Need for Vitamin D in pregnancy not proven

There is “insufficient” evidence to recommend vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy, an international study has concluded.
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Vitamin D helps maintain calcium levels in the body to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

A number of studies also suggest that taking vitamin D supplements may also help protect against heart disease, cancer, respiratory infections and asthma, as well as conditions related to pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

But advice on supplementation to date is conflicting, say Canadian researchers.

To investigate the evidence researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto reviewed 43 randomised controlled trials involving more than 8000 women.

Their study, published in The British Medical Journal (The BMJ), assessed the effects of taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy on various maternal and child outcomes.

The results show that taking supplements during pregnancy increased vitamin D levels in both the mother’s bloodstream and umbilical cord blood.

But the researchers did not consistently find that higher doses of vitamin D led to healthier women and babies.

They found that vitamin D did increase the average birth weight of a baby by 58g, and reduced the risk of babies being born small.

But more detailed analysis weakened the statistical significance of these findings.

There appeared to be no effect on whether or not babies were born before their due date.

The researchers did find that mothers who took vitamin D supplements in pregnancy were less likely to have children with a wheeze when they were aged three.

Due to the inconclusive evidence on the effectiveness of taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy the issue “will probably remain unanswered in the foreseeable future”, the authors said.

“Cautious projections for the next decade suggest that we will eventually know more about vitamin D in pregnancy than we do now, but in the absence of a coordinated effort and funding to conduct large new trials, some of the most critical questions about the effectiveness of prenatal vitamin D supplementation will probably remain unanswered in the foreseeable future,” they concluded.

The authors have called for new larger trials on the vitamin’s use in pregnancy to measure the health outcomes.

‘Unrecognisable’: Robots will run mines within a decade

Some mines in the next decade will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors, according to Anglo American.
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Anglo is betting on technology, such as computerised drills with “chiselling ability as good as a human” to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce environmental impact, Tony O’Neill, technical director at Anglo, said at the Mines and Money conference in London.

“The industry that everybody currently knows will be unrecognisable” in five to seven years, O’Neill said. With mining processes automated, Anglo’s “employee of the future” will only need to focus on managing the company’s relations with governments and communities that live near its mines, he said.

Anglo operates some of the world’s most valuable copper deposits and employs 87,000 workers from South Africa to Chile.

Bots, or software that can execute instructions, will be increasingly important in underground mining, O’Neill said. Small and self-learning, the technology requires less infrastructure than current methods, and commercial application is five to seven years away.

Anglo isn’t the first to invest in automation. In WA’s Pilbara iron ore region, BHP Billiton has begun work aimed at implementing autonomous trains along its 1,300-kilometre rail network.

Barrick Gold is a year into the gold mining industry’s most ambitious experiment to modernise digging, using thousands of sensors at and around the Cortez mine in Nevada.

Other technology uses real-time, virtual models of physical processes to prevent problems before they occur and can be deployed to monitor the mine, processing and distribution, O’Neill said.

The systems, borrowed from the aerospace industry, could increase productivity by about 20 per cent and lower costs by 15 per cent, he said.

The company plans to use so-called “dry water” for cooling and other processes that use lots of liquid. It also aims to reduce mine waste, which would make tailings dams unnecessary.

Bloomberg

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Useless aerosols: Cancer Council says best place for spray sunscreen is the bin

Bueti family used Cancer Council spray sunscreen but still got burnt.If you own an aerosol sunscreen, throw it away.
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After a string of consumer complaints about the mists offering no protection, the Cancer Council has changed its tune and says it will strongly recommend against using aerosol sunscreens this year.

Australia’s peak independent cancer authority has sold its own range of aerosol sunscreens at supermarkets and pharmacies for years.

But the council’s leadership has grown so concerned about how difficult they are to use effectively that they have stopped manufacturing them and are in the process of phasing them off shelves.

“We don’t recommend this summer the use of aerosol sunscreens,” Professor Sanchia Aranda, the Cancer Council Australia’s chief executive, says.

“We have identified that Australians are not using them correctly. People seem to be using them a bit like a mosquito repellent.”

The problem is not with the sunscreen’s ingredients, which are effective, but with how difficult it is to use them to apply the correct amount of sunscreen.

A person in a bathing suit needs to apply about 35 millilitres of sunscreen every two hours for full coverage – that’s the size of a whole mini-tube. Each limb needs a full teaspoon of sunscreen.

“It’s a lot more than people think,” says Professor Aranda.

The council has found many people use aerosols to lightly mist sunscreen on, and end up unprotected.

About a quarter of an average bottle of aerosol sunscreen needs to be applied every two hours to ensure you are fully protected.

Adding to the difficulty of judging how much sunscreen has been applied, consumer watchdog Choice says only 40 to 60 per cent of a typical can is sunscreen. The rest is propellant.

Fairfax has reported on several complaints from people who say they liberally applied aerosol sunscreens but ended up horribly burnt anyway.

The council says after decades of education and health warnings, Australians are now quite good at making sure they put sunscreen on.

The problem is about 85 per cent of Australians aren’t applying it correctly. Even among Cancer Council staff there were a few technique issues, Professor Aranda says.

Sunscreen consists of active UV-blocking ingredients suspended in liquid. When you put sunscreen on your skin, the ingredients don’t activate until the liquid evaporates, leaving you unprotected for up to 20 minutes after first application.

If you jump in the water during those 20 minutes, the sunscreen washes straight off.

“You’re just wasting your money,” says Professor Aranda.

About 17 per cent of Australians report getting sunburnt on summer weekends.

A spokeswoman for Edgewell Personal Care Australia, Banana Boat’s parent company, said aerosol sunscreens were effective “when used according to their label instructions”.

“Spray sunscreens are a reliable and effective sun protection method that consumers continue to rapidly adopt around the world.

“Given consumers’ propensity to avoid the inconvenience of sunscreen lotion application, we view continuous sprays as a convenient format that will encourage regular use of sunscreens and help to defend against sun burns,” she said.

“Using clear spray sunscreen, an average adult still needs to apply approximately 35ml of sunscreen for each application.

That’s the equivalent of four applications, per bottle, for an adult.”

The company behind NIVEA sunscreens has been contacted for comment.

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China Energy makes $430m takeover bid for AWE gas

China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group Australia has made a $430 million takeover offer for Sydney-based gas company AWE.
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The Chinese-owned firm has made an unsolicited, non-binding, indicative and conditional proposal at 71 cents a share.

AWE’s board has not rejected the offer, but said “its initial reaction is that the indicative proposal is not sufficiently attractive to provide access to due diligence”.

The Chinese company’s offer is a 31 per cent premium on AWE’s Wednesday closing price of 54 cents a share. The proposal also includes shares issued under AWE’s current Share Purchase Plan, which is slated to run until 14 December.

Whilst above the market price, the offer is well below recent analyst valuations, which have strenghtened recently due to AWE’s Waitsia project’s 78 per cent increase in proven and probable reserves to 811 petajoules.

RBC Capital Markets has placed a valuation of 91 cents a share for AWE, an upgrade from its previous valuation of 68 cents a share.

Its analyst Ben Wilson concurred with the board’s assessment of the offer.

“While any bid from a company associated with [China Energy parent China National Petroleum Corporation] must be taken seriously, we think the bid pricing needs to be higher to engage the board and major shareholders,” Mr Wilson said.

“This could be an exercise in price discovery from the bidding party and an attempt to compel the board to engage with major shareholders, particularly if more hedge funds come on the register.”

He said a recent share offer in AWE had been well taken up by long-term existing shareholders, “which suggests shareholders may not be easily budged particularly given the strong progress made on delineating a large Waitsia gas resource.”

Mr Wilson also stated that obtaining Foreign Investment Review Board approvals would be difficult due to the potential importance of Waitsia to Western Australia.

“We think FIRB approval could be a major issue given the source of the bid and the emerging status of Waitsia as an important strategic asset within the WA domestic gas market,” he said.

However, Fat Prophets’ analyst David Lennox said the perception in the market was that AWE had missed the LNG boom, and this approach may be an appropriate offer.

“It’s always been viewed as a sleepy hollow, rightly or wrongly,” Mr Lennox said.

“They’ve stuck at the Perth Basin, at the Waitsia field, and it looks like it is paying off now.

“At this sort of price, one would suggest it’s a good offer.”

This is the third takeover bid for AWE in four years.

In May last year, it rejected an unsolicited $421 million cash takeover proposal from US private equity fund Lone Star Funds.

Senex also made a cash and share offer for AWE in 2013.

Mr Wilson said continued interest in acquiring control of AWE reinforces his firm’s positive outlook on the Waitsia asset.

AWE has appointed UBS Australia as a financial advisor and Allens as its legal advisor.

AWE’s share price shot up 19 per cent to 65 cents by mid-morning.

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Next step in Newcastle’s tourist trade

NEW ERA: Gus Maher, a former Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association leader, is the new general manager of the Newcastle Tourism Industry Group. Picture: Simone De Peak
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HE led the first trips for tour behemoth Contiki into new nations including New Zealand and the United States, but Gus Maher is now turning his attention to helping Newcastle tourism take the next step.

The Hunter Valley Events doyen,63, has stepped in as the Newcastle Tourism Industry Group’s general manager, and says the next five years will be pivotal in bringing the city’s new tools for tourism online.

“It’s not like Newcastle is trying to find itself,” Mr Maher said. “Newcastle has indeed found itself froma tourism and visitor economy perspective.”

“I think at the moment we are recognised for a whole lot of diverse things that can add up to a very large sum.

“I think our diversity is already there.”

Mr Maher pointed to aboom in infrastructure as a guide to the city’s next steps, including the mooted beginning of international flightsout of Williamtown.

“The cruise terminal will open soon and that’s from a period of hard work in the last five years,” he said.

“If you look at wherethe airport was 10 years ago, we are in an unbelievable space now.What we’ve got to do in the next five is capitalise on all of it.”

Mr Maher said he saw the next stage as broadening the city’s definition oftourism to fully value visitors drawn here formedical appointments, education and business travel as well as visiting friends and relatives.

In turn, he said that would increase literacy about exactly what served as a drawcard for eachbreed of traveller.

“The first thing I’d like to do is better engage the local industry and have everyone who benefits from the broadness of the visitor economy understand that and work as a team to promote the city,” he said.

“I’d like everyone to know it’s not just about camera-toting international visitors, it’s anyone who comes here.”

Mr Maher described Supercars asan “easy” tourism win but flagged plans to talk with traders whose trade was down,suggesting afood truck alley as a way to offset lost foot traffic.

“Now we know what [Supercars weekend] looks like, let’s redraw the picture a little bit,” he said.

Jets banking on fanpower

NEWCASTLE Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna says the club can’t do much more,on or off the field,to welcome fans on game day.
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PASSION: Newcastle Jets supporters have had more to celebrate in 2017-18 than has been the case for many seasons. Picture: Darren Pateman

After eight rounds, Newcastle are second on the ladder and have scored 20 goals –six more than their nearest rivals.

The Jets have attracted 40,986 fans to their four home games this season at an average of 10,246, and McKinna was hopeful Saturday’s clash with Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium –which might be the last chance for Novocastrians to watch Socceroos champion Tim Cahill live in action –would be a drawcard.

As an added incentive, the Jets are offering discounted, reserved tickets in the eastern stand at a cost of two for $30.

“This is the third game where we’ve had special ticket deals, so we’re doing our best to entice people to come,” McKinna said.

“The boys are playing good football, and getting results on the park. So we think the boys deserve a big crowd to play in front of, and hopefully the public get behind us on Saturday night, up against Melbourne City and Tim Cahill, who’s been one of the Socceroos’ real heroes.

“We had more than 14,000 for our first home game of the season, so it would be great to get up somewhere near that on Saturday.”

McKinna said “you’re not going to go to another stadium in Australia and get a grandstand, reserved ticket for just 15 bucks”.

Newcastle’s home crowds are up on last season, when an average of 8645 turned out each game to support them in a season that culminated inthe wooden spoon.

In their 2007-08 premiership-winning season, their home crowds averaged 14,176, including a full house of22,960 for the opening round of the finals.

This season’s attendances include 6258 on a wet night against Wellington, and last week’s Thursday night game against Melbourne Victory (8427).

“We’ve been happy with our crowds so far, but new fans are always welcome,” McKinna said.

“We’ve been scoring goals, and it’s a good atmosphere. Newcastle has been waiting for so long to have a successful team, and this year we’re heading in the right direction.

“We want everyone to jump on the bus. If you haven’t been to a game for a while, come along, bring a friend, and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Adding to the occasion on Saturday night, there will be a special presentation to Newcastle’sErnie Merrickwhen he become’s the first A-League coach to reach the 250-game milestone.

A win by the Jets against third-placed City would lift Newcastle at least six points clear of their nearest rivals in the race for a top-two finish.

Baker progresses in Hawaii

ADVANCE: Merewether surfer Jackson Baker. Picture: Marina NeilMerewether’s Jackson Baker faces a second-round test against hometown Hawaiian and two Brazilians at the season-ending Vans World Cup of Surfing on Friday(AEST).
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Baker made the cut at the World Surf League 10,000-pointqualifying series(QS) event at Hawaii’s North Shore beach after a buzzer-beating ride in his opening heat.

The 20-year-old natural-footer saved his best until last and produced a ride of6.23, whichfolloweda 5.33 on the wave prior to narrowly edge out US competitor Tanner Gudauskas.

Baker (11.56) ended up 0.06 points ahead of Gadauskas (11.50) in the four-man battle taken out by Hawaii’s Logan Bediamol (12.36), which included a single-wave score of 9.43.

In three heats time on the island ofOahu, Bakertakes on Flavio Nakagima, Bino Lopes and Torrey Meisterin a bid to makeround three.

Baker hopes to improve his current QS ranking of 112th, which dropped back while inthe US state this month after finishing 49that the 3000-point HCI Pro and 81stat the 10,000-point Hawaiian Pro.

His 37that Portugal’s10,000-point Pro Cascais early last month earned him1000 QS points. It was his second-best collection of 2017. He has 4070 points overall, made up of his top-five results.

FLASHBACK: Surfest crowds in the 1980s

SUPERCARS: Poynting takes dip at Nobbys

PHOTOS: Amputee surf day in Newcastle

Meghan Markle’s romance ‘created rifts’ reveals her half-sister

Meghan Markle’s half-sister has revealed in an interview that her sister’s regal engagement “created some rifts” with her family, but that they are happy for her.
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“It created some rifts with us, but people across the pond think we’re mean people saying bad things about her, but that’s not the case,” she said in an interview with Us Weekly.

Markle’s half sister Samantha Markle (also known as Samantha Grant), revealed that the pair had not spoken since 2008, but that she is happy for her sister.

“It was really exciting for me. I am so happy for her.”

“[My father is] very excited, just like the statement he released. He is truly happy about their union, but what’s important if it’s Prince Harry or anyone else, you want to make sure someone you love gets married, that they know enough about the person they’re marrying and they’ve had a while to get to know each other,” she said.

“So my father and I are both so excited because they’ve had a long time to get to know each other and then know what they want to do. That’s really important for us,” the half-sister added.

The author and mother of three has also dismissed rumours that her new book, The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister, is about Markle.

“Everyone assumes my book is a slamming tell-all, which it is not. Now it can be egg in their faces and everyone can say what they think. My book is not a small piece and it is important historically. I wasn’t in a position to release what it was about. They assumed the worst and I think that’s unfair and our family members who spoke about my book shouldn’t be doing so.”

While Samantha says it is unlikely she will be invited to the wedding, she hopes to attend.

“I would love to go and show her how much I love her and how happy I am about this and for her,” she said.

On the woman’s Twitter, she has joked about crashing the royal wedding if she isn’t invited. This is how my brother Tom Markle Junior plans to crash through the gates of Buckingham palace at the [email protected]@[email protected]南京夜网/nXMqPVBBhd??? Samantha Markle (@SamanthaMGrant) November 29, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Two women to lead iron ore miner Fortescue

Julie Shuttleworth at Cloudbreak ore processing facility.JPGBillionaire mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has unveiled a “new dawn” at Fortescue Metals Group, announcing that two women would lead the miner, with Elizabeth Gaines to be the next chief executive and Julie Shuttleworth to be deputy CEO in a series of leadership changes at the company.
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It is a history-making announcement, given it is touted as the first time women have been appointed CEO and deputy CEO of a major Australian ASX-listed mining company.

The two female appointments represented half of four leadership appointments announced by Mr Forrest on Thursday, the major shareholder and chairman of the company. All four, which included a new chief operating officer (Greg Lilleyman) and a new chief financial officer (Ian Wells), were internal appointments.

Mr Forrest praised the appointees, describing Ms Gaines and Ms Shuttleworth as “a really phenomenal team” who got their positions on ability.

“The best people were appointed to these four positions, regardless of gender,” he said.

Ms Gaines, the miner’s chief financial officer, will become just the third CEO of the company, which was founded in 2003. She will succeed the highly regarded Nev Power.

“She has shown to her board that she has all the ability of a first-class leader,” Mr Forrest said.

In a media call shortly after the changes were unveiled, Ms Gaines, who was raised in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, acknowledged that the history-making element of the announcement would be “of interest” to people.

She also said: “I think it is an important signal to corporate Australia, around the importance of having diversity at the C-suite, not just around the board table. And there’s been quite a bit of progress made at a board level, but I think for the C-suite, there does need to be greater focus. And if these appointments actually bring that into focus I think that’s a good thing.”

At which point Mr Forrest added: “It’s a valuable by-product.”

Ms Gaines, 54, also said she was humbled and privileged to be selected as the next CEO of the Perth-based miner, one of the biggest iron ore producers in Australia. She joined Fortescue in 2013 as a non-executive director, and become CFO in early 2017.

Mr Forrest said the new leadership team would mark “a smooth transition of cultural change”, and the new leaders were expected to be in their new positions in early 2018.

“All four appointments are internal. I think that speaks volumes for the leadership of this company,” he said.

“This team brings together a group of incredible individuals who are ingrained with Fortescue’s culture, who all possess the experience, talent and personal values required to lead our company’s new direction. Collectively, they will champion Fortescue’s unique culture, which is built on the strength of our family values, looking out for your mates and having the courage and determination to set immensely challenging stretch targets and to, in general, deliver against them.”

Ms Shuttleworth, most recently general manager of Fortescue’s Solomon operations, said she was thrilled to be appointed deputy CEO. She said that the appointment of two female leaders by the miner would be “an inspiration to other women” across Australia.

Also on Thursday Mr Forrest said it was a “target” of Fortescue’s that in future, though he didn’t set a timetable, that “a majority” of the company’s iron ore production would have iron grades greater than 60 per cent.

This year Fortescue’s revenue from iron ore sales to China have been affected by the push by Chinese authorities to cut pollution. The push is hitting Chinese steel makers and having ramifications for miners, because iron ore is a key ingredient in steel making.

To address concerns over pollution, Chinese steelmakers are favouring ore with higher iron grades, which they pay higher prices for. Fortescue sells ore with iron grades of about 58.5 per cent, which attracts a lower price than the industry benchmark.

In October, when Fortescue released its September 2017 quarterly production report, Mr Power said the discounts for its iron ore were continuing for longer than expected “because of the continuing supply-side reform interventions” in China. At the time, Fortescue also lowered its price guidance for fiscal 2018.

Shares in Fortescue eased 2?? on Thursday, to close at $4.60.

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Forget Ivanka, 13-year-old Aussie entrepreneur Hamish is the star in India

Ivanka Trump may be dominating the headlines in India, but at age 13, Hamish Finlayson – the youngest entrepreneur at this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit – is winning their hearts. The summit, now in its eighth year, is for the first time being held in South Asia.
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The fast-growing tech city of Hyderabad is hosting more than 1500 entrepreneurs and investors from 150 countries around the world. Finlayson is becoming one of its most famous guests.

“I find the attention a bit overwhelming,” he tells Fairfax Media.

This week alone, he has been featured in national Indian publications and television channels, and is now attracting worldwide media attention about his five apps, which are mostly short video games either aimed at saving sea turtles or increasing awareness about autism.

Townsville local Finlayson, already a coding whiz, created his first app, LitterbugSmash, in August 2015. The games and quizzes in the app raise awareness about the harm plastic debris causes sea turtles.

As a young child he’d witnessed the plight of injured sea turtles at the Townsville-based sea turtle hospital. He recalls a sea turtle being trapped in the top of a plastic beer pack hole and decided to create platforms that taught people about how litter kills these endangered creatures.

“I wanted to use technology to solve real-life problems,” he says. “And I hate litter, so I decided to do one about litter.”

He entered the app into a competition against 7000 others, and was one of just nine Australians that made the final cut to pitch their ideas.

Despite coming second in the competition, he decided he would keep going.

Following on from LitterbugSmash was Nurdles vs Turtles, which focuses on the fact that 15.2 tonnes of plastic rubbish enter our oceans – another game designed to save sea turtles and protect the sea.

All up he now has five apps, which have been downloaded in 54 countries by more than 10,000 people.

He says China is a big market for downloads.

But his most personal app is the latest one, which was inspired by his own life.

Finlayson is autistic. His app, TripleTandASD raises awareness of autism.

Finlayson points out that 1 per cent of the population live with autism, which is about 74 million people.

“People can’t understand it [autism],” he says. “And so people mistreat those with autism. It’s not nice. My app helps people better understand it.”

He does this by making the user experience what it feels like to have autism and giving them tools to overcome it.

“For instance, Triple T is at a birthday party. An Elvis impersonator is singing for Triple T. And the other children are singing along but the noise becomes too loud for Triple T. So he goes to grab headphones so he can hear Elvis, but without the added noise.”

His father, Graeme Finlayson, says the app is attracting great community and social media feedback but his son is not prepared to monetise it for now.

If they did get funding it could be via a scheme like the national disability insurance scheme. For now, it is more about raising awareness and “breaking barriers about the disease”, says Graeme.

Hamish gets crowd funding and grants for developing his apps. He also recently got $40,000 from Facebook for a program that he took part in at last year’s summit in Silicon Valley.

In future, if he can make his sea turtle games longer, he may be able to sell them and attract investment for further projects.

For now he’s focused on a new virtual reality tool – he says he wants to study virtual technology and acting at university – “maybe I can make a movie about litter”.

His new game will help young kids cross the road.

“Transportation is a leading cause of injury in kids and teens,” Finlayson says. “I want to help change that, with a bit of fun along the way.”

Of course, “homework comes first and saving the world comes second.”

The writer travelled to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit as a guest of the US State Department.

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