When the coronavirus began spreading around the world, the remote Pacific archipelago of Kiribati closed its borders, ensuring the disease didn't reach its shores for nearly two full years. Kiribati finally began reopening this month, allowing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to charter a plane to bring home 54 of the island nation's citizens. Many of those aboard were missionaries who had left Kiribati before the border closure to spread the faith abroad for what is commonly known as the Mormon church. READ MORE: What we know about BA.2 variant, the 'stealth' version of Omicron Officials tested each returning passenger three times in nearby Fiji, required that they be vaccinated, and put them in quarantine with additional testing when they arrived home. It wasn't enough. More than half the passengers tested positive for the virus, which has now slipped out into the community and prompted the government to declare a state of disaster. An initia..
Countries around the world are gearing up to celebrate the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, next week. It is a huge event for billions of people filled with celebrations and long-held cultural traditions. In Sydney, the city is preparing to roll out a host of events to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. READ MORE: Prince Andrew demands trial by jury in US sex assault case What is Lunar New Year?Lunar New Year, also commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, starts on Tuesday, February 1. It's the start of the new year on the Chinese calendar. In Sydney, which is known for its large celebrations, the festivities will occur between January 29 and February 13. READ MORE: What we know about BA.2 variant, the 'stealth' version of Omicron How do people celebrate Lunar New Year?Most Asian countries celebrate Lunar New Year, as well as those with major populations, including Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Lunar New Year usually falls on the ..
Booster shots will now be mandatory for certain industries in the Northern Territory, with two deadlines set for "public-facing" workers to get their third jab. Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced all workers in certain health and correctional industries designated high-risk were required to have their booster shot by Friday March 11. Those affected include health care workers, residential aged care workers, staff in domestic violence and homeless shelters, rehabilitation centres, correctional and detention facility staff and hostel owners. READ MORE: First records of killer whales hunting largest animals on Earth "Most are well and truly eligible for the booster right now and there's six weeks to get it," Mr Gunner said. "We haven't gone through all we have in the last two years to drop the ball now. "Overwhelmingly, vaccines have taken Territorians out of hospitals." Mr Gunner added those not eligible for their booster shot by the March 11 deadline had one month from el..
Convicted serial killer Regina Arthurell has been charged with sexually touching a man in crisis accommodation in Sydney's south-west. Arthurell once known as Reginald but began transitioning after serving almost 24 years behind bars for the murder of her fiancee Venet Mulhall at Coonabarabran in 1995. Last Thursday, a man, 55, went to police and told them that on several occasions he had been sexually touched by a woman he knew. The matter was referred to officers from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad's Extended Supervision Order Investigation Team (ESOIT), who commenced an investigation. This morning, Arthurell was arrested at a recovery residence in Campbelltown. She was taken to Campbelltown Police Station, where she was charged with four counts of sexually touching another person without consent. She was refused bail and is due to appear at Campbelltown Local Court later today. Arthurell, 75, was placed under an extended supervision order last year after a Supreme Co..
Restrictions in South Australia are set to ease from 12.01am tomorrow after the state recorded its lowest daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases all year. A total of 1846 new cases were recorded overnight, as were five deaths of people who had the virus, with all being over the age of 80. Premier Steven Marshall said the ongoing steady decline in COVID-19 cases in South Australia had given the government confidence to gradually ease restrictions in the state. READ MORE: Victoria records 12,755 new COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths Mr Marshall said that as of 12.01am tomorrow, capacity for indoor hospitality would be increased to 50 per cent of density while pediatric elective surgery would also be recommended. Mr Marshall said the two restriction changes had been chosen first because they created jobs. He said more easing of restrictions would be coming, and would likely occur on a fortnightly basis. Office workers returned to their workplaces yesterday.
A man is fighting for life after he argued with a man and woman walking past his Melbourne home, before the pair allegedly broke into his home and assaulted him. The vicious incident occurred at an apartment on Scarborough Drive in Hampton East just after 8pm yesterday. The man at the apartment allegedly became involved in a verbal argument with the man and woman as they were walking past with a dog, before he went back inside his home. READ MORE: More wild weather to hit Victoria after flooding and power outages overnight According to police, the man and woman then entered then forced their way into the man's home and seriously assaulted him. They then fled the scene. The 44-year-old Hampton East man remains in a critical condition in hospital this afternoon. Police are searching for the man and woman behind the attack and are calling for the public's help to track them down. The pair are both described as Caucasian in appearance and aged in their 20s. The man has short brow..
There could be up to 300,000 meteorites locked in Antarctica's frozen fields, researchers from a Belgian-Dutch scientific team have suggested. Using artificial intelligence the experts have devised a world-first "treasure map", which narrows down the location of the space rocks. Steven Goderis, Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and co-author of the study said the meteorites hold "enormous scientific potential". READ MORE: Unprovoked shark attacks increased in 2021 — here's why "Although more than 45,000 meteorites have been collected in Antarctica so far, the potential for future missions to find meteorites is still largely unexploited," he said. "According to our calculations, more than 300,000 meteorites are still present on the surface of the ice sheet, with enormous scientific potential." READ MORE: Particles from first seconds of the universe discovered Researchers said the algorithm that helped find the meteorite-rich areas is up to 80 per cent accurate. Veron..
An elderly UK man told police he had been driving for more than 70 years without a licence or insurance after he was stopped by officers. He was pulled over near a supermarket in Bulwell, Nottingham, in central England, on Wednesday, police said. The driver - born in 1938 - told officers he had been driving with no licence or insurance since he was 12 and had never been stopped by police. READ MORE: What we know about BA.2 variant, the 'stealth' version of Omicron In a Facebook post, the Bulwell, Rise Park and Highbury Vale Police team said he had never had a crash. "Thankfully he had never had an accident, caused anyone an injury, and never made anyone lose out financially, by hitting them whilst uninsured!" the post read. Police said the man had been detected using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in the local area. "Due to the increased number of ANPR cameras in Nottingham, even on the small trips, you are likely to hit a camera, so make sure your document..
New South Wales children are returning to school next week with new requirements to undergo a rapid antigen test twice a week. Premier Dominic Perrottet announced earlier this week students would need to take a rapid antigen test twice a week, without the government determining which day, as part of the safe return to school plan. The testing kits have been distributed to schools across the state. READ MORE: First records of killer whales hunting largest animals on Earth But how do you help children who may suffer anxiety around the administration of the tests? Parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson urged parents to help their children by trying not make a big deal out of it. "If we don't make a big deal of it, our kids aren't going to feel like it's a big deal," he said. "So our response to it is probably going to impact the children and the extent to which they experience stress and anxiety more than the actual act of having to have a couple of tests a week will." Dr Couls..
A Captain Cook monument in Melbourne has been defaced for the third day in a row following Australia Day protests. The monument on Jacka Boulevard in Catani Gardens in St Kilda has been graffitied since red paint has twice been cleaned off it since Australia Day on Wednesday. Victoria Police believe the latest vandalism occurred sometime between 12pm yesterday and 7am today. READ MORE: More wild weather to hit Victoria after flooding and power outages overnight Red paint was thrown across the statue before sunrise on Wednesday while posters protesting Australia Day were pasted over it. The paint and posters were cleaned off before the monument was hit with more red paint yesterday and cleaned again. Today the letters 'FYC' have been spray-painted across it. The statue was also defaced previously in 2020 and 2018. Police are investigating the incidents and say they have increased their patrols in the area. Anyone who witnessed the incidents or has information is urged to conta..