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Australia ends strict international travel ban, border to reopen

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International travel is set to resume from next month with New South Wales to lead the way

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement on international borders after National Cabinet this afternoon.

Those who have had both doses of a TGA-approved vaccine will be allowed out of Australia and then will be able to quarantine inside their homes on their return for seven days.

There will be no restrictions on which countries will be open for travel.

Sydney International Airport will become the first to see flights take off en masse due to the high rates of vaccination in NSW.

The Prime Minister first announced the border closure on March 20, 2020 to all non-citizens and nonresidents. Even Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family needed to apply for an exemption to travel and to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days on arrival at a cost of more than $3000.

Christmas comes early for Qantas / Image: File

Qantas responds to reopening news

Qantas will bring forward the restart of its international flights to 14 November 2021, following the Federal Government’s announcement that Australia’s borders will open in November.

The national carrier will operate three weekly return flights between Sydney and London and three weekly return flights between Sydney and Los Angeles with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. These two destinations have been the most searched on qantas.com in recent weeks. More flights will be added to meet demand, if needed.

Sydney will become first city to see flights depart for overseas travel / Image: File

Fares are now on sale for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and some visa holders. Fares start from $1662 return for Sydney-Los Angeles and $1869 return for Sydney-London.

All flights on both routes for the first week will be ‘Points Planes’, meaning frequent flyers can access uncapped Classic Flight Reward seats across all cabins. Seats on these flights will also be available as regular flight bookings.

Once the Federal Government announces the exact date that Australia’s international borders will reopen in November, the commencement dates for these two routes may need to be updated. Flights will be brought forward if its earlier than 14 November or moved to later in the month if necessary. Customers booked on these flights will have the flexibility to make ‘fee free’ date changes for travel until 31 December 2022 (a fare difference may apply). If flights are cancelled customers may also be eligible for a refund or credit voucher.

As previously indicated, all passengers on Qantas’ international flights will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine (some exemptions for medical reasons and children). They will also be required to return a negative PCR COVID test 72 hours prior to departure.

Customers on these flights will be required to home quarantine for seven days on arrival into Australia, in accordance with the requirements from the Federal and New South Wales governments.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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