Australia The Loop: Concerns COVID-19 may become Australia's leading cause of death, Labor adopts a new environmental target, and a unique black hole discovery

09:01  31 july  2022
09:01  31 july  2022 Source:   abc.net.au

America Was in an Early-Death Crisis Long Before COVID

  America Was in an Early-Death Crisis Long Before COVID Even before the pandemic began, more people here were dying at younger ages than in comparably wealthy nations.Bor and his colleagues arrived at that number by using data from an international mortality database and the CDC. For every year from 1933 to 2021, they compared America’s mortality rates with the average of Canada, Japan, and 16 Western European nations (adjusting for age and population). They showed that from the 1980s onward, the U.S. started falling behind its peers. By 2019, the number of missing Americans had grown to 626,000. After COVID arrived, that statistic ballooned even further—to 992,000 in 2020, and to 1.1 million in 2021. Were the U.S.

Hi there. It's Tuesday, July 19 and you're reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of today's news.

Let's start here

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise around the country, an infectious diseases expert has warned it could overtake heart disease to become the leading cause of death in Australia.

"It will outpace cardiac coronary heart disease by the end of the year if we keep going at this rate," Professor Nigel McMillan from Menzies Health Institute Queensland told ABC Radio Brisbane.

"We haven't had an infectious disease be the number one cause of death in 120 years, so if that's not enough for people to realise this is serious then I don't know what is.

Anthony Albanese to introduce 18 pieces of legislation in first week of parliament

  Anthony Albanese to introduce 18 pieces of legislation in first week of parliament Anthony Albanese says he will introduce at least 18 new bills during his first sitting parliamentary week as prime minister, including 10 days of paid leave for victims of family and domestic violence.The bills will include aged care reforms, setting emissions targets, and introducing 10 days of domestic violence leave.

"The case fatality rate — that is, the number of people who die per 100 — has dropped from 3 per cent to 0.1 [per cent], our medical interventions are working and people kind of consider it less serious, [but] this virus keeps changing on us."

Professor McMillan wants to see politicians find a "middle ground" between public backlash against government-imposed restrictions and avoiding putting more pressure on an already-strained health system, and has called on health authorities to re-introduce mask mandates for large events.

In Victoria, the state government has asked school students over the age of eight years to wear masks in classrooms until the end of winter, and Western Australia's teacher's union has asked parents to ensure their children wear masks at school.

Labor flags higher climate target for 2035 within next three years

  Labor flags higher climate target for 2035 within next three years Climate Minister Chris Bowen says Labor's 2030 target is locked in but notes it is not the only milestone under the Paris Agreement, which requires signatories to increase their emissions reductions over time.Bowen said on Monday Labor had been granted an election mandate to stick to its target of cutting emissions by 43 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

We heard a lot about the bleak state of our environment

The latest State of the Environment report found that Australia's environment was in a "poor and deteriorating state", with every category except urban environments worsening since the last report was published in 2016.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has blamed the former Coalition government for the poor results, but says the new Labor government will adopt a new target of protecting 30 per cent of Australia's land by 2030 — joining over 100 countries to adopt the "3030 by 2030" target to preserve vital ecosystems across the globe.

Speaking at the National Press Club Today, Ms Plibersek said the former government "behaved in a way that undermined public trust in environmental management" but that Labor was committed to restoring environments that have already been damaged.

You can look back at Ms Plibersek's National Press Club address with our live blog coverage.

Anthony Albanese promised 'adults' in charge. But some in Labor more interested in symbolism

  Anthony Albanese promised 'adults' in charge. But some in Labor more interested in symbolism Labor spent much of the week distracted - not by the faltering economy- but symbolic issues.The country - facing the twin perils of surging inflation and falling living standards - would finally see a government 'run by adults', he vowed.

News alerts you might have missed

  • The TGA has provisionally approved Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for all children over the age of six months. The advisory body has given the green light to a paediatric dose of the vaccine, to be given in two doses at least 28 days apart. ATAGI will now offer advice to the federal government about rolling out the vaccine to eligible children. The TGA provisionally approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children last month.
  • Australia's first fixed-site pill and drug testing clinic will open in the ACT on Thursday help reduce the harm caused by drugs. The site will offer free, confidential testing of drugs, but won't confiscate any drugs it tests — instead, it will provide advice about potentially dangerous substances in illicit drugs. It's operated by the ACT government and will run for the next six months.
  • Anthony Fauci will step down as the chief medical adviser for the US before the end of President Joe Biden's first term in office. He told CNN he was "sure" that he would not be in the role after January 2025, but said his decision to leave was unrelated to politics. The 81-year-old has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

What Australia has been searching for online

  • Sam Kerr: The footballer has been announced as the first female cover star for the FIFA 23 Ultimate Edition, alongside Kylian Mbappé. It's the first time a woman footballer has been featured on the cover of the global edition.
  • JB HiFi: The electronics retailer has seen an enormous rise in its net profit, to nearly $545 million, with online sales reaching $1.6 billion. Analysts say the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to fuel the sales of goods such as computers, consoles and other appliances.

One more thing

The scientific discoveries in space just keep on coming, with astronomers finding what they've dubbed a cosmic "needle in a haystack" — a dormant black hole that appears to have been born without a supernova.

The black hole is about 160,000 light-years from Earth, and was detected in the Tarantula Nebula region of the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

Researchers used six years of observations from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope — yes, that's really its name — based in Chile.

You're up to date

We'll be back with more news tomorrow.


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