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Melbourne, Australia enters its fourth lockdown, businesses left ‘devastated’

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Australia’s Victorian State Government has announced Melbourne and the entire state of Victoria will enter a seven day lockdown.

Victoria has been plunged into a seven-day snap lockdown as a rapidly-growing cluster of COVID-19 cases reached 26 as of May 27, 2020.

Acting Premier James Merlino announced the “circuit breaker” lockdown will begin at midnight tonight. The lockdown is due to remain in place until 11.59pm June 3. However, Mr Merlino said the government was still open to ending the lockdown earlier if possible, saying, “If we can end it sooner, we will”.

Five reasons to leave home

Acting Premier James Merlino has revealed there will only be five reasons to leave home.

From 11.59pm on May 27, 2021, Victorians will only have five reasons to leave home: shopping for food and supplies, authorised work, care and caregiving, exercise with one other person for up to two hours and getting vaccinated.

A five-kilometer travel radius will also be introduced. Shopping will be limited to one person per day, per household. Face masks will be required to be worn inside and outdoors everywhere.

Private and public gatherings will also not be permitted, although single bubbles and intimate partner visits will be allowed.

Retail stores among those ordered to close
Retail stores among those ordered to close

Businesses left devastated once again

Mr. Merlino says the Government is right now working through a plan to support businesses after many have now been ordered to shut.

“We know this will be particularly difficult for businesses and events”

Of the industries ordered to shut down include gyms, hairdressers, retailers (not including click and collect). Schools will also close, so too will accomodation and community eve

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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U.S. retailers limit emergency contraception purchases

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Demand for morning after pills have led to retailers having to limit purchases

Amazon has limited sales of morning after pills as demand spikes following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

There is now a limit of three Plan B units per week on emergency contraceptive pills sold through its website.

Other U.S. retailers are also capping purchases of emergency contraceptive pills like chain pharmacy, CVS and Walmart.

Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that can be taken within 72 hours after sex. It is a synthetic form of the hormone progestin which delays ovulation briefly and prevents pregnancy.

Demand has surged following last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs Wade, ending the constitutional right to have an abortion.

Since the reversal of Roe v Wade, women have tried to find ways to control their reproductive health, by stocking up on emergency contraception.

Social media is flooding with calls to stock up on Plan B in anticipation of possible restrictions on contraceptive pills.

Meanwhile, some US companies have committed to paying staff travel expenses for those wanting an abortion.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this article.

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Chinese investment in Australia drops

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China’s investment in Australia has plunged to its lowest levels since 2007

A new report from KPMG and the University of Sydney shows Chinese companies invested U.S. $585 million in Australia last year, which is down from a peak of U.S $16.2 billion in 2008.

It comes as relations between the two nations remain sour. Australia has previously called for an independent review into the origins of Covid-19, and a ban on foreign interference.

But Chinese officials have responded with trade sanctions, which have affected Australian wine, seafood and coal exports.

Australia was once a large destination for Chinese investment. In fact, the two nations signed an historic Free Trade Agreement in 2015, with a key focus on economic growth and creating jobs.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese says he will not make concessions to China. The newly-elected Albanese is in Europe for a series of talks with NATO leaders.

“The resistance of Ukraine has brought democratic nations closer together which have a shared commitment to rules-based, international order,” he says.

But Chinese officials believe it is irresponsible to place Ukraine and Taiwan in the same basket.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says “Taiwan is by no means Ukraine,” and labelled Albanese’s comments as “irresponsible”.

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Business

Target offers support to employees seeking abortions

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Target will help its employees living in states where abortions are banned by funding their travel

The company sent a memo to employees via email with the new policy to be enacted in July.

Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer says “A few months ago, we started re-evaluating our benefits with the goal of understanding what it would look like if we broadened the travel reimbursement to any care that’s needed and covered – but not available in the team member’s community”.

She says “This effort became even more relevant as [Target] learned about the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion, given that it would impact access to healthcare in some states”.

This all comes amid the reversal of Roe versus Wade removing abortion as a constitutional right within the U.S.

This has sparked a range of companies to provide similar benefits with Amazon also providing travel coverage for employees.

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