Daily News Roundup

September 7, 2020

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

World number one Novak Djokovic has lost his fourth-round match at the US Open in dramatic circumstances after he was defaulted for hitting a ball in anger that struck a female line judge in the throat.

Djokovic had just had his serve broken by Pablo Carreno Busta to trail 5-6 in the first set.

As he walked to the sideline at the change of ends, in frustration he hit the ball behind him without looking — the line judge dropped to her knees at the back of the court, holding her neck.

After checking on the line judge and immediately apologising, the 17-time major title winner stood at the net for several minutes discussing the incident with officials including tournament referee Soeren Friemel, before going to Carreno Busta and shaking hands, then grabbing his bags and walking off court.

Djokovic did not speak to the press after the match, but released a statement on Instagram soon after, apologising again.

“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” Djokovic said.

“I checked on the linesperson and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong.

“As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being.

“I apologise to the US Open tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry.”

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More than 84 million doses of potential coronavirus vaccines will be rolled out to Australians in stages across next year, if “promising” drug trials prove successful.

The Federal Government has already announced its intent to purchase a leading international vaccine candidate, from Oxford University and Astrazeneca, for local manufacturing if trials succeed.

It has now secured agreement for that vaccine, along with another candidate from the University of Queensland and CSL, also to be produced locally, as part of a $1.7 billion supply and production agreement.

Under the deal, early access to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could see some Australians being vaccinated as soon as January, with 3.8 million doses expected in the first two months of 2021.

Australians will only need to take one of the successful vaccine candidates, with an initial dose followed by a booster dose of the same vaccine within weeks.

It is likely vulnerable people and front-line health workers will be provided with vaccinations first.

In total, the agreements are for 33.8 million doses of an Oxford vaccine and 51 million doses of a UQ vaccine.

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.

If the Oxford vaccine trials prove successful and safe, it would be made available from the beginning of next year, while a UQ vaccine would be available mid-2021.

More than 95 per cent of the vaccine doses are expected to be manufactured in Australia, with each batch taking approximately one month to produce.

Meanwhile, Victoria has reported 41 new coronavirus cases and nine further deaths, the state’s health department says.

The rise in cases is the state’s lowest single-day increase more than 10 weeks, when 41 new cases were reported on June 27.

It comes after the State Government unveiled its “roadmap to recovery” outlining four phases Victoria will progress through as restrictions are lifted.

Stage 4 restrictions will continue in metropolitan Melbourne for another fortnight beyond September 13, when they were originally due to end.

In order for restrictions to be lifted further the city must record an average of between 30 and 50 new cases a day over a two-week period.

Business owners in Melbourne have described the extended lockdown as “gut-wrenching”, and mental health workers have warned the prolonged restrictions would be tough for many people.

But Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has said the alternative was “too awful to contemplate”.

A Brisbane fisherman is likely to be out of pocket more than $6,800 after driving into northern New South Wales to buy a fishing rod on Father’s Day.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said the 43-year-old man used a false pass when attempting to re-enter via a road checkpoint, after an unsuccessful first attempt at another checkpoint at Tweed Heads.

“It’s a very expensive fishing rod unfortunately for that gentleman,” he said.

Only residents within specific “border bubble” postcodes are permitted to travel into NSW, as long as they remain within the identified areas.

Brisbane falls outside the border-bubble postcodes and the man has been issued with a $4,003 infringement notice.

He must also pay for a flight into Queensland and then spend 14 days in hotel quarantine at a cost of about $2,800.

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More than 200 people were airlifted to safety after a fast-moving wildfire cut off the only road out of the Mammoth Pool Reservoir, a popular recreational site in Sierra National Forest in the US state of California.

Twenty evacuees were taken to area hospitals, the Madera County Sheriff said on Twitter, as the Creek Fire that started on Friday night local time rapidly grew to burn some 14,500 hectares, forcing evacuations and road closures in the Fresno area in central California.

As of Sunday morning local time, nearly 15,000 firefighters were battling 23 fires across the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Dozens of evacuees were flown to safety on a California Coast Guard helicopter after the Creek Fire in central California left them stranded.(AP: California National Guard)

Three major fires, including the Creek Fire, were burning in Fresno, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, the agency said in a statement, adding it had increased staffing in preparation for “critical fire weather.”

A dangerous heat wave was baking swathes of the western United States through the weekend, and many locations in California registered record-high temperatures 49.4 degrees Celsius.

Eight people have died in the fires so far and nearly 3,300 structures have been destroyed.