Daily News Roundup

December 1, 2021

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1

NT Police arrest three people they say escaped from Howard Springs COVID quarantine facility

“At 4:40am, it was reported that three people from the Centre for National Resilience scaled the fence and fled the area,” the statement reads.

“Police and staff at the Centre for National Resilience are currently confirming the absconders’ identities prior to releasing further information.”

The facility is currently holding people affected by the NT’s Katherine region COVID-19 outbreak as well as returned travellers from repatriation flights.

On Monday authorities confirmed a case of the Omicron variant in a man in his 30s who arrived on a repatriation flight from South Africa, who is staying at the centre. 

The Katherine region outbreak is the biggest the NT has faced so far, with 58 people infected as of Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, NT Police said “a police operation” was underway in the vicinity of Howard Springs.

The post asks drivers in the area to slow down and follow officers’ directions.

The incident comes days after a 27-year-old man escaped the facility by scaling a fence and heading for the Mitchell Street party strip in a waiting vehicle.

Police are still investigating the incident and searching for the driver involved.

*Victoria has recorded 1,179 new COVID-19 infections and six deaths, taking the death toll in the current Delta outbreak to 518.

The new cases were detected from 74,252 test results processed on Tuesday, and take the state’s number of active infections to 11,959.

There are 299 COVID-19 patients in Victorian hospitals, 43 active cases in intensive care, with 18 patients on ventilators.

*NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard says a sixth case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has been discovered in the state.

The man, who is aged in his 40s and is isolating in Sydney’s west, arrived last Thursday on a flight from Doha where several other cases have already been discovered.

Genomic sequencing is underway to determine if the man has the Omicron variant, but Mr Hazard said early testing showed it was likely he had the new strain.

He has been active in the community.

*Greece says it will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for people aged 60 and older in a move to quell a resurgent virus that is burdening a frail healthcare system.

Authorities said those who failed to comply from January 16 would face a recurring monthly fine of 100 euros ($159).

This week’s announcement marks an EU-wide first in targeting a specific age group.

Other countries make vaccines mandatory for health workers and other high-risk groups of workers.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he struggled with the decision but it was necessary to protect more than half a million elderly Greeks who had failed to get the jab.

“Its the price to pay for health,” he said.

###

The Queensland southern border town of Inglewood has been evacuated from rising flood waters overnight, with an emergency alert also issued for Leyburn on the Southern Downs, reports the ABC. 

Authorities are monitoring rivers in several Central Queensland and south-eastern regions this morning, with major flood warnings in place for a number of districts. 

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the river levels in Inglewood peaked this morning, with rain expected to ease in the region. 

“Rainfall is easing back, so it’s unlikely to contribute much to existing river conditions,” senior meteorologist Peter Markworth said.

“The far south-east is expected to continue to have a few showers and storms but it is very much an easing trend.”

Roads in Inglewood and Goondiwindi have been cut by flooding, with Coolmunda Dam already overflowing.  

Queensland Police Service says the emergency declaration for Inglewood remains in place with about 800 residents now evacuated from low-lying areas.

QPS said while the Macintyre Brook reached the major flood level early today at 11.15 metres, the PSPA would remain in place until police could assess the scene prior to allowing residents to return to their homes.

Southern Downs Regional Council local disaster coordinator Michael Bell said multiple properties at Leyburn had also been either directly or indirectly affected.

“We know there were a number of properties that would’ve had buildings potentially inundated or affected by floodwater,” he said.

“In addition to those properties, and there’s about four or five that we had identified at that stage … there were also a number of properties that have lower lying areas … but not impacting directly on buildings or structures.

“Obviously as the waters recede it will identify potential infrastructure such as roads that have incurred damage, again we would encourage the community to report that as quickly as they can.”

The Southern Downs Regional Council expects dozens of properties to be affected later this morning. 

It said Pratten could also expect floodwaters to reach 7.3 metres in the afternoon.

Mr Bell said volunteers would be doorknocking residents in Pratten this morning to warn them to be prepared.

“But again because it is going to encroach on those low lying areas, its likely to be the eastern side of Pratten, so it will encroach but again following the creek alignment,” he said.

###

A British aerospace engineer claims to have cracked one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time: the final resting place of missing Malaysia Airline flight 370.

Richard Godfrey, a founding member of the non-government MH370 independent Group, on Wednesday said he was very confident new mapping technology had pinpointed the passenger plane’s crash site 2000km west of Perth in the southern Indian Ocean.

MH370 went missing on March 8 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with six Australians among the 239 people on board.

The disappearance nearly eight years ago kicked off one of the most extensive aviation searches in history and has generated a range of theories as to where it ended up, and what happened on board.

New, publicly available technology may have provided an answer.

An aerospace engineer claims to have found Malaysia Airlines flight 370 using revolutionary new tracking technology.

Using software based on ‘weak signal propagation’ data, Mr Godfrey’s new report says the craft should be resting about 4km under the sea in a mountainous region of the southern Indian Ocean that had been missed by previous search attempts.

Taken together with satellite, weather, ocean current, and aeroplane performance data, Mr Godfrey said the new technology should trigger a fresh search.

The believed resting place of missing flight MH370, according to British aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey.

“(The) data supports an overwhelming case for a renewed search in the prime crash location of 33.177°S 95.300°E,” he said.

“The proposed search area is defined by a circle with a radius of 40 nautical miles centred on the prime crash location.”

Various pieces of MH370 debris have washed up over the years in southern Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean, with leading theories suggesting the plane crashed in the remote waters west of Australia.

Mr Godfrey told Sunrise his theory that the crash was essentially a terrorist attack carrier out by one of the pilots – a theory that has been rejected by Australian experts.

“It was a hijacking. It was an act of terrorism in my view,” Mr Godfrey said.

“But you know, I‘m not a court of law. And I can only say that that’s my current theory. I’m still open if the authorities want to reveal more information that they may have.”

###

Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton all flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, the paedophile’s former pilot told the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, reports news.com.au.

The two former US Presidents and the Duke of York were mentioned as Maxwell faces six charges of sex trafficking and abuse over her alleged role as Epstein’s “madam”.

Lawrence Visoski, who is testifying for the prosecution, was quizzed during cross examination about passengers aboard Epstein’s distinctive Gulf Stream plane, The Sun reports.

He confirmed President Trump, Prince Andrew and President Clinton all flew on the jet – along with other big names such as Hollywood stars Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and US Senators John Glenn and George Mitchell.

And he also told the court he never saw any sexual activity on the flight, or any underage girls without their parents.

Epstein is long known to have courted the rich and famous as he hid in plain sight – including with flights on his plane.

“I certainly remember President Trump, but not many people associated with him,” the pilot told the trial.

He clarified that the millionaire mogul’s flights happened before he was President.

Maxwell and Epstein’s relationship however then “fizzled out” in the 2000s, the pilot said. She is facing charges relating to four alleged victims, three of whom are appearing anonymously – with the one named complainant being Annie Farmer.

Maxwell first appeared in court this morning just after 8.30am wearing a mask, a green sweater and black slacks while cradling a lime green folder.