Good morning and welcome to the week.
1. British PM Boris Johnson has been taken to hospital, just 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus. "This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus," including a high fever, a spokesperson said.
2. COVID-19 has taken an enormous toll on Italy, Spain and France but its fatality rate appears to finally be coming off the boil , as daily deaths in each European nation declined over the weekend. Italy, which currently has the highest death toll in the world, recorded 525 more deaths on Sunday, its lowest in around two and a half weeks and the third consecutive day of decline. In a sign social distancing is here to stay, however, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: "it is likely that we are not going to see an end to confinement that would happen in one move everywhere and for everyone."
3. China came to a standstill over the weekend, to mourn those who succumbed to the coronavirus outbreak. Photos capturing the three-minute national silence, stopping police on deserted highways, are pretty eery.
4. The Coalition is pushing the Federal Opposition to support legislation that would allow bosses to cut workers' hours to slash their wage costs over the next six months, according to the AFR. Labor and the unions meanwhile are concerned the proposal would erode workers' rights and leave casual workers with nothing. Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter, pushing the idea of 'Team Australia', said 'we are pushing a $130 billion lifeboat out into the roughest economic seas Australia has ever seen and people will need to decide whether or not they are going to help us push the boat out."
5. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has urged Australians to stop trying to buy and import dodgy home testing kits after the country's Border Force intercepted a series of different consignments in March. The minister said "inaccurate results could prevent people from seeking the medical help they need".
6. Speaking of government advice, Australians have also been told not to wear face masks unless they're infected with COVID-19. Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said it was a) because masks aren't really effective in stopping you from being infected, and b) we need to conserve supplies for the healthcare system.
7. If like Bonnie Tyler, you're holding out for a hero, you may have to wait a little longer. Marvel has just changed its film release schedule, with each and every coming title being pushed back. 'Black Widow' should now be the first to land in November, while the 'Captain Marvel' sequel has been announced for the middle of 2022.
8. As renters try to negotiate lower rents, some real estate agents appear to be getting a bit big for their boots. On Friday, the financial regulator ASIC had to warn agents across Australia to simmer down after some were found instructing struggling tenants to use their superannuation to pay their rent if they couldn't make ends meet. Hardly a good look for the industry, nor a legal one, given agents aren't licensed to give financial advice.
9. Extremist organisations like ISIS and al-Qaida could use the coronavirus outbreak as a chance to ramp up attacks across the globe. According to the International Crisis Group, ISIS has acknowledged security forces that normally work against the group will be overloaded dealing with COVID-19, and believe fighters should take “maximum advantage” of that distraction. It comes just weeks after the group issued its own travel warnings to members.
10. In the US, Amazon is facing criticism for carrying on business as usual despite the coronavirus crisis. Despite promising two weeks ago it would only fulfil essential orders, like medical and sanitation supplies, workers in its warehouses claim otherwise, saying sex toys, video games, and dolls are all still being shipped. Depends on your definition of 'essential', I guess.
Let's face it. You, along with just about everyone else, probably spent the weekend binge-watching Tiger King, essentially the life and times of one Joe Exotic. If so, here's a little more. If not, you'll get the gist of what it's all about from watching a bewildered Louis Theroux interview Joe years ago. "You must have been a pretty weird cop".