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Japan seeking revenge: Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson has accused Japan of hunting him down in revenge for his attacks on its whaling operations, in his first comments since he jumped bail and fled Germany.
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The militant environmentalist who is in hiding, says he felt betrayed by Germany, where he was under house arrest for 70 days, because it had negotiated with Japan to extradite him to Tokyo.

"I am very disappointed with the German government. For me it is obvious that the German government conspired with Japan and Costa Rica to detain me so that I could be handed over to the Japanese," he said on Tuesday in a message to his supporters.

Mr Watson, who for years has harassed Japan's annual whale hunt off Antarctica, was arrested in Germany in May for extradition to Costa Rica on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002.

He was detained for a week before being released on bail. He was ordered to appear before police twice a day. But the 61-year-old skipped bail on July 22.

Mr Watson said Costa Rica and Germany had been "pawns in the Japanese quest to silence Sea Shepherd", which has for close to a decade clashed with harpoon ships in the Southern Ocean.

"This was never really about Costa Rica. It has been about Japan all along," he said.

"We have confronted the Japanese whalers for eight seasons and we have humiliated them at sea and more importantly we have frustrated their illegal profiteering from the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

"This is not about justice; it is about revenge."

Mr Watson, a white-haired Canadian national known as "Captain" to supporters, refused to reveal his location and said that if he was extradited to Japan he would "never be released".

"I am presently in a place on this planet where I feel comfortable, a safe place far away from the scheming nations who have turned a blind eye to the exploitation of our oceans," he wrote.

But he indicated that he would continue to harass Japanese harpoonists.

"I can serve my clients better at sea than in a Japanese prison cell and I intend to do just that," he wrote, saying that Sea Shepherd would sail on its ninth campaign against Japanese whalers in December.

Australia is the launch site for Sea Shepherd boats each year as they chase the Japanese whalers.

AFP

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When is an affair, not an affair?

Cheating is not always easy to define - though it is always centred upon a breakdown of trust, say experts. Infidelity, cheating, adultery, threesome, love triangle.
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We've seen the steamy clinch, we've watched the fall-out.

Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were both in committed relationships - one has a long-term boyfriend, the other is married - when they had a so-called "momentary indiscretion."

Some say the affair was many months in the making, others that the assignations involved "no sex of any kind" - at least according to Stewart's friend and former producer, Giovanni Agnelli.

That there was a relationship beyond the platonic is a given - or at least so public apologies suggest. But there are clearly differing views as to the extent of the affair.

Which begs the question: what counts as cheating?

We posed the question to friends and family - and who knew there were so many shades of infidelity... a kiss, sex, emotional cheating, sexting, sex with the same sex, plain old animal attraction. With such a minefield out there, no wonder so many of us have had to face the reality at some stage or other: how do you define infidelity in your relationship?

Well, as much as many may have attempted to argue otherwise, it's a pretty straightforward delineation, says Fairfax's RSVP resident relationship expert and psychologist, John Aiken.

There are no degrees of infidelity, he says. "All infidelity is bad on relationships. It's breach of trust, which sees you engage in behaviour that is secretive, dishonest, sexually charged and hurts your partner.

"It might be an emotional affair - sexualised texts, coffee dates, talking down about your partner, being flirtatious, having pet names and fantasising about them. Or a physical affair - kissing, touching, having sex. Any way you look at it - it's not going to help your partner's level of trust in you."

Alarm bells! Did Aiken include fantasising in that list? Guilty, guilty, guilty. But while we all let our imaginations run riot, the relationship expert is keen to point out that to qualify as cheating, fantasising must be in combination with those other, let's say, symptoms.

Whether it's the case of a friend's brother-in-law who emailed naked photos of himself to another woman, or an acquaintance who found that his girlfriend was 'emotionally cheating' by sharing intimacies with an ex-boyfriend, the core motive is the same: they are manifestations of the moment that someone chooses to withhold an element of themselves from their primary partner - and, by doing so, to step over a boundary.

There is no reason to treat kissing differently to sex, Aiken says, as these are things that you only do with your partner. "It's intimate and personal. Doing this with someone else is cheating."

Not all couples will agree with his diagnosis of relationship disaster. Everybody knows the boundaries of their own relationships and what works for some will be beyond the pale for others.

Bill Hewlett, a counsellor with Relationships Australia, is sanguine when it comes to the scale of cheatdom. "It depends to a large extent on the rules in each relaltionship. You need to negotiate your own understanding of what's infidelity and what's not."

He says that the early exploratory stages of coupling will largely determine boundaries - and that much of the conversation about the positioning of a line will be a result of trial and error.

"A kiss is just a kiss" is the line one married couple in their 30s, very close friends, take. Alcohol, great company and being away from each other has seen that couple forced into some very frank admissions - but the strong marriage has not faltered. The relationship is worth more than diverted and momentary affection, they say.

But while definitions of infidelity may be black and white within a relationhip - "It's the same breakdown of trust and the same recovery process to rebuild" - how a couple deals with the pain can vary vastly, says Aiken.

"Some will want to talk it out, some will want to punish their partner, while others will look to avoid the event and try to downplay the hurt and pain. There are those that are prepared to do whatever it takes to repair the damage, while others don't see the big deal in all of it."

To move forwards from there, a "safe and useful conversation", says Hewlett, is the first step - and that often needs third party help.

"It's hard to survive a knock. Both partners will have to go through a stage of renegotiating. You have to re-establish trust and that won't happen quickly."

On the plus side, he has seen couples whose relationships have been rejuvenated by an affair. The trick, he says, is to "talk about feelings, not behaviour."

Either way, when it comes to shades of flings - and there is a vast range of sexually-charged pantones out there - you need to set some rules at the start of a committed union.

"What's important is that you must have a conversation about infidelity and your position on this before it occurs so you know where you both stand," says Aiken.

Hard as that particular dialogue may be, he says it is crucial because of the ramifications infidelity can have. "For many, this is a deal-breaker and it needs to be out on the table early on in your relationship."

Where this leaves Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders - and their betrayed partners - is not pretty, sadly.

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Drug in workout drinks to be illegal

A number of popular workout supplements will become illegal from next week, following a decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
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DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) - ound in popular pre-workout drinks like Jack3d - was recently banned in Canada and New Zealand after reports of adverse health effects.

The drinks, which are usually bought as powder and mixed with water, are said to heighten energy and alertness.

The TGA was initially considering classing the stimulant in the same category with drugs such as heroin. But today's decision puts it in a slightly different banned substances category. While it has been identified as a public health risk, it will not incur the serious criminal penalties of hard illicit drugs.

The decision follows public consultation and advice from an advisory committee. Of the six public submissions received, one supported the proposed ban, noting DMAA is addictive, while the other five argued it is safe, effective and has no negative health effects.

"If up to me you couldn't ban DMAA quick enough. Tomorrow is too late," the supporting submission said.

The TGA's decision was based on "reports of adverse events including high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, cerebral haemorrhage and stroke". It also found there are no approved therapeutic uses for the stimulant, it presents a high risk of abuse and little is known about its long-term effects.

DMAA was found in ''party pills'' in New Zealand, leading to its ban in April.

The chair of toxicology at the Australasian Society for Pharmacology and Toxicology, Ian Musgrave, thinks the increasing recreational use was the tipping point for the TGA.

"They probably felt the harms from its use as a party drug outweighed any benefits in its use as a supplement in bodybuilding and weight loss," he said.

He was "baffled" last month when he learnt it was being considered in a similar category to drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine and thinks this is a more appropriate classification.

"It's more harmful than not," he said "But it's not so harmful it's like heroine."

Food Standards Australia New Zealand advised anyone who has consumed products containing DMAA and is concerned about health risks to consult their doctor.

The decision will be implemented from August 8. It is then up to state and territory governments to implement any changes to legislation.

The NSW Health Department said the ban would automatically be implemented across the state. DMAA will be listed as a Schedule 7 "highly dangerous substance" on the NSW Poisons List. The maximum penalty is a $1000 fine for each instance of supply.

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How we fantasise about sex

We all fantasise about sex, but men tend to indulge in "exploratory" and "negative" imaginings of sex more than women.We've all heard it before: Our brains are our most powerful sexual organs.
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But what goes on inside those well-used organs is largely down to gender.

According to new research, while both men and women will have "intimate and romantic" fantasies about their partners, they go about their lusty imaginings in very different ways.

While men tend to fantasise about "exploratory" sex, women migrate towards "pleasant" encounters, say a team of scientists from the University of Granada.

But many respondents, regardless of gender, had fantasised about "negative" sexual experiences, too. The new study of Spanish 18 to 73 year olds has lifted the lid on our wildest sexual dreams, with a vast 80 per cent of respondents admitting to fantasising about "unpleasant" scenarios.

Almost 100 per cent of the 2,250 respondents said they had imagined "pleasant" encounters.

Exploratory encounters - more frequently indulged in by men - include group sex, swinging parties, promiscuity and orgies.

And definitions of "unpleasant" and "pleasant" shifted. For men, the most common "unpleasant" fantasy was a homosexual encounter, for women one of the most common was "being forced to have sex."

Women fantasised about being submissive on average just once in a lifetime, but men had negative sexual fantasies "sometimes" or "once a year."

The respondents, who had all been in heterosexual relationships for at least six months, confirmed the long-held belief that men think about sex more than women.

More research is needed into attitudes towards the encounters, but it's no secret that, as the researchers put it, sexual fantasy "favors some aspects as sexual desire and arousal".

In fact, as Dr. Logan Levkoff told the Huffington Post: "We are supposed to have an active fantasy life. Sexual fantasies do not make us sluts. Nor do they suggest that we have trouble in our current relationship. Fantasies make us healthy sexual beings."

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Red China? Not quite

CityKat. Chinese women are in no hurry to adopt lipstick.
Nanjing Night Net

Wear red lipstick. If you do, men will want to have sex with you, possibly even propose marriage, and definitely rate you hotter than your pink or brown-lipped girlfriends.

Really? Well someone should, like, tell China.

Yes dear readers, I am back from the PRC. And boy did I learn a few things about love and sex and dating while in the world’s most populous country, including why some young women maintain hairy armpits: they symbolise virginal purity.

But perhaps what I found more striking – especially when compared to my journeys through Japan, Korea, and even Thailand – is just how poorly Western beauty culture has managed to penetrate the place. Life without lipstick is, for example, still overwhelmingly the status quo.

And there’s nothing especially wrong with this from where I’m sitting. How refreshing, I thought, to be a woman and not worry whether your makeup really was making you more attractive - attractive to men, and other women.

Though if the massive shopping ‘mansions’ of consumerist pleasure bedecked in posters of a very red-lipped Emma Watson are anything to go by, it could well be Beijing verges on vanity’s seductive, addictive edge. Seemingly time, not the Great Cultural Wall, is the only barrier before the multi-billion dollar industry and the very lucrative (read: big) Sino market.

And why is this good? Or, more specifically, why should Chinese women learn to love lipstick?

Well, there’s a new psychological study doing the rounds which basically confirms (again) men pay more attention to women who wear it. But not just any shade – it has to be red, bright, bold, flushed-labia memory-inducing red.

Because, according to the literature, “red lips are associated with an indication of oestrogen levels, sexual arousal and health which in turn led to increase the positive perception of the women's faces”. Or, as the authors of the study put it, “makeup increases women's attractiveness”.

Which is, y’know, totally important and stuff for women everywhere, especially women in China.

But pause, I hear you say. Don’t women in China have the odds in their favour? Hasn’t sex-selectivity has helped bred a men-heavy generation presumably desperate for wives? Why would these ladies need the same sort of ‘help’ offered to those poor, hopelessly competitive, single white females in the West?

Well, life for a lovelorn, single sister in the nation’s capital and other major centres is not really that simple.

Witness the rise of “Sheng nu” – China’s so-called ‘unwanted’ or ‘leftover ladies’. The term made the official dictionary while I was there, and I met more than a few definitive types in downtown Beijing. They are educated, financially independent women over the age of 27 who are unmarried, but want to be wed.

Tough love indeed. And clearly the problem runs deep below the surface. Probably even beyond the superficial remedy of any barbarian lip-schmear.

But it got me thinking about what makes women attractive to men, and whether, despite a vast array of profound cultural differences, there are commonalities between Aussie Bridget Joneses and the Chinese Sheng nus. Are educated, financially independent women really so undesirable for example? Do women here struggle with the same (totally offensive) ‘use-by date’ as women in China? And why are men not afflicted with the similar problems (or are they?).

On one hand, it may be a good story about liberation from the marriage ideal, which constrains human relationships to quite a narrow field. For surely while a Sheng nu technically desires marriage, some educated, financially independent women are the ones doing the rejecting – of matrimony specifically, or men in general.

On the other, however, it’s a sad story about gender stereotypes and the pervasive ideal of a submissive bride. Something I accept should exist to counter-balance aggressive Iron Wives, but perhaps not a role I’m interested in playing. And shouldn’t we all be free to decide for ourselves, independent of social expectation?

Of course we should. Of course I like to think I do. But then, I possess a full, feminine palette of lipsticks. And sometimes I wear red, so I can catch me a man and take him in, or under, my bed...

What do you think about make-up and success when it comes to love, sex and dating? Are you a man who is more attracted to painted ladies? Or do you prefer a natural face? Are you a woman who spends $45 on a lippie, because ‘you’re worth it', but can’t help but wonder which shade will make you most sexy?

And do you think women in the dating pool are advantaged by money and education? Or, was Gloria Steinem right: Women have become “the men we wanted to marry”?

**While I’ve got your attention, I’d just like to say a whopping Yippeecayaye to the wonderful blogging that went on in my absence. I hope you enjoyed reading the entries as much as I did. Certainly some excellent discussion ensued. A particular shout-out to our reader-entry winner – Mr Michael Durrand. I doff my cap to you, and your views, sir. 

Cheers all,

CK.

  @katherinefeeney

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[email protected]南京夜网.au

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