Morning Mail: Coal-fired Power Plants May Close Faster, La Niña Omicron Warning, Declining Bogong Moth |

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gHello. Australian coal-fired power plants are expected to shut down faster than expected. The Omicron variant is present in 57 countries. And the Bogong butterfly has been added to the endangered species list.

Coal-fired power plants to close almost three times faster now announced, with Victoria’s lignite fleet set to shut down in just over a decade and the main electricity grid going coal-free by 2043, according to the market operator. The Draft Integrated System Plan 2022, an industry blueprint updated every two years and released today, shows how the network serving eastern Australia will evolve to meet emission reduction targets and the market. It details four scenarios based on an in-depth 18-month consultation. The most likely route, dubbed the “step change” option, anticipates a nine-fold increase in large-scale renewables.

The Omicron variant has now been reported in 57 countries, says the World Health Organization. But the latest WHO epidemiological report says it is still too early to draw conclusions about its global impact, given that the Delta variant remains dominant, especially in Europe and the United States. But the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control predicted that Omicron could become dominant in Europe within months. In South Africa, Covid cases have increased 255% in the past seven days, but there is growing anecdotal evidence that Omicron infections cause milder symptoms than in previous waves.

Bad weather brought by La Niña could spike Covid cases by forcing people inside at the same time as the Omicron variant spreads in Australia, say epidemiologists warning health authorities to delay the easing of social distancing measures. Epidemiologists say that higher humidity allows viral particles to stay in the air longer.

Bogong butterfly is one of 124 Australian additions to endangered species list. The addition of the moth, famous among the swarms at Canberra’s Parliament on its annual migration to the Australian Alps, should be a wake-up call about the decline of Australian invertebrates, experts say. “It is a very big step for the beautiful bogong moth to be listed as an endangered species,” said scientist Marissa Parrott. “It’s a really sad moment that such an iconic species of Australia, which people remember from their childhood as blocking the moon, has now collapsed to the point of being listed as endangered.”

Australia

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 can receive a Pfizer jab starting January 10. Photograph: Richard Wainwright / AAP

Australian children aged 5 to 11 to receive Pfizer against Covid from January 10 after the federal government accepted a recommendation for its use of vaccination experts.

A third of large Australian businesses still pay no tax despite a repression that has lasted for five years. Transparency data released by the Australian Taxation Office on Friday shows that 782 of the 2,370 of Australia’s largest companies paid no tax in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The the government ordered a review of the functioning of Australian ports, set up a stoush with labor on the industrial power of the maritime union.

A lawyer who prepared a will for a wealthy Sydney man has denied having an obligation to ask why his client is leaving tens of millions of dollars with his GP. Raymond McClure, who died aged 84 in 2017, changed his will twice in the five months before his death, ultimately leaving Dr. Peter Alexakis 90% of his $ 30 million estate.

The world

Chief Justice Geoffrey Nice delivers verdict of independent tribunal weighing evidence of alleged human rights violations
An independent and unofficial body set up by a prominent British lawyer has concluded that the Chinese government has committed genocide and crimes against humanity. Photograph: Alberto Pezzali / AP

Uyghurs living in China’s Xinjiang Province have been victims of unacceptable crimes against humanity state-run and amounting to an act of genocide, an independent and unofficial London court found.

China says Australia, Britain and the United States will pay the price for their “wrong actions” after deciding not to send government delegations to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, in the latest warning demonstrating China’s escalating diplomatic tensions with the United States and its key allies.

The UK has offered US-style exemptions for EU citizens crossing the Irish border. EU citizens and other non-Irish or non-UK nationals will need a waiver known as the Electronic Travel Authorization under the new Nationality and Immigration Borders Bill post. -Brexit.

Joe Biden’s announcement that a group of NATO countries will hold talks with Moscow has raised concerns among officials from Poland and other eastern and central NATO countries, who fear that any compromise will increase the danger they face from an expansionist Russia.

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In Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel The Ministry for the Future, climate disasters kill tens of millions – and it’s a scenario he describes as relatively optimistic. “Robinson’s optimistic view is that human nature is fundamentally reflective and will save us,” writes Daniel Aldana Cohen. “It’s a prospect worth considering – as long as we organize ourselves as well. “

When Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 film Point Break was released in the early ’90s, critics were quick to view it as shallow and talkative machismo. But Tiia Kelly says these critics misunderstood this anti-establishment classic. “In Bigelow’s hands, a potentially conventional story becomes a subversive, anti-establishment film about being seduced, blackmailed and radicalized by your crush,” she writes.

For the most part, our previous pandemic is a distant memory. But for these five polio survivors, new health problems are just beginning. Editor-in-Chief Lucy Clark shares personal stories that take us across Australia.

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Book It In, Guardian Australia’s latest podcast, explores what books tell us about the world we live in. Dear Son is a searing anthology of letters written by First Nations fathers and sons. Two of Australia’s top writers discuss the tenderness and strength of Indigenous masculinity, in a conversation with author and journalist Paul Daley.

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Tara June Winch and Thomas Mayor on Indigenous masculinity

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting application.

sport

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Swimming Australia has defended its response to allegations by Olympic swimmer Maddie Groves that she was sexually assaulted over five years by a man still involved in sport. On Wednesday, Groves alleged in the CBA’s 7:30 a.m. report that she was sexually assaulted as a teenager over a five-year period by a man she refused to identify. On the ABC show, Groves said she did not file a formal complaint against the man she said assaulted her, but that he still worked in swimming.

Media overview

More than 5,000 hectares of bush have been razed by a huge fire threatening the lives and properties of the inhabitants of Western Australia’s most famous wine and surfing region, the ABC reports. Thousands of people could spend Christmas in isolation as Covid cases rise in Sydney, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Future

Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit takes place in Sydney. And the NSW investigation into voluntary assistance in dying continues to unfold.

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