The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Thursday October 14.

Melbourne AFL fans jailed for illegal border crossing.

Two Melbourne men have been jailed for three months for creating fake documents so they could sneak across the WA border for the AFL Grand Final.

Hayden Burbank, 49 and Mark Babbage, 39, yesterday plead guilty to charges of gaining by fraud and three charges of breaching COVID laws in Perth Magistrates' Court.

Magistrate Matthew Holgate sentenced the men to 10 months' imprisonment but ordered that seven months be suspended. They have already spent more than a fortnight in prison, and will now spent Christmas behind bars and be released December 28. 

The men entered WA via the Northern Territory, using a fake NT driver's licence and vechile registrations in their applications to enter, to hide the fact they'd been in Victoria. 

The restaurant owner and financial planner attended the sold-out AFL grand final and then travelled to WA's south west winery region in the days after.

The Age reports Babbage's lawyer pushed for a suspended sentence, noting that his time behind bars already had a "salient effect" on him and he was "deeply remorseful."

He noted his clients' "excellent upbringing," and argued a conviction would have a significant impact on his career in finance.

Burbank's lawyer pointed out his clients' support of charitable causes like the 2019/20 bushfires, and the fact a conviction would have implications on his buinsess' liquor licence. 

The magistrate said: "The exposure to 61,000 people says to me the sentence is too serious to be wholly suspended." 


Babbage and Burbank are also facing charges in the NT.

QLD police charge woman over fake COVID exemptions.

Queensland Police have charged a woman who allegedly pretended to be a doctor and issued hundreds of fake "exemption certificates" for COVID testing, vaccinations and mask wearing.

Detectives on Wednesday executed a search warrant at an address in the Gold Coast suburb of Labrador where a 45-year-old Darling Heights woman was arrested.

She has been charged under Health Practitioner Regulation National Law with five counts of taking a title indicating a person is a health practitioner.

The woman is the first person in Queensland to be charged with this offence.

"It will be alleged that the woman told police she has issued approximately 600 false medical 'exemption certificates' in relation to COVID," police said in a statement.

The woman is scheduled to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court on October 28.

Recovering QLD boy allowed home after several border exemption knock backs.

The Queensland government has granted a six-year-old boy and his dad an exemption to isolate at home, after it was made public that he was being forced to quarantine in a hotel after life-changing brain surgery. 

Lenny Silveira, who has cerebral palsy, and his father Fabio arrived in Sydney from the United States last week where they'd gone for surgery not available here to improve Lenny's chances of walking.

Fabio told the Today Show he had asked for his son to be able to recover at home in Brisbane with his mother, two siblings and a familiar home medical set up, as per his doctor's recommendation.


They had been knocked back several times.

"I understand the seriousness of this situation, the COVID pandemic and the consequences of any exemption given, but we are talking about a six-year-old boy who needs extremely intensive rehabilitation," he said.

The state government has since granted the pair an exemption. 

Several killed in Norway bow and arrow attack.

Several people have been killed and others injured by a man using a bow and arrows to carry out attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, local police say.

"The man has been apprehended... from the information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone," police chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters on Wednesday.


"Several people have been injured and several are dead," Aas said.

He declined to comment on the number of casualties.

This story will be updated as news breaks.

Vaccine mandates increase around Australia.

Australians are facing an increasing patchwork of coronavirus vaccination mandates with different rules across state borders and industries.

The NT on Wednesday announced a broad-ranging requirement for all workers who come into contact with the public to be immunised or risk their jobs and a $5000 fine.

Primary school teachers and early childhood educators in Canberra will also be compelled to receive vaccinations.

Victoria's rules require another 1.2 million workers to be vaccinated from late November, with a long list of jobs joining construction, health and education employees.

Under the NSW end of lockdown guidelines, employees across hospitality, entertainment, retail, hairdressers and a range of other sectors also have to be vaccinated.

NSW and Queensland have also mandated jabs for frontline workers including police.

Aged care workers have been required to be vaccinated since last month in one of the only nationally consistent mandates.


All states and territories will also require health workers to be immunised against COVID-19, while most have orders in place for quarantine staff.

WA is weighing up adding teachers to mining and health workers on its mandatory vaccination list, while major employers have also gone it alone.

Qantas, Virgin and mining giant BHP have announced jab requirements for workers.

The federal government has refused to get involved in vaccination mandates aside from aged care, which was agreed by the national cabinet of state and territory leaders.

Even with most mandates yet to come into force, more than 83.2 per cent of Australians aged 16 and above have received at least one dose.

Most recent polls and studies have shown hardcore anti-vaccination sentiment is between six and eight per cent.

NSW premier to decide on plan for 80 per cent vax milestone.

The galloping pace of vaccinations in NSW will likely force Premier Dominic Perrottet to confront a question: what do we do if we get to the 80 per cent target a week early?

The state's reopening roadmap - and what adjustments will be needed if NSW reaches 80 per cent double dose by the weekend - will be the subject of discussion when Mr Perrottet meets with senior colleagues on Thursday.

The government has promised that the next stage of the post-lockdown reopening will start the Monday after the state reaches 80 per cent full vaccination among its eligible population.

With some 76.5 per cent of people over 16 already fully vaccinated by Tuesday, that could happen as soon as this weekend.


Vaccinations are outpacing earlier expectations, which would have seen the next stage reached on October 25. 

The government's COVID-19 and economic recovery committee - formerly known as crisis cabinet - will on Thursday discuss postponing regional travel given the lower vaccination coverage in rural communities.

"There has been concerns raised about regional NSW when you look at those double dose vaccination rates," Mr Perrottet told reporters on Wednesday.

"(But) we don't make decisions on a knee jerk reaction. We make decisions in consultation with our health and economic teams."

NSW recorded 444 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.

Four more people died, all from southwest or western Sydney. 

Vic CHO 'open' to lifting home visits ban.

Victoria's health boss is open to throwing off the shackles of Melbourne's COVID-19 lockdown before next weekend and possibly jettisoning a ban on home visits.

The state is on pace to reach its 70 per cent double vaccination target ahead of the indicative date of October 26, triggering the end of Melbourne's long-running sixth lockdown.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a decision could be announced as early as this weekend based on firmer vaccination projections as well as intensive care and hospital case numbers.

Under the state's COVID-19 roadmap, home visits were set to be banned until 80 per cent of its 16-plus population received both vaccine doses.


But Professor Sutton said he was open to tweaking home gathering restrictions at the 70 per cent mark.

"We've always said, if we can do more, we will do more," he told ABC Radio on Wednesday afternoon.

"We're acutely aware of home gatherings leading to spikes and that was definitely a feature of (the AFL) grand final. They were people that didn't normally come together.

"It's different for families. If we can limit numbers, if we think the epidemiology looks okay, (I'm) absolutely open to that as well."

Victoria recorded 1571 new locally acquired infections and 13 deaths on Wednesday, the state's deadliest day of its third wave.

Vax rollout 'mugged' in remote parts of NT.

Shipping containers and meatworks could be used as mass mortuaries in a worst-case scenario COVID-19 outbreak in the Northern Territory, Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie says.

The warning comes as the vaccination rollout lags in dozens of remote Aboriginal communities amid an ongoing misinformation campaign on social media.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner says the rollout has been "mugged" by the campaigners and unvaccinated people could die if the Delta variant makes it to the territory.

"At the end of the day, with all the best information, with all the goodwill, with all the repeated attempts, there are some people, in some communities, who have said 'no' to the jab, and could keep saying 'no'," he told reporters on Wednesday.


"We can't hold people down and stick the needle in their arm. It is their choice, and some are choosing against it."

Some, like Alpurrurulam in the Barkly region and Ikuntji in Central Australia, have first-dose rates below 15 per cent.

Many others have double-dose rates well below 40 per cent.

Chief Health Officer Dr Hugh Heggie says the situation has become serious as he asked "who is going to take responsibility for the first Aboriginal death (in the NT)". 

"I know some of the influencers and they are from the US anti-vax lobby and faith organisations," he said.

"They are using social media, particularly in Aboriginal communities."

Across the NT, 78 per cent of people have had their first vaccine dose and 65 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Open travel in NSW-ACT by Christmas.

Restrictions on cross-border travel between Canberra and surrounding NSW could be lifted in time for Christmas.

However, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said open travel would be largely dependent on regional vaccination rates in NSW.

While a cross-border area where travel exemptions are not required was recently expanded, travel is still only for essential reasons.

"I appreciate it's frustrating for everyone, but this is 99 per cent driven by NSW processes," Mr Barr said.

"(Travel will be normalised) when NSW is in a position to do so and when we are in a position to do so.

"I anticipate based on the current vaccine trajectory that it will be in place in time for summer holidays and Christmas - it may even be December 1."


The chief minister brushed off suggestions that unvaccinated people from surrounding NSW could cross the border and go to the pub in the ACT when Canberra's lockdown ends on Friday.

Currently, unvaccinated people are barred from restaurants and pubs in NSW but no such restriction will apply in Canberra.

"We will fine them and someone will dob them in, and that's what people are like," Mr Barr said.

"If you turn up with NSW plates and have NSW identity documents, there's a high chance you'll be stopped at the border by police or in the ACT."

Vaccination rates in Canberra continue to rise, with more than 98 per cent of eligible Canberrans having received their first dose.

Figures also show 73.5 per cent of over-12s are fully vaccinated.

Alleged parliament rapist due in court.

The case against the man accused of raping former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in a federal minister's office is due back in court.

Bruce Lehrmann, 26, is charged with sexual intercourse without consent at Parliament House in March 2019.

His case is scheduled to return to the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday.

His lawyer last month told the court he had been instructed to enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of Lehrmann, who was in Queensland.

Ms Higgins publicly alleged in February a then-unnamed colleague raped her in the office of minister Linda Reynolds.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

Kenya running star Tirop allegedly murdered.

Agnes Tirop, Kenya's two-time world championship bronze medallist, has died at the age of 25 in an alleged murder at her home, with police reportedly seeking her husband.

Tirop was found in her Iten home with stab wounds on Wednesday, according to Athletics Kenya (AK) and local media reports, which have been confirmed by the police.

"When [police] got in the house, they found Tirop on the bed and there was a pool of blood on the floor," Tom Makori, head of police for the area, was quoted by the BBC as saying.


"Her husband is still at large, and preliminary investigations tell us her husband is a suspect because he cannot be found. Police are trying to find her husband so he can explain what happened to Tirop."

Tirop took world bronze over 10,000 metres in 2017 and 2019, and finished fourth in the 5,000m at the recent Tokyo Olympic Games.

Only last month, she set the 10km world record for women's only races, continuing a brilliant career which saw her become world cross country champion in 2015 when aged only 19.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

Around the world.

- Star Trek actor William Shatner has become the oldest person to reach space onboard a Blue Origin rocketship at age 90.

- Australian marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel has made history after crossing the English Channel for a record 44th time.

- Ricarlo Flanagan, an actor, rapper and stand-up comedian who was a semifinalist on Last Comic Standing, died over the weekend of COVID complications aged 40, his talent representative confirmed to Variety. 

- With AAP

Feature image: Marco Mantovani/Getty/9NEWS/Instagram: AFL.

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