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‘Grave incident’ leads to North Korea quarantine breach



North Korea leader, Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has experienced a COVID-19 quarantine breach.

According to state-run media, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un says a “grave incident” took place. The incident reportedly led to failed organisational and scientific measures to contain the virus. But no further details have emerged about the quarantine breach.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) news agency says Jong Un noted the “ignorance, incompetence and irresponsibility of the cadre”. Top North Korean officials have allegedly lost their jobs over the incident.

Vaccine sharing

North Korea has not reported any COVID-19 cases to the World Health Organisation (WHO). But the United States and Japan contest these claims.

The nation has also not received any vaccine doses through the global COVAX initiative. North Korea is supported through the initiative as a “low income” economy.

The initiative seeks to “ensure that people in all corners of the world get access to COVID-19 vaccines… regardless of their wealth”.

Earlier this month, South Korea pledged US$ 200 million to support lower-income economies through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment.

“An early expansion of vaccine supply is the most necessary short-term prescription to ensure equitable access to vaccines.”

MOON JAE-in, south korea’s president

South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in says US$ 100 million will be allocated this year, and a further US$ 100 million will be available next year.

An isolated nation

North Korea currently ranks low on political freedom. But the nation has taken further steps to isolate itself during the pandemic.

North Korea has closed the border with China, its biggest trading partner. North Korea also currently has a small delegation of health officials that report to the WHO.

In 2018, the WHO reported that North Korea has a “triple burden of disease”. This means the nation has a backlog of common infections; undernutrition and maternal mortality; and the emerging challenges of non-communicable diseases.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally



Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely



Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model



With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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