TIME Diet/Nutrition

Research on Mice Suggests We Could Be Better Off Eating More Healthy Carbs and Less Protein

Bread, Slices And Bread Knife
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Bad news for the Paleo crowd

While calorie-restriction diets are known to have positive health benefits, a group of researchers in Australia has found that, in mice, a low-protein high-carbohydrate diet produces similar results regardless of caloric intake.

If the study bears out for humans, it could rehabilitate the image of carbohydrates, which has taken a battering in recent years, when the high-protein Atkins and Paleo diets have reigned supreme.

Scientists at the University of Sydney put mice on varying diets in terms of the proportion of carbohydrates, protein and total calories consumed. They found that, in terms of insulin, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, mice on unrestricted low-protein high-carb diets fared best.

“It still holds true that reducing food intake and body weight improves metabolic health and reduces the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease,” said senior author Stephen Simpson of the University of Sydney. “However…it appears that including modest intakes of high-quality protein and plenty of healthy carbohydrates in the diet will be beneficial for health as we age.”

The next step, according to the scientists, will be to learn if specific types of proteins and carbohydrates make a difference in long-term health.

TIME celebrity

Johnny Depp Could Face 10 Years in Prison for Bringing His Dogs to Australia

"Mortdecai" Photo Call In Tokyo
Jun Sato—WireImage Johnny Depp attends the photo call for "Mortdecai" at The Peninsula Tokyo on January 28, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan.

Who let the dogs in?

Johnny Depp could face up to 10 years in prison for illegally bringing his dogs into Australia and failing to declare them.

The star, who is filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, brought his two Yorkshire terriers into Australia on his private jet.

An Australian senate committee was told on Monday that if the case goes to court, Depp could face up to 10 years in prison.

Earlier this month, the country’s agriculture minister said the dogs would need to leave Australia immediately or they would be euthanized.

“If we start letting movie stars—even though they’ve been [named] the sexiest man alive twice—to come into our nation, then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody,” said Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Depp’s wife, Amber Heard, has since returned to California with the dogs.

TIME Australia

Former Co-Workers Sue Australian Man Over a $12.5 Million Powerball Prize

He says he won the prize with a ticket he bought for himself, not for them

A man from the state of Victoria, Australia, who was part of a 16-person lottery syndicate with his colleagues, has been accused of making off with roughly $12.5 million in lottery winnings.

But Gary Baron, who was entrusted to buy tickets on behalf of the syndicate, says he won the Powerball prize with a ticket that he had bought separately, reports the Age newspaper.

The 49-year-old former courier says he has evidence to substantiate his claim. But 14 members of his former syndicate are taking Supreme Court action against him on Thursday, in which they will say they have a right to an equal share of the prize money.

According to the Age, Baron repeatedly denied winning the money to several colleagues, and reportedly told one former co-worker that he had received a large inheritance.

[The Age]

TIME Australia

This Is Why Australia Has ‘National Sorry Day’

Sorry Day In Australia
Newspix—Newspix via Getty Images Rhonda Randall and Sharon Mumbler stand proud with their "Sorry" scarf as Kevin Rudd's Broadcast apology to Aboriginal Peoples of Australia at Penrith Council on February 13, 2008 in Penrith, Australia.

Generations of Aboriginal children were wronged by misguided social engineering policies

In 1998, a coalition of Australian community groups declared May 26 “National Sorry Day”: an annual day of atonement for the social-engineering policy that ripped an estimated 50,000 children from their Aboriginal families between 1910 and the 1970s. But it took Australia’s government another decade to utter an official apology.

By some accounts, the policy of removing mostly mixed-race children from their Aboriginal tribes was well-intentioned. Officials and missionaries, arguing that the children would have more advantages in mainstream Australian society, took them to be raised in orphanages, boarding schools or white homes, according to a 2008 TIME story about the eventual apology. Other justifications smacked of eugenics, as with the argument by A. O. Neville, Australia’s Commissioner for Native Affairs in the 1930s, that people of Aboriginal descent could only be assimilated by “breeding out the color.”

The policy created six decades’ worth of what Australians call the “stolen generations,” children who lost their cultural and familial identities, and many of whom never saw their relatives again.

But Australian politicians were slow to embrace “National Sorry Day,” which has since been renamed “National Day of Healing.” In 1999, conservative Prime Minster John Howard expressed “deep and sincere regret that indigenous Australians suffered injustices under the practices of past generations,” but stopped short of apologizing. His administration argued, as TIME reported, that “it was not responsible for the actions of past governments and that admissions of wrongdoing could open the door to compensation suits.”

It took a new party and a new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, to say sorry. Rudd made the apology his government’s first parliamentary act, just after his 2008 swearing-in. He vowed “to remove a great stain from the nation’s soul, and in a true spirit of reconciliation to open a new chapter in the history of this great land, Australia.”

Although Rudd ruled out the possibility of compensating those affected by the policy, he committed $4.5 billion to a project meant to break down barriers to healthcare, education and employment among indigenous people, the New York Times said.

That doesn’t mean that this complicated area of Australia’s history is necessarily a thing of the past. In recent years, protesters have argued that Aboriginal children are still being routinely removed from their families, only now under the auspices of child welfare, according to The Guardian.

Aboriginal grandmothers who survived the first wave of stolen generations told The Guardian, “We live in a state of fear again.”

Read more about Australia’s apology, here in the TIME archives: Resurrection Day

TIME Research

This Is Why Long Commutes Can Actually Be Good for Your Mood

The 605 freeway is jammed with cars on a day when the mountains are visible in the distance, on November 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Melanie Stetson Freeman—AP The 605 freeway is jammed with cars on a day when the mountains are visible in the distance, on November 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Some people get wound up but others relish the space to think

While saddling people with a long commute is quite likely to put them in a cantankerous mood, a new study out of Australia has also found that some people actually look forward to their daily transit because it provides a bit of much-craved alone time.

Additionally, commuting can be a positive social experience; even though people generally don’t talk with each other, subtle body cues like smiles, frowns and glances help people feel more connected.

“Public transport can be an especially valuable space for being with other people. It can help prevent social isolation,” project author Dr. David Bissell told Australia National University.

But there is a flip side.

Long hours commuting can also cause distrust and depression, even altering how people interact with friends, family and colleagues, says the study.

A key takeaway from Bissell’s research is that stressful commutes directly, and negatively, impact people’s lives. The study cites examples like “tipping points where people change their route or mode of travel, or even move house.”

For the study, Dr. Bissell interviewed 53 commuters for whom commuting was a significant part of their life. He also interviewed 26 “stakeholders” like policymakers and transport advocates. He then went through two “week in the life” experiments in Australia.

“Hopefully it will be a bit of a wakeup call to employers in terms of managing this situation,” he said.

TIME Australia

Australians Are Trying to Decide if It’s O.K. to Swear at Sheep

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Activists say that sheep don't like being verbally abused

A complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) over the abuse of animals at a remote Australian sheep station has prompted a debate over whether sheep can be cursed at.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) reports that PETA’s complaint, made in September 2014, was not solely about verbal abuse, but the use of offensive language toward the animals was an element of the complaint that had been taken seriously by animal-welfare organization the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

Steve Coleman, CEO of the New South Wales branch of the RSPCA, told the ABC that the organization would investigate “an allegation that puts at risk an animal, that would cause it unnecessary suffering.”

Ken Turner, the operator of Boorungie Station in outback New South Wales, where the cussing was alleged to have taken place, said, “The allegation was that bad language was used by an employee on the property in front of the sheep, and that they could have been offended by the use of bad language.”

The president of Lawyers for Animals, Nichola Donovan, argued that verbal abuse of “an extreme nature” could constitute “an act of violence” against an animal.

Although the PETA complaint has now been dropped, pastoralists remain wary about being seen as rude and upsetting by their woolly charges. The issue was debated at last week’s annual general meeting of the Pastoralists’ Association, where many members felt that colorful language was occasionally necessary during mustering and shearing.

Addressing the meeting, Dean Boyce of the RSPCA conceded that many of the complaints the organization received each year were “petty.”

For his part, Boorungie Station’s Turner said he had no plans to mind his own language in front of sheep. “We’ll continue as normal,” he told the ABC.


TIME animals

It’s Raining Spiders in Australia

A house is surrounded by spiderwebs next to flood waters in Wagga Wagga, Australia.
Daniel Munoz—Reuters A house is surrounded by spiderwebs next to flood waters in Wagga Wagga, Australia.

They're descending by the millions

Baby spiders appear to be raining down from the sky in Australia.

“Millions” of baby spiders have been pouring down in the Southern Tablelands region of Australia, blanketing the area in webs, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

One resident said it looked like his house was “abandoned and taken over by spiders.”

Researchers told The Sydney Morning Herald that the area may be seeing a mass migration of baby spiders. Spiders, especially young ones, often release a stream of silk as they jump, and they can be taken with the breeze and carried away. Mass migration can result in a large amount of what’s called gossamer or “Angel Hair,” which is the silk produced by spiders.

Some experts say that once the weather warms, the spiders will disperse.

[The Sydney Morning Herald]

TIME celebrities

Listen to an Official and Radio Host Argue Over Johnny Depp’s Dogs in the Most Australian Interview Ever

'Doggate' has taken over the headlines and airwaves Down Under

The threat by Australia’s Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to euthanize actor Johnny Depp’s dogs — after the screen legend brought them into the country by private jet, flouting quarantine laws — has provoked a backlash in Australia, with many believing that Joyce has overreacted.

But there’s probably no one as outraged as Australian radio host Kyle Sandilands, at least judging from his interview with Joyce Friday morning. Sandilands filled the airwaves with a torrent of abuse against the minister, calling him “a joke”, “a disgrace,” “a gerbil of a thing” and far worse.

Sandiland admitted that Depp had “done the wrong thing,” but argued that the tone of Joyce’s response was embarrassing, because the minister had earlier said that the dogs should “bugger off back to the United States.”

Said Sandiland: “You sound like an absolute clown telling the guy to bugger off to Hollywood or we’ll kill his dogs … You’re a government minister, not some idiot off the street mouthing off to a news camera. Have some decency.”

An outraged Joyce told the Sydney Morning Herald he had demanded an apology from the radio host.

“They beeped out words on the radio. Some of the language was far worse than [what has been reported], so we’re trying to get a transcript,” a spokesman for Joyce told the Herald.

Listen to the complete 3.5-minute interview in all its vivid Australian glory below.

TIME celebrities

Johnny Depp Is Going to Flee Australia With His Terriers to Save Them From Death

Actor Johnny Depp poses during a photo session ahead of a news conference for his movie "Mortdecai" in Tokyo January 28, 2015.
Toru Hanai—Reuters Actor Johnny Depp poses during a photo session ahead of a news conference for his movie Mortdecai in Tokyo on Jan. 28, 2015

However, there are concerns the U.S. may not let the dogs back in the country

Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp is set to make an unscheduled return to the U.S. on Friday with his terriers, in order to save the dogs from being put down by Australia’s Department of Agriculture.

Depp and his wife Amber Heard have booked a private jet to fly back to Los Angeles on Friday night, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The actor had earlier brought his dogs to Australia — where he is shooting the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie — by the same means of transportation, flouting quarantine laws.

MORE: Listen to an Official and Radio Host Argue Over Johnny Depp’s Dogs in the Most Australian Interview Ever

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce gave Depp a 50-hour ultimatum to remove the terriers, called Pistol and Boo, from the country or face having them euthanized. Using colorful language, Joyce said it was “time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”

The tone of the remarks, and the threat to kill the animals, have been seen as an embarrassing overreaction by many Australians and have prompted a Twitter backlash.

But the Agriculture Minister has now expressed concern that U.S. authorities might not allow the dogs back in either.

“The question is if he breached our laws, then did he follow the correct laws in the U.S.?” Joyce said Friday. “My worry is will the U.S. let them back in?” he said. “If not … will they have anywhere to go?”

TIME celebrities

The Australians Want to Put Down Johnny Depp’s Cute Little Terriers

"Cabaret" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain Call
Bruce Glikas—FilmMagic/Getty Images Johnny Depp poses backstage during the opening night of Cabaret on Broadway at Studio 54 on April 24, 2014, in New York City

That's what you get for flouting quarantine rules

Johnny Depp has caused quite a political and diplomatic shake-up in Australia this week while shooting there for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Well, at least his dogs did.

The actor was warned by the country’s Department of Agriculture that his Yorkshire terriers Boo and Pistol would be put down if they weren’t taken out of the country within 50 hours, Australian broadcaster ABC News reported. This is because the actor failed to put them into quarantine.

“There is a process if you want to bring animals: you get the permits, they go into quarantine and then you can have them,” said Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

“But if we start letting movie stars — even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice — to come into our nation [and break the laws], then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?”

Several other Aussie politicians, including the Immigration Minister and the Queensland Treasurer, agreed, saying Depp can’t be exempted from the country’s quarantine protocols just because he’s a movie star who flew in with his dogs undeclared on a private jet.

Several of Depp’s fans, meanwhile, have started an online petition to save the tiny canines, although many of them blame the actor for flouting laws. “Help me tell Barnaby Joyce not to kill or remove Johnny Depp’s dogs from Australia,” the petition, started by Sydney woman Namita Sopal, reads.

“It’s not the dogs’ fault. It’s his stupid fault,” reads a message on the petition.

Joyce, meanwhile, made his position quite clear with classic Australian frankness.

“It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States,” he said.

[ABC News]

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