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Key posts

  • Police capture person of interest in Chicago parade shooting: Report
  • Police identify alleged gunman who killed six at July 4 parade in Chicago
  • ‘Anyone over the age of 18’: Growing calls for COVID vaccine fourth jab
  • Albanese to tour flood ravaged NSW
  • Households to pay $1.5 billion in compensation to power plants
  • Liberals workshop replacements for Scott Morrison, Marise Payne
  • Putin declares victory in eastern Ukraine region of Luhansk
  • “We are not out of the danger yet”: Sydney suburbs go under again
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Bullet Too Damaged to Prove Who Killed Palestinian American Journalist, U.S. Says

The bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian American journalist shot in the occupied West Bank in May, was most likely fired from Israeli military lines but was too damaged to say for sure, the US State Department said Monday.

Shireen Abu Akleh died after she was shot while covering an Israeli army raid for al-Jazeera.Credit:AP

A State Department statement released after U.S. officials observed Israeli ballistic tests said the damage to the bullet made it difficult to draw a definitive conclusion about the gun it was fired from. But shots fired from the position of the Israel Defense Forces were “likely responsible for the death,” U.S. officials had concluded after reviewing evidence compiled by both Israeli and Palestinian investigators.

U.S. officials “found no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances during an IDF-led military operation,” the statement said.

The inconclusive U.S. findings only deepened the dispute over who killed Abu Akleh, a veteran broadcaster for Al-Jazeera and a household name in the Middle East, following an international outcry over the shooting.

After the State Department issued its findings, her family accused the U.S. of attempting to limit Israeli liability for her killing, while the Israeli government said the findings showed that it remained impossible to draw definitive conclusions.

The New York Times

Tens of thousands displaced by Sydney floods as state’s north braces for fresh deluge

NSW is expected to be lashed with more heavy rain on Tuesday as authorities warn a weather system developing off the state’s coast could bring a fresh deluge as it moves north and targets areas including the Mid North Coast – a region already devastated by flooding multiple times in the past 18 months.

A woman stands in a flooded street at Windsor on the outskirts of Sydney on Tuesday.Credit:AP

More evacuation warnings were issued overnight and on Tuesday morning, including for parts of Windsor and Shanes Park, in Sydney’s north-west and west.

At 10am AEST on Tuesday, there were 102 evacuation orders in place across the state and 55 warnings impacting more than 55,000 people who live in communities that are bracing themselves for the mammoth recovery effort that lies ahead.

Authorities are focused on the Hawkesbury-Nepean regions, as well as the Hunter and Newcastle, which could see rainfalls of about 100mm on Tuesday.

Read the full story here.

Calls to resume mask wearing ahead of new COVID-19 wave

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has urged the community to resume wearing masks indoors in public settings following a “new wave” of COVID-19 across the state.

Chant said the new wave is being driven by the new Omicron BA.4 and 5 variants, with the peak set to hit around late July and early August.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant provide a COVID-19 update.Credit:Louise Kennerley

Chant said experts are predicting hospitalisations will be similar to the BA1 Omicron wave experienced in January.

“I am concerned about this picture, and I’m calling on the community to do a few things to protect yourself and each other. It’s essential you stay up to date with your vaccinations,” she said.

“Please wear a mask indoors, in public transport, in pharmacies and in shops. We all have a part to play.”

Chant said hospitalisations will likely be worse this time around compared to January, due to the rise of flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

“Just because your RAT test is negative, still do not go out and about,” she said.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard also defined those who haven’t had a third dose of COVID vaccine as “crazy”.

Hazzard also expressed his desire for antivirals to become commonplace in the future.

He said he was “hopeful” the federal body would do what was required to make antivirals more accessible to a broader age group.

“I understand there may be some challenges in the formalities and I’m hopeful that may be curtailed or at least circumvented,” he said.

“We’re having discussions with the federal government about those issues at the present time. So hopefully we’ll see some announcements on that in the near course.”

Analysis: Recessions are looming – but that may be good news

Senior business columnist Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that there’s both good news and bad news in an apparent peaking in the prices of most commodities over the past month.

The good news is that it might be a signal that the decades-high inflation rates causing central banks to hike interest rates and pull liquidity from their financial systems may have peaked.

The bad news is that the across-the-board falls in commodity prices probably reflect a conviction that recessions around the world and a slump in activity and demand are looming.

Read the full analysis here.

COVID-19 cases in Victoria

Victoria’s COVID-19 case numbers are finally in…

Langford Jones Homes collapses, leaving homeowners in limbo

At least 65 home owners are in limbo as another Victorian house builder collapses under pressure from construction costs, supply chain delays and labour shortages.

Family-owned Langford Jones Homes is in liquidation owing 250 creditors more than $10 million.

Operators across the country are under stress.Credit:

The builder has projects in Melbourne’s bayside and south-east suburbs and in Phillip Island.

Langford ceased trading last Thursday and appointed RSM Australia partners Jonathon Colbran and Richard Stone as liquidators.

The company’s collapse is another sign of an industry teetering towards crisis.

Operators across the country are under stress, with high-profile businesses like Metricon Homes struggling and top-tier construction firms like Probuild collapsing.

Read our evolving story here.

Police capture person of interest in Chicago parade shooting: Report

Police have captured a person of interest associated with a shooting that killed six people and wounded more than 36 when a man with a high-powered rifle opened fire from a rooftop at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, according to a report.

Highland Park authorities released a photo of Robert Crimo III.Credit:City of Highland Park

Reuters could not independently verify the NBC report.

Police had previously identified a person of interest in the shooting, 22-year-old Robert E Crimo III, who was from the area. They said he was driving a silver 2010 Honda Fit automobile.

Officials said a rifle was recovered from the scene. At least 25 people were shot ranging in age from 8 to 85, doctors said.

Read the full story here.

Reuters, AP

Restaurants, cafes turn to staff recruitment apps amid worker crisis

Hospitality businesses are increasingly turning to third-party recruitment apps to find temporary shift workers as critical staff shortages plague the industry, but some venues say reliance on the apps is not sustainable.

Recruitment app Supp – a platform for businesses to advertise temporary shifts to hospitality workers – said the number of available shifts had quadrupled since January to about 16,000 per month.

Hospitality One venue manager Jonathan Mooney said the Supp app has helped him fill shifts amid staff shortages in recent months.Credit:Joe Armao

Similar third-party staffing app Sidekicker has also seen an increase, with weekly worker sign-ups hitting an all-time high in June.

Supp co-founder and chief executive Jordan Murray said the five-year-old start-up had seen a 40 per cent increase since January in the number of hospitality workers using the app to find work.

“Our main customer base is smaller, independent venues who don’t have any internal backup to call on when their chef catches COVID or a regular staff member can’t make it. These venues are under more pressure than usual because of the shortage.”

‘Highly complex’ truth-telling inquiry asks for an extension

Australia’s first truth-telling commission wants two more years to deliver its final report, as it moves to focus on modern injustices perpetrated against Indigenous people.

To mark NAIDOC Week, the Yoorrook Justice Commission’s interim report was tabled in Victorian parliament on Monday after it met with 174 local elders across the state and another seven in Melbourne-based public hearings.

Yoorrook Justice Commissioners (L-R) Professor Maggie Walter, Dr Wayne Atkinson, Distinguished Yoorook chair Professor Eleanor Bourke, Yoorrook deputy chair Sue-Anne Hunter, and Professor Kevin Bell.Credit:Twitter/Yoorrook Justice Commission

While too soon to make findings and recommendations on substantive issues, the Victorian inquiry has asked Governor Linda Dessau to extend the due date for its final report from mid-2024 to mid-2026 and sign off on additional resources.

“Establishing Australia’s first truth-telling commission is highly complex,” chair Eleanor Bourke said.

“Yoorrook’s mandate spans more than 200 years of historic and ongoing injustices. Time is needed to ensure the best process, right for community, so that we can create a more complete public record for all.”

The other initial recommendation contained within the 103-page document is for the Victorian government to protect Indigenous data sovereignty through new legislation before the end of 2023.

Read the full story here.

ASX opens flat ahead of RBA decision

The Australian sharemarket has opened flat ahead of the Reserve Bank’s looming interest rate rise, with trade subdued on international markets overnight with Wall Street closed for a public holiday.

Investors will have their eyes locked on the RBA decision this afternoon.Credit:Louie Douvis

The ASX 200 was sitting at 6,603.9 points at 10.24am AEST, a fall of 0.1 per cent from Monday’s close.

Energy stocks moved slightly upward as oil prices rose overnight, with Woodside climbing by 1.2 per cent in the opening minutes of trade.

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