Good morning. Australia is far behind in its planned vaccine rollout as experts warn outbreaks will keep occurring while the country remains unvaccinated. If your Easter plans have been thrown into disarray by Brisbane’s lockdown, treat yourself to a seafood feast instead – we’ve spoken to the experts about how to get the best sustainable underwater grub.
Australia has missed Scott Morrison’s vaccine goal by 3.4m shots. Nearly 600,000 doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered, just 15% of the 4m dose target set by the PM by the end of March. The country has fallen well short due to international supply problems, natural disasters including the NSW floods, errors and booking issues. GPs are continuing to report significant delays in vaccine deliveries, forcing them to cancel bookings and undermining their ability to plan. Queensland’s tourism sector is expected to lose $35m by the end of Easter after 15 new cases triggered the latest shutdown over a peak holiday period, prompting holidaymakers to cancel “their bookings hand over fist”.
The US, UK and Australia are among 14 countries to sharply criticise a World Health Organization report into the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan, implicitly accusing China of “withholding access to complete, original data and samples”. The statement came hard on the heels of an admission on Tuesday by the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, that the investigation was “not extensive enough” and experts had struggled to access raw information during their four-week visit to Wuhan in January.
Labor has pledged to cut the import tariff on electric vehicles worth less than $77,565 if elected and exempt them from fringe benefits tax in an effort to reduce retail prices and create incentives to drive up fleet purchases. The commitments on electric vehicles are the first time Labor has returned to the policy fray since the Morrison government, during the 2019 election, characterised the party’s measures as a “war on the weekend”. The tax changes will cost some $200m in lost revenue over three years and apply to vehicles priced below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel-efficient vehicles.
At least 5,000 Australian companies are predicted to go broke in the next three months due to the jobkeeper wage subsidy ending and other rules returning to pre-Covid settings. Not only will businesses collapse when Covid measures are reduced, an estimated 155,000 people in Australia will be plunged into poverty this week when the pandemic boost to welfare payments expires, according to new modelling.
The NSW government is facing calls to stop all logging in the state’s native forests after a forestry agency review found the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfires wiped out as much as 30% of available timber.
After devastating news of four Aboriginal deaths in custody in three weeks, we ask five experts about what needs to change.
The Morrison government is being urged to accelerate the country’s transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in a report that paints a grim picture of what Australia could look like if global heating hit 3C.
A key prosecution witness has told the trial of the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd that he called emergency services because “I believed I witnessed a murder”.
Jair Bolsonaro’s crisis-stricken administration has been rocked by the sudden sacking of Brazil’s defence minister and the subsequent resignation of the heads of all three branches of the armed forces.
Japan’s cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak in many places earlier this year than at any time in 70 years, with experts saying the climate crisis is the likely cause.
The subreddit r/oddlysatisfying has always had a wholesome mission: it collects small moments of magic in the world – “those little things that are inexplicably satisfying”. As the subreddit grows into a behemoth with more than 5.6 million subscribers, a new wave of digital artists are manufacturing video clips to cater to the demand. “My work is very much influenced by visual ASMR,” says the Swedish artist Andreas Wannerstedt. “It’s all about finding these specific ‘triggers’ that evoke that tingling sensation we all feel some time.”
Ensuring the seafood you buy is good for the environment can be “extremely difficult” for consumers. So what can you do? Four seafood experts share their tips. “The most simple way is that you need to understand what species you’re buying, how it’s caught, where it’s from, and then you need to cross-reference it,” says Sascha Rust from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
When creating a supernatural crime thriller, the obvious hero wouldn’t be a middle-aged journalist. But such counterintuitive strokes are exactly what makes 1974’s short-lived Kolchak: The Night Stalker such enduring comfort food, writes Doug Wallen. “There’s no love interest in sight for our downtrodden hero, who’s loathed by local police and barely tolerated in his own workplace. Yet the show is a wincing pleasure to watch, between its low-budget 70s scrappiness and its resistance to any satisfying closure.”
The educator and author Dr Jackson Katz is the co-founder of one of the longest-running gender violence, sexual harassment and bullying prevention programs in the world. In today’s Full Story, he talks to Anushka Asthana about why all men need to be part of ending violence against women, and what they can do to help.
The sacking of the NSW Waratahs coach Rob Penney serves as a warning to fellow Kiwi and Wallabies coach Dave Rennie – that a coach is only as good as his players.
New Zealand has overcome a late batting collapse and captain Sophie Devine’s illness to upset world champions Australia with a four-wicket victory in the second Twenty20 women’s cricket international at Napier. Needing three runs off the final ball to win, the White Ferns locked up the three-game series at 1-1 after Maddy Green’s inside edge off Nicola Carey (1-24) went to the fine leg boundary at McLean Park.
Terminal cancer patients are being denied new treatments because Australia’s regulator is too slow approving drugs, , the Daily Telegraph reports.The Liberal party federal vice-president Teena McQueen has apologised for what she says was an attempt at humour after telling colleagues, “I would kill to be sexually harassed at the moment,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. And in the Australian there is news of the government’s $1bn plan to fast-track an Australian guided weapons enterprise, creating a new military manufacturing industry.
Labor’s national conference continues online. Follow all the developments live with Amy Remeikis from 10.30am.
Scott Morrison is expected to attend the 11th Australian Space Forum.
The perils of working from home while managing the social media account of a major military power have been thrown into sharp relief after the US Strategic Command tweeted “;l;;gmlxzssaw”. The gibberish tweet prompted many jokes but the retired US army lieutenant general Mark Hertling summed up a lot of the response by posting: “It’s a pocket tweet from our nuclear headquarters. Everything’s fine,” with a laughing emoji.
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