Daily News Roundup

September 9, 2020

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has put social media companies on notice over a “disgraceful” TikTok video targeting children that includes a shocking clip of a man taking his own life.

Schools across Australia have contacted parents this week warning them to keep their children off TikTok to prevent them stumbling across the vision.

In a new video released on Facebook today, the Prime Minister said the government would act if social media giants did not remove the video and clean up their sites.

“Social media has become, like it or no, part of our modern life,’’ Scott Morrison said.

“It gives us a bit of a laugh, people doing silly dances. Sometimes, they are taking the mickey out of me.

“But there is a serious concern and a serious side with what happens with social media and we saw that with that disgraceful video that was uploaded onto TikTok.”

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister urged TikTok to remove the video of American Ronnie McNutt’s death from the platform as soon as possible.

“Now TikTok, I know kids look at it and they have a lot of fun and there’s nothing wrong with that,’’ Mr Morrison said today.

“But those who run these organisations have a responsibility to those who are watching it and particularly when it comes to children.

“The rules in the real world, how you behave in the real world … have to be the same in the social media world. You need to be accountable. You need to be responsible. My government will be doing everything to make sure we hold you to account for that.”

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Trials for a promising coronavirus vaccine have been suspended after a study participant suffered a “potentially unexplained illness”.

AstraZeneca has put on hold the late-stage trial of a vaccine being developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford.

The Federal Government last month signed an agreement with the UK-based company to secure the potential COVID-19 vaccine, if its trials prove successful.

In a statement, AstraZeneca said it “voluntarily paused” the trial to allow a review of the “single event” by an independent committee.

“This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials,” the statement said.

“In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully.”

The Australian Government had secured 33.8 million doses of the Oxford vaccine for local manufacturing.

It also locked in 51 million doses of a potential vaccine being developed by the University of Queensland and CSL.

The potential total 84 million doses would be rolled out, free of charge, in stages across next year, pending successful trials.

Meanwhile, Queensland has recorded eight new cases of coronavirus suspected to be linked to existing clusters.

Five of the cases are from the same family, in the same household, and relate to the cluster at the Queensland Correctional Services training academy at Wacol in Brisbane’s west.

A further three of those cases are linked to a cluster at the Ipswich Hospital, including two healthcare workers already in quarantine and one of their children.

The ABC understands the child is a Year 11 student at St Edmund’s College.

The Catholic boys’ school in Ipswich has closed for at least 48 hours for cleaning and contact tracing.

Victoria has recorded 76 new coronavirus infections overnight and 11 further deaths, taking the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 694.

The case numbers are higher than yesterday’s 55 new reported infections, but the Chief Health Officer has previously said Wednesdays often see a spike in numbers.

More details about the cases, as well as the official 14-day case average, are expected to be released later today.

Premier Daniel Andrews is scheduled to hold a coronavirus press conference at 11:00am.

Yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services reported daily case averages of 78.6 for metropolitan Melbourne and 4.9 for regional Victoria.

Under Victoria’s roadmap out of restrictions, metropolitan Melbourne needs to record a 14-day average of between 30 and 50 cases per day in order to progress to the next step on September 28.

Regional Victoria will move to the third step when it records a daily case average below five and zero “mystery” cases for 14 days.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says there have been nine new coronavirus infections in her state in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.

One is in hotel quarantine and the others are linked to known sources.

The state’s chief health officer Kerry Chant said seven of the cases were linked to known clusters but one is linked to a case in south-east Sydney with no known source of infection.

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A surfer who died after a shark attack at Greenmount Beach yesterday afternoon has been named as Nick Slater, with beaches now closed on the southern Gold Coast.

Mr Slater, a local real estate agent, was bitten on the leg at about 5:00pm.

Surfers brought Mr Slater to shore where lifeguards and beachgoers tried to save the 46-year-old, but he died from his leg injury.

Fellow surfer Jade Parker said he tried to rescue Mr Slater and bring the badly injured man back to shore, with his efforts described as heroic by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Nick Slater was named by police this morning as the victim.

“I saw his board floating in the water and his body next to it, basically lifeless,” Mr Parker said.

“I originally thought he’d been knocked out by his board, I never thought it was going to be a shark attack, especially here.”

Mr Parker said there were bait fish swimming through the water near where Mr Slater was found.

“The whole idea that the shark was trying to single him out is not realistic,” he said.

“Obviously the shark was here for the school of fish.”

There were dozens of surfers in the water but Mr Parker said most were oblivious to what was happening.

He said when they got to the beach he noticed Mr Slater’s surfboard had a bite mark on it.

“It was probably about the same circumference as a basketball … and there was a tooth still lodged in the fibreglass which I had to remove.

“It was an obvious white pointer tooth.”