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U.S. General Milley defends calls with China
U.S. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, fended off perhaps the most personal and direct attacks from lawmakers of his career on Tuesday as Republicans blasted his calls with China and his interviews for books critical of Donald Trump's presidency.
Milley, 63, was unshaken as Republicans called for his resignation during an already contentious hearing that was meant to focus on the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan - but repeatedly swerved into questions regarding the general.
When asked, Milley acknowledged talking to Washington Post author Bob Woodward for a book that showcased Milley's role trying to avert a crisis over apparent Chinese fears that Trump might attack Beijing in his final months in office.
The book detailed supposedly 'Secret' calls with General Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation Army on Oct. 30, 2020 and again on Jan. 8, and said Milley had promised to warn China first if he were ordered to attack.
Milley confirmed the calls but said they were not secret to U.S. government officials and that he was acting on instructions from some of Trump's top aides to de-escalate tensions.
He acknowledged trying send Beijing a message that 'We are not going to attack you' following U.S. intelligence indicating China feared an attack.
Republican Senator Dan Sullivan challenged Milley, insinuating he would be executed for that kind of behavior in China.
'If the head of the PLA called you and said, 'Hey, we're getting ready to invade Taiwan' and (Chinese President) Xi Jinping found out about it, he'd be shot,' Sullivan said, referring to China's People's Liberation Army.
Milley said the calls fit within his mandate to ensure strategic stability.
PM to end money for lockdowns
The Australian Financial Review - Page 1 & 4 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Phillip Coorey, Tom McIlroy - PortMac.News Summary
The federal government's temporary COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be phased out when the states and territories have achieved the vaccination rates that were agreed upon in the national plan to reopen the economy.
The income support payments will be completely withdrawn two weeks after 80% of the eligible population of a given jurisdiction has been fully vaccinated.
States and territories that opt to set higher vaccination targets than the national plan will be required to implement their own income support programs.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the coronavirus cannot be eliminated, so Australia must learn to live with it.
Cool your jets: international tourism by Christmas unlikely
The Guardian Australia - Page Online : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Elias Visontay - PortMac.News Summary
Foreign airlines have questioned whether international travel to Australia will resume even if the nation's borders are reopened by late 2021.
The federal government has proposed allowing international travellers who are vaccinated against COVID-19 to quarantine at home for seven days upon arrival.
However, the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia contends that this will largely restrict inbound travel to returning Australians rather than international tourists.
BARA adds that the resulting capacity constraints will also limit the number of flights that are available to outbound travellers.
Brutal actions of police at protests 'Indefensible'
Herald Sun - Page Online : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Rita Panahi - PortMac.News Summary
The conduct of Victorian police officers during the COVID-19 pandemic has damaged their standing.
The use of excessive force against members of the public when enforcing health orders is of particular concern.
Research by Roy Morgan in late 2020 found that the 'Lawyer X' scandal and the way police have handled the pandemic have undermined the public's trust in police officers, with 42% of Victorians rating the police highly.
That number compares with 76% just three years ago.
Brisbane virus cases spark shutdown fears
The Australian Financial Review - Page 1 & 4 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Mark Ludlow - PortMac.News Summary
The Queensland government has not ruled out a snap lockdown after four new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases were recorded in Brisbane.
They include an unvaccinated truck driver who had been active in the community while he was infectious and a returned traveller who tested positive five days after leaving hotel quarantine.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says the next 24-48 hours will be crucial in determining whether a lockdown is necessary.
Queensland's first COVID-19 cases in several weeks has prompted concern that the National Rugby League grand final may have to be moved from Brisbane to Townsville.
Vaccinating children 'To slash hospital rates'
The Australian - Page 6 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Natasha Robinson - PortMac.News Summary
Professor Tony Blakely estimates that about 4,000 people will need to be hospitalised with COVID-19 each year if the Australian economy begin to reopen when 80% of those aged 16+ are vaccinated.
The epidemiologist adds that the hospitalisation rate could fall by around 20% if a high proportion of children aged 12-15 are vaccinated.
He has called for people in this age group to be included in the nation's vaccination figures, which are currently limited to those aged 16+. Clinical epidemiologist Nancy Baxter agrees that young children should be included in vaccination data.
New treatment could provide 'Immediate protection' against Covid
Herald Sun - Page Online : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Grant McArthur - PortMac.News Summary
A consortium of Australian research institutes has developed a COVID-19 treatment that uses human monoclonal antibodies.
It has identified 12 antibodies which were found to be highly effective in blocking the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering cells in preclinical models.
The research is being led by the Doherty Institute and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and the consortium aims to begin clinical trials in Melbourne in 2022.
Antibodies treatments provide immediate protection against COVID-19; this makes them suitable to prevent severe disease once a person has been infected or to protect people with a compromised immune system.
29% of Australians now say 'Freedom more important than law'
Market Research Update - Page Online : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Roy Morgan - PortMac.News Summary
New Roy Morgan data shows that since the COVID-19 pandemic began there has been a sustained increase in how Australians view freedom compared to the law of the land.
Some 29.3% of Australians aged 14+ now agree that 'Freedom is more important than the law' - an increase of almost 8% points compared to the March 2020 quarter (21.6% of Australians), just prior to the onset of the pandemic.
Agreement with this statement jumped 7% points in the June 2020 quarter to 28.6% of Australians and has remained between 27-31% over the last year.
Meanwhile, 24.9% of women now agree with the statement, an increase of 8.4% points from the March 2020 quarter and close to the high of 25.2% reached in the March 2021 quarter.
33.8% of men also agreed with the statement in the June 2021 quarter, an increase of 6.8% points from the March 2020 quarter and above the pre-pandemic high of 32% reached briefly in the June 2019 quarter.
Migration dilemma as Australia loses out to UK
The Australian - Page 20 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Robert Gottliebsen - PortMac.News Summary
Australia will need to resume its intake of migrants and international students following the coronavirus-induced hiatus.
The nation is dependent on immigration to offset a declining birth rate, while Australia's infrastructure boom is largely based on assumptions that the population will keep rising.
Australia is similar to China in many ways, given that they both have experienced declining birth rates and a construction boom.
Attracting migrants will be essential for Australia; Hong Kong is a potentially massive source of migrants, but the UK is already actively targeting Hong Kong residents who have British National Overseas status.
Australians are divided on the issue of migration and have very little understanding of the impacts if migration does not resume.
Chalmers' Shorten-era tax threat
The Australian - Page 1 & 4 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Greg Brown - PortMac.News Summary
Labor abandoned a number of unpopular policy measures that contributed to its 2019 election defeat, including changes to the franking credit and negative gearing regimes.
However, shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers is said to have pushed for Labor to retain a policy which targeted the use of family trusts to minimise taxation.
He is believed to have raised the issue at a recent meeting of Labor's strategic policy review committee.
Sources have indicated that discussions regarding the policy on discretionary trusts are at a preliminary stage and the issue has not been debated by the shadow cabinet.
National cabinet secrecy: senator to cross the floor
The Australian Financial Review - Page 10 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Ronald Mizen - PortMac.News Summary
The federal government will need the support of four crossbench senators for its legislation to overturn a Federal Court ruling on the status of the national cabinet.
Justice Richard White recently ruled in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that the national cabinet is not covered by secrecy laws.
Liberal senator Gerard Rennick has advised that he will vote against the legislation, stating that he has no time for secrecy and that Australians have a right to know what is discussed in meetings of the national cabinet.
Film jobs lost amid tax change plan
The Australian Financial Review - Page 11 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Tom McIlroy - PortMac.News Summary
Australia's film and television industry has warned that the federal government's proposed changes to the 30% tax rebate for post-production, digital and visual effects will cost jobs across the sector.
Dale Roberts, the MD of South Australia-based post-production studio KOJO, says his company has already lost a contract to work on two seasons of a TV show for a US streaming service due to the uncertainty regarding the eligibility rules for the tax rebate.
ACCC pursues Google on ad clout
The Australian Financial Review - Page 3 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Miranda Ward - PortMac.News Summary
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has released a report which concludes that businesses and consumers are being disadvantaged by Google's dominance of the advertising technology market.
The ACCC claims that the lack of competition in the sector will result in higher fees for publishers and advertisers, which may in turn lead to a reduction in the quality or quantity of online content.
However, Google Australia claims that analysis by PwC shows that the digital giant contributes some $2.45bn to the domestic economy each year.
(See full story on PortMac.News today)
Coal boom 'to kick-start mines'
The Australian - Page 13 & 19 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray, David Rogers - PortMac.News Summary
The price of thermal coal shipped from Newcastle in New South Wales has reached a record high of $US204.75 per tonne.
The thermal coal price has now risen by more than 270% since reaching a 12- month low of $US54.70 in October 2020.
The price of coking coal has in turn risen by 183% since reaching a yearly low. National Party senator Matt Canavan says the record prices are unlikely to be sustained.
However, he adds that the high prices will encourage Australian coal miners to expand production, particularly in Queensland's Galilee Basin.
High Grade Gold Intersected at Talga Talga Project
Novo Resources Corporation - Page Online : 29 September 2021 - PortMac.News Summary
Canada-based Novo Resources is pleased to provide an update on recent exploration work conducted at its 100% controlled Talga Gold Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
A Reverse Circulation drilling program has intersected high-grade mineralisation at the Talga Talga Gold Project; a corridor of mineralised structures approximately three kilometres long has been defined, with the majority of the trend ready to be tested by drilling.
Australia's Haoma Mining holds EL45/5479, which surrounds much of the Novo tenement.
Li-S Energy in $1bn green surge on debut
The Australian - Page 16 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Cliona O'Dowd, Glen Norris - PortMac.News Summary
Shares in Li-S Energy listed at $2 apiece on 28 September, compared with an issue price of just $0.85 via a $34m IPO.
The stock reached an intra-day high of $3 before ending its first day of trading at $2.33.
The Brisbane-based company is developing technology aimed at increasing the life-span of lithium-sulphur batteries in order to make them a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries.
Li-S Energy's backers include Deakin University, which patented the boron nitride nanotubes technology that the company is using.
ASX Volatile bourse tumbles 1.4%
The Australian - Page 19 : 29 September 2021 - Original article by Rebecca Le May - PortMac.News Summary
The Australian sharemarket retreated on 28 September, with the S&P/ASX 200 shedding 1.47% to close at 7,275.6 points.
Fortescue Metals Group was down 5.59% at $14.87, Evolution Mining fell 6.44% to $3.34 and the ANZ Bank finished 0.54% lower at $27.62.
However, Oil Search rose 7.06% to $4.40 and Flight Centre was up 1.18% to $21.52.