Morning Mail: Melbourne Covid Mystery, Pacific Looting, Crowded House Return |


ghello – it’s already the last day of May! Melbourne Covid cluster is now 40 years old, there are calls for Australia to rethinking skilled immigration, and a country dominates the resource development in the Pacific. Here is Imogen Dewey with today’s top stories and some tips for safe gardening.

Victoria confirmed five new locally acquired Covid infections yesterday – including a mystery case “extremely worrying” in the care of the elderly – on the third day of his fourth lockout. The Acting Prime Minister, James merlino, said every business owner in the state should be angry that the federal government rejected calls for additional financial support during the state’s fourth lockdown, as the cost to the economy was estimated to be $ 700 million. Merlino spoke for Australia, writes Katherine Murphy, when he expressed disbelief at Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, continuing to tell people that vaccine deployment was “not a race” (more on that below).

Millions of tons of minerals, fish and timber are mined each year from Pacific island countries, generating huge profits for foreign multinationals. Over the next month, in a major series, we will report on the impact of the logging, mining and fishing industries, as well as the emerging high-end mining industry. We have mapped out what resources are harvested, where they end up, who these projects harm and who benefits – and who spoils: one country dominates resource extraction. The devastating toll can be seen on Rennell Island, which over the past decade has suffered the triple assault of extensive logging, bauxite mining and a devastating oil spill.

Andrew Laming defended $ 15,000 in fresh funding to organizations led by a local TNL president, Guardian Australia can reveal. The controversial Liberal MP, who returned to parliament this month after taking empathy training, also did not disclose a conflict of interest with the Ministry of Infrastructure before awarding more than 20,000 $ in grants to these same organizations in previous cycles of the Stronger Communities program. In response to questions from Guardian Australia, Laming said neither he nor his staff selected the projects, saying he had organized “SharkTank” events to choose the successful beneficiaries.


Research conducted today criticizes the government for shifting the admissions composition of permanent skilled migrants from Australia from “skilled migrants best placed to succeed” and to unproven programs, including the “talent” initiative. worldwide ”. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake / Getty Images

The Grattan Institute says Coalition should target younger and more skilled migrants who bring long-term benefits to Australia. A report released today asserts that closing the international border is a “unique opportunity” to rethink the permanent migration of skills.

Former NSW Labor leader Michael Daley will be nominated again for the top post today – although fringe MPs apparently fear that a poll will “harm electoral hopes”.

UK-Australia free trade deal underway to include controversial secret court system this will allow companies to claim compensation if their profits are affected by government policies.

Covid travel restrictions mean Australian observers will likely only board one living export ship in two years. The government says the pandemic has made it too dangerous to implement the Independent Observer Program, set up after 2,400 sheep died of heat stress on their route to the Middle East in 2018.

The world

Wuhan Institute of Virology
A field survey conducted by WHO experts this year concluded that it was “extremely unlikely” that the pandemic would start with a laboratory accident. Photograph: Thomas Peter / Reuters

A health expert affiliated with the World Health Organization has called on the United States to share any information it has on the origins of the coronavirus outbreak with WHO and the scientific community. Last week, U.S. intelligence chiefs said they had two theories: either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals, or it was a lab accident.

President Joe Biden said he would pressure President Vladimir Putin to respect human rights when the two leaders meet at a summit in Geneva in June.

Far-right Israeli politician Naftali Bennett and opposition leader Yair Lapid have agreed to form a coalition government which would see Benjamin Netanyahu ousted after 12 years in power.

Boris Johnson secretly married on Saturday, and Catholics wonder why he was able to get married in church, because the law of faith does not recognize divorce.

Recommended reading

Neil Finn on stage
Neil Finn: “In a way, it’s a comeback, as much as it’s a new phase.” Photograph: Dave Simpson / WireImage

As Crowded House returns with a new range, Neil Finn feels upbeat. With just one international hit, Don’t Dream It’s Over from 1986, international readers might miss the opportunity for a new Crowded House album; how the band’s 80s and 90s catalog is woven into the cultural fabric of Australia and New Zealand. For the Antipodeans, as Nick Buckley writes in his review of “Richly Textured” Dreamers Are Waiting, this is a big deal.

“I’m one of those irritating people who say they love running and really mean it.” Running is pleasure and pain, success and failure, joy and boredom. And Emma Kemp will never stop. “Soon something happens. My feet rise, the rain metaphorically evaporates and I slide slowly, gently into a familiar parallel universe, an area of ​​another world where time ceases to exist. Because time no longer exists, I am late for dinner and I am immediately told to sit on a napkin. But I have never been so happy to marinate in rainwater.

One-third of vegetarian patches in Australian city centers have lead levels that exceed safety guidelines. But Natalie Parletta has a guide to ‘Keep Gardening’, a local project that helps home gardeners minimize potential exposure risks and stay informed. So what can you do to keep your vegetarian patch safe? Getting a clean soil and mixing it with clean compost is a good start …

More: how a mass-market festival sowed Covid across India.


Amid another outbreak in Victoria, the federal government is once again under control over the slow rollout of the vaccine. Today on Full Story, Guardian Australia medical editor Melissa Davey explains where things went wrong and how other governments around the world have been successful.

Full story

After a confused rollout, how can Australia boost vaccinations?

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcasting app.


Last week’s announcement of a five-year, $ 200 million broadcast partnership with ViacomCBS (owners of Network 10) represents the light at the end of the tunnel for the A-League and the W-League, writes Jonathan Howcroft. “After years of off-pitch feuds and existential crises, Australian professional football can once again focus on the future.”

Naomi Osaka fined $ 15,000 (approx. $ 19,450) and threatened with expulsion from Roland-Garros for his refusal to “honor his contractual media obligations” after his 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over Patricia Maria Tig in her first round match at Roland Garros on Sunday.

Colombian Egan Bernal sealed the Giro d’Italia title after a final time trial stage in Milan, fending off the final challenges of Damiano Caruso and Simon Yates, in large part thanks to the strength of the team with the biggest cycling budget.

Media overview

A major advertising campaign will be launched in July to encourage people under 40 to get vaccinated against Covid, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Analysis in the Financial analysis suggests that a decade of economic decline in Victoria has been “covered up”. Opinion is divided over CBA’s social media policy, reports the Age. And the Australian now says companies want to try vaccine deployment.

To come up

Scott Morrison is in New Zealand for a second day of talks with Jacinda Ardern – on, among other things, the post-Covid ‘settlement’.

The OECD publishes its economic outlook.

And if you’ve read this far …

Many Brits can’t name all the parts of the vulva… but can you? In a study conducted in hospital waiting rooms for the sake of patients, nearly 40% of respondents mislabeled the clitoris – regardless of gender.

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