Jab maker’s profits soar on the back of COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Pfizer has reported its earnings and sales more than doubled in the past quarter, and it has raised its outlook for results the full year, thanks greatly to its COVID-19 vaccine.
The company reported adjusted earnings of US$7.7 billion ($10.3 billion), up 133 per cent from a year earlier. Revenue soared to US$24.1 billion ($32.3 billion), up 134 per cent. Both easily cleared results forecast by analysts.
The vaccine business alone was responsible for more than 60 per cent of the company's sales, as vaccine revenue rose to US$14.6 billion ($19.6 billion) from only US$1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) a year earlier.
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The company said its COVID-19 vaccine sales accounted for US$13 billion ($17.4 billion) of that revenue. Revenue outside of its COVID-19 vaccine business was up a far more modest 7 per cent.
The company said it expected full-year revenue of between US$81 billion to US$82 billion ($108.6-$110 billion) up US$2 bill..

Eleven winners of Oz Lotto’s $50 million jackpot

A Queensland mother and 10 Victorians have become instant millionaires after winning the $50 million Oz Lotto jackpot on Tuesday night.
The mother from Mackay bought her winning ticket online, while the 10-member syndicate purchased their tickets at different outlets across Victoria.
The winning numbers in Oz Lotto draw 1446 on Tuesday, November 2, were 38, 25, 31, 1, 23, 8 and 4, while the supplementary numbers were 11 and 44.
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“Are you serious? Oh my god. I've won $25 million?” the Mackay mother said when told by officials from The Lott that she had won.
“Holy s—. This has got to be wrong.
“Oh my god. Honestly? This is crazy.
“This cannot be true. Oh my god. Are you sure it's me? Really? Are you sure? Is this real?
“This is crazy. This is so cool.
“It was a last-minute decision to buy an entry. I cannot believe it.”
The Mackay mother said she couldn't “wait to help my family” with ..

First look at new Queensland quarantine facility

The Federal Government is looking at halving capacity for their proposed Pinkenba quarantine facility in Queensland, after the state suggested international arrivals could quarantine at home sooner than expected.
International borders are set to open when the state reaches its 90 per cent vaccination target.
Originally designed to house 1000 people during their two week isolation period, the Queensland's Centre for National Resilience, as it has officially been coined, may now be built for 500.
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Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the quarantine facility would evolve to suit the needs of Queenslanders.
“Whilst quarantine requirements continue to evolve as vaccination rates surge and states progressively open their borders, this centre will be there to support any ongoing quarantine requirements throughout the pandemic,” Mr Birmingham said.
“This centre will also be there in the long run for Queenslanders,..

Cameras may not have caught Cleo Smith abductor, say police

Police have admitted Cleo Smith's abductor may not have been caught on a single security camera while leaving the campsite where she went missing.
Investigators say the area near the Blowholes is just too remote, but their answers may come from eyes in space instead.
WA Acting Police Commissioner Col Blanch said there were paths to take that weren't on main roads and there were no security cameras in that area.
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Drones have been used in the search.
But in a town with a rich space history, the search for Cleo is going even higher with officers checking satellite coverage.
“Satellites aren't always over that area of WA so sometimes it's luck, but certainly that is an avenue of investigation for us,” Mr Blanch said.
Police said they have not traced the one mystery car spotted leaving that night.
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They have however collected data from mobile phone towers which could of..

COP26: More than 100 countries pledge to end deforestation

More than 100 countries have pledged to end deforestation in the first major achievement of the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow.
The UK, which is hosting the summit, has hailed the commitment. But campaigners say they need to see the detail — such promises have been made, and broken, before.
Australia is a signatory to the pledge. The UK government said it has received commitments from leaders representing more than 85 per cent of the world's forests to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
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More than $US19 billion ($25.4 billion) in public and private funds have been pledged toward the plan, which is backed by countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Congo, Indonesia, Russia and the United States.
Forests are considered important ecosystems and an important way of absorbing carbon dioxide — the main greenhouse gas — from the atmosphere.
But the value of wood as a commodity and t..

Man kidnapped, beaten and forced to eat dog food in bizarre crime

Four people have been jailed over a bizarre hostage drama, which began with a stolen sex toy and ended with a victim dumped, beaten and naked north of Adelaide after being forced to eat dog food.
The offenders today fronted Adelaide District Court, where Judge Liesl Chapman told them that despite not all knowing the victim, they had changed the man's life forever.
The court heard the incident began when Janise Cox, who was an ice user, wanted revenge on the victim after he took her vibrator.
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She enlisted her brother, their father and two friends to carry out the cruel and bizarre payback.
The suspected thief was lured to the family's Elizabeth North home, and when he arrived a stranger repeatedly punched, stabbed and tasered him.
Another member of the group joined in, forcing the victim to drink dirty bong water and eat dog food.
The court heard the victim's ordeal only ended when the group took him to a remote lo..

COVID-19 leads to home renovation boom

Australians have been pouring money into their homes during COVID-19, sparking a renovation boom.
In the past 12 months, owner-occupiers took out $4.38 billion in loans to fund alterations, additions, repairs, and rebuilds.
In August alone, owner-occupiers took out a huge $500 million in loans.
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There has been a 143 per cent increase compared to last year in renovation loans.
David Stableford and his wife bought their Balgowlah home, in Sydney's Northern Beaches, two years ago.
The pair has already finished one major renovation and now they're finishing off a new bathroom.
“Investing in our own property was the obvious thing to do. We bought the worst house on the best street so we were always going to renovate,” Mr Stableford said.
James Algar, from Mortgage Choice, said many Australians are looking to renovate their homes.
“I'd probably say it's up by 100 per cent, the kind of clients that are lo..

NSW marks 50 years of mandatory seatbelts

In the post-World War Two economy, when Australia rode into a vibrant and profitable world of export on the sheep's back, private car ownership came quickly to the reach of the country's baby booming middle class.
As the newsreel of the time noted, “at Tom Ugly's Bridge over Georges River, they squeeze through two lanes at a rate of 13,500 cars per lane per day.”
With more cars, many more cars, would come a parallel rise in road deaths.
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“Exponentially, it was increasing at a rapid rate,” says Head of Transport Safety at Transport NSW, Peter Dunphy.
“In the early 1970's, road fatalities had peaked at around 1300; it was increasing rapidly.”
But in November 1971, NSW would be one of the first in the world to make it mandatory to wear a seat belt.
“If you look at last year, in comparison to 1970, 284 lives were lost on our roads; that's a reduction of 78 per cent,” says Paul Toole, Deput..

Gladys Berejiklian to wait months for findings of ICAC hearing

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has called in the state's corruption commission to hand down its findings on former premier Gladys Berejiklian as quickly as possible.
“I think that is incredibly important,” Mr Perrottet said.
Ms Berejiklian, who stood down as premier last month, spent two days in the witness box of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
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The former premier will have to wait until December 20 to learn of initial recommendations in her case and then likely wait until the second half of 2022 to hear the commissions findings.
The time frame leaves Ms Berejiklian in limbo, effectively ending any suggestion she would stand in the upcoming federal election.
“I intend to get on with my life and thank everybody for their support,” Ms Berejiklian said yesterday.
“It has been my honour and my privilege to serve you in my role.”
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New rules for Aussies flying into NSW from overseas

Vaccinated travellers flying into NSW from overseas are banned from visiting hospitals and other health care facilities, aged and disability care and prisons for a week after they arrive home.
Details of the rules have emerged a day after international borders opened for the state.
The rule will affect Aussies returning home, as well as NSW residents, who are now allowed to fly overseas on holidays.
Tourists will also have to follow the rule, with New Zealanders soon to be joined by Singaporeans as the first groups to be allowed to visit.
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NSW Health says anyone returning to the state- who already must have returned a negative COVID-19 test less than three days before boarding the plane – must also follow other rules.
They must have a PCR COVID-19 test within 24 hours after arriving, which had already been detailed by officials, and they must have another PCR test after a week.
But until that seven day test is clear, they must not go..