Dayana Yastremska bid to overturn provisional doping suspension denied


Players at grand slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP and WTA are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Yastremska drew a provisional suspension by the ITF on January 7.

In a statement on her Twitter feed then, Yastremska said she was “astonished and under shock”.

“I firmly state that I have never used any performance enhancing drugs or any prohibited substances,” she said.

She said she passed a drug test at her most recent tournament, in Austria on November 9.

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The ITF has said Yastremska provided an out-of-competition urine sample on November 24 which was sent to a WADA laboratory in Canada.

They said Yastremska was charged with an “anti-doping rule violation” on December 22, with the provisional suspension taking effect on January 7.

Yastremska has won three WTA singles titles. She reached a career-high ranking of No.21 a year ago. Her best showing at a major was reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in her main-draw debut there in 2019.

With AP

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Transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey set to take legal action against the AFL in bid to play for Ainslie in Canberra


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“There are certain questions that need to be answered before anyone would go through any sort of process,” Mouncey said.

Her questions relate to the transparency of the process, how the information and data will be used and who might sit on the AFL gender diversity policy committee which is to be used to resolve disputes under the policy.

Mouncey told The Age on Saturday she made her intention to take legal action public after receiving what she considered an unsatisfactory response from the league on Friday afternoon, with the legal action to be submitted in Canberra if a resolution is not reached.

Under the policy transgender athletes can make applications to play in the elite competitions including AFLW and state league competitions for the AFL’s Gender Diversity Committee to consider.

The AFL outlined in October’s policy that the committee considering applications would be drawn from representatives with skills in women’s football operations; inclusion and social policy; risk; legal; medicine and mental health; and anti-doping rules.

If an application is rejected it remains confidential unless the applicant makes the decision public and applicants can have decisions reviewed within seven days if a cause for review is proved.

Under the AFL’s gender diversity policy applicants need to fulfil three criteria to be declared eligible to play in elite competitions.

The three requirements are:

1. Testosterone levels to have been at or below five nmol/L for at least two years prior.
2. If that threshold is met, trans women and non-binary people may nominate for the AFLW draft or apply to play in other elite competitions by providing information regarding their height, weight, bench press, 20-metre sprint, vertical jump, GPS data and two-kilometre time trial.
3. If the application is approved, the player is required to maintain their total testosterone levels below five nmol/L, and may be required to undergo periodic testing.

The League can also assess safety issues that may be relevant.

Mouncey said if the matters she raised were addressed she would be prepared to submit an application although she questioned why information such as bench press, 20m sprints and vertical jumps were necessary to inform decisions.

She claimed the AFL’s approach has been legalistic rather than appearing open to a resolution.

“I’m happy to mediate with them, I am happy to talk through them what the issues are. I am happy to go through the process but they have never done it in good faith,” Mouncey said.

The AFL was contacted for comment. AFL Canberra’s first-grade women’s competition is due to start in May.

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‘Transaction Risks To National Security’ Factors That Affected The Withdraw Of China’s $300 Million Bid On Probuild

A Chinese company has withdrawn its $300 million bid that was supposed to buy Australian construction firm Probuild.

Wilson Bayly Holmes–Ovcon (WBHO), which is Probuild’s South African parent company, has recently confirmed on the Johannesburg stock exchange news service that the state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation has withdrawn from its offer.

In the established track records, Probuild is the company behind the construction of the Melbourne headquarters of biotech firm CSL, which is the manufacturer of Australia’s locally, produced COVID-19 vaccines that are opted to be administered to millions of Australians later this year.

According to WBHO the offer to buy Probuild was withdrawn following off the back of advice that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) would assert the business risk to national security that might contradict to Australia’s interest.

In a statement, it said, “WBHO has been advised by the potential acquirer of Probuild that it has withdrawn its proposed investment application in Probuild lodged with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board following advice that its application would be rejected by the Federal Government on the grounds of national security.”

“WBHO notes that after significant time, investment and ongoing commitment from both WBHO and the potential acquirer in progressing the Proposed Transaction, due diligence was completed and commercial terms of the Proposed Transaction were otherwise materially agreed between the parties.” The statement added.

Although the Treasurer declined to comment, he carried out a short written statement to media which reads, “The Government does not comment on the application of the foreign investment screening arrangements as they apply or could apply to particular cases.”

The reasons why projects were rejected by the Foreign Investment Review Board were not made public by the Government as per the Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack and added he understood the company had withdrawn its application.

Along with the CSL building, Probuild is building the new Victorian Police headquarters, where both are believed to be factors in the decision to reject China State Construction Engineering Corporation’s request to obtain the builder.

It comes as no surprise though as this is not the first Chinese foreign investment to be vetoed by the Government and is another indication of the escalating rift in relations between Australia and China.

Even last year, the Treasurer rejected China’s proposed $600 million on Mengniu Dairy’s acquisition of Lion Dairy and Drinks.

As per the WBHO, it “remains optimistic about the fundamentals of Probuild and its prospects in the Australian market and continues to assess all potential opportunities for Probuild to maximise shareholder value and the value and potential of Probuild”.

(Image source: ABC News)

First Lady speaks after US Capitol riots and impeachment bid


Outgoing US First Lady Melania Trump has made a swipe at President Donald Trump’s supporters, saying she is “disappointed” and “disheartened” by the Capitol City riot that rocked Washington DC last week.

In one of her most revealing statements of her four-year stint, Melania thanked the “millions” of Americans who had supported her and her husband and said it had been the “honour of my lifetime to serve as your First Lady”.

She described the events at the US Capitol as “tragic” and hit back at “salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks and false misleading accusations on me”.

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What those “accusations” are is unclear, though she copped criticism on Friday after CNN revealed the First Lady was overseeing a photo shoot during the siege for a coffee-table book and appeared “disinterested” by the chaos gripping the country.

Her detachment in addressing the country was indicative of being “checked out”, said another White House source, who added, “she just isn’t in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved”, the publication reported.

Mrs Trump’s former friend and Adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff also slammed the First Lady, penning a scathing op-ed accusing her of standing by while the president destroyed America.

Mrs Trump hit back, claiming she was a target by people who are “looking to be relevant and have an agenda”.

She said her “heart goes out to” those killed during the violent riot and that she is “disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week”.

“This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain.

“Our Nation must heal in a civil manner. Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable.”

She called on all Americans “to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives”.

“I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the colour of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness. We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us.

“It is inspiring to see that so many have found a passion and enthusiasm in participating in an election, but we must not allow that passion to turn to violence. Our path forward is to come together, find our commonalities, and be the kind and strong people that I know we are.”

Most importantly, she said: “I ask for healing, grace, understanding, and peace for our great Nation.”

She spent much of the statement reflecting on the “terrible pandemic” COVID-19 and the devastating effect it has had on her country with her husband in charge.

“Like all of you, I have reflected on the past year and how the invisible enemy, COVID-19, swept across our beautiful country,” she said in the statement, titled Our Path Forward.

“It is these defining moments that we will look back and tell our grandchildren that through empathy, strength, and determination, we were able to restore the promise of our future.

“Each of you are the backbone of this country. You are the people who continue to make the United States of America what it is, and who have the incredible responsibility of preparing our future generations to leave everything better than they found it.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with US Democrats, said they would push to remove Mr Trump from office during the final days of his administration after his supporters’ violent attack on the Capitol, with some Republicans supporting the move.

The President could face a historic second impeachment before the January 20 inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden, at a time when the United States is hit by a surging pandemic, a flagging economy and searing division.

House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said there would be a resolution calling for the cabinet to remove Mr Trump as unfit for office under the Constitution’s 25th amendment.

In an interview with 60 Minutes US overnight, Ms Pelosi described the President as “deranged, unhinged, and dangerous”.

“We’re only a number of days until we can be protected from him but he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him”.

If Vice President Mike Pence does not agree to invoke the amendment, “we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation” in the House, Ms Pelosi said earlier.

“As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action,” she added.

Mr Trump was already impeached once by the Democrati-controlled House in December 2019 for pressuring the Ukrainian president to dig up political dirt on Biden.

He was acquitted by the Republican-majority Senate.

Though time is running short, Democrats likely have the votes in the House to impeach Mr Trump again and could draw increased Republican support for the move, AFP reports.

But they are unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump in the 100-member Senate and remove him from office.

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Spirit of Tasmania ferries to allow free travel for cars from March in bid to boost tourism


Spirit of Tasmania ferry passengers will be able to bring their car or motorcycle at no charge for a period of four months under an expansion of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme to be announced today.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the expansion of the scheme would help Tasmania’s tourism industry recover from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For travel between 1 March 2021 and 30 June 2021, Australians can take their car or motorbike to the Apple Isle at zero cost and discover everything this beautiful state has to offer,” Mr McCormack said.

The free travel for cars and motorcycles applies to travel on both the Melbourne to Devonport crossing and Devonport to Melbourne.

Assistant Industry Development Minister Jonathon Duniam said Spirit of Tasmania bookings dropped by 85 per cent because of the pandemic.

Senator Duniam said the free car travel would be a saving, on average, of about $240 return for travellers.

“That’s money they can now spend at small businesses, with tourism operators and in the many communities that are eager to welcome travellers back with open arms,” he said.

“Visitors who travel to Tasmania by sea are among the most valuable to the industry, they spend more, stay longer and travel further into our regional areas.

“In fact, these travellers account for 12 per cent of all visitors to Tasmania yet they contribute a massive 20 per cent of all annual visitor spending.”

The expansion of the scheme is worth $6 million and will go towards an estimated 25,000 Spirit of Tasmania return fares.

The free vehicle travel will end on June 30, or when the $6 million is spent, whichever happens first.

Passenger vehicles are already subsidised on the Spirit of Tasmania. The equalisation scheme exists to make the cost of taking a car across Bass Strait is similar to driving the same distance on the national highway network.

There is currently an average gap of $120 for a standard vehicle between the cost for ferry operator TT-Line to transport a vehicle across Bass Strait and the value of the equalisation scheme subsidy. The price gap is added to the ticket price.

Vehicles queued and waiting to embark the Spirit of Tasmania.
The free travel will end on June 30, or when the $6 million is spent, whichever happens first.(Facebook: Spirit of Tasmania)

When the expansion of the scheme comes into effect, people travelling with a caravan or motor home will receive an average $240 saving for their vehicle.

When travellers book their ticket, the rebate will automatically apply.

The subsidy will also apply to passengers transporting an eligible passenger vehicle on routes to and from King Island or the Furneaux Group.

‘Historic and important’

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO Luke Martin welcomed the decision and said the organisation has been calling for the relief since COVID-19 hit the state in March last year.

“It’s effectively the subsidy that’s paid to TT-Line for every vehicle that travels across the Bass Strait in lieu of the fact that we don’t have the national highway,” he said.

“They’re committed to increasing the subsidy temporarily from the 1st of March to the 30th of June, to effectively make it free to put a car on the Spirit of Tasmania service.”

Chairman of the former National Sea Highway Committee Peter Brohier said the deal has been a “long time coming”.

“It’s so important to lock that in for the future of Tasmania and Victoria,” he said.

“By dropping passenger fares on the Spirit of Tasmania, it allows the highway system to connect the whole nation.

“That’s historic and important.”

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Tasmanian researcher tracking feral cats in bid to help native wildlife


Australia’s wildlife is up to 200 times more likely to come across a deadly feral cat than an equivalent native predator, according to new research from the University of Tasmania.

The study also found feral cats hunt in greater numbers with more intensity, and in a broader range of habitats than its equivalent native marsupial predator, the spotted-tailed quoll.

Head researcher Rowena Hamer said feral cats are recognised as one of the most serious threats to our native wildlife.

“They’ve been implicated in a quarter of all bird, mammal and reptile extinctions globally. And predation by feral cats is listed as a key threatening process under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act,” she said.

According to the Federal Department of Environment, feral cats have been implicated as a threat to 142 species and sub-species, comprising 40 mammal species and sub-species, 40 birds, 21 reptiles and four amphibians.

The University of Tasmania research looked at the impact of the introduced predator — the feral cat — compared to the native spotted quoll.

Researcher Rowena Hamer preparing to release an animal into the wild.(Supplied: Angus McNab)

The quoll was selected because it is a similar in size to cats and has a similar diet of small mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs.

“Australia has marsupial predators which are superficially very similar to cats — our quolls were even called ‘native cats’ for many years,” Ms Hamer said.

“The spotted-tailed quoll in particular is roughly the same size as a feral cat, has a high dietary overlap and a similar hunting strategy.

“We were therefore interested in why feral cat predation is such a massive threat to our native wildlife.

As part of the study, GPS collars were attached to 34 feral cats and 14 quolls in four locations in Tasmania’s agricultural region Midlands.

Using the GPS data, researchers looked at what habitats the predators preferred and how often they went back to the same area.

“We used a combination of live-trapping and fine-scale GPS tracking to examine differences in the ecology and behaviour of the two species, to try to understand why they would have differing impacts on prey,” Ms Hamer said.

“Our GPS collars recorded the animal’s location every five minutes for a month. This allowed us to build up a really detailed picture of how they use different habitats within the landscape.”

The study found native wildlife was more likely to come across a feral cat than a quoll — whether it was in pasture, grassland, woodland or creek bed areas.

A female spotted-tailed quoll with its mouth open.
The quoll was selected because it is similar in size to cats and has a similar diet.(Supplied: Rowena Hamer)

The research showed that there were about nine cats for every square kilometre, but there were only 0.4 quolls.

It also found quolls are more selective and less voracious hunters than cats.

“We also found that encounters with feral cats are likely to be equally or more dangerous to the prey as encounters with spotted-tailed quolls: noting that ‘danger’ includes both direct and indirect costs.”

Young male spotted-tailed quoll walking on a log.
Spotted-tailed quolls typically move between denning and foraging sites every few days, unlike cats.(Supplied: Sebastien Comte)

Ms Hamer said cats use their home range much more intensively than spotted-tailed quolls.

“Cats revisit the same areas night after night after night, whereas spotted-tailed quolls will typically move between denning and foraging sites every few days.

“Cats so predictably return to the same areas, a prey detecting any sign of a cat is more likely to use anti-predator behaviour … in response to any signal, such as a scent mark, which indicates that a cat has been in the local area, whereas such signs are a much less reliable indicator of the risk of a spotted-tailed quoll being present.

“Cats are present throughout all habitat types … even though individual cats showed quite strong habitat preferences, [they] varied a lot between individual cats meaning that as a population they are active throughout all areas of the landscape, whereas quolls are more restricted to areas of native woodland.”

Rowena Hamer preparing to release a Tasmanian devil into the wild.
Ms Hamer says without feral cats, other introduced prey species may flourish.(Supplied: Angus McNab)

A place to hide

The study found it is difficult to control or eradicate feral cats and suggested that the best way to help and protect native wildlife is to maintain and restore complex understorey in habitats to give native animals places to hide from feral cats.

“We’d ideally just remove all the feral cats [but] this is pretty tricky at a landscape scale, particularly in areas like Tasmania where broad-scale controls like poison baits are a risk to native carnivores.

“We therefore suggest that we need to look at making it easier for native prey to survive feral cat encounters while we work on developing broad-scale cat control methods.”

Ms Hamer said there was “quite a lot of research” to suggest this should be achievable by “increasing the complexity of understorey habitats to provide refuges for prey”.

“Secondly, this also reinforces that feral cat control programs must consider how removing cats will affect non-native prey, and whether native carnivores are present and able to exert enough predation pressure to keep introduced prey species such as black rats, house mice and rabbits under control.

“If not, any feral cat control must be coupled with control of these species to prevent adverse impacts on native wildlife.”

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Trump Makes Last-ditch Bid To Block Biden Win As Congress Goes Democratic


Donald Trump on Wednesday launched a furious last-minute bid on the streets of Washington to reverse his election defeat, as Joe Biden was set to be certified president with an added triumph of his Democratic Party on track to win full control of Congress.

In a scene unprecedented in US democracy, Trump rallied thousands of supporters outside the White House moments before Congress meets to affirm Biden’s November election victory — traditionally a formality, but one which Trump hopes will overturn the results.





Supporters of US President Donald Trump gather for a rally in Washington
 AFP / Brendan Smialowski

Trump, rambling angrily with the occasional aside lauding his four-year tenure, warned “weak” Republicans not to certify Biden’s victory and put direct pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the session.

“We will never give up. We will never concede,” Trump told the cheering crowd, few wearing masks despite a spike in Covid cases.

“I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do,” Trump said, describing the US election as less honest than those of “Third World countries.”



Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock


Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock
 AFP / JIM WATSON

But as Trump was still speaking and Congress opened the session, Pence — dutifully loyal to Trump over four years and quiet since the election — said he would not intervene.

“The Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence said in a statement.

With political tensions running at fever pitch, there was a heavy police presence in downtown Washington and many business owners, fearing clashes, have boarded up doors and windows.



Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff


Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff
 AFP / JIM WATSON

“I can’t say I respect our election process anymore,” said Gail Shaw, 76, who drove down from New Jersey for the rally. “We will take our nation back.”

Biden won more than seven million votes more than Trump in the November 3 election and leads him 306-232 in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines elections.

Trump has repeatedly alleged without no evidence that there was vote-rigging but his team has not been able to prove a single case in court.



IMAGES AND SOUNDBITES Hundreds of supporters of US President Donald Trump gather in Washington, DC, a day before a protest called by the outgoing US president who refuses to concede defeat in November 2020's election. The US Congress will meet Wednesday t


IMAGES AND SOUNDBITES Hundreds of supporters of US President Donald Trump gather in Washington, DC, a day before a protest called by the outgoing US president who refuses to concede defeat in November 2020’s election. The US Congress will meet Wednesday to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Trump.
 AFPTV / Gilles CLARENNE

There is little chance that Trump will succeed in reversing the certification as Democrats already controlled the House of Representatives.

But more than 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives and at least a dozen Republican senators have vowed to object to certification — threatening to delay the proceedings late into the night — with lawmakers from Arizona filing a first objection as the joint session of Congress got underway.



Outgoing president Donald Trump was due to address his supporters in Washington as Joe Biden's victory is certified


Outgoing president Donald Trump was due to address his supporters in Washington as Joe Biden’s victory is certified
 AFP / Brendan Smialowski

The session of Congress comes one day after voters went to the polls in Georgia and appear to have handed a pair of stunning victories to the Democratic Senate candidates over Republican incumbents.



Crowds of people gather as US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters before Congress meets to certify Joe Biden's election win


Crowds of people gather as US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters before Congress meets to certify Joe Biden’s election win
 AFP / MANDEL NGAN

A Democratic sweep would result in a 50-50 split in the Senate with Democrats holding the tie-breaking vote in Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden is due to be sworn in on January 20 and control of the Senate would give his Democrats the levers of power in the executive branch and both chambers of Congress and allow him to push through his legislative agenda.

“After the past four years, after the election, and after today’s election certification proceedings on the Hill, it’s time to turn the page,” Biden said in a statement.

“The American people demand action and they want unity. I am more optimistic than I ever have been that we can deliver both,” he said.

Democrat Chuck Schumer, who is poised to take over from Mitch McConnell as majority leader, said his first priority will be to pass $2,000 Covid relief checks for most Americans.

Democrats and Trump has supported the amount but McConnell killed the proposal in the Senate, saying $600 payouts approved last month were sufficient.

Georgia has been reliably Republican but Biden also won the state, by about 12,000 votes, and his win there is one of the victories that Trump has been contesting.

Trump’s unprecedented efforts to overturn the result have included making a call to Georgia’s secretary of state in which he said he wants to “find 11,780 votes” — one more than Biden’s margin of victory.

In Georgia, Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock, the pastor at the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King once preached, was projected to defeat Republican Kelly Loeffler, a 50-year-old businesswoman appointed to the Senate in December 2019.

Warnock, 51, who would be just the third African-American to win a Senate seat from the South, was ahead by 53,430 votes out of nearly 4.4 million cast, or more than one percent.

Loeffler however refused to concede. “We’re going to make sure every vote is counted,” she told supporters.

In the other Georgia race, Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old video producer, claimed victory on Wednesday over Republican David Perdue.

Perdue, 71, who was elected to the Senate in 2014, has also refused to concede.



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Jailed Richmond Tiger Sydney Stack makes bid for bail


Richmond’s Sydney Stack will try to win freedom from prison later this week after spending the Christmas and new year period behind bars.

Stack, 20, was arrested in Perth on December 19 for allegedly breaching Western Australia’s coronavirus quarantine laws.

Sydney Stack will have the chance to win bail on Friday. Credit:Matt Roberts

He was denied bail the following day, and on Wednesday his lawyer successfully sought to adjourn the matter to January 20.

It was also decided on Wednesday that Stack would face a bail application hearing this Friday, a spokesman for the Perth Magistrates’ Court confirmed. If this is not granted, Stack will remain in jail for at least another 12 days.

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Bid to address health costs by 3 corporate giants is over


This combination of file photos from left shows Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York. A health care venture created in 2018 by the three corporate giants to attack soaring care costs will shutter only a couple years after launching. A company spokeswoman said Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, that Haven will end operations in February. (AP Photos, File)

A health care venture conceived by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan to attack soaring costs is dissolving.

Haven, which was formed in 2018 by the three U.S. corporate giants, will cease operations by the end of February, a company spokeswoman said Monday. She gave no reason for the dissolution of the venture.

The independent company was created to focus on improving the care delivered to employees of those businesses while doing a better job of managing the expense. But benefits experts expected any plans developed by Haven to become widely adopted by other companies if they proved effective in controlling costs.

News of the venture’s creation nearly three years ago sent a brief shudder through the stocks of health insurers that manage employer-sponsored coverage.

But the Boson-based venture has been largely silent since naming a high-profile CEO—Harvard professor, author and surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande—and then announcing its name in 2019.

Gawande departed last May.

Employer-sponsored insurance covers about 157 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s nearly half the total U.S. population and the biggest slice of the country’s patchwork health insurance market.

Health care costs have grown faster than wages and inflation for years, stressing families and employers. Haven’s founders cautioned from the outset that the company had a tough task, and they didn’t expect quick solutions.

They had several priorities for the company. They wanted it to look for ways to help employees make better choices for their care and give them the best options available.

They also wanted Haven to develop better programs for improving health and dealing in particular with obesity and smoking, which account for chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and depression.

A Haven spokeswoman said the company made progress in a number of areas. It started new designs for health care benefits that eliminated patient out-of-pocket payments like deductibles and coinsurance and encouraged access to primary care.

She said Haven also identified areas for cutting prescription drug costs and “tackled issues relate to fraud, waste and abuse.”

Amazon said in a statement Monday that Haven “worked very well” as a place to come up with ideas and test them, but added: “Now that we’re ready to implement, we realize that doing so independently makes the most sense.”

Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway also plan to keep collaborating informally.


Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan pick Gawande to lead health firm


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Coronavirus Australia live news: NSW looks to double testing numbers in bid to contain clusters, Victoria issues fresh health alerts

Australia not going to ‘cut corners’ on vaccine approval

   
The Prime Minister’s been doing the commercial radio rounds this morning, talking about everything from vaccines to the cricket.

   

Speaking on Melbourne station 3AW, Scott Morrison made it clear even though other countries are approving COVID-19 vaccines, Australia isn’t rushing in to anything.

     

“We are moving this as swiftly as it safely can be done, but Australia is not an emergency situation so we don’t have to cut corners,” he said.

   

“We don’t have to take unnecessary risks.”

   

Mr Morrison also said that after a vaccine is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, batches of it will still have to be tested before it is rolled out.

    

“I don’t think Australians just want us sending out willy-nilly vials of vaccines that haven’t been tested which is the normal process that happens with any TGA-approved vaccine,” he said.

     

The PM also said while he won’t be going to the cricket over the weekend (he’s stuck in Canberra which has closed its border to Greater Sydney), he believes the event has been managed in a safe way.

      

“They’ve reduced how many people can go, it’s an outdoor venue … health officials [there] have made their recommendations and the Government is acting on that,” he said.

 

Reporting by Georgia Hitch.

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