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Meghan Markle's special message after daughter's birth

<p>Meghan Markle may be on maternity leave after welcoming daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor just two weeks ago.</p> <p>But it hasn't stopped the Duchess of Sussex from sharing a beautiful message about something close to her heart - animal welfare.</p> <p>The Duchess has remained Patron of Mayhew after Megxit and wrote a message for the UK charity's annual report, praising the organisation and others similar for their efforts during the pandemic.</p> <p>"When I reflect on 2020, I always come back to the importance of community and connection," the duchess wrote. "We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis. For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side."</p> <p>The new mum, who gave birth on June 4 to her daughter with Prince Harry, also spoke about her miscarriage last July, writing about the grief she experienced over the past year.</p> <p>"Over the last year, each of us have felt the profound effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic," Meghan began.</p> <p>"Be it the loss of a loved one, the health challenges far too many faced, or the disproportionate life changes everyone has experienced, it has been an overwhelming process of grief, growth and also of gratitude.</p> <p>"I have heard from so many of you about the impact of having a pet with you at home during the isolation of lockdown; you have mentioned the therapeutic effect of having your animal by your side and the solace and comfort you found in their company."</p> <p>Praising the charity's hard work in these tough circumstances, Meghan hinted that she remains involved in their work from the US.</p> <p>"I have been proud to witness Mayhew adapting to the moment – through virtual rehoming, TheraPaws visits over Zoom and delivering care packages to animals and pet owners in need," she wrote.</p> <p>Meghan, who had two rescue dogs (Bogart and Guy) in Canada before she met Prince Harry, has been a champion of animal welfare charities for a number of years.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Chance of COVID emerging naturally is “one in a million”

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be administered and the number of coronavirus cases remains low in Australia (or New Zealand), scientists are looking to answer one remaining question: where did the virus come from?</span></p> <p><strong>The lab leak theory</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Steven Quay, the chief executive of biopharmaceutical company Atossa Technologies and former faculty member at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, said the probability of SARS-CoV-2 emerging naturally was “literally one in a million”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Presenting at a conference organised by the Hudson Institute in Washington DC alongside astrophysicist Professor Richard Muller, the pair accused Chinese scientists of concealing the origins as a manufactured virus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The increased interest in the origin of the virus comes after the US government ordered its intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of COVID-19.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Quay said the </span><a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/who-convened-global-study-of-origins-of-sars-cov-2-china-part"><span style="font-weight: 400;">report conducted by the World Health Organisation</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, tabled in March, had “censored” the earliest cases of COVID-19 outside of the Wuhan wet market.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is not science, this is obfuscation,” he added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Muller said there were concerns scientists who pursued the “lab leak” theory would be “blacklisted and labelled an enemy of China”.</span></p> <p><strong>An alternative theory</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others theorise that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been performing “gain of function” experiments - where a virus is manipulated to make it more infectious.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This kind of research has been conducted at labs around the world, according to Professor Dwyer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The institute haven’t published anything significant on gain-of-function studies. I’m not an expert in that area, but my understanding is they weren’t doing gain-of-function work that has been obviously traceable.”</span></p> <p><strong>Flaws in the theory</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though some have labelled the WHO report as inconclusive, the 17 international experts who produced the report concluded the most likely origin of the pandemic came from the virus jumping between species - possibly from bats to pangolins - and then to humans.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Dwyer, director of public health pathology in NSW and one of the experts who contributed to the report, said the key flaw in the lab leak theory was there was no evidence the Wuhan Institute of Virology had the virus before the pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The laboratory leak, for that to be the origin … meant they must have had the virus to begin with, and we don’t have evidence of that,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The lab leak sits there, but you need some sort of evidence to take it further.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The institute had been working to find and publish papers on new bat coronaviruses, including a virus that is the closest known match to COVID-19 so far, and Professor Dwyer said it was unlikely the institute would have had SARS-CoV-2 and not published anything about it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They are a pretty prominent research institute. They publish a lot of very good papers and have collaborations with people around the world. If they had it, there was no reason to hide it from a scientific or intellectual point of view.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Additionally, some have argued that the lack of an identified intermediate host for the coronavirus supports the lab leak theory, with science journalist Nicholas Wade claiming the SARS intermediate was found within four months of that outbreak.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Professor Dwyer said it actually took 15 years to find the animal source of SARS.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These things can take time,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We felt transmission from bat to some sort of intermediate animal to humans was the most likely because it has occurred before - and not just once before, but several times.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Based on history, based on things like what markets are like in Wuhan and other neighbouring countries … that seems to be the most likely scenario for it to develop.”</span></p>

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Two of the biggest dating mistakes revealed

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to dating, there are several common pitfalls that can make the whole process daunting and disheartening.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Michael Karson, a professor of psychology at the University of Denver, has revealed two of the biggest dating mistakes he has encountered during his career.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Don’t look for Mr or Ms Right</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the idea of finding your soulmate is promoted by movies and romance novels, real life doesn’t follow these kinds of storylines.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead, Dr Karson says you should look for someone who you want to build a relationship with - and who wants to build a relationship with you - rather than finding a person who will be perfect for you from the start.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the core of the fantasy of finding Mr or Ms Right is the desire that you are just right for someone. Instead, being able to grow together can help you find success in your relationships.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Don’t stay if you know it won’t work</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Staying in a relationship for months or years despite knowing it won’t work is another pitfall in dating. Whether people stay in a relationship with the hopes the other person will change their mind about monogamy, kids, or whatever crucial thing they want to build a life together, or they stay for companionship or to meet physical needs, there are plenty of reasons couples stay together despite knowing it won’t pan out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, this can mean that when the relationship does end, you end up back at square one after building a life with someone else.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead, Dr Karson suggests people should reflect on the reasons why they continue to stay in the relationship and find alternative solutions. For example, those staying purely for companionship could seek out more friendships, while those who are uncertain about their partner should air their concerns and see if they can be discussed.</span></p>

Relationships

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Vaccine-related blood clotting explained

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With news spreading of the death of a second person due to an extremely rare blood clotting disorder after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, Australians are still feeling hesitant about getting the jab.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), the blood clotting condition, known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), is likely linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of the 3.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that have been administered so far, 48 people have developed blood clots, with 31 recovering after a hospital stay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the concerns over the vaccine, experts have said we’ve come a long way in understanding the disorder - as well as how to detect it and treat it.</span></p> <p><strong>How are blood clots detected?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The first step in detecting the blood clot relies on getting the timing right, said Vivien Chen, a haematologist specialising in coagulation disorders at the University of Sydney.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The first entry point is being a patient within the right time frame after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Dr Chen said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The first dose appears to be of particular concern.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">TTS symptoms - including severe headaches that don’t go away, abdominal pain, blurred vision, and leg pain or swelling - appear within four to 30 days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, with most occurring within six to 14 days.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you experience any of these symptoms after getting vaccinated, it’s recommended you go to your GP in order to get a blood test known as a platelet count.</span></p> <p><strong>What are platelets?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Platelets are fragments of cells that come from the bone marrow and play a vital role in blood clotting, including preventing excessive bleeding following a cut or scrape.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Normal platelet levels hover between 150,000 and 450,000 per microlitre of blood.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A platelet count lower than 150,000 results in a condition called thrombocytopenia, which usually results in excessive bleeding. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">But when it follows a vaccination, abnormal blood clotting can occur.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For a small number of people, the immune system triggers antibodies that recognise COVID-19 proteins and platelets. These antibodies can then activate the platelets, cause them to cluster and go into blood-clotting mode.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The consequences of this is the platelets are getting used up in the blood clot and their count drops,” Dr Chen said.</span></p> <p><strong>Next steps</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If the platelet count is low, doctors will look at blood samples to find protein fragments called D-dimers, which are produced by the body to break down blood clots.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If the level of D-dimers is five times higher than that of normal blood, it can be a sign of TTS.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When a low platelet count and high D-dimer level have been detected, clinicians then look for antibodies that target a protein called platelet factor 4, or PF4. The PF4 antibodies are also tested to determine whether they can activate platelets and cause TTS.</span></p> <p><strong>Detection speeds</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vaccine-related clots can be detected via blood tests as soon as symptoms appear - whether that’s four or 20 days after getting the jab - but not before that.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In most cases, [antibodies] can only be found after people feel unwell and present at hospital,” said Jose Perdomo, a haematologist at the University of New South Wales.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Patients presenting at the emergency department of a metropolitan hospital with TTS symptoms can receive results from the blood-screening tests within one hour. But, wait times can be longer in regional hospitals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once initial tests have confirmed platelet and D-dimer levels, patients can commence treatment while waiting for their PF4 antibody test results.</span></p> <p><strong>Treatment</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Two different types of treatment are combined to battle TTS.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To start with, patients start taking blood-thinning medication to slow down the formation of blood clots.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Patients also receive a large dose of immunoglobulins - proteins that are part of the body’s defence system - to calm down the immune system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This essentially swamps the antibody system, so that vaccine-induced antibodies can’t activate the platelets,” Dr Chen said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This combined treatment can help return blood platelet levels to normal within a few days, according to Dr Chen.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In more severe cases, it can take longer but it’s a rapid response to commencement of new therapy,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She also said this treatment is safe to use even if the blood clots end up being unrelated to the vaccine.</span></p> <p><strong>What to do if symptoms appear</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the risk of getting a blood clot following the vaccine is very low, Dr Chen said it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and take action as soon as they appear.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you have a headache that won’t go away after taking painkillers, you should visit your GP.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But if you notice more severe symptoms - including numbness, difficulty speaking, or passing blood in bowel movements - head straight to the emergency department instead.</span></p>

Body

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Losing speech after a stroke can negatively affect mental health – but therapy can provide hope

<p>Around <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1804492">25% of adults</a> will have a stroke in their lifetime. And <a href="https://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993(16)30041-7/fulltext">around one-third</a> of stroke survivors will be left with damage to the part of their brain that decodes and organises language – leaving them with a disability known as <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02687038.2020.1852003">aphasia</a>. Aphasia can affect speaking and understanding as well as reading and writing abilities, but does not affect intelligence. It can vary in severity from getting a few words mixed up, to being unable to say any words.</p> <p>Aphasia can be a difficult and frustrating disability to live with, and can disrupt many aspects of a person’s life – including relationships, holding down a job, and social activities. As such, depression is common, affecting an <a href="https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/16107">estimated two-thirds</a> of people with aphasia. Yet many people with aphasia <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02687038.2019.1673304">struggle to access</a> the psychological support they need – psychological therapies, or “talk therapies”, can feel inaccessible to someone with a language disability.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/10497323211020290">Our research</a> explored how psychological therapy could be made to work for people with aphasia. Working with speech and language therapists, mental health professionals and stroke survivors, we adapted a form of psychological therapy so that it was accessible for people with aphasia. We found that this form of therapy was valued by people with aphasia, and could make a positive difference in their lives.</p> <p><strong>Accessible therapy</strong></p> <p>The therapy that we delivered to our research participants was adapted from a form of psychological therapy called “<a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9780203116562/solution-focused-brief-therapy-harvey-ratner-evan-george-chris-iveson">solution-focused brief therapy</a>”. This form of therapy supports a person in building meaningful change in their everyday lives. It invites people to describe their hopes for the future, and explores their skills, talents and resources to support them in when adapting to their new circumstances. It also gives them a chance to discuss their experiences and thoughts.</p> <p>Thirty people with post-stroke aphasia received the therapy in our study. Fourteen of our participants had severe aphasia, while 16 had milder aphasia. They were all at least six months post-stroke – and some were as many as 12 years post-stroke. Participants were offered up to six therapy sessions, each of about an hour, spaced over three months. The therapy was delivered by speech and language therapists who had received specific training and supervision from experts in solution-focused brief therapy.</p> <p>To make the therapy accessible, we made sure that the therapists worked closely with participants to help them communicate their thoughts and feelings, using whatever method they could – so as well as talking, participants communicated through drawing, gestures, pictures, objects, mime, or writing key words. Although their intelligence was not affected, many participants found it harder to understand language when spoken rapidly.</p> <p>To support participants’ understanding, therapists used simpler language, slowed their pace of speech and supported communication visually such as by writing key words, or using gestures or pictures. Above all, the therapists gave people time – time to express their thoughts and time to process what the therapist was saying.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/406699/original/file-20210616-3629-1d6qq4s.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A young man reads a book with an elderly woman." /> <span class="caption">Participants communicated using whatever method they could.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/young-male-nurse-spending-time-elder-300626726" class="source">Photographee.eu/ Shutterstock</a></span></p> <p>Therapists encouraged participants to describe what “living well” with their aphasia meant to them. They invited participants to notice small signs of progress and share their successes and achievements with the therapist. These could be seemingly small events, such as making porridge with one hand for the first time, and also profound conversations around how they experienced aphasia, their early times in hospital, or describing the process of recovery and adjusting to their stroke. The therapists invited them to notice their own skills and the resources that they had drawn on, and how they could use these to help them continue to adjust to their new circumstances.</p> <p>Our participants agreed that the therapy worked well for people with aphasia – and that it was important for them (and others with aphasia) to have access to psychological support if needed. Many valued being able to talk about their hopes and achievements, and share how they found living with stroke and aphasia. They also valued the companionship and connection they felt with their therapist.</p> <p>Many participants also described experiencing positive changes in their life after attending therapy – including having the confidence to start using the phone again, doing things they used to do such as cooking dinner, or starting a volunteer role. For some, it gave them courage, and let them feel more like themselves again.</p> <p>Our research shows that even people with a severe language disability can benefit from this therapy when it is adapted specifically for them. A challenge is ensuring that mental health professionals and speech and language therapists have the training, skills and confidence to provide appropriate psychological support for people with aphasia.</p> <p>There are around <a href="https://www.stroke.org.uk/what-is-aphasia/aphasia-and-its-effects">350,000 people</a> living with aphasia in the UK. Yet <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1460-6984.12204">public awareness</a> of the condition remains low, making it a poorly understood and often lonely disability to live with. If we give people with aphasia the time to express themselves – noticing and valuing them as people, and not just seeing their disability – it can make a real difference in improving their lives.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-northcott-1227983">Sarah Northcott</a>, Senior Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/city-university-of-london-1047">City, University of London</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/losing-speech-after-a-stroke-can-negatively-affect-mental-health-but-therapy-can-provide-hope-160581">original article</a>.</p>

Mind

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How much does COVID-19 weigh?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The total mass of COVID-19 globally is currently between 100g and 10kg, according to an estimate </span><a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/118/25/e2024815118"><span style="font-weight: 400;">recently published</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Ron Milo of the Weizmann Institute of Science and his colleagues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The article also details exactly how the team calculated the estimate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using the typical viral load of tissues and fluids in the body during the peak of an infection, the researchers estimated that an individual would carry between 1-100 billion viral particles, with a total mass of between 1 and 100 micrograms (between 0.0001 and 0.1 milligrams) during peak infection.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The team then calculated the global mass of the virus by multiplying the viral load by the number of cases globally.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The total number of viral particles globally was also calculated, with the researchers estimating that there have been between one hundred quadrillion and ten quintillion viral particles at any given time, assuming there has been between 1 million to 10 million people infected at close to peak infection over the course of the pandemic.</span></p> <p><strong>Why this matters</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It was also noted that, for every person infected with COVID-19, the virus particles enter cells and replicate between three and seven times. Each of these replications can also introduce mutations, though not all of them will result in new variants of the virus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This allows researchers to calculate an estimated rate of the formation of new genetic variants and form a better understanding of how many cells in different areas of the body can become infected.</span></p>

Body

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Women retire with less than men: Boosting compulsory super won’t help

<p>All sorts of claims are being made following the release of the Retirement Income Review, including that it paid insufficient attention to issues of gender.</p> <p>Among other things we are being told that the gap between female and male super would narrow if compulsory contributions were lifted from 9.5% to 12%.</p> <p>It wouldn’t, not at all. As the <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p2020-100554">review</a> of which I was a member states, “maintaining the superannuation guarantee at 9.5% would avoid the increases in inequities associated with the superannuation guarantee rate rising to 12%”.</p> <p>Since men on average earn more than women, increasing the superannuation guarantee rate would widen — rather than narrow — the retirement income gap.</p> <p>By design, superannuation is a contributory scheme. That means what you get in retirement depends largely on how long you have been in the workforce and how much you have been paid.</p> <p>In that respect women are at a disadvantage, firstly due to the gender pay gap.</p> <p><strong>Women get less super because they get less pay</strong></p> <p>The review points out in November 2019 the gap in total average weekly earnings was 16.9% for women and men working full-time.</p> <p>The Bureau of Statistics reported in December 2020 that the pay gap had fallen to <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/people-and-communities/gender-indicators-australia/latest-release#economic-security">13.4%</a>.</p> <p>While there is still a way to go, it’s an improvement.</p> <p>However, the second and greater disadvantage for women is that they are far more likely to take on caring roles that lead to career breaks and part-time employment.</p> <p>Some 93% of all primary carer leave is taken by women. The result is a gender pay gap of closer to <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/earnings-and-work-hours/average-weekly-earnings-australia/latest-release">30%</a> when part-time and full-time work are taken together.</p> <p><strong>Several things could help</strong></p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/390716/original/file-20210321-15-1jrip39.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/390716/original/file-20210321-15-1jrip39.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf" class="source">The Retirement Incomes Review modelled retirement outcomes by gender.</a></span></p> <p>To understand the contribution of career breaks to super balances and retirement incomes, the review constructed and modelled <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">five different scenarios</a> for female workers based on observed patterns of career breaks and part-time work.</p> <p>Not surprisingly the modelling found that when women take more time out of the workforce, the gender gap in superannuation balances increases. Breaks earlier in careers have a greater impact on balances than breaks taken later.</p> <p>In recent decades the impact of career breaks has been declining as women take less time out of the workforce. Average female working life climbed from 24 years in 1980 to around 38 years in 2019.</p> <p>There are a number of measures that could improve super outcomes for women.</p> <p>The review found one would be to require the payment of superannuation on employer paid parental leave and <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/parental-leave-pay">government parental leave pay</a>.</p> <p><strong>The super gap isn’t as wide as the pay gap</strong></p> <p>Another would be to require employers to make superannuation contributions to workers earning less than <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Super-for-employers/">$450 per month</a>.</p> <p>The present exemption impacts directly on those who work part-time and who work for a number of different employers, 63% of whom are women.</p> <p>Both options would improve the retirement incomes of women, but only marginally mitigate the gender gap inherent in the way superannuation is structured.</p> <p>But here’s what else we found. A number of measures already in place do quite a bit to lessen the gap.</p> <p>Among them are the <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing-your-super/Low-income-super-tax-offset/">Low-Income Superannuation Tax Offset</a> and the <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing-your-super/Super-co-contribution/">government superannuation co-contribution</a>.</p> <p>Because women earn less than men, both benefit women far more than men.</p> <p>Also, women benefit from the imposition of <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing-your-super/Division-293-tax---information-for-individuals/">Division 293 tax</a> which limits concessions for higher income earners, who are more likely to be men.</p> <p><strong>Half as worse off in retirement</strong></p> <p>And women also make higher <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">voluntary super contributions</a> as a proportion of incomes then men. This is particularly so for women over the age of 50, suggesting some make a concerted effort to catch up.</p> <p>As a result, in 2017‑18 the median gap in superannuation balances between men and women aged 60‑64 was <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">22%</a>, considerably less than the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/earnings-and-work-hours/average-weekly-earnings-australia/latest-release">30%</a> gender gap in pay.</p> <p>And the age pension means test means that once women move into retirement, they are more likely than men to get the age pension, and to get more of it.</p> <p>When the age pension and superannuation income are combined, the retirement income gap for women who have worked full time with no career break falls to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">8.4%</a> For women with two career breaks and part-time work it falls to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">14.5%</a>.</p> <p>We could do better, and the review spelled out steps to take. It found that boosting compulsory super contributions was not one of them.</p> <p>An increase in the proportion of income sent to super would lift the retirement incomes of high earners more than the retirement incomes of low earners.</p> <p>Until things change, increases in compulsory super will boost the retirement incomes of men more than women.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/157412/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/deborah-ralston-107436">Deborah Ralston</a>, Professorial fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-women-retire-with-less-than-men-but-boosting-compulsory-super-wont-help-157412">original article</a>.</p>

Retirement Income

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Bomb squad called to Princess Mary's palace

<p>A woman has been arrested after allegedly sending a suspicious package to the royal palace where Crown Princess Mary and her family live.</p> <p>The police were forced to bring in the bomb squad, with parts of Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen were sealed off when a package was sent to the Yellow Palace, next to the royal family's main complex.</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/CPvUiPLtik-/?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/CPvUiPLtik-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Cindy Turner, CTA (@cindyttravels)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Two remote-controlled robots were used to determine the contents of the parcel, with the Armed Forces' Ammunition Clearance Service called in to investigate the package.</p> <p>At 3 pm local time that day, police confirmed that a 57-year-old woman had been arrested in connection with the scare.</p> <p>She was taken into custody in Ribe and charged with making threats against the royal family.</p> <p>The Danish palace has not made any public comments about the incident.</p>

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Oh Lord": Queen’s awkward moment with Scott Morrison

<p>The Queen has marked her first in-person audience at a royal residence since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>Her Majesty welcomed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Windsor Castle on Tuesday in a bright yellow floral dress.</p> <p>The 95-year-old monarch, after more than 50 years in power still remains as humble as ever, even after the Australian PM showered the royal in compliments.</p> <p>Speaking about the Queen's recent visit to Cornwall to meet G7 leaders, Scott Morrison remarked: "You were quite the hit. Everyone was talking about you at dinner the next night."</p> <p>The Queen said: "Oh Lord. Were they really?"</p> <p>To which Morrison added: "They were. They were thrilled to see you."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841812/queen-elizabeth-scomo.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d8096c23908548ddbf9e2f7d66badb7d" /></p> <p>The Queen has hosted a number of guests virtually since the pandemic hit, with guests usually tuning in via a video-link from Buckingham Palace.</p> <p>However it is the first time a head of state has had the opportunity to carry out an audience in person, since March of 2020.</p> <p>To that end she also told Morrison: "Very nice to see you – in person this time."</p> <p>Morrison's wife Jennifer also was there for the private audience.</p> <p>The Queen welcomed a number of world leaders at the G-7 Summit on Friday.</p> <p>The royal also celebrated her public birthday with a scaled-down Trooping the Colour on Saturday.</p> <p>She went on to have tea with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden on Sunday.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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‘Racist’ tweets take aim at Harry and Meghan’s baby

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A ‘racist’ tweet about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby has seen a UK lawyer suspended from her job.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Joanna Toch of Family Law Cafe had responded to a tweet from UK columnist Julie Burchill, who wrote, “What a missed opportunity. They could have called it Georgina Floydina!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This was seen as a callout of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who had both spoken out about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement in the past.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In response, Toch commented, “No Doria? Don’t black names matter?” in a reference to Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland. </span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JulieBurchill?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JulieBurchill</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JoannaToch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JoannaToch</a>'s Twitter accounts have now been deactivated. Well done Twitter 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾❤️ <a href="https://t.co/hbf18KLQgo">pic.twitter.com/hbf18KLQgo</a></p> — Cromwell (@Cromwell606) <a href="https://twitter.com/Cromwell606/status/1401940093917614086?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 7, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After deleting and apologising for the tweet, Toch was suspended from her role.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I am very sorry for the comment and what I saw as a joke. I’ve fought during my professional life against racism which is abhorrent. I’m not a judge and I have children of colour and I apologise unreservedly,” she wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a statement, the directors of the law firm said, “FLC considers her comments as offensive, unacceptable and highly contradictory to the inclusive manner in which FLC has always and will continue to work with members of all communities in managing the challenges of matrimonial and family disputes.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Burchill also lost her job at </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Telegraph</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> due to the offending tweet, with many followers taking issue with her referring to the baby as “it”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In an initial attempt to defend the tweet, she responded with: “I called the baby IT as a nod to non-binary bollocks … Have a good time with your pearl-clutching life-wasting woo-woo, ya clowns!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Burchill’s social media activity has caused her trouble in the past, having been found to have defamed journalist and activist Ash Sarkar in a series of tweets and Facebook posts in December 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Burchill and Toch have since deleted their Twitter accounts.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: 9honey</span></em></p>

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Amazing find in tapas bar stuns archaeologists

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the coronavirus halting businesses around the world, the owners of the </span><a href="http://www.cerveceriagiralda.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cervercería Giralda</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> tapas bar in Seville, Spain decided to use the time for much-needed renovations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, as the renovations of the 89-year-old eatery started, workers made an astonishing find.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beneath the plaster that covered the ceiling they found a skylight in the form of an eight-pointed star belonging to a 12th century Islamic hammam.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As soon as we saw one of the skylights, we knew what it was; it just couldn’t have been anything but a bath,” said archaeologist </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Álvaro Jiméz. “We just had to follow the pattern of the skylights.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The former bathhouse was also found with elaborate red ochre paintings of geometric motifs on the walls, representing the night sky, which dates back to when the city was ruled by the Almohad caliphate, a Berber Empire that once controlled much of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Decoratively speaking, these baths have the largest amount of preserved decoration of any of the known baths on the Iberian peninsula,” the archaeologist said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Absolutely everything here is decorated, and, luckily, it’s survived. The background is white lime mortar engraved with geometric lines, circles and squares. On top of that you have red ochre paintings of eight-pointed stars and eight-petalled multifoil rosettes. Those two designs alternate and entwine and adapt to the different geometric shapes of the skylight holes.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Historians believe this bathhouse, as well as several others found around the city’s central mosque known as the Royal Alcázar palace, was used by devotees to cleanse themselves before going to the mosque to pray. They also believe the bathhouses were likely used as meeting places for people to socialise, talk business, or relax.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The tapas bar has since reopened and the bathhouse can still be seen.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cervercería Giralda / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Prince Charles is "immensely sensitive" and ignoring Prince Harry

<p>Princess Diana's former voice coach, Stewart Pearce, has claimed the reason Prince Charles has had a hard time with Prince Harry's parenting criticisms is that Prince Charles is "immensely sensitive".</p> <p>Pearce revealed to US Weekly that the future king of England is a "very very shy man".</p> <p>“Prince Charles is a very, very shy man, a very sensitive and delicate man, but we see his public personality, but in private, he’s immensely sensitive,” he said.</p> <p>“When we’re sensitive, if we’re dealing with very strong, combustible emotion on the outside of us,” people tend to go into fight or flight.</p> <p>For example, when Princess Diana accused him of having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, “what he did was to shrink back and as a result of that became aloof,” Pearce explained. “Well, that doesn’t heal the challenge that’s taking place.”</p> <p>Pearce said that when reports broke about Prince Harry and Meghan being "troubled" by the 'lapse of contact", Pearce wasn't surprised as "that's what Charles does".</p> <p>“He can’t deal with it because of his sensitivity, so he hides. And what Harry’s trying to do is to heal that. Not out of umbrage, not out of anger or revenge or criticism or accusation…I felt that he was just somebody saying, ‘This is the way that it is, and this is why we want to make change.’”</p> <p>The comments that Pearce is referring to were made by Prince Harry on his Apple TV+ series with Oprah The Me You Can't See.</p> <p>“My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to [Prince] William and I, ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s gonna be like that for you.’" he said.</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/B2bL_xMgwoL/?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/B2bL_xMgwoL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Clarence House (@clarencehouse)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, it doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever experiences, negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids.”</p> <p>The conversation was said to leave Prince Charles "quite devastated" according to an insider who told <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/05/all-charles-has-wanted-is-for-harry-to-be-happy-can-this-father-son-relationship-ever-heal"><em>Vanity Fair.</em></a></p> <p>“He is such a gentle man and a dedicated father first and foremost. Knowing him, he’ll be feeling wretched and will take no joy or happiness in what’s going on within the family. But he will also want to seek a reconciliation. He is not vindictive at all, and he wants to make peace with Harry.”</p>

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Cruise inaugural cancelled after 8 crew test positive for COVID

<p>Royal Caribbean has been forced to cancel the inaugural cruise of its newest ship after eight crew members tested positive for coronavirus.</p> <p>The cruise line had planned to sail their latest addition to the fleet next month, Odyssey of the Seas.</p> <p>Among 1400 total staff, eight crew members were diagnosed with the virus.</p> <p>Cruise bosses said that why the entirety of their staff have been vaccinated, the full effect of the vaccines would take time to work.</p> <p>Michael Bayley, President &amp; CEO of Royal Caribbean took to Facebook to speak about the cancellation of the sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.</p> <p>"Two steps forward and one step back!" he said.</p> <p>“Out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing Odyssey's inaugural sailing from July 3 to July 31, 2021.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841853/cruise-ship-cancelled-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d9a1c13338d94606902f15229a035e6c" /></p> <p>"During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for COVID-19.</p> <p>"All 1,400 crew onboard Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4th and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18.</p> <p>"The positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given and before they were fully effective.</p> <p>"The eight crew members, six of whom are asymptomatic and two with mild symptoms, were quarantined and are being closely monitored by our medical team.</p> <p>"To protect the remaining crew and prevent any further cases, we will have all crew quarantined for 14 days and continue with our routine testing.</p> <p>"Guests and travel partners will be notified and given several options to consider.</p> <p>"While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests."</p> <p>The new ship has more than 2000 staterooms and can host about 5500 guests.</p> <p>Royal Caribbean had announced its cruises would set sail again in July.</p> <p>Cruising is starting to pick up in the US and around Europe, although COVId-19 testing is mandatory.</p>

Cruising

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Panicked sea lions almost sink fishing boat

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A fishing crew in southern Chile had a surprising catch, after dozens of sea lions tried to board their boat en masse to escape a pack of hunting killer whales.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fisherman Antonio Zapata said he had never experienced anything like it in his four decades at sea, despite the fact that encountering hunting orcas was a relatively common experience.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the crew were sympathetic to the plight of the sea lions, they feared the boat would be damaged or sink even lower into the water under the combined weight of the animals and a full haul of sardines.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They were trying to climb on board and we had to spread ourselves around the vessel to try to get them off with sticks because the ones that were getting on were making us sink,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was a dangerous situation because we couldn’t get the sea lions to go away or make the killer whales leave either.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Footage captured on a mobile phone showed the water around the boat filled with thrashing sea lions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the 10-man crew could be heard joking in the video, Mr Zapata said they were also genuinely worried they could end up in the water too.</span></p> <p><iframe width="600" height="338" src="https://rudo.video/vod/bLSQN9/skin/simple/o/MjAyMS8wNi9sb2Jvcy1tYXJpbm9zLTc1MHg0MDAuanBlZw==" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="autoplay; fullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There were so many sea lions around the hull that we couldn’t move much - every time we did they got caught up in the propellers and I was worried they could break them altogether,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The crew attempted to approach a nearby island so the sea lions could take refuge there instead, but the whales blocked them from nearing the shore.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the whales finally drifted away, the sea lions were able to swim for cover as the boat neared the Talcahuano port.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Some of the sea lions came with us into port. We couldn’t get rid of them,” Mr Zapata said.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: ABC news</span></em></p>

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How to solve a jigsaw puzzle fast

<p><strong>Puzzle-solving tips from the experts</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sitting down to begin work on a jigsaw puzzle is an exciting but daunting experience. Alfonso Alvarez-Ossorio, the president of the World Jigsaw Puzzle Federation, and Tammy McLeod, a competitive puzzle solver, share their tips on solving puzzles quickly, expert strategies for completing jigsaw puzzles of all sizes, the best methods to get started with the hobby of puzzling, and more details about how jigsaw champions work on their puzzles.</span></p> <p><strong>The challenges of solving a puzzle fast</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The difficulty of a jigsaw puzzle – and the time it will take to assemble it – is directly proportional to the number of pieces,” says Alvarez-Ossorio. In addition, there are two factors that account for the difficulty of a jigsaw puzzle, says Alvarez-Ossorio. First, he says is the “morphology of the pieces, which depends on the manufacturer and the die used (the more you distinguish some pieces from others, the easier),” and second is “the contrast of the puzzle image (the greater the contrast, the more diversity of colours and strokes more defined, the easier and faster the assembly).”</span></p> <p><strong>The right surface</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Where you do jigsaw puzzles is almost as important as how you do one. “In official competitions, vinyl-plastic is used so that the pieces move quickly across the surface,” says Alvarez-Ossorio. The mats are usually used white, “to reflect the light of space – lighting is a very important factor.” When doing a puzzle at home, you’ll want a dedicated space, such as a folding card table, so you can spread out your pieces and so they won’t get lost. If you don’t have room, puzzle mats are helpful because you can easily roll a puzzle-in-progress up for storage when you need to reclaim your dining room or coffee table.</span></p> <p><strong>Different strategies for different puzzles</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In her personal puzzle-solving experience, “a 500 piece jigsaw is small enough to be spread out completely on a table so that all the pieces can be viewed at the same time,” McLeod shares. “This makes it easy to simply pick out pieces to be assembled, without sorting; usually, each piece contains enough details to uniquely identify it.” Larger puzzles are a different story, however. With a puzzle of 2000 pieces or more, “each piece contains a much smaller portion of the full image, so it’s faster to sort into general groups,” she says.</span></p> <p><strong>Edges first?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A popular strategy is to put the edges of the puzzle together first because, with one straight edge, the pieces are easier to identify and put together. “There isn’t a single strategy that will work for 100 per cent of puzzles, but in the majority of cases, it is easiest to start with the edge,” McLeod says. “This does not apply for non-rectangular puzzles and some puzzles where the edge pieces are cut interchangeably, but generally, to solve a puzzle fast, sorting is key.”</span></p> <p><strong>Cutting corners</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Because there are only four of them, McLeod doesn’t spend time looking for corner pieces. “You’d have to spend a lot of time sifting through all the pieces just to find them,” she says. “Instead, start by pulling out the edges, then when you have most of them, start assembling them.” She goes to say that you shouldn’t be of the mind that you need to find every single edge piece, as that too will waste time. “The few edge pieces that you miss will naturally emerge after other pieces get placed.”</span></p> <p><strong>Smart sorting</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The larger the puzzle, the more time you should devote to sorting the pieces,” says Alvarez-Ossorio. “Divide the jigsaw puzzle by zones, normally identified by colours, though sometimes it can also be by textures.” For example in a puzzle about nature, “separate an area of trees and another from grass – both can be the same colour but the textures are completely different.”</span></p> <p><strong>Perfect placement</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once you have your pieces sorted, it’s time to start placing them. If your puzzle is of a drawing, painting, or collage that contains lots of details or has words, it makes it easier to place pieces, notes McLeod. On the other hand, “Photographs and landscapes usually have large patches of similar textures which can be a stumbling block for beginners,” she says.</span></p> <p><strong>Take a break</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t expect to complete your puzzle in an afternoon. “I have worked on puzzles with over 4000 pieces that take 60+ hours to complete, so I definitely cannot finish them in a single sitting!” McLeod shares. And yes, fresh eyes can help, especially if you’re tired. You may also want to invest in a lighted magnifying glass.</span></p> <p><strong>Puzzling patience</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Working on puzzles helps you develop your hand-eye coordination, your visual acuity, colour and shape recognition, and your patience,” McLeod says It’s also a very meditative activity, she says, “Your mind can wander while your hands and eyes are involved with assembling plus you get a hit of dopamine every time you fit a piece, so it becomes a long session of satisfying feelings.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/culture/how-to-solve-a-jigsaw-puzzle-fast">Reader’s Digest</a>. Find more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="https://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</span></em></p>

Mind

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“We are making history”: World’s first recipient of new Alzheimer's drug

<p>A man from Rhode Island, USA, has become the first patient in the world to receive an infusion of a controversial Alzheimer's disease drug.</p> <p>Marc Archambault, 70, has been treated with aducanumab, which was approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 7th.</p> <p>The drug works by removing the sticky deposits of a protein called amyloid-beta from the brains of patients in the earlier stages of Alzheimer's.</p> <p>Critics aren't happy with the decision, saying clinical trials were mixed and question if the approval process of the drug was too quick.</p> <p>Archambault is happy with being treated.</p> <p>"I am a happy guy but hearing that the FDA had approved Aduhelm and that I am eligible for the treatment, I am living happier of course," Archambault said in a statement.</p> <p>"The thought that the last stage [of Alzheimer's] may now be far away for me, or even that I might stay as I am, is incredible. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to receive this treatment."</p> <p>Dr Stephen Salloway, who oversees the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital has said that 100 patients will be given the drug once a month.</p> <p>"Today, we're making history," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.</p> <p>"We're opening a new era in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease."</p> <p>10 out of 11 members of the FDA advisory board voted against the drug's approval in November, but the FDA is allowed to make decisions that go against the board's vote.</p> <p>The controversial rollout also caused three members of the board to step down from their positions.</p> <p>"[Aducanumab] probably the worst drug approval decision in recent U.S. history," Kesselheim wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock on Thursday, per <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.statnews.com/2021/06/10/third-member-of-fda-expert-committee-resigns-over-controversial-alzheimers-therapy-decision/" target="_blank">Stat News.</a></p> <p>"It is clear to me that FDA is not presently capable of adequately integrating the Committee's scientific recommendations into its approval decisions."</p>

Caring

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Fireman encounters worst nightmare at fatal crash

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Welsh fireman Adrian Smith responded to an emergency call on Sunday, he encountered every emergency worker’s worst nightmare.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Smith attended the scene of a triple-car pile-up to find his 21-year-old daughter Ella’s body being pulled from the wreckage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ella had been driving home from the beach at Broad Haven in Pembrokeshire when the accident occurred, </span><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15282074/fireman-horrific-crash-discovered-beautiful-daughter-dead/"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Sun </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">reports</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her 47-year-old father was on duty nearby when he was called out to the three-car crash, discovering that a car had smashed into the passenger side of the car Ella was in.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The driver, along with a man and woman in another car, suffered serious injuries, but Ella died at the scene.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It must have been a complete nightmare for Adrian to find his own daughter was the victim,” a family friend said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Ella was a lovely girl, they are a lovely family - everyone is in shock and totally devastated.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hours after the accident, Mr Smith broke the news of his daughter’s passing by sharing a picture of him and her dancing together at a party when she was a little girl.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are utterly devastated at losing our beloved Ella,” the family wrote in a statement released by local police.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She was a much-loved and caring daughter, sister and granddaughter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She was a beautiful girl who will be missed by all.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tributes flooded in for the young victim, who worked at a bakery.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A friend described her as a “gorgeous person” while another said she was “the kindest soul you could ever meet”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I loved every minute of speaking to you Ella, you never failed to make me laugh,” another friend said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police have asked for any other drivers at the scene to share any dashcam footage from the incident, in an effort to find out more about the cause of the crash.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Facebook</span></em></p>

Caring

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Prince Edward's wife breaks down mid-interview

<p>Prince Edward's wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, revealed that Prince Philip's death has left a "giant-sized hole" in the royal family.</p> <p>She also spoke about the pandemic has "slightly skewed things", which means that the royal family haven't been able to grieve properly.</p> <p>Despite the Duke of Edinburgh passing away "peacefully" at Windsor Castle on April 9th, the family aren't coping properly two months on from his death.</p> <p>She spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live and said that Prince Philip's death left a "giant-sized hole in our lives".</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qrc-By4JnSY"></iframe></div> <p>“Well he has left a giant-sized hole in our lives," she began.</p> <p>“I think the pandemic has unfortunately slightly skewed things in as much as it’s hard to spend as much time with the Queen as we would like to.</p> <p>“We’ve been trying to, but of course it’s still not that easy.</p> <p>“And of course the normal way of things isn’t normal yet so we’re not necessarily doing the things that we would normally have done with him.</p> <p>“So I think the whole grieving process is probably likely for us to take a lot longer. It may be the same for many other families out there.</p> <p>“Because if you’re not living with somebody, 24/7, the immediate loss isn’t necessarily felt in the same way, as if somebody was in the house with you all the time.”</p> <p>Interviewer Naga Munchetty saw that Sophie's eyes began to fill with tears and asked her if she was okay.</p> <p>Sophie responded: “It’s only when you would do the normal things that you would have done with them, and you suddenly realise that they are not there, that you really start to have an ‘oh my goodness’ moment.</p> <p>“Just talking to you now, it’s a bit of an ‘oh my goodness’ moment. I think they’ll come and go. But you have to let them come and go.”</p>

Caring

Lifestyle

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Guess the age: Disbelief over identical mum and daughter

<p>One woman is defying her age in a viral video on social media app, TikTok.</p> <p>Veronika Zolotova, 18, couldn’t help showing off to her followers her incredibly youthful mother, Tatochka Vselennaya.</p> <p>The pair, from Minsk, Belarus, shocked viewers with their near identical looks – with many not being able to tell who is older.</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/CQGmI88leol/?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/CQGmI88leol/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Татьяна (@tatochkavselennaya)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In one clip of the duo, it is barely noticeable that there is 22 years between the pair.</p> <p>With 13.2 million followers on social media, Veronika who usually shares clips of herself, could not help but show off her youthful and glowing mum.</p> <p>However, despite the disbelief, the social media star brought her mother in front of the camera to show the 40-year-old woman is not her twin by testing out the “Under age of 25” test – where a high-pitched noise plays that only anyone under the age of 25 can be able to hear.</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/B2bkCyGgqD7/?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/B2bkCyGgqD7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Татьяна (@tatochkavselennaya)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>As it happens, only Veronika claimed she could hear the sound, while her mother stood confused.</p> <p>However, Veronika’s fans continue to be in disbelief over the age of her mother.</p> <p>“Her mum literally just said copy and paste,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“Now I understand why you look so young, gurlssss you look like sisters,” another wrote.</p> <p>Tatochka is a YouTuber who shares with fans her love of knitting and sewing.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Rod Stewart's wife in surprising career change

<p>Rod Stewart’s wife, Penny Lancaster has decided to make a drastic career change.</p> <p>The ex-model is now pursuing a career in public service as a City of London police officer.</p> <p>The 50-year-old initially joined the force in 2020 as a volunteer special constable.</p> <p>In April of 2021, she went on and completed her qualifications as a Special Police Constable which means she now has the power to arrest.</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/CQHMjKfMSDP/?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/CQHMjKfMSDP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Page Six (@pagesix)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Cameras have caught Lancaster patrolling the city streets, and even going as far to catch someone for public urination.</p> <p>According to Good Morning Britain, Lancaster first became interested in a law enforcement role after she appeared on the British series Famous and Fighting Crime in 2019.</p> <p>The TV show pairs celebrities with police officers to get an "inside look" at fighting crime.</p> <p>"When you think of policing, you think of the most violent crimes but we're out there to help the most vulnerable," Lancaster recently said in an interview with the program.</p> <p>"At this particular time there's a lot of incidents on the bridges and I did help someone who was very desperate on the bridge the other night," she said.</p> <p>In an interview with The Daily Mail, the star revealed that being a police officer is "who I am."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841859/penny-lancaster-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/51df2d48b5dc4b7da2a92e4002b92597" /></p> <p>"I could be walking the red carpet with Rod, or I could be in our stable with my goats. But there comes a time when everyone questions themselves and asks, 'Who am I? Who am I at my core?'" she explained to the publication.</p> <p>"This is what I feel I should always have been doing. It's about identity."</p> <p>Stewart and Lancaster married in 2007 after eight years together.</p> <p>The pair have two sons, Alastair, 15, and Aiden, 10.</p>

Family & Pets

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Great-great-great-grandma meets newest addition to family

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Scottish woman has become a great, great, great grandmother, with six generations of her family alive at the same time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mary Marshall has a total of 90 grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, and great great great grandchildren.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 86-year-old is the family’s oldest member, and the youngest is three-week-old Nyla Ferguson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All of the mothers are on the same side of the family and all except new mum Toni-Leigh Aitken work, or have worked, as carers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They also all gave birth when they were 18 or younger and live in or around Edinburgh.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As head of the family, Mary has eight children, including eldest daughter Rose.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rose Thorburn, 68, has four children, including 50-year-old Chyrel Borthwick.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cheryl’s daughter gave birth to Carrie Dow, a mum-of-four, in 1986.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">35-year-old Carrie’s children include new mum Toni-Leigh, 17.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the birth of Nyla in May, Mary earned the title of Scotland’s only great-great-great grandmother.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said: “I’m a lucky woman, to be honest with you. It’s great to have such a big family. There’s always someone there looking out for you. I’m incredibly happy.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mary also said she is forgiven for not buying birthday and Christmas presents for every member of the large family, as she would spend “half the year doing so”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New mum, Toni-Leigh, said: “When we found out I was pregnant, we did make a joke about us breaking some sort of record.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Then we started looking into it and it doesn’t look like anyone else has our family set-up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a bit too early to see a resemblance to her great-great-great-grandma, but it was love at first sight when they met.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Living a short drive away from each other also means Mary, Toni, and the new bub can see each other often.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Toni-Leigh also noted it was “pretty loud” when they have a family get-together.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rose, Nyla’s great-great-grandma, said: “It’s great when you have a new baby. I’m one of eight so I’ve always had a big family in some sense.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Whenever we get together, there’s always fun and laughs. There’s always someone there for you.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is believed that the family is the only one in Scotland with six generations alive at the same time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most generations alive in a single family has been seven, according to Guinness World Records.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: SWNS</span></em></p>

Family & Pets

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Queen Elizabeth gifted with a new puppy to celebrate Prince Philip’s 100th

<p>She began by celebrating her 95th birthday in a scaled-down Trooping the Colour event.</p> <p>Thursday marked the day the Queen’s husband would have celebrated his 100th birthday.</p> <p>Prince Philip died in April, and while Her Majesty is still understandably reeling from the loss – her family has gone to painstaking lengths to put a smile on her face.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841799/queen-elizabeth-corgi-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0775dc0b507241b9a54f7187e15b09d3" /></p> <p>Reports say both Princess Beatrice and Eugenie and their father Prince Andrew gave the royal a six-week-old puppy as a gift ahead of her 'official' birthday.</p> <p>The sweet gesture followed after one of two new puppies the Queen was given this year earlier, died unexpectedly due to heart problems.</p> <p>She named them Fergus, as a tribute to her uncle Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who died in WWI, and Muick, after a landmark on the royals' Balmoral estate in Scotland.</p> <p>Fergus, the dorgi, died in May at just five months of age, which was an extra blow for the Queen following the death of Prince Philip on April 9.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841800/queen-elizabeth-corgi.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/261d5347b27343d5b52911e6273129a6" /></p> <p>Windsor Castle source is quoted to have said, "The Queen has had a rough time and she is absolutely delighted to have a new corgi."</p> <p>The name of the royal’s latest fur baby is not yet known.</p> <p>Queen Elizabeth is known for her love of Pembroke Welsh corgis, and has been surrounded by the breed her entire life.</p> <p>She was just 18 when she had her first, Susan, which was given her parents.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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Is it worth selling my house if I’m going into aged care?

<p>For senior Australians who cannot live independently at home, residential aged care can provide accommodation, personal care and general health care.</p> <p>People usually think this is expensive. And many assume they need to sell their home to pay for a lump-sum deposit.</p> <p>But that’s not necessarily the case. Here’s what you need to consider.</p> <p><strong>You may get some financial support</strong></p> <p>Fees for residential aged care are complex and can be confusing. Some are for your daily care, some are means-tested, some are for your accommodation and some pay for extras, such as cable TV.</p> <p>But it’s easier to think of these fees as falling into two categories:</p> <ul> <li> <p>an “entry deposit”, which is usually more than <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/06/eighth-report-on-the-funding-and-financing-of-the-aged-care-industry-july-2020-eighth-report-on-the-funding-and-financing-of-the-aged-care-industry-may-2020.pdf">$A300,000</a>, and is refunded when you leave aged care</p> </li> <li> <p>daily “<a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/aged-care-home-costs-and-fees">ongoing fees</a>”, which are $52.71-$300 a day, or more. These cover the basic daily fee, which everyone pays, and the means-tested care fee.</p> </li> </ul> <p>To find out how much government support you’ll receive for both these categories, you will have a “<a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/income-and-means-assessments/#aged-care-home">means test</a>” to assess your income and assets. This means test is similar (but different) to the means test for the aged pension.</p> <p>Generally speaking, the lower your aged-care means test amount, the more government support you’ll receive for aged care.</p> <p>With full support, you don’t need to pay an “entry deposit”. But you still need to pay the basic daily fee (currently, <a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/aged-care-home-costs-and-fees">$52.71</a> a day), equivalent to 85% of your aged pension. If you get partial support, you pay less for your “entry deposit” and ongoing fees.</p> <p><strong>You don’t need a lump sum</strong></p> <p>You don’t have to pay for your “entry deposit” as a lump sum. You can choose to pay a rental-style daily cost instead.</p> <p>This is calculated as follows: you multiply the amount of the required “entry deposit” by the maximum permissible interest rate. This rate is set by government and is currently at <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/03/schedule-of-fees-and-charges-for-residential-and-home-care-schedule-from-20-march-2021_0.pdf">4.01%</a> per year for new residents. Then you divide that sum by 365 to give a daily rate. This option is like borrowing money to pay for your “entry deposit” via an interest-only loan.</p> <p>You can also pay for your “entry deposit” with a combination of a lump sum and a daily rental cost.</p> <p>As it’s not compulsory to pay a lump sum for your “entry deposit”, you have different options for dealing with your family home.</p> <p><strong>Option 1: keep your house and rent it out</strong></p> <p>This allows you to use the rental-style daily cost to finance your “entry deposit”.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>you could have more income from rent. This can help pay for the rental-style daily cost and “ongoing fees” of aged care</p> </li> <li> <p>you might have a special sentimental attachment to your family house. So keeping it might be a less confronting option</p> </li> <li> <p>keeping an expensive family house will not heavily impact your residential aged care cost. That’s because any value of your family house above <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/03/schedule-of-fees-and-charges-for-residential-and-home-care-schedule-from-20-march-2021_0.pdf">$173,075.20</a> will be excluded from your <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/services/aged-care-entry-requirements-providers/residential-care/residential-aged-care-means-assessment">means test</a></p> </li> <li> <p>you can still access the capital gains of your house, as house prices rise.</p> </li> </ul> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/405552/original/file-20210610-15-3u26en.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/405552/original/file-20210610-15-3u26en.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Lease sign on front fence of house" /></a> <span class="caption">Renting out your house can be an option.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/sign-lease-front-old-residential-house-1492504154" class="source">from www.shutterstock.com</a></span></p> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>your rental income needs to be included in the means test for your aged pension. So you might get less aged pension</p> </li> <li> <p>you might need to pay income tax on the rental income</p> </li> <li> <p>compared to the lump sum payment, choosing the rental-style daily cost means you will end up <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-retirement/seek-help-when-weighing-up-how-to-pay-for-your-aged-care-20191202-p53g16.html">paying more</a></p> </li> <li> <p>you are subject to a changing rental market.</p> </li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>Option 2: keep your house and rent it out, with a twist</strong></p> <p>If you have some savings, you can use a combination of a lump sum and daily rental cost to pay for your “entry deposit”.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>like option 1, you can keep your house and have a steady income</p> </li> <li> <p>the amount of lump sum deposit will not be counted as an asset in the pension means test.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>like option 1, you could have less pension income, higher age-care costs and need to pay more income tax</p> </li> <li> <p>you have less liquid assets (assets you could quickly sell or access), which could be handy in an emergency.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Option 3: sell your house</strong></p> <p>If you sell your house, you can use all or part of the proceeds to pay for your “entry deposit”.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>if you have any money left over after selling your house and paying for your “entry deposit”, you can invest the rest</p> </li> <li> <p>as your “entry deposit” is exempt from your aged pension means test, it means more pension income.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <ul> <li>if you have money left over after selling your house, this will be included in the aged-care means test. So you can end up with less financial support for aged care.</li> </ul> <p><strong>In a nutshell</strong></p> <p>Keeping your house and renting it out (option 1 or 2) can give you a better income stream, which you can use to cover other living costs. And if you’re not concerned about having access to liquid assets in an emergency, option 2 can be better for you than option 1.</p> <p>But selling your house (option 3) avoids you being exposed to a changing rental market, particularly if the economy is going into recession. It also gives you more capital, and you don’t need to pay a rental-style daily cost.</p> <hr /> <p><em>This article is general in nature, and should not be considered financial advice. For advice tailored to your individual situation and your personal finances, please see a qualified financial planner.</em></p> <p><em>Correction: this article previously stated the amount of lump sum deposit will not be counted as an asset in the aged-care means test, as a pro of option 2. In fact, the amount of lump sum deposit will not be counted as an asset in the pension means test.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/161674/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/colin-zhang-1234147">Colin Zhang</a>, Lecturer, Department of Actuarial Studies and Business Analytics, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-it-worth-selling-my-house-if-im-going-into-aged-care-161674">original article</a>.</p>

Retirement Income

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“It’s real!”: Warning over new Kmart receipt scam

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Kmart customer has shared a worrying receipt scam that may have already affected thousands of shoppers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sharing the details on a popular Facebook page, shopper Amanda revealed how she had discovered the scam when she went to her local store to return some products.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After realising she’d left her receipt behind in a shopping trolley in the belief she wouldn’t need it, the Sydney mum used her internet banking statement to prove her purchases.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It wasn’t until a member of Kmart’s customer service team looked up her transaction that they made the discovery that someone had already returned all the items on her receipt.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s believed the scammer found Amanda’s discarded receipt and collected the items listed on the docket before returning the items at the Kmart service desk and asking for a refund.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Customer Service at Kmart are happy for me to share a nasty experience today,” Amanda wrote on the North Shore Mums (Sydney) Facebook page.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“On Thursday, I purchased a number of items, including five boxes of coat hangers at $10 a box.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“On the way out of the store, I showed the exit attendant my proof of purchase and threw the receipt into the trolley (where it stayed).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I realised I had no receipt when I returned today to bring back the coat hangers (my hubby bought same from IKEA) so went to customer service and showed the transaction on my internet banking - which they matched on their computer,” she continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The Kmart refunds lady informed me that I had already returned all my purchases that day in the Bondi store.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Turns out, somebody picked up my receipt - walked around Kmart collecting the same items, and then took them for a refund!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a real thing! She promised to share the store manager’s findings when they review the video of the Bondi store.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fellow shoppers were shocked by her story.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The amount of times I’ve accidentally left my receipt in a trolley or in a bin without even thinking,” one said. “Never again. That’s just shocking.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another said: “I always see people’s receipts in the bottom of trolleys. I wonder how many people have been scammed and never even knew?”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Facebook</span></em></p>

Money & Banking

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Sacked journalist hits back over "racist" royal tweet

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A columnist who was fired from </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Telegraph</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> over a “racist” tweet about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby has released a follow-up essay blaming “snowflake sociopaths” and “cancel culture” for her firing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Julie Burchill lost her job after mocking the name of the Sussexes’ daughter Lillibet Diana on Twitter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What a missed opportunity,” she wrote. “They could have called it Georgina Floydina!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The journalist took to Facebook to announce she had been sacked after working for </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Telegraph</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for five years, claiming she had been complaining about the paper rejecting her “edgy column ideas” recently.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Burchill reiterated that she wasn’t “upset in the least” about losing her column in a </span><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9686037/JULIE-BURCHILL-reveals-wont-silenced.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">new essay</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> published in </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Daily Mail</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Newspapers with no original voices will decline even more rapidly than they would anyway in the digital age. It’s ironic that a conservative newspaper which castigates cancel culture cancelled me for castigating wokery.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Burchill insisted her tweet was “sober, wry and entirely without racist intent”, and that she could not “stress enough how much I deplore the murder of George Floyd”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What I was mocking was the type of people who - like H&amp;M - live in gated communities while espousing BLM’s politics of social upheaval, without giving any thought to the damage that pro-BLM riots do to poor and black Americans.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This goes against research conducted by </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/16/this-summers-black-lives-matter-protesters-were-overwhelming-peaceful-our-research-finds/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Washington Post</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> last year which found the Black Lives Matter protests involved very little violence and property damage from protesters. Instead, most of the violence reportedly came from police or counterprotesters directed at BLM protesters.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She has attributed the backlash to a “sexist and misogynist element” within “wokeness”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We live in an age of cultural insanity, a topsy-turvy land where men are women, harassment is justice and the Left are jostling to tug their forelocks and call for those of us who criticise royalty to be punished,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Burchill also touted her new publication on Substack - an online platform that allows writers to create and send email newsletters to paying subscribers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In the autumn, I’ll be back with my book, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Welcome To The Woke Trials</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">,” she wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And thanks to Twitter, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Telegraph</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and a pair of hypocritical fibbers whose fantasy land is so fragile brilliant journalists (me) must be silenced in order to maintain the illusion - it will have a whole new ending.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Daily Mail</span></em></p>

Legal

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Nurse swipes credit card from dead patient and USES it in vending machine

<p>UK healthcare worker, Ayesha Basharat, has been slammed as she stole a dead patient's card and used it at the hospital's vending machine.</p> <p>She had taken an 83-year-old woman's card from her room in the heartlands Hospital's COVID-19 ward and used the card six times at the vending machine, making contactless payments.</p> <p>Basharat had stolen the card from the woman just moments after she died on January 24th, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://west-midlands.police.uk/news/hospital-worker-used-dead-patients-bank-card-buy-sweets-and-fizzy-pop?fbclid=IwAR0zaC47A9DaQWcq_aaGVGjmJOOV9ccbobeGBpAjHpu-SHpTsADEfOmeqso" target="_blank">West Midlands Police</a>.</p> <p>Police caught up to her after she continued to use the credit card despite the family of the woman cancelling it.</p> <p>Basharat has been given two concurrent jail terms of five months each, both of which were suspended for 18 months.</p> <p>Detective Constable Andrew Snowdon said the act was an "abhorrent breach of trust".</p> <p>“This was an abhorrent breach of trust and distressing for the victim’s family," he said.</p> <p>“They were having to come to terms with the death of a loved one from Covid when they found the bank card missing – and then of course the realisation that the card was taken by someone who should have been caring for her.</p> <p>“I wish the family all the best for the future and with this conviction hope they can move on from this upsetting episode.”</p>

Legal

Entertainment

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John le Carré’s final novel set to be published

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">John le Carré’s final novel will be posthumously published this October by publisher Viking.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Le Carré’s final novel, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Silverview</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, was completed prior to his death in December 2020 and the release has the author’s full blessing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The author, best known for his espionage thrillers like </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Spy Who Came in from the Cold</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, passed away of pneumonia aged 89. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before his death, le Carré finished the manuscript that would become </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Silverview</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and had been writing two other books - </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Legacy of Spies</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Agent Running in the Field</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - which were unfinished.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Silverview</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> follows bookshop owner Julian Lawndsley, who becomes the centre of an investigation into an intelligence leak by a London spy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The novel is set to be published in New Zealand on October 14, 2021, in the same week as le Carré’s 90th birthday.</span></p>

Books

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Meryl Streep reveals why she was “miserable” making her iconic movie

<p>Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep has revealed the difficult time she had onset of one of her most well-known films.</p> <p>Streep perfectly incapsulated <em>The Devil Wears Prada</em> character, Miranda Priestly, who was the editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine and the blueprint for a boss from hell</p> <p>It has been 15 years since the world first got to see Streep in a new, brilliantly-played light, and now she and her co-stars have revealed what it was like working on the film.</p> <p>Streep is now 71, and boldly revealed that she employed method acting while filming.</p> <p>She often chose to retain elements of her icy, mean-spirited character, even off-set.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841857/meryl-streep-devil-wears-prada.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/621a7033204a429eb5d698af827deb40" /></p> <p>It became an often occurrence that she would brush off her co-stars Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway.</p> <p>“Meryl is so gregarious and fun as hell, in some ways it wasn’t the most fun for her having to remove herself,” Blunt told the publication.</p> <p>“It wasn’t like she was unapproachable; You could go up to her and say, ‘Oh my God, the funniest thing just happened,’ and she’d listen, but I don’t know if it was the most fun for her to be on set being that way.”</p> <p>Streep said filming the movie “was horrible!</p> <p>“I was [miserable] in my trailer. I could hear them all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!’”</p> <p>She went on to say: “That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing!”</p> <p>Streep’s performance earned her a host of high-profile awards including a Golden Globe and a nomination for an Oscar.</p> <p>The star has since been nominated for the industry’s highest honour seven more times.</p> <p>Hathaway agreed with Blunt that Steep put up an unnatural wall during film, but admitted it helped.</p> <p>“I did feel intimidated, but I always felt cared for,” she explained.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841855/meryl-streep-devil-wears-prada-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/615433f6b7d84a6d8266b82b811ca3f4" /></p> <p>“I knew that whatever she was doing to create that fear, I appreciated [because] I also knew she was watching out for me.”</p> <p>Streep’s character has drawn comparisons to <em>Vogue </em>editor Anna Wintour who has had to knock down several rumours that she is an unkind boss.</p> <p>“I wasn’t interested in doing a biopic on Anna; I was interested in her position in her company. I wanted to take on the burdens she had to carry, along with having to look nice every day,” Streep said.</p> <p>The A-lister also spoke on the movie’s worldwide appeal, despite being marketed toward women as counter-programming for<em> Superman Returns.</em></p> <p>“Because they’d given us such straitened circumstances to make the film with a smaller budget, this opened up and said that a ‘chick flick’ can be a huge hit with a broad audience,” she said.</p> <p>“This is the first movie [where] men have come up to me and said, ‘I know how you felt; I have a company, and nobody understands me. It’s really hard.’</p> <p>It’s the hardest thing in the world for a man to feel his way through to the protagonist of the film if it’s a woman.”</p> <p> </p>

Movies

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"I don't believe her": Lord Sugar slammed for Meghan Markle comment

<p><em>Celebrity Apprentice</em> boss Lord Sugar has come under fire for his comment on Meghan Markle.</p> <p>The outspoken businessman, who is usually praised for his “no BS” stance has been slammed for his opinions on Meghan Markle’s televised interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March.</p> <p>While being interviewed by the newly launched British channel <em>GB News,</em> Lord Alan Sugar stood by TV host Piers Morgan’s criticism and said he doesn’t believe in the Duchess of Sussex.</p> <p>"Buckingham Palace and all these places where they live... doctors are visiting privately every single day of the week, so if she had something wrong with her, I’m absolutely sure that a psychiatrist or psychotherapist or whatever could have come and visited, and no one would need to know," Sugar said.</p> <p>"I should imagine that the Queen has had many visits and indeed some other members of the family, have had many visits from doctors.</p> <p>"They’re very private and confidential and very carefully conducted. For that reason, and that reason alone, I don’t believe her."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841817/meghan-harry-lord-sugar4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6dbae23872924cd18378290b7514b4f0" /></p> <p>Piers Morgan made global headlines when he stormed off the set of <em>Good Morning Britain</em> after his co-host Alex Beresford condemned him for “trashing” the Duchess of Sussex.</p> <p>“I don’t believe a word she says," Piers said of Meghan's shocking claims at the time.</p> <p>ITV would later confirm the controversial TV star would step down on his position from the program.</p> <p>A number of viewers called out Lord Sugar for his "truly awful" comments.</p> <p>"They lost me when they had Alan Sugar on to discuss the validity of Meghan Markle’s mental health issues. Really..?" one angry person wrote.</p> <p>"Car crash interview with Alan Sugar. Desperately trying to shoehorn a negative comment in about Meghan, every sentence mentions woke, liberal, left and elite. What an utter shower of s***," another said.</p> <p>While a third viewer wrote: "Turn on <em>GB News</em> just for a gander to be greeted by Alan Sugar saying that Meghan Markle was lying about having mental health issues to a washed up former Sun columnist. I turned off."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

TV

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Local croc becomes childrens’ book star

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A crocodile living in Constant Creek in North Queensland has become a video sensation, with footage of the reptile racking up hundreds of thousands of views on social media and prompting a local author to write a book on the creature.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I reckon he’s one of the most-filmed crocodiles in Australia,” local boating enthusiast Shannon Burke said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A lot of the older fishermen that have been there definitely know him,” she said.</span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmichellewilsondreamweaver%2Fposts%2F284088089869208&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="1044" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The many trips author and primary school teacher Michelle Wilson would take up and along Constant Creek inspired her to include the well-known croc as the main character in the children’s book <em>Crocs Don’t Do Yoga</em>.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My mum and daughter were playing a weird game one day to be crocodiles snapping at each other,” Ms Wilson said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And I don’t know what happened but I just came up with the character, Connie the Croc from Constant Creek.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“At the same time I was doing a lot of yoga, so I just married the two concepts together.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The book tells the story of a snappy crocodile that can’t control its anger – until some friends from Constant Creek suggest yoga.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it came to publishing her book, Ms Wilson said it was difficult to know where to start.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a pretty saturated market, you’ve got a lot of excellent writers and celebrities writing [kids’ books].”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Locals are happy enough seeing their favourite reptile receive even more recognition.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The fishermen all seem to love and respect him,” Ms Burke said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve got a lot of friends that backpack and one of their first questions is, ‘Where’s the best place to see crocodiles?’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One of our local creeks just north of Mackay is one of the best places to go.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the relaxed nature of Constant Creek’s reptile resident, the Queensland Department of Environment urges people to be “Crocwise” when encountering them, by reporting sightings, staying away from the water’s edge and avoiding feeding them.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Michelle Wilson / Facebook</span></em></p>

Books

Property