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“Right-wing extremists” crash tradies’ protest in the city experiencing world’s longest lockdown

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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.

CFMEU Victorian secretary John Sekta Source: AAP

“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.”

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World

Balloon diplomacy blows China off course

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China claims an “airship” that is flying over the United States is for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes and voiced regret that it strayed into U.S. airspace.

U.S. officials said on Thursday that a Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the United States for a couple of days, in what would be a brazen act just days ahead of a planned trip to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In a statement late on Friday, China’s foreign ministry also said that it would continue to maintain communications with the United States to properly handle the unexpected situation.

“The airship is from China and is civilian in nature, used for meteorological and other scientific research. Due to the influence of westerly winds and its limited control capability, the airship deviated from its intended course,” it said.

“China regrets that the airship strayed into the United States by mistake due to force majeure. China will continue to maintain communication with the U.S. side to properly handle this accident,” it said.

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World

U.S. announces longer-range rocket for Ukraine

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A new rocket that would double Ukraine’s strike range in its war with Russia was included in a $2.175 billion U.S. military aid package.

The new weapon, the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), will allow Ukraine’s military to hit targets at twice the distance reachable by the rockets it now fires from the U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The 151 km (94 mile) GLSDB will put all of Russia’s supply lines in eastern Ukraine within reach, as well as part of Russian-occupied Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

“As part of the USAI package, we will be providing Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb to Ukraine,” Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing at the Pentagon. USAI stands for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

Friday’s aid pledge opens the door to many more deliveries of the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).

When the new rockets arrive, it will mark the first time Ukraine has seen its rocket range grow exponentially since U.S. furnished HIMARS in late-June 2022.

HIMARS have a 77 km (48 mile) range and were instrumental in Ukraine’s counter offensive against Russian forces, which invaded on Feb. 24, 2022.

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Fame

Fans struggle to buy Beyonce concert tickets

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If you’re struggling to get Beyonce tickets, you’re not alone

 
O2 customers in the U.K. were reporting problems with the company’s app and website.

For those who were able to get through, they paid anywhere from £56-199.

For those who are super keen, there are V.I.P. packages with front row seats. But that’ll set you back £475.

Some fans took to social media to vent their frustrations over the ticketing fiasco.

It’s Queen B’s first solo tour in seven years, and will take her across Europe and North America.

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