried to find private rental accommodation.</li> </ul> <p>In short, they have to prove they are massively disadvantaged.</p> <p>To find out more, we interviewed 43 people involved in the social housing application process in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland. This included assessment workers, support workers and government staff.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14036096.2022.2085169">study</a>, published in the journal Housing, Theory and Society, found an applicant’s chances of getting on the priority waiting list are much greater if they have help from advocates who know what arguments to make and how. </p> <p>Success can depend on whether advocates can invest a significant amount of emotional effort to help the applicant and connect them to professionals who can track down supporting documentation.</p> <h2>‘An overwhelming process’</h2> <p>The application form for social housing is demanding.</p> <p>In NSW it requires answering 31 questions and – depending on the applicant’s situation – up to 18 supporting documents. </p> <p>Completing the form optimally requires a fair amount of literacy and “cultural capital” – things such as presenting and speaking “well” or being able to draw on the benefits of a good education.</p> <p>Claire (all names used are pseudonyms), a NSW community housing provider worker, said even understanding the application form is challenging, "I think sometimes it’s the interpretation of what is actually required. What are they asking in this question? And if you don’t have the context of why that question is being asked, sometimes it can be very difficult to know how much information to put [in]. Do I just skip it or […] what do I do with that [question], or what does that even mean?"</p> <p>Jess, an assessment team manager in Tasmania, said, "… [the] majority would need assistance and do get help from supports, family and advocates, as it is onerous. Also literacy, language interpretation would be an issue, especially for lower socio-economic cohorts."</p> <p>James, an assessment worker in NSW, said some applicants simply abandon the process, "It’s really an overwhelming process […] Sometimes people will say, “You know […] this is too much. Forget about it.”</p> <p>Marie, a Queensland homelessness worker, said, "It’s more common that they won’t know how to do the process, and so I’ll go through it with them. I assist them with identifying well-being barriers, complete the application with them, get it, and then when it’s approved, also do community housing applications with them if they wish."</p> <h2>The challenge of gathering ‘evidence’</h2> <p>Producing evidence of clients’ vulnerabilities is potentially challenging. </p> <p>Karim, a homelessness support worker in Queensland, said, "So, getting onto the wait list, that is a battle in itself, right? [Part of that is] getting people document ready […] So, say someone is on the streets, we know they are very, very unwell, but they don’t have documents to prove that. We have done the housing application, it’s gone to department of housing and they’re waiting for further information, because this person’s checked that they have chronic health issues. So [the department] want medical documents or confidential medical report from the GP. This person does not have a GP. What do we do? We try and link them in with the GP, take them there […]"</p> <p>Lots of people, their stuff’s stolen. They’re more worried about where the next meal is coming from instead of worrying about IDs. So getting ID documents, medical documents to go along with the housing application, to get it approved, is the first battle."</p> <p>Susan, a women’s refuge worker in Sydney, said, "Every question has […] evidence requirements […] and they have to gather all of that and you know obviously just gathering all of that is a challenge […] But that’s definitely something that we support them with; to get all the support letters and stuff in order."</p> <p>In Queensland and NSW, an applicant who needs social housing because they are fleeing domestic violence needs to provide substantiation.</p> <p>Susan told us, "The types of documents people would have to collect for this question are copies of AVOs (apprehended violence orders), police event numbers, doctor reports (GP or psychiatrist), support letters from social services. So, as you can imagine, these are quite onerous as many people don’t report to police or perhaps their doctor doesn’t record the injuries as resulting from violence. On top of that, if they’ve just experienced violence they might not feel like running around."</p> <h2>Emotional capital: care, empathy and compassion</h2> <p>Working with vulnerable people requires empathy and compassion. </p> <p>Avril, an assessment worker in Tasmania, said, "So much of it is about rapport. These people who are often really sick of systems, really sick of them and they don’t want to divulge their entire life to someone that they’ve just met once. They don’t want to sit still in a small room for an hour and a half."</p> <p>"What we’ve found is that by having Pat, she’s our specialist rough sleeper front door worker, [and] is based in services that they know and frequent. She’s known to them and they do tend to [open up] bit by bit."</p> <p>Jill, an ex-manager in a community housing provider in NSW, explained, "Also refugees or people who are trauma, torture survivors, DFV (domestic and family violence) survivors […] experience additional layers and complexities in applying."</p> <p>"Whilst the system aims to only ask a client to tell their story once and not multiple times, this is not always possible. So it adds further challenges to these applicants and brings up the trauma again, especially if not handled well by untrained staff."</p> <p>Applying for social housing is fraught, onerous and competitive; applicants have to “prove” their vulnerability is greater than others.</p> <p>Assistance from skilled advocates clearly helps get you on the priority wait list, which begs the question: what hope do others have?</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/getting-onto-the-wait-list-is-a-battle-in-itself-insiders-on-what-it-takes-to-get-social-housing-184838" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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A simpler life begins at home – key tips from people who’ve done it

<p>Voluntary simplicity focuses on doing more with less. People who choose this way of life seek other riches, like personal fulfilment, free time, community and environmental benefits. They see limiting their consumption as a way to improve their quality of life and flourish. </p> <p>We wanted to learn about people who choose this path. What lessons do they have to share? In particular, how can housing be designed to support simplicity?</p> <p>We talked in depth to 14 householders and 25 housing industry professionals. As well as the householders, 11 of the professionals had made housing changes to simplify their own lives. Our conversations focused on life stories and beliefs, thoughts on voluntary simplicity, and ways to overcome the challenges they faced.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02673037.2020.1720614">recently published research</a> shows it is possible, with a bit of work and planning, to live a simple and fulfilling life. We focused on housing, because housing choices are at the heart of such a life. Our social connections, incomes, transport needs and energy and water usage all link to where and how we live. </p> <p>Despite <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/6496B4739650C270CA2581F3000E3B4D?OpenDocument">continuing increases</a>, house and land prices are lower in Tasmania than on mainland Australia, but so are incomes. Just as elsewhere, housing practices here can lock householders into complicated consumption practices with negative consequences for society and the environment. Needing to work more to pay off bigger mortgages is one aspect of this.</p> <h2>Compromises are inevitable</h2> <p>Some participants wanted housing that encompassed environmental best practice and closeness to nature. Some wanted to connect with like-minded people. Some wanted smaller or no mortgages.</p> <p>But “you can’t have it all”, we were told. Compromises are inherent in striving for voluntary simplicity in housing. </p> <p>For example, you might want an off-grid eco-haven, but that’s unlikely in the inner city. You might need public transport, but that could rule out retrofitting a bush block home. </p> <p>The ethically sourced building materials you select from interstate or overseas might involve supply chains using multiple transport modes and all the fossil fuel these use. Locally sourced materials might not meet your ethical standards. And are you happy to buy your solar panels using credit from a Big Four bank that invests in fossil fuels?</p> <p>So, know your deal-breakers and accept that you cannot be “a model of simplicity” in every way all the time. “Do what you can for the context you’re in.”</p> <p>A resounding piece of advice from the professionals was “smaller is better”.</p> <h2>Do your homework</h2> <p>To find palatable compromises you must do your homework. For example, many people wanted to save money or have meaningful experiences of creating house and home. </p> <p>That level of engagement takes a lot of work, which surprised several participants. It requires project-management skills and familiarity with regulations beforehand.</p> <p>You might need specialist professionals on board from the start. A building designer told us, "You’re doing something different from the norm, so your standard industry professional might not be experienced with the regulations for composting toilets, on-site greywater systems, or even smaller-than-average houses."</p> <p>Situations might change mid-project. Participants emphasised how important it is to be prepared for regulatory reforms, technological change and unexpected costs. Communication is crucial – with family, professionals and tradespeople, councils and suppliers.</p> <p>One owner-builder told us, "It’s like a little treasure hunt. Ask lots of questions but gather them all together because professionals charge per hour or part thereof. Find people who have experience with a similar build or project. We asked friends for basic info, then asked the experts once we had some background."</p> <p>Options and requirements might not be obvious. Finding professionals with similar values who have a talent for project administration, regulations and time management can be hugely helpful. Another building designer told us, "It’s becoming increasingly hard to build a home without professional help. If you don’t know the order in which to do things, and how one influences the other, it can become very stressful and costly and time-consuming."</p> <p>Confidence and patience are useful attributes. Another owner-builder said, "You’ll be talking with people who know their stuff (or think they do) and are used to working with other professionals. It’s hard to call someone about a product not knowing what you’re talking about, but do it anyway and don’t be scared. At the end of the day, we were responsible for every aspect of our place, so why not take control? It gets easier once you start doing it."</p> <h2>Be patient and know your limitations</h2> <p>Since everything seems to “take so much longer than planned”, remember you are there for the long haul. </p> <p>If you want to move faster, you often have to pay experts for the privilege. As one owner-builder said: “We could have gotten away without the loan if time weren’t a factor.”</p> <p>The more you do yourself as a non-expert the more you learn. But even if you are careful, you might make mistakes that cost time and money. So “be guided by your emotions and values but don’t let them get the best of you”.</p> <h2>The project of a lifetime</h2> <p>The voluntary simplicity housing journey also affects professionals. One building designer told us, "I hope to see myself as an interpreter of what people want. It might be the project of a lifetime for someone who has spent their life savings on it, so I feel a responsibility to provide some sort of pastoral care. For owner-builders, the house becomes a part of the family in some ways."</p> <p>That means being friendly, patient, communicative and paying attention to how clients experience the whole system from planning regulations to the philosophies of sustainability.</p> <p>In practice, simple living is a huge journey. But with thought, planning and hard work, it can be extremely satisfying and rewarding. </p> <p>Committing to voluntary simplicity in housing (or anything else) is never a complete response. But, as part of a suite of positive responses to contemporary challenges, from climate change to community cohesion, it’s worth working for as individuals and as professionals.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-simpler-life-begins-at-home-key-tips-from-people-whove-done-it-132081" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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