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Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, has begun a second lockdown in response to a spike in new coronavirus infections.

The five million Melbourne’s residents will be barred from leaving home for six weeks, except for essential reasons.

Police say they are setting up a “ring of steel” around the city, with “checkpoints anytime and anywhere” to enforce the measures.

Borders between Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, and neighboring states closed on July 7.

PM Scott Morrison paid tribute to Melbournians’ resilience on July 8.

“The rest of the country knows that the sacrifice that you’re going through right now is not just for you and your own family, but it’s for the broader Australian community,” the prime minister said during a news conference.

Scott Morrison also said he was proposing measures to slow the return of Australian nationals from overseas.

Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews announced the Melbourne lockdown on July 7 after the state saw 191 new infections, its highest daily number since the pandemic began.

The July 8 figure was down to 134, but still much higher than numbers in the rest of the country.

Australia has recorded almost 9,000 cases and 106 deaths from the virus.

Meanwhile, Australian media reported that passengers on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney disembarked on July 7 without being screened.

New South Wales state has banned travel from the greater Melbourne area except under exceptional circumstances, and the passengers should have been required to self-isolate for two weeks.

People will be kept to their homes and will only be able to leave for essential reasons, such as for work, exercise and shopping for food and other necessities.

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Schools will largely return to distance learning and restaurants will, once again, only be permitted to serve takeaway food.

However, shops and hairdressers will remain open.

The lockdown covers only Melbourne and an area to the north called the Mitchell Shire, but the state as a whole has been sealed off from the neighboring states of New South Wales and South Australia.

Police and troops have been stationed at border crossings and patrol the vast borders with drones and other aircraft.

As of July 9, they will also be doing random checks on vehicles in and around the city.

For months Australia had felt optimistic about containing Covid-19 then came the resurgence of the virus in Melbourne.


Twelve young women have tried to leave Melbourne to join the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group.

According to Australian police, the women, aged between 18 and 29, have been recruited on social media.

Five of them are now living with ISIS militants in the conflict zones, according to a special investigation by Victoria Police.

Concern has been rising since mid-2014 about Australians going to the Middle East to fight for ISIS.

Australia’s government will soon introduce legislation allowing it to strip dual citizens fighting in Iraq or Syria of their Australian citizenship.

People working in Australia to support militant groups will also be targeted by the changes.Women join ISIS

Task Force Pax was established in April to monitor Victorians believed to be involved with insurgents.

Officials from the task force told local media on May 29 that another four Melbourne women made it as far as Turkey before being turned back by authorities.

One other was stopped by customs officers in Australia while two remain unaccounted for.

The young women are all from Melbourne’s northern and south-eastern suburbs.

According to Assistant Commissioner Tracy Linford, two forensic psychologists had been embedded in the task force to help investigators understand why the young women were trying to join IS.

“The use of psychologists provides us with a far more comprehensive risk assessment and also assists in identifying early intervention opportunities,” she said.

“This gives us the chance to focus on identifying those youths most at risk of radicalization and to engage with them or their families directly.”

Police said the young women were being sold a romantic view of life with ISIS, and had lied to their families about their travel plans.

Authorities were warning parents and friends of young women about the lure of ISIS, saying the women could end up in arranged marriages, or forced into s**ual servitude in the Middle East.

The Australian government believes at least 100 Australians are fighting with militant groups in the Middle East.

Another 150 people in Australia are known to be supporting such groups, while Australia’s intelligence agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), is investigating about 400 high-priority terrorist cases.

Five teenage suspects have been arrested in Australia after police foiled an Islamic State-inspired plot to carry out an attack at ANZAC Day event in Melbourne.

One 18-year-old has been charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act.

The men were planning to target police at an ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) memorial event in Melbourne next week, police said.

About 200 police officers took part in the counter-terrorism operation in Melbourne early on Saturday, April 18.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters that evidence suggested the suspects had been influenced by ISIS.

One of the men, Sevdet Besim, appeared briefly in Melbourne Magistrates Court on April 18.ANZAC Day terror plot Melbourne

Victoria state police say a second man held on terrorism-related offences is also likely to be charged.

A third man, also 18, was arrested on weapons charges and two other teenagers, aged 18 and 19, were in custody and assisting with inquiries.

Officials referred to possible attacks using “edged weapons”, but Neil Gaughan said there was no evidence to suggest there was “a planned beheading”.

The men were “associates” of Abdul Numan Haider, a teenager shot dead in September 2014 after he stabbed two officers, police said.

ANZAC Day is an annual day of remembrance for servicemen and women from Australia and New Zealand. A series of events are planned for next week to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, Turkey.

Australian PM Tony Abbott urged people to turn up to memorial events as planned.

“The best thing we can do to counter terrorism… as individuals is to lead normal lives,” he said, adding that the authorities were doing everything possible to keep people safe.

Police said that although officers were the primary target of the alleged plot there was also a threat to the public.

Search operations were continuing at several addresses in the south-east of Melbourne on April 18.

Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, said the police presence at ANZAC Day events would be “significantly increased”.

“These individuals arrested today are not people of faith, they don’t represent any culture,” he added.

“This is not an issue of how you pray or where you were born… this is simply evil, plain and simple.”


The Rolling Stones band has cancelled a November 8 Melbourne concert because Mick Jagger has developed a throat infection.

Mick Jagger, 71, is under strict doctor’s orders to rest his vocal chords, according to an official statement.

The legendary rock band is due to play in Sydney on November 12.

Mick Jagger is under strict doctor's orders to rest his vocal chords

Mick Jagger is under strict doctor’s orders to rest his vocal chords

The Stones’ Australian tour was postponed earlier this year after the death in New York of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott.

A spokesman for Frontier Touring, which has organized The Rolling Stones’ tour, said Mick Jagger needed to recuperate so that he could complete the rest of the tour.

“This means the scheduled show at Hanging Rock near Melbourne is unfortunately cancelled,” the spokesman said.

All fans who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster will receive a refund for the Hanging Rock show, according to the organizers.

The Australian visit is part of the Rolling Stones’ international 14 on Fire tour.

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High temperatures have halted matches at the Australian Open tennis tournament, as a report warns that Australia will see hotter heatwaves.

Melbourne, where the tournament is held, is seeing a third consecutive day of heat above 40C, with temperatures of 41.7C (107F) on Thursday.

Australia’s Climate Council says in a report that the number of hot days in the country has “more than doubled”.

2013 was recently declared Australia’s hottest year on record.

The Climate Council report attributed the development to climate change, caused by greenhouse gases.

Fire bans are in place across the states of Victoria and South Australia, as firefighters battle bushfires.

In Victoria, several fire emergency warnings have been issued, as fires in the Northern Grampians area merged into one “out of control” bushfire and residents were urged to evacuated.

High temperatures have halted matches at the Australian Open tennis tournament

High temperatures have halted matches at the Australian Open tennis tournament

Australian Open organizers said their extreme heat policy was in force, with matches on outside courts being suspended at the end of their sets.

Matches at Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena would continue with a closed roof, they said in a statement,

Play was scheduled to resume on outside courts at 18:00 local time.

Tournament officials say temperature, wind direction and humidity are taken into account when implementing the extreme heat policy.

On Tuesday, a tennis player and a ball boy fainted in the heat during the tournament. Organizers were criticized for allowing the tournament to continue.

Meanwhile, an interim report from the Climate Council said the number of heatwaves in Australia was “projected to increase significantly.”

In the South Australian capital, Adelaide, temperatures were forecast to reach 46C, nearing the city’s record of 46.1C.

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Lady Gaga arrived in Melbourne and treated fans to a sneak peek of herself in her lacy lingerie.

Lady Gaga, 26, posted a picture to her Twitter page and she was dressed in a provocative basque and little else.

The singer was sporting gigantic lashes and bright red lips as she pouted in the shot.

Lady Gaga wrote: “Hey Melbourne we’re here! We can hear you downstairs! Is that church bell ringing for us? The devil of pop is here.”

Lady Gaga arrived in Melbourne and treated fans to a sneak peek of herself in her lacy lingerie

Lady Gaga arrived in Melbourne and treated fans to a sneak peek of herself in her lacy lingerie

The singer jetted from Sydney to Melbourne earlier today and her picture will no doubt ensure she receives a warm welcome in the Australian city.

Lady Gaga had donned a red and yellow shirt which she clinched in at the waist with a black belt, a jacket that she ore as a cape and a black hat.

The singer also teetered out in a pair of sky-high boots.

On Sunday Lady Gaga and her beau Taylor Kinney enjoyed a romantic sailing trip, with plenty of kissing and cuddling thrown in for good measure.

Lady Gaga has a busy schedule in Melbourne that will see her play five shows at the Rod Laver arena.