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‘I Rise’ – Residents of Melbourne emerge from world’s longest lockdown

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After 262 days, residents in the world’s most lockdown city are waking up to their very own Freedom Day today, with Covid restrictions in Melbourne finally eased

At 12.01 early this morning, cheers were heard throughout the city as people took to their balconies and the streets to celebrate: take a look

For 77 days, residents have been subjected to strict stay-at-home orders, with a curfew imposed between 9pm and 5am daily, and only five reasons to leave your home… whilst retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors were largely brought to a grinding halt.

There have been violent protests, following the construction industry shutting down for two weeks, with Covid vaccines being mandated for the workforce.

What changes?

From today, restrictions on Melbournians leaving their homes will be lifted, private gatherings are allowed, restaurants, bars and cafes will re-open for seated service and life will slowly return to normal.

In this footage, you can hear excited residents singing Madonna’s “I Rise”

The city has endured six lockdowns in total, with the first totalling 43 days between March 30 and May 12, 2020.

The second lockdown was the longest, with 112 days of stay-at-home orders, between July 8 and October 27 2020.

Lockdowns three, four and five were all relatively short, and lockdown six ends today… after 77 days from August 5 to 11:59pm on October 21.

Prior to Melbourne’s extensive and extended stay-at-home orders, the city held the title of the world’s most liveable city for seven years in a row and was the fastest-growing urban area in Australia.

But as many other major cities right around the world began to open up and move back to normality, Melbourne’s retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors remained shut and the city lost its spark.

Meanwhile, countless festivals, shows, events, weddings, birthdays and dinners have been either canceled or postponed.

This is Chapel Street in the popular suburb of South Yarra when excited residents emerged from lockdown at 11.59pm Thursday night.

Today’s easing comes as the state of Victoria reaches its first major vaccine milestone, with 70 per cent of all eligible residents now double dosed against Covid-19.

Since the state government’s first declaration of a state of emergency on March 16 in 2020, more than 71,000 people have contracted the virus and over 990 have died.

“This is for you Melbourne”

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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World

Balloon diplomacy blows China off course

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China claims an “airship” that is flying over the United States is for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes and voiced regret that it strayed into U.S. airspace.

U.S. officials said on Thursday that a Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the United States for a couple of days, in what would be a brazen act just days ahead of a planned trip to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In a statement late on Friday, China’s foreign ministry also said that it would continue to maintain communications with the United States to properly handle the unexpected situation.

“The airship is from China and is civilian in nature, used for meteorological and other scientific research. Due to the influence of westerly winds and its limited control capability, the airship deviated from its intended course,” it said.

“China regrets that the airship strayed into the United States by mistake due to force majeure. China will continue to maintain communication with the U.S. side to properly handle this accident,” it said.

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World

U.S. announces longer-range rocket for Ukraine

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A new rocket that would double Ukraine’s strike range in its war with Russia was included in a $2.175 billion U.S. military aid package.

The new weapon, the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), will allow Ukraine’s military to hit targets at twice the distance reachable by the rockets it now fires from the U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The 151 km (94 mile) GLSDB will put all of Russia’s supply lines in eastern Ukraine within reach, as well as part of Russian-occupied Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

“As part of the USAI package, we will be providing Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb to Ukraine,” Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing at the Pentagon. USAI stands for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

Friday’s aid pledge opens the door to many more deliveries of the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).

When the new rockets arrive, it will mark the first time Ukraine has seen its rocket range grow exponentially since U.S. furnished HIMARS in late-June 2022.

HIMARS have a 77 km (48 mile) range and were instrumental in Ukraine’s counter offensive against Russian forces, which invaded on Feb. 24, 2022.

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Fame

Fans struggle to buy Beyonce concert tickets

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If you’re struggling to get Beyonce tickets, you’re not alone

 
O2 customers in the U.K. were reporting problems with the company’s app and website.

For those who were able to get through, they paid anywhere from £56-199.

For those who are super keen, there are V.I.P. packages with front row seats. But that’ll set you back £475.

Some fans took to social media to vent their frustrations over the ticketing fiasco.

It’s Queen B’s first solo tour in seven years, and will take her across Europe and North America.

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