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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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Julian Assange’s last stand before extradition



Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is allegedly being targeted by the United States government and former President Donald Trump for his role in exposing classified information.

According to Assange’s lawyer, this targeting is a result of the controversial revelations made by WikiLeaks, which have often put the U.S. government in a precarious position.

Assange, who has been residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition, now faces renewed concerns about his safety and legal battles.

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Qantas appoints new Chairman amid board renewal



Qantas Airways has announced significant changes to its board, including the appointment of John Mullen as the new chairman, as part of its ongoing renewal strategy following a tumultuous period for the airline.

John Mullen, former chairman of Telstra, will assume the role of chairman of Qantas’ board, succeeding Richard Goyder.

John Mullen, former chairman of Telstra.

Mullen will officially join the board as a non-executive director and chairman-elect on July 1, with plans to take on the chairman’s responsibilities ahead of the company’s annual general meeting in October.

In addition to Mullen’s appointment, Dr. Nora Scheinkestel will also join the board as a non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committee effective March 1, 2024.

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Richard Goyder, outgoing chairman of Qantas, remarked that these changes mark a new chapter for the airline following a period of significant challenges, including the early resignation of former CEO Alan Joyce and Goyder’s own decision to step down.

Goyder expressed confidence in Mullen’s ability to lead Qantas into its next phase, citing Mullen’s extensive experience as a director and chairman of large and complex companies, as well as his distinguished executive career in the transport sector both domestically and internationally.

“These changes reflect a new chapter for Qantas, and John brings a wealth of experience that makes him the right choice to lead the national carrier into its next phase,” stated Goyder.

The announcement comes amidst ongoing efforts by Qantas to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and reshape its operations to adapt to changing market dynamics.

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Google goes rogue as search engine falls short?



In the digital era, where instant access to information is the norm, Google has emerged as the go-to source for swift answers. However, a recent study has raised a cautionary flag, suggesting that the top search result on Google may not always be the most reliable or accurate.

Dr. Karen Sutherland from USC sheds light on the factors influencing Google search result rankings, emphasizing the importance of users exercising caution to avoid being misled by potentially inaccurate information. The interview explores the role of search engine optimization (SEO) in determining rankings, questions the reliability of the top search result as an indicator of accuracy, and delves into strategies for increasing awareness about the limitations of search engines. As we navigate the vast digital landscape, a critical eye and awareness are essential tools to discern the accuracy of the information provided by the seemingly omnipotent search engine.

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