Good morning. Millions of Australians are waking up in lockdown today as states and territories attempt to prevent the spread of the latest Covid outbreak. Similar restrictions are also being put in place internationally as the Delta variant continues to spread. Barnaby Joyce has reshuffled his cabinet, and Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is set to head back to the office today after recovering from a fall in March.
New South Wales reported 30 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday as a string of new outbreaks across Australia forced states and territories to introduce sweeping new restrictions and prompted urgent calls for vaccine eligibility to be widened. Gladys Berejiklian warned Sydney to prepare for a further increase in cases over the coming days. “Given how contagious [this strain] of the virus is we do anticipate over the next few days case numbers are likely to increase even over what we have seen in the last few days,” she said. The 30 new cases were all linked to the Bondi cluster and half were in insolation while infectious. Several new exposure sights have been released for Sydney and Queensland.
The Delta variant has forced tougher restrictions on countries across the Asia Pacific region and fuelled mounting concern over holiday travel in Europe. The World Health Organization this weekend registered the lowest number of cases worldwide since February but cautioned that the Delta variant, now present in 92 countries, is driving a deadly new wave from Indonesia to Russia.
Daniel Andrews’ wife Catherine thought the Victorian premier was “going to die” when she discovered him struggling to breathe on the stairs of the Sorrento holiday home where he fell and broke several ribs and his T7 vertebra in March. In a video released on the eve of his return to work, the Victorian premier also addressed “vile rumours” that spread about the accident during his three-month layoff.
Barnaby Joyce has shifted old foes out of cabinet and rewarded key supporters with plum positions in a ministerial reshuffle. He has shifted Queensland’s Keith Pitt to the outer ministry, dumped Michael McCormack backers Darren Chester and Mark Coulton altogether and promoted his supporters Bridget McKenzie and Andrew Gee.
The Western Australian government must toughen heritage laws following allegations that Rio Tinto dumped priceless Aboriginal cultural materials and did not inform the traditional owners for 25 years, heritage experts say.
Labor has accused the Coalition of seeking to “shut down dissenting voices” after the government introduced new regulations to expand the types of offences for which charities could be deregistered. The new rules on offences that can cause charities to be deregistered are “unprecedented” and could stop them speaking out, critics say.
Australia’s population is forecast to grow slower and age faster than expected, with the downshift in growth blamed on the Covid pandemic. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s intergenerational report reveals the government will be forced to use deficit spending to pay for services for the next 40 years.
The death toll from the Miami condo collapse has risen to nine as officials in Florida insist there is still hope of finding survivors in the rubble.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has dismissed comments from the Georgia Republican extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene calling her a “little communist” and saying she should be locked up. AOC tweeted: “First of all, I’m taller than her.”
US journalist Nathan Maung said he was punched, slapped, beaten and blindfolded for more than a week by Myanmar’s security forces while in detention.
Six climate activists have been arrested after dumping seven tonnes of manure outside newspaper offices in central London.
We were lulled into a false sense of security on MasterChef Australia this week with all the dazzling promise of the judges: no eliminations until Sunday! It stands to reason, then, that we were set to have our hopes dashed by the time Sunday’s episode rolled around, and with it, a double elimination. No spoilers here though – read Clem Bastow’s recap for the juicy details.
When Jason Wilson looks at Australia from the US, he sees an insular nation that has turned its back on its own in the wake of the Covid pandemic. “Some expatriate Australians have expressed forgivable anger about being treated as second-class citizens throughout the pandemic. But as the rest of the world emerges into a post-Covid world, some of us living overseas look at our country of origin and wonder if it offers us a home worth returning to… I have developed a clear impression – especially after citizens in India were told that returning to Australia could land them in prison – that after political calculations about the pandemic have been made, an expatriate’s passport isn’t worth much.”
In March of 2020, Eritara Aati Kaierua was declared dead aboard a fishing vessel. He was working as an observer, monitoring catches to make sure no illegal fishing was taking place. Video later showed the feet of several people entering his room before he died – but more than a year later no charges have been laid. This isn’t an isolated incident – since 2009 at least a dozen observers have turned up dead or disappeared with little explanation. Reporter Bernadette Carreon explains what is happening to these workers and why answers are so difficult to find.
New South Wales have produced back-to-back maulings of Queensland to snatch back rugby league’s State of Origin shield and put them on track for the most one-sided series win in history with 26-0 victory.
England’s footballers have been subjected to sustained abuse online, including more than 2,000 abusive messages and scores of racist posts, during their matches at Euro 2020, an exclusive analysis by the Guardian can reveal.
Liberal MP Andrew Laming has launched defamation action against ABC journalist Louise Milligan for a series of tweets relating to accusations that he took photos of a woman while she was bent over, which he claims “irrevocably” damaged his “personal and professional reputation”, reports the Australian. A Covid vaccine passport that will be used across 14 countries in the EU from next week could be used in Australia to avoid border closures, reports the ABC.
Australia’s national security committee will hold an emergency meeting today over the growing number of Covid lockdowns as the nation faces an escalating crisis.
Coronial findings into the 2018 stabbing attack in Bourke Street, Melbourne, are due.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews returns to work.
And if you’ve read this far …
The mystery of UFOs seen in American skies is likely to continue following the release of the US government’s highly anticipated UFO report. The report released on Friday afternoon made clear that while American intelligence officials do not believe aliens are behind the UFOs that were observed by navy pilots, they cannot explain what the flying objects are.
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