Russian spy poison inquiry widens
The British government has announced that 21 people are now being treated for contact with a rare poison used to attack a former Russian spy. Sergei Skripal, 66, who was released in a spy swap in 2010, and his daughter Yulia Sergei, 33, were found unconscious in Salisbury at the weekend and remain in critical condition.
The police officer who attended the scene is in serious condition. Since it was confirmed they had been poisoned by a military grade nerve agent, others who were involved in getting them to hospital and investigating are being assessed.
A cabinet minister, Amber Rudd, said the attack was “attempted murder in the most cruel and public way”. Russia has denied responsibility for the attack.
IT glitch causes Sydney flight chaos
Sydney Airport was in chaos this morning as thousands passengers were held up by a technical glitch that forced security gates to be closed. By the time power was restored and a limited screening service resumed flights had been delayed and connections missed across Australia. One passenger described the chaos as diabolical. Terminals 1 (international) and 2 were affected. Virgin Australia’s flights were most severely affected.
Fake news spreads faster than the truth
US scientists have shown that lies spread further, deeper and faster – six times faster – than the truth. In one of the largest studies ever conducted into the spread of “fake news” they found the effect was more pronounced in political news.
The journal Science reported that a team led by Dr Soroush Vosoughi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysed 126,000 “rumour cascades” that were spread by 3 million people on Twitter between 2006 and 2017. Dr Vosoughi is now looking at ways in which the spread of fake news can be arrested.
Mauboy to rock Eurovision again
Jessica Mauboy is locked in to represent Australia at Eurovision 2018 in May. She’ll perform her mid-tempo ballad #We Got Love in Lisbon in a bid to repeat the success of previous Aussie contestants Dami Im, who placed second, and Guy Sebastian (5th).
It’s Mauboy’s second appearance at Eurovision; back in 2014 she was a guest star in Copenhagen as the competition flirted with inviting non-Euro contestants. She will compete in the second semi-final on May 10. The top 10 acts of the semi-finals will contest the Grand Final on May 12.
Trump faces Stormy times again
Former porn star Stormy Daniels who alleges she had a one-night stand with President Donald Trump has applied to have a hush clause set aside by the courts. She says the clause negotiated by Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen to stop her speaking about the affair is void because Trump never signed it.
In 2016, days before the presidential election, Cohen negotiated her silence in exchange for a $US130,000 payment. Trump this week won an arbitration proceeding restraining her from speaking out while her application is heard.
Warner under suspension cloud
Australian cricket vice-captain David Warner was docked $13,500 for a heated dressing room spat with South African Quinton de Kock in the opening match of the test series last week.
Warner accepted the fine and two demerit points – leaving him one point away from suspension – but told Cricket Australia De Kock provoked him with a “vile” sledge about his wife. De Kock was penalised 25 per cent of his match fee and one demerit point while Nathan Lyon was fined for an overzealous wicket celebration. All three will play in the second Test starting today.
News collated from web sources by Sharon Shen, Jack Mara, Samia Sahid, Nathan Carlos, Ankita Sharma and Troy Whittaker
Screengrab from BBC television report shows police wearing hazmat gear gathering evidence after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was found poisoned in Salisbury, UK.