Daily News Roundup

February 28, 2018

Image: Herald Sun

Wednesday, February 28

More than 4 million Australian cars are set to be hit by one the largest recalls in the country’s history.

The Federal Government is today expected to announce the compulsory recall of cars affected by the defective Takata airbags.

The airbags have been associated with more than 20 deaths globally.

The faulty Takata airbags’ inflators contain a defect that can cause them to explode and propel shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

The shards have been known to puncture people’s eyes, face, neck and chest.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the announcement, which will be made later today, would focus on putting “the safety of Australians first and foremost at all times”.

Consumer watchdog Choice’s spokesman Tom Godfrey said the airbags were dangerous because they degraded over time and could explode.

“The ammonium nitrate in them essentially dissolves the metal cylinder that encases the airbag and then when the airbag deploys it fires shrapnel at you and your family,” he said.

Mr Godfrey said there have been many deaths around the world and more injuries.

The airbags are in 60 types of cars sold in Australia, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

They include various models of Toyota, Mazda, Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and several others.

About 2.3 million vehicles will be subject to the compulsory recall and the airbags must be replaced within two years.

Shadow Consumer Affairs Minister Tim Hammond says Labor welcomes the recall, but argues the Government has taken too long to take steps The compulsory recall follows voluntary recalls of about 2.7 million vehicles laste last year, of which 1.7 million have had their defective airbags replaced.

More than 180 injuries have been recorded worldwide, prompting the recall of 100 million vehicles globally.WEBSITE

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US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, has lost access to the most valued US intelligence report, the President’s Daily Brief, as the White House imposes greater discipline on access to secrets.

Two US officials familiar with the matter said on Tuesday that Mr Kushner, who has been operating under an interim security clearance for about a year, had his access to the highly classified briefing cut off in the past few weeks.

A third official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein recently passed new information to White House Counsel Don McGahn that led to the slowing or stopping of Mr Kushner’s pending clearance application.

The nature of that information was not clear.

It also was unclear if and when Mr Kushner’s access to the President’s Daily Brief, which requires not only a Top Secret clearance, but also access to even more closely guarded intelligence, would be reinstated.

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Australian Davis Cup great Todd Woodbridge has accused the International Tennis Federation (ITF) of ‘‘throwing a bomb’’ into the tennis landscape with its plan to transform the historic competition.

The season-long Davis Cup competition is set to become a one-week, 18-nation World Cup-style event from as early as 2019 under a proposal endorsed by the ITF board and announced on Monday.

It will still crown a Davis Cup champion, but from a new event, named the World Cup of Tennis Finals, to be played in one location at the end of each season. Woodbridge, who played in Australia’s 1999 and 2003 Davis Cup triumphs and later coached the team, wondered whether officials had fully considered the impact on the 118-year-old competition.

The move would lessen the load on the game’s top players and hopefully ensure most played Davis Cup. But Woodbridge, a Tennis Australia ambassador, questioned the consultation process.

‘‘The ITF has thrown this bomb into the tennis landscape,’’ he was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying.

‘‘I don’t think they’ve gone back to the players and said ‘this is what we’re doing’.”

The new cup competition will feature a play-off round that will allow eight nations to qualify for the next year’s finals, while the current zone group competition will continue beneath that.

‘‘This is a complete game changer for the ITF and for tennis,’’ ITF president David Haggerty said. ‘‘This new partnership will not only create a true World Cup of Tennis but will also unlock record levels of new investment for future generations of tennis players and fans around the world.’’

Matches would consist of two singles rubbers and one doubles, over best-of-three sets.

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South Australia’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has made damning findings of maladministration by the Weatherill government over the management of the now-closed Oakden nursing home.

But the report stopped short of finding any minister committed maladministration.

It did however make criticisms of the former mental health minister Leesa Vlahos, saying she sought to deflect responsibility for failings at the facility.

Ms Vlahos stood down as lead candidate on Labor’s Legislative Council ticket before the report was released.

Commissioner Bruce Lander’s 312-page report — titled “Oakden, A Shameful Chapter in South Australia’s History” — made findings of maladministration against five individuals and the public authority responsible for the facility, including Mr Arthur Moutakis — Consumer Advisor and Consumer Liaison Officer, NALHN (2007 to 2017),Dr Russell Draper — Clinical Director of OPMHS, NALHN (2004 to 2017) and Mr Kerim Skelton — Nursing Director of OPMHS (2007 to 2010), Nursing Director of Clinical Practice (2010 to 2016).

“Those findings do not however tell the entire story of responsibility for what went wrong at the Oakden facility,” Mr Lander said.

“Senior people, including ministers and chief executives, who were responsible by virtue of their office for the delivery of care and services to the consumers at the Oakden facility, should have known what was going on but did not.

“I found this astonishing.

“Every South Australian should feel outraged at what happened at the Oakden Facility.”

 

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