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What we know today, Friday September 25


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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Brett Lee braves CPR trauma as tributes flow for Dean Jones

Former Australian quick Brett Lee has bravely fronted up for a commentary appearance on Indian television only hours after spending 30 minutes trying to save the life of fellow cricketer Dean Jones.

Jones, one of Australia’s most renowned cricketers, died of a heart attack last night, aged 59.

Lee, who played 76 Tests and 221 ODIs for Australia, attempted CPR on Jones for about 30 minutes, but he could be not revived.

The pair were in Mumbai to commentate on the Indian Premier League for Star Sports India.

Lee performed his commentary duties, alongside former New Zealand allrounder Scott Styris, who was also a great friend of Jones.

“(Jones) would have wanted us to be here tonight. It’s Deano’s dugout tonight,” Lee said.

“He is an absolute legend. Obviously to his family and friends we send our condolences.

“It’s a real, real tough day for everyone, not only for his close mates at home, but the whole cricketing world in general.”

National coach Justin Langer has led a chorus of tributes for Jones.

His death has sent shock waves through world cricket.

Jones had touched so many across the sport, be it as a teammate, opponent, commentator or in a coaching role with Afghanistan and in the Pakistan Super League.

“Deano was a true legend of Australian sport and world cricket, one of the great players and personalities in a golden time for the game,” Langer said on Thursday night.

“We can only hope to make Australians as proud of our team as they were of Deano, he will be missed by the game and millions of people around the world.”

Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, David Warner, Steve Smith and Sir Viv Richards were among others to post their tributes.

“Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away,” Tendulkar tweeted.

“A wonderful soul taken away too soon. Had the opportunity to play against him during my first tour of Australia.”

Richards said Jones’s smile and presence would be deeply missed “wherever cricket is played around the world”.

“Horrible news to wake up to…You were more than a player I had played against, you were my friend, my brother.”

Inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019, Jones was a favourite of so many of the sport’s fans in the 1980s and early ’90s.

Best known for his swashbuckling batting in one-day cricket, he attacked in the field and between the wickets, helping set the tone for the way the modern limited-overs game is played today.

But none of that should take away from the Victorian’s toughness in Test cricket.

After making his debut against the West Indies in 1982, he became a regular in 1986 when he produced what is still regarded as one of the grittiest performances by an Australian in Test cricket.

His 210 against India in the 42C heat and extreme humidity of Madras was the stuff of Test folklore, as was the ensuing hospital trip where he required a drip.

Jones’s Test career ended abruptly in 1992 when he was dropped from the Australian side, while he played his last ODI in 1994 and stayed on with Victoria until 1998.

He remains the state’s second-highest run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield.

Victoria has 14 new virus cases as Andrews fronts hotel quarantine inquiry

Premier Daniel Andrews has told Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry he doesn’t know who made the decision to hire private security guards to oversee returned travellers.

“I do not know who made that decision,” he wrote in his submission to the inquiry on Friday.

“I expected that there would be a mix of different personnel playing different roles in the program, including members of Victoria Police.

“But the way in which that decision was to be implemented, including the mix of personnel that would be engaged and their respective roles, was an operational matter.”

It comes after Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, Jobs Minister Martin Pakula and Police Minister Lisa Neville denied involvement in the decision to use guards, rather than the police or the Australian Defence Force, who assisted in NSW and Queensland.

Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton and his predecessor Graham Ashton, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, as well as senior public servants, have also pleaded ignorance.

The inquiry has heard the decision was definitely made on March 27, the day national cabinet announced the hotel quarantine program.

Following national cabinet, the premier held a 3pm press conference during which he told reporters “police private security, all of our health team will be able to monitor compliance in a much easier way” at hotels.

He told the inquiry he’s not certain why he mentioned private security at that point in time.

“I can’t clarify for you or outline for you why I chose those three groups. I’m afraid I have tried to search my recall of this and I simply can’t,” Andrews said.

“I can’t provide you with detail as to why they’re mentioned and others aren’t.”

In his statement, the premier said he had no view on the “appropriateness of using private security as the front line of security”.

Andrews said the hotel quarantine program was an “appropriate response to a very significant risk”.

“At a time when we were trying to buy time to prepare a health system. At a time when we were expecting that things would unfold, much like they had it in some other parts of the world,” he said.

Andrews is the final witness before the $3 million inquiry, headed by retired Judge Jennifer Coate.

He is being represented by three lawyers: Stephen O’Meara QC, Kathleen Foley and Olaf Ciolek.

Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus, which resulted in more than 18,000 new infections and 750 deaths, can be traced back to outbreaks at two Melbourne hotels used in the quarantine program.

The inquiry will hand down its final report on November 6.

Victoria has had eight more coronavirus deaths and 14 new cases as Melbourne’s crucial new case average continues to fall.

The deaths take the national toll to 781 and the national figure to 869.

There were 14 new cases lowers Melbourne’s 14-day average to 25.1.

Search for missing boatie called off

Police say more wreckage from the Margrel, the missing boat captained by Goolwa boatie Tony Higgins, has washed ashore today.

It follows a search for Higgins being called off “pending further sightings or information”.

The three-day search was abandoned last night as rough seas and strong winds buffeted the South Australian coastline.

Higgins, who sparked an initial search at the beginning of the month when he and his boat the Margrel went missing in seas south of Port Lincoln, radioed for help early on Tuesday, reporting that the boat was taking on water in rough seas off Granite Island, off the Victor Harbor coast.

Air and sea teams scoured an area of about 500sq km, using infrared radar equipment, but failed to find 57-year-old or his boat.

A wallet containing Higgins’ identification was on Wednesday found washed up on Goolwa beach by a member of the public, along with other personal items.

A commercial fisherman earlier discovered a number of items of debris washed ashore several kilometres from the Murray Mouth.

Higgins, 57, and Derek Robinson, 48, left Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula in the Margrel on September 3 before sparking a huge air and sea search. Within hours of the search being called off on September 9, the men contacted police and were rescued off the Coorong coast the following day.

The Margrel was towed to Encounter Bay, south of Adelaide, on September 10 and moored near Granite Island.

Police said the first search had cost them $650,000 and Higgins was later fined $1000 for having insufficient safety equipment and no boat operator’s licence.

He had been living on the boat conducting repairs following the previous voyage.

Uni asks for help to find next VC

The University of Adelaide is asking all staff and students to participate in the selection process of its new Vice-Chancellor and President following the shock resignation of disgraced former VC Peter Rathjen earlier this year.

The state’s highest-ranked university emailed staff and students yesterday afternoon, inviting them to share their views about the ranking of selection criteria to reflect what they value most.

Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Bruce Lander last month issued a public statement following a three-month investigation into allegations of improper conduct by Rathjen, who resigned from the university in July citing “ill health”.

According to Lander, Rathjen engaged in conduct that was “entirely inappropriate” and treated the two unnamed female staff members with “egregious disrespect” by deliberately hugging and touching them in a sexual manner after a university function on April 11 last year.

Yesterday’s email from University of Adelaide Chancellor Catherine Branson inviting staff and students to provide feedback by ranking the selection criteria on the uni’s website before 5pm on October 1.

“We are not asking for feedback on the selection criteria themselves – these have already been agreed,” the email said.

“However, we are seeking your feedback on the ranking of these selection criteria, so that we can help determine – with your input – what our University community values most.

“We will take this into consideration before the position is advertised.”

The university has engaged major global executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to undertake an international search for the next Vice-Chancellor.

National and international advertising for the position is scheduled for October.

“In addition to advertising, a comprehensive local and international search will be undertaken to ensure the University has the strongest line-up of candidates for consideration,” Branson said in the email.

Bushfire prevention spending ramps up ahead of summer

The state government has announced $49 million in spending to prepare for the upcoming fire danger season in a bid to prevent the devastating bushfire that ravaged parts of South Australia last summer.

The spending adds to $48.5 million announced in July and includes almost $12 million for the Emergency Services Sector, while the Environment Department will have a $37 million boost to increase its prescribed burns program by 50 per cent in the coming years.

A further $16.7 million in federal and state funding will be invested over five years for the South Australian Disaster Risk Reduction Grants Program. The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service will receive $11.5m for new urban appliances.

Premier Steven Marshall said last summer’s devastating bushfires in SA burnt almost 279,000 hectares of land, killed more than 67,000 livestock and took three human lives.

“In January this year we asked highly-respected former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty AO to conduct an Independent Review, to look at what can be done to mitigate the impacts of bushfires on our communities into the future,” he said.

“We have responded swiftly to the review and have already begun implementing a number of immediate action items in preparation for the 2020/21 bushfire season.”

Today’s announcement comes as visitors to Kangaroo Island’s 1850s-era Cape Borda lighthouse are let back into the area for the first time since last summer’s bushfire.

From today, visitors will be allowed into the area surrounding Cape Borda on the island’s northwest coast, including its cliff-top trails, for the first time since January.

SA to host first four rounds of Sheffield Shield

South Australia will host the opening four rounds of the Sheffield Shield campaign in October and November, but new Redbacks coach Jason Gillespie will be a notable absentee from the season opener.

The intent to play a full Shield schedule was unanimously endorsed by the Australian Cricket Council last month, and the season will get underway at three SA grounds away from Adelaide Oval from October 10.

South Australia will take on Western Australia at Karen Rolton Oval, while Queensland ‘hosts’ Tasmania at Park 25. Matches will also be played at Glenelg Oval.

With all Victorian arrivals into South Australia requiring a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, Victoria and NSW have agreed to postpone their round one game to November 17-20.

It means Victoria’s first fixture will be their round two encounter against the Blues from October 22-25.

Gillespie was named South Australia’s new coach earlier this year but he will have to take charge his first game from the confines of quarantine.

The former Australia paceman is currently coaching Sussex and is due to arrive in Adelaide on October 6.

It means he won’t be out of quarantine until October 20 unless his return date changes.

The first four rounds of the Shield season will be followed by the BBL, which will start in December.

CA is planning to stage the remainder of the Sheffield Shield season, the Women’s National Cricket League, One-Day Cup and Under-19 Female and Male National Championships in 2021.

Announcements regarding the fixturing of these matches will be made at a later date.

UK virus infection record as Euro wave grows

New coronavirus cases in the UK have hit a daily record as Spain’s virus cases pass 700,000 and French hospitalisations reach a two-month high.

The United Kingdom recorded daily cases of 6634 yesterday, reflecting a second wave of infections sweeping through the country and a much higher level of testing than during the first wave.

The number released on Thursday was up from 6178 on Wednesday, itself a jump from 4926 the previous day.

Public Health England said there had also been 40 new deaths, up from 37 the day before. But this is well short of the fatality rate at the peak of the first wave when the UK was reporting more than 1000 deaths per day.

The country’s death toll from COVID-19 stands at 41,902.

Spain’s cumulative tally of confirmed coronavirus infections has passed 700,000 as authorities warned of tougher times ahead in the densely-populated virus hotspot region of Madrid, which accounts for more than a third of hospital admissions.

The number of confirmed cases has spiked since the end of a countrywide lockdown in late June, adding 200,000 in less than a month, and now stands at 704,209 – the highest in western Europe.

The total number of COVID-19 fatalities rose by 84 to 31,118, including 13 deaths registered in the past 24 hours.

French health authorities say the number of people hospitalised for COVID-19 has gone beyond the 6000 threshold, a first since July 27.

The data indicates there are still more than 1000 patients in intensive care units, levels not recorded since the beginning of June.

France has reported soaring COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the month, putting renewed strain on the country’s hospital system and prompting the government to announce extra restrictive measures on Wednesday, mainly in big cities, to contain the disease.

Wearing a mask outdoors has become compulsory in certain parts of Italy as local authorities respond to rising coronavirus caseloads.

In Campania, the southern region including Naples, people must wear masks at all times when outside. The rule is valid until October 4 and is not applicable to children under 6, nor to people eating in bars and restaurants or practising sports or exercising.

Similar rules were adopted late on Wednesday for the historical centre of Genoa, a northwestern port city known for having tiny alleys in which distancing is harder to respect.

The Liguria region, which has Genoa as its capital, also extended until Sunday tougher restrictions including school closures for the city and province of La Spezia, a virus hotspot.

In the rest of Italy masks have to be worn outside from 6pm to 6am in places where physical distancing is not possible, like public squares where people assemble at night.

The rule has been in place since mid-August.

After being overwhelmed by the pandemic in March and April, Italy has recently won plaudits for being more successful than other European countries in keeping contagion rates under control.

However, virus cases have been increasing since mid-July.

On Thursday, the health ministry reported 1786 new infections compared to a low of 114 on July 14.

Total infections reached 304,323 and the overall death toll rose by 23 to 35,781.

More than 100 Breonna Taylor protesters arrested in US

Police have arrested 127 protesters after two officers were shot in Louisville, Kentucky on a night of angry clashes following the indictment of one former police officer linked to the killing of Breonna Taylor.

“There were several instances of unlawful behaviour where police needed to intervene during the protest activities,” said interim police chief Robert Schroeder, citing damage to property, the moving of barricades and barriers and the restriction of traffic.

“As the night went on, there were several instances of looting outside of the downtown area,” he continued, adding that fires had also been set at the city’s courthouse and along a park.

A suspect in the shooting of two police officers, a 26-year-old man, was charged and now faces two counts of assault and 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer.

Online news outlet the Daily Caller also reported on Thursday that two of its journalists had been arrested while covering the protests.

“Shelby Talcott and Jorge Ventura were covering the riots when police surrounded the group and made everyone get on the ground. A video showed police detaining several people and putting them in zip-tie handcuffs,” the Daily Caller reported.

The protests took place on Wednesday night after the indictment of one former police officer linked to the killing of Breonna Taylor, a black woman.

The governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear released a statement on social media arguing that violence should not be met with more violence.

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, said that he is “praying for the swift recovery of the 2 police officers shot last night in Louisville”.

– with AAP and Reuters

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