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Australia’s COVID crisis worsens



Australia’s battle with an outbreak of the COVID delta strain is getting more intense, as lockdowns extend in Melbourne and Sydney records its deadliest day

Australia’s biggest CBD’s are in lockdown. Sydney and the state of New South Wales has been rocked by a further eight deaths and a staggering 478 new cases of COVID today — with at least 91 of them circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period.

As the largest state in Australia by population, all of New South Wales is now in lockdown – including rural and regional areas.

The state will continue a grim lockdown, which was hoped to end at the end of the month.

Melbourne lockdown extended with rules tightened

Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended for two weeks and residents of metropolitan areas will be subject to a new 9pm to 5am curfew.

The harsher restrictions come as Melbourne recorded 22 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown would now end on September 2, meaning the state would have by then faced one month in lockdown six.

The curfew will take effect at 11.59pm on tonight, Monday 16th August.

From 9pm to 5am, residents of metropolitan Melbourne will not be allowed to leave their homes unless they have a permit to conduct essential work, among other limited reasons.

Masks will also no longer be able to be removed to consume alcohol outdoors. The strict new move comes as people were seen ordering takeaway alcohol outside inner-city pubs in an attempt to dodge restrictions at the weekend.

Darwin and Katherine plunged into three-day snap lockdown from midday today

Parts of the Northern Territory have gone into a snap lockdown from 12 noon (ACST) today.Darwin, and the town of Katherine will be in a three-day lockdown, after a new case of COVID-19 was detected.

The positive case is from a man understood to be in his 30s and it is assumed the man has the Delta variant.

Australia’s Capital of Canberra remains in lockdown

The ACT’s lockdown has been extended to September 2, after the territory recorded 19 new cases on Monday.

Among the new cases included an aged care worker and a high school student.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said this was a “serious situation.”

“Lockdowns are a proven measure to suppress chains of transmission of the virus.”

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr

The lockdown was originally due to lift at 5pm this coming Thursday.


Should a non-strike rule apply to UK emergency staff?



Thousands of UK emergency workers are preparing to walk off the job, just days before Christmas

Thousands of UK Ambulance workers are preparing to go on strike, just days before Christmas, on December 21.

All over a pay dispute, 25,000 emergency staff are expected to walk off the job.

Hospital bosses are warning the strikes will put lives at risk and make wait times significantly longer.

“Our priority is to ensure emergency services continue to operate for those who need it.

People should continue to use NHS 111 online for urgent healthcare advice and call 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.”

STEVE BARCLAY, Health Secretary
FILE PHOTO: Downing Street Chief of Staff Steve Barclay arrives at 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

UK PM Rishi Sunak was pressed about the potentially fatal outcome, but Downing Street says it’s important not to ‘speculate.’

“Our focus now is on mitigating any potential detrimental impact these strikes could have.”

UK Prime minister’s office

Speaking on behalf of the workers, the health Union says the Government needs to start “genuine conversations about pay.”

“The Government will only have itself to blame if there are strikes in the NHS before Christmas.
“Ambulance staff don’t want to inconvenience anyone but ministers are refusing to do the one thing that could prevent disruption — start genuine talks about pay.”

Sara Gorton, head of health at Unison
UNISON’s Sara Gorton. Unison Centre, London, UK.

“Patients’ lives are already at risk but this government is sitting on the sidelines.
“Fail to act now to avert these strikes and the blame will rest firmly at the Government’s door.”

SHAron graham, Unite general secretary

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Bella Hadid named Model of the Year 2022



At The Fashion Awards 2022, American Bella Hadid has been crowned Model of the Year

At The Fashion Awards 2022, American Bella Hadid has been crowned Model of the Year.

In London, the 26-year-old was named winner of the prestigious award.

A title that runs in the family, with her sister Gigi claiming the win in 2016.

Unable to attend in person, Hadid sent a pre-recorded video message, with a special thanks to her refugee father and immigrant mother.

“Being the daughter of a refugee father from Palestine, and an immigrant mother from Holland, there’s a sort of work ethic that runs in our blood…

It’s not to be the best. It’s not to be better than others. It’s just to be able to succeed because our ancestors have never had an opportunity like this in their lifetime. This is for the Palestinian children. This is for the Dutch children. This is for any child, immigrant or refugee.”

bella hadid – american model

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BALANCE OF POWER: Georgia Senate Runoff



The Senate is currently split 50-50, with Democrats controlling the chamber due to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote

It is decision day in Georgia where for the second time in a month, voters are heading back to the polls to select who they want to represent them in the divided U.S. Senate.

Voters in the Peach State are choosing between Republican challenger Herschel Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

This race in particular will have broad implications for the rest of the country—as this matchup will determine whether Democrats increase their power in the Senate or if Republicans can hang on to their 50 seats.

On Tuesday—the final day of the election—both candidates made their final pitches.

In summing up the fight, Walker said, “A vote for my opponent is a vote for Joe Biden and a vote for Chuck Schumer and he’s showing you that. A vote for me is a vote for Georgia values.”

Meanwhile, Warnock expressed confidence but warned supports against being complacent.

“I worry that we will see this massive early voter turnout, and some will decide, ‘we don’t need your voice’ and we do. There is still a path for Herschel Walker to win this race,” Warnock said.

Election officials are expecting record turnout with more than one-million votes already cast in early voting. Polls will close this evening a 7pm and official results are expected late Tuesday evening.

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