Sydney TB cases being treated-NSW Health

NSW Health has dismissed fears of an outbreak of the bacterial infection tuberculosis after a Sydney doctor misdiagnosed a man who went on to infect 10 others.

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The patient, 23, went to his GP over three months but it wasn’t until his third visit that the doctor referred him for an x-ray that revealed a hole in his lung, The Daily Telegraph reported.

During that period he reportedly passed on the disease, which mainly affects the lungs, after coming into contact with 10 people.

But NSW Health’s Director of Communicable Diseases Vicky Sheppeard said this didn’t mean there was an outbreak of tuberculosis in Sydney.

“Public announcements about people with TB disease are rarely necessary as TB is spread via close and prolonged contact, not spread by brief, casual exposures,” Ms Sheppeard told AAP in a statement on Monday.

“As TB remains a relatively rare disease in Australia it is not unusual that it is not recognised on the initial presentation to a doctor.”

NSW has one of the lowest rates of the disease in the world.

Across the country about 1300 new cases are reported every year. In NSW in 2016, there were 533.

NSW Labor has called on the Berejiklian government to consider whether GPs needed to brush up on their knowledge of TB.

Doctors they should be able to identify symptoms in order to protect the community, opposition health spokesman Walt Secord said.

TB is a nationally notifiable disease and can be a very serious if not diagnosed early and treated.

All of the 11 persons affected in this latest case are now being treated.

One killed, 15 injured in Ohio nightclub shooting

The gunmen remained at large following the shooting at the Cameo nightclub in Cincinnati that Police Chief Eliot Isaac said was packed with revelers.

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“Several local men got into some type of dispute inside the bar and it escalated into shots being fired from several individuals,” Isaac told reporters.

“As a result, there were 16 people that sustained gunshot injuries, one of which is deceased,” he said, adding that one victim was in “an extremely critical condition.”

Isaac named the man killed at the scene as 27-year-old Obryan Spikes.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said there was “no evidence that this was a terrorist attack.”

“However, to the victims, what difference does it make? They’ve been terrorized by gun violence, innocent victims,” he said.

“It’s important for everyone to understand that people were just going to have a good time and ended up getting shot. That is totally unacceptable.”

Update: Cameo Night Club 15 gun shot victims, 1 deceased. Homicide unit and all available resources are being utilized. Next update after 11

— Cincinnati Police (@CincyPD) March 26, 2017

Police began receiving calls about shots being fired at the club at about 1:30 am (0530 GMT), according to Isaac.

No arrests have yet been made, and Isaac could not confirm whether any of the injured were among the shooters.

“The investigation is in its very early stages,” the police chief said.

Authorities in the Midwestern city called on anyone with information that could help the probe to come forward.

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‘Grown and sexy’

According to its Facebook page, Cameo admits “grown and sexy” partygoers aged 21 and over on Saturday nights.

“It was a young crowd and we have had incidents in the past, but this is the worst by far,” Captain Kimberly Williams, the district’s police commander, told CNN.

She said there was “a lot of chaos when the shots went off.”

Cameo was the site of two shooting investigations in 2015, local news station WLWT reported.

Someone was shot in the foot there on New Year’s Day, and a shooting victim was found in the parking lot in September, WLWT said.

Ohio Governor John Kasich said his office was offering help to local authorities.

“You see things like this and you begin to wonder, where is it safe to go?” he said on CNN.

Although authorities said there was no evidence of terrorism, the attack inevitably raised memories of last year’s rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

That mass shooting — which left 49 dead and 68 wounded — was the deadliest terror attack in the United States since September 11, 2001.

The gunman, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group in a call to police during the assault.

American gun violence

But shootings are a common feature of life in America, where the right to bear arms is protected by the US Constitution.

Cincinnati, a city of 300,000 people nestled along the northern banks of the Ohio River, had 66 homicides in 2016, all but nine of them as a result of firearms.

This year has seen a spike in gun violence, with 57 shooting victims in the city as of Thursday last week, compared to 31 during the same period last year.

Elsewhere in the United States, a gunman opened fire Saturday on a double-decker bus on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one person and wounding another. Police said the suspect appeared to have “mental issues.”

More notorious gun crimes in recent years included the rampage carried out by 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof, who shot to death nine people during a Bible study session at a historically African American church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015.

And a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. Gunman Adam Lanza, who had a history of mental illness, also killed his mother and went on to commit suicide.

The tragedy sparked calls for stricter gun control laws, but bills banning assault weapons and expanding background checks on gun purchases were defeated in the US Congress.

 

Clarke questions ‘negative’ Indian batting

If India suffer a rare Test series loss at home to Australia they will rue “negative” batting in the Dharamsala decider, according to Michael Clarke.

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Former Australia captain Clarke was shocked with India’s tactics during a rollercoaster second day of the fourth and final Test. The hosts will resume on Monday at 6-248, still trailing Australia by 52 runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane both looked set during the post-lunch session, during which the hosts only added 89 runs. It came after they scored 64 runs in Sunday’s morning session.

India’s pre-lunch struggles were a result of inspired fast bowling from Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, who made good use of the new ball. India opener KL Rahul dubbed it the toughest session he had ever faced.

Clarke felt there were no such excuses for India’s run-rate after lunch, opining that India had the best batting conditions either side will enjoy in the game.

“If India do lose this Test match, I’ll tell you where they lost it – it’s 30 minutes before tea on day two,” Clarke said on Star Sports.

“It was so negative with their batting. Australia bowled spin from both ends, they sat on the crease and blocked and blocked and blocked.

“They’ve lost two quick wickets (after tea) … they’re under enormous pressure.

“If India can’t get a decent total in this first innings, batting last here is going to be extremely tough (if they are) chasing 200 runs.”

Australia’s only Test series win in India during the past 47 years came in 2004, when Clarke made his debut. India have lost a single series at home in the past 12 years.

The ongoing series is level at 1-1. The visitors will retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy if the final Test ends in a draw.

Former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin echoed Clarke’s sentiments.

“India have to win the Test match and I don’t think you’re going to get better batting conditions than in that session,” Haddin said on Fox Sports.

“I was bit shocked that Pujara didn’t try to move the game forward a little bit. It looked like he put a lot of pressure on Rahane, then he’s sort of got bogged down in his shell a bit too.”

Further arrests after Westminster attack

Two men remain in custody over the deadly London attack as encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp faced criticism for potentially allowing terrorists to communicate undetected.

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A 30-year-old man and 58-year-old man were both arrested in Birmingham on Sunday on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

Police have arrested 12 people since Wednesday’s attack when British born Khalid Masood killed four people and was himself shot dead.

Officers on Sunday carried out 15 searches at various addresses in London, Brighton, Surrey, Carmarthenshire, Birmingham and Manchester.

Meanwhile British press reports say Masood used WhatsApp seconds before mowing down pedestrians and storming the Westminster parliamentary estate armed with two knives last week.

On encrypted messaging services, Home Secretary Amber Rudd told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “It is completely unacceptable, there should be no place for terrorists to hide.

“We need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other.

“It used to be that people would steam-open envelopes or just listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what people were doing, legally, through warrantry.

“But on this situation we need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp.”

WhatsApp said in response that it had been assisting the police investigation.

Counter-terrorism officers have spent days piecing together what led Masood, 52, to shed his birth name and later unleash carnage on London.

The Muslim convert was shot dead by armed police after fatally knifing PC Keith Palmer in the Palace of Westminster’s cobbled forecourt.

Netherlands sack coach Blind after latest setback

The Dutch FA (KNVB) announced the decision in a statement after Blind, had been called in for crisis talks.

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The 55-year-old had questioned his own future following Saturday’s loss in Sofia, which left the Dutch six points off the pace at the halfway stage of the European qualifying campaign for the 2018 finals in Russia.

But Blind bemoaned the decision in a statement on Sunday.

“We were on the right track but the Bulgaria loss was a setback. I gave everything I had and I’m really sorry that it ends this way,” said the former Netherlands defender.

The national team has been in the doldrums since missing out on the 2016 European Championship in a dramatic fall from grace two years after finishing third at the World Cup in Brazil.

The defeat by Bulgaria leaves the Dutch facing a tough struggle to finish in one of the top two qualifying places in Group A. They have seven points from five matches and trail leaders France (13 points), Sweden (10) and Bulgaria (9).

“We have respect for what Danny meant to us and the team during his tenure. But because the results were not forthcoming, and because qualification for Russia has gone poorly so far, we felt the need to take our leave of him,” said KNVB director Jean Paul Decossaux.

Blind was appointed on July 1 to replace Guus Hiddink after a poor start in the Euro 2016 qualifiers but a home loss to Iceland in his first game in charge exacerbated the situation.

The Dutch have struggled to find any consistency during his 20-month tenure, winning seven and losing seven of 17 games.

Netherlands assistant coach Fred Grim will stand in as caretaker for Tuesday’s friendly against Italy in Amsterdam while the KNVB start to look for a new manager.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Slater showing glimpses of best: Bellamy

It was his first full game since coming back from twin shoulder reconstructions, but Melbourne veteran Billy Slater showed glimpses of returning to his best NRL form.

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That’s the belief of Storm coach Craig Bellamy, who watched his fullback set up a try in his side’s 22-14 comeback win over the Wests Tigers on Sunday.

“The great thing about what he’s doing at the moment is he’s not sitting back waiting for things to come to him,” Bellamy said of Slater’s second game back.

“He’s typical Billy Slater – he’s going and finding the action. That’s what he’s always been really good at, and that’s what he’s doing at the moment.

“The more game time he gets and the more minutes he gets, he’ll get better and better.”

After giving Slater 50 minutes in his return against Brisbane last week, Bellamy revealed he had originally planned to tack on an extra 10 minutes at Leichhardt Oval but Slater volunteered for a full shift following a jaw injury to Cameron Munster.

“The amount of time he’s been out and the games he’s missed, it’s always going to take a little while for him to get back to what he thinks is his best,” Bellamy said.

“Last week when he played 50 minutes, we were looking at him playing an hour this week, perhaps more. But because of Munster’s injury, he put his hand up.

“A couple of times there when he was down on his haunches but you expect that.”

Bellamy also had plenty of good things to say about his younger troops for keeping their heads despite going down 14-0 against the Tigers inside the opening 30 minutes.

The Storm recovered to maintain their unbeaten start to the season ahead of their round-five clash against premiership fancies Penrith on Saturday.

“I was real proud of some of the younger players that hung in, they played long minutes. We lost (Christian) Welch with concussion, so our interchange was down,” Bellamy said.

“But guys like Nelson (Asofa-Solomona), Felise Kaufusi and Kenny Bromwich, they played real long minutes for us and it was hot out there. So I thought they done a great job.”

BT fined $A69m over cable delays

BT has been given a STG42 million ($A69 million) fine by Britain’s telecoms watchdog and is expected to pay out STG300 million in compensation to rivals over delayed high-speed cable installations.

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Ofcom said BT Openreach committed a “serious breach” of its rules for reducing payments to other providers between January 2013 and December 2014.

The UK telecom giant was supposed to pay out compensation after failing to deliver Ethernet high-speed services to other, smaller providers in adequate time.

Under Ofcom rules, the company is obliged to give telecom companies access to their vast network to ensure competitiveness.

Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: “We apologise wholeheartedly for the mistakes Openreach made in the past when processing orders for a number of high-speed business connections.

“This shouldn’t have happened and we fully accept Ofcom’s findings.”

The watchdog said rules had been put in place to curb BT’s “significant market power” and that it would “not tolerate” the breach.

Compensation will now have to be paid to affected providers – including Vodafone – within 12 months, Ofcom said.

BT had faced an even greater fine, but this was slashed by 30 per cent after it admitted full liability.

It was fined a further STG400,000 for “failing to provide information” to Ofcom.

Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s investigations director, said: “These high-speed lines are a vital part of this country’s digital backbone. Millions of people rely on BT’s network for the phone and broadband services they use every day.

“We found BT broke our rules by failing to pay other telecoms companies proper compensation when these services were not provided on time.

“The size of our fine reflects how important these rules are to protect competition and, ultimately, consumers and businesses.”

Firms meet SA premier on battery project

A group that wants to build one of the world’s biggest batteries in South Australia is preparing to meet with Premier Jay Weatherill.

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Representatives from SA-based energy storage company ZEN Energy and its US sister company Greensmith will speak with Mr Weatherill on Monday.

The companies will bid to jointly build a massive battery for storing renewable energy in SA, under the government’s recently announced energy strategy.

The battery will have a capacity of about 100MW and is the first project to be financed through the government’s $150 million renewable technology fund.

ZEN Energy chairman Ross Garnaut says the company and Greensmith are a “local-global partnership” with the ability to boost SA’s power reliability and security.

“Greensmith is the recognised global leader in grid-scale battery storage while ZEN Energy has pioneered the deployment of energy storage technology in South Australia,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Greensmith recently worked on a similar 95MW battery project in California and has been responsible for installing 40 per cent of America’s battery capacity.

Expressions of interest from companies to build the battery close on Friday.

The SA government also announced on Sunday that expressions of interest to build a new state-owned gas-fired power station, another part of its $550 million energy plan, would open on Tuesday and close a fortnight later.

The 250 megawatt generator will be the first electricity infrastructure built and owned by the state government since the previous Liberal government privatised the state’s power assets 18 years ago.

Palaszczuk warns locals of ‘nasty’ Debbie

Queenslanders have been urged not to underestimate Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which is predicted to be the worst storm to hit the region since Yasi six years ago.

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“This is going to be a nasty cyclone,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Nine on Monday.

“These wind gusts are going to be absolutely huge and my primary concern is making sure that families are safe and that they are listening to the messages.”

She’s urged people to make sure they have either moved to a safe area or finishes preparing on Monday for Debbie, which is expected to cross the coast on Tuesday morning as a category 4 cyclone.

“Turn on your radio, listen to your television, read the papers. Make sure you are keeping updated with everything that is happening,” she said.

Defence, SES, police, emergency service workers and power employees have already been sent into the region to get ready for the onslaught of Debbie.

“We went through Cyclone Marcia, we’ve learnt lessons from that. I’ve never seen so many officers pre-deployed before,” she said.

“We already have fuel being transported up into that area and food stocks. Yes, we are prepared.”

Nine coaches have been sent to Ayr and Home Hill to take locals to higher ground in Cairns.

“So if people cannot go and stay with family and friends, I’m urging people to please hop on those buses and leave town. This is going to be very destructive winds,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she had spoken to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and the weekly state cabinet meeting had been postponed while the state readies for the cyclone.

Brigadier Chris Field, commander of the Third Brigade, said his team would provide critical infrastructure support and emergency response support to state and local governments as requested.

“What they need we will be ready to support them,” he told Nine.

He said the brigade was prepared and ready to go.

Meanwhile, Queensland Police deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski said people requiring help after Debbie struck would need to be patient.

“Because once the storm hits, even emergency services can’t respond. They will be off the road,” he said.

“It will be not until the winds ease that we will be able to get throughout and assist people.”

Youth underemployment at four-decade peak

In February underemployment was 18% of the youth labour force, affecting even more young people than unemployment, which was 13.

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5%.

In total, some 659,000 young people were unemployed or underemployed – defined as having some work but wanting more hours. There were 282,000 young people unemployed and 377,000 underemployed.

Since 1978 the contributions of unemployment and underemployment in the youth figures have changed significantly. “In the 1980s and 1990s unemployment was more prevalent in the youth labour force. Since 2003, underemployment is more common.”

The report says under underemployment has “become an entrenched feature of the youth labour market”, while the youth unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds “has remained stubbornly high since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC)”.

In the months before the GFC, the unemployment and underemployment rates were below 10% and 11% respectively.

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The Brotherhood’s analysis draws on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.

The report says young people are much more likely to be in casual and part-time work than at the turn of the century, and in the past 15 years the average gap between the working hours of underemployed young people and their desired hours has widened.

The increasing number of young people combining study and work doesn’t explain the trend in underemployment, because the percentage rise of casual and part-time jobs has mostly been among young workers who are not studying, the report says.

It presents a bleak situation for many young people in the labour market: “Young Australians face a much more brutish job scenario than their parents or grandparents ever did.

“Precarious employment is hindering the capacity of many young people, especially those without qualifications and skills, to build satisfactory and productive adult lives as the pathways that were open to their parents appear to have stalled.”

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.