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What we know today, Wednesday September 30

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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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Trump and Biden face off in first debate

US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have faced off in a fiery debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio.

In a debate defined by crosstalk, the two candidates discussed a range of issues including the Supreme Court, healthcare, coronavirus, the economy, taxes, policing, climate change and election integrity.

Both candidates hurled insults at each other all night, with Biden responding to one of Trump’s interruptions with “will you shut up man”.

Biden also called the President a “liar”, a “clown” and “the worst President America has ever had”, while Trump attacked the former Vice President’s intelligence, saying “there’s nothing smart about you Joe”.

Taxes were a key topic following a New York Times report showing the President only paid $US750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

In response, Trump claimed he paid “millions” in taxes over the last four years.

Trump also repeatedly expressed frustration with moderator Chris Wallace, telling the Fox News anchor “I guess I’m debating you, not him”.

A visibly exasperated Wallace had to remind the candidates of the debate rules several times throughout the night, with Trump and Biden interrupting each other constantly.

Wallace also reiterated at the start of the night that neither candidate received questions before the debate, after conspiracy theories floating online claimed Biden received an advanced copy of the debate questions.

The next debate will take place on Wednesday, October 7, between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

Hours before the debate, Biden has released his 2019 tax returns and his campaign called on Trump, who has come under fire for not releasing his returns, to do the same.

Read more here.

Singer Helen Reddy dies, aged 78

Australian singer, actor and activist Helen Reddy has died, aged 78.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother,” her children Traci and Jordan posted on Facebook.

“She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and a truly formidable woman.

“Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”

Reddy died in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Vic records 13 new virus cases, 4 deaths

Victoria has recorded 13 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 798 and the national figure to 886.

The new cases, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, bring Melbourne’s 14-day average down to 16.4.

There remain 21 mystery cases between September 14-27, all in Melbourne.

Melbourne’s 14-day average needs to drop below five and there must be fewer than five mystery cases for a fortnight before the state eases restrictions further.

Premier Daniel Andrews has said this isn’t likely to happen until October 19.

NSW has recorded a fifth consecutive day of zero locally acquired cases of COVID-19 but Premier Gladys Berejiklian is concerned people are becoming less cautious about social distancing.

Four new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in returned travellers in the 24 hours until 8pm on Tuesday, making it the fifth day in a row NSW has remained free of community transmission.

Berejiklian said there had been just 13,575 tests done in NSW in the 24 hours until 8pm on Tuesday night and urged the community not to become complacent.

“We know the disease is lurking in the community so I don’t want anyone to be surprised if tomorrow, the day after, we do get cases of community transmission,” she said on Wednesday.

SA transition committee meeting postponed

South Australia has delayed a meeting to consider easing more COVID-19 restrictions amid growing calls for relief across a number of business sectors.

The state’s transition committee was due to meet today but will now come together on Thursday.

The change comes after lobbying by the hospitality industry for a change to rules which prevent people from standing up drinking in pubs, restaurants and other venues.

The fitness industry has also asked for fans to be allowed in gyms ahead of warming weather in coming months.

Both groups believe the changes would not present undue risks to the community.

South Australia reported no new coronavirus cases today. There are no active cases in the state.

Pell jets off to Vatican

Catholic Cardinal George Pell has left Australia, bound for the Vatican, six months after he was acquitted of child sexual abuse.

The former Vatican treasurer, 79, left Sydney last night, after living in the city since his release from a Victorian jail.

“He always intended to return to Rome,” Katrina Lee, an adviser to the Archdiocese of Sydney, told Reuters.

Cardinal Pell came back to Australia from Rome in mid-2017 to fight charges related to the sexual assault of two choirboys when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the late 1990s.

He was convicted in December 2018 and served just over a year of a six-year sentence in jail before the High Court of Australia overturned the conviction in April and he was released.

Cardinal Pell had been head of the Vatican’s Secretariat of the Economy, tasked with cleaning up the church’s vast finances and eliminating abuse, and had taken a leave of absence from that role when he came back to Australia.

Fringe grants for SA artists

Adelaide Fringe will distribute grants of up to $10,000 – with $500,000 available in total – to help South Australian artists present shows in the 2021 open-access festival as they rebuild from the impact of COVID-19.

Fringe had sought around $1 million in additional funding from the State Government to reduce the costs for artists participating in next year’s program, with many having received little or no income since the pandemic shutdown began.

The grants will be distributed in two tiers – $5000 and $10,000 – with applications invited from South Australian artists and producers from all genres from now until October 21, 2020.

Disability Safeguarding Unit expanded

A service established to respond to reports of abuse or neglect for adults living with disability will be expanded from tomorrow.

SA Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink said: “Expanding the services of the Adult Safeguarding Unit provides a real boost in protection for people with disability who may be vulnerable.”

She urged vulnerable South Australians experiencing, or at risk of abuse, to call the South Australian Abuse Prevention Phone Line on 1800 372 310.

“In the wake of Ann Marie Smith’s tragic death, it is clear many people in the community do not know where to turn to for help,” she said in a statement.

The State Government has begun a public awareness campaign to notify vulnerable people about the operations of the unit, which “works flexibly to respond to every report as appropriate for each individual’s unique situation”.

“While in most cases the Unit will act with the consent of the adult at risk, where a person’s life or physical safety is at immediate risk, the Unit can take action without consent, including reporting the matter to SA Police,” a Government statement said.

Watts to front court over traffic incident

Port Adelaide will continue to support recently retired Jack Watts ahead of a court appearance for an alleged hit-and-run.

Watts has been charged with driving without due care and failing to report a crash after an accident on September 20 in western Adelaide.

Watts’ vehicle allegedly struck a parked car, causing minor damage.

The 29-year-old, who announced his AFL retirement last week, has been summonsed to appear in court at a later date.

“I’m not involved with what’s going on … but I’m sure Jack would getting 100 per cent supported by us as a football club and us as an industry, by the AFL,” Port coach Ken Hinkley told reporters on Wednesday.

“He will get as much support as he needs.”

Watts didn’t play an AFL game this season as he attempted to recover from a broken leg sustained last year.

The No.1 pick at the 2008 draft cited the mental and physical toll in trying to overcome the injury as a key factor in his retirement.

Watts was contracted for next year but had been considering quitting for months.

“No special treatment” for busted Crows pair

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says two Crows players busted allegedly in possession of an illicit substance were given no preferential treatment, with a referral for drug counselling “the normal course of events for the quantity of substance that was identified”.

Star free agent Brad Crouch and emerging forward Tyson Stengle were stopped by police in a taxi at 5.15am on Monday in Adelaide’s central business district.

Their footballing fates will not be determined for some weeks.

Speaking to media yesterday, Stevens said officers stopped the pair after live monitoring of CCTV footage raised suspicions.

However, they were not charged, with police instead referring them to counselling under a drug diversion program.

“There is no special treatment here,” Stevens said.

“The two people concerned have been dealt with as any other person would be.

“They have been given a drug diversion, which is the normal course of events for the quantity of substance that was identified.”

Gustavsson eyes Matildas World Cup triumph

Tony Gustavsson will lead the Matildas to a Women’s World Cup on home soil believing his new charges are capable of winning the whole thing.

The newly-named Australia head coach will be at the helm for four major tournaments in as many years – the Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Asian Cup, 2023 Women’s World Cup and 2024 Paris Olympics.

That includes dealing with the high expectations that come with leading Sam Kerr and her national teammates to a home World Cup.

“Obviously I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think that [winning the World Cup] was possible,” Gustavsson told reporters after the announcement of his appointment last night.

“But it’s also important that we take one step at a time here… if we work together in club environment and with the Matildas environment to always get one day better, I think we can take this team to the next level.

“We’re ranked No.7 in the word now, at best we’ve been ranked fourth.

“I’ve always said that Australia have the potential to beat the best on any day and the belief that we can do that is important to instil in everyone in and around the team.”

Gustavsson has signed a four-year contract and said competing at four major tournaments during that period was “a once in a lifetime” opportunity, making it “the right time” to step into an international head coach role.

UK hits 7000 daily cases amid lockdown row

The UK has reported 7143 new cases of coronavirus, the highest single figure to date, and 71 deaths, the biggest toll since July.

The country has reported 450,000 coronavirus infections since March, with an official death toll of more than 42,000 – the highest in Europe.

It comes amid intense pressure on Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government, with some demanding loosening and others tightening of physical-distancing rules.

Boris Johnson announced tighter distancing rules last week after a surge in coronavirus infections across the UK this month.

Britain’s daily number of tests has increased rapidly to almost 200,000 while local measures have been imposed in large areas of northern England and parts of Scotland and Wales.

Pressure has intensified on Johnson from MPs in his Conservative party to loosen the restrictions and allow parliament to vote on the legislation underpinning them.

However, Opposition MPs and many health experts are pressing him to take stronger action to curb the renewed spread of the virus.

Johnson provided more ammunition for critics overnight, Australian time, when he was asked to clear up confusion about local lockdown rules in northeastern England and was unable to explain how the rules apply to indoor and outdoor settings.

WillyWeather

– Reporting by InDaily staff, AAP and Reuters

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