The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Monday July 27.

Victorian COVID-19 death toll expected to rise.

Hundreds of Victorian aged care residents and staff are battling COVID-19, with the death toll expected to rise in the nation's hardest-hit state.

Victoria recorded Australia's highest single daily death toll of the pandemic on Sunday with 10 deaths and 459 new cases.

The state now has 71 of the country's 155 deaths - 22 more than NSW - while 228 Victorians remain in hospital, including 42 in intensive care.

Seven of the deaths are linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities, while the youngest was a man aged in his 40s.

It is the second virus fatality of a person younger than 50 in Australia, after a 42-year-old crew member of the Artania cruise ship died in a Perth hospital in April.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews wears a face mask as he walks in to the daily briefing on July 19, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Image: Getty. 


There are currently 560 active cases linked to residents and staff of at least 40 aged care facilities across the state, including 82 cases at Estia Health in Ardeer and 78 at St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner.

Premier Daniel Andrews said outbreaks in aged care, healthcare, abattoirs and warehouses were largely behind Victoria's second surge.

He said the health crisis has "very graphically exposed" insecure work as a structural weakness in the state's economy.

"There is a $300 payment available if are you in insecure work in between getting the test and getting the results," Mr Andrews said, urging those with even the mildest symptoms to get tested then immediately self-isolate.

Earlier in the week, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton predicted that with hundreds of new cases daily, authorities expect a number of people to die in the next two weeks.

He said many would likely be aged care residents.


More NSW venues exposed to COVID-19.

Several Sydney restaurants have been exposed to COVID-19, with NSW Health ordering some patrons to get tested and self-isolate regardless of symptoms.

The advice comes after a staff member became the second infection linked to the Thai Rock restaurant in Potts Point - which has the same owners as Thai Rock in Wetherill Park which is linked to 67 cases.

NSW Health directed anyone who attended the Potts Point restaurant for more than two hours between July 15 and July 25 to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days since they were last there, regardless of symptoms.

Anyone who attended the restaurant for less than two hours on those dates should monitor for symptoms.

The link between the cases at the two Thai restaurants has not yet been identified.

Authorities are also urging anyone who attended AN Restaurant in Bankstown on July 23 from 9am to 11am, and Tan Viet Noodle House in Cabramatta on July 22 from 1pm to 2pm, to monitor for symptoms after the restaurants were exposed to the virus.

NSW recorded 14 new cases on Sunday including six associated with the Thai Rock Wetherill Park cluster with two of these also linked to Our Lady of Lebanon Church.

Four cases were associated with a cluster tied to a funeral service at St Brendan's Catholic Church, Bankstown, on July 18.

Georges River Grammar School in Georges Hall was also temporarily closed for cleaning, after a child who attended the school tested positive. The child is linked with the funeral service cluster in southwestern Sydney.


Residents across the state have been urged to avoid all non-essential travel and gatherings with NSW Health particularly worried about transmission in hotels, restaurants, gyms and social gatherings.

People should also consider wearing a mask in situations where they are unable to practise social distancing.

Victoria Premier calls 'anti-maskers' selfish.

Premier Daniel Andrews has described Victorians who refuse to wear masks as selfish, as the state suffered its deadliest day since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Mr Andrews said the families of those who have died should be front of mind when people are asked to wear a mask.

"If you are just making a selfish choice that your alleged personal liberty, quoting something you've read on some website - this is not about human rights," he told reporters on Sunday.


"There are 10 families that are going to be burying someone in the next few days.

"There are 10 families who are currently planning funerals. The youngest among them is in their 40s. Please wear a mask."

Mr Andrews' comments come after a video was posted on social media of a woman clashing with a Bunnings store manager over her refusal to wear a mask.

The woman claimed she did not have to wear a face mask as it is her "right as a living woman to do whatever I want".

The woman verbally abuses a Bunnings staff member and a manager.

When a third staff member tells her the mask is a condition of entry, she said it was "discrimination and I can have you sued personally for discriminating against me as a woman".

In another video posted to Facebook on Saturday, a woman threatened to sue two police officers for "$60,000 each".


The officers were forced to take the woman to a police station in a bid to identify her after she refused to wear a mask or tell them her name.

People in locked-down Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire must wear face coverings when outside, while those in other parts of the state must - when unable to - practice social distancing.

In the past 24 hours, police have issued 126 fines, including 20 $200 fines to people who refused to wear a mask or face covering.


Meanwhile, 1093 spot checks have been conducted at homes, businesses and public places across the state, with 17 fines issued at vehicle checkpoints on main arterial roads.

The premier said he was "very proud to see so many people wearing masks right across the city".

"(It's a) simple but powerful step we can take to try to curb the spread of this virus," he said.

Severe weather warning for NSW coast.


A group of nine children have been rescued from a bus which became trapped in floodwaters near Newcastle.

Flash flooding across Newcastle sparked a number of SES calls, including eight for flood rescues, ABC reported.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for locations that could include Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra and Batemans Bay.

The low pressure system is deepening off the NSW North Coast and is expected to move south in the coming days.

Black Lives Matter protest organisers to appeal court ruling.

Organisers of a Sydney Black Lives Matter rally are expected to appeal a NSW Supreme Court ruling that their planned protest is prohibited.

The NSW Supreme Court on Sunday sided with police that the risk of COVID-19 community transmission in Sydney's CBD made Tuesday's planned event for about 1000 too risky.

Justice Mark Lerace found despite low numbers of community transmission in NSW, the state was on the "knife-edge" of further escalation in cases.

NSW Police said the protest is now "unauthorised" and urged anyone thinking of attending to reconsider their plans while warning officers won't hesitate to take appropriate action if required.


Organisers nevertheless promised to risk arrest and rally as planned on Tuesday, before delivering to parliament a petition signed by 90,000 people calling for justice for Indigenous man David Dungay Jr.

After the judge announced his orders on Sunday, a lawyer for rally organiser Paddy Gibson asked they be temporarily suspended to allow for an appeal to be lodged with the Court of Appeal.

Mr Gibson produced a COVID safety plan, in which he said people should wear masks, practice hand hygiene and leave contact details with organisers so they could be notified in the event a demonstrator tests positive to coronavirus.


He argued protesting was a fundamental tenet of democracy and must be accommodated.

The matter is expected to head to the Court of Appeal on Monday.

Calls to lift Australia's criminal responsibility age.

Activists, lawyers and health professionals have urged Australia's legal leaders to use a law reform meeting to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14.

Children as young as 10 can be arrested, charged and detained, with Amnesty International Australia saying nearly 600 children aged between 10 and 13 were put behind bars in one year.

The human rights activist organisation says 65 per cent of imprisoned children are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Aboriginal legal and health expert group Change the Record argues Indigenous children in some areas are put behind bars at up to 43 times the rate of non-Indigenous children.

The two organisations are among several activist groups, human rights lawyers and health professionals, calling for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 14, ahead of the Council of Attorneys-General meeting on Monday.

Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone urged state, territory and Commonwealth governments to support health, education and rehabilitative-based alternatives to the criminal justice system for young people.

The United Nations recommends the minimum criminal age of responsibility be 14 - but all Australian states and territories have set it at 10 - which is one of the lowest in the world.


Donald Trump's niece questions uncle's psychological health.

Donald Trump's niece Mary Trump has doubled down on her criticism of her uncle, questioning his "psychological health" on Sunday night's 60 Minutes.

Mary released her book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man earlier this month. Mary, a psychologist and the daughter of Trump's oldest brother Fred, diagnosed the president as a narcissist in the book.


The White House has dismissed the book as "falsehoods", but Mary told 60 Minutes she stood by the claims that Trump was 'the world's most dangerous man'.

"He's dangerous because of the power that attaches to the office he holds. He's dangerous because he's so susceptible to powerful, smarter, other people.

"It's very easy to get him to do your bidding. I think we've seen a lot of evidence of that, you need to just flatter him and you know, whether you're Kim Jong-un or Vladimir Putin, he'll stop the sanctions or he'll look the other way when you start building more nuclear missiles... it's quite terrifying."


She said her uncle was taught never to admit mistakes, which is clear in the US' coronavirus response.

"Donald learned that you can never admit you're wrong. That was considered a weakness and we've seen that starkly with the COVID-19 situation."

Mary, who is estranged from the rest of the Trump family, urged Americans to vote out Trump in November.

Around the world.

- The global number of coronavirus cases reached 16 million on Sunday, according to resource centre Johns Hopkins University. The virus has killed more than 645,000 people since it surfaced late last year.

- North Korea has declared a state of emergency and a lockdown in a border town over its first officially acknowleged COVID-19 cases. A person suspected to have the virus illegally crossed the border, state media has said. Experts are speculating the admission from the insular state may be an appeal for outside help.

- Gone With the Wind star Olivia de Havilland, who was considered the last surviving actress of Hollywood's 'Golden Age', has died from natural causes aged 104, at her home in Paris.

Feature image: Getty.

-With AAP.