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How the U.S President plans to curb the delta variant

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US President Joe Biden has unveiled sweeping new Covid-19 vaccination mandates in a bid to increase vaccination numbers and curb the surging Delta variant

The President has just addressed Americans, announcing a new rule that requires all private employers with 100 or more employees to either mandate vaccines for their workforce or carry out daily testing.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by Jill Biden (not pictured), elbow bumps nurse practitioner Tabe Mase after receiving a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital, in Newark, Delaware, U.S. December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

The regulation will be issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration “in the coming weeks”, with a likely 90-day grace period.

Around 80 million Americans will be impacted by the sweeping new measure, and it follows reports that Biden also wants to mandate vaccines for federal employees and contractors – covering several more million workers.

This is all part of a six-point plan by the Biden administration to tackle the pandemic and boost the nation’s economic prospects moving forward.

Biden will also call on governors to get all of their states’ teachers and support staff vaccinated and encourage schools to set up testing facilities.

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Gunfire, smoke and haze as thousands protests in Melbourne

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Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters have taken to the streets of Melbourne defying stay at home orders and a shutdown of the construction sector

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Melbourne to protest against a shutdown of the construction sector in the Australian state of Victoria.

Protesters defied public health directions imposed by the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Aerial vision has captured a steady stream of construction workers in high-vis sprawling across the busy freeway on the outskirts of the CBD in Docklands.

The workers were seen weaving in and out of large trucks and traffic, ignoring the honking of horns, while chanting “f— the jab”, lighting flares and flying Donald Trump 2020 and CFMEU flags.

By mid-afternoon protesters took to a busy Melbourne freeway to disrupt traffic, seeing thousands of vehicles suddenly at a standstill

Police moved in by the busload as protesters moved back down towards the CBD approximately two hours after the demonstrators took to the West Gate Bridge.

Some protesters were also seen climbing on top of a halted truck. VicRoads, the state’s governing road management authority, earlier urged drivers to “exit the freeway as soon as possible”.

The protests in Melbourne’s CBD earlier turned violent with some angry demonstrators throwing bottles and objects at police.

Earlier Live Twitter Feed:

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World leaders arrive in New York as the UNGA meeting gets underway

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World leaders have arrived in the Big Apple for high-stakes diplomacy talks at the United Nations General Assembly

US President Joe Biden along with Australian PM Scott Morrison have arrived in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.

Morrison has made headlines in recent days after revealing Australia’s agreement with the AUKUS pact resulted in a $90 billion submarine deal with France to be ditched.

Speaking on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Mr Morrison was adamant that dropping the French submarine deal was the right thing to do for Australia, despite the diplomatic fallout with France and potentially Europe.

“It was always going to be a difficult decision,”

The PM said.

Mr Morrison again underlined that conventional submarines from the French were not in Australia’s strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific, because of rising Chinese military technologies and capabilities.

The PM remained hopeful that the decision to ditch French diesel-powered subs in favour of US nuclear submarines would not affect any trade agreements with the EU.

China’s ambitions in the South China Sea will be a hot topic at the UNGA meeting

Other issues on the Quad leaders’ agenda include coronavirus vaccines, climate change and critical technologies.”It sounds like a big agenda and it is.”

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Debate between US parties grow as Democrats suspend debt limit

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To prevent government shutdown, Democrats are attempting to raise the debt ceiling, but it doesn’t come without protest from Republicans.

Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi

In the United States, the Democrats are seeking to combine a short-term spending bill with the suspension of the debt limit.

This follows weeks of debate over how leaders should respond and ultimately prevent a government shutdown.

In a joint statement, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Chuck Schumer said they will suspend the debt limit until the end of 2022, as Pelosi dares Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to ditch the package.

“The American people expect our Republican colleagues to live up to their responsibilities and make good on the debts they proudly helped incur in the December 2020 ‘908’ COVID package that helped American families and small businesses reeling from the COVID crisis.”

Republicans adamant they will not contribute

In protest, McConnel remains certain that the Republicans will not side with the Democrats on the decision to increase the debt limit.

“The country must never default, the debt ceiling will need to be raised. But who does that depends on who the American people elect.”

Senate Minority leader mitch McConnel says.

Schumer says it is shameful that Republicans are even considering blocking the debt ceiling raise.

The reasoning behind the move

Democrats are reassuring that their decision to raise the debt limit does not authorise or allocate new federal spending.

Rather, their decision comes in a bid to borrow extra funding which will be used to cover pre-existing expenditures already approved by Congress.

This includes the bipartisan emergency COVID-relief legislation from December and payments to Social Security recipients and veterans.

Despite this, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning that under the current circumstances, the department will reach its borrowing capacity during October, with the results potentially devastating for the US economy.

“We would emerge from this crisis a permanently weaker nation,” Yellen wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published over the weekend.

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