What life will be like under the Taliban

Life under the Taliban will be a carbon copy of the Islamic State's self-styled caliphate, where locals were brutally subjugated and fear reigned supreme, a terrorism expert has warned.
Greg Barton, a professor of global Islamic politics at Deakin University, said the best predictor of Afghanistan's future was the past, and pointed to the Taliban's rule before they were usurped in the 20-year US-led war on terror.
Since May, when the US announced it was withdrawing all troops and support, the Taliban has moved quickly across the country's rural hinterland and tribal regions, with reports of summary executions of captured Afghan soldiers, the beating of women considered immodestly dressed, forced marriages and assassinations of civil leaders and journalists.
READ MORE: Taliban seize control of Kabul, Australians rush to flee
Afghan women, in particular, Professor Barton said, would see a “terrible turning back of the clock” compared to life over the past two decades…

‘Mystery’ puddle keeps growing as councillor declares liquid is not pineapple juice

The mystery surrounding a UK puddle, which formed with no rain and glaring sunshine, deepens – with tests no closer to identifying the source of the liquid.
At one stage the local council believed it could have been pineapple juice, but tests determined that was not the case.
The puddle formed in the town of Cowdenbeath in west Fife, Scotland at the start of August.
It's growing despite warm summer weather.
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Local councillor Darren Watt took to Facebook, vowing to find out the cause.
He says the leak is posing an “outgoing issue” to the community.
“Although this is a very localised, it is a concern for a number of nearby residents,” he writes.
“I will continue to work with Fife Council, Scottish Water and SEPA to resolve and I will be sure to share any updates or significant developments.”
Earlier in the month, Mr Watt said tests determined the liquid was not pineapple juice.
“It was initially concluded t..

Police investigate after man allegedly spits in woman’s face at Sydney train station

Police are investigating after a man allegedly spat in a young woman's face at a Sydney train station.
Police said a 24-year-old woman was waiting for a train at Redfern Railway Station earlier this year, when a man approached her at about 12.45pm on Monday, January 4.
The woman boarded the train after allegedly being spat on and later reported the incident to officers from Sutherland Police Station in Sydney's south.
READ MORE: Man charged after allegedly driving car at testing clinic guard
Police have released CCTV images of a man who may be able to assist with ongoing investigations.
The man depicted in the image is described as being aged in his mid to late 20s, with an olive complexion, thin build and curly, brown, shoulder-length hair.
READ MORE: Childcare worker charged after allegedly assaulting three toddlers
He is depicted wearing a pink polo shirt, black shorts and a disposable mask.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 180..

Northern Territory plunged into snap lockdown

Parts of the Northern Territory will go into a snap lockdown from 12 noon (ACST) today.
The Darwin rural area and the town of Katherine will be in a three-day lockdown, after a new case of COVID-19 was detected.
The positive case is a man in his 30s.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the man had travelled into Sydney from overseas and had quarantined for 14 days, before coming to the NT for work.
It is assumed the man has the Delta variant.
Mr Gunner said it was unclear how the man caught the virus.
https://twitter.com/tahliasarv/status/1427080298102071297Several close contacts have already been identified, including a taxi driver and an uber driver.
The infected man flew from Sydney to Darwin, via Canberra Airport.
He landed in Darwin on Thursday, travelling by taxi to the Hilton Hotel on Mitchell Street.
Mr Gunner said the man had passed a quarantine coronavirus test in Sydney and was later tested in the NT on Sunday, following his arrival and three days after his hotel quarantine.

ACT lockdown extended by two weeks after 19 new local cases recorded

A lockdown in the Australian Capital Territory will be extended by two weeks after 19 new local coronavirus cases were detected.
The snap lockdown, announced last Thursday and introduced on Friday, will now go until at least September 2.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the number of new cases recorded over the last 24 hours was “concerning”.
“It demonstrates that the virus is active in the community,” he said.
“There are now thousands of close contacts and a growing list of exposure sites.
“This is a serious situation.
LIVE UPDATES: Northern Territory snap lockdown; Victoria records 22 new cases
https://twitter.com/ACTHealth/status/1427084922213208064″We do not want to see the numbers continue to grow, and we do not want to see exponential growth as we have seen in other jurisdictions.
“Please stay at home.”
There are now 28 active cases in the territory.
Mr Barr thanked the 5723 people who had come forward to get tested.
The ACT's chief health officer Kerryn Coleman said the incr..

Sydney boy with COVID-19 dies from pneumococcal meningitis

A 15-year-old boy, who tested positive for COVID-19, has died in a Sydney hospital after he was admitted with the life-threatening bacterial infection pneumococcal meningitis.
Osama Suduh was being treated at Sydney's Children's Hospital at Randwick.
A statement released by the hospital said that although the teenager was COVID-positive, this was not the reason for his admission and was not his cause of death.
LIVE NEWS UPDATES: Police, troops launch Sydney stay-at-home blitz
The patient was unvaccinated for COVID-19 but was up-to-date with his routine childhood vaccinations, the hospital said.
The pneumococcal vaccine is on the immunisation schedule for children.
“Sydney Children's Hospitals Network extends our sincere condolences to his family at this heartbreaking time,” the hospital said.
Pneumococcal meningitis is an infection of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord with the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae.
It can lead to patients slipping into a coma an..

Man charged after allegedly driving car at security guard at COVID testing clinic

A man has been charged after allegedly driving at a security guard at a COVID-19 testing clinic in Sydney's south at the weekend.
The accused 61-year-old man visited a drive-through testing clinic at Forest Road in Sutherland yesterday morning.
The man allegedly ignored directions from staff before becoming verbally abusive toward a security guard.
LIVE UPDATES: 'Don't expect fall in Sydney virus cases for weeks'
READ MORE: First of 'a million doses of hope' touch down in Sydney
When told to leave, the man allegedly drove his vehicle toward the security guard before colliding with two signs and fleeing from the area.
The man was arrested a short time later at a home at Jannali and charged with operate vehicle so as to harass/intimidate person, negligent driving and behave in offensive manner in a public place.
The man was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear before the court in September.

Fuel explosion in Lebanon kills 20, wounding dozens

A warehouse where fuel was illegally stored exploded in northern Lebanon early Sunday, killing 20 people and burning dozens more in the latest tragedy to hit the Mediterranean country in the throes of a devastating economic and political crisis.
It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion near the border with Syria.
Fuel smuggling operations have been ongoing for months.
READ MORE: Taliban seizes control of Kabul as Afghan president flees
The Lebanese Red Cross said a fuel tanker exploded and its teams recovered 20 bodies from the site in the border village of Tleil.
In a statement, it said it evacuated 79 people who were injured or suffered burns in the blast.
Hours after the blast, Lebanese Red Cross members were still searching the area for more victims as Lebanese soldiers cordoned the area.
A Lebanese military official said the explosion occurred after the army confiscated a warehouse in Tleil where about 60,000 litres of gasoline were stored and the order was given to ..

Victoria has 22 new cases as illegal party sparks fears of super-spreader event

Victoria has recorded 22 new coronavirus infections as vision emerges of an illegal engagement party in Melbourne, sparking fears of a super-spreader event.
The gathering has prompted authorities to increase testing nearby after two guests were infected with COVID-19.
Of today's new infections, 17 are linked to known outbreaks. Just under 30,000 tests were recorded in the past 24 hours.
LIVE UPDATES: Top doctor predicts Sydney's cases could drop
https://twitter.com/VicGovDH/status/1427035557394149379?ref_src=twsrc%5EtfwMelbourne's Lord Mayor Sally Capp has described the party as “incredibly disappointing and selfish” after a video showed dozens of people packed inside a private residence in Caulfield North, south-east of Melbourne's CBD.
In the clip a man can be seen appearing to give an engagement speech and joking that the gathering was legal because it was a group therapy session.
READ MORE: Victoria Premier warns residents not to 'change plans' after P..

More families to get child care fees waived during COVID lockdowns

The Federal Government is now allowing child care centres to waive gap fees in any area declared a COVID-19 hotspot for more than seven days.
The move means more Australian families impacted by COVID-19 will not pay child care fees when they keep their children home during lockdowns, Education and Youth Minister Alan Tudge said.
The gap fee is the difference between the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) the government pays to a service and the remaining fee paid by the family.
READ MORE: Engagement party sparks fears of Melbourne super-spreader event
Services will also be able to waive gap fees from day one of the hotspot declaration if a state or territory directs centres to only open for some children, for example children of essential workers and vulnerable children.
Mr Tudge said families keeping children home from child care services in a hotspot had also recently been offered more allowable absence days.
“Together these changes provide certainty for families. They will immediately benefit..