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Coronavirus quarantine could spark an online learning boom

<p>The spread of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 is a public health emergency with economic and social ramifications in China and across the world. While the impacts on business are <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/5f9af4d0-51f8-11ea-8841-482eed0038b1">well documented</a>, education is also facing the largest disruption in recent memory.</p> <p>Institutions around the world are responding to travel bans and quarantines with a shift to online learning. The crisis may trigger an online boom for education – or at least make us more ready to cope with the next emergency.</p> <p><strong>Education disrupted</strong></p> <p>As many as 180 million Chinese students – primary, secondary and tertiary – are homebound or unable to travel. In China, the spring semester was originally scheduled to begin on February 17 but has now been postponed indefinitely. In response, Chinese institutions are attempting to <a href="http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/17/c_138792006.htm">switch</a> to online education on a massive scale.</p> <p>Effects of the epidemic are also being felt closer to home. Australian higher education is increasingly dependent on a steady flow of Chinese students, but the Australian government has restricted travel from China until at least 29 February. At the time of writing, thousands of students are still in limbo.</p> <p>As a result, Australian higher education institutions are trying to <a href="https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/race-create-online-courses-virus-stranded-students">boost their online capacity</a> to deliver courses to stranded concerned students. Some universities – and some parts of universities – are better prepared than others. While all universities use online learning management systems and videoconferencing technology to some degree, there are no mandatory standards for online education.</p> <p>This makes for a huge variety among institutions and even between individual courses in how digitised they are. To make this worse, not all staff are familiar with (or feel positive about) distance or blended learning.</p> <p><strong>Will ed-tech ever take off?</strong></p> <p>Educational technology has historically struggled with large-scale adoption and much has been written about the cycles of <a href="http://hackeducation.com/2012/10/29/ed-tech-bubble">boom</a> and <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Zemsky/publication/201382274_Thwarted_Innovation_What_Happened_to_E-Learning_and_Why/links/59edcae30f7e9bc36521e770/Thwarted-Innovation-What-Happened-to-E-Learning-and-Why.pdf">bust</a> of the ed-tech industry. It may even be legitimate to ask whether adoption is a goal any longer for many in the industry.</p> <p>Nowadays, a critical observer could be forgiven for thinking that the most successful ed-tech companies only pay lip service to mass adoption. Instead, their energies are firmly directed at the more remunerative game of (overinflated) start-up funding and selling.</p> <p>Yet visions of mass adoption are still what drives the volatile dynamics of ed-tech financing. Investors ultimately hope that an innovation will, at some point in the near future, be used by large numbers of students and teachers.</p> <p><strong>Is the coronavirus a ‘black swan’ for online learning?</strong></p> <p>In 2014 Michael Trucano, a World Bank specialist on education and technology policy, <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/education-technology-age-pandemics-revisited">described</a> the importance of “tipping points” to push educational technology into the mainstream. Trucano suggested that epidemics (he talked about the 2003 SARS epidemic, but the argument applies to COVID-19) could be “black swans”. The term is borrowed from the American thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who uses it to describe unanticipated events with profound consequences.</p> <p>During the SARS outbreak, according to Trucano, China was forced into boosting alternative forms of distance education. This led to pockets of deeper, more transformational uses of online tools, at least temporarily. The long-term effects are still unclear.</p> <p>The current landscape of global digital education suggests COVID-19 may result in more robust capabilities in regions with enough resources, connectivity and infrastructure. However, it is also likely to expose chronic deficiencies in less prepared communities, exacerbating pre-existing divides.</p> <p>Investors appear to see this as a moment that could transform all kinds of online activity across the region. The stocks of Hong Kong-listed companies linked to online games, digital medical services, remote working and distance education have <a href="https://www.scmp.com/business/money/markets-investing/article/3049628/could-coronavirus-lockdown-have-big-upside-chinas">soared</a> in recent days.</p> <p><strong>Online drawback</strong></p> <p>Adding to the complexity, students do not always welcome digital education, and <a href="https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/students-less-likely-drop-out-if-taught-lectures-study-finds">research shows</a> they are less likely to drop out when taught using “traditional” face-to-face methods.</p> <p>Indeed, studies on the effectiveness of “virtual schools” have yielded mixed results. A <a href="https://nepc.colorado.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Virtual%20Schools%202019.pdf">recent study</a> focusing on the US recommended virtual schools be restricted until the reasons for their poor performance are better understood.</p> <p>Students may also oppose online learning because they perceive it as a sneaky attempt at forcing education down their throats. This <a href="https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Alibaba-s-virus-beating-education-app-draws-Chinese-students-ire">may be what happened</a>recently when DingTalk, a large Chinese messaging app, launched e-classes for schools affected by the coronavirus emergency. Unhappy students saw their forced vacation threatened and gave the app a bad rating on online stores in an attempt to drive it out of search results.</p> <p>Perhaps this last story shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but it does highlight the importance of emotional responses in attempts to scale up an educational technology.</p> <p><strong>A permanent solution or a crisis response tool?</strong></p> <p>The importance of distance education in an increasingly uncertain world of global epidemics and other dramatic disruptions (such as wars and climate-related crises) is without doubt. So-called “developing countries” (including large rural regions in the booming Indian and Chinese economies) can benefit greatly from it, as it can help overcome emergencies and address chronic teacher shortages.</p> <p>Once the current crisis passes, however, will things go “back to normal”? Or will we see a sustained increase in the mainstream adoption of online learning?</p> <p>The answer is not at all obvious. Take Australia, for example. Even if we assume the COVID-19 emergency will lead to some permanent change in how more digitally-prepared Australian universities relate to Chinese students, it’s unclear what the change will look like.</p> <p>Will we see more online courses and a growing market for Western-style distance education in Asia? Is this what the Chinese students (even the tech-savvy ones) really want? Is this what the Chinese economy needs?</p> <p>Alternatively, perhaps, the crisis might lead to a more robust response system. Universities might develop the ability to move online quickly when they need to and go back to normal once things “blow over”, in a world where global emergencies look increasingly like the norm.</p> <p><em>Written by Carlo Perrotta. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-quarantine-could-spark-an-online-learning-boom-132180"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Billions are pouring into mobility technology – will the transport revolution live up to the hype?

<p>Over the past decade almost <a href="https://files.pitchbook.com/website/files/pdf/PitchBook_Q4_2019_Emerging_Tech_Research_Mobility_Tech_Executive_Summary.pdf">US$200 billion</a> has been invested globally in mobility technology that promises to improve our ability to get around. More than US$33 billion was invested last year alone. Another measure of interest in this area is the <a href="https://travelandmobility.tech/lists/unicorns/">number of unicorns</a>, which has doubled in the past two years.</p> <p>A unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at US$1 billion or more. In early 2018 there were 22 travel and mobility unicorns. By last month the number had grown to 44.</p> <p>The top categories in the mobility area are: ride hailing, with 11 unicorns (25.0%); autonomous vehicles, with ten (22.7%); and micromobility, with three (6.8%). The remaining 20 unicorns are in the travel category (hotels, bookings and so on).</p> <p>Mobility technology is more than just autonomous vehicles, ride hailing and e-scooters and e-bikes. It also includes: electrification (electric vehicles, charging/batteries); fleet management and connectivity (connectivity, data management, cybersecurity, parking, fleet management); auto commerce (car sharing); transportation logistics (freight, last-mile delivery); and urban air mobility.</p> <p><strong>Promised solutions, emerging problems</strong></p> <p>Much of the interest in mobility technology is coming from individuals outside the transport arena. Startups are attracting investors by claiming their technology will solve many of our transport problems.</p> <p>Micromobility companies believe their e-scooters and e-bikes will solve the “<a href="https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/9780784413210.007">first-mile last-mile</a>” problem by enabling people to move quickly and easily between their homes or workplaces and a bus or rail station. While this might work in theory, it depends on having <a href="https://theconversation.com/fork-in-the-road-as-danish-and-dutch-style-cycle-routes-spread-19744">safe and segregated bicycle networks</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/people-love-the-idea-of-20-minute-neighbourhoods-so-why-isnt-it-top-of-the-agenda-131193">frequent and widely accessible public transport</a> services.</p> <p>Ride-hailing services might relieve people of the need to own a car. But <a href="https://www.som.com/ideas/publications/som_thinkers_the_future_of_transportation">there is evidence</a> to suggest these services are <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-ride-hail-utopia-that-got-stuck-in-traffic-11581742802">adding to traffic congestion</a>. That’s because, unlike taxis, more of their time on the road involves travelling without any passengers.</p> <p>Navigation tools (Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze) have <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Maps">been around longer</a> than most other mobility technologies and are meant make it easier to find the least-congested route for any given trip. However, <a href="https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~theophile/docs/publications/Cabannes_19_ACM.pdf">research</a> suggests these tools might not be working as intended. The <a href="https://www.som.com/ideas/publications/som_thinkers_the_future_of_transportation">backlash</a> against them is growing in some cities because traffic is being directed onto neighbourhood streets rather than arterial roads.</p> <p>Autonomous vehicles have the goal of reducing injuries and deaths from car crashes. Only a few years ago many bold predictions were being made that these self-driving vehicles would be having positive impacts by now, but this hasn’t happened. The enthusiasm for autonomous vehicles has cooled. <a href="https://www.vtpi.org/avip.pdf">Some now believe</a> we won’t see many of the social benefits for decades.</p> <p>The final mobility tech area is known as mobility as a service (<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobility_as_a_service">MAAS</a>). It’s basically a platform designed to make better use of existing infrastructure and transport modes. MAAS begins with a journey planner that is linked to one-stop payment for a range of mobility services – ride-hailing, e-scooters, e-bikes, taxis, public transport, and so on.</p> <p>MAAS is the newest entrant in the mobility tech field. It has attracted US$6.8 billion to date, but is expected to grow to <a href="https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/mobility-as-a-service-market-78519888.html">over US$100 billion by 2030</a>. This idea is creating great enthusiasm, not only among private entrepreneurs, but also in the public sector. It’s too early to know whether it will improve transportation.</p> <p><strong>3 trends are driving investment</strong></p> <p>So, why do venture capitalists <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnfrazer1/2019/03/11/new-mobility-worth-billions-venture-capital-thinks-so/#198cda2247d8">continue to show so much interest</a> in mobility technology startups despite poor company performance to date? It appears they believe personal mobility will become increasingly important. <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnfrazer1/2019/03/11/new-mobility-worth-billions-venture-capital-thinks-so/#198cda2247d8">Three trends</a>support this belief.</p> <p>First, urban dwellers increasingly value the ability to move around easily. It’s thought to be a key ingredient for a liveable city. The problem is public transport is often not very good, particularly in the US and in outer suburbs in Australia.</p> <p>This is due to historically low funding relative to roads. The prospect of more funding and better public transport services in the future is not good. In part that’s because many <a href="https://www.vox.com/2015/8/10/9118199/public-transportation-subway-buses">view public transport as welfare</a> and not an essential public service. Thus, if cities want to become more liveable and competitive, they must look beyond government-funded public transport for other mobility alternatives.</p> <p>The second trend is declining vehicle ownership. Since 1986 US sales of car and light trucks per capita have dropped by <a href="https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2020/02/04/vehicle-sales-per-capita-our-latest-look-at-the-long-term-trendh">almost 30%</a>. In Australia, new car sales <a href="https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/car-insurance/research/australian-car-sales-statistics.html">remained relatively constant</a> over the past decade, but a <a href="http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7982-new-vehicle-purchase-intention-march-2019-201905240039">decline since 2017 is expected to continue</a>. These trends are due in part to the cost of owning a vehicle, but also because of a growing view that owning a car may not be necessary.</p> <p>This brings us to the third trend, which involves demographics and the <a href="https://theconversation.com/delay-in-getting-driving-licences-opens-door-to-more-sustainable-travel-57430">post-millennial desire for access to mobility</a> services <a href="https://theconversation.com/car-ownership-is-likely-to-become-a-thing-of-the-past-and-so-could-public-transport-110550">rather than vehicle ownership</a>.</p> <p>These trends, combined with expectations of an upward trend in prices of these services, suggests there may be good times ahead for ride-hailing and micromobility companies. It also means venture capital funding for these startups will not be diminishing in the near future.</p> <p><strong>The future of transport isn’t simple</strong></p> <p>Transport systems are multifaceted. No one single app or technology will solve the challenges. And, as we are discovering, some of the purported solutions to problems might actually be making the situation worse.</p> <p>If the goal is to get people out of their cars (for <a href="https://theconversation.com/designing-suburbs-to-cut-car-use-closes-gaps-in-health-and-wealth-83961">better health and quality of life and a better environment</a>), this will require more than a technology. Better infrastructure and public policies (including better integration of land uses and transport to reduce the need for transport) will be required – <a href="https://theconversation.com/three-charts-on-why-congestion-charging-is-fairer-than-you-might-think-124894">congestion pricing</a>being one of those.</p> <p>That is not to say technological innovations are not welcome as part of the solution, but they are just that … “part” of the solution.</p> <p><em>Written by Neil G Sipe. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/billions-are-pouring-into-mobility-technology-will-the-transport-revolution-live-up-to-the-hype-131154"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Feelings: what’s the point of rational thought if emotions always take over?

<p><em>“I have long sought to make radical changes to my life, such as leaving a toxic workplace and losing weight. Yet I never get around to it. I am scared to leave work and sad about being overweight – and I eat when I feel that way. To what extent are humans driven by fear and emotion? What’s the point of rational thought if it keeps getting overridden by emotions?</em> - Ed, 42, London.”</p> <p>One of the <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/phineas-gage-neurosciences-most-famous-patient-11390067/">most famous brain injuries</a> recorded in history was that suffered by Phineas Gage. Having had a large iron rod driven through his head, Gage lost a major part of his prefrontal cortex, which among other things facilitates interaction between reasoning and emotions. Gage survived his injury and maintained most of his cognitive functions. He could do maths, but he failed to make almost any decisions – especially those involving social interactions.</p> <p>That’s because decision making is a complex matter involving both reasoning and emotions. Even the most emotional person uses rational thought when deciding, and even the most rational person is affected by emotions when making decisions. Yet we often, as you do here, tend to highlight the negative role of emotions in decision making.</p> <p>It may seem like life would be easier if we could be entirely rational. But evolution has supported the development of feeling and thinking exactly because we need them both. Feelings take care of our desires and needs now, while rationality is defending our interests and wellbeing in the future. I <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23112741-feeling-smart">call these two entities</a> that live in us Tod (today) and Tom (tomorrow).</p> <p>If Tom didn’t exist, we would definitely be in a bad shape. Just imagine a world without reasoning – we would lose interest in anything that doesn’t provide us with instant pleasure. We would avoid learning, producing and protecting ourselves. We would simply sink into a life of addiction that would kill us even before we managed to breed.</p> <p>But without Tod we wouldn’t survive either. Tod is providing us with immediate decisions when danger is imminent. If we spot a car coming towards us while crossing the street, Tod will stop us. Tom might be able to calculate velocities and distances to tell whether or not we are in danger, but by the time he’d come up with the answer, it would be too late.</p> <p>Tod is also facilitating our social interactions, not only with his positive habits, such as love and empathy, but also with nasty ones. Studies show that people who can evoke a certain degree of anger and insult during bargaining and debate <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21639649">do better</a> than measured people.</p> <p><strong>A world without feelings</strong></p> <p>But beyond all this, there is one crucial reason why we should never be sorry for Tod being part of us. My friend <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naftali_Tishby">Tali Tishbi</a>, an eminent artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, believes that, in a few decades, AI will manage to do away with death and grant us all eternal life – albeit digitally. Here is how it is going to work: during our regular life – phase 1 – a database will store all the decisions, views, comments and ideas we have ever made, together with the circumstances in which they were made.</p> <p>Machine learning (a type of AI) techniques will then <a href="https://www.haaretz.co.il/misc/1.1429198">analyse this data and generate software</a> that can produce decisions in hypothetical circumstances based on those we took in our life. When our phase 1 life eventually terminates, we will enter phase 2 of eternal life, through this software. Our bodies will be dead at this stage, and this data from our minds will instead be located in a computer.</p> <p>We would feel or experience nothing, but for all other purposes, we’d be there. This version of ourselves can resume our job as a chief executive because the machine would make exactly the same decisions that we would have done had we been in phase 1 of our life. It would also still be able to offer advice to our children when they are in their 90s, and be able to comment on our grand-grand-grandchild’s new girlfriend in 2144.</p> <p>But let’s now go back to Tod and Tom. Life without Tod would look pretty much like what my friend calls phase 2 of life – and what I call death with an advanced photo album. Had our decisions been ruled solely by Tom, we wouldn’t be humans – we would be algorithms.</p> <p>For you, it sounds like Tod is ruling the day in your life, leaving little space for Tom. After all, you can always start a diet or quit your job tomorrow – right now, though, you’d rather relax. People may differ in how much they rely on rational thought, but everybody ultimately uses both – even you. You have, after all, identified a goal that you want to achieve.</p> <p>So how can we have a better balance between the Tod and Tom? Several psychology studies show that our patience with Tom <a href="https://faculty.washington.edu/jdb/345/345%20Articles/Baumeister%20et%20al.%20(1998).pdf">is depleted rather quickly</a>. This is not surprising, since he is the one who tells us to do those unpleasant things, such as staying away from croissants. When we were kids it was the role of our parents to help us to invite Tom in. But even when we are independent, we need help in a similar way from time to time.</p> <p>One way of doing this is to ask our partner or friends to support us in achieving our goals. Another is inviting Tom to comment on someone else who is in a similar situation to us. We don’t like Tom to tell us what to do, but we are curious to hear what he has to say. So with a little bit of self-deception we might be able to take the perspective of an “impartial spectator”, which will make it harder to ignore him.</p> <p>Tod and Tom are better friends than we tend to believe. They feed and reinforce one another. The best rational decisions take feelings into account. If you want to go on a diet, the best option is not always picking the one with the smallest calorie intake, but the one that you like the most and can stick with. For some people, it will be eating only boiled potatoes, while for others it will be a low-carb diet.</p> <p>So don’t be scared to let Tod have a say. And get some help with inviting Tom in. It is ultimately together that they work best.</p> <p><em>Written by Eyal Winter. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/feelings-whats-the-point-of-rational-thought-if-emotions-always-take-over-128592"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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World’s oldest man dies days after revealing secret to long life

<p>The world’s oldest living man has died at age 112 – just 13 days after he was told a Guinness Book of Records Ceremony the secret to living a long life.</p> <p>Chitetsu Watanabe, a retired Japanese farmer, died at his care home in Niigata, the city in northern Japan. The same city where he was born in March 1907.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8iNJ4vhK_T/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8iNJ4vhK_T/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">#chitetsuwatanabe est le nouveau doyen de l'humanité Âgé de 112 ans, le japonais s'est vu décerner par le Guinness des records le mérite de la personnalité masculine la plus âgée au monde. #Watanabe est né en le 5 mars 1907 à #niigata dans le nord-ouest du #japon. Il a reçu son mérite ce mercredi dernier dans la maison de retraite où il vit. Le Précédent détenteur de ce record fut aussi un #japonais du nom de #masazononaka qui est décédé le mois dernier à 122ans et 266 jours. #people #celebrity #celebrities #guinness #guinnesworldrecord #japan #japanese #old #oldest #humanity #kazekarta</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kazekarta/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> KAZE KARTA</a> (@kazekarta) on Feb 13, 2020 at 8:49pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The father-of-five had developed a fever and struggled to eat after celebrating his record on February 12.</p> <p>His eldest son’s wife Yoko told Japan’s<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200225/p2a/00m/0na/015000c" target="_blank">Mainichi</a></em><span> </span>newspaper that in the days before his death, he slightly struggled.</p> <p>For a long part of his life, Mr Watanabe worked on a sugar plantation and in his death left behind not only his five children, but 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchildren.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8e13Ybjjid/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8e13Ybjjid/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Junta Hispana (@juntahispana)</a> on Feb 12, 2020 at 1:27pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Sweetly enough, he grinned happily as he received his award and admitted while he did not have any teeth, he could still not resist custard and cream tarts.</p> <p>He told people listening at the Guinness Book of Records ceremony that the secret to a long life was to smile and never be angry.</p> <p>A wake will be held for Mr Watanabe at 6 pm on February 27, organised by his grandson Tetsuya, and a funeral will take place at 10.30 am the next day at Ceremony Hall Heian.</p> <p>The oldest living man is now 110-year-old Issaku Tomoe, according to Jiji Press. The previous oldest living man was Masazo Nonaka, also Japanese, who died last year aged 113.</p> <p>Mr Watanabe's daughter-in-law - wife of his eldest son Tetsuo, said: “I've never seen him raise his voice or get mad. He's also caring.</p> <p>“I think having lived with a big family under one roof, mingling with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped keep a smile on his face as well.”</p> <p>Only a little more than a decade ago, Mr Watanabe used to grow bonsai trees and had amassed a glorious collection of about 100 which he used to exhibit for interested tourists and curious travellers.</p> <p>With all his might and will, he proved age was not much more than a number and kept growing fruits and vegetable on his family home he had built with his son Tetsuo in 1974.</p> <p>He did not stop until he was 104 years old.</p> <p>The record for the oldest man ever was held by Jiroemon Kimura, of Japan, who was born in April 1897 and passed away aged 116 years 54 days in June, 2013.</p>

Caring

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Did you know: More than 80% of strip searches turn up nothing

<p>It is difficult not to be cynical about the New South Wales Government’s recent <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/nsw-government-shuts-down-police-watchdogs-strip-search-inquiry/">decision to shut down the Law Enforcement Corruption Commission’s (LECC) inquiry into strip searches</a>, particularly in light of new statistics published this week that show that in an overwhelming majority of cases, strip searches turn up nothing.</p> <p>Figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) show that of the 211,000 personal searches conducted by New South Wales police in 2018, 88 per cent resulted in police finding nothing – not illegal drugs, not knives or other concealed weapons. In fact, nothing at all.</p> <p>The numbers paint a damning picture.</p> <p><strong>Police targeting children and indigenous Australians</strong></p> <p>More than 26,000 searches were conducted on children under the age of 18. When looked at geographically, in some areas around the state up to as many as 37 percent of strip searches involved children, with nothing found in more than 90 per cent of these.</p> <p>About 78 per cent were conducted on Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people.</p> <p>Until the moment it was canned in December last year (at the same time as the New South Wales government dismissed former head of the LECC Michael Adams QC) <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/watchdog-to-investigate-strip-search-of-teen/">the inquiry into strip searches</a> was tackling an issue that has become one of great social concern – that police are increasingly using the highly invasive procedure of strip searches, and are not always following the law when doing so.</p> <p><strong>Strip searches conducted illegally</strong></p> <p>Mr Adams’ tenure as head of the LECC and also head of the strip search inquiry was not renewed shortly after he told an LECC hearing that he would examine whether some of the unlawful strip searches the LECC had been investigating classified as indecent assaults. If any of this had actually been proven, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/suing-police-over-unlawful-strip-search-an-interview-with-luke-moore/">the NSW police force would be potentially liable to compensate victims</a>.</p> <p>Because such a significant number of searches result in nothing being found, then it stands to reason that police are either inadequately trained to appropriate conduct strip searches, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/what-are-the-rules-for-strip-searching/">they misunderstand the governing guidelines</a>, or are potentially ignoring the regulations which stipulate that they must have need to have ‘reasonable suspicion’ in order to conduct a strip search.</p> <p>It is also possible that police could be simply using strip searches to threaten, intimidate and humiliate members of the general public. This accusation has been made previously, on a number of occasions.</p> <p><strong>Police performance targets</strong></p> <p>Also of serious concern also is the fact that police commands are given targets for the number of personal searches officers must conduct. Personal searches can involve a frisk or requiring someone to remove outer layers of clothing, but they can also include strip searches, in which all the person’s clothing may be removed.</p> <p>Across NSW in 2018-19 police were expected to perform 242,000 personal searches.</p> <p>Of the 238,923 actual searches conducted, two per cent, or 5353, were strip searches. Nothing was found in 66 per cent of these. In the same period, a total of 17,535 searches were conducted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with nothing found in 88 per cent of these.</p> <p>Police have defended the targets, saying that the force is responsible for enforcing drugs and weapons laws and searches are a “vital detection tool and often necessary to find and seize these illegal items” despite the fact that looking at these figures, it is logical to conclude, because they turn up nothing in the vast majority of cases, that strip searches are largely ineffective, and a waste of police time and resources.</p> <p><strong>What does the law say?</strong></p> <p>The law governing the conduct of strip searches, which also outlines the rights of anyone subjected to the procedure, are outlined in the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/what-are-the-rules-for-strip-searching/">Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW).</a></p> <p>The Act contains safeguards for children and vulnerable people, with which police must comply, including the fact that minors must be accompanied by an adult ‘support person’ during the search.</p> <p>It also stipulates that strip searches must be conducted by an officer of the same sex as the person being searched irrespective of their age, and must <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/aboriginal-elder-strip-searched-on-busy-sydney-road/">be carried out in private</a>.</p> <p>But as<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/nsw-police-are-illegally-strip-searching-children/"> last year’s public inquiry into strip searches found</a>, these safeguards are often ignored. For example, when investigating the strip searches of three boys aged 15, 16 and 17 at a music festival, none of which found any <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/driver-carrying-200-million-in-illegal-drugs-crashes-into-parked-police-cars/">illegal drugs</a>, the LECC found that police arranged for two SES volunteers to act as independent support people, instead of enabling them to have a parent, guardian or trusted adult friend present.</p> <p>The inquiry heard at least 25 children at one under-18s event were potentially subjected to the practice unlawfully, with volunteers from the Red Frogs charity also being used to oversee the strip-searching.</p> <p>There have long been concerns about the psychological impact of strip searches, particularly on young people, with some calling it <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/strip-searches-are-effectively-a-form-of-state-sanctioned-sexual-assault/">a form of state-sanctioned sexual assault.</a> And with little evidence to prove they are actually an effective policing practice, it’s time that the NSW Police force re-considered the use of these searches. It’s also time for the New South Wales government to review the laws which govern them.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/more-than-80-of-strip-searches-turn-up-nothing/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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Rates going up? That’s not the only thing increasing

<p>With rate rise just around the corner, private health funds are preparing to raise their premiums by an average of 2.92% on April 1 2020. Though it’s set to be the lowest hike in 19 years, the premium rises will mean a single person will pay an average of $35.36 extra per year, and a family will pay $103.48 more, annually.1</p> <p><strong>Here's how you save</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Select your current <strong>life stage below</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Once you select your preferred coverage options, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes from multiple health funds.</p> <p><strong>Choose your life stage.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step1-choosewell/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=mar2020-raterise&amp;utm_content=rates-going-up&amp;utm_term=widget"><img style="width: 500px; height: 475.86633663366337px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834822/3.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4fb8e195373040198c5c4a92bc6a1526" /></a></strong></p> <p>But there’s one key piece of information that your health fund may not want you to know. Not all funds will pass on these higher costs to their customers. In 2019, some policies increased by only 1.64% while others skyrocketed by a staggering 5.91%. Yet most Aussies will simply absorb this extra cost, never knowing how easy it is to start paying less.</p> <p>At <span><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step1-choosewell/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=mar2020-raterise&amp;utm_content=rates-going-up&amp;utm_term=in-text">Health Insurance Comparison</a></span>, we believe Australians deserve better value from their health insurance. That’s why we’re committed to delivering more options when comparing health insurance for our customers. By comparing with us, Australians were able to save an average of $356.70 on their yearly premiums last year alone, and <strong>families with health insurance were able to save $600.31</strong>.2 Finding affordable health cover quickly in 2020 has never been more simple.</p> <p><strong>Get started now</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Select your <strong>state below </strong>.</p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step1-choosewell/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=mar2020-raterise&amp;utm_content=rates-going-up&amp;utm_term=widget"><img style="width: 395.33898305084745px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834821/4-1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/74cdb0d25c22438daca68a39a6f25ffb" /></a></p> <p>Consumers have been lowering their policies or scrapping them all together in the face of rising premiums, as higher out of pocket costs are placing even more pressure on household budgets.</p> <p>In an attempt to make health cover more accessible, the new bands of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic hospital covers was introduced in early 2019. Some health insurers, including NIB, implemented discounts of up to 10% for 18 to 29 year olds. Similarly, higher hospital excess will now be a choice offered to many members, both new and existing.</p> <p>In a November 2018 review, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found more Australians are downgrading or dumping their private health insurance because of rising premiums.</p> <p><span><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step1-choosewell/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=mar2020-raterise&amp;utm_content=rates-going-up&amp;utm_term=in-text">In early 2019, a Health Insurance Comparison</a></span> spokesperson stated: “We believe in helping our customers find affordable options to take better care of their health. That’s why we’ve worked hard to partner with internationally renowned healthcare group, Bupa, to deliver even greater value and more options to our customers.”</p> <p>The company will be offering a range of Bupa’s products, making them one of only two comparison services in Australia that allows customers to compare a wide variety of the health insurance products Bupa offers.</p> <p>Health Insurance Comparison believes in delivering lifelong health insurance services for all Australians. “We are proud to announce this partnership with Bupa, creating a wider range of choice when comparing health insurance” said Leane.</p> <p><strong><em>“We’ve found that older Australians are especially vulnerable to falling victim to the common health insurance traps like staying on an outdated policy, being talked into a higher level of cover and fund loyalty incentives.”</em></strong> Because Australians are responsible for monitoring their own insurance, over the years these simple mistakes can mean thousands of dollars down the drain. That’s why our team of friendly advisers are available to answer any questions you may have and assist you in the comparison process.</p> <p>If you’re surprised at just how easy it is to overpay for health insurance, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to <span><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step1-choosewell/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=mar2020-raterise&amp;utm_content=rates-going-up&amp;utm_term=in-text">join the thousands of clever Aussies who are already paying less</a></span> for their premiums and beating the upcoming rate rise.</p> <p>You can join them with <span><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step1-choosewell/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=mar2020-raterise&amp;utm_content=rates-going-up&amp;utm_term=in-text">just a few clicks</a></span>. Hurry! Your health cover savings are just minutes away.</p> <p><em>This article is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.</em></p> <p><em>This article is made in partnership with Health Insurance Comparison.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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The $25 Kmart item sending shoppers into a frenzy

<p>Aussie parents are praising Kmart for the release of a toy they say is helping break down tired and outdated gender stereotypes.</p> <p>The discount department store recently released a $25 cordless toy vacuum cleaner that shows a young boy on the front of the box.</p> <p>Those who have spotted the item in-store have taken to Facebook to share photos and commended the retailer for their latest move.</p> <p>“I love that there is finally a boy on the packaging of a product like this! Well played, Kmart,” wrote on person.</p> <p>Another thrilled commenter said: “A boy on the package! Yes! Yes! Yes!”</p> <p>A third added: “If that actually works, I’ll buy two for my sons and one for my husband.”</p> <p>Other people said their sons will be excited to get their hands on the latest toy as they’re already showing a knack for household chores.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 332.89646133682834px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834803/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1d31a91cecfc4904a40d618893c07c47" /></p> <p>“Elijah would love this! And so would I because he actually wants to clean,” said one person.</p> <p>Another said: “Hudson would love this. Win-win”.</p> <p>Other people were keen to know how well the toy vacuum stacked up in terms of realistic “suction”.</p> <p>According to the information on Kmart’s website, the battery-powered item features “real suction to pick up dirt”.</p> <p>“Includes multiple attachments, an easy open dirt compartment and realistic sounds and swirling action.”</p> <p>Many people said the loved the concept behind the toy as it teaches children about cleaning.</p> <p>“Start ‘em young,” said one person, adding: “This is so cool, now all they need is a mini mower.”</p> <p>Another said: “Chuck in the mini washing machine and dryer and we’re sorted.”</p>

Food & Wine

News

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"I'm going to jail, this is my fault": Triple-0 call revealed for toddler found dead on minibus

<p>The manager of the childcare centre that has been charged with the manslaughter of a three-year-old boy, after he was left on the centre’s minibus has been released on bail.</p> <p>The Cairns Magistrate Court were able to listen to a transcript read aloud by Senior Sergeant Maynard Marcum of the minibus driver speaking to authorities after he found the boy dead outside the Goodstart Early Learning Centre.</p> <p>Michael Glen Lewis, 45, was the one who stumbled upon the horrific discovery of the young boy deceased outside the day care in the southern Cairns suburb of Edmonton on Tuesday and was also the one who made a triple-0 call to authorities.</p> <p>“Oh my God, this kid is dead,” Sergeant Marcum recounted.</p> <p>“Oh my God. I'm the director of the childcare centre.</p> <p>“The child was left on the bus all day.</p> <p>“I've just opened up the bus and he's here, dead.</p> <p>“... I'm so sorry buddy.</p> <p>“I'm going to jail, this is my fault.</p> <p>“Oh my God. My whole life is over.”</p> <p>Mr Lewis initially forgot to pick the three-year-old child up from his home, the court heard and was forced to drop off a busload of children to the centre and double back to pick up the boy from his home.</p> <p>He drove around 4.5 kilometres back to the childcare centre at 9:15 am, the court was told.</p> <p>Just sat two seats behind Mr Lewis was the young child, when the bus driver forgot to take him inside.</p> <p>Mr Lewis then drove to another centre across town for a meeting that took several hours.</p> <p>At 3:16pm, Mr Lewis found the boy dead in the bus outside Hambledon State School.</p> <p>Mr Lewis, who is a father of three, failed to manually sign in the child when he got on the bus, Senior Sergeant Marcum said.</p> <p>However, he was signed in on the centre’s computer system as being present even though he never arrived.</p> <p>“This is an act of criminal negligence, appalling in its nature,” Senior Sergeant Marcum said.</p> <p>“In that 4.5 kilometres, this child was forgotten.</p> <p>“There wasn't even a cursory glance.”</p> <p><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-25/two-people-charged-manslaughter-cairns-toddler-death/11997438" target="_blank">ABC news</a><span> </span>reported Mr Lewis sat in the dock with his head down during the proceedings.</p> <p>A casual worker who had only been employed at the centre for less than a month was also granted bail after facing court for manslaughter over the child’s death.</p> <p>Childcare worker Dionne Beatrice Grills, 34, was granted bail after a brief appearance.</p> <p>Acting Detective Inspector Jason Smith told reporters outside the court that the pair had been charged Monday afternoon after a week-long investigation.</p> <p>"The family is … distressed and very upset about this and hopefully now that the matter is before the court, they'll get the answers that they need," he said.</p> <p>"This is the culmination of a week-long investigation and we are grateful for the assistance of specialist detectives from Brisbane and Townsville.</p> <p>"During the investigation, police have liaised with the family and in fact, their broader family in Bamaga and Townsville.</p> <p>"The staff from Goodstart Early Learning did provide detectives with assistance and at this stage, no-one else is under investigation."</p> <p>One of the boy's relatives, Thomas Namok told the media he and his family were deeply upset by the tragedy.</p> <p>"We're all distraught at the moment. We just can't believe this has happened. We just want answers," he said.</p> <p>"The last few days have just been terrible but everyone [in the family] will continue to support each other.</p> <p>"He was just a cheerful little boy … we would always laugh every time he's around. That's what I remember of him. It's going to be sad he's not going to be around anymore."</p>

News

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"I could be next": Abused women fearful of Rowan Baxter copycats

<p>Hannah Clarke’s brother has opened up about the horror he had faced after hearing the traumatic way his sister and her children were murdered, while a women’s legal service reveals there has been an increase in calls from women saying their partners have threatened to kill them the same way.</p> <p>Ms Clarke and her three children were brutally killed in Brisbane last week after her estranged husband, Rowan Baxter, doused them in petrol and set them alight.</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><em>7.30</em>, her brother, Nathaniel Clarke, said the things that “cut me the deepest” is that Baxter made them suffer.</p> <p>“It wasn’t quick. It was planned and executed,” said Mr Clarke.</p> <p>“He had a plan that night when he called the kids and he was a blubbering mess. He knew what he was doing then. He had it all planned out, he knew what he was doing the following morning.</p> <p>“He couldn’t even do it quick. That’s the worst thing. He made them suffer, and her.”</p> <p>Angela Lynch, CEO of Women’s Legal Service Queensland, said the service had been inundated with calls since the incident.</p> <p>“We’ve had clients and women saying that their perpetrators and their partner is saying they’re going to do what he did to them. They are fearful and something inside them has said, ‘I could be next’,” said Ms Lynch.</p> <p>Mr Clarke said the day his sister was killed was “the worst day of my life”.</p> <p>“I was out in the paddock working, and the bloke I work with called me in and said, ‘Look, you’ve got to take this, it’s personal,” said Mr Clarke.</p> <p>“I took it and my wife couldn’t get the words out. I got: ‘You need to come home’, and then silence. And my heart broke. I didn’t know if it was my kids, I didn’t know what was going on.</p> <p>“And then the next thing she said is: ‘He killed them all’.”</p> <p>Mr Clarke then called his father who had told him that his sister was in intensive care.</p> <p>“I didn’t know the magnitude of what had happened,” said Mr Clarke.</p> <p>“It had been explained on the phone what sort of had happened, but I didn’t know the whole nation had already stopped.”</p> <p>Mr Clarke said looking back, there weren’t many signs over the years that Baxter was a toxic individual.</p> <p>“He seemed at the start like a good bloke,” said Mr Clarke.</p> <p>“There were a few things but you didn’t see, obviously, what we’ve seen now. You couldn’t have seen that from the start.”</p> <p>He said one of the “small things” was that he and his sister suddenly started having less contact.</p> <p>“You think something’s wrong but you can’t put your finger on it,” said Mr Clarke.</p> <p>“You just sort of think, ‘Oh, it’s just family problems between you and your sister’ … but to look back, in a big picture over a timeline, you can now see triggers, I suppose, of, ‘OK, this makes a lot more sense now on what he was trying to do’.”</p> <p>Mr Clarke said his brother-in-law’s controlling nature was more obvious in the last two or three years.</p> <p>"He was the type of person that had to win everything, had to be the best at everything, really didn't like when he wasn't," he said.</p> <p>"He had to control every moment he was in.</p> <p>"To be one of those people, it does make you selfish, and that was it. It was all about him."</p> <p>Mr Clarke said he never imagined that Baxter was capable of carrying out such a brutal attack.</p> <p>"Hannah had her suspicions that he might try to do something to her, but we all thought, 'No, he couldn't'.</p> <p>"It was just a vicious attack to make her suffer as long as he could. And that was it. It was just — I still can't get over it."</p>

News

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Rowan Baxter’s family speaks after vicious murders: “Everyone else, they’re shocked – I’m not”

<p>The cousin of family killer Rowan Baxter has spoken out about her family, saying he was an “angry child” while growing up together.</p> <p>Alana Hampson told <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/crime/there-was-a-lot-of-violence-rowan-baxters-relatives-speak-out-about-killer-dads-upbringing/news-story/f54961c4792b002951ab055b067135a1" target="_blank"><em>news.com.au</em></a> that while she was estranged from her older cousin Rowan, she lived with him and his brother Charles as a teenager while going through foster care.</p> <p>“He was an angry kid,” the 38-year-old admitted.</p> <p>“There was a bit of cruelty there sometimes, little hints throughout his life. He would yell at you to get out of his room or swear at you. Rowan was like that real abrupt kid. Just one of those rough tumbling boys with attitude.”</p> <p>42-year-old NRL Player Rowan Baxter burned his estranged wife Hannah Clarke and their three children to death last week in their family SUV before stabbing himself and dying.</p> <p>In a 2004 newspaper interview, Rowan told reporters he had quit rugby union to join the Mt Albert Lions rugby league club after being repeatedly overlooked for selection by the Bay of Plenty Steamers.</p> <p>“Word got back to me they (Bay of Plenty) thought I had anger problems,” Baxter told The Daily Post.</p> <p>The 42-year-old was reportedly involved in two vicious brawls while playing club rugby for Te Puke in 2002 and 2003.</p> <p>“That’s the way I play, I don’t regret it, that’s who I am,” Baxter said.</p> <p>Ms Hampson’s mother, Dorothy Ann Baxter, is the sister of Rowan’s father, Charlie — one of nine brothers and sisters in the clan from New Zealand’s Tauranga region.</p> <p>“I haven’t been around my family most of my life — I hate my family,” Ms Hampson told</p> <p><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/crime/there-was-a-lot-of-violence-rowan-baxters-relatives-speak-out-about-killer-dads-upbringing/news-story/f54961c4792b002951ab055b067135a1" target="_blank">news.com.au.</a></p> <p>“(He was) f***ed in the head. There was a lot of violence. The Baxters had a hard life. (One of my other cousins), his younger baby died. The baby coffin was put in the car and he did doughnuts.”</p> <p>Ms Hampson said that while she herself hasn’t had “clean life”, her cousin’s acts are unforgiveable.</p> <p>“I haven’t had a clean life myself but for someone to do that … I can’t believe anyone would do that. Someone told me you’ve got to forgive — you can’t forgive that,” she said.</p> <p>While she last saw Rowan “a long time ago”, she says the horrific murders have left the family shell-shocked. “It’s affected all my aunties, they’re speechless,” she said.</p> <p>Heart-stricken Dorothy Ann Baxter described Rowan as “a good boy” who “lost the plot”. Ms Baxter confirmed she hadn’t seen Rowan since he moved to Australia.</p> <p>“He was always a good boy. I can’t understand,” she said.</p> <p>“He’s lost the plot. I don’t know. He couldn’t handle it then one day he just lost it. It’s not good. But I know he wouldn’t do it out of his own mind so he had to be … lost it, just lost the plot. Some of us do. I’m not saying Rowan was good for what he did but people do lose the plot.”</p> <p>Ms Baxter spoke of funeral arrangements for Rowan, saying: “Of course there’s going to be a funeral</p> <p>“They’ve got to get him back here first, the cops have still got him haven’t they?”</p> <p>She added, “We’re going to say goodbye to him. He’s going to be put with his mother. I’m just glad my mum wasn’t here because it would have killed her.”</p> <p>But Ms Hampson says she is “definitely not going to the funeral”. </p> <p>“I can’t bring myself to see that,” she said.</p> <p>“It’s a bit hard to swallow. He can rot in hell for what he did to those kids.”</p>

News

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Toddler rescued after falling under train

<p>Three passengers crawled underneath a train at Sydney’s Wolli Creek station to rescue a child who was trapped after falling between the carriage and the platform.</p> <p>According to <em><a href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a200224albpg/quick-thinking-staff-and-passengers-save-little-girl-who-fell-under-train-20200224">10 daily</a></em>, the toddler’s mother had first taken her inside the train and was attempting to board with a baby in a pram on Monday around 9.15am when the incident occurred.</p> <p>The mother started screaming that her daughter was under the train, witness Joseph Mourtada told the <em><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/toddler-rescued-after-falling-underneath-train-at-wolli-creek-station/ar-BB10j4Sj?li=AAgfYrC">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>Staff were alerted and three passengers jumped down to retrieve the young girl, who had crawled underneath the train and onto the other side of the tracks.</p> <p>A clip shows the child later being reunited with her mother.</p> <p>The mother said it was her daughter’s first time being on a train and it “might be the last for a while”.</p> <p>“This would have been an incredibly distressing situation for any parent and we would like to thank our quick-thinking staff and customers for their actions in helping to rescue this young girl,” said Suzanne Holden, chief customer officer at Sydney Trains.</p> <p>“Thankfully the toddler was unharmed, but incidents such as this serve as an important reminder that the gap between the train and the platform can vary across the network, and our staff are always happy to help if you require assistance.”</p>

News

Travel

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Australians on board the Diamond Princess need to go into quarantine again: It’s time to reset the clock

<p>The evacuation of about 180 passengers pm February 20<sup>th</sup> from the cruise ship Diamond Princess to serve another period of quarantine back in Australia has raised questions about the best way to control spread of the coronavirus.</p> <p>The passengers had already spent 14 days quarantined on board the ship, which had been docked in Japan, and now face another 14 days at the Howard Springs quarantine facility close to Darwin.</p> <p>By contrast, Japan’s health ministry is allowing <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/19/world/asia/japan-cruise-ship-coronavirus.html">hundreds of people</a> to leave the ship without being subject to further quarantine.</p> <p>So what’s behind Australia’s announcement to impose a second quarantine period? And what were conditions like on board to prompt this decision?</p> <p><strong>What’s quarantine?</strong></p> <p>Quarantines have been put in place around the world as part of the global public health response to COVID-19 – the disease caused by a new coronavirus, now named SARS-CoV-2.</p> <p>The idea is to limit the spread of the virus within and between countries.</p> <p>Formal measures designed to limit contact between infected (or potentially infected) people are called “social distancing”. And they have been used to control communicable diseases for <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LEV.13.NLT">at least 2,500 years</a>.</p> <p>Today, the term <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5229a2.htm">quarantine refers to</a> the separation or restriction of movement of people who are not ill but are believed to have been exposed to an infectious disease.</p> <p>This differs to isolation, which is the term used for the separation or restriction of movement of people who are ill, thereby minimising onward transmission.</p> <p><strong>How long should quarantine last?</strong></p> <p>Quarantine periods are determined by certain characteristics of the infectious agent, most notably the incubation period. This is the period between being exposed to it and symptoms appearing.</p> <p>For COVID-19, the <a href="https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.5.2000062">average incubation period</a> is thought to be around six days, and can range from two to 11 days.</p> <p>While a <a href="https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.06.20020974v1.full.pdf">preliminary report</a> has suggested a longer incubation period of up to 24 days, this is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25708">considered unlikely</a>.</p> <p>People who have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 are considered to have been potentially exposed to the virus. As a precaution, these people are placed in quarantine, essentially to “sit out” their potential incubation period.</p> <p>The quarantine period of 14 days currently being used in Australia and elsewhere for COVID-19 takes into account the maximum known incubation period for this disease, plus a few extra days as a reasonable precaution.</p> <p>In quarantine, people will either develop the disease and have symptoms or they will remain well. In theory, if a person remains well after their period of quarantine, they are deemed uninfected and restrictions are lifted.</p> <p>Another factor that influences how long someone needs to be quarantined is the infectious period. That’s the period during which the infection can be transmitted from one person to another.</p> <p>If the infectious period starts before the symptoms (from asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic individuals), the virus can be transmitted silently. This can substantially complicate disease prevention and control.</p> <p>When a new virus emerges – as with SARS-CoV-2 – the infectious period is largely unknown. While the proportion of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic COVID-19 cases is not clear, it is increasingly apparent people can be infected <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001899?query=RP">without having any symptoms</a>. However, further evidence is needed to see if these people can infect others.</p> <p><strong>When is it best to extend the quarantine period?</strong></p> <p>Crucial to quarantine is ensuring that best possible infection control practices are put in place to prevent ongoing transmission.</p> <p>It is also essential to assess real-time data about newly diagnosed cases, which tells us how effective quarantine measures have been.</p> <p>In some circumstances, it may be necessary to extend a person’s period of quarantine, as in the case of the Australian citizens on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess.</p> <p><strong>So, what happened on board the Diamond Princess?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports">Data from the World Health Organisation</a> (WHO) give us clues to what’s behind Australia’s decision to impose a second period of quarantine.</p> <p>The graph below shows there may have been up to four possible waves of infections on board, including an initial undetected wave before quarantine measures were imposed.</p> <p>Evidence of ongoing transmission during the quarantine period supports the decision by several countries to evacuate their citizens from the Diamond Princess, including Australia, to “reset the clock” and to impose a further 14-day quarantine period.</p> <p>This additional measure – while causing considerable and understandable frustration to those affected – is designed to limit transmission of COVID-19 within Australia.</p> <p><strong>The rights of individuals versus public good</strong></p> <p>Implementing public health measures, such as isolation and quarantine, requires decision-making that <a href="https://www.who.int/healthsystems/topics/health-law/chapter10.pdf">balances the rights</a> of individuals and public good.</p> <p>When appropriately designed and implemented, quarantine and isolation work. Even when quarantine is not absolutely adhered to, it can still be effective at reducing the likelihood of large-scale outbreaks.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92450/">SARS</a> (severe acute respiratory syndrome), these strategies were thought to have been an important part in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691853/">controlling the epidemic</a>, though they were <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5229a2.htm">resource and labour intensive</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Stacey L Rowe and Benjamin Cowie. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-australians-on-board-the-diamond-princess-need-to-go-into-quarantine-again-its-time-to-reset-the-clock-131906"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

Cruising

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‘Wood’ shavings tasty indeed

<p><em>Justine Tyerman learns the ancient art of <span>bonito</span> processing... and eats ‘wood’.</em></p> <p>“Try this,” said guide Yohei holding out a plate of wood shavings.</p> <p>“No thanks... I’m not THAT hungry,” I replied somewhat mystified as my fellow hikers munched away on slivers of wood. I had tried all sorts of new food on the <a href="https://walkjapan.com/tour/izu-geo-trail">Izu Geo Trail</a> with <a href="https://walkjapan.com/">Walk Japan</a> but this was one delicacy I decided I could live without.</p> <p>We were visiting a family-run business in Nishi-izu that produces katsuobushi, the dried <span>bonito</span> flakes that are used extensively in Japanese cuisine. Here we met Yasuhisa Serizawa, the fifth generation owner of the Kanesa Dried <span>Bonito</span> Store founded in 1882.</p> <p>Standing where the fish are processed with members of the family working away in the background, we heard all about the fascinating history of <span>bonito</span> processing in the Tago district of Nishi-izu which dates back centuries.</p> <p>Written records in the ancient capital of Japan show that ‘ara-gatsuo’ (salted or dried <span>bonito</span>) from the region was used as a currency to pay taxes more than 1300 years ago, suggesting it was already regarded as a luxury food back then.</p> <p>This simple preserved food was then improved to become ‘shio-katsuo’ (<span>bonito</span> preserved in salt), which is said to be the origin of <span>bonito</span> ‘dashi,’ the stock used in Japanese soup.</p> <p>Shio-katsuo was once made all over Japan. Nishi-izu was home to many <span>bonito</span> fishing boats and in the mid-20th century, there were more than 40 shops selling dried <span>bonito</span>. But the number decreased as small, packaged, dried <span>bonito</span> shavings and granulated or liquid substitutes for dashi became widely used.</p> <p>Shio-katsuo, <span>bonito</span> dipped in high concentrations of salt, is now only made in the Tago district of Nishi-izu. Shio-katsuo is regarded as the New Year fish in the town, so residents still practise the tradition of offering shio-katsuo decorated with rice straws at the Shinto altar. They pray for protection at sea, good fish catches and a bountiful harvest.</p> <p>Today there are no <span>bonito</span> fishing boats in Nishi-izu, and only four dried <span>bonito</span> shops remain. Mr Serizawa is now the sole person left in Japan who can make the rice straw-decoration for shio-katsuo.</p> <p>We also learned about the making of honkare-katsuobushi (fermented dried <span>bonito</span>) or tago-bushi, a complex, multi-stage process taking six months.<br />Tago-bushi dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868), when Izu was designated as one of three major dried <span>bonito</span>-producing fiefs. Among the three, Izu was the closest to Edo (now Tokyo), the headquarters of the government and a large consumer market.</p> <p>To make tago-bushi, filleted <span>bonito</span> is fumigated and dried repeatedly using the ‘tebiyama’ (manual smoking) method, the oldest in Japan, a technique established in Tago district.</p> <p>The first smoking session is done by direct heat of more than 130 degrees Celsius, concentrating the umami (flavour) of the fillets.</p> <p>The wood used for smoking is from oak and cherry trees collected exclusively in the Izu region. The smoked fillets are then left to cool down. This procedure of drying by heat and resting is repeated ten times.</p> <p>Finally, the fillets are coated and fermented with ‘koji’ (fungus), sun-dried, and stored away to ferment and further siphon out residual moisture. The whole process is repeated over a period of approximately six months.</p> <p>The finished fermented dried <span>bonito</span> product can be stored at room temperature for a long time.</p> <p>Tago-bushi is regarded as a premium product because most of the process is done by hand, requiring time, effort, and the practised eyes and hands of trained artisans.<br />Mr Serizawa brought his presentation to life by demonstrating the cutting up of a fish on a model. He then produced what appeared to be a hunk of wood which he shaved with a plane-like tool into paper-thin slivers of tago-bushi.</p> <p>Finally, I understood — very tasty indeed!</p> <p>Kanesa Dried <span>Bonito</span> Store holds workshops to pass on the technique of preserving and making shio-katsuo decorations and develop modern shio-katsuo-based dishes and food products.</p> <p>Mr Serizawa has participated in international events such as Asio Gusto (2013), the Japanese food event in Florence, Italy (2014), Milano Expo (2014), and Terra Madre Salone del Gusto (2014 and 2018), international Slow Food events to promote shio-katsuo.</p> <p>The product was registered with the Ark of Taste in 2014.<br /><br /><strong>Fact File</strong>:</p> <p>* <span><a href="https://walkjapan.com/tour/izu-geo-trail">The Izu Geo Trail</a></span> is a 7-day, 6-night guided tour starting in Tokyo and finishing in Mishima. The trail explores the Izu Peninsula in the Shizuoka Prefecture, one of the most unique geological areas on Earth. The mountainous peninsula with deeply indented coasts, white sand beaches and a climate akin to a sub-tropical island, is located 150km south west of Tokyo on the Pacific Coast of the island of Honshu, Japan.</p> <p>* An easy-to-moderate-paced hiking tour with an average walking distance of 6-12km each day, mostly on uneven forest and mountain tracks including some steep climbs and descents.</p> <p><em> Justine Tyerman was a guest of </em><a href="https://walkjapan.com/"><em>Walk Japan.</em></a></p>

International Travel

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Amsterdam considers banning tourists from purchasing cannabis

<p>Amsterdam is looking into banning tourists from cannabis cafes in a bid to combat over-tourism.</p> <p>A survey of visitors commissioned by Mayor Femke Halsema revealed that more than half visited the 850,000-strong city because they wanted to experience a cannabis-vending coffee shop.</p> <p>Most of the respondents (57 per cent) said the Dutch capital’s coffee shops influenced their decision to come, and 11 per cent said they <span><a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/amsterdam-cannabis-tourist-ban">would not return</a></span> if they could not access the cafes.</p> <p>About 29 per cent said they would seek out other ways to obtain their drug fix, such as getting a resident to make a purchase on their behalf or through street trading.</p> <p>In a letter released in July 2019, ahead of the survey, Halsema suggested that the coffee shops can put “the quality of life in the city center under pressure”.</p> <p>Following the publication of the survey results, Halsema said the city government should work on “<span><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/amsterdam-tourist-cannabis-usage/index.html">reducing the attraction of cannabis to tourists</a></span>” and making the Amsterdam cannabis market more transparent.</p> <p>Earlier this month, the city announced that group tours of the main Wallen red-light district and other areas containing sex workers’ windows would be <span><a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/amsterdam-red-light-district-tours-ban">formally outlawed from April 1</a></span>. Deputy mayor Victor Everhardt said the tours were “disrespectful to see sex workers as a tourist attraction”.</p>

International Travel

Health

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“That looks so hard”: Fans stunned by Rebel Wilson’s incredible workouts

<p>After Rebel Wilson declared 2020 her “year of health”, fans were watching and waiting to see if the star stuck to her plans.</p> <p>She has since been hitting the gym with some very intense workouts, thanks to her fitness instructor Jono Castano Acero.</p> <p>He took to Instagram to show off just how hard Wilson has been working, as she smashed out a core and upper body workout using a medicine ball.</p> <p>“That’s it, as hard as you can,” the celebrity trainer can be heard saying in the background before counting down from seven to one.</p> <p>Captioning the post, Castano Acero wrote: “The ball didn’t stand a CHANCE! Work it gurl @rebelwilson.”</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8-BhmsJPCx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8-BhmsJPCx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">The ball didn’t stand a CHANCE!! Work it gurl @rebelwilson ❤️🙏 @dogpound @acerotrainingseries</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/jonocastanoacero/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> JONO CASTANO</a> (@jonocastanoacero) on Feb 24, 2020 at 4:13pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fans were quick to commend Wilson for her hard work, saying that she was “killing it”.</p> <p>“That ball didn’t stand a chance,” another said.</p> <p>Wilson first made the claim that 2020 was her year of health after overindulging in the holiday season.</p> <p>“Okay so for me 2020 is going to be called ‘The Year of Health’ — so I put on the athleisure and went out for a walk, deliberately hydrating on the couch right now and trying to avoid the sugar and junk food which is going to be hard after the holidays I’ve just had,” she shared in an Instagram post.</p> <p>“But I’m going to do it! Who’s with me in making some positive changes this year?”</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6z53A8peHH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6z53A8peHH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson)</a> on Jan 2, 2020 at 12:43am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fans rallied behind the star, saying that she’s already looking great.</p> <p>“I’m so proud of you! You look fantastic already with your weight loss,” one said.</p> <p>“You look great, you look absolutely beautiful beforehand and still now. Such a role model,” another wrote.</p> <p>“You already look amazing! Killing it! Any positive changes are good changes,” another fan said.</p> <p>In an interview with<em> <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.eonline.com/news/1114205/rebel-wilson-s-personal-trainer-shares-her-daily-exercise-routine?cmpid=rss-000000-rssfeed-365-topstories&amp;utm_source=eonline&amp;utm_medium=rssfeeds&amp;utm_campaign=rss_topstories" target="_blank">E!</a>,</em> her trainer explained that he had created a specific program for Wilson that covered six days.</p> <p>Over the six days, the workouts cover High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), mobility, weights and resistance as well as a rest period.</p> <p>Although he said that there haven’t been any challenging moments, he said it’s been an “absolute pleasure” working with Rebel as she is a “role model with great humour”.</p>

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The invisible disease with a devastating impact

<p>Losing your sense of smell or having it “disturbed” is not as rare as you might think: <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15454769">one in 20 people experience it at some point in their lives</a>. It can happen as a result of chronic sinusitis, damage caused by cold viruses, or even a head injury. It is sometimes also a precursor of nervous system diseases such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3109349/">Parkinson’s</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6023101/">Alzheimer’s</a>. But compared with hearing and sight loss, it receives little research or medical attention.</p> <p>We wanted to better understand the issues people with smell disorders face, so we analysed written, personal accounts of anosmia (loss of sense of smell) by 71 sufferers. The <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31856420">texts revealed several themes</a>, including feelings of isolation, relationship difficulties, impact on physical health and the difficulty and cost of seeking help. Many people also commented on the negative attitude from doctors about smell loss, and how they found it difficult to get advice and treatment for their condition.</p> <p><strong>Significant harm</strong></p> <p>Smell loss leaves sufferers vulnerable to environmental hazards, such as spoiled food and gas leaks. It also has a negative effect on a range of activities and experiences, potentially causing significant harm. In reality, perhaps this is not surprising given the extra dimension that smell gives to the enjoyment of food, exploration of our environment and bringing back memories. So our sense of smell is both a life-saving and life-enhancing sense. Losing it can have the opposite effect. Indeed, recent studies from <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0107541">the US</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28326534">Scandinavia</a> show that losing your sense of smell is a risk factor for dying younger.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/avi3ZDjalvg?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">What it’s like to live without a sense of smell.</span></p> <p>Our research showed that anosmia led to physical concerns included diet and appetite. Because of the reduced pleasure of eating, some participants reported a reduced appetite with subsequent weight loss. Others reported a general decline in the quality of their diet with the reduced perception of flavours leading to an increased intake of foods with low nutritional value (particularly those high in fat, salt and sugar).</p> <p><strong>Emotional disruption</strong></p> <p>Emotional negatives experienced by sufferers include embarrassment, sadness, depression, worry and bereavement. We saw evidence that it disrupted every aspect of life. These ranged from everyday concerns, such as personal hygiene, to loss of intimacy and the breakdown of personal relationships. Some participants reported that they couldn’t take pleasure in occasions that would usually be a cause for celebration. The inability to link smells with happy memories may render these events underwhelming experiences.</p> <p>Underlying these emotions was the loss of enjoyment of activities, difficulty in expressing the impact of symptoms of anosmia and little sympathy or understanding from outsiders. Others included reduced socialising, no effective treatments and little hope of recovery. Many participants described a profound effect on their relationships with other people as a result of their smell disorder. These range from not enjoying eating together to more intimate relationships - particularly sex.</p> <p>The financial burdens described included the cost of private referral and alternative treatments. The effects were profound for some, especially if their profession or safety depends upon it. Participants often described negative or unhelpful interactions with GPs and specialists, such as ear, nose and throat surgeons. Participants were concerned by a lack of empathy. Unlike spectacles or hearing aids, no simple solutions are yet available for smell loss. But even if no reversible cause can be identified, at least we can now provide clear <a href="https://www.fifthsense.org.uk/">information and support</a>.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/130712/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: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carl-philpott-818189">Carl Philpott</a>, Professor of Rhinology and Olfactology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-east-anglia-1268">University of East Anglia</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/smell-loss-the-invisible-disease-with-a-devastating-impact-130712">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Facts the world ignored: Quaden Bayles' real age

<p>False claims against Quaden Bayles’ age have caused the internet to revolt against the young nine-year-old, as supporters rush to his defence and provide “proof” of his real age.</p> <p>The young Australian boy who lives with a condition called achondroplasia dwarfism, captivated the world after his mother shared a heartbreaking video showing the impact of bullying and how it pushed her precious boy to have suicidal thoughts.</p> <p>Yarraka Bayles, who has been an outspoken advocate for indigenous issues and dwarfism, shared the video of her son Quaden to her Facebook on Wednesday, after picking him up from school “in hysterics”.</p> <p>The clip went viral quickly as it depicted a distraught nine-year-old in tears, saying he wanted “to die” due to the bullying he receives at school.</p> <p>People across the world, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/you-ve-got-a-friend-in-me-hugh-jackman-sends-heartwarming-message-to-nine-year-old-quaden-bayles" target="_blank">including celebrities like Hugh Jackman</a>, rushed to his aid to offer immense support for Quaden.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834731/quaden-bayles-4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fc34a5e1a2f7487aaba565ca2e548858" /></p> <p>A GoFundMe page to send Quaden to Disneyland has raised over $US466,512 ($A706,306).</p> <p>It was stated any remaining funds after covering the cost of Quaden's flights, hotel, tickets and food would be donated to charity.</p> <p>However, just hours after the video was uploaded and reached people across the world, a rumour depicting Quaden as a liar was set alight and caught on like wildfire.</p> <p>The false claims seem to have originated from a post on Facebook which went on to circulate on Twitter and Instagram claiming the boy’s plight was a scam.</p> <p>“Just so you know he scammed everybody … he’s 18, has plenty of money and yeah everyone fell for it,” the person wrote.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834732/quaden-bayles.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f2529b13d0d04fc28bceb7857d4c06f9" /></p> <p>The “proof” provided by the Facebook user offered up included posts from his supposed 18th birthday.</p> <p>People rushed to his defence, but the post could not be stopped even when Quaden’s mother took to Facebook to share a post by a woman who said she had “known Quaden since before this s**t blew up”.</p> <p>“Ima (sic) say this once and that’s that. I’ve know about Quaden since before this s**t blew up. Yes, he’s 9! Dwarfism is not a joke, is he a model or actor?</p> <p>“ … so are a lot of kids … That doesn’t mean s**t!”</p> <p>Numerous social media users have also jumped to the boy’s defence, and shamed the people spreading rumour about Quaden, saying there is plenty of “proof” against it.</p> <p>Interestingly enough, the viral footage of Quaden is not the first the world has seen of him. For many years, the nine-year-old has appeared on news programs and TV documentaries showcasing his family and the way they live.</p> <p>A video from 2015 shows a four-year-old Quaden appearing with his mum on<span> </span><em>Studio 10<span> </span></em>to raise awareness for dwarfism.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">It is so weird and wrong to even need to prove this but for anyone who still believes the ridiculous conspiracy theory Quaden Bayles is an adult, here he is on <a href="https://twitter.com/Studio10au?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Studio10au</a> in 2015, aged four. NB No front teeth. We will blow this open next week: <a href="https://t.co/kgSLoHsh1c">https://t.co/kgSLoHsh1c</a></p> — Joe Hildebrand (@Joe_Hildebrand) <a href="https://twitter.com/Joe_Hildebrand/status/1231117032671727617?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>That same year Quaden is also seen on an episode of the SBS show<span> </span><em>Living Black</em>, which covered the issues affecting people in the Aboriginal community.</p> <p>The episode is about him preparing to have surgery on his brain and spine. During the show he is once again described as a four-year-old boy.</p> <p>Despite rumours showing him as an 18-year-old posing at his alleged birthday party, closer looks at the photographs shows it was snapped of him at a birthday party of a friend named Garlen.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834728/quaden-bayles-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f685b42df53e47fabfa4d3195c951b51" /></p> <p>A printed-out photo of Quaden posing with a group of older boys has the words, “Garlen’s 18th birthday” written underneath it.</p> <p>Those who doubted the youngster also took a hit at his online presence and the fact he had a talent profile made for him that lists him as an actor, extra, model and influencer.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834729/quaden-bayles-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/219ff6f772ed4b06a91ce45ce2d8bc5a" /></p> <p>Though some have said his past experiences in these fields prove he is older than he says, his profile appears to prove the exact opposite.</p> <p>In his biography on the website, it states he is eight years old, though it is unclear when this was last updated.</p> <p>Another form of “proof” people gave to paint Quaden as a person lying about his age is a photograph showing Ms Bayles and her son each holding a glass of what looks to be wine, but turns out is <em>Appletiser</em>– a sparkling apple juice.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834730/quaden-bayles-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f6cefa111ec94f70909c7021d4f8f8c4" /></p> <p>If you need Lifeline support, phone the 24/7 service on 13 11 14.</p>

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“Practice what you preach”: Lisa Curry on her health journey at 57 years old

<p>Lisa Curry has reflected on her health and fitness journey.</p> <p>Throughout her athletic career, the former competitive swimmer won 15 national long course open titles and represented Australia 16 times in world-class competitions such as the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.</p> <p>Today, the 57-year-old is living on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with husband Mark Tabone and spending time with her family, including her young grandson Flynn.</p> <p>“I just love being a grandmother,” she told <em><a href="https://honey.nine.com.au/latest/lisa-curry-heart-health/0dea29ff-22f0-4ced-9c29-9f0881bdaec2">9Honey</a></em>. “We spent so much time together [during a recent holiday] in Japan and when we got home I just missed him so much.”</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8NtQllhvph/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8NtQllhvph/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Grannie, Boo Boo and Markypa❄️🇯🇵⛷⛄️ Great holiday in the snow.</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/lisacurry/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Lisa Curry AO</a> (@lisacurry) on Feb 5, 2020 at 9:45pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Curry said when she was still active as an athlete, her routine consisted of training six days a week twice a day.</p> <p>“It was my job, it was what I did,” she said. “You just had to do it and you couldn’t sleep in when you felt like it or if it was raining or if you were sore or tired.</p> <p>“You had to push through and rest during recovery weeks and that was about it.</p> <p>“It’s funny, it's hard to remember how dedicated you have to be, but you just are at the time.”</p> <p>In 2008, Curry underwent a surgery to implant a cardio-defibrillator due to her irregular heartbeat, a condition also known as myocarditis.</p> <p>Now Curry is aiming for “reasonable fitness and strength”, which would allow her to continue being able to carry Flynn around.</p> <p>“Just travelling overseas to Japan with Flynn and carrying him in the snow or while he’s asleep, or just carrying luggage,” she says. “It’s about the kind of life you want to have as you get older.”</p> <p>She now focuses on shorter sessions of high intensity exercise at the gym and healthy meal plans and supplements at home.</p> <p>She said testing out exercise and diet plans for her business Happy Healthy YOU, which was opened in 2015, helped her recover from her health problems “naturally”.</p> <p>“Practice what you preach,” she said.</p> <p>“I’ve been in and out of menopause and people talk about piling on weight and over the past 12 months that’s certainly been true.</p> <p>“But I think for me and for a lot of ladies it’s lifestyle related too.”</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7JxFXAhoV6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7JxFXAhoV6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Lisa Curry AO (@lisacurry)</a> on Jan 10, 2020 at 12:30pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Curry said she and husband Tabone are two weeks into a program test and have lost weight. “I’ve stopped drinking mocha coffees twice a day and also any alcohol, unless it’s a special occasion, and I’ve been eating really clean food and lots of veggies,” she said.</p> <p>“He ‘cuts up’ really, really easily which is annoying but also nice to see the difference the program can make.”</p>

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5 places you can surprisingly get skin cancer that aren’t on your skin

<p>Skin cancer is highly treatable if caught early so make sure you’re checking these surprising spots and symptoms of skin cancer.</p> <p><strong>1. Hidden in a tattoo</strong></p> <p>People with tattoos understandably like to show them off, which usually means plenty of sun exposure. There’s a popular myth that big tattoos can act as a sunscreen but not only is that untrue, some ink colour – particularly white – can actually intensify sun damage. In addition, the ink can mask common symptoms of skin cancer like moles that change colour or a bumpy lesion. So if you want to make sure all your skin stays as pretty as (your) pictures, make sure to pay close attention to your skin under the tattoos and always wear sunscreen.</p> <p><strong>2. Between your toes</strong></p> <p>Eeeny, meeny, miney, moe, catch a cancer on your toe? People often forget to put sunscreen on their feet, even when they’re in sandals all summer. And while a mole gone rogue on the top of your foot would likely catch your eye, many people don’t think to look in places like between your toes and on the soles of your feet. Moles on the feet need to be evaluated just like moles on any other part of your body, Dr. Stahr says, using the ABCDE method: Asymmetry, irregular Border, uneven or multiple Colours, Diameter bigger than a pencil eraser, Evolving or changing. Your scalp and ears are other critical spots you forget to put sunscreen on too.</p> <p><strong>3. Your anus</strong></p> <p>It’s rare, but there have been cases of melanoma around the anus, inside the anus, and even inside the gastrointestinal tract, says Dr. Awadalla. Since it’s hard to check places where the sun literally never shines, it’s important to be on the lookout for other symptoms like blood in your faeces, pain during evacuation, or persistent changes in your bowel movements.</p> <p><strong>4. Your hair</strong></p> <p>Skin cancer on the scalp is a double whammy: Not only is it one of the most common places to get the disease but thanks to your hair it’s often missed, ignored, or mistaken for something else like dandruff. “If anything is growing, itching, burning, or bleeding, it should be evaluated by a physician,” Dr. Stahr says. Even if it turns out to be something like psoriasis, dandruff, or ringworm, dermatologists are well-equipped to deal with those conditions too. In addition, it’s a good idea to make friends with your hairdresser as they are often the first notice new or changes moles on the scalp.</p> <p><strong>5. Under your tongue</strong></p> <p>Ever wonder why your dentist lifts up your tongue and gives it a good look underneath and around the sides? One reason is that it is possible to get melanoma on your tongue. Even though you likely aren’t getting much sun exposure in your mouth, it is possible if the cancer has metastasised. And odds of getting any kind of cancer on your tongue or inside your mouth greatly increases if you smoke. So make sure you’re keeping up with your dental check-ups and ditch the cigarettes.</p> <p><em>Written by</em> <em>Charlotte Hilton Andersen. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/10-sneaky-places-you-can-get-skin-cancer-(that-aren%E2%80%99t-on-your-skin).aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Beauty & Style

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“I don’t know how to tell her”: Best friend of little girl murdered by evil father still unaware of death

<p>The best friend of slain Hannah Clarke’s youngest little girl is still unaware that her mate has passed away.</p> <p>Four-year-old Laianah Baker was murdered last Wednesday after her father set her, her mother and her two siblings, Aaliyah, six, and Trey, three, on fire in a quadruple murder-suicide.</p> <p>Ms Clarke's best friend Lou Farmer told<span> </span>A Current Affair<span> </span>on Tuesday she is still having trouble to tell her young daughter, Heidi that her best friend was killed in the incident.</p> <p>“My ten and seven-year-old they understand. I can't even go there with Heidi. Heidi and Laianah were best friends,” she said, as she choked back tears.</p> <p>Ms Farmer says she had known her dear friend Hannah Clarke for four years, and revealed they had recently gotten together for a party shortly before the tragedy unfolded.</p> <p>“We had the most perfect pool party, and wines, and the best afternoon. I just don't know how to tell my little girl that Laianah, her best friend is gone,” she shared. </p> <p>Three close friends of Ms Clarke’s spoke out about the tragedy in a tolling interview where they revealed they had fears her estranged husband Rowan Baxter would harm the family.</p> <p>Nikki Brooks, a friend Ms Clarke’s for over 17 years, admitted she’s spoken with Queensland Police just one week before the murders to give a statement regarding Baxter's breach of his Domestic Violence Order.</p> <p>“I looked the detective in the eye and I said, ‘I think he's going to take them all out,’” Ms Brooks said.</p> <p>“She said, ‘I've got a bad feeling too.’”</p> <p>It had been Ms Brook’s home that had proven to be a haven for the mum-of-three when her relationship with Baxter turned abusive in 2019.</p> <p>Ms Clarke had confided in her closest four girl friends of the abuse, and it was Ms Brooks who says they now feel “a lot of guilt” over what had happened.</p> <p>“I feel like we've definitely influenced her decision. We said, ‘Han, enough's enough’.</p> <p>“It was getting bad and we had to get her out of there.”</p> <p>“The day she came back she stayed with me and we felt safe. He [Baxter] didn't know where I lived. </p> <p>“She just looked relieved and she seemed really happy. She knew she made the right decision.”</p> <p>Ms Brooks spoke in front of more than 1,000 mourners at a vigil held for Ms Clarke and her family at Whites Hill State College in Camp Hill on Sunday.</p> <p>“We are a nation in pain,” she said.</p> <p>“Don't back away from your friends for the sake of convenience.</p> <p>“Time's up on domestic violence.”</p>

Relationships

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Baboons rampaging around Sydney escaped from “research facility”

<p>Sydney came to a standstill as three baboons were spotted running around Royal Prince Alfred Hospital yesterday.</p> <p>The male baboon was being transported for a vasectomy at the hospital and made a break for freedom with his two wives, causing panic within the hospital grounds.</p> <p>Expert handlers from Taronga Zoo were called in once police sealed off the entrance to a car park so the baboons couldn’t escape.</p> <p>An eye-witness to the incident called 2GB’s Ben Fordham, explaining the situation with awe.</p> <p>“I’m deadset serious. I’m at RPA, I’m six floors up and I just happened to gaze out at the carpark … and there were three baboons in the carpark.</p> <p>“I’m deadset serious they even had shiny red bottoms … (they were) running around the carpark.</p> <p>“Mate I’m deadset. I had a coffee an hour ago and I thought ‘what have they put in this coffee’ Even the nurses here have gone ‘my god’.”</p> <p>NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he found the escape hard to believe.</p> <p>“I thought I had seen just about everything as Health Minister in NSW, but a baboon threesome hightailing around RPA Hospital like there is no tomorrow?” Mr Hazzard joked to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/baboon-spotted-running-around-royal-prince-alfred-hospital-grounds-in-sydney/news-story/d37394a46d5089d7678267b713d23ecf" target="_blank">The Daily Telegraph</a></em>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">"Should I ring the police? No, I'll ring <a href="https://twitter.com/BenFordham?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BenFordham</a>." A witness to Sydney's baboon break-out describes the unbelievable sight! 😂 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9Today?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9Today</a> <a href="https://t.co/7P2ygqo6FZ">pic.twitter.com/7P2ygqo6FZ</a></p> — The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheTodayShow/status/1232399889847508994?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 25, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“There are three baboons who were being transported from their normal colony and the first advice is that there was a failure in the door of the crate inside the truck and they’ve gone into a carpark,” Mr Hazard explained before the animals were sedated and recaptured.</p> <p>Police told <em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/baboon-on-the-loose-hospital-sydney-police-told/5e9ddeaf-410b-4581-82ad-faa461cf9c83" target="_blank">nine.com.au</a> </em>officers were on the scene outside Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.</p> <div class="body_text "> <p>"Just after 5.30 pm officers from inner west police area command were called to a car park on Missenden Road and Lucas Street, Camperdown, after reports three baboons escaped while being transported," a NSW police spokeswoman said.</p> <p>"They are currently contained and police are working with experts to safely return them to their facility.</p> <p>"There is no immediate danger to the public but people are advised to avoid the area."</p> </div>

Family & Pets

Finance

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“Very sad day”: Disgraced star Bill Cosby offers support to rapist Harvey Weinstein

<p>Convicted sex offender Bill Cosby has shared a statement in support of Harvey Weinstein, claiming the movie executive’s rape trial was not fair and saying his conviction marked a “very sad day”.</p> <p>The disgraced comedian’s publicist Andrew Wyatt took to Instagram to release a statement which questioned where “wealthy and famous men” can “go in this country to find fairness and impartiality”.</p> <p>Yesterday, Weinstein was convicted of raping a former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and sexually assaulting a slew of other women in 2013.</p> <p>Cosby’s account suggested the verdict was “not shocking” – but he placed the blame on the legal process.</p> <p>He said because jurors were exposed to media coverage of the high-profile case, they were swayed by “the sentiments of public opinion”.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B89geHGnjfT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B89geHGnjfT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Official Statement From Andrew Wyatt Regarding The Verdict Of Harvey Weinstein: This is not shocking because these jurors were not sequestered, which gave them access to media coverage and the sentiments of public opinion. There’s no way you would have anyone believe that Mr. Weinstein was going to receive a fair and impartial trial. Also, this judge showed that he wanted a conviction by sending the jurors back to deliberate, after they were hung on many of the counts. Here’s the question that should haunt all Americans, especially wealthy and famous men...Where do we go in this country to find fairness and impartiality in the judicial system; and where do we go in this country to find Due Process? Lastly, if the #metoo movement isn’t just about Becky [White women], I would challenge #metoo and ask them to go back 400+ years and tarnish the names of those oppressors that raped slaves. This is a very sad day in the American Judicial System. #FreeBillCosby #FarFromFinished #DueProcess #JusticeReform</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/billcosby/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Bill Cosby</a> (@billcosby) on Feb 24, 2020 at 11:17am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“There’s no way you would have anyone believe that Mr Weinstein was going to receive a fair and impartial trial,” said the statement.</p> <p>It also suggested the judge “wanted a conviction" as he told jurors to spend more time deliberating when they had been hung over some of the charges.</p> <p>“Here’s the question that should haunt all Americans, especially wealthy and famous men … where do we go in this country to find fairness and impartiality in the judicial system,” read the statement.</p> <p>It was then accompanied by hashtags including “#FreeBillCosby” and “#FarFromFinished”.</p> <p>In 2018, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to serve three to 10 years in prison.</p>

Legal

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Lawsuit bombshell shakes Kobe Bryant memorial service

<p>The widow of sporting star Kobe Bryant has sued the owner of the helicopter that crashed amidst fog and killed the former Los Angeles Lakers player, their 13-year-old daughter and seven other people aboard.</p> <p>Vanessa Bryant announced the wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court and first said on Tuesday in an emotional public ceremony amidst hundreds of sporting legends and musical artists that she would be going ahead with the suit.</p> <p>The lawsuit says the pilot was carelessly negligent by flying in cloudy weather conditions on January 26 and should have aborted the flight that killed all nine people aboard.</p> <p>The lawsuit names Island Express Helicopters Inc. and also targets pilot Ara Zobayan’s representative or successor, listed only as “Doe 1” until a name can be determined.</p> <p>It claims Zobayan was negligent in eight ways, including failing to correctly assess the weather, flying into conditions he wasn’t cleared for and failing to control the helicopter.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.624500665779px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834756/kobe-bryant-victims-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ec128715b14e44ac8c73cd4d6a5f8bbb" /></p> <p>Ara Zaboyan,50  was flying Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, along with Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; and Christina Mauser, 38 when it crashed and killed them.</p> <p>The lawsuit was filed the morning of the public memorial service for Kobe Bryant and the rest of the lives taken in the crash, including Zobayan.</p> <p>It was held at a sold-out crowd at Staples Center, an arena Bryant spent most of his career making memorable highlights in the NBA and achievements not many other sporting stars can claim.</p> <p>Zobayan was Bryant’s frequent pilot and had been attempting to navigate in heavy fog that limited visibility to the point that the Los Angeles police and sheriff’s departments had even grounded their helicopter fleets.</p> <p>Under the visual flight rules that Zobayan was following, he was supposed to be able to see exactly where he was going.</p> <p>Zobayan was cited by the Federal Aviation Administration in May 2015 for violating those rules by flying into reduced visibility airspace, the lawsuit said.</p> <p>In his last transmission, Zobayan had told air traffic control he was climbing to 1219m, strictly to get above the clouds.</p> <p>He was just 30m short of breaking through the cloud cover when the helicopter banked left and plunged into a hillside, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.</p> <p>While there is no final conclusion on what caused the crash in Calabasas, there is said to be no sign of a mechanical failure.</p> <p>However, a final report will not be expected for a full year or so.</p>

Legal

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NSW police officer remains on force despite being guilty of sexual touching

<p>Sexual harassment remains rife within the New South Wales Police Force, despite the organisation’s stated commitment in 2019 to improve its culture.</p> <p><strong>All talk but little action</strong></p> <p>Despite its public statements, the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/police-stations-we-attend/">New South Wales Police Force</a> has allowed one of its officers to keep his job despite being found guilty of sexually touching a female colleague without her consent and sentenced to an 18-month conditional release order. An apprehended violence order was also made against the officer.</p> <p>Sergeant Ronald John Tarlington remains has been suspended on full pay despite a <a href="https://downingcentrecourt.com.au/">Magistrate in Downing Centre Local Court</a> finding him guilty and imposing the orders on him.</p> <p><strong>The case</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/police-officer-sentenced-for-grabbing-colleague-s-breast-at-sydney-pub-20200217-p541il.html">The court heard that a female colleague</a> was sitting on Sergeant Tarlington’s lap at a pub one evening late last year, when the senior officer moved his right hand inside her jacket and grabbed her breast, causing her to stand up and walk away.</p> <p>The woman told the court that her superior squeezed her nipple, growled and had a crooked smile on his face. She reported the incident to several colleagues immediately afterwards, and the entire incident was captured on CCTV footage.</p> <p>In finding him guilty, Magistrate Paul Mulroney found there was no evidence consistent with the touch being a mistake, as the sergeant had claimed.</p> <p>His Honour remarked that people should be able to socialise without having their bodily integrity compromised, and that the sergeant’s conduct was a breach of trust.</p> <p>Mr Tarlington is now <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/services/appeals/">appealing his sentence to the District Court of New South Wales</a>.</p> <p><strong>Harassment is rife in the NSW police force</strong></p> <p>Harassment and bullying are rife amongst the Australian police forces, with figures released in 2018 showing that in the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/officers-sue-nsw-police-for-sexual-harassment-by-colleagues/9412058">New South Wales force alone, officers lodge around 200 harassment complaints against their own colleagues each year</a>, about a quarter of which are for sexual harassment.</p> <p>In 2019, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/02/nsw-police-vow-to-end-boys-club-culture-after-report-reveals-extent-of-discrimination">a cultural review of the NSW police force</a>, conducted by former Australian sex discrimination commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, found that one in three women reported being sexually harassed by a colleague in the last five years while only 13% men said the same.</p> <p><strong>‘Boys club’</strong></p> <p>Female officers reported a ‘masculine culture’ with high levels of sexual discrimination, which made it difficult for them to do their jobs or move through the ranks to leadership positions.</p> <p>At the time, the New South Wales police union called on the force for urgent action to end the ‘boys’ club’ and provide more of a level playing field for women.</p> <p>Victorian police, South Australian Police and the AFP have also been the subject of various reviews in the past several years, each of which have highlighted high levels of harassment.</p> <p>For victims, speaking up can mean further harassment as well as ostracism and intimidation. Police forces around the country have a reputation for isolating and tormenting whistleblowers, and protecting their own.</p> <p>Often this means officers who witness poor behaviour won’t stand up for their colleagues either for fear of reprisal, and victims can sometimes find it easier to leave the force.</p> <p>Part of the problem too, stems from the fact that offending officers are, more often than not, left undisciplined.</p> <p><strong>What does the law say?</strong></p> <p>Workplace harassment, discrimination and bullying laws are set out in both federal and <a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1977/48">state anti-discrimination laws</a>, as well as the <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00323">Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).</a></p> <p>But the relatively new <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/sexual-offences/sexual-touching/">offence of sexual touching</a> – which replaced the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/sexual-offences/indecent-assault/">offence of indecent assault in New South Wales</a> on 1 December 2018 – says that making sexualised contact with another’s body without their consent a criminal offence.</p> <p>The new offence was introduced as part of a range of reforms across the laws that govern sexual offences, aimed at promoting coherency and clarity.</p> <p><strong>The offence of Sexual Touching in NSW</strong></p> <p>Sexual touching is an offence <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/sexual-touching/">under section 61KC of the Crimes Act 1900 in New South Wales</a>, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison in the District Court, or 2 years if finalised in the Local Court.</p> <p>The maximum penalty increases to 10 years in prison where the complainant was between the ages of 10 and 16 years, or 16 years where the complainant was under the age of 10.</p> <p>Whilst there are various types of penalties available for a sexual touching, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/penalties/nsw/intensive-correction-orders/">an intensive correction order (ICO)</a> is not an available option for a Magistrate or Judge where the victim involved in the offence was less than the age of 16-years.</p> <p>A person can only be guilty of sexual touching if the court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt as to <strong>all </strong>of the following elements:</p> <p>1. The defendant intentionally touched the complainant or incited someone else to do this;</p> <p>2. A hypothetical reasonable person will consider the touching was ‘sexual’;</p> <p>3. The complainant did not consent to the touching; and</p> <p>4. The defendant knew that the victim was not consenting to the touching at the time.</p> <p>The defendant will be considered to have known that the complainant was not consenting to sexual touching in any one of the following scenarios:</p> <ul> <li>The defendant had turned his/her mind to the possibility that the complainant did not consent, but took the risk anyway;</li> <li>The defendant didn’t care as to whether the complainant was consenting at the time;</li> <li>The defendant didn’t turn his/her mind to the issue of whether the complainant was providing consent at the time; or</li> <li>The defendant knew that the complainant wasn’t consenting.</li> </ul> <p>These states of mind, or lack thereof, can be inferred by looking into the particular facts of the case at hand, including the defendant’s or complainant’s conduct before, during and after the alleged sexual touching.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/nsw-police-officer-remains-on-force-despite-being-guilty-of-sexual-touching/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

Legal

Entertainment

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Australia’s most famous bank robbery

<p>Bank robberies and dramatic ‘hold-ups’ make for gripping movie plots – but to what extent does this mirror real life?</p> <p>Just last week, a <a href="http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/02/12/14/08/commonwealth-bank-attempted-robbery-market-street-sydney">botched bank robbery took place in Sydney’s CBD, right in front of visiting celebrity Kelly Osborne</a>, who found herself caught up in the drama.</p> <p>The unidentified man entered the Commonwealth Bank on the corner of Market and Castlereagh Streets last Friday.</p> <p>Armed with a knife, the man lunged at terrified customers and staff, demanding cash, but ended-up fleeing empty-handed towards Hyde Park. Kelly Osborne was being interviewed in the area at the time.</p> <p>The assailant is still on the run.</p> <p>Modern banks have sophisticated surveillance and security systems, and hold-ups have become relatively rare; with robbers focusing on other businesses and the internet to make their money. And while the would-be robber in the above case left empty handed, many have gotten away with a whole lot of loot.</p> <p>Let’s look at what was perhaps the most publicised bank robbery in recent Australian history – the <a href="http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/copshooting-bandit-hakki-atahan-meets-a-bloody-end-on-a-1984-dog-day-afternoon/story-fni0ffnk-1226814784658">1984 bank robbery and hostage crisis</a>.</p> <p>Australia’s Most Famous Bank Robbery</p> <p>The man behind the robbery, Hakki Atahan, wanted to get rich quickly, and, like many before him, decided that targeting a bank was the solution to his financial predicament.</p> <p>Between March 1983 and January 1984, Mr Atahan committed not just one, but an estimated 17 robberies, pocketing large sums of cash in the process. He spent the money on luxury apartments, expensive jewellery, fancy holidays and gambling.</p> <p>But his spate of robberies was ended on 31 January 1984 when he brazenly attempted to rob three banks in a single day. The first and second went off without a hitch, but by the time he got to the third bank, police were hot on his heels.</p> <p>Before Atahan demanded the cash, one of the bank employees managed to set off the alarm, with police arriving just as Atahan was stuffing the notes into his suitcase.</p> <p>Police swarmed on the bank, but couldn’t get in. When Atahan was ready to make his escape, he surrounded himself with five hostages and made his way to the getaway car. The bank manager was forced to walk in front, with a gun held to his head, while the others were so close that police could not get a clear shot.</p> <p>Five people, including Atahan, got into the car and the bank manager was ordered to drive. They travelled to Atahan’s home, where they picked up his girlfriend and set one hostage free.</p> <p>They attempted to set off again, but police cars had blockaded the area, and a helicopter hovered above. Atahad directed the bank manager to smash through the blockade. He then shot at police, hitting one officer in the face.</p> <p>Although injured, the officer was fortunate enough to survive.</p> <p>Other officers started shooting at Atahad, who was hit several times and died. All of the hostages survived, although one suffered a wound to the leg and others were cut by shattered glass.</p> <p>Atahad was a keen habitual gambler, and had just $467 to his name at the time of his death.</p> <p>Penalties for Robbery</p> <p>There is no specific offence in NSW for ‘robbing a bank’, but the offence of ‘<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/robbery/">robbery</a>’ – or stealing from a person using threats or actual violence – is covered by <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s94.html">section 94 of the Crimes Act 1900</a>. It comes with a maximum penalty of fourteen years’ imprisonment.</p> <p>If aggravating factors are present, such as being in company (with another) when committing the offence or being armed with an offensive weapon (such as a knife), the maximum penalty jumps to 20 years.</p> <p>And if another person is wounded or seriously injured, the maximum penalty rises to 25 years.</p> <p>As the maximum penalties suggest, the offence of robbery is taken very seriously by the courts – so much so that a ‘<a href="https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/549f9d993004262463b218be">guideline judgement</a>’ has been handed-down by the courts for ‘<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/robbery-in-company/">robbery in company</a>’ to ensure that sentences are consistent and harsh.</p> <p>‘<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrIAGrRpcBM">Standard non parole periods</a>’ may also apply; which are guideposts or reference points for the sentencing Judge when determining the appropriate ‘non parole period’; ie the time which must be spent in prison before an offender is eligible to apply for release.</p> <p>It is therefore crucial to take any allegations of robbery very seriously – whether you are innocent or guilty of the charges. A <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/about/">good criminal defence lawyer</a> with a <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/recent-cases/criminal/no-prison-for-4x-robbery-in-company-and-detain-for-advantage/">proven track record in robbery cases</a> will be able to draw on a wealth of experience and expertise to obtain the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/recent-cases/criminal/no-prison-for-3-armed-robberies/">best possible result</a> in your case.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australias-most-famous-bank-robbery/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

Movies

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Elton John and Olivia Newton-John reunite in Melbourne

<p>Olivia Newton-John has reunited with her “brilliant, longtime friend” Elton John at his concert in Melbourne.</p> <p>The <em>Grease </em>star visited the 72-year-old singer backstage before his Saturday show at the AAMI Park and shared the picture they took together on Instagram.</p> <p>“So wonderful to see my brilliant, longtime friend Elton John at his amazing Melbourne concert. Thank you matey,” Newton-John wrote on a Monday post.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B88KY1gH-Cp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B88KY1gH-Cp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">So wonderful to see my brilliant, longtime friend @eltonjohn at his amazing Melbourne concert.Thank you matey❤️👏🏼 #eltonjohn #olivianewtonjohn #melbourne #australia</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/therealonj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Olivia Newton-john</a> (@therealonj) on Feb 23, 2020 at 10:45pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>John performed in front of 30,000 fans on Saturday following his walking pneumonia diagnosis, which forced him to <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/16/health/what-is-walking-pneumonia-trnd/index.html">stop a gig in New Zealand earlier this month</a>.</p> <p>“My doctor said I shouldn’t do the show tonight and I said ‘bollocks’ or words to that effect,” John told the audience.</p> <p>“I wasn’t going to miss this. I’m glad I came. My voice is a little rusty, but you’ve been so amazing. You’ve carried me through the night, thank you.”</p> <p>He also dedicated the song <em>Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me </em>to Newton-John, whom he referred to as “Dame Olivia”.</p> <p>“She is such a wonderful, inspiring woman, a great artist and a whole lotta fun,” he said.</p> <p>“I respect and love you so much, it was so great to see you before the show looking as great as you do, bless you forever.”</p> <p>John is set to complete his Australian tour on March 7, with the last concert taking place in Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium.</p>

Music

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Beware: Your private data could be shared with strangers

<p>Just to remind us that even the world’s biggest and wealthiest tech companies are not immune to privacy breaches, Google made worldwide headlines recently after a glitch that sent thousands of users’ private videos backed up on Google Photos to complete strangers.</p> <p>Google Takeout is a service that allows Google Photo users to backup their personal data or use it with other apps. <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/google-photos-accidentally-sent-users-private-videos-to-strangers-report-2020-2?r=US&amp;IR=T">Google mixed up user-data</a> and sent many Take-out users’ personal videos to random people.</p> <p>While the issue lasted several days, Google says it only affected 0.01% of users – but with the number of users in excess of 1 billion, the number is believed to run into the thousands.</p> <p>The way big tech companies like Google and Facebook collect, store and share user-data has <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/facebook-defiant-in-the-face-of-data-scandal/">come under scrutiny in recent years.</a></p> <p><strong>The ACCC has taken legal action against Google</strong></p> <p>Last year, the Australian consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed legal proceedings against Google, accusing it of misleading smartphone users about how it collects and uses personal location data.</p> <p>It’s the ACCC’s first lawsuit against a global tech giant, but one which the Commission hopes will send a clear message that tech companies are legally required to inform users of how their data is collected, and how users can stop it from being collected.</p> <p>Other countries are said to be watching the proceedings closely, as they too consider how to keep tech companies accountable.</p> <p>In a nutshell, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-google-regulator/australian-regulator-files-privacy-suit-against-google-alleging-location-data-misuse-idUSKBN1X804X">the ACCC alleges that Google breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)</a> by misleading its users during the years 2017 and 2018 by:</p> <ul> <li>not properly disclosing that two different settings need to be switched off if consumers do not want Google to collect, keep and use their location data, and</li> <li>not disclosing to consumers on which pages personal location data can be used for a purposes unrelated to the consumer’s use of Google services.</li> </ul> <p>Some of the alleged breaches carry penalties of up to A$10 million or 10% of annual turnover.</p> <p>According to the ACCC, Google’s account settings on Android phones and tablets have led consumers to believe that changing a setting on the “Location History” page stops the company from collecting, storing and using their location data. It alleges that Google failed to make clear to consumers that they would actually need to change their choices on a separate setting titled “Web &amp; App Activity” to prevent this from occurring.</p> <p>It is well known that Google collects and uses consumers’ personal location data for purposes other than providing Google services to consumers, although users are often surprised to realise just how much information these tech giants have and profit from.</p> <p>For example, Google uses location data for its navigation platforms, using the data to work out demographic information for the sole purposes of selling targeted advertising. And, as it has become increasingly clear, digital platforms have the ability to track consumers when they are <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/smile-facebook-may-soon-be-filming-you/">both online and offline</a> to create highly detailed personal profiles.</p> <p>These profiles are then used to sell products and services, but companies like the ACCC believe the way the information is gathered is misleading or deceptive, and could also breach <a href="http://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-hacking-in-australia-a-case-of-breach-of-privacy/">privacy laws</a>.</p> <p><strong>No ‘blanket’ protection for users globally</strong></p> <p>The closest thing to a cross-jurisdiction set of rules regarding privacy rights is the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR), which were introduced in 2018 and govern data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).</p> <p>The regulation also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The instrument aims to give individuals control over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the rules within the EU.</p> <p>Not all companies and organisations have adopted the GDPR. Rather, only those with offices in an EU country or that collect, process or store the personal data of anyone located within an EU country are required to comply with the rules.</p> <p>But because many businesses have an international focus and reach, <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/guidance-and-advice/australian-entities-and-the-eu-general-data-protection-regulation/">many Australian businesses have adopted the regulations</a> and given consumers some assurances regarding privacy.</p> <p>And the GDPR laws do have teeth. In January, a French regulator fined Google 50 million euros (about AUD$82 million) for breaches of privacy laws. And Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner is currently investigating Google over contravening the privacy rules.</p> <p>Facebook is also under fire for privacy breaches as well as for misuse of data. Last year, it was fined a record-breaking $5 billion in the United States over the misuse of data and inadequate vetting of misinformation campaigns, which were used together to help sway the 2016 presidential election in favour of Donald Trump.</p> <p><strong>Beware of posting or uploading information</strong></p> <p>In the meantime, the ACCC has not yet specified the nature and scope of the corrective notices and other orders it is seeking against Google.</p> <p>However, the regulator has sent warnings to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/thinking-of-getting-a-digital-assistant-device-think-again/">all technology users to be vigilant</a> in updating their privacy settings and being aware the information they provide when setting up devices and apps can be used and, indeed, profited from by tech companies.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia hickey and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/beware-your-private-data-could-be-shared-with-strangers/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p> <p> </p>

Art

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How the moral lessons of To Kill a Mockingbird endure today

<p>Harper Lee’s <em>To Kill A Mockingbird</em> is one of the classics of American literature. Never out of print, the novel has sold over 40 million copies since it was first published in 1960. It has been a staple of high school syllabuses, including in Australia, for several decades, and is often deemed the <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2017/02/21/australian-kill-mockingbird-makes-it-big-screen-indigenous-actor">archetypal race and coming-of-age novel</a>. For many of us, it is a formative read of our youth.</p> <p>The story is set in the sleepy Alabama town of Maycomb in 1936 - 40 years after the Supreme Court’s notorious declaration of the races as being <a href="http://time.com/4326692/plessy-ferguson-history-120/">“separate but equal”</a>, and 28 years before the enactment of the <a href="https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-act">Civil Rights Act</a>. Our narrator is nine-year-old tomboy, Scout Finch, who relays her observations of her family’s struggle to deal with the class and racial prejudice shown towards the local African American community.</p> <p>At the centre of the family and the novel stands the highly principled lawyer Atticus Finch. A widower, he teaches Scout, her older brother Jem, and their imaginative friend Dill, how to live and behave honourably. In this he is aided by the family’s hardworking and sensible black housekeeper Calpurnia, and their kind and generous neighbour, Miss Maudie.</p> <p>It is Miss Maudie, for example, who explains to Scout why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird: “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.”</p> <p>Throughout the novel, the children grow more aware of the community’s attitudes. When the book begins they are preoccupied with catching sight of the mysterious and much feared Boo Radley, who in his youth stabbed his father with a pair of scissors and who has never come out of the family house since. And when Atticus agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is falsely accused of raping a white woman, they too become the target of hatred.</p> <p><strong>A morality tale for modern America</strong></p> <p>One might expect a book that dispatches moral lessons to be dull reading. But <em>To Kill a Mockingbird</em> is no sermon. The lessons are presented in a seemingly effortless style, all the while tackling the complexity of race issues with startling clarity and a strong sense of reality.</p> <p>As the Finches return from Robinson’s trial, Miss Maudie says: “as I waited I thought, Atticus Finch won’t win, he can’t win, but he’s the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that.”</p> <p>Despite the tragedy of Robinson’s conviction, Atticus succeeds in making the townspeople consider and struggle with their prejudice.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HOocTXKPVVU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Atticus Finch delivers his closing statement in the trial of Tom Robinson in the 1962 film.</span></p> <p>The effortlessness of the writing owes much to the way the story is told. The narrator is a grown Scout, looking back on her childhood. When she begins her story, she seems more interested in telling us about the people and incidents that occupied her six-year-old imagination. Only slowly does she come to the events that changed everything for her and Jem, which were set in motion long before their time. Even then, she tells these events in a way that shows she too young to always grasp their significance.</p> <p>The lessons Lee sets out are encapsulated in episodes that are as funny as they are serious, much like Aesop’s Fables. A case in point is when the children return home from the school concert with Scout still dressed in her outlandish ham costume. In the dark they are chased and attacked by Bob Ewell the father of the woman whom Robinson allegedly raped. Ewell, armed with a knife, attempts to stab Scout, but the shapeless wire cage of the ham causes her to loose balance and the knife to go astray. In the struggle that ensues someone pulls Ewell off the teetering body of Scout and he falls on the knife. It was Boo Radley who saved her.</p> <p>Another lesson about what it means to be truly brave is delivered in an enthralling episode where a local farmer’s dog suddenly becomes rabid and threatens to infect all the townsfolk with his deadly drool.</p> <p>Scout and Jem are surprised when their bespectacled, bookish father turns out to have a “God-given talent” with a rifle; it is he who fires the single shot that will render the townsfolk safe. The children rejoice at what they consider an impressive display of courage. However, he tells them that what he did was not truly brave. The better example of courage, he tells them, is Mrs Dubose (the “mean” old lady who lived down the road), who managed to cure herself of a morphine addiction even as she was dying a horribly painful death from cancer.</p> <p>He also teaches them the importance of behaving in a civilised manner, even when subjected to insults. Most of all Atticus teaches the children the importance of listening to one’s conscience even when everyone else holds a contrary view: “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule”, he says, “is a person’s conscience.”</p> <p>The continuing value in Atticus’ belief in the importance of principled thinking in the world of <a href="https://www.economist.com/prospero/2016/02/22/how-to-kill-a-mockingbird-shaped-race-relations-in-america">Black Lives Matter</a> and the Australian government’s rhetoric of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2018/jan/18/the-african-gang-crisis-has-been-brewing-in-australias-media-for-years">“African gangs”</a>, is clear.</p> <p>Atticus’ spiel on “conscience” and the other ethical principles he insists on living by, are key to the enduring influence of the novel. It conjures an ideal of moral standards and human behaviour that many people still aspire to today, even though the novel’s events and the characters belong to the past.</p> <p>Lee herself was not one to shy away from principled displays: writing to a school that banned her novel, she summed up the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/harper-lee-letter-to-a-school-board-trying-to-ban-mockingbird-2016-2?IR=T">source of the morality</a> her book expounds. The novel, she said, “spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct”.</p> <p><strong>Fame and obscurity</strong></p> <p>When first published the novel received <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-harper-lee-to-kill-a-mockingbird-1960-review-20160219-story.html">rave reviews</a>. A year later it won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, followed by a <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2016/04/19/to-kill-a-mockingbird-film-review/">movie version</a> in 1962 starring <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vouoju4mETc">Gregory Peck</a>. Indeed, the novel was such a success that Lee, unable to cope with all the attention and publicity, <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/go-set-a-watchman/why-harper-lee-kept-her-silence-for-55-years/">retired into obscurity</a>.</p> <p>Interviewed late in life, Lee cited two reasons for her continued silence: “I wouldn’t go through the pressure and publicity I went through with To Kill a Mockingbird for any amount of money. Second, I have said what I wanted to say, and I will not say it again.”</p> <p>The latter statement is doubtless a reference to the autobiographical nature of her book. Lee passed her <a href="http://time.com/4234210/harper-lee-childhood/">childhood</a> in the rural town of Monroeville in the deep south, where her attorney father defended two black men accused of killing a shopkeeper. The accused were convicted and hanged.</p> <p>Undoubtedly influenced by these formative events, the biographical fiction Lee drew out of her family history became yet more complex upon the publication of her only other novel, <em>Go Set a Watchman</em>, in 2016. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2016/jun/05/go-set-a-watchman-by-harper-lee-review">Critics panned it</a> it for lacking the light touch and humour of the first novel. They also decried the fact that the character of Atticus Finch was this time around a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/11/books/review-harper-lees-go-set-a-watchman-gives-atticus-finch-a-dark-side.html">racist bigot</a>, a feature that had the potential to taint the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/feb/19/go-set-a-watchman-harper-lee-legacy-to-kill-a-mockingbird">author’s legacy</a>.</p> <p>Subsequent biographical research revealed that <em>Go Set A Watchman</em>, was not a sequel, but the first draft of <em>To Kill a Mockingbird</em>. Following initial rejection by the publisher Lippincot, Lee reworked it into the superior novel many of us know and still love today.</p> <p>Lee gave us the portrait of one small town in the south during the depression years. But it was so filled with lively detail, and unforgettable characters with unforgettable names like Atticus, Scout, Calpurnia and Boo Radley that a universal story emerged, and with it the novel’s continuing popularity.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/100763/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: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anne-maxwell-179443">Anne Maxwell</a>, Assoc. Professor, School of Culture and Communication, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-moral-lessons-of-to-kill-a-mockingbird-endure-today-100763">original article</a>.</em></p>

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