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Heartbreaking search for lost father

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 21 September 2014 | 23.08

Astrid Kaletsch, who is looking for the father she has never met, with her kids Montana and Ameisha Source: Supplied

HER dad is playing on Astrid Kaletsch's mind. She has never met him or even seen a photo.

She only knows his name was Steven or Stephen, he rode dirt bikes, he worked in a "dirty" job as a labourer or brickie as a 19 or 20-year-old in Darwin in 1982 where he lived in an unknown caravan park with his fiancée.

He was six foot three by the old measure, muscular and described as "tall dark and handsome" by Ms Kaletsch's mother.

Now the 31-year-old mother of two daughters wants to find her dad, the mystery man her mum Regina - also known as Gina - had a one-night stand with all those years ago in Darwin.

He would now be about 50 years old .

"My heart aches, I just want to meet him or find a photo," she said.

"It is really hard. When I was younger, about 21, along with other things that were going on in my life, I lapsed into a pretty bad depression over it.

READ: WOMAN GETS MEDALS BELONGING TO FATHER SHE NEVER MET

"Everyone has a dad and I don't even have a photo and I say, 'This is all I know'.

"I need to do this for me. It is like a part of me is missing.

"It is like a part of me is missing" Source: Supplied

"And I'm going into this with an open mind as well, if he doesn't want to have anything to do with me I understand that because after 32 years it would be difficult to build a relationship.

But I would be happy either way. Being a mum myself, I'd have thought surely he would be thinking 'I have a child out there'. He may have even tried to track me down.

"But who is to say, he might not even be alive."

Ms Kaletsch lives in Gawler East in South Australia's Barossa Valley with Montana 4.5 and Ameisha 1.5.

She said her mum was travelling around Australia with a friend when the affair happened.

She said her father's fiancé was named Michelle (with a last name similar to Miele) and she worked in the National Australian Bank in Darwin.

The couple had come to Darwin from Perth but she is not sure that is where they originated from or if they stayed on in Darwin.

"I've heard about other people, friends of friends who share pictures of people trying to find their missing relatives," she said.

"Because I've tried in the past using the electoral roll and had a Perth and a Darwin phone book and my mum said she had tried to track him down."

She said her mum had told him she was pregnant and gave him the chance to be part of her life but he declined.

"My mother thanked him for giving her the greatest gift a woman can receive and told him she would never ask anything of him, but gave him her parents' contact details if he ever wanted to keep in touch, but he didn't. I have never seen a photo or anything and this has left an empty spot in my heart."

Ms Kaletsch hopes he may have reconsidered now.

Originally published as Heartbreaking search for lost father
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Why Aussies rarely have sober sex

A recent survey of young adults found 92 per cent of people who had had casual sex in the past six months had used alcohol or drugs Source: Getty Images

FOR most Australians, dating and drinking go hand-in-hand. Pubs and clubs set the scene for hook-ups, and first dates tend to be at bars where we turn to a glass — or bottle — of wine to take the edge off our nerves.

But what starts out as social lubricant can lead to sexual dysfunction. Sex therapist Jacqueline Hellyer told news.com.au that she's seen a rise in the number of couples who have never had sober sex.

"It's not unusual for me to meet couples who only ever have sex in substance-induced states," she said. "When they meet, they're on alcohol or drugs, and when they first have sex they're drinking or doing drugs. It develops into a relationship but they are still only having sex when they go out and drink or get on drugs."

Desiree Spierings, sex therapist from Sexual Health Australia, said it's been an increasing problem in the past two years.

"We're seeing an increase in couples who have only had sex with each other while using drugs or alcohol and cannot get aroused without it," she said.

While drinking on dates is hardly a new trend, Spierings said these days many people find it difficult to move from casual substance-induced sex to a relationship.

"They get anxious because it would mean relating to their partner while not using drugs on a day-to-day basis," she said. "We see them in therapy when they try to change their lifestyle and not use drugs any longer and they find it hard to keep the passion going and maintain an active sex life."

But substance-induced sex is not just limited to young partygoers, Hellyer said she also hears from housewives who need a couple of wines at dinner to get in the mood.

"People use it for relaxation and a bit of an inhibitor as well," she said.

Couples who begin a relationship drinking alcohol to become aroused are likely to continue that pattern in their relationship. Source: Getty Images

An Australian survey of young adults found 92 per cent of people who had had casual sex in the past six months had used alcohol or drugs, and a survey of American university students found a third had consumed about five drinks before their most recent sexual encounter.

Rachel Kramer-Bussel, editor of Best Sex Writing 2013, told news.com.au that it took quitting alcohol four years ago for her to realise what a major impact drinking had had on her sex life.

"It would help bypass the part of my brain telling me to go more slowly or be more cautious," said Kramer-Bussel, 38.

"I definitely used alcohol to be bolder in approaching and coming on to people. With sober sex I'm more conscious of what I'm doing. I can judge if I'm not really into a person or a sex act, and I can speak up for myself better."

Last month, news.com.au reported on a US study that showed alcohol dulls the "alarm signal" that normally warns you you're making a mistake, which explains why people like Ben Delaney*, 31, have spent many a Sunday morning waking next to somebody he never would have looked twice at sober.

"I'd be out on the ciders with the boys and had all the confidence to crack onto a chick and ask her home," he admitted.

"But when I'd wake up next to someone who wasn't exactly my type, it was pretty awkward and embarrassing."

A new fitness focus has seen Delaney take some time off the booze, which he said has been an eye-opener.

"I'm probably more choosy with women, but at the same time you're lacking that sense of security you have when you're drunk," he said.

Luke Williams, who is writing a book about his time living in a house with chronic methamphetamine users, said the drug's affect on people's sex lives and fantasies is powerful and often disturbing.

"With sober sex I'm more conscious of what I'm doing," admitted one man. Source: ThinkStock

"Meth has a reputation for getting people in sexual situations they otherwise wouldn't want to be in," he said. "I have slept with people who I genuinely find disgusting when I have been off my face — indeed, the fact they are so disgusting just seems to add to the excitement at the time."

Williams, whose book will be published by Scribe early next year, said that sex hasn't been the same since recovering from meth addiction.

"I have kind of lost interest in sex because it doesn't seem quite as exciting," he said.

Associate Professor Lucy Burns, a senior researcher at the University of NSW's National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), said starting a relationship with substance-fuelled sex can spark a dangerous cycle.

"If they begin a relationship in that context, to get themselves back into that mindset, they might have to put themselves back in that [drug-fuelled] situation," she said.

That's something Renee Barnes*, 31, recognised after spending two years feeling pressure to do drugs before sex in order to match her ex's inebriated state.

"I would become way more kinky and less self-conscious — we'd do things that I never would have dreamt of when I was sober in the morning," she said.

Eventually it became obvious that their connection was purely about sex — and therefore drugs — and Barnes ended it.

"We didn't hang out with each other's families — all we had was a passionate physical relationship," she said.

Hellyer believes porn is part of the problem because it sets high expectations and some people reach for alcohol or drugs to replicate the intensity.

"In porn movies, women are always ready for it and they do all these wild and crazy things, and people think that's normal," Hellyer said. "They can get this view of sex being this full-on, hot and heavy thing, and they have to take something to get into that state."

But Hellyer said alcohol and drugs are really a Band-Aid solution. "The substances shortcut the mechanisms whereby we relax and open up to our partner sexually," she said.

"They've never learnt what they actually need to get to that heightened sense of arousal. I teach people how to open up to each other in a way that's real, as opposed to substance-induced."

*Names have been changed


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Police call off search for William

Police have stopped searching for NSW missing toddler William Tyrell and will now focus on an investigation.

POLICE have stopped the search for missing toddler William Tyrell on the NSW mid-north coast.

About 70 police and volunteers finished the marathon operation in dense scrub on Sunday, and authorities will now focus on information they have received regarding the boy's disappearance from his grandmother's home in Kendall.

Investigators are looking at "human intervention" as a possible reason behind William's disappearance.

PWilliam Tyrell, 3 / Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Police may carry out intermittent sweeps of the area around Benaroon Drive, where he was last seen dressed in a Spider-Man suit on September 12.

Despite more than a week of doorknocking and searches in surrounding bushland, there has been no trace of the three-year-old.

Police set up a roadblock at the end of Bendooran Drive at the exact time William went missing, asking passing cars if they remember seeing anything / Picture: Nathan Edwards Source: News Corp Australia

Police do not believe William could survive after nine days in the bush.

William's family released a statement on Saturday afternoon thanking those involved in the search and expressed their hope he would soon be found.

Police urge people with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

William Tyrell, 3 / Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Originally published as Police call off search for William

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Licence fraud link to terror plots

Concerns ... fake Queensland drivers' licences may have helped would-be terrorists develop new identities. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Limited

A CRIME and Corruption Commission investigation is underway into a major fraud involving Queensland drivers' licences, that may have helped would-be terrorists develop new identities.

A casual employee of Transport and Main Roads — who News Corp Australia understands had her employment terminated in December — is at the centre of the investigation which has been kept quiet by the department and the CCC.

It is alleged she issued upwards of 60 fraudulent licences in return for payment of $1000 each.

Sources within the department have revealed the employee allegedly "overrode" the Transport Integrated Customer Access (TICA) system to issue the licences.

The cards themselves were uncompromised.

A CCC spokesman confirmed an investigation was underway and it was "ongoing".

"The Department of Transport and Main Roads is fully cooperating and assisting the CCC," said the spokesman.

Staff who worked with the woman are among those who have been interviewed over the alleged fraud.

University of Queensland national security expert Professor Brian Lovell said a fake drivers licence would be considered a valuable commodity for people with criminal intent.

"If you look at the 9-11 attackers, there were 19 of them, and they had 63 drivers' licences between them," said Prof Lovell.

"A fake driver's licence gives you a false identity so you can hide your trail."

He said someone with a fake driver's licence in Australia could easily rent a three-tonne truck and pack it with explosives.

"The Queensland licensing system is very, very strong (security wise) but if you've got someone on the inside issuing licences to people who have bad agendas, that's of grave concern," Prof Lovell said.

Queensland drivers' licences underwent a major overhaul in late 2010 to increase their security and prevent fraud.

Measures ... Queensland drivers' licences underwent a major overhaul in late 2010 to increase their security and prevent fraud. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Corp Australia

As well as being embedded with a computer chip, the licences feature holograms and special ink to make them almost impossible to replicate.

Information posted on the TMR website states the former laminated licence "became increasingly vulnerable to tampering and fraud and needed to be replaced with more secure technology".

Their introduction resulted in a doubling of the price for a five-year licence from $75 to $154.

TOUGH: Queensland drivers hit with licence increases

Motorists generally have to wait up to two weeks for a new licence while they are made by Victorian company Placard and returned to Queensland.

The "unsmiling" images featured on the licences have been unpopular with motorists but lauded by experts as a key to reducing crime, and even terrorism.

The CCC refused to say what the fraudulently issued licences were being used for, or if they had been recovered by the crime-fighting agency.

It is also unknown what changes, if any, have been implemented at TMR to prevent the issue of licences without proper authorisation.

A department spokesman said they were unable to comment because it was the subject of an ongoing investigation by the CCC.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Aussie pilot dies in plane crash

A plane crash ... involving a Hevilift aircraft has occurred in Papua New Guinea. Source: Supplied

The death toll from a charter plane crash in Papua New Guinea has risen to four.

The two pilots, including an Australian, and a passenger were killed when the Hevilift twin otter aircraft carrying nine people went down near Port Moresby on Saturday morning.

Another passenger, who was taken to hospital in a critical condition, died on Sunday.

The charter flight was travelling from Woitape to the capital when it crashed while approaching the airport.

There were reports that the plane flew into a mountainside after the pilot reduced altitude in poor visibility.

Hevilift has updated the number of people on board and confirmed two crew and seven passengers were travelling on the plane when it went down.

There were further unconfirmed reports the plane had been chartered by a Catholic parish in Woitape and that a pastor and parishionners were among the injured.

Five passengers, all PNG nationals, are thought to have survived and are being treated at a Port Moresby hospital.

The bodies of those killed have been airlifted to the nation's capital.

The chartered flight was travelling from Woitape to Port Moresby when it crashed.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill offered condolences to the grieving families.

"The thoughts of the nation are with the families of the four people who lost their lives, and we pray for the recovery of the five survivors," he said in a statement.

The prime minister assured the public the cause of the crash would be fully investigated.

"It is important that people do not jump to conclusions as to what caused the incident," Mr O'Neill said.

Prayer for survivors ... PNG PM Peter O'Neill assured the public the cause of the crash would be fully investigated. Picture: Kym Smith/News Corp Source: News Limited

The PNG Accident Investigation Commission's William Seneka said the cause of the fatal crash was still unknown but at this stage there were not any issues with the aircraft or the crew.

"The weather is a bit of a factor here," he said.

"There was low cloud in the area." Mr Seneka said the Australian pilot, thought to be a expatriate, was very experienced.

Australians Russell Aitken, 42, and Emmett Fynn, 36, were killed when the Hevilift-chartered helicopter they were travelling in crashed in the PNG Highlands in July, 2012


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

You could have a ‘digital twin’

Taking shape ... Microsoft's Cortana is seen as an early version of "digital twin" technology. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

WITHIN five years you could have a "digital twin" capable of making decisions for you and even interacting with loved ones after you die, a technology expert says.

John Smart, a futurist and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, theorises that advances in computer science will soon allow computer-based versions of ourselves to act as our personal agents — automatically filling out forms or scheduling appointments.

One day, these digital twins could even hold conversations and have faces that mimic human emotion.

"They will become increasingly like us and extensions of us," Smart tells Business Insider.

For digital twin technology to reach its full potential, Smart says, there needs to be better conversational interfaces and semantic maps.

But we're already off to a good start with software like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and "Eugene Goostman" — a computer program that imitates a teenager, which recently passed the Turing test.

Eventually, digital twins could draw on our writing, email, smartphone data and verbal feedback to formulate a detailed record of our individual interests and values over time.

"Where we're headed is creating this world in which you feel you have this thing out there looking after your values," he says.

"When you and I die, our kids aren't going to go to our tombstones, they're going to fire up our digital twins and talk to them."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Gillard wrong to play misogyny card: Howard

Not true ... former prime minister John Howard says the idea that Tony Abbott is anti-women is "ridiculous" Source: Supplied

FORMER prime minister John Howard has slammed Julia Gillard for "playing the misogyny card", saying her leadership was doomed from the start as "she had no authority".

In an open and frank interview on Seven's Sunday Night, Howard described Ms Gillard's sexism speech in Parliament as "nonsense ... because it was untrue".

"The idea that Tony Abbott is anti-women is ridiculous — it's just quite wrong," Mr Howard told interviewer Janet Albrechtsen.

HOWARD V LATHAM: The handshake that swayed the country

Mr Howard said Ms Gillard's famous speech — which made headlines around the world — did not resonate with "any women I know".

"I don't think it resonated," Mr Howard told Sunday Night in his first major interview since losing power seven years ago.

Power play ... John Howard says Julia Gillard had no authority because she never won an election in her own right. Source: Supplied

"I think it is the worst possible way of promoting a greater involvement by women in public life … and to play the misogyny card — so many women of ability I know in the community pour scorn on that."

Mr Howard said he found Ms Gillard "a very pleasant person to deal with" but that she had no authority because she had never won an election in her own right.

"Removing a first term prime minister and then not to win the subsequent election meant she never had authority and the most important thing that a prime minister has is not popularity but authority."

'No authority' ... acting opposition leader Julia Gillard looks on during Question Time in 2007. Source: News Corp Australia

Mr Howard also admitted that he should have bowed out during his final term as PM, saying "it was a mistake, a miscalculation, lost my nerve or whatever description you want to give it".

Referring to his rivalry with"ambitious" former treasurer Peter Costello, Mr Howard said he understood why "he wanted me to go".

Concerns ... the former PM discussed his views on Australia's terror threat. Source: Supplied

"It's only natural he would be disappointed that I didn't retire at a time that suited him. Peter had every reason to feel disappointed but he did not have the right to feel entitled."

The former PM also offered views on multiculturalism and the threat of homegrown terror plots.

Leadership struggle ... John Howard, with Peter Costello in 2007, admits he should have bowed out in his final term. Source: News Limited

"I think some people have spent too much time in closed communities where that kind of thing can occur," he said.

"I think we should try harder at integration. I am not an overwhelming fan of the doctrine of multiculturalism.

"Once you're here you have to become part of the mainstream of the community."

On a personal front, Mr Howard praised the three women who have had the most impact on his life: his mother, his wife Janette and his daughter Melanie.

Partnership ... John Howard told Sunday Night he was "smitten" with wife Janette from the moment he met her. Source: News Limited

He said his greatest struggle was when his beloved Janette was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1996.

"I feared for her, it really did affect me badly ... I was frightened I would lose my wife."

Mr Howard said Paul Keating telephoned him to offer his support.

"It was a very decent, gracious thing for him to do," he said.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

VIDEO: Ricciardo almost taken out by Vettel

Red Bull Racing's F1 drivers are again caught going at one another, this time in the first turn of the Singapore Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo did well to avoid colliding with Sebastian Vettel at the Singapore GP. Source: AFP

THE simmering rivalry at Red Bull nearly bubbled over at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday when Sebastian Vettel almost took out Daniel Ricciardo on the opening corner of the Formula One race.

Ricciardo started third on the grid, one spot ahead of Vettel, and looked to have made a solid start until his teammate and four-time defending F1 champion aggressively attacked him.

RICCIARDO FINISHES THIRD IN SINGAPORE GP

Ricciardo was squeezed on his left by Vettel and on his right by Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, only avoiding a collision by giving way and allowing Vettel to pass him as Alonso careened off track.

The TV commentator said: "This should be pretty spicy" after showing the view from Ricciardo's cockpit, highlighting how close the two Red Bulls came to colliding.

Ricciardo has usurped Vettel as Red Bull's No.1 driver this season, having won three races to sit third in the drivers' championships — 60 points ahead of sixth-placed Vettel.

Originally published as VIDEO: Ricciardo almost taken out by Vettel

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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