Placeholder Content Image

Trump sneaks in one more official pardon

<p><span>Former President Donald Trump has made one last pardon in his final hours of presidency.</span><br /><br /><span>Fox News host Jeanine Pirro has successfully lobbied the US politician and TV star to pardon her ex-husband after learning he was not on Trump’s final pardon list, which was released on Wednesday.</span><br /><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839598/trump.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a9279398dfe647fe8a4a5ccf923fd558" /><br /><span>Albert J Pirro Jr was convicted on conspiracy and tax evasion charges after improperly deducting $1.5 million (US$1.2 million) of his personal expenses in business write-offs.</span><br /><br /><span>Reports via CNN claim Mr Pirro was not on the pardon list, before his ex-wife lobbied for Mr Trump’s help.</span><br /><br /><span>Aides were told midmorning in the middle of changing over duties to the new administration, that Mr Pirro’s pardon needed to be done.</span><br /><br /><span>CNN reported the order came as a surprise as they rushed to fulfill the pardon before Trump’s reign ended at midday.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Pirro joins a number of individuals who received last-minute pardons and commutations yesterday from Mr Trump.</span><br /><br /><span>This includes his onetime political strategist Steve Bannon, former top fundraiser Elliott Broidy and well-known rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.</span><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839597/trump-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fc751a69ff784ee0aea117755511ff77" /></p> <p><em>Donald Trump with rapper Lil Wayne. </em></p> <p><span>Jeanine Pirro is one of Fox News’ highest-rated weekend hosts, and has gotten cozy with Mr Trump for being one of his most vehement defenders.</span><br /><br /><span>She attended his annual New Year's Eve party in December 2020.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Trump, and Pirro clearly have developed an alliance as he called for Fox News to bring the host “back” after she was reportedly suspended by the network following commentary that doubted the patriotism of Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar.</span><br /><br /><span>"Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro," Trump tweeted.</span><br /><br /><span>"The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well."</span><br /><br /><span>Ms Pirro targeted Ms Omar, who is one of the few Muslim members of Congress.</span><br /><br /><span>She pointed out the political figure’s religious head covering.</span><br /><br /><span>"Think about it: Omar wears a hijab," Ms Pirro said.</span><br /><br /><span>“Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?"</span><br /><br /><span>Her remarks prompted Fox to release a statement, "We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro's comments" and went on to say that the views she expressed "do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly."</span></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Dolly Parton announces family tragedy

<p><span>Dolly Parton has announced the death of her youngest brother, Randy Parton, who has died at just 67-years-old.</span><br /><br /><span>The world-renowned musician told fans that her dear brother “lost his battle with cancer” on her official website.</span><br /><br /><span>“The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time,” she wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arm.”</span><br /><br /><span>Randy Parton was one of Dolly’s eleven siblings.</span><br /><br /><span>He went on to follow in his big sister's footsteps and became a musician too.</span><br /><br /><span>“Randy was a great singer, writer, and entertainer,” she wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“He sang, played guitar and bass in my band for many years. He has headed his own show at Dollywood since it opened in 1986.</span><br /><br /><span>“He’s had several chart records of his own, but his duet with me on ‘Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You’ will always be a highlight in my own career.”</span><br /><br /><span>“We will always love him and he will always be in our hearts.”</span><br /><br /><span>Parton announced the news of her brother’s death just days after she celebrated her 75th birthday on January 19.</span></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Princess Diana’s twin! Charles Spencer shares rare photo

<p><span>Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has shared a photo of his mother – showing just how much she looked like Diana.</span><br /><br /><span>Royal fans could not help but point out the uncanny resemblance of Princess Di and her mother, Frances Shand Kydd.</span><br /><br /><span>Charles Spencer, Diana's younger brother, took to Instagram to share a stunning portrait of his late mother to mark her birthday on January 20.</span><br /><br /><span>The resurfaced image depicts a young Frances, with a blonde wavy bob, rosy cheeks and blue eyes.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKQuAVOFVAD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKQuAVOFVAD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Charles Spencer (@cspencer1508)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>"My mother - on this, her 85th birthday. She was born in Sandringham, Norfolk, on the very same day that King George V died - in the same parish," Charles wrote in the caption.</span><br /><br /><span>"She died 3 days after the 50th anniversary of her marriage to my father. This portrait is to be found in the Library at @althorphouse."</span><br /><br /><span>Charles is the 9th Earl Spencer and currently resides at Althorp House where the portrait is hung.</span><br /><br /><span>Fans were quick the point out how alike the mother and daughter looked.</span><br /><br /><span>"Looks just like the little one. The eyes are always the giveaway. Spencer genes are strong," one fan commented.</span><br /><br /><span>"So beautiful. You and Princess Diana look like her. ♥️" another said.</span><br /><br /><span>"'Beautiful, I can see where Diana got her stunning looks from," a third added.</span><br /><br /><span>Frances wed Earl Spencer Johnnie at just 18 years of age in 1954.</span><br /><br /><span>However the marriage did not last and the couple divorced in 1969.</span><br /><br /><span>She passed away at age 68 in her home in Scotland.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839594/diana-mother-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ad07461f5d46448e8d7010683ee524ea" /><br /><br /><span>Charles was candid about his relationship with his sister in the two-part ABC television event, The Story of Diana.</span><br /><br /><span>The 53-year-old discussed his state of mind following his sister's untimely passing, admitting he partly blamed himself.</span><br /><br /><span>"I was furious, I wasn't just angry," he said. "[I thought] what could I have done.</span><br /><br /><span>“But you always think, God, I wish I could've protected her. It was just…it was devastating."</span><br /><br /><span>He then added: "I always felt…intensely protective towards her."</span></p>

Relationships

Placeholder Content Image

Cities could get more than 4°C hotter by 2100

<p>In cities around the world, temperatures could rise by more than 4℃ by 2100 under a high-emissions climate change scenario, suggests research published this week in Nature Climate Change.</p> <p>It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology’s annual climate statement, released today, shows 2020 was Australia’s fourth-warmest year on record, despite being an “La Niña” year, which usually leads to cooler temperatures.</p> <p>Cities occupy just 3% of Earth’s surface. As this portion of land is so small, they’ve typically been left out of most climate models, which generally make projections on global scales.</p> <p>Yet more than half the world’s population live in urban environments (set to jump to 70% by 2050). This is why the researchers call for “multi-model projections” of local climates for cities.</p> <p>In the study, the researchers say their predictions on climate will give “urban planners and decision-makers in any city […] access to city-specific projections for any planning horizon they need”.</p> <p>It’s important these planning horizons include the cooling and shading provided by green infrastructure — the network of green spaces such as street trees and green walls — in urban areas.</p> <p>For Australia, this means getting a national green infrastructure policy that provides for green spaces within our cities, open spaces and buildings to help with increasing density and rising global temperatures.</p> <p><strong>What the research found</strong><br />Heat events, such as heatwaves, pose a significant health risk and can hit people harder in cities.</p> <p>Cities are hotter than in surrounding regional areas due to “the urban heat island” effect, a result of heat created by all the densely packed people, vehicles and industries, and the heat retained among buildings and other infrastructure.</p> <p>Despite having the highest population density, the researchers point out that urban areas aren’t often represented in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. This project is important because it informs the global authority on climate change (the International Panel on Climate Change).</p> <p>So the research authors built a statistical model emulating a complex climate model with urban regions. And they estimate that, by the end of the century, average warming across global cities will increase by 1.9℃ under an intermediate emissions scenario, and 4.4℃ with high emissions.</p> <p>Urban warming would most affect mid-to-northern parts of the United States, southern Canada, Europe, the Middle East, northern Central Asia and northwestern China.</p> <p>They also predict that the heat index would increase faster than air temperature alone over almost all cities. “Heat index” refers to how hot the human body actually feels, a combination of relative humidity and air temperature. This would mean urban residents would experience higher heat stress.</p> <p><strong>What does this mean for Australia?</strong><br />While the research found most urban warming would occur in the northern hemisphere, Australian cities are also projected to continue to warm. But we need only look to the recent record-breaking years to realise climate change will result in more extremely hot days here.</p> <p>2019 was Australia’s hottest (and driest) year on record. And today’s annual climate statement from the Bureau of Meteorology shows the highest temperature ever recorded in the Sydney Basin, at a whopping 48.9℃, occurred in 2020, on January 4. It also found the average national temperature for 2020 was 1.15℃ higher than normal.</p> <p>These are nationwide findings, but how Australia manages climate in urban areas is particularly important as around 80% of population growth occurs in capital cities.</p> <p>In fact, 2020 research found we’re increasingly facing more frequent and prolonged heatwaves that intensify urban heat islands in places such as Sydney, by raising inland temperatures by as much as 10℃ more than in coastal zones.</p> <p><strong>Keeping cities cool</strong><br />The best way to ensure our cities are kept cool is through greening urban spaces. Green spaces can be developed by planting trees in streets, yards and parks for shade, recreation and relief from the heat. This will create cooler urban “microclimates” for social interaction and natural retreats from city life.</p> <p>Greater Sydney, for example, has a welcome new policy to ensure five million more trees are planted by 2030. This is an important long-term goal as 2016 research from Canada found tree cover in daytime reduced air temperature by up to 4℃ in Montreal city.</p> <p>The design of buildings and their immediate surroundings are also important to help manage increasing heat in our cities.</p> <p>Our open spaces are places of exercise, retreat, relaxation and, in a new COVID world, socially distant interactions. The pandemic has allowed us to rediscover the importance of our community and local connections in these spaces.</p> <p>Multi-storey buildings also provide opportunity for vertical greening. The Victorian government, for example, is seeking to increase the amount of green infrastructure in our urban areas to help us cope with predicted warmer conditions.</p> <p><strong>Australia needs a national planning policy</strong><br />Urban planning and greening urban spaces is largely a local government responsibility, usually overseen by state and territory governments.</p> <p>And there is national recognition of the importance of green cities through the federal government’s Smart Cities Plan. It states:</p> <p><em>Green, sustainable cities […] improve the quality of air and water, reduce the heat island effect, protect biological diversity and threatened species, and enhance general amenity.</em></p> <p>But what’s needed, urgently, is a national planning framework of green city principles so no regions get left behind. Climate change is a national issue, and all urban residents from all socioeconomic backgrounds should benefit from green cities.</p> <p>This national planning policy would describe how our cities across the nation should develop appropriately spaced trees and other vegetation, to better manage and prepare for increasing density and greater activity as climate change brings hotter weather.</p> <p>And importantly, more research is needed to better inform climate models. We need more information into the ways our climates will change within different land areas — whether rural, suburban or in cities — so we can develop better national plans for how we will live and work in the future.</p> <p><em>Written by Mark Maund, Kim Maund, Marcus Jefferies and SueAnne Ware. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/cities-could-get-more-than-4-c-hotter-by-2100-to-keep-cool-in-australia-we-urgently-need-a-national-planning-policy-152680">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Unexpected Prince Harry cameo in Biden's inauguration leaves fans stunned

<p>While people around the world tuned in to watch Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' historic inauguration, eagle-eyed royal fans spotted a sneaky appearance by Prince Harry.</p> <p>A large portrait of Prince Harry was spotted in the background of photos taken during President Biden's official visit to Arlington Cemetery.</p> <p>Royal reporter Omid Scobie shared the photo.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by a royal at President Biden’s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/InaugurationDay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#InaugurationDay</a> visit to Arlington Cemetery. Well, kinda.<br /><br />Eagle-eyed fans were quick to spot a giant photo from Prince Harry’s 2013 visit hanging in the background while <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeBiden?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JoeBiden</a> caught up with the Clintons. <a href="https://t.co/qWtJrFwRrL">pic.twitter.com/qWtJrFwRrL</a></p> — Omid Scobie (@scobie) <a href="https://twitter.com/scobie/status/1352023086263132163?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>"A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by a royal at President Biden’s #InaugurationDay visit to Arlington Cemetery. Well, kinda. Eagle-eyed fans were quick to spot a giant photo from Prince Harry’s 2013 visit hanging in the background while @JoeBiden caught up with the Clintons," he joked.</p> <p>Prince Harry has close ties to the Biden family after working closely with Dr Jill Biden after the pair met during a reception for wounded soldiers at the British Ambassador's Residence in Washington.</p> <p>Jill then travelled to London to attend Prince Harry's Invictus Games in 2014 and was joined by her husband at the 2016 games in Orlando.</p> <p>Biden has joked that he was a "little worried" about the pair's friendship, stating: "Jill went to London for the last Games. She spent too much damn time with Prince Harry."</p> <p>An insider close to Prince Harry's wife Meghan Markle told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://hollywoodlife.com/2021/01/20/meghan-markle-prince-harry-inauguration-emotional-joe-biden-kamala-harris/" target="_blank"><em>HollywoodLife</em></a><span> </span>that the inauguration was "very personal" for the couple.</p> <p>"Harry's been friends with Joe and [wife] Jill [Biden] for years and Meghan has a huge amount of respect and admiration for them and for Kamala Harris," the source claimed.</p> <p>"It's just a monumental moment in history — watching the first female VP being sworn in will for sure be emotional for Meghan."</p>

Beauty & Style

Placeholder Content Image

Abused, neglected, abandoned — did Roald Dahl hate children as much as the witches did?

<p>Described as “the world’s greatest storyteller”, Roald Dahl is frequently ranked as the best children’s author of all time by teachers, authors and librarians.</p> <p>However, the new film adaptation of Dahl’s controversial book, The Witches, warrants a fresh look at a recurrent contrast in Dahl’s work: child protection and care on one hand and a preoccupation with child-hatred, including child neglect and abuse, abandonment, and torture on the other.</p> <p>Dahl himself once admitted he simultaneously admired and envied children. While his stories spotlight children’s vulnerability to trauma, his child protagonists show how childhood can be an isolating but ultimately triumphant experience.</p> <p><strong>Anti-child or child-centred?</strong><br />While Dahl’s fans champion his “child-centredness” — arguing that anarchy and vulgarity are central to childhood — Dahl’s critics have ventured to suggest his work contains anti-child messages.</p> <p>In Dahl’s fiction, children are often described unfavourably: they are “stinkers”, “disgusting little blisters”, “vipers”, “imps”, “spoiled brats”, “greedy little thieves”, “greedy brutes”, “robber-bandits”, “ignorant little twits”, “nauseating little warts”, “witless weeds”, and “moth-eaten maggots”.</p> <p>Frightening female character on stage. Children behind.<br />The cruel and imposing figure of Miss Trunchbull in the stage musical Matilda. MANUEL HARLAN/Royal Shakespeare Company/AAP<br />With the exception of Bruce Bogtrotter, “bad” children are usually unpleasant gluttons who are punished for being spoiled or overweight. Augustus Gloop is ostracised because of his size. After he tumbles into Willy Wonka’s chocolate river and is sucked up the glass pipe, he’s physically transformed. “He used to be fat,” Grandpa Joe marvels. “Now he’s as thin as straw!”</p> <p>From Miss Trunchbull to the Twits, Aunts Spiker and Sponge, and even Willy Wonka, many of Dahl’s adult characters are merciless figures who enjoy inflicting physical and emotional pain on children.</p> <p>In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka not only orchestrates the various “accidents” that occur at the factory, but he stands by indifferently as each child suffers.</p> <p>In Wonka’s determination to make the “rotten ones” pay for their moral failings, he not only humiliates the children (and their parents), but permanently marks the “bad” children through physical disfigurement. When gum-chewing champion Violet Beauregarde turns purple, Wonka is indifferent. “Ah well,” he says. “There’s nothing we can do about that”.</p> <p><strong>Red-hot sizzling hatred</strong><br />The Witches is centred around the theme of child-hatred.</p> <p>“Real witches,” we are told, “hate children with a red-hot sizzing hatred that is more sizzling and red-hot than any hatred you could possibly imagine”. At their hands (or claws), young children are not only mutilated but exterminated.</p> <p>Indeed, the ultimate goal of The Grand High Witch is filicide: she plans to rid the world of children — “disgusting little carbuncles” — by tricking them into eating chocolate laced with her malevolent Formula 86: Delayed Action Mouse-Maker.</p> <p>In The Witches, as in many of Dahl’s fictions for children (he also wrote adult erotica), authoritarian figures are revealed as bigoted and hypocritical, or violent and sadistic. Primary caregivers are neglectful or absent.</p> <p>So the real threats to the child protagonists of The Witches, Matilda and James and The Giant Peach are not monsters under the bed, but adults whose hatred of children is disguised behind a mask of benevolence.</p> <p>In The Witches, the young narrator initially finds comfort in the fact he has encountered such “splendid ladies” and “wonderfully kind people”, but soon the facade crumbles.</p> <p>“Down with children!” he overhears the witches chant. “Do them in! Boil their bones and fry their skin! Bish them, sqvish them, bash them, mash them!”</p> <p><strong>Necessary evil</strong><br />Although the violence present in Dahl’s work can be easily perceived as morbid, antagonism towards children is a necessary part of Dahl’s project.</p> <p>The initial disempowerment of the child lays the groundwork for the “underdog” narrative. It allows downtrodden children to emerge victorious by outwitting their tormentors through their resourcefulness and a little magic.</p> <p>Initially, violence is used to reinforce the initial “victimhood” of the child, then it is repurposed in the latter stages of each tale to punish and overcome the perpetrator of the mistreatment.</p> <p>James’s wicked aunts get their comeuppance when they’re squashed by the giant peach. In The BFG, kidnapped orphan Sophie emerges as the unlikely hero, saving herself and exerting a positive influence on her captor.</p> <p>Dahl’s fiction is perhaps considered dangerous for a different reason: it takes children seriously.</p> <p>The author dispenses humour alongside his descriptions of violence to create a less threatening atmosphere for young readers. Children revel in the confronting depictions even while being shocked or repulsed. Dahl — perhaps drawing on childhood trauma of his own — creates a cathartic outlet for children to release tension through laughter, especially at situations that may tap into the reader’s experiences of helplessness.</p> <p>Such fiction provides children a means of empowerment. Seeing themselves reflected in literature can be an important part of a child’s processing of adversity.</p> <p>Dahl’s work raises important questions about the safety of children, encouraging them to find their power in the most disempowering situations.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Kate Cantrell, India Bryce and Jessica Gildersleeve. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/abused-neglected-abandoned-did-roald-dahl-hate-children-as-much-as-the-witches-did-152813">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

Books

Placeholder Content Image

Meghan Markle asks for urgent court ruling over “breach of privacy”

<p><span>Meghan Markle’s lawyers have asked a judge to settle her lawsuit against a newspaper before it goes to trial.</span><br /><br /><span>The 39-year-old Royal is suing Associated Newspapers for an invasion of privacy and copyright infringement over five articles published in the<em> Mail on Sunday</em> and the <em>MailOnline</em> through February of 2019.</span><br /><br /><span>Her legal team have asked a British judge to rule that the publication released a "deeply personal" letter to her estranged father that was "a plain and a serious breach of her rights of privacy".</span><br /><br /><span>The publications included portions of a handwritten letter to her father, Thomas Markle, after her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018.</span><br /><br /><span>Associated Newspapers is contesting the claim, and a full trial is due to be held in the autumn at the High Court.</span><br /><br /><span>It is set to be one of London's highest-profile civil court showdowns for years.</span><br /><br /><span>The Duchess is seeking a summary judgement that would find in her favour and dismiss the newspaper's defence case.</span><br /><br /><span>Her lawyer, Justin Rushbrooke, has that the publisher has "no real prospect" of winning the case.</span><br /><br /><span>"At its heart, it's a very straightforward case about the unlawful publication of a private letter," he said at the start of a two-day hearing, held remotely because of coronavirus restrictions.</span><br /><br /><span>Rushbrooke said Meghan had an understanding that "a heartfelt plea from an anguished daughter to her father" would remain private.</span><br /><br /><span>Lawyers for the Duchess say Thomas Markle, a retired television cinematographer, caused anguish for Meghan and Harry before their May 2018 wedding.</span><br /><br /><span>He gave multiple media interviews and posed for wedding-preparation shots taken by a paparazzi agency.</span><br /><br /><span>He did not attend the wedding ceremony after suffering a heart attack.</span><br /><br /><span>Rushbrooke said Meghan's letter was "a message of peace" and it’s aim was "to stop him talking to the press."</span><br /><br /><span>He said the Duchess took steps to ensure the five-page, 1,250-word letter would not be intercepted.</span><br /><br /><span>She sent it by FedEx through her accountant to her father's home.</span><br /><br /><span>The letter begged Thomas Markle to stop speaking to the media, saying: "Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces."</span><br /><br /><span>The last sentences, read out in court, were: "I ask for nothing other than peace. And I wish the same for you."</span><br /><br /><span>Lawyers for Associated Newspapers however have argued that Meghan likely knew the letter would one day be published.</span></p>

Legal

News

Placeholder Content Image

Ash Barty promises to "be better" after COVID-19 breach

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Australia's world No. 1 tennis star Ash Barty has promised she will "be better" after accidentally committing a COVID-19 faux pas while shopping in Melbourne.</p> <p>She was in Coles shopping and forgot her mask after a pre-Australian Open training session at Melbourne Park.</p> <p>She ran into a Sky News reporter, who recognised she was maskless and took to Twitter to share the incident.</p> <p>“I accidentally forgot to wear a mask in a supermarket (on Thursday) in Melbourne,” Barty said.</p> <p>“I apologised as soon as I realised my mistake.</p> <p>“I understand we all need to do our bit to keep the community safe and I will be better next time.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGRVvxjB97s/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGRVvxjB97s/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Barty has spent the last 10 months in Queensland where restrictions are much more relaxed than they are in Melbourne.</p> <p>She's making her first on-court appearance since last February alongside Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka and men's legends Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic next Friday.</p> <p>She can't wait to return to the court.</p> <p>“We are so lucky in Australia to have a home grand slam; the support of the Australian fans means the world to me and I always want to do well here,’‘ Barty said.</p> <p>“I understand this year will be different in many respects but I hope I can do the local fans proud.</p> <p>“The circumstances around this year’s event are definitely challenging and I understand the frustration of all the players who have had to quarantine.</p> <p>“But keeping Melburnians safe and making sure we put health first has to be the priority.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Greta Thunberg’s parting shot to Donald Trump

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has farewelled former US President Donald Trump with a clever tweet.</p> <p>Thunberg used Trump's words against him as she wrote: "He seems like a very happy old man looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!"</p> <p>The remark was just one of many Trump made about Thunberg in the past.</p> <p>The quote came from Trump after Thunberg's address to the Davos summit in 2020, saying that she "seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."</p> <p>Thunberg's tweet was a hit with fans, reaching over 690,000 likes on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">He seems like a very happy old man looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! <a href="https://t.co/G8gObLhsz9">pic.twitter.com/G8gObLhsz9</a></p> — Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) <a href="https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1351890941087522820?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>As many social media platforms banned Trump from using their services, he is unable to respond to Thunberg at this time.</p> <p>This isn't the first time the two have had a war of words, with Trump claiming that Thunberg's 2019 Time "Person of the Year" was "so ridiculous".</p> <p>"Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!" he tweeted at the time.</p> <p>Thunberg sat on his words until Trump prompted electoral officials to "STOP THE COUNT" during the Presidential election race.</p> <p>"So ridiculous. Donald must work on his Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Donald, Chill!" Thunberg tweeted.</p> <p>Thunberg and Trump never met during his presidential term, with Thunberg saying it would have been a "waste of time".</p> <p>"I don't think I would have said anything because obviously he's not listening to scientists and experts, so why would he listen to me?" she told BBC Radio 4.</p> </div> </div> </div>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Djokovic hits back at wish-list criticism

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has defended himself on Twitter after criticisms went viral about his open letter to Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.</p> <p>Djokovic wrote the letter to the Australian Open boss with "suggestions" on behalf of players, including permission to visit trainers or a coach as well as move as many players as possible to private residences with tennis courts.</p> <p>The requests came after many Australian Open players were doing their compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine in Adelaide.</p> <p>Djokovic took to Twitter before midnight saying that his suggestions were made with good intentions and he didn't mean to convey a "selfish, difficult and ungrateful" attitude.</p> <p>"This couldn't be farther from the truth," he said in the Twitter post.</p> <p>"I genuinely care about my fellow players and I also understand very well how the world is run and who gets bigger and better and why.</p> <p>"Hence, I use my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/A6r9BKWENg">pic.twitter.com/A6r9BKWENg</a></p> — Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) <a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole/status/1351863407830585347?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>Djokovic said that the letter was "misconstrued" and that he used his good relationship with Tiley to "brainstorm potential improvements".</p> <p>However, this was quickly shut down by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, saying "the answer is no".</p> <p>Djokovic explained that the letter came from suggestions made by other players and that there was "no harm" in putting ideas forward.</p> <p>"There was a general impression that the players (including myself) are ungrateful, weak and selfish because of their unpleasant feelings in quarantine," Djokovic said.</p> <p>"I am sorry it has come to that because I know how grateful many are.</p> <p>"We all came to Australia to compete. Not being able to train before the tournament starts is really not easy."</p> </div> </div> </div>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Tens of millions face lockdown from a single super-spreader

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A salesman promoting health products to the elderly and travelled around China has been linked to 102 confirmed COVID-19 infections.</p> <p>This has prompted tens of millions of people into lockdown.</p> <p>The man travelled while unknowingly infectious for several days before being tracked down by health authorities as a close contact of a confirmed case.</p> <p>“The super-spreading phenomenon occurred in our province mainly because when the superspreader was discovered, he was still in the early phase of his infection and had relatively strong ability to shed the virus,” Zhao Qinglong, an official with the Jilin provincial disease control and prevention centre, told state-run news agency Xinhua.</p> <p>Over a four-day period, the man held marketing sessions and seminars promoting health products that targeted elderly residents, with 79 people who attended the meeting going on to infect 23 close contacts.</p> <p>All those infected have been quickly placed in quarantine.</p> <p>These "health clubs" have come under scrutiny since the event as the sessions are unable to be regulated like large gatherings as they are usually held in private homes.</p> <p>“The infected people were gathered in an enclosed space for a long time,” Zhao told Xinhua.</p> <p>“Most of them are middle-aged and elderly people with underlying health conditions, and weak immunity, and therefore extremely susceptible to infection.”</p> <p>The average age of those infected is 63, with the oldest being 87 years of age.</p> <p>These health clubs are now being investigated by authorities to check whether the sessions violated any regulations.</p> </div> </div> </div>

News

Travel

Placeholder Content Image

How to feel like you are on holiday every day

<p>That holiday feeling... without the holiday<br />Whether Covid-19 has derailed your travel plans (or meant that money is too tight for a holiday this year), or whether you simply want to continue to enjoy that holiday feeling year-round, fear not. We show you how to make every day feel like a holiday.</p> <p>Make sleep a priority<br />Not only does a good night’s slumber improve learning but studies also show that not spending enough time between the sheets can have a negative impact on your daily life. People who are sleep deprived have a harder time controlling their emotions, making decisions, paying attention, and managing stress.</p> <p>“When you’re tired, you tend to cope poorly, eat worse, and have bad habits [such as caffeine consumption] that reinforce poor sleep,” says Dr. Atul Khullar, medical director of the Northern Alberta Sleep Clinic and senior consultant for MedSleep, a nationwide network of clinics that treats sleep disorders.</p> <p>“If you’re sleeping better on vacation, you should really examine your sleep habits in your own bedroom.” Dr. Khullar says that the most important thing is to not bring any problems to bed, which is what happens if you have your phone, computer, or television in the bedroom. It also helps to remove the clock (or angle it) so you can’t watch it and make sure that the room is dark and cool. Finally, you should aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re falling short, start by going to bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier. “Added up over a week, it can make a big difference,” he says.</p> <p>Get moving<br />Exercise is one of the best and most effective ways to lower stress, and it’s inexpensive and healthy for you. On holiday, you do it without even thinking about it by walking around a new city. At home, you should build it into your day.</p> <p>“Even moderate-intensity activity, such as going for a brisk walk, releases ‘happy hormones’ like epinephrine, adrenaline, and serotonin, which improve your mood and increase your energy,” says Zilkowsky. “It also lowers all of the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.” Start with 15 minutes of daily exercise, which is enough time to increase your heart rate and begin to reap the benefits.</p> <p>Cycle to work, do a mini-yoga session or dust off the treadmill in your basement and walk while you watch TV. “It doesn’t have to be a long marathon run or CrossFit session,” says Zilkowsky. As well, she recommends building regular movement breaks into your workday, where you get up from the computer to get a drink of water or stretch.</p> <p>“It increases productivity and helps you stay focused,” says Zilkowsky. Set a notification reminder to help you remember.</p> <p>Eat mindfully<br />On holidays, we enjoy long drawn-out restaurant meals with loved ones; in real life, we scarf down processed foods in the car on the way to hockey practice. It’s a fact that stress leads to poor food choices, says Andrea Holwegner, a registered dietitian.</p> <p>“We have really good research to support that families that eat together have less anxiety, less depression and a reduced risk of obesity,” she says. “They score higher on tests academically, all because they’re simply eating together.”</p> <p>Holwegner recommends that families eat at least one meal a day together to connect and eat healthy (no technology allowed). If dinner isn’t ideal because of work commitments or kids’ activities, let breakfast be the backup. To make meal planning less onerous, ask the question “What’s for supper?” the day before and take something out of the freezer so you won’t have any excuses.</p> <p>Find a restorative practice<br />You know that moment when you lie back on your beach towel, toes in the powdery sand, tropical sun on your face, and literally sigh? That’s called the “ahh feeling,” and it’s important to make time for it daily to unplug, calm your mind and body and take a break from the world, says Zilkowsky.</p> <p>“There are so many ways you can get that feeling, and it doesn’t mean you have to go to the spa,” she says. It could be quiet time with a good book, breathing exercises or meditation, which is gaining more fans as a method to manage stress.</p> <p>“A restorative practice can be anything that makes you feel better,” says Martin Antony, a professor of psychology at Ryerson University and author of The Anti-Anxiety Workbook.</p> <p>“For some, it may be a hot bath or massage; for others, it’s getting social support.” Carve out space for your “ahh” time and schedule it into your day or week until it becomes a habit.</p> <p>Learn how to teach yourself to meditate and beat stress.</p> <p>Make “no” your default answer<br />It’s tempting to be a yes person, assigning yourself to school fundraisers and volunteer committees even though you don’t have the time. That’s the beauty of holidays: We only say yes to things we want to do. Ziplining? Heck, yeah! Hula lessons? Not so much.</p> <p>“Most people say yes to everything, and then they start getting stressed out and have to backtrack,” says Holwegner, who also coaches clients on workplace wellness and stress management.</p> <p>“We see so many overextended people. People have to be very intentional about what their priorities are in life and create boundaries around what’s really meaningful.”</p> <p>If you’re uncomfortable saying no to a request right away, ask for time to think about it. If it’s your boss asking and you really can’t say no, make sure to clarify what items can slide down the priority list to make time for the new project.</p> <p>Be a tourist in your own town<br />Part of what makes a holiday so exciting is the novelty of a new place. You eat at trendy restaurants, sign up for bicycle tours, and try activities like surfing. In short, you do things that bring you joy and let you discover a destination.</p> <p>The good news is, it’s easy to be a tourist in your own town, especially on weekends. Make a point of checking out that hot new jazz bar or signing up for a food or brewery tour. Try a new hike or visit a museum.</p> <p>“Day in and day out, we get up, go to work, come home, and turn on the TV while we’re doing chores,” says Zilkowsky. “We’re in a rut. A lot of that stuff empties our cup. So how do we fill it back up?” In other words, what will make you feel alive, right here, right now? Go and do it.</p> <p>Express gratitude daily<br />Giving thanks is good for you: It breeds optimism, boosts immunity and helps people cope with stress. Every day on vacay is a little shout-out – we feel so fortunate and lucky to be spending time with friends, loved ones or even alone. It’s much harder to practise gratitude back at home while living the daily grind, but it’s tremendously important.</p> <p>“Find gratitude in small, everyday moments,” says Lisa Jones, owner of Spark for Life Coaching. “Put your head down at the end of the day – even if you’re just grateful for surviving the day! That can really improve your mood, your happiness and your sense of fulfillment.”</p> <p>When we become consciously aware of all we have to be thankful for, whether by writing it down in a journal or just making a mental note of it, it puts the little aggravations into perspective.</p> <p class="p1"><em>This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/7-ways-feel-you-are-vacation-every-single-day"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Recall issued for ice cream contaminated with COVID-19

<p>Coronavirus was found on ice cream produced in Eastern China, prompting an urgent recall of cartons from the same batch.</p> <p>According to the Chinese government, the Daqiaodao Food Co, Ltd in Tianjin was sealed and 1,662 employees are being tested for the coronavirus and placed in quarantine.</p> <p>There was no indication that anyone had contracted the ice cream, but a recall has been issued regardless.</p> <p>A total of 935 boxes of ice cream were in Tianjin, with only 65 being sold to markets. This is out of 2,747 boxes that entered the market, with authorities notifying others of sales to their areas.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Authorities in the northern Chinese municipality of Tianjin are tracing ice cream contaminated with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a> after three samples produced by Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. tested positive for the virus on Wednesday. <a href="https://t.co/7oTLu2e1Us">pic.twitter.com/7oTLu2e1Us</a></p> — Sixth Tone (@SixthTone) <a href="https://twitter.com/SixthTone/status/1349944516938231808?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>The ingredients of the ice cream included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine.</p> <p>The Chinese government has suggested that the coronavirus came from abroad and has highlighted what it says are discoveries of the coronavirus on imported fish and other food.</p> <p>Foreign scientists are sceptical of these claims, with a virologist claiming it's "probably a one-off".</p> <p>“It’s likely this has come from a person, and without knowing the details, I think this is probably a one-off,” Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist based at the University of Leeds, told<span> </span><em>Sky News</em>.</p> <p>“Of course, any level of contamination is not acceptable and always a cause for concern, but the chances are that this is the result of an issue with the production plant and potentially down to hygiene at the factory.”</p> <p>Griffin also stressed that there is no reason to panic.</p> <p>“We probably don’t need to panic that every bit of ice cream is suddenly going to be contaminated with coronavirus,” he added.</p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

"I was petrified": Rebel Wilson reveals she was kidnapped at gunpoint

<p>Rebel Wilson has spoken about the horrifying moment she was kidnapped at gunpoint by a group of men in rural Africa.</p> <p>The Australian actress appeared on the UK TV special Ant Middleton &amp; Rebel Wilson: Straight Talking, where she was interviewed by SAS Australia instructor Ant Middleton.</p> <p>Speaking to the 40-year-old, Wilson was asked about the moment where she felt the most fear in her life.</p> <p>She revealed that she had been travelling with a group of women in Mozambique when they were ambushed by armed men.</p> <p>“We were on this cattle truck and these men came on another truck with a lot of guns. (They pulled up beside us) with the big guns and they were like, ‘Yeah, you’ve got to get off your truck.’” she said.</p> <p>Wilson said the group was taken to a house and held hostage overnight.</p> <p>“I felt like I was very good in the crisis. I was like a team leader,” she added.</p> <p>“They sat us down, and I said, ‘Everybody link arms,’ because I was petrified in the night that they might want to take one of the girls or something.”</p> <p>They were allowed to leave the next day.</p> <p>“They came and said, ‘Your truck is ready now. You can go, go, go,’” she said.</p> <p>“We just got back on that truck and got out of there and crossed the South African border a few hours later.”</p> <p>The Pitch Perfect star still doesn't know the reasoning behind the kidnapping, but she's developed her own theory.</p> <p>“I think maybe those guys, maybe, used us to smuggle illegal things in the bottom of the truck,” she added.</p> <p>She did not specify when the incident happened.</p>

Travel Trouble

Health

Placeholder Content Image

16 things to never do at the gym

<p>Don’t be that person<br />It makes sense that you get ‘in the zone’ at the gym, enjoying your ‘me time’ and doing your utmost to make the most of your fitness time. But gyms are still public places! You still need to be respectful of others, and that means avoiding these behaviours that’ll make your fellow exercisers give you the stink eye (perhaps literally). Of course, now with the rampant spread of COVID-19 leading to some gyms being closed and others enacting strict rules to reduce the spread, there is a whole new set of gym faux pas.</p> <p>Don’t leave a mess behind<br />So, you need a mat, Bosu ball, an assortment of free weights, a foam roller, an incline bench, and a few kettlebells to complete your workout? Great – but when you’re done, remember the cardinal rule of any gym. “At the end of your workout, or as you’re done with each piece of equipment, put everything back,” says Dawn Bartolini, a lifestyle and weight-loss coach (who happens to have lost more than 45 kilos). “Your mama doesn’t work here!” On that note, put everything back where it belongs, not where it’s convenient.</p> <p>Don’t grunt the entire time<br />Look, we get it: you’re lifting sooo much weight. But no one is impressed: “Lifting heavy weights is hard, but if you’re grunting on every single set – you’re a tool,” says trainer, James Shapiro. “No one is impressed, you’re awarded no points, and no one will talk to you. Please relearn how to breathe properly, which will also help you make greater increases in strength and lean muscle.”</p> <p>Don’t make the locker room public<br />There’s really no need to catch up with your boyfriend on video chat while you’re touching up your makeup in the locker room. Please move this to the top of your list of things to never do at the gym, says Eve Dawes, trainer and yoga, spin, and Zumba instructor. “Do not FaceTime in the locker room. We are trying to shower and get changed, not be part of a peep show.”</p> <p>Don’t set up camp by the weight rack<br />There’s an unspoken ‘no-lift zone’ in every gym, and it’s called the weight rack. In fact, consider one and a half metres all around the weight rack off limits for your workout. “If you start a set of bicep curls while standing right in front of the rack, you block the entire gym from accessing the weights,” says certified personal trainer, Dani Singer. “Grab the weights you need, and find an open spot on the weight floor to perform your workout. Stay out of the weight rack area, unless you’re grabbing or returning your weights.”</p> <p>Don’t praise a stranger’s progress<br />Just as you would never assume a woman is pregnant, you should never offer unsolicited praise to fellow gymgoers –­ even if you think you are being kind by giving them a compliment. “I am not a skinny woman,” says Jeanette DePatie, a plus-sized, certified fitness instructor. “I have had several people come up to me over the years and say things to me that they believe are encouraging – like, ‘good for you!’, ‘Stick with it, and you’ll lose the weight in no time,’ or ‘It’s so great that you’ve started on your fitness journey.’ Obviously, they are completely unaware that I’m a 20-year licensed fitness teacher who is not exercising to lose weight. Don’t assume you know where somebody is in their exercise journey or that you know why they are exercising.”</p> <p>Don’t be a machine hog<br />There are only so many machines and pieces of equipment to go around at a gym – and during peak times that may mean you have to remember the lessons you learned in the sandbox during preschool. “Be courteous of others when you’re using the equipment,” says certified personal trainer, Michael Kuang. “If you see someone waiting to use the same thing, tell them how much longer you will be. Or better yet, offer to let them work in between your sets.”</p> <p>Don’t throw your weights<br />Unless you’ve joined a power-lifting or CrossFit gym, there’s no reason to bang your weights down on the ground in between sets. “Besides giving people a heart attack when a 100-kilo bar slams to the floor, you are seriously putting people at risk for a broken foot,” warns personal trainer, James Cappola. “If you are in a regular gym with a general population, you have to act accordingly. Don’t be the guy who comes in, attempts to lift a 100-kilo barbell, and then throws them to the floor because the last few reps are too much.” Either use a spotter or use less weight, bro.</p> <p>Don’t crowd the squat racks<br />If you aren’t doing a compound exercise – like a squat, deadlift, or shoulder press – then stay out of the squat racks. “This isn’t the place to do your bicep curls, because you can use dumbbells or other bars specifically for that,” explains Nick Rizzo, who has spent six years as a competitive powerlifter and four years training others. “This applies to all other types of random exercises you see people doing in squat racks.”</p> <p>Don’t belt out a tune<br />You’re in the zone and your playlist dishes up your favourite tune. What do you do? Start singing? No, thank you. You’re not at home in your shower and everyone outside your headphones can hear your hums, whistles, not to mention profanities as you try to rap alongside Cardi B. “Please, no singing at the top of your lungs,” says Bartolini. “Nobody needs to hear your ‘na-na-nas!’” Yes, you can have fun during your workout, but not to the point of distracting others.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Jill Schildhouse. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/healthsmart/fitness/16-things-to-never-do-at-the-gym?pages=1"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Waitress “saves abused boy” after spotting heartbreaking detail

<p><span>A waitress has rescued an 11-year-old boy from being tied up and tortured by his parents with a secret note.</span><br /><br /><span>Flaviane Carvalho revealed she was working at US restaurant, Mrs Potato in Orlando on New Year’s Day when she noticed a young boy sitting silently, not eating his dinner, while his parents ate their food.</span><br /><br /><span>Concerned there was something wrong with the child’s dinner, she went over to the family to ask if everything was OK.</span><br /><br /><span>His mum Kristen Swann, 31, and Timothy Wilson, 34 the boy’s stepfather, informed the waitress that he would be eating dinner at home instead.</span><br /><br /><span>It was then that she saw bruises and a large scratch on the small child’s face.</span><br /><br /><span>“I could see a big scratch between his eyebrows. Couple of minutes later, I saw a bruise on the side of his eye,” Flaviane told Fox News.</span><br /><br /><span>“So I felt there was something really wrong.”</span><br /><br /><span>The waitress panicked and scribbled on a note: “Do you need help? OK” and held it up for him to read while she stood behind his mum and stepfather.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839518/waitress-boy-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/09301af0ea63476ea8909052a7956064" /><br /><br /><span>The boy nodded and quickly she left the table to call police, who stormed the restaurant moments later.</span><br /><br /><span>In a tragic tale of events, the horrific torture the boy had been subjected to was exposed.</span><br /><br /><span>Police discovered he had been tied up, starved and beaten by the sadistic pair.</span><br /><br /><span>An Orlando PD spokesman said: “He said ratchet straps were tied around his ankles and neck, and he was hung upside down from a door.</span><br /><br /><span>“He said he was hit with a wooden broom, and handcuffed and tied to a large moving dolly.</span><br /><br /><span>“He also said he didn’t get to eat on a regular basis as punishment.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839519/waitress-boy-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/553f798779f243a48158362b5cb3cd99" /><br /><br /><span>Wilson has been charged with child abuse and Swann with neglect, with claims that she knew about her partner’s evil doings, but failed to intervene and get medical care for him.</span><br /><br /><span>The boy and his four-year-old sister were taken from the house by child services.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’m a mother also and that was very strange to me because you don’t deny food to a kid, especially at a restaurant,” Carvalho said at a press conference Thursday.</span><br /><br /><span>“Thank God the boy is safe now.”</span><br /><br /><span>Orlando Police said Flaviane saved the little boy’s life.</span><br /><br /><span>“By saying something when she saw something, Ms Carvalho displayed courage and care for a child she had never even met before, and we’re proud someone like Ms Carvalho lives and works in our community,” he said.</span></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

New study reveals how to reverse type 2 diabetes

<p>A new study suggests that type 2 diabetes can be reversed through a short-term low carbohydrate diet.</p> <p>CSIRO conducted research with labs across the world and discovered a dietary pattern that is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and healthy fats is actually more effective for improving your blood glucose management.</p> <p>They analysed 23 published clinical trials from around the world, which compared low-carb diets to mostly low-fat control diets.</p> <p>Patients who were careful about the number of carbs they consumed were more likely to drive their diabetes into remission without adverse effects, they were also able to achieve a higher amount of weight loss after six months.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 280.8417997097242px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839505/screen-shot-2021-01-15-at-21953-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e3b24e41b7514401b391f40cd308680b" /></p> <p>George Inatey decided to cut out carbohydrates from his diet, and he claims he is now a new man.</p> <p>Within six months the type 2 diabetic went from weighing over 100kg down to 62kg.</p> <p>He also no longer requires several insulin injections a day to control his diabetes.</p> <p>His blood pressure and cholesterol have also improved.</p> <p>"It was the most liberating thing I've done in my life in 40 years," he told 9News.</p> <p>Researchers say most of the benefits went away after 12 months, which could be due to the intensity and challenges of maintaining a strict diet.</p> <p>It's an option people should consider but in consultation with a health professional.</p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Baby suffers horrifying side effects from steroid cream

<p>A mum has been left horrified after her baby doubled in size and grew hair on her face from a steroid cream she was given to treat dry skin.</p> <p>The parents sought medical treatment for the five-month-old girl after she ballooned to 11 kilograms.</p> <p>Doctors ran a number of tests after the young girl was rushed to the hospital in China to find out exactly what was causing the weight gain.</p> <p>Medics said they were taken aback when the parents revealed the only food she was consuming was her mother's breast milk, which was tested and found to be normal.</p> <p>The problem was becoming increasingly worse a month later, despite doctors asking the parents to reduce the child's food intake.</p> <p>She had swelled to double her size and grown dark hair on her forehead and cheeks.</p> <p>After another visit to the hospital, the baby was taken to a specialist unit where a nurse noted that four other babies had been suffering from the same symptoms.</p> <p>When the mother was asked if she had applied any creams on her daughter, she responded with "Yifulin", the cream she had been using to treat her daughter's dry skin.</p> <p>After examining the product, they realised it contained 30mg of clobetasol propionate, which doctors say should only be used for a short amount of time.</p> <p>The five-month-old was using the product for a minimum of two months before the side effects began to take place.</p> <p>The lotion has since been removed from shelves in China after other parents came forward to complain about its side effects.</p> <p>According to the doctors treating the baby girl will be difficult and the hair growth may take several years to fall out.</p>

Caring

Lifestyle

Placeholder Content Image

Woman's shower habits spark online debates

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A Twitter user has divided the internet after explaining her shower habit and asking the social media platform if it was "normal".</p> <p>“Help me settle a debate," Alice wrote to her followers.</p> <p>“It’s normal to shower with your back to the shower right? Not facing the water?” she asked.</p> <p>Many were quick to share their thoughts on the matter.</p> <p>“I face the water to keep my hair from getting wet and then spin round and hold my hair out of the way to do my back,” one person said.</p> <p>“See I’m not the only one who thinks facing the water is strange,” another added, tagging their friend.</p> <p>People said that they prefer their back to the water so they don't get hit in the face.</p> <p>“Aye but you’ve got to at least face the shower at least once to get hit on the face with the water,” one person then demanded.</p> <p>“I don’t like my face in the water at all, unless I’ve had a terrible day and you do that thing they do in films, where you put your hands on the wall and lean forward with your hair streaming down, like you’ve just blown up an entire planet and need some time to think,” another person joked.</p> <p>One user was "shocked" to learn that people have their backs to the wall.</p> <p>“I just assumed EVERYONE faced the water. Back to the shower is for hangover recovery only, usually breathing deeply and steadying yourself against the wall, praying you’re not pushing sick down the plug hole before the time’s up.”</p> <p>Alice disagreed.</p> <p>“I always face away from the water,” she said. “You stand underneath the water with your back to the shower head so water runs over you!”</p> </div> </div> </div>

Beauty & Style

Placeholder Content Image

11 daily habits of couples in healthy relationships

<p>The secrets of healthy relationships<br />Do you expect your partner to take out the bins every week without ever being thanked? Can you recall the last time you paid your partner a compliment? Find out the secrets of people in a happy and healthy relationship.</p> <p>They Netflix and chill together<br />There are many little ways to boost your marriage – and chief among them is simple companionship. Even if you’re couch surfing, do it together. Spending time with one another is one of the highlights of a healthy relationship. If he’s reading a book, grab one and cuddle up next to him. Bring him a drink while he’s mowing the lawn. Does washing the car bore you to tears? Then simply stand nearby and chat while he suds it up. “In the beginning, couples go out of their way to impress each other and create new ‘first memories’ together,” says Julie Spira, an online dating expert, CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. “After a while, just being together rises to the top of the relationship totem pole.” And there’s nothing wrong with a good binge-watch. One study found a direct link between media consumption while together and relationship satisfaction.</p> <p>They compliment one another<br />Here’s how to have a healthy relationship: Tell him how hot he is. Or that he smells delicious. Give her rear a smack in those jeans you adore. Happy couples know how to give a sincere compliment in the moment. In fact, a study found that receiving a compliment has the same positive effect as receiving cash. “Compliments are the quickest way to put a smile on your partner’s face,” says Spira. “Find something appealing about the other and never forget what attracted you to him in the first place. If it’s her ability to fill in the Sunday crossword puzzle or his ability to take charge when you need it, let each other know.”</p> <p>They say those three little words<br />If you’re looking to build a stronger relationship, you’re going to need to say “I love you.” Happy couples say it throughout the day – when they wake up, when they’re eating lunch, when they go to sleep. “Saying I love you to your partner, whether it’s first thing in the morning or at bedtime, is important,” says Bonnie Winston, a celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert. “And saying it with a shared kiss makes it extra special.” She says for variation to try other meaningful three-word phrases like “You amaze me,” “You enthrall me,” “I adore you,” or “You’re my everything.” They slip it into conversation whenever they can. Just be sure that you say these words genuinely. “Those three little words are great to say, as long as you say them with intent and not just purely out of habit,” says Alexis Meads, a professional dating coach.</p> <p>They say thank you<br />One of the best ways to make your spouse feel loved is to show graciousness – even for something as seemingly trivial as picking up the kids from a playdate or grabbing a carton of milk at the supermarket. “Appreciation for all the good your partner contributes to your life is vital,” says Gilda Carle, PhD, relationship expert and author of Ask for What You Want AND GET IT. “Thank-yous go a long way to continuing wedded bliss.” In fact, a study in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased an athlete’s self-esteem, which is a component of an optimal performance. For the sake of your relationship, it’s important to express your appreciation for what your significant other does for you. “No one wants to feel taken for granted,” says Antonia Hall, MA, a psychologist and relationship expert. “By finding things each day for which you’re grateful and expressing it to your sweetie, you foster positive connectivity with him. It will make him feel appreciated and often sparks his desire to want to please you all the more.”</p> <p>They show PDA<br />Public displays of affection aren’t just for teenagers. Happy couples aren’t afraid to show their affection for one in another – even in public. “Intimacy and touch keeps you connected with your partner,” says Hall. “It fosters a connectedness that supports a strong and happy relationship.” Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a full-on make-out session in front of your in-laws. But you can keep your love alive by holding hands at the mall or snuggling at the kids’ sports game. A little PDA goes a long way. “Just touching your partner will help you feel more connected, both physically, emotionally and intellectually,” says Spira. “Plus, it’s a great form of foreplay.” Not to mention that it shows that you’re vulnerable. “When vulnerability is shown and nurtured, then trust in your relationship has the ability to grow,” says Kristie Overstreet, a licensed professional clinical counselor, certified sex therapist and author of Fix Yourself First: 25 Tips to Stop Ruining Your Relationship.</p> <p><br />They check in with one another<br />You don’t have to speak on the phone or text 24/7, but couples in healthy relationships call or text – to show the dog’s latest mess, a funny street sign, or for no reason at all. “Checking in with one another boosts feelings of ardour and security,” Winston says. Dr Carle adds, “People who check in with one another during their busy days are letting their partner know they’re thinking of them, despite all the other things going on.”</p> <p>They go to bed at the same time<br />“This doesn’t mean that you both have to fall asleep. But at least wind the night down and get into the bed at the same time,” says Overstreet. “This gives you the opportunity to close the day together, which is very important.” Research shows that 75 percent of couples don’t go to bed at the same time, usually because one person is surfing the web, working or watching TV. Happy couples do their best not to stay up late cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry while the other catches some shuteye. Save the chores for another time. “In my experience as a relationship therapist, couples that go to bed at the same time have a more trusting relationship than those who don’t,” says Overstreet. Bedtime is an opportunity to talk about the day ahead and maybe have a quickie before you hit the hay too.</p> <p>They laugh together<br />Soccer is at 4pm; doctor’s appointment is at 5:30pm.; remember to pick up a pizza on the way home. It’s easy to get into the habit of talking only about the logistics of life and kids. Healthy couples make it a habit to laugh together – often. It keeps the joy and spirit alive in your relationship. A new paper from US professor Jeffrey Hall gives data-backed validity to something you may have figured for yourself: couples who laugh together, stay together. “Find a way to make each other laugh,” says Spira. “Whether it’s watching a funny television show together or doing some playful teasing, laughter and happiness go hand-in-hand.”</p> <p>They share a hobby<br />Tennis anyone? How about writing music? Happy couples take up a hobby that they can do together. Even if they don’t have common interests, happy couples will develop them. Maybe they try new restaurants together or volunteer at the local soup kitchen side by side once a week. “By no means do you need to do everything together,” says Meads. “However, couples who stay together have fun doing some of the same things.” When couples see their relationship as full of fun, they’re more likely to be happier over the long term. “Adding your mutual hobby to your schedule gives you something to look forward to and a memory to look back upon,” says Spira. And living a stimulating life outside the bedroom will lead to a stimulating life inside it.</p> <p>They ask for what they need<br />Happy couples ask for what they need and listen to each other’s requests. “Healthy relationships encourage people to be authentic in their feelings so they can genuinely express themselves,” says Dr Carle. You’re doomed if you just hope that your partner will be a mind reader and “just know” what you’re thinking. Happy couples openly talk about their needs and understand their differences. “When your significant other does something you like, tell him so,” says Winston. “This will give him a feeling of validation and he’ll continue to want to please you.”</p> <p>They’re a team<br />“With a team mentality, couples lift each other up and are stronger together,” says Hall. “They make sacrifices to benefit the long-term partnership.” They make decisions together – one person doesn’t call all the shots. It can be small issues like deciding what to watch on the TV to bigger issues like figuring out where you want to raise a family. “Knowing your partner has your back and vice versa is a great source of comfort in the game of love,” says Spira. You function as a unit and think in terms of “we” instead of “I.” Remember that you’re on the same team, says relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of Cheat on Your Husband (with Your Husband). “It doesn’t make sense to have a winner and a loser in an argument,” Syrtash says. “You’re more likely to fight more fairly when you consider this.”</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by <span>Stacey Feintuch</span>. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/relationships/11-daily-habits-of-couples-in-healthy-relationships?pages=1"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

Relationships

Placeholder Content Image

Michael Douglas sees his one-month-old grandson for the first time

<p>Michael Douglas has finally gotten the opportunity to meet his one-month-old grandson for the first time - and the doting grandpa shared a beautiful photo of the touching moment.</p> <p>The 76-year-old and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones announced last month that he had become a grandfather once again after his son Cameron Douglas welcomed his first son Ryder.</p> <p>In the heartwarming photograph, Michael is seen cradling his tiny grandson with a bottle in one hand and a burp cloth draped over his shoulder.</p> <p>“First time I’ve seen my month old grandson, Ryder!” he captioned the black and white photo.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKOnQNyMT_D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKOnQNyMT_D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Michael Douglas (@michaelkirkdouglas)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>This is Michael's second grandchild.</p> <p>Catherine took to her own Instagram to share the happy news, posting a beautiful family photo of Cameron, his girlfriend Viviane Thibes - who had their newborn son Ryder in her arms - and their three-year-old daughter Lua.</p> <p>"And a new Douglas is born!!!!! Welcome to the world Ryder T Douglas," she captioned the image on her Instagram Story.</p> <p>Michael and Catherine shared some funny comments under Cameron's post of the same image.</p> <p>Pointing out how unamused little Lua appears in the family photo over her little brother's arrival, Catherine wrote: "Lua's Face! Like......'whatever.......' Hilarious! Congrats!!" Michael added: "So happy for Vivian and you. Don’t think Lua is sure about this yet! What a holiday present."</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CJHWr74nA1X/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CJHWr74nA1X/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Cameron Douglas (@cameronmorrelldouglas)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Cameron is 76-year-old Michael's only child with his first wife Diandra Luker; the former couple was married from 1977 until 1995.</p> <p>He has two half-siblings – Dylan Michael, 20, and Carys Zeta, 17, from Michael's marriage to Catherine.</p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Prince Harry “heartbroken” over family divide

<p><span>Prince Harry may be happy and loved up with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their son, Archie, in California – but reports say the family is reportedly “heartbroken” over family tensions that have raised since the pair decided to step down as senior members of the royal family.</span><br /><br /><span>A friend of the couple, journalist Tom Bradby — who toured southern Africa with the Sussexes for their documentary, Harry &amp; Meghan: An African Journey — shared his own personal thoughts on the move during Sunday’s episode of ITV’s Love Your Weekend.</span><br /><br /><span>When asked if he believes the pair are happier in California, he said: “I think they are feeling better, yes … So are they unhappy? No, I think they are content, the things they are doing they are quite excited by.”</span><br /><br /><span>“I think he is heartbroken by the situation with his family. You don’t necessarily need to have knowledge to know that, but I think it is true.”</span><br /><br /><span>Bradby went on to say, “The situation with the family clearly isn’t ideal and it has been a very difficult year for them all, but are they unhappy out there? No, I don’t think that’s right, I think they are pretty happy actually, but I think they wrestle with their position in life, I think they all do. I think William does too, I don’t think he finds it easy.”</span><br /><br /><span>“There were phone and video calls over the Christmas and New Year holiday and the Sussexes sent presents to the Cambridges and vice versa,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET. “Things are a lot better between William and Harry. If you go back a year at that stage, these brothers were barely on talking terms.”</span></p>

Family & Pets

Finance

Placeholder Content Image

Rare opportunity: Queen Elizabeth is hiring a new staff member

<p><span>The Queen’s royal household is hiring!</span><br /><br /><span>It is not all that often the Queen hires new employees, but a new vacancy has been made on behalf of the royal household.</span><br /><br /><span>The royal family is hoping to hire a Design and Development Assistant for the Royal Collection Trust shop at their Stoke-on-Trent office, where the China and Glassware products are made.</span><br /><br /><span>The Royal Collection Trust's Retail team operate shops at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.</span><br /><br /><span>They also have a growing online presence.</span><br /><br /><span>The role involves support, design, development and planning of the production of items.</span><br /><br /><span>The website also states the role will also require the hire to be "providing vital admin and logistical support to the team, help place and oversee regular orders of stock, packaging and gift boxes, bringing all the components of a product together, ready to send out to the shops".</span><br /><br /><span>The position is on a permanent contract, with interviews taking place till the end of the month.</span><br /><br /><span>The royal household is looking for a person “confident working with numbers” and someone who has “strong IT skills and can use MS Office programs and database systems”.</span><br /><br /><span>"With a keen eye for detail and excellent administration skills, you'll be able to process large volumes of work with complete accuracy,” the site states.</span><br /><br /><span>“You'll also be highly organised, able to plan and prioritise your time effectively to meet multiple deadlines. As a good communicator, you’ll build a good rapport with colleagues and customers alike."</span><br /><br /><span>The successful candidate could earn up to £23,000 a year depending on his or her experience.</span></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Wuhan doctors admit they were told to lie about severity of COVID-19

<p><span>Chinese doctors in Wuhan have been secretly filmed admitting to knowing how serious coronavirus was at the start of the outbreak, but were ordered to lie by authorities.</span><br /><br /><span>There is growing evidence the Chinese Communist Party misled the global community in the early stages of the pandemic, a new documentary by UK broadcaster ITV called Outbreak: <em>The Virus That Shook The World,</em> has claimed.</span><br /><br /><span>China informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the first 27 cases of COVID-19 on December 31, 2019.</span><br /><br /><span>However they did not report any deaths until mid-January.</span><br /><br /><span>But senior doctors in Wuhan were secretly filmed by a citizen journalist, and said they knew about the deaths as early as December.</span><br /><br /><span>“We all felt there shouldn’t have been any doubt about human-to-human transmission,” one doctor said in the footage.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839576/wuhan-covid-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/839cf6b95524475189c53af0e096ed0a" /><br /><br /><span>“Actually, at the end of December or beginning of January, the relative of someone I know died of this virus. Many of those living with him were also infected including people I know.”</span><br /><br /><span>Another doctor said: “We knew the virus transmitted from human to human, but when we attended a hospital meeting we were told not to speak out. Provincial government leaders told the hospitals not to tell the truth.”</span><br /><br /><span>The doctors claimed that authorities knew the January Lunar New Year celebrations would accelerate the spread of the virus.</span><br /><br /><span>However they allowed the festivities to go ahead anyway in order to “present a harmonious and prosperous society”.</span><br /><br /><span>“They shouldn’t have allowed any gatherings,” one said.</span><br /><br /><span>“The provincial and local governments knew the threat but they continued to allow crowds.”</span><br /><br /><span>WHO infamously tweeted on January 14 about the virus: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.”</span><br /><br /><span>Taiwanese experts interviewed by the program backed up the Wuhan doctors’ testimony.</span><br /><br /><span>Dr Yin-Ching Chuang from the country’s Infectious Diseases Prevention and Treatment Network said his team struggled to get an answer on whether the virus was spread through hand-to-hand transmission.</span><br /><br /><span>After they were granted permission to travel to China, the truth finally emerged in a meeting.</span><br /><br /><span>“We asked a lot of questions, very unwillingly they finally came out and said limited human-to-human transmission can’t be ruled out,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“What was the scale of infection? How big was this epidemic? How many patients were affected? We didn’t know. Only they knew this. Why didn’t China inform other countries of this human-to-human matter earlier?”</span><br /><br /><span>Nationals backbencher Matt Canavan has since accused Beijing of having “something to hide” and said it vindicated the Morrison Government’s calls for transparency.</span><br /><br /><span>“That’s why the federal government’s always been consistent in calling for a proper, transparent inquiry (on the origins of COVID-19),” he told Today.</span><br /><br /><span>“The question has to be asked – if China has nothing to hide here, why they are going to these sort of lengths to hide things?”</span><br /><br /><span>The prevailing theory as to how coronavirus began, is that it originated in bats and jumped to humans during a “wet market” that sold and butchered exotic animals.</span><br /><br /><span>China, however, has begun pushing the theory that the virus originated overseas and arrived in Wuhan through imported frozen food products.</span><br /><br /><span>The countries being accused include Europe, South America and even Australia.</span></p>

Legal

Entertainment

Placeholder Content Image

Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster reunite after 30 years

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Movie legends Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster reunited via Zoom to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of<span> </span><em>The Silence of the Lambs</em>.</p> <p>The pair were happy to see each other and reminisced about their experiences during and after filming.</p> <p>"It's a life-changing adventure, that movie, for both of us," Foster said during a one-hour remote conversation for<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://variety.com/2021/film/news/jodie-foster-anthony-hopkins-silence-of-the-lambs-30th-anniversary-1234887496/" target="_blank">Variety's Actors on Actors</a>.</p> <p>"I'm sure you still get people who come up to you and say, 'Would you like a nice Chianti?'" she joked to Hopkins.</p> <p>"Oh yeah, they do!" he agreed.</p> <p>Hopkins also revealed the real-life inspiration behind his iconic character, the manipulative killer known as Dr. Hannibal Lector.</p> <p>"He's like a machine. He's like HAL, the computer in 2001: 'Good evening, Dave.' He just comes in like a silent shark," Hopkins explained.</p> <p>"I remember there was a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and his name was Christopher Fettes. He was a movement teacher. He had a cutting voice, and he would slice you to pieces. His analysis of what you were doing was so precise; it's a method that stayed with me for all my life.</p> <p>"When I was doing it, I thought, 'This is Chris Fettes. This is the voice. This man is merciless.' I remember the cage scene, when I said, 'No!' Wrong, try it again. That, to anyone, to the observer, the recipient of that, is lethal and charismatic."</p> <p>He also recalled one of his favourite scenes involving Foster, which is where her character FBI cadet Clarice Starling gets into a Quantico elevator with her much taller male colleagues.</p> <p>"I'm like, 'This is brilliant, because you are a smaller person in this big, macho male world, coming in as the hero,'" Hopkins noted.</p> <p>Foster then shared the most important part of her character was nailing her rural West Virginia accent.</p> <p>"She had this quietness. There was almost a shame that she wasn't bigger, that she wasn't stronger, this person trying to overcome the failure of the body they were born in,' she explained.</p> <p>"I understood that was her strength. In some ways, she was just like the victims - another girl in another town. The fact that she could relate to those victims made her the hero."</p> <p>The classic film went on to win the five big Academy Awards, which are best picture, best director (Jonathan Demme, best actor (Hopkins), best actress (Foster) and best adapted screenplay (Ted Tally).</p> </div> </div> </div>

Movies

Placeholder Content Image

Fergie taps into personal lineage for her inspired first novel

<p><span>Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson has a new fictional novel coming to the shelf, which is inspired by her family history.</span><br /><br /><span>The Duchess of York has taken on the challenge of portraying her great-great-aunt Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas and is set to be released in August.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839480/sarah-ferguson-novel-a-heart-for-the-compass.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b07cae45e9f24b41b7caf25fc7536780" /><br /><br /><span>The former wife of Prince Andrew has released children's books in the past, but became inspired for her new novel when she was “researching” her ancestry.</span><br /><br /><span>“Digging into the history of the Montagu-Douglas Scotts, I first came across Lady Margaret, who intrigued me because she shared one of my given names,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“But although her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, were close friends with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I was unable to discover much about my namesake’s early life, and so was born the idea which became Her Heart for a Compass.</span><br /><br /><span>“With real historical events and facts to hand, my imagination took over.”<br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839478/sarah-ferguson-novel-a-heart-for-the-compass-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e8539deadd15429689a5a634e773b11f" /></span><br /><br /><span>The 61-year-old went on to say: “I invented a history for her that incorporated real people and events, including some of my other ancestors.</span><br /><br /><span>“I created a friendship between my heroine and Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s sixth child, and I drew on many parallels from my life for Lady Margaret’s journey.</span><br /><br /><span>“I have long held a passion for historical research and telling the stories of strong women in history through film and television.</span><br /><br /><span>“I am proud to bring my personal brand of historical fiction to the publishing world.”</span><br /><br /><span>Despite Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson divorcing in 1996, the pair still remain great friends and live together at the Royal Lodge in London.</span></p>

Books

Placeholder Content Image

The Wind in the Willows — a tale of wanderlust, male bonding, and timeless delight

<p>Like several classics penned during the golden age of children’s literature, The Wind in the Willows was written with a particular child in mind.</p> <p>Alastair Grahame was four years old when his father Kenneth — then a secretary at the Bank of England — began inventing bedtime stories about the reckless ruffian, Mr Toad, and his long-suffering friends: Badger, Rat, and Mole.</p> <p>Alastair, born premature and partially blind, was nicknamed “Mouse”. Small, squinty, and beset by health problems, he was bullied at school. His rapture in the fantastic was later confirmed by his nurse, who recalled hearing Kenneth “up in the night-nursery, telling Master Mouse some ditty or other about a toad”.</p> <p>The Wind in the Willows evolved from Alastair’s bedtime tales into a series of letters Grahame later sent his son while on holiday in Littlehampton. In the story, a quartet of anthropomorphised male animals wander freely in a pastoral land of leisure and pleasure — closely resembling the waterside haven of Cookham Dean where Grahame himself grew up.</p> <p>In peaceful retreat from “The Wide World”, Rat, Mole, Badger, and Toad spend their days chatting, philosophising, pottering, and ruminating on the latest fashions and fads. But when the daredevil, Toad, takes up motoring, he becomes entranced by wild fantasies of the road. His concerned friends must intervene to restrain his whims, teaching him “to be a sensible toad”.</p> <p>Unlike Toad’s recuperative ending, however, Alastair’s story did not end happily. In the spring of 1920, while a student at Oxford, he downed a glass of port before taking a late night stroll. The next morning, railway workers found his decapitated body on tracks near the university. An inquest determined his death a likely suicide but out of respect for his father, it was recorded as an accident.</p> <p>Kenneth Grahame, by all accounts, never recovered from the loss of his only child. He became increasingly reclusive, eventually abandoning writing altogether.</p> <p>In his will, he gifted the original manuscript of Willows to the Bodleian Library, along with the copyrights and all his royalties. Upon his death in 1932, he was buried in Oxford next to his first reader, Mouse.</p> <p>A ‘gay manifesto’?<br />Biographical readings are a staple in children’s literature, and the criticism surrounding The Wind in the Willows is no exception. First published in 1908 — the same year as Anne of Green Gables and Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz — the novel was initially titled The Mole and the Water-Rat. After back and forth correspondence with Grahame, his publisher Sir Algernon Methuen wrote to say he had settled on The Wind in the Willows because of its “charming and wet sound”.</p> <p>Today, one of the mysteries surrounding the novel is the meaning of the title. The word “willows” does not appear anywhere in the book; the single form “willow” appears just twice.</p> <p>When Willows was first released in Britain it was marketed as an allegory — “a fantastic and whimsical satire upon life”, featuring a cast of woodland and riverside creatures who were closer to an Edwardian gentlemen’s club than a crowd of animals. Indeed, the adventures structuring the novel are the meanderings of old English chaps nostalgic for another time.</p> <p>The four friends, though different in disposition, are bound by their “divine discontent and longing”.</p> <p>Restless enough to be easily bewitched, they are rich enough to fill their days with long picnics and strolls. Most chapters are sequenced in chronological order, but the action revolves around different types of wandering – pottering around the garden, messing about in boats, rambling along country lanes.</p> <p>With the exception of a brief encounter with a jailer’s daughter, an overweight barge woman, and a careless mother hedgehog, there are no women in Willows. And excluding a pair of young hedgehogs and a group of field mice, all male, there are no children either.</p> <p>Given the novel’s strong homosocial subtext and absence of female characters, the story is often read as an escapist fantasy from Grahame’s unhappy marriage to Elspeth Thomson. Peter Hunt, an eminent scholar of Willows, describes the couple’s relationship as “sexually arid” and suggests Grahame’s sudden resignation from the bank in 1908 was due to bullying on the basis of his sexuality.</p> <p>Indeed, Hunt ventures to call the book “a gay manifesto”, reading it as a gay allegory heavy with suppressed desire and latent homoeroticism. In one scene, for example, Mole and Rat “shake off their garments” and “tumble in-between the sheets in great joy and contentment”.</p> <p>Earlier, while sharing a bed in the open air, Mole “reaches out from under his blanket, feels for the Rat’s paw in the darkness, and gives it a squeeze.” “I’ll do whatever you like, Ratty,” he whispers.</p> <p>For this reason, and others, some critics suggest that Willows is not a children’s book at all, but a novel for adults that can be enjoyed by children.</p> <p>Conservatism<br />Whether we read Willows as a simple animal story or a social satire, the narrative reinforces the status quo. Badger, for instance, resembles a gruff headmaster whose paternal concern for his friends extends to an earnest attempt to reform the inebriate Toad.</p> <p>Toad is a recognisable type of schoolboy, charming and impulsive but wildly arrogant and lacking self-control. In the end, he is punished for his foolish behaviour and forced to forgo his flamboyant egotism in humble resignation at Toad Hall. Similarly, Mole and Ratty are afflicted by wanderlust, but inevitably retreat to their cosy, subterranean homes. All of Grahame’s animals return to their “proper” place.</p> <p>This return to civility and quiet domesticity exemplifies a criticism often levelled at children’s literature: that such stories are more about the fears and desires of adults than those of children. (Alice in Wonderland, for instance, emphasises the importance of curiosity and imagination, but is also an attempt to socialise children into responsible citizenship.)</p> <p>Willows is a story about homecoming and friendship, but also a psychodrama about uncontrolled behaviour and addiction in Edwardian England.</p> <p>Creatures of habit<br />Perhaps the most famous scene in Willows — now also a popular ride at Disneyland — is Mr Toad’s Wild Ride. In the novel, the incautious Toad, who is oddly large enough to drive a human-sized car, is frequently in trouble with the law and even imprisoned due to his addiction to joyriding.</p> <p>At times delusional, the self-proclaimed “terror of the highway” writes off several vehicles before spiralling into a cycle of car theft, dangerous driving, and disorderly behaviour.</p> <p>Eventually, Toad’s motorcar mania becomes so unmanageable that his exasperated friends are forced to stage “a mission of mercy” – a “work of rescue” that contemporary readers might recognise as an intervention. This subtext of addiction underpins the arc of recovery, and is crucial for understanding the novel’s key themes: the limits of friendship, the loss of pastoral security, and the temptations of city life.</p> <p>Interestingly, in Badger’s attempt to help Toad break the cycle of withdrawal and recovery, and in Toad’s temporary abatement and relapse, the text points to another form of addiction: to alcohol.</p> <p>When Toad is banished to his country retreat — a typical “cure” for upper-class alcoholism at the time — Badger stresses he will remain in enforced confinement “until the poison has worked itself out of his system” and his “violent paroxysms” have passed.</p> <p>Again, the biographical foundation of the work is clear. Grahame’s father, Cunningham, was an alcoholic whose heavy drinking resulted, like Toad’s intoxication, in social exile, financial strain, and the loss of the family home.</p> <p>In The Wind in the Willows, Grahame employs animals to render all the ups and downs of human experience. In doing so, he captures the conflict and consonance between freedom and captivity, tradition and modernity.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Kate Cantrell. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/guide-to-the-classics-the-wind-in-the-willows-a-tale-of-wanderlust-male-bonding-and-timeless-delight-151091">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

Books

Property

Placeholder Content Image

"That smell!": Permanent portaloo upsets neighbours

<p>NSW Central Coast residents are furious with their neighbour who abandoned a caravan and portaloo five years ago in their suburban street.</p> <p>The caravan is on an overgrown section on the street, but it's the portaloo that infuriates neighbours.</p> <p>"Disgusting, absolutely disgusting," neighbour Kylie Griffith told<span> </span><em>A Current Affair.</em></p> <p>"It looks like a bogan's house, like someone that doesn't care for it."</p> <p>Although things are bad now, they were worse when owner Hervander Bhandari was living there.</p> <p>He submitted plans to build a grand home after buying the site for $135,000 in 2014.</p> <p>"It was five storeys high," neighbour Stephen Crampton said.</p> <p>"The bricks turned up, the portaloo and virtually he was staying in it all the time."</p> <p>Neighbours were disgusted as they watched his personal routine, which included showering with a garden hose.</p> <p>That didn't bother them as much as the smell from the portaloo.</p> <p>"When he flushed the toilet, the water used to come back out of the port skip here and down the roadway, down his block of land into the neighbour's driveway, down the gutter and into the stormwater," Mr Crampton said.</p> <p>"It was disgusting. It was shocking. You would go, 'oh no, not again, that smell'.</p> <p>"We would have to have all our windows up and everything, we couldn't put up with it."</p> <p>Mr Crampton had enough and contacted the Central Coast Council, who instructed him to keep a diary of his movements.</p> <p>After enough evidence, the council took Mr Bhandari to the NSW Land and Environment Court, claiming that his living situation was illegal.</p> <p>Mr Bhandari told the court he has no interest in taking part in the case and it's currently understood that he has moved home to India.</p> <p>The Central Coast Council has said that Mr Bhandari has until January 17th to clean up the site before council moves in.</p> <p>Neighbours are upset at the decision as the council has told them they will only remove the portaloo, which means that the stack of bricks and the caravan will stay on the land.</p> <p>"They need to get rid of that stinking old caravan cause the smell is still here," Mr Crampton said.</p>

Real Estate

Placeholder Content Image

Incredible detail in home listing goes viral

<p><span>While many who have sold a home would say it is no easy feat, they may not have considered providing the perfect addition to make sure the world sees it.</span><br /><br /><span>A US$1,689,000 (AU$2,196,000) home has hit the market, and while the large Californian property is a beauty in itself with a huge yard, five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms – there was one special detail in the home photos that sent the listing absolutely viral.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CJlxPn5gd2M/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CJlxPn5gd2M/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Zillow Gone Wild (@zillowgonewild)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>Thirty of the 33 photos feature a small dog, whether lazing on the floor, propped sitting at the office desk or resting in the bathtub.</span><br /><br /><span>“This custom home features two master suites, grand living areas highlighted with open floorplans and towering ceilings, extensive redwood decking, 5-space garage with full bathroom, huge service-yard for trailers, boats and other big ‘toys’, and there’s even an apartment for your caretaker or guests. Lots and lots of extra ‘bells and whistles’ too,” the listing on Remax Accord reads.</span><br /><br /><span>The listing quickly became viral, with fans claiming they would “buy anything from that dog”, on the real estate Instagram account Zillow Gone Wild.</span><br /><br /><span>“This isn’t a house, it’s a home,” one person said.</span><br /><br /><span>“Does the dog come with the house or is this a no deal?” another asked.</span></p>

Real Estate

Placeholder Content Image

Ever wanted to own a real castle?

<p>A unique home on Australia's North Shore has hit the market, and it is expected to topple price records because there is not much quite like it in the quiet pocked of Sydney. The century-old castle in was built more than 100 years ago and is up to buy for over $25 million – and it is expected to go quickly.</p> <p>Innisfallen Castle has stood overlooking the serene Sydney water for over 100 years and in that time has had just two owners.</p> <p>The property was listed on the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=5045027" target="_blank" title="">NSW State Heritage Register</a> on 2 April 1999, making its preservation a top priority and solidifying the home as a permanent slice of history.</p> <p>Innisfallen castle is a remnant of a bygone British era, sandwiched between the Aussie bush and glorious Sydney Harbour.</p> <p>Inside the home, there is a grand entrance that backs on to a staircase, which in turn leads up to a stone turnet that offers million-dollar 360-degree views of Sydney.</p> <p>The castle has not permanently stayed in the past though and has had minor upgrades that include a wine cellar, a gym and even a perfect space for a sauna underground.</p> <p>The interior rooms reach just a little over four metres high and have late Victorian-style interiors.</p> <p>Despite having modern fixtures added in the castle throughout the years, the decorations and styling has largely remained the same since the house was built – including the plasterwork and stained glass.</p> <p>The heritage listed castle was made in 1902 from sandstone that was quarried on the site.</p> <p>The property now sits on 8000 square metres of land and was named after a ruined Abbey at Killarney in Ireland and means 'Isle of the Field.</p> <p>The first owner was Henry Willis - a federal politician who went on to pass it down to his son.</p> <p><em>Images: Channel Nine</em></p>

Real Estate