The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Tuesday September 21.

Construction shut down after Vic protest.

The construction industry in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria will be shut down for two weeks following a violent protest outside the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union's headquarters.

The closure across Metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong, the Surf Coast, Ballarat and Mitchell Shire was decided on Monday night after the CFMEU building was damaged and riot police deployed in chaotic scenes in the CBD.

Late on Monday night Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas confirmed the two-week shutdown from 11.59pm for metropolitan Melbourne, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire.

"We've been clear: if you don't follow the rules, we won't hesitate to take action – we have seen widespread non-compliance across the industry and that's why we're taking necessary steps to protect every single Victorian," he said in a statement.

"We put the industry on notice just a week ago, we have seen appalling behaviour on site and on our streets, and now we're acting decisively and without hesitation."

The government said all sites will need to demonstrate compliance with the Chief Health Officer's directions prior to reopening including the requirement for workers to show evidence of having had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before they return to work on October 5.


On Monday riot police used rubber bullets and pepper spray to disperse an angry mob protesting against mandatory vaccines for construction workers outside the Melbourne headquarters of the CFMEU.

But the union says the protest was overtaken by "neo-Nazi's and right wing extremists", rather than CFMEU members. 

Victoria Police say several people were arrested as the crowd "grew increasingly hostile" during the protest that began before 9am.

Hundreds of construction workers wearing high-vis, and their supporters, stormed the building, protesting against new mandatory vaccination rules for the building industry.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the protests were "not smart, they are not safe".

"Protests don't work. Getting vaccinated works, following the rules works. That's how you stay open, that's how you get open," Mr Andrews said.

NSW signs off 'friends' bubble' for kids.

NSW children under the age of 18 will be able to form a "friends' bubble" in groups of three from midday on Tuesday according to The Daily Telegraph.

It means parents will be able to drop their children at a friends' house, however each bubble must be exclusive, they must live within 5km of eachother and all adults in the children's household must be fully vaccinated.


Meanwhile, the NSW-Queensland border bubble is threatening to burst only a week after it was reinstated, with the revelation a COVID-19 case was infectious in several northern NSW communities for two days.

The Northern NSW Local Health District on Monday night confirmed a case - who is not a local - flew from Sydney to Ballina on Virgin Flight VA 1141 on Saturday morning and was infectious in the Byron, Ballina and Tweed areas until their positive test result on Monday. 

All passengers and crew aboard the flight are being contacted by NSW Health and will be required to get tested and self-isolate.

A lockdown is all but certain for the region, with stay-at-home orders reinstated for several other NSW regional towns after cases were diagnosed.

On Monday the western NSW town of Cowra was forced back into lockdown, when a nine-year-old school boy tested positive to the virus.

It follows the Albury, Lismore, Glen Innes and Hilltops local government areas.

On Monday NSW reported fewer than 1000 new infections for the first time in almost a month with 935 new cases. Four deaths were also recorded - two people in their 60s and two in their 80s - taking the toll for the current NSW outbreak to 245.

Outbreak areas need to keep crushing virus.

Australia will need to maintain stay-at-home controls in areas with coronavirus outbreaks while double-dose vaccination coverage is between 70 and 80 per cent.

That's the recommendation of updated Doherty Institute modelling which underpins a national reopening plan to cautiously exit major lockdowns.

While the initial advice provided to governments compared outbreaks seeded with 30 cases, it now takes into account scenarios with hundreds and thousands of cases.

The institute's epidemiology director Jodie McVernon said conclusions about the 70 and 80 per cent vaccine goals remained robust under the updated model.


But "medium" public health safety measures should be retained during the transition between the targets in places like NSW and Victoria where cases are still rapidly increasing.

That includes staying at home except for essential purposes, retail and hospitality opening with density limits, working from home where possible and closed or graduated return to schools.

Australia has fully vaccinated 47 per cent of its population aged 16 and above, while 72 per cent have received a first dose.

Princess Beatrice gives birth to girl.

Princess Beatrice, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, has given birth to a baby girl, her first child with husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The baby, who weighed 6 pounds and 2 ounces (2.78 kg), was born at London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on Saturday evening.

Beatrice, the tenth-in-line to the throne and the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, married property developer Mapelli Mozzi in July 2020.


"The new baby's grandparents and great-grandparents have all been informed and are delighted with the news. The family would like to thank all the staff at the hospital for their wonderful care," the statement said.

Beatrice, 33, is also stepmother to Mapelli Mozzi's young son Wolfie, from his previous relationship with ex-fiancee Dara Huang.

"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and the couple are looking forward to introducing their daughter to her big brother Christopher Woolf."

The baby is the 12th great-grandchild for Britain's 95-year-old monarch.

with PA

Knox old boy punches woman, no conviction.

A graduate of Sydney's elite Knox Grammar who drunkenly told a woman to "put your tits away" and punched her in the face after she repeatedly confronted him has had his convictions erased.

Nicholas Drummond was placed on a bond and convicted of assaulting the woman and a male bystander in July but the convictions were not deemed "necessary" by the NSW District Court last week.

The decision frustrated and saddened a friend of the woman, who said Drummond was being taught there are "no real repercussions".

"Everyone complains about violence against women but here, he's given another opportunity and told 'you've had a rough year'," the friend, who declined to be named, told AAP.


"What about her year?"

Drummond, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and destroying property after his destructive, drunken night out on Sydney's north shore in December 2020.

The junior soccer coach and state-league player called his female victim a "slut" and told her to put her "tits away" while both were at The Greengate Hotel in Killara.

When the woman approached him and asked for an apology, the Wahroonga man told her to "f*** off".

The pair coincidentally encountered each other later in the night at Chatswood's Orchard Hotel, where she approached and photographed Drummond, sparking a melee over her phone.

When approached again by the young woman as he walked to the nearby train station, Drummond punched her in the face, knocking the 155cm woman to the ground and causing multiple injuries.

He also stomped on her phone, destroying it.

The District Court was told the offender was overcome by regret soon after, threatening to kill himself and returning home "hysterical" and sorrowful.

"He was a shattered boy," his mother said.

Barrister Phillip Boulten SC said the case was "a bit unusual" because the 20-year-old had "gone off the rails" following a difficult 2020 in which his dog died, a relationship broke down and a family member fell ill.


"It's appropriate he be given one opportunity ... an exceptional one, admittedly," Mr Boulten said.

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.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

NRL playmaker to face assault charges.

NRL star and Brisbane Broncos playmaker Anthony Milford has been charged with assault after an alleged disturbance in Fortitude Valley.

The 27-year-old was arrested at about 2am on Monday after police responded to reports of a disturbance on Marshall St.

He is facing three counts of assault causing bodily harm and one count of wilful damage.

Milford was given police bail and is due to make his first appearance in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on October 20.

The Broncos confirmed he has completed his contractual duties with the club in a statement on Monday.

"He is on leave and due to begin a new NRL contract elsewhere at the commencement of the 2022 pre-season," it said.

"As the matter is now before the courts, the Broncos will make no further comment."


The NRL has also confirmed it is aware of the alleged incident and the Integrity Unit is liaising with Queensland Police.

Thousands miss out on Australia, NZ return.

Fifteen flights to Australia from New Zealand, and their highly prized places in hotel quarantine, have sold out in three minutes.

Stranded Aussies and Kiwis on both sides of the Tasman Sea headed online on Monday morning in the hope of securing a passage home.

While many secured flights and places in quarantine, thousands more were left disappointed.

Australians stuck in New Zealand were alerted to a new batch of flights last week.

They went online at 8am AEST on Monday.

Air New Zealand executive Leanne Geraghty said all 15 flights - from Auckland to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth - were sold out by 8.03am.

"Our heart goes out to those customers who have missed out," she said.

"We were allocated a very limited number of managed isolation spaces to return customers home to Australia."

No 'freedom day' for SA says premier.

There will be no "freedom day" in South Australia when vaccine targets are reached, with efforts continuing to try to keep COVID-19 out of the state, Premier Steven Marshall says.

The premier says while SA has signed up to the national roadmap for allowing border measures and lockdown rules to ease, some level of local restrictions will remain in force to keep people safe.

"We will have to keep some public health social measures in place," he said.


"We're not going to have a freedom day where the borders are open and restrictions are removed at the same time.

"This is still a very dangerous pandemic. We want to ensure we maintain our good management of the disease."

Mr Marshall said anybody who became infected in SA, along with their close contacts, would still face periods in quarantine.

The premier said South Australia did not want the disease "running through our state" but believed the virus "will eventually come in".

SA reported no new virus cases on Monday.

ACT lashes feds over Pfizer distribution.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has lashed the federal government for not boosting Canberra's allocation of Pfizer vaccines over the coming months. 

The territory recorded seven new coronavirus cases on Monday, but Mr Barr cautioned numbers would fluctuate and one day's reduction did not amount to a trend.

The chief minister also accused the federal government of favouring NSW and Victoria with Pfizer supplies. 

While the ACT's supply would not reduce over September and October, Mr Barr said it also would not increase as projected over that time and into November.


"During their outbreaks, NSW and Victoria both received increased supplies of vaccines. It is our view that the ACT should not be treated any differently," he told reporters.

"I don't think any other jurisdiction in the midst of an outbreak has had its forward projections reduced."

Canberra has 224 active infections and five people, ranging in age from 18 to 70s, in hospital. 

This includes two patients in intensive care, with one requiring ventilation. 

The ACT continues leading the country on vaccination rates, with 55 per cent of the population aged 12 and older double-dosed.

Give Porter another chance: Barnaby Joyce.

Barnaby Joyce believes former cabinet minister Christian Porter deserves another chance to serve on the frontbench after time in political purgatory.

The former attorney-general quit as a minister after revealing some of his legal fees from a defamation action against the ABC were paid by anonymous sources.

Mr Porter sued the national broadcaster over a story about a historical rape allegation he strenuously denies. 

Mr Joyce described the use of mystery money for Mr Porter's defence in the now-settled defamation claim as "not a good day at the wicket".


The acting prime minister thinks Mr Porter should be given another chance at a leadership role after spending time on the backbench, which he labelled "the corridor of the nearly dead".

"My own recommendation is that he is an incredibly capable politician," he told reporters on Monday.

Mr Joyce, who spent three-and-a-half years on the backbench before returning to the Nationals leadership, expects Mr Porter to use his extra time wisely.

He said nothing illegal had occurred.

US to allow in fully-vaccinated travellers.

The United States will re-open to air passengers from China, India, the United Kingdom and many other European countries who have received COVID-19 vaccines in early November, the White House says, rolling back tough pandemic-related travel restrictions that started early last year.

The White House plans to allow non-US citizen travellers from countries who have been barred from the United States since early 2020 as it moves to the new requirements, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said.

The US restrictions were first imposed on travellers from China in January 2020 by then-president Donald Trump and then extended to other countries in the following months, without any clear metrics for how and when to lift them.


President Joe Biden in April of this year added new travel restrictions on India, barring most non-US citizens from entering the United States.

Biden also reversed plans by Trump in January to lift restrictions on European countries.

The United States currently bars most non-US citizens who within the last 14 days have been in the UK, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.

Ted Lasso and The Crown win top Emmys.

Royal drama The Crown and feel good comedy Ted Lasso have nabbed the top prizes at television's Emmy awards on a night dominated by streaming shows, British talent and rare wins by women.

Chess drama The Queen's Gambit was named best limited series and tied with The Crown for the most wins overall at 11 apiece.

The best drama series win for The Crown gave Netflix its biggest prize so far, while Apple TV+ entered streaming's big league with the best comedy series win for Ted Lasso.

Jason Sudeikis, the star and co-creator of Ted Lasso, was named best comedy actor. The show also brought statuettes for Britons Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein for their supporting roles in the tale of a struggling English soccer team that won over TV fans with its folksy humour during the dark days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dancer, singer and actor Debbie Allen was given an honorary award celebrating 50 years in show business. "It's taken a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time," Allen said.


Lucia Aniello got a rare directing win for a woman for the comedy series Hacks about a fading female comedian. She also was one of the winning co-writers.

New Zealander Jessica Hobbs, who has worked extensively in Australian television, took home a directing Emmy for The Crown.

Concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus forced Sunday's ceremony to move to an outdoor tent in downtown Los Angeles, with a reduced guest list and mandatory vaccinations and testing but a red carpet that harked back to pre-pandemic times.

Around the world.

- Prime Minister Scott Morrison is just hours away from touching down in New York City, where he'll meet with US President Joe Biden. 

- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called an early election in a bid to secure a majority in parliament but it looks likely he'll fall short. While it's likely he'll cling to power, he'll have to rely on other parties and make policy compromises to govern.

- Two Japanese sisters have been certified by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living identical twins aged 107 years and 330 days.

- With AAP

Feature image: Darrian Traynor/Getty/Karwai Tang/WireImage/ Sam Mooy/Getty.

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