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What we know today, Wednesday May 25

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Taylor Walker has been ruled out of Adelaide’s match with Geelong this weekend after entering the AFL’s health and safety protocols.

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Walker ruled out for Crows

Taylor Walker has been ruled out of Adelaide’s match with Geelong this weekend after entering the AFL’s health and safety protocols.

The Crows’ leading goalkicker this year was absent from training this morning.

Assistant coach Scott Burns later confirmed Walker has entered the AFL’s health and safety protocols and would not travel with the team to take on the Cats at Kardinia Park on Saturday.

“He’s obviously a very very good player and he’s been our best in form key forward,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“So there’s a hole but it obviously creates an opportunity for someone to grasp it with two hands and play good footy.”

Elliott Himmelberg looms as Walker’s most likely replacement. The 23-year-old forward was dropped last week for highly-touted prospect Riley Thilthorpe.

Adelaide’s second-leading goal scorer Josh Rachele also looks set to miss Saturday’s clash with a corked thigh.

The 19-year-old Rising Star contender, who’s kicked 15 goals from 10 games this season, is on a modified training schedule and will be assessed again later today.

“We’ll give Josh a breather,” Burns said.

“He’s done terrifically well Josh to come in from round one, you can probably see [he’s] just slightly tapering off – a few more knocks a few more hits.

“It’s in his best interest to probably have a bit of a breather this week – that hasn’t been decided.”

Meanwhile, the SANFL has dropped its vaccination mandate requiring all players, coaches, support staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated.

SANFL CEO Darren Chandler said the move followed Adelaide Oval’s decision to drop their vaccination mandate.

“In line with Adelaide Oval’s removal of mandatory vaccination for attendees, and the removal of vaccination mandates by a number of key organisations such as SAPOL, we believe it is now safe and appropriate to remove vaccination requirements for participants, club officials and volunteers in our SANFL competitions,” he said.

SA COVID cases rise

South Australia has recorded one COVID-19 death and another 3975 cases.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has slightly increased to 236 from 232 on Tuesday. There are 10 people in intensive care.

SA Health said one man in his 70s has passed away with COVID-19.

Today’s 3975 cases are up on the 3482 infections recorded yesterday. The number of people to present for a PCR test also increased 37.7 per cent.

There are 22,837 active cases across the state.

The number of people to have died with COVID-19 in South Australia now stands at 441.

New treasurer meets with RBA boss, regulators

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has met with Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe and other financial regulators as he comes to grips with his new role and Labor’s return to government after almost a decade in opposition.

Both major parties went into last Saturday’s federal election promising to review the operations of the RBA, such as looking at how it targets inflation and the make-up of the central bank’s board.

Chalmers says he has worked with Lowe in the past and has a lot of respect for the RBA governor.

Ahead of the meeting, the new treasurer told the heads of regulatory agencies the government was keenly aware of the broader issues facing the economy.

“We’re very conscious of the macroeconomic challenges, we’re conscious of the challenges in the housing market, data and digital, climate change, regulation and all the rest of it,” he said on Wednesday.

“We wanted to make sure you were amongst our highest priorities to have a conversation about the challenges as you see it but also to see how we might be able to work together most effectively as part of the new government.”

Among those at the meeting were the heads of the ATO, ACCC and ASIC.

Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy was also at the meeting, and Dr Chalmers said he had already provided a large number of briefings to the incoming government.

“We’ve been basically joined at the hip since Sunday, getting a whole bunch of briefings,” he said.

“An important part of what we need to do now involves all of the good work of you and your agencies.”

Chalmers told ABC TV on Wednesday Labor had inherited “very tricky” economic conditions, such rising inflation and interest rates, falling real wages and a trillion dollars worth of debt.

The treasurer has promised to deliver an economic update when parliament resumes in June or July, before handing down his first budget with new Finance Minister Katy Gallagher in October.

PM set to return after debut on world stage

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is set to begin work on delivering Labor’s election promises on climate change, a federal integrity body and universal childcare when he returns from Japan today.

The prime minister was in Tokyo on Tuesday meeting with US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Quad summit.

He reaffirmed Australia’s support for Ukraine and said more aid would be considered.

He also said his government would strengthen climate policies under “Australia’s changed position”.

When Albanese returns from overseas on Wednesday, he will set about his agenda, with major commitments including universal childcare and a national anti-corruption watchdog.

The full front bench will be sworn in next week after the Labor caucus meets on Tuesday.

Albanese is still on track to form a government in his own right after Labor took the lead over the Greens in the seat of Brisbane by just 34 votes.

The final tally is expected to show Labor holding 76 seats in the next parliament compared to 61 for the Coalition, with 14 crossbenchers.

Meanwhile, the new government has turned back its first asylum seeker boat.

An Australian Border Force spokesman said Operation Sovereign Borders safely returned the boat back to Sri Lanka on Tuesday after it had been intercepted near Christmas Island on Saturday.

Acting prime minister Richard Marles gave the order for the turnback.

The directive has been condemned by Human Rights Watch’s Australia researcher Sophie McNeill, who called on Albanese to “end this cruel policy”.

“This is a violation of Australia’s legal obligation not to commit refoulement – the forced return of people to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened or where they would face a risk of torture or inhumane and degrading treatment,” McNeill said.

“Implementing a blanket turn back the boats policy is not legal or humane. It is also inconsistent with Australia’s obligations under domestic and international law to protect the right to life and rescue persons in distress at sea.”

US primary school shooting leaves 15 dead

Police walk near Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

Fourteen children and a teacher have been killed in a mass shooting at a primary school in Texas.

State Governor Greg Abbott said the suspect, an 18-year-old local man who has also died, opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 137 kilometres west of San Antonio.

“He shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” the governor said.

The gunman was a resident of the community and entered the school with a handgun, and possibly a rifle, and opened fire, Abbott said.

He said the shooter was probably killed by responding officers but events were still being investigated.

Uvalde Memorial Hospital said earlier 13 children were taken by ambulance or bus to that facility, and another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.

It was not immediately clear how many people, in addition to the dead, were injured in the shooting.

It marks the deadliest shooting at a US primary school since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 which killed 20 children and six adults.

Earlier, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had said an active shooter was reported at the school, which caters for about 600 students.

A heavy police presence surrounded the school on Tuesday afternoon, with officers in heavy vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building.

The district said the city’s civic centre was being used as a reunification location.

The shooting in Texas came less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 Black shoppers and workers in what officials have described as a hate crime.

Uvalde is home to about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uvalde County.

The town is about 120km from the border with Mexico, with the school in a mostly residential neighbourhood of modest homes.

Public transport mask mandate should stay for winter: Spurrier

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier speaking to reporters on Tuesday after South Australia’s major emergency declaration was revoked. Photo: Thomas Kelsall/InDaily

South Australia’s mask requirement for public transport users should remain in place over the winter period, chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier says, citing an increased risk of respiratory infection over the cooler months.

That’s despite the state’s Emergency Management Council deciding yesterday to remove a mask mandate for all secondary students and staff at schools.

The face coverings will no longer be compulsory in schools from next week. Instead, masks will be “strongly recommended” for students in years 3 to 12 and all staff and adult visitors in schools.

But the requirement for South Australia’s commuters to wear masks on trains, trams and buses looks set to stay for longer after the chief public health officer said the requirement should stay for winter.

“I think they should be in place for most of winter,” Spurrier told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’re really getting to that season where it’s cold, there’s more respiratory infections that are being passed around, and so we’ve landed on the core group of measures that we feel protect us as a society over that winter period.

“There’s not much left [in terms of restrictions], but it is those sort of key things and when we look at modelling and we look at hospitalisations, then I think these are pretty reasonable.”

South Australia recorded 3482 new COVID-19 cases and 232 patients in hospital on Tuesday, including nine people in intensive care.

SA Health yesterday reported 14 deaths in “data reconciliation” from March 21 to May 22 of people aged between 30 and 90.

South Australia’s pandemic death toll now stands at 440 people.

Russian, Chinese jets fly near Japan amid Quad meeting

Russian and Chinese military planes have flown joint patrols near Japanese and South Korea air defence zones in a pointed farewell to US President Joe Biden as he concludes his trip to Asia that has rankled officials in Beijing.

The patrols came hours after Biden angered China by saying he would be willing to respond militarily to defend Taiwan if it came under Chinese attack, and as he discussed responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with leaders of the Quad from Australia, India and Japan.

Japan said it scrambled jets after Russian and Chinese warplanes neared its airspace while Tokyo was hosting the Quad leaders.

It was the first joint military exercise by China and Russia since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, according to a senior US official, and it came at the end of Biden’s four-day trip to South Korea and Japan.

“China is not walking away from Russia. Instead, the exercise shows that China is ready to help Russia defend its east while Russia fights in its west,” the official said, adding that such actions must be planned well in advance.

China and Russia declared a “no-limits” partnership just weeks before the invasion, which China has refused to condemn.

However, US officials say they have yet to see signs that China is directly supporting Russia’s war effort, or breaking US-led sanctions.

Biden’s trip was part of US efforts to push back against what it calls China’s “coercive” behaviour, including against Taiwan, a self-ruled island China claims as it own.

In Asia, Biden vowed that the US would stand with allies and partners to push for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The joint patrol lasted 13 hours over the Japanese and east China seas and involved Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers and Chinese Xian H-6 bombers, Russia’s defence ministry said.

Japanese and South Korean air force planes shadowed the Russian and Chinese aircraft for part of the exercise, it said.

China’s defence ministry said it was part of an annual military exercise.

Japan conveyed “grave concerns” to both Russia and China through diplomatic channels, its Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi told a news conference.

“We believe the fact that this action was taken during the Quad summit makes it more provocative than in the past,” he said.

WHO says monkeypox outbreak ‘containable’

The outbreak of monkeypox cases outside of Africa can be contained, the World Health Organisation says, as more governments announce plans to launch limited vaccinations to combat rising infections of the virus.

The moves came as authorities investigate 237 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus in 19 countries since early May.

That number is expected to increase, WHO officials said, but most of the infections so far have not been severe.

Scientists do not expect the outbreak to evolve into a pandemic like COVID-19, given the virus does not spread as easily as SARS-COV-2.

Monkeypox is a usually mild viral infection that is endemic in parts of west and central Africa.

It spreads chiefly through close contact and until the recent outbreak, was rarely seen in other parts of the world, which is why the recent emergence of cases has raised alarms.

The majority have been reported in Europe.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom reported 14 new cases, taking its total to 70 since May 7 and the United Arab Emirates and the Czech Republic registered their first infections.

“We encourage you all to increase the surveillance of monkeypox to see where transmission levels are and understand where it is going,” said Sylvie Briand, WHO director for Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness.

While she said the outbreak was “not normal,” she stressed that it was “containable”.

There are also vaccines and treatments available for monkeypox, she added, calling for appropriate containment measures, more research and global collaboration.

“Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill,” she said.

The WHO is working on new guidance for countries on vaccination strategies and is convening further meetings to support member states with more advice on how to tackle the situation.

VIDEO: City-Bay Fun Run returns after pandemic absence

City-Bay Fun Run returns

10 News First Adelaide – Disclaimer

Channel Ten

The City-Bay Fun Run is the latest Adelaide event to announce it will be returning in 2022 after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

The 12km event from Adelaide to Glenelg will be held on September 18 this year.

It comes after the Adelaide Christmas Pageant announced this week it would return to Adelaide’s streets in November after two years at Adelaide Oval.

The Royal Adelaide Show is also set to return in September after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

– With AAP and Reuters

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