The News at 9am

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It’s 12 o’clock, I’m Rebecca Borg.

And I’m Gianni Francis.

Most restrictions in regional Victoria will be eased at midnight tonight, as case numbers outside of Shepparton continue to stay low.  

The five reasons to leave home will be removed, and most businesses can reopen with capacity limits. 

But Premier Daniel Andrews has warned rural Victorians there’s still a very real threat of Delta seeping back into rural areas from metropolitan centres.   

Vic covid latest – grab

“It’s not a snap-back, it’s not Freedom Day, it’s not 100 percent of capacity down at the pub – it can’t be. If it is, then we will simply see numbers spread, we’ll have to close large parts of regional Victoria down again and perhaps even all of regional Victoria – we don’t want that.” (0:00-0:14)  

B/A Police will ramp up the ring of steel along the Greater Melbourne border to protect regional Victoria, handing out fines of more than five thousand dollars to those breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions.   

Meanwhile… in two weeks, 1,200 pharmacies across the country should be able to deliver the Moderna COVID-19 jabs.

Australia’s Health Minister GREG HUNT says the first shipment of the vaccine known as SpikeVax is expected to arrive within days.

And a further nine million doses will arrive over the remainder of the year, to boost the rollout plan in hitting the target of 80 per cent of Australians vaccinated.

Now to international news… Japanese leader Yoshihide Suga could soon be dethroned, as the delta outbreak ramps up across the nation. 

The Prime Minister will follow in the footsteps of his three predecessors, all falling victim to the Japan’s supposed “post-Olympics” jinx.

Mr Suga’s resignation is being closely watched by former communications minister Sanae Takaichi… a strong contender in the race for the top role.

Ms Takaichi is strongly backed by former PM Shinzo Abe and if successful, will be the country’s first female Prime Minister.

The Taliban have given approval for Afghanistan’s cricket team to play in an upcoming test match against Tasmania.

But Afghanistan’s full member status in the International Cricket Council could be revoked because of the ruling militant group not allowing a women’s team.

Only full members of the I-C-C are allowed to play in test matches, so this could prevent the match from going ahead.

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has refused to comment on the issue.

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REPORTER: “Do you think the Morrison government would be happy to have the Taliban flag flying over Bellarive for the first ever test match against Afghanistan and Australia?”

ANDREWS: “Look I am not going to comment on that at this point in time.”

And now with the rest of today’s sports news…here’s Rei Fortes.

Thanks Gianni.

In the AFL…Marcus Bontempelli of the Western Bulldogs has been cleared of a major knee injury, but the club’s unsure if he’ll make it to the weekend match against Port Adelaide.

In Rugby, Sydney’s lockdown has forced the NRL Grand Final out of the state and into Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

This is the first time in 114 years the grand final is taking place outside of NSW.

Finally, the Socceroos are paving their way through the third qualifying round of the World Cup, with a 1-nil victory in Vietnam.

This is coach Graham Arnold’s tenth win in a row, and Rhyan Grant’s maiden goal in the international competition.

And that’s all for today’s sporting news with me, Rei Fortes. 

Melbourne’s weather…possible showers and a top of 17.

Tomorrow…mostly sunny and a top of 21.

And Thursday…partly cloudy with a top of 22.

Right now in Melbourne it’s 12 degrees.

This has been the 11 o’clock news with Rebecca Borg.

And Gianni Francis.

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Photo: Studio Radio3-RadioAllier by Thecraft is used under a CC BY 3.0 licence.

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