Welcome to SBS News in Easy English. I’m Sam Dover.
Triple Zero are telling Optus customers to call the emergency hotline from their mobiles, as Australia continues to be affected by a nationwide outage of mobile phone and internet services.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland says Triple Zero is operating normally on Optus mobile devices, but not on landlines.
The outage was first reported at around 4am this morning.
It continues to affect millions of Australian customers and essential services, with Service New South Wales call-centres and phone lines at hospitals in Sydney and Melbourne’s north down.
Minister Rowlands has said while the cause of the outage has not been identified, but it is a clear systemic issue.
“It has occurred deep within the network, it has wide ramifications across mobile, fixed and broadband services for Optus customers. Secondly we now understand, and this has been confirmed that calls to Triple Zero the emergency service cannot be made from Optus landline services.”
The Palestine Red Crescent Society accuses Israeli forces of targeting aid trucks in Gaza City.
The humanitarian organisation says a group of five trucks were carrying lifesaving medical supplies to health facilities such as Al Quds hospital when they came under fire, damaging two trucks and wounding a driver.
So far, the Israeli military’s attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed more than 10,000 people, around 40 per cent of them children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Despite the toll on civilians, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the US’ ABC network he refuses to consider a ceasefire until all hostages held by Hamas militants are released.
“Well, there’ll be no ceasefire, general ceasefire in Gaza without the release of the hostages. As far as tactical, little pauses, an hour here, an hour there, we’ve had them before. I suppose we’ll check the circumstances in order to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in or our hostages, individual hostages to leave.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has arrived in Rarotonga for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting this week.
The Prime Minister will join leaders from 18 Pacific nations to agree on ways to address climate change, regional security challenges, and nuclear issues.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will be missing from the PIF after his country improved diplomatic ties with China.
Mr Albanese says security in the Indo-Pacific region, including China’s ties with the Solomon Islands, will be a part of discussions.
“One of the things about the Pacific Island Forum is that we have recognised in last year’s statement the importance of the Pacific family, looking after our security interests of the region.”
The Socceroos and Matildas are set to be rewarded with a first-ever 50-50 split in prize money from World Cup performances.
Football Australia and the players’ union will announce a new four-year collective bargaining agreement today after the previous deal ended in October.
Matildas players look set to benefit with an increase in the share of prize money, as well as a number of new changes in their contracts.
Female players could be given standard call-up and match fees, equal to those given to Socceroos players.
This is instead of receiving payment through tiered annual contracts, which currently see tier-one contracted Matildas earn $110,000 a year.
I’m Sam Dover. This is SBS News in Easy English.