Blaze erupts at devastated Beirut Port
11 Septeber 2020
(See translation in Arabic section)
Lebanon - M E Times Int'l: A blaze has erupted at the site of the deadly Beirut explosion, forcing people to flee the area as fears grow over another blast. Smoke from the fire reached office blocks and homes around the city as it burned for at least five hours.
The blaze comes a month after an explosion devastated the Beirut Port which killed at least 150 people and injured more than 6000.
The incident reignited safety concerns about the port, with suspicions it was the product of government incompetence.
Gladys victorious over rebel MPs
Sydney: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has emerged victorious after Deputy Premier John Barilaro effectively threatened to take his party to the crossbench over controversial planning legislation.
Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro threatened his party would not support government legislation, boycott joint party room meetings and move to the crossbench over amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), which were designed to protect koala habitats.
Under the amendments, land owners would be responsible for the koalas on their land, which could impact how they develop it, and the Nationals have reportedly been bombarded with calls from residents who are against it.
Mr Barilaro withdrew his threats on Friday morning and comitted to the Coalition until the election, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Government sources reportedly claimed the Deputy Premier tried to make several demands, but none were accepted.
Why stop children from visiting their dying father?
Brisbane: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to take any personal responsibility for her hardline border stance which has stopped children from visiting their dying fathers and one grieving daughter from attending a funeral.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Ms Palaszczuk said while it was “absolutely heartbreaking” a young Canberra woman was not allowed to attend her father’s funeral in Queensland – she, the premier of Queensland – had no say over the decision.
Instead Ms Palaszczuk made the extraordinary claim that she had no power to overrule Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young who the premier blamed for the decision.
“We are in a global pandemic at the moment, it is tough on everybody and let me make it very clear, I don’t make those decisions," she said.
“I said to the prime minister I would refer it to the chief health officer and I did that.
Palaszczuk faces nation-wide backlash over tough border stance
Brisbane: Politicians across the nation have fiercely criticised Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for her tough border stance which has stopped people from travelling into the state to visit dying family members.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Sky News he found it difficult to understand that the Premier’s hands were tied in relation to granting border exemptions – which she claimed were the decision of the chief health officer.
“I just can’t get my head around that someone could be so cold hearted and so harsh and so nasty,” he said.
Ms Palazczuk became emotional during her response to Mr Cormann’s comments on Friday morning, saying she knows “exactly what people are going through” as she too had lost loved ones over the course of the pandemic.
Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie also criticised Queensland’s tough border closures, claiming it could fracture the federation.
“Here we are splintering into separate identities and I just think its un-Australian,” she said.
Queensland’s Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has called for a consistent approach from the government for restrictions, stating “enough is enough” over apparent double standards from the Palaszczuk government.
“According to the Premier’s own chief health officer saying if someone brings money into this state, they are allowed an exemption … well then the system is broken and needs fixing,” Ms Frecklington said
Gulf Livestock tragedy: Aus govt 'must step in to bring missing Australians home'
The family of a William Mainprize is urging the Australian government to step in and support the Japanese coastguard in its search for two missing Australians who were on board the doomed Gulf Livestock ship.
William Mainprize, 27, and Lukas Orda, 25, were two of 43 crew on board the ship when it disappeared off the Japanese coast last week.
The Japanese Coast Guard on Wednesday downgraded its search for the ship’s crew, a decision William’s friend said was hugely disappointing.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure why they have called off the search so early,” Mr Suttor told Sky News.
“If it’s a resource issue, financial or equipment, I believe our government definitely has a responsibility to recognise we have two citizens in a life threatening situation and we should be doing everything we can to get them back.”
'If Biden wins, China wins': Trump
President Donald Trump has dubbed November’s election ‘the most important" in the history of the United States, saying if Joe Biden wins then “China wins”.
“If Biden wins, the rioters, anarchists, arsonists and flag burners win,” he said. “But I wouldn’t worry about it, because he’s not winning.”