Category: ‘南京桑拿’

Doctors on board planes: What happens when there’s a medical emergency on a flight?

10/06/2019 Posted by admin

Passengers were lucky Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen, rear) was on board in 1980 comedy film Flying High.”If there is a doctor on board could you make yourself known to the cabin staff?”
Nanjing Night Net

It’s the inflight announcement you never want to hear. If you’re the patient, what you’re about to read might not soothe your fears because the outcome depends on luck and whatever medical professionals happen to be on board, perhaps more than it should.

Pinning down a figure for the incidence of inflight medical emergencies is complicated since airlines are not required to report such incidents. A 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested a figure of 16 medical emergencies or one for every million passengers. Data from the Lufthansa registry suggests between 25 and 100 per one million passengers while researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre?came up with a lesser figure, about one per 600 flights, or around 10 for every million passengers.

The same UPMC study, which took a close look at almost 12,000 inflight medical emergencies, reported that in 37 per cent of cases the issue was temporary loss of consciousness due to a fall in blood pressure. Respiratory symptoms accounted for 12 per cent, nausea or vomiting for 10 per cent and cardiac symptoms 8 per cent. In roughly three quarters of those cases flight crews requested and received assistance from passengers with medical training. Almost half the time at least one of the responders was a medical doctor. Out of those almost 12,000 inflight medical emergencies, just 36 resulted in deaths.

While inflight medical emergencies present unique challenges, the UPMC study also concluded that flight crews and the volunteers assisting them generally have the resources they need to deal with most emergencies.

All airlines are required to provide first aid training for cabin crew to enable them to recognise common symptoms of distress and to respond with first-aid, basic resuscitation techniques and the use of emergency medical oxygen and a defibrillator. According to a Qantas spokesperson, the airlines’ cabin crew undergo a refresher course each year which also covers first aid.

In many cases both they and any health experts who volunteer their services can call for backup from doctors on the ground. MedLink is a specialist medical service that offers 24/7 multilingual support from doctors who specialise in the remote treatment of passengers who require emergency medical treatment inflight. MedLink staff will talk flight crew or physicians and nurses on board through whatever procedures might be necessary to deal with a patient’s condition. In extreme cases MedLink might advise a flight diversion to the nearest airport, and alert ground-based medical services on standby, although this decision ultimately rests with the pilot. Qantas, along with about 60 other airlines around the world, use the services of MedLink.

Since deaths inflight are rare, and space is at a premium, airlines do not have a dedicated area on their aircraft in which to store a dead body.

Practices for dealing with a dead body vary from one airline to another but generally the corpse will be covered with a blanket and placed out of sight as far as possible, which might be in a vacant row toward the rear of the aircraft, or even in business or first class where screens confer a degree of privacy, and passengers are not exposed to what could be an upsetting spectacle.

Australia’s Civil Aviation and Safety Authority requires that large passenger aircraft carry a medical kit. According to a spokesperson for CASA however, “There are no requirements in the regulations re the contents of kits.”

In the USA the Federal Aviation Administration sets out the requirements for a medical kit for all aircraft with a capacity of over 7,500 pounds, roughly those capable of carrying 30 passengers, but this is an exception.

A report published by two U.S. doctors in The Journal of the American Medical Association identified inconsistent or ill-equipped medical kits as one of the challenges facing physicians responding to inflight medical emergencies.

Doctors writing to the Medical Journal of Australia on their response to inflight medical emergencies reported no thermometer, no blood pressure cuff, blood sugar monitor, intravenous fluids or ECG/cardiac monitor on Emirates flights while another reported a total lack of any medical equipment on a British Airways flight.

The AMA report also recommended the adoption of a standard medical kit, along with mandatory reporting of all in-flight medical emergencies, systematic debriefing of anyone involved in the incident and standardised first aid training for flight attendants.

Despite their training, and the Hippocratic Oath, some physicians are reluctant to step forward when the call for medical assistance goes out. Some wait in hope that another more qualified medico will respond, some are put off by the cramped surroundings and lack of resources.

There is also the risk that the patient might be suffering a communicable disease.

Even cabin crew can be obstructive. In a case that attracted widespread publicity last year, Tamika Cross, a physician at the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, responded to a call for medial assistance to a passenger on her Delta flight from Detroit to Minneapolis. However flight crew refused her offers of assistance, assuming she couldn’t be a doctor. Cross is young, and black, and social media lit up with accusations of racial discrimination while Delta scrambled for cover.

Other physicians might be unwilling to put up their hand out of fear of legal liability, yet according to a 2016 report on Medical Guidelines for Airline Travel by the Aerospace Medical Association there are no known cases brought against physicians who volunteered in an inflight medical emergency.

Exactly which jurisdiction applies to a medical professional who volunteers their services on a flight in international airspace varies. The country in which the aircraft is registered as well as the nationality of the passenger or medical professional are all potential variables.

Most major airlines have insurance policies to indemnify medical professionals who step up to assist. Australian law provides protection for Good Samaritans. In the case of US airlines, the Aviation Medical Assistance Act of 1998 also provides legal protection for medically qualified professionals who volunteer in a Good Samaritan capacity, unless “guilty of gross negligence or willful misconduct.” In the UK, British Airways, Virgin and other major carriers indemnify medical professionals against legal liability.

As well as profuse thanks from passengers to whom they render assistance, some physicians report occasional expressions of gratitude from airlines after they have responded to a call for help.

In most cases this takes the form of an upgrade on their next flight with the airline, however Finnair’s response was rather more unusual. When a physician assisted a passenger who collapsed and lost consciousness on a flight from Osaka to Helsinki, the airline sent him a 1.5kg cold-smoked reindeer roast.

See also: World’s safest airlines named in annual rankings

See also:?The real reason cabin lights are dimmed for take-off and landing

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Daniel Saffioti built his own private radio network to get access to NBN

10/06/2019 Posted by admin

Haywards Bay resident Daniel Saffioti couldn’t get the NBN connected from across the road so he built a radio network with friends to beam in the NBN. Photo: Adam McLeanThe last straw for Daniel Saffioti? came in mid-2014 when the National Broadband Network installed a fibre pillar right in front of his house – but refused to connect him.
Nanjing Night Net

The Commonwealth public servant had endured years of “awful” ADSL in Haywards Bay, south of Wollongong, and now NBN was right on his doorstep but still totally inaccessible.

“It runs right past my house, and it goes to the new people in the estate, and it does not go to me at all,” he told Fairfax.

Mr Saffioti’s solution to slow internet may be the most creative yet.

Bugger it, he thought. I’ll just beam the NBN 12 kilometres to my house – right over that range of hills.

Mr Saffioti?is the chief information officer for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, which means he gets to play with some exciting technology.

In the past, he’d messed?about with installing wireless bridges. These devices, which come with their own mini radio dishes, allow internet signals to be beamed for up to 50 kilometres. For hardware built for business, they are “incredibly effective at an amazingly ridiculous price point,” Mr Saffioti writes on LinkedIn, where he detailed his DIY-NBN project.

They worked so well, Mr Saffioti decided to buy a few for his own use.

With those in hand, the other thing he needed was someone willing to share their NBN connection. Luckily, he had a friend based in nearby Kiama, one of the first towns in Australia to be connected to fibre.

That friend was good enough to agree to let Mr Saffioti share his connection, if he could work out how to.

While he and his friend were?within the 50-kilometre range of the wireless bridge, they had a big problem: a big hill.

Or more specifically a patch of hilly country directly between their two properties.

The wireless bridges?need line of sight for fast speeds. If Mr Saffioti couldn’t find a way to get line-of-sight, the connection wouldn’t be much quicker?than his slow ADSL, making all his effort worthless.

Luckily, Mr Saffioti’s friend had a cousin, and he just happened to live right in between the pair, elevated on a hill in Oak Flats. And he couldn’t get NBN either.

That meant he was only too happy to have a wireless bridge?set up on his house to bounce the signal – while also getting fast speeds himself.

Fully installed, the project beams NBN about 12 kilometres from Kiama to Oak Flats, and then about another three?to Mr Saffioti’s place in Haywards Bay.

The link has been running well ever since, with regular download speeds of about 70mbps down and 35 up. Total cost of the project: about $1000.

Originally, the high-speed broadband network only connected new homes in Mr Saffioti’s area. However, late last year?the NBN got in contact with him to let him know he was now, finally, eligible to connect to the fibre network.

He’s considering it, he says with a laugh.

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Razer issues bounty after three-screen laptop prototypes stolen from CES

10/06/2019 Posted by admin

Razer’s prototype can automatically switch from a single-screen setup to three screens.Last week gaming hardware company?Razer debuted Project Valerie, a cutting-edge laptop concept that switches automatically between one and three displays. On Sunday, two prototype models were stolen from the Razer booth at CES 2017. The company is offering $US25,000 ($33,960) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
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The news of the theft was posted to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan’s Facebook page this week. Tan noted that two unspecified prototypes had been taken from the Razer booth, condemning the act of potential “industrial espionage” as “cheating”.

“At Razer, we play hard and we play fair. Our teams worked months on end to conceptualize and develop these units and we pride ourselves in pushing the envelope to deliver the latest and greatest”, he wrote.

“We treat theft/larceny, and if relevant to this case, industrial espionage, very seriously — it is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart”. True glorious PC gaming realized with Project Valerie — the world’s first automated triple display laptop:南京夜網/s7P53JwGBu— RΛZΞR (@Razer) January 5, 2017

We reached out to Razer for clarification surrounding the incident, and were told that the prototypes in question were indeed Project Valerie laptops.

While still in concept prototype stage, the Project Valerie units on display at CES were fully-functional. You can see the tech in action in a post over at Gizmodo.

Razer laptop prototypes seem to be high-demand items in thieving circles. Two of the earliest models were stolen from Razer’s San Francisco Bay research and development facility in 2011.

In a statement, Razer detailed a $US25,000 ($33,960) reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of the Project Valerie prototypes. The full statement reads:

“A $25,000 reward is being offered for original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a criminal suspect. Razer, in its sole discretion, will decide who is entitled to a reward and in what amount. Razer may pay only a portion of the maximum reward offered. The decision will be based primarily upon law enforcement’s evaluation of the value of the information provided. When there are multiple claimants, the reward will be shared in amounts determined by Razer. Razer associates are not eligible for the reward. This reward offer is good for one year from the date it is first offered, unless extended by Razer. Information about the theft can be sent to [email protected]南京夜網. Razer will not publicly disclose material that it receives or details about respondents, except to those persons with whom Razer is directly working to resolve this matter or as may be required by law”. celebrates video game culture with news, reviews and long form features.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Mystery surrounds dramatic voyage of Alan Langdon and daughter Que from NZ

10/06/2019 Posted by admin

Alan Langdon and his daughter Que. Photo: Supplied / Alan Langdon on the deck of his catamaran in Ulladulla Harbour. Photo: Milton Ulladulla Times
Nanjing Night Net

Child recovery expert Col Chapman had been searching for the pair since December. Photo: Michelle Smith

Alan Langdon speaks to Australian Border Force officials at Ulladulla Harbour. Photo: Milton Ulladulla Times

Alan Langdon and his daughter Que sailed from New Zealand to Australia on a 6-metre catamaran. Photo: Jessica McInerney

An Australian father has denied a custody dispute was the reason he and his young daughter set off on a boat journey and disappeared for several weeks, before they sailed?into a small harbour on the NSW South Coast on a damaged catamaran.

Mystery continues to swirl around the extraordinary?tale of Alan Langdon, an experienced sailor nicknamed “Paddles”, and his six-year-old daughter, Que, who were the subject of a?massive air and sea search in New Zealand after they?vanished there on December 17.

The pair had set off from Kawhia Harbour, in?Waikato on New Zealand’s North Island, and were originally planning to head north to the Bay of Islands, where Mr Langdon planned to live on the boat with his daughter.

Instead, Mr Langdon?sailed across the Tasman Sea to Australia on the 6.4-metre catamaran, which a friend said he had built at home, despite one of the vessel’s rudders being damaged just four days into their voyage.

He told the Milton Ulladulla Times that the broken rudder, and a prevailing wind, was the reason he changed course.

“We were heading north and once the rudder broke we were heading back to New Zealand, but the wind blew us here,” he said. “I first decided [to come here]?when I knew?what the prevailing wind was.

“Australia was?the best target, the biggest target and the best option. I didn’t really care what part I got to.”

Mr Langdon said he sailed into Ulladulla Harbour on Wednesday, however a?child recovery expert hired by his former wife says the pair?may have been in the country for several days, until a member of the public recognised them from missing person’s posters.

The Australian citizen?and his?former wife, Que’s mother Ariane?Wyler, were due to appear in the Family Court in Auckland?in March this year.

However, Mr Langdon denied there was a custody battle and said he had been Que’s primary carer since birth.

“It’s not a custody battle, it’s an access thing,” he said.?“I’ve always been looking after [Que].”

He said he did not know where he was on the journey, had no way of contacting anyone, and did not have a radio, satellite phone or emergency position radio indicating beacon (EPIRB) on board.

It was only when he got to shore that he realised his case had attracted attention, which he described as “mass hysteria”.

“I thought people might have been worried but I didn’t think they’d call out planes,” Mr Langdon said.

“She [Que] did a 56-day trip before she was one, so 27 days isn’t particularly big. She’s lived on boats her whole life.”

When her daughter vanished, Ms Wyler?hired Col Chapman, a contractor with the Australian-based firm Child Recovery, to track down her former partner and daughter.

She had previously hired Mr Chapman in 2015 to locate Mr Langdon?and their?daughter when they disappeared?in Australia before a scheduled Family Court case here, Mr Chapman said.

Mr Chapman said that, in his latest quest to find the pair, he had consulted experienced sailors and search-and-rescue professionals to plot Mr Langdon’s?possible route to Australia.

“We were adamant that he was transiting to Australia,” Mr Chapman told Fairfax Media.

“We came up with a projected sail pattern of what were the most likely areas that he would land in Australia and when, and Ulladulla was one of the target areas.”

Mr Chapman and his team then distributed missing person’s posters around the NSW South Coast?– including at yacht clubs, marinas, even small general stores catering to the sailing industry – containing images of the pair and?urging anyone who saw them to contact the authorities. A social media campaign was also launched.

Someone who saw those images is believed to have spotted the father and daughter in Ulladulla, possibly as early as?Monday, Mr Chapman said. That is despite Mr Langdon saying he arrived in Ulladulla on Wednesday.

“We are told that … a member of the public did notice these [posters] and did approach?the authorities,” Mr Chapman said.

“We want to buy whoever it was a bottle of wine, champagne, chocolates or flowers, and of course the mum wants to just give them a great big hug

“I’ve?heard that they hit Australian shores on Monday afternoon. Alan is saying that they only just arrived. I don’t know what the truth is. The authorities are saying that he has been there for some time.”

Yachts arriving in Australia from other countries must first call at a specified port of entry where?Department of Immigration and Border Protection and?Department of Agriculture formalities can be completed. Ulladulla is not one of those specified ports.

All people on board an incoming?yacht must also produce a valid passport and incoming passenger card before they?can go ashore.

Mr Chapman said a New Zealand court had seized Que’s passport to prevent the child from travelling internationally before her parents’ scheduled court appearance.

Mr Chapman said he had called Ms Wyler, who is caring for her sick mother in Switzerland, to tell her the news that her daughter had been found.

“She’s thrilled, over the moon. I got her out of bed at one o’clock?in the morning to tell her, woke her up, and she thought she was dreaming,” he said, adding that Ms Wyler?was now returning to New Zealand.

New Zealand Police said in a statement that Australian authorities had alerted them on Wednesday that the pair had been found in Ulladulla.

“Police understand that Mr Landon and his daughter are both well, and he [Mr Langdon] is currently talking to Australian officials,” the statement said.

“New Zealand Police are currently liaising with its counterparts in Australia and awaiting further information about Mr Langdon’s journey.

“Police will take time to assess all the information about today’s development, and the background to this matter before any further steps required from a police perspective are considered and agreed.”

An Australian Federal Police spokeswoman said it was now “a matter for New Zealand authorities”, and the AFP would assist them if required.

Mr Chapman said the New Zealand search for the pair had cost upwards of $100,000.

“A court of some sort needs to make a determination in the best interests of Que,” he said.

with Jessica McInerney, Milton Ulladulla Times

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Australian teachers lash out at ‘unsustainable’ UK workload

10/06/2019 Posted by admin

Lured by the promise of work and travel, Australian teachers are flocking to London. Photo: Paul Harris While wages have remained the same as a decade ago, costs for services such as transport have risen. Photo: Anna Bryukhanova
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Australian teachers, parents and recruitment agencies have lashed out at deceptive marketing practices which have turned the working-holiday dreams of some young Australian teachers?into “unsustainable”?experiences.

The migration of young Australian teaching graduates overseas has boomed on the back of a chronic shortage of teachers in the UK and an?oversupply of teachers at home, where up to?47,000 remain on a waiting list in NSW.

Contracts that “trap” teachers in?poor conditions where up to 40 per cent of?wages are taken through?commission are just two?of the concerns outlined by Australian agencies and teachers working in the?UK.

“The turnover is just incredible, the workload is unsustainable, when you are?working 65 hours a week, there is no time for a holiday, there’s hardly time to do your shopping,” said Renée Butcher, the mother of an Australian teacher?based in the UK who asked her daughter not to be named to protect?her future employment prospects.

“I don’t want other kids to have the same experience that she has had. She didn’t go in blind, our next door neighbour went over and she was so traumatised that she never taught again.”

Australian agents have spoken out about the marketing practices of recruitment agencies keen to get their foot in the door of the lucrative industry, which has a history of giving?many teachers a positive start on their career path.

“You get recruitment consultants selling teachers to schools with high margins,” said Carly Liddell-Lum from the?Point to Point agency.

“You might be told you?are earning?£130 [$212]?a day but the schools are being charged £205 [$335] a day for a teacher?so there is a push from the company to get as many teachers into schools as possible.”

Ms Liddel-Lum said under a guaranteed supply contract, which often covers the airfare to the UK, unhappy teachers can be locked into a particular school until they have paid off the cost of the ticket.

Teacher-turned-recruiter?Patrick Kearins?said the growth in the industry meant that prospective teachers had to adopt a “buyer beware” attitude.

“It’s not always a?rosy picture, agencies are still really benefiting from teachers who have no real idea,” the owner of Being Teach UK?said.

“I was getting paid?£130 [$212] a day in 2004, and if?they are dealing with a teacher with no information they will offer them £130 a day now.?Meanwhile Tube prices, cost of living and?rent have all gone up.”

The country manager for Protocol Education, Sam Swain, said with the increased demand for Australian teachers, umbrella companies?had sprung up in the UK offering to take care of paying teachers on behalf of schools and agencies.

“The agencies outsource their payroll to the umbrella companies and then they take up to?4?per cent out of the teachers’ pay packet.”

Ms Swain?added that many of the opportunities in the UK were not necessarily in the top schools.

“It is a lot more admin heavy and the expectations are a lot higher. British teachers are working extremely long hours and agencies should tell people that.”

Mr Kearins said?agencies were often not informing graduates they were being sent?to schools that had been marked as “special measures” or “falling short of acceptable standards” by education regulators and therefore subject to strict regulations.

“There are plenty of agencies out there that will offer a people a job and not mention that it is in special measures, and then do the old sink or swim, (telling them): ‘If you aren’t doing ok then you are probably not a good enough teacher’,” he said.?“Out of ten teachers, one?will come home and tell horror stories.”

Ms Butcher’s daughter, who has worked at a school which has had four Australian teachers leave in the past four months, said she was told to ignore the “special measures” rating applied to the school by her agency.

“I have never known my daughter to shed so many tears,” Ms Butcher said.?“The workload is unbelievable, in?her words ‘it’s hell’. Regardless of progress made by the students, if a box is not ticked, the teachers are disciplined. She is fearful that this experience will have destroyed her passion for teaching.”

Other teachers who spoke?to Fairfax Media confirmed the level of demands?and administration work in the UK is significantly?higher?and that tough conditions in the London suburbs can be confronting but that it can be a rewarding experience.

“The idea of teaching in the UK is fantastic, but the reality?is very hard,” said Ms Liddell-Lum.

“Marking every child every day, that is a massive ask. It can be a great opportunity for career progression, but you have to be prepared to do the hard work”.

Do you know more? Email?[email protected]南京夜網419論壇

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Jury in Robert Xie retrial says they are unable to reach unanimous verdict

09/05/2019 Posted by admin

Robert Xie and his wife Kathy Lin arrive at the Supreme Court in December. Photo: Jessica HromasThe jury in the retrial of Robert Xie has said?they are unable to reach a unanimous verdict after eight days of deliberations,?prompting Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Fullerton to issue a direction requiring them to reconsider the issues.
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The jury of 12 men and women sent a note to the court?about 1.30pm on Thursday advising?they had not been able to reach a verdict.

Justice Fullerton?directed them?to reconsider the issues “in order to make a further attempt to unanimous?verdicts in this trial”.

However, the jury sent another note shortly before 3.30pm reiterating that they could not reach a unanimous verdict.

Justice Fullerton directed the jury a?majority verdict of 11 would now be accepted by the court.

“You should clearly understand that there are only two ways verdicts can be delivered in this trial: one, by unanimity, that is by all 12 of you, or by majority of 11 of you. No other numerical configuration will suffice,” Justice Fullerton?said.

Mr Xie, 53, is accused of murdering five members of his family on July 18, 2009.

The bodies of his brother-in-law Min “Norman” Lin, 45, Mr Lin’s wife Yun Li “Lily” Lin, 43, her sister Yun Bin “Irene” Lin, 39, and the Lins’ two sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9 were found in their North Epping home.

He has pleaded not guilty.

After a six-month trial in the NSW Supreme Court, the jury of nine men and three women started their deliberations on Friday, December 30.

“Thank you for your jury note in which you inform me that you have not been able to reach unanimous verdicts in the trial at this time,” Justice Fullerton told the jury shortly after 1.30pm on Thursday.

“While I have the power to discharge you … that power will only be exercised by me if I am satisfied that after further deliberations?there is no likelihood of genuine agreement being reached and verdicts returned.”

Justice Fullerton said “it is the experience?of our criminal justice system that juries can often reach agreement if they are given more time to consider the issues”.

She?“unreservedly” accepted that the jury had given their “focused and careful consideration” to the evidence over the past eight days but invited them?to “retire again and to continue with your deliberations?to examine the issues that are the subject of disagreement in order to make a further attempt to unanimous?verdicts in this trial”.

Shortly before 3.30pm, the jury sent a further note saying they were still unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Justice Fullerton said they should continue trying to reach a unanimous verdict but a majority verdict of 11 jurors would now?be acceptable.

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AGL slapped with $124,000 in fines for breaching political donations laws

09/05/2019 Posted by admin

AGL ?says it adopted a new policy in 2015 prohibiting political donations with AGL funds. Photo: Rob HomerEnergy giant AGL has been fined $124,000 in the NSW Land and Environment Court for failing to disclose political donations when making planning applications in the state.
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The Department of Planning and Environment brought the case against AGL and its subsidiary AGL Upstream after a compliance investigation was undertaken following complaints from community groups led by Groundswell Gloucester.

The department said on Thursday that?the fines were the largest imposed since?the provisions were introduced in 2008. The companies were also required to pay the department’s legal costs.

The?11 breaches, to which AGL pleaded guilty in February, involved failures to properly disclose donations as it applied for?coal seam gas projects in Gloucester and Camden,?the Newcastle Gas Storage Facility, the Broken Hill solar plant and the Dalton Power Station, the department said.

The fines were welcomed by John Watts, a spokesman for Groundswell Gloucester, who said it was “pleasing to see that AGL has finally been held accountable for its failure to comply with its political donations obligations”.

Mr Watts, though, said it was concerning that it required the diligent work of its volunteer members to unearth the breaches.

“The government itself seems to never bother checking that the law has been complied with,” he said, adding that the fact companies were not required to immediately report?political donations made breaches harder to uncover.

“The?penalties for such offences are woefully small having regard to the huge amounts of money involved in the large projects that companies such as AGL undertake, and having regard to the importance to communities in knowing what is being donated.”

At the time of the breaches, AGL had been pursuing development of a $1 billion-plus coal seam gas field near Gloucester in the state’s mid-north coast. The company abandoned the venture in February after a slew of mishaps and attempts to dump waste water into Hunter Water’s network despite being told in writing not to do so.

AGL said in a statement?it accepted the judgment of the court, adding it had adopted a new policy in 2015 prohibiting political donations with AGL funds.

James Hebron, general counsel for Planning, ?said the company had ?co-operated with its compliance investigation.

“Under planning legislation there is an obligation on a proponent when making a planning application to report political donations,” Mr Hebron said. “This is to ensure transparency in the planning process.”

Follow Peter Hannam on?Twitter?and?Facebook.

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Pensioners’ payments reduced amid anger over politicians’ entitlements

09/05/2019 Posted by admin

Judith Daley is angry about changes to the aged pension. Photo: Brook Mitchell “The only sure thing that comes out of it is that the general public is disadvantaged,” says Judith Daley. Photo: Brook Mitchell
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Judith Daley is one of the unlucky ones. Amid simmering anger over politicians’ entitlements and the government’s Centrelink debt clawback, the Sydney retiree is one of about 327,000 pensioners to have had her pension reduced?or cut altogether this year.

Ms Daley, 72, has lost?her part pension and health benefits under changes to the aged pension introduced on January 1.

“I have lost the health benefits that come with the age pension card,” Ms Daley said. “I don’t quite know at this stage what that means. I have serious ongoing health issues and they will be degenerative as I age.”

The federal government insists its pension reforms, which it passed last year with the support of the Greens, are necessary to secure the long-term viability of the pension.

Treasurer Scott Morrison told 2GB radio in Sydney last month the cuts would bring in “around $1 billion a year” in savings, and the changes were necessary to keep the pension sustainable.

“When you are faced with an ageing population, let’s not forget the pensions that are paid out today are paid for by today’s taxpayers – the people who are paying taxes today,” he said.

Ms Daley?was on a small part pension and received $230 a fortnight but has lost this as part of the federal government’s change to the assets threshold.

“I seem to have approximately $34,000 more than the cut-off for an aged person, so I have lost 100 per cent of the part-pension fund.”

She is angry about the loss of health benefits and the lack of detail about the federal government’s Low Income Health Care Card.

“As an aged pensioner I got significant discounts on prescribed medications and most GPs are bulk billed,” Ms Daley said. “I don’t know what the new Low Income Health Care Card is going to involve, because I haven’t received any information.”

Pensioners losing payments face a double whammy; once they lose their pension card they will also be stripped of a range of state-based pensioner discounts, including reduced council rates.

In a statement, Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the changes “only affect those with significant levels of assets other than the family home and who receive a part-pension”.

“The family home remains exempted from the assets test and the changes have been designed so that they only impact pensioners with significant assets outside the family home.”

Under changes introduced in the last budget, which came into effect on January 1, pensioners who own assets above increased thresholds – not including the family home – may receive a reduced fortnightly pension rate.

Single homeowners can have $250,000 in assets, not including their home, before their pension rate is reduced, while homeowner couples can own up to $375,000 in assets before their pension rate is cut.

After that threshold is reached, pensioners will lose $3 for every $1000 they own over the limit, up from $1.50.

The changes will leave about 171,000 pensioners better off; on average $30 a fortnight.

But Labor and the unions have come out swinging against the changes, which will see about 236,000 pensioners lose part of their payments, and another 91,000 lose their pension entirely.

They come into effect amid protracted complaints about the government’s handling of the “clawback” of $4.5 billion in supposed debts, with about 232,000 people served with notices that they owe Centrelink money. It has been estimated that at least one in five of those contacted did not owe a debt.

ACTU assistant secretary Scott Connelly said the government could look elsewhere for cuts, pointing to its proposed corporate tax cuts, which Treasury has estimated will cost the budget at least $48.2 billion over 10 years.

“The politicians that have made this choice are so far disconnected, as we’ve seen in recent days,” Mr Connelly said. “We don’t accept that this is the right decision for the times.”

Council On The Ageing chief executive Ian Yates said there were mixed views on the reduction among members.

“We’ve never advocated a reduction in the pension, but at the time we said this is the least worst of the options around,” Mr Yates said.

Opposition families spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said pensioners were now aware of the “real” impact of the pension cuts. “Mr Turnbull just doesn’t get fairness. He’s taking money off pensioners and at the same time he’s trying to give big businesses and the banks a $50 billion handout.”

Ms Daley said that it was “no wonder people are disillusioned and fed up”, citing the furore surrounding Health Minister Sussan Ley’s travel expenses.

“The only sure thing that comes out of it is that the general public is disadvantaged,” she said.?“We can’t point to anywhere that the general public have been advantaged in one of these things.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Assessments get most attention but have least importance in teaching: survey

09/05/2019 Posted by admin

Primary school students learning to read using phonic sounds. Photo: Justin McManusIt’s a frustration commonly voiced by teachers and educators: the media dedicate far more coverage to issues that are often the least important when it comes to effective teaching and learning.
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Now there’s a measure of that priority gap.

A global survey by the US-based International Literacy Association asked more than 1500 teachers, policy-makers and literacy academics to rate 17 literacy topics as either “hot” or “important”.

Hot was defined as trending –?debates or issues that receive the most attention in the classroom, in conversations with other educators, and in the media.

Important was defined as those topics most critical to advancing literacy for all learners.

The survey found that educators believe standards and assessments (including national tests and the global PISA tests) get far more attention than they deserve, while early literacy is actually the most important topic when it comes to boosting literacy skills.

Parent engagement was considered the most important topic that gets the least emphasis.

But the survey report’s authors were surprised that there was not more importance attached to digital literacy, with 37 per cent saying it was not at all, slightly or moderately important in their country, despite being an extremely hot topic. That meant it was ranked less important than early literacy, professional learning and development, diversity, parent engagement, independent reading and several other topics.

The five hottest topics were assessment/standards; diversity; digital literacy; early literacy and disciplinary literacy (which includes STEM literacy).?

Australia contributed the third-largest response to the survey, after the US and Canada.

Respondents to the survey included classroom teachers and reading/literacy specialists teaching 5-14-year-olds, academics and people working in government,?with an average of 11 years of professional experience.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Graham Arnold boasts of Sydney FC’s defensive record ahead of Western Sydney Wanderers clash

09/05/2019 Posted by admin

Possible call-up: Sydney FC Youth player George Timotheou could be on the big stage. Photo: Melissa AdamsSydney FC coach Graham Arnold brushed off concerns over his club’s defensive crisis for Saturday night’s derby, suggesting Western Sydney Wanderers will struggle to get a shot on target against his high-flying side.
Nanjing Night Net

Never one to shy from pre-game mind games, Arnold deflected concerns of fielding an inexperienced defender in the biggest home game of his club’s season – instead heaping more pressure on the Wanderers’ problematic attack that has plagued their season.

A 19-year-old untested central defender could be thrown into Sydney FC’s starting line-up due to injuries, suspension and player sales depleting their back line, but Arnold believes it won’t have much of an impact on his team’s collective defensive shape.

Whether?teenagers Patrick Flottmann, George Timotheou?or 21-year-old Aaron Calver partner Alex Wilkinson on Saturday night, Arnold doesn’t envisage the reshuffle causing a busy night for goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, who has leaked fewer goals than any other shot stopper this season.

“Our defence starts from the front, we’ve got a brick wall, we’ve conceded seven goals in 14 games and again our defence starts from the front, we’ve had many games where Danny Vukovic hasn’t had to make a save and the same will happen on Saturday night,” Arnold said.

The Sky Blues are holding out little hope of signing a foreign defender in time to face the Wanderers and are set to continue their search for Matt Jurman’s replacement into another week. An injury to Seb Ryall is expected to sideline the defender for a number of weeks and prompted Sydney to fast-track their recruitment of another central defender.

The club was linked with Czech international defender Tomas Sivok, former Newcastle United man Steven Taylor and Australian-born Greek international Avraam Papadopolous. Sydney will instead look at other options during the January transfer window including their ongoing bid to sign Australian international Rhys Williams, who won’t be released by Perth Glory despite being on the outer.

“It seems that Rhys is unhappy. It’s clear he’s not playing over there and for me Rhys is a national team player,” Arnold said.?“Would we like to have him? Yeah if they don’t want him we’d love to have him, but it’s out of our hands.”

The inability to bring in a visa-player in time for Saturday’s derby hampered Sydney’s hopes of deploying midfielder Brandon O’Neill?as a makeshift stopper with his regular partner Josh Brillante suspended,?leaving the club’s midfield stocks?bare. O’Neill played the majority of last week’s match against Central Coast Mariners at centre-back and, while earning praise from his coach, Arnold reaffirmed his faith in his young central defenders?Flottmann, Timotheou and Calver – who only recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff – to step into such a big occasion.

“We’ve got some fantastic under-20 kids. Patrick Flottmann and George Timotheou ?who are international players. They’ve been waiting for their?chance for a long, long time. They’ve worked extremely hard in training. They’re part of the youth team that won six trophies last year. They’re very successful in what they do,” Arnold said. “Brandon O’Neill played in the back line showing what he can do,?Aaron Calver is back who’s got a lot of experience in the A-League for his age.”

Sydney are in a rich vein of form in front of goal having scored 13 goals as they won their last four games, three of which were away from home. Their attacking stocks are set to receive a further boost with the return of?captain Alex Brosque?to the starting line-up after serving a one-game suspension.

“Alex Brosque, our captain, is back and he’s such a wonderful leader, such a wonderful player. He brings another 10-15 per cent out in all our players. We’re down one player suspended, they’re down two players suspended. They’ve got a couple of injuries, we’ve got one injury so were in good shape,” Arnold said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.