Senate to debate ball-tampering debacle
The Senate is set to debate Australian cricket’s ball-tampering saga, as politicians weigh in on the scandal engulfing under-fire captain Steve Smith.
One Nation’s Brian Burston proposed Monday’s urgency motion, which is “the need to understand why some politicians and professional sportsmen feel the need to cheat”.
Smith has been slapped with a one-Test ban by the International Cricket Council and could be sacked from the captaincy after admitting the team’s leadership group agreed to illegally scuff the ball in the third Test against South Africa.
Birth interventions linked to kids’ health
Children born by caesarean section are more susceptible to eczema and metabolic disorders including diabetes and obesity by the time they are five compared to those born through spontaneous vaginal birth, an Australian-led study shows.
The study of nearly half-a-million women and their children also found infants born with the help of forceps or vacuum extractor to a mother who was induced had the highest risk of jaundice and feeding problems.
Overall, the odds of respiratory infections, metabolic disorders and eczema were highest among children who experienced any form of birth intervention, according to the study published in the journal Birth on Monday.
Lead researcher Professor Hannah Dahlen, from Western Sydney University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said the findings are concerning because these were low-risk, healthy women.
“The study adds to the mounting scientific evidence which suggests that children born by spontaneous vaginal birth, without commonly used medical and surgical intervention, have fewer health problems,” she said.
Prof Dahlen stressed, however, this study was not designed to make women feel guilty but instead spark efforts to modify such outcomes for children born via interventions when necessary.
“We need to start looking at when women do need intervention because it is in the best interest of the babies and themselves,” she said.
Flooding from ex-cyclone Nora in Qld
Cairns and Port Douglas are mopping up after torrential rain from ex-cyclone Nora caused flash flooding in Queensland’s far north.
Low lying parts of Cairns have flooded, and in the tourist town of Port Douglas water has crept up to the doors of some holiday apartments.
Landslides and debris also closed roads in the region, including the Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns.
Hundreds of kilometres to the west, remote communities on Cape York Peninsula’s western coast are also cleaning up after Nora made landfall as a category three storm early on Sunday.
The storm has since weakened to a low pressure system and is not expected to reform into a cyclone, even if it heads back out over the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Severe weather warnings are in place for Cairns and surrounding communities, and for parts of the Gulf country, between Burketown and Pormpuraaw, with more heavy rain and damaging winds expected.
The Bureau of Meterorology said Cairns received more than 260mm in 24 hours, with some areas to the north of the city recording more than 500 millimetres.
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