What's happening in the Solomon Islands and why does it involve Australia?
The Solomon Islands/China/Australia story is a complex one.
If like me, you don't have the time to read a super long explainer on the dense historical backstory and current implications of China's security pact with our not so far away neighbour, then you're in the right place.
I've pulled together the very, very very top lines into a 60 second explainer video.
Man named formal suspect in Madeleine McCann case, and all the news you need to know this morning.
We're nearing the second week of the federal election campaign and one topic keeps being pulled into focus; transgender identity.
Yesterday I wrote an explainer about how the issue keeps being politicised this election. You can read all about it here.
But for now, let's get you across the biggest news stories you need to know this morning Friday April 22.
1. Man named formal suspect in Madeleine McCann case.
In breaking news this morning, a man in Germany has been formally identified as a suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann.
It is the first time Portuguese prosecutors have identified an official suspect in the case since Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents, were named suspects in 2007. They were later cleared.
The three-year-old vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, nearly 15 years ago on May 3, 2007.
Prosecutors in Faro, Algarve's main city, did not publicly name the man on Thursday but said in a statement he was identified as a suspect by German authorities at its request.
The suspect has not been charged with any crime related to the disappearance.
NOTE: This story has been amended since this morning. News of charges being laid has been amended.
2. Anthony Albanese to start campaign from isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will be forced to campaign from home after he tested positive to COVID-19 yesterday.
Albanese, who tested positive but is not showing symptoms, was due to fly out on Friday from Sydney to campaign in Western Australia. He will instead isolate at his home in Sydney for seven days.
"While at home I will continue my responsibilities as alternative prime minister and will be fighting for a better future for all Australians," he said. "I am grateful to know that I will have access to the world's best health care if I need it, because of Medicare."
Following a routine PCR test this afternoon ahead of interstate travel to Western Australia, I have returned a positive result for COVID this evening.— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) April 21, 2022
I have been testing regularly as part of my election campaign duties.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison sent best wishes to his election rival.
"Everyone's experience with COVID is different and as Labor's campaign continues, I hope he does not experience any serious symptoms," Morrison said on Twitter.
I wish Anthony Albanese all the best for his recovery after testing positive to COVID. Everyone’s experience with COVID is different and as Labor’s campaign continues, I hope he does not experience any serious symptoms.— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) April 21, 2022
Labor campaign heads had prepared for the possibility Albanese might test positive, with opposition front-benchers set to play an expanded role over the coming days, while Albanese is likely to conduct virtual press conferences should he still be feeling well. Labor's campaign launch, set down for May 1 in Perth, is expected to go ahead as planned.
The positive result comes after Albanese spent yesterday campaigning on the NSW south coast and in Sydney, and spend time with Morrison in Brisbane for the first election debate.
Morrison will still be on the campaign trail today, starting day 12 in Queensland, where he will announce a $428 million upgrade to four defence force air bases.
3. SA to review COVID isolation rules as NSW/VIC relax restrictions tonight.
South Australia will review its COVID-19 close contact rules as NSW and Victoria bring in new rules tonight.
The state's Emergency Management Council will meet this afternoon to discuss changes to restrictions, with Queensland also expected to follow suit in relaxing close contact rules.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said maintaining a level of national consistency in regard to coronavirus restrictions remained important to the government. But said officials would also continue to monitor and be guided by case numbers and hospitalisations.
"What we're seeking is to get that balance right between having restrictions in place and getting us back to a degree of normality," the premier told reporters yesterday.
South Australia, which reported 4079 new infections on Thursday, still requires all close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases to isolate for seven days.
A similar rule for people in NSW and Victoria will be dropped from tonight although they will have to undertake daily rapid antigen tests, wear masks indoors and work from home where possible.
They will also have to notify their employers and avoid high-risk environments like hospitals and aged care settings.
4. Russia claims Mariupol in the biggest battle so far in the war against Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed victory in the biggest battle of the war in Ukraine, declaring the port city of Mariupol "liberated" after nearly two months of siege.
However, hundreds of fighters and civilians in dozens of bunkers were still holed up inside a huge steel works on Thursday.
Putin ordered his troops to blockade the complex "so that not even a fly" could escape.
In Washington DC, US President Joe Biden authorised a further $US800 million ($A1.1 billion) in military aid for Ukraine, including heavy artillery, as it faces a new Russian offensive in the east.
President Biden announced another $800 million in military aid to Ukraine on Thursday, saying it sent an “unmistakable message” to President Vladimir Putin of Russia that he “will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine.”https://t.co/vDj3v8o5Bv— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 21, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a video address to the Portuguese parliament, begged other countries to send more weapons and to impose more economic sanctions on Russia.
"This is just the first step (for Russia) to gain control of eastern Europe, to destroy democracy in Ukraine," he said. "We are fighting not only for our independence but for our survival, for our people so that they do not get killed, tortured and raped."
5. Queen to mark her 96th birthday privately after releasing birthday photo.
The Queen is marking her 96th birthday privately, retreating to the Sandringham estate in eastern England that has offered the monarch and her late husband, Prince Philip, a refuge from the affairs of state.
She is expected to spend the day at the estate's Wood Farm cottage, a personal sanctuary where she also spent her first Christmas since Philip's death in April 2021.
Philip loved the cottage, in part because it is close to the sea, she said in February when hosting a rare public event at Sandringham.
The Queen released a photo to mark her 96th birthday yesterday, showing the monarch with two white ponies at Windsor Castle.
🎂 Thank you for all your lovely messages on The Queen's 96th Birthday today!https://t.co/xDQY3CLxLu— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 21, 2022
The Queen was born on April 21, however, celebrates her official birthday on June 13.
This birthday comes during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year, marking her 70 years on the throne.
And that's it, you're all up to speed with your morning news.
- With AAP.
The PM's apology and the ANZAC loved ones left behind.
Anzac Day is a time to pause and remember the brave men and women who have served or continue to serve our country.
But it's also a day to remember the military families left behind.
The Quicky speaks to two women who are married to military men about raising a family while constantly moving, and with one parent away for long periods, often at short notice.
- What women were talking about on Thursday
- What women were talking about on Wednesday
- What women were talking about on Tuesday
Feature image: Facebook/AAP/henrydallalphotography.com/Royal Windsor Horse Show via AP/Getty