The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Thursday November 19.

SA enters day one of coronavirus lockdown.

South Australians are spending their first day in lockdown as the state embarks on a six-day "circuit breaker" to contain a COVID-19 cluster.

The government says the pause in most community activity will significantly reduce the risk of the virus spreading further.

It could also prevent the need for a much longer Victorian-style shutdown.

"We need this circuit breaker, this community pause. We are at a critical point," Premier Steven Marshall said.

From Thursday all schools are closed along with universities, pubs, cafes, retail stores, food courts and takeaway food outlets.

Regional travel is banned and aged care centres are in lockdown.

Factories are closed, along with the construction industry, and elective surgery has ceased.

Weddings and funerals are banned along with all outdoor sport and exercise and masks will be required outside the home.

People who are not essential workers will only be allowed to leave their homes once each day to buy groceries or to seek a COVID-19 test or other medical treatment.

Woolworths has enforced a two-per-person buying limit on certain items as locals rushed to stock up ahead of a week in lockdown. Image: Getty. 

Supermarkets, petrol stations, medical centres, critical infrastructure, public transport, airport and freight services, banks, post offices, school and childcare for essential workers and veterinary services are open.


Woolworths has confirmed its South Australian stores will enforce two-per-person buying limits on certain items including toilet paper, paper towel, frozen meat, long life milk, canned goods and antibacterial wipes.

All Coles stores in South Australia will also limit certain items, including toilet paper.

Weinstein very ill with high fever.

Former US movie mogul and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein is in prison isolation with a soaring fever, the likely result of coronavirus complications, according to a source.


Weinstein, 68, is very ill and has a high sustained fever, said the source, who has direct knowledge of Weinstein's medical condition.

Weinstein was tested on Tuesday morning and doctors are awaiting results.

But they were confident enough he has COVID-19 that they placed him in isolation for 72 hours at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, where he is serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault.

Juda Englemeyer, Weinstein's publicist, and Craig Rothfield, a state department of health representative, said they could not confirm nor deny if Weinstein has coronavirus.

If the test comes back positive, Weinstein will be transferred to a prison hospital.

Damning ADF report to be released today after PM's warning.

A redacted report into alleged war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan will be released at 11am AEDT. 

The Brereton Inquiry was launched by the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force into allegations made against some special forces members in Afghanistan in 2016, in relation to alleged breaches going back to 2005.


It was an administrative fact-finding probe, not a criminal one, and called 338 witnesses while examining 55 separate incidents or issues including alleged unlawful killings and 'cruel treatment' of unarmed civilians, and former combatants.

Its contents are so horrifying that the prime minister took the time to hold a press conference ahead of their release to warn us about the "deeply disturbing" allegations made inside. 

"This will be difficult and hard news for Australians, I can assure you," Scott Morrison told reporters last Thursday.

Read: Here's what we know so far.

Europe has half of all new cases: WHO.

Europe made up almost half of the world's four million new coronavirus cases last week but recorded a nearly 10 per cent fall in infections compared to the week before, the World Health Organisation says.

In the German capital of Berlin, violent clashes between those protesting coronavirus restrictions and police erupted on Wednesday near the city centre after protesters disregarded authorities' advice to wear masks and physically distance.

"We want our lives back," read one sign carried by protesters in Berlin.


The latest weekly tally from the UN health agency said the 54 countries in Europe continued to report the most new cases of any region worldwide - 46 per cent - but the decline in cases followed "the strengthening of public health and social measures".

But as new cases fell, the tally of virus deaths still rose "substantially" in Europe over the last week to more than 29,000 new deaths, the WHO said.

The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States approached 250,000 on Wednesday, the day after the country recorded the highest number of victims in nearly four months.

On Tuesday, the pandemic claimed 1596 lives in the US, more than on any single day since July 27, contributing to a total of 248,898 confirmed deaths since the pandemic began.

Record COVID crowd for Origin decider.

A world-record post COVID-19 crowd of 49,155 has packed into Suncorp Stadium for Wednesday's State of Origin decider in Brisbane.

Just shy of the normal 52,000 capacity thanks to some lingering biosecurity measures, the crowd is believed to be the highest at any sporting event worldwide since the coronavirus brought world sport to a halt earlier this year.

The Maroons securing a thrilling 20-14 win over the Blues in front of their home crowd.


The NRL was among the first sporting codes to recommence after an eight-week shutdown, first without any crowds before slowly increasing capacity.

Trump pays for two Wisconsin county recounts.

US President Donald Trump's campaign has filed for a recount of Wisconsin's two most Democratic counties, paying the required $A4.1 million cost while alleging they were the sites of the "worst irregularities".

The recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties could begin as soon as Thursday and must be done by December 1.

Democrat Joe Biden received 577,455 votes in those two counties compared with 213,157 for Trump.

Biden won statewide by 20,608 votes, based on canvassed results submitted by the counties.

"The official canvass results reaffirmed Joe Biden's clear and resounding win in Wisconsin after Wisconsin voters turned out to cast their ballots in record numbers," Biden campaign spokesman Nate Evans said.

"A cherry-picked and selective recounting of Milwaukee and Dane County will not change these results."

China urges Australia to help mend ties.

China has called on Australia to take action to stem worsening relations between the two countries in the latest indication that officials in Beijing will offer few if any compromises to resolve their disputes.


Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian's comments came the same day that China's embassy in Canberra delivered a list of 14 areas of disagreement between the sides in which China expects Australia to change direction, Australian media reported.

Zhao made it clear China holds Australia responsible for the deterioration in ties, saying that "whoever started the trouble should end it".

"I want to stress that the Australian side is completely aware of the crux of the decline of the bilateral relations," Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing on Wednesday.

"We hope the Australian side should do more to improve the mutual trust and cooperation and enhance the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries."

Around the world.

- American developer Pfizer has announced its COVID-19 jab is 95 per cent effective and could be rolled out next month.

- The BBC has appointed former Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson to lead a probe into how the broadcaster secured an interview with Princess Diana in 1995.

- With AAP

Feature image: Kelly Barnes/Getty/Spencer Platt/Getty/Chris Hyde/Getty.