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Earthquake shakes Victoria and all the news stories you need to know today, Wednesday September 22.

Magnitude 6 earthquake shakes Melbourne.

An earthquake has been reported in Victoria with tremors felt across Melbourne and as far away as Canberra, Sydney and Tasmania.

The 6.0 magnitude quake hit Mansfield about 9.15am today at a depth of 10km. 

Tremors were felt for around 30 seconds.

Damage is being shown on social media, with buildings and homes affected and the SES already responding to calls for help.

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Gabby Petito's death ruled a homicide. 

An autopsy has revealed Gabby Petito was likely murdered, days after her body was found in a National Park in Wyoming. 

Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue today said the initial autopsy was finished, confirming the remains found were of Ms Petito and her manner of death was likely homicide.

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The 22-year-old was reported missing on September 11, but hadn't made contact with her parents since late August. She'd been travelling across America with her fiance Brian Laundrie who returned to his parents' house in Florida on September 1 with their van, but no Gabby.

He wouldn't cooperate with police and is now missing with police conducting a wide scale search for him. 

Melbourne braces for third day of protests after 2000 marched on Tuesday.

Protesters are being warned to stay home as Melbourne braces for its third day of demonstrations over COVID-19 vaccinations and other restrictions for the construction industry. 

Chaos has engulfed the city centre over the past two days as demonstrators, mostly men dressed in hi-vis workwear, took to the streets voicing their anger at mandatory vaccines, mask mandates and demanding an end to lockdowns.

Among their list of demands; the resignation of Premier Daniel Andrews, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, a royal commission into the government's response to the pandemic and "mass distribution of ivermectin, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc," reports News.com.au.

The violent mob of hundreds of people brought the city and the West Gate Bridge to a standstill on Tuesday, and at one stage police fired rubber bullets and smoke rounds to keep them under control.

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Victoria Police arrested 62 protesters, some for assaulting police, but most for breaching public health orders. 

"I implore you to stay home," Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said on Tuesday night.

"Our tactics tomorrow will be different."

It is not clear if demonstrators are all union members, with CFMEU Victorian construction secretary John Setka blaming "neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists" for hijacking the event.

Premier Daniel Andrews and other unions have labelled the protest as selfish.

The ambulance union pleaded with protesters to think of others.

"The fight against COVID-19 is not in the street. For our health workers the fight is very real, very exhausting, very painful and very dangerous," the union said in a statement on Tuesday night.

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"You are thinking of yourself only. There has never been a more important time to match the selflessness of health workers, with your own."

The state government has shut down the construction industry for two weeks in metropolitan Melbourne, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire.

Victoria on Tuesday reported 603 new COVID-19 cases - its highest daily tally in the current outbreak and since August 2020 - and one death. 

COVID vaccines for children on the cards.

Australian children aged between five and 11 could receive coronavirus vaccines this year after trials showed promising results overseas.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has invited Pfizer to apply to Australia's medical regulator to have its vaccine approved for young children following clinical trials in the United States.

In a letter to Pfizer's Australia and New Zealand managing director, Mr Hunt said the company should submit an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration at the same time as US regulators.

"I encourage and invite Pfizer to submit a parallel application to the TGA for Australian regulatory approval at the earliest possible time," Mr Hunt wrote.

"Should the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation also approve vaccination of this age cohort, vaccination would commence as a priority."

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It's expected US approval for COVID vaccines for children could be finalised as early as October.

Chief Nursing Officer Alison McMillan said it was possible for younger children to be vaccinated this year if regulators gave the green light.

COVID vaccines have only been approved for those aged 12 years and over.

Full return for NSW construction industry as state records 10 deaths in 24 hours.

The NSW construction industry will return to full capacity from next week as the state's vaccination coverage continues to grow.

From next Monday, NSW will ease all capacity limits on construction sites while retaining the "four square metre" density rule.

NSW reported 1022 new local cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday and 10 deaths, taking the toll for the outbreak to 255.

Of the 10 deaths, one person was in their 50s, one was in their 60s, two were in their 70s, five were in their 80s and one was in their 90s.

As double-dose vaccination coverage in NSW surpasses 54 per cent, Mr Hazzard revealed people aged 18 and under will be able to create a "friends bubble" of three, allowing them to visit each other's homes.

The NSW crisis cabinet agreed on Monday night to offer relief to families and kids after months of lockdown and home schooling.

Children don't have to be vaccinated but all adults living with the children must be fully vaccinated and the children must stay in the same trio.

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The three friends must live within five kilometres of each other or in the same local government area, NSW Health declared.

Government modelling suggests daily COVID-19 infections may have already peaked in NSW, but hospitalisations will peak in October.

Sydney's NYE family fireworks cancelled.

Sydney's New Years Eve family fireworks show has been cancelled for the second year in a row, despite plans to reopen the city in coming weeks.

The city's midnight display will go ahead, with discussions on potential crowd limits continuing.

A spokeswoman for the City of Sydney on Tuesday evening confirmed the earlier fireworks show had been cancelled again, to ensure the celebrations meet pandemic public health orders.

"The fireworks always generate very large crowds and the two separate displays result in the cross over of large numbers of people leaving for one show and arriving for the next," she said in a statement.

"In the current climate, limiting this mixing of crowds will ensure the event can be managed in the most COVID-safe way for all attendees and staff.

It comes as Sydney and a number of regional communities prepare to be released from lockdown, with 54 per cent of the state's residents now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The state is likely to reach the 70 per cent double vaccination milestone that will allow more freedoms in the first fortnight of October.

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Treasurer Dominic Perrottet told Nine Newspapers the decision to cancel the 9pm show was made too early.

"New Year's Eve is 100 days away, and it would seem a bit pre-emptive to be pulling the plug on an iconic event enjoyed by so many people," he said.

Queensland cuts Tweed, Byron from border bubble.

Queensland will remove Byron Bay and Tweed Heads from the border bubble after the NSW government ordered the shires into a seven-day COVID-19 lockdown.

The state government says Byron and Tweed shire residents will only be allowed to enter Queensland for essential work, emergency volunteering and other limited essential purposes from 1am on Wednesday.

Previously they had been allowed to cross into Queensland for work, education, compassionate care or essential shopping, provided they've had one vaccine dose.

The announcement comes as NSW locks down Byron and Tweed as of 5pm on Tuesday after a COVID-19 case was infectious in both shires last week.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had foreshadowed changes to the border bubble earlier on Tuesday.

Removing Byron and Tweed from the bubble has complicated interstate travel for other border zone residents further south.

For Ballina, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley shires residents, the most direct route to Queensland is via Byron and Tweed.

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Biden, Morrison meet after new sub deal.

US President Joe Biden has met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison several days after unveiling a new partnership that would enable Australia to acquire at least eight US nuclear submarines led to a diplomatic blow-up with France.

The new deal that also included the United Kingdom led Australia to cancel previous submarine acquisitions from France, which then recalled its US ambassador.

The deal has widely been seen as an effort by the US, UK and Australia to counter an increasingly assertive China.

The pair are meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Morrison did not address the submarines issue directly but thanked Biden for his leadership in the region.

"The United States has no closer or more reliable ally than Australia," Biden said, adding that the goal of the two countries is a "free and open" Pacific region.

Morrison praised Biden for understanding the complexities of the situation in the region.

"There's no doubt you get it," the prime minister said.

Biden said that their conversation will continue on Friday in a meeting with Japan and India, the other two members of a separate partnership known as the Quad.

with Reuters

NSW man charged after woman's body found.

A man has been charged with murder after a woman's body was found on the NSW mid-north coast on the weekend.

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The body of the woman, 34, was found in a cabin on Pole Dump Forest Road in Bulga Forest on Saturday.

The man, who was known to the woman, was arrested by detectives at a home in Wingham about 5pm on Tuesday.

He was taken to Taree Police Station where he was charged with murder.

He was refused bail to appear in Taree Local Court on Wednesday.

Taliban 'working' on education for girls, appoints all-male deputy leaders.

Afghanistan's education ministry is working on a "new procedure" to pave the way for schoolgirls to resume their education, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says.

Currently, girls higher than 6th grade are not allowed to attend school in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Mujahid said that the new procedure is aimed at safeguarding the educational environment for girls and women as well as their daily commute.

Mujahid hoped they would take care of this "important issue" as soon as possible; however, he said it is not clear when the girls can go back to school.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has announced a list of deputy ministers, failing to name any women, despite an international outcry when they presented their all-male Cabinet ministers earlier this month. 

Gold Coast mum wins $30m in Oz Lotto.

A Gold Coast mother has won an entire Oz Lotto draw worth $30 million. 

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“Everybody has had such a strange year with COVID. Our family’s lives have been turned upside down.

“But with this, we can set ourselves up, set our kids up, set our family up. It will change our lives, and we’ll want to share that kindness with others," she said, reports MyGC.

The Burleigh woman held the only division one winning entry in the 1440 draw.

Around the world.

- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reprimanded the world for the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, describing it as an "obscenity" and giving the globe an "F in ethics".

Guterres said images from some parts of the world of expired and unused vaccines in rubbish told "the tale of our times" - with the majority of the wealthier world immunised while more than 90 per cent of Africa has not even received one dose.

- Fashion editor Richard Buckley, Tom Ford's husband and partner of 35 years, has died at the age of 72. 

- With AAP

Feature image: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty/Twitter @POTUS/Wendell Teodoro/Getty.

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