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

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

Travel Trouble

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“Is this illegal?”: Mum sparks debate over divisive rubbish bin tactic

<p>A mother has reignited an age-old debate over neighbourhood etiquette, asking whether it is "illegal or frowned upon” to add rubbish to a neighbour’s wheelie bin if yours is completely full.</p> <p>Brooke Bliss, who lives on the NSW Mid North Coast, said that in her area bins were only collected once a fortnight and her outside bins fill up very quickly as a family of five. </p> <p>Often left with overflowing rubbish by the time collection day rolls around, Bliss admitted that she waits till the "dead of night" on the day before the bins are emptied and tosses a couple of bags of general waste into neighbours' bins.</p> <p>“Is this illegal or frowned upon?” the creator asked her followers in a video online.</p> <p>The mother-of-three explained to <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/mum-sparks-debate-over-widespread-rubbish-bin-tactic-everyone-does---but-is-it-illegal-004710089.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo News Australia</em></a>, “It’s actually super stressful, especially when you have young children… the bins fill up quite quickly.”</p> <p>“I find that my bin is full maybe like the fourth day after it’s just been collected and there’s still another eight or so days to go.”</p> <p>She added that she had “the most lovely neighbours” who would never have an issue with it, but she’d heard of other people being told not to do that by other residents.</p> <p>“I mean, if your neighbours aren’t letting you do that even if they have room in their bin, you then have the rubbish lying around your property because you have nowhere else to put it," Bliss added.</p> <p>Many fellow Aussies commenting on her video said they also sneak rubbish into their neighbours' bins and that once they were on the kerb they were fair game, with one adding, "as long as you're not putting rubbish in recycling or garden waste".</p> <p>“Both our neighbours know we do this to them,” one wrote, while another said, “I do it in broad daylight.” With a third adding, "everyone does this".</p> <p>While there are technically no laws against using your neighbours' bin, trespassing could be an issue unless you wait until the bin is on council land. </p> <p>A spokesman for Bliss's local council said that the move is generally frowned upon unless there is an agreement among neighbours.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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“Greedy” landlord slammed for illegal act

<p>A Victorian landlord has been slammed on social media after admitting to making her tenants pay an illegal pet bond amounting to $1000. </p> <p>The woman made the admission while replying to a post on a Facebook group for Victorian landlords after a member asked for advice about renting to tenants who have pets. </p> <p>"Not knowing everything but in my experience I would rather have pets than kids!" the landlord began. </p> <p>"I would ask for a pet bond. I have one it's $1000 for damages by the pet," she said</p> <p>Pet bonds are illegal in Victoria, and landlords who try to secure it illegally often describe it as a way to cover costs if their pet causes any damages to the property.</p> <p>When the poster replied saying that her tenant offered to provide a pet bond, but she knows they're not legal in Victoria, the landlord confessed that: "I know they are not legal but I always ask for them and my PM (property manager) has been great about them.”</p> <p>“I have lots of pets personally and don’t turn down animals. Again, kids have done more damage than animals in my experience,” she added.</p> <p>“Most renters are happy to do it as it means they can have animals.”</p> <p>In Victoria renters who want a pet on the property must ask the rental provider, and if they refuse the request, the landlord must provide a valid excuse, with assistance dogs being the exception. </p> <p>If a pet causes damages to a property, the cost of these damages can be taken out of the regular bond paid at the start of their tenancy, so a pet bond is not required. </p> <p>Western Australia is the only state where landlords can legally ask for a pet bond, but even then they can only charge a maximum of $260 regardless of how many pets there are. </p> <p>A screenshot of the landlords shocking admission was shared on X by by popular renter’s advocate, Jordie van den Berg with the caption: “Landlord: ‘yeah I know it’s not legal, but I do it anyway’." </p> <p>Outraged renters slammed the landlord's “greedy” and “vile” behaviour, with one calling it “emotional blackmail”. </p> <p>“‘Most renters are happy to pay’ – I’m sure none of them are happy but they need somewhere to live without having to give up their pet," one wrote. </p> <p>“I personally would not describe myself as ‘happy’ to be exploited over an illegal bond that I can’t dispute when you go ahead and invent some bulls**t to keep it because the alternative is that it’s almost impossible to get a rental with pets,” another added. </p> <p>“The most concerning thing is the manager, how many illegal bonds have they taken and where is the money being held? In the agents account, with the owner? It wouldn’t be with fair trading where legal bonds are lodged,” a third wrote. </p> <p>This comes after a recent Rental Affordability report shared by Anglicare Australia revealed that “the housing crisis is the worst it’s ever been." </p> <p>According to the report only 0.6 per cent out of 45,000 listings across the country were considered affordable for a person earning a full-time minimum wage. </p> <p><em>Image: Jordie Berg/ X/ Shutterstock</em></p>

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Two-up, Gallipoli and the ‘fair go’: why illegal gambling is at the heart of the Anzac myth

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-moore-291912">Bruce Moore</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Two-up is an Australian gambling game in which two coins are placed on a small piece of wood called a “kip” and tossed into the air. Bets are laid as to whether both coins will fall with heads or tails uppermost. It is one of the core activities of Anzac Day celebrations - and a beloved tradition.</p> <p>The word <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/ANZAC">ANZAC</a> was created in 1915 as an acronym from Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. By 1916 it was being used emblematically to reflect the traditional view of the virtues displayed by those in the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Gallipoli-Campaign">Gallipoli campaign</a>, especially as these are seen as national characteristics. This cluster of national characteristics includes mateship, larrikin daredevilry, anti-authoritarianism, and egalitarianism.</p> <p>The game of two-up became indicative of these qualities. Mateship was evident in the way the game brought together people of disparate backgrounds. Larrikinism was evident in the defiant rejection of authority and convention.</p> <p>Two-up was always illegal, because the game is an unregulated form of gambling (although from the 1980s it became legal in most Australian states on Anzac Day). But in spite of the illegality, it was widely regarded as the fairest of gambling games, and at the time of the First World War the verbal command for the coins to be spun was not “come in spinner” (as it is now) but “fair go”. Indeed, the important Australian concept of the “fair go” was in part cemented by its role in the game.</p> <p>Two-up was the common pastime of the urban working-class man, and it feeds into the elements of egalitarianism and anti-authoritarianism that are central to both the Anzac myth and the Australian myth.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Two original 1915 Australian pennies in a kip from which they are tossed.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Roland Scheicher/ Wikimedia</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Two-up and wartime life</h2> <p>From the very early period of the First World War, two-up assumed great importance among the Australian troops. Soldiers reported that two-up was played on the battlefield during the Gallipoli campaign, even when under shellfire. As the war dragged on, numerous stories were told about Australian soldiers’ obsession with playing it.</p> <p>In 1918 the <a href="https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10676229">war correspondent Charles Bean</a> studied the daily life of a company of Australian soldiers stationed at a brewery in Querrieu in northern France.</p> <p>He places great emphasis on two-up, writing in his diary in 1918: "Two-up’ is the universal pastime of the men. … It is a game which starts in any quarter of an hour’s interval or lasts the whole afternoon. The side road outside becomes every evening a perfect country fair with groups playing these games in it - a big crowd of 70 or 80 at the bottom the street, in the middle of the road; a smaller crowd of perhaps twenty on a doorstep further up. … The game is supposed to be illegal, I think; but at any rate in this company they wink at it."</p> <p>Two-up was important not just in taking soldiers’ minds off the realities of the war, but also in creating a strong sense of community. Photographs from the war that show the men playing two-up reveal how it brought them together physically in a communal activity.</p> <p>This helps explains why men, who in civilian life may have had little or no interest in gambling, joined in the camaraderie and fun of the two-up fair, and by so doing blotted out the boredom, isolation, and loneliness of much wartime experience.</p> <h2>Anzac Day and tradition</h2> <p>Playing two-up became an integral part of the diggers’ memories of the experience of war, especially when commemorated on Anzac Day. By the 1930s the playing of two-up outdoors after the Anzac Day march had become an entrenched tradition.</p> <p>As the ranks of diggers from the two world wars declined, so the structure of Anzac Day changed in emphasis. In recent years the Dawn Service has increased greatly in popularity, while the Anzac Day march has <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-07/concern-over-australias-dwindling-number-of-world-war-veterans/10911602">suffered from dwindling numbers</a> of veterans. The streets of Sydney and similar cities are no longer dotted with two-up games in the afternoon. The games have shifted to pubs and clubs, and they are largely played by people with no experience of war.</p> <p>Those people who play the game on this day do so not for any deep-seated gambling impulse or because they would love to play the game on every other day of the year. They play two-up because it has become part of the meaning of Anzac Day.</p> <p>Anzac Day has always combined solemnity and festivity. The Dawn Service commemorates the landing at Gallipoli, and the sacrifices that ensued. Its mood is solemn.</p> <p>In the past, returned soldiers reminisced, told war yarns, drank, and played two-up. The soldiers have passed on, but their larrikinism survives in the tradition of the game they have bequeathed to their descendants.</p> <p>We should not underestimate the significance of rituals of this kind—the playing of two-up is a way in which Australians can become not just observers of, but participants in, their history and their myths. Two-up is a ritual that links the present with the past on this one day of the year.<!-- 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/181337/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/bruce-moore-291912">Bruce Moore</a>, Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>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/two-up-gallipoli-and-the-fair-go-why-illegal-gambling-is-at-the-heart-of-the-anzac-myth-181337">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Viral pic of illegal camper sparks local outrage

<p>A viral photo capturing an L-plated Mazda hatchback sprawled across two parking spaces with a rooftop tent erected atop has ignited a storm of controversy in Noosa, Queensland.</p> <p>The image, taken at the Woods Bay carpark by Facebook user and Noosa local Martin Doyle, has thrust the issue of illegal camping and parking violations into the spotlight, prompting calls for stricter enforcement from exasperated locals.</p> <p>The uproar stems from a perceived flouting of parking restrictions and an apparent disregard for Noosa's efforts to curb illegal camping. In response to mounting complaints from the community, Noosa Shire Council implemented a trial "no-parking" zone from 10pm to 4am in August 2023. Despite these measures, reports of overnight campers persist, raising concerns about the strain on local infrastructure and the environment.</p> <p>After Martin shared his contentious photo online, lamenting the lack of enforcement, he urged the council to take firmer action. “Come on council get some teeth and get serious about this camping illegally business,” he wrote. “This was not the only one overnight camping in the area and clearly not homeless.”</p> <p>His sentiments echo those of many residents who are frustrated by the sight of carparks resembling makeshift campgrounds, complete with tents and – worst of all – human waste.</p> <p>While some sympathise with the financial burden of traditional camping accommodations, others argue that respecting parking regulations is non-negotiable, particularly in densely populated tourist hubs like Noosa.</p> <p>The issue also extends beyond Noosa's shores. Similar conflicts between locals and visitors occur in tourist destinations nationwide, from Newcastle's Horseshoe Beach to coastal towns in Far North Queensland. The allure of scenic vistas and budget-friendly travel often collides with the need to maintain order and protect fragile ecosystems.</p> <p><em>Image: Martin Doyle | Facebook | Noosa Council</em> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Woman receives lifetime ban from cruise line over "illegal" item

<p>A 42-year-old mother has received a lifetime ban from Carnival Cruise Line voyages, after she attempted to board one of the company's ships with a seemingly innocent item. </p> <p>Melinda Van Veldhuizen, a nurse practitioner and mother of two from Texas, said she was treated "like a criminal" when cruise ship employees found a bag of the CBD “sleep tight” gummies in her luggage while at a port in Miami. </p> <p>Melinda told local news station <em>WPLG</em> she packed the gummies to help her get some sleep on the August trip she had planned to take with her family to celebrate both her 21st wedding anniversary with her husband and her son’s senior year of high school.</p> <p>Ms Van Veldhuizen was taken to a separate area of the security check-in when the discovery was made, and was questioned by Carnival security and police for two and a half hours. </p> <p>The mother was blocked from boarding the ship, and her husband and son also disembarked as they didn’t want to go on the cruise to Aruba, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic without her.</p> <p>The family had spent just under $9,000AUD on their planned vacation, Ms Van Veldhuizen’s attorney Daren Stabinski told the <em>Washington Post</em>.</p> <p>CBD is a compound commonly derived from hemp that doesn’t cause impairment or a “high,” and is different from marijuana's mind-altering substance of THC. </p> <p>CBD is becoming more readily available across the globe, and is used to treat ailments from chronic pain to sleeplessness. </p> <p>In most parts of the US, CBD products that contain no greater than 0.3 per cent of THC are legal. </p> <p>According to <em>WPLG</em>, Ms Van Veldhuizen’s gummies contained less than 0.01 per cent THC.</p> <p>Despite the product being legal in the state Ms Van Veldhuizen was departing from, the hemp product is prohibited by Carnival Cruise Lines.</p> <p>“While certain CBD products used for medicinal purposes may be legal in the US, they are not legal in all the ports we visit and therefore are also considered prohibited items,” its website states.</p> <p>Soon after Ms Van Veldhuizen was forbidden from going on the cruise she paid for, she received a letter from Carnival informing her she was banned from all Carnival ships for life.</p> <p>The letter signed by Captain Rocco Lubrano states that she will “not be permitted to sail on-board any Carnival Cruise Lines vessel in the future.”</p> <p>“This decision was based on your actions on the current cruise, which were a violation of the ship rules, interfered with the safety and/or enjoyment of other guests on the ship or caused harm to Carnival,” Mr Lubrano wrote.</p> <p>Ms Van Veldhuizen said she has taken more than a dozen Carnival cruises over the years and was freaked out by the letter and the whole experience, and was not expecting such a severe reaction. </p> <p>“I thought it was one of those situations where you’re like, ‘Oh shoot, I left a bottle of water in my backpack; you gotta throw it away,’ kind of thing like that happens at TSA,” she said.</p> <p>Ms Van Veldhuizen is pursuing an internal claim with Carnival, but has threatened to sue if her situation isn’t resolved “appropriately” and hired Mr Stabinski to assist her. </p> <p>“Out of all the cases I take, this one was just specifically outrageous,” Mr Stabinski said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: WPLG</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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“This should be illegal”: Pop icon sends fans into a tizzy over shirtless pics

<p dir="ltr">Harry Styles has sent his fans into a tizzy after he was snapped cooling off on a scorching day in London.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 29-year-old pop star was spotted enjoying a much needed break from his two-year run on the road with his Love on Tour concerts, as he soaked in the sunshine in the UK heatwave. </p> <p dir="ltr">Styles went shirtless and showed off his tattoos as he dived into a public bathing pond in Hampstead, North London, as temperatures soared above 30 degrees for the sixth day in a row.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He kept a low profile and went mostly unrecognised. He was swimming laps and practising his diving,” an onlooker told <em><a href="https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/9050688/harry-styles-abs-swimming-heatwave/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Sun</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The steamy pics have sent diehard fans into a frenzy, with several fan accounts reposting the photos, with one fan writing, “He’s so hot, this should be illegal.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Styles has been spotted around London several times over the last few weeks while on his break from tour, with fans recently seeing him cycling around the city centre with James Corden. </p> <p dir="ltr">Styles and Corden were also seen at the National Theatre together, watching a performance of The Effect, starring Canadian actress Taylor Russell, who is rumoured to be Styles’ new girlfriend. </p> <p dir="ltr">Following the performance, Styles and Russell were soon canoodling with other cast members. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It looked like they were holding hands,” a source told Page Six at the time.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Harry stayed by Taylor’s side the whole time. He introduced her to James and was whispering to her and laughing and smiling.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

Body

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The truth about ‘illegal’ car snacks revealed

<p>Be it a long haul trip between towns, a coastal getaway, or an early morning Saturday sports run to the local oval, drivers all across Australia have found themselves steering to the drive-through or reaching in the Esky for a much-needed snack. </p> <p>And while rumours have swirled for years that such an act could put hungry drivers behind bars, they don’t have to fear any longer. Road rules may differ from state to state, but at the end of the drive, the answer remains the same: it isn’t illegal to eat while driving in Australia. </p> <p>There are, of course, various conditions that come along with the ruling, and most circle back to whether or not a driver is in complete control over their vehicle at the time of snacking. </p> <p>For example, in New South Wales, if you are found to have lost control of your vehicle due to eating, police officers have the power to impose a fine of $481 and three demerit points. </p> <p>In Victoria, there is no specific rule that prevents drivers from digging in on their drive. However, they can still receive a careless driving charge if eating is found to have a negative impact on either their concentration or their control over their vehicle. This charge comes with a penalty of $444 and - like New South Wales - three demerit points, as well as a maximum of 12 court penalty units if the driver is found guilty by a magistrate. </p> <p>The state of Queensland follows suit - it isn’t illegal there either, though “distracted driving” remains a real threat, with research even determining that eating can be just as dangerous as texting while behind the wheel. And drivers found to be travelling without control over their vehicles can face a fine of up to $575. While this is larger than either New South Wales or Victoria’s financial penalty, the demerit point cost remains the same at three. </p> <p>As a spokesperson for Queensland Transport and Main Roads told <em>Drive</em>, “a driver must always have proper control of their vehicle and drive with care and attention for the safety of other road users.</p> <p>"While there are no specific laws prohibiting a driver from eating while driving, it is up to the driver to ensure they remain in proper control of their vehicle and sufficiently alert to the road environment."</p> <p>And for drivers in the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia, and South Australia, <em>Drive</em> have reported that the message essentially remains the same. While there are no rules that specifically prohibit behind-the-wheel snacking, a driver can - and will - face penalties if they are found to be demonstrating poor control of their vehicle.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Don’t say cheese! Travel destinations where photos are illegal

<p dir="ltr">While many happy travellers love to immortalise their holiday with a collection of photos, there are some places that don’t allow for pics to be taken. </p> <p dir="ltr">In several destinations across the globe, tourists are actually banned from taking selfies and can even get fined for breaking the rules.</p> <p dir="ltr">So before you pull out your camera and strike a pose, you might want to check if what you’re snapping a photo of is legal. </p> <p dir="ltr">Here are just a few places where taking photos isn’t allowed. </p> <p><strong>The Sistine Chapel, Vatican City</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The use of professional cameras and phones is strictly prohibited in the Sistine Chapel so don't even think about it. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to <a href="https://www.vaticancitytours.it/blog/are-cameras-allowed-in-the-vatican-city/#:~:text=Sistine%20Chapel&amp;text=The%20real%20reason%20for%20the,companies%20to%20fund%20the%20project.">VaticanCityTours,</a> the reason you can't take pictures dates back to 1980 when the chapel was restored due to damage caused by flash photography. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Mecca Pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In Saudi Arabia, it is against the law to take photos of worshippers during Hajj, otherwise known as their pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. </p> <p>This is due to it being disrespectful to snap people while they are on their religious journey. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The Blue Mosque, Turkey</strong></p> <p>Taking a photo of the outside of the iconic Blue Mosque is totally okay, but snapping any photos of the interior is a big no. </p> <p>Visitors also must follow strict dress codes as well as other rules and regulations.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Anne Frank's House, Amsterdam</strong></p> <p>Taking photos or selfies in the House of Anne Frank is not allowed inside the museum due to its serious nature.</p> <p>There is a very sombre mood within the historical house, making it a time for reflection, not for flash photography. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Palace of Versailles, France</strong></p> <p>Photos of both the Palace and the surrounding gardens are strictly prohibited for all travellers. </p> <p>This is due to concerns about the preservation of artwork and the safety of visitors.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Garoupe Beach, France</strong></p> <p>The famous Garoupe beach in southern France banned holidaymakers from taking selfies during the busy season in the middle of summer.</p> <p dir="ltr">The law was first introduced to stop people from bragging about their holiday and just enjoy the stay rather than show off on social media.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Illegal renting practice to be hauled over the coals

<p dir="ltr">Both Labor and Liberal politicians have backed calls to reform the NSW rental market and rental practices.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the property crisis deepens amid rising rents and dwindling stock, rental bidding in particular has been highlighted as a major issue although the practice is banned in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, in NSW, agents and landlords can advertise properties without a fixed rate, or just list a range. The practice creates a situation where applicants can opt to pay high rent, outbidding those who can’t afford to.</p> <p dir="ltr">This comes as vacancy rates have dipped to levels not seen since 2003, while prices have increased by 3.2%, recent data has revealed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking with The Daily Telegraph, Fair Trading Minister Victor Dominello said the Department of Fair Trading are currently preparing for a complete overhaul.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is obviously an area where vulnerable people are exposed and needs reform,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I have asked my agency to investigate and come back with recommendations.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to Mr Dominello on Monday morning, <a href="https://www.2gb.com/fair-trading-minister-condemns-dodgy-real-estate-agents/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2GB’s Chris Smith</a> claimed “dodgy real estate agents” were part of the reason NSW residents are pressured to spend so much to secure a rental property.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Dominello said that while some landlords have been forced to increase rents due to rising interest rates, the underlying issue comes down to a lack of rental properties being offered.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s the heart of it. It’s supply and demand,” he told Smith.</p> <p dir="ltr">Shadow Minister for Water, Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson also condemned the trend and welcomed a review into the practice.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Real Estate

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10 baby names that are actually illegal

<p>Australia may be pretty relaxed about many things baby names included, but there are some that go that little bit too far. Offensive, nonsensical or completely irrational and confusing names are all on the “no-go” list including the following:</p> <ol> <li>Medicare number – Yes, somebody has tried to name their child after the string of numbers found on their Medicare card. The Australian Births, Deaths and Marriages registry swiftly banned it.</li> <li>[Blank space] Apart from the befuddling question of how you’d actually address the child, this moniker was banned as it contained symbols, a big no-no.</li> <li>Hitler – Self-explanatory. Worryingly, the name isn’t illegal in the US with a number of families using it as a name.</li> <li>Panties – Banned due to being offensive and a possible reason for a child to be bullied.</li> <li>Pieandsauce – Patriotic? Yes. A good idea for an actual child’s name? No.</li> <li>Facebook – Banned in Mexico and most likely her in Australia.</li> <li>Nutella – It may be delicious but it isn’t baby name material.</li> <li>@ - This one was ruled out due to it using a symbol, which is banned.</li> <li>Talula Does The Hula For Hawaii – Yes, really. A NZ girl was stuck with this name for 9 years before a judge put proceedings in place to allow her to change it. In Australia, this would be banned for being too long.</li> <li>Duke – Popular in the US but banned her in Australia as official titles and ranks are illegal as first names.</li> </ol> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Family & Pets

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This law makes it illegal for companies to collect third-party data to profile you but they do anyway

<p>A little-known provision of the Privacy Act makes it illegal for many companies in Australia to buy or exchange consumers’ personal data for profiling or targeting purposes. It’s almost never enforced. In a published <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4224653" target="_blank" rel="noopener">research paper</a>, I argue that needs to change.</p> <p>“Data enrichment” is the intrusive practice of companies going behind our backs to “fill in the gaps” of the information we provide.</p> <p>When you purchase a product or service from a company, fill out an online form, or sign up for a newsletter, you might provide only the necessary data such as your name, email, delivery address and/or payment information.</p> <p>That company may then turn to other retailers or <a href="https://www.oracle.com/au/cx/advertising/data-enrichment-measurement/#data-enrichment" target="_blank" rel="noopener">data brokers</a> to purchase or exchange extra data about you. This could include your age, family, health, habits and more.</p> <p>This allows them to build a more detailed individual profile on you, which helps them predict your behaviour and more precisely target you with ads.</p> <p>For almost ten years, there has been a law in Australia that makes this kind of data enrichment illegal if a company can “reasonably and practicably” request that information directly from the consumer. And at least <a href="https://consultations.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protections/privacy-act-review-discussion-paper/consultation/view_respondent?_b_index=60&amp;uuId=926016195" target="_blank" rel="noopener">one major data broker</a> has asked the government to “remove” this law.</p> <p>The burning question is: why is there not a single published case of this law being enforced against companies “enriching” customer data for profiling and targeting purposes?</p> <h2>Data collection ‘only from the individual’</h2> <p>The relevant law is Australian Privacy Principle 3.6 and is part of the federal <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2022C00199" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Privacy Act</a>. It applies to most organisations that operate businesses with annual revenues higher than A$3 million, and smaller data businesses.</p> <p>The law says such organisations:</p> <blockquote> <p>must collect personal information about an individual only from the individual […] unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so.</p> </blockquote> <p>This “direct collection rule” protects individuals’ privacy by allowing them some control over information collected about them, and avoiding a combination of data sources that could reveal sensitive information about their vulnerabilities.</p> <p>But this rule has received almost no attention. There’s only one published determination of the federal privacy regulator on it, and that was against the <a href="https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/AICmr/2020/69.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Defence Force</a> in a different context.</p> <p>According to Australian Privacy Principle 3.6, it’s only legal for an organisation to collect personal information from a third party if it would be “unreasonable or impracticable” to collect that information from the individual alone.</p> <p>This exception was intended to apply to <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/australian-privacy-principles-guidelines/chapter-3-app-3-collection-of-solicited-personal-information#collecting-directly-from-the-individual" target="_blank" rel="noopener">limited situations</a>, such as when:</p> <ul> <li>the individual is being investigated for some wrongdoing</li> <li>the individual’s address needs to be updated for delivery of legal or official documents.</li> </ul> <p>The exception shouldn’t apply simply because a company wants to collect extra information for profiling and targeting, but realises the customer would probably refuse to provide it.</p> <h2>Who’s bypassing customers for third-party data?</h2> <p>Aside from data brokers, companies also exchange information with each other about their respective customers to get extra information on customers’ lives. This is often referred to as “data matching” or “data partnerships”.</p> <p>Companies tend to be very vague about who they share information with, and who they get information from. So we don’t know for certain who’s buying data-enrichment services from data brokers, or “matching” customer data.</p> <p>Major companies such as <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202075050&amp;ref_=footer_iba" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Amazon Australia</a>, <a href="https://www.ebay.com.au/help/policies/member-behaviour-policies/user-privacy-notice-privacy-policy?id=4260&amp;mkevt=1&amp;mkcid=1&amp;mkrid=705-53470-19255-0&amp;campid=5337590774&amp;customid=&amp;toolid=10001#section4" target="_blank" rel="noopener">eBay Australia</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/privacy/policy/?subpage=1.subpage.4-InformationFromPartnersVendors" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Meta</a> (Facebook), <a href="https://www.viacomcbsprivacy.com/en/policy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10Play Viacom</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/en/privacy#twitter-privacy-1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Twitter</a> include terms in the fine print of their privacy policies that state they collect personal information from third parties, including demographic details and/or interests.</p> <p><a href="https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en-US#infocollect" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Google</a>, <a href="https://preferences.news.com.au/privacy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">News Corp</a>, <a href="https://www.sevenwestmedia.com.au/privacy-policies/privacy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Seven</a>, <a href="https://login.nine.com.au/privacy?client_id=smh" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Nine</a> and others also say they collect personal information from third parties, but are more vague about the nature of that information.</p> <p>These privacy policies don’t explain why it would be unreasonable or impracticable to collect that information directly from customers.</p> <h2>Consumer ‘consent’ is not an exception</h2> <p>Some companies may try to justify going behind customers’ backs to collect data because there’s an obscure term in their privacy policy that mentions they collect personal information from third parties. Or because the company disclosing the data has a privacy policy term about sharing data with “trusted data partners”.</p> <p>But even if this amounts to consumer “consent” under the relatively weak standards for consent in our current privacy law, this is not an exception to the direct collection rule.</p> <p>The law allows a “consent” exception for government agencies under a separate part of the direct collection rule, but not for private organisations.</p> <h2>Data enrichment involves personal information</h2> <p>Many companies with third-party data collection terms in their privacy policies acknowledge this is personal information. But some may argue the collected data isn’t “personal information” under the Privacy Act, so the direct collection rule doesn’t apply.</p> <p>Companies often exchange information about an individual without using the individual’s legal name or email. Instead they may use a unique advertising identifier for that individual, or <a href="https://help.abc.net.au/hc/en-us/articles/4402890310671" target="_blank" rel="noopener">“hash” the email address</a> to turn it into a unique string of numbers and letters.</p> <p>They essentially allocate a “code name” to the consumer. So the companies can exchange information that can be linked to the individual, yet say this information wasn’t connected to their actual name or email.</p> <p>However, this information should still be treated as personal information because it can be linked back to the individual when combined with other <a href="https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCAFC/2017/4.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">information about them</a>.</p> <h2>At least one major data broker is against it</h2> <p>Data broker <a href="https://www.experian.com.au/business/solutions/audience-targeting/digital-solutions-sell-side/digital-audiences-ss" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Experian Australia</a> has asked the government to “remove” Australian Privacy Principle 3.6 “altogether”. In its <a href="https://consultations.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protections/privacy-act-review-discussion-paper/consultation/view_respondent?_b_index=60&amp;uuId=926016195" target="_blank" rel="noopener">submission</a> to the Privacy Act Review in January, Experian argued:</p> <blockquote> <p>It is outdated and does not fit well with modern data uses.</p> </blockquote> <p>Others who profit from data enrichment or data matching would probably agree, but prefer to let sleeping dogs lie.</p> <p>Experian argued the law favours large companies with direct access to lots of customers and opportunities to pool data collected from across their own corporate group. It said companies with access to fewer consumers and less data would be disadvantaged if they can’t purchase data from brokers.</p> <p>But the fact that some digital platforms impose extensive personal data collection on customers supports the case for stronger privacy laws. It doesn’t mean there should be a data free-for-all.</p> <h2>Our privacy regulator should take action</h2> <p>It has been three years since the consumer watchdog recommended <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Digital%20platforms%20inquiry%20-%20final%20report.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">major reforms</a> to our privacy laws to reduce the disadvantages consumers suffer from invasive data practices. These reforms are probably still years away, if they eventuate at all.</p> <p>The direct collection rule is a very rare thing. It is an existing Australian privacy law that favours consumers. The privacy regulator should prioritise the enforcement of this law for the benefit of consumers.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/this-law-makes-it-illegal-for-companies-to-collect-third-party-data-to-profile-you-but-they-do-anyway-190758" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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Claims political parties are illegal deemed “obvious nonsense”

<p dir="ltr">The leader of the unregistered AustraliaOne Party has claimed that political parties are actually illegal under the Australian constitution - but experts have hit back, declaring his claims as false and “obvious nonsense”.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a video interview shared on Facebook and YouTube, Riccardo Bosi makes the claim that “parties are actually illegal under the constitution”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Just because we have it doesn’t mean it’s legal… The constitution actually says you must direct the elector - that’s you, don’t call yourself a voter, call yourself an elector - the elector must directly elect their representative,” he says at around the four-minute mark of the nearly two-hour-long <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcNiPDmSymQ&amp;ab_channel=NUNN2K" target="_blank" rel="noopener">video</a>.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-2d78716f-7fff-296d-29cb-77ce4be09961"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“Now, when you put a party in there, it has interposed itself between the elector and the representative, which is unconstitutional.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/politics-whacko1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Riccardo Bosi (right) says that political parties are unconstitutional in Australia. Image: YouTube</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Experts have since weighed in, with Professor Graeme Orr, an expert in electoral law at the University of Queensland, telling <em><a href="https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck/party-on-constitution-claim-judged-as-utter-nonsense/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">AAP FactCheck</a></em> that Mr Bosi’s claims were “obvious nonsense at many levels”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The claim that political parties are illegal under the Australian Constitution is false,” Dr Ben Saunders, an associate professor at Deakin Law School, said, adding that “the constitution does not attempt to prohibit the existence of political parties in any way”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Professor Orr explained that Mr Bosi’s argument that “the elector must directly elect their representative” also has no bearing on whether political parties exist and that it refers to having elections.</p> <p dir="ltr">“‘Directly’ chosen simply means there must be an election with the names of possible MPs on the ballot,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Bosi’s claims come after he unsuccessfully stood for the seat of Greenway in western Sydney during May’s federal election, receiving just <a href="https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionPage-27966-122.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3.25 percent</a> of votes.</p> <p dir="ltr">Under Section 15 of the constitution, which is the only part to explicitly mention political parties, it notes that if a senator leaves a vacancy and “he was publicly recognised by a particular political party as being an endorsed candidate of that party”, the person who fills that vacancy “shall… be a member of that party”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Citing this section, Professor Anne Twomey, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Sydney, told <em>AAP </em>it is “implausible to argue that political parties are illegal under the constitution”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, was a member of a political party called the Protectionist Party.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dr Saunders added: “Far from being illegal, the existence of parties was in fact a key assumption upon which our constitution was built.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7cdd6b56-7fff-6547-4036-195040c6abd7"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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Illegal fishers and wayward sharks are in the sights of new multispectral imaging

<p>The oceans are warming. Reefs are dying. Fish are on the move.</p> <p>As a result, sharks and illegal fishers are scouring Australia’s coast in search of an increasingly elusive catch, and that, says ESpy Ocean founder Ian Dewey, is having an immense impact on everything from regional tourism to ocean ecologies.</p> <p>Illegal fishers, like sharks, are elusive predators. Their survival depends on being fast, silent and unexpected. They’re threatening a $1.6-billion regional Australia industry.</p> <p>Sharks also aren’t behaving the way they used to. They’re turning up in unexpected places, at unexpected times, which can result in tragedy.</p> <p>“Everyone says use drones or dirigibles to spot them,” Dewey says. “But everyone knows that when we’re on the beach in our string bikinis and Speedos, the last thing we want is a drone above us.”</p> <p>With dark fleets of illegal fishing boats turning off their tracking systems to breach international boundaries, time is of the essence in addressing the problem, just as it is with wayward sharks.</p> <p>“Both are increasing problems,” Dewey says. “I only know in terms of the illegal fishing missions that we’ve been involved in, but invariably there are people around protected areas on a daily basis”.</p> <p>Traditional spotter aircraft can’t cope, and using satellites to track vessels isn’t anything new. What is new is multispectral imaging.</p> <p>A regular camera captures an image on just three channels red, green and blue (RGB) –  generating a crisp image of the visible spectrum if the weather is clear.</p> <p>A multispectral image has up to 110 different frequencies, ranging from ultraviolet to microwave.</p> <p>This imaging technology is nothing new. What is new is applying machine learning to identifying what it “sees”.</p> <p>“So it was a matter of working out what we can do through clouds in all kinds of weather, preferably right on dawn,” says Dewey. “I just started going through what frequencies can do what and – if we are looking for a boat – what the hell’s it gonna look like?”</p> <p>It’s a similar story for sharks – what multispectral signatures do different species give, at what depth, under what conditions, at what time?</p> <p>Dewey says the potential to extract such detail from hyperspectral imaging is enormous.</p> <p>It can identify what a boat is made from, what sort of paint has been used (and how old it is), and what equipment is on the deck.</p> <p>“All these things mean that your picture is different to every other boat in the ocean,” he says. “If we see you today, we can see you tomorrow, match those frequencies, and say – we got you!”</p> <p>ESpy demonstrated the potential of the technology for New South Wales Fisheries over the last Easter long weekend. Suitable satellites were identified, access to their hyperspectral cameras was secured, and patrol vessels were stationed in strategic locations waiting for a call to action.</p> <p>“Our system is incredibly fast, which gives us the edge,” Dewey says. “Generally, our system allows boats to be caught red-handed. That makes it so much easier where the courts are concerned.”</p> <p>The shark-spotting challenge is a more recent project. ESpy is in initial discussions with NSW Fisheries and the University of South Australia’s Industrial AI Research Centre to develop techniques to spot the predators first thing in the morning and use established behavioural patterns to predict where they could move during the day.</p> <p>While trespassing trawlers present a major issue, the deadliest offender is often someone much closer to home. One dragnet can strip an ecosystem of everything from algae and small crustaceans to dolphins and turtles, leaving damage that can take years to recover.</p> <p>“Our big problem in Australia is the little guy who throws out a net once or twice,” Dewey says. “He’s generally local, or at least from within 100-or-so kilometres. But he’s got a high risk of being caught, so he just wants to get in and take as much as possible as quickly as possible.”</p> <p><em><strong><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=195119&amp;title=Illegal+fishers+and+wayward+sharks+are+in+the+sights+of+new+multispectral+imaging" width="1" height="1" />This article originally appeared on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/oceans/espy-oceans-tracking-waters/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Jamie Seidel.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p> <div id="cosmos-link-back"></div>

Travel Trouble

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The most bizarre traffic fines you've never heard of

<p dir="ltr">These little known road rules could cost you thousands of dollars - from splashing pedestrians, to honking goodbye to your mates. It’s just not worth it. </p> <ol> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Leaving your key in the ignition</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">You may think it’s saving you time because “I’m just going to be a couple of seconds/minutes” but doing this can cost you $114. </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, why would you risk having your car stolen?</p> <ol start="2"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Flashing headlights to warn of speed camera or RBT</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">Other motorists will love you for the heads up but at what cost? $116 and a loss of one demerit point. </p> <ol start="3"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Not giving way to horses</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">Bit of a weird one but you could be slugged with a $130 fine if you do not give way to horses on the road. </p> <p dir="ltr">Motorists must move as far left as possible and turn off the engine until the horse has trotted past.</p> <ol start="4"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Splashing pedestrians</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">It may look like fun but imagine how the pedestrians feel? However, the $187 fine is actually only limited to splashing pedestrians waiting at a bus stop. </p> <ol start="5"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Speeding up while being overtaken</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">Drivers who speed up while someone is trying to overtake them could be slapped with a $344 fine and lose two demerit points. </p> <ol start="6"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Cutting through service station</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">We’re all guilty of cutting through the servo to not waste time at the red light. Not only is it dangerous and puts pedestrians at risk, but you will be handed a fine of $349. </p> <ol start="7"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Driving over nature strip in school zone</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">Just don’t do it. You have kids walking, running or playing around and the last thing you want is to endanger them. </p> <p dir="ltr">If caught driving on the nature strip say goodbye to four demerit points and hello to the $464 fine. </p> <ol start="8"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Throwing apple core out the window</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">Wait until you get home to throw away your rubbish and not out the car window. You may think it’s fine because an apple core is biodegradable, but it’s not. </p> <p dir="ltr">It will cost you $533 and two demerits so save your rubbish for when you get home.</p> <ol start="9"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Using your phone to pay at a drive-through</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">We all know it's illegal to touch your phone while driving and in the drive-thru it’s not any different.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before even grabbing your phone to pay, you need to put your car into park and switch off the ignition. </p> <p dir="ltr">If caught doing the wrong thing you better hope the meal is worth the $534 fine. </p> <ol start="10"> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>Beeping goodbye and waving</strong></p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">We’re all guilty of tooting our horn when leaving a family or friend’s place. But the fine is so hefty just remember you already said goodbye.</p> <p dir="ltr">If caught using your horn unnecessarily, you will be hit with $349 and waving will cost you another $349 because no body part should be outside of the vehicle.</p> <p dir="ltr">All together it’s $698 and three demerits. Not worth it at all. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Aussie expat discovers list of things that are illegal Down Under

<p>An Australian living in the UK has compiled a list of things that she didn't know were illegal in Australia until she moved overseas. </p> <p>Sharing the video on TikTok, Rhiannon was baffled by the UK's relaxed laws when she relocated to Brighton in the country's south. </p> <p>The Aussie expat was shocked to discover how many things she could get away with in the UK without a fine, like drinking outside and riding a bike without a helmet. </p> <p>"Doing things in the UK that are illegal in Australia," Rhiannon captioned her now-viral video, which has over 3.7 million views.</p> <p>Her first rebellious act was jaywalking, which is completely legal in the UK but can result in a $220 fine in Australia.</p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; width: 610px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7070904397538086149&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40rhiannon.cunningham%2Fvideo%2F7070904397538086149&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-va.tiktokcdn.com%2Ftos-maliva-p-0068%2Fbf2ccabe024f4f39b5c2c531e21452ac_1646323224%7Etplv-tiktok-play.jpeg%3Fx-expires%3D1647579600%26x-signature%3DdoBHOSlZPty%252BAq7826AeROEE%252F94%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"> </div> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;">According to the Road Rules 2014 act, jaywalking can cost pedestrians up to $220, but if you choose to have the matter determined by a court, the maximum penalty increases to a hefty $2,200.</p> <p>Next, Rhiannon put her feet on the seat of a UK train, which can cost Aussies up to $1,100 in fines, according to Transport NSW.</p> <p>Rhiannon was also shocked to discover that in both England and Wales, citizens over 18 years of age are permitted to drink in public. </p> <p>These rules differ state-to-state in Australia, however drinking in public places outside licensed premises and in council-designated no-alcohol zones is illegal.</p> <p>The expat then went for a bike ride without wearing a helmet, which is perfectly legal in the UK. </p> <p>In Australia, bike riders are required by law to wear a helmet, with the maximum penalty hitting NSW residents with a $344 fine. </p> <p>Rhiannon's comment section on the video was flooded by fellow expats, with one British woman claiming she was shocked at Australia's rigid laws when she visited Down Under. </p> <p>"When I went over to Aus to see my sister, I was too stunned to speak at being told you couldn't just cross the road," she said.</p> <p>Despite Rhiannon's video, many people have claimed that Aussies don't abide by these laws, and are viewed more as guidelines. </p> <p>"Do people actually think Aussies abide by these rules?" one person asked. "I've lived in Australia my whole life and never heard of any of these 'laws'," another said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok @rhiannon.cunningham</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Tourist sentenced to eight years in prison over a drone flight

<p><em>Image: News.com.au</em></p> <p>A French tourist has been sentenced to more than eight years in a notorious Iranian prison after he was arrested on spying charges, all because of a drone.</p> <p>Benjamin Briere, 36, was arrested in May 2020 after taking pictures in a national park near the Iran-Turkmenistan border with a recreational drone.</p> <p>This week, the French citizen was sentenced to eight years in prison and was handed an additional eight-month sentence for propaganda against Iran’s Islamic system, his Paris-based lawyer Philippe Valent said in a statement.</p> <p>Mr Briere’s family and his lawyer have accused Iran of holding him as a political “hostage”.</p> <p>“This verdict is the result of a purely political process and … devoid of any basis,” Mr Valent said.</p> <p>Calling the trial a “masquerade”, Mr Valent said that Mr Briere “did not have a fair trial in front of impartial judges” and noted he had not been allowed to access the full indictment against him.</p> <p>The French foreign ministry described the verdict as “unacceptable”, saying Mr Briere was a “tourist”.</p> <p>He is one of more than a dozen Western citizens held in Iran and described as hostages by activists who say they are innocent of any crime and detained at the behest of the powerful Revolutionary Guards to extract concessions from the West.</p> <p>Mr Briere is being held in Vakilabad Prison in the eastern city of Mashhad. A prison which has reportedly undertaken hundreds of secret executions within the facility.</p> <p>In September last year, an unidentified political prisoner in the same prison, described life in the facility, saying it is “overcrowded” and “full of bedbugs and lice” with poor hygiene and terrible food. The unnamed prisoner said: “If coronavirus does not kill me, the fights inside the prison will kill me.”</p> <p>The verdict against Mr Briere comes as Iran and world powers seek to reach agreement at talks in Vienna on reviving the 2015 deal over the Iranian nuclear program. Nationals of all three European powers involved in the talks on the Iranian nuclear program – Britain, France and Germany – are among the foreigners being held.</p> <p>“It is not tolerable that Benjamin Briere is being held a hostage to negotiations by a regime which keeps a French citizen arbitrarily detained merely to use him as currency in an exchange,” Mr Valent said.</p> <p>Mr Briere’s sister Blandine told AFP her brother is a “political hostage” subjected to a “parody of justice”.</p> <p>Iran insists all the foreigners held are tried in line with domestic law but has repeatedly expressed readiness to prisoner swaps.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Crime-fighting algorithm to take up the battle against illegal drugs?

<div> <div class="copy"> <p>he answer to drug forensics might be AI, according to a new <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42256-021-00407-x" target="_blank">report</a> published in <em>Nature Machine Intelligence.</em></p> <p>Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, have trained a computer to predict <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/people/high-times-at-new-years/" target="_blank">designer drugs</a> based on specific common molecules, even before the drugs hit the market.</p> <p>Clandestine chemists are constantly manufacturing new and dangerous psychoactive drugs that law enforcement agencies struggle to keep up with. Many of these designer drugs can lead to irreparable mental damage and/or even death.</p> <p>“The vast majority of these designer drugs have never been tested in humans and are completely unregulated,” says author Dr Michael Skinnider. “They are a major public health concern to emergency departments across the world.”</p> <h2>The algorithm behind drug forensics</h2> <p>The algorithm used by the computer, called deep neural network, generated 8.9 million potential designer drugs that could be identified from a unique molecular make-up if they popped up in society.</p> <p>The researchers then compared this data set to newly emerging designer drugs and found that 90% of the 196 new drugs were in the predicted data set.</p> <p>“The fact that we can predict what designer drugs are likely to emerge on the market before they actually appear is a bit like the 2002 sci-fi movie, Minority Report<em>,</em> where foreknowledge about criminal activities about to take place helped significantly reduce crime in a future world,” explains senior author Dr David Wishart from the University of Alberta, Canada.</p> <p>“Essentially, our software gives law enforcement agencies and public health programs a head start on the clandestine chemists, and lets them know what to be on the lookout for.”</p> <p>With this level of prediction, forensic scanning of drugs can be cut from months to days.</p> <p>The algorithm also learned which molecules were more and less likely to appear.</p> <p>“We wondered whether we could use this probability to determine what an unknown drug is—based solely on its mass—which is easy for a chemist to measure for any pill or powder using mass spectrometry,” says UBC’s Dr Leonard Foster, an internationally recognised expert on mass spectrometry.</p> <p>Using only mass, the algorithm was able to correctly identify the molecular structure of an unknown drug in a single guess around 50% of the time, but the accuracy increased to 86% as more measurements were considered.</p> <p>“It was shocking to us that the model performed this well, because elucidating entire chemical structures from just an accurate mass measurement is generally thought to be an unsolvable problem,” says Skinnider. “And narrowing down a list of billions of structures to a set of 10 candidates could massively accelerate the pace at which new designer drugs can be identified by chemists.”</p> <p>The researchers say this AI could also help identify other new molecules, such as in <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/new-test-for-performance-enhancing-drug-cheats/" target="_blank">sports doping</a> or novel molecules in the blood and urine.</p> <p>“There is an entire world of chemical ‘dark matter’ just beyond our fingertips right now,” says Skinnider. “I think there is a huge opportunity for the right AI tools to shine a light on this unknown chemical world.”</p> <em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/ai/crime-fighting-algorithm-to-take-up-the-battle-against-illegal-drugs/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Deborah Devis. </em></p> </div> </div>

Technology

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Fake vaccine certificates now illegal in NSW

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">NSW has <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-27/nsw-records-304-covid19-cases/100571360" target="_blank">introduced</a> a new law targeting people attempting to use fake vaccine certificates to enter venues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The amendment to the NSW health order comes into effect from October 27 and states that a person must not provide information or evidence showing they are fully vaccinated unless it is true and accurate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Those that breach the health order could be slapped with a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and/or a $11,000 fine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Health minister Brad Hazzard signed off on the amendment to the public order the day before, as some have expressed concern over people obtaining forged certificates.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845120/vax-certificate1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/feac49b4901e4d7eaea14505a7cc9550" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @ausgov / Instagram</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Last month, the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-09-10/covid-19-vaccination-certificate-can-be-easily-forged/100441774" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABC</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">reported that the COVID-19 vaccination certificates can be forged in under 10 minutes by altering or copying certificates and changing the name, making it one of several vulnerabilities that have been reported.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An ad for forged vaccine certificates was also spotted on Instagram, with a screenshot of the ad reported to </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/21/instagram-displays-ad-offering-fake-covid-vaccine-certificates-in-australia" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Guardian</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> last week.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845121/vax-certificate2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5c304e7819b1425ca7bf090a186914cf" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Instagram</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the publication, the fake certificates could be loaded into a phone’s digital wallet through myGov or the Express Medicare app.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The account has since been suspended for selling fake documents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The change in legislation comes after the state recorded 304 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and three deaths.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The state also reported that 93.2 percent of the population over 16 had received at least one jab.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Legal

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UK bakery under fire over using “illegal” sprinkles

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A bakery in the north of England has come under fire after using sprinkles that are illegal in the UK. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Richie Myers, owner of Get Baked in Leeds, was infuriated when an unknown customer reported him to trading standards over the use of the confectionery. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the UK, the sprinkles</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> contain an additive known as Erythrosine, which is not banned in the UK but is reserved solely for use </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">in processed cherries, according to the International Association of Colour Manufacturers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">West Yorkshire Trading Standards confirmed to the </span><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-58896391"><span style="font-weight: 400;">BBC</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> it has taken action to ensure the usage of the sprinkles is stopped.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Richie dubbed the issue “Sprinklegate”, and shared a recount of the issue to Facebook, which has garnered worldwide attention. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The baker who is “passionate about sprinkles” called out the customer that reported him, saying he “hopes they fail”.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844935/get-baked-fb1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/300d0a19e7034e87bc56d943c1ab3ca8" /></p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook - Get Baked</em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As an investigation began into the elusive sprinkles, Richie said this hurt his small business, as they were a key ingredient in many sweet treats. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He told the BBC that it had been a “horrendous ordeal” and that he had “genuinely lost sleep” over it. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Richie provided an update on “sprinklegate”, he said he had no choice but to stop using the sprinkles and was trying to think of a suitable replacement. </span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844936/get-baked-fb2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1821d891cbed49eaba6d0cb5d3ae8a6c" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Facebook - Get Baked</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite having to change their famous recipe, Richie and the Get Backed team have kept their signature sense of humour through the whole “sprinklegate” ordeal.</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/CVD0_wdMlpb/?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/CVD0_wdMlpb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by GET BAKED® (@getbakeduk)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By posting their hilarious updates online, Richie said he has been presented with “opportunities he could only have ever dreamed of”. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a recent Instagram post, Richie addressed the person who reported them to the trading standards, saying, “</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">I honestly cannot thank you enough. You have inadvertently flung us forward 5 years and saved me a f** load in marketing budget, not that I ever have a marketing budget, but you’ve still done a sensational deed.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I owe you a pint.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Instagram @getbakeduk</span></em></p>

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