The latest threat by the Trump administration to blacklist Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry Corporation (SMIC), China’s largest producer of silicon chips, will affect scores of customers and suppliers across the globe, as they get caught in the crossfire of a US-China technology war, fuelled by the worst bilateral relations in decades.The Trump administration is considering whether to add SMIC to a trade blacklist, which would force US suppliers to seek a difficult-to-obtain licence before…
One of Scott Morrison’s ministers is among multiple Liberal MPs caught up in an alleged branch-stacking scandal in Victoria.
Have you ever found yourself suddenly ill at ease? You might feel flustered or agitated. Your heart starts to race, or you catch yourself darting toward the door or to the kitchen to do some mindless comfort eating.
- Who is in the room with me?
- Who did I just talk with?
- What did I just experience?
- What’s going on around me?
Negative emotions from the people around us — including fear, worry, anxiety, and stress — pass from one person to another quickly, often with few or no words, like a highly contagious virus.
If you spend an evening, for instance, social distancing outdoors with stressed-out neighbors who are drinking heavily, do you have a hard time keeping your own drinking in check? Does your workday start out productive but end up derailed from a snarky colleague’s endless rants? If you’re volunteering in your community, do you come home feeling de-energized after being pelted with committee members’ countless complaints?
Even our physical health and our susceptibility to medical diseases are related to the company we keep. What we eat, how much we sleep, how sedentary we are, and how much exercise we get is strongly influenced by the people we choose to associate with.
But why, exactly, does all of this happen?
It’s all in the way we’re hardwired.
The human brain has evolved over many thousands of years to pick up any and all potential threats and negative feelings expressed by those nearby. Neurobiologist Dr. Charles Stevens, a nationally recognized expert at the Salk Institute’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory in California, told us, “There’s a neural basis for how we share emotions. Cells in our brain will fire in the same way as the nervous system that we’re watching. Our nervous systems respond similarly. They’re linked — they mirror each other — to whomever we are observing and close to.”
As if tethered by invisible cords, we’re wired to replicate the moods of others — including worry, anxiety, and sadness — just by being in the same room. The positive moods of others are just as easily replicated.
Other research shows that moods can spread among networks of people like a social contagion. Sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School and political scientist James Fowler of UC San Diego looked at data from a 20-year study that included information on the social networks of 4,739 people.
Called the Framingham Heart Study, the research followed people from 1983 to 2003. The results were startling: On average, they found that for every happy friend in your social network, your own chance of being happy rises by 9 percent. For every one unhappy friend, your chance of being happy decreases by 7 percent. Happiness — as well as unhappiness — was essentially spread and shared.
Three ways to manage your reactions:
The good news is that, with practice, you’ll become better at detecting — and then avoiding or managing your reaction to — the people around you who are frequently swimming in their own private thoughts or negative states of mind. Conversely, you’ll also be able to better detect those people who lift your spirits and support your goals and move to secure close relationships with them.
Here are three ways to start:
1. Get comfortable saying no. You’re not obliged to give yourself over to others — not your time, not your energy, not your happiness. Give yourself permission to question or say no to situations that pull you down.
This is an especially important skill to practice around authority figures, family, and highly persuasive individuals. Saying no can be as simple as stating, “I wish I could do that, but it’s not possible for me.” Create a simple phrase and rehearse it many times before you meet up with highly demanding people.
2. Mitigate negative interactions when it’s impossible to escape them. It’s not always possible to walk away from difficult people. Workplaces are particularly challenging. You come into direct, prolonged contact with groups of people under stress. In that environment, it’s all too easy to pick up negative emotions, and this can seriously rob you of your agency.
In these situations, try this strategic psychological operations (PSYOP) technique: selectively ignore certain people, and navigate around the drama to keep your mind clear. Instead of engaging, shrug or make a lighthearted joke when coworkers become negative or competitive.
In personal situations, turn to humor. We know one couple who imagine their loud, self-absorbed in-laws as characters in a Woody Allen movie, and they encourage each other to keep talking even when these family members monopolize the conversation. It’s an amusing (and effective) way to keep negative emotions from ruining every holiday dinner.
3. Address your stressors head-on. Sometimes, the tensions we perceive as negative — and about us — have nothing to do with us at all. For example, let’s say your coworker invites you to a Zoom call in preparation for an upcoming sales meeting. He’s curt and visibly frustrated. After a few minutes, you ask, “You seem stressed. Are you concerned about our meeting?”
Your coworker releases a long, deep breath and smiles. “No,” he reassures you. He explains that he’s been juggling back-to-back meetings while homeschooling his kids, and he hasn’t had a break in what feels like ages.
It would have been easy to mistakenly attribute your coworker’s stress to yourself — or speculate that there was impending bad news related to the meeting. The takeaway? Always ask for clarification. Don’t assume that what you’re sensing is directly related to you or that it must continue. Tensions can often be defused, or disappear entirely, simply by facing them squarely.
A four-metre baby humpback whale has been freed after it became entangled in a shark control drum line off Main Beach on North Stradbroke Island this morning.
- It took five hours for rescue crews to free the baby humpback from shark drum lines
- Dr Olaf Meynecke fears the calf may not survive the traumatic incident
- Almost 60 whales have been entangled in shark nets or drum lines in Queensland since 2006
Queensland Parks and Wildlife said the juvenile whale got stuck about 7:30am, sparking a five-hour rescue operation.
Several rescue boats were sent to the area as teams worked to free the distressed whale.
A spokesperson said two adult whales, thought to be related to the juvenile, were located nearby as the rescue took place.
Griffith University whale expert Dr Olaf Meynecke said the baby humpback could be as young as two months old.
He said the calf’s mother would have been one of the whales watching on.
“They have a very strong bond between the mum and the calf, which lasts up to three years,” Dr Meynecke said.
“The mother would never leave the calf. The other whale is likely not the father but an escorting whale who is there for support.
“I am not surprised there are more incidents happening over the last few weeks, there is footage showing up every day of mothers and newborns.”
‘Time to replace nets with drone surveillance and drum lines’
Dr Meynecke said while the whale has been freed, there was no telling if it would survive in the long term.
“It’s quite traumatic for the animals, and we don’t really know what the impacts of the stress are on the animals,” he said.
“It’s extremely distressing. They have the same fear of drowning as we do, so they try everything to stay on the surface.
“It’s not only stressful for the calves but for the mother who is trying to save her calf but not able to do anything about it.”
The rescue effort on Stradbroke Island is the latest of several incidents this year where whales have become trapped in nets or drum lines off the Queensland coast.
In June, an adult whale and a calf were rescued after they became stuck in shark nets off the Gold Coast.
Earlier in the year, a recreational diver was hailed a hero on social media for freeing a baby humpback whale trapped in shark nets off Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland said 59 whales had been entangled in shark nets or drum lines, with two dying, since 2006.
Dr Meynecke said shark drum lines, or baited hooks, caused less entrapments than traditional nets and should be trialled in South-East Queensland waters.
“It’s time to replace nets with drone surveillance and drum lines with the tagging of sharks,” he said.
Four men have been fined after allegedly trying to sneak into Queensland from New South Wales on a sailboat.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads said Maritime Safety Vessels officers intercepted the men off the Gold Coast yesterday afternoon.
The group was allegedly on their way to Cairns.
They have each been fined an estimated $4,000 each for contravening orders by the Chief Health Officer and are now in hotel quarantine at their own expense.
People from the whole of NSW, apart from the border town of Tweed Heads, was last Saturday banned from entering the state.
Meanwhile, two crew members who tested positive for coronavirus on board a cargo ship off the north Queensland coast have been brought ashore overnight.
They’ve been taken to the Townsville University Hospital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said all remaining crew have returned negative results.
“The ship is absolutely being monitored,” she said.
The state recorded no new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with more than 5,600 people tested.
“It’s the news we want to hear when families are out and about this weekend,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
There’s nine active cases in the state and 1,091 total since the outbreak began.
Four teenagers caught drifting and doing circlework on a possible sacred Aboriginal site near the Australian War Memorial in Canberra have been fined and had their cars impounded.
- Four school boys were caught on Friday driving dangerously on land near the Australian War Memorial
- The grasslands are important for several endangered species, and a potential sacred Indigenous site
- Residents say teenagers regularly use the land for drifting as the government has not intervened
The boys, three from Daramalan College and another from Dickson College, were caught by police on Friday as they attempted to leave the site.
Locals said they had called police at least a dozen times in the past year warning that P-platers were using the grasslands near the for dangerous driving, damaging an endangered habitat and risking their own safety.
The land is under assessment by the federal Environment Department for its significance as a sacred Ngambri site.
On Friday, a resident told the ABC that he saw several boys were once again at the site, drinking and swapping cars as they took turns skidding across the wet grass.
He said he became concerned when a car scraped a tree.
“It came out off Quick Street … it spun around on there and went onto the footpath,” he said.
Police officers caught the cars as they were leaving, and fined four of the boys for driving on a nature strip, not displaying P-plates, failing to stop at a stop sign, and improper control of a vehicle.
“Police interviewed all the occupants of the vehicles, and after receiving assistance from the occupants, four of the drivers were issued with Traffic Infringement Notices,” a spokesman for ACT Policing said.
“Further investigations into similar activity identified another driver who has been responsible for similar behaviour in the same area between November 2019 to August 2020.”
Police said none of the identified drivers returned positive alcohol breath tests.
The resident, who had made multiple complaints to police in the past 12 months — including the previous Friday when a separate car was seen drifting — said government inaction had led to more teenagers abusing the site.
“When one of them, the white four-wheel drive, starts to show it off, the others say ‘well okay, that’s where you can do this kind of thing’, because the ACT Government does nothing, basically.”
ACT Policing said it was investigating other reports into similar behaviour at the site.
“The area is identified as an area of significance to the traditional owners,” the spokesman said.
“Police are urging members of the public with any information regarding dangerous driving of vehicles in this area to contact Crime Stoppers.”
‘Deep-seated frustration’ at destruction of claimed Aboriginal site
The site has been identified by the ACT Government as an important habitat for several endangered flora and fauna, but the grasslands have been significantly damaged by vandalism.
Earlier this year, the ABC reported that claims the land was also a sacred Ngambri site, used for men’s business, had been ignored.
Ngambri man Shane Mortimer, who raised the claim to the site’s Aboriginal significance, said he felt the land had been disregarded.
“It’s a deep-seated frustration, it’s an intergenerational frustration. The land really does need to be cared for,” Mr Mortimer said.
Daramalan College said it could not comment on issues concerning individual students.
However Mr Mortimer said the school had agreed to organise for its Year 12 students to visit the site and learn about its significance.
“We really have to look now for that opportunity out of adversity,” Mr Mortimer said.
The ACT Education Directorate told the ABC that because the incident was outside of school hours and off school grounds, it had not been involved.
Minister agrees to investigate installing bollards
Residents said they had been calling for the ACT Government to do more to protect the site for some time.
In June, ACT Greens leader and Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury wrote to the City Services Minister Chris Steel asking for them to be installed urgently.
“Last week, I became aware that there has been regular illegal driving on a piece of ACT land adjacent to the CSIRO site in Campbell,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The area is natural temperate grassland with significant geological features onsite. It is an important ecosystem incorporating significant Aboriginal heritage [and] susceptible species such as the Canberra spider orchid, sunray daisy, golden sun moth and button wrinklewort.
“I write to request that you consider asking City Services to erect a series of bollards on Quick St in Ainslie, where vehicles are gaining access to this site in order to protect the significant ecology and cultural significance as a matter of urgency.”
A spokesman for the ACT Government said it would undertake an assessment of vehicle access through the section, and work with the owners of the adjacent land, now Doma Group, on options to limit access for vehicles.
Mr Rattenbury said it was disappointing to hear the site had been damaged again since he first raised the issue.
“This area should be protected, and the solution here isn’t complicated. Bollards along the border of the site could have prevented this unnecessary damage from taking place,” he said.
There is outrage in Mexico after a black bear seen on video approaching a visitor in a nature park and sniffing her hair was caught and castrated.
Some people are questioning plans to move the animal to a different state.
But experts say the move is necessary because it had become accustomed to being fed by humans in the ecological park where it lived.
They said the footage showed the consequences of feeding wild animals for the sake of a selfie.
The animal, a juvenile male black bear weighing 96kg (212lb), was caught because it was considered to pose a risk to visitors of Chipinque Ecological Park. Video showed it getting very close to a young woman who was taking a selfie with the bear last month.
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Officials said there had been other close encounters between humans and the same bear in the park and in residential areas nearby.
Although attacks are rare, one person a year is killed on average by a black bear in North America, bear research scientist Dave Garshelis told ABC News last year.
Wildlife experts remind visitors that bears are wild and dangerous with occasionally unpredictable behaviour.
Locals near Chipinque Ecological Park dubbed the animal “the friendly bear” and called it “Chipi” after the park where it lived.
The bear was captured by officials from the federal environmental protection agency (Profepa) while having a snooze in the backyard of a house after its residents alerted the authorities to their unexpected guest.
Veterinarians at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León checked it over and fitted it with a radio collar.
The animal was also castrated, a move which is now being investigated by Profepa.
The agency has released a statement saying that the decision to castrate the bear was taken by the co-ordinator for wildlife at the university after consulting with Profepa’s director-general for wildlife control, Martín Vargas Prieto.
According to the statement [in Spanish], Mr Vargas Prieto argued that the bear had to be castrated to avoid him getting into fights with other bears once he is released in the Sierra de Nido mountain range in Chihuahua state.
Both the castration and the planned move to Chihuahua have caused outrage among people in the state of Nuevo León, where the bear was captured.
But some have commented on social media that whatever led to the decision to castrate and move the bear, the outrage should be directed at those visitors and guides who are reported to have fed the bear with scraps to make him approach humans who wanted to have selfies taken with him.
“The Broncos are investigating the circumstances around the matter to determine what further action may be taken,” the club said in a statement.
Queensland-based teams have been under looser biosecurity measures than the NSW clubs, but once they play a Sydney team, they are required to go into a two-week isolation period in which they only leave home for training, playing or a medical appointment or emergency.
Club legend Allan Langer and two other Brisbane staff have been quarantined for seven days after it emerged they had attended a private function at the Caxton Hotel after last week’s loss to Cronulla.
Coach Anthony Seibold will also quarantine for 14 days upon his return to Brisbane after staying in Sydney to attend to a “serious family matter” after his side were trounced by the Rabbitohs on Friday night.
Pangai’s breach caps a miserable few months for the Broncos who are fighting to avoid the wooden spoon and have had to regularly answer questions about Seibold’s future since the competition resumption.
Pangai is likely to be fined, just days after South Sydney supercoach Wayne Bennett ($20,000) and Dragons forward Paul Vaughan ($10,000) were sanctioned for flouting biosecurity rules.
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South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett and St George Illawarra’s Paul Vaughan could skip this weekend’s NRL game titles after they admitted to exiting their teams’ respective bubbles.
- NRL gamers and coaches are not allowed to visit pubs, golf equipment, restaurants or cafes beneath the league’s biosecurity policies
- South Sydney mentor Wayne Bennett verified he experienced lunch at an Italian restaurant
- Dragons prop Paul Vaughan went to an Illawarra cafe on Thursday morning
Bennett told reporters on Thursday that he and his associate experienced lunch at Grappa cafe in Leichhardt on Wednesday, while the Dragons said Vaughan broke the league’s biosecurity protocols this early morning, reportedly heading to an Illawarra cafe.
Beneath the NRL’s procedures, gamers and team users of each and every club are not permitted to attend public spots like pubs, clubs, dining places or cafes.
The Dragons stated they ended up “dissatisfied” with Vaughan’s steps, manufactured even worse by the truth his breach came several hours in advance of they were set to deal with the defending winner Roosters in Wollongong.
The crew claimed it was operating with the league to come across out if Vaughan could nonetheless enjoy.
Meanwhile, Bennett’s facet is set to face off from his former crew, Brisbane, at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney on Friday evening.
“I went for lunch yesterday at Grappa yesterday, I did,” Bennett explained to a press meeting.
“If [I’d known] it was a breach I would not have done it. I failed to think it was a breach. I went there with my lover who I are living with.”
Requested about the opportunity that he may possibly have to self-isolate and miss the video game against the Broncos, Bennett mentioned: “If that’s what comes about, that is their [the NRL’s] contact.”
The 70-year-aged explained he had not been contacted still by the NRL Integrity Device, but said if he was banned, assistant mentor Jason Demetriou was all set to phase into the guide purpose.
Bennett, a member of the league’s Task Apollo crew that assisted develop the steps that allowed the NRL to return, mentioned it was tricky to maintain monitor of the regulations surrounding COVID-19.
“The regulations have changed that several situations about what we can do and can not do,” he stated.
“We are thoroughly baffled about what we can and are unable to do.”
The mentor acknowledged there “could have been just one or two other instances” when he went to eating places considering that the begin of the bubble.
Asked when was the very last time he experienced been explained to about the NRL’s principles, Bennett recalled a dialogue with players and coaches a pair of weeks back.
“I am assured I do know the regulations, I just went out for lunch yesterday,” he claimed.
Pressed on his knowing of the protocols, Bennett replied: “I am continue to allowed to try to eat, are not I?”
The coronavirus pandemic is testing the resilience of young people on student exchange in Australia and abroad.
Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program (YEP) sends, on average, 150 teenagers overseas each year and hosts a similar number of foreign students.
The global health crisis has seen 80 of the current contingent return home to Australia or overseas.
Some say they are glad to be home, while others are resisting a premature end to their exchange.
‘I feel like a Tasmanian’
Tajikistan is home for Yoqub Davlatov, who had been soaking up the Tasmanian way of life for the past 11 months.
Unlike other Rotary exchanges, the plan to have the 17-year-old visit Australia was hatched between Rotarian Felicity Gifford and Yoqub’s family a few years ago when Ms Gifford volunteered in the Central Asian nation.
Yoqub said the support of Ms Gifford and her family, as well as his Tasmanian friends, helped him enjoy his first trip overseas.
“It’s really good to feel like a Tasmanian person.”
The biggest challenge for Yoqub and Ms Gifford was finding a way for him to return home, with few routes available to Tajikistan.
‘I’m safer here’
Fifteen-year-old Sofia Seneme is on a year’s exchange in Wagga Wagga in south-western New South Wales.
She said it had been difficult to watch her country of Brazil become one of the world’s coronavirus hotspots.
“My family were happy for me to stay. They feel I am safer here.”
Sofia’s choice to remain in Wagga Wagga was mostly because of her love for the region’s natural beauty and the friendships she had forged.
“It will be hard when I go back to Brazil; I think I will cry at the airport.”
Love of language a motivation to stay
In France, Launceston teenager Alice Lowe’s drive to stay abroad was fuelled by a clear goal.
“I was really motivated by my French, because I didn’t want to go home not being able to speak French,” she said.
While France’s lockdown earlier this year put an end to Alice’s plans to travel around, the 16-year-old said she was still glad she stayed.
“It wouldn’t really be better if I came home; the situation wasn’t much better in Tasmania at the time,” she said.
Her father, Matt, said she wanted to finish the experience.
“She was pretty determined to stay. We were happy for her to do that.”
Told to stay overseas
When Daniel Maxwell told his parents he wanted to come home early from Norway, his parents encouraged him to stay.
The 16-year-old wanted to return to Port Macquarie in NSW because he was bored in lockdown and struggled with the language barrier.
But Ms Maxwell said she and her husband held out.
“Had he been saying things like: ‘I’m really worried about getting COVID, or I’m scared to be on the other side of the world in this situation’ — I think we probably would have been more worried,” she said.
“But because the reasons for him wanting to come home were trivial and fairly par for the course of exchange anyway, it made me feel better. It was the right thing to do.”
Positives despite being stuck inside
Despite his best efforts to “wait out” the pandemic, Joel Mangion’s family decided to fly him back to Canberra.
Joel said being stuck inside his host families’ homes for most of his seven months in Brazil had been disappointing.
“Since the pandemic, I haven’t been able to go to school so I had a profound lack of friends,” he said.
His father, Charles, said the experience had a positive effect for Joel despite the pandemic.
“I can see that his confidence levels have still grown,” he said.
Rotary International has urged students to strongly consider ending exchanges and fly home if possible and safe.
Rotary’s long-term youth exchange program has been suspended for 12 months.