Daily News Roundup

July 13, 2020

Victoria has recorded another 177 cases of coronavirus overnight, with 151 under investigation and 25 linked to known outbreaks.

Premier Daniel Andrews said one case was detected in hotel quarantine.

Seventy-two Victorians with coronavirus are in hospital, and 17 of those were in intensive care.

Mr Andrews said there were now 1,612 active cases in the state.

The Premier said the lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire would continue “as long as it needs to”.

Meanwhile, 13 Australian Defence Force personnel have been placed in self-isolation at a NSW base as fears over a Sydney pub outbreak grow.

Nine coronavirus cases have now been linked to the Crossroads Hotel, in Sydney’s Casula and it is understood the 13 defence force members visited while infected people were there. 

The group stopped at the pub on their way to Albury-Wodonga border.

News of the base quarantine came as a group of six Victorians were fined more than $24,000 after lying on border declaration forms while trying to enter Queensland on Saturday.

 Police said the group was attempting to cross the border in a minivan and told officers they had been working in New South Wales for the past three weeks.

But evidence uncovered on their phones showed the group had in fact been in a coronavirus hotspot in Victoria in the past fortnight.

Police said the group had made an earlier attempt to enter Queensland on July 2 but were turned back.

Each person was fined more than $4,000 and was directed to leave the state immediately.

“Victorians cannot come to Queensland,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this morning.

“We saw some people trying to get in, in a van, it’s not on.

“And you’ll be caught. And you’ll be fined.

“So those young people now have hefty fines they now have to pay.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has said NSW Health is “getting very close” to identifying the source at the heart of the growing Sydney pub cluster.

Mr Hunt refused to speculate on whether the cluster could be linked to Victoria’s worsening COVID-19 situation – where Premier Daniel Andrews announced another 273 infections yesterday after a shocking week of record rises in cases. 

NSW reported five new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, Western Australia reported one case and both Queensland and South Australia reported zero new infections. 

Treasurer John Frydenberg says Victoria’s return to lockdown has been a “real setback” to the nation’s economic recovery.

He said the nation was in two different stages as some states are opening up and at the same time Victoria has returned the lockdown.

“We must stay on top of the health aspects of the virus because economic support packages can only go so far,” he told Radio National.


Benjamin Keough, the grandson of Elvis Presley, has died aged 27 of an apparent suicide, US tabloid news website TMZ has reported.

The son of Presley’s daughter Lisa and musician Danny Keough, Benjamin died on Sunday in Calabasas, Los Angeles.

Benjamin was a relatively little-known member of a very famous family, with musician mother Lisa Marie, musician father Danny, and his older sister, actress Riley Keough.

He shared a strong family likeness to his late grandfather, something his mother herself once acknowledged in an interview: 

“Ben does look so much like Elvis. He was at the Opry and was the quiet storm behind the stage. Everybody turned around and looked when he was over there. Everybody was grabbing him for a photo because it is just uncanny,” she said.

TMZ reports that Benjamin had wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, signing a record deal worth $US5 million back in 2009.


Iranian investigators are blaming a misaligned missile battery and miscommunication between soldiers and their commanders for the Revolutionary Guard shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner in January, killing 176 people, according to the ABC quoting an AP report.

A report released on Saturday by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation comes months after the January 8 crash near Tehranwhich authorities for days denied having anything to do with.

The incident happened the same night Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting US soldiers in Iraq, its response to the American drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

At the time, Iranian troops were bracing for a US counterstrike and appear to have mistaken the plane for a missile.

The report detailed a series of moments where the shootdown of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 could have been avoided.

Footage showing a mid-air explosion close to Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752’s last transponder position.

The report said the surface-to-air missile battery that targeted the Boeing 737-800 had been relocated and was not properly reoriented.

Those manning the missile battery could not communicate with their command centre, they misidentified the civilian flight as a threat and opened fire twice without getting approval from ranking officials, the report said.

“If each had not arisen, the aircraft would not have been targeted,” the report said.

Western intelligence officials and analysts believe Iran shot down the aircraft with a Russian-made Tor system, known to NATO as the SA-15.

In 2017, Iran took the delivery of 29 Tor M1 units from Russia under a contract worth an estimated $US700 million ($1 billion).

All of the passengers aboard the flight died.

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