WEDNESDAY, MAY 27
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the National Cabinet has never agreed that there should be borders closed in Australia.
“That was never the medical expert advice that came at any time. Premiers and their governments in states, whether it is South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, have all made their own decisions and so they have got to justify those decisions,” he told the Today show this morning.
“There is no doubt that those sort of borders do harm the economy, they do harm jobs and it is important that we get those removed as soon as possible.”
Pauline Hanson joined the border battle of words demanding Queensland government reopen the state’s borders by Thursday, or face legal action in the High Court.
The One Nation senator made the threat this morning after accusing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of “destroying people’s lives” and livelihoods and branding the border closures unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk announced this morning that a 30-year-old man from Blackwater in central Queensland had died from coronavirus bringing the state’s death toll to seven.
Qld Chief health officer Jeannette Young said the man is believed to have been sick with symptoms for several weeks.
Dr Young said the man had a “complicated” medical history and had not travelled outside of the town since February.
“He was at home for most of that time,” she said.
His partner also has symptoms and has been taken to the Rockhampton hospital, however an initial test for COVID-19 was negative.
In the latest racially tense confrontation to go viral in America, a white woman has lost her job after a video which showed her calling police to say she felt threatened by an African-American birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park went viral.
The man, Christian Cooper, had politely asked Amy Cooper, who is no relation, to put her dog on a leash while walking on Monday.
The pair were in the Ramble — a spot popular with birdwatchers, and where dogs must be leashed at all times.
Mr Cooper pointed out the rules and asked the woman to comply, but she refused.
Ms Cooper told the Harvard graduate she would phone police and tell them “there’s an African-American man threatening my life” after he began filming her on his phone.
The interaction between a white New York woman and a black man was filmed.
“Please tell them whatever you like,” Mr Cooper responds on the video.
She then called emergency services and repeated: “He’s African-American,” before asking for police.
The video has been viewed more than 30 million times on social media, and the backlash prompted Ms Cooper’s employer, global investment firm Franklin Templeton, to terminate her employment.
The company said that following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, “we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton”.
News outlet WNBC spoke to Ms Cooper, who said she wanted to “sincerely and humbly apologise” to Mr Cooper.
She also returned her dog to the rescue home she got it from, after photos showing injuries it had suffered were discovered and reported.
Smoke from the last summer’s devastating bushfires killed an estimated 445 people and put more than 4,000 in hospital, a royal commission has heard.
Eighty per cent of the Australian population was affected by smoke from the fires, which burned in six states across six months.
Associate Prof Fay Johnston, an environmental health expert from the University of Tasmania, said the health problems from bushfire smoke were much greater than the health impact of the fires themselves.
The total health cost for the 2019-20 season was $2bn, four times higher than the second most severe season for bushfire smoke in 2002-03.
The total value of bushfire insurance claims nationally was $2.2bn.
Johnston told a hearing of the royal commission into natural disaster arrangements that small smoke particles triggered an immune response similar to fighting off an infection, which in people with underlying chronic conditions like asthma or heart disease could cause “serious illness or even death”.
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