Good morning one and all and welcome to another decidedly weird day on planet Earth. If you’re just turning back into consciousness, ensure you have a hot caffeinated beverage by your side as you peruse the morning news we’ve compiled below for your reading pleasure.
Six People Have Been Killed in a Shootout with Police in Rural Queensland
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan has expressed his condolences to the friends and family of two officers shot dead overnight.
“This is a traumatic, confronting, and devastating event for our community,” he said. “The Queensland Police Service has lost two heroes and I express my sincere condolences to their family, friends, and colleagues.”
Six people were killed late last night, including the two police officers, both in their 20s, following a six-hour standoff on a remote property in rural Queensland.
Four officers were sent to a house in Wieambillia in the Western Downs region, roughly 270kms west of Brisbane, at around 4:45 pm Monday afternoon. They were there to inquire about a missing person but when they arrived on the property were “ambushed” by three people wearing military fatigues.
“Upon entering the property, they just were met by gunfire, which was just relentless,” Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers has told the ABC.
“Three police were shot, and our two colleagues who have passed away, they dropped to the ground. The other two police were able to take cover and retreat a little bit. Then I do know the two police who were on the ground were executed in cold blood. It’s such a tragedy, this should never have happened, it’s completely unexpected.”
Two of the initial officers were killed while one is receiving treatment. The fourth officer was able to flee the property while a member of the public was also shot and killed. A tactical response unit was dispatched and gunfire was exchanged late into the night until the three people on the property were also killed.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has described it as the largest loss of life suffered in a single incident in recent times.
“While we are yet to learn the full extent of what has occurred today, we do know this event is extraordinarily distressing on many levels,” she said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has told the Queensland police that “Australia mourns with you.”
Terrible scenes in Wieambilla and a heartbreaking day for the families and friends of the Queensland Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. My condolences to all who are grieving tonight – Australia mourns with you.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) December 12, 2022
Elon Musk Has Been Savagely Booed During a Dave Chapelle Gig
In some lighter news, the billionaire CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and now Twitter, Elon Musk, was savagely booed on stage at a Dave Chapelle gig in San Francisco, California.
— Steven Goffman (@SteveGoffman) December 12, 2022
“Ladies and gentlemen, make some noise for the richest man in the world,” Chapelle said, bringing Musk on stage with him at his comedy show at the Chase Centre.
Musk initially appeared jubilant, greeting the crowd with raised arms until realising they weren’t cheering. The booing went on “for 10 minutes” according to those in the stadium, with Musk unable to get a word in.
“Controversy, buddy,” Chapelle offered. “Weren’t expecting this, were you?” Musk replied to the crowd.
Chappelle joked that “some of the people you fired” were the ones booing, while later saying it was those in the cheaper seats that were the source of the anger.
Musk’s takeover of Twitter has seen mass layovers at the company, which is headquartered in San Francisco. The South African businessman has courted controversy in recent days by attacking the trans community and America’s Chief Medical Officer, Anthony Fauci, by claiming his pronouns are “Prosecute / Fauci.”
Some on Twitter are claiming that accounts sharing videos of his appearance at the Chase Centre are being suspended while Musk himself has claimed that “Technically, it was 90% cheers & 10% boos.”
“Still, that’s a lot of boos, which is a first for me in real life (frequent on Twitter). It’s almost as if I’ve offended SF’s unhinged leftists … but nahhh,” he wrote.
US Scientists Make Huge Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough
Nuclear fusion offers the tantalising promise of unlimited, clean energy. Normally the stuff of science fiction, scientists have long been pursuing the theoretically possible holy grail of energy production and now they appear to have made a major breakthrough.
For the first time, a nuclear fusion experiment produced more energy than it consumed.
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have managed to smash together hydrogen elements using lasers to heat the particles, the resultant fusion creating a massive burst of energy as the particles fuse into heavier elements.
2.5 megajoules of energy were created from the fusion while just 2.1 megajoules were used to create it.
Dr Robbie Scott, of the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Central Laser Facility (CLF) Plasma Physics Group, who contributed to this research, has said that the experiment is a “momentous achievement”.
“Fusion has the potential to provide a near-limitless, safe, clean, source of carbon-free baseload energy,” he said.
“This seminal result from the National Ignition Facility is the first laboratory demonstration of fusion ‘energy-gain’ – where more fusion energy is output than input by the laser beams.The scale of the breakthrough for laser fusion research cannot be overstated.
“The experiment demonstrates unambiguously that the physics of Laser Fusion works,” he added.
Scott said that a lot of work now remains to turn the experiment into large-scale power production, but that the proof of concept demonstrates that it is possible.
2.5 megajoules is about the energy required to boil five kettles. While the California lab was able to run their experiment once in a day, a nuclear fusion power plant would have to do the same 10 times per second in order to produce useful amounts of energy.
Still, progress is being made as, just last year, the same lab was only able to produce 70% of the energy put into their fusion experiment.