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Heading to Bali or somewhere tropical these holidays? Here’s what you need to know about dengue fever

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cameron-webb-6736">Cameron Webb</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>If you’re looking to escape the Australian winter for your next holiday, don’t forget where there’s warmth, there will also be mosquitoes.</p> <p>In turn, tropical destinations can be hot spots of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. In fact, Australian health authorities have warned travellers to Bali <a href="https://www.health.wa.gov.au/Media-releases/2024/May/Dengue-fever-warning-for-Western-Australian-travellers">to be aware</a> of the risk of dengue, with cases surging in the region.</p> <p>So here’s how to protect yourself and your family on holidays.</p> <h2>What is dengue?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue">Dengue virus infection</a> (commonly known as dengue fever, or just dengue) is caused by viruses spread by the bite of a mosquito. The mosquito species that typically transmit dengue are <em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em>.</p> <p>There are four strains of dengue virus. Each has the potential to cause illness that can range from <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/signs-symptoms/index.html">mild to severe and potentially life threatening</a>.</p> <p>Symptoms <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/dengue.aspx">typically include</a> rash, fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue. People also often report abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.</p> <p>While infection with just one of these viruses can make you sick, subsequent exposure to other strains can have more <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-are-antibodies-and-why-are-viruses-like-dengue-worse-the-second-time-68227">serious health implications</a>. In these cases, symptoms can also include the presence of blood in vomit, bleeding gums and breathing difficulties.</p> <p>Dengue infection must be confirmed via a blood test, but there are <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dengue-fever">no specific treatments</a>. Most people will recover on their own however <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/treatment/index.html">staying hydrated is crucial</a> and pain relief can help with symptoms. If more severe illness occurs, seek urgent medical care.</p> <h2>Are travellers at risk?</h2> <p>The disease is now endemic in around 100 countries and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/areas-with-risk/index.html">an estimated 4 billion people</a> are considered at risk. Asian countries represent <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue">around 70%</a> of the global disease burden. Even <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-paris-olympics-could-become-a-super-spreader-event-for-dengue-231853">Europe is at risk</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2023-DON498">One of the worst years</a> on record was 2023, but the burden of dengue continues to grow. In the first four months of 2024, Indonesia reported <a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2024-DON518">three times as many cases</a> of dengue compared to the same period in 2023.</p> <p>Dengue is not a new risk to Australian travellers. Before COVID disrupted international travel, the number of Australians returning from tropical destinations with dengue <a href="https://europepmc.org/article/med/23692160">was steadily increasing</a>.</p> <p>For example, between 2010 and 2016, there was an average <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2414-6366/3/1/9">annual increase of 22%</a> of travellers returning to Victoria with dengue. Almost half of these people contracted the illness in Indonesia. Bali is well documented as posing <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/25/1/tay061/5065180?login=false">a risk of dengue</a> to travellers.</p> <p>International travel restrictions due to COVID <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/31/2/taae014/7577676">abruptly stopped this trend</a>. But now Australians are again embracing international travel, <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13303747/Worrying-reason-Aussie-travellers-Bali-coming-sick.html">cases are rising once more</a>.</p> <p>Bali isn’t the only destination with <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/06/30/dengue-puerto-rico-mosquito-climate-change/">a surge in dengue</a>, but we know it’s a popular holiday destination for Australian travellers. There’s little doubt plenty of families will be heading to Bali these school holidays.</p> <h2>How about the risk in Australia?</h2> <p>Not all mosquitoes can spread dengue viruses. This is why the risk is different in Bali and other tropical regions compared to Australia.</p> <p>Although there are more than 40 Australian mosquito species known or suspected to be transmitting local pathogens, such as <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1005070">Ross River virus</a>, Australia is generally free of local dengue risk due to the limited spread of <em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em>.</p> <p>While <em>Aedes aegypti</em> is found in <a href="https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/diseases/mosquito-borne/dengue/virus-fever">parts of Queensland</a>, thanks to interventions by the <a href="https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/en/global-progress/australia/cairns-and-surrounds">World Mosquito Program</a> and local authorities dengue risk is low. These interventions include the release of laboratory-bred mosquitoes that prevent mosquitoes in the environment <a href="https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/en/work/wolbachia-method">spreading viruses</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115309096">community education</a>. But <a href="https://theconversation.com/after-decades-away-dengue-returns-to-central-queensland-117821">local cases</a> occasionally occur.</p> <p><em>Aedes albopictus</em> is not currently found <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-we-kept-disease-spreading-asian-tiger-mozzies-away-from-the-australian-mainland-72873">on the Australian mainland</a> but is present in the islands of the Torres Strait. A dengue outbreak <a href="https://www.torres-cape.health.qld.gov.au/about-us/news/further-cases-of-dengue-fever-on-mer">has occurred</a> there this year.</p> <h2>Keep mozzies away during the day, not just at night</h2> <p>While there is a vaccine available, it’s not recommended for <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.5694/mja2.50471">short-term travellers</a>. There are <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-advice-on-the-use-of-dengvaxiar-for-australians">strict eligibility criteria</a> for its use, so speak to a health professional for advice.</p> <p>For the majority of travellers, preventing mosquito bites is the only way to prevent disease.</p> <p>But there are differences in the behaviour of dengue mosquitoes that mean the normal measures to avoid mosquito bites may not be as effective.</p> <p>During the Australian summer, mosquitoes found in local wetlands can be <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-worst-year-for-mosquitoes-ever-heres-how-we-find-out-68433">incredibly abundant</a>. We tend to need to reach for the repellent and cover up to stop bites as soon as the sun starts going down.</p> <p><em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em> <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0010818">can aggressively bite people</a> but they’re not as abundant as the swarms of summer mosquitoes back home.</p> <p>They also bite during the day, not just at night. So for those travelling to Bali or other areas at risk of dengue, putting insect repellent on <a href="https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/global-dengue-fever-outbreaks">throughout the day</a> is recommended.</p> <h2>What to pack for protection</h2> <p>If you’re staying in a major resort, there’s likely to be a mosquito control program in place. This may include minimising available water for mosquito breeding in combination with insecticide use. Mosquitoes are also less likely to be an issue in air-conditioned accommodation.</p> <p>But if you’re planning to spend time out and about visiting local villages, markets, or in nature, it’s best to protect against bites.</p> <p>Light coloured and <a href="https://www.health.wa.gov.au/Media-releases/2024/May/Dengue-fever-warning-for-Western-Australian-travellers">loose fitting clothing</a> will help stop mosquito bites (and help keep you cool). Covered shoes can help too – dengue mosquitoes <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/02/22/465594861/why-zika-spreading-mosquitoes-love-ankles">love smelly feet</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it’s best to take some insect repellent with you. There may not be any available at your destination, and formulations on sale might not have been through the same thorough testing as products <a href="https://www.apvma.gov.au/">approved in Australia</a>.<!-- 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/233670/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/cameron-webb-6736"><em>Cameron Webb</em></a><em>, Clinical Associate Professor and Principal Hospital Scientist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/heading-to-bali-or-somewhere-tropical-these-holidays-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-dengue-fever-233670">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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Planning a country escape these school holidays? 4 ways to avoid clogging up the emergency department

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katherine-riley-1499452">Katherine Riley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebekkah-middleton-314433">Rebekkah Middleton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p>Winter school holidays are either here or coming up, depending on where in Australia you live. Maybe you’re planning a <a href="https://www.tra.gov.au/en/domestic/domestic-tourism-results">rural escape</a>.</p> <p>Rural tourism is crucial for job growth and sustainability of small rural towns. However, for rural emergency departments, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/am/holiday-medico-shortages-in-rural-and-remote-australia/103266540">school holidays</a> are often the busiest times.</p> <p>No-one plans a trip to the emergency department on holidays. But if you need health care, there are often other ways of accessing it than turning up at a rural hospital.</p> <p>Here’s why it’s so important to leave rural emergency departments for life-threatening illness or injuries, and some other options for seeking care.</p> <h2>We’re short of doctors and nurses</h2> <p>The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health">reports</a> a significant shortfall of nurses and specialist doctors in rural towns compared with staffing levels in big cities.</p> <p>This means many small rural emergency departments only have nurses on staff, with doctors on call or consulted remotely from a larger hospital.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755599X2300143X">study</a> published earlier this year, my colleagues and I discovered this dynamic was especially challenging for rural emergency nurses when critically ill patients presented.</p> <p>One nurse told us: "We need more staff. I mean, I look at these emergency TV shows, and you see them in Kings Cross at the big hospitals there or overseas, they get a phone call […] there’s a resus coming in. Everyone’s standing around the bed with all their signs on, the airway/circulation/team leader […] and here, we have two people. It’s just so different. It’s just a false sense of reality. It’s ridiculous."</p> <p>So emergency departments should be used for <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Hospitals/Going_To_hospital/Publications/keep-ed-emergencies.pdf">emergencies only</a>. These include:</p> <ul> <li>sudden collapse</li> <li>chest pain or pressure lasting more than ten minutes</li> <li>breathing difficulty</li> <li>serious mental health condition</li> <li>uncontrollable bleeding.</li> </ul> <p>When emergency departments are used responsibly, this can reduce the pressure on staff. It ensures the most seriously ill receive the care they need promptly.</p> <h2>What are my alternatives?</h2> <p>Here are four ways you and your family can be better prepared for your rural holiday and avoid an unnecessary visit to the emergency department.</p> <p><strong>1. Pack your scripts and medical history summary</strong></p> <p>Bring essential scripts and medications with you. This reduces the need to visit the local emergency department and ensures you have what you need during your stay.</p> <p>Do you have a chronic condition or have had a recent illness or surgery? Make sure you speak to your GP before you go. They can provide a medical health summary that includes your recent treatments and medications. Alternatively, if you have access to <a href="https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/my-health-record">My Health Record</a>, ask your GP to prepare a shared health summary and upload it to your record. If you need medical care, this summary will assist in a timely assessment.</p> <p><strong>2. Call Healthdirect, NURSE-ON-CALL or 13HEALTH depending on where you are</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-healthdirect-can-help-you">Healthdirect</a> is a 24-hour telephone health advice line (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria or 13HEALTH in Queensland). By calling the relevant number, you will be connected to a registered nurse who will ask a series of questions and provide evidence-based advice and guidance. The Healthdirect website also offers an interactive <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker">symptom checker</a> to advise whether you should see a GP, go to an emergency department, or manage your symptoms at home (or in this case, on holidays):</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au">Healthdirect</a> - 1800 022 222</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/nurse-on-call">NURSE-ON-CALL</a> (Vic) - 1300 60 60 24</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.qld.gov.au/health/contacts/advice/13health">13HEALTH</a> (Qld) - 13 43 25 84.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Need a GP? How about GP telehealth services?</strong></p> <p>For minor health concerns or non-urgent issues, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/how-emily-took-advantage-of-one-of-the-few-good-things-to-come-out-of-covid-20240507-p5fpg3.html">GP telehealth services</a> are a remote-access option that can be used when away from home. Before you go away, check with your GP to see if they offer a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/health-technologies-and-digital-health/about/telehealth">telehealth service</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Go to an Urgent Care Clinic</strong></p> <p>The Australian government has funded the opening of <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/find-a-medicare-ucc/about">Urgent Care Clinics</a> across the country. These clinics provide medical assessment and care for urgent illnesses or injuries. They have been created as a solution to divert people away from busy emergency departments. But these Urgent Care Clinics are not suitable for people experiencing emergency or life-threatening conditions.</p> <p>Urgent Care Clinics are ideal for illnesses and injuries that would require urgent treatment such as gastroenteritis, minor infections, lacerations and back pain. Check <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/find-a-medicare-ucc">here</a> to find your closest clinic.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Please keep the emergency department for life-threatening illnesses or injuries, and if needed, call 000 for an ambulance immediately.</em><!-- 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/232262/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/katherine-riley-1499452">Katherine Riley</a>, Lecturer, School of Nursing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebekkah-middleton-314433">Rebekkah Middleton</a>, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</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/planning-a-country-escape-these-school-holidays-4-ways-to-avoid-clogging-up-the-emergency-department-232262">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Domestic Travel

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New Zealand tourist brutally slain in front of husband while on holiday

<p>A tourist from New Zealand has been tragically killed during an armed robbery while on holiday with her husband in America. </p> <p>Patricia (Trish) McKay and her husband, prominent Auckland businessman Doug McKay, were exploring Newport Beach in California when they were set upon by two men in a shopping centre.</p> <p>The couple were shopping when the armed robbery began, as a struggle ensued before the men dragged Ms McKay to a carpark, according to local authorities. </p> <p>It was there she was allegedly run over by a third person driving a white Toyota Camery before the trio reportedly made a getaway from the Fashion Island mall.</p> <p>Mr McKay luckily walked away uninjured from the incident, although three shots were reportedly fired during the ordeal, however no one was struck by the stray bullets.</p> <p>Speaking to media, Heather Rangel from LA’s Police Department said an investigation continues however three male suspects, one aged 26 and two aged 18, had been taken in to custody.</p> <p>The three men were arrested after a lengthy car chase through the streets of Newport Beach, and eventually along highways to Cypress, where the suspects ditched the car and tried to run away before being captured.</p> <p>In a new statement released by those close to Ms McKay, family say “no words can express our sadness as we try to come to terms with the loss of our mother, wife, and friend Patricia”.</p> <p>“We ask for privacy at this time as we work through this as a family.”</p> <p>New Zealand’s Prime Minister Christopher Luxon called Ms McKay’s death “an absolute tragedy”.</p> <p>Auckland’s Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson also paid tribute to Ms McKay, saying the 68-year-old was “amazing, funny, loyal, and loving” and that she was “beyond devastated”.</p> <p>“Trish was amazing – funny, loyal, and loving. My absolute deepest sympathies to Doug and her family. In absolute shock.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC7 LA</em></p>

Caring

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How holidaying in developing countries affects local inequality

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alexander-tziamalis-333272">Alexander Tziamalis</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuan-wang-1360783">Yuan Wang</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p>A few years ago, one of us (Alex) went for a vacation to the Dominican Republic. The motivation was similar to millions of other tourists every year: escape the daily routine, enjoy the sun and beaches, and gather some strength to face another cold winter.</p> <p>Unfortunately, a few things weren’t very conducive to a happy break. The staff at the mammoth hotel were making as little as US$1 (£0.79) for a 12-hour shift. Worse, most of them lived in a shanty town nearby. They had no sewers and no reliable electricity.</p> <p>The hotel also exploited its power over local farmers to procure food exceedingly cheaply. Schools were overcrowded and many children dropped out to work in businesses like these hotels and farms, perpetuating the cycle.</p> <p>This anecdotal picture is corroborated by the country’s economic data. Despite <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=DO">GDP growth</a> frequently above 5% each year, the Dominican Republic suffers from <a href="https://dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2023/02/17/dominican-republic-shows-a-high-level-of-economic-inequality-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean/">substantial inequality</a>. The wealthiest 1% capture 30% of all income, compared to 18% in the US.</p> <p>But how bad is tourism for inequality in developing countries overall? <a href="https://shura.shu.ac.uk/31942/">Our recent research</a> has sought to answer this, looking at 71 countries around the world. The picture is complicated, but the overall results are not as bleak as you might fear.</p> <h2>Upsides and downsides</h2> <p>Clearly there are pros and cons to tourism. It makes holidaymakers happy while bringing people closer and promoting awareness of other cultures. It empowers communities and provides disadvantaged groups with opportunities, from the local artisan who can sell directly to customers, to women <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/psd/empowering-women-through-tourism-0">who would otherwise</a> be struggling to find work.</p> <p>Tourism sustains a lot of jobs and economic value overall, making it attractive to governments as a way of boosting growth. In 2019 there were a whopping <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/209334/total-number-of-international-tourist-arrivals/#:%7E:text=Despite%20the%20significant%20annual%20increase,lowest%20figure%20recorded%20since%201989">1.5 billion</a> international tourist arrivals around the world. They were serviced by <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1268465/number-of-travel-and-tourism-jobs-worldwide/#:%7E:text=Despite%20the%20increase%2C%20the%20number,to%20320%20million%20in%202023.">nearly 300 million</a> travel and tourism workers, and the sector generated <a href="https://wttc.org/research/economic-impact#:%7E:text=In%202022%2C%20the%20Travel%20%26%20Tourism,%2C%20only%2014.1%25%20below%202019.">over 7%</a> of global GDP.</p> <p>On the other hand, tourism can <a href="https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/transport-and-tourism/negative-environmental-impacts-of-tourism">degrade the environment</a>. Witness the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes needing to <a href="https://www.machupicchutrek.net/how-many-tourists-visit-machu-picchu-annually/">restrict</a> the number of visitors, for instance, because the site was <a href="https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/d2f4fc1c7b314cc8a6c8af466cec0d24">getting damaged</a>.</p> <p>Equally, <a href="https://www.itmustbenow.com/feature/our-big-questions/exploitation-travel-tourism/">tourism is associated</a> with other <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-06-19/barcelona-bhutan-places-that-limit-tourist-numbers">knock-on effects</a> such as water scarcity, pollution, crime, sex exploitation and destroying tradition.</p> <p>But what about inequality? The tourism industry <a href="https://www.itmustbenow.com/feature/our-big-questions/exploitation-travel-tourism/">is frequently associated</a> with ridiculously low wages, long hours without a break, and unhealthy conditions for live-in staff. Dedicated trade unions often don’t exist, or they’re underpowered and cannot effectively protect workers.</p> <p>Tourism can also distort the economy. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/10/i-wanted-my-children-to-grow-up-here-how-airbnb-is-ruining-local-communities-in-north-wales">In the UK</a> for example, communities in many popular tourist destinations cannot afford to buy a home anymore.</p> <p>Yet when you look at how tourism affects equality overall, the existing academic literature shows conflicting results. A number of studies <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160738316301281#:%7E:text=Findings%20confirm%20that%20tourism%20increases%20income%20inequality%20in%20developing%20economies.&amp;text=The%20squared%20tourism%20revenue%20has%20a%20significant%20negative%20impact%20on%20income%20inequality.&amp;text=Findings%20confirm%20the%20presence%20of%20Kuznets%20curve%20hypothesis.">find that</a> it worsens income inequality, while others <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047287520954538">find the opposite</a>.</p> <p>If you were wondering about the Dominican Republic, there’s <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047287518789272#:%7E:text=The%20results%20showed%20that%20income,in%20the%20distribution%20of%20wealth.">a study</a> showing that tourism actually has a negligible impact on inequality.</p> <h2>Our findings</h2> <p>Ours is the first study to <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/13548166231177106">look at the effect</a> of a few potential determining factors to try and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between tourism and equality. These factors include the country’s level of economic and financial development, inflation rate and government policies seeking to redistribute wealth.</p> <p>Our dataset spans from 1996–2016. We would have ideally looked at even more than 71 countries, but others had to be excluded because good-quality data was unavailable.</p> <p>We found that tourism eased income inequality in lower income countries when it went hand in hand with redistributive policies. <a href="https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6nbn68M3_toJ:https://dailynews.co.tz/how-tz-could-attract-more-tourists/&amp;cd=8&amp;hl=en&amp;ct=clnk&amp;gl=uk">Tanzania, for example,</a> gets 17% of its GDP from tourism. This has enabled the country to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121963/">significantly increase</a> its spending on health, education and infrastructure.</p> <p>In wealthier countries, the opposite was counterintuitively the case: increasing tourism exacerbated inequality when combined with redistributive policies.</p> <p>It may be that in places where education and infrastructure are already at high levels, improving them has less effect on inequality. Or it may be that improving the welfare system reduces workers’ incentive to upskill and seek better paid jobs in other sectors. These possibilities need further investigation.</p> <p>Our analysis also highlighted the importance of financial opportunities such as broad access to bank credit. All countries with more inclusive financial systems comparatively reduced inequality when they brought in more tourists.</p> <p>It might be that financial access enables a broader cross-section of entrepreneurs to set up or expand tourist businesses, with knock-on benefits to their communities. This is bad news for developing countries like India, Brazil South Africa and Barbados, where <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/09/14/long-term-finance-shortage-post-2008-crisis-blunts-progress-in-developing-countries">it’s difficult</a> to obtain long-term loan, which usually come with onerous terms.</p> <p>Having said that, the benefits from financial access were more marked in developed countries. In such countries, it may be that this galvanises proportionately more entrepreneurs because they are not being held back to the same extent by other problems like corruption and poor education.</p> <p>When we looked at the effect of inflation, it worsened inequality in richer countries <a href="https://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/unequal-impact-rising-inflation">like the UK</a> as tourism increases. We suspect that when inflation takes off in wealthier countries, it’s more difficult for tourism workers to renegotiate their wages quickly because employment contracts are more formal.</p> <p>Equally, poorer countries are often more used to higher inflation, so workers may be more adept at such negotiations.</p> <p>So overall, it’s not possible to say that increasing tourism widens or reduces inequality – it very much depends on other factors. But clearly tourism can be good news for inequality in poorer countries when it’s combined with redistributive policies and financial inclusion.</p> <p>This certainly won’t solve problems like worker exploitation across the board, but it does mean that holidaying in developing countries will often be helping them to become more equal over time.<!-- 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/208690/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/alexander-tziamalis-333272"><em>Alexander Tziamalis</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuan-wang-1360783">Yuan Wang</a>, Seinor Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-holidaying-in-developing-countries-affects-local-inequality-208690">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Julian Assange has been in the headlines for almost two decades. Here’s why he’s such a significant public figure

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/matthew-ricketson-3616">Matthew Ricketson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” is a famous quotation usually attributed to Thomas Jefferson, a founder of US democracy.</p> <p>For Julian Assange, the price of freedom has been five years in jail while he fought extradition to the United States to face charges no democracy worthy of the name should ever have brought.</p> <p>It is profoundly heartening news to see Assange’s release from London’s Belmarsh prison and flight home to Australia via a US territory in the western pacific. He’ll face a hearing and sentencing <a href="https://theconversation.com/julian-assange-plea-deal-what-does-it-mean-for-the-wikileaks-founder-and-what-happens-now-233207">this morning</a> in Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, to formalise a plea deal with the US government.</p> <p>It is profoundly disheartening, though, to see the lengths to which a nation state has gone to punish a publisher who released documents and videos that revealed US troops allegedly committing war crimes in the Iraq war two decades ago.</p> <p>Assange has been a controversial international figure for so many years now it’s easy to lose sight of what he has done, why he attracted such fiercely polarised views, and what his incarceration means for journalism and democracy.</p> <h2>What did he do?</h2> <p>Assange, an Australian national, came to prominence in the 2000s for setting up <a href="https://wikileaks.org/">WikiLeaks</a>, a website that published leaked government, military and intelligence documents disclosing a range of <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47907890">scandals</a> in various countries.</p> <p>Most of the documents were released in full. For Assange, this fulfilled his aim of radical transparency. For critics, it led to the release of documents that could <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2011/9/3/wikileaks-criticised-over-uncensored-cables">endanger the lives</a> of intelligence sources.</p> <p>This remains a point of contention. Some have asserted Assange’s attitude toward those named in leaked documents was cavalier and that the publication of some documents was <a href="https://apnews.com/article/b70da83fd111496dbdf015acbb7987fb">simply unnecessary</a>.</p> <p>But critics, especially those in the US military, have been unable to point to <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-new-book-argues-julian-assange-is-being-tortured-will-our-new-pm-do-anything-about-it-183622">specific instances</a> in which the release of documents has led to a person’s death. In 2010, Joe Biden, the then vice-president, <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna40702904">acknowledged</a> WikiLeaks’ publications had caused “no substantive damage”. Then US Defense Secretary Robert Gates <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/04/12/712659290/how-much-did-wikileaks-damage-u-s-national-security">said</a> at the time countries dealt with the US because it was in their best interests, “not because they believe we can keep secrets”.</p> <p>The key to WikiLeaks’ success was that Assange and his colleagues found a way to <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-11026659">encrypt the documents</a> and make them untraceable, to protect whistleblower sources from official retribution. It was a strategy later <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/05/guardian-launches-securedrop-whistleblowers-documents">copied</a> by mainstream media organisations.</p> <p>WikiLeaks became famous around the globe in April 2010 when it released hundreds of thousands of <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47907890">documents</a> in tranches known as the Afghan war logs, the Iraq war logs and Cablegate. They revealed numerous alleged war crimes and provided the raw material for a shadow history of the disastrous wars waged by the Americans and their allies, including Australia, in Afghanistan and Iraq following the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks.</p> <p>Documents are one thing, video another. Assange released <a href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/transcoded/6/61/CollateralMurder.ogv/CollateralMurder.ogv.360p.vp9.webm">a video</a> called “Collateral Murder”. It showed US soldiers in a helicopter shooting and killing Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists in 2007.</p> <p>Apart from how the soldiers in the video speak – “Hahaha, I hit them”, “Nice”, “Good shot” – it looks like most of the victims are civilians and the journalists’ cameras are mistaken for rifles.</p> <p>When one of the wounded men tries to crawl to safety, the helicopter crew, instead of allowing their US comrades on the ground to take him prisoner as required by <a href="https://www.icrc.org/en/rules-of-war">the rules of war</a>, seeks permission to shoot him again.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-1064" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/1064/0f0903c8d2249ac24316f2a86f5e0f231b6546e6/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The soldiers’ request for authorisation to shoot is granted. The wounded man is carried to a nearby minibus, which is then shot to pieces with the helicopter’s gun. The driver and two other rescuers are killed instantly while the driver’s two young children inside are seriously wounded.</p> <p>US army command investigated the matter, <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-new-book-argues-julian-assange-is-being-tortured-will-our-new-pm-do-anything-about-it-183622">concluding</a> the soldiers acted in accordance with the rules of war. Despite this, US prosecutors <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jun/15/julian-assange-indictment-fails-to-mention-wikileaks-video-that-exposed-us-war-crimes-in-iraq">didn’t include</a> the video in its indictment against Assange, leading to accusations it didn’t want such material further exposed in public.</p> <p>Equally to the point, the public would never have known an alleged war crime had been committed without the release of the video.</p> <h2>Going into exile</h2> <p>Assange and WikiLeaks had no sooner become famous than it all began to come to a halt.</p> <p>He was alleged to have sexually assaulted <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50473792">two women</a>. He holed up the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/world/americas/ecuador-to-let-assange-stay-in-its-embassy.html">Ecuadoran embassy</a> in London for <a href="https://apnews.com/article/7276b35e8d5944e7b5ca280ab0390b26">seven years</a> to avoid being extradited to Sweden for questioning over the alleged assaults, from where he could then be extradited to the US. Then he was <a href="https://mondediplo.com/2024/02/11assange">imprisoned in England</a> for the past five years.</p> <p>It has been confusing to following the byzantine twists and turns of the Assange case. His character has been reviled by his opponents and revered by his supporters.</p> <p>Even journalists, who are supposed to be in the same business of speaking truth to power, have adopted contradictory stances towards Assange, oscillating between giving him awards (a <a href="https://www.walkleys.com/board-statement-4-16/">Walkley</a> for his outstanding contribution to journalism) and shunning him (<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/23/opinion/julian-assange-wikileaks.html">The New York Times</a> has said he is a source rather than a journalist).</p> <h2>Personal suffering</h2> <p>After Sweden eventually <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50473792">dropped</a> the sexual assault charges, the US government swiftly ramped up its request to extradite Assange to face charges under the Espionage Act, which, if successful, could have led to a jail term of up to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/article/2024/jun/25/explainer-who-is-julian-assange-and-what-are-the-details-of-his-plea-deal#:%7E:text=After%20his%20departure%20from%20the,to%20175%20years%20in%20prison.">175 years</a>.</p> <p>Until this week, most of the recent headlines about Assange have been about this extradition attempt. Most recently, he was granted the <a href="https://theconversation.com/julian-assanges-appeal-to-avoid-extradition-will-go-ahead-it-could-be-legally-groundbreaking-227859">right to appeal</a> the UK Home Secretary’s order that he be extradited to the US.</p> <p>This brings us to now, where if all goes according to legal planning, Assange will <a href="https://theconversation.com/julian-assange-plea-deal-what-does-it-mean-for-the-wikileaks-founder-and-what-happens-now-233207">plead guilty</a> to one count under the US Espionage Act, then fly back to Australia.</p> <p>But the long, protracted and very public case, legal or otherwise, has raised questions yet to be fully reckoned with.</p> <p>Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, thoroughly investigated the case against Assange and laid it out in forensic detail in a <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-new-book-argues-julian-assange-is-being-tortured-will-our-new-pm-do-anything-about-it-183622">2022 book</a>.</p> <p>In it, he wrote:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Assange case is the story of a man who is being persecuted and abused for exposing the dirty secrets of the powerful, including war crimes, torture and corruption. It is a story of deliberate judicial arbitrariness in Western democracies that are otherwise keen to present themselves as exemplary in the area of human rights.</p> </blockquote> <p>He’s also suffered significantly in legal and diplomatic processes in at least four countries.</p> <p>Since being imprisoned in 2019, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/article/2024/jun/25/julian-assange-plea-deal-with-us-free-to-return-australia#:%7E:text=WikiLeaks%20said%20on%20X%20that,isolated%2023%20hours%20a%20day%E2%80%9D">Assange’s team says</a> he’s spent much of that time in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day, has been denied all but the most limited access to his legal team, let alone family and friends, and was kept in a <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54060427">glass box</a> during his seemingly interminable extradition hearing.</p> <p>His physical and mental health have suffered to the point where he has been put on <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wikileaks-julian-assange-at-very-high-risk-of-suicide-attempt-psychiatric-expert-tells-court/">suicide watch</a>. Again, that seems to be the point, as Melzer writes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The primary purpose of persecuting Assange is not – and never has been – to punish him personally, but to establish a generic precedent with a global deterrent effect on other journalist, publicists and activists.</p> </blockquote> <p>So while Assange himself is human and his suffering real, his lengthy time in the spotlight have turned him into more of a symbol. This is true whether you think of him as the hero exposing the dirty secrets of governments, or as something much more sinister.</p> <p>If his experience has taught us anything, it’s that speaking truth to power can come at an unfathomable personal cost.<!-- 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/233232/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/matthew-ricketson-3616">Matthew Ricketson</a>, Professor of Communication, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Vianney Le Caer/Shutterstock Editorial</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/julian-assange-has-been-in-the-headlines-for-almost-two-decades-heres-why-hes-such-a-significant-public-figure-233232">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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‘Sleep tourism’ promises the trip of your dreams. Beyond the hype plus 5 tips for a holiday at home

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Imagine arriving at your hotel after a long flight and being greeted by your own personal sleep butler. They present you with a pillow menu and invite you to a sleep meditation session later that day.</p> <p>You unpack in a room kitted with an AI-powered smart bed, blackout shades, blue light-blocking glasses and weighted blankets.</p> <p>Holidays are traditionally for activities or sightseeing – eating Parisian pastry under the Eiffel tower, ice skating at New York City’s Rockefeller Centre, lying by the pool in Bali or sipping limoncello in Sicily. But “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/pillow-menus-and-sleep-gummies-the-new-hotel-trend-that-s-putting-guests-to-sleep-20230823-p5dyu5.html">sleep tourism</a>” offers vacations for the sole purpose of getting good sleep.</p> <p>The emerging trend extends out of the global wellness tourism industry – reportedly worth more than <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogersands/2023/11/17/the-global-wellness-tourism-sector-surpasses-814-billion-market-share/">US$800 billion globally</a> (A$1.2 trillion) and <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1018497/global-market-size-of-the-wellness-tourism-industry/">expected to boom</a>.</p> <p>Luxurious sleep retreats and sleep suites at hotels are popping up <a href="https://www.countryandtownhouse.com/style/health-and-beauty/sleep-retreats/">all over the world</a> for tourists to get some much-needed rest, relaxation and recovery. But do you really need to leave home for some shuteye?</p> <h2>Not getting enough</h2> <p>The rise of sleep tourism may be a sign of just how chronically sleep deprived we all are.</p> <p>In Australia more than one-third of adults are not achieving the recommended <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721816301292?via%3Dihub">7–9 hours</a> of sleep per night, and the estimated cost of this inadequate sleep is <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/41/8/zsy083/5025924">A$45 billion</a> each year.</p> <p>Inadequate sleep is linked to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.2147/NSS.S134864">long-term health problems</a> including poor mental health, heart disease, metabolic disease and deaths from any cause.</p> <h2>Can a fancy hotel give you a better sleep?</h2> <p>Many of the sleep services available in the sleep tourism industry aim to optimise the bedroom for sleep. This is a core component of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400203/?ref=askdoctorjad.com">sleep hygiene</a> – a series of healthy sleep practices that facilitate good sleep including sleeping in a comfortable bedroom with a good mattress and pillow, sleeping in a quiet environment and relaxing before bed.</p> <p>The more people follow sleep hygiene practices, the better their <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964280209596396">sleep quality and quantity</a>.</p> <p>When we are staying in a hotel we are also likely away from any stressors we encounter in everyday life (such as work pressure or caring responsibilities). And we’re away from potential nighttime disruptions to sleep we might experience at home (the construction work next door, restless pets, unsettled children). So regardless of the sleep features hotels offer, it is likely we will experience improved sleep when we are away.</p> <h2>What the science says about catching up on sleep</h2> <p>In the short-term, <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-it-possible-to-catch-up-on-sleep-we-asked-five-experts-98699#:%7E:text=We%20can%20catch%20up%20on,and%20we%20cannot%20resist%20sleep.">we can catch up on sleep</a>. This can happen, for example, after a short night of sleep when our brain accumulates “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07420528.2012.675256">sleep pressure</a>”. This term describes how strong the biological drive for sleep is. More sleep pressure makes it easier to sleep the next night and to sleep for longer.</p> <p>But while a longer sleep the next night can relieve the sleep pressure, it does not reverse the <a href="https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/pdf/10.5664/jcsm.26918">effects of the short sleep on our brain and body</a>. Every night’s sleep is important for our body to recover and for our brain to process the events of that day. Spending a holiday “catching up” on sleep could help you feel more rested, but it is not a substitute for prioritising regular healthy sleep at home.</p> <p>All good things, including holidays, must come to an end. Unfortunately the perks of sleep tourism may end too.</p> <p>Our bodies do not like variability in the time of day that we sleep. The most common example of this is called “<a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/12/4543">social jet lag</a>”, where weekday sleep (getting up early to get to work or school) is vastly different to weekend sleep (late nights and sleep ins). This can result in a sleepy, grouchy start to the week on Monday. Sleep tourism may be similar, if you do not come back home with the intention to prioritise sleep.</p> <p>So we should be mindful that as well as sleeping well on holiday, it is important to optimise conditions at home to get consistent, adequate sleep every night.</p> <h2>5 tips for having a sleep holiday at home</h2> <p>An AI-powered mattress and a sleep butler at home might be the dream. But these features are not the only way we can optimise our sleep environment and give ourselves the best chance to get a good night’s sleep. Here are five ideas to start the night right:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> avoid bright artificial light in the evening (such as bright overhead lights, phones, laptops)</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> make your bed as comfortable as possible with fresh pillows and a supportive mattress</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> use black-out window coverings and maintain a cool room temperature for the ideal sleeping environment</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> establish an evening wind-down routine, such as a warm shower and reading a book before bed or even a “<a href="https://theconversation.com/turns-out-the-viral-sleepy-girl-mocktail-is-backed-by-science-should-you-try-it-222151">sleepy girl mocktail</a>”</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> use consistency as the key to a good sleep routine. Aim for a similar bedtime and wake time – even on weekends.<!-- 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/231718/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/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, Senior postdoctoral research fellow, Appleton Institute, HealthWise research group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, Adjunct Research Fellow, Appleton Institute of Behavioural Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</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/sleep-tourism-promises-the-trip-of-your-dreams-beyond-the-hype-plus-5-tips-for-a-holiday-at-home-231718">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Princess Kate makes first public appearance since cancer diagnosis

<p>The Princess of Wales has made her first public appearance in almost six months following her cancer diagnosis. </p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Princess Kate</span>, who was last seen in public at a church service on Christmas Day, underwent abdominal surgery in January and has been receiving chemotherapy since late February. </p> <p>The royal took part in Trooping the Colour on Saturday, after taking time away from royal duties, and left Buckingham Palace in a carriage with her children shortly before 11am local time to watch the parade. </p> <p>After the King's Birthday Parade, she appeared at the balcony alongside King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and other members of the royal family. </p> <p>The family waved to the cheering crowd as they watched military aircrafts fly by to mark the monarch's official birthday. </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/C8Pt2DrN61b/?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/C8Pt2DrN61b/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The Prince and Princess of Wales (@princeandprincessofwales)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Princess Kate confirmed in a statement on Friday that she would be attending the King's Birthday Parade, as well as a few other public engagements over the summer. </p> <p>However, she also said that her treatment was "ongoing, and will be for a few more months". </p> <p>"On the days I feel well enough, it is a joy to engage with school life, spend personal time on the things that give me energy and positivity, as well as starting to do a little work from home," she wrote in the statement on Friday. </p> <p>"I am learning how to be patient, especially with uncertainty.</p> <p>"Taking each day as it comes, listening to my body, and allowing myself to take this much needed time to heal."</p> <p>King Charles, who is also being treated for an undisclosed form of cancer, travelled in a carriage with Queen Camilla this year, instead of on horseback as he did last year. </p> <p>He has also been easing back into public duties, and just last week he attended commemorations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. </p> <p><em>Image: Ray Tang/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

Caring

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More holidays sunk as P&O announce further cancellations

<p>Just days after P&O announced it would be <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/major-australian-cruise-line-shuts-down" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ceasing operations</a> from early 2025, travellers have been left frustrated after more voyages have been cancelled. </p> <p>After 90 years at sea, P&O Australia is set to be integrated into sister ocean travel outfit Carnival Cruise Line in March 2025, impacting travel plans for many. </p> <p>P&O’s ship Pacific Explorer will be retired under the move, prompting mass cruise cancellations for travellers scheduled to set sail after March 2nd.</p> <p>Now, the company has announced further cancellations on two other vessels in its fleet.</p> <p>Four Pacific Adventure itineraries have been cancelled, including V515, V516, V517, V518, while another four Pacific Encounter itineraries have also been scrapped, including I512, I513, I514.</p> <p>The impacted cruises were scheduled to depart from Sydney and Brisbane in March 2025, but both vessels will be out of action for two weeks while they are rebranded by Carnival and undergo a technology upgrade, a Carnival spokesperson told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/pacific-adventure-and-pacific-encounter-cancellations-follow-news-po-cruises-brand-is-being-retired-c-14919420" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p>Staff will be contacting impacted travellers in the coming days with information on refunds and offers of extra onboard spending.</p> <p> </p> <p>“We apologise that this change has been necessary,” the company said.</p> <p>“If you are booked on any other P&O Cruises Australia itinerary your cruise is unaffected by this announcement and we look forward to welcoming you on board soon."</p> <p>“No Carnival Cruise Line itineraries are impacted by this announcement.”</p> <p>The Pacific Explorer will be removed from P&O’s fleet at the end of February, with its final journey being an 11-night cruise to Singapore that leaves Fremantle on February 7th 2025. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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The sad state of Aussie ski resorts ahead of winter holiday season

<p>Ski resorts in Australia have had to get creative ahead of the tourist-heavy ski season after a lack of snowfall, despite plunging temperatures. </p> <p>The ski season begins this year on the June long weekend, running alongside the King’s Birthday on June 8th. </p> <p>Despite expecting a huge influx of keen skiers, there has only been light flurries of snow so far, according to WeatherZone, which melt away quickly and don't settle on the ground for long. </p> <p>In order to accommodate the busy season, Thredbo has had to resort to using fake snow for people to ski on. </p> <p>Manufactured snow happens by combining pressurised air and water through a ‘snow gun’ that gets blasted out into the air.</p> <p>The most ideal time to create the fake snow is on clear nights with low humidity, as the higher the humidity the colder it needs to be to make the flurries.</p> <p>Several photos from ski.com.au's cameras have shown popular ski sites with a disappointing lack of snow, in scenes similar to last year's ski season. </p> <p>“No significant snowfalls are on the horizon for the mainland Australian ski resorts before the official King’s Birthday Long Weekend season opening,” Weatherzone reports.</p> <p>“Snow-making began on the weekend at several resorts and has continued into the working week in the cold dry, air in the wake of the cold front.”</p> <p>According to WeatherZone, high-pressure systems, which have brought constant rain to the east coast recently, have been blocking the snowfall.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency / Thredbo</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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How to avoid 6 common tourist scams

<p>Often when people are on holidays their focus is on relaxing or seeing the sights of the area. But if you don’t keep your wits about you, it’s possible you might end up losing everything to scammers who will do anything to get their hands on your belongings.</p> <p>Here we have six common scams to look out for while you are travelling abroad.</p> <p><strong>Scam 1:</strong> You are in a busy bar in a tourist friendly area when some locals ask where you’re from and offer to buy you a drink. Without thinking, you accept the drink and then find yourself waking up hours later without any of your belongings as you’ve had your drink spiked.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> If people seem too friendly, be aware that they may be scammers. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know, and don’t leave your drink unattended to use the bathroom.</p> <p><strong>Scam 2:</strong> You are about to put your handbag and computer on the conveyer belt to go through the scanner. The people in front of you walk through the metal detector and while one goes through, the other sets off the alarms. They step back into where you are standing and take their time removing wallets and coins from their pockets. While you are waiting for your turn to walk through the metal detector, the other person has taken your belongings and is long gone.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Don’t place your items on the conveyer belt until there is no one else waiting in front of you to go through the metal detector.</p> <p><strong>Scam 3:</strong> In a busy area such as after a concert or a busy night like New Year’s Eve it can be impossible to get public transport or a taxi back to your hotel. A friendly looking guy comes by and offers you a lift for a reasonable fee using his private car. The scam itself can then range from being charged an exorbitant amount when you arrive at your hotel – or you could even find yourself robbed and dropped by the side of the road with no way home.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> However tempting it is, never get in the car with an unlicensed taxi driver. This is even more important to note if you are travelling alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 4:</strong> While you are waiting with your luggage for a train or bus, a passer-by appears to drop their wallet and walk off without noticing. You might try to do the right thing by grabbing the wallet and running after the person to return it. By the time you get back, your luggage is missing.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> When travelling alone, never leave your items unattended even if it means you don’t help someone when you normally would. This is especially true in airports where baggage will quickly be confiscated if left alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 5:</strong> You’re taking in the sights when a couple of men dressed as policemen approach you. They demand to see your wallet and let you know that counterfeit money has been given to tourists in the area. When your wallet is returned it has had much of the contents removed.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Police would never demand to see your wallet. If something doesn’t feel right, suggest that you continue the discussion at the nearest police station as you don’t feel comfortable. Most likely they will not push their luck.</p> <p><strong>Scam 6:</strong> You receive a phone call in your hotel room late at night from someone claiming to be from the front desk. They apologise for the late call but request that you just confirm your credit card details as their system is playing up. You read out the numbers and hang up. Before too long your credit card has rung up a huge bill as this was a scammer calling you, not a staff member.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Organise payment in person by letting the caller know that you will come down to the front desk to discuss it.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Tips

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King Charles returns to public duties for the first time since diagnosis

<p>King Charles has made his first official public appearance since being diagnosed with cancer in February. </p> <p>In a symbolic appearance on Tuesday morning, the royal visited the Macmillan Cancer Centre at the University College Hospital donning a navy pinstripe suit with a light blue shirt and a pink dinosaur tie.</p> <p>The monarch was joined by his wife, Queen Camilla, with the couple sporting huge smiles as they waved to the crowd outside of the London hospital. </p> <p>The royal couple met with clinicians, patients and families of patients during the visit, and when asked by one patient how his treatment was going, Charles replied: "I'm alright, thank you".</p> <p>In one photo Charles can be seen tenderly placing his hand on the arms of a patient as he spoke with them. </p> <p>One patient discussed her chemotherapy with Charles, who who told her: “I’ve got to have my treatment this afternoon as well,” according to the <em>Mirror</em>.</p> <p>He also shared his reaction to finding out about his diagnosis for the first time, telling one patient: “It’s always a bit of a shock, isn’t it, when they tell you?”</p> <p>The King's hospital visit comes just days after the Palace released a statement confirming that he was showing progress with his treatment and would be resuming official duties. </p> <p>“His Majesty The King will shortly return to public-facing duties after a period of treatment and recuperation following his recent cancer diagnosis,”  it read, before announcing the visit to the cancer centre. </p> <p>“This visit will be the first in a number of external engagements His Majesty will undertake in the weeks ahead.”</p> <p>Despite this, his upcoming summer schedule would not be a full one, with events like the King's Birthday parade, known as Trooping the Colour, and the Royal Ascot, being undertaken on a case-by-case basis. </p> <p>He also plans to host the Emperor and Empress of Japan in late June. </p> <p>“As the first anniversary of the Coronation approaches, Their Majesties remain deeply grateful for the many kindnesses and good wishes they have received from around the world throughout the joys and challenges of the past year,” the statement concluded. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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Princess Kate filmed in public for the first time since Christmas

<p>The Princess of Wales has been filmed for the first time since Christmas, after her absence sparked wild global <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/kate-middleton-s-disappearance-sparks-bizarre-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank" rel="noopener">speculation</a> on her whereabouts. </p> <p>Kate Middleton looked happy and relaxed in <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/royals/26766840/princess-kate-middleton-shopping-trip-video-william/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recently published footage </a>of her shopping trip with her husband, Prince William. </p> <p>In footage exclusively obtained by <em>TMZ</em> and <em>The Sun, </em>the royal was filmed dressed comfortably in a hoodie and dark leggings, as she carried her shopping and walked alongside Prince William on their way to the car park. </p> <p>This is the first time the royal has been filmed in public since her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/two-senior-royals-undergo-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"planned abdominal surgery"</a>, aside from two blurry <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/kate-middleton-spotted-for-the-first-time-since-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">paparazzi pictures</a> of her in the backseat of a car, and reports that she was spotted <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/princess-kate-spotted-in-public-amid-wild-speculations" target="_blank" rel="noopener">out with her kids </a>on Saturday morning. </p> <p>Witnesses at Princess Kate's favourite farm shop reportedly said that she looked “happy, relaxed and healthy” as she ventured from her home in Windsor to the nearby store. </p> <p>“Kate was out shopping with William and she looked happy and she looked well," witnesses said at the time. </p> <p>“The kids weren’t with them but it’s such a good sign she was healthy enough to pop down to the shops.”</p> <p>The Princess' whereabouts has been the topic of speculation for weeks, with the Palace having to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/palace-responds-to-bizarre-conspiracy-theories-about-kate-s-whereabouts" target="_blank" rel="noopener">speak out</a> against the wild conspiracy theories on social media. </p> <p>Her last public appearance was on December 25 during the royal family’s traditional walk to the Christmas morning service in Sandringham.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Princess Kate "spotted in public" amid wild speculations

<p>The Princess of Wales has reportedly been spotted in public for the first time since her "planned abdominal surgery". </p> <p>Kate Middleton was reportedly spotted watching her children play sports at a location near her family's Windsor home.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/royals/26750949/princess-kate-windsor-farm-shop-william/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a>, the royal looked “happy, relaxed and healthy” as she spent Saturday morning watching Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, play sports. </p> <p>She later on reportedly visited her favourite farm shop located near her Adelaide Cottage home, with witnesses saying they were stunned to see the royal out and about, following the wild <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/princess-kate-s-post-surgery-pic-ignites-even-wilder-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank" rel="noopener">conspiracy theories</a> that emerged after the royal received criticism for editing a Mother's Day photo. </p> <p>“After all the rumours that had been going round I was stunned to see them there," a witness at the farm shop reportedly told <em>The Sun</em>. </p> <p>“Kate was out shopping with William and she looked happy and she looked well.</p> <p>“The kids weren’t with them but it’s such a good sign she was healthy enough to pop down to the shops.”</p> <p>However, no photos of her have been published. </p> <p>This is the first time she has been out and about since her surgery and could signal her return to public duties, although the Palace has previously said that she won't return to official duties until after Easter. </p> <p>The Princess of Wales was last photographed seated in the back of a car, next to Prince William as they were reportedly on their way to London. </p> <p>She was replaced by Lady Ghika, wife of the regiment's Major General St Chris Ghika, in her role as honorary coronel of the Irish Guards for St. Patrick's Day on March 17. </p> <p>Members from the Irish Guards gave three cheers to absent Kate, as a mark of respect for the royal. </p> <p>There are speculations that she will join the royals for their traditional public walk on Easter Sunday.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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Samantha Armytage lists lavish holiday home

<p>Samantha Armytage has listed her stunning holiday home in Hyams Beach for $3.2 million.</p> <p>The<em> Farmer Wants A Wife </em>host previously leased the lavish three-bedroom, two-bathroom property as a holiday rental for $1200 a night.</p> <p>Armytage bought property which sits on 658sqm of land in 2018 for $1.765 million, and she has extensively renovated the property since, which includes adding a new roof and redesigning the interiors. </p> <p>The property boasts plenty of natural light, and is just minutes away from Hyams Beach, which you can see from the balcony of the home. </p> <p>All the rooms feature plenty of natural light, with the master bedroom boasting ocean-views, which makes it perfect for families or couples looking for a holiday home. </p> <p>The home has a cottage aesthetic, with bright white walls and floorboards, that when combined with bamboo tables, woven storage baskets, and neutral-coloured furniture looks like the ideal beach retreat. </p> <p>It also features a large private backyard with an outdoor entertaining area and pergola. </p> <p>Armytage previously sold her $2.8 million Bondi home in 2020, the same year she got married to Richard Lavender. </p> <p>Her and Lavender have relocated to  the Southern Highlands and are currently living on a 40-hectare farm in Berrima, which Richard purchased in 2007 for $ 1.95 million.</p> <p><em>Images: realestate.com.au / Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Real Estate

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Channel 9 host goes public with new romance

<p>Channel 9 personality Sophie Walsh has gone public with her relationship with Sydney Sixers cricketer Moises Henriques. </p> <p>The Today host confirmed their relationship with an adorable photo of the couple from inside Taylor Swift’s Saturday night blockbuster at Accor Stadium in Sydney.</p> <p>The pair were pictured cuddling up to each other as they posed with Taylor Swift playing in the background. </p> <p><em>News Corp</em> first revealed the pair have quietly been seeing each other recently, with the first signs of their relationship shared on Walsh's Instagram page in January.</p> <p>The couple posed in one of the stadiums with their arms around each other and Walsh captioned it with a simple black heart emoji. </p> <p>Radio and TV presenter Dan Anstey, who was one of the first to comment on the picture at the time, playfully said: "He's a keeper."</p> <p><em>Today Show </em>colleague Jayne Azzopardi wrote: "This makes me happy ❤️ 🏏"</p> <p>"Love this," added Tracy Vo. </p> <p>"Winners are grinners. ❤️" wrote<em> Nine News</em> weather presenter, Belinda Russell.  </p> <p>Henriques, 37, is a popular figure in Australian cricket, having represented Australia in all three formats of the game.</p> <p>He has a a four-year-old son from his former marriage with ex-partner Krista Thomas, who he got married to in 2018. </p> <p>Henriques has not yet shared any photos with Walsh on his own Instagram page.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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Robert Irwin's favourite Aussie holiday spot

<p>Robert Irwin is a Queenslander through and through, and despite all the attractions and things to do in his hometown, the young conservationist is surprisingly a huge fan of Tasmania.</p> <p>When asked what his favourite destination was, Irwin said that it was a "very tough question" but narrowed it down to two spots: North Queensland and Tasmania.</p> <p>“I know what you’re thinking – two of the most polar opposite places, but they both have such rugged and raw natural beauty,” Irwin told news.com.au.</p> <p>He added that Cradle Mountain, one of Tasmania's most iconic sights is one of his favourite spots and that it is a must-see destination.</p> <p>“I also enjoy the Tasman Peninsula, Launceston, Swansea and the stunning Tarkine Wilderness just to name a few spots.”</p> <p>In North Queensland, he lives up to his role as the son of 'The Crocodile Hunter' as he loves exploring the mangroves and estuaries.</p> <p>“At a good distance away from the water’s edge of course,” he added.</p> <p>“Surprisingly, Cairns also has some top-notch mountain biking, so if you love an adrenaline hit, it has got you covered.”</p> <p>Irwin added that all Aussies need to explore the far north and far south at least once in their lives.</p> <p>“To sum it all up, Tasmania has Tassie devils, and North Queensland has crocs. What more do you need,” he said.</p> <p>The young conservationist will soon be heading to South Africa to film the newest season of <em>I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!</em> as he replaced Dr Chris Brown as a co-host for the show.</p> <p>He shared that he will definitely bring his own camera.</p> <p>“We have supported wildlife conservation efforts there for many years and have spent so much time photographing the unique wildlife of South Africa,” he said.</p> <p>“My new I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! hosting role will definitely give me the opportunity to further pursue my passion for photography.”</p> <p>Images: Instagram</p>

Domestic Travel

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Sarah Ferguson makes first public appearance since skin cancer diagnosis

<p>Sarah Ferguson has made her first public appearance since her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-reveals-second-cancer-diagnosis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">skin cancer diagnosis</a> was announced almost two weeks ago. </p> <p>The Duchess of York made an unexpected appearance at the <em>Haute Living Celebrates The Haute 100</em> event in Miami, Florida on Monday. </p> <p>Fergie rocked a military-style black and white blazer over a black dress for the cocktail event, and appeared happier than ever as she posed for the cameras. </p> <p>The 64-year-old was pictured cuddling up to and interacting with fellow guests at the event. </p> <p>This comes just two weeks after the Duchess <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-breaks-silence-amid-second-cancer-battle" target="_blank" rel="noopener">opened up</a> on her second cancer diagnosis in a year. </p> <p>"I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year," she said in the Instagram post at the time.</p> <p>She also recently opened up on her recovery from breast cancer, following her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.</p> <p>The Duchess expressed her gratitude to her two daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, for their constant support. </p> <p>"My two wonderful daughters are my wholehearted cheerleaders, my devoted champions and my soulmates, and they have been as supportive as can be, as they always are," she told <em>People magazine </em>at the time.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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4 strategies to keep you from overspending this holiday season

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/johanna-peetz-1494248">Johanna Peetz</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/carleton-university-900">Carleton University</a></em></p> <p>The urge to spend money is present all year round, but during the gift-giving season, the temptation to splurge on loved ones can be particularly strong. For many, the desire to be generous during the holidays clashes with the need to conserve funds for essential expenses.</p> <p>This year, money is tighter than ever, with <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/231121/dq231121a-eng.htm?indid=3665-1&amp;indgeo=0">high prices for groceries, housing and entertainment</a> leaving shoppers with reduced funds as the holiday season descends upon us.</p> <p>A growing number of individuals are feeling the financial squeeze, with 40 per cent of Canadians <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/financial-stress-is-impacting-the-mental-health-of-canadians-survey-1.1933491">citing money as their main source of stress</a>. <a href="https://newsroom.bmo.com/2023-11-08-78-Per-Cent-of-Canadians-Plan-to-Cut-Back-on-Holiday-Spending,-but-a-Third-Will-Still-Give-Back-to-Charitable-Causes-BMO-Survey">Seventy-eight per cent of Canadians</a> plan on buying fewer gifts this holiday season and 37 per cent are worried they won’t be able to afford all the items on their holiday shopping lists.</p> <p>Given that <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.790434">pricier gifts are not necessarily more appreciated by the person receiving the gift</a>, what are some ways shoppers can resist the temptation of appealing, yet expensive, gift options that might strain their finances?</p> <p>As a social psychologist who studies personal spending, I think it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of self-control strategies that can help us manage financial decisions during the holiday season.</p> <h2>Strategies for resisting temptation</h2> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615623">Self-control is not just suppressing temptation</a>; it also involves setting yourself up for success by creating situations that make resisting temptations easier.</p> <p><strong>1. Avoid temptations</strong></p> <p>Perhaps the most obvious strategy is to avoid shopping temptations. This may include steering clear of places — both physical and online — that are out of your budget range. While this is easier said than done during gift shopping, it’s an effective way to manage temptations: People who report having an easier time with self-control <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.09.031">tend to avoid rather than resist temptations</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Make a budget</strong></p> <p>If you haven’t sat down to make a holiday budget yet, it’s never too late to make one. Considering one-quarter of Canadians are <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/10087745/canadian-holiday-spending-debt/">still paying off last year’s holiday debts</a>, being as fiscally responsible as possible is a wise choice this year.</p> <p>Setting spending limits ahead of time makes your financial goals clear and explicit. When setting budgets for gifts <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucad011">people tend to spend the entirety of the estimated amount (unlike budgets for personal purchases where they try to come in under the budget)</a>. It’s good to be realistic, rather than optimistic, when setting budgets.</p> <p><strong>3. Implementation intentions</strong></p> <p>Anticipate any potential shopping temptations you are likely to encounter so you can develop strategies to resist them. One effective approach is <a href="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/server/api/core/bitstreams/14cc2a36-5f01-4dc1-b9ca-f2d0ca0c8930/content">forming intentions</a> about how you will act once you encounter a temptation.</p> <p>For example, you might consider what you will do when you see a gadget your friend would enjoy when you have already bought them something and have reached the limit of your budget. Instead of purchasing it and exceeding your budget, you could write down the gadget for next year’s gift.</p> <p><strong>4. Write a list</strong></p> <p>Finally, thinking ahead to the gifts you plan to buy and writing a shopping list rather than relying on being inspired in the store might help with sticking to a budget. <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11747-019-00670-w">Consumers spend thousands each year on impulse purchases</a>. Writing shopping lists, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.1812">even for online shopping</a>, can reduce overall spending and shopping regret.</p> <h2>The best strategy is the one that works</h2> <p>The holidays should be about joy, not financial stress. Maintaining self-control allows you to celebrate without compromising your financial well-being.</p> <p>There are of course many strategies beyond the four strategies listed here that can help create situations where resisting temptations is easier. The most effective strategies for maintaining financial self-control <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2021.104189">are the ones you are already using</a>, and the ones <em>you</em> find most effective. If you want to avoid giving in to shopping temptations, take a moment to think about the financial strategies you are already using and think about how you might use them in your holiday shopping.</p> <p>If you haven’t yet found a strategy that works for you, now is a great opportunity for you to try some out and see which ones are effective. Using strategies to manage the cost of holiday spending can prevent gift-giving from becoming a financial stressor in an already stressful time.</p> <p>Finally, while adhering to a budget is important, it shouldn’t be the sole or primary focus during holiday shopping. Keep in mind that the true spirit of the season is spending quality time with loved ones. The joy of the holidays doesn’t come from extravagant gifts, but from shared moments and meaningful connections.<!-- 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/219380/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/johanna-peetz-1494248"><em>Johanna Peetz</em></a><em>, Professor in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/carleton-university-900">Carleton 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/4-strategies-to-keep-you-from-overspending-this-holiday-season-219380">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Qantas' big move ahead of record-breaking holiday season

<p>As the festive season approaches, Qantas is gearing up for its busiest Christmas holiday period in years. The airline has taken proactive measures to handle the anticipated surge in passenger numbers, with an additional boost to its international cabin crew.</p> <p>More than 8.5 million passengers are expected to fly on Qantas and Jetstar services in December and January, marking a significant increase from the previous year – and the most passengers since the 2019-20 festive season.</p> <p>To meet the demands of the busy holiday season, Qantas has expanded its international cabin crew team with the addition of 16 new faces. These recruits, having completed an eight-week intensive training program, are set to embark on their first flights just in time for the peak travel period. The new recruits will be contributing to flights destined for key international locations such as Japan (Narita), Hong Kong, and Singapore.</p> <p>Phil Capps, Qantas executive manager for product and service, emphasised the airline's commitment to investing in staff training across all departments, including ground staff and cabin crew. The significant recruitment efforts in 2023, with 991 new international cabin crew and 394 new domestic cabin crew, reflect Qantas's dedication to providing exceptional service during the holiday season and beyond.</p> <p>To ensure operational readiness, Qantas has brought forward maintenance on its aircraft, and up to 13 planes will be on standby as operational spares. The airline has also made a substantial boost to reserve staff to address unexpected sick leave situations. Over the past 12 months, almost 3,300 additional operational employees, including cabin crew, pilots, engineers, and airport customer service staff, have been recruited to enhance overall efficiency.</p> <p>As part of the preparations for the busy travel period, Qantas and Jetstar are urging travellers to check-in online for domestic flights, arrive ahead of schedule, and adhere to baggage limits. The airlines emphasised that bringing excess carry-on baggage could lead to delays and urged passengers to be respectful and patient during the holiday rush. Additionally, Qantas warned about potential delays and cancellations due to bad weather and air traffic control issues.</p> <p><em>Image: Qantas</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Hopefully it's permanent": Karl's surprise holiday replacement announced

<p>Karl Stefanovic's Christmas leave replacement on the Today show was announced on Monday, when it was revealed that Dr Nick Coatsworth, Australia's former deputy chief medical officer, would be filling Stefanovic's hosting shoes from December 26, granting the veteran host a well-deserved New Year's rendezvous with his family.</p> <p>However, the digital realm erupted with mixed emotions following the news, with some online users not just celebrating Stefanovic's temporary absence but actively calling for the replacement to be made permanent.</p> <p>Social media platforms buzzed with comments like, 'Please make it a permanent break', and 'Complete overhaul needed', suggesting a desire for a fresh face at the helm of the popular morning show. One disgruntled user even quipped, 'Hopefully it is permanent; the only one who thinks he is funny is him. Poor co-hosts with their fake laughs.'</p> <p>As the summer breeze of change swept through the <em>Today</em> show, co-host Sarah Abo found herself replaced for the holiday season by regular <em>Today</em> show reporter Mia Glover, adding an extra layer of anticipation to the show's temporary makeover.</p> <p>The real thunderstorm, however, came with the surprising decision to appoint Dr Coatsworth as the temporary host. A prominent figure in the medical field, Coatsworth had been a regular contributor to Channel Nine, particularly on matters of medicine.</p> <p>Reports surfaced of disquiet among viewers, claiming 'plenty of noses are out of joint' over this unconventional choice. This sentiment likely stems from the fact that Dr Coatsworth, despite his frequent appearances as the show's medical expert during the pandemic, has never before taken on the role of the show's host.</p> <p>Dr Coatsworth also has a new show in the pipeline titled <em>Do You Want to Live Forever?</em>, set to be broadcast on Nine next year. This unexpected move only adds to the intrigue surrounding the doctor's stint as a morning show host.</p> <p>This shakeup comes at a critical juncture for the <em>Today</em> show, as its arch-rival, <em>Sunrise</em>, gears up for its 20th year of dominating the breakfast ratings war. According to the 2022 OzTam survey, Sunrise boasted an average national daily audience of 397,000 viewers, proudly claiming to be '31 per cent bigger than its nearest competitor.' <em>Today</em>, on the other hand, has struggled in recent years to close the gap with <em>Sunrise</em>, facing challenges exacerbated by a revolving door of presenters on the Nine show.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

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