World Australia's Victoria state records second-highest daily rise in virus cases
AUKUS deal: Australia's decades-long balancing act between the US and China is over
For more than 20 years, Australia tried to maintain good relations with both the United States and China. Now with the AUKUS deal, Canberra has picked a side -- Washington.For more than 20 years, Australia tried to maintain good relations with both the United States and China.
Australia's Victoria state reported 779 new COVID-19 infections and two deaths on Sunday, a decrease from the previous day's record high as the country's Prime Minister presses state leaders to be ready to reopen once they meet vaccination targets.
The daily increase was still the state's second-highest, after the 847 cases logged on Saturday, as officials battle to contain a Delta variant outbreak that has taken root since midyear.
Australia: France's recall of ambassador over subs regretful
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia said Saturday it was noting with regret France’s recall of its ambassador over the surprise cancellation of a submarine contract in favor of a U.S. deal. France recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States on Friday in an unprecedented show of anger over a deal among the United States, Australia and Britain to provide Australia with a fleet of at least eight nuclear-power submarines. The dealFrance recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States on Friday in an unprecedented show of anger over a deal among the United States, Australia and Britain to provide Australia with a fleet of at least eight nuclear-power submarines.
Australia's two most populous states, Victoria and New South Wales, have been struggling to contain the highly infectious variant while they ramp up vaccinations to 80% of the population, a threshold that will allow officials to ease strict lockdown measures.
Three-quarters of Australians have had a first dose of vaccine, while just half have had both doses.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview aired on Sunday that he expects states to open up borders and ease restrictions once the 80% vaccination threshold has been met.
"We each have a personal responsibility for looking after our own health. And so it's important that we do move forward," he told Channel 7's "Sunrise" program.
"There comes a time when you just got to move on and get on with it," he said from Washington, where he held a summit with his counterparts from the United States, Japan and India.
France seeks European support after submarine deal surprise
PARIS (AP) — France canceled meetings with British and Australian officials and is trying to rally EU allies behind its push for more European sovereignty after being humiliated by major Pacific defense pact orchestrated by the U.S. Australia and Britain insisted Monday that the diplomatic crisis wouldn't affect their longer-term relations with France, which is seething over a surprise, strategic submarine deal involving the U.S., Australia and Britain that sank a rival French submarine contract.France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia for the first time because of the deal, and its anger is showing few signs of subsiding.
Morrison said his message to Australians was "that what I'd like them to. And that's within the gift of governments. And that's a gift I'd like to see us give them."
New South Wales recorded nine deaths, according to government data on Sunday, while new locally acquired infections fell for a third day to 961, the lowest daily number in nearly a week, raising hopes that cases may have peaked, originally expected in mid-September, as vaccination rates climb.
"Whilst we are extremely encouraged by the downwards trend that we have seen, with Delta you cannot be complacent," said state Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
The state's first dose rate has risen to 85.2% of people over 16 years of age, while 59.1% of the population has had their second dose.
New South Wales has recorded 288 deaths in the Delta outbreak, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country's approximately 1,230 deaths.
State government officials are to finalize a roadmap this week for what to do when the 80% target is met, as focus shifts to when to reopen community activities to the unvaccinated.
Sporting events, regional travel, pubs, restaurants and other functions may remain off limits to unvaccinated people until as many as 90% of the state's adults have had two doses.
A Third of Australian State's New COVID Cases From Football Fans Attending Watch Parties .
In pre-pandemic years, Aussies would attend the grand final in the Victoria's capital, but the game was moved to Perth this year due to COVID-19 cases.In pre-pandemic times, the annual grand final is celebrated over the weekend in Victoria's capital, Melbourne. But the city's lockdown meant two Melbourne teams played for the national premiership on Saturday in Perth, where there are no reported COVID-19 cases.