“I’m like, what?”
Said Rose Martin after finding a British paratrooper who had fallen from 4,500m through the roof of a neighbour’s Californian home after his parachute failed to open correctly. The British Ministry of Defence yesterday confirmed he sustained minor injuries. Buy that man a lottery ticket…
SOMETHING SWEET TO SOFTEN THE BLOW
NSW reported 89 new local COVID cases yesterday, along with the 2nd death linked to the outbreak. Of the new cases, 21 were infectious in the community, and 75% were close family contacts. Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to deliver an update today about how long the lockdown of Sydney and surrounds will last, but reports say it’s likely to extend for another 4 weeks. This means two things: $5.1 billion in financial support from the government and more changes to the official advice on vaccines…
WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?
On the dollars, it’s a new formula that the Federal Government hopes it doesn’t have to roll out too often. There are a few ways “to ensure the lockdown can be maintained to arrest the latest outbreak,” PM Scott Morrison said yesterday. Eligible individuals will receive between $375 and $600/week in increased disaster payments, and small and medium businesses can access up to $10,000/week in support payments. NSW is also putting its hand in its pocket to help fund the package. As for vaccines, people under 60yo living in areas with COVID-19 cases should think about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine if they don’t have access to a Pfizer shot, officials now say. It’s the most recent in a series of changes to the advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in the wake of rare but serious blood clotting disorders resulting from the AstraZeneca jab.
SO, THINKING AHEAD… ONCE WE’RE VACCINATED, DO WE HAVE TO GET A BOOSTER?
Whoa up, Nelly… Oz is said to be falling to the back of the pack when it comes to securing more supplies of the Pfizer vaccine for future years compared to other developed nations. But it’s something World Health Organization says is a big no-no. Earlier this week, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said rich countries with already high levels of vaccination should back off to give other nations a chance of getting their supply of first-round vaccinations. And there’s still confusion around whether or not boosters are needed, at what point, and for whom.
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CHINA WATCHES ON
Huge war games kick off today with Northern Australia playing host to military personnel from the US, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Kiwiland and the UK. Talisman Sabre 2021 has been scaled back thanks to COVID but has been partially responsible for the influx of American defence personnel to Oz in the last few weeks. And you get the sense China feels left out… Overnight, the ABC reported that a Chinese spy ship is approaching our east coast via the Torres Strait to keep an eye on things, just as it has done for previous exercises with our allies. “We fully expected a ship of this class to arrive in our region during the exercise and have planned for its presence, as we do for every iteration,” Defence Minister Peter Dutton said. You don’t need to launch your own covert monitoring operation – you can follow the war games via its Twitter feed…
RIOTS ROCK SOUTH AFRICA
At least 45 people have died in violent scenes in South Africa following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma last week. The South African Government has deployed the military to help police in the northeastern provinces, including the nation’s largest city Johannesburg, which have seen the barricading of roads, destruction of property and widespread looting. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa denounced the unrest as “opportunistic acts of criminality,” which has been “rarely seen before in the history of our democracy”. The unrest is expected to continue as the country’s highest court considers an appeal over Zuma’s 15-month prison sentence. The 79yo handed himself in to authorities last week after a stand-off over his failure to attend an inquiry into corruption during his 9-year term.
WORK SUCKS FOR BILLIONAIRE
Elon Musk ”hates” being the boss of Tesla, telling a US court he hasn’t much enjoyed his 13-year stint in the top job. “I’ve tried very hard not to be the CEO of Tesla, but I have to, or frankly, Tesla is going to die,” he said. Musk is in court over accusations he pressured his company’s board into accepting a US$2.6 billion deal to buy failing solar panel firm SolarCity in 2016, owned by his cousins. A group of shareholders want Musk to pay back the money, but he insists the deal wasn’t a bailout and that he didn’t railroad those in charge of ensuring the company’s good governance. If successful, it would be one of the biggest ever judgements brought against an individual. Maybe it’s time to listen to Maya Angelou…
GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT
Muggy weather and temperatures in the mid to high 30Cs are the conditions awaiting Olympic athletes. That’s not unusual for Japan at this time of year – in fact, when Tokyo held the Games in 1964, it was moved to October because of the heat. But given the 2020 Olympics have already been postponed thanks to COVID, that ship has sailed… Also feeling the heat is Team USA after losing 91-83 to the Aussie Boomers in a men’s basketball friendly yesterday. It has buoyed hopes that the Boomers can finally medal at the Games. And yes, we just used a noun as a verb…
KIWIS ON ORCA WATCH…
A team of experts is working to reunite a baby orca with its pod after it was found stranded on a beach near Wellington on Sunday. Named Toa, meaning “brave” or “strong” in Maori, the baby is believed to be 4 to 6 months old. And because Toa wasn’t weaned, he’s being fed a special milk replacement formula and receiving plenty of massages. Planes are searching for the pod, and rescuers are optimistic about Toa’s chance of reuniting with his gang. “This started out as a local community thing, and then it soon spread New Zealand-wide, and now literally there’s a global rally to help this little guy,” Orca Research Trust founder Dr Ingrid Visser said. Fingers and fins crossed…
APROPOS OF NOTHING
South Korea has reached “maximum crisis level” thanks to COVID, and there’s one thing for it – slow down the music listened to in gyms. Anything with a tempo higher than 120 beats/min is out. As a public health response, it’s up there with Japan’s 2020 rollercoaster advisory…
New research says about two-thirds of couples are friends for almost 2 years before getting involved. The catch: what ‘friendship’ means is not the same for everyone, researchers found.
And move over Tinder/Bumble, Iran has a new dating app to help facilitate “lasting and informed marriage”. To ensure things are locked down, “service consultants” will “accompany” a new couple for 4 years after the wedding. Oh, the intimacy…
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9.30am (AEST) – Cricket – T20 Series Game 4 – Australia v West Indies – Saint Lucia
8.10pm (AEST ) – Rugby League – final game of the State of Origin series – Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Start of Talisman Sabre 2021 wargames – Northern Australia
Bastille Day – France, marking the anniversary of the beginning of the French Revolution with the fall of the Bastille Prison (1789)
International Non-Binary People’s Day
Birthdays for Anna Bligh (1960), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (1985), Conor McGregor (1988)
Anniversary of New Zealand holding its first general election (1853)
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