Tenterfield news, sport a Australia
Tenterfield Star delivers latest news from Tenterfield NSW including sport, weather, entertainment and lifestyle.
Russian-US astronauts launch to the ISS - Tenterfield Star
A trio of space travellers has launched successfully to the International Space Station, for the first time using a fast-track manouevre to reach the orbiting...
A trio of space travellers has launched successfully to the International Space Station, for the first time using a fast-track manouevre to reach the orbiting outpost in just three hours. NASA's Kate Rubins and Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos lifted off as scheduled at 10.45am local time on Wednesday from the Russia-leased Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan for a six-month stint on the station. For the first time, they are trying a two-orbit, three-hour approach to the orbiting outpost. Previously it took twice as long for the crews to reach the station. The trio will join the station's NASA commander, Chris Cassidy, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been aboard the complex since April and are scheduled to return to Earth a week later. Speaking during Tuesday's pre-launch news conference at Baikonur, Rubins emphasised that the crew spent weeks in quarantine at the Star City training facility outside Moscow and then on Baikonur to avoid any threat from the coronavirus. Australian Associated Press
Pink Up Your Town and help fund McGrath Foundation breast care nurses - Tenterfield Star
A sea of pink will wash across dozens of Australian towns this month as Pink Up Your Town gears up for 2020
TIME for towns to turn up the pink to celebrate and support the McGrath Foundation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The annual Pink Up Your Town event will see thousands of people across the country, raising much needed funds to place McGrath breast care nurses where they are needed most. Now in its fifth year, the event will bring together communities - along with their local clubs, businesses, schools and neighbourhoods, to plan pink-themed events throughout October. This huge show of support has continued over the past five years with the 2019 event seeing almost 70 Australian towns raising a whopping $580,000. With COVID-19 restrictions in place in many states, McGrath Foundation ambassador and director, Tracy Bevan, said she was thankful to those who were finding new ways to get involved in events. "We are so grateful for the support of the towns who have signed up to be involved in the fifth annual Pink Up Your Town," she said. "Communities have been careful to plan COVID-safe activities in line with their state's guidelines and we have heard about socially-distanced galas planned, online auctions, sporting events and incentives to donate. "The restrictions in each state have resulted in some really creative fundraising ideas, such as the homemade face masks for sale in Berry." Ms Bevan said the funds raised would go towards funding McGrath breast care nurses in communities across Australia. "The McGrath Foundation needs to raise funds to ensure our 151 existing McGrath breast care nurses can continue to provide free support to people with breast cancer and their families at this challenging time. "The campaign is also a visual show of support for local people with breast cancer." Ms Bevan said the McGrath Foundation relied on the generous support of the Australian public. "It costs around $140,000 to fund a McGrath breast care nurse for a year including training and development. "Ongoing funding is needed for our McGrath breast care nurses to ensure they can continue to provide support to families experiencing breast cancer across Australia." In a year like no other, Ms Bevan said it was heartening to see towns taking the time to come together for Pink Up Your Town. "Between bushfires, drought and the pandemic, it's been such a tough year for so many people, so it's great that Pink Up Your Town can bring people together," she said. "It shows that these towns understand how important the support of a McGrath breast care nurse is for someone experiencing breast cancer. "At a local level, Pink Up Your Town is organised by volunteers who generously give up their time to organise events, publicise activities and fundraise and we can't thank them enough." Ms Bevan said those still looking to get involved have a number of options available including helping from home. "There's a lot that can be done at home and many committees are still open to new members. "Head to pinkupyourtown.com.au to find the nearest town to you taking part." For more information about the McGrath Foundation and McGrath breast care nurses, visit: mcgrathfoundation.com.au.
- Australian Community Media, publisher of this newspaper, is a partner with the McGrath Foundation and Pink Up Your Town.
France posts record number of virus cases - Tenterfield Star
France has registered a record 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the health ministry says, in the country's highest single-day coun...
France has registered a record 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the health ministry says, in the country's highest single-day count since the pandemic began. The rise followed a government decision to make COVID-19 tests free, leading to a surge in testing and an increase in infection rates. The previous high in 24 hours in France was 10,561 new cases, recorded on September 12. The seven-day moving average of new cases - which smoothes out irregularities - rose to a high of nearly 8800. The ministry reported that the cumulative number of cases had risen to 415,481 and the death toll had risen by 50 to 31,095, the second-highest number of new deaths in a day in two months. The government's decision to make COVID-19 testing free has resulted in long queues at testing centres in cities and testing has increased six-fold since the peak of the first coronavirus wave. About 1.2 million tests were carried out last week, the health minister said. Data show 5.4 per cent of tests were positive. Doctors say many tests are pointless as some people who have no symptoms, or have had no contact with people with confirmed cases, take multiple tests. "To get tested three times a week is totally delirious. Anyone can show up and say they have symptoms," Jean-Jacques Zambrowski, a doctor and health policy lecturer at Paris Descartes university, said on BFM TV. French television showed scenes of chaos at testing centres in big cities, with people waiting hours and jostling in queues. Hundreds of workers at laboratories went on strike on Thursday over poor working conditions as the testing system buckles under the demand. The number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 rose by 25 to 5844, the 19th consecutive daily increase after a low of 4530 at the end of August, down from a mid-April high of more than 32,000. Australian Associated Press
NASA mulls possible mission to Venus - Tenterfield Star
NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science missions from four proposals under review, including one to Venus that scientists invo...
NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science missions from four proposals under review, including one to Venus that scientists involved in the project say could help determine whether or not that planet harbours life. An international research team on Monday described evidence of potential microbes residing in the harshly acidic Venusian clouds: traces of phosphine, a gas that on Earth is produced by bacteria inhabiting oxygen-free environments. It provided strong potential evidence of life beyond Earth. The US space agency in February shortlisted four proposed missions that are now being reviewed by a NASA panel, two of which would involve robotic probes to Venus. One of those, called DAVINCI+, would send a probe into the Venusian atmosphere. "Davinci is the logical one to choose if you're motivated in part by wanting to follow this up - because the way to follow this up is to actually go there and see what's going on in the atmosphere," David Grinspoon, an astrobiologist working on the DAVINCI+ proposal, told Reuters on Tuesday. The three other proposals include: IVO, a mission to Jupiter's volcanically active moon Io; Trident, a fly-by trek to map Neptune's icy moon Triton; and VERITAS, the second of the proposed Venus missions that instead would focus on understanding the planet's geological history. NASA has said it may choose one or two of the missions. The search for life elsewhere in the solar system has until now not focused on Venus. NASA in July launched a next-generation rover to look for traces of potential past life on Mars. In light of Monday's findings, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that it is "time to prioritize Venus." In a statement, Bridenstine said the selection process for the new potential missions will be tough "but I know the process will be fair and unbiased." Grinspoon, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, said the selection process should be responsive to recent scientific discoveries. "If there was a mission to Triton as a finalist, and then somebody with a telescope observed, you know, a soccer stadium on Triton, then arguably yeah, we should send a mission there," Grinspoon said. Australian Associated Press
Latest on the global spread of coronavirus - Tenterfield Star
ASIA-PACIFIC * India reported 94,372 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking total cases past 4.7 million, as infection numbers rose in several states amid a...
ASIA-PACIFIC * India reported 94,372 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking total cases past 4.7 million, as infection numbers rose in several states amid a gradual opening up of businesses. *Indonesia has reported its sixth consecutive day of over 3,000 new cases of coronavirus infection, just as the capital city of Southeast Asia's most populous country prepares to re-impose social distancing restrictions. *South Korea says it will ease social distancing rules in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area following a declining number of new coronavirus cases, though new infections are still up around 80 - 110 a day. * Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who is set to become prime minister this week, said on Sunday there was no limit to the amount of bonds the government can issue to support an economy hit by the pandemic. EUROPE * France has had 10,561 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, health authorities said on Saturday, a new daily record as the number topped 10,000 for the first time. The jump highlights a resurgence of the disease in France. * Authorities will reinforce restrictions on spectators on Tour de France climbs situated in coronavirus "red zones" to avoid mass gatherings, organisers said on Saturday. *Coronavirus infections continue to grow in the Czech Republic, reaching a record level for the fourth day this week. The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase in new cases reached 1,541 on Saturday, a record high for the country. * Princess Leonor, the heir to the Spanish throne, has gone into quarantine after a classmate at her school tested positive for COVID-19, the royal household said. MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA * An Israeli cabinet minister tendered his resignation on Sunday in protest at a looming coronavirus lockdown that he argued would unfairly impede religious celebrations of Jewish holidays. * The UN refugee agency is stepping up efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 among tens of thousands of Syrians in camps in Jordan after the first cases were confirmed last week, the head of the agency in the country said on Saturday. AMERICAS * President Donald Trump's administration has expelled about 8,800 unaccompanied migrant children intercepted at the US-Mexico border since March 20 under rules seeking to limit the coronavirus spread in the United States, according to court documents filed Friday by the Justice Department. * Cuban state media reported on Saturday interprovincial transportation would be shut down and a curfew in Havana extended until the end of the month as a surge in COVID-19 cases in the capital spreads to other areas. MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS *AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after receiving the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday. * US drugmaker Merck & Co Inc has begun recruiting participants to its early-stage COVID-19 vaccine study, according to the government database clinicaltrials.gov. ECONOMIC IMPACT * South Africa's economy will likely contract this year by more than the 7 per cent previously forecast by the Treasury, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in an opinion piece published on Sunday. * The Iranian rial fell to a new low against the US dollar on Saturday as the economy reels under the pandemic and US sanctions. * As COVID-19 grounds airline fleets, companies that dismantle and trade aircraft parts are seeing early signs of a rebound in activity as carriers accelerate plane retirements. Australian Associated Press
Masks to stay in Melbourne's 'new normal' - Tenterfield Star
Melburnians will be wearing face masks in public beyond the strict lockdowns as part of the new "COVID normal". Victoria's Chief Health Officer says people mu...
Melburnians will be wearing face masks in public beyond the strict lockdowns as part of the new "COVID normal". Victoria's Chief Health Officer says people must expect to continue wearing protective masks long after stage four restrictions ease. The state on Saturday recorded a second consecutive day of fresh coronavirus cases below 200, prompting Professor Sutton to predict numbers could dip below 150 next week. The state's death toll continues to climb, with 13 more deaths bringing the total to 398 and national count to 485. Among the 182 fresh diagnoses were 30 new "mystery" cases with no known source. Prof Sutton said such cases are on a downward trend which is promising, but restrictions won't be lifted in full until community transmission is eradicated. Premier Daniel Andrews, who has long talked of Victorians needing to adjust to a new "COVID normal", said masks will remain part of life for a long time, along with careful hand-washing and physical distancing. There are 4293 active cases documented in the state. More than 600 of those are in hospital with 22 of 36 people in intensive care requiring ventilation. Ten of the latest deaths are linked to aged care, where there are cases at 129 facilities. Prof Sutton said dozens of these facilities had only a single case, and so swift control measures should stop infections spreading. The 10 most infected aged care sites have between 100 and 200 active cases each. There are new cases linked to known outbreaks at Royal Melbourne Hospital's Royal Park campus and AusFresh Broadmeadows. Investigations are underway into cases linked to Dandenong Hospital, Warringa Park Specialist School in Hoppers Crossing and Cabrini Hospital in Malvern. Melbourne residents still have about another three weeks of stage four restrictions ahead of them before they are revised on September 13. Regional Victorians are under slightly less onerous level three restrictions for the same period. Hearings for state's inquiry into the failed hotel quarantine program resume on Monday with more testimony from hotel security staff. The inquiry last week heard poor-performing security guards were moved between the quarantine hotels, while returned travellers feared catching the coronavirus during their stay. Australian Associated Press
Study suggests 17% of Londoners had virus - Tenterfield Star
About one in six people in London and one in 20 elsewhere in England have already contracted the coronavirus, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock says, citi...
About one in six people in London and one in 20 elsewhere in England have already contracted the coronavirus, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock says, citing a recent study. Data gathered from an antibody surveillance study led by the Office for National Statistics suggests 17 per cent of people in London and about 5.0 per cent in England have tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, Hancock said on Thursday. Hancock made the announcement as the government worked out a deal with pharmaceutical firms for delivery of 10 million antibody tests. There was no evidence of increased infection from the coronavirus among front-line National Health Service and care staff, according to the ONS. Hancock said certificates are being considered for people who test positive for coronavirus antibodies. "It's not just about the clinical advances that these tests can bring. It's that knowing that you have these antibodies will help us to understand more in the future if you are at lower risk of catching coronavirus, of dying from coronavirus and of transmitting coronavirus." He also announced a trial of a rapid 20-minute test to tell people if they currently have COVID-19. There has been criticism that people have been waiting days or weeks for test results. England's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, told the briefing the total number of deaths from all causes was now down to the rate in an average winter. "So, we are essentially having a winter in health terms, in terms of mortality, but in late spring and early summer." He also said care home deaths have peaked. The United Kingdom's death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 338 to 36,042, the health ministry said on Thursday. Australian Associated Press
Victoria face-to-face teaching to resume - Tenterfield Star
Victorian parents are being assured it is safe for students to return to school as part of the state government's easing of coronavirus restrictions. Premier...
Victorian parents are being assured it is safe for students to return to school as part of the state government's easing of coronavirus restrictions. Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed students in Prep, grades 1 and 2, years 11 and 12, and at special schools will be allowed back in the classroom on May 26. From June 9, students in years 3 to 10 will join their schoolmates on campus at government schools. The development comes after a state government testing blitz, with 161,000 samples, showed levels of COVID-19 in the state are "very low". "We think we can manage and control that and it's appropriate now that students go back to school," Mr Andrews told reporters on Tuesday. Since the start of Term 2, Victorian schools have only been open to students unable to learn from home - including children of essential workers - as part of the effort to stem the coronavirus spread. Only about three per cent of students have been at school and the premier stressed that measure was put in place largely to help curb the movement of people in the Victorian community. Victoria has been increasingly at odds with the federal government and other states over the easing of lockdown rules, particularly the sensitive issue of a return to widespread classroom teaching. It is the last state to relax the restrictions on school students. Mr Andrews insisted schools are safe, echoing the advice given by the nation's chief medical officer for more than a month, and said it wasn't feasible for some parents to keep their children at home, while others were in the classroom. "The notion of running two separate systems ... that becomes incredibly difficult," he said. Students with compromised immunities, however, won't have to return. As students go back to the classroom, drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered to prevent parents and carers from mingling. Recess and lunch breaks will be staggered as well, teachers and staff will be socially distanced and there will be no school assemblies or excursions. Children must drink from their own water bottles, not from fountains. If there is a COVID-19 case at a school, it will be closed for a few days while contact tracing occurs. Up to $45 million will also be spent to ramp up cleaning at schools every day throughout terms 2 and 3. The Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union said the plan will give school staff, parents and students certainty and marks the beginning of the end to a challenging period. Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien also embraced the plan, but said "four weeks is a long time to wait" for some students to return to the classroom. While coronavirus restrictions are slowly lifting in Victoria, cases are still rising. There were 17 cases confirmed from Monday, including eight connected to the Cedar Meats cluster. Six workers and two close contacts were confirmed to have the potentially-deadly virus, taking the abattoir cluster total to 85. The state's Public Affairs and Estimates committee has also begun investigating the Victorian government response to COVID-19. Chief Health officer Brett Sutton has told the committee he is "agnostic" as to whether a Cedar Meats worker who tested positive on April 2 had any link to the cluster, which emerged with a case on April 24. The worker who tested positive on April 2 had told heath authorities they hadn't been at work at any time when they could have been infectious. There have been 1509 coronavirus cases in Victoria, but only around 120 are active. Eighteen people have died in Victoria from the virus. Australian Associated Press
Coronavirus revealing mental health gaps - Tenterfield Star
Referrals to psychologists have dropped since the coronavirus outbreak, with calls for the government to double the number of subsidised sessions. Australian...
Referrals to psychologists have dropped since the coronavirus outbreak, with calls for the government to double the number of subsidised sessions. Australian Clinical Psychology Association public officer Leanne Clarke said some clinics had seen a 30 to 40 per cent drop in new patients since the outbreak. "I'm hearing from other clinics that some are looking at potentially not being able to make it through this time," Ms Clarke told AAP. She said clinics providing psychology services for children and teens had been impacted the most. Ms Clarke wanted the government to look at options to streamline GP referrals to psychology services while fewer people saw their doctor. She also wants the government to double the number of sessions attracting Medicare rebates from 10 to 20, saying it was a problem well before the pandemic. "It is an issue that's been brought to the government's attention many times and I know that they're aware it's a problem," she said. She said many patients had made huge gains before the outbreak only to see the work undone by ongoing stress. Telehealth sessions had also been more exhausting for psychologists, while some patients had felt too uncomfortable to participate in counselling from home, Ms Clarke said. A lack of investment in telehealth infrastructure over the past decade also had left psychiatrists on the back foot. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists president-elect Vinay Lakra said public and private psychiatrists needed to be provided with technology that could conduct video conferencing. The lack of video capability made it hard to build trust with new clients, but psychiatrists had adapted well to some of the changes, he said. "That's a very positive message from this, that there are things which we can do that do not require a face-to-face appointment," Dr Lakra told AAP. Digital mental health service ReachOut has put its services online for free to help parents of teenagers during the pandemic. Chief executive Ashley de Silva said with thousands of teenagers now out of school, parents already overwhelmed with juggling their own anxieties during the outbreak were emerging as a group being particularly impacted and they needed support looking after their families. Australian Associated Press