Protestors did not gather in Melbourne’s CBD today, with police patrols returning in numbers to protect vaccination centres, following abuse directed at health workers in previous days
Community organisation cohealth was forced to temporarily close its vaccination centre in Melbourne’s Town Hall, after health workers were reportedly spat on and abused yesterday.
cohealth chief executive Nicole Batholomeusz said staff had been physically and verbally abused in the city during the protest, and that they had been “targeted because they were wearing their cohealth identification”.
“We have instructed all staff not to wear their cohealth uniforms, lanyards or scrubs in the city, to avoid being targeted.
Premier Daniel Andrews condemned the actions of protestors who targeted health workers, and said he expected Victoria Police to identify and “deal with” those responsible for the abuse.
Police arrested more than 200 people at the Shrine of Remembrance yesterday, after a stand-off between officers and protestors lasted several hours
Protestors were mostly given infringement notices, with some charged with more serious offences for using flares and throwing objects.
Two police officers were struck in the head with bottles, while another officer was admitted to hospital with chest pains.
The demonstrations were originally planned to protest against new regulations that saw the entire construction industry shut down and tradespeople forced to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to return to work.
But the state’s Deputy Commissioner says it is difficult to determine what demographics the protestors were from with speculation some may have been right-wing extremists.
It comes as Premier Daniel Andrews says many of the individuals who attended the demonstrations are an insult to the majority of tradies across Victoria.
Meanwhile, Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young believes Australians should be on high alert.
Air-traffic to resume over Melbourne CBD following flight ban
Meanwhile, media organisations in Melbourne have successfully challenged the flight ban over the CBD which would have banned live broadcast of the protest this week.
Nine Network, owner of The Age, Seven and the ABC were granted a stay by the Federal Court, which means live coverage can now resume until the case progresses.
Restrictions were placed on air-traffic by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority at the request of Victoria Police, after concerns were raised that protestors were watching aerial live streams to monitor police operations.
The case will now proceed to a trial.
China experiencing ‘mixed effects’ with Crypto crackdown
Chinese officials have taken steps to crack down on cryptocurrencies, with mixed effects.
A Chinese phone regulator says it would “gradually retire existing mainland China user accounts”.
It follows a crackdown from authorities who say crypto transactions in China are banned and they will root out mining of digital assets.
A PWC crypto leader says “there is no ambiguity” in this latest ban.
The official notice comes from the People’s Bank of China along with nine other institutions.
Enforcement is set to be widespread, with security watchdogs, the supreme court and police all backing the ban.
Asian Aviation sector bouncing back after Pandemic shutdown
COVID-19 infections are hitting the Aviation sector in Asia, as the industry seeks to bounce back from the height of the pandemic.
It comes as South Korea creates a travel bubble with other countries in a bid to revive tourism.
Budget carrier Jeju Air resumed flights to Guam, and other destinations that are popular for holidaymakers.
But South Korea is currently reporting over 2,000 new infections of COVID-19 each day, which has stalled the Aviation sector’s re-opening.
The surge in infections comes amid a shortage of vaccines.
North Korea tests new cruise missiles
North Korea claims to have “successfully” test-fired new long-range cruise missiles, which hit their targets 1,500 km away
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency describes the missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance”.
The tests took place over the weekend, just days after the reclusive nation celebrated the 73rd anniversary of its founding with a late night military parade.
State media says the missiles flew for 7,580 seconds along “oval and pattern-8 flight orbits” and landed in the nation’s territorial waters.
The missile tests are the first that Pyongyang has carried out since March. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un does not appear to have been in attendance for the launches.
Bruce Wolpe from the United States Studies Centre says North Korea wants to create some attention.
“When Kim engages in these acts, he’s essentially saying pay attention to me… don’t forget I’m here. And he rattles the cage,” Wolpe told Ticker News.
The Korean Central News Agency says the test provides “strategic significance of possessing another effective deterrence means for more reliably guaranteeing the security of our state and strongly containing the military manoeuvres of the hostile forces”.
STALLED NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS
The latest missile tests come amid a protracted standoff between North Korea and the United States.
Negotiations to get North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal have remained stalled since 2019.
Pyongyang says it won’t give up its nuclear weapons, while America pursues a “hostile” policy.
Bruce Wolpe believes U.S. President Joe Biden will see the missile tests as justification for his decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan.
“It affirms, at least in President Biden’s mind, the wisdom of the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan because there are other issues that need his attention and focus,” Bruce Wolpe says.
The U.S special envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim, is visiting Japan this week to meet with his counterparts from South Korea and Japan.
One of the pressing issues up for discussion is how to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.
But as history shows, it’s no easy feat.
The Biden administration says the best way to address the nuclear threat is through diplomacy and dialogue.
The special envoy has even offered to meet his North Korean counterparts “anywhere, anytime without preconditions.”
But North Korea has not been willing to engage.
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