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"Absolute carnage": Injured Aussie reveals turbulence horror

<p>An Aussie man who was onboard the Singapore Airlines flight that plunged <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/victim-identified-after-plane-hits-deadly-turbulence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">6000 feet</a>, leaving one dead and dozens injured, has spoken out for the first time. </p> <p>A heavily bandaged Keith Davis told <em>Today </em>that he is still in shock over what happened, and shared graphic detail of what happened straight from his hospital bed in Thailand. </p> <p>"We'd just finished a fantastic holiday in the UK and were one more flight away, nearly home - and this comes along," he said.</p> <p>The flight took off from London Heathrow on Monday night and bound for Singapore with 211 passengers on board. </p> <p>Davis and his wife were among the 56 Australian passengers when the plane was struck by severe turbulence just minutes into the beginning of the breakfast service. </p> <p>"It was absolute carnage, instantly, it was absolutely surreal and there was no warning," he recalled. </p> <p>"When you come into turbulence, there is usually some warning, but this was just a freefall and before we knew it - we were on the ceiling and then bang, we are on the ground."</p> <p>Despite looking battered and bruised, Davis said that his wounds were just superficial, and his wife had an even longer road to recovery ahead. </p> <p>"(My wife) fell into the aisle and she didn't move from then on," he said. </p> <p>"She hit the ground so hard and you know, I leant over her and said, 'hey honey, you're okay', I could see she was breathing and she could speak, but when someone hits the ground, they're going to try and get up and that wasn't happening.</p> <p>"And then I realised I was pouring blood all over her and I thought, wow, we're in a lot of serious trouble here.'</p> <p>Davis said that his wife remained conscious the whole way through, which he said was a blessing as she doesn't have a brain injury. </p> <p>"She's had a severe spinal injury and she has no sensation from her waist down," he said. </p> <p>"She's got all of her wits about her, she's strong and we just just want to get home."</p> <p>Nine Australians remain in the Bangkok hospital, and three are in the ICU with severe injuries. </p> <p>Doctors have also confirmed that a lot of those injured have got spinal issues after hitting their head and landing so hard on the ground, with several of them requiring surgery after showing signs of paralysis. </p> <p><em>Image: Today</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Two men arrested after fleeing horror crash that killed teens

<p>In a heart-wrenching incident that has sent shockwaves through the community, two teenagers <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/manhunt-as-two-men-who-fled-scene-of-fatal-car-crash-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">lost their lives</a> in a horrific car crash in Sydney's southwest.</p> <p>The tragic incident unfolded on Maxwells Ave, Ashcroft, claiming the lives of a 13-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy. The two victims were reportedly best friends, with one of them having recently celebrated his 13th birthday just the day before the fateful crash.</p> <p>The terrible accident occurred when the car they were in collided with a tree and a power pole outside a residential property. The two boys were seated in the back of the vehicle, and the impact of the crash was devastating. One of the boys was ejected from the car on impact, while the other remained trapped by his seatbelt.</p> <p>Authorities suspect that speed was a contributing factor to the accident, highlighting the importance of safe driving practices, especially when minors are involved. </p> <p>As news of the incident spread, tributes began pouring in for the two young victims online. Friends, family members, and community members expressed their grief and sorrow, describing the accident as "heartbreaking". The loss of two bright young lives has left a lasting impact on the tight-knit community.</p> <p>CCTV footage captured the entire incident, shedding light on the events that unfolded after the crash. The footage revealed the shocking actions of the two men who had been in the vehicle, namely the driver, Nicholas Thew, and his surviving passenger, Anthony Morris. It is believed that these men were either family members or friends of the two boys.</p> <p>In the footage, a dirt bike rider who had been following the car approached the crash scene and discovered one of the boys' lifeless bodies. The rider then checked on the two men in the front of the vehicle before one of the men emerged from the wreck. Afterward, the dirt bike rider departed the scene. The man who emerged from the wreck assisted in unbuckling one of the boys from his seatbelt and helped the other male out of the vehicle. Shockingly, the pair then fled the scene.</p> <p>Following an extensive investigation and manhunt, the police arrested two men, aged 23 and 27, on Tuesday around 12:30pm. Both individuals were taken to Liverpool Hospital under police guard for assessment and treatment of injuries they allegedly sustained during the crash. </p> <p>While the legal process is in motion, the community is left to grapple with the immense loss of two young lives, taken too soon. The 27-year-old man has been charged with nine offences – two counts of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death with a speed of 45 km over; two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death – drive manner dangerous; two counts of failing to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing death; never licensed person drive vehicle on road; cause bodily harm by misconduct; and negligent driving (occasioning death).</p> <p>No charges have yet been laid for the 23-year-old man.</p> <p>The grief-stricken families and friends of the victims, as well as the community at large, are rallying together to provide support and comfort during this devastating time.</p> <p>The investigation into the crash continues, and authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers. As the community mourns the loss of these two young lives, they are also seeking closure and justice for the tragic events that unfolded on that fateful morning in Ashcroft.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Legal

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“There were bodies everywhere”: Five people dead in horror pub crash

<p dir="ltr">Disturbing details have emerged from a horror crash where five people have died after a BMW crashed into a beer garden at a pub in regional Victoria. </p> <p dir="ltr">On Sunday evening in Daylesford, north of Melbourne, families were enjoying the last of the weekend at the Royal Hotel when a BMW X5 crashed into the busy venue. </p> <p dir="ltr">The pub was filled with hundreds of patrons in the hours before the crash due to the unofficial long weekend before Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup public holiday in Victoria. </p> <p dir="ltr">Superintendent John Fitzpatrick confirmed on Sunday night about 11pm four people had died at the scene: two men and a woman and a six-year-old boy, while a fifth person, a teenage girl, later died in hospital. </p> <p dir="ltr">Four others were injured, while a boy is fighting for his life in hospital. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I haven’t seen anything this drastic for a long time,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Any time you have five people die at a particular scene, it’s horrible.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“There are families that have got loved ones that are no longer going to be around.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“We don’t like to see anyone lose their life but to see a child – you don’t ever want to see anything like that.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The driver of the BMW, a 66-year-old man, was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The exact circumstances surrounding the collision are yet to be determined and investigations remain ongoing," Superintendent Fitzpatrick said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are waiting to speak to him… It’s a very complex scene.”</p> <p dir="ltr">A woman who was working at the business next door to the pub witnessed the horrific moment, recalling how she and her staff saw bodies lying on the pavement. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re all pretty shocked,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s pretty bad, I’ve never seen anything so traumatic in my life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“There were bodies everywhere, it was horrifying,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I watched the whole crash. The car went up into the sky. I thought it was just dust. It’s only now I know it was bodies.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Infrastructure Minister Catherine King, whose electorate Ballarat includes Daylesford, said the community was “devastated” by the incident. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Five people have lost their lives, and their families’ lives have changed forever. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It will really have shocked a lot of people, and I think we’re really only just coming to terms with what happened today.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“These sort of terrible accidents, the sort of level of trauma goes on for a long period of time, and people will need a lot of support and care, and the police obviously will need to undertake a significant investigation into what’s happened.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Nine News</em></p>

News

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How to avoid mobile phone bill horror stories when travelling

<p>"I'm sorry, calls to this number are not allowed, please try again later". This. Again. At 1am standing outside what I thought was our Galway Airbnb, but instead was a popular alley for Irish revellers to relieve themselves. Brilliant.</p> <p>After begging a convenience store manager, borrowing a phone and stealing some local wi-fi, we made it to bed before 3am (one-star rating for the Airbnb host, naturally). Such was the power of the phone company when you're on holiday, I still got pinged far-too-high amounts for calls and data used to attempt a check-in at the Irish abode.</p> <p>A reader recently contacted me wanting to avoid such a conundrum by asking for the best SIM cards available in Europe. Thankfully, EU law has recently shielded travellers from harsh cross-border roaming charges by ruling that providers cannot charge excessively for access to rival networks in fellow EU nations.</p> <p>You'll see the kiosks hawking pre-paid SIM packages at many major airports. If you want the dependability a SIM provides, assess your needs and shop around. </p> <p>Better yet, get to know your smartphone better and use the whole range of mobile apps that will soon make international call and text roaming redundant. Organising hotels, taxis, tours, dinner reservations as well as calling home and making your friends and colleagues jealous with holiday snaps can all be done with a wi-fi connections, which are readily available and far cheaper (if not free).</p> <p><strong>Avoid phone bill shock when you're away</strong></p> <ul> <li>Contact your mobile phone company rep about your destination and length of stay to see what add-ons and spending caps may be best.</li> <li>Only purchase local SIMs if you're in the country more than a week, have an unplanned itinerary or will have no free wi-fi at your accommodation.</li> <li>If you're on a per-day bundle, choose a few days to be on-the-grid and turn off your mobile data on other days.</li> <li>Go wi-fi only, in North American, Asian and European cities it's readily available.</li> <li>Embrace apps like Uber, Gett, WhatsApp, OpenTable and TripAdvisor to book taxis, call home and book restaurants and tours using hotel wi-fi and thus limiting calls.</li> </ul> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>Written by Josh Martin. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Father of truck driver arrested for horror school bus crash speaks out

<p>The truck driver who crashed into a bus, causing it to roll over with school children inside on May 16, is “very distressed” over the incident, his father revealed.</p> <p>"He's going to take a while to get over this,” renowned horse trainer Robert Gleeson told<em> A Current Affair</em> of his truck driver son Jamie Gleeson.</p> <p>"He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and unfortunately there was a bus there as well," Robert said.</p> <p>Police reported 49-year-old Jamie was driving dangerously when he rear-ended the bus carrying 45 students from Exford Primary School, leaving some with amputated limbs.</p> <p>Jamie is a father of two boys aged 17 and 18.</p> <p>He’s been driving trucks for 20 years and was just minutes away from home when he told police he saw the “sun flicker” through the trees before the crash.</p> <p>The court hearing on May 18 heard Jamie has no criminal history and that initial test results ruled out him being drunk or on drugs.</p> <p>He remained on the scene and called triple zero.</p> <p>"He got out and helped take the kids out of the bus," Robert said.</p> <p>"Jamie's nature is a very soft person. He cares about people very much and that was his natural reaction.”</p> <p>Jamie’s family said he’s been a respected volunteer at the Country Fire Authority (CFA) for about 15 years and during that time, he has witnessed all kinds of incidents just like the tragic crash.</p> <p>His father said the horror incident is not something that will go away for Jamie overnight, and all they can do as a family is give him support as things “take their course”.</p> <p>"He'll have to live with it for the rest of his life but hopefully these kids in the bus and the families can repair," Robert said.</p> <p>Robert said his son is heartbroken and unable to speak publicly due to the court case.</p> <p>"He's very distraught. He's more distressed about the fact there's children involved and families involved," Robert said.</p> <p>"It's one of those distressing things that's happened and we can't undo that and unfortunately a lot of people will be affected by this with their children.”</p> <p>Jamie is one of two drivers for trucking company L&amp;J Cartage.</p> <p>He has been prohibited from driving trucks while on bail.</p> <p>The bus driver involved in the crash has now returned home.</p> <p>"It'll take him some time to work through and we'll support him," Christian's Buses director Campbell Christian said.</p> <p>Robert said his family are thinking of everyone involved.</p> <p>"Our heart goes out to the families of these children," he said.</p> <p>"Fortunately there's no fatalities in this accident and if there had been, it would have been a much worse scenario than what we have now."</p> <p><em>Image credit: A Current Affair</em></p>

Caring

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10 horror travel stories that will make you think twice about that destination

<p>From terrorist attacks and natural disasters to good old-fashioned scams, you might want to think twice about that next holiday.</p> <p><strong>1. A very expensive meal, Vietnam</strong></p> <p>Last year an Aussie tourist was charged around $40,000 for a single meal at a restaurant in Vietnam after the manager fraudulently used his credit card.  A staff member swiped the diner’s credit card numerous times after he told him there had been an error. In reality he was taking a large sum of money straight from his account.</p> <p><strong>2. Honeymooner murdered in paradise, Mauritius</strong></p> <p>Mauritius is one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations. But in 2011 27 year old newlywed Michaela McAreavey was strangled in the bathtub of her room. Two hotel workers were charged though were eventually cleared, meaning the crime has never been solved. Tragically, her body was returned to Ireland and she was buried in her wedding dress at the same church where she had been married just 12 days before.</p> <p><strong>3. In flight toilet nightmare, Los Angeles</strong></p> <p>A Virgin Australia flight from Los Angeles to Sydney was forced to turn around after one of the toilets exploded, sending water and waste pouring into the aisles. The smell was so bad that passengers were given face masks to wear and had to wait at least three hours before they could land again at LAX.</p> <p><strong>4. Hotel terrorist attack, India</strong></p> <p>In 2008 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant organisation based in Pakistan carried out a series of coordinated terrorist attacks over four days in Mumbai. Two of the locations targeted were hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi Trident with a number of hostages taken, including foreign tourists. 61 people were killed in the hotels, with 166 killed around the city.</p> <p><strong>5. Britons contract Zika, Florida</strong></p> <p>In 2016, the Zika virus was all over the news though many people assumed the danger was restricted to South America. However, two unlucky British tourists travelling to the state of Florida contracted the disease. Zika has been linked to serious birth defects microencephaly, which limits brain development.</p> <p><strong>6. Thousands die in Boxing Day tsunami, Asia</strong></p> <p>On Boxing Day in 2004 a 9.2 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Sumatra. The resulting tsunami killed an estimated 230,000 people across 14 countries in Southeast Asia. Among the dead were around 2,000 foreign tourists who had been holidaying in the coastal resorts of the region. Germany and Sweden were the worst effected, making up around 1,000 of the casualties.</p> <p><strong>7. Corrupt police demand huge bribes, Bali</strong></p> <p>The Indonesian island of Bali is the most popular international destination for Australian tourists. But for one group of men it quickly became a nightmare. The 16 men were celebrating a bucks party when police and private guards burst into their restaurant, tasered and pistol whipped them, and demanded $25,000 in ‘fines’. The men were told they faced 10 years jail if they didn’t pay up.</p> <p><strong>8. Gunman storms a casino, Philippines</strong></p> <p>At least 37 people were killed and many more injured in June 2017 when a gunman stormed into the gaming floor of Resorts World Manila, setting fire to gaming tables with gasoline. Most of the casualties died due to smoke inhalation and suffocation, and the gunman was also killed. Authorities said his motivation was robbery, not terrorism.</p> <p><strong>9. Unexplained deaths on Koh Tao, Thailand</strong></p> <p>One of Thailand’s most popular islands, the diving paradise of Koh Tao, has earned the name ‘Death Island’ after a number of unexplained cases in recent years. At least eight foreigners have been killed or died under mysterious circumstances since 2014. Many people accuse the corrupt Thai police for failing to adequately investigate the cases.</p> <p><strong>10. Tragic death in a water tank, Los Angeles</strong></p> <p>In February 2013 guests at the Hotel Cecil in downtown LA began complaining that the tap water had a strange colour and taste, and there was little pressure. Little did they know that the decomposing body of 21 year old Canadian tourist Elisa Lam was floating in the water tank on the roof. Elisa, who had bipolar disorder, had been in the tank for 18 days. Her death has never been explained, though there is security footage of her behaving strangely prior to going missing.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Cruise ship employee caught filming women in bathroom

<p>Some people are determined to ruin everything for everyone, but these adamant cruise ship passengers were not about to let that be the case for their holiday. </p> <p>While onboard what should have been a relaxing cruise with MSC, female passengers made the horrific discovery that a member of staff was hiding in a women’s bathroom stall and recording those who were in there. To make matters worse, the bathroom was located next to the ship’s Kid’s Club. </p> <p>One of the passengers, a woman named Saja, shared footage of the moment she and some others - along with a member of the ship’s housekeeping team - confronted the Peeping Tom.</p> <p>In the clip, the housekeeping employee can be seen knocking on the stall’s door, but after backing away, another passenger took it upon herself to continue the work of trying to lure the man out. </p> <p>It worked, and the man - dressed in an MSC employee uniform - eventually cracked open the door, admitting “I was wrong.” </p> <p>“You need to call security,” one passenger said, “because he’s an employee.” </p> <p>“He was filming you?” another passenger, who had come upon the scene, asked. Saja confirmed that he had been. </p> <p>“I just saw a camera pointing at me,” she went on to explain, before the footage wraps up after it was suggested she “get the guy’s name”. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to the text across the video, this was the third incident of unauthorised filming to occur that evening.</p> <div class="embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; vertical-align: baseline; width: 620.262px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7204687670193163563&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40sajac4%2Fvideo%2F7204687670193163563&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign.tiktokcdn-us.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast5-p-0068-tx%2F465b5429788641eaa988928e37f0ba1d_1677472083%3Fx-expires%3D1679050800%26x-signature%3DVsmd8k6pQzjCJ97oY%252FPC5fkh9H8%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr">Saja later shared an update to her TikTok account, writing that the man had been removed from the ship, and that her goal had not been to bring shame down upon the cruise line, but instead to raise awareness, in the hope of protecting anyone else who might consider such a situation on their next trip.</p> <p>“I have been contacted by authorities and have been informed that the gentleman in the video has been deported. My goal is NOT to disgrace a cruise line for the acts of one of their employees,” she stated, before going on to stress that she and her companions had had a great time otherwise, and that the rest of the ship’s crew had been wonderful, as “some of the best staff I had the privilege of meeting.”</p> <p>“I have not been compensated in any way shape or form, or had contact with the cruise line,” she wrote for the update, “nor am I interested. Just wanted to spread awareness.”</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Cruising

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Mum's horror after life-saving transplant is left on tarmac

<p>A Queensland mother is desperately searching for answers after her sick young son’s critical bone marrow transplant was left on the tarmac in the United States.</p> <p>Six-year-old Mateoh had been waiting three and a half years for the transplant. His mother, Shalyn Eggleton, says she’s “really frustrated” and is living “in hell” as she tries to get to the bottom of how such an immeasurable mistake could happen.</p> <p>The family are yet to receive answers from officials on how long the transplant had been left at the airport and are now waiting for the marrow, which is a rare match to Mateoh, to be sent to Australia to assess whether it's still viable.</p> <p>"The biggest thing to understand is, how could something like a big medical protocol and procedure be left behind at an airport when it should technically be supervised 24/7?" Shalyn told Today.</p> <p>"We have received no reasons, nothing, pretty much.</p> <p>"I will be doing all that digging myself because it's unacceptable.</p> <p>"He's fought three and a half years...and for someone to be so neglectful and just naive when it comes to such a thing like this.</p> <p>"Like, this is what he's been waiting for and someone's just left it behind.” She continued.</p> <p>Mateoh suffers from chronic granulomatous disease, a genetic disorder that leaves his white blood cells unable to fight off certain types of infections.</p> <p>The 6-year-old also suffers from an additional syndrome that causes his red blood cells to attack his body.</p> <p>"Through the last 18 months, we trialled nine different things," Shalyn said.</p> <p>"Like plasma, different haem therapy drugs, adult chemotherapy drugs, but nothing has worked.</p> <p>"We were told at the end of last year I have to make the decision whether to do the transplant or not, knowing that it's our last option.</p> <p>"And looking how well he is (there was) no way I could stop treatment.</p> <p>"So my option was to go transplant, it did take a little bit to find a donor, our first donor actually rejected and declined...this donor has taken a while.</p> <p>"This person in America has gone out of their way to go and be harvested, it's not affected me, it's someone else that has donated to Mateoh and now that's been left behind.</p> <p>"It's a lot for us.”</p> <p>Shalyn shared that Mateoh is undergoing chemotherapy to “keep him going” while they wait for the transplant.</p> <p>"That's how we prolong it at the moment, chemo," she said.</p> <p>"All the blood we've been giving him, he has a significant iron overload.</p> <p>"That's what we need. We need the transplant to try and move on and try and fix him, because it's unfair on him."</p> <p><em>Images: Today show</em></p>

Caring

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Dad’s horror at six-year-old’s massive bill

<p>A young boy from Michigan has learned a tasty lesson in money management.</p> <p>Six-year-old Mason Stonehouse had been playing on his dad’s phone when he discovered his soon-to-be favourite app - food delivery service Grubhub. </p> <p>After putting his son to bed, Mason’s father Keith was shocked to find delivery drivers began to frequent their doorstep, one after the other leaving something behind. Keith likened the strange evening to a<em> Saturday Night Live</em> skit, and in doorbell camera footage he could be heard asking one of the drivers “what the hell is going on?” </p> <p>A look at his phone confirmed that Mason had pulled off a parent’s nightmare - the boy had ordered almost $2,000 (AUD) of food from restaurants all across their town. </p> <p>Speaking with <em>TODAY.com</em>, Keith explained that the two were having father and son time in front of the TV when Mason asked to use Keith’s phone. Mason often uses his dad’s phone to play educational games, so Keith thought nothing of it, allowing Mason 30 minutes with the device. </p> <p>Keith recalled how Mason made his way downstairs to play, and went to bed without a fuss when his half hour was up. </p> <p>“A 6-year-old going to bed is not normally an easy thing but he was surprisingly really good,” he said. “There was no fight, no ‘I’m hungry’, or making up stuff to stay up. He just went to bed, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing, I wish Mom was here to witness this’. And all of a sudden I hear the doorbell.”</p> <p>To various news outlets, Keith has mentioned how it was “car after car” that kept “coming and coming” to the family’s home in Chesterfield Township. In his own Facebook post about the incident, he shared Mason’s shopping list, telling his friends “if you’re hungry and you’re in the mood for 5 orders of jumbo shrimp, salad, grape leaves, rice, 3 hanis, several orders of chilli cheese fries, chicken shawarma sandwiches, and plenty of Ice cream - swing on by SMH.”</p> <p>Keith saw Mason’s delectable adventure to an end when his bank declined an order of $635 (AUD) for pepperoni pizza. As he told <em>Good Morning America</em>, this “would’ve been on top of the $1,000 worth of food that was piling in my kitchen.”</p> <p>This wasn’t even Mason’s first order of the evening from the same establishment - Happy’s Pizza for a happy Mason - with a sizable jumbo shrimp delivery already having made it to their doorstep. </p> <p><em>MLive.com </em>heard from Keith that he tried to speak to Mason about what had happened, but soon discovered that their priorities weren’t exactly aligned, “I was trying to explain to him that this wasn’t good and he puts his hand up and stops me and says, ‘Dad, did the pepperoni pizzas come yet?’”</p> <p>“I had to walk out of the room. I didn’t know if I should get mad or laugh,” he admitted. </p> <p>Whether the entire situation prompted more amusement or exasperation from the Stonehouses, they assured everyone that none of Mason’s bouncy went to waste, with the food going to their neighbours, and their phones well away from Mason’s sneaky shopping. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook </em></p>

Money & Banking

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5 of the eeriest abandoned hospitals and asylums around the world

<h2>From places of healing to horror</h2> <p>For some people, the allure – even the eeriness – of abandoned places draws them to dilapidated destinations year-round. For others, visiting vacant Victorians and otherwise abandoned mansions, or scrolling through images of abandoned castles, is a yearly tradition that gets them in the Halloween spirit. And when it comes to spooky structures, it doesn’t get much more creepy than abandoned hospitals and asylums.</p> <p>Hospitals are vacated and left to decay for a variety of reasons – maybe a larger location is needed, buildings have been damaged and repairs are too costly, or the disease the hospital was created to treat has been eradicated. Similarly, most of the psychiatric hospitals constructed in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries – previously known as ‘mental asylums’ – no longer exist. Their doors were closed in the second half of the 20th century, following the development of medications used to treat mental illness and the shift away from permanent institutionalisation and toward a community-based model of care.</p> <p>But regardless of why their hallways went dark, there’s something unsettling about these empty medical facilities. Even if you wanted to visit them, most are closed to the public. So we’ve done the next best thing and rounded up photos of some of the most chilling abandoned hospitals and asylums in the world.</p> <h2>Old Mental Hospital</h2> <p><strong>Location: Hong Kong</strong></p> <p>This eerie, now-abandoned hospital in Hong Kong’s Western District, known today as the Old Mental Hospital, has had several lives. Completed in 1892, the L-shaped building was originally constructed as quarters for the medical staff of the Government Civil Hospital. The building’s rusticated granite blocks, wide verandah and decorative pinnacles and parapets belied its next life as a psychiatric ward for the hospital’s female patients, which it was until 1961, when the Castle Peak Hospital opened. For the next 10 years, the Old Mental Hospital was used as a psychiatric outpatient treatment centre, and in 1998, work began to convert it into the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex. Though most of the complex is new, the original granite facade remains, and it was declared a monument in 2015.</p> <h2>District of Columbia General Hospital</h2> <p><strong>Location: Washington, DC, USA</strong></p> <p>The first public health hospital in the US capital – the Washington Infirmary – was founded in 1806 as a place to care for the city’s ‘poor, disabled and infirm persons.’ Because of its role as not only a hospital but also a workhouse and poorhouse, it was renamed the Washington Asylum, and in 1846, it moved to a larger site that would become its permanent home. Over the years, the asylum was used as a smallpox hospital, quarantine station, disinfection plant and crematory. In 1922, the city constructed a new health-care facility, Gallinger Municipal Hospital, which was renamed District of Columbia General Hospital in 1953. Following the hospital’s closure in 2001, the hospital – known as DC General – was used as a shelter for unhoused families until its closure in 2018.</p> <h2>Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum</h2> <p><strong>Location: West Virginia, USA</strong></p> <p>One of the most popular abandoned asylums to visit in the United States – also known as the Weston State Hospital and, ominously, the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane – the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was constructed between 1858 and 1881. It’s often touted as the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America and the second-largest in the world, after the Kremlin. But regardless of its ranking, the hospital is enormous, comprising nine acres of floor space under three-and-a-half acres of roof.</p> <p>Like most psychiatric hospitals of the era, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was intended to provide high-quality mental-health care in a state-of-the-art facility. But by the 1950s, it was overcrowded – housing roughly 2400 patients in a building designed to hold 250 – and conditions deteriorated until it closed its doors in 1994. Given that its cavernous halls are now open for tours and paranormal investigations, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of rumours related to the asylum.</p> <h2>North Wales Hospital</h2> <p><strong>Location: Denbigh, Denbighshire, Wales</strong></p> <p>Built between 1844 and 1848, the North Wales Hospital opened as a facility for Welsh-speaking people living with mental illness. Despite three expansions, the hospital was consistently overcrowded, reaching its peak population of more than 1500 patients in 1948. Changes in the treatment of mental illness – especially the use of medication – left patient numbers dwindling, and the hospital announced its closure in 1987.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the North Wales Hospital has been abandoned since it closed in 1995, and years of neglect, vandalism and theft have left it dilapidated. The local government hopes to restore the structures, given that the hospital is considered ‘an exceptionally fine and pioneering example of early Victorian asylum architecture.’ For now, the abandoned buildings and grounds are closed to the public.</p> <h2>Poveglia Island</h2> <p><strong>Location: Poveglia Island, Italy</strong></p> <p>Located in the Venetian Lagoon, Poveglia Island is a quick boat ride from St Mark’s Square. But unlike that crowded tourist spot, it’s eerily empty. Thanks to its dark history, Poveglia has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Europe, making it a frequent stop for paranormal investigators. Its ties to illness go back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when the island was used as a quarantine station for ships sailing into the Port of Venice.</p> <p>In 1922, Poveglia’s abandoned hospitals and other structures were converted into an asylum. A nursing home was the final medical facility to open on the island, and in 1968, the last to close. Poveglia has been uninhabited since and is not open to the public. But while many of the rumours and ghost stories associated with the island have been proven false, there are still some <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/10-strange-urban-legends-turned-out-be-true" target="_blank" rel="noopener">true urban legends</a> out there.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/15-of-the-eeriest-abandoned-hospitals-and-asylums-around-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Let's do the Time Warp again! Jason Donovan to star in Rocky Horror

<p>Jason Donovan is returning to Australia to don the iconic fishnets, corset and platform heels of Dr Frank N Furter in a 50th anniversary production of <em>The Rocky Horror Show</em>. </p> <p>It's not the first time the Neighbours actor has played the character, previously transforming into the cult classic for the 25th anniversary of <em>Rocky Horror</em> back in 1998.</p> <p>The role was originally brought to life on screen by Tim Curry in the <em>Rocky Horror Picture Show</em> in 1975, after finding years of success on the West End as a broadway show. </p> <p>Now reprising the role, Donovan told <a href="https://7news.com.au/sunrise/jason-donovan-returning-to-australia-to-star-in-the-rocky-horror-show--c-8565500" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sunrise</em></a> he is excited to lose himself in the chaotic world once again. </p> <p>“You’ve really got to come out of yourself, quite extroverted in a way, and there’s a bit of naughtiness and cheekiness in this character,” Donovan told Edwina Bartholomew.</p> <p>“But what really drives me to this role is the music and the fantasy of the story - it appeals to that cheeky side in all of us, and, as an actor, that’s an interesting place to start, with a great character and some great songs.”</p> <p>“Theatre has been incredibly good to me as well and that’s why something like Rocky is really a great moment, to be able to bring Rocky back to Australia and celebrate my craft and what I’ve learnt, at the age I am, to Australian audiences is something I’m very excited about, so look out Sydney here I come.”</p> <p>In June this year, he was asked to perform at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert - an honour that holds even greater significance now.</p> <p>“I was in Australia when I was rung by Andrew Lloyd Webber, he left a message and said ‘I don’t know where you are, but give me a call’ ... and I rang him back and he said ‘would you be up for performing at the Jubilee?’ and I said ‘sure’."</p> <p>“I didn’t understand the gravity of what the concert meant - and that moment meant ... it’s certainly, in my career, one of the biggest things I’ve been involved with.”</p> <p>The new Australian production of <em>The Rocky Horror Show</em> will open at <a href="https://rockyhorror.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Theatre Royal Sydney</a> in February 2023, also starring Myf Warhurst as The Narrator.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Film Publicity Archives</em></p>

Music

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"They’re making money off tragedy": Netflix’s Dahmer series shows the dangers of fictionalising real horrors

<p>Netflix’s recent series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has stirred <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63088009" target="_blank" rel="noopener">controversy</a> over its apparent glamorisation of a serial killer and perceived insensitivity towards the families of Dahmer’s victims.</p> <p>In contrast to more journalistic true crime entertainment (<a href="https://theconversation.com/true-crime-entertainment-like-the-teachers-pet-can-shine-a-light-on-cold-cases-but-does-it-help-or-hinder-justice-being-served-189787" target="_blank" rel="noopener">which has its own issues</a>), the dramatisation and fictionalisation of real-life crimes, such as Dahmer, has drawn a wave of criticism for re-traumatising victims and their loved ones, and glorifying criminals.</p> <h2>Artistic license or sensationalist schlock?</h2> <p>Whether presenting itself as an accurate retelling or merely “inspired by true events” – there is always going to be some artistic license when transforming a complex true crime story into a movie or TV series.</p> <p>While changes from real life to screen are often relatively minor, such as having multiple police officers represented by one fictionalised detective, others can significantly misrepresent events.</p> <p>Anne Schwartz, the journalist who broke the original Dahmer story, has called the recent Dahmer Netflix series “not a helpful representation”. In an interview with the <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/anne-e-schwartz-jeffrey-dahmer-autopsy-polaroids-b2194855.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Independent</a>, Schwartz criticised the caricatured depiction of law enforcement in the series. She also took aim at key plot elements, such as having key witness Glenda Cleveland (played by Niecy Nash) live next door to Dahmer, rather than in the building next door (as in real life).</p> <p>Other dramatisations of real-life crimes have gone much further, adding sensationalist – and even downright supernatural – elements to true events.</p> <p><a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7976208/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Haunting of Sharon Tate</a>, written and directed by Daniel Farrands and released in 2019, was universally panned by critics and audiences alike for graphically depicting the real life murder of actress Sharon Tate by the Manson family.</p> <p>In the film, Tate (played by Hilary Duff) has apparent premonitions of her murder in her dreams, with the film ending with a meeting of Manson’s victims in the afterlife. Film critic Owen Gleiberman <a href="https://variety.com/2019/film/reviews/the-haunting-of-sharon-tate-review-hilary-duff-1203179977/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">called</a> the film “pure, unadulterated cheeseball exploitation” opining that it “goes out of its way to turn the Manson murders into schlock horror”.</p> <h2>Re-traumatising victims and their families</h2> <p>Victims of crime and their loved ones are frequently angered and re-traumatised when their real-life stories become fodder for public consumption.</p> <p>The families of homicide victims are particularly disadvantaged when encountering inaccurate or insulting depictions of their loved ones, given legal protections of reputation, such as claims in defamation, don’t apply if the person defamed is deceased.</p> <p>Some of the families of Dahmer’s victims have expressed outrage at the Netflix series, noting that they were never approached about the show’s release. Rital Isbell, whose brother was murdered by Dahmer, had her heart-breaking victim impact statement dramatised in the series without her knowledge or consent. She called the series “harsh and careless” in a <a href="https://www.insider.com/rita-isbell-sister-jeffrey-dahmer-victim-talks-about-netflix-show-2022-9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">piece</a> in Insider expressing that “It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy”.</p> <p>The question of who benefits from depictions of real-life crimes is an important one, with large studios and streaming platforms earning millions while victims and their families are often left to bear the consequences of increased public attention.</p> <p>Australian films haven’t been immune to this tension between artistic freedom and the wishes of victim’s families. The 1997 Australian film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118735/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Blackrock</a>, directed by Steven Vidler and adapted from a play by Nick Enright was clearly <a href="http://www.textjournal.com.au/oct09/brien.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">inspired by</a> (although denied by Enright) the real-life rape and murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl <a href="https://7news.com.au/original-fyi/crime-story-investigator/leigh-leigh-remembering-murdered-14-year-old-stockton-girl-30-years-on-c-535209" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Leigh Leigh</a> in 1987. Leigh’s family were highly critical upon the film’s release finding the depiction exploitative and accusing the filmmakers of “feasting on an unfortunate situation”.</p> <h2>Making celebrities out of serial killers</h2> <p>The rise of online “fandoms” surrounding real-life killers is an increasingly documented phenomena likely tied to the increased pop culturalisation of true crime.</p> <p>Social media site Tumblr has a variety of dedicated fan accounts for history’s monsters, with everyone from serial killer Richard Ramirez to school shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold getting special treatment.</p> <p>Researcher Andrew Rico sees such fandoms as partially motivated by an urge to <a href="https://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/671" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shock and scandalise</a> the public, but notes they also indicate the tabloid depiction of criminals such as schools shooters has led to a form of dark celebrity. This is supported by the work of doctoral student Sasha Artamonova, who views dark fandoms as a kind of “<a href="https://www.academia.edu/32699599/Rebels_with_a_Cause_School_Shooters_Fandom_as_a_Form_of_Counterculture" target="_blank" rel="noopener">counter-culture</a>” movement rallying against moral norms.</p> <p>The Dahmer Netflix series has <a href="https://uk.style.yahoo.com/why-hollywood-obsessed-casting-teen-134800169.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">received criticism</a> for casting Evan Peters as Jeffery Dahmer, given his status as a teen heartthrob who rose to fame in creator Ryan Murphy’s far more lighthearted horror series American Horror Story. The Gen Z populated TikTok is full of fan videos of his depiction of Dahmer.</p> <p>Similar criticism was levelled at another Netflix series Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile which cast Highschool Musical star Zac Efron as serial rapist and murderer Ted Bundy.</p> <p>An unhealthy obsession with serial killers is, of course, nothing new – Jeffery Dahmer received <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Dahmer-Letters-Milwaukee-Cannibal/dp/B0B72T273N" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many positive letters</a> and even marriage proposals while incarcerated.</p> <p>However, some worry the recent trend of casting attractive celebrities as serial killers could have flow on effects. One writer in Odyssey <a href="https://www.theodysseyonline.com/hollywood-romanticizes-serial-killers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">noted</a> that “young and impressionable youth of today might find themselves empathising with and falling for people who are actually dangerous”.</p> <p>Whether such concerns are prescient or a textbook example of moral panic remains to be seen.</p> <p>Ultimately, there will always be an audience for stories of the murderous and macabre, with fascination in the darker side of life an incredibly common human impulse.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/theyre-making-money-off-tragedy-netflixs-dahmer-series-shows-the-dangers-of-fictionalising-real-horrors-192006" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Netflix</em></p>

TV

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“I live in a tent”: Horror renovations see woman living in home with no roof

<p dir="ltr">A woman and her son have been left living in a “tent” home filled with mould, exposed wiring and holes after renovation plans went horribly wrong.</p> <p dir="ltr">In February 2020, Jill Harris hired Extension Factory to extend and add a second storey to her Melbourne home.</p> <p dir="ltr">Two years later, she says she has been left living in poor conditions after numerous problems plagued the construction work.</p> <p dir="ltr">With tarps replacing the roof overhead, Ms Harris said the home is flooded by “waterfalls that leak through the light fittings” when it rains and that the only thing her home was good for was Halloween.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I call this the tent. I live in the tent because there is no roof over my room or my son‘s room,” she told <em>A Current Affair</em>.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-753fe61a-7fff-bc70-a1b0-3fb26a2702bf"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“I have good days where I try to be positive and I have the lowest of lows.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/aca-house-damage.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Exposed wiring, holes, and a lack of a watertight roof have been just some of the issues Jill Harris has faced while living in her unfinished home. Images: A Current Affair</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Harris said the builders first built the storey out of square, forcing them to knock it all down and start again.</p> <p dir="ltr">“(It) just went completely wrong from there. They built it 160mm out of square, which we didn't find out till 12 months later,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Work was eventually stopped by surveyor Steve Maloney after the builders allegedly continued work without the permission of the inspector.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Maloney said work needed to stop because of the “owner(s) and their builders' compliances with the building legislation”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Since then, Ms Harris has turned her unfinished home into a warning against the company, adorning the front with signs reading that the company is “destroying our lives”, “doesn’t care” and that “a contract with them means nothing”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-98e35689-7fff-0363-0578-8796f43ec3b1"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ts (sic) cheaper for the “Extension Factory” to put this in the hands than it is to honour my contract with them and finish my home. Tens of thousands of dollars of mistakes, so they gave up and use lawyers to protect them!” another sign reads.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/extension-factory1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>After no resolution was reached to finish her home, Jill Harris let out her frustration against Extension Factory through signs displayed in front of her home. Image: A Current Affair</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Gerry Hoggard, the owner of Extension Factory, conceded that there had been issues with the property and said he could appreciate Ms Harris being upset.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It certainly was an error, it was built out of square, we accepted responsibility and took it down,” Mr Hoggard said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know what she’s living through.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I don’t like it (my name) being treated that way, but I can appreciate she‘s upset about what’s transpired.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Although he claimed that Ms Harris was advised to vacate the property at the start of the build, her brother Ashley, a former Extension Factory employee, said it wasn’t going to happen.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s not the sort of job that you would leave anyone occupying the premises,” Mr Hoggard said.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Ms Harris said she wasn’t told that she would need to vacate her property.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>A Current Affair </em>reported that it alerted the Victorian Building Authority to Ms Harris’ situation, prompting the organisation to release a statement.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The Victorian Building Authority takes complaints against building and plumbing practitioners extremely seriously,” it read, adding that the building authority carries out thousands of inspections to ensure work is compliant.</p> <p dir="ltr">"When it doesn't, we use the powers available to us to hold practitioners accountable."</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0ed70c5a-7fff-44b9-bdcc-0831adfcf2d3"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em> Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

Real Estate

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"10 seconds left to live": Skydive survivor recalls horror moment

<p>Young Aussie Emma Carey has recalled the gut-wrenching moment she realised she only had “10 seconds left to live” during a freak skydiving accident that happened nine years ago.</p> <p>Emma Carey, now almost 29, is lucky to be alive after her parachute became tangled and then strangled her instructor during a tandem skydive. The pair fell 14,000ft out of the sky.</p> <p>The accident unfortunately went down on the fifth day of her three-month long overseas trip when she decided to skydive in Switzerland alongside her best friend. Emma realised something was seriously wrong when she spotted the parachute flapping out in front of her rather than in the air above. When the parachute was finally deployed it became tangled with the strings of the safety chute and choked her instructor, causing him to pass out almost instantly.</p> <p>“I remember thinking, oh my god Jemma will have to find me on the ground, I remember thinking about my family and the main thing I remember feeling is regret for not embracing myself fully up until that point” she shared.</p> <p>The then-20-year-old copped the brunt of the fall, landing facedown with the instructor on top of her. Quickly trying to roll him off, she became distraught realising she couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. Ms Carey was rushed to hospital where surgeons operated on her back and pelvis. Her spine was broken in two places, rendering her a paraplegic.</p> <p>After recovering from surgery, she was reunited with her family and friends in Australia where she started rehabilitation. By some miracle, she slowly but surely began to get the feeling back in her legs and eventually learned to walk, albeit with a small limp.</p> <p>However, Ms Carey has remained positive throughout the ordeal and now looks at the terrifying moment she felt sure she was going to die as a “rebirth”.</p> <p>“I know how it feels. To think I only have 10 seconds left to live and now I get the rest of my life, whatever that is, so I think it's actually really nice for me to have that memory because it helps to keep me grateful,” she said.</p> <p>Carey has written a book “the girl who fell from the sky” detailing the day her life was changed forever.<br />It has been nine years since the shocking incident and little did she know, nine years later she would be where she is today.</p> <p><em>Image: Nine</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Anne Heche's blood test results revealed after horror smash

<p dir="ltr">An investigation of Anne Heche’s blood results have detected “the presence of drugs” following <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/new-details-of-actor-anne-heche-s-fiery-crash" target="_blank" rel="noopener">her horror smash</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The US actress was pulled out of her burning car after she smashed into a mansion in Los Angeles while driving a terrifying 140km/h on August 5.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 53-year-old suffered severe injuries and soon after the crash fell into a coma and has not regained consciousness since. </p> <p dir="ltr">Almost a week after the incident, a Los Angeles Police Department Public Information Officer confirmed there was a “presence of drugs” in Anne’s blood system. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Based on the blood draw, it revealed the presence of drugs, however additional testing is required to rule out any substances that were administered at the hospital as part of her medical treatment,” they told <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/anne-heche-blood-test-revealed-presence-of-drugs" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Fox News Digital</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Any secondary drugs [takes] up to 30 days for [a] secondary test to come back.” </p> <p dir="ltr">TMZ previously reported that Anne had cocaine in her system upon arrival at the hospital, but that is yet to be confirmed. </p> <p dir="ltr">The crash is currently being investigated by the LAPD who have confirmed that if Anne is found to have been drunk she would face significant charges. </p> <p dir="ltr">"If found intoxicated, [Heche] could be charged with misdemeanour DUI hit and run. No arrests have been made so far,” a representative said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Anne’s representative has confirmed that she is in an “extreme critical condition”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention,” her representative said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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Actress fighting for her life after horror car crash

<p>US actress Anne Heche is fighting for her life following a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/new-details-of-actor-anne-heche-s-fiery-crash" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fiery car crash</a> in Los Angeles.</p> <p>The 53-year-old crashed her Mini Cooper into a house at a great speed, and was subsequently hospitalised with severe burns. </p> <p>According to the New York Post, the star is reportedly in a "critical condition".</p> <p>A spokesperson for Heche told the Post, "Shortly after the accident, Anne Heche became unconscious, slipping into a coma."</p> <p>They explained that Heche, who also crashed into an apartment garage earlier in the day, suffered "significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention".</p> <p>The Post also reported that the Los Angeles Police Department received a warrant to test the actress' blood, as they worked to determine if the crash was a result of drugs and alcohol.</p> <p>According to the Post, a representative for the LAPD confirmed the warrant was "obtained the same day as the traffic collision, which was August 5. The warrant was to draw blood, and an investigation is ongoing pending the blood test results."</p> <p>"If found intoxicated, [Heche] could be charged with misdemeanour DUI hit and run. No arrests have been made so far."</p> <p>Witnesses to Heche's first crash tried to help the star out of the vehicle, but she allegedly backed up and drove off before crashing into another home where her car became "engulfed" in flames.</p> <p>Aerial shots from the accident show smoke billowing out of the home she crashed into while photos from the scene capture Heche being put on a stretcher before being taken to hospital. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Caring

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Horror crash sees cyclist launch into crowd

<p>The opening session of the track cycling event at the Commonwealth Games has been cancelled after a horrific crash left several athletes and spectators injured. </p> <p>A cyclist and his bike were catapulted over the barrier and into the crowd in an incident that brought down several riders in a sickening scene during the men’s 15km scratch race qualifying at the Lee Valley Velodrome.</p> <p>Medical staff rushed to the area where they were seen tending to British cyclist Matt Walls for more than 40 minutes before he was taken to hospital. </p> <p>England’s Commonwealth Games team then provided a positive update on Matt's condition later in the day. </p> <p>“Matt is alert and talking (as he has been throughout) and is being given medical attention in hospital,” the team statement read.</p> <p>The 24-year-old was trying to avoid riders who had fallen in a crash lower down the banking but as he rode up, he clipped another wheel and went over the top into the crowd.</p> <p>Witnesses said that, because of the gradient of the banking, spectators in the front row had been unsighted for the crash.</p> <p>One man received treatment for cuts to his arm while a young girl also received medical attention.</p> <p>Isle of Man rider Matt Bostock was also taken away from the scene on a stretcher. </p> <p>A Birmingham 2022 spokesperson said three riders and two spectators were treated by the on-site medical team.</p> <p>All three riders were taken to hospital, while the spectators were tended to at the scene. </p> <p>The session was abandoned moments later with one more event still scheduled. </p> <p>England’s Commonwealth Games Team released a preliminary statement sending its best wishes to all those involved.</p> <p>“Following a crash in the cycling men’s scratch race, Matt Walls has been taken to hospital for precautionary checks,” the statement read.</p> <p>“We send our best wishes to the riders and spectators involved in the incident, and will provide a further update when we can.”</p> <p>England’s racing team also tweeted, “Thoughts are with all the riders involved in the crash in the velodrome.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

News

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Bride's horror story after discovering bloodstains on her wedding dress

<p>A young bride has relived the moment she discovered blood-sucking leeches underneath her wedding dress just moments after her first dance.</p> <p>Madalyn Wise, from Queensland, said she and her husband Jayden were whisked away to a “sludgy grass” area to take intimate wedding portraits after they tied the knot in the NSW Hinterlands early 2021.</p> <p>Three hours later, she was on the dancefloor with friends and family when her quick-thinking mother-in-law pulled her into the dressing room after spotting blood on her white dress.</p> <p>At first, Madalyn thought the stress she experienced in the lead up to her wedding day triggered an “early period”. However - upon a closer inspection, leeches were found including a “fat and thick” one behind her knee joint.</p> <p>“There were three leeches - one underneath my foot, one in the pit of my knee like the armpit of my knee and there was another one crawling up my leg,” Madalyn said on TikTok.</p> <p>“The fat one filled up with blood and dropped off my leg on the dancefloor, which is why so much blood started to come out on my dress.</p> <p>Madalyn said she suspected the leeches crawled up her legs while she was posing for pictures in a wet area.</p> <p>“In the lead up to our wedding, we had a lot of rain... So during the photo shoot, we did have to go into some really long, sludgy grass to get some nice photos,” she explained.</p> <blockquote class="tiktok-embed" style="max-width: 605px; min-width: 325px;" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@madalyn.wise/video/7101834441022000385" data-video-id="7101834441022000385"> <section><a title="@madalyn.wise" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@madalyn.wise" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@madalyn.wise</a> There’s always something that doesn’t go quite right at your wedding, right? 😂🤦🏻‍♀️ <a title="leech" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/leech" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#leech</a> <a title="weddingtiktok" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/weddingtiktok" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#weddingtiktok</a> <a title="wedding" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/wedding" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#wedding</a> <a title="weddingnightmare" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/weddingnightmare" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#weddingnightmare</a> <a title="foryoupage" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/foryoupage" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#foryoupage</a> <a title="fyp" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fyp" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#fyp</a> <a title="ohno" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ohno" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#ohno</a> <a title="♬ Oh No - Kreepa" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Oh-No-6586947002464996102" target="_blank" rel="noopener">♬ Oh No - Kreepa</a></section> </blockquote> <p>“Basically what I think had happened was we went and did this photo shoot in the afternoon, at some point during the shoot, the leeches made their way up my leg while we were going through the sludgy grass.</p> <p>“The leeches were there from the photo shoot until our first dance. So it was literally on me throughout my whole reception - throughout dinner, the speeches and our first dance.”</p> <p>Just minutes after dancing with her new husband in front of guests outside, everyone returned to the barn where they “danced the night away”.</p> <p>“I think I had been dancing with my friends for maybe one or two songs and all of a sudden, my mother-in-law grabs me and she’s like ‘Come with me’... then she starts lifting up my dress,” Madalyn recalls.</p> <p>Upon checking, they spotted two leeches on her - while the third was found on the dancefloor.</p> <p>Her wedding coordinator sponged all the blood out of her dress while her photographer bandaged her leg up.</p> <p>“We ended up finishing off the night just dancing, mingling with guests and I was showing everyone my bandaged leg. I ended up putting my dress back on because all the stains were out.”</p> <p>Madalyn said everything turned out “fine” after her wedding night - but she did experience itching around the affected areas on her leg.</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Caring

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Craig McLachlan's tearful partner takes the stand

<p dir="ltr">Craig McLachlan’s long-term partner has burst into tears in court as she recalled the moment he told her he was accused of sexual harassing his co-workers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Vanessa Scammell, McLachlan’s partner since 2021, took the stand at the NSW Supreme Court as the second week of the defamation trial begins.</p> <p dir="ltr">McLachlan is suing Christie Whelan Brown and media outlets ABC and Fairfax for defamation claims made in 2018 over reports of assault, indecent assault, harassment and exposing himself to female cast members of the <em>The Rocky Horror Show</em> during the 2014 production of the musical.</p> <p dir="ltr">He has continued to deny the allegations as the media outlets defend their claims on the basis of truth.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Scammell told the court that the cast of <em>The Rocky Horror Show</em> were affectionate with each other and would often greet each other with hugs and kisses.</p> <p dir="ltr">She also said that Ms Whelan Brown would “flick the elastic” on McLachlan’s shorts while making “interesting remarks”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She would make references to what was underneath the boxer pants and would flick him with a towel,” Ms Scammell told the court, <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/actor-craig-mclachlan-sent-videos-of-himself-pretending-to-masturbate-to-female-costar/news-story/a77110fa715bacd9f68c13fce404fb71" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a> reported.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Scammell also revealed that Ms Whelan Brown would “flick Craig in the groin or backside” and saw her give him a “solid slap to the buttocks” backstage at a show in Melbourne.</p> <p dir="ltr">McLachlan’s partner was asked about how the pair felt when the accusations came out from ABC and Fairfax noting that he was “devastated, humiliated and destroyed”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He was incapable of answering and I was worried about his mental state,” an upset Ms Scammell said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He was so damaged that I could barely get a constructive sentence out of him”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The court heard that the couple only saw each other a week after the allegations broke.</p> <p dir="ltr">They ran into each other’s arms and fell to the ground where they “didn’t speak for 40 minutes”.</p> <p dir="ltr">McLachlan had earlier finished giving evidence for the fifth day of the trial where he told the court he sent videos of himself pretending to masturbate to Ms Whelan Brown.</p> <p dir="ltr">The actors had most recently worked together on the Network Ten television series The Wrong Girl from 2016 to 2017 and would use crude, sexual nicknames such as “gobbler and blumpkin”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Defence barrister Michael Hodge QC questioned McLachlan if the nicknames prompted him to send the videos.</p> <p dir="ltr">McLachlan once again said in the video he was pretending to masturbate and wasn’t in the toilet.</p> <p dir="ltr">He told the court that he would prank and make sexual jokes on the set of the musical like deep throating bananas, masturbating on crew members’ arms and using the nicknames.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Hodge questioned whether he would peel the banana to make it appear as a phallus, to which McLachlan said: “Well the banana is already the appropriate shape, but yes.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The trial continues.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Nine News (2020)</em></p>

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Prince Charles’ letters to paedophile Jimmy Savile exposed

<p dir="ltr">Letters exchanged between Prince Charles and paedophile Jimmy Savile are being exposed in a Netflix documentary.</p> <p dir="ltr">Prince Charles would occasionally get in contact with the disgraced former BBC presenter, who used his role, charity and hospital work as a cover for his heinous predatory behaviour</p> <p dir="ltr">Savile was 84 when he died in 2011 and was only exposed as a paedophile after dying with many victims coming forward sharing their stories.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the new documentary, <em>Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story</em>, the letters exchanged by Prince Charles and Saville between 1986 and 2006 have been exposed.</p> <p dir="ltr">The letters reveal that Charles regularly wrote to Savile for advice - described as a “handbook” for the royals.</p> <p dir="ltr">One of the first letters dated January 14, 1987, came from Charles, reading: “Perhaps I am wrong, but you are the bloke who knows what’s going on.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What I really need is a list of suggestions from you. I so want to get to parts of the country that others don’t get to reach.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another letter written by the Prince of Wales in the '90s shows him praising Savile for understanding the public.</p> <p dir="ltr">"You are so good at understanding what makes people operate. Can you cast an eye over this draft and let me know how we can best appeal to people on this score?" it read.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following Savile’s help, Charles once again penned another letter thanking him for his help.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It really was extremely good of you to take the trouble to put together those splendid notes and they provided me with considerable food for thought. With renewed and heartfelt thanks. Yours ever, Charles."</p> <p dir="ltr">Charles sent another letter following the devastating Lockerbie bombing, when a passenger flight operated by Pan Am exploded over the Scottish city on December 21, 1988.</p> <p dir="ltr">All 259 people on board were killed including 11 people on the ground.</p> <p dir="ltr">Savile suggested that “an incident room” with “several independent phone lines” should be set up following the bombing.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I attach a copy of my memo on disasters which incorporates your points and which I showed to my father. He showed it to HM [Her Majesty],” Charles wrote in the letter.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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