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Abandoned family hit with huge fine by cruise line

<p>A family of nine has been charged a whopping $13,000 for failing to return to their cruise ship after an excursion in Alaska, leaving them stranded by Norwegian Cruise Lines to find their own way home. </p> <p>The Gault family, from Tulsa in Oklahoma, were travelling with six young kids and a 78-year-old grandmother when they disembarked from the Norwegian Encore in Katchikan, a small town in a string of south Alaskan islands, so they could watch a lumberjack show together.</p> <p>All was going well until they went to board a bus back to the ship, when the local tour operator transporting passengers to and from the vessel miscounted and told the family there was no room and that they had to wait for the next bus. </p> <p>“We see the chaos getting onto the buses. We go to get on the bus and one of the attendees is like, ‘The bus is full, and you know you got to wait for the next bus,’” Joshua Gault told <em>2 News</em>.</p> <p>However, the next bus never came, and as the family found other means to rush back to the port, they arrived to see the ship sailing away with all their belongings, including passports and medications, onboard.</p> <p>“Six kids on board, minor children, and a 78-year-old mother-in-law, all on medication. We all had to quit cold turkey medication these last few days because it was all on the cruise ship,” Mr Gault said.</p> <p>From there, things only got worse for the Gault family, who had already spent about $44,500 on the trip, as they were immediately hit an almost $13,000 charge from the cruise line — $1,400 per passenger — for missing the boat.</p> <p>That fee stemmed from the US Customs and Border Protection’s Passenger Vessel Services Act, which they violated by not visiting a foreign port before they returned to the US, as their itinerary planned.</p> <p>Unable to rejoin the ship in Canada, the family decided to cut their losses and head home, arranging new accommodation and flights, making their costs continue to pile up. </p> <p>After days of travel - which included stops in numerous cities, cancelled flights, and more than one overnight airport stay — the family finally arrived home, feeling strung out, tired, and having picked up Covid along the way.</p> <p>“So yeah, we’re beat down right now. We’re unhealthy and beaten down,” Mr Gault said.</p> <p>The family is still working with the cruise line to rectify the situation, as Cailyn Gault said Norwegian Cruises keeps telling them, "We’re still looking into it, we haven’t forgotten about you."</p> <p>“And I was like, ‘No, we feel like you pretty much forgot about us when you left us in port and told us to go figure it out,’” Ms Gault added.</p> <p>Norwegian Cruise Lines told The Post it has begun the process of refunding the Gaults the nearly $13,000 in fees they were charged, and will reimburse them for all their travel expenses once receipts have been received.</p> <p>The cruise line also said it tried to contact the Gaults after they missed their bus due to “a misstep by a local tour operator,” and when they were unable to reach them, worked with the local port authority to help the family arrange lodging for the night before they were able to make a flight to Seattle the next day.</p> <p>“In addition, these guests will be receiving a pro-rated refund for the two cruise days they missed,” a Norwegian Cruise Line representative said.</p> <p>“As a gesture of goodwill, the company will also be providing each of the nine guests with a Future Cruise Credit in the form of a 20 per cent discount of their cruise fare that can be used towards their next voyage,” Norwegian added.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Doctor shares her holy grail tips for overcoming eye sensitivity

<p>As the chill of winter sets in, many people find that their eyes become more sensitive and prone to dryness. This can be particularly challenging for those who already suffer from dry eye syndrome. </p> <p>Dr. Jacqueline Beltz is a leading Australian Ophthalmologist and the founder of <a href="https://www.okkiyo.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">OKKIYO</a>, a beauty brand that makes PRIORITEYES mascara for people with sensitive eyes.</p> <p>Dr Beltz has shared her insights into dry eye syndrome and how winter can exacerbate symptoms, also sharing her top tips for managing eye sensitivity during the colder months.</p> <p><strong>Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome</strong></p> <p>The surface of the eye is covered by a delicate layer of tears, essential for comfort, vision, protection, and nutrition. The tear film comprises two main layers: an outer lipid (oily) layer and an inner aqueous (watery) layer. The lipid layer, produced by oil glands in the eyelids, prevents tears from evaporating too quickly, while the aqueous layer, consisting of water, electrolytes, and proteins, spreads tears evenly across the eye and helps them adhere to the surface.</p> <p>When the balance of tear production, evaporation, absorption, and drainage is disrupted, it can lead to dry eye syndrome. Symptoms may include redness, irritation, a gritty sensation, tired eyes, itching, excessive watering, and fluctuating vision. In severe cases, dry eye can be painful and significantly impact daily life.</p> <p><strong>How common is dry eye syndrome?</strong></p> <p>Dry eye syndrome is a widespread issue, particularly among older adults. According to the Blue Mountains Eye Study, 57% of adults over the age of 50 experience some degree of dry eye. This condition is notably more prevalent in women, with higher rates observed compared to their male counterparts. The increased prevalence in women is often attributed to hormonal changes, particularly during and after menopause. </p> <p>A more recent study, Optometry Australia’s 2022 Vision index found that over 85% of Australians are estimated to have experienced dry eyes at some point in their lives.  Of those affected, 55% say they only developed the condition following the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.  They reported that almost 1 in 5 (18%) of people experience dry eye symptoms frequently.  </p> <p>These statistics highlight the importance of understanding and managing dry eye, especially as we age.</p> <p><strong>DEWS II Study and Treatment Approaches</strong></p> <p>The DEWS II (Dry Eye Workshop II) study provides a comprehensive framework for understanding and treating dry eye syndrome. According to the study, dry eye is a multifactorial disease characterised by a loss of homeostasis (or balance) in the tear film, accompanied by eye symptoms. Factors such as tear film instability, hyperosmolarity (increased saltiness), inflammation, and neurosensory (altered feelings or sensations) abnormalities play significant roles.</p> <p>There are two primary types of dry eye: aqueous deficient and evaporative. Most individuals have a combination of both. Aqueous deficient dry eye occurs when there is insufficient production of the watery layer of tears, often due to aging, hormonal changes, or certain medications. Evaporative dry eye is typically caused by environmental factors or conditions affecting the lipid layer, such as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).</p> <p><strong>Winter's Impact on Dry Eyes</strong></p> <p>Winter poses unique challenges for dry eye sufferers. Cold, dry air, indoor heating, and wind can all exacerbate symptoms. Here's how to combat these winter-specific issues:</p> <p><em><strong>1. Humidify Your Environment</strong></em></p> <p>Indoor heating reduces humidity levels, leading to increased tear evaporation. Consider using a humidifier to maintain moisture in the air, especially in bedrooms and living spaces. This helps keep your eyes hydrated.</p> <p><em><strong>2. Protect Your Eyes Outdoors</strong></em></p> <p>Cold winds can strip away the tear film. When outside, wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from the elements. This not only protects your eyes from the wind but also from UV rays, which can be strong even in winter.</p> <p><em><strong>3. Stay Hydrated</strong></em></p> <p>Dehydration can worsen dry eye symptoms. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain overall hydration, which supports healthy tear production.</p> <p><em><strong>4. Optimise Your Diet</strong></em></p> <p>Certain foods can promote eye health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like salmon and flaxseeds, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage dry eye symptoms. Incorporate these into your diet for added benefits.</p> <p><em><strong>5. Use a Warm Compress</strong></em></p> <p>A warm compress can help improve the function of the meibomian glands, which produce the oily layer of the tear film. This is particularly helpful for those with meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD. Gently apply a warm, damp cloth to your closed eyelids for 10-15 minutes, followed by a gentle massage of the eyelids to encourage oil secretion. It is important to avoid rubbing or compressing the eyeballs.</p> <p><em><strong>6. Use Over-the-Counter Lubricant Eye Drops</strong></em></p> <p>Artificial tears can provide temporary relief by supplementing the natural tear film. Choose preservative-free options to avoid further irritation, and use them frequently.</p> <p><em><strong>7.  Remember to have regular eye checks</strong></em></p> <p>In Australia, Optometrists provide our primary eye health check ups. Dr Beltz recommends adults over the age of 40 see their optometrist once a year, but if you’re struggling with symptoms of dry eye in winter, an extra check up might help and your optometrist will be able to help you to come up with an individualised treatment plan.</p> <p><em><strong>8. Invest in Quality Eye Products</strong></em></p> <p>For those who wear makeup, using products designed for sensitive eyes is crucial. <a href="https://www.okkiyo.com/products/protect-and-preserve-mascara" target="_blank" rel="noopener">PRIORITEYES</a> mascara by OKKIYO has been specifically formulated to be gentle on sensitive eyes, avoiding common irritants while providing excellent performance.</p> <p><strong>Managing Dry Eye in Winter: A Recap</strong></p> <p>Winter can be tough on our eyes, but with the right strategies, you can manage dry eye symptoms effectively. Maintain a humid environment, protect your eyes from cold winds, stay hydrated, and incorporate eye-healthy foods into your diet. Regularly use warm compresses and opt for gentle, high-quality eye products like PRIORITEYES mascara.  </p> <p>Dry eye syndrome may be a common condition, but it doesn't have to dominate your life, especially during the harsh winter months. With these tips, you can keep your eyes comfortable and healthy all season long. For personalised advice and treatment, always consult with your eye care professional.</p> <p>Stay warm, stay hydrated and take care of your eyes this winter!</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Rare footage captures secluded tribe emerging from the Amazon

<p>Remarkable new footage has captured one of the world's most secluded tribes, who have been known for firing arrows at outsiders who get too close, as they emerged from the Amazon rainforest in Peru. </p> <p>The tribe were spotted near several controversial logging sites that have been making clearings throughout the forest, decimating their home lands.</p> <p>According to the Indigenous rights advocacy group Survival International, members of the Mashco Piro tribe, believed to be the biggest group of indigenous people living with no outside contact, were spotted near the Las Piedras River a few kilometres from tree-cutting projects in Southeastern section of the country.</p> <p>“This is irrefutable evidence that many Mashco Piro live in this area, which the government has not only failed to protect, but actually sold off to logging companies,” local Indigenous organisation Fenamad’s President Alfredo Vargas Pio said.</p> <p>Near the remote villages of Monte Salvado and Puerto Nuevo, the tribe emerged in search of food, with President Pio voicing concerns that violent fights could break out between loggers and the Indigenous people.</p> <p>He also added that the outside loggers could potentially bring new diseases to the area, which could wipe out the tribe.</p> <p>According to Survival International, Indigenous advocates have urged authorities to pull the certifications from the logging companies to protect the tribes. </p> <p>Logging company Canales Tahuamanu has been granted permission to log on the jungle land since 2002 with its invasive activity now sprawled out over 193 square miles, <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/17/mashco-piro-tribe-photos-peru/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Washington Post</a></em> reported.</p> <p>The publication also reported that the firm also has a history of clashing with local tribes, although in the past, the firm said its workers have never reported seeing any Mashco Piro people and has complied with laws in Peru, where it is illegal to contact the tribe.</p> <p>Despite the Mashco Piro tribe’s seclusion, they have had limited contact with outsiders, with most of their rare contact resulting in violence, as they have been known for fire arrows at tourists boats and park rangers as warnings not to approach the area. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Survival International </em></p> <p> </p> <div class="media image side-by-side" style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none; box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 24px; align-items: center; display: flex; flex-direction: column; width: 705.202209px; max-width: 100%;"> </div>

International Travel

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For a century, it’s been illegal to swim in the Seine. Will Paris’s clean-up make the river safe for Olympic swimmers?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-a-wright-5162">Ian A. Wright</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Five eagerly anticipated events in the Paris Olympics will be the mens and womens 10 kilometre marathon swimming races, as well as the 1,500 metre swimming section of three triathlon events. Why? Because all will be held in the Seine River in the centre of Paris. The swimmers – including <a href="https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/trio-complete-an-historic-australian-olympic-marathon-swim-team-for-paris-2024">four Australians</a> – will pass famous landmarks such as the Musee d'Orsay as they swim through the historic heart of the city. This will have enormous scenic appeal for spectators.</p> <p>But will it be safe for swimmers? Rivers running through large cities are <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-021-00026-w">often polluted</a>, whether from stormwater, chemical pollution or wastewater spills. As the marathon swimmers pass the <a href="https://musee-egouts.paris.fr/en/">Paris Sewer Museum</a>, they may well wonder if they’re in clean water.</p> <p>For more than 100 years, swimming in the Seine has actually been illegal, due to concerns over what the water could do to human health. Authorities <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sport/article/2024/may/24/olympic-games-clean-up-aims-to-leave-parisians-swimming-in-the-seine">have been working</a> to clean up the water, spending A$2.2 billion (€1.3 billion) on improving water quality. The goal: cut bacterial contamination by 75% before the first swimmer touches the water. These measures are having an impact – but recent heavy rains have seen bacteria levels spike.</p> <p>While officials have put on brave faces, there’s now a <a href="https://www.reuters.com/sports/olympics/paris-2024-sets-up-reserve-site-marathon-swimming-if-seine-unsuitable-2024-07-05/">contingency plan</a> in case the Seine isn’t safe.</p> <h2>Why swim in the Seine at all?</h2> <p>Urban rivers have a questionable reputation. But this isn’t the first time the Seine River has been used for Olympic swimming.</p> <p>In the 1900 Paris Olympics, <a href="https://olympics.com/en/olympic-games/paris-1900/results/swimming">seven swimming events</a> were all held in the river. These games were the first modern Olympics where <a href="https://olympics.com/ioc/faq/history-and-origin-of-the-games/when-did-women-first-compete-in-the-olympic-games">women could compete</a> in some sports, but swimming was not one of those permitted.</p> <p>The Australian swimmer who competed, Frederick Lane, had to swim under the United Kingdom’s flag as Australia did not have a flag until Federation the following year. He won two gold medals. One was for the 200 metre freestyle race, and the other for a bizarre race never held again: the 200m <a href="https://www.olympedia.org/results/4433">swimming obstacle race</a>, where swimmers had to climb over poles and boats. These Olympics also saw the first and last underwater swimming race, which was also in the Seine.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&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/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="historic photo swimming seine river paris" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Swimmers took to the Seine’s waters at the 1900 Paris Olympics, when the river ran cleaner.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swimming_1900.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Back then, the waters of the Seine were cleaner. That’s because there was a great demand for human waste on farms – and cities were the main source. Back then, “night soil” (human waste) had a <a href="https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/11/1757/2007/hess-11-1757-2007.pdf">real market value</a>. No one would think of dumping it in rivers.</p> <p>But as time went on, sewerage systems developed and other fertilisers such as guano and mineral fertilisers arrived. By the early 20th century, most of the city’s wastewater went into the Seine. In 1923, the swimming ban came into effect. A year later, Paris hosted the Olympics for its second time – and swimmers competed in 50 metre pools.</p> <p>In recent years, many cities around the world have worked to clean up their urban waterways. River swimming is <a href="https://www.timeout.com/news/the-european-cities-cleaning-up-rivers-for-wild-swimmers-101821">now common</a> in cities such as Copenhagen, Berlin and Vienna, where river health has improved dramatically.</p> <h2>How can you clean a river like the Seine?</h2> <p>Cleaning the Seine is a challenge. Paris is home to 11 million people, with plenty of industry. Urban rivers are almost inevitably polluted by waste from the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-021-00026-w%5D">surrounding city</a>.</p> <p>Leaking and overflowing sewage systems are a major source of pollution. In places like the UK, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-62631320">sewage spills</a> into waterways have become a major political issue.</p> <p>When wastewater spills into rivers, it carries pollutants and dangerous loads of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6725a1.htm">disease-causing microorganisms</a>, such as <em>Escherichia coli</em> (commonly known as E. coli). Untreated water can have viruses, bacteria and disease-causing protozoa.</p> <p>In the lead-up to the Paris games, authorities have been working to improve water quality enough to bring some Olympic swimming back to the Seine. Stormwater – often contaminated by dog poo or sewage overflows – is <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/oct/08/can-paris-clean-seine-for-next-year-2024-olympics">being cleaned</a> before it is released into the river.</p> <p>Despite the money and effort, there are still real questions over whether it will be enough to guarantee swimmer safety. Bacterial levels hit risky levels <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/07/11/sport/paris-olympics-seine-triathlon-bacteria-spiking-intl/index.html">most days in June</a> due to unseasonally heavy rains, but the water has <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/france/20240712-seine-clean-enough-to-swim-for-most-of-past-12-days-paris-says-ahead-of-olympics">improved in July</a>.</p> <p>This week, French sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra <a href="https://www.nbclosangeles.com/paris-2024-summer-olympics/french-sports-minister-takes-dip-in-seine-river-2024-paris-olympics/3458469/">swam a few metres</a> in the Seine in an effort to douse concerns.</p> <p>By contrast, the other Olympic swimming events will take place in a recently constructed 50 metre pool, which will have very good water quality. The pool water is filtered and treated with a disinfectant such as chlorine or bromine. It will be regularly tested to ensure optimal water quality.</p> <p>At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, triathletes had to swim in polluted Tokyo Bay. But similar concerns over sickness proved unfounded. The real challenge was the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/olympic-athletes-and-volunteers-in-tokyo-tortured-by-heat">oppressive heat</a>.</p> <h2>What’s at risk?</h2> <p>The most likely outcome if races are held when bacterial levels are unsafe would be getting a gastrointestinal bug.</p> <p>Officials have some control over this. Contamination is worst after heavy rain. Races could be delayed if need be.</p> <p>Many swimmers – especially those who compete in open-water competitions – are familiar with swimming in water with some level of pollution. Some see it as worth the risk. Italian double world champion swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20240226-paris-holds-its-breath-for-olympic-swimming-events-in-murky-seine">said in January</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Even if the water is dirty, I would rather swim in an electric atmosphere in the centre of Paris than in an anonymous stretch of water.</p> </blockquote> <p>Paris 2024 organisers previously warned there was no plan B for the 10 km marathon races in the Seine if water quality testing is unsuitable. But this has now changed. If the river isn’t clean enough, open water swimming <a href="https://www.reuters.com/sports/olympics/paris-2024-sets-up-reserve-site-marathon-swimming-if-seine-unsuitable-2024-07-05/">will be moved</a> to the rowing venue.</p> <p>The Olympic triathlon is planned around a swimming leg in the Seine. But triathletes <a href="https://www.espn.com.au/olympics/story/_/id/39912675/triathlon-leg-cancelled-seine-quality-paris-2024-chief">have been told</a> the swim leg could be skipped if the water is unsafe, which would turn the race into a running and cycling duathlon.</p> <p>As the world’s attention turns to Paris, there will be many anxious officials behind the scenes hoping their hard work on making the Seine swimmable pays off.<!-- 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/231705/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/ian-a-wright-5162">Ian A. Wright</a>, Associate Professor in Environmental Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: CARON/ZEPPELIN/SIPA/Shutterstock Editorial </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/for-a-century-its-been-illegal-to-swim-in-the-seine-will-pariss-clean-up-make-the-river-safe-for-olympic-swimmers-231705">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Beyond the Barrier Reef: Australia’s 3 other World Heritage reefs are also in trouble

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-marie-quigley-1400512">Kate Marie Quigley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-hamilton-baird-11285">Andrew Hamilton Baird</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a></em></p> <p>The Great Barrier Reef is world famous – it’s the largest coral reef system in the world and home to tens of thousands of species. No wonder it is World Heritage listed.</p> <p>But Australia has three lower profile reefs which are also World Heritage listed –  Ningaloo and Shark Bay in Western Australia, and Lord Howe Island, 600 kilometres off the New South Wales coast, the <a href="https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/612288-most-southerly-coral-reef">southernmost coral</a> in the world. Ningaloo has 260km of coral reef, while the reefs of Shark Bay have less coral but are home to ancient stromatolites, vast seagrass beds and iconic species such as dugongs.</p> <p>This month, the World Heritage Committee will meet in New Delhi. On the agenda will be how the world’s natural World Heritage sites are faring. The Australian government will be under increased scrutiny to prove it has upheld its <a href="https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/about/world/management-australias-world-heritage-listed/managing-world-heritage-australia/protecting-world-heritage#regulation">international commitments</a> to protecting these reefs.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.17407">new research</a> has found all four of these reefs are in greater danger than we thought – even those in subtropical waters, such as Lord Howe Island. Our two Indian Ocean reefs at <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/578/">Shark Bay</a> and Ningaloo actually face more species and function loss than the Great Barrier Reef.</p> <p>At 1.5°C of warming, we are likely to lose about 20% of the 400-odd coral species which currently live across these four reefs (equating to about 70 extinctions). At 2°C warming, our modelling of species abundance and ecosystem functions predict an almost complete collapse in reef ecosystems – even for the subtropical reefs. This aligns with <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/docserver/fulltext/animal/12/1/annurev-animal-021122-093315.pdf?expires=1721002489&amp;id=id&amp;accname=guest&amp;checksum=A9A203CC0F3AEB7D1FE9420F50EDF69A,%20https://backend.orbit.dtu.dk/ws/files/238807594/AGR2020.pdf">predictions</a> by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the future of coral reefs.</p> <p>We believe our work adds to the need to consider whether Australia’s four iconic reefs should be <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/danger/">on the list</a> of World Heritage sites in danger.</p> <h2>What does it mean when a reef is World Heritage listed?</h2> <p>Declaring a natural or cultural site as World Heritage is done to encourage the preservation of locations of immense ecological and cultural value. Nations have to <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/nominations/">nominate sites</a> they think are worthy of protection. Australia has 20 World Heritage sites, <a href="https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/places/world-heritage-list">of which</a> 12 are natural.</p> <p>When sites are formally listed, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) requires the country’s government to look after it. If the site is degrading, it can be listed as in danger.</p> <p>UNESCO has considered listing the Great Barrier Reef as in danger twice, in 2021 and again in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/article/2024/jun/24/set-more-ambitious-climate-targets-to-save-great-barrier-reef-unesco-urges-australia">June this year</a>. For the reef to keep its World Heritage status, the government must prove its policies are sufficient to keep the reefs in <a href="https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/about/world-heritage/outstanding-universal-value">good health</a>.</p> <p>In the debate over the Great Barrier Reef, two things have been missed – first, any mention of Australia’s other World Heritage reefs, and second, whether the federal government’s current policies to cut greenhouse gases are enough to protect the reefs into the future.</p> <h2>What did we find?</h2> <p>Our new results suggest all four reefs are in trouble. Given current warming trends, they will only deteriorate further in the future if we stay on this course.</p> <p>While the Barrier Reef has drawn a great deal of attention, it’s actually the ecosystems at Ningaloo, Shark Bay and Lord Howe Island which are projected to warm the most. When standardised to park boundaries, temperatures here are projected to increase by up to 1.3°C by the end of the century. (This temperature estimate is for sea temperatures, not the overall surface temperature which we use as shorthand when we talk about 1.5°C or 2°C of warming).</p> <p>While that might not sound like much, it will be enough to push many corals to potential extinction. Many coral species already exist within 1-2°C of the maximum temperature they can tolerate.</p> <p>Our modelling shows Shark Bay and Ningaloo actually face a greater risk of species and function loss than the Barrier Reef. It also suggests the ability of our reefs to bounce back will be overcome when warming tips over 1.5°C globally.</p> <p>While these models incorporate the baseline heat tolerance of coral species on these reefs, they don’t yet include their <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-animal-021122-093315;jsessionid=mfIBuwjZ-ru5bkBMhWXDjumNnsvZgxkl02fPAg63.annurevlive-10-241-10-101">potential for genetic adaptation</a>. The question of whether some corals could adapt to this rapid warming is still open. A lot is riding on their ability to do so.</p> <h2>Looming danger</h2> <p>This year, the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sentinels-of-the-sea-ancient-boulder-corals-are-key-to-reef-survival-in-a-warmer-world-223207">Great Barrier Reef</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/mar/06/lord-howe-island-coral-bleaching-moving-south-fears-ocean-temperatures">Lord Howe Island</a> have suffered intense stress from high sea temperatures – the direct result of burning fossil fuels and producing heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This year is <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/2024-could-be-worlds-hottest-year-june-breaks-records-2024-07-08/#:%7E:text=The%20latest%20data%20suggest%202024,so%20far%2C%20some%20scientists%20said.">on track</a> to again be the hottest year on record, overtaking the previous record holder of 2023.</p> <p>Australia is already in the midst of an extinction crisis. Australia has one of the worst track records for extinctions. Since European colonisation, 34-38 mammal species have <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.adg7870">gone extinct</a> compared to just one from the contiguous United States, which covers a similar area.</p> <p>You might have read that coral cover – a measure of how much coral there is in an area – <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00338-024-02498-5">hit historic highs</a> on the Great Barrier Reef last year.</p> <p>Coral cover is a helpful and important metric, but it’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/record-coral-cover-doesnt-necessarily-mean-the-great-barrier-reef-is-in-good-health-despite-what-you-may-have-heard-188233">not perfect</a>. For instance, fast-growing heat tolerant coral species might expand as less heat tolerant species die off. Importantly, relying on coral cover alone can mask significant changes in how the <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2019.2628">reef is functioning</a>.</p> <p>It’s hard to assess how species in our oceans are doing, given the difficulty of access and the large number of species, including many <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-first-step-to-conserving-the-great-barrier-reef-is-understanding-what-lives-there-146097">unknown to science</a>. If warming continues unabated, we will likely start to lose species before we have even documented them.</p> <p>Our results are based on “moderate” climate models of global surface temperature changes. Australia has committed to cutting emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030. While that sounds good, it’s not enough – this decrease is compatible with <a href="https://environment.govt.nz/what-you-can-do/climate-scenarios-toolkit/climate-scenarios-list/ipccs-ssp-rcp-scenarios/">hitting 3.2ºC by 2100</a>. To limit warming to 1.5ºC or below by 2050, we would need to commit to much greater cuts in emissions – 90% below 2005 levels by 2030.</p> <p>Our results clearly suggest Australia’s four World Heritage reefs will be dramatically affected by warming in the near future. They will no longer qualify as being maintained under “conditions of integrity”. It’s hard to see how they can avoid being added to the in danger list.<!-- 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/234268/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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-marie-quigley-1400512"><em>Kate Marie Quigley</em></a><em>, DECRA Research Fellow in molecular ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-hamilton-baird-11285">Andrew Hamilton Baird</a>, Professorial fellow in coral reef ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook 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/beyond-the-barrier-reef-australias-3-other-world-heritage-reefs-are-also-in-trouble-234268">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Domestic Travel

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Six people found dead in luxury hotel

<p>A disturbing theory has emerged after six people were found dead in a luxury hotel room in central Bangkok. </p> <p>According to Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police commissioner Thiti Saengsawang, hotel staff at the Grand Hyatt Erawan discovered the bodies of six people in a fifth-floor room after they missed check out time by more than 24 hours.</p> <p>After concluding that the incident did not appear to be a robbery and none of the bodies showed any signs of physical violence, Thai Police are exploring the possibility that the people were poisoned.</p> <p>Police shared that they "needed to find out the motives", and that the deaths were the result of a "killing", not a suicide.</p> <p>Authorities conformed they are investigating the potential poisoning after Thiti said cups with traces of a white powder were located in the room, along with untouched food that had been ordered earlier.</p> <p>As police continue their investigation into the shocking deaths, they are currently searching for a seventh person who was part of the hotel booking and is now a possible suspect.</p> <p>Two of the dead were US citizens of Vietnamese background, while the other four were Vietnamese nationals.</p> <p>Thiti said police believe one member of the group had tried to reach the door to escape but fell and died before they could get there.</p> <p>The Thai government issued a statement after the killings, with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin saying, "There were no signs of a struggle," adding, "We need to conduct an autopsy."</p> <p>He also "ordered all agencies to urgently take action to avoid impact on tourism,” given that the luxury hotel is situated in a popular tourist area.</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC / Royal Thai Police </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Aussies expose massive flaw with new passports

<p>Aussies who have received their new passport have called out a major flaw with the travel documents, that now cost $398.</p> <p>As of July 1st, Australian travellers will have to fork out the hefty fee to renew their passports, with the cost jumping from $346. </p> <p>Some Aussies have received their new passports, with many slamming the quality of the new R series passports, which have been issued since September 2022.</p> <p>Many have taken to social media to share their fears that the new documents may not last the intended 10 years because the covers appear to bend before they have even been used. </p> <p>Aussie woman Greta was one of many who shared her thoughts on TikTok, which has attracted more than 145,000 views. </p> <p>She initially said she liked the "epic" new design which features images of iconic landmarks, but was later disappointed by how flimsy the document was.</p> <p>"I recently got the new Australian passport. I was very excited but then, I had a few people tell me I had to put a paperweight on it because it bends," she said.</p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: currentcolor !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: currentcolor !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7391654333999320321&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40the_gretaway%2Fvideo%2F7391654333999320321&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2F8ec5048b25b44feaad62942a9ab7932a_1721003662%7Etplv-dmt-logom%3Atos-alisg-i-0068%2FoEyzmMdFAAA8AIVEwEiMSbOBEfSsdojiACBCUI.image%3Flk3s%3Db59d6b55%26nonce%3D29172%26refresh_token%3D52b34ece20849688562e0cdd271d06f2%26x-expires%3D1721354400%26x-signature%3DVdRtUv8AHtWwirQkxbPH3zMl2EA%253D%26shp%3Db59d6b55%26shcp%3D-&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>She showed her new "curving" passport in comparison to her old heavily used one side by side.</p> <p>"You're not wrong... This passport is brand new. It has not seen a different country," she explained. </p> <p>"Considering this is one of the world's most expensive passports, what happened?"</p> <p>Many of Greta's TikTok viewers agreed, as travellers were concerned that the new passport's curvy nature could be problematic or stop them from travelling. </p> <p>"Get a passport cover... utterly ridiculous that they do that,' a viewer commented."  </p> <p>Another added, "My new one is so bent Heathrow almost didn't accept it."</p> <p>Despite the online comments, the Australian Passport Office assures travellers that general "normal wear and tear should not be a problem."</p> <p>"You may notice a slight curling on the cover of your R Series passport. This occasionally occurs due to changes in humidity," the website states.  </p> <p>"It's not a manufacturing defect and doesn't affect the validity of your passport. Keeping your passport tightly secured will help prevent this curling."</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px 0px 16px; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><em>Image credits: TikTok / Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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So when should you book that flight? The truth on airline prices

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuriy-gorodnichenko-144556">Yuriy Gorodnichenko</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-berkeley-754">University of California, Berkeley</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/newcastle-university-906"><em>Newcastle University</em></a></em></p> <p>How airlines price tickets is a source of many <a href="http://airtravel.about.com/od/travelindustrynews/a/mythticket.htm">myths</a> and urban legends. These include tips about the best day of the week to buy a ticket, last-minute discounts offered by the airlines, and the conspiracy theories suggesting that the carriers use cookies to increase prices for their passengers. None of these three statements is entirely true.</p> <p>Studies have suggested that prices can be higher or lower on a given day of the week – yet, there is no clear consensus on which day that is. Offered prices can in fact drop at any time before the flight, yet they are much more likely to increase than decrease over the last several weeks before the flight’s departure. Further, the airlines prefer to wait for the last-minute business traveler who’s likely to pay full fare rather than sell the seat prematurely to a price conscious traveler. And no, the airlines do not use cookies to manipulate fare quotes – adjusting their inventory for specific customers appears to be beyond their technical capabilities.</p> <p>What is true about pricing in the airline industry is that carriers use complex and sophisticated pricing systems. The airline’s per passenger cost is the lowest when the flight is full, so carriers have incentive to sell as many seats as possible. This is a race against time for an airline and, of course, no company wants to discount its product more than it has to. Hence, the airlines face two somewhat contradictory goals: to maximize revenue by flying full planes and to sell as many full-fare seats as possible. This a process known in the industry as yield or revenue management.</p> <h2>Airlines and their bucket lists</h2> <p>Here is how <a href="http://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1522&amp;context=jaaer">yield management</a> works. For each flight or route (if we are talking about multi-segment itineraries), the airline has a set of available price levels – from the most expensive fully refundable fare to the cheapest deeply discounted non-refundable price. The industry jargon for these prices is “buckets.” Then, seats can be interpreted as balls that are allocated among these buckets.</p> <p>Initial allocation of seats between the price buckets is determined by historical data indicating how well a certain flight sells. For example, fewer deeply discounted seats will be offered on a flight on Thanksgiving week than on the same flight during the third week of February. As the seats on a flight sell, yield managers monitor and adjust the seat allocation. If, for instance, the sales are slower than expected, some of the seats might be moved to lower-priced buckets – this shows up as a price drop. As noted above, such price drops can occur at any time before the flight. However, the general trend of price quotes is upward starting from about two to three weeks before the flight departure date.</p> <p>Of course, an average traveler wants to know when he or she should buy the tickets for the next trip. Another important question is where to buy this ticket. Airlines distribute their inventory on their own websites and on several computer distribution systems, meaning that prices can sometimes differ depending on where one looks. We are not entirely sure what precipitates this phenomenon – likely explanations include differences in contracts between the airlines and the distribution systems/travel agents, implying that different travel agents may not have access to the airline’s entire inventory of available prices.</p> <h2>When to book</h2> <p>The airlines’ yield managers start looking at flight bookings about two months before the departure date. This implies that it generally does not pay to book more than two months in advance: studies show that initially the airlines leave the cheapest price buckets empty, and yield managers may move some seats into those buckets if a couple of months before the departure date the flight is emptier than expected. Between two months and about two to three weeks before the flight date, the fare quotes remain mostly flat, with a slight upward trend. However, and perhaps paradoxically, there is a good chance of a price drop during this period. We tend to monitor prices for several days – sometimes up to a week – hoping for a potentially lower quote. It does not always pay off, but sometimes we do manage to save a considerable amount of money.</p> <p>Two to three weeks before the flight date, the price quotes start increasing. This is the time when business travelers start booking. While price drops are still possible, a chance of a price increase is much higher if you wait to book within this time period. This is also the time when one can find significant differences between price quotes, depending on where one looks and what contract they have with the airlines.</p> <p>Thus, if we book a trip earlier than three weeks before the flight date, we tend not to delay the purchase. At the same time, we check quotes from multiple travel agents, or go directly to a site that allows for a quick comparison of prices (such as <a href="https://www.kayak.com">kayak.com</a> or <a href="http://www.skyscanner.net">skyscanner.net</a>). Or check the airline itself.</p> <p>As for answering the original question we posed, here are some simple tips. First, if you have to travel during a peak period, such as Thanksgiving week, it is generally best not to delay buying that ticket. Otherwise, it might pay to monitor the offered prices for some time before committing. The best strategy for booking within the last couple of weeks before the flight, however, is not to delay the purchase, but to try getting quotes from several agents, which is easy to do in the internet age.<!-- 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/34033/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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuriy-gorodnichenko-144556"><em>Yuriy Gorodnichenko</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-berkeley-754">University of California, Berkeley</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/newcastle-university-906">Newcastle 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/so-when-should-you-book-that-flight-the-truth-on-airline-prices-34033">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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Huge breakthrough after Aussie couple murdered on overseas holiday

<p>Just days after Australian couple David Fisk and Lucita Cortez were <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/australian-couple-killed-in-the-philippines-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">killed</a> in a luxury hotel in the Philippines, the suspected killer has reportedly turned himself in to police. </p> <p>The bodies of 54-year-old David Fisk and his de-facto partner Lucita Barquin Cortez, 55, were found with their hands and feet tied by hotel staff at the Lake Hotel in Tagaytay city, south of Manila, on Wednesday. </p> <p>The body of another woman, Cortez's  30-year-old daughter-in-law Mary who lives in the Philippines, was also found in the room. </p> <p>A week on from their deaths, Tagaytay Police Chief Charles Daven Capagcuan told the Associated Press that police had a breakthrough in the case when a suspect was identified by three hotel staff from CCTV footage. </p> <p>The identification of the suspect eventually led to his home where he decided to surrender, Capagcuan said.</p> <p>On Wednesday, Sunrise reporter Ben Downie shared the new developments.</p> <p>“Philippines police say this morning a man handed himself in over the hotel homicide where the killer carried out an execution-style attack binding his victims, slashing and suffocating them,” Downie said.</p> <p>“Hotel security footage showed the suspect leaving the room, but didn’t capture him entering, leading to the theory the killer had gained access from a window."</p> <p>“This certainly counts as a breakthrough with the surrendered suspect and closure for loved ones.”</p> <p>After hearing the news of the couple's sudden and tragic passing, Fisk's family, based in NSW's Sutherland Shire, issued a statement saying they "pray for answers and the truth in this horrific matter".</p> <p>"The love we have for our Father and Lucita is so dear and this situation is like living a nightmare," the family said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: GoFundMe / Facebook</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Calls to change "racist" beach name

<p>There are calls to rename Chinamans Beach in Sydney due to its "racist" connotations. </p> <p>The popular beach in Mosman has long been in the centre of debate around the use of the term Chinaman. </p> <p>Chinese Australian Osmond Chiu is determined to have the name of the beach changed, saying that the word is often used as a racist slur. </p> <p>“The term ‘Chinaman’ is derogatory and primarily used as a racist slur against people of Chinese or East Asian appearance,” Chiu told the <em>Mosman Collective</em>. </p> <p>“It is jarring to have a place named ‘Chinamans Beach’ in the city that I was born and grew up in as if there is nothing wrong with it.</p> <p>“We would never name a place or even refer to someone as a ‘Chinaman’ today, which speaks volumes about the term.”</p> <p>The beach's name is associated with nearby market gardens that was run by people from the Chinese community during the 1800s.</p> <p>According to SBS, a man named Cho Hi Tick leased the land and created the market gardens back in the day. </p> <p>And Chiu suggests that it should be named after Tick. </p> <p>“While it may be uncomfortable for some people, this is about having an open and frank discussion about the term [Chinaman] and its history,” he added.</p> <p>However, Sophie-Loy Wilson, a senior lecturer in history at the University of Sydney believes that the beach was previously called Rosherville Beach before it was renamed in 1977 to reflect the Chinese fishermen who liked to go fishing in the surrounding areas. </p> <p>“Before the advent of refrigeration, Chinese fishermen were very important in Australia because they understood how to cure, smoke and preserve fish,” she said.</p> <p>The push to change the beach's name has been an ongoing battle, and last year Western Australia Labor MP Pierre Yang called for a change for places with the word “Chinaman” in their names.</p> <p>There are around 300 spots around Australia with the word "Chinaman" in it. </p> <p>Yang told the Legislative Council in June 2023 that Chinaman is  a “racist term, derogatory and contemptuous in nature”.</p> <p>“In 21st century multicultural Australia and multicultural WA, this word is no longer acceptable, and that’s why we don’t hear this word often," Yang said. </p> <p>However, many are also defending the current name, including a few residents of Chinese descent. </p> <p>“Nothing racist about it in my opinion – no negative connotations. It’s a beautiful beach named after beautiful people – no dramas,” one person wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>“It’s becoming more ridiculous all the time! What else will we need to change and deny from the past? It’s a beautiful beach. why would that offend anyone?” another wrote.</p> <p>Another second-generation Chinese Australian said that the name is not offensive, “and in fact, I’m currently based in Singapore living on a street called Cantonment Road – which means the same bloody thing.</p> <p>"We need to own and accept our history, both the good and bad. And stop trying to rewrite it." </p> <p>“I am of Chinese descent and I don’t find anything derogatory about it,” another added. </p> <p>A Mosman Council spokesperson told <em>news.com.au </em>that renaming places and localities is a matter for the NSW Geographical Names Board (GNB).</p> <p>“Council is not aware of any future renaming plans,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>The GNB also said that they have not received a proposal to rename or dual name Chinamans Beach. </p> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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King Charles and Queen Camilla's Australia tour confirmed

<p>King Charles and Queen Camilla are officially coming to Australia! </p> <p>Buckingham Palace confirmed on Monday morning that the monarch and his wife will embark on their first royal tour of Australia as King and Queen in October, with stops including New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. </p> <p>They will also visit Samoa, where they will attend the  2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.</p> <p>This marks the first time a reigning monarch has visited since the late Queen Elizabeth's trip in 2011. </p> <p>However, Charles and Camilla will not be visiting New Zealand based on the advice of doctors, according to the Palace. </p> <p>"The King's doctors have advised that such an extended programme should be avoided at this time, to prioritise His Majesty's continued recovery," a Palace spokesperson said. </p> <p>"In close consultation with the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers, and with due regard for the pressures of time and logistics, it has therefore been agreed to limit the visit to Samoa and Australia only," the spokesperson continued.</p> <p>"Their Majesties send their warmest thanks and good wishes to all parties for their continued support and understanding."</p> <p>Charles' programme in both Australia and Samoa will also "be subject to doctors' advice", and his itinerary may also change according to his health. </p> <p>The royals are expected to spend six days in Australia, before heading to Samoa for the meeting. </p> <p>The last time the couple visited Australia was in 2018, when Charles was still a prince. </p> <p><em>Image: The Royal Family Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Why do dogs have different coats? Experts explain – and give grooming tips for different types

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Dog hair comes in many varieties, from shaggy to short, curly to straight. If you live with a dog, you live with their hair – on your couch, in your clothes, it’s everywhere!</p> <p>Beyond colour, have you ever wondered what’s behind the differences in coat type?</p> <p>We actually know quite a lot about why dogs have different coats, and it comes down to their genes.</p> <h2>What are the main coat types in dogs?</h2> <p>The three main features of dog coats are how long the hairs are, whether they are curly or straight, and whether they have extra flourishes. The flourishes are called “furnishings”, and can include a hairy moustache and shaggy eyebrows.</p> <p>Combinations of these three features result in seven different coat types in dogs: short, wire, wire and curly, long, long with furnishings, curly, and curly with furnishings.</p> <p>We know from a <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1177808">study of more than 1,000 dogs with varying coats</a> that differences in only three genes are responsible for this variety.</p> <p>The gene responsible for long hair (called FGF5) is <a href="https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/patterns">recessive</a>, meaning dogs must have two copies of the mutated gene to have long hair. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1402862111">In humans</a>, the same gene has been identified in families with excessively long eyelashes.</p> <p>Curly coats in dogs are related to a gene called <a href="https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/tests/details/173/">KRT71</a>, which affects keratin, a protein involved in hair formation. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974189/">Mutations in this gene</a> in cats result in hairless (Sphynx) or curly-haired (Devon Rex) breeds.</p> <p>The gene responsible for furnishings (<a href="https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/rspo2/">RSPO2</a>) is involved in establishing hair follicles. <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/hair-follicle">Hair follicles</a> are small pockets in the skin that grow hair.</p> <p>Variations in these three genes could explain the coat type in most (but not all!) of the dogs tested. For example, the long coat of the Afghan hound is not explained by these three genes. Further study is needed to identify less common mutations and genes controlling the coat in these dogs.</p> <p>The earliest dog breeds would have been short-haired, as a result of the “wild-type” genes. Later changes would have arisen through mutation and deliberate selection <a href="https://theconversation.com/managing-mutations-of-a-species-the-evolution-of-dog-breeding-96635">through modern breeding practices</a>.</p> <p>If all three mutations are present, the dog has a long, curly coat with furnishings. An example is the Bichon Frisé.</p> <h2>What else varies in dog coats?</h2> <p>Dog coat types can also be single or double. In a double-coated breed such as a Labrador, there is a longer coarse layer of hairs and a softer and shorter undercoat. Wolves and ancestral dogs are single-coated, and the double coat is a result of a <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/5/323">mutation in chromosome 28</a>.</p> <p>In the Labrador, the mutation was probably selected for as they were bred to <a href="https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2023/exec/0525n07/">retrieve fishing nets in Canada</a>. The double coat is a great insulator and helps them to stay warm, even in icy water.</p> <h2>Why does it matter what kind of coat a dog has?</h2> <p>We know with climate change our world is going to get hotter. Dogs with a double coat are less able to tolerate heat stress, as their hair prevents heat loss.</p> <p>In a study of dogs <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/avj.13296">suffering heat-related illness</a>, most of the 15 breeds at higher risk had double coats. The death rate in these dogs was 23%. We can only imagine how it must feel going out on a 40 degree day wearing a thick fur coat.</p> <p>Dogs with a double coat shed more hair than dogs with a single coat. This means even short-haired breeds, like the Labrador retriever, can shed an astonishing amount of hair. If you can’t tolerate dog hair, then a dog with a double-coat may not suit you.</p> <p>When we think of wool we think of sheep, but in the past <a href="https://www.si.edu/stories/woolly-dog-mystery-unlocked">woolly dogs were kept for their wool</a> that was <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adi6549">woven by Indigenous groups</a> and used to make blankets.</p> <p>A dog’s coat also affects how much time and effort is needed for grooming. Dogs with long or curly hair with furnishings are likely to need more time invested in their care, or visits to a professional groomer.</p> <p>Designer dogs (cross-bred dogs often crossed with a poodle, such as groodles), are likely to be curly with furnishings. In a US study, people with designer dogs reported meeting their dogs’ maintenance and grooming requirements was <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/12/23/3247">much harder than they expected</a>.</p> <p>It’s not just bank balances and the time needed that can suffer. If people are unable to cope with the demands of grooming long-haired dogs, lack of grooming can cause welfare problems. A study of animal cruelty cases in New York found <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.827348/full">13% involved hair matting</a>, with some hair mats causing strangulation wounds and 93% of affected dogs having long hair.</p> <h2>How can you prevent problems?</h2> <p>If you have a curly- or long-haired breed of dog, it will help to train them to like being brushed from an early age. You can do this by counter-conditioning so they have a positive emotional response to being groomed, rather than feeling anxious. First show the brush or lightly brush them, then give them a treat. They learn to associate being brushed with something positive.</p> <p>If you take your dog to the groomer, it’s very important their first experience is positive. A scary or painful incident will make it much more difficult for future grooming.</p> <p>Is your dog difficult to groom or hard to get out of the car at the groomers? It’s likely grooming is scary for them. Consulting a dog trainer or animal behaviourist who focuses on positive training methods can help a lot.</p> <p>Keeping your dog well groomed, no matter their hair type, will keep them comfortable. More important than looking great, feeling good is an essential part of dogs living their best lives with us.<!-- 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/232480/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/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, Associate Professor, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, Research Fellow, Animal Welfare Science Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</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/why-do-dogs-have-different-coats-experts-explain-and-give-grooming-tips-for-different-types-232480">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

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Savvy mum shares her unique packing hacks

<p dir="ltr">A savvy mother and experienced traveller has shared her ultimate hacks for packing your suitcase when heading on your next holiday. </p> <p dir="ltr">Melbourne mum Chantel Ibbotson, who goes by the name Mama Mila online, shared the helpful hacks with her 2.8 million followers, with many people praising her ingenuity.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her go-to tips ranged from keeping your luggage smelling fresh, utilising your space, and how to prevent breakages. </p> <p dir="ltr">One tip Chantel shared, that has been labelled a “game changer”, involves placing necklaces through a straw to prevent them from tangling. </p> <p dir="ltr">One follower commented on the video saying, “I used your straw tip for necklaces last time I travelled and it was awesome.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C81L4KYSeAA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C81L4KYSeAA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Chantel Mila Ibbotson (@mama_mila_au)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The mum-of-two also showed her followers how a simple button can be used to keep pairs of earrings together by fastening each earring through one hole in the button.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chantel also recommended hanging packing cubes that can be purchased online as a great solution for “making packing and unpacking so quick and easy”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The influencer also suggested spraying perfume on cotton pads to keep your suitcase smelling fresh, as well as placing cotton pads in makeup compacts to prevent breakage.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another tip was to pack a separate bag, whether it's a plastic bag or a dust bag, to hold your dirty laundry. </p> <p dir="ltr">This tip allows travellers to easily find clean clothes while also keeping dirty, smellier clothes separate in their own bag.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video racked up thousands of views, with many saying they will try out the unique tips next time they travel. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Tips

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Buckingham Palace finally reveals what's behind the iconic balcony

<p>One of the royal family’s most photographed moments is when they walk onto the famed balcony at Buckingham Palace, and now you can see what goes on behind the curtains. </p> <p>Buckingham Palace is opening its East Wing to the public for the first time, after a five year renovation. </p> <p>Caroline de Guitaut, Surveyor of The King’s Works of Art, told <em>7NEWS</em>: “Everybody knows the facade of Buckingham Palace, with the members of the family on the balcony appearing over the centuries, but I think a lot of people probably think, ‘Gosh what’s behind, what’s through the curtains’.”</p> <p>The East Wing features a corridor that leads to the iconic balcony and is adorned with thousands of artworks and artefacts. </p> <p>During the renovation, more than 3000 pieces of art were taken out, restored, and returned, including the lavish wallpaper, which took about three months to remove and put back on. </p> <p>“It was painstakingly taken off the walls. It took about three months, then cleaned and they put it back up,” Nicola Turner Inman, Curator of Decorative Art at the Royal Collection Trust, told <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p>The East Wing will open from next week, and royal fans will finally get to see the main corridor that stretches out across the entire length of the residence. </p> <p>“I’m hoping they are surprised and amazed by the variety of pieces that they see from the royal collection here,” de Guitaut told the outlet. </p> <p>The King's latest portrait will also be a part of the tour. </p> <p>“I think the King is very pleased to see the rooms back looking as resplendent as they do,” de Guitaut said.</p> <p>Tickets for the East Wing are reportedly sold out for this summer, but more tickets will be made available next year, so no royal fan will miss out.</p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Boomer couple divide audiences after revealing they're spending their children's inheritance

<p>A couple from Victoria have ignited a fierce debate over spending their children's inheritance, after they revealed they are happy to spend the money on holidays during their retirement years. </p> <p>Leanne and Leon Ryland appeared on the SBS show <em>Insight</em>, along with their son Alex, to discuss how they are spending their retirement fund without considering leaving their cash flow to their two grown up kids. </p> <p>The couple have spent $170,000 on travelling so far, with their goal to visit the wonders of the world taking them to Machu Picchu in Peru, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, with the US being next on their agenda. </p> <p>The couple joked the only thing their two sons would inherit would be their “shelf of s***”, a pile of cheap trinkets from their travels.</p> <p>However, the couple also own a home, and have been using their superannuation, pension and savings to fund their travels. </p> <p>Their jet setting comes after they saw a financial planner before they retired about four years ago after saving their whole lives.</p> <p>“We’ve done all the right things by investing in property, boosting up our super, making sure that was healthy, going without a lot of things,” Ms Ryland said.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9JyzoDvYkM/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9JyzoDvYkM/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Insight at SBS (@insightsbs)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“And he said, ‘You’re crazy if you don’t retire when you can, because you’ll spend most of your wealth on travel or whatever in the first 10 years and then after that it slows down’."</p> <p>“It’s changing your mindset. You get into a phase now where you actually spend instead of save.”</p> <p>The cashed-up boomers run a Facebook group called “SKIclub”, which stands for “spending kids inheritance”, where retirees can share travel tips.</p> <p>Ms Ryland said she’s trying to convince her husband they have to “spend now, because if we don’t spend it, you know he gets it”, pointing to her son.</p> <p>“We’re not going be able to spend all this money so let’s do it because in another 10 years we won’t be climbing the Great Wall of China. We won’t be going up Machu Picchu,” she said.</p> <p>“We won’t be doing those things. So we’ve gotta do it now because what else is there?”</p> <p>The attitude of the couple quickly welcomed a wave of criticism online, who were quick to brand the pair as “entitled”. </p> <p>“SBS <em>Insight</em> tonight is hilarious — boomer privilege at its best &amp; still not conscious of it. So entitled,” one person wrote on X.</p> <p>“Boomers are evil … bragging about overseas holidays with no regard for the environment, spending all their money so their kids have no inheritance,” another wrote.</p> <p>“Clogging healthcare due to their perceived entitlement for health and refusal to die. Selfish and privileged.”</p> <p>However, despite the views of many on social media, the couple’s son Alex appeared to support his parents' decision.</p> <p>“It’s their money,” he told the program.</p> <p>“They’ve worked hard their entire life and invested well in order to get that money so I think they should be able to do whatever they’d like with it.”</p> <p>Alex's sentiment was echoed by others online, with one person saying, "They have a right to do what they want, after the years of being so amazing and responsible for raising a kids, their turn is now."</p> <p>Another simply stated, "It's their money, they can do what they want."</p> <p><em>Insight</em>’s ‘The Boomer Economy’ is available to stream on <a title="https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/news-series/insight" href="https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/news-series/insight" data-outlook-id="534ae148-66c7-42db-b3ee-8f15bf016de4">SBS On Demand</a> now.</p> <p><em>Image credits: SBS</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Sombre Aussie site tops global list of most unusual abandoned places

<p>Each year, thousands of people travel to famous abandoned buildings and hotspots to explore what were once important landmarks. </p> <p>Some deserted sites are more popular than others, as these ten sites received tens of thousands of visitors each year. </p> <p><strong>Buzludzha, Bulgaria</strong></p> <p>The Buzludzha Monument in central Bulgaria has been dubbed the tenth most famous abandoned place in the world, each year welcoming over 18,000 people. </p> <p>The site was constructed in 1981 and used by the Bulgarian communist government, and was in use until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.</p> <p><strong>Ohio State Reformatory, USA</strong></p> <p>After first opening in 1898, the goal of the Ohio State Reformatory was to truly "reform" and rehabilitate its inmates.</p> <p>The facility was closed in 1990, and each year attracts more than 21,000 visitors.</p> <p><strong>Gereja Ayam, Indonesia</strong></p> <p>The uniquely shaped house of prayer in Central Java continues to be a popular tourist attraction in Indonesia, welcoming more than 50,000 travellers each year. </p> <p>Construction on the church was never completed after work was halted in 2000.</p> <p><strong>Lago di Resia Bell Tower, Italy</strong></p> <p>The 14-century sunken bell tower can be found near the border of Switzerland, emerging from the water from a sunken village where travellers claim they can hear bells tolling, even though there are no bells in the tower. </p> <p>The lonely (and probably haunted) tower receives more than 54,000 tourists each year. </p> <p><strong>Canfranc, Spain</strong></p> <p>The abandoned railway station is located in the Spanish municipality of Canfranc, close to the French border and once was a major hub for cross-border railway traffic.</p> <p>It first opened in 1928, but closed its doors by 1970 before it was reimagined as a hotel.  </p> <p><strong>Beelitz Military Hospital, Germany</strong></p> <p>The large hospital complex was first built in 1898 as a sanatorium, but was transformed into a hospital at the beginning of WWI and has been abandoned since 1990. </p> <p>It's understood Hitler was treated here after being wounded in the Battle of Somme, which could be the reason more than 64,000 travellers flock there each year. </p> <p><strong>Eastern State Penitentiary, USA</strong></p> <p>The prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is described as one of the country's most historic prisons and has housed some famous prisoners such as Al Capone.</p> <p>The prison was closed in 1971 and is tagged on social media by more than 79,000 every year. </p> <p><strong>Croix-Rouge, Paris</strong></p> <p>Also known as the Red Cross, this Paris train station has been abandoned since 1939 after France entered WWII.</p> <p>The station was only functional for 16 years, and welcomes more than 95,000 curious travellers each year. </p> <p><strong>Teufelsberg, Germany</strong></p> <p>Teufelsberg was one of the largest listening towers in the world during the Cold war.</p> <p>The site was closed in 1972, but still receives around 128,000 every year. </p> <p><strong>Port Arthur, Australia</strong></p> <p>More than a quarter of a million visitors travel to Port Arthur in Tasmania each year.</p> <p>The site itself was first opened as a timber station in 1830 and is known as a symbol of the country's convict past.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

International Travel

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Mummified body of missing climber found after 22 years

<p>Twenty-two years ago, William Stampfl and two of his friends went missing when an avalanche buried them as they made their way up one of the highest peaks in the Andes mountains in Peru. </p> <p>William's family had little hope of finding him alive, or even retrieving his corpse from thick layers of snow, but in June his daughter got an unexpected call. </p> <p>A stranger said he had come across the climber's frozen, but mostly intact body as he made his own way up the Huascaran peak. </p> <p>"It's been a shock" Jennifer Stampfl said. </p> <p>The 53-year-old added: "When you get that phone call that he's been found your heart just sinks. You don't know how exactly to feel at first."</p> <p>A group of policemen and mountain guides retrieved his body on Tuesday, putting it on a stretcher and slowly taking it down the icy mountain. </p> <p>His body was found at an altitude of 5200m, around a nine-hour hike from one of the camps where climbers stop when they are climbing the summit. </p> <p>William's body and clothing were preserved by the ice and freezing temperatures, with the driver's licence in his hip pouch used to identify him. </p> <p>Lenin Alvardo, one of the police officers who participated in the recovery operation, added that the hip pouch also contained a pair of sunglasses, a camera, a voice recorder and two decomposing $20 bills.</p> <p>William still had a gold wedding ring on his left hand.</p> <p>"I've never seen anything like that," Alvarado said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="es"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%C3%81ncash?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Áncash</a>🚨| ¡Rescatan cadáver en glaciar!<br />Agentes del Departamento de Alta Montaña, tras una intensa búsqueda ubicaron el cuerpo momificado y deshidratado de una persona NN en el nevado de <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Huascar%C3%A1n?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Huascarán</a>. Sus restos fueron internados a la morgue de <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yungay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yungay</a> para su identificación. <a href="https://t.co/WJGklwUwbp">pic.twitter.com/WJGklwUwbp</a></p> <p>— Policía Nacional del Perú (@PoliciaPeru) <a href="https://twitter.com/PoliciaPeru/status/1809394543512416721?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 6, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The climber who found his body then called William's relatives, who then got in touch with local mountain guides. </p> <p>His daughter said that the family plans to move the body to a funeral home in Lima, where it can be cremated. </p> <p>"For 22 years, we just kind of put in our mind: 'This is the way it is. Dad's part of the mountain, and he's never coming home,'" she said.</p> <p>William was trying to climb Peru's highest peak with his friends Matthew Richardson and Steve Erskine in 2002. </p> <p>Erskine's body was found shortly after the avalanche, but Richardson's corpse is still missing.</p> <p>William's daughter said that a plaque in memory of the three friends was placed at the summit of Mount Baldy in Southern California, where the trio trained for their expeditions. </p> <p>She hopes to return to the site with her father's remains. </p> <p><em>Image: Peruvian National Police/ X </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"Beyond devastated": Four-month-old baby dies after family outing

<p>A four-month-old baby girl has died after being exposed to extreme heat during a July 4 outing with her family. </p> <p>Weather records show that temperatures in the region soared to 120°F (48<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">°C) last Friday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The infant, identified as T</span>anna Rae Wroblewski, had been out on a boat on Lake Havasu with her parents when she suddenly fell ill and lost consciousness on Friday evening.  </p> <p>Her family performed CPR until first responders arrived and were able to rush her to a local medical centre. </p> <p>She was then airlifted to Phoenix Children's hospital, where she was pronounced dead. </p> <p>Her parents are struggling to come to terms with their daughter's death, with mum Tanya Wroblewski saying: “We are beyond devastated, heartbroken, there are just no words.” </p> <p>“I will never understand why you had to leave us, you were just too perfect. I love you endlessly and I will look for you everywhere angel,” she shared in a Facebook post. </p> <p>The medical examiner has yet to release the infant's official cause of death, but authorities suspect that her death was brought on by a heat-related illness according to local news outlet, <em>News 12</em>. </p> <p>Tannas mum has also shared how difficult it was trying to explain her death to the infant's older sister. </p> <p>“We don’t understand why you had to leave, how could she?” she wrote. </p> <p>“She’s left out toys for you and made sure your favourites were all in the bassinet before bed the last couple nights. We are so heartbroken without you baby girl.”</p> <p>Her death is still being investigated by local authorities. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / Alyssa Wolf Wroblewski/ NY Post</em></p> <p> </p>

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"Hero" teens steer bus to safety after driver has a heart attack

<p>Two teenagers have worked together to steer a school bus to safety after the driver had a heart attack. </p> <p>The pair were among 20 other students from Aquinas College, who were on board the bus yesterday afternoon when the 70-year-old driver had the medical episode. </p> <p>A 15-year-old girl, not yet old enough to drive, and Daniel Knight, a year 12 student sprung to action to stop the bus. </p> <p>"We were only going like five [kilometres an hour], 10 k's, so I was like I better just stop the bus before it gets any worse," Knight said. </p> <p>"She opened the door up, she was calming everyone down."</p> <p>Bennet Rogers, a student on the bus  recalled the moment the incident happened. </p> <p>"Us students on the bus, we didn't know what was happening and everyone was screaming," Rogers said. </p> <p>"She had to steer the bus so we didn't crash into a building," he added. </p> <p>Knight and the 15-year-old girl's actions have been commended by the school in a letter to their parents. </p> <p>The bus driver remains in hospital and is recovering from surgery, and the principal has said that there would be an investigation into what happened. </p> <p>Many are calling for the teen girl to be recognised with a bravery award, with Queensland Premier Steven Miles telling <em>Nine News</em> he would personally nominate her. </p> <p>"She's a hero for that, definitely," another fellow student, Brodie Wilkinson, said.</p> <p>"I really hope she gets an award or something."</p> <p><em>Image: Nine News</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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