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 / News & Politics
Readers Digest Australia

Readers Digest Australia February 2019

No wonder this is the world's most widely read magazine Hard-hitting, thought-provoking and entertaining, with unforgettable stories in each issue. This magazine is packed with features short enough to read in one sitting, but stimulating enough to keep you thinking for days.

Reader's Digest Australia PTY LTD
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£1.15(Incl. tax)
£8.69(Incl. tax)
12 Issues


1 min.
challenging assumptions

FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, one universal truth among Western thinkers was that all swans are white. Well, all swans were white, until the discovery of Australian black swans in 1697 by Dutch explorers. Today, medical science’s assumptions about placebo drugs not producing any benefit are similarly being challenged. These simple sugar pills are widely used in new drug trials. Half of trial participants receive the trial drug in the hope that their condition will improve and half receive placebo pills but think that they are taking the real drugs. Despite the expectation that a simple sugar pill can’t offer any medical benefits, studies are appearing that reveal around one-third of trial participants on placebo pills do feel better. In ‘The Power of Fake Pills’ (page 24), Robert Anthony Siegel shares…

2 min.

Worth Your Salt? The story ‘24 Ways Salt Is Making You Sick’ (November) is an interesting read. However, there is another school of thought from a leading cardiovascular research scientist and author Dr James DiNicolantonio. He says that salt is essential to life. I am inclined to believe him. He says that we are essentially salty people – we cry salt, we sweat salt and the cells in our body are bathed in salty fluids. Without salt we’d not be able to live. JOHN KEEBLE Back to School Your photo feature on ‘The Write Stuff’ (October) evoked nostalgic memories of my school days in the ’70s when it was compulsory to use a fountain pen. I remember being equipped with a Pilot fountain pen, blotting paper and an old handkerchief to wipe off…

1 min.
the last time i said “i love you”was...

… not the last time, I hope. BART PETERS HUISSEN, THE NETHERLANDS … in the dinosaurs’ era. CHRISTIANA MORRE, BELGIUM … when my cat released a sparrow he had captured. VÉRONIQUE FERNANDEZ, FRANCE … so long ago I don’t remember. ISAAC DÍAZ, SPAIN … to you, in the crazy Irish wind that electrified my bicycle by blowing on my back. CATHERINE SPERANDIO, SWITZERLAND … this morning. HENRIETTE SANDBERG, NORWAY … when he just took me in his arms. Because we’ve been married for 25 years and he is still there for me. R.B., GERMANY … every damn day on the phone to my family. CALIXTUS WEE, SINGAPORE … to get a little something. KATRINA D’ARAGON, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND … last week. Well, she deserved it. She gave birth to me. SARAH ADIB, SEGAMAT, MALAYSIA … this morning, to wake up my husband. MA. ROBELLE BAUTISTA, HONG KONG … to my mojito, last Saturday. MONIQUE FINLAYSON,…

1 min.
schoolgirl challenges cereal company to change box

When eight-year-old Daliah Lee was eating her usual bowl of Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal she noticed that only boys were featured on the box. Boys, taking part in high-energy pursuits such as mountain biking and surfing, but no girls. Believing that “girls can also do amazing things”, the Canberra schoolgirl expressed this sentiment in a letter to the cereal giant. Her determination prompted an online petition to persuade the company to change its policy. The result following Daliah’s campaign? The cereal boxes will be updated with images of both males and females. PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; ANNABELLE LEE…

1 min.
homes for the homeless

A village providing housing for homeless people has been established on vacant land to the north of Edinburgh, Scotland. Its principal sponsor is the social enterprise Social Bite, a café chain that employs homeless people and provides free food to rough sleepers. Made up of 11 two-bed houses, the village aims to rehabilitate residents in a safe, supported environment, with full-time support staff to help with training and work placements. “People living in the village would otherwise be in a B&B, hostel or on the street – very isolated environments,” says Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn (pictured). The village has a centre where residents can socialise, as well as a communal eating area and kitchen. The intention is that village residents will stay for around 12-16 months before moving into permanent housing.…

1 min.
maternity leave boost for low hong kong birth rate

Hong Kong, with a birth rate of just 1.126 children per woman, is one of the lowest in the world and the city’s first female chief executive, Carrie Lam, hopes to change this by extending maternity leave entitlements. Lam proposes to extend the statutory maternity leave from the current ten weeks to 14 weeks so that new mothers will have more time to spend with their babies. Government employees are immediately eligible for the extended leave though it is unclear when the policy will be implemented more widely. Fourteen weeks meets the minimum level of maternity leave that the International Labour Organisation recommends and also brings Hong Kong in line with most other governments in Asia. Lam next hopes to extend paternity leave from three days to five.…