NRL 2021: Brisbane Broncos star Anthony Milford makes return to reserve grade alongside Karmichael Hunt, Norths Devils v South Logan Magpies, Queensland Cup


Axed Broncos star Anthony Milford made his return to reserve grade but it wasn’t enough as the South Logan Magpies slumped to a 39-22 loss at the hands of the Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup.

Milford is expected to play with the Magpies – a Broncos feeder club – for the next four weeks after his form and confidence were called into question.

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Broncos coach Kevin Walters said the move back to reserve grade would help the playmaker rediscover his mojo.

Round 6
Anthony Milford playing for Souths Logan against North Devils at Davies Park, West End. Photographer: Liam Kidston.Source: News Corp Australia

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Queensland annihilate New South Wales to claim the Sheffield Shield title


Queensland have claimed the Sheffield Shield title, thrashing NSW by an innings and 33 runs in the final in Brisbane.

The Bulls secured the resounding victory after leg spinner Mitch Swepson (3-68) helped bowl the Blues out for 213 in their second dig before lunch on day four at Allan Border Field.

It marked Queensland’s ninth shield title and their first since the 2017-18 season.

The Bulls went into celebration mode after quick Brendan Doggett (3-37) claimed the final wicket to fall, snaring Josh Hazlewood caught behind for three.

Fellow speedster Xavier Bartlett also impressed for Queensland with 3-42. But Swepson did most of the damage on Sunday.

He ended the stubborn resistance of Baxter Holt, trapping the wicketkeeper in front for 29 off 91 balls.

Swepson also had Trent Copeland caught behind for nine and nabbed Nathan Lyon for 10 when ex-Test batsman Usman Khawaja took a smart slips catch.

Cricket player raises his fist in the air after taking a wicket
Xavier Bartlett claimed three wickets for Queensland.(

AAP: Jason Obrien

)

Lyon could not capitalise after being given a life on seven when he was dropped at gully by Bryce Street off Michael Neser (1-41).

Defending champions NSW resumed on Sunday at 5-140 still trailing by 106 runs.

The visitors were under enormous pressure after Test No.3 Marnus Labuschagne struck a sublime 192 on Saturday to lift Queensland to a first-innings total of 389 and a 246-run overall lead.

He struck 21 boundaries in his nine-and-a-half-hour, 353-ball knock to register the fourth highest score in a shield final.

NSW were on the back foot since winning the toss and being routed for 143 in their first dig on Thursday after Neser (5-27) and Jack Wildermuth (4-21) ripped through the visitors.

The Blues suffered just their second loss in 14 games against Queensland despite boasting a world-class attack of Starc, Hazlewood and off-spinner Lyon.

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Former South Australia Labor MP arrested




Former South Australia Labor MP Annabel Digance and her husband, Greg, were arrested early on Wednesday morning, accused of blackmailing SA Labor leader Peter Malinauskas.

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Two Mcauley Street, South Albury, properties up for auction | The Border Mail


news, local-news,

Two neighbouring properties in Mcauley Street, South Albury, have peaked developers’ interest and are expected to attract heated bidding at today’s auction. The two properties, 399 and 403 Mcauley Street, will be auctioned separately from 2pm but the successful bidder at the first auction, for 403, will be offered the right to purchase the 399 Mcauley Street for the agreed price offered for 403. Stean Nicholls agent Lachlan Hutchins said the side-by-side sites offered a great opportunity for people wanting to build their dream home or transform the land into townhouses or units. IN OTHER NEWS: “It’s very hard to find 2000sqm so close to Dean Street,” he said. “The majority of potential buyers are looking to develop both sides. We’re seeing really strong interest from a lot of out-of-town developers.”

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Being vaccinated against coronavirus doesn’t make you more likely to catch the South African variant


CoronaCheck is RMIT ABC Fact Check’s weekly email newsletter dedicated to fighting the misinformation infodemic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

You can read the latest edition below and subscribe to have the next newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

CoronaCheck #61

In this week’s CoronaCheck, we investigate reports that being vaccinated makes you more susceptible to contracting certain COVID-19 strains. Spoiler alert: that’s not correct.

We also look at claims that China’s president “invented” lockdowns, which are supposedly not backed by science. That’s not right, either. Read on to find out why.

No, being vaccinated does not make you more likely to contract COVID-19

News headlines declaring that a South African variant of the novel coronavirus can “break through” the Pfizer vaccine have caused alarm on social media.

Some misleading and unclear headlines and articles have led some people to believe that a study from Israel showed that people vaccinated with the Pfizer jab were more likely to contract the South African variant than those who were unvaccinated.

“The Pfizer vaccine makes you more susceptible to contracting covid than the unvaccinated,” claimed one woman, sharing a Facebook post by federal MP Craig Kelly.

But this is not the case.

The Israel study examined the Pfizer vaccine against the South African variant.(

AP: Ariel Schalit

)

The study, led by researchers at Tel Aviv University and Clatit, a healthcare provider, found that among people diagnosed with COVID-19, the South African variant was more common among those who had been vaccinated (and for whom the vaccine had not been effective).

As reported by Reuters, the South African variant accounted for around 1 per cent of the COVID-19 cases captured in the study.

Among patients who had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer jab, however, 5.4 per cent were infected with the South African strain.

“This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said.”

However, the researchers note in their conclusion that they “can only cautiously speculate” on the vaccine’s effectiveness against the South African strain due to the small sample size of the study (which has not yet been peer reviewed) and the fact that it “was not intended to deduce vaccine effectiveness against either variant”.

“Our results emphasise the importance of tracking viral variants in a rigorous framework and of increasing vaccination, which we conclude is the safest and most effective means of preventing the onwards spread of [the South African strain] and other possible future variants of concern.”

The scientific basis for lockdowns

A former public servant who became a popular anti-lockdown activist and COVID-19 conspiracy theorist on platforms such as Facebook and Telegram has claimed that Chinese President Xi Jinping “invented” lockdowns which are “rejected” by science.

A middle-aged Indian man with white hair dressed in dark suit, white shirt and pink tie looks at camera.
Sanjeev Sabhlok resigned from his Victorian government role last September in protest of the state’s lockdowns.(

Facebook

)

Sanjeev Sabhlok says he quit Victoria’s Department of Treasury and Finance last year in protest against “the Police State created by the Daniel Andrews government” and has been banned from LinkedIn and Twitter for spreading misinformation.

He has attracted attention from fringe political groups and myriad conspiracists who engage with encrypted sites such as Telegram and Parler.

Mr Sahblok’s claims about President Xi and the scientific basis for lockdowns have been viewed hundreds of times on his personal Telegram page, but Fact Check found both to be incorrect. 

Did Xi Jinping invent the lockdown?

While the Chinese city of Wuhan was the first to go into lockdown in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Mr Xi did not invent the practice.

There is a long history of lockdowns being used to manage risk of infectious diseases across the world.

Jinping lab
The bogus claim was that Chinese President Xi Jinping came up with the concept of lockdowns.(

AP Via Xinhua

)

In Britain, King Charles II imposed a lockdown on people in towns, cities and ports during the great plague of the 1660s. He controlled the movement of villagers and banned public gatherings in his “Rules and Orders” declaration. 

Similarly, schools were closed, restaurants abandoned and public gatherings shunned in Hong Kong when the SARS epidemic ripped through the region in 2003.

“We learnt from the work in Asia at the time of SARS how protective lockdown can be,” said immunology professor Catherine Bennett, of Deakin University.

“This is also why countries in the region did well in the early days of this pandemic as they knew what to do and could put this in place quickly and effectively,” she told CoronaCheck. 

The SARS epidemic prompted neighbouring China to respond with urgency, creating public guidelines and clear control measures for its population. In May, 2003, the entire city of Beijing was locked down and thousands of public areas were closed. 

The scientific evidence for lockdown

Navigli canal with empty streets on either side.
Coronavirus lockdowns in nations like Italy proved to be effective in reducing fatalities.(

Supplied

)

A peer-reviewed health policy paper produced by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the US found that COVID-19 lockdowns were effective by suppressing the spread of the virus. 

“Lockdown has a negative and statistically significant coefficient, suggesting that countries that implemented the lockdown have fewer new cases than countries that did not,” the paper concluded. “We can also see that the benefits of lockdown increase exponentially with the passing of time.” 

Meanwhile, the medical journal The Lancet analysed Italy’s lockdown by tracking mobile phone data over 10 weeks in early 2020 in three regions hardest hit by COVID-19.

It found that “greater compliance with the mobility restrictions was associated with a swifter and more marked decrease in SARS-CoV-2 positive tests”. 

Australia’s Burnet Institute and the Institute for Disease Modelling in the United States also developed modelling to assess the impact and risk of relaxing physical distancing policies on COVID-19 resurgence.

Subsequent modelling of Victoria’s lockdown found that easing of government-imposed restrictions on Melbourne in mid-September last year would have posed an extremely high risk of a COVID-19 resurgence. 

Professor Bennett told CoronaCheck most of the evidence for lockdowns was based on the change in transmission rates once lockdowns were introduced. 

Lockdowns, she said, involved keeping people in their homes to decrease the average number of contacts each person had so as to suppress disease transmission and make contact tracing more manageable.

Research into government intervention showed “compelling and repeatable evidence that lockdowns work,” she added. Though a “blunt instrument”, lockdowns slowed transmission and could also be used as “circuit breakers” over short periods of time.

From a US murder trial

A court sketch of a white police office kneeling on a black man, with black witness sitting beside.
Donald Williams was among the prosecution witnesses in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.(

Reuters: Jane Rosenberg

)

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the US police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, has prompted a number of false and misleading claims.

Fact checkers at the USA Today newspaper found that a viral image purporting to show US President Joe Biden kneeling in front of Mr Floyd’s son to “beg for forgiveness” was miscaptioned: the child pictured is not Mr Floyd’s son but the son of a clothing store owner whose shop was visited by Mr Biden.

PolitiFact, meanwhile, found that Mr Floyd’s brother had not been arrested in North Carolina over the shooting of a couple in a road rage incident.

“A man named Dejywan Floyd was recently charged with murder in a shooting death in North Carolina, but there’s nothing to suggest that he is related to George Floyd,” the fact checkers reported.

The fact checkers also debunked an out-of-context video supposedly showing that Chauvin did not have his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck, as alleged.

“Video of the final seconds in the approximately eight minutes of Floyd’s restraint show Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s shoulder,” PolitiFact said. “The rest of the video shows Chauvin’s knee on or next to his neck.

“Doctors say pressure in that area would cut off the flow of blood and oxygen.”

In other news

Rupert Murdoch holds up a newspaper
Rupert Murdoch inherited The Adelaide News from his father Keith in 1958.(

The National Archives of Australia

)

Just how wide is Rupert Murdoch’s reach within Australian media?

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s petition to establish a royal commission into media diversity in Australia attracted more than half a million signatures and took aim at Rupert Murdoch, whose media empire Mr Rudd labelled a “cancer on democracy”.

Another ex-prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, also weighed in, branding it “an absolute threat to our democracy” and “the most powerful political actor in Australia”.

Mr Rudd’s petition, with the support of Mr Turnbull, led to a Senate inquiry into Australia’s news media and Mr Murdoch’s role in it.

So, just what is his reach?

In a fact file released this week, Fact Check found that News Corp publications certainly dominate the national print media market, with 2016 figures (the latest available) showing its share of circulation among national and capital city dailies was 65 per cent, and likely similar for regional papers.

A dark-haired woman holds up a newspaper at a hearing room above a monitor with an older man in blue suit.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke about a News Corp “agenda” against him at a Senate inquiry this week.(

AAP: Mick Tsikas

)

More recent data (December 2020) shows that newspapers owned by News Corp commanded more than twice the total audience of those owned by Nine Entertainment.

On the internet, however, where far more people get their news, Nine’s traditional mastheads are individually more popular than those of News Corp.

Measured by monthly readers, the combined reach of News Corp’s hard copy and digital newspapers is only around 7 per cent greater than Nine’s, despite owning twice the number of titles.

Among news websites more broadly, News Corp’s news.com.au ranks second to the ABC for monthly visitors, and its traditional newspaper brands are outperformed by digital-only offerings such as nine.com.au and Daily Mail Australia.

In December 2020, News Corp’s news websites collectively reached 1.2 million fewer readers than those owned by Nine Entertainment.

There is little to suggest that News Corp dominates when it comes to broadcast news audiences.

Its radio investments are comparatively small compared to those in print, for example, in a market where ownership is relatively more diverse.

News Corp’s sole television news outlet, Sky News Australia, attracts a significantly smaller audience than the ABC’s rival 24-hour news channel. And, according to one survey, the number of people who got their news from Sky was roughly a third of those tuning into Channel Seven or Channel Nine.

On social media, however, Sky has an outsized audience.

In the second half of 2020, its Facebook posts were shared more often than any of the 65 accounts analysed by Fact Check, while news.com.au placed third, behind the Daily Mail.

On YouTube, Sky’s subscriber base far exceeds that of Channel 7 and Channel 9 and in March it had surpassed ABC News, while its videos receive millions more views per month.

Importantly, it is likely that a significant chunk of Sky’s YouTube traffic comes from overseas, given reports that nearly a third of its website traffic comes from outside Australia. 

Edited by Ellen McCutchan with thanks to Emile Pavlich

Got a fact that needs checking? Tweet us @ABCFactCheck or send us an email at factcheck@rmit.edu.au



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Winemakers and lovers rejoice at an excellent South Australian vintage


An “exceptional” South Australian wine vintage will soon be on its way to retail shelves.

Winemakers picking grapes across the state say that quality is very high, and yield is high too thanks largely to favourable seasonal conditions.

It is welcome news for an industry that has struggled through Chinese tariffs and slowing domestic demand.

Peter Warr from Kilikanoon Wines said the mild conditions were good for the taste of the wine as well as yields.

“We’re getting really bright, rich, deep fruit flavours, and the winemakers really get to cherry pick when to pick the grapes to make the ideal optimised wine.”

Yalumba winemaker Louisa Rose said the Barossa Valley also experienced a mild, balmy season that had led to excellent grape production.

“These wines are going to be absolutely age-worthy, but I think even more importantly they’re going to be beautiful and approachable as young wines, and that’s where most of them are consumed and enjoyed,” Ms Rose said.

Prices drop due to China trade issues

SA Wine Industry Association president Nick Waterman said it was nice to see a good vintage but that there had been an undeniable impact on the industry because of trade issues.

Nick Waterman says the mild summer conditions have produced high-quality grapes.

“We’ve seen the price of red grapes in the Riverland — given that China was predominantly a red wine market for us — it’s gone from around $770 a tonne to $530 a tonne, whereas white grape prices have stayed around the same,” he said.

One hope is that cellar-door sales can partially offset the trade challenges, and there has been a lot of recent demand.

“Angaston is a pretty small town, but last school holidays you couldn’t get a park in the main street, which is just unheard of,” Mr Waterman said.

“Because of the space restrictions we saw, we had to change what we offered at cellar doors and make it more immersive.

“That actually saw the average spend per person visiting increase significantly.”

Favourable weather leads to good harvest

Milder weather conditions throughout the growing season provided an ideal vintage for Coonawarra in the state’s south-east.

Coonawarra Vignerons’ Association chairman Peter Balnaves said yields were above average and quality was looking good.

“Mild seasons that allow a lot of hang time on the vine allows good tannin and character development,” he said.

“Because of the mildness and also the dryness, there has been no reported issues with pests or diseases … it’s been a very relaxed growing season from that point of view.”

Harvesting grapes
The 2021 harvest has produced “exceptional” grapes for winemaking.(

Supplied: Rosenvale Wines

)

Meanwhile, Australia’s largest wine region in the north-east of SA is on track to deliver its biggest crop on record as growers harvest high volumes of wine grapes this year.

Riverland Wine general manager Jo Pippos said the grape quality was promising.

“There has been a slight delay in harvest this year due to weather conditions; it’s been a very mild year, with cooler nights, and that has stopped the ripening of the berries as much as we would have in a normal very hot year.”

Kilikanoon viticulturalist Troy van Dulken said yields had bounced back after several years of dry conditions.

“It’s been a hell of a lot better than the past couple years; cabernet-wise it’s the best it’s been in sometime, shiraz was close to average, and riesling was pretty disappointing this year,” he said.

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Ex-tropical cyclone Seroja moves well south of the continent so don’t expect more tropical rain


Ex-tropical cyclone Seroja has already made its way into the Great Australian Bight and out to sea, dashing hopes for any desired boost to rainfall in the south-east.

The southerly cyclone brought high winds and heavy rains to regions not accustomed to cyclones and their consequent widespread damage.

According to Jackson Browne, a senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), Seroja’s strength and momentum meant it managed to maintain its intensity well inland.

“Given that fast movement, it has crossed the coast into the Bight and its trajectory is putting it well south and east of Tasmania,” he said.

As it moves away, the system is not expected to enhance the cold front making its way across the continent.

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“It’s not looking like a heavy rainfall producer,” Mr Browne said.

In contrast, ahead of the front South Australia is expecting severe fire dangers around the Adelaide area.

“On the Eyre, Yorke and Fleurieu peninsulas, and then going up to about the Flinders Ranges, we are expecting severe fire dangers there,” Mr Browne said.

That heat doesn’t translate all the way across to the south-east though, with western regions of Victoria expected to have very high fire danger today but to return to high and low-moderate danger by tomorrow.

Tight pressure gradients over the south-east could lead to strong winds and warnings as the front moves through Victoria and Tasmania on Wednesday.

The remnants of Cyclone Seroja have moved quickly to the south-east. The following cold front is expected to be relatively dry.(

Supplied: BOM

)

After this front we could be in for a calmer few days of weather, according to Mr Browne.

“We end up in what’s known as a zonal pattern. Most of the weather fronts will just slip east to west south of the continent.

“We’ll get this one front and then it’s going to fine up essentially.”

Cold blast for the south-east

This cold front follows a series over the weekend that brought a chilly blast to the east and the first major cold outbreak of the season.

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“There was an initial front that cooled it down and then the second one that just really reinforced that,” Mr Browne said.

“We saw the lowest temperatures recorded up at Thredbo Top Station with -5.2C and the first reasonable snowfall of the season up in parts of the Alps and Tasmanian Highlands.”

April might feel early for snow, but it’s not unheard of according to Mr Browne.

“Even in summer [the south-east] can get cold outbreaks that can lead to isolated snowfalls.”

The snow is not expected to hang around due to warmer daytime temperatures.

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Not to be left out, there is quite a cold outbreak developing in the south-west of the country in the wake of the current front.

“We will likely see temperatures there drop down considerably — looking at around 10 to 12 degrees below average in areas like Perth and stretching right into north-western South Australia,” Mr Browne said.

So is it time to store the summer clothes?

Mr Browne wasn’t willing to make the call on whether the summer clothes should be packed away just yet.

“Once you start introducing cold air to Australia, it’s very hard to encourage the warm air back down,” he said.

“The winds are starting to just point in one direction now, but no, I’m not going to make that call.”

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South Sydney poised to offer Benji Marshall season 20 if Reynolds leaves


Benji Marshall could play on for his 20th season in the NRL, with South Sydney poised to offer the veteran playmaker another season if Adam Reynolds knocks back the club’s one-year deal to link with a rival team.

The Herald and Age can reveal the Rabbitohs are making contingency plans around Reynolds’ likely departure and will approach Marshall about playing on in 2022, which could see him surpass Cooper Cronk and finish his illustrious career as the second-most capped player behind Cameron Smith.

Marshall is on a near minimum wage deal with the Rabbitohs for this season, signed at the 11th hour to fill a utility role off the bench. South Sydney have been impressed with his impact both on and off the field and are hopeful he will hold off on hanging up the boots for another 12 months.

The club has confirmed to the Herald that it wants Marshall to play on next year and partner Cody Walker in the halves if Reynolds doesn’t take up the one year deal, but also help young halves Blake Taaffe and Lachlan Ilias develop so they can takeover in 2023. Marshall is undecided on whether he will play on, with a lot to hinge on that state of his body at the end of the season.

The Cowboys haven’t flown back to Townsville after Sunday’s win against the Wests Tigers and are expected to meet with Reynolds and offer the 30-year-old the three-year deal he desires.

The Broncos are holding off on making an offer to Reynolds as they await a decision from Kotoni Staggs, who has been promised the No.6 jersey in a bid to keep him away from the Gold Coast Titans.

Benji Marshall has impressed the Rabbitohs on and off the field.Credit:Getty

The Rabbitohs have assured Reynolds they will not pull the one year, $700,000 offer off the table until he decides his future, providing him with the security in case he gets injured in the coming weeks.

The club is still hopeful he will choose to remain at the club but won’t budge on the one-year offer regardless of what rival teams offer him.

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South African variant of COVID-19 can ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says


The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel has found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease.

It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1 per cent of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit.

But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated — 5.4 per cent versus 0.7 per cent.

This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said.

“We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group,” said Tel Aviv University’s Adi Stern.

The researchers cautioned, though, that the study only had a small sample size of people infected with the South African variant because of its rarity in Israel.

They also said the research was not intended to deduce overall vaccine effectiveness against any variant, since it only looked at people who had already tested positive for COVID-19, not at overall infection rates.

Previous test results

A health care worker and a syringe
Some previous studies have indicated that the Pfizer shot was less potent against the B.1.351 variant.(

Reuters

)

Pfizer and BioNTech could not be immediately reached for comment outside business hours.

The companies said on April 1 that their vaccine was around 91 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19, citing updated trial data that included participants inoculated for up to six months.

In respect to the South African variant, they said that among a group of 800 study volunteers in South Africa, where B.1.351 is widespread, there were nine cases of COVID-19, all of which occurred among participants who got the placebo.

Of those nine cases, six were among individuals infected with the South African variant.

Some previous studies have indicated that the Pfizer/BioNTech shot was less potent against the B.1.351 variant than against other variants of the coronavirus, but still offered a robust defence.

While the results of the study may cause concern, the low prevalence of the South African strain was encouraging, according to Ms Stern.

“Even if the South African variant does break through the vaccine’s protection, it has not spread widely through the population,” said Ms Stern, adding that the British variant may be “blocking” the spread of the South African strain.

Almost 53 per cent of Israel’s 9.3 million population has received both Pfizer doses.

Israel has largely reopened its economy in recent weeks while the pandemic appears to be receding, with infection rates, severe illness and hospitalisations dropping sharply.

About a third of Israelis are below the age of 16, which means they are still not eligible for the shot.

Reuters

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Six of the best stops on the NSW South Coast food trail


WINE AND ALPACAS AT SILOS ESTATE

When the Currowan bushfire ravaged the NSW south coast last year, Silos owner Rajarshi Ray and his wife, Sophie, opened their winery doors at Berry to provide free food and board to evacuees and their pets. Then floods damaged the bulk of their grapes, so as well as a smaller vintage, they bottled hand sanitiser when COVID-19 hit. Roadwork from the Berry to Bomaderry Princes Highway upgrade right at its front gates has meant one of the best views and cellar doors in the Shoalhaven has been easy to miss. No more. Sip wine (the tri colore of dessert wines makes a great souvenir) or visit the alpacas and purchase their woolly products. See silosestate.com

FEAST AT PILGRIMS

Pilgrims is a 40-year-old Milton icon, now with several outposts including one recently opened in Bronte. The mothership on the main drag in Milton remains a mecca for vegetarians and vegans. Will it be a Bliss burger (mixed grain pattie) or a millennial (curried lentil pattie) for lunch? Buy a big bag of home-made granola so you can take home some South Coast crunch. All this food can fuel your shopping spree to help revitalise the local economy – still hurting since the bushfires. Think of each purchase as a community service. Pop into fancy frock shop Sarah Gabrielle, for Saturday afternoon bubbles while you peruse the sale rack. See pilgrims.cafe

TOUR AND TIPPLE AT CUPITTS ESTATE

Sun setting over the scenic grounds of Cupitt's Winery, Ulladulla in the Shoalhaven region. The town of Milton in NSW.

 Photo: Destination NSW

Former landscape gardener Rosie Cupitt used to run her own garden tours of France until she and her husband, Griff, who ran the Bowral pub, bought this Ulladulla farm in 2003. They converted it to a winery, restaurant, brewery and fromagerie with one of the region’s best views over the Budawang Ranges’ Pigeon House Mountain. Now chief cheesemaker, Rosie and her family are the main cheerleaders of the Slow Food South Coast movement. Sons Wally and Tom make the wine and beer. Daughter-in-law Libby, Tom’s wife, runs the restaurant. Take a tour of the cool stone underground cellar forged from local Milton monzonite rock, to taste any of its 24 varieties or enjoy their brews with views. See cupitt.com.au

MOSEY INTO MILTON’ HOTEL’S MICROBREWERY

Former chef and professional bodyboarder Damian Martin started brewing beer for a family wedding. Now he runs microbrewery Dangerous Ales, out of the 1870 Milton pub. The beautifully restored building re-opened after three years of work in December 2019, just before bushfires devastated the region. A variety of beers (stout, pale ales and even gluten free) are on tap, and are a great accompaniment to the pub’s home-made bread, house marinated olives and tasty counter meals. A new children’s playground will keep the kids happy, while you take in the view to Narrawallee from the new timber deck. Raise a glass in memory of Laurie Andrews who died fighting bushfires at nearby Yatte Yattah during the fires. This was his last timberwork. See themiltonhotel.com.au

RICK STEIN AT BANNISTERS

If there is a more beautiful view than Bannister’s pool bar where you can see frolicking dolphins at sea, it’s yet to be discovered. Come for cocktails or pre-dinner drinks before dining at Rick Stein’s onsite restaurant at Mollymook Beach. The menu changes with the seasons and attentive staff will find you the perfect accompaniment to whatever you order. It’s hard to beat the platter of fresh oysters and prawns. The blue tiled feature wall looks more like Morocco than Mollymook, but taste the fresh seafood and you will understand why foodies flock here for its freshness. See bannisters.com.au

BANNISTERS PAVILION

Mollymook Bannisters Pavillion
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The penthouse pool is the go here at the Rooftop Bar and grill. Lounge poolside and just gaze at the canopy of gumtrees from this elevated position among the treetops. Or sip ‘n swim, order a coffee or cocktail post-plunging into the pool. You can order fresh baked goods for breakfast, a la carte, or binge at the buffet. Mediterranean- Australian fusion food for lunch or dinner (burrata with grapes and charred sourdough are recommended.) Even though it is just 80 metres from Mollymook Beach, it is hard to leave the comfortable reclining sun loungers. See bannisters.com.au

Helen Pitt stayed as a guest of Bannisters Pavilion.



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