Daily News Roundup

October 15, 2020

 

THURSDAY OCT 15

The World Health Organization says it expects a rise in deaths from COVID-19 amid new waves of infection across much of Europe, as some EU leaders announce measures to contain the spread.

With new cases hitting about 100,000 daily, Europe has overtaken the United States, where more than 51,000 COVID-19 infections are reported on average every day.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron said a nightly curfew would be imposed from Saturday on almost one third of the country’s 67 million people.

The curfew, from 9:00pm to 6:00am, was announced shortly after the Government declared a new public health state of emergency.

The President said curfews would be imposed for at least four weeks in the greater Paris region, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier and five other cities.

“We’re in a second wave — we have to react,” Mr Macron said.

On Wednesday France reported 22,591 new coronavirus cases, the third time in six days the daily tally has gone beyond the 20,000 threshold.

The virus has claimed more than 32,000 lives in France.

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Australian workers can expect to see extra cash in their pay packets from as early as this month under tax cuts promised in the Federal budget, news.com reports.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the tax cuts would be brought forward in a bid to combat the coronavirus recession.

But when will we see the tax cut money and how much will we get?

The average income earner with an $80,000 salary will get around $2160 cash back for this financial year, which the Treasurer said is an effort to stimulate the economy.

Those on a $60,000 salary will get even more – around $2415 – roughly the same as those earning $100,000 or more.

Workers earning $150,000 or more will get a tax cut of $2430 for the financial year, while those with a salary of $40,000 should expect $1209.

“Australians will have more of their own money to spend on what matters to them, generating billions of dollars of economic activity and creating 50,000 new jobs,” Mr Frydenberg said in his Budget speech.

But the payments will be split roughly in two with half being delivered through your pay from this month and the other half coming in next year’s tax return.

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Former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka will take over as chief executive of Virgin Australia from Paul Scurrah by November.

Ms Hrdlicka, who was part of Bain Capital’s successful bid team to take control of Virgin Australia, was previously chief executive at Jetstar and A2 Milk.

Virgin went into voluntary administration with hefty debts in April, as the coronavirus pandemic brought the airline industry to a halt.

The sale of Virgin to Bain Capital was finalised last month, following commitments to retain as many jobs and services as possible.

Virgin’s administrator Deloitte believes Bain will maintain Virgin as a full-service airline, despite suggestions the US private equity fund plans to make it a low-cost carrier.

Mr Scurrah will leave the airline once the sale to Bain is formally completed early next month, administrator Vaughan Strawbridge said.

He thanked Mr Scurrah for his “exceptional leadership” during the sales process.

“It is a testament to his leadership that we have been able to complete this sale and the business is well positioned to play its vital role in the rebuilding of the Australian aviation industry and economy more broadly,” Mr Strawbridge said.

He added that, despite speculation about the shape of the airline in the future, he had reaffirmed with Bain Capital that Virgin Australia would not be repositioned as a low-cost carrier.

“Virgin Australia will be a ‘hybrid’ airline, offering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices,” Mr Strawbridge said.

“This will appeal to the full spectrum of travellers, from premium corporate through to more budget-focused customers.”

Ms Hrdlicka said she understood airlines and the business.

“I appreciate Virgin Australia’s unique culture and I want to protect and build on it,” she said in a statement.

“And I am determined that Virgin Australia reinvigorates its strong brand and its passion for customer service, while embracing the diversity, talent and strength of its people.”

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A man wielding a long-arm firearm was shot dead by police and a second potentially armed man is on the loose, with residents told to stay indoors.

The man opened fire on officers on the NSW central coast about 10am after police tracked a stolen vehicle to a property in Hamlyn Terrace.

“He was armed with a long-arm and subsequently pointed that long-arm at police,” Northern Region commander Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell told reporters.

“As a result, a number of police have discharged their firearms at that offender.”

The man is yet to be formally identified and homicide squad detectives have been called in to investigate.

Another man remains on the run and there are fears he may be armed.

The incident unfolded after police were alerted by a member of the public to a stolen vehicle.

Officers pursued it and later saw it parked at a Minnesota Rd premises, where they identified the man and a confrontation ensued.

Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said he had met with all officers involved and they had his full support.   

“From my briefing, my view is very clear. The police have acted professionally,” he said.

“I believe their actions have been very courageous, considering the actions of the offender.

“Having a double barrel firearm pointed at you, the fear of life, there can be a no more strenuous position for a police officer to be placed into.

“They have my full support. But importantly, this matter will be thoroughly investigated for the coroner.”