The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Wednesday January 27.

NSW COVID restrictions to ease.

After recording a 10th consecutive day without a locally acquired COVID-19 case, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced restrictions will be eased in the Greater Sydney area.

From 12.01am AEDT on Friday, residents in Greater Sydney will be able to welcome 30 visitors to their home.

Likewise, outdoor gatherings can be up to 50 people.

There will also be major changes to weddings and funerals. From Friday, the new limit will be one person per four-square metres, with up to 300 people allowed to attend. Places of worship will also be allowed to have one person per four-square metres with no maximum cap. 

As for masks, Berejiklian announced that masks will remain mandatory on public transport, at places of worship, at beauty and hair salons, and in gaming rooms.

However, masks will be simply recommended for retail and hospitality venues. 

The NSW Premier shared that Greater Sydney residents can expect a further easing of restrictions in two weeks' time if there are no further community cases detected.

If so, it's likely that all restrictions will revert to the two-square metre rule.

UK surpasses 100,000 coronavirus deaths.

More than 100,000 people in the UK have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, official data indicates, a grim new milestone as the government battles to speed up vaccination delivery and keep variants of the virus at bay.

The UK has the fifth highest toll globally and reported a further 1631 deaths and 20,089 cases on Tuesday, according to government figures.

The 100,162 deaths are more than the country's civilian toll in World War II and twice the number killed in the 1940-41 Blitz bombing campaign.


"It's hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic, the years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and for so many relatives the missed chance, even to say goodbye," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

"We will make sure we learn the lessons and reflect and prepare," he said.

England re-entered a lockdown on January 5, which includes the closure of pubs, restaurants, non-essential shops and schools to most pupils. Further travel restrictions have been introduced.

In December, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and has set itself the task of offering jabs to everyone 70 and older, those who are clinically vulnerable, frontline health and social care workers and older adults in care homes by mid-February.

Malka Leifer returns to Melbourne today.

The former principal of a Jewish girls' school in Melbourne is close to completing her long-awaited extradition from Israel to face child sexual abuse charges.

Malka Leifer is expected to touch down at Melbourne airport aboard a connecting flight from Singapore as early as Wednesday, Nine News reports.

It will be the first time she's set foot on Australian soil since 2008 when she fled to Israel after learning three of her former students intended to file a complaint with police.


Leifer will go into hotel quarantine for 14 days once she returns to Melbourne.

It is believed she could virtually appear before Melbourne Magistrates Court as early as this week for an initial hearing.

As is her right, Leifer will be entitled to apply for bail.

The flight is the final leg of Leifer's extradition which saw her board a Frankfurt-bound plane at Tel Aviv on Monday, just hours before the closure of Israel's airports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She is wanted in Australia on 74 charges of child rape and sexual abuse stemming from her time as principal at Melbourne's Orthodox Addas Israel School.

Teenager charged with murder in Brisbane after the death of two pedestrians.

A teenage driver will face court in Brisbane today charged with murder after the death of two pedestrians who were hit and killed while out walking their dog.

Police allege the 17-year-old was driving a stolen Landcruiser 4WD yesterday, when he went through a red light and hit a truck.


The Landcruiser rolled, hitting two pedestrians crossing the road, they died at the scene.

They have been identified by police as a 31-year-old woman and 37-year-old man, both from Alexandra Hills. It's understood the woman was pregnant.

The driver is accused of fleeing the scene, stealing a set of car keys from a nearby house and trying to start a car in the garage.

Invasion Day rallies mark nation's holiday.

Crowds brimming with Aboriginal flags have hit the streets of Australia's capital cities for Invasion Day rallies.

Five people were arrested in Sydney out of a crowd of about 3000 people, who had congregated in small groups in the Domain to protest in a socially distanced and masked fashion.

Attendees turned out in force despite warnings from NSW Police Minister David Elliott that they would face fines and even imprisonment for breaching COVID-19 rules.

Conservative lobby group Advance Australia paid for the letters "Aus Day" to be written in the sky above Sydney to counter the Invasion Day rally.

At the protest in Melbourne about 5000 people separated into groups of 100 to abide by coronavirus restrictions.

Victorian senator Lidia Thorpe addressed the rally, telling the crowd Indigenous people need a treaty.

"No more bulls*** symbolic gestures," she said.

"No more change the date, no more Uluru Statement, no more Constitutional recognition, no more 'Survival Day'. This is Invasion Day and we need a treaty."


Scores of people attended rallies in Brisbane, Hobart and Perth, while a huge crowd in Canberra marched from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy to Parliament House to call on Australia Day to be moved.

COVID positive Badosa still waiting on training equipment. 

Spain's Paula Badosa has not yet received training equipment ahead of the Australian Open because of safety concerns, but discussions are taking place on finding a way to get her some.

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria says safety is paramount and any equipment given to people who have tested positive would later need to be "safely destroyed".

Badosa was the first player to reveal she had tested positive for COVID-19 in quarantine in Melbourne ahead of the Grand Slam tournament.


She was moved to a "health hotel" last Thursday to begin two more weeks of lockdown.

The 23-year-old on Monday described her time in quarantine as the "worst experience" of her career, saying she felt "abandoned" and had suffered from anxiety and claustrophobia.

Badosa said she had not received any training equipment and had been limited to doing sit-ups and using water bottles for weights in room she is sharing with her coach Javier Marti.

"Our priority is supporting the health and wellbeing of those in our care and reducing the risk of transmission to protect staff and community safety," a COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria spokesperson said. 

"CQV is in ongoing discussions with Tennis Australia about suitable equipment that can be delivered to positive and symptomatic residents, given that the equipment can't be reused and would need to be safely destroyed."

Ardern "disappointed" with Trans-Tasman bubble decision. 

Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand will be suspended until at least Thursday, prompting a rebuke from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Ardern has told Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that she is disappointed by the decision.

"I certainly shared my view that this was a situation that was well under control," she told reporters on Tuesday.

"If we are to enter into a trans-Tasman bubble we will need to give people confidence that we won't see closures at the border that happen with very short notice over incidents we believe can be well managed domestically."

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the government's decision on Monday.


The suspension came after a woman in New Zealand tested positive for a highly contagious virus strain found in South Africa.

It is the first local case in New Zealand  in more than two months.

Australia again recorded zero locally acquired coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with just four cases detected in hotel quarantine. 

Vanessa Bryant remembers Kobe and Gigi one year on from their deaths.

Vanessa Bryant has paid tribute to her husband Kobe and daughter Gigi on the one-year anniversary of their deaths, saying "it still doesn't seem real".

She joined NBA legends, sports teams and fans who remembered Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, who died along with seven others in a helicopter crash in California.

"I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much," Vanessa wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. 

"I will never understand why/how this tragedy could've happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. 

"It still doesn't seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!"

The Los Angeles Lakers were given the day off to remember the fallen star who died on January 26th (January 27th AEST). Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP during his 20-year career with the Lakers. 


A week before the anniversary of their deaths, Vanessa posted a plea on Instagram asking of the media, "We ask that you do not post photos of the wreckage, helicopter in the air or accident scene. We do NOT want to see it. Our year has been traumatic enough. You have thousands of photos and videos you can show besides footage of 1/26/20."

Around the world.

- The US military says it is exploring the possibility of using new bases in Saudi Arabia.

- The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has handed in his resignation, in a tactical move aimed at maximising his chances of leading a new government.

- A knife attack in the German city of Frankfurt has left several people injured.

- Indonesia confirmed coronavirus cases have exceeded a million, with 28,460 people killed.

- Anti-lockdown protesters in the Netherlands have rioted, looted and attacked police in cities across the country.

- With AAP

Feature image: Joshua Prieto/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty/Justin Tallis/PA Images/Getty/Instagram @vanessabryant.