Tag Archives: Australia

Australia’s virus hotspot state, Victoria, reported its 800th death, other states are easing restrictions | Instant News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s coronavirus hotspot state, Victoria, reported its 800th death from the virus on Thursday, but the low number of cases raises the prospect of “COVID-normal” 2021 without social lockdowns or restrictions, said the state prime minister that.

FILE PHOTO: A cyclist wears a face mask in Melbourne after becoming the first city in Australia to enforce the wearing of masks in public as part of efforts to curb the rise of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), 23 July 2020. REUTERS / Sandra Sanders

“We believe we will be able to build a normal Christmas COVID, a normal summer of COVID and the virus at a level so low that we can sustain it over the long term,” Victorian state Prime Minister Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

“It’s even possible for the majority, or even for the whole of 2021.”

Victoria, the second most populous state in the country, accounts for 90% of the national COVID-19 deaths. Australia, with 888 fatalities, fared much better than many other developed countries.

The lower figure came after a tight lockdown in the Victorian state capital, Melbourne. Strict measures are set to remain in effect until the average of new daily cases during the two-week window drops below five.

Victoria on Thursday reported 15 new cases, pushing the two-week average below 16.

As fears of a second national COVID-19 wave subside, the state of Queensland on Thursday said it would ease restrictions on some people entering from Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW).

Queensland hotels, clubs and dining establishments can now have double the number of outdoor visitors, with a capacity limited to just one person per two square meters, while up to 1,000 people can attend outdoor events, said Queensland state Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk .

NSW reported no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for six consecutive days. The state reported three new cases with two in quarantine while the third was an old case added to the tally. The state of Queensland reported no new cases.

Three other Australian states and two territories have no or few local or only imported cases.

Reporting by Renju Jose and Colin Packham; Edited by Tom Hogue and Michael Perry


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No Australian, Pacific team in the New Zealand Super Rugby competition in 2021 | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: Rugby Union – Super Rugby Final – Crusaders vs Lions – AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand – 4 August 2018 – David Havili of the Canterbury Crusaders scores an attempt when he is tackled by Ruan Combrinck of the South African Lions. REUTERS / Stringer

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand will repeat the domestic Aotearoa Super Rugby competition in 2021, without involving any Australian or Pacific Island teams, the head of the national governing body said on Thursday.

New Zealand founded Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020 for five of its professional franchises after the wider Super Rugby championship was abandoned due to COVID-19.

The Governing Body of New Zealand Rugby hopes to include teams from the Pacific islands for next year’s tournament and is inviting expressions of interest from Australia.

However, chairman Brett Impey said the pandemic had canceled those plans.

“COVID has forced us to think domestically for the next year,” Impey told reporters via video call.

“Given the success of Aotearoa’s Super Rugby, it has become very easy for us to do the same in 2021.”

The NZR’s decision means Australia is also expected to repeat the domestic AU Super Rugby competition in 2021.

Impey said he hopes Super Rugby Aotearoa can be expanded by up to three additional teams by 2022.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Written by Ian Ransom; Edited by Clarence Fernandez and Tomasz Janowski


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Amazon Transparency Launched in Japan, Australia | Instant News

SEATTLE – (BUSINESS WIRE) – 30 Sep 2020–

Today, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced the expansion of Transparency to two new countries – Japan and Australia – making it available in 10 countries where Amazon has stores. Amazon Transparency also celebrates an important milestone by enrolling more than 10,000 brands into the program. Transparency, launched in 2018, is a product serialization service that builds on Amazon’s longstanding work and innovative solutions that focus on ensuring that customers always receive authentic goods when shopping at an Amazon store.

This press release features multimedia. Check out the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200930006006/en/

(Graphics: Business Wire)

“Transparency is an advanced technology-based solution that gives brands the ability to uniquely identify each unit of product they manufacture and allows Amazon to use this to prevent counterfeit goods from reaching customers,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Partner Support and Worldwide Customer Trust.

Transparency allows brands to uniquely identify each unit they produce by applying a unique code to their product or packaging. This code allows Amazon to proactively check and authenticate every unit registered with Transparency, detecting and stopping the counterfeiting before it reaches the customer. In addition, customers can use the mobile app to scan codes and verify authenticity wherever they purchase products of the brand. More than 10,000 brands – from Fortune 500 companies and global brands, to startups and small businesses in countries around the world including LG Electronics USA, Spectrum Brands, Cards Against Humanity LLC, Neato, Petrichor, Skullcandy, Salom, Nomader and Naples Naturals – has already been registered with Transparency. Across these brands, Transparency has prevented the shipment of more than 500,000 suspected counterfeit items on Amazon stores.

LG Electronics USA, a leading innovator in home appliances, said “LG sees Transparency as the best way to ensure that consumers use genuine LG filters while protecting them from counterfeit products.”

Spectrum Brands, a Fortune 500 company that owns several pet care companies, said: “By having the Transparency seal on our products, we give consumers confidence that the products they buy for their pets are genuine, effective, and formulated on the label.”

Cards Against Humanity LLC, said: “With Transparency, we are now more confident than ever that our customers are receiving a legitimate product – which is a win for us and for the customer.”

Neato, maker of the robotic vacuum cleaner, said: “Transparency has enabled us to foster consumer confidence in our products and prevent non-genuine products from falling into the hands of our customers.”

Sumeet Raj Aggarwal, owner of small business in India, Petrichor, said: “With Transparency, consumers can buy with confidence knowing that the product is genuine and of high quality. This program fosters trust in our brands and prevents counterfeit goods from being delivered to consumers. This is a win-win solution for both brands and consumers.”

Apart from Japan and Australia, Transparency is available in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. To learn more about Transparency and how to register, visit: http://www.transparency.com/

Transparency is one of many innovations that Amazon has introduced to partner with brands to ensure customers receive genuine products and to protect the brand’s intellectual property.

  • Recently, Amazon launched the Amazon Counterfeit Crime Unit (ACCU), a global team that will investigate and take legal action against criminals, protecting Amazon customers, brands, and sales partners. To learn more: https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-establishes-counterfeit-crimes-unit-bring-counterfeiters
  • Amazon’s Project Zero, which empowers brands to drive counterfeiting to zero. Project Zero uses automatic protection to proactively and continuously scan over 5 billion product list update attempts every day for suspicious listings, providing a self-service tool for brands with an unprecedented ability to instantly delete listings from the Amazon store, and utilize product serialization as an optional service. To join more than 10,000 registered brands, learn more at: http://www.projectzero.com.
  • Amazon IP Accelerator helps businesses get intellectual property (IP) rights and brand protection faster on Amazon stores. This program is specifically designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind and is available to entrepreneurs worldwide who wish to secure intellectual property in the US. The IP Accelerator connects entrepreneurs with US law firms with expertise in trademark applications. Entrepreneurs also benefit from pre-negotiated rates. To learn more: https://brandservices.amazon.com/ipaccelerator
  • Amazon Brand Registry, a free service that provides brand owners with access to a powerful set of tools that help them provide an accurate and trusted customer experience on Amazon while protecting brand IPs. More than 350,000 registered brands. To register and learn more: https://brandservices.amazon.com/

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for discovery, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @Bayu_joo.

See the source version at businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200930006006/en/

CONTACT: Amazon.com, Inc.

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SOURCE: Amazon

Copyright 2020 Business Wire.

PUB: 09/30/2020 07:00 PM / DISC: 09/30/2020 07:01 PM


Copyright 2020 Business Wire.


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Australian sports guidelines on trans athletes | Instant News

Australia’s eight sports federations, including the highest governing body for tennis, rugby union and football Australian Rules, issued guidelines for the participation of transgender athletes in competition on Thursday.

The initiative spearheaded by ACON, a health NGO advocating for LGBT rights, is driven by the need for national guidance on how sport can engage people who are “trans and gender diverse”, organizers said in a media release.

“While many trans people across Australia are members of very inclusive sports clubs, many also report that joining a club is a scary and terrifying experience,” said Teddy Cook, ACON manager for Trans and Gender Diverse Equity.

“This commitment from the sport provides much-needed guidance for the many clubs working hard to become the open and inclusive sport they desire for all athletes, including trans athletes.”

Tennis Australia, Rugby Australia and the national federation for the Australian Rules football, hockey, netball, water polo, Touch Football and university sports issue guidelines governing inclusion at the grassroots and community levels.

Netball Australia and the Australian Football League (AFL), the governing body for the Aussie Rules, also issued new elite-level guidelines at launch at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Trans athletes’ participation in sports has proven divisive, with the federation struggling to find a balance between justice and inclusion.

Proponents of female sports argue that the naturally derived physical benefits that transgender women receive through male puberty last long into adulthood and provide an unfair advantage over competition.

However, transgender advocates say that inclusiveness should be a major factor and that preventing trans athletes from participating in women’s sports only increases the stigma and discrimination they face.

“We know that trans athletes can be targeted on unsubstantiated grounds so we affirm our gender to seek a competitive advantage in sport, but this is not true and very damaging to all,” Cook said.

A number of other Australian federations, including football, golf, swimming and athletics, are committed to emulating other sports in producing their own framework of inclusion, organizers said.

Australian sport has been criticized in the past by transgender activists for not doing enough to engage trans athletes.

The AFL has come under fire for handling the case of trans athlete Hannah Mouncey, who represented Australia in men’s handball before the transition.

Mouncey played women’s football at the provincial level but the AFL barred her from entering the 2017 draft for the professional women’s competition and she withdrew her nomination for the following year’s draft, complaining of poor treatment from the league.


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Australian stocks followed Wall Street’s lead higher, poised to snatch a three-day losing streak | Instant News

(Reuters) – Australian stocks rose on Thursday, following an upbeat session on Wall Street as talks continued about a new coronavirus aid package, while easing restrictions in Australia’s main state also restored confidence in riskier assets.

FILE PHOTOS: A board displaying stock prices is seen on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in Sydney, Australia, 9 February 2018. REUTERS / David Gray

S & P / ASX 200 Index .AXJO rose up to 0.9% in early trading and is ready to halt the three day losing streak. The benchmark has closed 2.3% lower in the previous session.

US stocks closed firmly higher on Wednesday, as investors watched through a chaotic US presidential debate on a spate of positive economic data and talk of a multibillion dollar coronavirus aid package. [.N]

In Australia, the state of Queensland said it would ease restrictions on some people entering from the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, while the number of cases at the Victoria coronavirus hotspot remained stable.

Later that same day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce grants worth A $ 1.3 billion ($ 930.93 million) to producers, in a bid to revive an economy hit by the pandemic.

All major sub-indexes rose, led by mining stocks .AXMM, which is up as much as 2% after iron ore futures surged Wednesday on supply concerns due to the coronavirus outbreak in Australia’s Port Hedland. [IRONORE/]

BHP Group heavyweight BHP.AX and Rio Tinto RIO.AX rose by as much as 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively.

Technology sub-index .AXIJ jumped up to 1.6%, helped by gains in Afterpay APT.AX and EML Payments EML.AX, with a second addition of more than 3%.

Finance .AXFJ rose as much as 0.7%, while energy stocks .AXEJ up to 0.9%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark index S & P / NZX 50 .NZ50 rose 0.1% to 11,759.5 at 0124 GMT.

The top percentage share on the index is Oceania Healthcare OCA.NZ, up 2.6%, while milk a2 ATM.NZ hit the lowest level in more than six months and was one of the top declines on the benchmark for the fourth day.

Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V


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