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While his country struggles, Jordan’s King Abdullah secretly splurges

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Australia news live update: Melbourne to set Covid lockdown world record, Dominic Perrottet set to become NSW premier | Australia news

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Casual workers bore the brunt of Australia’s Covid-19 lockdowns in 2021, with a new report finding they were eight times more likely to lose work than permanent staff.

The report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work also found casuals were not being compensated for their “insecure” work, with median hourly wages 26% lower than permanent staff despite also lacking other entitlements like paid leave.

The report will play into political debate over whether the Coalition’s industrial relations changes are encouraging casual work in Australia and whether Covid income supports are being withdrawn too soon.

Last week, the treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the federal government would phase out income support two weeks after each state and territory reached the 80% adult vaccination.

You can read the full report below:

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Melbourne claims unwanted lockdown record

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‘Cheerleader for the let-it-rip brigade’: federal Labor slams likely NSW premier

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While Melbourne escaped major damage in last month’s magnitude 5.9 earthquake, experts say thorough building inspections are needed to check for any undetected problems.

Buildings in Melbourne – particularly structures with masonry and reinforced concrete – may be vulnerable to “significant damage” even with low seismic activity, according to scientists who have assessed the impacts of the 22 September tremor.

Mark Quigley, an associate professor of earthquake science at the University of Melbourne, says:


Parts of Melbourne have extreme vulnerability to relatively low intensities of ground shaking.

After the magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck near Mansfield in September, scientists “raced to the scene” to monitor the seismic activity around the epicentre.

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New Zealand to require coronavirus vaccination for all foreign travelers from November

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(CNN) — All foreign nationals entering New Zealand will need to be fully vaccinated from November 1, the government announced Sunday.

Travelers will have to declare their vaccination status when registering with the country’s isolation system and provide proof of vaccination or exemption to their airline and customs officers on landing, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement.

“To further reduce the possibility of the virus getting through our border, we are introducing the requirement for air travellers aged 17 and over, who are not New Zealand citizens, to be fully vaccinated to enter New Zealand,” he said.

The announcement came as New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern placed a new region outside Auckland under a five-day lockdown, as the country’s Covid-19 Delta variant outbreak spreads.

Those arriving in New Zealand will still have to spend 14 days in quarantine, and all travelers — except those from exempt locations — will still need  to show a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of their first scheduled international flight. 

“Most people coming to New Zealand tell us they are already vaccinated. This requirement makes it formal and will provide an extra layer of protection at the border,” Hipkins said.

Any of the 22 Covid-19 vaccines approved by a government or approval authority are acceptable, and the last dose must have been administered at least 14 days before arrival.

Those subject to the requirements who fail to show proof of vaccination could face a fine of up to $4,000, according to the press release. Some seasonal workers will be exempt due to existing requirements, as will refugees.

New Zealand reported 33 new local Covid-19 cases on Sunday, with 32 in the largest city of Auckland and one in the Waikato region, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in a press conference on Sunday.  

Ardern said parts of the Waikato region (Reglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia and Hamilton City) will be under Level 3 lockdown from 11:59 p.m. Sunday local time for the next five days.

Under Level 3 restrictions, working and learning from home is strongly encouraged if possible, public facilities must close and events cannot go ahead, and travel is restricted, according to the government’s official Covid-19 website.

Bloomfield also reported another case in the Waikato region on Sunday, which will be included in Monday’s figures.

The two cases in the Waikato region are “known associates or contacts,” Bloomfield said, but health officials have yet to establish a link to the Auckland outbreak.

Auckland is currently under a Level 3 lockdown, and Ardern added that officials will meet on Monday to discuss plans to lift lockdown restrictions in the city.

“We are doing everything that we can to keep cases confined to Auckland and managing them there,” Arden said. She further urged unvaccinated New Zealanders to book their doses, saying higher vaccination rates would mean fewer restrictions.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has won plaudits for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images

Sunday’s new local cases bring the total number of community cases from the current outbreak to 1,328, according to New Zealand’s health ministry.

The country initially went into a strict three-day lockdown in mid-August after a locally transmitted case of coronavirus was detected for the first time since February.

The rest of New Zealand remains on Alert Level 2, or low risk of community transmission, meaning most restrictions have been lifted — although limitations on numbers at gatherings remain in place.

CNN’s Julia Hollingsworth and Chandler Thornton contributed to this report.


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Palestinian president hosts Israeli minister in West Bank

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian president hosted an Israeli Cabinet minister for a late-night meeting Sunday, in a new sign of slowly improving ties between the sides.

Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz became the second top official to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since the new Israeli government took office in June. Defense Minister Benny Gantz also met with Abbas at his West Bank headquarters in August.

The new Israeli government is comprised of eight parties spanning the Israeli political spectrum, from far-right hardliners who oppose a Palestinian state to dovish parties that support a two-state solution. Horowitz, who was joined by other members of his Meretz party, including Arab Cabinet minister Esawi Frej, leads the most dovish faction in the coalition.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett comes from a small, hardline religious party, and he has ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state on his watch. But he has called for reducing frictions, primarily by taking steps to boost the Palestinian economy.

According to the state-run Wafa news agency, Abbas “stressed the importance of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving a just and comprehensive peace.” Abbas’ government seeks the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

Horowitz posted a picture of himself and Abbas on Twitter. “We have a shared mission: to preserve the hope for peace, on the basis of a two-state solution,” he said.


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