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59-year-old discovers she is adopted on Christmas Day

13/05/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

Kim Ross as a baby with her adoptive mother, Doreen Adams. Photo: SuppliedOn Christmas Day, 2016, Brisbane woman Kim Ross shared something unusual on Facebook.
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The 59-year-old mother and wife then got a phone call. It was an old family friend.

“Kim I think there’s something you should know,” he said.

The next 30 seconds saw Kim scrambling to process several unnerving facts. Her parents were not her biological parents. They died without telling her this. But almost everyone else in her family knew. Kim was, understandably, stunned.

“It did sort of muck Christmas up,” she says, putting it mildly.

Certainly the timing could not have been more incongruous. Christmas had been a time for family and sentimentality. Now, it seemed her entire childhood – and 40 years of adulthood – had been a lie.

Holidays were always happy times when Kim was growing up. There were pets and cousins and grandparents. An only child, Kim lived with her parents in the seaside Auckland suburb St Helier’s Bay, New Zealand. There was a stint in the US, before her father eventually relocated the family to ‘s Gold Coast whenKim was 16. By the time she was 19, her father was dead. What the grieving Kim didn’t know was that she was burying the truth of her identity along with the man she’d always called dad. His dying wish was that his daughter be kept in the dark. The family, sworn to secrecy, kept their word.

“He was an imposing figure,” Kim recalls. “He was also very much loved. And it was a different time; people kept secrets back then.”

Yet secrets aren’t as easily kept these days as technology improves people’s ability to play family detective.

Trevor Jordan, president of adoption support agency Jigsaw Queensland and a late-discovery adoptee himself, saysfamily skeletons have started walking out of closets en masse in recent years. He says what had been a gradual awakening since ‘s closed adoption system was eased in the 1990s has, in the past two years, become much more prevalent, leading to a surge in demand for counselling services.

There are several reasons for this, he explains. The digitisation of government records, the commercialisation of family trees via companies like Ancestry苏州夜总会招聘, the rise in social media, and a significant reduction in costs associated with DNA testing. “Over this Christmas we saw really heavy advertising of the home testing on television … and people have been buying them as gifts,” Jordan says. Since 2008, when Victorian company DNA Solutions became one of the first firms to offer at-home test kits, there’s been a proliferation of competitive products. Price has also come down, from nearly $300 close to a decade ago, to about $150 today.

Jordan admits he too is waiting for the results of a saliva sample he sent to the US labs of Ancestry苏州夜总会招聘. “There has been an upturn in interest, and we’re finding people are needing our help when they’re confronted with truths about all sorts of things; not just adoption. It could be that you receive results that might indicate the man you grew up thinking was your biological father may not actually be, and that can present all sorts of challenging questions… and I’m not sure we’re properly prepared for the consequences this [home DNA testing] might bring about.”

Trevor’s fears are shared by retired molecular biologist Dr Michael Brisco, who helped developed DNA tests while working as a scientist at Flinders University. There are Facebook groups with thousands of members all searching for genetic clues about their identities, but Dr Brisco points out interpreting the results of DNA tests requires a comprehensive understanding of the complex language of genetics. He says test results used to be given in clinical environments by qualified genetic counsellors, adept at translating scientific data and communicating probable impacts; these days, many people are receiving genetic test results in an email from a company overseas. Dr Brisco says the DIY DNA process should be treated with caution.

“There are some tests that are far more conclusive than others,” he says. “There’s no reason people shouldn’t carry out these at-home tests, and certainly the results can reveal broad details about someone’s likely origins, but these are just quick looks – glances if you will – a glance at something that doesn’t really tell you anything specific or especially conclusive. Of course, if there is something that appears amiss, well then you check it out.”

Checking out a wonky result was exactly what led Kim to uncover the truth. Even before she started plotting her family tree online, she had been bothered by a strange, instinctive feeling that she somehow didn’t quite fit in. She would often joke with her mother and family about the small, seemingly inconsequential differences between her and her cousins. She was tone-deaf, they were musical. They were very petite, she was always just a little bit larger. Sometimes Kim would wonder aloud whether she really was her mother’s daughter. But her questions were always rebuffed, her doubts dismissed. She was reassured she was one of them, and that was all there was toit.

“‘Of course you’re not adopted,” Kim recalls her parents saying. “I used to say, ‘If I am, it’s OK; you can tell me,’ but they never did.”

Indeed, no-one ever breathed a word. It wasn’t until her grandmother died that she came across a crucial wrinkle in the family’s fabric. While sorting papers after the funeral, Kim discovered documents pertaining to the Ngai Tahu; a prominent iwi from southern New Zealand. It was a surprising discovery; no-one had ever discussed Maori ties. This was the revelation that led Kim to research the family’s newfound heritage. She didn’t know it then, but she was starting down a path that would eventually unravel her entire identity.

“I began researching our family’s heritage when I was about 30, and eventually, I signed up for Ancestry苏州夜总会招聘,” Kim explains. “As the technology progressed, and the more I used the program, the family tree I was able to chart became more detailed.

“Then they started offering DNA analysis. I thought, ‘Why not give that a go?’.”

So Kim spat in a tube and sent the sample to the company’s labs in the US. She was expecting some sort of chart back that would indicate what percentage of her DNA was Polynesian, and what other ethnicities she was linked to. Dr Brisco explains this kind of testing works by comparing an individual’s genetic sample with data collected from people with well-established, multi-generational links to a particular location. “Therefore you can assess whether someone’s particular DNA sample is more or less like the Irish samples in the database,” he says.

Kim’s results, however, were startling to her.

“It showed no Polynesian blood,” she said. “It didn’t make any sense. So I followed it up and the company told me that I could be Polynesian, but that I didn’t carry any genetic markers or indicators, and I thought, ‘Ok, that sounds like a reasonable explanation’. But it I still felt odd about it, so I posted the result on Facebook, and that’s when I got the phone call.”

“That’s when an old friend of the family called me up and told me, ‘Kim, you’re adopted’.”

More phone calls followed, along with apologies, confessions and explanations. The extent of the deception became clear. It was confirmed without a doubt when Kim applied for, and received, her pre-adoptive birth certificate.

“Pretty much everyone in my family knew except me,” she says. “One of my cousins said, ‘Kim, you’ve got to realise, they did it out of love for you. As far as they were concerned, you were their child, and that’s all there was to it.'”

But Kim finds it hard to get asense of closure, particularly because her parents are no longeralive.

“I don’t agree with their decision in hindsight. Especially when I asked the question over and over, and was told I was wrong, only to find out later that my instinct was right.”

Kim confesses her biggest anguish was her adoptive mother’s silence.

“I had 30 years with my mother after dad died,” she says. “I felt a bit disappointed she wasn’t honest with me. Though as far as I’m concerned, she is still my mother, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.”

Three months later and Kim has, however, tracked down her real mother.

“She’d married twice, had name changes, but I found her. I thought, ‘I’ll write her a letter rather than call’ – I didn’t want it to be a shock for her; her daughter calling her, out of the blue, after 60 years.”

Kim waited for a reply to arrive, and kept busy with her research. There was no father’s name on the birth certificate. The blank space was a source of great frustration. Trevor Jordan says all too often, questions around paternity are the main source of confusion for people looking for answers.

But even when Kim made contact with her mother, she was left bitterly disappointed. Though responsive, Kim’s biological mum wasn’tentirely forthcoming. And she lacked one vital detail: the legal name of the man who left her a pregnant teenager. “It was a different era,” Kim says. Nurses removed Kim from her mother as soon as she was born, her mother was alone in a house for unmarried girls, and had been sent there by a family who never spoke of the matter again.

“Back in her day there was a stigma attached to me,” Kim says. “I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have been in the ’40s,’50s and find yourself pregnant at 15 years of age. You’re still a child.”

Kim’s not sure if she’d ready to meet her real mother yet. She’s not sure her real mother wants to meet her either. Kim’s children know, but for them, Kim’s adoptive mother will always be grandma, and the ties to her family remain steadfast, despite the absence of blood, and the upheaval of last Christmas.

“It still all feels a little unreal,” Kim says.

“Everyone is entitled to the reality of their own existence.”

First appeared on the Brisbane Times

Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight at Suncorp Stadium

13/05/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

“I believe I can beat these guys”: Boxer Jeff Horn is set to take on Manny Pacquiao. Photo: Getty ImagesThe biggest fight in n history has been given the green light. Former schoolteacher Jeff Horn will face the great Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium on July 2, with the bout now officially locked in for a super Sunday in Brisbane.
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Fairfax Media understands details were due to be released on Sunday for the bout, which stands to sell out the famous rugby league venue and give local fighter Horn the chance of a lifetime to upset one of the sport’s legends, as well as claim the WBO welterweight crown.

Both camps have now signed their respective contracts and the remaining details between the Queensland Government, stadium management and promoters have been ironed out, even if a spokesperson for Tourism and Events Minister Kate Jones insisted no deal had yet been finalised as of Saturday.

The venue was one of the remaining sticking points but Horn’s promotional company, Duco Events, have ensured it would be fought in front of a partisan home crowd, which they are hoping will fill every seat in the 52,500-seat cauldron.

Earlier in the week, Duco had played down ‘speculation’ about the fight as the final preparations were still being made. But now the countdown can officially begin to what will be one of the biggest sporting events staged in this year.

Pacquiao had been keen to fight Amir Khan in the Middle East but with that fight going up in smoke, the Filipino politician will step out against the 29-year-old Horn, who has 16 wins and a draw in his brief professional career after going pro following the London Olympics.

Pacquiao, 38, retired briefly before coming back to claim the WBO title from Jessie Vargaslast November. He has now entered the final stages of his career and Horn stands to be one of his final opponents.

He would likely begin his training in the Philippines before relocating to Brisbane in the lead-up to the fight. A strong contingent of his fans are expected to travel to Brisbane for the event.

Earlier in the week, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who manages Pacquiao and has a joint-deal with Horn, told theLos Angeles Timesthe deal was essentially done and there was nothing standing in the way of the bout going ahead.

It will likely be a pay-per-view in but could be aired on free-to-air television across the United States. The undercard will be another talking point but it could include heavyweight Alex Leapai, who once challenged Wladimir Klitschko and has come out of retirement.

Horn remains a steady underdog but has been in steady training after the original date in April fell through. He believes he has all the tools to spring an upset on Pacquiao, which could end his career if it came to fruition.

First appeared on the Brisbane Times

Sweden truck attack suspect 39-year-old Uzbekistan-born man

13/05/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

The scene shortly after a truck crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday. Photo: APSwedish police said on Saturday that they had arrested a 39-year-old Uzbekistan-born man they believed had hijacked a beer truck and carried out a terrorist attack by driving the truck into a crowd of people in Stockholm the day before, killing four and injuring at least 15 others.
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Prosecutors and police officials did not identify the suspect, but AndersThornberg, head of the Swedish Security Service, said at a news conference that the man had been on authorities’ radar some time ago.

Thornbergsaid that the agency had looked into information it received on the suspect last year, but that it had not led to anything. He said the suspect was not on any current list of people being monitored.

The Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported that a bag with explosives had been found in the truck used in the attack.

Thornbergsaid that the agency had looked into information it received on the suspect last year, but that it had not led to anything. He said the suspect was not on any current list of people being monitored.

The Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported that a bag with explosives had been found in the truck used in the attack.

Some reports suggested the suspect was a father of four who had previously posted jihadist propaganda on his Facebook page and had images of people injured in the explosion at the Boston Marathon in April 2013.

On Saturday, the police chief, DanEliasson, said: “We have found something in the truck in the driver’s compartment, a technical device that should not be there. I cannot say whether this is a bomb or some sort of flammable material.”

Prosecutors said the suspect had not spoken, and there was no immediate word of any criminal charges. ButEliassonsaid there was “nothing to indicate we have the wrong person.”

Eliassonwould not say how long the suspect had been living in Sweden.

He said there were clear similarities with the deadly terrorist attack in London last month, in which a British-born man used a vehicle to mow down a crowd of people on Westminster Bridge before he was shot and killed by police.

On Saturday, people placed flowers outside the department store in Stockholm where the attack occurred as a memorial to the victims.KarolinskaHospital in Stockholm said that six of the injured had been released. Police said eight people remainedhospitalised.

The beer truck, stolen earlier on Friday, mowed down pedestrians alongDrottninggatan, a busy pedestrian shopping street.

The suspect was detained in a northern Stockholm suburb on Friday and later arrested on suspicion of having committed a terrorism crime, police said.

The New York Times

First appeared on SMH

Bass Hill Public School principal turned violence and attitude around

13/05/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

Melissa Proctor, Principal of Bass Hill Public School with students, Kory Allen, Daniel Glynatis, Maher Tahan, Roukaya Maarbani, May Ali and Nourhan Ghalayini, in Sydney. Photo: Janie BarrettAs many as 10 brawls a week, children walking out of class whenever they felt like it and teachers refusing to set foot in certain parts of the playground.
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That was what Melissa Proctor was confronted with when she first came to Bass Hill Public School as its new principal in 2014.

“It was viewed by the community as the school you don’t go to,” Mrs Proctor said.

“There was violence on the playground, violence in the classrooms, disrespect towards adults.

“The culture was that if you didn’t like something someone did or said, you’d hit them.”

Three years later, it’s a completely different story.

Students who were some of the worst offenders are now on the school’s student representative council and winning awards for positive behaviour.

The number of suspensions have dropped from as many as 50 in Mrs Proctor’s first year on the job to about 20 last year and just one so far this year.

She said the narrow academic focus of schools and teachers is partly to blame for common behavioural problems.

“We teach kids writing, reading and numbers but we expect them to behave,” she said.

“So bit by bit, we taught them what we wanted to see.”

She started talking to children and their parents and getting to know the families at the school.

“We had one little boy who would pick up sticks and hit people at lunchtime,” she said.

“When we started talking to him and his dad, we worked out he didn’t want to be out on the playground with 350 other kids, it was too much for him.

“His teachers worked with him and now he’s doing very well.”

Mrs Proctor also made it impossible for students to get out of class, no matter what they did.

“Kids had the idea that if they act out, they’ll be sent out and won’t have to learn,” she said.

“We told them they’d always be sent back and we’d talk to them at lunchtime.”

The school stands out for the much broader approach it takes to learning, with time set aside for meditation and mindfulness in the classroom.

“We have a social and emotional learning curriculum, not just an academic curriculum,” she said.

“We’re looking more at wellbeing, which means kids are calmer, their brains are more focussed and they’re ready to learn.”

Mrs Proctor’s success has led to her winning a scholarship to Harvard University in July to do a week-long leadership course with two other n principals, under the Harvard Club of Scholarship program.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to experience an international perspective and bring it home,” she said.

“And I get to go out and share my school community and the amazing things my teachers and students have done.”

First appeared on SMH

North West jockey Darren Jones dies after fall in Warialda Sprint

13/05/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

Darren Jones.
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Tragedy has struck at Saturday’s Warialda Cup meeting with the death of popular North West jockey Darren Jones.

Tamworth’s Jones was one of three jockeys who came down after a terrible fall in the Warialda Sprint (1100m).

The 48-year old fell when aboard favourite Montague Clan in the third event, the horse coming downalong with True Commitment (Melanie Bolwell) and Achanizo (Leanne Henry).

The three were takento Warialda Hospital, with Jones unconscious when transferred, while Henry complained of general soreness and Bolwell also unconscious.

National Jockeys Trust posted an update on Saturday night stating Bolwell, an apprentice indentured to Tamworth trainer Sue Grills, had been transported to Gold Coast Hospital with serious head injuries.

The update stated Bolwell had not regained consciousness, with her injuries classified as serious.

The meeting was abandoned after race four, with the 2017 Warialda Cup among two races not run.

Originally from Glen Innes, Jones moved to Tamworth in the mid-1980’s as an apprentice to Merv Corliss.

He rode predominantly for Sue Grills, Leon Davies and Leslie Jeffries, who he teamed up with to ride Lonely Orphan to second place in Friday’s Orange Cup.

Racing family will come together to support Darren Jones family after tragic loss. Member of NSW Jockeys Association. pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/luVJKVTfYM

— Andrew Bensley (@AndrewBensley) April 8, 2017Some may whinge about the Sydney Cup.. today we lost Darren Jones in a tragic race fall.. True gentleman all the way and good jockey 🙏R.I.P

— Dean Pettit (@deanpet74) April 8, 2017Absolutely gutted for the Darren Jones family. A good honest man that worked very hard.

— Blake Spriggs (@BlakeSpriggs) April 8, 2017Races can be re run but lives can never be replaced. Extremely sad to hear the passing of Darren Jones.

— Nathan Rose (@TappyRose) April 8, 2017My sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Darren Jones. A great ambassador and college for as long as I can remember. Rip

— Adrian Layt (@adrianlayt) April 8, 2017Tragic news from NSW country track Warialda today where NSWJA Committee Member Darren Jones has passed away after a racing incident – AJA

— NationalJockeysTrust (@JockeysTrust) April 8, 2017My thoughts and prayers go out to Darren Jones and his family. A devastating loss to the racing industry #RestInPeace

— Tommy Berry (@TommyBerry21) April 8, 2017