400 Naxals ambushed security personnel with heavy gunfire in Chhattisgarh: Sources


At least 22 personnel have been killed and 30 others injured, official sources said on Sunday

New Delhi/Raipur: A group of an estimated 400 Maoists had ambushed security personnel who were part of a large contingent deployed for a special operation, leading to the killing of at least 22 personnel and injuries to 30 others, official sources said on Sunday.

They said the contingent of about 1,500 troops drawn from CRPF’S specialised jungle warfare unit CoBRA, some teams from its regular battalions, a unit of its Bastariya battalion, the Chhattisgarh Police affiliated District Reserve Guard (DRG) and others had launched a search and destroy operation along the border of Bijapur-Sukma district around noon after they got inputs of some Maoists presence in the area.

 

At least 400 Naxals, an officer said, led by the most wanted Maoist commander and leader of the so-called ‘People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army(PLGA) battalion no 1’– Hidma– and his associate Sujatha are suspected to be behind the Saturday ambush that took place in an area that is a strong-hold of the ultras due to the difficult terrain, large tracts of forests and less number of security forces camps.

The Maoists rained bullets from light machine guns (LMGs) and used low-intensity improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to mount the attack that went on till evening.

He said that the Maoists carried their dead, estimated to be about 10-12, on tractor trolleys.

 

The total approved strength of security forces personnel for the operation was 790 and the rest were taken as auxiliary and support elements for the long haul operation, the sources said.

“Inputs were received that Naxals were undertaking their Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) campaign in the Jagargunda-Jongaguda-Tarrem axis, and hence security forces teams from six camps were deputed to intercept them.

“The Maoists drew the forces into an ambush with heavy gunfire soon after, and helicopter sorties were requisitioned to evacuate the injured personnel,” a senior security officer told reporters.

He said the Maoists encircled the security personnel from three sides and a heavy gun-battle ensued in the jungles which are devoid of any foliage at present.

 

Another officer posted in Chhattisgarh said the operation was being monitored by two Inspector General (IG) rank officers of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force from Jagdalpur in Bastar.

“The rescue choppers could not land in the ambush area around 2 PM when they were sent for a casualty evacuation mission as a heavy exchange of firing was taking place. The helicopter landed only around 5 PM to pick up the casualties,” another officer said.

Out of the total 22 fatalities, the CRPF has lost eight men out of which seven are CoBRA commandos while one personnel is from the Bastariya battalion.

A CRPF Inspector is still missing, they said.

 

Officials said while maximum security forces personnel were killed due to bullet shots, one is suspected to have fainted and later died due to dehydration and other issues.

“The security forces personnel, especially CoBRA commandos fought very bravely and ensured that the Naxals could not prolong the ambush despite being at an advantage,” the officer said.

The security personnel took guard against large trees and kept firing till they ran out of ammunition, he added.

At one location, he added, seven bodies of the troops were recovered and the tree trunks bore bullet shots, indicating that a heavy gun-battle took place in the area.

 

About two dozen sophisticated assault weapons of the killed personnel are also stated to have been looted by the Naxals even as security officials said the search of the area is still on and details are being collected from the ground.

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CFA warned of ‘serious security breach’ prior to fire season


One source, who asked not to be identified as they feared they could lose their job for speaking out, claimed they were instructed by a senior figure in the CFA’s learning and development department to lie to volunteers at a meeting on March 5.

“He said words to the effect that ‘I understand that we’re expecting you to lie to members’,” the source said.

Internal documents obtained by The Age reveal the problem should have been rectified by the end of January but remains unresolved, while volunteers remain unaware of the failed audit.

In response to the claims about the March 5 meeting, a spokesperson for the fire authority said: “CFA always endeavours to be honest and open with its members at all times and ensure that they have the right information, when they need it.”

Regarding the failed audit, the CFA said the VRQA found the fire authority had awarded statements of attainment to members who had completed a nationally accredited training unit without having a prerequisite unit.

“This was an administrative error that CFA was not aware of and had been issuing the statements of attainment in good faith,” a spokesperson said.

“The CFA has taken steps to identify and notify impacted members and update training systems to prevent the unit from being awarded again without the prerequisites .. . and retrospectively issued a replacement competency unit in 2020 to all affected members.”

The Age has been inundated with examples of harassment and bullying since publishing multiple stories about CFA’s repeated failure to reform its dysfunctional workplace culture.

It revealed last week the CFA instructed its own investigators to drop or avoid some complaints of serious sexual assaults, harassment and bullying and in one case forced staff in its integrity unit to sign non-disclosure contracts or face disciplinary action.

It also faces accusations of an entrenched culture of misogyny and discrimination, which has led to renewed calls for the release of a report by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

The report was suppressed in 2018 after a legal challenge by the powerful United Firefighters Union.

The IT consultant who worked briefly for the CFA said he raised concerns in early 2019 about the organisation’s mandatory self-assessment and reporting requirements within the Victorian Protective Data Security Standards.

Victorian government agencies are required to provide a high-level “protective data security plan” every two years to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) to show their level of compliance.

The former CFA contractor noticed inconsistencies between an internal audit completed by Ernst & Young for the CFA and the report they submitted to the OVIC. The version submitted to the OVIC made the organisation look partially compliant when it was not and hid the fact that the CFA was vulnerable to phishing or hacking, the man said.

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“They’d gone in and … altered reports to the audit office. Their internal audit done by Ernst & Young, it differed from the reports they sent into OVIC of their security and data compliance,” he said.

He raised it with his manager and was told the differences were “just wordsmithing”.

“I said, ‘This is not wordsmithing, this is saying you’re compliant with these practices,” he said.

“Out of the 18 measures you have to be compliant with the audit, you’ve just doctored five or six out of 13 to make them compliant without evidence and without attachments. So how can you send this stuff in?”

The man, now semi-retired, has worked for several large companies and organisations but said working for the CFA was the worst experience of his professional career. He said the CFA had a reputation as a “no-go zone” in the IT sector because of complaints and issues not being dealt with by management.

An internal investigation into the man’s claims completed in March last year and obtained by The Age recommended an external forensic auditor experienced in IT be engaged to investigate, and that IBAC should be alerted to the complaint.

“This is a serious allegation which if true could leave CFA exposed … to a serious security breach that could affect key mission critical operations systems during fire season,” he wrote.

The investigator also found that falsely reporting to VPDSS could result in legal action, adverse publicity, reputational damage and IBAC involvement.

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Security footage shows Queensland MP Les Walker being punched in Townsville bar


Security camera footage captured the moment north Queensland politician Les Walker was knocked unconscious in a Townsville bar.

The Mundingburra Labor MP was taken to hospital after an altercation with two young men at the Mad Cow Tavern in the early hours of January 16.

Mr Walker, 56, was issued an $800 infringement notice for public nuisance and temporarily banned from the city’s Safe Night Precinct.

The other men involved, aged 19 and 21, received the same penalties.

CCTV from inside the nightclub shows Mr Walker at a table where he is briefly approached by one of the men.

A physical confrontation unfolds and the MP is struck to the ground and knocked unconscious.

A crowd gathers around him and a security guard runs down the stairs with a torch.

Mr Walker is soon helped to his feet.

At the time, the newly elected MP told media he had been out celebrating his birthday and had no recollection of the fight.

“I don’t want to find myself in that situation,” Mr Walker said in January.

“I’ve moved on, there are a lot of learnings from that incident.”

Speaking to reporters today, Mr Walker said he still had no recollection of the incident and had only seen the security footage after it was released by media.

“[It was] quite shocking, quite distressing being out with my wife and being the victim of a coward punch,” he told reporters at Queensland Parliament.

When asked if he had provoked the men in the lead-up to the brawl, Mr Walker said he would not comment.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Police Minister Mark Ryan both condemned the incident at the time.

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Inquest into suicide of paramedic to examine Ambulance Tasmania’s mental health systems and drug security


An inquest into the death of an intensive care paramedic who took his own life with drugs he had stolen from Ambulance Tasmania (AT) will reveal “shocking inadequacies”, according to the lawyer for the Australian Paramedics Association.

Damian Michael Crump died on or about December 23, 2016.

Evidence provided to the coronial investigation suggested the 36-year-old had drug abuse and mental health issues, “including suicidal plans”.

Coroner Olivia McTaggart, who is conducting the inquest, wrote that the evidence in her investigation “strongly indicates Mr Crump intentionally ended his own life by ingesting a fatal combination of drugs which he obtained without authorisation in the hours before his death from the Ambulance Tasmania drug store”.

In her ruling on the scope of the inquest, she said that there was evidence from witnesses that Mr Crump had been suffering serious mental health issues that were known to AT employees and management.

She also said there was evidence that Mr Crump had abused prescription medication before his death and that AT medication had been reported as going missing in September 2016, with Mr Crump suspected as being responsible.

The Australian Paramedics Association’s lawyer said there had been a “multi-level failure”.(

Supplied: YouTube/Tasmania Emergency Photography

)

Ms McTaggart noted that there was also evidence that AT medication had been stolen by two separate employees in 2012 and 2014 in similar circumstances to Mr Crump.

She pointed to witness evidence that there was a lack of “appropriate management, discipline and welfare support by AT for Mr Crump and other employees who might require it”.

She also wrote that there was “evidence that AT managers responsible for these areas were insufficient in number and inadequately trained”.

The Australian Paramedics Association’s lawyer Efthimia Voulcaris said there had been a “multi-level failure”.

“The material filed suggests that Ambulance Tasmania have not created a mentally healthy workplace,” she said.

“They haven’t met their responsibilities under work, health and safety laws to identify and manage psychological risk.

“They also as an employer haven’t sent a clear message to staff that they value their mental health and wellbeing.”

Ms Voulcaris said AT had not addressed “the ongoing risks that they were on notice of prior to Mr Crump’s death”.

“The inadequacies that will be made public during the inquest will be quite shocking,” she said.

“[The public] have an expectation that risk is managed better than it will be shown that it has.”

Tasmanian magistrate Olivia McTaggart
Coroner Olivia McTaggart is examining the death of Ambulance Tasmania paramedic Damian Crump.(

ABC News

)

Ms McTaggart described the investigation leading up to Mr Crump’s death as “lengthy and thorough” and dealing with numerous issues, which led to her decision to hold a public inquest.

“It may well be that significant, causal or contributing circumstances leading to Mr Crump’s death involve a failure of AT to appropriately manage him and, if necessary, discipline him or terminate his employment,” she wrote.

“Appropriate management may well have resulted in a different outcome.

“Similarly, inadequate responses by AT to the two earlier known cases of stealing medication from AT stores may have allowed Mr Crump to more easily access medication, including the fatal quantity of medication stolen before his death.

Inquest could be ‘critical in creating change’

The inquest into Mr Crump’s death will examine seven matters:

  • The circumstances surrounding his death
  • The circumstances of, and AT’s response to, the reported missing and/or unauthorised taking of drugs from AT stations in southern Tasmania in about September 2016
  • Any established systems and/or policies providing for the storage, security, access and accounting of drugs held by AT both in 2016 and at the time of the inquest
  • Any misuse of drugs by Mr Crump and other AT employees that is relevant to the inquest, including any knowledge of and response by AT
  • The investigation, internal management of and response by AT to the suspected misuse and/or theft of AT drugs by two other employees prior to Mr Crump’s death
  • Any established mental health and welfare systems or policies in place back in 2016 and at the time of this inquest
  • The capacity and ability of AT supervisors in terms of identifying and assisting employees with mental health issues, managing risks posed to staff and patients and management training provided.

Ms McTaggart wrote that in examining Mr Crump’s death it would be “appropriate to explore the nature of any such deficits or inadequacies with a view to accurately commenting upon them and/or making recommendations to prevent similar deaths”.

“The matters set out at points four to seven … are likely to be connected to Mr Crump’s death and may also reveal systemic issues within AT appropriate for such comment and recommendations.”

One ambulance parked inside Ambulance Tasmania depot.
Ambulance Tasmania’s response to reports of missing or unauthorised taking of drugs will be among the issues examined at the inquest.(

ABC News: David Hudspeth

)

Ms Voulcaris said the 2018 parliamentary inquiry into the mental health of frontline workers that resulted from Mr Crump’s death was a turning point for ambulance workers across the country.

While she said the evidence at this inquest would be relevant to ambulance services across Australia, she said she hoped it would be a pivotal moment for Tasmania.

“I think this particular inquest is going to be critical in creating change for paramedics in Tasmania,” she said.

The inquest, which began in Hobart today, is expected to take three weeks.

Ambulance Tasmania has been contacted for comment.

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Tesla cars banned from China’s military complexes on security concerns -sources



FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak walks by Tesla Model 3 sedans and Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle at a new Tesla showroom in Shanghai, China May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Yilei Sun

March 22, 2021

(Reuters) – The Chinese military has banned Tesla cars from entering its complexes, citing security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles, two people who have seen notices of the directive told Reuters.

The move is the latest sign of China’s growing scrutiny of the U.S. electric carmaker amid tensions with Washington. Analysts said it resembled Washington’s measures against Chinese telecoms firm Huawei citing national security.

Chinese military restrictions on Tesla surfaced as senior Chinese and U.S. officials held a contentious meeting in Alaska, the first such interaction since U.S. President Joe Biden took office.

“I presume the timing of the announcement surely linked to the fireworks planned for Anchorage,” said Ian Bremmer, president at Eurasia Group consulting firm.

Tesla shares ended up 0.3% after falling as much as 4.4% during trade.

The U.S. electric car maker won strong backing from Shanghai when it built its first overseas factory there in 2019. Tesla’s sleek Model 3 sedans were the best-selling electric vehicle in the country before being overtaken by a much cheaper micro EV.

The directive advises owners to park Teslas outside military property, and residents were notified this week, the two sources said, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Bloomberg News earlier reported the move.

Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates, said the latest restrictions on Tesla were a close parallel to the U.S. government’s hostility toward Huawei on concerns Beijing could have access to U.S. telecoms infrastructure.

“Even if such concern is exaggerated, it can create dislocation for the companies directly affected,” he said.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that China’s government was restricting use of Tesla cars by personnel at military, state-owned enterprises in sensitive industries and key agencies. (https://on.wsj.com/3r2NnVe)

It was not immediately clear whether the measure applied to all such facilities. The move came after a government security review of Tesla’s vehicles, the report said, citing people familiar with the effort.

Tesla sold 147,445 cars in China last year, or 30% of its total deliveries, though competition is growing from domestic rivals such as Nio Inc and Geely.

China’s State Council Information Office and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment. China’s defence ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

CARS AND CAMERAS

Automakers have been equipping more vehicles with cameras and sensors that capture images of a car’s surroundings. Control of how those images are used and where they are sent and stored is a fast-emerging challenge for the industry and regulators around the world.

Tesla cars have several external cameras to assist drivers with parking, changing lanes and other features. Chief Executive Elon Musk has often spoken about the value of the data Tesla vehicles capture that can be used to develop autonomous driving.

Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y also have cameras in the rear view mirror for driver safety that are disabled by default.

“China has an array of tools – some direct, some indirect – for putting the heavy on foreign companies like Tesla. The pressure can come from any direction, for any reason at any time,” said Michael Dunne, chief executive of consultancy ZoZo Go.

A Chinese state regulator said in February that government officials had met representatives from Tesla over consumer reports of battery fires, unexpected acceleration and failures in over-the-air software updates.

Musk is scheduled to speak online on Saturday at a state-hosted annual global economic gathering in Beijing called the China Development Forum. The event includes Chinese officials.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom, Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Eva Mathews and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel, anil D’Silva, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, David Clarke and David Gregorio)



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China bans use of Tesla by military, citing security concerns


BEIJING — The Chinese military has in effect banned the use of Tesla vehicles by its staff and employees, citing concerns that data collection by cameras installed on the cars can lead to leaks of sensitive information, sources said Friday.

The move comes at a time when tensions between Beijing and Washington are running high. China’s top diplomats and their U.S. counterparts just had a heated exchange in their first meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, raising speculation that Beijing is pressuring Washington by going after the top U.S. electric vehicle maker. 

Tesla cars are now prohibited from entering People’s Liberation Army facilities and housing complexes, the sources said. The government is concerned that the omnidirectional cameras and ultrasound sensors on installed in the cars can lead to security leaks, according to the sources.

Chinese authorities, including the State Administration for Market Regulation, said it investigated two Tesla subsidiaries in February. In addition to safety issues, such as rapid acceleration and battery fires, the authorities asked the Tesla side about the suspicion that the automaker is taking user data out of the country. 

Chinese regulations mandate so-called new-energy vehicles, including electric and plug-in hybrid cars, to offer real-time driving data, such as vehicle location and battery usage, to authorities. Suspicion has been raised that Tesla has not followed this requirement. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Beijing is also banning employees of government agencies from using Tesla cars. 

“If Tesla is not following Chinese rules and regulations, the restriction is appropriate,” said a Chinese local government official.

Tesla sold 145,000 vehicles in China last year, according to British research firm LMC Automotive. This roughly threefold jump from 2019 vaulted the company to third place in new-energy vehicles, behind Chinese automakers SAIC Motor and BYD.

Demand grew among affluent consumers unable to spend money on foreign travel, as well as middle-class shoppers seeing locally produced Teslas as a relative bargain.

China generated about 30% of Tesla’s global sales volume last year and was a major driver behind the company’s first-ever annual net profit.

The Chinese government, keen to win over a prominent American business, has rolled out the red carpet for Tesla, allowing it to become the first foreign automaker to set up a wholly owned production and sales subsidiary in the country.

But friction between Washington and Beijing could create a bumpier road ahead, and Thursday’s openly confrontational meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s top diplomat, Politburo member Yang Jiechi, does not bode well on that front. 



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A Sign of Closer India-US Security Ties – The Diplomat


Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III meets with the commander of U.S Forces Korea, Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams, upon arrival at Osan Air Base, South Korea, March 17, 2021.

Credit: Flickr/DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s visit to Asia this week on his first international trip, including to India on Friday, gives some indication of the Biden administration’s strategic focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Speaking to the media, Indian Ambassador to the United States T.S. Sandhu remarked that “this visit is a reflection of the importance which the United States accords to India and the importance of our bilateral relationship.” The India leg underscores the importance of India-U.S. security and strategic ties within the Indo-Pacific security matrix. 

According to media reports, Austin, who will be in India from March 19 to 21, will have meetings with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, and other senior government officials.  The visit will give a boost to the U.S.-India defense partnership and bring about greater synergy in framing a cooperative agenda in nurturing “a free, prosperous, and open Indo-Pacific and Western Indian Ocean Region.” The two sides will focus on ways to strengthen military-to-military engagement and bilateral defense trade, including industry collaboration. They will likely also discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan. Indo-U.S. defense trade has grown manifold in recent years with the U.S. becoming one of India’s top defense suppliers. Media reports suggest a deal for 30 armed drones, 10 each for the army, air force, and navy, pegged at over $3 billion, is close to being approved by the Indian defense ministry. In November 2020, the Indian Navy acquired two Sea Guardian unarmed drones from the U.S. on a one-year lease. India has plans also to buy six additional P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft in addition to the 12 already contracted.

Recognizing the need to weave a close web of security partners in the Indo-Pacific, a Pentagon statement on the upcoming trip said that the U.S. knows it needs “strong allies and partners and friends in that part of the world.” India being part of Austin’s first overseas trip sends a strong and clear message to China. Prior to his visit, Austin stated that the Asia trip is meant to further “credible deterrence” against China. He added that the United States’ goal “is to make sure that we have the capabilities and the operational plans… to be able to offer a credible deterrence to China or anybody else who would want to take on the U.S.” 

The first leg of Austin’s trip will be to Japan and South Korea where he will be joined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Commenting on the first leg of his trip, Austin said that an important reason for his visit is to strengthen U.S. alliances and that Washington wanted to listen to the points of view of its allies and reassure them. 

The Biden administration is likely to stay the course on the Trump administration’s tougher approach to China. But instead of the Trump administration’s unilateralist approach to foreign policy, Biden seems to want to work with a coalition of allies and partners, especially on China. During his visit to the Pentagon in February, Biden conveyed the message that the U.S. is “prepared to confront – and when necessary, militarily counter – a rising China.” Biden also announced the establishment of a new Defense Department China Task Force.  The Task Force is responsible for reviewing the U.S. approach to China in areas including strategy and force posture as well as technology and intelligence. Earlier in the month, Austin held the first meeting of the task force, which includes a mix of military commanders, civilian leaders, and members from the intelligence community. The task force is expected to complete its review in four months, but the reports and findings of the task force will remain classified.  

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Austin’s visit also comes against the backdrop of the first Quad summit, which was held virtually last week. The Quad, a grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the United States, has come a long way even since its second iteration took form in 2017. While analysts have sometimes characterized the grouping as an Asian NATO, the Chinese foreign minister predicted that it would dissipate like “sea foam.” Nevertheless, the Quad leaders meeting has possibly rattled China about the seriousness of cooperation among the four countries. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson in his briefing stated that “In the era of globalization, forming enclosed small cliques with ideology as the yardstick is the sure way to destroy the international order and after all, is unpopular and will end in total failure,” adding that “certain countries should shake off their Cold War mentality.” 

The joint statement issued at the end of the Quad summit did not make a specific reference to China, but the message was unambiguous. It stated that the Quad “strive[s] for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion.” It went on to highlight a commitment for “a free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.” The statement also said the foreign ministers and senior officials from all the four Quad countries will continue to meet and converse on a regular basis and that the Quad leaders plan to have an in-person meeting at the end of the year. Of course, the Quad foreign ministers have met a few times including an in-person meeting in Tokyo in October last year.  

For the time being, the fears and wariness that Biden would be soft on China or indifferent toward mechanisms such as the Quad can be put to rest. While there are stylistic changes in the U.S. approach in terms of moving to build a larger coalition of states to address the China challenge, the latest Quad leaders meeting and the defense secretary’s visit to Asia would appear to be reinforce the strong U.S. commitment toward the Indo-Pacific.

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Sydney news: Calls for better job security after hotel quarantine COVID-19 case, inquiry hears of racism in NSW health system


Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Calls for secure work for quarantine hotel guards

Questions have been raised about why NSW hotel quarantine security guards are being employed across multiple venues following the most recent coronavirus case.

A security guard tested positive to COVID-19 on Saturday night, breaking nearly two months without any new locally acquired cases in the state.

The 47-year-old man has been working weekends at several quarantine hotels — including the Sofitel Wentworth and Mantra hotel Haymarket — both in the CBD.

Labor’s Ryan Park says hotel quarantine security guards must be employed full-time.(

AAP Image: Dean Lewins

)

NSW Labor’s health spokesperson Ryan Park said it was not good practice.

“Hotel security guards in quarantine hotels should be, like all of the workers in there, full-time to at least reduce the risk of transmission to other sites from one of the most high-risk areas in NSW,” he said.

Labor is calling on the State Government to ensure these workers have secure employment so they “don’t have to do other jobs to make ends meet”.

Racism in the public health system

A state parliamentary inquiry has been told racist attitudes within the NSW public health system are stopping Indigenous residents from seeking medical help.

The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council says figures show Indigenous patients are five times more likely to discharge themselves early from hospital.

Ariane Dozer from the National Justice Project says First Nations people did not trust the public health service, which they said had provided them with “derogatory” and “degrading” treatment.

“[They are] essentially dismissed and turned away without proper assessment,” she said.

“People’s individual concerns and views of their concerns and their suffering can be ignored.”

‘Unviable’ petroleum exploration licences to end

Coal seam gas pilot well at Narrabri
Some licences for gas exploration won’t be making the cut.(

AAP: Dean Lewins

)

Deputy Premier John Barilaro has confirmed he would discontinue some of the dormant gas licences in north-west NSW.

Multiple energy companies have applied to renew a total of 12 expired petroleum exploration licences, including one covering land from Scone to Coolah.

Mr Barilaro is set to announce a new gas policy for the state in the coming months.

He said a number of the dormant licences had no use, adding they were not “economically or environmentally viable”.

Sydney honours mosque attack victims

Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand commemorated the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack on Saturday.(

AAP Image: Martin Hunter

)

A commemorative service will be held in Campsie, in south-west Sydney, to remember the 51 victims killed in a mass shooting in two New Zealand mosques in 2019.

Services were held in Christchurch over the weekend, to honour the victims and their families.

Last year, an Australian man pleaded guilty to the mass murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bilal Rauf from the Australian National Imams Council said it was important the day was marked, especially after delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Delays in vaccine rollout

A Newcastle nursing home operator says just over 60 per cent of residents have given consent to receive the Pfizer vaccine, but she’s worried more delays will put more people off.

Newcastle’s regional vaccine hub begins operating at John Hunter Hospital from today, distributing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to frontline healthcare workers and nursing homes.

Viv Allanson from Maroba Aged Care says she’s yet to receive any details about the aged care rollout and confirmation of when second doses will be given.

We hope people will not lose heart, and decide not to have the vaccine,” she said.

“We hope that this holdup and the debacle that’s going on around does not put more people off, because that will be bad for the country, bad for older people and bad for healthcare workers.”

Cultural traditions live on

A child in a school uniform leans over as she is read to by her grandmother
Matilda Rees says she can’t wait to visit Italy with her nonna Rosa after reading her book.(

ABC News: Maryanne Taouk

)

When 11-year-old Matilda Rees interviewed her Italian nonna for a school project, she had no idea that the story of her life would turn into a 107-page book.

Her grandmother, Rosa Criniti, was more than happy to discuss her childhood in the southern Italian village of Santa Caterina dello Ionio — in the arch of the foot of the Italian Peninsula.

But having left the village as an 11-year-old herself, Nonna Rosa realised there was so much history still unwritten.

So during the COVID-19 lockdown, Rosa, 71, gave herself a project: to write her family history and culture down for generations to come.

Monday’s weather

Possible early shower.

Min.Max.
CBD1523
Parramatta1323

Thank you for dropping in and checking this news release on the latest ACT news items named “Sydney news: Calls for better job security after hotel quarantine COVID-19 case, inquiry hears of racism in NSW health system”. This news article is posted by MyLocalPages as part of our Australian news services.

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Security guard assaulted while working for SA Police to have Bali hut repaired as part of his rehabilitation



A security guard who was injured while employed by South Australia Police will have repairs on his home and backyard Bali hut carried out as part of his rehabilitation.

The South Australian Employment Tribunal this week upheld the man’s request for the repair services to be provided, finding that it would help him cope with his psychological injury.

The 52-year-old man was violently assaulted while working as a protective security officer in November 2017.

He suffered a range of physical injuries to his hand, his right shoulder and his neck, and has undergone nine surgeries to date.

He was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the incident.

In his findings, the tribunal’s deputy president Stephen Lieschke said the man believed the timber on his backyard Bali-style hut had been in need of resealing since the end of 2017.

Repairs to the man’s carport were also requested.

“Since the emergence of the damage to the carport, the applicant hears rodents in his roof space at night time,” Mr Lieschke said.

Lack of maintenance causing stress and anxiety

Mr Lieschke said the fact the man could no longer keep on top of the maintenance — as he did prior to his injury — and the deterioration was causing him a “heap of stress and anxiety”.

“The applicant believes this is not helping him to recover from the chronic PTSD,” Mr Lieschke said.

“While I accept this belief, it is not accepted as a medical opinion.

“The applicant is very proud of his house. He considers it a reflection of who he is and of his standing in the community.”

The cost of the labour to carry out the repairs on the Bali hut was quoted as between $2,700 and $2,750.

The cost of carrying out the repairs on the carport was quoted at $3,200.

“The applicant will supply the material, just as he would have had he been able to do the work himself,” Mr Lieschke said.

Mr Lieschke said the refusal by South Australia Police to provide the services was “unreasonable”.

“I set aside the respondent’s determination and determine that the respondent is to promptly establish a recovery/return to work plan that incorporates the provision of these services, in accordance with these reasons,” he said.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing this news release regarding South Australian news called “Security guard assaulted while working for SA Police to have Bali hut repaired as part of his rehabilitation”. This news release was shared by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

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Israeli Startup Aqua Security Announces $135 Million at $1 Billion Valuation



Israeli cloud-native security company Aqua Security has raised $135 million in a Series E financing…

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Thank you for dropping in and checking out this news update about current World Business news named “Israeli Startup Aqua Security Announces $135 Million at $1 Billion Valuation”. This story was shared by MyLocalPages as part of our local news services.

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