Exclusive: A leaked government database shows hospital transmission is key to Victoria’s recent Covid-19 cases, as new concerns are raised about access to protective equipment.Hospitals have become a key risk area in this phase of the pandemic. Staff at some of these hospitals have not been told about the transmissions happening in their workplaces and are not being offered extra protection.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today detail plans to open up new gas reserves and offer to back the construction of a gas-fired power station, as part of his plan to drive a fossil-fuel led economic recovery. In a speech to business and industry in Newcastle, Morrison will announce federal government support for a gas plant in the New South Wales Hunter Valley if energy company AGL does not replace its Liddell coal-fired power station. He will also announce initial funding of $52.9m to support planning for five new gas fields and pipelines to transport gas to Australian cities. The move comes despite growing scientific evidence around fugitive emissions that indicates the carbon footprint of gas is much larger than previously thought. It comes as The Australian reports that Labor’s draft policy platform has dropped specific climate change targets for 2030, but earmarks investment in the clean energy sector as part of its Covid-19 economic response plan.
An internal police investigation has been launched after a man was allegedly kicked in the head by Victorian police. The man is now in a medically induced coma in hospital. Footage shows an officer kicking down on the prone man's head before a group of police pin him down in Epping, in Melbourne’s north. Other angles of the arrest show a police car ramming the man before he runs away and trades blows with an officer. Police say the 32-year-old man became aggressive and damaged a police vehicle as he attempted to avoid arrest. The man’s father says he suffers from bipolar disorder and had been seeking treatment at the Northern Hospital Epping, but went outside to meet a work colleague, which prompted hospital staff to call police.
Friends and colleagues of Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert have held a vigil in Sydney to mark the two-year anniversary of her detention. The scholar was first arrested in Tehran after speaking at a conference, and sentenced to 10 years in prison on espionage charges. Supporters of Moore-Gilbert have used the anniversary of her arrest to renew calls for her release. A day earlier, people around Australia and the United Kingdom, where Moore-Gilbert is also a citizen, marked the anniversary by participating in a “Run for Kylie” campaign. SBS reports that Moore-Gilbert has been doing laps of the small jail yard she has access to, despite only being issued plastic prison slippers.
Shinzo Abe's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, is set to become Japan's next prime minister, after winning support from 377 out of 534 MPs and regional delegates in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The 71-year-old is expected to be formally declared prime minister on Wednesday after a vote in parliament, where the LDP has a ruling majority. Abe resigned as prime minister last month due to ill health.