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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

James Hennessy

Hello and welcome to another week.

1. A little bit of a setback for the country's coronavirus recovery popped up over the weekend. There were 19 new cases in Victoria on Sunday, including eight which are still under investigation.

2. This has sparked fears of a second wave, and led the Victorian government to postpone its plans for reopening. Until at least July 12, household gatherings will be limited to five guests and outdoor gatherings to 10 people. Restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community centres, libraries, museums and places of worship will all maintain their 20-person limits, instead of the 50 which was set to proceed from today.

3. The Victorian situation has reverberated across the country. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will hold crisis talks about the border situation and coronavirus restrictions in her own state, and Queensland has declared all of Melbourne's 31 local government areas COVID-19 hotspots, meaning anyone who travels to the city must quarantine for 14 days on return.

4. At the end of last week, the government announced its plans to shake up university funding. The most contentious part of the change is that students would pay double to study most arts degrees, with the government trying to use price signals to encourage study of fields which are expected to see growth, including nursing and science.

5. We spoke to some education academics on the above changes, and the responses are mixed. One said it may not significantly discourage students from pursuing arts degrees, as the HELP government loan scheme makes them pretty flexible on course costs. Others were far more critical. “Making it more difficult for students to afford to study disciplines such as history and philosophy will not only impoverish our society and democracy more broadly but so too will it fail to meet the future demands of the labour market," said Alan Reid, emeritus professor at the University of South Australia.

6. Mining giant Rio Tinto says it has launched a review into its heritage management processes after it blew up a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal cultural site. The company’s review will look into ways it can improve its standards and procedures, with input from the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and the Pinikura people. The company has seen worldwide outrage after destroying two rock shelters containing artefacts and sacred objects.

7. The minimum wage has been raised by just $13 a week – 'substantially lower' than usual – as the country enters recession. It comes far below the 3% raise handed down last year, with the Fair Work Commission pointing to the impending recession as the major influence on its decision. Predictably, employers had been lobbying for no increase at all.

8. Donald Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the weekend – his first political rally since the country shut down in March due to the coronavirus. The campaign was expecting a big turnout, but it turns out just under 6,200 people showed up at the 19,000-capacity venue.

9. But here's the clincher. Teenagers and K-pop fans on social media are claiming victory, saying they are the reason turnout was so low. A meme on TikTok shows young people signing up for tickets to the rally, obviously with no intention of ever showing up. Gen Z is truly frightening.

10. Business Insider spoke with 11 former Pinterest employees who said that despite the company's upbeat product, it was a toxic and difficult place to work. Employees say they were publicly yelled at by managers or dealt with such severe "head games" from managers that they grew stressed and were later hospitalised.


You have to watch this truly weird part of the Trump rally: