Home Muhammad The Loop: COVID reinfections, ‘explosive’ California wildfires and huge price tag for Muhammad Ali’s belt

The Loop: COVID reinfections, ‘explosive’ California wildfires and huge price tag for Muhammad Ali’s belt


Hi it’s Monday July 25. Here’s what you need to get started today.

One thing to know now

It has been revealed that prosecutors have dropped a major child abuse case against the former director of a Brisbane Boys Private School – who abused a child years later. Here’s more from the ABC Rory Callinan:

  • The ABC uncovered the 2004 ruling as part of an investigation into the activities of alumni Nudgee St Joseph’s College director, Stephen David McLaughlin
Christian brother Stephen McLaughlin was also the principal of Nudgee College.
  • The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said it had dropped the child abuse case, saying there was little chance of a conviction
  • The former Christian brother is also said to have been associated with Denis Norman Douglasan “old boy” Nudgee who confessed to being a child molester in the 1990s
  • McLaughlin was sentenced earlier this year of abusing a child he was babysitting in 2015. His lawyers say he denies the offenses and they have appealed
  • The Christian Brothers announced an investigation into the allegation

Read the full story here.

One thing you’ll hear more about: COVID reinfections

If that’s not you, then you probably know someone who has faced their third (or more) bout with the virus. So what do we know?

  • Whereas Omicron appears to cause more reinfections than other variants, there are not enough substantial data to draw conclusions about the severity of reinfection
  • The states hardest hit by COVID-19, such as New South Wales and Victoria, have ballpark numbers detailing reinfections in the tens of thousands
  • But the states whose queensland do not track reinfections at all
  • Lyndall Heather, a Darwin nurse, has long COVID symptoms and has had the virus three times in two years. She says there’s a ‘very real chance I could get it again’
A woman in a green top sitting in her living room
Lyndall Heather contracted COVID for the third time in May.(ABC News: Hamish Harty)
  • And one COVID survey begin today – it examines the deaths of 19 elderly residents during an outbreak in Sydney Newmarch House

News while you slept

Let’s get up to speed.

  • More … than 6,000 people were ordered to clear out like a fire moving fast near Yosemite National Park in California continues to spread. The state‘s governor has declared a state of emergency for the county – and CalFire says “explosive fire behavior” is challenging firefighters. The Fire Oak is now one of the biggest wildfires of the year in California
A firefighter extinguishes the flames in an enclosure
More than 2,000 structures are threatened by the fire.(PA: Noé Berger)
  • The New South Wales Parliament could be recalled for an emergency sitting this week, due to the government’s inability to produce documents regarding John Barilaro appointment to a plum business job in New York (from which he has since retired). Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet acknowledged delays in handing over documents to a parliamentary committee, but insists more will be handed over

The news Australia is looking for

  • Jonas Vingegaard: He is now the first Dane to win the Tour de France in over 20 years. It wasn’t such a good day for the Aussie Caleb Ewanwho missed the final sprint to the Champs-Elysées, finishing eighth


  • North Queensland Cowboys: This is the NRL side’s controversial victory against Western Tigers. Trailing by one point, the Cowboys requested a review with one second remaining, claiming the winger Kyle Feldt was hindered. They got it – and kicked for one 27-26 win
A group of rugby players in orange and black kits watch in anguish from the touchline of a crowded stadium
The Wests Tigers players are deflated as a late penalty goal sees North Queensland snatch the full-time win. (AAP: Scott Radford-Chisholm )

One more thing: a *huge* prize for Ali’s historic belt

It is without a doubt one of the most memorable moments in boxing – when Mohamed Ali released the dreaded George Foreman to win the heavyweight title.

Now the “Rumble in the Jungle” championship belt was sold for a huge (US$6.18 million) $8.9 million.

The happy owner? Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts owner:


Auction company director Chris Ivy said:

Maybe, but we bet that no blow was struck.

That’s all for the moment

We’ll come back later with more.