From Australia - News in Brief

"The crisis is not over yet, and we are well insulated and isolated ..."

Aussies returning from India face jail, fines

PM Morrison: We have moved past the emergency phase of the COVID-19 response and are now on the path of economic recovery.

Reports Russia conducted missile test

"Resources and agriculture have pulled us out of this recession."

Saudi Arabia and Iran hold ‘secret talks’ to soothe tensions

The government will likely hold early elections in October or November Iran's

Hume: "The best way to encourage workforce participation is to remove barriers..."

Hillary Clinton: "... Islamic terrorism" due to a hasty decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan ...

Two rockets target Baghdad airport base housing US troops: security source

Khamenei: "... this is a big mistake that an official in the Islamic Republic should not make."




“The crisis isn’t over, and we’re very well insulated and isolated from...

May 3, 2021

(See Translation in Arabic Section)

Canberra - M E Times Int'l:  The Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has renewed calls for targets to reopen the economy and international borders in a careful manner.

New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet last week urged the federal government to set targets for reopening Australia to the rest of the world in line with the vaccine rollout.

“We have to continue to be vigilant on quarantine and testing and tracing.

We’ve got to be in this for the long haul,” Ms Westacott told media.

“Absolutely we now need a plan to reopen the economy.”

Australia shouldn't 'rush'to ...

Liberal Senator Jane Hume says the government wants to be “extraordinarily cautious” in reopening international borders amid calls to align the vaccine rollout with the lifting of border restrictions.

 “I think we’ve made haste slowly on this one,” Ms Hume said.

“The crisis isn’t over, and we’re very well insulated and isolated from the problems here, we don’t want to rush a program that would potentially put us at health risk again and an economic risk too.”

 Australians Arriving From Covid-Hit India Could Face 5 Years' Jail, Fine

Aussies returning from India face jail, fines

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government will review the ban on return travellers from India before the official May 15 reassessment date.

Scott Morrison has denied a policy banning Australians returning from India is racist.

From Monday, people who have been in India within the previous fortnight before their intended arrival in Australia will face a $66,600 fine as well as five years imprisonment for entering the country.

It is the first law in Australia’s history making it illegal for citizens to return.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended the move, arguing it is necessary to use emergency powers under the Biosecurity Act to protect Australia’s health services and quarantine program.

Mr Morrison attempted to allay fears, saying the powers would be used “appropriately and responsibly”.

“I understand the measures have strong sanctions with them, but we’ve had the Biosecurity Act in place now for over a year, and no one’s gone to jail,” he told 2GB on Monday.

But Mr Morrison was forced to deny accusations of racism after equivalent measures were not implemented during outbreaks in the UK and the US.

“The same accusations were made against the government over a year ago when we closed the borders to mainland China. That was one of the most important decisions we made as a government,” he said.

“There’s no politics or ideology in a pandemic. I’m constantly taken aback by those who seek to inject it into it. It’s got nothing to do with politics, this is a virus.”

Chief medical officer Paul Kelly on Monday said medical advice warned against having above 2 per cent infection rates in the hotel quarantine system.

He said that limit had been exceeded during outbreaks in India and Papua New Guinea but had otherwise been well below.

The ban on the return of Australians from India was met with reactions in support and opposition to the decision.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government will review the ban on return travellers from India before the official May 15 reassessment date.

 Coronavirus Australia live news: 'Elimination plan' will drive out  business; Gloves off as Morrison queries Victoria's 'crushing' exit plan

PM Morrison: We have moved past the emergency phase of the COVID-19 response and are now on the path of economic recovery.

The National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board has concluded its work on behalf of the Australian Government.

Australia has come a long way since I announced the Board on 25 March 2020.

PM Morrison said in media statement: We have moved past the emergency phase of the COVID-19 response and are now on the path of economic recovery. Australia’s strong health and economic circumstances and our strong outlook make it the right time for the Board to conclude its work.

A hallmark of our response to COVID-19 has been the way we have listened to a wide range of trusted, expert voices. The Board provided a real-time business perspective on critical aspects of our COVID-19 response.

They used their experience and networks to help with troubleshooting in the crisis management phase of the pandemic, helped businesses safely reopen with COVIDSafe plans, and provided a business perspective to help inform our policies for economic recovery.

I want to thank the Chair of the Board, Mr Nev Power, and each of the current and former Commissioners for their work. They answered the call for their country when they were needed and have worked hard to support the Government’s plans for managing the virus and economic recovery.

Russia Plans Warship Salvo Test-Fire of Hypersonic Missiles: Report 

Reports Russia conducted missile test

Former Pentagon adviser Jason Israel says the missile tests conducted by Russia was to show the country’s military capability.

The Russian navy reportedly launched the supersonic missile in the Black Sea as tensions with the Ukraine rise.

“Russia tweeted the footage of this launch this weekend and they wanted to show they have the capability,” Mr Israel told media.

“Definitely symbolism but also a very modern capability.”

 Urban agriculture - Wikipedia

"Resources and agriculture have pulled us out of this recession."

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says beef has been at the forefront of Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19.

Speaking from Beef Week in Rockhampton Mr Littleproud said more than 100,000 people will attend the event.

“We are one of the biggest beef exporting nations in the world, in fact number two, and out beef producers have had a pretty tough time over the last three years,” Mr Littleproud told media. “But the industry’s on its way up, it’s a $15 billion industry and without our economy would have been buggered during COVID-19.

 “Resources and agriculture has lifted us out of this recession.”

 Saudi Arabia and Iran held talks to ease tension, say sources, World News |  wionews.com

Saudi Arabia and Iran hold ‘secret talks’ to soothe tensions

Journalist Michael Ware says a “watershed” de-escalation of tensions has occurred in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and Iran issued statements of goodwill.

The nations reportedly held “secret talks” last month to begin discussions about moving toward a more peaceful relationship and have now issued conciliatory comments.

Ware said Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in January 2016 about the time former US President Donald Trump came to power.

 “The policy was to impose maximum economic pain through sanctions on Iran as an incentive to bring the nation to the negotiating table.

“Many experts agree Saudi Arabia may now feel that America doesn’t entirely have its back and won’t defend it. So Saudi Arabi is feeling pressured to reach out to Iran.”

The Biden administration wants to re-engage in negotiations with Iran and bring back the Iran nuclear deal.

 Queensland elections counts drag on, plagued by 'technical' issues - ABC  News

The government will likely hold early elections in October or November

News host Chris Smith says there are a few key indicators which show the prime minister has not given up on the idea of an early election.

 Mr Smith pointed to Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein’s election victory on Saturday night which follows the trend of the WA, Queensland, and NT elections where the incumbent won in all cases.

“That won't be lost on Scott Morrison - incumbents have the edge, in times of crisis,” Mr Smith said.

He also said leaks from the budget which included “support for cheaper craft beer and spirits” as well as the government’s planned $1.7 billion boost to childcare, were both policies designed to “appease the electorate”.

“They are clear signs that the government is keeping its options open for a possible election in October or November”.

 Cost of Childcare one of the 'biggest barriers' to women's workforce  participation | Sky News Australia

Hume: "The best way to encourage workforce participation is to remove barriers..."

Minister for Women’s Economic Security Jane Hume has told media the cost of childcare was “one of the biggest barriers” to women’s workforce participation, but the government’s $1.7 billion childcare package aimed to remove that barrier.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg made the announcement on Sunday which will see the government dump the subsidy cap for high income workers and increase childcare subsidies.

Ms Hume said the best way to encourage workforce participation is to remove barriers and the cost of childcare is “one of the great barriers”.

The package will also remove some of the “disincentives to women taking on more hours” including the removal of the subsidy cap.

Hillary Clinton's Memoir Lives Up to Its Title for All the Wrong Reasons |  Vanity Fair 

Hillary Clinton: "... Islamist Terrorism" due to the hasty decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan..."

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has predicted “outbreaks of Islamist terrorism” in the next few years due to the hasty decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, according to Curtin University Professor Joe Siracusa.

 Rocket lands near Baghdad airport, US military plane derails | Arab News

Two rockets target Baghdad airport base housing US troops: security source

Two rockets targeted an airbase at Iraq's Baghdad airport housing US-led coalition troops on Sunday, a security source told AFP.

One of the projectiles was intercepted by the C-RAM counter rocket, artillery and mortar system deployed by the Americans to protect their troops in Iraq, the source added.

Iran's Khamenei says remarks by Zarif in audio leak 'big mistake' 

Iran's Khamenei says remarks by Zarif in audio leak 'big mistake'

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Sunday slammed as a "big mistake" leaked remarks by Mohammad Javad Zarif, in which the foreign minister suggested the military was too influential in diplomacy.

"The country's policies are made of different economic, military, social, scientific and cultural plans, including foreign relations and diplomacy," Khamenei said in televised remarks.




 












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