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"Lucky to be alive": Australian in Beirut recounts moment of devastation

<p>Lebanese rescue workers are continuing to search for survivors in the wreckage of buildings after an explosion at a port in Beirut killed at least 135 people and injured 5000 more.</p> <p>Up to 250,000 have also been displaced, with no home to live in after the explosion shattered their windows and sent their buildings tumbling.</p> <p>Samah Hadid from Australia is among those affected.</p> <p>She’s been forced to evacuate her neighbourhood which sits “within the zone” - just one kilometre from the port.</p> <p>Her apartment has been left “completely destroyed”, but authorities have also issued a warning about the toxic fumes circulating in the air, putting Samah’s health at risk too.</p> <p>“I’m really lucky to be alive,” she told<span> </span><em>The Latest</em>.</p> <p>“The damage was so extensive that it ripped through the entire building and the apartment so I’m really lucky to escape injury.”</p> <p>When the explosion occurred, Samah thought it was either a bomb or an earthquake as her building began to shake.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDhu2u2lezp/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDhu2u2lezp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">My sincere condolences and prayers go out to those affected in Lebanon 🙏🙏🙏🙏 #lebanon #beirut #beirutlebanon #beirut_lebanon #lebanonexplosion</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/vetmedmemesdaily/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> THE VET HUMOR PAGE</a> (@vetmedmemesdaily) on Aug 5, 2020 at 5:06pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“The ceilings came down. Furniture just ripped apart,” she said.</p> <p>Hadid escaped through the building’s stairwell but found “blood all over the staircase from people who were really severely injured”.</p> <p>“The hospitals were so overwhelmed and overcrowded that they should not accept any more people,” she said.</p> <p>“And this is happening in the middle of a pandemic where the health system here is already overstretched dealing with coronavirus and, to put it in perspective, Lebanon was already facing an economic crisis.</p> <p>“People were already living in poverty.</p> <p>“We’re already facing starvation, in my street alone, buildings have been destroyed, neighbourhoods have been ruined, brought to rubble.</p> <p>“The country has been brought to its knees. It’s facing crisis upon crisis.</p> <p>“It desperately needs support and needs international aid support, if people are going to be able to rebuild their lives.”</p> <p>The death toll is expected to rise from the blast that officials believe is due to a large amount of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.</p> <p>President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of seized ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.</p>

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Appalling discovery along popular national park bike track

<p><span>Cyclists on the central coast of NSW made a horrifying discovery over the weekend while riding through a popular national park.</span><br /><br /><span>Many young families and bikers ride out to Bouddi National Park and Scott Uzelac, who is a keen mountain biker, is one of them.</span><br /><br /><span>While cycling with friends near Maitland Bay which is located inside the park, they were surprised when one suffered a flat tyre.</span><br /><br /><span>The group quickly realised what caused the flat.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837172/park-bike.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c0cece9748e74de2a0d8c3e49747d6cd" /><br /><br /><span>“I thought there must be a sharp root or something there so I started kicking the area and I couldn’t see anything,” he explained to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/central-coast-cyclists-booby-trap-discovery-bouddi-park-track-211146279.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia.</a></em></span><br /><br /><span>Mr Uzelac then saw a leafy area which he also put his foot through, striking something hard.</span><br /><br /><span>“I got down on my knees and saw this row of nails sticking out a piece of 30 by 40 with two big anchor bolts... I couldn’t even count how many nails were sticking out.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837171/park-bike-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/10a1c9b4beac42b288b9eb556e72b106" /><br /><br /><span>Mr Uzelac says it’s an area he visits with his children, and “freaked out” over the startling discovery.</span><br /><br /><span>“I was shocked and a bit dumbfounded. I just couldn't believe somebody's done that, to be honest,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“If [my children] trod on it in the right way, the nails are that long it would have gone straight through their feet and through the other side.”</span><br /><br /><span>The Kincumber resident said many of the trails in the area, including the one he and his friends were on, have been created by mountain bikers due to a lack of routes.</span><br /><br /><span>However he says they are not recognised as official tracks.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837170/park-bike-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/15a52e11bd4d463ba1157dc5ed5d49a1" /><br /><span>The 41-year-old also pointed out that there has been an influx of walkers now using the unofficial tracks, who are furious with the cyclists using the paths.</span><br /><br /><span>“Some of the older walkers think they have the right [of way over cyclists], I’ve heard of some of the older bushwalkers throwing sticks on the trails so people can’t ride through them,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Uzelac took the booby trap to Terrigal police station.</span><br /><br /><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/central-coast-cyclists-booby-trap-discovery-bouddi-park-track-211146279.html" target="_blank"><em>Yahoo News Australia</em></a> reports investigations into its placement on the track are ongoing.</span><br /><br /><span>The father said there was growing pressure among riders to have designated routes identified by the local council, to distinguish separate pathways for cyclists and walkers.</span></p> <p><em>Images: Scott Uzelac</em></p>

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Sailors rescued from tiny island after writing giant "SOS" in the sand

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Three missing sailors have been found on a tiny island in the western Pacific after a desperate message saying SOS in the sand that was spotted from the air. </p> <p>The men were found on Sunday after they had been missing for three days, and were reportedly "in good health", according to the Australian Defence Ministry. </p> <p>Their call for help was written on the beach of Pikelot Island, 190 kilometres west of where they had set out and was seen by Australian and US aircraft.  </p> <p>A ship, the HMAS Canberra, headed to the sailors' aid and a helicopter landed on the beach. </p> <p>The ship brought water and food for the men as well as carrying out identity and health checks. </p> <p>The men were reportedly sailing between the atolls Poluwat and Pulap, a journey of 42 kilometres when they veered off course and ran out of fuel. </p> <p>A Micronesian patrol vessel, FSS Independence, is heading to the island to pick up the men. </p> <p>Canberra's Commanding Officer Captain Terry Morrison said the response by the ship's company to the operation was outstanding. </p> <p>"The ship's company responded to the call and had the ship quickly prepared to support the search and rescue," Captain Morrison said. </p> <p>"In particular, our embarked MRH90 helicopter from No. 808 Squadron and the four armed reconnaissance helicopters from 1st Aviation Regiment were instrumental in the morning search that helped locate the men and deliver supplies and confirm their welfare. </p> <p>"I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfil our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are in the world."</p> <p><em>Photo credit: Australian Department of Defence</em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Why teenagers travelled to VIC before bringing COVID-19 to QLD

<div class="body_text "> <p>Queensland is on edge after three new cases of coronavirus have emerged, with two being teenage women who allegedly lied on their border declaration and brought coronavirus into QLD's south-east.</p> <p>Their actions have been labelled as reckless, as major testing and tracing operation is underway to stop the spread.</p> <p>The two 19-year-old girls travelled to Melbourne, allegedly intending to commit thefts on high-end fashion stores.</p> <p>The pair also attended an illegal party on July 19 and were handed $1,600 fines for ignoring restrictions.</p> <p>On July 21, the pair flew from Melbourne to Sydney and by not leaving the terminal, they avoided border checks.</p> <p>The pair arrived in Brisbane and allegedly provided fake names and false border declarations.</p> <p>Hundreds of anxious members from the Parklands Christian College community are angry and fearing that they have been infected as the pair travelled to the area.</p> <p>“I think it’s disgraceful, how did they get up from Victoria?” one person asked.</p> <p>“I’m very very disappointed. I think it was reckless,” another told <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/qld/why-pair-of-teenagers-travelled-to-melbourne-before-bringing-coronavirus-back-to-queensland-c-1203213" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink"><em>7NEWS</em></a>.</p> <p>Queensland Police state disaster coordinator Steve Gollschewski said that an investigation into the women's movements was ongoing.</p> <p>“This is a criminal investigation we’re conducting,” he said.</p> <p>“This is a clear representation of how the actions of a few can impact many,” said Queensland Health’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.</p> <p>“Because of the decisions of these two women, that brought the virus back to Queensland, thousands more will have to be tested and self-isolate.”</p> <p>Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared drastic action.</p> <p>“Queensland will now be declaring greater Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot,” she said on Wednesday.</p> <p>“it is going to cause an inconvenience to families, and I know there may be a lot of events planned, but it is too important,” Palaszczuk said.</p> <p>“We must protect our elders.”</p> </div>

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Why retail workers are wearing a second badge

<p>Since the start of the pandemic, retail workers have been at the forefront of people’s frustrations as they copped abuse on the daily.</p> <p>In April, one woman was filmed racially abusing workers at a Telstra store in Sydney, telling a staff member to “go back to China, while this week another customer berated retailers over their face mask policies, saying such views “have no basis in science or fact”.</p> <p>In a bid to curb the rise of abuse, particularly during COVID, staff at some of Australia’s biggest chains will now wear a second name badge.</p> <p>Employees at stores such as Woolworths, Target, Big W and KFC will have a tag on their uniform stating either “I’m a mother”, “I’m a father”, “I’m a son” or “I’m a daughter” to remind customers they are someone’s family member.</p> <p>A Woolworths employee recently went viral on TikTok after she explained the importance of the badge.</p> <p>“A lot of people have been asking on my videos what this says and it says ‘No one deserves a serve, I’m a daughter’,” Dakota Rae Shaw said in the video.</p> <p>“Basically the union brought them out to us so that people could imagine if it was their daughter they were speaking to.”</p> <p><img style="width: 323.727px; height: 500px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837116/screen-shot-2020-07-29-at-30527-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e6d21d25f98e44dd8f805dd04bf6cbd9" /></p> <p>According to the union, over 85 per cent of workers are being abused while they work.</p> <p>SDA NSW secretary Bernie Smith said there has been a reported 44 per cent reduction in customer aggression since the badges were rolled out.</p> <p>“The idea of the badges is to humanise the person behind the counter, so the customer sees them as a person rather than somebody processing their sale,” he told Yahoo.</p> <p>“They’re someone who’s part of a family and part of a community, and the badges make people think twice.”</p> <p>A Facebook user recently shared her experience of a staff member wearing a badge saying “I’m a son” at Woolworths store at Lennox Head, on the northern NSW coast, on Saturday.</p> <p>“He was wearing a second badge … I started asking questions as to why, and he said it was an attempt stop the abuse that they cop,” she wrote.</p> <p>“He said he hasn’t experienced it in Lennox yet but in Byron Bay he did all the time because of (in his words) ‘the sense of entitlement most people there had’.</p> <p>“It breaks my heart that young people just trying to do their job, especially during a pandemic, have to put up with this c**p.</p> <p>“If you witness it, call it out. Not ok.”</p>

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Massive new fines for drivers rolled out

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Mobile phone detection cameras are going to be implemented in Queensland and Victoria from this week, ready to catch those who are texting and driving out.</p> <p>The cameras are already in use in New South Wales and are focusing on reducing the rising number of accidents caused by distracted drivers.</p> <p>Two cameras will be in operation in Victoria and Queensland but will be shifted around suburbs.</p> <p>“The trial – which begins this Wednesday, July 29 – will ensure the technology operates accurately and is appropriate for use on Victorian roads before a potential rollout,” Victoria Roads said in a statement.</p> <p>“Research shows drivers who use a mobile phone while driving are four times more likely to cause a fatal road accident.</p> <p>“Texting, browsing and emailing increase the crash risk even further – up to 10 times.”</p> <p>A grace period will be afforded with a warning letter to those initially caught out, just like in NSW.</p> <p>The fines for being caught out are steep, with Victorian drivers being fined $496 and four demerit points deducted while Queensland drivers will be fined $1,000 and also lose four demerit points.</p> <p>The technology being used in the cameras is a world-first, with high-definition cameras capturing images of the front seats of vehicles and artificial intelligence is then used to automatically review the images and detect if a driver is using their phone.</p> <p>If the automated system pings an offending driver, the image is reviewed by a human before issuing a penalty.</p> <p>The world-first cameras raised $7 million in fines in the first month of operation in NSW, with an extra 11,790 offences detected.</p> <p>NSW Shadow Transport Minister John Graham said that it was clear that drivers still hadn't gotten the message.</p> <p>“This is a dramatic number of fines … We need to educate drivers,” he told 9 News.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: </em><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/mobile-detection-cameras-with-huge-fines-coming-to-victoria-and-queensland/news-story/069613ae7fac4ba1cc4e99fa93826901" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink">news.com.au</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Daniel Andrews targets sick Victorians failing to self-isolate as cases continue to spike

<p>Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned the number of coronavirus cases will continue to rise and lockdowns will be extended if people do not self-isolate after showing symptoms and getting tested.</p> <p>Two weeks after the state implemented Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ orders in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, Andrews said the government was “certainly not seeing numbers come down as we would like them to”.</p> <p>He said 53 per cent of the 3,810 positive cases recorded between July 7 and 21 did not isolate while waiting for their COVID-19 test result.</p> <p>“We certainly cannot have one-in-two people who are waiting for a test result simply going about their business as if they didn’t have symptoms, as if they weren’t waiting for a test result, as if this wasn’t a global pandemic,” Andrews said.</p> <p>Nine out of 10 people in the same group did not self-isolate after feeling sick and before undertaking a test, the premier said.</p> <p>“Unless we have people who get tested staying at home and isolating until they get their results, then we will not see these numbers come down,” he said.</p> <p>“They will continue to go up and up. And a six-week shutdown will not be for six weeks. It will run for much longer than that.”</p> <p>Andrews said workers who are falling ill should ring 1800 675 398 and apply for the $1,500 one-off relief payment from the state government.</p> <p>“There is a large proportion of these people who are making these choices because, in their judgement, they’ll look at their bank balance, they’ll look at the fact that, if they don’t work the shift, they won’t get paid for the shift, they don’t have sick leave – this is a commentary on insecure work,” he said.</p> <p>“That’s where that $1500 payment hopefully deals with the financial driver.”</p> <p>On Wednesday, Victoria recorded 484 new cases, the highest daily increase of any Australian state so far.</p> <p>Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the state could soon see up to 600 new cases per day.</p> <p>“I absolutely don’t want us to go there,” Sutton said.</p> <p>“We have to reinforce the things that we know will make a difference. And that is the very simple principles of isolation and quarantine.”</p>

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Man found in car boot trying to cross Queensland border

<p>Police stationed at Wallangarra on the New South Wales/Queensland border crossing have had a surprise when they discovered a man hiding in the boot of a small car.</p> <p>"Oh, haha … well, hello buddy," an officer can be heard saying</p> <p>"Why are you trying to sneak across mate?</p> <p>The man was issued a fine of $4,003 for attempting to enter Queensland without a Border Declaration Pass.</p> <p>"If you can't get in through the right way, then don't try the back way," said Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi.</p> <p>"I'm mayor of a region of more than 66,000 people and I don't want one person to get sick because someone's cheating.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FQueenslandPolice%2Fvideos%2F927880784342720%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>"We don't want a second spike like there has been in other states."</p> <p>Two other women in their 20s were also in the vehicle at the time.</p> <p>All three were not permitted to enter Queensland.</p> <p>Since Friday, July 3, anyone entering the state is required to complete a Border Declaration Pass, which is valid for seven days, or until the person’s circumstances change.</p> <p>"Our beer is better without a doubt, and so are our football players, so I can see why people want to come here," Mr Pennisi said.</p> <p>"But this is not about an individual, this is about our nation.</p> <p>"We need to do what is right for all of us and I hope everyone pays heed to this."</p> <p>Queensland Police released a statement saying it was committed to making sure everyone followed public health directions.</p> <p>"Vehicles will continue to be intercepted at random where police will verify declarations with identification," it said.</p> <p>"Providing false information on the declaration, or entering Queensland unlawfully, could result in a $4,003 fine.</p> <p>"Since July 10, 16 people have been fined for failing to comply with the COVID-19 Border Direction."</p>

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COVID killings: People being executed for breaking lockdown rules

<p>Drug cartels and rebel groups are executing people who break their coronavirus lockdown rules across Colombia, according to a report by <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/15/colombia-armed-groups-brutal-covid-19-measures">Human Rights Watch</a> (HRW).</p> <p>At least nine people have been murdered for failing to comply with the restrictions or speaking out against them.</p> <p>The report found that armed groups have imposed rules in at least 11 of Colombia’s 32 states. The armed groups’ measures are often stricter than those imposed by the government, according to humanitarian workers and community leaders. The workers said violent gangs are prohibiting residents from leaving their homes during curfews, including those who are sick.</p> <p>In at least nine 32 states, armed groups have used or threatened violence to enforce rules that include curfews, lockdowns, movement restrictions, and limits on businesses’ opening days and hours. In two provinces, Cauca and Guaviare, the groups have burned the motorcycles of those who flouted their restrictions.</p> <p>“In communities across Colombia, armed groups have violently enforced their own measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at HRW.</p> <p>“This abusive social control reflects the government’s long-standing failure to establish a meaningful state presence in remote areas of the country, including to protect at-risk populations.”</p> <p>Since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country on March 6, there have been more than 204,000 confirmed cases with over 6,900 deaths.</p>

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Harrowing near miss for bystander at petrol pump

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Shocking CCTV footage posted online shows a near-miss by a Tasmanian driver at a petrol station.</p> <p>A woman narrowly avoided serious injury as the driver in front drove off from the petrol pump with the fuel nozzle still attached to their vehicle.</p> <p>A black car is seen driving away from the pump, which causes the hose connecting the petrol bowser and the vehicle to stretch.</p> <p>The pressure quickly becomes too much and the hose snaps back from the vehicle, almost hitting a woman in the head.</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTaspetroleum1%2Fvideos%2F1151317785225218%2F&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=734&amp;height=757&amp;appId" width="734" height="757" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe> <p>The woman and another driver can be seen watching on in confusion, with Tasmania Petroleum hoping to track down who caused the incident.</p> <p>"Can anyone put us in touch with the driver of a Black Mitsubishi Challenger, Rego FH 0659?" the company wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>"And also the innocent bystander, driving a green Toyota hatch Rego FR1852, who was very lucky to walk away! We are sorry for your unfortunate bad experience on our site, and would like to give you some free fuel."</p> </div> </div> </div>

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A heartwarming poem about life during COVID-19

<p><strong>Ode to Hope</strong><br /><br />Lockdown, stay home, self isolate<br />The World is in a perilous state<br />The first time in history we all empathise<br />As we view this pandemic through fearful eyes<br /><br />So many deaths from an invisible bug<br />No loved ones there, no-one to hug<br />We’re all in mourning at such tearful sights<br />Now we’re recruited to ‘fight the good fight’<br /><br />In our family cocoon we must safely sit<br />Perhaps venture outside to shop or keep fit<br />How lucky are we, in these close bonds secure<br />Our loved ones, in future, we’ll appreciate more<br /><br />Let’s spare a kind thought for those very poor<br />Unable to hide behind tightly locked doors<br />Come rain or come shine, out there sleeping rough<br />Disenfranchised lives, they’re doing it real tough!<br /><br />Jobs have been lost, how will they exist?<br />Just essential items, can be on the list<br />Our lives forced to be, over simplified<br />To the fast changing rules, we must abide<br /><br />Ours lives of excess consumerism<br />Trapped in over-consumption prison<br />How can we escape this merry-go-round?<br />We all sell our souls when such greed abounds<br /><br />Nails, eyebrows, long lashes, and botox lips<br />Piercings, tattoos, extensions, blonde tips<br />Wardrobes overflowing with so much stuff<br />Clothing and shoes, there’s never enough<br /><br />Our houses are stylishly decorated<br />Too large with so few accommodated<br />Every gadget, white-good, electronic device<br />Mesmerised by our screens, is this a life?<br /><br />Shock jocks spouting their vitriol<br />To divide and conquer is their main goal<br />So many believe everything that they read<br />From a diet of facebook and twitter feed<br /><br />These days no belief in our politicians<br />So cynical, another term, is their ambition<br />Fake news and partisan PR spin<br />At all costs the party is just there to win<br /><br />At times like this can we work together<br />To make it last, to improve life forever?<br />Will it change the way that we must think<br />Or will all be forgotten, in just one blink?<br /><br />We now have the chance to contemplate<br />To reset our lives, is it too late?<br />Live a simpler life, it has so much worth,<br />Revive us and save our struggling Mother Earth.<br /><br /><em>By Kathy Lang</em></p>

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Police minister slams Sydney partygoers

<p>New South Wales Police Minister David Elliott has condemned a group of people who attended a house party in Sydney’s north-west, describing their behaviour as “stupidity at the highest level”.</p> <p>More than 60 people were found partying at a rental property on Nottingham Street in Schofields on Saturday night. Police said they arrested 30 people for refusing move-on directions and intend to issue COVID-19 fines of up to $1,000 to about 60 people.</p> <p>House gatherings of more than 20 people were prohibited under <a href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules#visiting-family-and-friends-at-home">the state’s coronavirus restrictions</a>.</p> <p>Elliott said he hoped the party attendees would be hit with fines for breaching public health orders.</p> <p>“Having 60 people jammed into party is just nuts, it was unnecessary,” he told <em><a href="https://7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/police-minister-slams-60-revellers-who-attended-sydney-party-amid-coronavirus-outbreak-c-1177379">Sunrise</a> </em>on Monday morning.</p> <p>“I’m so disappointed that Sydneysiders who are conscious of what’s going on in Melbourne would put themselves into that situation, and put police in that situation.”</p> <p>The comments came as NSW prepares to impose new border entry rules for people looking to enter the state from Victoria.</p> <p>A border zone will be applied along the Murray River <a href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions">from midnight on Tuesday</a>, requiring cross-border travellers to apply for a new permit.</p> <p>“Essentially, unless you’re travelling across the border in the border zone for education, health or employment, you shouldn’t be going,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.</p> <p>“The daily matters where people were able to cross back and forth will no longer be possible – you can’t just pop across to do your shopping, it has to be now for the three designated reasons.”</p>

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"Million Dollar Bogan" rode across Victoria, NSW and Qld borders to buy tyres

<p>A self-proclaimed "Million Dollar Bogan" tested the limited of Queensland's border restrictions and managed to cross the state lines on "compassionate grounds".</p> <p>What Victorian real estate agent Daniel Hayes got instead was a new tyre for his motorbike and a tattoo.</p> <p>He boasted about his visit to Queensland on YouTube, saying that had he not been able to get to the state, he would "probably end up getting arrested".</p> <p>The video is believed to have been filmed about three weeks ago, which was prior to Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk banning all Victorians from entering her state due to the spike in coronavirus infections.</p> <p>The video shows Hayes being greeted by Queensland Police at the border, where he explains that he got a compassionate permit online.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d8QoaPgPk3M"></iframe></div> <p>Initially, the officer said that he would have to quarantine for 14 days as he'd come from Victoria, but after Hayes insisted he would be out of Queensland today, the officer changed his mind.</p> <p>“Alright, I will let you through, but technically you shouldn’t … because you might be full of the lurgy," he said.</p> <p>His promise to leave the state immediately ended up being a lie, as he spent the night in the state, met up with a fan and travelled to Surfers Paradise to get a tattoo.</p> <p>“I had a great time. It was wonderful to get out before we got locked down again,” he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/coronavirus-melbourne-real-estate-agent-crosses-queensland-border-uploads-video-bragging-on-youtube/e30f209c-d295-40cf-ab2f-0a48550a4303" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink"><em>A Current Affair</em></a>, adding he had no regrets over making the trip.</p> <p>“I don’t feel like I broke the law. I felt that I was honest with him and he let me through.</p> <p>“I don’t know if I’ve done anything wrong. I gave him my excuse. I showed him the paperwork, which I filled out. I had a letter from Gasoline Alley, and I crossed the border, and he let me through.”</p> <p>Queensland Police told ACA that they were aware of the video and were "conducting inquiries in relation to the matter".</p> <p>The state's Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski reminded Victorians that they shouldn't be travelling to Queensland.</p> <p>“It’s a very costly exercise … If you’re coming out of Victoria and you’ve been there in the last 14 days, do not come to Queensland unless you are a Queensland resident returning,” he said.</p> <p><em>Photo credit: Million Dollar Bogan</em></p>

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NSW tourist towns overrun with "hundreds" of Victorians

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>River towns in outback NSW are being visited by hordes of tourists despite border closures and concerns over a coronavirus outbreak.</p> <p>The Minindee Regional Tourist Association has closed its information centre as there is concern within the community about travelling Victorians and COVID-19.</p> <p>Chairman Rob Gregory said "hundreds" of Victorians had been in the town in the last several weeks, and some long-term residents said they had never seen it so busy.</p> <p>"In the main street I can't even get my designated parking spot," Mr Gregory, who is also an electrician, said.</p> <p>"It's certainly been hectic. I've been doing some work in the local supermarket just the last couple of days, and a lot of people in there and out getting their supplies."</p> <p>Many Menindee residents were ready to welcome back tourists after a few tough years for the town, but the outbreak in Victoria and the threat it could spread interstate has made residents anxious.</p> <p>Mr Gregory said that there was a 50-50 split in the community between those who wanted travellers to visit and those who wanted them to leave.</p> <p>"We decided to close the Tourist Information Centre because of that angst," he said.</p> <p>"We've got older members that volunteer in there, and they decided they didn't want to put themselves at risk and others at risk."</p> <p>The owner of the cafe at Pooncarie, south of Minindee had to close business on Friday as she ran out of supplies.</p> <p>Barbara Ellis said that most of the visitors were from Victoria and appeared to be in no rush to return back home.</p> <p>"We thought it would've dropped off almost instantly, but it hasn't," Ms Ellis said.</p> <p>"I think the ones that are going back home are the ones that actually have commitments back home, like they need to get children back to school or whatever.</p> <p>"Our business is basically entirely grey nomads and travellers."</p> <p>Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Jenny Thwaites expressed frustration over the surge of visitors who were ignoring signs erected by the community, requesting them not to stop in the town.</p> <p>"People are going to (have to) stop to get fuel and to go to the toilet, and maybe go into the roadhouse and get something to eat," Ms Thwaites said.</p> <p>"That's accepted, but surely they don't have to go and picnic in a park when it's quite clear that we're asking them not to do it."</p> <p><em>Photo credits: Visit NSW</em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Royal fan faints while meeting Prince Charles

<p>A supermarket worker who proved to be a massive fan of Prince Charles fainted while meeting him for the first time, a video clip shows.<span> </span><br /><br />While both the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were making the rounds at a distribution centre for the supermarket retailer Asda, in Bristol, the royals got to meet a very excited fan.<br /><br />To give their thanks and show their appreciation for the workers, they chatted with employees but when Prince Charles began talking to one man, he began to sway back and forth before dramatically falling to the ground.<br /><br />Prince Charles reached out as the man fell, with several people rushing to the employee’s aide.</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/tv/CCbkcPWg6kV/?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/tv/CCbkcPWg6kV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by A.NEWS🇲🇺 (@a.newsmru)</a> on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:07am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In video from the incident, Prince Charles could be heard speaking and saying, “Dear oh dear,” and “Goodness,” as the man received medical attention on the ground.<br /><br />The employee quickly recovered and later got the chance to finish his conversation with Prince Charles.</p>

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Health breach at Sydney airport has passengers from Melbourne disembark without health screening

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Passengers flying home from Melbourne to Sydney on a Jetstar flight on Tuesday night were able to get off the plane without undergoing a health screen for symptoms of coronavirus.</p> <p>The major health breach was confirmed by Jetstar to NCA NewsWire and allows some people to enter the major city without being tested. </p> <p>A Jetstar spokesman said crew assisted health officials who were reportedly not present at the time the plane landed by locating passengers in the terminal.</p> <p>The airline also provided officials with the aircraft manifest to assist them in contacting passengers who were not found in the terminal.</p> <p>“Together with Sydney Airport, we have refined our disembarkation procedures to prevent this situation from occurring again,” the spokesman said.</p> <p>Passengers had been screened in Melbourne but it is government policy that they are tested again before disembarking in Sydney.</p> <p>This process usually begins after health officials arrive at the gate and signal to plane crew that they are ready to receive disembarking passengers, but under the new protocol, planes will not be able to pull up to the gate before NSW Health Officials are ready.</p> <p>The screening test includes a temperature check and questions about whether passengers have experienced coronavirus symptoms and if they have travelled to any hot spots in the past two weeks.</p> <p>The NSW Government introduced new laws on Tuesday night that prohibits anyone from Greater Melbourne from travelling into the state. </p> <p>NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said the government was “in the process” of chasing up the passengers.</p> <p>“If anyone is found to have travelled in breach of any orders we’ll refer them to police and take the appropriate action, depending on whether anyone is symptomatic, to ensure the community is protected,” she said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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