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Boomers vs. Bikers: Teens and elderly residents face off over bike rules

<p>A tense intergenerational argument has broken out in Sydney's Northern Beaches, as a group of seniors stopped two teenagers from riding their electric bikes on a footpath. </p> <p>The incident was captured on camera by a bystander and uploaded to social media with the caption, "Battle of the beaches. E-bikes vs. elderly", before quickly going viral. </p> <p>The video shows elderly man and woman standing outside a dental centre in the suburb of Mona Vale, stopping the youths from riding any further and are seen holding the bike as the teens appear to argue for their release.</p> <p>After the video garnered much attention, hundreds of people shared their thoughts on who was in the right. </p> <p>Many appear to have taken the side of the senior citizens, but in this case, with the teen’s ages not immediately clear, both parties could have a case. </p> <p>According to the<a title="www.nsw.gov.au" href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/roads-safety-and-rules/bicycle-safety-and-rules/cyclist-road-rules#:~:text=Riding%20on%20a%20footpath,under%20the%20age%20of%2016"> New South Wales Government</a>, cyclists (on both pedal or electric bikes) are not allowed to ride on a footpath. However, children under 16 can ride on the footpath unless there is a “NO BICYCLES” sign. </p> <p>In the comment section, plenty of arguments backed the case of the seniors. </p> <p>“Elderly are right; it’s a footpath, it’s dangerous. Annoying they drive fast,” one wrote.</p> <p>Another said: “Look I don’t know what happened, but yesterday (kids) similar to these guys were zooming on an E-bike at a dog park, almost hit us, no bells or anything and off the path. If you have these, just stay on the road.”</p> <p>Others, however, were quick to side with the teens, as one person wrote, “Entitled old people thinking they are the police.”</p> <p>Another added, “Boomers need to admit they are bored and have nothing to do.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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5 sneaky beauty tricks that take a decade off your look

<p>What if we told you there were five super simple turn-back-the-clock tricks that could brighten the face, open up the eyes, improve plumpness and give you enviably shiny hair? Well, that’s exactly what we’re telling you. And these tips don’t require and expensive trip to a beauty salon and can be done in your very own bathroom. </p> <p>When it comes to your skin, just one super-charged anti-ager will instantly boost your beauty routine—and deliver the kind of results we’d all be happy to see in the mirror. Here are five tricks you should definitely try today.</p> <p><strong>Try a Sleeping Beauty elixir</strong><br />They don’t call it beauty sleep for no good reason. While you’re head is on the pillow, it’s the perfect time to slather on an overnight face and neck cream that uses skin brightening ingredients such as vitamin C, algae extract and anti-oxidants. You will wake up more supple, radiant and bright – and in some cases, with firmer skin.</p> <p><strong>Go for bold lip</strong><br />A bold yet fresh lip will instantly brighten and lift the face. The trick is to go one or two shades brighter than you usually do – without option for a blast of neon. Diffuse bright edges with a cotton bud to stop hard lines.</p> <p><strong>Shake the magic wand</strong><br />Eyelashes have the ability to really open up your eyes and thus give you a more youthful look instantly. So everyone, get acquainted with the eyelash curler. A must for opening up tired, droopy eyelids before applying mascara – it works every time. </p> <p><strong>Attempt a gravity-defying mini massage</strong><br />As massages stimulate circulation, cells and collagen, everyone should be giving themself a daily morning face massage using small circular motions. Focus on your forehead, cheeks, chin, and gently pat under eyes to help with firmness and reduce bloating.</p> <p><strong>Let your hair shine on</strong><br />Shiny, healthy hair makes everyone look better – and it one of the easiest beauty tricks to master. Try mashed-up avocado mixed with olive oil as a hair mask – it’s cheap, natural and really effective.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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"Not one ounce of compassion”: BBC star kicked off plane over daughter's allergy

<p>A BBC weather presenter and her family have been kicked off a plane after asking passengers to be wary of her daughter's peanut allergy. </p> <p>British weather presenter Georgie Palmer was flying from London to Turkey with her husband Matt and their daughters Annie and Rosie, as the family boarded their flight at Gatwick Airport with SunExpress airlines. </p> <p>Georgie and her family were kicked off the plane shortly after boarding, after the 49-year-old mother ran into issues around her daughter's severe allergy to peanuts.</p> <p>According to Palmer, she has requested that the captain make an announcement to all passengers asking them not to eat any peanut products on the flight, but the pilot refused. </p> <p>Palmer then took matters into her own hands and one by one asked passengers not to consume peanuts on the four-hour flight, before being asked to disembark the aircraft.</p> <p>The weather presenter took to Instagram to share her side of the story with a lengthy post. </p> <p>She began, “I thanked the beautiful souls on our plane for helping us. Many of them hugged, cheered and held our hands as we were forced to disembark."</p> <p>“The SunExpress captain and cabin crew refused to make the standard announcement on behalf of our daughter. We gently asked the passengers at the front of the plane to share our request."</p> <p>“Row by row, all the passengers turned back to kindly ask the row behind to please not eat nuts on the flight. It was calm, earnest and with an overwhelming sense of solidarity and empathy.”</p> <p>Georgie added: “There’s no beef with simple asks like these. People get it!"</p> <p>“We were hoofed off the plane after the angry little captain shouted at us from the cockpit.”</p> <p>She concluded by saying they were discriminated against for “simply having an allergy”.</p> <p>Georgie told the <a title="www.dailymail.co.uk" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13457399/bbc-weather-presenter-Georgie-Palmer-flight-nuts.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail</em>,</a> “The captain decided because of my daughter’s allergy he didn’t want to fly with her on board."</p> <p>“When he found out I had spoken to the other passengers he was screaming at me from the cockpit. He was so angry, the next thing I knew we were told to get off the plane."</p> <p>“How we were treated was disgusting – nobody working on that plane showed one ounce of compassion.”</p> <p>A SunExpress spokesman then shared the airline's version of events, claiming that Georgie's husband had become aggressive, and kicked the family off the plane with their best interests at heart. </p> <p>The statement said, “We take the safety of our passengers very seriously. Shortly after boarding our flight, the passenger raised a concern about one of his family group having a serious peanut allergy."</p> <p>“They requested an announcement to other passengers. We refrain from making these kinds of announcements. Like many other airlines, we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment on our flights, nor can we prevent other passengers from bringing food items containing allergens on board."</p> <p>“Due to the insistent behaviour of the passenger to others on board, the captain decided it would be safest if the family did not travel."</p> <p>“When this was explained to the passenger, he behaved aggressively towards our crew members and tried to gain access to the cockpit. To ensure the safety of our crew and our passengers on board, we cannot tolerate aggressive and unruly behaviour on our flights."</p> <p>“Our website states that passengers must notify us 48 hours in advance of any special care required due to a medical condition. No such notification was received from the passengers in this instance.”</p> <p>According to <em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/28140666/bbc-family-flight-passengers-peanuts-allergy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Sun</a></em>, Mr Sollom denies acting aggressively.</p> <p>The differing versions of events have divided many on social media as thousands weighed in on the debacle, with plenty of users siding with the pilot.</p> <p>“The pilot is a national treasure,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“As they should have been,” a second wrote, referring to the family getting kicked off.</p> <p>“Would have booted them off as well,” another agreed. </p> <p>A fourth wrote: “I think this story would be found under Self Entitlement in the dictionary.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Kick up your heels – ballroom dancing offers benefits to the aging brain and could help stave off dementia

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/helena-blumen-1231899">Helena Blumen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/albert-einstein-college-of-medicine-3638">Albert Einstein College of Medicine</a></em></p> <h2>The big idea</h2> <p>Social ballroom dancing can improve cognitive functions and reduce brain atrophy in older adults who are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. That’s the key finding of my team’s <a href="https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2022-0176">recently published study</a> in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.</p> <p>In our study, we enrolled 25 adults over 65 years of age in either six months of twice-weekly ballroom dancing classes or six months of twice-weekly treadmill walking classes. None of them were engaged in formal dancing or other exercise programs.</p> <p>The overall goal was to see how each experience affected cognitive function and brain health.</p> <p>While none of the study volunteers had a dementia diagnosis, all performed a bit lower than expected on at least one of our dementia screening tests. We found that older adults that completed six months of social dancing and those that completed six months of treadmill walking improved their executive functioning – an umbrella term for planning, reasoning and processing tasks that require attention.</p> <p>Dancing, however, generated significantly greater improvements than treadmill walking on one measure of executive function and on processing speed, which is the time it takes to respond to or process information. Compared with walking, dancing was also associated with reduced brain atrophy in the hippocampus – a brain region that is key to memory functioning and is particularly affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers also know that this part of our brain can undergo neurogenesis – or grow new neurons – <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0611721104">in response to aerobic exercise</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/unmbhUvnGow?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Research shows those who regularly dance with a partner have a more positive outlook on life.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>While several previous studies suggest that dancing has beneficial effects <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa270">on cognitive function in older adults</a>, only a few studies have compared it directly with traditional exercises. Our study is the first to observe both better cognitive function and improved brain health following dancing than walking in older adults at risk for dementia. We think that social dancing may be more beneficial than walking because it is physically, socially and cognitively demanding – and therefore strengthens a wide network of brain regions.</p> <p>While dancing, you’re not only using brain regions that are important for physical movement. You’re also relying on brain regions that are important for interacting and adapting to the movements of your dancing partner, as well as those necessary for learning new dance steps or remembering those you’ve learned already.</p> <h2>Why it matters</h2> <p>Nearly 6 million older adults in the U.S. and 55 million worldwide <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2019.01.010">have Alzheimer’s disease</a> or a <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia">related dementia</a>, yet there is no cure. Sadly, the efficacy and ethics surrounding recently developed drug treatments <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/21507740.2022.2129858">are still under debate</a>.</p> <p>The good news is that older adults can potentially <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6">lower their risk for dementia</a> through lifestyle interventions, even later in life. These include reducing social isolation and physical inactivity.</p> <p>Social ballroom dancing targets both isolation and inactivity. In these later stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, a better understanding of the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/23337214211005223">indirect effects of COVID-19</a> – particularly those that increase dementia risk, such as social isolation – is urgently needed. In my view, early intervention is critical to prevent dementia from becoming the next pandemic. Social dancing could be a particularly timely way to overcome the adverse cognitive and brain effects associated with isolation and fewer social interactions during the pandemic.</p> <h2>What still isn’t known</h2> <p>Traditional aerobic exercise interventions such as treadmill-walking or running have been shown to lead to modest but reliable improvements in cognition – <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617707316">particularly in executive function</a>.</p> <p>My team’s study builds on that research and provides preliminary evidence that not all exercise is equal when it comes to brain health. Yet our sample size was quite small, and larger studies are needed to confirm these initial findings. Additional studies are also needed to determine the optimal length, frequency and intensity of dancing classes that may result in positive changes.</p> <p>Lifestyle interventions like social ballroom dancing are a promising, noninvasive and cost-effective path toward staving off dementia as we – eventually – leave the COVID-19 pandemic behind.<!-- 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/194969/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/helena-blumen-1231899">Helena Blumen</a>, Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/albert-einstein-college-of-medicine-3638">Albert Einstein College of Medicine</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/kick-up-your-heels-ballroom-dancing-offers-benefits-to-the-aging-brain-and-could-help-stave-off-dementia-194969">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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"A kick in the teeth": Father of Hunter Valley crash victim shares his anger

<p>The father of one of the victims of the deadly Hunter Valley bus crash has spoken out, following news that the driver struck a plea deal. </p> <p>On Wednesday, Brett Andrew Button entered into a plea agreement, which saw 10 manslaughter charges be dropped against the man who was behind the wheel when the bus crashed. </p> <p>He then pled guilty to 10 counts of dangerous driving causing death, nine of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and 16 of furious driving causing bodily harm.</p> <p>After news of the plea deal broke, the father of one of the victims shared how the downgrade in charges felt like "more than a kick in the teeth". </p> <p>"It reopens wounds and triggers and it evokes, obviously, some anger, but I'm trying to be balanced and stick with the facts and hopefully we can achieve some positive outcomes," Adam Bray told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/hunter-valley-wedding-bus-crash-manslaughter-charges-dropped/d55638e1-690f-41e1-967c-6c714ccbb501" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>A Current Affair</em></a>. </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/reel/C6s9sJvsnxh/?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/reel/C6s9sJvsnxh/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by A Current Affair (@acurrentaffair9)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Mr Bray's son, 29-year-old Zach was one of the 10 people who tragically died in the crash. </p> <p>"Five weeks ago we were running 89 charges, including 10 charges of manslaughter."</p> <p>"Thirty six hours before the court today, all the families were told, sold a bit of a story to be honest ... that's extremely disappointing and I'll continue to fight."</p> <p>"It's totally wrong and does it need to take these 10 lives to fix bus and coach safety in Australia?"</p> <p>Mr Bray's comments come as reports emerged that Mr Button had a drug dependency and had prescription painkillers in his system at the time of the crash.</p> <p>"It's criminal to drive a vehicle, a heavy vehicle in Australia, particularly with 35 passengers on board, when you are medicated," Bray said.</p> <p>"So to reduce to lesser charges, it's not balanced.</p> <p>Bray's emotions ran high as he described his son as an "incredible man" who had overcome stage 3 bowel cancer before the fatal crash.</p> <p><em>A Current Affair</em> host Ally Langdon told the grieving father. "I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I'm so sorry the process played out as it has. It's not fair."</p> <p>Following the emotional court proceedings, Mr Bray said he felt like his emotions over the tragedy were "pretty much back to square one".</p> <p>"(I am) processing it. Yep, another massive challenge. We'll do our best to get through it, but also try to get law reform so that 10 beautiful people did not die in vain."</p> <p>"It's far from fair, let's try to rally around government, try to rally around the attorney general, get some public opinion, let's try to create some fairness, it's all we can do."</p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair / Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

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Love is in the air! Pilot proposes to flight attendant girlfriend before take off

<p>A pilot has proposed to his flight attendant girlfriend just minutes before take off in a heart-warming display of love. </p> <p>Polish pilot Konrad Hanc was captured emerging from the cockpit before embarking on a flight to Kraków to make a surprising announcement over the PA system. </p> <p>Hanc introduced himself to the passengers before explaining the real reason for his message. </p> <p>“On today’s flight there is a very special person," he began.</p> <p>“Ladies and gentlemen, about one and a half years ago in this job I met the most wonderful person that completely changed my life."</p> <p>“You are most precious to me. You are my greatest dream come true. This is why I have to ask you a favour, honey."</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/reel/C6EHHyQskLc/?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/reel/C6EHHyQskLc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by LOT Polish Airlines (@flylot)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Will you marry me?” he asked while getting down on one knee, as another flight attendant handed him a bouquet of flowers. </p> <p>His girlfriend, Paula, sprinted up the aisle of the plane before leaping into the arms of her future husband. </p> <p>Passengers watched on in anticipation for her answer with one yelling, “Did she say yes?” to which the beaming captain responded: “She said yes!”</p> <p>Hanc explained that he chose to pop the question on the flight to the Polish city as he met Paula on the same flight just 18 months ago. </p> <p>As the pair embraced in a hug and kiss, passengers erupted in applause, with many taking to the now viral Facebook post to send them well wishes. </p> <p>“I love this! Sweet couple!” one person wrote.</p> <p>”TOTALLYYYYY LOVE IN THE AIR,” another enthusiastic person commented, to which the airline responded: “YES, love IS in the air!”</p> <p><em>Image credits: LOT Polish Airlines</em></p>

Relationships

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Does hosting the Olympics, the World Cup or other major sports events really pay off?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</a></em></p> <p>After a long battle, <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240213-paris-booksellers-stay-olympics-macron-bouquiniste-france">Paris’s beloved <em>bouquinistes</em> will be staying put</a> this summer. The decision, announced on 13 February by the French government, came after considerable public backlash to the police prefecture’s original plan to move part of the iconic Seine booksellers elsewhere for the inauguration of the Olympics Games on 26 July.</p> <p>Meanwhile, less than six months away from the event, Parisians continue to grumble over a <a href="https://www.ouest-france.fr/jeux-olympiques/cest-aberrant-ce-maire-vient-dapprendre-que-sa-ville-accueillera-les-jeux-de-paris-ab1fa968-cfd1-11ee-89c0-6cefac77e04a">lack of consultations</a> with locals, warnings of <a href="https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20231130-paris-vehicle-traffic-to-be-heavily-restricted-during-2024-olympic-games">gridlocked traffic</a>, closed metro stations, extensive video surveillance and other grievances. So for host countries, what was the point of the Olympics, again?</p> <p>In academia, the debate about the potential positive and negative effects of large-scale sporting events is ongoing. Although these events are often associated with substantial economic losses, the long-term benefits are the main argument in favour of hosting them. These include the development of material and soft infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants or parks. Big games can also help put the host region on the map as an attractive place for sports and cultural events, and inspire a better entrepreneurial climate.</p> <h2>The pros and the cons of big sporting events?</h2> <p>The cost of these benefits, as the Parisians have realised, is steep. Host countries appear to suffer from increased tax burdens, low returns on public investments, high construction costs, and onerous running cost of facilities after the event. Communities can also be blighted by noise, pollution, and damage to the environment, while increased criminal activity and potential conflicts between locals and visitors can take a toll on their quality of life. As a result, in the recent past several major cities, including Rome and Hamburg, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/6-cities-that-rejected-the-olympics/a-46289852">withdrew their bids to host the games</a>.</p> <p>A common feature of the economics of large-scale sporting events is that our expectations of them are more optimistic than what we make of them once they have taken place. Typically, expenditure tends to tip over the original budget, while the revenue-side indicators (such as the number of visitors) are rarely achieved.</p> <p>When analysing the effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist visits, it is important to take into consideration both the positive and negative components of the overall effect. While positive effects may be associated with visitors, negative effects may arise when “regular” tourists refuse to visit the location due to the event. This might be because of overloaded infrastructure, sharp increases in accommodation costs, and inconveniences associated with overcrowding or raucous or/and violent visitors. On top of that, reports of poverty or crime in the global media can actually undermine the location’s attractiveness.</p> <h2>When big sporting events crowd out regular tourists</h2> <p>In an <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1527002523120639">article published in the <em>Journal of Sports Economics</em></a> with Igor Drapkin and Ilya Zverev, I assess the effects of hosting large-scale sporting events, such as Winter and Summer Olympics plus FIFA World Cups, on international tourist visits. We utilise a comprehensive dataset on flow of tourists covering the world’s largest destination and origin countries between 1995 and 2019. As a first step, we built an econometric model that effectively predicts the flow of tourists between any pair of countries in our data. Subsequently we compared the predicted tourist inflow in a hypothetical scenario where no large-scale sporting event would have taken place with the actual figures. If the actual figures exceed the predicted ones, we consider the event to have a net positive impact. Otherwise, we consider that it had a “crowding out” effect on “regular” tourists. While conducting this analysis, we distinguished between short-term (i.e., focusing just on the year of the event) and mid-term (year of the event plus three subsequent years).</p> <p>Our results show that the effects of large-scale sporting events vary a lot across host countries: The World Cup in Japan and South Korea 2002 and South Africa 2010 were associated with a distinct increase in tourist arrivals, whereas all other World Cups were either neutral or negative. Among the Summer Olympics, China in 2008 is the only case with a significant positive effect on tourist inflows. The effects of the other four events (Australia 2000, Greece 2004, Great Britain 2012, and Brazil 2016) were found to be negative in the short- and medium-term. As for the Winter Olympics, the only positive case is Russia in 2014. The remaining five events had a negative impact except the one-year neutral effect for Japan 1998.</p> <p>Following large-scale sporting events, host countries are therefore typically less visited by tourists. Out of the 18 hosting countries studied, 11 saw tourist numbers decline over four years, and three did not experience a significant change.</p> <h2>The case for cautious optimism</h2> <p>Our research indicates that the positive effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist inflows is, at best, moderate. While many tourists are attracted by FIFA World Cups and Olympic games, the crowding-out effect of “regular” tourists is strong and often underestimated. This implies that tourists visiting for an event like the Olympics typically dissuade those who would have come for other reasons. Thus, efforts to attract new visitors should be accompanied by efforts to retain the already existing ones.</p> <p>Large-scale sporting events should be considered as part of a long-term policy for promoting a territory to tourists rather than a standalone solution. Revealingly, our results indicate that it is easier to get a net increase in tourist inflows in countries that are less frequent destinations for tourists – for example, those in Asia or Africa. By contrast, the United States and Europe, both of which are traditionally popular with tourists, have no single case of a net positive effect. Put differently, the large-scale sporting events in Asia and Africa helped promote their host countries as tourist destinations, making the case for the initial investment. In the US and Europe, however, those in the last few decades brought little return, at least in terms of tourist inflow.<!-- 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/222118/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/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, Associate professor of quantitative analytics, research fellow at ICTA-UAB, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</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/does-hosting-the-olympics-the-world-cup-or-other-major-sports-events-really-pay-off-222118">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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Mother booted off ride share app for her unusual name

<p>A young Sydney mother has been booted off popular ride sharing app Uber, after they deemed her birth name too inappropriate. </p> <p>Swastika Chandra's first name means good luck and prosperity in her native Sanskrit language, and holds a lot of cultural significance and connection to her Hindu heritage. </p> <p>However, to global transport app Uber, her name was deemed too offensive to be let on the platform, as they said her name violates their terms and conditions. </p> <p>The 35-year-old grew up in Fiji, where she says her name was commonly heard in classrooms throughout her childhood.</p> <p>"It is a very common name. I personally know four or five other girls with the same name," she told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/uber-bans-sydney-woman-from-using-service-because-of-her-first-name/2771dd1f-b9fd-4ba6-8045-671145bc0c02" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>A Current Affair</em></a>. </p> <p>"In school, we had two or three other girls with the same name. It means good luck. It means good things for me."</p> <p>Chandra didn't run into any issues using her name on her birth certificate, Australian citizenship paperwork, her health care card or her driver's licence. </p> <p>However, last October Uber banned her account, claiming her name was a violation of their terms of use due to its appropriation by Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and neo-Nazis.</p> <p>Coinciding with the start of the Israel-Hamas war, Uber brought in new guidelines on words that could be offensive - including swastika.</p> <p>Inadvertently caught up in the middle of a policy which had the best of intentions, Chandra was told she would have to change her name to get back on the app.</p> <p>"I was putting in an order for food one afternoon and went to the payment stage and this pop-up came up saying, 'Your first name is in violation and you need to change your name on the app'," she explained.</p> <p>Chandra has a deep understanding of her name's very troubling double meaning, but she says the community needs to know the word's origins.</p> <p>"They don't know that the Hindus used it for thousands of years before Hitler used it in the wrong way," she said.</p> <p>"A bit of education, I think, is needed. I'm very proud of my name. I believe in the good that comes with it and I'm not changing it for anyone."</p> <p>Five months later, Uber has backed down from their decision and allowed her to rejoin the app, although it took intervention from Australia's peak Hindu body, The Hindu Council, support from the Jewish community and the NSW attorney-general to make it happen. </p> <p>The Jewish Board of Deputies also backed Chandra's fight, telling A Current Affair: "There is a difference between Ms Chandra innocently using her name and the deployment of a sinister symbol."</p> <p>The young mum has a message for all the other young girls who might have a different name to others, saying "Don't let the past be a stepping stone for your future."</p> <p>"Be proud of your name. It's your identity - it's who you are."</p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair </em></p>

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"I believe he is alive": Father of young man who jumped off cruise ship speaks out

<p>The father of the young man who jumped off a cruise ship on its way to Florida has spoken out, saying he believes his son is still alive. </p> <p>While the Liberty of the Seas was travelling back from the Dominican Republic on its way to Florida, 20-year-old Levion Parker <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/young-man-who-jumped-off-cruise-ship-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">jumped overboard</a>. </p> <p>The ship was reportedly about 90km off the southern most island of the Bahamas when the young man, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, jumped overboard in the early hours of the morning. </p> <p>Witnesses recounted the harrowing scene, describing how 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>After days of searching, the US coast guard called off their search for the young man. </p> <p>Now, Legion's father Francel said he believes his son is still alive. </p> <p>“As soon as he went off the side, I prayed over him. I was confident the prayers I said over my son were heard. I stand on the word of God. I believe he is alive,” Mr Parker told local Florida paper, the <a href="https://www.yoursun.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Sun</em>, </a>on Wednesday.</p> <p>Francel went open to say that he threw six life rings off the ship in hopes of saving his son before the vessel was able to come to a stop about 20 minutes later.</p> <p>When news broke onboard of the tragedy, travellers reported that many people came out of their cabins to stare at the sea, hoping to be able to spot the young man in the water.</p> <p>Levion was reportedly “drunk” on the night of the incident, although details around this are unclear as the minimum age to consume alcohol on Royal Caribbean ships on voyages from North America or the Caribbean is 21.</p> <p>“We don’t drink,” Levion’s father Francel said. “I’d like to know how my son was served so much alcohol.”</p> <p>Francel, who owns an air-conditioning business, was invited, together with his family, aboard the ship as guests of Florida-based air-conditioning wholesalers Tropic Supply to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Young man who jumped off cruise ship identified

<p>The young man who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/his-family-was-horrified-young-man-jumps-off-cruise-ship" target="_blank" rel="noopener">jumped overboard</a> from a Royal Caribbean cruise has been identified as 20-year-old Levion Parker. </p> <p>Parker, a former high school footballer from Florida, was onboard the Liberty of the Seas with his family when the incident occurred, as the vessel was making its way back to the US after a four-day cruise to the Dominican Republic. </p> <p>The ship was reportedly about 90km off the southern most island of the Bahamas when the young man, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, jumped overboard in the early hours of the morning. </p> <p>Witnesses recounted the harrowing scene, describing how 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>A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/20yo-who-went-overboard-royal-caribbean-cruise-ship-identified/news-story/ebeef7b2ed03d828b5a6efbd2a8ebfe1" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a> the ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the US Coast Guard, who took over the search. </p> <p>“Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family during this difficult time. For the privacy of the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share,” the spokesperson said on Monday.</p> <p>Fellow travellers on the cruise were alerted to the tragedy during breakfast a few hours later, as many stood along balconies starring into the sea in the hopes of finding the man. </p> <p>A passenger took to Reddit to post about the heartbreaking incident said they became aware of the tragedy when the captain "announced it over the PA system while we were at breakfast and the entire room went silent.” </p> <p>Levion’s father Francel Parker, who owns an air-conditioning business, was invited, together with his family, aboard the ship as guests of Florida-based air-conditioning wholesalers Tropic Supply to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.</p> <p>The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for the missing young man.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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“Kick in the face”: Why not everyone's happy that Molly’s going home

<p>The recent decision to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/molly-the-magpie-is-going-home" target="_blank" rel="noopener">return Molly the magpie</a> to a Gold Coast couple and their two dogs Ruby and Peggy has sparked a contentious debate, which one wildlife advocate <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/molly-the-magpie-decision-labelled-a-kick-in-the-face-for-wildlife-carers-040736042.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">described to Yahoo News</a> as "a kick in the face". Queensland Premier Steven Miles' announcement has divided opinions, stirring anger among wildlife volunteers while receiving overwhelming praise from a vast portion of the public, particularly followers of the popular social media pages featuring Molly.</p> <p>Molly, the magpie turned social media sensation, has captured the hearts of over two million followers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. However, her rise to fame was marred by allegations of being taken from the wild without proper authorisation. The decision to return Molly to Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen, the couple behind the Peggy and Molly pages, has left wildlife advocates concerned about the message it sends regarding the treatment of wildlife and the enforcement of regulations.</p> <p>Despite the concerns raised by wildlife advocates, the decision to return Molly appears to have widespread public support. Premier Miles' Facebook post announcing Molly's return garnered significant positive feedback, with many expressing joy at the news. However, some questioned the delay in the decision-making process and criticised the handling of the situation by the Department of Environment and Science and its staff.</p> <p>The saga surrounding Molly's return unfolded amid public pressure, fuelled by social media campaigns and posts from Wells herself, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/i-miss-my-bestie-new-appeal-after-molly-s-family-left-in-the-dark" target="_blank" rel="noopener">expressing frustration at the lack of response</a> from government officials.</p> <p>The controversy surrounding Molly's return raises broader questions about wildlife rehabilitation, human-animal interactions, and the role of social media in shaping public perception. While Wells maintained that Molly was cared for in a manner consistent with fostering her natural instincts, authorities expressed concerns about the potential negative impact of human habituation on the bird's ability to thrive in the wild.</p> <p>Critics argue that Molly's return sets a dangerous precedent, potentially encouraging others to take wild animals into captivity for social media fame. The financial gains associated with Molly's social media presence certainly raise ethical questions about the commodification of wildlife for entertainment purposes.</p> <p>Amid escalating tensions surrounding the case, calls for civility and respect have been made, urging individuals to engage in constructive dialogue rather than resorting to hostility and abuse. None more powerful than the message coming directly from Molly's adoptive carers:</p> <p>"NO AGGRESSION," Juliette Wells repeatedly said to her followers on Instagram. "Be kind - remember what these 3 best friends have shown the world: Love & acceptance in differences. We all have differences in opinions let’s just voice them in a positive way for this Famous Magpie Molly."</p> <p>While Molly's return may be celebrated by some, it reignites discussions about the ethical treatment of wildlife and the responsibilities of both individuals and authorities in safeguarding native species. </p> <p>But the last word again goes to Wells, who has clearly endured a great deal throughout this entire ordeal – including being "harassed, defamed & bullied"<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">:</span></p> <p>"What a journey to get here," wrote Wells, following the news of Molly's impending return. "Having a hole in our hearts that we never thought would heal. Constantly thinking about this little magpie who was full of life and personality sitting in a cage lost and alone. Our hearts breaking Watching our girls looking around for Molly or out the window for hours waiting to see their best friend again.</p> <p>"Being forced by a certain media outlet to make the announcement before we were ready to deliver it in a mindful way to our millions of supporters.</p> <p>"We have become a meme, an interview question & the topic of conversation around the world.</p> <p>"We have be Harassed, defamed & bullied by a small minority of people.</p> <p>"Suddenly being plunged onto the world stage after the QLD premier stepped in. Constantly Hitting brick walls trying to get answers from the dept about Molly & his whereabouts.</p> <p>"We want to thankyou you the people for your voices , for standing by us & making this happen . The messages , emails , phone calls & thousands of signatures on petitions . The love , support and sheer determination for a cause is what you have done & is what has kept us going . We have shown the world what can be achieved when we work together . We have shown the world this can be achieved with persistence without aggression."</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/C5mEBBbSY2g/?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/C5mEBBbSY2g/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Peggyandmolly (@peggyandmolly)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Millions of phones at risk of being cut off from calling triple-0

<p>Over a million Aussies may be unable to contact triple-0 as two major telcos cut their 3G networks. </p> <p>Telstra's network will be closed on June 30 this year followed by Optus, which will shut their 3G network in September.</p> <p>While most late model phones are now serviced by either 4G or 5G networks, there are many devices that still rely on 3G. </p> <p>Approximately 113,000 Telstra customers have not upgraded their 3G handsets, while Optus have not disclosed a figure.</p> <p>The greater concerns lie for older 4G-enabled handsets that may not be able to call triple-0 once the 3G networks are switched off, because of the way those phones are configured.</p> <p>In March, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland was informed that 740,000 Australians were in that category.  </p> <p>A month later, that figure was revised to over a million. </p> <p>"I welcome the industry’s first report to government but am concerned around their disclosure of around one million potentially impacted consumers,” the minister said. </p> <p>“I am considering the detail provided and next steps, and the government will have more to say about the 3G switchover soon.”</p> <p>She also said that they were open to delaying the switchover  "if warranted in the public interest”.</p> <p>“Options exist under law for the government to consider proposals to delay the planned switchover, subject to consultation and procedural processes,” she said.</p> <p>Telstra has informed customers about what to do if they are affected, and how they could check. </p> <p>“If your mobile device doesn’t have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology, even if it uses 4G data, it will not be able to make voice calls on our network after 30 June 2024,” they informed their customers. </p> <p>“Not all VoLTE enabled devices support emergency VoLTE calling, meaning they will not be able to make an emergency call to triple-0 once 3G closes." </p> <p>“Without taking the recommended action you won’t be able to connect to a network after 30 June 2024,” they warned. </p> <p>Customers who are worried that they might be impacted, are encouraged to text 3 to the number 3498, so that the telco can inform the customer on their connection status.</p> <p>Optus have also encouraged customers to contact them if they think they may be affected. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</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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Dad kicked off Jetstar flight for breaking cardinal rule

<p>A dad has been kicked off a Jetstar flight after snapping a picture of his family boarding the plane from the tarmac. </p> <p>Jimmy Mitchell was with his wife Pauline and their two children as they went to board their flight from Sydney to Brisbane, where they were embarking on a cruise. </p> <p>As the family were boarding the plane from the tarmac, Jimmy quickly took a picture of his kids and his wife who were walking up the rear stairs of the plane. </p> <p>According to Jimmy, who is a seasoned traveller, he didn't hear an announcement be made that passengers were prohibited from taking photos on the tarmac because the plane was refuelling. </p> <p>He was eventually able to board the flight after being confronted by cabin crew, but described the debacle as “one of the most traumatic experiences” he’s had.</p> <p>In a viral TikTok, he alleged that while he was taking the photo, a cabin crew member called him an “idiot”. He said that when she tried to get his attention to put the device away it left him embarrassed and shocked. </p> <p>“This is the worst experience I’ve ever had flying,” he said in the clip.</p> <p>“I try and get on the plane, I take a photo of my kids as they get on the plane, in flight mode, and the lady calls me an idiot,” he said.</p> <p>After he confronted the staff member, Mr Mitchell claims he was told he won’t be allowed to board the flight.</p> <p>“I turned around in disbelief because I was half way up the stairs at this point. I basically stormed over to her and I was like, ‘Are you serious? What did you just call me?’</p> <p>“She was basically saying ‘you can’t take photos on the tarmac, you can’t take photos on the tarmac’.”</p> <p>The pair allegedly went back and forth before the father-of-two, known for his travel content, was rejected from boarding the plane. </p> <p>“If she had literally just said anything else, like ‘get off your phone’, I would have done it.”</p> <p>“Apparently, they made an announcement, but I had noise cancelling headphones, Pauline (wife) told me after the fact – I didn’t hear it, there was no notifications about it, there was no signage, no nothing."</p> <p>“All she had to do was say something constructive. ‘Get off your phone,’ ‘you can’t have your phone out’ and I would have been like ‘sorry’, but she screams across the tarmac calling me an idiot.”</p> <p>“I can see how she maybe felt I was being intimidating because I am a big guy and I am a loud guy. She turns around to me and goes ‘you almost assaulted me, get off the tarmac, you’re not getting on this plane’.”</p> <p>Mr Mitchell then walked back inside the terminal where he awaited further instructions, and was later able to board the flight “after cooler heads prevailed” but wants the airline to apologise to him and his family over the “stressful” situation.</p> <p>“The way they treated Pauline and the kids and not allowing me to communicate with them what was going on, was completely unacceptable,” he said.</p> <p>The debacle has sparked a huge debate on his TikTok and Instagram over who is in the wrong.</p> <p>“Wow … that’s insane! So sorry that happened to you!” one person wrote.</p> <p>“Take it further and don’t let them get away with what they have done,” a second person said.</p> <p>However, others were quick to comment that as a seasoned traveller, Jimmy should've been well versed in the rules of not taking photos on the tarmac.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"Unidentified life form" found off New Zealand coast

<p>Ah, the deep sea, where the mysteries of the ocean lurk in the shadows, waiting to be discovered by intrepid marine scientists armed with nets, trawls and a healthy dose of confusion...</p> <p>Recently, a team of brave souls embarked on a journey off the coast of New Zealand, armed with curiosity and a fervent desire to find Nemo's distant relatives. What they found, however, was not just Nemo's cousins – but a veritable treasure trove of potential new species. Or at least, they think so.</p> <p>In a saga that could rival any aquatic adventure film, the scientists stumbled upon approximately 100 potential new species, including one particularly enigmatic life form that has left them scratching their heads in bewilderment.</p> <p>Initially mistaking it for a sea star – or perhaps a particularly flamboyant sea cucumber – they now suspect it might be a deep-sea coral. Or a cosmic jellyfish. Or a lost prop from a sci-fi movie. The possibilities are as endless as the ocean itself.</p> <p>Dr Michela Mitchell, a taxonomist with a penchant for the dramatic, declared it could be "a whole new group outside of the octocoral." Because why settle for identifying just one species when you can potentially create an entire taxonomic order?</p> <p>Dr Daniel Moore, another member of the expedition and self-proclaimed captain of the confusion ship, confessed, "We can't even describe it to family." One can only imagine the perplexed expressions at family gatherings as they attempt to explain their latest discovery: "Well, it's sort of like a sponge, but not really. And it might have tentacles. Or wings. We're not entirely sure."</p> <p>Their research vessel, the <em>Tangaroa</em>, became a floating laboratory of befuddlement as they collected nearly 1,800 samples from the abyssal depths. Armed with modified sleds and a healthy dose of optimism, they trawled the ocean floor, hoping to snag the elusive creatures that lurked below.</p> <p>"It was true exploration, very exciting," Dr Moore boasted, his enthusiasm undiminished by the fact that they still couldn't <em>definitively</em> identify half of what they'd found.</p> <p>Among their discoveries was a new species of fish, dubbed the "eelpout", which was "instantly recognised as being different to the others." Because, apparently, it had a flair for the dramatic and refused to conform to traditional fish norms.</p> <p>In a surprising revelation, Dr Moore admitted, "Finding new vertebrates is rare." One can only assume that the eelpout, upon hearing this declaration, puffed out its chest (or whatever passes for a chest in fish anatomy) and proclaimed itself the king of the ocean.</p> <p>As the expedition came to a close, the scientists reflected on the vastness of the ocean and the infinitesimal fraction of its inhabitants they had encountered. With only 240,000 species identified out of an estimated 2.2 million, they realised they had barely scratched the surface. Or, in this case, the sea floor.</p> <p>And so, armed with their nets, their sleds, and their unshakeable sense of optimism, the intrepid scientists set sail once more, ready to delve deeper into the mysteries of the ocean and perhaps stumble upon another baffling creature that defies explanation. After all, what's science without a little bit of confusion?</p> <p><em>Image: Ocean-Census | NIWA</em></p>

International Travel

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"We've all gone": Why Jackie O stormed off set

<p>Jackie O Henderson has marched out of KIIS FM in the middle of <em>The Kyle and Jackie O show, </em>after finding out that the station has the highest gender pay gap disparity across Australian radio.</p> <p>“Southern Cross Austereo has a disgraceful 5.9% pay gap. At Nova and Smooth FM it is even worse, six per cent." <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Kyle Sandilands told listeners on Tuesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">"But unfortunately, the number one spot is at KIIS FM, – at the top of the tree with a 12% pay gap disparity.”</span></p> <p>Sandilands, who famously fought for Henderson to secure equal pay on their radio program, then brought on one of the show’s producers Pete Deppeler and another female KIIS FM producer, who revealed she was only being paid half of what Deppeler was. </p> <p>“Are you freaking joking? Why is Peter getting that much money? I’m so angry about that, it makes my blood boil,” Henderson replied. </p> <p>She then left the studios with all her female colleagues. </p> <p>“We’ve all gone,” she said.</p> <p>"We are just here with the fellas. I don’t know whether I am enjoying this, bring the girls back!” Sandilands told listeners. </p> <p>On Tuesday, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency published the gender pay gap for more than 5,000 Australian companies.</p> <p>This was done after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese ordered the information to be made public for the first time ever, so the data can be compared within and across industries.</p> <p>The new data revealed that the national gap for total remuneration sits at 19 per cent and the median Australian female worker is taking home $18,461 less than their male counterpart.</p> <p>Despite a few criticisms on Albanese's decision to publicise this data, Workplace Minister Tony Burke has said that releasing this data is effective. </p> <p>“People on this side know that releasing that sort of data is effective and you will only find in the other side of politics anyone arguing that it is useless,‘’ he said.</p> <p>“The days of secretly paying women less than men are now over.”</p> <p><em>Images: Kyle and Jacki O Show</em></p>

Money & Banking

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What are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debts, and which should I pay off first?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/angel-zhong-1204643">Angel Zhong</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>With the cost of living soaring and many struggling to get a pay rise, it’s not surprising people are using debt to navigate life’s financial twists and turns.</p> <p>Owing money can sometimes feel challenging, but not all debts should keep you awake at night.</p> <p>So which debts are good and which are bad? And in what order should you pay them off? As it all depends on your personal circumstances, all I can offer is general information and not financial advice. Ideally, you should seek guidance from an accredited financial adviser. But in the meantime, here are some ideas to consider.</p> <h2>What is a ‘good debt’?</h2> <p>Good debts can be strategic tools and help build a solid foundation for your future. They usually increase your net worth by helping you generate income or buy assets that increase in value.</p> <p>With good debts, you usually get back more than what you pay for. They usually have lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. But personal finance is dynamic, and the line between good and bad debt can be nuanced. If not managed properly, even good debts can cause problems.</p> <p>Some examples of “good debts” might include:</p> <p><strong>Mortgages</strong>: A mortgage allows you to buy a house, which is an asset that generally increases in value over time. You may potentially get tax advantages, such as <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/forms-and-instructions/rental-properties-2023/other-tax-considerations">negative gearing</a>, through investment properties. However, it’s crucial not to overstretch yourself and turn a mortgage into a nightmare. As a rule of thumb, try avoid spending <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/select/mortgage-affordability/">more than 30% of your income</a> per year on your mortgage repayments.</p> <p><strong>Student loans</strong>: Education is an investment in yourself. Used well, student loans (such as <a href="https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help">HECS-HELP</a>) can be the ticket to a higher-paying job and better career opportunities.</p> <h2>What is a ‘bad debt’?</h2> <p>“Bad debts” undermine your financial stability and can hinder your financial progress. They usually come with high interest rates and short repayment terms, making them more challenging to pay off. They can lead to a vicious cycle of debt.</p> <p>Examples of bad debts include:</p> <p><strong>Payday loans</strong>: A payday loan offers a quick fix for people in a financial tight spot. However, their steep interest rates, high fees and tight repayment terms often end up worsening a person’s financial problems. The interest and fee you may end up paying can get close to the loan amount itself.</p> <p><strong>Credit card debt:</strong> Credit cards can be like quicksand for your finances. If you don’t pay off your purchase on time, you’ll be subject to an annual interest rate of around <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/">19.94%</a>. For a A$3,000 credit card debt, for example, that could mean paying nearly $600 annual interest. Carrying credit card debt from month to month can lead to a seemingly never-ending debt cycle.</p> <p><strong>Personal loans:</strong> People usually take personal loans from a bank to pay for something special, such as a nice holiday or a car. They often come with higher interest rates, averaging around <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/personal-loans">10%</a>. Spending money that you don’t have can lead to prolonged financial headaches.</p> <p><strong>Buy-now-pay-later services:</strong> Buy-now-pay-later services often provide interest-free instalment options for purchases. This can be tempting, but the account fees and late payment fees associated with buy-now-pay-later services can lead to a long-term financial hangover. The convenience and accessibility of buy-now-pay-later services can also make it easy to get further and further into debt.</p> <h2>So in what order should I pay off my debts?</h2> <p>There is no one right answer to this question, but here are three factors to consider.</p> <p><strong>Prioritise high-interest debts</strong>: Start by confronting the debts with the highest interest rates. This typically includes credit card debt and personal loans. Paying off high-interest debts first can save you money and reduce your total debt faster.</p> <p><strong>Negotiate interest rates or switch lenders:</strong> Don’t be shy. A simple call to your lender requesting a lower rate can make a significant difference. You may also take advantage of sign-on offers and refinancing your loan with a new lender. In the banking business, customers are not usually rewarded for their loyalty.</p> <p><strong>Consider different repayment strategies:</strong> Choose a debt repayment strategy that aligns with your preferences. Some people get a psychological boost from paying off smaller debts first (this is often called the “<a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-credit/smarter-credit/manage-your-debt/snowball-vs-avalanche-paydown/#:%7E:text=The%20%22snowball%20method%2C%22%20simply,all%20accounts%20are%20paid%20off.">snowball method</a>”). Others focus on high-interest debts (often known as the “<a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-credit/smarter-credit/manage-your-debt/snowball-vs-avalanche-paydown/#:%7E:text=The%20%22snowball%20method%2C%22%20simply,all%20accounts%20are%20paid%20off.">avalanche method</a>”). Find what works for you. The most important thing is to have a plan and stick to it.</p> <p>Review the terms of each debt carefully. Certain loans offer flexibility in repayment schedules, while others may impose penalties for early settlement. Take note of these conditions as you develop your repayment plan.</p> <p>Debt can be a useful tool or a dangerous trap, depending on how you use it. By understanding the difference between good and bad debts, and by having a smart strategy for paying them off, you can take charge of your financial future.<!-- 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/217779/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/angel-zhong-1204643"><em>Angel Zhong</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT 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/what-are-good-and-bad-debts-and-which-should-i-pay-off-first-217779">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Shocking twist on teen accused of pushing elderly man off pier

<p>Just hours after a 14-year-old boy was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/teenager-arrested-after-shoving-elderly-man-off-pier" target="_blank" rel="noopener">arrested for allegedly shoving an elderly man </a>off the Mornington Peninsula pier, the teenager has been accused of previously assaulting a woman. </p> <p>Jamie Tilbrook, 35, was allegedly bashed by the same group of teens who pushed the 79-year-old off the pier. </p> <p>Shocking CCTV footage of the alleged attack showed two boys throwing a series of punches towards Ms Tilbrook's head in broad daylight, after she confronted them for vandalising a bus and tipping bins over. </p> <p>"I said, 'What the f--- are you doing?' They turn around and jump me," she said. </p> <p>"Two boys just come and started smashing me in the head. I was telling my girlfriend to get away, like, I didn't want her to get attacked."</p> <p>The 35-year-old had to be rushed to hospital after losing consciousness and spent a night at The Alfred, where doctors had to glue her wound shut. </p> <p>Ms Tilbrook told <em>9News</em> that she no longer goes out and night and has to constantly watch her back after the alleged assault. </p> <p>The incident came just two months before the alleged attack of the elderly man, and the 14-year-old boy was on bail when he pushed the man off the pier. </p> <p>Ms Tilbrook revealed she was "disgusted" that the same boy who was charged after allegedly assaulting her, was now accused of pushing a fisherman off the pier. </p> <p>His friends had filmed the horrific incident before posting it online. </p> <p><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/melbourne-news-teen-who-allegedly-pushed-elderly-man-off-melbourne-pier-was-on-bail/db6c8d5e-7e49-4ccc-ab47-cb4738979dc6" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9News</em></a> revealed that the teenager has since been charged over the assault and allegedly breaching his bail conditions. </p> <p>He will reportedly face children's court at a later date.</p> <p><em>Images: 9News</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Teenager arrested after shoving elderly man off pier

<p dir="ltr">A teenager has been arrested after a disgraceful assault on an elderly man, which saw the teen push the man off a pier and into the water. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 79-year-old was walking along the pier at Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula on Sunday night, when he was targeted by a group of three teenagers. </p> <p dir="ltr">Filming the assault, the teenagers laughed as one boy approached the elderly man and shoved him off the pier and into the water below. </p> <p dir="ltr">The teens ran away laughing, and later uploaded the footage of the incident to social media. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mornington Peninsula MP, Chris Crewther slammed the actions of the group and told the <em>Today</em> show that the man was not a strong swimmer and could have drowned if it wasn't for two bystanders who jumped into the water to save him.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It is disgraceful, appalling and cowardly behaviour," he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I know that this man is highly shaken and traumatised by the event and fortunately, I understand he wasn't seriously injured, but it would take a while to recover from this mentally and emotionally."</p> <p dir="ltr">A 14-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and unlawful assault over the incident. </p> <p dir="ltr">Crewther confirmed the other two boys involved in the attack are known to police, given that the footage of the shoving was uploaded to their personal social media accounts. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Obviously they were wanting some notoriety and to show their exploits on social media, which has actually got them in trouble now because they've identified themselves," he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The Police know who they are and are asking the victim to come forward to give a statement so that these three can be charged to the fullest extent and hopefully they will be punished."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p> <p> </p>

News

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"No empathy": Grandmother kicked off flight over unpaid fee

<p>An outraged father has unleashed over Jetstar's decision to remove his mother-in-law and children from a flight over an unpaid fee. </p> <p>Father of three Jay Tee took to social media to slam the airline over their treatment of his family on their flight from the Gold Coast to Melbourne. </p> <p>Tee's kids were being accompanied on the flight by their grandmother, who was informed she needed to pay a $35 fee to check in a bag. </p> <p>The woman forgot to pay the fee before boarding, on what was her second time ever on a plane. </p> <p>Tee was then contacted by the airline after his family had boarded and was told they would not be allowed to travel if the charge wasn’t paid for within 10 minutes. </p> <p>“They informed me I had 10 minutes to pay $35 or else they would be removed from the flight extra fees would accur (sic) for holding up the flight,” he said.</p> <p>“I hung up transferred funds and rang back within four minutes. Jetstar did not take payment and had removed my mother-in-law from the flight altogether leaving her and 3 kids stranded at Gold Coast airport no water no food.”</p> <p>The father slammed the airline for “disgusting service” that was “the worst I have ever been treated” by a company.</p> <p>“My anger is not with the payment for luggage, it is how my mother-in-law and three kids under 10 were treated.”</p> <p>The airline confirmed the family were removed from the flight, with a spokesperson saying the airline was trying to contact Mr Tee for more information.</p> <p>“We’re really sorry to hear about the customers’ experience and are reaching out to get a better understanding about what happened,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>The airline went on to say they had no record of any payment being made, while also clarifying they asked the elderly woman to move to the service desk multiple times to pay the fee, but she didn't.</p> <p>Mr Tee says he was then forced to pay another $600 to book the group on the next flight to Melbourne with discount airline Bonza.</p> <p>The situation stirred up debate on social media, with some blaming the woman for the mishap.</p> <p>“I don’t understand how this is anybody but the mother in laws fault, She would have checked bags in then should have walked over and paid for the excess, not boarded the plane,” one person wrote.</p> <p>But others defended her, and the fact the charge was paid by Mr Tee.</p> <p>“Would have thought Jetstar could have helped in some way, but that sums up Jetstar’s customer service for you. No empathy what so ever.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Getty Images </em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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