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Australia The Loop: Dylan Alcott is Australian of the Year, Aboriginal flag conversations continue, Elton John has COVID-19

00:01  26 january  2022
00:01  26 january  2022 Source:   abc.net.au

Lack of air conditioning in Roebourne prison cells could breach human rights, says Aboriginal legal service

  Lack of air conditioning in Roebourne prison cells could breach human rights, says Aboriginal legal service The Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia says the lack of air conditioning at Roebourne prison could breach international human rights conventions and it is considering a formal complaint. Prisoners at Roebourne Regional Prison have been asking for air conditioning to be installed in all cells since 2015.A report by the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services released in 2020 recommended the government implement effective climate control in all residential units at the prison.This recommendation has not been followed.Last week Roebourne reached 50.5 degrees Celsius.

Hi there. It's Wednesday, January 26 and you're reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of today's news headlines.

One thing you should know

What a treat — starting the day off with some good news!

Athlete, Paralympian, philanthropist, media commentator and advocate Dylan Alcottt has been named Australian of the Year for 2022.

It's the first time in the award's 62-year history that a person with a disability has been named Australian of the Year.

Catch up on his acceptance speech here:

St John Ambulance volunteer Valmai Dempsey has been named Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year Dr Daniel Nour has been recognised for his work in medical care for vulnerable Australians and alcohol education advocate Shanna Whan has been named Local Hero.

Indigenous languages are disappearing. These linguists are trying to stop that

  Indigenous languages are disappearing. These linguists are trying to stop that There are more than 250 Indigenous languages in Australia but only about 12 are still spoken regularly across different generations within communities.Without immediate intervention, over 1,500 of these languages could be lost by the end of the century.

One thing you’ll be hearing about today

ICYMI, the Aboriginal flag can now be freely used by all Australians for the first time after the artist who designed it agreed to transfer its copyright to the Commonwealth.

But the story doesn't end there.

  • The right to use the Aboriginal flag has not been reserved exclusively for Indigenous Australians, and organisations previously unable to use the Aboriginal flag will now be able to display it free of charge on things including clothing, sports grounds, and websites
  • Some experts and Indigenous Australians are concerned this could create a series of new issues about how the flag is used
  • Djab Wurrung, Gunnai, and Gunditjmara woman and Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe says the government was aware of better options for giving ownership of the flag back to Aboriginal people
  • However, intellectual property experts say the agreement to transfer the copyright seems like a fair and "thoughtful" deal (but the full details haven't been made public just yet).

There's lots more to this story — you can start here, here or here, and there's more to come.

Meet the 2022 Senior Australian of the Year nominees who are changing the world

  Meet the 2022 Senior Australian of the Year nominees who are changing the world The 2022 Senior Australian of the Year candidates all share a vision for equality, respect, honesty and responsibility. These are their remarkable stories.But their causes are much broader than that.

News while you snoozed

  • London's Metropolitan Police Service says it's investigating a series of alleged parties at British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Downing Street residence during COVID-19 lockdowns. Mr Johnson says he welcomes the decision for police to investigate, but deputy opposition leader Angela Rayner says the PM is a "national distraction" and called on him to step down
  • Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has told parliament there are "no grounds to believe" that Russia is preparing to invade imminently despite escalating tensions. The US State Department has ordered the families of all American personnel at the US Embassy in Kyiv to leave the country, with Britain and Australia also withdrawing some diplomats and dependents.

What Australia has been searching for online

  • Australia Day honours 2022. Just over 1,000 Australians have been recognised with the country's highest honours overnight, including Indigenous leader Bakamumu Marika, culinary icon Maggie Beer, former NSW fire commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Olympic medallist Mollie O'Callaghan and scientist Alan Finkel, to name a few
  • Ash Barty. There's no stopping the world number one right now — she's advanced to the Aus Open semi-final after an effortless win over American Jessica Pegula last night. Barty is yet to drop a set in her pursuit of the Australian Open women's singles crown, which hasn't been won by a local in more than 40 years.

One more thing

Elton John has confirmed in an Instagram post that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

The 74-year-old says he's only experiencing mild symptoms and is looking forward to returning to the stage soon, but has had to postpone two shows of his farewell tour in the US city of Dallas.

"It's always a massive disappointment to move shows and I'm so sorry to anyone who's been inconvenienced by this but I want to keep myself and my team safe," he says.

He'd previously announced the postponement of European dates until 2023 so that he can have an operation on an injured hip.

You're up to date

Stick with us for more news updates throughout the day.

ABC/wires

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