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  • Lack of Covid plan for Australians with disability a 'serious failure' of government, report says
    by Luke Henriques-Gomes on November 30, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Royal commission says no government agency made any ‘significant effort to consult’ at start of pandemicThe federal government has been sharply criticised by the disability royal commission for its “serious failure” in not adequately consulting people with disability or creating a specific plan to protect them at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.Those failings “produced serious adverse consequences for many people with disability”, the commission said in a report tabled in parliament on Monday. Continue reading...

  • Coronavirus live news: Fauci warns of 'surge upon surge' in US cases after Thanksgiving
    by Helen Sullivan on November 30, 2020 at 5:51 am

    Turkey suffers seventh straight day of record deaths; Lebanon to slowly relax restrictions; New York begins reopening schools. Fauci warns of ‘surge upon surge’ in US cases after ThanksgivingLife after Covid: will our world ever be the same?A year after Wuhan alarm, China seeks to change Covid origin storySee all our coronavirus coverage 5.19am GMTIf you were to choose a word that rose above most in 2020, which word would it be?Ding, ding, ding: Merriam-Webster on Monday announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year.“That probably isn’t a big shock,” Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, told The Associated Press.“Often the big news story has a technical word that’s associated with it and in this case, the word pandemic is not just technical but has become general. It’s probably the word by which we’ll refer to this period in the future,” he said.The word took on urgent specificity in March, when the coronavirus crisis was designated a pandemic, but it started to trend up on Merriam-Webster.com as early January and again in February when the first US deaths and outbreaks on cruise ships occurred.Pandemic, with roots in Latin and Greek, is a combination of “pan,” for all, and “demos,” for people or population. The latter is the same root of “democracy,” Sokolowski noted. The word pandemic dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for “universal” and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, he said.That was after the plagues of the Middle Ages, Sokolowski said.He attributes the lookup traffic for pandemic not entirely to searchers who didn’t know what it meant but also to those on the hunt for more detail, or for inspiration or comfort. 4.37am GMTIndia’s coronavirus cases rose by 38,772, the health ministry said on Monday, making it the 23rd straight day that daily cases have stayed below the 50,000 mark. Continue reading...

  • Australian PM demands China apologise for 'repugnant' tweet with fake image of soldier
    by Daniel Hurst in Canberra on November 30, 2020 at 4:55 am

    Scott Morrison says China should be ‘totally ashamed’ of digitally altered image depicting Australian soldier posted by foreign ministryThe Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has demanded the Chinese government apologise and take down a “repugnant” foreign ministry tweet that depicted an Australian soldier cutting the throat of a civilian in Afghanistan.As the outrage over the digitally altered image threatened to sink already tense relations between the two countries to a new low, Morrison said on Monday the Chinese government “should be totally ashamed of this post”, which he said diminished Beijing on the world stage. Continue reading...

  • Joe Biden announces all-female media team at his White House
    by Associated Press on November 30, 2020 at 4:16 am

    The president-elect announces senior communications team, led by campaign communications director Kate BedingfieldPresident-elect Joe Biden will have an all-female senior communications team at his White House, led by campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield.Bedingfield will serve as Biden’s White House communications director, and Jen Psaki, a longtime Democratic spokeswoman, will be his press secretary. Continue reading...

  • New Zealand media giant Stuff apologises for 'racist' past reporting
    by Phil Taylor in Auckland on November 30, 2020 at 3:31 am

    Outlet promises to ‘do better in the future’, admitting that it seldom treated Māori fairlyNew Zealand media giant Stuff has issued a public apology for its portrayal of Māori it says has ranged from blinkered to racist, from its first editions until now.Its mea culpa follows an investigation by 20 of its journalists into its journalism throughout its history. Continue reading...

  • Huawei: UK bans new 5G network equipment from September
    by Press Association on November 30, 2020 at 3:13 am

    Digital secretary says he is setting ‘clear path for complete removal of high risk vendors’ from 5G networksTelecoms providers must stop installing Huawei equipment in the UK’s 5G networks from next September, the government has said.The digital secretary, Oliver Dowden, set out a roadmap to remove high-risk vendors ahead of the telecommunications (security) bill coming before parliament. Continue reading...

  • White Island volcano: New Zealand authorities charge 13 parties over disaster
    by Phil Taylor in Auckland on November 30, 2020 at 3:04 am

    Ten parties charged under health and safety laws and three charged as directors or individuals over Whakaari explosion which killed 22New Zealand’s workplace safety watchdog has charged 13 parties as part of its investigation into last December’s White Island/Whakaari volcano eruption. Twenty two people died in the disaster and almost one year on, several survivors are still undergoing treatment for their injuries.The volcano erupted while 47 people were on the island – including several tour groups and their guides. The victims were from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, China, Britain and Malaysia. Continue reading...

  • Daniel Ricciardo disgusted with 'Hollywood' coverage of Grosjean's F1 crash
    by Reuters on November 30, 2020 at 1:08 am

    ‘It’s not entertainment,’ says Australia’s Renault driver Romain Grosjean recovering after escaping fireballDaniel Ricciardo blasted the “Hollywood” coverage of Romain Grosjean’s fiery Bahrain Grand Prix crash on Sunday and said he was disgusted by Formula One showing endless replays while drivers were waiting for the race to restart.Grosjean was lucky to escape with his life after his Haas car speared through metal barriers, splitting in two and bursting into flames. Continue reading...

  • Covid infections in England down by nearly a third since second lockdown
    by Denis Campbell Health policy editor on November 30, 2020 at 12:01 am

    R number now stands below 1 after 30% drop in cases across country over almost a fortnightCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCoronavirus infections in England have fallen by nearly a third since the country entered its second lockdown, swab tests on 105,000 volunteers have shown.There was a 30% drop in cases across the country over almost a fortnight this month, with 96 people infected per 10,000 between 13-24 November, down from 132 per 10,000 between 26 October and 2 November. Continue reading...

  • Exiled bookseller: 'If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place is Taiwan'
    by Helen Davidson in Taipei on November 29, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    After fleeing Hong Kong for Taiwan, Lam Wing-kee speaks of the danger the island faces and the ordeal of his detention in ChinaLam Wing-kee leans forward in his chair, answering quickly and sharply to issue a warning to the people of his new home, Taiwan. “Be ready now,” he says.“We should be more alert as citizens, we should get ready,” says the 64-year-old Hongkonger. “If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place, I feel, is Taiwan.” Continue reading...