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Anatomy of a heatwave: how Antarctica recorded a 20.75°C day last month

<p>While the world rightfully focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic, the planet is still warming. This summer’s Antarctic weather, as elsewhere in the world, was unprecedented in the observed record.</p> <p>Our research, published today in <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/GCB.15083">Global Change Biology</a>, describes the recent heatwave in Antarctica. Beginning in late spring east of the Antarctic Peninsula, it circumnavigated the continent over the next four months. Some of our team spent the summer in Antarctica observing these temperatures and the effect on natural systems, witnessing the heatwave first-hand.</p> <p>Antarctica may be isolated from other continents by the Southern Ocean, but has worldwide impacts. It drives the <a href="https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/conveyor.html">global ocean conveyor belt</a>, a constant system of deep-ocean circulation which transfers oceanic heat around the planet, and its melting ice sheet adds to global sea level rise.</p> <p>Antarctica represents the simple, extreme end of conditions for life. It can be seen as a ‘canary in the mine’, demonstrating patterns of change we can expect to see elsewhere.</p> <p><strong>A heatwave in the coldest place on Earth</strong></p> <p>Most of Antarctica is ice-covered, but there are small ice-free oases, predominantly on the coast. Collectively 0.44% of the continent, these unique areas are <a href="http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2019/ice-free-areas-are-hot-property-in-antarctica">important biodiversity hotspots</a> for penguins and other seabirds, mosses, lichens, lakes, ponds and associated invertebrates.</p> <p>This summer, Casey Research Station, in the Windmill Islands oasis, experienced its first recorded heat wave. For three days, minimum temperatures exceeded zero and daily maximums were all above 7.5°C. On January 24, its highest <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_300017.shtml">maximum of 9.2°C</a> was recorded, almost 7°C above Casey’s 30-year mean for the month.</p> <p>The arrival of warm, moist air during this weather event brought rain to Davis Research Station in the normally frigid, ice-free desert of the Vestfold Hills. The warm conditions triggered extensive meltwater pools and surface streams on local glaciers. These, together with melting snowbanks, contributed to high-flowing rivers and flooding lakes.</p> <p>By February, most heat was concentrated in the Antarctic Peninsula at the northernmost part of the continent. A new Antarctic <a href="https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/new-record-antarctic-continent-reported/">maximum temperature of 18.4°C</a> was recorded on February 6 at Argentina’s Esperanza research station on the Peninsula - almost 1°C above the previous record. Three days later this was eclipsed when <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/%202020/feb/13/antarctic-temperature-rises-above-20c-firsttime-record/">20.75°C was reported</a> at Brazil’s Marambio station, on Seymour Island east of the Peninsula.</p> <p><strong>What caused the heatwave?</strong></p> <p>The pace of warming from global climate change has been generally slower in East Antarctica compared with West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. This is in part due to the <a href="https://theconversation.com/after-30-years-of-the-montreal-protocol-the-ozone-layer-is-gradually-healing-84051">ozone hole</a>, which has occurred in spring over Antarctica since the late 1970s.</p> <p>The hole has tended to strengthen jet stream winds over the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-ozone-hole-leaves-a-lasting-impression-on-southern-climate-34043">Southern Ocean</a> promoting a generally <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00787-x">more ‘positive’ state</a> of the Southern Annular Mode in summer. This means the Southern Ocean’s westerly wind belt has tended to stay close to Antarctica at that time of year creating a seasonal ‘shield’, reducing the transfer of warm air from the Earth’s temperate regions to Antarctica.</p> <p>But during the spring of 2019 a <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-air-above-antarctica-is-suddenly-getting-warmer-heres-what-it-means-for-australia-123080">strong warming of the stratosphere</a> over Antarctica significantly reduced the size of the ozone hole. This helped to support a more ‘negative’ state of the Southern Annular Mode and weakened the shield.</p> <p>Other factors in late 2019 may have also helped to warm Antarctica. The Indian Ocean Dipole was in a strong ‘positive’ state due to a <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-hot-and-dry-australian-summer-means-heatwaves-and-fire-risk-ahead-127990">late retreat of the Indian monsoon</a>. This meant that water in the western Indian Ocean was warmer than normal. Air rising from this and other warm ocean patches in the Pacific Ocean provided energy sources that altered the path of weather systems and helped to disturb and warm the stratosphere.</p> <p><strong>Is a warming Antarctica good or bad?</strong></p> <p>Localised flooding appeared to benefit some Vestfold Hills’ moss banks which were previously very <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0280-0">drought-stressed</a>. Prior to the flood event, most mosses were grey and moribund, but one month later many moss shoots were green.</p> <p>Given the generally cold conditions of Antarctica, the warmth may have benefited the flora (mosses, lichens and two vascular plants), and microbes and invertebrates, but only where liquid water formed. Areas in the Vestfold Hills away from the flooding became more drought-stressed over the summer.</p> <p>High temperatures may have caused heat stress in some organisms. Antarctic mosses and lichens are often dark in colour, allowing sunlight to be absorbed to create warm microclimates. This is a great strategy when temperatures are just above freezing, but heat stress can occur once 10°C is exceeded.</p> <p>On King George Island, near the Antarctic Peninsula, our measurements showed that in January 2019 moss surface temperatures only exceeded 14°C for 3% of the time, but in 2020 this increased fourfold (to 12% of the time).</p> <p>Based on our experience from previous anomalous hot Antarctic summers, we can expect many biological impacts, positive and negative, in coming years. The most recent event highlights the connectedness of our climate systems: from the surface to the stratosphere, and from the monsoon tropics to the southernmost continent.</p> <p>Under climate change, extreme events are predicted to increase in frequency and severity, and Antarctica is not immune.</p> <p>If you’ve been let go and then retrospectively un-sacked, you are also guaranteed to get at least $1,500 per fortnight, which in that case might be less than you were being paid, but will be more than the $1,115 you would have got on Newstart (which has been renamed JobSeeker Payment).</p> <p>If you remain employed, and are on more than $1,500 per fortnight, the employer will have to pay you your full regular wage. Employers won’t be able to cut it to $1,500 per fortnight.</p> <p>To get it, most employers will have to have suffered a 30% decline in their turnover relative to a comparable period a year ago. Big employers (turnover of $1 billion or more) will have to have suffered a 50% decline. Big banks won’t be eligible.</p> <p>Self-employed Australians will also be eligible where they have suffered or expect to suffer a 30% decline in turnover. Among these will be musicians and performers out of work because large gatherings have been cancelled.</p> <p><strong>Half the Australian workforce</strong></p> <p>The payment isn’t perfect. It will only be paid in respect of wages from March 30, and the money won’t be handed over until the start of May – the Tax Office systems can’t work any faster – but it will provide more support than almost anyone expected.</p> <p>Its scope is apparent when you consider the size of Australia’s workforce.</p> <p>Before the coronavirus hit in February, 13 million of Australia’s 25 million residents were in jobs. This payment will go to <a href="https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/josh-frydenberg-2018/media-releases/130-billion-jobkeeper-payment-keep-australians-job">six million</a> of them.</p> <p>Without putting too fine a point on it, for the next six months, the government will be the paymaster to almost <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0">half</a> the Australian workforce.</p> <p>Announcing the payment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said unprecedented times called for unprecedented action. He said the payment was more generous than New Zealand’s, broader than Britain’s, and more comprehensive than Canada’s, claims about which there is dispute.</p> <p>But for Australia, it is completely without precedent.</p> <p><em>Written by Dana M Bergstrom, Andrew Klekociuk, Diana Kind and Sharon Robinson. Reviewed by Emma Kucelj. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/anatomy-of-a-heatwave-how-antarctica-recorded-a-20-75-c-day-last-month-134550"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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“Hell” for Aussies aboard cruise ship stranded off South America

<p>Sue and Mort Leburn from the Gold Coast were two of the 129 other Australians on board the virus riddled Zaandam cruise ship which is currently isolated in waters off South America.</p> <p>Over 150 of their fellow travellers are showing flu-like symptoms but the ship was denied docking at several points.</p> <p>It wasn’t until Monday that they were taken off the plagued ship, which has seen four deaths from COVID-19, and transferred to its sister ship the MS Rotterdam.</p> <p>Mr Leburn is undergoing cancer treatment but aside from that the couple are in good health and not experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus.</p> <p>However, they feel unsupported and forgotten due to the lack of information being given by the Australian Government.</p> <p>“We’ve been in strict isolation since 22nd March. We’ve been outside once for half an hour [and] we only open our cabin door for meals three times a day,” they told<span> </span><em>9News</em>.</p> <p>“Other than that we don’t have any contact with other people apart from through social media or our friends that are on the boat that we can ring up.</p> <p>“We haven’t had a great deal of advice from the government, we’ve looked on the smart traveler website and contacted our state and federal MPs who sent us replies but they have been fairly generic,” said Ms Elburn.</p> <p>Their son Colin waved them goodbye a month ago from Queensland, and doesn't know when he'll get to see his parents again.</p> <p>He says they had already encountered difficulties as they tried to come from Chile.</p> <p>“They were supposed to dock somewhere in Chile. But the Chilean Government denied them after they had gone out of their way to get there,” he said.</p> <p>“Then they were told midnight, then midnight came and [they were told] no you can’t dock.”</p> <p>The current plan for those aboard the Rotterdam is to disembark in the United States.</p> <p>But Colin is anxious about the roadblocks his parents may encounter in their attempt to return home.</p> <p>"They keep getting hand-balled around from person to person and when you're on board a boat with extremely slow internet and limited access that's the other thing... you can't just pick up the phone and call people," he said.</p> <p>"I think what it comes down to is communication, and Mum and Dad just want to communicate with our Government to find out what's happening and are they going to be able to come home.</p> <p>"We're really lucky they've been given safe passage through the Panama canal so that was the next thing I was really worried about for Mum and Dad that they were going to get denied access.</p> <p>"Now we don't know what's going to happen once they get to America."It is understood passengers who were showing signs of COVID-19 remain on the Zaandam cruise ship which Colin described as a "floating coffin".</p> <p>"I feel for the poor people that are left aboard the Zaandam because there on a floating coffin basically and the Government is doing nothing to help them," Colin Elburn said.</p>

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Why marine protected areas are often not where they should be

<p>There’s no denying the grandeur and allure of a nature reserve or marine protected area. The concept is easy to understand: limit human activity there and marine ecosystems will thrive.</p> <p>But while the number of marine protected areas is increasing, so too is the number of threatened species, and the health of marine ecosystems is <a href="https://ipbes.net/global-assessment">in decline</a>.</p> <p>Why? <a href="https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13429">Our research</a> shows it’s because marine protected areas are often placed where there’s already low human activity, rather than in places with high biodiversity that need it most.</p> <p><strong>Not where they should be</strong></p> <p>Many parts of the world’s protected areas, in both terrestrial and marine environments, are placed in locations with no form of manageable human activity or development occurring, such as fishing or infrastructure. These places are often remote, such as in the centres of oceans.</p> <p>And where marine protected areas have been increasing, they’re placed where <a href="https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13429">pressures cannot be managed</a>, such as areas where there is increased ocean acidification or dispersed pollution.</p> <p>But biodiversity is often highest in the places with human activity – we use these locations in the ocean to generate income and livelihoods, from tourism to fishing. This includes coastal areas in the tropics, such as the Coral Triangle (across six countries including Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia), which has almost <a href="https://ccafs.cgiar.org/publications/marine-protected-areas-coral-triangle-progress-issues-and-options">2,000 marine protected areas</a>, yet is <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-seagrass-in-indonesias-marine-protected-areas-is-still-under-threat-125875">also home</a> to one of the largest shipping routes in the world and high fishing activity.</p> <p>What’s more, many marine industries are already regulated through licences and quotas, so it’s hard to establish a new marine protected area that adds a different type of management on top of what already exists.</p> <p>This leaves us with an important paradox: the places where biodiversity is under the most pressure are also the places humanity is most reluctant to relinquish, due to their social or economic value. Because of those values, people and industry resist changes to behaviour, leaving governments to try to find solutions that avoid conflict.</p> <p><strong>Lessons from the fishing industry</strong></p> <p>How can we resolve the paradox of marine protected areas? A strategy used in the fishing industry may show the way.</p> <p>Fisheries have had experience in going beyond the limits of sustainability and then stepping back, changing their approach to managing species and ecosystems for better sustainability, while still protecting economic, social and environmental values.</p> <p>In the past, many of the world’s fisheries regularly exceeded the sustainable limit of catches, and many species such as <a href="https://www.ccsbt.org/en/content/latest-stock-assessment">southern bluefin tuna</a> declined significantly in number. But <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/117/4/2218">strong rules around how a fishery should operate</a> mean declines have since been reversed.</p> <p>So how did they do it? In recent decades, many of the world’s large-scale fisheries implemented formal “harvest strategies”. These strategies can flip downward trends of marine species in places not designated a marine protected area.</p> <p>Harvest strategies have three steps. First is pre-agreed monitoring of species and ecosystems by fishers, regulators and other stakeholders. Second, regulators and scientists assess their impact on the species and ecosystems. And last, all stakeholders agree to put management measures in place to improve the status of the monitored species and ecosystems.</p> <p>These measures may include changing how fishing is done or how much is done. It’s a commonsense strategy that’s delivered <a href="https://theconversation.com/marine-parks-and-fishery-management-whats-the-best-way-to-protect-fish-66274">successful results</a> with many fished species either recovering or recovered.</p> <p>In Australia, the federal government introduced a <a href="https://www.agriculture.gov.au/sites/default/files/sitecollectiondocuments/fisheries/domestic/harvest-strategy-policy.docx">formal harvest strategy policy</a> to manage fisheries in 2007. It was evaluated in <a href="https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/article/71/2/195/788673">2014</a>, and the report found many (but not all) fish stocks are no longer overfished. This includes species such as orange roughy and southern bluefin tuna in Australia, which were overfished but are no longer so.</p> <p>But unfortunately, this positive trend has not been replicated for biodiversity hit by the combinations of other human activities such as coastal development, transport, oil and gas extraction and marine debris.</p> <p><strong>A consistent strategy</strong></p> <p>We need to adapt the experience from fisheries and apply a single, formal, transparent and agreed <em>biodiversity</em> strategy that outlines sustainable management objectives for the places we can’t put marine protected areas.</p> <p>This would look like a harvest strategy, but be applied more broadly to threatened species and ecosystems. What might be sustainable from a single species point of view as used in the fisheries might not sustainable for multiple species.</p> <p>This would mean for our threatened species, we would be monitoring their status, assessing whether the <em>total</em> population was changing and agreeing on when and how we would change the way that they are impacted.</p> <p>Such a strategy would also allow monitoring of whole marine ecosystems, even when information is limited. Information on trends in species and ecosystems often exists, but is hidden as commercial-in-confidence or kept privately within government, research or commercial organisations.</p> <p><strong>Looking ahead</strong></p> <p>Still, a lack of data shouldn’t limit decision making. Experience in fisheries without much data shows even rules of thumb can be <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2014.11.005">effective management tools</a>. Rules of thumb can include simple measures like gear restrictions or spatial or temporal closures that don’t change through time.</p> <p>Moving forward, all stakeholders need to agree to implement the key parts of harvest strategies for all marine places with high biodiversity that aren’t protected. This will complement existing marine protected area networks without limiting economic activity, while also delivering social and environmental outcomes that support human well-being.</p> <p>Our marine ecosystems provide fish, enjoyment, resources and and simple beauty. They must survive for generations to come.</p> <p><em>Written by Piers Dunstan, Natalie Downing, Simone Stevenson and Skipton Woolley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-marine-protected-areas-are-often-not-where-they-should-be-133076">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Acting selfishly has consequences right now – why ethical decision making is imperative in the coronavirus crisis

<p>As the country moves into lockdown mode in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are increasingly faced with serious ethical questions about what ordinary people should be obliged to do for others.</p> <p>These challenges can perhaps best be seen in the outrage as <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/bondi-beach-closed-over-crowds-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/12077618">people flocked to Bondi Beach</a> and packed into <a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-fury-as-people-ignore-social-distancing-advice-flock-to-beaches-pubs-cafes/news-story/f7eb3fdb923a63a9ff5c5981654b8077">pubs and cafes</a> over the weekend, despite strict social-distancing rules.</p> <p>This also helps explain the anger on social media over people <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/lives-at-risk-as-victorians-lie-about-overseas-travel-in-order-to-see-gps-20200318-p54bdg.html">lying about overseas travel in order to get doctors’ appointments</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/theres-plenty-of-toilet-paper-so-why-are-people-hoarding-it-133300">hoarding toilet paper</a> and <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-police-arrest-covid-19-1.5505349">defying quarantine orders</a>, even as they <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/an-australian-woman-breached-coronavirus-quarantine-in-beijing-to-go-for-a-jog--and-lost-her-job-c-755123">defend their conduct self-righteously</a>.</p> <p>People are even being <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/coronavirus-social-etiquette-in-the-age-of-covid19/news-story/f7218797a49a7731a72c9230293ab3c9">met with disdain when they ask others to keep their distance</a>.</p> <p>A coronavirus cautionary tale from Italy: Don’t do what we did<br /><br />Many of us were too selfish to follow suggestions to change our behavior. Now we’re in lockdown and people are needlessly dying. <a href="https://t.co/N43ZxSUVBo">https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/03/13/opinion/coronavirus-cautionary-tale-italy-dont-do-what-we-did/ …</a></p> <p><strong>Why is ethical action critical?</strong></p> <p>In the face of a pandemic, legislation and police enforcement can only do so much. <a href="https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/fatigue-will-be-the-carrier-of-the-second-coronavirus-wave/articleshow/74725529.cms?from=mdr">Ethical decision-making by ordinary people becomes crucial</a>.</p> <p>While laws and policies <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-are-the-laws-mandating-self-isolation-and-how-will-they-be-enforced-133757">can be slow to evolve</a>, individuals can alter their behaviours instantaneously. Rules and bans can be ham-fisted or crude, but ethical decision-makers can respond intelligently to their own contexts.</p> <p>Above all, ethical decision-makers can be intrinsically motivated to do right by the community, ensuring compliance of social-distancing rules in situations where effective policing is logistically impossible.</p> <p>Even as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-23/victoria-covid-19-coronavirus-shutdown/12080132">announced a special taskforce</a> to enforce an immediate shutdown of venues and restrictions on gatherings, he appealed to people’s consciences in the strongest terms:</p> <p><em>If you act selfishly, people will die.</em></p> <p>This is why leaders have called for <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/17/how-australia-will-enforce-coronavirus-self-isolation-rules-for-overseas-arrivals">voluntary cooperation</a> during the crisis. Laws and political action alone will not save us. An effective response to the pandemic requires ordinary people making sound ethical decisions.</p> <p><strong>Why is this so challenging?</strong></p> <p>As we’ve seen from the images over the weekend, ethical decision-making in response to a pandemic is not easy. Many people are simply not taking the crisis seriously enough.</p> <p>One of the reasons for this is confusion. Rules change almost daily, meaning some people won’t know the latest requirements. Others might not appreciate the stakes involved with their behaviours, and that it is not only their own health they are risking.</p> <p>Also, rules can be ambiguous. For example, what happens if you’re <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/bondi-beach-closed-over-crowds-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/12077618">keeping an appropriate distance from others</a> at the beach or park, and it starts becoming crowded? Who should leave? Should those who arrived first have priority? Or should those who have had “their turn” move on?</p> <p>In ambiguous situations, people take cues from those around them. If we saw others interacting normally at the park or pub (before they were closed), we could conclude it’s probably okay. We might also wonder if there’s any point in obeying the rules if others aren’t.</p> <p>Furthermore, it’s easy to question the legitimacy of the new rules. Ordinarily, <a href="https://news.griffith.edu.au/2019/09/09/the-threats-and-promises-of-multidimensional-legitimacy/">we judge rules based on many factors</a>, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Is it the right thing to do?</li> <li>Is it fair?</li> <li>Will it be effective?</li> </ul> <p>In fluid situations, these conditions are hard to meet. Consider the case of <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-it-comes-to-sick-leave-were-not-much-better-prepared-for-coronavirus-than-the-us-133231">casual workers with no paid sick leave</a> who might not be able to pay rent or might lose their jobs if they comply with quarantine orders. Demanding they shoulder this burden can seem unfair.</p> <p>Similarly, many <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-australia-is-not-putting-teachers-in-the-coronavirus-firing-line-their-risk-is-very-low-134021">teachers feel they are taking unfair risks</a> to keep schools open.</p> <p>In the most difficult cases, people must weigh up conflicting moral priorities. Do they support their elderly parents by visiting them, or is this risking infection?</p> <p>For these reasons, even conscientious ethical decision-makers can struggle.</p> <p><strong>Why we might make poor decisions</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, human beings suffer from decision-making biases.</p> <p>For example, we often <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0959354302012003015">interpret expectations as entitlements</a>. We convert our ordinary expectations about social, work, educational, religious and sporting routines into demands that these should continue.</p> <p>This is one reason why <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/20/america-needs-be-war-footing/">some call for a “war footing”</a>, urging people to acknowledge a “new normal”.</p> <p>In addition, people tend to be self-interested and prioritise immediate goals. Abstract concerns about risks to community infection can seem less salient than the pressures of the moment.</p> <p>This bias can affect ethical decision-making. It allows us to “<a href="https://www.everydaysociologyblog.com/2008/10/techniques-of-n.html">neutralise</a>” rules by inventing stories about why they don’t apply to us, given our special circumstances. These self-serving excuses are a classic source of serious moral error.</p> <p><strong>Some guidelines to follow</strong></p> <p>There are no easy answers to the myriad moral challenges that COVID-19 thrusts upon us. However, here are five rules of thumb:</p> <ol> <li>Common sense ethics still applies – and the stakes make it more important than ever. Never lie about or conceal your history or infection status. Comply strictly with authoritative directives about quarantine.</li> <li>Stay informed about the latest rules.</li> <li>Never force your decisions on other people. Even if you aren’t personally concerned about social distancing, acknowledge that others are entitled to their space.</li> <li>If others are behaving recklessly or inappropriately, try to engage with them constructively. Outrage can be appropriate, but <a href="https://theconversation.com/actually-its-ok-to-disagree-here-are-5-ways-we-can-argue-better-121178">understanding can be better at changing minds</a>.</li> <li>Gird yourself for the long haul. “<a href="https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/fatigue-will-be-the-carrier-of-the-second-coronavirus-wave/articleshow/74725529.cms?from=mdr">Fatigue</a>” can set in over long periods with changing rules. As the weeks in a state of emergency turn into months, we can be worn down and become less diligent in our ethical decision-making.</li> </ol> <p>Finally, remember the positives. As the stakes rise, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/21/like-an-emotional-mexican-wave-how-coronavirus-kindness-makes-the-world-seem-smaller">acts of kindness and support</a> are more important than ever before.</p> <p><em>Written by Hugh Breakey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/acting-selfishly-has-consequences-right-now-why-ethical-decision-making-is-imperative-in-the-coronavirus-crisis-134350">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Coronavirus RNA found on cruise ship 17 days after passengers abandoned liner

<p>Coronavirus RNA has been determined to have the ability to live for up to 17 days among surfaces after health authorities studies the <em>Diamond Princess</em> cruise ship.</p> <p>The disease can survive longer than research has previously shown, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown to us on Monday in new data.</p> <p>The study sought out to show how the Japanese and U.S government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreaks on the Carnival-owned <em>Diamond Princess</em> ship in Japan and the <em>Grand Princess</em> ship in California has been.</p> <p>RNA is the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19, and was “identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the D<em>iamond Princess</em> but before disinfection procedures had been conducted,” the researchers wrote.</p> <p>The CDC added the genetic material of the virus that specifically causes COVID-19 revealed that there was no indication that the virus can “spread by surface”.</p> <p>They also added researchers were unable to  “determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces,” and that more studies focussing on whether COVID-19 can be spread through touching surfaces on cruise ships was warranted.</p> <p>“COVID-19 on cruise ships poses a risk for rapid spread of disease, causing outbreaks in a vulnerable population, and aggressive efforts are required to contain spread,” the data report read.</p> <p>The CDC has urged people to stay away from cruise ships at this time if they are part of the more vulnerable population.</p> <p>Researchers at the national Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University previously found that COVID-19 can last up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.</p> <p>The study also determined the RNA of the virus decreases over time on plastic and stainless steel.</p> <p>The new study set out to understand just how “transmission occurred across multiple voyages of several ships.” It noted at least 25 cruise ship voyages had confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 17.</p> <p>All of these cases where either detected during or after the cruise trip ended.</p> <p>Almost half, 46.5%, of the infections aboard the <em>Diamond Princess</em> were asymptomatic when they were tested.</p> <p>The study revealed it partially explaining the “high attack rate” of the virus among passengers and crew.</p> <p>On February 4, all 3,700 passengers and crew of the <em>Diamond Princess</em> were quarantined at a Japanese port after a passenger had been diagnoses with COVID-19 after returning to Hong Kong.</p> <p>What resulted was the largest cluster of confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China at the time, with more than 800 passengers and crew eventually going on to become infected.</p> <p>Nine people died due to the outbreak after disembarking the ship. Research revealed that 712 of 3,711 people on the <em>Diamond Princess</em>, or 19.2% were infected by COVID-19.</p> <p>78 cases were also found on the <em>Grand Princess,</em> which was force to moor off the coast of California after two passengers tested positive when they disembarked the vessel.</p> <p>The 78 cases tied back to the ship across separate voyages. California officials allowed the ship to remove all passengers from the vessel at the Port of Oakland.</p> <p>The <em>Diamond Princess and Grand Princess</em> has accounted for more than 800 total COVID-19 cases, including 10 deaths.</p>

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The end of global travel as we know it: an opportunity for sustainable tourism

<p>Saturday, March 14 2020, is “The Day the World Stopped Travelling”, in the words of <a href="https://skift.com/2020/03/15/the-day-the-world-stopped-traveling-a-letter-from-skift-founder/">Rifat Ali</a>, head of travel analytics company Skift.</p> <p>That’s a little dramatic, perhaps, but every day since has brought us closer to it being reality.</p> <p>The COVID-19 crisis has the global travel industry – “the most consequential industry in the world”, says Ali – in uncharted territory. Nations are shutting their borders. Airlines face bankruptcy. Ports are refusing entry to cruise ships, threatening the very basis of the cruise business model.</p> <p>Associated hospitality, arts and cultural industries are threatened. Major events are being cancelled. Tourist seasons in many tourist destinations are collapsing. Vulnerable workers on casual, seasonal or gig contracts are suffering. It seems an epic disaster.</p> <p>But is it?</p> <p>Considering <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/01/world/nasa-china-pollution-coronavirus-trnd-scn/index.html">human activities need to change</a> if we are to avoid the worst effects of human-induced climate change, the coronavirus crisis might offer us an unexpected opportunity.</p> <p>Ali, like many others, wants recovery, “even if it takes a while to get back up and return to pre-coronavirus traveller numbers”.</p> <p>But rather than try to return to business as usual as soon as possible, COVID-19 challenges us to think about the type of consumption that underpins the unsustainable ways of the travel and tourism industries.</p> <p><strong>Tourism dependency</strong></p> <p>Air travel features prominently in discussions about reducing carbon emissions. Even if commercial aviation accounts “only” for about 2.4% of all emissions from fossil-fuel use, flying is still how many of us in the industrialised world blow out our carbon footprints.</p> <p>But sustainability concerns in the travel and tourism sectors extend far beyond carbon emissions.</p> <p>In many places tourism has grown beyond its sustainable bounds, to the detriment of local communities.</p> <p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-australia-might-be-at-risk-of-overtourism-99213">overtourism</a> of places like Venice, Barcelona and Reykjavik is one result. Cruise ships disgorge thousands of people for half-day visits that overwhelm the destination but leave little economic benefit.</p> <p>Cheap airline fares encourage weekend breaks in Europe that have inundated old cities such as Prague and Dubrovnik. The need for growth becomes self-perpetuating as tourism dependency locks communities into the system.</p> <p>In a 2010 paper <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/23745318?seq=1">I argued</a> the problem was tourism underpinned by what sociologist Leslie Sklair called the “<a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0263276410374634">culture-ideology of consumerism</a>” – by which consumption patterns that were once the preserve of the rich became endemic.</p> <p>Tourism is embedded in that culture-ideology as an essential pillar to achieve endless economic growth. For instance, <a href="https://www.tourism.australia.com/en/markets-and-stats/tourism-statistics/the-economic-importance-of-tourism.html">the Australian government</a> prioritises tourism as a “supergrowth industry”, accounting for almost 10% of “exports” in 2017-18.</p> <p><strong>Out of crisis comes creativity</strong></p> <p>Many are desperate to ensure business continues as usual. “If people will not travel,” said Ariel Cohen of California-based business travel agency <a href="https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3800229,00.html">TripActions</a>, “the economy will grind to a halt.”</p> <p>COVID-19 is a radical wake-up call to this way of thinking. Even if Cohen is right, that economic reality now needs to change to accommodate the more pressing public health reality.</p> <p>It is a big economic hit, but crisis invites creativity. Grounded business travellers are realising virtual business meetings work satisfactorily. Conferences are reorganising for virtual sessions. Arts and cultural events and institutions are turning to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/arts/music/coronavirus-pandemic-music-streaming.html">live streaming</a> to connect with audiences.</p> <p>In Italian cities under lockdown, residents have come out on their balconies to create music as a community.</p> <p>Local cafes and food co-ops, including my local, are reaching out with support for the community’s marginalised and elderly to ensure they are not forgotten.</p> <p>These responses challenge the atomised individualism that has gone hand in hand with the consumerism of travel and tourism. This public health crisis reminds us our well-being depends not on being consumers but on being part of a community.</p> <p>Staying closer to home could be a catalyst awakening us to the value of eating locally, travelling less and just slowing down and connecting to our community.</p> <p>After this crisis passes, we might find the old business as usual less compelling. We might learn that not travelling long distances didn’t stop us travelling; it just enlivened us to the richness of local travel.</p> <p><em>Written by Freya Higgins-Desbiolles. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-end-of-global-travel-as-we-know-it-an-opportunity-for-sustainable-tourism-133783">The Conversation.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p> Winter is coming: Simple ways to keep energy costs down</p> <p>Winter is coming: Simple ways to keep energy costs down. It has been a sweltering Australian summer and for most retirees, this means that they are likely to endure one final summer blow: a high energy bill. Read more:</p> <p><strong>It has been a sweltering Australian summer and for most retirees, this means that they are likely to endure one final summer blow: a high energy bill.</strong></p> <p>According to recent Mozo research, households were<a href="https://mozo.com.au/energy/articles/australians-set-to-waste-2-billion-on-bad-energy-habits-this-summer"> expected to waste a jaw dropping $774</a> on bad energy habits this summer, with the biggest culprit - leaving the air conditioner on overnight.</p> <p>So if you’ve been stung with a high summer energy bill, now is the time to get prepped in time for winter - below are some helpful tips.</p> <p><strong>Switch on smarter bulbs</strong></p> <p>Did you know that lighting accounts for seven per cent of a household’s annual energy usage?</p> <p>What’s even more surprising is that according to Red Energy, standard incandescent light bulbs use the majority of its energy to heat up a bulb and only 10% is then converted into light, making them highly inefficient. </p> <p>You can get smarter with your lighting by switching to more energy efficient light bulbs, like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).</p> <p>These bulbs use up to 80 per cent less electricity and last up to 20 times longer than regular light bulbs, which can come in handy if you spend most of your time at home.</p> <p><strong>Take advantage of rebates in your state</strong></p> <p>Whether you live in New South Wales or Tasmania, most Australians dread the day their energy bill arrives in the mail.</p> <p>New research has even shown that<a href="https://mozo.com.au/energy/savings-tips/is-your-energy-bill-your-household-s-biggest-financial-stressor"> electricity costs is one of the top two financial stressors</a> for Australian households.</p> <p>So to ease the pinch of high bill, it’s worth looking into various government energy rebates you may be eligible for.</p> <p>There are a range of rebates available from solar battery storage to owning energy efficient appliances, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one you can apply for. </p> <p>For instance,<a href="https://www.moneymag.com.au/state-energy-rebate"> the Seniors Energy Rebate</a>, which is available in NSW, provides independent retirees with a $200 rebate on their electricity bill every year, while pensioners or veterans may be eligible for a $285 low-income household rebate.</p> <p>Just keep in mind that you may need to supply relevant documentation to confirm your eligibility, like your Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, so be sure to have these handy when you apply.</p> <p><strong>Get picky with your plan</strong></p> <p>From picking up a new toaster to locking down a good deal on your phone bill, there’s no denying<a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/news/630/New-report-shows-how-retirement-village-consumers-can-save-thousands-by-shopping-around"> the value of shopping around</a> for the best price.</p> <p>And as deregulated energy markets, like New South Wales and Victoria continue to grow, the result can only mean competitive pricing and more options for customers.</p> <p>Following a Mozo number crunch of 427 electricity plans from 37 retailers, our data revealed that households have the potential to save an average of $554 a year, just by shopping around.</p> <p>So once you’re ready to start shopping around on energy plans, be sure to have your most recent bill nearby to make the process smoother.</p> <p>It’s important to look beyond flashy discounts and incentives many retailers offer new customers and instead consider whether the plan provides long term benefits and savings.</p> <p>Making sure there are no lock-in contracts or exit fees is also important because it can give you the flexibility to move between plans if better offers become available.</p> <p><strong>Go heavy with your sheets</strong></p> <p>As the seasons change, many Australians use it as an opportunity to give their bedroom a facelift with some new decor.</p> <p>But during winter, it’s also the chance to give your space an energy efficient upgrade.</p> <p>There’s nothing worse than a bad nights sleep or waking up in a with frozen fingers and toes, so it might be best to start with switching out your thinner bedsheets for thicker and heavier fabrics, like fleece.</p> <p>This will keep you warm during colder nights, without having to resort to the switching on the heating or electric blanket.</p> <p>Aside from being somewhat inexpensive, fleece sheets are great at insulating heat, are more durable and can absorb water or moisture faster than regular sheets.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post from <a href="https://mozo.com.au/">Mozo</a>, a trailblazer in energy comparison, providing Australians with practical energy saving tips and expert analysis.</em></p> <p><em>Mozo believes that getting a better deal on energy doesn’t have to be complicated and that no Australian should be paying more than they have for the same service.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Ceyda Erem. Republished with permission of Downsizing.com.au.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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What does the law say about self-quarantining in NSW?

<p>In an attempt to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), several public health measures have been implemented across Australia, and New South Wales is no exception.</p> <p>These include directions that require self isolation in certain situations, the quarantining of arrivals into Australia and prohibitions on certain public gatherings.</p> <p>Breaching these rules can lead to serious consequences, including <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/">criminal charges</a> and even the prospect of imprisonment.</p> <p>Here’s a rundown of the rules.</p> <p><strong>The law</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127">Public Health Act 2010</a> (NSW) (‘the Act’) empowers state officials to make a range of enforceable directions and orders with a view to dealing with public health risks.</p> <p>The power to deal with these risks is contained in <a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127/part2/sec7">section 7 of the Act</a>, which provides that where the health minister considers on reasonable grounds that a situation has arisen that is, or is likely to be, a risk to public health, the minister may take such action or give such directions that are necessary to deal with the risk and its possible consequences.</p> <p>The section makes clear that actions and orders can be made in order to:</p> <ul> <li>Reduce or remove any risk</li> <li>Segregate or isolate inhabitants</li> <li>Prevent, or conditionally permit, access to areas</li> </ul> <p>The section says that such an order must be published in the Gazette as soon as practicable after it is made, but that failure to do so does not invalidate the order.</p> <p>Similar legislation applies in other parts of the nation.</p> <p><strong>Current ministerial directions</strong></p> <p>The following <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources">directions</a> have been made pursuant to these rules:</p> <ul> <li>All people who arrive in Australia must self-isolate for 14 days</li> <li>Individuals who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus must self-isolate for 14 days</li> <li>Public gatherings of more than 500 people are prohibited. This rule does not apply to schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport or airports</li> <li>Individuals who are diagnosed with the virus must be placed in quarantine</li> </ul> <p><strong>Penalties</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127/part2/sec10">Section 10 of the Act</a> provides that a person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with such a direction faces a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison and/or a fine of 100 penalty units, which is currently $11,000.</p> <p>Any continued failure to comply is punishable by a fine of 50 penalty units, or $5,500, for each day the offence continues.</p> <p>The maximum penalty for companies is 500 penalty units, or $55,000, and 250 penalty units, or $27,500 for each day the offence continues.</p> <p>Orders against persons suspected of being infected</p> <p><a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127/part4/div4/sec62">Section 62 of the Act</a> empowers ‘authorised medical practitioners’ – who are defined by <a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127/part4/div4/sec60">section 60</a> as the chief health officer and registered medical practitioners authorised by the chief health officer’s secretary – to make public health orders against individuals in certain circumstances.</p> <p>The section provides that such an order can be made if the practitioner is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the person:</p> <ul> <li>Has a Category 4 or 5 condition and because of the way the person behaves may, as a consequence of that condition, be a risk to public health (coronavirus is a <a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127/sch1">category 4 condition</a>), or</li> <li>Has been exposed to a contact order condition, is at risk of developing the contact order condition, and may be a risk to public health because of the way the person behaves.</li> </ul> <p>The section requires such an order to be in writing, name the person subject to the order, state the grounds on which it is made, state that, unless sooner revoked, it expires at the end of the specified period or, if no period is specified, in 28 days.</p> <p>Such an order may require a person – known as the ‘public health detainee’ to do any of the following things:</p> <ul> <li>Refrain from specified conduct</li> <li>Undergo specified treatment</li> <li>Undergo counselling</li> <li>Submit to the supervision</li> <li>Notify the Secretary of other persons with whom the person has been in contact within a specified period</li> <li>Notify the Secretary if the person displays any specified signs or symptoms</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127/part4/div4/sec70">Section 70</a> of the Act prescribes a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison and/or 100 penalty units, or $11,000, for any person who fails to comply.</p> <p><a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2010/127/part4/div4/sec71">Section 71</a> of the Act provides that a person who contravenes a public health order can be placed under arrest  to ensure compliance.</p> <p>Powers to ensure compliance with the Act</p> <p>The Act contains a number of powers to enable authorised officers of the NSW Health Service to ensure compliance.</p> <p>These include section 108 which empowers them to enter premises and seize, inspect or copy documents in the premises, section 110 which can force suspected persons to answer relevant questions and 112 which requires persons to give their name and address.</p> <p>Information and updates about the coronavirus are provided by <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx">NSW Health</a> and the <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert">Federal Department of Health</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/what-does-the-law-say-about-self-quarantining-in-nsw/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p> <p> </p>

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Million-dollar reward offered to solve 1983 murder of Janita McNaughton

<p>Victoria Police has announced a $1 million reward for anyone with information that helps solve the murder of Janita McNaughton, 36 years after she was shot in the head on a boat in a southern Victorian bay.</p> <p>McNaughton, then 23 years old, was on board a boat with four other people in Western Port Bay on December 27, 1983 when she was fatally shot between the eyes. The part-time model died in hospital from her injuries later that night.</p> <p>Police said homicide squad detectives had spoken to all those on board that day, but they were still seeking answers into her death.</p> <p>Those on board first told police the shot was fired from the shore. Later, investigators were told the gun belonged to one of the passengers and was accidentally fired after it was dropped on the boat.</p> <p>Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Rowe said police have disproved the sniper and the accidental discharge accounts, <em><a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/who-killed-janita-1m-reward-for-clues-to-a-36-year-old-mystery-20200310-p548ly.html">The Age</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>Head of the homicide squad, Detective Inspector Tim Day said police are “keeping an open mind” in its investigation, which was reopened in 2015.</p> <p>“The one thing we do know is that someone out there will know who is responsible for shooting Janita and the exact circumstances in which she died,” he said.</p> <p>A then 29-year-old man was charged with manslaughter in 1983, but had his charges dismissed by a coroner at inquest in 1984.</p> <p>“Janita’s family have suffered heartache for 36 years without knowing why Janita was killed,” Day said.</p> <p>“We’re hopeful that someone out there will be able to provide us with information about her death.</p> <p>“It might be that one of the people on the boat can come forward with the truth, or it might be someone that they’ve spoken to over the years, such as a family member or friend, who can provide us with information.</p> <p>“We know that circumstances change with time and we hope this reward will encourage someone to come forward and give her family some deserved justice.”</p> <p>A reward of up to $1 million would be paid, at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police, for information that led to the conviction of the person or persons responsible over McNaughton’s death.</p> <p>Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report at <a href="http://www.crimestoppers.com.au/">its website</a>.</p>

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Will a Section 10 Dismissal affect my ability to travel?

<p>Have you ever thought about the consequences that a criminal record could have on any future overseas trips you were planning on taking?</p> <p>Imagine being restricted on which countries you could visit next time you go on a holiday.</p> <p>Getting a criminal record has obvious consequences – the potential impact on your job and future job prospects may be foreseeable but you might not have considered whether it could also affect your ability to travel overseas.</p> <p>A criminal conviction can make this a real possibility – or at least mean that travelling becomes very difficult.</p> <p>Fortunately, if you are charged with a crime that may result in a criminal conviction, there are ways to avoid this.</p> <p>If you plead guilty, you can apply for your case to be dealt with under a <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/penalties/nsw/section-10-dismissal/">section 10 dismissal</a> of the <em>Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act</em>.</p> <p>Under a section 10 dismissal, (a special provision that allows the court discretion to dismiss the charges) you can avoid getting a criminal conviction at all, meaning your travelling ability will not be hindered.</p> <p>So, what effects could a potential criminal record have on your ability to travel?</p> <p>This will largely depend on the country you wish to travel to, and what the offence was.</p> <p>The United States, for example, is very strict when it comes to granting entry to people with a conviction.</p> <p>Australians wanting to travel to America with a criminal record are advised by the Embassy of the United States in Australia to apply for a visa well before you plan on travelling.</p> <p>The outcome of a visa application is uncertain before you have an interview, where your eligibility will be determined.</p> <p>If you are found ineligible, it is possible to get a waiver, but this is time consuming (it can take around five months for approval) and success is not guaranteed.</p> <p>Whether or not an application for a waiver is successful or not will depend on the nature and severity of the offence and how recently it occurred.</p> <p>This does not include minor traffic violations like speeding, and if you have a drink driving conviction, generally you do not need to apply for a visa as long as you are otherwise eligible.</p> <p>Some criminal offences will make you ineligible to immigrate to the US.</p> <p>But again, remember that avoiding a criminal conviction can eliminate the hassle and restrictions on travel. The uncertain, expensive and time-consuming process can be avoided.</p> <p>With a section 10 dismissal, travel to other countries may not be affected at all.</p> <p>Successfully getting a section 10 dismissal is possible if the court believes that it would reduce the likelihood of the person convicted committing further offences and allows the person to keep their good name.</p> <p>Things that the court takes into account include factors such your character, age, health, mental condition, the nature of your offence and any extenuating factors that were present at the time you committed the offence.</p> <p>An extenuating factor is something out of the ordinary that can partly explain why someone committed an offence.</p> <p>While section 10 dismissals are available for all charges, it is much more likely to be awarded for less serious cases.</p> <p>However, this does not automatically mean that more serious ones cannot be dealt with under a section 10 dismissal if there are very good reasons for doing so.</p> <p>If you need to travel for work, obtaining a section 10 dismissal may be an essential part of the case you want argued before a magistrate.</p> <p>A good lawyer will be able to present your case in the strongest way to ensure best possible chances of you end up criminal record-free.</p> <p>A section 10 dismissal may be your ticket to travel, literally!</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/will-a-section-10-dismissal-affect-my-ability-to-travel/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

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Can I take my children overseas without my partner’s permission?

<p>If you want to take your children overseas without their other parent, it’s important to understand how the law works, especially if you are separated or getting divorced.</p> <p>There are certain legal protections which are in place to prevent children being abducted by a parent and taken out of the country without the other parent’s permission.</p> <p>Even if you are just going for a holiday, it’s important to make sure you aren’t going to get into legal trouble for taking your children overseas without your partner or ex-partner’s permission.</p> <p><strong>Why do I have to get my partner’s permission?</strong></p> <p>In recent years, there have been a number of high profile cases where one parent has taken a child out of Australia to another country.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.australianmissingpersonsregister.com/ParentalAbductions.htm">Australian Missing Persons Register</a>, over 150 children are abducted by a parent every year and many of them are never found.</p> <p>Children can be taken out of the country for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s due to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/apprehended-violence-order/">domestic violence</a>, other times it’s because of a custody dispute or because a parent wants to move and take their children with them, but doesn’t want to go through the usual processes in order to do so legally.</p> <p><strong>What does the law say about taking children overseas?</strong></p> <p>Although currently there is no law in place making it a crime, there are a number of provisions in place designed to prevent parents from taking children overseas without the other parent’s permission.</p> <p>If one parent takes a child away without the permission of the other parent, the other parent can apply for a recovery order from the court.</p> <p>A recovery order is a court-issued document which requires one parent to return a child or children.</p> <p>If you are served with a recovery order, it’s important to comply with any terms laid out as you can face further legal action if you don’t.</p> <p>Can my partner stop me taking the children overseas?</p> <p>If your partner is concerned that you may take the children overseas without their permission they can apply to have the names of your children placed on the airport watch list.</p> <p>The airport watch list is held by airports in Australia and is updated by the AFP. If any parent tries to remove a child who is on the airport watch list from the country they will not be allowed to leave.</p> <p>This applies to both parents, so if your partner has requested your children be listed, they won’t be able to take them out of the country until the court order is lifted (which can only be done by the AFP).</p> <p>As well as the airport watch list, your partner can also apply for a restraint for removal from Australia order.</p> <p>This is a formal court order which prohibits you from removing the children listed on the order from the country.</p> <p><strong>What if my partner won’t give permission?</strong></p> <p>If you want to take your children overseas and your partner won’t give you permission, you can apply to the <a href="http://www.familylawcourts.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/FLC/Home/Publications/Family+Law+Courts+publications/Children+and+international+travel+after+family+separation">Federal Circuit Court</a> in Australia.</p> <p>You will need to sign an affidavit and provide information about where you are going, your itinerary, any links you have with the country you are travelling to and any other relevant factors.</p> <p>You may also be required to pay a sum of money as security which will be refunded on your return.</p> <p><strong>Can I get a passport for my child?</strong></p> <p>Passport applications for children require the signature of each person with parental responsibility for the child.</p> <p>This is usually the parents named on the child’s birth certificate, but it can also include grandparents or other relatives who may have parental responsibility, or welfare organisations who have assumed responsibility for the child.</p> <p>Without the signature of both parents (or those with parental responsibility), a passport won’t be issued.</p> <p>However, it is possible to apply to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for <a href="https://www.passports.gov.au/web/brochureswebpages/brochurechildenparentalconsent.aspx">special consideration</a> to have a passport issued without the signature of both parents.</p> <p>Although it is difficult to take your children overseas without your partner’s permission it is possible under certain circumstances.</p> <p>The law exists to protect children and families from unlawful child abduction, so it’s important to seek legal advice if you are planning to take your children out of the country against your partner’s wishes.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/can-i-take-my-children-overseas-without-my-partners-permission/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

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The world may lose half its sandy beaches by 2100: It’s not too late to save most of them

<p>For many coastal regions, sea-level rise is a looming crisis threatening our coastal society, livelihoods and coastal ecosystems. <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0697-0">A new study</a>, published in Nature Climate Change, has reported the world will lose almost half of its valuable sandy beaches by 2100 as the ocean moves landward with rising sea levels.</p> <p>Sandy beaches comprise about a third of the world’s coastline. And Australia, with nearly 12,000 kilometres at risk, could be hit hard.</p> <p>This is the first truly global study to attempt to quantify beach erosion. The results for the highest greenhouse gas emission scenario are alarming, but reducing emissions lead to lower rates of coastal erosion.</p> <p>Our best hope for the future of the world’s coastlines and for Australia’s iconic beaches is to keep global warming as low as possible by urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p><strong>Losing sand in coastal erosion</strong></p> <p>Two of the largest problems resulting from <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/">rising sea levels</a> are coastal erosion and an already-observed increase in the frequency of coastal flooding events.</p> <p>Erosion during storms can have dramatic consequences, particularly for coastal infrastructure. We saw this in 2016, when <a href="https://theconversation.com/sydneys-wild-weather-shows-home-owners-are-increasingly-at-risk-60621">wild storms</a> removed sand from beaches and damaged houses in Sydney.</p> <p>After storms like this, beaches often gradually recover, because sand from deeper waters washes back to the shore over months to years and in some cases decades. These dramatic storms and the long-term <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S002532271630010X">sand supply</a> make it difficult to identify any beach movement in the recent past from sea-level rise.</p> <p>What we do know is that the rate of sea-level rise has <a href="https://theconversation.com/contributions-to-sea-level-rise-have-increased-by-half-since-1993-largely-because-of-greenlands-ice-79175">accelerated</a>. It has increased by half since 1993, and is continuing to accelerate from ongoing greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p>If we continue to emit high levels of greenhouse gases, this acceleration will continue through the 21st century and <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-does-the-science-really-say-about-sea-level-rise-56807">beyond</a>. As a result, the supply of sand may not be able to keep pace with rapidly rising sea levels.</p> <p><strong>Projections for the worst-case scenario</strong></p> <p>In the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/">report</a>, released last year, the highest greenhouse gas emissions scenario resulted in global warming of more than 4°C (relative to pre-industrial temperatures) and a likely range of sea-level rise between 0.6 and 1.1 metres by 2100.</p> <p>For this scenario, this new study projects a global average landward movement of the coastline in the range of 40 to 250 metres if there were no physical limits to shoreline movement, such as those imposed by sea walls or other coastal infrastructure.</p> <p>Sea-level rise is responsible for the vast majority of this beach loss, with faster loss during the latter decades of the 21st century when the rate of rise is larger. And sea levels will continue to rise for centuries, so beach erosion would continue well after 2100.</p> <p>For southern Australia, the landward movement of the shoreline is projected to be more than 100 metres. This would damage many of Australia’s iconic tourist beaches such as Bondi, Manly and the Gold Coast. The movement in northern Australia is projected to be even larger, but more uncertain because of ongoing historical shoreline trends.</p> <p><strong>What happens if we mitigate our emissions</strong></p> <p>The above results are from a worst-case scenario. If greenhouse gas emissions were reduced such that the 2100 global temperature rose by about 2.5°C, instead of more than 4°C, then we’d reduce beach erosion by about a third of what’s projected in this worst-case scenario.</p> <p>Current global policies would result in about <a href="https://climateactiontracker.org/global/cat-thermometer/">3°C of global warming</a>. That’s between the 4°C and the 2.5°C scenarios considered in this beach erosion study, implying our current policies will lead to significant beach erosion, including in Australia.</p> <p>Mitigating our emissions even further to achieving the Paris goal of keeping temperature rise to well below 2°C would be a major step in reducing beach loss.</p> <p><strong>Why coastal erosion is hard to predict</strong></p> <p>Projecting sea-level rise and resulting beach erosion are particularly difficult as both depend on many factors.</p> <p>For sea level, the major problems are estimating the contribution of melting Antarctic ice flowing into the ocean, how sea level will change on a regional scale, and the amount of global warming.</p> <p>The beach erosion calculated in this new study depends on several new databases. The databases of recent shoreline movement used to project ongoing natural factors might already be influenced by rising sea levels, possibly leading to an overestimate in the final calculations.</p> <p><strong>The implications</strong></p> <p>Regardless of the exact numbers reported in this study, it’s clear we will have to adapt to the beach erosion that we can no longer prevent, if we are to continue enjoying our beaches.</p> <p>This means we need appropriate planning, such as beach nourishment (adding sand to beaches to combat erosion) and other soft and hard engineering solutions. In some cases, we’ll even need to retreat from the coast to allow the beach to migrate landward.</p> <p>And if we are to continue to enjoy our sandy beaches into the future, we cannot allow ongoing and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The world needs urgent, significant and sustained global mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p><em>Written by John Church. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-world-may-lose-half-its-sandy-beaches-by-2100-its-not-too-late-to-save-most-of-them-132586">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p> </p>

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Australians on board the Diamond Princess need to go into quarantine again: It’s time to reset the clock

<p>The evacuation of about 180 passengers pm February 20<sup>th</sup> from the cruise ship Diamond Princess to serve another period of quarantine back in Australia has raised questions about the best way to control spread of the coronavirus.</p> <p>The passengers had already spent 14 days quarantined on board the ship, which had been docked in Japan, and now face another 14 days at the Howard Springs quarantine facility close to Darwin.</p> <p>By contrast, Japan’s health ministry is allowing <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/19/world/asia/japan-cruise-ship-coronavirus.html">hundreds of people</a> to leave the ship without being subject to further quarantine.</p> <p>So what’s behind Australia’s announcement to impose a second quarantine period? And what were conditions like on board to prompt this decision?</p> <p><strong>What’s quarantine?</strong></p> <p>Quarantines have been put in place around the world as part of the global public health response to COVID-19 – the disease caused by a new coronavirus, now named SARS-CoV-2.</p> <p>The idea is to limit the spread of the virus within and between countries.</p> <p>Formal measures designed to limit contact between infected (or potentially infected) people are called “social distancing”. And they have been used to control communicable diseases for <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LEV.13.NLT">at least 2,500 years</a>.</p> <p>Today, the term <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5229a2.htm">quarantine refers to</a> the separation or restriction of movement of people who are not ill but are believed to have been exposed to an infectious disease.</p> <p>This differs to isolation, which is the term used for the separation or restriction of movement of people who are ill, thereby minimising onward transmission.</p> <p><strong>How long should quarantine last?</strong></p> <p>Quarantine periods are determined by certain characteristics of the infectious agent, most notably the incubation period. This is the period between being exposed to it and symptoms appearing.</p> <p>For COVID-19, the <a href="https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.5.2000062">average incubation period</a> is thought to be around six days, and can range from two to 11 days.</p> <p>While a <a href="https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.06.20020974v1.full.pdf">preliminary report</a> has suggested a longer incubation period of up to 24 days, this is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25708">considered unlikely</a>.</p> <p>People who have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 are considered to have been potentially exposed to the virus. As a precaution, these people are placed in quarantine, essentially to “sit out” their potential incubation period.</p> <p>The quarantine period of 14 days currently being used in Australia and elsewhere for COVID-19 takes into account the maximum known incubation period for this disease, plus a few extra days as a reasonable precaution.</p> <p>In quarantine, people will either develop the disease and have symptoms or they will remain well. In theory, if a person remains well after their period of quarantine, they are deemed uninfected and restrictions are lifted.</p> <p>Another factor that influences how long someone needs to be quarantined is the infectious period. That’s the period during which the infection can be transmitted from one person to another.</p> <p>If the infectious period starts before the symptoms (from asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic individuals), the virus can be transmitted silently. This can substantially complicate disease prevention and control.</p> <p>When a new virus emerges – as with SARS-CoV-2 – the infectious period is largely unknown. While the proportion of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic COVID-19 cases is not clear, it is increasingly apparent people can be infected <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001899?query=RP">without having any symptoms</a>. However, further evidence is needed to see if these people can infect others.</p> <p><strong>When is it best to extend the quarantine period?</strong></p> <p>Crucial to quarantine is ensuring that best possible infection control practices are put in place to prevent ongoing transmission.</p> <p>It is also essential to assess real-time data about newly diagnosed cases, which tells us how effective quarantine measures have been.</p> <p>In some circumstances, it may be necessary to extend a person’s period of quarantine, as in the case of the Australian citizens on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess.</p> <p><strong>So, what happened on board the Diamond Princess?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports">Data from the World Health Organisation</a> (WHO) give us clues to what’s behind Australia’s decision to impose a second period of quarantine.</p> <p>The graph below shows there may have been up to four possible waves of infections on board, including an initial undetected wave before quarantine measures were imposed.</p> <p>Evidence of ongoing transmission during the quarantine period supports the decision by several countries to evacuate their citizens from the Diamond Princess, including Australia, to “reset the clock” and to impose a further 14-day quarantine period.</p> <p>This additional measure – while causing considerable and understandable frustration to those affected – is designed to limit transmission of COVID-19 within Australia.</p> <p><strong>The rights of individuals versus public good</strong></p> <p>Implementing public health measures, such as isolation and quarantine, requires decision-making that <a href="https://www.who.int/healthsystems/topics/health-law/chapter10.pdf">balances the rights</a> of individuals and public good.</p> <p>When appropriately designed and implemented, quarantine and isolation work. Even when quarantine is not absolutely adhered to, it can still be effective at reducing the likelihood of large-scale outbreaks.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92450/">SARS</a> (severe acute respiratory syndrome), these strategies were thought to have been an important part in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691853/">controlling the epidemic</a>, though they were <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5229a2.htm">resource and labour intensive</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Stacey L Rowe and Benjamin Cowie. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-australians-on-board-the-diamond-princess-need-to-go-into-quarantine-again-its-time-to-reset-the-clock-131906"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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"Raw with grief": White Island volcano victim finally wakes from coma to find husband and stepdaughter died

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Adelaide mother and engineer Lisa Dallow woke from a coma and received the heartbreaking news that her daughter and husband passed away in the White Island volcano tragedy.</p> <p>Lisa, 48, told relatives how she and other tourists fled for their lives as rocks rained down on them during the eruption on December 9.</p> <p>She woke in Melbourne’s The Alfred Hospital burns unit and was given the news that her daughter Zoe, 15, and Gavin, 53 had passed.</p> <p>Relatives told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-woman-lisa-dallow-wakes-from-coma-to-hear-her-husband-gavin-and-daughter-zoe-died-in-the-white-island-volcano-tragedy/news-story/81e97399ddf87c0b4006d2a51933bcb9" target="_blank">The Advertiser</a></em><span> </span>that she was devastated.</p> <p>“Lisa is awake and has been told about Zoe and Gavin, so she now knows what has happened,” a family spokeswoman said.</p> <p>“It took a while for it to sink in and then she just kept saying she can’t believe they had died.”</p> <p>The family spokesman also said that Lisa had some memories of the volcano erupting.</p> <p>“She remembers it exploding and then telling everyone to run,” she said. “She then recalled how rocks were falling everywhere and hitting her on the back.</p> <p>“She remembers thinking: ‘When are they going to come and rescue us?’ The next thing she knows is she is in hospital wondering where she was.”</p> <p>After Lisa missed Gavin’s funeral at Adelaide Oval last month, her family has delayed Zoe’s memorial in the hopes that Lisa can attend as she undergoes intensive rehab.</p> <p>“She wasn’t able to go to Gavin’s funeral, but we are hoping she could make Zoe’s, so they have delayed it until she is a bit better,” the spokesperson explained.</p> <p>“It will be Lisa’s decision, so we all just have to wait and see. It is so devastating for everyone. We are still raw with grief.”</p> <p>Lisa was critically injured after suffering life-threatening burns to almost 60 percent of her body and is currently receiving high-level care from Australia’s top trauma doctors.</p> <p>“It really is a slow road to recovery, Lisa has been up and down,” the spokesman said.</p> <p><em>Photo credits:<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-woman-lisa-dallow-wakes-from-coma-to-hear-her-husband-gavin-and-daughter-zoe-died-in-the-white-island-volcano-tragedy/news-story/81e97399ddf87c0b4006d2a51933bcb9" target="_blank">Adelaide Now</a><span> </span> <span> </span></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Blue Acceleration: our dash for ocean resources mirrors what we’ve already done to the land

<p>Humans are leaving a heavy footprint on the Earth, but when did we become the main driver of change in the planet’s ecosystems? Many scientists point to the 1950s, when all kinds of socioeconomic trends began accelerating. Since then, <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/the-countries-with-the-biggest-populations-from-1950-to-2060/">the world population has tripled</a>. Fertiliser and water use expanded as <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-the-earth-feed-11-billion-people-four-reasons-to-fear-a-malthusian-future-43347">more food was grown than ever before</a>. The construction of motorways sped up to accommodate rising car ownership while international flights took off to satisfy a growing taste for tourism.</p> <p>The scale of human demands on Earth grew beyond historic proportions. This post-war period became known as the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/anthropocene-began-in-1965-according-to-signs-left-in-the-worlds-loneliest-tree-91993">Great Acceleration</a>”, and many believe it gave birth to the Anthropocene – the geological epoch during which human activity surpassed natural forces as the biggest influence on the functioning of Earth’s living systems.</p> <p>But researchers studying the ocean are currently feeling a sense of déjà vu. Over the past three decades, patterns seen on land 70 years ago have been occurring in the ocean. We’re living through a “<a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(19)30275-1">Blue Acceleration</a>”, and it will have significant consequences for life on the blue planet.</p> <p><strong>Why is the Blue Acceleration happening now?</strong></p> <p>As land-based resources have declined, hopes and expectations have increasingly turned to the ocean as a new engine of human development. Take deep sea mining. The international seabed and its mineral riches have excited commercial interest in recent years due to soaring commodity prices. According to the <a href="https://data.imf.org/commodityprices">International Monetary Fund</a>, the price of gold is up 454% since 2000, silver is up 317% and lead 493%. Around 1.4 million square kilometres of the seabed has been leased since 2001 by the International Seabed Authority for exploratory mining activities.</p> <p>In some industries, technological advances have driven these trends. Virtually all offshore windfarms were installed <a href="https://www.irena.org/Statistics">in the last 20 years</a>. The marine biotechnology sector scarcely existed at the end of the 20th century, and over <a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/6/eaar5237">99% of genetic sequences from marine organisms</a> found in patents were registered since 2000.</p> <p>During the 1990s, as the Blue Acceleration got underway, <a href="https://www.infoplease.com/world/population-statistics/total-population-world-decade-1950-2050">the world population reached 6 billion</a>. Today there are around <a href="https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/">7.8 billion people</a>. Population growth in water-scarce areas like the Middle East, Australia and South Africa has caused a <a href="https://www.desaldata.com/">three-fold growth in volumes of desalinated seawater</a> generated since 2000. It has also meant a nearly <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.SHP.GOOD.TU">four-fold increase</a> in the volume of goods transported around the world by shipping since 2000.</p> <p><strong>Why does the Blue Acceleration matter?</strong></p> <p>The ocean was once thought – even among prominent scientists – to be too vast to be changed by human activity. That view has been replaced by the uncomfortable recognition that not only can humans change the ocean, but also that the current trajectory of human demands on the ocean simply isn’t sustainable.</p> <p>Consider the coast of Norway. The region is home to a multi-million dollar ocean-based oil and gas industry, aquaculture, popular cruises, busy shipping routes and fisheries. All of these interests are vying for the same ocean space, and their demands are growing. A five-fold increase in the number of salmon grown by aquaculture is expected by 2050, while the region’s tourism industry is predicted to welcome a five-fold increase in visitors by 2030. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.offshorewind.biz/2019/06/19/norway-ponders-3-5gw-offshore-wind-move/">vast offshore wind farms</a> have been proposed off the southern tip of Norway.</p> <p>The ocean is vast, but it’s not limitless. This saturation of ocean space is not unique to Norway, and a densely populated ocean space runs the risk of conflict across industries. Escapee salmon from aquaculture have <a href="https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/food-fisheries-and-agriculture/fishing-and-aquaculture/1/farmed-salmon/fish-healthsalmon-lice/id607091/">spread sea lice in wild populations</a>, creating tensions with Norwegian fisheries. An industrial accident in the oil and gas industry could cause significant damage to local seafood and tourism as well as the seafood export market.</p> <p>More fundamentally, the burden on ocean ecosystems is growing, and we simply don’t know as much about these ecosystems as we would like. An ecologist once quipped that fisheries management is the same as forestry management. Instead of trees you’re counting fish, except you can’t see the fish, and they move.</p> <p>Exploitation of the ocean has tended to precede exploration. One iconic example is <a href="https://theconversation.com/sea-pangolin-the-first-ever-species-endangered-by-potential-deep-sea-mining-120624">the scaly-foot snail</a>. This deep sea mollusc was discovered in 1999 and was on the IUCN Red List of endangered species by 2019. Why? As far as scientists can tell, the species is only found in three hydrothermal vent systems more than 2,400 metres below the Indian Ocean, covering less than 0.02 square kilometres. Today, two of the three vent systems fall within exploratory mining leases.</p> <p><strong>What next?</strong></p> <p>Billionaires dreaming of space colonies can dream a little closer to home. Even as the Blue Acceleration consumes more of the ocean’s resources, this vast area is every bit as mysterious as outer space. The surfaces of Mars and the Moon have been mapped in <a href="https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/mapping-our-planet-one-ocean-time">higher resolution than the seafloor</a>. Life in the ocean has existed for two billion years longer than on land and an estimated <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127">91% of marine species have not been described by science</a>. Their genetic adaptations could help scientists develop the <a href="https://theconversation.com/nature-is-a-rich-source-of-medicine-if-we-can-protect-it-107471">antibiotics and medicines of tomorrow</a>, but they may disappear long before that’s possible.</p> <p>The timing is right for guiding the Blue Acceleration towards more sustainable and equitable trajectories. The <a href="https://en.unesco.org/ocean-decade">UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development</a> is about to begin, a new <a href="https://www.un.org/bbnj/">international treaty on ocean biodiversity</a> is in its final stages of negotiation, and in June 2020, governments, businesses, academics and civil society will assemble for the <a href="https://oceanconference.un.org/">UN Ocean Conference</a> in Lisbon.</p> <p>Yet many simple questions remain. Who is driving the Blue Acceleration? Who is benefiting from it? And who is being left out or forgotten? These are all urgent questions, but perhaps the most important and hardest to answer of all is how to create connections and engagement across all these groups. Otherwise, the drivers of the Blue Acceleration will be like the fish in the ecologist’s analogy: constantly moving, invisible and impossible to manage – before it is too late.</p> <p><em>Written by Robert Blasiak. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/blue-acceleration-our-dash-for-ocean-resources-mirrors-what-weve-already-done-to-the-land-130264"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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The coronavirus will hit the tourism and travel sector hard this 2020

<p>The spread of infectious diseases is invariably linked to travel. Today, tourism is a huge global business that accounts for <a href="https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/regions-2019/world2019.pdf">10.4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10 per cent of global employment.</a></p> <p>Nothing seems to slow its growth as year-over-year <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">increases outpace the economy</a>. The United Nations World Tourism Organization is predicting further <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">growth of three per cent to four per cent in international tourist arrivals for 2020</a>, with <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">international departures worldwide particularly strong</a> in the first quarter of this year.</p> <p>But that was before a new coronavirus (formally known as 2019-nCoV) hit China and then very rapidly started spreading to the rest of the world with <a href="https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6">20 countries and counting</a> isolating cases.</p> <p>Officials in China and those in the rest of world have been much quicker to take more drastic action after learning bitter lessons from the SARS outbreak in 2003, which also started in China.</p> <p>The impact on travel to and from China of this new coronavirus, however, has been devastating. Airlines, including <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-air-travel-1.5444326">Air Canada</a>, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/business/british-airways-coronavirus/index.html">have cancelled all flights</a> or <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/business/american-airlines-suspends-china-flights-coronavirus/index.html">significantly reduced the number of flights</a> in and out of China. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-30/russia-closing-border-with-china-to-affect-people-not-goods">Russia closed its land border to passenger travel</a> with China and <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/n7jebz/hong-kong-is-closing-its-borders-to-keep-coronavirus-out">Hong Kong shut down its borders, cross-border ferries and railways</a>.</p> <p>How does the impact of 2019-nCoV differ from that of SARS, which also affected tourism dramatically?</p> <p><strong>SARS has higher death toll so far</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/en/">World Health Organization</a> confirmed 8,096 cases and 774 deaths in 26 countries as a result of the SARS coronavirus. First detected in late February 2003, it had run its course five months later.</p> <p>The coronavirus first appeared in December 2019 but has already <a href="http://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316">surpassed the total number of SARS cases in just two months</a>, albeit with a much lower death rate. Infectious disease experts expect it <a href="https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/wuhan-virus-experts-say-outbreak-will-last-months-at-least">to last for several months</a> yet with tens of thousands afflicted before it runs its course.</p> <p>SARS accounted for a <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ST.INT.ARVL">drop in international tourist arrivals of almost 9.4 million</a>and a loss of between US$30 billion and $50 billion. But in 2002, China’s role as both a travel destination and a source country was relatively minor, receiving fewer than 38 million tourists and sending about 17 million tourists abroad.</p> <p>Compare that to 2019 when it is estimated China received <a href="https://www.china-mike.com/china-travel-tips/china-tourism-statistics/">142 million inbound tourists and the Chinese made 134 million trips abroad and 5.5 billion trips domestically</a>.</p> <p>The severe travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on its citizens and the stern warnings from Foreign Affairs offices, <a href="https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/china">including Canada’s</a>, to avoid all non-essential travel to China and all travel to Hubei province (Wuhan is its capital and largest city) means that the economic impact of this coronvirus will be felt in every corner of the world and almost every sector of the economy.</p> <p>The market response has been swift, with <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-economic-impact-1.5437393">share prices of major airlines, cruise lines and tourism companies dropping several percentage points</a>.</p> <p>With the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus <a href="https://www.who.int/">a public health emergency of global concern</a>, Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (<a href="https://www.wttc.org/search-results/?query=coronavirus">WTTC</a>) fears that this escalation could have a damaging and lasting economic impact on the sector. She’s <a href="http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/356089/wttc-issues-coronavirus-economic-impact-warning">expressed serious concerns</a> that airport closures, flight cancellations and shuttered borders often have a greater economic impact than the outbreak itself.</p> <p><strong>Hundreds of thousands die from seasonal flus</strong></p> <p>These concerns are well justified when one considers that <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1213-flu-death-estimate.html">between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year</a>, which does not lead to any of these warnings or drastic measures.</p> <p>Canada saw <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/en/">251 SARS cases and 43 deaths</a>, but it cost the Canadian economy an estimated <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-economic-impact-1.5437393">$5.25 billion and 28,000 jobs</a>. At the time, China was a Canadian tourism market of less than <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2410000301">100,000 visitors annually; that dropped by 25 per cent due to SARS</a>.</p> <p>Today, China is Canada’s second-largest overseas market, accounting for close to <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2410000301">800,000 arrivals</a>, and its highest spending market with more than<a href="https://www.destinationcanada.com/sites/default/files/archive/869-Market%20Highlights%20-%20China%20-%202019/MarketHighlights-CN_EN%5B1%5D.pdf">$2,800 per trip</a>.</p> <p>Depending on how long the restrictions and warnings are in place, losses could easily double of those in 2003. The pain will be felt in every industry as tourism’s supply chain involves everything from agriculture and fishing to banking and insurance. The hardest hit will be its core industries of accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel services.</p> <p>While Air Canada will <a href="https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html">refund fares for cancelled flights</a> to and from China, other airlines may only <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/28/business/delta-american-united-coronavirus-wuhan-china/index.html">extend change fee waivers</a> or provide credit towards future flights.</p> <p>But this may not be the case for connecting flights from Beijing or Shanghai, the cities most commonly served by North American airlines.</p> <p>A growing number of hotels are also waiving changes and cancellation fees for bookings in China scheduled for the next few weeks. But many travellers to or passing through China may not be able to recover all their money, even if they bought insurance. That’s because most basic travel insurance plans do not cover <a href="https://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-tips/safety/info-2020/insurance-coronavirus-coverage.html">epidemics as a reason for cancellation</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Marion Joppe. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-coronavirus-will-hit-the-tourism-and-travel-sector-hard-130872">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Cruising

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A tale of 2 rivers: is it safer to swim in the Yarra in Victoria or the Nepean in NSW?

<p>Cooling off with a swim in the river is a popular summer pastime in Australia, particularly for people who live a long distance from the beach.</p> <p>But urban waterways often have poor water quality, and <a href="https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/bathing/annapolis.pdf">swimming in contaminated water</a> can pose health risks. Water-borne pathogens, if ingested, can cause <a href="https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/guidelines-managing-risks-recreational-water">infectious diseases</a> such as gastrointestinal illness.</p> <p>In <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/344/1/012016/meta">our recently published research</a> we compared a popular NSW river, the Nepean River in western Sydney, with the upper reaches of Victoria’s iconic Yarra River (from Kew in Melbourne to Launching Place in the Yarra Ranges).</p> <p>We investigated how safe these rivers were for swimming, based on levels of faecal bacteria. We also assessed what information is available to inform people of the rivers’ suitability for swimming.</p> <p>While the water quality is generally better in the Nepean River, NSW doesn’t provide guidance on whether it’s safe for swimming. So in this regard, Victoria’s Yarra River could be considered safer.</p> <p><strong>What contaminates our rivers?</strong></p> <p>Both the Nepean River and the Yarra River are exposed to many potential sources of contamination, such as faecal wastes from farm livestock, wildlife, and domestic animals, and pollution from urban streams and sewage.</p> <p>We calculated flows in the Nepean River can contain <a href="https://theconversation.com/more-of-us-are-drinking-recycled-sewage-water-than-most-people-realise-92420">up to 30%</a> treated sewage. However, the NSW Environment Protection Authority highly regulates the sewage to protect river water quality.</p> <p>Heavy rain reduces water quality as the rain mobilises pollutants and carries them into waterways.</p> <p><strong>Water quality: Victoria versus New South Wales</strong></p> <p>We generally use the presence of E. coli bacteria as <a href="https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-10/documents/rwqc2012.pdf">an indicator of pollution</a> from animal and human faecal wastes in rivers. It also indicates the risk of swimmers contracting a water-borne disease. If people swim in water with highly elevated E.coli numbers, they have a greater chance of getting sick.</p> <p>NSW doesn’t have guidelines which stipulate safe levels of E.coli in freshwater rivers. But Victorian guidelines recommend E.coli in freshwater rivers and lakes used for swimming doesn’t exceed <a href="https://yarraandbay.vic.gov.au/weeklywatersamples?type=yarra&amp;site=290400">260 organisms per 100mL</a>.</p> <p>It was simple to get advice on water quality for swimming at four locations on the Yarra River on the “<a href="https://yarraandbay.vic.gov.au/yarra-watch">Yarrawatch</a>” website.</p> <p>Swimming is prohibited in the lower, highly urbanised parts of the Yarra, but Yarrawatch provides daily updates on the safety of swimming in its cleaner freshwater reaches. Yarrawatch also documents the actual <a href="https://yarraandbay.vic.gov.au/weeklywatersamples?type=yarra&amp;site=290400">bacteria concentrations</a>from weekly samples collected during the swimming season, which inform the safety recommendations.</p> <p>At the time we published this article all sites on the Yarra were “poor”, meaning not suitable for swimming.</p> <p>There was no similar information publicly available for swimmers in the Nepean River, so we obtained water quality data from NSW Government agencies.</p> <p>The Nepean River E. coli bacteria results showed river water quality was generally very good, particularly at the sites upstream of urban and agricultural development.</p> <p>We also compared bacteria results according to rainfall. After heavy rain in the previous week, the E. coli bacteria levels spiked. The Nepean River at Penrith Weir, a very popular swimming spot, often recorded hazardous E.coli results after more than 40mm of rain in a week.</p> <p><strong>Swimmers need advice</strong></p> <p>Our biggest concern is Nepean River users are not given any advice on water quality. Up-to-date guidance is important to enable people to make an informed choice about whether or not they should swim.</p> <p>For example, very young children have poorly developed immune systems and may be <a href="https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/health-daily-care/health-concerns/pool-hygiene">more susceptible</a> to getting sick from water-borne pathogens. Their parents and caregivers should be warned if E. coli levels are high at a particular swimming spot.</p> <p>In contrast, visitors to any coastal or harbour swimming beach in eastern Sydney can look up the NSW Government <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/beaches/beachwatch-water-quality-program">Beachwatch</a> advice. This guidance is updated daily based on regular testing of faecal bacteria and other factors, including rainfall.</p> <p>But in western Sydney, swimmers and other river users have no such guidance. The decision to go swimming in the Nepean River can therefore be a gamble.</p> <p>Faecal bacterial data is actually collected in the Nepean and other rivers by NSW government agencies. Yet they don’t make the results freely available to the public.</p> <p>The NSW government is failing in its duty of care in this regard. It must issue health warnings when it detects hazardous bacterial results in the river.</p> <p>So which river has the best water quality for swimming, the Nepean or the the Yarra? While the Yarra water quality may be poorer, authorities at least offer advice to river users to guide safe swimming.</p> <p>If you intend to swim in the Nepean, avoid swimming after rain. If you’re unsure, wait at least a few days, preferably a week, after significant rainfall.</p> <p><em>Written by Ian Wright, Jason Reynolds, Katherine Morrison and Michelle Ryan. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-tale-of-2-rivers-is-it-safer-to-swim-in-the-yarra-in-victoria-or-the-nepean-in-nsw-130791">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Cruising

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Cartel offences in Australia: The crime of anti-competitive conduct

<p>Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd – also known as K-Line – was fined $34.5 million over cartel conduct in the Federal Court <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">in August of 2019 </a>. K-Line admitted to engaging in anti-competitive conduct with other shipping companies between July 2009 and September 2012, which amounted to criminal offence under Australian law.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Cartel%20conduct%20how%20it%20affects%20your%20business.pdf">cartel exists</a> when two or more businesses illegally agree to work together, instead of competing.</p> <p>Such conduct allows those involved to control and restrict how a market operates, which in turn, drives up profit margins for the companies, whilst maintaining the illusion of competition.</p> <p>The cartel that K-Line was involved in had been operating since <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">at least February 1997</a>. The companies involved were found to be fixing prices on the transportation of vehicles, such as cars, trucks and buses, being shipped to Australia from the US, Asia and Europe.</p> <p>“Cartel conduct, such as that engaged in by K-Line,” <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">said</a> Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) chair Rod Sims, “not only cheats consumers and other businesses through inflated prices and costs, but also restricts healthy economic growth and discourages innovation.”</p> <p>The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) laid the charges <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/criminal-cartel-charges-laid-against-k-line">in November 2016</a>. K-Line ultimately pleaded guilty <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/second-shipping-company-pleads-guilty-to-criminal-cartel-conduct">in April last year</a>. And on <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">2 August this year</a>, the Federal Court ordered the largest ever criminal fine imposed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (the CC Act).</p> <p><strong>Federal Court proceedings</strong></p> <p>K-Line was charged with <a href="https://incompetition.com.au/2019/08/heavy-fines-on-the-high-seas-for-criminal-cartel-conduct/">39 counts</a> of giving effect to a cartel provision, contrary to <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45ag.html">section 45AG</a> of the CC Act. The Japanese company subsequently agreed to plead guilty to a single merged (or ‘rolled up’) charge under the section.</p> <p>The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine not exceeding the greater of three options. The first is a $10 million fine. The second is the total value of the benefits gained by the conduct. And the third is 10 percent of the firm’s earnings over the 12 months prior to committing the offence.</p> <p>In the case of K-Line, the third option applied. This meant that the maximum penalty was $100 million. The court held that the company should be fined $48 million. However, due to its early guilty plea, a 28 percent discount was allowed, which brought the fine down to $34.5 million.</p> <p>Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">said that</a> the penalty “should send a powerful message” that “anti-competitive conduct will not be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly”, when it comes before the court.</p> <p><strong>Cartel conduct</strong></p> <p>The ACCC is an independent federal government authority charged with protecting consumer rights, ensuring business obligations and preventing illegal anti-competitive behaviour, which includes investigating cartel activities.</p> <p>The anti-competitive actions of cartels are known as cartel conduct. This includes price fixing, dividing up markets so each participant is shielded from competition, rigging bids and controlling output of or limiting the goods and services available to consumers.</p> <p>The commission states <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/anti-competitive-behaviour/cartels#report-a-cartel-apply-for-immunity">on its website</a> that cartels are not only “illegal and immoral” because they “cheat consumers”, but as well, they “restrict healthy economic growth” through outcomes, such as artificially increasing prices, reducing innovation, increasing taxes and destroying other businesses.</p> <p>Under its investigative powers, the ACCC can compel individuals and companies to provide information regarding any suspect behaviour, it can seek warrants from a magistrate, which can be executed at a company’s premises, and it can notify the AFP about any cartel conduct.</p> <p>On 15 August 2014, the ACCC and the CDPP signed a memorandum of understanding regarding cartel conduct, which sees the commission in charge of investigating serious misconduct and referring it onto to the CDPP for prosecution considerations.</p> <p><strong>Further cartel offences</strong></p> <p>Under the CC Act, along with section 45AG, there’s another criminal cartel offence contained in <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45af.html">section 45AF</a>, which involves a corporation making a contract or agreement that contains a cartel provision as part of it. The same penalties apply as under 45AG.</p> <p><a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45aj.html">Section 45AJ</a> of the CC Act makes it a civil offence for a corporation to make a contract containing a cartel provision, while <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45ak.html">section 45AK</a> makes is a civil offence for a corporation to give effect to a cartel provision.</p> <p><a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s79.html">Section 79</a> of the CC Act provides that an individual who contravenes, or attempts to contravene, the <a href="https://nswcourts.com.au/articles/proving-criminal-charges-main-and-alternative-charges/">criminal offences</a>under sections 45AF and 45AG has committed a crime. And such a person can be sentenced to up to 10 years imprisonment or fined $420,000.</p> <p>The ACCC makes clear that it’s “illegal for a corporation to indemnify its officers against legal costs and any financial penalties”.</p> <p><strong>The Harper reforms</strong></p> <p>The K-Line conviction follows that of another corporation involved in the same cartel. On 3 August 2017, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/nyk-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-25-million">was convicted</a> and fined $25 million over its cartel conduct. And there are investigations continuing into other alleged cartel members.</p> <p>The NYK conviction marked the first successful prosecution under the new cartel criminal provisions of the CC Act, which came in as part of the <a href="https://www.australiancompetitionlaw.org/hottopics/harperreforms.html">2017 Harper reforms</a>. These were recommended in the <a href="http://competitionpolicyreview.gov.au/files/2015/03/Competition-policy-review-report_online.pdf">March 2015 Competition Policy Review report</a>.</p> <p>Two pieces of legislation were passed in parliament in late 2017, which amended the CC Act. The reforms simplified local cartel laws in ways that included narrowing jurisdictional reach, extending the provisions to apply to acquisitions of goods and services and increasing the standard of proof.</p> <p><strong>Ongoing prosecutions</strong></p> <p>And the third prosecution under the new laws is now underway. On 23 August, the CDPP <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/global-shipping-company-wallenius-wilhelmsen-charged-with-criminal-cartel-conduct">laid charges</a> related to alleged cartel conduct in the NSW District Registry of the Federal Court against Norwegian-based global shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean.</p> <p>The charges relate to the shipping of vehicles to Australia over the period June 2011 to July 2012. This matter has already been investigated and prosecuted in a number of other jurisdictions around the globe, including the United States.</p> <p>ACCC chair Sims <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/global-shipping-company-wallenius-wilhelmsen-charged-with-criminal-cartel-conduct">explained in a recent statement</a> that “this is the third prosecution involving an international shipping company engaging in alleged cartel conduct where criminal charges have been laid under the Competition and Consumer Act”.</p> <p>The commission declined to comment further on the case, as it is currently before the courts. And the first mention of the matter was set to be made last Thursday.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/cartel-offences-in-australia-the-crime-of-anti-competitive-conduct/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

Cruising

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5 things that you should never do on a cruise

<p><strong>Constantly complain</strong></p> <p>There’s no reason to be rude if something doesn’t go your way during the cruise. Polite people never take issues out on crew members, according to Emilie Dulles, an event protocol and etiquette expert. “The crew is there to ensure that every traveller has the best experience onboard possible, yet they are also skilled human beings who should be treated with respect, grace, and kindness,” Dulles says. “Nothing is as tacky as yelling at a server, or complaining at the turn-down staff for forgetting an extra blanket, or hitting on a mixologist after one too many daiquiris.” Pay respect and attention to cruise workers.</p> <p><strong>Drink too much</strong></p> <p>Everyone should enjoy their cruise, and if that means sipping on fruity cocktails, that’s your business. If drinking regularly isn’t something you do, or you don’t know how to handle your liquor, it could lead to lots of rude behaviour. “Inhibitions go down as blood alcohol content goes up, so to avoid embarrassing oneself and disrupting other travellers’ cruise experience, it’s more polite to keep one’s cocktail count in check,” Dulles says.</p> <p><strong>Let kids run wild</strong></p> <p>Many families don’t keep a close eye on their kids while on a cruise, Dulles says. “There are assigned areas for children to run, jump, and be themselves with full energy under the supervision of trained staff,” Dulles says. “The entire ship is not their playground.” Polite people recognise that not all cruise travellers want to see or hear kids all the time. Mind the signs that show what areas are only for adults, families, or kids. “By respecting those boundaries, not only will children enjoy themselves more, but also adults will be able to relax and make the most of their time at sea.” Some cruises are especially for families.</p> <p><strong>Hoard food</strong></p> <p>All-inclusive food is very alluring. It’s easy to take things to the extreme. And although the buffet is tempting, remember not to be wasteful. “When it comes to the all-inclusive aspect of cruise voyages, many travellers will see this as an opportunity of getting as much as possible out of their fare,” Dulles says. “By piling more food than they can consume on their buffet plate and ordering cocktail after cocktail just because they can, travellers can be very wasteful and inconsiderate towards the crew who spends a lot of time and energy putting together the meals and drinks available.” Instead, take enough food for one sitting. You can always choose to go back for seconds, but this is more elegant than throwing away platefuls of perfectly good food.</p> <p><strong>Dress inappropriately</strong></p> <p>During the daytime, there are generally no dress code requirements on cruises. Tsai notes, however, if you plan on a formal dining experience with other guests, dress appropriately for the occasion. Generally, dress code requirements for the evening are in the cruise’s daily program, according to Tsai.</p> <p><em>Written by Emily DiNuzzo. This article first appeared in<a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/10-things-polite-people-never-do-on-cruises?slide=all"> Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> </em></span></p> <p> </p>

Cruising

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5 things polite people just don't do on cruises

<p>Cruises are a wonderful opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy the water and sun. Don’t let rude people ruin your cruise – better still, before booking a cruise, learn not to be one of those people who ruin someone else’s holiday.</p> <p><strong>Argue in the cabin</strong></p> <p>Especially late at night, be courteous. “Cruise ship rooms tend to have thin walls; therefore you always want to be respectful when you’re walking through hallways so as not to disturb other guests,” says Bonnie Tsai, founder and director of Beyond Etiquette. “This also includes being as quiet as you can when you’re inside your cabin.” Cruisers who really want to avoid as much noise as possible shouldn’t book their room under the gym or pool deck, if possible.</p> <p><strong>Pretend the cruise is a personal yacht</strong></p> <p>The ship is your home away from home for a set amount of time. You should still keep in mind your behaviour and presentation, according to Tsai. “There’s no need to show off your immense collection of expensive jewellery or wear lingerie or PJs in the hallways,” she says. There are plenty of other guests sharing the same space, and they may not want to see your plaid PJs.</p> <p><strong>Hog lounge chairs</strong></p> <p>It’s impolite to save seats for your family and friends, whether it’s by the pool or in the theatre. Tsai says if you must save a seat, do so for only 30 minutes. Ships have a limited amount of seating, so be mindful. Another important tip to keep in mind is if your group wants to sit together, show up at the same time. “If it’s a situation where every lounger is sure to be occupied by 10 am, many cruises allow guests to place towels on loungers for a maximum of 30 minutes before they arrive,” Tsai says. “Gauge the situation and act with consideration for other guests.” Don’t fall for one of the most common cruise misconceptions, either.</p> <p><strong>Spread germs</strong></p> <p>If you’re not feeling so great during your cruise, do your best to keep your germs to yourself. “When one person is sick on a cruise, it’s easy for the whole ship to get infected as everyone’s staying in close quarters,” Tsai says. If you feel a cold coming on, try to avoid being in overly-crowded areas, so you don’t get others sick as well. And always cover your mouth with the nook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.</p> <p><strong>Skip the tip</strong></p> <p>Many major cruise lines charge a daily fee for tips, but lots of people have confusion about tipping, according to Tsai. Confirm the tipping policy before booking your cruise. “If the cruise line doesn’t include tip in your payment, be sure to factor that into your budget when you plan for your trip,” Tsai says. “If tipping isn’t included and there is a standard tipping policy, then be sure to deliver it to the staff who’s helped you during your trip.” If tipping is expected, it’s customary for room service, dining services, childcare, and any additional alcohol.</p> <p><em>Written by Emily DiNuzzo. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/10-things-polite-people-never-do-on-cruises?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> </em></span></p>

Cruising

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What to pack for a cruise – and 6 things not to bring

<p><strong>Cruise essentials</strong></p> <p>Packing for a cruise is a lot like packing for any other holiday. You’ll want to bring comfy walking shoes for sightseeing and to leave your best jewellery at home. But there are other items – beyond seasickness medications – that expert cruisers never set sail without. Here, a few of our favourite professional cruisers tell us what you’ll find in their suitcases.</p> <p><strong>Do: Stash all your pool items in your carry-on bag</strong></p> <p>“You may not see your checked bag until late on your first day on board,” says Gene Sloan, cruise editor of USA Today. “It can take hours from the time you drop your bag off with the ship-side porters for it to arrive up in your room.” As a result, when we asked him what to pack for a cruise, he recommended stashing your swimsuit, sunglasses and suntan lotion in your day bag so you have them available immediately upon arrival.</p> <p><strong>Do: Pack clothing that can be layered</strong></p> <p> “Weather from port to port can vary significantly,” explains Colleen McDaniel, senior executive editor of CruiseCritic.com. “Packing layers can help combat temperature changes, without the need to pack multiple outfits that can take up precious room in your suitcase.” McDaniel adds that this is especially important in places where the weather is unpredictable.</p> <p><strong>Don’t: Leave home without sunscreen and aloe vera</strong> “Chances are you’ll get more sun than you’re used to,” says McDaniel. “And while a good sunscreen can keep you from getting burned, aloe vera will give you some relief if you do.” So when you’re thinking about what to pack for a cruise, remember to buy the sunscreen and after-sun lotion at home – you could end up paying a markup on many ships.</p> <p><strong>Do: Bring a portable charger or two</strong></p> <p>If you’re someone who doesn’t like to unplug during a vacation, this one is a biggie – especially if you have more than one device or spend hours on social media or email. “You won’t have easy access to outlets around the ship,” explains Fran Golden, chief contributor of Porthole magazine. “And there may be a limited number of outlets in your cabin.”</p> <p><strong>Do: Toss your portable mug in your bag</strong></p> <p>Cruise ships often have complimentary coffee, and it’s usually part of the deck buffet. But your cabin isn’t, so many people go up on deck, grab a couple mugs of coffee first thing in the morning, and burn themselves as they walk back to their cabin. Mike Jirout, founder of the Ship Mate App, has this clever suggestion in his blog: If you’re a big coffee drinker, pack a portable mug with a lid in your suitcase. Travelling with kids? You’ll want sippy cups for their morning milk or juice.</p> <p><strong>Do: Throw in some kitchen magnets</strong></p> <p>“Little-known fact for those who haven’t cruised before: Cruise cabin walls are made of steel,” says McDaniel. “Packing magnets – or magnetic hooks – can help keep track of daily programs and other loose papers, or make it easy to hang items that need to dry. We’ve also used heavy-duty magnetic hooks for stashing away cameras, lanyards and even binoculars.”</p> <p><strong>Do: Bring along a marker board</strong></p> <p>If you’re travelling with a group of friends or family, magnetic marker boards are handy to bring along, says McDaniel. “Hang one outside your cabin door so that you can leave notes for your travel companions.” Now, you’ll never miss out on meeting spots or reservation details.</p> <p><strong>Do: Pick up a pashmina</strong></p> <p>Just because you’re heading to a tropical region, doesn’t mean you won’t want to bring a cover-up to use on board. “I always pack a shawl (a tan cashmere is my go-to-these days), even in tropical climates,” explains Golden, “because sometimes the air-conditioning on ships is intense.” Also, as ships reach full speed, the wind on outdoor decks picks up, and you’ll be happy you brought along a wrap.</p> <p><strong>Do: Pack plenty of reading material</strong></p> <p> “Make sure you have a couple of books on your Kindle or iPad, because for once in your busy life, on a cruise ship you will actually have time to read,” says Golden. “Sometimes I’ll even pick novels based on the destination where I am cruising, or a sea theme. If I have a balcony cabin, the balcony becomes my favourite reading spot.”</p> <p><em>Written by Sherri Eisenberg. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/what-to-pack-for-a-cruise-and-6-things-not-to-bring"><em>Reader’s Digest.</em></a><em> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><em><u> </u></em></p>

Cruising