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Australia news live updates: federal government to split flood funding with Qld; 20 Covid deaths








Severe weather warnings issued for NSW

Sydney and surrounding areas have been battered by severe storms this morning, with up to 140mm of rain forecast over six hours.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning just before 5am, predicting rainfall of between 60mm and 100mm would fall over a wide stretch of the already sodden state, including Sydney, the Illawarra, the south coast, the central and southern tablelands, and parts of the Hunter.

On the coast, rainfall could reach up to 140mm, the BoM said.

A flash-flooding warning was issued for coastal parts of the south coast, the Illawarra, metropolitan Sydney and the southern Hunter region, extending into the southern and central tablelands in the afternoon.

You can read the full report below:

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Man reported swept away found safe and well

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Scientists have developed a blood test that can predict whether someone is at high risk of a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or dying from one of these conditions within the next four years.

The test, which relies of measurements of proteins in the blood, has roughly twice the accuracy of existing risk scores. It could enable doctors to determine whether patients’ existing medications are working or whether they need additional drugs to reduce their risk.

Dr Stephen Williams at SomaLogic in Boulder, Colorado, led the research. He said:


I think this is the new frontier of personalised medicine, to be able to answer the question, does this person need enhanced treatment? And when you’ve treated someone, did it actually work?

You can read the full report below:

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The Australian government has confirmed that two Australian intelligence chiefs have flown to Solomon Islands for talks with the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, amid concerns in Canberra about the country’s proposed security agreement with China.

The ABC – which first reported the travel – noted that Sogavare’s office had posted a picture of the prime minister with Andrew Shearer, the head of the Office of National Intelligence, and Paul Symon, who leads the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

At a Senate estimates hearing this morning, the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kathryn Campbell, confirmed both directors general had been at the meeting in Honiara:


DG ONI and DG ASIS did meet with the prime minister of the Solomon Islands.

Campbell said Australia’s high commissioner to Solomon Islands, Lachlan Strahan, was also in attendance. Campbell did not dispute reports that the meeting included discussion of Australia’s security concerns about the security agreement.


I think the media has outlined what was the substance of that meeting. This is not uncommon for these office holders to engage in the region.

Campbell said Ewen McDonald, the head of the office of the Pacific at Dfat, had also travelled to Honiara last Sunday:


Mr McDonald is in the Solomon Islands and raising these matters. He will return to Australia Friday. He is continuing to work with the Solomon Islands government on these matters.

The Senate estimates hearing was told Australia was continuing to call for transparency about the prospective deal with China. There is no clarity on when it might be signed, and any updated form of words since the draft leaked two weeks ago.

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