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“It’s going to break this state”: What Victoria’s lockdown extension means

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Australia’s second biggest state, Victoria will continue its lockdown for at least another seven days.

Victoria’s Acting Premier, James Merlino, confirmed that current restrictions will remain in place for the next seven days for Metropolitan Melbourne.

However, restrictions in regional Victoria will ease from Friday, the date lockdown was initially meant to end for the entire state.

“On the advice of the Chief Health Officer Professor Sutton the current restrictions remain in place for Melbourne for a further seven days with some small changes,” Merlino said.

It comes as a growing cluster of coronavirus cases balloons to over 60, with over 350 exposure sites.

It’s believed the COVID cluster is from the Indian variant which escaped hotel quarantine in South Australia weeks earlier.

Business support packages announced

Victoria is requesting JobKeeper-style support from the federal government.

The State Government will increase its business support packages from $2,500 to $5,000, with an additional $209 million support package.

 “We have also renewed our request to the Commonwealth to activate a JobKeeper-style support for Victorians who have been impacted by these restrictions,”

MERLINO SAID.

He “hoped” the federal government would “step up” and the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Michele O’Neil, says the ‘government must take responsibility’

President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Michele O’Neil on ticker news.

O’Neil says government officials should be working day and night like the state’s essential workers.

“They’re not stopping, but the government seems to be asleep at the wheel,” she says.

“We’re 16 months into a pandemic, and not put in place fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities… is a disgrace.”

O’Neil says the easiest thing the government can do to support Victorians is re-instate JobKeeper “with the level it was last year” for individuals who were out of work. That payment was $1500 a fortnight.

However, she adds that the financial support also needs to be extended to people who were not eligible last year for JobKeeper payments.

“Like casual and visa workers, who literally have no money coming in… people can’t live on nothing, we need to support people,”

O’Neil said.

“If this lockdown continues indefinitely, It’s going to break this state”

Victoria’s State Opposition leader, Michael O’Brien spoke to tickerNEWS before the lockdown was officially announced on Tuesday afternoon.

He called for an end to state-wide lockdown, and says the state government is playing the “blame game”

O’Brien comments on the federal government’s budget allocation to victoria.

“The federal Gov’t will reconsider its position” Vic Opposition Leader @michaelobrienmp says he speaks with Aus treasurer @JoshFrydenberg regularly and has ‘no doubt’ he will consider federal assistance for Victorians.

O’BRIEN ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT financial assistance to victoria.

O’Brien says “the point is, we have an issue to deal with now” and “probably” could have done better on both a state and federal level in terms of the state’s vaccine rollout.

O’Brien on the vaccine rollout in victoria.

Covid cases reported in neighbouring state of NSW

Victorian health officials have now alerted their counterparts in NSW that positive cases have crossed the border.

The Treasury Secretary is warning of “downside risks” to the budget’s upbeat projections due to the lockdown.

Many casual workers have been stood down without pay or federal government support, other than unemployment benefits.

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FAA uncovers Boeing quality control issues

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The Federal Aviation Administration disclosed concerning findings from its 737 MAX production audit involving Boeing and supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

The audit uncovered multiple instances where the companies allegedly failed to adhere to manufacturing quality control standards.

The FAA highlighted significant “non-compliance issues” within Boeing’s manufacturing processes, including concerns related to parts handling, storage, and product control.

While a summary of the audit findings has been shared with the companies involved, the details have not been made public due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Following a mid-air emergency on January 5 involving a new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9, where a door plug was lost at 16,000 feet, the FAA initiated the audit.

This incident prompted a temporary grounding of the MAX 9 and raised questions about the aircraft’s safety protocols.

New acquisition

Boeing, in response to these revelations, has been in discussions to acquire Spirit AeroSystems.

However, the company has not provided immediate comment regarding the audit findings.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized the necessity for Boeing to implement comprehensive corrective measures to address what he termed as “systemic quality-control issues.”

Whitaker stated that Boeing must commit to substantial improvements, with clear milestones and expectations set forth by the FAA.

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Can U.S. Moon lander Odysseus recover from it’s dormancy?

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The U.Ss moon lander Odysseus has gone dormant just a week after its somewhat lopsided touchdown on the lunar surface.

The mission, which aimed to conduct various experiments and collect valuable data, encountered an unexpected setback as the spacecraft’s systems initiated a dormant state.

Engineers and scientists at the space agency are working around the clock to analyze the situation and determine the cause of this unforeseen development.

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Trump wins disqualification case at U.S. supreme court

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Former President Donald Trump has emerged triumphant in the Colorado ballot disqualification case, as the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision in his favour.

The ruling marks the conclusion of a contentious legal battle that began when Colorado sought to disqualify Trump from its ballot during the previous election.

The Supreme Court, in a close decision, sided with Trump, asserting that the grounds for disqualification lacked substantial evidence and did not meet the necessary legal criteria. #ticker today #featured

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