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"Raw with grief": White Island volcano victim finally wakes from coma to find husband and stepdaughter died

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Adelaide mother and engineer Lisa Dallow woke from a coma and received the heartbreaking news that her daughter and husband passed away in the White Island volcano tragedy.</p> <p>Lisa, 48, told relatives how she and other tourists fled for their lives as rocks rained down on them during the eruption on December 9.</p> <p>She woke in Melbourne’s The Alfred Hospital burns unit and was given the news that her daughter Zoe, 15, and Gavin, 53 had passed.</p> <p>Relatives told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-woman-lisa-dallow-wakes-from-coma-to-hear-her-husband-gavin-and-daughter-zoe-died-in-the-white-island-volcano-tragedy/news-story/81e97399ddf87c0b4006d2a51933bcb9" target="_blank">The Advertiser</a></em><span> </span>that she was devastated.</p> <p>“Lisa is awake and has been told about Zoe and Gavin, so she now knows what has happened,” a family spokeswoman said.</p> <p>“It took a while for it to sink in and then she just kept saying she can’t believe they had died.”</p> <p>The family spokesman also said that Lisa had some memories of the volcano erupting.</p> <p>“She remembers it exploding and then telling everyone to run,” she said. “She then recalled how rocks were falling everywhere and hitting her on the back.</p> <p>“She remembers thinking: ‘When are they going to come and rescue us?’ The next thing she knows is she is in hospital wondering where she was.”</p> <p>After Lisa missed Gavin’s funeral at Adelaide Oval last month, her family has delayed Zoe’s memorial in the hopes that Lisa can attend as she undergoes intensive rehab.</p> <p>“She wasn’t able to go to Gavin’s funeral, but we are hoping she could make Zoe’s, so they have delayed it until she is a bit better,” the spokesperson explained.</p> <p>“It will be Lisa’s decision, so we all just have to wait and see. It is so devastating for everyone. We are still raw with grief.”</p> <p>Lisa was critically injured after suffering life-threatening burns to almost 60 percent of her body and is currently receiving high-level care from Australia’s top trauma doctors.</p> <p>“It really is a slow road to recovery, Lisa has been up and down,” the spokesman said.</p> <p><em>Photo credits:<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-woman-lisa-dallow-wakes-from-coma-to-hear-her-husband-gavin-and-daughter-zoe-died-in-the-white-island-volcano-tragedy/news-story/81e97399ddf87c0b4006d2a51933bcb9" target="_blank">Adelaide Now</a><span> </span> <span> </span></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Blue Acceleration: our dash for ocean resources mirrors what we’ve already done to the land

<p>Humans are leaving a heavy footprint on the Earth, but when did we become the main driver of change in the planet’s ecosystems? Many scientists point to the 1950s, when all kinds of socioeconomic trends began accelerating. Since then, <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/the-countries-with-the-biggest-populations-from-1950-to-2060/">the world population has tripled</a>. Fertiliser and water use expanded as <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-the-earth-feed-11-billion-people-four-reasons-to-fear-a-malthusian-future-43347">more food was grown than ever before</a>. The construction of motorways sped up to accommodate rising car ownership while international flights took off to satisfy a growing taste for tourism.</p> <p>The scale of human demands on Earth grew beyond historic proportions. This post-war period became known as the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/anthropocene-began-in-1965-according-to-signs-left-in-the-worlds-loneliest-tree-91993">Great Acceleration</a>”, and many believe it gave birth to the Anthropocene – the geological epoch during which human activity surpassed natural forces as the biggest influence on the functioning of Earth’s living systems.</p> <p>But researchers studying the ocean are currently feeling a sense of déjà vu. Over the past three decades, patterns seen on land 70 years ago have been occurring in the ocean. We’re living through a “<a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(19)30275-1">Blue Acceleration</a>”, and it will have significant consequences for life on the blue planet.</p> <p><strong>Why is the Blue Acceleration happening now?</strong></p> <p>As land-based resources have declined, hopes and expectations have increasingly turned to the ocean as a new engine of human development. Take deep sea mining. The international seabed and its mineral riches have excited commercial interest in recent years due to soaring commodity prices. According to the <a href="https://data.imf.org/commodityprices">International Monetary Fund</a>, the price of gold is up 454% since 2000, silver is up 317% and lead 493%. Around 1.4 million square kilometres of the seabed has been leased since 2001 by the International Seabed Authority for exploratory mining activities.</p> <p>In some industries, technological advances have driven these trends. Virtually all offshore windfarms were installed <a href="https://www.irena.org/Statistics">in the last 20 years</a>. The marine biotechnology sector scarcely existed at the end of the 20th century, and over <a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/6/eaar5237">99% of genetic sequences from marine organisms</a> found in patents were registered since 2000.</p> <p>During the 1990s, as the Blue Acceleration got underway, <a href="https://www.infoplease.com/world/population-statistics/total-population-world-decade-1950-2050">the world population reached 6 billion</a>. Today there are around <a href="https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/">7.8 billion people</a>. Population growth in water-scarce areas like the Middle East, Australia and South Africa has caused a <a href="https://www.desaldata.com/">three-fold growth in volumes of desalinated seawater</a> generated since 2000. It has also meant a nearly <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.SHP.GOOD.TU">four-fold increase</a> in the volume of goods transported around the world by shipping since 2000.</p> <p><strong>Why does the Blue Acceleration matter?</strong></p> <p>The ocean was once thought – even among prominent scientists – to be too vast to be changed by human activity. That view has been replaced by the uncomfortable recognition that not only can humans change the ocean, but also that the current trajectory of human demands on the ocean simply isn’t sustainable.</p> <p>Consider the coast of Norway. The region is home to a multi-million dollar ocean-based oil and gas industry, aquaculture, popular cruises, busy shipping routes and fisheries. All of these interests are vying for the same ocean space, and their demands are growing. A five-fold increase in the number of salmon grown by aquaculture is expected by 2050, while the region’s tourism industry is predicted to welcome a five-fold increase in visitors by 2030. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.offshorewind.biz/2019/06/19/norway-ponders-3-5gw-offshore-wind-move/">vast offshore wind farms</a> have been proposed off the southern tip of Norway.</p> <p>The ocean is vast, but it’s not limitless. This saturation of ocean space is not unique to Norway, and a densely populated ocean space runs the risk of conflict across industries. Escapee salmon from aquaculture have <a href="https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/food-fisheries-and-agriculture/fishing-and-aquaculture/1/farmed-salmon/fish-healthsalmon-lice/id607091/">spread sea lice in wild populations</a>, creating tensions with Norwegian fisheries. An industrial accident in the oil and gas industry could cause significant damage to local seafood and tourism as well as the seafood export market.</p> <p>More fundamentally, the burden on ocean ecosystems is growing, and we simply don’t know as much about these ecosystems as we would like. An ecologist once quipped that fisheries management is the same as forestry management. Instead of trees you’re counting fish, except you can’t see the fish, and they move.</p> <p>Exploitation of the ocean has tended to precede exploration. One iconic example is <a href="https://theconversation.com/sea-pangolin-the-first-ever-species-endangered-by-potential-deep-sea-mining-120624">the scaly-foot snail</a>. This deep sea mollusc was discovered in 1999 and was on the IUCN Red List of endangered species by 2019. Why? As far as scientists can tell, the species is only found in three hydrothermal vent systems more than 2,400 metres below the Indian Ocean, covering less than 0.02 square kilometres. Today, two of the three vent systems fall within exploratory mining leases.</p> <p><strong>What next?</strong></p> <p>Billionaires dreaming of space colonies can dream a little closer to home. Even as the Blue Acceleration consumes more of the ocean’s resources, this vast area is every bit as mysterious as outer space. The surfaces of Mars and the Moon have been mapped in <a href="https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/mapping-our-planet-one-ocean-time">higher resolution than the seafloor</a>. Life in the ocean has existed for two billion years longer than on land and an estimated <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127">91% of marine species have not been described by science</a>. Their genetic adaptations could help scientists develop the <a href="https://theconversation.com/nature-is-a-rich-source-of-medicine-if-we-can-protect-it-107471">antibiotics and medicines of tomorrow</a>, but they may disappear long before that’s possible.</p> <p>The timing is right for guiding the Blue Acceleration towards more sustainable and equitable trajectories. The <a href="https://en.unesco.org/ocean-decade">UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development</a> is about to begin, a new <a href="https://www.un.org/bbnj/">international treaty on ocean biodiversity</a> is in its final stages of negotiation, and in June 2020, governments, businesses, academics and civil society will assemble for the <a href="https://oceanconference.un.org/">UN Ocean Conference</a> in Lisbon.</p> <p>Yet many simple questions remain. Who is driving the Blue Acceleration? Who is benefiting from it? And who is being left out or forgotten? These are all urgent questions, but perhaps the most important and hardest to answer of all is how to create connections and engagement across all these groups. Otherwise, the drivers of the Blue Acceleration will be like the fish in the ecologist’s analogy: constantly moving, invisible and impossible to manage – before it is too late.</p> <p><em>Written by Robert Blasiak. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/blue-acceleration-our-dash-for-ocean-resources-mirrors-what-weve-already-done-to-the-land-130264"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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The coronavirus will hit the tourism and travel sector hard this 2020

<p>The spread of infectious diseases is invariably linked to travel. Today, tourism is a huge global business that accounts for <a href="https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/regions-2019/world2019.pdf">10.4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10 per cent of global employment.</a></p> <p>Nothing seems to slow its growth as year-over-year <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">increases outpace the economy</a>. The United Nations World Tourism Organization is predicting further <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">growth of three per cent to four per cent in international tourist arrivals for 2020</a>, with <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">international departures worldwide particularly strong</a> in the first quarter of this year.</p> <p>But that was before a new coronavirus (formally known as 2019-nCoV) hit China and then very rapidly started spreading to the rest of the world with <a href="https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6">20 countries and counting</a> isolating cases.</p> <p>Officials in China and those in the rest of world have been much quicker to take more drastic action after learning bitter lessons from the SARS outbreak in 2003, which also started in China.</p> <p>The impact on travel to and from China of this new coronavirus, however, has been devastating. Airlines, including <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-air-travel-1.5444326">Air Canada</a>, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/business/british-airways-coronavirus/index.html">have cancelled all flights</a> or <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/business/american-airlines-suspends-china-flights-coronavirus/index.html">significantly reduced the number of flights</a> in and out of China. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-30/russia-closing-border-with-china-to-affect-people-not-goods">Russia closed its land border to passenger travel</a> with China and <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/n7jebz/hong-kong-is-closing-its-borders-to-keep-coronavirus-out">Hong Kong shut down its borders, cross-border ferries and railways</a>.</p> <p>How does the impact of 2019-nCoV differ from that of SARS, which also affected tourism dramatically?</p> <p><strong>SARS has higher death toll so far</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/en/">World Health Organization</a> confirmed 8,096 cases and 774 deaths in 26 countries as a result of the SARS coronavirus. First detected in late February 2003, it had run its course five months later.</p> <p>The coronavirus first appeared in December 2019 but has already <a href="http://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316">surpassed the total number of SARS cases in just two months</a>, albeit with a much lower death rate. Infectious disease experts expect it <a href="https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/wuhan-virus-experts-say-outbreak-will-last-months-at-least">to last for several months</a> yet with tens of thousands afflicted before it runs its course.</p> <p>SARS accounted for a <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ST.INT.ARVL">drop in international tourist arrivals of almost 9.4 million</a>and a loss of between US$30 billion and $50 billion. But in 2002, China’s role as both a travel destination and a source country was relatively minor, receiving fewer than 38 million tourists and sending about 17 million tourists abroad.</p> <p>Compare that to 2019 when it is estimated China received <a href="https://www.china-mike.com/china-travel-tips/china-tourism-statistics/">142 million inbound tourists and the Chinese made 134 million trips abroad and 5.5 billion trips domestically</a>.</p> <p>The severe travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on its citizens and the stern warnings from Foreign Affairs offices, <a href="https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/china">including Canada’s</a>, to avoid all non-essential travel to China and all travel to Hubei province (Wuhan is its capital and largest city) means that the economic impact of this coronvirus will be felt in every corner of the world and almost every sector of the economy.</p> <p>The market response has been swift, with <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-economic-impact-1.5437393">share prices of major airlines, cruise lines and tourism companies dropping several percentage points</a>.</p> <p>With the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus <a href="https://www.who.int/">a public health emergency of global concern</a>, Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (<a href="https://www.wttc.org/search-results/?query=coronavirus">WTTC</a>) fears that this escalation could have a damaging and lasting economic impact on the sector. She’s <a href="http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/356089/wttc-issues-coronavirus-economic-impact-warning">expressed serious concerns</a> that airport closures, flight cancellations and shuttered borders often have a greater economic impact than the outbreak itself.</p> <p><strong>Hundreds of thousands die from seasonal flus</strong></p> <p>These concerns are well justified when one considers that <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1213-flu-death-estimate.html">between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year</a>, which does not lead to any of these warnings or drastic measures.</p> <p>Canada saw <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/en/">251 SARS cases and 43 deaths</a>, but it cost the Canadian economy an estimated <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-economic-impact-1.5437393">$5.25 billion and 28,000 jobs</a>. At the time, China was a Canadian tourism market of less than <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2410000301">100,000 visitors annually; that dropped by 25 per cent due to SARS</a>.</p> <p>Today, China is Canada’s second-largest overseas market, accounting for close to <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2410000301">800,000 arrivals</a>, and its highest spending market with more than<a href="https://www.destinationcanada.com/sites/default/files/archive/869-Market%20Highlights%20-%20China%20-%202019/MarketHighlights-CN_EN%5B1%5D.pdf">$2,800 per trip</a>.</p> <p>Depending on how long the restrictions and warnings are in place, losses could easily double of those in 2003. The pain will be felt in every industry as tourism’s supply chain involves everything from agriculture and fishing to banking and insurance. The hardest hit will be its core industries of accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel services.</p> <p>While Air Canada will <a href="https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html">refund fares for cancelled flights</a> to and from China, other airlines may only <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/28/business/delta-american-united-coronavirus-wuhan-china/index.html">extend change fee waivers</a> or provide credit towards future flights.</p> <p>But this may not be the case for connecting flights from Beijing or Shanghai, the cities most commonly served by North American airlines.</p> <p>A growing number of hotels are also waiving changes and cancellation fees for bookings in China scheduled for the next few weeks. But many travellers to or passing through China may not be able to recover all their money, even if they bought insurance. That’s because most basic travel insurance plans do not cover <a href="https://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-tips/safety/info-2020/insurance-coronavirus-coverage.html">epidemics as a reason for cancellation</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Marion Joppe. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-coronavirus-will-hit-the-tourism-and-travel-sector-hard-130872">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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A tale of 2 rivers: is it safer to swim in the Yarra in Victoria or the Nepean in NSW?

<p>Cooling off with a swim in the river is a popular summer pastime in Australia, particularly for people who live a long distance from the beach.</p> <p>But urban waterways often have poor water quality, and <a href="https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/bathing/annapolis.pdf">swimming in contaminated water</a> can pose health risks. Water-borne pathogens, if ingested, can cause <a href="https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/guidelines-managing-risks-recreational-water">infectious diseases</a> such as gastrointestinal illness.</p> <p>In <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/344/1/012016/meta">our recently published research</a> we compared a popular NSW river, the Nepean River in western Sydney, with the upper reaches of Victoria’s iconic Yarra River (from Kew in Melbourne to Launching Place in the Yarra Ranges).</p> <p>We investigated how safe these rivers were for swimming, based on levels of faecal bacteria. We also assessed what information is available to inform people of the rivers’ suitability for swimming.</p> <p>While the water quality is generally better in the Nepean River, NSW doesn’t provide guidance on whether it’s safe for swimming. So in this regard, Victoria’s Yarra River could be considered safer.</p> <p><strong>What contaminates our rivers?</strong></p> <p>Both the Nepean River and the Yarra River are exposed to many potential sources of contamination, such as faecal wastes from farm livestock, wildlife, and domestic animals, and pollution from urban streams and sewage.</p> <p>We calculated flows in the Nepean River can contain <a href="https://theconversation.com/more-of-us-are-drinking-recycled-sewage-water-than-most-people-realise-92420">up to 30%</a> treated sewage. However, the NSW Environment Protection Authority highly regulates the sewage to protect river water quality.</p> <p>Heavy rain reduces water quality as the rain mobilises pollutants and carries them into waterways.</p> <p><strong>Water quality: Victoria versus New South Wales</strong></p> <p>We generally use the presence of E. coli bacteria as <a href="https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-10/documents/rwqc2012.pdf">an indicator of pollution</a> from animal and human faecal wastes in rivers. It also indicates the risk of swimmers contracting a water-borne disease. If people swim in water with highly elevated E.coli numbers, they have a greater chance of getting sick.</p> <p>NSW doesn’t have guidelines which stipulate safe levels of E.coli in freshwater rivers. But Victorian guidelines recommend E.coli in freshwater rivers and lakes used for swimming doesn’t exceed <a href="https://yarraandbay.vic.gov.au/weeklywatersamples?type=yarra&amp;site=290400">260 organisms per 100mL</a>.</p> <p>It was simple to get advice on water quality for swimming at four locations on the Yarra River on the “<a href="https://yarraandbay.vic.gov.au/yarra-watch">Yarrawatch</a>” website.</p> <p>Swimming is prohibited in the lower, highly urbanised parts of the Yarra, but Yarrawatch provides daily updates on the safety of swimming in its cleaner freshwater reaches. Yarrawatch also documents the actual <a href="https://yarraandbay.vic.gov.au/weeklywatersamples?type=yarra&amp;site=290400">bacteria concentrations</a>from weekly samples collected during the swimming season, which inform the safety recommendations.</p> <p>At the time we published this article all sites on the Yarra were “poor”, meaning not suitable for swimming.</p> <p>There was no similar information publicly available for swimmers in the Nepean River, so we obtained water quality data from NSW Government agencies.</p> <p>The Nepean River E. coli bacteria results showed river water quality was generally very good, particularly at the sites upstream of urban and agricultural development.</p> <p>We also compared bacteria results according to rainfall. After heavy rain in the previous week, the E. coli bacteria levels spiked. The Nepean River at Penrith Weir, a very popular swimming spot, often recorded hazardous E.coli results after more than 40mm of rain in a week.</p> <p><strong>Swimmers need advice</strong></p> <p>Our biggest concern is Nepean River users are not given any advice on water quality. Up-to-date guidance is important to enable people to make an informed choice about whether or not they should swim.</p> <p>For example, very young children have poorly developed immune systems and may be <a href="https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/health-daily-care/health-concerns/pool-hygiene">more susceptible</a> to getting sick from water-borne pathogens. Their parents and caregivers should be warned if E. coli levels are high at a particular swimming spot.</p> <p>In contrast, visitors to any coastal or harbour swimming beach in eastern Sydney can look up the NSW Government <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/beaches/beachwatch-water-quality-program">Beachwatch</a> advice. This guidance is updated daily based on regular testing of faecal bacteria and other factors, including rainfall.</p> <p>But in western Sydney, swimmers and other river users have no such guidance. The decision to go swimming in the Nepean River can therefore be a gamble.</p> <p>Faecal bacterial data is actually collected in the Nepean and other rivers by NSW government agencies. Yet they don’t make the results freely available to the public.</p> <p>The NSW government is failing in its duty of care in this regard. It must issue health warnings when it detects hazardous bacterial results in the river.</p> <p>So which river has the best water quality for swimming, the Nepean or the the Yarra? While the Yarra water quality may be poorer, authorities at least offer advice to river users to guide safe swimming.</p> <p>If you intend to swim in the Nepean, avoid swimming after rain. If you’re unsure, wait at least a few days, preferably a week, after significant rainfall.</p> <p><em>Written by Ian Wright, Jason Reynolds, Katherine Morrison and Michelle Ryan. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-tale-of-2-rivers-is-it-safer-to-swim-in-the-yarra-in-victoria-or-the-nepean-in-nsw-130791">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Cartel offences in Australia: The crime of anti-competitive conduct

<p>Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd – also known as K-Line – was fined $34.5 million over cartel conduct in the Federal Court <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">in August of 2019 </a>. K-Line admitted to engaging in anti-competitive conduct with other shipping companies between July 2009 and September 2012, which amounted to criminal offence under Australian law.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Cartel%20conduct%20how%20it%20affects%20your%20business.pdf">cartel exists</a> when two or more businesses illegally agree to work together, instead of competing.</p> <p>Such conduct allows those involved to control and restrict how a market operates, which in turn, drives up profit margins for the companies, whilst maintaining the illusion of competition.</p> <p>The cartel that K-Line was involved in had been operating since <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">at least February 1997</a>. The companies involved were found to be fixing prices on the transportation of vehicles, such as cars, trucks and buses, being shipped to Australia from the US, Asia and Europe.</p> <p>“Cartel conduct, such as that engaged in by K-Line,” <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">said</a> Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) chair Rod Sims, “not only cheats consumers and other businesses through inflated prices and costs, but also restricts healthy economic growth and discourages innovation.”</p> <p>The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) laid the charges <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/criminal-cartel-charges-laid-against-k-line">in November 2016</a>. K-Line ultimately pleaded guilty <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/second-shipping-company-pleads-guilty-to-criminal-cartel-conduct">in April last year</a>. And on <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">2 August this year</a>, the Federal Court ordered the largest ever criminal fine imposed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (the CC Act).</p> <p><strong>Federal Court proceedings</strong></p> <p>K-Line was charged with <a href="https://incompetition.com.au/2019/08/heavy-fines-on-the-high-seas-for-criminal-cartel-conduct/">39 counts</a> of giving effect to a cartel provision, contrary to <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45ag.html">section 45AG</a> of the CC Act. The Japanese company subsequently agreed to plead guilty to a single merged (or ‘rolled up’) charge under the section.</p> <p>The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine not exceeding the greater of three options. The first is a $10 million fine. The second is the total value of the benefits gained by the conduct. And the third is 10 percent of the firm’s earnings over the 12 months prior to committing the offence.</p> <p>In the case of K-Line, the third option applied. This meant that the maximum penalty was $100 million. The court held that the company should be fined $48 million. However, due to its early guilty plea, a 28 percent discount was allowed, which brought the fine down to $34.5 million.</p> <p>Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/k-line-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-345-million">said that</a> the penalty “should send a powerful message” that “anti-competitive conduct will not be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly”, when it comes before the court.</p> <p><strong>Cartel conduct</strong></p> <p>The ACCC is an independent federal government authority charged with protecting consumer rights, ensuring business obligations and preventing illegal anti-competitive behaviour, which includes investigating cartel activities.</p> <p>The anti-competitive actions of cartels are known as cartel conduct. This includes price fixing, dividing up markets so each participant is shielded from competition, rigging bids and controlling output of or limiting the goods and services available to consumers.</p> <p>The commission states <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/anti-competitive-behaviour/cartels#report-a-cartel-apply-for-immunity">on its website</a> that cartels are not only “illegal and immoral” because they “cheat consumers”, but as well, they “restrict healthy economic growth” through outcomes, such as artificially increasing prices, reducing innovation, increasing taxes and destroying other businesses.</p> <p>Under its investigative powers, the ACCC can compel individuals and companies to provide information regarding any suspect behaviour, it can seek warrants from a magistrate, which can be executed at a company’s premises, and it can notify the AFP about any cartel conduct.</p> <p>On 15 August 2014, the ACCC and the CDPP signed a memorandum of understanding regarding cartel conduct, which sees the commission in charge of investigating serious misconduct and referring it onto to the CDPP for prosecution considerations.</p> <p><strong>Further cartel offences</strong></p> <p>Under the CC Act, along with section 45AG, there’s another criminal cartel offence contained in <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45af.html">section 45AF</a>, which involves a corporation making a contract or agreement that contains a cartel provision as part of it. The same penalties apply as under 45AG.</p> <p><a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45aj.html">Section 45AJ</a> of the CC Act makes it a civil offence for a corporation to make a contract containing a cartel provision, while <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s45ak.html">section 45AK</a> makes is a civil offence for a corporation to give effect to a cartel provision.</p> <p><a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s79.html">Section 79</a> of the CC Act provides that an individual who contravenes, or attempts to contravene, the <a href="https://nswcourts.com.au/articles/proving-criminal-charges-main-and-alternative-charges/">criminal offences</a>under sections 45AF and 45AG has committed a crime. And such a person can be sentenced to up to 10 years imprisonment or fined $420,000.</p> <p>The ACCC makes clear that it’s “illegal for a corporation to indemnify its officers against legal costs and any financial penalties”.</p> <p><strong>The Harper reforms</strong></p> <p>The K-Line conviction follows that of another corporation involved in the same cartel. On 3 August 2017, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/nyk-convicted-of-criminal-cartel-conduct-and-fined-25-million">was convicted</a> and fined $25 million over its cartel conduct. And there are investigations continuing into other alleged cartel members.</p> <p>The NYK conviction marked the first successful prosecution under the new cartel criminal provisions of the CC Act, which came in as part of the <a href="https://www.australiancompetitionlaw.org/hottopics/harperreforms.html">2017 Harper reforms</a>. These were recommended in the <a href="http://competitionpolicyreview.gov.au/files/2015/03/Competition-policy-review-report_online.pdf">March 2015 Competition Policy Review report</a>.</p> <p>Two pieces of legislation were passed in parliament in late 2017, which amended the CC Act. The reforms simplified local cartel laws in ways that included narrowing jurisdictional reach, extending the provisions to apply to acquisitions of goods and services and increasing the standard of proof.</p> <p><strong>Ongoing prosecutions</strong></p> <p>And the third prosecution under the new laws is now underway. On 23 August, the CDPP <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/global-shipping-company-wallenius-wilhelmsen-charged-with-criminal-cartel-conduct">laid charges</a> related to alleged cartel conduct in the NSW District Registry of the Federal Court against Norwegian-based global shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean.</p> <p>The charges relate to the shipping of vehicles to Australia over the period June 2011 to July 2012. This matter has already been investigated and prosecuted in a number of other jurisdictions around the globe, including the United States.</p> <p>ACCC chair Sims <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/global-shipping-company-wallenius-wilhelmsen-charged-with-criminal-cartel-conduct">explained in a recent statement</a> that “this is the third prosecution involving an international shipping company engaging in alleged cartel conduct where criminal charges have been laid under the Competition and Consumer Act”.</p> <p>The commission declined to comment further on the case, as it is currently before the courts. And the first mention of the matter was set to be made last Thursday.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/cartel-offences-in-australia-the-crime-of-anti-competitive-conduct/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

Cruising

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5 things that you should never do on a cruise

<p><strong>Constantly complain</strong></p> <p>There’s no reason to be rude if something doesn’t go your way during the cruise. Polite people never take issues out on crew members, according to Emilie Dulles, an event protocol and etiquette expert. “The crew is there to ensure that every traveller has the best experience onboard possible, yet they are also skilled human beings who should be treated with respect, grace, and kindness,” Dulles says. “Nothing is as tacky as yelling at a server, or complaining at the turn-down staff for forgetting an extra blanket, or hitting on a mixologist after one too many daiquiris.” Pay respect and attention to cruise workers.</p> <p><strong>Drink too much</strong></p> <p>Everyone should enjoy their cruise, and if that means sipping on fruity cocktails, that’s your business. If drinking regularly isn’t something you do, or you don’t know how to handle your liquor, it could lead to lots of rude behaviour. “Inhibitions go down as blood alcohol content goes up, so to avoid embarrassing oneself and disrupting other travellers’ cruise experience, it’s more polite to keep one’s cocktail count in check,” Dulles says.</p> <p><strong>Let kids run wild</strong></p> <p>Many families don’t keep a close eye on their kids while on a cruise, Dulles says. “There are assigned areas for children to run, jump, and be themselves with full energy under the supervision of trained staff,” Dulles says. “The entire ship is not their playground.” Polite people recognise that not all cruise travellers want to see or hear kids all the time. Mind the signs that show what areas are only for adults, families, or kids. “By respecting those boundaries, not only will children enjoy themselves more, but also adults will be able to relax and make the most of their time at sea.” Some cruises are especially for families.</p> <p><strong>Hoard food</strong></p> <p>All-inclusive food is very alluring. It’s easy to take things to the extreme. And although the buffet is tempting, remember not to be wasteful. “When it comes to the all-inclusive aspect of cruise voyages, many travellers will see this as an opportunity of getting as much as possible out of their fare,” Dulles says. “By piling more food than they can consume on their buffet plate and ordering cocktail after cocktail just because they can, travellers can be very wasteful and inconsiderate towards the crew who spends a lot of time and energy putting together the meals and drinks available.” Instead, take enough food for one sitting. You can always choose to go back for seconds, but this is more elegant than throwing away platefuls of perfectly good food.</p> <p><strong>Dress inappropriately</strong></p> <p>During the daytime, there are generally no dress code requirements on cruises. Tsai notes, however, if you plan on a formal dining experience with other guests, dress appropriately for the occasion. Generally, dress code requirements for the evening are in the cruise’s daily program, according to Tsai.</p> <p><em>Written by Emily DiNuzzo. This article first appeared in<a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/10-things-polite-people-never-do-on-cruises?slide=all"> Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> </em></span></p> <p> </p>

Cruising

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5 things polite people just don't do on cruises

<p>Cruises are a wonderful opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy the water and sun. Don’t let rude people ruin your cruise – better still, before booking a cruise, learn not to be one of those people who ruin someone else’s holiday.</p> <p><strong>Argue in the cabin</strong></p> <p>Especially late at night, be courteous. “Cruise ship rooms tend to have thin walls; therefore you always want to be respectful when you’re walking through hallways so as not to disturb other guests,” says Bonnie Tsai, founder and director of Beyond Etiquette. “This also includes being as quiet as you can when you’re inside your cabin.” Cruisers who really want to avoid as much noise as possible shouldn’t book their room under the gym or pool deck, if possible.</p> <p><strong>Pretend the cruise is a personal yacht</strong></p> <p>The ship is your home away from home for a set amount of time. You should still keep in mind your behaviour and presentation, according to Tsai. “There’s no need to show off your immense collection of expensive jewellery or wear lingerie or PJs in the hallways,” she says. There are plenty of other guests sharing the same space, and they may not want to see your plaid PJs.</p> <p><strong>Hog lounge chairs</strong></p> <p>It’s impolite to save seats for your family and friends, whether it’s by the pool or in the theatre. Tsai says if you must save a seat, do so for only 30 minutes. Ships have a limited amount of seating, so be mindful. Another important tip to keep in mind is if your group wants to sit together, show up at the same time. “If it’s a situation where every lounger is sure to be occupied by 10 am, many cruises allow guests to place towels on loungers for a maximum of 30 minutes before they arrive,” Tsai says. “Gauge the situation and act with consideration for other guests.” Don’t fall for one of the most common cruise misconceptions, either.</p> <p><strong>Spread germs</strong></p> <p>If you’re not feeling so great during your cruise, do your best to keep your germs to yourself. “When one person is sick on a cruise, it’s easy for the whole ship to get infected as everyone’s staying in close quarters,” Tsai says. If you feel a cold coming on, try to avoid being in overly-crowded areas, so you don’t get others sick as well. And always cover your mouth with the nook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.</p> <p><strong>Skip the tip</strong></p> <p>Many major cruise lines charge a daily fee for tips, but lots of people have confusion about tipping, according to Tsai. Confirm the tipping policy before booking your cruise. “If the cruise line doesn’t include tip in your payment, be sure to factor that into your budget when you plan for your trip,” Tsai says. “If tipping isn’t included and there is a standard tipping policy, then be sure to deliver it to the staff who’s helped you during your trip.” If tipping is expected, it’s customary for room service, dining services, childcare, and any additional alcohol.</p> <p><em>Written by Emily DiNuzzo. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/10-things-polite-people-never-do-on-cruises?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> </em></span></p>

Cruising

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What to pack for a cruise – and 6 things not to bring

<p><strong>Cruise essentials</strong></p> <p>Packing for a cruise is a lot like packing for any other holiday. You’ll want to bring comfy walking shoes for sightseeing and to leave your best jewellery at home. But there are other items – beyond seasickness medications – that expert cruisers never set sail without. Here, a few of our favourite professional cruisers tell us what you’ll find in their suitcases.</p> <p><strong>Do: Stash all your pool items in your carry-on bag</strong></p> <p>“You may not see your checked bag until late on your first day on board,” says Gene Sloan, cruise editor of USA Today. “It can take hours from the time you drop your bag off with the ship-side porters for it to arrive up in your room.” As a result, when we asked him what to pack for a cruise, he recommended stashing your swimsuit, sunglasses and suntan lotion in your day bag so you have them available immediately upon arrival.</p> <p><strong>Do: Pack clothing that can be layered</strong></p> <p> “Weather from port to port can vary significantly,” explains Colleen McDaniel, senior executive editor of CruiseCritic.com. “Packing layers can help combat temperature changes, without the need to pack multiple outfits that can take up precious room in your suitcase.” McDaniel adds that this is especially important in places where the weather is unpredictable.</p> <p><strong>Don’t: Leave home without sunscreen and aloe vera</strong> “Chances are you’ll get more sun than you’re used to,” says McDaniel. “And while a good sunscreen can keep you from getting burned, aloe vera will give you some relief if you do.” So when you’re thinking about what to pack for a cruise, remember to buy the sunscreen and after-sun lotion at home – you could end up paying a markup on many ships.</p> <p><strong>Do: Bring a portable charger or two</strong></p> <p>If you’re someone who doesn’t like to unplug during a vacation, this one is a biggie – especially if you have more than one device or spend hours on social media or email. “You won’t have easy access to outlets around the ship,” explains Fran Golden, chief contributor of Porthole magazine. “And there may be a limited number of outlets in your cabin.”</p> <p><strong>Do: Toss your portable mug in your bag</strong></p> <p>Cruise ships often have complimentary coffee, and it’s usually part of the deck buffet. But your cabin isn’t, so many people go up on deck, grab a couple mugs of coffee first thing in the morning, and burn themselves as they walk back to their cabin. Mike Jirout, founder of the Ship Mate App, has this clever suggestion in his blog: If you’re a big coffee drinker, pack a portable mug with a lid in your suitcase. Travelling with kids? You’ll want sippy cups for their morning milk or juice.</p> <p><strong>Do: Throw in some kitchen magnets</strong></p> <p>“Little-known fact for those who haven’t cruised before: Cruise cabin walls are made of steel,” says McDaniel. “Packing magnets – or magnetic hooks – can help keep track of daily programs and other loose papers, or make it easy to hang items that need to dry. We’ve also used heavy-duty magnetic hooks for stashing away cameras, lanyards and even binoculars.”</p> <p><strong>Do: Bring along a marker board</strong></p> <p>If you’re travelling with a group of friends or family, magnetic marker boards are handy to bring along, says McDaniel. “Hang one outside your cabin door so that you can leave notes for your travel companions.” Now, you’ll never miss out on meeting spots or reservation details.</p> <p><strong>Do: Pick up a pashmina</strong></p> <p>Just because you’re heading to a tropical region, doesn’t mean you won’t want to bring a cover-up to use on board. “I always pack a shawl (a tan cashmere is my go-to-these days), even in tropical climates,” explains Golden, “because sometimes the air-conditioning on ships is intense.” Also, as ships reach full speed, the wind on outdoor decks picks up, and you’ll be happy you brought along a wrap.</p> <p><strong>Do: Pack plenty of reading material</strong></p> <p> “Make sure you have a couple of books on your Kindle or iPad, because for once in your busy life, on a cruise ship you will actually have time to read,” says Golden. “Sometimes I’ll even pick novels based on the destination where I am cruising, or a sea theme. If I have a balcony cabin, the balcony becomes my favourite reading spot.”</p> <p><em>Written by Sherri Eisenberg. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/what-to-pack-for-a-cruise-and-6-things-not-to-bring"><em>Reader’s Digest.</em></a><em> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><em><u> </u></em></p>

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Top 10 murder capitals of the world

<p> </p> <p>For the most part, travelling the world is an exciting, educational and enlightening experience.</p> <p>But beneath all the warmth, hospitality and culture, there can be a very dark side to many cities which goes unnoticed by most wide-eyed travellers.</p> <p>Counting down are the top ten murder capitals of the world, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-50-most-violent-cities-in-the-world-2015-1#10-so-lus-brazil-had-6471-homicides-per-100000-residents-41">based upon the number of homicides per 100,000 people</a>.\</p> <p><strong>10. São Luís, Brazil</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/brazil/the-northeast/sao-luis">São Luís</a> is the largest city in the state of Maranhão, Brazil. It is a world heritage listed area, with its famous tiled buildings, and impressive museums and art galleries which entice tourists from all over the world.</p> <p>But the city also has the tenth highest murder rate in the world, with 64.71 homicides per 100,000 residents. In March this year, the city was rocked by a deadly spate of shootings which saw <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/06/ten-murders-in-five-hours-one-deadly-night-in-sao-paulos-dangerous-triangle">10 people killed in the space of just five hours.</a></p> <p>The city is also known for high rates of other violent crimes, including assaults, rapes and muggings. The violence is said to be primarily attributable to gang warfare which dominates the region. But locals say that the city’s military police are also to blame – having killed 6,697 people in the city over the past decade.</p> <p><strong>9. Cali, Columbia</strong></p> <p>It’s the capital of salsa music, and even played host to the World Games in 2013, but Cali’s appalling homicide rate of 62.25 people per 100,000 has left tourists thinking twice about exploring its lively streets.</p> <p>But credit should be given where it is due – crime in Cali has been falling since the early 2000s, when the homicide rate reached as high as 90 per 100,000 people.</p> <p>High crime has been attributed to a lack of investment in security, as well as mafia and drug wars, with over 1,700 assassins estimated to be working in the Cali to this day.</p> <p><strong>8. Fortaleza, Brazil</strong></p> <p>Beautiful Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in Brazil and home to incredible beaches and parks, but the drug trade and organised crime has seen the homicide rate skyrocket to 66.55 per 100,000 people.</p> <p>The rise in violent crime has been accompanied by a <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g303293-s206/Fortaleza:Brazil:Health.And.Safety.html">similar increase in petty crimes</a> such as theft.</p> <p>Tourists are frequently warned to exercise caution when travelling to Fortaleza due to the high rate of kidnappings in the city.</p> <p><strong>7. Valencia, Venezuela</strong></p> <p>Valencia is said to be home to some of the most attractive people on earth, including several beauty pageant winners.</p> <p>But it’s also one of the most dangerous places in the world, with 71.08 homicides per 100,000 people.</p> <p>In fact, former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her husband were brutally murdered by the roadside just last year.</p> <p>The reason for high crime rates includes easy access to weapons, corrupt officials and police, lax law enforcement and a prison system marked by violence.</p> <p><a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2014/01/violence-venezuela">90% of murders in Valencia go unpunished</a> – meaning that there is little to deter criminals from taking the law into their own hands.</p> <p><strong>6. Maceió, Brazil</strong></p> <p>A quick Google search for Maceió yields postcard-worthy photos of a coastal paradise, but besides its pretty beaches, the city is known for being one of the most violent cities in Brazil, with a homicide rate of 72.91 per 100,000 residents.</p> <p>The area is marked by poverty and an huge disparity between the rich and the poor, which has underpinned violence and crime.</p> <p>In recent years, Maceió has tried to reinvent itself as a tourist hotspot, with the government recently forking out millions for new police resources, and ‘peace lessons’ being rolled out in classrooms to teach children to be less violent. However, many holidaymakers remain perturbed by the high murder rates.</p> <p><strong>5. Distrito Central, Honduras</strong></p> <p>Widely considered to be <a href="http://news.nster.com/426-the-most-violent-cities-in-the-world-by-alex-flux.html?b=4">the most dangerous municipality in Honduras</a>, Distrito Central is largely controlled by street gangs, who are blamed for the high homicide rate of 77.65 per 100,000 residents.</p> <p>These gangs are involved in the distribution of drugs such as cocaine, morphine and heroin throughout Central America.</p> <p>The city is underpinned by extreme poverty; with almost 70% living below poverty line, and by corruption in the army, police and judicial system.</p> <p><strong>4. João Pessoa, Brazil</strong></p> <p>The easternmost city in the Americas is home to large areas of parkland as well as beautiful beaches fringed by palm trees – but the streets on the outskirts of the city are not so nice.</p> <p>With a homicide rate of 79.41 per 100,000 residents, João Pessoa is one of the most dangerous cities in Brazil. Tourists are frequently robbed at gunpoint, with statistics reporting that 135.8 people are robbed per 100,000.</p> <p><strong>3. Acapulco, Mexico</strong></p> <p>Yet another beach-fringed resort city, Acapulco is popular amongst tourists wishing to work on their tan and enjoy the nightlife – but it is also known for having the highest murder rates in Mexico, with a whopping 104.16 homicides per 100,000 residents.</p> <p>Like many other cities on this list, Acapulco is plagued by drug-related warfare and violence, with rival cartels fighting for control of turf following the death of a major cartel leader in 2009.</p> <p><strong>2. Caracas, Venezuela</strong></p> <p>Caracas is the capital of Venezuela – but it is also one of the world’s crime capitals, with 115.98 murders per 100,000 people.</p> <p>High rates of kidnappings, gun crime, drug-related violence and human trafficking make it a dangerous place to live and visit.</p> <p>These problems are compounded by the fact that police and other authorities are plagued by corruption and rarely investigate crime.</p> <p><strong>1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras</strong></p> <p>With an incredible 171.2 people killed per 100,000 residents – or 3 murders per day – San Pedro Sula takes the top spot on our list of murder capitals around the world.</p> <p>The country has faced extreme poverty after Hurricane Mitch destroyed major fruit plantations and factories – leaving many residents with no option but to turn to criminal means to support themselves and their families.</p> <p>The city is now known as a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316843/Horrific-collection-photos-grim-reality-life-San-Pedro-Sula-Honduras.html">major distribution point for illegal firearms and drugs</a>, as well as a hub for cocaine trafficking – and there are frequently deadly fallouts between gangs, police and army personnel.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/top-ten-murder-capitals-of-the-world/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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How to keep your grandkids learning while travelling

<p>The school year is over and holidays are upon us. But that doesn’t mean your children’s learning experiences can’t continue.</p> <p>If you’re planning an overseas trip with your family, you’re in for many benefits. Research shows travel has a <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258161384_Health_and_Wellness_Benefits_of_Travel_Experiences_A_Literature_Review">positive impact</a> on mental and physical health, and family relationships.</p> <p>Travel is also an <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0047287513500588">educational opportunity</a>. It’s a rich experience seeing different parts of the world and understanding other cultures. And there are several things you can do to support your children’s learning.</p> <p><strong>How travel educates</strong></p> <p>The way children learn while travelling is in many respects comparable to what educational researchers call <a href="http://www.ascotkindergarten.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Play-based-learning.pdf">play-based learning</a>. Play-based learning and <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00094056.2001.10521668">travel stimulate children’s minds</a> by boosting their creativity and imagination. Both can also help develop social and emotional skills and encourage language development.</p> <p>Travelling exposes children to new scenarios and problems to solve – such as following a certain route on a map. They explore new food, encounter people communicating in a different language, notice cars driving on the opposite side of the road and billboards showcasing products they have not seen before.</p> <p>All of their senses are challenged as they go through these new experiences.</p> <p>New experiences can provoke some anxiety, which is what sociologist and education professor Jack Mezirow refers to as <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-6300-797-9_7">disorientating dilemmas</a>. He argues such dilemmas are the first step to <a href="https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/53100/">transformative learning</a>, where the learner’s existing assumptions are challenged and beliefs transformed.</p> <p>Although Mezirow often associates transformation with elements of life crises, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1541344611421491">others</a> suggest transformative learning can happen in different contexts, most notably travel.</p> <p>But transformative learning usually comes at an emotional cost, such as a <a href="https://www.early-education.org.uk/sites/default/files/Helping%20children%20cope%20with%20change.pdf">change of routine</a> which can lead to mixed emotions, especially for children. This is why travelling as a family provides a buffer, as it often promotes a safe environment.</p> <p><strong>What you can do</strong></p> <p>Some of <a href="https://www.legofoundation.com/media/1063/learning-through-play_web.pdf">the richest learning</a>, for a child, can be disguised as exploration and adventure. Parents can maximise such learning during travel by subtly incorporating <a href="https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/downloads/p_10/qklg_pd_intentional_teaching_transcript.pdf">intentional teaching</a> to the experience, just as educators do in play-based learning scenarios.</p> <p>Here are some ways to do this.</p> <p><strong>1. Do some pre-reading about the destination</strong></p> <p>This will help you identify where and how learning might occur. You might also engage your children in this. Say you’re going on a cruise to the South Pacific. Prior to departing you might look at a map of the Pacific with your children to identify the various islands located in this part of the world.</p> <p>You could also encourage your children to discover the special landmarks of different places using <a href="https://www.google.com/earth/">Google Earth</a>. Such activities will support the development of your children’s <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/tea.3660300605">prediction</a> skills. This helps children anticipate future experiences which increases their intellectual involvement with them.</p> <p><a href="https://readingstrategiesmsu.weebly.com/predicting.html">Educational research</a> has shown the act of predicting strengthens connections between children’s new knowledge and their existing understanding of the world.</p> <p><strong>2. Learn some of the language together</strong></p> <p>Learning even a little of the local <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-learning-a-new-language-improves-tolerance-68472">language</a> will open up aspects of the culture you may not have otherwise experienced.</p> <p>Together with your children, you can start learning the basics of the new language by downloading some <a href="https://elearningindustry.com/10-best-language-learning-apps-for-kids">interactive language apps</a>. Another fun way to expand your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation is by singing songs in the target language.</p> <p>Knowing a bit of the local language is a demonstration of respect which means people are more likely to open up to you, further supporting learning opportunities.</p> <p><strong>3. Model an inquiring mind</strong></p> <p>By asking and responding to <a href="https://garyhall.org.uk/importance-of-questioning.html">questions</a> with your children, you’re encouraging new knowledge and helping them engage in critical and creative thinking.</p> <p>For example, when you are walking down the street of the city you are visiting, encourage your children to take notice of what is going on around them and engage in <a href="https://carrotsareorange.com/open-ended-questions/">open-ended questions</a> such as:</p> <ul> <li>“How does this supermarket compare to the one we normally go to back home?”</li> <li>“Why do you think the houses are built that way?”</li> </ul> <p><strong>4. Throw in a little reflection at the end of each day</strong></p> <p>Travel will provide so many learning experiences, you will need to allow time for your child to pause and make sense of them. Any teacher will tell you <a href="http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108008/chapters/Learning-Through-Reflection.aspx">reflecting</a> is often when the deep connections are made between new experiences and existing world views.</p> <p>Some children will reflect of their own accord, but establishing a routine of doing this together will make sure it happens. The traditional travel diary is still a great tool to engage in self-reflection. Others might enjoy looking at photos taken and reflect on the day through family conversations.</p> <p>Learning is a life-long journey that extends well beyond the walls of the traditional classroom. By planning for just a little intentional teaching, you can help your children learn to critically think about and appreciate the world around them.</p> <p><em>Written by Florence Monique Boulard. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/new-cultures-new-experiences-4-ways-to-keep-kids-learning-while-travelling-126202">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Cruising

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Damning evidence sheds awful new light on cruise line toddler death

<p>A man who dropped his young granddaughter on a cruise ship “unquestionably” knew the window was open, the cruise operator alleges in a court filing.</p> <p>Royal Caribbean Cruises filed a motion this month asking the federal court in the Southern District of Florida asking to dismiss a lawsuit by the family of Chloe Wiegand, who fell to her death from an 11th floor window on the Freedom of the Seas ship in Puerto Rico in July 2019.</p> <p>The toddler’s parents have accused the cruise liner of negligence in her death by allowing the window in the children’s play area to be open.</p> <p>In the new filing, Royal Caribbean alleged the blame falls on Wiegand’s 51-year-old grandfather Salvatore Anello, who was charged in Puerto Rico with negligent homicide.</p> <p>The company said surveillance video shows Anello leaning out the open window before lifting Wiegand up to it.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 291.941px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834041/court-document-pic-5.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/95e2e7fdf05b45f390375a75efd666ee" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Source: <span>United States District Court of Southern Florida</span></em></p> <p>“Because Mr Anello had himself leaned out the window, he was well aware that the window is open,” the court motion said.</p> <p>“This is a case about an adult man, who, as surveillance footage unquestionably confirms: (1) walked up to a window he was aware was open; (2) leaned his upper body out the window for several seconds; (3) reached down and picked up Chloe; and (4) then held her by and out of the open window for 34 seconds before he lost his grip and dropped Chloe out of the window.</p> <p>“His actions, which no reasonable person could have foreseen, were reckless and irresponsible and the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents.”</p> <p>The family’s attorney Michael Winkleman said the cruise company’s motion is “baseless and deceptive”, <em><span>The Indianapolis Star</span></em><span> reported.</span></p> <p><span>Anello told <em><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/salvatore-anello-grandfather-charged-in-cruise-ship-death-speaks-out-2019-11-25/">CBS This Morning</a> </em>in November that he is colourblind and did not realise the tinted window was open. “I thought there was glass,” he said then. “I still say it to myself, it's just, I kind of relive it all the time and I just thought there was glass there.”</span></p>

Cruising

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Cruise line targets “offensive” clothing for passengers

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carnival Cruise Lines are issuing a new ban on clothing that might be considered “offensive”. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The announcement made in late 2019 has sparked a heated debate on whether regulating clothing worn infringes on “free speech rights” or if it is even enforceable. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carnival's brand ambassador and senior cruise director, John Heald, released details about the addition to Carnival's dress code on his popular Facebook page, revealing it was added to the FAQ section of Carnival's website "in the past few days."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The section reads: "All guests are expected to ensure their clothing and accessories are respectful to fellow guests. Specifically, items worn during the cruise should not contain any message that may be considered offensive or contain nudity, profanity, sexual innuendo/suggestions. In addition, clothing/accessories should not promote negative ethnic or racial commentary, or hatred or violence in any form."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said the change to clothing regulations came "after some incidents were reported in the media about other travel sectors where customers were wearing clothing with very threatening messages."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The reports "started a discussion about how we were prepared to handle such a situation and the need for clarification to both guests and crew."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carnival spokesman Gulliksen said that while the line’s crew members are "not onboard to be the clothing or expression police," staff members will still go out of their way to "look out for guests wearing clothes with inappropriate images or language and ask them to change as needed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We will evaluate situations on a case-by-case basis and take appropriate steps as necessary."</span></p>

Cruising

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6 ways to stay healthy at sea this summer

<p>A cruise can be the perfect summer holiday. But cruise ships, with hundreds, even thousands of people in close quarters, can also be a hotbed of germs.</p> <p>In particular, cruises are somewhat notorious for outbreaks of gastro. One study, which looked at <a href="http://microbiology.publish.csiro.au/?paper=MA17065">close to 2,000 cruises</a> docking in Sydney, found 5% of ships reported they’d had a gastro outbreak on board.</p> <p>If you’re about to head off on a cruise, there’s no need to panic. There are some precautions you can take to give yourself the best chance of a happy, gastro-free holiday.</p> <p><strong>What causes gastro?</strong></p> <p>Viruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in Australia. Norovirus is the main culprit, causing an estimated <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2014.08.006">2.2 million cases</a> of gastro each year.</p> <p>Norovirus is usually transmitted from <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2008.00200.x">person-to-person</a> via the faecal-oral route, where virus particles found in the stool of one person end up being swallowed by another person.</p> <p>Extremely <a href="https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1410.080117">large numbers</a> of virus particles are shed in faeces and vomit, yet a person only needs to ingest a <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.21237">very small number</a> of virus particles to catch the infection.</p> <p>Norovirus is hardy and <a href="https://doi.org/10.3181/00379727-140-36508">can resist</a> acid conditions (like those in the gut) and moderate temperatures (at which we wash clothes or reheat food, for example). Further, many chemicals used in <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.11.018">cleaning products</a> and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2015.02.019">hand sanitisers</a> don’t effectively remove norovirus.</p> <p>The main symptoms of gastro caused by norovirus are diarrhoea and vomiting. Symptoms normally only last for a short period (<a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2008.10.009">two to three days</a>), and will stop on their own. The main risk is dehydration, which is of most concern for young children and the elderly.</p> <p><strong>Norovirus on cruise ships</strong></p> <p>Generally, a cruise ship will declare a “gastro outbreak” once <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/surv/gilist.htm">2-3%</a> of passengers or crew are ill with gastro symptoms. So on a ship of 2,000 passengers, 40-60 people would need to be unwell before an outbreak is declared.</p> <p>An <a href="http://microbiology.publish.csiro.au/?paper=MA17065">Australian study</a> found 5% of cruise ships that arrived in Sydney between 2007 and 2016 reported gastro outbreaks (98 out of 1967). Of the outbreaks with a known cause, 93% were from norovirus.</p> <p>Reports pop up in the news from time to time when there’s a significant outbreak, like when the Sea Princess recorded <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-03/two-hundred-sick-as-gastro-hits-sea-princess/9302372">200 cases of gastro</a> caused by norovirus in 2018.</p> <p><strong>How does it spread?</strong></p> <p>You can be infectious with norovirus <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2004.07.001">before symptoms appear and even after they resolve</a>, so a person might unknowingly bring norovirus onto a cruise with them.</p> <p>On a cruise ship, norovirus is mainly spread directly from <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2008.00200.x">person to person</a>. This is not surprising as many activities on a cruise involve mixing with other passengers in a reasonably closed space.</p> <p>While a handshake is a normal greeting, it’s a fairly unsanitary practice. A <a href="https://journals.viamedica.pl/international_maritime_health/article/view/IMH.2016.0034/36943">recent study</a> suggested a “fist-bump” should be promoted on cruises, while a modified version dubbed the “cruise-tap” (where only two knuckles are touched) could be even better.</p> <p>The other way norovirus typically spreads is from touching <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2018.1531131">contaminated surfaces</a>. A person with norovirus may not wash their hands properly (or at all) after going to the toilet, leaving many invisible norovirus particles on their hands.</p> <p>When this person touches surfaces (for example hand rails, buttons in the lift, or utensils at the buffet) they leave behind norovirus particles. Other people can then touch these surfaces and transfer the particles to their own hands. Then, if they put their hands to their mouth, they can give themselves the virus.</p> <p>It’s rare to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1017/s0950268803008689">inhale norovirus particles</a> from the air, but it can occur, usually if someone with the virus vomits nearby.</p> <p>While norovirus can be found in food, cruise ships have strict food handling practices to prevent the spread of illnesses such as norovirus. Though this doesn’t mean it’s unheard of.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid catching norovirus</strong></p> <p>It’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of catching norovirus, but there are some things you can do to minimise your risk:</p> <ul> <li>wash your hands well and frequently, especially before eating</li> <li>don’t rely on hand sanitisers (hand washing is always better)</li> <li>don’t share food, drinks or eating utensils</li> <li>don’t touch food with your hands</li> <li>reduce unnecessary contact with communal surfaces</li> <li>leave the area if someone vomits.</li> </ul> <p>If you do get gastro symptoms on a cruise, it’s important you tell the medical personnel as soon as possible and follow their instructions.</p> <p>You may be asked to stay in your cabin for a short period so as not to infect other passengers; just as you would wish another infected passenger not to spread the virus to you and your family.</p> <p>The sooner the crew can identify a gastro case, the sooner they can start extra clean-up procedures and take further precautions to prevent an outbreak. Also, if you tell medical personnel, they may be able to provide medication and organise appropriate food to be delivered to your room.</p> <p>Above all, to minimise the risk of gastro spoiling your cruise, wash your hands thoroughly and often.</p> <p><em>Written by Leesa Bruggink. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/cruise-ships-can-be-floating-petri-dishes-of-gastro-bugs-6-ways-to-stay-healthy-at-sea-this-summer-126351">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Cruising

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Where exactly does beach sand come from?

<p>There’s more to beach sand than meets the eye. It has stories to tell about the land, and an epic journey to the sea. That’s because mountains end their lives as sand on beaches.</p> <p>Over time, mountains erode. The mud, sand, gravel, cobbles and boulders they shed are washed into streams, which come together to form rivers. As they flow down to the sea, all this sediment is ground up and worn down in nature’s version of a rock tumbler.</p> <p>Big rocks break down into smaller pieces, so most of what reaches the sea is mud. These silt and clay particles are too small to perceive with the naked eye. But you can see individual grains of sand, which are just bigger bits of rock.</p> <p>Next time you’re at the beach, pick up a handful of sand and look closely at it. Are all the grains the same color, or a rainbow assortment? Are they jagged and angular, or smooth and round?</p> <p>Different colors of sand come from different minerals, like khaki <a href="https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/feldspar#/media/File:Feldspar_1659.jpg">feldspar</a>, smoky white <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz#/media/File:Quartz,_Tibet.jpg">quartz</a>, green <a href="https://geology.com/minerals/olivine.shtml">olivine</a> or black <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basalt#/media/File:BasaltUSGOV.jpg">basalt</a>. The mix of colors in beach sand tells you what kinds of rocks produced it.</p> <p>The shape of sand grains also provides clues about where they come from. Angular grains of the same type of sand have not traveled as far as smooth round grains, which have been more worn down. And weak rocks break down to mud faster than hard rocks, so sand tends to be made of the harder types that break down slowly.</p> <p>About a tenth of the supply of sediment that reaches the sea is sand. These particles are between about half a millimeter and 2 millimeters in size – roughly as thick as a penny. These particles are large enough that they don’t flow right out to the deep sea.</p> <p>But the beach is just a temporary stop for sand. Big waves pull it offshore, and smaller waves push it along the coast. So keeping a beach nourished with sand is essential for keeping it sandy.</p> <p>Many beach towns spend millions of dollars to rebuild eroded beaches with new sand.</p> <p>Yet today many beaches are starving. Many dams trap the sand that flows down rivers, piling it up in reservoirs. All in all, human activity has cut off about <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1109454">half the sand</a> that would otherwise end up on the world’s beaches.</p> <p>But humans haven’t turned the waves off, so as beach sand washes away and isn’t replenished, the shoreline erodes. That means that many beaches around the world are shrinking, slowly but surely.</p> <p>So next time you dig your toes into beach sand think about the epic journey it took to arrive beneath your feet. Take a moment to think about where the sand came from and where it’s going.</p> <p><em>Written by David R. Montgomery. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/where-does-beach-sand-come-from-126323">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Cruising

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5 places on Earth that are still unmapped

<p>The thought of unmapped regions of the globe can send tremors of excitement through the hearts of adventurers. But figuring out the topography of remote or even forgotten regions has important consequences. Namely, it can give us a clearer understanding of the world’s populations, what their needs are, and support organisations in assisting those in need – for example, those providing disaster assistance. Wondering where some of these places are? The crowdsourced Missing Maps Project has mapped over one million kilometres of roads and almost 44 million buildings. But there’s so much that’s still uncharted.</p> <p><strong>1. Vale do Javari, Brazil</strong></p> <p>One of the most isolated parts of the world, according to Mental Floss, is Vale do Javari in Brazil, possibly because as many as 14 uncontacted Amazon tribes make their home in this region. It comprises an area about the size of Austria – or 86,000 square kilometres. An expedition was mounted by Brazil’s agency for indigenous peoples in March 2019, with the goal of easing tensions between two rival indigenous groups, reports The Guardian.</p> <p><strong>2. Slums</strong></p> <p>Look at a map of a city and you’ll find streets and parks and highways and buildings all clearly indicated. But in some cities, that clarity is just an illusion, at least in part. As BBC Future points out, in cities like Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Lagos in Nigeria, slums are not delineated on maps – because ‘they aren’t a top priority for those living there’. In fact, many of the world’s largest cities have large impoverished communities.</p> <p><strong>3. Sandy Island, South Pacific</strong></p> <p>Some places that do exist don’t show up on maps, while other places that don’t exist do. One recent example is Sandy Island, which BBC reports appears on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps. But when scientists set out to study the island that’s supposed to be located between Australia and New Caledonia, they discovered it isn’t there, and possibly never was. Human error, repeated down the years, is thought to be at fault – although it’s also possible that the island came…then went.</p> <p><strong>4. Yucatán Cenotes</strong></p> <p>This underwater cave system on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, thousands of kilometres long, has remained largely unexplored since the time of the Mayans, and doesn’t exist on any maps, according to photographer Klaus Thymann. He’s both begun to explore – a pursuit not without its dangers – and photograph it in order to bring about awareness that will lead to its conservation, he told The Guardian. The rivers that run through the system “form the aquifer of Yucatán and support about 11 different ecosystems”.</p> <p><strong>5. Gangkhar Puensum</strong></p> <p>It’s probably the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, although some people have tried to scale this 3000-metre peak in Bhutan. Like many tall mountains, this one is unmapped – although unlike other mountains, it remains uncharted for spiritual reasons. To locals some areas in the mountains are the refuge of centuries-old Buddhist saints, and the mountains themselves are homes to gods and goddesses. Although climbers hoping to scale tall peaks like this one could use Google Earth to get an idea of what they’re in for, many consider that cheating.</p> <p><em>Written by Lela Nargi. This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/11-places-on-earth-that-are-still-unmapped">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p>

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Faces that told a million stories

<p>Discovering his trades skills were needed on the world’s largest civilian hospital ship it was a surprise to retiree Bill Williams.  With a marine engineering background including experience in refrigeration and steam, Bill proved to be an invaluable part of the crew.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.92090395480227px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833614/mercy-5.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/490fa00507654bddbbf2877025563150" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><em>Bill brought a life time of experience to the Mercy Ships engine room crew</em></span> <em>Image: Mercy Ships.</em></p> <p>‘We hadn’t been retired long and my wife, Lynda who is a theatre nurse, had nurtured a dream to volunteer with Mercy Ships for years. I was surprised to learn that my experience was needed too.  I didn’t realise they wanted engineering skills and all the other trades and services that are required to make the ship function, as well as nurses and doctors,’ explains Bill.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.92090395480227px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833613/mercy-6.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fec85bfd40e440c28c326f260d20f35a" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><em>Bill brought a life time of experience to the Mercy Ships engine room crew</em></span> <em>Image: Mercy Ships.</em></p> <p>The Mercy Ship is a 16,000 tonne floating surgical hospital. From the Captain and cooks, to surgeons and school teachers, the international crew are volunteers giving of their time and experience to help provide free essential surgery for West Africa’s poor.</p> <p>Since 1978 the international charity has provided ‘hope and healing’ to the world’s forgotten poor.  The faith-based NGO spends 10 months at a time providing surgical and healthcare services to developing nations. Bill and Lynda Williams joined the vessel in the port city of Conakry in Guinea, West Africa. This was the hub of the NGO’s work for a fourth field service.</p> <p>‘Everybody brings skills, and our Down Under trades and engineering people have broad experience. I am multi traded so I was able to bring a lot of knowledge, which created a really good combined reach of skills in the engineering team. I’m used to multitasking. Plumbing, refrigeration, engineering; I had worked on many of the systems before. So I was able to help on quite a few different issues during our six weeks on the Mercy Ship.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.92090395480227px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833615/mercy-4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ff07a064fe7e44d889f7ad94532d3caa" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><em>T</em></span><em>he engineering team maintain the technical side of the hospital ship so the patients can receive treatment.’ </em><em>Image: Mercy Ships.</em></p> <p>‘The most interesting project I was involved in was fixing the oil filters in the main generators. The cost to replace the oil filter screens was over a thousand dollars, and I thought I could show the guys how to repair them. It took about forty-five minutes and only cost a couple of dollars.</p> <p>‘Volunteering is a way of using our life skills to help others in real need. I wasn’t directly involved with the Mercy Ships patients receiving the life-transforming surgery, but all the services the engineering team maintain were required in order for the patients to receive treatment.’</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.92090395480227px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833616/mercy-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b8eb58d1648d4d349c06b376556065c9" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Lynda found her work in the hospital ship operating theatres stimulating both personally and professionally. Image: Mercy Ships.</em></p> <p>While Bill brought a life time of engineering skills to the Mercy Ships technical team, Lynda worked in the operating theatres, ‘Volunteering onboard gave me the opportunity to be involved in different types of surgery not done in the western world.’</p> <p>‘I saw the end results of the free surgeries provided’, explains Bill. ‘People who had been blind for years having their sight restored and huge, benign tumours were removed.</p> <p><strong>I didn’t see the patients come onboard, but I saw them leave - the look on their faces told a million stories!</strong></p> <p>‘Seeing the outcome was very rewarding, I definitely recommend volunteering. Everybody has skills and experience; it’s amazing what can be accomplished when we work together.’</p> <p><em>Find information about volunteering at <a href="https://mercyships.org.nz/how-to-volunteer/">https://mercyships.org.nz/how-to-volunteer/</a></em></p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/358531354" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="https://vimeo.com/358531354">Technical crew play a vital role on the hospital ship</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/mercyshipsnz">Mercy Ships New Zealand</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</em></p> <p><strong><u>ABOUT MERCY SHIPS</u></strong></p> <p>Mercy Ships is a faith-based charity which uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity-building and sustainable development aid to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978, Mercy Ships has performed more than 100,000 life-changing or life-saving surgical procedures such as cleft lip and palate repairs, cataract removal, orthopaedic procedures, facial reconstruction and obstetric fistula repairs. Services and materials valued at more than NZ$2.33 billion have directly benefitted more than 2.71 million people in 70 nations. Each year, around 1,000 volunteers from up to 40 nations, including New Zealand, serve with Mercy Ships. Professionals like surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers and teachers donate their time and skills to the effort.  Mercy Ships New Zealand, one of 16 international support offices, is based in Auckland. For more information click on <span><a href="http://www.mercyships.org.nz">www.mercyships.org.nz</a></span></p>

Cruising

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Family condemns “deplorable” video leak of toddler falling from cruise ship

<p>The family of a toddler who fell off her grandfather’s arms to her death on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has criticised the Puerto Rican authorities after a surveillance footage of the incident was leaked.</p> <p>The video, which was broadcast by Puerto Rico TV program La Comay on Tuesday local time, shows 18-months-old Chloe Wiegand being lifted by her grandfather Salvatore “Sam” Anello to an open window of the Freedom of the Seas ship in July. The young girl fell 45 metres to a concrete dock below to the pier, resulting in her death.</p> <p>According to a lawsuit the US family filed earlier this month, Anello said he was not aware that the window glass panes could be opened.</p> <p>In a statement, the Wiegand family demanded an investigation into the release of the video.</p> <p>“The family is shocked by the deplorable and disgraceful misconduct that led to the release of this footage,” they said.</p> <p>“The family’s sole motivation for not releasing the video was to protect their older child. That motivation has not changed.</p> <p>“The family publicly asks the Puerto Rican authorities, why was this footage released? Why do you continue to inflict such heinous emotional distress on our family? Haven’t we been punished enough by the loss of Chloe?”</p> <p>The Attorney General of Puerto Rico Dennise Longo Quiñones said in a statement that they did not know how the video was released to the news agency.</p> <p>“We are unaware of how Kobbo Santarrosa obtained the video of the unfortunate incident where Chloe Wiegand lost her life,” Quiñones told <em><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cruise-ship-death-sam-anello-offered-plea-deal-in-death-of-granddaughter-chloe-wiegand-after-video-leaked/">CBS News</a></em>.</p> <p>“A careful review of said video confirms, however that Salvatore Anello is guilty of negligent homicide as charged. The evidence collected in this case corroborates his criminal responsibility. We hope and expect Chloe’s family fully cooperates with our proceedings and that justice prevails in this case with conviction.”</p> <p>Puerto Rican defence attorney Jose Perez said Anello is considering a plea deal but remains intent on clearing his name at trial.</p> <p>“It’s firm that he is innocent and he does not want to plea,” Perez said.</p> <p>Wiegand’s parents blame Royal Caribbean for the death. “We want them to fix their cruise ships so that no other kids get hurt,” Kimberly Wiegand said.</p>

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Diverse, daring and rugged – highlights of exceptional New Zealand

<p>Diverse and daring, New Zealand is a destination of exceptional beauty – imagine horse rides through otherworldly gorges and glaciers, soaring around dramatic coastlines and gliding down the best ski fields of the southern hemisphere.</p> <p>Home to ethereal landscapes featured in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, natural hot springs and idyllic beaches, New Zealand is celebrated for its breathtaking phenomena – the perfect choice for those after a serene natural escape.</p> <p>An exceptional port of call for adrenaline-seekers, New Zealand is renowned as an adventure capital, with everything from sky diving and white-water rafting to spectacular hiking trails and, of course, world-renowned skiing Queenstown.</p> <p><strong>Toast the coast</strong></p> <p>For a comparatively tiny country, New Zealand’s geography boasts 14,000 km of coastline, making it the 10th longest in the world. From boisterous west coast beaches, to the more family friendly east, with such a modest population – just 4.7million at last count – you’re sure find the perfect cove, sometimes even an entire beach to yourself. Although, if you’d rather follow the herd, in the height of summer you can join the crowds on the beach at Mt Maunganui or Takapuna and settle in amongst the heavenly bodies.</p> <p><strong>On Your Bike</strong></p> <p>Cycle tourism in New Zealand is taking off, largely thanks to the birth of Nga Haerenga: The National Cycleway featuring everything from rail trails to forests. With 22 Great Rides, the less famous but equally fabulous cousins of New Zealand’s Great Walks, these trails provide mild to wild adventures on two wheels. From The Twin Coast Trail in Northland which connects the east and west coasts to Alps2Ocean in the South Island, a journey that rolls from Mt Cook to the coastal town of Oamaru, you can ride for days or an afternoon and with the advent of e-bikes, you don’t even have to be that fit.</p> <p><strong>Picture perfect</strong></p> <p>Renowned for dramatic landscapes and pristine natural beauty, New Zealand is paradise for photographers and painters or simply those who like to look. And with many beauty spots made famous by Sir Peter Jackson’s films, location tourism has really taken off. From the twinkling waters and diving dolphins in the Bay of Islands, to the majestic alps, gorges and glaciers of the South Island, this is a country where you don’t want to be in a hurry, as you’ll be needing to stop and stop often to truly appreciate the breathtaking sights.</p> <p><strong>Satisfy your cravings</strong></p> <p>Wining and dining in the land of The Long White Cloud are taken very seriously with world-class experiences available in big cities and small towns. From Pacific Fusion cuisine to small family run eateries from around the globe, New Zealanders pride themselves on fresh food, fine wine and a vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re shopping at a farm gate to prepare a Masterchef masterpiece in your campervan or stopping in at one of the over 500 vineyards you’ll find as you roam – you’ll treasure your gastronomic adventures.</p> <p><strong>Hot Spots</strong></p> <p>Bursting with geothermal energy, beneath New Zealand’s surface there bubbles a steaming heat that regularly warms waters to temperatures that humans find perfect for relaxation. From laid-back Ngawha Springs in Northland to the plethora of spas in the central North Island and beyond, bathers can choose to bathe in high-end spas or in the bush surrounded by nature.</p> <p><em>Written by Elisabeth Easther. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/diverse-daring-and-rugged-highlights-of-exceptional-new-zealand/">MyDiscoveries.</a></em></p>

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Go tell it to the mountain: A Switzerland adventure

<p>There aren’t many countries where you can sit in the spot where it all began. Relaxing in a small meadow on Lake Lucerne’s shores, however, I can make that claim for Switzerland. Here on this patch of grass on 1 August 1291, representatives of three small alpine valleys got together and signed a pact from which modern Switzerland emerged. August 1 is now a national holiday, and the meadow’s name, Field of Rütli, resonates through Swiss history.</p> <p>True, I don’t find much happening in Rütli these days, but it’s a fine place for a picnic and a good location to start an exploration of the Swiss heartland around Lake Lucerne, where history and scenery are equally dramatic. It’s also the spot to start my hunt for William Tell, the local lad who fought for freedom and became the world’s most famous Swiss.</p> <p>I arrive from Lucerne by steamer on an astonishingly scenic ride down its lake, embraced in mountains. My aim is to walk parts of the 36-kilometre Swiss Path, created for the 700th anniversary of Switzerland. With Swiss precision, the pathway is divided into segments representing its 26 cantons. As I walk, signs informs me when each canton joined the confederation, and gives a background to their history. It’s a lovely walk, the path sometimes talking to footbridges across streams and tunnels through cliffs. The landscape is surprisingly wild and rugged: quite the contrast to the bourgeois prettiness of downtown Lucerne.</p> <p>The following morning, a yellow postal bus deposits me back on the Swiss Path at Altdorf, a pleasant town of cobbled squares, painted houses and elaborate shop signs. A twist of bread marking a bakery directs me to a scrumptious almond croissant. Altdorf is the birthplace of William Tell, whose statue I find at the base of a medieval tower. The hero stands with his crossbow over his shoulder, his arm around his son. The monument marks the place where Tell was forced to shoot an apple off his son’s head by Gessler, an arrogant Hapsburg overlord.</p> <p>As I walk onwards, the valley narrows and the cliffs close in. Steep ups and downs challenge my lungs and knees. There’s only enough flat land to support a few villages under towering snow-capped peaks. It’s a rewarding hike to the Tell Chapel along the lake’s shore, which is painted with scenes from Tell’s life. It was from this spot that the hero supposedly leapt from a boat taking him to captivity. Tell fled into the forest and later shot Gessler dead with his crossbow, sparking Swiss independence.</p> <p>Nearby Schwyz sits high above Lake Lucerne in a wide valley of cherry orchards surrounded by snowcapped mountains. This now-quiet backwater canton gave its name and flag to Switzerland, and became famed for its mercenaries, who returned to build the impressive townhouses. The Town Hall is exuberant: cherubs hang over every window and frescoes depict historical battles.</p> <p>In contrast, the Federal Archives are kept in an ultra-modern, concrete building on the edge of town. I drop by to see the original Oath of Alliance signed at the Field of Rütli. Other proclamations mark the adherence of new cantons to Switzerland, each becoming increasingly ornate with ribbons and wax seals. Few countries in the world have such delightful birth certificates.</p> <p>Back by Lake Lucerne, I follow the road to Gersau. Improbably, this was once the world’s smallest republic, independent from 1390 to 1817. At Vitznau I enjoy modern evidence of Switzerland’s fighting spirit at Mühleflüh Artillery Fortress, decommissioned in 1998. I enjoy a scramble through underground bunkers to inspect barracks, kitchens and artillery batteries beneath fake rocks.</p> <p>From here, legs weary, I take to the rack railway up Mt Rigi, and the views become ever more expansive around each dizzying bend. Lake Lucerne shrinks to a puddle and a 200-kilometre range of jagged snow peaks emerges on the horizon. Though less glamorous than more famous viewpoints near Lucerne, such as the James Bond movie setting, Mt Pilatus, Rigi provides a landscape to make my soul sing. Even the cows seem to pause in their chewing and bell-clanking to contemplate the scenery that plunges below their flowery pastures.</p> <p>At the western end of the lake I’m back to base at Lucerne, whose old town straddles the Reuss River and looks onto the yacht-studded lake and panorama of alpine peaks. In 1332, Lucerne became the first big town to join the alliance of alpine cantons. It’s crammed with old guild houses, baroque churches and ornamental fountains. I study a cartoon-like account of its history on the painted panels that line its famous symbol – a covered wooden bridge. One shows William Tell with his crossbow at the ready. The timeline shows me something that I’ve already gathered: Switzerland has a birthplace, a proper birth certificate, and a mythical founding father, providing a story to delight me.</p> <p><em>Written by Brian Johnston. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/switzerland-adventure-go-tell-it-to-the-mountain/">MyDiscoveries.</a> </em></p>

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South Africa’s call of the wild

<p>Three giraffes are outlined against a blue sky, pink tongues unfurling around the leaves of an acacia tree. Two cheetahs prowl as the sun sets, and hippos wallow. Every day on safari in South Africa brings something new: wildebeest moving through a dry riverbed, or a leopard slinking through golden grass that crackles in the sun. Back in my luxury lodge, I soak off the dust in an infinity pool and gaze over antelope-dotted plains. As dusk stains the sky red, I hear the quintessential sound of Africa: the roar of a lion satisfied with its kill.</p> <p>I’ve had many South African safari experiences, all different but equally thrilling. At Karkloof Safari Spa near Pietermartizburg, owner Fred Wörner has realised a mad dream to combine wild animals with first-class wellness treatments. (And why not: he made a motser selling wheelie bins to Australian councils, and can now do what he wants.) Now he sits like a James Bond villain – though a rather likeable one – drinking brandy in a throne-like chair decorated with kudu horns, ordering pan-seared ostrich and – on occasion, when tourists aren’t looking – shooting the odd warthog for the pot.</p> <p>In Great St Lucia Wetland on the coast east of Durban, I stayed at unpretentious Makakatana Bay Lodge where the waitress was called Promise, the chef Rejoice, and the vibe was more laidback than at upmarket game reserves. It provides a sampling of raw African nature, where wildlife isn’t yet accustomed to tourist-filled safari vehicles, and zebra and buffalo remain skittish and unpredictable. In the evenings, hippos snort in the dark as I tuck into Rejoice’s simple but delicious food. Lanterns swing in the trees and cicadas hum.</p> <p>Not so far away, Phinda Private Game Reserve has the most varied habitats of any South African safari lodge. I paddle the river to spot crocodile and hippos that yawn to reveal cavernous pink mouths. I see turtles on the beach, and then pluck up the courage to tackle a specialist white-rhino safari with a tracker and armed ranger. After picking up the trail, we descend from the vehicle and follow the rhino on foot through rustling grasses in an unnerving but utterly exhilarating wildlife experience.</p> <p>I’m also fortunate to visit Kwandwe Private Game Reserve northeast of Port Elizabeth. On my first morning’s safari we come across a lion lurking in a thicket, but some of the smaller animals are lovely too: malachite sunbirds sipping nectar in a flurry of emerald-coloured wings; blue cranes strutting through the grass. At day’s end, guests gather with whiskeys to sit around the dining-lodge fire and swap improbable stories of the day’s adventures. Nobody has spied a shy leopard, but we’ve spotted giraffe, eland, springbok and rhino. On a night safari we track down those elusive beasts that haunt the first page of our dictionaries, the aardvark and aardwolf.</p> <p>For a particularly memorably splurge, on one visit to South Africa I take to an aircraft to view the landscape and its creatures from above. It’s like living a celluloid dream. Remember the 1985 movie Out of Africa, and the scenes in which Robert Redford takes Meryl Streep on a joyride in his aircraft, high above a marvellous landscape of flamingo-haunted lakes and rustling grasslands? That’s what comes to mind as I swoop between the vast cotton balls of African clouds, muddy rivers oozing below. Animals look odd from above: humped elephant backs and shifting patterns of zebra and dainty impala.</p> <p>Flying is a different way to see things, but you can’t beat being on the ground and down among the wildlife. At Ulusaba, owned by Sir Richard Branson, I sit on my lodge deck and gazed over Sabi Sand Reserve’s undulating landscape of grass and low trees, pockmarked with waterholes and the odd rocky outcrop. Elephant and rhino occasionally wander about the lodges, and windows have to be latched against baboons.</p> <p>As dawn breaks, we clamber into open Jeeps and head through the bush. The tracker’s radio hisses with a message that there are lions nearby. Then they emerge from the grasses: a shaggy-maned male and three females, parading down the dusty track as if showing off. Over the next two days, we watch a file of stately giraffes blink their long eyelashes, and spot another leopard, one of the most elusive of African animals. Red-billed oxpeckers pluck ticks off the backs of lumbering animals. One hops right into a rhino’s enormous ear, looking for a treat.</p> <p>Later, sunset flares in a magnificent display of crimson and gold. From the lodge deck, the display of stars is so extravagant I wonder whether I’m hallucinating. Vivid blue lizards scamper over the still-hot rocks as guests exchange stories of the day’s adventures. Out of the night an elephant trumpets: the end of another excellent day on safari in South Africa.</p> <p><em>Written by Brian Johntson. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/south-africa-s-call-of-the-wild/">MyDiscoveries.</a> </em></p>

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