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Drug laws on possession: several countries are revisiting them and these are their options

<p>Many countries are changing the way they approach people who use drugs. The Irish government <a href="http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Final_Report_of_the_Working_Group.pdf/Files/Final_Report_of_the_Working_Group.pdf">has just announced</a> possible alternatives to criminalisation for possession of some drugs. Other countries, including <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/norway-decriminalize-drug-use_n_5a387b70e4b0860bf4aa96c4">Norway</a> and <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/malaysia-decriminalise-drug-health-minister-190628060223845.html">Malaysia</a>, are weighing options. But what can countries do if they don’t want to arrest or convict people because they use drugs?</p> <p>To inform the Irish government’s decision, we carried out a <a href="http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/ANNEXE_I_-_Hughes_Stevens_Hulme_Cassidy_-_2018_-_Review_of_approaches_taken_in_Ireland_and_in_other_jurisdictions_to_simple_possession_drug_offences.pdf/Files/ANNEXE_I_-_Hughes_Stevens_Hulme_Cassidy_-_2018_-_Review_of_approaches_taken_in_Ireland_and_in_other_jurisdictions_to_simple_possession_drug_offences.pdf">detailed review</a> of approaches in various countries. These countries were Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK and the US. We found three main approaches: depenalisation, diversion and decriminalisation. (We did not review models of legally regulating the production and sale of drugs. Decriminalisation is not the same as legalisation.)</p> <p><strong>Depenalisation</strong> is where the crime remains in law, but the police stop imposing penalties for some people. For example, police in England and Wales can issue written <a href="https://theconversation.com/policing-of-cannabis-possession-is-largely-accidental-and-many-officers-dont-think-it-makes-a-difference-100102">warnings</a> to people found to be in possession of small amounts of cannabis for the first time, instead of arresting them.</p> <p><strong>Diversion</strong> is when people found to be in possession of drugs are sent to education sessions, treatment or social services, instead of being charged and prosecuted. These schemes have been adopted in Australian states, such as <a href="https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/ndarc/resources/DPMP%20Monograph%2027%20-%202019%20-%20Criminal%20justice%20responses%20relating%20to%20personal%20use%20and%20possession%20of%20illicit%20drugs.pdf">New South Wales</a>, and in some parts of England and the US. Some schemes, including one in Queensland, are written into law. Others, like County Durham’s <a href="https://www.durham.police.uk/Information-and-advice/Pages/Checkpoint.aspx">Checkpoint</a> scheme and the <a href="http://leadkingcounty.org/">LEAD programme</a> in Seattle, are based only on changes in police practice.</p> <p><strong>Decriminalisation</strong> involves legal changes so that it is no longer a criminal offence to possess a small quantity of drugs for personal use. But there are three approaches to this model.</p> <p>Since the 1970s, many US states have replaced criminal sanctions and prison sentences with civil sanctions, such as fines for the possession of less than an ounce of cannabis. Similar schemes operate in the Czech Republic, Jamaica and some Australian states, such as South Australia.</p> <p>Other countries and states, such as <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/002204260403400302">Germany</a> and <a href="https://eu.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/government/2018/01/22/vermonts-legal-marijuana-law-what-you-should-know/1045478001/">Vermont</a> have decriminalisation with no sanction at all. Still others, like Portugal, have favoured decriminalisation with diversion to targeted health and social responses.</p> <p>In 2001, Portugal decriminalised the possession of small amounts of all kinds of drugs, combined with the possibility to impose civil sanctions (such as fines or suspension of driving licences) and diverting people into treatment, via a meeting with a “commission for the dissuasion of addiction”. In practice, most cases end with no sanction. Portugal also expanded access to treatment, health and social services with <a href="https://academic.oup.com/bjc/article/50/6/999/404023">positive results</a>.</p> <p><strong>How the models stack up</strong></p> <p>Each approach has its own advantages and drawbacks. Depenalisation, for example, is easy to implement and lets police use their discretion in deciding who to arrest. But this may lead to discriminatory enforcement, as black people are often <a href="https://www.release.org.uk/publications/ColourOfInjustice">far more likely</a> to be stopped, arrested and punished for drugs.</p> <p>Decriminalisation requires legal changes to be made. Some may argue that it leaves authorities without legal opportunities to intervene in undesired activities, such as public drug use. But these can still be banned by separate rules. Indeed, possession of cannabis has been formally decriminalised in New York State since 1977, but it has still been an offence to have the drug “in public view”, leading to hundreds of thousands of arrests for low-level drug offences, again falling most heavily on <a href="http://www.drugpolicy.org/new-york/marijuana-reform">people of colour</a>.</p> <p>But decriminalisation also brings the potential for health, social and criminal justice benefits, by reducing stigma surrounding drug use - a known barrier to treatment and harm reduction - and <a href="http://www.ndlerf.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication-documents/monographs/monograph-66.pdf">improving employment prospects and housing stability</a>. It can also reduce the burden on police and courts. In Portugal, the extra spending on health services was offset by savings in the criminal justice system and other benefits, meaning the <a href="https://www.sciencediret.com/science/article/pii/S095539591400231X?via%3Dihub">overall social cost of drugs fell</a></p> <p><strong>No models lead to increased drug use</strong></p> <p>Importantly, we did not find evidence that any of these alternative measures consistently increased the use of drugs. A <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395919300210?via%3Dihub">study</a> of over 100,000 teenagers in 38 countries did not show higher rates of drug use in countries with more liberal approaches. Recent decriminalisations in five US states produced big reductions in arrests but <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395918301786?via%3Dihub">no apparent increase</a>in cannabis use among young people.</p> <p>As countries look for ways to implement <a href="https://www.unsceb.org/CEBPublicFiles/CEB-2018-2-SoD.pdf">UN recommendations</a> to avoid criminalising people for using drugs, they will need to consider these different options carefully. They will, <a href="https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/first-time-drug-offenders-to-be-referred-to-hse-in-policy-overhaul-1.3974643">as Ireland has found</a>, need to adapt them to their own legal, social and drug use contexts. They can do so with a fair amount of confidence that removing the harms of punishment is not likely to increase drug use. But, given some models bring greater long-term gains, there is merit in arguing that governments ought to be bold.</p> <p><em>Written by Alex Stevens and Caitlin Hughes. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/drug-laws-on-possession-several-countries-are-revisiting-them-and-these-are-their-options-121221"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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“Anchor babies”: Peter Dutton’s harsh label for Tamil children facing deportation

<p>Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has made a controversial statement surrounding the children in a Tamil asylum-seeker family that are facing deportation.</p> <p>He’s called the children “anchor babies”.</p> <p>"It's been made very clear to them at every turn that they were not going to stay in Australia and they still had children," Mr Dutton told 2GB radio on Thursday.</p> <p>"We see that overseas in other countries – anchor babies, so-called – and the emotion of trying to leverage a migration outcome based on the children."</p> <p>The Sri Lankan couple who are facing deportation came to Australia by boat separately several years ago before having two children.</p> <p>They currently are in detention on Christmas Island as the Federal Court decides whether the youngest child, age 2, is eligible for protection in Australia.</p> <p>Labor’s home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally first raised the idea of debate around the Biloela family and that it was straying into “anchor baby” territory.</p> <p>"This is an importation, quite frankly, of an American debate about so called 'anchor babies' and the law is very different in the United States where citizenship is accorded to anybody born on American soil," she said during an ABC radio interview.</p> <p>"That is not the law in Australia so it's an importation of that debate."</p> <p>However, Keneally is aware that the issue at hand is that Australians want the family to stay and integrate them into community.</p> <p>"It's not simply the act of having a child," she said.</p> <p>Dutton believes that it’ll take some time to resolve.</p> <p>"I think it will go on now for potentially a couple of months because lawyers will try and delay and that's part of the tactic," he said.</p> <p>"They think that if they delay they can keep the pressure up on the government and we'll change our mind in relation to this case."</p>

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Here is what William Tyrrell would look like today

<p>A team of experts has released a projection of what William Tyrrell would look like today, five years since the boy disappeared.</p> <p>Newcastle University criminologist Xanthé Mallett and her team generated an age progression image using the latest technology in her forensic services company.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7830711/william-tyrrell-10-xm.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/294b328cf15f407d9a23e26cca570dac" /></p> <p>Tyrrell was last seen at his foster grandmother’s yard in Kendall on the New South Wales mid-north coast on September 12, 2014.</p> <p>He would be eight years old today.</p> <p>“He will have changed quite a lot in the intervening five years so it helps people imagine what he would potentially look like now,” Mallett told <a rel="noopener" href="https://10daily.com.au/news/crime/a190911dvaio/this-is-what-william-tyrrell-would-look-like-today-20190911" target="_blank"><em>10 News</em></a>.</p> <p>“Most interestingly for a child, the dentition would’ve change. Their adult teeth would’ve come through and that would have changed the lower part of William’s face.”</p> <p>Despite being one of the largest investigations in the state’s history, Tyrrell has not been found.</p> <p>A <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/major-development-in-william-tyrrell-inquiry-as-local-claims-sighting" target="_blank">part-heard inquest into the disappearance</a> will continue next year.</p>

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Drivers may be allowed to use mobile phones behind the wheel in road rule overhaul

<p>A review of road rules has been told drivers should be allowed to use their phones behind the wheels, with South Australian motorists calling for the strict laws to be loosened.</p> <p>Under the current legislation, drivers who are caught using handheld mobile phone on the road are liable to a $534 fine and three demerit points.</p> <p>According to the National Transport Committee (NTC), taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds – to use your phone, adjust the radio or talk to a passenger – can be “particularly hazardous”.</p> <p>“Drivers engage in non-driving activities every 96 seconds while behind the wheel,” said Gillian Miles, chief executive officer at the NTC.</p> <p>“Distractions take our concentration off the road which means we may not have time to react to hazards.”</p> <p>However, the Royal Automobile Association (RAA) of South Australia said the laws need to be updated to reflect the changing use of technology.</p> <p>“The old legislation is very specific about managing distractions, but technology has moved beyond this,” Charles Mountain, RAA Senior Manager Road Safety told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://10daily.com.au/news/crime/a190910pgzys/drivers-may-be-allowed-to-use-phones-behind-the-wheel-in-new-road-rules-20190910" target="_blank">10 daily</a>.</em></p> <p>Some of the submissions pointed out that many drivers rely on GPS navigation and <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/do-you-do-this-in-a-drive-thru-the-500-road-rule-confusing-aussies/" target="_blank">phone payment methods at restaurant drive-thrus</a>, despite the ban on touching phones in unparked vehicles in all states.</p> <p>“That is just not sensible, to turn your engine off to pay with your phone,” Mountain said.</p> <p>“It is important to acknowledge that phones are capable of more functions than before... such as music streaming.</p> <p>“There needs to be understanding for all drivers about what a distraction is.”</p> <p>A regulation impact statement will be delivered for transport ministers’ consideration in May 2020.</p>

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Women have made many inroads in policing but barriers remain to achieving gender equity

<p>Last week, the <a href="https://acwap.com.au/2019-australasian-council-of-women-and-policing-conference/">Australasian Council of Women and Policing held its 2019 conference</a>, with a focus on how law enforcement responds to women in the communities they serve and how police services can expand opportunities for women in leadership positions.</p> <p>Although opportunities for women in policing have expanded over time, their overall numbers remain relatively low. Nationwide, about <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/ongoing/report-on-government-services/2019/justice/police-services">a third of all police personnel</a> were women in 2017-18, but barriers remain to states achieving their goals of reaching 50-50 gender parity on police forces. Women are vastly underrepresented in senior roles, as well.</p> <p><strong>The changing role of women in policing</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.bawp.org/women-policing-history/">Women began to play a role in policing in the United Kingdom</a> in the early 1900s, though this was initially limited to focusing on women and children impacted by war. By 1915, there were Women Police Service volunteer constables and officers patrolling streets across the country, though they were prevented from becoming a permanent part of the police force.</p> <p>In the United States, <a href="https://cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/03-2017/history_of_women_in_LE.asp">Lola Baldwin became the country’s first sworn female police officer</a> in the city of Portland, Oregon, in 1908. <a href="https://www.opb.org/artsandlife/series/historical-photo/oregon-historical-photo-lola-g-baldwin-portland-policewoman/">Baldwin focused on crime prevention</a> in areas where women could be subject to predatory behaviours by men, such as dance halls and saloons.</p> <p>As societal attitudes changed over time, the opportunities and roles for women in policing expanded. For example, in 1975, the <a href="https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/the-ether-man-how-police-caught-a-serial-brisbane-rapist-50-years-ago-20161128-gsza7b.html">Queensland Police Force established a specialised rape squad</a> to handle crimes involving sexual assaults against women, creating an <a href="https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/museum/2014/08/05/vault-assaults/">all-female team of investigators</a>.</p> <p>Women are still breaking into new areas of policing today. Queensland finally got its <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-25/qld-first-female-motorbike-cops-to-hit-the-road/6806542">first female motorcycle officers</a> in 2017, for instance, when two women passed the arduous three-week qualifying course.</p> <p><strong>Participation of women in policing</strong></p> <p>In the <a href="https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-74">United States</a>, women comprised just 12% of sworn police officers (police officers with general arrest powers) in 2014 – an increase of just four percentage points from 1987. It is worth noting, however, that women were better represented on police forces in bigger population centres.</p> <p>Gender equity is slightly better in the <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/817740/hosb1119-police-workforce.pdf">United Kingdom</a>, where women accounted for 30% of police officers in 2019, up from 26% in 2010.</p> <p>And in Australia, 33.6% of sworn and unsworn police personnel were women in 2017-18, up marginally from 32.2% in 2012-13, according to <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/ongoing/report-on-government-services/2019/justice/police-services">the Report on Government Services 2019</a>. While most states have increased the number of women in their ranks in recent years, New South Wales and the Northern Territory have been trending in the opposite direction over the past 12 months.</p> <p>Australian women in policing 2012-18, including sworn and unsworn personnel. Report on Government Services 2019</p> <p>Many police services across the country have now enacted strategies to achieve <a href="https://www.aipm.gov.au/sites/default/files/pictures/J2805%20-%20AIPM%20Research%20Focus%20Vol5%20Iss2_v1.pdf">50-50 gender equity for police staff</a>. And several services, including the Australian Federal Police, have initiated independent reviews of their organisational culture and the prevalence of sex discrimination.</p> <p><strong>Breaking the glass ceiling and senior representation</strong></p> <p>The United Kingdom appointed its first female chief constable (Pauline Clare) in 1995. In 2017, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/22/cressida-dick-appointed-first-female-met-police-commissioner">Cressida Dick was then appointed the first female head of the Metropolitan Police</a> – the UK’s largest police service.</p> <p>In 2001, Christine Nixon was appointed Victoria’s chief commissioner, the first woman to be named head of an Australian police force. And the appointment of Katarina Carroll as the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-23/new-qld-police-commissioner-katarina-carroll/11038446">Queensland police commissioner</a>this July marked the final breaking of the glass ceiling for that police service.</p> <p>However, despite these high-level appointments, problems still exist in terms of the representation of women in senior ranks. A <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/qps-executive-bloats-why-women-miss-out-terry-goldsworthy/">2018 analysis of Queensland police data</a> showed that women were proportionally underrepresented at every rank above inspector in that state. When questioned about this imbalance of female leadership, <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/queensland-police-service-struggling-to-attract-female-officers/news-story/e7512408295b70fbc9cfc72390336645">Queensland Police Commissioner</a> Ian Stewart said:</p> <p><em>Our promotions are based on people who can show merit. We will again not be changing our systems to promote people who don’t have the merit to do the job.</em></p> <p>In <a href="https://www.police.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/518134/Hi-Res-Diversity-and-Inclusion-Strategy-2018-2020.pdf">South Australia</a>, women made up 28.5% of sworn police in 2017, but only 18.5% of commissioned officers. The same disparity exists in <a href="https://content.police.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-08/VICPOL%20Gender%20Equality%20Strategy%20%26%20Action%20Plan%202017-2020.pdf#_ga=2.12762743.1599970006.1567986364-2103021130.1567986364">Victoria</a>, where women accounted for 28% of sworn police officers in 2017, but only 16% of the leadership roles.</p> <p>A 2019 <a href="http://elizabethbroderick.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Final-Report-into-the-NSW-Police-Promotions-System.pdf">review of the NSW police promotion system</a> found that women were also underrepresented in leadership roles in that state, but it did not find any overt discrimination.</p> <p><strong>Barriers to participation</strong></p> <p>Despite having gender-equity targets in place, many states struggle with the recruitment of women for police forces. Although the Queensland Police Force <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/queensland-police-service-struggling-to-attract-female-officers/news-story/e7512408295b70fbc9cfc72390336645">did reach 50-50 parity</a> for its recruitment program in 2016-17, Stewart said it’s getting more difficult to attract female applicants.</p> <p><em>If we don’t have enough we won’t change the standard, and we’ll have more male applicants than women in a recruit program. I think that will happen at times.</em></p> <p>A Channel 7 News investigation found that Queensland police are struggling to find women recruits.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzsjOV8lu98">Victoria Police Force</a> last month announced it would provide targeted assistance for potential recruits to meet entry fitness standards in an effort to boost female participation.</p> <p>In essence, there are two main barriers to increasing the numbers of women in policing: elements of sexism and discrimination that result from the male-dominated culture in police forces and the nature of the job itself.</p> <p>A number of police services, including <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">NSW</a>, <a href="https://eoc.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/inline-files/SAPOL_Review_2016_Final.pdf">South Australia</a>, <a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/more-to-do-on-vic-police-gender-issues/news-story/06741c1f2e4422641654e5e4e6d2812f">Victoria</a>and the <a href="https://www.afp.gov.au/sites/default/files/PDF/Reports/Cultural-Change-Report-2016.pdf">Australian Federal Police</a>, have conducted inquiries into the culture of their forces and made commitments to stamp out discrimination based on gender.</p> <p>What these changes cannot do, however, is make some aspects of the job more attractive to women. Operational policing involves shift work, long hours, exposure to physical harm and mental trauma. As <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/queensland-police-service-struggling-to-attract-female-officers/news-story/e7512408295b70fbc9cfc72390336645">Stewart</a> noted,</p> <p><em>Twenty-four-hour shifts and 365-days-a-year work all take a toll on people, and particularly for women who are the primary raiser[s] of families</em></p> <p>One potential solution is a bigger focus on <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">flexible working arrangements</a>and part-time policing arrangements to help improve the work-life balance for officers.</p> <p>But it remains to be seen if these steps will make a difference. While the number of women in policing is on the rise, only time will tell if <a href="https://www.aipm.gov.au/sites/default/files/pictures/J2805%20-%20AIPM%20Research%20Focus%20Vol5%20Iss2_v1.pdf">the goal of reaching 50-50 gender parity</a> will someday become reality.</p> <p><em>Written by Terry Goldsworthy. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/women-have-made-many-inroads-in-policing-but-barriers-remain-to-achieving-gender-equity-123082">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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9 times ibuprofen won’t work – and could be dangerous

<p><strong>When ibuprofen should be avoided</strong></p> <p>Athletes call it “Vitamin I.” Women with menstrual cramps depend upon it. But scientists are beginning to realise that ibuprofen may not be as benign as we thought. Here’s when you should just say no.</p> <p><strong>If you have heart disease</strong></p> <p>While low-dose aspirin can help prevent heart attack, other painkillers in the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug family (NSAIDs) – which include ibuprofen – have been associated with an increase in the chance for heart attack or stroke. A 2017 <em>British Medical Journal</em> study reported a 20 to 50 percent elevated risk of heart attack among people who used NSAIDs daily for a week or more. The increased risk associated with ibuprofen could be as high as 75 percent. The greatest danger occurred within the first month of NSAID use and at high doses.</p> <p>Those with heart disease or at risk for heart disease should be especially mindful of these findings, though the elevated risk affects everyone, says Catherine Sherwin, PhD, chair of the clinical pharmacology track at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists PharmSci 360 Meeting. If you’re taking blood-pressure medication, be especially cautious – NSAIDs could make them less effective. Talk to your doctor about alternative medications to treat your pain, whether it’s, say, paracetemol for a headache or physical therapy for back pain.</p> <p><strong>If you’re on anti-clotting meds</strong></p> <p>Anticoagulants and antiplatelets prevent blood from clotting easily. Anticoagulants are typically prescribed for people at high risk for stroke (such as those with atrial fibrillation or artificial heart valves), or those who’ve suffered from a pulmonary embolism; antiplatelets are usually advised for those who’ve already suffered a heart attack or stroke, as a way to prevent it from happening again. The problem? “The combination of these drugs with ibuprofen could significantly increase the risk for bleeding complications,” says David Craig, PharmD, pharmacist lead at the Moffitt Cancer Centre. So instead, discuss other options with your doctor.</p> <p><strong>If you have gastrointestinal issues</strong></p> <p>NSAIDs not only irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines, but they can also reduce blood flow in the area and impair its ability to fix itself. So if you already have digestive issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease, you probably wouldn’t want to pop any NSAID. They’re not effective for pain associated with IBD and, in the cases where you’re suffering from other achy issues, you’re better off talking to your doctor about alternative treatments. According to Venkata Yellepeddi, PhD, adjunct assistant professor in pharmaceutical chemistry, if you have trouble with menstrual cramping, birth control pills could help.</p> <p><strong>If you’re pregnant</strong></p> <p>NSAIDs have been found to harm the foetus, raising the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy and heart defects in the third trimester. What’s more, a recent Human Reproduction study on foetal tissue suggests an association between women who have taken ibuprofen during their first trimester with a subsequent reduction in egg development in the foetal ovaries – which could compromise a daughter’s future fertility. Ibuprofen is also not a good idea during laboor and delivery since it could lead to prolonged bleeding. If you’re in need of pain relief at some point over the course of your pregnancy, check with your doctor.</p> <p><strong>If you have a UTI</strong></p> <p>A few years ago, researchers reported that NSAIDs may be useful for treating urinary tract infections. Besides possibly soothing pain, they may reduce recurrence, as well as help curb the use of antibiotics – a good thing, given the threat of antibiotic resistance. The hitch? NSAIDs might actually not do any of that: “There’s conflicting evidence in the literature on the effectiveness of ibuprofen, and it’s dependent on the antibiotic with which it’s compared,” says Sherwin. In addition, a PLOS Medicine study reports that women who took ibuprofen only to treat a UTI took an average of three days longer to heal than those on antibiotics, and they had a slightly higher risk of complications.</p> <p><strong>If you have arthritis</strong></p> <p>Arthritis sufferers have long taken ibuprofen and other NSAIDs for arthritis pain. But because of its negative effects on the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular system, certain patients – particularly if they had a history of stomach or heart issues – should probably think twice before popping an ibuprofen. A 2017 <em>European Heart Journal</em> paper compared the blood pressure effects of different types of NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib) on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients. The verdict? All the drugs were associated with an increased risk of hypertension – and ibuprofen had the worst impact, with 23.2 percent of patients on the drug going from normal to hypertensive, compared to 19 percent for naproxen and 10.3 percent for celecoxib.</p> <p>What’s more, for those with rheumatoid arthritis, NSAIDs are not able to control the inflammation enough to prevent further joint damage. What can? Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as well as biologic-response modifiers (or simply, biologics). Non-drug options – like exercise, physical therapy, and warm baths – can also offer some pain relief.</p> <p><strong>If you enjoy wine or cocktails</strong></p> <p>We’ve been there. You’ve got plans to meet a friend for drinks, and you’ve got an awful headache. But think twice before popping an Advil just before running out for that cocktail. Alcohol can irritate the stomach and so can NSAIDs. Put the two together, and you just compounded your chances damaging your tummy. “Alcohol should be avoided due to increased risk of stomach ulcers,” says Sherwin. Making matters worse, the one-two punch can also up your risk of liver damage.</p> <p><strong>If you’re about to tackle a really tough workout</strong></p> <p>Die-hard athletes sometimes take an Advil before, say, a long run. But that may be, at best, a waste of time and potentially harmful at worst. “Painkillers are a chemical Band-Aid,” says Lillie Rosenthal, DO, a medical advisory board member at MedShadow Foundation, a nonprofit group that educates patients on long-term drug safety and efficacy. “You have to listen to the body and figure out the cause,” says Dr. Rosenthal, who specialises in physical medicine and rehabilitation. With ibuprofen muting the pain, you may not know if you’re overexerting yourself or it may prevent you from slowing down or getting help when it’s needed.</p> <p>Plus, if you’re working out extremely hard – as in ultramarathon hard – taking ibuprofen can exacerbate the kidney damage that’s sparked by rigorous exercise. In a 2017 <em>BMJ Emergency Medicine </em>paper, ultramarathoners who took ibuprofen over the course of 80 kilometres (for a total of 1200 mg) were about 18 percent more likely to experience acute kidney injury than those who took a placebo. Extreme workouts tax the kidneys by drawing blood to the muscles for a prolonged period of time; taking ibuprofen – which reduces prostaglandins, which then, in turn, diverts blood flow from the kidney – exerts a double whammy on the kidneys.</p> <p>Furthermore, an ibuprofen may not even be that helpful. In a small 2015 study published in the <em>Journal of Athletic Training</em>, researchers rounded up experienced runners, had them do a baseline workout, and then induced muscle pain in their legs through strenuous exercise (ouch!). Later, the subjects were either given ibuprofen or placebo and then told to do a follow-up workout. The difference? Essentially, none. One possible reason, say the researchers, may be that the drug’s effect on the heart may compromise oxygen uptake and negate any gains in pain reduction.</p> <p><strong>If you have asthma</strong></p> <p>Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs quell inflammation by inhibiting an enzyme that reduces the production of substances called prostaglandins, which help with healing. The issue is that interfering with prostaglandins could exacerbate asthma. That’s why the insert in your ibuprofen packages warns asthma sufferers to exercise caution, says Marilyn E. Morris, PhD, SUNY Buffalo distinguished professor and chair of the department of pharmaceutical sciences. “Asthmatics who have a demonstrated sensitivity to NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, could have a life-threatening bronchospasm event,” explains Craig. “These patients should talk to their doctors about alternative options to manage pain.”</p> <p><em>Written by Joanne Chen. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/tips/drugs-medicine/9-times-ibuprofen-wont-work-and-could-be-dangerous?slide=all">Reader’s Digest.</a> 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=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><em><u> </u></em></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 make excellent arguments

<p>From as early as Grade 3 teachers start teaching children how to put across their own points of view. It’s not about winning arguments, but ensuring kids grow up to be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0260137032000138158">thoughtful and engaged citizens</a>. These skills might come in to play at school in essay writing, in oral presentations or in debates.</p> <p>And whether we’re talking about making arguments for in life, there are three things present in all good arguments.</p> <p><strong>1. Reasonability</strong></p> <p>Reasonability is about connecting reasons and evidence to your opinions. This serves two purposes.</p> <p>The first is for our own clarity of thought, so we understand how concepts and events relate to each other (or realise when they don’t).</p> <p>The second is so others can assess our reasons. We need to respect the person we’re arguing with and that means giving them the opportunity to agree or disagree with our reasoning. Without this, we’re tricking people into agreeing with us.</p> <p>One shortcoming in the <a href="https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/english/?strand=Language&amp;strand=Literature&amp;strand=Literacy&amp;capability=ignore&amp;priority=ignore&amp;year=11581&amp;elaborations=true&amp;cd=ACELA1536&amp;searchTerm=Modality#dimension-content">Australian Curriculum</a> is that it asks students to write persuasively, by using <a href="http://docs.acara.edu.au/curriculum/worksamples/Year_9_English_Portfolio_Below.pdf">emotive language</a>. We should be teaching our students to provide the reasoning behind their opinion as well as backing it up with evidence, not to manipulate emotions.</p> <p>So if students are asked to write a persuasive essay against same-sex marriage in Australia, for example, it’s not enough to assert an opinion such as “it’s bad for public morals”. They need to say which morals, how the public would suffer, and present any historical or contemporary evidence to support this claim. An argument needs to have reasoning to make it reasonable.</p> <p><strong>2. Charity</strong></p> <p>Charity is one of the most overlooked aspects of debating, which is ironic considering many prominent philosophers, including <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/heyj.12009">Thomas Aquinas</a>, <a href="https://eet.pixel-online.org/files/etranslation/original/Mill,%20On%20Liberty.pdf">John Stuart Mill</a> and <a href="https://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/hume1751.pdf">David Hume</a>, saw it as as the highest of virtues. In the context of argumentation, charity means looking past the text of what someone is saying to see the heart of their issue.</p> <p>We’ve probably all enjoyed watching our opponent struggle to articulate their points or deconstruct arguments (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AioJbNL1JS8">President George W. Bush was famous for these gaffes</a>), but doing this serves no purpose but to humiliate.</p> <p>We all fail to make our arguments clear and coherent from time to time, and we need to be generous when interpreting what’s being said. If we approach all people as having worthwhile ideas that might just not be fully developed or expressed, we’ll not only reveal clearer ideas but also make everyone feel valued. And making people feel valued isn’t touchy-feely nonsense – there are <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1467-9256.12069">demonstrable benefits to learning and democracies</a> when we feel our contributions matter.</p> <p>Say another student has done an oral assignment on the dangers of migrants in Australia – of them supposedly taking jobs or causing fights. This may be a racist argument but a more charitable interpretation might lead the listener to take a look at the job security of the debater’s family or their experiences of safety. Their conclusion may be entirely false, but it’s worth looking into whether there are underlying reasons for their argument. Our charity here brings knowledge rather than conflict.</p> <p><strong>3. Fallibility</strong></p> <p>It’s a struggle for anyone – child or adult – to admit they don’t know the answer. But the willingness to be wrong is crucial to learning. We improve our ability to find solutions when we recognise that we might be wrong or limited in our point of view.</p> <p>There are several major benefits in recognising our own fallibility.</p> <p>The first is in learning; children are far more likely to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/pits.10092">be willing to try and participate</a> if there’s no need for them to get it perfect the first time round. <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/46412880/Exploring_transformative_learning_and_th20160612-12330-c3kvju.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DExploring_Transformative_learning_and_th.pdf&amp;X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&amp;X-Amz-Credential=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A%2F20190822%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&amp;X-Amz-Date=20190822T014719Z&amp;X-Amz-Expires=3600&amp;X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&amp;X-Amz-Signature=14bb04b603f483a9af8462714a41fad2e76efef7bf051ed6eb40c7685e6d1dac">Failure and learning are linked</a></p> <p>The second benefit is we engage in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11245-015-9307-6">more meaningful inquiry</a> <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11229-012-0062-6.pdf">if we don’t treat any one argument or perspective</a> as objectively correct.</p> <p>Imagine a school debate on “students shouldn’t have to do homework”. Children aren’t going to be in favour of homework and they’re going to struggle to find reasons in favour of it. At the same time, it’s the perfect topic to separate how they feel (I hate homework) from the practical benefits of doing homework (revision and improved retention).</p> <p>Students don’t need to change their minds and come to love homework. But having them recognise the limitations of their own perspectives is valuable.</p> <p><strong>Try this out</strong></p> <p>A fun way to try this out in the classroom is through a “fishbowl” exercise.</p> <p>This involves having some of the students sit in a circle and discuss a contentious ethical topic. The other half of students sit in a larger circle around them. Their task is to individually analyse the arguments of a specific student and look for fallacies.</p> <p>The outer ring gets the chance to critique the inner ring for their reasoning. After this, the inner ring gets the chance to critique the outer ring for charity.</p> <p>Throughout this, students develop a willingness to be wrong when they discover everyone makes mistakes. Genuine inquiry, reasonableness and open-mindedness become more important than score-keeping.</p> <p>It’s perfectly acceptable to want to win and to be heard. But we want to teach our kids inquiry and making everyone feel valued is more important than winning. After all, we can win and still be wrong.</p> <p><em>Written by Luke Zaphir. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-good-arguments-at-school-and-everywhere-else-121305">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p> </p>

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Weird brain exercises that help you get smarter

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Giving your brain new experiences will keep it healthier. Try these mini mental workout exercises to prevent memory loss and sharpen your mind.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Giving your brain new experiences that combine physical senses – vision, smell, touch, taste and hearing – with emotional “sense” stimulates more connections between different brain areas, causes nerve cells to produce natural brain nutrients that dramatically help memory and makes surrounding cells stronger and more resistant to the effects of aging. Try these brain exercises during your morning routine or your down time and see if you feel the difference.</span></p> <p><strong>Brush teeth with your non-dominant hand</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Research has shown that using the opposite side of your brain (as in this exercise) can result in a rapid and substantial expansion of in the parts of the cortex that control and process tactile information from the hand.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Brush, and don’t forget to open the tube and apply toothpaste in reverse, too.</span></p> <p><strong>Shower with your eyes closed</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your hands will probably notice varied textures of your own body you don’t “see,” and will send messages back to your brain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Try using just your tactile senses (although, use common sense to avoid burn or injury). Locate the taps solely by feel, and adjust the temperature. Then wash, shave and so on with your eyes shut.</span></p> <p><strong>Switch around your morning activities</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain imaging studies show that novel tasks exercise large areas of the cortex, indicating increased levels of brain activity in several distinct areas. This activity declines when the task becomes routine and automatic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Get dressed after breakfast, walk the dog on a new route or change your TV or news station. Even watching a kids’ program like Sesame Street, for example, may arouse the brain to notice how much of what you take for granted is explored in depth by children.</span></p> <p><strong>Turn familiar objects upside down (literally)</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When you look at things right-side up, your left “verbal” brain quickly labels it and diverts your attention elsewhere. When they’re upside down, your right brain networks kick in, trying to interpret the shapes, colours and relationships of a puzzling picture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Turn pictures of your family, your desk clock or an illustrated calendar upside down.</span></p> <p><strong>Switch seats at the table</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In most families, everyone has his or her “own” seat, but your brain benefits from new experiences.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Switch seats to change whose position you occupy, who you relate to, your view of the room and even how you reach for salt and pepper.</span></p> <p><strong>Make a new connection with your nose</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You probably don’t remember when you “learned” to associate the smell of coffee with the start of a day. However, by linking a new odour – say, vanilla, citrus or peppermint – to an activity, you’ll alert new neural pathways.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Keep an extract of your favourite scent near your bed for a week. Open it and inhale when you first wake up, and then again as you bathe and dress.</span></p> <p><strong>Open the car window</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The hippocampus, an area of your brain that processes memories, is especially involved in associating odours, sounds and sights to construct mental maps.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Try to identify new smells and sounds on your route. Opening the windows provides these circuits with more raw material.</span></p> <p><strong>Play with spare change</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Because our brains regularly rely on visual cues to distinguish between objects, using touch to identify subtly different things increases activation in cortical areas that process tactile information and leads to stronger synapses. (Similarly, adults who lose their sight learn to distinguish Braille letters because their brain devotes more pathways to processing fine touch.)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Place a cup full of coins in your car’s drink holder. While at a stoplight, try to determine the denominations by feel alone. You can also put coins in your pocket, and identify them when you stop at a corner.</span></p> <p><strong>Play “10 Things”</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Forcing your brain to think of alternates to the everyday will help keep it strong.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Someone hands you an ordinary object, and you must demonstrate 10 different “things” that the object might be. Example: A fly swatter might be a tennis racket, a golf club, a fan, a baton, a drumstick, a violin, a shovel, a microphone, a baseball bat or a canoe paddle.</span></p> <p><strong>Scan at the supermarket</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stores are designed to have the most profitable items at eye level, and when you shop you don’t really see everything there.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Stop in any aisle and look at the shelves, top to bottom. If there’s something you’ve never seen before, pick it up, read the ingredients and think about it. You don’t have to buy it to benefit; you’ve broken your routine and experienced something new.</span></p> <p><strong>Do an art project in a group</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Art activates the nonverbal and emotional parts of the cerebral cortex. When you create art, you draw on parts of your brain interested in forms, colours and textures, as well as thought processes very different from the logical, linear thinking that occupies most of your day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Ask each person to draw something associated with a specific theme like a season, an emotion or a current event.</span></p> <p><strong>Make more social connections during your day</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scientific research has repeatedly proved that social deprivation has severe negative effects on overall cognitive abilities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Thirsty? Buy a drink from a person rather than a vending machine. Need gas? Pay the clerk at the counter rather than just swiping your credit card at the pump.</span></p> <p><strong>Read differently</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When we read aloud or listen to reading, we use very different brain circuits than when we read silently to ourselves.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Read aloud with your partner or a friend, alternating roles of reader and listener. It may be slow to get through a book, but as a bonus you’ll spend quality time together.</span></p> <p><strong>Eat unfamiliar foods</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your olfactory system can distinguish millions of odours by activating unique combinations of receptors in your nose. There’s a direct link to the emotional centre of your brain, so new odours may evoke unexpected feelings and associations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brain exercise: Choose a cuisine unfamiliar to you, and browse the variety of novel vegetables, seasonings and packaged goods.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Lawrence C. Katz, PhD and Manning Rubin. This article first appeared in </span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/14-weird-brain-exercises-that-help-you-get-smarter?slide=all"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest.</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></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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ALDI’s secrets to success: Why are the checkouts so small?

<p>ALDI is a worldwide sensation. Since opening its first store in 1913, the German retailer has expanded to over 10,000 store locations around the globe. In Australia, ALDI has continued to thrive as <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/retirement-income/the-results-are-in-australias-favourite-supermarket-has-just-been-revealed/">the top-rated supermarket among shoppers</a> in <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/supermarkets/articles/the-best-and-worst-supermarkets-according-to-australian-shoppers">recent years</a>, beating out major competitors such as Coles and Woolworths.</p> <p>Now, a new documentary has delved into the secrets behind the supermarket’s success.</p> <p>Airing on the UK’s Channel 5, <em><span>Inside Aldi: Britain’s Biggest Budget Supermarket </span></em><span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/new-documentary-exposes-aldis-secrets-to-success/news-story/1426a3312f475b554ddd269957ded10c">featured former employees and experts</a> who revealed how the supermarket maintains its ability to keep prices low and customers coming back.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Small checkouts</span></strong></p> <p><span>ALDI is well-known for its small-sized checkouts and speedy cashier service. Experts believe that this is to ensure that the checkout is cleared more quickly, allowing more new shoppers to come in and helping staff scan more items in a short time.</span></p> <p><span>The documentary also showed how products have multiple barcodes so that staff can get through more goods at a fast and efficient pace.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Special Buys</span></strong></p> <p><span>The show said the supermarket’s Special Buys program – which is available in Australian stores every Wednesday and Saturday – is part of what brings shoppers in each week. Experts said the limited edition products sold in the middle aisle are the retailer’s “treasure aisle-land” that helps increase profits by encouraging customers to buy what they perceive as “luxuries” at a bargain. </span></p> <p><strong><span>Home brands</span></strong></p> <p>One of the most common criticisms levelled at ALDI is that it has <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/supermarkets/articles/the-best-and-worst-supermarkets-according-to-australian-shoppers#range">limited range of products and brands</a>. The documentary said the retailer stocks only 2,000 products, significantly fewer an average supermarket’s 40,000.</p> <p><span>However, this is what also helps keep its prices competitive. 95 per cent of the products sold at ALDI are own-brand, which enables the supermarket to bring down prices. The doco also noted that ALDI put great effort into making sure their products  look and taste like big brands.</span></p>

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Why this photo of a politician feeding a baby has gone viral

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A House Speaker from the New Zealand Parliament has been pictured feeding milk to a newborn toddler from his official chair while presiding over a debate. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The image has since gone viral online, and pictures Trevor Mallard holding the baby of a fellow parliamentarian, Tāmati Coffey. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Normally the Speaker’s chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me,” Mr Mallard said in tweet with cute photos of baby Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey attached.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Normally the Speaker’s chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me. Congratulations <a href="https://twitter.com/tamaticoffey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@tamaticoffey</a> and Tim on the newest member of your family. <a href="https://t.co/47ViKHsKkA">pic.twitter.com/47ViKHsKkA</a></p> — Trevor Mallard (@SpeakerTrevor) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpeakerTrevor/status/1164026068078125057?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Congratulations [Tāmati Coffey] and Tim on the newest member of your family.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Coffey, a Labour MP for the New Zealand seat of Waiariki and Smith, welcomed his son into the world last month - making him and his husband one of the only gay couples in the country to have found a surrogate and gained access to IVF. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The images gained over 11,000 likes online with warm responses and a flurry of praise to both the speaker and the Kiwi parliament for supporting the new father. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Thank you for normalising the family unit," one person wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We need to see more of this. Workplaces need to adapt to enable this behaviour."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is not the first time the New Zealand speaker has shared his important chair with a newborn. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In November 2017, the three-month-old baby of Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime got to have a cuddle with Mr Mallard as well. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New Zealand’s attitude towards babies in parliament is a stark contrast to those in other countries. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kenyan MP Zuleika Hassan was ordered to leave the parliament after she brought her five-month-old baby into the chamber. </span></p> <p> </p>

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Airport security worker’s horrendous note to passenger goes viral

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An airport security worker from New York, US, has been fired from her job after handing a passenger a cruel handwritten note that insulted his appearance. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The incident, which occurred in June, has since gone viral after passenger Neal Strassner obtained security footage from the bizarre moment a female security worker from Greater Rochester International Airport gave Mr Strassner a note after he passed through a metal detector. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Strassner didn’t think much of the situation and he headed toward the gate. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">That’s when he said the woman yelled out, “You gonna open the note?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once he did, the woman burst out laughing. </span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/npIWjuk1KVA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The note had a cruel message about the man’s appearance, which read “You Ugly!!!!” on a ripped piece of cardboard. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After complaining to her supervisors, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revealed the woman worked for a contractor. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The woman has since been let go from her position. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video shared to Youtube has since had over 499k views. </span></p>

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“Genuine doubt”: Why one judges’ argument could save George Pell

<p>After George Pell’s application to Victoria’s Court of Appeal was dismissed on Wednesday with two judges ruling that they thought the jury’s verdict was unreasonable, Pell’s legal team has their sights set on the High Court of Australia.</p> <p>It’s all due to one judge who disagreed and put his views forward in a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/case-summaries/court-of-appeal-proceedings/george-pell-v-the-queen" target="_blank">203-page dissenting opinion.</a></p> <p>Justice Weinburg is a former Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution who joined the Federal Court in 1998 before moving to the Victorian Court of Appeal in 2008. He retired in 2018 but has served as an acting judge since then.</p> <p>There are five reasons as to why he disagreed with his fellow judges.</p> <p><strong>1. Genuine doubt</strong></p> <p>Weinburg says that he has a “genuine doubt as to the applicant’s guilt.” The jury was required in the case to find Pell guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”, but after reviewing the evidence himself, Weinburg thinks that there was a “significant possibility” that Pell did not commit the offences.</p> <p>“My doubt is a doubt which the jury ought also to have had,” he wrote.</p> <p><strong>2. He didn’t find the complainant convincing</strong></p> <p>Weinburg has suggested that there was a lot of evidence that casts doubt upon the complainant’s story.</p> <p>He said that there were “inconsistencies, and discrepancies, and a number of his answers simply made no sense”.</p> <p>One example Weinburg used was that the fact that the complainant did not remember there were rehearsals for the choir after mass on the two days that the abuse likely occurred.</p> <p>The complainant was also unsure if Pell had said mass that day or was leading Mass.</p> <p><strong>3. Weinburg trusts the other witnesses</strong></p> <p>He gave more weight to other witness testimonies than his fellow judges who concluded their evidence was inconsistent.</p> <p>Weinburg has disagreed and said that their evidence is critical and “if accepted, would lead inevitably to acquittal”.</p> <p>The other evidence provided by Pell’s master of ceremonies Charles Portelli established a routine within the church and helped rule out certain dates.</p> <p>The other judges found that the evidence provided by Portelli and sacristan Max Potter was inconsistent, but Weinburg said that it proves there were “modes of conduct that were subject to particularly rigorous and strong norms”.</p> <p><strong>4. Large number of improbable possibilities</strong></p> <p>Weinburg paid attention to one of the arguments put forward by Pell’s legal team which suggested that for the first incident to have happened, a large number of improbable things would have to had occurred within a short time frame.</p> <p>The boys would have had to break away from the procession, go through two normally locked doors and return to choir rehearsal without anyone noticing they were gone.</p> <p>Weinburg accepts this argument.</p> <p>“The chances of ‘all the planets aligning’, in that way, would, at the very least, be doubtful.”</p> <p><strong>5. Unusual aspects of the case </strong></p> <p>Weinburg noted that the prosecution relied entirely on the evidence of the complainant and that there was no supporting evidence.</p> <p>“These convictions were based upon the jury’s assessment of the complainant as a witness, and nothing more,” he said.</p> <p>He noted that juries were told they cannot convict an accused unless they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, as well as being told that they should not convict if there was a “reasonable possibility” that there was substance to the defence provided.</p> <p>“It is not now, and never has been, a question of whether (Pell’s) complainant was to be preferred as a witness to, for example, Portelli, Potter, McGlone, Finnigan, or any other particular witness who gave exculpatory evidence,” Justice Weinburg wrote.</p>

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George Pell verdict: Pope Francis reacts to Victorian Court’s decision

<p>Pope Francis has tweeted an indirect statement following the Victorian Supreme Court’s decision to uphold George Pell’s child sex abuse conviction as the Vatican decides whether to hold a canonical trial of its own.</p> <p>Taking to Twitter, the Pope said: “It takes more strength to repair than to build, to start anew than to begin, to be reconciled than to get along. This is the strength that God gives us.”</p> <p>This isn’t the first jab he’s taken at Cardinal Pell, as during his weekly address on Wednesday, he spoke of hypocrisy being the “worst enemy” of the Christian community.</p> <p>“A life based only on making a profit and taking advantage of situations to the detriment of others inevitably causes inner death,” he said.</p> <p>“How many people say they are close to the Church, friends of priests, bishops while only seeking their own interests? These are the hypocrisies that destroy the Church.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">It takes more strength to repair than to build, to start anew than to begin, to be reconciled than to get along. This is the strength that God gives us.</p> — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) <a href="https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/1164137571179515904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">21 August 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Once the third-most senior Catholic in the Vatican, Cardinal Pell looked after the ancient institution’s finances. He was also known to share a close bond with the Pope, who has previously introduced measures to prevent sexual abuse in the church.</p> <p>On Tuesday, the 78-year-old’s appeal was dismissed in the Victorian Supreme Court, sealing his fate as he prepares to send the next six years in prison. He will be eligible for parole three years and eight months into the sentence.</p> <p>After the decision was announced, the Vatican released a statement of their own, emphasising on its “respect for the Australian judicial system”, but added that Pell had always maintained his innocence and had the right to appeal to the High Court.</p> <p>“At this time, together with the Church of Australia, the Holy See confirms its closeness to the victims of sexual abuse and its commitment to pursue, though the competent ecclesiastical authorities, those members of the clergy who commit such abuse,” it said.</p>

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Cheers erupt in courtroom as George Pell’s appeal against conviction is denied

<p>George Pell has lost his bid for freedom with his appeal against child sex convictions being dismissed in court.</p> <p>By a majority of two to one, all eyes were on Victoria’s Supreme Court as the three judges dismissed the appeal by ordering Pell to “return to prison”.</p> <p>According to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/george-pell-to-learn-whether-appeal-against-conviction-is-successful/news-story/dd0d54d308aa68fb03793d54244800af" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>, Chief Justice Anne Ferguson was strict.</p> <p> “He will continue to serve his sentence of six years imprisonment,” Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said.</p> <p>“He will remain eligible to apply for parole after he has served three years and eight months of the sentence.”</p> <p>Pell sat and digested this information quietly as he listened to the Chief Justice lay down her verdict. As he realised his appeal was rejected, he looked dejected while hunching forward.</p> <p>He was led out of the courtroom just after 10 am and taken back to prison to serve out the rest of his jail sentence.</p> <p>As his appeal was denied, cheers were heard inside the courtroom as dozens of people watched the appeal on the livestream outside.</p> <p>Pell shared the courtroom with the media, his own supporters and the family members of the two boys he was found guilty of sexually abusing in 1996.</p> <p>Chief Justice Ferguson said that the three judges watched the recordings of the trial, which included a recorded interview with Cardinal Pell.</p> <p>“Those recordings went for more than 30 hours and we’ve watched them more than once,” she said.</p> <p>Chief Justice Ferguson said the judges “did not experience a doubt” and “throughout his evidence, the complainant came across as somebody who was telling the truth”.</p> <p>She also rejected the notion that George Pell’s robes were “not able to be moved” to reveal his genitals because of various layers of material. She told the court “the robes were capable of being maneuvered ... pulled apart”.</p> <p>Despite his appeal being rejected, those close to Pell say that he may continue his fight to walk free and that his lawyers are looking to take his appeal to the High Court of Australia. Pell has always maintained his innocence.</p>

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“Abhorrent”: Prince Andrew speaks out over Epstein scandal

<p>The Duke of York has broken his silence over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. </p> <p>Prince Andrew, 59, says he is “appalled” by the recent reports of Epstein’s alleged crimes. </p> <p>The statement comes after footage emerged showing the Duke peering out from behind the door of Epstein’s multi-million dollar Manhattan mansion - footage filmed in December 2010. </p> <p>He is taped waving goodbye to a brunette woman and less than an hour later, Epstein is seen leaving his property with a blonde woman. </p> <p>Buckingham Palace has released a statement on behalf of the Duke, to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/18/duke-york-appalled-epstein-sex-allegations/" target="_blank">The Telegraph</a><span> </span>saying he is dismayed by Epstein. </p> <p>"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes.</p> <p>"His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent."</p> <p>The “damaging” footage was taken while the Duke was in New York while he was the UK’s Special Representative for Trade. </p> <p>He stayed with Epstein in his NY home, two years after the accused was convicted of child sex offences and put on the sex offender register. </p> <p>"The new footage is damaging in terms of the Duke of York's judgement,"<span> </span>The Telegraph's<span> </span>Camilla Tominey, told Today.</p> <p>"He was criticised at the time because photographs emerged of his visit to Jeffrey Epstein in 2010 and he explained to the press and public afterwards that he had made an error of judgement and that he should haven't met with the convicted paedophile.</p> <p>"It wasn't then known that he had stayed with Jeffrey Epstein so I think this footage is damaging to the Duke's reputation."</p> <p>Last week the Queen was pictured with her third eldest son, leaving church following Sunday mass at Crathie Kirk. </p> <p>He was staying at Balmoral Castle with Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. </p> <p>Since then, he and his family have left and are now in a private villa in Mallorca, Spain. </p> <p>"He was conspicuous by his absence this morning, not being in Scotland with his mother and other members of the royal family but out in Spain with reports suggesting the couple is trying to have a holiday with their daughters," Tominey said.</p> <p>"In fact, the Duke was contemplating playing a round of golf in a very famous course there."</p> <p>Buckingham Palace has vehemently denied any allegations made against the Duke - particularly Virginia Roberts, one of Epstein’s victims. </p> <p>"This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors is categorically untrue," a palace spokesperson said.</p> <p>"It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. </p> <p>"Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."</p>

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The real way McDonald’s makes their money – it’s not their food

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This fast-food giant may serve billions and billions of customers, but the bulk of their profit isn’t made from food sales.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">McDonald’s sells a lot of food. Like, a lot of food. We’re talking enough food to serve more than 70 million people every day, with more than 75 burgers sold every second.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">That shouldn’t be too surprising, considering McDonald’s is one of the largest fast-food chains in the world. But their menu actually isn’t what generates the company’s multi-billion dollar profits. The real best-seller? Real estate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are more than 36,000 McDonald’s locations worldwide, but only about five percent of them are company-owned. The rest are franchised out, meaning they’re run by individuals who McDonald’s has contracted to operate them. In those situations, the company only spends money on the real estate of that location. The franchisee is responsible for all the costs of running the restaurant while also paying McDonald’s for rent (which adds up to an average of 10.7 percent of their sales), a US$45,000 franchisee fee, and a monthly service fee equal to four percent of gross sales, </span><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/what-it-costs-to-open-a-mcdonalds-2014-11"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Business Insider reports.</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">With multiple means of collecting revenue at relatively minimal costs, it’s no wonder McDonald’s relies so heavily on franchises.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are not basically in the food business,” former McDonald’s CFO Harry J. Sonneborn reportedly told investors. “We are in the real estate business. The only reason we sell 15 cent hamburgers is because they are the greatest producer of revenue from which our tenants can pay us rent.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Being able to hand off the costs of running the restaurants is a primary key to McDonald’s success. According to Wall Street Survivor, in 2014, the company made US$27.4 billion in revenue, with US$9.2 billion coming from franchised locations and US$18.2bn from company-owned locations. But after you factor in the total costs of running those locations, McDonald’s kept only 16 percent of the revenue from locations it owned directly compared to the 82 percent of the franchise-generated revenue.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, while you may spend money at McDonald’s on a Big Mac and fries, McDonald’s is spending money on prime real estate – and they’re lovin’ it.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Claire Nowak. This article first appeared in </span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/real-way-mcdonalds-makes-their-money-its-not-their-food"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></p>

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Kmart introduces new rule that prevents workers from announcing missing children

<p>Kmart has angered parents with their new policy that forbids them from announcing that children are missing inside their stores.</p> <p>As a Sydney mum quickly found out when her son went missing in the store, the announcements that detailed what the child looked like, what they were wearing as well as their age and name are simply a thing of the past.</p> <p>She shared her experience on the Northern Beaches Mums Facebook Group.</p> <p>"My mum and dad took my three-year-old son to Kmart today and my son decided to hide,” she wrote.</p> <p>"He was missing for 15 minutes.</p> <p>"My dad stayed at the front entrance to catch him on the way out if he tried to leave.</p> <p>"They asked to make an announcement and they were refused saying they couldn’t due to [a] child protection issue.</p> <p>"What else could be done in this situation to help find a lost or hiding child in a store?"</p> <p>Many were surprised by the change, as they questioned what could be done to locate their children if they went missing inside the store.</p> <p>'I would have freaked ... if they can’t call it out where was the help,' said one commenter.</p> <p>One of the group members mentioned that they work in retail and were able to explain why there was a change in policy.</p> <p>"I work in a retail store and when we have a missing child, we call all available staff to the front and let them know the situation and then go looking for the child," she said.</p> <p>"We’re not allowed to announce that there’s a missing child anymore.</p> <p>"[It’s] because of Child Protection Policies.</p> <p>"We used to announce what the child was wearing, but now we’re not allowed to even mention there’s a child missing."</p>

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5 hidden things in your home that may be a fire hazard

<p>Keep your family and property safe by being mindful of these hidden fire dangers in your home.</p> <p><strong>1. Beware these hidden fire traps</strong></p> <p>Keep your family and property safe by being mindful of these hidden fire dangers in your home.</p> <p><strong>2. Smoke detector</strong></p> <p>Every year people die because their smoke detectors didn’t go off during a fire. That’s usually because the batteries were dead (or had been removed to stop false alarms) or the detector was past its useful life or was located where occupants couldn’t hear the alarm.</p> <p><strong>3. Cooking fires</strong></p> <p>A towel or curtains hanging too close to an unattended stove can ignite. The statistics: Cooking fires cause 23 per cent of home fires and 9 per cent of deaths. The grease in an unattended frying pan catches on fire and ignites nearby combustibles, which in turn ignite curtains, cabinets or anything else in the vicinity.</p> <p><strong>4. Extension cords</strong></p> <p>Overloaded extension cords, bad connections and other careless use of electrical devices can melt wire insulation and cause a fire. The statistics: Electrical equipment causes nine percent of home fires and 10 percent of deaths. Overloaded extension cords, hidden electrical shorts, bad connections and oversized bulbs and fixtures can ignite nearby combustibles and burn down your house.</p> <p><strong>5. Gas water heaters</strong></p> <p>Clothes piled too close to a gas water heater can ignite when the water heater comes on, especially if the protective doors for the gas burners are missing. Appliances (clothes dryers and gas water heaters) cause 7 percent of home fires and 4 percent of deaths. After problems with stoves and heaters, the biggest culprits in appliance fires are lint in dryers and combustibles near gas water heaters.</p> <p><em>Written by Nick Gerhardt. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/20-hidden-things-in-your-home-that-may-be-a-fire-hazard?slide=all">Reader’s Digest.</a> 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=WRA87V"><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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Outrage over Cadbury changing iconic Dairy Milk chocolate recipe

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cadbury has released a “diet” version of their popular Dairy Milk chocolate bar and the country has reacted in blaze and fury. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are many of us who may be looking to cut down sugar intake, and the popular Cadbury brand has decided to cater to those looking for a healthier treat when they’re yearning for a sweet snack by creating a version of their all time favourite choccy with 30 per cent less sugar. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The news was not met with well wishes though and has caused a mass exodus of the brand on social media, with many customers asking “why?”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“WHAT HAS SOCIETY COME TO?!” one unhappy person commented.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sendddd it back! No one wanted it!” another angry response read. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What’s bloody next?” One horrified customer wrote. “Cadbury could live to regret this decision.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another added: “Chocolate is meant to be a treat. Why make it healthy?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is the first time in 114 years the Dairy Milk recipe has been altered, a representative said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cadbury brand manager Katrina Davidson said there are people all over the country looking for a healthier alternative to an unhealthy snack.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And that’s why we have worked tirelessly to create a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar with 30 per cent less sugar, which still tastes great,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are committed to responding to relevant consumer trends, and are always striving to offer chocolate lovers greater choice through exciting innovations and portion control offerings.”</span></p>

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Robert Irwin being investigated over "cruel treatment" of animals

<p>In what seems impossible to believe, Robert Irwin has been named in a proposed animal cruelty investigation following his appearance on <em>The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon</em>.</p> <p>Animal rights organisation PETA has called for a ban on wild animals on the US TV show, saying that celebrities and other members of the public were not licensed to  interact with the wildlife.</p> <p>In a statement, PETA noted that Irwin handled various animals – including an alligator, a camel, and servals – for the show’s segments on various occasions.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ieFrIvFzJd8"></iframe></div> <p>The organisation also mentioned actor Kate Beckinsale, who poked an African bullfrog, and <em>Game of Thrones </em>star Jacob Anderson, who was locked in a phone booth with a python snake on the show.</p> <p>“Animals suffer every time they’re exposed to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props,” said PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange.</p> <p>The organisation called for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to investigate exhibitor Grant Kemmerer, who supplied the animals to the NBC show, as well as other shows, including <em>The Rachael Ray Show, The Wendy Williams Show </em>and <em>Good Morning America</em>.</p> <p>It said that Kemmerer should be banned from obtaining future permits for breaching the city’s health code.</p> <p>“PETA is calling on authorities to throw the book at this hack for brazenly violating – on camera – the clear conditions of his exhibitor permits,” Lange said.</p> <p>However, Kemmerer denied that he violated his permit requirements by allowing the animals to appear on the program.</p> <p>“[Host Jimmy] Fallon or Robert Irwin are not the public,” Kemmerer told <em>Page Six</em>.</p> <p>“It was deemed even people in the audience are not looked at as the public in the eyes of the USDA, because they’re paying for an entertainment show and expect this type of show … You’re not going to pull out a random animal and hope it goes OK.”</p> <p>Kemmerer said Fallon was a willing participant. </p> <p>“We are alleviating any potential risk, and for Jimmy Fallon, he’s not going into this unknowing.</p> <p>“He is a participating person in this. They’re having Robert on there to bring the animals.”</p>

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