Budget ‘had to be’ big spending


Budget 'had to be' big spending

Sky News contributor Peter Switzer says last week’s federal budget had to be a big spending budget which is exactly what Josh Frydenberg did.

“We’re going to get something like 4.25 per cent economic growth this financial year coming up which is fantastic,” Mr Switzer told Sky News.

“Which means it’s going to be great for profits, for jobs and for the stock market.

“And only 15 per cent of Australians said it was bad for them.”

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Gaza reels under Israeli airstrikes as deadly violence enters second week



Israeli airstrikes have hammered the Gaza Strip after a week of violence that has killed more than 200 people, the large majority Palestinian, despite international calls for de-escalation.

Israeli jets kept up a barrage of airstrikes against the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Monday evening, as a week of violence that has killed more than 200 people shows no signs of relenting.

Air strikes sent dust clouds billowing into the skyline, as the Hamas militant group that controls the densely populated coastal strip threatened more rocket strikes on Tel Aviv if bombing of residential areas does not stop.

US President Joe Biden announced he would talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday evening, shortly after diplomats said Washington had blocked a third draft of a UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to the violence.

The UN Security Council is to hold a new emergency closed-door meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday, the Norwegian diplomatic mission announced on Twitter.

“The situation on the ground continues to deteriorate. Innocent civilians continue being killed and injured. We repeat: stop the fire. End hostilities now,” the delegation said.

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As decades-old tensions spiral out of control, what is the endgame for Hamas and Israel?

Gaza resident Roba Abu al-Awf, 20, said she was bracing for a rough night.

“We have nothing to do but sit at home,” she said. “Death could come at any moment – the bombing is crazy and indiscriminate.”

Palestinian militants have for their part fired 3,200 rockets toward Israel since the conflict escalated on 10 May in the heaviest exchange of fire in years, sparked by unrest in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

The Qatari Red Crescent said an air strike damaged its offices in Gaza on Monday, while the health ministry said one of its buildings and a clinic were also hit.

Israel’s army said on Monday it had hit the homes of nine “high-ranking” Hamas commanders overnight, a day after bombing the house of Yahya Sinwar, head of the group’s political wing. It gave no details of any casualties.

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Top diplomats to Australia from Israel and Palestine have described their sides of the conflict

Top Israeli and Palestinian diplomats to Australia have described their sides of the conflict

Thousands homeless

Fighter jets also hit what the Israeli army calls the “Metro,” its term for Hamas’ underground tunnels, which Israel has previously acknowledged run in part through civilian areas.

The strikes come a day after 42 Palestinians in Gaza – including at least eight children and two doctors, according to the health ministry – were killed in the worst daily death toll in the enclave since the bombardments began.

Local authorities say a total of 200 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 59 children, and more than 1,300 wounded since Israel launched its air campaign against Hamas in response to rocket fire.

Palestinians inspect damaged building after airstrikes by Israeli army hit buildings in Gaza City, Gaza.

Israeli air strikes hammered the Gaza Strip Monday after a week of violence that has killed more than 200 people, the large majority Palestinian.
Anadolu

Israel says 10 people, including one child, have been killed and more than 300 wounded by the rocket fire that has been the most intense to ever rain down on the Jewish state.

Israeli bombardment of Gaza has displaced 38,000 people and made 2,500 homeless, the United Nations says.

It has also battered crucial infrastructure, with the electricity authority on Monday warning it only had enough fuel left to provide power for another two to three days.

On Saturday, Israel gave journalists from Al Jazeera and AP news agency an hour to evacuate their offices before launching airstrikes, turning their tower block into a pile of smoking rubble.

Mr Netanyahu on Sunday claimed the building also hosted a Palestinian “terrorist” intelligence office.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Monday he had requested “details” and a “justification” for the strike.

The violence between Hamas and Israel is the worst since 2014, when Israel launched a military operation on the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of ending rocket fire and destroying tunnels used for smuggling.

That war left 2,251 dead on the Palestinian side, mostly civilians, and 74 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

UN Security Council talks that opened Sunday have resulted in little progress, with Washington on Monday blocking for the third time a draft resolution calling for a halt to the violence.

Mr Biden’s administration says it is working behind the scenes, and that a Security Council statement could backfire.

When asked whether he would join international calls for a ceasefire, Mr Biden told reporters at the White House Monday evening Israeli time “I will be speaking with the (Israeli) prime minister… and I’ll be able to talk to you after that.”

Mr Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan said he had spoken to his Israeli counterpart and the Egyptian government – a key intermediary – on Monday, saying that Washington was engaged in “quiet, intensive diplomacy.”

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Palestinians evacuate children, women, and the elderly from under the rubble of their destroyed home after an Israeli air raid on Gaza City, on 16 May.

UN warns of ‘uncontainable crisis’ as clashes between Israelis and Palestinians claim more than 200 lives

‘Bloody hands’

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced “solidarity” with Israel in her own call with Netanyahu on Monday, reaffirming the Jewish state’s “right to defend itself” against rocket attacks – a line likewise consistently taken by Washington.

But Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the US president of having “bloody hands” due to his support for Israel.

US envoy for Israeli and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr was in Ramallah on Monday and met with Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas, who urged Washington to act against “Israel’s aggression,” the official Wafa news agency reported.

Palestinian Al Deyri family's children after their home was demolished by Israeli army's airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza.

Israeli air strikes have hammered the Gaza Strip after a week of violence that has killed more than 200 people, the large majority Palestinian.
Anadolu/Getty

Israel is also trying to contain inter-communal violence between Jews and Arab-Israelis, as well as unrest in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian authorities say Israeli forces have killed 19 Palestinians since 10 May.

A rocket fired from Gaza flies towards Israel, in Gaza City, 17 May 2021.

Israeli air strikes have hammered the Gaza Strip after a week of violence that has killed more than 200 people, the large majority Palestinian.
EPA

A 56-year-old Israeli man who was beaten by Arab suspects in the city of Lod last week died in hospital on Monday, police said.

Clashes broke out at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound – one of Islam’s holiest sites – on 7 May after Israeli forces moved in on worshippers.

This followed a crackdown against protests over planned expulsions of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

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Research finds anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theory Facebook pages skyrocket during COVID-19


Support for anti-vaxxer and conspiracy groups has skyrocketed since COVID-19 hit Australia’s shores, prompting calls for social media platforms to do more to quash fake news.

Digital advocacy group Reset Australia identified and monitored 13 controversial public Facebook groups between January 2020 and March 2021.

Memberships grew by 280 per cent in the 14 months alone to more than 115,000 people.

Reset Australia executive director Chris Cooper said while the results confirmed what the organisation had long suspected, it was still surprising to see them in black and white.

“The role of social media is contributing to vaccine hesitancy,” he told NCA NewsWire.

The study’s results coincide with research by the University of Melbourne that found the percentage of Australians willing to get the COVID-19 jab had dropped from 74 to 66 per cent between October and February.

This is despite Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration deeming each of the vaccines authorised for use to be “safe and effective”.

The Reset Australia research found interactions with anti-vaxxer and conspiracy-led Facebook groups surged at the same time as national lockdown measures were introduced in March 2020 and then again during Melbourne’s restrictions between July and October.

“We know that during these moments, particularly lockdowns … that created an opportunity for these kinds of groups to capitalise on the uncertainty felt by people,” Mr Cooper said.

“Because they’re also trying to keep people engaged, there also tended to be more sensationalist content at that time.”

Mr Cooper said while social media conglomerates did remove problematic sites, more pressure was needed.

“It’s up to us, public health officials and journalists to call Facebook out,” he said.

Reset Australia has developed a policy in response to the findings that would force social media companies to generate a live list of the most popular COVID-19-related URLs shared on its platforms.

“Such a live list would help Australian public health authorities identify anti-vaccination narratives to inform community engagement responses,” the report stated.

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Pfizer rollout surges ahead in NSW


Pfizer rollout surges ahead in NSW

The rollout of the Pfizer vaccine to people aged between 40 and 49 is picking up speed in New South Wales with the health department receiving 110,000 expressions of interest in the last week alone.

“Last Thursday 16,000 people were invited to come get the jab and 9,000 people are already booked in that 40-49 category alone and this morning some of those people are receiving those jabs,” she said.

“That is really good progress and I want to thank the community for their enthusiasm and their patientce.”

Ms Berejiklian’s sentiments were echoed by Health Minister Brad Hazzard who reinforced the NSW government push for people to receive a vaccine

“That is the one weapon we have to fight back against this virus,” he said adding “at some stage the world will get back into Australia and we must be prepared for it”.

“My strong advice is get out and get vaccinated … Now it’s up to us. We’ve all got to do our bit to keep Australia safe.”

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Concerns about slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout to vulnerable Aussies


Fewer than 1000 disability care residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine, new figures show.

The disability royal commission on Monday heard from senior counsel assisting Kate Eastman that the vaccine rollout was an “abject failure”.

But she said she understood the commission would need to hear the federal government’s explanation about the low inoculation rates.

“These are people who represent some of our most vulnerable members of the population,” Ms Eastman said.

“The Australian government rollout of vaccines to people with disability in residential care – and these are people who represent some of the most vulnerable people in our population – has been an abject failure.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt said 999 disability residents had been vaccinated as of midday on Monday.

A further 1526 support workers had also received a jab.

Under the government’s vaccine rollout plan, they were among the first priority group.

Mr Hunt said now that 60 per cent of residential aged care facilities had received a second visit, they were moving into the next stage of the disability rollout.

“Those teams are being redeployed into disability (care facilities),” he said.

“It’s an intended sequential process and it’s based on risk, and we’re following that advice.”

He said people could also get vaccinated through providers, primary health networks and GPs.

The royal commission heard that at May 6, government figures for people with a disability in residential care showed:

– In South Australia, just six people had received a vaccine, with only two receiving two doses

– In Tasmania, just eight people had received a vaccine, with only two receiving two doses

Ms Eastman said the figures did not include people with a disability in residential care or support workers who had made their own arrangements to get vaccinated.

Royal Australasian College of Physicians president John Wilson called for greater vaccine data among the disability sector amid concerns about the slow pace.

“The government’s daily vaccination updates do not provide comprehensive data about the progress of vaccination of people with disabilities,” Professor Wilson said.

“This may be masking the very low numbers of vaccinations that have been delivered in disability care settings.”

Opposition health spokesman Mark Butler said priority groups were supposed to be vaccinated by Easter – six weeks ago.

“Not even 1 per cent of Australians living in disability care have been fully vaccinated,” Mr Butler said.

“Barely 4 per cent have even received a single dose.”

In total, more than 3.1 million vaccine doses have now been administered across Australia, including a big jump of more than 436,000 last week.

Australia’s drug regulator is expected to clear a further 352,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine, which arrived in Australia on Monday, and another million doses of AstraZeneca in coming days.

Zero cases of community transmission were recorded on Monday.

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Devastated by the pandemic, a desperate India is falling prey to coronavirus scammers



As the country’s healthcare system fails, clandestine markets have emerged for drugs, oxygen, hospital beds and funeral services. Fake goods may be putting lives at risk.

Within the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, few treasures are more coveted than an empty oxygen canister. India’s hospitals desperately need the metal cylinders to store and transport the lifesaving gas as patients across the country gasp for breath.

So a local charity reacted with outrage when one supplier more than doubled the price, to nearly $US200 ($A258) each. The charity called the police, who discovered what could be one of the most brazen, dangerous scams in a country awash with coronavirus-related fraud and black-market profiteering.

The police say the supplier — a business called Varsha Engineering, essentially a scrapyard — had been repainting fire extinguishers and selling them as oxygen canisters. The consequences could be deadly: The less-sturdy fire extinguishers might explode if filled with high-pressure oxygen.

“This guy should be charged with homicide,” said Mukesh Khanna, a volunteer at the charity. “He was playing with lives.” (The owner, now in jail, couldn’t be reached for comment.)

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A coronavirus second wave has devastated India’s medical system and undermined confidence in the ability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to treat its people and quell the disease. There are widely believed to be far more deaths than the thousands reported each day. Hospitals are full. Drugs, vaccines, oxygen and other supplies are running out.

Covid patients received oxygen last month at a New Delhi gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship.

As India’s healthcare system fails, clandestine markets have emerged for drugs, oxygen, hospital beds and funeral services.
The New York Times

Pandemic profiteers are filling the gap. Medicine, oxygen and other supplies are brokered online or in hushed phone calls. In many cases, the sellers prey on the desperation and grief of families.

“These people, the cyber criminals, were already out there,” said Muktesh Chander, a special commissioner for the Delhi Police. “The moment they got this opportunity they switched on to this modus operandi.”

Sometimes the goods are fraudulent, and some are potentially harmful. Last week, police officers in the state of Uttar Pradesh accused one group of stealing used funeral shrouds from bodies and selling them as new. The day before, officers in the same state discovered more than 100 vials of fake remdesivir, an antiviral drug that many doctors in India are prescribing despite questions about its effectiveness.

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A COVID-19 patient on a stretcher is taken for a medical check up at MR Bangur government hospital in Kolkata

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‘Predation and depravity’

Citing the predatory sales, a top court in New Delhi said this month that “the moral fabric of the society is dismembered”.

Over the past month, the New Delhi police have arrested more than 210 people on allegations of cheating, hoarding, criminal conspiracy or fraud in connection with COVID-related scams. Similarly, the police in Uttar Pradesh have arrested 160 people.

“I have seen all kinds of predators and all forms of depravity,” said Vikram Singh, a former police chief in Uttar Pradesh, “but this level of predation and depravity I have not seen in the 36 years of my career or in my life”.

The scams and profiteering represent the flip side of the huge online help system that has emerged to fill the void left by the government. Do-gooders across the country have swooped in to connect those in need with lifesaving resources.

The ad hoc system has limits. Vital supplies like oxygen are still stuck in bottlenecks, and people keep dying after hospitals run out. Vaccine and pharmaceutical makers can’t keep up. Politicians in some places are threatening people who publicly plead for supplies.

That empowers the black market, with its exorbitant prices and dicey goods. Many people feel they have no choice.

Rohit Shukla, a graduate student in New Delhi, said that after his grandmother died in late April in a neighbouring state, an ambulance driver demanded $US70 ($A90) for the around-five-kilometre ride from the hospital to the cremation ground, over 10 times the normal price. When the family arrived, workers demanded $US70 for firewood that should have cost $US7 ($A9).

Supply and demand might account for some price increases, Mr Shukla said, but he suspects more than that.

“Everyone is trying to profit from this pandemic,” he said. “I don’t know what has happened to people.”

Many patients across India have died when hospitals suddenly ran out of oxygen.

As India’s healthcare system fails, clandestine markets have emerged for drugs, oxygen, hospital beds and funeral services.
The New York Times

Some of the more egregious examples can be found in the country’s struggling hospital system. Infections and deaths are widely believed to be many times more numerous than the official figures indicate, and in hospitals across India, all the beds have been filled and people are dying for lack of oxygen or medicine.

Accusations by one doctor in Madhya Pradesh have gone viral. The doctor, Sanjeev Kumrawat, said he tried to stop a local activist for India’s governing party from selling access to beds in a government hospital where he works.

“We all know that to get a bed is a big struggle all around,” Mr Kumrawat said in an interview. “Government resources are to be distributed equitably and can’t become the property of one person.”

The activist, named Abhay Vishwakarma, disputed the accusations but said he had asked the local authorities to investigate. “I don’t know why the doctor has accused me,” he said in an interview.

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A brisk market has developed for contraband plasma, which many doctors in India have used to treat COVID-19 patients. Police officers in the city of Noida, in Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday arrested two men they accused of selling plasma for up to $US1,000 ($A1,288) per unit. According to the police, one of the men begged for plasma donors for his own needs on social media, then sold the plasma through a middleman.

Young cybersleuths are trying to help by cruising social media sites to find scammers.

Helly Malviya, a university student, flagged a Twitter post advertising a drug, tocilizumab, anti-inflammatory medicine sometimes used to treat COVID-19 patients with pneumonia that is hard to find in India. The seller wanted $US2,000 ($A2,575) in advance. Ms Malviya flagged the post as a possible scam and received a flurry of messages, but they were from people desperate for the drug.

“This is the kind of helplessness people are facing these days,” she said.

A makeshift Covid-19 care facility in New Delhi last month.

As India’s healthcare system fails, clandestine markets have emerged for drugs, oxygen, hospital beds and funeral services.
The New York Times

Remdesivir, the antiviral drug, has been the focus of a number of scams. The police in New Delhi recently said they had arrested four people working at medical facilities who swiped unused vials of remdesivir from dead patients and sold them for about $US400 ($A515) each. Before the drug became so scarce in India, hospitals were charging about $US65 ($84) for it.

The Surin family, from the city of Lucknow, recently paid more than $US1,400 ($A1,802) to a middleman for six doses of remdesivir. Lucky Surin, an event manager, said the family had little choice. Her mother and sister-in-law were seriously sick. Her mother has since died.

“What do we do?” asked Surin. “If the doctor has prescribed it, then you have to buy it.”

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Indian doctors warn against cow dung as COVID cure

‘Moral crisis’

 

Dr Jawed Khan, owner of the hospital that prescribed the drug for the Surins but couldn’t provide it, said families could procure their own and physicians would check vials and labels for authenticity.

Some scammers try to get around such safeguards. The police in the western state of Gujarat this month discovered thousands of vials of fake remdesivir during a bust. A tipster led them to a factory where they recovered 3,371 vials that were filled with glucose, water and salt.

Many other doses had already been sold and maybe even put into patients’ bodies, the Gujarat police said, posing a public health risk of unknown scale.

Those who turn to the black market often know they are taking a gamble.

Anirudh Singh Rathore, a 59-year-old cloth trader in New Delhi, was desperately seeking remdesivir for his ill wife, Sadhna. He acquired two vials at the government-mandated price of about $US70 each. He needed four more.

“People are using the crisis period for their own benefit,” said Anirudh Singh Rathore, who bought medicine for his wife that may have been counterfeit.

As India’s healthcare system fails, clandestine markets have emerged for drugs, oxygen, hospital beds and funeral services.
The New York Times

Through social media, he found a seller willing to part with four more vials for about five times that price. First, two arrived. When the second two were delivered, he noticed the packaging was different from the first batch. They had been made by different companies, the seller explained.

The Rathores had their doubts, but Sadhna’s oxygen levels were dropping and they were desperate. Mr Singh Rathore said they gave the doses to the doctors, who injected them without being able to determine whether they were real or fake. On 3 May, Sadhna Rathore died.

Mr Singh Rathore filed a police report and one of the sellers was arrested, he said, but he has been wracked with guilt.

“I have the regret that probably my wife would have been saved if those injections were original,” he said, adding that the police had sent the vials to be tested.

“People are using the crisis period for their own benefit,” Singh Rathore said. “This is a moral crisis.”

By Hari Kumar and Jeffrey Gettleman at The New York Times

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Greg Hunt defends Qantas’s pre-flight COVID tests in India amid calls for it to be reviewed


Health Minister Greg Hunt has rejected concerns about the COVID-19 tests being used by Qantas in India to screen passengers trying to return to Australia. 

The ABC revealed a lab that tested passengers before the weekend’s flight had its accreditation suspended in April, sparking other Australians trying to get home from India to call on the company to reconsider its testing protocols.

Almost half of the passengers bound for Australia on the first repatriation flight from New Delhi to Darwin on Friday were barred from travelling, either because they tested positive for the virus or were close contact of someone who did. 

At least 10 people who initially tested positive returned a negative test within days

“[Qantas has] identified a large number of positive cases that would otherwise have come to Australia,” Mr Hunt said. 

“Our understanding is the Qantas process is strong and rigorous.” 

A Qantas plane on a tarmac behind a wired fence.
Australians not allowed to board the most recent repatriation flight are urging Qantas to change its testing protocols.(

ABC News: Tiffany Parker

)

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese accused the government of shifting the blame to Qantas.

“Scott Morrison needs to take responsibility for something, but in this case he’s handed off to Qantas,” he said.

“He’s handed over quarantine responsibility to the states, he also, with regard to people stranded in India, he’s now blaming Qantas.

“Because of a false test, they’re still stranded in India.”

Rollout picking up pace

Mr Hunt also revealed Australia’s troubled vaccine rollout was beginning to pick up pace, with the latest data showing another million doses had been administered in the last 17 days, down from nearly seven weeks for the first million. 

A sign on a fence saying COVID–19 vaccination clinic with an arrow to the left
Health authorities say the time it is taking to administer a million doses is reducing.(

ABC News: Eugene Boisvert

)

More than three million doses have now been handed out, according to Commodore Eric Young from the Vaccine Operations Centre.

Commodore Young said a new record was set last week for the number of people vaccinated, with 436,000 doses administered. 

“That included a record day last Thursday of 83,495 doses administered in a single day,” he said. 

Commodore Young said 76 per cent of vaccine supply sent to state and territory governments had been used.

The vaccine rollout has been plagued by supply issues and the change in advice for people under 50 to receive Pfizer instead of AstraZeneca as the preferred vaccine.

As well as praising the progress of the rollout, Mr Hunt also suggested states and territories might decide to allow free movement for people who are vaccinated — a move that could provide a strong incentive for those unsure about receiving a jab. 

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NSW Treasurer calls for PM to set a date and strategy to reopen international borders


NSW Treasurer calls for PM to set a date and strategy to reopen international borders

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has called on the prime minister to clarify the state of Australia’s international borders and provide the Australian people with a clear date for reopening.

Mr Perrottet told Sky News, Australia was in the “unique position” which provided the country the ability to have a different strategy towards achieving success.

He said Australian leaders including Prime Minister Scott Morrison had to start a conversation about what success looked like going forward, and what the strategy will be to “get those borders open”.

“Last year we said that international borders would open in the December quarter, we were thinking around October this year, that’s clearly not going to happen,” he said.

Mr Perrottet said the prime minister and federal health officials needed to set a date, but also had to clearly indicate what the “trigger points along the way” were to successfully achieve the reopening of borders.

“If the Australian people don’t know, whether it’s a percentage of the population being vaccinated, then I think we’ll just meander along and fall further and further behind,” he said.

“The pandemic’s not going away, the virus is not going away, we’ve got to learn to live with it.

“The one thing that is in our control is vaccination rates, we should be driving that, but let the Australian people know at one certain point we’re going to open the borders and come back in the world.”

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Kia recalls vehicles over engine defect that can spark fires


Two popular Kia vehicles are being urgently recalled over fears they could burst into flames even if the engines are switched off.

The Kia QL Sportage MY2016-2021 and the CK Stinger MY2017-2019 are at the centre of the recall, with Product Safety Australia warning 57,851 people across Australia own the affected cars.

The system controlling the anti-lock braking system, electronic stability control system and traction control system can experience an electrical short-circuit if water enters it.

This can then cause an engine compartment fire when the key is switched off and the vehicle is parked.

Anyone who owns one of the affected cars is advised to park it away from their homes or indoor structures, especially away from anything flammable.

Consumers are urged to contact their local Kia branch so they can arrange for a car inspection and a repair, if needed.

The inspections and repairs will be completed free of charge.

Kia is trying to contact all affected vehicle owners by direct mail.

The Kia QL Sportage was sold between 2016-2021, with 56,203 people owning the car model.

Fewer people own the affected Kia CK Stinger, which was sold between 2017-2019. Only 1648 Aussies own the Stinger.

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Parents outraged after students encouraged to ‘question identity’


Parents outraged after students encouraged to ‘question identity’

Parents at a South Australian school are outraged after students were encouraged to “question their gender identity” at a casual clothes day at school, according to The Advertiser’s Caleb Bond.

The Australian Science and Mathematics School in Adelaide has come under fire after it was revealed the school’s ‘rainbow club’ – which aims to spread gender diversity awareness – planned to host a casual clothes day where students were encouraged to “express their gender,” according to School principal Jayne Heath.

Mr Bond said the planned event at the school understandably “raised the interests” of parents who wrote to The Advertiser to express their concerns.

“They complained that these kids were apparently being told about gender fluidity, they were being told to question their gender identity; to work out what their gender identity was,” he said.

“There’s no suggestion this was driven by the teachers, but clearly it was endorsed by the school.”

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