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Australia news live: TGA mulls EU advice on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and clots; sexual harassment laws to change Australia news live: TGA mulls EU advice on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and clots; sexual harassment laws to change
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New South Wales police have now taken a formal statement from a longtime friend of the woman who alleged she was raped by Christian Porter, but insist the investigation remains closed.
In answers to NSW Estimates, the police have revealed that Macquarie Bank managing director, James Hooke, a friend of both Porter and his accuser for 30 years, was known to them as far back as July but until recently did not wish to make a statement because “he understood why the investigation had been closed”.
Porter has been accused of raping a 16-year-old in January 1988 when he was 17. He strenuously denies the allegation.
On 12 March Hooke went public, revealing he had “relevant discussions” with Porter’s accuser from “mid-1988 until her death” in June 2020 and with Porter from 1992 onwards.
The revelation prompted the NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, to promise to re-examine the case, which was closed when the alleged victim indicated to the NSW police that she no longer felt able to pursue the complaint, before taking her life in June 2020.
In answers to supplementary questions on notice in NSW Estimates, the NSW police have revealed they were in possession of an email from Hooke that had been forwarded to them by a friend of the victim on 2 July, shortly after her death.
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The Morrison government has warned a legal challenge to Australia’s outgoing travel ban brought by rightwing thinktank LibertyWorks, threatens to “drive a truck” through biosecurity laws.
In submissions to the federal court, the commonwealth said LibertyWorks’ argument that the health minister has no power to impose a blanket ban on all citizens leaving Australia ignored the “emergency context” of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The case is the first major challenge to Australia’s strict external border restrictions limiting people’s right to leave the country, but does not seek to overturn the cap on the number of arrivals to Australia.
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New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has given an update on the new Covid-19 case detected in a 24-year-old Auckland hotel quarantine worker who had not been vaccinated.New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has given an update on the new Covid-19 case detected in a 24-year-old Auckland hotel quarantine worker who had not been vaccinated.
In response, Ardern has announced a temporary suspension of travel from India into New Zealand, coming into effect from 11 April until 28 April, and it will apply to New Zealand citizens.In response, Ardern has announced a temporary suspension of travel from India into New Zealand, coming into effect from 11 April until 28 April, and it will apply to New Zealand citizens.
Ardern also said it was her expectation that front-line border workers are vaccinated, and that from Monday, those who have not been vaccinated will be moved into other roles.Ardern also said it was her expectation that front-line border workers are vaccinated, and that from Monday, those who have not been vaccinated will be moved into other roles.
The case is not expected to effect Australia’s travel bubble arrangement with New Zealand.The case is not expected to effect Australia’s travel bubble arrangement with New Zealand.
Thanks for taking us through the day so far Matilda.Thanks for taking us through the day so far Matilda.
I’m Elias Visontay, and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the day.I’m Elias Visontay, and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the day.
If you see anything you think I should be aware of, you can get in touch with me via Twitter @EliasVisontay, via email at elias.visontay@theguardian.com, and Wickr at eliasvisontay.If you see anything you think I should be aware of, you can get in touch with me via Twitter @EliasVisontay, via email at elias.visontay@theguardian.com, and Wickr at eliasvisontay.
With that, I might hand you over to the fantastic Elias Visontay to help you stay abreast of the news and bust Covid-19 misinformation for the afternoon.With that, I might hand you over to the fantastic Elias Visontay to help you stay abreast of the news and bust Covid-19 misinformation for the afternoon.
One story that I haven’t mentioned today so far is the death of an elderly woman with pre-existing conditions in an aged care home in Queensland who passed away in the hours after being vaccinated.One story that I haven’t mentioned today so far is the death of an elderly woman with pre-existing conditions in an aged care home in Queensland who passed away in the hours after being vaccinated.
It is understood the 82-year-old received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Springwood Yurana Aged Care Facility on Wednesday, before she died in the afternoon.It is understood the 82-year-old received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Springwood Yurana Aged Care Facility on Wednesday, before she died in the afternoon.
Now that sounds scary, but you have to remember that on any given day more than 100 aged care residents die in Australia sadly, and currently there is no indication the vaccine caused her death.Now that sounds scary, but you have to remember that on any given day more than 100 aged care residents die in Australia sadly, and currently there is no indication the vaccine caused her death.
Greg Hunt has been asked about this case at his press conference:Greg Hunt has been asked about this case at his press conference:
The acting premier of Victoria James Merlino* said this morning the states have the capacity to do more to help with the vaccine rollout.The acting premier of Victoria James Merlino* said this morning the states have the capacity to do more to help with the vaccine rollout.
Hunt has been asked if he would consider changing the rules around which groups state-run facilities can vaccinate. (Currently, the states have only been tasked with vaccinating their essential front line workers).Hunt has been asked if he would consider changing the rules around which groups state-run facilities can vaccinate. (Currently, the states have only been tasked with vaccinating their essential front line workers).
Hunt said the federal government would welcome that**:Hunt said the federal government would welcome that**:
*If you remember, the actual premier Daniel Andrews is off work for a number of weeks after fracturing his spine.*If you remember, the actual premier Daniel Andrews is off work for a number of weeks after fracturing his spine.
**Seems getting the rollout happening faster is worth the bruised pride of being saved by the states.**Seems getting the rollout happening faster is worth the bruised pride of being saved by the states.
Hunt has outlined the process the Australian health authorities will go through in order to determine what, if any, action they will take in regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine, now the EU has declared blood clotting as a possible but rare side effect:Hunt has outlined the process the Australian health authorities will go through in order to determine what, if any, action they will take in regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine, now the EU has declared blood clotting as a possible but rare side effect:
Federal health minister Greg Hunt is speaking now.Federal health minister Greg Hunt is speaking now.
He says the residents of 1000 aged care facilities have now received their first vaccine dose and 435 have received the second.He says the residents of 1000 aged care facilities have now received their first vaccine dose and 435 have received the second.
The impact of China’s trade actions against a range of Australian sectors has been “quite limited” in most cases because exporters have been able to find other markets, according to new analysis published by the Lowy Institute today.The impact of China’s trade actions against a range of Australian sectors has been “quite limited” in most cases because exporters have been able to find other markets, according to new analysis published by the Lowy Institute today.
The institute’s lead economist, Roland Rajah, says Australia’s merchandise exports to China were worth A$145bn in 2020, about 2% below the 2019 peak, despite the Covid-related downturn.The institute’s lead economist, Roland Rajah, says Australia’s merchandise exports to China were worth A$145bn in 2020, about 2% below the 2019 peak, despite the Covid-related downturn.
He says that at the headline level, “the effect of China’s trade sanctions on Australia’s export numbers has been completely swamped by the booming iron ore trade – which China hasn’t been game enough to touch”.He says that at the headline level, “the effect of China’s trade sanctions on Australia’s export numbers has been completely swamped by the booming iron ore trade – which China hasn’t been game enough to touch”.
Rajah says exports to China “have predictably collapsed in the areas hit by sanctions, but most of this lost trade seems to have found other markets”. He describes this as a “reshuffling of global trade”.Rajah says exports to China “have predictably collapsed in the areas hit by sanctions, but most of this lost trade seems to have found other markets”. He describes this as a “reshuffling of global trade”.
In a piece for the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter site, he crunches the numbers:In a piece for the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter site, he crunches the numbers:
Rajah argues Australian coal exporters have been “quite successful in diverting to other markets”. He also says sales of barley, copper, cotton, seafood and timber to other markets rose sharply, “but only after China’s sanctions intensified in late 2020”.Rajah argues Australian coal exporters have been “quite successful in diverting to other markets”. He also says sales of barley, copper, cotton, seafood and timber to other markets rose sharply, “but only after China’s sanctions intensified in late 2020”.
One important exception is the wine industry. Rajah says wine exporters have “struggled to make up for the loss of the premium China market”.One important exception is the wine industry. Rajah says wine exporters have “struggled to make up for the loss of the premium China market”.
The analysis has been published a day after the Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, argued the “difficulties” in the diplomatic relationship were not initiated by China. Cheng also issued a warning that Beijing would respond “in kind” if Canberra followed other countries in imposing sanctions against its officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.The analysis has been published a day after the Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, argued the “difficulties” in the diplomatic relationship were not initiated by China. Cheng also issued a warning that Beijing would respond “in kind” if Canberra followed other countries in imposing sanctions against its officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Earlier the prime minister was asked about a report from Guardian political correspondent Sarah Martin today which showed Laming awarded a $550,000 grant to a rugby club with links to one of his staff members as part of the government’s controversial female sports facilities grants program.Earlier the prime minister was asked about a report from Guardian political correspondent Sarah Martin today which showed Laming awarded a $550,000 grant to a rugby club with links to one of his staff members as part of the government’s controversial female sports facilities grants program.
Morrison claimed that “rants aren’t decided by members of parliament,” but are instead decided by the department.Morrison claimed that “rants aren’t decided by members of parliament,” but are instead decided by the department.
But as Sarah has pointed out that is simply not the case, according to the department, as the grants were allocated as part of election commitments, and was not open to applications.But as Sarah has pointed out that is simply not the case, according to the department, as the grants were allocated as part of election commitments, and was not open to applications.
This means the department did not assess applications as Morrison suggested, but instead they were nominated by the governmentThis means the department did not assess applications as Morrison suggested, but instead they were nominated by the government
You can read Sarah’s full story below:You can read Sarah’s full story below: