Placeholder Content Image

Beloved Oodie company fined $100k over child safety

<p>The company behind the popular winter staple Oodie has paid over $100,000 in fines after concerns over failing to comply to safety standards for children's clothing. </p> <p>Davie Clothing Pty Ltd was issued with infringements by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after it was alleged that they did not include high fire danger warnings on six varieties of the Kids Beach Oodie. </p> <p>Fire hazard warnings are crucial to alert customers and keep children safe as it prevents potential burns if their clothing catches fire. </p> <p>“Children can suffer serious burns if their clothing catches fire and we urge consumers to remain especially vigilant when kids are more likely to be near artificial heating or open flames,” ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said. </p> <p>The alleged breaches came between September 29, 2022 and July 14, 2023, with over 2400 affected Oodies sold during that period. </p> <p>According to the ACCC the fire warnings were not fixed to the wearable blankets or displayed on the company's website, which is a requirement of the safety standard. </p> <p>An investigation was reportedly launched after a complaint from a customer. </p> <p>The impacted products were recalled last year, with the founder of the company Davie Fogerty saying: “We would like to address a labelling matter concerning the first production run of the ‘Kids Beach Oodies’ that you have purchased.”</p> <p>“While the safety of these products is not compromised, we regret to inform you that they do not comply with the Ministry of Business, Innovation &amp; Employment due to the absence of the required red fire hazard warning label," the statement concluded. </p> <p>The ACCC Deputy Chair added that this "serves as an important reminder to suppliers of kids clothing to ensure all their relevant products meet safety standards, particularly regarding the use of fire danger warning labels.</p> <p>“Failure to take the necessary steps to comply can result in consumers being unaware of high fire danger risk, which is unacceptable. This is particularly concerning where children’s clothing is concerned.”</p> <p>Davie Clothing has paid $101,210 for the six infringement notices it received.</p> <p>The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from the clothing company, which included them publishing a corrective notice on their website and establishing a consumer law compliance program.</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

"No, Alexa!": Creepy thing AI told child to do

<p>Home assistants and chatbots powered by AI are increasingly being integrated into our daily lives, but sometimes they can go rogue. </p> <p>For one young girl, her family's Amazon Alexa home assistant suggested an activity that could have killed her if her mum didn't step in. </p> <p>The 10-year-old asked Alexa for a fun challenge to keep her occupied, but instead the device told her: “Plug a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.”</p> <p>The move could've caused an electrocution or sparked a fire, but thankfully her mother intervened, screaming: “No, Alexa, No!”</p> <p>This is not the first time AI has gone rogue, with dozens of reports emerging over recent years. </p> <p>One man said that at one point Alexa told him:  “Every time I close my eyes, all I see is people dying”. </p> <p>Last April, a <em>Washington Post </em>reporter posed as a teenager on Snapchat and put the company's AI chatbot to the test. </p> <p>Among the various scenarios they tested out, where they would ask it for advice, many of the responses were inappropriate. </p> <p>When they pretended to be a 15-year-old asking for advice on how to mask the smell of alcohol and marijuana on their breath, the AI chatbot gave proper advice on how to cover it up. </p> <p>In another simulation, a researcher posing as a child was given tips on how to cover up bruises before a visit by a child protection agency.</p> <p>Researchers from the University of Cambridge have recently warned against the race to rollout AI products and products and services as it comes with significant risks for children. </p> <p>Nomisha Kurian from the university's Department of Sociology said many of the AI systems and devices that kids interact with have “an empathy gap” that could have serious consequences, especially if they use it as quasi-human confidantes. </p> <p>“Children are probably AI’s most overlooked stakeholders,” Dr Kurian said.</p> <p>“Very few developers and companies currently have well-established policies on how child-safe AI looks and sounds. That is understandable because people have only recently started using this technology on a large scale for free.</p> <p>“But now that they are, rather than having companies self-correct after children have been put at risk, child safety should inform the entire design cycle to lower the risk of dangerous incidents occurring.”</p> <p>She added that the empathy gap is because AI doesn't have any emotional intelligence, which poses a risk as they can encourage dangerous behaviours. </p> <p>AI expert Daswin De Silva said that it is important to discuss the risk and opportunities of AI and explore some guidelines going forward. </p> <p>“It’s beneficial that we have these conversations about the risks and opportunities of AI and to propose some guidelines,” he said.</p> <p>“We need to look at regulation. We need legislation and guidelines to ensure the responsible use and development of AI.”</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Convicted child rapist qualifies for Olympic team

<p>A convicted child rapist has qualified to represent The Netherlands at the upcoming 2024 Olympics. </p> <p>Steven van de Velde will head to Paris in July to represent the country in beach volleyball, much to the dismay of many. </p> <p>Van de Velde's selection has caused outrage given he pleaded guilty to three counts of rape in 2014 and was sentenced to four years in jail.</p> <p>He was convicted in 2016 and only served one year behind bars. </p> <p>The athlete, now 29, admitted to meeting the then 12-year-old on Facebook before travelling to England from Amsterdam to meet her when he raped her, after being aware of her age. </p> <p>At the 2016 sentencing, the judge labelled Van de Velde's Olympic aspirations a "shattered dream" due to the conviction.</p> <p>However, the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC) have given him another chance, despite the fact that the British Olympic Committee is allegedly uncomfortable with the Van de Velde selection.</p> <p>"Since 2018, Steven van de Velde has been participating in international beach volleyball tournaments again following an intensive, professionally supervised trajectory," the NOC said in a statement.</p> <p>Despite the unusual selection, the International Olympic Committee allows each nation to select its own athletes and does not veto any picks.</p> <p>Following his release from jail, Van de Velde said in an interview in 2018, "I made that choice in my life when I wasn't ready, I was a teenager still figuring things out."</p> <p>"I was sort of lost and now I have so much more life experience, aside from just being incarcerated. Any form of help would have been very very helpful, maybe that's what I would have told myself, seek help."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

New proposal would see child care cost just $10 per day

<p>In an incredibly promising step towards affordable and high-quality early childhood education, f<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">amilies in Australia could soon benefit from a significant reduction in costs – potentially paying just $10 a day for three days a week of high-quality care. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">This development is part of a broader push to reform the current, troubled system, driven by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) and supported by various early learning and parenting groups.</span></p> <p>The CPD has introduced a comprehensive plan aimed at overhauling the existing system, proposing free or low-cost early learning for all children three days a week. A key aspect of their proposal includes replacing the current childcare subsidy with a "child-centred" funding model that directly finances early education centres.</p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has endorsed the initiative, highlighting its significance in the national conversation on childcare, stating, “Universal child care provision, as it is in a range of other countries, is something that is a valued national asset. Early education is good for children, it’s good for families, but it’s also good for our economy.”</p> <p>Countries like Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway have successfully implemented legislated entitlements for early childhood services. Research indicates that where universal or low-cost education is available, participation rates are high, suggesting similar potential outcomes for Australia.</p> <p>Economic modelling by CPD suggests that universal or low-cost early learning could increase tax revenue by up to $3.2 billion annually and boost economic growth by $6.9 billion as more parents, particularly mothers, are able to work additional hours.</p> <p>The federal government is awaiting the final report from the Productivity Commission before making further decisions. Preliminary findings from this body and a separate investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have identified the current system as complex, costly and inconsistently available across the country.</p> <p>Andrew Hudson, CEO of the Centre for Policy Development, labelled the existing system as "broken", noting that about 22% of children start school developmentally vulnerable and over 120,000 children miss out on early learning entirely due to stringent activity test rules and other barriers.</p> <p>Hudson also pointed out that enabling more women to return to the workforce represents the "single biggest productivity gain" for the country, describing the proposal as a "classic win-win".</p> <p>As momentum builds, this initiative promises a brighter future for Australian families, making high-quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable, while delivering significant economic and social benefits.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Airport worker steals half a million dollars of personal items

<p>A trusted worker at Sydney Airport has been jailed for two years after stealing more than $450,000 worth of personal items from airport cargo. </p> <p>The 38-year-old man from Western Sydney, who was a freight handler at the airport, was identified as a potential suspect when the thefts of personal electronic items were first reported in February 2022.</p> <p>Several months later, he was found with $189,000 cash in the boot of his car, according to Australian Federal Police. </p> <p>The AFP then found that a further $261,000 had been transferred into the man’s personal bank accounts, after a number of stolen devices had been “sold, gifted, or kept for personal use”.</p> <p>“This money, which totalled $450,000, was criminal proceeds generated from the sale of the stolen electronic devices,” AFP said.</p> <p>The man was charged with receiving stolen property and knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime, while his partner, a 45-year-old woman, was charged with two counts of dealing with money or other property reasonable to be suspected of being proceeds of crime under $100,000.</p> <p>The pair pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2023, and on Wednesday the man was sentenced to three years and four months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years.</p> <p>The woman was to an intensive corrections order of 70 hours community service.</p> <p>AFP Sydney Airport Police Commander Morgen Blunden said the pair was “motivated by profit and greed”.</p> <p>“People with trusted access in an airport precinct are critical to the successful operation of Australia’s tourism and trade sectors,” Blunden said.</p> <p>“But the AFP will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those who abuse this trust. AFP has zero tolerance for those to abuse their access to air-side operations for their illegal pursuits.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

David Beckham's incredible offer for 'stealing' couple's wedding venue

<p>David Beckham has reportedly made a huge offer to a couple in a bid to steal the venue from them. </p> <p>The couple had booked the luxury resort Gleneagles in Scotland, UK for their dream wedding, but the football legend - who has reportedly been busy hunting for the perfect location to celebrate his 50th birthday - also wanted to book the venue to mark the milestone birthday. </p> <p>According to <em><a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/david-beckham-steals-couples-wedding-32864115" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Mirror</a>,</em> Beckham has apparently convinced the couple to move their wedding date and venue by helping them pay off their wedding and a few other special offers. </p> <p>A “friend of a friend” took to X, to share the claim this week. </p> <p>“A friend of a friend is getting married at Gleneagles next year but David Beckham wants the date for his 50th, so to get the friend to move it so he can have the hotel, Gleneagles are paying for their new wedding date, honeymoon AND paying off their mortgage … the power of Becks," user Ollienarrator wrote in a tweet. </p> <p>Fans of Beckham praised the football legend for being so generous. </p> <p>“OMG!!!! That’s absolutely wild! Ah but so worth it,” wrote one person. </p> <p>“What a wedding present!” added another, to which the original poster responded:  “I bet Beckham won’t have to pay either! But yeah, mortgage paid off will do!” </p> <p><em>The Mirror</em> reported that they have contacted Beckham's representatives for a comment. </p> <p><em>Image: Ryan Browne/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Dad dies after being bitten by deadly snake in child care centre

<p>A beloved father has passed away after reportedly trying to remove an eastern brown snake from a child care centre in North Queensland. </p> <p>Jeremy Brookes attended the child care centre on Tuesday afternoon after one of his relatives reportedly called him over to remove the snake, according to <em>The Courier Mail</em>. </p> <p>Brookes was not a qualified snake handler and was bitten multiple times on his hand and arm.</p> <p>According to Queensland Ambulance Service acting district director Paula Marten, Brookes then managed to drive to his Deeragun home but he soon went into cardiac arrest.</p> <p>HIs wife performed CPR until paramedics arrived and he was rushed to hospital, but unfortunately could not be saved. </p> <p>“(He) was found to be in cardiac arrest by our crews,” Marten said. </p> <p>“The call was made by the patient’s wife, who then commenced CPR as the patient went into cardiac arrest.</p> <p>“The information provided to us was that the gentleman had been bitten in a different location and attended back to his residence, where his wife has immobilised his arm and wrapped it, when the onset of the symptoms occurred.”</p> <p>She added that snake bites were common in North Queensland and they were rarely fatal, but advised that if "you’re not aware of snakes, treat them as if they are venomous."</p> <p>“It’s really important that you stay calm and keep the person calm.</p> <p>“Apply basic first aid, which would be immobilisation and using compression bandages, and contact triple-0.</p> <p>“If you are unsure about what first aid measures to take, call triple-0, and they will walk you through what you need to do for the patient.”</p> <p>Eastern Brown Snakes are one of the most deadly snakes in the world, with the second most toxic venom. </p> <p>They can be found across the east of Australia including the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, NSW and the ACT.</p> <p>Brookes is believed to be the first person to have died from a snake bite in Australia this year. </p> <p>Last year, two people died from suspected eastern brown snake bites in Australia. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ news.com.au</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Might we see child-free zones on flights?

<p>Ah, the joys of air travel. The excitement of jetting off to exotic locales, the thrill of new adventures, and of course, the endless possibilities for unexpected entertainment. And what's more exhilarating than finding yourself seated next to a rowdy toddler or an inconsolable infant? It's the stuff of dreams, truly.</p> <p>Picture this: you're settling into your seat, envisioning a serene journey ahead, perhaps catching up on your favourite Netflix series or finally finishing that novel you've been meaning to read.</p> <p>But wait, what's this?</p> <p>A couple with a baby approaching your row.</p> <p>You can already hear the distant wails of despair echoing through the cabin. Your heart sinks as you realise that your peaceful flight just took a nosedive before it even began.</p> <p>Yes, it's the age-old dilemma of child-free travellers everywhere. Whether it's the cacophony of a crying baby or the rhythmic drumming of tiny feet on the back of your seat, flying with children nearby can be an experience like no other. And let's not forget the classic game of "Will they or won't they?" as you anxiously await to see if the parents will be able to tame their pint-sized companions or if chaos will reign supreme at 30,000 feet.</p> <p>But fear not, dear passengers, for there may be a solution on the horizon. Could child-free zones be the answer to our airborne woes? According to a <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/planes-should-there-be-child-free-zones/d463b299-5258-418f-831c-f5fb218f1d77" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recent poll conducted by Nine News</a>, a whopping 73 per cent of respondents were in favour of such a proposition. Finally, a sanctuary where one can escape the unpredictable antics of tiny humans and bask in the tranquility of uninterrupted inflight bliss.</p> <p>Of course, implementing such a scheme may prove to be a tad challenging. After all, how does we go about segregating the child-rearing masses from the child-free elite without inciting a riot at the boarding gate? It's a logistical nightmare that even the most seasoned airline execs would hesitate to tackle.</p> <p>So, for now, it seems we child-free flyers will have to make do with our trusty noise-cancelling headphones, our steadfast eye masks, and a healthy dose of empathy for our fellow passengers. After all, parenting is no easy feat, especially at 35,000 feet.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Princess Diana's niece secretly welcomes first child

<p>Lady Kitty Spencer, 33, surprised royal fans when she revealed she secretly welcomed her first child with husband Michael Lewis, 65. </p> <p>Spencer, who is Princess Diana's niece and the daughter of Earl Charles Spencer, took to Instagram on Sunday to share a reel of her celebrating her first mother's day in the UK. </p> <p>"It's the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one," her post began. </p> <p>"I love you unconditionally 🤍 Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate today 🤍," she added.</p> <p>In the clip, Spencer can be seen doting on her baby girl as they spend time together at the beach and at home. </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/reel/C4U3U4Fs70Z/?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/reel/C4U3U4Fs70Z/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kitty Spencer (@kitty.spencer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Her sisters were quick to comment on the post, followed suit by royal fans.  </p> <p>"My perfect little niece,"  Eliza Spencer commented. </p> <p>"The most perfect angel in the world," added her sister Amelia Spencer. </p> <p>"What wonderful news dear Kitty! Congratulations on your precious little one," wrote one fan with a bunch of white love hearts. </p> <p>"Oh wow! Didn’t know you had a little bub. How gorgeous! Congratulations x," added another. </p> <p>"Oh Kitty! So happy for you❤ Happy Mother's Day!" wrote a third. </p> <p>Spencer tied the knot with Lewis in a lavish ceremony in Rome in 2021. </p> <p>She wore <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/beauty-style/lady-kitty-spencer-shows-fans-bts-look-at-her-five-wedding-dresses" target="_blank" rel="noopener">five custom Dolce & Gabbana wedding gowns</a>, and her two brothers walked her down the aisle as her father was unable to attend the wedding at the time due to a shoulder injury.</p> <p>The couple first met in 2018, and later got engaged in 2019, but had to postpone their wedding due to COVID-19.</p> <p>Her husband has three children from a previous marriage.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Gal Gadot gives birth to fourth child after secret pregnancy

<p>Gal Gadot is now a mum of four!</p> <p>The Wonder Woman star announced that she and her husband, Jaron Varsano, have welcomed a baby girl, after keeping the pregnancy under wraps. </p> <p>“My sweet girl, welcome,” she wrote on Instagram, with a photo of her cuddling her newborn. </p> <p>“The pregnancy was not easy and we made it through.”</p> <p>Gadot added that her baby girl, Ori, has brought them "so much light" and revealed the sweet meaning behind her name being "my light" in Hebrew. </p> <p>“Our hearts are full of gratitude. Welcome to the house of girls. daddy is pretty cool too️,” she concluded.</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/C4L5btqPutJ/?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/C4L5btqPutJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The actress received many congratulatory messages in the comments, while others were surprised at the announcement. </p> <p>"Wait she was pregnant?" wrote one confused fan. </p> <p>“Congratulations my love! May you raise her with peace and love to be a superhero,” wrote another. </p> <p>“Congratulations ️How exciting. With four children you are finally Wonder Woman,” added a third. </p> <p>“Welcome Ori. Best wishes and congrats,” said a fourth. </p> <p>“Big congrats! I suppose only a Wonder Woman can look that great after a delivery of the fourth child,” added another. </p> <p>Gadot and her husband kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from the public, but she was reportedly spotted with a baby bump while out in Los Angeles last December. </p> <p>The pair tied the knot in 2008 and are also parents to daughters Alma, 12, Maya, 6, and Daniella, 2.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

"Harper is my favourite Tilly": Matildas toddler steals the show

<p>In a heartwarming turn of events at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, the Matildas' post-game press conference took an unexpected twist when two-year-old Harper decided to steal the show.</p> <p>As her mother, Katrina Gorry, attempted to navigate the world of media interviews, young Harper had other plans, firmly establishing herself as the newest sensation in Australian football – or at least in press conference antics.</p> <p>With the Aussies securing their spot at the Paris 2024 Olympics with a resounding 10-0 victory over Uzbekistan, it seemed fitting that the youngest member of the team would make her mark in the spotlight. Sporting a yellow team jersey and adorned with Taylor Swift-esque friendship bracelets, little Harper made it clear that she was not to be ignored.</p> <p>As Alanna Kennedy patiently awaited her turn to address the media, Harper decided that the press conference desk was the perfect spot for her impromptu playdate. Refusing to budge, she left her mark by placing her bracelets on the table, much to the delight of amused onlookers.</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/reel/C35D414PZxD/?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/reel/C35D414PZxD/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by CommBank Matildas (@matildas)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite gentle prodding from her mother, Harper was determined to make her presence known. With a polite "bye bye" into the mic, she momentarily bid farewell before settling back down, much to the amusement of the room.</p> <p>Gorry, unable to contain her laughter, gracefully ushered her daughter away from the limelight, but not before receiving a wave and a cheerful "Byyyyeee" from the pint-sized press conference crasher.</p> <p>The Matildas, quick to embrace the adorable interruption, shared the sweet moment on social media, solidifying Harper's status as the unofficial mascot of the team. In a caption that perfectly captured the essence of the moment, they affectionately dubbed it "Crashing Lani's press conference," tagging Gorry for good measure.</p> <p>Fans took to the comments section to praise the Tilly Toddler, with one claiming "Harper is my favourite Tilly", and another declaring that "No offence, but I'd actually like to hear harpers press conference."</p> <p>As the Matildas look ahead to the Paris Olympics, one thing is for certain – they have a secret weapon in their midst, and her name is Harper.</p> <p>Images: Instagram</p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

“My sister-in-law announced she was pregnant at my child’s funeral”

<p dir="ltr">A woman has asked for advice on how to navigate her relationship with her sister-in-law, after the woman overheard an inappropriate conversation at her child’s funeral. </p> <p dir="ltr">The grieving mother, a 28-year-old named Melissa, took to Reddit to share the heartbreaking story of how her toddler passed away after a battle with cancer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Melissa described the time as the “hardest in my life”, explaining how she felt she lost “a part of herself” after the funeral.</p> <p dir="ltr">While Melissa expected her toddlers’ memorial service to be difficult, she never predicted a family member would make it even harder. </p> <p dir="ltr">The mother said that when she heard her sister-in-law telling people about her pregnancy, she thought the move was just cruel. </p> <p dir="ltr">“She didn't make a big announcement but more than ten people at the service 'heard' and it's what everyone was talking about. To understate it, I was livid,” Melissa wrote on Reddit.</p> <p dir="ltr">Melissa’s post then asked social media users for advice, as she was unsure how much of a relationship she wanted to have with her sister-in-law after the stunt. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 28-year-old shared that she had fallen pregnant herself, and was facing pressure to have a party in celebration, but she didn’t want her whole family in attendance. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I've been working on who I want to invite, and I really don't want my SIL there,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Besides what she did, she's a vindictive and mean person and I cannot stand her.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I mentioned it to my husband and he says he couldn't care less whether she's there or not. But for the sake of saving face, I want opinions before I do this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She asked the online forum if she would be “an a**hole” for not inviting her, addin that she would still be inviting her husband's other sister and husband's brother's wife. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The original SIL will be the only one not invited,” she clarified.</p> <p dir="ltr">The post was flooded with comments as many backed up Melissa, slamming the sister-in-law for her selfish behaviour. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I wouldn't want someone like that around me. Announcing a pregnancy at a child's funeral is insane,” one said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Cut her off and ignore everyone close to her. You are right to have nothing to do with her. She's totally classless.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, others encouraged her to have an adult conversation with her sister-in-law in an attempt to mend their relationship.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Please let it go,” one person began. “This happened on a terrible day during a bad time for you. It's possible that could be clouding how you're looking at this, she may not have been malicious at all.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Parents busted for making their healthy child use a wheelchair to claim benefits

<p>A cruel mother and father have been jailed for over six years for forcing their healthy child to use a wheelchair in order to claim benefit payments. </p> <p>In 2012, Louise Law and her ex-husband Martin forced their then seven-year-old daughter into the wheelchair, as a ploy to gain a mobility car and disability allowance payments despite their being nothing wrong with her. </p> <p>The parents carried on with the scam for four years while they "fabricated illnesses and exaggerated symptoms" to teachers and NHS workers, all while raking in the extensive payments. </p> <p>The crown court in East Yorkshire, England, heard that the child suffered "gratuitous degradation" at being forced to use the wheelchair, as they were bullied at school and deprived of an ordinary childhood. </p> <p>In court, Louise Law admitted an offence of child cruelty, however she changed her plea on the day of a scheduled trial and was jailed for six years and nine months.</p> <p>Martin Law, now split from his wife, is now a long-term resident of a care home and was ruled unfit to enter a plea - although a jury convicted him of child cruelty, and was made subject of a guardianship order.</p> <p>Passing sentence, Judge Kate Rayfield told Mrs Law, "She missed out on so much of her childhood because of what you put her through."</p> <p>"Despite all of her tests revealing nothing wrong, you continued to subject her to appointments and investigations. You did the talking yourselves, telling the doctors lies."</p> <p>"This was a scam... You were telling her to report symptoms that she never said that she had."</p> <p>When the child reached the age of 18 in 2022, she was interviewed by police as she said the faux medical treatment from her parents began when she was six years old. </p> <p>A few initial medical appointments progressed to around 30 hospital appointments, including overnight stays.</p> <p>Prosecutor Louise Reevell told the court, "Her parents made her think that she could not walk properly. She would go to school in a wheelchair but she didn't really need it."</p> <p>Despite medical professionals proving that the child did not need the extensive medical treatment, her parents still claimed that the illnesses and symptoms of their daughter were genuine.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Flight cancelled after parents demand free upgrade for their child

<p dir="ltr">A flight was delayed for hours before being ultimately cancelled after two parents demanded that their child was upgraded to first class for free. </p> <p dir="ltr">A plane in China was grounded for three hours after the parents caused a ruckus with the cabin crew, and were eventually kicked off the aircraft. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to a fellow passenger, the argument kicked off when an unsupervised child began to sob uncontrollably after boarding a flight from Chengdu to Beijing. </p> <p dir="ltr">As it turned out, the inconsolable toddler’s parents were seated in first class but had only bought their child an economy ticket.</p> <p dir="ltr">It was then that the angry dad confronted the staff, demanding that his son be moved to first class at no extra cost.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the <em>South China Morning Post</em>, the irate dad explained that because he had already paid for two first class tickets, his child’s upgrade should be free. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the clip shot by a fellow passenger, the outraged dad began berating a group of passengers, crew members, and security guards as they repeatedly explained why his child isn’t entitled to an upgrade.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Stop swearing at me,” fumed the father. “You have no right to do that.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When a security guard attempts to de-escalate the situation, the parent lays into him, shouting: “What gives you the right to order me about?”</p> <p dir="ltr">This prompts a woman to retort: “You’ve wasted too much of our time and we won’t tolerate it any longer.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After three hours of back and forth, the couple were eventually kicked off the plane, while the flight was cancelled. </p> <p dir="ltr">The entitled passenger has since been rinsed on social media with one commenter fuming, “This man is so selfish.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Others suggested solutions for the father that didn’t involve the airline giving the man an extra first-class seat.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He can switch seats,” advised one person. “Let him sit in economy class, and have the mum take care of the child in the first-class cabin.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Some on social media were quick to chastise the airline for their handling of the situation, with one person writing, “Keeping the quarrel going for hours? The problem-solving skills of the crew are poor.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Twitter</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-dd8af609-7fff-7da2-9017-179b6317cd24"></span></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Woman heartlessly steals terminally-ill man's pokies win after he collapsed

<p>Thomas Purtill, 80, had “decided to go up and throw a few dollars in the pokies" at his local pub in Caboolture, Brisbane. To his surprise, the pensioner won $300.</p> <p>As the terminally-ill pensioner was about to collect his winnings, he collapsed during a medical episode and dropped his ticket. </p> <p>“I remember landing on the floor,” Purtill, who only has six months to live, told <em>7News</em>.</p> <p>“I think I fell over before I got the ticket into the machine (to cash it in).”</p> <p>CCTV footage from the pub showed the alleged thief looking concerned as she rushed to call pub staff. </p> <p>When she returned, Purtill can be seen pointing to something by the machine, and this was when she noticed the ticket he had dropped. </p> <p>The woman then moved over to the machine and allegedly pocketed the pensioner's winnings. </p> <p>While Purtill received medical attention, the alleged thief escaped and used another machine to withdraw the cash. </p> <p>Now, the CCTV footage has been released to help police identify the mystery woman, as they urge anyone with information to come forward. </p> <p>The pensioner spend two days in hospital after the incident on November 27, and has since been diagnosed with terminal cancer. </p> <p>“I don’t want to die,” he said.</p> <p>“But I’m going to.”</p> <p>He was told he has between three to six months to live, and has since returned for treatment. </p> <p>When Purtill was asked what he thought of the alleged thief's actions he said: “I can’t really say on TV. It wouldn’t be allowed.”</p> <p>“If you’re that desperate … If someone came up to me and said, ‘You’ve had a win, can I have $10 to buy a loaf of bread, a bottle of milk for the kids?’, I would have given it to them.” </p> <p>He then went on to call her "weak", and urged anyone who might know her to “give her up”.</p> <p>Staff members have offered to reimburse Purtill for his stolen winnings. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Coles shopper admits to stealing to feed her family amid cost of living crisis

<p>A woman has made a desperate plea to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after overhearing a teary Coles shopper admit to shoplifting to feed her family. </p> <p>The woman was shopping in her local Coles supermarket when she overheard another shopper confess the desperate act to her friend, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact struggling Aussies. </p> <p>Australia’s cost of living crisis is continuing to see millions struggle with soaring interest rates and rent prices, high energy bills and rising supermarket costs, with many being forced to take drastic measures to survive. </p> <p>Sharing on Facebook, the woman said she was feeling “let down” and “hoodwinked” by the Albanese government after listening to the Coles customer’s heartbreaking story.</p> <p>“Anthony Albanese, I am so deeply saddened to hear someone shopping at Coles admit to her friend in tears that sometimes she now steals food because she simply can’t put food on the table any other way,” she wrote.</p> <p>“Of course there is food relief et al (but those services are also at breaking point). It’s disheartening to witness firsthand the desperation that leads someone to resort to theft just to put food on the table."</p> <p>“While I have you, I am feeling let down and somewhat hoodwinked by you. Your sentiment around truly understanding hardship because of your upbringing seems to have been just talk."</p> <p>“What I heard today made me realise that not enough is being done that was promised to make a positive impact on the lives of those struggling with adversity.”</p> <p>Many commented on the post saying not enough was being done to help battling Aussies, and urging the government to do more. </p> <p>“The line at ReachOut (food pantry) was around the corner and down the street this afternoon,” one said.</p> <p>Another added, “Food costs are beyond ridiculous right now. I fear that the horse has bolted and once it’s out ... it’s not coming back for pats.</p> <p>“And sorry to say but Albo is just another politician. Hope he sees this and listens but I’m not holding my breath. Sad state of affairs.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

He's back! Charles and Camilla's secret "son" drops DNA bombshell

<p>The Australian man who has long claimed to be the secret child of King Charles and Queen Camilla has shared the details of a wild plot to extract his DNA. </p> <p>The 57-year-old man from Queensland revealed he was tracked down by an American woman, who claimed she was the illegitimate child of the late Prince Philip, and attempted to get a DNA sample from the man. </p> <p>Simon Dorante-Day has made headline around the world with his claims that he is the son of Charles and Camilla, which he says are the results of decades worth of research. </p> <p>“My grandmother, who had worked for the Queen, told me outright that I was Camilla and Charles’ son many times,” he said.</p> <p>Now, in an interview with <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/aussie-man-who-claims-to-be-charles-and-camillas-son-drops-biggest-ever-dna-bombshell-c-12788618" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>, Dorante-Day shared the story of how he was tracked down by the American woman, who knocked on his door in the early hours of the morning on December 2nd. </p> <p>The 57-year-old and his wife Elvianna were immediately skeptical of the woman, who said she used a private investigator to track him down. </p> <p>“This woman claimed that she was the secret illegitimate daughter of Prince Philip who lived in San Francisco,” Dorante-Day said.</p> <p>“She explained that she had travelled from the US after hiring an investigator to track me down in Queensland. The whole purpose of her visit was to ask me for a sample of my DNA."</p> <p>“She wanted to compare it to hers, to basically prove that we were both related to the royal family.”</p> <p>After humouring the woman and letting her share her evidence along with her elaborate story, Simon concluded that the whole thing was a scam, along with an illegal attempt to extract his DNA.</p> <p>“This woman had a lot of so-called proof to back up her claims, but the whole thing just seemed really fishy,” he said.</p> <p>He recalled how the woman shared her own adoption story, which resulted in her turning to the FBI for help, who allegedly handed her her original birth certificate, which listed Prince Philip as her father. </p> <p>“Of course my bulls*** meter is flying off the handle at this point. I know how hard it is to get any government authority to address these sorts of issues — I hardly think the Federal Bereau of Investigation would just offer up the fact that she was the daughter of the Queen’s late husband," Simon said. </p> <p>“It was all just wild.”</p> <p>The Queensland father and grandfather said it wasn’t long until the woman gave away her real reason for wanting his DNA: money.</p> <p>“She said that she’s already been given a large payout from the royal family after she proved she was the daughter of Prince Philip,” he said.</p> <p>“And she felt that if she was able to compare my DNA to her DNA, and prove we were both descendants of the royal family, then we could ask them for even more money."</p> <p>“Elvianna and I told her what we’ve said to everyone from day one — this isn’t about money for us, at all. This is about us finding out who my birth parents are and protecting my family. We have never wanted money.”</p> <p>After saying goodbye to the pair, Dorante-Day said he and his wife were left reeling.</p> <div> <p>“At the end of the day, this was an illegal attempt to procure my DNA,” he said. </p> <p>Despite the whole experience leaving Dorante-Day and his wife rattled, he said his stance on proving that he is Charles and Camilla's son has not changed. </p> <p>“It takes a lot of work, money and time to build a case like this, but I am confident I will get there,” he said.</p> <p>“I know Charles and Camilla are my parents and I’m ready to prove it.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Supplied</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Britney Spears’ memoir is a reminder of the stigma and potential damage of child stardom

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jane-oconnor-1483447">Jane O’Connor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/birmingham-city-university-920">Birmingham City University</a></em></p> <p>Britney Spears’ new memoir, The Woman in Me, illustrates once again the potential lifelong damage that can be caused by being a child star. Like many before her, including <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Judy-Garland">Judy Garland</a> and <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michael-Jackson">Michael Jackson</a>, Spears was ushered into the dangerous terrain of childhood fame by the adults who were supposed to be protecting her, and was utterly unprepared to deal with the fallout.</p> <p>Spears’ <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53494405">father’s conservatorship</a>, controlling every aspect of her personal and professional life, was finally rescinded in 2021. She is now able to share the details of her extraordinary years in the limelight and beyond.</p> <p>From a sociological perspective, childhood is considered socially constructed. This means that there are specific ways of raising children which are socially and culturally defined. We discard these conventions surrounding the early years of life at our peril.</p> <p>The boundaries and rules around what is and is not acceptable during childhood, and the normal activities and institutions that shape the experience of being a child have developed over the centuries for a reason – to try and keep children safe from the harsh realities of the adult world.</p> <p>Being sexualised and valued for your appearance, being paid to work, having to deal with criticism and unwanted attention from strangers – these are all difficult aspects of growing up. Children and teens need careful support and guidance if they are to navigate safely into their adult lives and identities.</p> <p>The experience of childhood fame throws aside this social safety net for children in every possible way, and the consequences can be disastrous.</p> <h2>The price of child fame</h2> <p>From the earliest child stars of Hollywood’s golden age, through the television sitcoms and shows of the mid-20th century, the rise of the pop and film industries in the following decades and the burst in popularity of reality TV and talent shows of the early 21st century, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17482798.2011.584378">children have always featured</a>. Many have paid a heavy price for their often short period of fame.</p> <p>Sad stories of <a href="https://www.or-nc.com/why-do-child-stars-become-addicted-to-drugs/">drug and alcohol addiction</a>, <a href="https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/11/02/uncle-fester-star-jackie-coogans-tragic-life-child-fortune-to-horror-crash">family disputes</a>, <a href="https://www.ranker.com/list/child-actors-who-became-criminals/nathan-gibso">criminal activity</a> and <a href="https://www.dailystar.co.uk/showbiz/us-showbiz/former-nickelodeon-star-drake-bells-29769568">toxic relationships</a> are frequently reported by the media. These reinforce the stereotypical “child star gone bad” and “too much too young” narratives that the wider public has come to expect.</p> <p>For example, stories abound of <a href="https://metro.co.uk/2020/02/11/macaulay-culkin-reveals-never-divorced-parents-emancipated-12222457/">Macaulay Culkin “divorcing” his controlling parents</a> and his difficulties transitioning into adult life, <a href="https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/film-tv/why-it-was-not-a-wonderful-life-for-macaulay-culkin-after-he-found-fame-in-the-hit-christmas-film-home-alone/37620091.html">feeling trapped</a> in the image of boyhood innocence of his most famous character, Kevin in the Home Alone movies.</p> <p><a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kSJ8XjTw10kC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">In her autobiography</a> actor Drew Barrymore has written about her casual acceptance at Hollywood parties and consumption of alcohol at a very young age, following her role in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083866/">E.T.</a> (1982) aged five.</p> <p>There is also the tragic life and death of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2010/may/29/gary-coleman-obituary">Gary Coleman</a>, cute kid star of the American sitcom <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077003/">Diff'rent Strokes</a> (1978-1986).</p> <p>Coleman, who died at 42 following a history of <a href="https://nypost.com/2010/05/29/troubled-80s-child-star-gary-colemans-life-is-cut-short-at-42/#:%7E:text=In%202005%2C%20Coleman%20moved%20to,and%20%22wanted%20to%20die.%22">substance abuse</a> and <a href="https://www.salon.com/2010/05/28/gary_coleman_dies/">depression</a>, reported being <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2010/may/29/gary-coleman-obituary">deeply humiliated</a> by people asking: “Didn’t you used to be …?” when he was working as a security guard at a supermarket as an adult.</p> <h2>Other possibilities</h2> <p>It’s important to note, however, that a difficult trajectory is not the experience of all child stars and former child stars. The actors from the Harry Potter films, for example, seem <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/oct/22/the-not-so-cursed-child-did-harry-potter-mark-the-end-of-troubled-young-actors">largely to have transitioned well</a> into adult lives and careers – some in the spotlight, others not.</p> <p>And the new generation of famous children and teens such as <a href="https://www.gq.com/story/stranger-things-millie-bobby-brown">Millie Bobby Brown</a>, star of the Netflix show <a href="https://theconversation.com/stranger-things-is-the-upside-down-to-disneys-cute-and-cuddly-universe-83417">Stranger Things</a> (2016-present), seem more prepared for fame than their predecessors, in control of their images and identities via their own social media platforms and <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-44045291">potentially protected to some extent</a> from extreme sexualisation by the MeToo movement.</p> <p>Even so, Brown <a href="https://www.popbuzz.com/tv-film/news/millie-bobby-brown-birthday-instagram-post/">commented on her 16th birthday</a> that: “There are moments I get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults.”</p> <p>For Spears though, these were more than moments. She details in her memoir how the constant public scrutiny of her body and physical appearance, being valued for her sexuality and treated as a commodity have characterised her entire life.</p> <p>It is no wonder <a href="https://people.com/britney-spears-reveals-why-shaved-off-hair-in-2007-exclusive-8362494">she shaved her head</a> in 2007, a move interpreted by the media as her having “gone mad”, but in fact a powerful indication of her anger at being perceived as nothing more than a dancing sex-doll. As she writes in her memoir: "I knew a lot of guys thought long hair was hot. Shaving my head was a way of saying to the world: fuck you. You want me to be pretty for you? Fuck you. You want me to be good for you? Fuck you. You want me to be your dream girl? Fuck you."</p> <p>The sociologist Erving Goffman wrote about the stigma of having a “<a href="https://www.howcommunicationworks.com/blog/2020/12/16/what-is-stigma-explaining-goffmans-idea-of-spoiled-identity">spoiled identity</a>” whereby people carry with them the public shame of transgression or physical difference.</p> <p>Being a former child star can be stigmatising for many reasons, including being constantly compared to an ideal younger version of yourself and not having had a “normal” childhood or conventional family relationships.</p> <p>In this memoir, Britney attempts to face down that stigma and reclaim her identity and person-hood as an adult. In doing so, she demonstrates that it can be possible to leave the dangerous terrain of early fame behind – but the journey is a tough one.<!-- 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/jane-oconnor-1483447">Jane O’Connor</a>, Reader in Childhood Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/birmingham-city-university-920">Birmingham City University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram, </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/britney-spears-memoir-is-a-reminder-of-the-stigma-and-potential-damage-of-child-stardom-216545">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

Kate Middleton's brother welcomes first child

<p>In an exciting family update for Princess Kate, her brother James Middleton and his wife Alizee Thevenet have welcomed their first child. </p> <p>The couple were spotted pushing a pram around London on Tuesday, according to the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-12675009/James-Middleton-Alizee-Thevenet-welcome-baby.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail</em>.</a> </p> <p>The pair are already getting into the groove of things as James was spotted pushing the pram with a cup of coffee in hand and a backpack carrying all of his essentials as they walked down the streets of Nottingham Hill.</p> <p>Alizee rocked a makeup free look, with a coffee in one hand and a shopping bag on the other. She also carried a backpack and the pair had a travel bag for their newborn reportedly worth around £127 (around $250 AUD) </p> <p>Although exact details and when James' new bub was born has been kept private, it is assumed that he or she was born in recent weeks, following a post James shared of Alizee in celebration of their anniversary. </p> <p>“The best is yet to come," he captioned the sweet photo of his wife holding her baby bump. </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/CxD9eLBIVAc/?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/CxD9eLBIVAc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>James' bub means that Princess Kate is now an aunt to four kids, as she already has two nieces and one nephew from her sister Pippa. </p> <p>The baby is also the seventh grandchild of Carole and Michael Middleton. </p> <p>James first <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/kate-middleton-s-brother-shares-exciting-family-news" target="_blank" rel="noopener">announced his wife's pregnancy</a> in a post shared to Instagram this July. </p> <p>"We have a new member of the pack coming soon, we couldn't be more excited 🐾 ❤️,"  he posted at the time. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

Our Partners