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Climate change is forcing Australians to weigh up relocating. How do they make that difficult decision?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justine-dandy-121273">Justine Dandy</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/zoe-leviston-823">Zoe Leviston</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/climate-whiplash-wild-swings-between-weather-extremes/">Big environmental changes</a> mean ever more Australians will confront the tough choice of whether to move home or risk staying put.</p> <p>Communities in the tropical north are <a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/three-aussie-towns-set-to-become-unliveable-due-to-extreme-heat/news-story/a96b36d1be5054d9fe3282ebf18c3431">losing residents</a> as these regions <a href="https://theconversation.com/study-finds-2-billion-people-will-struggle-to-survive-in-a-warming-world-and-these-parts-of-australia-are-most-vulnerable-205927">become hotter and more humid</a>. <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/weather-is-growing-more-extreme-the-pressure-is-on-the-bureau-of-meteorology-to-keep-up-20240111-p5ewms.html">Repeated floods</a> have communities along the east coast questioning their future. Others face <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-climate-change-is-bringing-bushfires-more-often-but-some-ecosystems-in-australia-are-suffering-the-most-211683">rising bushfire risks</a> that force them to weigh up the <a href="http://www.ohscareer.com.au/archived-news/bushfire-risk-for-those-who-move">difficult decision</a> to move home.</p> <p>However, the decision-making process and relocation opportunities are not the same for everyone. Factors such as socio-economic disadvantage and how we are attached to a place influence decisions to move or stay, where people go and how they experience their new location.</p> <p>Our research, working with other researchers at Edith Cowan University’s <a href="https://www.ecu.edu.au/schools/science/research/strategic-centres/centre-for-people-place-and-planet/overview">Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet</a> and Curtin University, seeks to document when and why people stay or go, and what this means for places and communities. In particular, our research suggests <em>who</em> is more likely to go may leave those who remain even more vulnerable.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oCeYJPwUaTg?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Darwin is already losing residents because of rising heat and humidity.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>We’ve been slow to adapt to increasing impacts</h2> <p>Climate change is global in scale and <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/">has compounding effects</a>. It is increasing the frequency and intensity of disasters and extreme weather events such as heatwaves, fires, storms and floods. It is also accelerating environmental changes such as soil erosion, salinisation of waterways, loss of biodiversity, and land and water degradation.</p> <p>Both sudden disruptions and gradual pervasive decline <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">have impacts</a> on the places where we live, work and play. So far, there has been <a href="https://thefifthestate.com.au/urbanism/climate-change-news/ahuri-rips-into-federal-government-inaction-on-helping-cities-adapt-to-climate-change/">little effective government action</a> to improve <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/411">climate change adaptation in Australia</a>.</p> <p>As we have seen in recent times in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/09/land-swaps-relocations-or-rebuilds-lismore-community-grapples-with-its-future">Lismore</a>, New South Wales, and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-17/mooroopna-shepparton-flood-residents-consider-staying-or-leaving/103324882">northern Victoria</a>, for example, living in some flood-prone locations will become <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-23/flood-insurance-costing-30000-dollars-where-not-to-build/13268966">unaffordable due to insurance costs</a> or simply uninsurable.</p> <p>In other locations, different reasons will force residents to leave. It might be because environmental change threatens their livelihoods, or they can’t tolerate new conditions such as more long heatwaves or less reliable freshwater supplies. Others might not be able to endure the threat of another disaster.</p> <p>In sum, living in the place they called home will not be sustainable.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqafq5UV5Iw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Repeated floods are forcing people in towns like Rochester in Victoria to contemplate whether they can afford to stay.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What factors affect the decision to stay or go?</h2> <p>Not everyone can relocate to cooler or safer places. Systemic inequalities mean some people are more at risk from environmental change and have <a href="https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/wcc.565">less capacity</a> to respond than others. These vulnerable people include children (both <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2024-01-25/climate-change-threatens-health-of-babies-in-utero/103362510">before and after birth</a>), women, older people, people on low incomes and/or with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other cultural and/or linguistic minorities.</p> <p>In addition, housing is more affordable in areas that are hotter or flood-prone. This makes it more likely to be owned or rented by people with fewer financial resources, compounding their disadvantage.</p> <p>For First Nations peoples and communities, connections to and responsibilities for places (Country) are intimately intertwined with identity. For them, the <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/pdf/S2590-3322(20)30250-5.pdf">impacts of climate change</a>, colonisation and resettlement interact, further complicating the question of relocation.</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">Place attachment</a> – the emotional bond between people and their environment – might suppress the urge to move. But environmental change might fundamentally alter the characteristics that make a place unique. What we once loved and enjoyed <a href="https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/wcc.476">has then disappeared</a>.</p> <p>This sort of change <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953612003255">impacts human health</a> and results in feelings of <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/pdf/S2590-3322(20)30250-5.pdf">loss and grief</a>. It can prompt people to decide to leave.</p> <h2>So who stays and who leaves?</h2> <p>In our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666623523000028#sec0014">research</a>, we found that when residents imagined the loss of what they valued about Perth’s environment this significantly increased their intentions to move away and significantly decreased place attachment. They nominated bushland, beaches, fauna and flora, and the climate/weather as characteristics they valued and feared changing or losing as climate change progressed.</p> <p>One study participant wrote: "It would be hotter and much more unpleasant in summer. I would miss the trees, plants and birds. I would hate living in a concrete jungle without the green spaces we have here. I would miss being able to cycle or walk to the local lakes to connect to nature and feel peaceful."</p> <p>But social factors matter too. We found people who valued characteristics of Perth such as social relationships and lifestyle were more likely to stay as they tended to have less reduction in their place attachment.</p> <p>We also found place attachment was associated with people acting to protect that place, such as protesting environmentally destructive policies. Yet people who were more likely to take such actions were also <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">more likely to leave</a>.</p> <p>This could make the remaining community more vulnerable to further unwanted change. That’s because those who can afford to relocate are usually the ones with the resources – psychological, social, political and financial – to take action to protect their homes, neighbourhoods and cities.</p> <h2>Proper planning for adaptation is long overdue</h2> <p>Climate change impacts everyone. It causes significant economic and non-economic losses for both individuals and communities.</p> <p>Many locations are becoming unliveable. A changing climate and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-21/dark-roofs-raising-the-heat-in-australian-new-suburbs/102990304">inappropriately built or located housing</a> interact to create conditions where some people can or should no longer stay.</p> <p>Some will be prompted or forced to move, but not everyone has that capacity. Furthermore, relocation pressures have environmental, infrastructure and social <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/">consequences for the places to which they move</a>.</p> <p>The housing crisis in Australia adds to resource constraints and their impacts for individuals and communities. Relocating can also disrupt psychological, emotional, social and cultural connections that are crucial for people’s wellbeing.</p> <p>We need co-ordinated, well-governed, long-term planning for people to move in the face of environmental change to ensure equitable and positive transitions for individuals and communities.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The authors wish to acknowledge the following contributors to this research: Professor Pierre Horwitz and Dr Naomi Godden (Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet, ECU), Dr Deirdre Drake (School of Arts and Humanities, ECU) and Dr Francesca Perugia (School of Design and the Built Environment, Curtin University).</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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221971/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justine-dandy-121273">J<em>ustine Dandy</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet, and School of Arts and Humanities, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/zoe-leviston-823">Zoe Leviston</a>, Research Fellow, College of Health and Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-forcing-australians-to-weigh-up-relocating-how-do-they-make-that-difficult-decision-221971">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Woolies store vandalised over controversial Australia Day decision

<p>A Woolworths Metro store in Brisbane has been vandalised over the supermarket giant's controversial decision to not stock Australia Day merchandise. </p> <p>The Woolies in the north-east suburb of Teneriffe was hit with a flare and graffitied with the message "5 days 26 Jan Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Woolies f*** u” on the side of the building. </p> <p>One local shared on social media that a flare was also set off at the front entrance, setting off the fire alarm about 5am on Monday morning, shortly after staff were seen cleaning the graffiti. </p> <p>Queensland Fire and Emergency Services confirmed three crews “responded to an alarm activation” at the store, where firefighters found smoke at the scene and ventilated the area. </p> <p>They left the vandalised store at 6am, where police took over the scene. </p> <p>“Thankfully no team members or customers were injured as this occurred before the store opened,” a Woolworths spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>“We’re grateful to the police and fire brigade who attended."</p> <p>“There’s no reason for vandalism and we’ll continue to liaise with Queensland Police.”</p> <p>The vandalism comes just days after the supermarket giant <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/woolworths-under-fire-for-dropping-australia-day-merch" target="_blank" rel="noopener">announced</a> they would not be stocking any specialised merch ahead of Australia Day. </p> <p>Woolworths shared that the reason for pulling Aussie decorations off the shelves was due to the “gradual decline” in demand for the merchandise over the years and “broader discussion” about the January 26th date and “what it means” to different parts of the community.</p> <p>“While Australian flags are sold within BIG W all year round, we don’t have any additional themed merchandise available to purchase in-store in our Supermarkets or BIG W ahead of Australia Day,” a spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We know many people like to use this day as a time to get together and we offer a huge variety of products to help customers mark the day as they choose.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News / Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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What is the ‘sunk cost fallacy’? Is it ever a good thing?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aaron-nicholas-1487960">Aaron Nicholas</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>Have you ever encountered a subpar hotel breakfast while on holiday? You don’t really like the food choices on offer, but since you already paid for the meal as part of your booking, you force yourself to eat something anyway rather than go down the road to a cafe.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0167268180900517">Economists</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0749597885900494">social scientists</a> argue that such behaviour can happen due to the “sunk cost fallacy” – an inability to ignore costs that have already been spent and can’t be recovered. In the hotel breakfast example, the sunk cost is the price you paid for the hotel package: at the time of deciding where to eat breakfast, such costs are unrecoverable and should therefore be ignored.</p> <p>Similar examples range from justifying finishing a banal, half-read book (or half-watched TV series) based on prior time already “invested” in the activity, to being less likely to quit exclusive groups such as sororities and sporting clubs the more <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1960-02853-001">effort it took to complete the initiation ritual</a>.</p> <p>While these behaviours are not rational, they’re all too common, so it helps to be aware of this tendency. In some circumstances, you might even use it for your benefit.</p> <h2>Sunk costs can affect high-stakes decisions</h2> <p>While the examples above may seem relatively trivial, they show how common the sunk cost fallacy is. And it can affect decisions with much higher stakes in our lives.</p> <p>Imagine that Bob previously bought a house for $1 million. Subsequently, there’s a nationwide housing market crash. All houses are now cheaper by 20% and Bob can only sell his house for $800,000. Bob’s been thinking of upgrading to a bigger house (and they are now cheaper!), but will need to sell his existing house to have funds for a downpayment.</p> <p>However, he refuses to upgrade because he perceives a loss of $200,000 relative to the original price he paid of $1 million. Bob is committing the sunk cost fallacy by letting the original price influence his decision making – only the house’s current and projected price should matter.</p> <p>Bob might be acting irrationally, but he’s only human. Part of the reason we may find it difficult to ignore such losses is because losses are psychologically more salient relative to gains – this is known as <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1985-05780-001">loss aversion</a>.</p> <p>While most of the evidence for the sunk cost fallacy comes from <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40685-014-0014-8">individual decisions</a>, it may also influence the decisions of groups. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/262131a0">Concord fallacy</a>, because the French and British governments continued funding the doomed supersonic airliner long after it was likely it would not be commercially viable.</p> <p>Another example is drawn-out armed conflict that involves a large loss of lives for the losing side. Some may think it impossible to capitulate because the casualties will have “died in vain”.</p> <h2>Knowing about sunk costs can help you</h2> <p>If you find yourself justifying behaviour due to costs you’ve paid in the past rather than circumstances of the present, or predictions of the future, it’s worth checking yourself.</p> <p>Identifying sunk costs allows you to cut your losses early and move on, rather than perpetuating larger losses. This is apparent in the housing example: the larger the crash, the cheaper the bigger house; and yet the larger the crash, the greater the perceived loss from selling the existing house. Hence, the greater the loss in opportunity inflicted by the sunk cost fallacy.</p> <p>If you find it difficult to overcome the sunk cost fallacy, it may help to delegate such decisions to others. This may include the decision of whether to <a href="https://direct.mit.edu/rest/article-abstract/93/1/193/57894/The-Flat-Rate-Pricing-Paradox-Conflicting-Effects">go to a buffet</a> or subscribe to Netflix, with the latter potentially being a double whammy: one may feel compelled to binge-watch due to the flat fee structure and, as mentioned earlier, to finish mediocre series once halfway through.</p> <h2>Use sunk costs to your advantage</h2> <p>A second, less obvious benefit is actively using the fallacy to your advantage. For example, many gym memberships require upfront payments regardless of how much you use the facilities. If you find it hard to ignore sunk costs, choosing gym memberships that have large upfront fees and minimal pay-per-usage fees may be a way to <a href="https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/mnsc.2018.3032">commit yourself</a> to a regular gym habit.</p> <p>This can also apply to other activities that involve short-term pain for long-term gain – for example, paying for an online course will make you more likely to stick with it than if you found a free course.</p> <p>But be warned, this doesn’t work for everything: it seems that spending wildly on a <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ecin.12206">wedding ceremony or engagement ring</a> doesn’t have a “sunk cost” effect – it fails to increase the likelihood of staying married.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/217798/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aaron-nicholas-1487960"><em>Aaron Nicholas</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-the-sunk-cost-fallacy-is-it-ever-a-good-thing-217798">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Dr Chris Brown calls out Seven’s “stupid” Logies decision

<p dir="ltr">Dr Chris Brown has jokingly called out Seven’s “stupid” decision to make him co-host of this year’s TV Week Logies red carpet.</p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>Bondi Vet</em> star is set to present at the red carpet alongside Sonia Kruger on July 30, but he is still unsure as to why he was chosen.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Can I just tell you, it is one of the more stupid decisions ever made by Channel 7 to put me on the Red Carpet,” he joked during his guest appearance on Triple M’s<em> Mick &amp; MG in the Morning</em> on July 13.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know nothing about fashion... and I am also colourblind,” he said, which made the radio hosts chuckle.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brown wondered how he would comment on the stars’ gowns given his condition.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The joy that I’m going to have in telling women that I love their green dress and (I’m) gonna be told it’s red... what could possibly go wrong?” he told the radio hosts.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The insulting nature of my commentary is going to be worth it.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mick Molloy then joked that he was “going to make the carpet green” for extra laughs, to which Brown replied: “it might as well be, Micky”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brown and Kruger will present the star-studded event and bring viewers straight into the action from the Logies red carpet at Sydney’s The Star on Sunday, July 30.</p> <p dir="ltr">This will be Brown’s first official role at Seven since he<a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/the-doctor-is-out-chris-brown-changes-the-script" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> left <em>Network Ten</em></a> in February, where he had worked for the last 15 years.</p> <p><em>Image: News.com.au/ Triple M’s Mick &amp; MG in the Morning</em></p>

TV

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Decision reached over Ed Sheeran's copyright trial

<p>Ed Sheeran has emerged victorious from a lengthy legal battle that claimed he "ripped off" another popular song. </p> <p>Sheeran, 32, was being sued over his 2014 single <em>Thinking Out Loud</em> by Structured Asset Sales, who claim that Sheeran's hit took elements directly from Marvin Gaye's <em>Let's Get It On</em>.</p> <p>On Thursday, the court ruled that the British singer-songwriter did not plagiarise the song, with the jury of three men and four women only taking three hours to reach a decision.</p> <p>Sheeran stood up and hugged his team after jurors ruled that he “independently” created his song, as he stopped outside the courtroom to thank those who supported him through the legal battle. </p> <p>The pop star added he was “unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this” even make it to court.</p> <p>“I’m just a guy with a guitar who loves writing music for people to enjoy. I am not and will never allow myself to be a piggy bank for anyone to shake,” he said outside the court.</p> <p>Sheeran revealed he missed his grandmother’s funeral in Ireland as he sat through the “bogus” and “dangerous” lawsuit that claimed he stole key elements for his hit song.</p> <p>“These cords are common building blocks which were used to create music long before <em>Let’s Get it On</em> was written. Will be used to make music long after we are all gone,” Sheeran said.</p> <p>“They are a songwriter’s alphabet. Our toolkit. And should be there for all of us to use. No one owns them. Or the way they are played. In the same way nobody owns the colour blue.”</p> <p>Ed's victory comes after he declared that if he had lost the case, he would've <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/i-m-done-why-ed-sheeran-is-threatening-to-quit-music" target="_blank" rel="noopener">quit</a> the music industry all together. </p> <p>Outside the court room on Monday when the court proceedings were still in progress, he expressed his exasperation over the case, and made a bold statement about the future of his career. </p> <p>"If that happens, I'm done, I'm stopping," Sheeran said, according to reports from <a title="People" href="https://people.com/music/ed-sheeran-done-if-he-loses-lets-get-it-on-copyright-lawsuit/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">People</a>.</p> <p>"I find it to be really insulting," Sheeran added. "I work really hard to be where I'm at."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Music

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6 financial decisions you need to make before retiring

<p>Daydreaming about avoiding the Monday morning commute or perhaps cutting back to 2-3 days per week is something we’ll all start thinking about at some point. But if you don’t take some time to start thinking about your retirement plan, that last pay-check will need to last you a lifetime.</p> <p>The Australian Superannuation Funds Association (ASFA) says to live a <a href="https://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard">comfortable retirement</a> at age 67, a couple need a superannuation balance of $690,000 and single needs a superannuation balance of $595,000. Both super account balances assume you own your home and are relatively healthy. So how does that stack up for most Australians? Let’s take a look at the numbers.</p> <p>In 2022 <a href="https://d.docs.live.net/a698625ddb93f108/Wiley%2520Editing%2520-%2520The%2520Strategy%2520Stacker/Book%2520Publicity%2520-%2520Scott%2520Eathorne/Article%2520Requests%2520-%2520Scott/2022_Superannuation_Account_Balances_Research.pdf.aspx">ASFA reported</a> the average super balance for a 65 - 69 year olds in Australia is just $414,380 or men and $370,042 for women. If we look at median balances in the same report, that is the middle value when all account values are placed in order from lowest to highest, the median balance for men is $189,856 and even lower at $180,718 for women. The reality is that for most Australians, super won’t be enough to live a comfortable retirement by itself. So how does your super stack up and what can you about it before you retire?  There are 6 key questions all pre-retirees should consider. </p> <ol> <li><strong>Do you know your numbers?</strong></li> </ol> <p>A good place to start is to work out how much each year you’ll need to live on in retirement. I speak to a lot of pre-retirees and they often look at their spouse and then at me and say ‘well how much do we need’? I can’t answer that question of course, as everyone lives different lifestyles and has different goals and interests in retirement.</p> <p>A good place to start though is thinking about what your current income and expenses are. Remove all the work-related expenses like dry cleaning and work travel costs and add in the expenses like travel or other hobbies you’d like to pursue in retirement. ASFA also offers a comfortable and modest retirement <a href="https://www.superannuation.asn.au/ArticleDocuments/ArticleDocuments/269/2303-ASFA_Retirement_Standard_Budgets_December_2022_quarter.pdf.aspx?Embed=Y">budget breakdown</a> too for both couples and singles that’s worth considering to help your own post work budget development. </p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong>Will you retire owning your own home?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Paying off the mortgage is a worthy goal at any age but it probably becomes more important when you’ve retired from work? Why? Well most retirees are on fixed incomes. This means they no longer can earn overtime or bonuses to help top up income levels.</p> <p>If you have a mortgage think about how you can extinguish it before you retire. Rising interest rates also mean the cost of repayments are rising. For retirees on fixed incomes, it means that they need to find savings in other areas which can cause financial stress. No one wants financial stress in retirement.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong>Will you help your adult kids?</strong></li> </ol> <p>In might surprise you to learn that helping your kids can create a risk to your retirement plans. For many Australians the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ has been instrumental in helping the next generation secure their first family home. I’m not saying you shouldn’t help your kids, for many parents it reflects their values.</p> <p>What I am saying is that have a formal loan agreement in place and find a solicitor to get one drawn up. Why is this important? Well if you adult child gets divorced, you still deserve to get your money back. Similar considerations must be made if you decide to go guarantor for your adult children’s loans too. There are real risks for your retirement plans.  </p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong>Is it time to downsize?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Many retirees decide to have a tree change or sea change at retirement, moving to a smaller homes, units or retirement villages. It doesn’t need to be a change of suburb of course, just a move into something that meets your changing lifestyle needs.</p> <p>The benefit of downsizing is that allows many retirees to top up their super. There are some <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/property/downsizing/5-key-things-you-need-to-consider-before-downsizing">important considerations</a> but it can help you live a more comfortable retirement life.  </p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong>How will you fund your retirement income?</strong></li> </ol> <p>For most Australians, turning your super into an account-based pension provides them with a retirement income stream. It can also be supported by Centrelink if you’re eligible too. Many Australians may also receive an inheritance from their parents at some point too. All of these sources of funds will help you determine what your retirement income will be.</p> <p>Many retirees find great comfort in having a retirement plan and having confidence in knowing what they have to live on before they give up retirement. Don’t dismiss part time work either or transitioning to retirement by reducing your hours of work. Both strategies here allow you to top-up your income (and super) before you say goodbye to work. </p> <ol start="6"> <li><strong>Will you seek advice to help you make the most of your options? </strong></li> </ol> <p>As a financial planner I talk to pre-retirees to help them create retirement plans almost every working day. I’ve lost count of the number of times a client has said to me ‘Can I do that?’ or ‘I wish I’d know about that strategy ten years ago’, often followed by a look of disappointment when they realise they should have started their retirement plan much sooner.</p> <p>The reality is that superannuation legislation is complicated and there are a range of contribution strategies (some of which include getting a tax deduction while you’re working) that can help boost your super. Seek advice from a licensed financial planner if you need help to create a more confident retirement plan if you need help. </p> <p><strong><em>Luke Smith is a licensed Australian financial planner and author of the new book, Smart Money Strategy – Your Ultimate Guide to Financial Planning (Wiley, $34.95), published by Wiley. Luke is also the host of the popular podcast ‘The Strategy Stacker – Luke Talks Money’ and appears every Friday afternoon on Canberra’s 2CC. Found out more at <a href="http://www.thestrategystacker.com.au">www.thestrategystacker.com.au</a></em></strong></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Quentin Tarantino defends directorial decisions

<p dir="ltr">Quentin Tarantino has defended his choice to not include sex scenes in his movies. </p> <p dir="ltr">Rising to fame in 1992 with <em>Reservoir Dogs</em>, and becoming a household name with <em>Pulp Fiction</em>, he continued to wow the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">The legendary director has worked on several accredited films including, <em>Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, </em>and<em> Once Upon a Time in Hollywood</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to the Catalan Spanish newspaper <em>Diari ARA</em>, the iconic filmmaker defended the lack of sex scenes decision.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It’s true, sex is not part of my vision of cinema. And the truth is that, in real life, it’s a pain to shoot sex scenes, everyone is very tense. And if it was already a bit problematic to do it before, now it is even more so. If there had ever been a sex scene that was essential to the story, I would have, but so far it hasn’t been necessary.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Sex has never been a major factor in any of his films due to their primarily violent crime-driven nature. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tarantino is currently working on his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/quentin-tarantino-teases-retirement">tenth and final film</a> and although the plot remains unknown, we’re pretty certain there won’t be any sex scenes.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Movies

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We make thousands of unconscious decisions every day. Here’s how your brain copes with that

<p>Do you remember learning to drive a car? You probably fumbled around for the controls, checked every mirror multiple times, made sure your foot was on the brake pedal, then ever-so-slowly rolled your car forward.</p> <p>Fast forward to now and you’re probably driving places and thinking, “how did I even get here? I don’t remember the drive”. The task of driving, which used to take a lot of mental energy and concentration, has now become subconscious, automatic – habitual.</p> <p>But how – and why – do you go from concentrating on a task to making it automatic?</p> <p><strong>Habits are there to help us cope</strong></p> <p>We live in a vibrant, complex and transient world where we constantly face a barrage of information competing for our attention. For example, our eyes take in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1564115/">over one megabyte of data every second</a>. That’s equivalent to reading 500 pages of information or an entire encyclopedia every minute.</p> <p>Just one whiff of a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12744840/">familiar smell</a> can trigger a memory from childhood in less than a millisecond, and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.08.004">our skin</a> contains up to 4 million receptors that provide us with important information about temperature, pressure, texture, and pain.</p> <p>And if that wasn’t enough data to process, <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/REPS-10-2018-011/full/html">we make thousands of decisions</a> every single day. Many of them are unconscious and/or minor, such as putting seasoning on your food, picking a pair of shoes to wear, choosing which street to walk down, and so on.</p> <p>Some people are neurodiverse, and the ways we sense and process the world differ. But generally speaking, because we simply cannot process <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364661305001178">all the incoming data</a>, our brains create habits – automations of the behaviours and actions we often repeat.</p> <p><strong>Two brain systems</strong></p> <p>There are two forces that govern our behaviour: intention and habit. In simple terms, our brain has <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17437199.2016.1244647">dual processing systems</a>, sort of like a computer with two processors.</p> <p>Performing a behaviour for the first time requires intention, attention and planning – even if plans are made only moments before the action is performed.</p> <p>This happens in our prefrontal cortex. More than any other part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for making deliberate and logical decisions. It’s the key to reasoning, problem-solving, comprehension, impulse control and perseverance. It affects behaviour via <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/handbook-of-behavior-change/changing-behavior-using-the-reflectiveimpulsive-model/A35DBA6BF0E784F491E936F2BE910FF7">goal-driven decisions</a>.</p> <p>For example, you use your “reflective” system (intention) to make yourself go to bed on time because sleep is important, or to move your body because you’ll feel great afterwards. When you are learning a new skill or acquiring new knowledge, you will draw heavily on the reflective brain system to form new memory connections in the brain. This system requires mental energy and effort. </p> <p><strong>From impulse to habit</strong></p> <p>On the other hand, your “impulsive” (habit) system is in your brain’s <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev.neuro.29.051605.112851">basal ganglia</a>, which plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories, and pattern recognition. It’s impetuous, spontaneous, and pleasure seeking.</p> <p>For example, your impulsive system might influence you to pick up greasy takeaway on the way home from a hard day at work, even though there’s a home-cooked meal waiting for you. Or it might prompt you to spontaneously buy a new, expensive television. This system requires no energy or cognitive effort as it operates reflexively, subconsciously and automatically.</p> <p>When we repeat a behaviour in a consistent context, our brain recognises the patterns and moves the control of that behaviour from intention to habit. A habit occurs when your impulse towards doing something is automatically initiated because you encounter a setting in which you’ve done the same thing <a href="https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40359-015-0065-4">in the past</a>. For example, getting your favourite takeaway because you walk past the food joint on the way home from work every night – and it’s delicious every time, giving you a pleasurable reward.</p> <p><strong>Shortcuts of the mind</strong></p> <p>Because habits sit in the impulsive part of our brain, they <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.03.978">don’t require much cognitive input or mental energy</a> to be performed.</p> <p>In other words, habits are the mind’s shortcuts, allowing us to successfully engage in our daily life while reserving our reasoning and executive functioning capacities for other thoughts and actions.</p> <p>Your brain remembers how to drive a car because it’s something you’ve done many times before. Forming habits is, therefore, a natural process that contributes to <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0033-2909.124.1.54">energy preservation</a>.</p> <p>That way, your brain doesn’t have to consciously think about your every move and is free to consider other things – like what to make for dinner, or where to go on your next holiday.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-make-thousands-of-unconscious-decisions-every-day-heres-how-your-brain-copes-with-that-201379" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Mind

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Should we move our loved one with dementia into a nursing home? 6 things to consider when making this tough decision

<p>Almost <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/dementia/dementia-in-aus/contents/summary">400,000</a> Australians are living with dementia. A million or more family members and friends care for and support them. About two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community.</p> <p>Deciding to move a loved one into a nursing home is an incredibly difficult one. I found it difficult and stressful considering this move for my own loved one, even with 20 years of experience in dementia and aged care. Sometimes the decision has to be made quickly, such as when the person is in hospital. Sometimes the decision takes much longer and is made over months, or even years. </p> <p>There are some important things you should consider when trying to decide the best option for you and your loved one. I’ve outlined six here.</p> <h2>1. Your loved ones’ views around going into care</h2> <p>We don’t want to force our loved one to do something against their wishes. It’s unusual for someone to want to go into a nursing home. It may take many conversations and a decent amount of time before your loved one accepts they might need more care and that a nursing home is the right place to get that care.</p> <h2>2. Your loved one’s current quality of life</h2> <p>If you think your loved one has an overall good quality of life, and that their quality of life may decrease when they go into a nursing home, this could be a sign you should keep trying to support the person to live at home. </p> <p>However, if their quality of life is currently poor, particularly if this is due to not having enough day-to-day physical care, health care or emotional support, then moving into a nursing home might help meet their daily needs. </p> <p>Spend some time observing to figure out <a href="https://theconversation.com/home-for-the-holidays-and-worried-about-an-older-relative-make-observations-not-assumptions-173782">how your loved one is doing at home</a>. </p> <p>You could perhaps make a list of the things they need to lead a good life (company, three square meals, help taking medicines, going out into the community) and see if these are currently being met. </p> <h2>3. Risks if your loved one stays at home</h2> <p>People often <a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2318-7-13">go into a nursing home</a> because we think they are no longer safe living at home. </p> <p>It might be possible to reduce some of the risks of them being at home through <a href="https://www.enablingenvironments.com.au/home.html">modifying the home</a> and <a href="https://www.alzheimerswa.org.au/about-dementia/living-well-dementia/assistive-technology-help-sheets/">using technology</a>(personal emergency alarms, GPS trackers, stove timers) or services (meals on wheels, community care, physiotherapy for mobility).</p> <h2>4. Capacity of your loved one’s family and friends to keep supporting them</h2> <p>The availability and capacity of family carers is probably the most crucial part in supporting someone with dementia to keep living well at home. Carers often have other responsibilities such as work and children, which means they can’t support their loved one as much as they would like. </p> <p>Being a carer is physically and emotionally demanding, and over time caring can take its toll. Carers should seek help and support from other family and friends, learn more about <a href="https://forwardwithdementia.au/">dementia</a>, use services including <a href="https://theconversation.com/respite-care-can-give-carers-a-much-needed-break-but-many-find-accessing-it-difficult-183976">respite care</a> and <a href="https://www.dementia.org.au/support">Dementia Australia</a>.</p> <p>Carers often face a difficult choice between their own health and wellbeing, and supporting their loved one to remain at home. If carers are caring as much as their time, energy and physical and mental wellbeing will allow, and that care is not enough for their loved one’s needs, then more help is needed – and residential care is one way of getting that help.</p> <h2>5. Alternatives to nursing home care</h2> <p>Community care services are government-subsidised services to support older people to keep living at home. You can get up to 14 hours of care a week depending on need, though there is an assessment process and often a waiting time for services. You can pay for community care privately as well, although this can be very expensive.</p> <p>An <a href="https://www.cota.org.au/information/aged-care-navigators/who-can-use-aged-care-navigator-services/">Aged Care Navigator</a> (or from 2023 an “aged care finder”) can help you search for suitable available home care services.</p> <p>Some families choose to move in with the person with dementia, or have them move in with family. This may be an option if there is suitable accommodation, and they are able to live together comfortably. </p> <h2>6. Availability of quality nursing home care</h2> <p>It’s emotionally easier to place a loved one in a nursing home if carers are confident the home will provide suitable care. Often, family want a nursing home that is geographically close so they can visit, has a suitable room (such as a single room with an ensuite), sufficient and kind staff with training in supporting people with dementia, a pleasant environment, nutritious appealing food, and quality clinical care. </p> <p>It takes time to visit and pick a <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-choosing-a-nursing-home-check-the-clothing-and-laundry-100727">suitable nursing home</a>, check it’s appropriately <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-check-if-your-mum-or-dads-nursing-home-is-up-to-scratch-123449">accredited</a>, and understand how much it will <a href="https://theconversation.com/so-youre-thinking-of-going-into-a-nursing-home-heres-what-youll-have-to-pay-for-114295">cost</a>. You might have to wait for a bed in a quality home. You can often trial the nursing home by having your loved one stay for two weeks of respite care. </p> <p>When your loved one enters nursing home care, you’ll still be caring for them. You want to ensure you can continue to support your loved one emotionally and practically in partnership with the nursing home.</p> <h2>Getting help</h2> <p>Usually there is no “right” or “wrong” decision. You might struggle and there might be family conflict around what the “right” decision is. </p> <p>Speaking to a counsellor at <a href="https://www.dementia.org.au/support/counselling">Dementia Australia</a> might help work through the options and your feelings, you can talk to them as an individual or attend as a family.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/should-we-move-our-loved-one-with-dementia-into-a-nursing-home-6-things-to-consider-when-making-this-tough-decision-189770" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Caring

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Barnaby Joyce slams decision to bring ISIS brides and children back

<p dir="ltr">Barnaby Joyce has warned that children who were taken to war torn countries under ISIS rule or were born under the regime pose a huge risk to Australia. </p> <p dir="ltr">The former Nationals leader said the men and women who travelled to join terrorist organisations made their own decisions. </p> <p dir="ltr">He said that Australia repatriating four women and their 13 children after being stuck in al-Hol and al-Roj camps in the north eastern Syria region since 2019 was a bad idea.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They chose to go and be part of a terrorist organisation that was murdering people, raping people, destroying the cultural heritage of countries, and the children that were born overseas are citizens of wherever they were born,’’ Mr Joyce said on <em>Sunrise</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The women however have disputed Mr Joyce’s claims with many of them claiming that they were forced to travel to Syria with their husbands, or were taken there as teenagers and children by their parents before marrying local men.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Joyce said the scheme will cost millions of dollars to keep an eye on the women and children to ensure no Aussies are put at risk. </p> <p dir="ltr">“As a former deputy chair of the National Security Committee, this will cost millions and millions of dollars to monitor them," he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We have one problem for one person who does not relinquish the vile views they have and meet up with other people and start to espouse their views at some stage of the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That is a massive risk to us and a massive problem. Because people chose to go there, it is totally different and I have real concerns about this, serious concerns about this, serious concerns about what happens.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek said it was unfair to paint the children of the women with the same brush.</p> <p dir="ltr">“(ISIS) were a disgusting organisation that did disgusting things, but ...a number of these women were taken as children to Syria,’’ she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They were children themselves when they were children themselves when they were taken and they have children now who are Australian citizens growing up in some of the most dangerous places on earth.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She said it should be reassuring that Australia’s security agencies went above and beyond to ensure their safety and will integrate them back into society. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I understand why people are concerned and it is absolutely vital that we continue to take the advice of our security agencies that these women stay in touch with people who are prepared to supervise them and in many cases, they will be for a long time, but we need to get these kids home safely and get the kids into normal schools, surrounded by family that love them, integrating into the Australian way of life.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s how we keep ourselves safe and that’s how we keep them safe.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty/Facebook</em></p>

News

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"I trusted anyone": Olivia Newton-John's daughter shares drastic health decision

<p>Chloe Lattanzi has opened up about a recent health decision, announcing she is planning to reverse a lot of her cosmetic surgery enhancements. </p> <p>Chloe said she is going to have her breast implants removed, just months after her mother Olivia Newton-John died from a turbulent 30 year battle with breast cancer. </p> <p>Lattanzi, who has reportedly had $845,000 worth of plastic surgery over the years, took to Instagram to talk about her health.</p> <p>She shared that in trying to be the healthiest version of herself, she has already had fillers in her face dissolved and plans to remove her breast implants.</p> <p>“I’ve had the fillers removed from my face. When I had it done, I had body dysmorphia so I had very low self-esteem,” Lattanzi admitted.</p> <p>“I think I started doing (fillers) about 10 years ago,” she continued.</p> <p>“My face looked very puffy and strange. There’s a product called hyaluronidase that can take it out, it basically dissolves it, which is an ongoing process that I go through.”</p> <p>Speaking about her breast implants, Chloe said she “wasn’t aware” of the potential health problems that implants can bring.</p> <p>“I trusted anyone in a white coat and I wasn’t aware that there was any side effects or consequences,” she admitted.</p> <p>“I’m actually looking into removing them. It does cost a lot of money.”</p> <p>Lattanzi also spoke about her lip fillers, explaining she has injected them “so much” they are “permanently stretched out”.</p> <p>“Not that this is anyone’s business, but it hurt to see some of these comments and I just wanted to educate people,” she said.</p> <p>“You can believe me or not, but it’s the truth, from having them filled so much, they’re just stretched, I haven’t had them done in years.”</p> <p>Since her mother died in August after her journey with breast cancer, Lattanzi has been outspoken about “preventative care”.</p> <p>“I’m so excited to be carrying the torch for my mum continuing to not battle cancer, but finding out what’s causing it,” she said.</p> <div> </div> <p>“Preventive care was something she was very passionate about, you know we need to think about all the drugs that are put into our body."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Body

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"Heavy handed": Ben Fordham calls out late decision on national day of mourning

<p>The decision to implement double demerits around the National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II has been called out by radio host Ben Fordham.</p> <p>Transport for NSW announced the surprise double demerit period would be in force from midnight Wednesday September 21 to Sunday 11:59 pm on September 25.</p> <p>Motorists will lose twice the usual number of demerit points if they are caught speeding or committing seatbelt, mobile phone or motorcycle helmet offences.</p> <p>Those who speed between 10 and 20km/h over the limit could lose six points and $288, while the same offence in a school zone would result in the loss of eight points and $369.</p> <p>Anyone caught speeding 45km/h over the speed limit would lose 12 points of the total 13 points on their licence. They would also be fined an eye-watering $2547. The same offence in a school zone would cost $2704 and 14 demerit points which is an instant loss of licence.</p> <p>Fordham took issue with the “heavy handed” decision on his 2GB breakfast show, saying it was illogical to be “slapping double demerits” on the day of national mourning.</p> <p>Transport for NSW deputy secretary for safety Tara McCarthy said the penalty period would be enforced to account for additional road users surrounding the national day of mourning on Thursday.</p> <p>“Although this is a sombre occasion, there are still likely to be more people out on the roads over the next few days and over the weekend with the school term ending on Friday, so it is important we all take extra care,” Ms McCarthy said.</p> <p>Fordham said the hasty imposition of double demerits seemed to contradict the intention behind the public holiday, which is a day for paying respect to the Queen after her historic 70-year reign.</p> <p>Road transport regulation mandates double demerits over a long weekend when a public holiday falls on a Thursday, Friday, Monday or Tuesday.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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"Heartbroken": High-profile women react to landmark Roe v Wade decision

<p>When the US Supreme Court made the landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday June 24, women across America and all around the world took to social media to express their anger, disgust, sadness and outrage.</p> <p>A range of celebrities and high-profile women spoke out over the decision, as they grieved the loss of fundamental women's right and bodily autonomy in the eyes of the law.</p> <p>Roe v. Wade was implemented to grant women in the US the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, regardless of their reasoning.</p> <p>The landmark abortion ruling, which has been in place since 1973, was officially overturned last week, meaning individual states in America now have the right to ban women from seeking legal abortions – which several states have now already done.</p> <p>Australian model Robyn Lawley made a statement on her Instagram as she wrote on her torso, "My body my choice".</p> <p>The model shared her disgust for the ruling, while also empathising with women living the US of the challenges they are about to face.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfOyiHmO1ud/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfOyiHmO1ud/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Robyn Lawley (@robynlawley)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Former First Lady Michelle Obama posted an emotional statement online, which has been shared millions of times by men and women alike who are in disarray over the ruling.</p> <p>In the statement she wrote, "I am heartbroken that we may now be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of the land - a time when women risked their lives getting illegal abortions."</p> <p>"That is what our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers lived through, and now we are here again."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfMSJTKu_XY/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfMSJTKu_XY/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Pop star Taylor Swift was one of the many who reposted Obama's message, adding, "I'm absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women's rights to their own bodies, today's decision has stripped us of that."</p> <p>Kim Kardashian echoed the thoughts of many as she shared that "In America, guns have more rights than women," as the overturning of Roe v. Wade has somehow taken priority over tighter gun restrictions, despite there being over <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/06/02/mass-shootings-in-2022/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">250 mass shootings in 2022</a> so far.</p> <p>Hillary Clinton also chimed in on the decision, saying overturning Roe v. Wade is "a step backward".</p> <p>"Most Americans believe the decision to have a child is one of the most sacred decisions there is, and that such decisions should remain between patients and their doctors," Clinton said.</p> <p>"Today's Supreme Court opinion will live in infamy as a step backward for women's rights and human rights."</p> <p>Everyday women across America shared their fear over the ruling, with many encouraging others to delete their period tracking apps, to have real conversations with their partners about their intimacy, and to start savings accounts to travel out of their state for an abortion if needed.</p> <p>As protestors took to the steps of the Supreme Court to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade, online spaces were dominated with anger, as "my body, my choice" began trending on Twitter and became the battle cry for the women of the United States and around the world.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Benji Marshall’s incredible decision for Celebrity Apprentice prize money

<p dir="ltr">After being crowned the winner of <em>Celebrity Apprentice</em> for 2022, Benji Mashall has revealed the extraordinary way he plans to spend his prize money.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/i-didn-t-expect-that-celebrity-apprentice-2022-winner-crowned" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The former football star won</a> after raising $387,105 in the grand finale - and receiving another $100,000 from Lord Alan Sugar - making for a total of $504,000 raised for his chosen charity, Souths Cares.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, in an interview with KIIS FM’s Will and Woody show, it was revealed he called the radio hosts - and castmates on the show - shortly after the finale to thank them, though the scene never made it to air.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Something the TV show didn’t show was that Benji called me after the finale - cause I did go back to help him with the final challenge - to thank me for getting so involved in the finale,” Woody Whitelaw explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He’s taken $30,000 out of the money he made, and he’s putting $30,000 in Gotcha4Life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Gotcha4Life, the charity Woody and co-host Will McMahon chose, aims to prevent suicide through programs and social connections.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-17096d16-7fff-3a29-8f91-5fd2aa200654">It was revealed that Marshall also shared the cash with several of his other castmates, with another $30,000 going to Samantha Jade’s charity Cancer Council Australia, $30,000 to Vince Colosimo’s Dementia Australia and $30,000 to Bronte Campbell’s Carers Australia, per <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/reality-tv/benji-marshalls-incredible-act-with-celebrity-apprentice-prize-money/news-story/64b71506c77ca16f88556704e251e2af" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a></em>.</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cea7Ahyh1ks/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cea7Ahyh1ks/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Will and Woody (@willandwoody)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">During the interview, it emerged that Marshall, Whitelaw and McMahon being castmates wasn’t the only thing they had in common - they had all picked the same charity to support too.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Before the show started, Will and I locked in Gotcha4Life as our charity. So all the money we raised was going to go to Gotcha4Lide,” Woody said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Benji was late in replying to the email with what charity he wanted to do, and his first pick was Gotcha4Life.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And Benji, you’ve raised money for an incredible charity in South Cares, and I know that’s really close to your heart … But just to compare for the poor charity of Gotcha4Life, Will and I raised $20,000 and Benji, all up, how much money did you raise?”<br />“$540,000,” Marshall said laughingly.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/community/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Souths Cares</a> is closely affiliated with Marshall’s former club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and supports disadvantaged and marginalised youth and their families by delivering programs that address people’s education, training, health and employment needs.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-961a3d8c-7fff-6918-e53b-9850dcd30289"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @benji6marshall (Instagram)</em></p>

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Readers respond: What single event or decision do you think most affected the rest of your life?

<p>From travelling and seeing the world, to getting married and settling down, there are a lot of moments that can change your life forever.</p> <p>We asked our readers what single event or decision changed the trajectory of their lives, and the responses were overwhelming. </p> <p><strong>Kathleen Farrell</strong> - My decision to come to Australia! Changed my life and I have never regretted it!</p> <p><strong>Glen Crawford</strong> - Sunday 1st April 1979, I’d spent the entire weekend in the surf after 10 weeks forced abstinence due to a serious surfing accident, and I was tired, sunburnt and in need of a good nights sleep.</p> <p>2 of my young surfing mates turned up at the door and said they were taking me to the disco as I hadn’t been out for too long. I reluctantly agreed, and within the hour had met the young lady who’s been my best friend and wife for 42 years.</p> <p><strong>Tanya B Lyons</strong> - Giving birth to my Daughter, followed by getting sober and immigrating to the best country in the world Australia 40 yrs ago.</p> <p><strong>Noelene O'Donnell</strong> - Partner rang me at work and asked if I want to go to WA to live in 1983. I said YES (we were in NSW) and here we are still.</p> <p><strong>Helen Knowles </strong>- Leaving my first husband. Best decision I ever made for myself and my life.</p> <p><strong>Lewis Turner</strong> - I migrated from England to Australia 48 years ago. </p> <p><strong>Margaret Inglis</strong> - Buying a ticket at a spur of the moment for a trip to Sydney. My friend and myself were having morning tea, lunch time put a deposit on a ticket. Early 1969, Wellington NZ.</p> <p>Boat left Wellington for Sydney September 1969. Also on board were a group of guys. One ended up being my husband for nearly 42 years until he passed 7 years ago. Still in Australia.</p> <p><strong>Lorna Embling Tudball</strong> - Meeting &amp; marrying my husband, nearly 62 years ago.</p> <p><strong>Norma Fowler</strong> - At age 10 determined to go to selective high school despite mum wanting me to go elsewhere... to become a teacher.</p> <p><strong>Rhondda Walters</strong> - I quit my job, packed my bags and enrolled in University at the age of 32. A decision that changed my life.</p> <p><strong>Kim Galuschin</strong> - I had a Gastric-bypass operation at age 35. Now I'm 52 and have not gained any of the 40kg that I lost during the year after my surgery.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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UN committee rules anti-lesbian sex laws breach human rights in landmark decision

<p>On Wednesday, a United Nations committee became the first international law body to recognise that criminalising female same-sex sexual activity is a fundamental breach of human rights.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.humandignitytrust.org/wp-content/uploads/resources/CEDAW-C-81-D-134-2018-English-clean-copy.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">landmark decision</a> means all countries that criminalise women having sex with other women should immediately repeal these laws.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">UN Body Condemns Sri Lanka’s Criminalization of Same-Sex Acts <a href="https://t.co/UW0Opoqfwc">https://t.co/UW0Opoqfwc</a></p> <p>— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) <a href="https://twitter.com/hrw/status/1506776054706458627?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 23, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>Which countries criminalise homosexuality?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://antigaylaws.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Seventy-one countries</a> still criminalise homosexual conduct. Many of these are our neighbours – <a href="https://antigaylaws.org/regional/asia-2/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ten in Asia</a> and <a href="https://antigaylaws.org/regional/pacificoceania/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">seven in the Pacific</a>.</p> <p>Many people assume these laws only apply to men having sex with men, but that’s not the case. Sexual conduct between women is prohibited in the criminal codes of 34 of these 71 countries.</p> <p>Countries with sharia law such as Afghanistan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia also essentially criminalise lesbian sex. So there are <a href="https://www.humandignitytrust.org/lgbt-the-law/map-of-criminalisation/?type_filter=crim_sex_women" target="_blank" rel="noopener">43 countries</a> where it’s a crime for women to engage in same-sex sexual activity – almost a quarter of all countries in the world.</p> <p>The majority of the countries that criminalise same-sex sexual activity are members of the <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1037969X1403900203" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Commonwealth</a>, whose anti-homosexuality laws were introduced by the British Empire.</p> <p>However, Britain only ever criminalised male homosexual activity, and the expansion of these laws to explicitly include female sexual activity is a relatively recent phenomenon. Countries that have done so include: Trinidad and Tobago (1986), Solomon Islands (1990), Sri Lanka (1995), Malaysia (1998) and Nigeria (2014).</p> <p>In the past 35 years, <a href="https://www.humandignitytrust.org/wp-content/uploads/resources/Breaking-the-Silence-Criminalisation-of-LB-Women-and-its-Impacts-FINAL.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ten jurisdictions</a> that previously only criminalised same-sex male sexual intimacy changed their laws to include, for the first time, new criminal sanctions of lesbians and bisexual women.</p> <p>The laws criminalising same-sex activity between women aren’t just arcane laws that are never enforced. In Malaysia just over three years ago, two women were <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/03/women-caned-in-malaysia-for-attempting-to-have-lesbian-sex" target="_blank" rel="noopener">caned six times</a> for attempting to have sex.</p> <p>And late last year, a <a href="https://www.advocate.com/world/2021/12/14/lesbian-detained-iran-fears-life-sareh" target="_blank" rel="noopener">lesbian activist in Iran</a> was arrested while trying to flee to Turkey to seek asylum. Before this, she was detained for 21 days by the Iraqi Kurdistan police following an interview she did with BBC Persian about the situation of the LGBTQ+ community in Iraqi Kurdistan.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Atrocious punishment of lesbians in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Malaysia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Malaysia</a> <a href="https://t.co/pknBrYnlO4">https://t.co/pknBrYnlO4</a></p> <p>— Amnesty UK Rainbow Network (@AmnestyUK_LGBTI) <a href="https://twitter.com/AmnestyUK_LGBTI/status/1037277740951584773?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 5, 2018</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>The case</strong></p> <p>The case of <em>Flamer-Caldera v Sri Lanka</em> was brought by a lesbian activist to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).</p> <p>She argued that Sri Lanka’s criminal laws violated her right to live her life free from discrimination based on her sexual orientation.</p> <p>The CEDAW committee agreed.</p> <p>It found the effect of Sri Lanka’s criminal code was that lesbian and bisexual women lived with the constant risk of arrest and detention. And the laws facilitate a culture where discrimination, harassment and violence against lesbians and bisexual women can flourish.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The verdict is clear: compulsory heterosexuality, enforced through legislation and policing as well as unchecked social stigma, violates women’s rights under international law. My piece for <a href="https://twitter.com/OutRightIntl?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OutRightIntl</a> on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SriLanka?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SriLanka</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CEDAW?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CEDAW</a> ruling: <a href="https://t.co/cahtHV2k2d">https://t.co/cahtHV2k2d</a></p> <p>— Neela Ghoshal (@NeelaGhoshal) <a href="https://twitter.com/NeelaGhoshal/status/1507106976370769923?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 24, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>Law is a tool that governments use to communicate to society what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. When the Sri Lankan government declared any sexual intimacy between consenting women is a crime, it signalled to Sri Lankans that vilification, targeting and harassment of lesbians and bisexual women is acceptable, because they are criminals.</p> <p>The laws not only criminalise same-sex sexual conduct. They also perpetuate homophobia, stigmatise the LGBTQ+ community and sanction gender-based violence against lesbians and bisexual women.</p> <p>This decision sends a clear message to all governments who think it’s OK to persecute, harass and discriminate against lesbians and bisexual women – you are wrong.</p> <p><strong>What now?</strong></p> <p>Sri Lanka now has six months to provide a written response to the CEDAW Committee setting out the action it has taken, or will take, to give effect to the committee’s decision.</p> <p>Repealing the specific provision in the criminal law will not be enough. A much more holistic and nuanced response is required. In particular, the government will need to:</p> <ul> <li> <p>develop campaigns to counter prejudice and stereotypes directed at the LGBTQ+ community</p> </li> <li> <p>enact anti-discrimination laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status</p> </li> <li> <p>embed human rights education in schools, promoting equality and respect for all regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity</p> </li> <li> <p>provide training for police, judges and other law enforcement officials to increase their understanding of, and respect for, the human rights of LGBTQ+ people. This will also enable women to report homophobic crimes to the police without fear of retribution and with the knowledge the perpetrators will be prosecuted</p> </li> <li> <p>ensure there are adequate civil and criminal remedies for members of the LGBTQ+ community who are subjected to discrimination and gender-based violence.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The decision in <em>Flamer-Caldera v Sri Lanka</em> represents a watershed moment in international human rights law and will reverberate around the world.</p> <p>It’s now beyond dispute that criminalising consensual adult same-sex sexual conduct violates a woman’s right to privacy, dignity and non-discrimination.</p> <p>All governments have a duty to protect all women, including lesbians and bisexual women, from discrimination, gender-based violence and other harm.</p> <p>Any country that criminalises the sexual conduct of lesbians and bisexual women, regardless of whether they enforce the laws, is guilty of violating international law.<!-- 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/179936/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paula-gerber-4812" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Paula Gerber</a>, Professor of Human Rights Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/un-committee-rules-anti-lesbian-sex-laws-breach-human-rights-in-landmark-decision-179936" target="_blank" rel="noopener">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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TGA announces final decision: MDMA and psilocybin will not be rescheduled

<p>In October, Cosmos <a style="font-size: 14px;" rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/tga-psilocybin-report/" target="_blank">reported</a><span style="font-size: 14px;"> on the pending decision from Australia’s drug regulator on the potential rescheduling of psilocybin and MDMA from Schedule 9 (Prohibited Substances) to Schedule 8 (Controlled Medicines) of the Poisons Standard.</span></p> <div class="copy"> <p>The shift would see these treatments move beyond their current use solely in restricted clinical trials to broader applications in the treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders.</p> <p>At the time the article was written, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) had received 453 supportive submissions for MDMA and 575 for psilocybin, and 11 opposed for each. A growing body of experts was pushing strongly to have the two treatments down-scheduled.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the TGA announced its <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tga.gov.au/scheduling-decision-final/notice-final-decisions-amend-or-not-amend-current-poisons-standard-relation-psilocybin-and-mdma" target="_blank">final decision</a>: MDMA and psilocybin will not be rescheduled for use as medicines at this time.</p> <p>This will be a blow to those who have been advocating for the substances’ inclusion as controlled medicines, citing evidence of safety and efficacy for a range of clinical treatments. However, a number of researchers have welcomed the news.</p> <p>Citing research published by Dr Martin Williams, Executive Director of Psychedelic Research In Science &amp; Medicine (PRISM Ltd), and colleagues, the TGA announcement notes that any changes to the scheduling of MDMA and psilocybin must be done with the current Australian clinical context in mind, ensuring that Australia’s medical community is adequately equipped with expertise in both administration and ethical use.</p> <p>Williams has subsequently expressed his support for the announcement, noting that this decision reflects insufficient evidence rather than any identified safety concerns.</p> <div class="newsletter-box"> <div id="wpcf7-f6-p177271-o1" class="wpcf7"> <p style="display: none !important;"> </p> <!-- Chimpmail extension by Renzo Johnson --></div> </div> <p>“While excellent late-phase clinical research is ongoing around the world, and the results so far have been very promising, we agree that the standards of evidence required for formal approval and implementation still need to be met,” Williams says.</p> <p>He reiterates that the decision doesn’t mark the end of the road for the drugs in a clinical setting, but simply ensures research continues to work towards establishing safe practices.</p> <p>“Australian research needs to be conducted to ensure successful implementation in the local environment, to engage our medical community, and to pave the way towards appropriate training and accreditation of Australian mental health professionals in this game-changing area of mental health practice,” he says.</p> <p>Fellow PRISM director Dr Stephen Bright agreed with this position, stating that rescheduling at this time would be “premature given there is still no accredited training in Australia”.</p> <p>“My concern was that the application for rescheduling, as submitted, did not go far enough to ensure adequate clinical governance for the use of these powerful therapeutic drugs,” says Bright.</p> <p>“Without an established and integrated system of clinical governance for the provision of psychedelics, rescheduling alone may open the door to unsafe and unethical practices. Appropriate training in this novel and paradigm-changing approach is still broadly lacking, even among mental health professionals.”</p> <p>“At PRISM Ltd, our focus remains on completing the research we are engaged in that will put Australia in a better position to make these drugs medicines.”</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=177271&amp;title=TGA+announces+final+decision%3A+MDMA+and+psilocybin+will+not+be+rescheduled" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/australia/psychedelics-will-not-be-rescheduled/" target="_blank">This article</a> was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com" target="_blank">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/jamie-priest" target="_blank">Jamie Priest</a>. Jamie Priest is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of Adelaide.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

Mind

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High Court decision on $125 million fine for Volkswagen is a warning to all greenwashers

<p>The High Court of Australia has today refused to hear Volkswagen’s appeal against the record A$125 million fine imposed on it for deliberately deceiving regulators and customers about the environmental performance of its cars.</p> <p>The $125 million fine is the largest penalty ever imposed on a company in Australia for misleading consumers. It relates to the so-called “dieselgate” scandal, by which the German car company used secret software to beat emissions standards and tests in multiple countries.</p> <p>This is a significant win for the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/high-court-denies-volkswagen-leave-to-appeal-125-million-penalty" target="_blank">Australian Competition and Consumer Commission</a> in its ongoing battle against “greenwash”, by which companies make false environmental claims to mislead consumers.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1050651919874105" target="_blank">Research shows</a> greenwashing harms the market for environmentally friendly products. Without being able to distinguish between genuine and dubious claims, consumer cynicism about all claims increases.</p> <p>The <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.australiancompetitionlaw.org/legislation/provisions/acl18.html" target="_blank">Australian Consumer Law</a> adequately prohibits greenwashing claims through its provisions covering false and misleading practices. But this evidence the consumer watchdog is enforcing these laws, and that the courts are upholding them, will build confidence that environmental claims can be trusted.</p> <p><strong>Background to the ‘dieselgate’ case</strong></p> <p>The ACCC initiated Federal Court proceedings against Volkswagen in September 2016, a year after the US Environmental Protection Agency revealed the car company had used “defeat” software in diesel vehicles since 2009 to produce lower greenhouse gas emissions during “laboratory” tests.</p> <p>This software shut off during road use, meaning the cars performed better, but then produced nitrogen oxide pollution <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772" target="_blank">up to 40 times that permitted</a> by US law.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/431640/original/file-20211112-19-bb47po.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Volkswagen's software ensured cars produced lower nitrogen oxide emissions when being tested." /> <em><span class="caption">Volkswagen’s software ensured cars produced lower nitrogen oxide emissions when being tested.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></em></p> <p>Volkswagen had used its software globally. The ACCC alleged the car maker sold 57,000 cars with these defeat devices in Australia between 2011 and 2015.</p> <p>Volkswagen initially fought the case by the ACCC, but <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/judge-warns-that-vw-fine-will-be-multiples-of-75m-imposed-by-accc-20191016-p531be.html" target="_blank">in 2019 agreed to settle</a> for a fine of $75 million (and $4 million in court costs).</p> <p>When this was taken to the Federal Court for ratification (approval) the judge, Justice Lindsay Foster, rejected the deal as “outrageous”. He called the “agreed statement of facts” about the harm caused “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/outrageous-judge-slams-accc-over-vw-deal-20191016-p5313c" target="_blank">a bunch of weasel words</a>”. In his ruling in <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCA/2019/2166.html" target="_blank">December 2019</a> he doubled the penalty to $125 million.</p> <p>Volkswagen appealed this judgement to the full bench of the Federal Court (the equivalent of a court of appeal), arguing it was manifestly excessive. In its ruling (in April 2021) the full bench disagreed and <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCAFC/2021/49.html" target="_blank">upheld the A$125 million penalty</a>.</p> <p>This led to Volkswagen appealing to the High Court (Australia’s ultimate court of appeal). Today it refused “special leave” (permission to bring the whole case) to challenge the ruling and the large penalty. Which means the A$125 million fine stands.</p> <p><strong>This sends a strong message</strong></p> <p>This decision will send a very strong message to other manufacturers and sellers of products making environmental claims.</p> <p>The Australian Consumer Law’s provisions against greenwashing are contained in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.australiancompetitionlaw.org/legislation/provisions/acl18.html" target="_blank">Section 18</a> of the act, dealing with misleading or deceptive conduct.</p> <p>As the market for “green products” has expanded over the past few decades, so too has the temptation for unsavoury producers and marketers to make misleading statements.</p> <p>In response, some consumer groups and activists have demanded new laws to prevent greenwash. But <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/BondLRev/2012/2.pdf" target="_blank">my research</a> with Marina Nehme (now associate professor of corporate law at UNSW) led us to to the view the existing laws actually cover all the relevant situations.</p> <p>The High Court decision today demonstrates this. There are hundreds of examples of the consumer watchdog successfully pursuing greenwashers, but the size of the fine in this case will stand out and serve to deter others.<!-- 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/171733/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-adams-18149" target="_blank">Michael Adams</a>, Professor of Corporate Law &amp; Head UNE Law School, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919" target="_blank">University of New England</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/high-court-decision-on-125-million-fine-for-volkswagen-is-a-warning-to-all-greenwashers-171733" target="_blank">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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“The court was wrong”: James Spears speaks out on conservatorship decision

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After his immediate suspension from conservatorship of his daughter, Britney Spears, Jamie Spears has since issued a statement via his attorney, Vivan Thoreen on Thursday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Mr Spears loves his daughter Britney unconditionally,” the statement said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For thirteen years, he has tried to do what is in her best interests, whether as a conservator or her father. THis started with agreeing to serve as her conservator when she voluntarily entered into the conservatorship. This included helping her revive her career and re-establish a relationship with her children.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For anyone who has tried to help a family member dealing with mental health issues, they can appreciate the tremendous amount of daily worry and work this required. For Mr Spears, this also meant biting his tongue and not responding to all the false, speculative, and unsubstantiated attacks on him by certain members of the public, media, or more recently, Britney’s own attorney.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These facts make the outcome of yesterday’s hearing all the more disappointing, and frankly, a loss for Britney.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The statement goes on to point out that Mr Spears “took the initiative” in petitioning to terminate the conservatorship and claims that the court was wrong to suspend him and replace him with “a stranger”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judge Brenda Penny ruled that Mr Spears would no longer serve as the conservator of his daughter’s estate and immediately removed him from control of her finances.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I believe that the suspension is in the best interest of the conservatee,” Penny said. “The current situation is untenable.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CUbMCJKsRbJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <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/CUbMCJKsRbJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the days following the court’s decision, Ms Spears and her fiance Sam Asghari shared pictures from their celebratory trip to a tropical paradise.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A hearing has been set for November 12 to determine whether the conservatorship will be ended.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: britneyspears / Instagram</span></em></p>

Relationships

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"Crushed with guilt": Decision to put down "pandemic puppy" causes heated debate

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A journalist has sparked debates online over her decision to euthanise her dog she adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Madeline Bills published a piece on </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Slate </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">sharing the story of her adoption of Bennie, “a six-year old beagle whose photo melted my heart”, just before Christmas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Like many others last year, I was thrilled to adopt a dog,” she wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The so called pandemic puppy boom made for what felt like stiff competition at the time.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, the journalist said the New Jersey animal shelter she adopted Bonnie from likely failed to inform her of the dog’s history of aggressive behaviour.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After six months of behavioural training and “daily dog anxiety meds” seemed to make no difference to Bonnie’s biting, Bilis made the decision to try and rehome the pooch.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But I soon learned the shelter where Bonnie came from wouldn’t help me. A volunteer explained that Bonnie was too dangerous to adopt out again, and their affiliated sanctuaries - including several beagle-specific rescues - declined to take her,” she wrote. “Another dog rescue organisation in New York City told me that her bite history - seven bites at the time, though that number would grow - was too extensive for her to even qualify for a special rehabilitation program.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bilis said both conversations ended with the same conclusion: “behavioural euthanasia”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She was adorable - and violent,” Bilis wrote. “I found a resolution many choose but few acknowledge.” </span></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/madelinebilis/status/1402611855252668417"><span style="font-weight: 400;">https://twitter.com/madelinebilis/status/1402611855252668417</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The article drew praise from some readers for addressing a difficult topic, which described how Bonnie was involved in several biting incidents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Last Christmas morning, I patted my bed, invitingly my newly adopted beagle, Bonnie, to jump and cuddle,” she began in the piece.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My boyfriend, still under the covers, reached out to pet her soft little head, which was now wedged between us. I turned away to grab my phone, and it happened: a guttural bark, followed by a human scream. I whipped around to see my boyfriend’s hand covered in blood. It was Bonnie’s second bite in the week since I’d adopted her.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bilis recounted another incident where Bonnie bit a man walking past them on the footpath, though she was surprised “the man brushed off the incident”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the number of incidents continued to grow, Bilis said her “desire to stop living with a dangerous animal” grew too.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As the weeks went by and no new options appeared, I realised I had a choice: I could send her off with a stranger one day - someone she would certainly injure, and who would perhaps end up euthanising her anyway - or I could allow her to leave this terrifying world peacefully with someone she loves.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She stressed the choice to pursue behavioural euthanasia was “not a decision made out of convenience”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Crushed with guilt, I wondered if there was more I could have done to help my sweet beagle,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unsurprisingly, the article drew criticism online, with other owners of adopted dogs claiming the decision was motivated by inconvenience.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One user said that in her “30-year-plus career as a veterinarian who works on dogs with anxieties and behavioural issues, I’ve only had to euthanise two dogs for child safety reason.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many also defended Bilis, agreeing she had no choice in the matter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A lot of people angry about this article but obviously the correct thing to do with a violent and dangerous domesticated animal is put it down,” wrote </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Daily Wire</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> host Matt Walsh.</span></p>

Family & Pets

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