Monthly Archives:August 2019

HPV program is major achievement: report ( admin posted on August 17th, 2019 )

The schools-based HPV vaccination catch-up program has been declared a remarkable achievement, with 70 per cent of girls aged 12 to 17 receiving all three doses.

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The ACT and Victoria were top performers, with 75 per cent of girls fully vaccinated by the end of 2009, according to an article in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

The aim of the government-funded program was for all girls aged 12 to 17 to receive three shots.

The vaccination protects people from the human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes cervical and other cancers as well as genital warts.

A free schools-based program is now being rolled out to boys aged 12 to 15 to complement the ongoing program for girls aged 12 to 13.

The girls’ catch-up program delivered more than 1.9 million doses of HPV vaccine, write the authors, led by Dr Julia Brotherton from the National HPV Vaccination Program Register (NHVPR).

They say at least half of Australian women who were aged 12 to 26 in 2007 are fully vaccinated.

However, there are worrying gaps are among indigenous people, with a significant drop off from the first dose to the last dose during the catch-up program.

The article says problems include poor school attendance, lack of culturally appropriate information and challenges in very remote areas.

“The requirement to rapidly implement the program was challenging, but the coverage … represents a remarkable achievement,” says the article.

The coverage is sufficient to have a major impact, but a higher percentage would provide better protection to the vaccinated person and their future partners, Dr Brotherton told AAP on Monday.

“We have already seen declines in HPV infection, genital warts and in pre-cancer lesions of the cervix.”

She urged parents to have their children vaccinated.

“It’s easy and very safe. Other parents around the world are envious of the opportunity we have in Australia to protect our kids in this way.”

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Johnson leads NASCAR Cup with Texas win ( admin posted on August 17th, 2019 )

Jimmie Johnson led for 255 of 334 laps for a dominating victory on Sunday to put the five-time champion back in the Chase for the Sprint Cup lead with two races remaining.

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Johnson and Matt Kenseth arrived at Texas Motor Speedway level on points, though Kenseth was leading based on seven wins.

Johnson scored his sixth victory this season, becoming only the second three-time Cup winner at Texas. The No.48 Hendrick Chevrolet team take a seven-point lead to Phoenix next week.

“I’ve been watching a lot of MMA fighting lately, and you’ll fall into a rhythm and think that somebody’s got a fight won, and it doesn’t end that way,” Johnson said. “It’s how this is going to be. Matt didn’t have maybe the best day, but he still finished fourth. This thing is going to the last lap at Homestead. It’s going to come down to a mistake.”

Kenseth was second for much of the first half of the race before getting penalised for speeding on pit road. That dropped Kenseth to 16th place and more than 28 seconds back, though the No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota recovered to finish fourth.

“We were just being too aggressive. Honestly, the 48 had us … they were just dominant all weekend,” Kenseth said. “That speeding penalty got us behind.”

Johnson bagged his 66th career victory, with a record 24 Chase victories.

Last November, Johnson also left Texas with a seven-point lead. Brad Keselowski overcame that in the last two races to give Roger Penske his first Cup championship.

Dale Earnhardt Jr had his fifth runner-up finish of the season, more than four seconds after his Hendrick teammate, with Joey Logano third.

Earnhardt has finished top 10 in all but one of the eight Chase races so far, but has still gone 55 races since a win.

Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon was in contention for another championship after his win a week earlier at Martinsville moved him up to a season-high third in points.

But on lap 74, the front left tyre on the No.24 Chevrolet blew, sending Gordon high and hard into the wall between the first and second turns. His team took a long time to make repairs and he was able to return to the race late, finishing 38th.

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Comment: Confessions of an adult One Direction fan ( admin posted on August 17th, 2019 )

I’m still reeling from One Direction’s concert in Sydney, nearly two weeks after the fact.

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Our seats were surprisingly good – quite close to the secondary stage set up in the middle of the floor – and I almost squealed myself to death when they performed my favourite song (‘Last First Kiss’) mere metres away from me. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun at a show.

I also can’t remember the last time I was double the age of most of the audience.

Yes, despite leaving high school behind over a decade ago, I am head over heels in love with One Direction, or 1D for short. Though the band is synonymous with screaming hoards of teenage girls, there is a surprising number of AFOODS (adult fans of One Direction) out there.

Other grown ups have reacted surprisingly badly to this information. I’ve had many conversations with many baffled friends and colleagues as to why I’m so into them. Yes, I know they were created on a reality show. Yes, I’m aware that they’re marketed at the pubescent. No, my love is not ironic. Yes, I can sing basically every word to every song; would you like me to show you?

Michelle, a 30-year-old AFOOD, says “The lack of irony involved in loving them that almost feels like backlash against all the cultural influences in my life.”

Indeed, there’s absolutely no room for irony in the One Direction fandom. The 1D guys are all in, churning out albums and concert tours to a hungry audience, and being so generous with their fans despite their inevitable and visible exhaustion.

The 1D fans are plainly all in, screaming out their love for the band members with all their might. You don’t often find that kind of earnestness in adult life.

I understand that One Direction fails according to every snob’s criteria for musical credibility: a band making their way up from the very bottom, writing their own songs, not aiming for an audience of young girls, and so on and so forth.

And yet I, and the rest of my AFOODS, cannot bring ourselves care because we’re having so much fun. As Liam, my 28-year-old concert date, says “I’m used to rock shows where everyone is super hip and disaffected. It’s nice to just let yourself feel something for the music and the experience. It’s refreshing to casually engage in this activity where you “love” your favourite member, and just SCREAM AND SCREAM when you see them at a concert.”

And scream we did, with utter abandon. As it turns out, yelling alongside 20,000 other fans while five cute boys jump about onstage is one hell of a drug.

I highly recommend it.

Frances Lockie is a Sydney-based writer who spends way too much time on the Internet.

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ACT government targets supermarkets in war against obesity ( admin posted on August 17th, 2019 )

Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death in Australia, with 14 million Australians are overweight or obese.

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Teaching kids to make healthy choices is part of any modern school curriculum.

And one Canberra High School is putting its money where its mouth is by providing students with a vending machine packed with healthy alternatives.

“We teach girls about nutrition, we really need to be able to have those options for them,” says Jason Corbett-Jones at Canberra Girls’ Grammar.

Instead of sugary calorie-laden snacks, the students at Canberra Girls’ Grammar can choose from nuts, pineapple juice and corn chips.

Students at the school are not complaining.

“It’s good, especially after-hours when you didn’t really pack anything,” Year 8 student Fleur Jennings says.

Year 12 student Jill Greig agrees.

“Sometimes if you don’t pack enough snacks it’s good to know there’s somewhere to get something instead of just starving half the day.

Year 8 student Georgia Lyness sees other benefits too.

“I think it’s good that our school is healthier, and it’s kind of influencing people to eat healthier when they see it at schools.”

Melissa Moss came up with the healthy option machines after years of working with children and seeing first hand the importance of nutrition.

“We need to guide children with their choices with food, and if their habits are bad now, they’ll take those into adulthood,” says Melissa Moss from Vital Vending.

Now there are plans to install healthy food vending machines in ACT hospitals and in supermarkets.

Supermarkets could be forced to provide at least one junk food free check out per store.

It’s part of a wider push by the ACT government to curb soaring levels of obesity.

Australia is now one of the fattest nations on Earth and the ACT government says measures to tackle obesity now are similar to the anti-smoking movement of previous decades.

The retail association overseeing the major supermarkets declined SBS’s invitation for an interview saying it has yet to formulate an official stance on the proposal.

Academics insist parents will welcome junk food free checkouts.

“They want supermarkets to place those sorts of foods out of the line of children,” says Jane Dixon from the Australian National University.

Dr Dixon says retailers need to take responsibility for their role in the obesity crisis.

“Supermarkets supply 70 per cent of grocery items,” Ms Dixon says. “They’re a major player.”

Doctors welcome the move but say increased regulation is only part of the solution.

“We need to be making it easier for people,” says Dr Andrew Miller from the Australian  Medical Association ACT.

“They need to be able to identify what’s healthy, the misinformation needs to be got out of the way, and people need to make healthy choices.”

Dr Miller says exercise and healthy eating are the not-so-secret weapons in the fight against fat.

Watch the video on YouTube below:

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LAX gunman acted alone, targeted TSA staff ( admin posted on August 17th, 2019 )

The gunman charged in the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport lay bloodied and handcuffed on the floor of Terminal 3 after being gunned down by police, but he replied to critical questions that helped authorities lock down the scene.

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Paul Ciancia, 23, was hauled away moments later on a stretcher and later heavily sedated for medical reasons, but not before he told investigators he had acted alone when he opened fire in the terminal, a law enforcement official said on Sunday.

Ciancia, an unemployed motorcycle mechanic who recently moved to Los Angeles from the small, working-class town of Pennsville, New Jersey, also told police a friend had dropped him off at LAX on Friday just moments before he shot a Transportation Security Administration officer at point-blank range and wounded three other people, including two more TSA workers.

Officials do not believe that the friend knew of the shooter’s plans. Ciancia arrived at the airport in a black Hyundai and was not a ticketed passenger.

Ciancia was under 24-hour armed guard at the hospital on Sunday after being shot four times, the official said. He was sedated for medical reasons, the official said, adding that one gunshot to the mouth blew a molar out of his jaw.

Ciancia is facing charges of murder of a federal officer and committing violence at an international airport. The charges could qualify him for the death penalty.

In court documents and interviews, authorities spelled out a chilling chain of events, saying Ciancia walked into the airport, pulled a .223-calibre assault rifle from his duffel bag and fired repeatedly at point-blank range at 39-year-old TSA officer Gerardo I. Hernandez, killing him.

He then fired on at least two other uniformed TSA employees and an airline passenger, who all were wounded, before airport police shot him as panicked passengers cowered in stores and restaurants, authorities said.

It wasn’t clear why Ciancia targeted TSA officers, but what he left behind made it clear he intended to kill any of them that crossed his path, authorities revealed.

The shooter’s duffel bag contained a handwritten letter signed by Ciancia stating he’d “made the conscious decision to try to kill” multiple TSA employees and that he wanted to “instill fear in their traitorous minds”, FBI Agent in Charge David L. Bowdich said.

“Black, white, yellow, brown, I don’t discriminate,” the note read, according to a paraphrase by a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

The screed also mentioned “fiat currency” and “NWO”, possible references to the New World Order, a conspiracy theory that foresees a totalitarian one-world government.

The letter also talked about “how easy it is to get a gun into the airport”, the law enforcement official said.

Authorities believe the rifle used in the shooting was purchased in Los Angeles. Ciancia also had two additional handguns that he purchased in Los Angeles, but which weren’t at the crime scene, a law enforcement official said.

The purchases themselves appeared legal, although authorities were still tracing them, and it’s unclear if the shooter used his own identification or someone else’s, the official said.

“He didn’t buy them on the street. He didn’t buy them on the internet,” the official said. “He bought them from a licensed gun dealer – the rifle and the two handguns.”

Hernandez, a three-year veteran of the TSA, moved to the US from El Salvador at age 15, married his sweetheart, Ana, on Valentine’s Day in 1998 and had two children.

The other two TSA officers wounded in the attack have been released from the hospital. On Sunday, the TSA identified them as James Speer, 54, and Tony Grigsby, 36.

Brian Ludmer, a Calabasas High School teacher, remained in fair condition at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg.

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