Two Myanmar protesters shot dead as police crack down on anti-coup demonstrations


Myanmar police have shot and killed two protesters and wounded several as they cracked down in a bid to end weeks of demonstrations against a 1 February military coup, a doctor and a politician say.

Police opened fire in the town of Dawei, killing one and wounding several, politician Kyaw Min Htike told Reuters from the southern town on Sunday. The Dawei Watch media outlet also said at least one person was killed and more than a dozen wounded.

Police also fired in the main city of Yangon and one man brought to a hospital with a bullet wound in the chest had died, said a doctor at the hospital who asked not to be identified. The Mizzima media outlet also reported that death.

Police and the ruling military council did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Myanmar has been in chaos for a month since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

The coup, which stalled Myanmar’s progress toward democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

In Yangon, several people, some bleeding heavily, were helped away from protests, images posted earlier by media showed.

It was not clear how they were hurt but media reported live fire. The Myanmar Now media group said people had been “gunned down” but did not elaborate.

Police also threw stun grenades, used tear gas and fired into the air, witnesses said.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities have been using minimal force to deal with the protests.

Nevertheless, at least five protesters have died in the turmoil. The army said a policeman had been killed.

The military appears determined to impose its authority in the face of widespread defiance, not just on the streets but more broadly in areas such government sectors and the media.

Police were out early on Sunday, taking positions at main protest sites in Yangon as protesters, many clad in protective gear, began to congregate, witnesses said.

They moved swiftly to break up crowds.

Myanmar police have shot and killed two protesters and wounded several as they cracked down in a bid to end weeks of demonstrations.

AFP

Doctors and students in white lab coats fled as police threw stun grenades outside a medical school elsewhere in the city, posted video showed.

Police in the second city, Mandalay, fired guns into the air, trapping protesting medical staff in a city hospital, a doctor there said by telephone.

Saturday brought disturbances in towns and cities nationwide as police began their bid to crush the protests with tear gas, stun grenades and by shooting into the air.

State-run MRTV television said more than 470 people had been arrested on Saturday.

The police action came after state television announced that Myanmar’s UN envoy had been fired after he urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to reverse the coup.

The ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, was defiant, telling Reuters: “I decided to fight back as long as I can.”

Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

The next hearing in her case is set for Monday.

Myanmar’s generals have promised to hold a new election but not set a date.

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Pfizer-BioNTech shot stops covid-19 spread, Israeli study shows


A NURSE administers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the McLeod Health Clarendon hospital in South Carolina, Feb. 17. — BLOOMBERG

THE PFIZER, INC. and BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine appeared to stop the vast majority of recipients in Israel becoming infected, providing the first real-world indication that the immunization will curb transmission of the coronavirus.

The vaccine, which is being rolled out in a national immunization program that began Dec. 20, was 89.4% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed infections, according to a copy of a draft publication that was posted on Twitter and confirmed by a person familiar with the work. The companies worked with Israel’s Health Ministry on the preliminary observational analysis, which wasn’t peer-reviewed. Some scientists disputed its accuracy.

The results, also reported in Der Spiegel, are the latest in a series of positive data to emerge out of Israel, which has given more Covid vaccines per capita than anywhere else in the world. Almost half of the population has had at least one dose of vaccine. Separately, Israeli authorities on Saturday said the Pfizer-BioNTech shot was 99% effective at preventing deaths from the virus.

If confirmed, the early results on lab-tested infections are encouraging because they indicate the vaccine may also prevent asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus that causes Covid-19. That’s not been clear because the clinical trials that tested the safety and efficacy of vaccines focused on the ability to stop symptomatic infections.

HERD IMMUNITY
“These are the data we need to see to estimate the potential for achieving herd immunity with vaccines,” said Raina MacIntyre, professor of biosecurity at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, in an email Monday. “However, we do need to be able to see the data published in a peer-reviewed journal and to be able to scrutinize the data in detail.”

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are working on a real-world analysis of data from Israel, which will be shared as soon as it’s complete. Spokespeople declined to comment on unpublished data.

The study wasn’t designed to accurately measure a reduction in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 because it used national testing data without accounting for differences in testing rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated people, said Zoe McLaren, an associate professor in the school of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

“The main result overstates the reduction in transmission from the Pfizer vaccine,” Ms. McLaren said in an email.

The study compares the number of reported cases between those who had been fully vaccinated and those who hadn’t been vaccinated, but vaccinated people are less likely to get tested so the data will undercount cases, especially asymptomatic cases, in this group, she said.

“That means that the true reduction in transmission is lower than the estimate of 89.4%,” Ms. McLaren said. “How much lower? We need more evidence to know for sure. But I expect that, once we account for the bias, we’ll still find that this vaccine does reduce transmission. And that would be very good news.”

About 80% of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Israel during the time period of the study, from Jan. 17 to Feb. 6, were caused by the more transmissible strain first identified in the UK. Israel’s vaccination drive began just before the so-called B.1.1.7 variant emerged, fueling infections and leading to a third lockdown on Jan. 8.

Through Feb. 6, about 27% of people aged 15 and older in Israel were fully vaccinated, with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot the only vaccine available in the country at the time. People were considered fully vaccinated and included in the analysis if the data collected were more than seven days after they received their second dose.

Based on SARS-CoV-2’s infectiousness, a vaccine that is 89% effective at preventing infection is likely to be effective at eliminating Covid-19 in a population in which high vaccination coverage is achieved, said Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccinologist at the University of Auckland.

Elimination of COVID-19 will depend on potential “reservoirs” of SARS-CoV-2 in animals, genetic changes in the virus that might enable it to escape vaccine-induced immunity, and the ability to stop transmission across the world, said Petousis-Harris, who is co-leader of the Global Vaccine Data Network, a multinational group that collaborates on vaccine safety studies. — Bloomberg








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Violet Gibson – The Irish woman who shot Benito Mussolini



Efforts are being made to put up a plaque commemorating Violet Gibson in Dublin.

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Young anti-coup protester dies after being shot during Myanmar demonstrations


A young protester died Friday, more than a week after being shot in anti-coup demonstrations in Myanmar, offering a fresh source of anger inside the country as international pressure grows on the generals who seized power.

Much of the country has been in open revolt since troops deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 February, with disparate strands of Myanmar society uniting to protest against a return to military rule. 

Security forces have steadily stepped up the show – and use – of force, by deploying troops against peaceful protesters, and firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets. 

A rally on 9 February in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw turned violent when police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators, though doctors at the hospital later told AFP that at least two people had been critically wounded by live rounds.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who turned 20 last Thursday as she lay unconscious in a hospital bed, was shot in the head. A doctor confirmed her death Friday, adding that her body will be examined as it is a “case of injustice”. 

The young protester, a grocery store worker, is the first official death from the anti-coup movement since hundreds of thousands started gathering across the country two weeks ago to protest Myanmar’s return to military rule. 

She has become a symbol of resistance for protesters, who have hoisted her photos high in demonstrations and even unfurled a massive banner of artwork from a bridge showing the moment she was shot. 

Her sister Poh Poh told reporters on Friday: “Please all join this protest movement to be more successful. That’s all I want to say.”

The European Union – whose foreign ministers will meet Monday to discuss measures against the generals – extended its sympathy to Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing’s family and friends, said spokeswoman Nabila Massrali. 

The EU also “reiterates its call on Myanmar’s security forces to refrain from violence against demonstrators protesting against the overthrow of their legitimate government,” she added. 

Flowers and sympathy messages are placed on the ground in honor of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing during a demonstration in Yangon on 29 February.

AFP via Getty Images

The United States meanwhile condemned “any violence against the people of Burma”, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters using Myanmar’s former name, and reiterated “our calls on the Burmese military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters”.

Military spokesman-turned-deputy information minister Zaw Min Tun had said earlier this week that authorities were investigating the case of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing.

He also said a police officer had died in Mandalay after a confrontation with protesters Sunday. 

Sanctions from UK, Canada

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing’s death comes after an overnight announcement from Britain – Myanmar’s former colonial power – and Canada that several generals would be sanctioned over their roles in the junta’s security forces. 

Freezing the assets of three top generals, the UK also said it was beginning a review to stop British businesses working with the military. 

Canada sanctioned nine Myanmar military officials and accused the junta of engaging “in a systemic campaign of repressions through coercive legislative measures and use of force”. 

These actions come after US President Joe Biden last week announced Washington would cut off the generals’ access to $1 billion in funds in the US. 

Internet shutdowns and arrests

Early Saturday, NetBlocks announced “a sixth consecutive night under internet curfew”. It also reported that Wikipedia had been blocked in all languages in the country.

On Friday, tens of thousands – including railway workers and teachers dressed in their uniforms to show they were boycotting work – amassed across Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, carrying posters of Ms Suu Kyi that read “Free our leader”.

“Don’t go to the office!” they chanted. “Go strike! Go strike!” 

One teacher who was there – and is now in hiding for fear of arrest – said she saw dozens arrested in the scuffle, including two of her colleagues.

In the northern city of Myitkyina, a small group of protesters was forcefully dispersed by police and military wielding batons, according to video posted online and witnesses.

“They arrested those who tried to take photos and videos… this is real injustice,” she told AFP. 

Before Friday, more than 520 people had been arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group, many of them civilians taking part in the so-called “Civil Disobedience Movement”. 

The junta has justified its power seizure by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November’s elections, which Ms Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide. 

The Nobel laureate – who has not been seen since she was detained in dawn raids – has been hit with two charges, one of them for possessing unregistered walkie-talkies. 

Her hearing is expected on 1 March. 

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Amazing Daniil Medvedev shot stuns tennis, world reacts, Stefanos Tsitsipas loses


Daniil Medvedev oozed class all night but he saved his best for last.

Having raced through the opening two sets of his Australian Open semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Russian ran into a couple of speed bumps midway through the third before a moment of magic sealed the deal.

Locked at 5-5, Medvedev played the shot of his life on a break point for the crucial go-ahead game that then allowed him to serve out the match for a 6-4 6-2 7-5 victory.

Tsitsipas dragged Medvedev out wide with a serve to the forehand wing, which the world No. 4 returned to the centre of the court. Opening his stance, Tsitsipas hit an inside-out forehand into the backhand corner that looked for all money like it would be too tricky for Medvedev to handle.

But he proved everyone wrong.

The 25-year-old showed incredible court coverage to not just get to the ball, but pull off an outlandish backhand passing winner down the line.

The ball was almost behind him as he made contact, sliding with his left leg to give himself a chance at making a return. Tsitsipas had closed in on the net, expecting either an easy volley or for the ball to go wide.

He — and everyone else watching — could barely believe their eyes as Medvedev did the unthinkable.

CHECK OUT THE INCREDIBLE SHOT IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

Medvedev’s reaction was as good as the shot itself. He raised both arms and revved up the pro-Tsitsipas crowd — which booed him at different stages during the match — with some double finger guns.

“They were mostly for him,” Medvedev said of his reaction. “That was the moment I won the match … of course you have to serve after, but that was an important moment.

“I wanted them (the crowd) to recognise me, I would say, because the shot was unbelievable — I would say one of my best shots in my career.

“My legs were facing the other way in the court because I didn’t have time, so I have no idea how I made this, and I was really happy about it.”

The tennis world lost it over the incredible shot.

“The shot @DaniilMedwed just hit to break serve was RIDICULOUS!!!!!!” Aussie tennis great Rennae Stubbs tweeted.

Journalist George Bellshaw wrote: “Oh my word that pass down the line from Daniil Medvedev. Up there for shot of the tournament, that.

“Absolutely ludicrous shot.”

Tennis writer Tumaini Carayol summed it up as “madness” and sports reporter Joshua Jones added: “Shot of the tournament from Medvedev … Utterly bonkers shot.”

Former British tennis star Anne Keothavong was also in awe. “That was a joke of a passing shot from Medvedev!!” she wrote.

WTA insider Courtney Nguyen was watching a delayed feed and had high hopes when she saw her Twitter timeline explode, but Medvedev’s backhand even surpassed her expectations.

“I was totally prepare to see something amazing,” she said. “And it was more amazing than I expected.”

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A 20-year-old woman shot in the head during Myanmar’s anti-coup protests has died



A young woman who was shot in the head by police during a protest last week against the military’s takeover of power in Myanmar has died, her brother says.

Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was shot during a demonstration in the capital Naypyitaw on 9 February.

The 20-year-old had been on life support at a hospital with what doctors had said was no chance of recovery.

Video of the shooting showed her sheltering from water cannons and suddenly dropping to the ground after a bullet penetrated a motorcycle helmet she had been wearing.

The woman is the first confirmed death among the protesters who have faced off with security forces after a junta took power 1 February, detained Myanmar’s elected leaders and prevented Parliament from convening.

Her brother, Ye Htut Aung, who spoke to The Associated Press from a mortuary, said she died at 11.05am on Friday. A source at Naypyitaw’s 1000-Bed General Hospital, speaking on condition on anonymity because of fear of harassment from the authorities, confirmed the death.

A spokesman for the ruling military at a news conference this week did not deny the woman had been shot by security forces, but said she was one of the crowd that had thrown rocks at police, and the case was under investigation.

There were no independent accounts of her taking part in any violence.

Protesters had already hailed Mya Thwet Thwet Khine as a hero and commemorated her during demonstrations earlier this week.

Since the coup, the US and British governments have imposed sanctions targeting the new military leaders, and they and other governments and the United Nations have called for Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration to be restored.

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From kick serve to drop shot, what makes Ash Barty so special?


You’ve probably seen the moment already but look below. View it again. The return of serve went wide, and all of Australia beamed, and of course Ash Barty did too, before smashing the ball skyward. She had done it. Won her 12th straight match. Won the Birmingham Classic. Achieved the No. 1 ranking in the world. When she beat her doubles partner, Julia Goerges (6-3, 7-5), on Sunday, June 23, 2019, she became only the second Australian woman to achieve the ranking, after Indigenous champion and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who completed the feat all the way back in 1976.

Chris Evert, 18-time grand slam champion, said at the time that Barty, the sublimely skilled Queenslander, is “living proof that variety and finesse have a place in modern tennis, alongside power”. Indeed that stunning result – on the back of her maiden Grand Slam victory in the French Open that same year – saw Barty ascend to a lofty perch that she has held now for almost two years, as a perrenial threat and top seeded talent in any tournament she enters. She has shown as much again this month, in the Australian Open, and her coach, Craig Tyzzer, says she has the game to keep her at the top for a long time. But what is it – exactly – that makes her so special?

It starts with her kick serve. Also known as “the hopper”, the idea is to get the ball to bounce up and out of an opponent’s hitting zone (and comfort zone). “Most players like to get the ball at hip height but when you do a kick serve you’re basically putting more rotations on the ball, so it jumps quickly off the court and often changes direction,” says Tyzzer. “Not a lot of girls hit kick serves, so it’s a definite point of difference.”

This one’s a favourite. Many women – and men – look for power and control by using only a double-handed backhand. But it means when they’re forced to stretch and play the shot one-handed, they often produce weak, pushing returns. Barty breaks with convention by favouring a single slice backhand, meaning she gets penetration, plus spin. Watch the ball land: it moves notably and unpredictably, changing the pace of the rally.

Next, there’s her forehand. No one succeeds in tennis without power across the body and Barty’s right is a definite weapon. She generates heavy topspin, and the ball moves with good pace through the court. She also doesn’t stand back like so many others, hitting only ropey, hydraulic forehands from the baseline. “Ash adapts to who she’s playing and moves the ball around – pinpointing her shots,” says Tyzzer. “It’s won her lots of her matches.”

A tool we’re seeing Barty deploy more and more successfully over the past year or so is one that delights all tennis fans: the drop shot. It’s bold, and risky, but has the potential to change the entire complexion of a point. Watch the example above – she caresses the ball from the back of the court, sending it just over the net, and it completely dies after the bounce. It takes confidence to attempt, but the result is almost unplayable.

Volleys are of course another potent weapon in the Barty arsenal. The thing is, she’s a strong and constant doubles player, which pays off in singles because of her willingness to come to the net. She has soft hands and quick reflexes, honed over a long time. “She comes in at any opportunity for a short ball,” says Tyzzer. “And it’s a real point of difference in all forms of tennis, because not many guys do it either.”

Putting all this together isn’t easy, but Barty has what’s called a complete “all court” game. She reacts fast, changes grip swiftly, and dwells on her footwork and proactive movement. She needs to. Her game was built on variety, pushed by junior coach Jim Joyce: “You force a chip-slice backhand, then a quick switch to a volley – forcing her to practise her transition – and she would nail it. You can try those things with all girls, but they can’t all do it.”

To be as good as Ashleigh Barty, of course, you need some X-factor, creativity and flair. And she does have tricks. Quite a few. Former world number eight Alicia Molik first saw Barty when she was 10, and now sees her manufacture something incredible – a spectacle, or two, or three – in almost every match and practice session. “If you haven’t watched Ash before, you need to go and buy a ticket,” she says. “I’m serious. You really need to see her play.”

The serve, the slice, the smash, the speed, the sense, the style – none of it means anything without grit. Barty is famous for her love of the challenge, the one-on-one – the search for the chink in the armour that will lance the girl at the other end of the court, remembering that it’s not over until she’s shaking hands at the net. “Every player in the world knows what my weapons are,” she says. “It’s about using them better than your opponent.”

Additional footage: WTA, Roland-Garros, Channel Nine, Tennis Australia.

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Instagram influencer ex-girlfriend gives prickly parting shot after break-up


The Instagram influencer ex-girlfriend of AFL star Cameron Zurhaar has delivered a prickly parting shot to her ex-boyfriend.

Hanna Orval posted a blunt farewell to her former partner, claiming the 22-year-old has already been seen with other women just days after their break-up became official.

After dating for around a year, the split has become messy almost immediately following Orval’s claims about the North Melbourne star.

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“For all the girls messaging me overnight with photos etc … myself and Cam split up just a couple of days ago!!,” she posted to her 276,000 Instagram followers Saturday.

“Thanks for all your support and letting me know just in case etc. It’s nice to see that he’s moved on so nice and quick.”

It comes just a couple weeks since Orval posted photos of the former couple cuddled up and smooching.

Her photos with Zurhaar remain prominently on her Instagram profile as a shrine to their ended relationship.

Orval, the daughter of former Collingwood player Mark Orval, has turned her attention to the launch of her own streetwear fashion label, The Herald Sun reported.

She continues to run her own website which sells her self-designed clothing creations under her By Hannah Orval label.

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Annastacia Palaszczuk’s shot at Gladys Berejiklian

Annastacia Palaszczuk has fired a warning shot to Gladys Berejiklian, telling Australia’s leaders if you criticise Queensland, don’t come to the state.

The rivalry between the premiers heated up again on Friday ahead of a national cabinet meeting about vaccines and the quarantine system.

Speaking on Today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was asked when she would visit the Sunshine State.

But Ms Berejiklian said she hoped all premiers would come to NSW because it was the “only state where everybody is welcome, all of the time”.

“You don’t have to worry about being locked in or locked out, come to NSW,” she said in a gibe.

But the Queensland Premier wasn’t having a bar of it when asked about the remarks later in the program.

“Everyone from NSW is welcome to come here, Gladys used to go to Palm Cove,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“But maybe if she will criticise Queensland, don’t come to Queensland.”

A showdown is also brewing between the pair over Australia’s vaccine rollout, scheduled to begin later this month.

Scott Morrison on Thursday revealed Australia had secured another 10 million Pfizer doses, doubling Australia’s order for a jab considered the world’s most effective protection from COVID-19.

Ms Berejiklian said she was keen to ensure quarantine workers across the nation were at the front of the queue for the vaccine.

“NSW has more of those workers as we are carrying the larger burden,” she said. “I hope that’s made available as soon as possible.

“Returned travellers are bringing it with them, so if we can make sure everybody in and around that system is vaccinated, that reduces the risk to the whole community.”

But Ms Palaszczuk said Australia’s most vulnerable needed to get the vaccine first.

“I think everyone needs to get their share, it’s not just for NSW people,” she said.

Elderly Australians, hotel quarantine and healthcare workers are in the government’s first priority group for the vaccine.

Ms Berejiklian denied the national cabinet meeting on Friday would be fiery, instead saying it would be “constructive”.

Australia’s international arrival cap will also be discussed after hotel quarantine capacity was halved last month in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia in response to the highly infectious UK strain.

There is also expected to be a war of words over Australia’s quarantine system, with Victoria and Perth both recording a case among hotel quarantine workers this week.

Ms Palaszczuk said more needed to be done to control the spread of coronavirus in hotels, which were not built for the UK variant.

“This virus is actually circulating in the corridors,” she said.

“We have got to do more – our quarantine is our last line of defence when it comes to protecting Australians.”

A report into Brisbane’s hotel quarantine infection in January will be handed down on Friday, prompting Ms Palaszczuk to ramp up calls for quarantine to be moved out of the cities to regional worker camps.

“You can only put options on the table,” she said. “It is up to the PM to come to the party and help.”

Ms Berejiklian has publicly opposed the move to establish regional quarantine facilities and raised concerns about the potential spread of the virus during the long travel from the airport to quarantine.

“We should really look at making sure the systems we have are foolproof as much as possible,” she said.

But the sentiment was rejected by Ms Palaszczuk who said: “If Gladys had an outbreak like we have had in other states, she might change her mind.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the advice to the government was that hotel quarantine remained the most effective way forward.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said: “If you have to quarantine people, it’s better to quarantine people away from large populations”.

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‘Don’t come to Qld’: Annastacia Palaszczuk’s shot at Gladys Berejiklian


Annastacia Palaszczuk has taken a furious swipe at her NSW counrerpart as her war of words with Gladys Berejiklian gets uglier.

Annastacia Palaszczuk has fired a warning shot to Gladys Berejiklian, telling Australia’s leaders if you criticise Queensland, don’t come to the state.

The rivalry between the premiers heated up again on Friday ahead of a national cabinet meeting about vaccines and the quarantine system.

Speaking on Today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was asked when she would visit the Sunshine State.

But Ms Berejiklian said she hoped all premiers would come to NSW because it was the “only state where everybody is welcome, all of the time”.

“You don’t have to worry about being locked in or locked out, come to NSW,” she said in a gibe.

But the Queensland Premier wasn’t having a bar of it when asked about the remarks later in the program.

“Everyone from NSW is welcome to come here, Gladys used to go to Palm Cove,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“But maybe if she will criticise Queensland, don’t come to Queensland.”

A showdown is also brewing between the pair over Australia’s vaccine rollout, scheduled to begin later this month.

Scott Morrison on Thursday revealed Australia had secured another 10 million Pfizer doses, doubling Australia’s order for a jab considered the world’s most effective protection from COVID-19.

Ms Berejiklian said she was keen to ensure quarantine workers across the nation were at the front of the queue for the vaccine.

“NSW has more of those workers as we are carrying the larger burden,” she said. “I hope that’s made available as soon as possible.

“Returned travellers are bringing it with them, so if we can make sure everybody in and around that system is vaccinated, that reduces the risk to the whole community.”

But Ms Palaszczuk said Australia’s most vulnerable needed to get the vaccine first.

“I think everyone needs to get their share, it’s not just for NSW people,” she said.

Elderly Australians, hotel quarantine and healthcare workers are in the government’s first priority group for the vaccine.

Ms Berejiklian denied the national cabinet meeting on Friday would be fiery, instead saying it would be “constructive”.

Australia’s international arrival cap will also be discussed after hotel quarantine capacity was halved last month in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia in response to the highly infectious UK strain.

There is also expected to be a war of words over Australia’s quarantine system, with Victoria and Perth both recording a case among hotel quarantine workers this week.

Ms Palaszczuk said more needed to be done to control the spread of coronavirus in hotels, which were not built for the UK variant.

“This virus is actually circulating in the corridors,” she said.

“We have got to do more – our quarantine is our last line of defence when it comes to protecting Australians.”

A report into Brisbane’s hotel quarantine infection in January will be handed down on Friday, prompting Ms Palaszczuk to ramp up calls for quarantine to be moved out of the cities to regional worker camps.

“You can only put options on the table,” she said. “It is up to the PM to come to the party and help.”

Ms Berejiklian has publicly opposed the move to establish regional quarantine facilities and raised concerns about the potential spread of the virus during the long travel from the airport to quarantine.

“We should really look at making sure the systems we have are foolproof as much as possible,” she said.

But the sentiment was rejected by Ms Palaszczuk who said: “If Gladys had an outbreak like we have had in other states, she might change her mind.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the advice to the government was that hotel quarantine remained the most effective way forward.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said: “If you have to quarantine people, it’s better to quarantine people away from large populations”.

Thank you for dropping in to My Local Pages and seeing this news article on National and NSW news and updates called “‘Don’t come to Qld’: Annastacia Palaszczuk’s shot at Gladys Berejiklian”. This news update was presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

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