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Woman divides the internet over not wanting to share Lotto winnings

<p dir="ltr">A young mother has divided the internet after sharing that she didn’t want to split her Lotto winnings with her boyfriend. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman took to Facebook to share that she bought the ticket on a whim and won half her annual salary as a result.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to social media, she explained how the awkward conversation with her partner unfolded. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I started to tell my boyfriend I was gonna put it towards my kids' college and do some upgrades to my house. He said, ‘what about my half?’,” she wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">She went on to explain how the couple have the same yearly salary and how her partner said he could really use the financial help, but she doesn't want to share. </p> <p dir="ltr">“If I had won $6million I'd have no problem giving him half because it would be very easy to live off $3million. But 1/4 of one year's salary won't help me much,” she added.</p> <p dir="ltr">She also revealed that the couple would sometimes “daydream" about winning a lottery jackpot and would split a ticket every now and then, promising to go halves in the winnings.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, the mum said this time was different because it was a spur-of-the-moment ticket purchase and he wasn't part of it.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman’s post welcomed a range of differing comments, with some people not appearing sympathetic to the young mum. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Is half the pot worth more than your relationship? If it is, you shouldn't be in the relationship anyway, so call it off,” one person said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another person added, “Can you for two seconds not see how this is very petty? He didn't contribute 'this time'. I'm sure when he buys a ticket he's not thinking 'oh this one is for just me and if we win on these ones then we will share’.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, some people were quick to stand up for her and tell her she doesn’t owe her partner half her winnings. </p> <p dir="ltr">“She isn't selfish for keeping the money, they didn't have an agreement this time, and why should he be entitled to it. She is better off spending it on her home and her children's future,” one woman said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another added, “If he won $20 would he give you $10? If he won $1,000 would he give you $500? If the answer is yes, then throw the guy a bone, but if you don't live together, there's no ring on your finger, and the answer is no? Keep it.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Doctor shares her holy grail tips for overcoming eye sensitivity

<p>As the chill of winter sets in, many people find that their eyes become more sensitive and prone to dryness. This can be particularly challenging for those who already suffer from dry eye syndrome. </p> <p>Dr. Jacqueline Beltz is a leading Australian Ophthalmologist and the founder of <a href="https://www.okkiyo.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">OKKIYO</a>, a beauty brand that makes PRIORITEYES mascara for people with sensitive eyes.</p> <p>Dr Beltz has shared her insights into dry eye syndrome and how winter can exacerbate symptoms, also sharing her top tips for managing eye sensitivity during the colder months.</p> <p><strong>Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome</strong></p> <p>The surface of the eye is covered by a delicate layer of tears, essential for comfort, vision, protection, and nutrition. The tear film comprises two main layers: an outer lipid (oily) layer and an inner aqueous (watery) layer. The lipid layer, produced by oil glands in the eyelids, prevents tears from evaporating too quickly, while the aqueous layer, consisting of water, electrolytes, and proteins, spreads tears evenly across the eye and helps them adhere to the surface.</p> <p>When the balance of tear production, evaporation, absorption, and drainage is disrupted, it can lead to dry eye syndrome. Symptoms may include redness, irritation, a gritty sensation, tired eyes, itching, excessive watering, and fluctuating vision. In severe cases, dry eye can be painful and significantly impact daily life.</p> <p><strong>How common is dry eye syndrome?</strong></p> <p>Dry eye syndrome is a widespread issue, particularly among older adults. According to the Blue Mountains Eye Study, 57% of adults over the age of 50 experience some degree of dry eye. This condition is notably more prevalent in women, with higher rates observed compared to their male counterparts. The increased prevalence in women is often attributed to hormonal changes, particularly during and after menopause. </p> <p>A more recent study, Optometry Australia’s 2022 Vision index found that over 85% of Australians are estimated to have experienced dry eyes at some point in their lives.  Of those affected, 55% say they only developed the condition following the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.  They reported that almost 1 in 5 (18%) of people experience dry eye symptoms frequently.  </p> <p>These statistics highlight the importance of understanding and managing dry eye, especially as we age.</p> <p><strong>DEWS II Study and Treatment Approaches</strong></p> <p>The DEWS II (Dry Eye Workshop II) study provides a comprehensive framework for understanding and treating dry eye syndrome. According to the study, dry eye is a multifactorial disease characterised by a loss of homeostasis (or balance) in the tear film, accompanied by eye symptoms. Factors such as tear film instability, hyperosmolarity (increased saltiness), inflammation, and neurosensory (altered feelings or sensations) abnormalities play significant roles.</p> <p>There are two primary types of dry eye: aqueous deficient and evaporative. Most individuals have a combination of both. Aqueous deficient dry eye occurs when there is insufficient production of the watery layer of tears, often due to aging, hormonal changes, or certain medications. Evaporative dry eye is typically caused by environmental factors or conditions affecting the lipid layer, such as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).</p> <p><strong>Winter's Impact on Dry Eyes</strong></p> <p>Winter poses unique challenges for dry eye sufferers. Cold, dry air, indoor heating, and wind can all exacerbate symptoms. Here's how to combat these winter-specific issues:</p> <p><em><strong>1. Humidify Your Environment</strong></em></p> <p>Indoor heating reduces humidity levels, leading to increased tear evaporation. Consider using a humidifier to maintain moisture in the air, especially in bedrooms and living spaces. This helps keep your eyes hydrated.</p> <p><em><strong>2. Protect Your Eyes Outdoors</strong></em></p> <p>Cold winds can strip away the tear film. When outside, wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from the elements. This not only protects your eyes from the wind but also from UV rays, which can be strong even in winter.</p> <p><em><strong>3. Stay Hydrated</strong></em></p> <p>Dehydration can worsen dry eye symptoms. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain overall hydration, which supports healthy tear production.</p> <p><em><strong>4. Optimise Your Diet</strong></em></p> <p>Certain foods can promote eye health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like salmon and flaxseeds, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage dry eye symptoms. Incorporate these into your diet for added benefits.</p> <p><em><strong>5. Use a Warm Compress</strong></em></p> <p>A warm compress can help improve the function of the meibomian glands, which produce the oily layer of the tear film. This is particularly helpful for those with meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD. Gently apply a warm, damp cloth to your closed eyelids for 10-15 minutes, followed by a gentle massage of the eyelids to encourage oil secretion. It is important to avoid rubbing or compressing the eyeballs.</p> <p><em><strong>6. Use Over-the-Counter Lubricant Eye Drops</strong></em></p> <p>Artificial tears can provide temporary relief by supplementing the natural tear film. Choose preservative-free options to avoid further irritation, and use them frequently.</p> <p><em><strong>7.  Remember to have regular eye checks</strong></em></p> <p>In Australia, Optometrists provide our primary eye health check ups. Dr Beltz recommends adults over the age of 40 see their optometrist once a year, but if you’re struggling with symptoms of dry eye in winter, an extra check up might help and your optometrist will be able to help you to come up with an individualised treatment plan.</p> <p><em><strong>8. Invest in Quality Eye Products</strong></em></p> <p>For those who wear makeup, using products designed for sensitive eyes is crucial. <a href="https://www.okkiyo.com/products/protect-and-preserve-mascara" target="_blank" rel="noopener">PRIORITEYES</a> mascara by OKKIYO has been specifically formulated to be gentle on sensitive eyes, avoiding common irritants while providing excellent performance.</p> <p><strong>Managing Dry Eye in Winter: A Recap</strong></p> <p>Winter can be tough on our eyes, but with the right strategies, you can manage dry eye symptoms effectively. Maintain a humid environment, protect your eyes from cold winds, stay hydrated, and incorporate eye-healthy foods into your diet. Regularly use warm compresses and opt for gentle, high-quality eye products like PRIORITEYES mascara.  </p> <p>Dry eye syndrome may be a common condition, but it doesn't have to dominate your life, especially during the harsh winter months. With these tips, you can keep your eyes comfortable and healthy all season long. For personalised advice and treatment, always consult with your eye care professional.</p> <p>Stay warm, stay hydrated and take care of your eyes this winter!</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Your parents’ income doesn’t determine yours – unless you’re ultra rich or extremely poor

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/catherine-de-fontenay-5631">Catherine de Fontenay</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Australia is among the strongest global performers in terms of income mobility between the generations, according to a new <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/fairly-equal-mobility">Productivity Commission report</a>.</p> <p>The country’s long-term economic growth has led to each generation earning more than the last, on average.</p> <p>Our report finds 67% of the so-called <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/xennials-born-between-millennials-and-gen-x-2017-11">“Xennial”</a> generation – those born in 1976–1982, on the cusp of the Millennial/Gen X divide – earn more than their parents did at a similar age.</p> <p>This is particularly true of those born into poorer families.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="NsmB3" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/NsmB3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>When we look at where people rank in an income distribution, the picture is a little less rosy. While children with parents at the bottom or top of the income scale are more likely to remain there, almost 15% of people with parents in the lowest income decile, remain there while just 6% move to the top.</p> <p>And those living in poverty - who often include renters, people from migrant backgrounds who don’t speak English at home and single parents - face some of the biggest barriers to improving their economic lot.</p> <p><a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/fairly-equal-mobility">Fairly Equal? Economic mobility in Australia</a>, released on Thursday, measures intergenerational income mobility by examining the relationship between a person’s income and the eventual income of their children.</p> <h2>Measuring inequality</h2> <p>Most countries anxiously monitor income distribution and economic mobility amid concerns inequality may be increasing.</p> <p>And countries with high inequality tend to have low mobility: the rungs of the social ladder are far apart making it difficult to move up to the next level.</p> <p>If mobility is low, the consequences are serious. Low mobility is discouraging, unproductive and unstable. If young people have little chance of achieving their aspirations, their wellbeing is affected.</p> <p><a href="https://ideas.repec.org/p/cor/louvco/2023026.html">Social unrest is more likely</a>. And the abilities of young people from less affluent backgrounds are under-used. The next tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs may never be discovered, and many other opportunities are lost.</p> <p>In Australia we are used to thinking of ourselves as having inequality and mobility somewhere between Scandinavia and the US; but that comparison is not as comforting as it used to be, if inequality and mobility are worsening in the US.</p> <p>Our report considers people’s income mobility over the course of their lives, and across generations. If income mobility is low, people will struggle to recover from initial disadvantage, and those born into privilege will be financially secure.</p> <p>First we look at whether people move in the income distribution; there is a surprising amount of movement. And we look for evidence people can access opportunities throughout life, after setbacks.</p> <h2>Recovering from setbacks</h2> <p>There is not much evidence of recovery after a person experiences a severe illness or a job loss, perhaps because the causal factors are still at work.</p> <p>More encouragingly, the income of women who experience separation <a href="https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/4815110/HILDA-User-Manual-Release-22.0.pdf">does increase</a>, eventually restoring the buying power of their household. This is in part due to well-targeted government support.</p> <p>For intergenerational mobility, we extended the dataset developed by <a href="https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jel.20211413">an analytical dataset</a> to measure the influence parents’ income had on the income their offspring were likely to earn.</p> <p>We found Australia’s intergenerational mobility is actually higher than the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sjoe.12197">Scandinavian</a> countries, and second only to <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3662560">Switzerland</a> among comparable studies.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="5DFB9" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/5DFB9/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>In all countries studied there was some link between parents’ income mobility and that of children, because parents pass on tastes, ambitions and abilities.</p> <p>And there was greater correlation between the incomes of mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons than with parents of the opposite gender, perhaps because of role model effects.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="BJ4hD" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/BJ4hD/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>While Australia’s strong income mobility between generations is remarkable, it’s concerning there is less mobility among those at the very bottom and top of the income distribution scale.</p> <p>The fact children born into the poorest families were more likely to remain in the lowest deciles, while those born into the top earning families tended to remain in the top deciles, suggests privilege is often passed on.</p> <p>People who grew up in frequently poor households were <a href="https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/3537441/HILDA-Statistical-report-2020.pdf">three time more likely</a> to be poor at age 26 to 32 than those who never experienced poverty.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="SxHBo" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/SxHBo/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>And consistent with <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/37c2c8b7-328c-41e1-bace-87ed7a551777/australias-welfare-chapter-2-summary-18sept2019.pdf.aspx">other studies</a> we found children whose family received government payments were twice as likely to receive support as adults, compared with those whose families received no help.</p> <h2>Movement in the middle</h2> <p>Taken together, these results suggest some segmentation of opportunities. In the middle of the income distribution, there are opportunities to get ahead, and individuals’ careers are not restricted by their families’ circumstances.</p> <p>At the bottom, things are a lot more “sticky”, and finding opportunities to permanently escape poverty is more difficult. Some of this boils down where people live, peers, school quality and local job options.</p> <p>Researchers <a href="https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jel.20211413">Deutscher and Mazumder</a> (2023) have shown regional economic conditions have a big impact on mobility, and we show remoteness limits movement out of poverty.</p> <p>Overall, the mobility picture is extremely good news for most Australians.</p> <p>But this should not blind us how difficult it is to move out of poverty, especially for those in remote areas. Identifying where mobility fails to deliver allows us to focus our policy response.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234158/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/catherine-de-fontenay-5631">Catherine de Fontenay</a>, Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-parents-income-doesnt-determine-yours-unless-youre-ultra-rich-or-extremely-poor-234158">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Rare footage captures secluded tribe emerging from the Amazon

<p>Remarkable new footage has captured one of the world's most secluded tribes, who have been known for firing arrows at outsiders who get too close, as they emerged from the Amazon rainforest in Peru. </p> <p>The tribe were spotted near several controversial logging sites that have been making clearings throughout the forest, decimating their home lands.</p> <p>According to the Indigenous rights advocacy group Survival International, members of the Mashco Piro tribe, believed to be the biggest group of indigenous people living with no outside contact, were spotted near the Las Piedras River a few kilometres from tree-cutting projects in Southeastern section of the country.</p> <p>“This is irrefutable evidence that many Mashco Piro live in this area, which the government has not only failed to protect, but actually sold off to logging companies,” local Indigenous organisation Fenamad’s President Alfredo Vargas Pio said.</p> <p>Near the remote villages of Monte Salvado and Puerto Nuevo, the tribe emerged in search of food, with President Pio voicing concerns that violent fights could break out between loggers and the Indigenous people.</p> <p>He also added that the outside loggers could potentially bring new diseases to the area, which could wipe out the tribe.</p> <p>According to Survival International, Indigenous advocates have urged authorities to pull the certifications from the logging companies to protect the tribes. </p> <p>Logging company Canales Tahuamanu has been granted permission to log on the jungle land since 2002 with its invasive activity now sprawled out over 193 square miles, <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/17/mashco-piro-tribe-photos-peru/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Washington Post</a></em> reported.</p> <p>The publication also reported that the firm also has a history of clashing with local tribes, although in the past, the firm said its workers have never reported seeing any Mashco Piro people and has complied with laws in Peru, where it is illegal to contact the tribe.</p> <p>Despite the Mashco Piro tribe’s seclusion, they have had limited contact with outsiders, with most of their rare contact resulting in violence, as they have been known for fire arrows at tourists boats and park rangers as warnings not to approach the area. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Survival International </em></p>

International Travel

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For a century, it’s been illegal to swim in the Seine. Will Paris’s clean-up make the river safe for Olympic swimmers?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-a-wright-5162">Ian A. Wright</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Five eagerly anticipated events in the Paris Olympics will be the mens and womens 10 kilometre marathon swimming races, as well as the 1,500 metre swimming section of three triathlon events. Why? Because all will be held in the Seine River in the centre of Paris. The swimmers – including <a href="https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/trio-complete-an-historic-australian-olympic-marathon-swim-team-for-paris-2024">four Australians</a> – will pass famous landmarks such as the Musee d'Orsay as they swim through the historic heart of the city. This will have enormous scenic appeal for spectators.</p> <p>But will it be safe for swimmers? Rivers running through large cities are <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-021-00026-w">often polluted</a>, whether from stormwater, chemical pollution or wastewater spills. As the marathon swimmers pass the <a href="https://musee-egouts.paris.fr/en/">Paris Sewer Museum</a>, they may well wonder if they’re in clean water.</p> <p>For more than 100 years, swimming in the Seine has actually been illegal, due to concerns over what the water could do to human health. Authorities <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sport/article/2024/may/24/olympic-games-clean-up-aims-to-leave-parisians-swimming-in-the-seine">have been working</a> to clean up the water, spending A$2.2 billion (€1.3 billion) on improving water quality. The goal: cut bacterial contamination by 75% before the first swimmer touches the water. These measures are having an impact – but recent heavy rains have seen bacteria levels spike.</p> <p>While officials have put on brave faces, there’s now a <a href="https://www.reuters.com/sports/olympics/paris-2024-sets-up-reserve-site-marathon-swimming-if-seine-unsuitable-2024-07-05/">contingency plan</a> in case the Seine isn’t safe.</p> <h2>Why swim in the Seine at all?</h2> <p>Urban rivers have a questionable reputation. But this isn’t the first time the Seine River has been used for Olympic swimming.</p> <p>In the 1900 Paris Olympics, <a href="https://olympics.com/en/olympic-games/paris-1900/results/swimming">seven swimming events</a> were all held in the river. These games were the first modern Olympics where <a href="https://olympics.com/ioc/faq/history-and-origin-of-the-games/when-did-women-first-compete-in-the-olympic-games">women could compete</a> in some sports, but swimming was not one of those permitted.</p> <p>The Australian swimmer who competed, Frederick Lane, had to swim under the United Kingdom’s flag as Australia did not have a flag until Federation the following year. He won two gold medals. One was for the 200 metre freestyle race, and the other for a bizarre race never held again: the 200m <a href="https://www.olympedia.org/results/4433">swimming obstacle race</a>, where swimmers had to climb over poles and boats. These Olympics also saw the first and last underwater swimming race, which was also in the Seine.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="historic photo swimming seine river paris" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Swimmers took to the Seine’s waters at the 1900 Paris Olympics, when the river ran cleaner.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swimming_1900.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Back then, the waters of the Seine were cleaner. That’s because there was a great demand for human waste on farms – and cities were the main source. Back then, “night soil” (human waste) had a <a href="https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/11/1757/2007/hess-11-1757-2007.pdf">real market value</a>. No one would think of dumping it in rivers.</p> <p>But as time went on, sewerage systems developed and other fertilisers such as guano and mineral fertilisers arrived. By the early 20th century, most of the city’s wastewater went into the Seine. In 1923, the swimming ban came into effect. A year later, Paris hosted the Olympics for its second time – and swimmers competed in 50 metre pools.</p> <p>In recent years, many cities around the world have worked to clean up their urban waterways. River swimming is <a href="https://www.timeout.com/news/the-european-cities-cleaning-up-rivers-for-wild-swimmers-101821">now common</a> in cities such as Copenhagen, Berlin and Vienna, where river health has improved dramatically.</p> <h2>How can you clean a river like the Seine?</h2> <p>Cleaning the Seine is a challenge. Paris is home to 11 million people, with plenty of industry. Urban rivers are almost inevitably polluted by waste from the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-021-00026-w%5D">surrounding city</a>.</p> <p>Leaking and overflowing sewage systems are a major source of pollution. In places like the UK, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-62631320">sewage spills</a> into waterways have become a major political issue.</p> <p>When wastewater spills into rivers, it carries pollutants and dangerous loads of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6725a1.htm">disease-causing microorganisms</a>, such as <em>Escherichia coli</em> (commonly known as E. coli). Untreated water can have viruses, bacteria and disease-causing protozoa.</p> <p>In the lead-up to the Paris games, authorities have been working to improve water quality enough to bring some Olympic swimming back to the Seine. Stormwater – often contaminated by dog poo or sewage overflows – is <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/oct/08/can-paris-clean-seine-for-next-year-2024-olympics">being cleaned</a> before it is released into the river.</p> <p>Despite the money and effort, there are still real questions over whether it will be enough to guarantee swimmer safety. Bacterial levels hit risky levels <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/07/11/sport/paris-olympics-seine-triathlon-bacteria-spiking-intl/index.html">most days in June</a> due to unseasonally heavy rains, but the water has <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/france/20240712-seine-clean-enough-to-swim-for-most-of-past-12-days-paris-says-ahead-of-olympics">improved in July</a>.</p> <p>This week, French sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra <a href="https://www.nbclosangeles.com/paris-2024-summer-olympics/french-sports-minister-takes-dip-in-seine-river-2024-paris-olympics/3458469/">swam a few metres</a> in the Seine in an effort to douse concerns.</p> <p>By contrast, the other Olympic swimming events will take place in a recently constructed 50 metre pool, which will have very good water quality. The pool water is filtered and treated with a disinfectant such as chlorine or bromine. It will be regularly tested to ensure optimal water quality.</p> <p>At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, triathletes had to swim in polluted Tokyo Bay. But similar concerns over sickness proved unfounded. The real challenge was the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/olympic-athletes-and-volunteers-in-tokyo-tortured-by-heat">oppressive heat</a>.</p> <h2>What’s at risk?</h2> <p>The most likely outcome if races are held when bacterial levels are unsafe would be getting a gastrointestinal bug.</p> <p>Officials have some control over this. Contamination is worst after heavy rain. Races could be delayed if need be.</p> <p>Many swimmers – especially those who compete in open-water competitions – are familiar with swimming in water with some level of pollution. Some see it as worth the risk. Italian double world champion swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20240226-paris-holds-its-breath-for-olympic-swimming-events-in-murky-seine">said in January</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Even if the water is dirty, I would rather swim in an electric atmosphere in the centre of Paris than in an anonymous stretch of water.</p> </blockquote> <p>Paris 2024 organisers previously warned there was no plan B for the 10 km marathon races in the Seine if water quality testing is unsuitable. But this has now changed. If the river isn’t clean enough, open water swimming <a href="https://www.reuters.com/sports/olympics/paris-2024-sets-up-reserve-site-marathon-swimming-if-seine-unsuitable-2024-07-05/">will be moved</a> to the rowing venue.</p> <p>The Olympic triathlon is planned around a swimming leg in the Seine. But triathletes <a href="https://www.espn.com.au/olympics/story/_/id/39912675/triathlon-leg-cancelled-seine-quality-paris-2024-chief">have been told</a> the swim leg could be skipped if the water is unsafe, which would turn the race into a running and cycling duathlon.</p> <p>As the world’s attention turns to Paris, there will be many anxious officials behind the scenes hoping their hard work on making the Seine swimmable pays off.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231705/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-a-wright-5162">Ian A. Wright</a>, Associate Professor in Environmental Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: CARON/ZEPPELIN/SIPA/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/for-a-century-its-been-illegal-to-swim-in-the-seine-will-pariss-clean-up-make-the-river-safe-for-olympic-swimmers-231705">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Royal family celebrates Queen Camilla's 77th birthday

<p>Queen Camilla is 77! </p> <p>Senior members of the royal family have wished her a very happy birthday, with the Prince and Princess of Wales sharing a portrait of her, taken by the Princess on Wednesday. </p> <p>The portrait was featured on the cover of a special commemorative edition of <em>Country Life</em> magazine, two years ago, which the queen helped edit for her 75th birthday. </p> <p>"Wishing Her Majesty a very Happy Birthday!" the Prince and Princess wrote on social media. </p> <p>The royal family's official X account also shared an image of her posing on the balcony of author Victor Hugo's former home in Guernsey on Tuesday, with the caption: "Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very Happy Birthday today." </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">🎂 Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very Happy Birthday today! <a href="https://t.co/Wv5fStZdlm">pic.twitter.com/Wv5fStZdlm</a></p> <p>— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) <a href="https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1813462770127392939?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 17, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The Queen celebrated her birthday early, with private tour of Hugo's former home, the Hauteville House, where he lived for 15 years during his exile from France, which Camilla called a "remarkable treat". </p> <p>She was presented with some  vintage cheddar by Guernsey Dairy as "an early birthday present" and a group of school children from Sark sang Happy Birthday in the island's native language, Sercquiais.</p> <p>The Queen thanked the children and praised them for their singing. </p> <p>However, it was back to work for the Queen on her official birthday on Wednesday, with an appearance at the State Opening of Parliament, where she  joined the King for the traditional carriage procession to the House of Lords. </p> <p>One of the Queen's friends told the <em>Daily Mail </em>that: "It's not the tip-top way she would choose to be spending her birthday, but you won't ever hear a single word of complaint. <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">About anything, really.</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">" </span></p> <p>"For someone who wasn't born into the Royal Family, she's got an extraordinarily strong sense of duty and the temperament to cope."</p> <p><em>Image: X</em></p>

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Motive and cause of death revealed after six found dead in luxury hotel

<p>Six people found dead in a luxury hotel room in central Bangkok are believed to have died due to poisoning, according to Thai police. </p> <p>Authorities shared photo of the teacups found in the room on the fifth floor of the hotel, revealing they found traces of cyanide in the cups. </p> <p>The bodies of two American and four Vietnamese nationals were found by hotel staff on Tuesday evening, after staff entered the room to inform them it was past check out time. </p> <p>The group, made up of three men and three women aged between 37 and 56, likely drank from tea and coffee cups laced with cyanide following a dispute linked to bad investments, Thai police said on Wednesday.</p> <p>Photos of the crime scene released by authorities show a lack of struggle and violence, instead showing bodies scattered around the room among plates of untouched food, and two thermos flasks and cups.</p> <p>Initial examinations revealed the presence of cyanide in six cups, according to police.</p> <p>“The mouths and nails on all the bodies turned purple, showing a lack of air could be a joint reason of the cause of the death,” forensic doctor Kornkiat Vongpaisarnsin, told a press conference at the Chulalongkorn University.</p> <p>“We presume they all died from cyanide which causes a lack of air in some organs,” he added.</p> <p>Authorities initially said they were searching for a seventh person who was part of the hotel booking, but on Wednesday they dismissed this line of inquiry, saying they believe one of the dead people poisoned the others with the deadly fast-acting chemical cyanide.</p> <p>“We are convinced that one of the six people found dead committed this crime,” said Noppasil Poonsawas, a deputy commander of Bangkok police.</p> <p>That person, police said, had ordered the food and tea to the room and “looked under stress” when staff arrived.</p> <p>After conducting interviews with hotel staff, Noppasin said one of the members of the group was alone in the room when the food arrived and was later joined by the other guests.</p> <p>He added that the incident was likely linked to a “personal matter” and not related to organised crime as interviews carried out with relatives of the dead indicated a dispute over debt.</p> <p>“One of the relatives said one of the deceased was an investment agent and all (the deceased) invested, but the business was not going as expected. They made an appointment to discuss the matter in Thailand,” Noppasin said.</p> <p>Police believe that the woman who poisoned the group did so after she accrued huge debts related to an investment in a hospital in Japan, according to police sources cited by Vietnamese media. </p> <p>She had allegedly convinced a married couple and two other victims among the dead to pour funds into the project, but they had reportedly lost roughly $280,000 AUD as a result. </p> <p>Tran Dinh Dung, the father of one of the victims, said his 37-year-old son was due to return to Vietnam last Sunday.</p> <p>“I kept calling him but couldn’t get through so I was very worried, but I didn’t expect him to die in Thailand,” Dung said in an interview with Vietnam’s Thanh Nien newspaper.</p> <p>“Phu’s mother has fainted countless times, she could not bear this shock,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: AFP/Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto/Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

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Want the health benefits of strength training but not keen on the gym? Try ‘exercise snacking’

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justin-keogh-129041">Justin Keogh</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jackson-fyfe-134774">Jackson Fyfe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>The science is clear: <a href="https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/full/10.1139/apnm-2020-0245">resistance training</a> is crucial to ageing well. Lifting weights (or doing bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats or push-ups) can help you live independently for longer, make your bones stronger, reduce your risk of diseases such as diabetes, and may even improve your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28919335/">sleep and mental health</a>.</p> <p>But not everyone loves the gym. Perhaps you feel you’re not a “gym person” and never will be, or you’re too old to start. Being a gym-goer can be expensive and time-consuming, and some people report feeling <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/StartingStrength/comments/j3hq32/unwelcome_feeling_at_the_gym/">unwelcome</a> or <a href="https://www.quora.com/I-feel-awkward-and-I-want-to-start-a-gym-but-could-not-What-should-I-do">awkward</a> at the gym.</p> <p>The good news is you don’t need the gym, or lots of free time, to get the health benefits resistance training can offer.</p> <p>You can try “exercise snacking” instead.</p> <h2>What is exercise snacking?</h2> <p>Exercise snacking involves doing multiple shorter bouts (as little as 20 seconds) of exercise throughout the day – often with minimal or no equipment. It’s OK to have <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01605-8">several hours of rest</a> between.</p> <p>You could do simple bodyweight exercises such as:</p> <ul> <li> <p>chair sit-to-stand (squats)</p> </li> <li> <p>lunges</p> </li> <li> <p>box step-ups</p> </li> <li> <p>calf raises</p> </li> <li> <p>push-ups.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Exercise snacking like this can help improve muscle mass, strength and physical function.</p> <p>It’s OK to hold onto a nearby object for balance, if you need. And doing these exercises regularly will also improve your balance. That, in turn, reduces your risk of falls and fractures.</p> <h2>OK I have done all those, now what?</h2> <p>Great! You can also try using resistance bands or dumbbells to do the previously mentioned five exercises as well as some of the following exercises:</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/IP4wM2JpDdQ?si=1B1GyV_FY5rcArW8&amp;t=6">seated rows</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/G6GIffCaJCQ?si=RxXZtzMqQ0DGxF3k&amp;t=48">chest</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUnnz5i4Mnw&amp;t=5s">shoulder presses</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/z0omicIkYu4?si=8WffT3ij12SNTqEs">bicep curls</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wXVnxBgLHo">knee extensions</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtTcXXgeRYo">leg curls</a>.</p> </li> </ul> <p>When using resistance bands, make sure you hold them tightly and that they’re securely attached to an immovable object.</p> <p>Exercise snacking works well when you pair it with an activity you do often throughout the day. Perhaps you could:</p> <ul> <li> <p>do a few extra squats every time you get up from a bed or chair</p> </li> <li> <p>do some lunges during a TV ad break</p> </li> <li> <p>chuck in a few half squats while you’re waiting for your kettle to boil</p> </li> <li> <p>do a couple of elevated push-ups (where you support your body with your hands on a chair or a bench while doing the push-up) before tucking into lunch</p> </li> <li> <p>sneak in a couple of calf raises while you’re brushing your teeth.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>What does the evidence say about exercise snacking?</h2> <p>One <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31687210/">study</a> had older adults without a history of resistance training do exercise snacks at home twice per day for four weeks.</p> <p>Each session involved five simple bodyweight exercises (chair sit-to-stand, seated knee extension, standing knee bends, marching on the spot, and standing calf raises). The participants did each exercise continuously for one minute, with a one-minute break between exercises.</p> <p>These short and simple exercise sessions, which lasted just nine minutes, were enough to improve a person’s ability to stand up from a chair by 31% after four weeks (compared to a control group who didn’t exercise). Leg power and thigh muscle size improved, too.</p> <p>Research involving one of us (Jackson Fyfe) has also <a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-022-03207-z">shown</a> older adults found “exercise snacking” feasible and enjoyable when done at home either once, twice, or three times per day for four weeks.</p> <p>Exercise snacking may be a more sustainable approach to improve muscle health in those who don’t want to – or can’t – lift heavier weights in a gym.</p> <h2>A little can yield a lot</h2> <p>We know from other research that the more you exercise, the more likely it is you will <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268119302586">keep exercising in future</a>.</p> <p>Very brief resistance training, albeit with heavier weights, may be more <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29975122/">enjoyable</a> than traditional approaches where people aim to do many, many sets.</p> <p>We also know brief-and-frequent exercise sessions can break up <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26378942/">periods</a> of sedentary behaviour (which usually means sitting too much). Too much sitting increases your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, whereas exercise snacking can help keep your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36921112/">blood sugar levels steady</a>.</p> <p>Of course, longer-term studies are needed. But the evidence we do have suggests exercise snacking really helps.</p> <h2>Why does any of this matter?</h2> <p>As you age, you lose strength and mass in the muscles you use to walk, or stand up. Everyday tasks can become a struggle.</p> <p>All this <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36907247/">contributes</a> to disability, hospitalisation, chronic disease, and reliance on community and residential aged care support.</p> <p>By preserving your muscle mass and strength, you can:</p> <ul> <li> <p>reduce joint pain</p> </li> <li> <p>get on with activities you enjoy</p> </li> <li> <p>live independently in your own home</p> </li> <li> <p>delay or even eliminate the need for expensive health care or residential aged care.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>What if I walk a lot – is that enough?</h2> <p>Walking may maintain some level of lower body muscle mass, but it won’t preserve your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38190393/">upper body muscles</a>.</p> <p>If you find it difficult to get out of a chair, or can only walk short distances without getting out of breath, resistance training is the best way to regain some of the independence and function you’ve lost.</p> <p>It’s even more important for women, as muscle mass and strength are typically lower in older women than men. And if you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, which is more common in older women than men, resistance exercise snacking at home can improve your balance, strength, and bone mineral density. All of this reduces the risk of falls and fractures.</p> <p>You don’t need <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37171517/">heavy weights</a> or fancy equipment to benefit from resistance training.</p> <p>So, will you start exercise snacking today?<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232374/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justin-keogh-129041">Justin Keogh</a>, Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jackson-fyfe-134774">Jackson Fyfe</a>, Senior Lecturer, Strength and Conditioning Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/want-the-health-benefits-of-strength-training-but-not-keen-on-the-gym-try-exercise-snacking-232374">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Iconic Star Trek actor dies suddenly at age 73

<p dir="ltr">Iconic <em>Star Trek: Enterprise</em> actor Gary Graham has passed away suddenly at the age of 73. </p> <p dir="ltr">The actor’s ex-wife Susan Lavelle confirmed the news in an emotional facebook post, sharing their family’s devastation over his death. </p> <p dir="ltr">The family chose not to disclose his cause of death, only writing that his passing was “sudden” and came as a “shock”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It is with deep profound sadness to say that Gary Graham, my ex-husband, amazing actor and father of our beautiful only child together, Haylee Graham, has passed away today,” Lavelle wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are completely devastated, especially our daughter Haley. His wife, Becky, was by his side.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She went on to share some of her favourite things about her ex-husband, writing that he was “Funny, sarcastic sense of humour but kind, fought for what he believed in, a devout Christian and was so proud of his daughter, Haylee.”</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsusanashleylavelle%2Fposts%2Fpfbid0XTf8xMGFeD96Ehnk6a8X7RcKQYDxdHvvm3S82J24FX3eaNwtVo3Uax6H4SvQW3YKl&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="777" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">“This was sudden, so please pray for our daughter as she navigates through this thing called grief,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Fly high into the heavens Gar!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you for our journey and thank you for the gifts you left me in acting, my love of horses and most importantly, our daughter.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Gary shot to fame in Hollywood for his role in the ‘80s series <em>Alien Nation</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">He stayed in the world of sci-fi as he played Vulcan Ambassador Soval on <em>Star Trek: Enterprise</em> between 2001 and 2005.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gary also starred in TV series such as <em>Starsky and Hutch</em> and <em>The Dukes of Hazzard</em>, before acting alongside Tom Cruise in the film <em>All the Right Moves</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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UK PM causes outrage over transgender comments

<p dir="ltr">Rishi Sunak has sparked outrage after making very controversial comments about transgender people at his first party conference as leader.</p> <p dir="ltr">The UK Prime Minister, who is campaigning to get people to support his Conservative party ahead of next year’s general election, declared that “we shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be”.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the party’s annual conference, Mr Sunak spoke for more than an hour as he promised that the Tories would break the mould of the last 30 years of government.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite being in power for 13 years, the Conservative party is on the road to defeat the next election, after increasing dissatisfaction among voters. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We will be bold, we will be radical. We will face resistance and we will meet it,” he told delegates at the conference.</p> <p dir="ltr">Many have seen his comments about transgender people as the most bold and radical parts of his speech.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It shouldn’t be controversial for parents to know what their children are being taught in school about relationships,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Patients should know when hospitals are talking about men or women. We shouldn’t get bullied.”</p> <p dir="ltr">His delegates applauded his controversial statements, to which Sunak continued, “We shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can’t.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“A man is a man and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Sunak’s comments quickly went viral online, with many people expressing their concern over such a prominent figure making such divisive comments. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Outrageous hate, which is going to encourage bullying and physical attacks by thugs, utterly vile,” transgender British newsreader India Willoughby wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If a single trans person gets attacked or murdered after today then Rishi Sunak should be arrested and charged,” added another.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Never had so many DMs from worried UK trans people and their families,” wrote a third.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The important thing following Rishi Sunak’s hate speech: IT IS NOT LAW. Nothing has changed. Trans are still legally recognised and protected. Yes it’s scary – but they do not have time to change rules/law.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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World mourns the passing of one of the true greats of cinema

<p>Renowned British-Irish actor, Sir Michael Gambon, celebrated worldwide for his iconic portrayal of Albus Dumbledore in the beloved Harry Potter film series, has passed away at the age of 82.</p> <p>In an official statement relayed by his publicist, it was confirmed that he succumbed to pneumonia, leaving his family and fans heartbroken. The statement issued by his family reads, "We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in the hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus by his side."</p> <p>Michael Gambon's acting journey spanned more than half a century, with one of his most significant milestones being his assumption of the role of Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, succeeding the late Richard Harris in 2004. In characteristic humility, Gambon downplayed his performance, often remarking that he merely portrayed himself "with a stuck-on beard and a long robe".</p> <p>The Harry Potter franchise expressed its grief, stating, "He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness, and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon. He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts. <a href="https://t.co/1CoTF3zeTo">pic.twitter.com/1CoTF3zeTo</a></p> <p>— Harry Potter (@harrypotter) <a href="https://twitter.com/harrypotter/status/1707371391866028071?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 28, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>James Phelps, known for his portrayal of Fred Weasley in the series, shared a touching anecdote on Instagram, recounting how Gambon generously helped him rehearse a script during the filming of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Phelps hailed Gambon as both a legend on and off the camera, describing him as funny and always willing to share his knowledge.</p> <p>Gambon embarked on his acting career in the early 1960s, initially treading the boards of the stage before transitioning to television and film. His filmography boasted remarkable performances, such as his portrayal of a psychotic mob leader in Peter Greenaway's <em>The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover</em> in 1989 and his portrayal of the elderly King George V in Tom Hooper's <em>The King's Speech</em> in 2010.</p> <p>Despite an early start in engineering apprenticeship, Gambon's passion for acting remained unwavering. He recounted to <em>The Herald</em> newspaper in 2004 that he always knew he would become an actor. His breakthrough came in 1962 when he auditioned for the legendary Laurence Olivier, who subsequently appointed him as one of the founding members of the National Theatre at the Old Vic, alongside emerging talents like Derek Jacobi and Maggie Smith.</p> <p>Gambon's reputation soared on the stage, with his portrayal of Galileo in John Dexter's <em>Life of Galileo</em> in 1980 being a standout moment. In the 1980s, his lead role in the TV series <em>The Singing Detective</em> garnered widespread acclaim, earning him one of his four BAFTA Awards. Additionally, he clinched three Olivier Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for ensemble cast performances in <em>Gosford Park</em> (2001) and <em>The King's Speech</em>.</p> <p>Acknowledged for his contributions to drama, Gambon was honoured as a Commander of the British Empire in 1992 and subsequently knighted in 1998. Despite these prestigious titles, he often displayed a mischievous side, weaving tales such as showing fellow actors a forged signed photograph of Robert De Niro, among other playful antics.</p> <p>In 2015, Gambon retired from the stage due to long-term memory issues, yet he continued to grace the screen with his talent until 2019. In a 2002 interview, he expressed that his work made him feel "the luckiest man in the world".</p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Instagram</em></p>

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Nelson Mandela's granddaughter dies at just 43

<p>Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, has died of cancer at the age of 43. She passed away on the evening of Monday, September 25th, surrounded by friends and family.</p> <p>Mandela had been battling cancer for several years. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, but went into remission. However, the cancer returned last year and had metastasised to her liver and lungs.</p> <p>Despite her illness, Mandela remained active in her community and continued to advocate for cancer prevention and awareness. She was also a vocal advocate for road safety after her 13-year-old daughter, Zenani, was killed in a car crash in 2010.</p> <p>In an interview with Kaya FM in April, Mandela said: "I'm learning to be okay with my eventuality."</p> <p>“The Nelson Mandela Foundation extends its heartfelt condolences to the Mandela family on the passing of Zoleka Mandela, tragically last night,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement. “We mourn the loss of a beloved grandchild of Mum Winnie and Madiba and a friend of the Foundation.”</p> <p>Zoleka's frank disclosures about her illness and her strength in the face of adversity earned her a devoted following on social media.</p> <p>"Utterly tragic loss of a human being in her grandfather's footsteps. A decent, honest human being in a dishonest, hypocritical world," one person on X, formerly Twitter, said.</p> <p>"You were one of the bravest people I know and you inspired many people on your life's journey of hope," another person wrote on Instagram below the Mandela family's announcement.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cxo-ZxXNgXL/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cxo-ZxXNgXL/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Zoleka Zobuhle Mandela (@zolekamandela)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Mandela was only 10 years old when her grandfather was released from prison in 1990 after 27 years in detention. She had only ever known him as an incarcerated man, so when he was released she was just excited he was coming home.</p> <p>Mr Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95.</p> <p>Zoleka Mandela will be remembered as a courageous advocate for cancer prevention and awareness, as well as a loving mother and grandmother. She is survived by her husband, Thierry Murekatete, and their two children.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Six people found dead in luxury hotel

<p>A disturbing theory has emerged after six people were found dead in a luxury hotel room in central Bangkok. </p> <p>According to Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police commissioner Thiti Saengsawang, hotel staff at the Grand Hyatt Erawan discovered the bodies of six people in a fifth-floor room after they missed check out time by more than 24 hours.</p> <p>After concluding that the incident did not appear to be a robbery and none of the bodies showed any signs of physical violence, Thai Police are exploring the possibility that the people were poisoned.</p> <p>Police shared that they "needed to find out the motives", and that the deaths were the result of a "killing", not a suicide.</p> <p>Authorities conformed they are investigating the potential poisoning after Thiti said cups with traces of a white powder were located in the room, along with untouched food that had been ordered earlier.</p> <p>As police continue their investigation into the shocking deaths, they are currently searching for a seventh person who was part of the hotel booking and is now a possible suspect.</p> <p>Two of the dead were US citizens of Vietnamese background, while the other four were Vietnamese nationals.</p> <p>Thiti said police believe one member of the group had tried to reach the door to escape but fell and died before they could get there.</p> <p>The Thai government issued a statement after the killings, with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin saying, "There were no signs of a struggle," adding, "We need to conduct an autopsy."</p> <p>He also "ordered all agencies to urgently take action to avoid impact on tourism,” given that the luxury hotel is situated in a popular tourist area.</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC / Royal Thai Police </em></p>

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So when should you book that flight? The truth on airline prices

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuriy-gorodnichenko-144556">Yuriy Gorodnichenko</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-berkeley-754">University of California, Berkeley</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/newcastle-university-906"><em>Newcastle University</em></a></em></p> <p>How airlines price tickets is a source of many <a href="http://airtravel.about.com/od/travelindustrynews/a/mythticket.htm">myths</a> and urban legends. These include tips about the best day of the week to buy a ticket, last-minute discounts offered by the airlines, and the conspiracy theories suggesting that the carriers use cookies to increase prices for their passengers. None of these three statements is entirely true.</p> <p>Studies have suggested that prices can be higher or lower on a given day of the week – yet, there is no clear consensus on which day that is. Offered prices can in fact drop at any time before the flight, yet they are much more likely to increase than decrease over the last several weeks before the flight’s departure. Further, the airlines prefer to wait for the last-minute business traveler who’s likely to pay full fare rather than sell the seat prematurely to a price conscious traveler. And no, the airlines do not use cookies to manipulate fare quotes – adjusting their inventory for specific customers appears to be beyond their technical capabilities.</p> <p>What is true about pricing in the airline industry is that carriers use complex and sophisticated pricing systems. The airline’s per passenger cost is the lowest when the flight is full, so carriers have incentive to sell as many seats as possible. This is a race against time for an airline and, of course, no company wants to discount its product more than it has to. Hence, the airlines face two somewhat contradictory goals: to maximize revenue by flying full planes and to sell as many full-fare seats as possible. This a process known in the industry as yield or revenue management.</p> <h2>Airlines and their bucket lists</h2> <p>Here is how <a href="http://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1522&amp;context=jaaer">yield management</a> works. For each flight or route (if we are talking about multi-segment itineraries), the airline has a set of available price levels – from the most expensive fully refundable fare to the cheapest deeply discounted non-refundable price. The industry jargon for these prices is “buckets.” Then, seats can be interpreted as balls that are allocated among these buckets.</p> <p>Initial allocation of seats between the price buckets is determined by historical data indicating how well a certain flight sells. For example, fewer deeply discounted seats will be offered on a flight on Thanksgiving week than on the same flight during the third week of February. As the seats on a flight sell, yield managers monitor and adjust the seat allocation. If, for instance, the sales are slower than expected, some of the seats might be moved to lower-priced buckets – this shows up as a price drop. As noted above, such price drops can occur at any time before the flight. However, the general trend of price quotes is upward starting from about two to three weeks before the flight departure date.</p> <p>Of course, an average traveler wants to know when he or she should buy the tickets for the next trip. Another important question is where to buy this ticket. Airlines distribute their inventory on their own websites and on several computer distribution systems, meaning that prices can sometimes differ depending on where one looks. We are not entirely sure what precipitates this phenomenon – likely explanations include differences in contracts between the airlines and the distribution systems/travel agents, implying that different travel agents may not have access to the airline’s entire inventory of available prices.</p> <h2>When to book</h2> <p>The airlines’ yield managers start looking at flight bookings about two months before the departure date. This implies that it generally does not pay to book more than two months in advance: studies show that initially the airlines leave the cheapest price buckets empty, and yield managers may move some seats into those buckets if a couple of months before the departure date the flight is emptier than expected. Between two months and about two to three weeks before the flight date, the fare quotes remain mostly flat, with a slight upward trend. However, and perhaps paradoxically, there is a good chance of a price drop during this period. We tend to monitor prices for several days – sometimes up to a week – hoping for a potentially lower quote. It does not always pay off, but sometimes we do manage to save a considerable amount of money.</p> <p>Two to three weeks before the flight date, the price quotes start increasing. This is the time when business travelers start booking. While price drops are still possible, a chance of a price increase is much higher if you wait to book within this time period. This is also the time when one can find significant differences between price quotes, depending on where one looks and what contract they have with the airlines.</p> <p>Thus, if we book a trip earlier than three weeks before the flight date, we tend not to delay the purchase. At the same time, we check quotes from multiple travel agents, or go directly to a site that allows for a quick comparison of prices (such as <a href="https://www.kayak.com">kayak.com</a> or <a href="http://www.skyscanner.net">skyscanner.net</a>). Or check the airline itself.</p> <p>As for answering the original question we posed, here are some simple tips. First, if you have to travel during a peak period, such as Thanksgiving week, it is generally best not to delay buying that ticket. Otherwise, it might pay to monitor the offered prices for some time before committing. The best strategy for booking within the last couple of weeks before the flight, however, is not to delay the purchase, but to try getting quotes from several agents, which is easy to do in the internet age.<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/34033/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuriy-gorodnichenko-144556"><em>Yuriy Gorodnichenko</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-berkeley-754">University of California, Berkeley</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/newcastle-university-906">Newcastle University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/so-when-should-you-book-that-flight-the-truth-on-airline-prices-34033">original article</a>.</em></p>

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King Charles and Queen Camilla's Australia tour confirmed

<p>King Charles and Queen Camilla are officially coming to Australia! </p> <p>Buckingham Palace confirmed on Monday morning that the monarch and his wife will embark on their first royal tour of Australia as King and Queen in October, with stops including New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. </p> <p>They will also visit Samoa, where they will attend the  2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.</p> <p>This marks the first time a reigning monarch has visited since the late Queen Elizabeth's trip in 2011. </p> <p>However, Charles and Camilla will not be visiting New Zealand based on the advice of doctors, according to the Palace. </p> <p>"The King's doctors have advised that such an extended programme should be avoided at this time, to prioritise His Majesty's continued recovery," a Palace spokesperson said. </p> <p>"In close consultation with the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers, and with due regard for the pressures of time and logistics, it has therefore been agreed to limit the visit to Samoa and Australia only," the spokesperson continued.</p> <p>"Their Majesties send their warmest thanks and good wishes to all parties for their continued support and understanding."</p> <p>Charles' programme in both Australia and Samoa will also "be subject to doctors' advice", and his itinerary may also change according to his health. </p> <p>The royals are expected to spend six days in Australia, before heading to Samoa for the meeting. </p> <p>The last time the couple visited Australia was in 2018, when Charles was still a prince. </p> <p><em>Image: The Royal Family Instagram</em></p>

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Are you up to date with your COVID, flu and other shots? It might depend on who your GP is

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-breadon-1348098">Peter Breadon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anika-stobart-1014358">Anika Stobart</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p>Too many older Australians are <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/A-fair-shot-How-to-close-the-vaccination-gap-Grattan-Institute-Report.pdf">missing out</a> on recommended vaccinations for COVID, flu, shingles and pneumococcal that can protect them from serious illness, hospitalisation and even death.</p> <p>A new <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/">Grattan Institute report</a> shows vaccination rates vary widely from GP to GP, highlighting an important place to look for opportunities to boost vaccination.</p> <p>Many people get vaccinated at pharmacies, and those vaccinations are counted in our analysis. But we looked at GPs because they have a unique role overseeing someone’s health care, and an important role promoting vaccination.</p> <p>We found that for some GPs, nine in ten of their older patients were vaccinated for flu. For others, the rate was only four in ten. The differences for shingles and COVID were even bigger. For pneumococcal disease, there was a 13-fold difference in GPs’ patient vaccination rates.</p> <p>While some variation is inevitable, these differences are large, and they result in too many people missing out on recommended vaccines.</p> <h2>Some GPs treat more complex patients</h2> <p>A lot of these differences reflect the fact that GPs see different types of patients.</p> <p>Our research shows older people who aren’t proficient in English are up to 15% less likely to be vaccinated, even after other factors are taken into account. And the problem seems to be getting worse.</p> <p>COVID vaccination rates for people 75 years and older fell to just 36% in May 2024. But rates were even lower – a mere 11% – for people who don’t speak English proficiently, and 15% for those who speak a language other than English at home.</p> <p>Given these results, it’s no surprise that GPs with fewer patients who are vaccinated also have more patients who struggle with English. For GPs with the lowest vaccination rates, one-quarter of their patients aren’t proficient in English. For GPs with the highest vaccination rates, it is only 1%.</p> <p>GPs with fewer vaccinated patients also saw more people who live in rural areas, are poorer, didn’t go to university, and don’t have regular access to a GP, all of which reduce the likelihood of getting vaccinated.</p> <p>Many of these barriers to vaccination are difficult for GPs to overcome. They point to structural problems in our health system, and indeed our society, that go well beyond vaccination.</p> <p>But GPs are also a key part of the puzzle. A <a href="https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(14)01379-4/fulltext">strong</a> <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21645515.2020.1780848">recommendation</a> from a GP can make a big difference to whether a patient gets vaccinated. <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/primary-health-care/general-practice-allied-health-primary-care">Nearly all</a> older Australians visit a GP every year. And some GPs have room for improvement.</p> <h2>But GPs seeing similar patients can have very different vaccination rates</h2> <p>We compared GPs whose patients had a similar likelihood of being vaccinated, based on a range of factors including their health, wealth and cultural background.</p> <p>Among the GPs whose patients were least likely to get a flu vaccination, some saw less than 40% of their patients vaccinated, while for others in that group, the rate was over 70%.</p> <p>Among GPs with patients who face few barriers to vaccination, the share of their patients who were vaccinated also varied widely.</p> <p>Even within neighbourhoods, GP patient vaccination rates vary a lot. For example, in Bankstown in Sydney, there was a seven-fold difference in COVID vaccination rates and an 18-fold difference for pneumococcal vaccination.</p> <p>Not everything about clinics and patients can be measured in data, and there will be good reasons for some of these differences.</p> <p>But the results do suggest that some GPs are beating the odds to overcome patient barriers to getting vaccinated, while other GPs could be doing more. That should trigger focused efforts to raise vaccination rates where they are low.</p> <h2>So what should governments do?</h2> <p>A comprehensive national reform agenda is <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/A-fair-shot-How-to-close-the-vaccination-gap-Grattan-Institute-Report.pdf">needed to increase adult vaccination</a>. That includes clearer guidance, national advertising campaigns, SMS reminders, and tailored local programs that reach out to communities with very low levels of vaccination.</p> <p>But based on the big differences in GPs’ patient vaccination rates, Australia also needs a three-pronged plan to help GPs lift older Australians’ vaccination rates.</p> <p>First, the way general practice is funded needs to be overhauled, providing more money for the GPs whose patients face higher barriers to vaccination. Today, clinics with patients who are poorer, sicker and who struggle with English tend to get less funding. They should get more, so they can spend more time with patients to explain and promote vaccination.</p> <p>Second, GPs need to be given data, so that they can easily see how their vaccination rates compare to GPs with similar patients.</p> <p>And third, Primary Health Networks – which are responsible for improving primary care in their area – should give clinics with low vaccination rates the help they need. That might include running vaccination sessions, sharing information about best practices that work in similar clinics with higher vaccination rates, or offering translation support.</p> <p>And because pharmacies also play an important role in promoting and providing vaccines, governments should give them data too, showing how their rates compare to other pharmacies in their area, and support to boost vaccination uptake.</p> <p>These measures would go a long way to better protect some of the most vulnerable in our society. Governments have better data than ever before on who is missing out on vaccinations – and other types of health care.</p> <p>They shouldn’t miss the opportunity to target support so that no matter where you live, what your background is, or which GP or pharmacy you go to, you will have the best chance of being protected against disease.<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234175/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-breadon-1348098"><em>Peter Breadon</em></a><em>, Program Director, Health and Aged Care, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anika-stobart-1014358">Anika Stobart</a>, Senior Associate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-you-up-to-date-with-your-covid-flu-and-other-shots-it-might-depend-on-who-your-gp-is-234175">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"Rest in love": All Blacks legend and Dancing with the Stars winner dies at 55

<p>The sports and entertainment communities are mourning the loss of former All Blacks hooker and <em>Dancing with the Stars</em> winner Norm Hewitt, who has passed away at the age of 55.</p> <p>Hewitt, a beloved figure both on and off the rugby field, succumbed to a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease, as confirmed by his family in a heartfelt statement.</p> <p>"Although rugby dominated his early life, he established a thriving human relations consultancy after retirement, and his services were much in demand both nationally and internationally," his family shared. "He walked confidently in both Māori and Pākehā worlds and was a particular role model for troubled youth, citing his own background, and offering inspirational teachings that one’s present life need not be one’s future."</p> <p>Hewitt leaves behind his wife Arlene and their two children, Elizabeth and Alexander. Born and raised in Pōrangahau, southern Hawke’s Bay, Hewitt's rugby career was nothing short of illustrious. Over 13 seasons, he played 296 representative matches for Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Wellington, earning 23 caps for the All Blacks. Hewitt was also a pivotal member of the Hurricanes during the formative years of Super Rugby, missing only one match in the first five years.</p> <p>The rugby community has been profoundly affected by Hewitt's passing. Former teammate Ofisa Tonu’u posted a touching tribute on Facebook: "I’m just devastated finding out the news today. I will never forget how you always stuck up for me during the Black Tracker days when no one else would, you always look after all the players and we always followed you into battle. No more pain, brother, you can now rest in Love. Fa’afetai tele lava my uso for having my back as I did yours. I know the other boys will be welcoming you with open arms at the gates. Rest in Love, Normy."</p> <p>Beyond his rugby career, Hewitt transitioned into a public speaker and mentor, focusing heavily on violence prevention programmes and advocacy. He worked with the SPCA as an animal cruelty and anti-violence publicity officer, visiting schools to spread his message. In 2005, Hewitt showcased his versatility by winning the first season of<em> Dancing with the Stars</em> alongside professional dancer Carol-Ann Hickmore.</p> <p>Hewitt's life was not without its struggles. In 1999, he made a public apology for a drunken incident in Queenstown, marking a turning point as he renounced alcohol and dedicated himself to helping others facing similar challenges.</p> <p>The outpouring of tributes was immediate, with The All Blacks expressing their sorrow: “We are saddened by the loss of All Black #938 Norm Hewitt who passed away yesterday in Wellington. Hewitt played 9 Tests and 14 Games between 1993 and 1998. Our thoughts are with Norm’s family and loved ones at this time.”</p> <p>Podcaster Martin Devlin shared his personal experience: “RIP Norm Hewitt. Not a lot of people know how kind & generous this man was. A truly wonderful person. Reached out to me and helped me considerably a long time ago when things were very rough. Love & respect.”</p> <p>Richard Hills echoed the sentiments of many: “This is bloody sad. A sad way to lose a kiwi icon so young. He had a really rough childhood and upbringing and faced it and turned his life around to become not only a rugby legend but also helped others who’d been through similar issues.”</p> <p>Norm Hewitt’s legacy will endure through the lives he touched and the positive change he inspired. His story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the profound impact one individual can have on the world.</p> <p><em>Image: Radio New Zealand</em></p>

Caring

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Think you’ve decided what to buy? Actually, your brain is still deciding – even as you put it in your basket

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tijl-grootswagers-954175">Tijl Grootswagers</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/genevieve-l-quek-1447582">Genevieve L Quek</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/manuel-varlet-156210">Manuel Varlet</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>You are standing in the cereal aisle, weighing up whether to buy a healthy bran or a sugary chocolate-flavoured alternative.</p> <p>Your hand hovers momentarily before you make the final grab.</p> <p>But did you know that during those last few seconds, while you’re reaching out, your brain is still evaluating the pros and cons – influenced by everything from your last meal, the health star rating, the catchy jingle in the ad, and the colours of the letters on the box?</p> <p>Our recently published <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-024-62135-7">research</a> shows our brains do not just think first and then act. Even while you are reaching for a product on a supermarket shelf, your brain is still evaluating whether you are making the right choice.</p> <p>Further, we found measuring hand movements offers an accurate window into the brain’s ongoing evaluation of the decision – you don’t have to hook people up to expensive brain scanners.</p> <p>What does this say about our decision-making? And what does it mean for consumers and the people marketing to them?</p> <h2>What hand movements tell us about decision-making</h2> <p>There has been <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-psych-010419-051053">debate within neuroscience</a> on whether a person’s movements to enact a decision can be modified once the brain’s “motor plan” has been made.</p> <p>Our research revealed not only that movements can be changed after a decision – “in flight” – but also the changes matched incoming information from a person’s senses.</p> <p>To study <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-62135-7">how our decisions unfold over time</a>, we tracked people’s hand movements as they reached for different options shown in pictures – for example, in response to the question “is this picture a face or an object?”</p> <p>When choices were easy, their hands moved straight to the right option. But when choices were harder, new information made the brain change its mind, and this was reflected in the trajectory of their hand movements.</p> <p>When we compared these hand movement trajectories to brain activity recorded using neuroimaging, we found that the timing and amount of evidence of the brain’s evaluation matched the movement pattern.</p> <p>Put simply, reaching movements are shaped by ongoing thinking and decision-making.</p> <p>By showing that brain patterns match movement trajectories, our research also highlights that large, expensive brain scanners may not always be required to study the brain’s decision evaluation processes, as movement tracking is much more cost-effective and much easier to test on a large scale.</p> <h2>What does this mean for consumers and marketers?</h2> <p>For consumers, knowing our brains are always reevaluating decisions we might think of as “final” can help us be more aware of our choices.</p> <p>For simple decisions such as choosing a breakfast cereal, the impact may be small. Even if you have preemptively decided on a healthy option, you might be tempted at the last minute by the flashy packaging of a less healthy choice.</p> <p>But for important long-term decisions such as choosing a mortgage, it can have serious effects.</p> <p>On the other side of the coin, marketers have long known that many purchase decisions are <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969698912000781">made on the spot</a>.</p> <p>They use strategies such as attractive packaging and strategic product placement to influence people’s decisions.</p> <p>New ways of studying how people’s brains process information – right up to the last minute – can help marketers design more effective strategies.</p> <h2>Opportunities for further research</h2> <p>Further research in this area could explore how different types of information, such as environmental cues or memories, affect this continuous decision evaluation process in different groups of people. For example, how do people of different ages process information while making decisions?</p> <p>Our finding – that hand movements reflect the inner workings of the brain’s decision making process – could make future studies cheaper and more efficient.</p> <p>The ability to fine-tune marketing in this way has implications beyond just selling products. It can also make public strategic messaging far more effective.</p> <p>This could include tailoring a public health campaign on vaping specifically for people aged under 30, or targeting messaging about superannuation scams more effectively at those of retirement age.</p> <p>The act of reaching for a product is not a simple consequence of a decision already made; it’s a highly dynamic process. Being aware of what influences our last-minute decision-making can help us make better choices that have better outcomes.<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234167/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tijl-grootswagers-954175">Tijl Grootswagers</a>, Senior Research Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/genevieve-l-quek-1447582">Genevieve L Quek</a>, Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/manuel-varlet-156210">Manuel Varlet</a>, Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/think-youve-decided-what-to-buy-actually-your-brain-is-still-deciding-even-as-you-put-it-in-your-basket-234167">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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"Force of nature": Tributes flow for Shannen Doherty

<p>Shannen Doherty has passed away aged 53. </p> <p>The beloved actress, known for her roles on <em>Little House on the Prairie</em>, <em>Charmed</em> and <em>90210</em>, died over the weekend following a nine-year battle with breast cancer. </p> <p>Doherty's death was confirmed by her publicist, Leslie Sloane, who said in a statement: "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of actress Shannen Doherty. On Saturday, July 13, she lost her battle with cancer after many years of fighting the disease."</p> <p>"The devoted daughter, sister, aunt and friend was surrounded by her loved ones as well as her dog, Bowie. The family asks for their privacy at this time so they can grieve in peace."</p> <p>Tributes have flowed in for Doherty from friends, co-stars and loved ones, who have remembered her as a "force of nature". </p> <p>"Shannen Doherty had the heart of a lion," fellow<em> Charmed </em>co-star Rose McGowan wrote in a tribute shared to Instagram. </p> <p>"Passion for craft is often mislabelled as trouble. Shannen was passion," McGowan continued.</p> <p>"I met her in the 90s and was awed. Getting to really know her later in life, a beautiful gift. This woman fought to live," McGowan added, before praising Doherty's work ethic which was "inspiring to the end".</p> <p>"Shannen's great love for directing, for acting, Holly [Marie Combs], her friends, her parents, dog and her beloved fans was legendary."</p> <p>"Our lives had been intertwined in a unique way. We laughed at dark forces who wanted us to hate each other, instead we chose love and respect. A soft-hearted badass as there ever was. A force of energy that will live forever in hearts," McGowan wrote. </p> <p>"Rest now warrior, we will never forget you dear sister."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9aLxGVvLH_/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9aLxGVvLH_/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fellow Charmed co-star Alyssa Milano - who Doherty had a complicated relationship with - also paid tribute to her via a statement shared with<em> People</em>. </p> <p>"It's no secret that Shannen and I had a complicated relationship, but at its core was someone I deeply respected and was in awe of," Milano wrote.</p> <p>"She was a talented actress, beloved by many and the world is less without her. My condolences to all who loved her," she concluded.</p> <p>Meanwhile, actress Olivia Munn, who bonded with Doherty over their shared breast cancer battle, shared a lengthy tribute to her Instagram story. </p> <p>"I am absolutely heartbroken over the passing of Shannen Doherty. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I remembered how she bravely let the world into her journey and reached out to her," Munn wrote.</p> <p>"We became instant friends – which I honestly couldn't comprehend at times because watching her on 90210 was everything to me when I was 10."</p> <p>"Looking back on the last text she sent me just a couple months ago, she asked how I was doing and if she could do anything for me.... True to form, Shannen was offering her support even though she was in the final stages of fighting this horrific disease," Munn continued.</p> <p>"Cancer is really f---ing scary and Shannen faced it with such dignity, strength and grace.</p> <p>"I'm sending all my love to her mother who was her best friend, hero and champion every step of the way. Fly so high, my friend 💔💔💔💔".</p> <p>Doherty's <em>Beverly Hills</em> and <em>90210 </em>co-star Jason Priestly described her as a  "force of nature" in an Instagram post. </p> <p>"I will miss her," he wrote.</p> <p>"Sending love and light to her family in this dark time."</p> <p>"Shocked and saddened by news of Shannen Doherty's death," Carol Potter, who played her on-screen mum in <em>90210</em>, wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>"What a journey she has been on! Gone too soon. Throughout, she stayed true to herself and gave us an example of courage and perseverance in facing her own death. May she rest in peace.❤️🙏"</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

Lifestyle

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How sustainable is your weekly grocery shop? These small changes can have big benefits

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michalis-hadjikakou-129930">Michalis Hadjikakou</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carla-archibald-283811">Carla Archibald</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ozge-geyik-1402545">Özge Geyik</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/pankti-shah-1547393">Pankti Shah</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>You might think eating more sustainably requires drastic changes, such as shifting to a <a href="https://theconversation.com/vegan-diet-has-just-30-of-the-environmental-impact-of-a-high-meat-diet-major-study-finds-210152">vegan diet</a>. While a plant-based diet is <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-023-00795-w">undeniably</a> good for the Earth, our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352550924001945#f0025">new research</a> shows modest changes to your eating habits can also have significant environmental benefits.</p> <p>We assessed how food products on Australian supermarket shelves stack up against key environmental indicators, such as carbon emissions and water use.</p> <p>We found swapping the most environmentally harmful foods for more sustainable options within the same food group, such as switching from beef burgers to chicken burgers, can significantly reduce carbon emissions – by up to 96% in some instances.</p> <p>The last thing we want to do is take the pleasure away from eating. Instead, we want to help consumers make realistic dietary changes that also help ensure a sustainable future. So read on to find out which simple food swaps can best achieve this.</p> <h2>Informing sustainable diets</h2> <p>The environmental impact of foods can be estimated using an approach known as a <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(19)30128-9#:%7E:text=In%20this%20Primer%2C%20we%20introduce,cycle%20of%20a%20product%20system.">life-cycle assessment</a>.</p> <p>This involves identifying the “inputs” required along the food supply chain, such as fertiliser, energy, water and land, and tracking them from farm to fork. From this we can calculate a product’s “footprint” – or environmental impact per kilogram of product – and compare it to other foods.</p> <p>Most studies of environmental footprints focus on the raw ingredients that make up food products (such as beef, wheat or rice) rather than the packaged products people see on shelves (such as beef sausages, pasta or rice crackers). Of the studies that do focus on packaged foods, most only consider a fraction of the products available to consumers.</p> <p>What’s more, a lot of research considers only the carbon emissions of food products, excluding other important measures such as water use. And some studies use global average environmental footprints, which <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aaq0216">vary significantly</a> between countries.</p> <p>Our research set out to overcome these limitations. We aligned environmental footprints with the products people find on supermarket shelves, and covered a huge range of food and beverage products available in Australia. We also included many environmental indicators, to allow a <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2120584119">more complete picture</a> of the sustainability of different foods.</p> <h2>What we did</h2> <p>Key to our research was the <a href="https://www.georgeinstitute.org.au/projects/foodswitch">FoodSwitch database</a>, which compiles food labelling and ingredient data from images of packaged food and beverages. It covers more than 90% of the Australian packaged food market.</p> <p>We combined the database with a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652623029748">mathematical method</a> that sums the environmental impact of ingredients, to quantify the footprint of the product as a whole.</p> <p>From this, we estimated the environmental footprint of 63,926 food products available in Australian supermarkets. We then simulated the potential benefits of making “realistic” switches between products – that is, switches within the same food category.</p> <h2>Our findings</h2> <p>The results show how making a small dietary change can have big environmental consequences.</p> <p>For a shopping basket composed of items from eight food groups, we simulate the benefits of swapping from high-impact towards medium- or low-impact food products.</p> <p>Our analysis assumes a starting point from the most environmentally harmful products in each food group – for example, sweet biscuits, cheese and beef burger patties.</p> <p>A shift to the medium-impact foods for all eight items – such as a muffin, yoghurt and sliced meat – can lead to at least a 62% reduction in environmental impact. Shifts towards the most sustainable choice for all items – bread, soy milk or raw poultry – can achieve a minimum 77% reduction.</p> <p>This analysis ends at the supermarket shelves and does not include additional food processing by the consumer. For example, raw meat will usually be cooked before human consumption, which will expand its environmental footprint to varying degrees, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-020-00200-w">depending on the method used</a>.</p> <p>See the below info-graphic for more detail. The full results are available in <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352550924001945">our study</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="sR5yB" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/sR5yB/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>What next?</h2> <p>Many people are looking for ways to live more sustainably. Insufficient or complex information can fuel confusion and anxiety in consumers, <a href="https://theconversation.com/reducing-eco-anxiety-is-a-critical-step-in-achieving-any-climate-action-210327">leading to inaction or paralysis</a>. Consumers need more information and support to choose more sustainable foods.</p> <p>Supermarkets and retailers also have an important role to play – for example, by giving sustainable products <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07439156211008898">prominent shelf placement</a>. Attractive pricing is also crucial – particularly in the midst of a <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/cost-of-living-crisis-115238">cost-of-living crisis</a> when it can be difficult to prioritise sustainability over cost.</p> <p>Government interventions, such as information campaigns and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07439156211008898">taxing high-impact products</a>, can also help.</p> <p>Food labelling is also important. The European Union <a href="https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/circular-economy/eu-ecolabel/product-groups-and-criteria_en">is leading the way</a> with measures such as the <a href="https://docs.score-environnemental.com/v/en">eco-score</a>, which integrates 14 environmental indicators into a single score from A to E.</p> <p>Apps such as <a href="https://www.georgeinstitute.org/projects/ecoswitch">ecoSwitch</a> can also <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1326020024000268?via%3Dihub">empower consumers</a>.</p> <p>The diets of people in developed nations such as Australia <a href="https://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-want-to-eat-healthy-try-an-eco-friendly-diet-89086">exert a high toll on our planet</a>. More sustainable food choices are vital to achieving a <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/commissions/EAT">sustainable future for humanity</a>. We hope our research helps kick-start positive change.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234367/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michalis-hadjikakou-129930">Michalis Hadjikakou</a>, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Sustainability, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering &amp; Built Environment, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carla-archibald-283811">Carla Archibald</a>, Research Fellow, Conservation Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ozge-geyik-1402545">Özge Geyik</a>, Visitor, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/pankti-shah-1547393">Pankti Shah</a>, PhD student, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-sustainable-is-your-weekly-grocery-shop-these-small-changes-can-have-big-benefits-234367">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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BBC star's heartbreaking plea after wife and daughters were killed

<p>Grief-stricken BBC racing commentator John Hunt has broken his silence after his wife and two daughters were <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/man-arrested-after-bbc-presenter-s-wife-and-children-murdered" target="_blank" rel="noopener">killed</a> during a crossbow attack. </p> <p>Carol Hunt, 61, Hannah Hunt, 28, and Louise Hunt, 25, were fatally injured at their home in North London last Tuesday, with Hertfordshire Police confirming that 26-year-old Kyle Clifford had been arrested in connection to their murders. </p> <p>Speaking to the <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cx825zwy2r5o" target="_blank" rel="noopener">BBC</a></em> about the devastating incident, John's friend and fellow commentator, Matt Chapman, said, "Family means more to some than others and for John, his family unit was something he absolutely adored."</p> <p>"He told me: 'Matty, the message I would tell everyone is you never know when it's going to be the last day you see your family'."</p> <p>"The message was very clear: make the most of every day because you just don't know."</p> <p>Mr Chapman said proceeds from a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-family-of-john-hunt" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">fundraiser </a>set up after the horrifying attack, which has currently raised more than $53,000 AUD, will go to John's surviving daughter, Amy. </p> <p>He said John had said his "biggest desire" was to make sure Amy had "no money worries for the rest of her life".</p> <p>"There are a lot of people, including myself, who feel helpless and would like to do something," he said.</p> <p>"John would like nothing more for Amy after these horrific events than a life that is a little less stressful, because life will never be stress-free again."</p> <p>"It's not going to take their grief away - it's not going to take the pain away or change anything - but it might help them have an easier life."</p> <p>John and Amy released a joint statement on Saturday, thanking the public for their messages of support during what they described as "an extremely difficult time for us".</p> <p>"The devastation that we are experiencing cannot be put into words," they said. </p> <p>"We would like to thank people for their kind messages and for the support we have received in recent days. These have provided great comfort to us for which we are very grateful."</p> <p>"As you can imagine, this is an extremely difficult time for us, and we need time and space to come to terms with what has happened and start the grieving process."</p> <p>As the investigation continues into the brutal deaths, police shared that they have not yet been able to speak to him as he remains in a serious condition after suffering self-inflicted wounds. </p> <p><em>Image credits: GoFundMe / Facebook</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Michael J. Fox celebrates 36th wedding anniversary

<p>Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan are celebrating 36 years of wedded bliss. </p> <p>On Tuesday, the two actors - who first met in 1985 when they were cast as each other's love interests on <em>Family Ties -</em> took to Instagram to celebrate their marriage. </p> <p>"Here's to a lifetime of love with the love of a lifetime. Happy anniversary, T. Forever ♥️," Fox wrote, alongside a throwback photo of him and Pollan by a pool. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9e_t4buipY/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9e_t4buipY/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Michael J Fox (@realmikejfox)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Pollan shared a throwback photo of her and Fox on a beach with two golden retrievers, and a more recent image of the pair on the same beach. </p> <p>"Same spot, different year!" she wrote in the caption. </p> <p>"Happy anniversary my love, we haven't changed a bit 😘 I love you!"</p> <p>Fox replied to the sweet tribute in the comments, saying: "Gosh...I love you. Let's keep on keepin on❤️"</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9fKYldRT47/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9fKYldRT47/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Tracy Pollan (@tracy.pollan)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fans took to the comments to share their best wishes to the couple. </p> <p>"Just watched the episode of <em>Family Ties</em> at the train station. So beautiful that your love for each other remains unshakeable, and eternal. Happy Anniversary!!!" wrote one fan. </p> <p>"I’m convinced Hollywood will never see a sweeter couple than you two. You are an inspiration," added another. </p> <p>"HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the strongest couple I know!! Wishing you so many more happy years together!!" wrote a third. </p> <p>While the pair first met in 1985, they didn't get together until a few years later when they were reunited on-screen in <em>Bright Lights, Big City. </em>Within seven months the pair were engaged and went on to tie the knot on July 16 1988. </p> <p>They have since welcomed four children: Sam Michael Fox, Aquinnah Kathleen Fox, Schuyler Frances Fox and Esmé Annabelle Fox.</p> <p>Their love story has endured it all, including Fox's Parkinson's diagnosis, which is documented in Fox's 2023 documentary, "STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie." </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Relationships

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Shannen Doherty's mother breaks silence

<p>Shannen Doherty's mum has shared a touching tribute following the actress' death. </p> <p>The <em>Charmed </em>star <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/caring/force-of-nature-tributes-flow-for-shannen-doherty" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed away</a> on July 13 aged 53 following a nine-year battle with cancer. </p> <p>Shannen's mum, Rosa Doherty, has now thanked her daughter's fans for their support. </p> <p>"She is my beautiful girl and my heart," Rosa told <em>People</em>.</p> <p>"Our family wants to thank everyone who has shown love and support for our Shannen throughout her life. We are truly appreciative."</p> <p>Shannen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and went into remission two years later. </p> <p>In 2022 she shared that the cancer had returned and spread, and was now stage four. A year later, she told fans that the cancer had spread to her brain.  </p> <p>Shannen had a close relationship with her mum, and had previously credited her mum for teaching her how to push through hard times. </p> <p>In a 2023 interview with <em>People</em>, she recalled how her mum pushed through despite her brain aneurysm when Shannen was eight, and how that experience stuck with her. </p> <p>“I come from a woman who was determined,” she told the publication at the time. </p> <p>“She impressed that upon me as a very young child like, 'You don't give up. You just have to work hard at it.' "</p> <p>“I think I was always a fighter,” she added. “I was raised that way to be very strong and that I could do anything that I put my mind to.”</p> <p>The actress carried that attitude despite her battle with cancer, and in an April episode of her podcast <em>Let's Be Clear</em>, she opened up on her desire to keep living. </p> <p>“I’m not done with living. I’m not done with loving. I’m not done with creating. I’m not done with hopefully changing things for the better," she said in the podcast. </p> <p>"I’m just not — I’m not done."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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Elon Musk tops donations as millions raised for Trump shooting victims

<p>In the wake of the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, a groundswell of support has emerged from celebrities, business leaders, Republican Party notables and countless regular Americans for those affected by the event that left Trump injured, one man dead, and two others in critical condition.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/president-trump-seeks-support-for-butler-pa-victims" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe campaign</a>, initiated by Trump's top finance person, Meredith O'Rourke of Tallahassee, initially set a goal of $1 million. However, by Monday morning, donations had already far surpassed this target. As of Monday evening, the online fundraiser had amassed over $4.6 million from more than 60,000 donations.</p> <p>Prominent figures have made substantial contributions, with tech mogul Elon Musk donating $100,000 in two instalments late on Monday, while the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its president, Dana White, each contributed $50,000.</p> <p>Meredith O'Rourke, the organiser of the fundraiser, said that the collected funds would support the victims and their families, aiding in recovery and providing assistance to those in mourning. "This is about coming together as a community to help those who have suffered from this senseless act of violence," O'Rourke stated.</p> <p>Among the victims is volunteer fire chief <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/caring/hero-victim-identified-at-trump-rally-shooting" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Corey Comperatore</a>, aged 50, who was praised by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro as a hero who shielded his wife and daughter during the shooting. Two other individuals remain in critical condition as they recover from their injuries.</p> <p>Here are some of the notable donors who have contributed to the "Butler PA Victims GoFundMe" campaign:</p> <p><strong>Elon Musk:</strong> $100,000. The Tesla CEO, X (formerly Twitter) owner, and SpaceX founder, now a Texas resident, has a significant presence in Florida due to regular launches from Cape Canaveral.</p> <p><strong>Kenneth C. Griffin:</strong> $100,000. The founder and CEO of multinational hedge fund Citadel LLC, Griffin, is a Daytona Beach native who maintains a home in Miami.</p> <p><strong>Governor Rick &amp; Ann Scott:</strong> $50,000. Rick Scott, the former governor of Florida, has been serving as a U.S. senator from Florida since 2019.</p> <p><strong>Kid Rock:</strong> $50,000. Versatile musician and entertainer Kid Rock is renowned for blending rock, hip-hop, and country genres, delivering energetic performances and chart-topping hits over a career spanning more than two decades.</p> <p><em>Image: GoFundMe</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"I just got shot": Trump gives first interview after assassination attempt

<p>In his first interview since a <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/finance/legal/attempted-assassination-of-trump-the-long-history-of-violence-against-u-s-presidents" target="_blank" rel="noopener">failed assassination attempt</a> at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump provided new insights into his harrowing experience and "miraculous" survival. The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon when 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks fired upon the former president during his speech.</p> <p>Speaking aboard his private jet to a <a href="https://nypost.com/2024/07/14/us-news/grateful-defiant-trump-recounts-surreal-assassination-attempt-at-rally-im-supposed-to-be-dead/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>New York Post</em> journalist</a>, Trump described the weekend’s events as a “very surreal experience".</p> <p>“The doctor at the hospital said he never saw anything like this, he called it a miracle,” Trump, wearing a white bandage over his right ear, told the <em>Post</em>. “I’m not supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be dead.”</p> <p>Trump recounted that his survival was due to a slight turn of his head to the right to read a chart on illegal immigrants. At that precise moment, what could have been a fatal shot tore off a small piece of his ear, splattering blood on his forehead and cheek.</p> <p>As Secret Service agents quickly led him off stage, Trump expressed his desire to continue speaking to his supporters. However, agents insisted it wasn’t safe and rushed him to a hospital. He marvelled at how the agents reacted, comparing them to "linebackers" as they shielded him.</p> <p>Unbuttoning his long-sleeve white shirt, Trump revealed a large bruise on his right forearm, evidence of the forceful protection provided by the agents.</p> <p>Trump had previously posted on his social media account, Truth Social, to thank the Secret Service and law enforcement. “The agents hit me so hard that my shoes fell off, and my shoes are tight,” he said.</p> <p>Microphones at the podium captured the urgent commands from security telling Trump to “get down, get down” before he was helped back up. In the commotion, Trump was heard saying, “let me get my shoes,” before being escorted to a waiting car.</p> <p>In a powerful photograph that has since circulated widely, Trump, after being shot, stood and raised his fist, shouting “fight” three times to the crowd as Secret Service agents tried to move him offstage.</p> <p>“A lot of people say it’s the most iconic photo they’ve ever seen,” Trump said of the image. “They’re right and I didn’t die. Usually, you have to die to have an iconic picture. I just wanted to keep speaking, but I just got shot.”</p> <p>The rally saw two people killed, including the shooter, and two others injured. Reflecting on his survival, Trump told reporters that “by luck or by God” he was still here.</p> <p><em>Images: Xinhua News Agency/Shutterstock Editorial</em> </p>

Legal

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Shannen Doherty's powerful final act before passing

<p>Shannen Doherty agreed to settle her divorce with ex-husband Kurt Iswarienko just one day before her death. </p> <p>According to court documents obtained by<em> Page Six</em> on Monday, the former <em>90210</em> star agreed to waive spousal support and to a "default or uncontested dissolution" of their marriage, indicating that the former couple settled their split outside of court. </p> <p>While Doherty signed the agreement on Friday, July 12, her ex-husband signed it on Saturday July 13 - the day the actress lost her nine-year-long battle with <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/caring/force-of-nature-tributes-flow-for-shannen-doherty" target="_blank" rel="noopener">breast cancer</a>. </p> <p>“It is the mutual wish and desire of the parties to effect a full, complete, and final settlement of all their respective property interests, future and present, by this Judgement, and … completely resolve any and all issues relating to division of property, reimbursement claims and/or credits, spousal support, and attorneys’ fees and costs,” the documents reportedly state.</p> <p>Not long after Doherty passed away, her friend Tara Furiani called out Iswarienko for his lack of "humanity" during his and Doherty's bitter divorce battle which began in April 2023. </p> <p>She claimed that he was "dragging his feet” so he wouldn’t have to pay her.</p> <p>“Life is so hard … life is extra hard with cancer and without the support you thought you’d have,” Furiani shared.</p> <p>“If you have the opportunity to be a decent person, take it. You have no idea what people are dealing with and going through.”</p> <p>Iswarienko's lawyer has previously rejected all claims that Iswarienko was delaying the divorce alleging that he wanted to finalise it in September 2023 with a settlement deal, which she denied because he “skirted around” how much he earned in the early aughts of their marriage.</p> <p>The former couple married in 2011, before the actress filed for divorce last year in light of his infidelity. </p> <p><em>Images: SplashNews.com/ Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Second marriage asset protection: What you need to know

<p>Of paramount importance for many people in a second marriage is how to protect their assets if their relationship breaks down, or in the event of their death. Although second marriages bring a level of complexity, there are a number of strategies that you can implement to ensure that your assets are protected. </p> <p>Let’s explore some of the options available to you and what you need to know to protect your assets.</p> <p><strong>Binding Financial Agreement</strong></p> <p>A Binding Financial Agreement, often referred to as a pre-nup, allows you and your spouse to put in place a legal agreement which outlines how your assets will be dealt with in the event that your relationship breaks down. Should you wish, it can also extend to the provision of financial support for either party. The intention is for each party to protect their own assets, and such agreements can be put in place prior to a marriage or during a marriage if both parties consent. </p> <p>Like any legal document, a Binding Financial Agreement needs to be well drafted to ensure that it encompasses all relevant information, and it is important that you seek the advice of a family lawyer to assist you with putting this important document in place.</p> <p><strong>Joint Assets v Individual Assets</strong></p> <p>The manner in which you hold your assets is of paramount importance. All joint assets pass to the surviving party. If you and your spouse own a property as joint proprietors upon your death this property will automatically pass to your spouse. By changing the manner in which you hold the property from joint proprietors to tenants in common allows you and your spouse to deal with your individual interest in the property in your respective Wills. </p> <p>Additionally, you need to be mindful of any bank accounts or other investments that you hold jointly with your spouse as these are not individual assets that you can make provision for and will pass to your spouse upon your death.</p> <p><strong>Your Will</strong></p> <p>It is imperative that you put a Will in place that is reflective of your current circumstances and adequately provides for both your spouse and your children from a previous relationship in the manner that you desire. For many parents in second marriages with children from a previous relationship, protecting their children’s inheritance is of paramount importance. </p> <p>Discretionary Testamentary Trusts which are created in accordance with the provisions of your Will, can make provision for your spouse during their lifetime, whilst also ensuring that most of your assets go to your children. </p> <p>If you are the sole registered proprietor of your residence in which you and your spouse reside you may make provision in your Will providing a life interest in your residence to your spouse subject to some conditions being adhered to. This will allow your spouse to reside in your residence for the duration of their life then subsequent to their death the property may then pass to your children. </p> <p>Dying without a valid Will in place deems that you died intestate, and your assets will be distributed in accordance with a government formula and may not end up with the people who you would like to receive them. Your spouse would be entitled to a share of your assets, however this may not have been your intention, or the share that they would receive may be significantly more than you would like them to receive. </p> <p>It is therefore crucial that you take the time to put a well drafted Will in place so that your assets pass to those who you would like to receive them upon your death.</p> <p><strong>Mutual Wills Agreement</strong></p> <p>A Mutual Wills Agreement is a separate document to your Will and essentially is an agreement between you and your spouse that both of you will not change your Will without the consent of the your spouse or their legal personal representative upon their death.  </p> <p>This document is intended to prevent the remaining spouse from altering their Will and disinheriting step-children or making other adverse changes to their Will.</p> <p><strong>The Right People in Key Roles</strong></p> <p>The roles of executor of your Will and your attorney in respect to your Power of Attorney documents are important roles and it is paramount that you appoint trusted people to undertake these roles as essentially you are handing control of your assets to those who assume these roles. </p> <p>Your attorney is entrusted to look after your finances and provide the best care for you in the event that you become incapacitated so you need to choose wisely.</p> <p><strong>Communication is Crucial</strong></p> <p>It is important that there is transparency for you and your family. By having important conversations with your spouse and children you can openly discuss your intentions and expectations so that all parties are relevantly informed and fully understand what your wishes are and what you have put in place. </p> <p>In order to evaluate the best options for you it is important that you obtain the appropriate professional advice to determine which is the best strategy for your own individual circumstances so that the relevant documents are put in place which offer you the best asset protection possible.</p> <p><em><strong>Melisa Sloan is principal of Madison Sloan Lawyers and author of Big Moments: Expert Advice for Conquering those moments that define us. www.melisasloan.com.au</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

Entertainment

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Jack Black cancels Tenacious D tour after on-stage Trump comment

<p>Jack Black has cancelled the rest of Tenacious D's Australia and New Zealand tour after his bandmate Kyle Gass’s on-stage joke about the attempted assassination of Donald Trump was widely condemned. </p> <p>Gass was celebrating his 64th birthday on stage at Sydney’s International Convention Centre on Sunday night, just hours after Trump was fired upon at a rally Pennsylvania, when Black presented him with a cake and asked for his birthday wish. </p> <p>“Don’t miss Trump next time,” Gass replied. </p> <p>The moment was captured and posted to TikTok where it quickly went viral, even attracting attention from radio shock jock <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/kyle-slaps-comedy-legends-with-lifetime-ban-for-twisted-trump-joke" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Kyle Sandilands</a>, who proposed Tenacious D receive a lifetime ban from touring in Australia.</p> <p>Since the moment garnered online attention, Kyle Gass has been dropped by his talent agency, Greene Talent, with rep Michael Greene telling <em><a href="https://www.tmz.com/2024/07/16/tenacious-d-kyle-gass-dropped-talent-agency-trump-shooting-comment/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">TMZ</a></em> they have parted ways due to the incident.</p> <p>In the hours after the show, Jack Black took to Instagram where he shocked fans by announcing the rest of their tour would be cancelled, as the joke prompted a falling out between the two bandmates.</p> <p>“I was blindsided by what was said at the show on Sunday. I would never condone hate speech or encourage political violence in any form,” Black wrote in a statement.</p> <p>“After much reflection, I no longer feel it is appropriate to continue the Tenacious D tour, and all future creative plans are on hold. I am grateful to the fans for their support and understanding.”</p> <p>Gass has since apologised for the joke, saying, “The line I improvised onstage Sunday night in Sydney was highly inappropriate, dangerous and a terrible mistake."</p> <p>“I don’t condone violence of any kind, in any form, against anyone. What happened was a tragedy, and I’m incredibly sorry for my severe lack of judgement."</p> <p>“I profoundly apologise to those I’ve let down and truly regret any pain I’ve caused.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Reynaud Julien/APS-Medias/ABACA/Shutterstock Editorial/TikTok</em></p>

Music

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King Charles shares cheeky message to England football team

<p>King Charles has shared a cheeky message to England's football team after their semi-final win, securing a spot in the UEFA grand final.</p> <p>The monarch congratulated the team for their win over The Netherlands, while issuing some quick-witted advice ahead of the final game on Sunday. </p> <p>Referencing their recent nail-biting goals during the football tournament, being played in Germany, the King asked them to wrap up the win earlier in the game.</p> <p>"My wife and I join all our family in wishing you the warmest congratulations on reaching the final of the UEFA European Championship - and in sending our very best wishes for Sunday's match," the King wrote.</p> <p>"If I may encourage you to secure victory before the need for any last minute wonder-goals or another penalties drama, I am sure the stresses on the nation's collective heart rate and blood pressure would be greatly alleviated!"</p> <p>His Majesty wished "good luck, England" before signing off with a "Charles R" at the bottom of the letter to England team manager Gareth Southgate and his team. </p> <p>The monarch wasn't the only one to react to the win, Prince William also posted a message on social media sharing his congratulations to the national team. </p> <p>"What a beauty, Ollie! Congratulations England! #EURO2024 Finalists," William, who is also the Football Association President, shared on X, formerly Twitter.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Maurizio Borsari/AFLO/Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Shutterstock</em></p>

TV

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Still fab after 60 years: how The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night made pop cinema history

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-blair-223267">Alison Blair</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-otago-1304">University of Otago</a></em></p> <p>I first saw A Hard Day’s Night at a film festival over 20 years ago, at the insistence of my mum. By then, it was already decades old, but I remember being enthralled by its high-spirited energy.</p> <p>A Beatles fan, mum had introduced me to the band’s records in my childhood. At home, we listened to Please Please Me, the band’s 1963 single, and the Rubber Soul album from 1965, which I loved.</p> <p>Television regularly showed old black-and-white scenes of Beatlemania that, to a ten-year-old in the neon-lit 1980s, seemed like ancient history. But then, I’d never seen a full-length Beatles film. I had no idea what I was in for.</p> <p>When the lights went down at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre, the opening chord of the film’s title song announced its intentions: an explosion of youthful vitality, rhythmic visuals, comical high jinks and the electrifying thrill of Beatlemania in 1964.</p> <p>This time, it didn’t seem ancient at all.</p> <p>Since that first viewing, I’ve returned to A Hard Day’s Night again and again. I now show it to my students as a historically significant example of pop music film making – visually inventive cinema, emblematic of a fresh era in youth culture, popular music and fandom.</p> <h2>Beatlemania on celluloid</h2> <p>A musical comedy depicting a chaotic 36 hours in the life of the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night has now reached its 60th anniversary.</p> <p>Directed by <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0504513/">Richard Lester</a>, the film premiered in London on July 6 1964, with its first public screening a day later (incidentally, also Ringo Starr’s birthday), and the <a href="https://www.discogs.com/master/24003-The-Beatles-A-Hard-Days-Night">album of the same name</a> released on July 10.</p> <p>The band’s popularity was by then reaching dizzying heights of hysteria, all reflected in the film. The Beatles are chased by hordes of fans, take a train trip, appear on TV, run from the police in a Keystone Cops-style sequence, and play a televised concert in front of screaming real-life Beatles fans.</p> <p>Side one of the album provides the soundtrack, and the film inspired pop music film and video from then on, from the <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060010/">Monkees TV series</a> (1966–68) to the Spice Girls’ <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120185/">Spice World</a> (1997) and music videos as we know them today.</p> <h2>The original music video</h2> <p>Postwar teen culture and consumerism had been on the rise since the 1950s. In 1960s Britain, youth music TV programmes, notably <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0196287/">Ready Steady Go!</a> (1963–66), meant pop music now had a developing visual culture.</p> <p>The youthful zest and vitality of ‘60s London was reflected in the pop-cultural sensibility, modern satirical humour and crisp visual impact of A Hard Day’s Night.</p> <p>Influenced by <a href="https://nofilmschool.com/french-new-wave-cinema">French New Wave</a> film making, and particularly the early 1960s work of <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000419/">Jean-Luc Godard</a>, A Hard Day’s Night employs <em><a href="https://indiefilmhustle.com/cinema-verite/">cinéma vérité</a></em>-style hand-held cinematography, brisk jump cuts, unusual framing and dynamic angles, high-spirited action, and a self-referential nonchalance.</p> <p>The film also breaks the “fourth wall”, with characters directly addressing the audience in closeup, and reveals the apparatus of the visual performance of music: cameras and TV monitors are all part of the frame.</p> <p>Cutting the shots to the beat of the music – as in the Can’t Buy Me Love sequence – lends a visual rhythm that would later become the norm in music video editing. Lester developed this technique further in the second Beatles film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059260/">Help!</a> (1965).</p> <p>The closing sequence of A Hard Day’s Night is possibly the film’s most dynamic: photographic images of the band edited to the beat in the style of stop-motion animation. Sixty years on, it still feels fresh, especially as so much contemporary film making remains hidebound by formulaic Hollywood rules.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A Hard Day's Night movie poster" /><figcaption><span class="caption">A new pop aesthetic: original film poster for A Hard Day’s Night.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Getty Images</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Slapstick and class awareness</h2> <p>As with much popular culture from the past, the humour in A Hard Day’s Night doesn’t always doesn’t land the way it would have in 1964. And yet, there are moments that seem surprisingly modern in their razor-sharp irony.</p> <p>In particular, the band’s Liverpudlian working-class-lad jibes and chaotic energy contrast brilliantly with the film’s upper-class characters. Actor Victor Spinetti’s comically over-anxious TV director, constantly hand-wringing over the boys’ rebelliousness, underscores the era-defining change the Beatles represented.</p> <p>Corporate pop-culture consumerism is also satirised. John Lennon “snorts” from a Coca-Cola bottle, a moment so knowingly silly it registers as more contemporary than it really is. George Harrison deflects a journalist’s banal questions with scathingly witty answers, and cuts a fashion company down to size by describing their shirt designs as “grotesque”.</p> <p>And there is Paul McCartney’s running joke that his grandfather – played by Wilfred Brambell from groundbreaking sitcom <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057785/">Steptoe and Son</a> (1962–74) – is “very clean”.</p> <p>Even the film’s old-fashioned visual slapstick still holds up in 2024. Showing the film to this year’s students, I didn’t expect quite as much laughter when Ringo’s attempts to be chivalrous result in a fall-down-a-hole mishap.</p> <p>In 2022, the <a href="https://www.criterion.com/">Criterion Collection</a> released a high-resolution restoration of the film, so today A Hard Day’s Night can be seen in all its fresh, black-and-white, youthful vigour.</p> <p>Happy 60th, A Hard Day’s Night. And happy 84th, Ringo. Both still as lively and energetic as ever.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228598/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-blair-223267"><em>Alison Blair</em></a><em>, Teaching Fellow in Music, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-otago-1304">University of Otago</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: THA/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/still-fab-after-60-years-how-the-beatles-a-hard-days-night-made-pop-cinema-history-228598">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Movies

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Drawings by teen Queen Victoria to go up for auction

<p>A set of 19th century drawings made by a teenage Queen Victoria will be put up for sale at the Old Master, British and European Pictures auction in Roseberys, London next week. </p> <p>A few of the sketches were made when the royal - who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901 - was still a princess and just 14 years old. </p> <p>Dated July 1833, the drawings depict a knight, a woman, and a veiled woman on a horseback. </p> <p>The fourth drawing was made a year after she ascended the throne, and depicted a woman sitting with a crown and sash, similar to herself, with the inscription: "by Her Majesty." </p> <p>Charlotte Russell, Head of Sales at the auction house, said: "These slightly early drawings show that maybe she was still learning a lot, that she was still honing her craft." </p> <p>"She was very curious and keen as an artist," Russell told <em>CNN</em>.</p> <p>Roseberys set an estimated sale price of £1,500 to £2,500 ($AU2853 to $4755) for the album with the four sketches, as well as works by other artists.  </p> <p>Russel added that the album was likely assembled by Augusta Hayter, daughter-in-law of George Hayter, who was the Queen's court painter and painted her coronation portrait. </p> <p>The album also features royal ephemera, including an invitation to the coronation of King George IV at Westminster Abbey in 1821.</p> <p>"I'm interested to see how it performs," Russell said. </p> <p>Queen Victoria was very passionate about art, receiving her first drawing lesson at just eight years old. </p> <p>She went on to be tutored by renowned artists like Edwin Landseer, William Leighton Leitch and Franz Xaver Winterhalter.</p> <p>"She is known to have experimented quite a lot with different subjects," Russel said, adding that Victoria would make "little sketches of costumes of people in the areas" where she travelled.</p> <p><em>Images: Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers &amp; Valuers via CNN/ Shutterstock</em></p>

Art

Property

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Yoko Ono selling John Lennon's New York home for first time in 50 years

<p>For the first time in 50 years, the house where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in New York City has hit the market.</p> <p>The brick, bluestone and terra cotta structure at 496 Broome St. was the first home the pair bought together in New York City before they moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. </p> <p>Yoko Ono has held onto the property since she first bought it with the late Beatles member, and has now listed it with her son with JLL Real Estate, for an asking price of $US5.5 million ($8.23m AUD).</p> <p>“The building on Broome St. was sort of like a base for their artistic ventures,” Philip Norman, author of “John Lennon: The Life,” told the <em><a href="https://nypost.com/2024/05/21/real-estate/yoko-ono-lists-former-nyc-home-for-5-5m/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a></em>. “Bank Street was their salon, where people could just walk in.”</p> <p>First built in 1885, the two-storey building has an open-plan format, with a gallery-like ground floor space with 14.4-foot-high ceilings, an open kitchen and a lofted bedroom.</p> <p>On the second floor, there’s a live-work space and a recording studio.</p> <p>“496 Broome St. is both a unique piece of New York history and popular culture and a prime investment opportunity for the right buyer,” said Paul Smadbeck, who holds the listing.</p> <p>“Versatile zoning and its location in one of the city’s most desirable and trendsetting neighbourhoods offers an exciting opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind property.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Mediapunch / JLL Real Estate </em></p>

Real Estate

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Airbnb launches real-life "Up" house - and it actually floats!

<p>Airbnb is taking its latest listing to the sky - literally. </p> <p>The accommodation provider has announced a partnership that will see the iconic house from Pixar's hit film <em>Up</em> being lifted into the air, balloons and all. </p> <p>In their ongoing quest to redefine hospitality, Airbnb has launched a permanent category called “Icons,” which features partnerships with brands and celebrities that promise unforgettable experiences.</p> <p>Suspended over the New Mexico desert with the aid of a crane, the property looks like an exact replica of the home and contains adorable easter eggs from the film - including the Adventure Book. </p> <p>“Icons take you inside worlds that only existed in your imagination — until now,”  Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said in a statement.</p> <p>“As life becomes increasingly digital, we’re focused on bringing more magic into the real world … we’ve created the most extraordinary experiences on Earth." </p> <p>The house offers a stunning view of the desert, which you can enjoy while sitting on replica's of Ellie and Carl's chairs or have breakfast with a view in the kitchen. </p> <p>Alternatively, you could look at the stars while sitting on the front porch - but don't look down because the adventure is out there. </p> <p>Of course there are questions about the logistics of the stay, including plumbing and electricity, but the accommodation giant has assured that the house is “fully functional,” connected to generators and utilities that will be seamlessly managed before and after its flight.</p> <p>Other fantastical listings include a replica of the mansion from the “X-Men ’97” cartoon, a stay at the Ferrari Museum in Italy, and Prince's house that was featured in the legendary film <em>Purple Rain</em>. </p> <p>Check out the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/1126185893236246260?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1715826165_M2NkZDdkODdhMjcy&amp;source_impression_id=p3_1715826166_A20M4770EGAtl8AV&amp;modal=PHOTO_TOUR_SCROLLABLE" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Up</em></a> listing here, be warned the sweet listing may make you shed a tear or two. </p> <p><em>Images: Airbnb</em></p>

Real Estate

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World's most expensive house up for sale

<p>A French chateau, once owned by a member of the Rothschild family and, later on, the King of Morocco, has gone up for sale with a £363 million (AU$699) price tag. </p> <p>Chateau d’Armainvilliers located at Seine-et-Marne, 48km east of the Eiffel Tower, is the world's most expensive home. </p> <p>Built upon the foundations of a 12th century castle, the sprawling mansion boasts 1,000 hectares of land, 100 rooms across 2,500 square metres of living space, a private lake, and plenty of sequoia trees - the largest trees in the world. </p> <p>Ignace Meuwissen, a self-acclaimed "real estate advisor to the global elite" described the property as a display of "opulence and grandeur".</p> <p>"It is the most expensive castle in France and perhaps in the world. The price of €425million is justified by the property itself but also by the 1,000 hectare land which offers numerous possibilities," he told Paris Match magazine. </p> <p>"An investor could build thousands of apartments there if he wanted."</p> <p>The chateau was first bought by the Rothschild banking empird in the late 19th century, before King Hassan II of Morocco bought it in the 1980s. </p> <p>He then made the chateau more fit for a king, adding a hammam spa, a beauty and hairdressing salon, and a fully-equipped medical and dental facility.</p> <p>The Moroccan King  also added a basement level, which has a network of tunnels, kitchens, cold rooms, storage spaces and staff quarters.</p> <p>The lucky owner will also find Moroccan mosaics and wall tiles decorating the home, and for any avid equestrians, the home also has a stable big enough for 50 horses. </p> <p>However, some luxury property agents have expressed their doubts on whether the property would sell with its nine-figure sum, with one saying it was an "unrealistic" price tag. </p> <p>"It doesn’t make sense, it’s absurd Properties of this type could sell for 20-25 million, or even 30 million if we really fall in love with them. I’m not even sure that Vaux-le-Vicomte (a Baroque French château), which has no marketing plans, would sell at this price," one agent told French real estate publication <em>Le Figaro Immobilier</em>.</p> <p>Others were unsure whether the changes made by the King in the 1980s would suit modern tastes. </p> <p><em>Images: Whisper Auctions</em></p>

Real Estate

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Princess Diana's childhood home up for rent

<p>The house Princess Diana spent her childhood and teenage years in is now available for the public to rent. </p> <p>Althorp House, located in West Northamptonshire in England, is owned by Diana's brother Earl Spencer, who has lived on the sprawling property as custodian of the estate since 1992. </p> <p>The expansive property has been listed for royal fans with deep pockets to rent on <a href="https://www.elysian-estates.co.uk/althorp/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Elysian Estates</a>, an upmarket equivalent of Airbnb.</p> <p>Althorp House, which is a 90 minute drive out of London, was built in 1508 and has been in the Spencer family for 19 generations.</p> <p>Lady Diana lived in the 90-room stately home for most of her childhood and teenage years, before she married the then-Prince Charles in 1981.</p> <p>Not just one grand property, the estate covers 13,000 acres of countryside as it encompasses cottages, farms, woodlands and villages, which are open to visitors but only at certain times of the year.</p> <p>Now, the home is once again available to rent via Elysian Estates.</p> <p>"Althorp offers unparalleled levels of service, privacy and luxury to rival the finest properties anywhere in the world; yet retains the truly welcoming and homely feel that makes Althorp so special," the listing says.</p> <p>"Walk in the footsteps of kings and queens, feast or celebrate in spectacular surroundings, marvel at the sense of history and artwork, and slumber in pure luxury."</p> <p>In the main house, there are six state bedrooms to choose from offering "a level of opulence befitting royalty, with these very rooms playing as much a part of English history as any royal palace".</p> <p>Prices for the rental are not yet publicly available as an enquiry must be sent to reserve the opulent property.</p> <p>The listing stated that the stay includes "butler service, a team of private chefs and housekeeping, with a dedicated concierge service".</p> <p>Althorp is today most famous for being the final resting place of Princess Diana following her death in Paris.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram</em></p>

Real Estate