NRL posts

ARL Commission votes in controversial ‘no-fault stand down’ policy

The Australian Rugby League Commission has approved the rules surrounding its ‘no-fault stand down policy’.

A new, automatic ‘no fault’ stand down rule has now been officially added to the NRL rules, giving effect to the policy that was announced last month.

The game’s eight commissioners agreed to the terms of the new rule this afternoon, giving the NRL power to stand down players charged with serious criminal offences.

The NRL CEO will also be able to sand down players with other criminal offences, using his own discretion.

It comes just three days before Dragons star Jack de Belin returns to the Federal Court to argue the legality of the policy.

De Belin, Rabbitoh’s Dylan Walker and Panther’s Tyrone May have now been formally stood down pending the outcome of their court cases.

Wine Cheers

Health check: is moderate drinking good for me?

Hassan Vally, La Trobe University

For the past three decades or so, the conventional wisdom has been that drinking alcohol at moderate levels is good for us.

The evidence for this has come from many studies that have suggested the death rate for moderate drinkers is lower than that for non-drinkers. In other words, we thought moderate drinkers lived longer than those who didn’t drink at all.

This phenomenon has been communicated with great impact by the J-shaped curve that shows death rates fall as you move from non-drinking to moderate drinking, before rising again as drinking levels increase.



Most of us embraced these studies with enthusiasm. But the findings were probably too good to be true. The problem has always been the potential mixing of many other variables – called confounding factors – with drinking.

The concern was that non-drinkers as a group in many of these previous studies were different to moderate drinkers in many ways in addition to their drinking. Non-drinkers may have been unhealthier to begin with (hence not taking up drinking in the first place) or they may have included recovering alcoholics with poor health.

These confounding factors may have made moderate drinkers look healthier than they actually were (relative to non-drinkers) and thus have led us to associate moderate drinking with better health.

More recent studies have been able to address this challenge of separating out the effect of drinking on health, independent of other confounding factors. And these newer studies tell us moderate drinking is probably not good for us at all.

Instead of the J-shaped curve described previously, the most recent evidence is showing a curve that continues on an upward trajectory.


As you increase your level of drinking beyond not drinking at all, for all levels of drinking, your health outcomes worsen. The curve starts off relatively flat, before rising dramatically, indicating much higher rates of early death as drinking levels increase.

So what is the health cost of moderate drinking?

If we look at a recent Lancet study that addressed this issue, we can start to make sense of this cost. This suggests that if you drink one alcoholic drink per day you have a 0.5% higher risk of developing one of 23 alcohol-related health conditions.

But risk expressed in this way is difficult to interpret. It’s only when we convert this to an absolute risk that we can begin to understand the actual magnitude of this risk to our health. It translates to four more deaths per 100,000 people due to alcohol, which is actually a pretty small risk (but an increased risk nonetheless).

This risk estimation assumes several things, including that you drink alcohol every single day, so you would expect the risk to be smaller for those who drink every other day or only occasionally.

The latest evidence suggests the health cost of light to moderate drinking, if there is one, is quite small. What was previously thought to be a marginal benefit of moderate alcohol drinking is now considered a marginal cost to health.

So for you as an individual, what does this new evidence mean?

Maybe it means having to lose the contentedness you have felt as you drink your evening glass of wine, believing it was also improving your health.

Or maybe this new evidence will give you the motivation to reduce your drinking, even if you are only a moderate drinker.

Of course, if you get pleasure from drinking responsibly, and you have no intention of changing your drinking habits, then you will have to consider and accept this potential cost to your health.

But remember, the evidence is still incontrovertible that drinking high levels
of alcohol is very bad for you. It will shorten the length of your life and affect the quality of your life and those around you.The Conversation

Hassan Vally, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, La Trobe University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Ground-breaking Swedish IVF technology gives fresh hope to Gold Coast patients

A brand new weapon in the fight against infertility is showing promising results just six months into its Gold Coast trial.

Monash IVF is the only clinic in the city where patients can access the state of the art automated lab technology that could hold the key to more successful IVF treatments world-wide.

The next generation digital imaging technology monitors early stage embryo development and selection, providing 24 hour time-lapse videos to assess embryos around the clock.

The time-lapse machine combines an incubator, a microscope, a high resolution camera and computer software that captures focused images, automatically removing the need for embryos to be disturbed.

Senior Monash IVF Specialist Dr Kee Ong says the high definition image technology has increased embryo monitoring time by over 100,000 percent.

“Traditionally, embryos are removed from the incubator two days after fertilisation and then again after five days for observation under a microscope,” he said.

“Up until now, we’ve had no way of knowing how an embryo is progressing in between. We can now analyse more than 7200 minutes of development during the first five days compared with the standard 6-10 minutes.”

Each machine is capable of incubating 240 embryos at a time assisting up to 15 women simultaneously.

“We know the less an embryo is handled the better. We can now take a picture every 10 minutes, quickly identify embryos that are developing abnormally as well as the strongest embryo most likely to establish a pregnancy,” Dr Ong said.

“IVF is a journey that can take a severe emotional and financial toll on patients. We aim to achieve pregnancy in the shortest possible time frame and increased ability to choose the best embryo will get us there even quicker.

“It may be that all embryos are cultured this way in the future. Right now, we’re trialing the technology and gathering data to determine its full potential.”

Dr Ong says faster more accurate results leading to faster decision making for clinicians about treatment options is incredible news for every woman undergoing IVF or ICSI.

“This technology is most beneficial though for women who have experienced repeated IVF failure after embryo transfer; women whose embryos have failed to develop; those who have experienced repeated miscarriage and for women over 35 years of age,” Dr Ong said.

“The time-lapse technology provides us with a depth of information about embryo quality that simply wasn’t available before and we’re excited by the fresh hope we can now offer to women and couples struggling to conceive.

“We can now reduce handling, increase monitoring, allow for better embryo selection and potentially provide patients with the very first video of their miracle baby.

“It’s an exciting moment for reproductive medicine and it’s happening right here on the Gold Coast!”

Partnering with assisted reproduction pioneers, Monash IVF, Dr Kee Ong is located in Short Street Southport in the city’s only all-encompassing fertility treatment centre.

For the first time on the Gold Coast, patients can access consultation and early fertility treatment through to surgical procedures, IVF and allied health in one location.

“The highest pregnancy rates can only be achieved by a combination of excellent clinical management and an excellent laboratory,” Dr Ong said.

“Investing in ground-breaking technology and modern medicine while embracing alternative health treatments in a holistic approach really does give patients the very best chance to conceive.”

This is a sponsored editorial brought to you by Dr Kee Ong.


QAS Emergency Response Wehicle responding

Teenager hospitalised after car crashed into pole on Gold Coast

A teenager has been hospitalised after a nasty crash in Yatala in the early hours of this morning.

Emergency services were called to the scene on Stanmore Road around 2.40am, following reports of the crash.

The male – in his late teens – had crashed into a pole on the side of the road.

He suffered chest injuries, and was treated briefly at the scene before being transported.

Paramedics took him to Gold Coast University Hospital.

He’s believed to be in a stable condition.

Luke Perry, 90210 and Riverdale star, dies

American actor Luke Perry, the former star of 1990s television series Beverly Hills, 90210, has died aged 52 after suffering a massive stroke last week.

“Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering a massive stroke,” his publicist Arnold Robinson said in a statement on Monday.

The statement said he was surrounded by his close family and friends.

“The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time,” the statement added.

Perry was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday morning after suffering the stroke at his home, celebrity website reported last week.

Born in Mansfield, Ohio, Perry moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue acting. His TV career began when he was 16, and the actor cut his teeth acting in soap operas such as ABC’s Loving and Another World on NBC, and doing voice work for animated series such as The Incredible Hulk and Biker Mice From Mars.

However, in 1990 Perry became a household name for playing the brooding loner Dylan McKay on the smash hit teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 on Fox.

The show became a phenomenon, catapulting Perry to full-blown teen idol status. He appeared on a racy Vanity Fair cover in July 1992.

Perry had two runs on 90210, one from 1990 to 1995 and another from 1998 to the show’s end in 2000, during which time his character struggled with alcohol abuse and drug addiction, and went through a series of tumultuous relationships with several other main characters including Brenda (played by Shannen Doherty) and Kelly (played by Jennie Garth).

Perry was hospitalised the same day Fox announced a six-episode revival of the show, featuring returning cast members Jason Priestley, Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling. Perry had not been announced to return.

While starring in 90210, Perry made a brief appearance as Billy Masterson in Luc Besson’s wacky sci-fi pic The Fifth Element in 1997.

More recently, Perry made a successful return to the TV drama genre with a regular role on the CW show Riverdale.

He played Fred Andrews, the conservative, old-fashioned yet soft father of the show’s lead Archie Andrews (KJ Apa).

He will appear posthumously in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, playing the real-life Canadian-American actor Wayne Maunder who starred in the CBS Western TV show Lancer.

Perry is survived by his daughter Sophie and his son Jack, a professional wrestler who goes by the ring name “Jungle Boy” Nate Coy.

© RAW 2019