Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Australian firm says its nasal spray reduced coronavirus growth in animal study

Australian biotech company Ena Respiratory said on Monday that a nasal spray it is developing to improve the human immune system to fight common cold and flu significantly reduced the growth of the coronavirus in a recent study on animals.

A study on ferrets showed the product dubbed INNA-051, which could be used complementary to vaccines, lowered the levels of the virus that causes COVID-19 by up to 96%, the company said. The study was led by British government agency Public Health England.

Ena Respiratory said it would be ready to test INNA-051 in human trials in less than four months, subject to successful toxicity studies and regulatory approval.

The company has raised A$11.7 million ($8.24 million) for the development of the spray. Investors include venture capital firm Brandon Capital Ltd, the Australian federal government, pension funds and biotech giant CSL Ltd .

Several companies across the world are in the pursuit of developing a coronavirus vaccine. Australia has entered into agreements with some drug companies investing billions to secure potential vaccines for COVID-19, which has killed over 992,000 people worldwide.

Australia has so far reported 875 deaths and just over 27,000 coronavirus cases, far less than the numbers reported in other developed countries.


The despicable Punchard is still not out of the woods

The Queensland Police Service is appealing a court judgment relating to the sentencing of a police officer who leaked the home address of a domestic violence victim to her ex-partner. A court had previously heard Senior Constable Neil Punchard had called the victim a “b*tch”.

The court this month overturned the suspended jail sentence and conviction handed to Senior Constable Neil Punchard for computer hacking after he searched the police computer system and leaked an address of a domestic violence victim to her former partner.

“This has taken some time due to the seriousness of this matter and the need to give it thorough consideration in the context of a complex legal framework.

“Once the appeal process has been finalised, the Commissioner will then consider the effect of the decision on the assessment of the suitability of the officer to remain employed by the QPS. The officer remains suspended from duty.”

In September, his conviction and sentence were overturned on appeal, leaving the furious victim demanding his dismissal.

Punchard has been stood down on full pay for more than two years.

In a hearing in July, barrister Angus Edwards, who appeared for the QPS, said Punchard inflamed an acrimonious situation by sending messages to his friend, calling the victim a “b*tch”.

“The complainant didn’t provide her address subject to those court orders for reasons that she is the subject of domestic violence orders,” Mr Edwards said.

“Now he (Punchard) didn’t know that but he didn’t bother to inquire.

“All he did was take one side of the story as a serving police officer and unilaterally decided he was going to breach the trust that he had been given and provide information …

“He called her a b*tch, he said to f**k … her over, he said ‘the b*tch needs to fall on her own sword for the battle she started’, and he’d say things to (the man) like ‘I know you’re screaming inside, let loose on her’.

“So he knew there were issues there. He might not have known there was domestic violence but he took that risk.

“And his job was rather to protect members of the community from those risks and he behaved in the exact opposite way of what was expected of him.”


Muslim gang accused of stabbing teen in Queen St Mall face court on attempted murder charge

A Brisbane high school student accused of a brazen stabbing of a teenager in the CBD has been granted bail on an attempted murder charge after a court heard he is set to sit his final year exams in the coming weeks.

The Brisbane Magistrates Court heard on Monday Somali-born Sade Mohamed, 18, is alleged to have been the main offender in the brazen attack at Queen St Mall on Friday night, during which a 16-year-old boy was stabbed in the chest and back.

Four charged with attempted murder after CBD stabbing

Mohamed is one of four men — aged between 18 and 19 — who have been charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and going armed so as to cause fear after the 16-year-old suffered a collapsed lung after being stabbed on the corner of Albert and Queen streets.

The court heard police claim the attack on the boy was “retribution” after he allegedly hit another person with a stick at a nearby Brisbane hotel.

Mohamed was granted bail by Magistrate Anne Thacker on strict conditions, including that he live with his aunt across the road from Logan Central Police Station and report daily.

The other three men – Said Mohamud Abdi, 18, Aden Abdirahan Warsame, 19, and Mohamed Kenneh, 19 – were also granted bail on Monday.

Mohamed was described by police prosecutor Matt Kahler as the alleged main offender in the attack, saying he was the “the doer of the stabbing”.

But defence barrister Sam Di Carlo claimed this allegation was “conjecture and wishful thinking”.

Mr Di Carlo told the court his client trained in basketball before and after school and was set to sit his final Year 12 exams in the coming weeks.

He said Mohamed attended St James College at Spring Hill on a basketball scholarship and downplayed any allegations the alleged brazen weekend attack was gang-related.

“This can be distinguished from the case of two gangs at war,” Mr Di Carlo said. “This arises over an incident and is immediate retribution. “This is a one-off event and it’s not related in any way to the event that happened in Zillmere.”

Magistrate Anne Thacker said she was concerned there could be retaliation against Mohamed, after the court heard the alleged victim had made a number of threats on social media since being stabbed.

“What is a bail consideration is the risk of reoffending and that being driven by ongoing fighting between these two groups by way of ongoing retribution behaviours,” she said.

“That’s the sticking point in my view.”

Mohamed must abide by a curfew, have no contact directly or via social media with his co-accused and report to police daily as a condition of his bail.

The court heard Kenneh worked in the CBD raising money for charity and studies at university.

He was not alleged to have had a knife during the fight.

Abdi is alleged also to have used a knife on the 16-year-old victim, the court heard.

Meanwhile, Warsame, who is studying accounting, can attend university at QUT by the Goodwill Bridge from Southbank but is not allowed to enter Queen St Mall.

All men will return to court on October 26.


Travel within Australia opening up

Travelling overseas has been an Australian rite of passage since the 1960s when London’s Earl’s Court was known as Kangaroo Valley. These days touring Australians are just as likely to be found in Bali or Los Angeles or a Mediterranean cruise.

There was a time when overseas travel was the preserve of the rich but cheap airfares opened overseas destinations to middle Australia.

Deep down, Australians are conscious of their distance from the rest of the world and equate exotic travel with success and sophistication. Aussies love nothing better than planning for, talking about and sharing photos of their most recent overseas trip.

But the coming of the coronavirus has changed this core element of the Australian way of life. Savings otherwise allocated to “a big trip OS” are now parked and some siphoned for home improvements.

And while such projects certainly fill a lockdown vacuum, they don’t fulfil the brief for time out, a change of scenery, the delivery of carefully curated Instagram moments projecting fun, success and worldliness.

What is required is a reimagination of an Australian holiday that is coronavirus safe and offers something new and unexpected.

But where to go? Some are doing a bit of a try-before-you-buy by hiring an Airbnb to experience the lifestyle, even to feel the serenity.

And if Airbnb listings are any guide there’s no shortage of destinations.

Between the end of July and the end of August the number of Airbnb properties listed in postcode 4870 (Cairns) jumped by 33, according to data accessed by Ripehouse Advisory. Excluding ski and university postcodes, this makes Cairns the number one destination for a local holiday.

These listings show Australians are as fixated as ever on traditional tropical, seaside and treechange destinations.

During August, Airbnb listings jumped by 30 properties in the Victorian goldfields town of Castlemaine (postcode 3461), by 27 in Western Australia’s lifestyle town of Busselton (6281), by six in South Australia’s Yankalilla, by eight on Tasmania’s St Helen’s (7216), and by seven in Alice Springs (0870). In the ACT the greatest increase was in the suburb of Phillip (postcode 2606).

Australia’s holiday idylls have existed in our hearts and minds since our childhood.

But now it’s time to rediscover, to see anew a place, a destination, a piece of pure Australiana that hasn’t stood still but which has evolved into something that has the capacity to engage the worldliest of travellers.

Why, I have heard that in many of these places they offer smashed avocado with crumbled feta at knockdown prices.

Who wouldn’t be up for a bit of rest and recuperation, for a bit of a reprieve from the lockdown madness, to support a local business, to help our fellow (small-business) Australians, doing it tough in the regions and in the heartland of this blessed spot, this Australia.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don’t forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

No comments: