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What we know today, Monday September 14


Welcome to your serving of the day’s breaking news from South Australia, the nation and abroad. Follow this post for live updates through the day.

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No new cases in SA today as Premier eyes borders

Premier Steven Marshall says South Australia will drop its COVID-19 border restrictions with NSW and the ACT as soon as it is safe to do so.

Speculation is growing that SA’s transition committee will drop the 14-day quarantine requirements as early as Tuesday.

But Marshall says he will not do anything that is contrary to health advice.

“We want to give as much of a leg up to those people who want to travel as soon as possible,” the premier said on Monday.

“The numbers are looking really good. Just four new (coronavirus) cases in NSW.

“If they give us the advice tomorrow, we’ll be very quick to open that border.

“I’m very keen to open that border the minute I get the advice that it’s safe to do so.”

SA Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 in South Australia today. There are no active cases of the virus in the state.

LA cops shot in ambush

Video footage has emerged of the shooting of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in an apparent ambush that has sparked a manhunt for the shooter, tough talk from President Donald Trump and protests outside the hospital where they are being treated.

The deputies, a 31 year old woman and 24 year old man, were shot while sitting in their patrol car at a Metro rail station and were able to radio for help, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a late-night news conference.

Villanueva, whose department has come under fire during recent protests over racial unrest, expressed frustration over anti-police sentiment as he urged people to pray for the officers.

The department shared video of the shooting in a Twitter post showing a person open fire through the passenger-side window of the patrol car.

“The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation,” the department stated.

The video sparked thousands of reactions, including from President Donald Trump, who responded, “Animals that must be hit hard!”

Protesters gathered outside the emergency room at the hospital where the injured deputies were being treated.

“To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling “We hope they die” referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in (hash)Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL,” the sheriff’s department tweeted. “People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.”

Vic lockdown eases following angry protests

Melbourne is taking its first tentative steps towards emerging from lockdown after the overnight easing of some COVID-19 restrictions.

Victoria has recorded 35 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths this morning, the lowest number of new cases since June 26, when the state recorded 30 infections.

It follows angry scenes yesterday when Victorian police arrested dozens of anti-coronavirus lockdown protesters in Melbourne after they gathered for a second day.

About 250 protesters chanting “Freedom” massed on Sunday at Queen Victoria Market, where some threw fruit at police after raiding traders’ stalls.

Footage was posted online of violent scuffles as officers in riot gear pushed through the crowd in between tables piled high with produce.

Victoria Police arrested 74 people and issued at least 176 infringement notices for breaching directions.

However, the slight easing of restrictions from today is going ahead.

From Monday, people living alone or single parents will be allowed to have one other visitor as part of a “social bubble”.

Outdoor exercise is extended to two hours split over a maximum of two sessions, allowing social interaction with one other person or household members.

Playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment will reopen and the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9pm before finishing at 5am.

The 14-day case average for Melbourne sits at 56.9, inching closer to the sub-50 target.

Victoria reported 41 new cases and seven further deaths yesterday.

Melbourne will move to the “second step”, including increased limits for public gatherings and a staged return to school for some students, from September 28 if the average falls to 30-50.

“If you project forward 14 days, you would expect the 14-day rolling average to the end of September would be absolutely no more than 48,” Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said.

“It is more likely to be between 20 and 30, I would hope.”

People in regional Victoria will also enjoy greater freedom from today with up to five people able to gather in outdoor places from a maximum of two households.

The five-person limit will also apply for religious services that can resume in regional Victoria if they’re held outdoors with a faith leader.

Authorities are hopeful regional areas could jump two steps out of lockdown by mid-next week, allowing residents to go out for a coffee or meal.

The Labor government on Sunday announced a $3 billion suite of cash grants, payroll tax deferrals and fee waivers, described by Premier Daniel Andrews as “the biggest package of business support in the history of this state”.

Thiem wins US Open in fifth set tie-breaker

Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem has become the first man in 71 years to win the US Open after dropping the opening two sets of the final.

Thiem earned his first grand slam title on Sunday with a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) comeback victory against Alexander Zverev.

The US Open had never been decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker before.

Pancho Gonzalez made a similar turnaround against Ted Schroeder in 1949 to win the event, then known as the US Championships.

The 27-year-old Thiem entered Sunday’s final with a 0-3 career record in major title matches.

Thiem, the No.2 seed and world No.3, became the first Austrian to claim a singles title at Flushing Meadows, albeit in unique circumstances as no fans were present at the hardcourt major due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The champion, who is great friends with the German, paid tribute to his opponent.

“We made great things happen on the court, as well off the court. It’s amazing how far our journey brought us to share this moment. Really I wish we could have two winners. We both deserve it,” he said.

Bloomberg backs Biden with $100m campaign boost

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has committed at least $US100 million ($A137 million) to help Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in the crucial battleground state of Florida.

Bloomberg’s late-stage infusion of cash reflects Democrats’ concerns about the tight race in a state that is a priority for President Donald Trump in November’s election,

A victory for Biden in Florida, the largest of the perennial battleground states, would significantly complicate Trump’s path to reaching the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure a second term.

In a sign the planned investment put Mr Trump on alert, the president tweeted out his disdain for Bloomberg on Sunday morning, referencing the attacks the businessman received at a Democratic primary debate in February from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Billionaire Bloomberg launched his own campaign for the Democratic nomination late last year amid worries about Biden’s strengths.

Despite spending a billion dollars on his campaign, Bloomberg struggled and dropped out in March, quickly endorsing Biden.

One of the world’s wealthiest men with a net worth estimated to exceed $US60 billion ($A82 billion), Bloomberg exited the presidential race pledging to spend “whatever it takes” to defeat  Trump.

WHO reports record virus numbers

The World Health Organisation has reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 307,930 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from India, the United States and Brazil, according to the agency’s website on Sunday. Deaths rose by 5537 to a total of 917,417.

India reported 94,372 new cases followed by the United States with 45,523 new infections and Brazil with 43,718.

Both the United States and India each reported more than 1000 new deaths and Brazil reported 874 lives lost in the past 24 hours.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 306,857 on September 6. The agency reported a record 12,430 deaths on April 17.

India leads the world in new cases reported each day and set a global record last week with 97,570 cases reported in a single day.

In some parts of India, medical oxygen is becoming hard to find as total cases exceed 4.75 million.

Only the United States has recorded more cases at 6.5 million.

COVID-19 infections are still rising in 58 countries, including surges in Argentina, Indonesia, Morocco, Spain and Ukraine.

New cases are falling in the United States and are down about 44 per cent from a peak of more than 77,000 new cases reported on July 16.

Cases in Brazil are also trending downward.

Former PMs slam UK govt over Brexit

Former British prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major have slammed the Johnson government over a “shocking” plan to pass legislation that breaks its divorce treaty with the EU, in a breach of international law.

Boris Johnson’s government said explicitly last week that it plans to break international law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty that it signed in January, when it formally left the EU.

“What is being proposed now is shocking,” Major and Blair, who were adversaries in the 1990s as Conservative and Labour leaders, wrote in a joint letter published by the Sunday Times newspaper.

“How can it be compatible with the codes of conduct that bind ministers, law officers and civil servants deliberately to break treaty obligations?”

Theresa May, the predecessor of current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has also questioned whether international partners would be able to trust Britain in future.

Johnson’s Internal Market Bill is aimed at ensuring Britain’s four constituent nations can trade freely with one another after leaving the EU, but the government says that requires overriding part of the withdrawal treaty it signed with Brussels.

British ministers say the bill is a “safety net” in the event there is no trade deal reached with the bloc, but top EU officials say it undermines both the withdrawal treaty and trust in future talks.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Sunday that the Withdrawal Agreement on Northern Ireland “is not a threat to the integrity of the UK”, and had been agreed by the two sides to protect peace on the island of Ireland.

“We could not have been clearer about the consequences of Brexit,” Barnier said on Twitter.

His British counterpart David Frost responded by saying London had to reserve powers in the new bill in order to keep the peace in Ireland.

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, described the legislation as wrong on Sunday.

“We have broken the trust of our international partners,” Starmer wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, adding that his party would oppose the bill in parliament unless changes were made.

European lawmakers have warned they would not approve any new trade deal unless the withdrawal agreement was fully implemented, while there is also talk of possible legal action.

Search for bushfire victims steps up in US

Crews have resumed searching for the dead among blackened ruins left by massive wildfires raging in three western US states, where millions of acres have burned in weeks.

A number of wildfires across Oregon, California and Washington destroyed thousands of homes and a half dozen small towns this summer, scorching a landscape the size of New Jersey and killing more than two dozen people since early August.

After four days of brutally hot, windy weather, the weekend brought calmer winds blowing inland from the Pacific Ocean, and cooler, damper conditions that helped crews make headway against blazes that had burned unchecked earlier in the week.

Emergency officials feared the shifting weather might not bring much relief to southern Oregon, where an apocalyptic scene of charred residential subdivisions and trailer parks stretched for miles along Highway 99 south of Medford through the neighbouring communities of Phoenix and Talent.

At least ten people have been killed in Oregon, according to the office of emergency management. Brown has said that dozens of people remained missing across three counties.

There were 38 actives fires burning in Oregon as of Sunday morning, according to the state’s office of emergency management website.

In California, tens of thousands of firefighters were battling 28 major wildfires as of Saturday afternoon, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Improving weather conditions had helped them gain a measure of containment over most of the blazes.

Aussie batting collapse costs ODI series victory

Australia’s batsmen folded when within touching distance of a first ODI series win against England since 2015 to lose game two in Manchester by 24 runs.

Cruising at 2-144 in pursuit of 232, Australia lost 4-3 in 21 balls as England quicks Chris Woakes (3-32) and Jofra Archer (3-34) caused havoc under lights in Manchester to level the three-game series at 1-1.

Australia’s total collapse was 8-63 to be all-out for 207 in the 49th-over after captain Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne put their team in a winning position.

The pair were barely troubled after coming together at 2-37, and England captain Eoin Morgan seemed lost for options.

But bringing Archer and Woakes back on for their second spells yielded results, with the latter trapping Labuschagne lbw to end the 107-run stand and spark Australia’s dramatic downfall at Old Trafford.

Wicketkeeper Alex Carey (36) mounted a brave resistance, but the long tail was always going to make the task of scoring 85 runs at close to a run-a-ball extremely difficult.

Australia will be ruing allowing England to score late runs in their innings, when the hosts were on the ropes at 8-149 thanks to legspinner Adam Zampa’s bamboozling spell of 3-36.

Tailenders Tom Curran (37) and Adil Rashid put on a crucial 76-run ninth-wicket partnership, which included 53 from the last four overs, to push England to 9-231 after appearing they would fail to reach 200.

Australia was again without star batsman Steve Smith, who was left out of a second-straight match after being hit in the head while batting at training on Thursday.

Crows eye ladder climb after winning hat-trick

Adelaide could avoid the wooden spoon after Bryce Gibbs signed off from the AFL by burying former club Carlton’s finals hopes once and for all on Sunday.

The Crows, winless in more than a year before this month, have now won three games in 13 days after a brilliant first half set up their 10.12 (72) to 8.8 (56) win.

The Blues, needing a win to have any hope of playing finals, kicked just one goal in the first half to trail by 44 points at Metricon Stadium.

There were finally signs of life late in the third term when captain Patrick Cripps kicked a goal-of-the year contender, surging through traffic before turning his defender inside out to spark their comeback.

But they ran out of time as the Crows, in Gibbs’ final game, moved to equal 17th on points with North Melbourne but behind on percentage with one game to play.

Former No.1 pick Gibbs had 27 disposals in the 16-point win, Rory Sloane selflessly offloading to him in the final moments for the fairytale finish, only for his shot at goal to sail just wide.

The veteran midfielder announced this week that the clash with the club he played 231 games for would be his last.

Traded to the Crows in 2017, the All-Australian had played just three games for them this year but was “happy to go out on his own terms”.

“It was a really special day, and to get the win, even better,” he said before being chaired off the ground by former teammates Kade Simpson and Marc Murphy.

“They’re my best mates, some of them were in my wedding party so to share the last game together was pretty special.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said Gibbs’ performance in his final game was the perfect way to go out.

“We jumped out of the blocks in the first quarter and they came back and challenged in the second so it’s an even better response,” he said.

“We knew they’ve come for us … the reward is great and it’s going to give our players some belief.”

 – with AAP and Reuters

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