Hunt stands by October virus vaccine goal

Australians have been told to still expect their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by October, with the federal government sticking by its time frame despite initial delays in the rollout.

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Experts doubt October vaccination target

Medical experts believe the federal government’s coronavirus vaccination target will be hard to achieve unless jab rates are dramatically ramped up.

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Torquay police hunt serial arsonist responsible for 12 fires since October

Torquay police on Victoria’s Surf Coast are desperately trying to uncover the identity of an arsonist they believe is responsible for 12 fires in the area since October, including an attack on the newly constructed home of an AFL player.

Richmond footballer Nick Vlastuin’s home was targeted on October 23, with the arsonist using a plastic jerry can to ignite the house.

CCTV from the night shows a person wearing a hoodie and mask scoping out the property before throwing the lit jerry can at the front door. No-one was living in the home at the time.

Forty minutes later on that same night, another house under construction was targeted using a similar jerry can.

Three days later on October 26, a third home, also under construction, was set alight, but the fire did not take hold.

By this time, Torquay police officers expected someone to come forward with information on the culprit.

“We expected someone to know who was involved by then. We thought we would get an anonymous email to Crime Stoppers from someone saying, ‘hey look at this guy’,” Torquay Crime Investigative Unit Detective Sergeant Duncan Frame said

But no-one did.

The arsonist struck again on December 12 and 15, this time targeting scrub in Deep Creek, a popular walking, cycling and running track in Torquay.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) first believed a discarded cigarette was to blame, but days later another scrub fire was lit at Point Impossible.

On December 16, the garage of a home next door to the Torquay police station was set on fire, melting pipes under the ground and destroying the concrete driveway.

On Christmas Day a rubbish bin was set on fire, and five days later another scrub fire was lit just metres from people’s homes.

On New Year’s Day another bin fire was lit in a public toilet.

On January 8, it was a letterbox.

Around 5:00am on January 27, a children’s playground in Deep Creek was set on fire, destroying the entire complex and costing the council at least $40,000 to clean up and replace.

Sergeant Frame said it was the playground that really struck a chord with local residents.

“It was a very popular place. Before the playground I think people were pretty laid back about it all,” he said.

While the fires so far have not burned out of control, police officers and the CFA say it would take just one hot, windy day for that to change.

“The entire Deep Creek reserve could be ignited,” Sergeant Frame said.

He wants the public and the culprit to know that police are not handling the arson purely as a criminal matter.

“It’s more of a mental health concern. We want to get this person help,” he said.

Anyone who witnesses a fire is being urged by police to remain observant.

Police believe the person responsible for the fires is a young male, aged between 16 and 22, with a slim build.

Torquay CIU were planning on holding a community information session yesterday but it was postponed due to Victoria’s snap lockdown.

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Vaccinating all Australians by October ‘a tall order’

ANU’s Sanjaya Senanayake says it will be a tall order to reach the government’s target of having all of Australia’s vaccinations administered by October, but is hopeful it may be reached.

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October FDI net inflows lowest since April

By Beatrice M. Laforga, Reporter

Foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines in October fell to the lowest level in six months, amid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections overseas, according to the central bank.

FDI net inflows shrank by a quarter to $423 million from $561 million a year earlier, the second straight month of yearly decline, according to data sent by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno via Viber on Friday.

The October inflows were the lowest since $314 million in April, when many parts of the country and the rest of the world were locked down at the height of the pandemic.

Restrictions have been eased since the second half of last year, but local quarantine and physical distancing measures remain.

“The slowdown in FDI during the month may be attributed in part to concerns over the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the US, Japan and some European countries,” the BSP said.

Some of the world’s largest economies reported higher infection tallies around October lowering the cases for months.

In the ten months to October, FDI net inflows fell by a tenth to $5.3 billion from a year earlier.

“The decline in FDI net inflows reflected the adverse impact on investor sentiment amid the uncertainties surrounding the effect of a prolonged pandemic on the global economy,” the central bank said.

“The was offset by the increase in consumer spending, which was translated into investment in the last quarter of 2020,” Emmanuel J. Lopez, dean of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Graduate School said in an e-mail.

The expected seasonal uptick in public consumption should temper the losses as these may become investments in the latter part of 2020, he added.

“Whatever FDI shortage we experience in the preceding year can very well be recovered in 2021,” Mr. Lopez said.
“This was optimistically illustrated by the good credit rating the country gets from foreign independent credit rating agencies.”

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Year in pictures: October 2020 | The Canberra Times

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The sunshine returned, plenty of rain fell, and borders reopened. After a challenging year, the green shoots of hope and relief emerged in October. Our lives became a little bit fuller outside of the restrictions of isolation as families were reunited and events were being encouraged. The ACT had its turn at a pandemic election; Labor returned for a sixth-consecutive term and a record number of Greens claimed seats in the Assembly. The Raiders went deep into the NRL finals once again but missed out on the grand final. Fans are now looking to 2021 for a drought-breaking Green Machine premiership.


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Bulgaria retail sales decrease in October | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Friday, December 11, 2020, 14:30

Bulgariaʼs retail sales decreased by 5.3% year-on-year in October after falling by an annual 6.7% in the previous month, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on Wednesday, citing preliminary working-day adjusted data. 

Photo by STEKLO /

Retail trade of food, drinks, tobacco fell 10.4% while sales of fuel decreased by 16.3% annually in November. On the other hand, sales of non-food product increased by 2.4%. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly comparison basis, retail trade turnover rose by 1.5% in October following a 3.2% increase in September.

In a separate statement, the Sofia-based statistics institute said, citing preliminary data, that Bulgariaʼs industrial output decreased by 3.9% year-on-year in October, following an annual decline of 2.7%. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly comparison basis, industrial production edged up 0.2% in October after a 2.5% rise in September.

Another preliminary report showed that production of Bulgariaʼs construction sector fell by an annual 4.7% in October, following a 1.7% decline in September. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly comparison basis, construction output decreased 1.5% in October after rising by 1.2% in the previous month. 



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Slovakia trade surplus increases in October | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Friday, December 11, 2020, 16:30

Slovakiaʼs trade surplus rose to EUR 807.5 million in October from EUR 304 million in the same month last year, data from the countryʼs statistical office showed on Wednesday. 

In September, the trade surplus was EUR 707.9 million. The latest increase in trade surplus was the highest in the last decade. Exports rose 0.6% annually in October, while imports fell 5.7%. 

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Czech trade surplus increases in October | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Thursday, December 10, 2020, 16:30

Czech Republicʼs trade surplus rose to CZK 33.391 billion in October from CZK 8.967 billion in the same month last year, a report from the countryʼs statistical office showed on Tuesday.

In September, the trade surplus was CZK 35.385 billion. Exports rose 5.6% annually in October and imports fell 1.7%.

On a monthly basis, seasonally adjusted exports and imports increased by 4.7% and 3.4% respectively, in October. 

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