WEDNESDAY OCT 28
Women from as many as 10 different aircraft at a Doha airport were subjected to invasive internal examinations by Qatari authorities this month, Foreign Minister Marise Payne has revealed.
The episode, which happened as airport authorities searched for the mother of a newborn baby found abandoned in an airport toilet, has sparked outrage in Australia and infuriated officials and politicians in Canberra.
Today Senator Payne told a parliamentary hearing that a total of 18 women were removed from a plane bound for Australia.
Thirteen were Australians, five were of other nationalities.
It is not clear how many of them were searched.
However, some of the Australian women on the flight, from Doha to Sydney, spoke up about their ordeal earlier this week.
The Minister did not reveal the nationalities of the other women, or say where the other flights were going.
She reiterated that the Australian Government had formally registered its “serious concern” with Qatar, arguing the treatment of Australian women was “offensive” and “grossly inappropriate”.
Australia has also demanded Qatar submit a report to Australia about the incident, which Senator Payne said would be handed to Australia “very soon”.
The UK has recorded its highest daily COVID-19 death toll since May.
Official government data released on Tuesday showed 367 deaths and another 22,885 cases.
A fatality is added to the UK’s COVID-19 tally if they die within 28 days of testing positive.
The figures arrived on the same day as a study showed coronavirus antibodies declined rapidly in the British population during summer.
COVID-19-related deaths have been steadily increasing throughout October, and the latest total marks a similar daily figure to the 374 deaths recorded on March 30, a week into the UK’s initial national lockdown.
After a lull in the summer, Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said the trend in deaths was once again rising.
“It is likely this will continue for some time,” she said in a statement.
The UK’s official COVID-19 death toll stands at 45,365 — the highest in Europe — while figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest the number is closer to 60,000 deaths.
Scientists and the Labour Opposition have called for a two-week “circuit breaker” national lockdown.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resisted those calls, instead implementing a tiered regional lockdown system which imposes different levels of restrictions in different areas depending on how bad outbreaks of the virus are.
The devolved government in Wales has implemented its own two-week lockdown, with Northern Ireland enforcing a similar lockdown, while Scotland has implemented its own tiered restrictions system.
America’s First Lady Melania Trump has told a rally in Pennsylvania her husband President Donald Trump loves the US and will fight for the people “every single day”, reports SKY News.
“I do not always agree with the way he says things, but it is important to him that he speaks directly to the people he serves,” she said on behalf of President Trump.
“For the first time in history, the citizens of this country get to hear directly and instantly from their president every single day through social media.”
She highlighted the Trump administration’s commitment to continue moving forward during the pandemic.
“By moving forward, we demonstrate a fundamental value of our nation, our ability to rise to any challenge and overcome any hurdle,” she said.
“We do not close down and hide in fear.
“It’s what sets us apart from any other country in the world.”
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