Daily News Roundup

May 21, 2020


The border war continued to rage today as Premiers traded angry words over the best next step to tackle the health/economy fallout from COVID-19.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian accused her WA counterpart Mark McGowan of closing his state off to preserve his popularity with Mr McGowan claiming his Government was being “bullied” by the Premier of Australia’s most populous state.

Ms Berejiklian yesterday announced travel restrictions in NSW would be scrapped from June 1 and encouraged interstate visitors to book a holiday there.

WA, Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania are all yet to announce a firm timeline to reopen them.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week said her state’s border was likely to remain closed until September.

Ms Berejiklian maintains interstate travel will be an important part of Australia’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and reiterated other states would miss out if they kept their borders closed.

“In fact, I’m sure those premiers are getting more popular in their states for keeping their borders closed,” Ms Berejiklian told ABC News Breakfast today.

In a recent Newspoll, Mr McGowan was rated the nation’s most popular leader, earning approval from 89 per cent of the WA public.

Adding to the war of words today, Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey, commenting on the state’s continued border closures said: “Let’s be very clear, on the border issue, we won’t be lectured to by the worst performing state in Australia.

“There are 33 times the number of active cases in NSW compared to Queensland. So, NSW needs to get its act together and get its community transmission down and we’ll all be better off throughout this nation, including in Queensland.

“It’s time for Gladys and the NSW government to get their act together and to start performing as well as Queensland has done on the health front.”


A coroner has slammed the “pack of lies” told by a woman who catfished her best friend, leading the 20-year-old to tragically suicide, news.com reports.

NSW Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott has found the actions of Camila Zeidan “caused the hurt and heartache which led (Ms Mardsen) to take her own life”.

Ms Truscott found Zeidan, 27, deliberately catfished Renae Marsden, 20, by masquerading as an adoring prison lover so she could manipulate her for her own romantic desires.

Zeidan had told numerous lies, had lied to police and lied the family of the dead woman, Renee Marsden, the inquest into Ms Marsden’s death heard.

Ms Truscott said lies had “amplified … the pain” of Ms Mardsen’s family, and that her “lack of co-operation” had resulted in “further torment” of the family’s suffering.

When Zeidan, posing as jail inmate Brayden Spiteri, ended the relationship, Renae Marsden ended her life, the inquest heard.

“Camila knew that terminating the relationship would leave Renee devastated,” Ms Truscott said.

She said Renae had “a strong connection, deep love and was prepared to wait for (Brayden’s) release from prison” and truly believed Brayden was real and they would marry.

Ms Marsden, a trained hairdresser and receptionist, suicided in Sydney’s east on the evening of August 5, 2013, although her remains have never been found after falling from cliffs into the sea.

Ms Truscott said she rejected Zeidan’s claims that Ms Marsden knew Spiteri was fake and that the pair had concocted the phantom lover to hide a secret lesbian relationship.


NSW Health has warned people not to touch wildlife following a case where a woman contracted a rare disease after being bitten and scratched by a ringtail possum in northern Sydney.  

Symptoms of the disease, named tularaemia, include chills, fever, swollen lymph glands, fatigue and a sore throat.

It is treatable with antibiotics.

The disease is very rare and can only be transmitted from infected animals to humans, not human to human, the health authority said.

Australia has previously only recorded two cases in humans.

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