Anthony Albanese tests positive to COVID.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has tested positive for COVID-19.
Mr Albanese tested positive following a routine PCR test ahead of a planned visit to Perth on the campaign trail.
He will isolate at his home in Sydney for the next seven days, and has shared in a statement that he is "feeling fine".
“Following a routine PCR test this afternoon ahead of interstate travel to Western Australia, I have returned a positive result for COVID this evening,” he said in a statement.
“I have been testing regularly as part of my election campaign duties. I will be isolating at home in Sydney for the next seven days and will continue to follow health guidelines and advice.
“While at home I will continue my responsibilities as alternative Prime Minister and will be fighting for a better future for all Australians.
“I am grateful to know that I will have access to the world’s best health care if I need it, because of Medicare.
“I am feeling fine so far - and thank everyone for their well wishes.”
- With AAP.
Feature Image: @albomp Instagram.
Why everyone is talking about The Masked Singer US.
Today the US version of The Masked Singer streamed a new episode that was incredibly uncomfortable to watch.
News had previously broke that judges on the US version of the show had stormed out of filming after realising that one of the revealed masked singers was none other than disgraced former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
For those who need a refresher, Giuliani is known for being a personal lawyer to former president Donald Trump and his inappropriate behaviour in an encounter on Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2020 Borat film.
Oh, and also the fact he had his law licence suspended over his unfounded allegations that the 2020 presidential election results were fraudulent.
With this all in mind, The Masked Singer judges - Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy - were surprised to see Giuliani on stage and unmasked as the ‘Jack in the Box’.
But it was actor/comedian Ken Jeong, arguably best known for his role in the Hangover franchise, and his reaction that has gone viral.
As Giuliani began singing his exit tune, 'Bad To The Bone' by George Thorogood, Jeong looked to the side of the stage and said: “I’m done.”
He then left the set mid-performance. And viewers across the world have pretty much all sided with Jeong, commending him for taking a stand.
We really have failed as a society. pic.twitter.com/vrvk66KWem— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 21, 2022
He should be in prison, but Rudy Giuliani is on The Masked Singer right now. pic.twitter.com/ZKM5Gkca7F— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 21, 2022
Evening news headlines: The Queen’s 96th birthday celebration.
Do you find the news cycle overwhelming? Depressing? Confusing? Boring? Endless? Then you need Mamamia’s news podcast The Quicky. You can listen to tonight’s episode now:
Australian government decides not to interfere in Julian Assange case.
The Australian government will not make any representations to the British home secretary after a UK court approved the extradition of whistleblower Julian Assange to the US.
A British court has sent Assange’s extradition order to the Home Secretary, but the whistleblower can try to challenge the decision by judicial review if signed. Australian Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the government maintained confidence in the UK’s justice system.
“We trust the independence and integrity of the UK justice system. Our expectation is that, as always, it operates in the proper and transparent and independent way,” he told the ABC.
“It, of course, has appeal processes built into it as well. This is the legal system upon which our own has been built on and established and we have confidence in the process.”
The development comes ten days after Assange surpassed the three-year anniversary of his arrest. The 50-year-old Australian was dragged from London’s Ecuador embassy on April 11 in 2019 to face extradition to the United States on espionage charges over WikiLeaks’ release of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has previously called for an end to Assange’s extradition. Joyce said Assange didn’t steal secret US files but only published them, which did not breach any Australian laws at the time, and he was not in the US when leaks were put online. The Greens have criticised the extradition of Assange, with senator Peter Whish-Wilson saying the US Espionage Act wasn’t intended to be used against publishers.
“We must support press freedoms and those who hold the powerful to account,” he said.
“Julian Assange’s prosecution has always been political. It needs political intervention of the highest order from our government to get justice for him.”
Amnesty International: "Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of its obligations under international human rights law" @amnesty #FreeAssangeNOW pic.twitter.com/pqrC8rdxbP— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 20, 2022
- With AAP.
The one problematic question derailing celebrity interviews.
A$AP Rocky has been arrested after returning from a trip to Barbados with his pregnant girlfriend, Rihanna. Here’s everything you need to know.
Plus, we all woke up to the exciting news that Sofia Richie is engaged to her boyfriend of one year, Elliot Grainge, but that was not the story making headlines. Instead, it was all to do with Scott Disick and a certain rom-com curse that has been put over him and the women he dates.
And Rachel Zegler has given an interview to Elle detailing the brutal press rounds she was forced to do while promoting her first-ever movie West Side Story. It’s now got us thinking about the one problematic question derailing celebrity interviews in a Me Too era, and what it means for the future of entertainment journalism.
Listen to the latest episode of The Spill now!
The pop culture stories you missed.
I don't know about you, but I am leaning heavily towards light, fluffy and funny news right now. This is handy, because my colleagues have been really delivering on that front.
Firstly, I must draw your attention to Clare Stephen's absolutely hilarious recap of all the madness at Coachella: Furious influencers and a fashion dilemma: The biggest moments from Coachella, recapped.
Next, I've been thinking a lot about the unfounded rumour about A$AP Rocky and Rihanna's breakup, which spread like wildfire over the weekend. It got me reminiscing on other completely fake celebrity stories, and how sometimes something that is completely made up is repeated so often it feels real.
Isabella Ross pulled together a bunch of examples of that in this banger story: "But that's not the truth." 6 celebrity stories that were completely made up.
And finally, nothing feels more frivolous than some Kardashian gossip, right?
The family's new TV series features Scott Disick grappling with how he fits into the family now that his ex Kourtney has moved on with Travis Barker, which got us thinking about his long, complicated history in the Kardashian world. Here is a juicy explainer that breaks it all down: "Losing a best friend": The complicated relationship between Scott Disick and the Kardashian family.
Albanese narrowly wins election debate, and all the news you need to know this morning.
This week marks 10 years since the murder of Brisbane mother-of-three, Allison Baden-Clay.
Earlier this week on the anniversary of her death, I took a look back at the case that became one of Australia's biggest missing person’s searches. You can read all about it here.
My colleague Gemma Bath also spoke with Former Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth about the ins and outs of the case on today's episode of Mamamia's True Crime Conversations podcast.
But before you take a listen, let's get you across the top news stories you need to know today, Thursday April 21.
1. Albanese takes narrow debate victory.
Anthony Albanese has emerged as the narrow winner from the first leaders' debate ahead of next month's federal election.
Last night, Albanese and Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced questions from a panel of 100 undecided voters, ranging from the economy, nursing in aged care and the need for a federal integrity commission.
Of the voters in the room, 40 percent backed the opposition leader while 35 percent thought the prime minister had the better night. 25 percent still remained undecided.
Morrison used the debate to spruik his economic record as leader, coming off the back of the COVID pandemic, while Albanese went on the attack, saying the government was not focused on the future beyond the May 21 poll.
There were heated scenes in Brisbane last night, with Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese facing off in the first debate of the election campaign. @emilycmacdonald @jekearsley #9News— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) April 20, 2022
MORE: https://t.co/cYzwrgX9e7 pic.twitter.com/Ym5gQTJK51
The prime minister also copped criticism for saying he and his wife were "blessed" to have children who did not have disabilities.
The comments came after an audience question over NDIS funding from the mother of an autistic child who had their support on the scheme slashed by 30 percent.
The two leaders also traded blows over stances on boat turnbacks.
Integrity in politics also came up as a major issue, with Labor pledging an anti-corruption commission "with teeth", while the prime minister said he wanted to see a commission deal with criminal matters and not for it to be a kangaroo court.
2. QLD considers changing COVID restrictions after NSW and VIC scrap close contact rule.
Health authorities in Queensland are considering relaxing COVID-19 close contact isolation rules to bring the state into line with NSW and Victoria.
NSW will scrap close contact isolation rules from 6pm Friday, while Victoria will follow suit from 11.59 pm.
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath met with Chief Health Officer John Gerrard yesterday to discuss whether to take the step and says there is merit to having the same rules across the country.
"I would have liked this to be a national decision where all state and territories implement changes at the same time to avoid any confusion," D'Ath said.
But the removal of the rules will inevitably result in an increase in positive cases.
"That is a given and everyone needs to be prepared ... when there (are) changes to the close contact rules," the health minister said.
Close contacts are currently subject to a seven-day isolation period, beginning from when they last had contact with a known case.
3. Prince Harry opens up about relationship with queen in tell-all interview.
Prince Harry has opened up about his "special" relationship with the Queen, following his surprise visit to the UK with Meghan Markle.
In a tell-all interview during the middle of the Invictus Games in the Hague, Harry told NBC's Today show it was "great" to see the queen when the pair stopped by at Windsor on their way to the games last week.
"It was just so nice to see her. You know, she's on great form. She's always got a great sense of humour with me," he said. "I'm just making sure she's protected and got the right people around her."
"We have a really special relationship," he added. "We talk about things that she can't talk about with anybody else."
.@hodakotb sat down with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games for an exclusive interview about his new mission, new life, fatherhood, reuniting with his grandmother and much more. pic.twitter.com/g5tq7xXrvd— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 20, 2022
While Harry said he misses the rest of his family in the UK, he didn't comment when specifically asked about whether he missed his father, Prince Charles, and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge.
When asked about fatherhood, Harry said he was enjoying the "chaos" and "learning" of becoming a parent.
"I love it, I love every part of it."
4. Ukrainian commander makes desperate plea to the world as deadline for surrender ends.
A Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol to surrender or die has expired with no mass capitulation, but the commander of a unit believed to be holding out in the besieged city says his forces could survive just days or hours.
Thousands of Russian troops backed by artillery and rocket barrages were attempting to advance elsewhere in what Ukrainian officials call the Battle of the Donbas - a push by Moscow to seize two eastern provinces it claims on behalf of separatists.
In a video, the commander of Ukraine's 36th Marine Brigade, one of the last units believed to be holding out in Mariupol, asked for international help to escape the siege.
"This is our appeal to the world. It may be our last. We may have only a few days or hours left," Major Serhiy Volyna said in a video uploaded to Facebook.
"The enemy units are dozens of times larger than ours, they have dominance in the air, in artillery, in ground troops, in equipment and in tanks."
"We are probably facing our last days, if not hours."— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 20, 2022
A Ukrainian commander made a last-ditch plea for women and children sheltering in a steel plant to evacuate to a third country. https://t.co/oveID3z0Ou pic.twitter.com/pFv05ttxJE
Volyna, who has said women and children are trapped in cellars under the plant, spoke in front of a white brick wall in what sounded like a crowded room. Reuters could not verify where or when the video was filmed.
5. Rust fined over gun safety failures.
A fine of nearly $US137,000 ($A184,437) has been issued against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set of Rust where a cinematographer was fatally shot in October by actor and producer Alec Baldwin.
New Mexico's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau said Rust Movie Productions must pay the over hundred thousand dollar fine and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires on set prior to the fatal shooting.
A New Mexico agency delivered a stinging rebuke of the managers behind the ‘Rust’ production. https://t.co/UnnWUJplpO— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 20, 2022
The bureau also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.
"What we had, based on our investigators' findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management's failure to act upon those obvious hazards," Bob Genoway, bureau chief for occupational safety, told the Associated Press.
That's it, you're all up to speed. We'll be back to bring you more of the top stories you need to know throughout the day.
- With AAP.
Is there any point voting for independents?
We are often told that voting for an independent candidate is a 'wasted vote' because they don't have enough power to actually make any real change - but is that true, or just what the major parties want us to believe?
The Quicky speaks to an independent candidate and a Liberal Senator to find out what you need to know before you head to the polls on May 21.
Feature Image: Fox.