Morning Mail: NSW Loosens Rules for Covid Workers, Project Pegasus, Tattoo Design Theft | Australia News
gHello. It turns out that the new Covid restrictions for workers in South West Sydney are not as strict as originally advertised. It’s “Freedom Day” in England, according to Boris Johnson, but he will not take advantage of the relaxed restrictions after being forced to self-isolate. Plus: Massive data leak reveals global abuse of Israeli spyware by authoritarian governments to hack the phones of activists and journalists.
the New South Wales Premier Berejiklian has expanded the list of workers who can leave three areas in southwest Sydney from the only healthcare and emergency workers to everything from retail, manufacturing, transport and couriers, to teachers and childcare workers. Relaxation of rules comes after health officials on Sunday announced 105 new local cases and the fourth death from Sydney’s current outbreak – a woman in her 90s. From today, all construction and maintenance work on non-essential buildings will be stopped. In Victoria, 17 cases of Covid have been recorded, including one in Mildura, Prime Minister Daniel Andrew said it was too early to say whether the state lockdown would end as planned on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, a new study from the Australia Institute appears to show Australians believe states have handled the pandemic better than the federal government.
As the UK is supposed to celebrate what Boris Johnson has called ‘Freedom Day’, the Prime Minister will be in isolation. UK drops almost all Covid restrictions today despite rising infections. But Johnson, along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, will all be isolated, along with hundreds of thousands of others due to exposure to the coronavirus. Johnson and Sunak had first tried to avoid it, saying they were part of a pilot test program, but backed down in the face of an uproar. The UK recorded 54,674 new cases on Saturday – its highest daily count since January, and 48,161 more cases and 25 deaths on Sunday. Schools across England are closing early for the summer holidays or switching to online education as tens of thousands of students are forced to self-isolate at home.
Human rights activists, journalists and lawyers around the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using Pegasus spyware sold by Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group, according to a joint Guardian and 16 other media investigation into a massive data breach. The company insists that its software is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists. Project Pegasus will reveal the identities of those whose phone numbers were on the list in the coming days, including FT editor-in-chief Roula Halaf, the family of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi and at least five journalists in Hungary.
Former NSW Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Bob Carr wrote to Unesco urging it to “recognize the urgency of the threats” facing the Blue Mountains and warning that this World Heritage area could be adversely affected by the proposed heightening of the Warragamba dam. Carr said the area was severely affected by the 2019-20 bushfires and parts would be flooded if the dam wall was high.
Queensland is considered one of the strongholds of the Coalition. But it was also the scene of a battle for the soul of the Coalition, with a growing push from the Christian right. And the next women’s conference is expected to highlight the growing political divide within the party, with the backing of an anti-abortion bill, more action on Brittany Higgins’ claims and a push against the quotas on the agenda.
Indonesia reported more daily Covid-19 infections on Saturday than India and Brazil as the Delta strain sweeps across Southeast Asia, putting intense pressure on health systems. Most countries in the region are experiencing their worst epidemics since the start of the pandemic, fueled by the emergence of more aggressive variants and the lack of vaccines.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany must step up pace to tackle impact of climate crisis, after further flash floods devastated cities in eastern Germany, Bavaria and Austria over the weekend.
Turkey slammed European Union court ruling to allow employers to ban headscarves of their workplaces, claiming that it is “a blow to the rights of Muslim women” and that it “would confer legitimacy on racism”.
Are we living in the age of stupidity? The era of the idiot? The answer is of course yes, with examples of monstrous morons everywhere – from climate deniers to the “plandemic” crowd that thinks Covid-19 was concocted in Bill Gates’ basement. This week’s recommendation on what to watch is Mike Judge’s 2006 dystopian comedy Idiocracy which feels more like a documentary in 2021.
Are you working too hard? Maybe it’s time to try to be imperfect. “Perfectionism and its constant companion, the Inner Critic, continually dictate demands such as having to be or appearing perfect, never making mistakes, never failing, never disappointing others and never losing control,” writes Barbara. Rysenbry. Accepting that all we can control are our actions and our values is a simpler and more empowering way of life.
Tattoo designs are often shared and relentlessly re-shared over the internet until the original artist is forgotten. People see the design, think it’s cool, and take it to their local tattoo parlor. And so the tattoo spreads, like a virus, without the knowledge of the creator. While Australian law largely covers the concept of “tattoo theft,” few artists enjoy legal protection, writes James Shackell.
In early June, Lt. Gen. John Frewen was appointed general coordinator of Australia’s National Covid Vaccine Working Group. Since then, he has appeared on television and radio to talk about the deployment. But what exactly does his job consist of? And why is a serviceman leading a public health response? Political journalists Amy Remeikis and Daniel Hurst explain.
Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix but was charged with “dirty driving” after clashing with title rival Max Verstappen on track. The incident had been investigated by stewards and Hamilton was assessed a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.
For decades, the AFL has had a policy of using overtime in draw finals, and in 2016 abolished replay to settle a grand final draw. Few can forget the decisive 2010 game between Collingwood and St Kilda and fewer still want to remember, Magpies fans aside, the rerun a week later. So, if going on to come up with a winner is good enough for the finals and the grannies, why not the home and away matches, asks Scott Heinrich.
The Delta variant spread further into the Victoria area, upended an AFL game on Sunday night and questioned the state’s chances of breaking out of lockdown on Tuesday night, age reports. One of the most significant trials in Northern Territory history – the trial of police officer Zachary Rolfe for the alleged murder of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker – begins today in Darwin behind closed doors, NT News written ($). And the australian to this exclusive story ($) on why Australia’s top equestrian jumper was overlooked for the Tokyo Olympic team.
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