The Guardian 2024-02-26 04:31:16


Catherine King calls Coalition ‘Chicken Littles’ over attacks on fuel efficiency standard

Catherine King takes this one:

Here we go. The political party of $100 lamb roasts. I had one on the weekend and I don’t remember it being $100, thank you very much. The party of Whyalla will be wiped off the map. I haven’t been there recently, I know the prime minister has, millions of dollars of investment going into Whyalla. And, of course, the [party of the ] end of the weekend. Well, here we go again.

You cannot believe a single thing these Chicken Littles of Australian politics say. Not a single thing. They know the figure they have just quoted has been completely made up. On this side of the house we want Australians to have greater choice in the new vehicles that they buy, and to pay less of their hard-earned cash on fuel.

… We are consulting of course on a new vehicle efficiency standard that is right for Australia, but Australians have missed out on millions of dollars of fuel savings because of those opposite. Millions of dollars of fuel savings they could have been saving now because they lacked the courage to do anything about it.

(The answer goes on, but that is the gist, except for how the Coalition was looking at doing the same thing at one point and didn’t believe it would have a material impact on prices.)

WatchAndrew Forrest urges shift to renewables and attacks ‘bulldust of nuclear policies’

Talking about the need to transition to renewable energy sources at the National Press Club, Andrew Forrest called on those who ‘claim to represent the bush now to stop dividing us with the false hope that we can cling to fossil fuels forever’. ‘We can’t. So please stop betraying the bush,’ Forrest said. ‘If we swallow this new lie that we should stop the rollout of green energy and that nuclear energy will be our fairy godmother, we will be worse off again’

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Antibiotics found in wild fish near salmon farms at nearly five times allowed limit, reports show

Antibiotics found in wild fish near Tasmanian salmon farms at nearly five times allowed limit, report shows

Testing shows blue mackerel caught near salmon pens with antibiotic residues of 960µg/kg, making fish ‘not fit for human consumption’

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Tasmania’s largest salmon company, Tassal, has revealed wild fish at one of its salmon farms contained antibiotic residues at almost five times the allowed level.

In another case, there were low-level antibiotic traces in wild fish caught more than seven kilometres from another Tassal salmon farm.

Two monitoring reports published by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in January show Tassal used 368.5 kilograms of a controversial antibiotic to control disease outbreaks at the two salmon farms last year. There was no public notification when the antibiotics were used or when the monitoring reports were released.

Sheenagh Neill, a spokesperson for Marine Protection Tasmania, said she was concerned about the continuing secrecy surrounding antibiotics use in public waterways. “The community is still not being informed promptly despite the 2022 Legislative Council inquiry into the fish farming industry recommending the ‘timely’ release of information on the use of antibiotics,” she said.

Tassal used 32.5kg of oxytetracycline (OTC) in late February 2023 and early March 2023 at its Butlers lease near Bruny Island national park. The antibiotic was used to treat an outbreak of tenacibaculosis, a disease that can damage the skin, mouth and gills and kill affected fish.

The company used 336kg of the same antibiotic to treat salmon at its Okehampton lease near Triabunna in May 2023. The EPA reported that it followed Tassal detecting a Tasmanian Rickettsia-like organism, a bacterial infection that can result in significant production loss and cause the death of some affected fish.

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The World Health Organization classed OTC as “highly important” for human health, and warned its overuse in the food industry could lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. It described this as “one of the biggest threats to global health”, and has recommended the vaccination of farmed animals as a strategy to reduce the overuse of antibiotics.

After the use of antibiotics, the EPA requires salmon companies to test for residues in sediments near the treated cages and a short distance from the lease boundary. It also requires tests on wild fish caught in and beyond the lease area. All samples with OTC equal to or greater than 100 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg) must be reported. The maximum residue standard in food for human consumption is 200µg/kg.

The report on the Butlers lease revealed a sample of three blue mackerel caught near the salmon pens had OTC residues of 960µg/kg, almost five times the permitted level under the Australia New Zealand Food Standard Code. All the fish had feed pellets in their gut contents.

The report by Aquenal, an environmental consultancy, noted that Tassal requested that the sample be retested to check for “possible erroneous data”. Aquenal reported the second test was consistent with the initial result.

A sample of three Australian salmon caught on the same day as the mackerel found OTC residues of 180µg/kg, just under the 200µg/kg threshold. A sample of three flathead caught at a site about 2.5 kilometres from the salmon cages 64 days after the last use of medicated feed revealed OTC residue of 20µg/kg, one-tenth the maximum residue limit.

Tasmanian Inquirer sought comment from Tassal, but the company did not respond.

It is not the first time wild fish with OTC residue have been detected well beyond a salmon farm. In late 2022, it was revealed that flathead caught off Coningham Beach, two kilometres from Tassal’s Sheppards lease, contained OTC in their flesh above the reportable threshold.

Dr Christian Narkowicz, an organic chemist, said Australia’s maximum residue standard for OTC was high compared to other countries. “Europe has a maximum residue limit of 100μg/kg. Our regulators should be striving for the world’s best practice, not pandering to industry,” he said.

The EPA said that, despite the initial high result in blue mackerel, there was no need to undertake additional testing before the second round of testing after 64 days had elapsed.

Narkowicz said blue mackerel with 960µg/kg of OTC residue in their flesh were “not fit for human consumption” and described the 64-day delay in further testing as “not good enough”.

“Wild fish that thousands of Tasmanians catch and eat should contain no antibiotics at all. Australian salmon travel long distances. There is no guarantee that they will be antibiotic-free even if they are caught nowhere near a salmon farm,” he said.

The monitoring report for the Okehampton lease revealed that three flathead caught at a site near Maria Island, more than seven kilometres away from the treated pens, contained OTC at 20µg/kg.

The EPA told Tasmanian Inquirer that given OTC was not detected in samples from that salmon farm it was possible another source of OTC may have “impacted this fish sample”.

Neill said Food Standards Australia should review the use of OTC in fish for human consumption, and the amount of allowable OTC in salmon should be changed to match European standards.

  • This article was republished with permission from the Tasmanian Inquirer

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Police allege Beau Lamarre made ‘partial admissions’ of involvement in deaths

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies: police allege Beau Lamarre made ‘partial admissions’ of involvement in deaths

NSW deputy commissioner further alleges accused police officer purchased angle grinder, padlock and weights from hardware store

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New South Wales police will allege one of their own constables made “partial admissions” about an alleged double murder to an acquaintance before he turned himself in to police last week.

The deputy commissioner Dave Hudson said Sen Const Beau Lamarre – who was charged on Friday over the deaths of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies – wasn’t cooperating with investigators searching for the men’s bodies south-west of Sydney.

NSW police divers were examining dams near Goulburn on Monday as Hudson revealed the latest details regarding Lamarre’s alleged movements last week.

Police will allege in court that last Tuesday Lamarre made “partial admissions” about the killings after he hired a van the night before to transport their bodies.

“We will allege that partial admissions were made by the accused to an acquaintance of having been involved in the death of two individuals,” Hudson told reporters.

Hudson said the acquaintance had been fully cooperating with police and they believed she “was an innocent agent”. The woman allegedly accompanied Lamarre in the van to a Bungonia property near Goulburn, Husdon said.

He alleged the pair purchased an angle grinder and a padlock from a hardware shop and drove to the gates of the property where the acquaintance said she waited for half an hour at the entrance while Lamarre proceeded into the property after cutting the lock with the grinder.

The new lock was later placed on the gates before the pair returned to Sydney, Hudson alleged.

Police believe Lamarre later purchased weights from a hardware store and returned to the property. They are exploring the possibility the bodies are not in dams there but that Lamarre allegedly moved them again.

“The accused has refused at this stage to tell us or assist us,” Hudson said.

Hudson said police would allege Lamarre first took a force-issue handgun from storage at Miranda police station late in the week ending Friday 16 February when he signed it out for a “protest activity” event happening on Sunday 18 February.

He said Lamarre was working as part of the “user pays” team where officers are hired to protect private events.

Hudson said police believed the gun may have been stored at Balmain police station after the alleged shootings before being returned to storage at Miranda. Lamarre may have been residing with his mother in Balmain at the time, the deputy commissioner said.

Investigators raided a Balmain property late on Thursday which property records suggest was a Lamarre family home. Hudson said on Monday there were “approvals within the organisation for firearms to be stored at home as well”.

An independent review into NSW police officers’ access to weapons has been announced with oversight from the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

Police said neighbours heard gunshots at the Paddington home of Baird at about 9.50am on Monday 19 February but did not report them to police until days later.

Hudson said an emergency call was made to triple zero at 9.54am on Monday from Baird’s phone but it was terminated before being connected to an operator. He said he did not want to speculate as to whether the call was placed by Baird or Lamarre.

Hudson said police alleged Lamarre later sent messages using Baird’s phone pretending to be him – telling his housemates he was potentially moving to Western Australia and to deal with his property.

Hudson confirmed on Monday there had been a break-in reported at Baird’s house in August last year. Lamarre and Baird were still in a relationship at the time.

“There has been activity reported at that house which, in hindsight, appears suspicious,” the deputy commissioner said.

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Cristiano Ronaldo in obscene gesture storm after Al-Nassr victory

Cristiano Ronaldo in obscene gesture storm after Al-Nassr victory

  • Videos show action apparently aimed at Al-Shabab fans
  • Saudi FA reported to have opened an investigation

Cristiano Ronaldo faced a flurry of criticism after appearing to make an obscene gesture at the end of Al-Nassr’s 3-2 win over Al-Shabab in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday.

The Portugal forward opened the scoring with a 21st-minute penalty but Al-Nassr needed a late goal from Talisca, who struck twice, to settle the game with four minutes left. After the final whistle, social media videos captured Ronaldo cupping his ear before repeatedly pumping his hand forward in front of his pelvic area. The action appeared to be directed at Al-Shabab supporters.

In the background, chants of “Messi” could be heard, referencing Ronaldo’s long-term football rival. The incident was not caught on television, but some Saudi pundits said Ronaldo should be punished. There has been no official response but the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat said the national football federation (SAFF) had opened an investigation into the incident.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see,” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X. “Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are.”

Al-Nassr were not immediately available to comment.

The 39-year-old Ronaldo has faced similar criticism in the past. In April last year, he appeared to grab his genitals while on his way to the dugout at the end of a 2-0 league defeat against Al-Hilal.

Earlier this month, he picked up an Al-Hilal scarf thrown at him from the stands, put it in his shorts and then threw it away as he walked towards the tunnel after Al-Nassr lost 2-0 in the Riyadh Season Cup final.

Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr as a free agent in late 2022, tops the league scoring charts with 22 goals in 20 appearances so far this season. Al-Nassr are second in the table with 52 points, four behind Al Hilal, who have a game in hand.

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Cristiano Ronaldo in obscene gesture storm after Al-Nassr victory

Cristiano Ronaldo in obscene gesture storm after Al-Nassr victory

  • Videos show action apparently aimed at Al-Shabab fans
  • Saudi FA reported to have opened an investigation

Cristiano Ronaldo faced a flurry of criticism after appearing to make an obscene gesture at the end of Al-Nassr’s 3-2 win over Al-Shabab in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday.

The Portugal forward opened the scoring with a 21st-minute penalty but Al-Nassr needed a late goal from Talisca, who struck twice, to settle the game with four minutes left. After the final whistle, social media videos captured Ronaldo cupping his ear before repeatedly pumping his hand forward in front of his pelvic area. The action appeared to be directed at Al-Shabab supporters.

In the background, chants of “Messi” could be heard, referencing Ronaldo’s long-term football rival. The incident was not caught on television, but some Saudi pundits said Ronaldo should be punished. There has been no official response but the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat said the national football federation (SAFF) had opened an investigation into the incident.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see,” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X. “Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are.”

Al-Nassr were not immediately available to comment.

The 39-year-old Ronaldo has faced similar criticism in the past. In April last year, he appeared to grab his genitals while on his way to the dugout at the end of a 2-0 league defeat against Al-Hilal.

Earlier this month, he picked up an Al-Hilal scarf thrown at him from the stands, put it in his shorts and then threw it away as he walked towards the tunnel after Al-Nassr lost 2-0 in the Riyadh Season Cup final.

Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr as a free agent in late 2022, tops the league scoring charts with 22 goals in 20 appearances so far this season. Al-Nassr are second in the table with 52 points, four behind Al Hilal, who have a game in hand.

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Date set for lawyers to quiz witnesses about alleged Toowoomba rape

Date set for Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyers to quiz witnesses about alleged Toowoomba rape

Former Liberal staffer denies two counts of raping a woman in October 2021, with the case yet to proceed to trial

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Lawyers for Bruce Lehrmann will grill witnesses in June as they seek to have allegations he raped a woman in Toowoomba in 2021 dismissed without proceeding to trial.

The former Liberal staffer is facing two charges of rape relating to an incident in Toowoomba in October 2021.

The 28-year-old, who is on bail, is yet to enter a plea although his legal team have indicated he will deny the allegations.

His barrister, Patrick Wilson, flagged his intention to cross-examine witnesses during a committal hearing in December.

At Toowoomba magistrates court on Monday, Wilson told the magistrate, Mark Howden, that he and the crown prosecutor, Nicole Friedewald, had agreed to the scope of cross-examinations – a process he anticipated would take half a day.

Howden set a committal cross-examination for 17 June, enlarged bail and ordered the parties file a draft order outlining that agreement by Friday, in a hearing that lasted less than three minutes.

Lehrmann, who is yet to appear in person before the Toowoomba magistrates court, was excused from December’s hearing as he was attending a federal court defamation trial against Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson in Sydney. He did not appear in Toowoomba on Monday.

Lehrmann’s lawyers have previously sought medical evidence and extensive phone text message records from the alleged victim.

Lerhmann was thrown into the national spotlight in February 2021 after he was accused of raping another woman, former colleague and Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, at Parliament House in Canberra in 2019. He has always maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty at trial. An initial criminal trial into Higgins’ allegations was discontinued after juror misconduct. In December 2022, prosecutors dropped the charges against Lehrmann.

In October, Lehrmann was revealed as the man at the centre of the Toowoomba rape allegations, after previously being referred to as a “high-profile” man due to Queensland law that prevented accused rapists from being named until they were committed to stand trial.

Last September the state overturned that law, bringing Queensland into line with most other states and territories. Lehrmann then lost a bid for a non-publication that would have prevented his name from being reported.

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Insurance division records fivefold boost in half-year profit amid spike in premiums

Suncorp records fivefold boost in insurance half-year profit amid spike in premiums

Increase to $203m more than compensates for falls in company’s banking and personal injury divisions

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Suncorp has recorded a more than fivefold boost to its half-year profits derived from its insurance customers to $203m, even as households get squeezed by fast-rising premiums for home, contents and motor policies.

The Brisbane-headquartered company joins rival QBE in reporting greatly expanding profit margins derived from general insurance, a sector that is a standout contributor to recent inflation amid double-digit annual premium increases.

On Monday, Suncorp reported a 5.4% lift in overall net profit to $582m, bankrolled by its insurance arm, which more than compensated for a fall in profits in its banking and personal injury divisions.

Profits derived from its consumer insurance division, which includes well-known brands Aami, GIO, Suncorp Insurance and Shannons, were up more than 530%, with underlying profit margins also rising sharply.

The insurer credited the result to strong premium growth, an increase in customer numbers and targeted price increases.

“We remain acutely alert to the affordability challenges facing customers and continue to focus on driving greater efficiencies in our own business,” Suncorp said.

Suncorp’s share price spiked higher early on Monday to levels not seen in more than five years.

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General insurers have been advising customers of double-digit premium price increases for most products, including home cover and car insurance, representing a new super cycle of hikes not seen in more than two decades.

The industry has defended the pricing, arguing that extreme weather and high costs of labour, building replacement, car parts and repairs mean above-inflation increases are necessary.

Suncorp said in its financial commentary on Monday its teams had been supporting customers subject to severe weather events.

“We are vocal advocates of policy reform and mitigation investment that help reduce the risk of extreme weather to people and communities, which are critical in reducing insurance premiums for consumers, particularly in high-risk locations,” Suncorp said.

Suncorp will soon become a pure-play insurer after gaining approval from the Australian competition tribunal to sell its banking business to ANZ despite opposition from the regulator.

Meanwhile, profits have been expanding across the general insurance sector, with QBE recently reporting a doubling of net profit for calendar 2023 to $1.4bn, after growing the size of its insurance book and profits derived from its policies.

The sector has not faced the same sort of political scrutiny as supermarkets and banks, which have also profited during the inflationary period in contrast to the increased pressures faced by their customers.

Consumers are also being hit by fast-rising utility bills, while electricity retailers expand profits.

The former competition watchdog Allan Fels said in his recent ACTU-backed price gouging report that banking and insurance customers were susceptible to “loyalty taxes”, a scenario whereby consumers pay above-market prices after staying with one provider for an extended period.

One policy solution is to require insurers to state the premium paid in the previous year on renewal notices to make the increases clearer, according to Fels.

Australia’s private health insurers have also expanded profits in recent years, led by market heavyweight Medibank. On Monday, NIB reported a 21.7% lift in half-year underlying operating profit to $144.4m.

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Bumper 28-minute episode The Sign set to premiere mid-April

Bumper 28-minute Bluey episode The Sign set to premiere mid-April

Special featuring guest appearances including Joel Edgerton and Deborah Mailman will air in Australia on 14 April, then stream on Disney+

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Bluey fans rejoice: new details have emerged about the show’s bumper 28-minute episode, due to premiere Sunday 14 April.

The episode, titled The Sign, was previously announced by the ABC in November as part of its 2024 programming slate.

The Sign will air in Australia at 8am on 14 April on ABC and ABC iView, before becoming available to stream globally on Disney+ at a later, as yet undisclosed date.

It is four times as long as the standard Bluey episode, which typically clocks in at seven minutes excluding credits. A regular episode, titled Ghostbasket, will air a week before on 7 April.

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Alongside its regular voice cast, the special will also feature guest appearances from notable Australian actors and comedians including Joel Edgerton, Deborah Mailman, Rove McManus and Brendan Williams – all appearing on the show for the first time.

“We’re sure this episode will surprise and delight, so get ready,” said ABC’s head of children and family, Libbie Doherty.

Cecilia Persson, managing director of BBC Kids & Family – which co-produces the show with the ABC – called the special episode “a fantastic springboard … for those new to the show”.

Little is known about the episode’s narrative, though a 26-second teaser released last year shows the titular blue heeler cheering, gasping, and enjoying an ice block alongside her sister and parents.

Bluey has arguably become Australia’s most successful cultural export since its debut in 2018, and has aired in 60 countries. It has been described as “spectacular, boundary-pushing television” watched by adults and children alike.

Last year, Bluey was the second-most streamed show in the US, with viewers clocking up a cumulative 43.9bn viewing minutes, leaving it second only to the drama Suits. When the latest 10 episodes dropped in the US in January this year, it became the most streamed show of the week on Disney+, clocking 1.5bn minutes of viewing in just seven days.

It also holds the top spot on the BBC’s children’s channel CBeebies in the UK.

The show has spawned a video game, a stage show, an award-winning book series, and a 4,000 sq metre tourist attraction currently in development in Queensland, Australia.

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Bumper 28-minute episode The Sign set to premiere mid-April

Bumper 28-minute Bluey episode The Sign set to premiere mid-April

Special featuring guest appearances including Joel Edgerton and Deborah Mailman will air in Australia on 14 April, then stream on Disney+

  • Get our weekend culture and lifestyle email

Bluey fans rejoice: new details have emerged about the show’s bumper 28-minute episode, due to premiere Sunday 14 April.

The episode, titled The Sign, was previously announced by the ABC in November as part of its 2024 programming slate.

The Sign will air in Australia at 8am on 14 April on ABC and ABC iView, before becoming available to stream globally on Disney+ at a later, as yet undisclosed date.

It is four times as long as the standard Bluey episode, which typically clocks in at seven minutes excluding credits. A regular episode, titled Ghostbasket, will air a week before on 7 April.

  • Sign up for the fun stuff with our rundown of must-reads, pop culture and tips for the weekend, every Saturday morning

Alongside its regular voice cast, the special will also feature guest appearances from notable Australian actors and comedians including Joel Edgerton, Deborah Mailman, Rove McManus and Brendan Williams – all appearing on the show for the first time.

“We’re sure this episode will surprise and delight, so get ready,” said ABC’s head of children and family, Libbie Doherty.

Cecilia Persson, managing director of BBC Kids & Family – which co-produces the show with the ABC – called the special episode “a fantastic springboard … for those new to the show”.

Little is known about the episode’s narrative, though a 26-second teaser released last year shows the titular blue heeler cheering, gasping, and enjoying an ice block alongside her sister and parents.

Bluey has arguably become Australia’s most successful cultural export since its debut in 2018, and has aired in 60 countries. It has been described as “spectacular, boundary-pushing television” watched by adults and children alike.

Last year, Bluey was the second-most streamed show in the US, with viewers clocking up a cumulative 43.9bn viewing minutes, leaving it second only to the drama Suits. When the latest 10 episodes dropped in the US in January this year, it became the most streamed show of the week on Disney+, clocking 1.5bn minutes of viewing in just seven days.

It also holds the top spot on the BBC’s children’s channel CBeebies in the UK.

The show has spawned a video game, a stage show, an award-winning book series, and a 4,000 sq metre tourist attraction currently in development in Queensland, Australia.

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Feleti Teo named prime minister after pro-Taiwan leader Kausea Natano ousted

Tuvalu names Feleti Teo prime minister after pro-Taiwan leader Kausea Natano ousted

Not clear whether new PM of Pacific nation will consider switching diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing

Lawmakers in Tuvalu have selected Feleti Teo as the Pacific island nation’s new prime minister, weeks after an election that put ties with Taiwan in focus.

Former attorney general Teo secured the support of lawmakers who were elected last month, government secretary Tufoua Panapa told AFP on Monday.

There has been speculation that Tuvalu, one of just 12 states that still formally recognise Taiwan, could consider establishing relations with Beijing.

Pacific observers will be looking to see whether Teo calls for a policy rethink.

Teo’s elevation to prime minister comes after his predecessor, Kausea Natano, who had backed longstanding relations with Taipei, lost his seat in general elections.

Nauru recently severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favour of China, feeding rumours Tuvalu could follow.

Beijing had already poached some of Taiwan’s Pacific allies, convincing Solomon Islands and Kiribati to switch recognition in 2019.

Ahead of the election, Natano’s finance minister, Seve Paeniu, floated the idea of Tuvalu reviewing its Taiwan ties.

Teo becomes prime minister four weeks after general elections. He is the first Tuvaluan prime minister to be nominated unopposed, according to lawmaker Simon Kofe. Teo will be inaugurated with his cabinet ministers later this week, Kofe said in a social media post.

The election had been delayed by persistent bad weather that left several MPs stranded on the nation’s outer islands and unable to reach the capital.

Jess Marinaccio, an assistant professor in Pacific Studies at California State University, told AFP it was too early to say whether Teo, who had held a senior regional fisheries role until recently, would maintain ties with Taiwan.

“I don’t think anybody knows, because he hasn’t been in government for a long time,” Marinaccio said.

“Attorney general was the last position he had before he started working internationally.

“The positions he has worked in were ones where he had to deal with countries which did and didn’t have relations with Taiwan, so he has probably had to be fairly even about that.

“He couldn’t express an opinion either way, so we don’t have an idea whether he leans one way or the other.”

Marinaccio said international relations would be high on the list of issues for Teo’s new government.

“It will definitely be something they talk about. They also have to choose high commissioners and ambassadors, so Taiwan will be in there,” she said.

“It will be a high priority, along with climate change and telecommunications, because the coverage in Tuvalu is not fantastic.”

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Stately house used in film plagued by trespassers and influencers, owner says

Stately house used in Saltburn plagued by trespassers and influencers, owner says

Charles Stopford Sackville says he was unprepared for the intense interest in his home after the 700-year-old Drayton House was used in the film

The owner of the stately home used in the film Saltburn has revealed he has had to ask staff to patrol the grounds to stop trespassers trying to take photos and videos of themselves on the grounds.

Charles Stopford Sackville, the current owner of the 700-year-old Drayton House in Northamptonshire, told the Mail on Sunday he was unprepared for the intense attention Emerald Fennell’s film would bring with it.

“I never envisaged the amount of interest there would be. It’s quite weird,” he said. “I don’t take it as flattering.

“How would you feel if people were taking pictures outside your house? I’d prefer the interest to blow over but I can’t make it blow over.”

A public footpath runs through the estate, but Stopford Sackville said “more than 50” trespassers had been caught straying off the path by staff patrolling the grounds.

“Most people are fairly good, but some get a bit inquisitive, let’s say,” he said.

The Grade I-listed Drayton House is thought to have been built around 1328 and is not open to the public. Located near the village of Lowick, the 127-room private home has been in the hands of the Sackville family since the 18th century.

Stopford Sackville is friends with Fennell’s parents. The 38-year-old director has previously said she wanted to use a property which had never been seen on screen before.

Stopford Sackville told the Mail on Sunday the undisclosed fee he was paid to allow cameras in had “100%” influenced him to agree, saying: “These houses don’t run on water.”

Some users on TikTok have filmed themselves dancing in front of the house to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s hit Murder on the Dancefloor, which is used in the film’s final scene where Barry Keoghan dances around the mansion completely nude.

Rhian Williams, a TikTok user who shared directions to the footpath in two videos that have been viewed more than 5.6m times, told the BBC she had not predicted how far they would travel.

“It’s such a shame that people are trespassing as there is a public footpath through the estate that everyone should stick to if they want to visit,” she told the BBC. “I do think it’s important that younger generations, like so many who have enjoyed the Saltburn movie, are encouraged to walk in the countryside and get fresh air, and it’s brilliant to see such a hidden corner of our beautiful Northamptonshire in such a major film like Saltburn.”

The dark comedy follows Oxford University student Oliver (Barry Keoghan), who becomes fixated with an extremely rich student, Felix (Jacob Elordi). Felix invites Oliver to spend the summer holidays at his family’s palatial property, Saltburn, triggering a series of sexually charged and violent events.

Last year Vanity Fair reported that no one involved in the production of Saltburn was allowed to disclose the name or the location of the estate due to a contractual obligation, but Tatler magazine identified the property as Drayton House from the trailer alone, before the film’s premiere at the Telluride film festival.

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Woman loses £650,000 injury claim after being seen tossing Christmas tree

Woman loses £650,000 injury claim after being seen tossing Christmas tree

Irish court throws out Kamila Grabska’s case for car crash injuries after she was pictured winning charity competition

A woman’s £650,000 claim for injuries allegedly suffered during a car crash has been thrown out of court in Ireland after she was pictured winning a Christmas tree-throwing competition.

Kamila Grabska, 36, sued an insurance company and said injuries to her back and neck meant she was unable to work for more than five years or play with her children. She claimed she was left with the “disabling” condition after a car she was travelling in was hit from behind in an accident in 2017.

However, the woman’s claim was thrown out by a high court judge in Limerick after a photograph came to light showing Grabska throwing a 5ft spruce at a charity event in January 2018.

The picture was published in a national newspaper and, while Grabska argued that she was still suffering from her injuries, Justice Carmel Stewart dismissed her claim in part due to the “graphic nature” of the image.

“It is a very large, natural Christmas tree and it is being thrown by her in a very agile movement,” the judge was reported as saying in court by the Irish Independent newspaper.

“I’m afraid I cannot but conclude the claims were entirely exaggerated. On that basis, I propose to dismiss the claim.”

The court had previously been told that the married mother-of-two, from Ennis in Co Clare, had spoken to doctors days after winning the Christmas tree-throwing contest.

She had claimed that she could no longer lift a heavy bag without suffering a shooting pain. Grabska quit her job and received disability payments, the court heard.

Her legal claim against the insurance company was for the loss of past and future earnings, with Grabksa saying she was unable to leave her bed for up to half a day at times. She said her husband had to bring her medication.

She denied faking her injuries and told the court she was “trying to live a normal life” and had still been in pain despite looking happy in the photograph.

The court also saw a video of Grabska training her dog in a park for more than an hour in addition to the Christmas tree contest pictures.

The judge ultimately dismissed her case, ruling that Grabska’s behaviour after the collision was “completely at odds” with the claims she had made in relation to her injuries.

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Star Trek and Captain Marvel actor dies aged 49

Kenneth Mitchell, Star Trek and Captain Marvel actor, dies aged 49

Canadian actor who played several Star Trek characters died after complications from ALS, according to a statement on Instagram

Canadian actor Kenneth Mitchell, known for roles in Star Trek: Discovery and the Marvel film Captain Marvel, has died following complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Mitchell, who was 49-years-old, died on Saturday, according to a statement released by his verified Instagram account.

“With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Kenneth Alexander Mitchell, beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, son and dear friend to many,” the statement said.

“For five and a half years Ken faced a series of awful challenges from ALS. And in truest Ken fashion, he managed to rise above each one with grace and commitment to living a full and joyous life in each moment,” it added.

“He lived by the principles that each day is a gift and that we never walk alone. His life is a shining example of how full one can be when you live with love, compassion, humour, inclusion, and community,” it continued.

In a statement on the official Star Trek website, the franchise also mourned the death of the actor who played multiple roles in Star Trek: Discovery including Klingons Kol, Kol-Sha, and Tenavik, as well as Aurellio.

“The entire Star Trek family sends their condolences to Mitchell’s family, friends, loved ones, and fans around the world,” it added.

In addition to his Star Trek roles, Mitchell also starred in the Marvel film Captain Marvel, as well as the post-apocalyptic television series Jericho, among other projects.

Mitchell is survived by his wife Susan May Pratt and their two children, and has requested any gifts be directed towards ALS research or in support of his children, the Instagram statement said.

With an average of 5,000 people diagnosed every year in the US, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include difficulty walking, slurred speech as well as muscle weakness which eventually impacts chewing, swallowing, speaking and breathing.

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