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Woman cops hefty fine after "checking out surf"

<p>A woman has lashed out at her local council after she copped a fine for $136 for a five-minute stop at a popular beach to assess the surf conditions. </p> <p>Amy Sloane stopped her car at The Esplanade at NSW's Caves Beach to get a sense of the surf conditions on July 6th, and was unknowingly being watched by a parking inspector. </p> <p>Ms Sloane was shocked to receive the fine in the post a few weeks later, arguing that her actions didn't justify the fine.</p> <p>"How do I feel? P***ed off," she told <em>Yahoo News</em>. "Rangers can't fine people who don't pick up after their dogs on our beaches, but can secretly fine you without you knowing for just checking out the surf for five minutes."</p> <p>She also called the council workers "cowards", saying the area she stopped in is often used by locals and tourists to get a look at the surf, and even whale watch occasionally during migration season.</p> <p>As she continued to defend her actions, Lake Macquarie City Council clarified that the infringement stated the driver parallel parked in the opposite direction of travel, which is a  known "safety offence under Australia Road Rules".</p> <p>It is illegal in all Australian states and territories to park your car in the opposite direction of traffic on any road.</p> <p>"The fine at hand was issued for not parallel parking in the direction of travel, which is a safety offence under Australian Road Rules. The driver's vehicle crossed double white lines and was parked near a bend, facing oncoming traffic, which further heightened safety concerns," a council spokesperson said.</p> <p>After expressing her annoyance on social media, many agreed the fine was warranted, saying she had done the wrong thing, regardless of how long she was there for.</p> <p>Other locals chimed in and said "it happens all the time" despite it being a fineable offence.</p> <p>"If you think the fine is wrong, fight it. If you were parked incorrectly, wear the fine," another said.</p> <p>Sloane confirmed to <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/woman-fined-136-after-checking-out-surf-at-popular-beach-084002221.html?guccounter=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Yahoo News</a> </em>she will begrudgingly pay the fine.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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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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"Meant to be": Magical moment mum finds lost ring 15 years later

<p>Some stories are so unbelievable that it seems like divine intervention played a part in making them happen.</p> <p>Samantha was only eight or nine years old when she lost a ring that her parents gave her for Christmas, only to miraculously find it 15 years later. </p> <p>She recalled the remarkable story of her lost ring on <em>Nova 96.9's Fitzy & Wippa with Kate Ritchie</em>. </p> <p>"So when I was about eight or nine, it was Christmas time, and we were holidaying up at Umina Beach Caravan Park," Samantha began.</p> <p>"I was in the surf, and my mum and dad had bought me this beautiful little first diamond ring for Christmas, and I was sort of in the waves up to sort of my knees, and I thought, Oh, I better take my ring off and put it around my necklace, because if I get dumped or under the waves, I might lose it."</p> <p>Samantha recalled that she was in the middle of taking her ring off when a "freak wave" came and knocked her over, causing her to drop the ring in the ocean.</p> <p>"I'm crying... my mum's crying, we're all crying, and I lost the ring," she said.</p> <p>15 years later she returned to the same beach with her own kids, when things took a turn for the better. </p> <p>"My daughter's collecting shells, and she picks up this big shell, and I said, 'Oh, that's beautiful. Like, that's a big one. We don't find them up this way'," she told the radio hosts.</p> <p>"And she said, 'Oh, hang on. I think there's like a creature or something in it'... So I said 'Put it down, put it down', and I picked it up and just make sure she wasn't going to get bitten or anything.</p> <p>"And I looked inside, and my ring was inside the shell."</p> <p>Samantha told the hosts that she remembered her mum giving her the ring and telling her "when you grow up and you have a daughter, you can give this to her."</p> <p>"When we found it, I think I cried for like, a week, it's a story that we still don't believe."</p> <p>Radio hosts Kate, Fitzy and Wippa were all in shock, with Kate telling the mum that the ring was "meant to be" with her. </p> <p>"Well, the funny thing is, my mum, actually, at the moment, is palative," Samantha shared.</p> <p>"She's very, very unwell, and out of everything that she does remember, she still remembers that story.</p> <p>"She'll still say to me, 'don't you ever get rid of that ring'. And I'm like, my daughter's got it in a box at home, and she's not even allowed to wear it."</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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"Ruined our trip": Mum shell-shocked by $130k fine

<p>A mother has been slapped with a hefty fine after her children were caught in a seemingly innocent act while on a beach holiday. </p> <p>Charlotte Russ took her five kids on a trip to Pismo Beach in California, where her children started enthusiastically collecting what they thought were ordinary seashells. </p> <p>"My kids they thought they were collecting seashells, but they were actually collecting clams, 72 to be exact,"  Russ told local news outlet <em><a href="https://abc7.com/post/fresno-woman-fined-88k-after-kids-collect-clams/14859295/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">ABC 7</a></em>.</p> <p>Clamming is highly regulated in California, meaning if you don't have a fishing license, you cannot catch the small sea creatures. </p> <p>She received a citation right there on the beach and was later notified she has to pay close to $89,000, or $133,000 AUD, for her kids' seemingly innocent treasure hunt. </p> <p>"It made me really sad and depressed, and it kind of ruined our trip," said Russ.</p> <p>Department of Fish and Wildlife's Lieutenant Matthew Gil defended the fine, saying there are rules in place for a reason. </p> <p>"The reason we got it we have these regulations is because we have to let them get to 4 and a half inches so they can spawn so they can have they can have offspring every year, and they have juvenile clams," said Lt. Gil.</p> <p>Russ said her kids have learned their lesson, saying, "They know now at the beach don't touch anything, but they know now what a clam is, compared to what a seashell is now, I've had to explain that to them."</p> <p>The mother was able to plead her case with a San Luis Obispo County Judge, who reduced her fine to $500 dollars, and after she "won" her case, Russ got a shellfish tattoo to commemorate the incident.</p> <p>"It was definitely one expensive trip to Pismo, unforgettable," said Russ.</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC 7</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Quiet beach town offering $450k job with free house and car

<p>A picturesque beach town in Western Australia has found a creative way to bring jobs to the area: by offering a range of enticing bonuses. </p> <p>The town of Bremer Bay, south-east of Perth, is desperate for healthcare providers to join the small town and have offered a range of persuasive perks to a doctor who would be willing to leave a big city for the job in the regional location. </p> <p>Bremer Bay is next to the Fitzgerald River National Park and nearly 40 minutes away from the closest town. Currently, they only have one temporary doctor; the next permanent GP is in Albany, almost 200 kilometres away, and the town is looking for the "Swiss army knife of doctors" to step up.</p> <p>According to the job listing on Seek, the successful applicant will be granted a rent-free five-bedroom house and a four-wheel drive, on top of a salary of up to $450,000 a year.</p> <p>"Live rent-free in a scenic location, experiencing the true essence of rural Australia," the advertisement reads.</p> <p>"We offer a competitive 70 per cent of Billings or a generous Salary, based on your preference. In addition, you'll enjoy the convenience of a beautiful new 5-bedroom home and 4X4."</p> <p>Applicants must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and be willing to train as a rural generalist.</p> <p>According to the <a title="Australian Institute of Health and Welfare" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Institute of Health and Welfare</a>, people living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, deaths and injury compared to city-dwellers, while also having poorer access to primary health care services.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Height of selfishness": Photo at iconic beach sparks debate over etiquette

<p>A photo taken at Bronte Beach has sparked the age old debate over whether picnickers should be allowed to reserve picnic tables by dumping their stuff on them. </p> <p>The image taken at one of Sydney's most popular beaches, showed two picnic tables under the same hut with table clothes and bags on them, but there was no human in sight. </p> <p>“There were at least half a dozen of these tables ‘reserved’ for a couple of hours on Sunday morning from very early in the day,” one annoyed beachgoer wrote on Reddit. </p> <p>“We got there at 7am and left a few hours later. No one was using the tables the entire time we were there.”</p> <p>The post has received hundreds of comments from other annoyed picnickers, with one going as far as calling it "unAustralian". </p> <p>“It's not acceptable,” one person said. “You can reserve it by sitting there yourself, but not by leaving an item.”</p> <p>“Yes, you should be actually using it, not leaving your s**t on there to reserve it for later,” another added. </p> <p>“It's the height of selfishness.”</p> <p>“Move their stuff, move yourself in, and say, ‘it was like this when I got here’,” one commenter suggested. </p> <p>“All I see is a free tablecloth and free bag,” another quipped. </p> <p>However, a few others pointed out that there were other available seats, and that there are unspoken rules around reserving picnic spots. </p> <p>"In this instance, it’s probably okay,” one wrote. “The back table is free, go grab it.”</p> <p>"As long as there’s people there minding the tables, not just throwing a bunch of tablecloths down and walking off, I’m fine with it,” another added. “First come first served.”</p> <p>“If I was bringing a few things from the car I might do this,” a third commented. </p> <p> “Like dropping off the tablecloth and backpack before grabbing the esky etc. But I'd maintain line of sight. Anything else isn't justified in my opinion.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for Waverly Council have asked people to "refrain from reserving tables and always have a back up plan". </p> <p>“Waverley is the second-most densely populated local government area in Australia outside of the City of Sydney, and we attract millions of visitors every year, so our recreational spaces are at a premium," the spokesperson told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>. </p> <p>“On weekends and at other peak times, picnic tables and barbecues do invariably fill up. So we ask people to share our spaces so that everyone can have a turn.”</p> <p><em>Images: Reddit</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Australia's oldest person bids farewell to iconic beach house

<p>In a heartwarming tale that speaks to the enduring love for cherished places and the passing of generational torches, Marija Ruljancich, Australia's oldest person, has bid farewell to her beloved holiday retreat.</p> <p>The Sorrento pile, nestled on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, has found new hands, marking the end of an era and the dawn of a promising new chapter.</p> <p>Marija, who reached the remarkable milestone of 110 years in 2023, has been the guardian of this beachside haven for countless years. With its origins tracing back to 1960, when it was designed by the esteemed architect Daryl Jackson AO for local businessman Robert Riley, the house has stood as a testament to timeless design and cherished memories.</p> <p>The sale of this iconic property has not only captured the attention of locals but also stirred the hearts of many across the nation. Despite its undisclosed transaction sum, it's understood that the sale falls within the property's estimated range, a fitting exchange for a home steeped in history and affection.</p> <p>What truly warms the soul is the buyer's commitment to honouring the legacy of Riley House. With plans to restore the dwelling to its original glory, there's a palpable sense of joy and relief within Marija's family. The Melbourne-based buyer, driven by a passion for preserving architectural heritage, sees beyond the bricks and mortar; they envision a continuation of the house's story, enriched by their own memories and experiences.</p> <p>As Liz Jensen of Kay & Burton Portsea recounts the emotional journey of the sale, it's evident that this isn't merely a transaction; it's a celebration of life, love, and the power of preservation. </p> <p>"Congratulations to Australia’s oldest living person," Liz wrote on Instagram, "as today she successfully sells her long-held and much loved Sorrento mid century beachside family holiday home designed by Architect Daryl Jackson AO."</p> <p>The buyer's dedication to retaining even the smallest details, such as the built-in speaker nestled within the dining room cupboard, speaks volumes about their reverence for the past and their vision for the future.</p> <p>Amid whispers of demolishing the home, the decision to uphold its structure stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of community and connection. For those who walked through its halls during inspections, the house isn't just a property; it's a repository of memories, a canvas upon which stories of old Sorrento are painted with every creaking floorboard and whispering breeze.</p> <p>For Marija and her family, and for all those who have been touched by its charm, the legacy lives on – a timeless reminder of the beauty found in preserving the past while embracing the promise of tomorrow.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram | </em><em>Kay & Burton Portsea</em></p>

Real Estate

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Surprising causes of most deaths on Australia’s beaches

<p>Worried about sharks at the beach? Turns out these fearsome fish are not the biggest killers on Australia’s coastline when it comes to non-drowning deaths.</p> <div class="copy"> <p>Instead, depending on a person’s age, it’s more likely that a heart problem or misadventure will lead to mortality, according to research from Surf Life Saving Australia, whose red-and-gold clad patrol teams provide patrol and rescue services for beaches across the country.</p> <p>More than half of non-drowning deaths in the decade between July 2012 and June 2022 were caused by cardiac-related conditions. These accounted for 319 of the 616 deaths along Australia’s coasts.</p> <p>Traumatic and collision injuries – such as blunt force trauma – were the next most common cause of death, accounting for fewer than 1 in 6 deaths.</p> <p>Falls accounted for 1 in 10 fatalities, with marine animal interactions 1 in 20.</p> <p>But the data has other insights beyond cause of death. Males were far more likely to be killed on the coast; victims in almost 9 out of 10 cases.</p> <p>And while people aged over 50 account for most deaths, primarily through cardiac conditions, those below the age of 50 are overrepresented in all other mortality cases.</p> <p>This, the researchers say, is an important consideration when interpreting the data, as deaths from any cause are highest among older people. </p> <p>“Our research showed that males were 5.2 times more likely to die than females, with younger populations found to die disproportionately along the coast with the primary causes being falls and traumatic/collision injuries,” says the study’s lead researcher, Sean Kelly.</p> <p>Kelly and the other SLSA researchers point to those all-cause mortality comparisons. People aged 70+ have 118 times greater all-cause death rate than people aged 16-24.</p> <p>But when looking at non-drowning coastal deaths, it’s only 6 times greater, highlighting disproportionate deaths among young people in these environments.</p> <p>They suggest this is due to higher levels of coastal visitation and the type of activities young people participate in. Where a person lives also matters.</p> <p>“Those living in or visiting rural and remote areas were also found to be at higher risk, largely due to poorer access to services and longer incident response times,” Kelly says.</p> <p>“<a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/marine-life/shark-attack-triggers-shark-cul/">While sharks are often top-of-mind for those visiting the beach</a>, all marine creatures including sharks and jellyfish only made up 5% of non-drowning deaths and less than 2% of overall coastal deaths.”</p> <p><em>The study was <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anzjph.2023.100113" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">published</a> in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.</em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <div> <p align="center"><noscript data-spai="1"><em><img decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/q_lossy+ret_img+to_auto/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/MICROSCOPIC-TO-TELESCOPIC__Embed-graphic-720x360-1.jpg" data-spai-egr="1" width="600" alt="Buy cosmos print magazine" title="surprising causes of most deaths on australia’s beaches 2"></em></noscript></p> </div> <p><em><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=300638&amp;title=Surprising+causes+of+most+deaths+on+Australia%E2%80%99s+beaches" width="1" height="1" loading="lazy" aria-label="Syndication Tracker" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></em><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/australia/surprising-causes-of-most-deaths-on-australias-beaches/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/matthew-agius/">Matthew Ward Agius</a>. Matthew Agius is a science writer for Cosmos Magazine.</em></div>

Domestic Travel

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Inside Ash Barty's new $4m beach pad

<p>Australian tennis sensation Ash Barty has made headlines once again, this time not for her remarkable prowess on the court, but for her latest investment – a breathtaking beachfront apartment on the Gold Coast. The Wimbledon champion recently secured a half-floor sky home in a striking 41.25-metre-high tower, currently under construction at Palm Beach, for close to a whopping $4 million.</p> <p>The 12-story apartment building, aptly named Kloud, is not just another luxury development; it represents a significant milestone for celebrity developer Graya as it marks their debut into the opulent real estate market of the Glitter Strip.</p> <p>Headed by brothers Rob and Andrew Gray, Graya has carved a niche for itself by creating show-stopping residences in Brisbane for high-profile clients, including sports stars like rugby league great Darius Boyd and renowned figures like rapper Example and his then-wife, model Erin McNaught, along with rugby players Quade Cooper and Izzy Folau.</p> <p>For Ash Barty, this investment signifies more than just acquiring a lavish property; it's about indulging in a lifestyle befitting her status. With earnings exceeding $30 million throughout her illustrious tennis career, Barty's purchase of this beachfront abode reflects her penchant for luxury and relaxation. It's reported that she intends to use the Jefferson Lane apartment as a lock-and-leave holiday home, allowing her to escape the rigours of public life and bask in the serene coastal ambiance whenever she desires.</p> <p>Speaking about Barty's choice, Rob Gray <a href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/tennis-star-ash-bartys-lavish-gold-coast-property-score/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">told Realestate.com.au</a> that “the proximity to the water afforded by the beachfront location on Jefferson Lane gives the apartments such a premium luxury feel, and Palm Beach offers that relaxed holiday lifestyle. Like myself, I assume Ash and her family will want to spend every weekend there.”</p> <p>Now, let's take a glimpse inside Barty's new coastal sanctuary. Spanning approximately 200 square metres of living space, this four-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment offers panoramic ocean views that will leave anyone in awe. The design seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor living, with soaring glass walls opening onto a private balcony complete with an integrated barbecue kitchen, ideal for entertaining guests against the backdrop of the shimmering sea.</p> <p>Inside, the interiors exude sophistication and refinement, featuring open-plan living areas adorned with European oak floorboards and a kitchen boasting sleek finishes such as a large island dining bar, integrated Miele appliances, and natural stone surfaces. The master bedroom is a sanctuary in itself, boasting plush wool carpeting, a walk-in robe, and an ensuite bathroom replete with indulgent amenities like a walk-in twin shower, dual vanity and a luxurious freestanding bath.</p> <p>For Barty, this acquisition comes at a pivotal moment in her life. Having retired from professional tennis at the age of 25 in 2022, she has embarked on a new chapter, one that sees her building her dream home in Brookwater, a residential community situated close to her hometown of Ipswich, west of Brisbane. While her tennis career may have come to an end, her legacy continues to flourish both on and off the court, solidifying her status as not just a sporting icon but also a discerning connoisseur of luxury living.</p> <p><em>Images: GRAYA \ Instagram</em></p>

Real Estate

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Surprising Aussie beach crowned best in the world

<p dir="ltr">An iconic Australian beach has been named the best in the world in a prestigious list of the most picturesque coastlines on the planet. </p> <p dir="ltr">Each year, <a href="https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/best-beaches-in-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Condé Nast Traveler</a> ranks the beaches from around the world to curate a list of 34 locations that every beach lover needs to visit. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the top ten list, five beaches from both Australia and New Zealand feature, living up to the countries reputations of stunning coastlines. </p> <p dir="ltr">With a “combination of leaning palm trees on powdery sand”, the publication crowned Palm Cove Beach as the best beach in the world, describing the spot in Queensland as “the epitome of a tropical paradise”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Located north of Cairns, the publication shared that Palm Cove is relatively “crowd free” and home to a range of unique wildlife. </p> <p dir="ltr">While many on social media were quick to agree with the winning location, others argued that there are beaches around Australia more deserving of the crown. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The only way you rank Palm Cove as the best beach in the world is if you have never been to Palm Cove or don’t like beaches,” one wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Eyre Peninsula beaches leave Palm Cove for dead,” another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Best beach if you don’t ever want to go in the water. What about all the magic in WA?” one questioned.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out the top 10 list of the world’s best beaches below. </p> <p dir="ltr">10. Die Plaat, South Africa</p> <p dir="ltr">9. Awaroa, South Island, New Zealand</p> <p dir="ltr">8. Noosa Beach, Australia </p> <p dir="ltr">7. Dune du Pilat, France</p> <p dir="ltr">6. Mona Vale Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr">5. Ora Beach, Indonesia</p> <p dir="ltr">4. Wategos Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr">3. Brekon, Shetland</p> <p dir="ltr">2. Honopu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii</p> <p dir="ltr">1. Palm Cove Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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Valentine's Day proposal sparks backlash for litter

<p>While Valentines day is the perfect day to celebrate all kinds of love, Manly residents were left fuming in the aftermath of one couple's elaborate proposal. </p> <p>On Wednesday, residents were forced to pick up "hundreds of plastic petals", used candles and plastic wrapping discarded on Manly beach, which marine experts have branded "very intentional" littering. </p> <p>One local said that "no attempt was made to pick it up" and they were sure that hundreds of the petals would've already "blown into the sea to float around choking wildlife for the next several hundred years".</p> <p>"Candles were placed in the sand, so it seems the celebration took place there on the beach as well as above by the footpath," the resident wrote in a Facebook post. </p> <p> "Plastic petals are cheaper than the real thing, but surely whoever you’re doing this for would prefer fewer real petals to hundreds or thousands of fake ones.</p> <p>"I usually just pick things up and get on with it but this was all very intentional and I believe it doesn’t actually occur to some people to consider the impact when making decisions like this so I want to say: Think about your long term impact, make choices accordingly and feel better about them."</p> <p>Conservationists have also slammed the act, and said that the littering would likely result in the death of wildlife. </p> <p>"These photos are pretty shocking to see, especially knowing that these items were intentionally littered," vice president of Ocean Conservancy’s plastics program, Nicholas Mallos told <em>Yahoo News</em>. </p> <p>"In sufficient quantities, ingesting plastics like these can absolutely harm birds and sea creatures.</p> <p>He added flexible plastics and polyester petals can be deadly if it is consumed by smaller animals as it can block their digestive tracts causing them to starve, and disrupts their reproductive behaviours. </p> <p>"It takes only a few tiny pieces of plastic to kill a sea turtle hatchling, for example," Mallos said. </p> <p>"There’s no doubt the beach is a spectacular setting for an event, but it does require special attention to protect the surrounding ecosystem," he added.</p> <p>AMCS Plastics & Packaging Program Manager Tara Jones also agreed, and said there are "far better earth-safe alternatives." </p> <p>She said that "around 90 per cent of all seabirds alive today have ingested plastic of some kind." </p> <p>"Juvenile sea turtles, like the ones hatching now along the Queensland coasts, have been known to ingest hundreds of pieces of plastic in their short life.</p> <p>"Our ocean wildlife deserves better."</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Relationships

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Pink spotted at Bondi ahead of national tour

<p>In a dazzling spectacle of beach vibes and sun-soaked fun, pop sensation Pink has graced the shores of Bondi Beach ahead of her highly anticipated Australian tour.</p> <p>The iconic singer, known for her powerhouse performances and unapologetic personality, was spotted basking in the Aussie sun with her adorable children, making waves Down Under.</p> <p>The excitement was palpable as Pink, with her trademark pink hair, took to social media to express her joy at being back on Australian soil. "Bondi Beach, it's been too long!!!!!!! Bills was delicious, too. ️Soooooooo happy to be back on this side of the world! Thank you beautiful Australia for being our home away from home. Kids are stoked," she gushed alongside some envy-inducing beach pictures.</p> <p>It seems Bills, a popular eatery in Sydney, left quite the impression on the star. If Pink says it's delicious, it's practically a culinary endorsement for the ages. (Move over food critics; Pink's tastebuds have spoken.)</p> <p>But this isn't Pink's first love letter to the Land Down Under. The singer has long expressed her admiration for Australia and has been a staunch supporter during challenging times. In 2020, she pledged a generous $500,000 donation to the country's fire services during the devastating Black Summer bushfires, proving she not only rocks the stage but also has a heart of gold.</p> <p>As Pink gears up for her stadium tour in Australia, aptly named the Summer Carnival tour, fans are eagerly anticipating a spectacle that will undoubtedly leave them smiling and singing until their cheeks hurt. Kicking off at Sydney's Allianz Stadium on February 9, the tour will then take Pink and her musical carnival to various cities, including Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.</p> <p>It's been nearly six years since Pink's 2018 tour, Beautiful Trauma, which wowed almost 560,000 Australian and New Zealand fans. Eager to share the joy once again, Pink expressed her excitement, saying, "I can't wait to bring the Summer Carnival tour to my home away from home and smile and sing together until our cheeks hurt. Summer 2024 can't come soon enough!"</p> <p>The tour is not just a celebration of Pink's electrifying stage presence but also a nod to her ninth album, Trustfall, released in February the previous year. The anticipation is building, and fans can't wait to witness the magic unfold live on stage.</p> <p>Adding a touch of whimsy to the excitement, Pink <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/my-home-away-from-home-pink-s-dream-down-under" target="_blank" rel="noopener">teased the possibility</a> of making Australia her permanent home last year. In an interview with <em>60 Minutes</em>, she revealed, "Last year, I was thinking about applying for citizenship; I am not even joking. I was like, 'If we're going somewhere Carey, [Australia] is where we're going'." Australia, get ready to welcome Pink with open arms – she might just become our newest citizen!</p> <p>So, as Pink readies to paint Australia with her musical colours and contagious energy, fans are counting down the days until the Summer Carnival kicks off, promising a tour de force that will linger in their memories long after the final note fades away. Bondi Beach, Bills, and a Summer Carnival – it's a Pink party, and everyone's invited.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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"She was everything": Beach Boys' Brian Wilson shares devastating news

<p>The Beach Boys singer-songwriter Brian Wilson has shared that his wife of nearly 30 years has passed away.</p> <p>The 81-year-old musician broke the news on Instagram on Wednesday morning, saying that his "heart is broken" after his wife Melinda Ledbetter Wilson died aged 77. </p> <p>"Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning. Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost," he wrote in his post, underneath two pictures of his wife.</p> <p>"Melinda was more than my wife. She was my saviour. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career," he said.</p> <p>"She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her. Love and Mercy, Brian."</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/p/C2vSn-zO_32/?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/p/C2vSn-zO_32/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Brian Wilson (@brianwilsonlive)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In his post, he also shared a tribute that appeared to come from their five children collectively, which read, "It is with a heavy heart that we let everyone know that our mum, Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson passed away peacefully this morning at home."</p> <p>"She was a force of nature and one of the strongest women you could come by. She was not only a model, our fathers [sic] savior, and a mother, she was a woman empowered by her spirit with a mission to better everyone she touched. We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us," the statement read.</p> <p>"How to take care of the person next to you with out expecting anything in return, how to find beauty in the darkest of places, and how to live life as your truest self with honesty and pride."</p> <p>They added, "We love you mum. Give Grandma Rose and Pa our love."</p> <p>Brian and Melinda first met in 1986 and married in 1995, before adopting their five children.</p> <p>Their love story and relationship was portrayed in the 2014 biographical drama film <em>Love &amp; Mercy</em>, which starred John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Caring

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Teen lifesaver's heroic rescue after cliff jump

<p>A teen lifesaver has been praised for her heroic effort to rescue three boys stranded in a cave, after a cliff jump went wrong. </p> <p>With temperatures soaring up to 37C near the coast in Sydney, many locals decided to go to the beach to escape the heat. One group of teenage boys decided to go cliff jumping over the Warriewood Blowhole, north of Manly. </p> <p>But, things started to go wrong when one 15-year-old boy slammed his head on the water after diving from the cliff, leaving him semi-unconscious. </p> <p>As his two friends clambered over rocks to move him into a cave below the cliff, the trio quickly became stranded as waves pounded the rocks. </p> <p>Lifesaver Saskia Rundle Towbridge, 16, was quick to jump into action, hopping into the rubber duck and bravely manoeuvring her way through rough waves to rescue the boys. </p> <p>“The waves were pretty big, especially when I was coming in,” she told <em>Nine</em>. </p> <p>“I got thrown up against them, and the cord of my rescue tube was stuck on the rocks, so I was being battered for about two minutes.”</p> <p>She eventually made it onto the rocks and was able to swim the boys back to the boat.</p> <p>The injured teen was treated by lifesavers before an ambulance was called, as he was disoriented and couldn't remember where he was. </p> <p>The 15-year-old was taken to Northern Beaches Hospital and is in a stable condition. </p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Rebel Wilson shows off the inside of her INSANE Bondi Beach apartment

<p>When you're a superstar like Rebel Wilson, directing and starring in a movie can be tough. But, as the <em>Pitch Perfect</em> actress revealed recently, it can be a whole lot easier when you have Airbnb in your corner, providing you with a luxurious penthouse that feels like a working holiday.</p> <p>Rebel, who is currently in Sydney to make her directorial debut in the film <em>The Deb</em>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CyZRuXyvpUX/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">took to Instagram</a> to showcase the stunning Bondi penthouse she's been staying in with her one-year-old daughter Royce and fiancée Ramona Agruma. And while the jaw-dropping views of Bondi Beach are nothing to scoff at, what really stood out was the repeated shout-outs to Airbnb for "hooking me up".</p> <p>In a series of photos that would make any Instagram influencer jealous, Rebel flaunted the opulent penthouse with 360-degree views of the iconic beach. If that's not enough to make you green with envy, there's also an infinity swimming pool and a barbecue area that screams "I'm on a working vacation".</p> <p>Rebel's fiancée, Ramona, also joined in on the Instagram love, taking to the comment section to thank Airbnb. (Because when Airbnb provides you with a penthouse that oozes luxury, gratitude is really the <em>least </em>you can do.)</p> <p>Initially, Rebel didn't specify if this was a sponsored post. But after <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/celebrity-photos/inside-stunning-bondi-penthouse-rebel-wilson-has-been-staying-in/news-story/1fe2e7f9ea8ad9e0c935a32d9a0f58a9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au approached Airbnb</a> for a comment, she added the magic letters "ad" to her caption. Well, it seems even celebrities have to adhere to the rules of disclosure – who knew?</p> <p>Rebel's stay in this Bondi Beach haven comes as she takes a break from her usual LA-based lifestyle. She recently <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/property/real-estate/rebel-wilson-lists-home-and-shares-her-favourite-feature" target="_blank" rel="noopener">listed her primary Sydney Harbour home</a> for a cool $9 million, which sold for an undisclosed sum in June. She said, "There's something special about this house, its location, its vibe," before explaining that she was working overseas and wanted someone else to appreciate it. </p> <p>In addition to her Australian properties, Rebel also owns a place in London. At least, she told <em>The Sun</em> in 2021 that she "bought a place" there, and then later confirmed her relocation to the British capital in early 2022. It seems like Rebel is collecting homes like some people collect stamps or vintage action figures.</p> <p>Of course, she also has a mansion in the celebrity mecca of Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, which she acquired in 2016. And let's not forget her apartment in New York's swanky Tribeca neighbourhood, which she purchased in 2017. All in all, it appears that Rebel is an international property mogul, and her recent Bondi Beach getaway sponsored by Airbnb is just another entry in her portfolio of luxurious abodes.</p> <p>So, the next time you find yourself gazing out of your office window at a drab cityscape, remember that Rebel is out there living her best life in a Bondi penthouse with a pool and breathtaking views, thanks to Airbnb. Who knew directing a movie could be so relaxing?</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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MasterChef star's beautiful beach wedding

<p>Former <em>MasterChef </em>contestant Hayden Quinn has officially tied the knot with his model fiancé Jax Raynor in a beautiful beach wedding. </p> <p>The couple took to Instagram to share their wedding photos in Nantucket, US, which is an up-market holiday destination off the coast of Massachusetts.</p> <p>"Mr & Mrs Quinn 🤍" they captioned the photos. </p> <p>The first photo showed the couple sharing their first kiss, followed by a photo of them smiling happily while holding hands as the sky turned pink. </p> <p>The final photo showed the newlyweds waving to family and friends as they walked down the aisle. </p> <p>Their wedding was “pearl-themed” as it was inspired by their childhood, where they group up by the beach. </p> <p>Jax, who is a model and US native, grew up by Nantucket’s Galley Beach, while Hayden spent most of his childhood on Sydney’s northern beaches, before his first appearance on <em>MasterChef</em> in 2011. </p> <p>“The Galley was the only place I wanted to get married,” Jax told <em>Vogue</em> magazine. </p> <p>“We both wanted everything to feel classic and effortless, and the Galley is such a stunning venue that we only needed to enhance its already beautiful decor.”</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cx-KIu6LBiD/?utm_source=ig_embed&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/p/Cx-KIu6LBiD/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Hayden Quinn (@hayden_quinn)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Friends and fans took to the comments to share the joy. </p> <p>"Awww gorgeous congratulations you two xx," wrote former MasterChef contestant Rose Adam.</p> <p>"Congratulations to you both ❤️❤️" wrote cook and Bumplings Perth owner Brendan Pang. </p> <p>"Congrats legends," Australian surfer Mick Fanning wrote. </p> <p>"Yes!!! Huge congrats to you both 😍," wrote one fan. </p> <p>"Awesome!!! Mazal Tov, Congrats and all that jazz. ♡" wrote another. </p> <p>The couple first met on New Year’s Eve in 2016 and fell in love at first sight. </p> <p>“Hayden was in New York on holiday with friends and I was living in the city at the time. Our meeting was very by chance, all orchestrated by a close friend of ours," Jax recalled their romance. </p> <p>“We spent the next five days together, and by the end, we both knew that this was it. I packed up my life in New York and moved to Australia on February 1, only 32 days after we first met.</p> <p>“We had been together for about six years when Hayden proposed. We had been talking about getting married since the night we met so we both knew it was something we both wanted.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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“People don’t understand boundaries”: Woman ruins couple’s romantic proposal

<p dir="ltr">A young couple has been left devastated and mortified after their marriage proposal was crashed by an inconsiderate “Karen” on the beach. </p> <p dir="ltr">Zenicca Llanza, a 24-year-old from the Philippines, shared a video of her boyfriend getting down on one knee at the beach and asking her to marry him. </p> <p dir="ltr">Her partner had arranged a romantic set up on the beach, complete with a tent, picnic table, proposal sign, a cake and rose petals. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, when the time came for him to pop the question, a beach goer began to interfere and rearrange the set up, interrupting the romantic moment. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the video posted to TikTok, Zenicca’s partner got down on one knee and began to recite a speech, as the unnamed woman walked into shot. </p> <div><iframe title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7269928964536192298&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40warngwarng%2Fvideo%2F7269928964536192298&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign.tiktokcdn-us.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast5-p-0068-tx%2F80e87476646048bca323b002688ff427_1692662253%3Fx-expires%3D1692910800%26x-signature%3D2CX7o9uY0RsEB7creGyXnWP8mas%253D&amp;key=5b465a7e134d4f09b4e6901220de11f0&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p dir="ltr">She then moves the proposal sign before walking over to the couple to get a look at the ring, before Zenicca even got a chance to wear it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“How to quickly ruin a proposal,” Zenicca wrote on TikTok.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Please be mindful of other people's once in a lifetime event! You never know you're already ruining it,” she wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video has racked up tens of thousands of views, with many people being outraged on Zenicca’s behalf. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You could excuse the first few seconds w good intentions but the rest I feel like we’re just really bad manners and not having any self awareness,” commented one person. </p> <p dir="ltr">“This made me physically ill. I'm so sorry omg,” added another. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Aw I could tell she had good intentions but was ignorant in the moment that she was slightly ruining something y’all would cherish forever,” commented a third.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Just tell her it’s a personal moment. Sometimes people don’t understand boundaries.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Relationships

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Mystery object washed up on WA beach finally identified

<p>Ok space enthusiasts and beachcombers. Here's one for the X-Files – Intergalactic Travel edition.</p> <p>Picture this: A strange and baffling object, looking like it's straight out of a sci-fi flick, decided to take a little trip to Green Head beach, about 250 kilometres north of Perth on the pristine WA coastline.</p> <p>As soon as the locals caught sight of this extraterrestrial-looking thingamajig, the news spread like wildfire, and it made international headlines faster than a speeding rocket, with all kinds of fascinating theories popping up as to what on <em>Earth</em> (or not on Earth) it could be.</p> <p>Was it a UFO? A top-secret government experiment gone awry? Well, turns out it was nothing that exciting. The Australian Space Agency put on their Sherlock Holmes hats and deduced that this enigmatic piece of debris probably came from a satellite launch vehicle. Eureka! Case closed!</p> <p>Of course, when something weird and otherworldly shows up on your doorstep, you can't be too careful. So, the local authorities played it safe and put the object under police guard for an entire week. (Better safe than sorry, right?)</p> <p>And who needs a red carpet when you have a front-end loader to transport your newfound cosmic artifact? The experts were summoned to figure out where this space junk came from, and they concluded it was most likely a fuel tank from some rocket launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation. </p> <p>Professor Alice Gorman from Flinders University explained to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-07-31/australian-space-agency-identifies-space-junk-green-head/102669472" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABC News</a> that this fuel containment vessel was meant to fall off after launch. And it turns out that statistically, we've been pretty lucky not to have had more collisions with falling rocket parts. Imagine explaining that to your insurance company? "A rocket booster landed on my house. Is that covered?"</p> <p>But here comes the tricky part: What to do with all of this space garbage? Should they ship it back to India like some interstellar postcard, or leave it Down Under as an intergalactic souvenir?</p> <p>While India is technically (and legally) responsible for their space debris, they could decide to gift it to Australia if they so choose. It could be like an exotic space decoration for the country - "The Land of Kangaroos and Rocket Wreckage."</p> <p>Even better, the Green Head community itself appear to have come up with a few fabulous ideas. Forget the Sydney Opera House: let's make the space debris a tourist attraction! Move over, Eiffel Tower - we've got our own piece of space history right here.</p> <p>The WA Premier even suggested storing it next to space debris from NASA's Skylab space station (remember that?) in some kind of attempt to build a cosmic cabinet of curiosities. </p> <p>Of course, the local council is also very keen on keeping this celestial treasure. They're hoping the Indian government won't come back to claim it, to the point that everyone in the surrounding Shire of Coorow is buzzing with excitement over the possibility of having their very own space souvenir to draw crowds of star trekkers.</p> <p>And so while the mystery of the object on the beach has been solved, the debate over its fate is just beginning. Will it become a star attraction in a local park? Or will it be shipped off to India like an interplanetary package return? Only time will tell.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Tragic and eerie images emerge after 51 whales stranded on WA beach

<p>Heartbreaking and haunting scenes have surfaced after 51 majestic whales met a tragic fate, stranded on a Western Australian beach, leaving a somber and desperate atmosphere as wildlife experts struggle to save the remaining 46.</p> <p>Amidst a desolate backdrop, a once-thriving pod of long-finned pilot whales was spotted, their lives hanging by a thread perilously close to Cheynes Beach, 60km east of Albany, on Tuesday morning.</p> <p>As the day progressed, the pod's slow and ominous movement toward the shore was closely watched by officers from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, fearing that the worst was about to transpire.</p> <p>In an eerie twist of fate, moments before the tragic stranding, the officers were taken aback as the pod formed a loose heart shape in the vast ocean. A haunting drone camera captured the poignant moment, further intensifying the melancholic atmosphere.</p> <p>“Crews captured this remarkable behaviour from a drone camera, shortly before the whales moved towards the beach,” a spokesperson for the DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service said.</p> <p>By 4pm, the once serene shoreline turned into a heartbreaking spectacle, as the beach became a resting place for the floundering bodies of these magnificent beings.</p> <p>DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service staff, along with Perth Zoo veterinarians and marine fauna experts, set up a vigil, their heavy hearts dreading what lay ahead for the dwindling pod.</p> <p>The initial estimation of 70 whales involved in the tragedy was quickly shattered, as the grim tally soared to 97 on Wednesday.</p> <p>The news of the stranded whales brought forth an outpouring of compassion from hundreds of individuals who wanted to help. But as the sad reality unfolded, authorities politely urged the public to stay away from Cheynes Beach, acknowledging the myriad hazards, including the presence of distressed and potentially sick whales, sharks, powerful waves, heavy machinery and vessels.</p> <p>Wildlife experts are attempting to discern the reasons behind this heart-wrenching event, speculating on stress or illness within the pod. Yet the enigma of why whales strand themselves remains unresolved.</p> <p>The availability of drone footage depicting the pod before their tragedy sets this event apart from previous strandings. The haunting visuals of these social creatures huddled together in distress leave a lasting impact, a stark reminder of how unusual and deeply troubling this occurrence truly is.</p> <p>Pilot whales, known for their close-knit familial bonds, rely on a follow-the-leader mentality, which may be one of the reasons why multiple individuals find themselves stranded in such circumstances. The complexity of their relationships only adds to the heartache surrounding their plight.</p> <p>To view drone footage of the incident, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/25/wa-mass-stranding-pilot-whales-beached-cheynes-beach-albany-caravan-park" target="_blank" rel="noopener">click here</a>.</p> <p>Images: Cheynes Beach Caravan Park / Facebook / WA Government.</p>

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