Twitter responds to Elon Musk’s claims, China fires ‘provocative’ missiles near Taiwan, and basketballer Brittney Griner sentenced in Russia — as it happened
This is The Loop, your quick catch-up for this morning’s news as it happens.
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By Tom Williams
You can keep up-to-date on the ABC News website, by watching News Channel or listening to local radio here, and by subscribing to our mobile alerts.
We’ll be back next week to cover the latest updates.
By Tom Williams
South Korea’s first lunar orbiter (the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter or KPLO) has been begun its journey from Florida to the Moon on a SpaceX rocket.
The satellite is taking a long, roundabout path to conserve fuel and is expected to arrive at the Moon in December.

When it does, it will be used to scout out future landing spots.
If successful, the orbiter will join spacecraft from the US and India already operating around the Moon, and a Chinese rover exploring the Moon’s far side.
By Tom Williams
North Korea has claimed that all of its fever patients have recovered, marking the end of its first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reclusive country hasn’t confirmed how many of its people have caught COVID-19, due to apparently lacking testing supplies.
But it said around 4.77 million fever patients have fully recovered and 74 died since late April.
It has reported no new fever cases since July 30.

South Korean officials and medical experts have cast doubts on those figures, especially the number of deaths.
Analysts have said there are still challenges for North Korea,  amid economic hardships and an unvaccinated population exposed to future resurgences.
By Tom Williams
Federal Health Minister Mark Butler says he is “really concerned” about the state of general practice care across the country.
The peak body for GPs is warning the system is on the verge of collapse, with many practices having to wind back bulk billing services.
Insufficent medicare rebates, fewer graduates pursuing general practice, and staff burnout are all contributing to the sustained pressure on the system.
Mark Butler says there is no quick fix for the problems.
“I’m really concerned about the state of general practice. It really suffered over the last nine years — there were six years where effectively GPs had a wage freeze under the former government. That has really hit them hard.”
By Tom Williams
Twitter has filed a response to claims by billionaire Elon Musk that he had legitimate reasons for wanting to back out of his $US44 billion ($63 billion) deal to buy the social media company.
Mr Musk has claimed that Twitter failed to provide him enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service.
But Twitter argues he is deliberately trying to tank the deal because market conditions have deteriorated.
The company has called Mr Musk’s reasoning “a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market—and along with it, his massive personal wealth—declined in value”.

“The Counterclaims are a made-for-litigation tale that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense,” Twitter said.
That fate of the acquisition now rests with a Delaware court where Twitter had sued to force Mr Musk to complete the deal. The case is scheduled to go to trial on October 17.
By Shiloh Payne
We mentioned the Collinsville shooting earlier, but here’s the latest update:
Queensland police say they are questioning three people, including the suspected shooter over a triple fatality in north Queensland’s Bogie yesterday.
Police say they were still working to determine a motive for the shooting but are questioning the individuals.
The incident occurred on a cattle property.
You can read more on this story with the link below:
By Tom Williams
A Texas jury has ordered InfoWars host Alex Jones to pay at least $US4.1 million ($5.8 million) in compensatory damages to the parents of a six-year-old boy who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in the US.
It marks the first time Jones has been held financially liable for repeatedly claiming the deadliest school shooting in US history was a hoax.
He has since acknowledged the attack did occur.
The Austin jury must still decide how much Jones must pay in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 children and six educators who were killed in the 2012 attack.
The parents had sought at least $216 million in compensation for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Jones’ attorney asked the jury to limit damages to $US8 ($11.5) — one dollar for each of the compensation charges they were considering — and Jones himself said any damages over $2.9 million “would sink us”.
By Shiloh Payne
Dick Cheney, who served as US Republican vice president under George W. Bush, says Donald Trump is a threat to the US Republic in a new ad endorsing his daughter’s Liz Cheney’s election campaign.
“In our nation’s 246 year history there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our Republic than Donald Trump,” he says.
Liz Cheney is the Republican member of Congress for Wyoming and the Vice Chair of the House Select Committee on the January 6 attack.
In the ad, Mr Cheney commends his daughter’s efforts to speak out against Mr Trump as a member of his party.
“Liz is fearless, she lever backs down from a fight, there is nothing more important she will ever do that lead the effort to make sure that Donald Trump is never again near the Oval Office, and she will succeed.”
By Tom Williams
Overnight we’ve had US basketballer Brittney Griner sentenced by a Russian court and China holding live-fire military drills near Taiwan just after a visit by a high-ranking US official.
Here’s what you need to know at 7am AEST.
By Tom Williams
That’s according to Japan’s Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi, who said it involved five ballistic missiles which were fired by China as part of an unprecedented live-fire military drill in six areas that surround Taiwan.
The show of force comes a day after a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the self-ruled island, which Beijing regards as its sovereign territory.


The White House has condemned China’s decision to launch live missiles near Taiwan as “irresponsible” and said it expected Beijing would continue to react in the coming days.
“Beijing’s provocative actions are significant escalation and its long standing attempt to change the status quo,” said national security spokesperson John Kirby.
China’s state broadcaster CCTV says the drills will run until Sunday.
Images released by the Chinese military show what appear to be long-range live-fire drills from undisclosed locations.
If you want to learn more about the dispute between China and Taiwan, as well as the Australian government’s position, have a read here:
By Tom Williams
By Tom Williams
By Tom Williams
Earlier this week US President Joe Biden announced the CIA had killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan.
But new pictures of what is purported to have been al-Zawahiri’s home have intrigued military experts, as there’s little damage to the building.
So some suspect the CIA might have used the Hellfire R9X — a highly secretive missile sometimes called the “knife bomb”, the “ninja bomb” or the “flying Ginsu” because it uses a series of spinning blades to kill.
You can read more about it below, or scroll back up to the top for more updates throughout the morning!
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