Brisbane has been officially announced as host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032. The Australian city and surrounding South-East Queensland region were approved as the Games hosts at an International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Tokyo on Wednesday.The Olympics are slated to run from July 23-August 8, with the Paralympic Games taking place from August 24-September 5, across 37 venues.
Australian authorities extended a lockdown in Sydney on Wednesday by at least 14 days after three weeks of initial restrictions failed to stamp out the biggest outbreak of COVID-19 this year in the country’s largest city. Since the first case of the outbreak was detected near the famous Bondi Beach in mid-June, the shutdown has been extended twice.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met national leaders for emergency talks on how to tackle a spike in Covid-19 infections. An outbreak in Sydney linked to the highly contagious Delta variant has grown to 128 cases. Cases have also been recorded in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. Officials say it is a “critical time”. Australia has kept case numbers low with border closures and lockdowns.
The Great Barrier Reef has deteriorated to such an extent it should be listed as a world heritage site “in danger,” a United Nations committee said Tuesday — prompting immediate backlash from the Australian government. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee recommended the listing, recognizing the climate crisis as the driving factor behind the destruction of the world’s largest coral reef. It called for Australia to “urgently” address threats from climate change.
Australia’s second city is heading back into lockdown for the fourth time after an outbreak of the Indian Covid variant traced back to a quarantine hotel in a major blow for the country’s strict border closure policy. From midnight tonight, five million residents of Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state will be banned from leaving their homes except to work, exercise or for essential needs after 26 cases of the Indian variant were detected in the city.
A man has been killed in a shark attack off the coast of Australia, in what is thought to be the country’s first fatal attack of the year. Tuncurry beach and nearby Forster Main Beach have been closed, and police have said they are working with government authorities to identify the species of shark. Eight people were killed by shark attacks in Australia last year.
A Porsche driver who filmed four police officers as they lay dying after a horrific crash has been jailed for 10 months. Richard Pusey pleaded guilty to a rare charge of outraging public decency and other offenses after filming the crash on the Eastern Freeway in the Australian city of Melbourne on 22 April last year. Pusey recorded two videos at the scene, a total of three minutes and eight seconds.
The crisis engulfing Australia’s politics has continued to grow following the emergence of videos showing staff members performing sex acts in parliament, leading to one senior aide being fired. One video showed the aide performing a sex act on a female MP’s desk. It comes after a former staff member revealed how she feared losing her job following an alleged sexual assault.
Heavy rain along Australia’s east coast over the weekend have brought the worst flooding in half a century in some areas, authorities said Sunday, forcing thousands of people to evacuate and damaging hundreds of homes. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the downpour across the state, Australia’s most populous, with 8 million people, was worse than had been expected, especially in low-lying areas in Sydney’s northwest.
Tens of thousands of people have turned out to marches across Australia, protesting against the sexual abuse and harassment of women in the country. They were spurred by a recent wave of allegations of sexual assault, centered around Australia’s parliament. The allegations have focused scrutiny on the conservative government. Protesters feel the government’s response to the sexual assault allegations has been inadequate.