The Loop: Queensland’s testing rules under fire, Elon Musk’s stoush with China and Hugh Jackman tests positive to COVID-19

G'day, g'day.

It's Wednesday, December 29 and you're reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of the news you need to know.

One thing you should know — Queensland's COVID-19 testing rules 'make no scientific sense'

That's according to infectious diseases expert, Mary-Louise McLaws, who was responding to the Queensland government's snap move to scrap a requirement to test interstate travellers five days after entering the state.

Interstate travellers now only have to get a negative PCR test 72 hours before they cross into Queensland.

The move has been welcomed by the state's frustrated tourism industry, but Professor McLaws says due to the infectiousness of the Omicron variant, new arrivals should be tested a day before and after they enter the state.

"The 72-hour period to test makes no scientific sense with Omicron or Delta, and it needs to be scrapped, and people need to have a test before they board a plane or cross the border,'' said Professor McLaws, who also advises the World Health Organization.

One thing you'll be hearing about today — Black Jack has taken out line honours in the Sydney to Hobart

The Mark Bradford-skippered, Monaco-flagged yacht crossed the line after 2 days, 12 hours, and 37 minutes, arriving just after 1:30am AEDT.


  • Black Jack held and extended its lead over LawConnect and SHK Scallywag in the final hours of racing, but up until then it was a three-way tussle
  • Despite that, it was the slowest line honours time since 2004

Bradford said he and yacht owner Peter Harburg had been working on the win for 14 years.

"We'll both be in tears at any time," Harburg said.

News while you snoozed

Let's get you up to speed:

  • Sudanese authorities say at least 38 people have been killed after a defunct gold mine collapsed in West Kordofan province
  • A US committee investigating the January 6 riot at the Capitol has agreed to defer its request for hundreds of pages of records from the Trump administration
  • The body of South Africa's revered anti-apartheid fighter Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died at the weekend aged 90, will lie in state for two days ahead of his funeral on New Year's Day, his foundations says
  • And Australian actor Hugh Jackman has tested positive to COVID-19. In a video posted to his official Instagram, Jackman said he had been experiencing "mild symptoms" and was "looking forward to getting back on stage ASAP"

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  • Robert E Lee: Books, coins, ammunition, documents and other artefacts have been removed from a time capsule found in the remnants of a pedestal that once held a statue of the Confederate general

One more thing …

In a case of Netlicks and chill, a Japanese professor has developed a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavours.

The device uses a carousel of 10 flavour canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food.

According to Homei Miyashita, a professor at Meiji University, it's about "enhancing" the way people connect and interact with the outside world, particularly during the COVID era.

"The goal is to make it possible for people to have the experience of something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world, even while staying at home," he said.

If the idea doesn't get a great reception, he can always buy a new aerial. (Thanks, I'll be here until Thursday.)

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We'll be back this afternoon with your wrap of today's news.


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