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Commonwealth working ‘hand in glove’ with Australian state in lockdown

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COVID-19 cases in Australia’s Victoria have fallen on first day of lockdown, but the state is calling on commonwealth assistance.

Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino welcomes Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison comments that the “Commonwealth will be working hand in glove” with Victorian authorities.

“I want to thank him (Morrison) for that.”

Mr. Merlino added that “there is additional assistance we require”.

Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino.

“I want to welcome the PM’s comments that the Commonwealth will be working hand in glove with Victorian authorities. I want to thank him for that and to that end, there is some additional assistance that we require and I’ve contacted the PM this morning,” Mr Merlino said.

“We will be putting a formal request through for additional ADF staffs and the request will be for around 160 ADF staff,”

He said.

The acting premier said this will be in place at least the next fortnight to “assist our authorised offices in door knocking.

“Doorknocking positive cases, doorknocking primary close contacts, if we have those additional ADF staff pairing up with authorised officers we are effectively doubling our capacity to do that really important work over the next few weeks.”

Australia’s second-biggest state, Victoria enters its first day of a seven-day snap lockdown to curb the spread of the highly infectious Indian variant.

The state recorded four new cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 30 with over 47,000 Covid-19 swab tests processed.

The acting Premier said the state’s team of contact tracer’s are “moving faster than they ever have, within 24 hours.”

What about support for ‘devastated businesses’

“We are doing our work in terms of what assistance we will provide to the business community and we will have something to say in the coming days,” Mr Merlino said on Thursday.

The acting Premier noted on Friday that the government’s immediate priority was dealing with the cases, but now attention had turned to financial support.

“We are doing our work in terms of what assistance we will provide to the business community and we will have something to say in the coming days,” Mr Merlino said.

He said it was too early to say what the package would include in relation to casual workers.

“We also understand that, you know, it’s quite tough at the moment. There is no JobKeeper anymore. So the Treasurer Tim Pallas is engaging with Josh Frydenberg at a Federal level, so there is engagement between the state and Federal Government in terms of what support the Federal Government might provide.”

Of the industries ordered to shut down include gyms, hairdressers, retailers (not including click and collect).

1 million covid-19 vaccines administered in Australia’s second most populous state

“That is a great milestone and we have to keep going,” Merlino says.

Victoria is on track to be fully vaccinated by the end of the year.

“I hope we are on track for the end of the year. We can do it,” Professor Sutton, Chief Health Officer at Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria says.

Sutton defended the work of contract tracers online.

The Australian federal government has also come under intense scrutiny for failing to deliver on vaccine rollout targets.

The country has delivered at least the first dose of a Covid vaccine to just 13 per cent of the population.

Countries including the UK and the US have now administered the first dose to over half of their citizens and residents.

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Navigating TV’s industrial revolution – the Ticker way

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Ticker began in 2019, with a goal to create a platform for thought leaders. Now in its fifth year, the company is growing and scaling, writes Ticker Founder Ahron Young.

I had an awkward phone conversation when I started Ticker. It was with a potential investor who had invested in media before.

I expected a relaxed chat – Maybe some advice or some inspirational insights. But from the outset, she was far more direct.

“What’s your revenue strategy?” She inquired. Before I could answer, she continued “Because I’d never again invest in a company that relies on subscriptions or advertising.”

I paused. Not long ago I’d been a mere journalist, sent to cover some of the biggest stories around the world. I don’t recall ever asking where the money was coming from to send me to far-flung news destinations like Afghanistan and Gallipoli. That was someone else’s problem. Mine was to observe and deliver my lines on camera.

“So no ads or subs – what else is there?” I asked, naively.

She said, “You’re the entrepreneur. You tell me”.

It was the wake-up call I needed. There would be no saviour, no angel investor. Ticker had to do something brand new, from scratch, with no funding runway. From day one it was literally innovate or die.

Ticker’s presenters Daniel Cogrove (left) and Mike Loder (right) with Delivery Lead producer Georgie Jennings (middle).

TV’s industrial revolution

My first job was to tackle the high cost of creating TV news. Most proprietors are billionaires for a reason. We took on a creative approach – finding partners around the globe to build new products that allow us to create great content, efficiently. Our presenters direct their shows live. Automation is our friend.

In the pre-pandemic days of 2019, Netflix was winning over investors. Companies like Vox, Vice, Now This, Pedestrian and Cheddar were growing their brands. News channels were popping up everywhere. But underneath it all, the advertising model was changing.

There were technical advantages and the benefits of having a smaller footprint. Local TV stations had offices around the country, in regional areas too, with high-cost communications lines linking them all up, huge aerials on mountains, and satellites above. The sales team had a huge task before even making money for shows.

Ticker began in a small co-working space. But being in that environment was pivotal to our success. TV is funny because you wear your ideas on the outside. Everyone can see what you are doing and trying, so you need to have a thick skin.

For Ticker, a few things were clear early on – there would be no help from social media companies, and no assistance from the government. They might want to save existing journalism jobs, but they weren’t proactive about creating new ones.

Ticker’s new program Investment Insights

Business model

As it turned out, Ticker’s business model found us, thanks to traditional demand and supply. On day one, August 19, 2019, we received hundreds of pitches from publicists, business leaders, and PR agents – saying they had been dying for something like Ticker to arrive – A platform for thought leaders and business leaders.

So we took that demand and created a business. Native advertising and program ownership (outside of our news programs). We defend our editorial standards, and our clients respect that. It means no alcohol ads, no gambling ads, no reliance on political advertising.

We attracted high-profile program hosts, including ex-footballer Chris Judd, SEO king Harry Sanders, and Airport Economist Tim Harcourt. For them, Ticker is a platform to reach global business leaders.

Building and scaling

This mantra allowed us to build a network of FAST (Free ad-supported TV) platforms right around the globe. We work with the TV manufacturers. Never complain, never explain.

We think more like a tech company than a media company. For example, we recently appointed a Delivery Lead to make sure our content creation runs smoothly – a role commonly found in tech firms.

I bought a toy train set on an infinite loop track to remind us that shows don’t end, they keep going. If we do it right, they’ll last forever. It’s been a huge hit and visitors to our office always take photos.

The Ticker Infinite Loop

Move fast

We pivot quickly. If something isn’t working, we move on. Clinging on to today’s hope doesn’t pay tomorrow’s bills.

In hindsight, I’m thankful for that investor conversation early on. I’m glad we didn’t take her money. It would have allowed us to waste time trying to make a bad idea work for longer.

Ticker Founder Ahron Young speaking at the TV2025 panel at the NAB Show in New York, 2023.

When you live or die by the sword, make sure to sharpen the sword

It’s been a terrible few years for media companies.. CNN+ was shut after three weeks and $300 million spent, WB Discovery announced New Zealand’s Newshub will close, and even the industry bible TVNewsCheck stopped publishing content two weeks ago in response to the advertising downturn. Meta announced plans to pull out of its local news partnerships.

For media companies to survive, it’s no longer about how many viewers you have, but who and where those viewers are. What is your niche? For Ticker, it’s professionals and business leaders with big ideas. They live around the world – business class travellers, digital nomads, some are even stateless. They make big decisions and aspire for more.

Then we turned our backs on traditional ideas and focused on what makes us Ticker. People will always need information, companies will always want marketing. We just have to create value.

The TV Industrial Revolution is here. But without drastic change, the revolution will not be televised.

Ahron Young is Ticker’s Founder and CEO.

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Are U.S. voters rebuking Joe Biden over his Israel policy?

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The Israel-Hamas War is entering a sixth month.

During a recent trip in New York, President Joe Biden was asked when a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas might start.

He said he hopes a pause in hostilities can take effect in the coming days to allow for remaining hostages to be released.

Jonathan Tobin, the editor-in-chief of Jewish News Syndicate joins Veronica Dudo. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #IsraelHamas #war #Israel #Hamas #ceasefire

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Putin threatens West with nuclear strike

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a direct threat to employ nuclear weapons against the West, accusing NATO and the United States of preparing to strike Russia.

Putin delivered this ominous warning during his annual address to the nation, raising global tensions to unprecedented levels.

During his speech, Putin accused NATO and the US of deceptive maneuvers, alleging their intentions to launch an attack on Russian territory.

He emphasised Russia’s readiness to defend itself, boasting of its modernized nuclear arsenal and asserting the capability to defeat any potential aggressors on their own soil.

The Russian leader’s words carried a chilling reminder of the destructive power at his disposal, stating, “They have to understand that we also have weapons, weapons that can defeat them on their own territory.”

Such rhetoric underscores the grave risk of escalating conflict and the potential catastrophic consequences of nuclear warfare.

Nuclear war

Putin warned that the deployment of troops to Ukraine by NATO countries could lead to a real risk of nuclear war.

He emphasised Russia’s determination to strengthen its military presence in response to perceived threats from neighboring nations aligning with Western alliances.

In addition to military concerns, Putin criticized Western efforts to engage Russia in an arms race, vowing to bolster Russia’s defense capabilities while accusing the West of attempting to weaken the country economically and politically.

Despite escalating tensions and global condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Putin sought to rally support domestically, praising Russian unity and resilience in the face of adversity.

He portrayed Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine as a defensive measure to safeguard national interests and protect Russian citizens.

Putin’s aggressive stance towards the West underscores the deepening rift between Russia and Western powers, raising fears of a potential conflict with far-reaching consequences.

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