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Young woman exposes "hate" response to Origin's Welcome to Country

<p>The young woman who delivered the Welcome to Country at the State of Origin has opened up on the "overwhelming" response to it, revealing how she has "received a lot of hate".</p> <p>Savannah Fynn, 22, was invited to deliver the Welcome to Country and while it was generally well received, it also led to radio host Kyle Sandilands slamming the practice in general, saying the practice had become “overused and lost its impact”.</p> <p>Since then, Fynn revealed that she has received an overwhelming amount of hate online, with some even jumping to criticise her appearance. </p> <p>“I was just so worried I would stutter or mess up my words because I’d never spoken in front of that many people,” Fynn told <em><a title="www.dailytelegraph.com.au" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/stellar" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-tgev="event119" data-tgev-container="bodylink" data-tgev-order="stellar" data-tgev-label="lifestyle" data-tgev-metric="ev">Stellar</a></em>.</p> <p>“But once I finished, I felt a moment of relief. I ran straight over to my nan, obviously one of my Elders, and I gave her a big hug and a cuddle. It’s definitely an overwhelming feeling, getting all this attention. It’s not something I’m used to at all."</p> <p>“I’m a very quiet person so this is a big change. Even though it’s all positive, I struggle with taking compliments and I get a bit shy. I’m kind of ready for it to die down!”</p> <p>“As sad as it is, being a lighter skin colour, I’ve received a lot of hate for that,” the 22-year-old university student said.</p> <p>“A lot of people have picked on the way I look, the way I speak, even coming down to having blonde hair. My hair is actually dark, I’ve just dyed it blonde."</p> <p>“I think people also get very confused as to what an Acknowledgement and Welcome actually is. We’re not welcoming you to Australia; obviously you live here."</p> <p>“We’re welcoming you to the traditional owners of that land and acknowledging the traditional land. And in terms of comments about overuse, I feel you have to respect everyone’s opinions, even if you may not agree."</p> <p>“Being a First Nations person, I find it wonderful seeing my culture embraced. But obviously you can’t please everyone.”</p> <p>Fynn is aiming to be a young role model and hopes to show “young Indigenous people that we can get up and speak”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine </em></p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 24px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size-adjust: inherit; font-kerning: inherit; font-variant-alternates: inherit; font-variant-ligatures: inherit; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-variant-position: inherit; font-feature-settings: inherit; font-optical-sizing: inherit; font-variation-settings: inherit; font-size: 18px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </p> <p> </p>

TV

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Tucker Carlson hits back at "stupid" Aussie journalist

<p>The poster boy for conservative America has locked horns with an Aussie journalist in a heated exchange that has gone viral.</p> <p>Tucker Carlson, a former Fox News host in the USA and all round controversial figure, is currently doing the rounds Down Under as a guest of Clive Palmer, and took to the stage to make a speech at the Australian Freedom Conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra on Tuesday. </p> <p>With his signature move being to look for an argument, Carlson found a worthy opponent in AAP Newswire’s Kat Wong, who wasted no time in attempting to get under the 55-year-old’s skin.</p> <p>Wong quizzed Carlson about his controversial immigration views, saying he had “talked” about the “Great Replacement Theory” and how “white Australians, Americans and Europeans” are being replaced by “non-white immigrants”, but Carlson was quick to challenge the question.</p> <p>“Whites are being replaced? I don’t think I said that,” he interjected.</p> <p>“Well, it’s been mentioned on your show 4000 times,” Wong replied.</p> <p>“Really? When did I say that? I said ‘whites’ are being replaced?” he responded.</p> <p>When Wong insisted he had, Carlson challenged her to “cite that”.</p> <p>“I said native-born Americans are being replaced, including blacks,” he continued.</p> <p>“African-Americans have been in the United States, in many cases, for more than 400 years and their concerns are as every bit as real and valid and alive to me as the concerns of white people whose families have been there for 400 years."</p> <p>“I’ve never said that ‘whites’ are being replaced. Not one time and you can’t cite it.”</p> <p>When Wong said “I believe that’s untrue”, Carlson took it up a level.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Meet the Australian media. <a href="https://t.co/IyiEqihPkb">pic.twitter.com/IyiEqihPkb</a></p> <p>— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) <a href="https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1806034521369776406?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 26, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>“We just met, but when our relationship starts with a lie, it makes it tough to be friends,” he said.</p> <p>“You actually can’t cite it because I didn’t say it and I don’t believe it, and I’m telling you that to your face. So, why don’t you just accept me at face value?”</p> <p>Carlson doubled down on his views by calling immigration "immoral", saying governments were negligent by “shifting their concern” to immigrants in order to solve the population growth. </p> <p>“In my view, happy people have children,” he said. “And a functioning economy allows them to do that.”</p> <p>“So you need to fix the economy and fix the culture so the people who want to have kids can,” he continued. “You don’t just go for the quick sugar fix of importing new people. That’s my position and if you think that’s racist, that’s your problem.”</p> <p>Wong replied by saying “I never called you a racist” but it only fired Carlson up more.</p> <p>“But of course, you are suggesting … I must say one of the reasons why people don’t like people like you in the media is that you never say exactly what you mean,” Carlson said.</p> <p>“Your slurs are all by implication. You’re about to tell me the Great Replacement Theory is racist or antisemitic, whatever. I’ve said what I’ve said to you right now like 100 times in public."</p> <p>“I hope to, if I live long enough, to say it 100 more times. I think it’s completely honest and real, not racist or scary. It’s factually true. It’s not a theory, it’s a fact."</p> <p>Carlson then took the fight to the issue of gun control when Wong suggested that it is Americans the same immigration theories that turn to violence and commit mass shootings, to which Carlson quickly rejected as he took aim at Wong.  </p> <p>“Oh god, come on,” Carlson said. “How do they get people this stupid in the media? I guess it doesn’t pay well. Look, I’m sorry, I’ve lived among people like you for too long. I don’t mean to call you stupid, maybe you’re just pretending to be."</p> <p>He clarified his stance by saying, "But I’m totally against violence."</p> <p>But Wong wouldn’t stop her line of questioning, asking “Right, so therefore you support gun control?” </p> <p>“What?! I thought it couldn’t get dumber, but it did,” he said.</p> <p>“No, I don’t support disarming law-abiding people so they can’t defend themselves, so the government has a monopoly on violence. I don’t think so."</p> <p>Before leaving the stage, Carlson took a broad swipe at Australian media, saying, "I got here and the country is so unbelievably beautiful, and the people are so cheerful and funny, and cool, and smart. "</p> <p>“I’m like, ‘your media has got to be better than ours. It can’t just be a bunch of castrated robots reading questions from the boss’."</p> <p>“And then it turns out it’s exactly the same. Maybe even a tiny bit dumber.”</p> <p>A lengthy clip of the tense exchange has since gone viral amongst conservative X users, with <em>Sky News Australia</em> host Rita Panahi chiming in on the discourse. </p> <p>“If you are going to show up and make outrageous claims and try to connect Tucker Carlson to mass killers, then I don’t know, perhaps go to the trouble of citing a source, have a direct quote from the man,” Ms Panahi said.</p> <p>“Otherwise, you are going to look like an absolute fool.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: LUKAS COCH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 24px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size-adjust: inherit; font-kerning: inherit; font-variant-alternates: inherit; font-variant-ligatures: inherit; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-variant-position: inherit; font-feature-settings: inherit; font-optical-sizing: inherit; font-variation-settings: inherit; font-size: 18px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </p>

News

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Aussies urged to claim their share of millions of unclaimed cash

<p>Aussies are being urged to claim their share of $577 million which is sitting unclaimed with Revenue NSW, with about $234 million of that designated as belonging to residents who have yet to claim it.</p> <p>During the last financial year, NSW Government returned more than $21.8 million in unclaimed funds to Aussies, setting a record in the process. </p> <p>The unclaimed funds are comprised of payments, refunds, unpresented cheques, dividends and other money that organisations cannot transfer to its rightful owners, sometimes due to something as simple as changed addresses or bank accounts.</p> <p>While $234 million is being held by the government for NSW residents who are known, the further $343 million is designated to those who live outside New South Wales or are currently unknown. </p> <p>For Sydney residents alone, approximately $85.4 million is currently waiting to be claimed by rightful owners. </p> <p>The average amount of unclaimed money owed on the register is $391, and more than $154 million has been claimed back from the government in the past decade.</p> <p>“Despite doing our best to give unclaimed money back to the people it’s owed to, we’re still seeing more money referred to us than people are claiming,” Chief Commissioner of State Revenue Scott Johnston said.</p> <p>“We want to make sure everyone knows about the unclaimed money register, so they can jump online, find out if any money is owed to them and undertake the process to get it back."</p> <p>“That way we can ensure more money is being returned to those it belongs to, rather than sitting with us for extended periods of time after enterprises and organisations pass it on.”</p> <p>You can find more information about the unclaimed funds, and search the register for your share on <a href="https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/unclaimed-money" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Revenue NSW’s website</a>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Cops charged after allegedly assaulting 92-year-old

<p>Two police officers have been charged after allegedly assaulting a 92-year-old man in Sydney’s southwest.</p> <p>The officers attended a home at Campbell Street, Picton, after 8:45pm on January 21, following reports of a domestic incident. </p> <p>"The 92-year-old man received injuries which were allegedly the result of an interaction with the officers," a NSW Police statement reads.</p> <p>"He was taken to hospital where he was admitted with a fracture to his right elbow, and significant bruising to his head and arms."</p> <p>Following an internal investigation - which began the day after police attended the home - a male senior constable and a male constable, both from the South West Metropolitan Region, were given court attendance notices yesterday for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.</p> <p>The constable is also facing a further charge of assault. </p> <p>NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said that police responded to over 140,000 domestic violence matters every year and they review all the responses the following day. </p> <p>She also said that it was "too hard to say" whether a domestic violence matter took place at the home, and it appeared that a resident at the home had dementia. </p> <p>"It's obviously a complex matter when you have someone elderly, someone who has mental decline through dementia, or through something else, that can actually articulate any concerns to police properly."</p> <p>However, no-one has been charged with domestic violence. </p> <p>One of the officers will appear at Campbelltown Local Court on July 30, and the other is due to appear at the same court on August 6. </p> <p>Both officers will be suspended with pay. </p> <p><em>Image: Nine</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Doctors at war

<p><em>In the annals of military history, the valour and sacrifices of doctors who served alongside soldiers in combat zones often go unrecognised. Yet their stories, as retired colonel Robert Likeman poignantly illustrates in his Australian Doctors at War series, reveal a legacy of courage and commitment that is integral to understanding the full scope of wartime heroism.</em></p> <p>---</p> <p>Winston Churchill, in his <em>Sketches on Service During the Indian Frontier Campaign of 1897</em>, wrote, “The spectacle of a doctor in action among soldiers, in equal danger and with equal courage, saving life where others are taking it, allaying pain where all others are causing it, is one which must always seem glorious, whether to God or man”.</p> <p>It is certainly true that doctors in a combat zone share the risks of shot and shell equally with the fighting soldier, but they also experience the added stress of taking responsibility for those wounded and dying on the battlefield, and in situations where the best of treatment cannot be readily given.</p> <p>Glorious or otherwise, the stories of our Australian Army doctors at war remain relatively unrecognised. Doctors have always been among the first to volunteer – in all 1,242 doctors served with the first Australian Imperial Force, careless for their own safety, and 55 of them failed to return. These men represented a significant proportion of the medical workforce in Australia, which by 1937 only reached 5,000. In World War 2, with the introduction of compulsory military service, the number of serving doctors exceeded 2,500. Hardly any of them are still with us today, but their children and grandchildren are our fellow citizens, and in many cases our local doctor may be one of these. It is a legacy not to be dismissed lightly. </p> <p>Those who have served in the Army know that treating the ailments of soldiers and preserving their health occupies much more time than dressing their wounds. In World War 1, fought over the agricultural lands of Europe, infectious diseases such as gas gangrene, tetanus and trench fever were common. In the deserts of World War 2, these were replaced by hepatitis, sandfly fever and eye infections. New Guinea presented a wholly different spectrum of disease, dominated by malaria, scrub typhus and amoebic dysentery. The maintenance of “fighting fitness” was a daily struggle for the doctors. </p> <p>The 2021 Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide did not identify medical officers as being particularly at risk of psychological injury as a result of their service in a war zone. But in view of their exposure to mass trauma and death, they might be assumed to have a significant risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, both from the chances of being wounded or killed, and from the guilt associated with the failure to preserve life. Two of the medical officers who served at Gallipoli shot themselves on their return to Egypt, perhaps because they had seen men die who might have been saved with better medical attention. Fourteen other doctors from the 1st Australian Imperial Force are known to have committed suicide after their return to Australia. </p> <p>Close to 3,000 Australian nurses served overseas with the Australian Army Nursing Service in World War 1, but female doctors were not permitted to enlist. A significant number of them however, at least 19, served in the British Army or in voluntary hospitals in Europe. One of them, Phoebe Chapple, was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery. In World War 2, 22 women doctors were commissioned in total – moreso due to the shortage of manpower than from egalitarian principles – though none of them were posted overseas. In recent overseas deployments, women doctors in the Army have quite properly taken their rightful place.</p> <p>The military service and civilian practice of all the Australian doctors who served in both World Wars has been meticulously documented in my six-volume series, <em>Australian Doctors at War</em>, published by Halstead Press. Your relatives may be among them.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/06/Robert_Likeman_01.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><em>The Inevitable Hour</em> is the sixth and final volume of my <em>Australian Doctors at War</em> series, covering the period from January 1943 to the disbanding of the Second Australian Imperial Force in April 1947. Even after the Japanese had been driven from Papua and New Guinea, they still retained most of the archipelago. The threat to Australia was great, and despite being a then small nation, the country mobilised quickly to disrupt Japanese holdings in Madang, Wewak and Wau. Overcoming the constant influx of wounded men needing treatment, suffering themselves from afflictions such as hepatitis, dysentery and depression, aggravated by extreme and tropical climates, Australia’s medical officers were under considerable pressure, during the war and in the monumental demobilisation of the 2nd AIF that followed Japanese defeat.</p> <p><em><strong>ABOUT THE AUTHOR</strong></em><br />Robert Likeman is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied Classics, Oriental Languages and Medicine. He is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, in tropical medicine, and in rural and remote medicine. After service in the British Army he migrated to Australia in 1972. He is the author of seven books of military history and two biographies, and co-author of a textbook of obstetrics and gynaecology for doctors practising in developing countries.</p> <p><em>Images courtesy of Robert Likeman.</em></p>

Books

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Racist street name set to change

<p>The name of a street in northern NSW is set to be changed after an Uber driver stumbled across it and alerted locals to its racist background. </p> <p>Byron Shire Council announced that Hottentot Crescent in Mullumbimby, will soon be renamed Moonlight Close, after the council deemed Hottentot - a racist term for Indigenous South Africans - no longer appropriate for use. </p> <p>Jonny Simons, a local man who moved to Australia from South Africa in the 1980s, was the first person to petition for the name change back in November, after the Uber driver tipped him off. </p> <p>He garnered 383 signatures in the petition, but not all residents and community members supported the change. </p> <p>Last year, there were 12 submissions from past and present residents objecting to the council's name change proposal. </p> <p>One resident insisted on keeping the name saying: “My understanding is that our street name was chosen decades ago, after a tree, the Hottentot Bean Tree (Schotia Brachypetala). Never in my time as a resident here, have I heard another person ever relate the street name in regards to a racial slur." </p> <p>“While I appreciate the concerns raised, it is essential to acknowledge that names can change in meaning and connotation over the years.</p> <p>“Altering the street name would greatly impact residents and the council long term with endless administrative changes and potential financial costs.”</p> <p>However, five other submissions were in favour of the change, with one writing: “a racial slur is a racial slur even if a tree is named after it. As much as I loved the sound of the name, it has to go.” </p> <p>A few other names were put forward, including Drunken Parrot Place - named after a nearby tree full of lorikeets getting drunk in spring and summer - but the council ultimately decided on Moonlight Close. </p> <p>In November, following community consultation, the council’s director of infrastructure services Phillip Holloway, recommended the name change “on the basis that there is more lasting value in trying to minimise the type of hurt this particular name could cause some people over the long term", over avoiding costs to the residents in the short term.</p> <p>He added that many of the residents were unaware of the racist connotation of the name "beyond naming the relevant tree", and that "the tree name itself is racially loaded" because it is linked to the slur used towards the Khoisan people "who used the tree for food during South Africa’s colonisation.”</p> <p>Simons, who petitioned for the change, said he doesn't hold anything against the residents who were against the name change as "they didn't know what it meant". </p> <p>"They thought it was the name of a tree, but that tree was named as such because the Khoisan people of South Africa ate the fruit of that tree," he said. </p> <p><em>Image: Google Maps</em></p>

Legal

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Alleged killer cop files lawsuit against NSW Police

<p>The former police officer accused of murder has now filed a lawsuit against the NSW Police for bullying and harassment. </p> <p>Former NSW Police senior constable Beau Lamarre-Condon is accused of shooting Jesse Baird, 26, and his partner Luke Davies, 29, at Baird’s Paddington house in February and disposing of the bodies on a rural property near Goulburn.</p> <p>While still awaiting trial over the alleged murders, the suit against the police force has been filed, with <em>Sunrise</em> newsreader Edwina Bartholomew sharing the updates. </p> <p>“The defence lawyer for accused killer cop Beau Lamarre-Condon says his client is continuing with a lawsuit against the NSW Police Force for bullying and harassment while he was a constable,” Bartholomew said.</p> <p>Lamarre-Condon's lawyer John Walford confirmed the move to <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=DTWEB_WRE170_a_TCA&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailytelegraph.com.au%2Ftruecrimeaustralia%2Fpolice-courts-nsw%2Fchilling-unseen-photos-of-beau-lamarrecondon-cosying-up-with-exlover-he-allegedly-killed%2Fnews-story%2F4fdbac4f0dac6d7ea38b3094e808e3ab&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21=LOW-Segment-1-SCORE" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Daily Telegraph</em></a>, saying, “Yes, action against police is continuing … it’s huge.”</p> <p>The former officer has been in protective custody at the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre at Silverwater in Sydney's west for the past four months and sources close to the 28-year-old say his mental state is deteriorating.</p> <p>"He's not doing real well at the moment," a source told <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13471215/Beau-Lamarre-Condon-Chilling-pictures-accused-killer-Jesse-Baird-Luke-Davies.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a> in April. </p> <p>"Obviously it's set in now - what's happened and the allegations and where he is. I think the rot's set in mentally-wise. He's at a low point at the moment. He's very down. He's hit the lows."</p> <p>Lamarre-Condon is expected to front court again on June 18th. </p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News / Shutterstock </em></p>

Legal

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How to write creative non-fiction history

<p><em>Discovering an old photo album from the 1920s, celebrated author and adjunct professor <strong>Paul Ashton</strong> embarked on a journey to turn historical research into engaging creative non-fiction, blending meticulous evidence with captivating storytelling. Here he shares he insights on the fascinating process. </em></p> <p>One afternoon my elderly father and niece came to my home for lunch. On their way they had seen something on a council clean up. ‘We thought you might be interested in this,’ said my father handing me a small, brown photo album. I was.</p> <p>The album contained around 100 undated black and white photographs. It became apparent quickly that this was the record of a road trip done in the 1920s or 1930s. A boy, two women and a man had gone on a trip from Sydney up through New England, to Tamworth then to Brisbane and back to Sydney. Shadows in some of the images indicate that they were taken by the man and at least one of the women. The album provided the basis for my first children’s book, Palmer’s Mystery Hikes.</p> <p>One photograph stood out for me. Hundreds of people were gathered somewhere in the bush. In the far left-hand corner in the background was an elevated table covered with a large white tablecloth. With a magnifying glass I could just make out ‘Palmers [something] Hike’. In 1932 Palmer’s men and boys’ department store, in Park Street in Sydney, had established a hiking club to promote the sale of hiking apparel. You bought a ‘mystery’ ticket from New South Wales Railways with which Palmer had an arrangement; turned up at Central Station on Sunday morning; and were taken to a mystery destination. From there you did a ten-mile hike to another station and were then trained back to Sydney. There were five hikes. The third one to the Hawkesbury River attracted over 8,000 people.</p> <p>Turning historical research into believable fiction or creative non-fiction has certain demands. How do you strike a balance between historical research and evidence and the narrative form? This is a big question and will ultimately depend on many things, including the availability of primary and secondary sources and the nature of the particular narrative. But perhaps the most important question is: how do writers use the past to give their work historical dimensions and insights?</p> <p>For me, the most critical element is context. And it’s the thing most missing in much historically based fictional literature. Evoking people, places and periods involves understandings of things such as continuity and change over time, historical process – like colonisation and suburbanisation – ideologies and superstitions. Where appropriate, these should form subtle backgrounds to the narrative. Fiction and creative non-fiction as historical modes of presenting history should also show – not tell.</p> <p>My edited collection, If It’s not True It Should Be (Halstead Press), explores writing history using fictional techniques. As Peter Stanley has written in that book, ‘those who seek to illuminate the past through the imaginative recreation of historical fiction … [are] motivated by the fundamental conviction that what links the fidelity of the historian and the imagination of the historical novelist is that the work of both should be offered and read as if it were true.’</p> <p><em>ABOUT THE AUTHOR<br />Paul Ashton is adjunct professor and co-founder of the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney and adjunct professor at the University of Canberra and Macquarie University. He has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited over 40 books and is editor of the journal Public History Review. His series of creative non-fiction children’s histories – Accidental Histories – is being published by Halstead Press.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Supplied</em></p>

Books

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The sad state of Aussie ski resorts ahead of winter holiday season

<p>Ski resorts in Australia have had to get creative ahead of the tourist-heavy ski season after a lack of snowfall, despite plunging temperatures. </p> <p>The ski season begins this year on the June long weekend, running alongside the King’s Birthday on June 8th. </p> <p>Despite expecting a huge influx of keen skiers, there has only been light flurries of snow so far, according to WeatherZone, which melt away quickly and don't settle on the ground for long. </p> <p>In order to accommodate the busy season, Thredbo has had to resort to using fake snow for people to ski on. </p> <p>Manufactured snow happens by combining pressurised air and water through a ‘snow gun’ that gets blasted out into the air.</p> <p>The most ideal time to create the fake snow is on clear nights with low humidity, as the higher the humidity the colder it needs to be to make the flurries.</p> <p>Several photos from ski.com.au's cameras have shown popular ski sites with a disappointing lack of snow, in scenes similar to last year's ski season. </p> <p>“No significant snowfalls are on the horizon for the mainland Australian ski resorts before the official King’s Birthday Long Weekend season opening,” Weatherzone reports.</p> <p>“Snow-making began on the weekend at several resorts and has continued into the working week in the cold dry, air in the wake of the cold front.”</p> <p>According to WeatherZone, high-pressure systems, which have brought constant rain to the east coast recently, have been blocking the snowfall.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency / Thredbo</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Hundreds arrested in domestic violence crackdown

<p>More than 550 people in NSW have been arrested in a state-wide crackdown on domestic and family violence. </p> <p>Operation Amarok VI ran from last Wednesday to Saturday, and in that time police arrested 554 people and made a total of 1070 charges. </p> <p>Of those arrests, 226 were wanted by police for alleged serious domestic violence offences, according to a NSW police spokesman. </p> <p>"Anyone who commits this heinous crime can expect a knock at their door," Police Minister Yasmin Catley said.</p> <p>"Operation Amarok is just one part of the police response. Last year, almost 150,000 calls for assistance were made to the NSWPF for domestic violence-related matters.</p> <p>"This shows the severity of the situation, the huge amount of police time and resources that go into addressing this epidemic and how important it is for prevention, early intervention and crisis support services to work together."</p> <p>Some of most significant arrests include a a 53-year-old man who allegedly threatened a woman with an imitation gun in Kempsey. </p> <p>Officers searched the home and seized the weapon and some cannabis. </p> <p>A 23-year-old woman was also arrested in the state's west after allegedly stabbing a relative around 2:30 am on May 17. </p> <p>The older relative received multiple stab wounds to the abdomen, head, and back and was taken to a local hospital where police were called.</p> <p>She was later flown to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in a critical condition.</p> <p>The 23-year-old was charged with wound person intend cause grievous bodily harm and was refused bail to appear in Dubbo Local Court on May 18.</p> <p>NSW Police Executive Sponsor for Domestic and Family Violence, Deputy Commissioner Peter Thurtell said that the operation allowed police to conduct a targeted blitz of those who have been flagged as the worst domestic violence offenders. </p> <p>“We demonstrated last week that we will target and arrest the offenders no matter where they are located. We saw significant arrest numbers in our regional communities, and we also saw arrests for offences that occurred allegedly while the offender was in jail," he said. </p> <p>"These Amarok VI results send a powerful message to offenders, and the community at large, that we do not tolerate domestic and family violence in any form, and our efforts will continue."</p> <p><em>Images: NSW Police</em></p>

Legal

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Heartbreaking twist after mum dies on her way to a wedding

<p>A mother has been killed in a horrific car crash while on her way to a wedding in regional NSW, just hours after announcing she was expecting her third child. </p> <p>Shellymaine Ah Foon, 32, her partner Troy, and their two young daughters, aged six and two, were on their way to a wedding in Mudgee, NSW when their SUV crashed at Aarons Pass, about 2pm on Friday. </p> <p>Foon was left with critical injuries and was taken to Mudgee hospital, but soon passed away. </p> <p>Her partner was seriously injured and airlifted to Westmead Hospital to undergo surgery after suffering several fractures to both limbs on his left side. </p> <p>Their two daughters were also taken to the same hospital. </p> <p>A family member, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the sad detail to 7News. </p> <p>“We spoke to Shelly on the Thursday night, and she told us she was pregnant,” she said. </p> <p>“She was meant to go for tests when she came back from Mudgee to see how far along she was.”</p> <p>Foon was remembered as a "social butterfly" who could “strike up a conversation with anyone.” </p> <p>“She was very family oriented, was always there for anyone who needed anything, she was very selfless with her time,” the family member said. </p> <p>“Her death has really impacted a whole community of people,” she added. </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-loving-memory-of-shellymaine-ah-foon" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page has since been organised to help cover funeral costs, support Troy following his surgery, and help Foon's family, who are largely based overseas. </p> <p>“Troy won’t be able to go to work while he recovers,” the woman said.</p> <p>“He still has to undergo rehab, and he will be on crutches for some time.”</p> <p>Their two daughters have since been discharged from the hospital, and are in the care of family while Troy recovers. </p> <p>The family friend added that Foon's love for her kids was exceptional saying: “she was the light of Troy and her girls’ lives.</p> <p>“Their world has changed forever and the love their Mum gave them will never be replicated ever again.”  </p> <p>Police said investigations are still underway into the circumstances leading up to the crash, with the other driver taken to Mudgee Hospital with minor injuries. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Caring

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Firefighter praised for sweet interaction with three-year-old

<p>A cooking mishap for one Aussie family ended with a heartwarming moment shared between a firefighter and a young girl meeting her hero for the first time. </p> <p>Firefighters were called to a home at Blue Haven on the NSW Central Coast on Saturday, after a fire broke out on a kitchen stove top and spread to the range hood. </p> <p>They were quick to put out the blaze and just as they were about to leave, three-year-old Mia was too excited to meet her heroes that she couldn't let them leave just yet. </p> <p>"Once we got there and ascertained that there was no fire spread to the roof and other areas... their daughter decided to take me away into the room to see the new books she got," Doyalson Fire and Rescue Station Manager Dirk Ziekenheiner told Yahoo News.  </p> <p>"Which I then obviously took the opportunity to read," he added.</p> <p>A picture of the sweet moment was shared on social media, with the firefighter sat on one of Mia's pink chairs and the three-year-old keenly listening to him read the story. </p> <p>Mia also impressed the firefighter with her own safety knowledge, as she shared her understanding of calling Triple-Zero in an emergency, how to escape a fire and the importance staying outside after evacuating. </p> <p>"Obviously her parents did really well and schools pass on the message, and you know that safety messages are key to surviving a house fire, especially these days," Ziekenheiner said.</p> <p>"If you don't know what to do, and you never plan for it, then you're probably behind the eight ball... this girl was amazing, she knew all those key messages which is really important."</p> <p>Aussies praised the firefighter in the comments of the post, with many of them commenting on how "cute" the moment was. </p> <p>Mia's father, James, also added that his daughter was very excited to meet her heroes despite the circumstances. </p> <p>"Mia watches a lot of children's TV shows which feature firefighters so she already knows they're heroes and they rescue people," James said.</p> <p>"Having now seen first-hand the great work they do, we'll continue to spread the word about fire safety and we encourage others to do the same.</p> <p>"Our family never thought we'd come this close to losing our home to fire, so the key is to not be complacent about the risks."</p> <p><em>Image: Fire and Rescue NSW / Facebook</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Leaker of gruesome shark attack photo revealed

<p>The New South Wales Ambulance Service is facing criticism and backlash after a staff member <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/leaked-photo-of-sydney-shark-victim-sparks-urgent-probe" target="_blank" rel="noopener">leaked a graphic image</a> of the wounded leg of Sydney shark attack victim Lauren O'Neill.</p> <p>The incident occurred after O'Neill fell victim to a bull shark attack in Sydney Harbour, just metres away from her residence. This breach of privacy has not only added to the distress of O'Neill and her loved ones but has raised serious concerns about the protection of patient confidentiality.</p> <p>The graphic image, taken inside the emergency room as medical professionals worked to stabilise O'Neill, was shared online by a member of the NSW Ambulance staff. This action not only violates the fundamental principle of patient privacy but also calls into question the ethical conduct expected from healthcare professionals in such sensitive situations.</p> <p>NSW Ambulance issued a public apology, acknowledging the breach of privacy and expressing sincere regret for the additional distress caused to O'Neill and her family.</p> <p>The statement also revealed that discussions with O'Neill's family led them to believe that a NSW Ambulance staff member was responsible for the privacy breach.</p> <p>“NSW Ambulance sincerely apologises to Ms O’Neill for the breach of her privacy and the additional distress it has caused her and her loved ones at this most difficult time,” a spokesperson said. “We spoke with Ms O’Neill’s family this afternoon and informed them that we believe a NSW Ambulance staff member was responsible for the breach of her privacy.</p> <p>“NSW Ambulance takes its patient privacy obligations very seriously and is continuing to investigate this breach to determine the full details of the incident.”</p> <p>St Vincent's Hospital, where Ms. O'Neill was taken for urgent medical attention, has launched its own investigation into the matter, along with the involvement of NSW Police. The gravity of the situation is underscored by the fact that O'Neill's right leg was in jeopardy, and the medical teams worked tirelessly to save it.</p> <p>O'Neill, a microbiologist, has expressed her gratitude to the heroic neighbours, to NSW Ambulance paramedics, Kings Cross Police and the surgical teams at St Vincent's Hospital for their swift and caring actions. However, the unfortunate leak of the graphic image has marred what should have been a focus on her recovery and gratitude towards those who aided her in the aftermath of the terrifying attack.</p> <p>As O'Neill transitions from the Intensive Care Unit to a recovery ward, it is crucial for the public to reflect on the importance of patient privacy and the trust placed in healthcare professionals during moments of vulnerability. The breach has sparked outrage among the public, with many demanding accountability and stricter measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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What does El Niño do to the weather in your state?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kimberley-reid-767059">Kimberley Reid</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>You’ve probably heard El Niño brings hot and dry weather to the eastern states, but what about the rest of Australia? Are we all in for a scorcher this summer?</p> <p>El Niño is what scientists call a <a href="https://www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au/en/overview/climate-system/australian-climate-influences/">climate driver</a>. But it’s just one of many.</p> <p>These climate drivers control year-to-year variations in the weather. Some years are hotter and drier, while others are cooler and wetter.</p> <p>Australia is particularly prone to weather whiplash because our continent is buffeted by climate drivers to our north, south, east and west. The dominant driver in your state may be one of the lesser-known influences.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iVhi1wq2sTY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Understanding Climate Drivers (Bureau of Meteorology)</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>East: El Niño Southern Oscillation</h2> <p>The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the resident climate driver in the Pacific Ocean and the driver with the biggest influence over Australian weather. Differences in sea surface temperatures and winds across the Pacific determine whether we swing towards El Niño (the boy) or La Niña (the girl).</p> <p><a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=enso">During the El Niño phase</a>, sea surface temperatures near South America are warmer than normal and they are cooler than normal off the coast of eastern Australia. Additionally, trade winds that blow from east to west across the Pacific weaken.</p> <p>El Niño brings hotter daytime temperatures, but often <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Pacific-Ocean&amp;pacific=History">cooler nights</a>. That’s because reduced cloud cover allows more heat to escape into space overnight. So the same process that increases the chances of heatwaves can also raise the <a href="https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/climate-weather/historical-frost-and-heat-maps-south-west-land-division">risk of frost</a> in Western Australia, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.</p> <p>Australia as a whole is typically drier during an El Niño event. In the tropical regions, El Niño can delay the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/updates/articles/a008-el-nino-and-australia.shtml">onset of the monsoon and reduce the likelihood of tropical cyclones</a>. In the southern states, the hot and dry conditions increase the chance of intense bushfires.</p> <p>La Niña is the opposite phase. Waters off eastern Australia are warmer than usual, increasing the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Pacific-Ocean&amp;pacific=History&amp;enso-impacts=La-Ni%C3%B1a-impacts">chance of tropical cyclones</a> and an earlier start to the monsoon for WA, the Northern Territory and Queensland.</p> <p>So what does El Niño do to the weather in your state? Hover over your state in the interactive map to find out.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-1008" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/1008/7f37ae91389db072906b320ffd54d0fefd840c0d/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h2>West: Indian Ocean Dipole</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=iod">Indian Ocean Dipole</a> is like ENSO’s Indian Ocean cousin. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole is declared when ocean temperatures near Africa are warmer than normal and ocean temperatures off the coast of Sumatra are cooler than usual.</p> <p>A positive dipole tends to bring warmer and drier conditions, particularly to western and central Australia. A negative Indian Ocean Dipole is the reverse and is associated with wetter than normal weather and an increase in <a href="https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/why-more-clouds-can-mean-less-rain-in-australia">northwest cloudbands</a>.</p> <h2>North: Madden-Julian Oscillation</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=mjo">Madden-Julian Oscillation</a> is a pulse of storms that start in the Indian Ocean, travel over Northern Australia and Indonesia and die in the Pacific Ocean. Ahead of the pulse, the air sinks, causing sunny and dry weather. Under the pulse is high storm activity and typically heavy rainfall.</p> <p>We describe the Madden-Julian Oscillation based on whether the pulse of storms is <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mjo/">active or inactive</a> and where the storm activity is located on its path between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. As well as causing rainfall, the Madden-Julian Oscillation can control the timing of the monsoon onset and <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=tc">tropical cyclone formation</a>.</p> <h2>South: Southern Annular Mode</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=sam">Southern Annular Mode</a> controls the north and south position of the westerly winds that whizz around the globe in the Southern Ocean. When the winds are further north than usual, we call this the negative phase. But when the westerly wind move towards Antarctica, we call this the positive phase.</p> <p>The phase of the Southern Annular Mode <a href="https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/joc.1370">affects how many weather systems</a>, like cold fronts, make landfall over southern Australia. A positive mode may also draw tropical moist air south, which happened in 2022 during the extensive flooding over eastern Australia.</p> <h2>Climate drivers control the odds, but not the result</h2> <p>These four key climate drivers affect the weather on average (over months and seasons), but they do not dictate the exact day-to-day weather we experience. As the Gippsland region of Victoria <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/oct/05/victoria-floods-flooding-warnings-gippsland-region-flood-and-fires-evacuation">saw in October</a>, heavy rainfall can still occur during an El Niño.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=407&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=407&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=407&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=512&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=512&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/561494/original/file-20231124-16-ip8fja.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=512&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Map of Australia showing the difference from normal rainfall during October 2023, with a large wet patch around Gippsland, Victoria." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Difference from normal rainfall during October 2023, showing defined wet area around Gippsland, Victoria surrounded by drier conditions.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">The Bureau of Meteorology</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Climate drivers are like a football coach. They can select the best players and develop ingenious strategies, but that doesn’t guarantee a win every time.</p> <p>Players can get injured on the field or simply have a bad game. These uncontrollable factors are challenging to predict and may change the result from what we would expect. Scientists call this stochasticity. The climate drivers are the football coach, but the day-to-day weather systems are the players.</p> <p>The Bureau of Meteorology <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/">releases an update</a> on all of these drivers every two weeks. The update explains which drivers are currently active and the forecast for the next few weeks.</p> <p>So, if you are wondering why the weather is cooler during summer, or it’s raining in the middle of the dry season, perhaps take a look at which driver is steering Australia’s weather at the moment.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/218257/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kimberley-reid-767059">Kimberley Reid</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Atmospheric Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-does-el-nino-do-to-the-weather-in-your-state-218257">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Twist for cop accused of killing Clare Nowland

<p>Senior Constable Kristian James Samuel White, 33, who was accused of killing 95-year-old Clare Nowland <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-horrified-by-police-statement-on-tasering-of-clare-nowland" target="_blank" rel="noopener">with a taser</a> at an aged care home in Cooma, regional NSW has been deemed a “flight risk”. </p> <p>White was charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault over the alleged “excessive use of force”.</p> <p>It is alleged that Nowland was using a walker and holding a serrated steak knife at the time of the incident, when the 33-year-old said “stop, just … nah bugger it” before allegedly tasering her. </p> <p>The great-grandmother fell backwards and fractured her skull, causing an inoperable brain injury that unfortunately led to her death just days later. </p> <p>Just last week, White's charges were upgraded to include an additional charge of manslaughter on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.</p> <p>White appeared in court on Wednesday, for the first time since his charges were upgraded, and received two new bail conditions. </p> <p>The Constable was required to surrender his passport and not leave the country due to the upgraded charges. </p> <p>However, prior to his bail conditions being approved, Magistrate Roger Clisdell criticised both Crown prosecutor Victoria Garrity, and White's defence lawyer Warwick Anderson for negotiating the new terms of bail without his input. </p> <p>“I make the decision,” he said.</p> <p>“I would have thought my last explosion would have caused you to be more sensitive to my position.”</p> <p>This comes after the prosecutors failed to tell the Magistrate that they had agreed to allow White to appear in court via video link in May, without the court's consent.</p> <p>The Crown prosecutor defended her actions by saying that she asked him to surrender his passport to mitigate the risk of flight. </p> <p>“With the more serious charge now being faced, there is a heightened risk that he would leave the jurisdiction and not face court,”  she explained. </p> <p>“Those two new conditions are now appropriate.”</p> <p>While the police officer's defence lawyer added that “He has no intention of fleeing the jurisdiction," and agreed to the additional bail conditions “to facilitate the speedy resolution”. </p> <p>White will return to court in February next year. </p> <p>Nowland's family members released a statement via their lawyer after the proceedings on Wednesday. </p> <p>“The family does not wish to comment further on the criminal process at this time given the extremely serious nature of the charge against Mr White, who continues to be a sworn NSW police officer,” the statement read. </p> <p>NSW Police confirmed that White remained suspended from duty with pay.</p> <p><em>Images: ABC News South East NSW: Floss Adams/ News.com.au</em></p>

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Free tickets up for grabs to Barry Humphries' state memorial

<p>Australians will have the chance to pay their respects to the late Barry Humphries, with limited free tickets to his state memorial available to the public. </p> <p>Humphries died on April 22nd this year at the age of 89, and will be remembered for his legendary comedic characters such as Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.</p> <p>His state memorial will be held at the Sydney Opera House at 11am on Friday December 15th, for those who wish to pay their respects to the entertainment giant. </p> <p>"The State Memorial will bring together dignitaries, family, friends and fans of Mr Humphries from across Australia and around the world to celebrate his extraordinary career and achievements," the NSW government said online.</p> <div> <p>Limited free tickets have also been made available to the public through the <a title="Sydney Opera House website" href="https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/state-memorial-barry-humphries-ac-cbe" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sydney Opera House website,</a> with fans able to snag a ticket from 2pm AEDT on Friday November 17th.</p> <p>Each person hoping to get a ticket will be allowed two tickets per customer to give everyone a chance to farewell one of Australia's best-loved entertainers. </p> <p>For those who miss out on a ticket, the memorial will be streamed online and broadcast on ABC, providing an opportunity for audiences everywhere to share in the celebration of Mr Humphries' life.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

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Hello hay fever – why pressing under your nose could stop a sneeze but why you shouldn’t

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/theresa-larkin-952095">Theresa Larkin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-nealon-1481995">Jessica Nealon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p>If you have <a href="https://theconversation.com/sniffles-sneezing-and-cough-how-to-tell-if-its-a-simple-allergy-rather-than-the-virus-139657">hay fever</a>, you’ve probably been sneezing a lot lately.</p> <p>Sneezing is universal but also quite unique to each of us. It is a protective reflex action outside our conscious control, to remove irritants from inside our nose.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/holding-in-a-sneeze">pressure in the airways</a> during a sneeze is more than 30 times greater than heavy breathing during exercise. Estimates of how fast a sneeze travels range from <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0059970">5 metres a second</a> to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19617285/">more than 150 kilometres per hour</a>.</p> <p>You can sometimes stop a sneeze by holding your nose or pressing underneath it. This is related to the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/gate-control-theory">gate control theory of pain</a> and the idea you can change neural responses with external stimulation. But given the velocity of a sneeze, it might not be a good idea to stop it after it has started.</p> <h2>An involuntary reflex</h2> <p>A sneeze is initiated when sensory nerves in our nose are <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1753465809340571?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&amp;rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed">stimulated by an irritant</a> such as allergens, viruses, bacteria or even fluid.</p> <p>The sensory nerves then carry this irritant information to the brain.</p> <p>When a threshold amount of irritant signals reach the brain, the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077498/">sneeze reflex is triggered</a>. A sneeze first involves a deep intake of breath and a <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-sneeze/">build-up of pressure inside the airways</a>. This is then followed by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/back-pain-when-sneezing#sneezing-as-a-cause">contraction of the diaphragm</a> and rib muscles, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077498/">reflex closing of the eyes</a> and a strong exhalation.</p> <p>These are the “ah” and the “tchoo” phases of a sneeze.</p> <p>On the exhalation of a sneeze, your tongue is lifted to the roof of your mouth. This <a href="https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1164/rccm.202004-1263PP">closes off the back of the mouth</a> so the air is forced mostly through your nose. The air expelled through the nose flushes out the irritants that caused the sneeze. The “tch” sound of a sneeze is the reflexive touching of the tongue to the roof of your mouth.</p> <h2>The trigeminal nerves</h2> <p>The trigeminal nerves are the <a href="https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21998-cranial-nerves">largest of our 12 pairs of cranial nerves</a> and the largest sensory nerves in the body.</p> <p>The left and right trigeminal nerves carry sensory information from the face to the brain. This includes touch, pain and irritation sensory information from the facial skin and from inside the nose and mouth. Within each trigeminal nerve are thousands of individual nerve branches that each carry a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1744806920901890">specific type of sensory information</a>.</p> <h2>Sensory nerves communicate in the spinal cord</h2> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=631&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=631&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=631&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=792&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=792&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=792&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="drawing of face with nerves labelled" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Henry Gray’s anatomical illustration of the trigeminal nerve.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Gray778.png">Gray's Anatomy/Wikimedia Commons</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Sensory nerves travel to the brain via the spinal cord. The sensory nerves that carry pain and irritant signals are narrow, whereas those that carry touch information are wider and faster.</p> <p>In the spinal cord, these nerves communicate with each other via interneurons before sending their message to the brain. The interneurons are the “gates” of the <a href="https://www.physio-pedia.com/Gate_Control_Theory_of_Pain#:%7E:text=and%20trigger%20%E2%80%A2-,Introduction,be%20let%20through%20or%20restricted.">gate control theory of pain</a>.</p> <p>A nerve carrying a pain signal tells the interneuron to “open the gate” for the pain signal to reach the brain. But the larger nerves that carry touch information can “close the gate” and block the pain messages getting to the brain.</p> <p>This is why rubbing an injured area can reduce the sensation of pain.</p> <p><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.01037/full">One study</a> showed stimulating the trigeminal nerves by moving the jaw reduced tooth pain. We can observe this in action when babies instinctively <a href="https://chaimommas.com/2013/11/05/what-to-expect-with-teething-and-tooth-development-chart/">bite on things or pull their ear</a> when they are teething. These actions can stimulate the trigeminal touch nerves and reduce pain signals via the gate control mechanism.</p> <h2>So does putting your finger under your nose stop a sneeze?</h2> <p>There are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-sneezing">many suggestions</a> of how to stop a sneeze. These include pulling your ear, putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth or the back of your teeth, touching your nose, or even sticking your finger in your nose.</p> <p>All of these stimulate the trigeminal touch nerves with the goal of telling the interneurons to “close the gate”. This can block the irritant signals from reaching the brain and triggering a sneeze.</p> <h2>But should you stop a sneeze?</h2> <p>What if an irritant in your nose has triggered a sneeze response, but you’re somewhere it might be considered inappropriate to sneeze. Should you stop it?</p> <p>Closing your mouth or nose during a sneeze increases the pressure in the airways <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26914240/">five to 20 times more than a normal sneeze</a>. With no escape, this <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1945892418823147#:%7E:text=The%20high%20Valsalva%20pressure%20generated,to%20all%20people%20who%20sneeze.">pressure has to be transmitted elsewhere</a> and that can damage your eyes, ears or blood vessels. Though the risk is low, brain aneurysm, ruptured throat and collapsed lung have been <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/holding-in-a-sneeze#can-holding-a-sneeze-kill-you">reported</a>.</p> <p>So it’s probably best to try and prevent the sneeze reflex by treating allergies or addressing irritants. Failing that, embrace your personal sneeze style and <a href="https://theconversation.com/handkerchief-or-tissue-which-ones-better-for-our-health-and-the-planet-213065">sneeze into a tissue</a>. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215265/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/theresa-larkin-952095">Theresa Larkin</a>, Associate professor of Medical Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-nealon-1481995">Jessica Nealon</a>, Lecturer in Medical Sciences (Neuroscience), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/hello-hay-fever-why-pressing-under-your-nose-could-stop-a-sneeze-but-why-you-shouldnt-215265">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"He leaves a broken state behind him": Aussies react to Dan Andrews' resignation

<p>Victorian premier Dan Andrews has announced he will be resigning from his role after nine years in the job, prompting a very mixed response from Aussies. </p> <p>Andrews made the announcement on Tuesday, describing his time as premier as the “honour and privilege of my life”.</p> <p>For many Aussies, the news of his resignation came as a shock, with the announcement prompting a wave of mixed responses. </p> <p>Victorian Opposition Leader John Pesutto had one of the strongest reactions to the news, saying Mr Andrews had “trashed Victoria’s reputation”.</p> <p>“I wish Daniel Andrews well. But we have to face the facts. He’s leaving because Victoria, under his leadership, is falling apart,” he said. </p> <p>Shadow Immigration Minister Dan Tehan also had little nice to say about the outgoing premier, claiming he made the state of Victoria “poorer” while in the top job.</p> <p>“I think he’ll be remembered as a very good politician, very good at politics, but I think, sadly, over time, his legacy is going to be one in which he made the state of Victoria poorer, and he made Victorians poorer,” Mr Tehan said via <em>Sky News Australia</em>.</p> <p>“While we wish him and his family well, the sad reality is it’s Victorians who are going to have to pick up the pieces of his nine years in charge of this state.”</p> <p>Throughout his time as premier, Andrews attracted his fair amount of controversy, particularly around his harsh stance on Covid lockdowns, which saw Melbourne go through one of the longest continuous lockdowns on the planet.</p> <p>One of Mr Andrews’ biggest critics, <em>3AW</em> host Neil Mitchell, was also thrilled to bid the premier farewell, telling him, “Let’s hope we don’t see you in public life again”. </p> <p>He told <em>3AW</em> Mr Andrews had done “enormous damage to Victoria” and claimed to have been predicting his resignation for months. </p> <p>“I reckon he’s been thinking for some time. He’s been out of sorts for months. He’s been making unusual political errors. He’s seemed disinterested, he’s snappy at press conferences. I’ve said on air for some months, ‘he’s thinking about getting out’,” Mitchell said, adding “It’s time for him to go”.</p> <p>Liberal Party powerbroker Michael Kroger argued that Mr Andrews had over the years “got away with murder”, politically speaking.</p> <p>“Record debt. Small businesses are still broken and have not recovered from these extreme measures during the lockdown,’’ Mr Kroger told <em>Sky News</em>.</p> <p>“He leaves a broken, bankrupt state behind him. That’s his legacy. The financial recklessness of Daniel Andrews is unprecedented. And will take a generation to recover from."</p> <p>“Victoria will be better for Daniel Andrews having left today.”</p> <p>Despite many harsh words from his critics, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was quick to praise Andrews' time as premier. </p> <p>He wrote in a lengthy post on Facebook that it had been a pleasure working “alongside an old friend”. </p> <p>“Daniel Andrews is a person of deep conviction, great compassion and fierce determination and he brought all those qualities to his time as Premier of Victoria,” Mr Albanese said. </p> <p>“As Prime Minister, it was a pleasure for me to work alongside an old friend – and a leader of such vision and ambition. It made a huge difference to sit at the National Cabinet table with someone who believed so deeply in the power of government to change lives for the better."</p> <p>“Nearly nine years as Premier is a remarkable achievement. Dan Andrews can be proud that he didn’t waste a minute. I wish Dan, Cath and their children all the very best for their future together.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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First state to lock in Matilda's public holiday promise

<p>New South Wales premier Chris Minns has backed Anthony Albanese's proposal to implement a public holiday if The Matildas win the FIFA Women's World Cup.</p> <p>The Prime Minister flagged the idea of a public holiday if the Australian women's team claim the victory, however, the actual decision for the day off will come down to each individual state. </p> <p>NSW Premier Chris Minns has thrown his support behind the idea, and has even put forward the idea of a "ticker tape parade" through the Sydney CBD.</p> <p>"If the Matildas win the semi-final and then win the World Cup final, then yes we will pursue a public holiday in NSW, not just to celebrate the victory but also to have a massive civic celebration and allow the Matildas to celebrate with the people of Sydney what will be an amazing, like, life-changing and unbelievable event in the state's history," Minns told 2GB's Ben Fordham on Monday morning.</p> <p>He said the government was currently working on "contingency plans" in the event of the Matilda's victory.</p> <p>Minns went on to say that any celebrations would happen the week of the winning game, and not the Monday after. </p> <p>Despite the surge of support for the Matildas throughout the tournament, some businesses have opposed the idea of a public holiday, saying they can't afford the expense. </p> <p>"If we did do it in Sydney for a big public holiday, and a massive ticker tape parade, can you imagine the kind of energy and economic excitement," Minns said.</p> <p>The Matildas will be taking on England in the semi-final game on Wednesday night, with the winner going into the final against either Spain or Sweden. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Major fuel savings for seniors

<p>Major fuel savings are now on offer for over 1.6 million seniors over the age of 60 across New South Wales, as the government adds fuel discounts to the list of benefits for NSW Seniors Card and Senior Savers Card holders. </p> <p>Senior card holders will be eligible for the new United Discount Fuel Card, which offers savings of 4c per litre at participating service stations, which can be used once daily for single transactions up to 150 litres. </p> <p>Anyone over 60 can become cardholders of the Seniors Card and Senior Savers Card, which allows them to save on fuel, energy, insurance, cybersecurity, pet adoption and vet services, and groceries.</p> <p>United Petrol head of loyalty Judith Russell said that after they've signed up for the card, “members then need to show and scan this United fuel discount card at the time of purchase at participating United service stations to save the four cents per litre.”</p> <p>The Minister for Seniors Jodie Harrison shared their excitement to launch this discount. </p> <p>"We’re excited to launch the program’s first fuel discount with United Petroleum, an Australian-owned business offering discounts to members at the bowser.”</p> <p>“This brand-new discount has been added to the wealth of Seniors Card savings to help keep more money in seniors’ pockets and ease price pressure at the pump.”</p> <p>For those who want to apply for the fuel card, they can <a href="https://www.unitedpetroleum.com.au/fuel-discount-cards/our-partners/nsw-seniors-card/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sign up here </a>for a digital or plastic card, and find out the participating service stations here. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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