As one of the world’s longest lockdown’s continues, violent protests have once again broken out in the city of Melbourne
Police and demonstrators clashed on Monday night following an announcement by the state government that construction workers will be required to have a Covid-19 vaccine.
A protest outside the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne turned violent.
CFMEU officials say Monday’s protesters were not actually union members, but “neo-Nazi’s and right-wing extremists”
Protesters smashed glass windows, threw projectiles and caused damage to the building, prompting the deployment of riot police.
In particular, the Victorian headquarters of Australia’s major construction union, the CFMEU was vandalised.
A large group of people, including construction workers, began gathering outside the CFMEU building on Monday morning to protest against the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination measures for construction industry workers announced by the Victorian authorities
Under the new guidelines, employees will be required to prove that they have received a vaccine dose in order to work.
In addition to this, Melbourne’s entire construction industry has been brought to a grinding halt for two weeks amid super spreader fears.
Authorities have confirmed that several people were arrested and property damaged following the riot squad being deployed.
The union has since condemned the attack, saying the violence occurred after the protest was “infiltrated” by right-wing groups.
“Please calm down. Can you at least give me the respect to talk? We’re not the enemy, I don’t know what you have heard,” CFMEU Victorian secretary John Sekta told protesters.
“I have never, ever said I support mandatory vaccination.”
Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas late on Monday confirmed the two-week shutdown from 11:59pm for metropolitan Melbourne, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire.
“We’ve been clear: if you don’t follow the rules, we won’t hesitate to take action – we have seen widespread non-compliance across the industry and that’s why we’re taking necessary steps to protect every single Victorian,” he said in a statement.
“We put the industry on notice just a week ago, we have seen appalling behaviour on-site and on our streets, and now we’re acting decisively and without hesitation.”
Five former Trump staffers speak with House
January 6 capital riots investigation continues
As the investigation into the January 6 capitol riots continues, new reports allege that at least five former Trump staffers have come forward to speak voluntarily with the House committee.
This comes as the committee’s lawyers continue to reach out to further Trump aides as to whether they would be interested in speaking at the hearing without the threat of SUPENA.
The committee has been tasked with investigating the actions of former President Donald Trump prior to the riots occurring.
This most recent outreach is not likely to signify that the committee believes the staffers had any involvement in sparking the riots… but rather they may have more context as to what was happening inside the White House that day.
It all comes as Trump continues his legal battle against the investigation… suing both the committee and the National Archives in an attempt to withhold documents.
Queen Elizabeth not attending COP26 climate event
Buckingham Palace says the Queen is accepting doctor’s advice to rest
Following a health scare just last week… Queen Elizabeth will not be attending the upcoming COP-26 climate event in Glasgow.
This comes as doctors advise the royal to rest and comes just hours after she carried out her first official engagements since being admitted to hospital.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth met virtually with the ambassador of Korea and Switzerland.
Last week, Buckingham Palace revealed the monarch spent a night in hospital for “preliminary investigations”… but returned home in “good spirits”.
Meanwhile, the Queen was due to attend an evening reception in Glasgow on Monday but will deliver a video message instead.
Jeff Bezos unveils plans for commercial space station
Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company, Blue Origin, has announced plans to launch a space station in Earth’s orbit.
The station will be named “Orbital Reef,” and is projected to be built and operational by the end of the decade.
The company says the station will be serve as a “mixed-use business park” in space and will host up to 10 people.
Promotional material released by the company revealed the 32-thousand square foot station will provide customers with an ideal location for “filmmaking in microgravity”, or “conducting cutting-edge research”.
It’s also speculated that the space station will include a “space hotel”.
The company will partner with Sierra Space and Boeing to build the outpost.
The announcement comes amid NASA efforts to find a proposal to replace the International Space Station (ISS), which is now more than 20 years old and in desperate need of repair.
This will include $400m in private contracts to space companies to help the agency replace the ageing outpost.
There is likely to be stiff competition for the funding, and Blue Origin is the latest firm to unveil their space station concept, joining space firms Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, who have teamed up to launch a station into low orbit by 2027.
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