Health

Big win for women’s reproductive freedom, but still a long way to go

This week saw a big win for women’s rights in Australia in the High Court. It is an historic step forward in the long journey for reproductive freedom for women in Australia. It’s also a timely reminder of how far we have to go. Adrianne Walters The Age In the 1970s, my nan, as a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, pushed for the decriminalisation of abortion. She knew what it felt like to discover a pregnancy and be powerless ... Read More »

South Korea abortion ban ‘unconstitutional’

South Korea’s ban on abortion has been ruled unconstitutional in a historic court decision. BBC The country’s constitutional court ordered that the law must be revised by the end of 2020. Under the 1953 ban, women who procured abortions could be fined and imprisoned, except in cases of rape or risk to their health. South Korea is one of the few developed countries to criminalise abortion. The abortion law was reviewed after a challenge from a female doctor who said ... Read More »

London prepares for launch of ultra-low emissions zone

Almost 1,000 people a year in London are hospitalised with asthma caused by pollution Gwyn Topham The Guardian London is preparing to enforce “world-leading” vehicle pollution restrictions from Monday as the capital attempts to clean up the toxic air blamed for thousands of premature deaths. The ultra-low emission zone, or Ulez, will launch at one minute past midnight, imposing a £12.50-a-day charge to drive into central London in all but the cleanest cars and vans. The move is expected to reduce ... Read More »

Children face reduction in life expectancy of 20 months ‘due to air pollution’

New research shows how a child born today could be affected by highly polluted air The Irish Times The life expectancy of a child born today will be reduced by an average of 20 months due to health damage caused by air pollution, researchers said on Wednesday. In South Asia, where air pollution levels are highest, the life expectancy for children born in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh is forecast to fall by more than 30 months, according to the annual State of Global Air ... Read More »

Global carbon emissions hit record high in 2018, International Energy Agency says

Greater demand for energy and more extreme temperatures saw global carbon emissions reach a record high in 2018 partly because of higher coal use, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Sue Lannin ABC Carbon emissions rose by 1.7 per cent in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion tonnes, with coal making up one third of the total increase, according to the IEA’s Global Energy and C02 Status Report. That is despite energy generation from wind and solar farms growing ... Read More »

Mongolia: A toxic warning to the world

All over the world cities are grappling with apocalyptic air pollution but the small capital of Mongolia is suffering from some of the worst in the world. BBC And the problem is intrinsically linked to climate change. The country has already warmed by 2.2 degrees, forcing thousands of people to abandon the countryside and the traditional herding lifestyle every year for the smog-choked city where 90% of children are breathing toxic air every day. Population Reporter Stephanie Hegarty finds out ... Read More »

Lyrica, Pfizer, and how big pharma gets what it wants

In 2011, few had heard of Pfizer’s nerve-pain pill Lyrica. It was mostly confined to specialist pain clinics, doses kept low to minimise nasty side-effects. Liam Mannix The Age Eight years later, it is one of Australia’s most prescribed drugs. More than 4 million scripts for pregabalin, the drug’s generic name, were written in 2017-18, costing government and consumers more than $171 million. That’s come with a huge toll. An investigation by The Age revealed Pfizer’s ‘safe, non-addictive’ nerve-pain pill ... Read More »

Walking Is About More Than 10,000 Steps – Here’s How It Can Change Your Life

Got a pair of shoes that don’t rub? You’re ready. Rachel Moss HuffPost It’s something many of us take for granted, but the simple act of walking has the power to transform both our physical and mental health. The cheapest form of exercise you’ll find, walking doesn’t require specialist boots, trainers or fitness clothing. If you’ve got a pair of shoes that don’t rub, you’re ready. Still need a little convincing? Read on to find out more about the proven benefits of putting ... Read More »

The mental health crisis among America’s youth is real – and staggering

The first signs of a problem started to emerge around 2014: More young people said they felt overwhelmed and depressed. College counseling centers reported sharp increases in the number of students seeking… Jean Twenge The Conversation Even as studies were showing increases in symptoms of depression and in suicide among adolescents since 2010, some researchers called the concerns overblown and claimed there simply isn’t enough good… The idea that there’s an epidemic in anxiety or depression among youth “is simply ... Read More »

String of British firms switch over to four-day working week

Exclusive: small companies tell the Guardian of the impact of ending ‘Friday fatigue’ Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent and Matthew Holmes The Guardian A string of small British firms have switched their workers over to a four-day week, the Guardian can reveal, amid mounting political interest in the idea that working less could deliver higher productivity and better balance between life and work. A lingerie manufacturer, a lighting design firm and a landscape architect are among a wave of employers experimenting with ... Read More »

Lula was sexually abused as a child. One day, she’ll tell her children

One day in the future the time will come when Lula will tell her two young children about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Kimberley Le Lievre The Canberra Times Until then, she prepares them as best she can for the reality that there are bad people in the world, without shattering their security. She teaches them to know what makes them feel uncomfortable and stand up for themselves, and to trust their intuition. But in particular she ... Read More »

The UK’s First Specialist Medical Cannabis Clinic Has Opened

Bosses at the clinic say it will provide a lifeline to those experiencing chronic pain. HuffPost Press Association The UK’s first specialist medical cannabis clinic has opened in Greater Manchester. It follows the Government announcement that specialist doctors could prescribe cannabis products to patients for medicinal use from November. The decisions by medics need to be made on a case-by-case basis and only when the patient has an unmet special clinical need that cannot be met by licensed products. The ... Read More »

Aged care’s new front line: our own homes

From untrained and unfamiliar staff to high costs, poor transparency and confusion, the dream of ageing at home is, for some, turning into a nightmare under a privatised, partly for-profit system. By Farrah Tomazin and Michael Bachelard The Age For Peter Roxburgh, the last straw in dealing with Australia’s privatised home-care system for the elderly was a simple, $100 toilet frame. His mother, Joyce, is 89, has severe dementia, and lives at home, where he cares for her. The Commonwealth ... Read More »

UK-US trade deal: Envoy attacks ‘myths’ about US farming

Fears over chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef are “myths”, according to the US ambassador to the UK. BBC In the Daily Telegraph, Woody Johnson urged the UK to embrace US farming methods after Washington published its objectives for a UK-US trade deal. EU rules currently limit US exports of certain food products, including chicken and beef – but Mr Johnson wants that to change in the UK after Brexit. Downing Street has repeatedly… A No 10… UK-US trade… Read More »

‘The last moments were beautiful’: Wife remembers firefighter who died at Swiss euthanasia clinic

When Christine Thornton said goodbye to her husband at a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland last week, he turned to her, told her he loved her, and said, “I’m going now”. Simone Fox Koob WAtoday They had spent four days by each other’s side, having coffee in Basel’s picturesque old town, eating cheese in the Swiss Alps and visiting the border so her husband could say he’d been to France. “Troy said to me it was a lovely way to spend ... Read More »

When a kid breaks the law there’s so much more going on below the surface

We must recognise the link between mental conditions and youth crime Anonymous The Guardian The Kimberley is an exceptionally beautiful part of the continent. None of its natural splendour can be seen in one of the region’s courtrooms, however. The only noteworthy feature is the Western Australian coat of arms, with its iconic black swan and kangaroo paw. Opposite the magistrate’s chair sits a wide screen television, used in part to reach young offenders via video link. This screen streams ... Read More »