Omid Scobie must not be happy right now… The author released the book Endgame last week, which dropped a ton of bombshell allegations about the…
- Senior Coalition MP Stuart Robert gave secret advice to lobbyists
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Measles now an imminent global threat due to COVID pandemic: WHO
Washington: There is now an imminent threat of measles spreading in various regions globally, as COVID-19 led to a steady decline in vaccination coverage and weakened surveillance of the disease, the World Health Organisation and the US public health agency said on Wednesday.
Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and is almost entirely preventable through vaccination. However, it requires 95 per cent vaccine coverage to prevent outbreaks among populations.
A registered nurse administers a vaccination in Ohio in 2019. Many of these shots didn’t happen during the pandemic.Credit:AP
The WHO and the CDC reported that only about 81 per cent of children received their first dose of measles vaccine while 71 per cent get their second dose, marking the lowest global coverage rates of the first measles dose since 2008.
A record high of nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021 due to hurdles created by the COVID pandemic, the WHO and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a joint report.
While measles cases have not yet gone up dramatically compared to previous years, now is the time to act, the WHO’s measles lead, Patrick O’Connor, told Reuters.
“We are at a crossroads,” he said on Tuesday. “It is going to be a very challenging 12-24 months trying to mitigate this.”
Senior Coalition MP Stuart Robert gave secret advice to lobbyists
Senior federal Coalition MP Stuart Robert has been secretly providing advice to a Canberra lobbying and consulting firm that helps large companies win lucrative government contracts and obtain access to senior Coalition politicians, including Peter Dutton.
A cache of leaked emails reveals how Robert used his status as a federal MP in 2017 and 2018 to help the firm, Synergy 360, sign up corporate clients with the promise of helping them navigate the federal public service and political system and meet key decision-makers, including senior Coalition ministers. Synergy 360 is paid a retainer by companies to lobby officials and is paid a commission if a contract is successfully secured.
Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert during question time in federal parliament on Wednesday.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
The emails also show Robert introduced Synergy 360 to overseas officials and businessmen whom he met in his official capacity as an MP. Robert also vouched for Synergy’s managing director and majority shareholder, David Milo, to help Milo secure clients.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald is not suggesting Robert was an employee of Synergy 360 or was paid for his advice and assistance.
While Milo, a former British military official turned consultant, is Synergy 360’s majority shareholder, one-third of the firm is owned by a company controlled by Queensland businessman John Margerison.
When Milo was contacted by The Age and Herald, he denied that Robert had provided his business with advice, saying only: “Stuart is a friend of mine and we are both ex-paratroopers.” Margerison did not respond to a request for comment.
Robert denied helping or advising Margerison and Synergy 360 in its work with any companies that were trying to get government contracts. “I don’t know but I can’t recall a single contract he lined up in Canberra,” Robert said of Margerison.
Read the full investigation here.
Today’s headlines at a glance
Good morning and thanks for your company.
It’s Thursday, November 24. I’m Ashleigh McMillan and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.
Here’s what you need to know before we get started.
- Senior federal Coalition MP Stuart Robert has been secretly providing advice to a Canberra lobbying and consulting firm that helps large companies win lucrative government contracts and obtain access to senior Coalition politicians, including Peter Dutton. You can read the full story by Nick McKenzie and David Crowe here.
- Medibank has confirmed that the customers of its budget ahm brand have been the only policyholders whose private health data has been released by hackers.
- Complaints to Australia’s health practitioner watchdogs are rising, with the agency receiving 10,803 complaints about 8380 practitioners in the 2021/2022 financial year – a 6.5 per cent increase on the previous year.
- Health editor Aisha Dow writes that long COVID patients will face worsening waits for support as one of Victoria’s limited number of hospital clinics prepares to close its doors, with a loss of Commonwealth funding blamed.
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