Monday, September 06, 2021

Horror as Muslim driver Gazwa Elniz allegedly ploughs her white Audi into a man after 'road rage row over a PARKING SPOT dramatically escalated

The Elniz family are prolific criminals of Muslim origin, apparently Lebanese

A young mother has faced court after allegedly driving her Audi into a group of people following what police say was a wild brawl over a KFC car parking space.

Footage uploaded to social media shows a white car collide into two people and a Ford Explorer at a parking lot on Hoxton Park Road in Liverpool, Sydney's southwest, on Saturday.

Police allege the Audi was driven by Gazwa Elniz, 26, and that she 'kicked and spat' at an officer while being arrested.

A 30-year-old woman who allegedly hit the outside of the Audi was also charged over the incident.

Three people can be seen in the video trying to block the path the Audi's path as it attempts to drive away.

Ms Elniz spent the night behind bars but was later granted strict conditional bail when she appeared before Parramatta Local Court.

She is now facing five charges including driving with a disqualified licence and assaulting a police officer.

The 30-year-old, who was charged with affray and property-related offences, was granted bail and will face Liverpool Local Court on Thursday.


China’s economic pressure not working, impact less than predicted: Treasurer

IT is “no secret” China has been targeting Australia through trade but the impact has been far less than what was expected, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will say in a frank address regarding the rising superpower.

He will urge Australian businesses who have worked hard to crack the lucrative Chinese market to move towards a “China plus” plan by diversifying and not relying on one nation.

Mr Frydenberg will make the comments in a pointed speech delivered to the Australian National University Crawford Leadership Forum on Monday.

He will call out China for being “willing to use its economic weight as a source of political pressure”, offering carrots through its Belt and Road Imitative while threatening consequences for “perceived misdeeds”.

“Australia is facing this pressure more sharply than most other countries. However, it is no secret that China has recently sought to target Australia’s economy,” Mr Frydenberg will say.

“They have targeted our agricultural and resources sector, with measures affecting a range of products, including wine, seafood, barley and coal.

“We have remained steadfast in defending our sovereignty and our core values. And we always will.”

But despite the Australian goods targeted by Beijing’s sanctions suffering $5.4 billion drop in exports to China in the year to the June quarter, Mr Frydenberg will say the same products saw exports rise $4.4 billion to the rest of the world.

“Despite China’s wide-ranging actions, our economy has continued to perform very strongly,” he said.

“They have hurt specific industries and regions, significantly in some cases. Nevertheless, the overall impact on our economy has, to date, been relatively modest.”

The relationship between Australia and China is at one of its lowest ebb in decades.

Tensions present before Covid-19, with Australia introducing anti-foreign interference laws perceived as having Beijing in mind, have escalated significantly in the past 18 months.

It includes China’s Australian embassy releasing a list of 14 grievances, including speaking out of human rights issues in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, calling for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19 and blocking Huawei’s bid to build the 5G network on national security grounds.


‘Frankly ridiculous’: Sky News CEO Paul Whittaker hits out at YouTube over ban

Sky News CEO Paul Whittaker has blasted YouTube in his opening statement to the Senate Inquiry Into Media Diversity, rejecting suggestions the network ever denied the existence of Covid-19 and accusing the social media platform of censoring “certain views”.

In a strongly-worded six-minute statement, Mr Whittaker said YouTube’s assertion Sky had peddled Covid-denialist theories was “frankly ridiculous,” as the network had provided 24/7 coronavirus coverage since March 2020, covering “all angles of this evolving national and global public health and policy debate”.

Last month, YouTube took the unprecedented step of removing 23 Sky News videos from the platform and suspending the network for a week. Sky News Australia has nearly two million subscribers to its YouTube channel and has uploaded in excess of 50,000 pieces of content.

“Sky News Australia strongly supports vaccination. Any claims to the contrary are false and a blatant attempt to discredit and harm our news service,” Mr Whittaker said.

All the network’s hosts “continue to speak strongly in support of vaccination as the only way forward for the nation,” he added.

But YouTube’s own editorial policies regarding Covid-19 were inconsistent and impossible to apply, Mr Whittaker said, as they mandated adherence to ever-shifting World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, and these guidelines were sometimes at odds with health advice from government.

“YouTube’s actions make clear that it is not a neutral platform, but a publisher selectively broadcasting content and censoring certain views, while allowing videos that are patently false, misogynistic, and racist to proliferate,” Mr Whittaker said.

While the Sky News videos were removed, videos on drug taking, gang violence and “crackpot conspiracy theories” were all widely available on YouTube, he added.

The Sky News CEO also blasted the platform for editorial policies that lacked transparency and not giving operators the opportunity to remove offending content before a suspension order.

With no assurance from YouTube that video take-downs or suspensions would not occur in future, Sky had removed a number of its own clips in an attempt to navigate YouTube’s “opaque policies,” Mr Whittaker said.

New terms of service should be applicable to YouTube as it was clearly a publisher in its own right, he said.

“Why does a tech giant, YouTube, and faceless, nameless individuals backed by an algorithm, based in California, get to decide that holding governments and decision makers to account is ‘misinformation’? Why do they get to decide what is and isn’t allowed to be news?” Mr Whittaker asked.

Sky News was for “the open debate of all issues by a wide range of people,” Mr Whittaker said, and this was a “fundamental tenet of our society that should be upheld and protected”.

Mr Whittaker also said it was the decision of Sky News hosts not to appear before the committee, firmly rejecting suggestions from Committee Chair Senator Sarah Hanson-Young that they may have been pressured not to appear.

In a testy exchange, he rejected a suggestion from Senator Hanson-Young that Sky promoted “disinformation” and “Covid lies”.

Mr Whittaker said YouTube had “overreached” in taking down the 23 Covid-19 videos. “There were no complaints from the public about them,” he said. He also said he didn’t believe Sky News had even breached YouTube editorial policies.

Sky did not appeal a warning issued from YouTube in December 2020, about two videos uploaded in October 2020, because the network needed clarification about the reasons for the warning, Mr Whittaker said.

Sky News was accountable to the Australian people but YouTube was not, Mr Whittaker stated. “They take no responsibility, yet they want to take decisions on what is published,” he said.

Labor Senator Kim Carr said 500,000 Australians had petitioned the parliament asking for a Royal Commission into media diversity, and asked Mr Whittaker for his views. “We’ve never had more media diversity in this country,” Mr Whittaker said.

“People have never had so much choice for news. We’ve got new brands that have entered the market in recent years.”

Asked by Senator Carr about a report in Nine Newspapers about forthcoming News Corp coverage on climate change policies, Mr Whittaker said Sky’s focus would be on Australia’s potential energy pathways to get to net zero.

Climate change was “one of the biggest issues in the world,” he said. “We are looking at the net zero issue. We are seeking to explore the solutions.”

Sky News and News Corp did not deny climate change, Mr Whittaker said.

Grilled about the influence of News Corp non-executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, Mr Whittaker said he had little influence over Sky News coverage, and the two spoke “infrequently”.

YouTube has removed more than one million videos worldwide, including 23 from Sky News, most of which relate to alleged Covid-19 misinformation, a senate inquiry into media diversity has heard.

Google-owned YouTube in August suspended Sky News Australia – which has 1.88 million YouTube subscribers – for a seven-day ­period.

On Monday, Google Australia and New Zealand director of public policy Lucinda Longcroft fronted the inquiry and defended the company’s actions.

Ms Longcroft told the committee that YouTube made “difficult decisions” about what was permissible online, particularly regarding the “harmful misinformation” about Covid-19.

“We are not an anything goes platform,” she said. “The guidelines provide public guidance on content that is not allowed on our platform.”


Covid treatment improving as doctors learn to fight the disease and access new drugs

Australia’s treatment of Covid-19 patients has improved with doctors claiming new drug options and increased experience with the virus may help ease the burden on hospitals.

In August, Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, approved a novel antibody treatment called sotrovimab. The drug will prevent those most at risk from developing severe disease.

Director of infectious diseases at Mater Health Services, Prof Paul Griffin, said it is the first treatment for people that have mild Covid, with other treatments to date focused on those with critical disease in hospital.

“Sotrovimab is an antibody treatment, and one that’s been shown in good clinical trials to have a dramatic impact in reducing people’s probability of progressing to severe disease,” Griffin said. “If there’s someone who’s high risk at developing severe symptoms, it can be given to them. It does need to be given early, before people are very unwell, but in those people it stops very significant progression through to severe disease.”

The drug works by binding to the virus’s spike protein. This protein is essential to the virus’s ability to enter cells and continue to replicate and spread throughout the body. Sotrovimab blocks this process.

Griffin said sotrovimab is already being given in Australia to vulnerable people with health risks aged over 55, or those under 55 with significant comorbidities like diabetes or kidney disease.

“Those people obviously are at very significant risk of getting severely unwell with Covid,” he said. “In the first five days, before they get very sick and before they need oxygen, that antibody can reduce their chance of progressing to needing hospitalisation.

“It is being used now, and is modifying the disease trajectory in the highest risk people. Unfortunately there are still some supply constraints around this medication, but it will help a lot, as until now we haven’t had any highly effective, specifically antiviral medications.”

It will have the flow-on effect of reducing the strain on hospitals, especially intensive care units, he said.

“This drug will mean even if we have a lot of Covid cases, if we target the drug at those most at risk we’ll have fewer people clogging up the hospital system and utilising those precious limited resources and so it could, potentially, make the virus much more manageable.”

Griffin said nurses and physicians were also now much more experienced at treating severe cases. Since last year, most critically ill people on a ventilator have been given a corticosteroid called dexamethasone, as it appears to reduce the risk of death. There is now enough evidence to indicate the benefits of using it to treat Covid almost always outweigh the risk of harm.

It is not recommended for those with mild or moderate disease. The drug appears to dampen the over-active immune response seen in some patients that causes excessive inflammation and severe symptoms. It can also be used in ventilated children.

Other sophisticated anti-inflammatory medicines are being trialled in ventilated patients, such as tocilizumab and baricitinib, though there is a critical shortage of the former in Australia. These drugs “probably” reduce the risk of death in critical patients, but more research is needed, Australian clinical care guidelines say.

The guidelines also conditionally support use of the antiviral remdesivir in hospitalised adults with moderate to severe Covid-19, who do not require ventilation as it “probably” reduces the risk of death. The guidelines do not recommend it be used in adults who do require ventilation.

This differs to the World Health Organization guidelines, which recommends against the use of remdesivir in hospitalised patients, irrespective of disease severity. The difference in recommendations comes down to differences in how WHO and Australian regulators analyse data, but Griffin said clinical experience with remdesivir shows it has overall underwhelming results.

“But the addition of anti inflammatory medicines like dexamethasone and tocilizumab have certainly made a difference,” he said.

“Over time though, I think there will be lots more treatments added for Covid-19. We would like to see a highly-active, Covid-19-specific antiviral that could be used orally. That would be a highly desirable tool which we don’t have yet. But lots of promising research is happening and in the near future, I expect we will have a larger range of treatments available.

“In the meantime we have already come a long way in our understanding how the disease progresses, and with more people vaccinated combined and the addition of sotrovimab, the situation is being helped a lot. ”

With health professionals becoming more adept at treating Covid and treatments being approved, Griffin said it was distressing to hear about people using and advocating unproven treatments such as ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medication currently only being given to Covid-19 patients in Australia as part of tightly controlled clinical trials.

A man was hospitalised in Sydney after self-administering ivermectin, and the TGA reported concern over increased importation and prescribing of the drug.

“I’m certainly aware of the strong push to get ivermectin, and it’s frustrating,” Griffin said. “It’s not a risk-free medication and people are often using sub-standard preparations designed for animals. It also means potentially those people are less likely to seek out evidence-based care, and they’re less likely to present for testing or come to hospital for the treatments we now have.

“I think people want to believe there’s some kind of conspiracy that we’re concealing or withholding effective treatments when in fact there is a lot of work going into research.”

The president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Karen Price, said the attraction of unproven and potentially harmful treatments was unsurprising.

“In times of heightened anxiety, people want a fast solution that will keep them and their loved ones safe,” she said.

“They may suspend any doubt they have and be lured in by false promises via social media or prominent public figures doing all they can to draw attention to themselves. I wish I could tell them that ivermectin will protect them from Covid-19 but that simply isn’t the case.”

She said medical treatments require high levels of testing and retesting.

“Ivermectin has not passed this standard, she said. “In contrast, sotrovimab is an example of a new drug for the treatment of Covid-19 that has passed through the rigorous testing safety procedures of the Therapeutic Goods Administration.”

Price said even more so than treatments, the best protection against the virus is vaccination.

“Tell your friends and family to get vaccinated too, abide by any Covid-19 restrictions in place and remember that your GP is always there to help,” she said. “We won’t offer untested treatments featured on your Facebook news feed, but we will be there to give you your Covid-19 vaccine and treat you for any other health concerns you may have.”




1 comment:

Paul said...

I'm sure there are some nice Lebanese people in Australia. Maybe even three. The whole country is basically a crime gang.