Australia Cases tipped to lift as border rule shake-up exposes contradictions
Colombia troop deployment at Venezuela border raises questions
Move risks escalating tensions, analysts say, as two countries gradually reopen shared border after years-long closure.The Venezuelan government began the process of reopening the border on Tuesday by removing containers placed at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge in 2019.
Vaccinated NSW travellers will be able to visit Victoria without quarantining before Melburnians can go to Ballarat under what Health Minister Martin Foley dubbed a transitional anomaly brought on by new travel restrictions.
The border changes come as an influential scientific modeller said he believes Victoria's COVID-19 case numbers will continue to rise for weeks instead of peaking ahead of an anticipated easing of restrictions next week.
Following another high tally of 2179 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Friday, the state government announced changes to the NSW border rules from Tuesday, which will allow fully vaccinated travellers into Victoria without quarantining, while Melburnians are still prohibited from going more than 15 kilometres from home.
Is the likely surge in Covid cases after NSW's freedom day a worry?
Daily Covid cases have been the most talked about figure throughout the pandemic and could skyrocket with millions of people in NSW mingling in offices, pubs, restaurants, bars from October 11.Health experts Daily Mail Australia spoke to agreed new infections could soar in NSW once restrictions are lifted on October 11, but said a sharp rise in cases would not mean the state should be thrown back into lockdown.
In addition, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that from November 1, quarantine will not apply to flights into Sydney by fully vaccinated international travellers, who will then be able to move on to destinations such as Melbourne.
If Victoria reaches its 80 per cent double-dose target later than the forecast date of November 1, international visitors could visit regional Victoria before Melburnians.
A number of epidemiologiststhat Victoria has been close to reaching the top of the third wave of infections, but Dr Jason Thompson, a modeller with the University of Melbourne, said Victoria could now miss the window of opportunity for case numbers to flatten or drop.
Border crisis overwhelming officials, communities as migrant numbers keep surging
MISSION, Texas – The crisis at the southern border, which has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants encountered at the border in recent months and has overwhelmed Border Patrol agents while causing a massive political headache for the Biden administration, shows little sign of slowing down -- amid concerns that there are further migrant groups on their way. In a night time tour of the border near Mission, Texas, Fox News saw groups of migrants coming across, seeking entry into the U.S. Predominantly groups of migrant families, they were pointed in the direction of nearby processing areas. SEN.
When the state reaches the 70 per cent fully vaccinated target next week, it will trigger the outdoor reopening of retail and hospitality venues in Melbourne, bringing more opportunities for the virus to spread.
Dr Thompson, who was part of the research team that provided the government modelling to inform the exit from Victoria's second wave last year, said data showed Melburnians were moving around 20 per cent more than at the height of COVID-19 cases in 2020 -since a month ago when there were stricter restrictions.
Border rule shake-up exposes contradictions as Victoria records 1993 new cases, seven deaths
Victoria has recorded 1993 new local cases of coronavirus and seven deaths as changes to border rules mean vaccinated NSW travellers will be able to visit Victoria without quarantining before Melburnians can escape the city. The latest cases came from 79,214 tests while 40, 386 people rolled up their sleeves for a COVID-19 jab. More than 87.6 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have had one vaccine dose, while 63.8 per cent have had two. There are now 21,647 active cases across the state.
Travel into Victoria from "red zones" such as Sydney will be allowed from Wednesday for visitors who are fully vaccinated and receive negative tests within 72 hours of leaving home and arriving in Victoria. No requirements will apply to fully vaccinated travellers from "orange zones", which cover most of regional NSW.
Yet travel rules within Victoria have not shifted and the state's reopening road map prohibits free travel within the state until the 80 per cent double dose milestone is met, expected by November 1 at the latest. Some forecasts now suggest it could be attained by October 31.
Mr Foley on Friday defended the apparent inconsistencies as "transitional anomalies" that would resolve as Victoria opened up.
"These things will work themselves out as the transition from our current situation, through the road map, to the graduated soft reopening that is set out in the Victorian plan to deliver the national reopening plan," he said.
Further pressed on the contradictions, Mr Foley said Victoria was still working through the details of NSW's international borders announcement, which was made 15 minutes before the Health Minister gave the daily COVID briefing.
GOP lawmakers warn 'unconstitutional' Biden asylum rule will fuel migrant surges at the border
FIRST ON FOX: Dozens of Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate are sounding the alarm about a proposed rule by the Biden administration that they call "unconstitutional," contending it would lead to further migrant surges at the border and fulfill what they call a Biden promise to implement "open borders.""The proposed rule represents a blatant violation of the laws passed by Congress," 68 congressional Republicans led by Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Mike Lee, R-Utah and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., say in a public comment on the rule.
"I think everyone just needs to take a chill pill," he said.
Mobility data shows movement has surged in the outer southeast areas of Melbourne, which have emerged as a new COVID-19 hotspot.
On Friday, for the first time in the outbreak, there were more new cases in the southeast (616) than reported in the north (585), the initial centre of the third wave.
The highest increases in movement have been observed along the Mornington Peninsula, with the assumption this is due to people illegally visiting their holiday homes at the weekends.
The modelling group at the University of Melbourne's transport, health and urban design research lab is now expecting cases to increase through October and into November.
"We're not at a stage in Victoria where we're about to reduce interaction between people, we're actually going to increase it. That's fine, but it would be difficult to imagine a situation, I think, where doing that would lead to reduced numbers of cases," Dr Thompson said.
"Vaccinations will help us stop being sick. They may not dampen transmission as much as we hoped."
The prediction raises more concerns about the impact on the hospital system, which is already under severe strain due to fast-growing numbers of COVID-19 patients, now at 677.
One promising sign though is the rate of hospitalisation, which is significantly lower than it was last year due to the higher. Around 3.5 per cent of active cases are hospitalised today, compared to around 7.5 per cent at the peak of the second wave.
Tucker Carlson: Thousands have died because of Biden's failed border policies
Tucker Carlson reveals how Biden's policies at the southern border have allowed more than illegal immigrants to come into the United States.How much federal is that? Well, just two milligrams of the drug can be lethal to a human being. That means 11 pounds contains nearly two and a half million fatal doses of fentanyl. Again, there's a major financial incentive for the drug cartels, which run huge parts of Mexico to produce this drug and ship it north. And they are. If cocaine was the drug of the 1980s, we are now living in the fentanyl era, and the numbers show it.
Southern Tasmania became the latest area ensnared by an outbreak on Friday,after a traveller from Sydney escaped hotel quarantine and spent 18 hours in the community, including visiting a supermarket, before testing positive.
Mildura's lockdown was also extended into a second week after another 34 cases were recorded.
Qantasthe restart of international flights by two weeks to November 1 in response to NSW's quarantine announcement, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison also welcomed, albeit with a caveat.
"We are not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment. I want to be clear about that," Mr Morrison said.
"In the first instance, it will be for Australian residents and their families. We will see how that goes and then we will [move on] to other priorities set out as being skilled migration as well as students to Australia and then we will move on to the challenge of dealing with international visitors to Australia."
The Victorian government has not confirmed when international flights will resume into Melbourne, although the Prime Minister has stated his intention to reopen borders into states once they hit 80 per cent double-dose coverage.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said he expected demand to be high for businesses to ramp up travel between Melbourne and Sydney, despite the existing regulations around testing.
"[Intrastate] business travel will take time to get to pre-pandemic levels, but there is certainly an appetite from the business community to get going," he said.
Dems pushing amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants through reconciliation package: GOP
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy held a roundtable discussion Thursday as a means to "expose" one of the underreported provisions in the Democrats' multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package: An attempt to grant amnesty to up to 10 million illegal immigrants. About 1.3 million migrants have been taken into custody at the border since President Biden took office, McCarthy noted at the top of his Capitol Hill briefing. He was flanked by Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, Kat Cammack, R-Fla., John Rutherford, R-Fla., and Troy Nehls, R-Texas.
"While the Victorian Chamber would have preferred to see the development sooner than 80 per cent, the fact that we are predicted to hit that target ahead of time means there's not too long to wait now."
Senior Liberal MP David Davis said Victoria's eased border with NSW was welcomed in principle, but was "slightly unusual and slightly bizarre" while Melbourne remained under restrictions.
"I think of people coming from overseas, being able to come to Victoria and see people all over the state and yet I can't see my father on the Peninsula," he said.
"I think that is a very strange piece of policy decision-making by this government."
The eased border is good news for separated friends, family members and partners, such as long-distance couple Bree Stewart and Louise Mole, who haven't been able to see each other for three months.
Ms Stewart, a mental health clinician, moved from Sydney to Melbourne ahead of Ms Mole, when Victoria went into lockdown.
"I've been managing trying to get our lives in order ever since. We were both really rapt about the announcement," the 33-year-old said.
She said she missed the couple's dog, Nash, and Ms Mole, 33, who will move to Melbourne in the coming weeks.
"If I'm honest, I think she misses the dog more than me!" Ms Mole joked.
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Sudan's mass protests back civilian rule but army remains strong .
Mass protests in Sudan show strong support for a civilian-led democracy, but analysts warn street demonstrations may have little impact on powerful factions pushing a return to military rule. Under a 2019 power-sharing deal after the ouster of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, Sudan is ruled by a sovereign council of civilian and military representatives tasked with overseeing a transition to a full civilian government. But cracks in theUnder a 2019 power-sharing deal after the ouster of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, Sudan is ruled by a sovereign council of civilian and military representatives tasked with overseeing a transition to a full civilian government.