The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Friday July 17.

428 new cases recorded in Victoria.

Victoria has recorded 428 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day total for the state so far and the 12th consecutive day in triple digits.

Announcing the news in a press conference this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews also confirmed the deaths of three people who'd been battling the disease: a man in his 80s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s. 

"We send our best wishes and our thoughts and prayers to their families, this will be a particularly challenging and very, very sad time for them," he said. 

 Of the new cases, 57 are connected to known outbreaks, one is from quarantine and 370 are under investigation.

New restrictions introduced for NSW.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced new restrictions on venues in NSW as the state works to stop community transmission.

The maximum 10-person-per-booking rule applied to pubs last week, will next week be extended to clubs, restaurants and cafes. The measure will come into effect on Friday, July 24.

"The reason for this as we absolutely need everybody seated when they are in a venue," she said. 

"When you have smaller groups, there is less chance of people getting up and mingling.

"We do not want any sort of mingling, that spreads the disease."

Weddings and corporate events will be limited to a maximum of 150 guests, and funerals have been limited to a maximum of 100 people.


"[Everyone needs to be] completely seated – no dancing, no singing, no mingling," Ms Berejiklian said.

Explaining the lower cap for funerals, the Premier said, "For funerals and places of worship, people tend to know everybody else at that event or at that ceremony, and that increases the risk of transmission."

The four square metre rule will apply for all venues.

The current restrictions of 20 visitors to a home will not change however Ms Berejiklian said health officials had warned 10 guests would be a safer number

Victorians hope for a plateau in COVID-19 cases after highest daily total.

Victoria has reached its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases after one week of the new lockdown to bring the coronavirus under control.

The 317 COVID-19 cases recorded in Victoria on Thursday marked Australia's biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases, but authorities hope it is all downhill from here.

"It's a big number. I expect it to turn around this week," Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Thursday.


Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire have been in stage three lockdown for a week, and are expected to remain under those conditions until August 19.

Considering the virus had an average incubation period of five to six days, Professor Sutton said case numbers should begin to plateau soon.

Two men in their 80s succumbed to the disease on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths in Victoria to 29 and the national toll to 113.

Despite the concerning numbers, Premier Daniel Andrews argued it was "way too early" to move to tighter restrictions, asking Victorians for compliance during the six-week stage three lockdown.

"Let's see case numbers at a much lower rate and then we can make decisions about what the next period looks like," he told reporters.

About 160 outbreaks are being monitored across the state, including 27 at aged care facilities.


Meanwhile, there have been multiple outbreaks among healthcare workers.

Some of the hospitals affected include Brunswick Private Hospital, Monash Health, Northern Hospital, the Royal Children's Hospital, the Royal Women's Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital.

Victoria has a total of 2128 active cases, with 109 people in hospital including 29 in intensive care.

In New South Wales, further restrictions on pubs are now in place after the Crossroads Hotel outbreak was linked to Victoria.

Larger pubs will be limited to 300 patrons, with all pubs only allowed bookings of up to 10 people, down from 20.

Man shot dead by police after vicious attack on woman in Melbourne park.

A woman is fighting for life after a "frenzied attack" which left her with injuries so severe that police were unable to identify her.

The woman was allegedly attacked by a man in his 30s at the John Coutts Reserve in Gladstone Park, in Melbourne's northwest, about 3.30pm on Thursday.


The man was shot dead by a patrol of junior officers that Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said were "terribly shaken" up by the incident.

The patrol arrived at the parkland on Katrina Drive following reports of a man assaulting a woman and witnessed the horrific attack.

Cornelius told reporters the officers tried to stop the man but "found themselves having to make one of the worst-possible decisions that any member has to make in their career". 

The elderly woman was hospitalised in a critical condition and police weren't able to identify her because of the extent of her injuries.

It is believed the man and the woman were known to each other and they might be family members, Cornelius said.

The man does not have a criminal record but is known to police, who had recent contact with him.

"Nothing in that contact that indicated to us the events of today might have occurred," he said on Thursday.


Man arrested after Sydney building manager stabbed to death.

Mohammed Bashir Zaheer. Image: Facebook.

A man has been arrested after Mohammed Bashir Zaheer, the building manager of a Pyrmont apartment block, was found slumped and bleeding in a lift at about 8am on Thursday.

Paramedics worked to save the 44-year-old, but he died at the scene.

A 41-year-old man who worked as a security guard at the building was seen in security footage running along Murray Street in the inner city suburb.


Police seized a knife after arresting the man just after 7pm in Parramatta.

Zaheer's former brother-in-law AJ told The Australian Zaheer had worked at the apartment building for two decades after moving to Australia.

He was "the light of our community," AJ said.

"No one can say a bad word about him. He was perfect. Never disrespected anyone. I can't believe that he's gone."

Keep your heads up, PM tells Australians.

Image: A Current Affair. 


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged all Australians to keep their heads up, as the jobless rate climbs and COVID-19 infection rates rise.

A day after official figures showed 992,300 people were unemployed bringing to unemployment rate to 7.4 per cent, Morrison will turn his attention to jobs in the arts sector with the launch of a film industry support package on Friday.

The 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Love and Thunder, will be shot in Sydney thanks in part to the federal government's location incentive which has received a $400 million injection to help the screen sector recover from the pandemic.

The money is going towards extending and improving the location incentive so it continues until 2027.

It provides tax incentives to major screen productions dependent on an application process.

The government expects the $400 million to attract about $3 billion in foreign expenditure and create 8000 jobs each year.

It followed the announcement on Thursday of a multi-million dollar plan to upskill school leavers and sacked workers.

"Let's keep our heads up and let's keep going forward," Morrison said.

On Thursday night's A Current Affair, Morrison tried to remain positive about Australia's prospects despite the outbreak in Victoria.


"Until we have a vaccine, these are the uncertainties that we deal with. But Australians can have confidence that they were able to do so well and remember seven out of the states and territories are still doing very well," he said.

"Even in Victoria, where challenges are great, we are backing them."

Around the world.

- The United States is considering a travel ban for all Chinese Communist Party members and their families, according to a White House source. It would stop CCP members from entering the US, which would have a major impact on business and no doubt see retaliation from China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said if true, a ban would be "pathetic".

- The UK, US and Canada have accused Russia of attempting to steal information from researchers seeking a COVID-19 vaccine. The British National Cybersecurity Centre said a hacking group affiliated with Russian intelligence was attacking academic and pharmaceutical research institutions involved in coronavirus vaccine development.

- Bridger Walker, a US six-year-old, has been recognised for his bravery by his favourite Hollywood stars. The boy sustained serious injuries to his face after jumping into action to stop a dog that was charging towards his four-year-old sister. His favourite Marvel superheroes, including Captain America (Chris Evans) and Spiderman (Tom Holland) have praised and thanked Bridger for his heroic act.

-With AAP.

Feature image: Channel 9.