MONDAY, SEPT 14
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says she feels safe and supported after being placed police protection in the wake of receiving death threats.
“The support has made me feel much, much safer in doing what I need to do,” Dr Young said.
“Of course, it’s tough, but this is tough for an enormous number of people.”
Dr Young has been under sustained pressure from the Opposition and Federal Government over the state’s restrictions to allow people into Queensland on compassionate grounds.
“Every single day I think through all of the decisions that need to be made, and unfortunately there’s no rule book,” Dr Young said.
“We’re still learning every single day about this virus, and responding with the processes we put in place.
“The decisions that I make are based purely on the health outcomes that we need to see.
“They’re the same decisions no matter who would be around.”
Standing alongside Dr Young this morning, Health Minister Steven Miles said the decisions were difficult.
“Dr Young has always, I think, done her best to make the right decisions for Queensland,” Mr Miles said.
“Sometimes those decisions have been hard and the results have had impacts on people, on individuals and families, but the cumulative results of those decisions have kept Queenslanders safe.”
It comes as Queensland recorded a second consecutive day of zero new cases of coronavirus, leaving 30 active cases remaining.
Victoria has recorded 35 new coronavirus cases and seven further deaths overnight, taking the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 730.
The 14-day daily case averages reported yesterday were 56.9 in metropolitan Melbourne and 4.1 in regional Victoria.
More details about the new cases, and the latest official 14-day averages, are expected to be released later today.
Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coates said while restrictions were working to drive cases down, there were too many cases with an unknown source.
“[Stage 4 restrictions] are clearly having the desired effect, that light at the end of the tunnels growing bigger by the day,” he told ABC News Breakfast this morning.
“But 20 cases yesterday that have as yet been unlinked. That is still a number that’s too high.
“We need of course for everybody with symptoms in Melbourne and indeed Victoria to get themselves tested so we understand the transmission links and the public health unit can shut them down.”
The vice president of the Australian Medical Association, Stephen Parnis, and at least 40 healthcare workers in NSW have written a letter to Minister for Health Brad Hazzard demanding a safer work environment.
It comes as the Concord and Liverpool hospitals cluster has grown to 18 confirmed coronavirus cases this morning.
The letter argues the regulations for healthcare workers who deal with coronavirus patients in environments like the emergency department are insufficient and dangerous
Tens of thousands of Australians — including celebrities, politicians and journalists — have had their data collected by a company with links to Chinese military and intelligence networks.
Researchers say the massive collection of information is being used as a “psychological warfare” tool to manipulate public opinion in Australia.
The database was published overnight after it was leaked to a US academic, and it shows 2.4 million people around the world have been targeted — including 35,000 Australians.
The data was collected by Chinese company Zhenhua Data which is understood to be used by China’s intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security.
Zhenhua has the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party as its main clients.
The database appears to focus on individuals and institutions China deems influential or important, from politicians and their families to professors and think tanks to scientists and tech leaders to organised crime figures.
The leaks show the majority of what Zhenhua has been collecting is “open-source” data, including dates of birth, addresses, marital status, along with photographs, political associations, relatives and social media IDs.
“The data was crawled from such well known platforms as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as others,” a report into the data found.
“In addition to personal information, they logged information on posts, likes, and retweets. This allowed for a wide variety of relationship and key person targeting.”
However, researchers found that up to 20 per cent of the data was not from an open source, meaning it may have been obtained on the dark web or through hacking.
This information could include confidential bank records, job applications, psychological profiles and public sector employee records.
A man has been killed and another 10 people have been seriously injured after a violent brawl in Brisbane’s north overnight involving knives and baseball bats.
Police said a fight broke out between two groups at O’Callaghan Park in Zillmere about 5:30pm yesterday.
A man, believed to be about 20-years-old, died at the scene, while 10 others were taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said he believed the brawl involved two African groups.
“We believe knives and baseball bats were used in that attack,” he said.
“We know at least one young man has died and there are about 10 other people who have been hospitalised as a result of that incident.
“Two of those people, I’m led to believe, are in a critical condition.
“I’m concerned this incident is the result of a retribution amongst these people for an incident that happened earlier this week in the western suburbs of Brisbane.”
Detective Superintendent Fleming said he was concerned there could be further violence.
“What we would ask is for the community to remain calm,” he said.
“We are doing all we can to investigate this and hold people to account for the level of violence that happened.
“We are active right across South East Queensland now to ensure we don’t have a repeat of this.”
Police stationed at hospitals
Detective Superintendent Fleming says police are now stationed at a number of hospitals.
Search and rescue teams with dogs have been deployed across the blackened ruins of several southern Oregon towns as wildfires continue to ravage the US West Coast and officials warn of mass casualties.
The flames have destroyed whole neighbourhoods and driven tens of thousands of people from their homes while shrouding the region in smoke.
At least 33 people have been confirmed dead in fires along the West Coast during the past week — 10 people in Oregon, 22 in California and one in Washington state.
The crisis has come amid the coronavirus outbreak, the economic downturn and nationwide racial unrest that has led to protests in Oregon’s capital, Portland, for more than 100 days.
“What’s next?” asked Danielle Oliver, who had to flee her home outside Portland.
“You have the protests, coronavirus pandemic, now the wildfires. What else can go wrong?”
Late on Saturday (local time), the Jackson County Sheriff’s office said that four people had died in one wildfire.
Authorities earlier this week said as many as 50 people could be missing due to that fire, but the number of people unaccounted for is now down to one.
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