TUESDAY, October 12
NSW has seen a massive drop in its daily Covid cases just one day after Sydney opened up — as the state’s vaccine success story continues.
There were just 360 new cases detected in today’s figures — down from 498 yesterday and down from a peak of more than 1500 in September. Sadly five people have died in today’s figures.
Epidemiologist Professor Adrian Esterman successfully predicted that cases had peaked in September and said the decline in cases was down to the state’s vaccination rollout.
“I believe what we’re seeing is the vaccinations kicking in because nothing else has really changed,” he said.
Some 90.4 per cent of people aged 16+ in NSW have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, 74 per cent of people have had two.
Prof Esterman said the state’s five-day moving average for cases is down to 492, and the reproductive rate of the virus is down to 0.80.
However, he said the state could see the impact of relaxations of restrictions by the weekend.
*Victoria has recorded 1,466 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and eight deaths as the state tries to bring its Delta outbreak under control.
Health authorities are concerned about rising case numbers in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs
There are now 19,627 active cases of the virus in the state, and 101 people have died in Victoria during the current outbreak.
The new cases were identified from 68,509 test results received yesterday.
Meanwhile, 36,383 doses of vaccine were administered at state-run sites and thousands more doses were given at GP clinics and other venues.
According to the latest figures, 85.8 per cent of people over the age of 16 in Victoria have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 59.3 per cent are fully vaccinated.
From this Saturday, Queenslanders grabbing a snag at Bunnings will be able to get a COVID-19 jab at the same time.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement in state Parliament this morning, after declaring the state had recorded another day with no new local COVID cases.
Ms Palaszczuk said about two dozen sites had been identified across the state for the vaccination rollout.
“Families can get their Bunnings sausage and a dose of vaccine,” she said.
Paul McCartney has said he wanted to continue performing with the Beatles when the band famously split in 1970 and that John Lennon had instigated the breakup.
Speculation about what caused the demise of the world’s most famous pop group has ranged from artistic differences and legal disputes, to Lennon’s marriage to artist Yoko Ono.
In a forthcoming episode of BBC Radio 4’s This Cultural Life, McCartney, 79, discussed what he called “the most difficult period” of his life.
“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” McCartney said.
“This was my band. This was my job. This was my life. So I wanted it to continue.”
When the singer-songwriter was asked about his decision to strike out on his own, McCartney told the interviewer to “stop right there” before setting out his explanation of what happened.
“Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving the Beatles’,” McCartney said.
“And he said, ‘It’s quite thrilling, it’s rather like a divorce’.
“And then we were left to pick up the pieces.”
McCartney said the band would have continued had Lennon not walked away.
“I thought we were doing some pretty good stuff — Abbey Road, Let It Be — not bad,” he said.
McCartney claims that after Lennon announced he wanted to leave, the remaining members of the group — George Harrison, Ringo Starr and McCartney — were advised by their new manager, Allen Klein, to keep their impending disbandment a secret while he tied up some loose ends.
“So, for a few months, we had to pretend,” McCartney said.
“It was weird because we all knew it was the end of The Beatles but we couldn’t just walk away.”
All four members had successful solo careers after the band split.
McCartney’s full interview is scheduled to be broadcast by the BBC on October 23.
Lennon was shot dead on December 8, 1980, in New York City by Mark David Chapman.
British police have said they will be taking no further action after conducting a review of evidence relating to sex crime allegations against Queen Elizabeth’s son, Prince Andrew, and the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein.
It comes after the Duke of York was served with a sexual assault lawsuit in the United States last month, by American-Australian woman Virginia Giuffre.
In August, London’s police chief, Cressida Dick, said detectives would revisit the allegations for a third time but not launch an investigation, after Ms Giuffre filed a lawsuit in the US.
At the time, Ms Dick said “no-one is above the law”.
Prince Andrew has categorically denied the allegation.
“As a matter of procedure, Metropolitan Police Service officers reviewed a document released in August 2021 as part of a US civil action,” police said in a statement.
“This review has concluded and we are taking no further action.”
A source close to the Duke told the ABC: “It comes as no surprise that the Met Police have confirmed that, having reviewed the sex assault claims against The Duke for a third time, they are taking no further action.”
“Despite pressure from the media and claims of new evidence, the Met have concluded that the claims are not sufficient to warrant any further investigation.
“The Duke has always vigorously maintained his innocence and continues to do so.”
In her civil lawsuit, Ms Giuffre, 38, accused Prince Andrew of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Mr Epstein’s longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Ms Giuffre also said Andrew, 61, abused her at Mr Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan, and on his private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001.(Supplied)
The British royal, who is the ninth in line to the throne, has always denied those allegations or having any relationship with Ms Giuffre.
He was forced to step down from royal duties over his friendship with Mr Epstein, who died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while being held on sex trafficking charges.
British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that London police had spoken to Ms Giuffre regarding her allegations.
“The Metropolitan Police Service continues to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein,” police said in their statement.
Last week, lawyers for Prince Andrew were given permission to examine a confidential 2009 agreement between Mr Epstein and Ms Giuffre, which they hope will absolve him from all liability in the case.
Two Sunshine Coast farmers say they have no choice but to watch their avocados die on trees as Australian growers battle with a market oversupply, reports the ABC..
Production has doubled in the past decade as farmers cash in on the nation’s appetite for the fruit, leading to smaller growers being priced out of the market.
Wolvi farmers Julie and Tony Pratt have had to make some difficult decisions after making a profit of just 4 cents per avocado on a recent delivery to a major Queensland market.
They say letting their produce rot is now the most economical decision.
“We know you shouldn’t do it, [but] we don’t have a choice,” Mr Pratt said.
“We just will pack out for the orders we’ve got, but you can’t send fruit to the market and get nothing for it.”
The couple bought their 1,000-tree property four years ago and were anticipating 2021 to be their strongest season.
It has been their worst.
“One dollar an avocado [in the supermarket means] all farms are losing money — doesn’t matter whether you’re a small family farm or a corporate farm,” Mr Pratt said.
“What really hurts is when you see that fruit not coming from Australia.
“It makes it pretty hard to get up the next morning and start up irrigation pumps to prepare for the next crop.”
The season would usually end in September in the Gympie region, but the Pratts still have fruit on trees after taking a risk and waiting to see whether supermarket prices would rise.
The gamble did not pay off.
“Because of the sheer volume on the market, there’s close to half a million trays a week coming onto the market from various parts of Australia,” Mr Pratt said.
Avocados Australia chief executive John Tyas said more trees coupled with a good growing conditions had significantly increased market supply.
“This year we’re seeing a massive increase in production with a lot of young plantings coming online,” he said.
Last year the nation’s growers produced almost 90,000 tonnes, but Mr Tyas said 120,000 tonnes would be produced in the next year.
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