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Economist: Australian lockdowns similar to “Communist Russia”

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Australia continues to battle COVID

How do you think the Australian government has managed lockdowns?

NSW PREMIER Gladys Berejiklian

When it comes to critics of Australian Covid-19 lockdowns, they don’t come much more fierce than Professor Gigi Foster, School of Economics at the University of New South Wales.

Foster says Australians are sick of it, and the world is laughing:

“It became clear that the politicians have overplayed their hand. And that the people of Australia are becoming increasingly restless.”

We are sick of these lockdowns particularly with the international borders still closed. We’re seeing other countries around the world open up, and in fact make fun of us for having these lockdowns on the back of small, small numbers of cases.”

Professor gigi foster

Foster went as far as comparing Australia in some ways to Russia.

“But in this case I think what’s happened is the government has played that card over and over, and has really lost the trust of many people in the society. And we’re starting to see pockets of evidence that really reminds me of the way it used to be in Communist Russia. Where the government would say well this is what we need to do, and everybody would try and work around it and give the impression they were following the rules.”

When Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a cut to international flights by 50% – Foster says they’ve stretched it too far.

The biggest city in Australia has recorded 35 new cases of community transmission.

24 of the cases recorded in New South Wales overnight were isolating during their infectious period.

It comes as the nation’s Federal Government continues to battle state premiers and the painfully slow vaccine rollout.

Professor Foster has copped a huge amount of backlash for her strong views but says some statements have been taken out of context.

Foster believes her key message has always been the same – when it comes to people’s mental health, we’ve (Australia) failed.

AUSTRALIA’S PM SCOTT MORRISON

“Whenever we have a policy implemented we should look at all costs, not just costs in relation to deaths or suffering in relation to one particular disease, in this case Covid. That’s always been my position. And I think that these domestic lockdowns in the face of international borders being closed is absolute madness.”

And when it comes to when Australia will return to an actual normal way of living, Foster predicted it won’t be until well into next year.

World

India’s ban on single-use plastics comes into effect

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India is banning many single-use plastics in a bid to tackle pollution

India produces around four million tonnes of plastic waste each year. But authorities will begin cracking down on usage and production of single-use plastics from Friday.

India’s Government believes 60 per cent of plastic waste is recycled. But a survey by the Centre for Science and Environment found the figure was 12 per cent in 2019.

When plastic waste is not recycled correctly, it creates fire hazards and air pollution, which blankets India’s major cities. It can also enter local waterways, which poisons wildlife.

New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

Some plastic bags and multi-layered packaging are exempt from these latest changes.

Millions of people are employed in the country’s plastic industry, with many pushing the government to delay the ban.

Street vendors are also expressing concerns around the changes.

The nation’s capital, New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

The Air Quality Institute found 510 million people who live in northern India “on track” to lose 7.6 years off their lives if pollution levels remain as they are.

Local authorities are set to decide the penalties for people in breach of the single-use plastics ban.

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U.K. Government in crisis as Tory whip resigns over sexual assault allegations

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Boris Johnson’s government is in crisis as the Tory whip resigned over allegations he groped two men while drunk

In his resignation letter, Chris Pincher admitted he “drank far too much” and embarrassed himself and other people.

“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.”

CHRIS PINCHER

According to sources from Downing Street, it is unlikely Pincher will face any further action, and he will remain as a Conservative MP.

The Sun newspaper first reported the resignation, saying he was drinking at the Carlton Club when he is accused of assaulting two other male guests.

Reports suggest several concerned Tory MPs contacted the Conservative whips’ office to complain about Pincher’s behaviour.

Prime Minister is yet to comment on the matters.

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Beijing issues a stark warning to Canberra

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Beijing is warning Australia will “bear the consequences” if there are any military disputes in the South China Sea

China’s Defence Ministry says Australia is engaging in “risky” behaviour, as surveillance jets fly near the disputed Paracel Islands.

“What is the duty of a soldier? That is to defend the homeland,” says Colonel Tan Kefei.

The islands are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

It comes just weeks after an Australian Air Force was challenged by a Chinese J-16 fighter in the disputed territory.

A Chinese J-10 fighter, similar to the one involved in the incident.

Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles says some aluminium chaff was drawn into the engines of the P-8A Poseidon.

“The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8 settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance,” he said.

The aircraft made its way back to its base, and Marles said the crew responded “professionally”.

It’s believed the Chinese jet also fired flares and chaff as a countermeasure.

The Defence Minister said he had communicated his concerns to Chinese authorities over the incident.

But China’s defence spokesperson, Colonel Tan says “those who come uninvited shall bear the consequences.”

Canada has also been in the firing line, as they reportedly carry out U.N. missions near North Korea.

But Chinese authorities believe the jets were monitoring China “under the pretext of enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions”.

“No matter what the name or excuse is, it is completely unreasonable to send military planes to the door of others to provoke and jeopardise the national security of other countries,” says Colonel Tan.

Australia’s Prime Minister met with Canada’s leader, Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid this week.

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