Motor neurone disease: Researchers hope existing drugs can reverse deadly nerve damage

Original article by John Elder
The New Daily – Page: Online : 25-Jan-21

Motor neurone disease sufferers gradually lose the use of their limbs and ability to speak, swallow and breathe, although their mind and senses generally remain unimpaired. The average life expectancy of someone with MND is 2.5 years, while over 2,000 people in Australia currently have MND. MND causes damage to the nerve cells, but Scottish researchers may have found a way to reverse this damage, by increasing the energy output from the mitochondria, the nerve cells’ "power supply". They believe that this can be achieved with existing drugs


China talks only if no conditions

Original article by Greg Brown, Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 25-Jan-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is happy to meet with China’s leaders to discuss how the strained relationship between the two nations could be improved, as long as there are no conditions attached. The Chinese embassy released in 2020 a list of 14 grievances that China has with Australia; Morrison says that if they are to be the conditions then any meeting will be a long time coming. He says that the relationship between Australia and China has been changing for some years, "not over any one thing but over time". Morrison says he is confident new US president Joe Biden will support Australia in its handling of the China relationship.


Calls to expand vaccine portfolio

Original article by Natasha Robinson
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Jan-21

Australians are likely to be to access three probable COVID-19 vaccines over the coming 12 months, but the Moderna vaccine is currently not one of them. It and the Pfizer vaccine, which five millions Australia are due to receive, have shown the highest efficacy in clinical trials, but Australia has not been able to come to an agreement with Moderna over the supply of its vaccine. Epidemiologist Zoe Hyde says Australia should seriously consider using the Moderna vaccine in preference to the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca vaccine; Hyde says the Moderna vaccine will better prevent disease and is more likely to deliver herd immunity, which she contends should be Australia’s aim.


Biden orders end of Trump era

Original article by Jacob Greber
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 10 : 22-Jan-21

New US President Joe Biden has signed 15 executive orders in his first day in office, while Donald Trump became the first outgoing president in over 150 years not to attend the inauguration of his successor. The executive orders signed by Biden included restoring US membership of the World Trade Organisation and scrapping a controversial oil pipeline project linking Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, on a day that saw Kamala Harris become America’s first female Vice-President. Biden also directed that masks be worn by anyone involved in interstate commerce and on all federal property.


Australians are divided over the Australian Open

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 22-Jan-21

A special Roy Morgan survey into attitudes regarding next month’s Australian Open shows Australians are split on what they think should happen with the Grand Slam tournament due to start in just over two weeks on Monday February 8. 36% want the Open to go ahead as planned, 18% want the event to be postponed for a week, 20% want the tournament played later in the year and 26% want the event to be cancelled altogether. On a State-by-State basis it is perhaps surprising that South Australians (42%) are the most in favour of the Australian Open ‘going ahead as planned’ next month. This is followed by Victorians (39%), people in New South Wales (38%) and Queenslanders (32%). There is little difference on the question between Melburnians (39%) and Country Victorians (40%).


PM cool on Qld quarantine camp idea

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 22-Jan-21

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk plans to raise her proposal to relocate the quarantining of returned international travellers from Brisbane hotels to regional mining camps when national cabinet meets on 22 January. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has voiced scepticism about the idea, noting the possibility that resources workers could become infected and thus hamper Australia’s economic recovery. The meeting will also receive an update on the implementation plan for Australia’s vaccine rollout from March and on quarantine arrangements for seasonal workers to be allowed into Australia to harvest fresh produce, as well as discussing the cap on international arrivals.


Dump Albo call as heartland vote tanks

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 1 : 18-Jan-21

The Construction. Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s national political organiser Elizabeth Doidge says Labor leader Anthony Albanese must be ousted ahead of the next election. This follows the release of polling on behalf of key building industry unions which suggests that Labor is set to lose the Hunter Valley electorates of Shortland and Paterson at the next election. Doidge says the polling, which was undertaken in November, shows that Labor cannot win the election with Albanese as its leader. She says Tanya Plibersek would make a "fantastic leader".


Back to work welcome but industry wary

Original article by Joseph Lam
The Australian – Page: 4 : 18-Jan-21

Sydney and Melbourne CBDs are expected to reach around 50 per cent worker capacity in the week beginning 18 January. Industry Group CEO Innes Willox contends the return of workers to cities will help bring about both an economic and emotional revival, while he suggests younger workers are particularly keen to get back to working in the office. However, he says business is wary of how quickly governments can lock down a state, and that the rules are "constantly and quickly changing".


Australians support masks and border closures and are willing to be vaccinated for COVID-19

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Jan-21

A special Roy Morgan survey into Australian attitudes towards COVID-19 conducted on Thursday and Friday shows 72% of Australians say mask wearing should be compulsory, 68% don’t want State borders to be completely open and 77% would be willing to be vaccinated if a new Coronavirus vaccine became publicly available – unchanged from mid-November. Support for compulsory mask wearing is highest in NSW (80%) and Victoria (77%) but at only 53% in South Australia. A large majority of 85% of people in WA don’t want State borders to be completely open today – a higher rate than any other State and in line with the tough border policies of Premier Mark McGowan who faces an election in early March.


Players give Open a serve: Stars angry as third flight locked down

Original article by Alanah Frost, Sharon McGowan, Marc McGowan
Herald Sun – Page: 7 : 18-Jan-21

The number of COVID-19 cases linked to the upcoming Australian Open has increased to four, after a case was detected on a third in-bound charter flight. All passengers on the three flights have been placed in hard quarantine for two weeks; this includes 72 tennis players, who will not be permitted to leave their hotel rooms to undertake training until shortly before the Australian Open begins. Some players have criticised the lockdown rules and alleged that they were changed ‘overnight’, but Tennis Australia contends that the rules were made clear from the outset. Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has rejected suggestions that the Australian Open will be cancelled.