ACT lockdown extended: The news stories you need to know today, Monday August 16.

ACT extends lockdown by two weeks as COVID cluster grows. 

Canberra's lockdown will be extended for another two weeks as the ACT records 19 coronavirus cases.

The new cases take the ACT's outbreak to 28 and includes a worker at a Tuggeranong aged care centre as well as a student at Lyneham High School.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the lockdown - which was set to end this Thursday - will be extended for another two weeks until September 2.

"As today's figures demonstrate, the virus is active in our community," he told reporters on Monday.

"This is a serious situation. We do not want to see the numbers continue to grow and we do not want to see exponential growth."

The Greenway Views village is in lockdown after a worker did three shifts while infectious. 

It's the ACT's first confirmed case in a retirement village.

Supermarket shelves are empty in Canberra, as the lockdown has been extended for two more weeks. Image: Getty.

Darwin enters snap 3-day lockdown.

Greater Darwin and Katherine will enter a snap three-day lockdown from midday after one case of COVID-19 was detected.  

The positive case is a man aged in his 30s who travelled to the Northern Territory for "legitimate work purposes" on Thursday, August 12.

He had travelled from overseas and had been in hotel quarantine in Sydney for 14 days. On Thursday, he flew from Canberra airport to Darwin. He visited “various locations” in Darwin CBD over the next few days.


It's the second lockdown in three months for the Northern Territory.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner has announced a snap three-day lockdown for Greater Darwin. Image: Getty.

Afghan president flees, Taliban to declare control of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's president has fled the country, joining thousands of his fellow citizens and foreigners fleeing the advancing Taliban and signalling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking the country.

The Taliban fanned out across the capital, and an official with the militant group said it would soon announce the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in Kabul.


That was the name of the country under Taliban rule before the militants were ousted by US-led forces after the 9/11 attacks.  

The Al-Jazeera news network later aired footage showing a group of Taliban fighters inside the presidential palace.

The city was gripped by panic, with helicopters racing overhead throughout the day to evacuate personnel from the US embassy.

Smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents. Several other Western missions also prepared to pull their people out.

Afghans fearing that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women's rights rushed to leave the country. The desperately poor - who had left homes in the countryside for the presumed safety of the capital - remained in parks and open spaces throughout the city.

The Taliban have seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the US and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces. 

The fall of Kabul marks the final chapter of America's longest war, which began after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks masterminded by al-Qaida's Osama bin Laden, then harboured by the Taliban government.


Australia agrees Pfizer deal with Poland.

An additional one million Pfizer vaccine doses have started arriving in Australia after the Morrison government secured a deal with Poland.

Half of the doses will targeted at those aged 20 to 39 in 12 NSW local district authorities, savaged by the coronavirus outbreak.

The rest of the doses, made in Pfizer's Belgian plant, will be shared around the country.

"Within days of landing in Australia, these extra Pfizer doses will be available to go into the arms of young Australians in our hardest hit COVID hot-spots," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday.

"These young Australians are often the backbone of our essential workforce and these doses will not only protect them, but their loved ones, their state and our nation."

15yo boy with pneumococcal meningitis and COVID, dies in Sydney.

A 15-year-old boy who was being treated for pneumococcal meningitis as well as COVID-19 has died in a Sydney hospital.

Osama Suduh was being treated by Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick and was unvaccinated for COVID-19.


Sydney's Children Hospital said that while he was a confirmed COVID-19 case, it was not the cause of his death.

'Unprecedented' NSW Police COVID operation.

Thousands of NSW police will enforce tough new COVID-19 regulations for the locked-down state, which recorded 415 new cases and four deaths on Sunday.

NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Mick Willing said from Monday, 1400 Highway Patrol officers would be on patrol.

"The unprecedented operation will see thousands of police officers from police districts and police area commands across the state working alongside our colleagues from the Australian Defence Force, enforcing the strength public health orders," he said.

The death toll for NSW stands at 48 for this outbreak, and 104 for the entire pandemic in the state. There are 62 people in intensive care in hospital, 24 of them requiring ventilation.


The three women and one man who are the latest casualties were all from Sydney's southwest, only one of them was fully vaccinated but had underlying health conditions.

People in Greater Sydney will need a permit to travel to regional NSW and single people will need to register their "singles buddies".

In newly-locked down regional areas, people must only leave their residence for an essential reason. Everyone must carry masks at all times, no visitors are allowed in the home unless for carers' responsibilities or for compassionate reasons, and those in a relationship.

More than 20 TrainLink Services have been cancelled for the coming week, leaving essential workers stranded after a fortnight of chaos at the Central Station Staff Testing Hub. 

About 260 NSW TrainLink staff are isolating after being advised that a COVID-19 tester at Central Station had tested positive.

Crackdown on illegal Victoria gatherings.

Police are cracking down on large gatherings in breach of Victoria's lockdown restrictions.

In the inner city, dozens congregated for a takeaway-drink pub crawl event on the streets of Richmond on Saturday, while in Northcote about 200 people gathered for a street party.

On the Mornington Peninsula, one resident had made plans to invite a thousand people to a house party with a DJ and a stage.

There are also reports of a 100-person engagement party held in Melbourne which a COVID-positive guest may have attended.


Acting Superintendent Greg Hinton told reporters on Sunday police had increased patrols and were examining social media activity, and also looking into liquor licensing breaches.

News of the illegal gatherings comes as the state records 25 new local infections and the end of lockdown recedes from view.

Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters that illegal visits and gatherings are "not worth it".

"None of us should be doing anything that potentially spreads this virus," he said on Sunday.

More than 65,000 vaccine doses were administered in Victoria on Friday as the state aims for one million jabs over five weeks.

Almost 47 per cent of eligible Victorians had received one vaccine dose as of Friday, while more than 25 per cent were fully vaccinated.

ACT records two new COVID-19 cases.

The ACT, which remains in a one-week lockdown, has recorded two new virus cases, bringing total infections to nine.

One, a man in his 20s, has no obvious links to other cases and is being investigated, while the other is linked to an already announced exposure site, the Fiction Nightclub, in Canberra.

Additional exposure sites across the territory have been listed.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said a record 5943 COVID-19 tests were undertaken across the ACT on Saturday.

He welcomed the decision by the NSW government to lockdown the entire state from Saturday.


"That gives us an extra layer of protection," Mr Barr said.

"Whether you are on the ACT or NSW side of the border in the Canberra region everyone is in the same situation now."

No new local COVID-19 cases in Queensland.

Queensland has recorded zero new local COVID-19 cases as the state government advises against any travel into NSW.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned however that the 143-strong Indooroopilly cluster is unlikely to have fully exhausted itself.

"We are not out of the woods yet - if you have any symptoms, please go and get a test, that's critical," Ms Palaszczuk said on Sunday.

One COVID-19 case was uncovered in hotel quarantine.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was "very concerned" about the detection of COVID-19 cases in regional NSW including in the state's north.

"Because all of NSW is in a lockdown position, there should be very minimal movement over that border," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"This is probably the tightest our border controls have been put in place, they are very strict ... we are checking people and of course there's very minimal reason for that movement.

"It's only if you're an essential worker and we'll be checking freight."

Members of Australia's largest neo-Nazi group uncovered in top-secret investigation. 

A joint investigation with The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes has unveiled the horrific goings-on inside Australia's largest neo-Nazi group, the National Socialist Network.


The average age within the cohort is 25, with the majority middle class and well educated - who look like "everyday Australians."

ASIO has told 60 Minutes that the group is currently getting their "full attention" and the men involved are training for a "race war" - with their enemies not only non-whites, but our democracy and the agencies which protect it (including the AFP and ASIO.)

The group supports convicted and accused terrorists — including Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant.

Video captured by an undercover informant from meetings of the group shows leaders declaring, "a global white revolution is the only solution."

Vic Police hunt aged care sex attacker.

An elderly woman who was sexually assaulted in a Geelong aged care home has been described as a "fighter" by police.

The 90-year-old was assaulted in bed at the facility in St Albans Park about 4.45am on Sunday.

Sexual Crimes Squad Detective Acting Inspector Mark Burnett said she was able to set off an alarm during the assault.

"She's a fighter, she fought the attacker, she was able at one point to activate her personal distress alarm," he told reporters.

Detective Burnett said nurses who confronted the man and scared him off had also shown courage.


But he said the incident was "very confronting" because the victim was vulnerable, and has been left shaken and injured.

The police investigation is in its early stages and a forensic team is collecting evidence at the home, while uniformed officers and the dog squad are patrolling the area.

It's not yet known how he managed to get inside the home.

The man is believed to be aged between 20 and 25, thin, fair skinned, about 163cm tall and wearing dark coloured clothes and a red beanie.

Lebanon hospital will be forced to turn off ventilators in hours, if the country doesn't secure more fuel.

On Saturday, one of Lebanon’s top hospitals warned that it will be forced to shut off ventilators and other lifesaving equipment in less than 48 hours amid fuel shortages.

The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) will run out of supplies to power the equipment by Monday morning, the hospital warned, adding that 40 adults and 15 children will "die immediately".


The hospital has appealed to international aid agencies, including the UN, the WHO and UNICEF to supply fuel, blaming the Lebanese government for "the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe."

This week the country's central bank decided to end subsidies for fuel products - a decision that will likely lead to price hikes of almost all commodities in Lebanon, leading to hundreds of businesses shutting down due to diesel and gasoline shortages.

Around the world.

- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has triggered an election for September 20 as he seeks to capitalise on Canada being one of the most fully vaccinated countries in the world.

- Queues formed at vaccine centres in Ireland as children aged 12 to 15 received their jabs. About 75,000 children in the age group had registered for a vaccine appointment by Saturday, 48 hours after the online portal opened to the cohort.

- With AAP

Feature image: Paula Bronstein/Getty/Mick Tsikas-Pool/Getty/60 Minutes.

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