Australia

Morning Briefing: Jury rules in favour of Johnny Depp, Penny Wong to visit Tonga and Samoa, long COVID-19 in the United Kingdom

This article contains references to domestic violence

Good morning. It’s Thursday 1 June, and here’s a round up of the latest news.

Jury rules in favour of Johnny Depp

A jury in the US state of Virginia has ruled in favour of Hollywood actor Johnny Depp in his defamation case against his ex-wife,
Depp filed a claim for $69 million dollars, saying he had been defamed in an article Heard wrote describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.
Depp said Heard’s claims of abuse were concocted.
Heard filed a counterclaim for $140 million dollars.

They accused each other of destroying their careers.

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The jury also agreed that Heard had been defamed by Mr Depp’s lawyer when he called her abuse allegations a hoax.

Depp has been awarded just over $20 million dollars in damages, while Heard should receive two-and-a-half million.

Penny Wong to visit Tonga and Samoa

is visiting the Pacific in what marks her second trip to the region as Foreign Minister.

Ms Wong is set to meet with the leaders of Tonga and Samoa as Australia steps up its Pacific diplomacy effort.

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The trip coincides with , who is currently carrying out a multi-country tour of the region, including a stop in Tonga.

Two million people suffering from long COVID-19 in United Kingdom, statistics show

An estimated two million people in the United Kingdon have , official statistics showed Wednesday.
Around 1.4 million of them said they first had COVID-19, or suspected they had the virus, at least 12 weeks previously, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It also found 826,000 first had coronavirus at least a year earlier, while 376,000 said they first had it at least two years previously.

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The biggest proportion were people aged 35 to 69, females, those living in more deprived areas and those working in certain professions such as social care, teaching and education or health care, the ONS said.

The ONS figures are based on people’s own reports of suffering from long COVID-19 from a representative sample of private households in the four weeks to 1 May.

United States and Germany to supply Ukraine with more weapons

The United States and Germany say they’ll both send more weapons to Ukraine.

The US will send advanced rocket systems which will allow Ukraine to strike enemy forces with greater precision,

and Germany will supply an air defence system.

Pentagon spokesman Colin H Kahl says the Ukrainians have given assurances the weapons will not be used to strike Russian territory.

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A spokesman says the US is “directly and intentionally adding fuel to the fire”.

Jim Chalmers to detail economic challenges

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers says he will soon unveil the details of the ‘dire’ economic challenges inherited by the incoming Labor government.
Mr Chalmers says the latest economic growth figure of 0.8 per cent is lower than what was forecast in the budget and during the election.
The Treasurer says a ministerial statement is imminent, flagging skyrocketing inflation, rising petrol prices and falling real wages as contributing factors.

He says while there is no single solution, Labor’s first priority will be to introduce its ‘Powering Australia Plan’.

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“These are the costs and consequences of almost a decade now of a government with 22 different energy policies, failing to land the necessary certainty to improve the resilience of our energy markets,” he said.
“This is the chickens coming home to roost when it comes to almost a decade now on climate change and energy policy failure from our predecessors.”
Andrew McDonald tests positive for COVID-19
In sport, Australian men’s cricket coach Andrew McDonald has tested positive for COVID-19.
McDonald, who was interim coach after Justin Langer’s departure in February, will need to isolate for seven days and miss the start of his first tour.
The Australian team are set depart for Sri Lanka on Thursday, 2 June.
Assistant coach Michael Di Venuto will step up into the top job for the opening Twenty20 in Colombo.
After leading Australia to a gritty 1-0 Test series win in Pakistan, McDonald was in April named coach of the men’s team for the next four years.
Australia will play three T-20s and five One Day International’s (ODIs) before a two-Test series against Sri Lanka in Galle, starting on 29 June.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit . In an emergency, call 000.
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