Daily News Roundup

May 5, 2021



A woman in the land-locked west African nation, Mali, has given birth to nine babies – two more than doctors had detected inside her womb – according to the country’s health ministry, joining a small pantheon of mothers of nonuplets.

News agencies report that Halima Cisse, 25, had been expected to give birth to seven babies, according to ultrasounds conducted in Morocco and Mali that missed two of the siblings. All were delivered by caesarean section.

The pregnancy of Cisse has fascinated Mali and attracted the attention of its leaders. When doctors in March said Cisse needed specialist care, the country’s transitional leader, Bah Ndaw, ordered that she be sent to Morocco, where she gave birth to five girls and four boys, according to Mali’s health ministry.

“The mother and babies are doing well so far,” Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby, told Agence France-Presse, adding that she had been kept informed by the Malian doctor who accompanied Cisse to Morocco.

They are due to return home in several weeks’ time, she added.

However, Morocco’s health ministry spokesman Rachid Koudhari said he had no knowledge of such a multiple birth having taken place in one of the country’s hospitals.


Australian Test cricket great Stuart MacGill was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint for ransom and then badly beaten.

NSW Police confirmed the former leg spinner had allegedly been abducted, held and then released in an incident which occurred last month.

The Daily Telegraph reported MacGill, 50, was taken by an alleged criminal group about two weeks ago.

Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives have arrested four men following the alleged kidnapping of MacGill at Cremorne, on Sydney’s lower north shore, where he lives.

Police said about 8pm on Wednesday, April 14, MacGill was allegedly confronted by a 46-year-old man near the intersection of Parraween and Winne streets in Cremorne.

A short time later the pair were approached by two other men, allegedly forcing MacGill into a vehicle.

He was then allegedly driven to a property at Bringelly, where the two men, plus another unknown man, allegedly assaulted him and threatened him with a firearm.

About an hour later, police claim MacGill was driven to the Belmore area and released.

The incident was reported to police a week later.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad were notified and subsequently commenced an investigation under Strike Force Cain.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives, with assistance from Raptor Squad and the Public Order and Riot Squad, arrested four men – aged 27, 29, 42 and 46 – after 6am today.

The  men were taken to local police stations where charges are expected to be laid.

MacGill represented Australia in 44 Test matches between 1998 and 2008, serving as Shane Warne’s understudy for most of his international career.


Eight in 10 Australians have concerns over possible side effects of the  Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, according to a new study.

And almost two-thirds of people said the vaccine rollout was not being handled well.

The Australian National University has been tracking the views of more than 3,000 people from August last year until April this year.

The study estimates that 54.7 per cent of Australians would definitely get a “safe and effective vaccine”, while 28.2 percent probably would.

Overall, the study found that between January and April there was an increase in the number of people who said they would get a “safe and effective vaccine”, reports the ABC.

That was despite pauses in the AstraZeneca rollout around Australia and Europe during the period of the survey, and the Government’s changed recommendations for which age brackets should get which vaccines.

The survey identified the groups that have the most vaccine hesitancy?

Women, people who speak a language other than English, and those who live in disadvantaged areas and outside capital cities are most likely to hesitate.

Survey co-author Nicholas Biddle said more work needed to be done to target these groups.

“If there are high levels of concern and greater reluctance in relatively disadvantaged communities you might have disease outbreaks there, while other parts of the country are doing relatively well,” said Professor Biddle, from the ANU Centre for Social Research Methods.

The study also found for the first time that those who had experienced some form of discrimination were less willing to get vaccinated than those who hadn’t experienced any form of discrimination.

Professor Biddle said the pauses in the Oxford-AstraZeneca rollout didn’t appear to turn the population against vaccines, but rather made people have questions about certain types of vaccine.

“It’s not that the announcement or some of the discussion that’s gone along with it

, that has made people resistant to get a vaccine in general. It’s made them concerned about a specific vaccine that’s available to them,” he said.

“We can certainly take some comfort that people can be reassured, if people can see the vaccine is safe and effective.”

The study found almost two-thirds of people think the Government’s vaccine rollout is not being handled well.

However, the study estimates most people think it’s fair.

“These findings are extremely important as the government attempts to reconcile public sentiment and confidence in its vaccine program at a time when there are questions about how fast it is being delivered across our community,” Professor Biddle said.Associate professor Holly Seale, an expert in public health, said Australia should be putting out more creative material to better connect with the groups who are hesitant.


Australian cricket legend Michael Hussey has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

The 45-year-old was working as a batting coach for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, and is one of many Australians trapped in the country following Scott Morrison’s decision to introduce a hard border closure.

Early on Wednesday morning AEST, The Times of India reported Hussey had become the first Australian in the IPL bubble to test positive for the coronavirus.

According to the publication, he was tested twice with both coming back positive.

The glamorous T20 tournament was indefinitely suspended on Tuesday evening after several cricketers and staff members contracted the virus.

The Kolkata Knight Riders were placed in isolation after players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive on Monday, along with three staff members from the Super Kings — chief executive officer Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a bus cleaner.

The IPL decided to take an indefinite pause on Tuesday as Sunrisers Hyderabad wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha — a teammate of David Warner — joined the growing list.

Television crew and venue staff also contracted coronavirus as the integrity of the tournament’s biosecurity bubble was compromised.

Hussey played 79 Test matches and 185 one-day internationals for Australia, scoring 22 centuries and 11,677 runs.


Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is releasing her first children’s book, one rooted in the relationship between Prince Harry and their son, Archie.

Random House Children’s Books announced on Tuesday that The Bench will be released on June 8.

Award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson provided the pictures and Meghan will narrate the audiobook edition.

The book features a diverse group of fathers and sons and moments they share, according to a statement announcing the release.