Fitness fanatic knocked out at Spilt Milk festival by Jese Smith-Shields describes ‘night terrors’ | The Canberra Times

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A fitness fanatic who suffered a broken jaw when he was knocked out by a former friend at a Canberra music festival suffers regular “night terrors” after the assault he still struggles to understand. In a victim impact statement read to the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday, the young man detailed his significant struggles in the wake of the attack perpetrated by Jese Smith-Shields. Smith-Shields, a 22-year-old who once aspired to be a professional rugby league player, was found guilty last month of assault occasioning actual bodily harm over the 2018 incident at Spilt Milk. He was cleared, however, of the more serious charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm. This could only be because the trial jury rejected his claims that he punched the victim in self-defence, but found that he had lacked the criminal intent required for a guilty verdict on that count. The court heard during Smith-Shields’ trial that the altercation had stemmed from “bad blood” linked to unsubstantiated rumours that the 22-year-old’s ex-girlfriend had slept with the victim. Another man, Bayley Loughhead, stood trial alongside Smith-Shields and was found not guilty of both charges. Smith-Shields’ sentencing proceedings began on Thursday, when Crown prosecutor Trent Hickey read statements from the victim and his mother. The victim said the assault had left him unable to eat anything but pureed food for several weeks. He also described suffering regular headaches as a consequence, as well as night terrors in which he imagines someone chasing and trying to hurt him. The man said two years on, he still did not understand why he was assaulted. “I thought we were mates,” he said of Smith-Shields. The man also detailed feeling “totally useless” while unable to work, having to give up his passion of playing rugby league, and being unable to train at the gym for a time in what he said was a big blow to his mental health. His jaw still regularly “clicks” and hurts, but he plans to live with the pain rather than undergo further surgery because he does not want to spend more time away from work and the gym. Despite all this, he said he was grateful that he did not end up dead or with a brain injury. “I keep thinking over and over again, what if I didn’t wake up?” the man said. Mr Hickey urged Justice John Burns to sentence Smith-Shields to a jail term, even if it was suspended, arguing that a good behaviour order on its own would not be a strong enough penalty. He said it was important to deter others for similar offending after such a public incident that involved “a targeted and direct blow to the head”. Mr Hickey also asked the judge to accept the account of a particular witness who described the knockout blow as having been delivered “in a king hit fashion”. He also highlighted the fact that “the offender decamped from the scene quickly” after delivering the knockout punch, saying it was

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Italy imposing night curfew, other restrictions

ROME — Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has signed off on new pandemic rules that include a nationwide overnight curfew and tighter restrictions on the country’s regions where infections are surging and hospitals risk running out of beds for COVID-19 patients.

The decree is to take effect Thursday. Regions to be hit with the strictest limits are to be announced Wednesday. Those restrictions include at least a two-week ban on entering or leaving the region’s territory and closure of all shops except essential ones like food stores.

One of those areas is expected to be the northern region of Lombardy. It bore the brunt of the pandemic earlier this year, and it is reeling again under a new surge, especially in its financial capital, Milan.



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MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin health officials reported a record 5,771 new coronavirus cases and 52 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with a testing positivity rate tracking ever higher.

Hospitalizations rose by 247 in the state, which for weeks has ranked as one of the nation’s worst hot spots for the virus. The state’s daily average of new cases has risen by 44% over the past two weeks, making it fourth-worst in the country for new cases per capita, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Wisconsin had risen over the past two weeks to 14.72% as of Monday.

Wisconsin has seen 2,102 deaths from the virus.


INDIANAPOLIS — Former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, the Republican candidate for Indiana attorney general, has tested positive for COVID-19 after developing “some symptoms,” his campaign announced Tuesday.

Rokita faces Democratic candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel in Tuesday’s statewide election. He had been quarantining with his family after he was informed “by a person unconnected to any campaign activities that he was exposed to COVID-19,” Rokita’s campaign said in a statement.

The campaign said Rokita “just recently tested positive after developing some symptoms” and is doing well and working from home. Rokita planned to watch Tuesday’s election returns there with his family.

Rokita defeated current Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill, who faced allegations that he drunkenly groped four women during a party, for the GOP nomination in July.

Democrats are hoping Weinzapfel, a former Evansville mayor, can break the stranglehold Republicans have over state government in the most-contested statewide campaign on this year’s election ballot.


PARIS — France reported 854 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday,

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Beware of Blood Pressure Changes at Night | Health News

By Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter


MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — If your blood pressure changes a lot overnight — either rising or falling — you may have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study from Japan reports.

When systolic blood pressure (the top number) jumps up by 20 mm/Hg or more during the night, the risk of heart disease and stroke goes up by 18% and the risk of heart failure increases by 25%.

If people consistently had higher blood pressure readings at night, but normal readings during the day, the risk of heart failure more than doubled. The researchers, writing in the journal Circulation, dubbed this a “riser pattern.”

On the other hand, for people with a drop in blood pressure of more than 20%, the study team noted a more than twice the risk of stroke. They called this group “extreme dippers.”

“Nighttime blood pressure is increasingly being recognized as a predictor of cardiovascular risk,” study lead author Dr. Kazuomi Kario said in a journal news release. He’s chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Jichi Medical University in Tochigi, Japan.

Dr. Raymond Townsend, an expert volunteer for the American Heart Association, said blood pressure is typically higher in the morning and lower in the afternoon and evening.

Compared to the overall daytime blood pressure pattern, “blood pressure is generally about 10% to 20% lower during sleep. Sleep time offers a relatively pure look at blood pressure. Most factors that influence blood pressure are minimized during sleep,” he explained.

But health care professionals usually rely on in-office blood pressure measurements taken during the day to diagnose high blood pressure and to figure out whether or not a blood pressure medication is working or not, the researchers said. These daytime measurements may miss high blood pressure that happens at night. They can also miss big dips in blood pressure.

Dr. John Osborne, director of cardiology at State of the Heart Cardiology in Dallas, said, “When we measure blood pressure in the office, we’re mainly getting daytime blood pressure. Seeing what happens at night can give us a much deeper insight.”

Osborne said this study “is another signal that we really need to incorporate ambulatory blood pressure monitoring into the evaluation of high blood pressure. If we only see blood pressure during the day, it dramatically reduces our ability to assess overall risk.”

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring allows doctors to see blood pressure levels over a 24-hour period, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Patients are fitted with a blood pressure cuff and sent home with a portable monitor that automatically inflates at regular intervals. The machine also records each blood pressure reading it takes in a day.

The current study included more than 6,300 Japanese adults. Their average age was 69. Almost half were men, and more than three-quarters were on blood pressure lowering medications. The average follow-up time was four years.

During the study, volunteers had 20 daytime and

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Statistical errors and a wild night on the tiles

Carlo Rovelli makes a profoundly important proposal (Statistical illiteracy isn’t a niche problem. During a pandemic, it can be fatal, 26 October) and focuses particularly on the need for schoolchildren to understand how statistics work, and their relevance and applicability. It would be possible to include in such teaching the equally important concepts of scale and magnitude; these are just as powerful in testing the accuracy of the picture of the world which we are given.

a plate that has some furniture in it: Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/Alamy

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/Alamy

So often there is a failure to grasp that assertions (by politicians, for example) can be easily tested. The size of an entity (for example, the numbers of those defrauding the benefits system) or the relative sizes of two entities (say, the degree by which the wealth and health of the rich exceed the wealth and health of everyone else) can be easily estimated by logical steps, easily taught.

Greg Conway

Amersham, Buckinghamshire

• Having profoundly disagreed with the likely results of the throwing of 100 grains of rice at 400 tiles suggested in Carlo Rovelli’s article – “We tried numerous times … and there was always a tile with two, three, four, even five or more grains on it” – and not having 400 tiles, I numbered some imaginary tiles from one to 400 and instructed Excel to do the rice-throwing (100 random numbers between one and 400) and then count how many tiles were occupied not at all, once, twice, thrice, etc. On average, it was just under 312, 78, 10, one respectively, and thereafter none. I calculated that were I to repeat the experiment 20 times or so, I might be 50/50 for a four-occupancy, but for five, that would be 400 times.

a close up of a plate on a table: Caroline Matheson disputes the results of an experiment involving the throwing of rice on to a tiled floor, referred to in Carlo Rovelli’s article.

© Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/Alamy
Caroline Matheson disputes the results of an experiment involving the throwing of rice on to a tiled floor, referred to in Carlo Rovelli’s article.

Clearly with the table in the middle, not to mention unspecified numbers of people occupying otherwise perfectly good tiles, the basic assumptions of this experiment were violated. But I’m wondering how long this party went on for. And who did the clearing up?

Video: Working From Home May Be Making Us Less Creative, Study Suggests (Cover Video)

Working From Home May Be Making Us Less Creative, Study Suggests



Caroline Matheson

Teaching associate, Selwyn College, Cambridge

• We should all be taught statistics, but reading and interpretation are also important. The example given in Carlo Rovelli’s article is wrong. We are told that the disease in question is “rare” and “non-infectious”. The “rice-throwing” example then given equates to a common disease: one that will affect 100 people spread across 400 workplaces. Other important factors are not given. How big is the workplace? If five people in my department (of around 50 people) came down with the same rare, non-infectious disease, I would indeed be looking for common factors in my workplace, which would be correct.

Prof Scarlett Thomas

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Artificial Light May Make Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes ‘Abnormally’ Active At Night, Study Shows


  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are more active when there is natural light
  • A study found that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite twice as much at night when there is artificial light 
  • The study highlights how increasing levels of light pollution could impact transmission of diseases like dengue

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are carriers of dengue and Zika viruses, are known to be active biters during the daytime, but a team of researchers has found that artificial lights can “abnormally” increase their biting behavior even at night.

Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes transmit various mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika fever. The species mostly bite in the early morning and in the afternoon hours when there is light, but what happens when they are exposed to artificial lights at night?

To find out, a team of researchers conducted an experiment wherein the study’s first author, Samuel S. C. Rund of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences, let mosquitoes bite him under certain conditions including during daytime, at night, and at nighttime while exposed to artificial light. They then measured the mosquitoes’ blood-feeding behavior.

As expected, the mosquitoes fed more during the daytime and less at night. However, mosquitoes that were exposed to artificial light at night were actually twice as likely to bite compared to those not exposed, a news release from the University of Notre Dame said.

This shows that mosquitoes that feed during the daytime tend to bite more at night when there is artificial light.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen at the Laboratory of Entomology and Ecology of the Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 6, 2016. Photo: Reuters

“This is potentially a very valid problem that shouldn’t be overlooked,” study co-author Giles Duffield, also of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences, said in the news release. “They live and breed in the vicinity of houses, so the chances of Aedes aegypti being exposed to light pollution are very likely.”

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are considered “container-inhabiting” mosquitoes, the University of Florida (UF) explains, because they often breed in items that are commonly seen in or around a house, such as spare tires, drainage ditches, untreated swimming pools and unused flower pots. 

“They thrive in urbanized areas, in close contact with people making them an exceptionally successful vector,” the university in a feature.

The Notre Dame team said their study “highlights the concern that globally increasing levels of light pollution could be impacting arboviral disease transmission, such as dengue fever and Zika, and has implications for application of countermeasures for mosquito vector control.” 

The researchers are studying the relationship between artificial light and Aedes ageypti and trying to understand whether there is a genetic factor to the mosquitoes’ biting behavior since not all of them are willing to bite at night even with the lights, the news release said. 

The study is published in The American Journal of

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