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Teachers, bad grades, ‘boring school’ driving youth out of mainstream schools: study

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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Bad grades, teachers and being “bored” at school are some of the factors driving young Queenslanders out of the mainstream education system, an Australian Research Council funded report has found.
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More than 200 surveys taken from youth support workers, teachers, volunteers and young people across the state were collected to build on a 2010 Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) study that found many students who rejected mainstream schooling were prepared to make efforts to attend “alternative schools” or “flexi schools”.

Alternative schools are facilities that support students from marginalised backgrounds and/or who have been failed or left the mainstream school system to continue their education.

These schools can be an annexe to mainstream high schools or run independently, through community or charity groups.

Photo: Louise Kennerley

Researchers from Griffith University and the University of Queensland surveyed 154 students learning across 15 alternative schools and found the top three reasons they left mainstream schooling was due to teachers (50 per cent), school being “boring” (43 per cent) and/or poor school results (41 per cent).

A survey of 36 young people not in any form of education found they had similar reasons for leaving mainstream schooling and included suspension and/or expulsion as another driving factor.

Of those in alternative education, 66 per cent were aged 16 or under and 8.78 per cent identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Half of the young people surveyed not in any form of education were aged 15 or under and 41.67 identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Researchers found the large number of Indigenous people who completed the survey was indicative of the lack of cultural diversity in structural organisations.

“There are well documented issues in relation to the mainstream’s ability or willingness to meet the needs of Indigenous students, and we would suggest that unless the system develops appropriate responses to these needs that there will be more young Indigenous people turning to alternative schools for their education,” the report read.

At the launch of the Engaging Students in Engaging Schools: lessons from Queensland’s alternative education sector report at Parliament on Wednesday, Queen, a 19-year-old mother enrolled at an alternative school at Sunnybank, said she left her mainstream school to have her baby.

“I took some time off but I really wanted to go back to school so I looked into what options I had,” she said.

“I feel like at other schools you have to go there and adjust to what they do and how they see things and they are not really understanding or try to get to know you and your circumstances.”

The report found 69 per cent of youth not enrolled in any form of school indicated they would like to go to an alternative school.

Of those who attended an alternative school, 53 per cent did so to attend courses for work qualifications, 41 per cent to attend courses in normal school subjects and 32 per cent did so for social reasons.

The report also found a number of challenges existed in regional, rural and remote areas for young people including a lack of schooling choices and race, ethnicity, culture and gender issues.

The manager of a Neighborhood Youth Centre in one of Queensland’s small mining towns said in the survey that transport also posed an issue.

“You can go to primary school out at the gemfields but then every one of those kids who live out there, once they go into Grade 8, they have to get on the bus and come in,” he said.

“But if you have got behavioural problems, the bus driver can cancel you off the bus, so therefore you can’t go to school.”

A youth program coordinator from a regional Queensland city who was surveyed and estimated at least 10,000 young people “under the radar” and not engaged with any form of schooling.

In its observations, the report identified the difficulty in determining how many young Queensland eople were disengaged from school.

A range of recommendations were put forward in the report for schools, youth workers and researchers to improve the attendance rates of young people in some form of education.

It called for better access to education, an improved “tracking of students” to stop them getting lost” in the system, a way to assess the quality of alternative educational provisions, a greater awareness of triggers for educational disengagement and better communication and relationships between schools, youth workers, families and communities.

“At this stage we are of the view that these (alternative) schools currently meet the needs of the most marginalised in the community and that they have become a real necessity because of the current system of schooling,” the report concluded.

“However, it is also our view that these schools could, in some cases, represent a first choice for students and not just those who are struggling with the mainstream.

“There are elements of these schools, as we indicate in the case study sections of the report, which if implemented in the mainstream, could improve schooling all students.”

Youth Affairs Network Queensland director Siyavash Doostkhah said the report was “evidence” we can have a schooling system that leaves no young person behind.

“Young people not only deserve this, they have a right to this, education is a human right and as such it is non-negotiable,” he said.

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

Kathy Griffin replaced as co-host of CNN’s NYE Live

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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American talk show host and television executive Andy Cohen will replace ousted comedian Kathy Griffin as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast.
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Griffin and Cooper have co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live since 2007, however she lost the gig earlier this year in the wake of a photo scandal in which she was pictured holding a replica of the bloodied head of US president Donald Trump.

Cohen and Cooper are friends; they perform a series of speaking gigs together and Cooper is a regular guest on Cohen’s US talk show.

Talk show host and television executive Andy Cohen will replace Kathy Griffin as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast. Photo: Charles Sykes

It was during an interview with Cohen that Cooper first addressed the rift between he and Griffin in the wake of the scandal, during which Cooper had denounced the photo stunt.

“We’re still friends,” Cooper said. “I didn’t think [the photo] was appropriate but I wish her the best and I hope she bounces back.

“She’s incredibly funny and a lot of people love her, and I think she’ll bounce back from this.”

Griffin, however, told Fairfax Media later that her friendship with Cooper was essentially over.

Kathy Griffin was fired from CNN following her controversial Trump severed head stunt. Photo: Twitter

“I don’t think I paid a price. I think he did,” she said. “I’m sorry to say that because I loved him. He wasn’t just my friend I liked. He was my friend I loved. That part just hurts.”

Griffin said she felt Cooper had been pulling away from the friendship for some time.

“He’s been kind of pulling away for a couple of years and obviously I wouldn’t talk about that publicly because we still [had] a show to do, you know what I mean?” she said.

“I still had the most fun ever during that evening and even if we weren’t necessarily close and the last couple years… and even if we weren’t tight, I always loved making him giggle.”

CNN has aired its New Year’s Eve Live program since 2001; Cooper took over as host in 2002.

It is traditionally hosted from Times Square in New York, but included crosses to CNN correspondents at other locations and musical performances.

It is broadcast on the US CNN service and the CNN International channel, which is broadcast in 190 countries including Australia.

In the US it is watched by around three million viewers; its global audience is not measured but would be significantly larger.

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

NAB slashes rewards points in major credit card shake-up

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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NAB has taken the knife once again to the value of its reward points on its credit cards. The bank will soon no longer offer American Express companion cards and, from February 21, 2018, NAB American Express Cards can no longer be used with customers told to “cut up” the cards.
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There will also be a major shake-up of NAB rewards credit cards effective from November 13, which will lead to the value of rewards points plummeting by up to 47 per cent on the NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card and NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card, says Kirsty Lamont, a director of comparison site Mozo.

NAB’s latest changes follow a swath of cuts to credit card rewards programs from the major banks, Lamont says.

“In March this year, ANZ became the first big bank to completely scrap the dual card account,” she says.

“Westpac retained its American Express card but significantly lowered its earn rates, while the Commonwealth Bank moved to slash higher Amex earns rates unless overseas, or at specific merchants,” Lamont says.

Even before the latest move by NAB, Mozo estimated there had been a decrease in rewards credit card value of 63 per cent during the past 12 months. The average rewards cardholder is now spending $19,000 to earn just $27 in rewards.

The big banks blame the cuts on interchange fee regulations introduced by the Reserve Bank that took effect from the middle of this year.

CBA has responded to criticisms of credit cards, saying it would introduce a new credit card with a purchase interest rate of 9.9 per cent. Its current lowest rate card is 13.24 per cent.

From November, all CBA’s credit card holders will be able to receive alerts through the CommBank App reminding them that a credit card payment is due.

And from mid-2018, credit card holders will be able to pay off their credit card debt in fixed monthly instalments.

While the big banks have recently removed, or soon will remove, their ATM fees, consumers are paying almost twice as much in credit card fees even as the value of rewards points falls.

A report earlier this year by comparison site Finder estimated that Australians fork out nearly $800 million a year in ATM withdrawal fees.

ZipMoney, a provider of “buy now, pay later” digital wallets, used its own data and Reserve Bank figures to estimate that Australians are paying about $1.5 billion in total credit card fees, or almost twice that of ATM fees.

Over the past 20 years, credit card fee revenues for Australian financial institutions have increased from $125 million in 1997 to $1.5 billion in 2016, an annual growth rate of 15 per cent.

Credit card holders are hit with fees for cash advances, late payments, drawing more than their credit limit, account keeping, transfers and even fees for being a joint card-holder.

The ZipMoney analysis of 19 financial institutions finds the biggest fee category is for international transactions, which makes up almost 40 per cent, or $600 million, of the $1.5 billion in credit card fees.

The fees are incurred when travellers use their credit card to pay for something when they are overseas or buying goods from overseas.

The ZipMoney analysis estimates credit card holders shell out almost as much in annual fees. Cards with the highest annual fees are usually those with rewards points. Sydneysiders pay most

The ZipMoney analysis shows Sydneysiders paid the most in credit card fees in 2016 of $311, on average, followed by Brisbane at $303, and Perth at $302. Melburnians paid $277 in fees.

Brisbane credit card holders pay the most in international transactions fees, at $89, and pay the most in cash advance fees.

The credit card holders of Adelaide are the most frugal in terms of overall credit card fee spend, but Canberra-based card holders incur the lowest cash advance fees.

Card holders in Perth and Sydney opt for credit cards with higher annual fees, at $99 each.

Andy Mitchell, ZipMoney’s chief of growth and innovation, who produced the research, says the pace of revenue generated by credit card fees nationally has moderated in the past five years as consumers become more discerning around the use of credit cards.

He says there has also been a decline of the average interest-accruing balance, dropping from $2500 to $2000 during the past five years.

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

Leading US academic warns NAPLAN computer marking could damage learning

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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Computers will mark NAPLAN writing tests from next year. A leading US education academic has warned that it would be “extremely foolish” and even damaging to student learning if NAPLAN writing tests were marked by computers next year, as education ministers across Australia back a move to online marking.
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Les Perelman, an internationally renowned expert in writing assessment from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said a report on automated marking of NAPLAN was “so methodologically flawed and so massively incomplete” that it could not be used to justify any use of automated essay scoring of NAPLAN.

A group of year 9 students at Cerdon College in Sydney’s west were asked how the new NAPLAN tests, which they will be required to pass to receive their HSC, will affect both their current education and their prospects.

Dr Perelman was commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation to review a report by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) into automated NAPLAN marking of persuasive writing tests.

ACARA’s report, released in late 2015, said a “significant body of literature” confirmed that automated essay scoring met or surpassed the quality of human markers. But Dr Perelman’s review said a major failing of the ACARA report was that it “completely ignores” any research that was critical of automated essay scoring.

“Until these critical studies are completed and carefully evaluated, it would be extremely foolish and possibly damaging to student learning to institute machine grading of the NAPLAN essay, including dual grading by a machine and a human marker,” Dr Perelman wrote.

The release of Dr Perelman’s review comes as ministers at September’s meeting of the federal Education Council gave in-principle support for NAPLAN writing tests to be marked by a computer and a human in 2018.

Stanley Rabinowitz, general manager of assessment and reporting at ACARA, said all NAPLAN writing tasks completed online next year would be marked by a person as well as an automated scoring system.

“This is to provide reassurance that automated marking achieves scores comparable to human markers, but faster,” Dr Rabinowitz said.

Dr Rabinowitz said ACARA had done further research since the 2015 report, including work based on Dr Perelman’s research, which would be released next month.

He defended ACARA’s report and said Dr Perelman and the Teachers Federation “are known critics of automated marking systems and the report findings should be viewed with this in mind.”

The acting president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Gary Zadkovich, said parents, teachers and principals had not been consulted about the “radical plans” to move to online marking.

“The federal agency in charge of NAPLAN is rushing through with plans to have robots mark next year’s NAPLAN tests despite their justifications being discredited by world-leading research,” Mr Zadkovich said.

Mr Zadkovich urged education ministers to reject ACARA’s plan to “bring robots into the marking of extended pieces of children’s work”.

Mr Zadkovich said Dr Perelman’s report warned that computers could only detect “low grade attributes of writing” and cannot detect “the most important elements of a text”.

Automated marking can discriminate against some social groups and is even flawed when it comes to grammar checking, he said.

Robyn Cox, the president of the Primary English Teaching Association Australia, said she did not oppose the role of artificial intelligence in education but warned that its ongoing involvement in areas such as writing could have negative consequences.

“My concern is that this will serve the needs of the computer and not the needs of humanity,” Dr Cox said.

“It won’t take us long before big corporations or text book publishers start developing software or text books that prepare kids for the writing task that a computer wants to see.”

The ACARA said the number of schools taking part in the double marking had not yet been confirmed but the Education Council was told that the move will deliver a “significant increase in costs”.

The ministers also agreed to extend the timeline for all schools to transition to NAPLAN online to 2020. All year 3 students will do NAPLAN writing tasks with pencil and paper regardless of when their school moves online.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Xenophon gambit: state v federal power

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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Nick Xenophon’s decision to leave the Senate came out of the blue but has rattled the political elites in his home state, South Australia, and stirred the pot nationally. His gambit not only has some immediate state and federal implications but also raises larger questions about the future of Australian politics.
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Xenophon has gambled on leaving the leadership of his party’s three-member Senate team plus one House of Representatives MP to return to South Australian politics. He plans to stand for the Liberal-held lower-house seat of Hartley, leading a large team of candidates for his new state party, called SA Best.

This fresh gambit is not about returning to South Australia’s upper house, the Legislative Council, where Xenophon his political teeth for a decade before switching to the Senate 10 years ago. He is not aiming to strengthen his party’s upper-house crossbench position but to forge a new lower-house balance-of-power position at the next state election early next year. He will confront the struggling long-term Labor government of Premier Jay Weatherill and the ever-hopeful Liberal opposition led by Stephen Marshall.

Xenophon has a remarkable electoral record and considerable political momentum after the 2016 federal election (winning 22 per cent of his state’s Senate vote). However, he is one of those caught up in section 44 dual-nationality problems and has not been quite the force in the current federal parliamentary term that he was in the previous one. His party, the Nick Xenophon Team, has suffered disunity and defections at the state level, where his critics have accused him of being dictatorial. The big question is whether he can repeat his recent barnstorming federal effort at the March 2018 state election.

One obvious immediate implication is for South Australian politics. If SA Best proves to be as popular as most commentators predict, then neither of the main parties will be able to form a majority government in the 47-seat lower house. This has happened several times to state Labor under Mike Rann and Weatherill recently, but each time Labor performed Houdini-like escapes to create stable coalition governments with a variety of unlikely partners. But the challenge is much greater this time given the government’s problems and Xenophon’s popularity. He may even lead a large group of SA Best MPs, somewhat like One Nation did when it broke through dramatically in Queensland in 1998.

Another implication is for federal politics. The Nick Xenophon Team will suddenly become very inexperienced without its leader because the others were first elected at the last election. This further weakens the Senate’s crossbench, following the resignations of Bob Day and the two Green senators, Scott Ludlum and Larissa Waters. Experience is always difficult to factor into parliamentary negotiations, and Xenophon may still be a part-time guiding presence as his party’s leader and founder, but his absence will still hurt the Senate’s ability to hold the government to account.

The larger question for Australian politics is whether Xenophon is correct to rate a decisive lower-house role in South Australia ahead of being an influential player on the Senate crossbench. If so, it flies in the face of the general presumption that federal politics is always more important than state politics and federal MPs are inevitably more powerful than their state counterparts.

The attraction for a party of a place in the Senate is that it offers a national role and visibility. But the weakness of Senate power is that it is within a house of review, not the house of government.

Xenophon is only able to contemplate this shift because his party has strong regional appeal rather than being spread more evenly across the nation like most other minor parties, such as the Australian Democrats and the Greens.

If he is successful, it may portend a more fragmented federal system, in which genuine regional parties contend effectively with the major national parties. The name SA Best points towards such fragmentation, as it clearly has only state appeal.

A good illustration of this contradiction between state and federal power can be found in the Greens. Their nine senators, led by Richard di Natale, certainly have a greater national profile than their state counterparts and they play a role in developing national policies. But it is at the state level that the party can get its hands directly on the levers of power. The Greens have shown they can regularly take part in government in Tasmania and the ACT if they win lower-house seats.

Xenophon is not necessarily a one-off. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is another example. Though it is more genuinely national than Xenophon’s federal party, with its senators from three states, Queensland is its heartland.

Perhaps Hanson is pondering Xenophon’s gambit; her One Nation party threatens to win a big swag of seats again in the forthcoming Queensland election. Is she wondering whether she would be better off as party leader in Queensland than a team leader in the Senate?

If she did a Xenophon and flipped to state politics, she would ensure that One Nation did even better in the state election than it is already likely to do, and she would become the kingmaker Xenophon hopes to be. The ABC election analyst Anthony Green has even suggested the outside possibility of Xenophon becoming South Australian premier. In Queensland, Hanson may dream of becoming deputy premier in a Liberal-National-One Nation coalition government after campaigning on a “make Queensland great again” slogan.

John Warhurst is an emeritus professor of political science at the Australian National University.

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Man stabbed in Mosman street in fourth armed robbery this week: police

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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GENERIC Police. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS
Nanjing Night Net

A gang of knife-wielding thieves has been terrorising pedestrians in Sydney’s lower north shore this week, robbing four and leaving three with stab wounds.

Police are appealing for public assistance after the latest attack, in Mosman, in which a 50-year-old man was stabbed in the arm and back on Wednesday night.

The armed robbery is the fourth since Monday, with police saying they are believed to be linked.

The crime spree started on Monday night when a 15-year-old boy was approached by a knife-wielding man near North Sydney train station at 11.15pm.

The boy was stabbed and the man stole his phone and wallet.

About half an hour later, a 28-year-old man was threatened by two men on Bay Street in Waverton. One of the men was armed with two knives.

The two men stole his wallet, phone, iPod and shoes and left him with cuts to his legs.

Both victims were taken to Royal North Shore Hospital.

About 10.45pm on Tuesday, a 28-year-old man was walking in Wollstonecraft when he was approached by three men, one of whom threatened him with a knife.

The men stole his wallet, phone, watch, laptop and headphones but left him uninjured.

The latest victim is a 50-year-old man, who was confronted while walking on Spencer Street in Mosman about 10.40pm on Wednesday.

Police said the man was stabbed in the arm and back, and was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to Royal North Shore Hospital with injuries which are not considered life-threatening.

Investigators would like to speak to three men who may be able to assist with their inquiries.

One man has been described as being of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance, in his 30s, with a full beard and wearing a red jacket.

The second man has been described as being of Caucasian appearance, with a beard and short haircut with a curly fringe, and was wearing a hooded top.

The third man has been described as having a large build, balding head and was wearing a blue shirt.

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Marking NAPLAN with robots danger to learning: academic

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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A leading US education academic has warned that it would be “extremely foolish” and even damaging to student learning if NAPLAN writing tests were marked by computers next year, as education ministers across Australia back a move to online marking.
Nanjing Night Net

Les Perelman, an internationally renowned expert in writing assessment from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said a report on automated marking of NAPLAN was “so methodologically flawed and so massively incomplete” that it could not be used to justify any use of automated essay scoring of NAPLAN.

Dr Perelman was commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation to review a report by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) into automated NAPLAN marking of persuasive writing tests.

ACARA’s report, released in late 2015, said a “significant body of literature” confirmed that automated essay scoring met or surpassed the quality of human markers. But Dr Perelman’s review said a major failing of the ACARA report was that it “completely ignores” any research that was critical of automated essay scoring.

“Until these critical studies are completed and carefully evaluated, it would be extremely foolish and possibly damaging to student learning to institute machine grading of the NAPLAN essay, including dual grading by a machine and a human marker,” Dr Perelman wrote.

The release of Dr Perelman’s review comes as ministers at September’s meeting of the federal Education Council gave in-principle support for NAPLAN writing tests to be marked by a computer and a human in 2018.

Stanley Rabinowitz, general manager of assessment and reporting at ACARA, said all NAPLAN writing tasks completed online next year would be marked by a person as well as an automated scoring system.

“This is to provide reassurance that automated marking achieves scores comparable to human markers, but faster,” Dr Rabinowitz said.

Dr Rabinowitz said ACARA had done further research since the 2015 report, including work based on Dr Perelman’s research, which would be released next month.

He defended ACARA’s report and said Dr Perelman and the Teachers Federation “are known critics of automated marking systems and the report findings should be viewed with this in mind.”

The acting president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Gary Zadkovich, said parents, teachers and principals had not been consulted about the “radical plans” to move to online marking.

“The federal agency in charge of NAPLAN is rushing through with plans to have robots mark next year’s NAPLAN tests despite their justifications being discredited by world-leading research,” Mr Zadkovich said.

Mr Zadkovich urged education ministers to reject ACARA’s plan to “bring robots into the marking of extended pieces of children’s work”.

Mr Zadkovich said Dr Perelman’s report warned that computers could only detect “low grade attributes of writing” and cannot detect “the most important elements of a text”.

Automated marking can discriminate against some social groups and is even flawed when it comes to grammar checking, he said.

Robyn Cox, the president of the Primary English Teaching Association Australia, said she did not oppose the role of artificial intelligence in education but warned that its ongoing involvement in areas such as writing could have negative consequences.

“My concern is that this will serve the needs of the computer and not the needs of humanity,” Dr Cox said.

“It won’t take us long before big corporations or text book publishers start developing software or text books that prepare kids for the writing task that a computer wants to see.”

The ACARA said the number of schools taking part in the double marking had not yet been confirmed but the Education Council was told that the move will deliver a “significant increase in costs”.

The ministers also agreed to extend the timeline for all schools to transition to NAPLAN online to 2020. All year 3 students will do NAPLAN writing tasks with pencil and paper regardless of when their school moves online.

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

Affleck caught in Weinstein fallout, apologises for ‘acting inappropriately’

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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Actor Ben Affleck has apologised for an incident in 2003 in which he “acted inappropriately” towards actress Hilarie Burton.
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Burton was the host of MTV’s TRL at the time; Affleck, who was on the program promoting a film, allegedly groped her breast.

The incident was partially captured on tape and has been discussed in the media since.

However it was raised again in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault levelled at Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein when Affleck lent his voice to a chorus of disapproval.

Ben Affleck concedes he “acted inappropriately” towards TV presenter Hilarie Burton during an interview in 2003. Photo: Richard Shotwell

In a statement issued via a social media account, Affleck said he was “saddened and angered” by the Weinstein allegations.

Affleck’s remarks prompted an exchange on social media in which a New York-based writer noted “he [Affleck] also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.”

Burton chimed in at that point with the words: “I didn’t forget.”

Affleck’s response was speedy: “I acted inappropriately toward Ms Burton and I sincerely apologise,” he said on social media on Wednesday.

Affleck also came under fire from Rose McGowan, one of the actresses who was the target of Weinstein’s unwanted advances.

McGowan’s remarks – “I told him to stop doing that, you said that to my face… you lie” – would seem to suggest that McGowan had confided in Affleck and that the 45-year-old actor had asked Weinstein to stop.

That would would jag slightly with the implication in Affleck’s statement that he, like others, had only recently become aware of the issue.

“I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades,” Affleck’s statement said.

“The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick.”

In the last week a scandal has exploded around now-ousted Hollywood studio chief Harvey Weinstein in which details of decades of sexual harassment allegations have been made public.

Those revelations were followed by a bombshell report in The New Yorker magazine detailing at least three cases of alleged sexual assault.

Since then a number of high-profile Hollywood actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have also come forward to say they were the target of Weinstein’s harassment.

Others, such as Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, said that after rejecting Weinstein’s advances they found it difficult to find work and alleged the studio boss had essentially acted to punish them.

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Top or front loader: Buyer’s guide to washing machines

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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Buying a washing machine is not as straightforward as it used to be. What drum size do you need? How about spin speed? And what about energy efficiency?
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Before choosing the best model for you, here are some points to help inform your purchase. Size

Start by measuring the intended installation space – making sure you pay close attention to depth, as machines often vary. Add in a centimetre or two for clearance on each side, consider how the door will open, and don’t forget to measure areas of access for when they deliver it.

Also consider the layout of your home. Top loaders, for example, tend to be better suited to laundry rooms over kitchens, whereas front loaders can fit under a bench or above or below a dryer.

If it’s in a room where you spend time, noise level is a consideration. Check the decibels – with anything below 50 decibels considered particularly quiet. Type

If you have limited space, a front loader may better suit your needs and cost less to run. They tend to be gentler on clothes – if you happen to have lots of delicates – as they work via a spinning drum versus a pole-style agitator in the middle. Related: Should you rinse your dishes?Related: Cooking in the laundry: Multitasking or weird?Related: Household items you only have to clean once a year

If you do frequent, large washes, and have the space, then a top loader may be more viable.

Alternatively, if you want a two-in-one workhorse, washer-dryers combine both appliance functions, though consumer choice websites remain unconvinced. The drying capacity is also lower than the washing capacity, so you may have to adjust the load midway. Capacity

Drum sizes range from 5kg all the way up to 16kg – indicating the weight of clothes it can wash on a standard cotton setting. As a guide to capacity, one complete outfit usually equates to around 1kg.

Washing machines are most efficient when carrying a full load, so choose a high-capacity drum if you’re a busy household and a smaller drum if you’re a one- or two-person household. Water and energy efficiency

Want to save money and be kinder to the environment? Look out for the Energy Star Rating out of 10 and a WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme) score from zero to six stars. The more stars, the better.

Energy-saving machines may cost more now, but are better for your wallet (and the planet) in the future. If you want to use electricity, consider washing clothes at 40 degrees instead of 60 degrees, though certain items may require a higher temperature. Functions and features

Look out programs and features that suit your needs, for example, hand wash, fast wash, baby wash, sports wash, child locks, or automatic sensors, which will automatically adjust your machine settings depending on the size of the load and how soiled it is.

If you’re busy, it may be worth investing in a machine with a delay timer, which means you can time your wash to end when you get home, to avoid that musty stench. When buying

Do your research, shop around for the best value and don’t be afraid to haggle. Make the salesperson aware that you want to buy, but need the best possible price. They’ll usually price match, at the very least – or throw in extras or premium delivery (i.e. installation and removal of your old appliance) to sweeten the deal.

As they make you an offer, get them to write it down on their business card, so you won’t forget and can show it to the next store you visit. And if it’s floorstock you’re looking at, it’s even easier to negotiate a better price.

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The 90s decor item making a nightmare comeback

Posted by on 28/09/2019 at 5:39 pm
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As anyone who’s watched The Block knows, mastering the skills of styling a modern-day bedroom is pretty much the key to life success.
Nanjing Night Net

But what if The Block had been around a couple of decades ago, when Scotty, Shelley and Shaynna were merely a glint in a TV producer’s eye?

Could these renovation experts have ever, pray tell, predicted that dancing flowers, rockstar sunnies, would go out of vogue? That Fido Dido bedspreads would fail to make a comeback or that teenage bedrooms would no longer be plastered with posters of Jason Priestley?

Admittedly, it can be a sticky wicket trying to guess when trends are suddenly going to rocket back into fashion (90210 did get a second life). Who could have predicted the mysterious resurgence of Crocs, macrame, high-waisted jeans and white Reebok sneakers?

As for the boudoir, who knew that lava lamps would be replaced years later by a sea of Himalayan salt lamps promising to ward off electronic nasties. Or that our sleeping quarters would begin morphing into botanic gardens. Fiddle leaf fig, anyone?

But this article isn’t really about any of that. It’s about dreamcatchers. Yep, they’re back – in a big, boho way – appearing everywhere from Bali to Byron. A friend reports seeing dreamy dreamcatchers selling for 500 clams at a high-end boutique in LA. A post shared by Dreamcatcher Collective (@dreamcatcher_collective_au) on May 30, 2017 at 8:33pm PDTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.