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Holden axed: Scott Morrison slams US parent company after $2 billion handout

<p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed General Motors’ decision to axe the Holden brand, accusing the US car giant of wasting billions of dollars in taxpayer money while allowing the iconic Australian marque to “wither away”.</p> <p>Holden’s closure was announced on Monday, less than three years after GM ceased the brand’s production in Australia.</p> <p>Speaking at a Melbourne press conference, GM International Operations senior vice president Julian Blissett said it was “an agonising decision for us and one we didn’t make lightly or easily”.</p> <p>“With the global consolidation of the automotive industry, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for us to support a brand and a business that operates in just two markets,” he said.</p> <p>“In short, GM desperately wanted a successful and sustainable Holden in both Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>“We implemented a number of alternative strategies but ultimately GM has taken the decision it’s unable to prioritise the significant investment required for Holden to be competitive and profitable long term.”</p> <p>Holden interim chairman and managing director, Kristian Aquilina said the company had “chased down every conceivable option” to prevent the axing of the brand.</p> <p>“We have had multiple rounds of discussions and tried to find a way to defy gravity,” he said.</p> <p>“But the truth and the hard truth was there’s just no way to come up with a plan that would support a competitive and growing and flourishing Holden and also provide a sufficient return to our investors.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">GM will continue to support existing Holden customers, including honouring all warranties and extended serving commitments, spare parts and servicing. A full statement with Q&amp;As can be found here. <a href="https://t.co/nF9k6jxkAd">https://t.co/nF9k6jxkAd</a> 2/2</p> — Holden (@holden_aus) <a href="https://twitter.com/holden_aus/status/1229241911426179072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The federal government vowed to hold Holden accountable over its promise to support 600 workers and hundreds of dealers and suppliers affected by the company’s plan to retire the brand by 2021.</p> <p>Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Morrison said he was “disappointed but not surprised”.</p> <p>“I am angry, like I think many Australians would be,” he said.</p> <p>“Australian taxpayers put millions into this multinational company. They let the brand just wither away on their watch. Now they are leaving it behind.</p> <p>“I think that’s very disappointing, that, over many years, more than $2 billion was directly provided to General Motors for the Holden operations.</p> <p>“I think the fact they took money from Australian taxpayers for all those years just to let the Holden brand wither on their watch, I think is disappointing.”</p> <p>In 2013, Holden revealed it had received <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-02/holden-reveals-billions-in-subsidies/4604558">$2.17 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies</a> over 12 years.</p> <p>The company said it would continue to honour all existing warranties and guarantees as well as provide servicing and spare parts for at least 10 years.</p> <p>There are currently 185 Holden dealerships across Australia.</p>

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Groundswell of support for sacked volunteer firey after fiery tirade against Scott Morrison

<p>A firefighter who told Scott Morrison “to get f*****” while battling a blaze during the bushfire crisis has been sacked, and he believes it was due to the comment.</p> <p>Paul Parker’s – a New South Wales Rural Fire Service volunteer – rant went viral after he cussed out the Prime Minister in front of TV cameras in Nelligen on the state’s South Coast in early January.</p> <p>An online campaign to save his job obtained thousands of signatures after reports emerged Mr Parker faced being stood down by the RFS.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">"You're finished because of your allegations and foul language against the prime minister of the country while representing the RFS." Firefighter Paul Parker from Nelligen sacked from RFS. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AustralianFires?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AustralianFires</a> <a href="https://t.co/cBevXZRjzi">pic.twitter.com/cBevXZRjzi</a></p> — David Marler (@Qldaah) <a href="https://twitter.com/Qldaah/status/1228975990514171904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The NSW RFS confirmed that the firefighter has been sacked from his position, but denied it was due to his comments.</p> <p>But appearing on<span> </span><em>The Project</em>, Mr Parker said he had been told by a brigade chief with the state’s rural firefighting service that he was “finished” because of his verbal tirade.</p> <p>“There were comments with gestures and arm movements saying that I’m finished – (that) it’s all over,” he said on<span> </span><em>The Project</em>.</p> <p>“Another captain from another brigade within Batemans Bay come out and I asked, ‘what’s going on?’”</p> <p>“He said ‘you’re finished because of all your allegations and foul language against the prime minister of the country while representing the RFS’.</p> <p>“I didn’t know you could get sacked from a volunteer organisation but apparently you can.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Wonder how many volunteer fireys we will lose over this? I'm married to one, who is disgusted and afraid of being caught on camera in a moment of high emotion, saying what many are saying out on the field anyway. <a href="https://t.co/1Ua6y8ohYB">https://t.co/1Ua6y8ohYB</a></p> — Erin (@Erin02821820) <a href="https://twitter.com/Erin02821820/status/1229139440448069632?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">If Australia of today is anything like the country it claims to be, this should cause absolute outrage. Not only was Paul Parker saving homes &amp; lives while the PM tanned up in Hawaii, he expressed succinctly what pretty much a whole country was thinking. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IStandWithFiremanPaul?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IStandWithFiremanPaul</a> <a href="https://t.co/Rz5rtosCLK">https://t.co/Rz5rtosCLK</a></p> — Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) <a href="https://twitter.com/rohan_connolly/status/1229010435870867457?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">Not good enough. Paul was exhausted when he made that comment, and understandably upset after seeing houses burn. He should be reinstated immediately.<br /><br />But he spoke for so many of us.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IStandWithFiremanPaul?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IStandWithFiremanPaul</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SackScottyFromMarketing?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SackScottyFromMarketing</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MorrisonFires?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MorrisonFires</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScottyfromMarketing?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ScottyfromMarketing</a></p> — 💧🌏🌳NeilJB🔥 (@NeilJB1) <a href="https://twitter.com/NeilJB1/status/1228966236756725761?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">People threw money at Israel Folau for the right to say what he wanted and still play sport for millions. They had better raise their voices for someone who wants to fight fires for free. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IStandWithFiremanPaul?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IStandWithFiremanPaul</a></p> — Matt Elsbury (@thinkforasec) <a href="https://twitter.com/thinkforasec/status/1229174098821091330?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Mr Parker revealed that he took aim at Morrison after he said that rural firefighters should not be paid.</p> <p>Since he stepped down, hundreds of Australians have rallied to raise money for Mr Parker with some donating hundreds of dollars to his bar tab at his local pub in the small village west of Batemans Bay.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Today we are all Paul Parker from Nelligan. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AustraliaFires?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AustraliaFires</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AustraliaBushfires?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AustraliaBushfires</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bushfirecrisis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bushfirecrisis</a> <a href="https://t.co/Dvq8ZaFQa9">pic.twitter.com/Dvq8ZaFQa9</a></p> — Stig Martyr (@StigMartyr) <a href="https://twitter.com/StigMartyr/status/1213672537269227520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 5, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Publican Joel Alvey spoke to<span> </span><em>Daily Mail Australia</em>, saying: “Everyone has been a great support by donating money for Paul.”</p>

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URGENT RECALL: Officials are begging customers to BIN popular dairy product

<p><span>Dairy Farmers are urging customers who purchased their 1 and 3 litre milk to throw it away due to potential E. coli contamination. </span><br /><br /><span>The popular dairy products are being pulled off shelves as the announcement comes and Lion Dairy and Drink, who own and operate the Dairy Farmers brand, issued a recalls for both products which have been sold in NSW. </span><br /><br /><strong>The affected milk products include:</strong><br /><br /><span>- Dairy Farmers 3L Full Cream White Milk with a use by date of 24/02/2020</span><br /><br /><span>- Dairy Farmers 1L Full Cream White Milk with a use by date of 25/02/2020</span><br /><br /><span>Consumers who have products with the matching use by dates are being urged to throw them out.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834558/logo-iga-woolworths-coles-5.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/435426a6a4fb42579a3b48ad99ca5b51" /><br /><br /><span>The impacted milk produce were manufactured at Lion's Penrith dairy plant, and were distributed for sale through Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores.</span><br /><br /><span>"There have been no consumer complaints to date regarding these products," Lion Dairy and Drinks said in a statement. </span><br /><br /><span>"We encourage anyone who has consumed the Dairy Farmers 3L or 1L Full Cream white milk product with the respective Use By Dates and made and sold in New South Wales and who feels unwell to seek medical advice as required."</span><br /><br /><span>The company said they had not received any customer complaints but denied to comment on how the issue arose. </span><br /><br /><span>Lion Dairy and Drinks will issue a full refund for consumers who have purchased the affected products.</span><br /><br /><span>Concerned consumer are being urged to call Lion Dairy and Drinks Customer Enquiries Centre on 1800 677 852.</span></p>

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Gold Coast man to be sentenced after driving wife to her death

<p>A Gold Coast man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his wife after he drove their car into a river, killing her.</p> <p>Edward Kenneth Lord is awaiting sentencing in the NSW Supreme Court over the death of his wife Michele in October 2015.</p> <p>According to court documents, Lord had a loud argument with his wife before he drove their Nissan coupe into the Tweed River in northern NSW.</p> <p>A week before the incident, Michele Lord went to police alleging her husband had attempted to drug her by putting a sleeping tablet in her wine. She said he did it so he could have sex with Siew Ping “Margaret” Fong, <em><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/qld-man-killed-wife-by-driving-into-river/ar-BBZX1Db?li=AAgfIYZ">AAP</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>Lord met Fong while she was working at a Thai massage parlour in Broadbeach. The 56-year-old concreter had been having an affair with Fong for months before he moved her into the couple’s home as a maid.</p> <p>He told his wife considering her long working hours and breast cancer, Fong could stay in the home to help with housework.</p> <p>Queensland Police did not investigate Michele’s claim any further, despite her providing evidence including a glass with white residue.</p> <p>A week later, the couple was driving back from Byron Bay to their Bonogin home in the Gold Coast hinterland on October 18 after a day of shopping when they stopped at a car park off Tweed Valley Way.</p> <p>A fisherman overheard the pair having an argument, with Lord telling his wife in an aggressive manner: “I’ve had f***ing enough of your s***.” Michele was heard saying: “Just take me home.”</p> <p>A short time later, Lord veered the car off a road into the river. His wife died in hospital two days later after she was taken off life support due to non-survivable brain injuries.</p> <p>Lord told the police at the time they were “driving along having a laugh” when “the front left wheel slipped on the verge”.</p> <p>Justice Ian Harrison said in a Sydney courtroom Thursday that Lord had failed to accept responsibility or display any remorse.</p> <p>Lord will be sentenced on February 21.</p> <p>In Australia, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner <a href="https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/understand-domestic-violence/facts-violence-women/domestic-violence-statistics/">on average</a>.</p> <p><em>If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, you can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.</em></p>

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The Teacher's Pet podcast: Lyn Dawson allegedly spotted at royal tour

<p>An elderly blind woman has told the court she swore she saw missing person Lynette Dawson a year after she disappeared from her home in 1982.</p> <p>Elva McBay, 101, gave evidence at a committal hearing in Sydney that aims to see if Chris Dawson will stand trial for the alleged murder of his wife.</p> <p>The 71-year-old father who shared two children with Lynette has pleaded not guilty to killing Ms Dawson, and says he believes his first wife ran away to join a cult deep in the Blue Mountains region.</p> <p>Her body has never been found.</p> <p>Ms McBay became friends with the twin brother of Chris Dawson, Paul, while on a research course for the education department at Kogarah High School.</p> <p>She eventually met Chris Dawson while he played rugby league for Newtown Jets and as a result went on to meet his wife Lynette.</p> <p>In March 1983, Prince Charles and Princess Diana toured Australia and made an appearance outside the Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street where they greeted and met with fans.</p> <p>It was there, Ms McBay said appearing via video link from Wyong Court to Downing Centre, that she remembered seeing a woman who looked eerily like Ms Dawson.</p> <p>"She was hurrying, she was running, she pushed in and ducked under the barricade ... I saw her face for a few seconds ... I turned to my husband and said 'I think that was Lyn Dawson'," she said.</p> <p>However Ms McBay said her husband was not able to say whether it was Ms Dawson because it happened "so quickly".</p> <p>Before Lynette disappeared, Ms McBay told the court she had seen Ms Dawson in a "distressed state" at her daughter's fourth birthday party.</p> <p>"She was distraught, she was crying, she was trembling — I had never seen her in such a state ever."</p> <p>Chris Dawson has also been charged with one count of carnal knowledge relating to when he was a sports teacher at Cromer High School in 1980.</p> <p>The court heard that one of his students moved into the family home, which Ms McBay described as "very strange".</p> <p>"She [Lynette] said 'I had the most dreadful row with [the girl]' this morning and she said she wanted to get rid of me'," Ms McBay told the court.</p> <p>"I said 'you should get her out of the house before there is any more trouble'," she said.</p> <p>Defence barrister Philip Boulton SC went on to ask Ms McBay whether she had ever seen any violent behaviour from Chris Dawson.</p> <p>"No ... Chris was very quiet, placid, easy-going ... I never saw him bad-tempered ... he was an absolutely wonderful husband and he adored his wife Lyn," she told the court.</p> <p>"They were one of the happiest families I had ever seen."</p> <p>Ms McBay told the court she was left shocked when someone told her Mr Dawson had been charged with his wife's murder just before Christmas in 2018.</p> <p>Three more witnesses are due to give their own evidence over the next week.</p>

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"Exploiting Diana's death": Piers Morgan unleashes on Harry and Meghan

<p>British TV host Piers Morgan has gone on an extraordinary rant against Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, and claimed the pair are “exploiting Diana’s death to make millions form investment banks.”</p> <p>The controversial critic took a swipe at the couple after hearing Prince Harry discuss mental health at the JPMorgan Chase’s Alternative Investment Summit.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8eJ8z8Htmx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8eJ8z8Htmx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (@meghanmarklesource)</a> on Feb 12, 2020 at 7:04am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>During the speech, the Duke spoke openly to the high-profile guests about being in therapy for seven years in an attempt to emotionally deal with the intense trauma of losing his wife.</p> <p>A source told<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.the-sun.com/news/394676/piers-morgan-in-explosive-rant-at-harry-and-meghan-for-exploiting-dianas-death-to-make-millions/" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>: “He talked about how the events of his childhood affected him and he has been talking to a mental health professional.</p> <p>“Harry also touched on Megxit, saying while it has been very difficult he does not regret their decision.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8e3MBTqFSC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8e3MBTqFSC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Diana My Princess 2 ❤️ (@diana_my_princess2)</a> on Feb 12, 2020 at 1:39pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The pair were seen for the first time together since fleeing the UK in attendance at the lavish event in Miami.</p> <p>Writing in an explosive column for the Mail Online, he said: “There’s a big difference between talking about it to raise public awareness of grief-related mental health issues – and doing it privately for a big fat fee to a bunch of super-rich bankers, business tycoons, politicians and celebrities.</p> <p>“By commercially exploiting his mother’s death to make vast pots of money like this, Harry is surely behaving in exactly the same way he professes to despise from the media?”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8eXs-sHQQU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8eXs-sHQQU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Royal Sussexes (@royalsussexler)</a> on Feb 12, 2020 at 9:04am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>It is unknown if or how much the Duke was paid for the event at 1 Hotel South Beach.</p> <p>However, the royal pair are understood to have been flown in a private jet, owned by JPMorgan Chase, from Vancouver for Palm Beach, Florida.</p> <p>Morgan also took the time to point out the couple had previously been criticised for their high-flying ways – taking four private jet flights in just 11 days despite speaking on the importance of preserving our earth.</p>

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Identity of coronavirus "superspreader" revealed

<p>The British man who is believed to be a “superspreader” of coronavirus has been identified as businessman Steve Walsh.</p> <p>The 53-year-old was diagnosed with the disease on 6 February after he contracted the virus in Singapore while attending a business conference before heading off to the French Alps for a ski holiday, then returning to the UK.</p> <p>It is believed that he infected 11 other Britons with the virus.</p> <p>Currently Mr Walsh is in quarantine at St Thomas hospital, where he released a statement: “I would like to thank the NHS for their help and care – whilst I have fully recovered, my thoughts are with others who have contracted coronavirus.</p> <p>“As soon as I knew I had been exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus I contacted my GP, NHS 111 and Public Health England.</p> <p>“I was advised to attend an isolated room at hospital, despite showing no symptoms, and subsequently self-isolated at home as instructed.</p> <p>“When the diagnosis was confirmed I was sent to an isolation unit in hospital, where I remain, and, as a precaution, my family was also asked to isolate themselves.</p> <p>“I also thank friends, family and colleagues for their support during recent weeks and I ask the media to respect our privacy.”</p> <p>His company, Servomex has also released a statement, saying: “We are very pleased that Steve Walsh has made a full recovery. We continue to provide support to him and his family.</p> <p>“We are working with Public Health authorities to ensure the welfare of our staff and communities and wish anyone with the virus a quick and full recovery.”</p>

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Australians stranded in Wuhan told no more evacuation flights planned

<p>Dozens of Australians remain stranded in Wuhan as the Federal Government confirmed there were no more evacuation flights planned.</p> <p>More than 500 Australians have been airlifted out of the Chinese city where the novel coronavirus emerged, with the first cohort under quarantine on Christmas Island and the second near Darwin.  </p> <p>In January the Government said there were about 600 Australians in the city who had registered their details, and it was prioritising “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/29/australian-coronavirus-evacuees-to-be-quarantined-on-christmas-island">isolated and vulnerable</a>” people including infants and the elderly for assisted departures.</p> <p>But many of those left behind said they were not notified of departing flights, the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-12/australian-citizens-wuhan-no-planned-evacuations-coronavirus/11955520">ABC</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>According to the outlet, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told families in an email there were “no plans currently for any more Australian Government assisted departure flights”.</p> <p>The email read: “As the Prime Minister has said, Australians should not rely on further assisted departure from Wuhan or mainland China.</p> <p>“We encourage you to continue to follow the advice of local authorities in China, and monitor the Smartraveller website.”</p> <p>Australian Shirley Xiang said she and her family did not get a chance to board the initial flight despite having alerted the Government to their presence.</p> <p>“We don’t mind being quarantined in the difficult environment on Christmas Island, but we didn’t get a chance for the next flight at all,” Xiang told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-12/australian-citizens-wuhan-no-planned-evacuations-coronavirus/11955520">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>“Now they told us there won’t be a third flight for evacuation. It is very unfair that the Government decided to not evacuate my children.”</p> <p>Desmond Lim said he felt like he and his wife were “being penalised for doing the right thing” by supporting the Government to fly out vulnerable citizens and permanent residents first.</p> <p>“We are appreciative and supportive of the fact that the government is flying the most vulnerable people out first. We want to do the right thing,” Lim told the <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/10/coronavirus-australians-stranded-in-wuhan-fear-they-have-been-swept-under-the-carpet">Guardian</a></em>.</p> <p>“We were honest. We said [my wife] is safe, she is healthy at the moment. My wife’s there with her mum and dad. But it doesn’t mean we don’t want any assistance.</p> <p>“I feel we are being penalised for doing the right thing. You do the right thing, you follow the process and at the end of it, they say, ‘Nah, we’re not going to help’.”</p> <p>Lim said the DFAT email “lacks empathy” for Australians in the locked-down city. “It feels a bit like they are trying to sweep the rest of us under the carpet and make the situation go away. It’s not the right thing to do,” he said.</p> <p>The US government has evacuated more than 800 citizens and residents from Wuhan. New Zealand has evacuated 98 New Zealanders as well as 35 people from Australia, 17 from Timor Leste, 17 from Papua New Guinea, and more from nine other countries.</p> <p>The Singaporean government has flown out 266 people in two flights, and Japan has evacuated <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/02/national/science-health/japan-fourth-wuhan-evacuation-flight-coronavirus/#.XkDsWhMzYWo">more than 700 people</a>.</p>

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Passenger plane with 100 passengers makes emergency landing in Russia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Russian plane has crash landed and skidded across an icy runway as it was forced to rapidly evacuate the 100 passengers on board due to fears of fire.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Passengers used the emergency chutes and climbed over the wing to get out of the plane as it lay on the tarmac at Usinsk airport in Komi, 1,900 kilometres out of Moscow.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The plane hit the runway tail first due to problems with its landing gear.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">None of the 94 passengers or crew members were injured, but one woman sought medical assistance according to local authorities.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8WxPuvBQr7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8WxPuvBQr7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Toby’s Aviation (@tobys_aviation)</a> on Feb 9, 2020 at 10:13am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Passenger Alexander Panin explained his experience on the flight to local authorities, according to </span><em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7983715/Boeing-plane-makes-hard-landing-northwest-Russia-no-injuries.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Daily Mail</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The flight was normal but as we were landing either due to bad weather or some other reason the plane violently shook horizontally.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It hit the ground so that the landing gear was torn off and we felt that were skidding along the runway as if not able to brake at all,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We all realised that the landing gear was broken. We didn’t feel that the plane was stopping - we were skidding towards the end of the runway.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pilot then turned the plane into thicker snow on the side of the runway to avoid damaging the plane.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The right wing was broken and we saw the fuel gushing out. It was all happening very quickly,” he continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The crew has ordered us to evacuate from the left side, and we got out quickly. Naturally by the end of it there was quite a panic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The crew acted very fast and confidently, and helped with their actions to avoid more panic. Fire appliances were by the plane in minutes.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The airline has since thanked the crew for their “prompt and highly professional actions”.</span></p>

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Surprise! Woman makes unexpected find while grabbing a trolley at Coles

<p>A mum got a shock as she spotted a large python hiding when grabbing a trolley from Coles. She shared the photo of the brown patterned snake that was spotted in the bay outside the Coles supermarket in Everton Park, just north of Brisbane CBD on Friday.</p> <p>She posted a photo to the Coles Facebook page, joking that she might “just skip the trolley today and grab a basket”.</p> <div id="fb-root"></div> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158083065548086&amp;set=p.10158083065548086&amp;type=3&amp;theater" data-width="auto"> <blockquote class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <p>Might just skip the trolley today and grab a basket!</p> Posted by <a href="#">Victoria Higgins</a> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158083065548086&amp;set=p.10158083065548086&amp;type=3">Saturday, February 8, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> <p>Coles quickly responded to the incident, asking if the mum had told staff about the slithery friend.</p> <p>“A staff member was made aware,” the mum responded. “They were great. Straight onto it without any hesitation. You’ve got a great team there!”</p> <p>“Thanks for confirming, Victoria!” Coles responded. “We’ll pass on your feedback to our Store Manager and thanks for sharing this image of our slithery friend in store.”</p> <p>Commenters were quick to joke about the incident.</p> <p>“The poor (little) snake just wanted to pop in for some groceries,” one wrote.</p> <p>A spokesperson confirmed to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/coles-shopper-finds-snake-nestled-between-trolleys-brisbane-043244504.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a></em><span> </span>that a snake catcher was called into the scene and removed the snake without any issues. The snake catcher confirmed it was a non-venomous python that was probably seeking shelter from heavy rain.</p>

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Shock death on virus cruise ship as three liners announced as infected

<p><span>Four thousand passengers have fled the Royal Carribean’s Anthem of the Seas after it docked at the New Jersey port city of Bayonne, following grave reports of Chinese nationals falling ill while aboard the ship. </span><br /><br /><span>Around two dozen Chinese passengers were isolated on board, but only four have been tested and then taken to hospital after thousands of other passengers had quickly left the ship.</span><br /><br /><span>The news of the death of a male crew member who was found deceased on the Anthem was followed with a report by authorities who believed his death had not been from the coronavirus.</span><br /><br /><span>However NBC4NY reported they were treating it with “an abundance of caution” as they waited for post mortem results. </span><br /><br /><span>“The crew member, a Filipino national, was found in an engine room last weekend,” the publication said, citing two sources.</span><br /><br /><span>“His body was kept in a refrigerated compartment until the ship docked in New Jersey.”</span><br /><br /><span>Three cruise ships that have been confirmed with coronavirus infected passengers who are currently sailing about the seas or docked have been forbidden to let passengers to disembark. </span><br /><br /><span>The Royal Caribbean company has moved to bar embarkation on any of its ships by holders of passports from China, Hong Kong or Macau.</span><br /><br /><span>The luxury liner Diamond Princess is stranded in Yokohama, Japan with 64 coronavirus cases, with at least five Australians and twelve Americans, after Japan’s health ministry confirmed the number had jumped up another three.</span><br /><br /><span>Around 276 people of the 3700 on board are infected.</span><br /><br /><span>While the quarantined ship’s are effectively keeping infected outsiders away from the public, it is housing the biggest known virus cluster outside of China and anxious passengers have been given no release date. </span><br /><br /><span>One passenger wrote on Twitter “I keep hearing painful coughs from a foreigner in a nearby room”.</span><br /><br /><span>In Hong Kong, 3,600 people are on day three of being confined aboard the World Dream luxury liner, where eight former passengers have tested positive for the virus.</span><br /><br /><span>So far, 35 crew members and nine passengers who had earlier reported fever or respiratory symptoms have tested negative for deadly coronavirus, the South China Morning Post reported.</span><br /><br /><span>Hong Kong paramedics, dressed head to toe in protective gear, loaded a person completely sealed in plastic into an ambulance parked alongside the World Dream last week. </span><br /><br /><span>To reduce passenger-to-passenger contact, on-board entertainment including film screenings and mahjong games have been effectively cancelled. </span><br /><br /><span>If all 1800 crew test negative for the virus, ship officials hope to be able to disembark everyone off the ship by Tuesday.</span><br /><br /><span>However, some have guessed that untested passengers might be stuck on the ship for longer.</span><br /><br /><span>The ship left Hong Kong a week ago for a cruise to Taiwan, but was turned back by Taiwanese authorities.</span><br /><br /><span>Holland America’s Westerdam was denied a port call by the American State Department at the US territory of Guam in the western Pacific after it reported suspected virus patients.</span><br /><br /><span>Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said foreign passengers won’t be allowed into Japan.</span><br /><br /><span>The ship, with more than 2,000 people, was near Okinawa and was seeking another port.</span><br /><br /><span>The coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China, has spread worldwide with 37,515 confirmed cases and 813 deaths as of Sunday afternoon, Sydney time.</span><br /><br /><span>Most cases are in mainland China. Common signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.</span></p>

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“I’ve got nothing to hide”: Man accused of koala massacre speaks out

<p>The man accused of Victoria’s “koala massacre” has said he is not guilty of animal cruelty and will return to face the state’s “fascist” wildlife authorities.</p> <p>Investigators from Victoria’s Conservation Regulator were still carrying out their assessment on Thursday at a cleared gum tree plantation near Cape Bridgewater after scores of koalas were found injured or dead.</p> <p>More than 80 koalas have been assessed since Friday, and 30 were euthanised.</p> <p>The Victorian environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Monday the event was “devastating” for the koala population in the Portland region and the government would do “everything possible” to hold the perpetrators accountable.</p> <p>“Every Victorian can rightly feel not only appalled, deeply saddened and heartbroken, but angry. I am absolutely angry,” D’Ambrosio said.</p> <p>“This can never be repeated.”</p> <p>The private property is run by Keith Troeth, who is working in NSW.</p> <p>“I’m not concerned because I’ve done nothing wrong,” Troeth told <em><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/koala-massacre-farmer-tells-of-death-threats/ar-BBZIjCB?li=AAgfYrC">The Age</a></em> on Thursday.</p> <p>“I’ll come back, I’ve got nothing to hide.</p> <p>“The fascists have yet to complete their investigations so until that happens, I won’t be making any more comment.”</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/koalas-starved-says-farmer-accused-of-portland-massacre-20200203-p53x7r.html" target="_blank">Earlier this week</a>, Troeth said a small number of animals might have died while the land was cleared with bulldozers in late January.</p> <p>“We made every effort to do it professionally, we made every effort to minimise any fatality,” he said.</p> <p>“There may have been one or two koalas killed and I’ll wear the responsibility, but it’s not the big hoo-ha it’s been made out to be.”</p> <p>D’Ambrosio said the government would consider breaches of the Wildlife Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.</p> <p>Killing, harassing or disturbing wildlife could attract a penalty of up to $8,000 and an additional fine of more than $800 per head of wildlife under the Wildlife Act.</p> <p>A spokeswoman from the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning said the Conversation Regulator’s Major Investigations Unit remains on site to collect evidence and take witness statements.</p>

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Senior Australians pack a lot of worry about their health before going on holidays

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Health is a huge worry for older Australians who travel domestically, with 58 per cent of older travellers worried about how they will manage their medication, injury or chronic and new illnesses according to research from </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Healthdirect Australia</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When inquired about what type of injury might cause concern, too much sun (26 per cent) and food (19 per cent) topped the list. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We all want our holidays to be as stress-free as possible but with over half of us worried how we will manage our health on holiday, there’s peace of mind in knowing where to turn for quick and reliable health information,” says Karen Borg, CEO of Healthdirect Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Healthdirect is a free telehealth service offered via an app, website and helpline on behalf of the government of Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other Australians are worried about forgetting their medication or prescription when packing for a domestic trip, which is a cause for concern.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Travelling without your medication or prescription can range from just an inconvenience to posing a real health concern during your holiday,” says Ms Borg.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you’re on the road or have just arrived in an unfamiliar place, you don’t want to waste time trying to find the nearest pharmacy or GP to get new medication or a script.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The healthdirect app has information for almost every pharmacy and general practice in Australia, so you can quickly find one that’s open nearby. When time is of the essence, having the right information at your fingertips can make a real difference,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s important to be prepared going forward when you’re travelling domestically.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Even if you haven’t considered the likelihood of ill-health on your holiday, it’s good to be prepared,” Ms Borg said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You can either call the free healthdirect helpline or use the self-guided symptom checker on the healthdirect app. You’ll go through a series of questions and receive advice on what medical help is recommended. In some instances, you may not need to see a GP or go to the emergency department and can manage the symptoms yourself.”</span></p>

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How does the Wuhan coronavirus cause serious illness?

<p>We usually think of viral respiratory infections, like the common cold, as mild nuisances that pass in a few days. But the Wuhan coronavirus has proven to be different. Of those infected, <a href="https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/-2019-ncov-new-coronavirus/823378-2019-ncov-confirmed-case-list-by-country-w-links-to-sources-total-cases-17-382-total-deaths-362-as-of-11-25-pm-et-february-2-2020-disclaimer-we-do-not-endorse-any-of-these-numbers">around 2%</a> are reported to have died but the true mortality is unknown.</p> <p>There’s much we’re yet to learn about this new virus, but we know it often causes <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pneumonia">pneumonia</a>, an infection of the lungs which produces pus and fluid and reduces the lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen.</p> <p>Of the first <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30211-7/fulltext">99 people with severe infection</a>, three-quarters had pneumonia involving both lungs. Around 14% appeared to have lung damage caused by the immune system, while 11% suffered from multi-organ system failure, or sepsis.</p> <p>Others are at risk of complications from being treated in hospitals, such as acquiring other infections.</p> <p>At this stage, we know some people develop only a mild infection, while others become critically ill, but the exact proportion of each is not yet clear.</p> <p>Overall, there are four key ways the Wuhan coronavirus can cause severe disease – and some can occur at the same time.</p> <p><strong>1. Direct viral damage</strong></p> <p>For the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1829448/">direct viral damage</a> was probably the most common way the infection caused disease. This is likely the case with the Wuhan coronavirus.</p> <p>Early <a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2020/01/26/2020.01.26.919985.full.pdf">studies</a> have found the Wuhan coronavirus attaches to a particular receptor found in lung tissue. This is like a lock and key mechanism allowing the virus to enter the cell, and is the same receptor the SARS coronavirus used.</p> <p>Viruses “hijack” the host cell’s mechanisms to make more copies of itself. Damage results from either viruses taking over the cell completely and causing it to die, or immune cells recognising the viral infection and mounting a defence, triggering cell death.</p> <p>If large numbers of cells die, then the affected organ can’t function effectively.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1829448/">Studies</a> from patients who died from SARS coronavirus showed the virus caused damage to not only the lungs, but also other organs in the body. <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30211-7/fulltext">Early research</a> suggests the Wuhan coronavirus can also damage other organs, including the kidneys.</p> <p><strong>2. Pneumonia</strong></p> <p>While we’re still piecing together the relationship between the Wuhan coronavirus and pneumonia, there’s much we can learn from influenza.</p> <p>Influenza is a virus but it commonly <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5481322/">leads to bacterial pneumonia</a> – this is what’s known as a secondary infection.</p> <p>It’s thought the influenza virus weakens the usual protective mechanisms of the lung, allowing bacteria to establish and multiply. This is especially true in children, older people and those with compromised immune systems.</p> <p>Secondary bacterial pneumonia is <a href="https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/75F30C0D2C126CAECA2583940015EDE3/%24File/influenza_epidemiology_in_patients_admitted_to_sentinel_australian_hospitals_in_2017.pdf">more severe</a> than influenza alone – in hospitalised patients, around 10% of those with influenza and pneumonia die, compared to around 2% of those who don’t have pneumonia.</p> <p>The Wuhan coronavirus appears to cause pneumonia in two ways: when the virus takes hold in the lungs, and through secondary bacterial infections, however, the first way appears to be more common.</p> <p><strong>3. Sepsis</strong></p> <p><a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2492881">Sepsis</a> is a serious condition that can be caused by many infections.</p> <p>When we get an infection, we need to mount an immune response to fight off the pathogen. But an excessive immune response can cause damage and organ failure. This is what happens in the case of sepsis.</p> <p>Although it can be difficult to determine whether organ damage from the Wuhan coronavirus is a result of direct viral infection or indirect “collateral damage” from the immune system, <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30211-7/fulltext">initial reports suggested</a> around 11% of people severely ill with the Wuhan coronavirus experienced sepsis with multi-organ failure.</p> <p>So far no drugs or interventions have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24581450/">been able to dampen this immune response</a>. Although several treatments have been proposed for Wuhan coronavirus, none have yet been shown to work.</p> <p><strong>4. Complications of hospital care</strong></p> <p>Finally, patients who require hospital care may have complications. These include infections from intravenous lines (for drips/medication) or urinary catheters (flexible tubes inserted into the bladder to empty it of urine), pneumonia, or non-infectious complications such as falls or pressure sores.</p> <p><a href="https://aricjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13756-019-0570-y">Studies</a> have found 10% of patients in hospital have some sort of health care-acquired infection, and around 5% have a pressure sore.</p> <p>Hospitals work hard to try to prevent these complications, by making sure health care workers disinfect their hands and other equipment. However, complications still occur, particularly in patients who are debilitated from long hospital stays.</p> <p>While most respiratory viral infections are mild, some can trigger serious complications, either directly or indirectly. It’s too early to tell how often this occurs with the Wuhan coronavirus. While we have initial data on those who were severely affected, many others may not have required medical care.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/130864/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/allen-cheng-94997">Allen Cheng</a>, Professor in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-does-the-wuhan-coronavirus-cause-severe-illness-130864">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Prince Charles cops a lashing for taking helicopter to speak on aircraft emissions

<p>The Prince of Wales has been blasted after it was reported the royal flew over 200 kilometres in the Queen’s helicopter to give a speech on climate change and aircraft emissions.</p> <p>The 71-year-old royal heir was reportedly picked him in the chopper at Highgrove, Gloucestershire, and flown to Cambridge, where he was then chauffeured in a Bentley to the Cambridge University’s Whittle Laboratory on Friday.</p> <p>It was there Prince Charles told scientists to “act quickly to rescue this poor old planet”.</p> <p>He said during a speech: “We haven’t got time to waste.</p> <p>“We have run out of time now to rescue this poor old planet from man-made emissions and all the complications we’re now facing, all the challenges we’re facing.”</p> <p>However, it was only moments later the royal caught his mother’s helicopter back to see the Queen – a trip that caused around 2.5 tonnes of carbon emissions, and hundreds of gallons of aviation fuel.</p> <p>The total cost is reported to be at a staggering $23,000, according to reports by Sunday Mirror.</p> <p>He has been blasted in the past for taking trips by eco groups, who have accused him of not “walking the walk” on his pleas for people to look out for their carbon footprint.</p> <p>Graham Smith, CEO of campaign group Republic, told the <em>Mirror</em>: “He wants to play the role but not walk the walk. His view seems to be that it’s one rule for him and one rule for the rest of us. </p> <p>"Driving or using the train would have been pretty easy.”</p> <p>Dr Lucy Gilliam, aviation and shipping campaigner for environmental group Transport &amp; Environment, added to the topic by saying: “He could have used a private car with a chauffeur, ideally an electric one if he really wanted to walk the walk. He can definitely afford a Tesla.</p> <p>“I don’t doubt that Prince Charles really does get the message, but if he wants to be really effective, he must make those changes that will send such an enormous signal to the world.”</p> <p>A Clarence House spokesman said: “The Prince is not personally involved in decisions around his transportation arrangements, though he ensures all carbon emissions are offset every year.</p> <p>“They are made based on what is possible within the constraints of time, distance and security.</p> <p>“In order for him to undertake as many engagements as he does across the UK and around the world he sometimes has to fly.</p> <p>“As he has often said, as soon as there is a more sustainable way of making these journeys, he’ll be the first to use it.”</p>

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Coronavirus: How worried should you be about the shortage of face masks?

<p>The World Health Organisation (WHO) <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)">has just declared</a> the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.</p> <p><a href="https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/">There have been</a> nearly 10,000 cases of the so-called 2019-nCoV in China, 23 countries affected and more than 213 deaths globally.</p> <p>China, Germany, the US and several other countries <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001468?query=featured_home">confirmed</a> the virus can spread person to person, even from people without any symptoms.</p> <p>Now there are reports of face mask shortages <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/health/coronavirus-masks-hoarding.html">around the world</a>, including <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7930265/Facemasks-sold-Chemist-Warehouse-Australians-prepare-potential-coronavirus-outbreak.html">Australia</a>, the <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/face-masks-selling-out-u-s-china-coronavirus-experts-protect-against-infection-1484356">US</a> and in <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/chinese-official-protective-mask-and-suit-shortage-wuhan-coronavirus-2020-1?r=US&amp;IR=T">many cities of China</a>.</p> <p>How concerned should we be about these shortages? Or can we just wrap a scarf or piece of cloth around our face to protect against infection?</p> <p><strong>How important are face masks?</strong></p> <p>For a disease with no drug or vaccine yet, non-pharmaceutical measures are the mainstay of control. This includes personal protective equipment, such as face masks.</p> <p>But the type of face masks we typically see (surgical masks) do not provide a seal around the face or filtration of airborne particles, like those that may carry coronavirus.</p> <p>They do however <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/irv.12474">provide</a> a limited physical barrier against you transferring the virus from your hand to the face, or from large droplets and splashes of fluid.</p> <p>You also need to put on and remove your mask properly.<span class="caption"></span></p> <p>Disposable <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/default.html">respirators</a> reduce the risk of respiratory infections. They are designed to fit around the face and to filter <a href="https://theconversation.com/ive-always-wondered-why-many-people-in-asian-countries-wear-masks-and-whether-they-work-90178">95%</a> of airborne particles. However, these should be reserved for health workers, who need them most.</p> <p><strong>Do we really need these masks anyway?</strong></p> <p>In the disease epicentre, Wuhan, or on an <a href="https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200130/p2a/00m/0na/016000c">evacuation flight</a> out of Wuhan, face masks are a sensible precaution. They are also needed in other Chinese cities that are affected by the outbreak and where <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/30/cdc-confirms-first-human-to-human-transmission-of-coronavirus-in-us.html">transmission</a> is ongoing.</p> <p>However, in countries where transmission is not widespread and there are only a handful of cases being treated in hospital isolation rooms, masks serve no purpose in the community.</p> <p>For example, there is no need for the general public to use face masks in Australia, US and other counties where a few imported cases are reported, and the risk of catching the virus is low.</p> <p>Panic buying will result in a lack of supplies when we need them most, for instance, if the number of cases escalates dramatically. During the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, the WHO <a href="https://www.who.int/influenza/preparedness/measures/Adviceusemaskscommunityrevised.pdf?ua=1">did not recommend</a> the general public use face masks.</p> <p>The case is different for health workers, who face greater risks. It is essential we provide health workers with the best protection, because if they get sick or die, we <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748914003319?via%3Dihub">lose our ability</a> to fight the epidemic. During the SARS epidemic, <a href="https://oem.bmj.com/content/75/Suppl_2/A14.1">21% of all cases globally</a> were health workers.</p> <p><strong>How concerned should we be about the shortage of face masks?</strong></p> <p>This is a concern, especially if people hoard or stockpile face masks when there is no need. We saw a shortage of masks early during the 2009 influenza pandemic. The surge in demand during such events also results in higher prices.</p> <p>Countries have started releasing stockpiles of masks and other personal protective equipment to the health system. For example, the Australian government this week released <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/one-million-masks-released-as-australia-reviews-coronavirus-response-20200129-p53vqx.html">one million masks</a> for general practices and pharmacists from the national medical stockpile.</p> <p>There is also an existing shortage of masks in some areas of Australia due to the bushfire response and face masks from the national stockpile have mainly been released <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/one-million-masks-released-as-australia-reviews-coronavirus-response-20200129-p53vqx.html">in those areas</a>.</p> <p><strong>What happens if the situation gets worse?</strong></p> <p>The number of cases is <a href="https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/news--wuhan-coronavirus/">expected to increase</a> and a large quantity of face masks may be needed.</p> <p>If the current situation becomes a pandemic (an epidemic that goes global), we could be facing a much greater demand for personal protective equipment in the health sector alone.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217704">modelled serious epidemic in Sydney of smallpox</a>, if health workers use two disposable respirators a day for 6 months, over 30 million respirators will be needed for 100,000 clinical health workers.</p> <p>China is the largest producer of face masks globally and it has already <a href="https://gulfnews.com/photos/news/chinese-mask-factories-ramps-up-production-to-meet-worldwide-demand-1.1580295430370?slide=1">stepped up production</a> to meet the high demand.</p> <p>If large outbreaks happen in other countries, China may not be able to meet the demand of face masks, respirators and other medical supplies.</p> <p><strong>Not all face masks are up to the job</strong></p> <p>Another problem is the sale of low-quality face masks due to a shortage of products on the market, as <a href="https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3048126/china-coronavirus-hong-kong-customs-officers-launch">has been reported</a> in China and Hong Kong.</p> <p>Face masks are not regulated, may not filter the air, and also typically allow large amounts of air in through the sides. With a shortage of masks, low-quality masks could be exported to other countries.</p> <p><strong>If I can’t get hold of a mask, can I wrap a scarf around my face?</strong></p> <p>Wrapping cloth around your face probably will not protect you. That’s because a scarf or a hanky does not provide a tight fit around the face, isn’t designed to filter out air and may be contaminated.</p> <p>However, during the Ebola epidemic, a woman <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/25/health/ebola-fatu-family/index.html">nursed her entire family</a> through the illness using home-made protective equipment and did not get infected.</p> <p>In Asia, cloth masks are popular because they are cheap and re-usable. But they don’t protect you. Cloth masks may even <a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/5/4/e006577.full.pdf">increase your risk</a> of infection, especially if you don’t wash them regularly. They may absorb moisture and provide a breeding ground for bugs.</p> <p>So, ideally, people shouldn’t be using them. However, people may resort to cloth if there is no other choice.</p> <p><strong>In a nutshell</strong></p> <p>While news of mask shortages might sound scary, if you are in a country with few isolated cases, you don’t need one anyway as the risk of infection is very low for the general public.</p> <p>Panic buying or stockpiling also means there won’t be enough to go round should the situation worsen.</p> <p>Even if you do use a face mask, they may protect against large droplets (ones you can feel on your skin when someone sneezes) and self-contamination from your hands, but not against smaller airborne particles.</p> <p>Don’t forget, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html">hand-washing</a> is also very effective in preventing infection.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/130873/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/c-raina-macintyre-101935"><em>C Raina MacIntyre</em></a><em>, Professor of Global Biosecurity, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Head, Biosecurity Program, Kirby Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-1414">UNSW</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/abrar-ahmad-chughtai-358166">Abrar Ahmad Chughtai</a>, Epidemiologist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-1414">UNSW</a></em></span></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-how-worried-should-i-be-about-the-shortage-of-face-masks-or-can-i-just-use-a-scarf-130873">original article</a>.</em></p>

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London terror attack: Man shot dead after stabbing rampage

<p>The knifeman who strapped a fake bomb vest to his chest before stabbing two people in South London had been released from prison just a few days prior.</p> <p>Sudesh Amman was under the watchful eye of counter-terror cops before the “knife obsessed” jihadi went on a rampage on Streatham High Road early this morning.</p> <p>Terrified witnesses heard shots fire and saw the 19-year-old fall to the ground on Streatham High Road.</p> <p>Amman, from Harrow, North London, was sentenced to over three years in prison but was let-out on automatic release after serving half his sentence – despite concerns he still held extremist views.</p> <p>The man was just a teenager when he was arrested and was jailed for possessing and distributing terrorist documents.</p> <p>It was also revealed that Amman had shared an Al-Qaeda magazine in his family WhatsApp group and told his siblings “the Islamic State is here to stay”, the court heard.</p> <p>He owned bomb making manuals and also had plans to carry out acid attacks, his trial was told.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">*UPDATED STATEMENT* on our response to this afternoon's incident in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Streatham?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Streatham</a>.<br /><br />We treated three patients for injuries at the scene, and took all three people to hospital. <a href="https://t.co/oDCIO3sh6i">pic.twitter.com/oDCIO3sh6i</a></p> — London Ambulance Service (@Ldn_Ambulance) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ldn_Ambulance/status/1224027508695277569?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 2, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>A source said Amman was released early because there was nothing the authorities could do under existing laws to keep him behind bars.</p> <p>But he was put under the strictest licencing terms and that’s why the police were so quick to respond to the incident that occurred today.</p> <p>Scotland Yard is yet to confirm that Amman was known to counter-terror authorities, but it is believed he was on the watch-list due to the speed at which they responded.</p> <p>Witness Kiranjeet Singh told the<span> </span><em>Sun Online</em> that Amman stole a 10-inch knife from his brother’s bargain shop before injuring multiple people who came in his way.</p> <p>He stabbed a woman in the back before she ran away screaming in pain said another witness, and then he followed that attack by slashing a young man in the chest with a “huge knife”.</p> <p>Armed forces rushed to the scene, where the knife-wielding man was wearing a suicide vest and shot him three times just after 2pm.</p>

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“No Chinese allowed”: Racism surges as fear around coronavirus spreads

<p>The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to a surge in anti-Chinese racism that adds to the anxiety felt by expatriate communities worldwide.</p> <p>Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been overrun with hate speech in the form of racist memes and slurs and in some cases, suggesting violence against Chinese people or calling for the country to be “nuked”.</p> <p>“I don’t think it’s necessarily turned people into racists but what it does is inflame the existing prejudices within the community,” said ANU researcher Yun Jiang, coeditor of the <em>China Neican</em> policy newsletter.</p> <p>“So now people who perhaps have existing prejudice suddenly have an excuse to act out with racist behaviour and remarks.”</p> <p>In South Korea, a number of businesses are <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/926084.html" target="_blank" title="english.hani.co.kr">refusing to serve Chinese customers</a>, placing signs in windows reading, “No Chinese allowed.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">As of 6 pm on Tuesday, the entrance to a seafood restaurant in downtown Seoul bore a sign that read, in red Chinese characters, “No Chinese allowed.” That same day, union of food delivery workers asked to be excused from making deliveries to areas with a large Chinese population <a href="https://t.co/tSE0Z7wwhk">pic.twitter.com/tSE0Z7wwhk</a></p> — Klaus (@Kakapolka) <a href="https://twitter.com/Kakapolka/status/1222451845534060544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 29, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Similar notices have been placed in Japanese stores, saying that “No Chinese are allowed to enter the store. I do not want to spread the virus”.</p> <p>Chinese authorities have announced that the official death toll has risen to 170, with 7,711 cases now reported across the country.</p> <p>University of Manchester student Sam Phan wrote in<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/27/coronavirus-panic-uk-hostile-environment-east-asians" target="_blank">The Guardian</a> </em>about how the panic was making him feel “more and more uncomfortable”.</p> <p>“On the train over the weekend, a group sat opposite me chattering about their weekend plans,” Mr Phan wrote.</p> <p>“One of them seriously advised the rest, ‘I wouldn’t go to Chinatown if I were you, they have that disease.’ In another loud conversation, I overheard a woman talking about how terrified she was that her friend, who had spent some time working with Chinese students, might have infected her with the virus.”</p> <p>Mr Phan said as the virus spread, it had “revealed more and more stereotyped judgments about Chinese people”. “East Asians have been accused of instigating the virus by having ‘revolting’ eating habits,” he said. “Most Asians know these stereotypes all too well.”</p> <p>Ms Jiang agreed. “You look at the history of racism, a lot of it is linked to concepts of hygiene and customs such as food — the western conception of what’s weird and not, what is hygienic — and I think that really plays into this racist discourse as well,” she said.</p>

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Australian tennis prodigy dies after collapsing on court

<p>A budding 15-year-old Australian tennis star has died after collapsing on the court and hitting his head during a match.</p> <p>Kent Yamazaki was in Nepal preparing for the International Tennis Federation tournament on Wednesday when he fell.</p> <p>The teenager from Perth never regained consciousness and died in hospital. The cause of his death is not yet known.</p> <p>Tributes have poured in for “Kento” and his parents Tomio and Kimie, who were regulars at junior tennis competitions Australia-wide.</p> <p>“Kent was known for his infectious smile and genuine love of the game,” Tennis West, the governing body for the sport in Western Australia, said to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7946221/Australian-junior-tennis-star-Kent-Yamazaki-collapses-court-dies-Nepal.html" target="_blank">The Daily Mail</a></em>.</p> <p>“He was a true gentleman on and off the court, and his passion and incredible work ethic saw him rise through the ranks and reach great heights in his tennis career, representing WA proudly at many National events.”</p> <p>Tennis West said that Kent excelled in numerous state tournaments.</p> <p>“Kent was always the first player at practice, and embodied the National Academy values of compete, commit, and respect,” it said.</p> <p>“He was a favourite among his peers and was well respected by the wider tennis fraternity for his hard work, graciousness and positivity.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTennisWA%2Fphotos%2Fa.10150731746242087%2F10157211644722087%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="734" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Shocked fellow teenage players and their parents also mourned Kent on social media.</p> <p>“Oh my goodness. Feel very sad today. I remember my son playing him in a junior singles match. He was so good,” one mother wrote.</p> <p>Another wrote: “Kento, we cannot believe you have gone. You have left a hole in our hearts and in this world.</p> <p>“For all that knew you, knew you as a star on and off the court, a role model, an inspiration and above all a true friend.</p> <p>“To Tomio and Kimie, we hope you can take some strength from all that loved him for he touched everyone of us and will never be forgotten. Kent, you are an only child but you have many many brothers.”</p>

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