August, 2019

Vaginal mesh only as last resort: report

Greens’ Rachel Siewert chaired a committee investigating risks associated with transvaginal mesh.A Senate committee has recommended transvaginal mesh only be used as a last resort after victims told an inquiry harrowing stories of devastating physical and mental scars.
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The mesh has been used since the 1990s to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women, with many experiencing severe impacts.

A report tabled in parliament on Wednesday made 13 recommendations including mandatory reporting of adverse effects on women, more information about the risks of implants and better training for doctors and surgeons.

“Many women who have had transvaginal mesh implants have had devastating complications resulting in ongoing emotional trauma, embarrassment, shame, depression, debilitating pain, recurring infection and a poor quality of life,” committee chair, Greens senator Rachel Siewert said.

Independent senator Derryn Hinch said the committee had heard frightening stories of complications for women who had been let down by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“Having first been told there’s only a one per cent chance of an adverse reaction, they have since been treated like mushrooms,” Senator Hinch said.

“Kept in the dark and fed bulls*** by doctors, hospital administrators, the drug companies and sadly even the TGA.”

The committee recommended the mesh be used only with fully informed consent and as a last resort when other treatment options have been properly considered and determined unsuitable.

Establishing a register of all high-risk devices and providing information of how to seek treatment in the event of complications were among the report’s other recommendations

“This should never have happened. We need to fix it. We need to be providing support for these women,” Senator Siewert said.

Senator Hinch said the netting, which had led to relationship breakdowns, could become brittle, break away in shards and splinters to float around the body.

“No wonder these slings have been called a torture device.”

Australian Associated Press


Win Myint new Myanmar president

Myanmar has elected Win Myint, a loyalist of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as its new president.Myanmar’s parliament has elected Win Myint, a loyalist of Aung San Suu Kyi, as new president, while she retained her executive authority over the government.
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The vote comes as Suu Kyi’s civilian government has struggled to implement peace and national reconciliation, with the powerful military still embroiled in combat with ethnic rebels and under heavy international criticism for its brutal counterinsurgency campaign against the Muslim Rohingya minority.

Myanmar’s military ruled the country for a half-century during which it was accused of widespread abuses before partially handing power to a civilian government in 2016. It is still in charge of security matters and still faces accusations of rights abuses.

Like his predecessor Htin Kyaw, who retired last week for reasons of ill health, Win Myint, 66, is a Suu Kyi loyalist of many years and a stalwart member of her National League for Democracy, an affiliation which earned him a brief spell as a political prisoner more than two decades ago under the previous military government.

When Suu Kyi’s government was installed in 2016, she explained that she would be “above the president,” a situation amenable to both the president and the public.

The job of state counsellor was created especially for Suu Kyi because she is constitutionally banned from the presidency. A clause in the 2008 military-drafted constitution bars anyone with a foreign spouse or child from holding the job. It clearly targeted Suu Kyi, whose two sons are British, as was her late husband.

Win Myint received 403 votes of the combined houses against 211 for Myint Swe, the military’s nominee, and 18 for Vice President Henry Van Tio.

Win Myint resigned as speaker of the lower house last week.

Australian Associated Press


Seagulls to offer lifeline to sacked Knight

Lakes United has emerged as the club most likely to sign sackedKnights utility Dylan Phythian should he fail to secure a start withanother NRL club.
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Knights coach Nathan Brown said the club will pick up the tab for Phythian’s rehabilitation costs after he was cut loose on Tuesday for returning a second positive drug test.

Brown also indicated he isprepared to do what he can to help Phythian find a home at another NRL club if he “learns from his mistakes and does the right thing over the next three to four months”.

“He is a good young kid who has made a couple of mistakes,” Brown said.

“The key now is that firstly, we hope thatPhyth learns from it. The club is going to help rehab him and if he does all the right things over the next three or four months, we’ll help him resume his career somewhere else.

“Dylan Phythian, in my opinion, is definitely going to be an NRL player if he has a bit of luck with injury and sorts a few social issues out.”

The immediate issue forPhythian is the 12 week ban he must serve before he is permitted to play again.

His junior club Lakes has already made contact with the 22-year-old with coach Todd Edwards indicating the Seagulls will be looking after one of their own.

“He’s obviously made a couple of wrong decisions but we want to do what we can to help him,”Edwards said.

“I’d personally like to see him get another start in the NRL but if that’s not possible, he is one of our juniors and the door is open here although the 12 week ban is obviously a bit of a hurdle.”

Brown defended the Knights decision to sack Phythian.

“From the club’s point of view, we didn’t have any other option. We’ve made it quite clear since Wests took over where we are heading as a club,”he said.

Gone: Sacked Knight Dylan Phythian has been linked to Newcastle club Lakes United. Picture: Marina Neil

“We made it clear we want young players to come to our club with their parents knowing there is not going to be players at the club doing social drugs.

“That’s what we want to do as a club. It’s disappointing because we put a lot of time into Phyth and when any player chooses to do this, it is a very selfish option.”


Senior Newcastle council staff go as restructure plan approved

Senior Newcastle council staff go as restructure plan approved Gone: Peter Chrystal was one of four senior Newcastle council staff members who departed council this week, along with Liz Burcham, Greg Essex and Andrew Baxter.
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Outbound: Cultural facilities director Liz Burcham was one of four senior staff to “part ways” with council on Wednesday, according to a statement from the city.

Decisions: Newcastle City Council CEO Jeremy Bath is leading the restructure – the details of which will be made public next week.

TweetFacebook Newcastle Herald understands each would be entitled to 38 weeks pay –believed to be a total of about $600,000.

“The organisation design will be shared in full with staff and the public next Tuesday,” he said.“The new structure will ensure staff more clearly understand their role and purposeand will deliver a better focus on servicing the community.”

Liberal councillor Brad Luke was not aware that the press release had been issued –or that the senior staff in question had departed –when contacted on Wednesday afternoon.

Read more: Newcastle council CEO investigating councillors’ communications

“It’s very concerning for the organisation,” he said.

“But I’m not surprised given the rumours going through the organisation.

“I’m very surprised council has put out a press release [about] this sort of loss today when staff aren’t being told [details of the restructure] until next week. A lot of people are going to be very stressed over Easter.”

But Mr Bath said the changes would affect only 21 senior staff members and he would meetwith each of them this week.

He said only four senior staff members would depart council as part of the restructure–their positions would no longer exist after ittakes effect on July 2.

Also part of the changes, council has reinstated director roles for Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Museum. The managers of each –Lauretta Morton at the art gallery and Julie Baird at the museum –were named as the new directors.

Read more: Newcastle council restructure wrong: Robbo

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the title of director was industry standard for cultural institutions.

“In their respective industry worlds, the title of director better ensures quality collections, astute acquisitions and also helps attract donations,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This change will further consolidate the importance of these facilities to our city.”


Kelly’s killer allegedly punched inmate

Convicted killer Kieran Loveridge has faced court after a jail inmate was allegedly punched (file).The man serving time in jail for killing teenager Thomas Kelly with one punch in Sydney’s Kings Cross has been charged after he allegedly hit another inmate in a gang-related attack in jail.
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Kieran Loveridge, 24, allegedly punched Matthew Rymer – who is reportedly the president of the Rebels bikie gang’s Penrith chapter – at Silverwater jail on February 26.

The pair then began wrestling before correctional service officers intervened, a NSW Police spokeswoman told AAP on Wednesday.

Rymer, 34, was treated for facial injuries.

Police criminal group Strikeforce Raptor, which is charged with dismantling violent bikie gangs, investigated the attack and charged Loveridge with affray on Tuesday.

Loveridge, who won’t be released from jail until at least 2022 for the manslaughter of Mr Kelly nearly five years ago, appeared by video link in Burwood Local Court on Wednesday. Bail was formally refused.

Court documents suggest the February incident was gang-related and four witnesses saw the attack. The matter is due back at Burwood Local Court on April 11.

Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace said it was unclear what led to the fight.

“It could just be a chance meeting, we won’t know,” she told reporters in Sydney.

“This was just an incident that occurred, that often occurs, and we addressed it straight away.”

The 24-year-old was in 2013 sentenced to four years jail for Mr Kelly’s manslaughter, but a 2014 appeal by the director of public prosecutions meant Loveridge’s time behind bars was almost doubled.

He was ordered to serve a non-parole period of seven years meaning the earliest he could be released would be mid-November 2022.

Mr Kelly, 18, suffered catastrophic head injuries after Loveridge punched him once in an unprovoked attack at Sydney’s Kings Cross, in mid-2012.

In September 2015, Loveridge was moved from a NSW mid north coast correctional centre to Goulburn Supermax prison after allegations he had an affair with a female prison guard.

The guard, Jody Marson, was dismissed following investigations of an “improper relationship”.

Australian Associated Press