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Woman sparks debate after copping $116 fine for "absurd" rule

<p>Shakira Coldwell, 21, has sparked debate online after copping a $116 parking fine for an "absurd" rule she claims she didn't even know existed. </p> <p>The Aussie woman took to TikTok to share her confusion, and asked if anyone else was aware of the rule. </p> <p>“Was I the only one that didn’t know you can get a parking fine for parking nose in, like the front of your car goes in first instead of backing into a car park?” she asked. </p> <p>She then asked whether the rule was only enforced in Noosa, saying that she was "pretty sure" you could park in any way as long as you stay between the lines. </p> <p>Coldwell then shared a photo of how she parked her car when she received the fine and said that she was “clearly” within the parking lines but hadn’t backed into her space like the car next to her.</p> <p>“Does that not just seem a bit absurd, a bit bizarre?” she said.</p> <p>She also said that she was only just made aware of the fine, as she had been travelling, which means that she may be copping even bigger fees as her payment was now overdue. </p> <p>“I’ve asked a couple of people about this and they literally had no idea that rule even existed. Like, I’m within the lines, it doesn’t matter how I’m parked,” she continued. </p> <p>According to the Brisbane City Council website, failing to park as indicated by an angle parking sign will result in a $116 fine, but Coldwell claims that she didn't see any signs. </p> <p>“So I am a bit confused. Is this just Noosa rule or does everyone know this because I literally did not know this was a rule. And low key $116 for a parking fine that's a bit absurd, given I was within the lines,” she said.</p> <p>Many commenters were quick to inform her that it was actually a common parking rule that wasn't restricted to Noosa. </p> <p>“As someone who lives in Noosa I can 100% guarantee there was a sign saying you had to back in,” one person wrote. </p> <p>“Being within the lines literally has nothing to do with it lol,” another said.</p> <p>A few others said that parking the wrong way in angled spots can make it “dangerous” when backing out into traffic, with one commenter claiming “everyone knows this”.</p> <p>However, a few others were just as baffled as the 21-year-old. </p> <p>“I’d be challenging that. I have never heard of it and there should definitely be signs so if you can go and check the signage,” one said. </p> <p>“Never heard of this before I wouldn’t pay it tell them where to go,” another wrote. </p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.noosa.qld.gov.au/community/local-laws/parking-regulations" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Noosa Council website</a>, rear-in angle parking is enforced in certain areas to “ensure a safer parking experience for everyone in the area," and to prevent cars from crossing into oncoming traffic as they try to exit the parking bay. </p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Legal

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Kate Langbroek reignites Australia Day debate

<p>The annual celebration of Australia Day on January 26th has long been a subject of contention, but the debate has recently reignited with fervour.</p> <p>Radio personality and long-time panellist on The Project, Kate Langbroek, has weighed in on the matter by saying that altering the date won't resolve the underlying issues.</p> <p>She also lamented the sense of shame felt by many Australians on what should be a day of national pride.</p> <p>"I don't believe that if the date changed that it would be the end of these discussions and this discontent," she said. "But people have a hunger for something to celebrate about their nation, who want to be proud about their nation, and want to be able to have it on an annual basis. I think it's fair enough to want that."</p> <p>In response to her comments, co-host Rove McManus replied: "It does lead to the greater discussion for us as a nation of acknowledging that past so we can celebrate where we are now, which we still haven't done no matter what the day." </p> <p>The discussion on <em>The Project</em> underscored the complexity of the issue. While some, like Langbroek, advocate for maintaining the current date as a day of celebration, others argue for its change to acknowledge the painful history of colonisation.</p> <p>Langbroek then shared an anecdote about how a hesitant greeting of "Happy Australia Day" that she received only goes to show the level of discomfort and ambivalence surrounding the holiday. "[He] then sort of slunk away as if what he said was shameful. I know the reasons for it, I understand the reasons, but it's a great pity for our nation," she said.</p> <p>Co-host Georgie Tunny then proposed the idea of designating January 26th as a day of mourning while finding an alternative date for celebration – a notion met with both sarcasm and consideration. </p> <p>The public response to the panel discussion was predictably polarised . While some adamantly defend the tradition of celebrating Australia Day on January 26th, others advocate for change, citing the need to confront Australia's colonial past honestly.</p> <p>Amidst the discord, there are calls for innovative approaches to Australia Day. Suggestions range from incorporating solemn remembrance of Indigenous heritage in the morning to hosting citizenship ceremonies and festive events later in the day – a reflection of the nation's aspirations for unity and inclusivity.</p> <p><em>Images: The Project</em></p>

News

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Obese woman sparks debate for not giving up extra seat for toddler

<p>An obese woman has sparked debate online after refusing to give up the second seat she paid for to a fussy toddler. </p> <p>The 34-year-old booked the two seats for her cross-country flight to visit her family for Christmas because she was previously unable to comfortably fit in one seat. </p> <p>All was well until the young woman next to her demanded that she "squeeze into one seat" so her son could sit on the other. </p> <p>"I am obese," she admitted on the Reddit thread. "I'm actively working toward losing weight and I've made progress - but I booked an extra seat because I'm fat."</p> <p>She added that she insisted on keeping her seat because she paid for it, but the mum "made a big fuss over it, and she told the flight attendant I was stealing the seat from her son." </p> <p>"Then I showed her my boarding passes, proving that I paid for the extra seat. The flight attendant asked me if I could try to squeeze in, but I said no, that I wanted the extra seat I paid for."</p> <p>The woman claimed that the toddler was only 18 months old, so he didn't need his own seat and could've sat on his mum's lap for the duration of the flight. </p> <p>"I got dirty looks and passive-aggressive remarks from her for the entire flight and I do feel a little bad because the boy looked hard to control - but am I in the wrong?" she asked other social media users. </p> <p>Many shared their overwhelming support for the woman and slammed the mum and flight attendant for their "horrific" behaviour. </p> <p>"The mum is an a**hole for not buying a seat for her son and assuming someone else would give up a seat they paid for. Odds are she was hoping there'd be extra seats on the flight so she didn't have to pay and used the lap thing as a loophole," one commented. </p> <p>"What's even the point of the extra seat if the flight attendants are going to let entitled people bully others into giving it up?" another added. </p> <p>"People buy entire seats for high-end musical equipment. Not even people. Their lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part," a third wrote. </p> <p>However, there were a few others that said the woman was in the wrong for causing an inconvenience. </p> <p>"If you are so fat that you have to have more than one seat on an airplane then you are selfish," one said. </p> <p>"Flights overbook all the time especially during the holidays - how can you justify having two seats to yourself?" </p> <p>"How much room does a kid take up, seriously? Yeah the mum should've bought a seat but that doesn't mean you have to be selfish and cause two people discomfort," another commented. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Debate sparked over list of top 100 cities on the planet

<p>The best 100 cities on the planet have been revealed, with three Aussie cities making the final list. </p> <p>The list was compiled by as part of an annual report by <a href="https://www.worldsbestcities.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Resonance Consultancy</a>, who rated major capital cities on three main factors: liveability, lovability and prosperity, with dozens of factors taken into account.</p> <p>These include educational attainment, GDP per capita, poverty rate, the number of quality restaurants, shops and nightclubs, walkability, the number of mapped bike routes, quality parks and museums, as well as ratings from TripAdvisor and Google. </p> <p>The top ten chart features four cities on the Asian continent, four in Europe and two in the U.S.</p> <p>Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were all featured in the list, coming in at numbers 31, 35 and 57 respectively.</p> <p>Taking out the number one spot this year is London, dubbed the "capital of capitals" that "reigns over all global cities" as the best metropolis in the world. </p> <p>The study proclaims it as the most liveable and the most lovable mecca, solidified by its winning culture and education attainment.</p> <p>The report concludes, "Despite crippling Covid lockdowns and economic devastation. Despite Brexit. Despite a war in Europe. The city is more indomitable and part of the global discourse than ever. From the Queen's death, to last autumn's chaotic drama at 10 Downing Street that finally calmed down with Rishi Sunak becoming prime minister, only to take heavy local election losses this spring, London is rarely quiet these days."</p> <p>Here's the full list of top 100 cities in the world.</p> <p> 1 - London, England </p> <p>2 - Paris, France</p> <p>3 - New York, USA</p> <p>4 - Tokyo, Japan</p> <p>5 - Singapore</p> <p>6 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates</p> <p>7 - San Francisco, USA</p> <p>8 - Barcelona, Spain</p> <p>9 - Amsterdam, Netherlands</p> <p>10 - Seoul, South Korea</p> <p>11 - Rome, Italy </p> <p>12 - Prague, Czechia </p> <p>13 - Madrid, Spain </p> <p>14 - Berlin, Germany</p> <p>15 - Los Angeles, USA</p> <p>16 - Chicago, USA</p> <p>17 - Washington, D.C., USA</p> <p>18 - Beijing, China </p> <p>19 - Istanbul, Turkey </p> <p>20 - Dublin, Ireland</p> <p>21 - Vienna, Austria </p> <p>22 - Milan, Italy </p> <p>23 - Toronto, Canada</p> <p>24 - Boston, USA</p> <p>25 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates </p> <p>26 - Budapest, Hungary </p> <p>27 - São Paulo, Brazil</p> <p>28 - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia</p> <p>29 - Stockholm, Sweden </p> <p>30 - Munich, Germany</p> <p>31 - Melbourne, Australia </p> <p>32 - Lisbon, Portugal </p> <p>33 - Zürich, Switzerland</p> <p>34 - Seattle, USA</p> <p>35 - Sydney, Australia </p> <p>36 - Doha, Qatar</p> <p>37 - Brussels, Belgium </p> <p>38 - San Jose, USA</p> <p>39 - Bangkok, Thailand</p> <p>40 - Warsaw, Poland </p> <p>41 - Copenhagen, Denmark </p> <p>42 - Taipei, Taiwan </p> <p>43 - Austin, USA</p> <p>44 - Oslo, Norway </p> <p>45 - Osaka, Japan </p> <p>46 - Hong Kong, China </p> <p>47 - Tel Aviv, Israel </p> <p>48 - Athens, Greece</p> <p>49 - Frankfurt, Germany</p> <p>50 - Vancouver, Canada </p> <p>51 - San Diego, USA</p> <p>52 - Orlando, USA</p> <p>53 - Helsinki, Finland </p> <p>54 - Miami, USA</p> <p>55 - Buenos Aires, Argentina </p> <p>56 - Hamburg, Germany </p> <p>57 - Brisbane, Australia </p> <p>58 - Kuwait, Kuwait</p> <p>59 - Las Vegas, USA</p> <p>60 - Montreal, Canada </p> <p>61 - Glasgow, Scotland</p> <p>62 - Shanghai, China </p> <p>63 - Rio de Janeiro, USA</p> <p>64 - Auckland, New Zealand </p> <p>65 - Atlanta, USA</p> <p>66 - Houston, USA</p> <p>67 - Busan, South Korea</p> <p>68 - Philadelphia, USA</p> <p>69 - Naples, Italy </p> <p>70 - Denver, USA</p> <p>71 - Nashville, USA</p> <p>72 - Manchester, England </p> <p>73 - Dallas, USA</p> <p>74 - Liverpool, England</p> <p>75 - Minneapolis, USA</p> <p>76 - Mexico City, Mexico</p> <p>77 - Minsk, Belarus </p> <p>78 - Lyon, France </p> <p>79 - Portland, USA</p> <p>80 - Rotterdam, Netherlands </p> <p>81 - Bogotá, Colombia</p> <p>82 - Kraków, Poland</p> <p>83 - Valencia, Spain</p> <p>84 - Santiago, Chile </p> <p>85 - Birmingham, England</p> <p>86 - New Orleans, USA</p> <p>87 - Bucharest, Romania</p> <p>88 - Leeds, England</p> <p>89 - Muscat, Oman </p> <p>90 - Ottawa, Canada </p> <p>91 - Cologne, Germany </p> <p>92 - Charlotte, USA</p> <p>93 - Calgary, Canada </p> <p>94 - Nagoya, Japan  </p> <p>95 - Düsseldorf, Germany </p> <p>96 - Hanoi, Vietnam</p> <p>97 - Gothenburg, Sweden </p> <p>98 - Sapporo, Japan</p> <p>99 - Bilbao, Spain </p> <p>100 - Baltimore, USA</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

International Travel

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The debate: Should kids over 18 pay rent if they’re still living at home?

<p>Parents have shared their thoughts on letting their children live at home rent free, as the age old debate of paying board stirred up some strong opinions. </p> <p>A <a href="https://honey.nine.com.au/money/should-children-over-the-age-of-18-pay-board-if-they-still-live-at-home-reader-poll-exclusive/77876711-2950-4bf3-bb30-716442a6fd74" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>nine.com.au</em></a> reader survey asked the question: Should children over the age of 18 pay board if they still live at home?</p> <p>The responses were many and varied, as a whopping 72 percent of respondents said grown up kids should be contributing financially to the household. </p> <p>One person commented, "If children have employment, it's important that they clearly understand that life is not free and they need to budget, show accountability and responsibility."</p> <p>Another wrote, "If the children over 18 are working, then yes, they should contribute or give money to the parents to bank for them."</p> <p>Others said children shouldn't be expected to pay board, and would rather their kids save money for bigger financial commitments.</p> <p>"My parents did not charge me board even though I was working because they did not need the money and told me to save for my first car, which I did," one person shared. </p> <p>Another wrote their parenting tactic, writing, "I let my children not pay board. So they could save for a deposit on a house. They did and they all (3) have a house."</p> <p>Despite many people sharing their strong opinions on the matter, most respondents said it was not a black and white question, as many households have individual circumstances that affect their decision. </p> <p>"Depends on if they are working or not and what income the parents have. My son is 22 but unemployed due to health problem, we just pool our unemployment payment so it differs for each family situation, not a YES or No answer," one reader wrote. </p> <p>Another said it depends on their employment and study status, writing, "Yes if they're working almost full time, not if they're studying and just working part time to cover living expenses."</p> <p>The poll comes as Aussies have struggled with a rise in basic living costs, with <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/australian-household-spending-statistics" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABS</a> data showing that Australian households spent a total of $1.2 trillion on what was classed as general living costs in 2022. </p> <p>This sum is close to $100 billion more than in 2021. </p> <p>The average household spent $130,353 in 2022, which is the equivalent of $2507 per week. This is a 20.4 per cent jump on the previous year.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Heated argument between economy passengers reignites plane etiquette debate

<p>A 12-second clip of two passengers arguing on a plane has reignited the age-old debate of whether it is acceptable to recline your seat on a plane. </p> <p>The viral video which was originally posted on TikTok and then re-shared on X, has racked up over 8 million views since Thursday. </p> <p>In the video, a frustrated woman was calling out another female passenger for pushing her seat the entire flight, right after they landed. </p> <p>“The whole trip she pushed my seat,” the woman said to a male passenger seated next to the female passenger accused of kicking her seat. </p> <p>“You seen it. You know she did.”</p> <p>“I’m allowed to put my seat back," she yelled repeatedly. </p> <p>Ian Miles Cheong, the user who posted the video on X, defended the woman saying: “She’s allowed to put her seat back. You don’t get to kick it repeatedly just because you want more space.”</p> <p>A few were on the woman's side and praised her for standing up for herself. </p> <p>“You are allowed! Period! You want space in front of you instead of pushing the seat, buy a seat with extra space or get your a** to business class. Reclining was put there for a reason,” one person wrote. </p> <p>“She was patient enough to wait till flight landed," they added. </p> <p>“If the seat is reclinable, recline it,” another commented. </p> <p>"What she’s saying is right. The woman has a right to put her seat back without someone kicking it," a third agreed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">She’s allowed to put her seat back. You don’t get to kick it repeatedly just because you want more space. <a href="https://t.co/WELD7Qh4Re">pic.twitter.com/WELD7Qh4Re</a></p> <p>— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) <a href="https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/1719881310351863952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 2, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>However, others claimed that there was an unwritten rule that you shouldn't recline your seat, especially on a short-haul flight, adding that the recline feature should be scrapped from airplanes. </p> <p>“Putting your seat back in coach is an unspoken thing most people don’t do. It’s really the airline’s fault because they’ve made coach so cramped and tight that putting the seat back shouldn’t even be an option,” one commented. </p> <p>“Airline seats simply shouldn’t be able to recline. It intrudes on the already very little space a person has on the plane for the person behind them,” another added. </p> <p>“Really it’s the airline’s fault for cramming so many people in such a small space. They don’t call it cattle class for nothing,” a third wrote. </p> <p>One user understood both sides of the argument, and blamed the airlines for making the seats so cramped. </p> <p>"It can be annoying sometimes to be behind someone with their seat all the way, but if the airlines didn't want to allow that, it wouldn't happen," they wrote.</p> <p>"You don't kick the seat like a baby. Blame the airline, not the person doing what the airline says is fine." </p> <p><em>Images: Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Forcing people to repay welfare ‘loans’ traps them in a poverty cycle – where is the policy debate about that?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hanna-wilberg-1466649">Hanna Wilberg</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-1305">University of Auckland</a></em></p> <p>The National Party’s <a href="https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/09/26/more-sanctions-for-unemployed-beneficiaries-under-national/">pledge to apply sanctions</a> to unemployed people receiving a welfare payment, if they are “persistently” failing to meet the criteria for receiving the benefit, has attracted plenty of comment and <a href="https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/09/26/nationals-benefit-sanctions-plan-cruel-dehumanising-greens/">criticism</a>.</p> <p>Less talked about has been the party’s promise to index benefits to inflation to keep pace with the cost of living. This might at least provide some relief to those struggling to make ends meet on welfare, though is not clear how much difference it would make to the current system of indexing benefits to wages.</p> <p>In any case, this alone it is unlikely to break the cycle of poverty many find themselves in.</p> <p>One of the major drivers of this is the way the welfare system pushes some of the most vulnerable people into debt with loans for things such as school uniforms, power bills and car repairs.</p> <p>The government provides one-off grants to cover benefit shortfalls. But most of these grants are essentially loans.</p> <p>People receiving benefits are required to repay the government through weekly deductions from their normal benefits – which leaves them with even less money to survive on each week.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/132980318/auckland-mother-serves-up-cereal-for-dinner-due-to-rising-food-costs">rising costs</a>, the situation is only getting worse for many of the 351,756 New Zealanders <a href="https://figure.nz/chart/TtiUrpceJruy058e-ITw010dHsM6bvA2a">accessing one of the main benefits</a>.</p> <h2>Our whittled down welfare state</h2> <p>Broadly, there are three levels of government benefits in our current system.</p> <p>The main benefits (such as jobseeker, sole parent and supported living payment) <a href="https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/benefit-rates/benefit-rates-april-2023.html">pay a fixed weekly amount</a>. The jobseeker benefit rate is set at NZ$337.74 and sole parents receive $472.79 a week.</p> <p>Those on benefits have access to a second level of benefits – weekly supplementary benefits such as an <a href="https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/accommodation-supplement.html">accommodation supplement</a> and other allowances or tax credits.</p> <p>The third level of support is one-off discretionary payments for specific essential needs.</p> <p>Those on benefits cannot realistically make ends meet without repeated use of these one-off payments, unless they use assistance from elsewhere – such as family, charity or borrowing from loan sharks.</p> <p>This problem has been building for decades.</p> <h2>Benefits have been too low for too long</h2> <p>In the 1970s, the <a href="https://mro.massey.ac.nz/handle/10179/12967">Royal Commission on Social Security</a> declared the system should provide “a standard of living consistent with human dignity and approaching that enjoyed by the majority”.</p> <p>But Ruth Richardson’s “<a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/124978983/1991-the-mother-of-all-budgets">mother of all budgets</a>” in 1991 slashed benefits. Rates never recovered and today’s <a href="https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/03/29/benefit-increases-will-still-leave-families-locked-in-poverty/">benefits are not enough to live on</a>.</p> <p>In 2018, the <a href="https://www.weag.govt.nz/">Welfare Expert Advisory Group</a> looked at how much money households need in two lifestyle scenarios: bare essentials and a minimum level of participation in the community, such as playing a sport and taking public transport.</p> <p>The main benefits plus supplementary allowances did not meet the cost of the bare essentials, let alone minimal participation.</p> <p>The Labour government has since <a href="https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-delivers-income-increases-over-14-million-new-zealanders">increased benefit rates</a>, meaning they are now slightly above those recommended by the advisory group. But those recommendations were made in 2019 and don’t take into account the <a href="https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/annual-inflation-at-6-0-percent">sharp rise in inflation</a> since then.</p> <p>Advocacy group <a href="https://fairerfuture.org.nz/">Fairer Future</a> published an updated assessment in 2022 – nine out of 13 types of households still can’t meet their core costs with the current benefit rates.</p> <h2>How ‘advances’ create debt traps</h2> <p>When they don’t have money for an essential need, people on benefits can receive a “special needs grant”, which doesn’t have to be repaid. But in practice, Work and Income virtually never makes this type of grant for anything except food and some other specific items, such as some health travel costs or emergency dental treatment.</p> <p>For <a href="https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/02/27/very-stressful-beneficiary-says-he-cant-afford-msd-debt/">all other essential needs</a> – such as school uniforms, car repairs, replacing essential appliances, overdue rent, power bills and tenancy bonds – a one-off payment called an “advance” is used. Advances are loans and have to be paid back.</p> <p>There are several issues with these types of loans.</p> <p>First, people on benefits are racking up thousands of dollars worth of debts to cover their essential needs. It serves to trap them in financial difficulties for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>As long as they remain on benefits or low incomes, it’s difficult to repay these debts. And the <a href="https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2018/0032/latest/whole.html">Social Security Act 2018</a> doesn’t allow the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to waive debts.</p> <h2>Contradictory policies</h2> <p>Another problem is that people on benefits have to start repaying their debt straight away, with weekly deductions coming out of their already limited benefit.</p> <p>Each new advance results in a further weekly deduction. Often these add up to $50 a week or more. MSD policy says repayments should not add up to more than $40 a week, but that is often ignored.</p> <p>This happens because the law stipulates that each individual debt should be repaid in no more than two years, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Paying this debt off in two years often requires total deductions to be much higher than $40.</p> <p>The third issue is that one-off payments can be refused regardless of the need. That is because there are two provisions pulling in opposite directions.</p> <p>On the one hand the law says a payment should be made if not making it would cause serious hardship. But on the other hand, the law also says payments should not be made if the person already has too much debt.</p> <p>People receiving benefits and their case managers face the choice between more debt and higher repayments, or failing to meet an essential need.</p> <h2>Ways to start easing the burden</h2> <p>So what is the fix? A great deal could be achieved by just changing the policies and practices followed by Work and Income.</p> <p>Case managers have the discretion to make non-recoverable grants for non-food essential needs. These could and should be used when someone has an essential need, particularly when they already have significant debt.</p> <p>Weekly deductions for debts could also be automatically made very low.</p> <p>When it comes to changing the law, the best solution would be to make weekly benefit rates adequate to live on.</p> <p>The government could also make these benefit debts similar to student loans, with no repayments required until the person is off the benefit and their income is above a certain threshold.</p> <p>However we do it, surely it must be time to do something to fix this poverty trap.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/212528/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hanna-wilberg-1466649"><em>Hanna Wilberg</em></a><em>, Associate professor - Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-1305">University of Auckland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/forcing-people-to-repay-welfare-loans-traps-them-in-a-poverty-cycle-where-is-the-policy-debate-about-that-212528">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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“I run on bananas and coke cola": Kyrgios wades into doping debate

<p>Nick Kyrgios has raised eyebrows over his out-of-pocket comments on the recent doping scandal surrounding the world of tennis. </p> <p>The Aussie champion spoke over current testing protocols in the wake of Romanian tennis player Simon Halep being slapped with a four-year ban from the game for doping offences.</p> <p>Naturally, many tennis champions from around the world have put in their two cents on the recent ban, as Greek player Maria Sakkari called out the measures for being "scary". </p> <p>She told a tennis news site, “One thing I can tell you for sure is the way they’re handling every situation with any player, any athlete, it’s just scary.”</p> <p>“We’re gonna get to a point where we’re not even gonna be taking electrolytes. Thankfully, I haven’t been in that position. I never want to be. I’ve been very careful with everything that has to do with supplements. But I don’t know what the process is, how things are done behind closed doors."</p> <p>Nick Kyrgios was quick to jump in to the debate, responding to Sakkari's comments on Twitter saying, “Ehhhh not really lol.”</p> <p>“I run on bananas and coke cola in 5 set battles. And my record in them speaks for itself."</p> <p>“Maybe players should just stop taking shady sh*t. Look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say yep I did it right. Not hard.”</p> <p>Fans soon came after Kyrgios, but he doubled down.</p> <p>Kyrgios responded to one Twitter user’s sledge by posting, “I’d imagine if I was taking similar things to be banned for 4 years I’d have about 5 slams. Potato”.</p> <p>Kyrgios has had a difficult season as he has been forced to take time off to recover from injuries to his wrist and knees. </p> <p>He has urged his fans to be patient as he works on his recovery, as he is determined to get back on the court. </p> <p>"To my millions of fans out there, I guess we just have to be patient,” Kyrgios wrote in an Instagram story, accompanied by a picture of him in the gym.</p> <p>“Trust me, I still have some fire left in the tank, my body just needs time to recover and get back.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Gen X dad’s odd punishment for four-year-old son sparks debate

<p dir="ltr">A self-proclaimed Gen X dad has sparked a furious debate after a video clip of him punishing his four-year-old son went viral on TikTok.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wisconsin-based dad Derek Longstreth said he had no other choice but to make his young son, Truman, heave massive jugs of water across the yard because he hit his mum.</p> <p dir="ltr">“All right little man, let's go, you've got all these jugs to carry,” he told his son, as he showed five water jugs.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He hit his mom today, so, spanking is out of the question because you liberals made it so we can’t spank our children any more,” he explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">The father-of-one recorded his son struggling to carry the water jugs, but offered him words of encouragement as the boy tried to carry it across the yard.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Let's go, young man. I love you just so you know, but you're not going to hit your mom,” he said. “You can do it. I love you son but we don't hit women in this family.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Longstreth then explained why he chose to punish his son this way, and said that spanking your child is not allowed in Wisconsin.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He's four. We're not allowed to spank in the state of Wisconsin because some liberals are saying there are better ways.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“'Well liberals, what's the better way?”</p> <div><iframe title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7256440921728863530&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40hamburgerjones23%2Fvideo%2F7256440921728863530&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp19-sign.tiktokcdn-us.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast5-p-0068-tx%2Fc29492b9251f41139161e469b64b4d0e%3Fx-expires%3D1689789600%26x-signature%3DRnuVqM3A6bo1miOskT3JdYiBlWA%253D&amp;key=5b465a7e134d4f09b4e6901220de11f0&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr">After the father complained about the liberals, he continued to try and teach Truman a lesson, despite the child complaining that he “can’t do it” multiple times throughout the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the end of the clip, Longstreth asks his son: “Are you going to hit your mom again?”</p> <p dir="ltr">“No,” the four-year-old responded.</p> <p dir="ltr">Longstreth also made his son apologise for hitting his mum.</p> <p dir="ltr">The nine-minute clip has racked up over 1.9 million views, while many applauded the father for his “gentle” ways of parenting and disciplining his son, others slammed him for “abuse”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Big respect to this dad. He gave the kid a hard job with encouragement and reassurance that he loves him as well as why the kid had to do it,” wrote one person.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is honestly probably the best and most effective way to discipline your child. Every moment they do this they are thinking about what they did,” commented another.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Good dad, raising his son right, teaching him to never lay his hands on any women especially his momma. Very good,” agreed a third.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is like so gentle yet so disciplining in all the good ways,” wrote a fourth.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, other viewers disagreed with the father’s method.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is abuse.... I said what I said. I'm sorry he hit his mom though, talking it out is fine. He's too little for this,” commented one person.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Lol. When people ask what the next traumas will be, it’ll be every moment being a phone in their face. Did you need to post this? Pathetic,” wrote another.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You don't want him to associate work as punishment. how about no tv, no sweets, something that is usually a privilege. work is something that is good,” added another user.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

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Kyle censored during fiery on-air debate

<p>Kyle Sandilands has been censored during an on-air rant about Indigenous Australians. </p> <p>The radio shock jock clashed with <em>The Kyle and Jackie O Show</em> newsreader Brooklyn Ross as the pair discussed the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which would comprise of a body of First Nations Australians  and Torres Strait Islanders who can advise the government on matters relating to the social, spiritual and economic wellbeing of their people.</p> <p>As the pair argued, lengthy portions of Kyle's opinionated rant were censored. However, some of his comments made it to air.</p> <p>“We have to actually give [Indigenous Australians] money and look after them,” said Ross to which Sandilands replied: “Nah, bulls**t!”</p> <p>“How about educating people and giving people the chance to build their own life like the rest of us did?” he suggested. </p> <p>Sandilands has made it clear that he is staunchly opposed to the Voice, as he doesn’t believe a reported $34 billion in funds should be allocated to Indigenous Australians as he thinks the money wasn’t having a positive affect on First Nations communities. </p> <p>“No one’s really putting all that $34 billion into fixing the real problem. They’re painting houses and giving them this and that,” Sandilands added, before mocking: “’We’ll rename Fraser Island!’”</p> <p>During his rant, he went on to criticise Welcome to Country traditions that have been adopted into everyday life, which involves a speech typically given at significant events by an elder or custodian to welcome visitors to their traditional country. </p> <p>“Look, The Project’s thanking people from the past [for] using their land. These things, they’re s**t!” he said. “No one’s better than anyone else. If they’re treated worse, that’s an issue."</p> <p>After staying silent for most of his tirade, Jackie O chimed in to say she agreed with that part of his outburst. </p> <p>“Thank you, Jackie. Jackie’s finally popped up," he sarcastically called listeners, before telling her: “I understand you don’t want to get involved in it.”</p> <p>Rightfully so, said Ross who made Henderson laugh when he said, “[An] angry man and a gay man arguing. And both of us white!”</p> <p><em>Image credits: KIISFM</em></p>

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Plane “crime” reignites long standing debate

<p dir="ltr">A travel influencer has reignited the age-old debate over what personal items truly belong in a plane’s overhead lockers, after they called out passengers for filling the compartments with their jackets. </p> <p dir="ltr">Snapping a photo on the on-board “crime”, online observers were quick to chime in with their thoughts on the matter. </p> <p dir="ltr">Given the online discourse around the controversial jacket storage, a poll conducted by nine.com.au found that most people agreed that there was nothing wrong with the action. </p> <p dir="ltr">While most people agreed that filling up the lockers with jackets is a frustrating move, an overwhelming 90% agreed that it was fine to do. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I thought that was exactly what an overhead locker was for???" one reader commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, according to globetrotters Matt and Hillary, who posted the original video on TikTok, doing so is a "crime".</p> <p dir="ltr">"If you plan to fly in 2023, please don't be the people who fill up an entire overhead cabinet with your jackets. It's an absolute waste of space. They could sit on your lap or most airlines have hooks."</p> <p dir="ltr">Instead, a more common gripe for travellers, according to the online poll, was the size of some people's 'carry on' luggage.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I think it's time the airlines stamped out some of the sizes of cases that get taken on as hand luggage," one person said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Jackets and small bags should be the only items in the overhead locker. Too many people bring way too much carry-on luggage and take up the space of others, I might add this is my pet peeve when flying anywhere," another agreed.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It amazes me that folks get on aeroplanes with suitcases or sacks they expect to squeeze into the overhead lockers without any thought or consideration for their fellow travellers," was another frustrated reply.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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The Voice isn’t apartheid or a veto over parliament – this misinformation is undermining democratic debate

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dominic-osullivan-12535">Dominic O'Sullivan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt University</a></em></p> <p><em>Readers please be advised this article discusses racism.</em></p> <p>We’ve heard many different arguments for and against the Voice to Parliament in the lead-up to this year’s referendum. This has included some <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a5MgbXj9kI">media</a> and <a href="https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/voice-to-parliament/pauline-hanson-claims-indigenous-voice-is-australias-version-of-apartheid-in-speech-aimed-at-lidia-thorpe-and-albanese/news-story/2d988413c54d81ba0cb9c55f19d9cffa">politicians</a> drawing comparisons between the Voice and <a href="https://au.int/en/auhrm-project-focus-area-apartheid">South Africa’s apartheid regime</a>.</p> <p>Cory Bernardi, a Sky News commentator, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/may/02/liberals-accused-of-flirting-with-far-right-fringe-after-sky-news-show-where-indigenous-voice-compared-to-apartheid">argued</a>, for instance, that by implementing the Voice, “we’re effectively announcing an apartheid-type state, where some citizens have more legal rights or more rights in general than others”.</p> <p>As legal scholar Bede Harris has <a href="https://news.csu.edu.au/opinion/the-voice-to-parliament,-apartheid-and-cory-bernardi">pointed out</a>, it’s quite clear Bernardi doesn’t understand apartheid. He said,</p> <blockquote> <p>How the Voice could be described as creating such a system is unfathomable.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Comparisons to apartheid</h2> <p>Apartheid was a system of racial segregation implemented by the South African government to control and restrict the lives of the non-white populations, and to stop them from voting.</p> <p>During apartheid, non-white people could not freely visit the same beaches, live in the same neighbourhoods, attend the same schools or queue in the same lines as white people. My wife recalls her white parents being questioned by police after visiting the home of a Black colleague.</p> <p>The proposed Voice will ensure First Nations peoples have their views heard by parliament. It won’t have the power to stop people swimming at the same beaches or living, studying or shopping together. It won’t stop interracial marriages as the apartheid regime did. It doesn’t give anybody extra political rights.</p> <p>It simply provides First Nations people, who have previously had no say in developing the country’s system of government, with an opportunity to participate in a way that many say is meaningful and respectful.</p> <p>Apartheid and the Voice are polar opposites. The Voice is a path towards democratic participation, while apartheid eliminated any opportunity for this.</p> <p>Evoking emotional responses, like Bernardi attempted to do, can <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1618923114">inspire people</a> to quickly align with a political cause that moderation and reason might not encourage. This means opinions may be formed from <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.180593">limited understanding</a> and misinformation.</p> <h2>Misinformation doesn’t stop at apartheid comparisons</h2> <p>The Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative lobby group, has published a “research” paper claiming the Voice would be like New Zealand’s Waitangi Tribunal and be able to veto decisions of the parliament.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck/voice-comparisons-with-nz-tribunal-are-just-wrong/">truth</a> is the tribunal is not a “Maori Voice to Parliament”. It can’t <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-04-14/fact-check-checkmate-maori-voice-waitangi-tribunal/102217998">veto</a> parliament.</p> <p>The Waitangi Tribunal is a permanent commission of inquiry. It is chaired by a judge and has Maori and non-Maori membership. Its job is to investigate alleged breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.</p> <p>The tribunal’s task is an independent search for truth. When it upholds a claim, its recommended remedies become the subject of political negotiation between government and claimants.</p> <p>The Voice in Australia would make representations to parliament. This is also not a veto. A veto is to stop parliament making a law.</p> <h2>We need to raise the quality of debate</h2> <p>Unlike the apartheid and Waitangi arguments, many <a href="https://theconversation.com/for-a-lot-of-first-nations-peoples-debates-around-the-voice-to-parliament-are-not-about-a-simple-yes-or-no-199766">objections</a> to the Voice are grounded in fact.</p> <p>Making representations to parliament and the government is a standard and necessary democratic practice. There are already many ways of doing this, but in the judgement of the First Nations’ people who developed the Voice proposal, a constitutionally enshrined Voice would be a better way of making these representations.</p> <p>Many people disagree with this judgement. The <a href="https://nationals.org.au/the-nationals-oppose-a-voice-to-parliament/">National Party</a> argues a Voice won’t actually improve people’s lives.</p> <p>Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe says she speaks for a Black Sovereignty movement when she advocates for a treaty to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-31/lidia-thorpe-wants-treaty-and-seats-not-voice-qa/101909286">come first</a>. The argument is that without a treaty, the system of government isn’t morally legitimate.</p> <p>Other people support the Voice in principle but think it will have <a href="https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/voice-to-parliament-yes-vote-has-many-enemies,17190">too much</a> power; <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-australia-could-learn-from-new-zealand-about-indigenous-representation-201761">others</a> think it won’t have enough.</p> <p>Thinking about honest differences of opinion helps us to understand and critique a proposal for what it is, rather than what it is not. Our vote then stands a better chance of reflecting what we really think.</p> <p>Lies can mask people’s real reasons for holding a particular point of view. When people’s true reasons can’t be scrutinised and tested, it prevents an honest exchange of ideas. Collective wisdom can’t emerge, and the final decision doesn’t demonstrate each voter’s full reflection on other perspectives.</p> <p>Altering the Constitution is very serious, and deliberately difficult to do. Whatever the referendum’s outcome, confidence in our collective judgement is more likely when truth and reason inform our debate.</p> <p>In my recently published book, <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-99-0581-2">Indigeneity, Culture and the UN Sustainable Development Goals</a>, I argue the Voice could contribute to a more just and democratic system of government through ensuring decision-making is informed by what First Nations’ people want and why. Informed, also, by deep knowledge of what works and why.</p> <p>People may agree or disagree. But one thing is clear: deliberate misinformation doesn’t make a counter argument. It diminishes democracy.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/205474/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dominic-osullivan-12535">Dominic O'Sullivan</a>, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, and Professor of Political Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-voice-isnt-apartheid-or-a-veto-over-parliament-this-misinformation-is-undermining-democratic-debate-205474">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Influencer’s extensive list of plane etiquette rules reignites age-old debate

<p dir="ltr">A travel influencer has shared an extensive list of what you should and shouldn’t do on a plane, reigniting an age-old debate about in-flight etiquette. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ben Keenan, a frequent traveller from Seattle in the US, posted his list of dos and don’ts in a now-viral TikTok, saying it is “disgusting” for a passenger to take off their shoes and you should always check behind before reclining your seat.</p> <p dir="ltr">Keenan begins his list with his least controversial point, saying travellers should always greet their flight attendants when boarding the plane, pointing out that it costs nothing to be friendly and polite. </p> <p dir="ltr">He then broaches the topic of taking off your shoes on a plane, which was met with mixed responses. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Do not take off your shoes or socks when you’re sitting in your seat, you disgusting people,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">He went on to urge people not to pick an aisle seat if you plan on sleeping through your journey. </p> <p dir="ltr">“When selecting your seat before the flight, go ahead and determine what type of flyer you are. Are you someone that sleeps or are you someone that’s awake?” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Because if you’re on an aisle seat, you need to be prepared to stand up and move out of the way multiple times during the flight – and I know this sucks but that truly means that you should not be a sleeper.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He continued, “Speaking of sleeping on the plane, if you’re going to recline your seat to do that, go ahead and make sure the people behind you aren’t resting their head on your seat or using that tray table because do you know how many times I’ve been smashed in the head by somebody who just aggressively leans back.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Keenan’s list of etiquette rules was met with a mixed response, with people both praising and criticising certain unspoken rules. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Nope … definitely taking my shoes off! And I’m not turning back to check … I will recline gently though,” one traveller said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If it is a long flight, shoes are allowed to come off (8+ hours),” another wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr"> One flyer agreed with Keenan’s rules, admitting, “I approach every flight like I'm being graded, and the flight attendants will give me an A+ for my flight etiquette.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another bemused viewer put it simply, writing, “I’ve never flown but this all seems like common sense?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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"Too busy marching": Debate rages over fiery Anzac Day post

<p>A man has shared a controversial claim on Twitter about Australia’s relationship to Anzac Day, sparking a fiery debate.</p> <p>Australians and New Zealanders gathered to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the landing of Anzac troops at Gallipoli in World War I on April 25th. Services were held all over both countries to mark the day of remembrance.</p> <p>On May 34th, Brad Turner, who says he is a former Navy submariner and AFP officer, took to Twitter to argue that the values of the annual celebration were “no longer reflected” by Australia.</p> <p>He notably called out Australia’s confrontation with China on behalf of the US.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Australia is a society that dutifully gets up early every April 25 to gather, Mach & remember our Dead. Speeches are made, politicians speak of sacrifice & honour whilst possessing or embodying neither. That same society that holds paramount ideals of egalitarianism, mateship &… <a href="https://t.co/sbHHbRiYAF">pic.twitter.com/sbHHbRiYAF</a></p> <p>— Brad Turner (@tur14865416) <a href="https://twitter.com/tur14865416/status/1650394428841037826?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 24, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>“Australia is a society that dutifully gets up early every April 25 to gather, march and remember our dead,” he wrote in the post, which has been viewed more than 20,000 times.</p> <p>“Speeches are made, politicians speak of sacrifice and honour whilst possessing or embodying neither. That same society that holds paramount ideals of egalitarianism, mateship and sacrifice is forgotten on the other 364 days of the year.</p> <p>“On those days Australia marches right past veteran suicides, war crimes, illegal wars and widespread inequality and corruption. Is it really a day of remembrance? Or is it theatrics so society can pretend they care about victims of war or our conduct as a country with an aim to feel better about apathy and inaction as a nation towards these things.</p> <p>“We don’t notice any of these things because we are too busy marching. But this time it’s headlong into another pointless American war with China. The things we celebrate about our nation on Anzac Day are sadly no longer reflected in Australia’s actions. They have not been in some time.”</p> <p>Several people online took the same stance as Mr Turner.</p> <p>“I don’t like Anzac Day. It overlooks our follies in joining Britain and US wars. WWII was noble. The rest were con jobs to enrich the industrialists. Our people have all these solemn events only to assuage their ‘je ne c’est quoi’ because they don’t feel any guilt but should,” one wrote.</p> <p>“Our politicians spend more on memorial monuments and museums that they can put their name on a plaque on the wall than they do for the actual veterans who are suffering from PTSD or other ‘souvenirs’ they have brought back from their tours,” another said.</p> <p>“Flag waving patriotism has taken over Anzac Day. We are one step away from parades of military hardware while the populace salute. What should be a reflection on the horrors of war has become it‘s celebration. John Howard did this,” a third added.</p> <p>“Listening to the Labor government yesterday follow in the footsteps of the Coalition, justifying spending billions antagonising China at America’s request is not the ‘lest we forget’ I think about,” a fourth wrote.</p> <p>Others fired back and said Anzac Day was still important.</p> <p>“Mate … it’s about remembering the sacrifice and loss of our mates … lest we forget,” one wrote, adding, “I don’t worry about [politicians] anymore grandstanding on the day. It’s our day not theirs to remember our mates.”</p> <p>Another wrote, “It is tradition. It separates the fluff of ordinary living to reflect on sacrifice not only of the dead, of lives unlived, of the unfathomable grief but also of the living dealing with the trauma and moral injury of tooth and claw war. It is not a celebration which distracts.”</p> <p>“I understand this perspective, but at the same time I ask myself — is there any harm in this form national reflection? I agree there have been some military follies following the absolute necessity of WWII, but would add that there is no guarantee that the next engagement is such,” a third wrote.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Pregnant woman’s plane dilemma sparks debate

<p>In a tale as old as modern time, the internet has erupted over a tweet. </p> <p>When professional American baseball player Anthony Bass shared his wife Sydney Rae Bass’s in-flight trouble to Twitter, he was expecting an outpouring of support, and perhaps an answer from the airline. </p> <p>Instead, he generated a heated debate over plane etiquette, entitlement, and the responsibilities of parenting - namely, cleaning up after your own kids. </p> <p>In the viral tweet, Anthony - who was not with his family at the time of the incident - wrote that a flight attendant had made the 22-week pregnant Sydney “get on her hands and knees” to clean up the mess their 2-year-old daughter had made with her popcorn. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The flight attendant <a href="https://twitter.com/united?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@united</a> just made my 22 week pregnant wife traveling with a 5 year old and 2 year old get on her hands and knees to pick up the popcorn mess by my youngest daughter. Are you kidding me?!?! <a href="https://t.co/vLYyLyJC54">pic.twitter.com/vLYyLyJC54</a></p> <p>— Anthony Bass (@AnthonyBass52) <a href="https://twitter.com/AnthonyBass52/status/1647632911720390664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 16, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>The airline was quick to ask Anthony for more information in the comment section, but with over 70 million views - and counting - and 10,000 likes, many had questions. And because it was the internet, where filters tend to fall to the wayside, people had no qualms about sharing their opinion with the irate father. </p> <p>“Genuinely curious who should clean up the mess your 2 year old made?” one asked him. “As a parent of three kids I am the one responsible for them.”</p> <p>Anthony, who was having none of it, fired back, “The cleaning crew they hire!” </p> <p>“It's called being considerate,” someone else pointed out, “and we all know planes don't get thoroughly cleaned during a day of flying.”</p> <p>In one popular response, one user reminded the sports star that “just because you’re rich doesn’t mean everyone is your servant. I hope this helps.”</p> <p>One former flight attendant chimed in as well, telling Anthony that “a flight attendant is there for safety, not to pick up after you or your children.”</p> <p>“Shouldn't have even had to ask, TBH [to be honest],” another said. </p> <p>“I have three kids, just flew coach 12 hours, and was able to clean up after them - for every mess. It’s called parenting,” one shared. “Do you expect park janitors to clean up after your pet? No; Your child, your responsibility.”</p> <p>Although the majority were in agreement that it was “the most pretentious, arrogant, self-absorbed tweet of all time”, there were still those in Anthony’s corner. </p> <p>As one such supporter wrote, “I think it’s disgusting that the stewardess made a pregnant woman clean up a mess if they’re going to supply popcorn on the aeroplane. Be ready for messes to clean up if you don’t like it, don’t serve popcorn.”</p> <p>Perhaps the loudest - and most passionate - on their team was Sydney Rae’s sister, Jessie James Decker. </p> <p>The country singer and reality TV star took to Instagram to share her thoughts in a now expired story, where she wrote that she had just received a text from Sydney from her flight, and “as you know, she is five months pregnant, high-risk, and also travelling alone with her two small children. </p> <p>“Blaire [their 2-year-old] accidentally spilled some popcorn in the aisle, and the flight attendant came up to Sydney with a trash bag and a wet wipe, telling her the captain wants Syd to clean up every drop.</p> <p>"My poor sister is on her hands and knees, crying in the aisle, completely humiliated and exhausted, with her children while everyone else watched.”</p> <p><em>Images: Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Hugh Jackman weighs in on republic debate

<p>Aussie icon Hugh Jackman has shared that he thinks “it’s inevitable” that Australia will become a republic.</p> <p>"I think Australia will become republican at some point. It feels natural," the Hollywood actor and singer told BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.</p> <p>"It feels like something that is, I would guess inevitable, and I guess would be a natural part of an evolution of a country. You know?”</p> <p>He also shared that he is both a British and an Australian citizen, and “really appreciated” and admires the service of the King and Queen Elizabeth II, whom he met several times.</p> <p>"I've met the Queen on several occasions… I see and feel a real genuine desire to be of service to the public," he said.</p> <p>Jackman’s parents are both from the UK and he recalls celebrating royal occasions as a child.</p> <p>"My father made us stop doing whatever we could to watch in 1981 the wedding of Lady Di and Prince Charles. We had champagne," the Wolverine star told Kuenssberg.</p> <p>"So I grew up with a lot of that. There was no bunting in our house, but if my dad could have found that, there would have been bunting and I have absolutely no ill will and I only wish King Charles all the best,” Jackman said.</p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is a longstanding republican and has previously mentioned that the country needs an Australian head of state.</p> <p>In 2018, Mr Albanese described a referendum on the move to become a republic as an “exciting opportunity.”</p> <p>Mr Albanese went on to say that he would not hold a referendum during his first term out of respect for the late Queen.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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Deb Knight raises a stink with ongoing dog poo debate

<p>TV and radio presenter Deborah Knight has stirred up an ethical debate on putting dog poo in stranger’s bins. </p> <p>While chatting to journalist Chris O’Keefe on <em>2GB Sydney</em>, Deb admitted that she is guilty of sneaking the waste into the bins she passes while walking her dog, Scooby. As she explained to Chris, “a bin’s a bin.” </p> <p>The conversation began with Deb explaining that there aren’t as many bins on the side of the road in the city, and that she suspected it had been done to make people take their rubbish home. This led to the question that started it all, “but when you have a dog and you take your dog for a walk and you pick up their business ... is it okay to put that in someone else's bin?" </p> <p>O’Keefe wasn’t so sure, pointing out that he’d seen people write on their bins that they didn’t want droppings placed in there. </p> <p>"But why not?” Deb countered. “Why do you care? It's a bin, right?" </p> <p>O’Keefe suggested that it could be a problem in the summer heat, particularly if the bins were situated near a window - especially a bedroom window. </p> <p>"I reckon a bin's a bin,” Deb repeated, “but some people are very territorial about their bins. When I take Scooby for a walk, if there's a bin out on the nature strip that someone's put out there, I'm gonna put my droppings in it.”</p> <p>O’Keefe seemed to consider this, before finally making a confession of his own, telling Deb, “in the middle of the night, when my bins are overflowing - I've got nappy bags, I've got cardboard boxes - and I am just searching the street for bins. Any real estate and our stuff's going in."</p> <p>While Deb and O’Keefe managed to laugh it off, allowing that they might be revealing too much, the same couldn’t be said for the last time this debate erupted in the media. </p> <p>In July 2022, <em>news.com.au</em> reported on one Sydney resident who penned a note to the dog walkers behind the unwanted bin additions. </p> <p>“Dog owners,” it read. “Please do not put dog poo in residents’ empty bins.”</p> <p>It went on to call those owners “inconsiderate”, and sparked an intense conversation between those on both sides. Some believed the bins - which technically belong to the council - were “fair game”, while others declared that they accepted the responsibility of waste disposal when they welcomed their dogs to the family. Some simply mentioned that it was, in the end, a better solution than leaving the poo on the pavement. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

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"You heard it here for the first time": Kate Winslet settles 25-year Titanic debate

<p dir="ltr">Kate Winslet has finally weighed in on what is arguably the biggest debate in cinematic history: was there room for Jack on the floating door at the end of <em>Titanic</em>?</p> <p dir="ltr">The actress, who plays Rose in the film and got prime position on the famous piece of debris, has given her take on if there was space for Jack, played by Leo DiCaprio before his demise. </p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking on the <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/happy-sad-confused/id827905050">Happy Sad Confused Podcast</a>, the 47-year-old actress said, "I don’t f**king know. That’s the answer. I don’t f**king know.”</p> <p dir="ltr">"Look, all I can tell you is, I do have a decent understanding of water and how it behaves."</p> <p dir="ltr">Drawing on her experiences with water sports like paddle boarding, scuba diving and kitesurfing, she says she has a decent understanding of how the ocean behaves. </p> <p dir="ltr">"If you put two adults on a stand-up paddle board, it becomes immediately, extremely unstable. That is for sure," she said. "I have to be honest. I actually don’t believe that we would have survived if we had both gotten on that door. I think he would have fit, but it would have tipped and it would not have been a sustainable idea."</p> <p dir="ltr">"So, you heard it here for the first time," she exclaimed. "Yes, he could have fit on that door. But it would not have stayed afloat. It wouldn’t."</p> <p dir="ltr">The debate resurfaced in recent weeks after <em>Titanic </em>director James Cameron commissioned a forensic analysis on the famous scene.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to the <a href="https://torontosun.com/">Toronto Sun</a>, Cameron said he got experts to replicate the scene in order to "put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all."</p> <p dir="ltr">He said, "We took two stunt people who were the same body mass as Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over them and inside them and we put them in ice water and we tested to see whether they could have survived through a variety of methods and the answer was - there was no way they both could have survived. Only one could survive."</p> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 18pt;"><em>Image credits: Paramount Pictures / Getty Images</em></p>

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