Scott Morrison extends lead as preferred PM: Newspoll
21 Feb 2021
(See Translation in Arabic Section)
Canberra: M E Times Int'l: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has extended his lead as preferred prime minister by one point since the previous poll.
The latest Newspoll unveiled by The Australian revealed popular support for Mr Morrison has strengthened to 61 per cent Opposition leader Anthony Albanese's result for preferred prime minister dipped three points to 26 per cent, one of his worst results since taking over as Labor leader.
The two-party-preferred split remains unchanged at 50-50 and the Coalition’s primary vote has remained stable at 42 per cent while Labor has risen by one per cent to 37.
Overseas Australians with vaccine required to go through hotel quarantine on return
Canberra: Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed Australians returning home from overseas will be required to spend a fortnight in hotel quarantine even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The vaccination won’t change the pace at which they come home from overseas because the world is looking at that transmissibility advice.
And the advice … is that for the time being, vaccinated or unvaccinated, people will continue to go through hotel quarantine,” he said.
“As we see around the world more data, that may change the equation.”
PM among recipients as covid vaccinations in Australia get off to an early start
Canberra: Aged care residents, nurses and doctors, disabled support residents and hotel quarantine workers, were among the first Australians to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Sydney, NSW.
They were joined by personnel from the Australian Defence Force, Australian Border Force, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The COVID-19 vaccination program was officially launched ahead of the formal national rollout across Australia on Monday. Jane Malysiak, 84, from Marayong, NSW, was the first person in Australia to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
PM Morrison said it was a landmark day.
Hundreds of Australians have now received the coronavirus vaccine, marking a major step on the pathway out of the pandemic. Front-line health workers and hotel quarantine workers are among some of the first to receive the jab. Tens of thousands are expected to be vaccinated by the end of the week.
The Australian Government plans to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all Australians by the end of October.
The plan starts on Monday with around 60,000 Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses to be administered.
Quarantine and border workers and aged care residents are to be vaccinated by April.
International students face visa expiration
Canberra: Concerns are growing within the Australian university sector over reliance on international students as there is yet no indication when borders may reopen.
Overseas students are becoming increasingly concerned about their 458 visas – which allows students who have graduated to work in Australia for up to five years and can also offer a path to residency.
International student Madhur Bhalla told media he has been stuck overseas for 11 months – and is one of a large cohort of students who returned home to India before the pandemic and have so far been unable to return.
“Our visas are expiring, and we have no … update about our visa status and we have no update about any reopening of the borders,” he said.
Mr Bhalla said students applying for a temporary visa this year had a greater advantage than existing visa holders because their visa date begins only when they land in Australia.
One question that is arising in everyone’s mind is why there is discrimination between the new temporary visa holders and the existing ones,” he said.
Stone fruits pulled from South Australian supermarket shelves after fruit fly larvae found
Victoria: Stone fruit has been removed from major supermarkets in South Australia after fruit fly larvae was found in the produce.
The affected fruit — including nectarines and peaches — came from Victoria and has been sold in Coles, Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets and at a farmers’ market.
Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) executive director of biosecurity Nathan Rhodes said an investigation into the incident was under way, with the assistance Agriculture Victoria.
He said the treatment of the fruit prior to its shipment into South Australia is being looked into.
“With the state responding to a series of fruit fly outbreaks across metropolitan Adelaide and the Riverland, the situation is being closely monitored,” Mr Rhodes said.
“In this instance, quick action from the public has alerted us to this issue; however, we are regarding this incident with a great deal of seriousness, and as a result there has been a withdrawal of affected produce from shelves.
The left's woke ideology is a 'pseudo religion'
Canberra: Many people, particular younger generations, are grabbing hold of woke identity politics as a substitute for religious belief, according to the Institute of Public Affair's Bella d'Abrera.
Identity politics is in the news once again after it was revealed the Governor-General's office will instruct all its staff to do a "privilege walk" and answer questions about their race, religion and education in order to stamp out unconscious bias.
The course will be run by Charles Sturt University trainers and will not be mandatory.
“The training is not mandatory and staff can freely choose to not take part in any aspect of it,” a spokesperson for the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General told the Daily Telegraph.
Donald Trump to make first major address since leaving office
Donald Trump is expected next Sunday to make his first public appearance since leaving office.
The former US president, who departed the White House on 20 January, is set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida.
Mr Trump is expected to be the last speaker on the final day of the event of 28 February, NBC News reported, citing two sources familiar with the plans.
He is planning to address his second impeachment trial, where he was acquitted by the Senate of inciting the rioting at the US Capitol on 6 January.
He is also expected to give his views on the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement.
Hundreds of thousands of Myanmara’s residents took to the streets this week to protest the takeover.
Myanmar accuses China of aiding military takeover
The military coup which has overthrown Myanmar’s democratically elected government has been internationally criticised, with one notable exception. The nation’s powerhouse neighbor, China, appears to have a very different view of the chaos.
A dry news piece in China’s state media following the February 1 takeover, described it as a simple “cabinet reshuffle”.
“Under the cabinet reshuffle, new union ministers were appointed for 11 ministries while 24 deputy ministers were removed from their posts,” the story read.
Many in Myanmar now believe China not only knew about the military takeover beforehand, but they sent soldiers over the border to assist the army.
Disinformation and rumors over Beijing’s involvement have run wild on social media — with speculation that Chinese soldiers have infiltrated the nation and photos of “Chinese-looking” soldiers gathering in cities.
China has hit back at such allegations — saying the idea that it was sending in soldiers was “completely nonsense and even ridiculous.”