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What we know today, Wednesday November 4


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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Crows will not match offer for Crouch

The Adelaide Crows have decided not to match St Kilda’s offer for Brad Crouch, with the midfielder now free to make his desired move to Moorabbin.

The Crows left it right until the 4:30pm ACST Wednesday deadline, but have decided not to force St Kilda into a trade for the restricted free agent.

Adelaide last week indicated they would match the bid if the Saints’ long-term offer did not draw pick No.2 as compensation.

But they have instead accepted a second-round selection, currently pick No.23.

“Ultimately, the risk versus reward of matching St Kilda’s offer and trying to force a trade, for say their first round selection at pick 17, which might not eventuate, didn’t stack up,” Crows list manager Justin Reid said.

“We are committed to making decisions in the best interests of the entire playing group and club, and did not see a lengthy deal as responsible list management in this instance,”

“We wish Brad and his partner Britney all the best for the f uture as they head to Victoria with many strong friendships from their time here.”

The trade period ends at 7.30pm on Thursday 12 November.

“We believe we’re on track to win this election,”: Biden

Joe Biden has come out and defiantly predicted an election victory.

“Tonight, we believe we’re on track to win this election,” Biden said in Delaware.

“We knew because of the unprecedented early vote in the mail-in vote, that’s going to take a while

“It’s not my place or Donald Trump place to declare who’s won this election, that’s the decision of the American people.

“But I’m optimistic about the outcome.”

Biden also said he was confident of winning Michigan and Wisconsin, and also shouted “we’re gonna win Pennsylvania”.

Meanwhile, the President has weighed in:

Trump’s other tweet tonight, which claimed “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election”, was labelled as misleading by Twitter.

“Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” Twitter’s label read. 

US Election to come down to Midwest states that may not announce winners till end of the week  

The US election will once again come down to the Midwest, with Trump on track to win the swing states of North Carolina, Ohio and Iowa, while Biden has flipped the state of Arizona and held on to win in Minnesota.

Trump leads in North Carolina by around 80,000 votes, in Ohio by more than 400,000, and in Iowa by more than 100,000.

Biden’s win in Arizona leaves the race poised for a nail-biting finish hinging on the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – all of which are expecting to announce election results late due to a high-level of mail-in ballots.

Some counties in Pennsylvania are not due to start counting mail-in ballots until tomorrow.

Earlier, Biden secured the western states of California, Washington and Oregon along with the island state of Hawaii, pushing him over 200 electoral votes.

SA records one new COVID-19 case

South Australia has recorded one new COVID-19 case today.

A man in his 60s who recently returned from overseas tested positive in hotel quarantine.

He has been in hotel quarantine since his arrival and SA Health says there is no public health risk.

There have now been a total of 504 cases in SA, including 12 cases that are currently active.

SA volunteers to aid Queensland storm clean-up

More than 20 South Australian State Emergency Service volunteers have been sent to Queensland to help with the clean-up after severe weather last weekend.

The 21 volunteers, including three incident management specialists, will spend the next four days working on damaged homes in the Ipswich and Logan areas.

“South Australia has a long history of providing assistance to other states during their times of need,” SES Chief Officer Chris Beattie said.

He said the service would continue to liaise with Queensland emergency service authorities to determine if further deployments were required next week.

The hail storm that hit southeast Queensland caused damage to more than 1700 properties, with officials warning the clean-up would take some time.

Insurance losses were tipped to top $110 million.

Two weeks ago, 42 SES volunteers were called up to support SA Police’s COVID-19 operations.

More states called as Ohio and Texas emerge as potential Biden upsets

Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island and D.C have been called for Biden, while Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina have been called for Trump.

No swing states have been called yet, but numbers from Ohio and Texas – states both considered lean Republican – are showing promise for Democrats.

In Ohio, Biden currently holds an 12,4 point lead with 44 per cent of the vote counted, while in Texas he holds a 5 point lead, with 38 per cent in.

Wins in Ohio and Texas, worth 18 and 38 electoral votes respectively, would make Trump’s strong showing in Florida inconsequential and put Biden in the box seat for the presidency.

Trump looking strong in Florida as early states called

Polls have closed in 15 US states, with early returns showing Donald Trump has won Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, while Joe Biden has won the state of Vermont.

Returns from the first two swing states expected to be called, Florida and North Carolina, indicate a long night ahead.

The New York Times are giving Trump a 94 per cent chance of winning Florida. Returns in Miami-Dade county, a Democratic stronghold, show Biden 12 percentage points down on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election numbers.

If Trump were to win Florida, attention will turn to the northern swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – states crucial to Trump’s victory in 2016.

Pennsylvania is not expected to have all its votes tabulated by the end of election night, with around half of the state’s votes coming in by mail.

NSW Premier announces border opening with Victoria for November 23

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the NSW-Victorian border will reopen on November 23.

In a tweet this morning, Berejiklian said: “On Monday, 23 November – the NSW/Victoria border will reopen.”

“We need to keep moving forward as we live with COVID-19. I have confidence that everyone will continue to work hard to keep everyone safe.”

The announcement comes after Victoria recorded its third straight day with no new COVID-19 cases.

NSW recorded three locally acquired cases today and a further six from overseas.

Maggots found in NT mangoes sent to SA

Mangoes sent to South Australia from a Northern Territory supplier are being withdrawn from supermarket shelves and fumigated or destroyed after the discovery of Jarvis fruit fly maggots.

All fruit sent from the particular grower to SA since October 5, including some still in storage, is affected by the decision.

Primary Industries executive director of biosecurity Nathan Rhodes said the maggots were spotted by a member of the public.

“On further investigation, we determined the infested mango was from a large batch of fruit provided by a distributor that supplies stores in South Australia,” Rhodes said.

“All remaining product on the shelves will be removed and either fumigated or destroyed.

“I must stress this detection does not constitute an outbreak of fruit fly and the situation is being closely monitored and managed in collaboration with distributors.

“It should be noted that Jarvis fruit fly is a tropical species which is unsuited to South Australia’s climatic conditions.”

As part of further investigations, SA has suspended further consignments from the grower and will follow up with Territory officials to determine why the treatment of fruit there had failed.

Chief executive of Department of Premier and Cabinet to stand aside

Jim McDowell, the chief executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, will be stepping down from his role on November 27.

McDowell, who has been in the role since 2018, will be moving back into the private sector where he has spent more than 30 years in the defence industry, including a 10-year stint as CEO of BAE Systems Australia.

Premier Steven Marshall has appointed BankSA CEO Nick Reade to replace McDowell.

Reade, who has spent more than 30 years in the financial services industry, will start his new public sector role on February 8, 2021.

In the interim period, Dr Jon Gorvett, Executive Director of Intergovernmental and Diplomatic Relations in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, will serve as acting chief executive.

The Premier said McDowell was “instrumental” in leading South Australia’s COVID-19 response and expressed his “deep thanks” for his public sector service.

Calm start to tense US Election Day

Wearing face masks and standing spaced apart, US voters have waited at polling stations to choose a president on an election day marked so far by orderliness and mostly short lines, even as major cities brace for potential unrest.

The masks and boarded-up stores in many city centres on Tuesday were reminders of two of the issues shaping 2020’s polarizing elections, with COVID-19 still ravaging parts of the country after a summer of sometimes violence-marred protests against police brutality and racism.

In New York City, some voting lines snaked around blocks.

But in many places lines were short or non-existent, which poll workers guessed was due to an unprecedented wave of early voting, with a record number of ballots cast before election day.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups said they were watching closely for signs of voter intimidation and the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said it would deploy staff to 18 states.

In some big cities, buildings were boarded up over fears there could be violent protests later.

In New York City, the Empire State Building, Macy’s department store, and the skyscraper that houses the Trump-favoured Fox News channel were among buildings that were boarded up.

On Rodeo Drive, one of the most expensive shopping streets in California’s Beverly Hills, staff had stripped the display windows at Tiffany & Co and Van Cleef & Arpels of their jewels and luxury stores disappeared behind plywood.

Even once votes are cast, some worry about a protracted ballot count, making the country wait for days or more before a clear winner emerges if the race is close.

Raids lead to 14 arrests after Vienna terror attack

Austrian police have raided 18 properties and arrested 14 people in a massive dragnet after a gunman identified as a convicted jihadist killed four people in a rampage in the centre of Vienna.

The gunman, who was killed by police minutes after opening fire on crowded bars, had been released from jail less than a year ago.

An elderly man and woman, a young passer-by and a waitress were killed, and 22 people including a policeman were wounded, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told a news conference on Tuesday.

Vienna’s mayor said three people were still in critical condition.

In a televised address, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told Austrians: “This is not a conflict between Christians and Muslims or between Austrians and migrants. No, this is a fight between the many people who believe in peace and the few (who oppose it). It is a fight between civilisation and barbarism.”

The attack followed shortly after deadly assaults by lone jihadists in Nice and Paris, where some Muslims have been angered by the publication of satirical caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

The centre of Vienna was largely deserted on Tuesday, with many shops closed, though Austrian authorities played down earlier suggestions that other shooters might still be on the loose.

Nehammer said footage of the incident filmed on numerous mobile phones showed no evidence of a second gunman, although the possibility had not been completely ruled out.

A police spokesman said at least 1000 officers had been involved in the search for accomplices.

The army was guarding sensitive sites to free up police for the operation.

The attacker, an Austrian-born son of immigrants from North Macedonia, was wearing an explosive belt that turned out to be fake.

Vienna’s police chief said he was killed nine minutes after starting his rampage.

He was identified as Kujtim Fejzulai, a dual citizen of Austria and North Macedonia, who had been sentenced to 22 months in jail in April last year for attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group but was released early, in December.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Officials said the perpetrator had been armed with an automatic rifle, a hand-gun and a machete.

Witnesses described crowds being fired on in bars as people enjoyed a last evening out before the start of a coronavirus curfew.

The government announced three days of national mourning and held a minute’s silence at noon on Tuesday.

Escaped chimpanzees shot dead at Dutch zoo

Dutch zookeepers have shot dead two male chimpanzees after they escaped from their enclosure at the DierenPark Amersfoort zoo in the central Netherlands.

Two chimpanzees, named Mike and Karibuna, were shot after they succeeded in breaking out of their enclosure and were seen acting aggressively, the zoo said in a statement.

Visitors were warned as soon as the break-out was discovered, the zoo said, adding that no visitors or staff were harmed during the incident.

“We very much regret this incident,” the statement said, adding that it was a “black day” for the zoo.

Keepers had been forced to act due to the potential danger to people, it added.

“To prevent further escalation, the two male chimpanzees were shot,” the zoo said, adding that sedation had not been an option.

The statement said it believed the chimpanzees had escaped due to a human error and that it would investigate further.

Musicals to return to the Festival Theatre with Carousel

State Opera SA will open its 2021 season with a production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel – hailed as marking the return of musicals to the Festival Theatre after the pandemic forced live performance off-stage for most of this year.

Sydney-based actor and singer Ben Mingay – whose credits range from TV series Packed to the Rafters to Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge and Shrek the Musical – will headline the March 26 performance of Carousel: A Concert as carnival barker Billy Bigelow in what’s described as a classic bad boy meets good girl story.

“Carousel is one of the greats,” State Opera artistic director Stuart Maunder said, announcing the show today. “Celebrated by music-theatre lovers and football fans alike, it has guts and glory, love and tragedy.”

Read the full story here.

Retail figures to vindicate rate cut decision

Retail spending figures released today are expected to further justify yesterday’s interest rate cut as the Australian economy attempts to get back on its feet.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate to a record low 0.1 per cent from 0.25 per cent at Tuesday’s monthly board meeting, along with a reduction in rates for its growing arsenal of monetary policy levers.

If the cash rate cut is passed on in full by the retail banks, the average monthly saving could be around $33 on a $400,000 loan for an owner-occupier paying principal and interest.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has told the banks to pass on the reduction to its customers.

The rate cut, the first since March, comes just week’s after the federal parliament passed the personal income tax cuts contained in the budget.

Against this backdrop, consumer confidence – a pointer to future household spending – has risen for nine straight weeks and now stands at an eight-month high.

However, the extra cash in people’s pocket has yet to translate into spending at the shops.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its final retail spending figures for September on Wednesday.

Preliminary figures released last month showed spending fell by $448.6 million, or 1.5 per cent, which followed a four per cent drop in August.

Job security will be a factor in getting people to part with their money and a key factor behind the Reserve Bank’s rate decision.

“With Australia facing a period of high unemployment, the Reserve Bank is committed to doing what it can to support the creation of jobs,” Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said.

The ABS will also release its weekly payrolls data, a special series to give a more frequent update on the labour market during the pandemic.

Underdogs Queensland up for Adelaide Oval Origin battle

Paul Vautin has backed Queensland’s unlikely bunch of State of Origin rookies to repeat the heroics of his 1995 side and pull off the biggest interstate boilover in 25 years when the Maroons take on NSW at Adelaide Oval tonight.

Vautin coached a Queensland team shorn of several key players during the Super League split to a remarkable 3-0 series win.

This year’s campaign shapes as just as difficult.

The Maroons are the biggest outsiders for an Origin game in the TAB’s history, dating back to 1998.

They are also at their longest odds in that time to win a series.

They will field eight debutants, their most since Wayne Bennett picked 10 new faces for game one of the 2001 series – a campaign which Queensland won 2-1.

Injuries, retirements and suspension have ravaged Queensland’s playing stocks with several incumbent stars in Kalyn Ponga, Moses Mbye and Michael Morgan all unavailable for the series.

Vautin, however, says the formula which he used with his famous ‘Fatty’s Nevilles’ can still apply to this year’s team.

“You don’t have to be the best players to win Origin,” Vautin told AAP.

“You don’t have to be the superstars. The fastest. The strongest.

“It comes from within and that’s what I got that team to believe in, to believe in themselves and each other.

“This NSW team’s full of superstars, as it was in 1995 … but it didn’t matter mate because we just got them and they just believed in themselves and just kept turning up.

“I’m confident that this Queensland team’s got the guts and intestinal fortitude to win.”

Blues coach Brad Fittler yesterday vowed not to underestimate the Maroons, pointing to his 2018 series win when he blooded 11 debutants in Game I.

“We had 11 players playing their first game two years ago, so I know exactly what it’s all about,” Fittler said.

“The one thing you know is they have very experienced coaches so they know how to get a team working together.

“And they are going to be excited.”

Melbourne Cup horse death findings expected to take weeks

Racing Victoria says the cause of Anthony Van Dyck’s fatal Melbourne Cup injury isn’t expected to be known for weeks.

The Irish horse became the latest international star to go amiss in the Melbourne Cup when the Aidan O’Brien-trained stayer faltered late in the race.

As Twilight Payment swept to an all-the-way victory for O’Brien’s son Joseph, Anthony Van Dyck was retired from the race with a fractured fetlock.

Anthony Van Dyck’s injury was so severe that veterinarians were unable to save last year’s English Derby winner.

Racing Victoria’s Jamie Steir said a fatality report that included the results of an autopsy would be prepared as per the regulatory body’s welfare protocols.

“The report will include the findings of a post-mortem which will now be conducted by the University of Melbourne Veterinary Clinic and we expect it will be several weeks before we have a completed report for consideration,” Steir said.

On the strength of his placing in last month’s Caulfield Cup, Anthony Van Dyck was one of the favourites at Flemington.

The Cup was a triumph for Ireland despite the shadow of Anthony Van Dyck’s death.

In beating Anthony Van Dyck’s stablemate Tiger Moth, Twilight Payment became the fourth Irish-trained horse to win Australia’s greatest race – joining Vintage Crop (1993), Media Puzzle (2002) and Rekindling (2017).

It was a first Melbourne Cup win for 25-year-old jockey Jye McNeil.

But it was a seventh for leviathan owner Lloyd Williams, 40 years after winning his first.

Overseas horses dominated the finish with Prince of Arran notching his third placing from as many attempts.

SA Jockey Jamie Kah insisted the English-trained warrior should have gone close to winning.

– with AAP and Reuters
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