Morning mail: Boris Johnson refuses to quit, Kyrgios makes Wimbledon semi-finals, veggies to buy this month

Good morning. A fourth Covid vaccine is to be made available to more Australians as it was revealed hospital admissions have reached their highest levels since early February. In the UK, Boris Johnson has been told by his own ministers to quit. And Nick Kyrgios is through to the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

Johnson’s woes have continued amid a string of resignations from his collapsing government and a series of senior Conservatives called for him to step down. But the PM is refusing to budge, even after a delegation of cabinet ministers met him at Downing Street to demand his resignation on a day of rapidly unfolding political drama. Follow all the latest developments as they happen here.

Australia recorded 3,105 more deaths than expected in January and February, driven by Covid-19, according to the latest snapshot of the nation’s health. By comparison, there were 205 fewer deaths than expected in 2020 as the country locked down due to the pandemic, and 94 more deaths than expected in 2021 amid outbreaks of the virus and lifting of restrictions. The findings come as it was announced a fourth Covid vaccine will be made available to more Australians, as health authorities attempt to stave off further spread of the virus and hospital admissions reaching their highest since early February.

Monkeypox may be spreading in Australia after New South Wales found infections among the state’s 11 confirmed cases that could have been transmitted locally. NSW Health says nine of the infections were probably acquired overseas but two may be local cases, which suggests community transmission could be occurring. “People need to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox, which can include fever, headache, body aches and a rash or lesions on the genital area,” an official said.


Shark attack data can be affected by increasing populations or changing social norms around things like swimming. Photograph: Image Source/Getty Images

A new dataset on shark incidents in Australia stretching back to 1791 has found an increase in reported attacks, especially in recent decades, and researchers want to know why. But they also caution changes in the frequency and manner of reports need to be considered when examining the data.

The foreign minister, Penny Wong, has signalled she is open to meeting her Chinese counterpart at a looming meeting of G20 foreign ministers, but has warned any diplomatic thaw will require the removal of Beijing’s “coercive” trade sanctions against a variety of exports.

Queensland Health must “immediately” stop charging sexual assault victims who aren’t covered by Medicare for the costs associated with forensic examinations and tests, a taskforce has found. The practice of charging victims has “distressed” tourists, international students, migrants and refugees, the final report of Queensland’s Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce said.

Australian governments have poured more than $20bn into supporting first-home buyers in the past decade, the cornerstone of “one-sided” housing policies that set the country apart from more balanced policies abroad, a new study has found.

The world

An Ethiopian woman stands by sacks of wheat to be distributed in the town of Agula, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia
A woman stands by sacks of wheat to be distributed in the town of Agula, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

The number of people going hungry in the world has risen by 150 million since the start of the Covid pandemic, the UN has said, warning that the food crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine risks pushing the worst-hit countries into famine.

Two bodies have been found in the search for people missing after Sunday’s fatal avalanche on the Marmolada, the largest glacier in the Italian Dolomites. The announcement on Wednesday brings the death toll in the tragedy to nine.

Latvia is to reinstate compulsory military service amid growing tension with Russia after their invasion of Ukraine. “The current military system of Latvia has reached its limit. Meanwhile, we have no reason to think that Russia will change its behaviour,” the Latvian defence minister, Artis Pabriks, said on Tuesday.

Recommended reads

A head of broccoli resting on a table in a garden
Eating what’s in season and naturally plentiful, is a great way to navigate high prices and make sure you’re getting nutritional punch. Photograph: Mode Images/Alamy

Broccoli, cauliflower and capsicum are your best vegetable bets this month, writes Helen Hawkes, as she guides you through how best to save money on the best value fresh produce in Australia this July. “If you’re trying to stretch the budget, consider less-than-perfect-looking produce that is always available, but may be even more plentiful now because of bad weather.”

Comedian Bridie Connell shares a few of her favourite (online) things, including a terrible South Dakota anti-drug campaign, Mr Bean playing invisible drums and – of course – a laughing baby. And that’s before we even get to the slightly misguided public information campaign from the US with the dubious slogan, “Meth. We’re on it.”

“It was better to be caught with porno mags than Dolly,” writes Candace Bell as she recalls the terror of buying teen girl magazines for herself while growing up trans in Mudgee, NSW. “My mind buzzed with a frequency rivalled by the overhead fluorescents of the supermarket. I targeted Bi-Lo, not Woolworths, because Woolies was the more popular of the Mudgee shops. Bi-Lo was where elderly people went to get their bran; it was quieter, dimmer, less evolved than the fancier new supermarkets.”


As we wait to see how fast flood waters recede in Sydney and what the damage will be further north in the coming days, many are already asking: are we doing all we can to prepare for these disasters? In today’s Full Story, Gabrielle Jackson speaks to Peta Levy, whose house has been flooded three times in the past 18 months, and with environment reporter Graham Readfearn about what role the climate crisis is playing in recent natural disasters.

Full Story

What’s behind Sydney’s latest floods?

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.


Australia’s Nick Kyrgios lies on the ground after defeating Chile’s Cristian Garin during a men’s singles quarter-final match on day 10 of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London
‘After reaching his first grand slam semi‑final, the Australian offered a fresh side to his complex character: humility.’ Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

Nick Kyrgios is just one match away from a place in the Wimbledon final after steaming past Cristian Garín in straight sets. The controversial player reached the last four of a grand slam for the first time with a commanding 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory. But it was a very different story for Australia in the women’s competition as Alja Tomljanovic lost to Elena Rybakina.

Media roundup

Energy retailers will have to reveal commercially sensitive financial information and provide weekly information about customers amid concern more retailers may collapse, according to the Financial Review. And almost 40% of Nauru’s population has tested positive for Covid-19, while refugees report struggling to access fresh food and water, the Age reports.

Coming up

The New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, is due to address the Lowy Institute this morning, and to meet with the NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet, in the afternoon.

And if you’ve read this far …

Find out the answer to the question you’ve almost certainly long been asking – why are robots always so sad?

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