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“Miracle”: 1-year-old baby survives two days beside highway during hurricane

<p>A one-year-old baby has been found alive on the side of a highway after surviving two days of dangerous hurricane conditions between the Texas and Louisiana border in the US. </p> <p>A truck driver spotted the one-year-old on a major highway, just a few kilometres where the boy's four-year-old brother was tragically found dead in a lake. </p> <p>The one-year-old had to survive stormy weather as Hurricane Beryl inundated the area with heavy rain and high winds, but was relatively unscathed when he was found.</p> <p>The truck driver recalled the moment he found the child to local news station KPLC, saying, "There was a little boy sitting down in the embankment there."</p> <p>"As I approached him, he smiled at me and then he started crying and walked toward me. Once he walked toward me, I grabbed his hand and he stopped crying at that point."</p> <p>Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Gary “Stitch” Guillory said the baby had a few insect bites, but otherwise seemed well.</p> <p>“This kid spent two days out in the weather on the side of the highway,” Guillory said while becoming emotional.</p> <p>“Thank God that trucker seen him. When you look at the video, here he was, you know, crawling toward the highway."</p> <p>“We look at this one-year-old as our miracle baby because he was still alive.”</p> <p>The children’s mother, 25-year-old Aaliyah Jack of Lake Charles, has been charged with failing to report a missing child, while the child's grandmother is fighting for custody of the infant. </p> <p><em>Image credits: News15</em></p>

Caring

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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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10 ways to make those stage 3 tax cuts count

<p>You’re already used to living without these extra dollars. So, you won’t miss them by continuing to do so. Consider the various options available and which best suits your circumstances, then devise a plan of action to put that money to work.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Check tax brackets</strong></li> </ol> <p>Not only are some income tax rates falling, but the thresholds for others are increasing - potentially pushing you into a lower tax bracket.</p> <p>For example, Alice currently earns $130,000 and this tips her into marginal tax rate of 37 per cent. </p> <p>The Stage 3 changes will increase the 37 per cent tax threshold to $135,001. As such, Alice drops to a lower tax bracket. Not only this, her new tax bracket will have its marginal tax rate reduced from 32.5 per cent to 30 per cent. It’s a double win for Alice!</p> <p>This shouldn’t change your money habits but is still good to know.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong>Update your plan</strong></li> </ol> <p>Check <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/new-legislation/in-detail/individuals/individual-income-tax-rates-and-threshold-changes">what your new tax rate will be</a> to calculate your new take-home pay (or simply look at your first full pay cycle in the new financial year).</p> <p>Plot your new income into your household spending and investment plan. Now you know what you have to play with.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong>Check your pay</strong></li> </ol> <p>Most employers use digital payroll systems which automatically update tax rates. But not all do. And even then, mistakes can happen.</p> <p>From July, double check that your pay is adjusted correctly. </p> <p>If you notice a mistake, speak up – not only will you and your colleagues benefit, but you could save your employer from costly penalties for an innocent mistake.</p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong>Monitor expenses</strong></li> </ol> <p>Don’t let ballooning expenses wipe out any tax cut gains. </p> <p>Avoid pre-spending those gains too. The additional income is spaced out over each pay; it’s not a lump sum you can blow on a spending spree.</p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong>Automatic redirects</strong></li> </ol> <p>Consider setting up an automated redirect of the difference in your pay as soon as it hits your account. </p> <p>The money could be diverted into a high-interest savings account or used to top up your emergency fund.</p> <ol start="6"> <li><strong>Super contributions</strong></li> </ol> <p>Tax cut cash can be used in combination with super contribution rules to supercharge retirement earnings.</p> <p>Low income earners may be eligible for <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/super-for-individuals-and-families/super/growing-and-keeping-track-of-your-super/how-to-save-more-in-your-super/government-super-contributions/super-co-contribution">government co-contributions</a> while <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/super-for-individuals-and-families/super/growing-and-keeping-track-of-your-super/how-to-save-more-in-your-super/spouse-super-contributions">spouse contributions</a> can offer further tax benefits.</p> <p>This may be particularly useful for anyone <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/super-for-individuals-and-families/super/growing-and-keeping-track-of-your-super/caps-limits-and-tax-on-super-contributions/concessional-contributions-cap#ato-Carryforwardunusedcontributioncapamounts">trying to catch-up</a> after time out of the workforce (e.g., raising kids or caring for relatives) or repaying <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/research-and-statistics/in-detail/super-statistics/early-release/covid-19-early-release-of-super">early withdrawals during COVID</a>. </p> <ol start="7"> <li><strong>Pay down debt</strong></li> </ol> <p>Every extra dollar spent paying off debt will save on future interest and clear it faster. </p> <p>Prioritise higher interest debts (like credit cards). Consider consolidating multiple debts into one with a lower rate (e.g., your mortgage) to reduce total interest and simplify repayments.</p> <ol start="8"> <li><strong>Invest in yourself</strong></li> </ol> <p>The old saying goes “you’ve got to spend money to make money”. Nowhere are the returns typically better than from self improvement.</p> <p>That could be undertaking new qualifications or additional training, enabling you to secure pay rises or transition to a higher-paying industry.</p> <p>Or it may be investing in your health and wellbeing, to reduce medical expenses, improve job prospects and productivity, and enhance your decision-making abilities (including about money matters).</p> <ol start="9"> <li><strong>Lodge returns promptly</strong></li> </ol> <p>This applies to every tax year: the sooner you lodge your tax return, the sooner you access your tax refund.</p> <p>Even if you’re facing a tax bill, getting it done sooner means less interest accruing and no late payment penalties.</p> <ol start="10"> <li><strong>Revisit strategies</strong></li> </ol> <p>While making changes to incorporate these tax cuts, take the opportunity to re-evaluate your overall finances. </p> <p>Revisit investment strategies to ensure they are delivering optimal returns. Check superannuation thresholds and performance. Scrutinise total tax liabilities (for instance, lower tax rates may mean you won’t qualify for the same level of tax deductions). Make updates where necessary.</p> <p>Keeping on top of your finances will mean better bang for your buck now while streamlining your affairs in future years.</p> <p><em><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women. Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at <a href="http://www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au/">www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Disclaimer: The information in this article is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal financial or product advice. Any opinions or views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations the owner may be associated with in a professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Helen Baker is an authorised representative of BPW Partners Pty Ltd AFSL 548754.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Two young fundraising heroes treated to private party at Buckingham Palace

<p>Two fundraising heroes have been treated to a private tea party, hosted by Queen Camilla herself, after being forced to miss previous royal events.</p> <p>Tony Hudgell, nine, and Lyla O’Donovan, 11, were due to attend a garden party in May, but Hudgell got stuck in a major traffic jam, while Lyla was undergoing treatment for cancer. </p> <p>Tony — whose legs were amputated after horrific child abuse - was devastated to miss the royal event, as his adoptive mother Paula shared on X (formerly Twitter) how they spent two hours stuck behind a fire truck on a major highway. </p> <p>However, a response on the Royal Family indicated all was not lost, as they replied, “Sorry to hear this, Tony! We were looking forward to seeing you too. Fancy trying again another day? Leave it with us.”</p> <p>Two months on, the two youngsters arrived at Buckingham Palace for the rescheduled treat last week and were given a front-row spot to watch the Changing of the Guard.</p> <p>The two children and their families then enjoyed a private tea party with Queen Camilla, 76, in the palace garden’s Summer House.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">🫖 🍰 When Tony and Lyla came to tea … <a href="https://t.co/LTfLrPDjT7">pic.twitter.com/LTfLrPDjT7</a></p> <p>— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) <a href="https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1807667556120969625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 1, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The Queen then presented Tony with his British Empire Medal after his nomination in the 2024 New Year’s Honours.</p> <p>Tony, who lost his legs as a baby due to his parents’ cruelty, inspired the nation after doing a 10km walk, raising $2.4 million at age five.</p> <p>Paula said, “We were all extremely honoured and grateful to be invited for afternoon tea with the Queen. Everyone was so kind and thoughtful and made us feel comfortable and relaxed."</p> <p>“Tony chatted to the Queen as if they were old friends. She was lovely with him.</p> <p>“An exceptionally proud moment was when the Queen gave Tony his BEM. It was one of the most memorable days we’ll ever have.”</p> <p>Lyla has raised funds to grant wishes to children affected by cancer or lifelong illness. She said of the event, “Everyone made us feel so comfortable and made me feel super-special. We’re so grateful.”</p> <p>Dad Paul said, “It was an amazing moment for us. Lyla was gutted about missing the original Garden Party but she said she’s glad she missed it now as she’s got to meet the Queen."</p> <p>“There’s no one more important than her, apart from the King, of course.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Buckingham Palace/WPA Pool/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

International Travel

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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>

Legal

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10 ways to cruise as a senior

<p>Just because you’re older, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience all that a cruising holiday has to offer. Follow our simple tips for a fun filled holiday on the water.</p> <p><strong>1. Choose the right ship</strong></p> <p>Cruise ships today carry anywhere from six to 6,000 people. The larger megaliners tend to be geared towards families with plenty of crazy rides and high-energy activities. They’ll also probably be crowded with kids. Smaller boutique ships operate at a slower pace and are generally stocked with an older crowd. Do your research and find one to suit you.</p> <p><strong>2. And the right cabin</strong></p> <p>Do you need an accessible cabin? Do you want to reduce walking with a cabin close to the elevators? Is it important for you to have some outside space of your own? These are all important questions that you’ll need to answer when you book. The right cabin can make or break a cruise.</p> <p><strong>3. Pick an appropriate itinerary</strong></p> <p>You’ll need to decide if you want to visit new places every day or spend more time onboard the ship. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Port heavy itineraries, where you’re stopping at a new destination every day, can be tiring. On the other hand, you might get bored with too many days at sea.  Think realistically about your needs and make the right choice for you.</p> <p><strong>4. Research your dates</strong></p> <p>One of the best things about being a senior traveller is that you are (generally) no longer bound by things like school holidays. By avoiding these times you’ll not only save money, you won’t be on a ship with an unusually high proportion of children. When cruising in the Caribbean, you’ll also need to keep in mind the US college holidays so you’re not trapped with a bunch of boozy spring breakers.</p> <p><strong>5. Allow extra time</strong></p> <p>It’s a sad fact of ageing that you’re not as quick on your feet as you used to be. That means you’ll need to factor in extra time for just about everything. Ships can be huge, so you don’t want to be rushing to make a dinner reservation or spa appointment. This applies on shore too. If you’re really late, the ship will leave without you so don’t cut it too fine.</p> <p><strong>6. Choose the right shore excursions</strong></p> <p>Before you book, have a chat with the shore excursions team and get a good idea of the physical requirements. What they consider minimal walking might not be the same as what you consider minimal walking. These tours aren’t cheap, so you want to be sure that you can enjoy everything it involves.</p> <p><strong>7. Look at onboard activities</strong></p> <p>You might not want to get off at every port (which can be exhausting) but still want to be entertained onboard. And adventurous activities like skydiving simulators and giant waterslides may not be your thing any more. Many cruise lines offer fantastic enrichment programs onboard where you can listen to world-class lecturers, learn new skills or watch performances from the likes of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts or the Lincoln Centre.</p> <p><strong>8. Give yourself time to relax</strong></p> <p>You’re on holiday! If you want to spend a day in bed, watching movies and ordering room service then do exactly that. Don’t feel any pressure to be up and about every day.</p> <p><strong>9. Travel with the right companions</strong></p> <p>Solo, couple, friends or family, there’s a cruise for every group. Cruising is hugely popular with multi-generational groups as there something for everyone to do, but it might not make for the most relaxing holiday. If you’re a solo traveller, you can book a single cabin all to yourself or find a room mate with any number of matching services. Just think carefully – because once you’re onboard with your travel buddy, there’s no getting off.</p> <p><strong>10. Think about medical care</strong></p> <p>Be realistic about any medical needs you may have. Most ships have a decent medical centre, but if you are spending multiple days at sea or cruising to very remote destinations and something happens it might not be enough to help you. If you are concerned, choose cruises that stay close to shore or visit developed countries where you can get proper treatment quickly.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Cruising

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5 ways to fake a clean bathroom

<p>Got a friend popping around for a catch up, and, your bathroom is less than sparkling? Don’t stress. Follow our foolproof tips to fake it so no one knows you didn’t have time to do a proper clean.</p> <p><strong>1. Scrub the loo</strong></p> <p>The toilet is often a telltale sign that your bathroom is in need of a clean. If you haven’t already invested in a leave-in cleaner for your bowl, simply get in there with some toilet cleaner and give a good squirt under the rim. Leave it to do its job while you get on with the rest of the bathroom.</p> <p>Then when it’s had a few minutes to soak, give it a once over with the toilet brush. Grab some toilet paper (or an antibacterial wipe) and give the rim and the top of the toilet a once over to remove any dust.</p> <p><strong>2. Eliminate any obvious mould and grime</strong></p> <p>Find yourself some good-quality mould spray that you can apply and then leave to work its magic while you move on to other areas of the bathroom. After 10 minutes (check your packet for the optimal time) you should be able to spray it with warm water from the shower and then wipe it clean.</p> <p><strong>3. Do a quick dust bust</strong></p> <p>Grab yourself a clean cloth or antibacterial wipe and go over the shelves and basin to get rid of any dust or dirt you can see.</p> <p><strong>4.Change your bathmat and hand towel</strong></p> <p>There’s nothing like a fresh and clean bathmat to trick your guests into thinking that you’ve just finished scrubbing the bathroom. Add a clean hand towel to complete the look.</p> <p><strong>5.Add a sweet scent</strong></p> <p>Give your bathroom a look of freshness by popping a small vase of flowers in there. You can also try a scented candle on top of the toilet to give off a nice scent and hide any odours.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Home & Garden

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5 ways your sleep affects what you eat

<p>We know a good night’s sleep is good for us but logging in those hours of sleep can be a difficult task. Without quality shut-eye, our productivity decreases, immune system weakens and even our dietary health is negatively affected.</p> <p><strong>You eat more when you sleep less</strong></p> <p>A Mayo Clinic study comparing the eating habits of people who slept as much as they needed and those who only slept two-thirds of their required rest time for eight days, found the subject who were sleep-deprived ended up eating an average of 549 extra calories each day.</p> <p><strong>You snack more, especially at night</strong></p> <p>A lack of sleep can lead to decrease in physical activity and an increase in snacking behaviour. Such behaviours typically leads to weight gain.</p> <p><strong>You crave extra carbs and fatty foods</strong></p> <p>The foods we’re snacking on aren’t usually the healthy variety. A 2013 study found that when we’re tired we not only crave unhealthy, -carbohydrate, and high-fat foods but we’re less likely to consider the consequences of such food choices over time.</p> <p><strong>Disrupted sleep cycle equal changing eating patterns</strong></p> <p>Your internal clock guides both your sleep patterns and your eating patterns – aka when you feel hungry during the day. A 2011 study found that people who are “late sleepers” tend to delay their meals throughout the day and end up consuming more calories than the average meal. Those late-eating habits affect sleep and perpetuates the cycle.</p> <p><strong>You don’t eat the right foods</strong></p> <p>A 2013 study found that sleep-deprived subjects ate half the fruit and vegetable servings of a normal sleeper. This meant losing key nutrients from their diet, which can lead to dietary imbalances and effect the regular functioning of the body. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Body

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"Taken way too soon": TV star's brother breaks silence after shocking death

<p>The grieving brother of slain TV star Johnny Wactor has broken his silence over his brother's untimely death. </p> <p>Johnny Wactor, 37, was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/soap-star-killed-in-robbery-gone-wrong" target="_blank" rel="noopener">killed</a> in Los Angeles in the early hours of Saturday morning when he intercepted a group of men trying to steal the catalytic converter from his vehicle, and was shot dead at the scene. </p> <p>Now, Wactor's brother Grant has shared more details on the events surrounding his Johnny's death, telling <a href="https://people.com/general-hospital-actor-johnny-wactors-brother-speaks-out-on-killing-taken-way-too-early-8654340" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>People</em></a> magazine that he had finished a shift working as a bartender at the time he was shot. </p> <p>After his shift finished at about 3:25am local time, he walked to his car with a female co-worker  when he noticed that his car had been “jacked up or lifted in some way”.</p> <p>Initially, the actor thought his car was being towed away, but quickly realised the people surrounding his car were not tow-truck drivers.</p> <p>Grant said his brother physically shielded his female colleague to prevent her from being hurt and had his hands up in the air when he was shot.</p> <p>“He did not confront them,” he told the publication. “He did not try to stop them. He was just trying to diffuse the situation by stepping back.”</p> <p>After the shooting the men fled the scene in a different car, and LAPD officer Jeff Lee said the suspects were “still outstanding”.</p> <p>Grant Wactor said his family were “hoping and praying” that the killers were found and brought to justice.</p> <p>“We just want (them to be found) as quickly as possible and correctly,” he said, describing his brother as “a good person”.</p> <p>“He was taken way too early, and no one should be taken like this at all,” he said.</p> <p>“He touched a lot of people. He believed in his core values to the end, and he lived life to the fullest the way he wanted to. And he was happy doing that.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / Ouzounova / Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Family & Pets

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4 ways to avoid foot pain when travelling

<p>Whether it’s caused by a hectic day of sightseeing or a mad rush through the airports, there’s nothing quite as annoying as foot pain when you’re on holidays. And when you consider how easy it is to avoid (so long as you take the correct preventative measures) you’ll feeling like kicking yourself for putting up with it for all these years.</p> <p>Here are four ways to avoid foot pain when travelling.</p> <p><strong>1. Choosing the right pair of shoes  </strong></p> <p>Out of all the fashion statements, shoes are probably responsible for more chronic foot pain than anything else. So make sure you choose the right pair of shoes for your trip. For example, if you’re going to be walking around all day sightseeing it might be an idea to ditch the stiletto heels for a pair of joggers (even if they’re not quite so aesthetically pleasing).</p> <p>Dr Robert Mathews from Cremorne Medical in NSW says, “I recommend wearing supportive shoe such as running shoes. If you want to wear something more stylish then consider buying some gel insoles to slip in your shoes, you can get a wide variety of these from your local chemist.“</p> <p><strong>2. Manage your feet on flights</strong></p> <p>Foot swelling can become quite a big problem on long haul flight, so managing your feet becomes crucial. Simple, preventative measures anyone can take, like wearing support stocks, standing up every so often to move around or even just flexing your feet and wriggling your toes, can make a big difference and greatly reduce the chance of swelling.</p> <p><strong>3. Slip, slop and slap</strong></p> <p>So many island holidays have been soured by the blistering pain of sunburnt feet. If you’re staying at a resort or near a beach and your feet are exposed, don’t forget to apply sunscreen everywhere. Otherwise you’re going to want to have some aloe vera gel handy!</p> <p><strong>4. Take time to rest</strong></p> <p>While you’re probably in a mad rush to see everything, fear of missing out can put significant strain on your feet. So make sure you set aside plenty of time every day to put your feet up and rest. It also might be worth considering some extra pampering, like a foot bath or even a half hour massage. You are on holidays after all, so why not treat yourself!</p> <p>Dr Matthews adds, “It may also be worth taking with you some thick band aids in case you develop any blisters from long walks.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Two lifesaving heart medicines added to the PBS

<p>Two lifesaving heart medicines have been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).</p> <p>Previous treatments for the two kinds of heart disorder cardiomyopathy, which affect around 4800 Australians, previously cost patients up to $122,000.</p> <p>Now, with the addition of it to the PBS, patients will only have to pay $31.60 per script, or just $7.70 with a concession card.</p> <p>One of the medications added to the list is Tafamadis (also known as Vyndamax), which is used to treat transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy - a rare heart disease that can present as shortness of breath and fatigue.</p> <p>The newly listed treatment slows the progression of the disease and prevents the build-up of thickened heart muscles, and is the most expensive medication costing patients around $122,000 for a year of treatment without the government subsidy. </p> <p>Camzyos, the treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which affects around 3600 Australians and previously cost around $30,000 per year of treatment, will also be subsidised.</p> <p>"It's vitally important that Australians have ready and affordable access to the latest treatments," Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said.</p> <p>"By listing Vyndamax and Camzyos on the PBS we're giving patients and their doctors new options for treatment at an affordable price.</p> <p>"It's part of the Albanese Government's commitment to keep medicines cheaper for Australians."</p> <p><em>Image: Nine</em></p>

Caring

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5 ways to avoid going overboard on a cruise

<p>Falling overboard is the stuff of cruising nightmares (and it happens surprisingly more frequently than you might think. Just this year we’ve brought you two stories about passengers falling overboard, but this fishy fate is by no means unavoidable.</p> <p>Here are five ways to ensure you keep your feet dry.</p> <p><strong>1. Limit your alcohol intake</strong></p> <p>If the prices weren’t enough of a reason to go easy on the sauce on your cruise, perhaps the risk of tipping over the balcony will persuade you. Think of it this way – the effect of alcohol on a cruise is the same as the effect of alcohol on dry land, but when you’re on a cruise you’re travelling through sometimes heavy seas at about 20 knots.</p> <p><strong>2. Stay in your room during inclement weather</strong></p> <p>If your ship is sailing into dicey conditions, you’re better off keeping to your quarters. You never know how a cruise liner is going to stand up to the ocean’s wrath, and even if you want a good view of Mother Nature’s nasty side, you’re safer below deck. </p> <p><strong>3. Keep clear of dark corners</strong></p> <p>It’s not a very pleasant thing to think about, but when there are 4,000 passengers on a cruise they’re not all going to be good eggs. Be aware of your surroundings, just as you would be on land, and be sure to report any suspicious activity to a crew member.</p> <p><strong>4. Pay attention during the practice drills</strong></p> <p>Even if you’ve been on 20 cruises it’s a good idea to pay attention during the practice drills. This will reinforce what you need to do in an event of an emergency, and might just save your life (or someone else’s by knowing where to find the safety gear).</p> <p><strong>5. Don’t re-enact the <em>Titanic</em> scene</strong></p> <p>Because going overboard will make you look like anything but, “The king of the world.”</p> <p>Have you ever been on a cruise? Did you ever feel unsafe at any point? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Cruising

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Best friends on the way to a wedding identified in fatal crash

<p>The best friends who were on their way to a wedding when they were struck in a fatal crash in Brisbane have been identified. </p> <p>Lily Galbraith, 24, and Emma McLean, 23, were travelling in a silver sedan through the Legacy Way tunnel on Wednesday at 3pm when they were hit by a black Audi. </p> <p>Ms Galbraith, a South Australian nurse who was originally from the Northern Territory, died in the crash, while Ms McLean is still fighting for her life in hospital after suffering critical injuries. </p> <p>The driver of the Audi, who also died in the crash, has been identified as former police officer Bruce Daley. </p> <p>After the Audi collided with the sedan, police believe the impact of the crash then pushed the sedan into a small truck, causing serious injuries to the driver of the truck.</p> <p>Mr Daley, who was medically retired from the Queensland Police Service in December 2014, had posted online about relationship struggles and loneliness over several years.</p> <p>Inspector Hansel said speed would be a “focus” of the investigation, with claims the Audi hit speeds of up to 200km/h before the crash.</p> <p>The Nurses and Midwives Memorial Page Australia paid tribute to Ms Galbraith on Thursday. </p> <p>“Rest in peace, Lily. Thank you for your service. Condolences to your family, friends and colleagues,” the post read.</p> <p>“All the very best for Emma and sending love to her family as they wait to see how her progress is. We are also thinking of the bride, groom and any wedding guests also mourning.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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Two men charged over felling of iconic Sycamore Gap tree

<p>Two men have been charged with cutting down the iconic Sycamore Gap tree in northern England. </p> <p>Daniel Graham, 38, and Adam Carruthers, 31, were charged with causing criminal damage to the tree and damaging Hadrian’s Wall, which was built by Emperor Hadrian in AD 122 to guard the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire.</p> <p>The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) added that they will appear in the Newcastle Magistrates Court on May 15.</p> <p>“There has been an ongoing investigation since the Sycamore Gap tree was cut down," <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">said </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney, the Senior Investigation Officer on the case. </span></p> <p>“As a result of those inquiries, two men have now been charged.</p> <p>“We recognise the strength of feeling in the local community and further afield the felling has caused, however we would remind people to avoid speculation, including online, which could impact the ongoing case.”</p> <p>According to <em>The Sun</em>, the two men were arrested back in October and released on bail. </p> <p>The iconic tree became internationally famous when it was used for a scene in Kevin Costner's 1991 blockbuster film <em>Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. </em></p> <p>The felling caused widespread <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/you-can-t-forgive-that-teen-arrested-after-felling-of-iconic-200-year-old-tree" target="_blank" rel="noopener">outrage</a> at the time, as police tried to find the culprit behind the "deliberate" act of vandalism. </p> <p>Efforts are currently underway to see if the tree can be regrown from the sycamore's stump, with The National Trust hoping that a third of the seeds and cuttings it collected from the tree could be planted later on. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Kochie reveals the simple way to halve your grocery bill

<p>David Koch has revealed the simple trick to help you save big bucks at the supermarket as the cost of living crisis continues to hit hard. </p> <p>Kochie, who is the Compare the Market's economic director, calculated that Aussies can save up to $100 per trip to the grocery shop by making the switch to home brands. </p> <p>According to research of major Australian supermarkets, the average household can save big bucks by choosing not to buy well-known brands, which can lead to a saving of $5,000 per year. </p> <p>"So, when you're doing your supermarket shop, what's in a brand name? Well, let me tell you - plenty," Kochie said in a video posted to the Compare the Market Instagram account. </p> <p>"You are paying plenty more for that loyalty to a brand that you love."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C57UwVrvSZ5/?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/reel/C57UwVrvSZ5/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Compare the Market AU (@comparethemarket_aus)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Compare the Market took to a major supermarket and bought 25 items from big name brands, and another 25 similar items from a challenger supermarket selling cheaper home brands.</p> <p>Based on substituting big-brand products for lesser-known labels, grocery bills would fall from $201.19 a week to $103.51, taking the weekly saving up to $97.68.</p> <p>"Now, multiply that weekly shop over a whole year and that's a saving of over $5,000."</p> <p>"Almost three return economy airfares to London."</p> <p>Everyday Aussies are continuing to struggle with the rising cost of groceries, with the price of bread and cereal increasing by 7.3 per cent in the year to March, an official monthly measure of inflation showed. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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"There's no way": Man receives $52 billion tax bill

<p>An American man has been left confused after receiving a letter from the government claiming he owed $52 billion in unpaid taxes. </p> <p>Barry Tangert got two letters in the mail from the state of Pennsylvania, opening the first to find a refund check from the federal government for over $900.</p> <p>His joy was short-lived though as he opened the second letter to find the income billing notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue claiming that he owed a jaw-dropping $52,950,744,735.28 ($34,576,826,561.47 AUD).</p> <p>“I knew it was an obvious blunder. I don’t even make over $100,000 a year, so there’s no way I could owe anywhere near that,” Barry Tangert told local outlet <em>News 8</em>.</p> <p>The total sum was so large it didn’t even fit on a single line on the document.</p> <p>Tangert immediately knew it was a mistake, with the astonishing number being more than triple the $11 billion America’s richest man Elon Musk says he owed the government in 2022.</p> <p>How the error made it all the way to his doorstep is still a mystery to Tangert.</p> <p>“I don’t know if it was a computer glitch in the transmission or if it was an input error from my tax preparer,” Tangert said, noting that his tax preparer filed an amendment after noticing an error on his 2022 return.</p> <p>He reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s customer service line, which also provided little help to the baffled man.</p> <p>“The first thing he said was, ‘You had a good year.’ And I said, ‘I wish,’” Tangert said.</p> <p>Fortunately, the state department has since resolved the issue, which it chalked up to wrong numbers simply being put into the system.</p> <p><em>Image credits: WGAL News 8</em></p> <p> </p>

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Two-up, Gallipoli and the ‘fair go’: why illegal gambling is at the heart of the Anzac myth

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-moore-291912">Bruce Moore</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Two-up is an Australian gambling game in which two coins are placed on a small piece of wood called a “kip” and tossed into the air. Bets are laid as to whether both coins will fall with heads or tails uppermost. It is one of the core activities of Anzac Day celebrations - and a beloved tradition.</p> <p>The word <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/ANZAC">ANZAC</a> was created in 1915 as an acronym from Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. By 1916 it was being used emblematically to reflect the traditional view of the virtues displayed by those in the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Gallipoli-Campaign">Gallipoli campaign</a>, especially as these are seen as national characteristics. This cluster of national characteristics includes mateship, larrikin daredevilry, anti-authoritarianism, and egalitarianism.</p> <p>The game of two-up became indicative of these qualities. Mateship was evident in the way the game brought together people of disparate backgrounds. Larrikinism was evident in the defiant rejection of authority and convention.</p> <p>Two-up was always illegal, because the game is an unregulated form of gambling (although from the 1980s it became legal in most Australian states on Anzac Day). But in spite of the illegality, it was widely regarded as the fairest of gambling games, and at the time of the First World War the verbal command for the coins to be spun was not “come in spinner” (as it is now) but “fair go”. Indeed, the important Australian concept of the “fair go” was in part cemented by its role in the game.</p> <p>Two-up was the common pastime of the urban working-class man, and it feeds into the elements of egalitarianism and anti-authoritarianism that are central to both the Anzac myth and the Australian myth.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Two original 1915 Australian pennies in a kip from which they are tossed.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Roland Scheicher/ Wikimedia</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Two-up and wartime life</h2> <p>From the very early period of the First World War, two-up assumed great importance among the Australian troops. Soldiers reported that two-up was played on the battlefield during the Gallipoli campaign, even when under shellfire. As the war dragged on, numerous stories were told about Australian soldiers’ obsession with playing it.</p> <p>In 1918 the <a href="https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10676229">war correspondent Charles Bean</a> studied the daily life of a company of Australian soldiers stationed at a brewery in Querrieu in northern France.</p> <p>He places great emphasis on two-up, writing in his diary in 1918: "Two-up’ is the universal pastime of the men. … It is a game which starts in any quarter of an hour’s interval or lasts the whole afternoon. The side road outside becomes every evening a perfect country fair with groups playing these games in it - a big crowd of 70 or 80 at the bottom the street, in the middle of the road; a smaller crowd of perhaps twenty on a doorstep further up. … The game is supposed to be illegal, I think; but at any rate in this company they wink at it."</p> <p>Two-up was important not just in taking soldiers’ minds off the realities of the war, but also in creating a strong sense of community. Photographs from the war that show the men playing two-up reveal how it brought them together physically in a communal activity.</p> <p>This helps explains why men, who in civilian life may have had little or no interest in gambling, joined in the camaraderie and fun of the two-up fair, and by so doing blotted out the boredom, isolation, and loneliness of much wartime experience.</p> <h2>Anzac Day and tradition</h2> <p>Playing two-up became an integral part of the diggers’ memories of the experience of war, especially when commemorated on Anzac Day. By the 1930s the playing of two-up outdoors after the Anzac Day march had become an entrenched tradition.</p> <p>As the ranks of diggers from the two world wars declined, so the structure of Anzac Day changed in emphasis. In recent years the Dawn Service has increased greatly in popularity, while the Anzac Day march has <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-07/concern-over-australias-dwindling-number-of-world-war-veterans/10911602">suffered from dwindling numbers</a> of veterans. The streets of Sydney and similar cities are no longer dotted with two-up games in the afternoon. The games have shifted to pubs and clubs, and they are largely played by people with no experience of war.</p> <p>Those people who play the game on this day do so not for any deep-seated gambling impulse or because they would love to play the game on every other day of the year. They play two-up because it has become part of the meaning of Anzac Day.</p> <p>Anzac Day has always combined solemnity and festivity. The Dawn Service commemorates the landing at Gallipoli, and the sacrifices that ensued. Its mood is solemn.</p> <p>In the past, returned soldiers reminisced, told war yarns, drank, and played two-up. The soldiers have passed on, but their larrikinism survives in the tradition of the game they have bequeathed to their descendants.</p> <p>We should not underestimate the significance of rituals of this kind—the playing of two-up is a way in which Australians can become not just observers of, but participants in, their history and their myths. Two-up is a ritual that links the present with the past on this one day of the year.<!-- 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/181337/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/bruce-moore-291912">Bruce Moore</a>, Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>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/two-up-gallipoli-and-the-fair-go-why-illegal-gambling-is-at-the-heart-of-the-anzac-myth-181337">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Stuck in fight-or-flight mode? 5 ways to complete the ‘stress cycle’ and avoid burnout or depression

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p>Can you remember a time when you felt stressed leading up to a big life event and then afterwards felt like a weight had been lifted? This process – the ramping up of the stress response and then feeling this settle back down – shows completion of the “stress cycle”.</p> <p>Some stress in daily life is unavoidable. But remaining stressed is unhealthy. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2568977/">Chronic stress</a> increases <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32886587/">chronic health conditions</a>, including heart disease and stroke and diabetes. It can also lead to <a href="https://theconversation.com/were-all-exhausted-but-are-you-experiencing-burnout-heres-what-to-look-out-for-164393">burnout</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5137920/">depression</a>.</p> <p>Exercise, cognitive, creative, social and self-soothing activities help us process stress in healthier ways and complete the stress cycle.</p> <h2>What does the stress cycle look like?</h2> <p>Scientists and researchers refer to the “stress response”, often with a focus on the fight-or-flight reactions. The phrase the “stress cycle” has been made popular by <a href="https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2019/03/complete-stress-cycle-emotional-exhaustion-burnout">self-help experts</a> but it does have a scientific basis.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541120/">stress cycle</a> is our body’s response to a stressful event, whether real or perceived, physical or psychological. It could be being chased by a vicious dog, an upcoming exam or a difficult conversation.</p> <p>The stress cycle has three stages:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>stage 1</strong> is perceiving the threat</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>stage 2</strong> is the fight-or-flight response, driven by our stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>stage 3</strong> is relief, including physiological and psychological relief. This completes the stress cycle.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Different people will respond to stress differently based on their life experiences and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181835/#:%7E:text=The%20major%20findings%20regarding%20the,renin%2Dangiotensin%2Daldosterone%20system%20or">genetics</a>.</p> <p>Unfortunately, many people experience <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/01/polycrisis-global-risks-report-cost-of-living/">multiple and ongoing stressors</a> out of their control, including the cost-of-living crisis, extreme weather events and <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/family-domestic-and-sexual-violence/types-of-violence/family-domestic-violence">domestic violence</a>.</p> <p>Remaining in stage 2 (the flight-or-flight response), can lead to chronic stress. <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-chronic-stress-changes-the-brain-and-what-you-can-do-to-reverse-the-damage-133194">Chronic stress</a> and high cortisol can increase <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476783/">inflammation</a>, which damages our brain and other organs.</p> <p>When you are stuck in chronic fight-or-flight mode, you don’t think clearly and are more easily distracted. Activities that provide temporary pleasure, such as eating junk food or drinking alcohol are <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acer.14518">unhelpful strategies</a> that do not reduce the stress effects on our brain and body. Scrolling through social media is also not an effective way to complete the stress cycle. In fact, this is associated with an <a href="https://www.apa.org/monitor/2022/11/strain-media-overload">increased stress response</a>.</p> <h2>Stress and the brain</h2> <p>In the brain, chronic high cortisol can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561403/">shrink the hippocampus</a>. This can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1557684/#:%7E:text=The%20hippocampal%20formation%20plays%20a,%2C%20memory%2C%20motivation%20and%20emotion.&amp;text=Therefore%2C%20reduced%20hippocampal%20volumes%20should,in%20patients%20with%20major%20depression">impair a person’s memory</a> and their capacity to think and concentrate.</p> <p>Chronic high cortisol also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907136/#:%7E:text=The%20prefrontal%20cortex%20(PFC)%20intelligently,brain%20regions%20(BOX%201).">reduces activity</a> in the prefrontal cortex but <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289514000101">increases activity</a> in the amygdala.</p> <p>The prefrontal cortex is responsible for higher-order control of our thoughts, behaviours and emotions, and is <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00761/full">goal-directed</a> and rational. The amygdala is involved in reflexive and emotional responses. Higher amygdala activity and lower prefrontal cortex activity explains why we are less rational and more emotional and reactive when we are stressed.</p> <p>There are five <a href="https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2019/03/complete-stress-cycle-emotional-exhaustion-burnout">types of activities</a> that can help our brains complete the stress cycle.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eD1wliuHxHI?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">It can help to understand how the brain encounters stress.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>1. Exercise – its own complete stress cycle</h2> <p>When we exercise we get a short-term spike in cortisol, followed by a <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax">healthy reduction</a> in cortisol and adrenaline.</p> <p>Exercise also <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469#:%7E:text=Exercise%20in%20almost%20any%20form,distract%20you%20from%20daily%20worries.&amp;text=You%20know%20that%20exercise%20does,fit%20it%20into%20your%20routine.">increases endorphins and serotonin</a>, which improve mood. Endorphins cause an elated feeling often called “runner’s high” and have <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33396962/">anti-inflammatory effects</a>.</p> <p>When you exercise, there is more blood flow to the brain and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721405/">higher activity</a> in the prefrontal cortex. This is why you can often think more clearly after a walk or run. Exercise can be a helpful way to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/exercise-stress-relief">relieve feelings of stress</a>.</p> <p>Exercise can also increase the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3041121/">volume</a> of the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915811/">hippocampus</a>. This is linked to better short-term and long-term memory processing, as well as reduced stress, depression and anxiety.</p> <h2>2. Cognitive activities – reduce negative thinking</h2> <p>Overly negative thinking can trigger or extend the stress response. In our 2019 research, we found the relationship between stress and cortisol was <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6987429/">stronger in people with more negative thinking</a>.</p> <p>Higher amygdala activity and less rational thinking when you are stressed can lead to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18628348/">distorted thinking</a> such as focusing on negatives and rigid “black-and-white” thinking.</p> <p>Activities to reduce negative thinking and promote a more realistic view can reduce the stress response. In clinical settings this is usually called <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/cognitive-behaviour-therapy-cbt">cognitive behaviour therapy</a>.</p> <p>At home, this could be journalling or writing down worries. This engages the logical and rational parts of our brain and helps us think more realistically. Finding evidence to challenge negative thoughts (“I’ve prepared well for the exam, so I can do my best”) can help to complete the stress cycle.</p> <h2>3. Getting creative – a pathway out of ‘flight or fight’</h2> <p>Creative activities can be art, craft, gardening, cooking or <a href="https://heartmindonline.org/resources/10-exercises-for-your-prefrontal-cortex">other activities</a> such as doing a puzzle, juggling, music, theatre, dancing or simply being absorbed in enjoyable work.</p> <p>Such pursuits increase <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00761/full">prefrontal cortex activity</a> and promote flow and focus.</p> <p>Flow is a <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.645498/full">state of full engagement</a> in an activity you enjoy. It lowers high-stress levels of noradrenaline, the brain’s adrenaline. When you are focussed like this, the brain only processes information relevant to the task and ignores non-relevant information, including stresses.</p> <h2>4. Getting social and releasing feel-good hormones</h2> <p>Talking with someone else, physical affection with a person or pet and laughing can all <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-happens-in-our-brain-and-body-when-were-in-love-198885">increase oxytocin</a>. This is a chemical messenger in the brain that increases social bonding and makes us feel connected and safe.</p> <p>Laughing is also a social activity that <a href="https://neurosciencenews.com/laughter-physical-mental-psychology-17339/">activates parts</a> of the limbic system – the part of the brain involved in emotional and behavioural responses. This increases <a href="https://www.jneurosci.org/content/37/36/8581">endorphins</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27439375/">serotonin</a> and improves our mood.</p> <h2>5. Self-soothing</h2> <p>Breathing <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6189422/">exercises</a> and meditation stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (which calms down our stress responses so we can “reset”) via the <a href="https://theconversation.com/our-vagus-nerves-help-us-rest-digest-and-restore-can-you-really-reset-them-to-feel-better-210469">vagus nerves</a>, and <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17437199.2020.1760727">reduce cortisol</a>.</p> <p>A good <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4035568/#:%7E:text=We%20conclude%20that%2C%20in%20addition,self%2Dsoothing%20effects%20of%20crying.">cry can help too</a> by releasing stress energy and increasing oxytocin and endorphins.</p> <p><a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319631#:%7E:text=Possible%20benefits%20of%20crying%20include,of%201.9%20times%20a%20month.">Emotional tears</a> also remove cortisol and the hormone prolactin from the body. Our prior research showed <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29096223/">cortisol</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9216608/">prolactin</a> were associated with depression, anxiety and hostility.<em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/theresa-larkin-952095">Theresa Larkin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-j-thomas-1293985">Susan J. Thomas</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <h2>Action beats distraction</h2> <p>Whether it’s watching a funny or sad movie, exercising, journalling, gardening or doing a puzzle, there is science behind why you should complete the stress cycle.</p> <p>Doing at least one positive activity every day can also reduce our baseline stress level and is beneficial for good mental health and wellbeing.</p> <p>Importantly, chronic stress and <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-you-burnt-out-at-work-ask-yourself-these-4-questions-118128">burnout</a> can also indicate the need for change, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wps.20311">such as in our workplaces</a>. However, not all stressful circumstances can be easily changed. Remember help is always available.</p> <p>If you have concerns about your stress or health, please talk to a doctor.</p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call <a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">Lifeline</a> on 13 11 14 or <a href="https://kidshelpline.com.au/">Kids Helpline</a> on 1800 55 1800.</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/218599/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/theresa-larkin-952095">Theresa Larkin</a>, Associate professor of Medical Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-j-thomas-1293985">Susan J. Thomas</a>, Associate professor in Mental Health and Behavioural Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>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/stuck-in-fight-or-flight-mode-5-ways-to-complete-the-stress-cycle-and-avoid-burnout-or-depression-218599">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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How music is changing the way dementia patients think

<p dir="ltr">New research has proven that music truly is the universal language, with experts discovering how the power of music is helping those suffering with dementia. </p> <p dir="ltr">Music therapists have shown that music brings dementia patients back to the present, with some even finding their voice thanks to the nostalgic memories of the past. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to Registered Music Therapist and Managing Director of music therapy company Music Beat, Dr Vicky Abad, the power of music is not to be overlooked when it comes to degenerative diseases.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Music is a window into people’s pasts,” she said. “It builds on strengths and abilities against a disease that can strip a person of their dignity, abilities and quality of life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The team at <a href="https://www.tricare.com.au/">TriCare Aged Care and Retirement</a>, who see the devastating impact of dementia each and every day,  also experience first-hand the impact music has on residents, with many noticing “unrecognisable” changes in personality when a nostalgic tune is played.</p> <p dir="ltr">Louis Rose, an 80-year-old dementia patient and TriCare resident, was diagnosed with dementia six years ago, and requires assistance with many aspects of day to day life. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, listening to music is one thing he can enjoy on his own.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I grew up in Mauritius and while we didn’t have a lot, we certainly had music. Listening to music has always been an escape for me and a way to relax,” Mr Rose said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When your brain starts to slow down and you find yourself forgetting things, it can be quite frustrating and confusing. Listening to music has been a way to distract myself from what’s going on in my head, it has helped me so much.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tamsin Sutherland is a regular live music performer at TriCare facilities across Queensland, and has been able to witness incredible moments with the residents as they come alive as soon as she starts to play. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Watching residents who are often non-verbal sing along to the words is incredible,” she said “It really is like they are coming back to life and reconnecting with who they once were. To be part of that is quite emotional for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Dr Abad, music can help prevent the restless behaviour that often leads to pacing and wandering, especially in the evenings, which are often difficult times for those battling the disease. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Sundowning usually occurs in the late afternoon as dusk approaches, a time that is also associated with what used to be a busy time period in people’s lives,” she noted. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Personalised music is a simple and effective tool to help residents feel validated in their emotions during this time and provides them an opportunity to experience a calmer state of mind”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Mind

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Heartbreaking twist after mum dies on her way to a wedding

<p>A mother has been killed in a horrific car crash while on her way to a wedding in regional NSW, just hours after announcing she was expecting her third child. </p> <p>Shellymaine Ah Foon, 32, her partner Troy, and their two young daughters, aged six and two, were on their way to a wedding in Mudgee, NSW when their SUV crashed at Aarons Pass, about 2pm on Friday. </p> <p>Foon was left with critical injuries and was taken to Mudgee hospital, but soon passed away. </p> <p>Her partner was seriously injured and airlifted to Westmead Hospital to undergo surgery after suffering several fractures to both limbs on his left side. </p> <p>Their two daughters were also taken to the same hospital. </p> <p>A family member, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the sad detail to 7News. </p> <p>“We spoke to Shelly on the Thursday night, and she told us she was pregnant,” she said. </p> <p>“She was meant to go for tests when she came back from Mudgee to see how far along she was.”</p> <p>Foon was remembered as a "social butterfly" who could “strike up a conversation with anyone.” </p> <p>“She was very family oriented, was always there for anyone who needed anything, she was very selfless with her time,” the family member said. </p> <p>“Her death has really impacted a whole community of people,” she added. </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-loving-memory-of-shellymaine-ah-foon" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page has since been organised to help cover funeral costs, support Troy following his surgery, and help Foon's family, who are largely based overseas. </p> <p>“Troy won’t be able to go to work while he recovers,” the woman said.</p> <p>“He still has to undergo rehab, and he will be on crutches for some time.”</p> <p>Their two daughters have since been discharged from the hospital, and are in the care of family while Troy recovers. </p> <p>The family friend added that Foon's love for her kids was exceptional saying: “she was the light of Troy and her girls’ lives.</p> <p>“Their world has changed forever and the love their Mum gave them will never be replicated ever again.”  </p> <p>Police said investigations are still underway into the circumstances leading up to the crash, with the other driver taken to Mudgee Hospital with minor injuries. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

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