Australia reverses 30 minute hair appointment rule

Australia has reversed a decision to limit hairdressing appointments to just 30 minutes following a backlash. However, while appointments can now go on for longer, hairdressers and barbers must still observe the “four square metre per person” rule. Salons have been allowed to remain open, despite other businesses being closed amid the coronavirus outbreak. But some have called for all […]

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Why are remote Aboriginal communities so at risk?

For over a week, some of Australia’s remote Aboriginal communities have been severely restricting visitors – to try to keep out the Covid-19 virus. Now the government is using its Biosecurity Act to bring in these limitations to such places across the country. Only medical and health staff will be allowed in, as well as police and educational services. About […]

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Scientists map how immune system fights virus

Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body’s immune system fights the Covid-19 virus. Their research, published in Nature Medicine journal on Tuesday, shows people are recovering from the new virus like they would from the flu. Determining which immune cells are appearing should also help with vaccine development, experts say. Globally, authorities have confirmed more than 160,000 […]

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‘Shaming’ of Australia GP with virus angers doctors

Doctors in Australia have demanded an apology from a state health minister who sharply criticised a GP for working while unaware he had coronavirus. Dr Chris Higgins treated about 70 patients in Melbourne while sick with what he thought was a cold. On Saturday, Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said she was “flabbergasted that a doctor that has flu-like symptoms […]

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Australian store left reeling by fishing-rod theft

Australian police are attempting to catch a thief who used a fishing rod to steal a Versace necklace from a high-end designer store in Melbourne. The thief was caught on CCTV trying to hook the A$800 (US$529; £414) jewellery off a mannequin’s neck. He poked the rod through a hole he chipped in the store’s window without setting off the […]

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Oil firm halts controversial Australia drill plans

Oil giant Equinor has abandoned controversial plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight in a move hailed by environmentalists as a “huge win”. The Norwegian firm was granted approval last December to begin exploratory drills in seas off South Australia. But on Tuesday it told regulators the plan was “not commercially competitive” compared to options elsewhere. Australia’s government said […]

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Celebrities rally around boy in bullying video

People around the world have rallied behind a nine-year-old Australian boy after a video of his deep distress over being bullied was went viral. Yarraka Bayle posted the clip of her son, Quaden, crying after he was targeted at school for his dwarfism. “This is what bullying does,” she says in the video, in which her son also says he […]

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Thousands in Sydney for bushfire benefit concert

Thousands of Australians are attending a huge benefit concert in Sydney aiming to raise A$10m (£5.15m; $6.71m) to help communities devastated by bushfires. Global acts like Queen and Alice Cooper have joined local stars like 5 Seconds of Summer, Tina Arena and Delta Goodrem for the Fire Fight Australia gig. “As Aussies we bear together… because it turns out the […]

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Fire-hit Australia faces ‘dangerous’ downpours

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is braced for severe wet weather this weekend as downpours ease the bushfire crisis in the region. Severe weather warnings for rain, winds and flooding have been issued for coastal areas of the eastern state. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned of “dangerous conditions” on Saturday and Sunday. There has already been […]

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