Morning mail: Vaccine tensions rise, Bill Cosby released, Donald Rumsfeld dies |

GGood morning. Vaccines are again dominating the headlines local after several state governments directly criticized the commonwealth’s new position on the AstraZeneca vaccine, with Queensland saying it “didn’t want the under 40s to get AstraZeneca” and Victoria accusing Scott Morrison of creating unnecessary confusion. There is there is no argument within the national cabinet about AstraZeneca Morrison’s suggestion because he did not mark it – State and territory leaders learned about expanded access to under 40s when they watched the prime minister’s press conference.

Advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization remains that Pfizer is the vaccine of choice for under 60s because of the increased risk of rare clotting events. Many Australians under the age of 40 are confused about whether they can get a Covid-19 vaccine. Here’s a useful explanation with everything you need to know.

Less than one in five Australians in disability care have been fully vaccinated – more than four months after vaccine launch, new data has shown. The top industry body has reported that many are “back” seeking vaccinations through local clinics, rather than continuing to “wait for commonwealth services”, which have been described as “patchy” and “hit and miss”.

Joe Biden blames the climate crisis for the heatwave that caused hundreds of deaths across the US and Canada, rounding on climate deniers when temperatures soar to nearly 50C. Police in Vancouver have recorded at least 134 deaths in the coastal city, with Environment Canada also reporting 103 new heat records in four states on Monday. In the US city of Portland, temperatures have soared to 25C above the historical average, sparking fears of wildfires and reports of damaged roads.

Pennsylvania’s highest court has overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction after finding an agreement with prosecutors earlier preventing him from being charged in the case. Cosby has served more than two years from a three to 10 year sentence in a state prison near Philadelphia. He has vowed to serve all 10 years rather than admit any remorse over his 2004 encounter with an accuser, Andrea Constand.

And former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has died, aged 88. A prominent voice in the push to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in the fallout of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rumsfeld also served under Gerald Ford in the mid-70s, and has been praised for his “six decades of public service”.


Ben Roberts-Smith outside court in Sydney. Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP

Australian federal police remain tight-lipped on whether they will file criminal charges against Ben Roberts-Smith after it was revealed during a libel trial of a Victoria Cross recipient that he knowingly kept classified and confidential material without permission. He said he understood he was not authorized to keep classified information in his home but he did not know it was a criminal offence.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has called for an immediate halt to controversial facial recognition trials by NSW police. Police across the country have sought access to millions of photos collected by regional bodies but laws to allow access to those images were previously denied in 2019 for failing to adequately protect citizens’ rights.

Lawyer for Australians being held without charge in Iraq has brought a case to the United Nations. Robert Pether has been held in prison without proper legal access for nearly three months, an act his representatives have called a “flagrant violation of international law”.

Federal Labor calls for a sport-rorts-style parliamentary inquiry into a $4.8 billion urban congestion fund, after a damning report by the Australian National Audit Office found 47 projects – with a total value of $660 million – were selected by Morrison government MPs, not the infrastructure department.

Australian universities may allow students to submit papers under a pseudonym after increasing cases of harassment of those who criticize the Chinese Communist Party.


Solar lights and flags mark the place where 751 human remains were found at the site of a former residential school at Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan. Photo: Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images

The remains of 182 First Nations people have been found under a former school in western Canada. More than 1,000 unmarked graves have been found, highlighting the nation’s history of forced assimilation, neglect and ills.

EU and UK temporarily prevent major post-Brexit flashpoints, with Brussels agreeing to a three-month postponement of border checks on cold meat products entering Northern Ireland.

Myanmar’s military junta has released more than 2,000 anti-coup protesters from prison but thousands more remained, amid brutal conditions and widespread allegations of torture. An estimated 883 protesters have been killed by the junta since the February coup.

The global shortage of semiconductor chips is affecting car production in China and Japan, with the latter reporting a 19% decline in the industry. It is believed $20 billion will be written off from the auto industry’s operating profit by 2021.

Recommended reading

Books recommended by Guardian Australia staff to lock

Breaking Glaswegian poverty, surviving a post-apocalyptic nightmare, short stories so riveting you can’t sleep. We asked the Guardian Australia staff what book they couldn’t put down, and they answered us swiftly. Here are 22 must-reads, whether you’re stuck on lockdown or just haven’t found a good tome in a while. And let us know the last book that captivated you in the comments.

It is a chronic pain condition that we hardly know as much as we should. But for Nikki Marshall, fibromyalgia can be debilitating, and attacks can strike at the most inopportune times. “For me, the flare-up begins with a wave of exhaustion that can overwhelm me in seconds, accompanied by a brain fog so dense that I may struggle to speak. Then the pain started. But if you’ve ever lived with low-grade chronic pain, know that there are things that can help. Nikki shares some of hers in this part of the Unseen Pain series.

Say what you love about Australian life and culture – sometimes it just makes you cringe. This week’s guest curator of the 10 funniest things on the internet, Andrew Sholl, has spent half his life trawling digitally for the online pearl. Come for Alan Jones love songs, stay for the peanut car queen.


As it triggers lockdowns across Australia, what do we know about Delta variant? For starters, it is much more contagious than the previous strain, and even “glimpse” contact is enough to spread the disease. In this episode of Full Story, medical editor Melissa Davey discusses her challenges.

Full story

The science behind Australia’s deadly variant of the Covid Delta

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or other podcasting apps.


Andy Murray grimaced during his second-round match against Oscar Otte of Germany. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Local hero Andy Murray has the fight at hand at Wimbledon after dropping two sets against German challenger Oscar Otte. Follow all the latest from the Championship with our live blog.

One of English football’s oldest rivalries is about to heat up once again, with Everton announcing the signing of former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez on a three-year contract.

Media summary

Key workers in NSW have been urged to avoid public transport by the state’s transport minister over concerns about the virulence of the Delta variant of Covid-19, Sydney Morning Herald report. Use of public transport in the state has dropped to about 20% from pre-pandemic levels. State and federal government relations have hit a “new low”, according to Financial Review, with the federal government accusing the Queensland government of failing to push for a local lockdown. And WA is set to receive a record amount of mining royalties, the . claims Western Australia, with soaring iron ore prices expected to add an additional $1.2 billion to the state treasury.

Will come

An export ban preventing overseas shipments of Australian mixed plastics goes into effect today.


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