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“Don’t marry him”: Bride-to-be shares wild altercation with her future in-laws over her wedding dress

<p dir="ltr">A woman has been told to “run” from her fiancé after sharing a wild conversation she had with her future in-laws about her wedding dress. </p> <p dir="ltr">The bride-to-be shared that ever since she was a child, she wanted to wear her mother’s wedding dress on her own big day. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, the woman was then confronted by her soon-to-be in-laws, with drama ensuing over her wedding dress.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole?” page, the woman explained, "My mother's wedding dress has been passed down for generations and I remember being a little girl dreaming of walking down the aisle in it."</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite her wishes to wear the family heirloom on her big day, she said things went south at a dinner at her sister-in-law’s (SIL) house when she  "tapped her spoon against the glass and said that she had to make a toast."</p> <p dir="ltr">"She then said she would be right back before going into another room and returning with a large plastic bag," the bride continues.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Everyone seemed to be excited but I just felt confused."</p> <p dir="ltr">As she "awkwardly smiled", her SIL opened the bag to reveal her wedding dress from her wedding two years earlier as her in-laws began clapping, as her future sister-in-law announced she wanted the bride to wear her dress at her upcoming nuptials.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I tried to smile but I guess I didn't do a good job of hiding my disappointment and everyone began asking me what was wrong," the bride-to-be continues, adding that she tried to explain that she wanted to wear her mother's wedding dress.</p> <p dir="ltr">At this point, her SIL began to cry and her in-laws began berating her, causing the bride to burst into tears and run outside.</p> <p dir="ltr">"My fiancé didn't even come after me and after crying my eyes out on the steps for what felt like hours, he finally came outside and yelled at me to get into the car," she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">Confused, she got into the car only for her fiancé to berate her for making "such a big scene" leaving him feeling "embarrassed in front of his family."</p> <p dir="ltr">"He sounds so mad and he even said he couldn't believe he chose to marry such a 'bitchy c--t' (his exact words)."</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman tried to explain how important it was to her to wear her mother's dress and that she had already promised her mother she would be wearing it on her big day.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I felt like my fiancé's family planned this and put me on the spot thinking I wouldn't stand up for myself and just agree to wear SIL's dress," she continues.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I don't think I did anything wrong but a part of me thinks I should have just gone along with it and then told SIL in private that I wouldn't be wearing the dress."</p> <p dir="ltr">Hundreds of people were quick to comment on her post, suggesting that she “run” not only from her in-laws, but from her partner as well. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Ma'am you need to leave that whole family behind including your fiancé," one said. "You just had a peek into your future if you carry on with this relationship."</p> <p dir="ltr">"Don't you dare marry that man!!!" another said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The problem doesn't exist as the wedding shouldn't be happening anymore," another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">One Redditor suggested she "be thankful that he is showing you who he really is before you marry him."</p> <p dir="ltr">"You have just had a glimpse of what your future is going to look like if you go through with your wedding."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Worried your address, birth date or health data is being sold? You should be – and the law isn’t protecting you

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katharine-kemp-402096">Katharine Kemp</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Australians don’t know and can’t control how data brokers are spreading their personal information. This is the core finding of a newly <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Digital-platform-services-inquiry-March-2024-interim-report.pdf">released report</a> from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).</p> <p>Consumers wanting to rent a property, get an insurance quote or shop online are not given real choices about whether their personal data is shared for other purposes. This exposes Australians to scams, fraud, manipulation and discrimination.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/consumers-lack-visibility-and-choice-over-data-collection-practices">many don’t even know</a> what kind of data has been collected about them and shared or sold by data firms and other third parties.</p> <p>Our privacy laws are due for reform. But Australia’s privacy commissioner <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4224653">should also enforce</a> an existing rule: with very limited exceptions, businesses must not collect information about you from third parties.</p> <h2>What are data brokers?</h2> <p><a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/CPRC-Singled-Out-Final-Feb-2024.pdf">Data brokers</a> generally make their profits by collecting information about individuals from various sources and sharing this personal data with their many business clients. This can include detailed profiles of a person’s family, health, finances and movements.</p> <p>Data brokers often have no connection with the individual – you may not even recognise the name of a firm that holds vast amounts of information on you. Some of these data brokers are large multinational companies with billions of dollars in revenue.</p> <p>Consumer and privacy advocates provided the ACCC with evidence of highly concerning data broker practices. <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Salinger%20Privacy.pdf">One woman</a> tried to find out how data brokers had got hold of her information after receiving targeted medical advertising.</p> <p>Although she never discovered how they obtained her data, she found out it included her name, date of birth and contact details. It also included inferences about her, such as her retiree status, having no children, not having “high affluence” and being likely to donate to a charity.</p> <p>ACCC found another data broker was reportedly creating lists of individuals who may be experiencing vulnerability. The categories included:</p> <ul> <li>children, teenage girls and teenage boys</li> <li>“financially unsavvy” people</li> <li>elderly people living alone</li> <li>new migrants</li> <li>religious minorities</li> <li>unemployed people</li> <li>people in financial distress</li> <li>new migrants</li> <li>people experiencing pain or who have visited certain medical facilities.</li> </ul> <p>These are all potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited, for example, by scammers or unscrupulous advertisers.</p> <h2>How do they get this information?</h2> <p>The ACCC notes <a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/CPRC-working-paper-Not-a-fair-trade-March-2025.pdf">74% of Australians are uncomfortable</a> with their personal information being shared or sold.</p> <p>Nonetheless, data brokers sell and share Australian consumers’ personal information every day. Businesses we deal with – for example, when we buy a car or search for natural remedies on an online marketplace – both buy data about us from data brokers and provide them with more.</p> <p>The ACCC acknowledges consumers haven’t been given a choice about this.</p> <p>Attempting to read every privacy term is near impossible. The ACCC referred to a recent study which found it would take consumers <a href="https://www.mi-3.com.au/06-11-2023/aussies-face-10-hour-privacy-policy-marathon-finds-study">over 46 hours a month</a> to read every privacy policy they encounter.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The approximate length and time it would take to read an average privacy policy in Australia per month.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/publications/serial-publications/digital-platform-services-inquiry-2020-25-reports/digital-platform-services-inquiry-interim-report-march-2024">ACCC Digital Platform Services Inquiry interim report</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Even if you could read every term, you still wouldn’t get a clear picture. Businesses use <a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/CPRC-Singled-Out-Final-Feb-2024.pdf">vague wording</a> and data descriptions which <a href="https://theconversation.com/70-of-australians-dont-feel-in-control-of-their-data-as-companies-hide-behind-meaningless-privacy-terms-224072">confuse consumers</a> and have no fixed meaning. These include “pseudonymised information”, “hashed email addresses”, “aggregated information” and “advertising ID”.</p> <p>Privacy terms are also presented on a “take it or leave it” basis, even for transactions like applying for a rental property or buying insurance.</p> <p>The ACCC pointed out 41% of Australians feel they have been <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/consumers-and-data/data-collection-and-use/how-your-data-is-used/articles/choice-renttech-report-release">pressured to use “rent tech” platforms</a>. These platforms collect an increasing range of information with questionable connection to renting.</p> <h2>A first for Australian consumers</h2> <p>This is the first time an Australian regulator has made an in-depth report on the consumer data practices of data brokers, which are generally hidden from consumers. It comes <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/data-brokers-call-transparency-accountability-report-federal-trade-commission-may-2014/140527databrokerreport.pdf">ten years after</a> the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conducted a similar inquiry into data brokers in the US.</p> <p>The ACCC report examined the data practices of nine data brokers and other “data firms” operating in Australia. (It added the term “data firms” because some companies sharing data about people argue that they are not data brokers.)</p> <p>A big difference between the Australian and the US reports is that the FTC is both the consumer watchdog and the <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2312913">privacy regulator</a>. As our competition and consumer watchdog, the ACCC is meant to focus on competition and consumer issues.</p> <p>We also need our privacy regulator, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), to pay attention to these findings.</p> <h2>There’s a law against that</h2> <p>The ACCC report shows many examples of businesses collecting personal information about us from third parties. For example, you may be a customer of a business that only has your name and email address. But that business can purchase “<a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4224653">data enrichment</a>” services from a data broker to find out your age range, income range and family situation.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/C2004A03712/latest/text">current Privacy Act</a> includes <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/australian-privacy-principles/read-the-australian-privacy-principles">a principle</a> that organisations must collect personal information only from the individual (you) unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. “Impracticable” means practically impossible. This is the direct collection rule.</p> <p>Yet there is no reported case of the privacy commissioner enforcing the direct collection rule against a data broker or its business customers. Nor has the OAIC issued any specific guidance in this respect. It should do both.</p> <h2>Time to update our privacy laws</h2> <p>Our privacy law was drafted in 1988, long before this complex web of digital data practices emerged. Privacy laws in places such as California and the European Union provide much stronger protections.</p> <p>The government has <a href="https://ministers.ag.gov.au/media-centre/speeches/privacy-design-awards-2024-02-05-2024">announced</a> it plans to introduce a privacy law reform bill this August.</p> <p>The ACCC report reinforces the need for vital amendments, including a direct right of action for individuals and a rule requiring dealings in personal information to be “fair and reasonable”.<!-- 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/230540/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/katharine-kemp-402096">Katharine Kemp</a>, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law &amp; Justice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/worried-your-address-birth-date-or-health-data-is-being-sold-you-should-be-and-the-law-isnt-protecting-you-230540">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Grieving dad fights for "ZaZa's Law" after toddler dies in his arms

<p>A grieving father has called for change after his toddler tragically died from choking on a grape. </p> <p>Brian Bwoga, a 44-year-old dad from Perth was at the beach with his two sons, Alessandro, four, and Zaire (ZaZa) 22 months, at the beginning of the year on what seemed like a normal family day out. </p> <p>But what was meant to be an idyllic summer’s day soon turned into any parent’s worst nightmare.</p> <p>“The weather was amazing, the boys were playing and it was just the perfect summer’s day,” Brian, who parents his boys with their mother Claudia, 39, told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/perth-toddler-dies-five-minutes-after-being-eating-popular-snack/news-story/0bfb598fe70bb5b47259cdc3b80c60cd" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a>.</p> <p>“I was gathering up our things ready to go home. My older son Alex came up to me and asked if he could play for just five more minutes. I was carrying ZaZa, and I told them both to go and play together with their friends while I finish packing the car."</p> <p>“The next minute ZaZa is just running to me, holding his neck and gasping for air."</p> <p>“I jumped into action and did CPR, I put my fingers inside his throat and got one grape out. I was so relieved, I thought thank god I got it out. But I didn’t know there were four more grapes inside his throat.”</p> <p>The toddler continued to choke on the grapes, and Brian says his eyes started “popping out”.</p> <p>The terrified dad began performing abdominal thrusts to try and dislodge the grapes but to no avail.</p> <p>“I told one of the mothers to call the ambulance. I was terrified,” he recalled.</p> <p>“My older son was scared and asked me why there was blood coming from ZaZa’s mouth. I told him to go with another parent because I didn’t want him to see this. I was holding ZaZa and he was looking at me. I gave him CPR again and I tried so hard to save him."</p> <p>“He gave me this look and died in my arms.”</p> <p>“I left home with a beach bag and left with a body bag. It happened so quick. Within a few minutes he was gone. My son Alex is traumatised. He misses his brother so much and I don’t know how to fix it.”</p> <p>Grapes are a notorious choking hazard for children under the age of 5, as it is often recommended to always cut up grapes when feeding them to young kids.</p> <p>Sadly, Zaza consumed the grapes whole, and although the mistake cost his son his life, he doesn't place the blame on anyone.</p> <p>Instead, he wants to educate the public about the importance of cutting up grapes and is now fighting for <a href="https://www.change.org/p/zaza-s-law?source_location=petitions_browse" target="_blank" rel="noopener">change</a> as he hopes to introduce ‘ZaZa’s Law’ to parliament. </p> <p>This new law would ensure there are choking hazard labels on all grape packets and other food items that could be dangerous for small children.</p> <p>“I would hate for this to happen to anyone else. But I hear so many stories about kids dying from choking,” he said.</p> <p>“Ideally, I would like a warning label on all grapes and small foods to warn people to cut them up. Even a big sign at the supermarket for parents."</p> <p>“Not everyone knows this, but every parent needs to be aware of the dangers of food. I want ZaZa’s Law to come into parliament to get labels on everything."</p> <p>“We buy toys and they come with warning labels for things like batteries or other choking hazards. Why can’t we do the same for food?”</p> <p>The dad also hopes that a new anti-choking device, called LifeVac, might be more widely introduced in Australia and placed in public spaces.</p> <p>“Everywhere you go, shopping centres or beaches, there is a defibrillator on the wall,” he explained.</p> <p>“That is great, but we also need those anti-choking devices. It sucks everything up like a plunger and has saved so many lives."</p> <p>“If we had that at the beach that day, ZaZa might still be here.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Courtesy of Brian Bwoga</em></p>

Caring

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"No-brainer": Call for Jack's law to be introduced nationwide

<p>A Queensland father whose son was stabbed on a night out is pushing for Jack's Law to be introduced nationwide in the wake of the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-of-bondi-killer-break-silence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bondi Junction attack</a> and <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/teenage-boy-in-custody-after-stabbing-at-sydney-church" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wakeley Church stabbing</a>. </p> <p>Brett Beasley is urging NSW premier Chris Minns and other states to introduce the anti-knife law which allows police officers to conduct random searches for knives at public transport hubs and Safe Night precincts using metal detecting wands.</p> <p>“It’s an absolute no-brainer,” he told <em>news.com.au</em>.</p> <p>“It’s absolutely extraordinary how well it’s working here in Queensland. I believe every single police officer Australia-wide should have the same powers.” </p> <p>Beasly and his wife Belinda have spent years campaigning for the law following the tragic death of their son Jack, who was stabbed by a group of teens outside a Surfers Paradise convenience store during a night out in 2019. </p> <p>It's been three years since the law was introduced in Queensland, and since then 55,000 people have been searched, 800 weapons have been confiscated and 1400 people have been charged. </p> <p>“It’s the same as being pulled over for a random breath test, it’s exactly the same and it’s working,” Beasly said. </p> <p>“I can guarantee the NSW government, if they were to adopt Jack’s Law, then they will start finding thousands of weapons. It’s scary to think how many of these young offenders are walking around actually armed and getting away with it.”</p> <p>Beasly, who was “absolutely devastated” after hearing about the Bondi Junction stabbing spree, said that the NSW premier should waste no time introducing the law. </p> <p>“Chris Minns shouldn’t even contemplate it. He should just say, ‘Absolutely. Let’s do this’.</p> <p>“I get thousands of messages from people in New South Wales who say ‘We want Jack’s Law down here, we need it down here’.”</p> <p>“To lose a child in any way is absolutely horrendous, and to lose a child to murder is the worst way possible. Your child’s life is taken from them.”</p> <p>Beasly is keen to meet with Minns to discuss rolling out Jacks law in NSW saying: “if Chris Minns is open to a meeting with me, I’ll be on the next flight to Sydney because this government need to make this happen. It’s as simple as that." </p> <p>A NSW government spokesperson has told<em> news.com.au</em> that they “need to look carefully at our current policies to ensure the public is safe”.</p> <p> “The NSW Sentencing Council is currently undertaking a review of the sentencing laws for firearms, knives and other weapons offences. The NSW Government will also look at knife laws,” they said.</p> <p>“We will await the review findings and consider all recommendations carefully.”</p> <p>Beasly is also planning to meet with  the Governor of Western Australia on Monday and hopes that they will also adopt the law. </p> <p>While waiting for other states to adopt the law, Beasly and the Jack Beasley Foundation are delivering free presentations about knife crime in schools. </p> <p>“Let’s work on this together and bond together and make a change and see if we can stop this,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image: Jerad Williams/ news.com.au</em></p>

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Woman baffled by mother-in-law’s insane ask over baby name

<p dir="ltr">A woman has gone head-to-head with her mother-in-law over the name she has chosen for her unborn child. </p> <p dir="ltr">The pregnant woman took to Reddit to share her unusual predicament, explaining how her mother-in-law has demanded she change the name of her baby. </p> <p dir="ltr">The soon-to-be mum shared how she recently had dinner with her husband’s family, where she decided to reveal the baby’s gender and name. </p> <p dir="ltr">She had been keeping the information secret, but with only a few weeks of her pregnancy left, she decided to share the happy news that she was having a baby boy and had chosen the name Shawn for her son. </p> <p dir="ltr">But not everyone shared her happiness over the moniker, as her mother-in-law went pale with shock and demanded she choose a new name. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My in-laws got quiet for a moment before asking if there were other options we'd considered. Apparently, Shawn is the name of my 17-year-old sister-in-law Ashley's former bully who tormented her [for years],” the pregnant woman explained on Reddit.</p> <p dir="ltr">While she empathised with her in-laws, she didn’t want to change the name as it was the only one her and her husband agreed on for their son. </p> <p dir="ltr">She also explained that she hadn’t known about the family connection when they picked the name, and hadn’t picked it out of any malicious intent. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We took forever to pick a name,” she said. “Shawn is the only one we could agree on.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The dinner party soon ended after the argument began, but the mother-in-law didn’t back down, sending the expecting mum demanding messages.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She texted me and my husband again to ask us to find a new name for Ashley's sake.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Would I be the a**hole for not wanting to change it? We were only able to agree on it a few weeks ago.”</p> <p dir="ltr"> Commenters were torn over the subject, with many rushing to the pregnant woman’s defence, saying she can pick whatever name she wants for her son. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My spouse and sibling have the same name. Somehow, you just compartmentalise it,” one shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I feel like if a new baby in my family shared a name with my bully I'd just adapt,” another wrote. “After all, Shawn is a VERY common name, so I can't freak out every time I hear it and survive in this world.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, a select few sided with the mother-in-law, sharing how stunned they were that the couple couldn't find enough compassion to pick another name.</p> <p dir="ltr">One person said, “I understand the difficulty of finding a name that feels right, but for me, after learning this, Shawn would quickly become another name that didn't work. It's only been decided on it for a few weeks so I'd just go back to the drawing board.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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If you squat in a vacant property, does the law give you the house for free? Well, sort of

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cathy-sherry-466">Cathy Sherry</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>Nothing excites law students like the idea of a free house. Or alternatively, enrages them. It depends on their politics. As a result, academics condemned to teaching property law find it hard to resist the “<a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MelbULawRw/2011/28.html">doctrine of adverse possession</a>”. The fact that a person can change the locks on someone else’s house, wait 12 years, and claim it as their own, makes students light up in a way that the Strata Schemes Management Act never will.</p> <p>The idea of “squatters’ rights” has received a lot of media attention recently amid the grim reality of the Australian housing market. It fuels commentators such as Jordan van den Berg, who <a href="https://www.instagram.com/purplepingers/">critiques bad landlords</a> on social media. Casting back to his days as a law student, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/article/jordan-was-fed-up-with-australias-empty-houses-his-proposal-has-led-to-death-threats/stx6rv6fl">he’s promoting</a> the doctrine of adverse possession as a way of making use of vacant properties.</p> <p>As interesting as the doctrine is, it has little relevance in modern Australia. While it is necessary to limit the time someone has to bring legal proceedings to recover land – typically 12 or 15 years, depending on which state you’re in – most people don’t need that long to notice someone else is living in their house. If a family member is occupying a home that someone else has inherited or a tenant refuses to vacate at the end of a lease, owners tend to bring actions to recover their land pronto.</p> <p>So where did this doctrine come from, and what has it meant in practice?</p> <h2>Free house fetching millions</h2> <p>In unusual circumstances, people can lose track of their own land.</p> <p>Just before the second world war, Henry Downie moved out of his house in the Sydney suburb of Ashbury. Downie died a decade later, but his will was never administered. At the time of his death, a Mrs Grimes rented the house and did so for a further 50 years. Downie’s next of kin did not realise they had inherited the house or that they were Grimes’s landlord.</p> <p>Grimes died in 1998 and Bill Gertos, a property developer, saw the house was vacant. He changed the locks, did some repairs, then leased the house and paid the rates for the next 17 years. He then made an application under <a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rpa1900178/s45d.html">NSW property laws</a> to become the registered proprietor. At this point, Downie’s next of kin became aware they may have been entitled to the property and disputed Gertos’s claim.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2018/1629.html">court held</a> Gertos had been “in possession” of the property since the late 1990s. The next of kin had a legal right to eject him, but they had failed to do so within the statutory time limit of 12 years. Gertos had the best claim to the house. He <a href="https://www.domain.com.au/6-malleny-street-ashbury-nsw-2193-2015821514">promptly sold it</a> for A$1.4 million.</p> <p>Outrageous as this may seem, the law encourages caring for land. If you fail to take responsibility for your land, and someone else does, you can lose it.</p> <h2>An old English tradition</h2> <p>Gertos’s jackpot was unusual, and adverse possession has always been more relevant in a country like England.</p> <p>First, for much of English history, many people did not have documentary title (deeds) to their land. People were illiterate, parchment was expensive, and documents could disappear in a puff of smoke in a house fire. The law often had to rely on people’s physical possession of land as proof of ownership.</p> <p>Second, as a result of feudalism, vast swathes of England were owned by the aristocracy. They and their 20th-century successors in title, often local councils, had a habit of forgetting they owned five suburbs in London.</p> <p>In the post second world war housing crisis, thousands of families, and later young people and students, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b017cfv4">squatted in vacant houses</a> owned by public and private landlords who lacked the means or motivation to maintain them.</p> <h2>A sign of the times</h2> <p>In contrast, in Australia, for most of our settler history, governments of all political persuasions actively prevented the emergence of a landed class.</p> <p>But now, courtesy of tax policies that <a href="https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2023/11/the-great-divide">encourage investment</a> in residential real estate, we have a landlord class of Baby Boomer and Gen X investors. That has caused housing market stress as younger people cannot make the natural transition from being renters to homeowners. They are outbid by older, wealthier buyers whose tax benefits from negative gearing increase with every dollar they borrow to buy an investment property.</p> <p>Money flowing into the market then means that landlords’ greatest benefit is capital gain rather than income, and thanks to John Howard, investors pay <a href="https://theconversation.com/stranger-than-fiction-who-labors-capital-gains-tax-changes-will-really-hurt-109657">no tax</a> on half of that gain.</p> <p>Finally, an almost exclusive reliance by government on the <a href="https://australiainstitute.org.au/post/for-more-affordable-housing-we-need-more-public-housing/">private sector</a> to provide new homes – which it will only do if it is making a profit – has left many people in deep housing stress.</p> <p>While squatters in Australia are likely to find themselves swiftly subject to court orders for ejection, van den Berg’s rallying cry indicates just how inequitable the housing market has become. Baby Boomers and Gen X should be on notice – young people want their housing back. <!-- 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/227556/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/cathy-sherry-466"><em>Cathy Sherry</em></a><em>, Professor in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/if-you-squat-in-a-vacant-property-does-the-law-give-you-the-house-for-free-well-sort-of-227556">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why we need to stop being so judgemental – and the 4 steps to do it

<p>As a society, we've become increasingly judgmental. We tend to judge not only others but ourselves as well. From a person's physical appearance to their actions, we criticise and judge everything. Everyone is too fat, too thin, too old, or too young, creating an environment where nothing seems to be good enough. This constant pattern of judgment is now harming our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.</p> <p>When we judge, we compare ourselves to others, leaving us emotionally vulnerable. Through this judgement, we seek to establish a sense of security and control over our lives and surroundings, often without even realising it. However, by increasing our emotional resilience and sense of control, we become consciously aware of this behaviour and can take steps to change it. So, is it possible to become less judgemental? </p> <p>As an educator and researcher, I developed an Emotional Resilience language (ER). It introduces simple changes that can reduce judgment, foster empathy, compassion, and personal responsibility, and bolster emotional intelligence and resilience when integrated into everyday life. Using a driving metaphor, ER simplifies the intricate world of emotions, providing an innovative way to integrate emotional vocabulary into daily life. It enhances understanding and establishes new neural pathways and healthier thought patterns.</p> <p>The following outlines the initial steps of ER, which can effectively manage judgement towards yourself and others. Though the changes may appear simplistic, they are instrumental in establishing lasting transformation.</p> <p><strong>1. Removing judgement towards how you or others may feel:</strong> Instead of labelling emotions as good or bad, view them as rough or smooth emotional roads. Just as roads serve different purposes, so do emotions. Rough emotions build resilience, while smooth emotions promote well-being, removing the need to lift everyone off a rough road. This makes it easier to recognise and accept emotions without feeling like a failure when things aren't going smoothly. You don’t know why someone is on a rough road, so resist the temptation to judge them.</p> <p><strong>2: The metaphorical steering wheel</strong> in ER represents emotional control and the power of choice in navigating life's challenges. As in a car, you should be the only one controlling your emotional steering wheel. Rather than judging yourself and others, this logical approach empowers you to regain control over your focus, emotions, and destination. Just because someone else is on a rough road doesn’t mean you must join them, fostering resilience and responsibility. </p> <p><strong>3. Shifting judgement and blame to responsibility</strong> involves removing phrases such as "You are making me angry, " which inadvertently hands your emotional steering wheel to others. Replace it with, "I am choosing to feel angry in response to this situation." This subtle alteration, substituting "making" with "choosing," helps reclaim ownership of your steering wheel rather than relinquishing control to external factors. Assigning blame—"It's your fault, it's the government's fault, it's my partner’s fault"— leaves you feeling like a victim, and you then resort to judgement and retaliation to regain control. </p> <p><strong>4. The importance of taking control:</strong> Understanding that judgement cannot be contained nor emotional resilience built when you are out of control on either road is crucial. Out-of-control scenarios activate the amygdala, the brain's fight, flight or freeze mode, disabling the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for thinking and creativity. It is only possible to discuss a situation once the involved parties have regained control and can access the thinking part of their brain. Therefore, regaining control is essential for reducing judgement, as then you can have productive discussions that help maintain emotional well-being. This includes your conversations with yourself, which can often be the harshest!</p> <p>ER helps reduce judgement by developing your emotional resilience. Awareness of the emotional state of yourself and others fosters emotional intelligence, while learning to regain control builds resilience. Recognising that navigating rough emotions is crucial for growth alleviates the pressure from always needing to be on a smooth road and judging yourself and others if they aren’t. It shifts focus from dwelling on challenges and comparing yourself to others to being able to understand and manage your responses. Incorporating language changes into daily life builds new neural pathways, creating new thought patterns that reduce judgment and blame. </p> <p>By avoiding the tendency to judge yourself or others, you take back control of your reactions to people and circumstances. This leads to better mental and emotional well-being and fosters positive relationships with yourself and others. Does this mean you will never judge again? Of course not. You’re human. It’s what you do with the judgment that can make all the difference. </p> <p><strong>Dr Jane Foster is a leading educator, researcher, presenter and author of <em>It’s In Your Hands; Your Steering Wheel, Your Choice</em>. Combining her educational skills with neuroscience and positive psychology, Jane equips people with strategies to help build emotional resilience and manage their daily stresses, successfully changing perspective and creating new neural pathways. For more information, visit <a href="https://www.emotionalresiliencetraining.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.emotionalresiliencetraining.com.au</a></strong></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Mind

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"Lincoln's Law": Grandma's important safety crusade after tragic loss

<p>The tragic loss of three-year-old Lincoln in September 2020 has sparked a passionate plea for immediate changes to safety standards in rental properties across Australia.</p> <p>Lincoln's grandmother, Kerrie Shearer, has been relentless in her pursuit of ensuring that no other family suffers the heartache they have endured.</p> <p>Lincoln's untimely death occurred when he became entangled in a blind cord while innocently playing on a windowsill at his Melbourne home. Despite the family's vigilance, the accident claimed the life of their beloved Lincoln, leaving them shattered and grief-stricken. Now, Shearer is determined to turn her pain into action by advocating for legislative changes to prevent similar tragedies.</p> <p>As a renter, Lincoln's family had little control over the safety features of their dwelling. They are now calling for new laws mandating older rental homes to comply with modern blind safety standards. Shearer says that the need to address loose hanging blinds is crucial, labelling them as potential accidents waiting to happen. By campaigning for legislative reforms, she hopes to spare other families from experiencing the same devastation.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">While guidelines stipulate that window furnishings in homes built after 2010 must adhere to strict safety measures, there are no such regulations for older properties. Shearer finds it astonishing that many people remain unaware of the dangers posed by unsecured blind cords. She recounts her experiences of visiting various accommodations, including Airbnbs and hotels, where she noticed inadequate safety measures and felt compelled to alert the hosts.</span></p> <p>"I'm constantly amazed how people aren't aware," she told <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/victoria-news-grandmother-warns-of-blind-safety-risk-after-grandson-dies/83accc08-8cf2-463a-8cc7-6f87fa905a5b" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News</a>. "I go to AirBnBs and hotels now and I'm at them, 'Hey your blinds aren't attached to the wall.'"</p> <p>Shearer's advocacy has gained momentum via her collaboration with Kidsafe, a prominent nonprofit organisation dedicated to preventing unintentional injuries and deaths among children. Together, they aim to broaden safety requirements for older homes, advocating for what Shearer passionately refers to as "Lincoln's law". She insists that any looped or hanging cords present a significant danger to children and must be securely affixed to the wall to prevent entanglement accidents.</p> <p>The impact of Shearer's tireless efforts is already evident, with reports indicating that the state government is considering the introduction of mandatory blind cord safety standards for all rental properties, regardless of their age. This potential development marks a significant step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of children in rental accommodations across the country.</p> <p>In the wake of her family's tragedy, Shearer's determination to effect change not only honours the memory of Lincoln but also holds the potential to prevent countless other families from enduring similar heartbreak – ensuring that his tragic passing was not in vain.</p> <p><em>Images: 9News</em></p>

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Does the royal family have a right to privacy? What the law says

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gemma-horton-1515949">Gemma Horton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sheffield-1147">University of Sheffield</a></em></p> <p>From court cases to conspiracy theories, the royal family’s right to privacy is, somewhat ironically, nearly always in the spotlight. The latest focus is Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, whose whereabouts have been the subject of <a href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a60008117/kate-middleton-health-speculation-conspiracy-theories-online/">online speculation</a> after it was announced she was undergoing abdominal surgery and would be away from public duties until after Easter.</p> <p>This comes just weeks after King Charles <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68208157">revealed that he is undergoing treatment for cancer</a>, and a legal settlement between Prince Harry and Mirror Group Newspapers over <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68249009">illegal phone hacking</a>.</p> <p>Interest in the personal lives of the royals and other celebrities <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1461670X.2016.1150193">is a constant</a>, driving newspaper sales and online clicks for decades. You only needs to consider the media frenzy that followed Princess Diana to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17512786.2013.833678">see this</a>, and its potentially devastating consequences.</p> <p>From a legal perspective, the British courts have ruled that everyone – the royal family included – is entitled to a right to privacy. The Human Rights Act incorporates into British law the rights set out by the European Convention on Human Rights. This includes article 8, which focuses on the right to privacy.</p> <p>In the years after the Human Rights Act came into force, courts ruled on a string of cases from celebrities claiming that the press invaded their privacy. Courts had to balance article 8 of the convention against article 10, the right to freedom of expression.</p> <p>Rulings repeatedly stated that, despite being in and sometimes seeking the limelight, celebrities should still be afforded a right to privacy. Some disagree with this position, such as prominent journalist <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/prince-harry-hacking-piers-morgan-b2336442.html">Piers Morgan, who has criticised</a> the Duke and Duchess of Sussex asking for privacy when they have also released a Netflix documentary, a broadcast interview with Oprah Winfrey and published a memoir.</p> <p>But the courts have made the position clear, as in the case concerning Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas after Hello! Magazine published unauthorised photographs from their wedding. The <a href="https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/190559/3/Final%20Edited%20Version%20-%20Celebrity%20Privacy%20and%20Celebrity%20Journalism-%20Has%20anything%20changed%20since%20the%20Leveson%20Inquiry_.pdf">court stated</a> that: “To hold that those who have sought any publicity lose all protection would be to repeal article 8’s application to very many of those who are likely to need it.”</p> <p>There is no universal definition of privacy, but scholars have identified key concepts encompassing what privacy can entail. In my own research, I have argued that the <a href="https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/190559/3/Final%20Edited%20Version%20-%20Celebrity%20Privacy%20and%20Celebrity%20Journalism-%20Has%20anything%20changed%20since%20the%20Leveson%20Inquiry_.pdf">notion of choice</a> is one of these. Privacy allows us to control the spread of information about ourselves and disclose information to whom we want.</p> <h2>Privacy and the public interest</h2> <p>There are exceptions to these protections if the person involved had no reasonable expectation of privacy, or if it was in the public interest for this information to be revealed. There is no solid, legal definition of the “public interest”, so this is decided on a case-by-case basis.</p> <p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17577632.2021.1889866">In the past</a>, the public interest defence has been applied because a public figure or official has acted hypocritically and the courts have stated there is a right for a publisher to set the record straight.</p> <p>When it comes to medical records and information concerning health, case law and journalistic <a href="https://www.ipso.co.uk/editors-code-of-practice/">editorial codes of conduct</a> are clear that this information is afforded the utmost protection.</p> <p>Model Naomi Campbell was pictured leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and these images were published by the Daily Mirror. The court found that there had been a public interest in revealing the fact she was attending these meetings, as she had previously denied substance abuse.</p> <p>The House of Lords accepted that there was a public interest in the press “setting the record straight”. Nonetheless, the publication of additional, confidential details, and the photographs of her leaving the meeting were a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/may/06/mirror.pressandpublishing1">step too far</a>. The House of Lords highlighted the importance of being able to keep medical records and information private.</p> <h2>Royal health</h2> <p>When it comes to the royals, the history of <a href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a23798094/lindo-wing-st-marys-hospital-facts-photos/">publicity</a> around royal births, often posing with the newborn royal baby outside of the hospital, has set a precedent for what the public can expect about the royals’ medical information. When they choose to go against this tradition, it can frustrate both royal-watchers and publishers.</p> <p>King Charles made the choice to openly speak about his enlarged prostate to “assist public understanding”. And, as Prostate Cancer UK noted, this has worked – they noted a <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/king-charles-cancer-statement-treatment-b2494190.html">500% increase in people visiting their website</a>. However, he has chosen to not to divulge information about his cancer diagnosis beyond the fact that he is receiving treatment. This is his right.</p> <p>While revealing further information might stop speculation and rumours about his health, it is not the king’s duty to divulge private, medical information. However, if his health begins to impact his ability to act as monarch, the situation could change.</p> <p>It might be that the press finds more information about his health without his knowledge, but unless they have a genuine public interest in publishing this information, privacy should prevail.</p> <p>You would no doubt want your private medical information kept secret, not shared around your workplace and speculated on unless it was absolutely necessary. It is thanks to these laws and court precedent that you don’t have to worry about this. The royal family, regardless of their position, should expect the same standard.<!-- 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/gemma-horton-1515949"><em>Gemma Horton</em></a><em>, Impact Fellow for Centre for Freedom of the Media, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sheffield-1147">University of Sheffield</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/does-the-royal-family-have-a-right-to-privacy-what-the-law-says-224881">original article</a>.</em></p>

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

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

Family & Pets

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Mother bans in-laws from seeing her baby after they go against her wishes

<p dir="ltr">A woman has banned her in-laws from seeing her newborn daughter after they “betrayed her trust” and directly went against her wishes. </p> <p dir="ltr">The new mum shared the story to Reddit, as she explained why she was cutting contact with her husband’s parents after they pierced her child’s ears without their knowledge or consent. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My husband is from a culture where it's not uncommon to pierce baby girls' ears and his mother started pestering me about getting my daughter's ears pierced a few days after she was born,” the 32-year-old mum began. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I made it clear that I would not be doing that, and that I'd be waiting until she's old enough to ask for it herself. We live in my country where piercing a baby's ears isn't common at all.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The new mum's world soon came crashing down after the baby spent a weekend with her grandparents, before she went back to her parents red in the face and screaming. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My mother-in-law was looking after her over the weekend and decided to pierce her ears without my knowledge or consent.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“When I saw this I threw a fit. My baby was crying in pain, and I actually took her to the doctor to get their advice on whether or not to take them out.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The doctor advised the parent to take the earrings out as they were irritating the baby, but the issue didn’t end there. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I decided at that moment that my mother-in-law and everyone else on that side of the family (except for my sister-in-law, who's on my side about this) is going to have no alone contact with my daughter ever again - or at least until she's a teenager.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“My worry is that she'll do the same thing again, and to be frank, she's lost my trust entirely. I told her that if she had a problem with that, I'd report what she did to the police.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The husband of the baby girl reluctantly sided with his wife over the issue, despite saying it wasn’t a big deal and suggesting everyone move on from the incident.</p> <p dir="ltr">The story prompted a mixed response online, with some people saying the woman was overreacting and should work towards rebuilding trust with her in-laws.</p> <p dir="ltr">Others, however, had the opposite opinion, with one person saying, “Forget rebuilding trust, I'd be having them charged with assault.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another person said, “They mutilated a child and they knew it was against the parents wishes. These people have serious problems. Not that I'd press charges, but getting holes poked in someone else's kid is a huge thing.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Family & Pets

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"I was terrified": Law & Order star reveals traumatic past

<p><em>Warning: This story contains graphic content.</em></p> <p>Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, a character that investigate rapists on <em>Law &amp; Order: Special Victims Unit, </em>has revealed that she too is a victim of sexual assault. </p> <p>The actress opened up about her traumatic past in a powerful essay written for <a href="https://people.com/mariska-hargitay-experience-rape-renewal-reckoning-8424247" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>People Magazine</em></a>, where she revealed that she was raped by “a friend" when she was in her thirties. </p> <p>"A man raped me in my thirties," she bravely revealed in the essay. </p> <p>"It wasn’t sexual at all. It was dominance and control. Overpowering control."</p> <p>The actress revealed that he was a friend who "made a unilateral decision" and recalled the fear she felt when the incident occurred. </p> <p>"He grabbed me by the arms and held me down. I was terrified," she said. </p> <p>"I didn’t want it to escalate to violence. I now know it was already sexual violence, but I was afraid he would become physically violent.</p> <p>"I went into freeze mode, a common trauma response when there is no option to escape. I checked out of my body," she recalled. </p> <p>Hargitay, who is the daughter of the late actress Jane Mansfield, said that she never thought of herself as a "survivor", and often "minimised" what happened to her when she talked about it with others. </p> <p>"My husband Peter remembers me saying, “I mean, it wasn’t rape," she wrote. </p> <p>"Then things started shifting in me, and I began talking about it more in earnest with those closest to me. They were the first ones to call it what it was."</p> <p>The actress said that she wants other survivors to feel "no shame" about sexual assault and wants "this violence to end." </p> <p>She added that justice "may look different for each survivor," but for her she wants "an acknowledgment and an apology" after what happened. </p> <p>"This is a painful part of my story. The experience was horrible. But it doesn’t come close to defining me, in the same way that no other single part of my story defines me," she concluded, adding that she feels for all sexual violence survivors. </p> <p>"I’m turning 60, and I’m so deeply grateful for where I am. I’m renewed and I’m flooded with compassion for all of us who have suffered. And I’m still proudly in process."</p> <p>Hargitay started her own foundation, the Joyful Heart Foundation, in 2004 to help survivors of sexual assault. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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The sky’s the limit: A brief history of in-flight entertainment

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/olusola-adewumi-john-1490381">Olusola Adewumi John</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-regina-3498">University of Regina</a> </em></p> <p>As the winter holidays draw near, many of us are already booking flights to see friends and family or vacation in warmer climates. Nowadays, air travel is synonymous with some form of in-flight entertainment, encompassing everything from the reception offered by the aircrew to the food choices and digital content.</p> <p>These services all add value to flying for customers. Passengers are now so familiar with in-flight entertainment that to travel without it is unthinkable.</p> <p><a href="https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/10/19/2762903/0/en/In-Flight-Entertainment-Connectivity-Market-to-Worth-21-03-Bn-by-2030-Exhibiting-With-a-15-9-CAGR.html">The in-flight entertainment and connectivity market grew to US$5.9 billion as of 2019</a>, a testament to its economic impact on both the airlines and the GDP of countries with airline carriers.</p> <p>In-flight entertainment is so ubiquitous that, even if all other airline services were offered, <a href="https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/19427/will-airlines-compensate-me-if-my-entertainment-system-is-not-working">the airline ensures a refund is made to the passenger affected</a> if television content cannot be accessed.</p> <h2>A brief history</h2> <p>In-flight entertainment has evolved significantly over the years. Before in-flight entertainment media was introduced, passengers entertained themselves by reading books or with food and drink services.</p> <p>The original aim of bringing in-flight entertainment into cabins was to attract more customers, drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, including the theatrical and domestic media environments. It was not initially for the comfort and ease of travelling, as it is today.</p> <p><a href="https://www.academia.edu/5023683/A_History_of_INFLIGHT_ENTERTAINMENT">Inflight entertainment began as an experiment</a> in 1921, when 11 Aeromarine Airways passengers were shown the film <em>Howdy Chicago!</em> on a screen hung in the cabin during the flight. Four years later, another experiment was carried out in 1925 when 12 passengers on board an Imperial Airlines flight from London were shown the film <em>The Lost World</em>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/air-space-magazine/when-did-inflight-movies-become-standard-on-airlines-180955566/">It wasn’t until the 1960s</a> that in-flight movies became mainstream for airlines. Trans World Airlines became the first carrier to regularly offer feature films during flights, using a unique film system developed by <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1962/06/02/inflight">David Flexer, then-president of Inflight Motion Pictures</a>.</p> <p>Starting in 1964, in-flight entertainment evolved to include various media types like 16-mm film, closed-circuit television, live television broadcasts and magnetic tape. In the 1970s, for example, airplanes might feature a large screen with a 16-mm projector in one part of the plane, while small screens hung overhead in another section.</p> <p><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/reviews-and-advice/when-did-airlines-install-seatback-entertainment-20190711-h1g51b.html">Seatback screens were introduced in 1988</a> when Airvision installed 6.9-centimetre screens on the backs of airline seats for Northwest Airlines. They have since morphed into the larger screens we are familiar with today, which are found on nearly every airline.</p> <h2>In-flight entertainment today</h2> <p>Most airlines nowadays have personal televisions for every passenger on long-haul flights. On-demand streaming and internet access are also now the norm. Despite initial concerns about speed and cost, in-flight services are becoming faster and more affordable.</p> <p>In-flight entertainment now includes movies, music, radio talk shows, TV talk shows, documentaries, magazines, stand-up comedy, culinary shows, sports shows and kids’ shows.</p> <p>However, the rise of personal devices, like tablets and smartphones, <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/the-weird-and-wonderful-history-of-in-flight-entertainment/">could spell the end for seatback screens</a>. A number of U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Air, have <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-09/airline-seatback-screens-may-soon-become-an-endangered-species">removed seatback screens from their domestic planes</a>.</p> <p>This decline is par for the course. To arrive at the complex system used by aircraft today, in-flight entertainment went through a number of different stages, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-0641-1_10">as identified by aviation scholar D.A. Reed</a>.</p> <p>It started with an idea phase, which saw the conception of the idea, followed by an arms race phase where most airlines adopted some form of it. Currently, airlines are facing challenges in the final — and current — phase of evolution, and are dealing with failures linked to business concept flaws or low revenue.</p> <p>Now that most air travellers carry electronic devices, fewer airlines are installing seatback screens. From an economic standpoint, this makes sense for airlines: removing seatback screens <a href="https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/business/airlines-travel-entertainment.html">improves fuel costs</a> and allows airlines to <a href="https://www.flightglobal.com/systems-and-interiors/united-ups-757-density-with-new-slimline-seats/126574.article">install slimmer seats</a>, allowing for more passengers.</p> <h2>More than entertainment</h2> <p>At some point in the evolution of in-flight entertainment, it started to serve as more than just a form of entertainment or comfort. Now, it’s also a competitive tool for airline advertisements, and a form of cultural production.</p> <p>In-flight entertainment has become an economic platform for investors, business people, manufacturers and entertainment providers, especially Hollywood. It also plays a key role in promoting the national culture of destination countries.</p> <p>However, the evolution of in-flight entertainment hasn’t been without its challenges. As a form of cultural production, it often reflects the interests of advertisers, governments and business entities. It also follows that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-0641-1_10">certain ideas, products and cultures are sold to passengers</a> via in-flight entertainment.</p> <p>The lucrative practice of capturing and selling passengers’ attention to advertisers was not limited to screens, either. In-flight magazines have always been packed with advertisements, and by the late 1980s, these advertisements had spread to napkins and the audio channels.</p> <p>Despite its shortcomings and precarious future, in-flight entertainment still offers passengers a sense of comfort, alleviating concerns about being suspended over 30,000 feet above sea level. If you end up flying during the holidays, remember your comfort is partly thanks to this innovation.<!-- 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/218996/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/olusola-adewumi-john-1490381"><em>Olusola Adewumi John</em></a><em>, Visiting Researcher, Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-regina-3498">University of Regina</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-skys-the-limit-a-brief-history-of-in-flight-entertainment-218996">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Update on Hamish and Zoe Foster Blake's terrifying break-in

<p>Hamish and Zoe Foster Blake have revealed details of the terrifying break-in at their rental home in Woollahra, while the couple and their two children, Rudy and Sonny, slept. </p> <p>The thief, identified as Daniel Booth, broke into the couple's  four-bedroom home in December 2021 and stole the keys to their Land Rover and Zoe's bag which contained the keys to her Tesla, $1000 in cash, and her designer wallet. </p> <p>Booth was arrested hours later, with the help of a tracking device installed in the stolen Land Rover, and faced  Sydney Downing Centre District Court on Tuesday. </p> <p>He pleaded guilty to a raft of charges related to a crime spree which occurred at the time, including a few other stolen vehicles and bags. </p> <p>Booth also admitted to groping a female Corrective Services officer while in custody before telling her: "Sorry miss."</p> <p>In 2018, Booth was serving a jail sentence for robbery with a serious weapon, and was released on parole in late 2021 before committing his Sydney-wide crime spree only weeks later, before getting arrested again after stealing from the Blakes. </p> <p>Crown prosecutor Maeve Curry revealed that the thief has been complaining of "paranoia and delusional thoughts" over the past 18 months, so the sentencing judge would have to balance "the community's interest in protection and also in punishment being imposed' against the difficulty of 'his personal circumstances'."</p> <p>Judge Donna Woodburne will sentence Booth in February 2024.</p> <p>He will remain behind bars until he returns to court. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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John Laws hangs up in disgust on Kyle and Jackie O

<p>The radio waves became a battlefield this morning as the titans of Australian talkback clashed in a dramatic showdown involving corset dresses, colon procedures – and a surprise departure for medical attention.</p> <p>The day kicked off with Jackie O making a grand entrance, albeit a slightly woozy one, having undergone surgery to bid farewell to a cervical polyp. Kyle, ever the supportive co-host, explained to listeners that Jackie was feeling under the weather and experiencing some tingling in her arm. (Because, as you know, corset dresses and surgery recovery are a match made in radio heaven.)</p> <p>"She just stepped out for a lay down. She’s got like a corset dress on and she had an operation yesterday," Kyle explained, giving us all a mental image of a radio host napping in style.</p> <p>But that was just the appetiser. The main course featured none other than radio legend John Laws, who decided to play hardball with the hosts in a dramatic fashion. Scheduled for an interview to celebrate an impressive 70 years on-air, Laws decided he'd had enough after catching wind of Jackie O's surgical  – and, let's face it, highly graphic – revelations.</p> <p>Jackie O explained to a bemused Kyle that her surgeon had operated on her “via the colon or the vagina, I’m not sure which... What must I have looked like on the operating table? Nude, shower cap...” </p> <p>Now, let's take a moment to appreciate the delicacy of the situation. Laws, a seasoned broadcaster, chose that exact moment to hang up on the dynamic duo faster than you can say "corset controversy". Apparently, the mere thought of following that "real" a discussion about medical procedures, particularly those involving the nether regions, was way too much for his delicate radio palate.</p> <p>In an unexpected turn of events, Laws' assistant then became the unwilling messenger between the offended radio icon and and the KIISFM hosts. “Is it true he got angry about Jackie’s disgusting story?” Kyle asked. The assistant revealed that Laws "just doesn’t like it, Jackie. He doesn’t like following all that talk about vaginas." A sentiment we're sure many have echoed when trying to enjoy their morning coffee.</p> <p>But the cherry on top was Laws hanging up not once, but twice! Cementing forever his stance on steering clear of on-air discussions involving surgical escapades.</p> <p>Jackie O valiantly defended herself, insisting it wasn't gratuitous and was, in fact, a perfectly normal chat about a medical procedure. Laws, unmoved, made it clear he had no interest in such shenanigans.</p> <p>As if that weren't enough drama for one day, Jackie O had to bow out early due to feeling unwell, prompting Kyle to make a mercy call to Laws on-air to explain the situation. Laws, ever the gentleman, softened his stance, admitting he was just surprised at the talk and muttering a nonchalant "never mind".</p> <p>After that morning of medical misadventures, corset calamities and a radio veteran hanging up, who would have guessed that a discussion about surgery could cause such a ruckus?</p> <p><em>Images: KIISFM / X </em></p>

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No gavels, no hearsay and lots of drinking: a law expert ranks legal dramas by their accuracy

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dale-mitchell-1468293">Dale Mitchell</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-the-sunshine-coast-1068">University of the Sunshine Coast</a></em></p> <p>From Elle Woods in Legally Blonde to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10383441.2015.1087367">Jennifer Walters in She-Hulk</a>, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird to Denny Crane in Boston Legal, our popular culture is often where we first see and witness legal practice.</p> <p>Sometimes this comes via the silver screen, other times television. But it would be wrong to think that all we see on legal television shows is accurate – even when it claims to capture reality.</p> <p>Most legal dramas are terrible at capturing the realities of law.</p> <h2>Not accurate: Law(less) and (dis)Order</h2> <p>Law and Order (1990-) innovated television drama by showcasing both the investigation of a crime by police, and then its prosecution in court. With its multiple spin-offs, including Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-) and the shortlived Law and Order: Trial by Jury (2005-2006) (which had the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aolG65V1Dx8">best theme song of all the series</a>), the Law and Order franchise is a televisual legal juggernaut.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aolG65V1Dx8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>As with most serials, Law and Order presents the criminal justice system as moving quicker than you can say <em>dun dun</em>. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The mean duration of criminal law matters in Australian higher courts was <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/criminal-courts-australia/latest-release">almost one year</a> (50 weeks) across 2021-22.</p> <p>While <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s5.html">procedural rules in civil matters</a> require courts to facilitate the “just and efficient resolution of disputes at minimum expense”, in criminal law, speed and efficiency must not be prioritised over accuracy: a person’s liberty is at stake.</p> <p>Most criminal matters do not proceed to a full trial as an accused will often plead guilty to the charges. As a result, the matter proceeds to sentencing without prosecutors needing to prove the offence. The rates of this occurring are quite alarming. <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/criminal-courts-australia/latest-release">Data across 2021-22</a> reveals over 75% of defendants in Australian courts entered a guilty plea, and almost four in five criminal convictions (79%) resulted from a guilty plea.</p> <p><a href="https://law.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1705761/32_1_8.pdf">Research suggests</a> defendants plead guilty for a variety of reasons, including to avoid the cost of a trial and to receive a lesser sentence. <a href="https://theconversation.com/pandemic-pushed-defendants-to-plead-guilty-more-often-including-innocent-people-pleading-to-crimes-they-didnt-commit-165056">Data from the United States</a> suggests the pressures of the pandemic led to innocent people pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit.</p> <p>If Law and Order was a more accurate reflection of criminal law, matters would proceed immediately to sentencing due to guilty pleas. And should an accused be found guilty, a chunk of their sentence would be reduced by time served awaiting trial.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/60GV5lv8h3o?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Not accurate: Suits</h2> <p>Suits (2011-19) centres around law firm partner Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and his mentorship of Mike Ross (Patrick Adams) – the “lawyer” who never graduated law school and provides legal advice thanks to his photographic memory.</p> <p>This is, obviously, a brutal ethical breach for all involved, and clearly fraud. In Australia, law students who present themselves to be lawyers are <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-07/law-graduate-jacob-reichman-fined-posing-solicitor-gold-coast/7824324">subject to sanctions</a> by the Legal Services Commission. They can <a href="https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/35821-fake-lawyer-cops-suspended-jail-sentence">cause harm to clients</a> who have hired their services. And the Legal Admissions Board may <a href="https://www.qlsproctor.com.au/2020/11/chief-justice-wants-answers-before-considering-lawyer-impersonators-bid-to-become-legal-practitioner/">deny their entry</a> into the profession.</p> <p>(Spoilers) Ross is eventually sentenced to two years in prison for this fraud, a similar sentence to <a href="https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/almID/1202786675709/">a recent case in the United States</a>, but he only serves three months before solving a crime and earning early release. More unrealistic than this early release is that Ross does fairly quickly thereafter gain admission to the profession, which seems unlikely to occur so soon after such an act of fraud.</p> <p>While Suits has left its mark(le) on the popular imagination of law, it fails to address one of the primary duties of civil litigation: the duty of disclosure.</p> <p>The MacGuffin-ing of law is common in TV serials. It’s the “smoking gun” found on the day of the trial, or for the lawyers in Suits, the random document which shows up <em>during</em> the trial to turn the case - dramatically presented by our protagonists as they flail into court armed with this data sans ethics.</p> <p>This is not quite accurate.</p> <p>In adversarial legal systems like Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, civil litigation rules <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s211.html">require parties</a> to disclose to one another all documents in their possession or control which are directly relevant to a matter in dispute.</p> <p>This is a continuing duty, so if you discover such a document at any time during the case, it must be disclosed. While <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s212.html">exceptions</a> based on various privileges may apply, this essentially means civil litigation must be run in an “all cards on the table” manner. Randomly producing undisclosed material at trial requires the leave of the court and may result in orders of contempt and <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s225.html">cost penalties</a>.</p> <p>It’s not like the lawyers of Suits have ever really been concerned about ethics, though.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wUh9jomHZp4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Not accurate: How to Get Away with Murder(ing rules of evidence)</h2> <p>While most lawyers would support making it a criminal offence to critique Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder (2014-20) presents one of the most common offences within legal dramas: the haphazard approach to rules of evidence.</p> <p>Annalise Keating (Davis) and her ragtag team of morally illiterate law students (although I never see them studying?!?!) manipulate people to obtain evidence and then dramatically prompt witnesses on the stand to read this information into the record, or otherwise “sneak” it into the trial.</p> <p>This is not accurate. And it ignores the basic reality that so much of legal practice is about not just obtaining evidence, but ensuring that evidence is admissible in court.</p> <p>One of the most important rules of evidence deals with <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s59.html"><em>hearsay evidence</em></a>. A court cannot allow evidence to be considered if its reliability is unable to be interrogated. Witnesses can only present evidence that they saw, heard or perceived themselves. Unless an exception to the hearsay rule applies, such evidence would be inadmissible.</p> <p>Like in Suits, these approaches to presenting evidence may have serious implications. This poor trial management results in <a href="https://www.aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/rpp074.pdf">delays to criminal trials.</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rMB_Gw5-T-I?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Accurate: Fisk</h2> <p>Fisk (2021-) follows Helen Tudor-Fisk (Kitty Flanagan), an established contract lawyer whose personal dramas lead her to move to the boutique Melbourne probate law firm of Gruber and Gruber (played by Marty Sheargold and Julia Zamero).</p> <p>Fisk excels in showing the importance of lawyer-client relations and the word-of-mouth that sustains much of small legal practice. It’s the anti-Suits, and Fisk is more powerful for it.</p> <p>The discussions of wills and estates and most basic legal principles in Fisk are mostly sound – and the show doesn’t need to get into “legalese” as matters are resolved out-of-court.</p> <p>This is a distinct reality of law: litigation is a last resort. Forms of <a href="https://www.qls.com.au/Practising-law-in-Qld/ADR/Alternative-Dispute-Resolution/Types-of-Alternative-Dispute-Resolution-(ADR)">alternative dispute resolution</a>, including mediation, negotiation and conciliation, have become the primary way of resolving legal disputes.</p> <p>Fuelled by <a href="https://www.ag.gov.au/legal-system/alternative-dispute-resolution/civil-dispute-resolution-act-2011">legislative changes</a> which require the exhaustion of alternative dispute resolution measures before proceeding to litigation, and a pursuit of reduced costs, the drama of trial is not something anyone should yearn for.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N1Qt0Wo1gGo?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Accurate: Rake</h2> <p>Cleaver Greene, a character said to be loosely based on the career of a Sydney barrister, shows us the absolute madness of work as a “<a href="https://nswbar.asn.au/the-bar-association/senior-counsel#:%7E:text=Senior%20counsel%20are%20barristers%20who,a%20QC%20or%20queen's%20counsel.">silk</a>”. Rake excels at showing the reality of law. The show raises interesting and accurate questions of law (yes, it is true there is no <a href="https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/bitstream/10453/18992/1/2011006119.pdf">explicit offence</a> of cannibalism in New South Wales) and presents Australian court process accurately.</p> <p>Thankfully, there’s not a gavel in sight. <a href="https://www.survivelaw.com/post/941-working-hardly-random-facts-about-the-gavel">Australian courts <em>do not</em> use gavels</a>, and their presence in legal dramas in Australian and UK courts shows a lack of attention to detail. The presence of the gavel as a symbol of justice is <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/NSWBarAssocNews/1994/17.pdf">an entirely American invention</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qWWI2EdOssk?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Rake is accurate, in part, because the site of drama is rarely the courtroom, but rather Greene’s personal life. The accuracy of that element for law I will leave up to the jury. But with a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13218719.2013.822783">2014 study</a> finding 35% of lawyers engaged in hazardous or harmful drinking and another showing <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-15/study-finds-high-rates-anxiety-depression-in-legal-profession/11412832">high rates of anxiety and depression</a> in the legal profession, the evidence is compelling.<!-- 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/212880/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/dale-mitchell-1468293"><em>Dale Mitchell</em></a><em>, Lecturer in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-the-sunshine-coast-1068">University of the Sunshine Coast</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/no-gavels-no-hearsay-and-lots-of-drinking-a-law-expert-ranks-legal-dramas-by-their-accuracy-212880">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

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What are your rights as an Airbnb renter in Australia? A law expert answers 6 common questions

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-giancaspro-182268">Mark Giancaspro</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p>Airbnb has revolutionised the short-stay industry. Launched in 2008, it now eclipses the world’s biggest hotel chains. In Australia alone there are about <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-15/short-stay-rentals-airbnb-impact-on-australian-property-market/101019726">100,000 listed properties</a>.</p> <p>But in dealing with both a digital platform and a private owner (or “host”, in Airbnb-speak), your legal rights as a renter (or “guest”) can be unclear – at least without reading lengthy terms and conditions.</p> <p>This article answers six very common questions about using Airbnb in Australia. Please note that your legal rights may differ in other countries. Even if Airbnb’s terms and conditions are near identical – and they generally are – there may be differences in consumer laws.</p> <h2>What if an Airbnb property doesn’t match its description?</h2> <p>Airbnb’s <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2908#6">terms and conditions</a> require the host to provide “complete and accurate information” about their property. Content, including photos, must be “up-to-date and accurate at all times”. Airbnb’s <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2895/">Host Ground Rules</a> state that listings “should accurately describe the home and reflect the features and amenities that will be available”.</p> <p>If a property does not match its description or photos, <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/d/anz-prohost-resource-centre-support">report this to Airbnb</a>.</p> <p>False advertising will also likely breach the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits (Section 18) commercial conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive. Report to the <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/report-a-consumer-issue">Australian Competition and Consumer Commission</a> here.</p> <p>There are no specific provisions to claim a refund or a discount for misleading listings. Your only recourse would seem be to initiate the cancellation policy that applies to your booking.</p> <h2>So when can I get a refund?</h2> <p>If you cancel your booking or leave the property early, your refund rights are determined by your <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/149">cancellation policy</a> (see “show trip details”).</p> <p>There are various <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/475">policies</a> (from which a host selects when listing). Most allow full refunds if you cancel one to five days prior to check-in, while others require up to 30 days’ notice or only provide partial refunds.</p> <p>If the host cancels on you, they <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/990">may be penalised</a> by Airbnb.</p> <h2>Can an Airbnb host impose harsh and unreasonable ‘house rules’?</h2> <p>If an owner wants to make rules against visitors without their permission or how many times you can use the washing machine, they generally can.</p> <p>When you rent a property through Airbnb, you are entering into a private agreement with the owner. Under contract law, they can stipulate whatever terms they like, so long as those rules aren’t illegal.</p> <p>What Australian Consumer Law does prohibit are <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/selling-products-and-services/contracts#toc-unfair-terms-in-standard-form-contracts-">unfair terms</a> in standard form “consumer contracts” – which an Airbnb contract likely qualifies as. An unfair term is one that:</p> <ul> <li>causes a significant imbalance in your rights and obligations</li> <li>is not reasonably necessary to protect the host’s interests</li> <li>would cause you detriment (financial or otherwise) if it was enforced.</li> </ul> <p>The problem is that you will need to sue the host (that is, initiate civil litigation) to prove this.</p> <p>Your best option is to carefully review the rules before you confirm your reservation. Once you confirm, you are legally agreeing to all of the host’s terms whether you’ve read and understood them or not.</p> <p>If you disagree with a rule, ask the host to waive or amend it. If they won’t budge, your choice is to book or not.</p> <h2>What are the boundaries for an Airbnb host/owner?</h2> <p>Hosts are <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3057">required</a> to ensure every property is secure and safe. Airbnb’s Community Policy states properties must be properly lockable and free of hazards, and hosts must be responsive and willing to answer guest queries within a reasonable time.</p> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3060?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1691395791_NmY1ZDNmZjQxZjQy">According to Airbnb</a>, a host cannot physically intrude or interfere with your stay. They can only re-enter their property (or a guest’s room in a shared stay) if there is an emergency or with express permission.</p> <p>In a shared stay, the host must not enter the bathrooms or guest bedrooms when the guests are inside. The host is also forbidden from sharing private details, photos, or videos of you without consent.</p> <p>Where your safety is threatened, you should contact law enforcement and notify Airbnb. If you decide to leave, you may be entitled to a partial refund. Your rights depend on the cancellation policy applying to your booking (discussed further below).</p> <h2>If I am injured in or get sick because of an Airbnb property, can I claim compensation?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2908#4.2">Clause 4.2</a> of Airbnb’s terms and conditions states that, by staying at a listed property, you acknowledge and “freely and willfully” accept the risk of “illness, bodily injury, disability, or death”.</p> <p>Further, clause 19 contains a broad disclaimer absolving Airbnb of any liability for “personal or bodily injury or emotional distress” incurred in using its services. Clause 20 also contains an indemnity preventing you from making any claim against Airbnb in relation to your stay.</p> <p>This gives Airbnb legal protection. But you may make a claim against the host.</p> <p>The first step would be to formally write to the host outlining your claim. Airbnb may also assist with any disputes. If this fails, you can sue the host but whether the cost and effort is worth it will depend on the extent of your injury or illness.</p> <p>If you do make any claim against the host, they will likely rely on Airbnb’s insurance. Every Airbnb host is insured up to US$1 million (about A$1.5 million) through Airbnb’s <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3145">Host Liability Insurance Programme</a>. This covers any bodily injuries incurred by guests (or others) and damage to or theft of any property belonging to a guest (or others).</p> <p>There are some exceptions to what Airbnb’s insurance will cover, such as intentional violence, mould and communicable disease. If you want compensation for something the host is personally liable for, you are more likely to have to take legal action, using a lawyer. Consider the costs carefully.</p> <h2>What’s the maximum cleaning/damages fee an Airbnb host can charge?</h2> <p>Cleaning fees are <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2812">set by the host</a>. Airbnb provides a <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3171">pricing tool</a> to help them calculate a reasonable fee – generally <a href="https://www.igms.com/airbnb-cleaning-fee/">based on size and facilities</a> – but there is no maximum, presumably on the rationale that market forces (and reviews) will deter hosts from charging too much.</p> <p>Nor is there a maximum damages fee. You can formally <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/d/anz-prohost-resource-centre-support">dispute the amount</a> with Airbnb, which will determine if it is reasonable, relying on information provided by both parties.</p> <p>Charging exorbitant prices is not illegal though Australian Consumer Law does prohibit “<a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/selling-products-and-services/unfair-business-practices#toc-unconscionable-conduct">unconscionable conduct</a>”. But, again, you need to initiate legal proceedings and have a court agree you deserve compensation.</p> <h2>Where to go for help and advice</h2> <p>You can <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/d/anz-prohost-resource-centre-support">contact Airbnb</a> for any account, listing, or reservation-related questions. Online forums can also be useful for advice and support.</p> <p>You can report consumer complaints to the <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/report-a-consumer-issue">Australian Competition and Consumer Commission</a> but the federal regulator does not resolve individual complaints or provide legal advice on your rights and obligations. For preliminary advice go to the following state and territory consumer advice agencies:</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="lhlWv" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/lhlWv/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><em>Please note this article does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a lawyer.<!-- 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/211026/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 --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-giancaspro-182268">Mark Giancaspro</a>, Senior Lecturer in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</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/what-are-your-rights-as-an-airbnb-renter-in-australia-a-law-expert-answers-6-common-questions-211026">original article</a>.</em></p>

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5 memorable locations from ‘80s films to check out

<p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Everyone loves a good movie, and everyone loves a holiday, so what do you get when you combine the two? The time of your life! </span></p> <p>It’s widely known that the ‘80s spawned a whole host of films that went on to become cult classics - from the likes of <em>Heathers </em>to <em>Footloose</em>, <em>Dirty Dancing</em>, and <em>The Terminator</em> - and forged the way for cultural changes that ring true decades later. </p> <p>But did you also know that for many of these iconic films, real-life locations served as the inspiration for many memorable scenes? </p> <p>And while some may have changed slightly in the years since cast and crew flocked to them, some are like stepping into a time capsule - or a stage for you to re-enact the films as you see fit. </p> <p><strong>Lake Lure, North Carolina - <em>Dirty Dancing</em> (1987)</strong></p> <p>Anyone who’s seen<em> Dirty Dancing</em> can tell you that ‘the lift scene’ is one of the film’s most iconic moments. And it - along with a few others from the film - were filmed in North Carolina’s very own Lake Lure. And with the spot boasting its very own Lake Lure Inn &amp; Spa - where, coincidentally, the movie’s stars stayed while working on the project - it could be the perfect getaway location for your next holiday. </p> <p><strong>Guesthouse International Hotel, California - <em>National Lampoon Vacation</em> (1983) </strong></p> <p>For those embarking on their very own<em> National Lampoon Vacation</em>, you’re in luck - the hexagonal pool is near exactly the same as it was when Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold enjoyed a nighttime swim with Christie Brinkley’s The Girl in the Ferrari. </p> <p><strong>New York Public Library, New York - <em>Ghostbusters </em>(1984)</strong></p> <p>The 1984 film sparked an entire host of sequels, games, parodies, and conventions for avid fans across the globe - as well as one incredibly catchy song. However, for those that would like to go above and beyond just calling their friendly neighbourhood ghostbusters, the  New York Public Library’s flagship Stephen A Schwarzman building is the spot where the team had their very first encounter with the film’s ghosts. </p> <p><strong>Griffith Observatory, California - <em>The Terminator</em> (1984)</strong></p> <p>Fans of<em> The Terminator </em>should immediately recognise this site as the one where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator arrived in the nude, and basked in the glory of LA at night. It’s a popular location, and while a must-see for fans of the film, it also makes for a good afternoon out - the observatory itself boasts free entry, stunning views, and a range of fascinating exhibits inside to entertain the keen mind. </p> <p><strong>The Grand Hotel, Michigan - <em>Somewhere in Time </em>(1980)</strong></p> <p>The Grand Hotel was the primary location for romantic drama <em>Somewhere in Time</em>, and they’re proud of it. In fact, a poster for the film is reportedly even still on display there, and hosts weekends of celebration for the 1980 hit, too. </p> <p>The island the hotel is set on doesn’t allow cars, so anyone hoping to throw themselves back in time and fully immerse themselves in a ‘different world’, this National Historic Landmark may be just the place to do it. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty, Booking.net</em></p>

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Dr Chris Brown calls out Seven’s “stupid” Logies decision

<p dir="ltr">Dr Chris Brown has jokingly called out Seven’s “stupid” decision to make him co-host of this year’s TV Week Logies red carpet.</p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>Bondi Vet</em> star is set to present at the red carpet alongside Sonia Kruger on July 30, but he is still unsure as to why he was chosen.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Can I just tell you, it is one of the more stupid decisions ever made by Channel 7 to put me on the Red Carpet,” he joked during his guest appearance on Triple M’s<em> Mick &amp; MG in the Morning</em> on July 13.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know nothing about fashion... and I am also colourblind,” he said, which made the radio hosts chuckle.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brown wondered how he would comment on the stars’ gowns given his condition.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The joy that I’m going to have in telling women that I love their green dress and (I’m) gonna be told it’s red... what could possibly go wrong?” he told the radio hosts.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The insulting nature of my commentary is going to be worth it.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mick Molloy then joked that he was “going to make the carpet green” for extra laughs, to which Brown replied: “it might as well be, Micky”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brown and Kruger will present the star-studded event and bring viewers straight into the action from the Logies red carpet at Sydney’s The Star on Sunday, July 30.</p> <p dir="ltr">This will be Brown’s first official role at Seven since he<a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/the-doctor-is-out-chris-brown-changes-the-script" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> left <em>Network Ten</em></a> in February, where he had worked for the last 15 years.</p> <p><em>Image: News.com.au/ Triple M’s Mick &amp; MG in the Morning</em></p>

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What is the difference between the laws of cricket and the ‘spirit’ of cricket?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vaughan-cruickshank-396715">Vaughan Cruickshank</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>The second Ashes Test ended in tense scenes on Sunday following the controversial dismissal of English batsman Jonny Bairstow. His stumping infuriated a pro-England crowd at the famous Lord’s ground and divided the cricketing world.</p> <p>While the Australians would no doubt have preferred to win with less controversy, did they actually do anything wrong?</p> <p>In answer to that question, it’s widely accepted, even by the English team, that his dismissal was within the laws of cricket. But critics then invoked the “spirit of cricket” to suggest the Australians should not have asked for the dismissal to be upheld. So what is the difference?</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket">laws of cricket</a> detail the rules of the game of cricket worldwide. They have been owned and maintained by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London for over 200 years.</p> <p>The rules are clear and the many English fans and past players, along with the <a href="https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/ashes-2023-jonny-bairstow-stumped-by-alex-carey-cricket-rule-explained-was-he-out-was-the-decision-right-second-test-at-lords-reaction-news/news-story/41f36dc48a1515effb69a5c18acccf5a">current captain and coach</a>, have acknowledged the umpires were correct according to those laws.</p> <p>That’s when we get to the “spirit”. Since the late 1990s, the laws of cricket have also had an introductory statement or preamble. It states that cricket should be played not only according to the laws, <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket/spirit-of-cricket">but also in the “spirit of cricket”</a>“.</p> <p>This preamble is aimed at reminding players and officials of their responsibility for ensuring cricket is played <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket/spirit-of-cricket">in a truly sportsmanlike manner</a>.</p> <p>The two captains have the main responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play is upheld. This primarily involves making sure players show respect for other players, officials and the traditional values of cricket. It is against the spirit of the game to do things such as dispute an umpire’s decision, verbally or physically abuse a player or umpire, or cheat.</p> <p>The problem is the "spirit of cricket” is a subjective and slightly hazy concept. Respected English cricket writers have even suggested it has not existed since 1882, using an <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2023/07/04/the-ashes-cheating-bairstow-spirit-of-cricket-tradition/">example of conduct</a> by the “father of cricket”, W.G. Grace himself.</p> <p>While cricket is united under its laws, cricket is a global game and the idea of the “spirit” differs around the world. Consequently, opinions about Bairstow’s dismissal have been highly polarised. Many English players and fans are very angry at what has occurred, accusing Australia of going against the “spirit of cricket”. The fact they narrowly lost the match no doubt intensified this feeling.</p> <p>Their anger is reflected in the front-page stories in <a href="https://twitter.com/cric_blog/status/1675808745656573954">numerous English newspapers</a> and in social media posts. Twitter has had tens of thousands of tweets under trending hashtags such as #Ashes, #Bairstow and #SpiritofCricket.</p> <p>Interestingly, a look at these hashtags also reveal numerous accusations of hypocrisy by the English, backed up with <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/ashes-cricket-2023-eight-times-england-broke-the-spirit-of-cricket-as-bairstow-incident-ignites/52QFZT4ES5FG5OUBZMUKGJHEYI/">examples</a> of England’s questionable, and sometimes very similar, conduct. These examples have included central figures such as English players <a href="https://twitter.com/BigOtrivia/status/1675643613689311232">Stuart</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MitchellGlenn/status/1675685369898242048">Broad</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/1116sen/status/1676076294306689026">Jonny</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TonyIKnow/status/1676246531387846657">Bairstow</a> and coach <a href="https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/cant-reward-stupidity-brendan-mccullums-words-come-back-to-bite-him/news-story/b4f114547671fa325b11a3acef806ae2">Brendon McCullum</a>.</p> <p>Additionally, the only player who has been fined for displaying <a href="https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/3542860">conduct contrary</a> to the spirit of the game in this Ashes series is English player Moeen Ali.</p> <p>Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting noted that a key part of the spirit of cricket was <a href="https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/ashes-2023-cricket-news-ricky-ponting-hits-out-at-ben-stokes-response-to-lords-furore/news-story/cd9859c2dfc32c007e6e9c76a22136be">respecting the umpire’s decision</a>, which in this instance he said the English players, fans and press had not. Indeed, several MCC members have been <a href="https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/66082409">suspended</a> over their abuse of Australian cricketers returning to their dressing room.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yiuo50uCL9s?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Perhaps the key lesson that both sides could learn can be encapsulated in the old saying that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, particularly in the modern age when evidence can be quickly <a href="https://www.thechronicle.com.au/sport/cricket/jonny-bairstow-footage-all-but-silences-englands-spirit-of-the-game-debate/news-story/4a4b6d8f9ce801fb23169e6d8c87a5f3">found on the internet</a>.</p> <p>Neither country has a clean slate when it comes to the “spirit of cricket”. Both should be careful about trying to take the moral high ground. Trevor Chappell’s <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/cricket/icc-world-cup-2015/when-trevor-chappell-rolled-the-ball-down-the-pitch-to-brian-mckechnie-he-did-the-kiwis-a-favour/news-story/9e6cdec155f23674f3abf0629a96abaa">underarm bowl</a> is one of the most infamous Australian examples, still remembered over 40 years later.</p> <p>Bairstow’s dismissal is the most recent controversy and unlikely to be the last.</p> <p>As the Australian team heads to Leeds for the third Test starting on Thursday, there are concerns tensions could boil over, on and off the field. Leeds is known for its raucous atmosphere. Cricket Australia has <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/australia-news-live-rba-interest-rates-joko-widodo-pwc-scandal-20230704-p5dlpf.html?post=p54ztv">increased security</a> for the Australian team and reportedly told players to remain <a href="https://au.sports.yahoo.com/cricket-ashes-jonny-bairstow-stumping-controversy-exposes-worrying-aussie-truth-014432845.html">extra vigilant</a> when dining out in restaurants during the remaining weeks of the Ashes.</p> <p>We may never get complete agreement on the “spirit of cricket” and whether the Australians breached it on this occasion. Perhaps the closest we can get is to agree with former Australian bowler and Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie, who <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-12256795/Mail-Sports-experts-weigh-controversial-stumping-Englands-second-Test-defeat.html">believes</a> that "by playing within the laws of the game you are playing within the spirit of the game."</p> <p>Let’s hope the remainder of the series sees a cooling of tensions and more focus on the last three Tests being <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket/preamble-to-the-laws-spirit-of-cricket">played hard but fair</a>, without reigniting “spirit of cricket” debates that no one wins.<!-- 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/209124/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/vaughan-cruickshank-396715">Vaughan Cruickshank</a>, Program Director – Health and Physical Education, Maths/Science, Faculty of Education, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</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/what-is-the-difference-between-the-laws-of-cricket-and-the-spirit-of-cricket-209124">original article</a>.</em></p>

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