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FLIGHTS SUSPENDED: Travel bubble paused with Australia’s most populous state

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New Zealand has put quarantine free travel with Australia’s most populous state on hold.

This comes as the Australian state of New South Wales puts in covid-19 restrictions for greater Sydney as the state records another coronavirus case today.

A man in his 50s from Sydney’s eastern suburbs – as well as his wife – have tested positive for COVID-19.

Genomic sequencing has linked the man to a returned traveller from the US.

It’s unclear how transmission occurred. Health authorities are trying to track down the “missing link” between the pair.

New Zealand’s coronavirus response minister says the decision was weighed up carefully.

The travel bubble between New South Wales and New Zealand will be paused while the latest cases in the state are investigated.

“I have made the decision to pause flight from New South Wales for a period of 48 hours,” New Zealand’s coronavirus response minister Chris Hipkins says.

“We will keep that under constant review during that time, obviously to more information during that time they gives us more confidence we get is that restriction earlier, we reserve the ability to do that, if over the period of time further information come to like them is ready to extend that and we have the ability to do that as well.”

“I do acknowledge that this is going to cause disruption for people who were travelling in the next 48 hours from New South Wales to New Zealand,” he says.

“We indicated when we opened up the trans-Tasman travel bubble (that we) will continue to be cautious.”

People who have arrived in NZ from NSW will be contacted and tested.

The NZ health authorities will contact 6000 people via email.

It will come into effect at 11:59pm tonight.

Climate Change

Australia places honeybees in lockdown

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Honeybees in Australia are in lockdown after a deadly parasite was discovered in Sydney

A parasite has been found to weaken and kill bee colonies, which could threaten the already-scarce bee population.

Australian bees have been into lockdown, which means beekeepers are not allowed to move hives, bees or honeycombs until further notice from biosecurity.

Local authorities say swift measures are being taken to contain the disease.

“We have immediately launched an eradication plan which involved setting up a biosecurity zone, containing the infected hives and euthanising the bees.”

NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders

Until now, Australia is one of a few continents who did not have the varroa destructor, which can attach itself to the body of a bee and weaken its fat.

Nearly one-third of Australia’s food production relies on bee pollination. But the outbreak could cost the honey industry millions of dollars.

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Crypto

North Korea bears the brunt of the crypto market crash

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The crypto market crash is impacting North Korea’s weapons programme

The recent crypto market crash has made its way to North Korea, where hackers are bearing the brunt.

The isolated country relies on stolen crypto to fund part of their weapons program.

But as crypto holdings drop by millions of dollars, the nation is reportedly scrambling to find new ways to fund Pyongyang’s missile plans.

KCNA

North Korea has ramped up its stolen crypto assets in recent times leading to one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record earlier this year.

Hackers allegedly stole $615 million worth of crypto prompting the U.S. tplace a warning about potential workers who are hiding their identities to find jobs abroad.

Meanwhile, crypto holdings have decreased in value with the market sliding below $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

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Ukraine Crisis

Sean Penn visits President Zelensky in Kyiv

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Sean Penn is the latest celebrity to travel to Ukraine and meet with President Zelensky

Actor Sean Penn is reportedly creating a documentary on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He is seeking to visit the war-torn areas where Russian troops have allegedly committed war crimes.

The leader thanked Penn for his support during the meeting. It comes a week after Zelensky met with Hollywood star Ben Stiller, who was visiting for humanitarian reasons.

“The whole world will soon be able to see the whole truth about the war thanks to his film. Sean, thank you for the support of our state and our people.”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Meanwhile, fresh vision has emerged of a Russian missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the country’s east.

It’s understood 18 people are dead, and dozens are still missing. Moscow says it struck a nearby arms depot and is claiming the mall was empty at the time.

The blast sent shockwaves around surrounding areas, where people can be seen running away from the areas of impact.

Meanwhile, President Zelensky is calling Russia a terrorist state. He urged his U.N. counterparts to stand up and pay their respects, as he dialled in for urgent talks.

“Who of you does not agree that this is terrorism?”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Zelensky named victims of the war, including a three-month-old. He also drew on the U.N. Charter for maintaining international peace and security.

Meanwhile, Russia’s representatives expressed concern about President Zelensky’s speech. Dmitry Polyanskiy says he did not receive any consultation beforehand.

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