North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

NSW to ease restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that come Friday, some COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed across the state. Two adults will be able to visit any household, “on the basis of reducing social isolation and everybody’s mental health”, Berejiklian said. 

Queensland and WA have announced similar plans to ease social distancing rules, but Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said the state will not follow suit until there is no undetected community transmission. 

How’s Kim Jong-un? 

South Korea intelligence agencies have dismissed rumours North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un is dead or dying, following prolonged speculation about the leader’s health. 

He has been absent from public appearances since mid-April, missing the commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il-sung. Local media have been silent on his whereabouts. 

Kim’s death could lead to instability in the region. He has not anointed a successor, though it is thought his younger sister Kim Yo-jong is a likely candidate. 

Murdoch to Trump’s rescue 

US President Donald Trump has not been having a good time. From being raked over the coals for his suggestion people could inject disinfectant to treat coronavirus (a claim he later said was “sarcasm”) to a New York Times article chronicling his daily routine during the coronavirus pandemic (spoiler: it involves a lot of watching himself on TV), criticism has come from almost every media outlet. 

Except one: On Sunday, the Murdoch-owned New York Post published a story stating Trump “works so hard, he often misses lunch”. The report, which quotes two White House staffers, said Trump barely had 10 minutes to spare in a day.

Trump challenged the Times‘ claims that he lingered in his bedroom until noon, tweeting  “I will often be in the Oval Office late into the night & read & see that I am angrily eating a hamburger & Diet Coke in my bedroom”. He then went on to attack the journalists, before deleting the tweets. 

Comorbidity on the rise

There have been several alarming reports this week around the comorbidities of coronavirus. This morning, UK health officials warned there had been a rise in children developing inflammatory syndromes with symptoms of toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease. Some of the children tested positive for COVID-19.

Patients with only mild symptoms of coronavirus in their 30s and 40s have been experiencing severe strokes in the US, with many not knowing they had the virus until the stroke. COVID-19 is thought to produce blood problems in patients. 

China threatens boycott 

Australia could lose billions if China goes through with a threat to boycott universities, tourism and agriculture. Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye made the threat of consumer boycott of significant Australian services and products following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s call for an independent review into the origin and handling of COVID-19. 

National security experts have warned Australia needs to reduce our economic reliance on China, our biggest export market worth $153 billion in 2018-19.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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