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Major TV star's 7-year-old undergoes third open heart surgery

<p>Jimmy Kimmel's seven-year-old son has undergone his third, and hopefully final open heart surgery after being born with congenital heart disease. </p> <p>In 2017, Jimmy <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmWWoMcGmo0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">revealed</a> that Billy was only three days old when had to undergo his first open heart surgery, after doctors found “a hole in the wall of the left and right side of his heart” that was preventing enough oxygen from reaching his blood. </p> <p>Billy was only seven months old when he had to undergo his second open heart surgery, and over the weekend he had to undergo his third major surgery at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. </p> <p>A few days later, the TV host took to Instagram to share an update following his son's successful surgery. </p> <p>"We went into this experience with a lot of optimism and nearly as much fear and came out with a new valve inside a happy, healthy kid," Kimmel wrote, alongside a picture of his youngest son smiling in a hospital bed. </p> <p>He then thanked all the surgeons, doctors and other medical staff who "came through for us with immeasurable kindness and expertise." </p> <p>"Walking around this hospital, meeting parents at their most vulnerable, children in pain and the miracle workers who do everything in their considerable power to save them is a humbling experience," Kimmel continued.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C7fE-p4S7YN/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C7fE-p4S7YN/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He then highlighted the hospital's dedication to providing help to families "regardless of their ability to pay". </p> <p>Jimmy then extended his thanks to his family and friends and the "loving strangers who took time to pray for and send positive energy to our baby".</p> <p>He gave a special shout out to his wife Molly – for "being stronger than is reasonable for any Mum to be". The pair also share daughter Jane, nine. </p> <p>The late night TV host then praised his son for being "the toughest (and funniest) 7 year-old we know."</p> <p>"There are so many parents and children who aren't fortunate enough to go home after five days," he added and encouraged his followers to send their thoughts and prayers to these families. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram/ X</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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New study reveals people who do this daily make more money over their lifetimes

<p>You’ve heard that regular exercise can help you live richly. Frequent movement, even in short bursts throughout the day, has been linked to lower all-cause mortality rates and reduced risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and other age-related conditions, helping you age healthfully and stay independent.</p> <p>Now, new research suggests frequent exercise might help you live well in another meaningful way; in terms of income. In a recent study published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, doctors from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which is part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), investigated whether individuals who stayed active would earn more money as a result of their active lifestyle.</p> <p>The researchers’ findings revealed that staying active not only resulted in higher present earnings, but also predicted increased future income throughout one’s life. In essence, the science was clear: Getting more exercise could make you wealthier.</p> <h2>How exercise predicted future earnings</h2> <p>The researchers set out to explore three key correlations: How mobility affected income, how mobility influenced income over time, and whether exercise could help people maintain their mobility as they aged.</p> <p>The team analysed data from the US-federally-supported Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the largest study tracking changes over time in Americans aged 50 and above. This comprehensive study takes into account various life aspects, including work, socio-economic status, health, psychology and family matters, as individuals age.</p> <p>To assess the impact of current mobility on income, the researchers examined data from over 19,000 respondents to determine how well they could perform simple tasks, such as walking several blocks, climbing multiple flights of stairs, or moving around a room. Each person received a numerical score, with 5 indicating full mobility and 0 indicating difficulties with these tasks.</p> <h2>What earnings over time revealed</h2> <p>The researchers found that for each decrease in the mobility category, individuals lost out on an average of US$3000 in annual income compared to their peers. Those who were active were also significantly more likely to remain working for longer than the other group. It appeared that engaging in exercise enabled individuals to maintain mobility and engage in professional life for a longer period of time than those who were less active.</p> <p>Looking at earnings over time revealed even more substantial benefits for those who remained active throughout their lives. Active individuals showed an overall income level that was US$6500 higher, along with higher rates of employment.</p> <p>For the third part of the study, it’s not surprising that those who engaged in exercise continued to maintain their mobility after the age of 55 and had higher employment rates. Even exercising just one day a week showed improvements in mobility outcomes.</p> <h2>Moving more benefits more than just health</h2> <p>While this study doesn’t definitively prove that leading a healthy lifestyle directly leads to higher earnings, it strongly suggests that staying healthy and mobile brings benefits beyond just lower levels of disease (which is a type of wealth in and of itself). NIAMS Director Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., underscores this point: “We have long understood that greater mobility is an important indicator of good health … The notion that mobility can have economic rewards further extends the evidence for the benefits of exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle.”</p> <p>If this science inspires you to make a healthy lifestyle change, speak with a licensed healthcare provider to determine the right exercise programme for you.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/new-study-reveals-people-who-do-this-daily-make-more-money-over-their-lifetimes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em> </p>

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"I felt duped": 95-year-old loses $1.6 million in bank scam

<p>A 95-year-old has been left feeling "sick" after she was scammed out of $1.6 million by heartless scammers claiming to be a bank. </p> <p>In November last year, Harriet Spring received a call from a man who called himself George Thompson, and said he worked for ING Bank. </p> <p>The man gained Harriet's trust over several months, at the difficult time that the great-grandmother was handling the sale of her mother's house.</p> <p>"Over time, I completely thought he was from ING, I had no reason to believe he wasn't," she told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/95-year-old-great-grandmother-loses-more-than-1-million-life-savings-to-scammers/f41540e7-f5c9-4c3b-89a7-ac94dd81bf6a" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Today</em></a>.</p> <p>"George" then convinced Harriet the money from the sale of the house could build interest in an ING account, but it was actually being held by Westpac Bank.</p> <p>"It sounds implausible now, but the scammer had me convinced and I told my mother's bank, Teachers Mutual Bank, that this was an ING fixed term deposit, but it was being put in the Westpac bank," she said.</p> <p>"I put down the BSB number and the account number and what I thought was my name attached to the account, (my mother's bank) pointed out that it seems strange and ING account would be held with Westpac, but they still went ahead and authorised the transfer."</p> <p>When Harriet realised the scammers had taken hold of her life savings totalling $1.6 million, she felt "sick". </p> <p>"Obviously my world just fell out from under me - I just felt sick," she said.</p> <p>"I felt utterly responsible, I felt duped, foolish, ashamed - a lot of shame associated with it and I think that's why a lot of people don't come forward and talk about this kind of thing."</p> <p>Harriet has shared her story as a warning for others to be wary of potential scammers, while also calling on banks to have better protocols in place to stop suspicious transactions from going through. </p> <p>"Someone with basic training from the bank would have known that ING don't bank with any other banks and they should have flagged it," she said.</p> <p>"I believe the reality is that the banks 100 per cent put the blame on the victims and they minimise their own liability."</p> <p>"There should be some sort of system for compensating victims, the banks don't commit the theft, but they certainly drive the getaway car and they need to be held responsible for being complicit with this."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today </em></p>

Legal

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People with dementia aren’t currently eligible for voluntary assisted dying. Should they be?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-white-15387">Ben White</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/casey-haining-1486290">Casey Haining</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lindy-willmott-15386">Lindy Willmott</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-feeney-140352">Rachel Feeney</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>Dementia is the <a href="https://www.dementia.org.au/about-dementia">second leading cause of death</a> for Australians aged over 65. More than 421,000 Australians <a href="https://www.dementia.org.au/about-dementia">currently live with dementia</a> and this figure is expected to almost double in the next 30 years.</p> <p>There is ongoing public <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2024/220/9/should-voluntary-assisted-dying-victoria-be-extended-encompass-people-dementia">discussion</a> about whether dementia should be a qualifying illness under Australian voluntary assisted dying laws. Voluntary assisted dying is <a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Issue-464-10-Waller-et-al.pdf">now lawful in all six states</a>, but is not available for a person living with dementia.</p> <p>The Australian Capital Territory has <a href="https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8631104/marisa-paterson-to-consult-on-voluntary-assisted-dying-amendments/?cs=14329">begun debating</a> its voluntary assisted dying bill in parliament but the government has <a href="https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/DownloadFile/es/db_68610/current/PDF/db_68610.PDF">ruled out</a> access for dementia. Its view is that a person should retain decision-making capacity throughout the process. But the bill includes a requirement to <a href="https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/b/db_68609/">revisit the issue</a> in three years.</p> <p>The Northern Territory is also considering reform and <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fnation%2Fpolitics%2Fconcerning-territory-nt-surveys-public-support-on-euthanasia-for-mentally-ill%2Fnews-story%2F4e45111bb293af4cf32ac3c6df058869&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21=GROUPA-Segment-2-NOSCORE&amp;V21spcbehaviour=append">has invited views</a> on access to voluntary assisted dying for dementia.</p> <p>Several public figures have also entered the debate. Most recently, former Australian Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/melbourne-drive/voluntary-assisted-dying-dementia-victoria/103467864">called for the law to be widened</a> to allow access.</p> <p>Others <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/voluntary-assisted-dying-should-not-be-available-to-dementia-patients-20230607-p5deqo.html">argue</a> permitting voluntary assisted dying for dementia would present unacceptable risks to this vulnerable group.</p> <h2>Australian laws exclude access for dementia</h2> <p>Current Australian voluntary assisted dying laws <a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Issue-464-10-Waller-et-al.pdf">exclude access</a> for people who seek to qualify because they have dementia.</p> <p>In New South Wales, the <a href="https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2022-017">law specifically states</a> this.</p> <p>In the other states, this occurs through a <a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Issue-451-White-et-al.pdf">combination of the eligibility criteria</a>: a person whose dementia is so advanced that they are likely to die within the 12 month timeframe would be highly unlikely to retain the necessary decision-making capacity to request voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>This does not mean people who have dementia cannot access voluntary assisted dying if they also have a terminal illness. For example, a person who retains decision-making capacity in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease with terminal cancer may access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <h2>What happens internationally?</h2> <p>Voluntary assisted dying laws in some other countries allow access for people living with dementia.</p> <p>One mechanism, used in the Netherlands, is through <a href="https://agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jgs.16692">advance directives or advance requests</a>. This means a person can specify in advance the conditions under which they would want to have voluntary assisted dying when they no longer have decision-making capacity. This approach depends on the person’s family identifying when those conditions have been satisfied, generally in consultation with the person’s doctor.</p> <p>Another approach to accessing voluntary assisted dying is to allow a person with dementia to choose to access it while they still have capacity. This involves regularly assessing capacity so that just before the person is predicted to lose the ability to make a decision about voluntary assisted dying, they can seek assistance to die. In Canada, this has been referred to as the “<a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Issue-451-White-et-al.pdf">ten minutes to midnight</a>” approach.</p> <h2>But these approaches have challenges</h2> <p>International experience reveals these approaches have limitations. For advance directives, it can be difficult to specify the conditions for activating the advance directive accurately. It also requires a family member to initiate this with the doctor. Evidence also shows doctors are <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1472-6939-16-7">reluctant</a> to act on advance directives.</p> <p>Particularly challenging are <a href="https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12910-019-0401-y">scenarios</a> where a person with dementia who requested voluntary assisted dying in an advance directive later appears happy and content, or no longer expresses a desire to access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>Allowing access for people with dementia who retain decision-making capacity also has practical problems. Despite regular assessments, a person may lose capacity in between them, meaning they miss the window before midnight to choose voluntary assisted dying. These capacity assessments can also be very complex.</p> <p>Also, under this approach, a person is required to make such a decision at an early stage in their illness and may lose years of otherwise enjoyable life.</p> <p>Some also argue that regardless of the approach taken, allowing access to voluntary assisted dying would involve unacceptable risks to a vulnerable group.</p> <h2>More thought is needed before changing our laws</h2> <p>There is <a href="https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2020/5620T490.pdf">public demand</a> to allow access to voluntary assisted dying for dementia in Australia. The mandatory reviews of voluntary assisted dying legislation <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/pdf/AH23005">present an opportunity</a> to consider such reform. These reviews generally happen after three to five years, and in some states they will occur regularly.</p> <p>The scope of these reviews can vary and sometimes governments may not wish to consider changes to the legislation. But the Queensland review “<a href="https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/asmade/act-2021-017">must include a review of the eligibility criteria</a>”. And the ACT bill requires the review to <a href="https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/b/db_68609/">consider</a> “advanced care planning”.</p> <p>Both reviews would require consideration of who is able to access voluntary assisted dying, which opens the door for people living with dementia. This is particularly so for the ACT review, as advance care planning means allowing people to request voluntary assisted dying in the future when they have lost capacity.</p> <p>This is a complex issue, and more thinking is needed about whether this public desire for voluntary assisted dying for dementia should be implemented. And, if so, how the practice could occur safely, and in a way that is acceptable to the health professionals who will be asked to provide it.</p> <p>This will require a careful review of existing international models and their practical implementation as well as what would be feasible and appropriate in Australia.</p> <p>Any future law reform should be <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/AH/AH19201">evidence-based</a> and draw on the views of people living with dementia, their family caregivers, and the health professionals who would be relied on to support these decisions.<!-- 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/224075/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/ben-white-15387"><em>Ben White</em></a><em>, Professor of End-of-Life Law and Regulation, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/casey-haining-1486290">Casey Haining</a>, Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lindy-willmott-15386">Lindy Willmott</a>, Professor of Law, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-feeney-140352">Rachel Feeney</a>, Postdoctoral research fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</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/people-with-dementia-arent-currently-eligible-for-voluntary-assisted-dying-should-they-be-224075">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

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“These are people’s lives”: Calls for gambling reform after fatal cruise ship plunge

<p>The shocking death of a 50-year-old father who went overboard on a P&O Cruise has caused widespread outrage, with many questioning who is to blame for his untimely passing. </p> <p>Shane Dixon had racked up $5,000 of gambling debt while onboard the Elvis-themed voyage, which his mother, who was also travelling with him, helped him to repay. </p> <p>The next day, Dixon went back to the cruise ship's casino where he racked up another $4,000 in debt, before he plunged to his death while the vessel was on its way into Sydney Harbour. </p> <p>While questions have arisen about the circumstances surrounding his death, the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform Carol Bennett said the cruise ship operator had failed to provide Shane with an adequate duty of care, and encouraged him to keep gambling. </p> <p>"It's really concerning that when a ship sails 12 nautical miles off the coast it can then allow anything and everything to happen," she told <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13414919/Anti-gambling-Shane-Dixon-cruise-ship-casino.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Mail Australia</a></em>.  </p> <p>"The rules that might apply on land no longer seem to apply and yet you would expect this cruise line would have some kind of duty of care to ensure that people are not plied with inducements, promotions and advertisements that are pushing them to gamble to extremely harmful levels."</p> <p>"It is just beyond belief that there is not an expectation that when a cruise ship leaves a dock that the rules of that jurisdiction apply."</p> <p>"But clearly that's not the case and we leave it all in the hands of the cruise line operator who may or may not apply the responsible service of gambling."</p> <p>Ms Bennett said it was "fundamental" that gamblers were able to set spend limits, self-exclude themselves and be in an environment free of inducements: all of which are required by law when it comes to casinos on Australian soil. </p> <p>"This is just basic harm reduction that any provider or organisation that is providing gambling services should be complying with," she said. </p> <p>"And if they're not, we need to really seriously think about what governments need to do to address this problem because you do wonder how widespread this is. This could be just the tip of the iceberg."</p> <p>Ms Bennett said Australia loses an estimated $25billion on legal forms of gambling each year, with the consequences spreading far beyond the impact on the economy. </p> <p>"It leads to everything from domestic and family violence to health and mental health issues, anxiety, depression, financial distress, right through to suicide," she said. </p> <p>"It is a huge and to some degree hidden problem in Australia, which is why we need stronger enforcement of safeguards and guardrails around gambling that don't see people led into a situation where they see no other way out but suicide."</p> <p>"These are peoples lives. For every person who gambles, there are six people around them who are going to be directly impacted."</p> <p>Labor backbencher Graham Perrett said the British cruise line most likely operated under the UK's gambling laws.</p> <p>"My understanding is that the UK gambling laws are not dissimilar to ours in terms of marketing and advertising," he said. </p> <p>"It's not just a gambling free-for-all, even if they are outside our territorial seas they still have to follow the laws of the UK."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock</em></p>

Cruising

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Technology is alienating people – and it’s not just those who are older

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carolyn-wilson-nash-1255329">Carolyn Wilson-Nash</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/julie-tinson-277507">Julie Tinson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a></em></p> <p>We take it for granted that technology brings people closer together and improves our access to essential products and services. If you can’t imagine life without your smartphone, it’s easy to forget that people who can’t or don’t want to engage with the latest technology are being left behind.</p> <p>For example, there have recently been reports that <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1618497/parking-poll-results-cashless-car-parks-card-smartphone-app-only-elderly-drivers-spt">cashless payment systems</a> for car parking in the UK are seeing older drivers unfairly hit with fines. This has led to calls for the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10851103/Esther-Rantzen-tells-ministers-pensioners-not-use-apps-pay-parking.html">government to intervene</a>.</p> <p>Age is one of the biggest predictors of <a href="https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-08/landscape-covid-19-digital.pdf">digital exclusion</a>. Only 47% of those aged <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2019">75 and over</a> use the internet regularly. And out of the 4 million who have never used the internet in the UK, only 300,000 people are <a href="https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-08/landscape-covid-19-digital.pdf">under 55</a>.</p> <p>But older people are not the only ones who feel shut out by new technology. For example, research shows vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities, are also disengaging with e-services and being <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2012.691526">“locked out” of society</a>.</p> <h2>The digital transition</h2> <p>From train tickets to vaccine passports, there is a growing expectation that consumers should embrace technology to participate in everyday life. This is a global phenomenon. Out in front, Sweden predicts its economy will be <a href="https://sweden.se/life/society/a-cashless-society">fully cashless</a> by March 2023.</p> <p>Shops increasingly use QR codes, virtual reality window displays and self-service checkouts. Many of these systems require a smart device, and momentum is building for QR codes to be integrated into <a href="https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/technology-and-supply-chain/the-time-has-finally-arrived-for-electronic-shelf-labels-heres-why/661068.article">digital price tags</a> as they can give customers extra information such as nutritional content of food. Changing paper labels is a labour intensive process.</p> <p>Technology pervades all aspects of consumer life. Going on holiday, enjoying the cinema or theatre, and joining sport and social clubs all make people feel part of society. But many popular artists now use online queues to sell tickets to their shows. Social groups use WhatsApp and Facebook to keep their members updated.</p> <p>When it comes to booking a holiday, there is a <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/919811/number-of-travel-agents-united-kingdom-uk/#:%7E:text=Overall%2C%20there%20were%203%2C710%20retail,as%20TUI%20and%20Hays%20Travel.">decreasing number</a> of in-person travel agents. This limits the social support to make the best choice, which is particularly important for those with specific needs such as people with health issues. And once travelling, aircrew expect flight boarding passes and COVID passports to be available on smartphones.</p> <p>Essential services such as healthcare, which can already <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2022.2078861">be difficult</a> for older and other people to navigate, are also moving online. Patients are increasingly expected to use the GP website or email to request to see a doctor. Ordering prescriptions online is encouraged.</p> <h2>Not just older people</h2> <p><a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/digital-lifeline-a-qualitative-evaluation/digital-lifeline-a-qualitative-evaluation">Not everyone can afford</a> an internet connection or smart technology. Some regions, particularly rural ones, struggle for phone signal. The UK phone network’s plans for a <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-61377944">digital switchover</a> by 2025, which would render traditional landlines redundant, could cut off people who rely on their landlines.</p> <p>Concerns about privacy can also stop people using technology. Data collection and security breaches impact people’s confidence in organisations. A 2020 survey into <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/the-consumer-data-opportunity-and-the-privacy-imperative">consumers’ trust</a> in businesses showed no industry reached a trust rating of 50% for data protection. The majority of respondents (87%) said they would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices.</p> <p>Some people view “forced” digitisation as a symbol of consumer culture and will limit their technology use. Followers of the <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228310981_The_Voluntary_Simplicity_Movement_Reimagining_the_Good_Life_Beyond_Consumer_Culture">simple living movement</a>, which gained momentum in the 1980s, try to minimise their use of technology. Many people take a “less is more” <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JCM-04-2020-3749/full/html">approach to technology</a> simply because they feel it offers a more meaningful existence.</p> <p>One of the most common reasons for digital exclusion, however, <a href="https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/esss-outlines/digital-inclusion-exclusion-and-participation">is poverty</a>. When the <a href="https://www.local.gov.uk/parliament/briefings-and-responses/tackling-digital-divide-house-commons-4-november-2021">pandemic hit in March 2020</a>, 51% of households earning between £6,000 to £10,000 had home internet access, compared with 99% of households with an income over £40,000.</p> <p>Limited access to tablets, smartphones and laptops can result in feelings of isolation. Many older consumers have developed strategies to manage and overcome the <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2021.1945662">digital challenges</a> presented by these devices. But those unable to <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-older-people-are-mastering-technology-to-stay-connected-after-lockdown-165562">engage with technology</a> remain excluded if their family and friends don’t live close by.</p> <h2>Smart change</h2> <p>The solution is not simply to give devices to those without smart technology. While there is a need to provide affordable internet access and technology, and offer support in learning new skills, we need to recognise diversity in society.</p> <p>Services should provide non-digital options that embrace equality. For example, cash systems should not be abolished. There might be a demand for services to become digital, but service providers need to be aware of the people who will be isolated by this transition.</p> <p>Retailers, local councils, health providers and businesses in tourism, entertainment and leisure should try to understand more about the diversity of their consumers. They need to develop services that cater for the needs of all people, especially those without access to technology.</p> <p>We live in a diverse world and diverse consumers need choice. After all, access to and inclusion in society is a human right.<!-- 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/184095/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/carolyn-wilson-nash-1255329">Carolyn Wilson-Nash</a>, Lecturer, Marketing and Retail, Stirling Management School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/julie-tinson-277507">Julie Tinson</a>, Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</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/technology-is-alienating-people-and-its-not-just-those-who-are-older-184095">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Technology

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Are young people smarter than older adults? My research shows cognitive differences between generations are diminishing

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-badham-1531316">Stephen Badham</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p>We often assume young people are smarter, or at least quicker, than older people. For example, we’ve all heard that scientists, and even more so mathematicians, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/08/07/who-says-scientists-peak-by-age-50/">carry out their most important work</a> when they’re comparatively young.</p> <p>But my new research, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027322972400008X#:%7E:text=Highlights&amp;text=Three%20review%20studies%20measure%20secular,%2C%20education%2C%20and%20overall%20health.">published in Developmental Review</a>, suggests that cognitive differences between the old and young are tapering off over time. This is hugely important as stereotypes about the intelligence of people in their sixties or older may be holding them back – in the workplace and beyond.</p> <p>Cognitive ageing is often measured by comparing young adults, aged 18-30, to older adults, aged 65 and over. There are a variety of tasks that older adults do not perform well on compared to young adults, such as memory, spatial ability and speed of processing, which often form the basis of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-iq-test-wars-why-screening-for-intelligence-is-still-so-controversial-81428">IQ tests</a>. That said, there are a few tasks that older people do better at than younger people, such as reading comprehension and vocabulary.</p> <p>Declines in cognition are driven by a process called <a href="https://www.nature.com/collections/cbjacdabdf">cognitive ageing</a>, which happens to everyone. Surprisingly, age-related cognitive deficits start very early in adulthood, and declines in cognition have been measured as dropping in adults as young as just 25.</p> <p>Often, it is only when people reach older age that these effects add up to a noticeable amount. Common complaints consist of walking into a room and forgetting why you entered, as well as difficulty remembering names and struggling to drive in the dark.</p> <h2>The trouble with comparison</h2> <p>Sometimes, comparing young adults to older adults can be misleading though. The two generations were brought up in different times, with different levels of education, healthcare and nutrition. They also lead different daily lives, with some older people having lived though a world war while the youngest generation is growing up with the internet.</p> <p>Most of these factors favour the younger generation, and this can explain a proportion of their advantage in cognitive tasks.</p> <p>Indeed, much existing research shows that <a href="https://theconversation.com/iq-tests-are-humans-getting-smarter-158837">IQ has been improving</a> globally throughout the 20th century. This means that later-born generations are more cognitively able than those born earlier. This is even found when both generations are tested in the same way at the same age.</p> <p>Currently, there is growing evidence that <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1718793115">increases in IQ are levelling off,</a> such that, in the most recent couple of decades, young adults are no more cognitively able than young adults born shortly beforehand.</p> <p>Together, these factors may underlie the current result, namely that cognitive differences between young and older adults are diminishing over time.</p> <h2>New results</h2> <p>My research began when my team started getting strange results in our lab. We found that often the age differences we were getting between young and older adults was smaller or absent, compared to prior research from early 2000s.</p> <p>This prompted me to start looking at trends in age differences across the psychological literature in this area. I uncovered a variety of data that compared young and older adults from the 1960s up to the current day. I plotted this data against year of publication, and found that age deficits have been getting smaller over the last six decades.</p> <p>Next, I assessed if the average increases in cognitive ability over time seen across all individuals was a result that also applied to older adults specifically. Many large databases exist where groups of individuals are recruited every few years to take part in the same tests. I analysed studies using these data sets to look at older adults.</p> <p>I found that, just like younger people, older adults were indeed becoming more cognitively able with each cohort. But if differences are disappearing, does that mean younger people’s improvements in cognitive ability have slowed down or that older people’s have increased?</p> <p>I analysed data from my own laboratory that I had gathered over a seven-year period to find out. Here, I was able to dissociate the performance of the young from the performance of the older. I found that each cohort of young adults was performing to a similar extent across this seven-year period, but that older adults were showing improvements in both processing speed and vocabulary scores.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.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/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="The figure shows data for a speed-based task where higher scores represent better performance." /><figcaption><span class="caption">The figure shows data for a speed-based task where higher scores represent better performance.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">CC BY-SA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I believe the older adults of today are benefiting from many of the factors previously most applicable to young adults. For example, the number of children who went to school <a href="https://education-uk.org/history/chapter12.html">increased significantly</a> in the 1960s – with the system being more similar to what it is today than what it was at the start of the 20th century.</p> <p>This is being reflected in that cohort’s increased scores today, now they are older adults. At the same time, young adults have hit a ceiling and are no longer improving as much with each cohort.</p> <p>It is not entirely clear why the young generations have stopped improving so much. Some research has <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2016.10.002">explored maternal age, mental health and even evolutionary trends</a>. I favour the opinion that there is just a natural ceiling – a limit to how much factors such as education, nutrition and health can improve cognitive performance.</p> <p>These data have important implications for research into dementia. For example, it is possible that a modern older adult in the early stages of dementia might pass a dementia test that was designed 20 or 30 years ago for the general population at that time.</p> <p>Therefore, as older adults are performing better in general than previous generations, it may be necessary to revise definitions of dementia that depend on an individuals’ expected level of ability.</p> <p>Ultimately, we need to rethink what it means to become older. And there’s finally some good news. Ultimately, we can expect to be more cognitively able than our grandparents were when we reach their age.<!-- 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/229132/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/stephen-badham-1531316">Stephen Badham</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-young-people-smarter-than-older-adults-my-research-shows-cognitive-differences-between-generations-are-diminishing-229132">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Police fatally shoot armed 16-year-old after Bunnings carpark stabbing

<p>A 16-year-old boy has been shot dead by police after he stabbed a man in the carpark of a Bunnings Warehouse on Saturday night. </p> <p>WA Police were called to the hardware store in south Perth, which was closed at the time of the incident, after they received a call from the teen saying he was going to commit acts of violence. </p> <p>A second emergency call was then made a short time later after the teenager stabbed a man in the carpark, in what appears to be a random attack. </p> <p>Police Commissioner Col Blanch said when they arrived on the scene, they found a 16-year-old armed with a large kitchen knife.</p> <p>Commissioner Blanch said the boy lunged at officers with the knife and was shot, and died a short time later in hospital.</p> <p>The man who was stabbed, who is in his 30s, is recovering in hospital and is believed to be in a serious but stable condition.</p> <p>The police commissioner and WA Premier Roger Cook held a press conference on Sunday morning and described the incident as "extremely confronting".</p> <p>They said the boy was "running around a car park, armed with a knife" when police arrived. </p> <p>"They [WA police] exited their vehicle and were confronted with a male alone with a large kitchen knife," Commissioner Blanch said.</p> <p>"Two officers drew their tasers and one of the officers drew his firearm. They challenged the male to put down the knife, which he did not."</p> <p>Mr Cook said there were indications the boy had been radicalised online, saying at the press conference, "I want to reassure the community at this stage it appears that he acted solely and alone."</p> <p>"Members of the WA Muslim community, who were concerned by his behaviour, contacted police prior to the incident and I thank them for their help."</p> <p>It was also said the boy's family was cooperating with police.</p> <p>Commissioner Blanch said the incident was not being labelled as a terrorist attack at this stage.</p> <p>"It certainly has the hallmarks of one [but] the reason why I would declare it as a terrorist act going forward — it's about timing," Commissioner Blanch said.</p> <p>"That's something that we can work towards as we find out more information from the motivations behind this."</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC / Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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“Such a cowardly thing”: Police hunt after e-scooter hit-and-run on 81-year-old woman

<p>Victoria Police have released an image of a man wanted in connection to an alleged attack on at 81-year-old outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground after an AFL game last Friday. </p> <p>Jessie Hatch, 81, was walking towards Jolimont Railway Station around 11pm when she was confronted by a man on an e-scooter, who told her to “move off the footpath”.</p> <p>Hatch then "explained that the footpath is not for vehicles and walked around him”, prompting the man to ride off, but he quickly turned around before allegedly hitting her from behind, causing her to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.</p> <p>According to Victoria Police, the rider allegedly did not stop to assist Hatch, and was unsuccessfully chased by a passerby.</p> <p>He was last seen heading west from the Swan Street Bridge.</p> <p>“She walked between 7-10m away and this guy’s doubled back and then smashed her from behind,” Jessie's son Ken told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/mans-words-to-elderly-collingwood-fan-jessie-hatch-before-allegedly-hitting-her-with-e-scooter-in-mcg-hit-and-run-c-14571902" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p>“Apparently she stopped breathing for 20 seconds or so, that’s what we heard.”</p> <p>Jessie is still in hospital recovering with five stitches in her hand and undergoing more tests on her spine to see if there is permanent damage.</p> <p>“Such a cowardly thing, I don’t know what would have gone into his head to do that,” Jessie told <em>7News</em> from her hospital bed.</p> <p>“Why would somebody do that? He should be ashamed of himself.”</p> <p>Police are investigating the incident, with Ken calling on the alleged perpetrator to come forward.</p> <p>“You made a mistake, you did something wrong, come forward,” he added.</p> <p>The man allegedly involved in the incident was of average height and had fair skin and a stocky build, with straight blonde/brown hair and grey/blue eyes.</p> <div> </div> <p>He was wearing thick-lensed glasses and a red jacket made of a shiny, waterproof material.</p> <p>Jessie’s story quickly gained attention around the AFL world, and Collingwood legend Peter Daicos was among those to offer his support.</p> <p>“I wanted to reach out, I heard about the incident after the game,” he said.</p> <p>“I hope you’re feeling better and I’m really looking forward to hearing that you’re back at the Collingwood games.</p> <p>“All the best from not just myself, but the boys and importantly the Collingwood Football Club. All our love, get well soon.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p> <div class="hide-print ad-no-notice css-qyun7f-StyledAdUnitWrapper ezkyf1c0" style="box-sizing: border-box; caret-color: #292a33; color: #292a33; font-family: HeyWow, Montserrat, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"> </div>

Legal

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Nine-year-old Aussie ballet prodigy scores full New York scholarship

<p>A talented nine-year-old is heading to New York City, after scoring a full scholarship to a prestigious ballet school. </p> <p>Malcolm Doyle's dad Nick said he and his wife knew their son had a talent for dance from a young age, and could not be more proud of the international attention his dancing has garnered.</p> <p>"He's been doing really well here in Australia and since last year, there's been a bit of a focus from overseas," Nick told <em><a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/aussie-billy-elliot-nine-year-old-ballet-prodigy-scores-scholarship-to-prestigious-new-york-academy/4e3fdf08-3fb7-41a4-89df-eb6ee4b58095" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Today</a></em>.</p> <p>"He got brought in to do an audition for Chicago's A and A Ballet, who were doing a world broadcast for auditions and from there, we just started to get a bit of interest."</p> <p>"And then this year, we let him do the auditions for the Royal Ballet and he ended up in Hong Kong over Easter."</p> <p>From there, Nick said the American Ballet Theatre in New York got in contact and offered Malcolm a scholarship. </p> <p>Malcolm ultimately turned down the offer and signed with another NYC school, the Ellison Theatre, who offered the youngster a full ride. </p> <p>The family are currently saving up to buy flights over to the US to check out the school, with Nick saying they will do anything and everything to support their son's dream. </p> <p>"It's taking quite a bit of the funds out of my bank account, but the love he's got for dancing, you can't stop him and even if we wanted to, I mean we get home after he's had a full day of dance and he's still dancing around the house," Nick said.</p> <p>Malcolm's dad has a performing arts background and his mum is also a classically trained ballerina and teacher, so Nick said Malcolm was either going to inherit the genes or "end up having three left feet".</p> <p>"He went and saw a production by the Queensland Ballet on the weekend, which he had never seen before and he walked out with half the choreography memorised in his head and trying to reproduce it.," Nick said.</p> <p>After being dubbed "Australia's own Billy Elliot", the Today hosts asked Malcom what it is he loves so much about dancing.</p> <p>"It makes me feel really excited and it's so amazing for me, the feeling I get when I dance," Malcolm said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today  </em></p>

Music

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"An absolute hero": 10-year-old boy rescues drowning swimmer

<p>Miles Babcock has been made an honorary member of Careflight after saving a woman who was drowning in Sydney Harbour. </p> <p>Miles, who is just 10 years old, was paddle boarding with his dad Graham when they spotted the woman who was struggling in the water. </p> <p>The 10-year-old remained calm and collected after spotting the woman in distress, and began directing his dad over to help the woman out of the water. </p> <p>Graham could not contain his pride for his son, telling <em>Today</em> that he did everything in his power to rush to her aid.</p> <p>"I'm just incredibly proud, it's one of those confronting situations where you never really know how you're going to react," Graham said.</p> <p>"But Miles was the one who spotted the lady in distress, he kept the board steady and told me to get in the water and go and get her, he helped get her onto the board, helped turn her onto the side and helped pat her on the back to help clear her airways."</p> <p>"And then as soon as I asked him to jump off the board because we needed to get into shore as quickly as possible, he just did exactly that." </p> <p>Another nearby paddleboarder helped get the lady onto Miles and Graham's board, while Miles stayed behind to catch a ride back to shore with another boarder.</p> <p>"He was a real, real trooper and an absolute hero on the day," Graham said.</p> <p>"And then all the people who came in and helped were just fantastic, it was one of those things where everyone came together."</p> <p>People on the shore had already called triple zero and the Careflight team worked with lifeguards and paramedics to help get the woman to hospital where she is recovering.</p> <p>In the days after the rescue, Miles was called into the Careflight base to meet with the crew who helped the drowning woman, as they made him an an honorary Air Crew Officer and praised his "heroic rescue".</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&amp;href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMyCareFlight%2Fvideos%2F416634217746897%2F&amp;show_text=false&amp;width=560&amp;t=0" width="560" height="314" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Today </em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Old woman targeted and accused of shoplifting

<p>The photo of an elderly woman has sparked widespread outrage, as the older woman was targeted by police officers who accused her of shoplifting. </p> <p>A bystander snapped a photo of an old lady standing outside a Coles supermarket, as she was set upon by two police officer who began sifting through her shopping to check if she had stolen anything. </p> <p>Posting the photo to X, the bystander explained how the situation unfolded. </p> <p>"I just saw this poor old lady get arrested by police for shoplifting food," the post read. </p> <p>"I told them that I'll pay for her food and let her go and then I got threatened with being arrested for obstructing police. Boycott Coles and Woolworths."</p> <p>The pictures show the woman talking with police in the Melbourne CBD as a number of items from her shopping are placed on the ground.</p> <p>Commenters online quickly jumped to fury over the situation, defending the woman and calling for empathy for older people who are struggling financially.</p> <p>"This is so messed up. If people are forced to steal food, we need a better alternative," one said.</p> <p>"The elderly do not have enough to live on, pension rises are not covering food and  utility price rises and the government couldn't care less," another said.</p> <p>"In my neck of the woods, I see some elderly folk snacking on grapes in supermarkets. They are left alone to do so by staff," a third added.</p> <p>"Seems like some training in empathy and kindness is needed," added a fourth. </p> <p><em>Image credits: X (Twitter)</em></p>

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People in the world’s ‘blue zones’ live longer – their diet could hold the key to why

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justin-roberts-1176632">Justin Roberts</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joseph-lillis-1505087">Joseph Lillis</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-cortnage-438941">Mark Cortnage</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a></em></p> <p>Ageing is an inevitable part of life, which may explain our <a href="https://time.com/4672969/why-do-people-want-to-live-so-long/">strong fascination</a> with the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726954">quest for longevity</a>. The allure of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26566891/">eternal youth</a> drives a <a href="https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/longevity-and-anti-senescence-therapy-market-A14010">multi-billion pound industry</a> ranging from anti-ageing products, supplements and <a href="https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/longevity-diet">diets</a> for those hoping to extend their lifespan.</p> <p>f you look back to the turn of the 20th century, average life expectancy in the UK was around 46 years. Today, it’s closer to <a href="https://population.un.org/wpp/">82 years</a>. We are in fact <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27706136/">living longer than ever before</a>, possibly due to medical advancements and improved <a href="https://www.health.org.uk/publications/reports/mortality-and-life-expectancy-trends-in-the-uk">living and working conditions</a>.</p> <p>But living longer has also come at a price. We’re now seeing higher rates of <a href="https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/mortality-and-global-health-estimates/ghe-leading-causes-of-death">chronic and degenerative diseases</a> – with heart disease consistently topping the list. So while we’re fascinated by what may help us live longer, maybe we should be more interested in being healthier for longer. Improving our “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632858/">healthy life expectancy</a>” remains a global challenge.</p> <p>Interestingly, certain locations around the world have been discovered where there are a high proportion of centenarians who display remarkable physical and mental health. The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15489066/">AKEA study of Sardinia, Italy</a>, as example, identified a “blue zone” (named because it was marked with blue pen), where there was a higher number of locals living in the central-eastern mountainous areas who had reached their 100th birthday compared with the wider Sardinian community.</p> <p>This longevity hotspot has since been expanded, and now includes several other areas around the world which also have greater numbers of longer-living, healthy people. Alongside Sardinia, these blue zones are now <a href="https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81214929">popularly recognised</a> as: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California.</p> <p>Other than their long lifespans, people living in these zones also appear to share certain other commonalities, which centre around being <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874460">part of a community</a>, having a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224996/">life purpose</a>, eating <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33514872/">nutritious, healthy foods</a>, keeping <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01735-7">stress levels</a> low and undertaking purposeful daily <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30202288/">exercise or physical tasks</a>.</p> <p>Their longevity could also relate to their <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9010380/">environment</a>, being mostly rural (or less polluted), or because of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22253498/">specific longevity genes</a>.</p> <p>However, studies indicate genetics may only account for <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8786073">around 20-25% of longevity</a> – meaning a person’s lifespan is a complex interaction between lifestyle and genetic factors, which contribute to a long and healthy life.</p> <h2>Is the secret in our diet?</h2> <p>When it comes to diet, each blue zone has its own approach – so one specific food or nutrient does not explain the remarkable longevity observed. But interestingly, a diet rich in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288">plant foods</a> (such as locally-grown vegetables, fruits and legumes) does appear to be reasonably consistent across these zones.</p> <p>For instance, the Seventh-day Adventists of Loma Linda are <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10641813/">predominately vegetarian</a>. For centenarians in Okinawa, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20234038/">high intakes of flavonoids</a> (a chemical compound typically found in plants) from purple sweet potatoes, soy and vegetables, have been linked with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11710359/">better cardiovascular health</a> – including lower cholesterol levels and lower incidences of stroke and heart disease.</p> <p>In Nicoya, consumption of locally produced rice and beans has been associated with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34444746/">longer telomere length</a>. Telomeres are the structural part at the end of our chromosomes which protect our genetic material. Our telomeres get shorter each time a cell divides – so get progressively shorter as we age.</p> <p>Certain <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21102320/">lifestyle factors</a> (such as smoking and poor diet) can also shorten telomere length. It’s thought that telomere length acts as a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31728493/">biomarker of ageing</a> – so having longer telomeres could, in part, be linked with longevity.</p> <p>But a plant-based diet isn’t the only secret. In Sardinia, for example, meat and fish is consumed in moderation in addition to locally grown vegetables and <a href="https://journalofethnicfoods.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42779-022-00152-5">traditional foods</a> such as acorn breads, pane carasau (a sourdough flatbread), honey and soft cheeses.</p> <p>Also observed in several blue zone areas is the inclusion of <a href="https://www.jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.10.041">olive oil</a>, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33669360/">wine</a> (in moderation – around 1-2 glasses a day), as well as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830687/">tea</a>. All of these contain powerful antioxidants which may help <a href="https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10049696/">protect our cells</a> from damage <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273542/">as we age</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps then, it’s a combination of the protective effects of various nutrients in the diets of these centenarians, which explains their exceptional longevity.</p> <p>Another striking observation from these longevity hot spots is that meals are typically <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7232892">freshly prepared at home</a>. Traditional blue zone diets also don’t appear to contain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6538973/">ultra-processed foods</a>, fast foods or sugary drinks which may <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32330232/">accelerate ageing</a>. So maybe it’s just as important to consider what these longer-living populations are not doing, as much as what they are doing.</p> <p>There also appears to be a pattern of eating until 80% full (in other words partial <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9036399/">caloric reduction</a>. This could be important in also supporting how our cells deal with damage as we age, which could mean a longer life.</p> <p>Many of the factors making up these blue zone diets – primarily plant-based and natural whole foods – are associated with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35706591/">lower risk of chronic diseases</a> such as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28728684/">heart disease</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37589638/">cancer</a>. Not only could such diets contribute to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37836577/">longer, healthier life</a>, but could support a more <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33397404/">diverse gut microbiome</a>, which is also associated with healthy ageing.</p> <p>Perhaps then we can learn something from these remarkable centenarians. While diet is only one part of the bigger picture when it comes to longevity, it’s an area we can do something about. In fact, it might just be at the heart of improving not only the quality of our health, but the quality of how we age.<!-- 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/221463/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/justin-roberts-1176632">Justin Roberts</a>, Professor of Nutritional Physiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joseph-lillis-1505087">Joseph Lillis</a>, PhD Candidate in Nutritional Physiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-cortnage-438941">Mark Cortnage</a>, Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Nutrition, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/people-in-the-worlds-blue-zones-live-longer-their-diet-could-hold-the-key-to-why-221463">original article</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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94-year-old grandma takes on huge travel challenge

<p>"Grandma Joy" Ryan was 91 when she first got her passport, and she hasn't stopped travelling since. </p> <p>Now aged 94, she is embarking on a new global challenge with her grandson Brad Ryan, 42, with the intergenerational duo planning to travel to all seven continents in the world together. </p> <p>"I don't have many years left, [so] you hop to it," Grandma Joy told <em>CNN Travel</em>. </p> <p> "If you slow down, you don't get anything done."</p> <p>The pair, who are from the US, have already travelled to three continents, visiting Banff National Park in Canada last year to "represent North America well beyond just our own country", and Africa in 2023, visiting both Amboseli National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. </p> <p>Their most recent trip was to South America, where they travelled to Ecuador, and spent time in  the Galapagos Islands, as well as Chile. </p> <p>"It was amazing to see those huge tortoises," Grandma Joy recalled. "They could raise their shells up just like a convertible or something."</p> <p>Prior to travelling the world together, the grandma-grandson duo were actually estranged for around a decade due to a family rift that occurred after Ryan's parents divorced. </p> <p>After reconnecting in 2010, Ryan was telling his grandma about his previous hiking adventures on the Appalachian Trail and Mount Kilimanjaro, when he learnt that his grandmother "had never set eyes on a mountain."</p> <p>"That was one of her lifelong regrets," he said. </p> <p>"Her travel had been limited to just a few road trips to Florida with my grandfather when he was alive.</p> <p>"Her view of the world was always what she saw on the Travel Channel or just on the news."</p> <p>That conversation stuck with him and the pair embarked on their first journey together in 2015, when Ryan decided to take a weekend road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. </p> <p>"At 85, she saw her first mountain, climbed her first mountain and went camping for the first time and fell off the air mattress a couple of times and didn't complain," he said. </p> <p>He added, that having to move more slowly as he was travelling with his grandma, meant that he was able to appreciate everything in a more meaningful way. </p> <p>"I wasn't rushing through the places that I was visiting. I was really taking the time to appreciate smaller details.</p> <p>"The lens through which she is seeing the world is very different to most people my age. She doesn't visit a place thinking, 'Well, I'll be back again,' so there's more presence."</p> <p>They kept the adventure going and decided to travel to the 62 other US National Parks, and while it took them almost eight years with two-month long breaks between each trip, Grandma Joy made history last year. </p> <p>She became the oldest person to visit all 63 National Parks in the US. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CsU_w4-rqyP/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CsU_w4-rqyP/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Grandma Joy’s Road Trip — Brad and Joy Ryan (@grandmajoysroadtrip)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Being an old person sitting on the porch, this makes you feel like, 'Well maybe I did accomplish something.' So I enjoyed every bit of it," she said. </p> <p>Ryan himself is very proud of his grandmother's achievement, and after going viral with their national parks quest in 2023, he said that travelling with her has been a life-changing experience. </p> <p>"She shattered my preconceived notions about what it means to be an older person,"  he said. </p> <p>"Because she wasn't just sitting in the passenger seat looking out the window, although we did that too."</p> <p>He then described how Grandma Joy went ziplining at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in West Virginia and whitewater rafting at Wrangell St. Elias National Park in Alaska at the age of 91, and how she reminded him of all the possibilities that come with getting older. </p> <p>"I think we all have this sort of innate dread about getting older," he said. </p> <p>"And we think about the limitations instead of the possibilities. She [Grandma Joy] reminds us of the possibilities that still exist."</p> <p>While the pair are currently "still recovering" from their latest trip to South America, they shared their plan to visit Australia later this year, and hope to  "hop over to Asia" after. </p> <p>Once they've ticked off Australia and Asia off their list, they plan to visit Europe and hope to end their trip in Antarctica. </p> <p>"Antarctica is the one that's like the wildcard," Ryan said. "We would love that, but getting there is challenging.</p> <p>"I'd like to end big, and I think Antarctica would be the cherry on top of this adventure."</p> <p>The duo document all their adventures on their Instagram account, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/grandmajoysroadtrip/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">grandmajoysroadtrip</a> and despite people wondering when they would wrap it up, Grandma Joy's "willing spirit" keeps her going. </p> <p>"I just take one step at a time, one day at a time, and thank the Lord every morning for giving me one more day," she said. </p> <p>"I try to be an optimist. The glass is half full, not half empty. And the people that you meet along the way lift your spirits.</p> <p>"You see people in worse shape than you, and I just think 'I've got a lot to be thankful for.'</p> <p>"Not everybody's lucky enough to have a grandson that's willing to drag them around."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Ozempic isn’t approved for weight loss in Australia. So how are people accessing it?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-pace-1401278">Jessica Pace</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-bartlett-849104">Andrew Bartlett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nial-wheate-96839">Nial Wheate</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>To say that Ozempic is a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2024/jan/31/obesity-drug-ozempic-novo-nordisk-record-wegovy">blockbuster drug</a> is an understatement. Manufacturer Novo Nordisk is scrambling to expand production sites to keep up with global demand.</p> <p>While Ozempic is only approved for the treatment of diabetes in Australia, it is also marketed overseas for weight loss under the brand name Wegovy.</p> <p>Social media is full of posts and endorsements by celebrities who are using it for weight loss. Faced with limited access in Australia, some people who need the medication for diabetes can’t access it.</p> <p>Others are turning to the internet to source it from compounding pharmacies – a practice Australia’s regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), plans to clamp down on.</p> <h2>How doctors are prescribing Ozempic</h2> <p>Use of Ozempic for weight loss in Australia is considered “<a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023#why-the-tga-cant-stop-offlabel-prescribing">off label</a>”. This is when a doctor prescribes a medicine for a purpose outside of what is approved.</p> <p>Ozempic is only approved to be used for the treatment of diabetes in Australia, but its off-label prescribing for weight loss is driving <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023#when-will-the-ozempic-shortage-end">shortages</a> which the TGA thinks will last until 2025.</p> <p>To manage these shortages, Australian doctors and pharmacies are being asked <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023#information-for-prescribers">not to start new patients</a> on Ozempic and to prioritise it for patients with type 2 diabetes who are already stabilised on this medicine.</p> <p>However, the TGA <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023#why-the-tga-cant-stop-offlabel-prescribing">says</a> it: "does not have the power to regulate the clinical decisions of health professionals and is unable to prevent doctors from using their clinical judgement to prescribe Ozempic for other health conditions."</p> <h2>Why can’t we just make more?</h2> <p>The active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide, is a delicate <a href="https://www.britannica.com/story/what-is-the-difference-between-a-peptide-and-a-protein">peptide</a> molecule made up of two small chains of amino acids. It’s just one in a family of drugs that are classified as GLP-1 inhibitors.</p> <p>Because it’s a peptide, its manufacture is complex and requires specialised facilities beyond those used to make normal chemical-based drugs.</p> <p>It is also delivered via an injection, meaning that it has to be manufactured under strict conditions to ensure it is both sterile and temperature controlled.</p> <p>This means increasing production is not as simple as just deciding to manufacture more. Its manufacturer <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023#why-the-tga-cant-stop-offlabel-prescribing">needs time</a> to build new facilities to increase production.</p> <h2>Compounding pharmacies are making their own</h2> <p><a href="https://www.fda.gov/drugs/guidance-compliance-regulatory-information/human-drug-compounding#:%7E:text=Compounding%20is%20generally%20a%20practice,needs%20of%20an%20individual%20patient">Compounding</a> is the practice of combining, mixing, or altering ingredients of a drug to create a formulation tailored to the needs of an individual patient.</p> <p>Australian law allows <a href="https://www.pharmacyboard.gov.au/codes-guidelines.aspx">pharmacists to compound</a> only when it is for the treatment of a particular patient to meet their individual clinical need and there is no suitable commercially manufactured product available. An example is making a liquid form of a drug from a tablet for people unable to swallow.</p> <p>Compounded products are not held to the same safety, quality and efficacy standards required for mass produced medicines. This recognises the one-off nature of such compounded medicines and the professional training of the pharmacists who prepare them.</p> <p>Recently, pharmacies have been relying on these compounding rules to produce their own Ozempic-like products at scale and ship them to consumers around Australia.</p> <p>However, there are risks when using these products. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently <a href="https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/medications-containing-semaglutide-marketed-type-2-diabetes-or-weight-loss#:%7E:text=Are%20there%20concerns%20with%20compounded,available%20to%20treat%20a%20patient.">warned consumers</a> of the dangers of using compounded formulations that contain particular salt formulations of semaglutide. It has received more reports of side effects in patients using these products.</p> <h2>How the regulator plans to tighten the loophole</h2> <p>The TGA is taking a number of steps to tighten the compounding loophole and there are ongoing investigations in this area.</p> <p>In December 2023, the agency issued a <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/news/safety-alerts/compounding-safety-information-semaglutide-products">public safety warning</a> on the dangers of these compounded medicines.</p> <p>More recently, it has proposed <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-29/compounding-pharmacies-mounjaro-ozempic/103283926">removing GLP-1 drugs</a>, which includes Ozempic, from Australia’s compounding exemptions. This would effectively ban pharmacies from making off-brand Ozempic. This proposal is <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/news/media-releases/consultation-remove-glucagon-peptide-1-glp-1-receptor-agonist-analogues-pharmacist-extemporaneous-compounding-exemption">currently under consultation</a> and a final decision is expected by June this year.</p> <p>If you want to access the drug for weight loss before the shortage is over, be aware that compounded products are not identical to approved Ozempic and have not been evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy.</p> <p>Supply of copycat versions is also likely to be limited, given the ongoing TGA crackdown.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Read the other articles in The Conversation’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/ozempic-132745">Ozempic series</a> here.<!-- 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/224859/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/jessica-pace-1401278">Jessica Pace</a>, Associate Lecturer, Sydney Pharmacy School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-bartlett-849104">Andrew Bartlett</a>, Associate Lecturer Pharmacy Practice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nial-wheate-96839">Nial Wheate</a>, Associate Professor of the School of Pharmacy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</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/ozempic-isnt-approved-for-weight-loss-in-australia-so-how-are-people-accessing-it-224859">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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The problem with shaming people for Auschwitz selfies

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/craig-wight-1514086">Craig Wight</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edinburgh-napier-university-696">Edinburgh Napier University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/phiona-stanley-1514087">Phiona Stanley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edinburgh-napier-university-696">Edinburgh Napier University</a></em></p> <p>Selfies have become the modern day equivalent of postcards, a way to share our travel experiences with family and friends on social media. It’s one thing to strike a goofy pose and snap a photo for Instagram on a beach or town square, but what if you are visiting a Holocaust memorial site?</p> <p>Taking fun, playful, even silly selfies at <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9566811/">dark tourism</a> sites such as <a href="https://www.dazeddigital.com/life-culture/article/45182/1/chernobyl-grenfell-tower-unpacking-the-rise-of-the-dark-tourism-tragedy-selfie">Chernobyl</a> Japan’s <a href="https://www.selondoner.co.uk/life/12122023-dark-tourism-in-london">“suicide forests”</a> or concentration camps has become a regular occurrence. It is widely regarded as controversial and distasteful.</p> <p>In 2017, Israeli-German artist Shahak Shapira launched a project aimed at shaming visitors taking selfies at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Germany. The project was <a href="https://yolocaust.de/">called Yolocaust</a> – a portmanteau of internet slang Yolo (you only live once) and Holocaust. It juxtaposed historical photos of Nazi murder victims with visitors’ photos of themselves, juggling and jumping, posing and playing at the Berlin memorial.</p> <p>Ever since, online vigilantes have been empowered to shame Holocaust-site selfie takers on social media. Many have used “yolocaust” in comments as shorthand for censure, judgement, and moral panic.</p> <p>We <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02508281.2022.2153994">analysed hundreds</a> of these posts, captions and comments to see how the selfie-takers are perceived and punished by others online. We examined posts with location tags at the Auschwitz Memorial Museum in Poland and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin.</p> <p>Based on our analysis, we think it may be better that young people engage with Holocaust sites in their own way, rather than not engaging at all. We also suggest that some commenters may be just as guilty as the selfie-takers, using their comments to show themselves in a positive light. Paradoxically, this is precisely what they are shaming the selfie-takers for doing: centering themselves, using the Holocaust as a prop.</p> <p>Vigilantism and public shaming has been around for centuries – think angry villagers with pitchforks raised. Vigilantes take it upon themselves to prevent, investigate and punish perceived wrongdoings, usually without legal authority.</p> <p>Online vigilantes (often called “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azv118">digilantes</a>”) punish others for perceived transgressions online. They act when they feel that someone has committed a crime or social wrongdoing on the internet as a form of <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/05/19/americans-and-cancel-culture-where-some-see-calls-for-accountability-others-see-censorship-punishment/">cancel culture</a>. There is, of course, a fine line between constructively questioning someone’s choices and publicly shaming them.</p> <h2>Who gets shamed?</h2> <p>We found that it wasn’t just any photo (we also looked at non-selfie tourist photos) that attracted online shaming. Some people were more likely to receive negative comments than others, depending on age, gender, cultural identity, photo pose, facial expression and the captions accompanying the photos.</p> <p>Younger, more conventionally attractive people – especially women, and especially people posting in English or German – attracted many negative comments. In contrast, older and less conventionally “sexy” selfie-takers, men, and those posting in, for example, Italian or Russian tended to be ignored.</p> <p>Some of these patterns appear related to how young women are often sexualised and <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14680777.2018.1447345">demeaned online</a>, especially when it comes to the selfies of women holding their bodies in “model-like” poses. To some commenters, it appears more acceptable to shame those who society already deems unserious and flippant.</p> <p>Location was also important. While the Berlin Memorial saw plenty of tourist behaviour deemed “disrespectful” by commenters, it was rare to encounter selfie-taking at Auschwitz. This may because Auschwitz is a paid visitor attraction offering structured tours.</p> <p>In contrast, the Berlin memorial is an art installation, always open and part of the streetscape. Its purpose and meaning may not be immediately apparent. This leaves room for the possibility that some Holocaust-site selfie-taking is an innocent, accidental part of tourism in Berlin.</p> <p>Another predictor of negative comments was the captions on the photos we examined. If the caption was flippant or suggested a lack of serious engagement with Holocaust history and memory, the photo attracted more critical comments. Those who made some attempt to justify or even intellectualise their selfie-taking were often excused censure.</p> <p>In one example, a young woman is pictured jumping between the concrete slabs of the Berlin memorial. But her picture is accompanied by a careful caption that explicitly questions whether her behaviour is ethical.</p> <p>She writes, “One part of you comes out, simply wanting to explore the structure for what it is physically. Another part of you says that you cannot take part in anything that brings you joy here”. As the caption appears to neutralise the fun selfie, her post escapes critical comments.</p> <h2>Think before you shame</h2> <p>Although the Auschwitz Memorial Museum <a href="https://twitter.com/AuschwitzMuseum/status/1108337507660451841?lang=en">tells visitors not to take selfies</a>, and while playful selfie-taking seems disrespectful, we don’t think it should be banned, as some online commenters have called for.</p> <p>We argue that it is more important to keep alive – however clumsily and imperfectly – the memory of the more than six million Jews and <a href="https://holocausteducation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/1.-Non-JewishVictimsOfNaziPersecutionMurder-Digital.pdf">millions of others</a> who were killed by the Nazis. Perhaps this is best done through people living their ordinary, complex, messy and often joyous lives, precisely as the Nazis’ victims could not.</p> <p>We also think it is important to question the motives of digilantes themselves. Some seem to be using their comments to display their own moral superiority, rather than trying to educate or influence the behaviour of the selfie-takers.</p> <p>Before you join the ranks of the digilantes and comment on something you think is disrespectful, think about why you’re doing it – these images, their captions and the comments show that there is often more nuance to “ethical” behaviour than can be captured in a photo.<!-- 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/224304/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/craig-wight-1514086">Craig Wight</a>, Associated Professor in Tourism, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edinburgh-napier-university-696">Edinburgh Napier University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/phiona-stanley-1514087">Phiona Stanley</a>, Associate Professor of Intercultural Communications (Tourism and Languages), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edinburgh-napier-university-696">Edinburgh Napier University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-problem-with-shaming-people-for-auschwitz-selfies-224304">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Homeowner fined just $667 over fire that killed six people

<p>A homeowner has been slapped with a fine for smoke alarm failure after a house fire killed six people. </p> <p>The 61-year-old woman has been forced to pay just $667 for failing to install legally required and compliant smoke alarms, after a father and his five children died in the property due to a deadly house fire. </p> <p>Donna Rose Beadel was the owner of the home on Russell Island where Wayne Godinet, 34, and his five sons were residing in August 2023. </p> <p>The house was engulfed in flames, also destroying two neighbouring homes and leaving several people needing treatment for minor burns and smoke inhalation, while the children's mother Samantha Stephenson, and another woman survived the blaze. </p> <p>Cleveland magistrate Deborah Vasta handed down the maximum fine of $667.25 to Ms Beadel for failing to comply with smoke alarm legislation, saying, "It seems a pittance, however it's not for me to comment on the laws."</p> <p>"It's absolutely no excuse that she failed to keep abreast of the laws required of an investment property owner in having the premises legally wired with smoke detectors after January 2022," Vasta said.</p> <p>The fine comes just weeks after the children's grandmother claimed her daughter had "begged" their landlord to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/major-claim-in-investigation-into-deadly-house-fire-that-killed-five-children" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fix</a> the smoke alarms in the house.</p> <p>When Ms Beadel was charged for her involvement in the tragedy, Rebecca Stephenson claimed that her daughter had spoken to the landlord about updating the smoke alarms in the property just one week before the fire. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine</em></p>

Legal

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Princess of Wales and King Charles: one in two people develop cancer during their lives – the diseases and treatments explained

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gavin-metcalf-1340598">Gavin Metcalf</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a></em></p> <p>The Princess of Wales released a <a href="https://x.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1771235267837321694?s=20">moving video message</a> on March 22 to address speculation about her health. In it, the future queen disclosed that she’d been <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-68641710">diagnosed with cancer</a> following tests conducted after she underwent major abdominal surgery at a clinic in London in January.</p> <p>Catherine explained that she was undergoing “preventative chemotherapy” – but emphasised that her surgery had been successful, and that she was “well” and “getting stronger every day”.</p> <p>The message was the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/mar/22/princess-kate-cancer-royal-family-health-annus-horribilis">second announcement</a> of a royal family cancer diagnosis in recent weeks. On February 5, Buckingham Palace <a href="https://www.royal.uk/a-statement-from-buckingham-palace-5Feb24">published a statement</a> that King Charles III had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68208157">cancer, unrelated</a> to the treatment he had been receiving for an enlarged prostate.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3xzKooCaRXU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>The statement said that he had begun “regular treatments”. The king postponed all public-facing duties during his treatment, but <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68213383">reportedly continued</a> with his “constitutional role as head of state, including completing paperwork and holding private meetings”.</p> <p>Cancer is the <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer">leading cause of death</a> worldwide. <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/#:%7E:text=The%20cancerous%20cells%20can%20invade,of%20cancer%20during%20their%20lifetime.">One in two</a> people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime – so the condition will affect almost every family. However, many cancers can be cured if, as appears to be the case with the king, the condition is <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68213383">detected early</a> and treated effectively.</p> <h2>What is cancer?</h2> <p>Our bodies are made up of more than 100 billion cells, and cancer typically starts with changes in a small group of cells – or even a single one.</p> <p>We have different cell types depending upon where in the body they are and the function that the cell has. The size, amount and function of each of these cells is normally tightly regulated by genes – groups of codes held within our DNA – that instruct cells how to grow and divide.</p> <p>However, changes (mutations) to DNA can alter the way cells grow and multiply – often forming a lump, or solid tumour. Cancers can also develop in blood cells, such as white blood cell cancer which is known as leukaemia. This type of cancer does not form solid tumours; instead, the cancer builds up in the blood or sometimes the marrow in the core of bones, where blood cells are produced.</p> <p>In all, there are <a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/how-cancer-starts/types-of-cancer#:%7E:text=For%20example%2C%20nerves%20and%20muscles,of%20cell%20they%20start%20in.">more than 200</a> types of cancer, but all start with mutations in the DNA contained within each and every cell.</p> <h2>What exactly are mutations?</h2> <p>Think of your DNA as a big recipe book, and your genes as individual recipes for making different dishes. Mutations are smudges or missing words from this recipe that can result in key ingredients not being added into the mix.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8BJ8_5Gyhg8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Regardless of the type of cancer or the cells from which it develops, mutations in our genes can result in a cell no longer understanding its instructions.</p> <p>These mutations can happen by chance when dividing, but can also be the result of lifestyle choices such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6141049/">smoking</a>, <a href="https://www.ndph.ox.ac.uk/news/new-genetic-study-confirms-that-alcohol-is-a-direct-cause-of-cancer#:%7E:text=These%20mutations%20both%20disrupt%20the,aldehyde%20dehydrogenase%202%20(ALDH2).">drinking</a>, and <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet">inactivity</a>.</p> <p>Research has found that in order for a normal cell to turn into a cancerous cell, anywhere from <a href="https://www.sanger.ac.uk/news_item/1-10-mutations-are-needed-drive-cancer-scientists-find/">one to ten different mutations</a> are normally required.</p> <h2>How is cancer treated?</h2> <p>Treatment options for cancer depend on a variety of factors, including where your cancer is, how large it is, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. The main treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.</p> <p>Chemotherapy uses drugs to target and kill cells that are rapidly dividing in our bodies. This approach is effective at targeting fast-growing cells in various cancers – but also has negative side effects. It also targets healthy cells that rapidly divide, such as hair and the cells lining our digestive system. This can lead to commonly reported <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chemotherapy/side-effects/">side-effects</a> such as hair loss, nausea and diarrhoea.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/treatment/chemotherapy?gad_source=1&amp;gclid=Cj0KCQjw-_mvBhDwARIsAA-Q0Q6tyQxTuBzU7vVD7SHjQ5dF-fRdqnL7S74-k5LXyTqODydsrPfJVsoaAkgyEALw_wcB&amp;gclsrc=aw.ds">Chemotherapy</a> can be used both preventatively – as in the case of the princess – and therapeutically.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FkZn5u3MIiY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Preventative chemotherapy, also known as <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/adjuvant-therapy">adjuvant chemotherapy</a>, is given after surgery or other primary treatments to eliminate any remaining cancer cells in the body. It aims to reduce the risk of the cancer returning (known as recurrence).</p> <p>Therapeutic chemotherapy is used as a treatment option for cancer that has spread or is well established, such as advanced-stage cancers.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/treatment/surgery/about">Surgery</a> involves the physical removal of cancerous tissues as well as nearby lymph nodes – small glands which act as filters in your body that cancers can spread through – to eliminate the tumour. Surgery is often used to remove localised cancers that haven’t spread throughout the body.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/treatment/radiotherapy">Radiotherapy</a> uses high-energy radiation beams that are able to target specific areas where tumour cells are located to destroy or shrink the tumour. Radiotherapy can be applied externally or internally.</p> <p>Chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy are often combined in cancer treatment to improve outcomes for patients.</p> <p>Thanks to developments in cancer research over the last 50 years, survival rates have improved greatly – although the rate of improvement has <a href="https://news.cancerresearchuk.org/2024/02/02/world-cancer-day-2024/#:%7E:text=Improvements%20in%20cancer%20survival%20have%20slowed%20in%20recent%20years&amp;text=Survival%20increased%20three%20to%20five,consistently%20lags%20behind%20comparable%20countries.">slowed recently</a>. Cancer survival depends on various factors such as age – people under 40 have a <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/age">greater chance</a> of survival – overall health and fitness, as well as family history.</p> <h2>What you should do</h2> <p>Particular changes in your body or warning symptoms could indicate the presence of cancer. These include, but are not limited to:</p> <ul> <li>Unexplained weight loss;</li> <li>Fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest;</li> <li>Changes in bowel or bladder habits;</li> <li>Persistent cough or coughing up blood;</li> <li>Difficulty swallowing;</li> <li>Persistent pain;</li> <li>Noticing lumps, such as in a breast or testicle.</li> </ul> <p>The symptoms may not necessarily be the result of cancer. But it is important to get checked by a doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary or have had persistent symptoms that don’t ease. Early detection and treatment can <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.aay9040">significantly improve</a> outcomes for many types of cancer.<!-- 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/226456/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/gavin-metcalf-1340598">Gavin Metcalf</a>, Cancer Biologist and Lecturer in Biomedical Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/princess-of-wales-and-king-charles-one-in-two-people-develop-cancer-during-their-lives-the-diseases-and-treatments-explained-226456">original article</a>.</em></p>

Caring

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Heroic great-grandma saves two-year-old from collapsed ceiling

<p>In a heart-stopping moment of bravery and maternal instinct, 88-year-old Nicky Panagiotidis shielded her great-grandson, two-year-old Harvey, from a collapsing ceiling in their Melbourne home.</p> <p>The incident occurred at Panagiotidis' residence in Ascot Vale, where she was caring for Harvey late in the afternoon.</p> <p>According to Harvey's mother, Nicole Brown, the terrifying ordeal unfolded suddenly. As the ceiling began to crack, Panagiotidis swiftly reacted, rolling over off the couch to cover young Harvey with her own body. Brown, overwhelmed with gratitude and admiration for her grandmother's quick thinking, remarked, "I just know that motherly instinct that she has went through her to be a hero - she is actually a hero for him," <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/ascot-vale-great-grandmother-saves-grandson-from-ceiling-collapse/9f2bd38f-5254-4f53-981b-e3fb4b9c1bd9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">she told 9News</a>.</p> <p>In a moment of urgency, Panagiotidis managed to contact her daughter, Julie Polimos, informing her of the dire situation: "The ceiling is on top of me and we can't move." Emergency services promptly arrived at the scene, discovering the pair with thankfully minimal injuries.</p> <p>Despite the trauma of the event, Panagiotidis displayed remarkable resilience. Despite suffering bruising on her back and shoulders, she managed to walk to the ambulance and was later discharged from the hospital.</p> <p>Speaking of her mother's strength, Polimos highlighted Panagiotidis' dedication to traditional values, noting her commitment to home-cooked Greek Mediterranean meals over takeaways. "She doesn't buy takeaways, she always cooks home meals... Greek Mediterranean meals," Polimos proudly stated.</p> <p>The family attributes the ceiling collapse to a water leak, which they had noticed a week prior, observing cracks and sagging in the structure. However, amidst the unfortunate circumstances, they are immensely grateful for the fortunate outcome and the selfless actions of Panagiotidis, which will undoubtedly be remembered as a testament to the extraordinary love shared within the family.</p> <p><em>Images: 9News</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Firefighter praised for sweet interaction with three-year-old

<p>A cooking mishap for one Aussie family ended with a heartwarming moment shared between a firefighter and a young girl meeting her hero for the first time. </p> <p>Firefighters were called to a home at Blue Haven on the NSW Central Coast on Saturday, after a fire broke out on a kitchen stove top and spread to the range hood. </p> <p>They were quick to put out the blaze and just as they were about to leave, three-year-old Mia was too excited to meet her heroes that she couldn't let them leave just yet. </p> <p>"Once we got there and ascertained that there was no fire spread to the roof and other areas... their daughter decided to take me away into the room to see the new books she got," Doyalson Fire and Rescue Station Manager Dirk Ziekenheiner told Yahoo News.  </p> <p>"Which I then obviously took the opportunity to read," he added.</p> <p>A picture of the sweet moment was shared on social media, with the firefighter sat on one of Mia's pink chairs and the three-year-old keenly listening to him read the story. </p> <p>Mia also impressed the firefighter with her own safety knowledge, as she shared her understanding of calling Triple-Zero in an emergency, how to escape a fire and the importance staying outside after evacuating. </p> <p>"Obviously her parents did really well and schools pass on the message, and you know that safety messages are key to surviving a house fire, especially these days," Ziekenheiner said.</p> <p>"If you don't know what to do, and you never plan for it, then you're probably behind the eight ball... this girl was amazing, she knew all those key messages which is really important."</p> <p>Aussies praised the firefighter in the comments of the post, with many of them commenting on how "cute" the moment was. </p> <p>Mia's father, James, also added that his daughter was very excited to meet her heroes despite the circumstances. </p> <p>"Mia watches a lot of children's TV shows which feature firefighters so she already knows they're heroes and they rescue people," James said.</p> <p>"Having now seen first-hand the great work they do, we'll continue to spread the word about fire safety and we encourage others to do the same.</p> <p>"Our family never thought we'd come this close to losing our home to fire, so the key is to not be complacent about the risks."</p> <p><em>Image: Fire and Rescue NSW / Facebook</em></p> <p> </p>

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