Good morning, this is Emilie Gramenz bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Monday 10 August.
The US on Sunday passed the grim milestone of 5m coronavirus cases, as Donald Trump’s executive orders seeking to break a political impasse over further economic relief were denounced by a Republican as “unconstitutional slop”. A Brazilian scientist has expressed her despair as Brazil’s Covid-19 deaths hit 100,000. Natalia Pasternak has implored Brazilians to take science and coronavirus seriously, yet five months after Brazil’s first confirmed fatality, Pasternak is despondent and fears her work has been in vain. Britain’s confirmed cases rose by more than 1,000 for the first time since late June, and Greece recorded its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak.
Australia recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic so far, after 17 people died in Victoria in the 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday. Ten of the 17 deaths were linked to aged care homes. Experts have said Victoria’s restrictions on warehouses could lead to supply issues for the state’s supermarkets – but shelf shortages can be avoided if people do not panic-buy. Australia’s finance minister has kept the door open to making further changes to economic support measures such as the jobkeeper wage subsidy.
The NSW State Emergency Service ordered several towns on the south coast to evacuate after heavy rain caused flooding. Three evacuation orders were issued late Sunday night after up to 200mm of rain hit a number of towns including Moruya, Nowra and inland at Captains Flat, with up to 300mm in isolated areas. The SES has responded to more than 700 calls for help and conducted more than 18 flood rescues across the weekend, with most calls coming from Berry, Nowra, Broughton Vale and Gerringong. More than 20 homes at Broughton Vale near Berry were also cut off by flood water. The heavy rain has also impacted Sydney, with drivers reporting flooded roads and high winds in the city’s south.
Family daycare educators may continue to be eligible for jobkeeper despite the Australian government’s decision to cut off the childcare sector’s access to the wage-subsidy scheme. The discovery of the loophole for sole traders providing family daycare has sparked calls for the government to bring all childcare educators back on to jobkeeper.
Labor has estimated a 25-year-old who withdraws $20,000 from superannuation may be left up to $100,000 worse off in retirement. The opposition is stepping up its attack on the government’s handling of the early access to superannuation scheme.
A new Alcohol and Drug Foundation survey has found one in eight Australians have been drinking every day since the coronavirus outbreak began. The foundation quizzed more than 1,000 people, with a concerning number reporting they were drinking more than usual.
Three men have been hospitalised after an alleged stabbing following an under-20s community football game in Sydney’s north-west. Police said a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade was used in the brawl which left three men aged 16, 19 and 22 injured.
Belarus was braced for protests on Sunday evening as the incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko, appeared poised to claim victory. The election has been marred by accusations of vote-rigging.
Thousands of protesters pelted Lebanon’s parliamentary precinct with rocks on Sunday, demanding the fall of the government. The protests come in the wake of the catastrophic blast that destroyed parts of Beirut last week.
Dawn Butler, the British Labour MP and former shadow equalities minister, has accused the police of being institutionally racist after she was stopped while driving to Sunday lunch with a friend.
Afghanistan has agreed to release 400 “hardcore” Taliban prisoners, paving the way for peace talks aimed at ending almost two decades of war. Among the 400 are Taliban members accused of major attacks against civilians and foreigners, including a deadly 2017 truck bombing in Kabul.
Lauren Southern is on the comeback trail, and Australian conservatives are all too happy to help, writes Jason Wilson. Southern is now a resident in Australia, coming off a curious hiatus from her frenetic work as a far-right influencer. Her bid to be taken seriously as a journalist and commentator was given a small boost recently with a slot on Outsiders on Sky News.
If you thought a black comedy about a toxic, mutated monster on the loose in Seoul would be a complete escape from your reality, think again. Ying-Di Yin reviews Bong Joon-Ho’s breakout monster movie and finds it eerily prescient, not-quite-escapist fare. In The Host we may have a typical monster but just like all of Bong’s films, the villain is never definitive. Perhaps the most startling social commentary in the film is the eerily prophetic event of quarantine.
Geena Davis says when she hit 40, she fell off the cliff. The Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own star wanted to be an actor from the age of three. She talks with Hadley Freeman about sexual harassment, improving representation, and why she’s so glad she had kids in her 40s.
How did Donald Trump get his pandemic response so wrong? While Donald Trump continues to claim the US is “doing very well” in its fight against Covid-19, the figures suggest a different story. The US has the highest death toll in the world, with over 150,000 deaths. Guardian US chief reporter Ed Pilkington examines how Trump got it wrong.
Georgia Oboh doesn’t bother with mediocre ambitions. The 19-year-old Nigerian golfer brushed off prejudice during her ascent through England’s golf scene. Now she plans to blaze a trail for others.
Max Verstappen roared to spectacular victory in 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Verstappen’s victory, beating the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton into second and his teammate Valtteri Bottas into third, was just the fillip the season required, ending four consecutive wins for a Mercedes team who were beginning to look invulnerable.
Serena Williams may have the best chance yet to equal Margaret Court’s record at the US Open. With so many of the world’s top players not travelling to New York, the path has opened up for the 38-year-old to equal the Australian’s 24 major titles.
The Age reports surveys by peak organisations have found one in five doctors and nurses has limited and in some cases no access to face masks. According to the Australian Financial Review, the Morrison government has ordered Australia Post to prioritise the delivery of medicines and other urgent goods. The Saturday Paper reports that there is growing speculation that Adani might throw in its Carmichael operation to buy BHP’s Mount Arthur thermal coalmine instead.
The royal commission into aged care quality and safety will hold a hearing examining the aged care response to coronavirus.
Early voting opens in the Northern Territory election.
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