Daily News Roundup

July 5, 2021

Supplied: Twitter - AUS Olympic Team

 

MONDAY, JULY 5

Queensland has recorded four locally acquired cases of COVID-19, but all the cases are linked to existing clusters

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said while the case numbers “might seem a bit large”, they are all linked which is good news.

It comes as NSW’s Deputy Premier John Barilaro has revealed the government is “very concerned” that the Sydney aged care cluster has grown, with five residents at SummitCare in Baulkham Hills now testing positive to Covid-19.

Hundreds of students and staff at an eastern suburbs Sydney school have also been forced into isolation after a student tested positive to Covid-19.

The Rose Bay Public School principal sent an email to parents and carers informing them of the case, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

This is where Australia’s Covid-19 outbreak stands: NSW has 277 cases, Queensland has 29 cases, the Northern Territory has 10 cases, Western Australia has six cases and South Australia has six cases.

In Queensland, three new cases were found in hotel quarantine, bringing the total number of active cases in the state to 47.

Authorities are dealing with multiple clusters and the south-east and parts of north Queensland were sent into a lockdown last week.

The lockdown has since lifted, but restrictions remain and masks remain mandatory until July 16.

One of the new cases is a child of a Greek community centre worker, and another — which was announced yesterday afternoon — is a close contact of that worker.

The third case is the partner of a positive person who travelled to Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast.

The fourth case is a colleague of that case, and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said contact tracers believe the fourth case is a “missing link”.

“All of these are the Alpha stain,” she said.

“We do not believe the Delta variant is circulating in our community, which is excellent news.

“It’s now two weeks since the Portuguese restaurant outbreak, so at this stage it’s all systems go … we’re feeling pretty good at where we are at the moment.”

The Premier said it was very important that people continue “doing the right thing”, including wearing masks, checking in to public places and getting tested even for the mildest symptoms.

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The second-largest Australian team in history will be competing at the upcoming Tokyo Games.

The Australian Olympic Committee has named the 472 athletes who will be competing at the Tokyo Games.

The team is made up of 218 men and 254 women — the greatest number of female athletes to compete for Australia. 

The highest number of Indigenous athletes (16) has also been selected, with Ash Barty being the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athlete to compete in tennis, and Thomas Grice in shooting.

This year’s team is the second-largest Australian Olympic contingent, 10 short of the 482 Australian athletes who went to the Athens Games in 2004.

Australia will compete in 33 sports, including all four new Olympic sports: karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.

Australia’s chef de mission Ian Chesterman congratulated all athletes selected for Tokyo and paid tribute to the ones who were not able to be in contention due to the COVID-19 postponement.

“This has been extremely difficult for every athlete, and each has their own individual story to tell. But they have made it. Through their determination and commitment, they are going to Tokyo,” Chesterman said.

“Even before these Games are declared open on July 23, this Australian team has made its own history. They are a special team and Australians can be very proud of them.

“I would also like to pay tribute to those athletes for whom the postponement and global environment prevented them from being a part of this team. Whether that’s through injury and retirement, lack of safe access to qualification events or through difficult personal circumstances, many have been forced to make that tough call.

“I can promise these athletes that this team carries their legacy and their contributions in their hearts all the way to Tokyo and into the heat of Olympic competition.”

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Ukrainian authorities have been accused of sexism and misogyny over official pictures showing female soldiers practising for a parade in high heels.

With Ukraine preparing to stage a military parade next month to mark 30 years of independence following the Soviet Union’s breakup, the defence ministry released photographs on Friday showing the female soldiers marching in camouflage uniforms and mid-heel black shoes.

“Today, for the first time, training takes place in heeled shoes,” cadet Ivanna Medvid was quoted as saying by the defence ministry’s information site, ArmiaInform.

“It is slightly harder than in army boots but we are trying.”

The choice of footwear sparked a torrent of criticism on social media and in the nation’s Parliament.

It also led to accusations the soldiers were being sexualised.

“The story of a parade in heels is a real disgrace,” commentator Vitaly Portnikov said on Facebook, arguing some Ukrainian officials had a “medieval” mindset.

Another commentator, Maria Shapranova, accused the defence ministry of “sexism and misogyny”.

“High heels (sic) is a mockery of women imposed by the beauty industry,” she fumed.

Several politicians close to Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko showed up in Parliament with pairs of shoes and encouraged the defence minister to wear high heels to the parade.

“It is hard to imagine a more idiotic, harmful idea,” Inna Sovsun, a member of the Golos party, said, pointing to the health risks.

She also said Ukraine’s female soldiers, like the men, were risking their lives and “do not deserve to be mocked”.

Ukraine has been battling Russian-backed separatists in the country’s industrial east, in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.

Olena Kondratyuk, deputy speaker of the legislature, said authorities should publicly apologise for “humiliating” women and conduct an enquiry. 

Ms Kondratyuk said more than 13,500 women had fought in the current conflict.

More than 31,000 women currently serve in the Ukrainian armed forces. More than 4,000 of them are officers.