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Ivan Milat: How his brother Alex was responsible for his downfall

<p>When Alex Milat walked into Bowral police station in NSW's southern highlands in 1992, he did not know his tip would kickstart the investigation that led to the arrest and conviction of his brother Ivan as a serial killer.</p> <p>Alex, one of Ivan Milat’s 13 siblings, claimed he and a friend saw two vehicles entering the Belanglo State Forest – where the bodies of seven young people linked to Ivan’s case would be discovered – containing about seven men along with two gagged and bound women.</p> <p>Alex believed the two women could have been Caroline Clarke and Joanne Walters, two British backpackers who disappeared from the Sydney suburb of Kings Cross around the same time he saw them.</p> <p>“I saw that the male passenger in the rear seat, next to the female, appeared to be aged in his mid-20s, a caucasian, fair complexion with brownish colour hair, which was neatly groomed and cut to the ears and neatly trimmed around the sides to the rear,” Alex’s <a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/how-ivan-milats-brother-alex-was-the-accidental-architect-of-his-downfall/news-story/36c6c187fd5c86e4f390f646921e93d7">statement</a> read.</p> <p>“He was clean shaven and appeared to be well dressed. From memory he was wearing an off-white colour, collar-style, long sleeve shirt ... At this time, I noticed his hands were not rough as if he was an office worker as opposed to a labourer and his hands were clean.”</p> <p>The detailed description was first dismissed by police as fanciful, considering that both Alex and the people in his account were in moving vehicles.</p> <p>Alex said he delayed reporting the sighting because he thought “it was just some young blokes taking some girls into the forest to have a good time”.</p> <p>He said, “From my knowledge and experiences in that area I am aware of countless times when young men and women are observed driving around the forest looking like they’re lost or looking for somewhere they can have a good time and I didn’t think that this instant was any different.”</p> <p>The police found Alex’s detailed report suspicious, as it didn’t match his hesitation to provide the information. That prompted them to look into the Milat family.</p> <p>Out of all the Milat brothers, Ivan stood out due to his lack of alibi. He also lived near the forest and sold a Nissan car with a bullet left under the front seat shortly after the first bodies were found.</p> <p>The second time Alex helped out with the investigation was when he notified the ABC about the massive clue inadvertently shown in its <em>Four Corners</em> report. An interview with Clive Small, the head of the manhunt taskforce, showed a whiteboard in the background that contained the word “Milat” – for Ivan Milat, who was chief suspect at the time.</p> <p>The ABC removed the footage from further broadcasts, keeping Ivan in the dark and prompting Alex to continue monitoring his brother for the authorities.</p> <p>The third time Alex put Ivan under the spotlight was a crucial moment that led the police to get a search warrant. Alex was being questioned for his brother’s case when his wife mentioned a backpack Ivan had given them as a gift.</p> <p>The bag turned out to belong to German hitchhiker Simone Schmidl, one of the victims.</p> <p>On May 22, 1994, Ivan was finally arrested at his home in Eagle Vale in a morning raid.</p> <p>In July 1996, Ivan was sentenced to seven life sentences for the murders in NSW between 1989 and 1993 with no chance of parole.</p> <p>Alex said carrying the same last name as his brother brought him a lot of trouble. </p> <p>“I do [regret keeping the Milat name], I f*****g do,” he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/serial-killer-ivan-milats-brother-dies-on-sunshine/3189421/" target="_blank"><em>Sunshine Coast Daily</em></a> in 2015.</p> <p>“The first day I should’ve changed my name, it would definitely have been a better life … It’d amaze you the problems I’ve had with having this name.”</p> <p>He said he was not concerned about Ivan’s guilt. </p> <p>“The decisions are made by somebody else, more than likely for political reasons,” Alex said.</p> <p>“I don’t even worry about it [Ivan’s guilt]. I just try to live my life and enjoy it.”</p> <p>Alex died in 2017 from a heart attack at the age of 76, while Ivan was diagnosed with terminal oesophagus and stomach cancer last week. </p> <p>“I’ve been informed he's only got a couple of weeks to live,” Ivan’s nephew Alistair Shipsey told <a href="https://www.wollondillyadvertiser.com.au/story/6144518/wayback-wednesday-police-catch-a-serial-killer-photos/"><em>Ten News</em></a>.</p>

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Bye bye Big W: Department store announces major decision

<p>All Big W Optical stores are closing their doors for good by June 30. Customers nationwide are no longer able to book an optometrist appointment online, but some local stores are still taking phone bookings until Friday, the 7th of June.</p> <p>Big W have expressed their sadness in a statement, saying to <a rel="noopener" href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a190521axhng/big-w-to-shut-down-all-optical-practices-20190522" target="_blank">10 Daily</a>: </p> <p>"We apologise for any inconvenience and would like to take this opportunity to thank you kindly for your support as a valued optical customer," Big W said in a statement.</p> <p>The decision to close stores nationwide will impact 175 employees across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. The impacted employees include optometrists, managers, dispensers and sales staff.</p> <p>A small number of staff will be moved to a different department within the Woolworths Group, who own Big W, whereas others are expected to accept redundancies.</p> <p>The announcement of the optical Big W stores comes just weeks after the Woolworths Group earmarked dozens of stores for closure.</p> <p>At least 30 stores will close over the next three years, including two distribution centres.</p> <p>"They are the most economically-challenged stores in the network from a productivity perspective and have the highest underlying rent costs," Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said at the time.</p>

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“How can you put your hand up to be leader?”: David Koch gives verbal smackdown to Chris Bowen

<p><em>Sunrise</em> host David Koch gave a reality check to Labor leadership hopeful Chris Bowen regarding his role in the Labor party’s disappointing election result.</p> <p>Koch was interviewing Bowen on Wednesday morning, when he asked the Shadow Treasurer if he was “tarnished” by Labor’s performance in Saturday's Federal Election.</p> <p>“A lot of people are saying that it was your tax reform that lost the unloseable election,” Koch told Mr Bowen.</p> <p>Bowen claimed full responsibility, saying:</p> <p>"I claim full responsibility for all the policies I was involved in, for what we got right and for what people may say we got wrong," Mr Bowen said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Labor leadership contender <a href="https://twitter.com/Bowenchris?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BowenChris</a> admits that his campaign comment "if you don't like our policies, don't vote for us" could have been worded better. <a href="https://t.co/BWTMTrrPhS">pic.twitter.com/BWTMTrrPhS</a></p> — Sunrise (@sunriseon7) <a href="https://twitter.com/sunriseon7/status/1130948615281623040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">21 May 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Koch wasn’t happy with that response and asked a brutal follow up question.</p> <p>“Tax reform has never won anyone an election. History says it is the kiss of death. You went in with a massive tax reform agenda, not that we don't need it.</p> <p>“Franking credit reforms, you frightened the pants off so many retirees and families. How can you then put your hand up to be leader?"</p> <p>Koch added, “Honest losers never get into power. That is the problem with politics.”</p> <p>Bowen said that he believed that Labor’s policies were “right for this election” despite the loss.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Shadow Treasurer <a href="https://twitter.com/Bowenchris?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BowenChris</a> makes his case for Labor leadership and denies a radical tax agenda lost his party the election. <a href="https://t.co/jGvdRJbAU9">pic.twitter.com/jGvdRJbAU9</a></p> — Sunrise (@sunriseon7) <a href="https://twitter.com/sunriseon7/status/1130948275257761792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">21 May 2019</a></blockquote> <p>"Clearly, we respect the verdict of the Australian people. They do not like what we put forward, but we also paid a price for things that weren't our policy," Mr Bowen said.</p> <p>“There was an alleged death tax... this was an invention by the Liberal Party and I think they cost us a lot of votes as we tried to bat away that scare campaign."</p> <p>Bowen continued, “Kochie, I would not be part of a political party that was dishonest with the Australian people. We believe that those plans were right for this election and we tell people about it.”</p> <p>Koch suggested that Labor could “end up being in Opposition for a long time”.</p> <p>“A lot of people didn't like your comment during the campaign where you said 'don't vote for us if you don't like our policies'' – well, they took your advice,” Koch said.</p> <p>“What I was trying to say there was that we had the courage to put our policies out for the Australian people to judge. We were not hiding them,” Mr Bowen clarified.</p> <p>“I could have worded that sentence better to make it clearer, but we are certainly not trying to show disrespect to anybody and I think that was taken out of context by the Liberal Party on purpose, but I take responsibility for my words.”</p>

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The new “immediate loss of licence” road rule that starts today

<p>New drink and drug driving laws have come into effect for those living in NSW. The new laws will see anyone who is caught driving over the alcohol limit receive a three-month suspension.</p> <p>From today May 20, any driver, whether they are a first time or low range offender, will receive a $561 fine as well as an immediate three-month licence suspension.</p> <p>Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance said <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/crime/all-nsw-drinkdrivers-to-lose-licence-immediately-under-tough-new-rules/news-story/06b93117e603e924f0115f364d21aacb" target="_blank">earlier this month</a>:</p> <p>“This means anyone caught drink-driving in NSW, at any level, including low-range, can now lose their licence immediately.</p> <p>“This reform makes it clear if you break the law, you will pay the price. We are taking a zero-tolerance approach to drink and drug driving.”</p> <p>As Mr Constance stated, the law also applies for those who are caught drug driving.</p> <p>The new penalties come into force as a part of a number of changes that are being introduced as a rollout of the Road Safety Plan 2021. This is in an effort to deter drink driving and reduce alcohol related trauma.</p> <p>The Road Safety Plan aims to reduce road fatalities by at least 30 per cent by 2021.</p> <p>With alcohol-related crashes claiming the lives of at least 68 people on NSW roads last year alone, something needs to be done.</p> <p>“Drivers who have an illegal level of alcohol in their blood or have used illegal drugs have no place on the road,” Mr Constance said.</p> <p>Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Corboy has said that the new reform would protect road users due to the swift and certain penalties.</p> <p>“Alcohol is one of the major factors in crashes that kill or injure people on NSW roads,” Mr Corboy said.</p> <p>“The 0.05 blood alcohol limit has been in place for almost 38 years. There are no more excuses.”</p> <p>For those who drive public passenger vehicles, which include buses and taxis, the limit is 0.02. This is also the limit for coach and heavy vehicle drivers, as well as those who drive dangerous goods.</p>

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Lisa Curry blasts Olympics committee: "I have proof drug cheats beat me"

<p>Lisa Curry has come out with allegations against the International and Australian Olympic Committee, saying she was robbed of a silver medal in the 1980 Moscow Games.</p> <p>The Australian swimmer placed fifth in the 100-metre butterfly but claims to have “proof” that the gold, silver and bronze medalists in the race were “doping”.</p> <p>“They don’t want to open up a can of worms,” the 57-year-old to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/olympics/lisa-curry-wants-record-books-to-show-she-was-robbed-of-medals/news-story/492727c73da5ff38d52ff6f77c2b44fb" target="_blank"><em>Daily Telegraph</em></a> on Sunday.</p> <p>“All we need is an acknowledgement from the people at the top of the Olympic ladder and they are not prepared to do it.”</p> <p>Lisa has said that she wants a “commemorative type of medal that’s actually presented to us in a sporting environment.”</p> <p>Speaking to the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/" target="_blank">Herald Sun</a> </em>in 2017, the athlete said: “It has now been proven that all three of them (the East German swimmers) were on a drug system and therefore the English girl (4th place) would get the gold medal and I would get silver.”</p> <p>According to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/olympics/lisa-curry-wants-record-books-to-show-she-was-robbed-of-medals/news-story/492727c73da5ff38d52ff6f77c2b44fb" target="_blank"><em>Daily Telegraph</em></a>, the publication received copies of the letter sent to Lisa confirming her beliefs.</p> <p>It’s reported that the documents allegedly state that “three Olympic medal winners in the women’s 100m fly had been given anabolic androgenic steroids.”</p> <p>Lisa has said that she’d “like to be acknowledged in the record books as the second fastest clean athlete in the world for the 100m butterfly in 1980.”</p>

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Want to live to 100? Follow these 18 simple rules

<p>Follow these 18 simple rules and you won’t just live longer—you’ll make those (many, many) years count.</p> <p><strong>1. Stop smoking</strong></p> <p>Four years after doing so, your chance of having a heart attack falls to that of someone who has never smoked.</p> <p>After ten years, your lung cancer risk drops to nearly that of a nonsmoker.</p> <p><strong>2. Exercise daily</strong></p> <p>Thirty minutes of activity is all that’s necessary. Three ten-minute walks will do it.</p> <p><strong>3. Eat your produce</strong></p> <p>Fruit, vegetables … whatever your favourites are, just make sure you eat them every day.</p> <p><strong>4. Get screened</strong></p> <p>No need to go test-crazy; just get the health screenings recommended for your stage of life.</p> <p>Check with your doctor to make sure you’re up-to-date.</p> <p>Just be honest. How much you smoke, drink, eat, exercise and whether you use protection during sex or while out in the sun matters.</p> <p><strong>5. Make sleep a priority</strong></p> <p>For most adults who want to live to 100, that means seven to eight hours every night.</p> <p>If you have a tough time turning off the light, remember that sleep deprivation raises the risk of heart disease, cancer, and more.</p> <p><strong>6. Ask your doctor about low-dose aspirin</strong></p> <p>Heart attack, stroke, even cancer—a single 81 mg tablet per day may fight them all.</p> <p>(Aspirin comes with risks, though, so don’t start on your own.)</p> <p>If you’re older, you are at risk from the major problem of over-prescribing.</p> <p><strong>7. Know your blood pressure numbers</strong></p> <p>It’s not called the silent killer just to give your life a little more drama.</p> <p>Keep yours under 120/80 if you want to live to 100.</p> <p><strong>8. Stay connected</strong></p> <p>Loneliness is another form of stress.</p> <p>Friends, family, and furry pets help you feel loved.</p> <p><strong>9. Cut back on saturated fat</strong></p> <p>It’s the raw material your body uses for producing LDL, bad cholesterol.</p> <p>For decades, doctors and medical organisations have viewed saturated fat as the raw material for a heart attack.</p> <p><strong>10. Get help for depression</strong></p> <p>It doesn’t just feel bad; it does bad things to your body.</p> <p>In fact, when tacked onto diabetes and heart disease, it increases risk of early death by as much as 30 percent.</p> <p><strong>11. Manage your stress</strong></p> <p>The doctors we surveyed say that living with uncontrolled stress is more destructive to your health than being 30 pounds overweight.</p> <p><strong>12. Have a higher purpose</strong></p> <p>As one physician advised, “Strive to achieve something bigger than yourself.”</p> <p>By giving back, you give to yourself.</p> <p>Just try to keep your energy levels up for the personal journey ahead.</p> <p><strong>13. Load up at breakfast</strong></p> <p>People in “Blue Zones”—areas with high life expectancies—eat the most at breakfast, then have little or nothing for dinner.</p> <p>Front-loading calories can ward off hungry all day, keeping your weight in check.</p> <p><strong>14. Start fasting</strong></p> <p>You don’t need to go days without food.</p> <p>Simply limiting eating to eight hours of the day gives your body more time to finish its six to twelve hours of digestion.</p> <p>After that, it goes into “fasting” mode, burning stored fat.</p> <p><strong>15. Cook at home</strong></p> <p>Not only do you get to control the ingredients and make healthier choices, but the act of cooking is a mini workout.</p> <p>New to the kitchen and want to save some money?</p> <p><strong>16. Have a sit-down meal</strong></p> <p>Multi-tasking during meals, such as while driving or rushing to get out the door, can put stress hormones in the way of your body’s ability to digest, which won’t help you live to 100.</p> <p>Sit down, or better yet, gather the family together to get the bonus of social time while enjoying a meal together.</p> <p><strong>17. Save up</strong></p> <p>Most people who live to 100 are financially secure.</p> <p>Worrying about money (and how to pay for healthcare) could get in the way of a long, healthy life.</p> <p><strong>18. Focus on the good stuff</strong></p> <p>Research shows people who live to 100 tend to complain less than younger adults.</p> <p>Their lack of gripes could mean they’re better at handling bad situations.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/want-live-100-follow-these-18-simple-rules?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest.</a><em> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a> <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Has this happened to you? Mazda recalls 30,000 cars over brake issues

<p>Mazda Australia has issued a product recall after two separate brake issues were found in one of their popular vehicles.</p> <p>The car manufacturer company was forced to recall 30,505 cars on Sunday after product safety regulators found issues in the Mazda BT-50.<img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7826812/mazda1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/63c0efdd598141f687871d16201398a9" /></p> <p>The mid-sized ute carries serious fears over the vehicle’s front break hose and front brake caliper.</p> <p>The Australian Competition &amp; Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a statement on their website advising people of the recall.</p> <p>“A front break hose could rupture if mileage is greater than 45,000km and the vehicle is used under conditions that require the front suspension to operate through its full range of movement, e.g. off-road driving on tracks,” the ACCC said.</p> <p><img id="__mcenew" src="/media/7826813/mazda2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e84acb37a17b43abb9cc2105a5ca7ddb" /></p> <p>The front brake caliper material does not meet specific qualifications in over 30,000 vehicles which causes the front brake caliper to crack.</p> <p>“If the front brake hose fails or the front brake caliper cracks, the brake system warning lamp of the instrument cluster will illuminate,” the ACCC explained.</p> <p>Accidents can be caused from these issues the ACCC warned, as failure of either the front break hose or the front break caliper could mean loss of brake fluid – meaning the brake pedal travel could increase as well as the stopping distances.</p> <p>Owners of the BT-50 series will be contacted by Mazda as soon as parts become available for fixes.</p> <p>The product was sold between June 17, 2016 and September 24, 2018.</p> <p>The BT-50 is a compact, mid-sized ute that has been produced by the popular car brand since 2006.</p> <p>For more information, visit the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recall/mazda-australia-pty-ltd-mazda-bt-50-my2016-2018" target="_blank">ACCC website.</a></p> <p>A full VIN list is available <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.productsafety.gov.au/system/files/VIN%20list_51.pdf" target="_blank">here. </a> </p>

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"We're waiting for you": Madeleine McCann’s parents pay tribute on her 16th birthday

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Madeleine McCann’s parents have marked her 16th birthday with a touching message.</p> <p>Earlier this month marked 12 years since Madeleine disappeared from the family’s resort apartment room in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007, just days before her fourth birthday.</p> <p>On Madeleine’s birthday, which falls on May 12, parents Kate and Gerry McCann marked the date with a message to their daughter on a Facebook page.</p> <p>“Happy 16th Birthday, Madeleine!” they wrote alongside a photograph of Madeleine. “We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up. #ForAsLongAsItTakes”</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FOfficial.Find.Madeleine.Campaign%2Fposts%2F10157177274719931&amp;width=500" width="500" height="645" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <p>In an 2017 interview with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39757287" target="_blank">BBC</a>’s Fiona Bruce, the parents said they still celebrated Madeleine’s birthday with presents. </p> <p>“I obviously have to think about what age she is and something that, whenever we find her, will still be appropriate,” said Kate.</p> <p>“But I couldn’t not, you know; she’s still our daughter, she’ll always be our daughter.”</p> <p>In her 2011 book <em>Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her</em>, Kate also wrote about how her family would leave presents in Madeleine’s bedroom.</p> <p>“As we’ve continued to do since, we had a tea party at home with balloons, cake, cards and presents,” she wrote, as reported by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1124423/madeleine-mccann-disappearance-netflix-documentary-birthday-kate-mccann-gerry-mccann-spt" target="_blank"><em>Express</em></a>.</p> <p>“The presents go into Madeleine’s room to await her return. Her pink bedroom remains exactly as it was when she left it but it’s a lot busier now.”</p> <p>On the 12th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, Kate and Gerry shared a statement expressing their gratefulness for the support they received from around the world. </p> <p>“There is comfort and reassurance though in knowing that the investigation continues and many people around the world remain vigilant,” they wrote.</p> <p>“Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and for your ongoing hope and belief.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Did you know it was illegal? The road rule that could cost you $561

<p>A dog-loving driver has been hit with four demerit points and fined more than $500 for having a dog on her lap while she was behind the wheel driving her car.</p> <p>The Sydney driver was driving through Glenwood on Tuesday morning when Quakers Hill Highway Patrol spotted a small dog on her lap.</p> <p>The officers then intercepted the driver and issued a traffic infringement notice for the “offence of driving motor vehicle with animal in lap” in a school zone.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTrafficServicesNSWPF%2Fphotos%2Fa.226613494070305%2F2373014372763529%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="495" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Police said while the driver claimed the dog “jumped on me”, she was still fined $561 and lost four demerit points.</p> <p>Another NSW driver was slapped with a $448 fine for having his dog on his lap while driving. </p> <p>“Driving with an animal on your lap is extremely dangerous and can interfere with the driver’s ability to control the vehicle," explained on a spokesperson on the Traffic Highway Patrol Command Facebook page.</p> <p>Many people were quick to comment, admitting on the Facebook post they didn't know it was illegal.</p> <p>“I never knew that was illegal, glad I read this,” one wrote.</p> <p><span>“Does this even mean if they have a harness on and a short lead that is still a no?” another asked.</span></p> <p><span>According to regulation 297 of the Road Rules 2014 (NSW), drivers are prohibited from driving with a person or an animal on their lap. </span></p> <p><span>Motorists who are caught driving with a pet on their lap may attract an </span><span>on-the-spot fine of $448 and three demerit points, or $561 and four demerit points if they are in a school zone. </span></p> <p><span>Driving with a pet on one’s lap is illegal across Australia, with varying fines and demerit points between states and territories. </span></p> <p><span>Animals have to be seated and housed in an appropriate area of the vehicle.</span></p>

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Madeleine McCann: The emerging key witness who is a friend of the Queen's

<p>A tourist who may have spotted Madeleine McCann’s kidnapper is a friend of the Queen, reports said.</p> <p>British tourist Carole Tranmer, who was staying in the flat above where Madeleine was staying with her parents in the Praia da Luz resort in May 2007, is once again in the spotlight after a man resembling her e-fit image was reported to emerge as the “person of interest” in the case.</p> <p>Tranmer, who used to work at Windsor Castle, claimed she saw a “prowler” coming out of the ground floor apartment gate “very carefully and quietly” hours before the then 3-year-old girl disappeared.</p> <p>In her police statement, Tranmer said: “Looking down below the McCann flat I saw someone come out of the ground floor apartment closing the gate very carefully and quietly.</p> <p>“It looked very strange to me. He looked to one side and the other, shut the gate and walked very quickly below.”</p> <p>The man resembled convicted German serial killer <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/new-madeleine-mccann-development-convicted-child-murderer-emerges-as-main-suspect/" target="_blank">Martin Ney</a>, who has been speculated to be the “figure of interest” for the Portuguese police.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9018686/madeleine-mccann-british-witness-saw-chief-suspect-helped-produce-cop-sketch-queens-friend/" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>, 71-year-old Tranmer has been interviewed three times in the past by the British and Portuguese police about “the man acting suspiciously” in the holiday apartment.</p> <p>To help assess her reliability as a witness, Tranmer shared with the police that she worked for the Royal Collection and that she knew the Queen personally. She also makes frequent, private visits to the royal family.</p> <p>Madeleine vanished from her room in May 2007 when her parents were dining nearby with some family friends. Earlier this month, Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, marked the 12th anniversary of the disappearance with a statement: “Madeleine will be 16 this month. It’s impossible to put into words just how that makes us feel … Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and for your ongoing hope and belief.”</p>

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New hair alert: Judge Judy ditches signature bob for stunning new look

<p>We have watched her on our TV screens for years, and this time she has come back with a new hairdo – and it is drastically different to her signature short, neat bob many are used to. </p> <p>Judge Judy Sheindlin showed up to the Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday with a modern look as she swept away the red carpet.</p> <p>Her long running courtroom television show, <em>Judge Judy</em>, has never seen her waver from her signature short hairstyle for more than 30 years.</p> <p>However, that hairdo was switched out for a combed-back low ponytail for the event, where she took out the Lifetime Achievement Award.</p> <p>The 76-year-old TV star told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.etonline.com/media/videos/judge-judy-shares-what-inspired-her-to-try-a-new-hairdo-exclusive-124659" target="_blank"><em>Entertainment Tonight</em></a> the change of style was inspired by wanting to lead a “simpler” life.</p> <p>“It used to take me an hour to get ready for work … or even to go out for dinner,” she said. “Hair, curling, blowing.”</p> <p>However, the new 'do hasn’t just been warmly accepted by fans, but herself as well.</p> <p>“I like it,” she said. “It’s comfortable and easy.”</p> <p>Her on-screen buddy and bailiff, Petri Hawkins Byrd, took to social media to share which look he liked best though.</p> <p>“I tried to stay out of this, y'all won't let me!” the co-star wrote in a caption.</p> <p>“I prefer my boss with the old 'do' (left) More sophisticated and 'Judy'cial.”</p> <p>While accepting her coveted honour at the 46th annual award show, Sheindlin said: “I have a profession that’s always been my passion. And tonight, I have this lovely honor which says I’ve done my job well.</p> <p>“Life has a beginning, a middle and an end. As most of us, I don’t remember the very beginning, I’m having an absolute blast in the middle, and if my luck holds, I won’t be around for the end.”</p> <p>Judge Judy first premiered on September 16, 1996 and is currently in its 23rd season.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Judge Judy’s new stunning, sleek hairstyle here.</p>

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10 rules for planning successful parties!

<p>For some of us, the mere thought of entertaining even just our nearest and dearest strikes terror in our hearts. For others, a house full of guests is true happiness.</p> <p>As an inveterate party giver, I've learned that throwing even a big holiday party doesn't have to be difficult, and can actually be fun – if you follow certain rules. Wherever you fall on the entertaining spectrum, here are our ten commandments for making your Christmas party (or any party) an unqualified success.</p> <p><strong>Sharpen your pencil and start planning your party now</strong></p> <p>It wouldn't be a bad idea to start planning your party the moment you finish reading this. Seriously, the more time you have before the Big Day, the more shopping and cooking that you can do well in advance – instead of in a mad rush at the end.</p> <p><strong>1. Get your lists in order</strong></p> <p>The first step is to create three master lists (guests, menu, shopping) that will help you keep track of everything for the party. Keep the lists in your wallet or date book, so you'll know exactly what you still need to purchase and how many guests have RSVP'd at all times.</p> <p><strong>Your guest list</strong></p> <p>You might want to call those guests whose presence you consider essential even before you set the date for your party. Inevitably, not everyone you ask will be able to come. But if it just wouldn't be the same without them, make sure they're free and invite them then and there. Your other guests should be invited as soon as you set the date. Try to give people no less than three weeks' notice – remember, holiday schedules fill up fast.</p> <p>A good strategy: invite friends and family by phone, then follow up with a written reminder. Or let your Christmas cards do double duty - as a holiday greeting and an invitation.</p> <p><strong>Your food and drink list</strong></p> <p>Whether you're planning a brunch or buffet, a cocktail party or an after-carolling get-together, food and drink are your party's most important ingredients. The first item to determine is the main dish. Jot down a list of recipes you're confident that you can cook well and that are proven crowd pleasers. Remember, to you it may be the same old lasagne, but to your guests it could be a new taste treat. If you do want to serve a dish you've never cooked before, be sure to test the recipe at least once (twice is even safer) before the party.</p> <p>After you've figured out the main course, build the rest of the menu around it, following that same ‘I feel confident I can make this’ rule. And don't make things too hard on yourself. If you'll be cooking a complicated main dish, go for simple appetisers and side dishes that can be easily prepared in advance. Next, take a careful look at the yields of the recipes you'll be using to be sure they will make enough to feed your crowd. If your favorite wild rice recipe serves four but you're inviting eight, be sure it can be easily doubled before you put it on the menu.</p> <p>Finally, don't forget to add beverages to your list. Plan to have a variety of non-alcoholic drinks on hand. It's best to buy more than you think you'll need. And buy lots of ice on the day of the party. That way, you won't have to waste precious fridge space to chill the drinks. When it comes to alcohol, don't feel obligated to set up a full bar. Unless you're having a cocktail party, it's fine to limit your selections to wine and beer, and perhaps a special holiday punch. Whatever you serve, encourage moderation – the last thing you want people to remember about your party is a hangover.</p> <p><strong>Your Party Shopping List</strong></p> <p>Look over each item on your menu and list everything you'll need to make it happen. Note each ingredient (including garnishes), then check your pantry and your spice rack. Nothing's more annoying than thinking ‘I'm sure I have that’ only to find out that you don't when it's time to add it to the recipe.</p> <p>Now is also the time to be sure that you have the equipment all the dishes on your menu call for – whether it's a food processor or a particular size roasting pan. Whatever you don't have, borrow from friends or buy cheaply at a local restaurant-supply store. If you entertain often, the right equipment is worth the investment. Keep in mind that it takes twice as long to make Christmas cookies if you have only one baking tray instead of the two required, and ten times as long to chop some ingredients by hand than by food processor.</p> <p>In addition, count up the plates and platters, serving utensils, glasses, cutlery and dinner napkins and even tablecloths you'll need. Don't forget serving trays, punch bowls, coffee urns and folding chairs. If you're short, call your local party-rental place and reserve what you need now. The holiday season is one of the biggest times of the year for party rentals and you don't want to be scrambling to find essentials at the last moment. Many people would rather borrow from friends and family than rent. But why risk Mother's fine china, when most party rentals have a breakage allowance built into the cost?</p> <p><strong>2. Appeal to the eye as well as the tastebuds</strong></p> <p>I have a friend who swears that if there's any other food available, no one will touch the large platters of raw vegetables and dip he bothers to prepare. But this particular host never fails to make such crudités the centerpiece of his buffet. Why? Because with their wonderful colours and textures, they look gorgeous, whether they get eaten or not! In planning your menu, take time to make sure you have as many colours and textures as possible. Think red capsicums, tangerines, pumpkin and green beans to brighten up all-brown, or otherwise bland-looking, dishes.</p> <p>Garnishes are another great way to add colour. As professional chefs know, most garnishes only look difficult to create, yet they have the power to make even a simple dish look special. And if radish roses and cucumber fans seem too fancy, you can get that restaurant look with a few well-placed sprigs of fresh herbs.</p> <p><strong>3. Make sure your kitchen can get the job done</strong></p> <p>It's quite pointless to plan a party that your kitchen can't handle. Every kitchen has space constraints; make sure you know yours. For example, can your refrigerator fit all those platters of cold hors d'oeuvres? Can your stove handle heating the five dishes you plan to serve hot at the same time? If not, now's the time to make adjustments and substitutions. You can avoid kitchen crunch by choosing a menu of foods served at a variety of temperatures and preparing as many dishes in advance as possible (some can be made as much as a month ahead). The one catch: don't forget to allow enough time for defrosting and reheating on the day of the party.</p> <p>If you run out of storage space, be creative. I've been known to stow food in the microwave and warm bread on top of the dryer in the laundry room. If it's really cold outside, the porch or garage can serve as a second refrigerator. And speaking of the fridge, now's a good time to clean it out. You can reclaim lots of space by removing any items that can be stored elsewhere or that should have been tossed long ago.</p> <p><strong>4. Shop smart</strong></p> <p>The sanest way to shop for a party is in stages. Divide your shopping list by store and buy all the nonperishables you need as early as possible.</p> <p>Consider some alternate resources for what you need. Read the ads in the newspaper to see what's on sale at the supermarkets in your area. It may be worth the trip to an unfamiliar store to save money on the big-ticket items on your menu, such as fillet of beef, turkey, ham or prawns. And don't forget the local beverage warehouse, where soft drinks and beer are often priced substantially lower than supermarkets.</p> <p>Finally, thrift shops can yield wonderful finds for entertaining. Extra glasses, tableware, silver and candlesticks can often be had at a fraction of what new ones would cost.</p> <p><strong>5. Set a gorgeous table</strong></p> <p>A beautifully set table can make even plain food look elegant and inviting. And you don't need to spend a lot of money to do it. Start with a great tablecloth, especially if your dining-room table has seen better days. Tablecloths cover a multitude of sins while adding colour, pattern, even drama to your party. If you don't own the perfect tablecloth, search out thrift shops and antique stores for old linens. Don't feel limited to standard tablecloths – I've seen beautifully patterned sheets called into action. Even large square silk scarves can make a statement when placed on a diagonal over a plain white tablecloth. Whatever kind of cloth you use, place a felt pad or plastic liner on the table first to protect its surface.</p> <p>When it comes to centerpieces, don't limit your thinking to flowers. A bowl of Christmas balls, fruits, vegetables, even toys can add whimsy and charm to your table setting. I remember a gorgeous table set with nothing more than three pineapples that had been spray painted gold, nestled in some evergreens and surrounded by ivory candles. To spark your imagination, walk through your house and see what's there. Look in your drawers and cabinets and you may well find decorating treasures.</p> <p>You can't go wrong with candles. Candlelight is the kindest light of all – warm, cozy and very inviting. Candles of various heights and diameters look especially lovely when grouped together on mirrored surfaces (if you don't have a mirrored tray, use a small wall mirror with the hanger on the back removed, or mirrored tile from the hardware store). Whatever method you use to display them, however, it's best to use dripless candles. They're well worth the extra expense – especially at clean-up time.</p> <p><strong>6. Make as much as you can as far ahead as you can</strong></p> <p>Waiting until the last few days before your party to cook everything just doesn't make sense – especially when, if you examine your menu, you'll see that much of it can be prepared ahead, frozen and reheated. Just pin up a reminder to yourself so you don't forget to defrost in time.</p> <p>Don't rule out convenience foods: as far as I'm concerned, the bakery does a much better job of baking bread than I do. And why spend time washing and peeling baby carrots when they come packaged that way at the supermarket?</p> <p>For those things that demand last-minute attention, don't be proud, be smart: have meats and cheeses sliced at the grocery store. Buy packaged ice. The idea is to minimise your efforts so you haven't exhausted yourself before the party even begins.</p> <p><strong>7. Don't drive yourself crazy cleaning</strong></p> <p>Our advice: don't attempt a top-to-bottom house-cleaning before your party. Confine your efforts to the rooms your guests will see and use. And close the doors to the others.</p> <p>But there is one place you should spend some time scrubbing: the bathroom. It's the one room by which your guests will judge the cleanliness of the whole house. Make sure it's spotless, and enhance the overall impression of clean by removing all the clutter – toiletries, bathrobes, rubber duckies.</p> <p>Clutter removal is key to the rest of your house-cleaning too. Here's my technique: after you've done the bathroom, start cleaning where the guests will enter. Get rid of mail on the hall table. Stash the coats, the toys and the dog's leash. Cleaning as you go, proceed to your party rooms and remove newspapers and magazines. It's a great idea to clear off tables and countertops, too, because you'll need the space for food and drinks. Polish all wooden and glass surfaces, but do not bother cleaning the windows. Once your rooms are filled with people, no one will be looking out them anyway.</p> <p><strong>8. Keep serving simple</strong></p> <p>The elaborate passing of food, called French service, should be left to the French. Unless you have an army of waiters at your beck and call, self-service rules. For a small number of guests, a good arrangement is to place all the food, buffet-style, on one main table, and designate another table for the bar. However, the bigger the party, the more you ought to consider setting up several food areas so that everyone doesn't end up crowded in one spot. For example, use your coffee table for the hors d'oeuvres, your buffet top for the cheese platter, and a card table for coffee and sweets.</p> <p>One place you should avoid using for food service is your kitchen. During the party, it will be far too busy a place to have your guests gathering (and getting in the way). During your party, check often to see how everything looks, rearranging and replacing food as necessary. As food is finished, remove empty dishes, making sure everything looks as fresh for the last guest as it did for the first.</p> <p><strong>9. Ask for help</strong></p> <p>One word separates the confident host from the person who swears she'll never entertain again as long as she lives: help. And the larger your party, the more help you'll need.</p> <p>But if you really want to save money, the number one source of your household help should be...your household. As long as they've reached coat-carrying age, your children can - and should - pitch in. In fact, most kids love being more than just decorative accessories at their parents' parties. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover how good your children feel about helping to clear away glasses, passing hors d'oeuvres and, yes, getting people's coats for them.</p> <p>In addition, don't hesitate to look beyond your doors to relatives, close friends and co-workers. As long as you're gracious about it and ask in advance, most people are only too delighted to help out at parties. It's an opportunity for them to show off their talents and resourcefulness, and you can couple your request with a promise to reciprocate at their next big event.</p> <p><strong>10. It's a party: enjoy yourself</strong></p> <p>The final commandment is both the hardest and the most important thing for a party giver to do. You've worked extra hard, you want everything to be perfect and you worry that your guests won't enjoy themselves if it isn't. But the truth is that most people are delighted to have someone go to all the trouble it takes to entertain.</p> <p>Your guests will never know that you forgot the cucumbers for the salad or that the dessert was store-bought - and if they do figure it out, chances are they won't care. When they arrive, they'll be in a party mood and pleased just to have been invited. So take a deep breath before you open the door to your first guest and relax. This is going to be fun.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/planning-successful-parties">Reader’s Digest.</a><em> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a> <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">Here’s our subscription offer.</a></p> <p> </p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Immediate loss of licence: The strict new road rule starting May 20

<p>Tough new laws will be introduced May 20th to curb the impact of drink-driving on NSW roads.</p> <p>From May 20th, every person caught drink-driving in NSW will lose their licence immediately and be slapped with a whopping $561 fine.</p> <p>It’s a new policy that’s being introduced by Andrew Constance, the NSW Roads Minister, who says that the state has “zero tolerance” for drink-driving and drug-driving.</p> <p>“This means anyone caught drink-driving in NSW, at any level, including low-range, can now lose their licence immediately,” the minister said in a statement today.</p> <p>“This reform makes it clear if you break the law, you will pay the price. We are taking a zero-tolerance approach to drink and drug driving.”</p> <p>Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Corboy said that the reform would protect road users due to the steep penalties.</p> <p>“Alcohol is one of the major factors in crashes that kill or injure people on NSW roads,” Mr Corboy said to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/crime/all-nsw-drinkdrivers-to-lose-licence-immediately-under-tough-new-rules/news-story/06b93117e603e924f0115f364d21aacb" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>.</p> <p>“The 0.05 blood alcohol limit has been in place for almost 38 years. There are no more excuses.”</p> <p>The blood alcohol limit (BAC) for full licence holders, car or riders, is under 0.05. For those driving public passenger vehicles, which includes buses and taxis, the limit is 0.02.</p> <p>Learner and P Plate drivers must have a BAC of zero.</p> <p>The same penalties, which is immediate loss of licence and the fine, will apply for those who are found with drugs in their systems while driving. However, this is only once lab analysis confirms the results.</p> <p>With around 68 people dying in alcohol-related crashes on NSW roads last year, the introduction of the steeper policy is aiming to reduce that number to zero.</p>

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New Madeleine McCann development: Convicted child murderer emerges as "main suspect"

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>A convicted serial killer has emerged as a key suspect in the search of missing Madeleine McCann, according to reports.</p> <p>48-year-old Martin Ney, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 for multiple child murders and abuses in Germany, is reportedly being investigated by officers from Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria as a “figure of interest”, <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/crime/madeleine-mccann-case-paedophile-and-child-killer-martin-ney-a-figure-of-interest-c-95611" target="_blank">AAP</a> reported.</p> <p>“Detectives are preparing the end of the investigation, with a German paedophile who is in prison right now,” said former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral, who first led the search for the young girl.</p> <p>Ney is believed to have been in Portugal when McCann vanished in 2007. It is claimed that he was working for an evangelical church on a project to help the homeless then.</p> <p>Police believe that Ney resembles a photofit of a man who was seen acting suspiciously in Praia da Luz before the then three-year-old McCann disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in May 2007.</p> <p>Ney has previously been interviewed by detectives investigating McCann’s disappearance but has denied any involvement.</p> <p>Last Friday, May 2 marked the 12th anniversary of McCann’s disappearance. McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said in a statement released on the day: “Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and for your ongoing hope and belief.</p> <p>“The months and years roll by too quickly, Madeleine will be 16 this month. It’s impossible to put into words just how that makes us feel. There is comfort and reassurance though in knowing that the investigation continues, and many people around the world remain vigilant.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Road rules quiz baffles drivers: What order should these cars travel through the intersection?

<p>It’s not always easy to navigate through a busy junction – when traffic comes from all directions, motorists may have different ideas on who has right of way and should go through first.</p> <p>This may explain why Queensland drivers were divided over the intersection quiz released by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.</p> <p>In the quiz question, four cars – blue, red, green and orange – are pictured at a four-way intersection. The green car is travelling straight through, while the opposite red car is indicating to turn right.</p> <p>The blue car by the Give Way sign is turning right, while the orange car is at a Stop sign to turn left.</p> <p>The question was: “In what order should these cars travel through the intersection?”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTMRQld%2Fphotos%2Fa.295748123801411%2F1902638843112323%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="620" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The road authority hinted that the answer involves the rules surrounding <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/road/give-way?fbclid=IwAR3JK4JD3q4oeKqSU0F4eRZE4_1he-qkO1bMR1cUOslaURfjlzoD1p_CCzU" target="_blank">giving way</a>.</p> <p>The answer was revealed to be the cars in this order: green, red, orange and blue.</p> <p>According to the road authority, the orange and blue cars should give way to the others because they are facing a Stop sign and a Give Way sign respectively.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the green car has the right of way ahead of the red car because the latter is turning across the former’s path.</p> <p>“When two drivers face a Stop or Give Way sign at the same time, the signs essentially cancel each other out. The Stop sign is not more powerful than the Give Way sign,” the road authority said.</p> <p>“In this instance, the driver of the blue car has to give way to the orange car, because the blue car’s turning right across the orange car’s path of travel.”</p>

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Why we bend the rules

<p>In my early 30s, I used an expired uni-student ID to buy discounted movie tickets. (I’d peeled off the date sticker.) I’d tell myself, I’m buying a ticket I wouldn’t have otherwise bought. One must be resourceful in an overpriced city, right?</p> <p>If you also break rules sometimes, you understand this paradox. We think of ourselves as honest citizens despite daily acts (one to two on average) of cheating, lying, or otherwise innocuous rule breaking. We stand in the express line with too many groceries, play hooky from work, board planes before our seat is called, or lie to give our kids an advantage.</p> <p>Researchers who study everyday transgressions believe that character isn’t the real driver; situational forces are. We might break the rules under some conditions and in some mind-sets, but not in others.</p> <p><strong>The Creativity Defence</strong></p> <p>Years ago, Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard, and Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist at Duke, wondered if people with higher IQs were more likely to cheat. The duo found that cleverness didn’t correlate with dishonesty, but creativity did. When Gino and Ariely posed ethical dilemmas to employees in an advertising firm, the copywriters and designers were more likely to break the rules than the accountants. The more creative you are, the easier it is to retell the story of what happened when you behaved dishonestly.</p> <p>Test yourself. Why did you pilfer office supplies? You might say that you worked through lunch or that businesses get the stuff cheaply. This is how creative types “reframe” an event. And a creative mind-set, Gino found, is easy to induce in almost anyone – just by using subtle cues. When players in a gambling game were primed to think more flexibly (by being exposed to words like original, novel, and imaginative in a text they read), they cheated more often than those not given the prompts did.</p> <p>“Working for an organisation that stresses being innovative and original can increase our tendency to cheat,” Gino says.</p> <p>“Should we encourage less creativity in banking?” Ariely wonders.</p> <p><strong>The Status Defence</strong></p> <p>Picture two accountants alerted to suspicious entries in the books. The first takes the violation seriously. The second pooh-poohs it. Who has more clout? When Dutch psychologist Gerben van Kleef asked study participants that question, most chose the second accountant. Powerful people break the rules – ergo, breaking rules makes one seem more powerful.</p> <p>“In its modest form, rule breaking is actually healthy,” says Zhen Zhang of Arizona State University. He found that relatively minor Ferris Bueller–style violations during adolescence – damaging property, playing hooky – predicted an esteemed occupation: entrepreneur.</p> <p>When young men, in particular, take risks that pan out, testosterone levels surge. The hormone may underlie the “winner effect,” say researchers John Coates and Joe Herbert of the University of Cambridge, who tracked the hormonal activity of stock option traders (again, all male) over their good and bad days in the market. The more wins, the higher the hormones, the greater the confidence boost, the bigger the risks, and so on.</p> <p>But at a certain point, risk taking can become irrational, reckless, or ruthless. This can cause “ethical numbing”. Consider Steve Jobs: As Apple grew, so did lawsuits against it, such as those over patents.</p> <p>Being wealthy takes a moral toll on both genders. Studies have found that the $150,000-plus-per-annum set was four times as likely to cheat as those making less than $15,000 a year when playing a game to win $50. The rich didn’t stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk nearly as often as less-wealthy drivers. This held true even when people were role-playing – that is, they weren’t rich in real life.</p> <p>That’s because environment – not any intrinsic personality trait – abets rule breaking, argues Andy Yap, a behavioural scientist. Yap and his colleagues asked volunteers to sit in an SUV-sized driver’s seat versus a cramped one or an executive-size office space versus a cubicle and then tested their responses to various moral scenarios. In roomier settings, people reported feeling more powerful and were more likely to steal money, cheat on a test, and commit traffic violations in a driving simulation.</p> <p><strong>The Bonding Defence</strong></p> <p>We aren’t born with an enlightened, universal sense of fairness for all, Harvard University psychologist Joshua Greene argues in his book Moral Tribes. We evolved as tribal animals who followed the rules within small groups (us) but not with the rest of the world (them).</p> <p>We may be born with a crude sense of right and wrong, but our culture refines it. If your tribe downloads pirated music, sells dubious stocks, or accepts bribes, you’re likely to go with the flow or cover up for peers.</p> <p><strong>The Level-Playing-Field Defence</strong></p> <p>Let’s say you witnessed someone tear through a red light. Or a colleague received a promotion after boozing with the boss, while you toiled and got nothing. Chances are, you’ll experience a knee-jerk reaction: to get even or at least to level the field.</p> <p>To test the fairness instinct, Harvard researcher Leslie John, along with two colleagues, told volunteers that others in the room were making more money than they were for getting questions right on a trivia test. Guess what happened? That group, which perceived itself as disadvantaged, cheated more than those who believed that everyone received an equal payment.</p> <p><strong>The Solution: Self Awareness</strong></p> <p>The real threat is the slippery slope – minor transgressions can snowball. Imagine Bernie Madoff or Lance Armstrong thinking, Just this once. OK, once more. And eventually, they just don’t think about it. Rule breaking worsens over time. Kids who cheat on high school exams are three times more likely in adulthood to lie to a customer or inflate an insurance claim compared with non-cheaters, according to the Josephson Institute.</p> <p>Behavioural psychology offers a few antidotes. Keep yourself fed and well-rested – we’re likelier to lapse when hungry or tired. Reflect on how your actions look through others’ eyes. In a classic British experiment, a drawing of eyes mounted over a collection box at a corporate coffee bar helped enforce the honour system.</p> <p>When people sign an ethics pledge at the beginning rather than the end of tax forms or job applications – before there’s an opportunity to cheat – they are significantly less likely to be dishonest. The same goes when asked to recall the Ten Commandments before a test, which Ariely found works even among the non-religious.</p> <p>We like to see ourselves in a positive light. In a Stanford study, when researchers used the verb cheat – please don’t cheat – participants still cheated freely because they felt distanced from the act. When the noun cheater was used – don’t be a cheater – hardly anyone did.</p> <p>The novelist Wallace Stegner summed it up in his novel All the Little Live Things: “It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognise that the best you can do is choose which rules you want to live by.” To which he added: “It’s persistent and aggravated imbecility to pretend you can live without any.”</p> <p><em>Written by Jena Pincott. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/Why-We-Bend-the-Rules"><em>Reader’s Digest</em>.</a><em> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a> </p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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How to finance your renovation

<p>Every homeowner considers renovating at some point, from a major extension to a coat of paint. But it costs to do a makeover.</p> <p>To DIY you need tools and equipment and to call in a professional means paying an invoice.</p> <p>Like all financial questions, how much is too much comes down to the benefit you get in lifestyle or potential resale value compared to the outlay, and the hardest part is paying the bills.</p> <p><strong>Avoid the debt trap</strong></p> <p>Most people spend everything they earn on a monthly basis.</p> <p>So it appears the only way to pay for anything is by accruing debt.</p> <p>Assuming you have enough equity in your property and a reasonable capacity to repay, banks are more than happy to sign you up, even in this supposed climate of restraint. 
</p> <p>Depending on the scale of the reno you might be forced into a construction loan at a higher interest rate with the option of rolling it into your mortgage when the bank is convinced you’ve added enough value to their security. 

</p> <p>Some seeking a loan think that paying a mortgage broker will get them the cheapest interest rate, because that’s how mortgage brokers convince you to sign with them rather than the banks.</p> <p><strong>Getting what you want</strong></p> <p>So how do you pay for the reno you want?</p> <p>It depends how you look at debt. It’s obvious you can spend more in a lifetime if you limit the interest you pay, so it’s important to relate to debt better.</p> <p>This difference in perspective is the largest single thing that separates the independently wealthy from those who retire on only an age pension. 

</p> <p>Most mortgages are designed to keep you in debt, especially those with offset accounts or lines of credit. As with credit cards it’s too easy to view the bank’s money as your own. 

</p> <p>There is no perfect solution but the best approach is to look at debt differently. Rather than consolidating it, which is what banks and mortgage brokers say to do, approach it in bite-sized chunks instead.</p> <p><strong>Consider interest rates</strong></p> <p>In the worst-case scenario homeowners pay tradies using a credit card as a quick-fix solution.</p> <p>For small-scale renos it’s unlikely refinancing the mortgage makes economic sense because of the fees.</p> <p>But the interest on a credit card is at least twice that of the average mortgage.</p> <p>If you’re tempted to put the revamp on the card then you can’t afford it.</p> <p>The only sure way of saving interest is to avoid debt.</p> <p>Having said that, for large-scale renovations debt can be used as a tool to make the unaffordable attainable.</p> <p><strong>Looking at debt differently</strong></p> <p><strong>Wikipedia</strong></p> <p>If you borrowed $200,000 from your bank at 6 per cent over 30 years the repayments would be about $1200 a month or $14,400 a year.</p> <p>The interest would be about $12,000. At the end of the first year you would have paid just $2400.</p> <p>It can be disheartening to see so little paid and saving momentum can be lost.</p> <p>But if, instead of looking at debt as a whole, you perceive it as 20 lots of $10,000 repayments, at the end of the year you’d still have paid $2400, but that equals nearly a quarter of the smaller amount.</p> <p>The maths is exactly the same but your attitude is different and the satisfaction and sense of progress is greater, so you’re likely to save more.</p> <p>The best loan isn’t necessarily based on the lowest interest rate, it’s also about how it’s structured, how you approach repayments and unlearning what you’ve been conditioned to accept when it comes to debt.</p> <p><strong>Financing options</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Home equity loan</strong></p> <p>Equity is the difference between what you owe to the financial institution and what your home is worth. A home equity loan allows you to borrow against this amount.</p> <p><strong>Redraw</strong></p> <p>If your loan has a redraw facility and you’re ahead on payments you may be able to draw on the excess funds you’ve already paid.</p> <p><strong>Refinancing</strong></p> <p>If your loan doesn’t have a redraw facility, consider refinancing and taking out a whole new home loan, with the same lender or another financial institution.</p> <p><strong>Line of credit</strong></p> <p>Similar to a credit card but with lower interest, this is secured with a mortgage against your home and allows you to withdraw funds up to a set limit any time, with repayments made in full or monthly.</p> <p><strong>Personal loan</strong></p> <p>A good option if you need a little extra to finish the job. Because the (usually high) interest rate is fixed for the term of your loan you know exactly how much you’ll be paying back and when it will be paid out.</p> <p><strong>Construction loan</strong></p> <p>If you’re planning a big extension, a construction loan may be offered. Funds are drawn to pay for each stage so you only pay interest on the money as you use it. It’s only drawn down to a registered builder you’re contracted with.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/how-finance-your-renovation?items_per_page=All"><em>Handyman.net.au.</em></a></p>

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Criminal profiler speaks out: Why Borce Ristevski’s daughter is under killer dad's "spell"

<p>The daughter of convicted wife murderer Borce Ristevski gave her father a glowing character reference because she was under his “coercive control”, a criminal profiler has claimed.</p> <p>Sarah Ristevski’s decision to give her father a glowing character reference following his murder confession has shocked many.</p> <p>The 23-year-old waived her right to submit a victim impact statement after Borce confessed to killing her mother Karen, and instead provided a two-page document in which she described her father as “loving”, “sympathetic” and “protective”.</p> <p>In the statement, Sarah wrote: “Since the act of violence, my dad has experienced job loss, a loss of respect within the community and the loss of close long-term friendships.</p> <p>“The circumstances have left me without both of my parents and I know there is nothing I can do to change that, but all I can try to do is communicate the truth of how good of a dad and husband he was to my mum and I.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Sarah Ristevski's glowing character reference for her father Borce - written AFTER he confessed to killing her mother:<br />"All I can do is communicate the truth of how good of a dad and husband he was to mum and I."<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9news?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9news</a> <a href="https://t.co/THMICdX96h">pic.twitter.com/THMICdX96h</a></p> — Brett Mcleod (@Brett_McLeod) <a href="https://twitter.com/Brett_McLeod/status/1110789298482114560?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 27, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>UK criminal behavioural analyst Laura Richards said the positive reference may suggest that Sarah is under Borce’s “spell”, which allows him to “manipulate and control those around him”.</p> <p>Richards, who specialised in domestic violence risk assessment and homicide prevention at New Scotland Yard, urged Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions to review the case.</p> <p>“Sarah, Karen’s daughter, declined to write a victim impact statement, an impact statement about her mother being brutally killed by her father,” Richards wrote in a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.laurarichards.co.uk/my-two-cents/dear-director-of-public-prosecutions-victoria/?fbclid=IwAR0Emqdu_BcSz8eHeeLneXKWKrJMwxO36gBC8Wogt9EL-YFeP5XdxqfrYYQ" target="_blank">letter</a> published on Sunday.</p> <p>“Her voice about the impact of her mother’s brutal killing is yet to be heard, despite the fact she was close to her mother. She is no doubt conflicted but this is also instructive. Instead she wrote a glowing reference for her father – a man who lied to her and everyone else.</p> <p>“This makes little sense unless it is understood that she too may be under his spell, which talks to his ability to manipulate and control those around him. Coercive control impacts children as well.”</p> <p>Richards said Borce should be charged for murder instead of manslaughter to ensure longer punishment, comparing his sentence to one-punch attacker Joseph Esmaili who received <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-17/joseph-esmaili-sentenced-for-killing-melbourne-heart-surgeon/11020218" target="_blank">10 years and six months’ jail time</a>.</p> <p>Two weeks ago, the 55-year-old Victorian man was sentenced to nine years in jail for the manslaughter of his wife in 2016 with a non-parole period of six years.</p> <p>“If a one punch offender, Mr Esmail, receives 10 years, to serve 10 before he is eligible for parole, how can the brutal killing of Karen carry nine years, eligible for parole in six? What sort of message does that send out to society about the worth of a woman’s life?” Richards wrote.</p> <p>“On good authority male neighbours of the Ristevskis are joking that you can kill your wife and serve a few years behind bars – it might be worth it in the long run. Urgent law reform is needed.</p> <p>“Respectfully review this case and bear in mind the message it sends out about domestic abuse. Your law and training really does need to catch up and reflect the reality of domestic abuse in all its guises.”</p> <p>Last month, Borce <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/borce-ristevski-sensationally-pleads-guilty-to-killing-wife-karen" target="_blank">pled guilty</a> to killing Karen after two years of claiming he had nothing to do with his wife’s death. He admitted to murdering Karen on the day she disappeared on June 29, 2016, with her body being discovered eight months later on February 20, 2017.</p>

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Star opens up on Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp "love triangle" saga

<p>South African rugby star Francois Hougaard has opened up on the long-running rumours that a text message that he sent to Reeva Steenkamp sparked her brutal murder, which was done by Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius six years ago.</p> <p>Steenkamp was shot dead by Pistorius through the bathroom door of his home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013.</p> <p>Pistorius is serving a prison sentence of more than 13 years for her murder.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7826314/oscar-story.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2b43dee2c4274ecba0371595573c9e99" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Oscar Pistorius in court</em></p> <p>Now, Hougaard has opened up about how he was put in the middle of the media inquest in 2013 due to reports that claimed a text he sent was the catalyst of the murder.</p> <p>Hougaard told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-6967451/Francois-Hougaard-business-tattoos-death-former-girlfriend.html" target="_blank"><em>The Daily Mail</em></a>: </p> <p>“Reeva and I dated for quite a while.</p> <p>“One of my best mates phoned me at seven o’clock when I was playing golf to tell me what had happened. He was the first to get to the house. It’s a shock when you hear something like that, isn’t it? It’s tough.</p> <p>“Everyone was saying I sent Reeva a message and that’s why he shot her. I had nothing to do with her any more but it’s all people were asking me about. Mentally, that was a really tough thing to go through.”</p> <p>Hougaard, 31, was involved in the lengthy court case and shared how he stopped the mental pressure from impacting his performance as a rugby player.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7826313/oscar-story-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/59f1ad1e691d4936b6a6867311457167" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Francois Hougaard</em></p> <p>“It was tough because rugby is 80 per cent mental. If you’re not mentally where you need to be, then you’re not going to play well,” he said.</p> <p>“I went to see a psychologist to talk about it. That taught me to deal with negative situations. That taught me to turn things into positive fuel and not to sulk.</p> <p>“When you’re young, you might wake up with a sore shoulder and think, ‘Ah, I’m not really keen for training.’ Once something really seriously bad happens, it just adds some perspective. You don’t sulk about getting dropped or a niggle. It makes you appreciate what you’ve got.”</p>

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