What we know today, Thursday, March 31

Welcome to your breakfast of the day’s breaking news from South Australia, the nation, and abroad.

COVID extends to SA schools as resources dwindle

South Australian schools remain under pressure as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise, with nearly 900 education staff missing from the workforce and more than a dozen classrooms temporarily closed across the state.

The rate of children absent from school also rose to 4.1 percent, according to Education Ministry figures, up from about 2 percent at the start of the month.

There are now 883 SSO teachers and staff absent due to COVID, up from 758 last week.

About 200 unvaccinated school staff will be welcomed back into the workforce today after the vaccination mandate for teachers — and commuter workers — was rescinded on Wednesday.

It comes as SA reported 5,496 new cases yesterday – second only to the 5,679 cases recorded on Jan. 14 at the height of Omicron’s surge – while the number of hospitalizations increased from 10 to just 180, with eight people in intensive care and one on a respirator. industrial.

The state also recorded two new deaths from coronavirus, a man in his seventies and a woman in her eighties.

Rick Pierce, chief executive of the Department of Education, acknowledged that it had been a “difficult” time for state schools, but stressed that the statewide approach to school closures remains inappropriate.

He said there are currently 16 schools across the state where classrooms are temporarily closed for three days to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“We also have two large high schools in the distance learning program right now,” Percy told reporters yesterday.

Pierce has named Adelaide High School, Wiranda High School in Morvet Valley and Roxby Downs District School among those to close.

Meanwhile, Sacred Heart College told parents it will dedicate two student-free “prep days” – one at the end of term and one at the beginning of term two – to help teachers prepare teaching materials amid a wave of COVID-19 cases.

“Over the past two weeks, about 20 percent of our students (400-550) have been absent each day along with a significant number of staff (20-30) who are either positive or close to coronavirus or their caregivers,” Sacred Heart Principal Steve Byrne said For parents on Wednesday.

“Prep days are intended to be used by staff to prepare materials for Semester 2 with an emphasis on preparing materials that are easily accessible to students who have to be quarantined, as well as being prepared to offer distance learning if this becomes necessary.”

States abolished teachers

Pierce also told reporters yesterday that the Department of Education is “eating…seriously” a group of 4,000 temporary relief teachers set up at the beginning of the year to respond to local employment issues.

“Teachers, SSOs are members of the community and with the rise of cases undoubtedly appearing in our schools and nurseries,” he said.

“Obviously we feel pressure in our niche areas of teaching and the further away from the metropolitan area it makes it more complicated.

“But we’ll do just fine.”

Xenophon fires a stinging rebuke to Rex’s Huawei claims

Federal Senate candidate Nick Xenophon has sharply criticized Rex Patrick for questioning his ties to China’s telecommunications company Huawei, calling the attack a “miserable attempt to attract some votes”.

Patrick, who once worked as a Xenophon employee and is now up against his former boss in a federal Senate race, used parliamentary privilege on Tuesday to criticize Xenophon’s ties to Huawei, likening it to a public relations exercise for German arms manufacturers under the Nazi regime.

Law firm Xenophon – which he returned to after his political career collapsed in 2018 – was controversially retained as a “strategic advisor” to Huawei in 2019, after the federal government banned the Chinese giant from participating in a 5G rollout, citing security concerns about it. Relations with Beijing.

“It is a huge Chinese company, closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party, which supports Chinese state espionage and which, according to documents published in Washington Post In December last year, he helped the Chinese authorities set up a surveillance network targeting the Uyghur minority in that country,” Patrick said in Parliament Tuesday night.

“There can be no compromise when it comes to Australian national security, and there can be no compromises on human rights.”

But Xenophon responded on Wednesday, saying Patrick “needs to get his head out of the clouds with his military obsessions.”

“The law firm has worked for Huawei Australia – they have been ruthlessly attacked and we have stood up for their legal rights, as do lawyers,” he said in a statement.

We were not lobbyists for them. We have not dealt with Canberra at all. We advised them of their legal options to defend themselves.

“Is Mr. Patrick suggesting that if you are a Chinese company or person, you are not entitled to a legal defense? Is this the Australia he wants?”

“How dare he question my loyalty as an Australian. It is a disgrace to him.”

MCG’s rock star Warney farewell

State memorial service for cricket legend Shane Warren at the MCG in Melbourne, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP.

A showman in life and death, Shane Warren is remembered as an immortal and lovable cricketer and devoted father at a stunning state memorial service in Melbourne.

About 55,000 people flocked to the MCG for a service Wednesday after the gradual death of King, at age 52, from a suspected heart attack in Thailand on March 4.

In a poignant speech, Keith Warren led the salute and described his son’s death as “the darkest day in the life of our family.”

“Boyfriend, your mother and I cannot imagine life without you. You were taken so early and our hearts are broken,” he said.

Warren’s father spoke about his son’s community work after the devastating and deadly bushfires in Victoria on Black Saturday in 2009, and using his younger brother, Jason, to polish his love for his shadowy opponents.

Warren’s children – Jackson, Summer and Brooke – have unveiled the Great Southern Amphitheater that has been renamed Shane Warren Stand after they each gave passionate speeches.

Brooke, Jackson and Summer Warren unveil Shane Warren platform. Photo: James Ross/AAP

Summer Warren, his youngest daughter, said that she and her father shared an impromptu dance to the tunes of Brian Adams. summer year 69 Two days before his death, when he came to take a suitcase.

In addition to cherishing the lighter moments, she said her father helped her cope through difficult times.

“You told me I could either live with these demons or fight with them and come out stronger in the end. You saved me, Dad,” Brooke said.

His wildlife conservation work with the United Nations was also revealed, as the intergovernmental body announced a set of new grants to be named in Warren’s honor.

Musician Elton John followed a minute’s silence with a pre-recorded version of Don’t let the sun go down on me. Coldplay forward Chris Martin sang an away performance for yellowwhile singer Robbie Williams performed a sensational in-studio version of Angels.

Australian actor Hugh Jackman added his voice to the chorus of virtual tributes, saying Warren has tapped into every second in 52 years.

“Man, suck the marrow out of life. There was no one like you, Warney,” he said, “never again.”

Others at MCG, the site of a Warren hat-trick in 1994 and 700 wicket-tests in 2006, include former Australian captain Alan Border, former English skipper Nasir Hussain, and West Indian major Brian Lara.

Albanese delivers Labour’s response on budget

Labor leader Anthony Albanese is set to unveil his budget response letter, but the opposition has stressed it will not be an alternative economic approach.

The leader of the federal opposition will use Thursday’s speech as a critical pre-election speech, just days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the next federal election.

His speech follows sharp criticism of the budget from labor treasurers across states, including Stephen Mulligan of South Australia who said yesterday that South Australia is now at risk of losing jobs in the submarine and has “completely missed” funding for critical federal infrastructure.

The Morrison government’s federal budget included several measures designed to address the rising cost of living.

Among them was a fuel tax cut in half for next year, as well as a one-time $420 tax relief for more than 10 million Australians, while six million concession card holders will receive a $250 cost of living payment in April.

As the Albanian prime minister challenged parliament on Wednesday to present an alternative budget in his speech, the opposition stressed that Albanese would deliver a speech.

Albanese has previously described the budget as a government bid to buy votes before the election.

“(Budget) has all the honesty of a fake tan, and it’s going to last a long time,” he said on Wednesday.

“Maybe they are also handing out money on how to vote cards, but Australians know that once the election is over, it’s all gone.”

But the federal government’s cost-of-living measures passed Parliament on Wednesday with the support of Labor after the late-night Senate session – the last time the Senate is set to sit before Australians go to the polls.

The budget response letter will be delivered Thursday evening, and the last sitting day of the Federal Parliament before the election will be called.

Video: Heritage house in Kabonda on fire

Kabunda High School has been destroyed after a heritage-listed school building built over 100 years ago caught fire, with the blaze now being treated as suspicious.

Destruction of a historic house in Kabunda

Bruce Willis retires from work after being diagnosed with aphasia

Bruce Willis at the movie premiere in New York on Friday, October 11, 2019. Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Die Hard star Bruce Willis is retiring from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia, an illness that “affects his cognitive abilities,” his family says.

Willis, 67, who achieved initial fame on the 1980s comedy-drama television series Moonlighting before becoming the action hero who shouted “Yippee Ki Yay” in five Die Hard films, has appeared in nearly 100 films during his four-decade career, winning acclaim For roles in Pulp Fiction and The Sixth Sense.

He has won a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards.

“This is a challenging time for our family and we deeply appreciate your continued love, sympathy and support,” the family statement said.

“We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and we wanted to attract his fans because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him,” the statement said.

Aphasia is a condition that affects an individual’s ability to speak and communicate effectively with others, including speaking and writing.

It can occur after strokes or head injuries but can also appear over time due to brain tumors or degenerative diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Fans exchanged grief, shock and salute to Willis on social media as news of his diagnosis spread.

– With AAP and Reuters

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