Daily News Roundup

June 6, 2018

Image: ABC

Miss America scraps swimsuit competition, saying ‘we’re not going to judge your appearance’

When the Miss America pageant started in 1921, having young women parade around in bathing suits seemed like a great way to get tourists to come to the Atlantic City Boardwalk after Labor Day.

But how America views women has changed drastically since then, and the Miss America Organisation is run by women who do not think it is such a hot idea.

Accordingly, when the pageant is held this September, nearly a year into the #MeToo era, it will no longer have a swimsuit competition.

“We’re not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you,” Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America and the new head of the organisation’s board of trustees, said in making the announcement on ABC’s Good Morning America.

For decades, women’s groups and others had complained that the swimsuit portion was outdated, sexist and more than a little silly.

Ms Carlson, whose sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News chairman Roger Ailes led to his departure, said the board had heard from potential contestants who lamented, “we don’t want to be out there in high heels and swimsuits”.

The announcement came after a shake-up at the organisation that resulted in the top three positions being held by women.

The overhaul was triggered by an email scandal last December in which Miss America officials mocked winners’ intelligence, looks and sex lives.

Instead of showing off in a bathing suit, each contestant will interact with the judges to “highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America,” the organisation said.


Kate Spade, fashion designer, found dead in her New York apartment at 55

Police are investigating her death as an apparent suicide.

Spade, 55, was found by her housekeeper at her home on Park Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed police officials.

Born Katherine Noel Brosnahan, the Kansas City, Missouri native was a former accessories editor at the now-closed Mademoiselle magazine before she and Andy Spade launched their namesake design company, Kate Spade New York, in 1993. The couple married the following year.

They began by selling handbags before expanding to include clothing, jewellery, bedding, legwear and fragrances.

The brand grew into a fashion empire, known for accessories that offered affordable luxury to younger working women.

Her brightly coloured, clean-lined style offered a spunky take on fashion at a time when luxury handbags were out of reach to most consumers, and the industry was dominated by venerable European brands.

The couple sold the brand in 2006.

In 2016, they launched a new fashion brand called Frances Valentine, which sells footwear and accessories.

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State of Origin: All change ahead for Queensland and NSW ahead of unpredictable series opener

There is a change coming in the State of Origin landscape.

The all-conquering Queensland Maroons side of the past decade is barely recognisable this time around after key retirements and a spate of last-minute injuries have thrown Kevin Walter’s plans into chaos.

Meanwhile cautious, justifiable optimism radiates from a Blues side that have opted for a total clean-out in both philosophy and personnel.

Thrown together into the unfamiliar surrounds of the MCG and you get a game one that is shaping up to be the most unpredictable in years.

We run the rule over the key areas that will determine how Origin I will play out.

End of an era

Cooper Cronk. Johnathan Thurston. Cam Smith. And now — at least for Origin I — Billy Slater.

Having to deal with the retirement of two Origin legends is bad enough. Now Queensland will have to do it without four of its superstars for the first time in 15 years after Smith’s sensational retirement last month and Slater’s 11th hour withdrawal.


Are headphones damaging young people’s hearing?

A podcast during your morning commute, some classical music to drown out your noisy colleagues, and a running playlist to get you through an evening jog.

Key points:

  • Experts say you should only wear headphones for 90 minutes a day, at 80 per cent volume
  • One in six Australians will experience some degree of hearing loss in their lives
  • Expensive headphones don’t necessarily protect your hearing better than cheaper models

In the modern world, many of us are wearing headphones all day, every day.

But experts fear our constant exposure to audio played straight into our ears could be creating a prematurely deaf generation of Australians.

“We are very concerned. Most people who are working or travelling are now wearing ear buds, But they don’t necessarily know the sound levels they’re exposing themselves to,” Professor David McAlpine, director of research at the Australian Hearing Hub, said.

The World Health Organisation estimates more than 1 billion young people are in danger of hearing loss from portable audio devices, including smart phones.

But it’s not just teenagers who are at risk.

Anyone who uses headphones for more than 90 minutes each day could be jeopardising their hearing.

A 2017 study by National Acoustic Laboratories found one in 10 Australians regularly cranks up the volume on their headphones to more than 85 decibels — the equivalent to standing next to a running lawn mower.


Broccoli coffee: Scientists hope powdered veg can improve diets, cut down crop waste

Beetroot, coconut, turmeric and blue algae have all had their turn as the ‘it’ coffee additive, but now the national science agency says its time for broccoli to take centre stage.

CSIRO researchers hope a powdered form of the brassica will not only make its way into your flat white, but also a whole range of snack foods and meals.

Broccoli is recognised as a nutrient-rich vegetable, with plenty of fibre, vitamins A, B1 and B6, potassium, zinc and magnesium, among others.

“Two tablespoons of broccoli powder is equivalent to one serve of vegetables,” CSIRO food scientist Maryann Augustin said.

In coffee, broccoli powder is added to the pulled espresso shot, before the steamed milk is added, with more powder sprinkled on top.



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