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"Glad to be alive": 12-year-old takes 20m tumble on Uluru climb

<p><span>A 12-year-old girl has fallen at least 20 metres while climbing Uluru, two weeks before the iconic sandstone rock is closed to climbers.</span></p> <p><span> The South Australian girl, who was travelling with her parents and younger brother, was reportedly descending from the summit of the 348-metre tall rock on Sunday when she lost her footing and fell.</span></p> <p><span>The girl was then carried to the base of the rock and treated at the Yulara clinic before being flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Alice Springs hospital.</span></p> <p><span>“Apparently, it was about a 20 to 30-metre fall,” Troy Dicks, flight nurse with the RFDS told <em><a href="https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-15/12-year-old-girl-survives-20m-fall-on-uluru-climb/11604452?pfmredir=sm">ABC</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>“On the steep decline, she’s actually got a run up, she’s actually dived and rolled.”</span></p> <p><span>Dicks said the 12-year-old suffered an ankle injury, a compound fracture on her finger and grazes.</span></p> <p><span>“She apparently had a nasty finger injury that was dressed and cleaned,” Dicks said. </span></p> <p><span>“It was a compound fracture. So there was bone showing.</span></p> <p><span>“She also had an ankle injury. I’m not sure whether it was broken or not but it was certainly swollen and deformed.”</span></p> <p><span>A spokesperson from the Alice Springs Hospital confirmed that the patient is in a stable condition.</span></p> <p><span>Dicks said the patient was “surprisingly well and in good spirits”.</span></p> <p><span>“She just realised how lucky she was and was very glad to be alive.”</span></p> <p><span>Michael Misso, general manager at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park told <em><a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/girl-12-injured-in-fall-on-uluru/news-story/9e29ed409e11b1c6ad57848f1192e8b6?from=htc_rss">Sky News</a> </em>that park rangers are working hard to manage the visitors’ safety.</span></p> <p>“Ultimately people need to take responsibility for their own actions and safety, but we give advice on how to stay safe from the base of the climb,” Misso said.</p>

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Walking nightmare: Invasive fish that moves and breathes on land

<p><span>US wildlife officials have warned the public to kill an invasive fish species that can survive on land upon contact.</span></p> <p><span>The warning came after an angler caught the northern snakehead fish this month in a pond in Gwinnett County, the first time the species was found in Georgia waters.</span></p> <p><span>“Thanks to the quick report by an angler, our staff was able to investigate and confirm the presence of this species in this water body,” said Matt Thomas, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. </span></p> <p><span>“We are now taking steps to determine if they have spread from this water body and, hopefully, keep it from spreading to other Georgia waters.”</span></p> <p><span>Snakeheads are native to Asia. They are long, thin, have a dark brown blotchy appearance and can grow up to a metre in length. They can also breathe air and survive and move on land for <a href="https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/snakehead-fish-survive-on-land/">a few days</a>.</span></p> <p><span>The fish is considered invasive in the state as it affects native species by competing for food and habitat. </span></p> <p><span>Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources urged fishers and anglers who catch snakeheads in the area to kill it immediately, take pictures of the fish and make note of the location they were caught in, such as the waterbody, landmarks or GPS coordinates.</span></p> <p><span>In some Australian states snakeheads are categorised as <a href="https://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Sustainability-and-Environment/Aquatic-Biosecurity/Translocations-Moving-Live-Fish/Pages/Noxious-Banned-Fish.aspx">noxious</a> fish, which <a href="https://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/aquatics/aquatic_pests/search_aquatic_pest_species/snakehead">threatens the natural environment</a> and the <a href="https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1398842/ipa-prohibited-restricted-fish-fact-sheet.pdf">biodiversity and abundance of native species</a>.</span></p>

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Against the Odds: Surviving the world's worst tsunami and overcoming trauma

<p>What exactly is <em>Against the Odds</em> about? Well, on Boxing Day, 2004 I was smashed by the Indian Ocean tsunami in southern Sri Lanka. I survived - I'm not entirely sure how - but the resort I was staying at and others nearby were destroyed. In fact, thousands of people died all around me in what turned out to be the worst hit part of Sri Lanka. There was nuclear-level destruction right across the area. The disaster was sudden, violent, catastrophic.</p> <p>Getting out of there was a challenge, but when I managed to return home, I was haunted by apocalyptic dreams and terrifying memories. The whole event kept running through my mind like a movie on a loop. I didn't know it, but I had classic symptoms of severe traumatic stress. </p> <p>Luckily, a friend mentioned a trauma psychologist who had treated Thredbo landslide survivor Stuart Diver, and seeing him became the first step in a race to avoid PTSD that involved using approaches at the cutting edge of neuropsychology.</p> <p>I'm a travel writer, so there's nothing I love more than heading off on new adventures. But sometimes travel can go horribly wrong. In my case it meant facing the immediate, unexpected prospect of sudden death. But despite that, surviving against the odds, overcoming trauma and living on borrowed time has turned out to be liberating and exciting. '<em>Against the Odds</em>' is available on <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07CZCHX8S/">Amazon</a></em> and Smashwords as an ebook or in print at <em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/against…/prod9781925739947.html">Booktopia</a>, <a href="https://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Against-Odds-John-Maddocks/9781925739947">Fishpond</a>, <a href="https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/against-the-odds-john-maddocks/p/9781925739947">Angus and Robertson</a> or <a href="https://themoshshop.com.au/products/against-the-odds-by-john-maddocks?_pos=1&amp;_sid=ee08cd75c&amp;_ss=r">The Mosh Shop</a></em>.</p> <p>You can also listen to the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/the-writer-john-maddocks/10017398"><em>ABC Radio Nightlife</em></a> program interview I did.</p> <p><span>The following is a harrowing extract from "</span><em>Against the Odds: Surviving the world's worst tsunami and overcoming trauma</em>".</p> <p>Miriam and Preethi were the owners of Mangrove Garden in Tangalle, Sri Lanka, where we were staying.</p> <p>I walk out of our cabana into the quiet pre-dawn of Boxing Day. Low lighting spread throughout the gardens allows me to distinguish the outlines of the other cabana rooms and the new two-storey building workers have been rushing to complete over the last few days. It is due to be occupied by tourists for the first time tomorrow.</p> <p>The sky is clear and there is no wind. As I walk on the sand I see a lone fisherman strolling along the edge of the lagoon near the point where water sometimes overflows down the beach.  </p> <p>The sunrise is as spectacular as Miriam described. Colours change from red to gold as the sun’s orb slowly rises above the horizon, enlivening the colours of the sand and the trees.</p> <p>I walk further to photograph a small fishing boat that has been pulled up onto the beach. A European man passes me on the beach, stopping occasionally to pick up shells. A local dog appears from behind some coconut trees and straggles behind him. Waves lap the shore and the ocean seems to be calmer than usual.</p> <p>When the sun is well above the ocean I return to the resort and notice that the light is perfect for photographing the restaurant, which is attractive because of its thatched roof and open design. Half-a-dozen tables and chairs are spread along the front and there is a bar in the corner. Timber panelling conceals the kitchen at the rear of the building.</p> <p>While composing the photo I am delighted to see a squirrel dart across the roof. The sun behind me is still so low that I have to avoid my shadow creeping into the foreground. As I take the shot, I have no way of knowing that in exactly two hours both the restaurant and my camera will be destroyed.</p> <p>As it is approaching 8 am, I sit in the restaurant and order a pot of tea. One of the young male staff members is cleaning the tables. He looks tired from staying up all night at the wake for his uncle who died several days earlier.</p> <p>The temperature is already in the 30s. Miriam walks past the restaurant on her way to the beach, and we exchange greetings. I ask for another cup and saucer and take tea back to Cheryl in our room. The sun is highlighting the orange bagged-brick of our cabana and even the corrugated asbestos roof appears brighter in the early morning light.</p> <p>Inside there is a timber-lined 5-metre-high cathedral ceiling. The bed is a queen-sized polished concrete base 60 centimetres high with a latex mattress on top.                                                                               </p> <p>While walking to the cabana I have no idea how significant the design, building materials and position of our room will be to my survival that day.</p> <p>I wake Cheryl and give her the tea. Then I lie down on the bed and fall asleep.</p> <p>“John, wake up! Wake up!” Cheryl shouts.  “Something terrible is happening!”</p> <p>She is already out of bed and rushing to the window. The extreme urgency in her voice jolts me out of my deep tropical sleep and into full consciousness in seconds. I hear a roaring, rumbling, hissing sound outside that is as loud as a low-flying jet plane.</p> <p>As I reach the window I see water half-a-metre-deep tearing across the ground in front of our building. One of the boys on the staff is running frantically in front of it.</p> <p> “We have to get out of here,” Cheryl screams above the noise as she opens the door of our room. “I’m going!”</p> <p>We have seconds in which to make vital decisions. There is no time to deliberate.</p> <p>“No, no! Don’t go outside! Shut the door!” I shout back and Cheryl slams the door closed.</p> <p>Now the water of a second wave is up to our windowsill and is pouring in under the door. Thinking that perhaps this is as high as the water will reach, I try to close the window. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I glimpse a massive, 10-metre-high wall of water. A surge of gut-wrenching, fear-induced adrenaline races through my body.</p> <p>“Quick, get on the bed, get on the bed,” I shout above the deafening roar of water.</p> <p>We jump onto the bed, which is the highest point in the room. As we turn to face the front window, the glass smashes in and the window frames break away. The door of our room is snapped off its hinges by the enormous pressure of the water, then flicks up onto a torrent and comes flying towards us. I deflect it with my shoulder just as the mass of water slams me against the back wall and knocks Cheryl off the bed.</p> <p>Cheryl has her eyes open under water and looks out through the space where the front window used to be. Strangely, the water is perfectly clear and she sees trees and building debris racing past.</p> <p>As Cheryl surfaces she screams “We are going to die! We are going to die!” I have never heard this chilling tone in her voice before.</p> <p>“We are not going to die!” I yell, trying to overcome my feeling of terror.</p> <p>Cheryl can barely swim, so I grab her as the torrent surges higher and try to keep her head above the water. I push off the bed towards the ceiling, holding Cheryl up in front of me. When I surface we are less than 30 centimetres from the apex of the cathedral ceiling and the water is still rising. I can’t avoid gulping down some seawater as I struggle to keep us both afloat. </p> <p>“Please, please – no more! No more!” Cheryl gasps. She knows at that moment that this is how her life will end. She remembers reading that drowning is a pleasant way to die. She even visualises her floating body being retrieved later and identified by our children.</p> <p>“We are NOT going to die!” I shout again. “It’s not my karma to die now!”</p> <p>For some reason I don’t think about dying throughout the disaster. Pumped with adrenaline, I focus entirely on survival. The tsunami is so powerful, and the situation so fast moving and chaotic that I lose any sense of self. I am simply acting on instinctive, primal responses to fear that must be embedded in the human nervous system. But some recess of my mind seems to be ice cold, diamond hard.</p> <p>I desperately try to keep our heads above the ocean swirling in our room. I think that if it gets any higher I will try to swim out the window underwater with Cheryl.</p> <p>Time slows. We cling to each other near the ceiling for what seems like long minutes. We wait for the inevitable surge of water that will fill this air pocket and drown us. At any moment the cabana could collapse and bury us under tons of bricks and timber. </p> <p>But miraculously the water doesn’t rise further. It subsides slightly and I grab the latex mattress that has floated up. We hang onto it as we swirl around. The door, a cupboard and a travel bag are whirling around the room with us. Then the water subsides a little more and, shortly afterwards, all the water drains out of the room in a rush and we are on the floor.</p> <p>We look at each other, dazed. We are surrounded by a soggy mattress, some broken cane furniture and a few items that have been dislodged from our open bags. I notice my medical kit in its distinctive green and purple container. The door of the room is lodged on the concrete bed base but all the windows, including the frames, have gone completely, torn out by the force of the water.</p> <p>The roof of the building gives a threatening creak, as if it’s about to cave in on top of us. I follow Cheryl quickly out the door onto our veranda. The steps have been washed away and the veranda roof is leaning at a sharp angle, as if poised to drop. I look down the veranda to the room adjoining ours, but instead of seeing bricks I look through a cavernous space where the end wall had been and see the receded sea in the distance. Then I notice that the restaurant, which had been in front of and to the left of our building, has gone. The only indication that it had ever existed is a concrete slab.</p> <p>I glance towards a nearby cabana built in line with ours and some 20 metres away. A concrete slab and some ornate concrete veranda posts lie where the building had been. A middle aged German man has been staying there and I briefly wonder what has happened to him.</p> <p>As I try to comprehend the level of devastation I turn towards the lagoon at the rear of the property and see that the small ayurvedic clinic behind our cabana is also gone. But further back a new two-storey brick building, which was completed only a few days ago, is still standing. The bottom has been gutted, with the doors and windows gone, but there are half-a-dozen young guys who work at Mangrove Garden on the roof. God know how they got up there.</p> <p>I take a welcome piss off the end of the veranda. My heart is thumping in my ears and I have a lifetime’s worth of adrenaline pumping through my body. As I’m urinating I hear someone calling to me, and look up to see Preethi sliding down a tall coconut tree behind our cabana. The tree is 15 metres high, but he is wet and has lost the sarong he usually wears around his waist. As Preethi reaches the bottom dressed only in his shirt and underwear he looks at me and asks “how are you still alive? The water went metres over the roof of your room.”</p> <p>         “If I’d known the fucking waves were so big here I would have brought my surfboard,” I tell him.</p> <p>         “What was it? What was it that happened?” he asks in disbelief.</p> <p>         “It’s called a tsunami,” I say. “We all have to get out of here now, because it could come again.”</p> <p>Preethi is in shock, having just watched the destruction of nearly everything he has worked for in the last five years. I don’t know it then, but when Preethi was clinging to the top of the coconut tree for dear life he watched two of the resort staff get washed into the lagoon and then swirled out the lagoon mouth into the Indian Ocean.</p>

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Hunt still on for rogue boa constrictor that could threaten kids and pets

<p>A snake catcher has issued a warning after a missing boa constrictor is on the loose in Sydney’s west. The reptile could pose a danger to a small child, cat or dog as authorities rush to locate the snake.</p> <p>The snake, which is estimated to be 2.5 metres long, was residing on a property on Torumba Circuit in Silverdale yesterday before it made its escape.</p> <p>The final clue left by the constrictor was freshly-shed snakeskin, found hanging from timber at a construction site inside Cascade Estates.</p> <p>Sean Cade, a local snake catcher working with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to locate the whereabouts of the serpent said the creature could be a credible danger to residents in the area.</p> <p>“This is a 2.5 metre snake, it’s the thickness of my calf muscle. It is quite a big, heavy robust snake and these guys take down prey four times their size so it’s quite easy to take a full-size cat, a small-size dog, a rabbit, guinea pig – that sort of thing,” he said.</p> <p>“It depends on what it was fed during captivity, is what it’ll be chasing.</p> <p>“If it comes across a small child, that’ll be the concern DPI and myself have. We’re just worried it’s going to get into a backyard and potentially a kid might startle it and the snake could lunge out and grab it.”</p> <p>Mr Cade said that ever since news broke out of the escaped snake, he’s been hit with multiple calls from concerned residents.</p> <p>“It’s still ongoing, obviously with this reptile on the loose some backyards are in danger of encountering this thing,” he said.</p> <p>“I had a couple of calls last night about a guy who had a couple of dachshunds, he was worried about his sausage dogs.</p> <p>“A couple of other people heard noises in their roof, so I had to crawl around their roof space last night looking for this snake.</p> <p>Boa constrictors are illegal in New South Wales outside of zoos.</p> <p>The DPI said they were a “serious threat” to wildlife and humans.</p>

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Young boy reels in massive record-breaking shark

<p>An eight-year-old Australian boy is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame after reeling in a monster shark last weekend.</p> <p>Jayden Millauro caught a tiger shark weighing 314 kilograms, which beats the previous 1997 world record holder by 2 kilograms.</p> <p>Jayden explained to Nine News that he had been fishing since he was one-and-a-half and was with his father Jonathan Millauro and captain Ibby Dardas when he caught the monster shark.</p> <p>"The adrenalin was pumping from the moment we all spotted the shark at the boat," Jayden's dad Mr Millauro told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/shark-world-record-boy-nsw-port-hacking-081535670.html" target="_blank">Nine News</a></em>.</p> <p>"So Jayden grabs the rod, we harnessed him up."</p> <p>The family is currently waiting for confirmation on whether or not Jayden holds the world record, the Australian record as well as the NSW record for the monster shark.</p> <p>The trio were out fishing off the coast of Browns Mountain, which is 160kms south of Sydney.</p> <p>Jayden weighs around 40 kilograms himself, so hauling in the fish was no small feat.</p> <p>He admitted to<span> </span><em>The Daily Telegraph</em><span> </span>that he was nervous he’d lose the fish off the line.</p> <p>“I don’t want to lose it. I was really excited when they got it,” he told the<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/eightyearold-challenges-world-record-with-314kg-tiger-shark/news-story/0bd69f800d41d9524ba4d9e0e10248dc" target="_blank">Daily Telegraph.</a><span> </span></em></p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Jayden with the record breaking shark.</p>

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The gobsmacking reason one motorist was fined $173 – and it could have been much worse

<p>A Queensland motorist says he was given a $173 fine and one demerit point for a seemingly innocent reason - taking a sip of water behind the wheel. </p> <p>Brock Harris, told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-10/man-fined-for-drinking-water-at-the-wheel/11589030?sf221211951=1" target="_blank"><em>ABC Radio Brisbane</em><span> </span></a>he was driving home to Beaudesert about 70km from Brisbane after a long 12-hour work day, when he was pulled over by police. </p> <p>He told the radio station he’d taken a sip from his 600ml plastic bottle of water as he was turning onto his street, when an officer directed his lights at him. </p> <p>“As I was pulling into my street I was pulled over by the police and told it was illegal to drink anything while driving,” he told<span> </span>ABC’s<span> </span>Rebecca Levingston.</p> <p>The police officer reportedly told Mr Harris that he was being issued a $173 fine and one demerit point as a result of him “not paying due care and attention”.</p> <p>“If it is against the law then I’ll pay the fine, but it’s not compassionate to fine someone on a 39-degree day (for trying to) stay hydrated,” he said.</p> <p>“The policeman told me there was nothing I could do and he was doing his job — but I am going to challenge the fine.”</p> <p>A Queensland Police spokesperson told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/motoring/on-the-road/driver-says-he-was-fined-173-and-a-demerit-point-for-drinking-water/news-story/08fc919677de7e426f047fe003f82806" target="_blank">news.com.au </a></em>that fines are usually issued under such circumstances if the action causes the driver to not be in control of their vehicle. </p> <p>Queensland Police Superintendent David Johnson’ also reaffirmed the same sentiment, saying there are many drivers who consume drinks safely on the road. </p> <p>“For us to issue a fine we have to look at the circumstances to see if the driver’s actions are causing risks to themselves or others,” he said.</p> <p>“Driving without due care and attention was once put before court, but these days it’s a traffic infringement notice that is issued.”</p> <p>The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads website says driving without due care and attention carries a hefty $533 fine and three demerit points. </p> <p>A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson noted that the on-the-spot fine for a driver not having proper control of a vehicle is $311.</p> <p>“We all have a role to play in road safety,” they said.</p> <p>“Distracted drivers are a danger not only to themselves and their passengers, but to other road users as well. It only takes a split second to lose your concentration.”</p>

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Fed up: Motel owner responds to bad reviews with harsh replies and home truths

<p>A motel owner has caused a stir with his harsh replies to negative online reviews, slamming past guests as “stupid”, “fatlips” and “a pest”.</p> <p>As of Thursday, the Huskisson Beach Motel in Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast had 419 reviews, 67 of which were rated as “poor” or “terrible”.</p> <p>Owner John Nixon began responding to bad reviews in 2015.</p> <p>After staying with family at the accommodation last month, one guest described it as “an awful place”, with blinds that were too small for the window and a toaster but no knife to butter bread.</p> <p>“Sorry that your stomach blocked you from using the blinds, kettle and toaster!” Nixon replied.</p> <p>“Glad you and your family never return as you have been banned from all properties in the area :)”</p> <p>In February, a guest left a one out of five stars review. “We were disappointed in the fact that the room cost us $305 per night an we were not even allocated biscuits in the room,” the person wrote. “The manager was so rude and unhelpful that I was truly disappointed and upset with the stay.”</p> <p>In a response that has now been removed by TripAdvisor, Nixon wrote, “My staff are highly trained in managing f***tards like yourself!</p> <p>“Please don’t come back again!</p> <p>“PS. We hope you changed that same shirt you were wearing for three days as it was a big job to deodorise the room once you had left!”</p> <p>Nixon also told another guest who complained about being allocated a room without a balcony, “The reason you have given this one-star review is due to your stupidity of NOT checking the exact description online!”</p> <p>Nixon told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/a-current-affair-nsw-hotel-owner-insults-bad-review-customers/f64e81fd-2d33-4968-b917-cb92ad2be68a">A Current Affair</a> </em>that his replies to the guests – which has included phrases such as “stinky guest”, “oxygen thieves”, “fruitloop”, “stupid idiot”, and “a pest” – was justified given the problems he had to deal with on a day-to-day basis, such as dirtied rooms.</p> <p>“I’ll charge them an excess cleaning fee, and then again they’ll put a one-star review on Google, TripAdvisor,” Nixon said.</p>

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The one phrase you DON’T want to hear on your flight

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A pilot has revealed some of the secret phrases used between the crew and what they mean.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pilot Patrick Smith, who wrote the book </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cockpit Confidential</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, has revealed the technical jargon used by crew on his website </span><em><a href="http://www.askthepilot.com/how-to-speak-airline/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ask The Pilot</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of them mean good news and others, well, not so much.</span></p> <p><strong>Deadhead</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A crew member or pilot is someone who is trying to change locations for another job.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"A deadheading pilot or flight attendant is one re-positioning as part of an on-duty assignment,” clarified Smith.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"This is not the same as commuting to work or engaging in personal travel."</span></p> <p><strong>Holding pattern</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A holding pattern can be bad news for passengers who want to land on time, as this phrase means that the plane can be forced to fly overhead due to external issues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"A racetrack-shaped course flown during weather or traffic delays,” explained Smith.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Published holding patterns are depicted on aeronautical charts, but one can be improvised almost anywhere."</span></p> <p><strong>Final approach</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This just means that you’re not too far from landing at the airport.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Smith says:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"For pilots, a plane is on final approach when it has reached the last, straight-in segment of the landing pattern — that is, aligned with the extended centreline of the runway, requiring no additional turns or manoeuvring."</span></p> <p><strong>Air pocket</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An air pocket is a phrase used to explain a sudden jolt of turbulence.</span></p> <p><strong>Ground stop</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This phrase means you’re in for a delay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Patrick says this means that departures are going to be backlogged due to an issue such as air traffic control, meaning the plane might not be able to land in their designated slot.</span></p>

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"Everything is gone": Up to 20 properties lost in raging bushfires

<p>Bushfire season has well and truly started, with up to 20 properties being lost in an out-of-control bushfire in the NSW town of Rappville.</p> <p>The fires have continued to ravage parts of NSW and Queensland, with a fast-moving fire in Laidley, Queensland has forced the evacuation of 60 homes.</p> <p>In NSW, former ABC worker Carol Duncan has said that her father and his partner have lost “absolutely everything” in the fire in Busby’s Flat.</p> <p>“My father’s home has been destroyed. Everything is gone. Please help if you can,” she wrote on Twitter.</p> <p>“He has nothing. He’s been a battler his entire life. And what he did have is now a pile of ashes. I feel utterly helpless.” </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">From my father. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NSWfires?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NSWfires</a> 😭😭😭 <a href="https://t.co/uyQxH4rQ4C">pic.twitter.com/uyQxH4rQ4C</a></p> — Carol Duncan (@carolduncan) <a href="https://twitter.com/carolduncan/status/1181458929533865984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">8 October 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“When I spoke with Dad after they’d taken him to the school, he told me they’d ‘lost everything but the shed’. But I now know that the shed was also incinerated.”</p> <p>“So, the RFS people who went and got my Dad and his partner OUT OF THE SHED thanks to Twitter … saved my Dad’s life,” she said.</p> <p>Another Rappville resident, Danny Smith, shared his loss.</p> <p>“I’ve lost the bloody sheds, the house, lost everything.”</p> <p>“We might have saved the second place but everything else has gone.”</p> <p>Firefighters trying to battle the blaze are up against strong winds and hot conditions that are expected to continue for several hours.</p> <p>RFS spokesman Greg Allan said that the conditions aren’t looking to change until later in the week.</p> <p>“We’re probably not going to see any reprieve until tomorrow,” he told AAP.</p> <p>“We’ve been seeing very strong westerly winds pushing that fire towards the east, still very high temperatures and very low humidity.”</p> <p>One home was destroyed in Laidley, with residents saying that it was one of the worst fires they’ve ever seen.</p> <p>“I’ve lived here all my life, this is one of the worst fires I’ve ever seen,” Joan Body told the <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/house-lost-60-homes-evacuated-in-ferocious-fire/news-story/5b25d048a2755dafb513dd7e5c7867c4" target="_self"><em>Courier Mail</em></a>.</p> <p>“We don’t know really until we find our family and friends, if they’re alright.”</p>

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“Never been treated so poorly”: Stranded man’s fury at Jetstar after cancelled flight

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At least 100 passengers have been left in limbo in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands after airline giant Jetstar cancelled flights coming in and out of the area.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brenton Barker from the North Island in New Zealand was at Rarotonga Airport with his daughter before Jetstar cancelled their flight five minutes before the scheduled boarding time, which was 1:30 am.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s impacted a lot of people. It’s very ordinary. It’s just not acceptable for a professional carrier” Mr Barker told the </span><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&amp;objectid=12274047"><span style="font-weight: 400;">New Zealand Herald</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think the worst part about it is the lack of communication.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In 40 years of flying across the globe, never have I or my family been treated so poorly.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Jetstar spokesperson confirmed that the flight had been cancelled due to crew sickness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are working with all affected customers to re-accommodate them on alternative flights where possible or provide accommodation and meal allowances while we work hard to get them to their destination,” the spokesperson said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We appreciate this is very frustrating and apologise to our customers for the impact to their journey, however the safety of our crew and passengers is always our first priority.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Mr Barker wasn’t impressed as he wasn’t informed of the reason for the cancellation at the time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was the wee hours of the morning, everybody was tired. I think people there were pretty well behaved,” Mr Barker said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They did organise accommodation and they had a big line-up of the whole flight waiting.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But basically it was just a mess. The people there locally have done a fantastic job. They were struggling to even handle it.”</span></p>

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Paramedic bashed during charity ride holds no grudge against teen attackers

<p>Off-duty paramedic Daniel Mansbridge was seven kilometres into a 1000-kilometre charity ride for children’s cancer when he was pushed off his bicycle and beaten up by a group of teenagers on the south coast of New South Wales.</p> <p>The ambulance officer, who has 16 years’ experience was riding on the Windang Bridge, south of Wollongong when a teenager pushed him off his bike just after 11:00 am on Friday.</p> <p>According to Mr Mansbridge, he approached the teenager to inform him how dangerous his actions were and followed him down some stairs under the bridge.</p> <p>“His other two bigger mates saw me as a threat or something and started to punch me out, and when they finished I said to them I just wanted to have a word.”</p> <p>He is now dealing with bruising on his face and a fracture under his eyes that requires surgery.</p> <p>“I’m not going to hit kids,” said Mr Mansbridge, who went on to say that he finds it hard to understand what’s happening.</p> <p>“Bloody hell this isn’t good – they were just kids. I was shocked, I didn’t know what to do. I was just setting out for a big long ride and the next thing I know I was in the hospital.”</p> <p>He believes his attackers were also taken aback by the incident.</p> <p>“Afterwards, they actually went and got my bike and brought my bike down and made sure I was OK.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fabcillawarra%2Fposts%2F2569580803087757&amp;width=500" width="500" height="757" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“They said they were sorry and felt bad and helped me gather my things.</p> <p>“It was very confusing,” he said.</p> <p>“I think once I said to them, I just want to have a chat about how silly it was, they might have realised they’d gone too far.</p> <p>“I think, to be honest, it started off with a kid showing off to his mates and this is the consequence.”</p> <p>Mr Mansbridge said he chose not to retaliate and doesn’t want the kids to be charged.</p> <p>“We all make mistakes … we can learn a lesson and just be a bit more tolerant of people and aware of the consequences of your actions.”</p> <p>Chief Inspector Terry Morrow from the NSW Ambulance Service said the attack was extremely disturbing.</p> <p>“We are really proud of Daniel and other people in our service, out there riding for the community to raise money for kids with cancer and these sort of things,” he said.</p> <p>“All of a sudden to have one of our officers randomly hit on his bike trying to do the right thing, to receive the injuries that he has sustained, we are appalled by the whole situation.”</p> <p>Mr Mansbridge said that once he recovers from the attack, he plans on completing the charity ride.</p>

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Ship seized carrying $6m in illegal cargo – but it's not what anyone expected to find

<p>A ship containing 12.3 million illegally caught seahorses that was bound for Asia has been seized by Peruvian authorities.</p> <p>A Coast Guard ship detected the vessel “Adonay”, which was almost 200 miles off the  seaside city of Callao before it was steered back to Peru’s main seafood port.</p> <p>Officials said that the seahorses were illegally taken from Pacific Ocean waters and packed into 55 boxes that weighed more than 2,300 pounds.</p> <p>The seahorses were expected to be sold on the international market, as the small marine fish has a value of more than $6 million.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7831542/seahorse-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/60515ae019f74291bcfcdec5a842a075" /></p> <p>Investigators explained the reason behind the large number of seahorses, by explaining that they are viewed as a prime source of traditional Chinese medicine. The use of seahorses is thought to play a large role in curing infertility, baldness, asthma and arthritis.</p> <p>Authorities arrested three Peruvian men and a male Venezuelan national. The suspects face between three to five years in prison if they’re found guilty.</p> <p>Fishing, transportation and commercialisation of seahorses has been prohibited in Peru since August, 2004.</p> <p><em>Photo source: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gob.pe/institucion/produce/noticias/52025-produce-decomisa-mas-de-12-3-millones-de-caballitos-de-mar-extraidos-ilegalmente-en-el-mar-del-callao" target="_blank">GOB.PE</a> </em></p>

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“Poorly informed teenager”: Vladimir Putin weighs in on Greta Thunberg

<p>Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken aim at Swedish schoolgirl and climate change activist Greta Thunberg, calling her a “poorly informed teenager” who is being “used by adults”. </p> <p>The world leader, 66, said the 16-year-old should quit “telling developing countries why they should live in poverty” over her campaign to cut fossil fuel use.</p> <p>While at the energy forum today Putin expressed he did not share the same excitement about Thunberg’s United Nations speech last month. </p> <p>The swede unleashed at the UN summit in New York when she denounced world leaders for failing to tackle climate change issues. </p> <p>While Putin did not name any specific groups, he said it was “deplorable” Thunberg was being used by groups to achieve their own goals. </p> <p>“I may disappoint you,” the Russian leader said at  a session titled<span> </span>Energy Partnership for Sustainable Growth<span> </span>in Moscow, Russia. </p> <p> “But I don't share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg.</p> <p>“No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and different and...people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden.</p> <p>“Go and explain to developing countries why they should continue living in poverty and not be like Sweden.”</p> <p>US President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg and Canadian Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier labelled her alarmist and mentally unstable. </p> <p>Thunberg was not deterred by the comments however and said the mockery of children who were protesting showed her message had become “too loud to handle”. </p> <p>Putin said while young people who paid attention to environmental issues should be supported, he believes: “when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned.</p> <p>“I'm sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl. But adults must do everything not to bring teenagers and children into some extreme situations.”</p> <p>Thunberg made international headlines in September as she inspired millions of people across 150 countries to take to the streets for the Global Strike 4 Climate.</p>

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Deadly brain shrinking fungus found in suburban Australia

<p>A fungus titled as the world’s second deadliest has been discovered in suburban Cairns, with researchers fearing it could be spread throughout the Australian tropics.</p> <p>The Poison Fire Coral fungus has caused multiple deaths throughout Asia and was originally identified by James Cook University’s Dr Matt Barrett after a local photographer took a photo of it growing in Redlynch, a suburb in western Cairns.</p> <p>“Of the hundred or so toxic mushrooms that are known to researchers, this is the only one in which the toxins can be absorbed through the skin,” said Dr Barrett, as he warned people to not touch the fungus.</p> <p>“Just touching the Fire Coral fungus can cause dermatitis (reddening or swelling of the skin). If eaten, it causes a horrifying array of symptoms: initially stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and numbness, followed (over hours or days) by delamination of skin on face, hands and feet, and shrinking of the brain, which, in turn, causes altered perception, motion difficulties and speech impediments.”</p> <p>If left untreated, consumption can prove to be fatal due to organ failure and brain nerve damage.</p> <p>The brightly coloured fungus is usually found in the mountains of Japan and Korea, though it has been spotted in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.</p> <p>Scientists now believe it is naturally growing in Cairns.</p> <p>“This record extends the distribution of the fungus considerably, and it may be even more widespread in tropical Australia,” Dr Barrett warned.</p> <p>“The fact that we can find such a distinctive and medically important fungus like the Poison Fire Coral right in our backyard shows we have much to learn about fungi in northern Australia.”</p>

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World War II-era plane crash kills seven

<p>At least seven people were killed in the World War II-era plane crash at a Connecticut airport on Wednesday, officials said.</p> <p>The four-engine, propeller-driven Boeing B-17 bomber was carrying 13 people on board when it struggled to get into air after take-off and crash-landed at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport, bursting into flames.</p> <p>Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella said the remaining six people suffered severe injuries, and <a rel="noopener" href="https://nypost.com/2019/10/02/7-confirmed-dead-in-connecticut-wwii-era-plane-crash-number-may-rise/" target="_blank">the death toll could rise</a>.</p> <p>The 75-year-old restored aircraft is owned by the Collings Foundation, an education group that hosts historical re-enactments, authorities said. It was among the <a rel="noopener" href="https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/world-war-ii-plane-crash-connecticut/index.html" target="_blank">13,000 B-17 bombers produced ahead of and during World War II</a>, and <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bradley-airport-plane-crash-boeing-b-17-flying-fortress-crashes-connecticut-today-7-killed-live-updates-2019-10-02/" target="_blank">one of the 18 left in the US</a>.</p> <p>“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight, and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley,” Collings Foundation said in a statement.</p> <p>“The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known.”</p> <p>Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said, “These are husbands and wives and brothers and sisters and children and all part of our Connecticut family. And we feel our hearts are broken for you right now.”</p>

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The surprising truth about the iconic Sydney Harbour

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney Harbour is arguably iconic due to the tourist destinations around it, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the Sydney Opera House.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney Harbour is the major contributor to the $21.9 billion that Sydney tourism pumps into Australia’s economy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In shocking news, Sydney’s famous harbour is one of the most polluted waterways in the country.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The harbour receives around 15 Olympic-size swimming pools of pollutants each year, which makes the iconic harbour dirty.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"> In a new video called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney Harbour Above and Below</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the waters around Sydney Harbour are filled with plastic bags, bottles, lost shoes and cigarette butts but the biggest issue is plastic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I would call it a paradox,” Dr Katherine Dafforn, deputy director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program said in the video, which was released to coincide with World Tourism Day on September 27.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It does look beautiful, but it is one of the more modified and polluted estuaries along our coastline.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although many think that rain is good for the ocean, this documentary proves that isn’t the case.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“After we have some of these really big rainfall events, the harbour … it’s quite tragic,” Dr Dafforn said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Two thirds of our pollution comes from stormwater run-off.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jeremy Brown, co-founder and managing director of the Ocean Protect said that there are ways that tourists and locals can ease the amount of plastic entering the Harbour.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It has to start at the source,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have to reduce the amount of plastic that we are using, recycle better and be more conscious about what is going down our drains which ultimately ends up in our oceans. If we ruin the ocean, we are going to kill ourselves because 50 per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. It absorbs 30 per cent of carbon dioxide and our food source.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But we can fix this harbour and bring it back to where it was, but it’s pretty simple. If we kill our oceans, we kill ourselves.”</span></p> <p> </p>

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A local's secret guide to Venice

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Venice my best friend Christian works in an ancient profession that few know or understand the intricacies of. He has done so since he was 14. This title has been passed down from father to son for centuries. What is interesting is that Christian’s father was a painter but Christian is a Gondolier.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So how did he end up in this closely guarded and prestigious role? Well it turns out that his Gondolier uncle Federico didn’t have a son so at Christian’s birth his uncle was named as the father to ensure that the family linage continued. This all happened in the 1970’s and now times have changed. Recently one of Christian’s cousins became the first female Gondolier in history due to the depleting pool of eligible young men to take up the role. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Housing in Venice is becoming very expensive so Christian now lives on the Mainland and commutes with many other Venetian workers by train across the lagoon to resume his role for the daily hordes of tourists from cruise ships and tour buses. Some cynics liken todays Venice to a theme park with workers trained to play their roles in a charade of historical beauty and culture. But they are wrong. </span></p> <p><strong>What not to do</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most visitors to Venice see the usual sites like San Marco Square and the Basilica, they then take a Gondola ride along the Grand Canal, have an overpriced meal and head back with their tour group to a mainland hotel. Many photos are taken and stories will be told of their special adventures in this magical city.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There is nothing wrong with the way these tourists see Venice in a day but they really are missing out getting to know this city of endless wonders. I asked Christian for his ideas on how a visitor could experience Venice in a different way to get a better insight into the daily life of Venice and how he might spend his day off?</span></p> <p><strong>What to see</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of Christian’s simple pleasures is a visit to The Venice Giardini. These Gardens were established by Napoleon in the early 1800’s and many Venetians enjoy this space with their families as it is a great way to unwind from the daily hustle and bustle of Venetian life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Christian loves the painter Tintorello he often visits The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore which is a 16th-century Benedictine church built in the classical Renaissance style of the late 1500’s. Personally I’ve always marvel at the approaching view of the Church’s impressive white marble façade as it contrasts with the blue summer waters of the lagoon. Within the basilica you will be treated to some inspired paintings by Tintorello and Christian suggests that you take the time to climb the bell tower for some amazing views of Venice over the lagoon and afterwards enjoy a prosecco at the small pub in front of the marina.</span></p> <p><strong>What to do</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crossing the Grand Canal is a daily need for Venetians so a Traghetto ride across the Grand Canal isa must. The Traghetti are in fact large gondolas without the decorations or trimmings of a traditional gondola and provide a crossing service at several points along the Grand Canal. Off duty Gondoliers like Christian man the Traghetti under a roster scheme as part of their collective duties. At (Euro)2 for a standing one way trip a Traghetto ride can never replace the romance of a traditional Gondola ride but it is a great way to do as the locals do.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Venice is full of myths and legends and one of Christian’s favourite pastimes is Ghost spotting, Legend has it that near Rialto at the Campiello del Remer is it said that on foggy nights you may sight the Ghost of Fosco Loredan holding the removed head of his wife Elena Grimani. I ‘m still not sure what poor Elena did to lose her head but luckily for me Fosco has never appeared during any of my nocturnal visits to the site. If you are game take a boat ride to the island of Poveglia which was the burial place of thousands of medieval plague victims. In the 20th century it became a mental asylum complete with a Mad Doctor who performed all sorts of evil experiments on the residents. The Doctor later jumped from the bell tower after complaining of hearing voices. Poveglia is an eerie abandoned island that offers some amazing photo opportunities as you wander through the empty buildings, ruins and hospital wards. I am a sceptic but during my visit I never quite felt that we were alone and as we departed the island I couldn’t stop myself from looking back in anticipation of spotting whoever had been watching us.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some weekends Christian visits his grandmother’s grave on the Island where Venetians sleep. Isola San Michele is located half way between Venice and Murano and while most tourists pass it by it is a great place to enjoy some peace and solitude while taking in the surreal surroundings of a cemetery island. San Michele isn’t one of the great European monument cemeteries like in Paris or Milan but you will have time for reflection before the next Vaparetto arrives to take you on to the bustling Murano and Burano. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Murano Christian advises to avoid the cheap glass trinkets as you will only be buying fakes made elsewhere and if you visit Burano he recommends that you take the time to cross the bridge to Mazzorbo where the church of Saint Caterina holds the oldest tolling bell on the lagoon.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On occasions he will take his family for a visit the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni which is located just before the Lido. The island is home of a Mechitarist Catholic Monestry and its museum holds some amazing artefacts including an Egyptian mummy and also an extensive library of precious books and manuscripts. Tours are run by members of the order and are well priced to will give a fascinating insight into the islands history and collections. </span></p> <p><strong>Where to eat and drink</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eating out in Venice can be notoriously sub-standard but if you explore the back laneways you might just find where the locals meet and eat. I am sworn to secrecy about the exact location of il Diavolo e l'acqua Santi which translates toThe Devil and the Saints Water but I can tell you that this ambient Osteria is located in one of the side streets that run parallel to a market place in the Rialto area. It is here that you will find a small group of Venetians mingling in the street and peculiarly hanging their wine glasses by the base of the glass from the gaps in a brick wall. The food is excellent as is the old school atmosphere. Christian introduced me to 'the Devil' and now it is one of my favourite restaurants where I would eat night after night given the chance. I suggest you try the small daily seafood plates which are always a treat and don’t miss the squid ink pasta as it is simply delicious and will make you long for a plate for many years to come. You may find that initially the service is a little gruff and year round there will be a wait for a table. Have a drink while waiting for a table and amuse yourself by people watching outside with the locals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For family celebrations Christian often dines at Corte Sconte Trattoria where the house specialties of local seafood will have you coming back time and time again. Their home made sparkling wine is excellent and the homemade desserts are so delicious you wouldn’t share them with your own mother(sorry Mum!).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Venetian Galleon Dinner Cruise is one of the newer ways to enjoy Venice at night from the water. Built in 2001 the cruise offers a candle lit dinner on a replica Venetian Galleon. The dinner cruise is proving popular with Venetians like Christian and also a growing number of tourists who are looking for a romantic evening out on the water. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harry’s bar is the most famous of the bars in Venice but you won’t find many Venetians enjoying their overpriced Bellini’s. Christian suggested that we should enjoy the more refined surrounds of the ornate Bar Longi at the Gritti Palace. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After spending a lazy sunny afternoon enjoying the views and a Campari on the Grand Canal Terrace I understood why! In the evenings at the bar you are assured of colourful conversations with a range of fascinating characters. Who knows who you may bump into over a cocktail or dinner; Bill Gates was there during the week of my last </span><span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/a-locals-secret-guide-to-venice.aspx"></a></span>visit. Staying and playing at the Gritti Palace is definitely an expensive but worthwhile experience. Dining in the elegant Club del Doge Restaurant and then enjoying a night cap or two in the Longi bar is also certainly worth the eye watering bill!</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thanks to Christian I have seen and experienced many unique adventures in Venice. Seen through his eyes Venice is a story book of history and symbols with hidden meanings that most visitors walk unknowingly past. I cherish every visit to this magical city on the water and always perk up as my train crosses the bridge over the lagoon and offers a glimpse of what is to come. Venice is certainly old but it never gets old to me.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Lynton Jones. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/a-locals-secret-guide-to-venice.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></p>

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Hong Kong riots: Teenage protester shot with live round as violence escalates

<p>A Hong Kong police officer shot a teenage protester at close range as authorities and pro-democracy activists came head-to-head in a fierce clash on Tuesday.</p> <p>Previously, officers have been known to fire warning shots in the air on multiple occasions during months of conflict in Hong Kong, but this was the first time a protester is known to have been shot.</p> <p>The officer in question fired the single pistol shot as protesters surrounded him with the bullet hitting an 18-year-old on the left side of his shoulder said police spokeswoman Yolanda Yu.</p> <p>Police Commissioner Stephen Lo said the bullet hit the 18-year-old on the left side of his chest and defended the officer’s actions as “reasonable and lawful”.</p> <p>Authority at Hong Kong’s hospital said the young boy was one of two people in critical condition after riots continued around the city, with a total of 51 people injured.</p> <p>The violence challenging Chinese rule came just as the Communist Party celebrated its 70th year in power.</p> <p>According to Ms Yu, the victim was shot after repeatedly ignoring police despite their warnings.</p> <p>“The police officers’ lives were under serious threat,” she said. “To save his own life and his colleagues’ lives, he fired a live shot at the assailant.”</p> <p>The movement has quickly turned into an anti-China campaign as activists demand for direct elections for the city’s leaders and police accountability.</p>

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“I lost my mother”: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan hit back

<p>The Duke of Sussex has issued a statement condemning a “ruthless” media campaign against his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. </p> <p>Prince Harry has expressed his “deepest fear” is his wife suffering the same fate as his mother did, the late Princess Diana, who died in 1997. </p> <p>In a personally released statement, the 35-year-old royal said they were being forced to take action against the “bullying”. </p> <p>"I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces,” he said. </p> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be taking legal action against British tabloid the<span> </span><em>Daily Mail<span> </span></em>over publishing a private letter by the Duchess, which the couple allege was done so illegally. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B21AGRDH7qi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B21AGRDH7qi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Oh hi baby Archie! 👋🏼 Gorgeous smiles from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s four month old son as he makes his royal tour debut! They are visiting Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town. What a cutie! . . . . . . . #archieharrisonmountbattenwindsor#archie#dukeanddutchessofsussex#harryandmeghan#meghanmarkle#duchessmeghan#princeharry#archbishopdesmondtutu#capetown#southafrica#desmondtutuhivfoundation#royal#royalvisitsouthafrica#britishroyalfamily#sussexroyaltour</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/emilynashhello/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Emily Nash</a> (@emilynashhello) on Sep 25, 2019 at 1:52am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He also said what was published had been edited to hide “lies” reported about her. </p> <p>Prince Harry condemned claims that have been thrown at the couple over the last months, admitting the process had been a “painful” experience for both of them. </p> <p>“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Harry said on the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://sussexofficial.uk/" target="_blank">Royal Family’s official website.</a></p> <p>“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face — as so many of you can relate to — I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.”</p> <p>The Duke referenced the coverage of his mother Princess Di by saying his “deepest fear is history repeating itself”.</p> <p>“There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this,” he wrote.</p> <p>“Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2-qwYgAmMa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2-qwYgAmMa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by ♡Meghan Markle Fan♡ (@hrhmeghanmarkleforever)</a> on Sep 28, 2019 at 7:58pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”</p> <p>The Duke and Duchess are suing<span> </span><em>Associated Newspapers<span> </span></em>which is the parent company of<span> </span><em>Mail on Sunday. </em></p> <p>The lawsuit has been issued over the misuse of private information, breach of the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 and infringement of copyright. </p> <p>Duchess Meghan wrote a heartfelt and emotional letter to her father, Thomas Markle Senior, which he released to<span> </span><em>Mail on Sunday<span> </span></em>three months after the royal wedding in August 2018. </p> <p>Prince Harry wrote: “this particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media”.</p> <p>“The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question,” he said.</p> <p><em>Mail on Sunday<span> </span></em>released their own statement, denying the royal’s claims. </p> <p>“The<span> </span><em>Mail on Sunday</em><span> </span>stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning,” a spokesperson said.</p> <p>Prince Harry also went on to point out in his statement that the coverage which is seemingly positive of his wife exposes the “double standards” of the press pack that “vilified her almost daily,” over the course of a year. </p> <p>“They have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour,” he said.</p> <p>“For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.”</p> <p>The legal proceedings are being privately funded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and any potential proceeds received in award damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.</p>

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NSW to roll out cameras that catch drivers on their mobile phones

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a world-first, the NSW Government will be implementing mobile phone detection cameras to keep an eye on drivers who are breaking the law.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The government has been trialling the technology for six months and will now roll out the cameras across the state.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><em><a href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a190922crksu/nsw-to-roll-out-mobile-phone-cameras-to-catch-law-breaking-drivers-20190922"><span style="font-weight: 400;">10 Daily</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, during the trial, cameras checked 8.5 million cars. There were 100,000 drivers who were caught using their phones on NSW roads. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Roads said that the ‘get your hand off it message’ is not getting through to drivers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Unfortunately some people haven’t received the message and think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and the community at risk without consequence,” Constance said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There is strong community support for more enforcement to stop illegal mobile phone use with 80 per cent of people we surveyed supporting use of the mobile phone detection cameras.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">NSW Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole agrees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The decision to pick up your phone can have fatal consequences," he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving on a busy city motorway or on an isolated road in the bush -- there’s just no excuse for using your phone illegally."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The program is expected to roll out across the state later this year and will check 135 million vehicles before 2023.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the first three months, drivers will receive a warning letter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After that, it’s a $344 fine and four demerit points.</span></p>

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