North Korea confirms their “1st” COVID-19 outbreak.
North Korea has confirmed its first coronavirus infections of the pandemic. It comes after the country held on to the claim they had a perfect record of keeping out the virus for more than two years.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said tests of samples collected on Sunday from an unspecified number of people with fevers in the capital, confirmed they were infected with the Omicron variant.
“There has been the biggest emergency incident in the country, with a hole in our emergency quarantine front, that has been kept safely over the past two years and three months since February 2020,” KCNA said.
In response, leader Kim Jong-un called for a thorough lockdown of cities and counties. The country’s population of 26 million is believed to be mostly unvaccinated after its government shunned vaccines offered by the UN-backed COVAX distribution program, possibly because those have international monitoring requirements.
North Korea’s announcement came after NK News, a North Korea-focused news site, cited unidentified sources who said authorities had imposed a lockdown on Pyongyang residents. South Korea’s government said it could not confirm the report.
It is not immediately clear how large the North’s outbreak is. Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University, said the North would likely double down on lockdowns, even though the failure of China’s “zero-COVID” approach suggests that does not work against the fast-moving Omicron variant.
“For Pyongyang to publicly admit Omicron cases, the public health situation must be serious,” Easley said.
Experts say a major COVID-19 outbreak would be devastating in North Korea because of the poor health system and could possibly trigger instability when combined with other problems such as serious food shortages.
North Korea orders strict lockdown with first official Covid cases https://t.co/g5yZ1GoOQR— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 12, 2022
- With AAP
Evening Headlines: US surpasses 1 million COVID-19 deaths.
Do you find the news cycle overwhelming? Depressing? Confusing? Boring? Endless? Then you need The Quicky. Mamamia’s daily podcast that gets you up to speed on the top stories. Listen to tonight’s episode below.
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Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick’s feud is back.
After more than a decade of ‘breaking free’ from Disney’s High School Musical franchise, Mr Troy Bolton himself, Zac Efron, has finally said he would be keen to return for a potential reboot.
And Deuxmoi, the anonymous celebrity gossip account with 1.5 million Instagram followers, are getting their own TV show. But while this account has changed how we talk about celebrity gossip, we’ve now got a theory about what’s really gone on behind the scenes.
Plus, in unexpected movie news, Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are both coming back for a sequel to their hit 2018 movie A Simple Favor. Which now has everyone asking… don’t these two actresses actively hate each other? So let’s talk about how their infamous feud took over the internet, what one of their famous co-stars had to say about it, and whether or not it was all just a huge publicity stunt.
Listen to The Spill now!
Albanese wins final election debate, and all the news you need to know this morning.
May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month, a cause Mamamia is passionate about raising awareness about.
This week, my colleague Isabella Ross spoke to Safe and Equal and the National Women's Safety Alliance to find out the five things you can do to help a friend currently experiencing domestic violence. You can read about them here.
These are the top five news stories you need to know today, Thursday May 12.
1. Albanese wins final election debate as new poll sees Labor in the lead.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has won the third and final leaders' debate before next week's election.
The debate, hosted by Channel Seven last night, was noticeably less fiery than Sunday's forum and saw the leaders discuss wage growth and cost-of-living pressures.
Albanese said low-wage workers, including cleaners and aged care employees were "heroes of the pandemic" and deserved "more than our thanks".
"I want a better future where we deal with the cost-of-living crisis where everything is going up except for people's wages," he said.
Morrison said he also backed a wage rise for all workers, but small businesses across the country would struggle with that increase in their wages bills "on top of all the other things they're facing".
A "pub test" conducted by Seven awarded the debate to Albanese, winning 50 per cent of votes.
Pub Test: Voters in marginal seats watching The Final Showdown have had their say and the results are in. Overall, 50% of 7NEWS' 160 voters saw @AlboMP as the winner, 34% went with @ScottMorrisonMP while 16% were undecided. https://t.co/LXt3MJTHpw #ausvotes #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/quJ4hN5PTy— 7NEWS Australia (@7NewsAustralia) May 11, 2022
A YouGov poll commissioned by The Australian, published late on Wednesday, also showed the Coalition heading for defeat.
The survey of almost 19,000 voters across all 151 lower house electorates showed Labor winning 80 seats, the coalition reduced to 63, while seven would go to independents and one to the Greens.
2. Daughter of Tamil family to spend seventh birthday in detention.
One of the daughters of the Tamil family is today celebrating her seventh birthday in community detention (her fifth in detention), as the push for their permanent settlement in Australia once again gains momentum.
Three of the four Murugappan family - parents Priya and Nades, along with daughter Kopika - were granted 12-month bridging visas by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke last year following a long ordeal.
Supporters are urging Hawke to use his ministerial powers ahead of the election and before their 12-month visas expire in September.
"It breaks my heart to be celebrating another of Kopi's birthdays while she's still in some form of detention," said Angela Fredericks, from the Home to Bilo campaign.
There’s only one more sleep until Kopika’s 7th birthday - her fifth since guards snatched her family from their Biloela home.— HometoBilo (@HometoBilo) May 10, 2022
She was only two.
RSVP now to join our online event with candidates pledging to do all they can to bring her family #HometoBilo: https://t.co/ESbD7FQZFZ pic.twitter.com/F40ia2IFzC
The family, who escaped Sri Lanka by boat due to a protracted ethnic conflict targeting the minority Tamils, were given temporary protection visas but were then uprooted in March 2018 from Biloela, Queensland and placed in a Melbourne detention centre before being detained on Christmas Island in August 2019.
The family were finally placed in community detention in Perth following the medical evacuation of their youngest daughter Tharnicca from Christmas Island in June 2021 due to a blood infection.
Tharnicca remains the only member of the family without a bridging visa.
3. PM would welcome Tudge’s return to ministry after being cleared of abuse allegations.
Sidelined minister Alan Tudge would be welcomed back to the inner sanctum of a re-elected Coalition government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed last night.
Tudge stepped aside as education minister in December after being accused of emotional and physical abuse by staffer Rachelle Miller, with whom he was having a consensual affair.
Tudge strenuously denied the allegations, with an investigation finding there was insufficient evidence he had breached ministerial standards.
Morrison said during last night's debate that Tudge still had a "warrant as a minister".
"He has not resigned as a minister, nor has he been dismissed," he said, adding, "he will be happy to come back and serve in the ministry and I welcome that."
Mr Morrison just confirmed that Alan Tudge will be Education Minister if the Liberals are re-elected. #auspoll2022— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) May 11, 2022
Morrison also addressed reports of a taxpayer-funded $500,000 compensation payout to Miller.
"This matter, I'm advised, has not even been settled," he said.
The prime minister said he had taken appropriate action by calling an independent inquiry into the issue.
4. Italy says US and Europe need to work with Russia and Ukraine to end conflict.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi says the US needs to work with Russia and Ukraine to end their conflict and forge a peace deal.
Speaking a day after meeting US President Joe Biden, Draghi said Russia had shown it was not invincible and that it was vital to seek ways of ending the 11-week war.
"We agreed that we must continue to support Ukraine and put pressure on Moscow but also begin to ask how to build peace," Draghi told reporters, adding that it was essential for the US to talk directly with Russia.
However, he stressed that no one should try to impose a peace deal on Ukraine saying, "this would be a recipe for disaster".
US President Biden and Italian Prime Minister Draghi stress transatlantic unity in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine https://t.co/0ZbR3fVS1K— The National (@TheNationalNews) May 10, 2022
Russian forces have suffered repeated setbacks on the battlefield, defying many analysts who predicted a swift victory for Russia.
"In the beginning, it was a war in which one thought there was a Goliath and a David ... (Now) there is certainly no longer a Goliath," Draghi said.
"What had seemed like an invincible power in the field... has proved to be a non-invincible power," he said of Russia.
5. NSW voluntary assisted dying law advances.
The NSW parliament has moved a step closer to allowing euthanasia, but advocates say the legislation is not likely to pass until next week.
NSW is the only state in Australia that does not allow assisted dying for terminally ill people, with landmark legislation first passing the lower house last year.
Last night, the state's upper house passed the bill's second reading stage in a 20 to 17 vote.
Members of the upper house are still to debate amendments and a final vote is expected next week, independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich said.
"This has been a long journey, a long and overdue journey," Greenwich said.
Greenwich said the proposed bill is one of the most conservative models in the country, with 46 amendments to the legislation already passed.
"It's my call to the upper house to not create any barriers and let's work to seek to achieve voluntary assisted dying in NSW by the end of next week."
That's it, you're all up to speed. We'll bring you more of the top stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
To cancel, or not to cancel: Changing inappropriate mindsets in 2022.
Hollywood actor Bill Murray has been a firm favourite with audiences for decades, so when news broke last month that his latest film had to stop shooting after just three days because of his inappropriate behaviour, many people were shocked.
Lucy Liu has since claimed his actions had also been problematic on the set of Charlie's Angels back in the year 2000, and it was revealed he also caused problems on the set of the 90's film What About Bob?
So the question is, can you ever teach an 'old dog' new tricks and change their words and actions to ensure their conduct is appropriate in 2022, or is there no hope?
The Quicky speaks to an expert psychologist and an older man who admits he needs some guidance to update his thinking, to find out what practical tools and advice you can employ in your own life to help change the ways of the ones you love, for the better.
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Feature Image: Getty.