Australia news LIVE: States told to keep ‘medium’ restrictions until 80 per cent jabbed, France recalls ambassadors to Australia and US

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  • ‘Embrace our summer of freedom’: Al fresco future to revive Sydney
  • This morning’s headlines
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‘Embrace our summer of freedom’: Al fresco future to revive Sydney

Car parks, bowling greens and streets could become the latest settings for restaurants and beer gardens as the NSW government and City of Sydney look at ways to pedestrianise the cityscape and revive the hospitality industry.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes declared the government was “throwing out the planning rule book and taking emergency measures” as senior government figures and councils try to revive the decimated hospitality sector, with an expansion of last year’s al fresco reforms to larger outdoor areas a priority.

Anthony MacFarlane (centre) of Mrs Palmer with other Stanley Street traders are in discussions with the City about hosting a street party once lockdown ends.Credit:Wolter Peeters

Meanwhile, the City of Sydney is set to vote next week on transforming 10 lanes and backstreets into attractive dining spaces and walkways in a bid to bring people and business back into the CBD.

NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello, who last year led reforms in reducing red tape for pubs, bars and restaurants to create or extend their outdoor seating to boost their patronage, said the city wanted “la dolce vita”: “Quite frankly after the last 18 months, we need it.”

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This morning’s headlines

Good morning, Angus Thompson with you on the national blog to bring you coverage of the days events. Let’s start with some of the biggest news from our mastheads:

  • First to some breaking news from European, with France taking the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors from Australia and the United States, as the fallout grows from a new defence pact that has infuriated French President Emmanuel Macron. The unprecedented move follows the Morrison government’s decision to tear up a $90 billion contract to buy 12 French submarines in favour of a new nuclear-powered fleet using technology from the US and United Kingdom.
  • State and territory leaders have been told restrictions including stay-at-home orders and a ban on any travel should remain in areas of concern with thousands of new cases per day even when 70 per cent of the eligible population is vaccinated. A sensitivity analysis of the Doherty Institute’s modelling, conducted by the organisation, found that in some instances these “medium” public health and social measures would need to remain in areas of concern until the 80 per cent vaccination target was reached.
  • Fully vaccinated people returning to NSW will be able to quarantine in their homes by December if a new trial proves successful, raising the likelihood of stranded Australians making it home for Christmas. The NSW government on Friday announced the home quarantine trial involving 175 people would be undertaken in October, with the isolation period halved from 14 to seven days for the participants.
  • Crowds could return to Melbourne sporting events by November and the government intends to implement a “no jab, no entry” policy for people going to major events, restaurants or pubs as part of the state’s road map to reopening. Victorian government officials have told industry stakeholders of the government’s intention to force visitors and staff at hospitality venues and major events to be fully vaccinated, according to two sources not authorised to speak publicly about the briefings.

‘Horrible mistake’: US admits air strike killed only Afghan civilians

In breaking news, the US military has admitted that a high-profile drone strike in Afghanistan last month killed as many as 10 civilians – including seven children – rather than an Islamic State extremist as initially announced.

The Pentagon had previously maintained that at least one member of the ISIS-K terrorist group and three civilians were killed in the strike, which was launched after an ISIS-K suicide bomber killed 13 US troops at the gate of Kabul Airport.

Frank McKenzie, Commander of US Central Command, revealed an internal review found that only civilians were killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as first believed.Credit:AP

General Mark Milley, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, initially called the August 29 attack a “righteous strike”.

But in a briefing on Saturday (AEST) the head of the US Central Command Kenneth McKenzie said that, following an investigation, he now believed it was unlikely that those who died were terrorists or posed a threat to US forces at Kabul’s airport.

“I offer my profound condolences,” McKenzie told reporters. “It was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology.”

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