NEWS DIGEST 31.08.2020: Trouble Down Under

 

Good morning. Today is the Late Summer Bank Holiday (Bank Holiday Monday) here in the United Kingdom, and today’s news is brought to you from Facebook. The council that runs the London borough of Newham has announced it is creating a ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ in the far north of the borough. The special zone, situated in the districts of Forest Gate and Maryland, aims to create ‘people-friendly’ streets and is encouraging local parents to re-consider dropping their children off to school by car as children return to education this week. The council urged parents and carers to “ditch the car and school run, instead walk, cycle or scooter to school” to help promote a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their children.

The Sun, a UK tabloid paper, has published a list of restaurants who have extended the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ national scheme into September, it was reported. The scheme gives diners who visit restaurants between the days of Monday to Wednesday fifty per cent off their food and was designed to help the restaurant industry in Britain recover after it was adversely affected by the national lockdown started in late March. Among the eating places participating in the September extension are Harvester, Toby Carvery, Bill’s, Tesco Cafe and Pizza Hut. Many smaller chains and individual eateries are also joining in – MEAL DEAL Eat Out to Help Out end: the deals chains are offering in September including Harvester, Toby Carvery and Pizza Hut (The Sun)

The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson is facing the wrath of his own MPs after a poll by Opinium for the Observer media outlet showed that the Conservatives that Johnson is the leader of has seen a slump in popularity. The slump has been blamed on parliament’s chaotic handling of the coronavirus crisis, and recent U-turns such as with the debacle of examination grades for 16-years-old who had completed their end of secondary school tests – Boris Johnson faces Tory wrath as party slumps in shock poll (The Guardian)

The Australian state of Victoria has been condemned by campaigners for survivors of rape and sexual abuse after its parliament passed an amendment to Victoria’s Judicial Proceedings Reports Act which makes it a crime for victims to report their attacks under their real names once the perpetrator pleads guilty. The amendment, critics fear, could see rape survivors fined thousands of Australian dollars and even jailed for speaking out. One national news outlet described the legal change, quietly brought in in February, as “a thumping victory for all convicted sex offenders in Victoria”#LetUsSpeak: Victoria sexual assault gag law could see rape victims jailed (news.com.au)

The UK’s Department of Transport (DfT), the government ministry in charge of roads and traffic, is tabling a consultation on whether to outlaw pavement (sidewalk) parking in England in order to make the streets more navigable for pedestrians, in particular the differently-abled and parents with young children, The Independent reports. It follows a report by the Commons Transport Select Committee last year which heard that the worst cases effectively trapped disabled, elderly and vulnerable people in their homes – Pavement parking could be banned across England to make life easier for pedestrians (Independent)

A member of a biker gang in Sydney, Australia has been shot dead in a ‘calculated ambush’ outside his home. The unidentified man was a member of the Comancheros motorcycle gang and had returned from a night out when he was killed. Despite the actions of his family and emergency services at the scene, he died. Police are investigating.

Bikie gang member ambushed and shot dead outside Sydney home (Bnews)
Comancheros member ambushed and shot dead outside Sydney home (nine.com.au 9NEWS)

And finally, NASA has revealed it is tracking a near-Earth asteroid said to be ‘twice the size’ of the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Asteroid 465824 (2010 FR) is expected to come into contact with Earth’s orbit on September 6th, 2020. The giant space rock will whizz past our home at a colossal speed of 31,400 mph (50,533 kph), and measures in at between 120 metres and 270 metres wide, which is 394 and 886 feet – NASA tracking huge asteroid twice as big as Great Pyramid speeding towards Earth’s orbit (Daily Star)

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