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Sexually assaulted at 40,000 feet

Written By kom limapulan on Jumat, 22 Agustus 2014 | 14.05

Brave Laura is speaking out for the first time about what happened to her on Malaysia Airlines flight MH20 because she feels let down by the actions of the airline. In this international investigation, Sunday Nights chief investigations reporter Ross Coulthart goes in search of answers. Courtesy Channel Seven.

The alleged victim of a sexual assault on Malaysia Airlines flight MH20. Source: Channel 7

AN Australian woman has spoken out about her alleged sexual assault on board a Malaysia Airlines flight earlier this month.

The 26-year-old alleged victim will tell her story on Seven's Sunday Night this weekend, as well as showing chilling footage taken from her phone during the reported attack.

The woman, known only as Laura, claims she was assaulted by the chief steward on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris, August 4.

"I couldn't stop it, I just froze, I was just scared," she tells Seven reporter Ross Coulthart in the promo.

In audio of the interview, Coulthart can be heard asking Laura why she didn't scream for help.

"I keep saying 'why didn't I scream, why didn't I shout, why didn't I stop it?'

Laura's emotional interview with Sunday Night will air this weekend. Source: Channel 7

"I'm a strong person because I can, I can do that, I know I can, but when I was in the moment I couldn't. I felt so scared, so petrified."

In the recording Laura took mid-flight following the alleged assault, a woman's voice can be heard crying to a man sitting across the aisle as he shakes his head.

She says: "You did, you did, you did, don't lie. It's what you did.

"I'm so scared, I just want to get off this plane ... I don't want to see you, go away, you give me the creeps, you dirty old man," the woman can be heard saying in the audio.

Upon landing at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, the male steward — who is married with three daughters — was detained by police and two weeks later is still behind bars after making admissions.

The alleged victim says she is speaking out for first time about what happened because she feels let down by the actions of the airline.

Malaysian Airlines was in serious financial trouble even before the twin disasters of MH370 and MH17 claimed the lives of 537 people. Source: Flickr

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the allegations were made, and has vowed to assist French authorities in their investigation, adding "the safety, comfort and wellbeing of our passengers is always our highest priority".

"Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously," it said.

Sexual assaults on planes are rare, but they do occur and can be difficult to investigate. In February Carlos Vasquez was sentenced to three years probation and fined $3000 for molesting a 15-year-old girl who sat next to him on a flight from Houston to Washington, US. She pretended to be asleep during the ordeal.

A month earlier passenger Bawer Aksal was sentenced to eight years in jail for sexually assaulting a woman on a United Airlines flight from Phoenix to Newark, US. The victim told the court: "I will never be the same person I once was".

Last September an Indian man was sentenced to nine months jail for a mile-high sex attack,
IndiaEveryday reports.

Mile-high crimes usually occur on overnight flights, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Drew Ptasienski told US news site NBC News 41.

"The crew isn't walking around (as much)," Ptasienski said. "It's a crime of opportunity."

The allegations comes as Malaysia Airlines continues to battle for survival following recent tragedies. Flight MH370 disappeared mysteriously in March with 239 people aboard, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace has been found and the airline was widely criticised for its handling of the crisis. On July 17, MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, with 298 people killed.

The airline is in deep financial trouble, with predictions it's burning through its cash reserves at a rate of around $2.16 million per day, and bookings continue to slide.

Sunday Night airs 8.45pm Sunday, August 24 on Seven.

A plane carrying coffins with the remains of victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Source: AFP


14.05 | 0 komentar | Read More

Is this volcano ready to blow?

Following 3,000 earthquakes since Saturday, fears of a volcano erupting in Iceland are increasing as WSJs Mark Kelly reports (Image: AFP / Getty Images)

IT'S four years since the eruption of Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajokull caused worldwide flight chaos. Now another ice-covered volcano blast is threatening to disrupt the skies again.

The volcano is called Bardarbunga and because of increased seismic activity surrounding it, Iceland's Meteorological Office has warned the aviation industry it could cause trouble.

Here's everything you need to know.

WHAT IS BARDARBUNGA

Apart from being a slightly easier-to-pronounce version of Eyjafjallajokull — the ice-capped volcano that caused an ash cloud that blanketed Europe's airspace for six days in 2010 — Bardarbunga is Iceland's second-highest mountain.

It's also Iceland's largest volcanic system.

Rising more than 2000m above sea level, the volcano is covered by a huge ice cap, with a glacier hiding its crater.

The frozen mountain hardly looks like an active volcano — the volcano is actually 700m below ice — and although it hasn't seen a full on eruption in more than a hundred years, sustained seismic activity has allowed the Bardarbunga to retain its active status.

Over the past week, the Icelandic Meteorological Office has recorded intense seismic activity at Bardarbunga.

Thousands of earthquakes have taken place in the vicinity of the volcano, which geologists have classified as a subglacial stratovolcano.

Although it's not showing signs of eruption just yet, authorities have put airlines on alert, raising the risk level of flying over the region to a code orange — the second highest on a five-level scale.

Lava erupts from the volcano under Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier in central Iceland, April 19, 2010. Europe began to emerge from a volcanic cloud allowing limited air traffic to resume and giving hope to millions of travellers stranded around the world when ash choked the jet age to a halt. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti ) Source: AP

HOW BAD COULD IT BE?

Because it is covered in ice, Bardarbunga's activity is tricky to monitor, but experts know it's about to do something.

An area close to the volcano has already been evacuated in fear it could erupt soon.

Writing on The Conversation, volcanologist Dave McGarvie said recent activity indicates the magma is moving towards Bardarbunga's surface.

"If it gets there, it will erupt," he said.

"But whether this will be a gentle or a violent eruption is uncertain at the time of writing."

"There is no way to predict when the eruption may happen, but we should get a few hours notice. The good news for air travel is that both clusters are away from the heart of the main volcano which makes it less likely that an eruption will produce the final ash that causes disruption."

If magma rises to the surface, it could vaporise the ice cap covering the volcano's crater, which would result in a rapid build up of steam and pressure causing the mountain to blow open and send water vapour, ash and rock particles.

As in 2010, these particles could stay in an ash cloud for days, and that's what's got the aviation industry nervous.

Aerial view of smoke billowing from erupting volcano on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier south of capital Reykjavík. Source: News Limited

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME

The ash cloud that formed when Eyjafjallajokull erupted ended up affecting 10 million people.

It clouded much of Europe's airspace for six days and saw international flights delayed and cancelled all over the world.

Like Bardarbunga, this volcano was also hidden under a glacier.

More than 100,000 flights over Europe were cancelled because volcanic ash floating in the atmosphere, which can cause catastrophic damage when it comes into contact with a jet engine.

SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?

As we said before, there is no indication when or even if the volcano will erupt any time soon, but the situation is being closely monitored.

If there is another explosion, Mr McGarvie assures that thanks to the chaos faced in 2010, experts have a dramatically improved understanding of the impact of an ash cloud on aircraft, and rules put into place following Eyjafjallajokull, an explosion of the same size would have significantly less impact.

As this is occurring at the peak of Europe's tourism season, however, the industry is biting its collective fingernails.

Iceland has warned of the risk of an eruption at one of its largest volcanoes.


14.05 | 0 komentar | Read More

Thief’s awesome comeuppance

Thief's awesome comeuppance

Thief's awesome comeuppance

A HILARIOUS tit-for-tat between an office sandwich thief and its hungry victim is making its way around the internet, with hilarious results.

Splashing out at Shanghai's clubs

Splashing out at Shanghai's clubs

THINK you've got a great Friday night planned? It's nothing compared to how the mega-rich party in China. Think bathtubs full of champagne, rooms full of sparklers, and setting cash on fire.

Where's the hottest place to eat in Australia?

 Guests at restaurant Porteno in Cleveland Street, Surry Hills in Sydney.

IT may not overlook a glorious harbour, its chefs are not on TV and it definitely isn't the most expensive reservation in town, but Porteno is unequivocally the hottest restaurant for celebrities visiting Australia.

Berry good way to lose weight

 Woman eating strawberries. Thinkstock.

WANT to lose weight? New research finds that eating berries each day may help you get into those skinny jeans.


14.05 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘I was bonkers’: Former junkie tells

$438 million dollars of methamphetamine have been seized by police in an Australian record

AS HE stood in front of a mirror in his mother's home, ice addict Jack Nagle couldn't believe what he was seeing.

Gone was the happy, athletic, outgoing young man he'd once been. In its place was someone completely different. And it shocked him.

"I was pale, I was skinny as all hell, I hadn't showered in something like two weeks. I looked like a hobo," he tells news.com.au.

He was 20-years-old and had been injecting and smoking ice, or crystal methamphetamine, for a year. But it was a 10 day binge, where he went through about $7500 worth of the drug that finally tipped him over the edge.

Mr Nagle while he was addicted to ice Source: Supplied

"I was bonkers. Some messed up things happened during that time. It all was very crazy," he says.

Mr Nagle, now 23, last week watched footage of Harriet Wran — the daughter of celebrated former New South Wales Premier Neville Wran — being led into court on a murder charge.

Wran reportedly told police she was "numb" on ice and desperate for her next hit.

Mr Nagle said it was a "sad" scene. But her descent into ice hell was nothing extraordinary in the mad world of methamphetamine.

"What happens is you lose your grip on reality. Your ability to reason just gets knocked out of the ballpark ... basically you'll do anything to get it."

Wran reportedly started with drugs like cannabis and ecstasy. Someone who enjoyed partying hard but was well liked and had a bright future ahead of her.

Survivor...Jack Nagle overcome an addiction to ice and now runs a treatment centre for drug users in Melbourne. Source: Supplied

Mr Nagle was the same.

Addiction experts say there is no 'typical' progression of substance abuse. But Mr Nagle and thousands of others have a frighteningly similar story.

It started with experimenting with drugs and a desire for something bigger and better.

"I had everything I ever needed," he says.

There was girls, his sport, a promising future, a good life. "But I always dabbled in drugs, pot and drinking." When he was 17 he thought "stuff it I'm going to party and chase girls and stuff" and began mixing with a different crowd.

Through those connections he first tried speed. Ice followed a little later when he was 19. From that moment there was no turning back — Mr Nagle believes he was hooked from the first time, he just didn't realise it.

"It was just so good ... And from the amount of money I was spending to the reaction I was getting [made it worth it]."

But ice isn't known as the "liar drug" for nothing. Soon his tolerance went up meaning he required more drugs for the same level of satisfaction.

Harriet Wran arrives at court after being arrested in relation to murder of Daniel McNulty. Former ice addict Jack Nagle says what happened to her could easily happen to any ice addict. Source: Supplied

Harriet Wran, daughter of the late NSW Premier Neville Wran has had an extraordinary fall from grace as the result of her ice addiction. Source: Facebook

Initially the "rush" and the feeling it gave him was too good to say no to. But that changed quickly "and it was all downhill from there".

By now he was totally transformed. Not just physically — "I was 6'6 and 62kg"— but "mentally, emotionally and spiritually" as well.

"It was like a psychosis all the time."

At his worst moments he hallucinated and thought his life was a TV show where everyone could see what he was doing. There were long black-outs where he couldn't remember what had happened. It was only after talking with his friends later they told him he'd been rambling, incoherent, thinking he was at the airport about to board a flight to Thailand.

At the start of his progression into ice addiction he didn't want to use the drug. But it was as if the choice was no longer his. "For the first six months I didn't want to use ice but I couldn't stop."

Every night after he got home and had used all his drugs he would say to himself "it would stop here". He'd smoke marijuana to help him sleep and vowed to wake up in the morning with a series of push ups and lead a clean life.

"Then I would get a resume and hand it out and get a job and a girlfriend."

Instead, "I just got back on it." Again and again.

That also meant he needed more money. Mr Nagle is open about this time of his life and the things he did to get drugs.

The use of ice, or crystal methamphetamine, by Australians is among the highest in the developed world. Source: Supplied

"I started doing things I never thought I would never do. Petty crime and things like that."

Armed with a "large sum of money" he embarked on a final binge. When the drugs were gone he turned up at his mother's doorstep and knocked on the door and ended up standing in front of the mirror, the reality of what he'd become staring back at him.

"It was standing in front of the mirror that I had a moment of clarity. It sounds funny to say, but it was almost like my life flashed before my eyes."

Before he was seduced by methamphetamine he had been popular, had girlfriends and a possible future playing basketball in the United States to look forward to.

It wasn't until he looked at his reflection in the mirror he realised how far he'd fallen.

"I thought about that. I was just crushed and broken."

He asked his mum for help and she booked him into rehab for a month.

THREE years later he is clean and doing his best to help others beat their addictions.

At DayHab, a Melbourne addiction treatment centre, their aim is not just to stop people using drugs but to make sure they stay off them.

They do this by treating the "underlying reasons" people use drugs in the first place, he said.

"Stopping isn't the hard part. Don't get me wrong, it is hard, but staying off them is harder."

Mr Nagle, the centre manager, recalled being helped by someone in rehab who was also a former addict and it helped show him recovery was possible.

"In our experience the best people that can help others with their addictions is reformed addicts ... It might sound elitist but it shows them recovery is possible.

Associate Professor Nadine Ezard, clinical director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital said drug users fitted into different categories, from mild, to medium and severe.

Graphic images of ice users have been used in promotional campaigns in the United States. Source: Supplied

Former ice addict Jack Nagle said his life quickly went downhill when he began using the drug. Source: Supplied

It was not accurate to say regular users of methamphetamine would all end up in the state Mr Nagle found himself in, she said. The reasons why the drug consumed so completely were varied but some of the common themes were experience to trauma and a history of substance abuse.

Professor Ezard said methamphetamine was a serious problem but she didn't believe it was "well understood" by the public.

"People are afraid of it, there have been high profile cases of people doing psychotic things and it's hard to ignore."

She said informed discussion was required to properly understand the challenges ice use imposed on the community.

Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit methamphetamine use in the world and the highest use among developed nations. Around 2.5% of Australians over 14 years have used methamphetamine over the past year — almost double the rate of most developed countries.

Earlier this year the Australian Crime Commission warned Australia's ice addiction had become a pandemic.

In an ACC report into drug use in this country Acting ACC boss Paul Jevtovic said the production, distribution and use of the dangerous drug was so entrenched it was a "national concern".

He said it was relatively affordable and accessible but had devastating side effects. because of this he likened Australia's ice problem to the crack cocaine issues in the United States.

+ If you need help with substance abuse Day Hab, in Melbourne, can be contacted on 1800 329 422 /1800-DAYHAB


14.05 | 0 komentar | Read More

Sexually assaulted at 40,000 feet

Brave Laura is speaking out for the first time about what happened to her on Malaysia Airlines flight MH20 because she feels let down by the actions of the airline. In this international investigation, Sunday Nights chief investigations reporter Ross Coulthart goes in search of answers. Courtesy Channel Seven.

The alleged victim of a sexual assault on Malaysia Airlines flight MH20. Source: Channel 7

AN Australian woman has spoken out about her alleged sexual assault on board a Malaysia Airlines flight earlier this month.

The 26-year-old alleged victim will tell her story on Seven's Sunday Night this weekend, as well as showing chilling footage taken from her phone during the reported attack.

The woman, known only as Laura, claims she was assaulted by the chief steward on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris, August 4.

"I couldn't stop it, I just froze, I was just scared," she tells Seven reporter Ross Coulthart in the promo.

In audio of the interview, Coulthart can be heard asking Laura why she didn't scream for help.

"I keep saying 'why didn't I scream, why didn't I shout, why didn't I stop it?'

Laura's emotional interview with Sunday Night will air this weekend. Source: Channel 7

"I'm a strong person because I can, I can do that, I know I can, but when I was in the moment I couldn't. I felt so scared, so petrified."

In the recording Laura took mid-flight following the alleged assault, a woman's voice can be heard crying to a man sitting across the aisle as he shakes his head.

She says: "You did, you did, you did, don't lie. It's what you did.

"I'm so scared, I just want to get off this plane ... I don't want to see you, go away, you give me the creeps, you dirty old man," the woman can be heard saying in the audio.

Upon landing at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, the male steward — who is married with three daughters — was detained by police and two weeks later is still behind bars after making admissions.

The alleged victim says she is speaking out for first time about what happened because she feels let down by the actions of the airline.

Malaysian Airlines was in serious financial trouble even before the twin disasters of MH370 and MH17 claimed the lives of 537 people. Source: Flickr

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the allegations were made, and has vowed to assist French authorities in their investigation, adding "the safety, comfort and wellbeing of our passengers is always our highest priority".

"Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously," it said.

Sexual assaults on planes are rare, but they do occur and can be difficult to investigate. In February Carlos Vasquez was sentenced to three years probation and fined $3000 for molesting a 15-year-old girl who sat next to him on a flight from Houston to Washington, US. She pretended to be asleep during the ordeal.

A month earlier passenger Bawer Aksal was sentenced to eight years in jail for sexually assaulting a woman on a United Airlines flight from Phoenix to Newark, US. The victim told the court: "I will never be the same person I once was".

Last September an Indian man was sentenced to nine months jail for a mile-high sex attack,
IndiaEveryday reports.

Mile-high crimes usually occur on overnight flights, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Drew Ptasienski told US news site NBC News 41.

"The crew isn't walking around (as much)," Ptasienski said. "It's a crime of opportunity."

The allegations comes as Malaysia Airlines continues to battle for survival following recent tragedies. Flight MH370 disappeared mysteriously in March with 239 people aboard, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace has been found and the airline was widely criticised for its handling of the crisis. On July 17, MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, with 298 people killed.

The airline is in deep financial trouble, with predictions it's burning through its cash reserves at a rate of around $2.16 million per day, and bookings continue to slide.

Sunday Night airs 8.45pm Sunday, August 24 on Seven.

A plane carrying coffins with the remains of victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Source: AFP


13.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Is this volcano ready to blow?

Following 3,000 earthquakes since Saturday, fears of a volcano erupting in Iceland are increasing as WSJs Mark Kelly reports (Image: AFP / Getty Images)

IT'S four years since the eruption of Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajokull caused worldwide flight chaos. Now another ice-covered volcano blast is threatening to disrupt the skies again.

The volcano is called Bardarbunga and because of increased seismic activity surrounding it, Iceland's Meteorological Office has warned the aviation industry it could cause trouble.

Here's everything you need to know.

WHAT IS BARDARBUNGA

Apart from being a slightly easier-to-pronounce version of Eyjafjallajokull — the ice-capped volcano that caused an ash cloud that blanketed Europe's airspace for six days in 2010 — Bardarbunga is Iceland's second-highest mountain.

It's also Iceland's largest volcanic system.

Rising more than 2000m above sea level, the volcano is covered by a huge ice cap, with a glacier hiding its crater.

The frozen mountain hardly looks like an active volcano — the volcano is actually 700m below ice — and although it hasn't seen a full on eruption in more than a hundred years, sustained seismic activity has allowed the Bardarbunga to retain its active status.

Over the past week, the Icelandic Meteorological Office has recorded intense seismic activity at Bardarbunga.

Thousands of earthquakes have taken place in the vicinity of the volcano, which geologists have classified as a subglacial stratovolcano.

Although it's not showing signs of eruption just yet, authorities have put airlines on alert, raising the risk level of flying over the region to a code orange — the second highest on a five-level scale.

Lava erupts from the volcano under Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier in central Iceland, April 19, 2010. Europe began to emerge from a volcanic cloud allowing limited air traffic to resume and giving hope to millions of travellers stranded around the world when ash choked the jet age to a halt. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti ) Source: AP

HOW BAD COULD IT BE?

Because it is covered in ice, Bardarbunga's activity is tricky to monitor, but experts know it's about to do something.

An area close to the volcano has already been evacuated in fear it could erupt soon.

Writing on The Conversation, volcanologist Dave McGarvie said recent activity indicates the magma is moving towards Bardarbunga's surface.

"If it gets there, it will erupt," he said.

"But whether this will be a gentle or a violent eruption is uncertain at the time of writing."

"There is no way to predict when the eruption may happen, but we should get a few hours notice. The good news for air travel is that both clusters are away from the heart of the main volcano which makes it less likely that an eruption will produce the final ash that causes disruption."

If magma rises to the surface, it could vaporise the ice cap covering the volcano's crater, which would result in a rapid build up of steam and pressure causing the mountain to blow open and send water vapour, ash and rock particles.

As in 2010, these particles could stay in an ash cloud for days, and that's what's got the aviation industry nervous.

Aerial view of smoke billowing from erupting volcano on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier south of capital Reykjavík. Source: News Limited

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME

The ash cloud that formed when Eyjafjallajokull erupted ended up affecting 10 million people.

It clouded much of Europe's airspace for six days and saw international flights delayed and cancelled all over the world.

Like Bardarbunga, this volcano was also hidden under a glacier.

More than 100,000 flights over Europe were cancelled because volcanic ash floating in the atmosphere, which can cause catastrophic damage when it comes into contact with a jet engine.

SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?

As we said before, there is no indication when or even if the volcano will erupt any time soon, but the situation is being closely monitored.

If there is another explosion, Mr McGarvie assures that thanks to the chaos faced in 2010, experts have a dramatically improved understanding of the impact of an ash cloud on aircraft, and rules put into place following Eyjafjallajokull, an explosion of the same size would have significantly less impact.

As this is occurring at the peak of Europe's tourism season, however, the industry is biting its collective fingernails.

Iceland has warned of the risk of an eruption at one of its largest volcanoes.


13.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Thief’s awesome comeuppance

Thief's awesome comeuppance

Thief's awesome comeuppance

A HILARIOUS tit-for-tat between an office sandwich thief and its hungry victim is making its way around the internet, with hilarious results.

Splashing out at Shanghai's clubs

Splashing out at Shanghai's clubs

THINK you've got a great Friday night planned? It's nothing compared to how the mega-rich party in China. Think bathtubs full of champagne, rooms full of sparklers, and setting cash on fire.

Where's the hottest place to eat in Australia?

 Guests at restaurant Porteno in Cleveland Street, Surry Hills in Sydney.

IT may not overlook a glorious harbour, its chefs are not on TV and it definitely isn't the most expensive reservation in town, but Porteno is unequivocally the hottest restaurant for celebrities visiting Australia.

Berry good way to lose weight

 Woman eating strawberries. Thinkstock.

WANT to lose weight? New research finds that eating berries each day may help you get into those skinny jeans.


13.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘I was bonkers’: Former junkie tells

$438 million dollars of methamphetamine have been seized by police in an Australian record

AS HE stood in front of a mirror in his mother's home, ice addict Jack Nagle couldn't believe what he was seeing.

Gone was the happy, athletic, outgoing young man he'd once been. In its place was someone completely different. And it shocked him.

"I was pale, I was skinny as all hell, I hadn't showered in something like two weeks. I looked like a hobo," he tells news.com.au.

He was 20-years-old and had been injecting and smoking ice, or crystal methamphetamine, for a year. But it was a 10 day binge, where he went through about $7500 worth of the drug that finally tipped him over the edge.

Mr Nagle while he was addicted to ice Source: Supplied

"I was bonkers. Some messed up things happened during that time. It all was very crazy," he says.

Mr Nagle, now 23, last week watched footage of Harriet Wran — the daughter of celebrated former New South Wales Premier Neville Wran — being led into court on a murder charge.

Wran reportedly told police she was "numb" on ice and desperate for her next hit.

Mr Nagle said it was a "sad" scene. But her descent into ice hell was nothing extraordinary in the mad world of methamphetamine.

"What happens is you lose your grip on reality. Your ability to reason just gets knocked out of the ballpark ... basically you'll do anything to get it."

Wran reportedly started with drugs like cannabis and ecstasy. Someone who enjoyed partying hard but was well liked and had a bright future ahead of her.

Survivor...Jack Nagle overcome an addiction to ice and now runs a treatment centre for drug users in Melbourne. Source: Supplied

Mr Nagle was the same.

Addiction experts say there is no 'typical' progression of substance abuse. But Mr Nagle and thousands of others have a frighteningly similar story.

It started with experimenting with drugs and a desire for something bigger and better.

"I had everything I ever needed," he says.

There was girls, his sport, a promising future, a good life. "But I always dabbled in drugs, pot and drinking." When he was 17 he thought "stuff it I'm going to party and chase girls and stuff" and began mixing with a different crowd.

Through those connections he first tried speed. Ice followed a little later when he was 19. From that moment there was no turning back — Mr Nagle believes he was hooked from the first time, he just didn't realise it.

"It was just so good ... And from the amount of money I was spending to the reaction I was getting [made it worth it]."

But ice isn't known as the "liar drug" for nothing. Soon his tolerance went up meaning he required more drugs for the same level of satisfaction.

Harriet Wran arrives at court after being arrested in relation to murder of Daniel McNulty. Former ice addict Jack Nagle says what happened to her could easily happen to any ice addict. Source: Supplied

Harriet Wran, daughter of the late NSW Premier Neville Wran has had an extraordinary fall from grace as the result of her ice addiction. Source: Facebook

Initially the "rush" and the feeling it gave him was too good to say no to. But that changed quickly "and it was all downhill from there".

By now he was totally transformed. Not just physically — "I was 6'6 and 62kg"— but "mentally, emotionally and spiritually" as well.

"It was like a psychosis all the time."

At his worst moments he hallucinated and thought his life was a TV show where everyone could see what he was doing. There were long black-outs where he couldn't remember what had happened. It was only after talking with his friends later they told him he'd been rambling, incoherent, thinking he was at the airport about to board a flight to Thailand.

At the start of his progression into ice addiction he didn't want to use the drug. But it was as if the choice was no longer his. "For the first six months I didn't want to use ice but I couldn't stop."

Every night after he got home and had used all his drugs he would say to himself "it would stop here". He'd smoke marijuana to help him sleep and vowed to wake up in the morning with a series of push ups and lead a clean life.

"Then I would get a resume and hand it out and get a job and a girlfriend."

Instead, "I just got back on it." Again and again.

That also meant he needed more money. Mr Nagle is open about this time of his life and the things he did to get drugs.

The use of ice, or crystal methamphetamine, by Australians is among the highest in the developed world. Source: Supplied

"I started doing things I never thought I would never do. Petty crime and things like that."

Armed with a "large sum of money" he embarked on a final binge. When the drugs were gone he turned up at his mother's doorstep and knocked on the door and ended up standing in front of the mirror, the reality of what he'd become staring back at him.

"It was standing in front of the mirror that I had a moment of clarity. It sounds funny to say, but it was almost like my life flashed before my eyes."

Before he was seduced by methamphetamine he had been popular, had girlfriends and a possible future playing basketball in the United States to look forward to.

It wasn't until he looked at his reflection in the mirror he realised how far he'd fallen.

"I thought about that. I was just crushed and broken."

He asked his mum for help and she booked him into rehab for a month.

THREE years later he is clean and doing his best to help others beat their addictions.

At DayHab, a Melbourne addiction treatment centre, their aim is not just to stop people using drugs but to make sure they stay off them.

They do this by treating the "underlying reasons" people use drugs in the first place, he said.

"Stopping isn't the hard part. Don't get me wrong, it is hard, but staying off them is harder."

Mr Nagle, the centre manager, recalled being helped by someone in rehab who was also a former addict and it helped show him recovery was possible.

"In our experience the best people that can help others with their addictions is reformed addicts ... It might sound elitist but it shows them recovery is possible.

Associate Professor Nadine Ezard, clinical director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital said drug users fitted into different categories, from mild, to medium and severe.

Graphic images of ice users have been used in promotional campaigns in the United States. Source: Supplied

Former ice addict Jack Nagle said his life quickly went downhill when he began using the drug. Source: Supplied

It was not accurate to say regular users of methamphetamine would all end up in the state Mr Nagle found himself in, she said. The reasons why the drug consumed so completely were varied but some of the common themes were experience to trauma and a history of substance abuse.

Professor Ezard said methamphetamine was a serious problem but she didn't believe it was "well understood" by the public.

"People are afraid of it, there have been high profile cases of people doing psychotic things and it's hard to ignore."

She said informed discussion was required to properly understand the challenges ice use imposed on the community.

Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit methamphetamine use in the world and the highest use among developed nations. Around 2.5% of Australians over 14 years have used methamphetamine over the past year — almost double the rate of most developed countries.

Earlier this year the Australian Crime Commission warned Australia's ice addiction had become a pandemic.

In an ACC report into drug use in this country Acting ACC boss Paul Jevtovic said the production, distribution and use of the dangerous drug was so entrenched it was a "national concern".

He said it was relatively affordable and accessible but had devastating side effects. because of this he likened Australia's ice problem to the crack cocaine issues in the United States.

+ If you need help with substance abuse Day Hab, in Melbourne, can be contacted on 1800 329 422 /1800-DAYHAB


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Shorten needed to go public

Written By kom limapulan on Kamis, 21 Agustus 2014 | 13.56

Bill Shorten says a police investigation into rape allegations against him have been dropped. Source: News Corp Australia

COMMENT: MOST voters were unaware of it but for all his time as Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten has been living under one of the most harmful of allegations.

The allegations were rape — said to have been committed in 1980s.

The Labor chief today took the hazardous step of publicly acknowledging an allegation had been made against him, now that a 10-month police investigation has resulted in no charges being laid.

MORE: BILL SHORTEN AT CENTRE OF RAPE ALLEGATION

If he hadn't faced the media, it is likely someone else would do it for him — possibly during the next election campaign.

Mr Shorten also would have been aware the unnamed woman who made the complaint against him might soon tell her side of the story publicly.

And no doubt there was a simple yet huge sense of relief he wanted to express. Mr Shorten, wife Chloe, mother-in-law Dame Quentin Bryce and other family members are likely to have also carried this burden.

While most voters were not aware of the allegation, it was common currency within the nether world of the blogosphere and social media where it was often treated as proven.

Commentators unafraid of defamation action used social media to demand action against "the senior Labor figure" involved.

Many of these people will not relent despite Mr Shorten being cleared, but his statement today means their sniping will have little impact.


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Australia: Alcohol is destroying us

What is alcohol really doing to you? Source: News Limited

A new survey has revealed the alcohol consumption habits of Australians. So what generation drinks the others under the table?

LIKES a drink, or drinks too much? Whether it's an indifferent attitude to the excess consumption of alcohol, or our ignorance when it comes to the effect it has on our bodies, Australia's most socially accepted drug is indeed destroying lives.

The newly-released Alcohol's Burden of Disease in Australia report found that alcohol is responsible for 15 deaths every day. That's a 60 per cent increase from a decade ago. In addition to this, another 430 people are admitted to hospital for treatment for alcohol-related injuries or disease every day.

If you are surprised by these statistics, you're not alone.

"The Australian medical profession is profoundly concerned that the harms of alcohol are getting worse — domestic violence, depression, deaths from trauma, obesity — the list goes on," Dr Stephen Parnis, Emergency Physician and Vice President of the AMA tells news.com.au.

"It is time to deal with this epidemic, and denial will only allow it to get worse. The evidence of harm is absolutely conclusive."

Indeed, the latest Cancer Report from the World Health Organisation found that while 8.2 million people died from cancer globally in 2012, 3.7 million of those deaths could have been avoided by "lifestyle changes", including limiting alcohol.

"About 5 per cent of all cancer is due to alcohol consumption — that's an important part of the preventable cancer story," the Cancer Council Australia's Terry Slevin said at the time. "Let's make no bones about it: alcohol is a class one known carcinogen, it's listed by the World Health Organisation as such."

But the affect alcohol can have on an individual's health is only part of the story. In 2012, the Salvation Army commissioned research as part of Alcohol Awareness week into the effect alcohol abuse has on families. Among many worrisome findings, they revealed that 4.2 million Australians know families where they think children are not being properly cared for because of someone's alcohol abuse. Add this to the fact that almost half of all domestic homicides are alcohol related, and that the proportion of people experiencing physical abuse by someone under the influence of alcohol increased from 1.5 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2013, and you've got yourself a worrying epidemic.

News.com.au spoke to four people whose lives have all been affected by alcohol in different ways. When we asked each of them if they thought the Australian public were aware of just how damaging alcohol can be, the answer was a resounding 'No'.

"Alcohol is such a huge part of the Australian culture, drinking at every social gathering is just widely accepted as 'normal'," Rebecca Wheller told us. "I think it's only when we take an extended break from drinking that we realise just how damaging and unnecessary it really is."

"A lot of people are shocked when they find out the reason that I don't drink is because I'm a recovering alcoholic," adds 33-year-old Emma Fahy Davis. "But the truth is, you don't have to be an alcoholic to have a problem with alcohol. If your drinking impacts on other areas of your life, you've got a problem."

Here's how alcohol has changed four Australian lives …

'I got pretty quickly things were different in our family compared to others.' Source: ThinkStock

WHEN YOUR FATHER'S AN ALCOHOLIC: Finn, blogger at throughthickandfinn.com

I'd say I have a somewhat conflicted experience and relationship with alcohol. This is because while I socially drink in moderation, and don't yet intend on giving up, I also grew up with an alcoholic father who was more than a stool-perched, beer-drinking alcoholic.

Growing up with his alcoholism involved police visits to the family home, crisis teams for attempted suicides and often myself and other family members leaving the house to stay elsewhere in the hope to just get away from the drama caused by the erratic behaviour. It also resulted in me developing personality traits that are characteristically common when growing up in with any addicted person or in a dysfunctional environment. These traits, such as perfectionism, feeling 'different' from other people, people-pleasing, an inability to 'follow through' and being hyper-vigilant, meant I wasn't just left with the grief and anger around the loss of a parent.

I got pretty quickly things were different in our family compared to others, but I was also lucky because my mother spoke openly about the problems. I know a lot of families exist in the shame or it becomes the "elephant in the room", and I am grateful I didn't have to deal with that added burden of not being able to share my problems. Having said that, at a young age you don't really sit around talking with primary school friends about the problems at home and I just knew that our family life was stressful compared to other friends' homes.

I would say I performed fairly well at school, but the problems at home always outweighed my concern for my grades. Quite frankly, surviving emotionally becomes a higher priority than worrying about what you're learning in English class. Socially I was healthy and had many friends, but I always had the characteristic of being "the responsible one" and not easily being able to let go and have fun. This still manages to be a problem and I do take life pretty seriously. I am always waiting for something terrible to happen and I always think forewarned is forearmed, but it's tiring being that way.

As a teenager I would often wonder if I would grow up and be an alcoholic, because there were times where — like most young teenagers or young adults do — I drank too much. However, as I got into my mid-twenties I realised I didn't feel the compulsion to keep drinking and I could stop when I knew I should, which alcoholics — like my father — find virtually impossible to do.

Alcohol, at its worst, disintegrated my family before my very eyes. I've often looked back and thought, "how did it get to this?": immediate and extended family members all estranged and not in relationships with each other, the breakdown of my parent's marriage, the decaying of my father's health, and my sibling and I left with psychological issues; such as panic attacks, generalised anxiety and, at various times, deep depression.

Because living with an addicted person means a lot of energy is put on them, I didn't have much time to work out who I was and what I wanted for my life. I started university degrees and numerous other courses, but never finished them. Up until a couple of years ago, I was directionless and didn't feel like I had a purpose. The weight of family problems always seemed to overshadow more joyful opportunities. Only recently I feel I've found my purpose and that is to share my experiences and create a space for young females who have felt isolated in their experiences of growing up with alcoholism and dysfunction.

Dr Stephen Parnis. Source: Supplied

WHEN WORK AND LIFE COLLIDE: Dr Stephen Parnis, Emergency Physician, Vice President of the AMA and 2014 Ocsober Ambassador.

I've grown up with alcohol as a largely healthy and balanced part of my life — family celebrations and wine tasting in beautiful parts of Australia with family and friends are a couple of examples. I am incredibly fortunate to be a part of a large, loving family, and I could always remember a healthy approach to alcohol from them — I can't remember anyone ever being drunk, and I always sensed that alcohol was enjoyable, but never essential to the many wonderful occasions we share.

I grew up knowing only three of my grandparents, and I have always felt the absence of my maternal grandmother, who died four years before I was born. Her name was Jean, and she was only 46 when she died.

When I was a medical student, I began to understand just how common alcohol abuse was. Whether it was the injured drunk patient in emergency or the person dying of liver cirrhosis in the ward, I could see it everywhere. The harm it did to individuals and their loved ones was and is astounding.

And then, about this time, I discovered that my late grandmother had abused alcohol, and it had led to her early death. I remember that my late grandfather found himself unable to talk about his grief, and I began to understand the impact it had on my own mum and her early life. That my mum became the world's best mother is a testament to the reality that the trail of destruction that alcohol wreaks across families, communities and generations can be consigned to history.

My work as an Emergency Physician means that I see the impact of alcohol abuse every day I that care for patients. The mental illness, violence and chronic disease is everywhere. The older I get, the more aware I become of the loss that I and my family experienced. In turn, it strengthens my determination to help others avoid the pain that is part and parcel of loving someone who abuses alcohol.

As far as my family goes, my main task is to raise my three children to understand what a healthy culture of alcohol is all about, that is one of the reasons why I am doing Ocsober this year. In that regard, talk is cheap: how I use alcohol is of a much greater impact than anything I could say. I enjoy it, but I don't need it, and I won't overdo it.

Emma Fahy Davis and her children. Source: Supplied

WHEN YOU START DRINKING AS A CHILD: Emma Fahy Davis, mum of five and blogger at fivedegreesofchaos.com

I started drinking when I was 12, stealing shots of gin out of my parents' liquor cabinet. In my early-mid teens, I was a binge drinker, sneaking gin and juice to school in my plastic drink bottle, sharing it with other kids in my class and getting them drunk too. In hindsight, I think it was my way of trying to be cool, to fit in. My dad travelled a lot and would bring back 3 bottles of Gordon's Gin each time he came home so there was always a stash in the cupboard, and if it started getting noticeable, I'd top the empty bottles up with water to hide what I'd been up to.

I was asked to leave school at 15 because my attendance and behaviour were erratic, and I'd been in trouble for smoking and fighting at school. A year or so later I went back to a different school and I did finish my final exams, but I was still drinking heavily every weekend with my friends.

At 18, I lost the plot completely. I enrolled in uni, but it interfered with my social life so I dropped out half way through the first semester. I drank whenever I could get my hands on alcohol, pooling my unemployment benefit with like-minded friends so we could get more alcohol. Some weeks we'd drink every day. It wasn't just about drinking to socialise — we'd drink to drink ourselves into oblivion. At 19 I diagnosed with clinical depression. Even now, I still don't know whether I drank because I was depressed or whether I was depressed because I drank so much. Probably a little of both.

Shortly after that I met my now-husband. We met at a party at his house, both drunk, but he was strictly a weekend drinker as he drove a truck during the week and wouldn't compromise his job or his licence by drinking. I moved in with him the day after we met and while he was at work, I'd drink with our mates. About a year or so into the relationship, my drinking started causing issues between us and I began to think it might actually be a bigger problem than I thought. I got arrested a couple of times for disorderly behaviour while I was drinking, and when I went up before the magistrate, he told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to clean up my act.

The catalyst for getting sober was visiting a friend one day and hearing her say 'Oh, you're sober — I haven't seen you sober in ages!' I realised then that I was an alcoholic.

On May 19 2002 I went to my first AA meeting. I was 21. I thought it was a crock of sh*t — it was all men, all 30 and 40 years older than me and I thought 'I have nothing in common with these people!' But as I listened to their stories, heard how alcohol had destroyed their lives, cost them their marriages, their children, their careers, I had this overwhelming realisation that if I didn't stop drinking, in 30 years time that would be me standing up there with my life in tatters. I still had time to salvage my life.

June 26 2002 I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. It wasn't a planned pregnancy, but it gave me something to cling to — a reason to stay sober when the desire to drink got overwhelming. I knew she needed me, and she needed me sober. I kept going to AA meetings, I was back at uni and working towards my degree, and I was sober.

12 years on, I'm still sober. It's still a struggle — some days are harder than others, some days I don't even think about drinking, other days it's all I can think about and I know I need to go and sit in a meeting and find my feet again. I think a lot of people think alcoholics are just old homeless guys. I'm 33, white, middle class and a mum-of-five. Not how most people perceive alcoholism! But it can happen to anyone. Anyone.

Rebecca Weller. Source: Supplied

WHEN SOCIAL DRINKING BECOMES SOMETHING MORE: Rebecca Weller, Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach

When I discovered, at age 17 that alcohol could magically transform me from shy and introverted to confident and outgoing, I fell in love with the stuff. Never mind that it regularly kicked my butt, made me do and say stupid things, and stole my self-worth. For most of the time (okay, at least half the time), it made me feel glamorous, fun and hilarious. Before I'd even turned 18 I couldn't imagine a social life without it.

There was just one teensy little problem. My 'off' switch doesn't work. I've never felt ill while drinking, or thrown up, so there was never a point in the night that signalled I should stop. Well, besides slurred speech and errors in judgment, of course, but nothing that was awful enough to make me immediately put down the glass. While I was drinking I always felt like I was having the time of my life, so I did what any party girl would do — I kept going. The next morning I always felt like death warmed up but I shrugged it off.

Really this whole nonsense should've stopped in my 20s. In an ideal world I would have woken up on my 30th birthday and thought 'Wow, that was a blast but I'm so glad I'm mature and sophisticated now. I'm so relieved that I can just enjoy a single glass of icy cold sauvignon blanc at a dinner party and leave it at that.' But no. It carried on wayyyy too far into my 30s.

Deep down I knew it was a problem but, like so many friends I see white-knuckling their way through 'Dry July' in my Facebook feed, I was scared to think about what that might mean. There's no way I could give up booze forever. It would be like every day was a weekday! I'd never have any fun. I'd be forever missing out. No-one would ever invite me anywhere. How would I live?

So I tried the set-number-of-drinks rule. I tried the drinking-water-every-other-drink rule. I tried the only-drinking-on-Fridays rule. And they all worked. For a while. But every few weeks or so I'd end up drinking that one wine too many and not remember the trip home. And the more I tried to focus on not drinking, the more it happened. I'd spend the next day in a downward spiral of anxiety, shame, and nausea. I'd argue with my love. I'd feel cranky and frustrated that I couldn't drink like 'normal' people in their 30s. And then I'd sob. Heartbreaking, racking tears of sadness for getting myself stuck in this mess. I was supposed to be a Health Coach! Why couldn't I control this thing? I felt sick with fear at what it would mean if I had to stop drinking completely. I was afraid that I'd never have — or be — fun, ever again. Alcohol had become such a self-esteem crutch for me that I couldn't even imagine a joy-filled existence without it. I realised I needed to heal my relationship with myself and alcohol before I'd be able to fully connect with life, health, and my loved ones.

Since quitting, I've discovered that I don't need alcohol to have a good time. I believed I needed to drink to feel confident and yet, the longer I go without drinking, the more confident I feel in every situation. I trust myself more. I feel strong and graceful and grounded. My relationships are so much deeper without it, and that sense of connection makes me feel so much happier. I feel healthier. After decades of insomnia, I now sleep like an angel; no waking at 3am, staring at the ceiling, wishing my dehydrated head would stop pounding. My face and eyes feel less 'puffy', my skin is less dry, and my little 'wine pouch' belly disappeared. I have more energy, my digestion has improved tenfold, and brain fog is a thing of the past. I feel happier. I feel more myself than I have in a very long time. That cheeky sense of humour I thought only came out to play at wine o'clock? Turns out it wanted to play all the time — I was just pigeonholing it. The anxiety I thought I was drinking to soothe? Turns out drinking only delayed it and invited it back double-strength the next day.

The part I love most is the absolute, delicious, blissful freedom. Freedom from counting drinks. Freedom from giving myself 'those lectures' about not making an idiot of myself this time. Freedom from saying stupid things I regret. Freedom from believing I can only connect with people when I have a drink in my hand. Freedom from searching for late-night cabs in the freezing cold, or worrying about how to get home. Freedom from the morning-after cocktail of tiredness, nausea, anxiety and paranoia.

I'm not saying it's always easy. Some Fridays — especially when I'm hungry and/or tired — my inner 3-year-old throws a tantrum and still wants wine, wine, WINE! But I am saying it gets much easier. And is so, SO worth it.

If you or someone you know has trouble with alcohol, don't ignore it. Contact Alcoholics Anonymous.


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