Archive for August, 2019

President Donald Trump says he doesn’t know if climate change is man made.US President Donald Trump has backed off his claim that climate change is a hoax but says he doesn’t know if it is man made.

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Trump said he did not want to put the US at a disadvantage in responding to climate change.

“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man made. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”

Trump called climate change a hoax in November 2012 when he sent a tweet stating, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

He later said he was joking about the Chinese connection, but in years since has continued to call global warming a hoax.

“I’m not denying climate change,” he said in the interview. “But it could very well go back. You know, we’re talking about over a … millions of years.”

Temperature records kept by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the world has not had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 or a cooler-than-normal month since the end of 1985.

Trump, who is scheduled on Monday to visit areas of Georgia and Florida damaged by Hurricane Michael, also expressed doubt over scientists’ findings linking the changing climate to more powerful hurricanes.

“They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael,” said Mr Trump, who identified “they” as “people” after being pressed by 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl.

She asked, “What about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?”

The president replied, “You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda.”

Trump’s comments came just days after a Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a warning that global warming would increase climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth.

Focus: NewPsych clinical psychology registrar Louis Silberberg said parents should remind teens the HSC does not define them, “their worth is not measured by a piece of paper” and they’re loved regardless. Picture: Simone De PeakHUNTER students who are feeling stressed about sitting the upcoming Higher School Certificate exams should remember no test is worth damaging their mental health – and tryingto prevent anxiety is better than cure.

NewPsych clinical psychologyregistrarLouis Silberberg said he had been seeing many teenagers who were feeling “burned out” in the lead up to the exam period, which starts on Thursday.

“It’s their first real exposure to quite intense academic pressure, and that’s coming both from themselves and from external sources like their parents and teachers,” Mr Silberberg said.

Related: Hunter students sprint to finish after Personal Development, Health and Physical Education examRelated:Hunter Higher School Certificate students say maths exam adds upRelated:Hunter students relegate content heavy exam paper to ancient historyRelated:Hunter students praised HSC English Paper 2 as “fair and kind to us”Related:Hunter Higher School Certificate students share verdict on English Paper 1Related:Hunter students out of the blocks for first Higher School Certificate exam“Often by the time the HSC comes around they’re feeling quite burned out and there can be feelings of resentment towards their schools for not preparing them better.

“There’s a fear of failure and the two most common responses are perfectionism, or not trying so they can’t be disappointed in themselves.

“We’re hoping to foster through therapy a balance between being brave enoughto not be perfect, but also courageous enough to do your best, be happy with your best and know that your best is enough.”

Mr Silberberg said symptoms of stress and anxiety could include sleep disruption, headaches, overthinking, tiredness, dry mouth, nausea, sweating, a racing mind, increasing heart rate and a loss of appetite.

“When this happens you’reoperating out of a primitive area of the brain, the reptilian brain, and it can be hard to make good decisions,” he said.

“Managing that distress is really important.

“Figure outa way to identifythe early signs of your anxiety –prevention is better than cure rather than getting intoa full blown meltdown.

“Have relaxation strategies. Take a break, do some exercise, take deep breaths, practice mindfulness.

“If you’re having unhelpful thoughts you can challenge them.

“If you’re thinking ‘My life is over’, ask yourself ‘Well is it really over? It’s just an exam’.”

Mr Silberberg said before exams, students should get enough sleep, eatwell and stayactive.

If possible, they should surround themselves with people they are comfortable with and who are comfortable about the paper.

“There’s contagious calm but there is also contagiousanxiety.

“If you surround yourself with people who are extremely stressed you can start to second guess yourself and think ‘Maybe I should be too’.”

He said it was important for students to continue making time for things they enjoy, such as reading, socialising with friends and hobbies, and tokeep the HSC in perspective.

“There are lots of other educational pathways such as TAFE, Open Foundation and apprenticeships.

“Yes, it’s the biggest exam of your life but it’s not the end of your life.”

NSW Education Standards Authority chief executive David de Carvalho recorded a video for students wishing them success with their exams.

“You’ve spent many months preparing for this point and the most important thing that you can do now is to stay positive. Positive that all your hard work will pay off,” he said.

“The exams will be challenging, the HSC wouldn’t be such a highly respected credential here and overseas if it wasn’t. That’s why attaining it is something you can always be proud of no matter what you do after school.

“Some of you may be starting to feel a little overwhelmed, it’s natural to feel that way when you’re facing life’s big challenges. A little bit of stress can actually help you focus.

“But if it starts to get too much during your exams, reach out and speak to someone about it. Speak to your principal or your teacher or your older siblings, friends or your parents.

“You need to be in good shape physically mentally and emotionally to be able to do your best.

“Here’s three things that should help:

“Make sure you get enough sleep –eight hours is recommended so you’re physically rested and your memory is fresh.

“Eating well will help you do your best. Eat a high-protein breakfast like eggs before each exam. Drink lots of water as it helps lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

“Finally, exercise helps your mind, body and soul, especially during times of stress. Try to get in a 30-minute walk, jog, gym or swim three or four times a week.

“So stay calm and do your best, that’s all anyone can expect of you and all you should expect of yourself.”

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Usman Khawaja’s innings during ‘s draw against Pakistan is inspiring Shield players.’s desperation in Dubai will be on the minds of batsmen around the country on Tuesday, when the Sheffield Shield season starts in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Defending champions Queensland host Tasmania at the Gabba, where Joe Burns and Jackson Bird are among the former Test players seeking to impress national selectors.

South face NSW at Adelaide Oval, while Western and Victoria square off at the WACA.

Last week’s dramatic draw between and Pakistan, when the tourists batted for a record-breaking 139.5 overs in the final innings, has been the talk of cricket teams around the country.

That includes state squads, gearing up for six consecutive Shield games before the season is put on hold for the Big Bash League.

No Shield team wants to be in a position where they are batting for a draw this week.

But when it comes to putting a high price on your wicket and showing the sort of character that will earn national coach Justin Langer’s approval, there were good lessons in the salvage job completed thanks largely to Queensland captain Usman Khawaja spending almost nine hours at the crease.

“Our group is quite close … it’s really pleasing for them to see one of their peers leading the charge,” Queensland coach Wade Seccombe said.

“They’ll feed off that draw … hopefully it reinforces to our guys the type of spirit required.”

South captain Travis Head, who followed up his first innings duck with a knock of 72 on Test debut, is also motivating teammates back home.

“I messaged him after the game, saying how amazing it was to watch,” SA opener Jake Weatherald said.

“We’ve got to be a lot harder as a cricketing group and that innings showed how hard you have to be. That was good inspiration.

“We were all messaging each other (on day five of the Test) then we had a talk about it as a group.”

NSW coach Phil Jaques described ‘s stonewall as the perfect example of “fighting for your team”, noting it was something his charges can draw on.

The Blues’ previous Shield campaign, in which they failed to win a game after the opening three rounds, led to Jaques’ predecessor Trent Johnston being sacked.

“There’s a really good vibe around the squad. Everyone’s really challenging each other and trying to help each other get better,” Jaques said.

“There’s a greater awareness about what needs to happen in the four-day game … we’re a more intelligent group.”

WA, seeking their first Shield title in 20 years, will be captained by Ashton Turner in the absence of Mitch Marsh.

Victoria will be without Glenn Maxwell, who headlines the list of players missing the Shield opener as they travel to the UAE for ‘s Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Batsmen seeking to bang down the door to the Test squad with a mountain of Shield runs have rarely had such a good opportunity, with Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all banned.

A wealthy NSW spiritual healer has suffered a significant defeat in his defamation case against a blogger after a jury found many of her posts were true, including that he’s the leader of a socially harmful cult.

Former tennis coach Serge Benhayon, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci, sued ex-acupuncturist Esther Mary Rockett in the NSW Supreme Court over her 2014 blog and tweets.

But the four-person jury on Monday completed answers to 58 pages of questions, primarily in Ms Rockett’s favour and against Mr Benhayon, the founder of Universal Medicine (UM), based near Lismore in northern NSW.

The “substantially true” findings included that he “has an indecent interest in young girls as young as 10 whom he causes to stay at his house unaccompanied”, preys on cancer patients and “is a charlatan who makes fraudulent medical claims”.

Other truth findings were he intentionally indecently touched Ms Rockett during a consultation, “engages in bizarre sexual manipulation to make money for his business”, vilified people with disabilities, is dishonest and guilty of exploitative behaviour.

A jubilant Ms Rockett, who had run the defences of truth and honest opinion, flashed the peace sign as she left the court complex with her junior barrister Louise Goodchild.

But 54-year-old Mr Benhayon and his many supporters, who regularly attended the hearing that began on September 4, were not present for the outcome.

He told the jury about the “modalities” or healing practices used at UM’s seminars, healing courses and retreats that included “esoteric healing” and came from a tradition of “ageless wisdom” going back to Hermes, Plato and Pythagoras.

“Everything is energy and therefore everything is because of energy,” he testified when describing his gentle touching of fully clothed clients.

His barrister Kieran Snark SC said the treatment was set up to restore their energy, “not for the improper purpose of groping people”, and his client could be seen as a person of sincere religious beliefs rather than a fraud or crazy.

But Ms Rockett told the jury he had subjected her to a “sleazy ovarian reading” at his clinic during a February 2005 healing session.

Her blog flowed from seeing a newspaper article titled “The Da Vinci mode”, referring to 15,000 people having attended his retreats and presentations in the past decade.

Under cross-examination from her lawyer Tom Molomby SC, Mr Benhayon had referred to spirits – which he could sense rather than see – being in the courtroom as he gave his evidence.

However, he refused the barrister’s repeated requests for him to count the spirits, saying he could not break the rule of his soul.

The jury also found substantially true that Mr Benhayon had exploited children by having them vouch for UM’s dishonest healing practices and “exploits cancer patients by targeting them to leave him bequests in their wills”.

The best in care: Between 8 veterinarians and 15 nurses and support staff, Cessnock Veterinary Hospital has the knowledge and experience to help treat your sick or injured animal with the best treatments and advice available. Photo: Supplied.Cessnock Veterinary Centre and Hospital prides itself on providing a high standard of care both medical and surgical to the much loved pets of their clients. Being a busy hospital with a high case load and a lot of veterinarians, it allowsthe practice to develop areas of special interest. While there is a strong focus on treatments,there are many other things that important for a safe and healthy pet including micro-chipping, behavioural training, dietary and nutritional counselling, along with pet food and other supplies.

Dr David Barton especially enjoys complex soft tissue surgery and orthopaedic surgery and said that the most common orthopaedic problem hesees is ruptures of the cruciate ligament. “When left untreated there is is a large amount ofresulting pain and possible lameness. Surgical correction allows for return of function and minimises ongoing arthritis,” he said.

Full Checkup: From video endoscopy’s to ultrasounds, diagnostics are a major service that Cessnock Veterinary Hospital is able to provide. Photo: Supplied.

When you hear the words cruciate ligament, you automaticallyenvision athletes pulling up lame or footballers going down clasping at the knee.These vital ligaments are just as important, and susceptible to injury, for dogs. If yourdoggoes lame in one of their hind legs, theymay have torn or ruptured theircranialcruciate ligament (CCL) which is similar to the ACL in humans. Thisligament connects the back of the femur, which is the bone above the knee, tothe front of the tibia, the bone below the knee. Practice manager, Renae Bentley, said that up to date techniques such as the Modified Maquet Procedure (MMP) allows the veterinarian surgeonsto provide better solutions to clients and reduce recovery times for there pets.

Dr Robert Boyd has a special interest in video endoscopy which is putting tiny cameras in unusual places. He said being able to look on the inside allows surgeonsto actually visualise disease where previously more invasive surgery was required.”Only recently, we were able to use our equipment toretrieve a Lego brick from inside a cats stomach without surgery,”he said.

Ultrasonography,a method of viewing the bodies organs using sound waves,is another interest at Cessnock Veterinary Centre and Hospital withDr Damian Burke explainingithelpedtheteam to make non invasive diagnosis and wasespecially useful for heart disease, along with disease of the pancreas, liver, kidneysand bladder.

Small but important, the eyeis a special interest of Dr Andy Robins, with disease of thecomplex organ capturing hisattention. “We’re able to usereally sophisticated equipment to visualise the back of an eyeand even measure the pressure within the eye.Sometimes the most difficult aspect is keepingourfurry patientsstill for the procedure,” he said.