“In some instances, meetings were avoided by instead sending emails or exchanging information electronically.”
Said researchers of the key to getting Iceland’s work week down from 40 hours to 35. And there’s your explanation as to why Iceland is the 2nd happiest country in the world…
MORE TWISTS AND TURNS ON THE VACCINATION TRACK...
Frustration with the COVID vaccination program flared again yesterday after it was reported that NSW Health approved a request by St Joseph’s College at Hunters Hill in Sydney for its 163 Year 12 boarders to receive the Pfizer vaccine in May. Joeys is one of the nation’s most prestigious Catholic boys’ schools, and principal Ross Tarlinton said the request was made because they have many boarders from rural, remote and Indigenous communities. Last night, NSW Health apologised for the error and said they had intended for the First Nations kids to be covered. Only at-risk Aussies aged under 40yo are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at this point in time, including Indigenous people between 16-19yo.
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
It’s a bit about these private school kids, but it’s a lot about broader frustrations over access to vaccinations. On Monday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard reapplied pressure to the Federal Government over vaccine supplies likening eligible residents’ hunt for a dose to the Hunger Games. NSW Education Federation President Angelos Gavriolatos yesterday summed up the anger of many, saying: “We are looking at a situation in Australia where aged care workers have yet to be vaccinated; a host of frontline workers have yet to be vaccinated. Teachers and education workers are still seeking prioritisation and now we read this. It has left us speechless,” he said. He clearly wasn’t speechless, but you catch his drift…
SO THE VACCINE ROLLOUT CONTINUES TO BE A THING?
It sure does… The Federal Government yesterday sought to instil some confidence with the head of the COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce Lieutenant General John Frewen and health officials nationwide ‘wargaming’ it. Frewen says the under 40yos will be able to get their jab by “September or October” when supplies of the Pfizer vaccine pick up and the first Moderna jabs land. And he’s meeting with business leaders today to discuss how they can facilitate shots for workers like they do with annual flu shots. As for specific dates and targets, that’s a work in progress…
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TERROR PLOT FOILED, SAY HONG KONG OFFICIALS
Six high schoolers are part of a group of 9 arrested in Hong Kong over an alleged terrorist plot to target the city’s courts, transport networks and streets. The group are aged between 15-39yo, and authorities say they took a room in a hotel to build bombs with the highly explosive chemical triacetone triperoxide. The group are being held under the territory’s national security law which carries a maximum life sentence for breaches. Earlier yesterday, the territory’s chief executive Carrie Lam warned against “illegal ideas” spreading through the city and urged parents, teachers and religious leaders to monitor children and report any suspected crimes.
OZ IS CRUSHIN’ IT
After a tough couple of years, the Aussie wine industry has bounced back with a record grape crush. Winegrowers harvested a 2.3 million tonne crop this year – a 31% increase on last year. “Goldilocks” weather is to thank for the whopper harvest, which is estimated to be worth $1.56 billion. And it’s a massive relief for winegrowers after the last couple of vintages were devastated by drought, fire and smoke. “This big vintage is welcome insofar as it will put some supply back into those largely depleted stocks,” said Wine Australia’s Rachel Triggs. The industry is also up against Chinese tariffs with the Aussie Government taking their complaint to the World Trade Organisation.
2GB BREKKIE CROWN SLIPS
Commercial FM radio veterans Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson have snatched Sydney’s the #1 spot in breakfast radio from 2GB – the first time the AM talkback station hasn’t prevailed in almost 2 decades. 2GB host Ben Fordham took over from controversial broadcaster Alan Jones in June last year and inherited an audience share of 17.9%. That has fallen to 13.3%. Kyle and Jackie O’s audience share jumped to 15.5% in yesterday’s ratings – a high point in their 21 years together. The pair is rumoured to be paid $7-8 million a year each under a deal with KIIS that runs until 2024. The survey also shows a big shift in the potency of Sydney’s morning talkback radio scene, which has had a role in setting the national political agenda for years. And Jones – who notoriously won 226 rating surveys – was the king. It wasn’t all tough news for the Nine-owned 2GB – it remains Sydney’s #1 station overall.
BARTY HAS A WIMBLEDON BREAKTHROUGH
She’s never made it past the 4th round, but overnight our world #1 women’s player Ash Barty made it into the semi-finals of Wimbledon. “This is a dream come true,” she said after her match against fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic who was appearing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final. Barty was dominant to win 6-1, 6-3, and she progresses to take on 2018 champion Angelique Kerber. “Angie’s had success here before. I love that match-up. She knows her way around this court and I know I need to play well to give myself a chance in that match,” Barty said. Former world #1 Karolina Pliskova will play Aryna Sabalenka in the other semi-final ahead of Saturday’s final. #SquizShortcut
APROPOS OF NOTHING
The world’s tallest horse has died in Wisconsin. Big Jake was 20yo and stood at more than 20 hands (aka nearly 2.1 metres tall, aka huge) and weighed 1,136kg. He leaves big hooves to fill.
New research says male dragonflies are losing their ‘bling’ as climates get hotter. Not that man-jewellery should be encouraged…
Buy a $16 ticket, and the home where drug lord El Chapo fled via an underground drainage system could be yours via a government raffle. The house was seized in 2014 along with his plastic bananas stuffed with cocaine and plastic cucumbers stuffed with marijuana. They’re not on offer, btw…
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6.00pm (AEST) – The Australian Olympics team announces who will be our flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics
8.00pm (AEST) – Rugby Test – Wallabies v France – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
National Day – Solomon Islands
World Chocolate Day
Ringo Starr’s birthday (1940)
• Missouri becoming the first place sliced bread is sold (1928)
• the death of Sherlock author Arthur Conan Doyle (1930)
• the first Three Tenors concert featuring Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti in Rome (1990)
• Nelson Mandela stepping down as President of South Africa (1996)
• the London terrorist attacks that targeted commuters during the morning rush hour killing 56 and injuring 784 people (2005)
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