Australia

Fiji 7s to face NZ, Australia in Olympic warm-up

The Fiji men's team haven't played an international match since the World Series were cancelled 15 months ago, while the Fijiana haven't played since the Sydney Sevens in February last year.

The players have instead been competing in a domestic sevens series to keep match-fit ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

The inaugural PacificAus Oceania Sevens will be held at Queensland Country Bank stadium, from 25 to 27 June, with four men's and four women's teams from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

State extends lockdown to curb outbreak

Officials say people have been catching the virus from "fleeting" encounters in a Melbourne outbreak of the B.1.617.1 strain, now named the Kappa variant by the World Health Organization.

Australia's second most-populous state will now be locked down until 10 June.

It's the fourth shutdown endured by residents so far in the pandemic.

Six new local cases were reported on Wednesday, taking the cluster to 60.

"I know this is not the news that everybody wants to hear but given the cases we have... the government had no choice," said Acting Premier James Merlino.

Australia's softball team the first athletes to arrive in Japan

The team will attend a training camp in the city of Ota before moving to the Athletes' Village in Tokyo on 17 July.

All members of the delegation have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and will be tested for the virus every day.

The Games are scheduled to begin on 23 July despite Japan battling a surge in coronavirus cases.

While in Ota the Australia squad, who all tested negative for the virus upon arrival in the country, will be confined to one floor of their hotel and will only be able to leave the building to train.

Victoria records three new local Covid-19 cases

A total of nine local cases were recorded on Monday, which included six flagged by the government at its daily Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

The state recorded 42,699 test results and 20,484 vaccinations at state-run centres.

There are now 329 exposure sites, with the South Melbourne ALDI, the Woolworths at Heidelberg and a number of sites in Brimbank Shopping Centre added last night as Tier 1 sites.

Federal Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck said he was comfortable with the pace of the vaccine roll out in aged care.

Cannibal Mice threaten Sydney homes and Australian farms

Millions of mice have swarmed schools, homes and hospitals in the eastern states of New South Wales and Queensland, wreaking havoc and leaving entire towns suffocating from a lingering pungent odor. Now there are reports of them munching on the remains of dead rodents and even predictions that they could reach Sydney in a matter of weeks, riding on freight trucks and food crates.

School Strike 4 Climate: Thousands join Australia protest

Up to 50,000 students are expected at School Strike for Climate rallies across the country.

It's the latest grassroots campaign by young people pushing for action on the climate crisis.

Australia has long faced criticism for refusing to set more ambitious emissions targets.

David Soriano, a 17-year-old attending a Sydney rally, told the BBC he was worried about the future and wants the government to see the youth movement "as one to be reckoned with".

Australia provides big boost for Pacific netball

Funded through the Australian government's PacificAus Sports programme, money will be allocated to employ key high performance staff in Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga, while the Pacific nations will also be supported in their efforts to qualify and prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2023 Netball World Cup.

Netball Australia interim CEO Ron Steiner said he was delighted the organisation could continue to lead the charge in helping to develop netball in the Pacific.

Warriors want to stay in Australia for NRL season

The Warriors have been based in Australia since January and the club has had to decide whether to return to New Zealand now that the trans-Tasman travel bubble is open or fly in and fly out of Auckland for home games.

There are five Warriors home games on the NRL schedule starting with a 2 July clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was liaising between his teammates and team management to assess the options in front of them and he said they needed to take into account that some new players have never lived in Auckland before.

First Australian repatriation flight from India lands in Darwin

The government said 80 people arrived in Darwin on Saturday, and would be quarantined for a fortnight.

Their Qantas flight was originally scheduled to carry 150 people onboard.

But 70 passengers were later barred from travel after testing positive for coronavirus or coming into close contact with others who were.

Australia's strict rules on pre-flight testing meant there was not enough time for the seats to be given to others waiting to return.

New Zealand man in court after allegedly stabbing co-worker at Australian cafe

Adrian Stratton, 24, who had been working at the Onyx Espresso Bar in Mayfield, Newcastle as a casual dishwasher for just six weeks, yesterday allegedly attacked the cafe's 27-year-old female chef.

Police allege Mr Stratton first attacked the woman with a frying pan, then a fire extinguisher, before stabbing her in the chest with a 30-centimetre knife.

The New Zealand national appeared in Newcastle Local Court today after last night being charged with attempted murder and wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.