Daily News Review – Friday 16 July

Each day this service is sourced by CCO from the excellent work done as ‘The Dawn Patrol’ for over a decade now by ‘BK’ at Poll Bludger. See; pollbludger.net

Michelle Grattan writes that, as the Delta strain escalated our COVID experience to a new stage of national disruption, Scott Morrison has been under a form of political house arrest, driven by circumstances and choice. Meanwhile, she says, Albanese has hit the road.
Since Scott Morrison pretty much governs in absentia, if he and his entire ministry disappeared, we would be unlikely to notice, writes Michelle Pini.
The frontline of Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak has widened from family homes to workplaces across the city, with potential clusters emerging at a major building site, two hospitals and an aged care facility.
Daniella White compares the Sydney and Melbourne lockdowns.
A disenchanted John Dwyer writes about the NSW ‘lockdown’ that isn’t while putting business before people. It’s well worth reading.
If Lockdown 5.0 is short, sharp and successful in Victoria, it will have the potential to redefine the national debate on the management of the virus, writes The Australian’s John Ferguson.
David Crowe says that there is a new parochialism stifling Australia.
Philosophy professor Adam Piovarchi explains the role of blame in public discourse.
Can you believe this? The Herald-Sun declares, “Victorians have been here before. But there’s something different about this lockdown — it’s a chance to show our NSW neighbours how it’s done.”
The editorial in The Canberra Times says The PM can’t spin his way out of this vaccine mess. It concludes with, “Mr Morrison needs to up his game. This pandemic is not just about marketing and image. It is about hard decisions based on evidence; his hard decisions based on evidence. Blaming underlings is low. We have no doubt voters will see it that way.”
A major hospital in the centre of Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak has been forced to postpone all non-urgent surgery after a patient tested positive to COVID-19.
Professor Ian Ring begins his harsh assessment of federal government with, “The Commonwealth government’s performance with quarantine and vaccine purchase and delivery has been widely derided – and not without reason. And this is on top of its manifest failure to adequately regulate and fund the aged care sector. The states and territories, by contrast, have been left to do the heavy lifting, carrying out their own responsibilities for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing and, on top of that, have had to bail out the Commonwealth in terms of hotel quarantine and boosting vaccination for priority groups.” This is will worth a read.
The Age’s editorial says that, as Melbourne begins lockdown 5.0, it has suffered more than most in Australia. But when you look abroad, you realise we still have much to be grateful for.
The political betting has to be on Daniel Andrews getting traction on federal aid because Scott Morrison is too vulnerable to risk another brawl with the Victorian Premier, says Jennifer Hewett.
Phil Coorey writes that the worm keeps turning on the best laid reopening plans.
The government has quietly scaled down projections of how many AstraZeneca doses will be available in Australia in the coming weeks, while downplaying a huge gap between the amount being locally produced and original Covid-19 vaccine supply targets.
Jacqui Maley wonders if Australia has bungled the pandemic response.
After five months of Australia’s COVID vaccination program, it’s unclear exactly how many people in the highest priority have received a vaccination and the federal government is only able to confirm fewer than half of aged care and disability workers are immunised, reports Josh Butler.
Businesses were trying to encourage employees back into the office before the latest lockdowns but the shift to flexible working from home looks permanent, opines the editorial in the SMH.
Michael Pascoe reckons that, in a round-a-bout way, our closed borders have revealed a wages home truth. He says they have demonstrated that the way our migration system has been run, particularly our temporary migration system, may well have been one of the factors suppressing wages growth.
RBA Governor’s wages-immigration bomb and how he got it wrong, explains Abul Rizvi.
Nick O’Malley writes that Europe’s controversial carbon plan could be a global game-changer.
The European Union has announced the world’s most ambitious response to climate change, and the US and China are not far behind, explains Stephen Bartholomeusz.
Nick Bonyhady tells us that chefs will be allowed to trade away their penalty rates, overtime and allowances in return for a flat rate of at least $82,400 for up to 57 hours of work a week in an attempt by the industrial commission to tackle widespread wage underpayment at fine dining establishments.
At the last census, nearly a third of Australians marked “no religion” but it’s likely this is a significant under-reporting of the true numbers of non-religious people in Australia, argues Heidi Nicholl.
The Australian sarcastically says that the scintillating personality and evident charisma of interim Aussie Post chief Rodney Boys and his chair Lucio Di Bartolomeo – on show over recent months at Senate estimates – has apparently been insufficient to prevent a mass exodus of executives from the troubled national postal service.
John Frew writes about “The Drum” showing a continued right-wing bias in its panellist selections.
In the wake allegations of sexism and lack of support for a student who was groomed by a sex offender coach, St Kevin’s College has examined its culture and vowed to do better, explains Wendy Touhy.
As global Covid vaccine passports become a reality, we have to make sure they’re fair, argues Laura Spinney.
The AIMN’s Rossleigh writes about Josh Frydenberg who excels in telling us why everything Is Labor’s fault but the Liberals are just victims of circumstance.
Amy Remeikis writes about what appears to be a “tick and flick”, half-hearted exercise with respect to a planned one-hour voluntary training exercise for Australian MPs and sexual harassment.
Anthony Galloway reports that Anthony Albanese has slammed a Labor motion backed by former NSW premier Bob Carr calling for a boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, saying it is counterproductive and is not supported by anyone in his party room.
Australia is facing growing pressure over its climate policies as the US edges closer to following the European Union in imposing new charges on imports of emissions-intensive products, write Daniel Hurst and Adam Morton who say that not engaging is not the answer.
Deals between the Liberal and National parties could further imperil water policy and spell a dark future for the climate and sustainability efforts, writes Dr David Shearman.
Graham Readfearn writes that coral and ocean scientists have described statements on coral bleaching from the government’s reef envoy, Warren Entsch, as “far-fetched” and “ill-informed” on the day he accompanied more than a dozen ambassadors on a snorkelling trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
Beware recycled plastics. They often contain virgin plastics; the antithesis of the recycling promise. Luke Stacey investigates the green vanguard and their recycling claims and finds, while they do good work in raising public awareness, they could certainly be more transparent.
The Guardian tells us that Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.
Western Europe is experiencing record-breaking floods.
After a year of leading the global economy out of the pandemic slump, China’s growth is now starting to level off, as the world tries to digest whether the country’s recovery will continue or peter out.
Oil is on the road to oblivion, but it can still shock the global economy, lays out Jeremy Warner.
The Amazon basin is beginning to release more carbon-dioxide to the atmosphere than it absorbs as deforestation and fires spread, potentially accelerating global warming.
A man accused of hoarding guns and keeping a woman as a sex slave says charging him with more than 400 crimes is unfair – because it means he will pay $100,000 in court levies. You’ve gotta laugh!

On several fronts this guy lands today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.
Jamil Hopoate also gets a gong!

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