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Another man dies after fall from world's biggest cruise ship

<p>A passenger has died after he fell from the world's largest cruise ship on the first night of a week-long voyage. </p> <p>The unidentified man allegedly jumped from Royal Caribbean’s new 366 metre-long Icon of the Seas, just hours after it left a port in Miami, Florida on its way to Honduras, according to the US Coast Guard.</p> <p>“The cruise ship deployed one of their rescue boats, located the man and brought him back aboard,” the Coast Guard told the <em><a href="https://nypost.com/2024/05/28/us-news/passenger-dead-after-jumping-off-worlds-largest-cruise-ship/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a></em>.</p> <p>“He was pronounced deceased. Beyond assisting in the search, the US Coast Guard did not have much involvement in this incident,” the agency added.</p> <p>Royal Caribbean told the publication, “The ship’s crew immediately notified the US Coast Guard and launched a search and rescue operation”. </p> <p>“Our care team is actively providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones during this difficult time.”</p> <p>At the time of the incident, the cruise ship had only travelled 500km from Florida, and stopped for two hours to help the search and rescue Coast Guard team to locate the passenger. </p> <p>The man was brought back on-board in critical condition before he succumbed to his injuries and died on the ship. </p> <p>The Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, took its maiden voyage in January this year.</p> <p>The Royal Caribbean ship has 20 decks and is nearly the size of four city blocks, holding 7,600 passengers and 2,350 crew members.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Royal Caribbean </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Cost of living: if you can’t afford as much fresh produce, are canned veggies or frozen fruit just as good?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/evangeline-mantzioris-153250">Evangeline Mantzioris</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180"><em>University of South Australia</em></a></em></p> <p>The cost of living crisis is affecting how we spend our money. For many people, this means tightening the budget on the weekly supermarket shop.</p> <p>One victim may be fresh fruit and vegetables. Data from the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/australians-consuming-fewer-vegetables-fruit-and-less-milk#:%7E:text=Paul%20Atyeo%2C%20ABS%20health%20statistics,278%20to%20267%20to%20grams.%E2%80%9D">Australian Bureau of Statistics</a> (ABS) suggests Australians were consuming fewer fruit and vegetables in 2022–23 than the year before.</p> <p>The cost of living is likely compounding a problem that exists already – on the whole, Australians don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating">Australian dietary guidelines</a> recommend people aged nine and older should consume <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/fruit">two</a> serves of fruit and <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/vegetables-and-legumes-beans">five</a> serves of vegetables each day for optimal health. But in 2022 the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/dietary-behaviour/latest-release">ABS reported</a> only 4% of Australians met the recommendations for both fruit and vegetable consumption.</p> <p>Fruit and vegetables are crucial for a healthy, balanced diet, providing a range of <a href="https://theconversation.com/were-told-to-eat-a-rainbow-of-fruit-and-vegetables-heres-what-each-colour-does-in-our-body-191337">vitamins</a> and minerals as well as fibre.</p> <p>If you can’t afford as much fresh produce at the moment, there are other ways to ensure you still get the benefits of these food groups. You might even be able to increase your intake of fruit and vegetables.</p> <h2>Frozen</h2> <p>Fresh produce is often touted as being the most nutritious (think of the old adage “fresh is best”). But this is not necessarily true.</p> <p>Nutrients can decline in transit from the paddock to your kitchen, and while the produce is stored in your fridge. Frozen vegetables may actually be higher in some nutrients such as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25526594/">vitamin C and E</a> as they are snap frozen very close to the time of harvest. Variations in transport and storage can affect this slightly.</p> <p><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf504890k">Minerals</a> such as calcium, iron and magnesium stay at similar levels in frozen produce compared to fresh.</p> <p>Another advantage to frozen vegetables and fruit is the potential to reduce food waste, as you can use only what you need at the time.</p> <p>As well as buying frozen fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, you can freeze produce yourself at home if you have an oversupply from the garden, or when produce may be cheaper.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.growveg.com.au/guides/freezing-vegetables-and-herbs-the-garden-foodie-version/">quick blanching</a> prior to freezing can improve the safety and quality of the produce. This is when food is briefly submerged in boiling water or steamed for a short time.</p> <p>Frozen vegetables won’t be suitable for salads but can be eaten roasted or steamed and used for soups, stews, casseroles, curries, pies and quiches. Frozen fruits can be added to breakfast dishes (with cereal or youghurt) or used in cooking for fruit pies and cakes, for example.</p> <h2>Canned</h2> <p>Canned vegetables and fruit similarly often offer a cheaper alternative to fresh produce. They’re also very convenient to have on hand. The <a href="https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can#gsc.tab=0">canning process</a> is the preservation technique, so there’s no need to add any additional preservatives, including salt.</p> <p>Due to the cooking process, levels of heat-sensitive nutrients <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jsfa.2825">such as vitamin C</a> will decline a little compared to fresh produce. When you’re using canned vegetables in a hot dish, you can add them later in the cooking process to reduce the amount of nutrient loss.</p> <p>To minimise waste, you can freeze the portion you don’t need.</p> <h2>Fermented</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723656/">Fermentation</a> has recently come into fashion, but it’s actually one of the oldest food processing and preservation techniques.</p> <p>Fermentation largely retains the vitamins and minerals in fresh vegetables. But fermentation may also enhance the food’s nutritional profile by creating new nutrients and allowing existing ones to be <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9352655/">absorbed more easily</a>.</p> <p>Further, fermented foods contain probiotics, which are beneficial for our <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10051273/">gut microbiome</a>.</p> <h2>5 other tips to get your fresh fix</h2> <p>Although alternatives to fresh such as canned or frozen fruit and vegetables are good substitutes, if you’re looking to get more fresh produce into your diet on a tight budget, here are some things you can do.</p> <p><strong>1. Buy in season</strong></p> <p>Based on supply and demand principles, buying local seasonal vegetables and fruit will always be cheaper than those that are imported out of season from other countries.</p> <p><strong>2. Don’t shun the ugly fruit and vegetables</strong></p> <p>Most supermarkets now sell “ugly” fruit and vegetables, that are not physically perfect in some way. This does not affect the levels of nutrients in them at all, or their taste.</p> <p><strong>3. Reduce waste</strong></p> <p>On average, an Australian household throws out <a href="https://www.ozharvest.org/food-waste-facts/">A$2,000–$2,500</a> worth of food every year. Fruit, vegetables and bagged salad are the <a href="https://www.ozharvest.org/food-waste-facts/">three of the top five foods</a> thrown out in our homes. So properly managing fresh produce could help you save money (and benefit <a href="https://endfoodwaste.com.au/why-end-food-waste/">the environment</a>).</p> <p>To minimise waste, plan your meals and shopping ahead of time. And if you don’t think you’re going to get to eat the fruit and vegetables you have before they go off, freeze them.</p> <p><strong>4. Swap and share</strong></p> <p>There are many websites and apps which offer the opportunity to swap or even pick up free fresh produce if people have more than they need. Some <a href="https://www.charlessturt.sa.gov.au/environment/sustainable-lifestyles/community-fruit-and-vege-swaps">local councils are also encouraging</a> swaps on their websites, so dig around and see what you can find in your local area.</p> <p><strong>5. Gardening</strong></p> <p>Regardless of how small your garden is you can always <a href="https://www.gardeningaustraliamag.com.au/best-vegies-grow-pots/">plant produce in pots</a>. Herbs, rocket, cherry tomatoes, chillies and strawberries all grow well. In the long run, these will offset some of your cost on fresh produce.</p> <p>Plus, when you have put the effort in to grow your own produce, <a href="https://mdpi-res.com/sustainability/sustainability-07-02695/article_deploy/sustainability-07-02695.pdf?version=1425549154">you are less likely to waste it</a>.<!-- 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/229724/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/evangeline-mantzioris-153250"><em>Evangeline Mantzioris</em></a><em>, Program Director of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Accredited Practising Dietitian, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</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/cost-of-living-if-you-cant-afford-as-much-fresh-produce-are-canned-veggies-or-frozen-fruit-just-as-good-229724">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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Line of Duty star's cause of death revealed

<p>The sister of <em>Line of Duty</em> star Brian McCardie has thanked loved ones and fans for their support since the tragic passing of her brother, while also revealing what caused his sudden death at the age of 59. </p> <p>Sarah McCardie shared a lengthy post on social media thanking people for their "overwhelming support" during the difficult time, adding that the Scottish actor will be laid to rest in a funeral on May 23rd at a church in his home country.</p> <p>She also revealed that Brian died due to an aortic dissection, a tear in the aorta.</p> <p>"The McCardie family would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support regarding the sudden passing of Brian James McCardie - beloved son, brother, uncle &amp; friend," she wrote.</p> <p>"Brian died due to an aortic dissection, causing short pain and a sudden death."</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/C7AAl3vLkfz/?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/C7AAl3vLkfz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Sarah McCardie (@sarahmccardie)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"There will be a funeral mass held on Thursday 23rd May... where we will celebrate Brian's life before he takes his final bow."</p> <p>Sarah, who is also an actress, previously confirmed the news of his death in a heartbreaking tribute post to her late sibling, saying he "is gone much too soon".</p> <p>"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brian James McCardie (59), beloved son, brother, uncle and dear friend to so many," her post began.</p> <p>"Brian passed away suddenly at home on Sunday 28th April. A wonderful and passionate actor on stage and screen, Brian loved his work and touched many lives, and is gone much too soon."</p> <p>"We love him and will miss him greatly; please remember Brian in your thoughts."</p> <p>The post was flooded with comments of condolences, as one person wrote, "One of Scotland's greats on both the stage and the screen."</p> <p>McCardie was best known for his role as Tommy Hunter on BBC's <em>Line of Duty</em>, the show <em>Time</em> with Sean Bean, and the film <em>Rob Roy</em> co-starring Liam Neeson.</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC / Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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Incredible treasure trove of unseen royal images

<p>In a mesmerising blend of history and artistry, Buckingham Palace's newly christened King's Gallery has unveiled a captivating journey through time and royalty with the debut of "Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography".</p> <p>Opening its on May 17, this groundbreaking exhibition delves into the illustrious lineage of the Royal Family through more than 150 carefully curated portraits – some never before seen by the public eye.</p> <p>A highlight among these treasures is a poignant snapshot capturing a rare familial moment: Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Princess Alexandra, and The Duchess of Kent cradling their newborns. Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret's husband, immortalised this touching scene as a token of gratitude to Sir John Peel, the esteemed royal obstetrician responsible for delivering all four babies within a mere two-month span.</p> <p>In this heartfelt image, Queen Elizabeth II tenderly holds Prince Edward, her youngest offspring, while Princess Margaret, Princess Alexandra and The Duchess of Kent embrace their own bundles of joy. Accompanying this snapshot is a handwritten letter penned by Princess Margaret to her sister, affectionately addressed as "Darling Lilibet", requesting a signature on a print destined as a cherished memento for the esteemed doctor.</p> <p>The exhibition transcends mere family portraits, delving deep into the evolution of royal portraiture over the past century. Visitors are treated to a visual feast of iconic images captured by renowned photographers, including Dorothy Wilding, Annie Leibovitz, David Bailey and Rankin. Notably, the legendary Cecil Beaton's immortalisation of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation remains a cornerstone of the collection, offering a timeless glimpse into history.</p> <p>The exhibition also pays homage to the enduring allure of Princess Anne through her striking appearances on <em>Vogue</em> covers and a celebrated coming-of-age portrait by Norman Parkinson, commemorating her 21st birthday. From the timeless elegance of Princess Anne to the radiant charm of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the spirited grace of Zara Tindall, the exhibition showcases a diverse tapestry of royal personalities spanning generations.</p> <p>Yet, it is not merely the portraits themselves that captivate visitors, but the untold stories and intimate moments woven into each frame. Delving into the depths of royal history, the exhibition reveals unseen wartime images by Cecil Beaton, illustrating King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's unwavering resolve amidst the chaos of conflict.</p> <p>As visitors explore the gallery, they are guided by a free multimedia experience narrated by Dame Joanna Lumley, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the artistry and craftsmanship behind these timeless portraits. From Hugo Burnand's vivid recollections of photographing the royal coronation to the candid insights of royal photographers such as Rankin and John Swannell, the multimedia guide adds depth and dimension to the exhibition, inviting visitors to immerse themselves fully in the rich tapestry of royal history.</p> <p>"Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography" is not merely an exhibition; it is a testament to the enduring legacy of the British monarchy, captured through the lens of some of the most esteemed photographers of our time. From the grandeur of coronations to the tender embrace of a mother cradling her newborn, each portrait tells a story – a story of tradition, resilience and the timeless allure of royalty.</p> <p><em>Images: Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2024.</em></p>

Art

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"A Duck-Filled Platypus?!": Wheel of Fortune contestant's $10k mistake

<p>A Wheel of Fortune contestant has made a hilarious mistake that cost her  US$7250 ($10,900) with viewers blasting her on social media for not knowing the painfully obvious answer. </p> <p>During an episode of the American game show this week, Floridian contestant Kimberly Wright failed to complete the puzzle when she picked the wrong letter, according to <em>Fox News</em>. </p> <p>The puzzle board read “D U _ _ – _ _ L L E D PLATYPUS,” and Wright chose to spin the wheel which landed on the Express wedge. </p> <p>“I’m going to call an F,” she said, which elicited groans from audiences in the studio. </p> <p>Wright believed that the answer was “duck-filled platypus”, when it was “duck-billed platypus" an animal native to Australia, and many fans were in disbelief over her "painful" mistake. </p> <p>“I have never been more enraged watching wheel of fortune,” one fan wrote in response to a clip of the viral moment. </p> <p>“Oh my, that was painful. F?? She thought the platypus was filled? with what exactly?” another tweeted. </p> <p>“F***** brutal,” a third agreed. </p> <p>“Where did this lady think an F was going to go in this puzzle?" a fourth asked, while another wrote: “wheel of fortune puzzle was clearly duck-billed platypus and the lady asked for an F she’s like reverse autocorrect.”</p> <p>“A Duck-Filled Platypus!?” another chimed in. </p> <p>“Oh, I hope Red isn’t on social media. She gonna get blasted for missing that puzzle,” wrote another viewer. </p> <p><em>Image: News.com.au/ Wheel of Fortune</em></p>

TV

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Hospice nurse reveals six unexplainable "death bed phenomena"

<p>Hospice nurse Julie McFadden has lifted the lid on six unexplainable "death bed phenomena" that occur within a person's last weeks of life. </p> <p>The LA-based nurse, who specialises in end of life care, explained that as a person nears the end of their life, they will experience a range of unusual things, including hallucinations, random bursts of energy and even choosing when they're going to die. </p> <p>McFadden once again took to her YouTube channel to educate people on what happens when you're on your death bed, detailing each of the six strange occurrences. </p> <p>Julie explained that patients often experienced "terminal lucidity", "hallucinations", "death stares", and more in their final weeks. </p> <p>She began by explaining the first wild thing that happened at the end of life was terminal lucidity, in which people get a "burst of energy" in the days before they die, sharing that it happens "very often". </p> <p>She said, "Just enjoy it and expect that maybe they will die soon after because that's the kicker with terminal lucidity, it looks like someone's going to die very soon then suddenly they have a burst of energy."</p> <p>"They maybe have a really great day, they're suddenly hungry, they're suddenly able to walk, they're suddenly very alert and oriented, and then shortly after usually a day or two they will die, so that can be the hard part if you're not ready for it, if you don't know what's coming you can think they're getting better and then they die, which can be very devastating."</p> <p>Julie then described how most people in their final days will encounter "death visioning" or "hallucinations", as many people describe seeing the ghosts of loved ones in their final days. </p> <p>"I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw it for myself over and over again," the nurse admitted. </p> <p>"Number three, this is really crazy - people choosing when they're going to die. I have seen some extreme cases of this, people just saying, 'Tonight's when I'm going to die I know it, I can feel it,' and they do. There's also a time when people will wait for everybody to get into town or get into the room arrive at the house whatever it is and then they will die," the nurse explained. </p> <p>The fourth phenomena is known as the "death reach", according to Julie.  </p> <p>She explained, "It's when the person's lying in bed and they reach up in the air like they're seeing someone or they're reaching for someone either to hug them or to shake their hands. A lot of times they'll hold their hands up for a long time, like they're seeing something that we're not seeing and they're reaching for someone that we can't see."</p> <p>Julie then listed "number five is the death stare," explaining that the death stare and the death reach often "go together". </p> <p>"It usually looks like someone is staring off into the corner of the room or the side of the room basically looking at something intently, but if you're snapping your finger in front of their face or trying to say their name to kind of snap them out of it, they won't," she said.</p> <p>The last wild thing the nurse has seen is known as a "shared death experience" and is "most impactful", according to Julie. </p> <p>She explained, "A shared death experience is when someone who is not dying feels or sees or understands what's happening to the person who is dying."</p> <p>"It's kind of like the dying person gives you the sensation of what they're going through. From what I experienced, it was a very good feeling. It was like the person was giving me these feelings of freedom and joy and kind of telling me that they were okay."</p> <p>"At the time, I was shocked, I didn't know what was happening, but I've come to find out that that's called a shared death experience."</p> <p><em>Image credits: YouTube / Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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6 little known facts about The Sound of Music

<p>The Sound of Music, released in 1965, continues to be one of the most beloved family films of all time. In honour of the iconic film, we look behind the scenes to reveal some little known facts about one of our favourite movies.</p> <p><strong>1. Julie Andrews kept falling over during the famous opening mountain scene</strong></p> <p>While Julie Andrews may look graceful twirling atop the mountain in the opening scenes, in reality she kept being knocked over by the draft of the helicopter trying to capture the iconic aerial scene. Andrews said: “the down draft from those jets was so strong that every time… the helicopter circled around me and the down draft just flattened me into the grass. And I mean flattened. It was fine for a couple of takes, but after that you begin to get just a little bit angry… And I really tried. I mean, I braced myself, I thought, ‘It’s not going to get me this time.’ And every single time, I bit the dust.”</p> <p><strong>2. Christopher Plummer hates the movies</strong></p> <p>Fans of Christopher Plummer’s Captain von Trapp will be disappointed to learn that he hated the film so much he called it “The Sound of Mucus”. “Because it was so awful and sentimental and gooey,” he said. “You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some minuscule bit of humour into it.” To ease his pain, Plummer drank, even on set. He admitted on the DVD commentary that he was drunk when filming the Austrian music festival scene.</p> <p><strong>3. Charmian Carr injured herself during “Sixteen going on seventeen”</strong></p> <p>Charmian Carr, who played Liesl Von Trapp, slipped while leaping from a bench in the gazebo scene. She fell through the glass and injured her ankle. In the scene, she is wearing a bandage on her leg, which is covered by make up.</p> <p><strong>4. Friedrich grew 15 centimetres during the six months of filming  </strong> </p> <p>Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich Von Trapp, grew from 1.60 metres to 1.75 metres in the six months of filming. It caused many continuity problems in the movie as Friedrich had to be shorter than Liesl but taller than Louisa. As the beginning of the film, Hammond had lifts in his films but by the end, Carr who played Liesl had to stand on a box.</p> <p><strong>5. Mia Farrow auditioned for the role of Liesl.</strong> </p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://youtu.be/66v7gtwRGdM" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Watch her audition tape here.</a></strong></span></p> <p><strong>6. The film is historically inaccurate</strong></p> <p>The movie is loosely based on the autobiography of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, but the film took many liberties. For instance, there were 10 von Trapp children, not seven. Maria left the convent to tutor one of the children, not to governess all them. Georg was a kind man, not the stern disciplinarian as depicted the film. Maria and him were married 11 years before the Nazis invaded Austria. And the Von Trapp family didn’t escape from the mountains by crossing over the mountains – that would have led straight to Hitler’s Germany.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Movies

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Insider spills on Robert Irwin's plans for I'm a Celeb

<p>Robert Irwin received rave reviews for his co-hosting skills alongside Julia Morris on this year's<em> I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here</em>, but an insider has claimed that he won't be returning for another season.  </p> <p>"His easygoing and faultless live TV skills have won over the nation. But his career at Ten will only be short-lived, and he is heading back to Seven," a source told <em>Woman's Day</em>. </p> <p>The negotiation is believed to have been orchestrated by the ultimate "mumager" Terri Irwin. </p> <p>"The Irwins are very smart when it comes to negotiations," the insider added. </p> <p>The source also claimed that Robert's decision to join<em> I'm a Celebrity</em> was seen as a one-off opportunity to elevate his television profile - which he has achieved after bringing fresh energy into the show. </p> <p>Channel Seven is reportedly keen to welcome Robert back with a massive deal, according to the source. </p> <p>"Seven want Robert back and have thrown a king's ransom at him," they said.</p> <p>If the deal goes through, Julia Morris will have to find a new partner to head to the jungle with. </p> <p>Many fans have praised Robert for bringing some fun into the jungle. </p> <p>"I have not ever been keen on watching this show but Robert you have brought some class and good honest fun to the jungle. Thank you," one fan wrote under a clip of the show's grand finale that Robert posted on his Instagram. </p> <p>"How awesome was Robert? This gig was like it was made for him. What a natural," another added. </p> <p>"Best year of I'm a Celebrity, and it was because you added something to the show as Co-Host. Brilliant job for somebody with no experience but with a lot to give," commented a third. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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"I'm shocked": Queen of the jungle crowned in I'm a Celeb finale

<p>The 2024 season of <em>I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!</em> has concluded with the coronation of a new monarch. No, it’s not some royal lineage we’re talking about; it’s the queen of reality TV herself, Skye Wheatley.</p> <p>After weeks of enduring the culinary horrors of the jungle and the occasional emotional breakdown, Australia has spoken and Skye is officially their jungle royalty. Her reign over the camp was nothing short of spectacular, featuring riveting moments such as her triumph over creepy crawlies, her dramatic monologues about missing Wi-Fi, and of course, her unforgettable friendship with that one tree that seemed oddly supportive.</p> <p>In an “incredibly close” result that had us all on the edge of our seats (or couches, let’s be real), Skye managed to outshine her fellow campmates and secure the coveted title of Jungle Queen. But it wasn’t just about the glory; it was about the charity, too. Skye walked away with $100,000 for Bully Zero, proving once and for all that you can battle both bullies and bugs and emerge victorious.</p> <p>In her post-victory interview, Skye expressed her shock at the win, saying, “I’m shocked.” Truly, her eloquence knows no bounds. “I feel absolutely blessed to have had this opportunity, and to go through the things I went through with these boys.”</p> <p>But behind those eloquent words lies the heart of a true champion, one who faced her fears head-on and emerged triumphant, all while looking fabulous in a khaki jumpsuit.</p> <p>Before her jungle adventure, Skye confessed that she thought the public expected her to “fall flat on my face”. Well, Skye, the joke’s on them because you soared like a majestic eagle, or at least like a slightly disoriented possum.</p> <p>And let’s not forget the emotional rollercoaster that was the finale. Tears flowed like the Brisbane River as the top three reunited with their loved ones. It was a moment of pure emotion, a stark contrast to the usual scenes of celebrities eating bugs for our entertainment.</p> <p>As we bid farewell to another season of jungle shenanigans, we can’t help but reflect on the memories created, the friendships forged, and the questionable food choices made. Here’s to Skye Wheatley, the queen of our hearts and the jungle alike. Long may she reign, or at least until the next season starts.</p> <p>And to all the celebrities who braved the jungle, whether voluntarily or not, we salute you. May your next adventure be slightly less bug-infested and involve significantly more room service.</p> <p>New host Robert Irwin had the last word to longtime host Julia Morris: “From the bottom of my heart, I have loved this so much," he said. "It’s been so much fun.” </p> <p><em>Images: Network Ten</em></p>

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"His family was horrified": Young man jumps off cruise ship

<p>What was meant to be a voyage of leisure and joy turned into a nightmare in the early hours of Thursday morning when a young man made a fateful decision to leap overboard, leaving passengers and crew stunned and grieving.</p> <p>The incident occurred as Royal Caribbean's colossal 18-storey <em>Liberty of the Seas</em> cruise ship navigated the waters between Cuba and the Bahamas' Grand Inagua Island. <a href="https://nypost.com/2024/04/04/us-news/royal-caribbean-cruise-horror-as-20-year-old-man-jumps-overboard/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">According to the New York Post</a>, witnesses recounted the harrowing scene: a young man took a spontaneous plunge from one of the ship's decks, despite the desperate pleas and helplessness of his father and brother who stood witness to the impulsive act.</p> <p>Passengers onboard shared their accounts, describing the chilling moments leading up to the tragedy. Bryan Sims, one of the witnesses, told the <em>New York Post</em> he had spent time with the young man and his brother in the ship's hot tub until the early hours of the morning. "He was pretty drunk," Sims said, noting the jovial atmosphere that abruptly transformed into shock and chaos.</p> <p>The young man's declaration to his father, followed by his abrupt jump, left bystanders reeling in disbelief: “As we were walking from the hot tub back to the elevators, his dad and brother were walking towards us," Sims continued. "His dad was fussing at him for being drunk, I guess. When we got to them, he said to his dad, ‘I’ll fix this right now.’ And he jumped out the window in front of us all.” </p> <p>Deborah Morrison, another passenger, echoed the sentiments of shock and horror that rippled through the ship. "His family was horrified. Just beside themselves," she recounted. “There was a lot of yelling, and the crew was alerted immediately.”</p> <p>In a statement addressing the tragic incident, Royal Caribbean affirmed its commitment to providing support to the family, while respecting their privacy during this difficult time. </p> <p>Amy Phelps Fouse, another passenger onboard, attested to the sombre atmosphere that enveloped the ship in the wake of the tragedy. Despite the uncertainty that lingered, she commended Royal Caribbean for their transparency and compassionate response to the situation.</p> <p><em>More to come.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Royal Caribbean</em></p>

Cruising

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Undernourished, stressed and overworked: cost-of-living pressures are taking a toll on Australians’ health

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nicole-black-103425">Nicole Black</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anthony-harris-7148">Anthony Harris</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/danusha-jayawardana-1406565">Danusha Jayawardana</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-johnston-1126643">David Johnston</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>For the past few years, it has been impossible to escape the impact of inflation. Meeting our most basic needs – such as food, housing and health care – now costs significantly more, and wage increases <a href="https://futurework.org.au/post/for-most-workers-wages-are-still-failing-to-keep-up-with-inflation/">haven’t kept up</a>.</p> <p>There are signs relief could be on the horizon. Inflation has fallen to its <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/consumer-price-index-australia/latest-release">lowest levels</a> since January 2022.</p> <p>But Australia now also finds itself in the midst of an <a href="https://theconversation.com/prepare-to-hear-about-an-official-recession-unofficially-weve-been-in-one-for-some-time-224963">economic downturn</a>, putting further pressure on households.</p> <p>Rising prices have an obvious negative impact on our financial health. But they can also have a profound effect on our physical and mental wellbeing, which is often overlooked.</p> <p>Australians may continue to feel the health effects of high inflation for quite some time.</p> <h2>It’s costing more to live well</h2> <p>Between March 2021 and March 2023, the price of goods and services <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/consumer-price-index-australia/jun-quarter-2023">rose substantially</a>, marking a period of high <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/education/resources/explainers/inflation-and-its-measurement.html">inflation</a>.</p> <p><iframe id="5vFeh" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/5vFeh/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Worryingly, the prices of basic needs that are important for staying healthy – nutritious food, health care, housing and utilities – rose between 11% and 36%.</p> <h2>Who is affected the most?</h2> <p>Higher prices on essentials are virtually impossible to dodge, but they impact certain groups of people more than others.</p> <p>Wealthier households have managed their higher expenses by <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/fsr/2023/oct/pdf/financial-stability-review-2023-10.pdf">cutting back on discretionary spending and dipping into savings</a>.</p> <p>However, lower income households spend <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/fsr/2023/oct/household-business-finances-in-australia.html#:%7E:text=Lower%20income%20households%2C%20including%20many,than%20households%20on%20higher%20incomes.">a much larger portion of their income</a> on housing and other essentials.</p> <p>Without a savings buffer, these households experience severe financial strain and poor health outcomes.</p> <h2>Financial stress affects our health</h2> <p>Our research shows that high inflation has <a href="https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/resources/resource-download/high-inflation-and-implications-for-health">a range of effects</a> on people’s health.</p> <p>These effects fall into three main groups: material hardship, psychosocial, and behavioural.</p> <p><strong>1. Material hardship</strong></p> <p>People facing material hardship can’t meet their basic needs because they can’t afford to pay for them.</p> <p>Material hardship can present itself in a variety of ways:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://theconversation.com/how-many-australians-are-going-hungry-we-dont-know-for-sure-and-thats-a-big-part-of-the-problem-195360">food insecurity</a> – not getting adequate nutrition</li> <li><a href="https://theconversation.com/1-in-4-households-struggle-to-pay-power-bills-here-are-5-ways-to-tackle-hidden-energy-poverty-204672">energy poverty</a> – struggling to pay for electricity and gas</li> <li>deferred health care – putting off medical treatment</li> <li>housing insecurity – struggling to find a stable place to live.</li> </ul> <p>Between August 2022 and February 2023, when inflation hit its highest levels in 33 years, over half (53%) of surveyed Australians reported <a href="https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/data/taking-the-pulse-of-the-nation-2022/2023/australians-face-challenging-budgetary-constraints">struggling to afford</a> their basic needs.</p> <p>Finding ourselves in this situation can have far-reaching implications for our health.</p> <p>For example, food insecurity is linked to <a href="https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/VH_High-Inflation-Paper_FINAL_1.pdf">an increased risk of poor nutrition, obesity and chronic illness</a>, as households facing cost-of-living pressures shift towards cheaper, lower-quality food options.</p> <p>Energy poverty is linked to <a href="https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/VH_High-Inflation-Paper_FINAL_1.pdf">physical and mental health problems</a> as people struggle to keep warm in wintertime, and cool in the summer.</p> <p>Delaying health care <a href="https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/VH_High-Inflation-Paper_FINAL_1.pdf">increases</a> the risk of facing severe health problems, staying in hospital for longer, and being admitted to the emergency department. This isn’t just worse for individuals, it’s also far more costly for our health care system.</p> <p><strong>2. Psychosocial effects</strong></p> <p>Psychosocial effects are the ways in which cost-of-living pressures impact our mind and social relationships.</p> <p>Difficulties in meeting our basic needs are strongly associated with <a href="https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/VH_High-Inflation-Paper_FINAL_1.pdf">increased levels of psychological distress</a>, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.</p> <p>This impact can worsen over time if individuals experience sustained financial stress.</p> <p>By undermining our ability to work well, the psychosocial effects of prolonged financial stress can initiate a “vicious cycle”, leading to reduced productivity and lower earnings.</p> <p>Financial stress can also have a detrimental impact on spousal relationships, which can affect the mental health of other household members such as children.</p> <p><strong>3. Behavioural effects</strong></p> <p>Cost-of-living pressures can also cause a number of changes in the way we behave.</p> <p>For many, these pressures have become a reason to work longer hours and gain additional income.</p> <p>Last year, Australians collectively worked 4.6% longer, an <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia/aug-2023">extra 86 million hours</a>.</p> <p>But working longer hours <a href="https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/VH_High-Inflation-Paper_FINAL_1.pdf">reduces people’s overall health</a>, especially among parents of young children facing greater time constraints.</p> <p>It also leaves less time for activities that help to keep people healthy, such as getting regular exercise and cooking healthy meals.</p> <h2>How can policymakers respond?</h2> <p>In theory, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s primary tool for combating inflation – raising interest rates – should help. By reducing aggregate spending in the economy, it is designed to put downward pressure on prices.</p> <p>But by bluntly increasing the cost of borrowing, it also puts significant short-term financial pressure on both lower-income mortgage holders and renters.</p> <p>Better acknowledgement of this fact, and of inflation’s broader impact on people’s physical and mental health, would be a great start.</p> <p>When formulating policy responses to high inflation, governments could factor health and wellbeing impacts into their assessment of the trade-offs between alternative policy responses.</p> <p>This could help minimise any policy’s long-term negative health consequences and its impact on the health care system.</p> <p>Policymakers could also focus on making sure affordable and timely access to health care, especially mental health support, is made available to those most vulnerable to cost-of-living pressures.<!-- 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/223625/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/nicole-black-103425">Nicole Black</a>, Associate Professor of Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anthony-harris-7148">Anthony Harris</a>, Professor of Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/danusha-jayawardana-1406565">Danusha Jayawardana</a>, Research Fellow in Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-johnston-1126643">David Johnston</a>, Professor of Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: 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/undernourished-stressed-and-overworked-cost-of-living-pressures-are-taking-a-toll-on-australians-health-223625">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Full cast for I'm A Celeb revealed

<p>The much-anticipated premiere of <em>I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!</em> hit screens with a bang, revealing a star-studded lineup of personalities ready to face the challenges of the South African jungle. Channel 10 unveiled the roster on Sunday's premiere episode, promising viewers an exciting season ahead.</p> <p>Leading the charge was none other than Hollywood child star Frankie Muniz, known for his iconic role in <em>Malcolm in the Middle</em>. Muniz, who surprised both fans and fellow contestants with his presence, was joined by an array of intriguing personalities, each bringing their own flair to the jungle.</p> <p>Retired Australian iron-woman Candice Warner, wife of cricketer David Warner, made a notable entrance, expressing her surprise at Muniz's participation. Alongside Warner, the lineup boasted a diverse mix of talents, including retired Paralympian Ellie Cole, British comedian Stephen K. Amos, influencer Skye Wheatley, and former Studio 10 host Tristan MacManus.</p> <p>The premiere episode kicked off with Muniz leading the pack, setting the stage for a series of nerve-wracking challenges. Hosted by the dynamic duo of Julia Morris and Robert Irwin, the celebrities faced their first trial: Warner locked in a glass room teeming with cockroaches, while her campmates braved a mystery box challenge to secure her release.</p> <p>However, the drama didn't stop there. Wheatley's fear of snakes led to a tearful breakdown during her challenge, highlighting the intense nature of the jungle environment. Yet, despite the obstacles, the contestants displayed resilience and determination, setting the tone for an adrenaline-fuelled season.</p> <p>As the episode unfolded, additional celebrities were unveiled, including AFL legend Peter Daicos, radio host Brittany Hockley, fitness guru Michelle Bridges, <em>Love Island </em>star Callum Hole, and <em>MasterChef</em> contestant Khanh Ong.</p> <p>Among the standout contestants is Michelle Bridges, renowned for her role on <em>The Biggest Loser</em> and her thriving fitness empire. Similarly, Khanh Ong, known for his culinary prowess on <em>MasterChef Australia</em>, brings a unique skill set to the jungle environment. With such a diverse cast, the dynamics within the camp are sure to be electric.</p> <p>The premiere also offered glimpses into the personal lives of the contestants, from Cole's inspiring journey as a Paralympic swimmer to Warner's resilience showcased on <em>SAS Australia</em>. </p> <p>As the season progresses, viewers can expect more surprises, twists, and edge-of-your-seat moments. With an intruder poised to shake things up and a cast described as a "national treasure", the stage is set for an unforgettable season. </p> <p><em>Images: Network Ten</em></p>

TV

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Millions of Aussies set for power bill relief

<p>Millions of Aussies are set for some financial relief, with electricity costs set to drop by up to 7 per cent in the coming months. </p> <p>The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and Victoria's Essential Services Commission (ESC) both released their draft default market offers - the maximum energy retailers are allowed to charge customers - for the 2024-25 financial year. </p> <p>Under the AER draft, residents in Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter on the default offer will pay between 3 and 3.4 per cent less for electricity starting from July 1. </p> <p>The biggest drop is set for Victoria, with the ESC proposing a 6.4 per cent decrease. </p> <p>Those in Western Sydney, the Illawarra, and South Coast, will see their electricity bills decrease by 1.9 to 7.1 per cent. </p> <p>South Australians will receive a drop between 0.5 and 2.5 per cent. </p> <p>A number of small business customers will also benefit from lower power bill costs with 9.7 per cent for Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter; 4.4 per cent for Western Sydney and the South Coast; 0.3 per cent for South-East Queensland; 8.2 per cent for South Australia; and 7 per cent for Victoria.</p> <p>Energy Minister Chris Bowen welcomed the news of lower power bill costs, but acknowledged that it will continue to play a part in the cost of living challenges faced by many Australians. </p> <p>"This is encouraging news," he said.</p> <p>"Encouraging for those small businesses and families who will receive lower energy bills as a result.</p> <p>"But nobody should suggest that there aren't real cost of living pressures around the world and in Australia, and energy prices are of course part of that and will continue to be."</p> <p>Not everyone will see a drop, with customers in the rest of regional NSW to get a small increase of 0.9 per cent, while the default offer for South East Queensland will increase by up to 2.7 per cent.</p> <p>While not all households are on the default offer, Bowen said that the AER's decision will also affect those not on the offer. </p> <p>"This either impacts directly or indirectly your energy bill," he said.</p> <p>"Directly for those on the default market offer. For those who aren't on the direct market offer, indirectly - the energy companies have to benchmark themselves against this, tell their consumers how they compare to this, and it provides very real pressure on them to match it.</p> <p>"If they don't, consumers will know about it and will make choices accordingly.</p> <p>"It's partly about those on the default market offer, but it actually impacts on all our bills indirectly."</p> <p>AER chair Clare Savage said that the cost of living crisis was the main contributor for their draft decision. </p> <p>"We know that economic conditions have put pressure on many Australians and the increases in electricity prices over the last two years has made energy less affordable for many households," she said. </p> <p>"In light of this, the AER has, in this decision, placed increased weight on protecting consumers." </p> <p>The draft decision is not final, with both the AER and ESC to receive consultation and feedback from stakeholders before confirming their default market offers in May.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Millions of eligible Aussies about to receive financial boost

<p>Starting this Wednesday, millions of Australians relying on Centrelink benefits will see a welcome increase in their payments. With indexation kicking in, fortnightly boosts ranging from $14 to $30 will be allocated to eligible recipients, depending on their specific circumstances and the type of payment they receive.</p> <p>This adjustment will not only benefit current beneficiaries but also extend support to more individuals, with an additional 77,000 parents now qualifying for higher payment rates. The eligibility criteria for certain payments have been expanded, particularly for parents whose youngest child is under 14, a significant extension from the previous threshold of under eight.</p> <p>Income and assets limits tied to these payments will also experience an uptick in line with the indexation process, offering further relief to recipients. But how exactly will these increments manifest across different categories of payments?</p> <p>For single parents, the fortnightly payment will see a boost of $17.50, while partnered parents will witness an increase of $12.30 individually. Moreover, the income free area will rise to $1,345 for each person, an enhancement of $20 per fortnight.</p> <p>Jobseekers with children or those aged over 55 will receive an additional $14.40 fortnightly. Single JobSeeker recipients without children and individuals aged over 22 on ABSTUDY will enjoy a $13.50 increase per fortnight, with couples receiving an extra $12.30 each.</p> <p>Rent assistance, however, will see relatively modest increments, ranging from $2.27 to $3.40, depending on the recipient's family situation.</p> <p>For those on the age pension, disability support pension, and carer payment, the increase is more substantial, with singles receiving an extra $19.60 and couples combined receiving $29.40 each fortnight. This brings the maximum rate of the pension to $1116.30 for singles and $1682.80 for couples, including pension and energy supplements.</p> <p>Amanda Rishworth, the Social Services Minister, explains that indexation plays a crucial role in ensuring that welfare recipients can cope with inflation and the rising cost of living – and that addressing these pressures remains a top priority for the government.</p> <p>This increase in Centrelink payments comes at a critical time when many Australians are grappling with economic uncertainty due to various factors, including the ongoing pandemic. While these adjustments may seem modest to some, they can make a significant difference for those relying on welfare support to make ends meet.</p> <p>It's essential for eligible individuals to stay informed about these changes and ensure they receive the full benefits they're entitled to. For those who may be unsure about their eligibility or how to navigate the system, seeking assistance from Centrelink or relevant support services can provide valuable guidance.</p> <p>As the cost of living continues to evolve, initiatives like indexation serve as vital mechanisms for maintaining the welfare safety net and supporting vulnerable members of society. By keeping pace with economic realities, these adjustments strive to provide meaningful relief to those who need it most, contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society for all Australians.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Heartless theft from "Garden of Little Angels"

<p>In a despicable act of heartlessness, dozens of bronze plaques dedicated to children have been stolen from a memorial park in Melbourne's southwest. The theft not only deprives grieving families of precious mementos but also desecrates a sacred space meant to honour the memory of lost loved ones.</p> <p>Victoria police were alerted to the crime when it was discovered that 75 plaques had been taken from Altona Memorial Park on Doherty’s Road. These plaques, erected in the "Garden of Little Angels", were loving tributes from families who had lost children, serving as symbols of remembrance and healing for those who visit the park.</p> <p>The theft, which occurred sometime between March 12 and 13, has left the community shocked and appalled. It is a violation not only of property but of the sanctity of a space meant for solace and reflection. The perpetrators have callously disregarded the pain of grieving families and the significance of the memorial to the community.</p> <p>In response to this reprehensible act, detectives have issued a warning to scrap metal dealers in the area to remain vigilant against any attempts to sell the stolen plaques. These plaques, though they may hold some monetary value as scrap metal, are priceless to the families who placed them in the memorial park, with their sentimental worth far outweighing any material gain.</p> <p>The police are actively investigating the theft and are urging anyone with information to come forward. The return of the stolen plaques to their rightful place is paramount in restoring a sense of peace and closure to the families affected by this crime.</p> <p><em>Images: Altona Memorial Park</em></p>

Legal

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Hall of Fame fighter hospitalised after saving elderly parents from fire

<p>In the heart of Ohio, a story of heroism and sacrifice has emerged from the flames of a devastating house fire.</p> <p>Mark Coleman, a revered figure in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), found himself in the midst of a harrowing ordeal, where his actions transcended the octagon to demonstrate unparalleled bravery and love for family.</p> <p>On a fateful Tuesday morning, as the dawn painted the sky over Fremont, Ohio, tragedy struck the Coleman household. Details of the fire initially emerged through local news outlets, shrouded in anonymity. However, it wasn't long before the truth surfaced – it was Mark Coleman, the UFC legend, who had selflessly rushed into the inferno to rescue his elderly parents from imminent danger.</p> <p>Reports indicated that Coleman, aged 59, wasted no time in the face of adversity. With unwavering determination, he courageously carried both of his parents, Dan and Connie Foos Coleman, to safety, braving the engulfing flames that threatened to consume their home. Yet, his valour knew no bounds as he plunged back into the fiery abyss, driven by an instinctive urge to save another beloved member of the family – their loyal dog, Hammer.</p> <p>Tragically, despite his desperate efforts, the canine companion did not survive the blaze. Coleman's daughter, Kenzie, revealed on social media that Hammer's persistent barking had roused her father from slumber, ultimately saving his life. This heartbreaking loss added another layer of sorrow to an already traumatic event.</p> <p>As news of Coleman's heroic act spread, an outpouring of support and prayers flooded social media platforms. His second daughter Morgan, in an emotional Instagram post, recounted her father's selfless deeds and pleaded for continued prayers during this trying time. To the Coleman family, Mark wasn't just a UFC pioneer; he was a beacon of strength and resilience, a cherished father and a beloved friend.</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/C4bQHaopteq/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C4bQHaopteq/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Morgan Coleman (@mocoleman18)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Mark Coleman's legacy in the world of MMA is undeniable. Dubbed "The Godfather of Ground-and-Pound", he etched his name in the annals of UFC history as the organisation's inaugural heavyweight champion in 1997. His contributions to the sport earned him a well-deserved place in the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008, solidifying his status as a true icon.</p> <p>However, beyond the glitz and glory of the octagon, Coleman's journey has been marked by personal struggles and triumphs. In 2020, he battled a heart attack, a testament to his resilience in the face of adversity. A year later, he confronted his demons, seeking rehabilitation for alcoholism, and emerged stronger, embracing a healthier lifestyle.</p> <p>Author Jonathan Snowden, who shared a close bond with Coleman and was poised to document his remarkable life story, offered a glimpse into the aftermath of the fire. Through poignant images capturing the devastation, Snowden provided a raw and unfiltered portrayal of the ordeal. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">This is what's left of the house Mark Coleman and his family were in last night. </p> <p>Mark's dog Hammer woke him up to a house in flames. He saved both his parents and is fighting for his life. <a href="https://t.co/hicYhv7SDm">pic.twitter.com/hicYhv7SDm</a></p> <p>— Jonathan Snowden (@JESnowden) <a href="https://twitter.com/JESnowden/status/1767637195555299781?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 12, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p><em>Images: Instagram / Twitter (X)</em></p>

Caring

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Princess Kate sensationally speaks out over photo fiasco

<p>Kensington Palace's attempt to quell speculation about Kate Middleton's health has ignited a storm of controversy, raising concerns about the future Queen's well-being to feverish levels.</p> <p>The Princess of Wales, at 42, issued an unprecedented statement on Monday morning, UK time, taking responsibility for what was described as <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/princess-kate-s-post-surgery-pic-ignites-even-wilder-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"editing" an official portrait </a> released on Sunday for Mother’s Day.</p> <p>This portrait, featuring Kate alongside her three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis – was eagerly anticipated as it marked the first sighting of the Princess since her mysterious abdominal surgery in January and subsequent disappearance from the public eye.</p> <p>However, far from dispelling concerns, the photograph seemed to amplify existing suspicions about her health, with many pointing out apparent discrepancies and suggesting it had been manipulated. The situation escalated when four major photo agencies issued "kill notice" orders for the image, alleging it had been "manipulated at the source [palace]."</p> <p>In a rare move, Kate Middleton took to X (Twitter) to address the controversy directly, admitting to the editing mishap and expressing regret for any confusion caused by the altered image. </p> <p>"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she wrote. "I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C"</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Despite her efforts to diffuse the situation, the fallout continued to unravel. </span>Royal watchers and fans reacted strongly to the events, with some accusing the palace of using Kate as a scapegoat and questioning the integrity of the institution itself. Omid Scobie, a UK author known for his association with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, highlighted the palace's history of misinformation and suggested that regaining public trust would be an uphill battle.</p> <p>“It’s fair to say that most photos released by the offices of public figures have been retouched in some way, so *if* this was an isolated incident then it would just be an unfortunate error," Scobie wrote.</p> <p>"But with the Palace’s long history of lying, covering up, and even issuing statements on behalf of family members without their permission (cc: Prince Harry), it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the public to believe a word (and now photo) they share. Gaining that back at this point is an almost impossible task.” </p> <p>Piers Morgan strongly urged the palace to release the unedited version of the photo to quell speculation. Failure to do so, he warned, would only fuel further conspiracy theories.</p> <p>As the debate raged on social media, with Kate Middleton's name trending worldwide, users dissected the image, pointing out inconsistencies and suggesting alternative theories. The withdrawal of the photo by major news agencies, citing editorial issues, have only added fuel to the fire, further intensifying speculation.</p> <p>Amidst the controversy, Princess Kate's prolonged absence from the public eye following her hospitalisation in January has only heightened concerns. <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/kate-middleton-spotted-for-the-first-time-since-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Her recent appearance</a>, photographed near Windsor Castle, marked her first public sighting in over two months, adding to the intrigue surrounding her health.</p> <p>As the debate continues, the fallout from this incident may have lasting implications for both Kate Middleton and the institution she represents.</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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"Unfair" parking fines could soon be a thing of the past

<p>In recent years, road users in one Australian state have found themselves at the receiving end of unwelcome surprises in their mailboxes.</p> <p>An experimental parking fine process, initiated with the aim of streamlining administrative procedures, has instead garnered significant backlash from unsuspecting motorists.</p> <p>However, relief seems to be on the horizon as the New South Wales Government steps in to rectify the situation.</p> <p>The issue revolves around the introduction of ticketless parking fines, a system that was implemented with the intention of simplifying the issuance of penalties for parking violations. Under this scheme, parking officers could send details of fines directly to Revenue NSW, which would then dispatch infringement notices either by post or through the Service NSW app.</p> <p>However, what was meant to be a simple and streamlined modernisation effort has led to a surge in revenue from fines and a subsequent erosion of trust in the system.</p> <p>Concerns about the fairness and transparency of ticketless fines have been mounting, prompting action from the NSW government. Reports indicate that Finance Minister Courtney Houssos has written to all 128 local councils in the state, urging them to halt further adoption of the ticketless parking fine system. Instead, councils have been instructed to revert to traditional ticketing methods and ensure that drivers are promptly made aware of fines at the time of the offence.</p> <p>The move comes in response to a range of issues highlighted by critics of the ticketless system. One major concern is the lack of immediate notification, which diminishes the deterrent effect of fines and makes it difficult for motorists to contest them effectively.</p> <p>Without receiving timely notification, drivers may struggle to gather evidence or address issues such as inadequate signage, hidden signs, or other circumstances that could warrant a review of the fine.</p> <p>Organisations like the National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) have been vocal opponents of the ticketless scheme, labelling it as "unfair" and criticising its impact on transparency.</p> <p>According to NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury, the system reduces the ability of drivers to contest fines, thereby undermining their rights and contributing to a loss of community trust in the administration of fines.</p> <p>The NSW government's intervention signals a recognition of these concerns and a commitment to restoring confidence in the fines system. By prioritising immediate notification for drivers, authorities aim to address the shortcomings of the ticketless parking fine process.</p> <p>The decision to reverse the experimental system comes amid staggering revenue figures, with nearly $140 million generated from ticketless fines in 2023 alone. While the financial gains may be substantial, they come at the expense of public trust and fairness, prompting a much-needed course correction.</p> <p>As Minister Houssos asserts, providing immediate notification to drivers is not only the right thing to do but also a crucial step towards rebuilding community trust. By ensuring that drivers are promptly informed of fines and have the opportunity to contest them, authorities can strike a balance between effective enforcement and procedural fairness in managing parking violations.</p> <p>As road users await the reinstatement of traditional ticketing methods, they can take solace in the prospect of a fairer and more transparent fines system in the future.</p> <p><em>Images: City of Sydney</em></p>

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